I recall looking at the leaf of a tulip tree (Liriodendron) and I noticed something interesting that I’ve never observed in another plant. At the base of the leaf stem is a pod on a short stalk. Opening that pod will reveal a small but perfectly formed leaf inside... with a pod on a small stalk at the base. That pod has a smaller leaf... with a pod and so, apparently, ad infinitum... or at least to the extent of my vision and dexterity. Each pod contained the leaf’s future descendants. Its future already formed and waiting to burst forth. Although I had never seen this in any other plant before, there was something intensely familiar about it. It was the fractal nature of existence. Our future is already within us. The Essence of the oak tree resides within the acorn. Life is a process of becoming.
We look at our society and many conclude that it should not be like this. Politics is being increasingly exposed as a corrupt sham, the corporate world is corrupt and plunders the planet for resources at the expense of wildlife, natural beauty and even the air we breathe and the water we drink, the global economy is in meltdown, there is war and civil conflict, oppression, crime... life should not be like this.
What if it actually is supposed to be like this... at this stage?
The anatomical difference between a caterpillar and a butterfly is so great that it is hard to see them as the same species. A caterpillar is clearly not a butterfly... so how does it become one? It doesn’t simply grow wings. A butterfly is not a caterpillar with wings. It is a totally different creature to the soft-bodied larvae that forms a cocoon around itself. What happens inside that cocoon is far more dramatic than simply morphing from one form to the other. The caterpillar literally dissolves into a cellular soup in which even the individual cells undergo drastic changes before assimilating into the spectacular insect that emerges from the cocoon at the end of this process. No one can speculate what this must feel like to the caterpillar. Perhaps there comes a point at which the caterpillar thinks: “Hey! I didn’t sign up to this! This isn’t how it should be!”
Our society is undergoing a state of dissolution. There may be justification for the assertion that society has always been in a state of conflict and confusion. Well life isn’t so tickety-boo for a caterpillar either. Most of them get eaten by birds and other wildlife. Many never emerge from the cocoon due to some glitch that prevents the process completing. But enough make it through to ensure that butterflies are a common sight.
But, when all of Humanity go through a single unified dissolution, we only get one shot in which to get it right. Well, maybe... Are we the only sapient species in the Universe undergoing this dissolution? How many will make it? How many have already evolved to the next phase of becoming? And how many have failed?
On a Cosmic scale, we are the equivalent of one caterpillar in its cocoon. It is not vital to the Universe that we make it; only that enough make it to fulfill whatever part they may have to play in the Great Pattern. To us, however, it matters a lot.
We have come to a point at which society on its present course is no longer sustainable but, as we are conscious beings, how we emerge from this is down to us. The only apparent barrier to this is our addiction to the illusions that have played a part in getting us this far. We have become addicted to leaving it up to some illusory entity called “them” to sort everything out. “They” can’t. Only we can. Leaders have played their part and, without leaders, good and bad, we would never have developed the systems we have in place that are to play a vital function in the world we shall inherit, assuming, of course, that we don’t fail.
Our leaders are not superior beings to us. They are not given “power” by some physiological advantage that they have over the rest of us. Their “power” is nothing more than our acknowledgment and consent to their authority. It is an illusion and it only works if everyone buys into the illusion.
Religion is also part of the illusion. It is not simply a belief but a belief system and, as such, has to be treated as suspect. A belief does not have to be defended. I could go through most of my life believing that bees fly backwards but, on discovering that they do not, I could simply let go of that belief. Education is a process that largely involves dispelling old, misconceptions and replacing them with new understandings. With nothing invested in our misconceptions, the learning process can flow unimpeded. Belief systems, on the other hand, are embedded into the psyche and become an integral part of one’s identity. They are not confined to religion and history records countless scientists who have been ridiculed, humiliated and even ejected from their careers because their theories, which have since been proved correct, challenged previously held ideas. But the most fiercely protected belief systems are those relating to God.
