Talking Regenerative Cultures

TMBS interview, Zak Stein, and becoming planetary.

Another week, another round of conversations.

Let’s start with TMBS. On Tuesday I had the honor to speak with Lisha Brooks for episode 157 to talk about how Michael Brooks thought about Integral Theory and how it could help build an internationalist movement. “Cosmopolitan socialism,” in many ways, interlinks with the theoretical foundations of Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory, Edgar Morin’s “complex thought” (pensée complexe) and William Irwin Thompson’s “planetary culture.”

Deeply rooted in a literacy of material history and economics, Michael also recognized the necessity of drawing from what he called, in our last conversation, “the consciousness dimension.” Fluidity of thought, flexibility of perspective taking, and the ability for empathy — each of these are capacities not always “given” to us, no, but they can be practiced, and in many ways are the prerequisite leadership qualities needed to address the problems of the so-called “capitolocene.” Not only that, of course: they also engender new cultural, regenerative qualities that belong to the “poetry of the future.

Watch our full segment here.

We need to be ready and willing to leap across academic disciplines and boundaries. Cultivate a pragmatic intellectual curiosity rooted in spiritual compassion for the human and more-than-human world. Make meaningful connections — Bateson’s linking of “patterns that connect” — between economics, history, philosophy, poetry and the life sciences. Only such a sufficiently pliable and creative culture is truly adequate to face the existential challenges we face today.

This weekend, Growing Down spoke with Zak Stein, author of Education in a Time Between Worlds, about the challenges of building a post-capitalist and integral future. We dovetailed the conversation with the concept of Bildung and considered what it might take to really start building commons-centric practices at the local level.

It seems it really does come down to going ahead and building these “third spaces” wherever we can. Regardless of what the “host” culture is up to. In fact, if we’re talking about climate collapse, the loss of faith of “Game A” cultural practices — as they literally fall out from under us — may urge on the adoption of new “Game B” or, more accurately, regenerative cultural practices. We’ve already seen a revival of commons-centric practices like urban food networks and other mutual aid practices during the 2020 pandemic. Concern for environmental and climate factors are contiguous with labor and economic justice.

Seeing these things interlinked and in coherence is important.

A few more things. I followed up from my TMBS appearance with a Mutations livestream on Integral Theory reading.

And next week (Tuesday) I jump back on to talk about a lot of the aforementioned themes in this newsletter, “Going Planetary.” Join me for the livestream by tuning in at that link, at that time (9/29 at 1 pm ET / 10 am PT).

What else? Just a few more things.

  • My online course, “Cohering the Radical Present,” starts next Sunday (October 4). There are still some spots left, and there’s still time to sign up. If you need a discount, please refer to my Patreon. Looking forward to embarking on this contemplative exploration with many of you.

  • Stay tuned in the coming weeks for new writing and announcements from Perspectiva. More on this soon.

  • Stay tuned for announcements on Integral Leadership Review. I sense a Call For Papers in the works.

Alright, that’s it for this week. Thanks friends. Happy reading and until next letter.



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