My Nine Core Premises: A Pathway To A More Beautiful Future
If each of these premises seems somewhat self evident to you. Hooray! As that suggests we're largely on the same page and can skip straight to the bit where we start employing whole new kinds of communitas to re-vivify the world.
The Fifth Sacred Thing by Jessica Perlstein
Premise One - Civilisation has its shiny parts, but in its current form it is deeply flawed. Our aggregate global society is ecologically unsustainable, radically inequitable and downright hellish for many of its inhabitants.
Premise Two - On its current trajectory, in the near future humanity will likely face a number of intensifying and potentially catastrophic environmental and social challenges. These include but are not limited to crop failures, mass migration, top soil depletion, resource shortages, rapidly growing unemployment from automation and an increased threat from the widespread proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. We must either rapidly change our ways or else face the prospect of perishing as a species.
Premise Three - It remains to be seen if ongoing technological development will either help to soften the blows of these existential threats or simply serve to exacerbate them. But in the short to medium term it is highly unlikely that we can rely upon technology alone to rescue us from the immense challenges before us. We will also need to radically restructure the very fabric of our societies.
Premise Four - To make such changes we will to have to collectively reassess and reprioritise our cultural values at both the individual and societal level. We will have to discover new narratives to guide us forward and cultivate the most conscious, compassionate and committed versions of ourselves to rise to the challenge.
Premise Five - Any new such paradigm will have to halt the degradation of our planets ecosystems and shift us away from the current context of intensely individual competitiveness towards a much more profound sense of collaborative cooperation.
Premise Six - This shift will require a relentless wave of mass movements that demand nothing less than wide sweeping political, social and economic reformation. It will also entail the creation of new types of community such as the Conscious Change Collective which I have outlined in the book A Collective Blooming: The Rise Of The Mutual Aid Community. Such Collectives have the potential to act as catalysts for these sustained waves of change whilst also providing ongoing support and nurturing along the way.
Premise Seven - Establishing a truly regenerative mainstream culture will be an intergenerational effort. We'll have to work both inside and outside the current system to see it through, transforming both our inner and outer worlds along the way.
Premise Eight - Despite the high levels of armed conflict still present in the world, with a concerted effort, I choose to believe that the shift towards this new narrative has the potential to unfold non-violently. Such a movement also has the ability to heal unbalanced and violent discord between the sexes, defuse conflict between opposing cultures and to harmonise our relationship with the other species with which we share the planet. In other words if we lean into the Meta Crisis with everything we have, there is an opportunity to make of use our collective momentum to finally address the kinds of issues that have been plaguing our species for thousands of years.
Premise Nine - The creation of a such a regenerative planetary culture will ask much of us, it will require nothing short of a complete societal metamorphosis. But it will also serve as a kind of mass initiatory experience for our entire species, allowing us to step back into our sacred role as custodians and guardians of life on our planet. And while it will undoubtedly prove difficult at times, I refuse to give up on the fact that it can still be an ultimately playful and fun filled adventure. It's our chance to create the kind of future each of us knows to be possible. Let's do this!
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.