Extracts from a letter by Malcolm Forsythe, in London, UK, to his friend Anton, in the Ukraine, recalling some of the events of 2012.
December 30th, 2012
What a strange and wonderful year this has been ! While half the country has been worrying itself sick about the potential break-up of the Antarctic ice-sheets, the other half has been wrapping itself in hypersensory music and celebrations of the star system Sirius. It's hard enough to make any sense of it here in England, so I can't imagine what it must seem like to you. Did you manage to get enough potatoes in, before the big freeze-up ? Are you able to keep yourselves warm ? It must be terrible, coping without regular power.
As you know, I live with a foot in both camps, here in London. One day I'm in conference with the Cabinet Planning Secretariat down in Whitehall, scheming up new ways to make people reduce their use of fossil fuels, and the next day I'm running a workshop on cyber-consciousness in Richmond's leafy suburbs. It's quite a relief to get the occasional Sunday off when I can go up onto Hampstead Heath with Sonya and the kids and enjoy a normal afternoon of swimming, sunbathing and play-fighting on the grass.
But what is normal any more ? Things seem to be changing so fast I sometimes think that 'normal' is a state of mind that exists only in our memories. You have to forget what we have recently remembered, to rediscover normal.
We used to think that it was normal to exist in a body that was separate from other bodies, with a mind that was separate and a set of emotions that were separate. The whole idea of privacy, along with the cultural norms and literature of the 20th century, was based on these assumptions. Distance from others was an essential part of our self-identity, at least here in England. I know it was different in the Caribbean, and most of Africa.
What's been happening of late is that people have been "remembering", or "re-membering", re-connecting to the larger membranes that link us together, and link us to nature. People have been realizing that the 'normal' state of isolation and privacy which our culture imposed on us is an 'abnormal' state of being, which cuts us off from each other and denies us the thousand possibilities of kinship and harmony.
If I had to put a date to it, I would say that it started with the arrival of Compost Modernism, at the beginning of the millennium. Modernism was fine. It broke up mould of the old 19th century romantic imagination, and freed us up to see the world in new ways. It was fresh air, that said "anything is possible." Postmodernism, by contrast, was a piece of schlock. It was like the baroque, after classicism's calm geometry. The way I perceived it, along with most of the people I knew, was that postmodernism was completely stuck in its head, or rather its image of what the idea of its head should have been. It was so busy deconstructing everything that there was nothing left that could be said to have an authentic reality of its own, apart from its own replica. By the end of the 20th century, it had become so separated from anything real that it was like a nihilistic phantom, awaiting its own implosion.
It was compost modernism which imploded it, with spades. It came out of nowhere, celebrating everything that was real through participatory music, dance and song, crazy home-made sculptures and street poetry. 'Participation, not performance' was its catch-phrase, as it joyfully invited everyone to join in. The important thing in compost modernism is to be authentic, not to pretend. An authentic rendering by a street musician who is fully engaged in the music is felt to be more desirable than a stage performance where the actors or musicians are just going through the motions. Compost modernism took the sticks and bones of postmodernism and tossed them into the compost heap of life, to be eaten by worms and regenerated into new life, ready to start over again. It was dirty, refreshing, funky, amusing, and very 'down here'. It was art that came from the belly, not the brain.
Community singing has been a big part of compost modernism, with new choirs bursting out everywhere. Breaking the traditional rules of modern choral singing, which say that you have to know how to read a score and be almost a trained musician before you start, the new singing has opened up the world to everyone who had always wanted to sing, but who felt intimidated by the high professional standards of performance art. In the new choirs, you learn the music by ear, the way it was for cultures all over the world, before written music. Paradoxically, this has produced some very fine choirs.
