About the Project

Every one of us can participate in the act of reawakening, starting from where we are.

We are talking only to ourselves. We are not talking to the rivers, we are not listening to the wind and stars. We have broken the great conversation. By breaking that conversation we have shattered the universe. All the disasters that are happening now are a consequence of that spiritual “autism."

~Thomas Berry

Welcome to Wake Up, Human.

This project is...

• an exploration •

So many of us are looking for more meaning in our lives. We know something is missing, and we feel lost in our place and time. We know there’s something deeper to life than our modern, superficial worldview would have us believe. We know we are powerful, and we want our power back.

Wake up Human is an exploration of that power. The project explores ways we humans have become disconnected 
from our native ways of knowing, what we have lost, and practical 
knowledge and wisdom for coming back into wholeness. By exploring this together, we can reawaken to our native intelligence as human beings, and regain the power we need to heal ourselves, our relationships, and our planet.

• a resource •

Wake Up, Human is a resource for reconnection. Through writings, conversations, and collaborative information sharing, we offer education and inspiration on the theme of waking up into wholeness. The WUH vision is a world community that is humane, sustainable, inclusive and respectful of all human and nonhuman beings. To that end we provide resources to support people in reharmonizing, individually and collectively, with our innate human knowledge, wisdom of the other-than-human beings, and the indigenous worldviews of our earth-honoring ancestors.

Visit the blog, listen to the podcast, check out the resources page, and do contact us with ideas and actions to suggest. We strive to be a resource, but we are learning too.

• a resistance •

Jiddu Krishnamurti said, “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” Our society is sick. The status quo resulting from centuries of greed, competition, and objectification of nature has so alienated us from our ancestral roots, each other, and ourselves, it’s no wonder so many of us are lost.

In a broken world, it’s not enough to accept the way things are, because the way things are is broken. Life needs us to be resisters: swimming upstream, questioning the status quo, and pushing back against systems and ideologies that have broken us. Resistance doesn’t always mean active protest, though it can be that. But in a broken world, reconnection is an act of resistance.

Wake Up, Human participates in this resistance, and supports the work of others who do. The world needs people brave enough to live into the world in new ways (and ancient ways), through eyes that perceive the interdependence of life. We’re reclaiming our wholeness. Will you join us?

Reconnect. Remember. Resist.

MISSION:

Reject that which keeps us separate.
Embrace that which makes us whole.

Read more about our mission and vision here.

Philosophy and Background

from Separation to Wholeness

In the modern era, wherein human choices and actions have brought our world to the brink of destruction, we find ourselves suffering from imbalance in all spheres of life.

Our outer world is out of balance: polluted, ecologically devastated, and ravaged by all manner of war and conflict. Our inner worlds are also out of balance, with so many of us suffering from depression, hopelessness, and overwhelm, and lacking a sense of place or meaning. Our bodies are out of balance, evidenced by diseases and disorders that our ancestors never knew, many that our modern medical system is unable to cure. And our interpersonal relationships are out of balance: the great inequality and injustices of our time reveal that we have forgotten how to see, hear, and respect one another in the face of our differences. In some cases we have forgotten how to see each other as human at all.

Yet, this imbalance is not our natural state. Our true nature as human beings is to live in harmony, among ourselves and within the natural world. We fall out of balance when we lose contact with that state of harmonious interconnection. The more we focus on individual gain and material accumulation—and the more we insulate ourselves behind doors and cubicles and technological comforts—the more we separate ourselves and forget that we are part of a greater whole. Ironically, in our worldwide race to do more, have more, and be more, we have become less: fragmented, self-serving, and small.

From this place of separation, we might question whether we’re capable to meet the great challenges of our time. But we are entirely capable. We humans are intelligent, powerful beings. We have the innate wisdom within us necessary to find solutions to the problems of our messy world. Together we can heal our great collective wounds, by unlearning the long conditioning of our separation, and re-membering our connection—to ourselves, to nature, and to each other.

Check out the beginnings of a longer-form article on this topic here.

like to listen?

Learn about Wake Up, Human on the Podcast

Episode 2: An Introduction to Wake Up, Human

Topics we explore...

Reclaiming our collective wisdom

Wake Up, Human explores the sources of our disconnection, the consequences of that disconnection, and the many paths that can lead us back into wholeness. To that end, project themes include:

Many intelligent thinkers and activists are already exploring these topics with great skill. This project is not trying to reinvent any wheels, but to join the living chorus, share ideas, and amplify voices of others who are doing the work.

Collective wisdom suggests that this pivotal time requires more than one great leader or teacher (or one thousand, for that matter) to rise up and inspire the world to change. We should not be waiting for others to do the work for us. Healing from separation is a task for millions of intelligent and inspired humans, working together in cooperation with the intelligence of nature. Every one of us can participate in the act of reawakening, starting from where we are.

