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NHNE News Brief 53
Friday, March 21, 1997

"A thought-provoking exploration
of the extraordinary times in which we live."

Millennium Countdown:
1,015 days until January 1, 2000

Total Paid Subscribers: 115
Total Online Update Mailing List: 821

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CONTENTS:
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QUOTABLES:
I Forgot to Live

A MESSAGE FROM THE PUBLISHER:
Inundated with Letters

TOBY LETTERS:
I was Extremely Pleased

GENERAL LETTERS:
An Exciting Idea
Sloppy Thinking
Please Do More
A Great Job
The Age of the Holy Spirit
Refreshing
Definitely a Must-See Site
Your Expanding Network
What about Crazy Horse?
Hesemann Worth Listening To
Become Socially Active
Triangular Crafts in New Jersey!

TO SHARE IT ALL OR NOT LETTERS:
Wake Up!
May Have a Point
Humor & Light are Good for Us
A Hearty Thumbs Up!
If It Ain't Broke..
Inclined to Agree
Leave Them Wanting More
Do as You are so Inclined

COMMENTARY:
Take off Your Rose-Colored Glasses
The Publisher Responds

MAJOR TREND WATCH:
Are You a Cultural Creative?

NHNE STAFF
ABOUT NHNE & HOW TO JOIN US

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QUOTABLES:
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I FORGOT TO LIVE

"First I was dying to finish high school and start college.
Then I was dying to finish college and start working.
Then I was dying to marry and have children.
Then I was dying for my children to grow old enough for school so I could return to work.
Then I was dying to retire.
And now, I AM DYING
and suddenly I realize I forgot to live."

---Anonymous (via Diana Brock Makes)

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A MESSAGE FROM THE PUBLISHER:
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INUNDATED WITH LETTERS

We love hearing from all of you and this past week, you sent us so many interesting letters that we decided to set aside most of this week's News Brief to share them. While it is impossible to respond to and please everyone all of the time, every letter we receive is read, pondered and appreciated. The fact that we receive so many letters from so many different people around the world, is proof that a thriving global network of like-minded people is emerging -- both online and offline. In my mind, this growing network of sincere seekers is NHNE's most important resource and, hands down, one of the most important things presently happening on our planet. I encourage you to keep this in mind while you read through the many comments here. Someday, we may look back on News Briefs like this one and realize that a new world, full of deep-thinking, truth-loving, spiritually-inspired people, was being born right in front of our noses!

With Love & Best Wishes,
David Sunfellow

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TOBY LETTERS:
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Because of a mix-up in email addresses, CNI NEWS only recently learned that they had received the coveted NHNE Toby Award (http://nen.sedona.net/nhne/tobyaward.html). Here is the response we received from Michael Lindemann, the Editor of CNI NEWS after hearing the news this past week:

I WAS EXTREMELY PLEASED

"I was extremely pleased to hear that NHNE has awarded CNI NEWS the Toby Award. I greatly appreciate the meaning and purpose of the award and thank you for considering CNI NEWS to be a worthy recipient... Thanks again for your enthusiastic support of CNI NEWS."

My best wishes to everyone at NHNE,
Michael Lindemann
Editor, CNI NEWS, CNINews1@aol.com

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GENERAL LETTERS:
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AN EXCITING IDEA

"The items in the News Briefs that I am really interested in are not so much the simple culling and condensing of news stories -- though I enjoy those -- but the examination of larger issues. I think the examination of the global geologic changes and the report on remote viewing were extremely useful, and I know you are embarking on a Jesus examination and are getting into the question of ancient civilizations. I envision that over time, as you have tackled more and more of these issues and reached some firm conclusions on each of them, that some kind of overall perspective may form. I think it is an exciting idea.

"The Ted Daniels interview in News Brief 52 was one of the items that I have enjoyed most. I had been developing my own thinly-informed picture of millennial prophecies, and some of the things that I had selected as basic components of the prophecy archetype, I found confirmed by Daniels' far more educated views, specifically: the idea of a reversal of the current order/power structure, the idea of the chosen group elevated and protected, the notion of the powerful and corrupt who get wiped out, the idea of wanting a perfect world that is far better than the current rotten state of affairs, and the connection with the idea of a previous fall. I also enjoyed his unromantic view of such prophecies. I was very impressed by how clear and succinct Daniels was.

