The Template: A Visionary Storyline of Development
Each new born human being is a further attempt of Creation in its growth towards
Authors: Iet Veenland and Sander Funneman
Reporters: J. Keuskamp-van Schaik and L. Kärre
Throughout the ages people have wrestled with life and themselves
and each other in life, and found ways and patterns to deal with it all. Throughout
these same ages these ways and patterns have changed and had to adjust with
new liberation of human understanding, knowledge, reasoning and the development
of skills. There is nothing to suggest that we have come to the end of the line
and that the development of human faculty and skill will stop here with us.
So if it continues its journey of evolution, that would mean that ongoing we
will need to find new ways and patterns to deal with what new we find, and come
to grips with it in preparation for further growth, individually and collectively.
This is what the Template Network aims to work towards. The people
within it seek to put in place, through study, research and development of themselves
as humans and their practical skills, a greater readiness for the future, by
finding the patterns and ways which will promote developments according to natural
templates, in harmony with greater templates. This finds its practical application
and expression in all areas of life, whether in the area of sustainable development,
bereavement counselling, theatre and music, or human dealings.
In the following article we will give a weave of some of the more fundamental
reasonings and principles we have come to, together with their practical application
and outplay in different territories, through a sampling of various Template
Network projects that are on the go to give a flavour of this.
What is a template?
So what is a template? By way of initial location, Webster’s Dictionary
defines the term ‘template’ as ‘something that establishes
or serves as a pattern, an overlay’. And the idea of a template is maybe
best illustrated by reference to the DNA strand in the nucleus of a cell, as
a blueprint, a code or a formative pattern for life. Take the example of the
human body, with all its different parts and their varied functions and expressions,
yet the same template of DNA is carried in each cell and offers the pattern
for the whole body. So the concept of ‘template’ carries the idea
of objective and external reference criteria to do with the design, premise
or cause of things.
This example gives a first sense, and in terms of the philosophy and research
of the Template Network, the notion of ‘template’ constitutes a
much deeper and fundamental feature of all life in the universe.
Each and every human is coded for development. This is easy to see in the automatic
development that we have all gone through, from, as a baby, just being able
to wave our arms and legs about in uncoordinated fashion, to crawling, walking,
precision of directed movement; from not being able to speak to being able to
use language to describe things, tell stories, express our ideas, communicate
our feelings. Development is an ongoing process, driven by a compulsion from
within and fed and nourished by the environment within which the process takes
Not every environment however allows every development. By analogy: In every
acorn there is the possibility of an oak-tree, and if the acorn falls on fertile
ground then it can grow into a gigantic tree. Some acorns however fall in the
streets or get eaten by the squirrels long before they fulfil their tree-destiny.
Still, each acorn is fully coded to develop and to become an oak-tree. The fatality
in this analogy is not the opportunity; the fatality is the environment.
Some human environments give exactly the right nourishment and nutriment to
develop. Others don’t. Whatever we decide to do with our lives, the question
in relation to development will always be, ‘what is the right template
of nutriment and nourishment to allow that development?’. If a person
wants to become a violin-player but spends little time with violins or with
other violinists, then the chance that they will become ‘an oak-tree’
amongst violinists will be very small. For development to occur there are natural
ways and sequences which will support that development, and the natural ways
of the nutriment and nourishment of its environment.
One of the philosophical foundations that underpins our work is to do with
the fact that the human is designed for a life-long development process. Human
development is key to our continued evolution, our perception of ourselves and
the way we perceive and look after the place we find ourselves in. In our vision,
the environment people create collectively would need to support that development
process. For example, an environment of respect and care towards others promotes
trust and confidence and a greater willingness to try.
Examples of templates
An example of a natural template of growth is the four seasons. A plant follows
the pattern of being underground as a seed in its winter, then bursting out
to life in spring and coming to full bloom in summer, after which it expends
its excess and possibility as offspring in autumn, to then return to its core
in winter to re-gather itself for its next lease of life in the next spring.
This is also a natural pattern in learning a skill for example. First there
seems to be nothing other than the wish to develop the skill, to be able to
play a tune on the violin, which then extends into a burst of practice, practice
and yet again practice. Then suddenly it clicks and starts to flow and finds
its first fulfillment, which leaves the satisfaction of being able to do and
the wish to learn more... and the pattern starts again.
