For future stories to be told we have to make it that far, and to get there we need an all-round shift to Conscious Living.
So what does it mean to be living consciously?
We are 'living' of course, but are we 'conscious', awake and aware? Do we have the courage to live the way that awareness prompts?
..... And do we really have to bother?
To answer that last question I'll quote Jenny Andersson, founder of We Activate the Future; “We have 60 years left in our soils, 3 out of 9 planetary boundaries breached, oceans full of plastic, mental health challenges rising, governments retrenching in populism, climate turbulence accelerating and 40 million displaced refugees in the world”
So it's as clear as day; there is nothing more important than each of us learning to live consciously and turning our awareness into action.
So why are we not all jumping into action, donning our cat suits and pulling up our sleeves?
It is normal to feel demoralised when faced with such a huge mountain of difficulty and obstruction, but there are paths and even short cuts that we can discover to get to the other side of this mountain, indeed routes will appear to us when we utilise our imaginations and our creativity.
Let’s imagine the future, 100 years from now when our great-great-grandchildren are wandering around.
What process must we have gone through to create a world that they can thrive in?
How will they see the difficulties of this age and how will they talk of our endeavours today?
Let’s take a look at a story they might be told about us and about how we managed our way over that mountain.
The Great Transition
The Story of Circa 2018
In the Beginning
Back in the day when polar bears had a tiny bit of ice left to stand on, rhinoceros, elephants, and lions roamed the threatened plains, gorillas and orangutan inhabited the remaining forests, bugs and birds flew the toxic skies and the blue whale swam our polluted oceans the planet was still bountiful, but our people had forgotten how precious and amazing Gaia is.*1 They still saw our planet and nature as separate from themselves and were still blind to the interbeing of everything.*2
Many things were going wrong and the people were confused about the source of the problems and how to solve them.
Then they discovered that they were being lied to; and that it had been going on for centuries! The control of knowledge and the manufacture of propaganda had always been used to oppress people, but despite the speed that information was able to travel globally most of it turned out to be mis-information. As a horrible example of what they called their Post Truth era It was proven that a particularly prominent president had lied thousands of times in just a year! It got to the point where the conscientious were so confused by the conflicting news and by the bias in science and industry they didn’t even know whether to use a plastic, a paper or a cloth bag to do their shopping!*3
To make matters worse the world was blighted with extreme inequality. While a handful hoarded as much wealth as half of the rest of the world’s population, millions literally starved to death in squalor. The people’s minds were purposely filled with tales of scarcity.*4
They had been convinced that there was not enough to go around, and that they had to compete and struggle through life. But this wasn’t true! The resources of the world were plentiful and abundant when they were handled in a nurturing and regenerative way.*5
Just like the gladiators of Ancient Rome the people of the year 2018 were pitted against each other in the arena called Consumerism!*6
Back then everyone believed that humans were naturally competitive and they had forgotten that we have always had the natural trait to collaborate. We know now that it is this trait which ensured our survival.
In those days many were distracted by their daily lives and by the dominant culture which resulted in behavioural patterns that were beyond weird, in fact diabolical! They allowed Gaia to reach the brink of destruction by continuing with the use of fossil fuels and other non-renewable natural resources. Instead of becoming active about their worldwide issues they fought polarized battles to the detriment of many and the benefit of very few. They ignored the anguish of other humans suffering and the horror of species' becoming extinct daily while the majority amused themselves with their screens for hours, doing such inane things as drinking and eating from so called ‘disposable’ packaging that couldn't actually be disposed of whilst wearing garments that shed micro plastic into their rivers. They ate so called food that was bad for their health while the manufacturers wreaked havoc on the ecosystem burning down whole forests to make junk food, snacks and shampoo and such. Even the films from Hollywood in those days told a kind of story that kept them passive and waiting for a cape clad hero to come and save them, but as we know…. that hero never came.
There were different kinds of heroes though. Ordinary people who put their hearts into their actions, people who could see the connections. Organizations that had previously failed to protect humanity and the planet started to find ways to do better. For instance, the United Nations collaborated with 7 million people from all over the world to create Sustainable Development Goals. These Goals represented a global understanding of the necessity to create solutions that engage everyone and for the wellbeing of the whole. This was one of the first Top Down actions from the big organizations and world leaders and it gave hope. People began to remember that they too were a part of nature, just like grass, soft and gentle under foot, yet they too had roots that connect and give humankind a superpower of collaborative strength. A multitude of grass roots movements started to create impact.
Collaboration & Connection
In a world where money had come to mean power there were crowds and individuals proving that Power actually belongs to the People! They realised that when something matters to them, when they put their hearts into it, what ever that thing was it would flourish.
Initially connections were tentative and individual, it wasn't easy to break the pattern of systematic separation in a hurry, but after people discovered that they had all the tools they needed residing within themselves they made quick progress.
In their own minds they found the Curiosity to overcome the issues of misinformation and to be creative, in their hearts they found the Compassion to understand others and the needs of our planet and in their own hands lay the Courage to do what their hearts and minds prompted them to do.