"I also enjoyed 'The God Hypothesis,' especially the hypothesis that forgiveness may be the active ingredient that connects religion and health. What a lovely idea. However, one of the basic dictums given me while getting my psychology degree was, 'Correlation does not imply causation' -- a phrase which, once understood, allows you to invalidate the conclusions of most studies you hear about. In this case, to simply correlate involvement in religion with better health does not show what caused what. Better health may cause people to go to church. Church may cause better health. Or both may be caused by a third unknown factor."

---Robert Perry, Sedona, Arizona

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SLOPPY THINKING

"I want to comment on the 'God Hypothesis' article in News Brief 52, which said in part: 'The old theory was that if you were angry, you would need to express it, but expression actually makes it worse. Nurturing revenge fantasies creates physiological arousal, increased heart rate and blood pressure -- all the risk factors for heart disease.' Sloppy thinking here, I'm afraid: expressing anger is not the same as nurturing revenge fantasies! The problem in our society is that we are terrified of anger, so it is very difficult to express it cleanly. If it is expressed cleanly, then it is released, and our hearts are free to feel other more positive emotions. If not, it comes out as violence, revenge fantasies, misogyny, homophobia and heart attacks. But expressing anger is not enough, as you pointed out. It has to be expressed as part of a healing process, which involves forgiveness. Anger is the beginning of the process, forgiveness is the end, and there are quite a few steps in between. You can't just swap them. One example of such a process is the 'love letter' described by Barbara DeAngelis in her excellent book, 'How To Make Love All the Time,' and the work of the more spiritually-oriented men's groups, such as NEW WARRIOR."

---Ben Swift, London, England, ben@bswift.demon.co.uk

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PLEASE DO MORE

"I loved Ted Daniels e-mail interview in News Brief 52! What a cool way to interview, and what a cool guy. I like his attitude. Please do more of that stuff.

"'I Don't Have Time For This!,' also in News Brief 52, was another hit! As a member of the COCHRANE SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES INITIATIVE, I was involved in a Medicine Wheel workshop where we divided the thought process into four groups -- physical, emotional, spiritual, mental -- and then visualized what we wanted in 20 years time. The theme of life being too fast came out right away. Your piece also really brought this home. The pace we attempt to live is frightening. Myself, my spouse, and others I know, have all decided to slow down and have shifted our focus so that the job is not the thing that everything else must bow to. Everyone must wake up and realize that the '50s sci-fi theme of machines running mankind actually is here now, and this ain't sci-fi. Like the frog in a pan of water on the stove top who was boiled to death because he failed to realize that the temperature was slowly rising, we are slowly being destroyed by the pace of life and the machines we allow to rule us."

---Chris Czech, Moose Meadow, Alberta, Canada

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A GREAT JOB

"Once again you've done a great job with News Brief 50. 'Pat Boone Explained' cleared up that for me, thanks. Colostrum as a cancer cure sounds amazing. Hope to hear more. 'Dutch Evangelists Meet Sedona New Agers' was really good journalism, for my tastes. It successfully took on the difficult job of fairly appraising Sedona's spirit in one swoop. The part about Jesus as brother was refreshingly bold in its straightforwardness. A good read. Thanks for including 'Just What is the New Age?' I especially liked David Spangler's preference for the cell as a suitable symbol over the crystal; 'fluid organization' -- that's a good insight.

"You guys keep turning out such lucid, high-quality writing and news, that I keep being surprised and pleased that you are able to keep that level up, if not actually improve along the way. You are in a class by yourselves and have only yourselves to measure your progress by. So go ahead, one-up yourselves!"

---Steve Haag, San Jose, California

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THE AGE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

"I would like to respond to the question in News Brief 50, 'What is the New Age?' What is 'new' is that people are learning to think for themselves. In our earlier spiritual journey, we quite often went to the minister, pastor, parent or authority figure for the truth. What we now have discovered is how to go within, research, investigate and discover for ourselves that the truth is different for each one of us, depending on our consciousness level of spiritual evolution. This is referred to as the inner journey. No one else can do it for us and no one can discover for us the truth that we must own. I refer to this age as 'The Age of the Holy Spirit,' for every day the Spirit works through us as we clean up our act, educate ourselves, and become vehicles for the Divine."

