During the political campaign in the spring of 2016, I thought about how we were in the midst of a crisis cycle of history. I could feel the crisis accelerating. The election provided me with a bigger picture of where we were at as a world/nation and what we could do to navigate through the crisis. I realized that the Seven Principles had deeper meaning and they were linked to the transformational process humanity was facing.
And I realized that my discovery of this ancient wisdom was no accident. It was linked to my past experience in San Francisco politics over 30 years ago. I had used these ancient practices successfully as a political leader; for example, as an appointee of the Mayor, as a strategist and spokesperson for advocacy issues, as President of human and women’s’ rights groups and as a candidate for political office.
Then in forming my own business, I began using the Phoenician principles, to facilitate the transformation of thousands of individual’s lives and businesses in times of crisis and transition. What a surprise to learn that the transformational books I had written and the programs I had developed were connected to my ancient ancestors.
In The Fourth Turning Howe and Strauss described how there are four cycles of history, like four seasons. A cycle is defined when the social mood of the country shifts; when a new generation is born, comes of age, and so on. The present crisis cycle is the winter season and began in 2008 when the banksters triggered a bank crash that led to the brink of a depression. Even though the banksters violated the trust of the public, they were not held responsible or accountable for their deception, corruption and greed.
In crisis cycles, the shadow side of our human nature and vast imbalances in the world are revealed. In this cycle, people lack trust in the establishment, politicians and government. They don’t think leaders are listening or know how to manage or resolve problems. Systems are perceived as obsolete, greed and corruption are rampant, and people are disillusioned and suffering. Does this sound familiar! Think back to when the last crisis cycle was triggered in 1929 with the stock market crash and the great depression.
Eventually, the crisis cycle ends when people unify and create a cohesive collective energy to resolve it. WWII brought the country together to resolve the last crisis and with the resolution, a new civic order, a new world was birthed.
In the present crisis, we are not even close to unifying in our country. The candidacy of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump—with Trump winning the Electoral College votes and Clinton winning the popular vote by almost 3 million—accelerated this crisis. Trump’s election as a minority President is now propelling numerous social justice and equality movements to build momentum and new movements to form.
Our present cycle resembles another one—the great divide between the North and the South during the Civil War. Our country is being polarized once again by two different value systems or worldviews. Our moral worldview defines us. Part 4: Transforming through Progressive and Conservative Worldviews