Bruce H. Lipton, PH.D., and Steve Bherman, in their co-authored book, Spontaneous Evolution have an interesting discussion about the evolution of governance from Triangle, to Box, to Circle, to a Box in a Circle. According to Jim Rough the following describes these three forms or governance:
Triangle: The triangle represents a top-down hierarchy representative of dependance. The triangle is elementary. Just as children depend on their parents for sustenance, order and discipline, an uninformed population depends on an appointed leader to do this for them. This form of governance is imposed by Kings and Queens on their subjects and colonies around the world and creates a state of dependancy.
Box: This form of governance represents the metaphorical container which holds a set of rules and agreements created by the populace which are held sacred such as the U.S. Constitution. This form of governance relies on the will of free people and represents independance. Although America’s founders offered a vast improvement over the king’s monarchy, over the last two centuries; “We the People have gotten so far away from the actual drivers seat that we are now hostages in the back seat, if not locked in the trunk. The thing that the people created is being driven by the self interests of those who percieve themselves as the politically fittest in the struggle for survival”.
Circle: The circle represents interdependance. Every point in a circle is equidistant from the center and is equally important to maintain the shape of the circle. This does not mean co-dependance. Interdependance means a community of capable, diverse, and co-equal citizenry who recognize that self-interest and mutual interest are one and the same. The power of the circle as an access point to a field of higher wisdom was first recognized by Earth’s indigenous people. Oren Lyons of the Onondaga Iroquis described the circle used in a tribal council meetings: “We meet and just keep talking until there’s nothing left but the obvious truth”.
Manitonquat, a Native American elder uses a circle to turn around the lives of hardened criminals in New England prisons. He wrote: “Our people noticed long ago that the circle is the basic form of Creation. In the circle we are all equal; there is no top or bottom, first or last, better or worse. The key to the success of the circle is respect. He further stated; “Most of these prisoners have never in their lives been listened to with respect. Very few have persons in their experience who have shown them respect in any manner at all”.
Manitonquat uses a talking stick held by the person speaking to remind others to listen intently. He tells prisoners; “No one was ever like you in all of the universe, and there will never be another one like you again. Therefore, only you have your special gift, and you are the only one who can give it away…the rest of us need to receive your gift and hear your story.
65 to 85 percent of those released from New England’s prisons will be re-admitted. but only 5 to 10 percent of those who go though the circle program are re-admited. Many of the prisoners who complete the program return to their homes determined to, “replace the pyramid of domination with the circle of equality and respect”.
Box in Circle: The next evolutionary form of governance is represented as a box within a circle. In this form of governance the laws and Constitution are held sacred and within the box but the box is encircled with collective wisdom and co-intellegence. The council circle is composed of randomly selected persons who focus on issues and policies that are mired in conflict, then glean common wisdom and make it available to the entire community or nation.
First of all these councils seek input from the broadest rnge of information and points of view, even ideas that seem to be outside the box. Second, they seek solutions that benefit the whole rather than special interest groups. This eliminates the typical politics of pitting one party against another. These councils offer dynamic, emergent solutions and can provide a nonjudgmental, heartfelt, energy driven creative thinking process in which people seek to invent new options that work for everyone. Instead of negotiating, people seek break throughs everyone can support.
Regardless of the level of government or community in which they are used, such councils offer society a vision of what a healed body politic might look like. The box containing the rule of law inside the circular, coherent, central voice of We the People is a vision I pray we will see one day soon.
For now, Earlynn’s Just Sayin’