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An NHNE Y2K Special Report:

Y2K Visions & Visionaries
Sunday, January 3, 1999

 

"News,
Inspiration,
& Consumer Protection
for Spiritual Seekers"

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An NHNE Special Report:
Y2K Visions & Visionaries
Sunday, January 3, 1999
By David Sunfellow

NHNE is also the force behind the wild2k Website:
http://www.wild2k.com/
"The Best of the Best of Y2K"

The NHNE Y2K Report has been suspended this week while our Editor-in-Chief, James Gregory, makes his way from the wilds of Ontario, Canada, to our headquarters in Sedona, Arizona. In place of our weekly news report, we've put together a special New Year's report that explores inspiring visions, grassroots efforts, and spontaneous spiritual gatherings that are beginning to swirl around Y2K.

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Our work is made possible by the kind and generous support of people everywhere who want to solve the fundamental mysteries of life, make a graceful passage through the turbulent times in which we live, and help give birth to a new, more spirit-filled and loving world.

You can support NHNE by joining our Friends of NHNE program and/or through tax-deductible donations. See the end of this update for details.

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Total NHNE Mailing List:
Last Mailing: 1608
This Mailing: 1680

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"The world, as we know it, is coming to an end. The world as the center of the Universe, the world divided from the heavens, the world bound by horizons in which love is reserved for the members of the in group: that is the world that is passing away."

--- Joseph Campbell

 

"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth;
for the first heaven and the first earth
had passed away,
and the sea was no more.
And I saw the Holy City,
New Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband;
and I heard a great voice from the throne saying,
'Behold,
the dwelling of God is with humans.
He will dwell with them,
and they shall be His people,
and God Himself shall be with them;
He will wipe every tear from their eyes,
and death shall be no more,
neither shall there be mourning,
nor crying,
nor pain any more,
for the former things have passed away."

--- Revelation 21:1-4

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CONTENTS:

Y2K & NHNE

PART ONE:
THE BIG PICTURE

-- There Is A Directionality, A Thrust to Life
-- Time Is Speeding Up & Running Out
-- Y2K: The Embodiment of Change

PART TWO:
WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD

-- Learning the Ropes In Sedona
-- Someone Needs to Lead the Charge
-- Round Tables Have Leaders Too
-- When Things Get Tough, The Tough Work Together
-- Eight More Suggestions

PART THREE:
A GATHERING OF EAGLES

-- Shock Treatments & Elephants
-- Something In the Wind

PART FOUR:
DREAMS & GATHERINGS

-- Dreams of Change
-- Resilient Communities Videoconference
-- Y2K: Opportunity of A Lifetime

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Y2K & NHNE

We published our first report on Y2K on July 2nd, 1998. Called "The Millennium Time Bomb," (http://www.nhne.com/specialreports/srmillenniumbomb.html), this sobering report described Y2K and why it was important for us to pay serious attention to it. After we published this report, we began focusing almost exclusively on Y2K. We organized a team of researchers to track Y2K online, created a website dedicated exclusively to Y2K (http://www.wild2k.com/), and began organizing our local community to deal with potential Y2K disturbances (http://www.wild2k.com/sedona/). In the meantime, we began connecting with Y2K leaders all over the country and started publishing weekly Y2K reports.

Why have we tackled Y2K with such intensity? Is it really that important? Does it really require our undivided attention? These are questions I have asked myself repeatedly. These are also questions many of you have asked. Indeed, some of you have wondered aloud if NHNE has lost its way.

My hope is that those of you who have been bewildered by our constant focus on Y2K will come away from this report understanding more clearly why Y2K is gobbling up so much of our time -- and that those of you who have understood all along, will have a better idea what all the commotion is about.

With Love & Best Wishes,
David Sunfellow

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PART ONE:
THE BIG PICTURE

THERE IS A DIRECTIONALITY, A THRUST TO LIFE

"Life," writes author John White, "is not random or chaotic. There is a directionality, a thrust to life. There is a movement throughout history toward perfection and unity, toward the fullest expression of the intelligence behind all creation -- what the Declaration of Independence calls Nature's God. Life emerges in the simplest form and evolves through evermore complex, evermore conscious forms which are evermore godlike in their capabilities and knowledge. In short, there is a divine intelligence behind evolution and the drive in all life is toward God-realization. That's the big picture of all history -- not just human history, but also of cosmic history."

Sometimes the evolutionary process is calm, ordered, and peaceful. At other times, the very fabric of creation is ripped to pieces by extraordinary events.

And what is true for the universe, is also true for us: planet Earth, and human history, are also full of cycles of change.

Being rather new to the created universe, it is easy for human beings to forget just how volatile and unpredictable our universe is. Indeed, we often forget our own history as the memories fade from one generation to the next. When things are trying and difficult, we tend to forget the times when all was calm and peaceful. And when things are calm and peaceful, we tend to forget that difficult times may be just around the next corner.

