Sunday, June 23, 2013

2013 is the new 2012: Looking Back and Looking Forward

After the year 2012, many of us had to take stock of our belief systems about the shift. No surprise there, expectations in a matter this "earth-shaking" are not usually the same as the reality that unfolds. Like many others I went through the necessary process of adjusting my core beliefs and expectations. Here is short list of the key beliefs I came away with:

1. The shift continues to take place. Big time. December 21, 2012 was a gateway into the acceleration of the shift and 2013 is beginning to look more like what many of us expected to happen in the year 2012. A difference of a year is not surprising when the time spans we are talking about involve 5000 years or possibly much more.

2. We continue to be in the midst of a planetary crisis that will take all of our collective wisdom and effort to address. A kind of slow-motion eco-catastrophe is well underway. A profound awakening and awareness is needed to grasp its significance and recognize the need for change although many will continue to cling fiercely to the the old patterns that provide an unsustainable and illusory sense of comfort.

3. Solar activity has been increasing and will continue to increase in 2013. Solar flares and CMEs are having profound effects on human consciousness and accelerating many earth changes. The two are inextricably linked.

4. As the Emergence Project has been emphasizing since we began offering conferences back in 2008, daily spiritual practice and meditation continue to be very important as a means to manage the chaos and instability continuing throughout the shift.

5. No one knows exactly what's going to happen in the next few years. For all their wisdom on such matters, not even the ancient Mayans knew exactly how this process would unfold. Channelings and other sources of wisdom still remain as fallible and subject to intepretation as any other human activity and, as always, heavy doses of discernment need to be applied. It's helpful to triangulate sources. In the last analysis, judge for yourself what's true, resonant, untrue or subtly deceptive.

6. Humanity's ultimate fate is in humanity's hands and not subject to any other external forces that can determine its outcome. This is simply the law of free will applied on a large scale. We have the technology and the tools to solve many of the problems currently facing us. The obstacles lie within our own mass consciousness -- the "mind-forged manacles" as William Blake called them -- that collectively and individually keep us from acting mindfully and creating the kind of world that most of us in our heart of hearts wish to live in.

7. We are experiencing the shift on many levels. At the level of inner being, the changes are profound. But in the outer world, sometimes it seems, disturbingly, that business as usual predominates. This sense of a kind of mundane and banal momentum of old patterns is in part fostered by the mainstream media which seems intent on offering the perspective that our cultural environment is still surpassingly "normal".Getting beyond this cognitive dissonance tests our faith in the deep spiritual realities now being experienced.

8. Take heart, many unique and positive changes are taking place on a planetary scale. However, much of it remains hidden beneath the multiplying layers of confusion and turmoil that characterize contemporary life. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

In the Aftermath of December 21st

Happy 2013 and best wishes to followers of this blog! I'd like to share a few thoughts I had in the wake of December 21 and the vacuum that it seems to have left in the minds of some whose expectations have revolved around some sort of visible and widespread manifestation.

Projection is a well-known phenomenon is psychology where we take the darker aspects of self and project them onto to others as if they were the threat and not something inside our own psyche. Projection can also happen on a mass cultural level as well. I suspect that is what might be in play with the widespread notion of  a 2012 apocalypse event that some believed would occur on December 21st.  There is a good case to be made that this idea was based on a Western line of thinking that was culturally projected onto the Mayan calendar information resulting in a huge distortion.

But the phenomenon of projection may go even further. It may be that we are collectively projecting images of catastrophe and eco-catastrophe (which is in fact a real threat but a “slow-motion” one, unlike Armageddon) while at the same time not facing up to the fact that we ourselves are responsible for much of it. The threat then becomes transformed in the mind as a single event on a particular day, something much easier to comprehend than a slow motion catastrophe playing out over decades. This speaks to the limited capacity of Western human perception to look beyond more immediate time frames and take the “long view” that the ancient wisdom traditions and many indigenous peoples were well versed in.

Therapeutically speaking, at the individual level, projecting often involves an inability to accept responsibility for an outcome or a situation. In this case, the mass projection I’m suggesting here involves the notion of some external force whether God or some other agency as the cause. Putting mass spiritual enlightenment aside for the moment (something that Ken Wilber says is not likely to happen), the mass awakening that the Emergence Project has talked about for many years may at its essence be a simple recognition by large masses of people that a) there is a major threat to our planetary ecosystem b) humankind is responsible for much of it (leaving aside the complex issue of anthropogenic climate change) and c) we can take steps to deal with it if we individually and collectively acknowledge responsibility for it as opposed to the magical thinking that it’s someone else’s problem to take care of. This in and of itself would be an incredible shift in collective consciousness and it's gratifying to see that it already seems to be taking place. In my opinion, the question of outcome and the fate of the earth hinges upon whether it will take place quickly enough. What transpires over the next few years will be crucial.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Pondering December 21 and Its Myriad Implications

As December 21 approaches, the time for speculation is over. I believe it's a time for our best summations and whatever commitment we feel we can make to building a New Earth. After four years of work on the Emergence Project I wish I could say that I have figured it all out but in truth my thoughts of late tend to echo the Billy Joel lyrics that "the more I find out the less that I know".