I am not going to engage in the dispute about whether there is or is not a God or go into the pedantic intricacies of precisely what is meant by the word: “God”. This discussion fully acknowledges that there is a design, which I refer to as ‘the Great Pattern’, that is beyond our understanding. Religion is simply the stories that attempt to explain the unknowable and these stories are so inviolable that they must be defended in the face of anything that challenges the slightest detail. But they are our stories. They are our creation. Bill Hicks once said: “Never trust a preacher who begins a sentence with: I think what God was trying to say was......”. But our Gods are there precisely for that purpose; to put our words into their mouths.
God has been a vital tool in perpetuating and fixing the illusions firmly in place and may yet prove to be Humanity’s undoing. Even today with our considerably more liberal attitude to religion in the West, it would be inconceivable for an atheist to become President of the US and, if any British politician with Number 10 in his or her sights has any doubts about the existence of God, it would be political suicide to make those doubts known. Thus, our leaders can send our loved ones to their deaths and perform mass slaughter of men, women and children, plunder the resources of other countries and oppress the people of other nations with the assurance that God is on their side. God’s approval has been a vital tool in bending the will of the people to their leaders’ demands. This is as true in the West as it is in the fundamentalist and considerably less liberal Middle East. God is the omnipotent, omniscient judge and ruler who will tell our leaders precisely what they want him to tell them. God ordered Bush into Iraq to depose their leader, oppress their people and plunder their oil for the US petrochemical industry. Yes, Hussain was a ruthless and harsh dictator... who, incidentally, had been put in place by the... er.... US. But, if Bush’s insistence that the invasion had anything to do with the ‘liberation’ of the people were remotely true, it failed dismally. The people are now oppressed by US and UK military presence. Civilians are routinely arrested and tortured and the consensus of opinion among the people of Iraq is that life has definitely taken a turn for the worse.
God is the infinitely flexible and unchallengeable authorisation for our leaders to do whatever they want... and, as such, God is an illusion. The authority of our leaders is an illusion. They rely on our acknowledgment and consent and we give it without question. We submit to oppression, persecution, imprisonment, censorship and watch impotently as our leaders pamper to the greed of the ever expanding corporate beast as it plunders our Earth to the extinction of wildlife species and the poisoning of our seas and our atmosphere.
All this had to happen. This is the evolution of the Earth. It has brought us to the point at which we can now do so much if we exercise our power to move beyond the illusions and into a new global community. But it is not a foregone conclusion. It is no longer up to "them" because, in truth, there is no "them". It is up to us. But our first change must be within ourselves... each and every one of us. We must locate our Humanity buried beneath the dross of disempowerment and disenchantment. We must each find our own inner power and rise up from our knees.
We are now on the brink. Of what depends on what we do now. In the past, we have taken up arms to fight our oppressors... and look where it has brought us: on our knees and oppressed. The brilliance of the ruse with which we have been tricked is that we don’t even know we are oppressed.
Yes. It is a trick. And there are those who hold the view that it is a deliberate trick, of which the Masterminds are rubbing their hands with glee. I’m not convinced it is as simple as that. This is a divisive viewpoint of us and them. I do not believe there is a them. Our oppressors have been tricked into oppressing just as we have been tricked into oppression. No one person or group has formulated the system that has seemed to take on a personality of its own. We are fooled by the very system itself. The status quo.
But we must understand what has brought us to this point. It has been a slow and gradual process and many would say a very deliberate and calculated one. Despite the many theories of this being the long term plan of the Illuminati, handed down over
generations... and I don’t necessarily dispute this, I could equally see how this could have evolved naturally without a specific architect.
Like all life forms, we are naturally inclined to that which best ensures our survival. Social animals invariably tend to be submissive to the will of one male; the Alpha male. Among lions, wolves and other creatures that survive on brute strength, the Alpha male is generally the largest, toughest and meanest sonofabitch in the group. Usurping the Alpha male is usually a violent and aggressive process although the battle for supremacy rarely results in death. However, the victorious Alpha has his pick of the females and is the Prime, if not only breeder. This benefits the group in two ways: 1. The strongest of the group acts as protector and 2. the strongest of the group as the Prime or only breeder ensures continued and progressive strength within the gene pool.
