By 2050, people won’t judge things by today’s norms. Millennials and their children will decide the shape of mid-century reality, especially in the majority or ‘developing’ world where they are numerically the largest generation. Things we now consider remarkable, unimaginable or outrageous will become the new normal. New factors we haven’t considered will appear, and some anticipated probabilities will not happen at all, or not in the way we think they will, or leading to the consequences we currently expect. And life will go on.
Only part of the future will be forged by making thought-through, principled decisions. Much of it will arise from questionable choices, dodgy politics, ricocheting circumstances, evolving facts, luck, opportunism, profit perceptions, corruption, brilliance, incompetence, incidents and accidents. Black swans will be involved – events and developments that no one believed possible until they actually happen. Centuries ago, people thought that swans were white only, until black swans were found in Australia – hence the name.
Recent instances of black swan events have been the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall, the 2008 Credit Crunch, the 2014 rise of the Islamic State, Brexit and Donald Trump in 2016, and Covid-19 in 2019. Go back a few years before each of these events and they were unforeseeable, improbable, to most people.
Afterwards we re-edit our mental maps to incorporate such events as if they had been expected, but they weren’t. Black swans will continue happening – this is guaranteed – though their nature, shape and size is the stuff of guesstimates. This makes forecasting difficult, but factoring in black swans is necessary. Airplanes, cars and computers were once impossible, and so too, before your birth, were you.
Events tend to evolve in pattern-setting jumps – periodic defining moments where the game-plan changes critically. The period from 2008 to 2014 was like that, beginning with the banking crisis, progressing to the Arab revolutions and leading to the barbarity displayed by the Islamic State. Once the pattern has been reset, developments tend to extrapolate from there.
Our sense of future possibilities tends to be defined by groupthink and received beliefs, a safe territory of knowns and expectations established by consensus or in the duly followed utterances of experts and authorities. But things can head in contrasting directions from this, and more and different things can happen than we bargain for. In a sense, events are not guided solely by the past – it is almost as if the future pulls the present forward, toward possibilities or inevitabilities we hadn’t quite reckoned on.
These shifts happen suddenly, sometimes surreptitiously. The tipping point in today’s shift of power from the West to Asia was the 2008 Credit Crunch – a defining moment that most people thought was a banking crisis, but its implications were bigger, deeper, further-reaching and historic. There will be further tipping and inflection points, each preceded by incremental shifts along a trajectory that suddenly goes critical and changes, and 2008 was such a moment. Expect more.
Even so, the after-effects of such shifts take time to emerge. In the late 2010s there has been a flurry of technological inventions and advances arising from ideas hatched around 2008-12 in hidden away labs, backrooms and meetings. It takes time for things to unfold, even when a tipping point has been crossed. Not only this, but the symptoms of a defining moment can appear in disguise, looking as if the wrong thing is happening when things are actually going strangely right.
Around 2008-12, Asia discovered that it had a serious pollution problem – smog and toxicity. Up to that point, nagging Westerners with their environmental concerns were not fully believed in Asia. This discovery marked a tipping point after which Asia became the leading source of momentum in a global clean-up that will unfold in future years. The West will contribute significantly since it has had a head start, but the leading impetus now comes from Asia. That wasn’t expected.
In surveying the future it is thus necessary to factor in defining moments, tipping points and black swans. By their very nature, and because of our normality bias, we don’t easily see them coming. But they come anyway. Talking of which, there is a possible future world scenario that we must mention here, an apocalyptic scenario – apocalypse meaning ‘revelation’, not catastrophe. There is the smallest of chances that the greatest of all black swans could occur, in the form of a global, simultaneous shift of public awareness or perception of manifest reality that brings a radical and wholesale shift of priorities worldwide.
In some cultures this would previously have been anticipated as a return of the Christ, or of the Mahdi, or of a sudden dawning of a new age, or some other such miracle cure for our woes. This possibility grates with the modern rationalist mindset, though for some people it is an article of faith. Although several end-of-the-world and redemption mega-events have been predicted in the last fifty years, none has happened – at least, noticeably.
If this report suggested that, by 2050, an apocalyptic scenario were to happen, it would quickly lose credibility. But it is wise not to completely exclude such remote possibilities, even when they confront our normality bias. They might look improbable, impossible or illogical, but it is also valid not to lock that door since, should it happen, we might be faced with very rapid choices to make, for which we might be unprepared. We should accommodate the slim possibility of enormous black swans in our future calculations. “Trust in Allah, and tether thy camel”, goes the Arabic proverb. Have faith in whatever you believe in, but do the sensible thing anyway.
The ongoing battle for the hearts and minds of humanity now approaches a crunch point in human history. I’ll start with a little astrology to flesh out this thought, though you don’t have to understand it to get what I’m referring to: it’s visible in the underlying messages and impressions that current events convey.
This year (23rd March to 11th June 2023, to be precise) and next year (21st January to 1st Sept, and finally from 20th November 2024 onwards) the planet Pluto moves into Aquarius. It will then chug slowly through Aquarius until 2043-44, for twenty years. It has been in Capricorn since 2008-9, the time of the banking crisis and a deeply historic tilt in the world’s power and wealth away from the rich West or Global North, toward the majority world, the East and the Global South.
Why doesn’t Pluto move into Aquarius just once? The reason is this. Though the planets all orbit the Sun in roughly constant orbits, and in the same direction, we see them from a moving viewing platform, Earth. This leads to a two-steps-forward, one-step-back motion of these planets as seen from Earth, rather like moving trains where a faster train, overtaking a slower train, makes the slower train look as if it is going backwards. It isn’t – it’s just their relative motion.
So Earth, orbiting faster than planets further out in our solar system, makes them seem to go backwards, or retrograde, for periods. Hence the multiple dates given above. This year Pluto enters Aquarius, stops and retreats back into Capricorn, then it edges a bit further during 2024, again backing out slightly, until finally it stays in Aquarius from November 2024.
Pluto takes 250ish years to orbit the Sun. It deals with historic-scale stuff. It’s in the same position now as it was at the time of the American declaration of independence in 1776 (which is one reason why USA has a major constitutional problem right now). This was also the buildup to the French Revolution of 1789-92. It last entered Aquarius in 1778 and left it in 1798, after the French Revolution had turned bad and the progressive dictator Napoleon took over. The industrial revolution, with its dark, satanic mills, was also lifting off.
These weren’t just big events: they marked the beginning of a long cycle of development and dominance of Western culture – an age of urbanisation, industrialisation, mass movements, voters and consumers – that, by now, has hit the sandbanks.
Meanwhile, during this time, the world’s population swelled from one to eight billion. Paradoxically, as the crowds grew, with it came the breakdown of families and communities. And, guess what, an underlying theme of Aquarius is human collectivities, our individual involvements in them and our feelings of belongingness. Our sense of identity hangs around the social groupings we identify with.
Together with Uranus (85ish years) and Neptune (165ish years), Pluto tends to influence underlying, history-spanning issues – the rises, transitions and declines of megatrends, nations and peoples. Except during rare moments when we see current events in a more historic perspective, we tend to ignore such critical tilts in the drift of history. But these moments do hit us. The fall of the Berlin Wall was not just an isolated dramatic event – it marked the end of a chapter and the start of a new one, a key tipping point in the tilting of wealth and power from North to South and from West to the East.
We all thought it was about the capitalist and socialist worlds. Yes, it was, but it was also a power shift from the urban-industrial-materialistic North to the South, itself part of a still larger process, levelling up the Global South and levelling down the Global North. And this, wait for it, is a preparation for something even larger, which will be relevant by the latter half of this century – the eventual global integration of humanity into one planetary people.
Out of necessity: the big issues before us are global, and humanity’s divisions and inter-tribal frictions, though still relevant, are getting in the way. In this context, the conflicts between Russia and Ukraine, or the rivalry between China and America, are already rather obsolete as a way of solving our world’s current main pressing problems.
