Spiritual Friends: Help in a Time of Metacrisis with Terry Patten

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In recent times, Patten has been focusing his work on humanity’s civilizational crisis and collective mortality. Since April 2021 he’s also had to face his personal mortality in the form of a rare, aggressive “incurable" Stage IV cancer. Here he shares what he’s learning about being of benefit to all life in the midst of death. He has a deep comprehension of the sacred global rite of passage that we, and all humankind, are going through in these liminal times and shares how we can be of help in an insane world. He suggests that we gather as spiritual friends to be of help to one another in these crazy-making times. Terry’s work weaves together strands from evolutionary neuroscience, deep ecology, integral theory, and spiritual wisdom. He offers a way to be an effective revolutionary during humanity’s current morass. He points to a collective, There's a puzzle we're all faced with; how can simple sincerity that's post ironic, post heroic, post tragic, encounter grace and be changed by it and not stuck in negativity? How can we become a more discerning listener, listening with the ear of the heart in a deeper way so that we actually can hear what is true amidst this cacophony of pretender voices that are lying to us and manipulating us, gaming our nervous system, reverse engineering the things that grab our attention, and who are bringing out our fear and our sense of threat?” (hosted by Justine Willis Toms) 


Terry Patten (1951-2021) was the founder of A New Republic of the Heart, a co-creative social experiment in Being of Benefit. He's a philosopher, activist, social entrepreneur, and teacher of integral practice and transformation. He has taught Integral Life Practice to over ten thousand people. Terry also founded the consciousness technology company Tools for Exploration and led the team at the HeartMath Institute that developed their first heart-rate variability monitor. He advised businesses addressing restorative forestry, fossil-fuel alternatives, collective trauma, and the reclaiming of personal data and power.

Terry Patten’s books include: 

  • Biocircuits: Amazing New Tools for Energy Health (co-author Leslie Patten) (H.J. Kramer 1988)
  • Integral Life Practice: A 21st Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening (co-author with Ken Wilber, Adam Leonard, and Marco Morelli) (Integral Books 2008)
  • A New Republic of the Heart: An Ethos for Revolutionaries (North Atlantic Books 2018) 

To learn more about the work of Terry Patten go to www.newrepublicoftheheart.org

Topics explored in this dialogue include: 

  • What is the importance of despair that can lead to a rite of passage and a new level of maturity
  • How might we deal with our broken information ecology and lack of collective truth
  • How we must leave our limited masculine orientation of the individual hero’s journey in order to create a collective coherence
  • How the frontier of human evolution is a radical commitment to coherent communities
  • How we must face the radical realization of our interconnectedness and inherent coherence as opposed to our separateness
  • How grief and gratitude are two sides of the same coin and tears of grief can become indistinguishable from tears of gratitude
  • How, in grief, we are touched by what it is we love
  • What constitutes a rite of passage and how does it pertain to our collective disorienting ordeal
  • What is the “We” space that we share when entering deep listening
  • How we are in a holy jumping off place of the liminal time of “not knowing” together that calls forth the best in us
  • How we are dealing with anguish, despondency, depression, discouragement, and morbidity
  • How does Patten’s personal struggle with his diagnosis of cancer relate to meta-global prognosis
  • How, no matter the worst case scenario, this moment is beautiful and sacred and wonderful. It is a time to turn to spiritual friends
  • Even though there's a myriad of challenges, what is needed to deepen into community is a kind of fundamental pre-forgiveness which opens an important door
  • How the natural world supports us in trusting the process of the metacrisis we are collectively facing

Host: Justine Willis Toms   Interview Date: 8/26/2021   Program Number: 3741

Music Playlist

Album: New Friend
Artist: Eugene Friesen
1986 Living Music Records CD #LMRCD-7

Opening Essay: Track 01 First Ride
Music Break 1: Track 03 Private Weather
Music Break 2: Track 08 Cathedral Pines
Music Break 3: Track 09 Full Circle