GP#6 – What was Green Spirituality 1.0?

If we are now in GS 2.0, there must have been a GS 1.0.  What was it?

Yes.  Green Spirituality 1.0 was many things, many wonderful things.  Still, it was NOT sustainable on the level of group process and intentional community.  This is why GS 1.0 faded; and why, GS 2.0 is more and more timely.

Green Spirituality 1.0 aligned and resonated with Humanistic Psychology 1.0, 1955-1975.  Jessica Grogan wrote an academic book on this, Encountering America.  She ends her study at 1975.

The Greening of America (1971) is also GS 1.0.  As a time capsule it reflects the positive vision of young peaceniks of 1971, not the violent vision of anti-Vietnam, anti-nuke demonstrators of 1971.

The book itself may only interest historians now.  More recent, astute  Amazon reviews may be worth reading for those able to learn from history.

This quote captures the book’s essence:  “There is a revolution coming. It will not be like revolutions of the past. It will originate with the individual and with culture;  it will change the political structure only as its final act. It will not require violence to succeed; it cannot be successfully resisted by violence. This is the revolution of the new generation.”

Thus spoke the idealism of 1971.

Q:  What changed after 1975?

A:  After group therapy waned, holistic health began to be an economic force and viable alternative to drugs and surgery.  This mostly played out in the mainstream, in the introduction and acceptance of acupuncture by medical establishments, starting with Dr. Rosenblatt at UCLA in Los Angeles who went to China and brought acupuncture back.

Green Spirituality 2.0 includes all of this plus all the other lesser-known advances of Energy Medicine between 1965-2000 plus all the lesser-known advances made in Emotional Intelligence and healthy group process made 1965-2005.

Q:  Was there no Emotional Intelligence prior to Daniel Goleman’s 1995 book?

A:  Another question difficult to answer, given the public’s lack of detailed history of Progressive efforts in humanistic fields.  The truthful answer is, “Depends on who you ask.”

William Gibson said, “The future is already here; it’s simply not yet well-distributed.”  This points to how cultural innovations spread.  They occur first on the outskirts, the fringes of mainstream culture.  They are dragged into the center of the culture, begin to appear on TV and newspapers only when consensus is high an innovation is safe, trustworthy and beneficial for the majority.

If you asked in 1995, “Is Emotional Intelligence widespread now?”  The answer would have been, “Not at all.”  Only circles of participants deeply and personally involved in personal-spiritual growth work had been educated to and practicing what we now call Emotional Intelligence.

Now?  2017?  Many more people know about Emotional Intelligence and even more aspire to it.  How widespread is Emotional Intelligence in 2017?  It’s widespread in certain circles.  Which circles?  I would say coaching, counseling and therapy professionals, Cultural Creative Progressives and those involved in holistic healing and Energy Medicine.  As we speak it’s making major inroads in colleges and universities.

Green Spirituality 2.0 will undoubtedly spread very similarly.

Q:  How does GS 2.0  differ from Ecumenical Spirituality of the 1990s?

A:  I consider Ecumenical Spirituality of the 1990s part of GS 1.0.

The history of Ecumenical Spirituality goes back to the 1800s, before even radio.  It goes back at least to the World Day of Prayer,started by women, which had various milestones.  By the 1990s several Ecumenical Spiritual Councils existed and hosted inter-faith dialogue and conferences.

Alas, the Devil is in the details.  One thing the collapse of robust interfaith activity taught me was:  A focus on all prayers go up to the same God, is a wonderful sentiment, but interfaith cooperation is not a motivating nor inspiring value beyond those already ordained as priests in various faiths and those already involved in church-synagogue-mosque hierarchies.

Q:  What was missing?

A:  Explicit real-time, face-to-face, hands-on opportunities for:

  • Personal-spiritual growth opportunities customized for each individual (sounds impossible but was masters in 1970s-1980s and documented in the 1990s),
  • Truth and reconciliation meetings between victims and persecutors (Restorative Circles)

In other words, in the 1990s many people were ready to consider interfaith-cooperation.  However few were ready to consider sexual abuse of congregations by priests.  This explosive personal growth aspect had to wait until the early 2000s.

In our post-2012 world, the average church-synagogue goer is left without either robust, fruitful, local interfaith cooperation nor robust, fruitful personal growth opportunities within churches, synagogues, community colleges, adult schools and colleges-universities–except for masters programs in coaching, counseling and therapy.

For all these reason I think Green Spirituality 2.0 is worth talking about.

My guess is GS 2.0 will be characterized by FUN, live, local experiments to explore what local people want, what consensus on values exists locally and what neighborhoods want more of.

In this sense GS 2.0 aims directly at inspiring and encouraging local leaders and local governance.  It’s an antidote to “lazy” central governance.

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Find author and Health Intuitive Bruce Dickson at He writes on Best Practices in Energy Medicine (30 books)
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