Aiding in the Transformation of Worldviews and Values

This article is based on my ideas about the Great Turning Movement. If you aren’t familiar with them, click here.

This article discusses how we might aid in the transformation of people’s worldviews and values from those of the current Modern/Industrial Era to those of the emerging Regenerative Era.

I don’t think that the cultural values in most countries are far enough along that we can hope to have enough support now for the political changes we need. Hopefully, people will wake up right away to the urgent need to confront the climate crisis, but transforming society will take longer, and transforming our values and worldview is an important aspect of this. Then people will be more open to the political aspects of Great Turning.

Click here to explore the worldviews of the the Medieval Era, Modern Era, and Regenerative Era in some detail.

Our Modern Era worldview is kept in place by many unexamined assumptions that we hold unconsciously about the world, life, social change, and much more. Click here to explore what these might be for you and how to change them.

People’s worldviews are naturally transforming as we transition to the Regenerative Era, and we can help this process so that it happens faster and becomes widespread.

First, we must work on ourselves–exploring the ways that we are still operating out of the Modern worldview and embracing the emerging one. And then we must engage in the harder task of helping others to make this shift, too. There is still much to be learned about how to do this, but my initial thoughts are that it will happen through:

  • Personal contact
  • The Great Turning groups
  • Meeting people’s needs in a regenerative way
  • Creating regenerative cultural events that will be so fun and satisfying that people will be drawn to them.

Personal Contact

A friend shares with you some struggles in their life. First you empathize with them, so they really feel heard. Then you might be able to help them see how their difficulty flows from certain Modern Era values (without using such abstract concepts) that they hold. You might suggest a solution that not only helps them but also instills regenerative values—for example, being more cooperative in a situation, learning to meditate, walking in nature.

Great Turning Groups

In the Great Turning groups, besides explicit work on our worldviews, we will also be giving important time to inner work and matters of the heart. This will serve to aid us in changing our consciousness and as the groups spread, it will be a way of spreading these changes.

Professional and Self-Help

There are many situations where a person or organization needs help from a professional—for example, a psychotherapist, an organizational consultant, or a lawyer. As the professional, you not only help them, but you do this in a way that naturally begins to shift their values, without necessarily even mentioning the Great Turning.

For example, as a psychotherapist, I practice Internal Family Systems Therapy, which is built upon compassion, acceptance, not pathologizing, and understanding that we contain within us the source of our healing, that our identity is more fluid that we think, and that even destructive parts of us are trying to help. All these are values of a regenerative society. Click here for an article explaining this in more detail.

There are massive numbers of self-help groups, such as parenting groups, 12-step groups, groups for people with a certain disease, and so on. Versions of these that operate from transformed values could help to shift people’s consciousness.

Regenerative Cultural Events and Organizations

This is the idea I’m most excited about. The organization could arrange various cultural events that are so fun and engaging in themselves that people will be drawn to them regardless of their political persuasion or lack of concern about the world. These events won’t necessarily include pitches about the planetary crisis, and we may not try to recruit people for the movement. Instead, people’s values and worldviews will gradually change by simply participating.

We could have regenerative versions of common events such as festivals, parties, and venues for meeting people, dancing, growing your own food, and so on. In the 60’s, I was in my twenties and lived in Berkeley and saw this in action. We were drawn to rock concerts, be-ins, growth centers, and the like because they were fun or inspiring, and they helped us to change our values even though we weren’t looking for that. Today, we need a somewhat different set of values for the Great Turning, but the approach to fostering them may be similar.

It would also be helpful to have regenerative versions of common organizations such as churches, temples, schools, and community associations. People would join them for the usual reasons and over time their values would transform. Shariff Abdullah (www.theimaginalcafe.org) is suggesting a version of the café which would entail various activities to align people’s consciousness.

As society breaks down, there will be a need for activities, such as growing our own food, to help us survive in very difficult circumstances. If the movement can provide regenerative ways of engaging in these activities, then this can help shift people’s worldview and consciousness in the process.

These approaches will be especially successful with young people, who are willing to try new things and aren’t so set in their ways. I could see regenerative events sweeping college campuses and high schools. Slightly older young people are struggling to find meaningful jobs. People in the movement who are small business owners and have created regenerative cultures in their workplaces, could offer jobs to youth that would gradually transform their values.