Pluto has been dragging through Capricorn for 16 years, and this also marks the end of a 35ish year Capricornian period, beginning in the 1980s-90s when Uranus and Neptune chugged through Capricorn. The transition to Aquarius marks a shift of focus. We’re emerging from a time of the Megamachine – finance, technology, institutions, corporations, regimes, oligarchies, laws and regulations – to a time of people and crowds, of very human and societal issues. It concerns the collective wisdom and madnesses of people in our millions.
Classic symptoms of this shift are the people scenes we’ve witnessed in the Turkiye-Syria earthquakes and the Ukrainian war. Two aspects of the Aquarian dilemma present themselves: in Ukraine we’ve seen the power of social solidarity in response to man-made threat, and in Syria and Turkiye we’ve seen social disintegration and helplessness, decreed by the full force of nature. Both provided suggestive images for the future, prompts that draw our attention to a basic hard fact of public and social life.
That is: we hang together or we hang separately. The choice is ours.
It’s that simple. What matters more: shared interest or self-interest? Global or national-regional-local priorities? Where do we as sovereign individuals stand amidst an eight billion strong throng? Covid-19 and its lockdowns flagged up these issues for all to see, starting a process which will escalate over the coming decades.
The image of People-against-the-Megamachine has been symbolised in the many uprisings and protests of the last few decades, recently in Belarus, Myanmar, Hong Kong, Peru, Sudan, China and other places, and in the Arab revolutions. These were based not on high-faluting philosophies or beliefs: they were straight expressions of human need and preference. While Pluto was in Capricorn, the People lost.
But this is changing – and that change could be a mixed blessing, not only for those at the top of the Megamachine. This concerns the dynamics of public sentiment, opinion and collective action, which sometimes is inspired, sometimes brutal and unfair. We’ve seen a lot of polarisation in recent years – the opposite dynamic to what is needed right now. For in the 21st Century, together we stand and divided we fall.
Here we come to the battle for the hearts and minds of humanity. I’m not talking here about Russia against NATO, Iran against Saudi Arabia, Palestinians against Israelis or people on the streets against the army, or any other divisively oppositional scenarios that the media do love to exaggerate. It’s not about goodbuys and badguys, Us and Them, or right and wrong – though these, on a certain level, are nevertheless relevant. It goes much deeper.
It’s all to do with a deep-rooted condition that emerged millennia ago, a fundamental perception of threat – threat against which we must fight and defend ourselves. It is rooted in a belief that They, over there, are different from Us, and that We are more important, right and good than They are.
It’s a mindset, a projection, a mega-meme rooted largely in past pain and in fear. It’s a set of pre-programmed, knee-jerk reactions that can easily be manipulated by anyone with a neat narrative to spread around, if it hooks into a lurking public feeling bubbling up from underneath. It rests on a feeling of victimhood, which that lot, the badguys over there, are to blame for.
Israelis call this hasbarah – repeatedly accusing the other side of intentions and crimes that our side is itself doing. It provides cover and justification for many bad things to happen. It’s often aimed at the wrong targets too: Palestinians often say, “Why are Israelis having it out with us, when it was the Europeans who gave them such a hard time?“.
In any rivalry or conflict, both parties play a part in the same game. This doesn’t make them equal or relieve the primary perpetrator or the stronger party of its own responsibility. But both sides are in the same game. They see badness in the other side, believing that they themselves are not like that. But the trouble is that, at least to some extent, our side of the argument is always flawed. As Jesus said in his Sermon on the Mount: “Thou hypocrite, first cast the plank out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote of dust from thy brother’s eye“.
Brits and Germans, though neighbours and of the same blood, still live under the lurking shadow of two world wars. It came up over the supply of tanks to Ukraine. The Brits were enthusiastic because we have a winners’ mentality and almost desperately want to keep it that way, to prove that we aren’t as small and insignificant as we actually are. Such victors’ bravado conveniently obscures the war crimes we committed in WW2 such as the systematic bombing of German cities – which, when the Russians are doing the same in Ukraine, we find to be abhorrent. Meanwhile, the Germans were understandably reluctant to enter another war, for historic reasons – some would say guilt, others would say a sense of responsibility.
These shadows from the past cloud our responses to real-life situations now. They are cover-ups and avoidances. International relations are riddled with this stuff.
Dig deeper down and, in Ukraine, we’re faced with a dilemma. Most people would prefer to avoid war but we don’t usually do the necessary work in advance to stop it happening. There is a current risk of civil war in USA, and not many people are doing anything about that – Reds and Blues simply think the other side is plain wrong, and that’s that.
Sting once sang, ‘The Russians love their children too‘, yet today we Brits, and NATO, are busy killing those very children, conveniently using Ukrainians as our proxies, and feeling somehow glad when lots of Russians die. Even so, there is good reason to support the Ukrainians in their plight. However, we didn’t pay attention to proper peace-building processes in the 1990s. We failed to see that NATO and EU encroachment on Russian security space would cause trouble – even though some observers, including me, raised this matter back then.
Many of us are thus caught in a dilemma: on the whole we support peace, but in this situation we support Ukrainians in fighting a war. This is problematic, but it highlights a key issue: if we wish to avoid wars, we all need to unsubscribe from the habit of projecting threat on the other side. And that lies at the core of the battle for the hearts and minds of humanity.
The underlying problem here is, to quote Mahatma Gandhi, ‘An eye for an eye turns the whole world blind‘. The end-product of most conflicts is not resolution of the issues at hand, but damage, devastation and consequences cascading from it – such as food shortages and economic disruption, in the case of the current war. Often I quote Bertrand Russell here: ‘War is not about who is right, it’s about who is left‘.
Cities can be rebuilt and battlefields can become farmland again, but the damage to people is worse and deeper. Dead people can’t be brought back, and the living bear the scars of trauma, shock, hardship, atrocity and the sheer ugliness and pain of conflict. It lasts generations, even after the memory fades.
I’m not naively suggesting that everyone ought to just declare peace and go home – it just doesn’t work like that. Conflicts have their reasons, they can be complex, and both sides have a point. Conflicts end when both sides accept that there is no gain in carrying on. Half of all conflicts end simply because of weariness.
The main issue here is mindsets: are we against other people and their leaders, or are we all in the same boat? This same issue concerns the world’s ecological and climatic crisis. We won’t succeed with the 21st Century by continuing our ongoing war against nature, animals, enemies, competitors – and ourselves.
We’re stuck in a vortex of competitiveness, attack and defence. In our personal lives, the same mentality is cloaked in neatly ‘civilised’ ways like dressing up, pursuing careers, buying houses, insuring ourselves against risk or even, in my case, ‘fighting cancer’. It’s a mentality of us-against-the-world.
Yet it is destroying the world, making humanity even more unhappy and threatened. It’s a self-destructive momentum where, the rarer and more exhausted anything becomes, the higher its price and profitability – our economic system leads inexorably toward extinction. As natural environments are cleared and communities die off, young generations grow up without knowing they had even existed.
The emergent paradigm of the 21st Century is different. By necessity it’s one of cooperation, arising from the bottom-line observation that we are all in the same boat whether or not we like it, and we sink or swim together. This is a pragmatic, sensible, economic solution, no longer idealistic. This is being presented to us in the current drift of events. There is mighty resistance to this paradigm shift, taking the form of social and political polarisation, exceptionalism, populism and fear of being overcome by change.
In many countries we fear being flooded by migrants, whom we believe will change our societies and take away our privileges and comforts. Well, we did it to native Americans, Africans and Aboriginals, so, as Aussies would say, fair dinkum.
Such resistance can take softer forms in which we favour change as long as it doesn’t affect us. Or we make a big fuss over anything we might lose – the plenteous food and consumables, or the perceived right to assert our personal freedoms whatever the cost to others. We forget that only some of us have such privileges, while the rest pay the full price.
There’s more to this Aquarian question. It concerns social control and the capacity of masses of people to control ourselves. In the digital era new forms of social control have crept up on us while we have studiously avoided getting our heads round it.
