On December 14, 2014 I had the honor and privilege of speaking with Terry Patten on Beyond Awakening. If you’re unfamiliar with his Community Blog and his site, please do check it out. Our discussion, entitled “We Are the Catastrophe, We Are the Salvation” is now available for audio streaming or download for members of this site. It’s 2 hours in length and covers a lot of ground! In the words of Terry Patten:MP3 – Download Resource: Please do check out the Beyond Awakening Community Blog. It’s an excellent resource chock full of wonderful conversations like this one.
I wanted to dialogue with Keith about the fundamental tension that underlies the whole premise of Beyond Awakening having to do with imperfect humans asking the big questions about how we can “be the change” that truly addresses our world crisis. Over the years, listeners have asked me serious, thoughtful questions on this theme: Don’t we need to first clean up our own acts? Isn’t self-change foundational to humanity’s transformational “sea change”? Others point out that if we step aside to focus on ourselves, we risk abandoning the public sphere to people who lack the integrity to begin with the personal work. I often think of the song from the musical Hair with the lyrics: How can people be so heartless? How can people be so cruel? It’s easy to be hard, which is a reference to the archetype of the social activist who is a jerk. And yet, if we cleave only to the therapeutic agenda, which is of necessity self-involved, we risk detracting from the energy available for relationship and civic engagement. I think that we need to do the personal work but not stop at the personal work. We also need to do the interpersonal work where we rise into a field of love and care together, but also press into the edges of what is possible and evolve the “We” field, so that we are actively being evolution in action in all the quadrants. That’s my agenda with this series, the “adjacent possible.”