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Align Innovate according to universal laws

Inspire Innovation with Principles of Nature

“ASSIGNMENT_13”,
Javier Padil­la Reyes, 2012

Think beyond phys­i­cal and men­tal lim­its with respect to plan­e­tary bound­aries. Forge opti­mized stan­dards based on evo­lu­tion­ary pow­er through cycles of mem­o­ry and change.

“You must be shape­less, form­less, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bot­tle, it becomes the bot­tle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” — Bruce Lee

When we are blessed with a view of the ocean, we feel a sense of calm. This sen­sa­tion occurs in rela­tion to the inher­ent con­nec­tion between the water in our bod­ies and the water of Earth’s own body. Sud­den­ly, all that is con­stant­ly mov­ing around inside seems to set­tle. Waves still crash on the shore, but out toward the hori­zon, the sur­face is calm, steady, and con­tin­u­ous.

Earth is in a state of dynam­ic non-equi­lib­ri­um, a con­stant state of change. As human activ­i­ty accel­er­ates the changes on our plan­et, and as we increas­ing­ly incor­po­rate machine learn­ing and extend­ed intel­li­gence into human inter­ac­tions, it’s crit­i­cal we reen­force the pri­ma­cy of life. To do so, we are remind­ed to mod­el our ideas and actions after nature. In this way, our vision for inno­va­tion from 2020 to 2050 cen­ters on our capac­i­ties to realign soci­ety based on regen­er­a­tive prin­ci­ples and pat­terns sourced from nature’s evolv­ing laws.

Align­ing aware­ness of uni­ver­sal laws with the prac­tice of our dis­ci­pline can serve to sharp­en our under­stand­ing of the guid­ing forces that help us progress for­ward. There are sev­er­al laws of nature which might not be com­mon­ly known or ref­er­enced in every­day sit­u­a­tions, yet can cer­tain­ly pro­vide pos­i­tive influ­ence for the prac­tice of inno­va­tion.

One of the most felt, and also com­pli­cat­ed, laws of nature is the law of love. Where does this pow­er­ful force come from and how does it take us over? When we feel love’s effects, our emo­tion­al intel­li­gence is pulled unwa­ver­ing­ly in its desired direc­tion. There are many forms of love that humans have sought to name, like pla­ton­ic love, which describes a non-roman­tic love, such as expe­ri­enced through shared wis­dom. Greek lan­guage offers sev­er­al more vari­a­tions on love. Phil­ia is the name for broth­er­ly love. Phi­lau­tia means love for one­self. Eros sig­ni­fies erot­ic love. Agape express­es a love for God (or any con­cept of a high­er being). Love occurs in count­less ways.

We believe that we should not lim­it our­selves to acknowl­edg­ing the vari­a­tions on how love can be expressed. We also strong­ly feel that no ver­sion of love is real­ly com­plete until one learns to love one­self. And to love our­selves, we must make no judge­ment about our faults. Rather, we can improve a great deal from accept­ing our faults as instru­men­tal to how we become who we are. In order to access our capac­i­ty for uncon­di­tion­al love—that is, to love with­out expec­ta­tion of receiv­ing any­thing in return—it’s essen­tial we first under­stand what con­di­tions we have already set for our­selves. What obsta­cles do we place in our own way based on what we think we need from oth­ers? To advance beyond our self-imposed lim­i­ta­tions, we need to under­stand why we are the way we are and what we are going to do to change for the bet­ter. Ulti­mate­ly, we can learn to shape our expe­ri­ences through a guid­ing prin­ci­ple of love as a pow­er­ful and mul­ti-dimen­sion­al force.

