Global Change Movement, Positive Futurism, The Eloquent Civilization
I am an author, speaker, podcaster, blogger and also lead Authentic Relating for singles. I'm working to make our society one that's actually worth saving. ~ Amazon Author Page:
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What is the #1 solution to almost all of the most fundamental problems of the fast-paced modern world? Healthier lifestyles. That includes slowing down, and producing and consuming less. I hope “People’s Health” becomes part of the new normal.
Placing our health over the economy is an excellent place to begin. Doing less is a significant solution. Slowing down, consuming less, and simply spending more down-time relaxing with loved ones are key strategies for better mental health.
It’s ironic that these are some of the same solutions we came to for keeping people healthy during the first few months of 2020. Not only are these measures keeping us healthy, they are also decreasing pollution in the land and water.Global Change solutions are health-driven.
Health over Economy. Maybe we’re beginning to learn that. We are standing at a unique precipice which can be a real catalyst in the Global Change Movement. In the personal transformation field, they call that a “pattern interruption” and it presents a real opportunity to “flip to script” and for “re-framing.”
My name is Thomas Tortorich, and I am a speaker and workshop leader in the Global Change Movement. I’d love to inspire your group or organization to be the change we need to see in the world. Other professionals in this small but growing field include Charles Eisenstein, Bill McKibben, and organizations like The Venus Project for a Resource-Based Economy, and Project Drawdown: 100 Solutions to Reverse Global Warming, among others.
Please email me for more information about my talks, programs and fees, or with recommendations for groups who are looking for speakers.
My name is Thomas Tortorich, and I am a workshop leader and presenter in the Global Change Movement. Thank you for your time. I hope to hear from you soon.
There’s a way of noticing what the world around us really needs, how it dovetails with what you or I really need.
A spirit-led path seems to open at the intersection of those 2 layers of the same need.
The identification of the collective needs by individual conscious attention seems to create a certain “law of attraction” that influences events to spontaneously occur, and that path towards meeting those needs is the path towards being THE CHANGE we wish to see in the world.
The path seems to appeal to others who are working on similar projects and then, to other people who support the collectivism of the project. there’s a feeling of maybe there’s an Akashik Atlas in the field, and new roads are being labeled all the time.
New roads less traveled. New paths to be the change, wide enough for many of us to walk together along and combine our collective energies.
There are a few keys to finding the opening of the path, and then a few “tests” to be allowed to pass through the gateless gate, to use the Taoist metaphor.
I am watching The Secret, from 2006. Most of what they say about The Law of Attraction is true. A few clarifications are necessary, though, which are also incredibly important to understand, lest we fall into the trap of arrogance and spiritual bypassing in our application of the principles.
There are no “Get out of Karma Free” cards in this game. Your personal and ancestral Karma will attract things to you as much as your thoughts do. (And so will the oppression of systems and people. Not all things are attracted to us by our thoughts. Sometimes, we get caught in the web of other people’s behaviors and thoughts like flies in a spider web.)
The Law of Karma supersedes the Law of Attraction. So if you are attempting to attract a certain thing, often, you may have to cut through a lot of karma as well as social statutes before it comes.
Also, we, as individuals, do not always know what we want. We think we do, and yet the fact is we are living in a web of materialistic and moral confusion.
It is often best to ask the Universe to provide what is in our best interest because the fact is, the universe always knows better than we do. Thinking we know what to ask for is naive.
So, yes, you may “use” the law of attraction to receive material benefits, such as wealth or a red Ferrari. But, if you do so, (use the law for your own personal and material gain), then you are mis-using this power. This will create negative karma in your life and in the lives of your children. Karma is nothing to take lightly.
Yogic Spirituality teaches this as well. All “intentions” must be set with the following caveat: may this come true ONLY if it is for the benefit of all sentient beings.
Also, we live in a society with systems in place (and individuals) that actively oppress people: non-“citizens,” the poor and impoverished, the abused, the homeless, the chronically ill, all of these folks are at strong disadvantages because of our societal constructs. Do not tell a homeless person or someone with cancer that if they just change their thoughts, they would change their reality, that, my friends, is spiritual bypassing, and abelist. Also do not tell this to a person working for minimum wage. They are there because of oppression, not Karma, and not the Law of Attraction.
