Paradigm Change Links


Resources related to Paradigm Change



Creation 2005 by Gerald McDermott


Readings: Classic Dharmagaian perspecives on paradigm change


The Western World View: Past, Present And Future, Interview with Richard Tarnas by Russell E. DiCarlo  - A world view is a set of values, of conceptual structures, of implicit assumptions or pre-suppositions about the nature of reality – about human beings, about the relationship between humans and nature, about history, the divine, the cosmos – which constellate an entire culture's way of being and acting. A world-view shift reflects a very profound archetypal dynamic in the psyche that closely resembles a perinatal process – a birth process. One has been within a "womb," a matrix of thought, a conceptual matrix, a conceptual womb for quite a while. You've developed within it until that conceptual matrix is no longer large enough to contain your evolving mind. It becomes seen as a problem, or constriction, as something to be overcome, and a crisis is created. After a very critical period of transition, of tension, of deconstruction, of disorientation, a sudden new birth is precipitated into a new conceptual matrix. There is a sudden revelation of a new Universe, which seems to open up. In this experience of a shift in world view, one re-experiences one's own birth on an intellectual level. It involves a very deep archetypal death and re-birth process.


Ecocentrism: the Chord that Harmonizes Humans and Earth  by J. Stan Rowe  1994  - The integrity and health of wholes require that their parts serve them.  Since humanity is a part derived from the whole of the ecosphere of Earth, humanity's mission is to beautify and keep the Earth. The ecocentric argument is grounded in the belief that, compared to the undoubted importance of the human part, the whole Ecosphere is even more significant and consequential: more inclusive, more complex, more integrated, more creative, more beautiful, more mysterious, and older than time.  In the ecocentric view people are inseparable from the inorganic/organic nature that encapsulates them.  Most of us will be burdened throughout our lives with an indissoluble kernel of egocentrism and, by extension, anthropocentrism. This should not deter people of good will from proclaiming the truth that, relative to Earth, humanity is not the center. A few hundred years ago, with some reluctance, Western people admitted that the planets, sun and stars did not circle around their abode. In short, our thoughts and concepts though irreducibly anthropomorphic need not be anthropocentric.  Wherever our sense of greatest importance lies, there also will our ethics be.


Nature is Not a Paradigm  by Morris Berman 1987: surveys the landscape of paradigm change, points out a few dangers, and cautions us not to latch too quickly onto a new paradigm, because after all, “nature is not a paradigm.”


Jean Houston and James O'Dea on the Essential Shifts  5/8/06 - In this dialogue, the former President of IONS and Jean Houston engage in a passionate inquiry into the peril and promise of these times on Earth. They feed mind, heart, and soul with discussions of archetypes and essence, myth and ritual, meaning and healing. They see us experiencing a blazing sunset of one era and moving into a new, Ecozoic era, a time in which we care more deeply for the planet and each other. A renewal of our mythic imagination is required to make the shift and activate our full potential as a species; story connects to the archetypal world and fertilizes the sense of what is possible. Their discussion is an Indra’s net of insight, humor, and synthesis, all leading towards a new planetary psychology.


Earth System Science and Gaian Science  by Stephan Harding  2001 - Gaian scientists, recognising that science cannot and should not be separated from moral, political and economic concerns, seek to deeply question and remould themselves and society based on their deep experiences of studying, living in and identifying with Gaia. A guiding principle for them is that human vital needs should be satisfied with as little disruption as possible with Gaian processes at all levels. Gaian science can thus be distinguished from Earth System science by its striving to bring a sound science of the Earth together with ecological wisdom and action.


Diversity, Health and Creativity:  Lessons for Living from New Science  by Brian Goodwin - The truth of creativity is that it needs to be appropriate to context, to now. This is where we need to cultivate our sensitivities, to feel our way from here to a healthy, whole, healed future by a path that is at present invisible but is revealed as we walk it. This is the path of what is sometimes called ‘right action’. To get to a future in which things are better, the only reliable way to go is by fully tuning in to the present so that the future arrives as an unexpected revelation from engaged action now, not from prediction and planning.


From Gaia Theory to Deep Ecology  by Stephan Harding - To understand Gaia, we must let go of the mechanistic, compartmentalising conditioning imposed on us since childhood by our society. From an early age nearly all Westerners (and especially young scientists) are exposed to the concept that life has come about due to the operation of blind, meaningless laws of physics and chemistry, and that selfishness underpins the behaviour and evolution of all plants and animals. Gaian perception connects us with the seamless nature of existence, and opens up a new approach to scientific research arising from scientists’ personal, deeply subjective ecological experience.


