Prelude to the Noosphere: Report and a Vision
Jose Arguelles will be presenting at the 2012 Tipping Point conference, in Vancouver CA, from July 23 - 27. Along with Arguelles, the conference features Reality Sandwich Editorial Director Daniel Pinchbeck, John Perkins, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Richard Tarnas, John Major Jenkins, and many others. Tickets are available here.
Part I. A glimpse of the world during the last days
"How come all I see
is the child of God in misery?"
(Song lyric heard in a hotel restaurant in Chennai, India).
I was recently on a trip to Kenya and India to experience in some depth two samples of the world not normally experienced by most "westerners." This was not a holiday or tourist excursion, but part of a mission. During the time we (my companion and myself) were traveling, Europe was still suffering the effects of the Iceland volcano, the Greek riots against the government austerity measures sent their message of anarchy across the world media, as did the even deadlier "Battle of Bangkok," the Euro experienced a serious loss of confidence and set off world stock market declines, while the Deepwater Horizon oil spill off the Louisiana coast continued to gush and spread its deadly slick. Before we left India, a devastating airplane crash occurred in Mangalore, and at the same time the Maoists, now active in 20 of India's 29 states, bombed a bus and most recently caused the derailment of a train with a high cost of life.
When you arrive in Mumbai you realize you have landed in an armed camp. You cannot enter a hotel or a shopping mall without undergoing airport style security checks. The streets, overcrowded with taxis and more taxis, buses and an occasional BMW, are lined with beggars and garbage. Despite the much-touted Indian economic boom, the disparity between the rich and poor couldn't be greater. No wonder the Maoists are so active. The discrete air-conditioned luxury of a five star hotel lobby is protected by security officers and closed gates. Across the street is the teeming chaos: poverty and disease, mothers holding their babies up, and cripples dragging themselves across the filthy sidewalks.
The talk of Kenya is the new constitution. The present constitution was not created by Kenyans but by an international committee in Oxford, England in 1963. Will it make a difference? That is hard to tell. The government is rife with corruption and the outlying parts of Nairobi, the slum districts are as abject as any you will see, except perhaps outside of Mumbai. While new high rises fill the Nairobi skyline the wealth is still largely controlled by foreign interests, namely Indian and UK, with the Chinese muscling in very quickly. There are also a few new shopping malls that let you know globalization is making its mark. But it is not a safe city. When we ask for the direction to a particular shop, the Muslim woman takes us aside and gives us tips on what not to do, "It is not safe here anymore," she tells us, and then graciously accompanies us on foot to our destination.
The only way to reach a lodge on the slopes of Mt. Kenya is by safari. If you are not on a tourist safari, be prepared to pay exorbitant prices. At the lodge there is a watering hole for all to view, but it is rainy season and most of the animals stay secluded. Only the monkeys are literally in full swing. But there is a curious feature. Many of them are without one or both of their front paws, or even missing an arm, some without a tail. We query the man in charge of the animals, the one who is able to speak knowledgably about them to the tourists. His face grows sad with concern. The Lodge gets its electricity via a transformer at the edge of its property. It is not covered or protected, so often the monkeys get in and then grabbing some of the wires fry their limbs off. So far he has been unable to convince the Indian owned company that runs the lodge to at least cover or seal off the transformer station so that the monkeys cannot get in anymore.
Mt. Kenya is unique, rising more than 17,000 feet above sea level, it is the one major world mountain located on the equator. For the first time in a few years there is snow once again on its craggy peak. Traditionally this mountain was considered to be the place where the supreme creator, the God Ngai would come to Earth and survey the great lands of East Africa. Today it is surrounded by a National Park, in which are set a small ring of lodges. Because its peak is virtually on the equator it has a geomagnetic power that alone accounts for its "sacred status." The road to and from the mountain is lined with small rural villages, each with large markets and teeming with people all just a step up from shanty towns. It seems almost everybody in Kenya is equipped with a cell phone. Between the villages lies rich agricultural land, plantations and farms. But with such seeming abundance why is there so much grinding poverty?