---Rebecca Lee, Munds Park, Arizona

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REFRESHING

"It's refreshing to find someone dedicated enough to rebut the fantastic flailings of these so-called prophets. Somebody has got to get this crap straightened out! Keep up the good work."

---Dave K. Cathey, Arlington, Texas

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DEFINITELY A MUST-SEE SITE

"I just love your Web site. It is full of the things I'm interested in. I have never seen a better grouping of such interesting Web links and information. This is definitely a must-see site. And I also love reading your News Brief. It's so nice to see someone who tracks all this 'stuff.'"

---Monique Mooney, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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YOUR EXPANDING NETWORK

"Congratulations on your expanding network of contacts and acceptance by the media as a reliable source of New Age information and tour guides to Sedona! I'm still awaiting your next video on sacred hikes."

---Mike Oberg, Olathe, Kansas

[Thanks for the kind words. We should be starting production on the Sacred Hike Video in a few weeks. JG]

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WHAT ABOUT CRAZY HORSE?

"If native Americans really feel upset about white men carving huge faces in the sacred Black Hills of South Dakota (News Brief 50), then why are some of them carving Crazy Horse into a mountain not far from Mt. Rushmore? This carving is many times larger than those at Mt. Rushmore and seems very inconsistent with the sentiment expressed above."

---Mike Oberg, Olathe, Kansas

[We overlooked this project when we wrote the copy for the Mt. Rushmore article. The official South Dakota Web site that advertises the monument (http://www.state.sd.us/state/executive/tourism/adds/crazyh.htm) says that Korczak Ziolkowski, a white man, "arrived in the Black Hills to accept the invitation of Lakota chiefs to carve Crazy Horse." Ziolkowski died a few years ago, but the project is being continued by his wife, Ruth, and their large family. The Web site says nothing about this being a highly-controversial project among native people, or that Crazy Horse, who refused to have his picture taken when alive, probably wouldn't appreciate having his likeness permanently carved in stone for all to see. We would like to find out more about this situation, so we welcome any information about what the Native Americans in the Black Hills area think of this project. David Sunfellow]

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HESEMANN WORTH LISTENING TO

"I've had various interactions with Michael Hesemann over the years. He certainly has his own sources of funds, so I can believe that he took no payments from Ray Santilli (News Brief 49). I've also found he has a gift for being reliable as a researcher. He has an incredible capacity to home in on the key people and find really good information, and he has good judgement in interpreting its value. I've always found him to be quite balanced and bullshit-free. I'd suggest his statements are worth listening to."

---Palden Jenkins, Glastonbury, Somerset, England

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BECOME SOCIALLY ACTIVE

"I appreciated the update on Dannion Brinkley's work with the dying, as well as his cautionary note of the trends in health care and chip technology that could lead to controlling humans (News Brief 47). Hopefully many of us will take up his recommendation to become socially active in order to help counter some of the negative social and political trends that he predicts."

---Clifford Kennedy-Cameron, Middlebury, Vermont

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TRIANGULAR CRAFTS IN NEW JERSEY!

"I just received News Brief 51 and was dumbfounded by the article on the triangular craft sightings in England. What almost made me fall from my seat was the description of the craft... because I couldn't have described it better myself. On March 13, at about 6:50 p.m. EST, I left my house to visit a friend. I was on the road for less than five minutes, when I noticed a grouping of lights hovering only 50 feet above the ground over a suburban development called Triangle Oaks, of all things. There were alternating-blinking white lights in a triangular formation at each of the three tips, and a reddish light under the craft. The other thing which caused me to pull over and take a better look was that the lights were spread out in a pattern and magnitude that suggested a medium-sized jet, but this thing was silently hovering. Helicopters do not have that light configuration, and it was low enough that I should have heard the engines. Two minutes later, another similar craft came down at a very steep angle and stopped slightly above the first craft. By this time, my interest had attracted other onlookers, who were beginning to stop, slowing down traffic. Suddenly the second vehicle ascended very quickly and changed its light pattern to a single white light, doing a stupendous job of looking like any of the other stars in the sky. Shortly after, the first one slowly flew away at a very low altitude in a northerly direction. Needless to say, I followed this thing and actually tracked it for a while at about 75 mph. Now I know a lot about aircraft, and there is no way a plane that size that would have been able to stay aloft at that speed. Then it altered its course to a western direction, and accelerated away while maintaining its earth-hugging altitude.

