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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Spirituality of Integrity

Yesterday I discussed the three Christian mysteries of Creation, Incarnation, and Resurrection and their corresponding spiritualities.

In my own reflection on the historical research, I think that Jesus of Nazareth probably exercised a creation spirituality, but was received by his companions as a unique expression of the divine (incarnation) and by reformers and the establishment as a radical transformer (resurrection). While persons I named in the previous blog may show a more dominant spiritual trait, all those with deeper spirituality do integrate all three.

I said that the three spiritualities complement each other and correct their distortions. To show this I return to my integrity ethics in which I identified three dimensions of human existence or presence: spatial, temporal, communal; being here, now, with.

Creation spirituality corresponds to the communal or "with" dimension: the tension between person and community, the individual and the whole. It is the sense of relation to and among all persons and all things. God, the holy, transcendence consists in the whole fabric or relationships that hold us, the universe, the multiverse together. It denies a universal or absolute viewpoint beyond the integration of all viewpoints. Such a viewpoint would be the abdication of community responsibility and culture.

Incarnational spirituality corresponds to the spatial or "here" dimension: the tension between inner and outer, spirit and body, interiority and externality at the same point. God, the sacred, transcendence consists in universal consciousness, the wonder of nature, the emerging pattern in chaos. It denies a separate space outside from which a deus ex machina can intervene to fix things.  Such a supernaturalism is the abdication of critical thought and science.

Resurrection spirituality corresponds to the temporal or "now" dimension: the tension between past and future, history and innovation in the same moment. God, the infinite, transcendence is the coming, becoming, intentionality to the new in the old, possibility in actuality. Radical transformation negates both the nostalgia of reaction and the fantasy of utopia out of which salvation comes. Reaction and apocalypse is the abdication of transformative action and politics

When creation spirituality fixes on a single viewpoint or idolizes a human institution, incarnation thinking says "transcend by going deeper" and resurrection thinking says "pass on to the new."

When incarnational spirituality gets stuck in a certain place, creation thinking says "consider its relations to others in the dynamic whole" and resurrection thinking says "open new possibilities and transform."

When resurrection spirituality exalts a utopian new order, resurrection thinking says "remember where you came from" and incarnational thinking says "nothing is pure and perfect."

A spirituality of integrity integrates not only the terms of each of the tensions: self and other, inner and outer, past and future.  It integrates the tensions themselves so that the real is always in the ideal and the ideal in the real.  The holy/sacred/infinite in transcendence is the dynamism of the whole of creation, life, and history revealed in our presence--being here, now, with.  In a spirituality of integrity, the religious, science, and politics are all present and accounted for.

And to refer back to and follow up on my previous reflections on humor, the best sign of an integral spirituality is a sense of humor.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Three Mysteries

Bernie and I love English mysteries--whodunits where unknown killers are revealed by clever (but usually flawed) detectives.

Mystery originally meant "secret"; and in the mystery religions of Roman times, mysteries were secret rites, key doctrines, unknown at least by rational means, that opened the door to human meaning and salvation.

Christianity has three central mysteries, each leading to a special "spirituality" or existential stance towards reality.  Each also has a dark side or distortion. They are: creation, incarnation, and resurrection. Simularities I think can be found in other spiritual traditions.

Creation:

Creation is the doctrine of why there is something rather than not nothing; how we got here and why; the purpose and meaning of the universe, our earth, and us. The latest edition of our creation story includes the big bang, cooling inflation, separation of elements in dense gasses, development of large structures galaxies, stars, planets, including the sun and earth, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen and the evolution of life, mammals, homo, homo sapiens, development of culture, economics, and politics.

When I consider creation spirituality, I think of St. Francis Assisi, Meister Ekhardt, Thoreau, Thomas Berry, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and indigious religion.  Some of its marks are: a sense of unity with the universe, reaffirmation of the feminine principle, relationship with all living beings, a respect for the earth, assumption of the role as caregiver and gardener, and original blessing. The Christian writings that embody a creation spirituality are found in Matthew and Mark.

