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The Whole Spiral


The Whole Spiral


The books, Coming Back to Life, World as Lover, World as Self, and Thinking Like a Mountain, describe many forms of experiential group work relating to deep ecology, deep time, and despair and empowerment. Described below are additional practices that have evolved in our workshops and that have not yet been published.


The Whole Spiral

The Whole Spiral

The Whole Spiral

Chris Johnstone, Great Turning Times, December '08

The central plot-line of this work follows a spiral of four elements: gratitude, honouring pain for the world, seeing with new eyes, and going forth. I've found the combination, and sequence, of these elements allows the emergence of something much more than the sum of the parts.

At a talk I gave recently, I asked people to divide in pairs and listen to each other completing the following sentences.

"Things I love about our world include..."

"Concerns I have about our world include..."

"A perspective I find inspiring or refreshing is..."

"Steps I can take to participate in the Great Turning include..."

This was a short and simple way of moving through these four elements. With two minutes for each sentence, it took about ten minutes each way, yet the process deeply touched many of those present. I've also used these four starts to sentences in my personal journaling, starting a fresh page with each one. Whenever I'm not sure what to write, I just start the sentence again and see what naturally follows. It has been liberating, a time of kindling the spark.