This (archived) page is the repository for the occasional updates I have been sending to the GCP mailing list every two or three months over the years.
GCP/EGG Update December 23 2011
In the West, we're well into the Hannukah and Christmas season, and the beginning of a New Year — the much-attended 2012 — is a little more than a week away. I hold in mind good wishes for everyone in the world, all cultures, religions, nations. All of us hope for the next year to be a good one, with progress toward peaceful sharing of the space and opportunities present on our beautiful earth. As always, it seems within reach, and the more we understand the possibilities that our unconcious and increasingly conscious interconnections give to us, the sooner we will mature in responsible caring for our only home. Of course that means caring for each other, and not only those nearest to us, friends and family, but people just like us everywhere. I see suggestions of this interconnection in the GCP data. Events that represent sharing and positive intent seem to produce the correlations that are evidence of the interconnection we predict.
The transfer from the old to the new server is almost complete. We have apparently lost a few eggs, but still have more than 60 regularly reporting. I'll keep working to reconnect with those that haven't made the transition. Maybe someone reading this knows Graham Andrew of Adelaide, AU. I have been unable to reach him because the email addresses I have do not work. If you know him, please help us reconnect. His is one of the longest-running eggs, and it would be good to have it back in the basket.
In the last update note I wrote that we were still negotiating about connecting the old website and domain name, noosphere.princeton.edu, to the new IP address. I'm happy to report that has been accomplished, with the result that (as far as I know) all the external links to the GCP site will now continue to work. I've not actually tested that thoroughly, but haven't heard many concerns.
We have a design for the Multi-Egg project I mentioned in the last update, and it awaits a suitable block of time for the programming. There will be a pilot phase, which I expect might begin in January, then most likely some minor modifications before formal implementation as part of the network. I am grateful to René & Justine Post for their generous support of this project. And I'm excited about the prospect of
learning something. Which reminds me of the delightful Sufi saying I kept above my desk in the PEAR lab:
Enjoy yourself, or try to learn. If you do you will annoy someone, and if you don't you will annoy someone. Of course I'm not much motivated by the intention to annoy, but I must say the part about enjoyment and learning seems exactly on point.
Recent events that surprised us include another bombing in a European city, this time Liege, Belgium, by a loner with what seems best characterized as psychopathic perceptions of the world around him. There was also the unexpected death of Korea's
dear leader Kim Jong-Il, and then the passing a day later of Vàclav Havel, the last president of Czechoslovakia (1989–1992) and the first President of the Czech Republic (1993–2003). If you look at the results from recent events you may be surprised that few seem to produce the clear departures we predict. This may be meaningful, but it is more certainly justifies that the caveat added to each detailed report on the formal events: we are looking for subtle signals in a sea of statistical noise. A short article in a the
Backcatter section of EdgeScience, #8, pg. 20, presents a detailed discussion of this fact of life for the GCP as scientific research. Edgescience is one of the benefits of membership in the Society for Scientific Exploration (SSE). Another benefit is the Journal of Scientific Exploration where the article on a DAT explanation of GCP effects mentioned in a recent update note has been published, along with responses by Roger Nelson and Peter Bancel, and a
last word by May and Spottiswoode. JSE is a rare beast in the journal publishing world because it provides a forum for this kind of discussion.
I thought I might write about Karma for a bit, but will save that for a different place. Suffice it to say that I often feel blessed, sometimes beyond ordinary explanation. What is more interesting than personal karma may be cultural karma. It seems certain that good behavior in cultures, based on honesty, compassion and love, will be rewarded. Agression and self-serving are signs of wilful and arrogant ignorance, and it is my guess they will serve ill in the long run. Looking around the world, and looking especially at the growing power of social media interconnections, it is I think becoming more certain that our most influential cultural powers will shift toward an accumulation of positive karmic stores. How's that for optimism?!
GCP/EGG Update October 27 2011
This update has one really major element. After a long run within the Princeton University domain, my former department, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, decided it would no longer provide a home for the Global Consciousness Project server. The GCP has a new home at global-mind.org and we have been able continue the data collection and archiving without substantial interruption.
