Andrew Zolli, author of Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back, is part of an association of change agents who have gathered together under the name “Pop Tech.” Andrew “curates” conferences which draw presenters from mostly-isolated “silos of excellence” together with knowledgeable audiences to foment resilient responses to the world’s challenges. Part of what comes out of the conferences are “Popcasts,” short videos on resilience I have found quite engaging. Most of his Popcast presenters would “pass” in the establishment mainstream. I take great hope in the fact that the U.S. mainstream has a group of people who are looking at “The Great Disruption” and trying to get smart about responding to the major systems changes.

(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-43528907-1’, ‘’);
ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

Posted in Industrial Civ., Transition | Leave a comment


Or Terrified Beyond Words?

I feel good about what I wrote in the first six posts of this year.

And then I stopped.

I feel good about that, too.
My emotional life, my intellectual understanding, are part of a larger flow of many, many things, including Quaker memorial services and weddings, and earning a living.

I do not feel I am called to a linear predictability and progress.
am called to a larger pattern.

Here’s a poem I wrote almost 30 years ago that I “just happened” to find today.


Why do I speak of Gaia?

Who can say?
One reason:

And mine,
If I will give myself to it.
But I am frightened.

George Lock Land
Called it “information fit.”
That’s easier to bear
For an agnostic-born.

Had his church, his Christ.
He grew up
He was floating on the bosom of Love
So it was easier for him.

I am terrified.
It’s like being eaten
To know
The strands of my life
Those woven, and those still loose,
Are oriented
In ways beyond my ken.

And yet
In 1976
When I fell
From the web
Of my life’s weaving
I fell
With a sense of rightness
A sense of orientation.

In the darkness
Of my personal confusion
I felt clearly,
The coördinates of a larger grid.
I knew
This darkness
Is held
Something larger
Than I knew.


For years
And yet,

Even as I wove
I felt
By Knowing
Ever more deeply
of a larger grid.

Of intent?

I choose
Within a context
Too dynamic to be called a grid.

I choose,
And feel
A response,
Subtly woven
Into the consequences.
I am led
I am brought up short
I learn
What I already knew
I know

Within the Tao

R.O.F. 10/14/1983

(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-43528907-1’, ‘’);
ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

Posted in About Richard, Fields, Guidance | 1 Comment

Synchronicity, Serendipity, Epiphany & Apophenia

I started my March 30 post with the familiar ironic trope, “just a coincidence…”

There, the reader could believe that I think it is more than a coincidence, while not needing to take a position herself. Now I want to address some of the embedded issues more directly. And have some word-play.

In my early March posts I maintained that going into my fear was important for me to do. I suggested it might be important for some (but not all) of you to do that as well. I claimed a good bath in one’s fear would likely lead to more freedom and flexibility afterwards. I said

Once you have given that painful thing the attention it deserves, then you are freed to express your full self in new ways, or in ways you had forgotten you have access to.

But my ironic use of the word “coincidence” suggests that I believe if we are willing to enter the darkness of our un-admitted fears, something bigger than just personal empowerment might be accessed.

Others might say my discovery of Stephen Jenkinson’s OrphanWisdom website was “serendipitous.” “Serendipity” means “a fortunate set of circumstances. An unplanned-for lucky event.” We’re talking “chance” here, “coincidence.” Good luck, without any greater significance than that.

Where others might say “Serendipitous,” I’ll say “an example of synchronicity.”
Speaking of the inventor of the word, Wikipedia says

Jung was transfixed by the idea that life was not a series of random events but rather an expression of a deeper order…

I, too, am transfixed by this idea. It is the foundation of this website, and I press this idea upon you, my readers, as we face The Great Disruption that Paul Gilding sees ahead.

A deeper order…

Flammarion caption

Yes! Traditional cultures the world over have recognized this. Unfortunately, Industrial Civilization has lost track of this aspect of reality. My message is that, as we enter fully into the Great Disruption, we can look to the deeper order for guidance. Meditation, Experiment with Light, the I Ching, Quaker meetings for worship, these are ways I have found to be in touch with, and receive guidance from, a deeper order of things. I know many people who have found other ways, as well. The experience of “epiphany” is well documented. Suddenly an ongoing mystery or confusion is illuminated and one’s understanding is enlarged.
“Was blind but now I see…”
I believe we can expect and rely on this guidance.*

We need to talk about this.
If there is a deeper order
–call it “God’s will,” whatever– then surely we need to attend to it as we remake our culture.

