Tuesday, September 21, 2010

blog012 Shining Resilience

I have been hit with an inspiration sparkle bomb. I don't feel right keeping it all to myself, so I hereby share it with you.

The sparkle bomb comes as the September issue of YES! Magazine, themed: A Resilient Community, plus these two videos I found through Shareable.net about collaborative consumerism.

Bingo! Talk about positive relevancy!

Such a joy!

What inspires me so much is how many radically different possibilities the videos and the YES! team of editors communicates when compared to mainstream media's manipulated 1984 / Brave New World version of the world. It's as different as life and death.

Yeah. So which version of reality are you choosing to live in moment-to-moment? Which version am I choosing?

Collaborative Consumerism Video

What I feel glad about is having real options to choose from, invest in, experiment with, and express our creative essence through. Having options to choose from... how ecstatic! (Shopping is fun, neh?)

Here's part of the YES! team's menu:
Pioneers of the New Normal
Meet the Radical Homemakers
Why Build Resilience
In the Face of this Truth
10 Resilient Ideas
and especially, Skill Up, Party Down, stories about the Transition Town movement, groups of people addressing the big problems of our time, and doing it with optimism and a sense of celebration.                          Why?

The Transition Handbook: From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience (Transition Guides)“Emerging at the other end, we will not be the same as we were; we will have become more humble, more connected to the natural world, fitter, leaner, more skilled and, ultimately, wiser.”

- Rob Hopkins, Originator of the Transition Town movement, author of The Transition Handbook.
Not bad, eh?


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

blog011 Connecting is Subversive

AvatarA ten thousand year civilization of patriarchal empire has domesticated a third of the world’s population and enslaved most of the rest of us through increasingly invasive means of disconnection. The most sustainable (and subversive) thing you can do is connect. Connect with yourself. Connect with other people. Connect with the Earth.

Think of modern school where students are divided according to age. In sustainable school the older children naturally teach younger children, deepening their own understanding. Modern school taught us to cut off from our imagination and submit our creative intelligence to an all knowing authority. Alone we competed against others for grades. In sustainable school students succeed by helping each other learn. Imagine that.

Modern media purposely disconnects us from reasonless self acceptance, self knowledge and self satisfaction. Subliminal doubts are implanted that can only be quenched when you buy mouth wash, life insurance, and the right car to look sexy. By disconnecting from mainstream media you will more easily refrain from giving your center away to authority figures. You will refuse to allow another person to represent your voice or your vote. You get your life back.

Modern culture teaches us to fear our neighbors, fear strangers, and pray that a mighty military force can protect an unconscionable way of life. But quivering in this childish victimhood disconnects you from fulfilling your true adult destiny. Deep inside there burns a longing to live the life you were born for, which always turns out to be some form of service to humanity.

To connect with your destiny, with your neighbors, with strangers, and with the Earth, bring together a circle. Regularly hold space for ninety minute dialogs among fifteen to twenty people. Pass around a talking piece so that each person holding it can speak uninterrupted from their heart and tell the story that is in front of them. Ask people to suspend judgment, avoid discussion, let each person be heard, and let themselves be known. This is sharing. Through sharing we connect. You can feel it happening.

There is a way to connect to another person as deeply as the Na’vi of the planet Pandora connect in the film Avatar. It happens through your eyes. Here is how. Find a willing partner. Look gently into the black center of each other’s eyes. Relax. Lower your internal numbness bar. Shift from thinking to sensing. Don’t speak. Don’t move. Don’t touch. Navigate yourself to undefendedness. The connection happens automatically through mirror neurons in your brains exchanging experiential knowing. Through you the Bright Principle of love becomes aware of itself. You can feel it happening.

Fulfill your longing to connect – with yourself, with others, and with the Earth. It is delightful; it is ecstatic. It makes you immune to the deceptions of civilization and leads you over a bridge into sustainable culture.

Friday, July 30, 2010

blog010 Thank You, Transition Towns!

Here is a communication close to my heart from Diana Leafe Christian who refers to herself as an "Earthaven Airspinner". I don't know what an airspinner is, but Earthaven is one of maybe six stable functioning ecovillages in north America. Diana's column is from Earthaven's Summer 2010 Newsletter.


Thank You, Transition Towns!

The way I see it, Transition Towns (now called Transition Initiatives) are doing exactly what ecovillage activists always wanted folks to do.