That is the compact version. In reality, the past couple of weeks have been intense, and challenging, at a level that is at once both difficult and exhilirating. I had extraordinary help from Greg Nelson, the original architect of the GCP software, my go-to person for programming, and, not incidentally, my son. We were joined in the marathon efforts to make the transition smooth and effective by Paul Bethke, our Windows and networking expert. Rick Berger has helped to shape the website optimization, and has begun working with David Medina in a full upgrade of the site to incorporate the new design David created.
We are still in the process of tying loose ends together. There are some automatic functions (for example the realtime display and the eggsummary tables) to repair, and there are a number of Egg hosts who still need to change their Egg configuration. (Please look into this if you are an Egg host.) But all in all, the move to the new server has been gone well.
I've been asked what happened; why did the University choose to stop providing the minimal support of an IP address within the princeton.edu domain? The short answer is that I don't know. The most likely source of the order to disconnect my server from the Engineering School network is the Chairman of my former department, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE). I created the GCP while I was part of the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) lab with access to the full complement of University facilities. However, I was careful to be clear that the GCP was not a project within PEAR and was not sponsored by the University, with an upfront statement in my media information page.
Here's what that says:
The Project is a volunteer collaboration involving about 100 researchers, analysts, and [remote node] hosts. Some of us work at universities or institutes in various parts of the world, but these institutions are not funding sponsors or responsible hosts of the project. In particular, this project is not sponsored by Princeton University. In media interviews, I explain that my continuing link to Princeton is testimony to the generosity and respect for academic freedom of a great University.
At this time I am still in negotiation with the University's Office of General Counsel on the interpretation of policy governing the use of a Princeton domain name. If what I have said about generosity and respect is true, we should have a positive resolution. In terms of the practical work of the project we already have moved on. But I am told by Rick Berger, an expert on Internet connectivity, that there are some 55,000 links pointing to the original project address at noosphere.princeton.edu. Many of those links will point to a
page not found error if there is no graceful resolution. In case you have made a link to the GCP, it will be best to change it to use the new address, http://teilhard.global-mind.org.
Moving on, this has been a busy month in terms of global events. For example, there was a huge outpouring of emotion when Steve Jobs died. It was not a surprise, and yet people were powerfully moved, and the GCP trace shows a fitting shift from its normal random walk. Then in the midst of turmoil in Greece and flooding in Thailand came the death of Muammar Gaddafi and the closing of a chapter in the unfolding historical changes in the Middle East. Ending a month of powerful events, yet another disastrous earthquake has hit Turkey, whose major quakes have punctuated the history of the GCP.
An interesting exchange will soon be published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration. Ed May and James Spottiswoode wrote a short article with analytical and psychological arguments to support their contention that the GCP data can be explained by their DAT model (decision augmentation theory). DAT supposes that apparently anomalous results can arise when decisions are made by subjects or experimenters at opportune times, for example to press a button at just the right moment. This is enabled by intuition (or precognition) about future outcomes, which allow optimized choices of just the right time to start collecting data which will turn out to be deviant. This is a partially formalized way of saying that the GCP effects are attributable to experimenter intuition. I wrote a response pointing out both analytical and logical problems in their paper, and Peter Bancel has written a rigorous examination of the errors. In the process Peter shows that the GCP effects are consistent with modeling that proposes they are physical in nature. Publication will most likely be in the next issue of JSE, the excellent peer-reviewed journal of the Society for Scientific Exploration (SSE).
Join the SSE! It is of great value, and it needs support from more members.
GCP/EGG Update Sept 23 2011
Quite frequently we have requests for a measurement of some event that is very meaningful to the people involved. It may be an organized meditation or an experiment focused on changing the social climate, or a web-based gathering of like-minded people to share music or breathwork or pure intentions. We do proceed with formal tests for a subset of these, most often when they are part of a series of similar events. This allows the possibility of accumulating statistically viable samples over time, accommodating the low signal to noise ratio that characterizes the GCP data. I have just added a new item to the FAQ to discuss this. It may be helpful for people who view our network with a hopeful expectation of validation of their work.
