February 2011
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Cultural Creative Movement - Living Between Stories

As Joseph Campbell and others have observed - we are living in a time when our old myths no longer serve us - and our new myths have yet to be born.  We are living between stories.

Although many of us feel that our lives are getting more complex - and that the very ground beneath our feet is shaking loose - its important to learn how to hold the space for our new world to form. 

The cultural analysis offered by Drs. Paul Ray and Sherry Anderson in their groundbreaking book about the Cultural Creatives offers a hopeful context in which to view our current predicament.

According to their research, there's a huge underlying movement in our society that can (if mobilized) push forward a very positive vision of the world we want to create.  But, in order for this "Cultural Creative" movement to become empowered it must (1) become more self-aware, and (2) realize that it has the strength to be major force in transforming our culture.

So, why haven't we heard more about this Cultural Creative subculture?  In spite of the fact that in the U.S. alone there may be as many as 50 million Cultural Creatives - the media and other power structures are still supporting "business as usual" - focusing most of their attention on the other 2 subcultures in our society - the Moderns and the Traditionals. 

Here's an overview of these 3 subcultures operating in our society today.

(1) The Modern mainstream.  Running full steam ahead for the last 500 years, this subculture believes that the economy is the dominant force in our lives.  Modernism worships time and money.   It's their belief in the tech economy that is currently transforming the world.  Moderns accept the system the way it is - and, they're not looking for alternatives. 

(2) The Traditional life stance rejects the advance of Modernism.  This was actually America's first counter-culture (founded after the Civil War, c.1870).  Not only do they reject the modern worldview - they really don't understand it - nor can many of them succeed in it.  This subculture invented fundamentalism and the myth of a small-town America.

(3) The Cultural Creatives - many of which are leaving the modern mainstream behind - will be the bridge spanning the distance between what's good from our past and the future that's being created.  Many in this group are synthesizers and healers.  They carry the promise of creating an integral planetary culture - and many of them are trying to live a more soul-oriented life.  They believe that you can work on yourself and change the world at the same time.      

Continued, next column


Think of it this way . . . if you take the 20+ social movements and all the consciousness movements of the past 30+ years - you have a large group of people that might not all think exactly alike - but, they do in many respects share a collective consciousness that is primed for cultural change.  Its like there's a

huge sympathetic cloud that encompasses visible activists and the less visible followers who paid attention to the movements, including the audience who watched and listened but were largely invisible to the media and even to many expert observers.

The challenge is to create the infrastructure that will support the Cultural Creative movement going mainstream - in the marketplace, the media, political systems, educational systems, and beyond.

By discovering our common values we can begin to work together (despite our differences) to create and implement "a rich array of new cultural solutions."   And, the world will definitely take notice. 

Spread the word.



Joseph Campbell, "The Power of Myth." New York: Doubleday, 1988.

Paul H. Ray, Ph.D., and Sherry Ruth Anderson, Ph.D. "The Cultural Creatives, How 50 Million People Are Changing the World." New York: Three Rivers Press, 2000.   For more info. check out their website.

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