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PARALLEL POWERS - “Alternative Pathways For Making Progress”

A “PARALLEL POWER” is the energy of people with good will, compassion and intention that by-passes the walls of resistance to get things done for the betterment of people and all other life.


“Walls of resistance” are not new. They’ve been with us for thousands of years. Nomad hunters resisted farmers during the Agriculture Revolution; craft workers resisted automated production during the Industrial Revolution. Now, the promoters of wanton endless production and consumption are resisting the Sustainability Revolution.


The uniqueness of the Sustainability Revolution is that, this time around, ALL life on earth is at risk if it fails. So, it is imperative that it succeed. The deeply entrenched resistance is a wall that must be broken.


One way to get past a wall of resistance is to go around it. The energy behind that approach can be called PARALLEL POWER — people deciding to move forward to get things done despite resistance by powerful special interests. As their work catches on, pressures mount for resistant powers to give way to what the people want and demand.

The people engaged in parallel powers are in agreement with Joanna Macy’s assertion, “For life to continue, we must invent a whole new way of supporting life on earth.”


For example, the massive industrial food farms are being by-passed by small local, organic food growers who serve those favoring it. Another example is the innovative internet communication channels seeking to by-pass major “news” networks in getting the real news out there to those who want it.  


How does a “PARALLEL POWER” begin? One person with a passion enlists others and together, along with followers, they carry out a life-giving purpose and plan running parallel to established systems that are destructive to the environment and demeaning to people.


Could it be, without enough parallel powers in place, civilization as we know it will decline, collapse and possibly disappear because of the misguided, self-serving power of society’s heavily entrenched cultural and ideological  fixations? It’s a question we need to be asking.


We have but one planet, and there is no place to flee if things don’t turn positive here.

For reflection and discussion:


  1. So, what are the entrenched cultural and ideological fixations keeping us from making critical changes?

  2. And what parallel powers would you like to see operating?

  3. Which one would you be willing and able to join?

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