“What you seek is seek­ing you.” — Rumi

Rumi’s poems relate beau­ti­ful expres­sions of foun­da­tion­al forces which are revealed through mys­tic aware­ness. The law of attrac­tion states that thoughts or actions orig­i­nat­ing from with­in each of us will attract mutu­al ener­gy and action from oth­ers. An exam­ple of this res­o­nant qual­i­ty might be that you meet some­one who has been work­ing on a sim­i­lar project, or strug­gling with a sim­i­lar chal­lenge as you, and you nat­u­ral­ly feel your­self drawn to them, look­ing to align with them along this shared course of inter­est. This con­ver­gence with oth­ers helps all involved through col­lab­o­ra­tive exchange. There are count­less ways in which the law of attrac­tion can man­i­fest rel­e­vance in one’s own per­son­al jour­ney. We believe in the ben­e­fit of being open to receiv­ing guid­ance from wher­ev­er our intu­ition and atten­tion leads.

“Out­er Space”, Michael Naj­jar, 2012

The law of cor­re­spon­dence tells us that our out­er world is noth­ing more than a reflec­tion of our inner world. In oth­er words, what we think and how we feel influ­ences what we say and what we do. And, this then in turn affects the real­i­ty we expe­ri­ence. Asso­cia­tive con­nec­tions appear between dif­fer­ent ener­gies and mat­ter because all things are inher­ent­ly con­nect­ed by virtue of exist­ing.

Inter­na­tion­al Cloud Atlas, World Mete­o­ro­log­i­cal Orga­ni­za­tion, 2013

“As above, so below.” — from The Emer­ald Tablet

The Emer­ald Tablet is an Egypt­ian-Greek wis­dom text about the cos­mos, mind, the divine, and nature. The ori­gin of the text is unknown, while the text is attrib­uted to a teacher named Her­mes Tris­megis­tus. The essence of the philoso­phers’ stone is said to be held with­in the text’s eso­teric lines. Hav­ing first appeared in a book writ­ten in Ara­bic between the 8th and 6th cen­turies, the text of the Emer­ald Tablet gained wide recep­tion dur­ing the 1200s in Europe. Sir Isaac Newton’s trans­la­tion of the text appeared in his work with alche­my. He inter­pret­ed the begin­ning of the text to say, “That which is below is like that which is above and that which is above is like that is below to do the mir­a­cles of one only thing. And as all things have been and arose from one by the medi­a­tion of one: so all things have their birth from this one thing by adap­ta­tion.”

We tend to grav­i­tate toward the peo­ple, places, and ideas that res­onate with our intu­ition. The law of grav­i­ty reveals the heavy influ­ence that is exert­ed upon all mat­ter. Grav­i­ty is also rel­a­tive. The grav­i­ty on Earth is greater than the grav­i­ty on the moon. Grav­i­ty shows us the impor­tance of con­text in respect to its rel­e­vance. In the mid­dle of space, where grav­i­ty seem­ing­ly does not exist, the effects of grav­i­ty are still present on account of dark mat­ter. These effects also remind us how that which we can­not see is nonethe­less incred­i­bly sig­nif­i­cant and worth con­sid­er­a­tion.

The uni­verse oper­ates by many mys­te­ri­ous prop­er­ties. Imag­ine all the times you’ve thought of some­one and then that per­son calls you on the phone. This phe­nom­e­na is more than coin­ci­dence; it relates to laws of man­i­fes­ta­tion. When we give our atten­tion to some­thing, we share the pow­er of our inten­tion and ener­gy with that enti­ty, and give it greater momen­tum to be sum­moned into our lives.

“Wood Wide Web”, Michael Sed­bon, 2018

“Every­thing in the field of time is dual: past and future, dead and alive, being and non­be­ing.” — Joseph Camp­bell