But is this idea of a deeper order a wishful fantasy? Can we only hope for serendipity but not trust in synchronicity? Skeptics, those who see randomness in evolution and in all aspects of human life, say the experience of meaningful connection is a trick of the human imagination. Where I say “epiphany,” they say “apophenia,” the experience of meaningful connection where none exists.

I want to take this argument seriously, rather than dismissing it. I think they have a point. I personally have put myself in a frame of mind where I could see faces and figures in the shapes of clouds. And I have pointed them out to friends who could see what I was referring to. I personally have had encounters with paranoia, especially in others, where Fred (say) felt a haunting sense danger, saw evil intent in every whispered remark. Fred has a clear experience of meaning. It is obvious to me that much of Fred’s experience is not related to any reality he and I share. OK, in my life, I have a clear experience of meaning. How can I trust my sense any more than I trust Fred’s? And to make it murkier, there are many examples of a gray area of artistic genius and mental instability.

* The suicide cult phenomenon
* groups with such a strong sense of shared meaning that they gather at a specified time to await the rapture
* beliefs that cataclysmic events would occur around 21 December 2012

How can I dismiss these examples of our apophenia and still take seriously “guidance” that comes to me or others?
If I believe in an invisible world underlying the material world, and
I believe it is possible to receive guidance from invisible influences,
how do I think we can distinguish between these numinous meanings, these leadings, and paranoid fantasies?
“Humility,” for starters.
And testing one’s leadings in the context of the group.

Friends, we do need to guard against creating “castles in the air.”
We need to guard against the powerful human tendency to create meanings disconnected from the larger realities of our biosphere. But isn’t that what we’ve got right now, in this endgame of industrial civilization? A shared construction of “reality” which is profoundly disconnected from the larger truths on which our lives are built?

This will not be easy, friends, but I offer to you, as an article of faith: we are individual expressions of a divine reality. If, in community and humility, we resolve to create a human world more in harmony with our overall Gaian reality than our current one is, it can be done.


* Patrick Curry has written a written a book on divination, his word for seeking and receiving guidance. It’s beyond my reach for a couple of reasons, but some pages of it lie behind the “preview”  button at: Divination: Perspectives for a New Millennium

(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-43528907-1’, ‘’);
ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

Posted in 'Divine Action', Guidance, Industrial Civ., Transition | Leave a comment

Stephen Jenkinson on Our Dying Culture, pt. 2 & 3

Paul Gilding

So this is my journey, at this point.

Paul Gilding has inspired me not to feel marginalized. Not to slink around as if I was carrying a bunch of crazy ideas, rather than having a partial grasp of what will soon be obvious to most of us. Paul is concerned about the planetary ecosystem, but is focused on the global economy as being the most vulnerable part of that system. The part that, when it breaks, will move us out of our torpor and onto a “wartime footing.”


Stephen Jenkinson also cares about the global environment, but he is focused on the daily culture of our lives, and inspires me to refocus on that myself.
We agree Industrial Civilization has gotten us into crazy situation. I believe that is partially because

“…when Science talked mainstream culture out of believing in heaven and hell,
it offered us no emotionally-satisfying mythic story,
leaving us, as a culture, terrified of death.

The overall mission of my website, my overall message, is to offer our emerging culture an emotionally-reassuring vision of our place in the larger scheme of things. I need this, and am gratified to have it. It helps me to accept my approaching death, and the death of Industrial Civilization. Like Stephen, I believe that community is the basic unit of human life, not the individual. Alone or separated we are undernourished and inadequate. Working with those we know well –whether we actually like them or not– our lives have meaning and we can love life, even in challenging circumstances.

In my previous post I presented some of Stephen Jenkinson’s thinking in his own voice. That may have been enough for you, dear reader, in which case you can skip over listening to the final two segments. They add richness, but you already have the flavor.

Part 2 of my edit of Stephen Jenkinson’s interview, focusing on our response to our dying culture. Nine minutes.