In our first report on Y2K, I mentioned the cyclical patterns that William Strauss and Neil Howe describe in their thought-provoking book, "The Fourth Turning" (http://www.fourthturning.com/). Among other things, Strauss and Howe predicted that a major crisis would be unleashing itself on the U.S. near the beginning of the next century. Although Strauss and Howe weren't sure what would trigger "the millennium crisis," they predicted it would match the trauma and intensity of the American Revolution, the American Civil War, and the Great Depression & World War II, which were "The Fourth Turnings" of previous eras.

According to Strauss and Howe, ever since the Renaissance, history has beat to a rhythm of four turnings, in a cycle of 80 to 100 years. The First Turning is an upbeat era of strengthening institutions and weakening individualism as a new civil order is established. The Second Turning is a passionate era of spiritual upheaval when civic order comes under attack from new values. The Third Turning is a downcast era of strengthening individualism and weakening institutions when civic order decays and new values implant. The Fourth Turning is an era of crisis in which the old civic order is replaced with a new one.

Strauss and Howe predicted The Fourth Turning of our current cycle would emerge sometime around 2005 and last about 20 years (for more information, see News Brief 45: http://www.nhne.com/nhnenb45.html).

While I don't know if Y2K is the trigger mechanism of The Fourth Turning that Strauss and Howe predicted, what captured my attention was the idea that history -- everything from stock market cycles to the rise and fall of empires -- tends to move in cyclical patterns. Moreover, these cycles tend to evolve: old ways of thinking and acting tend to produce new ones that are healthier and more refined. They also tend to follow archetypal crash and burn models: old systems crash and burn while new ones rise from the ashes.

TIME IS SPEEDING UP & RUNNING OUT

While pondering this, a new book, by Peter Russell, called "Waking Up in Time," came to my attention. We reported on Russell's book in NHNE Y2K Update 4 (Friday, September 11, 1998), and in NHNE Y2K Report 3 (Sunday, November 22, 1998). This past month, Joel Metzger of the ONN NETWORK (http://www.wisdomtalk.org), ran a four-part series that featured excerpts from Russell's book, and comments from Russell, Joel and Joel's readers.

Taking the cyclical history idea one step further, Russell describes how life in general, and human beings in particular, are evolving at ever-increasing rates. He believes this process will continue to accelerate until humanity reaches a point where we transcend all limitations. Russell calls this point, "The Singularity." Citing several interesting models, Russell suggests that the moment of transcendence may be reached sometime in the next century. In the meantime, the main challenge human beings face is adapting to the increasing intensity and speed with which change is overtaking us. In order to do this, Russell believes human beings must begin turning their attention inside. We must learn how sensory perception leads to awareness; how ideas come into being; how attitudes and emotions affect perception and behavior; how the inner self interfaces with the outer self and visa versa. Inner space, not outer space, is the next great frontier according to Russell. Moreover, "If we are to continue our evolutionary journey, it is imperative that we now make...prodigious leaps in our ability to transform our minds....This is the challenge of our times."

That's a quick summary of Russell's ideas. But let's also hear from Russell himself, who dazzles his readers with the following overview:

"Accelerating change is a pattern that runs throughout the history of evolution. The Big Bang happened twelve billion years ago (give or take a couple of billion years). The evolution of simple life forms began four billion years ago. Multicellular life appeared a billion or so years ago. The evolution of complex nervous systems, made possible by the emergence of vertebrates, began several hundred million years ago. Mammals appeared tens of millions of years ago. The genus Homo first stood on the planet a couple of million years ago. Homo Erectus appeared several hundred thousand years ago. The shift to Homo Sapiens that was triggered by the emergence of language and tool use, and which resulted in the Agricultural Revolution, began tens of thousands of years ago. Civilization -- the movement into towns and cities -- started several thousand years ago. The Industrial Revolution began a few centuries ago. And the Information Revolution is but a few decades old.

"Each new development has occurred in a fraction of the time of the previous one -- somewhere between one-quarter and one-tenth the time."

"If evolution continues to follow this pattern in the future (and we have seen there are good reasons to suppose it will), then future developments will happen more quickly. The intervals will drop from decades to years to months. We would be heading toward a moment when the intervals decrease to zero, and the rate of change becomes infinite. This is the possible singularity I referred to earlier: a point where the equations break down and cease to have any meaning."

"If major developments continue to occur in shorter and shorter times, there will be a corresponding time limit to our evolutionary progress. This does not mean there will be a limit to how much evolution we can experience -- the opposite, in fact. We would find ourselves evolving so fast that we experience an unimaginable degree of evolution within a finite time. The time limit would be the date in the future when our rate of development becomes infinitely rapid."

