“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 . . .
Editor in chief