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A recent question really got me thinking. Since 2001, Kosmos’ integral, evolutionary approach has informed, inspired, and engaged personal, institutional, and global transformation. How has the direction changed during those 16 years?
As I contemplated this question, I realized that our long-term vision has not changed over all these years. What has changed is how different aspects of the vision come and go into awareness. Readers over the years may have a slightly different take on what these changes are. I offer my list for your reflection and look forward to hearing yours.
Expanded Scale of Concern: In the past, we emphasized responsibility and care for our human family and our planetary home. In 2001, this global vision was a new idea, even to cultural creatives. We have now expanded our scale of concern to all living species, with an increasing realization of the innate intelligence and sensitive feelings of wild and domesticated animals and the wisdom of nature as a model for our own behavior.
Life as Key Value: We have always valued tolerance, inclusion, and kindness toward all. Now we are also concerned about the life force itself—the vital spirit and passion of life. We ask, are we destroying all life on our planet through the effects of capitalism as it spreads virally worldwide? Does the everyday routine feel less vital each day? Millions are now caught in unfulfilling jobs (if they have one at all) as foreign trade and robots replace secure jobs. Depression and loss of creative potential have become a public health crisis.
From Information and Inspiration to Action: Kosmos originally educated about our collapsing institutions in every field of endeavor and the need for personal and planetary transformation to create a new civilization based on spiritual values. This recognition has now become mainstream as transformation has become a household word. Now is the time to actively experiment with new ways of being and engage in our local communities where we can be most effective. Kosmos is developing action-oriented programs in 2017, starting with the Power of Three project.
Participation and Inclusion: As humanity wakes up to a world that no longer works for 99% of us, we are demanding to have a voice in decisions that affect our lives by protesting inequities and injustices. We are committed to creating new paths to a better future. We want to participate in the commons, to care for our planet together, and to take part in governmental policy decisions. Protests have gone international, and citizen journalism is on the rise.
From Hierarchy and Authority to Peer-to-Peer: In the early 2000s, we reported on the transformation of power from authority and experts to people power. Leaders are becoming facilitators of the people’s voice and experts are capitulating to group consensus. In a world in transition, there are no experts—we are all co-creating the future. We are unlearning much of our past conditioning and are creating our own resumes by taking free online courses as we carve out new niches of expertise, such as behavior and cultural design.
Connections and Relationships: We are now recognizing the interdependence of all life and how personal identity is defined by our relationships. Connecting on a collective level is now a growing challenge as groups and networks become the focus of power. Many groups, however, have not recognized the diversity of approaches to any issue and express the egoistic characteristics that prevent evolution.
A Time of Creativity and Experiment: Experimental labs are proliferating as it has become clear that we are in the midst of a major transformation of systemic change in every field of endeavor. We can no longer base our projections on the past. We must create new approaches that have never been tried before. This is frightening for some, but for many of us, this period of uncertainty is an exciting time! Unlearning and not knowing are key processes to clearing space for a transformed future.
Subjective Sophistication and New Capacities Beyond Rationality: Transformation through mastery of our inner processes and development of our capacities beyond rationality is high on the list of approaches to effective change. Mindfulness has become mainstream, yet we still struggle to balance rationality—the dominant way of knowing of the past—with feelings and intuition. New inner capacities are being revealed through intuition, bodily knowing, and inner guidance. Some are allowing a greater intuition to realize its purposes through them. Not seeking and grasping but allowing is the way to creativity.
From Disease to Health and Wellness: The disease medical model is slowly giving way to prevention and health-based approaches. A majority of health issues today are tied to industrial pollution of the environment and the food supply. Most chronic diseases can be cured by lifestyle changes, not surgery and drugs. Functional medicine empowers people to actively participate in taking care of their own health.
As we begin to unravel the question of how Kosmos and our world has changed during the last 16 years, we see kaleidoscopic changes at every scale in every domain of human endeavor. We are equally challenged and blessed with the awesome responsibility of midwifing these unprecedented changes to leave a better world for future generations.
Nancy Roof, Ph.D. is the founder of the award-winning Kosmos Journal: The Journal for World Citizens and Planetary Civilization, which is based on evolving interior development and cultural values as they impact globalization and world community. Kosmos Associates, Inc. is also actively involved in the founding of the Global Commons movement with James Quilligan of the Global Commons Trust.
Fall | Winter 2016