According to Russell, Vernor Vinge, who has been charting the acceleration of technological development, believes the year 2035.1 may be when we reach the moment of singularity. His estimates are based on how long it will take for humankind to create superintelligent computers that can replicate themselves and build new, ever-more evolved computers without their creator's help.

But Russell believes human beings will beat their machines to the flash point if inner development is seriously pursued. He also cites models that suggest humanity has been expanding exponentially in much the same way technology has.

Terence McKenna, for instance, has developed a fractal mathematical model that charts the overall rate of ingression of novelty into the world. McKenna's "timewave" model, like the other evolutionary patterns Russell mentions, starts slow and then picks up speed. Writes Russell:

"The curve shows a surge in novelty between 15,000 and 8,000 B.C.E, corresponding to the approximate dates of the Neolithic Age and the emergence of agriculture. Exactly the same pattern is repeated, although 64 times faster, from C.E 1750 to 1825 -- the period known as the European Enlightenment and the beginning of the Industrial Era.

"Another surge of novelty occurred around 500 B.C.E This was the time when Lao Tzu, Confucius, Plato, Zoroaster, Buddha, and others, who would have a major influence on the millennia ahead, appeared in the world. It saw the rise of ancient Greece and the beginnings of European culture. This surge continued for several centuries, then slowed down in the Fourth Century C.E. with the fall of Rome, and finally sputtered to an end with the onset of the Dark Ages. The repeating nature of McKenna's timewave shows the same pattern recurring in the 20th Century, from 1967 through to the early 1990s -- again, 64 times as fast as before. Later, around 2010, it repeats again, 64 times faster still."

What is true of novelty, is also true for our collective knowledge. Another study cited by Russell was produced by French economist Georges Anderla. Anderla broke humanity's knowledge into units. He estimated it took humanity fifty thousand years to gain one unit of collective human knowledge. According to Anderla's estimates, humanity had doubled its knowledge by C.E. 1500. By 1750, total knowledge had doubled again; by 1900, it had become eight units. The next doubling took only 50 years, and the one after that only ten years, so that by 1960 humanity had gathered 32 units of knowledge. It then doubled again in the next seven years, and again in the following six years, taking us to 128 units in 1973, the year of Anderla's study. Since then, it has continued to increase ever more rapidly. Today, with the advent of the information revolution, human knowledge is estimated to be doubling every eighteen months!

While the jury is out as to whether or not the evolutionary process described by Russell will end in a rapturous climax, it should be obvious to all of us that the evolutionary process is, indeed, speeding up. I think most of us would also agree that the increasing speed at which things are unfolding is making it very difficult for us to adapt.

Y2K: THE EMBODIMENT OF CHANGE

What does all of this have to do with Y2K?

In the nutshell, Y2K is the biggest, most omnipresent, unpredictable, unsettling, and potentially destructive force humanity has had to deal with. It has the potential to level countries and start wars. To topple the world's economic system. To sever power, communication, and transportation all over the world, on all levels. To inspire global panic, starvation, and other kinds of social and environmental epidemics. To end one time period in human history and begin another. In the long run, global deforestation, the greenhouse affect, ozone depletion, melting ice caps, the growing extinction of plants and animals, marauding asteroids, the instability of nuclear weapons and reactors in Russia, the emergence of weapons of mass destruction in third world countries, and other global issues may have equally dramatic impacts on our world. But so far, none of them have developed into full-fledged global storms, nor have they delivered a rapidly closing time table that can't be pushed back. Y2K has. Even the world's nuclear arms race and two great wars did not catch humanity, as a whole, so unprepared.

In other words, Y2K represents, in breathtaking Technicolor, the kind of fast-paced evolutionary process that Russell describes. In order to effectively deal with it, we are almost certainly going to have to learn new coping skills, in record-breaking time. And for the record, Y2K does not necessarily have to level the world's computer systems to affect change. It can also affect change by making humanity intensely aware of just how dysfunctional, co-dependent, and vulnerable it has become to its own soulless systems.

Not surprisingly, Russell has been paying close attention to Y2K. And he's not alone. A growing number of visionaries and innovative leaders have also been taking notice. Indeed, Y2K is emerging as the catalyst many of them have been waiting for -- and, perhaps more importantly, an opportunity to share visions, join forces, and work together to better understand the powerful forces of change that are presently sweeping our world.

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"Waking Up in Time" can be ordered though the ONN Website: www.wisdomtalk.org/books1.html

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PART TWO:
WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD

LEARNING THE ROPES IN SEDONA

Like many others who have been struggling to understand and do something about Y2K, I've been busy in Sedona trying to organize our local community. It's a job I never imagined I would ever be doing that revolves around a subject I knew nothing about a year ago.

The process I went through is straightforward enough: We researched Y2K, discovered it was a serious threat, and responded. Because my work was primarily focused on the Internet, the national/international levels were tackled first: we organized a team of online researchers and built a website to database our discoveries. But it didn't take long to realize that Y2K was going to affect my family, friends, and local community. And since no one else, as far as I knew, was doing anything about Y2K in Sedona, the task fell to me and those who were working with me online.

