rkm report: book progress

2005-05-30

Richard Moore

Friends,

The book has gone through a comprehensive proofreading and
review pass, thanks to the efforts of several volunteer
reviewers. I doubt if they want me to list credits here, but
they do deserve them, and they know who they are.  Chris
Thorman, our server guru and a long-term cyberjournal
supporter, will now be taking on the role of production
manager, and will style the book to a high professional
standard.

The writing process began May 4 of last year, and we're
entering the production phase just one year and one month
later. There are a few more content refinements I will be
putting in, in parallel with the production process, without
slowing it down. I, like many other writers and activists
these days, feel like I'm in a thriller film, trying to defuse
a terrorist device before it destroys the world. I'm glad
we're this far along on this project, our particular 
contribution to the cause, while there still seems to be a 
world left to save.

Below, FYI, is some of the front-matter and back-matter that
has been added to the book. I think these add substantially to
the overall effectiveness of the material. As usual, your
comments are welcome and appreciated.

best regards,
rkm

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[new proposed title]

                            ESCAPING THE MATRIX
            how We the People can change the world

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[first page of book. facing inside cover]

            We've lived so long under the spell of hierarchy - from
            god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses - that only recently
            have we awakened to see not only that "regular" citizens have
            the capacity for self-governance, but that without their
            engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The
            changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone
            thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward
            them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful
            ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems
            are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to
            directives from on high.
            -Frances Moore Lappé, "Time for Progressives to Grow Up"
            
            
            Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.
            -Matthew 5:5

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Acknowledgements

To all those people who, over the years, have contributed to
the author's understanding by sharing their ideas, and by
joining in the dialog on the Cyberjournal email lists. A
special thanks to those who have generously "redistributed"
some of their wealth from time to time, enabling the author to
devote full-time to this project.

To Chris Thorman and James Macgregor, whose ongoing support
and encouragement in the development of the book has been
invaluable and much appreciated.

To Karl Amatneek, Jackson Davis, Benjamin Kelly, and others,
who patiently reviewed drafts and provided much-needed editing
support. [book designer mention to be added]

To Tom Atlee, Tree Bressen, Jim Rough, and Rosa Zubizarreta,
who graciously shared their experiences with facilitation
processes and their visions of the human potential - and who
helped me develop the material in Chapter 5.

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[follows final chapter]


AFTERWARD: With knowledge comes responsibility

If the fundamental systems of our societies need to be
transformed, and if only We the People working together can
bring about the needed changes, then we must - each of us -
take responsibility for getting on with the project. And if
our dysfunctional systems are taking us rapidly toward the
precipice, we cannot afford to put this responsibility off
until later.

In accepting this responsibility, we are in fact beginning the
process of our own personal transformation. Werner Erhard, in
his 'est'-training days, talked about being "at cause", rather
than "at effect". By at cause he meant something deeper than
simply 'exercising initiative'. He was talking about a
fundamental change in your perception of yourself. To be 'at
effect' is to see yourself as one who _responds to
circumstances; to be 'at cause' is to see yourself as one who
_creates circumstances. In both cases your efforts may be
limited by your talents and skills, but by being at cause, you
vastly expand the scope of your personal potential. In the
context of est, learning to be at cause is a central part of a
program of personal transformation and empowerment. In the
context of transforming society, learning to be at cause is
precisely what happens to us when we accept our share of the
responsibility for our own - and humanity's - salvation. By
taking this first step toward social transformation - the
acceptance of responsibility - we are also taking a big step
toward personal transformation and empowerment.

Just as the est term 'at cause' has a deeper meaning than the
mere words imply, so does 'accepting responsibility', in our
context, have a deeper meaning than the mere words imply.
Permit me to articulate this deeper meaning in the form of a
credo. As I see it, taking responsibility - in the context of
social transformation by We the People - is equivalent to
subscribing to a personal credo more or less like this one:

            Neither governments, nor politicians, nor organizations, nor
            special leaders are going create the changes that the world
            desperately needs. It is up to me, my neighbors, my co-workers
            - and all the other ordinary people all over the world - to
            learn how to work together and begin to build the kinds of
            cultures and societies that can enable us all to live fruitful
            lives in harmony with one another.

In this formulation, I'm trying to capture the essential
elements of our discussion - in a way that may help inform our
attempts to "get on with the project." The credo reminds us
that 'whoever we are with' is a potential - and eventually
necessary - partner (ala Eisler) in changing the world, not
just those who agree with our beliefs and agendas. It reminds
us that 'wherever we are' is the right place to begin creating a
culture of harmonization, and our 'every interaction' is the
right time to practice respectful listening. It helps us see
the reciprocity that is inherent in democratic empowerment:
just as we seek to be at cause, so do we encourage, and
expect, others to be at cause; even those we don't agree with.
It reminds us that our mission is not to sell some agenda or
idea, but rather to learn how to hear and respect the concerns
of those around us, and to learn how to speak from our hearts
when we express our own concerns.

In the last half of this book I've outlined what I believe to
be a viable scenario for a transformational movement. I've
convinced myself, if not anyone else, that the basic features
of that scenario are a necessary and inevitable part of the
path that we will follow in our creation of transformation.
But I could be wrong. When paradigm shifts happen, those who
anticipated the shift tend nonetheless to be surprised by the
actual outcomes. Thomas Edison was a primary visionary behind
the shift to electrical power, but his concept of generator
plants in every community failed to anticipate new
technologies, i.e. alternating current and efficient
long-distance transmission of power. The credo, above, is an
open invitation for creative initiatives. Personally, I still
recommend community empowerment as a focus, but I'm not asking
anyone to be 'at effect' with that suggestion. As one who
subscribes to the credo, I offer my scenario as a heartfelt
contribution to our collective dialog, and what I most hope
for in response are the 'at cause' initiatives of those who are
ready to accept 'responsibility'.

The following section offers a cross-section of information
and resources that may be useful to such 'responsible' people,
including hopefully yourself. The first few categories of
material are related to understanding as much as we can about
the systems that currently operate in our societies, and the
scope of the crisis that we face. The final two categories,
Dialog and community empowerment, and Transformational
visions, points to the work of some transformational
visionaries, and provides links to people and organizations
that are engaged in activities related to community
empowerment, dialog and citizen participation, and group
facilitation.

An online version of the Bibliography and online resources is
being maintained online at:

        EscapingTheMatrix.org/resources

The online version is being continually updated and expanded,
and the links are live, making it both richer and easier to
use than the printed version we can offer here.

I invite you to join me in accepting responsibility for
creating our future world, and I hope to see you there some
sunny day!

---

[Bibliography and online resources follows]

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