Ecovillagers worldwide support local economies and/or create our own economies (sometimes using alternative currencies). We support local farmers and/or grow our own organic food. We generate our own electric power if we can. Similarly, Transition Towns (or islands, peninsulas, counties, or city neighborhoods) create their own local economies (often with alternative currencies), grow their own local food, and generate their own local power. The Transition Movement got started by applying Permaculture principles to social design. Likewise, most ecovillages, Earthaven included, are designed according to Permaculture principles.

Ecovillages and the Transition Movement are both involved with Permaculture. Here (in the photo) members of Source Farm Ecovillage in Jamaica are determining their site design, lead by Earthaven member and permaculture designer Chuck Marsh (on right).

Ecovillagers have been motivated over the last 20 years or so by hoping to make the world a better place. Similar to “putting your money where your mouth is,” we attempt to put our lifestyle where our values are. But our motivation has not been to prepare for Peak Oil and climate change, which most of us didn’t know about until a few years ago. We live this way because it seemed like the right thing to do.

Transition Town activists, on the other hand, are specifically responding to Peak Oil and climate change. Yet . . . their response is totally resonant with the values and lifestyles of ecovillagers. For example, here’s the vision of Transition US: “Every community . . . will have engaged its collective creativity to unleash an extraordinary and historic transition to a future beyond fossil fuels; a future that is more vibrant, abundant and resilient; one that is ultimately preferable to the present.” Well of course. That’s exactly what we want for the world too.

Transition Towns are seeking to live more sustainably: ecologically, economically, and socially. And ecovillages provide models — little pinpoints of sustainability in the broader mainstream culture — where Transition activists can come and see what living like this actually looks and feels like. In fact, you could say we are trying to inoculate the culture. Jonathan Dawson, past president of Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) and author of the book Ecovillages, writes, “Ecovillages can be likened to yogurt culture . . . small, dense, and rich concentrations of activity whose main aim is to transform the nature of that which surrounds them.”

Ecovillages: New Frontiers for Sustainability, Schumacher Briefing No. 12 (Schumacher Briefings)Over 100 Transition Initiatives are up and running in the United States, and as of July, 2010, you’ll find 321 Transition Initiataives on six continents — and the movement only started in 2005! Websites on the Transition Movement exist in Portuguese, Danish, German, Dutch, Spanish, French, Italian, and Japanese. Ecovillages also can be found on six continents, from Europe (which has the most number per population), to Latin America (especially Argentina and Brazil), Asia, New Zealand and Australia (which has plenty, mate), and a few in Africa. North America has relatively few ecovillages relative to our population: Earthaven is one of only about six well-developed ecovillages on the whole continent.

I’m an ecovillage activist: in my work I advocate ecovillages and present workshops on starting successful new ones. Yet I believe Transition Towns — not ecovillages — are more likely to rapidly spread ecological values and practices worldwide. In fact, the Transition Movement seems to be the fastest-growing social/ecological movement the world has ever seen. I say, “Hallelujah!” As someone who lives off the grid and deals with buckets of compost daily — and wishes everyone everywhere would do the same for the Earth — I certainly hope this is true!

Diana Leafe Christian is author of  Finding Community: How to Join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community, and Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities. She teaches workshops on starting new ecovillages, serves as a consultant to existing ecovillages and other kinds of intentional communities, and speaks and conferences internationally. She is publisher of Ecovillages, a free online newsletter about ecovillages worldwide, and her monthly column about ecovillages appears on the homepage of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) website. Diana lives in Earthaven’s Forest Garden neighborhood.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

blog009 Re-Teach The Teachers

If Einstein was right about the atom bomb he may also have been right when he said, "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it." This means school teachers, as they are presently trained, are unable to provide students with what they need to become the leaders who create a bright future for humanity. The challenge is to re-train teachers to deliver a new paradigm, to deliver the practical skills and theoretical basis for creating an environmentally sustainable, socially just and spiritually fulfilling human presence on planet Earth. We cannot create a bright future by duplicating the past. We need a strong and immediate, nation-wide teacher training program to reboot education. Private individuals are rapidly proceeding, already doing this for themselves, leaving the educational system in the dust.

Teachers determine the future of the human race.

Current events indicate that modern education produces adaptive consumers and self-centered, greedy, short-sighted leaders, avoiding responsibility, focused on getting all they can for themselves. It is becoming apparent that the planet will not tolerate this educational orientation much longer. Multiple crises of unimaginable magnitude loom ominously on the near horizon (e.g. peak oil, climate change, corrupted governments, spreading ocean dead zones, plastic contamination, expanding population, vanishing fresh water reserves, methane clathrates, species extinction). New forms of education are immediately required to unleash enough nonlinear human intelligence to create an environmentally sustainable, socially just, and spiritually fulfilling human presence on Earth. Let it be known that the critical educational challenge facing us today is not how to teach the students but rather how to teach the teachers. Today’s teachers are incapable of delivering what is needed by students now.