Fighting oppression with the Law of Attraction is possible. But it’s a much bigger undertaking than admonishing the minimum wage worker to simply “manifest” a better job.
Although that definitely sounds like something a rich white person from Johnson County would say ~ as well as a Trumper. (Damn, I can’t believe that guy’s president. What reality are we in?) Oh, I forgot, we manifested that. Right.
The spiritual, moral, and ethical violations of the use of the law of attraction, resulting in what the Yogic traditions refer to as a Karmic Debt.
The Karmic Debt, for example, of a Nation such as ours, founded on the hypocrisy that all men are created equal while the founding fathers owned slaves, is the president we have today.
This information is from the Yogic traditions. My teacher was the founder of the community in Oregon where i lived. He was an old man in his 70s, and very very wise.
The film was framed as an Episode of the Mr. Rogers’ show ~ a brilliant idea. There is a journalist who is writing a feature about Fred for Esquire. He’s also dealing with anger issues directed at his father ~ and that’s what the theme of this episode is really about: men’s anger work. This is so very badly needed in today’s world as we struggle to find our Sacred Masculine.
The Journalist starts off as an embittered misanthrope acting out of unresolved anger. With the help of Mr. Rogers and the cast of characters from the Friendly Neighborhood, he learns emotional maturity and emotional intelligence. This movie will hit too close to home for many men, and it will take a lot of courage for some to watch.
The character arch of the journalist is one I’m intimately acquainted with. Looking back on who I was before meeting my Inner-Mr-Rogers, I was half alive but felt mostly dead inside. I was deeply aware of how much the poison of negative emotions was corroding me, but I was truly powerless to do anything about it. Between a busy life and stress at work, the symptoms were getting far worse by the time I was in my 30s. It’s as if many social circumstances are designed around keeping the poison in us flowing.
Mr. Rogers’ superpower is empathy ~ it’s THE missing ingredient that the majority of therapists who keep “professional distance” miss. My experience with therapists is that many tend to intellectualize emotions. (And many have not checked their own baggage). We cannot achieve emotional healing that way.
Empathy is necessary. Empathy is the magic elixir. As a society, we have a ton to learn from Mr. Rogers. How did Mr. Rogers achieve this ….. Boddhisatva state?
In today’s society, designed to keep the poison flowing, that’s “enlightenment.” But enlightenment is also being down to earth, being humble about that. He says in the movie, “Fame is a four-letter word. It’s what you do with it.”
So let’s not idolize him ~ which is why the movie wasn’t about him ~ but rather an episode of his show teaching a very apropos lesson. Instead, let’s ask, “How can we all get in touch with our own Inner-Mr-Rogers?”
So glad Hollywood and Tom Hanks put this out there.
I think the Mr. Rogers’ movie should be required viewing for all future presidents (and fathers).
When I lived in Boulder, I bought myself a boomerang. I have enjoyed learning to throw the boomerang and getting it to come back to me. You have to throw it at a 45 degree angle, and flick your wrist ~ oddly similar to throwing a sidearm curveball in baseball a way. The technique doesn’t matter so much to the story. It’s fun. I taught myself how to do it.
I had a few boomerangs. The blue one disappeared …. not sure where it went, some other dimension. The red one got stuck in a tree. But the funny three-pointed boomerang, now there’s a odd story, indeed!
One afternoon in Boulder, I threw that one, and it was very very windy. And the wind took the thing, and it went sailing up up and away. I watched it disappear into the wind and into the clouds ~ that thing was gone, no doubt about it.
I liked to play with the boomerangs at a baseball field close to the place I was staying. The next afternoon, I went out again to the field, and, believe it or not, the boomerang that had sailed up, up and away into the clouds, was right there, on the ground … exactly in the spot I had launched it from. Too weird to be true. But there it was!
Now, last month or so, I took that same boomerang out to the park in kansas city, and threw it pretty good. It didn’t come back to me, and I lost it in the sun. I have no idea where it flew to. I lost it, it was gone. I searched the ground all around, but it was gone.
