UU Women and Religion

... toward a new day ...

Breakthrough Memes? The Power of Belonging in Community

helenpopenoe2009-02-27An Asante proverb from Africa says, “I am because we are and we are because I am.”  I ask myself who is in my “we circle”?  How far does my circle reach out?  Does it make me a trans-nationalist?  There’s so much to unite us as part of the human species.  Since the International UU Women’s Convocation a year ago, my membership in IALRW, International Association of Liberal Religious Women, has become more precious.

As I look around me, I see, in growing numbers and ways, people seeking community.  I bet you see this trend, too.  I’m not surprised at this when I look inside myself and feel the warm fuzzies and support that I find in several of my communities.  To me this trend is evidence of a positive meme breaking through into modern human evolution.  This natural occurrence of a meme is like the genes we pass on to new generations.

Memes are ideas that, spontaneously, find their time to come into a critical mass of human consciousness.  A meme breaks through from many sources over the same time period.  They click “out of those patterns of thought, habit, and emotion woven into our minds by the people and events around us,” say Win Wenger and Richard Poe in The Einstein Factor, a book about the “genius meme.”

When I find my still point within, then open my awareness to receive insights through the perception of my right brain taking the lead, I can intuit how to find meaningful living. That’s how the insights from memes work. If the time is right, memes travel from mind to mind like a virus.  In WOMUUNWEB’s last issue, (Summer/Fall) I quoted what Angela Sorby said about this phenomenon in Bird Skin Coat, “…key messages transmit themselves sans messenger.”  (The article was next to a Cakes For the Queen of Heaven’s goddess picture and entitled “Sending Out Breakthrough Vibes.”)

Recently, I received from a friend a book review by another friend, Karen Kullgren, that, to me, describes the kind of community building found in participating in the Cakes… course.  The book, A Hidden Wholeness:  The Journey Toward an Undivided Life by Parker J. Palmer, was recently re-printed in paperback (2009) by Josey-Bass.  It’s about how “circles of trust” are critical to our survival and growth as spiritual beings and contributing members of society.

This flow toward a more mature consciousness becomes a ministry when in a circle of trust “that invites people to become more of themselves, more whole, as we give witness to a vision of a world transformed by our care,” as Marjorie Bowens Wheatley described what  ministry is in 2005 (just before her death.)  May we all find such beneficent kinship in such meaningful community.