The human story undergoes a dramatic plot twist a few thousand years ago. A nomadic lifestyle of Interbeing World Presence morphs into a sedentary lifestyle of a Separation Worldview.
The “agriculturalization” phase shift that William Irwin Thompson outlines in his model of cultural transformation eventually grows into Civilization, Industrialization, and where we are now.
Where we are now is inside the narrative depths of what Charles Eisenstein calls the Old Story.
“The world as we know it is built on a story. To be a change agent is, first, to disrupt the existing Story of the World, and second, to tell a new Story of the World so that those entering the space between stories have a place to go.”
Ronald Wright in his book A Short History of Progress explores how the progress that allows civilizations to grow often leads them into addictive traps that end in their collapse.
His definition of progress comes from Sidney Pollard who, back in 1968, described it as “the assumption that a pattern of change exists in the history of mankind … that it consists of irreversible changes in one direction only, and that this direction is toward improvement.”
This default assumption, so deeply ingrained in people’s thinking and ability to visualize futures, is an idea that’s only about 300 years old. Despite that, it holds us tight.