Myra Harpham

The Biggest Wake-Up Call in History

I have to say that although I started to read part one in detail I soon began to skim through it. You were preaching to the converted in this instance. I was particularly interested in chapter five on confronting the collective shadow. I thought the parallel you drew between Jung’s individual shadow and a collective human shadow was really powerful. I had not thought up to now of the significance of the size of these problems in terms of the drain on planetary wealth and resources and therefore the need to bring them out of the closet where they have been sitting endlessly in the ‘too hard’ basket.

I found part two engrossing and often felt impatient that I couldn’t find time to read it faster. I will be going back to read bits of it more closely to better absorb the ideas and techniques you present. I would like to be able to write and talk about them more clearly and simply for the consumption of friends, family and groups I belong to.

Your mapping of the complex predicament of humanity on planet earth and the integral approach to finding a way through to some sort of sustainable future is a real tour de force. I feel sure it will inspire others to interpret it and find ways of reaching into many different communities.

From what I glean in reading, conversation and going to lectures on various topics in Wellington I think the debate has already started to move from the science to how to communicate its meaning to decision makers and the public. This applies to a number of areas where the science is sound, yet there is no movement in policy – not just climate change and resource problems but in the social and health sciences too.

Much as I hope you are right Richard and we will find a way through humanity’s predicament and much as I was inspired by your book I still feel rather pessimistic. However that may be age talking. Time does not appear to be on our side. I hope I am wrong for the sake of our children and grandchildren and generations to come.

Myra Harpham
Lower Hutt
New Zealand

August 2011