The trouble here is that railing against people at the top is only half of the issue, and it’s rather an avoidance and escape. Collectively we permit them to do what they do by failing to stop it. The real issue here is social solidarity, vigilance and the behavioural changes we need to make if we really do believe in freedom and social-economic justice.
This issue arose in the Arab revolutions and in many uprisings since then. People come out onto the streets to protest over issues they face but, if or when the regime falls, people are often not organised to handle what follows. Or repression from above or intervention from outside squash, corrupt or divide the movement for change.
So this goes deep. Inevitably, the need for self-preservation can override the urge to sacrifice ourselves for the general good. Revolutionaries still need to pay their bills if they want a home or to support their family, unless they retreat to the jungle or escape the country, thereby marginalising themselves.
Meeting up with disillusioned young revolutionaries from Egypt and Syria twelve years ago, I found myself telling them my story. The uprising I was a part of, like theirs, didn’t succeed, and it led to a decade of pain and self-examination for its participants. Since then, to the extent I could, and with others, I’ve tried contributing toward a deeper, psycho-spiritual and behavioural change.
Standing on the top of a mountain at age 22, I made a commitment to give my life to helping the world tip into irreversible positive change. I had realised that a mass change of perception and consciousness is the key. Well, the world hasn’t tipped – yet. Now, near the end of my life, I’ve had to let go of that ‘in my lifetime’ bit, though I still believe we’ll get there. But I must still own up to a bottom-line truth: this is a belief, not a foregone conclusion, whatever I might hope for.
Yet in my life I’ve had multiple demonstrations that the new paradigm works – recently readers of this blog have shown that their remote healing efforts do indeed work. Or, larger-scale, I’ve been involved with circles of people where we have worked on a world issue, such as forest fires or the Bosnia war and, shortly afterwards, a fundamental change to such situations actually occurred. While we cannot definitely prove ‘we did that’, it nevertheless is the case that we did the consciousness work and the fires were doused and the war came to an end. Though it doesn’t happen every time.
It all boils down to a simple rule: together we stand and divided we fall. When people work together, acting with one mind, miracles can arise. A miracle is an event that no one thought possible until it happened. It’s one-mindedness that is crucial here.
Here’s the punchline. The pressure of crises, together with the Aquarian themes mentioned above, point to a likely existential crunchpoint, a time when our very existence on Earth comes into question – not just theoretically, but, like, now, this week. Even presidents and billionaires will share in such a fate. There is a possibility that such a sitation could catalyse a deep realisation, an emotionally-powered thought that, above all, and whatever it takes, we must survive and we must get through. Or we’ve all had it. Even if some people survive, it will not be a happy outcome for them.
That, ladies and gentlemen, represents a potential for a breakthrough and a miracle that no one thought possible: a global one-mindedness in which everyone everywhere – or at least, enough people – have one shared thought, and they think and feel it powerfully.
Which leads us to the bottom line. Whatever our disagreements, it is not a case of who is right and who is wrong, who will win and who will lose. For in the end we all lose. Or we all win. That’s the formula.
In the last year I’ve had some crunches and battles in my own life – with cancer, with my ex-partner’s departure and with a few other issues, and in West Africa I’ve been caught between two parties battling each other and killing people in the process. A big lesson I’ve been re-learning is that true victory lies in everybody winning together. It’s a neat notion that’s not difficult to subscribe to, but carrying it out in real-life terms is another matter, and it’s taking all I’ve got to do that.
Because we do hang together, or we hang separately. That’s the way things are. So the battle for humanity’s minds and hearts goes really deep. It’s a button-presser, confronting all of us. It involves making friends with and profoundly understanding even the people that we don’t like or agree with. That’s how we’ll get through the 21st Century.
In my own life and in yours too, this is the issue. Events are shepherding us painfully in that direction. I can’t say I’ve succeeded with this in my own life but I still have thunder in my heart, running up that road, running up that hill. It’s quite a struggle, but then, that’s one reason we’re all here, isn’t it?
With love, Paldywan Kenobi.
If, like me, you have sufficient madness to be into astrology, try this chapter about the outer planets in history, from my 1987 book Living in Time. If you’re seriously mad, try my Historical Ephemeris, an astrological resource about the way planetary motions influence the tides of history.
Here’s a new podcast and also an update on recent developments with the ‘operation’ I reported recently.
The podcast is about World Healing.
It’s a notion that can at times be rather lightly taken, but it’s really important, this. Especially if you feel a need to make a contribution to the world’s future, increasingly shaky as it is becoming.
There are different ways of doing world healing innerwork, and this is what Palden has learned along the way, especially from the Council of Nine, and through gaining experience by running the Hundredth Monkey Camps in the mid-1990s and being part of the Flying Squad thereafter.
There are many applications of this general method of working, in relation to world events as they arise, and particularly to the underlying issues and deep learning experiences that lie beneath and behind them.
This podcast looks into a few of the issues around healing the world. Recorded down in the woods on our farm on Monday 28th November 2022. 30 mins. It’s here:
The ‘operation’ is kinda progressing, a bit edgy, but getting there. The latest crisis is that child Phyllis, 3, has just contracted cholera. The children’s daycare centre in whose care we left her was not the best (it was urgent, though Phyllis thus avoided the car crash), and we need to bring her and Felicia back together – they need each other.
So we’re going to retrieve Phyllis tonight (it’s a five hour drive each way) so that she’s under the care of the doctor I’m working with, who is a 100% good Christian man, and we’re getting on well. The taxi-driver who saved the lives of Phyllis and the agent, bringing them to hospital, I gave the job of fetching Phyllis – he’s another really good man, and I’m going to try to give him work over time, to reward him for his efforts.
Felicia is conscious and steadying, and agent no 2 is in intensive care under the doctor. Agent no 1 is still in captivity somewhere, though I’m not focused on him much, except holding him psychically (as things calm down, I’ll be able to focus on him a bit more – see if I can get some clues).
New funds are coming thru today or tmrw – that’s a relief. Corporations and their accounts depts can be annoyingly slow when you’re in the middle of a metaphorical gun battle. How is it that Paldywan suddenly finds himself working for a transnational bank? I was supposed to be retired and frittering away practicing independent self-care and watching TV. Or moaning about the government…
Anyway, if you are able, please surround child Phyllis, 3, with love and healing, and we hope she will be back on Tuesday so she can be treated by the doctor. Without really knowing it, with her mum Phyllis has been a heroine. I get a feeling this is a formative experience for a potentially formidable lady, in coming times.
My prayer is that Felicia and Phyllis will emerge from this in a positive way. Under great pressure, Felicia has acted very sanely and effectively, hanging in there through a traumatic time, and I would have no difficulty recommending her to an NGO or similar for a good job.
All is well enough with me: this is challenging but I’m holding up, and there are some occasionally really rewarding moments. I’m not at it all the time – it comes in bursts through the day, but they can be full-on when it happens.
One thing my parents gave me, for which I am eternally grateful, is a gift of diplomacy. I’m not sure where I got patience and perseverance from, but thanks for that anyway! Erk.
With some pics from the Buckfastleigh Magic Circle, Sept 2022
We’re going through a really scrangly time at present, and I’m hearing of a number of people going through it, and I am too. There’s an astrological transit, Saturn square Uranus, which is turning out to be sharp-edged, hard and grating – a conflict between ideas-perceptions-expectations and evolving hard, factual reality. It’s all crunching hard in the public sphere and in our personal worlds. This seems to be a gritty threshold point on an evolving process.
A Saturn square Uranus would normally have quite a strong effect on events and atmospheres, but it wouldn’t be earth-shattering. However, at present the world is tense, insecure, ill at ease and loaded with hazard. It’s the kind of thing where the death of one woman can cause an uprising in a place like Iran – the Arab revolutions ten years ago started like that too. Social wildfires break out. It’s all to do with bottled-up, high-pressure underlying feelings in humanity that are so loaded and volatile that a ripple of energy can set things off. This Saturn square Uranus is a bit like that. Its influence is pumped up by eight billion people going through an intense time.
