A Conversation With Integral Thinker and Author Terry Patten
“Can we undo the doo-doo that has been done, or will the done doo-doo be our undoing?” — Swami Beyondananda
There’s the classic story about the hiker who slips off a mountain trail, and the only way he can break his fall is by grabbing on to a thin branch. As he holds the branch, he sees that it’s only a matter of time before the branch breaks under his weight. So he begins to pray for God’s help. To his surprise the clouds part in the sky and he hears an unmistakable voice that says, “Let go.”
He continues holding the branch, and once again and louder the voice says, “LET GO!”
At that point, the hiker turns to the sky and asks, “Is there anyone else up there?”
That seems to be our human condition, and conditioning, when faced with the kinds of vexing issues we face today where our survival as a species is threatened, and yet we continue to do the very same things today that we did yesterday, things that only make the problem worse.
Our Wiki Politiki guest this week, author and integral thinker Terry Patten calls these kinds of problems “wicked problems” because like the “whack-a-mole” it’s hard to address these problems in one place because they keep popping up in another place. Even as we are aware of the dying parts of the oceans, the rising seas, the melting ice caps, and all the other burgeoning crises that seem to be gathering into one perfect storm, we seem collectively paralyzed even as we desperately seek a solution.
A student, practitioner and teacher of Integral Philosophy for more than 15 years,
Terry co-authored Integral Life Practice: A 21st-century Blueprint for Physical Health, EmotionalBalance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening with Ken Wilber, Marco Morelli, and Adam Leonard. His new book is A New Republic of the Heart: An Ethos For Revolutionaries, A Guide to Inner Work for Holistic Change, and the book faces unblinkingly the current “shituation” and offers a way through to the other side. He is quick to point out that our situation is dire, and there are no guarantees of success. And yet this “new republic of the heart” does have the potential to gather adherents and coherence … and may be the key to our species’ evolution.
Tune in for this rich conversation — sober yet ultimately hopeful — as Terry Patten offers examples of “evolutionary activism” and how we make the shift from “me to we”, heal the traumas of our collective human history, and find new ways to work together and use our inner transformation to transform the collective.