We have only begun

“It may remain for us to learn,…that our task is only beginning; and that there will never be given to us even the ghost of any help, save the help of unutterable unthinkable Time. We may have to learn that the infinite whirl of death and birth in which we are entrained is of our own creation, of our own seeking;—that the forces integrating worlds are the deeds of the Past;—that the eternal sorrow is but the eternal hunger of insatiable desire;—and that the burnt-out suns are rekindled by the inextinguishable passions of vanished lives.

“Emerging, persisting is motion on the largest scale, an unfolding, a merging into the light, which engages our volition;  we cannot help but continue.”

Lafcadio Hearn, Out of the East

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We’d be lost without them

Are there really people without resentment, without hate?  People who never go cross-grained to the universe? Who recognize evil, and resist evil, and yet are utterly unaffected by it?

Of course there are. Countless, the living and the dead.  Those who have returned in pure compassion to the wheel, those who follow the way that cannot be followed without knowing they follow it, the sharecropper’s wife in Alabama and the lama in Tibet and the entomologist in Peru and the millworker in Odessa and the greengrocer in London and the goatherd in Nigeria and the old, old man sharpening a stick by a dry streambed somewhere in Australia, and all the others. There is not one of us who has not known them. There are enough of them, enough to keep us going.  

— Ursula Leguin

African women farmers

Birthing the New Paradigm

The Earth is now like a womb about to give birth. The planet is going through the difficult birth pangs of a mother in labor. Yet something glorious awaits us just on the other side. We can all play a part in this sacred birthing process. We all can be midwives to the process of creation that happens in every sacred moment of this eternal now. When we choose to be as conscious as possible of all parts of ourselves and the world around us, we can’t help but come together in greater harmony and integration, even as we honor and celebrate the uniqueness of each one of us.

The old hierarchical structures are crumbling even as you read this. The old static forms are being transformed into more fluid concepts based in clear intention and spontaneity. Those who need security in the midst of chaos will increasingly find it only in clarity of intention. Those who have moved beyond the need for security will soar on the wings of fluid intention and creativity. Pay attention to the intention and relax the need for form and structure. Creative chaos heals us and our world by disintegrating rigid structures which no longer serve the awakened individual, thus creating the space for a greater harmony and reintegration.

The old paradigm is based on a top-down hierarchy with the leader at the top given power to protect and control those below. Yet to reach the top, the leaders are often ruthless and unwavering in their quest for power. Those at the top realize that by keeping those below in fear, they can continually reinforce a collective consensus whereby the group surrenders personal power to those at the top in exchange for safety.

In the new paradigm, however, each individual is a co-equal creator of any groups to which they belong, and in fact co-equal creators of their own reality. Each individual plays their own unique and necessary role. We are gradually shifting to a state where we are each involved in a continual process of co-creating our reality together, with a much deeper awareness of the beautiful divinity inherent within every one of us.

The old paradigm reinforces the hierarchical model where one individual is seen at the top of the hierarchy, whether as a guru, a president, or a dictator, and all below to some degree give up their power to those above them in the hierarchy. The less we pay attention to the fear mongering coming down from on high and celebrate the beauty and power we have in our own personal lives, the more we empower all of us to join in birthing the new paradigm. I’m excited to play my vital role in this birth process, where we all get to learn and grow together by inspiring each other to explore and expand as a collective. In this new paradigm, we leave no one behind, and we embrace both our own individual divinity and the infinite potential which lies within every one of us. It’s in every one of us!!!

Fred Burks

The next Buddha will not take the form of an individual. The next Buddha will take the form of a community; a community practicing understanding and loving kindness, a community practicing mindful living. This may be the most important thing we can do for the survival of the Earth. — Thich Naht Hanh

Our deepest fears are the dragons that guard our greatest treasures.
— Rainer Maria Rilke

Innoncence personified

“The perception of other people and the intersubjective world is problematic only for adults. The child lives in a world which he believes accessible to all around him. He speaks to you without hesitation because he has no doubt you see what he sees. He has no awareness of himself or of others as sovereigns of their own private, subjective experience, nor does he suspect that all of us, himself included, are limited to one certain point of vantage on the world. That is why he believes his thoughts as they present themselves, and does not subject them to criticism. He knows other persons about him as centers of a consciousness like unto his own, but he assumes their faces are turned to one single, self-evident world where everything takes place, even dreams, which are, he thinks, in his room; and even thoughts, which, for him, are not distinct from words.” 

― Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception

“Science manipulates things and gives up living in them. It makes its own limited models of things; operating upon these indices or variables to effect whatever transformations are permitted by their definition, it comes face to face with the real world only at rare intervals. Science is and always will be that admirably active, ingenious, and bold way of thinking whose fundamental bias is to treat everything as though it were an object-in-general — as though it meant nothing to us and yet was predestined for our own use.” 
― Maurice Merleau-Ponty, L’Œil et l’Esprit

“Being established in my life, buttressed by my thinking nature, fastened down in this transcendental field which was opened for me by my first perception, and in which all absence is merely the obverse of a presence, all silence a modality of the being of sound, I enjoy a sort of ubiquity and theoretical eternity, I feel destined to move in a flow of endless life, neither the beginning nor the end of which I can experience in thought, since it is my living self who think of them, and since thus my life always precedes and survives itself.” 
― Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception

“The world and I are within one another.” 
― Maurice Merleau-Ponty

Science fiction? Maybe not…

Fellow citizens of planet Earth:

It has come to our attention that extraterrestrial civilizations of great technological advancement have been visiting the earth for some time.

