We Need a Paradigm Shift

“Our future is shaped from the story we host in the present … When the mind of humanity changes, everything changes.” This is from the Editor’s Note below, the must-read lead piece in the latest issue of Turning Point, the Journal of the Conscious Elders Network. It’s about the need for a new story that moves us into “the beautiful world our hearts know is possible.” We work on problems piecemeal, with very little attention on the worldview that keeps them all in place. We need to tell a story about who we are and what we are doing here that underlies and impels the kinder, gentler world we must move into.

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?

Revelation, gratefully, arises from a different “news source” and elicits a different order of response. Revelation always calls us toward something—toward “the beautiful world our hearts know is possible,” as Charles Eisenstein aptly names it in his book by that title. And this is precisely the place where the narrative of our emerging story is coalescing and slowly coming to life. The heart gives us a place to sit in the center of oppositional viewpoints, the stamina to face what is unraveling, and a way to remain faithful to witnessing the acts of courage and compassion that are emerging in response to the well-publicized emergencies before us.

Maturity is often defined as the ability to hold the tension of opposites within oneself without coming apart or choosing sides. Are any of us not challenged by such assignment these days? Yet, is this not precisely what our elder years are intended to ripen and offer? One of the most important hallmarks of conscious elderhood is the realization that fear is no longer necessary to motivate good behavior. In fact, fear penetrates further into the world by masking itself in apparently good deeds, as much as it does in the acts we readily judge as bad. It is our frame of mind, guided by our quality of heart, that headlines every act we make.

From this frame of mind, we take up our initial installment of “New Story” explorations. We do so fully aware that what we are calling “new” is simply the leading edge of an unfolding story that has been in motion since the beginning of our arrival on this planet. We humans are story tellers and deeply storied beings—collections of stardust gathered around a narrative.

Modern physics and space exploration are providing increasingly intimate portraits of our interconnected stardust nature. Modern psychology and mythological study offer increasingly nuanced views of the power of thought and imagination to shape our reality. Discoveries of outer space and inner space are expanding at exponential speed.

Yet as we reflect on our life experience, we can claim with a high degree of confidence that the recent discoveries of science are only the breaking waves of a very large, if not infinitely large, ocean of possibility. And the threads of awareness that spiritual teachers of current time are bringing forth are largely a renewal of what has been stored in story form for ages. But how our hearts weave all this together—this we can claim as an urgent necessity for our times, and as our essential contribution to the unfolding story of all time.

Each of our authors has returned from their own life-stirrings to offer a glimpse of what is being revealed to them as significant to the weaving of a New Story. It is clear that the articulation of such is a collaborative endeavor, an artistic endeavor, best crafted from a place within us that lives in deep time and deeply interwoven space—offering us the perspective envisioned by esteemed elder, Barbara Marx Hubbard—to welcome ourselves and one another as “agents of conscious evolution”.

We invite you to read and underscore what resonates with the revelations of your own heart these days. Take note as well, what you would add to the tapestry begun here.

This issue of Turning Point introduces two new artistic expressions to complement the article reads. A complement to Geoff Ainscow’s article introduces a revolutionary smartphone app called the Deep Time Walk, along with a sneak-peek video sample.

And we’re pleased to host a delightful video from Nancy Margulies that highlights new-story-relevant quantum theory in a way that the child in us can understand and marvel at. We suggest numerous re-visits to this playful and insightful video treat in our Endpoint section.

Let us each consider bringing one idea that resonates with us from our readings here more fully into life in some simple way. If I accept the time-honored knowing, for example, that every word I speak affects the whole of life, what deliberation might I bring to each conversation I hold today? Pick one phrase from one article and bring it alive. And, there is space following each article for reader comment. Know that we welcome and grow by your feedback and reflection.

May we act in beauty, act from inspiration, act together . . .

Joseph Jastrab
Editor in chief

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  1. Jude Asphar July 23, 2018

    thank you for all this, Sue

  2. If I did not know this article came from The Journal of Conscious Elder’s Network, I would have thought it was written by you as the mission statement of your blog post! It clearly aligns with your vision of a new conversation that can change the world. And, I completely agree with this: “And the threads of awareness that spiritual teachers of current time are bringing forth are largely a renewal of what has been stored in story form for ages.” Exactly right. The ancient Indian “Puranas” were not written but were carried down through the ages by story-tellers. I love the Grateful Dead line, “The story-teller makes no choice, soon you will not hear his voice; his job is to bring light, not to master.”

    • SUE Speaks July 13, 2018

      It touched my little heart to meet myself in this piece. I hope I can pull of my intention to get the likes of you and Joseph Jastrow in a dialogue to see if we could come up with things that could tune the world into this kind of thinking.

  3. This entry could very well go into the Swimme post on favorite books and authors, but appropriate to address here regarding the issue you mentioned: “Maturity is often defined as the ability to hold the tension of opposites within oneself without coming apart or choosing sides. Are any of us not challenged by such assignment these days?”

    The author is an Indian Siddha Master (of both the spiritual and physical realms), Rameshwar Maharaj. In “The Keys to Self-Mastery,” he speaks about how the conflicting parts of ourselves are real and need to be honored, and how transcending the opposites can be done through taking a wide enough view to include all planes of consciousness (which he details exactly how to do). We get ‘stuck’ in a particular plane of consciousness where one of the conflicting thoughts arise, but when one reaches a larger or higher level of consciousness it is recognized that there is only an ‘apparent’ conflict and that all planes of experience exist simultaneously.

    For me, this book bridged the gap in my conflicts between the physical world and spiritual realms, as well as how stay centered during the inevitable storms you will have in your life.

    • SUE Speaks April 28, 2018

      We need that “how to.” Can you possibly briefly describe it? Pot has been a teacher for me, where I have light bulbs go off when I realize I can get bigger than what is challenging me rather than resisting it.

      • Rameshwar suggests that in order to contact the levels of consciousness he speaks about one must wake up to who you really are: the space of pure consciousness in which your identity and the world exists. In the referenced book, the first hundred pages address the different levels of consciousness, but the following three hundred pages take one through a rigorous investigation of the truth of who you really are. It requires both an awakening of consciousness and the perseverance to stay awake. As you know, my work in Radical Awakening gives an initial process that guides you into this awakening. The next time I come by, we can review this process (you have not gone through it for over 20 years) so perhaps you could address the answer to your question in your own words!

        I see my contribution to this conversation is to get the story of who you are sorted out, to “Know thyself,” and then find out how the story of this world fits into the oneness that you are.

        I also wanted to mention that the North Indian Shaivite sadhus (renunciates who are devotees of Lord Shiva) regularly include ganja as part of their spiritual worship. Since the ancient Indian paranas (tales) cite Shiva as a ganja smoker, they smoke to come into “Shiva’s absolute consciousness.”

        • SUE Speaks July 13, 2018

          As I’ve told you and now tell our readers, that one session of Radical Awakening that I did with you was profound. It brought me to a place that’s a touchstone for me now, where, like a response to Pavlov’s bell, I can bring myself to ground zero, so to speak. Maybe I don’t even need another session — perhaps a tap would do!

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