Before the turn of the millennia, it was very rare for people to sing together at a party or a shared meal. Today, it is rare to go to a party where people don't sing together. Most of it is oral, but there's a lot of written music coming back. The new electronic music pads are a big help. They're small, hand-held screens which let you download whatever music, words and notation you want off the Internet, emphasize whichever harmony line you are singing, transpose the key, even read the words in a different language, if you want to. The great thing is that they allow you to learn your harmony lines between rehearsals, saving the rehearsal time for texture and quality work.
Someone calculated recently that the public's repertoire of shared songs (songs where the average crowd knows enough of the words to join in) had increased to 300, from a low of 50 around the year 2000. It's not just English language songs, either - it's South African, Mexican, Caribbean, Russian, Hawaiian, Native American, Aborigine songs. It's neat how the singing has become a part of everyday life. I was walking down Regent Street a couple of weeks ago, in the middle of London, singing a tune to yourself, and a total stranger started harmonizing. We paused to harmonize off each other, and before we know it there was a whole concert happening, with other people joining in. It's a great excuse for being late for a meeting - "Sorry - I got caught up in a concert."
Some people don't like it, of course, so now we've got song-free cafés where you can have a quiet conversation without being disturbed. There are even song-free railway coaches, and taxis. They're the exception, however, not the rule. The movies have been quite transformed by it all. We took the children to see the new movie, 'Ocean', the other night, and right the middle of the emotional scene where the islanders meet up again, after being scattered as refugees, the whole audience joined in singing the music, which was the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves from Verdi's Nabucco, with all the harmonies, It was just stunning. They ran the words as subtitles, to encourage us to join in. The singing is transforming all the major sports. All the big tennis stars have their own songs now, which their fans serenade them with, as British fans have done for their soccer teams for years.
Let me tell you about an open air concert we went to up on Hampstead Heath, one balmy summer's night last August. The second half of the concert was devoted to choral music, with lots of opportunity to join in, finishing up with Jerusalem, and then Amazing Grace. I must tell you, Anton, to hear 40,000 people sing Amazing Grace in full harmony, fading to a whisper as the sun sets across the horizon to the west, has to be one of the most memorable musical experiences you could ever wish for. There has been something very special about this year which that evening captured. It is as if the inner geography of our hearts is being re-arranged. The colder mountain ranges of separation and pride are moving back, and a beautiful green valley is opening up in the foreground, with a river flowing through it.
So let me tell you about the 7.48 work that I've been involved in, which you were asking about. Paradoxically, it fits very closely with the spirit of the year.
As you know, the Earth is approximately 40,000 kilometers in circumference, and electro-magnetic waves circle the world's magnetic field at 300,000 kilometers per second, or 7.48 cycles per second. In its normal alert state, the human brain operates at around 14 cycles per second. At 11 cycles per second (alpha waves), you begin to feel peaceful and relaxed, and then as you fall asleep, you move through theta waves (8 - 6 cycles per second) to delta waves (4-6 cycles per second).
It's easy to produce alpha waves in a conscious state, but much more difficult to produce theta or delta waves. The hypothesis behind our 7.48 experiments is that if we can slow the brain to 7.48 cycles per second, and then manage to hold it there, the brain's rhythms will harmonize with the electro-magnetic waves and use them to communicate around the planet in a clear, undisturbed way. I know that might sound ridiculous, but it isn't totally mumbo-jumbo. Here at the Noetic Academy, we work on the hypothesis that all nature is connected, and that plants and animals have continual, ongoing telesensory awareness of the world around them. As humans, we share the same ability, but when we developed speech, the frontal lobes of the brain created an overlay on top of the older brain, which pushed our telepathic awareness back into the unconscious, where it remains to this day. It still comes out in an emergency, like the mother who knows instinctively if one of her children is in serious trouble, however far away. For the most part, however, it's buried. In evolutionary terms, language was a far more efficient way of communicating, which had better survival value. So our telepathic abilities became lost in the unconscious, buried beneath our verbal abilities.
