Change Agents

Well.org – The Prosperity Movie/Roadmap

Well.org is a project of Pedram Shojai (an “Urban Monk” by his own telling) which started addressing the problems in our medical/health systems and has broadened into an amazing project addressing the economic systems of our times.

Pedram has created a new movie called “Prosperity” and it so very inspiring and stimulating to creativity to watch it. It got me all revved up, motivated and excited because it profiles a lot of GREAT projects that are happening in the world that I didn’t know anything about!  Now I need to get busy and put them all up on this directory.  There is so much good happening out there!

This particular movie is about how economics can be sacred…  can be an expression of our highest consciousness. We can support with our earning, our spending and our investing, the good works in the world – the businesses, banks, projects that are creating the new earth right now in our midst.  No longer do we have to give our money to those businesses that are harming our environment or putting profits over the well being of their employees. This is such good news.

Charles Eisenstein – It’s About The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible

From Charles:
I will give you some of my background, although the intense transitions of the last few years have left me feeling like a new person. Hmm, I wrote that sentence two years ago, and it is still true today. I was born in 1967 and was a very sensitive, intellectual and dreamy child. I was always consumed by questions like, “Where did I come from?””Why am I here?” “Where am I going?” so of course, embedded as I was in a culture that sees science and reason as the source of truth, I tried to “figure out” the answers. I graduated from Yale University with a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy, but my development of reason and intellect brought me no closer to any truth I really cared about.

I didn’t know what I was searching for, but I knew that none of the usual options life presents a Yale graduate attracted me. I went to Taiwan, learned Chinese, and soon found myself working as a translator. I spent most of my 20s there, educating myself broadly (though not at all rigorously – it was more through osmosis) in Eastern spiritual traditions. I also read voraciously: books on health, nutrition, globalization, physics, and biology. Translation led to other business opportunities, and I became familiar with this dimension of the human experience. In Taiwan, I met my dear friend and ex-wife Patsy, with whom I have three children, all boys.

In my late 20s I entered what was to be a long period of intensifying crisis. It started when all my professional work became intolerable. It became excruciating to do work I didn’t care about. Even though a million reasons told me why it was irresponsible, impractical, and foolish to quit, I eventually could not make myself do it anymore. An irrepressible feeling, “I am not here to be doing this!” took control of my life. So I entered a long period of searching. I spent time teaching yoga, learning about herbs, and teaching at Penn State’s department of Science, Technology, and Society. All of these endeavors have contributed to my present and future, but none were really me.

The next five years were much like a birthing process. The old world dissolved, and the contractions birthing me into the new took the form of a collapse of all that I once held onto. Crises in health, marriage, and money forced me to let go of a “life under control.” In my helplessness, I accepted help, discovering a generous universe that has always met my needs, somehow, in unexpected ways. I have never made much money, but I have become rich in connections to other people. Friends and strangers from all over the world write to tell me how my books have affected them; they sustain my faith and nourish my passion for my work.

In addition to writing books and essays, I have been doing a tremendous amount of public speaking. Sometimes, especially when I am tired from traveling, I wonder if the world needs yet another man performing “speaker up in front of an audience.” Why not stay at home and use technology? But I find that something happens in person that is irreplaceable. For one thing, at live events I can see the expressions on people’s faces, and I respond to that in real-time, engaging in a sort of dialog. Secondly, my speaking is not just about conveying ideas. Something else rides the vehicle of the words, even if the topic is something mundane like steady-state economics. I sometimes describe my experience as a speaker as being plugged into a field that is not my creation, but is generated by the audience and by something beyond the audience. Besides, I find that my thinking stagnates and my heart atrophies when I am in front of my computer too much. I need to interact with real people, face to face. That’s why I travel and speak.

On the other hand, I am increasingly drawn to developing the non-verbal, embodied gifts that I’ve neglected. Like many people, I have a feeling that there is a Next Step about to happen, in my work and beyond. I don’t know what it is, but I do know its revelation will come through transforming experiences that reveal and heal things I was blind to. My work, my play, my family, my deep soul connections, my wholeness, my wounds… all of these are bound up together, evolving as one.

I am now remarried as of 2011 and have a baby, my fourth son, Cary, with my wife Stella. Besides mothering, Stella practices Chinese Medicine and other healing modalities. The two teenagers, Jimi and Matthew live with us too; the 9-year-old Philip only sometimes. My favorite moments are watching Jimi and Matthew play “pass the baby” with Cary, who thinks it is the funnest game in the world. Of course we have our challenges and I have occasional moments of seeing my whole life as a father as a collision-course of errors, but overall I feel extremely lucky to have such amazing, sensitive, talented, kind children.

Lately people sometimes treat me like a celebrity, which makes me feel uncomfortable, because I know I am just me. On the other hand, it has become impossible to answer every email and say yes to every offer to interact. I have to turn down most offers to speak, travel, write blurbs for books, and so on. Also the attention focused on me can get overwhelming. I understand why real celebrities need to insulate themselves. Even receiving appreciation can be too much to handle sometimes, although it has sustained me too through periods of setbacks and doubt. I do my best to stay accessible and answer as many contacts as possible.

I can’t really tell you my plans for the future; it all depends on what is revealed to me in the next phase of my personal exploration. Besides, the world is approaching a state of flux that could easily render most plans irrelevant. I will continue writing and speaking for at least another year or two. My main interest now is in exploring the boundaries of what is “possible” according to our received beliefs, received habits, received technologies, and received ways of knowing. For humanity to take that Next Step, we are going to have to violate what is politically practical, socially practical, and even technologically practical. The same holds on the personal and relational level. I have caught glimpses of the impossible in all these realms and I am excited about what lies ahead.

