It's the future, Jim, but not as we know it...

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22C+ is all about Deep Futures, futures that matter. Welcome to futures fantastic, unexpected, profound, but most of all deeply meaningful...

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Light, Ch. 33: The Appointment

Happy Chinese New Year! If you are wondering why there has not been a lot of blog activity here lately, it is just that my energy is focused on other things at present. There will be a few more posts coming up soon, though. Meanwhile here's a little more from my new novel, Light. Currently I am re-writing much of the novel, and restcruturing some of the plot. I won't be posting all of it online. The novel will be available in its entirety in e-book and softcover form in a few months time. As mentioned, this novel is semi-autobiographical, and this chapter reveals some of the kinds of healing methods I have experienced in my own journey. All characters are fictional, even the main character - although he's probably about 70% like me. I'm far too boring to write about! There's an extract from the chapter, below. Click on the heading to read the whole chapter.


Julie shifted again, and I saw my mother before me. I was a child again.

“You are not allowed to be angry. You are just a little boy. Get down!” Julie was standing over me, pushing me down from the shoulders.
I could feel them on me, the chains of imprisonment. From within my own darkness the rage erupted. I screamed, pounding the pillow with clenched fists. “I will kill you, you fucking bitch! Fuck you! Fuck you! I will kill you!” My face was red with rage, my arms pounding the pillow, rising and falling like a woodchopper felling a great tree.
Julie pushed down harder. “Stop this nonsense at once! You are not allowed to feel. You are just a worthless child. Sit down and shut up!”
I sobbed the tears of a helpless infant. “Why? Why are you doing this?”
“You are a boy. You must never become a man. Mean are dangerous, dirty, perverted, sexually deviant beasts. They must be destroyed, all of them.’
I could take no more. I sprung up, drawing myself to my full height, standing towering over Julie, over the darkness that was my mother. The words came out as a great roar of violence. “No, no, no! I will not shut up! I am a human being too! I am not your whipping boy! I am a man!” A great primal roar came busting through me, the rage rising from my lower back and thrusting skyward into the havens with my scream. I knew it was the rage of lifetimes of repression, of persecution, of playing the role of victim.
The torrent of energy evaporated from me, and I fell down to the floor, sobbing so deeply that for a time I lost all sense of who I was and of who was with me. Hot tears flowed down my ruddy cheeks, mucus running from my nose and down my shirt. I cried the tears of a thousand years. It was the first time I could remember truly crying since I was an infant. Slowly my awareness returned to my surroundings. I was exhausted, yet somehow liberated of the burden of a great weight.
Julie handed me my teddy bear. “Your little boy is yours now.”

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Journey to Yan Ji

I can't believe it was a decade ago now. But here is an account of an unexpected journey I took in 2002, when I was the Director of Studies at a language programme at a university in Beijing....

I lurched into the office, ducking under the doorframe, and dumped my teaching gear onto my desk. My butt had barely hit the seat when Shelly, the pretty young Chinese office assistant called to me. 

“Marcus, phone call!”        

I gathered myself and walked briskly over to the phone. Who could possibly be calling me at this time of the day? (11.30am).       

It was Jean, the Chinese director of the Chinese office of the company I worked for. I worked at a Beijing university English foundation program, but my real employer was in fact a Beijing based education group.     

“How would you like to go to Yan Ji this weekend?,” Jean said coolly.

I didn’t have the faintest idea where Yan Ji was.         

“It’s right near the Korean border.” Jean spoke purposefully down the phone. You could really help me out you know. Tom, our usual guy is sick. He had to go back to England. So I’m stuck.”          

Jean also worked for a certain Australian university as their representative for China. She regularly traveled to other cities in China to promote the university. Tom usually went along with her, but not on this occasion, as fate would have it.

So that’s how it all began. Now I’m a spontaneous kind of guy. I immediately said yes. After all, my stint in China, up till that day some six months, had been mostly uneventful, being primarily confined to the vomit colored interior of the office at the university. The job was a demanding one. Including my part-time PhD studies, it was not unusual for me to spend fifteen hours a day in the office. Typically I would get out of bed at around 7.30am. Sometimes my work would finish at 5.00pm, but just as often at 7.00pm. Then it was time to hit the books. Often it would be 11.00 pm before I would leave the office. The office lights would abruptly go off for about five seconds at around 10.55, to warn all those souls foolish enough to still be on campus that the doors would be locked in five minutes. Afterwards I would amble back along the mostly empty streets toward my apartment building. Usually I’d be in bed by 11.30 or twelve, then be up early the following day for the next round. 

