Transition Towns
"My Great Turning" a personal account


  A personal account of the Great Turning - personal inner changes & work  

We have work ahead. Some of the work is to kick unintentionally addictive habits of a lifetime and attitudes bred into our culture for centuries. My story is pretty archetypal of the great transition journey. Apocalypse means "unveiling", "revealing", and despite gruesome images on the way, the outcome is new life, the "New Jerusalem".


I started to wake up forty years ago. The hippie awakening happened when people first saw the writing on the wall, the nuclear threats and the "limits to growth" for the planet. It was at its sacred heart about daring to reconnect direct to Great Spirit.

I'd had a nice childhood. Then suddenly the problems of ethical survival seemed so vast, that the only option I had was to turn to Great Spirit, constantly. This was especially vital for me with Asperger Syndrome. Rudolf Steiner gave me tools to cope and find meaning and purpose, and my early practical tasks were about learning self-sufficiency, doing building, gardening, furnishing, using stuff acquired from the rubbish tip and similar sources...




The sense of sheer awfulness of coming global realities got worse - resources used and destroyed, planet over-populated... it was made even worse by a growing awareness of ignorance, denial, and cover-ups... and this took me to ever deeper levels of apocalyptic awareness - inward hells I had to negotiate.

Yet through this I knew that it was possible to reclaim our link to Spirit at all times. Joanna Macy teaches how the path to empowerment may need to pass through despair first. The Findhorn pioneers taught me too. I wrote Apocalyptic Vision: Ecological Breakdown and Spiritual Breakthrough during this time.




I've been through visions, "coincidences" and miracles to burnout and through the depths to new beginnings, many times over.

I was forever trying to communicate what I knew was so important - the planetary crisis, and the ability of Spirit to help if we ask, and if we are doing what we can. But I could find nowhere that would pay me to develop this, at the edge where I saw it was needed.

The hope for solving this was to "be the change", find the Kingdom of Heaven which is within, and live from that awareness. This is what Jesus did but it is not always what Religion teaches. It's kind of, well, risky. Yet it keeps on working...




For years I've identified deeply with King Alfred, "in hiding and on the run, fighting for the kingdom", Moses who "fled into the wilderness", apparently abandoning his people; and with Gandhi, Martin Luther, and many others. I've experienced a lot that is not in the history books.

Harry Potter may be a fictional character, but he faces - and shows us how we can face - dangers that are every bit as real as what we face. Perhaps it is no coincidence that the name Voldemort lies halfway between "oil-de-mort" and "fuel-de-mort". Perhaps this book was sent to us as a gift of Great Spirit at this time.

It can be frustrating and frightening to see how much work there is to do, and how slow people are to shift.




I live constantly with apocalyptic awareness. I know we might not survive. I face this possibility daily. I carry 40 years of awareness of planetary crisis. But I have experienced miraculous help from Great Spirit many times. What I've seen, others can see too... When I pass no judgements but just let things unfold the way they need to unfold, and observe carefully...

...this is when Great Spirit can enter, speak, and help... But often it takes life-threatening shocks or Near-Death Experiences to allow Great Spirit past our defences, our habits, our pride.

Peak Oil is a traumatic awakening. But it is also giving us the opportunity to act from our true selves - to defend Life On Earth.


See also
Apocalyptic Vision - Ecological Breakdown and Spiritual Breakthrough (I wrote this in 1981) * Coping with Burnout * From Overwhelm to Engagement (Chris Johnstone worked with Joanna Macy)


go to top