The writer stumbled upon this earlier this week, and it set a big gong vibrating for her…
In our view too, these are the key elements in the cultural shifts we so urgently need to make as a species. The movement is into ways of being, and of structuring our societies, underpinned by a sense of interdependence – the complex web of connection between all living systems – and the sacredness of life. Our call as human beings, at this point in our evolution, is to an acknowledgement of our need for each other; to community, communication, collaboration, and non-hierarchical structures that honour these values – mutual loving support.
The writer has a sense of many pockets of us, small groups and individuals, working toward similar ends and informed by similar visions of what is needed – in many diverse fields, for example the humanitarian initiatives Justine describes in this article. It seems of vital importance that we find ways to connect with each other, to connect our pockets of light in a coherent web – so mirroring the essence of the paradigm shift we seek, and vastly amplifying the speed of change.
So how may this happen?
In the writer’s view, the quote from Charles Eisenstein (whose writing features regularly on this blog) is exactly right:-
‘Without deep work on yourself, how will you avoid re-creating your own internalized oppression in all that you do? So often we see the same abuses of power, the same organizational dysfunctions among social change activists as we do in the institutions they seek to change…
Unless we have done transformation work on ourselves, we will remain products of the very same civilization we seek to transform. We need to change our habits of thought, beliefs and doing as well as change our systems. Each reinforces the other…’
We need models founded on interdependence and interconnection. That will not arise through activism as traditionally understood or practised – or not that alone. The deepest task is not about lobbying, or aid, or pressuring/persuading governments to make change, or moulding social values through sharing ideas. The deep change we seek can come into being only through a personal transformation process, radiating outwards – a personal, ongoing commitment to doing our own deep work. The old saw ‘Become the change you want to see in the world’ is accurate, and the only way.
As Carl Rogers observed, many years ago, deep personal work inherently supports connecting in relationship and in community in ways that are socially enhancing. We don’t need to make this happen. It is a self-organizing phenomenon, that arises naturally from personal transformation. The key – for the self-defined activist and for every one of us, because this affects and involves every one of us – is that we find ways to do our own work, not from a ‘selfish’, individualistic perspective, but because this is what we all need in order to find a new and more sustainable, holistic and loving basis for our journey forward together. Personal work creates authenticity, humility, empathy, presence – the open heart. And that is our salvation and our future.
The recognition of this is the spirit of person-centred. It sits right at the heart of what we look to offer as a service, and it is the reason why some 25 of us volunteer our time here, day by day, week by week, year by year.
Thank you to Justine Corrie and Pioneers for Change for her blog post, and to Tabitha Kate Twitchit on Facebook for drawing our attention to it.
Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter
Counselling in Exeter since 1994