  • Parenting from beyond the grave [as a model for living during cultural breakdown] a challenge to live into and accept the pain of our situation. To really understand what we had and what we are losing.
    • Asking that your kids pay close attention to what is happening
  • Practicing the skill of being human
  • The Irish potato famine as an example of a dying culture
  • “Learning” the dying of a failed culture
  • Accepting your too-short life and making the most of it, not trying to “preserve”
  • What could bring our full humanity to the surface for more than just a few of us?
  • The sad consequences of not getting a clear end to childhood

 The section of audio covered in the above segment 

Part 3 of my edit. Eleven minutes

  • Here’s a frame of mind to hold for the times ahead:
    • I am here because I am needed to help the culture die well. That’s the redemptive vision.
  • Not having children in these times.
  • Human beings should be in the business of making culture
  • Everything that dies is life-giving
  • A new culture can only grow out of the decomposed elements of the old
  • Being an elder, learning to be an elder
    • Not retiring to “safe” communities
  • What does it take to fall in love with being alive
    • Once you realize your life isn’t going to last…then you have the chance…
    • Italian weddings and Irish funerals
    • The twins of sadness and loving-being-alive
  • Grief is a learned thing [we need to learn it well]
  • We just might be fine.

 The section of audio covered in the above segment

(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-43528907-1’, ‘’);
ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

Posted in 'Divine Action', Guidance, Industrial Civ., Transition | Leave a comment

Feeling Fear Frees Me, Opens Me Up

Just a coincidence, right, that as I opened myself to the flow of my fear a new friend happened to mention the website

Stephen Jenkinson has a profound critique of our culture and a vision for some of the elements a “sane” culture needs to have. This Canadian “white guy” worked for years in “the death trade” in hospitals with repeated experiences of how crazy our culture is about dying. He has also gained much from Native American traditions. He brings these learnings into a way of teaching based on his “redemptive vision.”


I am moved, thrilled. Stephen is talking about culture, the big picture stuff. He thinks he can see where we need to go! He has focused his life on restoring “village culture,” which holds living and dying in a wholesome way, in the bosoms of all concerned.

His style is not my style. I may never learn to tan hides. Still, he refreshes my faith that we CAN find a way through our current mess, learning some crucial lessons about humanity in the process. And he inspires me with his grasp of the fundamentals of human existence. Him being right or wrong is not the point. His work is a wonderful example of looking fear in the eye, feeling the rush of adrenalin, and working toward the good of the whole as it may manifest in new times. And I know in my very soul that he is on to some really important stuff.

Naturally, I am particularly interested to hear what he has to say about The Great Disruption of Industrial Civilization. On the website I found an interview with a couple of younger guys from The “” The interview is over two hours long and covers much of what Stephen is thinking about. I have excerpted his statements  about our planetary situation, which he summarizes as “our culture is dying.” This first segment is 11 minutes long. The first three minutes are context, his work with the dying, his manner and his relation to the interviewers. Then,

  • “If the culture is dying, then what is asked of you?
  • “…your responsibility is to learn things you never wanted to know anything about.
  • “…it’s not a great achievement to be fearful in fearful times.
  • “…you’ve got to ask more of yourself than the circumstances would ask of you…
  • “[not]…start thinking about #1…I’m not gonna do it…
  • ” The sanest response is to make as much humanity as you can, while you are still able…
  • “The death of the culture doesn’t coincide with your personal death…

Stephen Jenkinson Interview, excerpt 1

I recommend this segment as an adequate introduction to what I find important in Stephen’s message at this point. If you have time and interest for more, the next post has it.

(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-43528907-1’, ‘’);
ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

Posted in Industrial Civ., Transition | 1 Comment

The Scream

Paul Gilding breaks our Great Disruption into three stages. The first he names The Scream, partly because of the shrill tone sounded by environmentalists and whole-planet-systems theorists, and partly in honor of Edvard Munch’s portrait,  Der Schrei der Natur (The ScreamThe_Scream of Nature).

Paul places the beginning of THE SCREAM period in the late 1950s, solidified by Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring, in 1962. It runs through today, and will end with THE CRASH, which Paul expects to arrive shortly.

I found myself surprised that Paul named our current period The Scream, and then surprised that I was surprised. An interesting ambiguity. Revealing, I think.