Today (no I didn’t find it again, just wait!) …. I was out in the park, and I heard I was supposed to go back to where I threw the boomerang. Well, I walked there, and in the exact spot where I threw it from (or very very close), I found an ATM receipt.
I find ATM receipts from time to time ~ kind of like finding pennies. Not all that uncommon.
But this one was a very good omen ~ especially, like I say, because of where I found it. The ATM balance listed on said deposit: $8,800; funds available: $75,000.
Well you don’t come across an ATM receipt like that everyday! Especially since this morning I just said I wanted to do an event in March and earn $7,500 from it.
So, what do you make of that? My boomerang turned into a good omen.I’m going to keep that receipt somewhere safe…..
I know this is hard to understand in a world recovering from “co-dependency.” Yet “co-dependancy” is actually closer to enlightenment than narcissism. In a world where “self-love” is held as an ideal, putting others before one’s self is actually where we need to be.
We’ve become oriented around self-love because: 1) we were taught ‘we are not good enough’ 2) others don’t care for each other
But transcending those things means caring for each other. I care for you; you care for me, unconditionally. Self-love is expressed through love for others.
I believe this year, you helped truly teach me what unconditional love is, both to give and to receive.
I believe that when two humans mate (or make love, to use
the colloquial), our energies, and essence shifts and shapes the other if we
are receptive ~ if it is the right person.
However short or long, a season of love, as say the lyrics
from Rent, a season of love lasts forever, regardless of how it manifests in
the physical expression of time.
I am embarking on a new relationship these days ~ we’ve had 3 dates and a sleepover. I find it vey true that the essence I bring into all of that, includes you. How very uncommon in today’s world of lovers and leavers.
Unconditional love has so many layers: like a cake …. the essence of the flavor lingers long after it is savored.
So many times in this experience we call life, we regret the
things unsaid, undone, unlearned, or, the worst, under-appreciated.
I prefer the word “appreciation” to gratitude.
For, I have found, that what we appreciate, appreciates
We lay in the grass in the park, at first, awkward together, but grounding right after getting together and stepping off the plane.
You drive a car that reminds me of a former lover, and I
know, you are an intricate part of the tapestry of this experience we call
We took a bubble bath (my first in a long time!)
The warm water released my physical pain;
Bathing inside you, a blessing, so deep, that you would
share your True You.
I am grateful for you, dear lover.
I feel so complete.
I feel so complete.
So many relationships end open-ended.
For my part, I don’t feel that way about you.
Our relationship felt like a symphony, a beautiful
beginning, such a beautiful arch.
There’s nothing I’d do differently.
And I would definitely listen to that symphony again.
And if it is never played again, that’s simply because it linguers so perfectly that it simply could never be recreated.
My prayer would be that others could experence what we
learned from other: how to have an unconditional lover.
Of the 2 months in 2019 that I was homeless, 40 of those 60 days were spent camping in wilderness areas.
In April, in Boulder, I went to an Easter Concert at dawn at the Red Rocks Amphitheater. It was a very transcendent experience, the ethereal music echoing off the red rock formations. Two nights later, I left the home I was staying at in Boulder with four other housemates and decided to be homeless. Rent was unreasonable. I don’t like living with strangers. It was April. In the mountains. The first night camping was in a snowstorm. Of the next 40 nights, at least seven were spent in heavy snow.
It really pushed me to the edge of my frayed rope, and even before embarking on the camping trip, I was already close to a mental breakdown ~ this was about 9 months after my suicide attempt.
20 days into the camping trip was a major breaking point. Maybe I’ll put more details about this into my book. That’s when I spent 3 days in the hospital. The first night out of the hospital, another snowstorm. Still, better to have the autonomy of homelessness than the lack of empathy from the so-and-so professional mental health agents.
The report that the outtake nurse read to me (which she wasn’t supposed to, but she had empathy for me) said: patient speaks nonsense, and makes no sense.
Yes, I am sure I was waxing poetic about the state of the climate, materialism, the lack of empathy and unconditional love in the world. I can understand the diagnoses of crazy. Who talks like that? Who cares about things like that?
In a world where we arrest and hose down the Water Protectors at Standing Rock?
In a World where Trump is the leader?
Damn right I make no sense. Damn proud of it.