One must ask: Who are the people choosing to work as teachers? The answer is simple. People become teachers who themselves did well in school. They liked school. They fit into the system. They felt like school was designed and implemented correctly. People become teachers who are prepared to rigidly defend the educational system as it is because this is the system that worked for them. As a result, the mightiest barrier against educational transformation are the teaching staff. They feel no urgency to change, and in fact feel terrified to have school be any other way than it was for them.

Exchanging current ideas for new ideas is neither comfortable nor easy. Embodying new education would change everything: agriculture, business, city planning, social services…

How long would it take for teachers to change their classrooms into safe havens for learning how to love, how to communicate authentically with feelings, how to liberate nonlinear creative intelligence, how to unfold each individual’s contribution to humanity? The good new is that the entire school system could transform in one day. How do we know this? Because the people of Estonia have already proved it.

On one day, May 3, 2008, more than fifty thousand people (4 percent of the Estonian population) suddenly changed their behavior and removed ten thousand tons of garbage that for decades they themselves had scattered throughout their forest lands. True, operation Let’s Do It! required intelligent fore-planning, but it also awakened local communities to their ability to self-organize – and it worked! It was the most ambitious volunteer action in modern times. The entire territory of Estonia was cleaned up in five hours at almost no extra cost. In the same way, teachers across the country - or across your village - could self-organize a new curriculum in one day and transform the relevancy of school.

What would education then be about? That is a reasonable next question. The answer is also simple: It would include what has been excluded by the patriarchal empire.

But asking about the contents of next education is a trick question, for how can a teacher or administrator understand what is next to be taught while still thinking within the constraints and values of the old paradigm? Einstein was quite confrontive when he stated, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” But remember, Einstein was right about the atom bomb. He may be right about this. Einstein’s observation explains why it would be nearly impossible to describe to a modern day educator what next education is. Still we must begin somewhere, so here are a few distinctions from next education:
  • Irresponsibility is an illusion.
  • Each person’s childhood survival strategy is like a cocoon housing the still-forming adult. Education explains what is going on, in so far as something better than the survival strategy is awaiting them.
  • Education prepares children for their rite of passage to adulthood during the ages of fifteen to eighteen. In the rite of passage a person is guided to distill their destiny and their hidden purpose, connect to their archetypal lineage, and re-commit to deliver what they came here to contribute to humanity.
  • There is a difference between surviving and living. If you work for money, you are merely surviving. You do not need money to live. Thinking that nature has value only when money changes hands is a suicidal paradigm.
  • There are specific practices for building the matrix for holding more understanding. There is no top end to human development.
  • There are tools and procedures for creating possibility for one’s self, for other individuals, and for groups and organizations.
  • Communications persist until they are completed. The central message in every communication is, “I love you.”
  • There is a difference between low drama and high drama. Low drama is not life; it is merely low drama that creates scarcity, competition, and “I win, you lose” games. There are other games to create.
  • Each person has four bodies, physical, intellectual, emotional and energetic. Traditional education focuses almost exclusively on feeding the intellectual body, so it is grossly over-expanded out of proportion to the other three bodies. Almost nothing is fed to a child’s emotional or energetic bodies. These bodies are starving.
  • Each of the four bodies requires its own kind of food, and has its own kinds of pain, ecstasy, and intimacy. There is a difference between heart food of the emotional body and soul food of the energetic body. If this difference is not respected people are less likely to be healthy and capable adults.
  • Resentment is caused by expectations that are not fulfilled. In this way expectations are relationship killers. Even one resentment blocks intimacy. Resentments can be healed and avoided.
  • There is a difference between thoughts and feelings, and between feelings and two kinds of emotions. The difference can be learned experientially through inner navigation skills.
  • Personal and professional relationships can be navigated into ordinary, extraordinary and archetypal spaces. If a relationship space is not navigated consciously to serve bright purposes it will be navigated unconsciously to serve shadow purposes. Serving shadow purposes feeds Gremlin.
  • Each person has a shadow side and a Gremlin who is king or queen of their inner underworld. If you do not consciously own your Gremlin, he owns you.  
  • Each person has an energetic center of being. No one can take your center away. A typical childhood survival strategy includes giving your center away to authority figures so you are no longer a threat to them. As an adult you can take your center back. An adult owns their own center.
  • Where your attention goes your energy flows. Whoever has your attention has your wallet. An adult owns their own attention.
  • There are true leaders (responsible) and Gremlin leaders (irresponsible). Neither is good or bad. An adult can trust themselves to take care of themselves around any kind of leader.
  • Feedback contains design instructions for what to shift to create better results.
  • Adults serve the evolution of the world. The world is not changed through creating a critical mass of people thinking in a certain way. The world is changed through making critical connections that weave community and create systems of influence for the emergence of a more humane and intelligent future.
  • There is no present culture. The concept of “present culture” is a marketing scam that tries to homogenize humanity and convince people to accept a McPizzaKing and WalBucks on every corner. Human culture is as rich and diverse as nature, and can peacefully coexist as soon as adulthood is defined as including cultural relativity, the clarity that all cultures, religions, and worldviews are merely stories, a matter of personal taste and entertainment.
  • Next culture is beyond matriarchy and patriarchy. It is archearchy – the creative collaboration between the archetypal masculine and the archetypal feminine.
  • The appropriate topic of study for modern education is how to create and hold space for a global meshwork of sustainable, socially just and spiritually fulfilling next culture settlements.
There are many distinctions and procedures beyond these, but the above list would provide a starting point for next education.

