On Seelesorger "Soul Carers": The Leaders of the emerging single interconnected civilization

A Seelesorger is the German word for a Soul Carer, one who nurtures the inner person. In the current age, our civilization needs and cries out for experiences which create soul enrichment and cultivate the inner life of the individual. It could be said, in fact, that all of humanity is on a soul searching quest VIA the social fabric of the internet through relationship building and identification with tribes closest to one’s heart and personal passion. Again, social networks are fostering a deeper experience of our humanity on a daily basis for the individual and, increasingly, for the corporate entity.

A NEW MODEL OF COEXISTENCE: Vaclav Havel, first president of the Czech Republic from 1993-2003, spoke in 1994 in Philadelphia upon receiving the Freedom Medal (given the previous year to Mandela and DeKlerk). In his speech, he commented on the giant upheaval within human civilzation:

“The distinguishing features of such a transition are a mixing and blending of cultures, and a plurality…of intellectual and spiritual worlds. These are periods when all consistent value systems collapse, when cultures distant in time and space are discovered and rediscovered…[For us] the artificial world order of past decades has collapsed and a new, more just order has not yet emerged. The central political task of the final years of this century, then, is the creation of a new model of coexistence among the various cultures, peoples, races and religious spheres within a single interconnected civilization.”


THE SINGLE INTERCONNECTED CIVILIZATION: Mr. Havel, the single interconnected civilization you spoke of in 1994 has arrived in the form of the internet, accessed from ports near and far, North, South, East and West, liberal and conservative, animated and static, mobile and hard-wired. Humanity has woven through the social fabric of the internet an image of itself, with all persuasions and orientations present and full of voice in images, video, music and text. We are weaving this tapestry, this fabric, together for the good of our children…as a kind of patchwork-quilted net for them to rest in and communicate through…to one another for the good of the planet and the future. The projects to save the eco-system, the economy and our very existence as humans have become multitudinous and far reaching.

Some of our projects are listed here, Mr. Havel:

EVERYONE HAS A PLACE BY THE FIRE: We concur with Aaron Kipnis, who writes, “You belong. You are welcome. You have magic. You don’t know how to use it yet. You will learn. There is a place for you by the fire.” This statement by Kipnis applies to the phenomenon of what Clay Shirky meant by titling one of his recent books “Here Comes Everybody”. Mr. Shirky wrote recently in an essay entitled “The Shock of Inclusion” that “…the Internet could easily become Invisible High School, with a modicum of educational material in an ocean of narcissism and social obsessions. We could, however, also use it as an Invisible College, the communicative backbone of real intellectual and civic change, but to do this will require more than technology. It will require that we adopt norms of open sharing and participation, fit to a world where publishing has become the new literacy.”


In this single interconnected civilization of the social fabric of the Internet, the time has come when single voices will reverberate through carefully woven and connected networks to penetrate the soul of humanity and inspire needed change. The quality of this change contains a mystery so deep and enlivening one can hardly find time OR energy to plum its depth.

TRACKING THE GODS: James Hollis, in his book “Tracking the Gods: The Place of Myth in Modern Life”, writes, “Paradoxically, never have humans been more free. Yes, the loss of mythic grounding has tossed souls on the high seas and left them neurotic, addictive and adrift. Yet the threat of the abyss also brings a radical openness to the experience of being. Ironically, to experience this life in new ways it is necessary to recover what myth has represented historically.” I would submit to the reader that the building of social networks is truly a deeper group delving into the collective unconscious than mankind has EVER experienced or participated in. We truly have the opportunity to track the gods in this medium. But it takes an ability to listen and read between the lines. It takes a psychological and spiritual mindset.

LISTENING TO THE ORACLE: Dianne Skafte, author of “Listening to the Oracle: The Ancient Art of Finding Guidance in the Signs and Symbols All Around Us” writes, “I understand now that oracles never really left the world. They went on speaking through the cries of birds, the patterns of light upon a wall, and the thousands of other little signs showing us the way…It is we, carriers of modern culture, who have turned away from the oracles. Bird calls mingle with the airplane roar overhead, but we pay no attention. Strange coincidences urge us forward or caution us back, but we see no meaning in them. Our society harbors a great fear of anything that ushers the mind into dark, unknown regions of psychic life.” I submit to the reader that the Internet and our accessing of it and use of it HAS ushered in a possibility of spiritual renaissance, the likes of which we cannot begin to comprehend. At the forefront of social business best-practice, the number one action IS to listen, listen, listen. The amount of listening tools that have come onto the market at the advent of social business is truly astounding: Using these tools to not only discover an audience for one’s product and service BUT ALSO for one’s own heart goal…to discover one’s tribe and their conversations…this is the REAL potential in these tools.

