A New Republic of the Heart:
Reasserting Wholeness in a Time of Fragmentation
with Terry Patten
Terry Patten, one of the keynote speakers of IEC 2018 is not only a leading integral philosopher and spiritual teacher, he has also faced and studied our global meta-crisis in all its aspects — ecological, economic, social, political, psychological and spiritual. He will present the workshop A New Republic of the Heart: Reasserting Wholeness in a Time of Fragmentation at IEC 2018 on 27th of May.
He understands our current “tipping point” as a collective initiation. He helps people wake up to the “disheartening” facts and then discover the bright inspiring opportunities that lie “on the other side” of the fear and darkness we want to avoid and deny. What we each really face, personally and together, can quicken and empower us to more joyous and meaningful lives, even in the face of all our daunting challenges.
He is dedicated to serving the future of life on Earth at a time when we can’t take anything for granted. His purpose is to convene radical conversations and communities of evolutionary practice. His IEC workshop will help us understand how to have “conversations that matter”.
Terry Patten’s magnum opus, A New Republic of the Heart: An Ethos for Revolutionaries, represents the culmination of his life’s work, both as a spiritual teacher and as an activist. Many people recognize that it’s already too late to avert some heartbreaking ecological disasters. Our challenges are more complex, more “wicked”, than anything humans have yet evolved capacities to address.
And yet despite this reality, evolution has always proceeded against overwhelming life-and-death odds.
It is up to us to listen deeply, to attune to the mystery and genius of evolution, and to be responsive and ready when innovative, “revolutionary” solutions emerge — and to show up wholeheartedly, giving ourselves completely to what lies ahead.
Below are a few of the major themes Terry explores in A New Republic of the Heart that will inform his IEC workshop:
A New Republic of the Heart: An Ethos for Revolutionaries begins with an unsparing look at what is actually manifesting now. It clarifies that humanity is now confronting “super wicked” problems that combine an ecological crisis with a sociocultural crisis. New technologies are reverse-engineering our neurological hardwiring, distracting and hypnotizing us, shrinking our attention spans, trapping us by our aversion to what we fear, and making it almost impossible for us to see what is in front of our faces. This tipping point implies the necessity of “Whole-System Change”. On the one hand, this means that it may be impossible to avert large scale disaster. On the other, blessedly, it means that each of us is in possession of an opportunity to “be the change”.
Unknowing and Joy
Terry often says, “Things are far too serious for us to lose our sense of humor.” Many potential wonders are also in store for us; the whole history of evolution shows us one miracle after another. There are potentials for both positive and negative disruption. But the great Koan of our time can be the birthplace for evolutionary emergence. It’s crucial that we remain grounded in the awareness that we simply don’t, and can’t, know enough to be pessimistic. And to the extent that expectations can become self-fulfilling prophesies, it’s a moral imperative that we stay positively oriented, and open to the subtle miracles that are also part of the situation.
The narrative of A New Republic of the Heart is grounded in trust of life and gratitude for the miracle of this moment.
Reuniting the Inner Work with the Outer Work, and an Invitation to Awaken from Narcissism
Inner work must also express itself in outer work. And it doesn’t work to focus on outer work without recognizing that inner transformation is also necessary. We can’t be effective without being transformed, but our transformation is self-indulgence if it doesn’t enable us to “be the change” more powerfully and effectively. It’s time for a wake-up call for everyone who has fallen into the error that makes our spiritual practice self-focused in pathological ways. In other words, Time’s Up! It’s time to redeem the IOU we wrote when we chose to change our consciousness, thinking that was what would really change the world. Now it’s time to bring our awakening to bear in the real world. Awakening must get “woke.”
A Truly Integral Evolutionary Vision
Radical wholeness expresses itself in active compassion that restores wholeness wherever it is disturbed. A New Republic of the Heart breaks new ground in the way it spells out how wholeness has agency, and resurges, like an immune response, in the face of our accelerando of complexification, fragmentation and stress. It spells out in detail how we can make every moment a practice of wholeness. In fact, it reunites transcendental spirituality with the spirituality of the soul, the spirituality of human relationships, and with sacred activism.
It shows people, in detail, how to be united in heart, mind, soul, body, and relationships—and how that expresses itself in a new, expanded definition of activism.
Integral Activism, Communities of Practice, and Citizenship in a New Republic of the Heart
A New Republic of the Heart expands our definition of activism to include not just in-the-system, and against-the-system activism, but also around-the-system activism—which reunites the “beloved community” of those living whole lives of compassion, community builders, social entrepreneurs, conscious businesses, and everyone transforming their own and others’ lifestyle choices. Importantly, it expands our past focus on individual practice to our communities of practice. Together we can be more powerful agents for the whole-system change that is needed in this time.
Terry points to relationships, friendships, conversations, and cooperative mutual surrender—the practice of shared inquiry, in which our commitment to practice allows us to enter into more profound “we-space” and mutual cooperation, and also to serve wholeness and a flourishing future. Our practice aspires to co-create an awakened community of practice that can stand, like Gandhi or Dr. King, as the moral center of a movement of social transformation. Thich Naht Hanh famously said that “the next Buddha may very well be a Sangha”, one that we can co-create by becoming friends and fellow citizens of a ‘new republic of the heart’.
Come to Terry Patten’s session and join him in deeply encountering ourselves, our world, and each other — becoming Allies of Evolution through convening the conversations that matter.
Terry Patten is a philosopher, consultant, social entrepreneur, and author of A New Republic of the Heart: An Ethos for Revolutionaries and Integral Life Practice (with Ken Wilber et al). He conducted over 100 illuminating public conversations “Beyond Awakening.” He founded and leads Bay Area Integral. As a social entrepreneur he founded Tools For Exploration, in the field of consciousness technologies, and is now involved in restorative redwood forestry and fossil-fuel alternatives.
The IEC team