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About the Author
Barbara Marx Hubbard is the author of Conscious Evolution, The Hunger of Eve, and The Revelation. She is the founder of the Institute for Conscious Evolution and cofounder of Global New Thought and the World Future Society. She also teaches the Shift Network's popular "Agents of Conscious Evolution." She lives in Santa Barbara, California.
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Birth 2012 and Beyond
Humanity's Great Shift to the Age of Conscious Evolution
By BARBARA MARX HUBBARD
Shift BooksCopyright © 2012 Barbara Marx Hubbard
All rights reserved.
Letter of Invitation to Birth 2012
From Barbara Marx Hubbard
Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Cocreators of the emerging world: Welcome to Birth 2012 and the Birth 2012 Campaign!
This invitation to participate in the Birth is the most important letter I have ever written. Its intent, and the purpose of this book, is to present you with the greatest opportunity that humanity has ever consciously faced together: the effort to cocreate a planetary shift in time to avert global catastrophe by helping humanity cross the gap from "Here" — our current breakdowns — to "There" — our future of infinite possibility.
Why is this invitation so urgent?
Because our current condition of over-growth in our finite Earth system is simply not sustainable.
We will either evolve toward a more sustainable, compassionate, and creative global system, or we face the real possibility of devolution and destruction of our life support system and of much of life on Earth — within our own or our children's lifetime!
This dangerous reality is motivating us to enter into what I call the first age of conscious evolution — that is, evolution by choice and not by chance. It means that we need to be causal in the actions and direction we take in this lifetime. What is being required of us is to learn to co-evolve with nature and cocreate with Spirit.
Again, why do I say that the timing is so urgent? Why now? Can't we wait a while and see how it turns out? No, we can't wait. It's like the birth of a baby. You might not be ready, but if the baby is ready, it's coming out now for better or for worse. It can either be a disastrous birth, or a gentle one.
We are being called to a great experiment, for no one alive on Earth knows how to make such a vast evolutionary shift in this short of a time. For the first time in our conscious history we are being given the opportunity to guide and ease our transition to the next stage of evolution. This situation is new for humanity, for we are the first Earth species to consciously face evolution or extinction.
This condition may be new for us, but it is not novel for the universe. Evolution operates by "punctuated equilibrium," meaning long periods of slow change that are punctuated by apparent sudden jumps. For billions of years, nature has been going through such creative leaps. It has progressed from energy evolving into matter, to planets like our Earth, to primitive life, to animal life, to human life, and now to us going around the next turn on the Spiral of Evolution toward the next phase of humanity. When we review this Big History, this deep-time past, we learn that certain lessons recur:
Crises almost always precede transformation.
Problems are evolutionary drivers.
Nature takes jumps through greater synergy and cooperation within and among species.
We are facing transformative crises and living through such a leap now — the great wake-up call for the maturation of humanity.
We have reached what systems theorists call a "chaos point." When a system in chaos is far from equilibrium, it tries to right itself by going backward to the old; this is why we see reactive movements everywhere in society right now. But an evolving system cannot return to the past. It must seek out new structures and systems, and quickly ascend to a new configuration — or else face rapid decline. Fortunately, according to the theory, small positive fluctuations in this sea of social chaos can jump the system to such a higher order.
This book is dedicated to the fact that we can each be that small fluctuation! The opportunity now being offered to us from the sacred process of evolution is to participate in creating many positive fluctuations as pioneering souls. We are being called upon to shift from ego-centrism to living from our Essential Selves; to discover our vocations of destiny; to give our unique Gift to the Shift; to work toward maximum global coherence; and to evolve our communities, our world, and ourselves.
In other words, our opportunity, right now, is to become planetary birthing mamas and papas! Joining together, we can "gentle the birth" of a Universal Humanity connected through the heart to the whole of life — and guide our Earth community into its next evolutionary stage.
I am deeply grateful to have lived long enough to see this awakening actually happening for millions of us now. I am additionally grateful to be joined in this book by our brilliant, inaugural Welcoming Committee of evolutionary pioneers, each giving us their message, and indeed their lives, to foster our emergence now.
As Stephen Dinan reminds us in both the Foreword and the Afterword, December 21, 2012, has been identified by Mayan prophecy as the end of a long cosmic cycle. Therefore, Dec 22, 2012, has been selected by me and Stephen to be our planetary "due date," the new Day One for the next era of evolution.
As you will discover in this book, a profound awareness of an impending planetary shift came to me in 1966 as a deep personal revelation, when I knew nothing about the Mayan calendar or other prophecies. This event was a flash of expanded reality that I call the Planetary Birth Experience. At that moment my inner knowing understood these words in my heart: Our crisis is a birth. I saw that what all the great avatars and mystics of humanity have told us is true: We are one; we are whole; we are good; and we are being born as a Universal Humanity within a universe of immeasurable intelligence, energy, and dimension. In this vision, I was shown that we are a product of universal evolution, from the flaring forth after the Big Bang to the historical present, and I was guided to go tell the story of our birth. The amazing part now is that everything I experienced in that epiphany so many years ago is now happening in real time.
I have discovered in the last forty-six years of communicating our evolutionary potential that this newly understood Universe Story is actually imprinted in our hearts, our bodies, and in our souls. The universe is unfolding and manifesting in us. We are the universe in person! Each of us is the composite expression of the 13.7 billion years of evolution, no matter what our culture, age, faith, or worldview.
When we work together for the great superordinate goal of cocreating a planetary shift, we awaken this ever-expanding creativity and potentiality within ourselves. The lid comes off our life purpose, and our "inner Big Bang" turns on! We are flaring forth.
When anyone says "Yes! I want to give my Gift to the Shift. Yes! I want to help gentle humanity's birth," this "yes" mobilizes spirit-in-action within each of us and opens us to the Impulse of Evolution. And it is for this reason that this work leads us to experience such a deep and intrinsic personal fulfillment.
Intention creates and the universe is responsive to requests. It's waiting for us to wake up and connect with each other. In other words, the universe is urging us to cooperate with the process of creation in alignment with nature's tendency to evolve to higher consciousness, greater freedom, and more complex and synergistic order. It calls us to be receptive to what is within us and beyond us and to move together toward a cocreative society in which each person is free to be and do their best. When we activate this inner process of Creation together throughout the world, miracles occur.
That's why I invite you to join us and millions of people around the world in co-evolving a new Earth and a new Humanity. I look forward with joy to our shared participation and our collective revelation as we discover together the mystery at work in Birth 2012 and beyond. Yours in love and faith in our potential to evolve,
Barbara Marx Hubbard
January 25, 2012
Santa Barbara, California
My Vision of the Planetary Birth
Many of my best ideas have arisen in the resonant field that results when I enter into deep dialogue with trusted friends and colleagues. My extended conversation with Jan Phillips that took place over a four-day period in November, 2011, is a perfect example. We have edited the dialogue which is presented in the next two chapters.
This first chapter traces my own personal evolution over many years that has inexorably led to our Birth 2012 Campaign.
Many people are dwelling on the prophecies related to the Mayan calendar, which as you know simply stops on December 21, 2012, and they are wondering what that means for the planet. You've suggested that 2012 could mark, symbolically, the advent of a sustainable planetary civilization and of a new species of humankind. And, long ago you reframed our global crises as "a crisis of birth." Can you amplify on these intriguing ideas?
Well, we all understand the meaning of biological birth — it's the most amazing thing. From a little fertilized egg comes this remarkable mystery: the gradual transformation from a zygote to a fetus to an infant. But eventually the new being begins to overgrow the womb, to kick and move. It then enters a dangerous, final phase of crisis. The new baby is preparing to move through the birth canal into the world. And, as soon as it's born, it is cut off from its mother's resources. It panics — it's taking its first breath! Birth is clearly a dangerous moment in the life of a biological organism.
Humankind is having a comparable birthing experience on a macro scale. If you look at planet Earth as a whole system, it's obvious that we're overpopulating, we're polluting, and we're running out of resources. Like an infant that is reaching the "due date" of its birth, we're overgrowing "the womb" of the Earth. Our "birthing" crisis is inflicting pain and suffering for millions, as well as the possible destruction of our life support system.
The urgency of our global crisis is causing people to wake up all over the planet. It's dawning on us that something creative — something new — is pressing within us to emerge. What is now being born is transforming the old situation with the prospect of new solutions; and, at the same time, it is helping to create a new world — a world that we have in some respect always held in our hearts. It's offering a better future, a more equitable future, a more peaceful future, a more evolving future, a future that has been mystically realized by great visionaries as something that transcends our current condition.
And so, I believe the following intuition is accurate: our crisis is potentially the birth of a more co-evolving, cocreative humanity.
Can you define for us what you mean by "cocreative humanity"?
By "cocreative" I mean the ability to access what I call the "Impulse of Evolution." The impulse in this case refers to the process of creation and evolution that has moved life for billions of years toward greater consciousness and complexity. That impulse is in each of us. As it turns on, we start evolving and we want to express more of our potential. Further, it seems to me that, animated as we are by this impulse to evolve, a new type of human is emerging in the face of our shared global crisis. I call these pioneers "universal humans," because they are connected through the heart to the whole of life. They are awakening from within with a desire to find greater life purpose, and are lit up with a mysterious sense of the future. This new person is moving toward cosmic consciousness and an ever-deepening spirituality.
Just as this cocreative human is emerging, we also notice that numerous paradigm-shifting innovations in every field are arising: in health, education, personal and spiritual growth, business, new energy systems, and in more participatory social systems. When we connect these positive innovations with one another, we realize that a new world is already emerging in our midst. Like a newborn infant, something is being born through us that we have never seen before.
My Planetary Birth Epiphany in 1966
That's quite an amazing image. The last great birth story that caused an eruption in global consciousness was the birth of Jesus. I'm wondering if this new birthing story carries the same potential to ignite the public imagination. Do you sense some kind of "mytho-poetic" kinship between this planetary birth story and the birth of Jesus?
Yes, I do. I came to see this important relationship later, but only after a search that took place over many years.
When the United States dropped the atomic bombs on Japan in 1945, I was fifteen years old. After that terrible shock, several great questions arose within me that changed my life. Even today, I believe that our answers to these questions still hold the clues to what is emerging now:
What is the meaning of our new power that is good?
What are images of a positive future equal to this power that could attract us?
While still a teenager, I thought somebody must know where the human race is going that is good — some sort of hopeful vision of a positive future. So, I read widely in world philosophy and religions, looking for that one thing: images and ideas of the positive future equal to our new technological powers. I reasoned that these powers could destroy the world, but they could also evolve it. I saw that. But how? In what direction? I sought a real-world solution, not something available only in life after death or in some metaphysical realm.
A few years later, I had the opportunity to visit President Eisenhower, who was a friend of my father's. It was 1952, just after he'd been elected.
When I was taken into the Oval Office, Eisenhower greeted me. "Hello, young lady." he said. "What can I do for you?"
"Mr. President," I said, "I have a question for you ... What do you think is the meaning of all our new powers in science and technology that's good? Where are we going?"
He looked startled and shook his head, saying, "I have no idea." It occurred to me then and there that we had better find out!
I continued my research for many years, reading through various philosophies and religions, looking for images of a positive future that could attract us. There was only one text I had read that seemed to give us a vision of where we are going that is good. It was the New Testament.
I had come from a Jewish agnostic family — and had grown up with no religion. My father didn't even tell us we were Jewish! He did not want us to look back toward the old world, only forward toward a new world. Once I asked him, "What religion are we?" He replied, "You're an American, do your best!" As a child, I had wondered what that meant, since I had no sense of direction for myself or for the world.
At one point, in the course of leafing through the New Testament and looking for positive images of the future, I discovered an awesome passage from St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 15: "Behold, I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound and all shall be changed ... the corruptible shall have put on incorruption. "
I also saw in the writings of John the evangelist that Jesus had said: "Love ye one another ... You will do what I have been doing and even greater works than these ..."
There! This resonated in my soul as deeply true. The words of Jesus felt familiar, as though he were a member of my family, someone I had known forever. The scripture profoundly touched my heart. 'Well,' I thought, 'I'll join the church!'
I went down to the local Episcopal Church in Scarsdale, New York. I made an appointment with the minister to ask him my questions: "Is any of this true? How shall we all be changed? How can I be changed?"
There was a pause. I saw immediately, looking into his eyes, that he didn't know.
He only said, "Young lady, you go to Sunday School." I did, and to make a long story short, my hopes were not fulfilled.
Excerpted from Birth 2012 and Beyond by BARBARA MARX HUBBARD. Copyright © 2012 Barbara Marx Hubbard. Excerpted by permission of Shift Books.
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