Posted by: Michael George Daniel | November 7, 2007


Right now, the world is changing rapidly. The Great Turning is a name that has been suggested for this period. It was originally coined by Joanna Macy, Phd. to reflect the shifting of human consciousness that is part of this rapid change. There are three aspects of this turning. The first represents what might be considered a negative aspect. It has to do with the current disintegration of the living earth happening during an extremely compressed period of about 300 years -from the beginning of the industrial age, through the end of the fossil fuel era. In the context of a fourteen billion year history of the universe, enormous changes to the Earth’s geobiological systems are occurring during an incredibly slim sliver of time – literally a faction of a blink of an eye.

Concurrent with this alarming event, there is another, more positive aspect of the great turning, the one that inspired Macy. Her Great Turning represents the shifting of human awareness, a giant leap forward in our collective awareness. Macy calls this a cognitive revolution and spiritual awakening. This shift is occurring on a number of fronts and represents the focus of several different kinds of workshops taking place around the world. I’m developing and offering a workshop that builds upon the concept of a modern mystic as written about by Hank Wesselman in his book Visionseeker. The shift in consciousness that characterizes modern mystic is fundamental to achieving a new perception of reality that will support an alternative way of being in community with the Earth.

This new way of being is the second aspect of the great turning, a positive corollary to the negative turning. The last aspect of the turning relates to a transcendent interpretation. It represents the unique juxtaposition of the negative aspect of these changes, perhaps best summarized by the concept of an extinction event happening on the same scale as the one that occurred 65 million years ago that signaled the end of the dinosaur era, with the corresponding emerging global, human consciousness. The combination of these two aspects, together, at this time, represents a third, transcendent interpretation of the great turning that heralds a leap forward in the global consciousness.

The transcendent interpretation is in some ways conditional. It reflects the new era of human consciousness available during an event that never previously had such a participant. Moreover, by virtue of our conscious awareness of this event, we are in a position to affect it. It is the potential to affect these events from which springs the third aspect of the great turning. The outcome is uncertain – humans may not survive the coming calamities. However, regardless of the outcome for the beings of Earth, the deepest memory of the universe will retain the expression of the ever increasing complexity of life and consciousness that will have manifested. Should we somehow navigate the challenges and continue to exist as a life form without interruption, the result will be a culture that has found a way to exist within the great, creative web of life on Earth while retaining the self-reflective qualities that make us human and have allowed us to develop impressive technologies.

The combined effect of all three of these aspects of the great turning represent the beauty and grandeur of the evolving universe. It represents our literal ability to influence the unfolding of the universe, a reflection of humans, like everything else that is, as an aspect of God. There is no imagining of how these three aspects will interact, combine and manifest. However, it is clear that the result will be, as ever, unprecedented and of an order of magnitude of complexity greater anything we can conceive.



  1. Hi Mike – Thanks for your email. I’m glad you enjoyed my blog. I assume you saw my post on a similar subject:
    There are certainly a lot of parallels between our posts and it’s interesting that we both also have a hunger site link in our sidebar!
    As you say, the outcome is uncertain. There are predictions that the world will end and also of a new golden age. I wonder if both could be true?
    No doubt you are familiar with the concept of parallel universes. Perhaps ours is about to split in two and it is up to us which one we go with. It is up to us whether we choose transformation… or extinction.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: