An Evolutionary Conversation with Barbara Marx Hubbard

An Evolutionary Conversation with Barbara Marx Hubbard
By Alan Sasha Lithman

Barbara Marx Hubbard, renaissance woman, evolutionary explorer, social innovator and author, is President of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution. A tireless champion for the Earth’s future since the 1960s, pioneering the use of media for global peace, she made history in 1984 when her name was placed in nomination for the Vice-Presidency at the Democratic National Convention. Her barrier-breaking books include Emergence and Conscious Evolution. This conversation took place at her home in Santa Barbara on Feb. 12, 2004.

ASL: Barbara, how do you see the threshold point for yourself and your work in the world?
BMH: I feel I am standing at the edge of my own evolution, and I’ve realized that the psycho-spiritual evolution of the individual is going much faster than the societal transformation is able to keep up. Though we have many wonderful initiatives in terms of transforming society as a whole, it’s still quite embryonic. However, the individuals doing the projects are themselves evolving quite rapidly; in fact, I often see the projects themselves as workshops for the development of the person. They are pro-jections of the deep Self that wants to come into form to cocreate a world in which that Self can feel at home. What are really growing fastest are not the projects we’re doing but the persons doing them. The projects will take years to manifest, but the persons doing the projects are already models of the evolving human.

ASL: Yes, I often felt during my time in Auroville, India that it was not so much us building the community as the community building us.
BMH: Exactly. The person is the medium. The person is the message.

ASL: The challenge here seems to be, how does the individual come out of his/her isolation and join together with others who have also caught this evolutionary fire? For there is a yearning to join forces with others in a more conscious and concerted collective movement rather than just remain a disconnected collection of individuals and groups.
BMH: That is exactly the question I ask myself. That is why I felt the need to tell the Evolutionary Story, to provide an evolutionary context, recognizing that the evolving person is the key. I’m a mapper, a scribe of the growing edge of self and social evolution. I’ve developed a spiral map which tracks evolution from the Unified Field, Ground of Being, Mind of God, however you wish to put it, through the mysterious process of the formation of the universe, earth, life, animal life, human life and now us going around the next turn on the spiral.

For me, this turn began in 1945, when we dropped the atomic bomb, marking a moment when the human mind had penetrated Nature’s process of creation in the atom, followed by accessing her secrets in the gene and the brain such that we can put human intent into matter and either destroy the world or cocreate a transformed world. I see 1945 as the marker of the evolution of Evolution — from the billions of years of unconscious evolution to conscious evolution through the emergence of our human species whose consciousness and actions can actually effect the very course of our own evolution. That is radically new!
As we become aware as a species that we have tapped into these “powers of the gods” we realize we can guide these powers, and we must ask ourselves: toward what? What is the meaning of our new powers? In our existing religions, there’s really no social vision or developmental path to direct these powers. This is not to diminish the role religions have played, for they have provided us a transcendent potential toward which we can move; whereas our secular liberalism offers no such transcendent potential or vision. It’s basically a humanitarian ideal of comfort for everyone. But while we need to attend to these humanitarian needs, the human spirit will never be satisfied by simply being fed, housed and clothed. We know that from the ones who already are.

ASL: In that sense, don’t you see us humans as transitional beings, as a transitional species? Which would explain why we can never be satisfied by what we have or have been because we are destined to always be more. In which case, our true fulfillment lies in what we are yet to unfold and become.
BMH: Yes, I have always loved Sri Aurobindo’s phrase, “man is a transitional being”, but for me the question is: transitional to what? And so in my earlier evolutionary maps, I followed our turn in the spiral and saw things speeding up as we went from the 1950s to the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s; and it’s very interesting to track the accelerating breakthroughs and breakdowns during that last half century. Because I believe when we reached the new millennium, we entered a Macro Shift, that is, a whole civilization shift. This shift has occurred as the planetary system became unstable and lost equilibrium, particularly felt in the environmental field and in the vast separation between the people who are starving and poor and the people who are wealthy.

ASL: Isn’t this one of the reasons why it’s so critical to provide people with an evolutionary vision and context for what’s happening? — so that instead of people looking at these events and breakdowns piecemeal, with no hope or sense of meaning and direction, one can see them in a larger pattern, as part of an evolutionary unfolding where the breakdowns we’re experiencing are recognized as the labor pains preceding the birth of this new becoming you refer to.
BMH: Yes. As we accelerate toward this Macro Shift, I feel we are entering a period that I call “late transition on planet Earth”. Let me set out these terms: “Pre-transition” for me extends from the origin of self-reflective consciousness to the advent of the a-bomb. “Transition” began in 1945, when we gained the powers of codestruction and cocreation, and is our turn on the spiral. “Post-transition” would be landing on the other side of the quantum jump. I see this next post-transitional turn on the spiral, then, as a universal humanity — a species capable of co-evolving with Nature and co-creating with Spirit. I use the word “Spirit” here to connote the pattern in the process of creation, or the Great Creating Process, which is Sidney Lanier’s phrase for God. It is this Great Creating Process that runs through the core of the evolutionary spiral. It appears to me that the core of the spiral represents this universal Intelligence. This Intelligence has manifested in all the great faiths of the world, and until now those faiths have been able to guide the cultures…but no longer can they provide that guidance because the Culture as a whole is entering this Macro Shift. This situation is what I am calling “late transition” on planet Earth.

ASL: In other words, what we call “Spirituality” is itself evolving as human consciousness continues to unfold, moving us toward an unprecedented step into new dimensions of being; and the answers to our future emergence cannot simply be found by turning to past scripts that worked for a previous era.
BMH: Yes, I believe the founders of what became the world’s great religious traditions were all expanded humans who tapped into the Source, Spirit, the Process of Creation, however one wants to put it. But the ones who tapped into the evolutionary aspect of Spirit are rare. The two foremost figures are Teilhard de Chardin and Sri Aurobindo. Sri Aurobindo recognized that consciousness has two aspects: one, the pure eternal awareness, Brahman; and the other, arising out of that, conscious dynamic Force with intent. From his perspective, this conscious dynamic Force manifested itself through the process we call Evolution, beginning in atoms, molecules and cells. Of course the atoms are not aware of that but the Intelligence — which he called “supramental” — creating the atoms, molecules, cells is superb.

ASL: In fact, this Intelligence was not simply creating these forms but, as you said earlier, manifesting through them and the ongoing evolutionary process; and this Consciousness is still present in the atom even though the atom is not conscious of what it contains. Whereas the human is at the point where it possesses sufficient consciousness to apprehend and consciously awaken this inherent Consciousness which is its true core self.
BMH: Exactly. So in the earlier stages of humanity, we had these great individuals whose experiences and insights were codified into religions; and then we of course separated and fought over them. But I think what’s happening as we build toward the Macro Shift — and one can trace this starting in the 1960s and 70s, particularly with the human potentials movement, transpersonal and sacred psychology, the expansion of consciousness and mind-expanding substances, ecological awareness and on and on — is that our species began to wake up internally beyond any existing religion. And as we continue to accelerate through late transition toward the Macro Shift, we are recognizing that our life-support systems could be destroyed very rapidly, that we don’t have hundreds of years to continue our current behavior. This awareness that we could destroy ourselves if we don’t wake up as a species becomes an ultimate evolutionary driver. In fact, this challenge may be the precise conditions required for the higher order of life to evolve. Crises are pressing us toward transformation.

ASL: It’s as if evolution has designed a biofeedback mechanism in the very process of its conscious unfolding. In other words, as we get ourselves into an unsustainable corner that becomes more and more unbearable, we eventually learn despite our resistances that the only solution is to evolve to a next level of consciousness — echoing Einstein’s reminder that we can’t solve our crises by remaining in the same consciousness which created them. Or to put it in more pragmatic terms, when the pain of holding the pattern, the paradigm, exceeds the pain of changing it, then we finally change.
BMH: Yes. So let’s say for a moment that all of this is natural, that there’s an organic unfolding at a planetary scale just as there is at a biological scale. We don’t know because we’ve never seen another planet go through this. But we are learning that a planet is a whole system and it’s a living system. And there are theories suggesting that Gaia, this living system, is itself intelligent. The emerging view of reality is that our planet is a whole living system within a living universe rather than a dead mechanistic universe.

We can apply these ideas to ourselves. To consciously participate in this experience rather than merely being a passive witness, we can identify ourselves with the conscious Force seeking to manifest through evolution, developing our untapped cocreative potential. In my own efforts at self-evolution, I hold three aspects of consciousness in my heart simultaneously: I am an expression of the Whole Story of Creation; I am a vital participant in expressing my creativity to serve that Evolution and my own evolution; and thirdly, I am one with Source. This is Evolutionary Consciousness.

To nurture this emerging evolutionary consciousness, I helped form a conscious evolution community in Santa Barbara as well as a global on-line educational process called “Gateway to Conscious Evolution”. Via our website, “Gateway” reaches out to evolutionary souls worldwide. This emergence of conscious evolutionaries is happening at a global scale. You find such people in every faith, every tradition, every race, every culture, every economic background. This type of person seems to transcend the ordinary classifications and boundaries. The quality that distinguishes evolutionary consciousness is that you feel the emergent potential within yourself and you are driven with a passion as great as the desire for self-preservation and self-reproduction, but turned now toward self-evolution and self-expression for the sake of yourself and the world.
That desire is now being stimulated by the Macro Shift in millions of people. It presses us to go beyond humanistic or transpersonal psychology. It leads us toward the path of the cocreator. In this path the Essential Self incarnates, comes in the whole way. We shift our identity from egoic selves seeking the Divine to the Divine incarnate guiding the whole being. In this path the Essential Self seeks to express in creative action that itself evolves the person and the world.

ASL: As you were speaking, I found myself seeing things in cellular imagery — seeing the individual as a cell in this larger planetary body. And as a cell, the initial thrust is to discover one’s unique role as a cell. In other words, in embryonic development, stem cells begin to differentiate from generic cells to specific cells: liver cells, nerve cells, blood cells, heart cells. And as we are evolving and individuating more and more consciously, we too have to distinguish our unique role and gift, just as a liver cell, if it is to play its true role in concert with the whole body organism, does not confuse itself with trying to be a nerve cell. So we are in fact learning to discover two things simultaneously: Our unique calling, work, dharma; and how do we harmonize/integrate that in the larger evolving whole. So as all these human cells discover their unique code, becoming more conscious of who they are, they not only fulfill their unique destiny but fulfill the destiny of the whole with which they are inseparably one.
BMH: Exactly. And as I am more consciously recoding myself now, it is leading me into a new phase of my life which I call “regenopause”.

ASL: Could you develop this concept of “regenopause” and your complementary phrase “vocational arousal”?
BMH: Well, what I call “vocational arousal” is when that deep Self and its creative expression awakens in you and longs to go further into self-expression and self-actualization through creative action in the world. It can be felt as a yearning, a frustration, a depression, and an attraction. Depression is often a sign of something pressing to be expressed; It is the “creator-within.” It is suprasex! It is sexuality expanded into creativity. In sexual attraction, we seek to join our genes to have the baby — that’s what Nature is doing — but when we become supra-sexually aroused — that means aroused in our creativity — there is a yearning to join our genius with one another to give birth to the greater self of each and to the transformation of the world.

