THE PLANETARY BIRTH
Part II: OUR CRISIS IS A BIRTH
with BARBARA MARX HUBBARD
JEFFREY MISHLOVE, Ph.D.: Hello and welcome. I'm Jeffrey Mishlove. This is the second of a two-part series on "The Planetary Birth." With me is Barbara Marx Hubbard, a futurist, mystic, author, and stateswoman. She is a person whose name was placed in nomination for the Vice President of the United States at the 1984 Democratic Convention. She is the author of The Hunger of Eve, An Evolutionary Journey, and The Book of Co-Creation. Welcome again, Barbara.
BARBARA MARX HUBBARD: Thank you, Jeffrey.
MISHLOVE: We were talking earlier about the influence of some of the great thinkers -- Abraham Maslow, Jonas Salk, Teilhard de Chardin -- a vision of a birth of a new culture on this planet. One of the other great influences, I think, in your thought has been Buckminster Fuller.
HUBBARD: That's right. I asked the question, "What is the meaning of our power?" The first answer was from Maslow, that the meaning of our power is to release our individual potential to create. The second was from Teilhard de Chardin, that the world is evolving to higher consciousness and greater freedom, to more complex order, and even a jump in consciousness collectively on this earth. The third was Buckminster Fuller, when he said we have the technology, the resources, and the know-how to make of this world a one hundred percent physical success, for everyone, without damage to the environment, in an earth-space open system. And suddenly, if you put together individual potential through Maslow, planetary evolution through Teilhard, and technological capability to serve the basic needs of humanity through Buckminster Fuller, you see a picture of such good news that it's stunning, it's shocking, given all the bad news -- that at the same time this might be true. And that's when I really took a personal quantum jump.
MISHLOVE: At least you saw one potential path to a positive future.
HUBBARD: I did. And I thought, way back -- this was 1967-68; I was so naive -- I thought, "Well, what if everybody knows? Everything will change!" And I thought all we need to do is find this out, because I was changed by knowing it.
MISHLOVE: Yes, and you did everything you could to spread the word.
HUBBARD: I was like a little tiny person with a flag -- "Hey! Look here!" I had so much good news that it was almost too much for people to take. I was a positive Cassandra. I wrote the letter to a thousand people; I started to network. But I didn't know the immensity of the task of changing consciousness. And now, some 30 years later, here we are, right at the threshold, but the dangers are greater, and yet the awareness is also much greater that we have to make a quantum change.
MISHLOVE: I think one of the insights that's come to you along the way is that it has to be deeper than just the theoretical principles of Bucky Fuller and Abe Maslow and Teilhard de Chardin -- that people need to be touched at a spiritual level.
HUBBARD: Well, I got touched myself. You know, I came from a Jewish agnostic, just completely non-metaphysical background. After I read Teilhard about the world evolving, and that that meant that the universe had a pattern, that there was some design, rather than it being meaningless as the scientists said, or Absurdists, or heading down to an inevitable heat death -- Maslow and Bucky and Teilhard saw it evolving. And suddenly I got affirmed in my own innate desire to evolve -- this little person who felt maybe she was crazy for wanting something to evolve. Suddenly I felt reinforced by the universe. I remember one day I was taking a walk, and I said, "Thank you" -- just this kind of outside shouting, "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" -- I didn't know to whom. And an inner voice said, "Thank you, Barbara." What that was, was an intuition that the universe is related to us in a feeling way. Obviously it's not scientific, it's not provable, but I had an internal experience that I, as an aspect of the creation, was related to the creation in a way that was two ways.
MISHLOVE: In other words, your vision of a positive path to a potential future was something that was related to the universe as a whole, in a personal way.
HUBBARD: That's right. Since the universe has been evolving for 15 billion years -- from subatomic particles to molecules to cells to animals to humans to ecologies to planetary systems -- I suddenly saw I was the creation of that whole process. Fifteen billion years it took to create you and me on this planet.
MISHLOVE: At this now moment.
HUBBARD: Right now. And that whatever motivation I personally feel is an aspect of the whole process, expressing as me, or as you. And I began what I call to surf the spiral. I began to go back and actually experience that's my story; that's not just an abstract, outside story. Because I realized my atoms, my molecules, my limbic brain, my neocortex, where did all that come from? The cosmos.
MISHLOVE: In a sense then, while one might say you're 64 years old, you could say equally truthfully that you're 15 billion years old.
HUBBARD: That's right. And I suddenly saw that all this question about our roots and our ethnic differences -- you know, we're all from the cosmos. We all have a 15-billion-year history, and I personally believe that as we head to the planetary birth, that each person will see themselves as a unique aspect of the whole, and that whatever their cultural roots are will be considered a gift to the future, but that the real roots of all of us go back, not only to just the big bang, because that was the physical manifestation, but in my understanding now, we go back to the universal intelligence.
