Coming in 2017, my new book is about a great civilization. A civilization that thrives with freedom for all, for hundreds, if not thousands of years. I begin by reviewing the the Banking Crisis of 2008 and the subsequent Great Recession, then examine the current political unrest and atmosphere of dystopia, of wars, cynicism and distrust. Much of the institutional failure and social unrest that we find ourselves in today strikes me as the inevitable birth trauma of moving from a world comprised of warring states to a world dedicated to cultivating a planetary culture. So how do we begin the process of making that transition in a way that sets us up for a sustainable future?
Although my book will cover many of the societal forces needed to bring planetary change, including media, leadership, democracy, financial services and economics, its main focus will be on the necessity of modeling integrity and delivering freedom as the principle for all institutional life.
In addition, I've come to believe that the answer begins inside each of us individually, and that a mindfulness or contemplative practice can propel each of us towards the types of interpersonal relationships such a civilization requires. Self-knowledge blooms with mindfulness serving as the critical catalyst that makes us open ourselves to one another with integrity. And our new planetary culture depends upon an ethos of interpersonal integrity because we must care as much for our neighbors and for the planet as we do for ourselves.
Otherwise, we lay the first brick of a wall between us that keeps all of us from realizing our potential, while simultaneously breaking us into factions that care more about tribal, in-group concerns. We've lived that way since the start of civilization, but it's increasingly clear that our future requires us to deconstruct these walls, brick by brick by brick.