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Life Rules--the book

 Life Rules offers transitioners a context--Life itself--for gaining converts & creating lifeways that mimic Life's ways. Make suggestions for the revised 2012 edition!

Group Type: Transition Initiatives
Members: 20
Latest Activity: Jan 7, 2013

Life Rules takes big, difficult ideas like what’s threatening human survival and what actions and behaviors could reduce the threat, frames them in simple terms and analogies, and offers a genuinely sustainable context for healing: mimicking the inarguably economical, ecological methods of complex living systems. The book is the distillation of thirty years of independent scholarship, correspondence with visionaries in diverse environmentally-related fields, extensive research in ecology, economics, evolution, complex systems and sustainability theory, democracy, history, consciousness evolution, organic gardening and farming—and life experience. Catton, Heinberg, Cobb, Seed & Macy are among Life Rules' endorsers.


About the Author - Ellen LaConte

Discussion Forum

Impeccable Activism

Started by Ron Tocknell. Last reply by Ron Tocknell Aug 13, 2011. 1 Reply

 I like the title of this group. Yes, Life does rule... not us. This does not, of course, imply that we should go in the direction that "life" appears to be shoving us if, by "life", we simply mean the status quo of society as it stands. We are a complex bunch and we are motivated by complex forces. On the one hand, is the default inclination to comply with authority and assume that "they" (ie; other people like ourselves upon whom we have bestowed a certain authority) know best. On the other…Continue

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Comment by Earl Brown on October 14, 2011 at 5:39pm
Overpopulation is a problem indeed and if a huge die-back is to be avoided this issue needs to be addressed and quickly. I also know through independent media sources and news releases from the United Nations that 1/3 of the world's food supply spoils because of industry reasons such as brokers waiting for prices to rise, poor storage facilities, the mishandling of produce, or contamination, etc. I think many of us who have been waking up and getting involved understand the basics of what is happening, the issue is what to do about it.

As Ellen points out in "Life Rules" and I have been preaching for 30 years the underlying problem is the fundamental rift between the human psyche and the natural world, Nature. There are too many issues to be addressed individually, in my opinion, because there is not enough time. As much as I agree with everything said here I do not see any suggestions on how to move forward. There is no political solution because our politics are corrupt. There is no scientific solution because our science is either ignored by our leaders, funded by the corporations, misrepresented (or not reported) by our media and is largely responsible for the global conditions we now experience. There are no economic solutions because our economic system is designed to favor the already wealthy at the expense of those who are not and those who have the wealth will not willingly give it up. The only thing that will instigate any long lasting change will come from a shift in our worldview, in our spiritual connection with the larger-than-human world.

I appreciate the scientific view and can easily see how science has helped humanity. I can also see how it has created destruction of the environment, of non-human lives, of indigenous cultures, and has led to an extreme narrow-mindedness in our leaders. Science, like any technology, is neither good nor bad and can be used fom many purposes depending on the intentions of the person, or persons, using it. In my experience, science, which is based upon human logic and reason, rarely, if ever, mimic the non-linear, non-rational, ways of Nature. For me, science (for all of its benefits) has divided subject from object and because the subjective is person-centered and cannot be validated by scientific method it has been ignored. Science and intuition (for lack of a better word) need to make up and new systems of inquiry need to be created that takes into account what we think we know about life versus how we have live it. Cutting edge science tells us that we have been mistaken about a lot of things and that we do not know what reality is and that we should stop doing what we are doing, now! Given the thousands of issues that need to be addressed I feel the only way to proceed is to concentrate on healing the rift between our Souls and our Mother Earth. I understand this is difficult for many raised in our capitalistic and scientific society but, until we identify with something, or someone, in the distant future to the extent that we will self-sacrifice in the now, in the present, for them, or it, we will fail to make the necessary adaptations and avoid total collapse.

We, as a people, in our communities, need to gather and learn how to be Human together; how to listen to each other, to see our collective talents and skills, our brillance, our desire, our courage. The answers lay in our collective intelligence, in the natural intellegence we all are a part of and that which is our birth-right. We need to learn to speak our truth and to hear the truth of others; to witness and feel each others pain, joy and not-knowing. We need to meet each other knowing we humans are the result of around 13 to 15 billion years of conscious development and we need to start acting our age.

