Longing to live in a world that is consciously loving, just, peaceful, restorative and uplifting? Unite with the countless dreamers, change makers and worldwide cocreators who are just as compelled as you are to cocreate a thriving, interconnected, highly creative, and regenerative future. You are expressly and warmly invited to be part of something bigger than yourself. Bring your dreams, vision and passion to our 8-month journey into humanity’s next phase of conscious evolution. You can join online from the comfort of your own home. We are waiting to welcome you to our first session in just two weeks’ time!
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The eight-month journey runs from 20 September 2018 to 4 April 2019, and includes the 8 sessions shown in the above image, featuring inspiring and proactive new story change makers. Times stated are London, UK time. Click here to convert to your local time.
“The future we long for is alive and well in the more hopeful corners of our heart…..”
Like many of my generation, in my teenage years I discovered The Little Prince. It seemed to capture the collective imagination for a while. To be honest I couldn’t now tell you its central message. For me it was as much about the wonderful illustrations as the story itself.
A couple of years back my memory of the book was rekindled by seeing a quote from its author Antoine De Saint-Exupery. It’s a quote whose message certainly has stuck with me:
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to yearn for the endless immensity of the sea.”
There’s something about this quote that sums up where I think we are at the moment. Let me give you an example of what I mean. In this past week my social media feed has been full of doom and gloom articles about the state of the world – and the environment in particular. The gorgeous British summer, long, sunny and unusually warm, is used as evidence that the climate crisis, so long predicted, is with us here and now.
Given the forest fires, flash floods, rising average temperatures, it’s hard to deny that global warming is here to stay (although I have written elsewhere of the dangers of becoming fixated with this).
Many commentator’s are I’m sure, doing their best to wake us all up. While this is definitely needed, if we stay too long in the collective recognition of the horror we have created, we are likely to freeze as a species. This in itself may not be a bad thing. The freeze reflex is a last-ditch survival instinct and a moment of global stillness may actually be what’s needed to kick-start the transition.
But, returning to The Little Prince, what about “yearning”? What if we began to yearn for the metaphorical sea, or even for the far distant lands that lie on the other side of it? This feels to me like the missing piece in the current landscape of change: something that helps us to long for the future world that beckons.
When I posted to this effect on Facebook a friend replied: “Yes, I understand. And I look forward to reading some of this next wave of writing from you!” I never could resist a challenge. So here goes.
Over the past couple of years I have run workshops to explore this topic, sometimes calling them “The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible” after the book by Charles Eisenstein. In these workshops we imagine the world after capitalism, the world that more accurately reflects the deepest yearning of the human soul.
Three themes in particular keep recurring: economy, community, nature.
People often express the desire to live in a world that is not dominated by money. They want to be able to live a life that allows them to be creative, to follow their dreams, to share their gifts. This is in contrast to working to make a living, holding down a job they don’t really enjoy in order to pay the rent. People understand that whatever they do has to be useful to others, to society. They know they have to pay their way in some form. They just want a little more freedom to be themselves, to be authentic as they serve the greater good.
Then there’s a theme about how we live our lives in relation to each other. I’ve encountered a deep yearning for closer or more meaningful relationships with others. People talk about getting to know their neighbours, living in communities where they know other people well, spending more time with loved ones. Often this is accompanied by a desire to give – to support friends when they are in need, to visit the vulnerable, to help out when needed. To find a place of value, contribution, connection, love.
For this to be sustainable it’s usually seen as being accompanied by time alone, often in nature. There’s a common recognition that nature is a healer: time spent walking, or swimming or just sitting outdoors is nourishment. It provides rest, recuperation, regeneration.
And this intuitive understanding seems to trigger a desire to reboot our relationship with the natural world. To find a way to be in connection, in communion. To be in a respectful and nourishing relationship with Mother Earth – a relationship that enshrines both give and take.
This summer while helping to run a workshop on social entrepreneurship I met a young Mexican innovator called Roberto Arrucha. By coincidence Roberto had landed upon three core themes for a good life: A Life of Purpose, Healthy Relationships with Others and Respectful Interaction with Nature. The resonance with what I’d been encountering rang clear as a bell.
And yet none of this really does it justice. The content is all there but its not quite poignant enough to stir us all to action. Perhaps only poetry or music or art can really do that. Perhaps what we’re missing is the poetry of revolutionary yearning. So let’s have a go at that too:
This is the moment to define an age
the choice we were born into:
to follow ego’s lust to the edge of loss
or turn to the lap of the land
and slip into the step of Nature’s rhyme.
This is the moment between mastery and trust
the decision to step from dominion into communion
to find our place amid the fecundity
of a Universe on fire with love.
A world awaits.
It has sat quietly in the corner of your heart
the corner you’ve called childish, fantastical.
For years it whispered:
“I am real. I am already here.
That I beat in time to your blood,
that I sing in tune to your soul
is to remind you
of the part you’ll play.”
For years it sang softly
to remind you of a world at one with itself
a world bursting with energy and love
a world too full of the fruits of toil
where dead seas and desert sands bloom
in infinite scent
where forests climb endless peaks
to breathe new life into rivers and skies
fields and shaded streets.
“Imagine your place in it all
a home that feeds your soul
a role that does justice to every gift you hold
every dream you ever shaped
every simple act of kindness you forgot to make.”
To love your neighbour
to nourish the soil
to share the bounty of common endeavour
is not a childish game
it is a mirror held up to the human soul.
To tear down borders,
put need before greed
sew unity into every act
is less a fantasy and more
the mission of a species understanding its worth.