But the creation story and its spirit also has its distortions: humanity as dominator of nature, original sin and sacrifice, mastery over the woman and the earth, foundation and authority by a male architect and ruler. This is loss of a sense of comedy in tragedy.

Incarnation:

Incarnation is the doctrine of the incorporation of divinity in humanity, spirit in matter, transcendence as immanence.  This doctrine runs contrary to the Platonism of ancient times and the Cartesianism of modern times. Scholarship indicates that Jesus probably did not teach incarnation, he was more of a creationist.  And he certainly did not teach it about himself. But that is what he meant to his earliest followers. He became a direct way to encounter the Transcendent without the need of middle men, whether kings or priests. The latest nuance in this doctrine is the discernment of the sacred in the secular. Action with others for the just city is where we are linked to the divine act of creation.

Some of the marks of incarnationism are: engaging in the world, immersion into the messiness, chaos, indeterminacy of matter, holy sexuality, respect for science, transcendence in, not apart from, material reality.

St Ignatius Loyola promoting contemplation in action, affirming the importance of liberal education in the humanities, and daring to intervene in politics of church and society is an incarnationist. Kierkegaard, the discoverer of the religious in human existence, consider the Incarnation as the central doctrine. We also think of Thomas Aquinas, Gallileo, Teilhard de Chardin, Gabriel Marcel, Reinhold Niebuhr, Harvey Cox, Riane Eisler, Luce Irigaray. In Christianity, the Johanine writings best illustrate this doctrine and spirituality.

The distortions: incarnation as a dropping out of and back to another place and time, separation of matter and spirit, Machiavellian politics, suffering/matter/flesh as evil, utilitarian ethics, disenchantment of nature, the one dimensionality of consumerism, personal self-interest over or constituting the public sphere, material gain as divine favor. I think this is the loss of a sense of contingency.

Resurrection:

Resurrection is the doctrine of salvation and redemption and also of hope. In the face of death which all creation undergoes and which is encountered in the incarnation, persons and communities and nations can achieve life. This is the doctrine of radical transformation symbolized by the caterpillar, the cocoon, and the butterfly. It is the desire for justice in a situation of injustice.

Some of the marks of resurrection are hope in a desperate situation, commitment to liberation in an oppressive social order, action with others in the work of transformation, organization of publics--spaces of freedom and actualization.

In Christian writings, it is Luke and Paul that emphasize resurrection. I think of the great reformers Luther, DiFiori, John XXIII, the liberation theologians from Boff to Cone, feminist and civil rights advocates.

But there are distortions of a resurrection spirituality.  A discontinuation in time, revolution as an engineered force, a morally superior vanguard, judgment by a new order of higher beings, apocalyptic thinking that denies history and the material universe. I think this is a loss of the sense of irony.


These three mysteries and their spiritualities complement and correct the distortions or idols of each other. I explain next.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Church and Secularism

The Pope's resignation has stimulated many news articles about the Roman Catholic Church.

Last Sunday there was an article about Cardinal Archbishop Whurl of DC who, perhaps waging his own campaign for office, said that the next Pope must be able to evangelize Fallen Away Roman Catholics to renounce the secularism into which they have tumbled and return to the Church.

Bishop Whurl just doesn't get that many of us FARCs have left the RC Church precisely because we wanted to deepen our spirituality. As I argued earlier, Whurl, like other religious leaders, misunderstands the meaning of the secular.  We FARCs see that the RCC in its doctrine, its ritual, and especially its authority 1) puts off radical transformation to some other time and space, e.g. assumption into heaven or spiritual body resurrection, and 2) separates the sacred from the secular, spirit from body, father sun from mother earth. So doing, it supports a political economy that encourages a consumer culture that is destroying our habitat and each other.

