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The idea of a New Story for humanity is a tricky business. Whose story? We seem very far removed from any kind of global consensus about what is fair and just for all people and the planet. It’s commonplace to say we live in a time of great uncertainty. Yet, have times ever been certain? Only for the elite perhaps, the few.
As Paul Ray points out in Co-creating the New Wisdom Culture, we as a humanity are an adolescent having our initiation, facing our abyss. What if we reframe the present time of converging crises as an opportunity to come of age, to live in greater gratitude and awareness? It is said that in the moment of greatest danger, our senses come most fully alive. Is this our moment, here in the Anthropocene? Maybe this is what it takes for the true preciousness of life be revealed to all, to usher in the next era Glenn A. Albrecht calls, the Symbiocene. Read Exiting the Anthropocene.
An Enquiry into a New Story for Humanity, a film created by Findhorn Community in Scotland is premiering April 30. The oldest intentional community and eco-village in the UK has something to say about living together in harmony. We review the film in this edition. Kosmos Editor Nancy Roof is one of the featured elders.
There is more to explore – Josh Gorman on the New Story for young people, an initiative for women called Everyday Citizens, and an exploration of Community, Restorative Justice and Permaculture. Many strands, many stories.
Kosmos and others have described global transformation as a ‘movement of movements’. No one person, group, or nation has the whole picture or ever will. The question is, can we move our collective energy in the direction of positive change, in harmony with all Life? And if not, can each of us bring dignity and compassion to the present time, come what may?
In loving cooperation,
Your Kosmos Team
Please direct your responses, submissions and queries to email@example.com.
by Glenn A. Albrecht, via his blog
“In order to counter all these negative trends within The Anthropocene we clearly need, within popular politics and culture, visions and memes of a different future. To get the detail into these visions, we will need more novel conceptual development, since the foundation on which we are building right now is seriously flawed and conducive of nothing but great waves of ennui, grief, dread, solastalgia, mourning and melancholia. We must rapidly exit The Anthropocene with its non-sustainability, perverse resilience, authoritarianism and its corrumpalism. The new foundation, built around a new meme, will need to be an act of positive creation.
Image | Rick Paine, New Story Summit
by Rhonda Fabian
The New Story Summit at Findhorn Community, Scotland in the autumn of 2014 was a momentous, unwieldy, fascinating conference, as anyone who attended can attest. Its purpose: to reflect on paradigmatic shifts, personal to planetary, believed by many to be underway in the world. The particular tribe of 320 attendees from 50 countries won’t be reassembled anytime soon – activist youth, indigenous elders, enlivened leaders, shamans, change agents, poets, artists and more. Hopes were high for some kind of transformation to occur, for some signal that the right elixir of words, meditation, music, fire and prayer could light a path through the wilderness. What gifts might such a multigenerational multicultural gathering offer to a world in crisis? Thousands also attended the conference via webstreaming, and grappled with similar questions in their own communities. There was a collective yearning for answers.
A film about the Summit is premiering on April 30, online. It is free to view.
Excerpts from a dialogue between Duncan Campbell and Paul Ray, via Living Dialogues
Paul Ray | …we’re not out there to kill dragons, we’re out there to build something new together. Each one of us cannot imagine the whole of a new civilization. It’s too big to hold in any one mind, but each one of us can help build one of the facets of a new civilization. Kind of like a Fuller Dome or a bee’s eye which has thousands and thousands of facets. In fact, I’ve done brain storming with citizen groups where they clearly see this after awhile – that no one of them can encompass the whole complexity – but together we do indeed invent an image of a desirable future, an image of a new guiding story for ourselves. That’s quite remarkable. You can get that sense of having to create it together, having to trust, so that all of us together will do the job. That in fact, we are all needed now.
‘I see the new story happening in education where young people are self directing their own learning and realizing “I don’t need to go sit in that classroom and in that box, I can take my education and my learning into my own hands,” and they step out into the world and they’re beginning to engage with one another outside of the classroom. They’re beginning to engage with the process of life itself and finding their way forward. Education is going through a radical transformation that’s part of the new story. Young people are waking up and realizing that there’s a new story for politics in our time. It’s not an either/or politics, it’s a both/ and politics. It’s a politics of deeply listening and collaborating on behalf of the common good. It’s a politics of openness and transparency and participation, leveraging the technological tools that we have and the wisdom of listening to one another and sitting together in a circle and in groups and allowing the collective wisdom to inform our decisions as a community, as a nation, as a human family.’ – Josh Gorman
Image | Circle of Life Mural at Marquette University
By Jonathan McRay, via Peacebuilder
Humans are inextricably connected to the earth. We inhabit, breathe, drink, and eat this strange blue globe that is our only home. The oldest religious traditions recognized this scientific claim by weaving stories, almost myths-as-memory, which describe humans as creatures crafted from the dirt: adam and adama, human and humus, culture and cultivate. Indeed, the plurality of human cultures grows from natural biodiversity. And we are social animals, dependent for better and worse on lives beyond ourselves. Restorative justice agrees by stating that society is interconnected, which reframes crime as the cause and effect of damaged relationships and disconnection from a sense of belonging. If this is true, then the proper response to crime, to the violation of people and interpersonal relationships, is the obligation to make things as right as possible, which includes the rehabilitation of the offender.
by Lindsay Fahey and Beverly Winterscheid
What does citizenship look like in your daily life?
Is it showing up at the polls to cast your vote? Or is it the small actions you take to make the communities you live and work in a little bit better each day like attending a town meeting? Or brainstorming ideas to turn an abandoned lot into a city park?
How is your view of civic engagement the same or different from others across the country? And what can we learn from our unique life experiences – whatever our backgrounds and communities are – that can strengthen each other and American society as a whole?
The Everyday Citizens movement is asking diverse women around the country these questions – and needs your help to spread the word.
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