Living Better in a Worsening World
Introducing Intertwine 2022
In the 1990s, James Hillman and Michael Ventura co-authored a book called, We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World Is Getting Worse. That title is the inspiration for Intertwine. We live in a world that is getting worse—climate change, the COVID pandemic, political instability, colossal inequality, social injustices, increasing violence and random shooting, and the burgeoning bully rhetoric of racist and gender superiority are examples. And yet, our collective knowledge about these problems and their solutions are at hand. Intertwine directs our attention toward the solutions in our inner lives, our social lives, and our outer rational lives so as to “Live Better in a Worsening World” while contributing to the solutions we need so badly. We need to face the problems, live well anyway, and contribute to turning it around.
My intention in this newsletter is to go beyond the usual tropes. I recycle and eat organic, but I don’t believe that by doing so, I am changing the world. I love to ride my bike and sail my boat, but just because those are silent sports, I don’t believe they are making the world a better place. Even if they did, I doubt I or anyone has the persuasive ability needed to convince everyone else in the world to live the way I think they should. And, I’m not sure I want them to.
I drive my car and fly in airplanes because that is the world I am born into. I look for better ways and want to find and share them, but better doesn’t mean doing without. It doesn’t mean not traveling. It means better. In Intertwine, I am searching for positive solutions that can help everyone live better.
Living better means enjoying our personal lives more fully. It means the satisfaction of contributing to the collective good, whether at the community level, national, or global. It means freedom and liberty, as well as responsibility and the acknowledgment of privilege, where it exists. Sometimes, living better means living more objectively, seeing more clearly, understanding more rationally. Sometimes, it means cultivating the inner depths, creative imagination, poetry, music, or art. Living better can be spiritual or political, creative or economic, relational or hanging in the depths of solitude.
Our particular challenge at this time of history is to find these ways of living better while simultaneously confronting the challenges of the world around us—especially the environmental, social, economic, and political worlds we find ourselves in at this time of history. We need to learn to be with the inner peace of our lives while at the same time not shrinking from the work the world requires of us. Hillman and Ventura’s book points out that all the inner work in the world isn’t solving the crises of our world. Neither will personal action in our limited and personal lives. Nonetheless, living as well as we can is part of accepting the gift of life, and then we need to turn around and contribute to it. Make the world better for others, as well as ourselves.
So, as I go forward with this newsletter, I hope to bring to you perspectives, ideas, solutions, recommendations for you to consider as we all try to live better in a world that seems more and more difficult. We will look at ideas for living better, but also, I hope to inspire you to contribute at a higher level than just improving your life with new, greener, more politically free, and socially just ways to live. Our problems are enormous, and we need people to contribute tat their highest levels to help make the changes we need. For me, it goes beyond the recycling and organics and outdoor life, to this—deploying a skill of mine—writing—to help at a bigger scale. Systems need to change to solve the climate crisis, and that means engineers and visionaries can make better, more digital products to move us toward a better life while solving the climate crisis. It means thinkers and authors can go beyond their personal inspirations to build audiences who will listen, understand, and take action. It means ordinary people finding and developing the extraordinary in themselves to contribute to a better world, as well as a better life for themselves.
That’s what Intertwine is all about. The touchpoint between inner and outer, personal and communal, individual and systemic. We will fall short at times, and we will exceed our expectations at times. What matters is to continue exploring what can be done and how to do it.
My contribution is to write, promulgate ideas, and raise perspectives that inspire you to find the creative, generative part of yourself that can powerfully contribute to the betterment of the world. As such, Intertwine will include one article like this one that addresses a new idea on living better in this worsening world. How do we handle it? How should we think about it? What are the opportunities being created, as well as the losses? I hope to add a new idea or perspective on this in each issue. And please, if you ever find things interesting, feel free to share the issue on your social media or with friends via email or text.
In addition, each newsletter will include links to many of my recently published articles. These will hopefully generate dialog, thoughtful innovations, or new practices that we find enriching. whether internally or on the platform.
Finally, please consider a paid subscription once you are comfortable that Intertwine provides value to you. It's like public radio—subscribers and supporters make Intertwine possible.
The links below are live and go directly to the article on the platform where it was published.
Ideas, insights, and imagination to help you live better in a worsening world. Topics include Men, #MeToo, and Masculinity; Postcapitalism; Climate Change; Digitalization and Cryptocurrency; Green Energy; Retirement and financial planning… everything that addresses making life better in this challenging time of history.