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Now Is Our Time

this article was written by Otto Scharmer and originally published on the website of the Presencing Institute.


Letter from Otto

Dear Presencing Institute Community,

Over the past months and years it feels as if we have collectively crossed a threshold and entered a new time. A time that was there already before, but more as a background presence. A time that some geologists proposed to refer to as the Anthropocene, the age of humans.

Living in the Anthropocene means that basically all the problems, all the challenges we face on a planetary scale are caused by... ourselves.

When we see the once-in-a-millennium heatwaves in Antarctica and the Pacific Northwest; when we see extreme drought and raging wildfires across all Western states in the US; or when we see a once-in-millennium flood in Western Europe; or in China: what are we really seeing? We see ourselves. We see the results of our collective behavior. We see that we collectively create results that (almost) nobody wants.

Or take the example of the Covid-19 pandemic: whether the virus came from a Lab accident in Wuhan while pursuing gain-of-function research, or whether it jumped across species from unintentional interaction between human and environmental ecosystems, both of these options basically boil down to the same fundamental condition. Human civilization has been massively disrupting a natural eco-system that we deploy, deplete, and destroy instead of appreciating, stewarding, and regenerating it: thereby creating a counter-reaction which in turn massively disrupts our way of operating.

Being alive at such a profound planetary threshold moment poses a critical question to each and every one of us:

What is my response to all of this, what is our response to this condition, how am I -- and how are we -- going to show up in this moment?

Never before in the history of the planet has there been a generation of people whose action or inaction came with such a massive irreversible impact than us.

It's on us.

Now is our time to stop, to see, to sense, to go into stillness, and to put ourselves into the service of what is wanting to emerge.

Otto Scharmer (for the core team)

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