Enterprising minds have spotted our discontent with disintegration and turned reintegration into an industry. Grocery delivery services here in London emphasize, variously, ‘fresh’, ‘simple’, ‘organic’ or ‘mindful’. Meditation apps are booming. Yoga makes you balanced. Electric cars make you clean. To restore lost relationships — with our food, ourselves, our community, our environment, with the truth — has become one of the most compelling stories reshaping consumer behavior.
We shouldn’t be surprised that it has become one of the most compelling stories reshaping politics, business and society, too. Economists, sociologists, scientists, tech titans and politicians today all ply us with the need for, or the promise of, restoration. (Start to listen for it, and you start to hear it everywhere…) Social scientists descrube the fragmentation that is happening ‘out there’, in the external world. But, as we’ve all experienced, the fragmentation is also happening ‘in here’. A deeper disintegration is underway, at the level of our consciousness.
Because this internal reality of disintegration is hard to show empirically, it’s hard for us to accept it as ‘real’. (Wherever we live, we’ve all witnessed the slow struggle for society to take mental illness seriously and to overcome the stigma that’s been attached to it.) And yet, it clearly is real. We’ve all felt it. We all know the behaviors, the hungers, that it can drive. We all know the fleeting bliss that a sense of reintegration can generate.
In this episode we talk about the disintergation we all feel and look to the ancient past to help us find our way to a more integrated future.
You can find the map that inspired this conversation here.