In Nairobi and central and west Kenya Christianity predominates -- a fundamentalist Christianity that replaces one set of superstitions with another. "If you meditate you are going to let the devil into your mind." There are a number of TV channels that broadcast fundamentalist Christian propaganda. The Muslins are mostly in the east of Kenya centered in the second city, Mombasa. There are Muslim girls everywhere, walking down the country roads in their jibabs. The men in their white caps, pants and tunics are also ever-present. In some communities it is the Muslims who enforce the laws and get rid of drug traffickers. Both Mombasa and Nairobi also have a number of Hindu temples. There is an impressive Jain temple in both Nairobi and Mombasa, indicating the strong presence of India and Indian business interests.
The next elections in Kenya will be on 12-12-2012, just nine days before the closing of the cycle. After the last elections in 2007, there were many brutal clashes and the country was temporarily destabilized. Some people fear that this might happen again. Outside of Nairobi is the suburb of Karen. Here is where Karen Blixen lived, and where she wrote her famous book Out of Africa. Today it is a verdant enclave where many of the "white" Kenyans live. They are a lively and interesting mix, many of whom are involved in projects to help uplift the children in the slums -- yoga and backyard vegetable gardens -- or deal with the rampant HIV (life expectancy is now only 52), or to improve the grounds of the National Museum, or in some way or another, to support the social cultural infrastructure in up-leveling their country's profile and stability.
Perhaps Kenya's most famous citizen is Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai, whose Green Belt project has engaged women at a community level to plant trees -- more than 20 million of them. She has recently written a book entitled the Challenge for Africa, which, among other things, gives a succinct historical overview of how Africa got to be the way it is today. It is an eye-opening read, and she is a strong advocate of community level action that empowers the individual. Yet one leaves Kenya wondering: What can be done immediately about the poverty and health -- large tracts of slums in which there is no sanitation system, no decent drinking water, and good nutritious food is hard to come by?
How can we live in this world with its billionaires, drug traffic, HIV and environmental degradation, affluent culture of globalization, its war and terrorism, bombs and guns -- and not have the will power to do something about the obvious inequality and injustice that pervades the world? While we were in Kenya the European Union voted on a trillion dollar bail out for the Euro and to stabilize its economy. We also read that last year alone the US spent more than a trillion dollars on weapons. Where is the trillion dollars to put in a sanitation system in the slums of Nairobi or Mumbai, and every other urban slum on the planet? In his book, Banker to the Poor, Muhammad Yunus states the bottom line pre-requisite for every last human being on the planet: 1. A rainproof house: 2. a sanitary toilet; 3. clean drinking water, and 4. three meals per day. Unable to do this much, we as a species have failed ourselves. We prefer guns and money.
People in affluent countries line up by the hundreds to get their iPads. In the meantime, the 11th suicide in just a few months is reported at the Chinese factory that manufactures the iPad. Many people in western countries call a number to trouble shoot a problem with their computer and end up speaking to some one in India. But do they ever see where the Indian lives and what is his daily living environment? India is as wretched if not more so by its sheer numbers, than Africa. While Mumbai is the center of the cyclone of the disparity of wealth and justice, Chennai to the south, India's fourth largest city, by contrast, is a bit more uptown, and the slums are less apparent, though when you get out on the streets it is the same chaos of poverty and crazy traffic. In the hotels you have your choice of many channels that seem to offer nothing but Bollywood's best or latest film fare: An entertaining distraction of amusingly well danced charades of Indian cultural clichés, creating its own sub-culture of models, film idols and musicians.
Pondicherry is two or three hours to the south of Chennai -- the time depends on how daring or crazy your cab driver might be. There are no traffic rules that command respect as you go about the rural highways. The only rule is honk when you are going to pass - so there is a continuous cacophony of car, bus and truck horns, and people taking risks that make your hair stand on end as a parade of buses and rickshaw taxis, trucks and overcrowded mini vans play Russian roulette on a two lane road, that more often than not is a three or four lane nightmare of passing and on-coming vehicles trying to make it to safety.
Pondicherry is where Sri Aurobindo the great poet and political activist turned yogi and profound evolutionary thinker, spent most of his life - from 1910 to 1950. Here with his companion, The Mother, he set up his ashram and in 1926 engaged the supramental descent of the consciousness of the future. Following his Samadhi, on December 9, 1950, when his consciousness left his body to pervade the consciousness of the planet, the Mother dreamed up the idea of Auroville a universal city, where everyone could be free to pursue the spiritual truth expounded by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Today Auroville is a thriving community of 2000 people located just outside of Pondicherry. It is self -sustaining and as good a model of the future society as one might find, isolated from the chaos of Pondicherry by a green belt of trees planted by the Auorvillieans over the years. In the center is the Matrimandir a gleaming geodesic dome structure set in the center of a grassy garden pavilion looking for all the world like a UFO that has just landed. Within the context of present-day India, Auroville is truly a miracle.
The Sri Aurobindo ashram is in the quieter French quarter of Pondicherry. It has an air of tremendous serenity. Devotees of one kind or another are always passing through the ashram, to touch or place their head on the sarcophagus where Sri Aurobindo's body lies in its final state of samadhi. Everything is absolutely quiet. The samadhi is very effective. It enters your body and mind.
Outside the ashram is the Elephant temple, a garish Hindu shrine with sensational gaudy statues of the Hindu pantheon. The atmosphere is totally different than the ashram. There is a live elephant standing patiently with a white symbol painted on its third eye. Then beyond is Pondicherry proper an overgrown village of 700,000 people -- everything is hanging out, the garbage, the cows walking in and out of the crowds, the beggars, the filth on every street corner. The citizens didn't want to put garbage receptacles on the street corners because they thought it would attract mosquitoes and even more beggars. So instead, everyone settles for piling up trash wherever possible.
Getting on the plane to Singapore, the mind is teeming with images and questions. There is some two and one half years to 21 December 2012. On contemplating this micro-slice of our world with its overwhelming level of chaos and misery, one thing is certain: No human conference or seminar, religion or government organization, NGO or corporation is going to be able do much of anything, nor even be fully capable of facing the root problem of human poverty and injustice as well as the overwhelming environmental degradation that characterizes our world today.
The injustice of poverty and the needlessness of spending more money on armaments, while tackling full scale the environmental degradation should be the top priorities of the human race, were it actually a rational coherent planetary organism -- which at this point in time it is not. If we actually dealt with these issues and every government made these the top priority then we would see terrorism disappear. For the root of terrorism is the injustice, the imbalance of power, aggressive materialism and selfish interests that continue to perpetuate the problem without sincerely wishing to do anything about it. Unfortunately the problem -- the crisis -- is endemic to the entire system. In reality only the dismantling of the present system according to principles of humane behavior and responsible environmental action would change it, but this will never happen soon enough. The fact is we have run out of time, the situation is out of control.
What is one's responsibility in the face of such a tragic failure of the human species? It is pointless to get together with other people if we are not going to say: Here, this is what we are going to do as soon as we leave this conference...This is what will put up a rainproof house for every human, a sanitary toilet and so forth. While there are good people who are doing some of these things who continue to deserve to receive all the support we can give them, because that is their spiritual practice, the larger problem, the root causes will remain. No matter how well meaning the gathering of people might be, they are not going to convince the World Bank, the Rothschilds, the Bilderbergers, the IMF, the Bill Gates and the Carlos Slims, the European Union and the billionaires of India to invest immediately in the eradication of poverty, and the balancing of the scales of justice. Animals treat their own kind better than humans treat each other.
What people need to understand is that 21/12/2012 is actually humanity's deadline, and right now it would rather send a man to Mars then deal head-on with what it has created on its home planet. If the cycle is truly ending on 21 December 2012, and something is going to happen, then the only thing left to be done that we have not yet done is to change our consciousness.