The first thing I did was contact the Y2K Task Force in Medford, Oregon which had staged the country's first city-wide Y2K meeting. I found out from them how they had organized, how many people were involved in their organization, and what their current activities were. I also asked for suggestions about how to organize our community. Then I contacted our local city government. I learned that Sedona, unlike most cities in the U.S., had a person in charge of their Y2K efforts. Unfortunately, her efforts were largely limited to upgrading PCs and traffic lights and there was little awareness of the larger, more serious implications of Y2K (the potential loss of food, water, power, communications, etc., and possibility of worldwide disruptions). My early exchanges with the city were polite, but since Y2K was not being viewed as a major threat to Sedona (or any other part of the country for that matter), the city had little interest in stirring up the populace.

Realizing I couldn't count on city officials to educate and mobilize Sedona, I decided to follow Medford's lead and organize a grassroots response. I contacted the members of our online team who lived in or around Sedona and began organizing a meeting of friends, and friends of friends. We invited the people we knew the best and trusted the most to a private meeting to let them know what we had found out about Y2K. We also asked them to invite friends who might be interested. Then we rented a space that could accommodate a hundred people, passed out flyers to remind everyone where and when the meeting would be, set out some cookies and tea, and waited for the room to fill up. All together, 19 people showed up, six of whom were staff people. Although it was a disappointing turnout, almost everyone who came ended up joining our efforts.

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INSIGHT NUMBER ONE:
SOMEONE NEEDS TO LEAD THE CHARGE

For those of you who are interested in organizing Y2K efforts in your part of the world, here's my first pointer: someone has to lead the charge. In my case, I was fortunate enough to have others who were willing to help, but unless I took the lead, nothing would have happened. I had to act without having all the answers and wade into areas (like city government) that I normally wouldn't have. What motivated me was knowing that Y2K was a serious threat that needed to be addressed. If no one is working to educate and mobilize your part of the world -- and if you care about the welfare of your family, friends, and community -- then the task may fall to you.

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After this first meeting, we organized follow-up meetings, joined forces with others in our community that were interested in Y2K, and a natural sorting process began: new people showed up, old people fell away, and a solid core group began to emerge. The most difficult part of this process was forming a cohesive group with a clear vision. We had to decide how we were going to make decisions, what we wanted to achieve as a group, and who was going to do what. One of the most important steps in this process for me was realizing that I had to continue to provide leadership. Since I wasn't sure my efforts to educate and mobilize Sedona went beyond getting things started, I wasn't sure what my role in the emerging group would be. Moreover, I was more interested in working online and galvanizing the NHNE membership, than working in Sedona planting gardens, dealing with city governments, and speaking to local audiences. To complicate matters, none of us, including me, wanted to work in a hierarchical group with some people designated as leaders and others as followers. We all saw ourselves as equals and insisted on a round table environment.

After struggling with this for weeks, and watching our group flounder in the resulting confusion, two things finally became clear:

1. Like it or not, I needed to provide leadership for our group.

2. Until I did, we weren't going to get anywhere.

Once I realized this, everything started falling in place. A name for our group was decided upon, a mission statement was created, specific roles and job descriptions were defined, and we started charting how we were going to fire up our local community.

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INSIGHT NUMBER TWO:
ROUND TABLES HAVE LEADERS TOO

For some reason, all of the people that have ended up in leadership roles on our task force have strong spiritual backgrounds, which includes a fundamental belief in medicine-wheel-style organizations: different people, with different strengths and perspectives, joining together as equals to accomplish a specific task. How does leadership operate in such a group? What I've learned is that everyone provides leadership in their respective areas. But the group, as a whole, also has a leader, whether that leader is publicly acknowledged or not. A healthy group acknowledges the need for one person to provide leadership for the group as a whole. And a healthy leader understands that he/she fills only one space in the circle and requires the feedback and support of all the other positions to effectively lead.

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Now that our group was up and running, we launched a series of projects: we developed materials and organized meetings to educate our local community about Y2K, brought in well-known Y2K speakers to drive home the information we presented, helped our city and local community service organizations stage panel discussions, started organizing neighborhood preparedness programs, created several exploration teams to find out how Sedona would be affected by potential Y2K disturbances, acquired a centrally-locally office space to meet and work in, and visited other communities and city governments in our area to help them do the same. Many of these activities are databased on The Sedona Y2K Task Force Website:

http://www.wild2k.com/sedona/

From the beginning, I have felt that an effective response to Y2K would hinge on two things: we would need to educate and mobilize our local community; and we would need to connect with other communities all over the world so we could learn from one another's efforts, share resources, and stay reliably informed about all aspects of Y2K.