BRIAN SOLIS, author of ENGAGE, writes, “Gathering intelligence to inspire meaningful and actionable social programs is priceless.” The art of listening is re-emerging and this is a crucial entrance point to spiritual experience and life. The path of meditation is just one spiritual practice wherein the individual hears himself/herself and then the world around AND within. Deep listening is a vital activity in all realms and the basis for weaving humanity together through understanding. RACHEL NAOMI REMEN, Clinical Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine and one of the early pioneers in the mind/body health field, has said of listening, “The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention…. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.”

To repeat, for many individuals and even corporate entities the social networks are fostering a deeper experience of humanity and the soul on a daily basis. A single interconnected civilization is emerging and its missions can be seen in group activities called Crowdsourcing or Crowdfunding. There has never been more potential for humanity to act as a group to accomplish a single unified task than the present.

Hospitable Brands: Listening, Strategy and Action

Parea: (Gr.) A Parea in Greek culture is a group of friends who regularly gather together to share their experiences about life, their philosophies, values and ideas. The Parea is really a venue for the growth of the human spirit, the development of friendships and the exploration of ideas to enrich our quality of life that is all too brief in time. In Greece, the Parea is a long-lasting circle and cycle of life nourished by the people who participate.

Greece is a microcosm of the world. As it has done for thousands of years, Greece distills the issues, the problems and the ecstasies of humanity into pithy statements, artwork and experience. You only have to stay up all night on a Friday buried in political conversation with family and friends AND THEN all night on Saturday night with one’s parea dancing and singing to understand this truth.

A Greek is ALREADY at the heart of things, ALREADY in his/her very flesh at the core of history AND the human experience, ALREADY aware of how lives sequence. A Greek is aware THROUGH FEELING what has, is and will occur. A roomful of Greeks can sit and purely through eyes, through sensations in the throat, chest and stomach know the truth. A Greek lives IN the truth every moment AND THEN must decide what serves the situation AND his or her parea.

In June of this year, I shared with Greek marketing leadership how brands and private companies could foment a REVOLUTION of GENEROSITY through CONTESTS, REWARDS, DISCOUNTS and GIFTS. This kind of revolution inspires trust in the consumer and creates a real, living community around a brand. Greece already has a rich history of giving and receiving. Its very music, its stories, and certainly its philosophy form the foundation of Western thought and society. To welcome a consumer into the parea of a brand, into the formation of its future, is what needs to happen in this country.

As leaders at Greek companies face TOUGH decisions about rising prices and taxes and how to please and retain their customers, I suggest a path of Hospitality to the Greek. There is no better customer of the Greek than the Greek himself. Therefore, let private enterprise do the opposite of what the public system has done…let each brand be as a human to the humans around it and give to the people during what could be Greece’s harshest season yet during these tragic times.



Brands which humanize WILL win in this environment. Brands that do not will lose. As my good friend Ali Valdez, a leader for many years at Microsoft, says, “Their customers will be their marketers. Their customers’ social network friends will be their new customers. Full transparency, good and bad, will drive innovation and competitive pricing. The consumer will win. Those brands that enable consumer victory will share in the bounty.” Charlene Li, in her new book Open Leadership, posits the benefit of being a “Realist Optimist, (one who) is the most powerful and effective of the open leader archetypes, somebody who can see the benefits of being open but also understands the barriers.” Brian Solis, author of Engage, writes, “In order for social media to mutually benefit you and your customers, you must engage them in meaningful and advantageous conversations, empowering them as true participants in your marketing and service efforts.”


Brands, and the agencies who advise those brands, must recognize the living nature of what it means to be a brand. Brands with heart will win and those without a heart will lose in the coming months. GREEK brands must learn more about CROWDSOURCING and the very real examples of how this phenomenon (φαινόμενoν) is rapidly changing the world and how brands interact with customers.

WHAT GREEK BRANDS MUST DO THIS AUTUMN: The following slides demonstrate what Greek brands must do NOW!