I am on a quest to discover group cultures that could allow humans to live in harmony with life.
In the past few months, I have developed an idea called Transformative Cultures that I want to share today.
Sharing it excites me so much because I have growing confidence that this is the work that I was put on planet earth to undertake.
But first, what are cultures and why are they important?
We like to think of ourselves as free agents, making rational choices about how we want to live.
But actually, many of our behaviours and the things…
At some point in their lives, many people commit to working towards a better world.
Either they begin to connect to the suffering and pain all around them and feel compelled to do something about it, or they realise that helping others and being of service is their best bet for a meaningful life.
They enter into a life of service.
This is the text of a talk I gave at a London Emerge Meet-up.
I like to think of Humanity’s current predicament as that of a tightrope walker, and an inexperienced one at that. We’re teetering on a rope above a deep canyon, walking a narrow path between ruin and a better world.
Either we get to a completely different way of organising our society and living together. Or our civilisation ends. This time there is really no alternative.
If we don’t make the transition from an industrial society committed to economic growth to a life-sustaining one committed to the…
“Look again and you will see the Gods rise in the most human and unassuming of eyes.” — Kate Tempest
I’m obsessed with spoken work artist Kate Tempest.
I think her work comes closest to expressing life in the 21st century Western World.
She embodies something I’m calling the Metamodern Flame.
Metamodernism is an emerging cultural phase and worldview that can help us deal with the many crises faced by our civilisation. I wrote more about it here.
The Metamodern Flame is our ability to find the sparks of change within the very systems, culture and people that are destroying…
Metamodernism is the cultural phase and worldview that comes after postmodernism.
Modernism was the optimistic child of the enlightenment. It believed in our ability to understand an objective reality through science and thus make progress. This worldview still exists in academics like Steven Pinker who argue that we must double down on our enlightenment values in order to carry on driving humanity forward.
Postmodernism came along like your friend who knows everything and critiqued this progress. Didn’t modernism realise the damage it was doing to people and planet in search of economic growth? Just look at the inequality, loneliness, neocolonialism…
I’m late to meet a friend. Cycling at breakneck speed. My mind is filled with self hatred. Why didn’t I set off earlier? Why do I always end up like this? How horrible am I to keep my friend waiting so long?
This kind of situation is ripe for mindfulness. Just observe your present moment experience. Pull your mind back from knee jerk criticism. Stay with whatever sensations arise. Don’t respond to them. We call this ‘staying at contact’ or ‘bare attention’.
Whilst this advice is undoubtedly helpful, often it comes with a penchant for inaction. Stop caring about getting…
We are all running away from reality.
Most of the things we do as 21st century humans amount to pain avoidance.
We lose ourselves in social media, Netflix and celebrity culture to avoid the pain in our own lives and in the world around us.
We drink and take drugs to make ourselves feel better for a short while. To give us a break from the onslaught of life.
We work flat out 60 hours a week so we have no time to stop and contemplate. No time to confront existence.
Some of us are lost in love. Using sex…
The past 6 months I have been in an ongoing battle with anxiety.
I’ve been delving deep into myself to try and understand why I can’t stop being afraid.
I’ve realised that at the core of my being I don’t believe in my own self-worth. And I am scared that the outside world will prove my worthlessness.
This has set me off on a journey of learning to love myself.
I’ve been realising how my lack of self-love isn’t just a personal problem. Instead it’s at the heart of the social, ecological and political crises we face. …
“The time is coming when a single carrot, freshly seen, will trigger a revolution”
This is a quote by post-impressionist artist Paul Cezanne.
It’s been stewing in the back of my mind for a while now.
What does it mean? How could a carrot cause a revolution?
At first glance most of us look at a carrot and think: “That’ll go nicely in my carrot and coriander soup”.
But what really is a carrot? If I were to push you, then most likely you’d fall back on the physical explanation of our dominant narratives. …
I recently wrote a blog post about a skill I’m calling The Outside View. This is the ability to see outside of our cultural and institutional matrix and imagine that we could live in a very different economy, society and world. In my last blog post I talked a lot about why we need the outside view to solve humanity’s pressing crises and about the forces in society that are holding it back. But I didn’t say anything about what we can do, both individually and collectively, to develop this skill. …