Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Two videos have crossed my path which combine a dire warning with a hopeful possibility. I recently saw a video on Link-TV’s weekly show, Global Spirit. The documentary (and companion book) is called “From the Heart of the World: The Elder Brothers’ Warning.” ( The Kogi people are one of three tribal cultures of the secluded Tairona civilization located in the Sierra Nevada de Marta of Colombia, South America. They are called a civilization because of the level of culture and intellect they have achieved. The shaman elders of the Kogi speak a cogent warning to their “younger brothers” of the modern world: honor the planet, the Mother, before it’s too late. The Kogi call themselves the Elder Brothers who serve as the guardians of life, responsible for holding the world in balance, which they have done continuously for many hundreds of years.

The warning the Kogi make in this film comes from their sense of responsibility as the Elder Brothers, and it is so significant to them that they are temporarily coming out of seclusion just to deliver this message and to protect their sacred sites. The story they tell us is about how the Younger Brothers were asked to leave the Tairona homeland and live in the lands across the sea because of their disobedience to the Elder Brothers and disrespect to the Mother. Many centuries later, the Younger Brothers returned to slaughter, steal from, and subjugate the Indigenous Peoples of the Western Hemisphere. To escape the genocide, the Kogi retreated higher into the mountains where they remain to this day.

The Kogi shamans, called Mamas, see these mountains as directly linked to the life-support systems of the planet. The glaciers have retreated from their sacred grounds in the mountain peaks, the green grasses have turned brown, and native species are disappearing rapidly. The Mamas interpret these signs as evidence that too many minerals have been taken from the ground and too many forests have been destroyed. The Mamas can no longer protect the world alone.

The Kogi’s prophetic warning to the Younger Brothers is just this: the bond between humanity and the natural world must be respected or the whole planet will die. To reconnect with the world, the Younger Brothers need to understand that the Mountains are conscious and alive and cannot be walked on without consequences. “The Mountains are dying,” the Mamas said to BBC filmmaker Alan Ereira, “because you have sold the clouds.” (To find out more about the Tairona cause, go to the website

The second film that I’ve come across recently is still in the making, funded by hundreds of ordinary people who will be named in the credits. However, the spokespeople in the film are well-known leaders who represent a wide range of interests in social change and consciousness transformation (e.g., Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Al Gore, Deepak Chopra, Dennis Kucinich, Fatima Gailani, Melodie Chevalier, Marianne Williamson, May Lee, Lynne Twist, Jason Crowe, and Derrick Ashong).

The trailer for the movie ( has this to say:

“Think of humanity and the planet as one organism. . . . We have arrived at a moment in our evolution where we have to make a choice. From time to time, evolutionary leaps occur and it seems like this may be the moment. The Shift – it’s happening.”

The visuals pan the world with rapid clips of mass demonstrations, activist leaders, humanitarian and environmental organizations, celebrity benefit events, social entrepreneurs, and youth actions. The feeling evoked is a cohesive sense of a global movement that combines the diversity of specific issues (such as peace, climate change, and social equality) into a single groundswell of consciousness at the level of humanity itself. The release date is projected for some time in 2010. “Help finish the movie . . . the first film ever by the collective, for the collective.”

Together, both movies help me to see, as a whole, Gaia’s call for change through those close to her, the Kogi People, and the opportunity for global transformation. With the help of a media feedback loop, we can see the rise of compassion in the consciousness of humanity all over the globe. Perhaps this represents a rise in the awareness of the Planet-as-a-Whole.

Together, these videos give me a sense of a Great Movement of change that is happening on all levels, all at once. Whether or not the destruction continues, change will happen, either toward deadening or creating a new way of being human.

The Kogi still live in the Garden of Eden, while I am cast into a maelstrom of domination and destruction, reaching for the peace of living in my full-circle socio-ecological niche. Maybe my lifeboat through all these changes is less about material self-sufficiency and more about being willing and trained to change myself, like who I think I am.

I am a part of something greater than myself. I am but an atom of this Cosmic Being, just one drop in the churning Sea of Change. I can only do my part and try my best for the good of all. I’d rather light a candle than curse the darkness. I am a Prodigal Child coming back to my Mother, my Source, my Life. I have a long way to go, and the path goes through great grief as well as great joy. Sharing these two eye-opening films with you is my next step on the Way.

