Editorials of Nancy Roof

Birthing Planetary Civilization

The moment everything changed… was it really just one moment when
everything changed? Or was it a silent, invisible struggle—questioning,
reflecting, enduring, shifting to try to make everything work—that
finally led to the critical moment when the changes became visible and
our lives were transformed forever? Many of us have experienced the
uncertainty and turbulence that precede transformative shifts of
consciousness in our personal lives.

Now we are collectively experiencing an extraordinary moment of
history, when the natural cycles of transformation are enveloping the
collective consciousness of the whole world, creating a momentous global

The evolutionary process—generator of all cultures, worlds and life
forms—has produced extraordinary reorganizations of life from the
beginning of time. Scientists have explored the rise and fall of
civilizations as they reached the tipping point of their own demise or
exploded into flourishing new eras. Explorers of interior worlds have
long anticipated the transformation of civilization as a natural part of
evolution and human progress as we move toward harmony, cooperation and

The global financial crisis is but a symptom, heralding an
evolutionary change as big as the transition from the agricultural era
to the industrial era; as mind-changing as the transition from
scientific materialism, where wholes are reduced to parts, to a search
for integral wholeness. It is the upcoming collapse that will lead to
new values, mindsets and skillful ways to govern, create economic value
and come together as a world community.

These critical times offer unprecedented opportunities to make the
aspirations of billions a reality—where the quality of life matters,
where there is human solidarity, reverence for nature and moral
leadership—and a world of hope for each and every living being. If ever
there was a time for searching deep within to generate new ideas and to
be flexible and resilient, it is now.

The paradox is that just when old ways of doing things no longer
work, we are discovering even greater capacities and genuine hope and
creativity are bursting forth to bring in the new.

But birthing planetary civilization will not be easy. For some it
will engender rage and despair. On a global level it will mean failed
states increasing the potential for violence. In an era of seamless
global commerce, communication and culture, we must seize the moment and
offer a new way of life that is so attractive that people will find it
more desirable and compelling than the old and familiar.

In this issue of Kosmos we invited contributions from thoughtful
leaders on the three levels in which this transitional period impacts
our lives: personal, cultural and global. We also invited pioneers to
inform and engage our readers in innovative changes in education,
business, economics, media, religion and culture. Iraqi and Aboriginal
artists joined us to bring  their stories and aesthetic beauty. The
beauty they have offered softens human consciousness and evokes the
receptiveness needed for transformation.

James Quilligan is continuing a series of articles introducing the
global commons with a groundbreaking article on the commons and integral
capital. And Don Beck offers the last piece of a completed series of
three articles published in Kosmos on global change from an integral
spiral dynamics perspective.

We present the new, hopeful, emergent designs that are crafting
planetary civilization, fulfilling the aspirations of every world
citizen towards human security, economic prosperity, social justice,
peace and solidarity.

The good news is that millions are awakening and are already engaged
in the effort. Where corporate states are not working, global commons
organizations are rising to claim their power to build a sustainable
future for all humanity, to preserve our ecological web, and return to
basic values. We, the people, are designing new institutions that
reflect the aspirations of each and every world citizen.

You will find these forerunners of the new civilization in every issue of Kosmos.