Zak Stein: 13 Social Miracles for a Time Between Worlds
By Oshan Jarow
In today’s episode, I’m joined by Dr. Zachary Stein. Zak is difficult to introduce because he’s so wide-ranging. He works alongside philosophers Ken Wilber and Marc Gafni at the Center for Integral Wisdom, bringing the heart of integral theory into the discussion of 21st century possibilities. He did his graduate education at Harvard, studying education and human development, and most of his work focuses on education, broadly conceived as the kind of ‘human making forces’ within a society. His latest book - Education in a Time Between Worlds - is insane. It focuses on what education might become as we transition from what the world was and has been, into what it might become if we decide to value educational abundance and human development as core cultural ideals. And it’s scholarly, which means as far out as his proposals and imaginings go, they’re rigorously researched and supported. I wanted to speak to him specifically about a chapter titled The 13 Social Miracles. These are what Zak calls practices in ‘design fiction’, or concrete utopian theorizing. Which is to say, if we imagine the absolute best case scenario for human culture over the next 50 years, what are the things that need to happen? And unlike so many philosophers, especially those who are primarily interested in consciousness, Zak gets really political. He offers policies, and global projects, and laws, concrete things that would set the cultural conditions for the flourishing of a more wholesome, complex, and human kind of consciousness.