Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Going Forth

A little over a dozen of us from various parts of the world just finished an inspiring 6-week online course facilitated by Chris Johnstone and Barbara Ford. Together we read the book "Active Hope" by Joanna Macy and Chris. You can read about the book here and the announcement for the course here.

One thing we did in the course was the following exercise, shown here for the benefit of those of you who weren't in the course or who haven't read the book (it's on page 199):

Identifying your goals and resources

1.  If you knew you could not fail, what would you most want to do for the healing of our world?
I came up with a list of five ambitious visions:
·         Start with global warming. Reduce CO2 in the air to a sustainable level
·         Make Los Angeles into a Transition Town
·         Make The Great Turning the overarching main context for stories in the mass media, replacing Business as Usual and the Great Unraveling
·         Overthrow the corporate empire and replace it with a just, humane, and sustainable system
·        Help co-create an emerging planetary consciousness capable of decision making to heal the earth

2. What specific goal or project could you realistically aim to achieve in the next twelve months that would contribute to this?
We had to work with just one. Due to health limitations (I cannot speak and can barely walk) I ruled out the first four. A project with any of them would require working with others in a way that would involve at least some walking and/or talking. The fifth is something I could work on from my computer without leaving the house. I really want to do them all.

3. What resources, inner and outer, do you have that will help you do this?

4. What resources, internal and external, will you need to acquire? What might you need to learn, develop, or obtain?

5. How might you stop yourself? What obstacles might you throw in the way?

6. How will you overcome these obstacles?

7. What step can you take in the next week, no matter how small, that will move you toward this goal?

These are the highlights of my answers:

  • Long-term goal: Help co-create the global planetary consciousness that will be necessary for the self-healing of the earth.
  • One-year goal: Write a paper (and possibly a blog of the work in progress) that unpacks this vision of an evolution of consciousness. Explore it deeply and thoroughly enough that publishing it makes a contribution to the healing of the earth.
  • One-week commitment: Set up a structure for gathering all the ingredients,  strands, and facets of the project.
I am happy to announce that, to fulfill the one-week commitment, I have created a simple Word document called "Ingredients Brainstorming", and begun to populate it.  I obviously have a long way to go. I've never been so aware of the vast spaciousness of the empty page.  There are so many aspects of this issue that I want to explore. I just need to be patient and try to access a larger view of time.
To be continued.


  1. Hey Ed:
    Great project you are working on here. For myself, I have taken a keen interest in the Fukushima Nuclear Power plant, as I think the current operation underway there to cool off and decommission the Unit #4 Pool is going to take all the world's resources to do safely. Tepco has announced it plans to do this within the next 60 days. If it doesn't go well, the potential for a hugh environmental disaster is very great. Good luck on your project! Joshin Althouse

    1. Joshin -
      Great to hear from you!
      I've been wondering what's happening with Fukushima. It's hard to know what information is reliable without doing a lot of digging. Any advice or comments you have would be appreciated. In fact, if you ever want to post something here, send me your e-mail address and I'll give you author permission.

  2. Nice one Ed. It was a pleasure to join you on the online course. Just one thing, I would not write off your first four points so readily. You never know how you could be involved! e.g. a point of contact who could keep people connected virtually with what is going on. I guess you have seen https://sites.google.com/site/transitionlosangeles/ xx

    1. Hi Madelein -
      You make an excellent point. I was hoping someone would give me permission to keep those other four open. :-)
      I was so excited when I learned about this Oct. 13 Rob Hopkins event very near my home.
      But due to my physical problems I was not able to attend. But you're right, that doesn't mean I have to totally write off the whole Transition LA movement. You have inspired me to show them what I'm working on and see if they have any suggestions for how to connect.

  3. Hi Ed,
    Was really awakening and inspiring to share the course with you. I feel humbled by your example - that with your devastating illness, you are looking outward, to the healing of the world. What I particularly like about the above is the boldness of 'if you knew you could not fail' list - it seems far-fetched and unrealistic, but it's no less than what needs to happen. I've been listening to talks by Joan Halifax recently - because of seeing her on the back cover of Active Hope! - and it was meaningful to me what she said about acting with compassion - not being attached to outcome. Doing what you are best suited to do, and doing it the best you can, and trusting the mysterious workings of life, the unpredictable evolution of consciousness of all.
    thanks for what you do. will follow your blog.