Today’s the day! My new book, A New Republic of the Heart: An Ethos for Revolutionaries is officially on sale! You can find it in bookstores, or order it online. So I’m writing to spread the word and to invite you to buy it, read it and let others know about it.
I’ve been startled and made to feel both proud and humble by some of the reactions from esteemed early readers. It has been called “required reading for all humans over the age of 16”, and “THE manual for all who want to meet this moment as the historic call to action that it is.” It has also already (just based on pre-orders) been officially identified as a “#1 Best Seller” on Amazon!
A New Republic of the Heart faces our human predicament head-on and yet also in a way that discovers a joyful relationship to our beautiful world and unknowable future.
Below I’ll share an overview of the major themes.
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
I often say, “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. I spell out the potentials for both positive and negative disruption. But then I also point to the great Koan of our time, which can be the birthplace for evolutionary emergence. So I recommend we all be 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 a self-fulfilling prophesy, it’s a moral imperative that we stay positively oriented, and open to the subtle miracles that are also part of the situation. Additionally, my narrative is grounded in trust of life and gratitude for the miracle of this moment.
Hartwig, HKD, Wisdom – Seeds of Light [via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0]
Reuniting the Inner Work with the Outer Work, and an Invitation to Awaken from Narcissism
I critique and reject inner work that doesn’t also express itself in outer work. And I critique those who 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. So I raise a clarion call to all of us who have 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
My work hinges on an understanding of how radical wholeness expresses itself in active compassion that restores wholeness wherever it is disturbed. It 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.
Joelle Hatem, Love Revolution [via Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0]
Integral Activism, Communities of Practice, and Citizenship in a New Republic of the Heart
I also seek to expand 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.
I am pointing 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.’
I invite you to purchase the book from your local independent bookseller, Barnes and Noble, or Amazon and explore these themes more deeply. The book also contains a comprehensive list of organizations, websites, publications, and other resources that express the intelligence of the heart as it reclaims the human world. Consider it your portal to a new kind of revolutionary, awakened activism.
To our evolution,
PS: I’ll be grateful if you’ll simply bless this project from your heart. That in itself means a lot—your prayers and good intentions.
And it will be especially meaningful if you’ll buy a copy and read it. You can learn more about the book and order it here.
It will also be helpful if you feel moved to tell others about it. Or give it as a very meaningful gift to people who care about our future. If you like it, please also consider writing a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or your favorite indie book outlet. If this book is to do its work, grassroots support is crucial!
My real invitation is to support A New Republic of the Heart in whatever ways feel authentic to you.