Posts Tagged ‘URI’

Time of turning…toward a greater democracy

Time of turning….toward a greater democracy

Recently I heard Duane Elgin speak about this book, The Living Universe. Elgin had researched the question, “how do the spiritual traditions of the world regard the universe?” He discovered that at their depth there is a common understanding. Islam says that, “each moment is an occasion for Allah to create the universe.”  The Gospel of Thomas proclaims, ‘the kingdom of heaven is spread out before them and they do not see it.” Elgin studied similar findings coming from science -  that the Earth is being renewed at every moment but that we are unaware of it. Elgin says that science is now pointing toward the spiritual. Science is finding that the universe is a deeply mysterious, connected living system, most of which is still unseen and undiscovered. For hundreds of years humanity has separated itself from the mystery of the universe. We used nature to increase our own material prosperity. We saw ourselves separate from and superior to nature. Now is the time for ” the great turning”  a time for people everywhere to turn from disconnect with, misuse of and separation from nature – and turn to connecting in mutually cooperative ways and acting with common purpose as part of nature.

So what does this have to do with a greater democracy? A greater democracy is a phrase that can pull us forward.  It helps us see what our role and responsibility as members of the human race is at this time. It conveys an idealism that every person matters, every voice counts, people can decide better ways to live together, and that diverse people will contribute their best to achieve the common good. It is a phrase that can act like a light at the end of a tunnel – enticing us to grow up as a species. A greater democracy contains a promise and a destiny. It identifies us as a humanity bound for mutual respect, cooperation and unity. If we limit our understanding of democracy to a governance system, or a set of values that protects human freedoms but that creates messy politics subject to misuse and manipulation we may not survive as a human race. It is time for humanity to grow up and for democracy to mean something more to us.

A greater democracy acts like a looking glass for us to peer into and imagine the future while still living in the reality of the present. It is not good enough anymore to go about our business unconscious of the power our thoughts and behaviors have on the future. We can impact the future with our intentions in the present. We have a job to do. We can imagine what a greater democracy would be like. We can set the stage for a greater democracy in our mind’s eye. Let us be motivated by visions of ourselves and people everywhere creating a new kind of life of Earth. Wisdom traditions speak of a Golden Age, Heaven on Earth, Enlightenment. An accelerated turning toward this higher potential in concert with the universe has begun. We are needed to imagine it. Believe in it. Act on behalf of it. We can contribute to the future with our intentions, visions and actions. We are needed. Now is the time.

Sally Mahe
Director, Organization Development
United Religions Initiative


Sally Mahé’s Community Blog

Dear friends,

I wanted to lead off this blog with a value I care most about – that we, ordinary people have it in us to change the world for the better. Not only in the USA but throughout the world people are saying, yes, I’ll step up and lend a hand. I see a need and will reach out to meet it. I’ll help create a common good for all. Recent experience with Barack Obama’s, “Yes We Can” campaign, seeing millions of people who flocked to Chicago on November 5 and even more millions of people who braved the freezing cold in Washington DC on January 21 to celebrate President’s Obama’s Inauguration, signal that indeed, we the people, are eager.

Look around and find these folks yourself. Citizens in Sarasota, Florida petitioned the mayor to proclaim an Interfaith Peace Day for their city; folks in Henderson County, North Carolina established a Peace Academy to teach townspeople how to deal with difference constructively; tough young men from West Bengal India were inspired to give blood to their local hospital and received acknowledgment as honored men; thousands of ordinary citizens in Brazil successfully pressured their government for a reduction in arms sales. The list is endless…

Paul Hawken in his book, Blessed Unrest, estimates over 1 million non-profit organizations are now focused on creating a more just and healthy planet. Imagine the number of individuals and groups involved in these pursuits today.  It’s not new that ordinary people, citizens of every country, are initiating changes. What is new is that they are beginning to understand their collective power and enjoy their growing competence to use this power effectively both individually and together.

In his book, The People, Yes! Carl Sandburg hinted at this emerging wisdom many years ago:

“The people,” said a farmer’s wife in a Minnesota country store while her husband was buying a post hole digger, “The people”, she went on, “will stick around and last along time. The people run the works, only they don’t know it yet – you wait and see.”

If you are one of these folks, please comment and share your ideas and actions. This site is about learning and sharing how people everywhere are doing democracy day by day, not just having it!

In peace,

Sally Mahé


Sally Mahé

Below is a short video about a wonderful organization that I work with. It is called URI – United Religions Initiative. Enjoy the video. To learn more, please go to