Saturday, December 08, 2007

a parable for an empire in collapse

Photo: Activists helped detainees escape from Woomera during a protest in 2002.

Nauru is a tiny island, population 12,000, a third of the size of Manhattan and despite being in the middle of nowhere has been in the middle of some of the biggest global events.

"This American Life" contributing editor Jack Hitt tells (yes, back in 2003, but I missed it!) the untold story of this dot in the middle of the Pacific.

Highlights include the bankrupting of the Russian economy, global terrorism, North Korean defectors, the end of the world, and the late 1980s theatrical flop of a London musical based on the life of Leonardo da Vinci called Leonardo, A Portrait of Love. And there are 89 Afgani and Iraqi detainees trapped on this island in conditions similar to Guantanemo. The difference? They escaped from the Taliban and Sadam Hussein!

The story is SO worth the $0.95 download because it is a parable, an almost unbelievable story illustrating the dis-eases of our current misguided civilization and its warped, material-entrapped world view.

Interesting to me (at least, because of the name) was the role that Senator Andrew Bartlett of Australia in criticizing the government's treatment of the detainees. Bartlett has been a courageous advocate and human rights champion of refugees and the people trapped on Nauru. A recent blog post of his talks about a hotel guest book and the stories it tells. And you can watch a You Tube video talking about his stances and testimonies from Nauru detainees.

As I can't find the transcript of the radio show, here is a version Hitt did for Utne Reader on Nauru. Toward the end, this question is posed:

Could it be that Nauru will become the first nation-state of the modern age simply to go out of business? Once, Australia offered to give the Nauruans a new island off the Great Barrier Reef. The Nauruans declined, since it would have meant completely surrendering their sovereignty. But it does seem likely that some future leader will have to plan for such a contingency.

Friday, December 07, 2007

2012 and the Mayan calendar of thirteens

I just finished this fascinating romp of a read by a very human Daniel Pinchbeck - 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl. The image is artist Andrew Jones' take of this mystical creature the Mayans called Kukulcan. This segment from page 240 gives a taste of this psychically juicy book, which was a gift from my sister Martha. Thank you Martha!

In The Mayan Calendar and the Transformation of Consciousness, the Swedish biologist Carl Johan Calleman, a cancer specialist and former adviser for the World Health Organization, raised the discourse on the ancient time-science of the Maya to a new plateau. According to Calleman’s thesis, the nine levels of the most important Mayan pyramids—the Temple of the Inscriptions in Palenque, the Pyramid of the Jaguar in Tikal, and the Pyramid of Kukulcan (Quetzalcoatl) in Chichen Itza—represent a model of time, from the origin of the universe to the upcoming phase-shift, in which each step, or “Underworld,” is twenty times more accelerated in linear time than the one preceding it.

“The nine-story Mayan pyramids are thus telling us that consciousness is created in a hierarchical way and that each Underworld stands on the foundation of another,” writes Calleman. The initial level, starting thirteen hablatuns or 16.4 billion years ago, proceeds from the inception of matter in the “big Bang,” through the development of cellular life on Earth. During the second step, beginning thirteen alautuns, or 820 million years, ago, animal life evolved out of cells. The third underworld, starting thirteen kinchiltuns or 41 million years ago, saw the evolution of primates and the first, rudimentary use of tools by human ancestors. During the fourth underworld, beginning thirteen kalabtuns or 2 million years ago, tribal organization began among the ancestors of Homo sapiens. During the next underworld, starting thirteen piktuns of 102,000 years ago, Homo sapiens emerged, developing spoken language. The sixth underworld comprises the Great Cycle of thirteen baktuns, beginning 5,125 years before the approaching birth date, when we created patriarchal civilization, law, and written language—Calleman calls this the National Underworld. The seventh step, dubbed the Planetary Underworld, thirteen katuns or 256 years, beginning in AD 1755, introduced industrialization, electricity, technology, modern democracy, gene splicing, and the atom bomb. Our knowledge became Faustian power over the physical world. The eighth level—the Galactic Underworld—thirteen tuns or 12.8 years, began in 1999, with the development of the Internet into a global communications infrastructure. The final step, thirteen uinals or 260 days, will lead, Calleman believes, to the attainment of “nondual cosmic consciousness” across the Earth. By the end of this Universal Underworld, humanity will have crossed the threshold of the abyss, confronting the shadow projections of the Apocalypse, to become conscious cocreators of reality.

New source of fuel - water!

What the hay?! Is this for real?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Story of Stuff - Intro

This is a 2-1/2 minute intro to The Story of STUFF video - a fast-paced look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. Great illustrations to draw out the connections between environmental and social issues, and the direction we need to go - together - to create a sustainable (for humans and many other species we are fond of). It's a funny, even delightful, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life (forever? or maybe through the Christmas shopping season?!).