The 7.48 techniques that we have been using involve meditation, relaxation and hypnosis to help our subjects retain consciousness in what would normally be a sleep state, and still transmit and receive images, intuitions or emotions. We use biofeedback to tell them when they are approaching the 7.48 level, encouraging the mind to lock onto that wavelength. Cybermind technology, we call it. The difficulty is that it is really hard to retain consciousness at such a slow level of brain activity, we have come to the conclusion that it probably takes years of training in meditation to gain sufficient control over your consciousness to move below alpha without falling asleep.
So our next step was to pay a visit to the Himalayas above Rishikesh, where there are dozens of yogis living in ashrams and caves who have been practising meditation and inner consciousness technologies for all their lives (all their thousands of lives, for all I know). I wasn't able to go because of my other commitments, but if our hypothesis is right, we may be receiving some pretty startling news sometime soon. The Indian government is already talking to its lawyers about the possibility of claiming patent-rights on behalf of the yogis on all field consciousness technologies, saying that they have known about them for millennia, which makes the intellectual property of the Indian people. They want to make sure we don't somehow steal them, and sell them for a profit.
So now there's a legal debate going on as to whether human consciousness should be treated as a shared heritage, for the whole world to enjoy, or whether a particular country can claim ownership to certain cybermind technologies. I just pray that Mongrando doesn't try to cash in, claiming there's a genetic foundation to the technologies for which they already have the patent. A group of Mexican shamans has jumped in too, claiming that they have also been doing this kind of work for millennia, and should have similar rights. The last we heard, the Tibetan Government in Exile has declared a similar interest, so it's unlikely that the Indian government will get away with sole proprietary rights.
There was an amusing piece in the Guardian recently, speculating what would happen if the Indian government granted its yogis a patent on psychospace technologies. The writer suggested that a yogic patrol would have to be established, and that anyone found operating in the 7.48 zone without a license would be psycho-arrested. The judges, jury and media would all have to be trained as yogis, of course - it could become quite a growth area for the Indian economy !
More seriously, a right wing Hindu nationalist group has been making disturbing noises about the western exploitation of traditional Hindu knowledge. For thousands of years, they say, while we westerners were wandering around in bearskins, Indian yogis were perfecting the technologies of psychospace, developing profound understandings about syntropic field consciousness. And it's true - some of the scientists we work with find it very hard to admit that the yogis have beaten them to it by thousands of years. Have you ever read Alexandra David Neel's With Mystics and Magicians in Tibet or Paramahansa Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi ? They make it totally clear that the west is far behind the yogis in spiritual technology, just as they are behind the west in physical technology.
In addition to all this excitement, we've been getting some interesting preliminary results which seem to indicate that some of the people who reach 7.48 are experiencing short-term precognition, seeing into the future. We're hypothesizing that while consciousness is travelling the 7.48 circuit at the speed of light, it has the ability to sidestep the four-dimensional continuum and unlock itself from the constraints of time. We know that time is not fixed, that it goes faster or slower depending on the speed you're travelling at, so it seems to follow that 7.48 consciousness might not be bound by time. It all makes for a fascinating year. If I can master the 7.48 cybermind technology myself, I might drop by to see you yesterday.
Wearing my other hat as a government adviser on climate change issues, our meetings at the cabinet planning secretariat have been increasingly concerned by the global deterioration of the climate, and everything that this means. Because of the rising global sea levels, Venice is losing its century-old battle to protect its heritage, and some of the smaller islands in the Pacific are already disappearing. In British Columbia and Washington State, the rivers are so warm that the salmon are only able to migrate upstream because of the thousands of tons of ice their governments are releasing into the rivers at spawning time. Up in the Arctic, because of disappearing ice-flows, the polar bear population has fallen by 40% since the turn of the century. Meanwhile in Australia, Sydney Harbour froze over for the first time in living memory last June, and millions of sheep died in the blizzards which blanketed the country. In Greenland they have alpine flowers which no-one has seen before - and you had that terrible flooding, in the Ukraine. The Greeks would probably say that the Gods were very angry.