I ask myself, “Richard, don’t you think ‘The Scream’ is an apt name for this period? Haven’t you been in a state of terror?”


It’s a regular part of the human experience that in dreadful moments, like being abused as a child –but at many other times as well– we separate off a part of ourselves. We dis-associate our regular lives, where we are happy to see old acquaintances and other ordinary events, from the traumatic experience.

Yes, I was alarmed when first really got the significance of

And that alarm deepened to a state of panic on each occasion, when I

  • went to hearings
  • teach-ins
  • wrote letters to the authorities
  • went to demonstrations
  • published my newsletter
  • watched huge mobilizations I was not a part of

and nothing happened. Not really. Nothing happened that seemed anywhere commensurate with the seriousness of the situation.

  • Was it me? Was I being “hysterical?”
  • Was it “them?” Were my most paranoid acquaintances right: the world is run by rich and violent men who control all aspects of our lives, and hide that truth from us?
  • Were the demonstrations I participated in “allowed” because they were ineffective?
  • How could I really be effective?
  • Would I become a target if I was?

Does “The Scream” apply to me, and those I worked with? Yes.
Does it apply to my sister, who never did any of these things, but followed my life from the relatively safe vantage point of small-town mom?
Well, we’d have to say her’s was a Silent Scream.
And looking back from now, my Scream seems silent too.

Panic. Dread. Shouting into a vast silence of profoundly inadequate response.


I’m in trouble.
“Maybe it’s me, with a dangerously warped sense of urgency. Maybe it’s ‘them,’ controlling my life by whatever means necessary. Maybe it’s us, dumbed by an oil addiction, or simply biologically incapable of connecting the knowledge in our frontal cortex with the action centers of our brain.”

Bad trouble, for whatever reason, or combination of them.

And a trouble so quiet that when I saw Paul Gilding label the last 50 years as “THE SCREAM,” I asked myself


Posted in About Richard, Industrial Civ., Transition | Leave a comment

Going into my fear

Mar 5, 2013

Sixteen of us met with Betsy and her co-trainer, Mysnikol, for a six-week class: Faith and Hope In a Time of Uncertainty. We spent much of our time in pairs and small groups, addressing questions about what we feared and where we found hope. Two foundational assumptions of the workshop were:

  1. The best, truest, answers to such questions are the ones we find within ourselves, that rise out of our own lived experience.
  2. Just as you may deal with a stone in your shoe by walking on another part of your foot, so people tend to avoid things they fear. This is a natural short-term strategy but if it becomes habitual it also restricts the full range of the soul’s movement and growth.
    Over her lifetime, Joanna Macy has written many books and led many workshops on different subjects that take us through the same emotional arc. If you are in a problematic situation where you are afraid, you must go toward, go into, your fear. If you want to be as balanced and effective as possible in difficult circumstances, you must stop and reach for the stone that breaks your stride. Once you have given that painful thing the attention it deserves, then you are freed to express your full self in new ways, or in ways you had forgotten you have access to.

I believe everyone in the Hope & Faith class was able to do this, to some degree. The first two or three classes were tough for some. A fear which you have not yet befriended looms large with uncertainty. As we went into our fears, the ones particular to us, and the ones we shared, they lost some of their power. It was frightening. And the fears did not go away altogether. But as Joanna Macy and others have found, working with perhaps a million people,

  • Approaching the fear, the topic or subject we fear
  • Meeting it, getting to know it better, becoming familiar with it,
  • Frees valuable energy, lengthens our stride, helps us to carry our burdens.

Going toward the fear requires a certain readiness, enough available personal resources to start the work. It requires resolve, courage. And, almost universally, the result of a concentrated effort to do this work provides a sense of release, of relief and greater energy going forward.

This is my faith, as I turn to my work, which is also our work.

What I hear Paul Gilding say, which comes also from my thinking over the years, is that the “status quo” ended a while back, but Industrial Civilization has been semi-willfully ignoring it. I had been kind of expecting the turning point would be a spectacular environmental disaster that threatened health and lives where the wealthy nations are, like a sea level rise, or a nuclear spill.