I believe in a goddman better world.
I am disappointed in my species. Always have been. Been shamed for feeling disappointed.
Well, though, who among you has the balls to quit your High Five Figure Job, leave the home you owned in the suburbs, and go off to find your soul?
In the Gospel of Thomas, (the real one by Jesus’ twin brother), Jesus says: Whoever has achieved self-actualization, the world is not worthy of him. No shit, it says that. It also says that Jesus was against circumcision. #metoo
I could quote chapter and verse, but I’d rather teach unconditional love to whoever is willing to listen and not call me crazy.
I’m come back to Civilization to change it. Not taking no for an answer.
~Thanks to Alan Watts, in part, for helping me channel this material.~
The beliefs that we hold, which were inherited and learned, create the world we experience around us in 2 ways:
We are drawn to other people who share the same beliefs, and our agreement
about those things reinforces them, and causes them to become real ~ manifest.
Magnetizing other people (and opportunities) consistent with your beliefs is
easiest in a civilization with critical mass. For example, if you want to take
a yoga class in a very small town, you may or may not find one. If you wish to
do this in any sized city, it’s part of our culture, so it’s easy. This is the
law of attraction, in the rubber-hits-the-road sense. There is a higher
“magical” sense of this in which, if you are looking for a Yoga
class, it tends to find you first, if you aren’t looking too hard. Or, rather,
you tend to find each other ~ this implies that consciousness is a magnet, and
that the teacher of the class best suited to you attracts you, as much as you
attract them. This implies, also, that consciousness is “fractal” ~
because the yoga class best suited to you finds you, not just any class.
However, if you are not in “perfect alignment” then you first find a
class that’s not well suited to you, and your experiece becomes a series of
“successive approximations” to use Rollo May’s term.
Your thoughts can also create new opportunities that do not already exist. This
is harder, but possible. By force, (the old way) we can convince and manipulate
others into doing things a new way. But that is not the law of attraction at
thoughts alone, the Law of Attraction does not translate into the Law of
Creation. (Actually both of these things are more like Habits than Laws ~ the
way Rupert Sheldrake phrases it)
Habit of Attraction is:
Opposites Attract ~ “the contrast” to use Abraham Hicks’ phrase ~
also known as Karma ~ also the reason you don’t find the perfect yoga class all
at once. (But when you are in “alignment” you do.) Alignment is:
thoughts, feelings, emotions in agreement.
Like attracts Like ~ when, and only when, (as Yoda would say) you have moved
into the frame of mind where you are transmuting Karma instead of living into
it. You always attract it, but it’s how you don’t react to it that counts.
Karmic Aikido, for lack of an existing phrase.
(the emergent property of thoughts, feelings and emotions) reverses Entropy.
is the primary Law of the inorganic universe (yang).
(for lack of an existing word) is the Habit of the conscious aspect of the
universe, which reverses entropy.
is the principle of shattering a glass ~ chaos from order ~ also the principle
of opposites attracting (yang).
is self-organization ~ the habit of stars and planets to form ~ the habit of
like attracting like (yin).
consciousness is in balance ~ thoughts, feelings, emotions (body, speech, mind)
in perfect oneness ~ to borrow the Buddhist phrase, then we achieve
“Ying” ~ the balance of Yin and Yang.
emotional act of living with Ying allows your life to unfold naturally, without
forcing, and one will find that the Universe tends to unfold with your best
interest in mind. From a conscious perspective, the easiest way to achieve this
state of mind (and emotional harmony within yourself) is to set all intentions
“for the benefit of all sentient beings.”
the Vulcans would say, “simple: logic and emotions in balance.” ~
Left and Right Brain in balance brings us into our “right mind” ~
this is the “Rite of Mind” ~ for lack of an existing term.
achieve this state also implies coming to terms (and at peace with) one’s own
shadow, as well and not behaving in accordance with the shadow side of cultural
As the afternoon begins to
wind down, a soft sound fills the sky
from an unseen source. It begins to get louder, and louder, as my eyes
cast about the terrain looking the cause of the interruption of silence.