For me, and I appreciate all viewpoints, healing this rift with the natural world is paramount. As a facilitator in The Work That Reconnects (founded by Joanna Macy, and as a person trying to earn a livelyhood in environmental restoration and education I am dedicated to this with all of my Being. Collectively and organically we contain the answers to our current situation and if we are to navigate this "Great Turning" of humanity we need to recognize we all have something to offer to the solutions. My question is, how do we wake people up to the point they will come together to do this crucial work? We are so divided, so much in competition with each other, such individualists, so arrogant, so entitled and so unwilling to self-sacrifice. Population is a key issue as is the seperation between human and non-human worlds. Will we, America and Industrial Society, adapt in time or will we be the good "bad example" for the rest of the world? Time will tell.
Comment by Ellen LaConte on October 14, 2011 at 2:03pm
You could hardly be more accurate in your assessment, Steve. The willful deception/disinformation and woeful ignorance and denial of converging crises that threaten our very existence as a species and, on the way to dramatic die-off, quality of life for a majority of humans ought to be somehow punishable. Sadly, the punishment when it comes will also fall for the most part on the victims of the deceit and denial. The very systems that variously enabled and required populations to grow in places that could not long sustain them are now are now exceeding the planet's capacity to support as many of us as they encouraged. While die-off will inevitably occur as "the end of cheap-easy" become "the end of" in many life-supporting categories, any efforts to educate about overpopulation and discover methods of curtailing its continued exponential growth are worthy as well as prophetic.
Comment by Steven Earl Salmony on October 14, 2011 at 11:44am
Please consider that during my lifetime, when human numbers exploded from less than 3 billion to more than 7 billion worldwide, many experts may not have known enough about what they were talking about when they spoke of human population dynamics and all causes of the human overpopulation of Earth. Their research appears not to be scientific. What I have been trying to communicate regarding the human population does not issue from ideological or totalitarian thinking, or from group-think consensus for that matter. It is not derived from what is politically convenient, economically expedient, socially agreeable, religiously tolerable and culturally prescribed. I have wanted to openly discuss the best available science. That is all. It appears the generally accepted thinking of a surprisingly large number of so-called experts in the field of population dynamics appears to have an unscientific foundation. Their preternatural thought and theorizing about the population dynamics of the human species appears to be both incomplete and mistaken. Most disquieting of all, a widely shared and consensually validated theory about a demographic transition four decades from now is directly contradicted by unchallenged scientific research. As a consequence, and it is a pernicious consequence, woefully inadequate thinking and fundamentally flawed theorizing has been broadcast during my life cycle and continues to be broadcast everywhere by the mainstream media as if it is not only science but the best available scientific evidence. The implications of this unfortunate behavior, inasmuch as it appears to be based upon a colossal misperception of what could somehow be real regarding the human population, appear profound. This failure of nerve has served to slow momentum needed for a confrontation with a formidable global predicament that appears to become more difficult to overcome year by year. In their elective mutism regarding an astonishing error, are first class professional researchers with expertise in population dynamics behaving badly by allowing the “ninety-nine percenters” to be misguided and led down a primrose path by the “one percenters”? The power of silence on the part of knowledgeable human beings with feet of clay is dangerous because research is being denied that appears to shed light upon a dark, non-recursive biological problem, the understanding of which appears vital to future human well being and environmental health. Too many experts appear to be ignoring science regarding the human population and instead consciously through their silence consenting to the leviathan scale and unbridled expansion of global overproduction, overconsumption and overpopulation activities that are being adamantly advocated and relentlessly pursued by greedmongering masters of the universe, the tiny minority among us who are primarily responsible for ravaging the Earth, ruining its environs and reducing its fitness for habitation by the children. If this assessment of human behavior is indeed a fair representation of what is happening on our watch, then the desire to preserve the status quo, mainly the selfish interests of ‘the powers that be’, could be at least one basis for so much intellectually dishonest and morally bereft behavior. Could it be that the outrageous per capita overconsumption, large-scale corporate overproduction and unrestricted overpopulation activities of the human species worldwide cannot continue much longer on a planet with the size, composition and ecology of a finite and frangible planet like Earth?
Comment by Steven Earl Salmony on August 14, 2011 at 7:25am

Hi Ellen and Friends,


This is a wonderful opportunity to communicate openly about what really matters; about what the mass media ignores and few others speak of.  I am pleased to be among you. Thank you, Ellen.


Steven Earl Salmony

AWAREness Campaign on the Human Population

established 2001

Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Comment by Caroline Casey on August 13, 2011 at 1:20pm
Just returned from presenting and co-MC-ing The Gaia Festival, ( emergent art of guiding large and small gatherings: dedicated crafting to create a cauldron of Cultural Renaissance; animating, magnetizing and spiralling forth into the memosphere - the all-inclusive, irresistable collaborating with Nature story! Much to report (buddy micologist mega-collaborator w/nature, Paul Stamets presented gt. talk there. Must report on the design genius of slime mold, and the Japanese scientists who were collaboratively skookum enough to let the slime mold design the Tokyo subway system.
Comment by Les Squires -- Webmaster on August 13, 2011 at 10:56am
Ellen, I've set up an automatic search to do DAILY SEARCHES for all references on the Internet to "Life Rules + laconte".  Here's a sample of what it will add to your group -- 

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Comment by Ron Tocknell on August 13, 2011 at 5:37am
Hi Ellen. Hi Les. I'm Ron and I'm delighted to be here. Hopefully, many more will follow.

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