Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Planetary Birth

--by Barbara Marx Hubbard (Nov 05, 2012)

From the vantage point of our birth as a universal humanity, we are not dying; rather we are in a dangerous but natural condition, Just post-birth, not yet awake, yet become aware that if we do not shift our behavior from over-populating, polluting and fighting we will self destruct. We can see that we are naturally hitting a limit to one form of consciousness and of growth in the womb of Earth. We are naturally running out of non-renewable energy. We are naturally beginning to limit our population growth. We are naturally struggling to coordinate ourselves at a planetary scale, to manage a planetary ecology, to get food to all members of our planetary body, to handle our own waste, to stop the extinction of other species, etc.

These "problems" are no more a mistake than a baby's growth in the womb at the ninth month is a mistake. The very pain caused by these conditions is vital to our birth. Without the pressure of this pain, we would never wake up to our full potential. Our crises are leading to our evolution. They are signs of the next stage of our evolutionary life. They are forcing us towards conscious evolution, or devolution and self-destruction. It makes a huge difference as to what memetic code we choose to evaluate our current condition.

The metaphor of a birth is revealing here.

A baby will die if it stays in the womb when it is time for it to be born. It is outgrowing the womb. ... If a mother did not know about birth, she would think that she is dying. And when she saw the new–born she might be horrified! But since she knows about birth, she understands the meaning of the pain, and she is hormonally programmed to love the unknown child. Her breasts fill and she experiences unconditional love for the infant, naturally. Not because it will grow up to be a lawyer or doctor, but because it IS value, it IS life!

However, since we have never seen another planet go through its crises of a "planetary birth," many people do believe we are dying or that we are guilty and a failure as a species. When we see our potential for life, we will not fail. But we need a new memetic code to guide us, or as Teilhard de Chardin said, we might fall out of love with our species, losing our attraction for our future.

Opening our collective eyes we discover that we already have the capacity to solve every problem and realize unimaginable new capacities.

In fact, we are already beginning to do so.

Humanity is thus at a crossroads. Either we can come together consciously in collaboration with Earth systems, or we can continue to follow unconscious patterns of conflict and consumption. If we collectively choose conscious collaboration, we will experience the "gentle path," a positive vision of the future in which humanity understands its purpose and its power, and makes a relatively smooth transition into the next stage of its evolution.

--Barbara Marx Hubbard

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Previous Reflections:

On Nov 2, 2012 Conrad P. Pritscher wrote:

 I do not experience it at the feeling level but I think I am born and I die each moment.  When we notice our present experience, we become more conscious.  When one is open one has a greater chance of noticing one's present experience.  The poet John Keats said we are open when we make up our mind about nothing. A personal experience where I felt I was giving birth to something sacred occurred the first time I sat to meditate.  Tears came to my eyes. I have since learned that everything I do, all of life, can be a meditation.

On Nov 2, 2012 david doane wrote:
Birth typically is messy, scary, exciting, and painful.  After a long period of  pregnancy, an enormous, critically important, life changing event occurs in a very short period of time.  It's  primitive and intimate.  It's awesome.  It's a time when the process typically goes well, but sometimes not.  It's important to be patient, alert, responsive.  It's a time for helpers to stay out of the way and let nature take its course, and be ready to act quickly if intervention is needed, and do just what is needed, not more and not less.  The author's use of the birth metaphor to describe the human condition is appropro.  The critical issue is what sort of birth will happen.  On the one hand, given what mother earth has eaten and suffered, the baby could be a sick fetal pollution syndrome baby, and could die or have all sorts of health problems.  On the other hand, human life is very resilient and the baby may be very healthy.  All in all, the birth metaphor strikes me as hopeful, and I prefer to go with the hope, as any parent does.  I like it.  I think we bring such an attitude to all that we are creating by appreciating that the birth metaphor is occurring ongoingly, in big and small matters, if we are aware of it or not.  I think of ee cummings, "We can never be born enough."  The birth of my awareness that all is one and all is sacred was/is sacred for me, was life changing, and I am deeply grateful for it. 