Part II. Becoming the change we want to see -- Welcome to the Noosphere
The human brain now holds the key to our future. We have now to recall the image of the planet from outer space: A single entity in which air water and continents are interconnected. That is our home. --David Suzuki
A mind of light will replace the present confusion and trouble of this earthly ignorance ... It is this possibility that we must look at and that would mean a new humanity uplifted into light, capable of a spiritualized being and action, open to the governance by some light of the truth-consciousness, capable even on the mental level and in its own order of something that might be called the beginning of the divinized life. --Sri Aurobindo
In speaking of changing our consciousness -- transforming it even -- we must consider that there is an unerring and ineffable design to all of these proceedings in our world, which seems to have devolved into an armed camp filled with toxic waste and rapidly losing its biodiversity. Even within the veils of darkest ignorance which now prevail we may see that there is still a movement of consciousness ever striving upward by degrees to that place where there is a "new heaven and a new Earth."
It is at this next proximate juncture of cosmic consciousness (21/12/2012) that we may experience the descent of the supermind, the mind of light. And then beyond that, we may still advance by degrees in ever more perfected and luminous forms, radiating the samadhi light of an all pervading universal truth-consciousness, now become an irreversible feature of the earthly mind -- all of this in accord with that ineffable design, the "divine plan." It is by conscious alignment with this plan, by accepting it wholeheartedly and without reservation, this inscrutable design of nature, that we will be able to practice the "divine life."
To change our consciousness, to take advantage of the ascent that continues to occur even in the darkest hour of planetary crisis, we need only realize the example of the whole Earth, the Earth we see from outer space. This is the place to begin, for this is not only where we are, but who we are.
In our contemplation we must absorb into our hearts the Earth. We must experience the Earth as a unified simultaneity. It is day and night, ocean and land, air and mind all at once. It is in reality a seamless whole and everything on it and within it constitutes but a single totality, however diverse its multitudinous parts may seem to be.
The Earth is already in an advanced state of samyak samadhi, right concentration, meditation or samadhi absorbed within itself. Undeviatingly it moves in its orbit, rotating ceaselessly, making sure that all aspects of her spherical being are exposed equally to the illuminating source of its life and consciousness, the sun. It tolerates everything, even the most untamed, unruly humans driven by the one-sided fixations of their own unexamined belief systems, seemingly incapable of any further intelligence -- yes, even these she regards as her children.
The Earth in her unified wholeness does not seek vengeance. She operates by laws however, that if repeatedly violated, will produce their own results, meting out their own forms of justice.
In her unified simultaneity of living wholeness where saint and sinner, hypocrite and truth seeker alike all breathe the same air and move by the same blood flowing in their veins, the Earth is already living the life divine, a planet body capable of seemingly unending self-transformation, repeated resurrections and rebirths even in the midst of its own dying. She possesses a mind and a consciousness that is whole and accommodates all of her living and crystalline forms. Over the aeons she has slowly emerged into an ever more conscious and luminous condition of being. Now she awaits her next sheathe of consciousness, the mantle of self-reflection to slip over her, a rainbow mantle brought forth by her children of tomorrow, those remaining attuned to the descent of the supermind.
For the Earth in her unified simultaneity, it is always the same moment in time. The rich man enjoying his cocktail at the end of his money making day, the poor man awakening on his earthen floored mattress a half a world away, are for the Earth, all at once and two sides of the very same moment of experience. The Earth is in a continuous moment of synchronicity. She bathes in a time beam of awakened fractal moments descending from every direction into her radiant electromagnetic field. Synchronic perfection is all she knows, for she is a timeship moving imperceptibly in her trajectory toward fully illumined cosmic consciousness.
The Earth does not seek to kill or betray, is incapable of lying and needs not steal anything from anybody. Everything that she needs to sustain herself, to experience, or to know she already possesses in herself. She does not need to travel to other planets or other worlds to know what she isn't. She knows that in herself, in her deepest core being where there is only a condensed and incredibly luminous silence, that she is also not what anyone thinks she is. Or rather she is a point of interdimensional knowing that receives its inspiration from the entirety of the cosmos as it has come to her, descending through her poles in endless plasmic waves for billions of years.
Now she awaits that approaching moment, the descent of the supermind, the next expansion of her mind into the solar frequencies that illumine her space of meditation. She knows the time and the timing. Her restless children are her sign. She knows even among them in their confusion and making trouble for themselves and for herself, the universal plan is at work. She only needs a handful of them to take her into their hearts and simultaneously practice what she practices all the time: the supreme samadhi of always existing unification. She knows that the disease of her children's little minds will soon be dissolved. The luminous friends from beyond are already here to help them as soon as enough of them wake up from the dream of separation. Then they will know it is their mind and not their toys that make them great, for their mind is truly the mind of the Earth, and the mind of the Earth is the cosmic link to insuperable powers and the always simultaneity of synchronic awareness.