In northern Canada and Siberia, the melting tundra is a big concern, not just because it is fracturing the oil and gas pipelines which traverse the tundra, but because it is unlocking the methane which has sat frozen for millennia. As a greenhouse gas, methane is 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide. The item that is causing the most concern, however, is Antarctica. Seventeen years ago, when scientists first raised their concern that the West Antarctic ice-sheet might be breaking up, threatening global flooding on a massive scale, nobody paid much attention. But last year, new data was released which showed that the speed of the break-up had increased, which explains why the world's sea level has been rising faster than scientists expected. If the whole Western Antarctic Ice Sheet broke up, we could be looking at a 20 feet rise in sea level by 2060. If you add in the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, however, which some scientists are saying that we should, the global sea level could rise by 65 feet over 200 years. The implications are appalling, since so many people below or close to the 65 feet level, and so much of the world's food is grown there.
Here in England, we would lose most of our flat east coast, along with areas of Cheshire, Somerset, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. Most of central London, where I work, would be under water. Across the Channel in Europe, most of Holland, Belgium and Denmark would disappear, along with northern Germany from Bremen to Berlin. Ireland would become a patchwork of tiny islands. Italy would lose most of the Po Valley from Venice to Milan, along with Rome and Naples. Our ancestors built their cities at the mouths of coastal rivers to make use of the fertile land, little imagining how the consequences of future technological progress would combine with an ignorance of planetary ecology.
In your part of the world, in the Ukraine, Odessa and most of the Crimea will disappear, unless there is some way to dam the Bosphorus at Istanbul. You'll probably be ok where you are in Kiev, but further north, Latvia and Estonia will be in huge trouble.
Across the Atlantic in the USA, the Sacramento and San Joachin Valleys, where California grows most of its food, would flood as the sea crept in from San Francisco Bay. In the east, the entire seabord from New York to Florida would go under, and the Mississippi Basin would disappear into the Gulf of Mexico.
In China, the massively populated coastal plains of the Yellow and Yangtse Rivers would flood as the ocean moved in. In India and Bangladesh, the same would apply to the delta of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers, the most densely populated region on the Earth.
Here in England, they are publishing maps which show the likely extent of the flooding, and property prices have started to react. It's easy to create the maps - you just program a GIS system to follow the 20 feet or the 65 feet contour lines, and print out the results.
I can clearly remember my personal reaction when the first maps came out. Cairo, Beijing, Tokyo, Bangkok, London, New York, San Francisco, Venice, Rome - they are all at or below the 65 feet level. So too are Calcutta, Dacca, Stockholm, Copenhagen, St Petersburg, Avignon, Seville, Lisbon, Tel Aviv, Lagos, Cape Town and Buenos Aires. So much civilization; so much history. All those wars; all those disputes and petty arguments; all those struggles to save neighbourhoods, to create beautiful buildings - it was all going to prove meaningless, as if it had never happened. It seemed unbelievable - and yet we're seeing the evidence that it is happening weekly, as great chunks of Antarctic ice-cliff crash into the sea. What relevance are our personal lives, when such an enormous catastrophe might engulf us ?
The thing which is the most alarming is that in the short term, there appears to be nothing we can do to slow the melting. The C02 and methane are in the atmosphere, and no-one can get them out. There has been a suggestion that we should pump the oceans full of artificial fertilizer to stimulate the growth of algae, to suck the surplus atmospheric carbon dioxide out of the skies, but that idea collapsed when its inventors realized that the resulting algae bloom would suck the oxygen out of the oceans, starving vast areas of marine life, and that the resulting die-off would release more C02 than the algae would absorb.
Our only thread of hope seems to lie with the scientists' assertion that a full ice-slip is still only a 'probability', not a fact. It might not happen - but with the public becoming literate in the language of baseline glacier inventories, subglacial trench viscosity and the geography of the TransAntarctic Mountain range, the pressure to take serious steps to eliminate fossils fuels and start reforesting the world has become enormous. Here in Britain, we are on target to eliminate fossil fuels by 2025, alongside Germany, Holland, and most of the other European nations. The solar revolution is in full swing. There are plans to solarize every major road in the country over the next fifteen years, and we've an outright ban on the sale of fossil-fuels coming into effect in 2024. But globally, emissions are only 25% below their 2003 peak, so we have an enormous way to go.
It does seem as if things are beginning to shift, however. In October, the new United Nations People's Assembly, with its thousand delegates elected from every country in the world, held an Emergency Session in Dakar, Bangladesh, to discuss a permanent close-down of the world's fossil fuel industry. I wasn't able to go, but several of my friends in the cabinet planning secretariat went, so I had a first hand report on how it went.
The site was well-chosen - Bangladeshis need little persuading about the perils of flooding. Every summer, typhoons surging up the Bay of Bengal bring death and disaster, sweeping entire villages away. Last year's typhoons drowned 120,000 people, which puts other disasters into perspective. The public interest in the conference was amazing; the conference home page received an astonishing 85 million visits. The crucial players were China, India and Indonesia, who together produce 30% of the world's C02 emissions, and carry 40% of the Assembly's votes. In China, the adoption of the Internet is raising the level of global literacy, so there's quite a high level of awareness about climate change, and China's vulnerability to the rising sea-levels. The Green Progress Movement is accelerating their solar revolution, and most Chinese delegates seemed willing to consider a phase-out, but not until 2040. The Indonesian delegates followed the Chinese line, since most of Indonesia's agricultural lands are vulnerable to flooding, including the capital, Jakarta.
India, on the other hand, is still very dependent on coal and oil, which the World Bank has been encouraging for ages. Also, the country is politically very confused, with religious and regional tensions being exploited by extremist parties. The delegates elected by the Hindu fundamentalist parties seemed to hate everything western, and were suspicious that global warming was a myth that was being put about by western interests to undermine India's economy. India's geography, on the other hand, puts the Ganges delta on the flood-list, including the sacred city of Benares. The fundamentalists insisted that Mother Ganges would never allow her sacred river to be destroyed, however, and refused to support any initiative to reduce their use of fossil fuels.
The American delegates appeared equally confused. Those who were elected on a Green Party ticket supported the phase out; that was easy. At the other extreme, delegates from the New Christian Party opposed any phase-out, arguing that man had been given fossil fuels by God, and that if Noah could survive a flood, so could man. The delegates from the Christian Destiny Party were even worse, arguing that the floods had been prophesied in the Bible as a sign of the Second Coming of Jesus, and that we should be celebrating its arrival, not trying to forestall it. Pile on the coal ! In the midst of all this, the Democrat and Republican delegates struggled to sort out fact from fiction. My friends tell me that it was embarrassing to see the delegates from other countries laughing, and wondering how the great United States could have produced such crazy people.
The sanity in all this came a the coalition of non-governmental groups, including Greenpeace, and the Rocky Mountain Institute in Colorado. They demonstrated that if everyone co-operated and helped each other, and if an International Youth Corps were established to take solar installation technology to the poorest regions of the world, we could achieve a total worldwide phase-out of all fossil fuels by 2020. The world's climate would not go back to normal, but at least it might start to stabilize, instead of growing worse with every passing year.
Their argument was that the benefits of the solar revolution and global reforestation far outweighed the costs. Not only would the risk of future losses be minimized, but the boost to economies would create millions of jobs around the world. Don't worry about Antarctica, they told everyone - just get on with the conversion to a solar economy as fast as you can, because it makes sense ecologically, economically, and in every other way.
