2017, OCTOBER 27th at 10 AM PT/ 7 PM CET

Men, women and power in the 21st century


We are happy to connect Dr. Barbara von Meibom with Jon Freeman in this show about maybe the most impactful predicament of our times.

After the women’s liberation we haven’t succeeded yet to find a balance between the sexes. The official narrative is the suppression of women and that men are the suppressors. This is far from the truth, as we know from Ken Wilber who said that women would be sheep if they had allowed to be suppressed, but that they had – and still have – their benefit in the arrangements.

It is a huge tabu today to question the status of women as permanent victims and to point to their role in creating power games which, more often than not, are more hidden and manipulative than those of men. But women can not keep the cake and eat it, too, as nobody can. Women need to give up their special status as manipulators, verbally, in their actions and in selling their femininity to get men to do what they want them to do.

Complaining about “patriarchy” as the fault of men is just not what can bring any solution, neither for women, nor for men. We need empowerment and truthful inquiry in what we are doing, openly and under the surface.


STREAMED LIVE  HERE on October 27th, 2017

Men, Women, and Power in the 21st Century with Prof. Dr. Barbara von Meibom and Jon Freeman


00:00 Preliminaries and orientation

01:30 Introducing Barbara Meibom and Jon Freeman

03:09 Jon goes first, describing himself as a generalist, interested in alternate ways of looking at science and consciousness, works with organizations, emphasizing Spiral Dynamics.  He warns us that sometime in the talk he’ll talk about stages of development!

04:07  Barbara reports walking in two camps, with a background both in political science/communication and also in psychology/therapy while trying to connect these two dimensions.  She leads an institute for the art of leadership, keeping an eye on self empowerment while keeping mindful of the needs of others – including of course the relationships between men and women.

06:00 Heidi asks Jon to look back at his relationship with power as a boy growing up into adulthood. Jon notes how the question of men and power has been complicated with the rise of feminism. A century of change.

08:50 Barbara notes “the tremendous abuse of men…” just now coming to consciousness, whether fighting in war or in business, etc.  

10:27 Mark interjects with his own personal experience of power.

11:40 Jon notes the traditional role of men to protect as well as to fight, and the role of technology and life conditions in the changing times.  Barbara continues, noting that “protection” has been a misused notion.  It gets juicy!

15:30 Jon mentions the Orange (modern, materialistic) stage of development at the expense of previous levels, which men are (still) currently less interested in than women

17:38 Barbara notes that presently women are in the role of “correcting the project of civilization.”

19:18 Heidi notes the efforts of many women to “out-do” men.  Jon responds how Blue and Orange is an intellectual view of the world. And the pre-Blue stages were also shared views of both men and women. But there have been simultaneously both masculine and feminine resonances at each level. Barbara notes how efforts of both men and women are required and asks Jon what is required of men.
24:02 Jon introduces that men need to acknowledge the need to demolish the whole “scientific” model which traps both men and women

25:30 Mark fits those remarks into his previous comment and Heidi adds how women can express Green values as the “devouring mother”.

27:50 Barbara:  What is the pathway for men? She implies that men must discuss this and not wait for women to pull them along.

29:07 John agrees but doesn’t know how to make that happen sooner but asks why no one is asking these questions, why it seems there is no space in the culture for even asking these questions

Heidi asks if some manifestations of men’s expressions of bigness and power might be biological?
31:13 Jon doubts if that is as true as it looks, pointing out how men are showing signs of being very stressed by that constriction.

32:33 Barbara offers that both men and women might find it traumatizing to realize that they must deal with themselves. Jon notes that this is beginning to change in the home, but not yet in the work world. Markd asks if the general political move to the right a reaction to the feared chaos of self investigation?

35:05 Barbara: The future somehow touches grief, feelings of failure, which is harder for men than for women. Jon asks how we can help the upward pull of “we do have the power if we choose to do something different” rather than the downward “drag” evidenced by Trump and Brexit.

37:40 Barbara : The ability to move up the spiral is dependent upon the capacity to open the heart and appreciate the other – which is difficult for both men and women.

38:54 Heidi interrupts with audience comments which prompts Barbara relate how women quit “jobs” and try to work in another way. Mark and Heidi both report how women often drop out in their 30’s to have a family life.

41:24 Jon reports similar experience with female colleagues, but notes that for men the reality still remains that they must remain the breadwinner.  Barbara questions whether men REALLY want more family time. Indeed, whether they can feel the lack.