We've been very fortunate in Sedona to have both of these bases covered. NHNE has been busy gathering information and resources from all over the world that has been put to work by our local task force, which, in turn, has pumped what we've learned back into the global bloodstream to be assimilated by others and returned again with new insights.

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INSIGHT NUMBER THREE:
WHEN THINGS GET TOUGH, THE TOUGH WORK TOGETHER

The two-pronged approach I've outlined above is extremely important. Y2K is such an enormous, overwhelming, unpredictable problem that we need to be able to tap everyone's talents and learn from one another's experience. All local groups, in my opinion, should establish clear connections with the global community, and the global community needs to establish clear connections with local groups. The free flow of information, discoveries, experience, and resources will, in the end, probably be the most important asset we have to deal with whatever fallout comes from Y2K -- and other threats that might challenge our race in the future.

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EIGHT MORE SUGGESTIONS:

Finally, here are eight more suggestions that have helped us organize our local task force and community.

1. Don't waste time trying to convince public officials that Y2K is a problem. Instead, provide them with a steady stream of current, credible, well-sourced information, and keep them posted on your efforts to organize a grassroots response. If they respond to your overtures, great, work with them. If they don't, that's great, too, because once they realize how serious Y2K is, you, and the organization you've helped build, will be the ones they turn to for help.

2. Treat the people and organizations who provide you with power, water, food, money, and other basic necessities the same way you treat public officials: be nice, and work with them if they are willing. In the meantime, don't kid yourself, and don't allow them to kid you: no matter how well prepared they say they are, there is still a chance their services won't be available. Because of this, you, and your community, should pursue off-the-grid backup plans.

3. Encourage others to prepare for Y2K by buying a little extra food, and setting aside a little extra cash, a little at a time. There is still enough time for everyone to prepare if it is done responsibly. If, however, too many people start buying large quantities of supplies, we could bring the entire system down prematurely which, in turn, would make things far worse than they might otherwise be.

4. While storing life's basic necessities at little at a time, also look for ways to grow your own food and supply your own water. If the supply chain is disrupted for any length of time, all kinds of packaged/processed goods will be very difficult to get, and there will be extraordinary demand for whatever is available. Those who can provide for their own basic needs, and help provide for the basic needs of others, will be in a much better position than those who are relying on packaged goods that need to be replenished.

5. If you, or those you love don't have the means to buy extra food, water and other necessities right now, do what you can to prepare in other ways. Get educated about Y2K and self-sufficiency. Strengthen your personal relationships. Get to know your neighbors. Pray. Exercise. Improve and simplify your diet. Lighten your load by budgeting your time more carefully and getting rid of unnecessary material possessions. Ponder the emotional ramifications of Y2K and work through your fears. Help organize your local community. If there is anyone on this mailing list who should be physically prepared for Y2K disruptions, it's me. But I haven't had enough money to buy the resources I need to take care of my family. I have, however, had the ability to educate and mobilize my community and spread the word via NHNE. My hope, and motivating belief, is that everyone will be taken care of who does what they can to be of service to others.

6. In terms of local organizations and projects, figure out what needs to be done and then use whomever shows up to do it. If no one shows up for a particular job, then consider the possibility it doesn't need to be done. Also, do everything you can to turn people loose on the projects that interest them. In my view, one of the best guidance systems we have is who spirit sends to us and what those who show up carry in their hearts. Use this, more than carefully crafted plans, to determine what really needs to be done, and by whom. And don't try and do everything yourself. Do what you feel most called to do, then delegate, empower others, and leave the million jobs that never get done up to God.

7. When conflicts arise (and you can be sure they will), remind everyone involved that human beings have been designed to see things from different vantage points. This is a good thing. There are many different ways to see and solve every problem. After reminding everyone that differences of perspective are good, give each person a chance to fully share their perspective and do everything you can to be sure their perspective is fully heard and understood. Since most conflicts are based on people not hearing or understanding another person's perspective, most conflicts will end right here. But if they don't, and it becomes clear that honest differences of opinion can't be bridged, then find ways for them to work apart. Empower each person to express their particular perspective. Remember that challenging and/or forcing others to adopt a path they don't agree with doesn't help anyone. It creates animosity, hard feelings and distrust among everyone involved. Empowering others, on the other hand, engenders respect, good will, and a willingness on everyone's part to cooperate and consider other perspectives.

8. And, finally, remember that Y2K is a passing phenomenon, as are all other events that fill our short lives on planet Earth. What lasts are our relationships with one another and the way we have lived our lives. Bottomline: do everything you can, in every moment you live, to be kind, sensitive, thoughtful, considerate, and loving towards those you are in relationship with. All of us can get our way a little while by running over others, but this kind of behavior doesn't produce the kind of happy families, meaningful groups, and loving societies that we all seek.

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So that's a little bit about how the Sedona Y2K Task Force came to be, what we've been doing, and how you can help the communities you are a part of prepare for Y2K.

