The New Story
as Agents of
Fall 2017 vol 2, issue 3
Welcome to Turning Point! Our name echoes the widespread recognition that our planet, and our humanity, has arrived at a pivotal turning point in evolutionary history. At the center of which lies a summoning call to each of us: to nurture a vital presence that continuously regenerates our lives and enlivens the whole of life as well.
We invite you to imagine this journal as a forum for inspired conversation around how we might best envision and care for our world—and each article, simply a means to begin a conversation. Conversation that calls us to see beyond our own time yet act on behalf of the love that wants to live through us, now.
May we act in Beauty, act from Inspiration, act Together…
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
the falcon cannot hear the falconer;
things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
the ceremony of innocence is drowned;
the best lack all conviction, while the worst
are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand…
William Butler Yeats penned these lines in his poem, The Second Coming, nearly 100 hundred years ago in the aftermath of the First World War. His words resurface today as a disquieting commentary on our times, yet also as a reminder that every historical age faces what it experiences as unprecedented threats to its welfare and existence. The broad view of history suggests that each generation must claim the revelation at hand—even as we remember that we’re certainly not the first, nor will be the last, to be challenged by this calling.
It is well understood by visionaries of all times that our future is shaped from the story we host in the present. The story of what is failing in our world is regularly broadcast in our daily news—hourly reminders of what isn’t working, what needs to be fixed, and detailed reporting of efforts that fight against what is broken. What chance has innocence living under the influence of such story telling? Read more…
Let the New Story Begin
By Robert Koehler
Oh, sacred planet!
The crises humanity faces have been a long time in the making. Why are there 22,000 nuclear weapons on the planet, disappearing rainforests, oceans dying of plastic, a floating garbage dump in the Pacific the size of a small continent, 65 million refugees uprooted by war and looking for their lives?
What’s needed is change at the roots of civilization.
I feel a desperate impatience, a tearing at my soul. What can I do that’s bigger than anger, bigger than a demand for governmental and corporate entities to make changes they are essentially incapable of making? Read more…
Living the New Story of an Awakening World
by James O’Dea
The new story is the story of wholeness. It is the whole story of you, the whole story of me, the whole story of us all. It is the whole story of our abuse and painful learning in the process of evolving and the whole story of awakening consciousness of who it is we really are and how inseparable we are from the source of all creation. Once we understand this story, healing can begin and wisdom can flourish. Human rights abuse is always a denial of the truth of the whole story. A human rights activist of the future will also be a conscious activist who seeks to live and embody the whole story. The old story transmits wounds of elitism and separatism, and this leaves a lot of work for human rights activist to do. But our work is deeper than trying to fix things. We must now address root causes. That means we will have to uproot any mental conditioning that reinforces superiority and division.
The story of human becoming is unfolding as we probe the majesty of our home galaxy and peer into the teeming universe beyond. At the same time, life here on Earth converges around an accelerating conversation about our collective interdependence. We have developed an insatiable urge both to connect in networks and to express unique identities and individual potential. We are entering a phase of graphic learning that earth itself is a whole system, which, if sabotaged by crude self-interest, will create wave upon wave of damage to the entire web of life. Read more…
A Template for Miracles: Spontaneous Re-Missioning
by Steve Bhaerman
No matter how you look at it, these are extraordinary times where we seem to face crisis at every turn. Interestingly, the word “crisis” first came into the English language in a translation of Chauliac’s Grande Chirurgie (Major Surgery) and it meant “the turning point in a disease.”
Well, folks, the body politic – and indeed the biosphere – is one sick puppy. We are at a pivotal moment where things can take a turn for the worse, or the better. Looking at the magnitude of the crises, it becomes clear that—to paraphrase Einstein—these problems cannot be solved at the same level of thinking from which they were created. Inside-the-box economic fixes aren’t fixing anything, nor can technological fixes alone repair the excesses of technology.
Meanwhile, we have an intransigent system invested in remaining the same, doing everything it can do to keep people asleep – or roused up in anger against the wrong enemy. It really doesn’t look good for the home team. In fact, it looks more and more like the world needs a miracle. Read more…
An Expanding Identity
by Geoff Ainscow
“Where are you from?” It’s a question I’ve heard nearly every day for the last fifty years. The questioner, whose curiosity is piqued by my lingering accent, feels settled once they hear an answer because a location offers the mind a clue about who you are. Living in California and being born in England, I feel located somewhere in between. The realization that a person cannot eliminate their prior identity but only expand it led me to identify as a global citizen. And years of contemplating both my cultural origins and my ecological identity brought me to rest here: I’m from Earth, I am made of earth, I can’t live separate from Earth.
Yet, where did Earth come from? The Solar System was born 4.6 billion years ago from a vast cloud of gas and dust in the Milky Way Galaxy, the name we humans have given to this particular collection of billions of stars pulled together by gravity. Our solar system, centered around our star, the Sun, includes Earth along with our brother and sister planets, the asteroids, and comets, forming a unit rotating like a perfectly balanced wheel. All parts of the solar system are connected and dependent on each other to keep that balance. In light of this, my identity now expands into the solar system. Read more…
Is the evening news, celebrating the most shortsighted characters imaginable in modern history, getting you down? Then you may be a good candidate for a trial prescription of Deep Time. (Don’t ask your doctor.)
The Deep Time Walk is a ground-breaking project that addresses the mind boggling, yet deeply anxiety reducing, dimension of deep time by enabling anyone, anywhere, to experience a walking audio immersion into the history of the living Earth.
Take the walk of Your Life! Read more…
Making a New Cosmology Personal
by Karen Harwell
We need a common and compelling vision of the nature of the Universe and the role of the human within it. Such a new cosmology must be grounded in the best empirical, scientific understanding, and must be nourished just as deeply by the vibrant cores of our planet’s wisdom traditions. Only such a vision has a chance of awakening the deep psychic energies necessary to shape a new era of health, wellbeing, true prosperity.
Upon reading the above words years ago, I felt a strong resonance. And as I investigated both my relationship and my culture’s relationship with the Earth and Universe, I realized that what we’ve been taught about our membership and place within it all is sadly inadequate. We clearly need a new cosmology.
But how do we awaken that deep psychic energy needed to birth and shape a new cosmology? For me personally, the insights came initially through reading Thomas Berry’s Dream of the Earth and The Universe Story (written with Brian Swimme). Both these works held insights far different from the cultural teaching of my formal education, my religious upbringing, virtually everything culture taught me regarding the nature of reality. These insights were intuitively obvious to me in my childhood, and are gradually finding their way back into my adult life. From my work in the backyard garden to my work in opening to the diverse expression of my human relations, I do my best to see the big picture in all activities and relationships large and small. Read more…
Video by Nancy Margulies
A light-hearted view of our new-storied life through the lens of quantum physics, written, illustrated, and produced by CEN member Nancy Margulies. Nancy brings her unique creative spirit to a variety of social, psychological, and visionary initiatives.