James O’Dea: My guest today is Barbara Marx Hubbard, just a wonderful being and a force for truth in our time. Buckminster Fuller said of Barbara Marx Hubbard, “she is the best informed human being alive concerning futurism" and obviously if you want to connect more with Barbara go to evolve.org and find out about the tremendous work she is doing as an evolutionary activist. She’s also of course the founder of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution. Well, we could spend the whole half hour talking about you Barbara, but let’s jump into it here. These conversations with scientist and evolutionary thinkers like yourself, across a wide spectrum are on the theme of intention. And so what, on a more personal level does intention or intentionality mean to you?
Barbara Marx Hubbard: There’s a phrase that occurred to me from the gospel of Mary Magdellan, it’s, “entering into the imaginal realm.” And I realize that many years ago, James, when I started out all of this, I started looking for positive images of the future equal to our potential and I realized that we didn’t have them. Then I looked in the past history and I noticed that whenever a culture had an image of it’s own future, whether it be life and going to heaven or the Greek with the beginning of freedom, or the Enlightenment when they had that sense in the imagination of what they were creating they became alive and creative and brilliant. And so out of the idea of the image came the imaginal realm, which is the realm, in which we imagine that which is potential. So you could go from image to imaginal to intention, which is within that realm when we intend we are literally the creative force of the universe creating. It’s so potent because I sense that within each human being is that essence of the process of creation and we can have all levels of intent from very immediate needs to needs for deeper life purpose; intentions for the sake of the world; intentions for the sake of our future; that whole realm of intention is the essence of the divine creative process coming into form through humans.
JO: And how have you felt this power of intention, which you call the creative force of the universe? How have you felt it sort of picking up your own life and intending Barbara Marx Hubbard into the story of our time?
BMH: These are such good questions, James. I would say that the power of intention started with me with questions that so gripped me that I had, I intended to find an answer. That’s the way I started out. Like when the US dropped the bombs on Japan, I asked the question, “What is the meaning of our new power that’s good?” That was a question that became an intention that became a life purpose. Then I had a question, “What is our story? What on earth is happening that is comparable to the birth of Christ?” That question tended to open up certain revelations or expanded reality experiences wherein I could then intend to fulfill something of a higher domain because I asked the question, the question opened the universal intelligence to me and then I got enough of a response to act on it. So I've never felt my intention was something I am making up. It never felt to me like this was an act of myself centered consciousness, “oh, I intend to lose weight,” or “I intend to find a mate,” or, “I intend to have this book be really good.” I don’t usually intend on that level, though I may have purposes at that level. Real intentions for me come at a deeper level of inspiration through a yearning of my soul for some greater knowing and then getting some revelation of a response and then intending. So when I ask, "what is our story, what is comparable to the birth of Christ?", the response I got was the sense of the planetary organism as a living system coming into one whole and the words that I got of our story is a birth. It is a birth of a universal humanity. Go tell the story, Barbara. All right, so that was like a vocational impulse, then I began to have an intention. Because before I had the experience, I didn’t have an intention equal to who I am internally. It’s not so easy just to have an intention. I mean it’s really potent. The intention seemed to come from a deeper source. And then I could intend, all right, I intend to tell that story. Then I had to study cosmology, geology, biology... Then I had to reach out. Then I had to find out how to talk.
JO: We’re gonna get to that larger story in a moment and also through your view of some of the intentionality stuff that’s around these days. I want just one more glimpse into, when you talk about the yearning of your soul and this brooding quality, because I think you know something about it, how does it express somatically, emotionally, psychically? Your sense of the deep excitement that reverberates when one is sort of finding an evolutionary thread of real significance.
BMH: Well, that’s another really wonderful question. It feels when I’m in that mode that something’s arising in me that is not created by my local personality itself. It is inspired. And then feel joyful. I feel excited. And in my case, I feel like I have to understand it and communicate it so I become motivated and almost you might say, electrified.
JO: Aroused. You used that word.
