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It’s Time to Get Radical and Deal with the Mother of all our Problems

December 5, 2016

If we are brutally honest for a moment we may be prepared to square-up to the fact that collectively we have lost our way.

As a civilisation – with its prevalent way of living – we have cut ourselves adrift from our sense of place and purpose in this world.

Enter this contagion of consumerism, the polarisation of politics, and the ecocide of our environment.

human nature morphesus

Yet, so often we focus our attention on downstream effects (of which there are plenty, such as climate change, rampant social inequality, rising stress in the workplace, and neo-liberal economics) while not giving adequate attention to the root causes.   In the words of the Persian Poet Rumi, ‘we are searching amongst branches for what is found only in the roots.’

So let’s cut to the chase.

Woven into our scientific-philosophy and socio-economic thinking at deep and partly unconscious levels is a corruption of the most fundamental degree.  It is a flawed logic that sets us apart from each other and Nature. It is what Einstein spoke of as an optical illusion of consciousness which now manifests a devastating delusion. Large swathes of modern humanity are inured and institutionalised by this illusion of separation; an illusion that creates the belief that life is innately competitive and evolution is a process of selfish ascendance.  It breeds fear, polarisation and egotism creating carcinogenic behaviour hallmarked by a desperate desire to ‘have’, ‘want’, ‘own’, ‘consume’, ‘out compete’.  It is a dreadfully inadequate logic that is costing us life on Earth.

Peter Drucker once famously said, ‘In times of turmoil, the danger lies not in the turmoil, but in facing it with yesterday’s logic’. So often, we find ourselves applying the very logic that created the problems to our design and delivery of well-intended solutions. The new spirit of business, politics and socio-economics must be rooted in a new logic that transcends this illusion.

nature trees in trees

In activating this new logic, we liberate ourselves from the restrictions of the self-limiting mind-set that created the problems in the first place, and provide for a shift to occur: from egotism to empathy; from separation to synchronicity; from power over to power with; from fear to courage. This shift activates new ways of leading unshackled from illusion that, paradoxically, are less about leading and more about facilitating a learning environment where each of us learn how to open up the permeability of our egos to something greater, and develop our capacity to become authentic co-creators within a life-affirming future.

The good news is we can activate this new way for free.

It requires nothing more than our undivided attention and a deep love for life. Making space in our schedules to be in Nature or in a quiet place is a good start. Here we may allow ourselves to tune-in to the wisdom of Nature flowing through each evolving moment. Great minds such as Einstein, Da Vinci, Pythagoras and Confucius all knew of this inherent wisdom flowing throughout Nature. It’s time to activate this timeless wisdom for today.

For instance, last Sunday, in the frosty crisp winter sun of an English wooded valley, 14 diverse folk came together to explore this illusion of separation, and left feeling more open hearted, more alive, more connected, and altogether more human as a result. See here.

Within a handful of hours we can – if we so choose – learn to see beyond the illusions we create in our own mind while opening up to the awesome Mind of Nature within and all around us.

This is humanity’s hour of reckoning. These times of breakdown can create the conditions for breakthrough in each of us, if we have the courage to create the space and time to sense and see differently, and then do differently.

While it may not always feel like it (as there is much to be down-beat about these days) we are in the midst of a seismic paradigm shift.  The challenge of our time is less about intellectualising adaptations utilising yesterday’s logic and more about creating space within our manic schedules for a real embodiment of the innate wisdom life affords us.  This will open up our awareness to the shift already afoot. Whether we are activists or accountants, engineers or entrepreneurs, midwives or musicians, these transformational times demand we activate this consciousness now and for all time.


To watch a short 3min video about The Illusion of Separation see here, and for a longer 10min talk about it see here.

Author of The Illusion of Separation, Giles Hutchins, is Chair of The Future Fit Leadership Academy and blogs at

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