Materialism - An Addictive Meme  by Peter Russell: describes the costs of our culture’s materialism to the wellbeing of the planet, society, and ourselves, suggesting that it is an addiction that can change only with inner work, by examining our personal lives.


Is the Modern Psyche Undergoing a Rite of Passage?  By Richard Tarnas  - We have sought ever deeper insight into our individual biographies, seeking to recover the often hidden sources of our present condition, to render conscious those unconscious forces and complexes that shape our lives. Many now recognize that same task as critical for our entire civilization. What individuals and psychologists have long been doing has now become the collective responsibility of our culture: to make the unconscious conscious.


Understanding Our Moment In History:   An Interview with Richard Tarnas by Scott London


The Holonic Shift and How to Take Part in It  by Joanna Macy  - Our time calls for a “holonic shift.” Macy outlines the attitudes and behaviors that can help to make it to happen. 


The Great Turning as Compass and Lens  by Joanna Macy



Personal Guidelines for the Great Turning  by Joanna Macy


From Mechanics to Organics interview with Elisabet Sahtouris: explains our current paradigm change as a transition from a mechanistic worldview to an organic worldview.


Knowing Only One Story  by John Michael Greer – On the deadliness of knowing only one story.  Knowing many stories is wisdom.  Knowing no stories is ignorance.  Knowing only one story is death.


Getting Beyond The Narratives: An Open Letter To The Activist Community  by John Michael Greer  - Magical combat is a struggle between storytellers, in which each mage tries to define a common reality in terms of the story that best serves his or her purposes. The struggle between the global corporate system and the activist community can be seen as a 
conflict of magicians telling opposing stories. Which of these stories fosters more hope, gives more encouragement to alternative visions of society, and more effectively cuts at the mental foundations of today’s economic and political systems?


Waking Our Animal Senses:  Language and the Ecology of Sensory Experience  by David Abram  - If we continue to speak of other animals as less mysterious than ourselves, if we speak of the forests as insentient systems, and of rivers and winds as basically passive elements, then we deny our direct, visceral experience of those forces. And so we close down our senses, and come to live more and more in our heads. We seal our intelligence in on itself, and begin look out at the world only as spectators — never as participants.


Comprehensive Compassion, an Interview with Brian Swimme: places the drama of our current paradigm change within the all-encompassing story of the evolution of the universe, which is presented in greater detail on the New Cosmology page, with its vision of a saner future.


Earthquakes Of Consciousness by Jerry Mander:  How I moved from advertising glamour to anti-globalisation fervour


A Manifesto for Earth  by Ted Mosquin and J. Stan Rowe  1/2004

A trusting attachment to the Ecosphere, an aesthetic empathy with surrounding Nature, a feeling of awe for the miracle of the Living Earth and its mysterious harmonies, is humanity's largely unrecognized heritage. Affectionately realized again, our connections with the natural world will begin to fill the gap in lives lived in the industrialized world. Important ecological purposes that civilization and urbanization have obscured will re-emerge. The goal is restoration of Earth's diversity and beauty, with our prodigal species once again a cooperative, responsible, ethical member.


The Mystique Of The Earth - Thomas Berry is interviewed by Caroline Webb  11/02  - Thomas Berry's vision for an Earth Democracy 
recognizes the unity between humans and the planet.



Recent Articles


Would We Listen to Nature if Our Lives Depended on It?  by Derrick Jensen  11/6/09  - What would a society look like that was planning on being in that particular place five hundred years from now? What would an economics look like? If you knew for a fact that your descendants five hundred years from now would live on the same landbase you inhabit now, how would that affect your relationship to sources of water? How would that affect your relationship with topsoil? With forests? Would you produce waste products that are detrimental to the soil? Would you poison your water sources (or allow them to be poisoned)? Would you allow global warming to continue? If the very lives of your children and their children depended on your current actions—and of course they do—how would you act differently than you do?


The Air Aware:  Mind and mood on a breathing planet  by David Abram 

9/09  - I suggest that mind is not at all a human possession, but is rather a property of the earthly biosphere—a property in which we, along with the other animals and the plants, all participate. Mind, in this sense, is very much like a medium in which we’re situated, like the ineffable air or atmosphere, from which we are simply unable to extricate ourselves without ceasing to exist. Everything we know or sense of ourselves is conditioned by this atmosphere. If we allow that mind is a biospheric quality, an attribute endemic to the wide sphere that surrounds and sustains us, we swiftly notice this consequence: each region—each topography, each uniquely patterned ecosystem—has its own particular awareness, its unique style of intelligence.


