THE TALE OF THE TWO TREES ~ Chap. 3 ~ Unlocking Our Superpowers

THE TALE OF THE TWO TREES ~ Chap. 3 ~ Unlocking Our Superpowers


The Tale of the Two Trees emerged after completing the 6-month bike tour across America with the Cultural Recyclists in 2010. We were exploring Sustainable Living, and we visited a wide variety of urban farms, ecovillages, Permaculture co-ops and everything in between. As we cycled from town to town, we were asking people: “What are the biggest challenges facing humanity and how can we solve them?”

We received answers as diverse as the many types of people we met along the journey. Some folks believed terrorism and war were the biggest issues, while others were laser-focused on solving climate change or social inequality. Who was right? We didn’t form a conclusive answer, though we came up with a Map to understand the state of the world.

I’ve led a workshop based on this Map many times, and it always leads to very powerful and insightful conversations. In these workshops, I invite folks to imagine we are a bunch of friends sitting in a backyard. We are observing two big trees. The one on the left is totally deteriorating, with dead branches and lifeless flowers all over the ground. The tree on the right is vibrantly alive, overflowing with colorful flowers and leaves.

First I ask the audience, “What are the biggest challenges / issues facing humanity?” On stage, I have a big easel with a drawing of the two trees, and begin to label the branches of the dying tree, as the audience shouts out their answers to my question. After labeling the branches things like “Global Poverty, Resource Management, Political Corruption, Deforestation, etc.,” I ask another question: “What are the root causes of all these issues?”

Next, I label the roots of the dying tree. The audience gives answers like “Disconnection from Nature, Greed, Ego Consciousness, etc.” I go on to explain that on the bike trip, we explored many root causes, and our grand conclusion is that “All the biggest issues facing humanity are a result of our BS! (Belief System)

Our bike troupe realized that fundamentally it is our cultural beliefs which give rise to our dysfunctional Social, Educational, Energy, and Environmental systems.

If we begin to question our own BS, then everything in society will shift.

We visited many farms and ecovillages which had made the transition to a new belief system, and the outward changes were very apparent. Most had alternative energy sources, grew their own food, lived close to the land, and had more peaceful personal relationships.

Next, I ask the audience to shout out what are the new beliefs and values they would like to see to create a new human culture. I label the roots / soil of the Vibrant Tree things like “Gender Equality, Respect for Nature, Cooperation, Collaboration, Reciprocity, Sacredness.”

The last part of the workshop is where we label the flowering branches of the Vibrant Tree. I enthusiastically ask “What will the world look like, smell like, feel like, when we have shifted our BS to one that we consciously choose?”

This is when all heaven breaks out!. Audience members shout out visions and dreams like “Giant Garden Parties, Bicycle Parades, Vertical Farms, Fire Circles, Stargazing, Smells of Flowers instead of Pollution, Kids Playing Outside, Interspecies Communication!” I label the Vibrant Tree’s branches all of these beautiful manifestations.

To close the workshop, I lead an overview, showing how the Dying Tree’s dysfunctional Belief System gives rise to the many “problems” in our society, and once we shift our core beliefs to more holistic, all inclusive ones, we will grow an entirely new civilization!

Here is a summary of what the group usually brainstorms for both the Dying Tree and the Thriving Tree :



(in no specific order) 

-   Climate Change

-   Ignorance

-   Social Inequality / Poverty

-   Diseases

-   Terrorism

-   Govt. Corruption

-   Corporate Greed


-    The Material World is all that exists.

-    Your Genes determine how your life will unfold.

-    Humans are Separate from Nature.

-    Humans were Destined to Control and Dominate Nature.

-    Logic, Reason, and Science are the only ways to Discover Truth.

-    We must Compete for Scarce Resources.



-    Permaculture Villages which support Climate Stability, Healthy Soil, Water + Air.

-    Higher Awareness Through Holistic Education Systems.

-    New Economic Models, Local Currency, + Gift Economies.

-    Conflict Resolution + Mass Facilitation of all Healing Modalities.


-    Matter Arises from the Quantum Energy Field.

-    Environment and Behavior largely determine Genetic Expression (Epigenetics).

-    Humans are vitally interconnected to the whole Web of Life.

-    There are many ways to perceive Truth i.e. : Logic, Intuition, Divination, etc.

-    Cooperation and Collaboration empower us to live and share in abundance.


The “Tale of the Two Trees” Map is a very simple and powerful way to describe the state of the world. It gives you the Superpower of grasping the past, present, and potential future of our entire civilization! I’ve received so much positive feedback from people who’ve attended this workshop and also who’ve seen my videos online. They explain how they now feel they know their place in the larger Cultural Evolution, and feel motivated to keep living the “New and Ancient Cultural Values.” Many people also explain that having this Map alleviates stress, because they can now see how there is a massive movement taking place on this planet, and they must simply do their little, yet important part to contribute to it. I invite you to share this map with anyone who is interested in world affairs and transforming themselves / society.

I also invite you to watch my workshop on YouTube from Burning Man on this topic called “Cultural Evolution.”


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THE POWER OF QUESTIONS - Chap. 4 - Unlocking Our Superpowers

THE POWER OF QUESTIONS - Chap. 4 - Unlocking Our Superpowers

INTRODUCTION ~ Chap. 2 ~ Unlocking Our Superpowers

INTRODUCTION ~ Chap. 2 ~ Unlocking Our Superpowers