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  • Writer's pictureJoe Lightfoot

The View From 40,000 Feet

The Harsh Truth

At some point along the way we unwittingly substituted the sacred for the profane and woke up smack bang in the middle of a Meta Crisis. And yet despite the calamitous trajectory we find ourselves on we remain a highly adaptable species that can quickly pivot in whole new directions. But we're in desperate need of new regenerative mythologies. As the stories we’ve been culturally indoctrinating ourselves with are leading us towards the edge of oblivion.

After decades of extractive Neoliberalism we’ve seen a resurgence of Nationalist Populism, a narrative which appears woefully incapable of fostering the kind of global cooperation that is required to deal with the planetary scale existential threats we now face. But the even deeper story we’ll have to identify and uproot, is that of Hollow & Oppressive Economic Materialism, a belief system with a myopic focus on never ending growth that more often than not leaves us with an inner sense of numbness as it continuously compels us to scramble forward towards accumulating ever more status and wealth.

Some Good News

The good news is that there's already a whole backpack full alternative narratives just waiting to be picked up and embraced. Each of these new societal stories imagines a time when we join together to recreate a more compassionate and peaceful world. They frame the looming catastrophes on our doorstep as a collective call to adventure, an invitation to rediscover one another and in the process cultivate whole new ways of being. One such narrative is A Collective Blooming. It’s an invitation to envision a planet wide network of peaceful, decentralised, ecologically sustainable and socially just Collectives that form a compassionate global village where the health of all living beings inner worlds, relationships and communal bonds are placed at the centre of our political and economic agendas.

One Pathway Forward

To realise such a world we’ll have to experiment with whole new ways of relating with each other and then leverage the resulting synergy towards creating a worldwide movement of change. One of the natural places to start this journey is at the community level where we have a direct opportunity to come together and begin prototyping more sustainable, compassionate and joyful ways of living together.

Through experimenting with new forms of mutual aid community we’ll have the opportunity to foster our own thriving micro cultures of human interaction. We'll be able embed ourselves in the kind of reciprocal trust networks that can radically increase our ability to cope with the kinds of societal crises we're confronted with. By participating in such communities we’ll be invited to continually keep levelling up as individuals and be actively encouraged to use our skills and abilities to help bring about positive change in the world. And we’ll be supported in shouldering the psychological burden of reshaping our societal structures as we collectively rediscover the inherent joy of becoming Community Creatures.

This journey back into a shared sense of communal belonging will likely prove challenging at times. We’ll have to risk exposing our tender hearts to those around us and may have to let go of many of our limiting beliefs and behaviours along the way. But as we careen towards ecological collapse it seems we have little choice other than to come together and push for sweeping systemic change.

But wait, there's more! As beyond the reward of securing the health of our biosphere for generations to come, we may just discover a kind of deep communal satisfaction that most of us in the modern world appear to have forgotten is even possible. A felt sense of connection, belonging and togetherness that so invigorates the human condition that we'll be left smiling at days end, eager for the work ahead of us and grateful for the system wide transformation we'll be witnessing in our wake. It’s time for us to rediscover each other, it’s time to Collectively Bloom.


This is a bedazzled excerpt from A Collective Blooming: The Rise Of The Mutual Aid Community by Joe Lightfoot.

Joe Lightfoot is a writer, podcaster and apprentice community weaver. He is the author of A Collective Blooming: The Rise Of The Mutual Aid Community and the host of The Lightfoot Podcast. You can sign up to his newsletter The Lightfoot Letter and find him on Facebook & Twitter. He is also the Majordomo of the Meta Village On Clubhouse.



2021 Joe Lightfoot

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