Week One

Unlearning Together

WEEK 1 | Unlearning

Welcome! We are excited to have you with us on this learning journey. By exploring the resources in the Summer 2018 edition of Kosmos Journal together, we have an opportunity to deepen our collective understanding and advance our personal practices.

This is a self-guided learning experience, and it is for you to explore as you see fit. You will see many opportunities for self-reflection and journaling. The experience of writing down your thoughts and feelings can be a cathartic one. Others may prefer the practice of contemplative silence and inner reflection. It is completely up to you.

At the same time, we are a community. Sharing your experiences and ideas can be helpful and even healing for others. So you are encouraged to share in the comments sections available below each article, and on the private forum created for this course on Facebook.

In fact, feel free to join the Facebook group right now and introduce yourself. This will be the place to share your insights, questions, and experiences with other members of the Kosmos Community. We intend to continue expanding this aspect of Kosmos, creating intentional groups and forums for subsequent editions of Kosmos Quarterly.

Here is the content for Week 1 

Editorial | Awake, Awakened, Woke!, by Rhonda Fabian

Three Essays:

  • Confessions of a Recovering Catholic, by Lauri Lumby
  • Habits of Schooling, by Marie Goodwin
  • Wealth and Abundance, by Nadia Colburn

Change the Worldview, Change the World, by Drew Dellinger

Three Poems, by Carolyn Martin

Unlearning Together Keynote, by Martin Winiecki

Social Breakdown and Initiation, by Charles Eisenstein and Orland Bishop

The Night I Didn’t Stand Up, by Tricia Knoll

Let’s begin!

 READ: Awake, Awakened, Woke! by Rhonda Fabian

 Jot down a few words or reflect quietly on these prompts:

 What does ‘awakening’ mean to you? How is it manifesting in your life at this moment?

 What will you need to ‘unlearn’ in order to support this process?

How are grief and joy showing up in your life?


Next, READ: these three short essays by Kosmos Readers:

As you read, copy down any words or phrases that resonate with your own experience.

What habits are each of these women seeking to unlearn? How is your experience similar or different?

Take a large sheet of paper and write some of your ‘habits’ or the habits of others as a list on the left side of the paper. Next to each habit, record the ‘cultural wound’ that may be the source of that habit.

Choose one cultural wound you would like to heal and transform in yourself. Bring this wound into your conscious awareness and notice how it shows up in your daily life. How will you transform and release this wound? Write a brief essay about this (100—800 words). Consider sharing all or part of your work. Use the Comments section at the end of one of the essays above if you wish to share publicly. Or share more privately in the Facebook Forum. You will see a post– “What are you seeking to unlearn?”

 Rest and Reflect. Allow a day or two for the fruit of your practice to ripen.


READ: Change the Worldview, Change the World, by Drew Dellinger

In response to Dellinger’s essay, reflect on the stories that were a part of your own formation.

What were the creation stories that were told to you as a child and how did they form your worldview?

What were other stories told to you by parents, grandparents, teachers, religious leaders, and others that most influenced your actions and attitudes toward others?

Which of these stories did you embrace? Which did you discard?  Which do you embrace today and why?

What stories do you tell young people, friends and loved ones in order to influence their beliefs: about themselves, the world, spirituality?

How does your worldview inspire you to action at this time?

Sketch, doodle, paint or otherwise construct a Story Map—the Story of You.

Use the idea of ‘a watershed’ to sketch out a map of the streams, rivers, obstacles, and waterfalls that have contributed to who you are today. Use words to label influences, key events, people and places on your story map.

What does your map teach you about your worldview?


READ: Three Poems, by Carolyn Martin

 What might you surmise about the poet– her age, upbringing, education, worldview?

 There is a common thread in the three poems about unlearning and relearning. What has the poet unlearned? How has her ‘relearning’ resulted in a more joyful, less restrictive view of life?

 Choose one of the poems:

Read the poem slowly, mindfully, looking for a word or phrase that stands out for you. In a notebook or journal, write that one word or phrase and then write your own poem beginning with that word or phrase. If the inspiration doesn’t immediately come, simply write that word or phrase over and over until the inspiration begins to flow. Share your work.

