Vol 3 November 2002       
couple, dawn
Conscious Evolution
From Ego to Essence
with Barbara Marx Hubbard

by Diane M. Cooper
I want to context the subject of revenge with something hopeful — that we are evolving into a consciousness that experiences itself as connected to the whole. Because if this is not true, if there are not enough of us who are evolving, then the innate tendency to fight back which has certainly been with us for thousands of years won't abate, and we will, in multiple ways, become ever more self-destructive.
—Barbara Marx Hubbard

Diane: In your view, how can we eliminate the idea of revenge and come to the world's problems from a peaceful place.

Barbara: First of all, we must change our basic attitude of revenge to one of forgiveness. And I think that is one of the greatest challenges of our age.

It is clear that the consciousness in the human species causing us to be violent towards one another and to take revenge is ultimately a nonviable state, especially now, in a world with growing numbers of groups and nations having weapons of mass destruction that include biological and neurological weapons. It is easy to assume that the social structure would self-destruct if the world had hundreds of groups with nuclear and biological weapons, and terrorists of all kinds.

So here's my overall view. I believe we are in the process of either de-evolution through the total misuse of power, or we are in evolution and transformation.

In de-evolution, we have a form of separation that sees the other as "not self," that sees the other as different or as a "thing" — such as when we hear the words "collateral damage." We become so desensitized to violence that it doesn't seem real, as when you see it in the movies or watch it on television.

However, natural evolution of consciousness is what nature does. It evolves from single cell to multi-cell to animal to human to Buddha and Christ. And this has been happening for virtually thousands of years.

So here is what I see, and it is my sense of hope. We as a species are gestating within our own hearts a more empathetic, holistically centered consciousness. It's not a new religion. It's a new emerging human. And as I said, it has been growing for a long, long time.

There is a whole new factor on earth that is helping to bring forth this new human, and that is the idea of "connectedness." We can feel the pain of the world through our mass media. And I think on a spiritual level that we are more internally aware of our relationship to all life.

So I want to context the subject of revenge with something hopeful — that we are evolving into a consciousness that experiences itself as connected to the whole. Because if this is not true, if there are not enough of us who are evolving, then the innate tendency to fight back which has certainly been with us for thousands of years won't abate, and we will, in multiple ways, become ever more self-destructive.

The whole issue of revenge is an issue about human consciousness itself. It's fascinating to me that the world's religions are simultaneously the worst culprits and also the best teachers. For instance, when you read the Koran and the Bible, you can find the highest moral precepts. And also, you can sometimes find God saying, "Go kill them." Both in the same scriptures.

What seems to be happening today is that there is almost a regression in human behavior. We're picking up the revenge that is embedded within our religious systems and acting upon it, whereas the deeper esoteric mystical roots also says to love one another and that we are all connected.

I feel that to overcome the tendency toward revenge we need to allow ourselves to evolve toward a sense of relatedness and connectedness. We also need to examine our own belief systems to see if we believe we are vindicated by whatever we think God is — as the Christians did during the crusades, and as the Muslims have done many times, both destroying whomever they thought was the enemy "for the sake of God."

We have to change our belief systems. We have to evolve our consciousness. We have to follow the precepts of the best aspects of our religions, and to look at the great believers in nonviolence like Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

If we really are aiming at American domination of the whole world, we have to look at the fate of all empires before us. They've all fallen, thank God — the Roman Empire, the Catholic empire, the Communist empire. I'm an American, and I really want to claim the meaning of being an American by sharing the vision of our founders — e pluribus unum — out of many, one.

For those of us who want to work not only for peace but for a harmonious world, the real challenge is how to activate our inner strength and create an opportunity to lead.

I think most of the world's leaders are positional leaders, and they've gotten there by the capacity to dominate and control. We need to have an uprising of partnership and relational leadership in the world.

Diane: Well, I love the way you think. And yet my experience of the general populace is that we are so far from that. There seems to be a faction of the populace going in a certain direction, and they are getting power from some place. How do we get these ideas adopted?

Barbara: The hardest thing for me to believe is how many Democrats have gone over to the Republican side of this issue. They seem to have been persuaded that Saddam Hussein is better met by preemptive violence on our part than by any other means.

I do not agree and I do not understand that. I believe that if alternatives were well presented, then those precepts would not hold. But the presentation of those alternatives hasn't been strong enough.

Diane: So what do you think is going to have to happen? Will we have to get pushed to the edge and have something major occur in order for people to come up with an idea that everyone will listen to?