ASL: Spoken like a true woman from the future! (Laughter). By bringing new vocabulary into our language, it helps people distinguish new behavior and perspective in this species-level shift.
BMH: Yes. So vocational arousal includes and transcends sexuality; and will become, I believe the driving force that will evolve our species. It will become even greater than the sexual desire to have a child…

ASL: …And certainly creatively fulfilling in a whole new way, because we’re able to join together in an endless evolutionary process of what can be created.
BMH: That’s right. Especially as we hit the planetary limit of population with one more doubling representing over 12 billion people. So I believe at the hormonal level, particularly in the feminine, a signal has gone out awakening the woman to her creative expression as a prime drive. This does not mean we yearn simply to be equal to men in a dysfunctional world. It’s the desire to express the same passionate love we have for the child, now turned to give birth to the self and to the self’s expression in the healing and evolving of the world. For when you find a woman turned on by her vocational passion, she is motivated with the same intensity as is a mother for her child. Her work is her progeny. A mother will give up her life for her child. But what we are being asked to do here is not give up our life, but to give our life in its fullest creative expression for the sake of the evolution of the person and the planet.

ASL: You know, in India the Feminine Principle is recognized through two terms: Prakriti which denotes the apparently unconscious and mechanical Force of evolutionary Nature; and Shakti which represents the conscious Force no longer disconnected from Her true Self but rather being the creative expression and manifestation of that Divine Self. So the emergence of this new woman you speak of can be seen metaphorically as the planetary shift from prakriti to shakti — of women consciously coming into their shakti-hood to energize and regenerate the world.
BMH: Exactly. And of course there have been examples of this throughout history, but this is the first time that civilization as a whole literally requires this feminine creative energy to survive. Because when you look at the planetary situation, patriarchal leaders in a domination structure at the heads of existing institutions and nation-states cannot guide our species through the transition to the next stage of evolution.

ASL: In fact, they’ve helped create the very resistances that have put us in the crises we’re in. So to balance out this patriarchal control of consciousness with its divisive patriotism that fixates on defending “my” country, “my” religion, “my” ego, Evolution’s response seems to be the infusion of what I call “matriotism”. In other words, identifying with the whole rather than simply the part, developing “matriotic” values: holistic and expansive values that promote communication, caring, compassion, coming together — learning to identify self with other and with the planet as a whole, in the same way, as you say, that a mother identifies with her child. And these values transcend genders. These are core values that make us all more fully human.
BMH: They are indeed. So as we move into “late transition,” accelerating toward breakdown or evolutionary breakthrough, we can see the need for this emergent archetype which I call the Feminine Cocreator. And we can see the emergence of this new archetype in relation to what I call regenopause. For as women stop producing eggs to self-reproduce the species, they become freed up to give birth to this deeper feminine self and to its expression in the world. Our creative energy shifts from procreation to cocreation, from self-reproduction to self-evolution. In this context, regenopause could be considered as a shift in the life cycle of the feminine, setting up a new bio-evolutionary reality as we have fewer children and live longer lives.

More women are entering menopause than at any time in human history. Imagine menopause as a transition to regenopause, realizing that beyond the reproductive phase is the self-evolutionary phase of our species. Women en masse have a gift to give which is vitally needed for our species’ survival. As an older woman, I’m 74, I’ve realized that while my body is aging, my spirit, vitality and creativity are rising; and there’s literally a pause point — a pause where it seems that my creativity is stronger than my declining body. It feels like a cross-over point in my life cycle from degeneration to regeneration. It is possible that the process of regeneration is awakened by this deeper guided creativity of the feminine.

ASL: In other words, by applying consciousness and conscious intent to this same energy that was used by Nature for the procreation of the species, one can release the Energy within that energy toward the transformation of the species.
BMH: Exactly. It’s as powerful a drive as self-preservation and self-reproduction. But in order to save the children and preserve our lives, we have to self-evolve. So the evolutionary pressure is moving us forward to consciously evolve and the post-menopausal woman is at the frontier.