We who have left the authority structure of the RC Church have not abandoned the sacred in life, action, and creation. Nor have we left the universal congregation of the faithful. We place ourselves in and ally ourselves with many congregations, including many secular and religious communities of women and men (in and out of affiliation with Roman authority) which are seeking cultural, economic, and political justice.

Most of us who have left the RCC authority structure have so done because we want to be part of a congregation that exemplifies solidarity, integrity, inclusiveness in the path of Jesus and his earliest desciples (which I learned in catechism are the marks of the true ecclesia). These are congregations that exclude no one from the table, that act in concert to ensure that people of color, women, immigrants, gay and lesbian persons, and the poor have equity, and that place no priestly or patron class over or between persons and the fulfillment of their potential here and now.

Bishop Whurl cannot see, much less accept, that.  His identity and his power are totally wrapped up in the organization of authority of the RCC.

Perhaps Joe Ratzinger now does see that. Perhaps this is why, like us FARCs, he resigned. I pray so.

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Update: Just learned that Joe is keeping his Popename, the white dress, and staying in the Vatican. So my prayers were not answered.

Humor and Politics

So (notice how everybody starts talking with "so" these days)...

In the last blog we followed Lippit treating humor from an incongruity that stimulates a psychic release (e.g. laughter) to an attitude of human existence.  Both Kierkegaard and Nietzsche point to humor as signifying the highest human achievement (the religious for K, transcendence for N).

Homo sapiens is the only species we know that can both speak and laugh at least in the highly and increasingly complex way that we do. And evolutionary psychologists like Terrence Deacon trace that to our developed ability to use symbolic forms. That is, imagination, designing images which represent things; or objectification, cutting out of our sensual field objects which stand apart from us; or abstraction, making symbols that include other symbols or groups of them; or thought, putting forth ideas to understand things in a way that they can be criticized and transformed to better understand things.

The use of symbols in imagination, thinking, and just accommodating to our environment means a distancing, a setting apart, a taking of a higher viewpoint.

Let's consider some great humorists.  I think of: Aristophanes portraying the women of Greece who stop war by witholding sex from their increasingly horny husbands and lovers. Chaucer and his Canterbury Tales of the foibles of medieval royalty, church people, tradesmen. Cervantes and his unwitting Don Quixote with lance drawn giving the coup de grace to chivalry. Mark Twain's story of Huck deciding to go to hell rather than betray slave friend Jim. Charlie Chaplin on the assembly line. George Carlin on his Catholic upbringing; Bill Cosby and Dick Gregory stories of their black heritage. Woody Allen as the Jew in psychotherapy.

What is common to all is their making fun of themselves and the groups that define them. That implies a distancing--an ability to look down on themselves as silly mortals from the viewpoint of the gods. A sense of humor is a sense of contingency. Humor means not taking ourselves too seriously as if we know the truth, are righteous, are at the top of the heap. In fact nothing is funnier than seeing the righteous, top dog, aristocrat slip on the banana or get a pie in the face especially if we can see ourselves there as well. Think Marx Brothers or Monty Python.

I am reminded of my favorite line in Genet's Balcony. After the revolutionaries capture the power elite (the general, the bishop, the president, the industrialist), they bring them to the brothel and ask the Madame what they should do with them. She doesn't say kill them. She says: "Take off their clothes!" Once when some black folk were going to have a meeting with Chicago Mayor, Saul Alinsky told them to imagine him without any clothes on. At the meeting you would hear chuckles and know that some were taking Alinsky's advice.

A sense of humor is a political virtue and laughter is a political act. Humor puts us all in the same situation--no one better than anyone else and all of us are prone to silly mistakes. Comics laugh with, not at. The do not ridicule by reducing someone to less than a person.