Barbara: I have a different opinion about that every day [laughs].

One of my opinions is that there is really something that can be done. For example, I'm a great supporter of Congressman Dennis Kucinich from Cleveland, Ohio. Do you know of his work?

Diane: Yes. We printed one of his speeches last May (see Crown Thy Good, America).

Barbara: He's fabulous. He is the head of the Democratic Progressive Caucus. He believes in the spirit of America and the wholeness of our people. He's beyond right or left wing.

I've held the hope that he will run for president in 2004 and have a grassroots campaign to activate a huge number of people who would like to have a more cooperative world, creating together a whole new way to participate in democracy.

I think we need an uprising of creativity and wellness. So one of my hopes is that someone like Dennis will actually drop a seed crystal into the solution, so to speak, and see if we can catalyze what is just under the surface.

I've been talking to young people in colleges, and there is a massive upwelling of wanting to do something another way — but there is no leadership. So we need to encourage new leadership to step forward.

Someone said to me the other day, "You know, Barbara, people like you are in this for the long haul... you aren't here to be able to immediately address this crisis at this time. No one is."

The important thing for people like myself and all of us who are looking for the next step is to be prepared when whatever happens happens. Because realistically speaking there is very little I feel I can personally do to affect the current political scene — unless Dennis runs for president, in which case I could go all out. But I would have to have a leader, because I'm not going to run for office again.

Diane: Do you ever get discouraged?

Barbara: Sometimes I wake up with a sense of deep depression where I feel so much gravity and sorrow for the pain of the whole world that I can hardly move. Then I realize that I've got to believe that what I can do can be helpful. So then I get activated to do something more. I can communicate more. I can bring people together. I can set up my evolutionary education programs.

Diane: Where do you think this concept of revenge came from?

Barbara: Well, we know that for hundreds of thousands of years we humans lived in egalitarian tribes. There was no mass violence. They weren't totally gentle, but there was no sign of war or weapons. There were the wonderful goddess cultures like those of Crete, where there were no signs of weapons whatsoever.

Then agricultural surplus was achieved. And with surplus came masters and slaves and armies and, ultimately, mass destruction.

There is a very interesting book called The Alphabet Versus the Goddess[1] by Leonard Shlain, in which he says that when the word was written down, then came the patriarchy, and the goddess cultures were annihilated. So it's interesting that when the patriarchy took over, surplus was created, and women were made secondary or worse. The male hierarchy established itself on the earth, and the great world religions were established in the hierarchical, patriarchal mode. But all of this was very recent as far as evolution is concerned.

I believe we were genetically selected early on for our ability to cooperate instead of destroy each other. So my theory here is that as the species now seems to be hitting the possibility of mass destruction, we're going to reactivate some of our genetic coding and begin to cooperate in more egalitarian ways. For instance, we are seeing communities all around the world trying to create a sense of family.

Many people have been studying indigenous peoples. Why? Because the indigenous peoples didn't go through this massive separation in their culture. They weren't perfect by any means, but there were things about those early cultures that we have yet to learn.

For instance, where I live we have created a Conscious Evolution Community that gathers together. We have a council and educational programs, and we're creating a small city/state environment where there is democracy to some degree. Everyone has to participate. We're offering this model to people around the world through our educational programs. So we are among the people who want to recreate a better world — to recreate a new culture.

I believe that organized religion won't last, and states with weapons of mass destruction won't last, and corporations that are going for the bottom line and have structural requirements to maximize profits over environment and people also won't last — those old forms are not viable.

Everywhere we are seeing new social forms emerging — in alternative health, in home schooling and industry and new kinds of currency and so on and so on. We are reinventing culture. We have six billion people now, and soon we're going to have twelve billion people. There's no way that this many people can live in the degree of separation and alienation we have now.

Diane: Do you feel as though we're going to have to hit the wall to get those changes?

Barbara: I feel that we can achieve, in critical mass, a consciousness shift that will accelerate the positive within our lifetime. It doesn't take everyone to change a world. For example, the Transcendental Meditation people say that the square root of one percent doing TM can shift the field of consciousness of a whole city.

Other people have been looking at the phenomenon of mass resonance.

Diane: I was interviewing a fellow from HeartMath, and we were talking about this very thing.

Barbara: As more people come from the heart and express appreciation and connectedness, their brainwaves and their heart will synchronize and they will be more intelligent than the others. [laughs]

Diane: I'm reminded of the story about the woman who touched the hem of Christ's robe and was healed. I figure it was because of what JC was resonating. The folks at HeartMath say that if we could get a mass of people in that space of resonance, the power of the harmonic field created would automatically shift things.