Diane Cirincione and I have already organized some “regenopause dialogues”, and many of the women who’ve participated are grandmothers. They tell us that they want to share this with their granddaughters; because if you’re a 15 or 16 year old girl now, you might live to be a 100 or more…you may have 1, 2 or no children…you may get married or not. So it’s important to prepare young women for the deeper purpose of the feminine in the early years, not just waiting till they’re post-menopausal. That purpose is to recognize, nurture and cultivate this deeper self and presence; and to learn to give it through cocreative and cooperative action with others. Thus we become a vital source for the salvation of the world!
The new evolutionary archetype is arising in men as well as they turn within to discover their own essential self, and as they are freeing themselves from the dysfunctional structures of the current world. When the woman recognizes this cocreative drive in herself, she yearns for the cocreative man as partner, whether they are intimate partners or creative work partners. For she cannot do this alone. And the best men that I know encourage and support these emerging feminine cocreators. Because they know that without that creative feminine guidance, they’re still trapped in the old pattern.

ASL: Men tend to be embedded in the intellect as their reality filter. Whereas women seem to innately operate more at the feeling level. They can go with something even if they cannot verify or explain it rationally. So if we are at the threshold of an evolutionary stage that lies beyond the scope of human intellect, to make the next step means we need to learn to let go. Yet for men, this letting go is utterly terrifying. Hence, the fundamental resistance to this evolutionary shift…
BMH: …Because they’ve been programmed to hold on, to protect and control the system. So even the best men are fighting a deep conditioning and training that required them to be in control, to be able to win. Women don’t have that primary programming, so we can open a door for the evolution of the cocreative man.

ASL: Quite true. Because if one is going to evolve to a new species, we can’t think our way there, we have to actually let go and invoke that new consciousness and lend ourselves to it to become it. And that is a feminine modus operandi. The man, as you say, is not programmed to surrender control; whereas a woman is trained through the experience of labor and birth that the more you resist, the more painful it is. And it’s only by breathing through the resistance, trusting and letting go, that the Force is able to flow. It’s this feminine experience of the universe that women are bridging over to men. So these two forces can come into balance.

BMH: I have a beautiful image for this: The Second Couple in the Second Garden. In the story of the First Garden, the Garden of Eden, we were embedded in Nature, in Spirit. Then we separated out from the natural world; and for 40 or 50,000 years we’ve been separating. But we’ve come to the end of this process. We will self-destruct if we continue in separation from each other, from Nature and from Spirit. Our power is too great for a self-centered species. Now, we take the next step as evolving members of our species to “bring the gods home”, to recognize that deity or divinity is within each of us. We are learning to become good “gods,” or as I prefer to call us, universal cocreators.

As we learn to shift our own identity from ego to essence, we also can learn to love the “other” as our own essential self. For at the level of essence, we are all members of one body. When we make this choice to shift from ego to essence, we cross the threshold from the land of Homo sapiens to the land of what I call Homo universalis: a more universal cocreative human. We enter the Garden of Cocreation, where the Tree of Life dwells. Inherent in this “Tree” is the power of gods and the healing of the nations. In the new Garden, young universal cocreative humans come together to learn how to evolve the self and the world. We become transformers of the systems and functions of our world.

ASL: And this transformation, just as the roots of a tree, emerges from the ground-up. Because we can no longer look to governments or existing hierarchies for the vision or initiatives that must be taken in the times ahead. It’s people and emerging communities that must assume direct responsibility for the changes we must make in our lives and cultural lifestyles. And this global evolutionary momentum of individuals and groups will eventually overcome the dominant paradigm despite the corporate-controlled media which continue to project and defend that paradigm which owns them.
BMH: You see, there are built-in limits to the behavior that supports the old paradigm, as the environment is showing us. We can’t continue to use non-renewable resources, we can’t continue to eat up our own nest and defile it.