BMH: Aroused. Vocationally aroused. So that there’s an internal energy that get’s turned on. You know I’m seventy-seven years old and I remember before I got this sense of some deeper intention, when I was a wife and mother of five in Lakeville, CT. Loving my children, taking care of them as best I can, full time mom. The yearning in me was not met by any expression of itself. So I felt suppressed. One time I wrote, that I feel like I’m turning to stone. That I’m trapped inside my own self. I can’t get out. I felt imprisoned because what’s the "I" that was imprisoned? It’s this essential impulse of creation residing in us as our essential self is what I call it. And once I began to, out of real frustration, to say, I have to do something about this. It will just, I will just die if I don’t. I remember I lived in Connecticut and I said, I’m moving to New York. I moved five children to New York. It was a really meaningless move. I did it. And then I reached out to the poetry center in New York. And then I began to think, oh, maybe we can dramatize something. So I called up Jacob Bernarsky and said, let’s dramatize the possible. So I began to act on the enthusiasm that came when I knew that I would die if I didn’t find out what was that force inside me. And when I said yes to it, that force began to guide me into certain activities that otherwise I wouldn’t have done.
JO: You know you’re expressing so powerfully, I think of what Rilke said, “the future must enter into us long before it comes to be.” That sense of how it enters in. So let’s talk a bit now about the intentionality as it’s spiraled out from your life and as it has begun to connect with millions of people really and a whole sense of awakening evolutionary patterns. How do you see the relationship between your own intentionality, that which is almost breathed and imagined thru you into this larger sort of collective awakening?
BMH: Well, the nature of my intentionality was always in relationship to the emergent potential. I have what I call an evolutionary soul. It’s a soul that is literally sensitized to what’s emergent. And I’ve noticed there are many people who are very intelligent who are not evolutionary souls. There’s many different frequencies that people are but the evolutionary soul that I am, when I am meditating, James, I will, my process of meditation is to be silent and get in touch with that deeper source and to ask questions and write the answers that I get with double brackets. And every now and then I highlight a double bracket because it’s so wise. And then gradually I realized the person giving this information was not Jesus Christ or a UFO, it was me. So then I thought, oh, that knower inside is the divine essence of this person localized. So then I would go out into the world as an expression of the inner going out. I never was here to kind of change things because I felt they were wrong so much as I was seeing something emergent and the connection between the inner vibrational field of that potential inside me as a being would feel fulfilled to the degree that it was able to be formed in some way in the world so that I would do projects that come from that inner knowing. Of course you meet up with the physical world you meet up with many things that are difficult and challenging but none the less, the process of co-creating that which is within coming into form was what I've come to call the path of the co-creator, rather than the mystical path directly to God, or the social activist that’s changing it out there, it feels to me like the inner essence of our being gets activated and it feels so deep it’s like what James Hillman calls the "souls code." It feels like a given. It doesn’t feel like you made it up. It feels like you born with it, you have a genetic code, you have a genius code. So when I would get an idea, like one of them would be go tell the story or work for the transformation of the American Presidency, that comes from the inside, and then you begin to get ideas and as you work, as I work our to tell people about it or take action on it, the inner becomes the outer, and then the outer nourishes the inner. So in the path of the co-creator that I’m on, there is a continuous fluid flow between them.
JO: And do you, sort of in this domain of the collective, do you feel at times, you know, if we think of the notion of fields of resonance, that you are a seeder of fields of the future, that you feel the resonance is not yet ready to come to a fullness but your part is seeding? How do we connect you and what is coming to be in this evolutionary story of how we collectively begin to intend the same evolutionary journey?
BMH: I was recently putting my archives together and I realized that many of the things I did were seeds of the future that were somehow planted in me which I planted like in a greenhouse. And what I thought recently about these seeds is that cover has been taken off the greenhouse and it’s the world. Because I was willing to demonstrate and plant things before it was fully time for them to come into form in a major way, but having planted them the best I could they now are actually like really good seeds. So this would probably apply to anyone that has had a vision, you don’t know the timing of when this comes into fruition but my current feeling is that many of the seeds we planted in the 60’s, 70’s, early 80’s almost didn’t flourish overtly in the last 15 or 20 years. And now the climate has changed, literally the environment has changed and the seeds are growing and I feel that way about my life seeds that I’ve planted. That almost each of them was a good seed that’s now growing.
JO: And what do you say, yes, I absolutely agree with the alignments you have chosen and the themes you have chosen are really, as I look out and see what is, you know, has been a mycillial network under the surface beginning to now become more evident kinds of forms and modalities of what Paul Hawkin has referred to in his work about the non-profit organizations all around the world beginning to pop up. What would you say to people who are looking to activate their own deepest intentionality? How do you mid-wife that and what do you call to. . .