Can we make this shift? Yes. Without question.

Will "we" make this shift? Ah. That's the point. There is no "we" when it comes to shifting. I and many others have already shifted to next education and will continue shifting, regardless of what the law says, regardless of what anybody else does.

The relevant question is: Will the modern school system simply be left in the dust of history or will it bootstrap itself into what is actually wanted and needed now? Teachers determine the future of the human race. To upgrade the morphogenetic field of the human race we would begin with re-training our teachers.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

blog008 Feeling Bad

No matter how deeply the thoughtware from your parents sticks in your brain, if it is naive and trite, it still handicaps you.

In the case of feelings, outdated thoughtware can handicap you severely. You don't even know you are handicapped until you download new thoughtware and the world suddenly works differently for you.

Take for example, fear.

From modern culture we get the belief that everything comes from either fear or love. Obviously, love is good, so fear must be bad.

Or there is the famous declaration: No Fear! (Photo courtesy AW Sign & Design)

Why no fear? Because fear is one of the "bad" feelings, of course! Like sadness or anger, it is to be avoided. Everybody knows that...

But what if "everybody" is wrong?

What if the socalled "bad" feelings are not a mistake of God. (As far as I know, God only made one mistake: the size of the seeds in avocadoes. I mean, you buy this fabulous fruit and slice into it and - kchunk! - you immediately hit the seed. Take out the seed and there's not much left! This a real pity!)

What if fear is only scary until you grow up and change your relationship to fear as part of your rite of passage to adulthood?

(Photo of Marion Callahan walking barefoot on glowing coals, November 2008.)

What if adult fear provides ongoing information and energy in the exact proper intensity to watch out for things in daily life? To stay alert, pay attention, make plans, make agreements, change things, to scan with your free attention and detect what needs taken care of (Do the plants need watering? Should I call home?), to know what needs protecting, to handle delicate situations with finesse? What if fear is the guideline for humor (saying things with the right intonation at exactly the right moment), for improvising (speaking before you know what you are going to say, committing before you know how to do it), for creating delight (what will delightfully surprise her?), for taking precise actions (slicing tomatoes, taking a splinter out), for knowing when you are at the limits of the known?

If you go to the edge of your comfort zone, you will feel fear. If it is not okay to feel fear then you will bounce back into known territory ten times a day and not even know it, missing your chance to explore and create.

If it is okay for you to feel fear and you go to the edge of your comfort zone, you will definitely feel afraid, but because the fear is no longer automatically bad or dangerous (fear is fear) you can still function. Suddenly fear becomes excitement. You can take the next step further out of your comfort zone into the complete unknown. This is where true creating happens, making something out of nothing (or nothing out of something). Do you need to be creative in your work? If you are not feeling afraid, you are not creating.

Directing The Power of Conscious Feelings: Living Your Own TruthRites of passage to adulthood are not provided by mainstream culture. To get to adulthood you need to go beyond modern culture's comprehension limits and arrange a next-culture rite of passage for yourself. For guidance in this and related experiments, you might want to check out the book Directing The Power of Conscious Feelings by Clinton Callahan.

You can learn to have no fear about feeling your fear. This is when things get fun.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

blog007 Next Culture Paradigm Labs

30 June 2010

There is an announcement at Four Years. Go. about Next Culture Research and Training Center's Paradigm Labs. Here's the link:


After Expand The Box this weekend, we're off to France for a couple weeks, first a seminar with Lee Lozowick, and then to help my daughter build a hay barn! Back to blogging late July.