Gilding says the world economy is the most delicate, sensitive part that Industrial Civilization has. The underlying conditions of resource depletion and the resulting increase in costs of farming, mining, etc. have been around and evident for years. These underlying conditions show up in our markets as prices, and in the availability and flexibility of money to meet the routine situations we have gotten ourselves into. Many of us know from direct experience how high credit card debt affects our flexibility and resilience. Industrial Civ. had maxed out or over-leveraged credit card after credit card, natural resource after natural resource, borrowing on each new one to make the payments on the old debt.

Don’t just say the words, Richard, feel the fear.



Let it sink in.

That fellow, Paul Gilding, has gotten to the point where he can say, “What’s next?”
He assumes the crash of over-leveraged resources in the 2008 housing market was just an early tremor, not “the big one.”
But let me pause.

Let us pause.


Let us pause and accept the weight of our fear.

The U.S. economy is “growing” again, squeezing more out of the earth’s finite resources, like fracking oil and gas.

This cannot, will not, go on. Global climate change is more powerful than markets.
“Growing” is not a long-term correction.

And speaking of corrections, the European Market zone is not growing. The Italian market is “too big to fail,” and it is moving down the same road as Iceland, Ireland, Greece and Spain, which were not nearly as big.


Is this how it will come? Sort of like the 2008 housing bubble bursting, only much worse?



 Art: Moksha Family Arts Collective


(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-43528907-1’, ‘’);
ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

Posted in Industrial Civ., Transition | 1 Comment


Mar 4, 2013

As I opened the floodgates at 4:30AM
and let the fear flow in,
a lot of things about my life make more sense.

  • Like what I’m doing with this website, for instance.

In later posts I’m going to be sharing some of my fears, here,
and my responses to them,
and this website is the perfect setting in which to do that. This setting testifies:

  1. I’ve been working on this for years.
  2. My fears may be life-changing, but they occur within a structure of faith which sustains me.
  • Another thing that is clearer now is why I have so repeatedly adopted the persona of trickster within my Quaker meeting community. The message I bring is so odd, so outside the bounds of consensus reality that it helps that my community is accustomed to hearing odd things from me.

My message…?

For years I’ve been saying Industrial Civilization will soon fall as a result of it own success/excess. (Joanna Macy calls it the end of “The Industrial Growth Society.”)
`Til now, as I have shared my message, I have been unsure if this transition would reach a crisis point in my lifetime (I’m 69). Now I feel clear it will happen before the end of Obama’s term as president, despite the best efforts of heads of state around the world.

What changed my sense of timing was discovering Paul Gilding.

given that, last night, I crossed the threshold of viscerally acknowledging my fears, I want to share what happens next with my community. I offer you a view of my life, in its closing years, as a gift to my community.
(This gift may have more value to those who know me. Readers without the background of knowing my lived life may find this even crazier than my friends do.)

To my friends, my community, I say “watch me,” from a safe distance, if you like. I’m going out ahead into the fear. It may be that really bad things will happen to me. Like the first person in a company of people going down a jungle path, I offer the risks I am taking as a gift to you, testing the way ahead. If I am felled, you will properly consider another way.

Or it may be, if I am right, that going into our fears is where we all need to go for greater sanity in the near term, and greater resilience later on. It may be, as Paul Gilding says, that the adrenaline rush I am now experiencing is what our culture will need in order to move into the Great Disruption and to move still further, into a mature and intelligent biosphere: Gaia.

(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-43528907-1’, ‘’);
ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

Posted in Industrial Civ., Transition | 2 Comments

My Playground, March 2012

2023, February. Looking at this post now, it seems to exhibit the enthusiasm of my inner child discovering a new playground! I run wildly from one new excitement to another, exclaiming “let’s talk about this! Oh, and let’s talk about this!”
It does cover many of my preoccupations, then and now.
However, onrushing climate change has had a sobering effect on me.

Like many children, I was a connoisseur of playgrounds. In my day, they were mainly in school yards. Monkey bars, slides, teeter-totters…some things you could count on in a new playground. Sometimes there were surprises.

Welcome to my new playground. I slapped the first draft of my new sketch-map of reality together for a presentation to a University of Minnesota class. My two biggest learnings: It “needs work” & I really love sharing this stuff.

Intro to Richard

Two years ago, I attended a transition Town training and a bunch of things I had been mulling on for years fell into place. For instance, pollution and the environmental crisis; the materialism of Industrial Civilization; individualism & community; humans’ proper relationship to the Earth; and a positive vision I can hold out for myself and others to move toward.