At the same time the rock solid certainty of so much 2012 commentary simply does not resonate for me. There are so many theories and beliefs floating around now regarding the complexities of this time but the outcome and direction of our planetary predicament is still very much uncertain. Although not an easy fact to deal with, it’s possible that we may not know the full truth of either the meaning or outcome of this extraordinary time in our own lifetimes. If these kinds of speculations make me a kind of "shift agnostic" then so be it. The complexities of this living mystery are massive in scope and lie well beyond our ability to easily summarize them.

I wish I could offer some simple and comforting advice. As we approach December 21, I have a sense of undifferentiated intensity and a powerful gathering of energetic forces that I suspect few of us understand. There is also a very good chance that our expectations concerning what has happened and will happen will be far from what actually transpires. As at least one observer has pointed out, this time may be unique in human history. It would be wonderful if all of our positive expectations were met but we have to be prepared to separate what we think or hope will happen and our attachment to those thoughts from the reality that unfolds. Fortunately there is some excellent guidance available out there.

Superstorm Sandy can be seen both practically and symbolically as a manifestation of the power of the earth changes. Some have even commented on the eerie similarity to the movie 2012. The Emergence Project has always tried to emphasize the positive implications of the Shift as an opportunity for awakening so in a sense we have to view the myriad earth changes as a kind of distraction even though they represent an unsettling kind of validation. At the same time there are many positive things taking place behind the scenes. Two things are able to exist in parallel. And so it goes, a 2012 moment. Nature plays the last hand, something our ancient forebears knew very well and we collectively and inconveniently seem to have forgotten.

I have two final observations. The first has to do with our personal response to the suffering that many are experiencing right now. The need for spiritual love is frequently invoked in the context of the Shift. It’s a good start. But as Buddhist commentator Brad Warner has pointed out, compassion is even more important. I would suggest that this is especially true given the magnitude of suffering experienced by many as we move through this time. The second observation is that we need to be careful not to place too much emphasis on the December 21st date itself. Just to set expectations a bit, it’s possible that this date will pass without easily identifiable external mega events of some sort. This would of course provide an opportunity for skeptics to further try to marginalize 2012 and the Shift as woo-woo spirituality. But there is no doubt that these changes will continue for many years. We are simply standing at the doorway even with all that’s happened so far. Sandra Walker puts it nicely: “Ascension is not about leaving the planet, getting rescued by off-world brethren or flying up into heaven. It is not about watching the Shift unfold online, or waiting for the external world to provide evidence of inner change. Ascension is a conscious choice to engage in evolution.” While I dislike the term “ascension” for a number of reasons, I thought she provides a great feet-on-the-ground summation of this amazing window of spiritual opportunity. Inner guidance and sense of community provide the compass. Stay tuned and best wishes.

Monday, September 3, 2012

"Everything You Know Is Wrong."

Some of you might remember that as the title of a Firesign Theatre album, a comedy act from the 70's and 80's. I'm a research analyst and a futurist by profession. My experience with the 2012 material has led me to formulate and evaluate theories about what is happening. At this point I’ve thrown a lot of them out the window. This is not something that lends itself to rational analysis. At one point I simply gave up like the exhausted Zen student who has burned out his neural circuitry trying to solve a koan logically. In my opinion, one thing that is happening now is that the Pandora’s box of human experience good, bad, and extreme has been opened. We are now awash in an impossible to fathom array of choices, ideas, and experiences long forgotten. As just one example, quantum physics is busy throwing decades of accepted wisdom and long held theories about the nature of reality and matter. In addition, there are more theories in 2012 lore about what's happening cosmically and energetically than one can count. There are no easy answers and while many spiritual teachers have puzzle pieces, in my opinion, there is no single source of wisdom and knowledge that I’m aware of that can serve as an infallible guide. We all need to figure out the mystery of 2012 for ourselves. If this makes me a "2012 agnostic" then so be it. In any event, “the more I find out, the less I know” as Billy Joel sings in one of his songs. I suspect this may be true for all of us.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Perils of Extreme Thinking

Well what is there to say? We just have to look around. So far in 2012 we are collectively facing a collapsing global economy, tremendous technology acceleration, government meltdowns, the Occupy movement, unprecedented government austerity measures, the Arab spring, severe earth and climate changes including a possible pole shift, disruptions in food and oil supplies, and a possible war in the Middle East. And of course there’s more to add to the list. When you add all these disruptive changes up, it means that a crisis point has indeed arrived and we seem to have arrived at it relatively quickly. Remarkably in the midst of this chaos the mainstream media and many in our society are carrying on with the same routines, as if none of this was happening. As the French like to say “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” In any event, it seems clear that we’re definitely not in Kansas anymore.

I am very grateful to have my Buddhist and Taoist background to fall back on at this time which emphasizes staying grounded and not getting swept up by the extremes of spiritual experience or any other kind of experience for that matter. I do believe that we are in a time of incredible social, political, and cultural change perhaps unlike anything else in history. There’s a lot of emphasis about staying in the heart at this time and I think that’s really important. But I also think that it’s equally important not to let our thinking get warped or distorted by what I call extreme thinking.