MISHLOVE: The universal intelligence -- I think that's an important concept, because if we're to look at solving the enormous problems that we have, breaking free of well-entrenched, deep habit patterns of oppression, of waste, of warfare and violence across the culture, it's going to require some kind of quantum transformation of consciousness, and it needs to happen in our lifetime.
HUBBARD: That is the amazing thing. Here are my basic reasons for hope -- and a lot of people don't see this, but I don't see how they can miss it, actually -- but if you look at the 15-billion-year history, it is a continuous rise of consciousness and freedom -- I mean from molecule to cell to animal to human to us. There is no earthly reason why it would stop here, with a group of furry bipeds. We're only 50,000 years old as Homo sapiens sapiens. Do you realize whales are millions of years old? So we are very young as a species, and we look it, and we act it, and we're a mess. We still have little tips on our ears like wolves and little fangs here and a little hair here. We are actually just coming out of the mammalian stage. But if you add to our animal heritage, and even our spiritual heritage, our noosphere, our technological social system, you actually begin to see the possibility of the birth of a universal humanity. That's my particular word for it.
MISHLOVE: You sometimes call it Homo universalis.
HUBBARD: Right, and that we come from Homo sapiens through a birth process where we are shifting from self-centered consciousness to whole-centered, cosmic-, Buddha-, Christ-, God-centered consciousness.
MISHLOVE: In other words, to a large extent we still behave like monkeys.
HUBBARD: We do.
MISHLOVE: But there are role models, there are templates, if we look at the great saints and spiritual leaders of humanity.
HUBBARD: Well, I believe that every great religion -- which actually came through great individuals, although we may have lost track of that -- each great religion was an experience of a mystic, who experienced a higher state of being, and who created a teaching and disciples, who then created a religion, which got calcified and dogmatized often. But basically each culture is patterned with an experience of a higher state of being, and everybody's heard it one way or the other. For example, in Egypt with those pyramids, they were really the beginning of the idea of the human becoming a regenerating god. In India, through the great yogis, they transcended self-consciousness through yoga, through union with the all. In Greece we penetrated the visible world into the world of the invisible atom; in Israel, Abraham and God, the Covenant between humans and God for the transformation of the physical world -- the New Jerusalem, the new Heaven, the new Earth. Could it be that all those religions are ancient futurists?
MISHLOVE: Ancient futurists.
HUBBARD: Yes. And then when Buddha came in, there was a great individual that we actually have the story of, the history of, that represented human enlightenment. And then I believe that when Jesus came in, he came in to represent to us a map of the total physical and psychological transformation of the human to a co-creator with God.
MISHLOVE: In other words, Jesus came not so much to be worshipped by us as something far above us and unobtainable, but as someone pointing the way and saying, "Come be like me."
HUBBARD: His basic reason for being is to demonstrate what we can do. And when he said, "You will do the work that I do, and greater works than these will you do in the fullness of time," my experience is that that's true. Even if we could look at our situation right now, we are doing the work that he did, and greater works, but often without the consciousness. Whether it be in our healing, in our technologies, we can do Christ work, even now. But we're not yet in Christ consciousness as a collective. And by Christ consciousness I'm not talking about a religion. I'm talking about a consciousness that the source and the person are one: "The Father and I are one, and of myself I do nothing." That's what Jesus said. When any one of us realizes we are one with source, with spirit, with God, and that it is that flowing through us, then we too have those powers. That's my belief.
MISHLOVE: Well, it's interesting that you should be expressing it this way, because if we look at the history of mysticism we see that in almost every culture, in almost every generation, there are mystics who are saying, "I have achieved a state of union with the divine, or with the whole, and I have a vision of that." But it's considered rare. It's not considered common, by any means, and you seem to be saying that it's incumbent upon this generation to achieve those states of consciousness, and to translate that into a new path into the future.
HUBBARD: Well, I'll tell you the facts of it. Environmentalists tell us we really have 30 years at most to radically change our behavior or destroy our life support system and go through a real devolutionary spiral. Now, when and how would anything change so fast within 30 years? That's very difficult to imagine, knowing how slow we are. However, given the vast speed-up of connections, and given the communication systems, and given the fact that we're constantly impinged upon by awareness that we are connected, mainly in a painful way -- through war, through hunger, through environment -- is it possible that that crisis it itself a trigger of consciousness, and that if enough of us choose to -- I think it's part of the human intentionality here -- if we would choose collectively to shift that consciousness, even by intention, I believe we could have an extraordinary effect on the collective consciousness of the earth.
