Deepak Chopra and a group called the Evolutionary Leaders issued a Gulf Call to Sacred Action last week--to help spark a broad and multi-faceted popular response to the Gulf oil spill through integrating spirituality and activism. Featuring three on-line/call-in events, an eight point action plan and Collective Creativity, an on-line discussion group at Linked-In, the Call to Sacred Action invites people to carry spirituality from the meditation cushion into the world -- and to undertake activism in a whole, new way.
Even though it's not yet known how the consequences will unfold, it's already clear that the Gulf oil spill is not just another in a series of news media turn-the-dial crisis reports, but a world changing event with major long-term impacts on humans, wildlife, habitats, food and the fragile ecologies on which life depends. The spill affects our air, water, climate, weather patterns, agriculture, not to mention economies, social structures and politics. Dealing with these concrete realities challenges our capacities for creativity, strategy and action--to and beyond all prior limits. Whether or not we know it, we are all coping with a new challenge, and the dawn of a new reality.
W.B. Yeats in his 1919 poem The Second Coming, painted a picture that seems all too accurate today:
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Now is the time for passionate intensity among those of conviction.
In the first call of three available here, the Evolutionary Leaders, who include wisdom teachers and authors, like Deepak Chopra, Jean Houston, Marianne Williamson, Michael Beckwith, Don Beck, Lynne McTaggart, Debbie Ford, Brian Swimmne, and Rustum Roy made clear that in their view, we are briskly approaching a planetary tipping point. At a tipping point, the choices we make are critical.
- The best scientific and technological ingenuity
- The human/social capacities, of group organization, communication, ecological and emotional intelligence
- The spiritual strengths of equanimity, mindfulness, and caring for all of life
Can seekers become as skilled at action as long-standing warrior-style activists? Can a spiritually integrated approach serve to resolve stalemates, mediate between opposing agendas, and guide people in transforming self-serving attitudes that block or resist timely action? Can an organized spiritual collective galvanize and empower people who don't act because they don't believe they can make a difference?
As fisticuffs, claims, and counter-claims erupt on the visible surface of political life, deep within each one of us lives a secret cry, silent as the screamer in Edvard Munch's famous painting, begging to be heard, beckoning us to our calling: to find a voice, a way, a commitment to act and contribute for the sake of our common good and survival. As the call rises to the surface, it transforms into the fragile hope to serve, a quavering conviction that perhaps we can make a difference.
In the Call to Sacred Action, Lynne McTaggart strengthened that hope and conviction by inviting all participants to visualize the Gulf, restored over several years by creative technology and caring. In the eight point plan, intention and prayer complement rather than substitute for concrete action, which clearly is vitally necessary. The Evolutionary leaders offer the heartening reminder that precisely because the stakes are so high, so is the potential for breakthrough if we seize the opportunity.
The question is: how?
(1) Deepak Chopra is evolving an eight point plan which covers these basics:
(2) Support, contribute, volunteer, and learn about reliable organizations and groups working on environmental solutions
(3) Make greener choices in our daily lives
(4) Invest in companies offering long-term ecological and energy solutions
(5) Support education that helps people see the connection of all life
(6) In his talk in the Gulf Call to Sacred Action, Chopra reminded participants that:
"The earth is our physical body. The atmosphere is our breath.The rivers, lakes, and oceans are our circulation. Let us not let the Earth become uninhabitable. Change begins with consciousness that directs us into action. Let's go down the road of action, following the invigorating, energizing, call to action that this current catastrophe has inspired."
Sign up to participate in the next Gulf Call on July 6th here.
To join the Collective Creativity dialogue and read the Eight Actions, sign up here.
I'll interview Evolutionary Leaders on on-line radio in the coming weeks. Sign up at www.healthjournalist.com to hear them and take action.