BMH: Yes, I’m fairly familiar with that process in myself and also in serving many others is that there is a kind of developmental path of this, for many of us it starts out with frustration discontent, feeling limited, something wants to be born, you don’t know what it is, and there’s no label for it, and there’s no pay for it, and it’s painful, it presses on you. So the first thing is to say is to put a plus sign on that discontent rather than there’s something wrong with me. That’s what I got way back from Mazlow rather than Freudian analysis. That’s is a growth potential. We’re pretty common, that’s it. The second thing is to notice anything that attracts you and move toward it. I follow the compass of joy and Campbell said, “follow your bliss.” In my particular case I reached out to people who attracted me. You know for example, I called up Dr. Mazlow and asked him to lunch. You know that was bold. Actually, I met him. And then he introduced me to others and so its reach out and I’ve said this to people and they’re always calling me and asking me to lunch now. But the fact is if somebody, it can be through a book, it can be through a movie, I mean I’m not talking about celebrities or that type of thing but where you feel resonant with the quality of being somebody else, it touches you and awaken you. Anything you can do to get to know that person, certainly to get to know their work, to immerse yourself in the quality of being and the presence of that person, or persons, if you possibly can. And then it feels to me another step is, if you can find two or more that are excited by that which attracts you. That is, where two or more are gathered in my name there. There is this emergence and it requires sometimes resonance between two or more to tease out of yourself what it is that your real longing is. Because there’s a lot of discontent a lot of searching around. But there’s such a thing as an authentic expression of each self that sometimes will not just come out by demand. It comes out in the field of love. It comes out of the field of receptivity to that which you are and in my particular life when I met a few people when I was in my early thirties, like Jonas Salk. And he saw me and said you combine characteristics that are needed. There’s something good about you rather than you’re just a neurotic housewife. Well, being seen by someone else that you admire or that you feel attracted to, you really have to go and be with people that attract you. And then take actions even if you don’t know the full scope of what you’re doing. It doesn’t matter. Just go do something in the direction of that which attracts you. And you’d be amazed, it never ends then.
JO: Wonderful. So, I know there’s a lot of interest in intentionality at the moment and there are phrases like "you create your own reality". You used a notion that in any life you will meet your challenges and obstacles. How do you view this current conversation around the nature of intentionality?
BMH: Well, one thing just preceding that, whenever I have a challenge or a problem that’s particularly just really difficult for me I know I’m getting a growth signal. So instead of saying, feeling, victimized or badly about it, I say "what is this in me to learn"? And then to move to the next level of intentionality, I say did you ask me in my own life who do I do that, or what do I think? Ask me that question again.
JO: Well, I think it’s sort of, I’m sort of aware that in it’s depth work, as you say it’s almost the quality of opening and releasing yourself to the larger story that is going to take you into tremendous challenges just as in your own very courageous Vice Presidential campaign, you opened up to significant challenge and I find a little of the conversation as sort of a mentalistic level of, well just think of the reality you want to be and you can create it.
BMH: I actually do not think that is correct. I notice that if I have a strong intention and it’s in the direction of my essential and authentic impulse of creation, the direction of my life purpose, that the more clear I can be about that intention the better. Because if I’m totally vague about it, it’s hard for it to happen. So sometimes it’s not so easy to be clear about what you’re greater intention is. I face that in my life frequently, however, then it does appear to me that with that intention stated and really, as they say in, I think it’s Science of Mind treatment, you know, I am one with the Presence, that Presence is working with me. So when I’m stating my intention I am that universal intelligence stating that intention. It’s not just Barbara Hubbard as a local self. And then there is something to do with giving thanks. Giving thanks that, if I am the universe, this person intending this, and if this is for the greater good of myself and my life and my contribution, then instead of it being neutral universe it actually is a universe that favors this kind of intention. That’s a faith statement because it doesn’t always work. If you are in a concentration camp, if you are in a war zone you might have the highest intention in the world but nonetheless I think that in most cases and probably even in very bad conditions there is a power here where when you make a strong intention and then release it with a sense of thankfulness, there is a tendency for synchronicities to occur. And I have come to believe that any one's deep life purpose, like my deep life purpose for communicating the story and certain patterns of social and spiritual evolution that that is not just my personal intention. That is part of a universal process of designing intelligence. And the closer you get and the closer I get to my own deep life purpose and authentic expression, the more deeply I am part of a larger design. And the beauty of being part of a larger design is the designing process can effect and guide you in ways that you might not be conscious of. I thought of the analogy that if you are thinking of a fetus in the womb and there’s a group of cells building the heart and a group of cells building a liver and a stomach and they get further along and suddenly they start coordinating, being coordinated, and the stomach says, “isn’t it a coincidence that I should have met a heart cell?” Well, it isn’t a coincidence because the body has a design. But to the single cell it could look, oh how amazing. I wonder if the larger design of creation, which can coordinate an entire universe would now at the quantum level with everything being connected and under that if everything is consciousness itself, the closer anyone gets to their authentic expressions, the closer they are to being co-ordinated by a larger pattern. That’s what I feel.