Another example of a template is the pattern of stages in the process of aging,
which has a release of different core potencies with each age in the way of
urges, powers, ability to do, understandings and wisdoms, in which each age
offers a platform for the next. Coming to know the natural template of aging
and the faculty possibility that goes with each age promotes us to not try to
act like a 20 year old when we are 50, and causes us to actively seek the wisdom
and experience that is lodged in the elderly which can be set free by the promotion
of the younger. The natural template of the integration of all ages in matters
of human concern is part of what the template network seeks to promote and develop,
for example through the work of Stichting Springlevend.
If life is not random but purposeful, then everything in creation grows within
an interconnected set of templates derived from the same core towards a same
purpose. The human has the freedom to develop within it, and to develop further
intelligence about these templates and develop new ones...
In all of our research, we do not seek to offer final arguments, but seek to
offer intriguing questions to trigger personal development, and also shared
human development. This leads to an inner journey that strengthens the way in
which we are able to cope and deal with life at the point.
What is the cutting edge of the Template?
This is about: The place of the ongoing forum to constantly update and crosscheck
templates that we have come to.
Many people in the world help in the development of the numerous projects that
have already flowered out from developing templates. For example, at the University
of Leiden (Holland) people that are linked with the Template Network collaborate
with other scientists in an effort to understand and deal with the causes of
cancer. Other people from the Template Network search for natural methods with
other therapists to test templates that help to prevent and remedy ADHD syndrome.
In England architects are exploring the possibilities of reducing the effects
of brain trauma by applying new templates of design for the surroundings. The
people involved have written about these and more in past Topaz issues.
This endeavour, to do with the birth of new templates and with the updating
and interlinking of templates, we call the Template Acropolis. It is a process
of openly seeking understanding, reference, frameworks, ways of going on, in
unknown or uncharted territory; for since development is ongoing there always
will be the unknown to be searched out. In this process nothing is taken for
granted. Too much of the human race’s talents and capabilities have been
stopped in efforts following fixed assumptions. Therefore, the Template Acropolis
process promotes self-directed research and upholds the spirit of genuine free
minds that bravely follow the compass of their own naturally endowed inclinations
The Template Network, and the many people around the world who are involved
with it, research and cross-reference template frameworks into areas as widely
varied as philosophy, world-history, dance, human psychology, theatre, well
being sciences and many more, a sampling of which are represented in this article.
The fact of these ‘acropolising’ processes going on within the
network to an ever greater degree of penetration and variety, connects us with
the knowing that the Template Network has only just begun to play its part in
the development of the best of human potential, skill and capability into the
future as called for in our time now.
The natural templates that we have come to, and that we have tried and retried,
provide extraordinary leadership in themselves. So in the process of engaging
in an acropolis gathering to open up new and needful questions, it is the integrated
framework of templates that provides us with natural contexts, guidelines, ways
and means, etc.
This process that we call ‘acropolising’, which happens in many
contributing countries that are part of the Template Network, we find to be
important, because it allows an ongoing opening and developing process, rather
than a fixing. Therefore the pioneers of many of the applied templates meet
each other regularly, nationally and internationally, in further research and
crosschecking, to refine and improve and continually update.
Recently a very inspiring acropolis-styled gathering, with over 200 people
from seventeen countries, took place in Crete. The focus of this gathering,
which was sponsored by Feminenza, was to research and cross-reference templates
that are currently being developed in seeking to better understand gender relationships.
These acropolising sessions are not academically orientated. They use the whole
spectrum of human faculty, research and expression; for templates work ‘all
in one and one in all’, just like every cell of the human body carries
the blueprint and reflection of the whole. They allow inclusion of many different
modes of human communication and can become, for those involved, very alive,
revelatory and profound.
The gathering of collective intelligence, and the opportunity it provides for
increased perception, is very important to us, as well as the integrity, preservation
and purity of what already has been built. As we hope to open more and more
opportunities for people to begin their own unique individual template journey,
we also seek to keep the environment in which that can happen, safe, constructive