Jeremy Lent on Restoring Connective Tissue

Jeremy Lent on Restoring Connective Tissue

Breakthrough author and integrator of ancient wisdom and cutting-edge science, Jeremy Lent, is interviewed by AllCreation co-founder, Tom VandeStadt.
In this interview, Jeremy Lent, "one of the greatest thinkers of our age" according to renown journalist George Monbiot, discusses ecological reality, how we understand it, and what we should do next as a society. Jeremy contrasts our modern ways of thinking about existence with the ancient ways from China and the world's Indigenous communities. He shares how connectedness, "which is to say love," is the essence of these ancient worldviews and today's burgeoning complexity science. Jeremy describes the necessity of "deep transformation" into an "ecological civilization," the reality that "the health of the whole system requires the health of each part of the system", and he shares what keeps him going.

About Jeremy
Jeremy Lent is author of two breakthrough books on consciousness and Western Civilization. The Patterning Instinct is a cultural history of humanity’s search for meaning, and The Web of Meaning explores and weaves together wisdom from ancient China, traditional Indigenous communities, Western philosophy, and today's Sciences. Jeremy also recently launched a global network for ecological civilization called The Deep Transformation Network.


0:00 Welcome & Intro

4:00 How series is the ecological crisis? 
7:40 How much disruption & suffering do you envision? 
10:30 What’s driving this?
16:15 How have we made “meaning” here in the West?
20:30 Why do we believe Nature is a machine?

24:00 What ancient Asian, Indigenous, and complexity science wisdom are you drawing from now?
28:00 Chi & Li explanation 
29:00 The contrast between neo-Confucian Gei Wu, Materialism’s desire to conquer Nature 
34:15 Separation from Nature, our way of life, is madness, isn’t it?
38:00 And the opposite, re-connecting, brings out love?

39:50 So, is the first step to reconnect to our own bodies?
42: 50 What are the moral implications of our modern way of life? What is an Ecological Civilization? 
47:15 Please identify some “ecological principles”
51:10 What is The Deep Transformation Network?
53:50 What keeps you going as a “possibilitarian”? What is your spiritual source, what is helping you do this?

58:00 “How are your connections?”

 Even though in the West we’re just beginning to uncover the importance of making these connections, Traditional ways of making sense of things always focused on these connections. So in early China, for example, about 1,000 years ago, they integrated three of the great Chinese traditions from the past: Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism…

You don’t have the universe without all the stuff and all the relationships…

Every one of (the big shifts) happened because of symbiosis with other species, where they take their specialist skills … and that is what we get from today, where if we walk in a forest we get … and transfer their seeds … and the fungal network underground… the whole thing is a symbiotic ecosystems. And if we can start to look at our human relationship, not at how can we conquer it, then we have a chance at shifting our trajectory.

We can really understand “love” as being really, like, the realization and embrace of (our) connectedness. When we open our eyes, to that connectedness, embrace it with our being, that is love. . . It’s all about this recognition of connectedness.

“I think therefore I am” … is saying that thinking capacity is the only thing that actually is fundamentally my identity… but again, this is where modern science shows how fundamentally wrong that is… It’s actually not the only part of our intelligence… What we really are as human beings is a combined, conceptual consciousness that allows us to think in those symbolic ways, and, what we can think of as our animate consciousness, our embodied wisdom, which actually is that vast bulk of what we are as human organisms and is also a gateway to connect us with the rest of life, because some of the deepest elements of what we have within our bodies are what we share with all life. And again, modern science validates that.

Half of the genes we see in a banana are shared with us.

… And that’s not just a gee whiz fact, what that basically points to is that the way in which our bodies organize themselves, the way in which they actually are coherent and allow us to have awareness and consciousness are deeply similar. . . In Biology this is called “homology,” the deep history of our evolution is shared with all these other creatures around us…

Once we realize that other animals, far from being machines, are actually sentient, feeling beings. and, in fact that any animal with a nervous system and a brain capable of cognizing, the chicken, cows, and pigs that we put in those factory farms, those are animals that suffer. And they may not think in the same way we do, but they are suffering in every bit just as terrible a way from torture and a diminishment of their own life possibilities, just as humans would. . . There is a deep, a profound, moral implication to that.

It’s quite possible that what we’ve done with factory farming, where 80 Billion animals every year are tortured and slaughtered for our benefit, is perhaps the greatest amount of suffering that has ever been caused on Planet Earth since life began billions of years ago. We have to face up to that.

An “Ecological Civilization” looks at Life itself as the basis for how we actually construct our society.

Ecosystems are based on principles of Life hat gave allowed them to be flouring in many cases through millions years, through changes in climate, through all kinds of disruptions, these ecosystems can accommodate that and stay healthy and resilient.

An Ecological Civilization asks, “What are the principles that we can learn from Nature that we can apply to human Civilization that can allow for flourishing into the indefinite future?"

The ancient Chinese had a concept called, “Ren.” To them Rev meant this profound sense of deep interconnectedness of all life. This recognition that we have … the opposite is “no Rev”, which translates to anesthesia.

Perhaps the most important principle is "mutually-beneficial symbiosis."

When we look at the way nature evolved, it evolved fractally. Basically “fractals” are patterns that repeat themselves at different scales. So you see that in things like lighting, the branching of the bronchia in our lungs, or neurons in the brain, or coastlines, you see it everywhere in Nature because they show self-organized activity. Ad ecosystems work fractally…

Similarly, what that means if we apply that to human society is that the health of each part requires the health of the whole system. . . Our society can only truly flourish and make sure that they’re flourishing.

There’s millions upon millions of people around the world who recognize there’s something is profoundly wrong, and they often times feel very isolated because they’re part of that consensus trance… We can only get to the transformation we need when we realize we’re part of this deeper systemic shift.

The Deep Transformation Network is “a global community to share these ideas and to actually work together to realize how deeply interconnected all these transformations are within our society.

We need to look very clearly that we are headed into something even worse, unless we do this transformation, and I think we need to recognize that to have those feelings is actually part of what it means to be alive, to have that Ren, to realize that dee[ connection to other life.  . . the sense of expanded identity that “I am life”.

That recognition that I actually am Life, that really drives me… I look to Life itself, as a source of, "What does Life want from me?" And the answer i get is that Life wants me to feel into that pain enough to be energized, enough to care, enough to change what I’m doing in my life, to really struggle for Life’s own future. But Life doesn’t also want me to fall into some sort of pit of despair and get stuck there. It wants me to be engaged, to engage with others… so that together, as a group, we have the potential to turn things around. It’s about how I can amplify and resonate with the work of others, and how as a system of transformation we can make our civilization redirect — that’s what gives me a sense of what’s possible.

Thanks for listening.
This podcast is 1 of 4 keynotes from our Summer Solstice
2022 collection, "Restoring Connective Tissue." It was produced 
and edited by Chris Searles. 

@BioIntegrity Partnerships