Unlearning: For Change Agents
We don’t need smarter solutions. We need different questions.
About This Course
Our perceptions shape our stories, our solutions, and our world. When our narratives and assumptions are unquestioned, we end up weaving threads of the problem into the changes we want to make. To exit the well-worn ruts of the usual solution-templates, we must somehow see and question assumptions that we may not even be aware of.
In other words, we need to “clear the field” on a personal level and a social-political level. We need to “unlearn” the things we assume we know.
Where will this journey of unlearning take you? I hope, to a place of knowing a little less than when you started… a fertile place where something new can grow. My intention is that this unlearning offers a space of reflection that strengthens you to become more effective as a change agent in whatever area you’re working.
These unlearnings can be applied in many ways. They are based on patterns of perception that are nearly universal in our culture. Once you see the patterns, you’ll begin to identify them everywhere. And it will give you a lens by which to view the world in a different way.
This self-paced short course is a four-session series of “unlearnings” and assignments asking you to observe and “fast” from current habits in four areas:
- How you form ideas about the world (e.g. the news)
- How you form ideas about others (e.g. judgements)
- How you form ideas about yourself (construction of identity)
- Interpretations of the above that lead to despair, burnout, or self-importance
These interpretations shape our personal narratives and the solutions that we think will change the world.
Each session consists of three core videos and, following those videos, an invitation into a specific practice of Unlearning, which you might also call a “fast.”
You can work at your own pace, but I suggest you give each session about a week to allow time for it to integrate. Along the way, you can share your experience with others in your personal community.
Whom is this course for?
It is for activists, change makers, idealists, visionaries, and anyone exploring the relationship between personal transformation and systems change.
It is for anyone who senses a potential for a quantum leap in their effectiveness in the world — something needs to happen, but you’re not sure what.
It is for people who wish to bring their relationship to themselves and others into alignment with the world they are working to create.
It is for those who ready to sacrifice a habit or belief they didn’t know they had, in order to step more deeply into service.
Which Side Are You On?
In the first session, we begin by noticing subtle aspects of our being, our assumptions, and our way of interacting with the world and others. We start by questioning the tacit agreement of the entire news media on what is newsworthy, what issues to care about.
(Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash)
What is it Like to Be You?
In this session, we discuss unexamined habits and assumptions that interfere with our connection to others. We explore the power of naming the gifts we see in others, because the way we see and narrate another person creates an invitation that they can live into.
(Photo by Ahmad Odeh on Unsplash)
Listen to Your Inner Guidance.
In this session we explore an alternative that opens the door to change without forcing it, trusting instead a natural evolutive process. This new habit of self-invitation carries over into our work with others and in the world at large.
(Photo by Natalya Letunova on Unsplash)
We Are All In This Together.
In a story of interbeing, every act done in service and with love — no matter how small — has an effect on the world. In this session we explore a “theory of change” based not on force but on morphic resonance.
(Photo by Alejandro Alvarez on Unsplash)
We’ve moved all course discussions onto our online community, A New and Ancient Story. To join the discussion forum, go to the landing page and read the introduction and posting guidelines. Then, if those resonate, apply to join (all serious applicants are accepted). Once you are a member, find the discussion group for this course among the course forums on the left menu.
You may be wondering why we haven’t displayed the fee for this course. The reason is that the fee is self-determined. We’ll explain more when you register. You may choose to pay what a normal online program of this level of quality costs, or you may choose more, less, or even zero. The team and I trust your judgement about what represents a commitment on your part and respects your financial situation.