Still Looking for a Holistic Community

By Wade Lee Hudson

Re-posted 6/29/18

I seek a community whose members promote comprehensive transformation, aim to become better human beings, and set aside time to support each other with those efforts. 

That’s it. The essential ingredients of a holistic community that involves the whole person and helps change the whole world. It seems straightforward and sensible. From time to time, I’ve tasted holistic community enough to convince me it’s practical. But those experiences, including my own efforts to organize one, have been fleeting, and I know of none I can join.

My primary motivation is that I believe holistic communities could help relieve suffering. As I address in Transform the System: A Work in Progress, it seems to me that most social change efforts specialize in ways that undermine their effectiveness. Most focus on either the outer world or the inner world. Holistic communities that integrate the two could provide mutual support for both open-ended self-development and improvements in the external world, including political action to impact public policy.

A mission statement for a network of holistic communities might be something like: to help transform our country into a compassionate community dedicated to the common good of all humanity, our own people, the environment, and life itself. That wording would enable people in any country to endorse it.

To help achieve that mission, community members might adopt a commitment such as:

Change Myself, Change the World: A Commitment

I commit to:

    • Pay attention to, control, and try to change thoughts and feelings that can lead to oppressive or counterproductive behavior.  
    • Acknowledge my mistakes and resolve to avoid them in the future.
    • Become a better human being and love myself and others in every situation.
    • Talk about my efforts with close friends and listen to them talk about their efforts.
    • Support the development of social structures that nurture personal and community empowerment.
    • Help transform my nation into a compassionate community dedicated to the common good of all humanity, our own people, the environment, and life itself.
    • Help improve my nation’s public policies with measures such as assuring living wage job opportunities and taking steps to protect the less powerful from arbitrary discrimination and oppression inflicted on them by the more powerful. 

In addition to informal, spontaneous activities that emerge naturally in any community, intentional mutual support in a holistic community could involve methods such as: 1) begin meetings with a moment of silence for people to meditate, pray, or reflect on the meeting’s agenda, and/or; 2) “check in” with reports on recent personal and political change efforts. (I’ll maintain a list of such methods at “Possible Methods for How Group Members Can Support Each Other with Their Self-Development.”) 

Affirming a commitment to critical self-examination and setting aside time to report on those efforts — on occasion doing so confidentially with trusted allies — can deepen personal growth.

A network of holistic communities could include many different kinds of groups, including book clubs, study groups, and activist organizations. Those groups could share the same mission, use the same method(s) for pursuing that mission, and affiliate with the network. That common ground could help nurture a sense of community among a wide variety of groups in multiple countries. 

The specific wording of the mission statement and methods as suggested here is not critical. They’re merely offered to clarify the concept. Hopefully others can improve on them.

Now, actively waiting, I keep my eyes and ears open for a community to join. My life is good and I enjoy my frequent solitude. But I believe a holistic community could be of service to humanity, and enrich my own life.

In the meantime, I support political actions from time to time, welcome invitations to discuss these issues, and focus on building the website. On that site, I’ll update resources, present new proposals for action, post essays and reviews of books and articles, and engage in public dialogs. It may take 2-3 ten years to build the site into the clearinghouse of information and analysis that I envision. But I want to pull together into one place the wide variety of material that has shaped and is shaping my worldview.

To receive occasional reports on additions to the site, subscribe to Transform The System News. To engage in public dialog about these issues, you can comment on blog posts on the site’s home page.

Together, perhaps we can plant seeds that will contribute to positive social change.

Ray Wylie Hubbard and Marianne Williamson

Perhaps all of the Dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave.

Our fears are like dragons guarding our most precious treasures.
Ray Wylie Hubbard


Is Marianne Williamson a Fringe Candidate? Or a Likely One?

After Donald Trump, what should a president be, anyway?

By Gabrielle Bluestone
June 28, 2019

Marianne Williamson is a major-minor candidate for president, or a minor-major candidate for president. She believes that America is suffering from a spiritual and moral rot. She believes that the rot can only be healed if an empathetic and loving leader, equally versed in American history and culture, takes the helm…. When she arrived at the debates this week, appearing onstage with nine other candidates,… she aroused a strong and emotional response, provoking some combination of ire, confusion, admiration and hilarity.

