what time is it on the planet?
- to address our global meta-crisis in all its aspects.
- to frame our global and societal crises and opportunities as challenges to us, now, personally—in terms that penetrate our usual abstractions and avoidance.
- for great intellectual grace, be challenged and enjoy it.
A New Republic of the Heart
From the book's forward by Andrew Harvey
The book you hold in your hands will take you on a journey that will awaken and liberate you. And it will empower you to change the world.
You will find
a rare, sober, deep, spacious, seriously humorous conversation—a conversation many of us are longing for and trying to have.
It comes just in time. This is a time when most of us are hypnotized by our screens, small and large, when our ears are closed to voices that challenge our refusal to feel our actual situation. There is an alarming tendency in spiritual circles to resort to easy answers to hard questions, to dwell in superficial compassion, cheerfulness, and premature forgiveness, but with no willingness to understand or confront our ecological and spiritual emergency, or the dire structural injustice that supports it.
In this din, amidst the babel of what some Native American traditions call “pretender voices,” it is very difficult to speak the truth in a way that can be heard and integrated. Because he actually practiced the humility he advocated, Terry Patten dwells in the innocent “don’t-know mind” of an undefended, intelligent heart, with the openness and curiosity that makes
possible endless learning and growth.
Many people are just now waking up to the truly horrifying, even unbelievable severity of our ecological, social, economic, and cultural crisis. Please listen to what this book has to say, and let it bridge you into a powerful, dynamic relationship to the horror and wonder of our time.
It will help you navigate the winds of fear and your desire to turn away from what is now before us. It won’t stigmatize those reactions; after all, such feelings are entirely human. It will help you be simply present as an intelligent heart, not overcome by the devouring madness of our time.
you are led through an unblinking tour of our holistic crisis and the obstacles to clear understanding, helping you recognize our seemingly insurmountable dilemma as a demand for growth, awakening, and activism.
you will explore the territory of paradox: of how wholeness expresses itself in every facet of not just the natural, more-than-human world, but of our hypercomplex, fast-changing human civilization.
Terry Patten unpacks how our radical urgency and wholeness imply a whole life of practice, and how every day and every moment are implicated.
this book connects that practice to creative activism: both to “outward” activism—in-the-system, against-the-system, and around-the- system—and to “intimate” holistic activism, in our relationships and conversations.
What Drives Us
What is really happening?
Our times are strange and wondrous—so strange and so wondrous that they far outstrip our comprehension! Even as we are verging on world-changing breakthroughs in science, technology, consciousness, cooperation, and leadership, we’re also verging on catastrophic breakdowns of our planetary ecology, as well as our cultural cohesion, economic and social order, and, of course, our politics.
It is wild, significant, inspiring, and terrifying that this is all happening simultaneously. We are clearly approaching a moment of truth.
Resources and Notes
The bottom line is starkly simple
We are it.
Our evolutionary predicament calls us each to be the change we wish to see. That implies an open-ended commitment. In terms of our own growth, it means intending to develop all the best human qualities and virtues, with no end in sight, and a commitment to bring them into every moment of our lives.
This is no conventional commitment
it is an existential commitment to all we hold dear, all you hold dear. You see it in others—the heroes and saints of history, and the ordinary heroes and saints you may know personally.
And others must and will see it in you.
We are the lifeblood of the universe, and once we see that, we cannot help but embrace life.