But there’s more to this too, and it’s longer term. We are in times of historic, planetary change, and the stakes are high. I’d break down the various intensities into three.
One is the bottled-up energy left over from around 2009-2012: this was an opportunity for change but little really happened, and the genie was more or less stuffed back into the bottle. In 2012 the future turned into the present, and everyone was forced to realise things were getting really serious. This bottled-up feeling means that there’s a big glob of unprocessed frustration, regret, loss, injustice and need for change that is sitting there in the collective unconscious, simmering and waiting to explode. The heat needs to rise only a little to start the fizzing – and there’s an uprising every few months somewhere in the world now. So it doesn’t necessarily need a major astrological configuration to spark off major events, in conditions like this. There’s a lot of pent-up energy left over from previous big configurations where fundamental issues failed to be processed – the current war in Ukraine, for example, arises from issues not sorted out around the Uranus-Neptune conjunction of 1993.
The second is a tidal shift that’s going on now and by 2024, when Pluto moves into Aquarius for twenty years until 2044. Twenty years of Aquarian issues. We’ve been through a period since the 1980s where Capricorn has been strong – money, law, technology, governments, corporates, tradition, hierarchies, resources – and now it’s going to change. Briefly put, this is about the wisdom and the madness of crowds – the world public. Do the people serve the system or does the system serve the people, and how much of which? It also concerns social control, mass beliefs and behaviours, the rights of individuals and of collectivities, inclusion and exclusion, the competing interests of nations and the world, the battle of new against old ideas, the forces of polarisation and solidarity, and human issues in the social context. This shift of themes is beginning to gain momentum, but it will take two years more.
When the economy rises, society falls, and when the economy sinks, society rises. The seesaw is tipping over to a new direction right now, especially for the rich world. Here’s another issue too: we cannot really resolve the ecological and climatic issues before us unless society itself goes through a fundamental shift – because it is society, humanity, which has to do the resolving. To do this we need to agree sufficiently on what we are trying to do and work together to pull off a miracle.
The third is a case where the future can exert a causative influence on the present. In the late 2020s, around 2025-28, it’s all going to be going like the clappers. So right now it’s a bit like the low-tide, eerie silence of an impending tsunami – the future is sucking us toward it. The bad news is that it’s going to prove to be all too much for everyone and, the way the world is, some people will get scrunched. The good news is that this avalanche of events and changes will loosen up many stuck, interrelated issues, and it will also bring a rush of solutions. It’s an acceleration.
The key issues of the time will be social priorities (Pluto in Aquarius), new and changing ideas and perspectives (Uranus in Gemini) and leadership and power issues (Neptune in Aries). These three will form a triangle, or an energy-thrum, which actually will be very positive, a florescence under duress. But, since we have so many unresolved issues in the world, unatrtended to in recent decades, things could get difficult. If we had started the necessary changes fifty years ago, this would likely have been a very productive time.
But it will perhaps not be as nasty and depressing as we saw in the 2010s. There we had bad stuff with few solutions, while in the late 2020s we’ll get bad stuff with lots of solutions – if, that is, we treat them that way. Things are likely to start rushing so fast that fundamental changes will need to start happening, urgently and pragmatically, simply to deal with the onrush of events and cascading outcomes arising from them. The gift in the situation is that, at last, things will be loosening up and accelerating. The Millennial generation will also be stepping into positions of influence.
So we’re in a time of tension where there are forces pulling in a variety of directions, and the future is currently like a coin spinning in the air. There’s a sense that something is coming, and there’s fear and anticipation around it in the collective psyche of humanity. There’s also a lot of frustration and disagreement about what to do about it. Questions we have been avoiding for decades are all suddenly crowding in, and this will continue. There’s a feeling of jaded disappointment and disaffection in the collective psyche, after a trail of horrendous scenes in recent decades – atrocities, wars, refugees, hunger, disasters – and this adds to the bottled-up, stuck feeling of our time, a feeling that, no matter what we do, nothing will change. Energies of growth are being held down by the weight of accumulated past decisions, habits and procedures, and by the manic busyness of a coffee-driven modern culture that is running so fast it has forgotten where it’s running to and why everyone is running so fast in the first place. There’s a lot of opposition, division, diversion, distraction and blocking going on.
So that’s why it’s rather intense at present. It’s going on for me too – it feels like I’m processing too many issues to be able to be clear any of them properly, and all of them depend on something else. I’ve been missing loved ones, particularly one of them, and fed up with my own patterns and with being single, and groaningly facing the fact that I might have to write another book, and dreading winter, and fed up with tribal politics, and feeling overloaded with things to pay attention to, and all sorts of stuff like that. The usual grinding stuff in which I sometimes get lost. Which I did today – I got quite down about it.
So I went to bed this afternoon to go inside myself, rumbling around in the netherworlds, then to surface and eventually reach above the clouds. One result was that it came upon me to get up and write this blog. It was Caroline in Glastonbury who had jogged me to do it this morning – she has a way of constructively jogging me – so thanks, Caroline. But I had resisted – the thought of sitting at my keyboard didn’t light me up. When she or others give me the elbow, I do sometimes resist at first, but that’s just an Aspie thing – I ruminate over such prompts once they’ve gone and eventually come to the rightness of what they tried to say. If, that is, it was right, and if it was not quite right, it helped me work things out and was a gift anyway. So this blog came out eventually, and I hope it gave some useful clues.
Rain falls on saints and sinners alike. That’s what it did down’ere in Cornwall on Saturday. The Atlantic wrapped its blustery rains around us and I lit my woodstove.
Classic weather for the time around my birthday, 5th September. Often it fell on the first day of the school year, when I was young – great, huh? Everyone is too busy doing other things around that date (and this is a pattern of mine too). I don’t go big on birthdays as a result. Instead I have a special day, a pilgrimage in nature, in inner space or with a special person. On my 50th, I went out on the Somerset Levels with philosopher and fellow crop circle researcher Stanley Messenger, then in his 80s, for some amazing encounters with otters and big waterfowl beings – it was a blessed day.
My 33rd was exceptional. All my friends came. It was the party of my life. Unbeknownst to anyone, including me, I was soon to start the camps movement, so it marked a departure on a journey I didn’t know I was about to make. The journey involved stepping over the line between looking after my own best interests and playing a part in a larger chessgame. Once you’re over that line, going back is difficult. There are times to step up to it and times to fall back, and it goes on through a progression of phases that seem to end only when you pop your clogs.
Two of the most special experiences we have in life are getting born and dying. There’s something hyper-magical about both, as if they’re stage-managed to set and then to release a particular pattern that is unique to each of us as individuals – the specific identity and face we adopt for the duration of a lifetime. What happens at our births and deaths is somehow meant to be. There’s a narrative, a riddle to it, a kind of cosmic punchline, personalised for us. It somehow sums up our story.
My friend Sophia, a gifted potter and sculptor, died unexpectedly in bed on the night before her big exhibition. On reflection I realised this was classic for the kind of soul she was: perhaps she needed simply to get there and to leave an artistic legacy behind, which she did, and the rewards of success might not have suited her. In the logic of our world her death was untimely and out of place, but in the logic of the otherworld it made complete sense. She went home, probably rather relieved.
I’ve been reflecting on my birth at Hartfield, Sussex in 1950, in what, earlier, had been the WW2 American Generals’ HQ in Britain. It was in the former operations room where Eisenhower had directed the American part of D-Day. Well, that was a portentous start. It was a baby-boom nursing home after the war and, being the last child to be born there before it closed, most of the staff were present. The doctor was one of the first in Britain to use relaxation techniques in childbirth – and, lo behold, I’ve been involved in childbirth and now with dying. But my mother still had to work hard with me since we both had our own reluctances. This picture fits me neatly: war, peace, public involvements, big squeezes and acts of will have been recurring themes in my life.
