In many ways, this is the most important topic of all, since many of the ‘step changes’ or ‘phase transitions’ envisaged by The Re-Generation, are dependent upon us ‘changing the narrative’ about who and what we are in relation to the rest of nature and the universe itself. There is much to suggest that we are coming to the end of the ‘old story’, seeing ourselves as separate from nature and natural systems as working like machines, a world-view which has predominated in our culture for the last few centuries.
The materialist paradigm of reductionism, which has spawned many insights, is increasingly showing its limitations when confronted with the complexity of living systems. A new world-view is emerging, a more holistic or ‘whole systems view’ – one which sees mankind as deeply interconnected and interdependent with the web of life and the very fabric of the universe itself. The story of ‘interbeing’ is not only resonating with people experientially, but being validated by sciences from quantum physics to micro-biology.
Some even suggest that we are poised for a Copernican shift in our understanding of consciousness itself, since the notion that consciousness is purely an epiphenomenon of the brain – a uniquely human quality that has arisen as an emergent property through increasingly complex neuronal firing in our skulls – appears ever more tenuous.
From quantum physics to neuroscience and transpersonal psychology, the picture that is emerging is much closer to what Aldous Huxley referred to as The Perennial Philosophy, the single strand of truth running through all our mystical and religious traditions, namely that consciousness may be primary and not secondary to matter – we are within consciousness, rather than it being some peculiar phenomenon restricted to the inside of our heads.
Working in close collaboration with Tyringham Initiative – who have recently convened many leading thinkers in this area, from Rupert Sheldrake to Jude Currivan and Ervin Laszlo – The Re-Generation will delve deeply into this pivotal question and the momentous ramifications it might bring, not only redefining the very notion of who and what we are, but also our place in the universe, our relation to each other and to the natural world itself. Perhaps nothing less is necessary for us to make the collective step change to a regenerative society?
The Re-Generation founder Rory Spowers talked about Regenerating Consciousness with British comedian, writer and activist Russell Brand and US comedian and science commentator Shane Mauss at the Port Eliot Festival launch of The Re-Generation, 25 to 28 July 2019.