The Great Turning Or The Great Unraveling: It’s Our Choice with Joanna Macy, Ph.D.

Hosted by: Justine Willis Toms

Macy points out, “Our earth is alive. It’s not a supply house or a sewer, it is our larger living body with vast evolving intelligence that we are totally a part of and we can draw on.” She encourages us to face the facts of our immense planetary challenges. However, rather than allowing these realities to shut us down, we can choose the practice of active hope. She encourages us to choose the story of “The Great Turning” rather than “The Great Unraveling.”  She describes the “Great Turning” as a vital, creative response and wholesale revision of our values and our perceptions.toward this precious planet. She encourages us to get together with others to find our way through, as together we imagine the future we want. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)

Joanna Macy, Ph.D. is a scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology. She travels the world offering trainings to enliven and empower our responses to planetary crisis and has been an activist for more than five decades. She’s a respected voice in the movements for peace, justice, and ecology and is author and co-author of many books including World as Lover, World as Self (Parallax Press 2007), Thinking Like a Mountain: Towards A Council of All Beings (New Catalyst Books 2007),  Coming Back to Life (New Society 1998), and coauthor with Chris Johnstone of Active Hope: How To Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy (New World Library 2012). To learn more about the work of Joanna Macy to or

Topics explored in this dialogue include:

  • What are the three great revolutions of human history
  • Why we need to look at our sorrow and fear for the world
  • Why we need to sit with other people who are coping with overwhelm in these times
  • What is the Gaia theory that the earth is alive
  • Why is it important for us to imagine a world in which we’d like to live
  • What is the process of speaking to future generations about this time we’re living
  • What is The Deep Time perspective of expanding the temporal context of our lives
  • What is the promise of “discontinuous change” that jumps evolution
  • How we direct our actions to follow either the story of The Great Turning or The Great Unraveling

Program Number: 3446     Hosted by: Justine Willis Toms     Interview Date: 7/25/12

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