"I am absolutely convinced that, for the first time in my life, I witnessed a craft of alien origin. Your News Brief tells me that I share this specific experience with other people in the British Isles. The only difference being... I live in New Jersey."

---R. Austin Huber Jr., Marlboro, New Jersey

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TO SHARE IT ALL OR NOT LETTERS:
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In News Brief 52, a reader suggested that we drop the monthly "Lighter Side" edition, and restrict how much information we make available for free on our Web site. We asked for feedback. Here are some of the comments that we received during the last week:

WAKE UP!

"I feel that to make the News Brief available to the Web site a week after it is sent to me as a paid subscriber is not a compelling reason to resubscribe. I have only received one fast-breaking news bulletin since I subscribed in December, so there's not a lot to miss in that department. I enjoy NHNE, but I feel that I could just as easily read the News Briefs and other articles a week later and not miss much. The nature of the News Briefs are not that timely, where a week would make any difference one way or the other. I also feel that the quality of the content has slacked off since January. The news is not as cutting-edge as it was and it's almost like you're putting your real energies elsewhere and just putting out the News Briefs as best you can. I'm sorry to be so critical, but it's how I feel.

"A suggestion would be to edit the News Briefs down to a very brief format when you post them on the Web, something that would entice the reader to subscribe to get the whole story. Also, I think you could be reporting much more cutting-edge stuff, like Drunvalo Melchizadeck, the controversial Sheldon Nidel, quality-of-life and health-restoring product lines, etc. There's a lot out there that I hear from other sources that I'd rather hear from NHNE! I love you guys! Wake up, or I think you're going to lose a bunch of subscribers come renewal time."

---Shari Mueller, Blacksburg, Virginia

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MAY HAVE A POINT

"I like the 'Lighter Side' editions, however, I think 'Name Withheld' may have a point about limiting the free info available on your Web site."

---Robert Perry, Sedona, Arizona

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HUMOR & LIGHT ARE GOOD FOR US

"As for keeping the 'Lighter Side,' I vote 'Yes' because humor and 'light' are good for us."

---Steve Haag, San Jose, California

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A HEARTY THUMBS UP!

"In response to the mild critique about the 'Lighter Side' editions, my personal two cents is a hearty thumbs up! I look forward to them with great relish. I have a tendency to take myself a tad too seriously for my own lightheartedness, and enjoy a chance to let my spiritual path be a breezy skip instead of trudging work. It is work, but a friend of mine has quipped, 'Enter laughing -- God is funny!'

"As for 'hold back for paid subscribers' -- I don't know. The person had a point, yet I also laud your desire to get the information out to all. It shall be interesting to hear what 'The Readers' have to say!"

---Diane Luboff, Findhorn, Scotland

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IF IT IT AIN'T BROKE...

"I am a paid subscriber and wanted to respond to the anonymous letter writer who was concerned about non-subscribers getting the NHNE News freebies, albeit posted some time after the paid subscribers get their information. It ain't broke, so it doesn't need fixing. Your need for funding your important work is appropriate for those who need the information in a timely way and are willing to pay for it, and your generosity benefits those who cannot afford to pay, choose not to pay (but who can benefit from the information), and those who may become future subscribers. Thanks for a great source of vital information."

---Cordell Svengalis, West Des Moines, Iowa

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INCLINED TO AGREE

"I am inclined to agree with the suggestions of the anonymous subscriber (News Brief 52). The 'Lighter Side' edition is not my favourite and I think that holding off a little longer from posting the News Brief on your Web site would gain you more paid subscribers. Your subscription fees are very reasonable, and your efforts very much appreciated. Keep up the good work, and don't be afraid to demand monetary recognition."

