The women revolution is the journey from I to We

Yesterday I measured my IQ online. I scored 124. Above average. Not bad, whispers my complacent side. But my competitive side insists I should take the test again. Even more, I should find a better test and avoid answering the questions while trying to warm up lying in bed under a thick layer of covers (damn it was cold yesterday!). I want to score above 130. As Mark Zuckerberg, or Steve Jobs, Elon Mask and another guy whom I don’t know but the post I read says is one of the five richest men in the world. Also as the new guy in the innovative entrepreneurial ecosystem whatsapp group which I’m part of.

Right then Jorge lands in my mind. His image emerges directly from my heart.

He was my favourite homeless person ever. I simply loved him. He was all cracked down, sometimes we couldn’t get him back conscious to give him food; so drunk he was. Once the police had to help us because he fell in such a state on the street. His smell was so intense it cut my breath. But some days he was really there, all his spirit in his shining eyes diving deep into mine. He would thank the three portions of pizza we handed over to him in the most sincere and loving way. Time and smell seemed to collapse at that point.

On a rainy Sunday morning —bad thing for finding our homeless friends, I thought— we couldn’t spot Felipe and the other Jorge, nor Dario or Olga. A few other corners were also empty of our habitual “clients”. Disappointed, we were returning home with 11 pizzas untouched when we saw Jorge in the park in front of Dorrego Highschool. He was simply standing there, under the rain. As we hurriedly approached him, I could sense his field of energy inviting me to slow down. It was pure, safe, simple energy. Time and touch disappeared. Drops impacted on his skin as they do on earth, on the leaves of a tree, on the thick furry skin of a deer. They splashed softly on him and simply joined other drops in the flowing way down to mother earth from his cheek, his wide forehead, his eyelashes, and earlobes. We handed over to him the pizza and it felt as if we were in a slow motion movie and stood there, under the rain, joining his energy for I don’t know how long. It felt eternal but I guess it was a short time because we were barely wet when we entered the car again, engine off yet. No hurry, no success, just rain. Like we were under a spell.

–Did you feel him?
–Yes, he was Nature.
—We all were.

Once this profound-heart-emerging remembrance is over, my mind proposes I should take the IQ test again. She is pretty stubborn (my mind is a she, no doubt). But apparently, the memory of Jorge being Nature has left my heart gates inadvertently wide open. An atlantic flow of faces, stories and names rises into my mind as a swarm of rain drops traveling upwards in wavy rivers of consciousness. They continuously join and disintegrate into a unique divine parade.

Cheerleading the line comes my student and friend Alba Acosta, an argentinean primary school teacher investing her salary in further professional training not only to serve her underprivileged students best but also to be able to back up her integral teaching strategies in front of her more than traditional school director. She is determined to love her students, no matter how much bureaucracy pushes her back into filling standardized planification forms.

Behind her comes Roberto Román, the 84 years old man who used to sit on a folding metal bench outside a school to give the children little origami boats folded by him with recycled magazine paper, medical carton boxes and random flyers. The kids returned his kindness with shouts of joy and tiny hugs.

Across the street a mother entered the library in search of the children’s book Mil Grullas, by Elsa Bornemann. It includes a story of the traditional japanese legend through the innocent and brief friendship of two teens in Hiroshima after world war two. The day after Toshiro finishes folding thousand cranes with his own hands to save his friend from leukemia, Naomi dies. Thirty three years later Toshiro has moved to London and works as a bank manager. He´d be a silent and taciturn man who always keeps a folded crane on his desk. He’d frequently stare through the window towards the hospital right next to his office…

Right there, Princess Diana was photographed shaking hands with a patient suffering from AIDS without gloves. It was 1987 and that single pic travelled the world reframing the whole conversation about AIDS. That single and courageous act debunked the myth that the virus could be transmitted by touch.

“None of us is so unique as to be exempt from the human condition.”, would write around that year Dr. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross in her book AIDS, The Ultimate Challenge. This human condition includes, of course, our consciousness of death. She herself was extraordinarily ready for our common final date. “When I die I’m going to dance first in all the galaxies…I’m gonna play and dance and sing.”, she said and I’m sure she certainly did when she passed in 2004.

Before and after this somewhat arbitrary drizzle of my own memories, oblivious of most modern world concerns, Elena Bruna Tito Tito wanders daily the Atacama desert in search of clay to create utilitary and figurative shapes following the ancestral tradition of her people. Her humble hut made of stone and her eyes made of light welcome me to the gates of my own heart. She is one of the Human Living Treasures of her land. Her hands moulding clay fuse into the redness of the earth. I see her being Nature. Just as Jorge was. But on the opposite side of the tunnel.

