Geneen Marie Haugen, PhD, grew up as a free-range wildish kid with a run amok imagination. She is a guide to the experiential, intertwined mysteries of nature and psyche with the Animas Valley Institute. She answers the question of “What Could Possibly Go Right?”
Just as the humble American pika has developed strategies to avoid overshooting its environmental limits, we can and must rein in the extreme powers that currently threaten our success and even our survival.
With such an understanding of the continuity of all life we can develop a more robust cosmological ethics highlighting responsibility and reciprocity for our magnificent Earth community.
Life’s glorious triumph on Earth has been achieved, not just through increased complexity, but also increased cooperation. In fact, the two go hand in hand.
Here was an environmental challenge for which we had no precedent in our lifetimes. Would we persist and adapt? Would we be resilient through change?
Representative democracy was the political system that most successfully exploited capitalism for the generation of wealth, but in recent years it has been compromised by the power of corporations through lobbying and donations, and has proved to be an unsatisfactory vehicle for generating equity and for responsiveness to long-term problems.
We are living in a world where holistic, systemic crises threaten the future of humanity. And yet, there has been an historic pattern of fragmentation in the physical and social sciences needed to tackle them. I have taken on the life mission to guide the evolution of cultural sciences so that they become fully integrated with the dynamics 0f our changing Earth.
As our focus shifts from individuals and individual species as the unit of survival to the collective of life — its complex dynamic interactions and relationships — we begin to see that collaborative and symbiotic patterns and interactions are of more fundamental importance than competition as a driving force of evolution.
In history, we see the widespread attempt to place a single human being – that is, a single brain – in charge of the activity of the state. That sometimes leads to attempts of planning for the future of the whole colony, but it often backfires creating disasters. A single human brain cannot manage the immense complexity of a human state.
Drawing upon a rich body of scientific research, Weber outlines a different story of evolution, one in which living organisms are inherently expressive and creative in a struggle to both compete and cooperate.
In our social evolution as a species, biology and culture run on parallel tracks, but they do so at different speeds. Thus biology, quickly and disruptively, can be outpaced by cultural change.
It’s a very old choice: which will you have, the love of power or the power of love?