This is the choice we came into
a delicious crisis that graces a race
once in its lifetime.
This is our coming of age.
Now all this may seem somewhat idealistic. Or you may be thinking “That’s all well and good, but HOW exactly?” And this is precisely my point. The “how” is what we’ll need to work out. It is the task of our age. That’s what happens when you gather people together to yearn for the sea. They teach each other how to build a boat. You don’t have to know how to do it before you make a start. No-one ever knew before they began, the precise details of how to achieve the most challenging things.
The question for now is this: do these things speak to your heart? Do you recognise them as the yearning of your soul? If so, then that’s enough to make a start. Gather together your boat-crew and crack on! The open sea beckons.
“What kind of culture do you think would emerge from a culturally dominant narrative that goes a bit like this: Competitiveness and me-first thinking is part of human nature. We are the result of random mutations in life’s struggle for existence in a meaningless material universe on its steady decline towards maximum entropy. We live on a planet likely to be struck by a massive asteroid long before its sun goes supernova.
“On the other hand, what kind of culture would emerge from a dominant narrative that suggested:
“We are meaning seeking creatures, bringing forth a world through the way we relate to the transforming whole we participate in. We evolved over 14 billion years of universal history and 3.8 billion years of life’s evolution on Earth. Our human ability to speak, write music and poems, dance and sing and shape our environments evolved primarily by collaboration. We evolved out of collaboration with fellow humans and through collaboration with the life-sustaining whole that contains us. As beings with self-reflexive consciousness we are one particular expression of the UNIVERSE becoming conscious of itself. As participants in life’s evolutionary journey of creating conditions conducive to life, we are capable of redesigning the human impact on Earth from destruction to regeneration.
“Do you see, why we better change the story we live by?”
Read the full article by Findhorn Fellow and author of Designing Regenerative Cultures, Daniel Wahl….
Daniel is a featured speaker in our upcoming 8-month new story online learning journey. To find out more, visit: Living the New Story Series 2 Cultivating Regenerative Societies.
Read the full article….
“Inspired by indigenous views of nature, a movement to grant a form of legal “personhood” to rivers is gaining some ground — a key step, advocates say, in reversing centuries of damage inflicted upon the world’s waterways.
“Despite the promise held by establishing legal rights for rivers, difficult questions remain. What does it mean for a river to have the rights of a person? Does a river have the right to flow freely, and does this mean its waters can’t be dammed or diverted? Is compensation to affected communities permissible in lieu of court orders requiring removal of large obstructions like dams? What can we do to move beyond merely acknowledging humanity’s connection to rivers to actually saving them? And, finally, and perhaps most important, how should a legal regime determine who will advocate on behalf of a river, which lacks a voice of its own? In the future, these are questions policymakers will have to address.
“Camila Badilla, coordinator of the Chilean Free-Flowing Rivers Network, says that granting legal rights to rivers is just one step in an ongoing transformation in how humans view their place in the natural world. “Perhaps in the future we will stop feeling like the center of nature,” she says. “Granting a right to a river is the first big step to opening ourselves up to seeing and understanding other living beings.””
Read the full story by Jens Benöhr and Patrick J. Lynch….
Photo: The free-flowing Baker River in Chile’s Patagonia region. Permits for a major hydroelectric project on the waterway were revoked in 2014 amid protests. LOUIS VEST/FLICKR
This is indeed the time of the great awakening of humankind. More and more souls are beginning to stir, are beginning to search and wonder about life and the true meaning of it. It is this awakening which is causing great unrest and even chaos, for many are not satisfied with what they see and realise they will have to seek deeper, ever deeper, that they need to do a great deal of changing. The things which they have taken for granted all their lives now have to go and be replaced by something new. This interim period of change is extremely uncomfortable and unpleasant for the new and the old are warring against each other. You will see these changes taking place in individuals, in countries and in nations all over the word. The unrest everywhere can be plainly seen and felt; it is like living on the very edge of a volcano, which is ready to erupt any moment.
l tell you to seek and find that peace which is deep within so you are not affected by all this outer chaos and confusion and none of you become drawn into it.
Eileen Caddy, Findhorn Community Co-founder, received guidance from the “still, small voice within” and shared it with the community for more than 40 years until she passed away in 2006. We continue this tradition as her guidance is as relevant today as it was when she received it.
Photo: Findhorn Beach at sunrise by Geoff Dalglish. In the words of Geoff, “…it’s that magical first light that is love itself and feels like a warm hug from the Creator.”
“When we go into a forest that has not been interfered with by man, our thinking mind will see only disorder and chaos all around us. It won’t even be able to differentiate between life (good) and death (bad) anymore since everywhere new life grows out of rotting and decaying matter. Only if we are still enough inside and the noise of thinking subsides can we become aware that there is a hidden harmony here, a sacredness, a higher order in which everything has its perfect place and could not be other than what it is and the way it is.
“The mind is more comfortable in a landscaped park because it has been planned through thought; it has not grown organically. There is an order here that the mind can understand. In the forest, there is an incomprehensible order that to the mind looks like chaos. It is beyond the mental categories of good and bad. You cannot understand it through thought, but you can sense it when you let go of thought, become still and alert, and don’t try to understand or explain. Only then can you be aware of the sacredness of the forest. As soon as you sense that hidden harmony, that sacredness, you realize you are not separate from it, and when you realize that, you become a conscious participant in it. In this way, nature can help you become realigned with the wholeness of life.”
~ Excerpt from ‘A New Earth’ by Eckhart Tolle
(Thank you to Philippe Defossez for sharing!)