Susan Adair
22 February 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


by Hank Stone
February 15, 2010

We Americans know it is unrealistic and foolish to expect a future that works for our children. World peace is Utopian dream. A safe and healthy,sustainable environment is something we can “make progress toward,” but not achieve. Why not?

According to one story, we can’t have Utopia because people are sinful. It’s our human nature. We can make technological progress, but because we can’t rein in our greed and dishonesty and blood lust, we will always muck it up before reaching the Utopian ideal. We must come to Jesus to be saved.

That’s one story we tell ourselves. Here’s another story.

For all of our lifetimes, we have been experiencing progress. That is, each generation has had more opportunities and a higher standard of living than the last. We have been living in the story of progress since the discovery of the New World, which had vast resources and hardly any people. The enterprising “rugged individual,” with freedom and hard work and ingenuity, could prosper. And our prosperity continued to grow for all of living memory.

Progress means we go forward from where we are. That is, we make incremental changes to the status quo, which is pretty good, to get us to an improved future situation.

But we need a growing population to supply new customers, and to support people of retirement age. We need an increasingly large supply of resources to feed the increasing population. And if we stop improving our productivity, our society will be collapse.

Our country’s prosperity also relies on resources from all over the world. To assure access to these resources, we sometimes need to apply military pressure in other countries. That is, we wage wars.

Once entrenched, the war system generates so much money that we now can’t stop it. The war system has become “too big to fail,” and does what it must to keep a flow of new enemies, new fears, new weapons, and new money.

In this second story, we are speeding into the future on a train called Progress. We can’t stop this speeding train, because our population and economic growth cannot exist in a sustainable, steady state. So the train we’re on won’t get us to Utopia.

Why do we need Utopia, since we have ridden the train of Progress so successfully for so long?

The world population today, after doubling twice in the last hundred years, is 6.8 billion human beings.

Meanwhile, scientists warn that world oil production has peaked (or soon will), and will decline. Oil is central to the production of food. Tractor fuel, pesticides, transportation, processing, and retailing all require oil.

Water tables on five continents are dropping, mostly because of irrigation, which accounts for 70% of fresh water use.

Food production increases that have allowed the world to feed its growing population have been largely due to the unsustainable use of oil and irrigation.

So even without economic crises, climate change, and proliferation of nuclear weapons, the train ride will end soon.

The train of Progress cannot slow down without awful human costs. Picture our train speeding across a chasm on a railroad trestle. But the workmen are building the trestle just in front of the train. When they can’t find timbers (oil, fresh water, food) enough to support the train—

To abandon the train of Progress, we would have to do several difficult things.

First, we would have to admit that the story of Progress is unsustainable, and that we need a plan for the future different from continuing past trends. That’s scary and embarrassing.

Second, we would need a new plan for the way forward. This is made difficult by the fact that our cultural stories tell us not just that progress is good, but that only incremental change is possible. Big changes are hard, so VERY big change must be impossible.

Third, the rich and powerful decision-makers of our society like things the way they are. Governments, corporations and the media do the business of the rich, and don’t tell us ordinary people that change is necessary.

Fourth, we would need a world-size get-well plan. The problems we’re talking about are interconnected, and affect the peoples of the world. Furthermore, there is no hope of rescuing our country while the rest of humanity falls into the abyss. We can’t do what needs to be done without the participation of the great majority of ordinary people, worldwide.

Why do I imagine that humankind is up to the challenge?

First, I have a religious belief: The Creation is abundantly good. Life can be difficult, but God has been generous with us. The human future is not assured, but we have been given everything we need to survive and prosper.

Second, the world is so interconnected that great numbers of people hear about large-scale events as they occur. When the train of Progress begins to fall, people will know about it and their attention will quickly be concentrated on the need for transformation.

Third, the idea that big changes are hard, so that VERY big changes must be impossible—is false. That is because we are talking about changing the STORY itself. The story of Progress includes the notion that we make incremental changes to improve our situation. But the limitation of incremental improvement is part of that obsolete story.

Changing the story will release us immediately from the story of Progress—like aking up from a bad dream.

Of course, physical constraints will remain. And the question of what to do will remain. But one way or another we will be free of the Progress story.

If we are prepared to give up Progress, we will discover resources we forgot we had. We will discover $2 trillion per year that we no longer need to fund militarism. We will rediscover common sense, and good will in ourselves and in ordinary people around the world.

Then, what sort of future might we build?

Why not Utopia?