MISHLOVE: And I think it may be fair to say that this isn't just a belief of yours. It's something that came from deep within you as a vision.
HUBBARD: Well, I had two great peak experiences in my life. The first I call a planetary birth experience, and that was in 1966. I was asking the question, "What is our story? What on earth is comparable to the birth of Christ?" And I really meant that the story of the birth of Christ changed the whole world.
MISHLOVE: Yes. Something that could motivate generations of people.
HUBBARD: I knew from seeing earth from space and everything, of course, that we are one body, so it must be one story. So what is the story, I asked. And you know, I ask the universe questions, and I always get these answers. The answer I got was in the moment my mind's eye went into outer space, just like that, and I saw the earth as a living body, and I was a cell, along with everybody else, in it, and the earth was struggling to coordinate. It was gasping for breath; it was feeling the pain. And I actually had a whole-earth experience.
MISHLOVE: Feeling the pain.
HUBBARD: Of the whole. And at one instant in time I felt the pain of the whole system. It was an intense, unbearable degree of pain. And strangely enough, in this precognitive experience, with the pain came a flash of light, and with the flash of light came a moment of shared attention on the part of the human race, and with that shared attention love started to be felt simultaneously in the body. All I can say is it was a precognitive experience.
MISHLOVE: In other words, a vision that a time will come when the pain of this planet will be so great that people all over the planet will focus their attention on a kind of loving consciousness that will be desperately needed to ease that pain.
HUBBARD: Well, you know, I had the analogy -- since I'm a mother of five I use birth analogies a lot, and it is so true of a birth on the biological level that when the pain becomes most intense is exactly the moment before birth. And when the baby is born and there's that great release for the mother and the child, the baby at first doesn't know it's been born. Its nervous system is not linked up, and it cries. Here's my analogy. The planet is one living organism. We have been connected up. We have even stepped off the earth and seen ourselves as one body, and our nervous system collectively has not yet sufficiently come together for us to have a moment of shared awakening that we are one body; and that when we do, there will be a flash of light. Every mystical experience, or many mystical experiences, from all cultures, have light. And I wonder, Jeffrey, if there is such a thing in store for us as a shared mystical experience, what Peter Russell calls the white hole in time. It is a version of a Second Coming, a global brain, a great awakening. When I talk about this to audiences, I often say, "How many of you have an intuition of something great coming like this?" And you know what? About half the audience already feels it. But there are not many cultural affirmations of it. So I got the answer -- when I had this experience the answer that I heard on the inner plane was, "Our story is a birth." So our story on this earth is a birth. It has taken 15 billion years of gestation to create a planetary system who now is awakening to itself as a whole, and who is aware that it is born into a universal dimension of consciousness and action.
MISHLOVE: I want to go back to the idea of pain, because so many people feel nihilistic, pessimistic. They don't have positive vision. In fact, the old vision is often one of Armageddon, one of tragedy, one of heat death. There are many negative images.
HUBBARD: Yes there are, and partly I think the mass media has a disease. I call it disempathitis of the nervous system, dead on empathy. If you think of the media as our collective nervous system, it's filtering out good news. If something creative, innovative, loving happens, that's not news. If something is burnt or killed or destroyed, that's news. So we are being constantly flooded with information of our breakdown, but not concurrently and equally with our innovations, our loving. So we have a very bad self-image.
MISHLOVE: Even in the spiritual context it seems that mostly what you get in the media are scandals and superstitions.
HUBBARD: So the media is giving us a nervous breakdown -- I mean literally that's a pun, a nervous breakdown.
MISHLOVE: There's a kind of cultural cynicism that's so common.
HUBBARD: I feel that if the media began to do what you're doing on a larger scale, and particularly if the news were interpreted as the news of what is growing, what is evolving, that you would find very rapidly a new situation. The way I ran for Vice President was I proposed a Peace Room as sophisticated as the War Room in the White House, to map every innovation and success, to connect it and to communicate it live over television, on a continuous basis, until we could see the emerging world. And a person like myself seeks out the emerging world.
MISHLOVE: Well, there are many people who say that this is the biggest story of the century that the media is overlooking.
HUBBARD: The media is overlooking the story of our birth. But you notice a baby's nervous system, what it does is cries and puts you to sleep. Our mass media cries and puts us to sleep. It cries, and the pain is real. And maybe we have to feel more pain until we can wake up.
MISHLOVE: You have written about higher forms of consciousness and how they are essential if we're to grasp the whole. Most people, I think, tend to be more concerned about their own problems -- their job, their health. People seem to be so wrapped up in these things that they don't always notice that there's a whole going on.