---Ben Swift, London, England, ben@bswift.demon.co.uk

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LEAVE THEM WANTING MORE

"Keep the 'Lighter Side' edition just the way it is, but give some thought to reducing what the non-paying Web surfer gets access to. When the CNI NEWS went on a pay system, they reduced what you could get for free on their Web site down to highlights. I feel that if a person is left wanting more, it would tend to motivate them toward subscribing."

---Chris Czech, Cochrane, Alberta, Canada

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DO AS YOU ARE SO INCLINED

"Concerning the objection to the dispensation of prior News Briefs for others to read sans dinero via the NHNE Web site (which, by the way, is totally cool), James and David have chosen to graciously give of their skill and knowledge. If they wanted to be rich, they would have taken up plumbing. Do as you are so inclined..."

---Mary Anne Markley, Carrollton, Texas

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COMMENTARY:
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TAKE OFF YOUR ROSE-COLORED GLASSES

"As a News Brief reader since last year, I must admit that there have been a number of times when I wondered whether your mission was to inform those of us concerned about millennium changes, or to reassure us that nothing in fact was happening. The Ted Daniels interview in News Brief 52 instigated this letter, but the thought had been sloshing around in my mind for a while. He states that none of the millennium prophecies have come true, yet all I have to do is turn on the nightly news and see reports of major storms, floods, earthquakes, etc. The March 20 issue of ROLLING STONE includes a major article entitled 'Stormy Weather,' with the point of view is that the weather in the past few years HAS changed: 'Before 1988, no U.S. insurance company had ever paid out more than $1 billion for a weather-related disaster. Since then, there have been 17 multibillion dollar payouts.'

"Furthermore, when Mr. Daniels declares he doesn't expect World War III because the U.S. is the only superpower left, his assertion flies in the face of numerous REAL experts on foreign policy who are concerned about China, whose economy will be larger than ours soon. Foreign policy analysts are also concerned about the proliferation of nuclear weapons to radical countries, and the hatred of the Moslem world towards the U.S. and the West. Thus, Mr. Daniels comes out less concerned about future events than even the mainstream media! I have to ask myself why did you decide to interview this guy, and why, after you interviewed him, did you decide to print it?

"I was also surprised and concerned about your printing the story of those guys who claimed to have hoaxed many of the most intricate crop circles in England (News Brief 37). Anyone who has studied this matter knows that most circles are authentic. Why would you waste our time with this guy?

"I could go on and on, but I hope I have made my point. When the mainstream media carries more stories that support the theory that the prophecies are coming true (although they rarely relate them to the millennium) than your News Brief, I have to question your real purpose. It's one thing to carefully examine claims and predictions, but quite another to give more weight to those who don't believe compared to those who do. I suggest that you stop trying to fool yourselves and other people that nothing is really happening, and take off your rose-colored glasses. The time is now.

"If my suspicions are correct, you will not print a word of this letter."

---Daniel O., Port Washington, New York

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THE PUBLISHER RESPONDS

Hello Daniel,

You raised so many important issues, that I wanted to respond in detail.

While it is true that NHNE has systematically challenged many of today's most popular New Age beliefs, we have also spent a good deal of time shining light on people, places and things that are slowly, but surely, transforming every aspect of our planet. We are, in other words, rabid believers that the human race and the planet are presently passing through a time of profound transformation, but we insist on verifiable facts, not fanciful ideas.

We torpedoed the wide-spread misconception that our planet is going through an unusually active geological period, because the facts do not support this, no matter how many psychics or sensational television specials say otherwise. On the other hand, the facts DO support the idea that the planet's weather patterns are becoming increasingly unstable (as you pointed out), the polar caps are beginning to melt, holes are developing in the ozone layer, a growing number of species are becoming extinct, Marian and other paranormal sightings are on the rise, political, social and religious instability is increasing, and a growing numbers of people are having near-death and other kinds of life-changing spiritual experiences. If you have been reading our material carefully, you would find that we regularly report on all of these things.

We do our best to do so in a fair, journalistically solid fashion. Taking the crop circle situation as an example, you mentioned that we ran a story indicating that many of England's most famous crop circles were hoaxes. If you recall, the story you referred to ("Say It Ain't So," News Brief 37) was followed by another story ("Crop Circle Experts Denounce Hoaxing Claims," News Brief 39) that challenged the first story's assertion point by point. In other words, we presented both sides of a very controversial issue, something we do on a regular basis. And, for the record, even experts like Colin Andrews who study crop circles full time believe that as many as 70 percent of the crop circles appearing in England may be hoaxes -- a sobering assessment that does not square with your conclusion that "anyone who has studied this matter knows that most circles are authentic."

As for Ted Daniels, just because we interview someone, doesn't mean we agree with everything they say. While we are careful not to give people too much air time who we think are deluded or destructive, we also feel obligated to report on people and ideas who are having a significant impact on the planetary transformation movement. And like it or not, Daniels is presently one of the world's leading experts on millennium groups. His research, observations and ideas are, therefore, very important. In Daniels' case, we happen to agree with much of what he had to say in his interview with us.

Finally, we don't believe we would be serving ourselves, our readers, or the planetary transformation movement as a whole, by zealously believing and defending some kind of standard prophetic overview. Whether that view comes from Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, the Ashtar Command, the Bible, Christian fundamentalists, the latest self-proclaimed messiah, or the newest scientific breakthrough, we don't unquestioningly accept any of them. Instead, we dive in and do our best to sort them all out; holding up and supporting whatever emerges as true, while, at the same time, doggedly calling into question everything that doesn't withstand the test of honest scrutiny. While we might wish the mysteries of our existence had been handed to us in a nice, clean, simple-to-understand package, such has not been the case. We are, however, confident that with enough persistent digging, we will be able to sort it all out and, for the first time in human history, emerge with a unified view of why we are here, where we are going, and what the commotion on planet Earth is all about.

---David Sunfellow

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MAJOR TREND WATCH:
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ARE YOU A CULTURAL CREATIVE?
(Sources: Paul H. Ray, NEW AGE JOURNAL, Jan-Feb/97; Donella H. Meadows, FLAGSTAFF LIVE!, Feb. 6-19/97; Tina Rasmussen, PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION MAGAZINE, July-Sept/96 via Diana Brock Makes)

A new phenomenon is emerging in American culture. According to the results of a recent social research survey conducted by sociologist Paul H. Ray, the country is shifting away from a modern technocratic society and toward a culture more concerned with spiritual transformation, ecological sustainability and the worth of the feminine. According to Ray, the standard bearers of this movement, whom he calls "Cultural Creatives," have reached a critical mass of 44 [now 50] million people in the U.S. -- more than a quarter of the adult population -- and could be the key to a new spiritual renaissance.

As recently as the 1960s, only two cultural forms were visible: the "Heartlanders" and the "Modernists." "Heartlanders" have a nostalgic image of returning to small town, religious, white America harkening back to the era 1890 to 1930. "Heartlanders" represented 50 percent of America two generations ago but now only measure 29 percent. They tend to be older than the other two subcultures and as their numbers decline, they are not being replaced. The "Modernists" are now the mainstream of society, with 47 percent of the population, although this subculture is also in a slow decline, in part because of their culture's inattention to non-material values which give life intrinsic meaning. In addition, "Modernist" solutions to the world's ills -- while once promising -- have created as many problems as they have solved. "Modernists" are becoming disenchanted, which is evidenced by a level of cynicism higher then the other subcultures. Cultural Creatives are the only one of the three primary U.S. subcultures which is growing.

So what exactly is going on and what is the significance? The following are some excerpts from Ray's new book, "The Integral Culture Survey: A Study of the Emergence of Transformational Values in America:"

"Many of us feel we live in a time of unparalleled danger. But there is reason to have hope for the future. In 1994, sponsored by the FETZER INSTITUTE and the INSTITUTE FOR NOETIC SCIENCES, we undertook a survey [to explore] the extent to which transformational and spiritual values were appearing in the U.S. and whether they were concentrated in a subculture designated 'Cultural Creatives.' We found that Cultural Creatives hold values that are more idealistic and spiritual, that they have more concern for relationships and psychological development, are more environmentally concerned, are more open to creating a positive future. At present this group comprises about 44 million adults [now 50 million in the U.S. and another 50 million in Europe]. Our results suggest a change in the dominant culture that happens only once or twice in a millennium.

"It is this group, operating at the leading edge of cultural change, that is coming up with most of the new ideas in America today. Cultural Creatives tend to be middle to upper-middle class with a median income of $47,500. Their median age is 42. Of the 44 [now 50] million people in this group, 60 percent are women. [While] Modernism is characterized by fragmentation, Cultural Creatives, by contrast, take a whole-systems approach. They seek to re-integrate both self and society, and have the ability to see the 'big picture.'

"What most distinguishes Cultural Creatives is a commitment to ecology and sustainability that extends beyond mere environmental concern. Nearly all Cultural Creatives are eager to rebuild neighborhoods and communities, and to stop corporate polluters; most hold nature as sacred and express a willingness to pay for cleaning up the environment and resolving environmental issues like global warming. They tend to be suspicious of big business and to support voluntary simplicity -- simpler lifestyles with fewer possessions. The fact that a majority of Cultural Creatives are women is significant in understanding their focus in women's issues, including concerns about violence and abuse of women and children. Caring relationships are near the top of their list of values.

"Like all subcultures, Cultural Creatives also define themselves by what they are opposed to and what they are not. Contrary to the stereotype, only a tiny proportion are so-called New Agers -- 1 to 5 million people out of the total of 44 [now 50] million. Most reject the term 'New Age' as applied to themselves, particularly as it has been trivialized by the conservative media. Nearly all Cultural Creatives reject hedonism, defined in our society as a 'high priority on getting out and having a good time and dressing stylishly.' More than two thirds reject 'winner values' -- emphasis on achievement and job success and making a lot of money; almost half eschew materialism, defined as 'greed, doing it for the money, wanting to own more property.'

"The Cultural Creative subculture represents the appearance of new values and world views that were scarcely noticeable even a generation ago. It will succeed only to the extent that it solves the problems of a planet that is starting to be truly 'one world' for the first time. We have the opportunity to create what anthropologist Anthony F.C. Wallace calls a 'cultural revitalization movement.' Such a movement starts with the premise that the old ways don't work. The cultural revitalization response is to invent a new story, and it is the Cultural Creatives -- the people who are succeeding in the new information economy -- who have the most new ideas about what to do."

Responding to Ray's claim that Cultural Creatives have "no cohesive sense of community," writer Donella H. Meadows comments that "in my experience, Cultural Creatives [she counts herself as one] are no better at working together than any other western individualists [and] maybe, because of our distrust of institutions, we're worse." She adds, "If there really are 50 million of us, that's more than the total number of Americans who voted for both parties in the 1996 election. Maybe, in spite of our individualistic instincts, we ought to get organized."

Ray agrees: "My main message for 'Cultural Creatives' is that they can turn the tide by doing two things:

First, they need to get together to invent new images of what the world could be; then they need to systematically move into institutions they [previously] opted out of, such as business, politics, the financial community, technology, and the mass media to infuse them with these new values. The momentum could sweep society in a profound and lasting way."

Many other proponents of this new vision are also urging people to be more vocal and "stand up and be counted." In many of her public speeches last year, Marianne Williamson (author of "Illuminata" and "Return to Love") encouraged people to start "coming out" -- to live their spiritual beliefs at a new level of robustness within public forums. Publisher John Renesch made a similar "call to Spartacus" when he urged people in the business community to demonstrate the courage that Spartacus exhibited when he helped slaves gain their freedom in ancient times.

Ray ends his report on this encouraging note: "Take heart! Unbeknownst to most of us, we've been traveling in the midst of an enormous company of allies -- a larger population of creative people than any previous Renaissance period has ever seen." But he warns that our success in the future is not foreordained. Rather, we are at a "Great Divide" which we could evolve into a "New Renaissance" of transcendence, or a "Fall of Rome" followed by a "Dark Age." Crossing the "Great Divide" and moving toward a "New Renaissance" can only happen if we create a collective vision which is so inspiring that people are moved to become part of it. The world needs the guidance of people who have already experienced their own personal transformations so that they bring the light of hope to the rest of the world. (JG)

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NHNE STAFF:
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Publisher:
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Copyright 1997 by NewHeavenNewEarth

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