Barbara: I know something like this is possible. We started as subatomic particles and ended up to be you and I talking during this interview. I have asked myself many times, How did we get the matrix evolved from simple to more complex systems over billions of years creating harmonious whole systems out of separate parts? How did we get bodies made up of trillions of cells? It's because the obvious tendency in nature is to form whole systems.

So I believe there is a force of consciousness moving towards creating a holistic world, and whoever tunes into it gets more intelligent.

I'm thinking of a theory here: The evolution of our species through the synchronization of our heart and brainwaves. Everyone who does that gets out of stress, gets into to a higher frequency of intelligence, has more love in their hearts and therefore creates more love around them, more health, more well being, less violence, and less revenge.

So what we need to do, as quickly as possible, is first of all congregate among those people who are wishing to come from the heart and the head combined. And then, invite other people in.

We have to repattern the world, and pronto!

And you, I'd like to say that I think it's happening. But most of it is completely invisible and is beneath the gaze of the media and mass politics. And maybe this evolution has to self-organize to a point where its connectedness is sufficiently dynamic for it to surface as a mass phenomenon, together, rather than being through a single leader who can be "terminated."

Diane: The strongest survive. So maybe the frequency has to be more solidified in the material realm.

Barbara: Everyone who feels as we do, as we are expressing in this conversation, needs to solidify the relationship between their own hearts and heads.

I have a new book called Emergence: The Shift from Ego to Essence[2]. In this book I describe my own experience of moving from an egoic personality, separate from my Higher Power, to recognizing that this Higher Power that has been guiding me is in fact me. I am the inner guide. I am the inner voice. I have an egoic personality. But I'm not that. I am the aspect of the Divine that is incarnate as me.

When I went through that internal shift, the whole thing about loving others as yourself became more obvious to me, because the essential self that I am is one with the essential self in others. That essential self is the Divine Essence.

At that level, I'm not in my ego and not in my anxiety, but in that presence internally. When I feel it in my heart, then I can see it much more clearly in others and bring that out in them. So in other words, to love each other as ourselves we have to evolve from the separated self to the self that is one within and without.

Diane: So you do feel hopeful?

Barbara: I have an innate hope. First of all, I look back at the billions of years of evolution and realize that, when you think of a single cell growing to multiple cells, everyone alive is the result of billions of years of reproductive success. I think it's pretty arrogant to be pessimistic now, when we think of what life had to go through before it got to this point.

Diane: We made it this far. There are still humans walking the planet...

Barbara: And there are millions and millions of people who are surpassing this loving state. And I'm not just speaking of one group here, there are millions of so-called ordinary people everywhere on earth who are people of faith.

I think the dominators are few. They are the minority. But they know how to cultivate power, and that's the problem. We who are the gentle folk and the meek stand for empowerment rather than power over others. So we have to find the way to be empowered and take dominion over ourselves and become the Age of Consciousness on this earth.

We've made it through millions of years of development, and I am hopeful, because I have witnessed the awesome miracle of evolution.

Diane: Thank you Barbara, for once again sharing your wisdom.

Barbara: You're welcome.

Barbara Marx HubbardBarbara Marx Hubbard is developing the new field called Conscious Evolution. She is also a myth-maker, conceiving of our story as "the story of the birth of a Universal Humanity." Originator of the Peace Room to bring forth the Social Potential movement, she focuses on the emerging person becoming a cocreative, universal human.

She says: "The foundation of the social potential movement is the emergence of the cocreative person, which has been the work of the human potential movement. We have been preparing for this path for thousands of years, through the great religions and ethical traditions... Yet only in our generation have we gained the actual powers of cocreation — the ability to become an integral part of the creative process of nature and evolution.

"In traditional religious language, we were created in the image of God and are becoming ever more godlike. In evolutionary language, we were created by the process of evolution and are becoming co-evolutionary with that process. In cocreation we bring forth two strands — our spiritual essence and our scientific and social capacities — to participate in the creation. When these strands blend, a new human is born; a universal human, a cocreator, a unique and personal expression of the divine."


  1. The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image by Leonard Shlain, paperback: 464 pages ; Publisher: Arkana; ISBN: 0140196013.
  2. Emergence: The Shift From Ego to Essence by Barbara Marx Hubbard, Paperback: 256 pages, Publisher: Hampton Roads Pub Co; ISBN: 1571742042.

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