Company HQ was situated in a fairly modern high rise downtown, a stark contrast to the bomb shelter of an office I occupied at the university. Jean smiled warmly when she saw me. I accepted her offer to sit down.

Here is what you need to know,” she said handing me a four-page flyer about the university.

I eyed it nervously. “This is it?” I asked incredulously.          

“Oh, your job is easy she said with a wry smile. You just have to bullshit. That’s my job too. It’s all bullshit.” She had spent 16 years in Australia, so she knew the vernacular.

“That’s very reassuring,” I muttered. And there it was. All I needed to know about ……University in Australia. I was to be the spokesperson, the foreign representative of the university in China, imparting fountains of wisdom to the eager young Chinese minds anxious about their future prospects of gaining a place at an Australian university. The fact that I had never set foot in the university nor knew the first thing about it was, of course, irrelevant.  
Yan Ji

The plane landed in Yan Ji just after lunchtime that day, Friday. The journey had been pleasant enough, a mere two hours. I traveled with Jean, and Mindy. Mindy was a quietly spoken young Chinese woman who worked in Jean’s office. Don’t ask me what she was doing on the trip.       

After disembarking and collecting our bags, we headed outside. There were two immediate and simultaneous impressions of Yan Ji. The first was the air - crisply fresh, especially when compared with the carbon monoxide soup I had been used to inhaling in Beijing. The second impression was the instant sense that this place was small. No high rise, at least not around the airport. Just a small car park and a few disheveled buildings.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Carl Jung: Leader-Sage

 Taos, New Mexico recently
It was in Taos, New Mexico and the year was 1932. Two men sat down together on the rooftop of a five-story building overlooking the smaller, square brick buildings nearby. They were surrounded by the rolling plateaus of the Taos, with their volcanic peaks rising high into the heavens. A bright sun warmed the cold winter air. It was to be a most remarkable meeting. One of the two men was a white man of middle age, and his name will be familiar to many readers: Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist. The other man, though largely forgotten by history, was in many ways also remarkable: native American Chief Ochwiay Biano (which means Mountain Lake). The tale of their conversation is recounted in Jung’s autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections. Jung writes that he was able to talk to Biano in a way that he was rarely able to do with Europeans. The most significant aspect of the event remains the comments Biano made about white American culture of the time. He said:
 ‘See how cruel the whites look, their lips are thin, their noses sharp, their faces furrowed and distorted by folds. Their eyes have a staring expression; they are always seeking something. What are they seeking? The whites always want something. They are always uneasy and restless. We do not know what they want. We do not understand them. We think that they are all mad.’
Jung fond this critique of an outsider fascinating. He asked the Chief why he thought white people were insane.
“They say they think with their heads.”
“’Why of course”, said Jung, “What do you think with?”
“’We think here,” said Biano, putting his hand on his heart.
This is revealing. It suggests that there are ways of knowing that have become alien to modern cultures, and to our modern leaders. There are cognitive processes with which the native Americans were quite familiar, but the modern world has largely forgotten. Further, we can deduce from Biano’s strong feelings that he considered that these mental processes were of vital importance in living a genuinely meaningful life.
On that day, the words of Biano also struck a deep chord within Jung. Something moved within him. Yet what fascinates me most about this encounter is what Jung did next. He did not try to psychoanalyse Biano or to critique the contents of his message. Nor did he attempt to situate the Chief’s cognitive abilities within psychologist Jean Piaget’s cognitive scheme of mental development, and explain them away as child-like “concrete operational”. Jung did not even try to write them down. Instead the great depth psychologist fell into a long meditation. In the reflective moments that followed he experienced a vision which revealed to him shocking insights into his own race and civilisation.
For the first time in my life, so it seemed to me, someone had drawn for me a picture of the real white man. It was as though until now I had seen nothing but sentimental, prettified color prints. This Indian had struck our vulnerable spot, unveiled a truth to which we are blind. I felt rising within me like a shapeless mist something unknown and yet deeply familiar. And out of this mist, image upon image detached itself: first Roman legions smashing into the cities of Gaul, and the keenly incised features of Julius Caesar, Scipio Africanus, and Pompey. I saw the Roman eagle on the North Sea and on the banks of the White Nile. Then I saw St. Augustine transmitting the Christian creed to the Britons on the tips of Roman lances, and Charlemagne's most glorious forced conversions of the heathen; then the pillaging and murdering bands of the Crusading armies. With a secret stab I realized the hollowness of that old romanticism about the Crusades. Then followed Columbus, Cortes, and the other conquistadors who with fire, sword, torture, and Christianity came down upon even these remote pueblos dreaming peacefully in the Sun, their Father. I saw, too, the peoples of the Pacific islands decimated by firewater, syphilis, and scarlet fever carried in the clothes the missionaries forced on them.
It was enough. What we from our point of view call colonization, missions to the heathen, spread of civilization, etc., has another face the face of a bird of prey seeking with cruel intentness for distant quarry a face worthy of a race of pirates and highwaymen. All the eagles and other predatory creatures that adorn our coats of arms seem to me apt psychological representatives of our true nature. (Jung, 248-249)
This was remarkable indeed. Jung allowed his conscious mind to move aside for a short time. He allowed something deeper to possess him. And in those moments of receptivity, profound knowledge was given to him, knowledge which allowed him to peer into the shadow of the collective consciousness field of Caucasian civilisation. Jung believed, as do I, that the human mind is embedded within a human collective intelligence, and that this consciousness is directly accessible to us. But to access this intelligence we have to change both the way we see the world and the way we see ourselves. We have to change the way we use our minds. When this happens we begin to tap into Integrated Intelligence.
I draw from Jung’s life journey here as he was a genuine example of what I call a Leader-Sage. He was a man who was able to draw upon Integrated Intelligence to serve the evolution of the consciousness of the human race. He allowed himself to be guided by this process, and in doing so he was able tap into the intelligence of the cosmos itself. Jung was able to develop Conscious Leadership; and my upcoming book Leading with Spirit is devoted to deepening our understanding of the subject. It is also designed to help the readers - the leaders of our futures - to become genuine Leader-Sages.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Spiritual Tossers and Spiritual Sages

