I like to think of consciousness as a river. The fluid dynamic of process in motion either rushing or meandering through the surrounding structures. A river would not be a river without the banks and the bottom. The river metaphor for consciousness appeals to me because the imagery conjures change. Rivers flow, as do ideas, spontaneous insights, and information generation.

A persistent challenge that we share is how to structure our thoughts so that they can be exchanged in a collective so that they continue to flow. Without any means of structuring this exchange information becomes diffuse. Thankfully there are predictable patterns of emergent order that self-organize. Systems Theory looks at the river as a whole to understand process patterns, and thankfully there are these remarkable tendencies for order to emerge within celestial systems like the Solar System through geological systems that have crafted the terrestrial earth that we inhabit and the ecosystems of the biosphere. Consciousness is a system on to itself nestled like the stamen with the layered peddles of those aforementioned systems. Enter the noosphere, the collective consciousness emanating from the global brain, for which we are all cells.

Many if not most of the structures that we use to organize ourselves as humans do not allow for the most complex self-organizing potentials to arise. It is a common belief that human nature requires an externally imposed order to control our primitive selves. I do agree that we as a species do have elements within our nature that are governed by our most fundamental survival needs and the reptilian brain. Yet it is not external order that is needed here to transcend these more brutish bits of us, it is merely meeting those basic needs so that we can work on more sophisticated needs like belonging. As our progressive developmental needs are met, we are able to self-organize with the most remarkable capacities.

Vancouver Change Camp is a self-organizing event using Open Space Technology to engage people in conversations and collective action. It is an opportunity to jump in that river and flow with others in the current of what is possible. It is now the morning after and I still feel the bobbing motion of floating fast in the current of consciousness as it evolves and self-organizes into something more ripe with possibility and hope than it was before. If only everyday could be like that. That knowing voice inside tells that it can, that I need only believe it to be and trust the process.