Humpback Bubble Feeding Spiral

Humpback Bubble Feeding Spiral

Momentum of The Great Turning

photo on Wikimedia Commons- by Tarinth

photo on Wikimedia Commons- by Tarinth

Joanna Macy talks about The Great Turning, which is the transition from an “industrial growth society” to a “life-sustaining society.”   She says, “This is so HUGE a revolution, so huge a movement, that there are many ways of going about it.”  First, holding actions are ones that slow down the destructiveness of the industrial growth society.  But is that enough?  No, this shift is of such a magnitude that “holding actions” are simply not enough by themselves to create any kind of sustainable or lasting change.

In addition to the holding actions, there also needs to be work done in implementing “Gaian structures.”  This is the work to build and create the infrastructure of  life-sustaining societies.  New ways of people teaching each other new knowledge, new forms of education, incorporating new and ancient ways of growing and preserving food, finding new and ancient ways of knowing our place in the whole of things.

But these new structures will not be preserved unless they are deeply rooted in our values.  Our assumptions about reality, and how we relate to the world has to shift in order for these new systems to be of use to us.  Joanna Macy simply calls this the “shift in consciousness.”  Both ancient ways of knowing and new scientific views such as quantum theory and chaos theory reveal the interconnectedness of all life forms.  This is both a scientific and spiritual revolution (as in, “a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something : a change of paradigm.” -Miriam-Webster’s)

The Great Turning is similar to the Agricultural Revolution and the Industrial Revolution, in terms of its magnitude, influence, and impact on human life.

For peace, justice, and life on Earth, fresh ways of seeing arise, and ancient ways return. –Joanna Macy

Take a moment to visit Joanna Macy’s website for a more in-depth look at the Great Turning.

Another resource is the Four Worlds International Institute, whose guiding principles are, “Starting From Within, Working in a Circle, in a Sacred Manner, We Heal and Develop Ourselves, Our Relationships, and the World.”



Advertisements