All the best,

Monday, June 28, 2010

blog006 Grow Up Or Die, But How?

27 June 2010

Carolyn Baker, an astute alternative-news analyst, and author of Sacred Demise: Walking the Spiritual Path of Industrial Civilization's Collapse, recently emailed that she published a commentary on my new book. A few days later I clicked back to her website and got the ominous error message: "Website Expired."

A chill went down my spine.
"What?" my mind asked blankly.
I was stunned.
I quickly wrote Carolyn an email to ask what was happening and if I could do anything to support her. My email bounced back to me, unreceived.
The panic of powerlessness grew. I wrote to a couple of her friends who might know what was going on.... nothing.

A day passed. Two more. Then Carolyn sent an email. Whew!!... It turned out she was switching servers - a process that can take longer than instantaneous. The "expired" message came from chasing her website into internet Bardo zones. "Thank God she is okay," was all I thought. I found myself with tears of relief.

Sacred Demise: Walking the Spiritual Path of Industrial Civilization's CollapseSince then the incident reverberates in my system. "What was actually scaring me?"

So far I have two possibilities.

1. Shock. Since I only know Carolyn (and many others) through internet connections I do not know what is going on in her or their daily lives. If I knew Carolyn personally I would also be more aware of her state of health and well being. Now I only know her as an amazing writer. When Juan Santos, another such internet friend, suddenly died in January 2009, I had a similar shock. I was not prepared for Juan to disappear from my life so suddenly. We still had important things to talk about. Same with Carolyn.

2. The Front Lines. The other possibility is this: What if she had died? What's my fear about then? I think it must be fear of getting closer to the front lines. There is a war going on between conscious evolution and business-as-usual. It is an internal war that involves practicing with discipline, paying attention to your attention, growing the matrix that holds consciousness, and taking strong clear actions that are consistent with what is actually needed. Certain people are on the front lines taking such actions. To some degree I am hoping these other people are handling it themselves. But what if so many frontliners have already died that it is already my turn? What if the front lines are at my front door? Then in this moment, these very words are the front lines and you are there with me.

(Some of Carolyn's links are still inactive, so I reproduce her blog in its entirety below. At the end I add a few live links both to Carolyn's blog, and to the Beware the Psychopath, My Son article she refers to.)

GROW UP OR DIE, BUT HOW? By Carolyn Baker
Wednesday, 16 June 2010

A commentary on Clinton Callahan's Directing The Power of Conscious Feelings

In May 2008 I was approached by psychotherapist, Clinton Callahan, offering me an article entitled "Beware of The Psychopath, My Son" which asserts that people in places of power in the systems of empire are often devoid of conscience and therefore have participated in setting industrial civilization on a self-destructive course that cannot be altered by rational dialog or appeals to altruism within those individuals. Callahan's thesis brilliantly illumines the aberrant behavior of politicians and corporate CEO's, offering a perspective that makes sense of their anti-social and anti-ecosystem behavior.

More recently, Callahan has published Directing The Power of Conscious Feelings: Living Your Own Truth (Hohm Press, 2010) This book is nothing less than an encyclopedia of emotional healing, offering a "biblio-boot camp" of preparation for the collapse of industrial civilization and the Next Culture that might emerge from it. I highly recommend the book, and although I have not experienced any Next Culture trainings, they appear to complement all that I have written and taught about the inner transition necessary for navigating the coming chaos.

In recent years, writers such as myself and Daniel Quinn, Derrick Jensen, Richard Heinberg, Michael Meade, Malidoma Some, Joanna Macy, and others have written extensively about the infantalization of the citizens of empire and have suggested that rites of passage or an initiatory process is needed in order for us to become responsible adults who accept and live within the limits of our planet. Callahan adds:

Modern culture is a child level responsibility culture, far below adult level. Modern society does not require that a person grow up prior to being given (or allowed to take) positions of responsibility...Our society makes messes without having consciousness of, or taking responsibility for, the consequences of those messes.

The example Callahan gives is the corporate practice of "externalizing costs", but a more timely and poignant example is quite simply, the worst manmade environmental disaster in the history of the United States, created by the BP Corporation, now turning the Gulf of Mexico into a giant dead zone - an event which will soon have unfathomable ramifications globally. In a child's world, there are no worries about cleaning up messes. Caretakers (governments and taxpayers) exist in order to provide the child everything it wants and needs, and if messes are made in the process, then it is the caretaker's job to clean them up.