Beyond Left and Right: Compassionate Pragmatism


Beyond Left and Right: Compassionate Pragmatism
By Wade Lee Hudson

There’s no widely agreed-on definition of “liberalism” and “conservatism.” Terms like “free-market fundamentalism” vs. “egalitarian economics” make more sense, but supporters of one of those terms may agree with the other side on other issues. So they can’t logically be lumped together as either “liberal” or “conservative.” The “left-right” spectrum is incoherent and serves to divide and conquer. However, even if the meaning of “liberalism” and “conservatism” were clear, the more rational approach would be to integrate the best of each perspective into a new worldview, such as “compassionate pragmatism.”

Traditionally, the “right” has been said to affirm authority, order, hierarchy, duty, tradition, and nationalism. And the “left” has been associated with liberty, equality, solidarity, human rights, progress, and internationalism. But most people believe in all or most of those principles — because each holds value.


Denis Diderot

I do not flatter myself into thinking that, when the great revolution comes, my name will still survive…. This feeble work [the History of the Two Indies], whose sole merit will be to have inspired better books, will undoubtedly be forgotten. But at least I will be able to tell myself that I contributed as much as possible to the happiness of my fellow men, and prepared, perhaps from afar, the improvement of their lot. This sweet thought will for me take the place of glory. It will be the charm of my old age and the consolation of my final moment.
–Denis Diderot

From Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely, by Andrew S. Curran



From the wikipedia:

Diderot’s contemporary, and rival, Jean Jacques Rousseau wrote in his Confessions that after a few centuries Diderot would be accorded as much respect by posterity as was given to Plato and Aristotle.[70] In Germany, GoetheSchiller, and Lessing[72] expressed admiration for Diderot’s writings, Goethe pronouncing Diderot’s Rameau’s Nephew to be “the classical work of an outstanding man” and that “Diderot is Diderot, a unique individual; whoever carps at him and his affairs is a philistine.”[45][73]

In the next century, Diderot was admired by BalzacDelacroixStendhalZola, and Schopenhauer.[74] According to Comte, Diderot was the foremost intellectual in an exciting age.[75] Historian Michelet described him as “the true Prometheus” and stated that Diderot’s ideas would continue to remain influential long into the future. Marx chose Diderot as his “favourite prose-writer.”[76]

The Left-Right Spectrum: Email to Ezra Klein

I just sent the following email to Ezra Klein, founder of and host of The Ezra Klein Show podcast.



SUBJECT: Critique the “Political Spectrum”

Ezra, I love the show, the format, and how you conduct it. I especially like the concluding three-book question.

I suggest you engage with a guest who challenges the left-right spectrum. I have not heard you adequately explain that frame. Please explore:

  • What is “liberalism” and “conservatism”?

  • Why do you want to defeat conservatism?

  • Does “conservatism” affirm some, or many, valuable principles?

  • Do we need another worldview that integrates legitimate elements from each ideology?

I suspect you could consider these issues in a way that would help me and other listeners clarify our thinking on this important issue.

Harry Boyte [“Populism and John Dewey: Convergences and Contradictions”) is one possible guest. Ken Wilber, Trump and a Post-Truth World, (good summary here) might be another.

With great respect,

Wade Hudson
Wade’s Wire (daily)
Wade’e Weekly
Wade’s Monthly

Por Vida – A tribute to the songs of Alejandro Escovedo

includes 32 songs

Alejandro Escovedo (born January 10, 1951, in San Antonio, Texas) is a Mexican-American rock musician, songwriter, and singer, who has been recording and touring since the late 1970s. His primary instrument is the guitar. He has played in various rock genres, including punk rock, roots rock and alternative country, and is most closely associated with the music scene in Austin, Texas. He comes from a well-known family of musicians.


The Note: Biden blasts Trump — though not his Republican Party


…Former Vice President Joe Biden has now unleashed a torrent of criticism at President Donald Trump. In an Iowa trip that wraps up on Wednesday, Biden has called the president an “existential threat to America” who is “shredding” the nation’s values and “damaging” the country.

But he was virtually silent on the Republican Party at large. Earlier in the week, Biden expressed confidence that “you’re going to begin to see things change” with Republicans when Trump is off the national stage.

“These folks know better,” he said at a fundraiser.

And on Tuesday, he pushed back at the notion that you need wholesale change in the type of people who lead.

“Guess what?” he told reporters after a campaign event in Iowa. “The system worked pretty damn well. It’s called the Constitution. It says you have to get a consensus to get anything done.”

Suffice it to say that such confidence in the GOP reverting to pre-Trump form is not shared widely among Biden’s rivals. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee tweeted, “What’s next? Expecting Toronto fans to cheer for the Warriors in Game 6?”

This may be an example of Biden, with his proud history of cutting bipartisan deals, staying true to himself. …