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: .

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

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.

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 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 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.

blog002 The New Me, The New You

23 December 2009

Since my last blog on Tuesday, 15 September 2009, a lot has happened to me. To you too, I imagine?

One thing is that I had a 2-day coaching with 4 top financial consultants in Hamburg.

It radically clarified my purpose and reinvented my self-image.

It caused me to re-rename this blog, move all my previous blogs here, shut down the previous blog site and start rewriting the Just Stop / Arkbuilder website to match its new name

I highly recommend such a coaching process. The 4 men did fantastic with me, and I am no easy fish.

To ask about it for yourself write to one of these guys:
Axel Stiehler
Tino Seebach
Rafael Knuth
Johannes Sass

Here is what I am: I am a bridge.

I am a bridge for people to get to sustainable culture.

Given the failure of the Copenhagen talks to create a fair, ambitious and binding international treaty to decrease greenhouse gases to below 350 parts per million (Why does 350 matter? Visit to learn about Bill McKibben's fabulous global team building work), we are left with making this global shift ourselves, or suffering the dire consequences. I don't think creating a bright future for the well-being of humanity was ever on the COP15 agenda anyway...

This inspired me to write SPARK #114 (Specific Practical Applications of Radical Knowledge) . The distinction in that SPARK is: Politicians are not your leaders. It was sent out today. If you did not receive one just write to Sonia Willaredt ( and she will get it to you.

Welcome to the new me.
Interesting times ahead.
Who is the new you?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

blog001 Directing the Power of Conscious Feelings

15 September 2009

I consider whoever reads this blog (meaning you) to be a facilitator of the shift to next culture – or you would not be reading it. As a facilitator of the shift to next culture you are a friend of mine. Whether social entrepreneur or employed by the corporate government, we all start where we are.

Reading is a proven way to weave understanding for holding more consciousness. Each new distinction that you understand widens the territory in which you can think for yourself. This blog only works for me if it contributes to your self-empowered thinking.

Distinctions create clarity. New clarity adds to what is thinkable. By adding to what it thinkable you expand the next culture movement.

I just returned from two weeks at El Cabrito on La Gomera a semi-tropical paradise in the Canary Islands off the north-west coast of Africa. It was paradise in a greater sense than just mango heaven, which it also indisputably was …

…it was paradise in the sense that Marion and I invited anyone who had been to Expand The Box training plus at least one Possibility Lab to come along with us to experiment in the context of next culture.

All told, six others came. After unpacking and taking a swim (where I saw octopus, cuttle fish, flounder and giant sea urchins) we wrote a flyer inviting other El Cabrito guests to investigate interesting life questions with us in a space we spontaneously named: The Dome. From the second day on about eight of us met every evening from 8:00 to 10:00 pm, often with additional morning and/or afternoon sessions.

We had improv theater, global and organizational constellations, resentment clearing in relationship, saying goodbye to people who died before you had a chance to say goodbye to them, getting balls back from childhood abusers, separating mixed fear and sadness feelings, sighting two moons of Jupiter through a telescope, and a wild dancing night. We also designed strategies for the next culture movement. The plan is to bring as many people as possible as quickly as we can into next culture. I think it will work.

On the morning just before we departed Munich for La Gomera, Marion emailed the final German draft corrections for my next book: Directing the Power of Conscious Feelings to Tilman Neubronner of Genius Verlag who published the book in Germany as Die Kraft des bewussten Fühlens. Delivering the finalized manuscript was the climax of a tidal-wave of work. If you can’t read German and can’t wait til spring I recommend Radiant Joy Brilliant Love, also available online through It explains what archearchy is.

Directing The Power of Conscious Feelings: Living Your Own TruthCompleting Directing The Power of Conscious Feelings does not mean I’ve stopped writing. I’m a writer. Writers write as relentlessly as sharks swim and bats fly. Actually I was in the middle of writing another book when the inspiration came for DPCF. Now I can get back to writing Next Culture. It needs to come out soon, so I am hoping this open blog dialog with you will speed up the process. I look forward to your ideas, experiences, and further questions.