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What a year! Since the election and returning from Standing Rock, I’m feeling a sense of overwhelm. How many of you feel it too? Maybe it was the sound and fury of the election coverage that ended (for me) with a sense of emptiness and confusion. And at Standing Rock, experiencing our heavily militarized oil industry kept me wondering what country I was in. No wonder this urge to retreat into my burrow until Spring!
On a warmer note – your nurturing response to the nascent ember that is Kosmos Community has been so encouraging. Many of you have stepped forward – offering to serve as panelists, writers, or reviewers and expressing a deeply felt need to find refuge and inspiration in community. We have already begun activating plans for January. We had also set an optimistic goal for our Sacred Season membership drive and happily we are 80% there with just a couple more weeks to go! The site has been updated. Take a look and consider giving the gift of Kosmos.
Readership of our top five original features tripled this year. Three of these are from our print publication, Kosmos Journal, and two from Kosmos Online. The exceptional authors represented are Alnoor Ladha and Martin Kirk, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, John Fullerton, Elizabeth Kucinich and Dennis Kucinich, and Martin Winiecki. These articles truly reflect the transformational thinking we work every day to bring to you through Kosmos.
Also, please read an important letter by Jo Ellen Green Kaiser, executive director of The Media Consortium, an organization that represents independent news outlets, including Kosmos. “The wall between advertising and news has been almost completely broken”, she says. Ad-free journals like Kosmos have a significant role to play at a time when some of our sister-publications have been put on “watch lists”. At Kosmos, we answer only to our hearts and to you.
The Council Fire at Standing Rock, that greets the elders and campers at dawn as they circle around for morning prayers, was purposefully extinguished this week. And although it signifies the end of a chapter, it is not the end of the Story. There are bigger plans afoot. The same is true in the wider world. Intolerance, greed and oppression appear to be on the rise. Yet, while the night may be long and our fires burn low, we know a greater dawn will come. There’s a lot to do and together we will be ready.
Rhonda Fabian and the Kosmos Team
Queries, suggestions or a friendly reply always welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org
by Jo Ellen Green Kaiser
The 2016 election exposed a significant crisis for U.S. democracy: the failure of our news media system.
This was an election in which false news was consumed as if true; in which polls were significantly off-base; in which journalists missed the stories both of Trump supporters, who came out in unanticipated numbers, and former Obama voters, who defied predictions to stay home.
The easy response, in the wake of these multiple failures, is to focus on one specific weakness. If only journalists had interviewed more white people in the Rust Belt! If only pollsters had looked at a different data-set! If only Facebook were not so dominant, or fake news sites so plentiful…
Such essays in search of simple answers represent no more than collective wishful thinking. Systemic failures have systemic causes. Repairs to the system may not be enough. We need to put time and resources now into transforming our news media system.
Wetiko: the greatest epidemic sickness known to humanity. – Paul Levy
By Alnoor Ladha, Martin Kirk
Kosmos Journal, Spring | Summer 2016
What if we told you that humanity is being driven to the brink of extinction by an illness? That all the poverty, the climate devastation, the perpetual war, and consumption fetishism we see all around us have roots in a mass psychological infection? What if we went on to say that this infection is not just highly communicable but also self-replicating, according to the laws of cultural evolution, and that it remains so clandestine in our psyches that most hosts will, as a condition of their infected state, vehemently deny that they are infected? What if we then told you that this ‘mind virus’ can be described as a form of cannibalism. Yes, cannibalism. Not necessarily in the literal flesh-eating sense but rather the idea of consuming others—human and non-human—as a means of securing personal wealth and supremacy.
By Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
for Kosmos Online
“The very nature of existence, of life and all of creation is sacred. And yet our lack of awareness, our culture’s lack of relating to creation as sacred, covers its light. It becomes more and more like a dream lost before waking. As we forget, so the light of the sacred is dimmed, becomes less and less accessible. And with this darkening, an essential quality of life also fades away.”
by John Fullerton
Kosmos Journal, Fall | Winter 2015
“There is nothing more difficult to plan, nor more dangerous to manage, than the creation of a new system. For the creator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old system and merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by the new one.” – Niccolò Machiavelli
Einstein once said, “It is the theory which decides what we can observe.”
I believe this assertion holds both truth and great wisdom. Its macro importance is trivial when the world operates according to a theory that fits the context of the times. Its importance becomes paramount when the world is running on a theory that no longer fits the realities at hand. NOW is such a time.
by Elizabeth Kucinich and Dennis Kucinich
Kosmos Journal, Fall | Winter 2015
In his powerful essay on Regenerative Capitalism, John Fullerton describes breakthrough thinking, which moves us away from ideological divides that tether us to a worldwide economy that is destructive of human values to a system that supports people and planet, in the vein of Paul Hawken and Amory Lovins.
Conventional economic design places us at the mercy of abrupt climate change and social and ecological collapse. Regenerative systems, through their implicit design, do just the opposite. They recover, restore, and regenerate.
We can lament the impending calamity or we can thwart it by discerning the universal principles and patterns the cosmos uses and applying them as a regenerative, healing model for economic design “to build stable, healthy systems throughout the real world.” Regeneration is a big step beyond sustainability. It is a consciousness that will enable us to design systems we want, to create the world we want.
By Martin Winiecki
for Kosmos Online
In the 1990s an unusual encounter took place in the Ecuadorian Amazon. In plant rituals, shamans of the Achuar, a tribe living in pristine forest that had never been in touch with Western civilization, received the warning that the “white man” would try to invade their lands, cut down the forest and exploit the resources. Deeply shaken, they called out to the Spirits for help. Soon after white people did approach them, coming to them however with supportive intentions – a group of activists from the United States, searching for ways to protect Indigenous Peoples from the oil industry. The Westerners found a deeply interconnected tribal society living in profound symbiosis with the Earth. Seeing the bulldozers coming closer and closer, they asked the Elders of the tribe how they could survive. Their answer was surprising and straightforward: “Don’t try to help us here. Go back to your own culture and change the dream of the modern world! It is because of this dream that we are perishing.”
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