Yet few who have addressed infantalization have offered a specific path for the journey from it to adulthood. While Callahan has no formula for this, he asserts that the principal rite of passage from emotional immaturity to maturity is the capacity to consciously, constructively work with one's feelings, directing the power of feelings in service of the entire earth community. In Directing The Power of Conscious Feelings, he validates what most of us have felt all of our lives regarding our feelings in relation to modern culture, namely that none of them are acceptable.

Many of us have experienced that feeling sadness, fear, or anger in this culture is threatening to others, so we keep those feelings in check, preferring to share them only with trusted others. Yet even joy in the culture of empire is unacceptable.

Recently, I was speaking with a friend who had just returned from a visit with her son who is in his late-twenties and works as an executive with a major transnational corporation. My friend has done a great deal of work on feelings and appropriately expressing them. In a conversation with her son, she verbally expressed her sadness about something in her life, and he responded with, "Could we not have any drama today?" The next day she mentioned feeling angry about something that had nothing to do with her son, at which point, he said, "You know, I'm really tired of your drama."

I share this story because as Callahan clearly demonstrates, the ideal in the culture of empire is a state of numbness. No feelings--sorrow, fear, anger, and even joy, are acceptable. People are esteemed for abiding in a state of numbness which is defined as sane, stable, and even-tempered. While following the recent oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, there was a public outcry for President Obama to become outraged regarding the devastation BP had created, but the ideal perpetuated by political pundits and advisors was for Obama to remain "cool-headed". They and the President knew that any passionate display of any emotion would result in a decrease in popularity and a perception of him as "irrational." The desired and only acceptable state in the culture of empire is numbness, and any variation from it is frequently perceived as "drama."

Curiously, Callahan talks about drama in the book but uses the term "low drama" to describe any action that is designed to avoid responsibility. Actions like this are legion, but we could say that any time we avoid feeling our feelings, we are engaging in low drama because the abdication of responsibility begins with numbness.

The author inspires us with the term "next culture", also the name of his website, and gives us a glimpse of what that culture might look like in terms of how people relate to their feelings and to each other. He uses the term "archearchy" to describe a culture that is not dominated by the masculine principle or the feminine, but by both. As he says, it is "a new and truly sustainable culture, oriented more toward being present and being with, and less toward consuming, owning, having, going, and doing."

Directing The Power of Conscious Feelings is filled with diagrams, charts, illustrative photos, and "maps" which make the book remarkably reader-friendly and beautifully clarify the author's concepts in no-nonsense fashion. My favorite is a map comparing the attributes of modern culture and the next culture which contrasts the essential mottos of both cultures and leaves us with: "Human cultures are so immature. Can you grow up?"

By the time the reader reaches this point in the book he/she will have been given a treasure-trove of tools for boarding the ship of feelings and steering it in the direction of a new culture that cannot be realized without conscious emotional, and I would add, spiritual, preparation. I believe that these tools constitute a profound rite of passage for non-indigenous people and provide a structure for psychospiritual maturation.

The work Callahan offers us doesn't look easy, but it does look amazingly rewarding. The time to begin that work is not when we are in the throes of the collapse of life as we have known it, but now, as we create all manner of lifeboats for navigating inner, as well as outer transition.

Clinton Callahan may be contacted at the Next Culture Research and Training Center at: clinton@nextculture.org .

Last Updated by Carolyn Baker (Wednesday, 16 June 2010)


Working links:

Grow Up Or Die, But How? by Carolyn Baker




Beware the Psychopath, My Son by Clinton Callahan



blog005 Keeping Things Ordinary: Technique 38

22 June 2010

Here's a recent email I received from a friend:
Hello Clinton,
Radiant Joy Brilliant Love: Secrets for Creating an Extraordinary Life and Profound Intimacy With Your PartnerA few weeks ago I heard a talk about the drama triangle. That reminded me of your book Radiant Joy Brilliant Love (German: Wahre Liebe im Alltag) and its 122 hints for how to keep living “a normal life”. Since then, D and I read through the 122 techniques every week together.

Last week a question came up. Could you please give us some more details about no. 38?

What do you mean by: go to spaces to talk about “love,beauty and grace"?

And what could we actually talk about?

Thank you and have good day!


Here is what I wrote back:

Dear C,
What a nice surprise to hear from you, sir! And how inspiring that you and D are working through the "122 Things" together!!! Examining the ways we avoid intimacy is what Lee Lozowick means when he sings "digging through the mud to get to the sky!" in the song Philosophize, from his L'Ange Brisé ("broken angel") CD album.