The most recent event in the category of social gatherings we have examined is an interesting example to consider. We set the 2011 International Day of Peace as a formal event which is part of a series. It is a regular occurrence, with September 21 identified in 2002 as a date for celebration of world-wide aspirations for peace. This year the date also was chosen by an extraordinary number of people and organizations with related themes, judging by the suggestions we received that it should be assessed by the GCP. Take a look at the analysis page linked above, which shows a striking effect. It will make most of us think that large numbers of people focusing on a valued goal really does something—but interpretation of the 3-sigma deviation and the 1 in 1000 odds must be tempered with the fact that most assessments of the same event in years past do not show such a strong deviation. On average their effect size is very modest at
Z = 0.058. Even including 2011, the composite Z is only 1.455, but the variance of the set of scores is large, with
Z = 2.098.
It is even more instructive to look at all peace meditation and intention events we have included in the formal series over the 13 years of the Project. Again there is a larger than expected variance across these events, but the composite (or average) Z-score is not impressive. Positive, but in the same range as the average Z across the whole database of formal analyses.
I find the results from these and other recent assessments of the power of replication very interesting. While this is preliminary work, it suggests that the effect size within categories, especially if they are sharply focused and consistent, may be much larger than the average across all types of events. This should not be surprising if there are
real effects in the data, and after 13 years of accumulating evidence, it looks like there are. We now have not only a highly significant main outcome (the composite deviation across ∼380 replications is more than 6 sigma) but clear evidence of structure in other measures.
A couple of new publications will come out soon. In the next issue of Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing Peter Bancel and I give a clear, and not deeply technical update on the Project, how it works, and what the results say. The publication date is mid-October. Another interesting publication, due out in the next issue of Journal of Scientific Exploration is a response to an article by May and Spottiswoode who propose that the significant GCP results are attributable to an experimenter effect. I don't think so, and present the reasons why.
All work and no play, they say, is to be avoided. So I want to report on recent and coming travels and conferences. In August Lefty and I went to Brazil to attend the Parapsychological Association annual convention. It was in Curitiba, an interesting, famously
green city in Southern Brazil. There were other meetings in close conjunction, including the 7th Psi Meeting of UNIBEM, a Brazilian organization that supports psi research.
After the meeting, we spent a couple of days exploring Curitiba, and took the Rainforest Train which travels through the beautiful Serra do Mar range on a single track clinging to the mountainsides. It winds up in Morretes, a charming city on the coast, where one is
supposed to have lunch consisting of a famous local dish called Barreado—which was indeed excellent. Then we went to Foz do Iquacu, one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world. We stayed inside the park, and enjoyed the opportunity to be with this amazing
cataratas (cataract) any time we wanted to brave the spray. I have made a Picasaweb Show that will give you some idea of the beauties of Brazil, and the awesome presence of Foz do Iguacu.
In mid-October, we will go to Virginia Beach, the home of Atlantic University, where we will participate in the Parapsychology and Consciousness Conference. Come if you can. There will be a number of major contributors to psi research, and it is set up to be an opportunity for substantial discussions.
Back to the technical side of things for a moment, we are embarking on some substantial additions to the GCP network, thanks to a targeted donation for the purpose made by a friend of the GCP from the Netherlands. This will be oriented to sophistication rather than size. It will entail adding three eggs, but capturing a very different array of data from them. The intent is to provide a detailed look at the fundamental random elements, the bits, and probably will also include a finer timescale than the current 1 trial per second. In addition, we plan to open up a perspective on the effects of the logical XOR which we always have used to ensure unbiased data from the physical RNGs. Stay tuned. We are also beginning work on the evolution of the GCP.
GCP/EGG Update Aug 3 & 8 2011
The past month has been an interesting combination of gardening and monitoring the GCP network. Kind of a vacation from travel, so I have had the pleasures of lawn care, some transplanting, and the first ripe tomatoes — with fresh arugula — from the garden. A special moment was the delight of seeing the Datura blooming, and taking in their striking aroma. It is so rich and potent I get a reprise even when I merely see pictures of those giant white blossoms. I put some photos and a slow motion movie of blooming on my Facebook page where you can see them (Mobile Uploads). I haven't been able to make a direct link work.
Around the world, it has not been so peaceful. In Oslo, Norway, a right-wing extremist took the lives of nearly 80 people, most of them teenagers, in a bombing and shooting rampage on the 22nd of July. The GCP reaction to this tragedy is like so many other terrorist attacks. Shock, and because Norway has seen nothing like this since World War II, extreme surprise, and then of course the great compassion of normal people confronted with the unthinkable personal losses of so many.
