Vital Kosmos | Our Five Most-Read Features of 2016
December 13, 2016 Kosmos Community News

The Loss of the Sacred and a Prayer for the Earth

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.”

Post-Election, It’s Time for a Radical Rethinking of the News Ecosystem

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.

Seeing Wetiko: On Capitalism, Mind Viruses, and Antidotes for a World in Transition

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.

Regenerative Economies for a Regenerative Civilization

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.

On Regenerative Systems: A Critique of Regenerative Capitalism

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.

Dreaming Beyond Capitalism: A Culture Without Fear

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.”