Transition Town (TT) doesn’t talk about all this stuff, but I’d like to, in the Q&A after I introduce TT.

A brief intro to Transition Town and to “Transition.”

To my mind, TT is a growing subculture where people can meet, think together and work together.

I think the most important aspect of the TT cultural space is that it is optimistic. It insists on maintaining a positive tone. Also important, it aims to be inclusive rather than divisive. It aims to reach across lines of race, social class and political affiliation, looking for what we can do together, rather than focusing on our differences.

TT Analysis of Our Present Situation

TT’s optimistic tone is important because the analysis of our near-term future is pretty challenging. I’ll simplify the analysis greatly, because I imagine most of you already know variations of it.

  1. Industrial Civilization can not go on at its current pace. We are profoundly dependent on cheap oil for transportation and materials like plastics. While we are not running out of oil, the cost of extracting it is rising rapidly, and “business as usual” is already faltering. The jargon name for this process is “Peak Oil,” and the web is full of gloom & doom scenarios, and websites of folks who deny these scenarios.
  2. The second major element in the Transition Town analysis is global climate change. Even if we found something else to burn instead of oil, continuing to get most of our goods from global supply chains that stretch thousands of miles will further disrupt our climate. This obviously applies to most of the stuff we buy in chain stores, but it also applies to much of the food we buy. “Local” is going to become increasingly important, and relatively affordable.
  3. Another reason to focus on local resilience is a future with even more financial instability. It looks like the U.S. administration has got the economy “growing” again, but this can’t last. And shouldn’t. We are “growing” way beyond the carrying capacity of the land, and the sooner we find ways to live that don’t take more than we give back, the better off we will be.

A familiar grim picture.

This is where Transition Town’s optimism offers a surprising and refreshing alternative.

“What we need to do,” says TT, “is to get to know our neighbors, find the ones we can work on shared projects with, and start building local resilience. This can be fun and surely is a good thing, whatever the future holds. TT says,

Here, let’s start with ___, right here in our neighborhood.

The emphasis is on getting started, locally, with the needs and resources and personalities near at hand. Don’t worry about figuring everything out in advance. TT offers four major areas that neighborhoods should think about covering:
food, transportation, home heating & cooling and health care. There are millions of appropriate-technology solutions that address these issues that haven’t been promoted because they don’t enhance corporate profits, home canning of farmers-market produce, for instance.

“Neighborhood” and “town” are vague terms here, but the basic idea is “resources you can get to without the use of a personal automobile.”

In my own case, my neighborhood may soon get a bus line, linked to the Central Corridor Light Rail. Based on that, I have come up with a vision of New Lexington, and a map of “my town,”one mile wide and 20 miles long.

This is just a vision. I’ve done little follow-through. I offer it here only as an example of what a Transition “Town” might look like within a major metropolitan area.

TT History and Current Scope:

TT blipped into international awareness in Totnes, a little market town in England, in 2006.

A handbook on how to do what Totnes was doing came out in 2008.

That same year a support organization for U.S. Transition efforts was launched. This organization has an excellent website with multiple resources for people at various stages of Transition awareness. They have developed a training program and certified trainers in many U.S. locations including two trainers in the Twin Cities.

The TT support umbrella has criteria for groups becoming an official part of the U.S. Transition network and over 100 “towns” have claimed that official status. Twin Cities, metro-wide, has a coordinating website at

Beyond the official Transition Town efforts there are many more efforts that have not sought official recognition. A typical mentions of local efforts appear in a Minneapolis neighborhood newspaper, Southside Pride.

These websites are an excellent way to learn the basics and to dive deeper into the areas you care most about.

The Wikipedia article has a good overview and lots of good links.

End of TT introduction.

