United we stand, divided we fall

Giant honey bee (Apis dorsata)
Author Ken Wilbur, recently addressed the critical intersection of human spiritual development that we are facing. He basically said that we have created a society that has lapsed into individualism, narcissism (“my opinion” at the expense of everyone else’s) and nihilism. Over decades, truth has become a casualty of such individualism. I get to define my life’s truth over yours—creating divisions and resentment in our civil society.
In the article he notes that the internet, which was borne as a free flowing international web of information has, as Time Magazine said, become “a sociopath”,  fostering some of our worst behavior, with no real authority to inhibit bad behavior. Google and Facebook’s algorithms mostly determined by the “most popular” hits, has no direct and immediate feedback loop in real time. Fake news has become popular.
Bees, in their close physical proximity and body space share constant communication. They work quickly to bridge the gaps of division, bad behavior and indecision. They listen to their waggle dancers and then choose together the best “waggler”. Ten to eight thousand bees come together in a town hall meeting, to listen to the waggle dancers and choose. Is it the best waggler or the one with the most factoids? Who knows. Maybe a combination of both.
When I saw my first waggle dance, I laughed. Bees vibrate at a rapid speed, but this bee’s butt was going to town. I read up on it. I found out that beehives make decisions together by watching the Waggle Dancer.

If you click on the link, you’ll see a bee waggling, likely relaying information of an amazing nectar flow, or a better zipcode to live, and who knows what else. As Cornell bee geek and scientist, author of “HoneyBee Democracy“, Tom Seeley notes, among species, only humans and bees have the ability to communicate in such specific and detailed ways.  

Honey bee worker feeding queen
In other words, the bee wagglers are good news messengers. Sometimes more than one bee will be presenting a decision to the bee community. It is up to them to pick the best possible solution for the hive.
Clearly, it must be a viable option to support the hive’s ongoing health and survival.


Today, the biggest obstacle facing us as citizens of the same country, U.S.A., is to figure out which waggle dancer is calling us to re-weave and heal the fragile bonds of our civil society. Meaning, we must come together as a human community to find solutions that will be decent and life affirming for all. Whom will we follow? Verbal, emotional and spiritual or physical violence will only create further violence and factions.
Bee leadership shows us real leadership. It galvanizes a whole colony and pulls them forward in making good collective decisions.
Real leadership stares into the face of a no-truth, no-
direction, no-values world, and says, “It is simply not true that there is no
truth; there is most definitely truth, and it lies in this
direction”—and it is so radiantly genuine and attractive as it provides a believable path into an uncertain future, that it galvanizes vast numbers to follow it forward. (Ken Wilbur, 49)
In other words, we need some good waggle dancers to show us the way that is not self destructive, that moves us beyond egocentric, ethnocentric, and narcissistic enthusiasms of “my way is the best and only way”, to a “we way”.

The bees are calling us to come together and listen carefully.

United we stand. Divided we fall.


3 thoughts on “United we stand, divided we fall

  1. Bees have a common objective. Our society has been fractured into constituencies at odds with each other and there is so much information tainted with opposing agendas. Our education system has left out so much good and added so much ideology that it’s no wonder. We do really share more common objectives than that which we disagree on, however many of the proponents of, division, would lose power if we started talking face to face and forgot which side of the aisle your rep is on.


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