For those of you who prefer to read, rather than to listen, this is the written version of episode 1 of the podcast
ON THE BRINK OF CHANGE…
I didn’t grow up thinking I’d be part of the generation that would give itself the capacity to trigger species level destruction, and I don’t imagine you did either, but this is where we are – accidental gods living in the midst of a climate and ecological emergency that dwarfs any of the social or cultural or political upheavals that are tearing apart our communities and our nations
And yet – by the very nature of our complexity and our chaos, we are also potentially on the brink of change.
Back in the 80s a Nobel laureate called Ilya Prigogine studied complex systems. What he found was that their complexity increases up to a certain point beyond at which there is a bifurcation: the system either descends into chaos and ultimately to extinction OR it spontaneously reorganises itself, emerging to a higher order – to something new and unpredictable.
Our culture, our civilisation and our globally connected vast population – all incredibly complex systems – are hurtling towards a cliff edge.
We can choose the long drop to extinction or we can choose to make of this moment a launch pad to something completely different, a radical new way of being – to the next evolutionary step.
This is our proposition to you: We know that evolution happens under moments of intense pressure and that this moment, in so many ways, is about as intense as it gets – certain as intense as we ever want it to get.
So – if we’re ever going to evolve, now would be a really good time to do it. Up until now, evolution has been physical – it’s been unplanned, unconscious and slow so that it takes many generations for changes to work their way through.
But things are different now. Just as we have brought the world to the brink of crisis – we have also reached a turning point in our own growth where we could choose to make the next evolutionary step one of consciousness – a choice consciously made.
This is not a tweak to our genes, it’s not even a tweak to our way of being or the systems that we live in. It’s a transformation so complete that it makes the change from a chrysalis to a butterfly look obvious – which it’s not, except in retrospect.
This is the thing about emergence from complex systems – it’s completely unpredictable.
Which means I can’t tell you where we’re going. Nor can anyone else. It may be a cliché, that no problem is solved from the mindset that created it, but it’s true. If we could envisage where we need to get, it wouldn’t be a big enough change from where we are.
So, we need to get to a place we don’t know and can’t imagine. And yes, that’s not going to be easy. If it were, we’d be there already. But it’s not impossible. This is the first thing to take on board – that emergence from complex systems is a thing – it’s many things. It’s not just a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis, it’s the emergence of life from the primordial soup – in fact the whole of the evolution of consciousness up to this point is full of systems chaos where extinction looked likely but something new emerged. The only difference is that now we’re choosing to do – because we can.
And what all this is teaching us is that our neuronal architecture is plastic and that this plasticity is under our own control. Which Is to say that we, the twenty first century members of humanity, can actively choose to change the architecture of our own brains.
I’ll say that again because it really matters. We can – if we want, if we learn how – choose to change the physical wiring and chemical environment of our own brains. We can choose what we think. We can choose what we feel. And the combination of these two, choosing to change what we think and how we feel, moment by moment, hour by day, by week, by month, by year… can change our internal structures. We just need to have a template – a structure -of what we want to do and how we want to do it.
And that’s what this is for – the accidental gods podcast and the entire membership portal that supports it. We want to create the template for change, to set up structures that anyone can follow to get as far along this road as we can see – anyone – everyone…
Together we are greater than the sum of our parts.
This has to be a co-creation. This isn’t one person – or a handful of us – or even hundreds of us – meditating in a retreat somewhere for a couple of weeks or months or years. This is about lots of us, lots and lots of us, doing the work, day by day, month by month, supporting each other, growing, evolving to the point where the breakthrough is one final iteration.
And if we don’t make it…then at least we tried. It’s possible that we’re here, now, alive on this planet, simply to be the best that we can be and that’s enough. I don’t believe this is the case – we can look at why some other time – but really, the point of this – the thing I want you absolutely to take away, is that if we do this, the worst that can happen is that we become the best of ourselves. And the best, is that, together, the whole that we become is so, so much greater than the sum of our individual parts.
FOur steps forward
So, this is us, the accidental gods
As far as we understand it – and our thinking is pretty much bound to evolve, that’s part of the process – there are four clear steps to our Conscious Evolution journey, and we have to gain a basic level of competence in all of them if we’re going to make the leap.
Awakening into Connection
Growing into Coherence
Asking for Help
REawakening into connection
Connecting fully, deeply, authentically – to the rest of the web of consciousness with which we share this planet – this is about building reciprocal relationship so that we can ask for help – and help can be asked of us.
We have to let go of the idea that, as human beings, we must have all the answers – or even that we could have all the answers. We absolutely don’t – and can’t. But we are surrounded by a web of conscious life from the rocks to the trees to the rain, to the rivers to the hawks flying over the mountain, to the mountain itself.
And so, where in this web, is the collective intelligence that can point us where we need to go? There was a time when humanity lived in context with the earth. We need to re-discover this. Or maybe invent it anew. We are not who we were, and we need to move forwards, not back. So, we think this, too, will emerge as something new.
growing into coherence
In parallel with that – these two have to go together – we need to do the work that lets us build a clean, clear intent – we need to be able to set aside our ego, judgement fear and all that arises from these. We need, basically, to sort out our own stuff.
We need to find the stillness inside to be able to see when ego, self-judgement, projection and fear arise, and then to be able to step back from these. This takes the practice of stillness, the discipline – built slowly over time – to watch our own process. It takes the ability to stand on the knife edge of the moment, balanced in now – and it takes the ability to curate how we feel. This is key. So much of what we do arises out of feelings that emerge from so far down in our process that by the time we’re aware of them, they’re like boulders racing down the mountainside of our Self. But with practice – with choosing how to think and choosing how to feel, we can catch the avalanche when it’s only a couple of pebbles. And quite quickly, we can choose default feelings that are conducive to growth and connection and flourishing and generosity-of-spirit that change us and our world.
asking for help & letting go
Once we’ve got these two in place, We need to be able to Ask for help in a way that feels genuinely authentic and that yields coherent, constructive answers, This will take practice – no relationship spring up fully formed overnight. The relationships that matter are the ones we work on, and that’s true here more than anywhere.
