This oak was cut down years ago. Its structure remains, but is decaying and breaking. Its heartwood core is gradually softening and rotting within a circle of cracking bark. Meanwhile, what is left of the oak collects fallen leaves and galls. It holds acorn shells and droppings that squirrels or birds have left. Each humble contribution will feed the roots and heart of a future tree that will rise from the same ground. All that has ever fallen on the oak will live on in what comes after, including light and rain and the remaining essences of other lives. The new tree could not exist without all the lives and ways that have gone before. They are its hope, as it is theirs.
The Golden Room, A Golden Civilization: Four Steps toward Saving the World
This is the first of several posts about the relationship between the Golden Room we each have within us and the Golden Civilization that would arise if we each lived in, from and for our Golden Room (meaning our truest, deepest self, our heart’s core). The second step will show that all of humanity does not have to take these steps to transformation, a surprisingly small percentage of us could make the difference to save the world. The third step will show a map of how we can get from here to there. The fourth step will talk about some of the tools and practices we can get busy putting to work right now to speed the transformation.
Here is the outline of this series of related posts:
- Step One Recognize we need a new consciousness
- Step Two Strive toward the tipping point of 10%
- Step Three, Part A Follow the Map: Image, Metaphor and Introduction
- Step Three, Part B Follow the Map: Review and Overview
- Step Three, Part C-1 Follow the Map: Story and Sketch
- Step Three, Part C-2 Follow the Map: Structural Details
- Step Four Tools to help us get there
In this post we will hear about the first step from many voices.
The first step toward saving the world is recognizing that it is from the cultivation of the Golden Room that a Golden Civilization will arise. As Gus Speth summarizes the collective wisdom below, we need the rise of a new consciousness, a transformation of the human heart, a new way of seeing in order to bring about a major cultural change and a reorientation of what society values.
We KNOW this! We have heard it over and over. Yet we have not taken it seriously enough to ask how, and to set out as a people to accomplish it.
Now we must. We have no other choice and no time to lose if we want to protect what we love and save what we depend on to survive and thrive.
We know this step because we have heard our wisest elders saying it increasingly stridently.
Heeding them and asking ourselves what we can do in our lives to follow their direction is the first step toward saving our world.
We can do this. The following three posts will talk about why this can work and how we can do it. Thank you for doing your crucial part.
First, some recent voices:
Gus Speth sums this crucial wisdom up beautifully in his book The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability. Speth co-founded the Natural Resources Defense Council and World Resources Institute. He Chaired President Carter’s Council on Environmental Quality and served as a senior advisor to President Clinton’s transition team. He was Dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Here is what he says:
“Many of our deepest thinkers and many of those most familiar with the scale of the challenges we face have concluded that the transitions required can be achieved only in the context of what I will call the rise of a new consciousness. For some it is a spiritual awakening —a transformation of the human heart. For others it is a more intellectual process of coming to see the world anew and deeply embracing the emerging ethic of the environment and the old ethic of what it means to love thy neighbor as thyself. But for all it involves major cultural change and a reorientation of what society values and prizes most highly.”
George Kinder, the founder of Life Planning and author of The Seven Stages of Money Maturity and Transforming Suffering into Wisdom: Mindfulness and the Art of Inner Listening and an upcoming book on the Golden Civilization: “If you want a golden civilization, you must start with what is golden inside of you. If you want a civilization that will thrive for a thousand years, you must start with what is timeless inside of you.” Continue reading