Duane Elgin Calling on Humanity to Create a New Story, Viewing ourselves as a maturing species
will lead to sustainable, meaningful future. Monday March 1, 2010 — Camille Jensen, Canadian news bureau
International author and speaker Duane Elgin is calling on humanity to begin exploring a new story for ourselves that will lead to a sustainable and meaningful future.
According to Elgin, people live out their stories, from personal and family stories to stories of our community and the global world. He says the process is largely unconscious, as people go about living the stories of their dominant culture.
It’s only when these stories no longer work that Elgin says people have to take a hard look at themselves and create new stories.
“In the case of much of the western world, our story is the American dream, a story of materialism and consumerism,” explains Elgin. “And the American dream is now the world’s nightmare. People are beginning to recognize that the story isn’t working.”
While it’s easy for people to envision a world of conflict and ruin, it’s much harder for people to see a promising future.
“If that’s what we can collectively imagine then that’s what we are going to create,” says Elgin.
Through large-scale presentations and courses, Elgin is encouraging people to create a new story based on the premise that the human species is still in its teenage years.
He says viewing the human species as in the process of growing up — including accepting the growth pains of adolescence — allows people to move past the guilt of our past behaviours into a journey of awakening.
“My hope is that out of this class, talks and publications people will say, ‘Of course we are still in our teenage years, we can still grow up and start behaving like adults,’” says Elgin.
A new story for humanity based on maturation will lead to greater concern for the well-being of Earth and the long-term future of the human family. He says we cannot view climate change or species extinction as independent, but instead must address the real root causes, which is part of our current cultural norms.
“The bottom line is that if we look at the challenges we face . . . we need a cultural transformation,” says Elgin.
“We as a species need to step forward to a new level of maturity where we are not just here to be entertained but actively, consciously and deliberately engage in creating new stories for our future.
“And to do that requires really a revolution in the politics of consciousness.”
In Elgin’s current course, Beacons of Hope, participants are exploring four archetypes he says can act as beacons for our future and provide fresh insights for orienting our lives.
These archetypes include seeing ourselves and the human community as maturing, heroic, self reflective and participants in a vast and dynamic ecology.