A Struggle of Paradigms  by John Michael Greer  4/22/09  - Perhaps the most fascinating factor shaping today’s debates about the future of industrial society is the rapidity with which any such debate plunges into territory outside the reach of rational argument. For example, the way that communications break down over the subject of environmental limits.  It’s no exaggeration to say that either you believe in limits or you don’t. The difference between the believers and the disbelievers in limits is, at root, a difference in paradigms.


Toward Ecosophy  by John Michael Greer  2/11/09  - Every culture draws on the techniques it finds most useful to provide it with its worldview. Industrial civilization thus drew most of the ideas of scientism, and even more of its symbolism and emotional appeal, from the world revealed by Galileo and Newton in the seventeenth century and embodied in the first wave of industrial technology a century later. In the same way, the crucial role ecological knowledge will likely play in the wake of the industrial age makes the emergence of a broader way of thinking modeled on ecological science a near-certainty over the centuries immediately ahead of us.


Language Separates Us from Nature  by Chuck Burr  12/7/08  -

Every day, the global communication revolution moves us further away from

nature. We have sacrificed a deep intimate experience with nature, a household level of knowledge of plants and animals, and a rich hunter-gatherer language. We have gained something with no intrinsic value -- information and data experienced in isolation.  Once we realize how poor we are in our detachment from nature -- the Garden of Eden, we may well yearn for a way back to a deep, whole, connected, wordless experience of life.


The Rights of the Land: The Onondaga Nation of central New York proposes a radical new vision of property rights  by Robin Kimmerer

11-12/08  - When they finally got their day in court, members of the Onondaga Nation argued that the land title they’re seeking is not for possession, not to exclude, but for the right to participate in the well-being of the land. Against the backdrop of Euro-American thinking, which treats land as a bundle of property rights, the Onondaga are asking for freedom to exercise their responsibility to the land. This is unheard of in American property law. Above all, the land rights action seeks title for the purpose of ecological restoration. The legal action concerns not only rights to the land, but also the rights of the land, its right to be whole and healthy.


Technology Traps  by Peter Crabb  11/08  - In our blind pursuit of immediate gratifications from our countless gadgets, we have run headlong into a number of “technology traps” that are destroying human potential and the prospects for sustainable cultures. What is needed is a wholesale ratcheting-down of culture to small, low-tech communities that live harmoniously and respectfully in local ecosystems.


Ecuador Leads The Way; Now It's Pennsylvania's Turn To Protect The Environment  by Cyril Mychalejko   10/14/08  - Dr. Mario Melo, an Ecuadorian lawyer specializing in Environmental Law and Human Rights, told me that the new constitution redefines people's relationship with nature by asserting that nature is not just an object to be appropriated and exploited by people, but is rather a rights-bearing entity that should be treated with parity under the law.  "In this sense, the new constitution reflects the traditions of indigenous peoples living in Ecuador, who see nature as a mother and call her by a proper name, Pachamama," said Melo.


The New Facts of Life: Connecting the Dots on Food, Health, and the Environment  by Fritjof Capra  Summer 2008  - A discussion of the interrelations between food, health, and the environment is extremely topical today. Rising food prices together with the price of oil and a series of so-called "natural" catastrophes dominate the news every day.  All these problems, ultimately, must be seen as just different facets of one single crisis, which is largely a crisis of perception. It derives from the fact that most people in our society, and especially our political and corporate leaders, subscribe to the concepts of an outdated worldview, a perception of reality inadequate for dealing with our overpopulated, globally interconnected world.


The Same New Ideas  by John Michael Greer  5/14/08 - There’s a way out of the paradox of unoriginal originality that besets so much of modern thought: the way to get genuinely new ideas is to learn and value old ones. Partially that’s a matter of avoiding old mistakes, but it has other dimensions. Creativity, as Arthur Koestler pointed out, comes from the collision of incommensurable realities; it’s when the mind encounters two or more sharply different ways of making sense of the same thing that it can leap to a new level of understanding and come up with something authentically new.