Since we still have a great deal of work to do in Sedona, I don't know how our story will unfold from here. From having talked with the leaders of other Y2K grassroots movements, I do know that many Y2K efforts are having a rough time organizing themselves and their communities. Some of the problems they are having are universal -- poor attendance at public events, little support from public officials, lack of funds, burnout, poor leadership, not enough people to do everything that needs to be done -- while other problems are unique to their particular area and group of people. This notwithstanding, there are also some marvelous success stories.

I hope our efforts in Sedona, and your efforts wherever you may be, are the latter -- and both myself and NHNE will continue to do everything we can to be sure to stack the odds in favor of success.

In future updates, I will introduce some of the other talented members of our task force and let them tell you what they've done and learned.

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PART THREE:
A GATHERING OF EAGLES

SHOCK TREATMENTS & ELEPHANTS

Everyone I've encountered who has been seriously involved in Y2K -- researchers, programmers, community organizers, government officials, journalists -- eventually starts feeling like they've slipped in the Twilight Zone. Slowly at first, and then with increasing intensity, your normal way of viewing life on planet Earth starts to get blurry: you realize that governments around the world might topple, missiles might launch unexpectedly, terrorists might attack, nuclear reactors might melt down, medical equipment might not work, power grids might fail, the IRS and many other U.S. government agencies might go belly up, 911 and emergency services might not work, grocery stores might run out of food, WAL-MART, for goodness sake, might not get new shipments from overseas.

Pondering the ramifications of thousands upon thousands of vitally important, highly-interconnected systems failing all over the world at the same time does something to normal awareness. Tom Atlee, founder of THE CO-INTELLIGENCE INSTITUTE, coined a term for this kind of pondering: "Y2K Fatigue."

"Perhaps there's something called Y2K Fatigue," writes Tom. "Like battle fatigue or compassion fatigue. I think its main ingredient is ambiguity fatigue. It is exhausting to continually contemplate a massive threat from a place of radical uncertainty littered with certainties that blink on and off."

The kind of "blinking certainties" that Tom refers to includes the DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE declaring several mission critical systems to be Y2K compliant only to be challenged by government watchdog agencies who discovered that the DoD had falsified their reports -- on at least two separate occasions. Or the FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION installing brand new Y2K compliant computer systems at three major airports only to find out that their new systems were so riddled with bugs that the old non-Y2K compliant systems had to be reinstalled before planes, which were disappearing from radar screens, crashed into each other.

Blinking certainties. There are a lot of those these days. And there are also electric shocks. Writes Tom again:

"I heard once that giving rats regular shocks and random shocks were both less stressful than giving them semi-predictable shocks. The most stressful regimen was a regular schedule of shocks occasionally interrupted with shocks that didn't happen when they were supposed to and shocks that did happen when they weren't supposed to. The poor rats couldn't even develop psychological defenses against the shocks. They just sank into apathy. There's something about Y2K that's like that. On Monday we may feel certain about something, only to find that by Tuesday some new evidence or hearsay or shift in perspective makes it feel like a far shot -- or worse: that its opposite may suddenly appear to be true -- while other things we thought were fairly iffy may suddenly seem as sure as sunrise. Where is the landscape here? Where's the ground? What is going on? Where can I stand? Am I crazy?"

And then there is Y2K itself. Why has it appeared in human history now? What is its purpose in the grand scheme of things? And what are we -- private citizens, mothers, fathers and families, small businesses, corporations, cities, states, nations -- to do about it? David La Chapelle, who reported on the first national gathering of Y2K leaders that met in Boulder, Colorado in August of last year, had this to say:

"I came away from the Boulder conference with a profound appreciation for the depth of integrity, courage and heartfulness of the participants. I also experienced very strongly that we were living within the story of the blind men and the elephant. A very large and strange creature has appeared in our midst and we still do not have fundamental agreement as to what that creature looks like. We all were groping to describe a phenomenon which has such far-reaching implications and such powerful psychic and physical consequences that we were in some fundamental way blinded. The very complexity of the issue we face and the necessity to be able to make huge leaps of whole systems integration created a palpable overload.

"I found that I was tiring easily in the discussions and several of my good friends reported similar levels of exhaustion. I have observed in the course of communicating about Y2K, with many people in many different settings, a similar process of overload. One of the positive aspects of the conference was the fact that so many people were in a similar state of awakened exhaustion that many participants were able to be carried by the container of the whole, even if their individual nodes of concentration weakened at times. This points to a fundamental truth which the conference brought home to me: we cannot do this alone or in isolation. The very networked nature of the crisis is calling forth a level of communication across all social and cultural levels which I believe is unparalleled in our modern experience."

