The Conversation is a Mighty Companions project published by Suzanne Taylor. The site had its start when 9/11 dictated that we were in a new world. At this threshold moment for humanity, when we must choose wisely to avoid what could be our annihilation, this site is dedicated to tracking the emerging intelligence that we need for our very survival, and to conversation in which that intelligence can be forged.
Let those who see beyond the idea of force imposing world order, to where we look to heal the causes of despair, meet here.
Outside The Box Ideas
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Society deals primarily with cosmetic change, no matter how threatened the world is. But, the way we think got us into the mess we are in, and, unless we grapple with paradigm change, it's fingers in the dike. For this column, send your thoughts about what outside the box ideas might contribute to setting us on a better course.
Look at this chilling story by the great British journalist, George Monbiot, about the recent UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. It concludes:
"...we have to stop calling it climate change. Using 'climate change' to describe events like this, with their devastating implications for global food security, water supplies and human settlements, is like describing a foreign invasion as an unexpected visit, or bombs as unwanted deliveries. It's a ridiculously neutral term for the biggest potential catastrophe humankind has ever encountered. I think we should call it 'climate breakdown.'"
If we knew that without intervention the world would end at a finite date, humanity would dramatically scratch its collective head. Short of a deadline to save ourselves, what could we do that might change our course? Here are some of my thoughts.
1. My #1 idea is to investigate the crop circle phenomenon. If we knew there was other intelligence, which the circles indicate, we would be one humanity in relation to 'the other,’ working together to solve planetary problems.
2. Promote a change of paradigm where getting the most money as the primary goal is replaced by doing the most good. Make a brilliant ad campaign: "Whoever Does the Most Good Wins!"
3. Have revered states people look out from TV and address the human core in everyone, urging us to think as a planet to solve the challenges we face.
4. President calls for a moment of silence perhaps noon in every time zone, for everyone to stop what they are doing and focus on one thing -- try to harness the power of thought. England possibly avoided WWII invasion that way.
5. Call for a truce worldwide, where wars end -- via inducements, including a clean slate for everyone. Even terrorists. Promise everyone universal health care, universal education and job training, and whatever it would take to give everyone the fundamentals of a decent life. Pay for it with military budgets.
6. Give ecstasy to people we want info from -- turn evil people into heart-connected ones.
7. Use plants for vision, a la shamans who use psychedelic substances for guidance.
8. Convene a new Twilight Club . "The Twilight Club was an organization founded in the late 19th century, with the intention to counter the moral decline by bolstering up the spiritual and ethical awareness of the society. Illustrious members were Ralph Waldo Emerson, Herbert Spencer, Walt Whitman, Andrew Carnegie, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Mark Twain...From this club, service clubs such as the Rotary Club and the Lions evolved."
Despite the last entry being dated March 29th, rest assured I have not disappeared. A website re-make here plus an entirely new website called Doorway Cafe is in the works, so stay tuned. My mailing list has been hearing from me. To catch up with what they know, please see:
I did make a pit-stop post at the end of April, to edit my 4-minute sizzle reel from our Ex TEDx program, Brother, Can You Spare a Paradigm?, into the last official post on March 29. Now, here’s a juicy 18 minutes that will give you more of the flavor of what got presented that started under TED’s auspice and that created a platform for a conversation about our worldview that’s bigger than TED. More to come on this as I negotiate with TED about sharing the program with their audience, which I am much more keen on than they are. May the god of websites smile kindly on me and get me a good one soon. Stay tuned.
West Hollywood is an artsy, progressive city, and, after six months of my courting, our marriage is sealed. The City Council’s meeting place, in the new, award-winning Library, is being donated for a TEDxWestHollywood daylong event on April 14th, 2013.
Get on the mailing list to be kept informed about Brother, Can You Spare a Paradigm?, subtitled, “Making the Quantum Leap,” that I’m producing. TEDx events typically sell out — we only have 100 places — and we’ll let the list know when tickets go on sale. If you want to join our wonderful team, be in touch. And any potential speakers can look at guidelines on the site.
We’ll be dealing with our worldview, a central issue of our time. What is a worldview? Why does it matter? What is our worldview? Can we influence it? What would the world be like if our worldview changed? What’s happening now that models how things would be in the future we’d like to be in? These will be questions on the TEDxWestHollywood floor. The world needs a better game and we hope to ignite the passion of the attendees and of a worldwide internet audience to move us beyond where we are so violent with one another and so abusive to the planet.