Laws of polar­i­ty or dual­i­ty speak to Newton’s third law, which states that for every action there is an equal and oppo­site reac­tion. What­ev­er state we’re in (such as joy­ous or sad, hot or cold), we are well served to remem­ber it rep­re­sents only one end of a spec­trum. Aware­ness of polar­i­ty reminds us that beyond the realm of dual­i­ty lives the eter­nal. We are inter­est­ed in how this law can give greater insight into how our actions are involved in the push-and-pull nature of polar­i­ty. What role do we play in this process? All our actions, and even our obser­va­tions, have con­se­quences that are bound by polar­i­ty. In quan­tum mechan­ics, pho­ton polar­iza­tion describes how light can behave as a wave func­tion, which col­laps­es into a par­ti­cle as soon as that wave is observed at a cer­tain point. Inter­est­ing­ly enough, the par­ti­cle can­not turn back to a wave. This quandary is also expressed in the play Arca­dia by Tom Stop­pard, in which the char­ac­ter Thomasi­na won­ders at the odd­i­ty that a swirl of jam can blend into pud­ding, but can­not return to the orig­i­nal shape of its ini­tial swirl. In our phys­i­cal real­i­ty, mat­ter behaves accord­ing to laws of polar­i­ty. Yet, we can place this phe­nom­e­na in per­spec­tive, and won­der at what it might mean to tran­scend this state of dual­i­ty as a means for access­ing the supreme pow­er of the eter­nal.

Jack Gold­stein, 1983

Final­ly, the law of har­mo­ny offers a grand orga­niz­ing prin­ci­ple for life. It states that all that exists will ulti­mate­ly be brought into bal­ance; that an under­ly­ing mech­a­nism of the uni­verse is to arrange rela­tion­ships of all kind in har­mo­ny with one anoth­er. While moments of dishar­mo­ny sure­ly occur—such as a rip­ple in calm water—any dis­tur­bance to har­mo­ny is tem­po­rary. Even­tu­al­ly, through the law of har­mo­ny, bal­ance will be restored. The law of har­mo­ny serves as a kind of base­line prin­ci­ple to keep in mind when under­go­ing any act of cre­ativ­i­ty. Think of music, and how songs are arranged accord­ing to the law of har­mo­ny. When in tune, the fre­quen­cies of dif­fer­ent instru­ments align and we hear a har­mo­nious sound that pro­found­ly moves our emo­tion­al, phys­i­cal, and spir­i­tu­al states. Of course, any expres­sion of disharmony—like instru­ments not in tune or play­ing dis­so­nant­ly together—can be jar­ring. Yet, through con­tin­ued effort, har­mo­ny comes back into exis­tence. It’s as if the uni­verse is an extra­or­di­nary orches­tra of diverse ele­ments play­ing at all times and our task is to find a way to join in its phe­nom­e­nal melody and rhythm.

Approach­es to inno­va­tion can ben­e­fit immense­ly from the trans­lation of these uni­ver­sal laws into pos­i­tive prin­ci­ples for future-based ini­tia­tives. Inno­va­tion is a vital part of an evo­lu­tion­ary process, that can be under­stood in terms of imag­i­na­tion, tech­ni­cal abil­i­ty, and inge­nu­ity. The choice is ours to bet­ter infuse inno­va­tion with the laws of nature, love, har­mo­ny, attrac­tion, and evo­lu­tion through infi­nite cycles of renew­al.

Giant cac­tus on the Apache Trail
  1. Jalāl ad-Dīn Muham­mad Rūmī, also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muham­mad Balkhī, Mevlânâ/Mawlānā, Mevlevî/Mawlawī, and more pop­u­lar­ly sim­ply as Rumi, was a 13th-cen­tu­ry Per­sian poet, faqih, Islam­ic schol­ar, the­olo­gian, and Sufi mys­tic orig­i­nal­ly from Greater Kho­rasan in Greater Iran

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Align Innovate according to universal laws

Laws of Nature Reveal the Power of Evolution

All effort is made less stress­ful when we remem­ber that every­thing is always chang­ing. Every cycle is a renewed oppor­tu­ni­ty to improve upon the con­di­tions that came before.

Our cur­rent gen­er­a­tion stands on the shoul­ders of every gen­er­a­tion that lived before us. We are respon­si­ble for what future gen­er­a­tions will inher­it. Each new gen­er­a­tion receives the gift of an improved base­line, and each new gen­er­a­tion has a unique oppor­tu­ni­ty to gen­er­ate greater under­stand­ing around life’s mys­ter­ies.

Laws of nature are mys­te­ri­ous in why they exist as they do, and will most like­ly remain beyond human com­pre­hen­sion. Part of the chal­lenge of under­stand­ing these laws bet­ter comes from the fact that humans rep­re­sent only one species with­in a sym­pho­ny of species con­duct­ed by nature. Human real­i­ty is dif­fer­ent from the real­i­ty of a fish, which is far dif­fer­ent from the real­i­ty of a but­ter­fly, which dif­fers again from the real­i­ty of a cac­tus. There is most like­ly no way to know the laws of nature in their total­i­ty giv­en the lim­i­ta­tions of human per­cep­tion.

Optics: spec­tra of var­i­ous sub­stances, R.H Digeon, 1868

Laws of evo­lu­tion reveal the chang­ing com­po­si­tion with­in the laws of nature. Biol­o­gist Rupert Shel­drake speaks of evo­lu­tion through a notion of what he calls mor­phic res­o­nance, a the­o­ry that posits laws of nature are not fixed, but more like habits which can change over time through a field of col­lec­tive mem­o­ry.11 On his web­site, Shel­drake explains that through mor­phic res­o­nance, “each indi­vid­ual inher­its a col­lec­tive mem­o­ry from past mem­bers of the species, and also con­tributes to the col­lec­tive mem­o­ry, affect­ing oth­er mem­bers of the species in the future.”12 In oth­er words, Shel­drake sug­gests that a species can strength­en cer­tain abil­i­ties, not nec­es­sar­i­ly through the nat­ur­al selec­tion of genet­ic infor­ma­tion, but through a kind of tele­path­ic trans­fer­ence of infor­ma­tion through­out the evo­lu­tion­ary field of exis­tence. In any event, change is the guid­ing force of nature. Noth­ing occurs in per­pe­tu­ity, no mat­ter how much we might try to com­mand cir­cum­stances to our will.

Dog­mat­ic think­ing forces a false premise of con­trol. Shel­drake not­ed this con­cept in his 2013 TED talk by say­ing, “Dog­mat­ic assump­tions inhib­it inquiry.” By chan­nel­ing the law of evo­lu­tion, and ques­tion­ing dog­mas wher­ev­er they appear, we become bet­ter equipped to dis­cov­er a path beyond our lim­i­ta­tions. When we main­tain this mode of intel­lec­tu­al curios­i­ty, there is no end to the insights that can emerge.

Advances in sci­ence are prov­ing what spir­i­tu­al prac­ti­tion­ers have been shar­ing for cen­turies. For exam­ple, quan­tum mechan­ics reveals a fun­da­men­tal nature of exis­tence based on the role of the observ­er and foun­da­tion­al inter-being. As areas of exploration—like sci­ence and spirituality—are brought clos­er togeth­er through evo­lu­tions of thought with­in soci­ety, the impli­ca­tions of ongo­ing dis­cov­er­ies will become greater than the sum of their parts.

As quan­tum physics becomes more inte­grat­ed into human con­scious­ness, per­spec­tive will open to the vast scale of prob­a­bil­i­ty. The inter­play between invis­i­ble and observ­able phe­nom­e­na will come into greater dia­logue and dras­ti­cal­ly advance human poten­tial in the process. The more that we align that which we don’t under­stand with that which we do, the greater our sense of pos­si­bil­i­ty will become. And this open-mind­ed­ness will, in turn, only strength­en our sense of under­ly­ing con­nec­tion to the world we inhab­it and influ­ence.