The following is an extract from my upcoming book, Leading with Spirit. All of the terms in bold are found in the glossary of the book. Unfortunately I can't reproduce the glossary here.

Not that long ago I ran one of my intuition workshops, and I asked participants to pair up and to begin Channeling the Spiritual Ego of their partner. Channeling the Spiritual Ego is a particular process which I often teach because I feel it is very important that people realise how the ego influences the way we think, feel and act. The process entails psychically connecting with the deep mind of the other person and bringing forth the agendas and projections of the shadow (the name Freud, Jung and depth psychologists gave to the hidden parts of ourselves that we would rather not know about). Individuals in the New Age and consciousness movement are particularly prone to developing a strong spiritual ego.

In this workshop there was an odd number of participants, so I paired up with a man we shall call Trevor. Trevor was a writer and speaker; a notable figure in the local spiritual community of that city, and often appeared in the media whenever a radio or TV station required commentary on spiritual issues.

To begin the process, I looked at Trevor, relaxed, and allowed my awareness to become one with his. I centred myself and brought my attention into his body and began to give voice to the information that came to me.

Look at me! I’m superior to everyone. I am above all this. I know best. In fact I already know everything that you are teaching here. You are not a real spiritual teacher (referring to me). I am! I’m better than what you are. I’m enlightened! I don’t really need to be here because there is nothing you could possibly teach me.

Connecting with the Ego is quite confronting to that same ego, especially for those in spiritual circles. It exposes the trickster, the hypocrisy that inevitably arises when we are not honest about what lies within us. Part of the mythology of spiritual discourse is that spiritual people are supposed to be Christ-like. Perfect. In other words, not really human. Of course there is no way that any human being can possibly meet such expectations, so the individual begins to hide from himself. He starts to fake it. He begins to fraud. As he denies parts of his psyche, the unwelcome thoughts, desires and projections become lost in the murky world of the shadow.

Channeling the ego brings the ego into the light, and helps the individual become more transparent to himself. But it is a process fraught with difficulties. It requires that the person being channeled have a high a high level of emotional intelligence. If the person has a low level of intention to actually acknowledge his ego projections, the result can be drama. The person may become angry, and attempt to invent an alternative narrative to explain away what has been revealed. Commonly this involves rejecting the message and psychically attacking the channeler. This is the spiritual equivalent of shooting the messenger! Connecting with the ego is not an easy process to pull off, for either party.

The reason I mention all this is because Trevor wasn’t too impressed with what I’d channeled, and just said simply, “I don’t feel that is correct”. This is of course his right, and so I just let it go without judgment. It is important not the judge the ego, because any judgment of it can really accelerate the potential for drama. It is certainly possible to work with the resistance of the ego, and to gently confront people about their denials. However in this case I let it go because I intuitively felt that Trevor had absolutely no intention to look at the truth of himself.

Trevor didn’t come back for the second workshop, and in fact didn’t even bother to contact me to tell me he wouldn’t be there. I was not surprised.