We hope to spark a sense of community and to follow up with other gatherings. There were projects in Los Angeles for transformationally-minded people in the early 80s, but since then it’s been slim pickings. We hope to be playing together again.
Our TEDx event is a good fit with the work of Tiffany Shlain. She’s the founder of the Webby Awards and the daughter of Leonard Shlain, a renowned surgeon who authored books dear to my heart. The Alphabet Versus the Goddess deals with how we got on the track we need to divert from now.
In this groundbreaking book, Leonard Shlain, author of the bestselling Art & Physics, proposes that the process of learning alphabetic literacy rewired the human brain, with profound consequences for culture…It is a paradigm shattering work that will transform your view of history and mind.
We’ve talked about an L.A. showing of her movie, CONNECTED, a tribute to her late dad framed in material about how we are all connected, which is what our TEDx program will deal with. Tiffany either will be live or presented in one of her recorded TED Talks. Perhaps a screening of CONNECTED at an event devoted to her will be the next thing we do.
I haven’t told you what Tiffany is doing with her films, through her Moxie Institute, that could matter a lot to the world.
The team’s latest project, Let it Ripple: Mobile Films for Global Change, employs a new type of filmmaking they pioneered called “Cloud Filmmaking,” which experiments with making films collaboratively with people all over the world, and then providing free customized versions of those films for organizations working to make the world better. Find out more by reading The Cloud Filmmaking Manifesto.We started offering free, customized versions of our films for nonprofits and organizations all over the world. We work with them to craft a custom “call to action,” and we then replace ours with theirs. They then can use their version of the film to help activate and inspire their base, spread their message, drive fundraising, and support other goals and initiatives. Because the films have been translated into many languages, its potential is limitless. In the first four months, we made 80 of these free versions of the films for organizations, and we now are up to 450. If you work with a nonprofit organization that strives to make the world a better place, we would love to make a version of one of our films for you.
Here’s the third, most recent one:
I feel inadequate in bringing you the marvel that is Tiffany Shlain. She could be a huge influence on us to get us to think differently. Please follow the links to read up on her and to get your socks knocked off by more of her work.
Here’s Facing the Future, a two-minute film Moxie just put out to encourage us to behave as we would were our worldview based on our oneness rather than on our separation. I can feel the potency of it to create social change!
If sponsorship of our TEDxWestHollywood event is your thing, or if you can send me to people who might donate money (we are allowed to raise $10,000 — and not allowed to make any money ourselves) or in-kind contributions of what we can use or give at our event, please let me know. And send good thoughts my way for TEDx ahead…
This gorgeous creature is Pennell Rock, my dear friend of several decades now, who lives in Marin, in Northern California, and is spending the holiday at my house. Read this beautiful piece he has written, which he read aloud at our Christmas dinner table and you might do in years to come, and you will gain insight into the universal meaning underlying the Christian celebration.
The Birth of Light
Gnosis is the fundamental existential truth of Being. This essential truth is not just some passive reservoir of esoteric knowledge. If one looks at the imagery of any great religion, there often is the good news that the essential has the force to come upon us in a revelatory manner. This is the symbolic meaning of the enlightened savior. Christians celebrate this arrival every year, just as the darkness of winter is threatening to envelop the world.
The imagery of the Christmas story expresses the luminous event, which can take place in any human heart. The birth of the holy child is the blossoming seed of Light. Gnosis has nothing to do with worldly grandeur, but is grounded in humility (the stable). It has everything to do with the grandeur of the spirit (the heavenly display and the angels). Because it lights up the essential, it brings a new order and thus threatens anarchy for the non-essential, which rules the world (King Herod), and which will go to any lengths to eliminate its luminous core (Herod’s order to slaughter the first born throughout the land).
The Light of true Being originates directly from the Source (the immaculate conception). It can come forth only when lovingly nurtured by humble and pure-hearted receptivity (the Virgin Mary), and cared for in the trust and protection of the ego, which, through loyal devotion, has surrendered and put away its doubts (Joseph). There is no place for this event in the comfort of accepted society (no room in the inn). The narrow confines of social acceptability cannot accommodate it (no sanctuary except in the stable with the animals). Even, and perhaps specially, it is the naïve outcasts from ordered society, in their innocence, who can recognize and receive it (the shepherds). The mind hungers for gnosis as its greatest potential. The wise will travel the world for it, and once they come upon it will lay before it their greatest treasures (the three kings and their gifts). Gnosis is the just rule of the Good (the King is born).