Felicia Chavez, Green MBA and PhD candidate at Pacifica Graduate Institute, is interested in the confluence of sustainability and spirituality. Bioneers has been a resource on her journey to answer the question, “Why are we destroying the planet?” She has donated nearly $500 to Bioneers since 1998, after attending the annual Bioneers conference.
The Bioneers Conference inspires me year after year
I became involved with Bioneers when I attended my first conference as a volunteer in 1998. I continued to volunteer annually through 2005, and have attended at least one day each year since then. The annual Bioneers conference is a place people go for information, but more than that, for inspiration, which comes in ‘oh so many’ forms.
Bioneers surprises me and expands my vision
The work of Bioneers has influenced me by collecting and highlighting some of the most caring and effective people in the world. Some of my favorite highlights include Aqeela Sherrills and his heart, Janine Benyus and her scientific humility, Paul Stamets and his fungi, Caroline Casey and her mystery, Jeremy Narby and his cosmic serpents, Paul Hawken and his books, John Mohawk and his corn, Lynn Twist and her philanthropy… the list could truly go on and on. Through an experiential immersion into the work of these individuals and many more, I catch glimpses of hopeful possibilities for a better world.
The impact the Bioneers experience has had on my worldview goes way beyond my thinking mind and communicates to the deepest parts of myself that many human beings – despite what the mainstream media constantly tells us – are sincerely trying to do the right thing. Far more answers exist than questions, or questioners. John Todd’s living systems alchemically turn sewage into ecological and economic boons, even though most people don’t think twice about flushing the toilet or about factory farm effluent. Thomas Linzey’s Democracy Schools bring governance back into the hands of the “commoners,” challenging the assumption that effective governance is probably just a utopian ideal, that public office and lobbying are for the rich, and voting is for the poor. Amory Lovins proposes a plan for breaking our oil habit even though life without petroleum seems as alien as life without taxes. The limits of my known universe expand thanks to Bioneers!
Bioneers the world over are pushing the edges, showing what is possible
My area of greatest interest is the spiritual dimension, which encompasses the psychological and emotional dimensions, both of which directly influence the intellectual dimension. Over many years of attending the conference, I have constantly looked for patterns and insights into the questions: Why are we still collectively on a doomsday track, even while we have so many brilliant, deeply caring, willing people working every day for a different, more sustainable future? Why do we continue to head in the wrong direction while most people actually want a better world (including average Janes and Joes who are simply caught up in daily life and don’t really take the time to seriously question their lives and business as usual)?
Those who have inspired me at Bioneers are pushing the edges, showing what is possible with a high level of awareness, attention, and will. They think critically, and then act. They are not afraid to talk about where they have failed, and then they step up to try again, and again, and again, facing mainstream upstream all the way, and sometimes asking for and receiving mysterious, synchronistic assistance.
The impact that Bioneers has had on my life is deep, broad, and multidimensional
I am in an extremely advantageous position, having grown up in Northern California, having had access to primary and continuing education, and having been enabled to attend the Bioneers conference over many years, as well as having been exposed to a great diversity of profound thinkers and spiritual teachers, in person and through media. While Bioneers has shaped choices I have made in my life, and in many ways my very personality, the bigger question for me is, what will I do now that I have received so much? What will I give back? More and more the answer to that question is to simply be. The more I am, the more possibilities I see.
Currently I am a student in Pacifica Graduate Institute’s Mythological Studies Program, with a Depth Psychology focus. Through this study I am learning about the evolution and unfolding of human consciousness over time, and around the world. A picture is emerging that illuminates the answer to my question, “How can it be that we are destroying the world?” Surprisingly, the answer comes in studying great thinkers like Aristotle, C. G. Jung, followers of Hinduism and many other spiritual and mythological traditions. I am starting to see how and why we are still collectively headed in the wrong direction, and that the solution is nothing short of a worldwide, spiritual awakening. Happily, as Caroline Casey says, referring to the availability of divine help, “Operators are standing by!” Like Parzival with the Fisher King, we really need to have the awareness, humility, and compassion for the suffering of our fellow beings to buck up and ask for help.
My donations to Bioneers feed a life-sustaining cycle
I see the work of Bioneers as a sort of “hub,” an ecosystem of people strategically and effectively reaching out to other ecosystems of people, and threading them together over decades. Through this weaving of disparate groups, an ever larger and more awe-inspiring, living tapestry of beauty, intelligence and care has emerged. The playful brilliance of the tapestry continues to draw more and more curious seekers, looking for answers and connection, and the organization has found innovative ways to meet the growing demand. When I contribute money or time to Bioneers, I know that I am supporting a collective, living entity that is working diligently in the interest of life, nudging the world in a better direction with wisdom, energy and perseverance that goes way beyond my individual gift. Nevertheless, the work of Bioneers is only possible through the giving of individuals, who, like me, are the grateful recipients of the fruits, which enables me to give more, and the cycle goes round again.
You can join Felicia Chavez in supporting the innovative work of Bioneers by making a donation of any amount today. To learn about the various ways you can give, please visit: http://bioneers.thankyou4caring.org/donate