Love, Power and Purpose
Interview with Christiane Seuhs-Schoeller
We are pleased to announce that Christiane Seuhs-Schoeller, an experienced entrepreneur, international cusiness consultant, coach and self-organization specialist, will present at IEC Online 2021.
She has previously given two keynote speeches at the Integral European Conference, in 2018 at Siófok with the title “Purpose Agents as Allies of Evolution” and in Baden the following year with the title “The Journey of Self-Organization – Transformation from Duality to Entirety.”
Learning from her experience of what it means to make such a fundamental shift, Christiane today is fully focused on supporting both individuals and organizations on this transformational journey.
Always driven by her purpose and inspired by the many years of doing this work, she is currently writing her book “The Story of Love, Power and Purpose.”
Abstract by Christiane Seuhs-Schoeller about her upcoming presentation at IEC Online 2021.
“Over centuries humanity has created solid narratives about love and power. These narratives vastly define social dynamics in societies all around the globe. This has given rise to systems that have created great prosperity, but a new consciousness is emerging from which we can see that many aspects of what we have created are not serving us anymore and are harming our livelihood – the harm coming from a paradigm of separation and control.
It appears we are rediscovering what mankind originally never questioned: that we humans are an interconnected and interdependent part of the greater whole, and we are here for a reason – to fulfill a purpose.
Consequently, we have been seeing a fast-growing global community exploring how to live a purpose driven life both personally and when doing our work in the world. This gave rise to various new forms of organizing. Yet, while exploring how to shift into this new way of being, many still experience fears about fully manifesting their purpose; fears of rejection and loneliness, of losing security and independence, and more.
A decade of exploring these phenomena has shown: the old stories of love and power are in the way of living our full potential and manifesting our purpose.
In this workshop you are invited: let us explore how to co-create new narratives – of love, of power, and how their unification can empower us to manifest purpose in service of the greater whole – individually and collectively.”
Christiane Seuhs-Schoeller’s general comments related to the questions below:
Some of questions are not easy to answer in short, as they address issues which ultimately led me to writing the whole book. But I’ll try.
Here I am talking about so many things, using so many terms, while not explaining what I actually mean by them. In my book I try to make sure that I always explain what I mean and how I define the terminology I am using. Not in a sense of “truth”, but to provide my perspective so it is possible for the reader to see how I believe that things correlate.
(Questions on the abstract of Christiane’s upcoming presentation at IEC Online 2021)
Do you think we can separate individual and collective evolutionary purposes or are they interconnected?
It is impossible to separate individual from collective purpose, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t express themselves differently. The differentiation for me is as follows.
We each have our own individual purpose. This means that every single one of us is here for a reason and has a unique gift to bring to the world. Our life is about exploring ever more of what this gift is, thus increasingly embodying and manifesting our true potential – our personal purpose.
I am not sure what you mean by “collective purpose”. Maybe there is a collective purpose of all of humanity which expresses the reason why humanity is on earth. It is not my endeavor to answer this question.
When we people engage collectively for a purpose, from my perspective this is not a “collective purpose”; it is a collective that engages for a purpose. Those are two very different things. This purpose that a collective engages for is larger than any one of the individual purposes.
This larger purpose arises from a need of any system of nature (of which humanity and its subsystems are an inseparable part) – it is a systemic purpose. We humans understand that collectively we can have much more of an impact than individually, so we organize ourselves to serve one or more systemic purposes. This is why we form purpose aligned collectives.
“Purpose Alignment” is the capacity to consciously be aware of resonance and proximity of our own personal purpose with the purpose of either another person or a systemic purpose.
– On an individual level I feel purpose aligned when serving a larger purpose supports me in embodying and manifesting my individual purpose as well.
– On a collective level I feel purpose aligned when others who are engaging together with me in service of this larger purpose and at the same time feel that collectively we can make much more of a difference than we could individually.
As I see, people in general who believe they serving collective purpose do not find the way to work with other people committed to that collective purpose. What could be the reason for this?
Could it be that you are referring to people who believe that their individual personal purpose is actually a collective purpose? If so, this could lead to them believing that others should want to serve this specific purpose (aka their individual purpose) as much as they do themselves. Obviously this will lead them to stay alone when engaging for this purpose, as other people have other personal purposes and will therefore decide to take different pathways. This brings us back to the issue of purpose alignment again … we serve our individual purpose in the way we autonomously decide to live our life and we serve systemic purpose in the way we organize collectively and feel purpose aligned with the others in the collective and the systemic purpose we are serving.
How do you combine old narratives of love and power with the paradigms of separation and control, can you explain it?
This is a really big question, so the answer in this context is quite impossible – it is ultimately what my book is about. I can try a short answer, knowing that it will never do the issue any justice:
We humans have learned to see ourselves as separate beings – separate of each other and separate of anything else on this planet. We believe that we are the most intelligent species on the planet and can therefore control everything. (Quoting Yuval Noah Harari: “Yes we are intelligent, but what really makes us the rulers of the planet is actually the ability to believe nonsense!”).
Humanity’s belief of being a separate species and able to control everything has led us to interfere with the inherent balance of nature, without seeing that – as humanity is an inseparable part of nature – we are disrupting the balance for ourselves and our livelihood as well. Having created imbalance, we sense that something is “off”. In response we need forceful power in the attempt to control the outputs of this imbalance, which leads to the never ending rat race of who has more power and who can therefore control more of our livelihood.
Over time we have grown to believe that nothing works through natural emergence, but everything has to be “thought up” (aka innovated) by us and our intelligent mind (aka another rat race of “Who is the most intelligent?”) and then forced and controlled into being. The next rat race now is on the go, through the competitions of who has the better answers/solutions, or even who has the truth. The underlying belief is, that if we humans don’t think up new solutions (instead of sensing into what wants to emerge), we are doomed.
Through that we create more problems, for which we tend to find who is to blame or shame, to then continue to think up new solutions. In this never ending loop of problem creation and attempts to think up solutions, we continuously divide the world into things we love and things we hate, based on the belief that love is merely an emotion that is either there or not, which in itself creates separation.
We fight for the things we love and we fight against the things we hate – either way we fight and we try to use force (the unhealthy form of power) in the process. The greatest atrocities of humanity have happened and are happening in the name of the stories we believe about love and power: crusades, genocides, wars, injustice (racial, gender, sexual orientation, educational, geographical, rich/poor gap, and, and, and…)
How do you see the changes in the paradigms of separation and control over the past year?
Many indigenous cultures and spiritual traditions have been grounded in the belief of the connectedness of everything for centuries or even millenia, but globally it wasn’t what the so-called “civilized world” would call “mainstream” until fairly recently. Since approximately 50 years, and rapidly increasing since about 15 years, thankfully more and more people globally are yearning for a more meaningful life and therefore are thriving to increase their consciousness about the infinite realm of all being. Sooner or later on that quest for meaning, most people encounter the challenge to see and embrace this interconnectedness and interdependence of everything. Integral Theory, as a “theory of everything”, can only be understood based on the belief that everything is connected in one way or the other.
Successful thought leaders, such as Charles Eisenstein, are dedicated to offering requisite stories about “interbeing” (inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh) that can create resonance in our world today (e.g. his book “The More Beautiful World Our Heart Knows is Possible”).
The past year might have boosted that movement, as the Corona Virus is just a very obvious example of how everything is connected, how humanity cannot control everything and how quickly things can change when nature expresses itself. To name a few examples: doing work in ways that weren’t imaginable for many up to then, less traveling/less pollution, understanding the importance and value of social connection and the consequences on mental health for so many, etc.)
Over all I believe the past year – as difficult as it was – probably was helpful in the overall shift of consciousness, but to what extent … time will tell.
The overall question in my entire work is: What are new stories of love, of power and of purpose that can combine the three in a way that will support the consciousness shift that so many of us globally feel is emerging and that we are collectively welcoming.
I assume the book you are writing now, “The Story of Love, Power and Purpose” summarizes all the research and work you have done on this issue. For how long have you been working on your book?
I would say over the past 5 or 6 years the idea went through an emergence/ripening process. I made the decision to write the book in the last months of 2019 and began writing in the summer of 2020.
Is that your first book?
No, my second, but the first one is so long ago and from such a different level of being that it feels like having been written in a different universe. I’d rather not mention it. For this life that I am leading now I would say it is my first book.
For whom are you writing this book, who is your target audience?
There is an ever growing global community moving towards a new level of consciousness. Everywhere in the world there are people who are yearning for a different life. A life with meaning, with more ease and simplicity, with less hassle and pressure, with more calm and joy, and to better understand what their unique gift to the world – their personal purpose – is and how they can embody and manifest it. Very many members of this global community are engaged in searching for better ways of how we can get together and organize to do our work in the world and for this work to be of service to people and planet equally.
Yet, for many there are still huge obstacles in the way of them fully stepping into their true potential and following this calling. When “zooming out” and taking a global perspective, it appears that some of those obstacles are as global as the community itself and lie in the collective unconscious. The obstacles show up in stories that we have been telling ourselves for centuries, which – though expressing themselves in culturally diverse ways – are about the same issues: love, power and purpose.
I was thinking of a subtitle for my book: A Global Community On The Rise. This is not yet set, but it is for the members of this global community for whom I am writing this book.
Christiane Seuhs-Schoeller has been an entrepreneur for almost 30 years and an international Business Consultant for two decades. She is among the first people who deeply engaged to bring Holacracy to Europe. Learning from the experience of what it means to make such a fundamental shift, both for organizations and for people, Christiane today is a partner at encode.org, working towards what is needed next: the For-Purpose Enterprise.
The article is a contribution by Christiane Seuhs-Schoeller to IEC 2021 Online.
In May 19-23, 2021, one thousand people from fifty countries across the five continents and a hundred speakers are expected to attend the largest integral global event in virtual space of the year, titled The Future Of Collective Evolution.
IEC Online 2021 offers sessions including Online Workshops, Presentations, Global Sharing Circle, Lunchtime Integral Socializers, Find your Mate Integral Date games, Morning Practices, Integral Art and more.
Find event and ticket information!