New Edges Learning Community Overview
“There are signs around us that people and cultures are developing and evolving toward a ‘second-tier’ of consciousness, transcending the individual and moving toward the universal.”
Who We Are…
The New Edges Learning Community is a self-organizing group of human development professionals who are devoted to advancing the evolution of human consciousness. Our community is the instrument for our learning – we are self-monitoring, self-regulating and adaptive. Using dialogue and inquiry, we explore issues and ways of being that help us better understand the unfolding complexity of the world around us. We create a sense of unity and universal purpose among our membership by embracing their diversity, duality and differences.
Being a Community allows us to become who we are in conjunction with other people becoming who they are. Together, we seek to influence the evolution of the individual, the group, and the world.
What We Believe…
- The Omnipresence of Spirit reflects our infinite capacity for knowledge, beauty and love.
- Play is a primary expression of spirit.
- A Cosmic Orientation pulls us toward broader perspectives by continually refining the direction of our evolution.
- Human Development is inevitably opening up a world of increasing complexity and providing us the capacity to respond.
- Using Self as Instrument means our unfolding selves are channels for discovery, helping us to move beyond ego and allowing us to contribute to the world.
- Radical Inclusion welcomes and respects the many colors and threads of our human tapestry. Inclusion leads to more growth and connection and there are no prerequisites to belonging.
- Authentic Presence allows us to be in the moment without judgment so we stretch beyond our conditioning to see the world as it is and not as we want it to be.
- Metagogy enables us to grow through interdependent teaching and learning motivated by creativity, spirituality, and empowerment of the individual and the community.
How We Function…
Our community strives to function as a living, interconnected web of co-equals who seek a masterful blending of me/us/all of us. We use dialogue and inquiry as primary methods for discovery and learning, and abide by a few simple rules when we are together: authenticity, inclusiveness, openness, respect, patience, trust and safety, joy and laughter. We govern ourselves according to our beliefs and values, and decisions are made through inclusion; power is shared and is based on assuming personal responsibility for self and group. We strive to transcend and include our personal histories, conflicts and differences, and to hold the tensions of paradox, uncertainty and ambiguity. We favor dialogue over discussion; we seek to be our authentic selves rather than play roles or positions; we are looking at the heart of our stories and we can accept the ambiguities that reside at the core. As a result, we and our community are evolving together. Finally, we build and maintain our community through our website; through regular conference calls; through local and regional Learning Circles; and through community-wide retreat experiences.
Models of Human Development…
Our work is rooted in several interrelated models of human maturation and development, including Ken Wilbur’s Integral Spirituality and Grave’s earlier model of Spiral Dynamics. Graves described human development as an unfolding process marked by progressive movement upwards through increasingly complex stages as adapt to our changing life conditions. As we discover the greater complexity and connectedness of our lives, we are prompted to develop higher, more complex thinking and behaviors in order to cope. In Wilbur’s Integral Theory, there are at least four “quadrants” or perspectives (I, We, It, and Its) to consider when attempting to fully understand any issue or aspect of reality. The quadrants express the simple recognition that everything can be viewed from two fundamental distinctions: 1) an inside and an outside perspective and 2) from a singular and plural perspective. Finally, we use Kegan’s Stages of Adult Development and his research on Immunity To Change as foundational frameworks for how we understand the processes of human evolution and change.
As our community grows and expands, we will add other models of human growth and development that help us understand the evolution of our potential, of our community and of the larger world.
Periodic retreats provide an opportunity for learning together and for building our community. Our recent retreat series has used the themes of Immunity to Change, Story, Play and A Whole New Game to explore “What Wants to Happen” for us as individuals and for the community as a whole as we move into second-tier consciousness. We are moving toward a model of co-creation, shared leadership and shared facilitation of our retreats as we explore the next level in the evolution of our community consciousness. Our retreats emphasize dialogue and inquiry as advanced tools for functioning as a tier-two community.
Actions We Take…
Our larger intention is to contribute to the evolution of human consciousness on the levels of the individual, the community and the larger world. Therefore, we address action planning at three levels.
As Individuals (“Me”), we focus our inquiries in areas that lead to personal healing and growth; exploring our own limiting beliefs and assumptions; outgrowing our identity wounds; and learning experientially, alone and in community with others. Personal Action Plans focus on how to bring a higher level of consciousness into our daily lives, into our work and into our relationships with others.
As a Community (“Us”), we explore our connections, shared interests and beliefs, and possible areas for collaboration and mutual support. We serve as “change partners” to each other to help facilitate individual-level growth and practice. We also contribute to community learning and evolution through shared leadership, learning and discovery.
As Universal Beings (“ALL of Us”), we focus on exploring universal themes and ways of being. We also explore ways we can translate our individual and community consciousness into universal awareness, intent and impact.