The Greenpeace activists must have done some heavy duty lobbying behind the scenes, because when the votes were in, the delegates voted to go with the European targets, establishing a massive Global Solar Fund to finance solar and wind technology transfer to every country in the world, and phasing out all fossil fuels by 2025. There were still some major hold-outs, including India and the countries of the oil-rich Caspian region, but overall, it was as good a result as we could have hoped for.
Before I finish, I must tell you about the Sirian Gatherings. That's Sirian from the star system Sirius, not the country. The Gatherings have been happening all over the world. They were billed as a huge harmonic convergence, a preparation for the transformation that was to happen on December 21st, when the Great Cycle of the old Mayan calendar came to an end, and a new era of cosmogenesis was to begin.
We took the whole family down to the gathering at Glastonbury, in August. There must have been close to 300,000 people, camping out, generally being peaceful, everything very well organized. Some of the singing was amazing. We were suppose to be there to welcome the Sirians, who were coming from the Pleiades to welcome us to the galactic fold as the planet folded. Not in the flesh - not many expected to see them in person - but in their 'transconsious form', as you would expect of a Sirian. So what happened ? In between the singing and the music, we sat and meditated, and lots of people said they connected with other beings. What is fairly remarkable is that many of the messages they received were too similar to dismiss as private imaginings. The chance of this happening on a random basis were astronomical, but there could have been other sources of field consciousness at work.
As you know, the syntropic world view is very sympathetic to the notion of field consciousness travel. If spiritual consciousness is a unified phenomenon, it must by definition embrace the most distant galaxies, as well as the Earth. The Sirians (assuming they exist) must therefore share the same spiritual unity that we do. By this token, any spiritual beings such as angels must share the same unity. That is the idea behind the series of paintings that the Dutch artist, Johanne Meertens, has been doing called 'Sirian Angel', 'Atrian Angel' and 'The Angel of Vega'. All this has been fairly tough on the Catholic Church. There they are, persisting with their belief that women should not be allowed to serve as priests, while other churches are claiming to have Aldebrans offering communion - and no-one even knows what sex they are.
Were the Sirian messages real or imagined ? Some of the messages were certainly very beautiful, but some were right off the deep end, as if a cosmic psychopath had taken over the airwaves. I put it down to learning. When we first discovered modern technology, we went overboard, not knowing how ignorant we were. especially of planetary ecology. It's going to be the same with spiritual technology. We know almost nothing about the geography of psychospace, the ecology of projected field consciousness or how to deal with projected psychothugs. The potential for abuse is every bit as great as it was with nuclear technology. We're going to have to learn how to deal with psychic invasions, psychic treaties and psychic defense initiatives - 'Finding the Chi in Machiavelli', as one author has described it.
So you see, Anton, it's a strange, mixed-up world we have over here. Everything seems to be bubbling to the boil at the same time. But who ever said that the world would remain the same ? Humans have been walking on two legs for how long - a million years ? Three million ? Now think how the world has changed just since the beginning of the industrial revolution, 200 years ago. Maybe we are at the beginning of another whole revolution, focused this time in human consciousness, not in matter; after that, there will be another revolution, and then another, on into the limitless future.
Where will it all end ? That's a bit like asking a single-celled organism to imagine what it's going to be like to evolve into a human. I'm sure we've many million years to go yet. My personal feeling is that we've only just begun.
So, my dear Anton - take good care of yourself and your lovely wife and children. Spring will be here soon !
Your good friend,
About the author
Guy Dauncey is an author, organizer and sustainable communities consultant who specializes in developing a positive vision of an environmentally sustainable future, and translating that vision into action. He is the author of Stormy Weather : 101 Solutions to Global Climate Change (New Society Publishers, July 2001), and ‘A Sustainable Energy Plan for the US’ (Earth Island Journal, August 2003). He is also the publisher of EcoNews (a monthly newsletter), co-founder of the Victoria Car-Share Cooperative, and a consultant in ecovillage and green building development. He lives in Victoria, on the west coast of Canada.
His website is www.earthfuture.com.