On 30 October 2022 around 20 of us gathered together for a Creative Conversation on the theme of 'Anticipating Collapse and Envisioning a More Beautiful World' with local author and cultural creative Mick Collins.
After leaving the Army (infantry) in 1977, Mick traveled around the world for six years learning about different cultures. He then lived in a Buddhist Monastery in the North of England for three years before training as an Occupational Therapist, and this led him to work in acute mental health settings and as part of a specialist psychological therapies team.
Mick spent nine years training in transpersonal psychotherapy, integrating
spirituality and dream work into his therapeutic practice. He has a diploma in holistic coaching and a PhD from the University of East Anglia, where he held an academic role as a Lecturer in Occupational Therapy.
Mick is the author of three books on the broad theme of how we may activate our deepest potential to transform the burgeoning multiple global crises before us. His latest book is titled: 'The Restorative Spirit: Illuminating the Soul in a Time of Global Awakening.' See www.transformocene.co.uk for more.
Here's the recording from the opening dialogue.
And here are some of the questions we touched on.
Being with collapse, versus envisioning a better world
I sense a deep need to name the collapse that is already happening, to be with what is evidently falling apart. There's a piece here about tending our grief and holding each other in this place of we don't know what to do. At the same time, there's a need to connect in with a future possibility that is good and true and beautiful, and which is even now emerging in our midst. Where can we best direct our energies in order to facilitate the kind of radical transformation that is being called for – sitting in the rubble of collapse, or emboldening ourselves and each other with a vision of our highest calling as humans? I suspect the answer is both, but I wondered what your take on this is, whether you would give more weighting to one or other of these imperatives?
The role of faith
Francis Weller suggests we need to sit quietly together in the dark, waiting expectantly for something creative to emerge, until something comes to us out of the imaginal realm and inspires us to move deeply into the world. Is that what we mean by 'faith'? I wonder if that place of not-knowing, or abiding with the deep questions, is somewhere in the ball park of what you have called for as 'a philosphy for our times'?
The imaginal and the ecological
Can you say something about how you see the imaginal and the ecological joining up? As within, so without... I like what you say about being in an epidemic of dissociation. What does it mean to re-associate with the soul dimension of life? How has this played out in your own life?
The individual and the collective
I wonder, how much of that is an individual commitment, and how much of it is something we move towards, together? This question of the individual and the collective seems key to me – is the kingdom of God born within us, or among us, or both? Which (if either) takes precedence? There's a piece here about what Francis Weller names as the paradox of connection and separation, of intimacy and sovereignty. Can you speak to that?
The role of miracles
It seems that in order to recover from what you name as the reductionist worldview of scientism, we're going to need some radical shifts in our collective worldview. You look in depth at research around near-death experiences and stories of miracles in your books. How do you see these phenomena playing a part in disrupting and reconfiguring consensus reality in a more benign direction?
This event was part of our Creative Conversations series. Come and join us in this wide open field of inquiry, as we lean into the ancient way of the circle, holding the centre, and tuning in to what is holding us. We'd love to hear your thoughts – please comment below.