A great train crash in China arouses concern that the rapidly developing economy and the amazingly efficient, quick increase in major infrastructure elements may come with a cost. The Chinese are building roads, air transportation, railroads, business and housing high-rises at breathtaking speed, but the this event brings questions about the balance of rapid progress and careful, quality work.
I set about analysing the data corresponding to the downing of a US Helicopter and the loss of some 38 troops in Afghanistan, when I noted that the time was coincident with the announcement of the downgrading of the US credit rating by Standard and Poor. Such coincidences of major happenings in the world are probably frequent, and I thought it would be worthwhile to note it explicitly and so created S&P Downgrade plus Helicopter Crash.
The Discovery Science Channel episode in their
Through the Wormhole series that included the GCP has generated a huge influx of emails, mostly from people who feel a resonance with the ideas that motivate the project, but also from people who want to participate by hosting an Egg. We aren't growing the network much at this time, but we have made progress in our efforts to integrate a new USB based RNG. In any case, if you would like to see the show, it is available on YouTube. If the link doesn't work, go to YouTube and search for
wormhole sixth sense. There are 5 segments; GCP is featured in segment 2, but the whole film is interesting.
Adrian Nelson has released the first instalment of his documentary, Reality and the Extended Mind. It covers the GCP in some detail, along with interview segments with Dean Radin of IONS, Brenda Dunne and Bob Jahn of the PEAR lab, and Herb Mertz and Adam Curry of Psyleron, Inc. The film can be seen on YouTube
I am leaving later today for Washington, DC, to participate in a panel at the American Psychological Association annual meeting. Organized by Stanley Krippner, this is a
debate between researchers and skeptics, or as Stanley likes to put it, between advocates and counteradvocates. My theme can be summed up in a few words:
This is not your grandmother's psi research. I am looking forward to it not least because it is an opportunity to preach outside the choir, to introduce the GCP and other modern research to people, including a large number of scientists, who are not aware of the high quality experimental data showing that consciousness is present in the world in ways that are unrecognized.
Back from Washington, I can report that the meeting went well. Only one of the skeptics, Chris French, actually came, and he's a reasonable person, though he uses the typical skeptical ploys to discount evidence and experiments. In his talk, he said he wants to collaborate with the GCP, which is something we had worked on about a year ago. He apparently got busy or lost interest, so I was pleased to hear him resurrect the intent. In any case, I will pursue it again. Specifically, we agreed that a good project would be to develop a valid and usable set of criteria for event selection that he and his students can employ to identify suitable GCP events,
Then, in August it is off to Brazil, for the Parapsychology Convention. Looking forward to that, and if you are anywhere near Curitiba, Brazil, please come on by. You can get more information on the Parapsychological Association website.
GCP/EGG Update July 8 2011
I have been traveling, and have some more coming up. Now there's a breather to catch up on things at home, and some time to report what's been happening.
I've been working with David Medina, an excellent web programmer, for some time on a new website. Actually David, who bills himself as a
digital plumber and practical utopist, has done almost all the work, with a little kibitzing on the side. It is not fully functional, and for major functions like access to data, the live displays, and some others, the original site is the place to go. But this one is nice. Take a look at Global Consciousness Project (beta). We will be interested in your feedback.
The trip to Heidelberg and the Quantica symposium was great (more details in the May update note). Lefty (my wife) and I first visited relatives on the Mosel, where we had a wonderful time with those beautiful people. Then to Heidelberg—also beautiful people, many of whom I had not met, but with a remarkable range of interests in matters at the scientific edge. Talks ranged from the geometry of meaning to the medical implications of quantum physics. The conference will be or has been published on DVD, and if you're interested, you can go to the Quantica website.
The day following the symposium, I met with Oliver Hauck, a film producer from Munich, to do an interview on the banks of the river Nekar, with the beautiful Old Bridge and the Heidelberger Schloss (castle) as background. This is part of a German movie called Das blaue Juwel (
The Blue Jewel.) Oliver is well along with the production, and you can see some of the flavor in a YouTube trailer.