The rising rain filling my mind´s bowl with erratic memories of the cosmic interconnected cobweb of life finally overflows, drifting calmly back into the spring of my heart and in the silence of wonder the sense of I-ness softly expands integrating the little I as part of a larger Self.

Here is where Aristotle’s statement that “a feast to which many contribute is better than a dinner provided out of a single purse” gains for me a new layer of understanding, completely crafted out of practical knowledge. My feast is contributed by the confluence of divine nourishment provided by the many, real and fictional, meeting in my little sparkling point of consciousness across oceans of time. Apparently this fusion into a larger dimension of being is a very womanish thing to do, which is quite a clever feat, research says.

That’s when the IQ testing regains track in my train of thought. Here’s the thing. I’m part of a whatsapp group of sustainable entrepreneurs oriented towards innovation in business. Last week someone shared a La Nación note stating that women’s revolution is the new French Revolution, depicting the last as that highlight of human history where values of the western world were conquered. The last paragraph of the article reads: “Like an inexhaustible magma, the French Revolution continues to transform our minds and hearts, pushing the limits that have been placed in the way of its constitutive desire for freedom, equality and fraternity for more than 200 years. What was developed in the 18th century, laborious and overwhelming, is still a source of inspiration for life on earth to be better.”

I couldn’t disagree more. But as a result of being raised as a standard medium class well mannered girl —good to be seen and not heard—, I’m not at all good at disagreeing. But I think I’m ready to go for it now that I turned 48. Or at least give it a try. So I posted a short answer opening ideas for dialogue.

“Hi everyone. I think there’s an important confusion about French Revolution being the source of inspiration for women’s role in the big shift needed for society today” , I wrote. “Its values were rational, western white male oriented. The powerful cultural and social innovation that can emerge from recognizing and integrating women into decision-making fields does not come from the past, but from the future. The emerging women’s revolution should not look for raw material in the old paradigm quarry, but rather lean on it for a moment, as if it were a stepping stone, to make the leap.”

It felt vulnerable. And brave.

What happened next was awkward. To me, at least. Out of 65 really brilliant and successful people, two men respectfully questioned me to further understand my point and finally one valued my views and the other answered typing specific words such as FREEDOM and VALUES in capital letters reaffirming his own perspective (he was backed up by the group administrator who at that point introduced him and his notable work to all of us). One woman wrote she agreed with me and one woman said I was defenestrating others thus indulging into what I pretended to avoid. A third lady jumped in saying we must wake up once and for all and realize our divine Self. Right then a new male member was added to the group and the administrator presented him as an admirable person (he’s a member of a society of high IQ people and a tedx organizer amongst other outstanding feats). The guy seems to be really nice. But I was furious.

Couldn’t we move forward from approval or denial modes? Couldn’t we feel our deep systemic interconnectedness beyond fraternal individual freedom? Couldn’t we stop praising individuals and begin valuing ourselves by the we field quality? That’s not what I wanted. Why did I start this in a disagreeing tone?, I murmured to myself. Why did the large number of women in the group keep silent? It felt like a boasting show of a few individuals, including myself, unable to really feel each other and provide for the best outcome in a truly generative dialogue. Such poor collective intelligence results.

Woolley et al.’s identified three factors as significant correlates regarding collective intelligence: the variance in the number of speaking turns, group members’ average social sensitivity and the proportion of females. Wolley agreed in an interview with the Harvard Business Review that these findings are saying that groups of women are smarter than groups of men.

However, I’m certain the women revolution won’t happen if we either keep being silent, terrified of being heard and struggling to ignore rather than validate our inner voice, or we polarize into expressing our political ideas into flammable and violent feminist asserts. No one wants a feast where the multitudes throw emotional molotov bombs at the table as their input to the dialogue. The we-field rather needs us to enter into a sangha of mutual trust and deep vulnerable availability for each other in order to be able to cross the border of rational intolerance.

I feel we’re just a step away from reaching it, we’ve always been, as individuals, walking along this shore for ages. Now and then a human luminary softly turned inward and facing the frontier took that single step and crossed the matrix. Rephrasing Rumi’s quote: Beyond the individual ideas of good and bad there’s a we field, evolution will meet us there.

Now is when Jorge and Elena being Nature reappear in my mind’s screen. The myth of individuality naturally drops out when we recognize that we stand on the shoulders of our ancestors and masters. But also when we realize that our lives are deeply interwoven in a relational field of vitality, trauma and healing. This is where the journey from I to we begins and ends at the same time, in a detached step across the border. Come, let’s do this together.

By the way, I just took the IQ test again. Happily, I couldn’t access the results.

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