Subtle Activism & the Gaiafield Project

The Gaiafield Project promotes the study and practice of subtle activism, which affirms the power of consciousness-based approaches like global meditation and prayer events to support social and planetary transformation. The Gaiafield Project develops subtle activism principles, practices, and programs, builds connections between leaders in the field, and co-creates a global network of subtle activists to support a shift to a global culture of peace.

“Subtle activism is an umbrella term that describes a wide variety of spiritual or consciousness-based practices intended to support collective transformation.”
David Nicol, from his “Subtle Activism: The Inner Dimension of Social and Planetary Transformation” book.

Another quote I liked from David’s blog in February 2017:

A Way Forward through Chaotic Times

A Way Forward through Chaotic Times   David  T.  Nicol, February  2017

One  of  the  characteristics  of  our  strange  new  post-­‐US  election  world  is  that  things  are  in  such  flux  it  is  difficult  to  orient  ourselves  to  the  new  environment  and  know  what  actions  to  take.  It  is  as  though  a  bomb  has  blown  open  a  gaping  hole  in  the  established  structures  of  thought,  leaving  most  of  us  scrambling  to  make  sense  of  our  new  reality.

We  are  being  required  to  re-­‐ evaluate  our  most  fundamental  assumptions  about  how  things  are  and  where  we  thought  we  were  going.       In  this  psychic  maelstrom  there  are  real  dangers.  We  can  hear  in  our  times  the  echoes  of  previous  traumatic  episodes  of  history,  and  many  of  us  are  working  hard  to  assess  whether  or  not  our  situation  will  likely  unfold  in  similar  fashion.

However,  this  opening  also  creates  an  unprecedented  space  for  the  influx  into  society  of  radically  creative  ideas  and  energies.  Thus  we  also  have  an  opportunity  to  make  rapid,  non-­‐linear  progress  in  our  collective  evolution.       Much  of  my  work  over  the  past  ten  years  has  involved  tuning  into  and  working  with  collective  fields  of  consciousness.

What  I  sense  emerging  on  a  deep  level  in  the  collective  right  now  are  new  energies  of  unprecedented  creative  power.  It  is  as  though  there  is  virtually  unlimited  support  for  completely  fresh  ideas  and  directions,  whereas  old,  habitual  arrangements  seem  by  comparison  almost  lifeless.  We  are  all  up-­‐leveling  to  a  fundamentally  new  world  and  are  being  asked  to  discover  our  new  shape  in  this  emerging  reality.

The  sense  is  that  creative  evolutionary  forces  are  vigorously  engaged  in  a  process  of  absorbing,  metabolizing,  and  re-­‐calibrating  to  the  shock  of  the  disruption.  The  depth  of  the  blow  will  in  due  course  catalyze  creative  responses  of  equal  and  opposite  magnitude.

But  these  responses  will  not  arise  from  the  same  states  of  consciousness  we  currently  identify  with.  In  grappling   with  the  crisis,  we  ourselves  will  undergo  a  fundamental  transformation.  We  are  all  being  called   to  a  higher  level  of  integration,  individually  and  collectively.

The  light  of  awareness  is  strongly  illuminating  the  shadow  right  now,  at  both  personal  and  collective  levels.  It  is  an  opportune  time  to  look  unflinchingly,  but  with  great  compassion,  at  our  own  places  of  personal  weakness  and  egoic  resistance.  Where  do  we  drag  our  feet  in  our  process  of  becoming  awake  and  whole?  What  dysfunctional  patterns  of  behavior  and  thought  do  we  tend  to  indulge,  even  after  years  of  inner  work?  What  places  do  we  feel  deep  down  are   ‘impossible’  to  shift?  Where  do  we  stubbornly  hold  onto  our  defensive  structures,  although  on  some  level  we  know  better?  Just  holding  these  questions  sincerely  can  invite  a  more  pristine  awareness  into  even  these  extremely  challenging  parts  of  our  psyches.

In  this  process,  it  is  crucial  to  understand  that  we  are  not  doing  it  alone,  nor  are  we  doing  it  just  for  our  own  benefit.  The  crisis  into  which  we  have  been  thrown  has  made  it  clear  that  we  are  linked  together  in  an  epic  evolutionary  drama,  and  we  all  need  to  do  our  part.  As  we  heal  and  integrate  the  places  of  deepest  resistance  in  our  own  psyches,  we  contribute  to  the  development  of  a  collective  psychic  capacity  to  integrate  the  most  fearful  and  defended  aspects  of  our  society.

To  accomplish  this  inner  work  may  require  a  certain  level  of  individual  courage,  but  it  is  not  occurring  in  isolation.  We  are  rising  in  awareness  together,  and  we  can  all  help  each  other  lean  into  the  hard  places.  Much  of  the  work  involves  simply  having  the  humility  to  acknowledge  that  we,  like  everyone  else,  have  our  shortcomings,  and  then  allowing  ourselves  to  receive  the  support  of  our  fellow  travelers  and  the  heightened  energies  of  transformation  available  right  now.

The  threat  of  losing  that  which  we  hold  precious  about  human  civilization  and  life  on  Earth  is  indeed  precipitating  a  collective  awakening  in  human  consciousness.  Our  shared  sense  of  vulnerability  is  bringing  a  greater  poignancy  and  immediacy  to  all  our  connections.  There  is  a  widespread  sincerity  to  ask  real  questions  and  a  willingness  to  go  to  a  deeper  level.  These  conditions  can  lead  to  the  emergence  of  something  truly  remarkable  in  collective  human  awareness,  even  while  we  face  grave  dangers.