In early June we went to Nebraska to visit my oldest brother, and hang with him and my next older brother for a few days. Then Lefty and I went to Boulder, CO for the 30th Annual SSE Meeting (Society for Scientific Exploration). Always a favorite, this one was really interesting, with good talks and the perennial pleasure of meeting old friends from the Society. As usual, I encourage you to look into the SSE, and join if you can, to support this remarkable forum for ideas and research that doesn't fit the mainstream. Oh, and I should add, we took a day or two to enjoy the mountains. See some shots of conference and Rocky Mountain National Park as a Picasaweb Show.
A couple of days ago, July 6, the Discovery Science Channel began broadcasting a new episode in their
Through the Wormhole series with Morgan Freeman. This one is about the
Sixth Sense and is very nicely done. It has several of our friends and colleagues in it, including Dean Radin, Rupert Sheldrake, Daryl Bem, and Michael Persinger. As Dean put it, the show refreshingly presents the
sixth sense as plausible, both empirically and theoretically.
It is on YouTube in four segments. See the first segment or try searching related videos. The original and other segments are available from science.discovery.com. The second segment has most of the parts with yours truly, It is one of the best shows on these matters I have seen. Morgan Freeman is one of the reasons for that. He is genuinely interested. And he is a great narrator.
Next up, a visit to Washington DC and the American Psychological Association meeting to participate in an event organized by Stanley Krippner,
Debating Psychic Experience---Human Potential or Human Illusion?, August 4, 9 am. Should be fun.
And later in August, off to Curitiba Brazil for the 54th annual meeting of the Parapsychological Association. Another favorite, and we will take in as much as possible of the atmosphere of Curitiba, which is famously successful as a green city, showing what can be accomplished by intelligence and good will in city government.
GCP/EGG Update May 3 2011
Sometimes the world seems to be quiet, with relatively few major events that fit the criteria for the GCP formal series. This past week has been very much the opposite, so much so that I have had to miss a couple of potentially useful events because they overlapped others already in the registry. We had in close succession several world-class newsmakers with great numbers paying attention.
Sai Baba, a prominent Indian guru with millions of followers, died. A few days later much of the world was rapt in attention to the wedding of William and Catherine. Then 1.5 million gathered in Rome, and millions more watched via TV the beatification of Pope John Paul II. Hours later the media were overtaken by news of the demise of Osama Bin Laden at the hands of US special forces.
Interestingly, though all of these events are of the sort we expect to produce an increase in inter-node correlation (this is our standard formal prediction), none did so persuasively. Indeed one of them, the passing of Sai Baba, produced an unusually strong decrease, with hundred to one odds it is just chance fluctuation. Even so, while null or backward results diminish the composite bottom line statistic indicating an effect of human attention and emotion on the GCP, the composite remains persuasive. The overall deviation summed over more than 350 events has odds against chance of less than a billion to one:
p ∼ 1x10^-10.
Summer is travel and conference time, so I will be on the road. Here are some of the places I'll be giving talks. If you are anywhere in the neighborhood, perhaps you will consider attending one of these meetings. It would be a pleasure to meet you.
- Quantica GmbH is sponsoring a symposium on
Evolution – Consciousness – Quantum Physicsin Heidelberg, Germany, May 14 and 15, 2011.
- The Society for Scientific Exploration, SSE, holds its 30th Annual SSE Meeting, June 9-11 2011 in Boulder, Colorado.
- The 54th Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association will be held in Curitiba, Brazil August 18-21, 2011.
In a previous note I described briefly the plan we are developing to help document changes associated with large groups gathered in song intending to bring about positive change. The aim, simply stated, is healing the earth. That is a big, broad aspiration, which implies a kind of social coming together, and a recognition that humanity has powerful capabilities that we can bring to bear on the many issues (some use the term crises) that are converging to make our future uncertain. Those capabilities, at least as applied to growing toward our full humanity, are hidden and unacknowledged, but experiments like the GCP as well as experiences that people have in groups, point directly to a subtle but potentially world-changing interaction. When a critical mass of people understand these possibilities and begin to act in concert to take advantage of them, the world will change. An increasing number of indications show a growing movement toward the kind of interaction that will recognize and utilize our interdependence, and, yes, change the world.
Back to the mass singing: Good Earth Singers will have 15 million of us singing together in December next year, and we want to measure the effects this will have on us and the Earth. If you are familiar with the use of social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google in scientific assessments of the moods and emotions or other qualities and aspects of large populations, please send me a note. If you are interested in participating in the development of an effective suite of measures, even better.