Technique 38 says:
Without making it obvious, distract your partner and yourself from entering the spaces where it would be possible to speak together about love or beauty or grace.

Remember, this is a technique for keeping everything ordinary in your relationship. (Ordinary means: low drama, defending your comfort zone, staying numb, or using your relationship for Gremlin feeding frenzies.)

It is indeed a subtle technique, but also powerful, and quite difficult to catch yourself doing it. That is why it is so important to keep lowering your numbness bar (explained in Directing the Power of Conscious Feelings, German: Die Kraft des Bewussten Fühlens).

With a lowered numbness bar you can feel feelings of very low intensity, such as 3% fear (enough to wake up and avoid danger), 6% sadness (enough to reach out and connect), 5% anger (enough to make a boundary), and 2% joy (enough to have a very good time right now).

The feeling behind technique 38 is, of course, fear - fear of intimacy. It can help to remember from the New Map of Feelings (also in the book) that fear is neutral, not bad. In true intimacy there is always at least some fear. This is what makes intimacy intimate - you let a person inside your defense strategy where you are being simply and vulnerably yourself. Your alertness, and care, and tenderness are made more intellingent by feeling your adult fear, which in intimate situations is often experienced as excitement about new possibilities, even with old friends!

If it is not okay for you to be afraid then you will avoid intimacy of any sort: physical, intellectual, emotional, or energetic (spiritual). Intimacy is not possible for you until you rewire fear in your mind. (Specifically explained in Directing the Power of Conscious Feelings).

Technique 38 works like this: In the moment when you could speak about love or beauty or grace, change the subject, destroy the mood, or make a distraction. It is then easy for your Gremlin to switch the topic of the conversation to a low drama or something logistical. (Remember: relationship is not about logistics. Relationship is ongoing actions of nonlinear creating. Handle the logistics in a minimum amount of time so that the rest of the time you can be in love!)

As soon as you change the topic, pretend you do not know that you changed the topic! Cover your tracks, so to speak. Leave the space of love and beauty and grace as soon as you see it coming and pretend like it does not exist to talk about. This is technique 38 for keeping your relationship ordinary.

If you decide to stop doing Technique 38 then here are some ideas for how it could go:
Create an experience in your partner of being appreciated. You do this by generating specific true appreciation for her in ongoing moments. Talking is not only with words. Talking can communicate through gesture, attention, posture, attitude, insinuation, etc.

There are a zillion ways to say "I love you" in forms beyond words. For example, how you hold the chair for your woman to sit in, what pattern you make when you pour coffee into her latte machiatto, or the delicate and sensual ways you hand her the phone when someone calls for her.

There are a zillion ways to appreciate her beauty, for example by spending moments just enjoying how she moves her hands while combing her hair, or the angle of her head, or the way she inspects lettuces at the vegetable market.

There are a zillion ways to appreciate the grace of the moment that you have together, listening not only to what she says with her words but to the tone of her voice, the dreams behind her words, what archetypal lineage she is representing in her actions. So it is not just a discussion of words with the mouth but also words of the heart, the body and the being.

Have fun experimenting with other possibilities! And thanks for the question!

All the best to you two!
love, Clinton

blog004 Ten Thousand Years of Patriarchal Pain

21 June 2010

Last weekend we led a Possibility Lab, our three-day deep-healing and personal-transformation training. (Pre-requisite is Expand The Box training - see http://www.nextculture.org/).

The training began Friday morning with 22 participants in a converted farm house 90 Km north east of Munich. After a day and a half one couple left - said they were maxed out with learning. The rest stayed for the long haul. And it was long.

Saturday night we entered the Archetypal Man Woman communication process. The eleven men, after practicing a specific form of listening (how to be killed and not die) silently entered the room and stood facing the row of nine women, already trained in conscious feelings and speaking from their heart.

As the men listened attentively and vulnerably from the opposite side of the room, the women began to speak. They spoke the pain of ten-thousand years of unheard pain of women and children living in the patriarchy.

They spoke for women of all lands and all times whose children starved or were sent to fight the men's wars. They spoke of rape and abuse, slavery and disrespect, unconscionable wars and pollution, and suffering under adolescent, greedy, shortsighted, corrupt male leadership.

The women spoke long (nearly 3 hours) and loud, with full expression of anger, fear and sadness.

Their grief over losing so much potential for living in love was almost unbearable.

We men repeated back what we had heard the women say. The women said again what we had not heard. In this communication a piece of the global heart of humanity was healed.