She sends a message, an oracle to them:
Message of the Time:
Let the wall fall into the moat
The civilization is in ruin
Use no force to correct things
But persevere in silence
The evil way is on the ascent
But it has no foundation
Within yourself the signs of tomorrow are ripened
She knows that among them are those who can hear, whose hearts still beat with the remembrance of the first creation, and so they can be ready for the second creation. Now it is the time for these to become truly dedicated and have no other cause but the samadhi of unification with the Earth.
If you find it difficult to enter into this samadhi, then make sure you have a globe and make that the focus of your meditation. When you have a globe you are seeing the Earth as it is seen from outer space. Then you can see it is a single indivisible whole, a unified totality. Everything and everybody is on it everywhere all at once -- day and night all at once, the seasons all at once, North pole and South pole all at once, the same instant of cosmic time everywhere all at once.
This is how it is when you have the perspective of the whole Earth. The Earth shows no partiality. She is synchronized with the cosmic order of reality. Her orbit is the demonstration of her submission to cosmic law. If she became rebellious and deviated it would only wreak absolute havoc on her entire network of interlinked and interdependent subsystems. It would be suicidal to rebel. So she remains obedient to cosmic law. It is enough that from time to time she experiences a pole shift or that a meteor smashes into her.
But these too are all necessary adjustments. She has been submissive to her law for 4 billion years now. That means in her function as a planetary electron to the atomic nucleus of the sun, she has gone around galactic center 20 times now (at the rate of 200 million years for the sun to make this circuit). So whatever kind of adjustment occurs by 2012, whatever it might be, know that Earth is prepared, for it is inevitable.
In light of the great change now upon us, consider who you are in this cosmic episode. You are fortunate to be getting a free ride around the sun, and making a little bit of the circuit around the galaxy. If there is a shake up going on, maybe it is because as a species we have not adhered to principles of justice nor demonstrated enough gratitude for this precious planet which takes care of us. Everything on the Earth is freely given by the Earth. Only humans use their cleverness and artificial construct of money to force others of their own kind to pay for what is actually a gift of the Earth.
Now the Earth is bleeding oil, a message that the way of life the human species has constructed for itself is not effective. The human priorities are totally lopsided and upside down. Their minds are immersed in systems of rules and regulations that have little to do with reality and actually obstruct any kind of efficient responsible action, especially in the face of such a great change.
For this reason the supremely effective way to keep astride of this great change is to go within and transform the consciousness of the planet. A hundred thousand humans meditating in a sequence of synchronized moments focused on the single point of realizing Earth as a continuity, an instantaneous simultaneity of unified wholeness, would be able to effect a change. Consciousness, not life and form, is the essential evolutionary principle of the cosmos. As the great Indian thinker Sri Aurobindo wrote concerning this premise:
"In this vision of things the universe will reveal itself in its unity and totality as a manifestation of a single being, nature as its power of manifestation, evolution as its process of gradual manifestation in matter." ("Supermind in Evolution")
The power of the mind created the machine and the artificial time that governs our lives. Returned to itself, the power of the mind can ultimately heal all things. The power of the collective human mind synchronized as a single planetary consciousness focused on a single point could alter the evolution of our mind and spirit irrevocably while providing us with the knowledge, insight and telepathic skills to turn our crisis into the Second Creation.
Such a supermental event of consciousness by 2012 is possible. There is enough time and there are enough people capable of this. It is the solution augured by the message of the time. We would then also know that we are not alone. Cosmic civilization throughout the universe, we will find out, had been waiting for us to come upon this solution. We will hear the cry resounding across the Earth: "Welcome Home!" And we will know: Yes, we are home. A new time and a new day will dawn. Yes, Welcome to the Noosphere!
Image by Sudhamshu, courtesy of Creative Commons license.Tweet