Psychotherapist, professor, and author Carolyn Baker joins Terry for a sober, deep, and instructive conversation to consider our planetary predicament as a sacred rite of passage that necessitates a “collective descent into the darkness,” the possibility of our collective “sacred demise”, and the possibility of a collective rebirth or “radical regeneration.” They explore which types of leadership and leaders we will need to midwife our human journey through a great transition, perhaps the collapse of our current culture, and Carolyn points to specific actions we can take now — and over the coming years — to become reliable forces of sanity, strength, and generosity to those around us.
Carolyn Baker’s mission is to create islands of sanity amidst global chaos and prepare others for the potential consequences of civilizational collapse and abrupt climate change through the development of emotional tools and spiritual transformation. Carolyn was a psychotherapist for 17 years and a professor of psychology and history for 10 years. She is the author of 13 books including Navigating The Coming Chaos, Sacred Demise, and 4 books co-authored with the luminous mystic Andrew Harvey, including Savage Grace, and the forthcoming book Radical Regeneration: Birthing the New Human in the Age of Extinction. For nearly a decade, Carolyn has published a subscription-based Daily News Digest. Additionally, she leads webinars and live workshops, writes articles, and offers life coaching — in the process helping thousands of people navigate the unprecedented challenges of our time.
Here are some additional questions we explore:
- What does it mean to be of service during a “sacred demise” of our current culture, and what would a “radical regeneration” look like and require from us?
- Like in individual rites of passage, how can cultures and nations also “descend into darkness” and emerge with a transformed identity and way of being?
- What are the “10 things you can do now” that Carolyn and Andrew Harvey outline in their new book Radical Regeneration?
- Who will be needed during a period of collapse? What kinds of leadership will we need to serve a “soft landing” on the other side of societal breakdown?
- Even while much of our world is stuck in old patterns, how can profound spiritual practice be the key “innovation” on behalf of humanity’s ongoing evolution?
Here are the “Ten Things We Can Do,” which Carolyn refers to in the episode:
- Stay Safe: Wear masks when you are outside, continue social distancing as much as possible, and listen carefully to the scientists who are telling us we are in the middle of a second wave of the pandemic. Shun all large gatherings and rallies and find other ways to protest which can be just as effective.
- Take special care of your health and keep your body vibrant with exercise and good nutrition. The psychological and emotional demands of the unfolding crises will be far more effectively sustained with a healthy body.
- Whatever your spiritual practice, plunge more deeply than ever into it. It is essential to pursue realization of your true Self with more faith and intensity in these exploding times than ever before.
- Fill your life with inspiration and beauty. Inspiration will keep your heart buoyant and alive, and beauty will remind you of the magnificence of life and fill you with the energy to want to safeguard it.
- If you can, spend 20 minutes or more in nature per day, experiencing your oneness with it and drinking in through every pore its steadiness and radiance. Allow yourself to become intimate with the Earth.
- Stay aware of how the pandemic and economic and environmental crises are evolving. There is no security in denial or ignorance. Learn, however, to pace yourself because the ferocious information you will be taking in can become overwhelming.
- Take time to grieve. No one will escape heartbreak in a time such as this, and not attending to the suffering of the heart that inevitably rises in the face of so much destruction will lead to severe depression or a kind of inner deadness that makes it impossible to respond creatively. Get support from others who are also grieving. No one should grieve alone, and there is no need to be alone in a crisis that is now global.
- Renew old friendships and relish and deepen the ones you have because everything now depends on the sanity and joy that only deep friendship and relationship can provide. Take special care and lavish special love on your animal companions, and they will reward you with their tender and miraculous love.
- Despite being mostly in lockdown, make an effort to practice Sacred Activism by giving wisely to those in need. Food banks need support as do healthcare workers and the homeless who are afraid of going to shelters because they are Petri dishes for the virus. If you are able to assist those in prison by standing up for their rights, or by encouraging them in any way, do so. Take seriously your right to vote, for everything depends throughout the world on turning back the tide of dark money-financed authoritarianism.
- Use this book as a way of training your inner eyes to see and celebrate the signs of the Birth of a new humanity that are rising everywhere amidst the obviously apocalyptic death. Note the heroism of extraordinary/ordinary people globally who are turning up to serve the sick and dying. Note the heroism of protestors of every color who risk their lives to demand racial justice after the horrific death of George Floyd. Read great evolutionary philosophers and mystics like Sri Aurobindo, Teilhard de Chardin, Bede Griffiths, Satprem, Teresa of Avila, Hildegard of Bingen, and Julian of Norwich, and those who speak of the global dark night, giving birth potentially to an embodied divine humanity.
For more information on Carolyn Baker and Terry Patten, check out the following links:
- Carolyn’s Amazon Book Pageahead of the release of her new book with Andrew Harvey, Radical Regeneration: Birthing the New Human in the Age of Extinction
- Carolyn’s website
- Carolyn’s book, Sacred Demise
- Carolyn’s book, Navigating the Coming Chaos: A Handbook for Inner Transition
- Carolyn’s direct email: email@example.com
- Terry Patten’s website
- A New Republic of the Heart website
We hope you appreciate this week’s episode with Carolyn Baker on State of Emergence. If you believe these conversations are important and want to support them, please join us as a monthly contributor and become part of our community of listeners. Thank you so much!