SOMETHING IN THE WIND

I guess you get the picture: Y2K is not only causing a great deal of mischief in the world of software, hardware, and embedded chips, but it is also causing a great deal of mischief inside the human beings who are trying to understand it. Put simply, none of us, it seems, has been able to get a handle on the global elephant that has wandered into our house and sat on us.

But there are movements afoot now that are trying to.

In October of this past year, David La Chapelle approached me about gathering together with a small group of Y2K leaders from around the country to do a vision quest (or "quest" as David prefers to calls it). The idea was to create a way for those of us who have been wrestling with Y2K on the Internet to meet in the real world and compare notes, seek guidance, and deepen our bonds with one another. As David and I discussed this, Sedona emerged as the place to meet and this spring the time. Last month, I sent out a letter to some of the main Y2K leaders and visionaries I've been corresponding with. Among other things, I mentioned the upcoming gathering and my growing need to meet with others who have been wrestling as intensely with Y2K as I have. Tom Atlee responded with a stirring reply:

"There's something in the wind.

"About two weeks ago I found myself feeling like I/we were on the wrong track somehow. I felt like something BIG was trying to surface through us -- or through Y2K -- and the way we were operating was somehow blocking that. I have found it increasingly difficult to focus on many Y2K activities that were of compelling interest just a month or so ago. Burnout is part of it, but not all of it. Not by a long shot.

"When I talked tentatively to three Y2K activist friends, they all said they felt the same way. In particular, their attention was drifting to spiritual and other 'larger' issues beyond preparation.

"Then I went to the weekly BAY2K meeting of Bay Area Y2K organizers. I decided I wouldn't say how I was feeling, because I didn't want to undermine the momentum of anyone's community organizing or preparation projects. But then one of the other participants said that she was having a hard time focusing on Y2K preparedness and educational issues and was drifting towards spiritual concerns that had long been relegated to the background. As soon as she said that (and she was very much groping for words), EVERYONE ELSE IN THE MEETING said they felt the same way.

"We ended up having a hilarious meeting in which we joked about the seriousness of our efforts. We decided that dried food was a perfect symbol for a certain dessicated quality we'd observed in Y2K 'preparedness' efforts. Preparedness itself seemed like a soulless, often fearful black hole into which we could dump all our resources and attention and never really succeed -- because no matter HOW prepared we ever are, there is always some plausible worse-case scenario that could overwhelm us. We joked about creating a book or screenplay or poem entitled 'Just Add Water: Finding the Juice in Y2K.' Phrases like 'Reclaim your soul from the infrastructure before it falls apart' and 'Waiting for the Y2K Godot' were tossed around. Joyful, boisterous life came back into the room. Something shifted. It was like the decks were being cleared for something. But then we weren't sure where to go from there.

"What did it mean? Someone said, 'Something passionate is waiting for us to be ready.' I have that distinct feeling. Something is in the wind."

Tom went on to say that my letter strengthened his sense that something was, indeed, "in the wind." He wrote that he planned to organize a small gathering of friends over the holidays for a time of inner work together:

"It will be a reflective time, with lots of silence (Quaker style) and lots of listening circles (like the indigenous 'council') with enough time for many rounds of the talking stick. Perhaps we'll do some dyads and triads, getting to know each other deeply or pursuing together some inquiry of compelling shared interest. I'm thinking of having people handy who know Jungian psychology, Tarot, focusing, or other techniques for fishing out what's trying to become conscious. Or something like that. The form is not so important as taking time out together for reflection."

Finally, Tom suggested that it might be a good idea for similar vision seeking gatherings to happen all over the country. "There is something very important going on here," wrote Tom. "If we discover it, I suspect, Y2K preparedness will suddenly become a thrilling side issue -- a tool for joy, relationship and transformation."

I wanted to pass these thoughts on to all of you so if you felt so motivated, you could begin focusing more strongly on the vision seeking side of Y2K. Later, as winter gives way to spring, I'll be writing all of you about this again, asking those of you who are interested to organize vision quests in your part of the world to coincide with the upcoming vision quest in Sedona.

More about this in the future.

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PART FOUR: DREAMS & GATHERINGS

The final part of this special report contains three special announcements. The first is from David La Chapelle and concerns a place he has created on his website to database dreams that deal with the powerful changes sweeping across our planet. The second comes from Robert Theobald and introduces an innovative, potentially very important satellite videoconference. And the third announcement is about an upcoming workshop in Tucson, Arizona that is being hosted by Linda O'Keefe. I am proud to be connected with all three of these events (some of my dreams will be appearing on David's website, the Sedona Y2K Task Force will be participating in Robert's satellite videoconference, and Linda's husband, Lance, will be filming the Tucson gathering so we can use the footage on our upcoming Y2K television program). I hope everyone on this list will check all out three of these activities and, if you feel the inner nudge, join in...