PCH Project Omega, a 10-dimen­sion­al holo­graph­ic visu­al­iza­tion of string the­o­ry
PCH Project Omega, a 10-dimen­sion­al holo­graph­ic visu­al­iza­tion of string the­o­ry
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The Convergence of Art, Science, & Mysticism

In many instances these three dis­ci­plines inter­sect. Peo­ple of wide-rang­ing learn­ing called poly­maths have wield­ed all three in search of knowl­edge. Realign­ing ini­tia­tives based on the core con­nec­tions with­in this Venn dia­gram of com­ple­men­tary forces, will help har­mo­nize humanity’s under­stand­ing of our place in the sto­ry of life.

“Sci­en­tif­ic edu­ca­tion for the mass­es will do lit­tle good, and prob­a­bly a lot of harm, if it sim­ply boils down to more physics, more chem­istry, more biol­o­gy, etc to the detri­ment of lit­er­a­ture and his­to­ry. Its prob­a­ble effect on the aver­age human being would be to nar­row the range of his thoughts and make him more than ever con­temp­tu­ous of such knowl­edge as he did not pos­sess.” — George Orwell

Pur­su­ing edu­ca­tion in STEM (Sci­ence, Tech­nol­o­gy, Engi­neer­ing, Math­e­mat­ics) fields is often held up as the most sen­si­ble choice stu­dents can make in regards to their future careers. Con­verse­ly, the human­i­ties are some­times belittled—the new pre­vail­ing thought being that this area of edu­ca­tion­al focus is less like­ly to trans­late to good job oppor­tu­ni­ties. More and more, the world is run by the lin­ear­ly, ana­lyt­i­cal “left brain­ers”. This mind­set is typ­i­fied by the Sil­i­con Val­ley ide­ol­o­gy, in which social prob­lems are viewed as one algo­rithm away from being solved. How­ev­er, eth­i­cal frame­works in the study of com­put­er sci­ence are woe­ful­ly under­em­pha­sized, leav­ing many in the field lack­ing the appro­pri­ate toolk­it to real­ly come to grips with the poten­tial con­se­quences of their work. The arc of tech­nol­o­gy over the last few years has shown us that there are clear­ly not enough voic­es ask­ing, “should we even be doing this?” We believe we need to be ask­ing more ques­tions about why we have arranged soci­etal pri­or­i­ties as we have. Also, that we should be more imag­i­na­tive about how we envi­sion our way of life. And we believe we can learn infi­nite­ly from the orga­niz­ing prin­ci­ples sci­en­tif­ic inquiry con­tin­ues to draw from the phys­i­cal world.

PCH Caus­tic Bud­dha ren­der­ing

The beau­ty of a math­e­mat­i­cal equa­tion can tran­scend the num­bers and sym­bols used to write it when we see a real-world rep­re­sen­ta­tion unfold by its design. Con­sid­er the Fibonac­ci sequence that shows up in the num­ber of petals in flow­ers (most often 5, 8, 13, or 21), or the spi­ral con­struc­tion of a snail’s shell.13 These exam­ples are rather sim­ple when it comes to math­e­mat­i­cal pos­si­bil­i­ties, yet much more elab­o­rate exper­i­men­ta­tion is cur­rent­ly under­way. In the­o­ry and tech­nol­o­gy devel­op­ment, an array of physi­cists, com­put­er-sci­en­tists, and spir­i­tu­al­ists con­tin­ue to decode and apply quan­tum physics in ongo­ing inves­ti­ga­tions and exper­i­men­ta­tion. While tech­nolo­gies stand to improve astro­nom­i­cal­ly with the devel­op­ment of quan­tum com­put­ing, what if the pri­ma­ry impact of quan­tum mechan­ics on soci­ety is not so much of tech­no­log­i­cal ben­e­fit, but instead an abil­i­ty to under­stand our inter­con­nect­ed­ness and to inter­act on a quan­tum lev­el? The idea of quan­tum heal­ing is that there is no inter­me­di­ate process, recov­ery is imme­di­ate. This instan­ta­neous change of one’s state can be illus­trat­ed by how if you think you’ve lost your keys, and you begin to wor­ry, and then find your keys in an unex­pect­ed place, you imme­di­ate­ly feel relief and con­sid­er­ably bet­ter. Imag­ine that, in the future, repairs with­in the body could be made almost instan­ta­neous­ly, with­out lengthy pro­ce­dures and peri­ods for recov­ery. What would that impli­ca­tion mean for con­ven­tion­al heal­ing? Will we then become able to man­u­al­ly manip­u­late the cells in our bod­ies? What would that mean for imme­di­ate demands in the health sec­tor? What would it mean across a vaster scale of evo­lu­tion?