While their presence likely dates from very ancient times, the modern era since WW II has seen a large increase in sightings and interactions with these advanced life forms and their spacecraft.

It must be emphasized that they appear to pose no threat to humanity or earth, but rather are quite concerned about our own unchecked war-making capabilities and violence, combined with our early attempts at the exploration of space.

Since the dawn of the nuclear era, these extraterrestrial civilizations have made concerted efforts to do reconnaissance at all known space and nuclear facilities. In some cases these facilities have been penetrated by ET craft and our nuclear missiles rendered inoperable. Such incursions appear designed to warn us not to use these world-destroying nuclear weapons and are not acts of hostility.

They also appear concerned with the rapid decay of our biosphere and environment and the extinction of many species on earth.

Since World War II there have been extremely secretive programs studying the energy, communication and propulsion systems of these ET spacecraft.

It is time for us to disclose these momentous scientific findings to you.

These technologies have the potential, if used only for peaceful purposes, to give us a new and sustainable civilization on earth, free of poverty and pollution within a generation.

However, if used for destructive and violent purposes these same technologies could end our civilization.

For this and other reasons the strictest secrecy has surrounded the study of these extraterrestrial technologies.

But the time has arrived for the truth to be known: we are not alone in the universe. And it is time for humanity to become a mature, peaceful civilization and take its place in the cosmos with other advanced peoples from other star systems.

To this end, I call on the world community, other world leaders and all the people of earth to come together and begin this new era on earth.

We must make open, peaceful contact and initiate diplomatic ties to these other worlds. We must do this as children of earth and not just one nation. All nations and people of earth must be represented and empowered in this process.

We must commit to keeping all weapons out of space and going only into space for peaceful purposes that benefit all of humanity.

We must bring forth these advanced energy and propulsion technologies so that the world’s environment and people benefit. We must all agree to never allow these new technologies to be used as weapons of war.

And we must commit amongst ourselves that if any nation or group attempts to use these technologies for violent or destructive purposes, every nation and people on earth will rise up to immediately stop it.

We face a choice: If we do nothing, our environment and civilization will degrade and we may face extinction. If we use this new knowledge and science for war and destruction we will also surely perish.

But if we establish a world of peace, humanity can now advance as a civilization that is sustainable, just and worthy of exploring the universe.

This is the singular and great challenge of our generation: to establish world peace, and to create a new sustainable civilization. Once we have achieved this foundation of peace and justice, we have learned that these other worlds will welcome us in the cosmos with open arms and hearts.

So, my fellow citizens of earth, let us work together to achieve the destiny of humanity: An enlightened, peaceful world that joins her place among the other people of the cosmos.

For this is the only possible good future for humanity. It is time for us to unite as a people and create that good future – NOW.

Draft statement to humanity by united governments of all great powers, prepared for world leaders by Stephen Greer

Plus Ça Change…

E. M. Forster wrote a dystopian novella about a world where people live in separate cubicles and interact with others almost exclusively via screens and keyboards.  Human touch comes to feel unwelcome and threatening.  Artificial Intelligence controls the machines that run the world’s production systems, and it is no longer clear whether the machines exist to serve human needs or the humans exist to serve the machines.

The Machine Stops was published in 1909.  (audiobook here)

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“I have called you before, mother, but you were always busy or isolated. I have something particular to say.”

“What is it, dearest boy? Be quick. Why could you not text it to me?”

“Because I prefer direct speech in this case. I want—”

“Well?”

“I want you to come and see me.”

Vashti watched his Facebook image fade and re-align.

“But I can see you!” she exclaimed. “What more do you want?”

“I want to see you not through the Machine,” said Kuno. “I want to speak to you not through the wearisome Machine.”

“Oh, hush!” said his mother, vaguely shocked. “You mustn’t say anything against the Machine.”

a nice place to visit, but would you want to live there?

…that the function of this abyss of freedom that has opened out within our own midst is to draw us utterly out of our own selfhood and into its own immensity of liberty and joy. You seem to be the same person and you are the same person that you have always been; in fact you are more yourself than you have ever been before. You have only just begun to exist. You feel as if you were at last fully born….Now you have come into your element, and yet now you have become nothing. You have sunk to the center of your own poverty, and there you have felt the doors fly open into infinite freedom, into a wealth which is perfect because none of it is yours, though it is all there for you.

And now you are free to go in and out of infinity. This darkness is not a place, not an extent, but a huge, smooth activity. These depths, they are Love. And in the midst of you they form a wide, impregnable country….And you, while you are free to come and go, yet as soon as you attempt to make words or thoughts about it you are excluded. You go back into your exterior in order to talk; yet you find that you can rest in this darkness and this unfathomable peace without trouble and without anxiety, even when the imagination and the mind remain in some way active outside its doors.

— slightly paraphrased from Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation