39. Lift-off: Critical Mass
Apocalypse is primarily a matter of consciousness, of seeing. All the talk of crises runs on the reasonable assumption that if humanity continues in its dangerous follies up to the last possible moment, it thus psychologically seems to need such a crisis in order to stimulate awakening. It needs hard circumstantial facts to catalyse the magnitude of awareness that is needed to redeem the situation. This is tragic and avoidable, yet it seems to be a simple fact.
If, however, mass awakening comes voluntarily, as a choice made in advance of final need, the story changes dramatically. Apocalypse becomes a self-generated, proactive human process of waking up. It would instantaneously reduce the need for hard-hitting factual crisis - or at least it might change the way in which changes and challenge manifest and are met.
Not only does voluntary awakening have the capacity to stop wars and remove many other ills. The very brain-waves, the emanations pumped out by humans in response to changing circumstances themselves change. This affects not just personal behaviour and interpersonal relations. It would affect the complete worldview and agenda of everyone together. It would affect climate, vegetation, microbes, animals, geological stresses, ocean currents and even beyond our planet itself.
All life exists within a context of vibrational energy-fields which inform and energise all things. Humanity and our technologies have become a major active factor in these energy fields. Planet Earth, a physical resonator, vibrates at around 8 Hertz (cycles per second), and thus any other strong resonance, such as the frequencies of machinery or explosive detonations or the social frequencies of fear or depression, might either harmonise or conflict with the Earth's resonance-frequency.
It is arguable, for example, that the frequency-conflict between high-tension electricity cables (at 60 or 50 Hertz) and the Earth frequency, causing cancer, leukaemia and other psychophysical effects in those living close to them, could be remedied by adjusting the frequency of electrical circuits to a multiple of eight - to perhaps 48, 56 or, best, 64 Hertz. Specific measures such as this will all play their part in the correction-process of the 21st century. In truth, it has been a strange feat of denial and stupidity which has prevented such remedial actions to start in the 20th century.
Voluntary personal apocalypse (revelation) has been individually experienced by millions of individuals who have, when in crisis, chosen to face up to central truths in their lives. However, numbers are still relatively small, and such people do not adopt a high profile or yet constitute an integrated movement. Personal apocalypses indeed add up to create a collective apocalypse-phenomenon, if sufficient people experience it privately and affirm it publicly. However, it is possible and necessary for humanity to make such a shift collectively.
The collective psychodynamics leading to the fall of the Iron Curtain was one kind of collective apocalypse. Apocalypse does involve crisis, yet this is a crisis only for what is dying or dissolving, not necessarily for what is being born. Labour in childbirth can be quite a crisis too, at the time - though momentous for that too. From the viewpoint of what is being born, the breakdown of current normality signifies the end of its own crisis - it represents a rebirth. Apocalypse could, for many, dawn as a great relief!
Apocalypse implies the sudden emergence of an enormous expanded moment, a moment when the cards are laid on the table. It's an awe-inspiring, circuit-blowing moment of truth, everywhere, simultaneously. Time expands such that much is immediately seen and understood. "I saw all of my life flash before my eyes...". Zen Buddhists call it satori: a sudden seeing of the infinite dimensions and hidden connections which constitute and underlie reality. Satori brings an instantaneous new beginning. Circumstances might or might not change with it, but our way of seeing and dealing with those circumstances shift radically. Old realities suddenly evaporate. Labour pains give way to release and alleviation, to relaxation and a state of grace, to the birth of new life. A vast new vista presents itself, interwoven into the immediate simplicity of the situation as it stands. New issues and challenges emerge - an utterly new agenda and set of priorities presents itself.
Apocalypse isn't the waving of a global magic wand - people who won't make an effort to rise to the occasion cannot be saved by someone else, even 'God'. Many of our problems contain their own inherent solutions or opportunities, within the very fabric of the situation, yet accessing these solutions involves an act of will. Such an act of will is rooted in a re-seeing, a detached or overriding perspective which motivates a different kind of activity from that which causes the problem. This does not involve education - it involves humanness.
It is not necessary even to know exactly what to do: at first, it is necessary solely to see what needs to be done in response to circumstances, even if the means or ends are as yet invisible. This seeing isn't a normal mental process akin to normal political processes: such seeing short-circuits normal thinking and response-patterns when faced with a sharp predicament and a sense of urgency.
If driving a car and instantly faced with a potential accident, there isn't time to think things through: it is necessary to take evasive action by gut instinct, skill and a measure of inspired luck. It's the same in an earthquake or storm or in a global apocalyptic situation. The process is as subliminal as it is conscious, yet the solutions it creates are permanent, rapid and long-term.
From then on, everything is very different, very suddenly. It's a change of awareness, a whole new set of tenets, norms and rules to work with. Every single thing is reconfigured in relation to everything else. Time itself feels different, and life feels different. This state, even if hard facts have had to be dealt with, can be accompanied by great happiness, meaning and peace - though some might react otherwise.
Such a situation presents a second major choice: what to do with it? Two knife-edge choices are available: to go bravely forward into unknown territory (knowing it is the only remaining alternative), or to fearfully recoil in shock or panic, grasping at past knowns to hang on to. Which choice we make depends on our willingness or unwillingness to live in wide-open space, in an expanse without clear coordinates, without maps, without places to hide. This is challenging: we humans are, by long training, spiritually agoraphobic. We do like our security!
However, what we define as security is nowadays false, and it charges an enormous price. We turned away from true security long ago, back in history - a soundly sustainable, safe, peaceful world where we could live more contentedly with what we had. So such stripping away of our artificial security could bring a rediscovery of original natural security, mutually assured - with a few transition pains thrown in.
In an acute situation like this, there is not only a vastness of open space, but there is also no choice. Adverse reaction to this nakedness and vulnerability is but a loser's path. There's no alternative. For older, conventional Soviet-bloc citizens in the late-1980s, the old Soviet order evaporated unrestorably - they were overwhelmed by a new tide beyond their comprehension. In a global apocalypse, many people will step forward and others will step back, each according to the predominant tendency within them. This could cause enormous challenges - a potential showdown. Or, alternatively, it could bring a simple acceptance, after a brief struggle, that the game is up. What will each person choose if faced with a radiance of irreversibly infinite possibility?
Here arise two big questions. They concern Hundredth Monkeys and Divine Grace. Momentous questions, each.
The Hundredth Monkey principle implies that if sufficient beings make a certain choice or learn a new reality, all (or many) other beings of their kind will tend to follow along, whether or not they know of the original choice or innovation. If someone has done it before, it makes it easier for others to do it. Pioneering choices and actions made by a small proportion of humanity can make an immediate impression on the subtle morphic fields of humanity or the Earth, the noösphere or collective psyche of humanity - the programmed energy-fields on which everyone unconsciously draws.
In other words, as the theory goes, if sufficient quantities and qualities of people choose to opt to start afresh, then a tide would gather which would cause others to step forward too in a similar manner. The only question here is that we do not know exactly how this principle works, or whether it works in all cases on a simple mathematical basis. Since this principle is also somewhat controversial, there are naturally those who dispute it.
Divine Grace. We're also faced with the possibility that The Management Upstairs, 'God' and friends, does indeed have measures laid on for dealing with this situation. This is where religionists switch on and rationalists undoubtedly switch off. However, personal predilections and beliefs don't determine higher realities, even when they might wish to. It might be, for example, that Earth is showered with amethyst-hued compassionate grace-waves - a cascade of light which genuinely makes people feel unexpectedly better about things.
It's dreadfully a-rational asserting things like this, yet, from the paradoxical viewpoint of depth-psychology and metaphysics, such an assertion makes utter sense and is entirely possible. Put another way, all the Universe is at One, and there's a lot going on out there. We are not alone, isolated, helplessly marooned and forgotten on a godforsakenly remote planet, even though we tend to believe such is the case. There are powers which have it in their interests to see us save ourselves.
Or, alternatively, consider this option: life has no meaning, history evolves towards nothing in particular, and when we die, nothing happens - we're all alone and doomed to be overwhelmed by the immensity of the situation - or at best to fix it with science and technology. From a revelatory viewpoint, this dryly reductionist and materialist approach gives little nourishment when the chips are down - most materialists suddenly start praying. However, the truth is that, whatever our belief, we do not know. We can hypothesise, incant our beliefs until we believe them to be real or self-fulfilling, we can question, fear, doubt or simply wish it would all go away - the choice is ours.
Here comes free will again. If apocalypse should come, what would we do? The Biggest of All Choices comes at this very moment, at phase two of apocalypse: we are faced with the growth-choice or the fear-choice at the very moment when we have accepted that an overwhelming situation is upon us.
Put another way: does an experience of fear cause us to move forward or to shrink back? Every time a woman gives birth to a child, she is faced with this choice. Every time we face a confrontation with a major challenging situation we face this choice - and the choice-habits we have set for ourselves up to such a point play a significant part in affecting the ease or difficulty with which we make such a choice now. While a higher power might wish upon us salvation and grace-waves, the decision rests with us. Even powerful grace-waves leave us with choice, just as falling into the sea forces a choice between panic and relaxation, sinking or swimming. Divine intervention precipitates an even bigger choice, since it applies both on this side and on the other side of death.
Here comes the Hundredth Monkey again: if enough people make a growth-choice, opting to stand up and step forward, to share and make use of the moment, then many others would tend to arrive at a similar conclusion - or at least at a parallel suspension of doubt. Those who do not make this choice would presumably be outnumbered or overwhelmed, like ardent, outnumbered Soviet communists in the late-1980s. They would have to go along with the new consensus, or lie low.
Or they could cause trouble, like some ex-communists in the 1990s who became Russian mafiosi! On the other hand, if an overwhelming majority makes a fear-choice, they would still be faced with the problem of contending with a prevailing atmosphere and a tide moving the other way. Love and fellowship are, to some, frightening things.
This question depends on the predominant public consensus and the overall prevailing atmosphere of the time. It's a matter of whether the mass-psychological context gives rise to an acceptance of a rapidly-changing situation or whether refusers dig in for a long resistance. The likely reality is that this will not be a clear-cut for-or-against question: it is more probable that, as is the case today, many people will respond differently, or that the majority becomes quite confused and unclear about what to do. Although, when push becomes shove, the majority is likely to act quite humanly and decently rather than in extreme ways.
However, we are arguing theoretically, unable to see the precise concatenation of threads and nuances which are likely to be present in the situation we're looking at. What is quite likely is that there can be a massive shift of awareness out of our brains and into our hearts and guts, getting us close to bottom-line realities - it's a basic survival issue, a sudden opening of the curtains.
However, there is a small percentage of humanity so deeply hurt inside that they feel impelled to ruin things for others if others start being happy and moving forward. These would be the refusers or saboteurs, anxious to drag everyone back into the old, 'safe' reality. Get out the guns - we're in for a shoot-out! Too many variables and unknowns are involved to comment valuably on their possible effects. Whatever the situation, such people would demand strongly affirmative action from others in order to avoid becoming counterproductive or dangerous influences in a delicately-balanced situation. While they might constitute a small minority, they cannot be overlooked - unless 'God' has special angelic storm-troopers lined up for dealing with them!
There's another side to this problem too: aggressive resisters against change can have the perversely positive effect of confirming the majority's wishes for change. A dogged resister, by refusing to cooperate and join with others, can pinpoint key issues for the majority by threatening them with potential loss of a possibility.