When I use the term extreme thinking, I would put quite a few things into that bucket. Certainly we can see it in politics where the discourse has become quite incendiary. The energetic phenomenon we are all experiencing causes confusion in areas that aren’t normally confused . We see for example a lot of emotion being injected into politics. This is normally not the case and in my opinion doesn’t make for good governance. Reason can’t do the job of emotion but neither can emotion do the job of reason. Mind and heart need to work together. If one predominates, there is a lack of balance.

Extreme thinking also shows up in the spiritual community as well. One way it shows up is in the form of conspiracy theories. I like to call some of these cosmic rumors. Now I’m not going to say the one thing or another is true or not true. That’s not the point. Each of us has to decide for ourselves. But I think one thing that has happened is that the Internet has allowed many of these ideas to become amplified and passed around to the point where it’s hard to tell what’s true and what’s not. As the shift intensifies, we will be tempted to buy into more and more extreme thinking especially because some amazing things will and already have happened. Now is the time to use discernment to decide what we should and should not align with.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Dualistic Thinking: Are We Addicted to Certainty?

Would it be fair to say that humankind is addicted to certainty? It's worth considering because the universe we live in is quite mysterious. In many ways we don't know as much as we think we know and what we do know keeps changing. Nevertheless, there is a compelling need to make sense of a universe that's filled with both rational and irrational events and situations by arriving at what we call "truths". Some are indeed universal truths as Carl Jung explored with his notion of archetypes embedded in the collective unconscious. The studies of sacred geometry and morphic resonance point towards timeless structural dynamics that can be discovered during the sacred journey. Other more everyday "truths", however, are often socially negotiated and mediated even as they tend to be accepted with unquestioning certainty. This is what we might describe as "consensus reality".

Thomas Kuhn who wrote on the workings of the scientific method helped shed light on how Western science has fluid aspects tied to social conditioning. This is why scientific "truths" themselves can change and be overturned. Witness the current "God particle" discussions where certain subatomic particles have been observed moving faster than the speed of light, which, if verified, threatens to overturn Einstein's General Relativity Theory. This raises the question as to whether science actually discovers anything in the objective realm or is simply another function of the evolution of consciousness and our understanding of it.

Life seems so much simpler when we have certainty. This is one reason for the popularity and persistence of organized religions in which someone else has arrived at a set of "truths" that its adherents adopt. But finding our own spiritual path is much harder work. I've also come to realize lately the connection between certitude and dualistic thinking. They go together hand in hand. So to move away from dualistic thinking, it seems we have to abandon at least some of our need for certitude and recognize that in terms of the Shift, no one has all the answers and no one knows the outcome, the popularity of various channelings notwithstanding. This can be challenging to accept. I've personally struggled with it a lot. But being open to our universe as a work in progress and to this amazing sequence of changes we are witnessing means being willing to be open to living with a living mystery. ~ Tom Valovic

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Importance of "Being in Your Body" During the Shift

"To open to God you have to open to life. You have to live, love, enjoy, and share. Spirituality is based on the value that you express in the physical world." - Swami Rudrananda

I have always thought of the spiritual path as a difficult balancing act. The roots of my spiritual practice are in Buddhism and Taoism. In these practices, I learned not to view what is spiritual as separate from the rest of our lives, our bodies, and the material world. I've also learned that this seems to be a good check against one of the spiritual traps of compartmentalizing one's practice by wanting to only live in realm of "love and light" without paying necessary homage to our human physicality. To me, thinking otherwise can get us a little too close to the roots of dualism and perhaps even unhealthy attitudes towards the physical side of life that have crept into some of the mainstream religions.

There's another side to this as well. Honoring the body means that spiritual practice doesn't just stay in the realm of mind and heart (although practice in both areas is obviously very important, especially the latter.) Positive spiritual intent needs to get translated and incarnated into action in the minutia of ordinary living. This keeps us grounded which is really important as we work through the powerful activation points we've passed through such as the recent 11:11:11 gateway. Treating co-workers, friends and family with respect and consideration, helping those in need, helping to transform our frayed cultural paradigms in big and small ways: these are all the currency of the Shift and a safeguard against grandiose thinking. Earlier this year, we hosted an excellent teacher, Dr. Christine Page, for a three-part teleseminar series. One of Christine's comments that really resonated for me was "This is a time to be in your body".

"Being in the body" simply means keying into body awareness. But it also means addressing the real needs of the physical world with action. In the context of sacred activism where intent meets action, it's very heartening to see the Occupy Movement gaining momentum globally. Yes it could go awry and the relatively small number of violent incidents are unfortunate. But in my opinion, you won't find a better example of awakening in action given the fact that this is truly a global movement which leaderless, highly cooperative in nature, democratic, peaceful and inclusive in its principles.

This is a time to fiercely hold on to the most fundamental of human values that are under now widely under attack and we hope you will feel the urgency of the need to participate in some way. Please feel free to post your thoughts about this here or send me an email at Thank you.