This is the Relationally Democratic Human

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crockett hills regional, crockett, california @ebrpd :: photo credit: @dr.cbg

Bernard Loomer, a process theologian, beautifully describes what I mean by the democratic human:

“…I mean the stature of soul, the range and depth of love, capacity for relationships. I mean the volume of life you can take into your being and still maintain your integrity and individuality, the intensity and variety of outlook you can entertain in the unity of your being without feeling defensive or insecure. I mean the strength of your spirit to encourage others to become freer in the development of their diversity and uniqueness. I mean the power to sustain more complex and enriching tensions. I mean the magnanimity of concern to provide conditions that enable others to increase in stature.”

Loomer was not referring to democracy — or a democratic human— -but to a measure of God in humans, which I am not. Still, the basis of my work is Alfred North Whitehead’s process philosophy, so Loomer and I both assume a radically relational universe. We both also understand that healthy relations between humans require balance — in power, especially — and that imbalances are the basis of systems and regimes that exploit them.

All the ideas in the gorgeous paragraph above are about sharing power in democratic relational practices even though Loomer doesn’t use those terms. His terms are relational, which is the paradigm within which I also work; we share many of the same fundamental assumptions about change, reality, and the universe.

The human Bernard Loomer describes here is the human we all need to strive toward in our everyday practices, especially now.

Cathy B Glenn, PhD is an independent researcher, creative, and cultural worker whose areas of expertise are power, culture, and change.

Formerly Private Principal Investigator for The Center for U.S. Rural Cultures Studies, she is now Content Director and Developer for “The Relational Democracy Project” (under construction).

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A San Francisco independent researcher, creative, and cultural worker. Content developer for The Relational Democracy Project. (

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