HUBBARD: It's interesting to me that the mass of people have faith. Whatever the culture, whether it be in South America or India or Africa, the so-called simple people basically are religious. It's the sophisticated people and intellectuals who are not.
MISHLOVE: Well, it's kind of a blind faith on the one hand, but blind skepticism in reaction to it.
HUBBARD: On the other. But I think there's more truth in the blind faith than in the blind skepticism. You know, when they do surveys of the American people, I don't know, 60 percent have had mystical experiences; 75 percent believe in UFOs; they believe in the resurrection of Jesus and the Second Coming. I wonder if they're not more true than the more limited, rational intellectual who is guiding things these days. I personally had a very deep Christ experience that led to The Book of Co-Creation.
MISHLOVE: Could you talk about that?
HUBBARD: Well, it came after my planetary birth experience, and then my becoming a futurist, and I began to see that Homo sapiens is evolving, and that the power of science and technology will either radically destroy or transform us -- not only our consciousness, but our technology. And I wondered, what could be a human type that could handle this power? Because we see that we mainly misuse power, so the more powerful we get the worse we become. And I was asking another question of the universe: "What is the future human like?" I was in Santa Barbara to write a book on it, and had a writer's block. One day I got lost, and I was driving through the Santa Barbara hills. I saw a little sign that said Mount Calvary Monastery, and I had actually an experience of light. I went up the mountain, followed the sign, went to a little Episcopal monastery, and there was a hang gliders' club jumping off a higher mountain, about 50 people in butterfly wings above Mount Calvary, and I had an image of human metamorphosis, that we would all be changed. And I had an inner experience of the Christ not as Jesus of Nazareth, but as an omniscient, omnipresent field that was actually pulling us forward toward the total and radical fulfillment of our divine human potential. And I heard the words, "My resurrection was real. It is a forecast of what the human race will do collectively when you love God above all else, your neighbor as yourself, your self as a Godlike being, combined with science and technology. You will all be changed." And I suddenly thought, "Oh my goodness, Western civilization was built on a story of the radical transformation of the person to life everlasting, and through science and democracy and technology and industry we're hitting up against the limits of the biosphere. We are learning to extend our life span. We're learning to build new parts. We're learning to go live in outer space. And I made a quantum jump which I think nobody else has really made, between the high technology of Western civilization and the promise of Jesus.
MISHLOVE: That is unusual.
HUBBARD: I mean, it's never done. And I saw that part of the mystery is the science of matter, whereby the physical world is being transformed. And then I went back to people like Aurobindo and the Mother, who were working on cellular immortality.
MISHLOVE: In India.
HUBBARD: In India; and people who were studying the aging process, and people who were looking at regeneration and cryonics, and even these far-out things like cloning and taking DNA and resurrecting a whole being. Those are very weird for a biosphere; but what if the human race is to be a cosmic species, and what if Jesus is a template of the cosmic human, and what if our new powers are actually to transform and transcend creature human conditions? And so I was guided to the New Testament, and I opened up on my favorite passage: "Behold I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep. We shall all be changed." And I started to write, and I feel I was inspired by a kind of whole-system consciousness -- not to interpret the New Testament, because I'm not a scholar or a theologian, but as a futurist, to unpack it for our generation, as a guide to universal life.
MISHLOVE: In other words, to take a look at the coding of the ancient myths and the deep vision of the prophets and apostles and mystics, and to interpret it in the light of what is possible today with our science.
MISHLOVE: And what is our greatest possible hope for ourselves as a species.
HUBBARD: And you know, many scholars are going back to try to get the historical Jesus, and they're saying, "This didn't happen, that, and all the myths are probably untrue." My thesis is we will never know what really happened back there, but whether or not, Jesus' life may be coming true, through us being able to do what he did. In other words, if the human race advances to the point of being able to do it -- and I had a wonderful conversation with an Indian guru, Yogi Amrit Desai of Kripalu. I was telling him about my Christ experience, and I said, "You know about the Resurrection." Well, he said, "Our guru's guru, Babaji's guru, was able to do this." Like Yogananda, and Sai Baba.
MISHLOVE: Sure, these things are known in mystical traditions throughout the world.
HUBBARD: And Michael Murphy's book, The Future of the Body. He uses scientific language like extrasomatic capabilities. But is it possible that actually we are not having to be bound to this physical body, but that through our advanced consciousness, and possibly extended technologies, that thought can create bodies more sensitive to thought?
MISHLOVE: Barbara, we're out of time, but you've certainly laid out an incredible vision for us, and I can see from the gleam in your eye and the smile on your face that it is a living truth for you, and a radiant, joyful truth, and that you offer promise to everyone who hears you. Thanks so much for being with me.
HUBBARD: Thank you, Jeffrey.
- END -