Today we launched our newest project—Great Transition Stories! This has been a labor of love over the past year as we—mostly Duane Elgin, Jeff Vander Clute, and me—have worked to gather the large, overarching stories of change that give hope and guidance for a thriving future. Our collaborative team has grown in recent months to include Anne Stadler, Will Keepin and Cynthia Brix, Sheri Herndon, Peter Russell, Scott Carlin, Bruce Lipton, and others. This is an exciting moment.
Special note: Duane will be presenting this project at the GATE (Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment) Conference in Los Angeles on Saturday, February 4th. The conference is being live-streamed and will feature stories of a positive future and includes: Eckhart Tolle, Jim Carrey, Marianne Williamson, Jean Houston, Louie Anderson, Edward James Olmos, and many other transformational luminaries who support transformational entertainment and media. The live events begin at 9:00 AM, Saturday, February 4th and continue into the evening. Both events can be accessed through the following link: http://www.livestream.com/gatelive.
This project, like so many others, has had a long journey to come to fruition. For me, it started many years ago when I became increasingly aware that our major systems of food, water, energy, government, and money are approaching crisis points wherein they would begin to break down. In the fall of 2007, I gathered with a small group of people from the Tipping Point Network to address strategies for co-creating a positive, life-affirming future for Humanity. One of our exercises was to do a blind poll of how much time we felt there was between then and when the systems collapse would show up. Most of our answers fell in the 2-10 years range. (We were off by a year with money—the system collapsed one year later in the Fall of 2008.)
We began to brainstorm with each other what it would take to survive and thrive in the Great Transition we would find ourselves in. Working with a theory of change developed by Berkana Institute used by communities around the world, and synchronistically appearing today in a blog on the Great Transition by Joe Brewer, we came up with four strategies:
1) Help stabilize and slow down the destruction of the old system.
2) Support and nurture new, emerging systems.
3) Find and train the Bridge Builders in conscious leadership.
4) Change the story: Name and amplify the New Paradigm emerging.
Berkana’s Theory of Change
I became particularly intrigued by and called to attend the last strategy: Change the Story. This has been the primary focus of New Stories and why I joined the board. For years I had done extensive research on the Rapture and the archetype of the Apocalypse, so dominant within several of the world’s spiritual traditions. I simply could not understand how a model that says some of us are the good guys and will go up to heaven while the rest of the people and planet burn could be a very functional form of change. It did not bode well for Earth or most humans. Even the New Age version of the story in the Celestine Prophesy, while not necessitating the destruction of the earth, is still in the same pattern of the good guys ascend (in this case, the ones with the higher vibrations) and the rest will be left behind to suffer.
I began to see how insidious our unconscious thought pattern is of trying to get out of here, as if here—Earth–is such a bad place or we—Humans–are also bad and need to be redeemed. It’s a powerful story, running in the background that expresses itself in many ways, from wanting God, Allah, the White Brotherhood, or aliens to rescue us, to hoping to be the chosen ones who get relieved of embodiment on Earth. This story inherently rejects embodiment, matter, Earth, and Life. I knew there had to be a better story and went in search of it.
I connected with Duane Elgin in one of his seminars on the Living Universe and, finding a soul brother, began to collaborate with him on discovering stories based on different underlying assumptions such as:
Earth and the Universe are alive and thus sacred.
Life itself is an astonishing miracle.
It is a rare and precious privilege to be embodied.
There is no planet we could get to with our current propulsion systems within 180,000 light years – the time-span of time homo sapiens on the planet.
So this is it. You and I are it. We are it. Our planet is it. We have come to a point in our own evolution where we are conscious of evolution itself, and we now have enough power to choose our own destiny with what we know. What will our story be? Working with Jeff Vander Clute, web wizard extraordinaire, Duane and I began to explore not only the stories themselves but also how to present them in a form consistent with the principles of emergence and collaboration. We went through several iterations—Evolutionary Voices, Emergence Speaks—before adopting the wiki format, which gives the opportunity to grow the stories as we grow in our understanding.
There are better stories of how change happens, what really works in evolution, and who we can be as Humanity. These stories are right in front of us, in the processes of how Life has unfolded, in what we have discovered about the evolution of the Cosmos, and in what we have learned about our own physical, psychological, social and spiritual development. We know what health is and what supports it in our own bodies. What supports the health of Humanity? How do we take responsibility for the future of our species?
This is what we’re exploring with the Great Transition Stories: how we hold what is happening to us that allows us to participate in our future in new, life-affirming ways. The Great Transition Stories wiki is a place to gather the growing data on what we know about what works, where stories are emerging that are in alignment with our own and our planet’s processes, and who is pioneering positive change on the ground. It is a collaboration that is growing. We hope you’ll join us.