And we need to be able to let go of everything we believe to be true. In the words of just about every spiritual system on the planet, we need to be able to make the empty-handed leap into the void…. so that in this space of unknowing, we can ask for the help that we need to transform. We can say, I am here, ready, clear, waiting. Tell me what you need me to do…
where we’re going with the podcast, blog & membership program
All of this is easy to say and harder to do. Believe me, we know.
It’s a year since the germ of this arose in our winter solstice sit with the fire. As I record, we’re winding down to the solstice of this year, 2019. It’s been a tumultuous year, but for us, a huge part of it has been working out how to bring this to the world in a way that makes sense – breaking it into steps that are do-able by anyone who wants to be part of the change.
We’re offering an opening series of podcasts (& blogs) which will outline the steps on the way. Then the podcast and its accompanying blog posts will evolve into something broader – a meeting point of science and spirituality, of psychology and philosophy of activism and politics, of art and creativity and all of the ideas in the growing field of consciousness studies.
We will be talking to people who are on parallel paths, so that we can bring in other ideas and thoughts and ways of being and ways of connecting. Because, this isn’t a zero-sum race where we need to get there ahead of everyone else, that’s pretty much the definition of old paradigm thinking. This is a joint venture with all of humanity and just because we find certain ways of honing intent useful doesn’t mean that you will. But if we explore enough, there will be something that really clicks for you – for each of you – and we need to find it.
Join us on the path to conscious evolution
Our membership program offers the structure and guidance that you need to make all the steps we talked about. There’s a growing suite of meditations and visualisation in clear, defined steps to help you build the deep connection and build the clear intent
We will help you hard wire the habits of connection so that pausing to listen, asking questions and hearing the answers of the world around us becomes second nature. At the point where you walk out of the door, look up and greet the rain as an old friend, we’ll know we’re on the right path.
When we have these down, we’ll move on to asking for help and making the leap into the void, but this isn’t a race and we want to make sure we have a cohort of competence before we get there.
In the meantime, there will be regular webinars and a forum – and live courses – so that we can grow a community of peers as we explore, so that we can support each other as we discuss controversial ideas and find ourselves at the edges of our comfort zone – because if this doesn’t take us to the edges of ourselves, then we’re not doing it right – the edges are the place where real change happens.
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS!
Episodes in our Introductory Series
A free meditation from the Accidental Gods ‘connecting with water’ series. Put on your ‘seven league boots’ and head in the direction of the setting sun into the time before people were here.
Stand on the shores of a Loch and discover something new in the depths of yourself.
Manda talks to Sacred Earth Activism about how her Boudica novels can be an inspiration for present-day earth activists.
Imagine a future where our great grandchildren look back and say, ‘Yes, it was hard. Yes, they made mistakes. Yes, they left it way, way too late, but that was because they didn’t know what to do. And my goodness, when they had the visions, they threw themselves into making them happen. And we’re here now, living lives we love, because they took the risk to change the way things worked.’
How can we embrace our humanity and use it in service to the earth and all that lives? How can we bring the best of ourselves to the best of the Web of Life in full understanding of the chaos of the moment, with full and open hearts? Deena Metzger, elder, wisdom-keeper, poet and visionary, has given her life to finding answers – and shares them here.
Ece Temelkuran is an astonishingly astute, great-hearted writer. Joining us from Zagreb, she gave us an hour of wisdom, insight and compassion, based around her book ‘TOGETHER: 10 Choices for a Better Now’ – with an international audience and some cracking questions, this is our gift to you this weekend.
In a world where the only constant is change, how can we find the best of our wisdom? How can we find true connection to the spirits of the places we live so that we might learn better how to be in the transition that is coming? How, above all, can we approach death with equanimity, and even joy? This week, we explore all of this with author, mythicist – and elder – Sharon Blackie.
How can we begin to reverse the destruction of our countryside, the pollution of our rivers – and our disconnection from the Natural World? Beavers, of course. Eva Bishop of the Beaver Trust tells of the UK introduction of beavers and puts it in a whole-system context.
When Forrest Landry was 16 years old, he took a vow to meet the Natural World openly, fully, without any projection or expectation on his part – he was not going to take one step and wait for the rest of the world to take 99 steps to him – he was going to go all the way. His life has been shaped by the experience – and he talks to us this week about where that has taken him.
COP 26 takes place in Scotland in November. How can ordinary people persuade our elected Overlords that they need to change the system? Across the UK, Climate Actions are being prepared. We speak to two people involved in Pilgrimages to Glasgow about what drives them and what they hope will change.
What is it that makes us human? How can we bring the best of ourselves to the current crises – individually, and as a civilisation? This week, we talk to Matthew Taylor, former Chief Executive of the RSA, former political strategist to Tony Blair on the road to a better future.
As our world hurtles towards tipping points, how can we be part of the solution? How can we find resilience, in ourselves, our lives and our communities? Above all, how can we bring Active Hope to the world? Dr Chris Johnstone and Madeleine Young have set up an online training course based in Joanna Macy’s work that reconnects and we talk about it in this week’s podcast.
As we hover on the edge of the Great Turning, how can we find a spiritual practice that draws from the roots of who we are and yet provides the sustenance we need to help us navigate our changing world? Sue Philips of Sacred Design Labs explores the possibilities.