Excerpt from the Pre-Version of the Book
The Rise of Evolutionary Relationships
The Evolution of Relationships
In Response to the Meta-Crisis
By Dr. Marc Gafni
Barbara Marx Hubbard
Decades of research and study have led us to the conclusion, as we will briefly unpack below, that only a New Story of Value can avert unimaginable suffering or worse and change the vector of history towards ever-deepening expressions of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. As perceptive historians point out, history changes when a compelling New Story [hi-story] emerges that changes the vector of cultural evolution.
Indeed, it is only a New Story that has the capacity to change the course of history. Technology matters. But the story we tell about technology matters as well. Exponential technology matters. But the story we tell about exponential technology matters exponentially more.
Without such a new, shared, evolving Story of Value, our capacity to escape unbearable suffering and, based on hardheaded analysis, even extinction seems, from a human perspective, unlikely. The results of not being able to articulate a New Story of Value are excruciating, both in the level of suffering for billions of human beings, as well as the entire life system—and, more than even all that, for the trillions of lives that will remain unborn.
All of the past depends on us to fulfill its dreams.
All of the present depends on us to live.
All of the future depends on us to be born.
This essay is also part of a whole volume, The Rise of Evolutionary Relationships: The Evolution of Relationships in Response to the Meta-Crisis. The purpose of that volume and its companion volume The Future of Relationships: On the Evolution of Love is to provide a first articulation of this New Story of Value in the domain of relationship, which, as we will see below, is the core structure of Reality itself.
Postmodernity argues that Reality is merely a story, that no story is better or worse than any other story, and that stories are but social constructs, fictions, or figments of our imagination.
But of course, postmodernity is not only deconstructing the ontology, or Reality, of Story, but also the ontology, or Real Nature of Value.
These deconstructions of Story and Value are true but partial. It is true that there is a plentitude of stories we tell about Reality, and that Story is the underling unit that constitutes Reality. But it is not true that Story is mere fiction. There is a plentitude of stories, not because there is no Real Value or Meaning, but rather because there is a plentitude of Value and Meaning.
Story is the structure of the Real. This is what we have referred to, in other contexts, as the Ontology of Story. Story itself is the source code, not only of culture and consciousness, but of all of Reality all the way down and all the way up the evolutionary chain. It is for that reason that to evolve the Story is to evolve the source code.
Emergent from the recognition of the Ontology of Story is the recognition that we live in inescapable narrative frameworks—Stories of Value—which define the nature and quality of both our personal and collective human lives.
Stories are not merely randomly contrived conjectures. Rather, stories are attempts to gather information, interior and exterior information about the nature of Reality, and translate it into a coherent Story of Value.
Not all stories are equal. There is a hierarchy of stories. In other words, there are better and worse stories.
A better story takes deeper account of more meaning or information, exterior and interior, and weaves that meaning and information together in the most elegant, good, true, and beautiful fashion.
A better story is aligned with more and wider Fields of Value, even as it integrates more contradictions into greater wholes.
A better story weaves a narrative thread that articulates the most coherent and compelling framework that embraces, honors, and uplifts the most-possible people.
A better story must be not only an eternal story—aligned with eternal structures of value—but also an evolving story, aligned with the evolution of value—the evolution of love—the evolution of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful.
A better story is an eternal and evolving story.
We cannot trust stories that claim to be only eternal stories, or that claim to be ever-evolving stories with no ground in Eternity—in the Real, which is not dependent on the changing mores of time. The more deeply we investigate Cosmos, both in its exterior and interior faces, deploying the interior and exterior sciences, the more accurate—and the better, truer, and more beautiful—story we can tell.
A story with flawed, incomplete, or distorted plotlines can bring us—and indeed has brought us—to the brink of existential risk, the potential end of humanity as we know it. To respond to this meta-crisis, we need to evolve the story, which is to evolve the source code of culture itself.
A simple image:
Let’s turn to a cultural artifact, the Death Star in that cinematic classic of the late twentieth, early twenty-first, century—Star Wars.
The Death Star is a battleship armed so intensely that it poses an existential risk—that means that it has the destructive capacity not just to attack and damage but to destroy a planet. (more…)