The ISC is a collective of interspiritual practitioners from multiple traditions, dedicated to minimizing harms to the Earth and all living beings. We work to uphold the central role of place-based global citizens in restoring and protecting the social and environmental resilience of the BioRegions where they live.
In all its endeavours, the ISC is committed to inspiring courage, cultivating wisdom, and nurturing the moral clarity that human communities require for a “just transition” to ecological ways of living.
We envision a regenerative and ecological civilization, wherein sacred oneness in diversity is celebrated and presumed, wherein goodness is cultivated and affirmed in societal relationships, and wherein every part of the natural world — including human beings — is valued for its own intrisic worth, and consistently treated with appreciation, care, and respect.
We’re in a planetary emergency and humans have caused it. We’ve already used up Earth’s capacity to process our pollutants. Fortunately, this isn’t the end of the story. As a species we know how to learn and evolve, and what we choose to do in this pivotal moment will directly affect what’s going to happen. If we act together swiftly, many life-endangering global trends can be reversed, and the severity of other impacts can be minimized.
Volatile climate conditions notwithstanding, climate science suggests that humans can still tilt history in life-affirming directions by honouring two core commitments:
- Minimize human violence by living equitably and with compassion in inclusive and ecological communities, and
- Do everything possible – right away! — to eliminate carbon emissions and all other pollutants, to restore and protect the health of the living planet we love and need.
We know it’s possible for people to serve the common good because humans have the moral will and ethical agency for goodness. If we make the necessary cultural shifts quickly, we also know it’s possible to minimize or even avoid the long-term climate impacts and runaway feedback loops that threaten to make Earth unliveable.
The hard news is that this window of opportunity for making effective changes is closing rapidly. The best news is that once the regenerative adaptive work is done, we’ll all live happier, kinder, healthier lives in sustainable and cooperative communities.
So, THIS is the moment for courage, wisdom and moral clarity. It’s time for us to choose what kind of people we want to be and to become those people. Together with our neighbours nearby and around the world, we can do this.
What the ISC does
- In this urgent time of planetary suffering and change, the ISC shares a narrative of danger and hope — including positive ways forward, and a moral/ethical framework for regenerative leadership by global citizens.
- The ISC cultivates equitable, inclusive and non-violent cultural patterns for public discourse, intercultural relationships, practical wisdom and decision-making. These regenerative patterns carry forward the moral/ethical framework of key global agreements:
- the interspiritual Ethic of Reciprocity, the “Golden Rule: We treat Earth and all beings with the respect and compassion with which we want to be treated”;
- the International Treaty to Protect and Restore Mother Earth (2016);
- the Charter for Compassion (2009),
- the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007),
- the Earth Charter (2000),
- the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1989),
- the Seville Statement on Violence (UNesco, 1989), and
- the UN Declaration of Human Rights (1948.)
- The ISC supports the resilience of natural places and human communities through participatory BioRegional Resilience Networks, providing regenerative framing, a collaborative engagement structure, communication tools and leadership resources. Each Resilience Network involves local residents, like-minded organizations, Indigenous and spiritual teachers, and scholars and scientists from multiple fields of study. Each network is inclusive, self-organizing, structured for distributed leadership, and united by shared commitments to serving the common good and regenerating the social and environmental resilience of a bioregion.
- The ISC collaborates with local BioRegional Resilience Networks to address resilience needs by drawing teachings and information from multiple streams of knowledge, and shares resources via scalable in-person gatherings and/or online engagement tools.
- The ISC strengthens the worldwide convergence of regenerative movements by connecting BioRegional Resilience Networks to each other and other allies, via in-person gatherings and online engagement tools.
Collaborative grassroots energies are drawing communities together to plan and build a compassionate, equitable and sustainable future. This momentum is grounded in a moral ethic that honours the preciousness of all life, relationships of mutual dignity and respect, and protection and care for the ecosystems of earth, including humans.
Principles for Regenerative Living
- Honour the sacred oneness, diversity and interdependence of all life.
- Treat others and Earth with the respect and compassion with which we want to be treated (The Golden Rule).*
- Cherish the essential goodness of human beings.
- Undergird moral reasoning with the enduring strengths of philosophical, spiritual and ethical values.
- Protect the Earth and living creatures from harm (The Precautionary Principle).
- Cultivate discernment and practical wisdom in Listening Circles, for the common good of seven generations.
- Heal power imbalances that provoke human violence in relation to self, others and the natural world.
- Live creatively with uncertainty and ambiguity.
*The ISC specifically honours the inherent rights and authorities of Indigenous communities with regard to culture, spirituality, teachings and traditional territories.
Principles for Collaboration
- We value the sacred diversity and unity of all that exists.
- The principle of the golden rule – we treat others and Earth with the respect and compassion with which we want to be treated – is the unconditional norm for interpersonal and organizational conduct.
- Interactions among participants are non-violent, truthful and kind, and express solidarity and justice (ie., fairness, openness and transparency).
- In personal attitude, we accept that all forms of egoism must be relinquished. Self-determination and self-realization are legitimate insofar as they uphold self-responsibility for fellow humans and for the planet Earth.
- As peace-makers, we are committed to building trust and trustworthiness through constructive conduct and communication in the presence of differences and/or competing needs. Specifically, we refrain from denigrating, stereotyping, maligning or invalidating others.
Principles for Dialogue in the presence of diversity:
- We prepare for respectful dialogue.
- Meet with the people themselves.
- Focus on essentials.
- Allow others to speak for themselves.
- Are aware of our own commitments, loyalties, and attachments.
- Honour differences as well as commonalities.
- Are aware of our own contribution to division and misunderstanding, and
- Cultivate authentic mutual sharing.
Principles for Common Action in the presence of diversity:
- We deal with issues related to living together in human community.
- Foster efforts at education and communication.
- Share spiritual and cultural insights and approaches, and
- Cultivate an atmosphere of mutual learning and openness.
Presence-based Wisdom Practices
At the centre of interspiritual communion is the “wisdom” experience of oneness with all that is. Both historic religions and secular philosophies have long cultivated inner awareness of oneness through presence-based wisdom practices — sometimes called mindfulness practices — like centring prayer, meditation and yoga. Partners and participants in regenerative movements share wisdom’s passion for re-connecting what has been severed — our empathic sense of oneness with one another and with the natural world. Mind/heart and embodied practices are a valued component of regenerative transition-work (or sacred activism, as some might call it) because they frequently help practitioners to deal constructively with fear and ego as inner stability and coherence is cultivated over time. Many practitioners find release from anxiety and a helpful renewal of courage and peace in the experience of inner stillness.
Deliberation, Reflection and Decision-making Practices
Practical Wisdom is an Aristotelian tradition of deliberation, reflection and decision-making that puts our moral responsibility to serve the common good into participatory practice. Transparent deliberations that are broadly informed and followed by reflection on moral dimensions, lead to wise decisions that consider the “whole” in specific situations and contexts. The practical wisdom tradition, and the Listening Circles of both Indigenous and womyn’s communities, encourage us as learners to open to many kinds of wisdom. They seek the long term common good, while centring our collective moral compass in the goodness of our common humanity.
The InterSpiritual Sustainability Council has a long history of engaging the local community in meaningful change… Read more
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