Friday, May 09, 2008

For the Great Turning

Joanna Macy's guidelines for The Great Turning are here this morning (and with her gracious permission) because I desperately needed to encounter them again and think about what they mean - once in a while, I need to be reminded of the truth they convey. Joanna's article for the November 2007 issue of the Shambala Sun is here, and it is powerful stuff indeed.

Now if only I can remember those truths and get my act together, like the geese and the trees and the rivers and the dear old rocks of the Lanark Highlands. I am not about to take said act on the road when and/or if I ever DO get it together, but I am certainly up for a little dancing.

Personal Guidelines for the Great Turning

Come from Gratitude
To be alive in this beautiful, self-organizing universe--to participate in the dance of life with senses to perceive it, lungs that breathe it, organs that draw nourishment from it--is a wonder beyond words. Gratitude for the gift of life is the primary wellspring of all religions, the hallmark of the mystic, the source of all true art. Furthermore, it is a privilege to be alive in this time when we can choose to take part in the self-healing of our world.

Don't be Afraid of the Dark
This is a dark time, filled with suffering and uncertainty. Like living cells in a larger body, it is natural that we feel the trauma of our world. So don't be afraid of the anguish you feel, or the anger or fear, for these responses arise from the depth of your caring and the truth of your interconnectedness with all beings. To suffer with is the literal meaning of compassion.

Dare to Vision
Out of this darkness a new world can arise, not to be constructed by our minds so much as to emerge from our dreams. Even though we cannot see clearly how it's going to turn out, we are still called to let the future into our imagination. We will never be able to build what we have not first cherished in our hearts.

Roll up your Sleeves
Many people don't get involved in the Great Turning because there are so many different issues, which seem to compete with each other. Shall I save the whales or help battered children? The truth is that all aspects of the current crisis reflect the same mistake, setting ourselves apart and using others for our gain. So to heal one aspect helps the others to heal as well. Just find what you love to work on and take joy in that. Never try to do it alone. Link up with others; you'll spark each others' ideas and sustain each others' energy.

Act your Age
Since every particle in your body goes back to the first flaring forth of space and time, you're really as old as the universe. So when you are lobbying at your congressperson's office, or visiting your local utility, or testifying at a hearing on nuclear waste, or standing up to protect an old grove of redwoods, you are doing that not out of some personal whim, but in the full authority of your 15 billion years.

Joanna Macy

5 comments:

Sacred Suzie said...

I wish I knew exactly what you meant when you refer to "great turning". I'm probably just being dense. I love everything listed here but am not good at acting my age, even with the knowledge and power and history of the universe to back me up.

I am really trying to let go of fear, somehow it has gotten back into my life. Time to get it to stop dragging me down.

Joanna said...

Thank you Cate. It's exactly what I needed to hear this morning. Blessed be.

Suzanne said...

These are words of wisdom about the transformation and ascension we are experiencing along with Gaia. I love the message of hope to live in the present and create with our dreams. We are first and foremost energetic beings, but we are also co-creators in the world we experience now.

Thank you for this inspiring message, Cate.

Dave Coulter said...

Thank you for reminding me of JM's writing! Excellent post.

Visual-Voice said...

Beautiful words of wisdom. thank you.