ASL: But some will say, “I understand the argument about sustainability and I understand that we’re reaching a point of no-return, but people aren’t going to change in time.” How would you respond to this sense that we’re too caught in our lethargy, that patterns are too embedded?
BMH: Well first of all, people are changing. And I’m wary about over-generalizing this term “we”. Remember that there are millions of citizens like you and me, but we don’t have access to the mass media and we’re not heads of State and we’re not billionaires. Nevertheless, we’re here, and my sense is that this invisible force of consciousness is rising everywhere. And when we’ve enhanced our interconnectivity and communication — as we’re beginning to do via the internet — we’ll recognize the evolutionary pattern and maximize all these emerging creative solutions and innovations. As Buckminster Fuller said, we have the technologies, resources and know-how to make this world a 100% physical success. It’s just a matter of intention and political/social will.

ASL: But even for people who recognize that we’re in an evolutionary shift, there’s still a certain amount of skepticism because their own experience fluctuates. They’re still not convinced that Evolution isn’t going to wind up reducing all this back to compost, especially as the breakdowns and madness seem to accelerate relative to the breakthroughs.

Personally, I don’t believe there’s an empirical argument one can use to counter this skepticism. So I look to another level that doesn’t depend on outer proof. In other words, I come from the premise that Evolution is the Self-expression of what we awkwardly call God. And if this is the case, if all this is an Evolution of Consciousness playing Itself out in Time-Space rather than some random big-bang emergence of something out of nothing, then the whole perspective changes. Because if all this is a progressive manifestation of the Divine, then unless this Divinity is a masochist or a victim of its own creation, surely there is a far greater, more imaginative and fulfilling outcome then self-destruction. I mean, why would the Divine labor through something that ultimately ended up nowhere? So even as I know we must actively struggle to survive the transitional crises we face as a species, I support my actions and activism with a faith that transcends appearances — that trusts where we are heading and what is emerging through us.
BMH: I also sense that evolution is a progressive, intelligent process of creation. Teilhard de Chardin thought there would be a bifurcation of the species: The bourgeois who are trying to hold on and make everything comfortable as it is; and the others which he called Homo progressivus, who are attracted to the future as an organism progressing toward the unknown.

Now I’ve noticed that when people don’t feel this attraction to the future — an attraction which requires your emergent potential to be realized — they feel discouraged, alienated, condemning and judgmental. While Homo progressivus is motivated by a mysterious sense of the future and gains in vitality and creativity. I like very much the definitions for the different types of Homo that you develop in your book An Evolutionary Agenda: Where you describe our current species as Homo egoicus; and within that species, you refer to an egoic mutant which is the power group that controls the technologies that can destroy us — that egoic extreme among us which has plundered Nature’s secrets and turned these to serve the ego. And if that collective ego goes unchecked, it would be disastrous for our whole planet. Then you refer to Homo transitionalis, representing that part of our humanity which recognizes that we must transform to survive and is willing to make the transition, to branch toward that transformation. And transitionalis is followed by Homo polaris, Homo holisticus and finally Psyche materialis.

With Homo polaris, you present an emergent turning-point species that is guided by an inner star, that knows we’re not just fixing up the old world to return to a patched-up version of it; but rather that we’re evolving toward a future that is literally attracting us forward. Now there’s no way to prove that. It’s totally subjective. But when you feel this attraction, the effect on you is that you become more creative, more loving, more hopeful. So I judge ideas that can’t be proved by the effect they have on you to have them.