But Homo Sapiens did not survive through physical strength but through intelligence. It was our inventiveness, our dexterity and our ability to adapt to varying environments that enabled us to survive. Our inventiveness in particular enabled us to devise means of hunting much larger prey and protecting ourselves from predators and this put us pretty much at the top of the food chain. The Alpha male of such a group would need more than superior physical strength. He would need cunning and guile. Because of this, the role has not always been confined to males and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that we have had matriarchal societies as well as patriarchal.
Just as forming social groups was a result of our natural inclination to ensure survival of the species, the desire to compete for the role of Alpha was a result of our natural inclination to ensure survival within the group. The Alpha’s role was to protect the group by guidance rather than personally fighting off invaders so here the role switched a little. The group protected the Alpha. This factor provided the incentive to compete for this coveted role. It also provided the incentive for the current Alpha to devise means of protecting his position, initially by currying the allegiance of the strongest within the group. At some point it was established that competing within the group created disharmony and that the Alpha should be selected by bloodline.
His position secured, the Alpha no longer needed to prove himself the wisest to retain his elevated role. The wisest in the group could hope to become the Alpha’s counsel and the strongest of the group could hope to become the Alpha’s champion but only the Alpha’s offspring could inherit the role of Alpha. A very secure position, but one that essentially relied on the acknowledgment and consent of the rest of the group. Some added insurance was required.
It is not known when religion first appeared and one can only speculate on its origins. But it seems likely that, having adapted to his environment, Man then learned to adapt the environment itself to meet his needs. At some point in the process of development it must have become apparent that there are forces beyond our control. Weather and climate dictated the availability of food and, having become accustomed to the concept of control, perhaps we concluded that, if we weren’t controlling the weather, something else was. If that was the case, it was natural to conclude that that controlling power was located in the sky, the perceived source of weather.
Communication is another vital element in our social order so, if we can’t control the weather, maybe we can find a way of communicating with whatever it is that does. Well, how exactly do you go about doing something like that!? You can try shouting and, quite possibly, they did (presumably, to no avail... otherwise religious ceremonies would be a very noisy affair today). You can try drawing large symbols that could be seen by something that resides in the skies (and there are vast drawings in the Nazca desert in Peru that could fit comfortably into this theory). It soon becomes apparent that anyone who displays the slightest talent in communicating with the Great Beyond is assured a very secure position within a protective society. Such people can afford to lay down a few conditions.
All it would have taken was for someone to devise a means of communicating with the Gods that coincided with the end of a long drought or whatever. Anything that could be regarded as a sign becomes fixed into the group theology. The Alpha then appoints his theologians to devise the ceremonies to please the Gods and the stories to explain them. These soon become ‘hardwired’ into the group consciousness. This was the insurance that the Alphas needed. And what a brilliant device this turned out to be!
The responsibility for observing the rituals and ceremonies was shared with the entire group and this takes the heat off the Alpha and the theologians. If things go wrong, it is because the Gods are angry and the reason for that is because somebody didn’t do the ritual dance right. All eyes fall on poor old Graath the Clubfoot and the Gods get a succulent sacrifice to appease their anger.
As long as the message to all the group is that to challenge the status quo would anger the Gods, the Alpha’s position was pretty much foolproof. Recruiting the allegiance of Gods was a brilliant stroke! Securing the role of Alpha to his bloodline meant that the Alpha did not have to prove superior wisdom to retain his position. But he would have to show fairness and compassion to retain the consent to this agreement. With the all-powerful Gods on his side, the Alpha could not only retain his position but elevate it further... even if at the expense of fairness and compassion. This was the birth of power.
Power has taken many forms from brutal dictatorships to relatively benign democracies but all have been to one aim: the control of the masses in the interests of the Alphas. The factor common to all societies is industry and this requires the masses to be put to work at productive employment, earning a little for themselves as incentive but always earning the lion’s share for the ruling Alpha. Civilisations have thrived or crumbled according to how the balance of freedom and servitude was imposed. This has evolved through ever more sophisticated methods to the one we have today. The majority in the West are treated rather well but we represent only about 25% of the world’s population. But this does not detract from the reality that we are a commodity to enrich the ruling Alphas. Most of the world’s population live in poverty and are treated worse than herd animals... and, effectively, that’s what they are. The truth is, that’s what we all are. We have simply become accustomed to slavery to The System and to Money and to Authority.