Compare Jon Stewart to Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh and his kind ridicule their opponents. They are mean. They turn other persons into objects of hatred or evil aliens. They objectify and distance the other without any means of reconciliation because they do not include themselves in the joke. Ridicule polarizes by making the other totally other without the possibility of a relationship in which one laughs together at common foibles. Notice how often the Limbaugh kind argue ad hominem--not by countering an argument through evidence, but by labeling the person as stupid or evil or enemy.

This is true on the left as well. I have heard tirades by revolutionaries who label people with whom they disagree politically, economically, culturally as fascists or ignorants to be done away with. Stalin and Pol Pot were revolutionaries without a sense of humor. I remember the Weather Underground when they lost their sense of humor and got serious--and destructive.

Jon Stewart makes fun of all of them right, left, and center but without the meanness. He exposes silly opinions and beliefs, contradictions and hypocrisies, without demonizing the people who hold them. Most important he includes himself in his humor. We laugh with Jon Stewart because we are not taking him or ourselves seriously. We snarl with Rush Limbaugh because we take ourselves and him very seriously.

Look at Cervantes and his treatment of Don Quixote. Don Quixote is a caricature, fantasizing the silly waning ideal of medieval knighthood foiled by the practical, realistic Sancho Panza. But Quixote is a sympathetic and even tragic figure whom we with Cervantes come to love. True humor links comedy and tragedy because it is the consciousness of contingency in all human affairs. It would not be humorous if Don Quixote were just a fool to be ridiculed and dismissed. Nor would it be one of the greatest pieces of literature ever produced.

The righteous true believers without a sense of humor, who get their kicks by putting down their opponents, polarize and so diminish politics. Stewart, Colbert, Capitol Steps, Saturday Night Live get us to laugh at ourselves, help us to acknowledge the tension of life and create a space of free speech and interaction.

Classically the definition of our species has been "speaking animal" or "laughing animal" or "political animal." All those definitions go together. Our ability to use symbols makes it possible to distance ourselves and laugh. Without humor there is no solidarity with our contingent companions on the journey and therefore no politics.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ideology and Humor

The liberal press was laughing at the seriousness with which the conservative media took a journalist's sarcastic inquiry as to whether Senator Hegel, nominee for Secretary of Defense, ever spoke before Friends of Hamas and the Junior League of Hezbollah. Without checking whether such organizations even exist (they do not!), the rumor shot round conservative talking heads and internet sites of a new concern about Hegel taking money from foreign terrorist organizations.

A New York times article and a Huff News analyst indicated that this is why Republicans are so behind in using the internet. But a commentator on this article proffered that their real problem was not technical but "epistemological." These folks simply cannot recognize humor.  And I think he is right.

Remember Colbert and President Bush's perplexity at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.

But then I don't think it's a Republican or Democratic, nor a Liberal or Conservative matter.  GK Chesterton and William Buckley were great conservative humorists. And I sure know a number of people on the Left who take themselves too seriously. I think it is a matter of a fundamental attitude towards human life and existence.

I remembered the Danish minister and philosopher S├Áren Kierkegaard had a lot to say about humor and human existence.  And in googling him I found British Philosopher John Lippit and his wonderful treatment of humor in a series of four papers. He first considers humor as incongruity following Kant and Schopenhauer; then as superiority following Hobbes; then following Freud as psychic release.  While all these provide some insight into humor, none or all of them do not really provide a verifiable theory. So he drops the quest for theory and, in his fourth paper, deals with Nietzsche and Kierkegaard to consider humor and its affiliates irony, sarcasm, ridicule as existential phenomena.

K and N have decidedly different vocabulary and belief systems.  Just notice their different takes on "Christianity," "morality," and "religious." Yet as Lippit indicates, both see irony and humor as positive expressions of human existence. Both see in humor "expressions of the limitations of human possibility" and the "limits of all human objects of desire" (Lippit). Both would see humor not as a divergence (mere entertainment), but more as an existential attitude to all things human including oneself and even one's beliefs.