However about eight months later I ran into Trevor again in another city, after a consciousness conference. We ended up having an extended chat over a cup of coffee. I knew that there was no energy on bringing up anything to do with the spiritual ego, so we just enjoyed the beverage. After a few minutes of chatting, it became clear that Trevor had completely forgotten about the Connecting work he’d done with me previously, because he began to criticise the other practitioners at the conference. With a contemptuous wave of the hand he said that other practitioners and organisers were “not enlightened”, and that he did not have a high opinion of them. I decided to humour him, and asked him if he was enlightened.

“An enlightened person would never say that he is enlightened”, he responded.

I looked at him, trying to suppress my own ego projections, which went something like this:

 “Get your hand off it, mate, before you hurt yourself! In all my time dealing with spiritual practitioners you are right up there with the biggest tossers out there!”

Well, that’s what my spiritual ego really wanted to say. Instead just I nodded and got back to my cofee. I gently acknowledged my own projections, and made a commitment to let it go. This wasn’t exactly easy, as I admit if there is one thing that pushes my buttons it is when I meet spiritual folks who think they are above everyone else. That is because there is part of me that thinks exactly the same; that I am smarter, wiser and more spiritual than the rest of the lowly dregs of humanity.

As they used to say when I was a kid: it takes one to know one. The only difference between Trevor and I is that I have developed a closer relationship with that part of my psyche, and in doing so I am able to control my ego-based behavior, and most importantly, indirectly control the psychic energy fields that move through and around me. For one thing that I now understand is that the human mind is not confined to the head and body, but is embedded within streams of fluid consciousness. It is the reality of the extended mind is central to the idea of Sage Leadership that I present in this book. The leaders of yesterday were, for the most part, completely unaware of the fact that their minds were greatly influenced by the extended mind; or the fact that their own psyches greatly affected the minds of those they led via the psychic interconnectivity of the human species.

This story about Trevor and I exemplifies a key part of what I am going to teach you in this Leading with Spirit. This book is intended for the leaders of tomorrow, what I call the Leader-Sages. Leader-Sages can be found in all walks of life, not merely amongst those leaders in the spiritual and consciousness movements. We also see them in business, the arts, the media, politics and so on.

Being a Leader-Sage is not about becoming something super-human, and like Neo in The Matrix transcending the system and flying above it all like superman. Nor is it about pretending to be very spiritual, wise and holy. By my definition, Trevor is very “spiritual”, not a Leader-Sage. In fact, in some ways Sage Leadership is about allowing yourself to become more human, not less. A Leader-Sage is not merely an empowered individual with a genuine capacity for Integrated Intelligence; one who can comfortably read the psyches of those people around him, tap into consciousness fields and seek guidance from spiritual source. A Leader-Sage is a person of humility, who knows that his Integrated Intelligence is a God-given gift that requires genuine compassion and great responsibility. He also realises that all ego eventually falls. It dies. And he understands that the Leader-Sage does not need to do anything about that.

*   *   *

Leading with Spirit will not be available till 2013. However you can read more about becoming a responsible Leader-Sage in my other book, Discover Your Soul Template, as well as how to develop Integrated Intelligence.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Who are the Leader-Sages?

Recently I wrote a blog post about former Czech president Vaclav Haval, and described him as a "Leader-Sage". Today I am going to spell out what I believe to be the qualities and attributes of a Leader-Sage. This is part of a book I am writing called Leading with Spirit. There is also a workshop series I will soon be beginning on the same subject.

I would love to hear readers' thoughts on the subject, including who you think are the notable and great Leader-Sages of history (present and past). These people don't necessarily have to be famous leaders of nations nor of masses of people. As an example of a smaller-scale Leader-Sage, I would nominate Jessica, the extraordinary woman who taught me so much about Integrated Intelligence. Then there are artists, writers, musicians, designers, architects and so on. One thing they must do - or have done - is lead and/or influence people in some positive way that contributes to the evolution of human consciousness.

One criteria I have included that defines what I mean by a “Leader-Sage” is having a high Integrated Intelligence. This basically means being able to tap into the extended mind - which connects an individual’s mind to non-local consciousness – and then being able to use that information to make wise decisions. This is obviously not something that many leaders would readily admit to, even if they were able to do it. So it does make this particular aspect of Leader-Sages difficult to pinpoint. Spiritual leaders would be the most willing to discuss such an ability, while leaders of state would be the least likely, for obvious reasons. Those leaders who engage in prayer or meditative reflection of some kind are obviously employing their Integrated Intelligence.

Of course not every Leader-Sage will exemplify all the qualities I outline below.

Just a few names that I would consider putting on the list of Leader-Sages would be: