IS AN ANCIENT PALI WORD that means something like goodwill, compassion or loving-kindness. It is famously associated with contemplative strategies for virtue-development in Buddhism. It is also a good way to critique the overly cognitive and often ethically indifferent uses of the prefix Meta-.
Can we put non-naive care
at the center of our next-level projects for human development and systemic transformation? Will such efforts ultimately fail unless we do this?
Important questions for all of us to ponder.
The article MettaModernity: Solving our Multi-Crises by Sourcing Intelligence in "Embodied Wisdom"
addresses itself directly to this query. The proposal is that we need to move from the implicit modern logic of linear, abstracting & extracting strategies to a more rhizomatic, vulnerable and collaborative mode of transformational leadership.
Othwerwise, we run the risk that using tactics sourced in cognitive-behavioral complexity -- no matter how "meta" or "integrative" or "liminal" -- might secretly smuggle Game A instincts into our Game B projects.
So this rather inspiring article argues that the limit on our collective sensemaking resides in our capacity to access the feeling-intelligence in the somatic body -- especially when it is engaged in relational exchanges.
Here's a great sentence from the piece: Relational ruptures causal social, systemic & ecological crises.
The article is by transformational coach Nick Jankel based on work with his partner Alison McAulay. And despite the fact that jankel
sounds like a difficult-to-identify noise that your car makes after someone has surreptitiously slipped a live haddock into the tank, this kind of approach seems necessary and timely. In fact, if you told most people in the Emerge field that we should reframe development as a series of nested scales of relational engagement, each with unique shadow traps, which are best navigated by increasing our embodied, affective intelligence -- nine out of ten would nod sagely.
The question is how to do that.
Jankel & McAulay have decades of experience codified into a neatly packaged set of coaching practices called Bio-Transformation
(or Bio-T). Although that does sound like an overbranded packaging label on a high-nutrient power drink at a corporate health food store -- which might be perfectly appropriate for their target audience -- this is a very confident, well-informed presentation of something that is sorely needed.
How does that feel in your body? * Bonus *
Check out Jankel's article on leadership styles in the Ukraine War.