ASL: It’s also helpful to remind ourselves that every new form or species that’s come into being became the status quo for that moment in evolutionary time. And of course, the tendency of the status quo is to remain what it is. It doesn’t want to let go to become the next, because the egoic identity with the existing form interprets the shift as a threat to its survival rather than the birth of its expanding self. In other words, the gravity of the existing pattern is so strong that it instinctively resists this movement of evolution to expand and transform. Which I believe is precisely where we’re at as a species, struggling with these two tendencies— one gravity pulling us backward, the other attracting us forward. And for those who track macro-patterns for a sense of context and direction, one can look back through the evolution of ideas and forms and see that every breakthrough shift has been preceded by doubt, ridicule or the sense of its impossibility, even to the point of aggressively resisting and denying it. So from an evolutionary perspective, the very intensifying sense of the impossibility of the change may be the indicator that we are approaching the breakthrough of the possible.
BMH: Yes, exactly. So my test of an idea is the effect on the person having the idea. You see, when I was younger, I was trying to be an atheistic existentialist. (Laughter). I actually really tried…in Paris, the beret and the Gauloise cigarette. The effect on me was depression, misery and alienation. Then I discovered Teilhard de Chardin. I found that this yearning inside me for higher consciousness and greater freedom was, for Teilhard, the direction of the universe. It was God in evolution. It was the intent of creation. And I immediately cheered up. (Laughter).

So instead of feeling alienated and separate, I identified this yearning in me with the universe yearning through me for greater consciousness and freedom. I felt one with the cosmos and experienced the force of creation for the first time as if I were the universe experiencing itself. That totally transformed my life. The reason I think Teilhard’s idea or “meme” is better than atheistic existentialism is that the effect on me was joy, creativity — an awakening to life’s purpose and 40 years of motivation.

ASL: Excellent, Barbara. Even though you express this in subjective terms, it creates an objective approach to measure the evolutionary value of ideas and the growth of consciousness. For if self-evolution resulted in becoming more depressed, more disconnected, more fearful, anguished or angry, it would make no sense. But if it makes us more whole, sensitive and caring, more productive and inspired, then it suggests an intrinsic value and progression, even it that progression translates subjectively through one’s state of being or one’s capacity for creative action in the world. And I think it’s legitimate to consider these things as indicators of whether an idea is evolutionary or devolutionary.
BMH: Yes, you know the phrase, “by your fruits, you shall be known”. I would say, by the fruits of an idea, that idea shall be known.

ASL: And if by getting in touch with our own deeper self, we experience and express more joy, more creativity; and if consciously connecting with our own deeper self is actually reconnecting with the Divine in us, then it’s actually the Divine communicating that joy and creativity through us into the world, resonating that outward into matter — setting up a resonance, a contagion that spreads through the heart, joining us together from within.
BMH: Yes. I believe there’s an ecology of souls on this earth, in the sense that different souls resonate with different aspects of reality. And what distinguishes those drawn toward this evolutionary consciousness is that they don’t withdraw into a purely mystical aspect of consciousness but are drawn toward a consciousness that has creative intention. In other words, if what we have called God expresses, in this evolutionary sense, through the will or intention coded into the universe — the urge in creation toward higher consciousness, greater freedom, more harmonious order — then when we align our intention with that Intention, we are in effect, to use an older language, making our will and God’s will one.
In fact every time I align my intention with this Intention, I feel good, alive, creative; and I’ve noticed that I actually am creative and helpful to others. And I believe this evolutionary Intention runs through us all. It is evolution’s tendency toward greater complexity, syntropy, consciousness and freedom. This is a 14 billion year trend!

ASL: And the more conscious one becomes in this process, the more one becomes a magnet attracting others vibrating with this same urge.
BMH: yes, the more attracted you are to this evolutionary potential, the more attractive you are to others who resonate with this attraction. As you become attracted, you become vocationally aroused. Your unique creativity awakens and you begin to innovate and create new ideas, initiatives and projects which are actually transforming our world.

