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David Korten in “Change the Story, Change the Future” documents how our current foundational myths are leading us into catastrophe.

This section attempts to outline a new, emerging set of foundational myths. I wrote this in spite of not knowing what the new myths must be. The mystic, the poet, and the scientist … all three are needed to create the new story that will sustain us in the great transition facing us.

I wrote this because we desperately need it … and I hope that some of you will be able to substantially improve upon what I wrote. I believe that together we can create the foundational myth that we need to move into the future with hope, joy and love.

This table is an initial attempt to spell out the contrast between our current foundational myths and the foundational myth that the 21st century is calling into being. Please … criticize it. Add to it. Help improve it.

Arena Current Myths Emerging Myths
Man / Woman Separate entities

Radical individualism

Competition dominates

Symbiotic Relationships

Exists as Community

Cooperation dominates

Science Focus on things

Proceeds by taking apart

Mechanistic & linear

Focus on relationships

Proceeds via systems

Ecological & circular

Religion God as separate & out there

Original sin

Heaven & hell in afterlife

God as divine spark in us

Original blessing

Heaven & hell here & now

Ethics Tribal

Realpolitics of n’tl security

Maximize profits

Humankind first

Golden rule

Maximize diversity

Waging Conflict Redemptive violence

Zero sum game

Power of nonviolence

Non-zero sum game

Happiness Wealth



Meaningful work


Spiritual development



Top down


Power-hungry leaders

Bottom up

Responsible Freedom

Servant leadership

Nature For human exploitation


Mankind above nature

For human stewardship


Mankind depends on nature

Economy Continual growth in technology, extraction & consumption

Economy of scarcity

Everything monetized

Steady state, in balance with earth and ecosystem

Economy of abundance

Sacred Economics

Metaphors Man as apex

Expelled from the Garden

Continual progress

Clockwork universe

Nature as inexhaustible

Man as symbiont

Gaia: mankind in the Garden


Evolving Universe

Spaceship earth

Key Websites

The Great Transition

Dark Mountain Project

New Stories

Key Books

Sacred Economics.

The Great Work. Thomas Berry