October 2, 2016

Your New Superpower: Creating a Culture of Regenerative Sustainability.



*Support Aaron Perry’s Kickstarter. Aaron is an old buddy of Waylon’s and he’s doing super cool work to make the planet a better place. Please check out his project.


We have an immense power. It is actually a superpower: creating our culture.

It affects our human consciousness—the task of the wisest spiritual teachers. It impacts mountains, oceans, rivers and the entire atmosphere. It literally creates future realities for our children and their children.

And we are exercising this power right now—you and I—whether we are aware of it or not.

We are creating our culture right now!

You and I and millions like us all around the planet.

In the early years of the 21st century, we are witnessing and creating changes on scales and in ways never before seen. And this is the time in our human history when the biggest change we face is whether we will choose a pathway to regeneration and sustainability, or will continue unabated in our consumptive rush toward massive species extinction, deforestation, climate change, rising sea levels and all of the social injustice, economic inequity and questions of caring that go with them.

It often seems that most of this is out of our control. But it isn’t. The course of our civilization over the next several decades and handful generations will actually—specifically—be determined by our own decisions, and how we respond to the call for healing, compassion and stewardship.

We talked just the other day with Waylon Lewis about the life-hacks we can each employ in our lives to get smarter and feel better—literally—while healing the planet. In fact, we discussed five in particular in our live video on September 27: touch the soil, prepare food with friends and family, eat lacto-fermented vegetables, walk often and a lot, and unplug our technology at night. These each are known to enhance serotonin production (the feel good neuro-chemical), oxytocin (the connection and anti-depression neuro-chemical), enrich us with brain and immune enhancing enzymes, keep our memories strong, and unleash the daily healing power of deep restful sleep.

These are all arrows in the quiver of our superpower.

But there’s one special tool that we have now at our disposal—an aspect of our superpower that is quite new to our vocabulary.

It is the no-o-sphere.

The no-o-what?

First posited in his 1922 book, Cosmogenesis, by Jesuit scientist and mystic, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin—it is a “thought membrane” enveloping planet Earth and made up of all of our collective thoughts and feelings. The concept, derived from the Greek nous, for “mind,” was presented as an evolutionary step in the “spheres” of Earth with which we’re familiar like atmosphere and biosphere. It was met with much skepticism, mockery and derision over the course of the past century… that is, up until the advent of the internet.

Chardin tells us:

“Our duty, as men and women, is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist. We are collaborators in creation.”

Now, as University of Rochester astrophysics professor Adam Frank puts it in his “Can the Earth be Conscious” article for National Public Radio:

“Right now, at this very moment, you are submerged in an invisible sea of information. Thoughts, ideas, ambitions and instructions—they are whispering past and through you on waves of modulated electromagnetic energy. From wireless Internet to satellite TV, you are bathed in an endless stream of purposeful, intentional signal. And, it’s not just you…the whole planet glows with information made manifest in light (actual light, as in radio waves, microwaves, etc.). But does all that thought mean the Earth is thinking? Does it mean it’s awake? Maybe it’s time to consider the Noosphere.”

Now, our more esoteric and spiritually minded brothers and sisters would say (in line with Chardin), that the No-o-sphere exists independent of the internet. Not a debate I want to get into right now! I want to emphasize that especially with the internet, our power to access information and communicate with each other globally is at a super-scale that kings and queens couldn’t even imagine a few centuries ago.

We have a superpower!

And with this, as William Irwin Thompson discusses in his essay, “The Metaindustrial Village,” come some important choices. If we slow down, nurture health and balance in our own lives and homes, cultivate the ethic and practice of stewardship toward the living world, and grow in our compassion for our entire human family, we have the opportunity to create something magnificent together.

A sustainable world.

It will result from more of us building soil (a leading strategy for climate change mitigation), for more of us growing food (a leading strategy for nourishment and joyfulness), for more of us exercising our demand to purchase only those goods and services coming from sustainable, ethical, soil-regenerating, community-building and health-enhancing organizations (a leading strategy for smart economic development and ecologic stewardship), and it will result from us taking the time to see through the veil of data and information, to think, and to invest time in the knowledge and wisdom that is right at our fingertips.

If we truly harness our culture-creating superpower, we will no longer be swayed by vacuous braggadocio that occupies mainstream media waves. Instead, we will be soothed and inspired by the gentle wisdom of Pema Chödrön:

“It is unconditional compassion for ourselves that leads naturally to unconditional compassion for others. If we are willing to stand fully in our own shoes and never give up on ourselves, then we will be able to put ourselves in the shoes of others and never give up on them. True compassion does not come from wanting to help out those less fortunate than ourselves but from realizing our kinship with all beings.”

And Thich Nhat Hanh:

“You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment. In that insight of inter-being, it is possible to have real communication with the Earth, which is the highest form of prayer.”

And Pope Francis:

“Bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.”

We will exercise our superpower for healing, compassion, and to create the future we really want! And we will fulfill what our friend, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, envisioned to be possible:

“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”

With our superpower, will create a culture of sustainability. This culture—of sustainability—is a culture of courage. A culture of humanity. A culture of place. A culture of understanding hard truths and of celebrating eco-spiritual ecstasy. It is a culture that flows deeply and swiftly and with purpose. That celebrates the dynamic movement of authentic experience. Not stuck in the mind-numbing eddies of the veil of the spectacle.

Ours is a culture of love and stewardship. It is a culture of caring. Really and actually caring about our own health and wellness. The health and wellness of other human beings. And the health and wellness of the entire living biosphere that makes our Mother Earth one of a kind, and that gives us the gift of life.

Our superpower, ultimately, is to protect and guard our life on Earth.


Support our Y on Earth Kickstarter Campaign at the $35+ Reward Level and you’ll receive a free, one-year online subscription to Elephant Journal ($19 value), compliments of Waylon Lewis! – great to treat yourself or give as a gift! (Also, if we reach the total stretch goal of $25,000, every Kickstarter Pledger will get a FREE AUDIO BOOK ($9.99 value) as well!) Visit the Kickstarter here. 


Relephant bonus:


Author: Aaron William Perry

Image: elephant journal archives

Editor: Catherine Monkman


Leave a Thoughtful Comment

Read 0 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Aaron William Perry