Tikkun Winter 2019 (34.1) - Page 126

transfixed by the daily frenzy of current events, innumerable pioneering organizations around the world are already planting the seeds for the cultural metamorphosis Korten has called for. A visionary example of this new narrative in action is the Environmental and Social Re- sponsibility Amendment to the U.S. Constitu- tion (ESRA) proposed by Michael Lerner and the Network of Spiritual Progressives, along with its call for a world based on a New Bot- tom Line such that success is measured not by money and power, but rather by measurements such as love, kindness, generosity, justice, sus- tainability, treating each other as embodiments of the sacred, and responding to the universe with awe, wonder, and radical amazement. Other transformative actions and ideas are meanwhile being propagated around the world. In China, President Xi Jinping has de- clared an ecological civilization to be a central part of his long-term vision for the country. In Bolivia and Ecuador, the related values of buen vivir and sumak kawsay (‘good living’) are written into the constitution, and in Africa the concept of ubuntu (“I am because we are”) is a widely-discussed principle of human relations. In Europe, hundreds of scientists, politicians, and policy-makers recently co-authored a call for the EU to plan for a sustainable future in which human and ecological well-being is pri- oritized over GDP. Examples of large-scale thriving cooperatives, such as Mondragon in Spain, demonstrate that it’s possible for companies to provide ef- fectively for human needs without utilizing a shareholder-based profit model. Think tanks such as The Next System Project, The Global Citizens Initiative, and the P2P Foundation are laying down parameters for the political, economic, and social organization of an eco- logical civilization. Meanwhile, in addition to visionaries such as Michael Lerner and David Korten, other trailblazing authors such as Kate 126 W W W .T I K K U N . O R G Raworth and Mary Evelyn Tucker have written extensively on how to reframe the way we think about our economic, political, and spiritual path forward. As the mainstream juggernaut drives our cur- rent civilization inexorably toward the break- ing point, it’s easy to dismiss these steps toward a new form of civilization as too insignificant to make a difference. However, as the current system begins to break down in the coming years, increasing numbers of people around the world will come to realize that a fundamentally different alternative is needed. Whether they turn to movements based on prejudice and fear or join in a vision for a better future for hu- manity depends, to a large extent, on the ideas available to them. One way or another, humanity is headed for the third great transformation in its history: either in the form of global collapse or a meta- morphosis to a new foundation for sustainable flourishing. An ecological civilization offers a path forward that may be the only true hope for our descendants to thrive on Earth into the distant future. JEREMY LENT is author of The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity’s Search for Meaning, which investigates how different cultures have made sense of the universe and how their underlying values have changed the course of history. He is founder of the nonprofit Liology Institute, dedicated to fostering a sustainable worldview. For more information visit jeremylent.com. WINTER 2019