I was amazed at how, a couple of months ago, I decided to leave my position as a manager in a Corporation to come and contribute to the realization of the dreams of the people of Damanhur. Many were amazed at what they called courage, some, of a choice that sounded strange given the prejudices about terms such as spirituality, community, people and mythology.

I was surprised, in fact, at how I experienced this choice: with the naturalness of a step in continuity on a journey undertaken for some time. Also for this reason I have often stopped to ask myself what makes me feel “in the right place and context” and one of the answers is linked to the relationship between the realization of a collective dream and individual growth. An alchemy that can act as a catalyst to bring out the best in oneself and accelerate conquests.

I had already experienced this dynamic in my life. The visionary projects and initiatives to change the world at the time of Aiesec, an international student association, where for the first time I had really exulted that “working hard and celebrating wildly” creates a sense of tribe and belonging. The startups where the desire to innovate and to realize generate the energy that makes you overcome obstacles and difficulties in the name of an idea. Multinationals where competition often complicates collaboration, but where a close-knit team is the ideal outpost for cultivating and launching projects that can trigger the seed of change.

I have known and attended Damanhur for over 20 years and perhaps this also made me observe myself and the events with the eye and heart of those who have experienced models and experiences that our Western culture often blisters with ease. So I began to notice more and more the discomfort that I had as I judged the essence of people rather than behaviors, the interpretation of the intentions of others starting from events sometimes banal and the more or less direct request to conform to others models.

Always used to doing “not just anything but everything” and as such with an immense need for others to bring quality and depth to initiatives with ambitious goals, I looked with a certain disappointment as the culture of “end to end” (es. manage from conception to realization) if misrepresented it generated in the organizations ever smaller islands separated by ever larger seas.

It is with curiosity then, that as a natural evolution of my path, I decided to experiment with a context where personal and collective development are seen and lived in inseparable synergy. The enhancement of individuality and diversity elevated to social values ​​are the points that I believe are fundamental for making everyone aware that cultivating their uniqueness can develop their own value.

Learning to observe  ourselves makes us aware of how in reality you do not change, but you learn to know and better manage yourself. Discovering this also helps to change the point of view of others to which also give a different value: the mirror, in particular, I have always found it useful to notice how often my reactions to other people’s behaviour are more emotional. It seems the more people acting as mirrors I have in front of me, show me parts of myself that I do not love. Being able to share this dynamic openly enriches the value of team building and relationships enormously.

Looking at others as their own completion rather than seeing them as “rivals” allows you to slow down in the race to do everything and to emerge and wonder what you really want; at the same time open sharing allows access through others to the talents and skills that one learns to recognize and value. It will seem trivial, but in a context in which the best part of the others is worth and the awareness of it, the result is fully in line with what was theorized by Maslow’s pyramid: safety, sense of belonging and estimate free creativity.

Then it is possible to think of new paradigms where collective intelligence is declined in all the components theorized by Howard Gardner and brought by the specificity of its individuals: linguistic intelligence, logical-mathematical, spatial, kinaesthetic, musical , emotional intelligence (interpersonal and intrapersonal, naturalistic and existential or theoretical). This magical combination, put at the service of common projects, allows you to maintain the startup approach by balancing the approach fail quickly, fail often thanks to minds, eyes, ears and hearts attentive and in tune to grasp and express the signals of what can be improved.

And if it is true that we have mirror neurons, attention and focus on a way to work in a group and relate to others with this kind of attention, it is like a vibration that by spreading can resonate even in those who are slower with their awareness or simply finds himself in one of those moments where even a saint can lose his patience.

Max Ramaciotti