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Cultural Creatives and
the Emerging Planetary Wisdom Culture

We invite you to explore these emerging developments…

The very real prospect of an is an antidote to the rampant fear, cynicism, and despair of our age. If we only seek to run away from the collapse of civilization that we fear, we will scatter our efforts, running in all directions, like an anthill that has been stamped upon. If humanity is to survive this period of planetary crises, we need a collective positive image of a future that works for all, allowing us to work as a whole to form goals and strategies that build a positive future—not stupidly fallling into resource wars, ecological collapse, plagues, famines, and population collapse. So we need to work with the positive trends of our era to create a future that is not only sustainable but wise and beautiful.

is actually appearing now as a new layer beyond national and ethnic cultures. As our modern materialistic way of life falls apart, it opens space for a new civilization to emerge. As we track the trends, we see a powerful movement toward a clean, green economy and the restoration of nature. As a wave of change moves through the culture, large populations now agree that a wise culture means taking care of all the children, not just the privileged. expands the taken for granted context of daily action, and of organizational strategies for longer time horizons, wider concerns,more conscious and more ethical ways of operating. It means caring for our inner lives, how we work together in organizations, and also for the long term future of humanity and the the planet. And how we express the truth of that caring and share that truth with one another is going to be crucial to building an authentic wisdom culture.

are the carrier population for the emerging wisdom culture. Paul Ray has been researching their values, lifestyles and beliefs for 25 years. Across the planet, they are innovators for the culture, not so much in technologies as in beliefs, worldviews, values and ways of life. They are the opinion leaders, and the participants in all the new social movements of the past 60 years who have time and again shaped others’ views, practices and adoptions of these new ways. Their Green values and lifestyles and their values of inner development both psychological and spiritual are the key to the emerging new culture. New Cultural Creatives surveys in Europe, Japan and the US all show the same trends.

Gracefully ripening into a does not mean taking on one more identity once you turn a certain age. means entering a relationship you have been growing into over a long time—a relationship with your community, with future generations as well as those of the past, and with yourself. We are interested in exploring what happens to those who grow wise in this way, and what wise elders can bring and are already bringing to the emerging wisdom culture. We are seeing how authentic maturity entails a shift from the perspective of middle age. Your love begins to extend, not just to your own children and grandchildren, but to all children, including those not yet born. Paradoxically, this shift brings you powerfully into the present moment. Your caring forms a bridge arcing from those who have gone before us to the generations to come. It can bring a deep reflection into one’s destiny and sense of purpose in this life.

The reach ofinto the emerging culture has not yet been fathomed, let alone mapped. This is because in the conventional wisdom of modernist culture, we take even the most genuine expressions of the feminine and hear them through the filters of our old structures. What kind of holding environments can give birth to women’s wisdom? What forms of expression will these ways of knowing take? What combinations of beauty, wisdom and compassion, of creativity and celebration, will come together, giving us new forms of learning, community, architecture, music, business and finance, and communication? Sherry’s research and ongoing inquiry into these questions are described in this section.


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More recently, Hardin has made the same point. "It should embarrass philosophers that they have ever taken this objection seriously. Parallel considerations in other realms are dismissed with eminently good sense. Lord Devlin notes, 'if the reasonable man " worked to rule " by perusing to the point of comprehension every form he was handed, the commercial and administrative life of the country would creep to a standstill. ' " [81]

It is such considerations that lead even act utilitarians to rely on "rules of thumb", as Smart [108] has called them.

Karl Marx , in Das Kapital , criticises Bentham's utilitarianism on the grounds that it does not appear to recognise that different people have different joys: [109]

Not even excepting our philosopher, Christian Wolff , in no time and in no country has the most homespun commonplace ever strutted about in so self-satisfied a way. The principle of utility was no discovery of Bentham. He simply reproduced in his dull way what Helvétius and other Frenchmen had said with esprit in the 18th century. To know what is useful for a dog, one must study dog-nature. This nature itself is not to be deduced from the principle of utility. Applying this to man, he who would criticize all human acts, movements, relations, etc., by the principle of utility, must first deal with human nature in general, and then with human nature as modified in each historical epoch. Bentham makes short work of it. With the driest naivete he takes the modern shopkeeper, especially the English shopkeeper, as the normal man. Whatever is useful to this queer normal man, and to his world, is absolutely useful. This yard-measure, then, he applies to past, present, and future. The Christian religion, e.g., is "useful," "because it forbids in the name of religion the same faults that the penal code condemns in the name of the law." Artistic criticism is "harmful," because it disturbs worthy people in their enjoyment of Martin Tupper , etc. With such rubbish has the brave fellow, with his motto, "nulla dies sine linea [no day without a line]", piled up mountains of books.

Pope John Paul II , following his personalist philosophy , argued that a danger of utilitarianism is that it tends to make persons, just as much as things, the object of use. "Utilitarianism," he wrote, "is a civilization of production and of use, a civilization of things and not of persons, a civilization in which persons are used in the same way as things are used." [110]