Tag Archives: Barbara+Marx+Hubbard

Collective Intention

Across Oceans of Time © Angi Sullins & Silas Toball www.durwaigh.com

If you’ve been agonizing over the Gulf crisis, you may be relieved to know that there’s something you can do that doesn’t require grabbing your hazmat suit and hopping on a plane to New Orleans.

A group of global visionaries put out a call last month to join them in an experiment in collective consciousness, The Gulf Call to Sacred Action. You simply sign up online to listen and participate in what is hoped to be the beginning of a new global movement of planetary healing.

The first call on June 26th led by Deepak Chopra, Lynne McTaggart, and Jean Houston, focused on setting intention. Deepak started by sharing an old Cree proverb:

“Only when the last tree has died, the last river has been poisoned, and the last fish has been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.”

He then reviewed his Eight Actions for the Gulf and Beyond and invited the 7,000 participants to join his new LinkedIn group, Collective Creativity.

Of all the Evolutionary Leaders on the call, Lynne McTaggart, author, scientist, and architect of The Intention Experiments, has the most experience in the use of collective intention. Having conducted 21 large-scale experiments, she’s determined the effectiveness of her subjects’ focused attention on scientifically quantifiable targets in laboratories around the globe.

Lynne’s call to action for the Gulf crisis included finding positive intentions for BP; finding ways to move beyond our reliance on petroleum; and healing the rift between mankind and nature. She then challenged us to ‘power up’, focus, and actively imagine with all five senses BP correcting the Gulf situation as soon as possible while visualizing all the ecosystems restored to perfect health and imagining our connection with everyone else on the call. By working together in a group, it’s hoped that new and creative solutions will emerge that can be carried forward to change other world events.

To step up our collective efforts, Lynne has suggested that we send the following intention to BP’s engineers every day at 1pm EST, mentally imagining their success:

“My intention is for BP’s engineers to immediately and successfully divert the Deepwater Horizon oil leak with no long-term damage to the environment.”

Jean Houston, Senior Consultant to the UN in Human Development and co-director of The Foundation of Mind Research, suggested that we see this collective intention as an accomplished fact. She looks at this tragedy as the beginning of a new story – our entry into “high-level civilization” – a masterpiece of possibility to create new ways of being. To move humanity forward, she suggests that we use our senses more, explore our imaginations, and learn to nourish and support positive emotions. With a collective mind, we can empower higher modes of knowing that will empower those attempting to stop the oil hemorrhaging into the Gulf.

Barbara Marx Hubbard, President of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution and co-founder of the World Future Society, believes that we may look back at this environmental catastrophe that has the potential to make the entire earth uninhabitable as the best thing that ever happened to us. Crisis proceeds transformation.

So there you are. Don’t you feel better already? I know I do. For me, joining with a group of dedicated people focused on healing the planet beats sitting around feeling helpless mired in the negativity of anger and resentment. The next call is Tuesday, July 6th at 8:30 pm EST. I hope you’ll join in!


Rewilding the Psyche

Gaia by Alex Grey, 1989, alexgrey.com

Gaia by Alex Grey, 1989, alexgrey.com

“The major problems in the world are the result of the differences between how nature works and the way people think.” –  Gregory Bateson

When I moved to New York 30 years ago, a part of me died. It didn’t happen all at once; for the first few months I was so distracted by the glitz and glamour of my new life in the biggest city in the most powerful nation on earth that I didn’t even feel the malaise creeping into my soul. But little by little I realized that I just wasn’t feeling ‘right’.

Surrounded by towering monoliths, asphalt, and mind-numbing, incessant noise, I began to miss the natural world I’d known in rural Maine and Nova Scotia. I tried to recreate my connection with the earth by planting things: lettuce and peas on my tar paper rooftop (my landlord quickly nixed this effort), and tree seeds I collected on my walks around the city and planted in pots that I kept on my windowsill. And I spent as much time as possible in the city’s parks, but all my efforts to offset the negative effects of urban life came up short.

I soon came to understand that few of my new friends shared my deep connection with nature. My best friend who grew up in suburban New Jersey thought carrots grew in bunches. When I asked her to draw a picture illustrating this most efficient agricultural phenomenon, she drew a line representing the earth, and just a bit below it, she drew several carrots, some next to each other and some below the first ‘row’, all connected by a single root. I was incredulous, but she was perfectly serious. Having only seen carrots in the supermarket, she just assumed that they came straight out of the ground as she saw them  – in bunches.

Man’s alienation from the natural world has only increased with the advent of technology. Urban shaman Mama Donna Henes who has spent the last 30 years in New York creating meaningful ways for city people to connect with each other and with the cosmos talks about ‘disaster’: dis – to be separate from + aster – the stars.  She tells a story about taking a busload of “big, bad teenage boys” to the country to participate in a nighttime nature ritual. When they reached their destination, she couldn’t get them off the bus; they were afraid of the dark.

In response to increasing dissociation believed to be related to the degradation of the environment, a sub-field of psychology emerged in the 1960’s. Dubbed ecopsychology by Theodore Roszak, Professor of History and Director of the Ecopsychology Institute at California State University, Irvine, this field of study focuses on the connection between the human mind and the natural world. Roszak believes that we cannot heal ourselves until we reconnect with nature. In the introduction to his book, The Voice of the Earth, Roszak questions our sanity. We know it’s madness to abuse our planetary home, yet when looking for help with the grief, despair and anxiety common in modern life, most psychotherapies ignore the ecological realities – “as if the soul might be saved as the biosphere crumbles”.

So what to do? Peter H. Kahn, Jr., Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington, who has been conducting research on the impact of the degradation of the natural world and the pervasiveness of technology, suggests that we rewild the psyche. Just as conservation biology works to restore ecosystems by reintroducing predatory key species, Kahn is challenging us to revamp our psyches by exposing ourselves to wildness: nature that’s “unencumbered and unmediated by our artifacts and technologies”. But with opportunities for such experiences quickly vanishing, we may have to look for another way to reintegrate our mind/body/spirit.

British anthropologist and social scientist Gregory Bateson, believed that mind and nature work together to create what we perceive as reality. His studies of animal communication, social psychology, comparative anatomy, and psychiatry confirmed his ideas about the interdependence of mind and nature. And he came to believe that the way we think about nature can change the world.

Can we save ourselves and the planet by changing our minds? Futurist, visionary, and author of Conscious Evolution: Awakening Our Social Potential, Barbara Marx Hubbard has been on a 30-year quest to understand and encourage man’s collective potential to evolve. Believing that we’re in the midst of a positive quantum change, she sees our current crises as the genesis of the next stage of our evolution. By aligning our higher consciousness with the creative use of power, we can transition from our planet’s current “high-technology, polluting, overpopulating phase” to a system that fulfills its collective potential. And by seeing ourselves as co-creators in this process, we not only take responsibility for our actions, but by acknowledging our unlimited capabilities, we empower ourselves to bring about this transformation. As the title of Hubbard’s book suggests, what we need more than anything is an evolution in consciousness.

Note: Many thanks to Daniel B. Smith for his inspiring article, “Is There an Ecological Unconscious?”