Finally, I can't help but mention Spring! In my part of the world the great blooming is in full swing. Mother Earth presents the same message of great natural beauty every year. I'm confident her complicated children (we humans) will recover the connection we always have had, from the induced separation our technologies have produced over the last several generations. Each blooming flower says it is time to win back our connections, not only to the Earth but each other.
GCP/EGG Update Mar 12 2011
Note added on April 1: This update has much more with a
political tone than usual, and I beg your indulgence. Toward the end of the note I return to the more scientific and practical, but I think when I wrote this, there was just too much turmoil and chaos for me to stay in the so-called objective mode. (End added note)
It is such a complex time. We have just seen the immense destruction a natural disaster can bring. Japan is reeling from one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded, and a monstrous tsunami that roared over cities and villages along her east coast, tossing ships and cars and whole buildings as if they were leaves in the wind. Two atomic energy plants have been seriously damaged, and as I write it is uncertain whether they might suffer a catastrophic meltdown. The Japanese are a tough and resilient people, but we all should be praying for them and sending as much help as we can. Japan is without doubt better prepared for earthquakes than any nation on Earth, but when the plates shift to release the energies of an R = 8.9 quake, no defenses are adequate. You can see views of the data or linked from the What's New box on the homepage.
In the middle east another form of
seismic change has been underway for several weeks. Beginning in Tunisia, stimulated by a
last straw which drove a young man to self-imolation, the people rose up together and drove the dictatorial leadership out of the country. Similar rumblings immediately became apparent elsewhere, and in Egypt the people demonstrated peacefully but forcefully, resulting in the resignation of Mubarak after 3 or 4 decades of despotic rule. In Libya, attempts at a peaceful revolution have been met by deadly force from the Gadhafi family, who declare they will
crush the rebellion to continue their decades of rule. About half the country is currently in rebel hands but they are ill-equipped to withstand the heavy artillery and tank attacks, and bombing runs by the Gadhafi military. The rest of the world dithers, loathe to take on yet another war on someone else's turf. You can see a sample of the turmoil.
In the US, the Republican and Tea Party movement is in full swing, with
budget crises as the vehicle for wholesale efforts to dismantle social programs, and the social structures such as unions which helped bring them into being. Regulations to help mitigate environmental degradation, and those designed to control the financial risk-taking that brought the recession still hanging heavy over the world, are under attack. Again, in the US, but true to various degrees elswhere, the interests of business, corporations, and the über-rich prevail over what to so many seem to be sensible approaches to living on and indeed protecting our home, the Earth.
There is of course no sensory gift to allow a corporation to see the long term damage, the extinction of species (at a
great dying rate like that wrought by a giant meteor or volcanism at the end of the Cretaceous), or the melting of ice caps as a threat. Their bottom line is now, and their stockholders (you and me) are looking for profits, so the corporation knows what it must do. But what it does in service of our profits is an unimagined danger to our wellbeing.
At the same time, and perhaps stimulated and focused by the natural and human disasters that threaten our future, ever more groups and individuals are standing up and creating new perspectives. Their power separately is small, and even in aggregate is well short of any ability to directly change what is happening at the level of decision making in politics and the economy. But the potency of cumulation is, I think, beginning to show these efforts as a credible force.
We are not at a tipping point yet, and the forces, both intentional and unconscious, arrayed against the healthy changes we must soon make, are powerful. Yet we can take heart from the successes, like Tunisia and Egypt; like the planning, the preparedness and design that protected so many in Japan. We should also take heart and join with those many groups who are coming together. It's a different form of noosphere, but complementary to the glimmering of oneness seen in GCP data. And, like the bottom line graph which shows the accumulation of tiny, apparently weak effects in the GCP formal experiment to be statistically powerful, the accumulation of our small but persistent efforts and intentions will change the world.
If there is among you someone with the skills to make a port of the Linux data collection program (written in C or C++) to Mac OSX, and the time to do so, it would be a blessing. The original program is designed to read data from a Serial port, and since new RNGs typically have USB connections, a second part of the project would be to adapt the program to use USB drivers. If you are interested, please send me a note.
