Deep Agreements We Hold and Can Choose — Recommended Reading

Bishop, Orland. The Seventh Shrine: Meditations on the African Spiritual Journey–From the Middle Passage to the Mountaintop2017, Great Barrington, MA: Lindisfarne Books.

Orland Bishop‘s new book, The Seventh Shrine, brings to light the deeper agreements we humans hold and can choose.  Orland, who holds the Institute for Strategic Clarity 2016-2017 Homo lumens Fellowship, has explored agreements in many previous blogs here.

Our awareness of our agreements, of how we interact in community, invites our full engagement.  “Participating is essential to the forming and the sustaining of community.  If we take just the word “part,” it points only to the individual human being.  But we must create this other aspect of “participation,” which is reciprocity, the exchange of the common good.  This is the nature of the community, a process of exchanging with each other and cultivating something that I can’t create by myself.  I can’t create something that complex by myself.  It is a discovery that when we participate, the emergent quality is something that spontaneously reveals itself, that in the act of hosting and being hosted in this improvisation of devotion to some aspect of our human genius, we arrive at something that we couldn’t see beforehand.  You could say that we share this “communion,” this wonderful substance.  This is the “precipitation” of the spiritual substance of human life.  It condenses, it manifests, and it becomes now tangible in the world.  Participation is rain in the world (p. 208).”

I just finished reading this book, and I highly recommend it.

Dissolving the Paradox of Scarcity

Is the world scarce?  Is it actually useful to conceive as the world as being scarce?  In the following video and audios, I suggest that thinking of the world as scarce creates a paradox, a paradox of scarcity.  Through conversations with Jackie and Orland, we begin to see a way through the paradox.


A 17-minute conversation between Jim and Jackie about the scarcity paradox (click on the MP3 file The Paradox of Scarcity).


A 45-minute conversation between Jim and Orland Bishop about scarcity, the paradox this concepts generate, and ways of seeing through the paradox (click on the MP3 file Orland Bishop and Jim Dialog on the Scarcity Paradox).

I invite you to share your comments here about what you see in your own experience of the paradox of scarcity.


Step #4 — Ask What Agreements Shape Your Experience

You can choose the experience you want.  In the third blogpost in this series, you decided what experience you wanted.  In the 4th step, we ask what agreements shape that experience.

Underlying your experience is a set of agreements that determine, in great part, what experience you have.  These are the rules of the game.  In the following 2-minute video and 2 audios, we explore what agreements are and how you see them.


A 23-minute conversation between Jim and Jackie regarding agreements (click on the MP3 file Making an Agreement)


A 44-minute conversation between Jim and Orland Bishop about agreements, what they are, why they are important, and how people work with them (click on the MP3 file Orland Bishop and Jim Dialog on Agreements).

What agreements can you see that shape your experience?  Could you choose different agreements?  Could you talk about this choice with the other people in the group?

In the next series of blogposts, you and I will explore how to design agreements.

Radio interview with Orland Bishop on “Highlighting Peace”

Our colleague Orland Bishop was interviewed on March 16, 2015 on the radio station UBNRadio of the Universal Broadcasting Network, by Dr. Marissa Pei.  The topic was “Highlighting Peace with Season for Non-Violence award winner Orland Bishop.”

Find it at (  Share your reflections on Orland’s interview here.

The abstract for the show says, “Is violence part of human nature? Why do we continue to be at war in the name of bringing about Peace? Why don’t our prison systems rehabilitate? What belief systems keep us perpetrating the cycle of lack and limitation? Orland Bishop, founder of ShadeTree Multicultural Foundation uses principles of oneness and globalization to mentor youth to stay out of the juvenile system. When each individual knows that there’s one person out there who cares, and that there is an alternative to getting our needs met without taking from another, when we stop seeing the world in terms of what’s mine versus what’s ours…then we will be able to live in full freedom on the planet.”

“Seeing” Evidence For The Agreements Map — A Dialog with Orland Bishop

In previous blogposts, we have explored the use of the Agreements Evidence Map for describing the agreements you have that most influence your experience and outcomes.   Our colleagues have been developing a handbook to guide the development of an Agreements Map.

A dialog with our colleague Orland Bishop explores what it means to “see” evidence of one’s agreements, in the five relationships in the three levels of perceived reality.  Click here to listen to this dialog.

For an in-depth look at the experience of scarcity and abundance, and what this experience tells you about your agreements, check out the Ecosynomics e-course.

You Experience Scarcity and Abundance, And How You Know You Know About That Experience — A Dialog with Orland Bishop

You have the experience of scarcity and the experience of abundance, and you know that you do.  Everyone I have met confirms this.  In this dialog, our colleague Orland Bishop describes this experience we all have, and how you know that you know about this experience.  Click here to listen to this dialog.

For an in-depth look at the experience of scarcity and abundance, and what this experience tells you about your agreements, check out the Ecosynomics e-course.

Agreements — What They Are, Why They Are Important, and How People Work with Them — A Dialog with Orland Bishop

Agreements are a fundamental element of being human — it is how we interact with our own self, each other, groups, nature, and spirit.  In this dialog, our colleague Orland Bishop describes the deeper nature of agreements and why they are so critical to the human experience.  Click here to listen to this dialog.

For an in-depth look at how agreements influence your experience, and how to see those agreements, check out the Ecosynomics book-course.