Stefan Pasti is the founder and resource coordinator for The Community Peacebuilding and Cultural Sustainability (CPCS) Initiative (at www.cpcsi.org ).
Mr. Pasti has been actively involved in peacebuilding and community revitalization work for over 30 years—as a writer (in a variety of genres, including short story and short novel); an editor (newsletters, quotation collections); an advocate of ecologically sustainable communities; and a practitioner of voluntary simplicity.
Beginning in the early 1980’s, Mr. Pasti developed a “compilation of excerpts” (from books, articles, etc.) style as a way of synthesizing complex information into an organized format which seemed to make “connecting the dots’ moments more likely to occur. [Examples: newsletter—“Disarmament News” (20 pages; May, 1982); critical challenge assessment, quotation collection, “moral compass” commentary—“Developing a Tao Compass” (pt. 1)(pt. 2)(pt. 3)(pt. 4)(64 pages; 1987); quotation collection—“An Arrangement of Quotations from ‘Sathya Sai Speaks’ (Vol. 1-15)” (301 pages; 1997, 2006) (Table of Contents); critical challenge assessment, solution guide—“IPCR Critical Challenges Assessment 2011-2012: Summary Report” (444 pages; January, 2012) (Table of Contents); and the key CPCS Initiative document “Invitation Package for Possible Board of Advisors” (589 pages; Nov., 2013) (Long Version Table of Contents)].
Mr. Pasti’s advocacy for ecologically sustainable communities begin in 1984 with the first version of the short story “The Spirit of the Sacred Hoop”. [Two other examples: 1) a most comprehensive outreach effort in 1991, with the newsletter/pamphlet “Where a Village is Tended, a Toxic Waste Dump Cannot Grow” (link is large file at Dropbox)(which includes a 51 point list titled “How modern agriculture-based villages can contribute to the continuity of peaceful human settlements” and 2) "Brainstorming Zero Carbon ASAP Campaign" (157 pages; June, 2019).]
Mr. Pasti has found spiritual inspiration from many sources and traditions; however, the teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba (1926-2011) (which he first learned about in 1991) have had the most influence on his life path. Those teachings (from which Mr. Pasti created the 301 page compilation of excerpts collection mentioned above) provided Mr. Pasti with profound insights into the potential benefits of integrating spiritual wisdom into the everyday circumstances of community life. Contributing whatever he can to realizing such profound potential, regardless of whether or not such potential is realized in his lifetime, has been the central motivating spirit of Mr. Pasti’s life for decades. [Note: see also "Four Positive Effects from the Teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba" (13 pages)(April, 2012).]
To be more specific about my thinking on the most important influence in my life: because of the depth and universal nature I saw in Baba’s teachings, I was drawn to a “not exclusively ‘Baba’ oriented” (and thus a “not accomplished through the work of the International Sai Organization” approach to what work I felt was uniquely mine to do. And because the potential for spiritual transformation seemed (in my view) certain to be realized, I thought the “constellation of initiatives”, citizen participation, and steps for growing wisdom and compassion [see “Growing Wisdom and Compassion in Small Communities (13 Steps”)] approach would be a piece of that spiritual transformation.
Further, it did not occur to me that the teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba (1926-2011) would remain unknown to so many people for so long (i.e. I did not think of myself as having some kind of special way of understanding such teachings that others didn’t have). In addition, I did not think so many people would remain unaware that such a spiritual transformation was needed in the world views which were leading to so many of our challenges. [Consider: If many people can learn to find contentment and quality of life while consuming much less material goods and ecological services, this limiting of desires at the “root” will save much trouble trying to respond to the symptoms (of unrestrained, or unexamined desires) as they materialize worldwide. This part of the value and benefit of spiritual teachings is often overlooked.]
And yet… the sequence of-- 1) expert opinion on the depth of the challenges of our times 2) informing surveys of Key Local Leaders (the results of which would help local residents understand the need for Community Visioning and Neighborhood Learning Centers and 3) the participation of many residents in identifying challenges and priority solutions—still can lead to many people being much more locally resilient that they are now… and much more aware of how we have become confused about the cardinal directions on our “moral compasses”. Possibly when the COVID 19 emergency is over, there will be more appreciation for “constellation of initiatives” approach to the Climate Emergency (see “We interrupt this broadcast….” Climate Emergency Op-Ed), and the need to intentionally increase our capacity to grow wisdom and compassion [see “Growing Wisdom and Compassion in Small Communities (13 Steps)"].
Although Mr. Pasti does not have traditional credentials, he has a “trained eye”, and a time-tested intuitive “feel”, for analyzing complex information regarding challenges of our times, identifying pathways for solution-oriented activity to flow, synthesizing such information into understandable parts, and organizing those parts into a well organized document (much like the work which would need to be done to sort through participant input during a Community Visioning Initiative).
From 2013 to the present, Mr. Pasti has had physical health issues originating from a fall out of a hayloft during his high school years, which has resulted in chronic musculoskeletal issues (and which resulted in his receiving Social Security Disability beginning in February, 2016). However, during this time (and even though he has had difficulty sitting (hip/pelvis issues), and sometimes cannot stand for long periods of time), Mr. Pasti has continued his advocacy for peacebuilding, civic engagement, and ecological sustainability with this The Community Peacebuilding and Cultural Sustainability (CPCS) Initiative website (www.cpcsi.org ), and through tweets, etc. on the Twitter platform (see “CPCS Initiative on Twitter”).
[Additional Note: In March-April, 2017, Mr. Pasti updated his “Autobiographical Sketch” (previous versions in August, 2009 and March, 2012) from 11 pages to 83 pages. For some introductory notes, see #12 in the “Collected Writings of Stefan Pasti” section of this CPCS Initiative website.]
[Community Peacebuilding and Cultural Sustainability (CPCS) Initiative, critical challenge assessments, unprecedented challenges ahead, maximizing citizen participation, accelerating solution-oriented activity, collaborative problem solving, community education, questionnaires and surveys, community visioning, neighborhood learning centers, community service, newspapers, education, peacebuilding, culture change, faith, wisdom, compassion, etc.]
About Stefan Pasti
Maximizing Citizen Participation and Accelerating Solution-Oriented Activity
in a Time of Unprecedented Challenges
The Community Peacebuilding and Cultural Sustainability (CPCS) Initiative