I am sitting peacefully, mediating,
looking over the water, a small lake,
surrounded by oaks and maples that have already surrendered their leaves for
There is a distinct chill in
the air, and, at the risk of sounding cliché, I know what all of nature knows:
winter is descending.
They come in for a landing.
Ducks. Hundreds of them, landing on the lake, in their annual migration.
As I’m writing this, I open
Google to search for their exact species name, and am disturbed to realize that
the vast majority of “waterfowl migration” websites are duck hunting websites.
The sadness lingers in my chest for a moment, before I can come back to these
These beautiful red-headed
ducks chirp and chatter as they descend, but it’s the sound of their wings that
I am listening to, a gentle, sweeping sound, barley discernable under the
The sound of wings would fill
the air like a strong wind if there weren’t so much Duck Talk going on.
I imagine myself being a duck
and wondering why all my brothers and sisters are talking so much. As a human,
I am very moved by non-verbal communication.
The ducks’ orange webbed feet
skid in for a landing, the water splashing with the sound of a rain shower, and
then, instantly, everything falls silent. They’ve landed. There is silence.
The behavior of flying in a
flock of hundreds fascinates me.
Ducks like these exemplify it,
but Starlings have made it famous: the effect known as “murmuration.”
A murmuration of starlings
sweeps across the sky in the thousands, reforming, sweeping, swirling, dancing,
all as one. It looks like they’re dancing, just having fun. And the shapes the
flock takes resemble a constantly changing rorschach blot. An award winning
photography series by Daniel Biber cin
2018 captured a starling murmuration where the shape the flock takes becomes a
giant starling in the sky.
It’s a fascinating behavior,
and Starlings are about the most eloquent symphony to watch, even when they are
not forming a fractal pattern that resembles a giant bird.
At the individual level, the
murmuration phenomenon is relatively straightforward: when a neighbor moves, so
do you. Depending on the flock’s size and speed and its members’ flight
physiologies, the large-scale pattern changes. When a flock turns in unison,
it’s called a phase transition ~ the same phenominon that causes water to
become ice instantly, when it reaches the correct temperature. Turns out, laws
of physics apply to biology, too.
There is no better metaphor
for understanding collective consciousness than a murmuration.
Humans use different words for
this phenomena: we call it shoaling in fish, flocking in birds, swarming in
insects, herding in land animals. In human behavior, it’s useful to view
society as a large-scale murmuration.
From ideologies that societies
hold, to patterns of behavior we belief, adopt and accept because we are
influenced to do so by our neighbors, mom and dad, marketing agencies,
politicians, and so forth.
In human society, we witness ideological
What scientists do not
understand about the murmuration of starlings is how “critical mass” is
reached. How, spontaneously, does the entire flock turn on a dime, and instantaneously
create a new form? This is not a choreographed
ballet, and no one has filed a flight plan with the control tower. It just
happens, spontaneously, and all individuals are affected, all at once.
All water, at 32 degrees F,
turns to ice. No individual water molecule has any say in the matter
whatsoever. To the extent that Starlings have free will, a rogue flyer or two
or 10 could opt-out of the murmuration. Or could they? Is group behavior so
strong when it reaches critical mass that it overrides free will?
And how does this apply to
When we’re living in a society
where the zeitgeist of norms no longer serves us, when enough individuals agree
to disagree with the patterns of behavior we have been living with for so long,
that we achieve critical mass, then, a new pattern arises.
And society undergoes a phase
shift, just as Starlings create a new shape in the air.
That’s the best metaphor there
is for the transition human global civilization is undergoing in our lifetimes.
We are witnessing a great murmuration, perhaps the greatest one since the Renaissance
of DaVinci; perhaps the greatest one since the evolution of Homo Sapiens.
This societal phase shift is
precipitated by nothing less than the convergent crises of global warming, the
end of the age of fossil fuels, the collapse of the patriarchic systems of
The Zen Buddhist Monk, Thich
Nhat Hahn, one of the most influential spiritual leaders on Earth, has said
that the 20th century has been characterized by war, violence, hate and greed.
If we are to survive, the 21st
century must be one of peace and spirituality.
That’s the direction of the
phase shift I am working for.
Possibly our great murmuration
could go another direction, but it’s
important to look in the direction we want to go, to influence the great human