Yet they would be faced with a changed majority around them - and declining stocks of bullets and support for aggressive or polarised action. Here we're playing with unknowns. We do know that humanity has a tremendous habituated propensity for corruption and acting in fear - yet it also has a propensity for goodness, solidarity and justice.
It depends how willing humanity is to bury its hatchets, to drop complications and to act in cooperation. The less struggle humanity puts up, the less that disaster needs to take place, and the less forceful an effect it has. These principles are readily demonstrated when snowstorms or floods wipe out everyday routines and services - people usually start cooperating.
Here, humanity is faced with its own shadow of darkness: we are well habituated to resisting reality, or to allowing reactionaries and manipulators to have their way. Faced with a Big Choice, many might lapse into doubt and directionless confusion, and some into localised opposition and spoiling tactics. If such resistance is allowed to grow, then it leads humanity, after some disheartening conflicts, to a further acute choice: whether to unite against confusion or opposition, or whether to give power to doubters and detractors who activate fear in others. It's the difference between affirmative citizen action or indifference and complicity.
If humanity accepts and yields to apocalyptic revelation - if it responds relatively easily and smoothly at a sufficiently early stage - then we're talking about intense transition, not necessarily disaster. If we yield to fear, we're talking about horror and trepidation, embodied in an unprecedented potential catastrophe. We have well enough weaponry, poisons and dangers to make life very unpleasant.
In human affairs, there are always people who unfortunately get scrunched. Change is hard to live with, though it gets easier and more inspiring if accepted. As with nature's storms, there's a ruthlessly indiscriminate aspect to crises, though they also can clear the air, removing dead branches and leaves and quickly creating new facts. However, sacrifices become meaningful only if they genuinely help to end bad patterns. Foresight and proactivity removes some or much the need for disaster or for excessive or unwilling sacrifice. This is the deciding factor in the buildup to the apocalyptic moment.
In choosing to believe in the possibility that tomorrow could be significantly better than yesterday, we empower ourselves and others to go forward with a certain creative mobilisation and confidence. We're talking about something akin to the 'war efforts' of old, in which populations have undergone enormous exertions and privations to save their nations. Except here we're talking about billions of people, globally, engaging in dealing an utterly new yet drastically simplified situation - raw, uncomplicated facts and realities.
This involves a mobilisation of every able-bodied person alive, and of all the resources and ingenuity at our disposal. It involves a realignment of the very purpose of life and society and a rapid dissolution of old conflicts and differences, drowned in the immensity of the global challenge at hand. It demands immense resourcefulness, communication and cooperation, and the opening of new social territory. It rests entirely on a choice, a choice to see and acknowledge that our collective longterm interests override our personal and national immediate interests and that survival outweighs our desire for the next cup of coffee.
Earlier, Divine Grace was mentioned, and the choice-issues which might follow from that were briefly sifted through. However, what if this were to be a reality-override of enormous proportions? What if an overwhelming grace-wave or frequency-beam were to override our psyches, instantaneously rendering us all into a state of trust, essential happiness and awe-inspiration? This is what many new-agers hope for: a quick big fix. Instead of a lengthy and perhaps arduous historical rebirth-process of the kind outlined above, we might be irradiated with transformation-waves which effect the process in one hour. Suddenly humanity is in touch with its inherent Buddha-nature, with the Christ within, with Light. What happens then? If Heaven dawns on Earth, what will it look like?
At first, it will probably look the same as before. As a Japanese Zen saying goes: 'Before enlightenment, chopping wood and carrying water. After enlightenment, chopping wood and carrying water'. However, human consciousness will have changed, and we would then be likely to sense or see the energy-emanations and radiance within all things - and the shadows and poisons within certain of our own creations. This would lead to our setting about re-creating the world in a new way. New abilities and technologies would arise to change the way we carry out our activities. Human relationships would change. Everything would change, possibly quite rapidly. Yet, in another sense, life would be as before, just deeper and more dimensional. The scales would have fallen off our eyes.