21 Aug 2014

Cultivating Eco-Mind

globe concept of idyllic green world A few hundred years ago, the world was flat  to some of our ancestors. Now, the world is a globe—and it makes a difference!  Shared ideas about truth and reality create our common sense of the world, our sense of what is possible in the world. Now in the 21st Century, we experience the need for new possibilities in response to the historic challenges we face. New possibilities are guided by new ways of thinking that align with our world situation, allowing us to give rise to new ways of being and living. And we root ourselves in truth and reality on behalf of the future. This is good news! Truth is an eternal conversation about things that matter, conducted with passion and discipline.  –Parker Palmer

Eco-Mind book

It matters how we think about the world.

Eco-Mind: Changing the Way We Think, to Create the World We Want (Small Planet Institute, 2011) is Frances Moore Lappe’s contribution to understanding the foundations of thought in 21st Century USA. Lappe is the co-founder of three national organizations that explore the roots of hunger, poverty and environmental crises, as well as solutions now emerging worldwide through what she calls Living Democracy.

Collaborative Cognition

Lappe’s book points out foundations of our collaborative cognition, demonstrating how we might think together in new ways for our future.  She describes several Thought Traps—the stories we tell ourselves and each other that ignite despair and guilt—and suggests corresponding Thought Leaps—stories of hope for the future grounded in our alignment with the community of all life on Earth. For example, in her chapter on Thought Trap 1: No-Growth is the Answer, Lappe compellingly asks us to consider that “growth” economics is better thought of as “waste” economics, opening the possibility that choosing more fruitful dimensions of “growth” may actually be more attractive. Lappe’s seven Thought Leaps, along with her engaging invitation to ‘think like an ecosystem’ make Eco-Mind a solid item on our Gray Is Green short list.