Toward an Eco-Integral Society
Now the pillars of our culture are crackling again. Endless series of crises points out that the current world-view and way of life is unsustainable. Two Earth-planets would be needed in order to sustain 7 billion people - and the population keeps growing- enjoying the current standard of living (while China, India and the BRIC countries are struggling to achieve our "well-being"); displaced species die out; the top soil - in which our food grows- dangerously deteriorates; the drinking water is poisoned, becomes undrincable - ecosystems are irreversibly damaged, the living conditions are destroyed ruthlessly. All these trends, including the extreme weather patterns, climate change are projecting a worrying vision onto us. I just mentioned here only some of the trends that represents serious global challenge to humanity. The western culture is burned out, depressed, lethargic, suicides are on increase - it's no wonder that the 2012 Doomsday prophecies had large fan base: there are fewer and fewer people who wish to live in such a world .. However, the surface of the media yells only about the economic and financial crisis, meanwhile the quieter message of the important trends are not audible.
Our world - as we known few years ago, teotwawki - it's over. Something new is unfolding. Nowadays, masses, more and more people are questioning the fundamental social structures, which during ten thousands of years were untouchable: they are sceptic about the rigid hierarchical political and religious structures, about the merger of "big money", "too big to fail"s with politics, etc. They are disappointed and do not wish to sustain the existing power systems, the status quo. While in the not too distant past the vast majority of society expected from the powers that be to solve the global problems.. now growing civil initiatives and grassroots movements took into their hands the initiative and are reshaping the world.
A few years ago, only a few "snobbish" were interested of the natural lifestyle and renewable energy. Today, multinational hypermarkets compete on "greening". "The greener the better" - this is the newest doctrine. Renewable energy technologies, alternative currencies - lets, local communities, organic foods, green movements, guerrilla gardeners, cultural creatives - so many new movements are shaping our world with increasing speed..
A new paradigm emerges ..
Crises have always been caused changes in the value system, as new situations, problems encounter that the old system of values can not handle. Now, a new paradigm, world-view is needed, as the problems became global. Einstein's famous thought also emphasizes this:
"The problem can not be solved by the same way of thinking which created them."
A new agenda, a new worldview, a new way of thinking and a new way of action is needed to transform the world. The epoc of rigid, patriarchal, bureaucratic hierarchies has ended and also the era of the irresponsible economics is over - it makes no sense to manufacture with huge waste of energy short-living gadgets that are not recycled and pollute our environment, while does not satisfy any real need. "Work, produce and consume, as quickly as possible" - this is the old paradigm, that creates an unsustainable situation. As Kenneth Boulding said,
"If anyone thinks that there may be an infinite growth in a finite world, is out of mind or is an economist."
We know a lot about the transformation of our society .. The change occurs both at the level of society (the common "We" place) and also at the individual level (the "I" realm) - a radical renewal takes place.Greening societies
The Spiral Dynamics describes the evolution of the world-views, the core values systems - it not just maps the past, but also projects the future. The authoritarian / Strategist (aka blue / Orange) value system was necessary and made a good service for the evolution of the humanity: a couple of thousand years ago authoritarianism appeared and blocked the expansion of the predatory, destructive violence of the impulsive ego, and also gave a basic morality. After the revolution of the rational mind we accumulated a huge volume of practical knowledge about the material world. Using knowledge+high-tech we achieved unprecedent prosperity, comfort and quality of life. However, the mind ignored its intrinsic nature: the body, the emotions, the results are neurosis, alienation, emptiness of the existence. Mind fights with the outer nature too ("we conquer nature") - causing a series of ecological devastations. Today, the whole world is networked with top communication tools - such as the Internet, mobile telco systems, tv-networks - forming a globally interconnected common "We". That creates a planetary "eye" that sees our global problems and seeks solutions. A higher ethic and moral is awakening: the need for connectivity, community, the need of co-operation, mutual development, empathy, harmony / love, the importance of mental health. It's important to be in harmony with our inner and external nature through natural living and awakening awareness.
In the western world the green value system propagates: Canada, the Netherlands, Northern Europe, Scandinavian countries had implemented the green social model and other countries are following them. Our culture is shifting towards the green value system ..
While the social values are shifting from rigid hierarchies to natural hierarchies based on the collective experience (ie. "green"), at the individual level the integral value system appeared. Systemic thinking (all outputs should be inputs for something else, everything is interconnected in the web of life), intuitive polymath, non-linear problem solving are important skills. The integral is able to identify with the previous value systems, "speaks everybody's own language," accepts the situation such as it is, rides the "flow", sees the interconnection between the component parts and exploits the potential of whole, for the benefit of all. Knows that everyone is unique and has his/her intrinsec value, we all have a well-defined role in the web of life.
Collective individualism, glocality (global thinking and local acting), integrated versatility, interdisciplinarity instead of over-specialization, flexibility associated with independence, flow, "do-be-do-be" - here are some of the key concepts of the integral value system.. but these are the themes of a later article.
Today we are witnessing the emergence of the green-integral culture.