But this is not the result of Evil but the natural evolution of Humanity. The concept of power and money and productivity has brought us to a level of advancement that but a short time ago within my own lifetime would have been regarded as miraculous. The pinnacle of this development has been the invention and growth of the Internet. It has all become a process of connecting all of the people on the globe and, as such, is very much a part of the Earth’s own evolution.
And now we have reached the brink of a huge change. In reality, the role of Alpha is no longer required. In fact, it now represents a serious threat to the evolution of humanity and the survival of the planet. The role of a monetary system is no longer required. In fact, it now presents a barrier to the very advancement it initially propelled. Power and finance have been the propellants but now they threaten to consume the society they generated. They threaten to consume the Earth itself. To do nothing is to continue on this path of plunder until Humanity is reduced to the final commodity on a poisoned planet. To rise up in anger and aggression is to plunge us into chaos. The only path left open for the future of Humanity is to stop believing the illusions. To cease to acknowledge or consent to the authority of one human being over another. We are done with conflict. We are done with submission. We must grow to the extent of the true power within ourselves and move forward.
But it isn’t going to be easy and it isn’t going to be comfortable. We are going to meet aggressive opposition from those who continue to submit to those they identify as masters. And we must meet it without returning violence. We must each be prepared to face whatever is meted out to us without resistance... but also without submission.
We have a difficult transition ahead of us and how we conduct ourselves in this will decide the future of Humanity. If we submit to fear or aggression, it will fail. If we succumb to the primal response of aggression, it will fail. From the perspective of the Universe and the Great Pattern, we will simply be a seed that didn’t make it to fruition and it will matter little.
If we succeed, we will go on to evolve further to our full potential and the fruition of becoming as one. But that is clearly way into the future. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Right now we must decide whether to take that step or abandon the journey.
considerations for the transition
Can we function without money? Of course we can! Can we function without leaders? Of course we can. The question is: are we prepared to? When, as adolescents, we become young adults ready to leave the parental home, are we really prepared? When we discover that we are about to become a parent, are we really prepared? How will we manage? How will we cope?
We are Humanity in youth. We have left our infancy behind and struggled through our childhood and now we face the responsibility of taking our lives in our own hands and making what we can of it. Are we prepared? No. Of course we’re not. Any more than we are ever prepared to live on our own for the first time or begin to raise a family for the first time. But we do it.
Let’s look at the problems we face managing without the two major illusions of society. What would being without a monetary system entail?
Money provides a vital incentive for productivity. Does it? If you weren’t being paid and you didn’t have to go to work but everything you needed was freely available, what would you do with your time? What would you most love to do with your life? If you have a career that you love, wouldn’t you like to continue to pursue it? If you’d like a different career, wouldn’t you like to study to follow your chosen career? Potential and opportunity are far stronger incentives than money. To be free to explore your own potential without having to worry about earning a crust would be all the incentive you need.
Do you think that engineers, scientists, teachers, doctors, builders and so on only do what they do simply for the money? Think again.. Sure they want the money because that is the means by which they can live well... and, of course, we are all driven to some degree by the fear of poverty. But the most valuable work is produced by those who are driven by the work itself. Many grossly underpaid careers are taken up by those who are prepared to work for little money in the field that they love. Take money out of the equation and allow flexibility and creativity to flourish and you have a contented workforce working for the community rather than a profit-driven employer.
Yes the transition would be difficult. Things worth striving for usually are... at first. Money is not a reality. It is a corrupting illusion and we need to strip away the illusions.
No one is going to come up with a foolproof system of replacing the concept of money because any replacement would be another illusion and prone to the same level of distortion and corruption. No one is going to come up with the solution for living without the concept of money. It is a global cultural addiction that is corroding society just as addiction to alcohol or heroin corrodes the personality of the addict. The only way is to cut it out of the equation and make our way from there.