“Sin­gu­lar­i­ty 5” VR game by Mono­chrome Stu­dios, 2018

These kinds of ques­tions should act as guardrails to guide the streams of thought that tran­scend the edge of cur­rent knowl­edge and cas­cade into the unknown.

“The body itself is a screen / to shield and par­tial­ly reveal / the light that’s blaz­ing / inside your pres­ence.” Rumi, Sto­ry Water

Illus­tra­tion from “Gem­ma Sapi­en­ti­ae et Pru­den­ti­ae” depict­ing sym­bol­o­gy of tran­scen­den­tal alche­my, 1735

Sci­ence as well as the arts each flour­ish when incor­po­rat­ing insights from oth­er dis­ci­plines and inspired by mys­tic rev­e­la­tions. In the first half of the 20th cen­tu­ry, Jesuit priest Pierre Teil­hard de Chardin (1881–1955) devel­oped an idea that the universe—including all its phys­i­cal mat­ter and spir­i­tu­al energy—is evolv­ing toward increas­ing com­plex­i­ty and con­scious­ness. And the point of absolute con­ver­gence Teil­hard called the Omega Point.14 While this notion of ulti­mate com­plex­i­ty and con­scious­ness con­verg­ing in an arrange­ment of divine ele­gance is root­ed in spir­i­tu­al inves­ti­ga­tion, Teil­hard framed his idea of the Omega Point as grounds for sci­en­tif­ic explo­ration. Whether or not the sci­en­tif­ic com­mu­ni­ty is eager to adopt Teilhard’s premise might impact just how far sci­ence can advance our under­stand­ing of the mys­ter­ies enfold­ed in the uni­verse. Either way, Teil­hard’s idea of the Omega Point con­tin­ues to be an impor­tant top­ic for meta­phys­i­cal explo­ration. Ques­tion­ing how con­scious­ness is con­fig­ured through­out the uni­verse, and whether or not we are all part of a com­plex evo­lu­tion toward some­thing like an Omega Point, can help cre­ate mean­ing on a per­son­al and col­lec­tive lev­el. We feel it’s impor­tant to con­sid­er ideas that have the poten­tial to influ­ence how we think of our rela­tion to cos­mic his­to­ry and future.

When we look to schools of thought out­side our typ­i­cal purview, we open our per­spec­tives and we become more recep­tive to dif­fer­ent prob­a­bil­i­ties. By realign­ing our inputs to include the obser­va­tions of artists, sci­en­tists, and mys­tics, and the more that con­ver­sa­tion between their dis­ci­plines can evolve, we will undoubt­ed­ly be more ful­filled, informed, and con­nect­ed.

Xu Guangqi Memo­r­i­al Hall, Liz Hin­g­ley, 2016

“Both for the physi­cists and the Sufis, the mul­ti­di­men­sion­al expe­ri­ences tran­scend the sen­so­ry world and are there­fore almost impos­si­ble to express in ordi­nary lan­guage.”
— Ibrahim B. Syed, Ph. D. Pres­i­dent of Islam­ic Research Foun­da­tion Inter­na­tion­al

Aware­ness of the com­mon ground between sci­en­tists and spir­i­tu­al­ists cre­ates more fer­tile ter­ri­to­ry to explore and expand con­scious­ness. Art­work sim­i­lar­ly inspires our imag­i­na­tions and can direct­ly influ­ence con­scious­ness. Fur­ther devel­op­ment of a com­mon lan­guage around the areas of inquiry that account for meta­phys­i­cal mys­tery, sci­en­tif­ic speci­fici­ty, and artis­tic expres­sion could the­o­ret­i­cal­ly ben­e­fit all of human­i­ty. As well, in search­ing for bal­anced inter­play between these areas, we might one day be able to envi­sion a way of regard­ing and under­stand­ing phe­nom­e­na that defy expla­na­tion.