Rest and Reflect. Allow a day or two for the fruit of your practice to ripen.


READ: Unlearning Together Keynote, by Martin Winiecki

 Martin Winiecki presents a provocative challenge:

“Will you, humanity, continue to let destruction prevail or do you love Life so much that you will stand up for it, no matter what?

Review what Winiecki calls the two worlds and the firewall of separation.

Which of the two worlds would you prefer to live in?

Write down or speak aloud your greatest fear. Tell yourself a one-minute story about your greatest fear playing out. What will happen? Who will suffer?

 Now rewrite the story as a non-partial observer. How can the story be told to include healing, reconciliation, or redemption? What obstacles need to be overcome? What resources are needed?

 How can Winiecki’s three stages of unlearning support your story’s transformation?

Write about ‘your story’ (100—800 words). Consider sharing all or part of your essay. Use the Comments section at the end of Martin’s Keynote, if you wish to share publicly. Or share more privately in the Facebook Forum. You will see a post– Personal Stories of Fear and Transformation.

 Rest and Reflect


READ: Social Breakdown and Initiation, a Conversation between Charles Einstein and Orland Bishop

 Consider these statements by Orland Bishop:

“Society used to be an initiated group, not a group of people trying to do their own thing, but a group that’s trying to realize the collective intention. But that required an R-I-T-E, rite-of-passage, or rite of leadership into that decision process. When that doesn’t happen, when people just get their rights as they know them to be, the demand is for more, more power.”

“Some people will even self-sabotage their own potential because that is just part of the make-up of what initiation is. The human being must be initiated, regardless of how much society provides the conditions necessary for achievement. It’s really not about achievement, it’s about transformation.”

“If I want to stay in my old habits, I’m actually going to create illness for myself by a certain age if I don’t release my creative (energy). But this is also true for the whole culture. If we don’t embrace our future potential, the social aims, the cultural aims, the political aims and such will break down because this is actually a representation of the inner life of the human being.”

What is Orland Bishop asking us to consider about rights, achievement, and potential? Rephrase his statements in your own words.

What might these words be calling you to unlearn? How does he challenge your own personal or conditioned beliefs about achievement and success? Is it really possible for one person to be ‘successful’ or sustainable?  

Consider this exchange:

Orland: Someone has to insist that there’s an opportunity to heal. Someone has to provide the context. This is society’s work. We should not leave people in their wound. This is why people explore all kinds of therapy because we know it’s possible for that breakthrough. If it doesn’t happen then, then it’s left for these other levels of the mystery which would include that.

Charles: I think that you’ve articulated the most important requisite of successful therapy of any kind, which is that the therapist whether it’s a person or a group has to know that the other person can heal and has to be able to hold that knowing strongly enough that they can hold the other person in that knowing until they can know it themselves. That’s almost the only thing necessary. I guess there are skills and things and learnings that are useful on top of that, but without that there’s nothing.

Orland: Because the highest level of the self-need is belonging. Even if I don’t accomplish anything significant, belonging is most important to the human being. No one wants to just be exiled in a wound by themselves.

Write the words: belonging and healing next to each other on a sheet of paper. Without overthinking, write down the first words that come to mind beneath each word. Contemplate all the words you have written. How are these ideas related?


READ: The Night I Didn’t Stand Up, by Tricia Knoll

 What story is the poet telling? How are past and present reflected in the poem?

Do we have a responsibility to act upon the lessons we have learned in life?

What are some of the ways you feel called into action that may be perceived as antisocial or outside of accepted norms? How do you feel, or would you feel, if you acted?

Look at the last two words of the poem. What are the two possible meanings of these words? Why did the poet end on this note?

Rest and Reflect


Closing Exercise

Review your work this past week. Write a paragraph about what stands out most vividly for you. What will you take away for your effort?

Use the Comments section at the end of any article from Week 1, if you wish to share publicly. Or share more privately in the Facebook Forum. You will see a post– Takeaways from Week 1.

Congratulations on completing Week 1!