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Everything Is Going to Be All Right. - Musings and Meditations

Updated: May 24

"Things will work out - maybe just not the way you plan."

Rick Riordan

"I believe in intuitions and inspirations...I sometimes FEEL that I am right, rather than that I KNOW that I am."

Albert Einstein

"If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve."

Lao Tzu

"Our task is to listen to the news that is always arriving out of silence."

Rainer Maria Rilke

Dear readers and followers of A Biosphere Project,

This week I was actually planning to elaborate further on the perspectives that may emerge as we view our planet Earth from the outside, but last week I had an insight, an experience, or an intuition if you will, that I wanted to share with you.

I stated it when I began this series of musings: I follow my intuition and my heart, and I stay open to what arises. 

And the insight I got was kind of special, and relevant to what I'm trying to talk about in this blog. So let me just share with you what happened to me last week.

There were two parts to this experience. I will talk about the first part of that experience another time. The second part followed right after the first, unannounced and not at all as a result of anything I was thinking about at the time. As is so often the case with intuitive experiences.

The second part of the experience was a sudden, intense, particularly strong feeling that

Everything is going to be all right.

It was a wordless intuition, a kind of knowing that manifested itself unannounced while I was actually thinking about very ordinary things. The words came only a little later.

I was at quite a high altitude with a beautiful view, and possibly that was one of the factors that created the space in which that insight could manifest itself.

Peace, space and beauty are often triggers for insights, revelations or intuitions that in our busy daily lives often fruitlessly try to attract our attention through synchronicity or small or large signals of all kinds, but which we fail to notice because we are so busy doing all the things we think are so important that we put aside our experience of life itself.

But I was receptive in that moment, I wasn't purposefully doing anything, and at most I was musing a little bit about the beauty I was seeing.

And suddenly there it was, this insight, with a certainty and a clarity that felt extraordinary:

Everything is going to be all right.

It is a feeling I have not before consciously experienced with such power and certainty.

For about four years I have been intensely immersed in research about all the possible ways we are destroying our planet, our biosphere and ourselves, and about all the possible ways it can end badly both for ourselves and for our beautiful home, this wonderfully beautiful planet of ours, Gaia, Pachamama, Mother Earth.

Yet I am never without hope. If I thought the situation was hopeless, I also would not have stopped my practice as a painter in order to begin this project. If I had no hope that things can work out for us and our planet, I would simply still be enjoying whatever we can still experience here before everything collapses, and would not bother to try to contribute to the transitions that await us.

But at the same time, I am aware of the enormity of the challenges we face. It is far from a given that we are going to make it, and many experts and systems thinkers dealing with the convergence of crises in our biosphere believe that if we are going to make it at all, we will have crawled through the eye of the needle.

So such a sudden hunch, an intuition bordering on certainty and a sensation that everything is going to be all right hit me unprepared, somewhat like a sudden bolt of lightning. It surprised me, and the feeling immediately following this insight was one of joy and something I would almost call a kind of incredulous euphoria, but it was a calmer feeling than euphoria, rather a kind of calm conviction.

Everything is going to be all right.

What a beautiful belief, after all.

And a conviction that can give strength, and inspiration and hope and decisiveness.

Because to my feeling, that inspiration did not mean: everything will be all right in any case, just relax everyone, there is no problem. We can all just carry on as we are, and providence will solve everything for us.

No, because as historian, explorer and activist Robert Swan said, "The greatest threat to the planet is the belief that someone else will save it." No, it will not happen by itself, and it will not be someone else who will save the planet. We, the people will have to do that.

No, I also felt at that moment that it will be all right only if we all actually do everything humanly possible to achieve a transition to a society in harmony with our biosphere, a civilization worthy of the name. And that is an undertaking that can seem almost superhuman, once you map out what it will take to get there.

Things are not going to work by having more technology, or by producing millions of electric cars or building hundreds of thousands of windmills or more nuclear power plants. More technology is not going to save us, as energy expert Richard Heinberg states so clearly in this essay.

No, if we are going to make it, it will be because of something else: through a transformation of our consciousness, our perception of the world, and our way of living together, our way of developing our society that will bear little resemblance to what we now call "politics”. Through an awakening of humanity and a realization that as humanity we must begin to form an organism based on synergy rather than a collection of groups engaged in merciless competition. And by a realization that everyone is jointly responsible for new forms of what is called 'governance ' in English. Governance is not the same as 'government' or governing. Governance precedes that, and forms the basis of any particular way of doing politics. And as social philosopher Daniel Schmachtenberger points out, we will need systems of governance that will be completely new, that have never existed before because we have never faced a crisis that could lead to an 'extinction event,' or the extinction of our species.

But for now I don't want to get into the more technical aspects of how we're going to make it or the interventions that will be needed to create the possibility that everything is going to be all right.

Rather, I want to continue to muse on that feeling or that realization itself that everything is going to be all right, because surely it is a feeling to cherish. And it is a feeling that many people no longer dare to trust.

That is to say: quite a few people will readily say that everything is going to be all right, but from a kind of denial or ignorance. A kind of mindless automatism as part of a conditioned tendency to 'stay positive,' which often just means not paying attention to the problems. 'Ignorance is bliss' remains a motto many people wholeheartedly agree with. That's not the kind of 'everything is going to be all right' I'm talking about. It is not a misplaced naive optimism based on nothing except the simple desire of the person making the statement - wishful thinking, so to speak.