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DREAMS OF CHANGE
David La Chapelle

During this period of accelerated change there are many ways of receiving the "news" of the universe. Of the many modes available there is one which occurs to most people, appears nearly every night, and is often filled with more direct guidance than we receive from any other source if we know how to decipher the messages contained. Our dreams can be illuminated with an understanding which is often much deeper than our conscious minds can comprehend. In periods of personal crisis, messages often appear to help guide the work which needs to be done.

This is true on a collective level as well. As we enter 1999, we, as a society, will be facing many challenges, even crises. It may well be that some of the "solutions" we need will appear in the dream state. With this in mind I am issuing a call for dreams which speak to the changes which are present in our global condition. If you have had a dream which feels larger than your own issues and addresses some aspect of change I would love to hear from you. I will post the dreams I receive on my Tides of Change Website at the following location:

Dreams of Change:
http://www.tidesofchange.org/dreamsof.htm

I am proposing a dream bank: a treasury of images and depictions of the change we are undergoing as a society from the world of our collective dreaming. I invite you to join this creative collaboration.

If you have a dream you would like to submit please send a succinct description of the dream with any added interpretation you might have to: info@tidesofchange.org

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RESILIENT COMMUNITIES VIDEOCONFERENCE
Robert Theobald & Meg Wheatley

On January 22nd, Robert Theobald and Meg Wheatley will be co-hosting a live satellite videoconference. The videoconference will offer Theobald and Wheatley's "big picture" of change in the world, including comments about Y2K. Theobald and Wheatley will also help participants lead groups in their communities who want to increase personal, family, community and ecological resiliency. Hundreds of groups, from many different parts of the United States and world, have signed up to participate in the program, including the Sedona Y2K Task Force.

The program will be produced and aired between 10:30 and 12:30 AM, Pacific Time on January 22, 1999. It will originate in the studios of WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY, in Pullman, Washington. It will be "uplinked" as a signal to a satellite which can be retrieved by downlink sites. The uplink site (in Pullman) will provide a combination of presentations by Theobald/Wheatley, panel discussion, video clips, and responses to questions and comments from downlink sites via phone, fax, and email. There will also be studio group interacting with the program in Pullman.

A follow-up videoconference is scheduled for April 23, 1998.

For more information about this program and/or how you can become a site-coordinator for your community, please contact:

Amanda Butcher
Program Coordinator
NORTHWEST REGIONAL FACILITATORS
East 525 Mission Avenue
Spokane, WA 99202
eMail: amandab@nrf.org
Phone: (509) 484 6733
Fax: (509) 483 0345

Resilient Communities Website:
http://www.transform.org/transform/tlc/index.html

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Y2K: OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME
Michael Brownlee, Shayla Roberts, Lynette Marie Hanthorn
Hosted By Linda O'Keefe

"Y2K: Opportunity Of A Lifetime" is the name of a powerful one day workshop scheduled for Saturday, January 16th in Tucson, Arizona. The experience is meant specifically to meet the needs of those in a leadership position who want to address Y2K related challenges from a creative, proactive prospective. Information about the numerous ways in which technological failures could impact all of us will be shared, and experiential exercises that pinpoint individual fears & strengths facilitated. Goal setting for psychological and physical preparedness and life beyond the disruptions that Y2K may bring will also be addressed.

Facilitators include:

Michael Brownlee (communication consultant/designer, journalist, editor of COGENISIS JOURNAL, marketing strategist)

Shayla Roberts (change consultant, visual designer, performing artist, writer)

Lynette Marie Hanthorn (author of "Fear and Anger in the Workplace", conflict resolution consultant, change consultant)

OPTIONS FOR GROWTH is sponsoring the workshop, which will be held at the Zenith Center, from 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM. A free introductory lecture will be given on the Friday evening before the workshop for all who may be interested in attending. Cost of the workshop is $59.00. Linda O'Keefe, CISW, Life Coach and owner of Options, is thrilled about the opportunity to bring the Cogenisis Group and their message to Tucson. "So much of the information I've read on Y2K triggers some deep fears about the future," states O'Keefe. "Michael, Shayla and Marie look at this uncertainty through innovative glasses, finding the blessings in disguise."

For further information and pre-registration, contact Linda at:
Phone: (520) 615-1449
eMail: options@optionsforgrowth.com

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Copyright 1998 by NewHeavenNewEarth

Please feel free to share this report with as many people as you like. If you do share this report with others, we ask that you reproduce it in its entirety (including all credits, copyright notices and addresses), not alter its contents in any way, and pass it on to others free of charge.

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Founder & Publisher: David Sunfellow (DS)
Editor-in-Chief: James Gregory (JG)
Secretary/Treasurer: Diane (Di) Ayers

NHNE Y2K Research Team: Sherry Stultz (SJS), Robert Sniadach (RS), Einiyah ben-Elyon (EBE), David La Chapelle (DLC), Lance Botthof (LB), Kathleen Blake (KB)

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