~ ~ ~

Topics I’d love to get questions about, and where I would go to respond to them:

  1. Humans’ proper relationship to the Earth
    1. We are animals, primates
    2. Primates and other mammals have morality & empathy “built in” we are naturally community members. We contain both natural selfishness and a natural tendency to share, even at our own expense.
    3. Animals are expressions of earth: “The earth used to be molten rock. Now it sings opera.”
  2. Materialism is wrong. Mary Coelho
    The commercial “materialism” of “buying stuff” rises out of a much more profound “materialism” of believing “the material world is all there is.”
    There is an invisible world, out of which the material world arises.
  1. Humans’ proper relationship to the Earth
    1. We are animals, primates
    2. Primates and other mammals have morality & empathy “built in” we are naturally community members. We contain both natural selfishness and a natural tendency to share, even at our own expense.
    3. Animals are expressions of earth: “The earth used to be molten rock. Now it sings opera.”
  2. Materialism is wrong. Mary Coelho
    The commercial “materialism” of “buying stuff” rises out of a much more profound “materialism” of believing “the material world is all there is.”
    There is an invisible world, out of which the material world arises.

Humanity is at a choice point. = Life on earth has reached a turning point.

The Universe Story, told
* simply, with pictures,
* by Brian Swimme,
* by Mary Coelho
* speaking to those with a religious sensibility, anchored by Connie Barlow

Astrophysics, high-energy physics, Rupert Sheldrake’s morphic fields and the mysteries of life and evolution: What the Bleep, Neal Rogin, Awakening the Dreamer

I claim: There is a tendency toward wholeness.

Even though Industrial Civilization has run amok, we are not lost

But what can we do?
The invisible world offers guidance. We can find our way.

Look here for ways to be attentive for guidance:

(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-43528907-1’, ‘’);
ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

Posted in Transition | Leave a comment

End of 2011 Summary

I said in my first post on this website

I have learned over the last year that developing and maintaining a website is a bit like getting a pet, it’s an ongoing effort which requires regular attention.

I have been lax. At least nothing died from my neglect.
I’ve been lax with good reason. is one of many things going on, and there are times for it, and times to ignore it. This month, after a year away, its time has come again.

As I try to pick up the neglected strands of conversation, It will help me if I summarize highlights since my last summary here, September of 2007. I was struggling to open myself to “mychrist,” then. It was a time of turmoil both
psychologically/ spiritually because I feared loss of ego-control (partly), and also socially, because I feared the enemies and friends I might make, if I started talking like a Christian.

For me, the personal and the social are two sides of the same coin:

how do we now name and understand what Western Civilization has traditionally called “God’s will” and “God’s guidance?”

Those old names won’t do, for me, but I fear it’s the neglect of the reality behind the names that has gotten industrial civilization into our current mess.
And I believe it’s a return to what I’m calling “guidance from Gaia” that will give us  indications of what we must do as we co-create the new Ecozoic Age on Earth.

Something happened, and I felt changed. Now, in 2011, I can say “for the better.”
The website, and my postings to it, were an important part of that process, especially the support I got from my community, in response to my postings.

I got a clear nudge from the source of my guidance in the spring of 2008, and agreed to become clerk of my Twin Cities Quaker Meeting. This turned out to be quite consuming, with the discovery (surprise!) that we needed a $300,000 rehab of our “sick building.”

I managed to stay present to my inner work, through the external challenges of the clerk role, and my posts through the fall of 2008 reflect the difficulty of that work. (I did have a support committee for this inner side, as well as lots of support for my challenges in the role of clerk.)

Then I discovered the work of Mary Conrow Coelho. I wrote a review of my first encounter, with a group effort rising out of Cambridge, Massachusetts,  Friends Meeting. That led on to Mary’s Awakening Universe, Emerging Personhood: The Power of Contemplation in an Evolving Universe, which has transformed my thinking. I trust this transformation will eventually be evident on this website.

I was having other adventures too, with Process Work and the Quaker meditation form Experiment with Light both of which offered help with my struggle to “accept guidance.” After the burden of Clerk of Meeting was off my shoulders, I offered my TCFM community my synthesis of these elements, at that point, November 2009.

And then, in March, 2010, TRANSITION TOWN! A movement that has resolved to proceed optimistically in the face of the dis-integration of Industrial Civilization which I had been proclaiming for years! My first post of that year reflected my brush with this optimism. Then, over the summer of 2010 I attempted a synthesis of  Transition Town and Mary Coelho, including outlining what I felt were the highlights from each of Mary’s chapters.

(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-43528907-1’, ‘’);
ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

Posted in Periodic Summary | Leave a comment