Welcome to the July 2018 issue
by Molly Brown
This issue of Deep Times journal focuses on the theme of “Deep Time” (which inspired the name of this journal). “Deep time” has been used by geologists and astronomers to refer to the eons of geologic and cosmic time. In the Work That Reconnects, the term has taken on a different meaning: a sense of time that extends far beyond our lifetimes–all that has gone before and all that comes after.
Deep Time practices enlarge the temporal context of our lives so that we feel more empowered to act for results we’ll never see. With the context of Deep Time, we act without dependence on the fruits of our action when we can’t be sure of the outcome. As we consider how the actions of our ancestors have impacted and shaped us and our world, we understand more deeply our connection to–and unknown impacts upon–future generations.
The Nuclear Guardianship Project in the the early 1990’s developed many of the practices now part of Deep Time work. The Guardianship Project was (and still is) a collaboration of study-action groups, exploring the challenge of long-term containment and care of radioactive materials from both nuclear weapons and energy production. The challenge is immense, because of the huge amount of radioactive materials being produced all over the world, their extreme toxicity, and the immense longevity of their toxicity–hundreds of thousands to billions of years. Hence, the need for an expanded sense of time–and responsibility.
J. Lifton wrote in The Broken Connection in 1996 that nuclear weapons have harmed our collective capacity to even imagine a future–that we in the Western World who know about nuclear weapons have experienced a severance from the on-goingness of life. And as we lose the future, we lose the past as well, and remain stranded in the present. No wonder so many people in the Industrial Growth Society are driven to possess more and more power and money right now; they have little or no faith or hope in a future.
In her article “To Reinhabit Time,” Joanna Macy describes how her work with the Nuclear Guardianship Project inspired and informed her understanding of “Deep Time.”
In a related article, “Carrying the Burden of ‘Forever Karma’ is Too Big to Carry Alone,” Martha O’Hehir shares an exchange of emails among members of the Deep Times editorial team as we discovered our common links to the karmic legacy of nuclear weapons and energy.
Another term that has arisen in the Work That Reconnects, especially in relation to Deep Time, is “moral imagination”, which we often use to connect and commune with past and future generations, as well as other-than-human beings. I explore the moral imagination and Deep Time in an article by that name.
We on the editorial team have been deeply disturbed by the cruel, traumatizing treatment of immigrants on the US southern border, especially the separation of over 2000 children from their parents with no clear plan for how to reunite them. We don’t want to ignore that crisis in this issue. In the Honoring Our Pain for the World section, we feature a group of poems and essays addressing pain and offering perspectives on US immigration policy and practices.
The exploration of Deep Time has expanded beyond its inception in nuclear guardianship. Jill Pangman’s essay, “Timeless Engistiak”, describes her profound experience of Deep Time in the Arctic. Carmen Rumbaut explores how trauma may be passed on through generations in “Trauma and Epigenetics.” In their interviews, Carl Anthony and Paloma Pavel address the effects of racism–and the healing of racism–across generations. Constance Washburn offers an adaptation and combination of two well-known Deep Time practices in “Harvesting the Gifts of Evolution and Ancestors.”
Other articles branch out from the Deep Time theme: Jen Peer Rich on “Recognizing Our Wounds”; Silvia Di Blasio on “Ecovillages and their role in the Great Turning”; Deborah Eden Tull on “Relational Mindfulness”; Helena ter Ellen’s report on the role of the Work That Reconnects in the Colombian peace process; Paula Hendricks sharing of the Interhelp community guidelines with Aravinda Ananda’s reflections on “Non-doable Requests and Shifting Long-term Behavior”; and Carolyn Treadway’s review of Bob Stilger’s book AfterNow.
All this together with several moving poems and videos. May you find rich inspiration here to support for your work for the Great Turning.
We plan to publish our next issue in February 2019 and welcome articles and poems on any theme. Please check the Submission Guidelines if you want to offer articles, essays, poems, images, or other material. Send submissions, proposals and queries to [email protected] by December 10.
Deep Times: A Journal of The Work That Reconnects
Vol. #3 Issue #2 – July 2018
Editor: Molly Brown
Editorial Team: Aravinda Ananda, Karina Lutz (poetry editor), Martha O’Hehir, Carmen Rumbaut, Rebecca Selove, Carolyn Treadway and Silvia Di Blasio
Webmasters: Werner Brandt & Silvia Di Blasio
Deep Times is published online twice a year by the Work That Reconnects Network.
The Network provides support, guidance, and inspiration to people all over the world in their work for the Great Turning. We welcome your donations to support the Work That Reconnects Network and Deep Times. The Work That Reconnects Network is currently a fiscal project of Interhelp so all donations are tax-deductible.
Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0.