The first steps were incremental but soon gained momentum as people found working together to be both rewarding and fun! Furthermore as climate breakdown took a grip the first of the Catastrophes occurred, crops failed and the people realised they needed to become more self sufficient, urban gardens sprung up and a return to the tending of the needs of Gaia became the priority. This simple act of nurturing the planet in return for our own sustenance reminded humanity of our interbeing and with this the Great Transition was born.
Since the people had learned to work together they saw the merit in each other and they realised the richness of the planet’s ecosystem. They discovered that beyond just creating a Sustainable world that their goal and their duty was to create a Regenerative one! A world that could heal, thrive and replenish itself and facilitate the happy continuation (not ending!) of human kind.
And this is how our history changed course and our New Story came to be.
To be Continued...
In Volume 2:
.....Collaboration bought communities together and regional resilience grew while people shared and assisted each other. City dwellers began to grow urban food gardens, they shared produce while others offered the services or resources they had available. Legislation facilitated change and grants were provided for renewable energy. Permaculture principles were adopted for land management and biodiversity protection.
The sense of community spread like a virus over the planet despite some powers trying to limit interaction and despite attempts to polarise, divide and rule. Stake and share holders grasped the concept of intergenerational equity while corporations quickly adapted to the will of the grass roots movements and altered their products. The new discerning consumer that had evolved in a sudden burst of increased awareness no longer bought whatever was marketed at them, they asked "Is this ethical.... does it come from a regenerative source?" No one had to search for the label of "Organic or Fair Trade" products anymore as every product had to be that way.
Many communities became self governing, odd countries first, then gradually all over the world national boundaries started to blur and the bioregional/cultural areas were the new maps that people took into account. The regenerative hubs shared their experiences freely in a worldwide web of free flowing knowledge.
Reconnected with each other and with Gaia humanity found themselves fulfilled and free to be creative with their time, they were also more able to work together to deal with the ravages Gaia had planned in retaliation for the neglect and the abuse she had suffered.......
Through this story we establish what our problems are, how they might possibly be overcome and also that the heroes of this story are not an external force. Our heroes are you and I… all of us!
We just have to put our minds and hearts to work and then decide, do we have the courage?
Our existence upon this planet is and always will be a great mystery and wonderment, even in our deepest state of awareness we are only capable of perceiving a fraction of what is around us. Despite this limited perception we can open our hearts to appreciate that though we are each just tiny specks within the universe and much of us is the nothingness between our atoms; these bodies, our hearts and our minds are utterly connected to everything and each other. We are all a part of the same biosphere. Just as the grass roots and the tree roots entwine with the ferns and the fungi sending messages through the earth and just as these root systems nurture each other, we too are connected and dependent on universal nurturance. The atoms that we expel with every breath and inhale with the next have travelled across the world through countless creatures, through the forests and valleys and the seas and skies, since the days our planet was formed connecting us all irrevocably through time and space and into infinity, each one of us a small and amazing manifestation of Interbeing.
Foot Notes for 'The Great Transition'
(Volume 1:The Story of Circa 2018)
*1 Gaia became the encompassing name that we gave our planet, the biosphere and all the living things upon it, but this name was only recognized by some scientists and others in 2018 (read about origins of the name Gaia)
*2 In 2118 "Interbeing" is a concept lived by all. Just as in 2018 we found ourselves advanced and superior to those in the past who thought our planet was flat, our people now find notions of being separate and aloof from nature, each other and our biosphere to be ignorant and ludicrous. We keep an open mind to an ever evolving knowledge, betterment and unity.
*3 Some students may wish to read further about the president mentioned in the story. His name was Trump and he is known as one of 'The Last of the Liars' and also for things such as rescinding the Paris Agreement (which was one of the earlier attempts at Ecocide Avoidance)
The people of 2018 were fooled by 'Green Washing' and other forms of deflection and distraction. For instance at that time there was an awful concept of selling coffee (with very dodgy ethics in terms of fair trade and sustainability etc) and in response to the 'anti straw' grass roots movement at the time the brand called Starbucks produced a new 'sippy' lid. However the amount of plastic increased while capacity to recycle did not, so it was a kind of non solution that was typical of that age.
*4 'Hoarding' is known to be a mental illness, the hoarding of wealth and property while millions starved and were homeless was worldwide sociopathy from which our species is still in the process of healing from. Here is a report of the inequality of the day.
*5 Scarcity vs Abundance mindset was a new concept 100 years ago in 2018.
*6 Just in case you are not aware how toxic consumerism was! And see here for how it damaged our planet. And here for benefits of 'becoming minimalist'.
*7 'Grass Roots movements' were a name given to things that happen from the bottom up, like when people cause effect upon legislation by having their voices heard. One example of how grass roots efforts turned things around was when Obama, (President of the USA 2009 -2017) was outspoken against gay marriage until the population got to work and shifted the polls. This resulted in gay marriage become legalised under the Obama administration.
Painting: Man and His Mountain.(JH)