December 21, 2012, presents us with an extraordinary opportunity to focus humanity’s attention on what is possible, what is working now, and what could be.
It is important that this initiative should not be appropriated to serve anyone’s private interests. Neither the end of the old cycle nor the beginning of the new belong to any one person’s particular vision. The proper thing to do, for those of us who want to be creative partners in constructing an event that could have planetary significance for humanity, is to see ourselves as facilitators who work together to build bridges between myriad cultural traditions, organizations, corporations, activists, and visionaries. We should be seeking to create a platform that many can share. The impetus should be one of generosity and cooperation, as those will need to be the hallmarks of the new planetary culture.
I propose developing a coordinating council that brings in and defines a role for many visionaries, indigenous leaders, activists, artists, and cultural catalysts, for the December 21 – 22 events. Beyond that, we should develop a strategy and a tactical plan for what the movement is seeking to accomplish, on every level. Many people and groups hold crucial pieces that need to be incorporated. For example: The design science approach developed by Buckminster Fuller, now championed by the Buckminster Fuller Institute. The work of many visionaries and educators on developing new curriculum for schools. The Transition Town approach to building a grassroots community movement. The Social and Ecological Justice Movements that call for a more equitable distribution of wealth and resources. The movement to create instruments for exchanging value that are de-linked from the monolithic currency system controlled by private banking interests and manipulated by them for their own ends. Visionary initiatives like Jose Arguelles’ “rainbow bridge” meditation designed to “activate the noosphere.” Application of Transcendental Meditation to reduce crime rates - a demonstrable effect. Intensive efforts to remove excess carbon from the atmosphere, such as Biochar. Bruce Lipton and Steve Bhaerman’s proposals in ‘Spontaneous Evolution.” Erwin Laszlo’s systems analysis. The heart-based approach of Amma. Propagating the techniques of Satyagraha for active nonviolent resistance. An exploration of the futurist direction offered by Ray Kurzweil and the Singularity movement. Ken Wilber’s Spiral Dynamics. A movement to change the calendar to mesh precisely with astronomical cycles. Etcetera.
What would be great – and might be necessary - would be a series of “council gatherings,” online and off-line, where the various initiatives that have been proposed to transform human civilization and change the direction of human activity could be debated and analyzed openly. When Lincoln debated Douglas, the debates went on for eight hours! These days, public debate has been reduced to a charade. The indigenous model of “tribal councils,” where communities actually agree to stay together to resolve disputes, no matter how long it takes, need to be revived to confront the extreme complexity of today’s issues and to break the indoctrination trance of the media. The new tools for live, on-line teaching forums indicate the potential for rapid, transformative education to be spread to the global community.
If we truly want the Dec 21 – 22, 2012, events to function as a threshold for global realization and change, we should seek to develop, through a process of dialogue, tactical objectives along with tangible plans for enacting them. For instance, it is now obvious (if it wasn’t before) that nuclear power needs to be eliminated, quickly phased out. Activists like Helen Caldicott and Ralph Nader stand for this – but there is obviously not enough momentum yet in the culture to deal with this issue despite the increasing potential for planetary cataclysm. A real transition from nuclear power is only going to be possible by inspiring a large-scale movement of civil society, and an awakening of consciousness. The same is true for GMOs, Wall Street corruption, military expansionism, etc. We need to change how corporations function on a systemic and fundamental level, restricting the rights they now possess to freely pollute the global environment and privatize parts of the commons. Etc.
This civil society movement also has to be realistic enough to promote sacrifices for the sake of the future – we can’t continue to promote the New Age clichés about infinite abundance on a planet that has reached peak everything. For instance, unless “free energy” becomes quickly available, we will have to radically reduce energy consumption in the First World, as coal, natural gas, oil, and nuclear are all contributing to a rapid deterioration of planetary conditions, and potential extinction for the human race ( James Lovelock, the scientist who developed the Gaia Hypothesis, predicts 150 million people, maximum, will be left alive at the end of the 21st Century due to climate change). A “Marshall Plan” for transitioning to renewable energy is urgently needed – only a civil society movement of many millions can break through the corporate and political gridlock to launch this. If tangible sacrifices need to be made, these can be compensated by recognizing a new spiritual dimension to human existence, a deeper interconnection, and universal experience of love as a natural state of being.
The events on December 21 - 22, 2012, could act as a wake-up call, and an instigation for a large-scale movement of civil society, to take back the future and change the direction of our civilization. The moment of unity could be seen as the creation of the first tone or note in a new octave. We have a year and a half, plus change, to develop a cohesive strategy for what we offer as a set of tangible solutions for retooling our planetary culture so that it becomes sustainable, humane, equitable, regenerative.
If we agree that our shared mission is to collaborate to create a scaffold so that a better world can tangibly emerge from the experience of global unity and from the spectacles and teachings that surround it, we should be focused on achieving a deeper level of collaboration and cooperation than we have known up to this point. The process of orchestrating these events should model the transmutation of consciousness and social practices we are seeking to bring about. This means honoring the visionaries and sacred activists from many cultures, traditions, and nations. It means bringing in leaders from every religious tradition, indigenous cultures, leading scientists and technology developers, business visionaries, political leaders, etc.
Personally I believe that creating a new social networking infrastructure designed to serve civil society is a necessary element in this transformation. We have seen the power of Facebook and Twitter to spark revolutions, but these products are not designed to facilitate large-scale and instantaneous collaboration for reinventing civil society and sharing resources equitably. There is currently an initiative underway between many organizations to develop the nonprofit infrastructure for this “network of networks.” I think it would make sense for the Dec 21 – 22, 2012, events to align with this initiative: the event could be the global debut of this system.
We are reaching the point where humanity will stand together and learn to thrive, or we will continue our drama of separation and quickly die out. My hope and prayer is that those of us who feel ourselves called to coordinate a planetary event for the end of the cycle and the beginning of the next can supersede the habits of the past to embody the new way of being that so many have spoken about and looked toward. Bringing this into manifestation will require great dedication, along with an inner attitude of humility and sacrifice.