Eco-Anger: A Worldview Under Threat, Part 1: An Eye-Opening Personal Experience  by Sarah Anne Edwards  5/13/08


Eco-Anger: A Worldview under Threat, Part 2: Personal Insights into What’s Up  by Sarah Anne Edwards  5/13/08 


The Waking Up Syndrome  by Sarah Anne Edwards and Linda Buzzell  4/08  - While the sky may not be falling, the day-after-day onslaught of alarming news is making it more difficult simply to overlook the triple threat of environmental, climatic and economic concerns. It's leaving many of us feeling like Alice in Wonderland, being sucked down a Rabbit Hole into some frighteningly grotesque and unfamiliar world that's anything but wonderful.


Revolution of the Snails:  Encounters with the Zapatistas  by Rebecca Solnit  1/15/08


Our Storied Future:  Never underestimate the power of an idea

By Rebecca Solnit  1/08


The Secret Library of Hope: 12 Books to Stiffen Your Resolve  by Rebecca Solnit   12/17/07


Stepping Into A New Paradigm As The Old One Crumbles  by Carolyn Baker  12/12/07: Industrial civilization is one story in the human experience. Meanwhile, there are other stories that cry out to be written. I believe that until we change the stories, we can't change the paradigm. 


The familiarity of an idea  by Sharon Astyk  11/15/07

A compassionate guide to dealing with others’ resistance to a new idea.



Read, Watch and/or Listen


Shift: At the Frontiers of Consciousnessa magazine from the Institute of Noetic Sciences that explores ways of knowing and being that open us to transformations in our beliefs, values, and actions.


The 2007 Shift Report: Evidence of a World Transforming, attempts to chart the transition we believe is underway from a rigid, mechanistic, and materialistic worldview to one that is built on a foundation of interconnectedness, cooperation, and the intersection of science and spirituality. This 80-page document, highlighted with sidebars, charts, and quotations, is organized into four major sections.


The 2008 Shift Report: Changing the Story of Our Future - Over the past several decades, new scientific discoveries along with a surge in grassroots initiatives addressing social and economic injustices have begun calling into question the view of the universe—and essentially of ourselves—as ultimately cold and mechanistic. Revealing both the mysterious directionality of the evolving cosmos and the irrepressible humanity within our own natures, new evidence is emerging that we are innately capable of far more than we realize. Yes, the evidence is compelling that the arc of the human species is on a self-destructive decline. And yet once the pieces are put together, there is no denying that another reality is fighting through the cracks of the dominant narrative. We are just beginning to tap into our potential as human beings despite, or perhaps because of, the multiple crises that we are facing. 82 pages.


Joanna Macy: The Work That Reconnects  - Double DVD 2007 

Group work, the Great Turning, Deep Ecology, Living Systems, Deep Time Work


Reconnecting with LifeA web-based course that maps ways into the vitality and determination that enable us to take part in the healing of our world. Developed by many people over the past thirty years, this body of work has helped hundreds of thousands of people find solidarity and the courage to act, despite rapidly worsening social and ecological conditions.


The Insight Course:  Be the Change You Want To See in the World


A Walk through Time: From Stardust to US - The Walk Through Time unfolds a scientific understanding of the five-billion year evolution of life on Earth. The Walk progresses from the formation of the solar system to the present. The Walk offers a rich context for exploring fundamental issues regarding humanity and the future of all life on Earth.


The Art of Hosting - The challenges of these times call for collective intelligence gained through collaborative learning. We must co-create the solutions we seek.  The Art of Hosting pattern and practice is based on our assumption that it is common sense to bring stakeholders together in conversation when you seek new solutions for the common good.  We believe that when human beings are invited to work together on what truly matters to them, they will take ownership and responsibility for moving their issues and ideas into wiser actions that last.


The Art of Hosting TV  – Video clips of Art of Hosting processes and conversations about the art of hosting ‘conversations that matter,’ new ways that people are working together to find answers to the questions that concern the common good.


Global Mindshift  with Brian Swimme, Duane Elgin and others.


The New Story by Brian Swimme


Our Current Moment  by Brian Swimme


Crash or Bounce? with Duane Elgin



Barbara Marx Hubbard & Michael Dowd

The Conversation of the Century – free email newsletter from Barbara Marx Hubbard profiling what she terms her “extraordinary evolutionary colleagues.”


The Darwin Project    What Darwin said about the evolution of the human mind and species that has been suppressed!


Thank God for Evolution by Michael Dowd – Book blog


Thank God for Evolution by Michael Dowd – Book trailer


Thomas Berry and the Earth Community  - The Earth Community website presents the far-reaching vision of American writer Thomas Berry, a leading ecological and ethical thinker, about the role of humanity within nature and about our relationship with the Earth and the Universe.