I dropped much of my reluctance to be alive in my mid-30s during a rebirthing session. Finding myself pulled back to the world where I’d originated as a soul, I was taken in again by my people. This reconnected me with the source of my being – it was deeply feelingful – and, from then on, I felt more wholehearted about being here, losing my doubts.
But here’s a funny twist. Next door to Hartfield House was the Hundred Aker Wood, from A A Milne’s Winnie the Pooh. Hmm… that’s a whole lot different. There’s always been a certain childlike optimism, innocence and naivete to me, a tendency to see the angel, not the devil, in others, and this acts both as an asset and as a bane. It helps me see through and beyond many things, though it’s best that someone more astute than me does the real business. In Pooh’s world, despite their scrapes, everyone gets on with each other, and this has been big for me – people getting on – with some successes and a good few failures. But in the end life isn’t about success and failure: it’s about what we learn, what endures and what in the end really matters.
History eats up our lives like a big fat slug eating your lettuces. Our life-stories become buried in the rubble of endlessly progressing events. We’re forgotten, and our lives, with all their drama-rich significances, dissolve into a recycleable pile of compost for coming generations to make use of. Generations of which we ourselves might become members. Ooops.
We’re part of a planetary race – we come from it and return to it. Our purpose is to co-evolve together into a diverse yet united planetary race, and we definitely aren’t there yet. This is necessary because, without it, we can’t meet the neighbours on terms that would be good both for us and for them.
For this to happen, a few big things need to happen first. One is this: we humans need to make significant progress in becoming friends with each other. Like it or not, we’re part of one human tribe with one shared bundle of interests – especially to survive and thrive. We need to agree sufficiently on what needs to be done. Emotionally, this means feeling we are against no one, and they are not against us. There will always be differences and contentions, but the way we handle them needs to change. This is deep and historic stuff, going back to times before anyone felt a need for conflict.
Consensus and cooperation. Shifting away from competition, argument, insecurity, reactivity and strife. Sorting out our differences in other ways. For everyone to feel okay about joining this, progress on the world’s major injustices also comes into focus – without it, stranger danger and public distrust of institutions and oppressors will continue to prevail. Trickier still is this: planetary priorities need to override smaller priorities while somehow honouring and incorporating them.
It doesn’t even stop there – it’s deeper. It means the end of the human war on nature and on animals. Deeper still, it means changing the way we habitually go against even ourselves – psychospiritual stuff. Further, it involves getting friendly with the universe, with intelligences and people in other worlds and realities. Yes. Modern humanity’s wilful blindness on this matter does it no good.
All this sounds rather big and difficult, and it is, but ultimately it is easier and more realistic to do it than not to do it. That’s the nub of the matter.
In Britain, back in the neolithic 3000s BCE, people saw the lives of the dead to run in parallel to those of the living. They were all of the same tribe, simply in adjacent worlds. The ancestors helped the living and the living acted with their ancestors and descendants in mind. Patterns of reincarnation have changed since then, as our genetic tribes have broken down and dispersed, but the principle survives – the worlds run in parallel. In different cultures and areas of the world at different times, the breakdown meant a disintegration of the ‘ring of power’ within society. An implicit contract of care and enchantment between people and landscape dwindled too. In Britain this worldview-collapse occurred around 1500-1200 BCE, with the decline of the megalithic era.
Every problem in the world today is a solution in disguise. It’s a matter of observing crises and issues with ‘second sight’, seeing what’s underneath and behind, and ‘listening more closely to things than to people’. Nowadays, the future increasingly causes the present, sucking us toward it and facing us with issues we need to sort out – fundamentals, not tweaks. Look outside the rich world for many of the world’s dawning solutions and for the people who will bring them.
At some stage, so many big crises will happen at the same time that we are overwhelmed, and systems changes will happen. Force majeure. It will come in waves over the next few decades, up to a probable crescendo around 2050 (I’d estimate) – not that far ahead. During this period, the world’s future is likely to be decided, and things will unfold from there. By the mid-2060s the question won’t be ‘what will happen?’ but ‘what do we do with what has happened?’.
One of the central obstacles to progress is our beliefs, attitudes, principles, values and groupthink – these colour all our decisions. And: ‘for the triumph of evil it is necessary only that good people do nothing’. Where there’s a will there’s a way, but if the will is a won’t really, or if it pulls in divergent directions, then there’s no way. Here lies the root of our problem.
Humanity is in discord, disarray and dissonance. We’re pursuing conflicting agendas and, until this jangle is reduced, major global concerns won’t be resolved. The tension involved literally stirs up the atmosphere, prompting weather events and climate extremes, and it sparks uprisings, crises, outbreaks and tragedies. There are mass hypocrisies, willful blindnesses, cultural denial and an infectious pandemic of sub-surface fears to sort out too.
The groupthink issue has preoccupied me all my adult life, since being part of a suppressed revolution half a century ago. It was painful, and I tried figuring out how and why it had happened that way. As time went on, studying astrology, psychology, Buddhism, history, geopolitics and allsorts, and watching the unfolding of world events, the mechanisms gradually came clearer. What set the cat amongst the pigeons, for me, was what we did at the ‘Chernobyl Camp’ in 1986, when we found that consciousness work indeed can and does affect the course of world events – it wasn’t just wishful thinking. The implications and responsibilities involved took a few years to digest.
Working with the Council of Nine in the early 1990s helped me understand how it all works and the larger picture within which it stands. This led me to start the Hundredth Monkey Camps in the mid-1990s, in which we tested and tried world-healing methods and did some remarkable things, gathering much experience. Out of this, a smaller group of ‘Monkeys’ started the Flying Squad in which, over twenty years, we found out a lot about what long-distance, high-commitment, high-focus world healing work really involves in real-life, doable terms.
A big thing for me has been the collective psyche of humanity and how to jog it into caring for its own overall best interests. Progress has been made, experience gathered, and there’s further to go. I’d like to leave something about this behind, before I go. I’m gnawing away at it, opened up by experiences that cancer has brought. In my ‘Magic Circles‘ I seek to share perspectives and tricks to help demystify and bring alive some of the issues around consciousness work – the next is in Buckfast, Devon on 24th Sept (best to book before it fills up).
I might write something about world healing or prompt some movement in that work but, for now, I’m sitting on it, ruminating until things come clearer, watching for signs, consulting my and others’ feelings, thinking things through. The process will unfold over winter and, if conditions are right, something might emerge in 2023.
I must attend to my health, pacing myself well and giving space for the necessary downtimes that are part of the cancer process. These quiet times are important for restoration, rumination and steadying up. ‘Chemo-brain’ is not just a mental and memory issue: it has reduced my capacity to process ‘stuff’ and deal with complexity, and I need more time and space for them than before. So each time I have a busy period I need to give my psyche a chance to freewheel and defragment. But on the other side, I get insights, and it gives me time to cook up crazy blogs, podcasts and ideas, get them down and get them out. Which is how I managed to get this one out!
Thanks for reading, everyone. Bless you all. Thanks in advance for your birthday wishes. Palden.
I grew up in what in the 1960s was a violent and polarised city, Liverpool, learning in my teens that, in any conflict, it always, always takes two to tango – even when one side is the victim and another the oppressor. This can be a difficult issue to see and to own, whether or not one is involved in a conflict, and especially when people suffer horribly. There’s a natural tendency to take sides – and taking sides is important because issues and principles are involved in situations like Ukraine today, or in any conflict, big or small.
It is possible to take sides, or to stand up for one’s own interests, while also acknowledging that it takes two to tango. This is a key element in war strategy too: right now it is not good strategy for Russia and NATO to provoke each other too far, since they risk starting an action-reaction escalation reaching levels that fundamentally self-harm each side and everyone.
This has a restraining influence – deterrence. It can happen in the personal sphere too, in our own arguments, even with ourselves. It is a key element in peacemaking: both sides are in some way responsible – even if the balance is 80-20 or 70-30. We can support one side for entirely valid reasons, while ‘tango’ holds true nonetheless. War is filled with paradoxes.
