What does action in the world by non-heroes look like? What if we replaced arguing, shaming, and moralizing with storytelling, empathizing, and something inspiring?
In October of 2017 Pacifica Associate Provost Craig Chalquist started a series of free presentations and discussions on what he calls enchantivism: making lasting change by connecting inspiring stories with action in the world.
The basic idea behind enchantivism is that most people will not work for beneficial, inclusive, and peaceful change unless motivated by visions of how it can look. Enchantivism supplements the necessary “push” of shoulds, oughts, and efforts toward protest and reform with the “pull” of inspiration via story. Appreciating activism’s heroism, enchantivism takes a non-heroic road via storytelling, image, and art. Dr. Chalquist refers to enchantivism as “action in the world for hobbits."
During his presentation, Dr. Chalquist gave examples of what this looks like, including Sonequa Martin-Green’s linking of utopic imagination with making real change in the world (Martin-Green is the star of the new TV series Star Trek: Discovery), the real-world implications of fantasy work of JRR Tolkien and Ursula K. LeGuin, and the poetry of Jacqueline Suskind saving a stand of redwoods slated for logging. Dr. Chalquist also provided a number of supportive quotations, including the well-known, “When there is no vision, the people perish.”
We invite you to listen to the first lecture of this four-part series offered by The Retreat at Pacifica Graduate Institute. You can access the audio file here: Enchantivism, Part I
Beginning February of 2018 is an 8-week course on Enchantivism featuring Dr. Craig Chalquist and other Pacifica Graduate Institute Core Faculty members. To learn more about this exciting new certificate program offered by The Retreat visit: www.retreat.pacifica.edu.
And consider joining the Enchantivism community on Facebook. This group is for people who want to make lasting, positive differences in the world through inspiration, image, and story. We invite people who won't march or protest as well as activists looking for new tools for eliciting change through reenchantment with ourselves, each other, and our animate world.
Craig is Associate Provost at Pacifica Graduate Institute. He earned his Ph.D. in Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute and also holds a Master Gardener certificate and another in permaculture design. He is the author of Terrapsychology: Reengaging the Soul of Place (Spring Journal Books, 2007) and co-editor with Linda Buzzell, MFT, of Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind (Sierra Club Books, 2009). Craig was core faculty in East-West Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies and former core faculty at John F. Kennedy University, where he served as acting department chair (Consciousness & Transformative Studies), designing and launching the world’s first ecotherapy certificate. He also is founder of Immanence Myth Journal http://www.immanencejournal.com