44:54 Audience comment and Jon says the commenter is echoing what we’ve been saying.  Jon notes we’ve expanded the conversation to include Generation Y’s, which doesn’t include us (we on the panel)!

Barbara notes some paradoxes with GenY, but Jon notes that paradoxes increase as we move away from the boxy certitudes of Blue and Orange.Barbara asks what might we do to change the current situation.  Mark points out what “we’ve” been learning so much of “what is needed” from each other. Relationship work!

52:02 Jon reminds us that what “I” did is not necessarily what others should do also.  There are many “new ways” to grow ourselves and our societies. “Work where you are and do more of what you can see to do that seems appropriate for you and to match your mindset and expertise.” Don’t do just what I do!

54:10 Barbara reminds us that relations are one agenda where you can learn – as are organizations and politics. People have to talk with each other. She then offers a nice quote from Margherita Peterson and ends with the need for a conversation between the genders on “How can we serve life?” Heidi doubts that such a question attracts many men.

57:19 Jon: Men are not less interested in life – if they stopped to connect with that question…Men have been more discouraged from remaining aware of that connection.  But it’s not been less there than in women.

58:25 Barbara: …it has to be taken back from this war energy and more oriented toward a protection energy.
58:40 Thanks you, appreciations, desires to continue the conversation, goodbye’s.


After the very inspiring conversation with Prof.Dr. Barbara von Meibom in April 2017 (find the replay here) Mark expressed the desire to include another man into the conversation. Women and Power, yes, an interesting topic and we talked at length about it. But MEN and power? The topic seems self-evident: wasn’t it because of men holding the power that women stepped up to gain power?

Well, yes and no. It depends on what we understand under “power”. Certainly, men held the power in the public sphere and women are gaining power there in the present. But, actually, the traditional forms of power, “power OVER” are losing their grip – thanks to the feminine exploration of “power FOR”, a completely different concept which is not indicating dominance and subjection, but personal ability and natural hierarchy.

Within this paradigm shift: how do men handle it? Many men seem to be confused and give up power altogether – probably to please the women who fight against the patriarchal power structures –  becoming a weak creature, a wimp, who has nothing really to offer, neither to women nor to society. How can men find the way out of this moment of identity crisis?

We will talk about this and other topics as they come up in our live conversation with Barbara and Jon. Jon is a visionary of possibility (Watch his previous conversations with us herehere andhere) and he certainly has some ideas how the future could unfold from a male perspective


Prof. Dr. Barbara von Meibom has been teaching Political and Communication Science at the Univ. Duisburg Essen in Germany. She is founder of CommunioInstitute for the Art of Leadership in Berlin with Senior Coaching and trainings in Spiritual Coaching, Self Awareness, Mindfulness and Spiritual Self-Management. “Dem Leben dienen – to serve life” is her commitment. Extensive studies in India led her to a synthesis of eastern and western spiritual traditions. She is a spiritual teacher and spiritual coach, teaching internationally. Barbara v. Meibom has published more than a dozen books and gives talks in Germany and abroad. At the 2016 IEC Conference in Hungary she was part of the hosting team and – together with Bence Ganti and Peter Kémeny – she led the European Constellation
She had the same role at the German Integral Conference in June 2017 in Berlin 

Barbara v. Meibom was born into a family, were women always took a leading role in their stand for women rights. For herself it was clear that she did not want to limit herself to this agenda. So she started a “masculine” career with “masculine” topics until she got to understand that she had chosen a dead end for her personal development. This led her to a profound reorientation in her personal and professional life.

 Looking back now to more than 40 years of her professional career the topic of Women and Power and Female Wisdom is of genuine importance for her. So the talk might relate to the following issues: Reshaping the notion of power; empowerment of women; letting go the victim role; development of a feminine consciousness which is more than prelingual and capable to differentiate and express itself verbally; bringing the female principle into the political, social and personal agenda. Barbara v. Meibom works on a 1:1 basis on these topics as well as with groups and with further trainings.   


Jon writes about himself:

I am old enough to know better, but… to hell with that.

I am a generalist in an age of specialisms, still exploring life’s edges, around people, motivations, finance, better ways for organisations, mind-body medicine, creative consciousness and human futures.  I am the author of two well-reviewed books and numerous articles.  I am also a certified trainer in Spiral Dynamics and Spiritual Intelligence, but still trying to figure out what he will do when he grows up.  In 1990 I appeared on the UK’s number one national TV talk show to talk about physical immortality and I am not dead yet.