ASL: And to support these emerging initiatives is what it means to fund the future rather than throwing endless resources into propping up a system that’s killing us. I mean, here we are cannibalizing our social, environmental, educational and healthcare budgets to feed an insatiable military budget in the name of security. While the real security of the world lies in addressing these very issues of social justice, poverty, environmental degradation, misuse of natural resources.
BMH: Yes, we need the politics of attraction. You know, Norman Cousins used to say to me, “Barbara, you’re the most practical person I know — at the next stage of evolution.” So speaking as a pragmatist, this is not an unrealistic perspective, Alan, that we’re putting forward. On the contrary, it’s very unrealistic to be spending these vast sums on the military, utilizing the genius of our species to build weapons to maximize killing when that same genius, if we shifted the goal-posts, would lead to greater security, prosperity and fulfillment for all.

ASL: Exactly. And relative to the cost of developing such “smart” weapons, it’s so much cheaper and smarter to fund global education as a national security investment.
BMH: Right. What we’re presently doing is not just wrong, it’s insane.

ASL: And it obviously takes a great blindness…
BMH: …to keep it going.

ASL: So, Barbara, as we redirect ourselves from this blindness, what would you like to share with those willing to pick up the evolutionary torch?
BMH: Each of us is the universe in person. This is how the cosmos showed up. Our internal yearning and desire to express, to create, to participate, is the force of evolution pressing through us. When we say yes to it and take steps in that direction, the pattern starts to unfold our own potentiality. That is a great joy. And that joy leads us to find others who are also emergent. And this joy of Cocreation is in itself self-rewarding. So rather than setting up artificial goals for our fulfillment — you know, I won’t be happy unless I achieve this or that — your life itself becomes self-rewarding. That is, it’s paid up moment by moment by having the privilege of expressing your own creativity in union with others for a shared purpose. That’s the direction for the evolution and healing of our world.

ASL: Yes, and don’t you find that the joy of working together with others is so much greater than just focusing on hoarding our little piece of joy for ourselves?
BMH: Of course. You will hoard it until you’ve had the experience of that greater joy. It was Abraham Maslow who told me that in a Eupsychean Society — a society of good souls — the greatest reward would be the freedom to do your true work. And that intrinsic reward generated by doing your real work would be so fulfilling that you would require only enough in order to continue to do your work. And the people who still had jobs that they hated but still needed to be done would be the ones who had to be given more. Because you have to be paid a lot to do what you don’t like to do. But if you are free to do what you love to do — it’s not that we don’t need any resources — but the need for status and for collecting material things and houses and cars would be ridiculous. Yes, we’d like beauty and elegance, but that’s where voluntary simplicity comes in. Because it’s a burden to have to care for so much stuff. A huge burden.

ASL: And a huge burden for the planet to keep feeding this insatiable consumerism.
BMH: Precisely. So if you’re self-rewarded and working cocreatively with others, you want a beautiful environment but you’re not yearning for all these status symbols — in fact, they’re in your way. And there are a lot of us now who actually pay to do our work. We will accept less than we might get somewhere else because the joy of doing the work itself is greater.

ASL: And that too is a sign of a transitional species: That we’re actually willing to offer our self, even at our own expense, in order to follow our truth, making — in the best sense of the word — the “sacrifice”.
BMH: Yes. And following this Eupsychean Society of Maslow, you could not be joyful, happy and productive if you were selfish, or if you had no sense of your creative vocation. You’d be lost, no matter how wealthy you were. To find your deeper life purpose is more than a project or a job. It’s the calling, the reason you were born. And that calling is not just connected to your own work but to the life pattern that you are part of. And the more you do it, the more you feel part of a larger design, and the less you have to make it up. The feeling of having to make things happen diminishes, and is replaced by the sense of being an expression of an unfolding pattern of which you are a vital part. And that is for me the greatest pleasure on earth.

Alan Sasha Lithman spent 21 years (1969-1990) as a resident in Auroville, India, where he apprenticed hands-on experience in applied spirituality, community-building and environmental restoration. Considering himself an “evolutionary activist”, he lives in Ashland, Oregon. His latest book, An Evolutionary Agenda for the Third Millennium, was published by White Cloud Press ( with support from the Institute of Noetic Sciences.