K speaks the language of the leap of faith through the contradictory situation of finding enjoyment in the suffering of limitations. N speaks the language of never giving up the critique and the search for a higher human condition (Ubermensch) which is more a dimension than a state of being; and I think should be translated "transcendence" rather than indicating some man of steel or the Kurzweilian Singularity. K speaks of a place and time of rest in God, but without certainty and even without ever giving up search or contradiction. His God seems very close to the Ubermensch, i.e. transcendence achieved here and now through faith, not belief.  In other words: the mystery of the Incarnation: the sacred not beyond, but in the secular; spirit not separate from, but of matter.

The ideologue, Hoffer's "True Believer," whether left, center, or right, whether liberal or conservative, whether Democrat or Republican cannot distinguish, must less relativize, his beliefs through faith or transcendence. The ideologue has one path and cannot envision another, one doctrine and cannot understand another, one language, one god, one absolute. Lacking imagination, he cannot laugh at himself, his products, his nation, his world. He can laugh at others to whom he feels superior as long as it does not include himself or his kind. He confuses ridicule which is mean and damning with humor which is jovial and redemptive.  

More to come on the humorist.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Revolution or Reform


Am I a Revolutionary or a Reformer?  Well, maybe neither.

I once wrote an article that Martin Marty published in his New Theology series—my 15 minutes of fame. I distinguished “revolution,” as in the stars, as cyclical time in which creation all starts over again from “rebellion” as Camus described it as more historical but never totally resolved time.  So I still associate revolutionaries in the manner of Pol Pot who would totally remake the cosmos by destroying all that came before.  I like Trotsky’s notion of “perpetual revolution” better—but still it seems to not only throw out all the bathwater, if not the baby, when even some of the bathwater might be preserved—although filtered.

As for “reform,” it sounds too wishy washy—tinkering around the edges without making fundamental changes.  I.e. changing form but not substance. Though I liked Pope John’s call to “semper reformendum” and the notion of institution (i.e. form) change.

So I guess I don’t want to refer to myself as a revolutionary or a reformer—my idiosyncrasy.  Politically I would like to describe myself as a republican in the sense of creating and sustaining publics—spaces of freedom where people can act and achieve power.  Unfortunately that wonderful word has been totally discredited by the US Party.

Incidentally, I often describe myself as culturally a libertarian, economically a socialist, and politically a republican—with the political limiting any of the excesses of economics (including socialism) and politics and economics limiting any of the excesses of culture (including libertarianism).  In my mind, all the institutions of culture including church and university, all the institutions of economy including the market and corporation, and all the institutions of politics including government and its agencies should be accountable to the public(s) and their interest(s).  “Social justice”—a phrase still important to me includes political, economic, and civil/cultural justice.  But to me, mentored by Arendt and Dewey, the political (including but not limited to accountable government) is primary.

Not sure how revolutionary that is. Such republican moments have been found throughout human history and I think can be justified in human existence and nature.  Arendt did call them revolutions—all of which were betrayed by the economic and cultural. Those republican moments need to be continually organized and sustained.

Presently I do see the American state as a plutocracy in democratic or populist form, not a republic. And to achieve its republican ideal might indeed be a “revolutionary” action.

Secular and Sacred

The Pope's resignation cast attention on one of his missions shared by so many of the religious righteous: confronting the growth in "secularization."

Leaders of church, synagogue, mosque, and temple lament the fact that many, especially youth, in more liberal cultures are rejecting affiliation with organized religion. These youth are accepting a scientific method that rejects supernatural entities and institutions. They are advancing a libertarian approach to artistic expression, sexual orientation, and personal morality.

Some religious leaders, acting in their own and their organizations' interests, consider this a marketing crisis and opportunity; and they search for forms of language, music, and other arts to translate their own doctrines and traditions into popular culture. This seems to work for many of the mega-churches. Others retreat into advancing among the urban lonely and rural fearful a place of confident and predictable certainty in personal salvation apart from the masses of unsaved. This seems to work for many of the traditional or old-time churches.