What about living without government? I’m not suggesting we live without some form of order and coordination but do we truly need a government to protect us from.... from what? Terrorists? Governments are the reason for terrorism. Terrorism, like war, depends on enemies in order to flourish. Governments nurture enemies to maintain a sense of national fear and dependence on the government. Targets for terrorism are those who oppress. Terrorism is a reaction to oppression. It is not, as American Presidents frequently suggest, because terrorists “hate freedom”. They do not react against American freedom but against American oppression. But it is not the American people who oppress the countries that spawn terrorists. It is the American government. Likewise, the British government’s support for American foreign policy makes the UK a target also. Our governments are not protecting us but are oppressing other countries in our name and putting us in the line of fire for no better reason than to serve the interests of giant corporations who want access to resources.
Let’s imagine that, instead of centralised governments with too much power for anyone’s good, we are divided into manageable communities in which policy is decided by representative committees of voluntary members of the community. Every decision is voted on and, when put into practice, is maintained by a community coordinater that is not “in power” but in service. Length of term is decided by the community according to the level of satisfaction the coordinater attains. Remember there is no monatary system and no means by which anyone can become wealthier than anyone else. Everyone benefits equally from a well run community when there is no means by which anyone can gain at the expense of anyone else. The ideal becomes the incentive rather than personal gain.
Law and order:
This is a tricky one but we should look at this rationally. Is the reason that you choose not to go out and murder people at random simply because it is against the law? Would you be burgling your neighbour’s house at this moment if there were not a law forbidding you to do so? Generally, there is a natural taboo against such criminality. Those who do not feel inhibited by their own natural taboo are not inhibited by the law either. The people who do not commit crimes now are the people who would not commit crimes in a free society. The people who would commit crimes in a free society are those who are committing crimes now. Legislation actually has a minimal effect on crime levels. Neighbourhood Watch schemes have proved far more successful in this respect.
But what sort of crimes are committed now? Mugging... with no monatary system and equal access to everything that we need, why would anybody want to do that? Theft and fraud and all the crimes related to obtaining wealth would be obsolete.
This leaves us with violence and antisocial behaviour. Current educational systems are geared up to drive home the concept of productivity and financial success at the expense of creativity, social behaviour and relationships. A change to a more tolerant and inclusive society with a flexible and eclectic educational system would tackle much of the causes of such crimes. People feel disempowered now. If people were empowered to make positive contributions to society, much of the frustration and resentment that is now apparent would vanish.
With the levels of crime reduced simply by the nature of the society in which people live, the incidents of criminal behaviour could be handled in much the same way as the administration of the community... by the community itself. At this point, we don't need a detailed 'blueprint' to spell out exactly how each problem of the future must be handled. That was the Old Way. We are going to go through a difficult period of transition in which these issues will be faced and addressed accordingly. What we must do now is make the leap... and it is a leap of faith.
Visions of the future
So what kind of future can we expect? The world is literally our oyster... as long as we treat it with respect. You wouldn’t use a priceless Ming vase as an umbrella stand so don’t use your world as a commodity.
But it depends on us. If we do nothing, we can expect Orwell’s view of the future as “a Jack Boot stamping on the face of Humanity” because the corruption of power will continue on its self-destructive path and, when we have obliterated ourselves from the face of the Earth, the world will begin again. The Universe will not be overly affected by having to wait several eons before another opportunity for the ascention of conscious beings. It’s probably something that is happening all the time somewhere within the depths of infinity.
As for us: we will have been gradually reduced to slavery in the service of masters and put to the task of plundering the Earth until there is nothing left to consume. No big deal on a cosmic level but pretty miserable for our descendants.
If, on the other hand, we break free of this madness, look at what we have: We have the means to connect with each other globally and that gives us the opportunity to create a global community. How we live will be pretty much up to individual choice. Look at the space that is available on this planet of ours! Deserts can be irrigated (currently, finance is the only barrier to this as we already have the technology) and forests restored in time. The focus can be on creative and spiritual development.
The question is not: what will the future be like? The question is: what do you want to do with it?
It's your world.