There’s an ugly reality getting acted out in Ukraine, the ‘theatre of war’ for today: to quote Bertrand Russell, ‘War is not about who is right, it’s about who is left‘. This looks likely to prove true in coming months or years. So a miracle solution is needed here.
Talking of viruses, have you noticed how, when one war (such as Afghanistan) comes to an end, another seemingly unconnected war (such as Ukraine) can quickly start up? The issue here is that we have allowed the war virus to be firmly rooted in the human psyche, such that it becomes default behaviour. When the host population is worn out, the virus hops to another vulnerable population, until we change the default pattern.
So, immunologically, by addressing the factors that feed the war virus and the vectors of its transmission, and giving extra support to ‘medical interventions’ such as peacebuilding, diplomacy, de-traumatisation and citizen contact across the lines over a period of time, so that a new immunity can be built up. But to do this the media need to focus on peacemaking, not the excitement of conflict, and at least half of negotiators and peacemakers should be women, and the voices of the young should be heard.
One of the most dangerous things in our time is polarisation, during a time when, to address the main issues in the world, cooperation is more necessary now than ever – globally and, despite Brexit, Europe-wide. Social consensus, cooperation and human care are so much needed – this was demonstrated during the Covid lockdowns. Environmental, climatic, population, social and justice issues will make little progress without care, pluralism and inclusivity. This means consensus not only amongst our lot, but also with that lot over there – even with banksters, extremists and other demons.
There’s a further thing: when people and nations are getting on with explosions and atrocities, they are not getting on with the essential questions that, in the end, harm us all. They are blasting out the subtle, tender, human aspects of life with noise and violence. War is a tragic diversion, a terrible habit of humanity that is used unconsciously, and by elites, as a way of evading the big questions. It’s ingrained in all of us.
This applies in our personal relationships: each party in an argument might consider the other wrong or flawed, feeling justified in standing up for itself, yet both parties together fail to fulfil the core purpose of their relationship unless their argument progresses toward resolution. This doesn’t mean everything has to be peaceful and smoothed over: differences of position need sorting out at an earlier stage, before they get complex and damaging, in the knowledge that fighting charges a higher price to both parties than reconciliation. Fighting rarely sorts out the fundamental causes of conflict, instead laying down further historic pain and trauma for future eruption and processing. It goes on and on.
This said, I honour, respect and support the choice of Ukrainians to resist, now that we are where we are. I would too, in their situation. I’ve spent years working with Palestinians, and I feel their resistance is justified, not because I believe Israelis are wrong but because, ultimately, what the Israeli state has been doing is not right for Palestinians, Israelis or anyone. If I were in Ukraine, I’d be in the resistance – in my case, doing furtive and dangerous things in the background (I have Mars in Scorpio).
Would you keep your head down, be a refugee or join the resistance? It’s quite important to be honest with ourselves about questions like this, at this time.
One strange thing about war situations is this: it gives people a tremendous, if tragic, opportunity to discover their true gifts. It’s a free-for-all in many different senses, and some of the acts of humanity I’ve seen in conflict situations are unforgettable. And people quickly find out what they’re really good at.
Polarisation, a virus of the psyche, has no simple vaccination. It oversimplifies things when a conflict escalates and breaks out, even if it is but a conflict of ideas or values. Conflicts are a complex calculus, often going way back into histories and threads that otherwise have been forgotten. When they break out, the rules change drastically and damage and pain escalate horrendously as a result. Referring to the past to justify one’s position becomes less and less relevant because, in war, the past few days’ damaging events can override them.
In the end, apart from fighting to exhaustion, the only way to resolve a conflict is to focus on the present and future needs of all concerned parties, because that’s what’s being forged and the outcome is longterm or permanent. To some extent, everyone is right and everyone is wrong, and this needs recognising. If we cannot establish these as global norms, we will not really resolve the bigger issues we face in the 21st Century. It’s that simple.
Ideas and sentiments replicate virally and, although some folk, and some countries like Britain, see themselves as scions of freedom, they can also be obedient carriers and sufferers of the polarisation virus without really knowing or owning up to it. The same applies to people who buy into conventional public groupthink, which settles so easily around simple catchphrases, formulae, heroes or villains, denying wider perspectives, tending to see things one-sidedly and seeking to pre-decide issues. Driven by an urge for comfort in numbers, individuals can suspend consideration, subscribing instead to verified and authorised rationales made official by the loudest pundits, or by convention, or by authorities or corporates with the power to persuade or control, both in the foreground or the background.
When social control mechanisms rear their heads, as we’ve seen in recent years, we tend to blame governments, corporations, Big Brother, Reptilians, foreigners or whatever, yet thereby we confirm our own infection by the virus, helping to replicate it. People accused of wrongs are too easily demonised, stripping them of humanity, so that others can feel they’re right. Poor thinking, often befogged by reverberating public sentiment, is so easily captured and trained, and our media and social media excel in it.
The virus arises from a kind of separation trauma deep in the heart of humanity. It emerged as competitiveness, warlordism, stratified social power, a sense that others are a threat and that nature is there for conquest, accompanied by an increasingly cultish elevation of self-interest. In Britain I think it took hold around 1200 BCE, at the end of the megalithic era. Different people are differently affected by the polarisation and groupthink, and to step outside their thralldom can be quite traumatic because all our beliefs, our world, can disintegrate – which is why many people don’t do it. Best done in youth, though it’s a struggle then, too.
In this respect, I recommend spending time outside the developed world, not as a tourist but in the villages and streets, and not just for a week, and running on economy – things look and feel very different. Learn how to sleep on the ground, cook with one pan on a fire or how to accept the generosity of quite poor people.
I’m writing all this not only as a geopolitics and history buff, but because I’m personally in a deep and moving conflict of my own in my life right now, and the challenge is to remember all the above in my dealings. This is difficult – stepping outside myself sufficiently to be as objective and fair as possible, yet standing up for and successfully communicating my own position and terms at the same time. It’s a matter of feeling my pain, guilt and fear while, as much as possible, not being dominated by them. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don’t, and when I fail it adds to the hurt I cause.
It’s strange too since, as a cancer patient, I have to be more attentive to my needs and interests than ever before, and I’m in new territory. It presents a dilemma. I need others’ support like never before, though I’m not up for playing the victim cancer sufferer either – an attitude that has a downward bearing on my health and spirits. I have no right to expect others to make sacrifices for me, only a hope. I’m at risk of getting mashed even by others’ often quite normal, acceptable actions and ways, bless them, and particularly by their non-actions or omissions. Yet, up to the right level at least, I do need my minimum needs met, without lapsing into a stuck constellation of relationships where I’m asking favours and demanding support of a time-pressed circle of rushed helpers, neighbours, friends and family, most of whom are doing their very best, and for whose inputs I’m genuinely grateful.
Yet in our society helping others is seen as a choice, carried out when we have time or inclination, when in many societies it is a natural obligation and priority. In war, it’s all hands on deck or get out of the way. Indeed, it’s likely to be all hands on deck in coming decades, though not necessarily because of war. Evolving a balance between freedom and obligation is one of the great tasks of coming decades: the balance of private preference and wider benefit, local and global, and human needs and ecosystem priorities. And it has to work, otherwise it’s hard times.
So in my heart, the war in Ukraine (also in Sahel and Palestine) and the difficult personal conflict I am in, are digging over similar ground. It’s literally heart-rending. In moments of despair, part of me even wants to go to Ukraine, not to fight, but to weigh in on making people happier and doing some backchannel work – I have the experience, and an old cripple on sticks like me is quite good cover when hobbling through checkpoints and handling scrapes. I’m likely to die before too long anyway, which means that, though I do have fear, it doesn’t impact quite the same as it usually would – and you gotta go somehow.
But I don’t have it in me to go, really, physically and financially. My time for that is past, and sometimes I go through pangs about that. So, I’m doing what I can from here, re-engaging in a new level of psychic work, from my eyrie here on the farm, and from occasional hilltops and headlands in West Penwith. I find the Kremlin is psychically not as well guarded as the White House or even Number Ten.