Eco-Ethics International Union Humanity can survive only with a new concept of ethics: eco-ethics.  Eco-ethics differs from historical ethics.  The roots of eco-ethics are not revelation, faith and philosophy, but scientific research, knowledge and compatibility between nature and humanity.  The subject of eco-ethics is not a single species but communities of different, co-existing forms of life.


Center for Earth Jurisprudence  - CEJ’s mission is to re-envision law and governance in ways that support and protect the health and well being of the Earth community as a whole. CEJ seeks to develop a philosophy and practice of law that respect the rights of the natural world and recognize humans as an integral member of the Earth community.


Eco-Anxiety  by Sarah Anne Edwards  - Feeling concerned about the seriousness of what is taking place ecologically in the world today and the personal, spiritual, and economic consequences is not a mental illness.  It’s a normal reaction to a growing awareness of a real threat and a call for healing and action by caring individuals and helping professionals. 


Links to Other Resonant Webs  by Elisabet Sahtouris


Biomimicry Institute - Promoting the transfer of ideas inspired

by Nature to the design of our world, for a more sustainable, healthier planet.


The World From A Plant's-Eye View with Michael Pollan  3/07  - The author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma leads us through a paradigm change.  What if human consciousness isn't the end-all and be-all of Darwinism? What if we are all just pawns in corn's clever strategy game, the ultimate prize of which is world domination?  Michael Pollan asks us to see things from a plant's-eye view -- to consider the possibility that nature isn't opposed to culture, that biochemistry rivals intellect as a survival tool. By merely shifting our perspective, he argues, we can heal the Earth. (17 min video)


The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard — a wonderful little movie about the insanity of our economic system and its impact on the Earth.


Derrick Jensen on Identification Endgame author discusses the question of who and what we identify with – the “system” or the Earth? – and how crucial our identification is to the struggle to protect the environment. (3:49 min)


Living Dialogues Podcasts with Duncan CampbellInterviews with leaders of paradigm change.


It's Not Too Late  - Van Jones Video  (1 min)


The Shift  - 6 minute trailer for an upcoming movie about the great Shift that is underway.


Earth Spirit Action - Vandana Shiva, Starhawk, Matthew Fox, Ruth Rosenhek and John Seed speak about Deep Ecology, Living Democracy and Revolution in Consciousness in a fast moving discussion of the type of change that needs to take place for a Sustainable Future. An inspirational and stimulating film including beautiful nature footage and a colourful array of global action shots. (16 min video)

Feeding Your Demons: Ancient Wisdom for Resolving Inner Conflict  by Tsultrim Allione 2008  - Allione brings an eleventh-century Tibetan woman's practice to the West for the first time with Feeding Your Demons, an accessible and effective approach for dealing with negative emotions, fears, illness, and self-defeating patterns. She translates this ancient Eastern practice into a workable form for today's Western psyche, explaining that if we fight our demons, they only grow stronger. But if we feed and nurture them, we can free ourselves from the battle. She also applies these lessons to collective demons in the outer world.


Radical Simplicity: Small Footprints on a Finite Earth by Jim Merkel  - In the face of looming ecological disaster, many people feel the need to change their own lifestyles as a necessary step in transforming our unsustainable culture. Radical Simplicity is the first book that guides the reader to a personal sustainability goal, then offers a process to monitor progress to a lifestyle that is equitable amongst all people, species, and generations.


The Power of Sustainable Thinking: How to Create a Positive Future for the Climate, the Planet, Your Organization and Your Life by Bob Doppelt  7/08 - Doppelt makes the case that global warming and today's other ecological and socioeconomic problems are not technical in nature, rather they represent a crisis of thought. Every society has a shared “mental frame” – core beliefs and assumptions that shape the way people make decisions and behave. Effective solutions will emerge only when new, sustainable forms of thinking emerge. Sustainable thinking requires a clear understanding of the systems humans are part of, the use of proven strategies for facilitating personal, team, and organizational change, ethical rules to guide behavior, and a creative rather than problem-solving orientation.



Aztec Quetzaquatal

For more on paradigm change, see Deep Ecology, New Cosmology, Ecopsychology, The Great Turning, Psycho-Spiritual Evolution and The Animistic Soul, and their Links pages.













©  2010 Suzanne Duarte