By reconnecting to our essential powers of awareness and interbeing, we might reclaim our world from the brink of destruction, and begin to live a new world into being.

The earth needs our traditional wisdom right now. She needs us to relearn, remember, and resist. She needs us to be the next generation of wisdom keepers and protectors. She needs us to remember what we’ve forgotten.

Let's remember together.

Why the Stars?

The visual theme of the stars for Wake Up, Human was inspired by a story from South African conservationist and author Laurens van der Post, who wrote about his experiences living among the San Bushmen in the mid-20th century.

One dark and starry night, Laurens sat chatting around the fire with a group Bushmen from the village. One of the men leaned back, looked up to the sky, and remarked how beautifully the stars were singing that night. Laurens, thinking the man was making a joke, laughed at the comment. The group of men turned their attention to him, surprised. They asked: did he not also hear the music of the stars? After a bit of back and forth and some confusion, Laurens realized that the Bushmen could indeed hear the stars singing. And the Bushmen realized that Laurens could hear nothing.

The men turned back to the fire together in sadness—the Bushmen sad to know there were humans who had lost the ability to hear. And Laurens, even sadder, struck with the painful realization of what he, and his people before him, had lost.

Are we those people?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard the stars sing. I sure want to. I wonder, what ancient ways of knowing have we ‘modern’ people lost to time? What powers lie fallow within the memory of our consciousness, patient seeds waiting to be watered back to life? And if we watered those seeds, what song might we hear life trying to sing to us?

Whether we can hear them singing or not, the stars are a cosmic symbol that every human being intimately knows. Our ancient ancestors would have looked up to the same night sky, millennia ago, and wondered at its mysteries as we do today. The stars connect us all, across space and time. They connect us to the mythic and the majestic, the intuitive and the infinite. Their universality reminds us of our shared fate on this small, blue planet, and the birthright of wonder we all share. May we wake up to their song together.

For inspiration and perspective: Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot.

Why the Stars?

The visual theme of the stars for Wake Up, Human was inspired by a story from South African conservationist and author Laurens van der Post, who wrote about his experiences living among the San Bushmen in the mid-20th century.

One dark and starry night, Laurens sat chatting around the fire with a group Bushmen from the village. One of the men leaned back, looked up to the sky, and remarked how beautifully the stars were singing that night. Laurens, thinking the man was making a joke, laughed at the comment. The group of men turned their attention to him, surprised. They asked: did he not also hear the music of the stars? After a bit of back and forth and some confusion, Laurens realized that the Bushmen could indeed hear the stars singing. And the Bushmen realized that Laurens could hear nothing.

The men turned back to the fire together in sadness—the Bushmen sad to know there were humans who had lost the ability to hear. And Laurens, even sadder, struck with the painful realization of what he, and his people before him, had lost.

Are we those people?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard the stars sing. I sure want to. And I wonder, what ancient ways of knowing have we modern people lost to time? Are there powers within the memory of our consciousness lying fallow, seeds waiting to be watered back to life? And if we watered them, could we wake up and hear once more the song life is trying to sing to us?

Whether we can hear them singing or not, the stars are a cosmic symbol that every human being intimately knows. Our ancient ancestors would have looked up to the same night sky, millennia ago, and wondered at its mysteries as we do today. The stars connect us all, across space and time. Their universal symbolism reminds us of our connection, our shared fate on our small, blue planet, and the birthright of wonder that we all share. May we awaken to the wholeness that we are.

For inspiration and perspective: Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot.

A bit about me:

Shannon M. Wills is a writer and artist based in Denver, Colorado, working at the intersection of psychology, spirituality, and social justice. A dedicated student of the world’s mystical traditions, her passion lies in delving into life’s mysteries, mining them for wisdom to apply to our modern lives. She previously served as director of the Metta Center for Nonviolence, and co-founded Nonviolence Lab, a training organization for nonviolent philosophy and practice. She recently launched Wake Up, Human, a project dedicated to “reawakening the native powers of the human being,” and the potential of those powers to build a more conscious, compassionate, and connected world.

Read more about me here >>

A bit about me:

Shannon M. Wills is a writer and artist based in Denver, Colorado, working at the intersection of psychology, spirituality, and social justice. A dedicated student of the world’s mystical traditions, her passion lies in delving into life’s mysteries, mining them for wisdom to apply to our modern lives. She previously served as director of the Metta Center for Nonviolence, and co-founded Nonviolence Lab, a training organization for nonviolent philosophy and practice. She recently launched Wake Up, Human, a project dedicated to “reawakening the native powers of the human being,” and the potential of those powers to build a more conscious, compassionate, and connected world.

Read more about me here >>

It is possible that the next Buddha will not take the form of an individual. The next Buddha may take the form of a community, a community practicing understanding and loving kindness, a community practicing mindful living. And the practice can be carried out as a group, as a city, as a nation.