This confluence of personal feeling and war in Ukraine is interesting because, while currently experiencing my own pain and loss patterns, my geopolitical inner efforts are able to come from a more deep and feelingful place, and both are somehow inwardly connected. Many Ukrainians, like cancer patients, have death hovering close to them, and there’s a deep vulnerability and a bizarre openness to that. This is what part of me has deeply sought, in my involvement in conflicts in the past – a sensitivity and emotional permeability that makes me more human, and it comes up in risky, edgy situations.
I’ve sought this in loving and caring relationships too, only to come up against my own limitations, pain and switched-downness. I’ve made some progress, but in truth I can’t say I’ve resolved the matter at all. I look and sound pretty sussed out, but really, I’m both happy and unhappy with the way I’ve handled life and its ins and outs. I haven’t fitted easily into the world. It’s good to be honest about that because, when we come to dying, the whole story of our lives show themselves in a new and different way, and it’s better facing awkward truths beforehand. It’s not self-pity, it’s straight old reality-as-it-is being revealed, and ultimately that’s relieving, helping with karmic untangling.
And life goes on. In health I am kinda okay, with room for improvement and a few problem issues that trouble me, but I’ll get there. In spirits I am soldiering on and holding up, and I’ve been having some lovely adventures out in nature – and I keep looking for the gift in situations. Astrologically I’m on a few big Saturn transits, so whaddya expect?
Springtime is coming here in Cornwall, and some bonny days have appeared since newmoon, and the plants are yawning open, and the geese will probably head north soon, and the tweety birds are chomping birdseed and fatballs at a rate of knots, and it’s no longer dark when I wake up, and Saturday was the first day I didn’t light my woodstove in the morning. And I enjoy blueberry porage for breakfast.
Amidst the hurricane of flying crap happening now, above all hold steady – and I shall too. This is the second of quite a few big crises in the 2020s, and it’s best to forget ‘normal’ and to develop new ways to find our ground. Here’s a re-tweet: I sense that the future is having an increasingly causative effect on the present – the past is getting wiped away faster than we would like. We’re getting sucked forward into successive cliffhanger situations where we, as humans, are obliged to make bottom-line decisions – kinda last-chance saloon stuff. Perhaps this applies to my personal affairs too, or perhaps to yours. Such brinkmanship is a way to prepare us for change, because guaranteeing the future involves making a quantum leap where absolutely everything is up for review and change, and we’re all involved. It’s hair-raising and gives no security, and it’s what we’re being confronted with now, in the 2020s.
One of life’s big lessons is that what we anticipate and what we get can be very different things
This podcast was prompted by an e-mail from a good friend of mine, concerned about the climate crisis.
Here are my current thoughts on the climate and environmental crisis. I have reservations about the current climate picture: it’s not wrong, but it isn’t quite right either.
And this issue isn’t primarily environmental, it’s social, psychospiritual and about the nature of planetary civilisation.
Each and every one of us has to get behind this for it to succeed – form a world consensus that everyone can buy. That’s tricky. The breakthrough point on climate will come alongside a breakthrough point in humanity.
As a forecaster – working mainly along social and geopolitical lines – I’ve learned a few things about predicting the future: what we currently visualise for the future and what actually happens when the future actually comes can be quite different things.
Introduced by the waves at Portheras Cove, a few miles from where I live, here in Cornwall.
And if you’re mulling over the world’s future, try this. It’s the concluding page from a report I did in 2018 about the world in 2050, called Possibilities 2050. In the report I outlined four possible scenarios: manageable, difficult, disastrous and transformative. Here I map out what could be likely.
A podcast about building global consensus for change and survival
Here’s my latest podcast, and it’s about….
About the collective unconscious, beliefs and fundamental questions, and the mechanics of the way that deep change happens in real life.
The ‘official line’ – what we must subscribe to and replicate if we wish to succeed in the existing socio-economic system – is flawed and unsustainable, and the deeper psyche of humanity understands something rather different.
Everything is okay in the end, and if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.
This is my 41st blog entry since I gained cancer, would you believe – or it gained me. It is now almost two years since the first sign of cancer revealed itself: I was gardening at Lynne’s place and cracked my back. For the first two months it seemed I had a bad back issue, but by mid-November I was diagnosed with myeloma – bone marrow cancer. My life changed. I was given a new chapter of life. Now it has been nearly two years. I’m still here, still alive. Amazingly.
Myeloma is a blood cancer and, unlike tumorous cancers, it cannot be cut out or eliminated – it can only be managed. I’ve been on a course of chemo since February (DVD – Dara, Velcade and Dex) which is now cut down to one treatment per month of Dara (injection) and Dex (pills) – a nurse comes round to visit, do blood tests, give me the drugs and occasionally to pump me up with Zolodronic acid, by drip, which helps reconstruct my hollowing bones. This is because myeloma dissolves the bones – and that’s what, in the end, might well kill me. Collapsing bones that land me up in bed, or where I get breakages and complications from them.
Well, that’s the standard prognosis, but I’m rather different, and we shall see.
All this is because of a susceptibility and exposure to electromagnetic and nuclear radiation – yes, mobile phones and wi-fi. Which I no longer use, and anyone entering my house must switch off. Even so, some people forget, and some are even dishonest. What people don’t understand is that it takes three seconds to be irradiated and two days to get rid of it. That’s what it’s like being electrosensitive.
In what way am I different? Well, I’ve discovered a lot about this in the last two years, under test and in real terms. I’ve been an acid tripper since 1966, a health-conscious wholefood vegetarian since 1971 and a meditator since 1975. This has made a big difference, and it’s deeply embedded over half a century. When diagnosed with cancer I went through a few days of anger and feelings of letdown because I had honestly believed that my lifestyle would protect me from such ailments as cancer. But then a specialist came along to say, no, my cancer wasn’t a ‘lifestyle cancer’ arising from life-habits or other causes such as stress – it was from specific toxic poisoning from radiation exposure.
Though it is also true that there are deeper reasons, and psychiatrist Gabor Mate has something interesting to say about that: people who get cancer tend to be more tuned into others’ feelings, needs and thoughts than to their own. So cancer draws our attention back to ourselves. And staying attuned to your energy-state becomes very important.
Myeloma concerns blood, the life-blood that keeps me alive, and bones, the framework that holds me up and allows me to live. It’s core stuff – not just a stressed organ going wrong – and it concerns being alive and will to live. Being someone who has helped thousands of people change their lives and who has saved many lives, this is significant to me. I’m also one of those who has felt reluctant to be alive, though this has been a motivator too – giving me a desperate need to give meaning to my life, to justify being here.
There’s more. I’ve discovered that there are two levels of immunity. One is what people standardly regard as immunity, for which immune boosters such as Vit C, zinc or selenium and a wholesome diet with fresh foods and exercise help a lot. The other is an underlying resilience that arises from decades of care for oneself, in terms of diet, lifestyle, basic happiness and psychospiritual condition. This resilience has shone through during my struggle with cancer. It shows up in my medical results: the doctors sometimes say I’m lucky, but no, it is because of choices I made when I was young and have held to ever since.
There’s even more. I knew this theoretically beforehand, but I’ve now learned it in my cells and bones. My survival now depends not mainly on medication – which did indeed save me when I was at death’s door in late 2019 – but on the state of my spirits. Earlier this year I took life in my hands and deeply decided that I shall die when I have run out of energy and the will to hold myself up and maintain my spirits – no sooner, and no later. I’m a former mountaineer – I know this stuff. The state of my spirits keeps me alive. I do get deeply tired, and on some days I drag myself around like a lead weight, as if gravitation has been switched up and Sir Isaac Newton is working overtime. My batteries run down and my life-signs are measured in mega-flops.
