When I first heard about Social Artistry from Jean Houston at her Mystery School sessions, I was excited. According to her, ‘Social Artistry is the art of enhancing human capacities in light of social complexity. It seeks to bring new ways of thinking, being and doing to social challenges in the world.’ Naturally, that involves a new type of leader.
Jean writes, ‘Social Artists are leaders in many fields who bring the same order of passion and skill that an artist brings to his or her art form and to the canvas of our social reality. It is within the deep work of Social Artistry that we can access the inner capacities to align ourselves with the earth’s higher purpose.’
According to her, ‘Too many leaders have been educated for a different time, a different world’, and ‘Few are prepared for the task of dealing with the complexity and chaos of today, when the usual formulas and stopgap solutions of an earlier era will not help.’
She describes the work of Social Artistry as ‘striving to provide a dynamic balance between inner understanding and outward expression.’ Furthermore, she sees it as ‘a new profession whose craft could be said to be that of conscious evolution.’ For her, it calls forth a ‘new kind of healer’ who embraces ‘the work of re-patterning human nature’ and is always learning ‘to think like a planetary citizen’, works with old and newly-emerging myths, is a paradigm pioneer, and brings joy and laughter to life.
I’ve quoted from Jean, because she speaks so powerfully and clearly. I also know from training with her that a core part of being a Social Artist is co-creating teaching-learning communities of people who together do their inner work, in order to be of service in the world. As described in another section, Jean has developed a four-stage process she urges these communities to use when doing their work.
In the late 1990s several friends and I started meeting to explore how we might start a School for Social Artistry. Though we met for some time, Jean hadn’t developed her process or her Social Artistry training, and we eventually stopped. However, shortly thereafter, a few of us, who were interested in Celtic Cultures, started the Omaha Celtic Group, which was a teaching-learning community that continues today.
My dream of starting a School for Social Artistry has not died, and I imagine the work I’m putting into this website and into some of the programs that emerge from it actually form an important part of the foundation for that School. I hope so.
Selected Resources for Social Artistry
Leadership and Social Transformation Program at Meridian University, where Jean Houston has been appointed Chancellor
Social Artistry www.jeanhoustonfoundation.org/
BIBLIOGRAPHY (downloadable as pdf):