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Reintegrating Ancient Priorities

What did wis­dom rep­re­sent in ancient times? What does wis­dom mean today and how will it be dealt with tomor­row?

It’s impor­tant to make sure we’re not los­ing vital wis­dom from our past as we race for progress. For­get­ting the wis­dom from gen­er­a­tions of expe­ri­ence is the eas­i­est means for the dark peri­ods of our col­lec­tive his­to­ry to repeat them­selves. Sup­port­ing sys­tems of shared knowl­edge, such as muse­ums, libraries, and the­aters, can help empow­er peo­ple to access vital sto­ries and infor­ma­tion. Con­tin­u­ous learn­ing must be avail­able to all peo­ple, and not reserved for priv­i­leged class­es. For inspi­ra­tion, we can look back at how humans have pre­served ideas dis­cov­ered to be worth record­ing through­out the ages.

The ear­li­est forms of human writ­ing can be found in the form of art­work deep with­in France’s Chau­vet Cave where, over 30,000 years ago, peo­ple paint­ed hun­dreds of ani­mals on the walls. In addi­tion to cap­tur­ing the like­ness of around thir­teen dif­fer­ent species, hand­prints also exist, drawn through­out the cave in red pig­ment. The depic­tion of human forms in this space also include sev­er­al vul­vas, with the most promi­nent drawn in the form of a par­tial Venus, fea­tur­ing out­lines of exag­ger­at­ed hips trac­ing the con­tours of the cave’s out­crop.15

The vari­ety of images in the cave have been dat­ed to two dif­fer­ent peri­ods of time. The cave paint­ings illus­trate how two dis­tinct Auri­gna­cian cul­tur­al groups of peo­ple, who lived thou­sands of years apart from each oth­er, each used this select­ed space for imprint­ing their visions of the world as they expe­ri­enced it. The time­less sto­ry of fer­til­i­ty is told in the char­coal lines that shape the cave’s most promi­nent Venus and mul­ti­ple oth­ers. These dis­tant groups of human ances­tors hon­ored a sacred fem­i­nine source. In the cave paint­ings, these ear­ly groups of peo­ple left behind a mes­sage of the impor­tance of liv­ing in rev­er­ence to where life is made. Today, as in any stage of exis­tence, we are well served to do the same.

“Dis­course on Geo­man­cy”, 1685

We won­der whether there were the equiv­a­lent of ancient sketch­books as there’s only the fin­ished prod­ucts on the walls of Chau­vet. No mock­ups, no mis­takes. Just raw, inten­tion­al expres­sion. What was that act of paint­ing like at that time? Was it a dan­ger­ous hob­by with bears and cave hye­nas lurk­ing just out­side? The rit­u­als and rou­tines were of a group nature, albeit much small­er in size and range of ter­ri­to­ry. In today’s world of expo­nen­tial­ly increas­ing pop­u­la­tion, tech­nolo­gies, and inno­va­tion, how can we access wis­dom from our ancient rit­u­als to sup­port align­ment with time­less pri­or­i­ties around the sanc­ti­ty of life?