Even in my very "liberal" congregation, some of us in a "theological inquiry group" expressed the importance to retreat at moments to a sacred time and place in order to recall and remind ourselves for our social justice action in the world. Other progressive humanist, new age, ethical, skeptical, agnostic, and/or atheist societies argue that sacralization, religion itself, is the problem.

The problem, in my way of integrity ethics thinking, is not secularization or even religion but the separation of the secular from the sacred or vice versa in both conservative and progressive circles. This may be due to a misunderstanding or even misuse of both secular and sacred, or as I would prefer to put it more philosophically, between human existence and human transcendence. (And this is due to a fundamental built-in fallacy in human thought and behavior: the confusion between the expressing and the expressed which I have dealt with at length elsewhere.)

There is a legitimate concern that the Pope and religious leaders, progressive and conservative, are pointing to: the loss of transcendence in human being and acting in the world.  It was expressed as "one-dimensionality" by the Marxist thinker Herbert Marcuse in a world dominated by consumerism. Science thinker David Deusch calls it the "rejection of infinity" in a world dominated by fear of the unknown. But I find almost all religious, philosophical, and scientific traditions wrestling to deal with transcendence in human being and action--even those who reject it or put it outside somewhere.

"Immerse yourself in matter," said Teilhard de Chardin. There is where spirit is found--consciousness, transcendence. Not out there somewhere, not in some other time and place. It is the religion and philosophy and science and culture which separate the secular from the sacred that are leading to their own demise into the "secularization" they deplore.

I know that the 30-40 thousand people, most of them young, with whom I marched yesterday around the White House for action on limiting carbon emissions and protecting the earth were in touch with the sacred whether they were affiliated with a religious congregation (many of us were) or not. I also experienced it in the devoted, yet critical, organization to elect President Obama but not let him off the hook. I certainly see my own congregation called All Souls Church as a small part of that universal convening or ecclesia.

Finally.  Yes, we do need free time to rest up from daily labors; and we need leisure to withdraw into the fine art of thinking. But this is NOT to say that social action in the world is secular and that prayer, meditation, worship, thinking in church or nature is sacred. There is a continuity of daily life and social action punctuated by moments of deeper thought and experience.  But we are always and everywhere in and of the secular.  It is only there that we are in touch with our own transcendence.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Manifesto for a New Economic Mind and Morality




The Global Economy is failing. The dominant arrangements of doing business, creating and maintaining wealth, and providing the means of livelihood are now destroying humanity and the very conditions of human life. 

The signs of this destruction are evidenced by:
  • The growing gap between the extremely poor and the extremely rich and a dwindling middle class.
  • The numerous popping “bubbles” of boom and bust stressing families and neighborhoods.
  • The reliance for profit on disasters including war and ecological adversity.
  • The depletion of earth, social, and political resources.
  • The rapid warming of the earth and change of climate.
  • The growing volatility within and among nations and groups.
  • The frequent resort to violence and militarism.
  • The loss of localism in business and commerce; and the increasing concentration of power in transnational corporations with little allegiance to the community or nation of origin.
  • The separation of owners, workers, communities, and the earth.
  • The dependency on massive financial institutions that control the supply and value of money.
  • The ideological clashes irresolvable because of the contradictions in the fundamental premises of the old global economy.


While the effects of this economy are already devastating to the extremely poor, the devastation to the human species as a whole is not far away.  This argues for a sense of urgency to change our behavior profoundly and quickly. The rising appreciation of the destructiveness of the present global economy presents an opportunity to consider a different economy, a sustainable capitalism, by which humans would act more in concert with themselves, their neighbors and communities, and the earth, which is the primary condition of their life. 