GCP/EGG Update Jan 25 2011
Does it seem to you as it does to me that time accelerates all the time? I know that how fast time passes is proportional to how much time one has spent watching it pass—that is, as we age, the ratio of a day to a lifetime gets smaller, so naturally days whiz by when we have a few decades of life for comparison. Children find the waiting period
til an anticipated event agonizingly long, while their parents are amazed that it is here already.
Given this recognition, I'm going to mention an event that is almost two years away, knowing that I will be in the midst of it in a trice. I'm thinking of singing along with you and about 15 million other people in the biggest chorus ever gathered, on December 21 2012 (12.21.12). The Good Earth Singers, founded by Shyla Nelson, will have gathered us all, and many we don't know yet into a coherent, compassionate chorus to sing in synchrony a beautiful song from the Yoruba. Ise Oluwa it is called. It speaks of an understanding that
What the creator has made will never be destroyed. Looking forward to that. It is the kind of event the GCP/EGG network is made to see. (Yes, I'm aware of the very small signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) and how that complicates matters.)
Of course most people will recognize this date as one that is right around the famous
end of the Mayan calendar, and the event, even with so many people synchronized and singing together, will be complex beyond almost anything we've considered in social terms. 2012 is famously the moment of truth for a great and growing variety of prophets and pundits, and I'm sure everyone reading this is aware they have wildly varying expectations ranging from the dire and deadly end of time to visions ethereal and fulfilling, a new world. It will be interesting, and it certainly will be a global event.
More important, it will be many events bringing people together with intentions and commitments to assume the stewardship our intelligence and creativity predicts for us. A resumption of the watch we kept without drama for eons is the change envisioned by the wisdom keepers. All the sages from time immemorial, and every culture, and every religion in its deepest sources are aligned. How could it be otherwise? We don't really need the wisdom traditions to tell us to care for our home. We have no other. Any harms to the earth under our feet reflect on us, literally, and every gesture of appreciation for Mother Earth yields life in return. The air, the water, the very energies of our being are in our hands. This understanding will, it seems, grow to a catalytical tipping point about two years from now. It will be a time for singing—if wisdom prevails and love and compassion are given the field.
Collaborations are in the air, natural and necessary. We are social beings, and two heads are better than one, and interconnection is how we thrive. In addition to the delightful working-together and sharing of purpose with Shyla Nelson, and the ongoing GCP work with so many generous contributors, a new and important communal work is with David Medina. (BTW, my email just beeped with a message from him, of course!) David is an accomplished web designer from Bogota, CO, who has created a new website for the GCP. It is nice. And I would like to give you a link now, but it must await some work putting materials in place (so you won't be frustrated by missing link targets). I am excited about it partly because the new website brings us into the present, with nice navigation and interesting bits that tend to be hidden in the original website. Enough said. Coming soon!
While thinking about collaborations, I want to thank Hans Wendt for his valuable contributions and stimulations to the business we're about as a research project. Hans does interesting independent analyses, and he is often the first to notice a global event outside the US. Most recently I got a note that essentially said, look at Moscow. It pointed to the bombing in the arrivals hall that took 35 lives and injured 150 others, promising to scale up the fear and violent exchanges that tragically characterize these times.
I also have been encouraged to use Facebook more, both by the new approach to web presence David encourages, and by Shyla's exhuberant and extremely effective use of social media. These are among the tools she is marshalling to keep several irons hot, and with a little coaching (coaxing) she gave me the impetus to learn enough (to be dangerous?) to have fun with my personal Facebook page. At least for a while. It really is interesting to see what flies by, and to think about what it means about us (how we present ourselves, how we use our precious time, what the possibilities for deeper and ultimately important connections are.)
Here is the question I face most often when I think about mission and goals. How can I speak to those not in the choir? What means are there for bringing political and business and financial movers into a picture of healing for the planet? We need their help, and we need to find ways to go completely around the blocks of blame and accusation. Cooperation? Yes, but how? Why should a hedge fund manager think for a second about turning away from money to help forge eudemony—wellbeing for everyone else? Seems simple, perhaps, to you and me, but it isn't simple. It is enormously complicated to match motivations and perspectives. This is the challenge of this time of change. It will define the new calendar that must follow the magical Mayan prophecies.