Through­out ancient human his­to­ry, the sacred fem­i­nine has been expressed not only as a source of life, but also a source of wis­dom. Around the 8th cen­tu­ry BCE in Greece, Pythia was the high priest­ess Ora­cle at Del­phi. One day each month, she sat on a caul­dron atop a tri­pod, shroud­ed in eth­yl­ene vapors and utter­ing prophe­cies to pre­pared sup­pli­cants. Accord­ing to archae­ol­o­gist John Hale, as quot­ed in an inter­view from 2004 on the radio pro­gram, The Ark, “the Pythia was (on occa­sion) a noble of aris­to­crat­ic fam­i­ly, some­times a peas­ant, some­times rich, some­times poor, some­times old, some­times young, some­times a very let­tered and edu­cat­ed woman to whom some­body like the high priest and the philoso­pher Plutarch would ded­i­cate essays, oth­er times who could not write her own name. So it seems to have been apti­tude rather than any ascribed sta­tus that made these women eli­gi­ble to be Pythias and speak for the god.”16 This vari­ance in who speaks for god is most fas­ci­nat­ing, as the tra­di­tion allows for women of diverse back­grounds to occu­py this sacred posi­tion. One of the bet­ter known land­marks of Del­phi is the Del­ph­ic Max­im inscribed on the tem­ple, “Know thy­self.” The idea of self-knowl­edge through the guid­ance of women from dif­fer­ent back­grounds makes us won­der what the mod­ern day equiv­a­lent might be? How can we, in our cur­rent soci­etal com­mu­ni­ties, cre­ate civic spaces devot­ed to wis­dom in con­nec­tion with the land and sacred fem­i­nine, and that hon­or women from all areas of soci­ety? And, in what ways might we also inte­grate the role of the sacred mas­cu­line, to pro­tect and pro­vide for oth­ers? How might we inte­grate ora­cles into our mod­ern civ­i­liza­tion? Pos­si­bly in the cre­ation of coun­cils appoint­ed specif­i­cal­ly to respond to the most com­pelling con­cerns and ques­tions of our times.

CIA Star­gate Project

In whichev­er ways we orga­nize future com­mu­ni­ties inspired by ancient wis­dom, soci­ety will ben­e­fit from this being a prac­tice open to every­one. The pow­er of the peo­ple rests in the capac­i­ty to con­nect across com­mon bonds. Ear­ly writ­ten texts reveal the impor­tance of sol­i­dar­i­ty and free­dom, espe­cial­ly while liv­ing under the con­trol of oth­ers’ self-inter­est. UNESCO’s (Unit­ed Nations Edu­ca­tion­al, Sci­en­tif­ic, and Cul­tur­al Orga­ni­za­tion) “Mem­o­ry of The World Reg­is­ter” con­tains a col­lec­tion of doc­u­men­tary archives pre­served from as far back in human his­to­ry as we have the writ­ten word.17 Among the col­lec­tion is the Magna Car­ta, signed in agree­ment by King John on June 15, 1215. The doc­u­ment was draft­ed as a means for keep­ing peace between the rebel­lious Barons and the unpop­u­lar king. Its con­tents secured cer­tain pro­tec­tions and free­doms for the peo­ple as an alter­na­tive to sub­ju­ga­tion by an author­i­tar­i­an ruler. In the cen­turies that fol­lowed, the doc­u­ment con­tin­ued to offer influ­ence, most notably in the draft­ing of the Unit­ed States Con­sti­tu­tion. The idea that people’s rights and free­doms must be upheld, writ­ten onto parch­ment in Eng­land over 800 years ago, is worth con­tin­u­al­ly keep­ing in our hearts, minds, and poli­cies going for­ward.

When we look back at the var­i­ous forms of sto­ries told through­out dif­fer­ent peri­ods of human civ­i­liza­tion, we find reminders of the impor­tance of work­ing togeth­er while also hon­or­ing the mys­ter­ies and beau­ty of life. Ancient wis­dom will guide future dis­cov­ery.

Cyber­net­ic Seance at Macy Con­fer­ence
Declas­si­fied sketch­es from Star­gate Project, the CIA’s 20 year inves­ti­ga­tion of psy­chic phe­nom­e­na
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