Journal: Tom Atlee on Engaging Real-World

Earth Intelligence
Full Reflections Online
Full Reflections Online

When you are standing on the edge of a cliff a step forward is not progress. — Anonymous

Our separation from nature — or should I say, our separation from reality as it really is, in all its fullness that is so hard for us to grasp — has now reached global proportions. Reality’s feedback is now coming in the form of increasingly extreme weather, emptying oceans and aquifers, cancers arising from an environmental chemical soup so complex we can no longer track the causal links any more, new diseases that won’t respond to antibiotics and can span continents and seas in hours on jets, and small groups and networks with increasingly powerful destructive technologies at their disposal.

We are rapidly moving into a realm where problem-solving becomes obsolete, if not downright dangerous — especially at the global level, especially when we are trying to preserve our systems, our habits, our identities, our protections and privileges. Because these challenges are not primarily problems to be solved. They are realities to engage with, to come to terms with, to learn something from about who we are in the world, to be humbled by and creatively joined. Yes, joined. Because inside the realities of today are profound lessons about who we need to be next, individually and collectively — about the cultures, technologies, stories, and social systems we need to create and move into.