The pain was redeemed through being consciously experienced and expressed. This numbness of Man was brought back to life through authentic adult listening to Woman. We experienced the value of reconciliation.

I wish every man on Earth had the chance to hear and feel what I heard and felt this weekend.

blog003 Four Years. Go.

2 February 2010

I feel glad. Why?
1. Peak oil.
2. Global warming.
3. Exponential population growth.
4. The sixth great extinction.
5. Seas are dying.
6. Loss of topsoil.
7. Desertification of farmlands.
8. Rapidly sinking water tables.
9. The USA is dragging the world into resource wars.
10. Copenhagen climate talks failed.
The present regime has created the perfect storm...

And I feel glad?

Yes. (Every now and then a person is allowed to go a bit over the top, wouldn't you say?)

For me, that time would be now.

The perfect storm is already upon us.

What we ordinary people need is the perfect umbrella.

And now we have it.

It is called Four Years. Go. http://www.fouryearsgo.org/

It is not a new organization. It is a new strategy for every organization.

If a massive global campaign was being launched by the largest ad agency in the world for the purpose of creating a worldwide surge of energy, enthusiasm and action to shift humanity to a sustainable, just and fulfilling world – would you want to be a part of it?

Consider yourself invited!

I mean, if we don't get it together and do this ourselves, who will?

It's time to save our own asses!

The website officially opened 14 February 2010.
Still, you are hearing this news before the rest of the world - but the rest of the world will hear it - as loudly as they heard Just Do It! because the same ad agency (Wieden & Kennedy) is 100% behind Four Years. Go. and for free! I mean, if there is no civilization left how can you advertise? May as well help the world shift to sustainable culture before it gets nearly impossible.

Four Years. Go. is a rapidly expanding open-sourced global meshwork of intelligent and mature activists taking radical responsibility for humanity’s great shift to sustainability. It is an umbrella platform with unbiased and formidable emergence leadership connecting and amplifying everybody's efforts.

You hold a piece of the puzzle. That piece is needed by many others. At the same time there are many who wish to support your efforts. Four Years. Go. is our chance to all pull in the same direction. Together we can take humanity into a different story.

Here's who is on the team so far: Earth Action, Shaping Tomorrow, State of the World Forum, The Pachamama Alliance, WiserEarth, Generation Waking Up, Global Community Africa, Global Village Commons, Rainforest Action Network, Amazon Watch, Next Culture Research & Training Center, plus 800 others and rapidly growing. Please help.

I wanted to tell you about this now so you could start informing your people and begin getting involved if you want. At the bottom of the Four Years. Go. website are links for details of how to collaborate.

My opinion is this:
Men are from Earth. Women are from Earth. Let's deal with it. We have four years before Earth’s tipping points become irreversible. Four years is enough time to connect and learn. Enough time to change your values. Enough time to take radically new actions. Four years is the time we have to save our asses.

You want to sit around and bemoan your ills? You want to blame somebody else? You want to negotiate so you have an economic advantage? Forget it. That is the strategy that produced the perfect storm.

This is one planet. And TANSTAAFL! There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

Under the auspices of the global community we are taking action. Here is what you can do:

If you are an individual:
1. Go to http://www.fouryearsgo.org/ and register your intentions.

2. Invite your colleagues to connect in too. You can invite them by sending them a link to this blog or by copying a more formal invitation letter from the Four Years. Go. Wiki.

3. Contact all the organizations that you like and ask them to collaborate too.

4. On the Four Years. Go. website register bold sustainability actions that you promise to make, and then do whatever it takes to keep your promises.

5. Put the Four Years. Go. widget on your website.

If you are an organization:
1. Meet with your decision-making body and present the opportunity of Four Years Go. to them. Ask them to adopt the goals of Four Years. Go. and to put the Four Years. Go. widget on your website.

2. If your suggestion is approved, go to http://www.fouryearsgo.org/ and register the intentions of your organization.

3. Contact the organizers of other groups that you respect and invite them to do the same thing, or ask if you can present the opportunity to their decision making body.

4. Keep defining bold Four Year. Go. sustainability actions for your organization, and go online and register your commitments in public. Then do whatever it takes to keep your promises.

Our time has come. This is what we were born to do.
We have been trained as far as possible. Now it is time to collectively act. We have at most four years before tipping points become irreversible. I think this is maybe our only shot at a sustainable future. Let's take over responsiblity and do this.

It's the beginning of an entirely new chapter in human history. Four Years.

We have time to act but no time to waste. Go.