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Where’s the vision for the future…what’s the new paradigm?

November 26, 2013

There is a lively discussion here on GSB about how the sustainability movement will fail without a compelling vision of the future.  I have been prompted by Anna Pollock on the Facebook page of ‘The Nature of Business’ to write a comment, for which I am thankful.  Here is my comment below, I welcome your views:

The ‘New Paradigm’ is actually ancient, yet flowing with fresh spontaneity;  whether it be sustainable business inspired by nature, organisational transformation inspired by nature, societal evolution inspired by nature or ‘human nature’ inspired by and in harmony with nature through an awakened heart-felt empathetic relation with life.

spiral dynamics4

The answers to our pressing challenges are all around and within us, what is lacking is the will to go deep.  Essentially we are struggling to over-come the shallowness of our dominant ego-consciousness (techno-fixes for symptoms, short-term profiteering through private ownership of ideas, tentative policies that tweak rather than transform, etc.).   Our collective paradigm is dominated by our ego-consciousness – capitalism, materialism, rationalism, individualism, patriarchy, and so on.

While there are many noble endeavours to transform within as well as revolutionise beyond our collective paradigm, many of today’s ‘solutions’ largely overlook the root cause: our own heart-felt empathetic relation with life: ourselves, each other and Nature.   The reality is that life is so much greater, deeper and more profound than anything our rational ego-minds can fathom, yet we continue to attempt to solve problems with the same mind-set that created them – unwise.

progression8By example, the discussion of growth and its polarised opposite ‘no growth’ can over-look the deeper insight we find in nature.  Growth is part and parcel of life: innovation, growth, conservation, re-configuration, rebirth, innovation, growth and so on through spirals of nested ‘panarchies’. Growth is an important attribute of what makes us who we are, yet to focus on one part of life (whether it be ‘growth’ or ‘conservation’ for instance) while blinkering ourselves to the deeper spiralling vortexes of life is akin to a childish teenager not yet able to see beyond its own ego ‘I’ reflection.  Nature beyond the tidy yet artificial confines of our rationalistic ego-consciousness embraces death and rebirth, embraces change and transformation and embraces the co-creative wildness within, through and all around us.

Any vision that overlooks the root cause of our multiple crises will be doomed from the get-go.  So let us get back to basics, back to nature, back to our oceanic presence flowing through every moment beyond the narrow blinkers of our rationalistic ego-mind. This is something all wise people throughout the ages agree on and it is more relevant now than ever. Then we can begin: masculine and feminine, yin and yang, rational and intuitive, science and sacred, human nature and more-than-human nature. Yes this requires courage (from the root word ‘coeur’ meaning heart) as the solution is deeply within and through our relations with each other and all of life.  We can all en-courage ourselves and each other through our ways of being and doing. progression4

Biomimicry, ecopsychology, indigenous wisdom, regenerative and circular economics, and so forth all take inspiration from nature, yet to envision without this deeper presence is to miss the mark. It is time to transform, and that transformation is within, through and all around us: to see more clearly the way of Nature, re-membering our destiny as conscious co-creating participants – a community of subjects. As Hunter Lovins says in her comment above, look to nature, and the deeper we look the more we realise far from nature being about dog-eat-dog competition or individualistic selfish genes, it is much richer, more relational and diverse, it is transformation itself.  We are beginning to realise the wave is very much part of the ocean, and the ocean is Nature.progressionAutumn

The Guardian and GSB provide a great space for such to be discussed and shared – this is so very important.  A big thank you to Jo and the team, with love, Giles

To explore ‘the new paradigm’ further, join the Face Book community here

View a short video clip on business inspired by nature here

View a presentation on ‘A Radical Review of Reality’ here

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 27, 2013 9:02 am

    Another fine piece, Giles. Yet, as I have just ‘tweeted’, I think it needs to be made clear that:- Ego isn’t the problem. The fraud that isolates ego from neighbourhood is the problem. bestthinking.com/article/permal…

  2. January 21, 2014 11:21 am

    I’ve tweeted too – Giles I love the diagram showing nature’s cycles and panarchies and could use it in my work. Can you name a source? Do you have a higher resolution version I might share? Thank you for continuing to inspire.

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