On Nov 5, 2012 Amy wrote:
 Every time we love someone/something . . . every time we give someone/something a "second look". . .  every time we take the time to read something (and then reread "that something") to gain further understanding of someone/something . . . every time we give someone/something a second chance . . . recycle, re-purpose, re-shine, renew, rediscover, re-ANYTHING/ANYONE . . . we are working hand and hand with God in giving birth to something sacred!   This is why I love all things Heaven!  In it, in Him, we are born again and again and again in Spirit, Truth and Love.    (We are all "sacred works" in progress . . . no one greater, no one less than, we are ALL equal in value and gift!)  Thankful.   

On Nov 5, 2012 Narendra wrote:
 How do you relate to the author's use of the birth metaphor to describe the present human condition? Birth, life and death apply to all aspects of nature including cultures, planet and stars.  There is also potential for premature self-destruction of this earth by humans, like children playing with a gun - if our selfishness based limited intelligence does not evolve in to unselfish wisdom of peace and Natural harmony, before it is too late. The author implies the need to hold and nurture that which is being born, bearing all the pain that comes with such a holding, and at the right moment, let it separate naturally without holding on to it - how can we bring such an attitude to all that we are creating? The right moment for birth of wisdom may not happen naturally, in time.  The birth of ‘wisdom and tolerance’ may have to be self-induced. There are nuclear weapons with intolerant groups that can result in global catastrophe.  There is a need to know that all life forms, from plants to planets, including animals, humans, cultures etc evolve in three stages : Tamas-physical awareness, Rajas-selfish/emotional awareness and Satva- love/unselfish awareness. Currently, the collective human consciousness/culture is in the second stage. It is intelligent, emotional and potentially self-destructive. We need to evolve in to the next stage of wisdom/love of collective harmony with nature, as soon as possible.  Hinduism has recognized these stages in its long history of several thousands of years. It has developed a culture of healthy respect and a loving relationship with all aspects of nature through love and worship, not just intellectual understanding of nature. This wisdom needs to be made global before it is lost in the current aggressive global rush for greed and ‘modernization’. Can you relate a personal experience where you felt that you were giving birth to something sacred? All unselfish creativity, however small it is, is sacred. It is a display of universal love by humans. It is identified and supported by nature for its own collective survival as ‘mother nature’.

On Nov 6, 2012 Jagdish P Dave wrote:
 I am going through the pain for  more than a month since the day my wife passed away. It was a sixty plus years of loving and fulfilling relationship.  I need to feel the pain in order to heal myself and allow the birthing and emerging of my evolving self. The loving connectedness we have had between both of us is providing me the nurturing energy that I need to continue living fully. This openness and not holding onto the past that is no more in and with me is liberating and refreshing. I see the parallel between the  individual death-pain- birth and rebirth cycle and the collective death-birth-rebirth and evolutionary cycle.How do we remain connected with the past without being bound by it is a challenge.This thought provoking reading is  inspiring and enlightening for me. Gratefully, Jagdish P Dave

On Nov 6, 2012 Thierry wrote:
I don't know about otherworldly explanations. It seems to me that what the author is trying to say is very much about holding the present global crisis in a helpful perspective. This is what is required by the circumstances; not denial, not explanations.
The simile with birth is a valid one because birth is a critical moment and the beginning of a new growth. Most important, birth, and the growth that follows, is a natural, organic process. In Alan Watts words, one does'nt come into this world, one grows out of it. So that humanity is in that critical condition, at that turning point, about to give birth to a new process and grow out of its old paradigms ...or perish.
The process of growing more conscious does'nt go without hurts, without pain. It does'nt happen without some pressure, be it the pressure of one's own discontent. It does'nt go without anxiety as one knows that one is going to face the unfamiliar, that the outcome is uncertain. But humanity as a whole is not unlike the little boy or the little girl  we have been who resisted growing while eager to grow and excited by new perspectives.

On Nov 7, 2012 Thierry wrote:
 Beautiful script! What date is the election for the members of Congress?

On Nov 8, 2012 chris douglas wrote:
 The birth process is a very painful, yet also a very beautiful event, as is the process of dying. I say this from my own experience; from my experience of birth and dying as a spectator. Barbara's use of the metaphor is valuable because I an all of us need to be aware that we are not spectators.

On Nov 10, 2012 gayathri wrote:
 oops..misunderstood the term "memetic code"....yesss...we definitely need to be revamped on our coding....:)  we are the ones in urgent need to be GMO-ed not the rest of the species....

On Nov 11, 2012 Joseph wrote:
 I hear you.