And conversely, there are many people - more and more - who already believe that things are not going to work out in any case. Who have given up hope, and are convinced that we are doomed. But saying that things are not going to work out in any case is actually equivalent to saying that everything will be all right in any case: both are actually a form of laziness, and of not wanting to deal with it. Both the one who says everything will be all right in any case and the one who says that things are not going to work out in any case invite passivity, and fatalism. Neither recognizes the power and necessity of what is called 'agency', or the capacity for and need for action that makes a difference.

And it seems as if our society is increasingly beginning to flip between these two 'lazy' extremes: 'everything will be all right in any case' and 'it's all going to end badly in any case.’ A kind of a bipolar state, you might say. And a bipolar state that paralyzes or keeps a lot of people from taking any kind of action or initiative.

Recent studies show that more and more young people worldwide are hesitant to have children because of fears of a derailed climate and other ecological disasters. As many as 40 percent of respondents in this high-profile global survey that appeared in The Lancet said they do not want children because of the ecological crises we are entering and that will only get worse for the foreseeable future.

So many people see our future as a lost cause, while many others are still in denial of the reality of the biosphere crisis (why I prefer to use the word "biosphere crisis" rather than the word "climate crisis" you can read in this essay).

And my intention with this project has to do with both possible reactions: on the one hand, I want to give those who are not (or not enough) alarmed information that can make them realize that the situation we are in is extremely serious, and help sound the alarm.

But on the other hand, I want to help spread information, ideas and visions that can help us in the transitions to come. Ideas that not only confirm that everything could indeed be all right in the end, but also that we are potentially going to create a much better world if we do what is necessary.

So "Everything is going to be all right." may even be an understatement: everything may even become better than ever if we do what is needed.

One way to begin to see this differently is the concept of ‘phase transition’.

A phase transition is a process in which a long-term state of equilibrium in a system suddenly breaks down and moves into a very rapid and sometimes completely unpredictable transition to a new state.

Phase transitions can be very chaotic and even destructive processes, but the outcome of a phase transition is often a new state at a new and higher level of complexity, synergy and harmony.

But I don't want to get into musing about that now either; I want to stay with that blissful feeling for a while longer that everything is going to be all right. I will talk about phase transitions another time, because that is a crucial concept to see where we are, in my opinion.

Can we really believe that?  Everything is going to be all right.

Not through denial of the challenges we face, through wishful thinking or ostrich policies, but from a trust in our ability and in our worth as beings? Out of a love for the world, a love for our children and grandchildren, and a love for the miracle of the experience of consciousness, something made possible by all of our biosphere? From a sense of audacity and courage that can see the gigantic challenge we face as a tremendous growth opportunity for our species, our consciousness, our development of a global society worthy of the name?

Can we face all this not with mere fear or premonitions of hell and damnation, but with the calm conviction that, if we give all we can, everything is going to be all right?

The absolute assurance that everything is going to be all right, we will not be able to get from any authority. But the conviction that everything is going to be all right, we can create and sustain ourselves. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to act in spite of that fear. Courage is also possible without the assurance that everything is going to be all right. Real decisiveness, or agency, doesn't really care whether everything is going to be all right or not. We have to do what is the right thing to do now, no matter how it turns out.

But nevertheless, the intuition that hit me last week, the feeling bordering on knowing, was unmistakable:

Everything is going to be all right.

And I wanted to share this intuition with you all, because in all likelihood you too have to deal with despondency or despair at times. Good news seems rare these days. Sometimes it seems like everything is going to hell faster and faster - that's what a phase transition often looks like from the outside. But that's not what this strong intuitive feeling informed me.

Of course, I cannot guarantee that my intuition will actually manifest, and that everything will actually work out.

But I offer it to you, my intuition, for what it's worth. To me, it all felt remarkably powerful and convincing. And if we can choose what we believe, why not believe that which gives us strength, hope and courage? Provided we roll up our sleeves.

God knows where this intuition came from. And I leave it to you to determine whether there was a pun in this previous sentence - possibly even a double pun, one hiding another. 

Intuition is a strange phenomenon, and while there are, of course, plenty of people to be found who argue that intuition is just nothing, an illusion, something that deceives us more than anything else, there are also those who argue that intuition is something we'd better pay much more attention to. 

I will talk more about that too, and as early as next week even in my planned follow-up to last week's musing, about what can happen when you see Earth from the outside. It is not given to many, but those who have truly seen Earth from the outside have often been changed for life by that experience. As I said at the start of this musing, being at an altitude, with an overview of things, can bring powerful insights and intuitions, and few places have more overview than space. 

One of the people who had this view of Earth from far away was Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell, and after his journey into space het did something extraordinary. 

But for now I'll say it once more: Everything is going to be all right.

Provided we go for it, of course, and provided everyone rolls up their sleeves.

And provided we also start to see clearly what "good" means: not the continuation of our current system by other means, but the complete transformation of the system into something that will barely resemble it. Like a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly, one of the best-known examples of a dramatic phase transition. But more on that another time. And another time more about the first part of last week's experience, because that was also special, as was the place where these experiences came to me.

So far for this episode, thanks for reading,

All the best to you,


View of Earth from Apollo 16, April 16, 1972


1 comentário

07 de mai.

As the old saying goes, the darkest night is just before the dawn.. It's pretty dark out there right now, but my sleeves are rolled up too and, yes, everything is going to be all right..

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