JO: And so the whole relationship with the notion of will and intention shifts into an alignment with the whole reservoir of patterns that are coming alive and potentiating.
BMH: Exactly, and then there’s this wonderful paradox where the more you feel you are... surrender isn’t exactly the right word, but the more you feel you are expressing that which is flowing through you, and say yes to it no matter what the challenge, the free-er you feel. And I’ve often thought of this free will and determinism discussion is that when I feel surrendered to the deeper pattern that is motivating me and say yes to it, even if the challenges are great, I get a sense of freedom and exhilaration at the same time I am in surrender.
JO: So let us just conclude with hearing your voice and hearing those patterns speak through you as you reflect into the future of the transformation that you see ahead in any of the realms: whether it’s political or educational or social. Tell us what you see emerging in this extraordinary window of time that we're now going through.
BMH: James, I just would briefly say to you what was revealed to me in the basic experience of the planetary birth that I’ve been working on all these years. It feels to me that this planetary system is a living system and it has a developmental path and it started four and half billion years ago and took all this time to get to an intelligent species able to overpopulate, pollute and destroy and we’re getting the feedback from nature right now. We’re getting the feedback from our own behavior and we’re entering conscious revolution. The sequence is that we are beginning to feel the shared pain. So I know that the shared pain is vital. We’ve got to feel it. And it’s not only the immediate problems that people have, it's the suffering throughout the world. The media is good in that sense. The starving people, the war, the torture, then there is already happening the opening of the heart that is stimulated way beyond personal empathy. As people are now concerned and feel we are part of a living system. That is what I see happening. I also see that the emergence within many many people of the inner spiritual expression. So they’re no long projecting everything on outside gods or demons but internalizing the Divine. Now that is not true in the fundamentalist religions but it is true in the people who are moving beyond dogma. And then, here’s the part that's so beautiful, is when the heart was opened and the inner voice was being heard by different people in their own language and there was a lot of healings going on, I have a precognitive flash of the various systems in the social body seen as functions, like communication systems, economic systems, environmental systems, those innovations already in the systems, I had an experience of them synchronizing and synergizing as a living system. So my most fundamental vision and what I’m intending to be part of in any way I can, would be the development of the greater connectivity through social synergy of those who are being motivated from that deeper source within their own being such that we can develop the processes of social synergy that will lead in the United States of America to the transformation of the American presidency by the year 2012. And that we’ve gone as far as we can with oppositional democracy. Anyone who is running for office gets caught in it, no matter who they are. We can, at the grassroots level, develop social synergy and we can develop a synergistic, many many teams that actually represent the emergence in health, in education, in economics, in science and technology, and when that comes together and it gets patterned and communicated, I believe that we can facilitate a process of co-creation and cooperation which could, without changing any legislation, to the way we campaign and the way we communicate, could actually be one of those that shift the system to the higher order. We've heard a lot about quantum jumps. We’ve heard a lot about strange attractors. How small islands of coherence in a sea of chaos can jump the system to a higher order. I think that’s exactly where we are and when it starts to happen it’s non-linear and exponential and it’s the same process, which coordinates bodies and ecologist and it’s going to be a social ecology. That’s my vision.
JO: Wow. We live with that vision and you mention 2012. Barbara and I both have essays in a wonderful book coming out this September called, “The Mystery of 2012.” Indeed 2012 I think is going to be a great marker in terms of our movement towards a higher level of healing. Barbara if I may mention, that people, our members could connect with you thru evolve.org. Are there any other ways?
BMH: I think barbaramarxhubbard.com would be better. And thru that you will get my office, you will see my latest projects like Humanity Ascending and the various work I’m doing.
JO: Wonderful, barbaramarxhubbard.com. Barbara, thank you so much and I look forward to our journey together in the work that lies ahead.
BMH: Thank you James, I really appreciate it. Bye bye.
JO: Bye bye.