Seeing Future Potential
Marx Hubbard is a renowned author and futurist, and the president
of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution. She has written numerous
books and has presented her futuristic worldviews through various
mass media venues since the 1970s. In 1984 her name was placed
in nomination, on the Democratic ticket, for the vice-presidency
of the United States. Paul Ray, author of The Cultural Creatives,
calls her "an American original . . . one of the great visionaries
of our time."
Gabriel, editor of www.dwij.org,
spoke with Barbara the day after the terrorist attacks in New
York and Washington DC, in which the World Trade Center was destroyed
and the Pentagon severely damaged.
How do the events of yesterday affect how you see the future? Does
this fit in with your vision of the future?
First of all, there is already, on this Earth, a global community
of people in every area of expertise: education, business, science,
art, and so forth, who are attempting to create a world that is
more equitable, more sustainable, compassionate and free. This global
community has never been connected with itself as a whole. It's
scattered, but there are probably hundreds of millions of people,
just like ourselves, who are not in powerwe're not running
the big networks, we're not running the big corporationsbut
think that what happened, the terrible tragedy that occurred with
this terrorist attack on the United States, is an evolutionary crisis.
What it reveals to us, to all of humanity and particularly to the
global community, is that you can't make yourself secure by the
means of massive defense and "smart" weapons; that we were penetrated
by people with knives, and this huge, huge defense system was rendered
impotent in the face of this kind of terrorism.
I agree that it is necessary to tighten security and bring the terrorists
to justice. But we've also got to start strengthening the social
healers, the conflict resolvers, the people who are searching for
common ground, the people who have very sophisticated means of peace
building, the educators, poets, and social innovators. I think this
is what's going to be required because I don't think any form of
retaliation will actually work against terrorism for long. We're
going to have to develop a new way, which is the way of healing,
both by addressing the underlying causes of violence, such as hunger
and poverty, while concurrently facilitating social synergythe
coming together of that which is emerging, creative and already
transforming our world for the good.
tragedy is a call to the global community to rise up. We in the
transformational movement have been separated and more or less trying
to deal with things at the personal, local and spiritual levels.
But we need to come forth at a more effective level, for this crisis
cannot be resolved by the current system. The current system is
completely vulnerable, and underneath the terrorism there is a needan
insanity that's being caused by something. What is it being caused
by? And how do we get underneath that and begin to heal while we're
LMG: In terms of "Future Link" what is it that you feel most poignant
or most important that we might harvest from this experience?
I feel that, in general, we need to be activated and start the healing
process wherever we can. The Dalai Lama is really among the greatest
world symbols for this, because his nation has been constantly destroyedby
terrorists, if you want to say thatthe way the Chinese are
destroying Tibet. And he has attempted to bring forth the idea of
healing, of kindness, of internal change in China, something other
than force, because in his case it's impossible to meet force with
force. So what I'm saying here, for the world, it's no longer possible
just to meet force with force, and we need to activate the healing
and the connecting and the loving tendencies of the human species.
Finally, I think we've hit a crisis that can't be resolved by the
means of superior force alone.
the second thing here is that in every great tragedy, if there is
some sense of deeper meaning, as for example, people in concentration
camps, people in the most terrible situations as POWs, it is said
that when they had a sense of faith and hope they could make it
through. If you have no sense of faith and hope and think it's a
totally meaningless act, it's almost intolerable. If you think that
underneath this terror, this horror and this suffering that there
could be a stimulus for millions, if not billions, of people to
say: Let's go for healing; let's go for caring for each other; let's
go for cooperation. Let's see where the United States of America
has to be more conscious of its affect on the environment and on
the tremendous inequities of economic differences in the world.
We, in the United States, have to take some responsibility for what
we're doing to the rest of the world. I would like to see an uprising
of responsibility in social wellness and healing come out of this
and that would be my overall statement.
we can get a global media network on Internet and also on radio
and TV, we as a global community can begin to create a field of
connectedness so we know what's helping, what's emerging. And it
isn't even something that we're "against" anymore. This is not a
protest movement. It's not a revolutionary movement. It's an evolutionary
movement and it's aligned itself with anything that's life enhancing.
Evolutionary jumps are created through synergy, which is when separate
parts come together to form a greater whole, like molecules form
cells, and cells form multi-cells; now we are a planetary system
becoming ever more complex. Jumps in consciousness and freedom occur
to greater complexity and connectedness. So we at the Foundation
for Conscious Evolution want to be of service in enhancing the connectedness
of that which is life giving. There are literally hundreds of thousands
of initiatives and they can't be organized, but they can be self-organized
if there are vehicles for the connectedness. That's our goal.
Given what we hear in the media, the win/lose mentality, how do
we get to a place of true conciliation and healing?
In terrorism, we have been given the most exquisitely designed problem
to force us to move to another level of response. If you try to
think of our government attempting to find this man bin Laden hidden
away in the mountains of Afghanistanif that's where he isthe
options are you either bomb or you land soldiers there, or I guess
you can do a kind of embargo where they starve the childrenevery
one of those options creates more enemies in the entire Arab world.
would hold a summit meeting of everybody who's been in peace building,
conflict resolution, social healing, spiritual healing, and ask
for their help. That's what I would do if I were President. I'd
ask for their help, all around the world, people who've had experience.
I know for example, Search for Common Ground, John Marx and his
wife Susan, have gone into the most terrible places in Yugoslavia
where they were doing these ethnic cleansings and actually brought
the sides together. I remember Jim Channon, when he was in the army,
wrote something called "Evolutionary Tactics" how to resolve
conflict without killing. You see, I would be calling in the alternative
healers, along with the others. So it's like what they call complimentary
medicineyou use western medicine when that works and you use
holistic medicine when that works and you make a compliment.
So, in this world that we're experiencing right nowthat's
rampant with violence and abusehow do we create that global
culture that brings forth compassion?
In every great faith and in every ethic in the world somewhere it
has been said, Love the other as yourself; Do unto others as you
would have done unto you; Do not do to others what you would not
have done unto you. It's interesting, we've all heard it, but we're
not doing it.
individual human being has to understand that within there is a
deeper selfit's been called many different things: the Higher
Self, the Deep Self, the Essential Self, the Christ Self, the Buddha
Mindand that that self is who we are. And the shift is from
identifying with your egoic self-centered separated personality
to shifting your identity to that deep self. I've just written a
book about this called Emergence :The Shift From Ego to Essence.
Every great spiritual path that you read has to do with how to shift
from the separated egoic self to the deep self. Every one. They
all do it differently, and I did it in a particular way that worked
for me and I'm sharing that.
when you start shiftingand I could say to you, Linda, that
I am that deeper self and I have a lot of local personalities that
can get anxious, upset, or angry, but I am not those selves. I am
the deeper self that can heal that. And I do. Now, the second part
of our relationship is that if I feel I am that deeper self, and
I can meet up with two or more who feel the same way, we begin what
we call to form resonant cores. A resonant core is a core of two
or more resonating, or echoing back, the deeper self to each other.
And it's amazing that within a very short period of time you begin
to create a field that helps sustain that consciousness of who you
really are. And when that consciousness is sustained you begin to
reach out to others to feel that they are the deeper self.
see, I can't love the other as myself if I am an ego self. Because
it's not lovable. It's not cooperative. It's out there to win. But
if I'm my deeper self and I can feel that in you, and I look for
that, and we talk about that and share itwe're willing to
be vulnerablewe'll find that we support each other in that.
So whatever your religious or spiritual path, or lack of one, if
you form small groups and attempt to come from that deeper self,
it's natural for it to happen. It will happen.
then the next step is to find a deeper vocation, which is a life
purpose. I'm sure you have a life purpose that's calling you to
do this work, is that right?
What difference does it make in your life, that you have a life
It gives me a focus for my life.
Exactly. So along with related personal work and relationship, we
all need that focus. I have been a futurist and have been inspired
by a positive potential of the future for 35 years, but it's only
this year, 2001, that I feel I can offer a form to assist people
in participating more consciously. And that form didn't happen until
we got to the Internet.
the Foundation for Conscious Evolution we have developed two new
services for the emerging global community. One is a new school
called "Gateway to Our Conscious Evolution," and the second service
is an operating hub called the "Peace Room." The Gateway
school takes the participant through 7 great themes that any person
or group needs to know to participate in their own self and social
evolution. It offers a developmental path to the next stage of human
evolution. I have selected the best teachers and innovators. You
hear their voices and you share your ideas. It is the beginning
of a global community for co-creation. The second service, the Peace
Room, is also being activated on the Internet. It scans for, maps,
connects, and communicates what is working at the local and larger
are developing this new process for people of all ages, including
those who want their masters or doctorate degrees in conscious evolution.
Barbara, beyond the work that you're doing and beyond the Internet,
and in a world where most people seem to focus on limitations and
fear of change, how do we shift to a culture where people understand
and are skilled in the art of creative manifestation?
Everyone has to start with themselves. If all the people on Earth
right now who are already changing toward a more holistic consciousness
and spirit-motivated social action were to connect, it would create
a global mind-change right now. Let's say there's X number of human
beings who are attracted to doing what you say. I wouldn't be at
all surprised that we're at critical mass now. The over-all goal
should be that within this decade there will be a planetary awakening,
where those souls like yourself and metimes millionsjoin
together in a shared experience, not only in meditation (that's
number one) but number two in music, and number three are projects
that workthrough all the networks that we can possibly find.
We could, within this decade, create such a mass experience of oneness
and creativity and actual problem-solving, that we could shift the
tide on this Earth. We are informed by our environmentalists that
within 30 - 50 years we could destroy our life-support system. There
has to be a mechanism whereby we can evolve ourselves!within
the same time-frame.
need a positive evolutionary intervention to create greater synergy
among the positive initiatives and consciousness in this world now.
As it is currently, we're structured in a way that almost makes
it impossible for holism and creativity to surface and connect.
But because we have the Internet and because we have different means
of communication now, it's up to us to do it. We're not helpless;
we're not victims. And complaining is not the answer.
What do you see as the biggest challenges we face right now at this
The most obvious challenge is that our generation has been given
the power to destroy our life support systems, OR to heal our world
and move forward toward an immeasurable future. And we are the generation
born with this choicethat's the most truthful and powerful
reality. In order to handle a crisis of this order, we need to develop
an evolutionary perspective to see that nature has been taking quantum
jumps for billions of years, and that the way that quantum jumps
work is that if you can increase your connectedness with that which
is innovative and creative, the system will help you jump to the
the fact that we have the power to destroy and create is probably
a natural evolutionary phenomenon, not a mistake. Our creative potential
has to connect with other people's creative potential and we actually
see there is a developmental path through this crisis to the next
stage of evolution. And the fact is, we're already on the path.
you see what's emergent in every arena starting with the person
and going all the way on up to society, if you see that and feel
there's a way for you to co-create with that, I think that we have
huge hope. Most people I know now are very pessimistic, because
they don't see it. I feel, after 35 years as a futurist, that my
entire life's work is coming into focus. And part of the reason
it's coming into focus is people know there's a crisis, so they're
open to say: There must be a better way.
is a better way and here it is: The better way is finding out what's
already working and connecting it.
You say you "see" the path . . .
I do, I see the developmental path.
So, what is our future?
Well, if a critical number of us continue and become connected on
that developmental path, I think our future is actually something
that is radically new, but here are some elements of it:
think we'll find that a more holistic, unitive form of consciousness
is a new norm. In other words, I think we'll find we're evolving,
all of us, toward a more connected consciousness.
think we'll have altogether new healing capacitiesfrom our
spiritual and inner perspective, and from biological technologyand
that we'll find that we will move to chosen births, chosen life
spans, chosen death, chosen life extension.
think we'll find that the average person is a genius and that we've
used only a small percentage of our total potential, and that as
we recognize that we're part of this whole and that everybody is
needed, we'll find enormous breakthroughs in human creativity. I
think we'll find that there are new energy sources like zero-point
energy, which may be infinite, and it will vastly change the economic
system from one of scarcity and competition to one of co-creation
and the liberation of the whole human species from a bondage to
we'll go beyond the economic system altogether. I think we'll go
beyond money. And I think we'll go into the co-creative revolution.
It's a revolution of human creativity in alignment with a deeper
pattern of nature and spirit. I personally think we'll become a
universal species. Our story is the story of the birth of a Universal
Humanity, capable of restoring its Earth, freeing people from want
and necessity, limiting population growth, designing new social
systems, and exploring the vast regions of inner and outer space.
That is a vastly more positive outlook than I generally hear.
And I want you to know that I'm not an optimist, I'm a potentialist.
The difference is, an optimist thinks something inevitably will
happen, a potentialist says: This is the potential.
But not necessarily the way things will happen.
It depends on us! The future is a contingency, not an inevitability.
But here's the deeper thoughtIf you look at the 15-billion-year
story from sub-atomic particles to atoms, molecules, cells, all
the way on up, you see a tendency in evolution, an intentionality
in creation that leads to greater consciousness and freedom to a
more complex order. I don't personally believe that's an accident.
Nor do I believe there's an external deity pulling all the strings.
I believe there's an implicate order, an innate tendency in evolution
and in all of us that is transcendent to purely human will alone.
When human will aligns with this deeper patternin the old-fashioned
languages we say, "Not my will but thine"when my will and
the will of the larger pattern become one, the power of the force
of creation runs through us. I'm therefore spiritually oriented
when I say this. This is a "faith" statement, not necessarily a
provable truth. But it seems logical to me, when you look at the
15-billion-year story, to say that it's not purely accidental, and
it's not just some great father in the skyit's not either
of those. But there has to be an implicate imminence to what we
might call Divine Consciousness as a dynamic force. The ultimate
reason I'm hopeful is I believe that consciousness is a dynamic
force with a tendency to create beings evermore conscious of the
consciousness that's creating us.
So the tendency is there and we have a responsibility beyond that
Exactly. We are entering the first age of conscious evolution. And
humans, Homo sapiens, have always been conscious, but we haven't
been conscious of our power to self-evolve or self-destruct. And
I think since 1945, when the United States dropped the bomb on Japan,
since that moment, we have been really participating in gaining
the power to self-destruct or self-createor self-evolveand
ours is actually the first generation for whom this is true. My
work as a sort of spiritual/social philosopher/activist, if you
want to put it that way, is to put forward and help develop the
new worldview of conscious evolution and offer ways in which people
can apply it in their own lives.
Information about Barbara Marx Hubbard and the
Foundation for Conscious Evolution, including the Gateway School*
and the Peace Room**, can be found at:
to Our Conscious Evolution is an Internet school that provides
an opportunity to connect with others in the global community;
a way for anyone, anywhere in the world who is on the Internet
to enter in and meet the leaders, the teachers, the innovators
in every field who are now evolving our world.
Peace Room is an operating hub tracking innovation, success, and
breakthrough, mapping it according to function and geography,
connecting it, and communicating it via all media so that people
can participate, know what's working in our world, and how to
get involved with it themselves.
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