But the key thing is this. As things have progressed I have gone for help to my ‘inner guides’ and ‘inner doctors’, and every week I do a deep meditation where I open myself up and yield to them, let them inspect me internally and do some fixing. And they do. And it works. It really works. But it requires deep surrender, trust and, dare I say it, belief. Were it not for this, I wouldn’t be alive now.
I’ve asked myself what life would be like if I didn’t have cancer. I realised that I had reached the end of my path. I’m a purpose-driven kinda guy, and I had run out of purpose without realising it. I was carrying on with my customary life-strategies but I wasn’t really fired up. Cancer has given me a new life by giving me new challenges: core challenges. I’ve been tasked with befriending death and completing my life. This wasn’t what I thought the plan was, but it is indeed a great gift.
My old friend Bryony, a radiant lady and a devoted Buddhist, was my PA when we were organising the Hundredth Monkey Camps in the 1990s. She died of cancer at age 50 and she said, just before she went, that her life divided in two halves. One lasted 48 years, BC, before cancer, and the other lasted two years – and they were equal half-lives.
That’s what’s happened to me. Rob Hand, a well-known astrologer in Cape Cod, USA, once told me, when I was 40, that I would reach my peak in late life. Well, Rob, you were right. It made sense, because I have Saturn prominent in my birth chart. But I never anticipated cancer. It has prematurely aged me. Physically I am coming up 71, but I’ve been catapulted into my eighties, and on a ‘bad’ day in my nineties.
It reminds me of something the Tibetan lama Akong Rinpoche taught me in 1975: the real work happens when life is hard and you’re climbing uphill, and the times when you feel free, light and joyous are like holidays, to help you keep going. But then, he was a Capricorn.
In recent years some people of my generation have been thinking of themselves as elders. I’ve always balked at this. I’m a veteran, yes – a veteran of the revolution and a load of other things that would frighten many people. My life has been 120 years long, experientially. But I’ve now discovered what an elder really is.
To be an elder you need to lose your powers and abilities to a sufficient degree that you can no longer participate in life’s busy issues – you have to become incapable, dependent on others. This makes you see beyond normal ways of seeing things. A certain wisdom becomes available, yet it comes only when you can no longer act on life in the way you used to. We humans only really appreciate things when we lose them, and having Death staring at you, straight in the eyes, sure does change your perspective on life. You have to accept that you’re no longer in control. That brings forward the relative wisdom of elderhood – if, that is, you’re prepared to assume it, and if people around you actually want and need it.
I can’t do stuff any more. People want me to self-publish my book (which is still not out) but I don’t have what it takes to handle that. I am dependent on others for this. That’s just one example. And today, as I write, my valiant helper Penny, who deserves ten medals, comes round to clean up. I keep my house tidy on a day-to-day level (after all, I’m a Virgo) but I haven’t got what it takes to do deeper cleaning, recycling and sorting. I can no longer drive a car (a big thing for me), and she’s my daily-life fixer out there in the world. This week she’s going to get me a new dishwashing brush.
On Monday, Lynne left after one of our weekends, to go back home to Devon, and I depend enormously on her too: she’s my chief watcher, and she supports my heart and soul in thoroughly irreplaceable ways, and she helps me stay human. She loves me in ways I never thought anyone could. Circumstances meant that we hadn’t seen each other for two months. I’m a tough old boot and a survivor, but as soon as she walked in the door, everything was alright again for both of us. As she said last weekend, there’s something deeply magic between us – it’s almost as if we’d been fixed for each other. And remarkably, given my situation, I seem also to be supporting her heart and soul too, since she has a busy, engaged life of the kind I have now withdrawn from – and life hasn’t been at all easy for her recently. She’s had months of intensity and treading the edge.
I depend also on my truly dedicated and heroic shopper, Karen, who keeps me stocked with food each week. I depend on my landlords, the Tobins, for their hospitality, protection and goodwill. I rely on the wildlife outside my window – the swallows, tits, robins, buzzards, gulls and crows – who feed my spirits. And on you lot, who read my stuff and hear my podcasts, who give me a feeling there’s reason to stick around. And on my family, who still need me as a father and grandfather, however distant, hermity and weird I might be.
And on creativity: I’ve been limited to about 3-5 hours per day in my working capacities, but I’ve been very creative with it. That feeds me – and hopefully it feeds others too. But the biggest thing is my inner helpers. In the end, they’re keeping me alive, and this must be because they perceive a reason to do so.
Now here comes a plonker that will turn off some of you and twiggle the antennae of a few others: half of them are ETs. And, if I have it in me to write a further book, it might be about ETs. And MDIs – multidimensional intelligences. And what this means for the world. Most people think this is a peripheral, fanciful or deluded issue for cranks only, and of no relevance to them. Well, I have news for you.
If you think that climate change and resolving all of the world’s other endless problems is the most important question for the 21st century, think again. The biggest issue for humanity is meeting the neighbours. For which we are not ready.
However… resolving our world problems will make us ready. It will enable us to meet them as equals. Which is why they currently hold back. They’re waiting. To save us from our planetary plight they would currently have to stage a takeover, rendering us as subjects and victims, and this is not what is needed. They would need to suppress our strange human tendency to fight against them, defending our supposed freedom to do what we want – and a conflict would constitute a massive mission-failure for planet Earth. They would win, but they don’t want things that way. They are waiting for us to rise to our full stature as humans and take responsibility for our part in the universal story. Making progress in this is crucial not just for us but also for them.
What I am saying is not new. It was in a 1993 book I was commissioned to write for some beings called the Council of Nine, The Only Planet of Choice (now out of print and with collectors’ value). Gene Roddenbery was involved, and Startrek and the idea of the Prime Directive were based on his chats with the Nine. Thirty years after writing that book, my experience has led me to understand that the Nine were right. Planet Earth’s progress is important for the universe.
It is not really for me to choose whether to write this book, since I cannot control how long I live or whether my brains will handle writing another book (it’s hard work). I’ll do it if I can, and if the right flow starts up to allow me to write what is truly needed. But first, I must complete what I’m currently doing. On my ‘up’ days, I can see the possibility of doing such a book, though on my ‘down’ days, when I’m dragging myself around and making a cup of tea is a big deal, it seems a ridiculous proposition – and who would be interested anyway? And am I bothered?
We shall see. That’s what life is like now – it goes on a daily basis. I might live seven years, or I might fall over, break my bones and pop my clogs in a month. We shall see. That vulnerability, that rather big open question, now determines my life. Over time I’ve been describing to you how gaining cancer has been an amazingly strange gift – it has given me a new life, even if shortened in terms of ticktock time. Now let me deliver you another plonker. Some of you won’t like this or agree, but I’ve always been like this: I don’t always deliver notions people would prefer to hear.
The environmental problem and the world’s vast stock of problems are a great gift. They are the beginning of a new life for humanity. We are at last growing up. It’s happening now. The solutions lie within the problems we face, in all their details. And, despite the underlying fear, anxiety, loathing and resistance we humans are infected with nowadays, all eight billion of us, each in our ways, we’re going to make it.
The only question is how much pain and damage has to happen first – and that’s our choice. In making it we shall rise to a more full stature as a planetary race. We will become ready to meet the neighbours. Because we as souls come from them. No one started their journey here, and nobody is here by accident.
Brothers and sisters: be in peace in your hearts, and get on with whatever you know in your blood and bones to be good and true. Get on with it please. For that’s what we are here for. There was a nuclear scientist who asked the Nine whether there was one thing that would really change everything, that humanity could do. The Nine were good at one-liners. They said, simply, everything will change when everyone on Earth gets on with their life-purpose. It is already programmed inside us. If everyone does that, everything will get covered. We don’t need to find or get it: it’s with us now and we need to do it.
Coming Decades | where we stand and where we’re heading. An astrologer speaks.
Here’s my next podcast from the far beyond. Coming Decades.
This is Paldywan the astrologer-historian placing our current time in a larger context – going back to 1892 – and giving some clues about future issues and developments in coming times – up to the 2060s.
With some interesting news about the late 2020s – only a few years’ time.
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