Such an economy would:
  1. Maintain the relationship between economy and ecology.
  2. Support all the capitals of human being, not just financial assets, to build true wealth holistically.
  3. Represent an inside-out strategy that builds wealth on local, earth-based and community assets.
  4. Base itself on an ethic of integrity, which is neither relativist nor absolutist, but holds creative tension in all dimensions of human being.
  5. Nourish a politics of inclusion through interacting voluntary associations or publics to build a wealth in which all people profit.
  6. Use measures of success that relate to maintaining and growing true wealth and the personal and public happiness of persons rather than the accumulated capacity to use up or consume.
  7. Allow all persons options for livelihoods that are risky, creative, instructive, and satisfying of their deepest aspirations without the necessity of sacrificing the basic needs of life.


The highway to the sustainable economy is neither incidental reform nor violent, absolutist revolution. Reform that keeps the present arrangements and institutions or Revolution that brings in a new order through force will not lead to a sustainable economy.  A sustainable economy must be systemic and holistic, i.e. an economy built on entirely new principles and consists in totally new arrangements in the way we do business with one another. But it must come not from a powerful and enlightened elite the top, nor from radically dejected victims at the bottom.  It must develop, as it must embody, from the inside out, in local communities, demonstrating the link of gaining livelihood and fostering the life processes of the earth, and built on the basic integrity of the human condition.

While the move to a sustainable economy is urgent, it seems at times to be impossible.  There are overpowering delusions that are holding us back. These delusions include the “myth of the invisible hand,” some transcendent intelligence that arises out of and guides individuals working for their own selfish interests without interference from others or the community. Another is the “collectivist utopia” under the authority of some religious or governmental leader or party. Another delusion is “absolute truth,” revealed by a World Spirit or Omniscient Entity, written in a holy book or constitution or philosophy that removes the human spirit from the responsibility of dealing with the messiness of matter.

More formidable are the institutions in which we have encased ourselves for our own survival that perpetuate the present economy: religious institutions, huge transnational corporations, autonomous states whose officials are in the employ of Church and Corporation, and the rising Plutocracy which controls most of the world’s financial wealth.

But this is not a time for the self-fulfilling prophesies of despair and cynicism. It is the time for action out of hope in the regenerative ability of humanity.

The sustainable economy requires a new mind and a new morality that is happily revealing itself in actual actions and events. These acts of transformation are already transitioning our behavior towards a sustainable politics and economy.

These acts of transformation include:
  • New ventures in “earth friendly” manufacturing and agriculture.
  • Renewable energy enterprises to displace carbon-emitting producers.
  • Urban planning and development for sustainable communities and agriculture.
  • Public and private community-based financing and investment.
  • Public and private service towards community-building economic ventures.
  • Community oriented businesses and cooperatives.
  • Policies for basic life need security of nourishment, education, health, mobility, and shelter.
  • Experiments in liberating education that fosters innovation in science and art, creative earth-friendly technology, entrepreneurship in producing the means of livelihood, and shaping a personal and communal path to knowledge that is not measured by financial accumulation.
  • Organization and development of voluntary organizations that promote a sustainable economy.


Through these activities seeded, planted, and nourished in local communities, fostered by public and private investment and support, and exemplifying a new mind and morality, economic arrangements and institutions are organizing themselves that will replace the present unsustainable economy.

The mind and morality of the sustainable economy is founded on an emerging new image of human transcendence and a renewed ethic of integrity.  Our task is to promote these acts of transformation through personal engagement and public policy (including investment and taxation). Our task is also to contemplate and disseminate the new emerging image of human transcendence and the ethic of integrity.

Our task is urgent and daunting. There is no time or place for dejection and pessimism. We need to engage in and promote thousands of transformational acts, large and small, and build a movement through which we are in communication with each other to nourish the emerging mind and morality of the new sustainable economy. 

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This is a draft.  Please edit as you would like for distribution.

Some background reading:
Gar Alperovitz, America Beyond Capitalism
David Korten, Agenda for a New Economy
Jame Gustave Speth, America the Possible: Manifesto for a New Economy
Rollie Smith, Meditations for an Ethic of Integrity