Marx Hubbard: Nature has been evolving for billions of years using a recurring pattern. When Nature hits a problem that can’t be resolved by doing more of the same—whether that’s evolving consciousness beyond single-celled organisms in the early seas, or evolving beyond other species who hit some kind of limit—it creates something new. The Earth has experienced five mass extinctions before humans arrived on the scene; the last one was the dinosaurs. We’re in the midst of another mass extinction of species now. We got here by the growth—the success—of our own species. We got to this challenge by overgrowing our population, over-exploiting our resources, destroying our environment, but when I graduated from college in 1950, most people had no idea we were causing this problem. In fact, I had a professor tell me that all our problems had been solved. It hadn’t dawned on us that we were destroying our life support system!
I was fifteen in 1945 when we dropped the atomic bombs on Japan, and I remember thinking, “Oh my God, we’ve advanced to the point that can destroy our whole world.” I started to ask a question that has become the defining question of my life: “Why has the human species acquired the power of gods?” We were certainly not good gods at that point. If there was a good potential purpose in us acquiring this power, what was it?
I asked this question of my church—I was Episcopalian at the time. I asked it at my college, Bryn Mawr. There was no course on the future of humanity and where we might be going. I even had the opportunity to ask the newly elected president, Dwight Eisenhower, “What is the meaning of our power that is good?” and he said, “I have no idea.”
I thought, “Well, we better figure it out.” That began my lifelong quest to investigate how humanity might develop its power—the power of science, technology, and communication—for good. We can certainly see the negative use of this power. It’s all around us.
I began to discover that we’re being born as a universal humanity, capable of co-evolving, co-creating, and I think eventually becoming a solar system species and even a galactic species. So, I started to tell the story of what was being born. But people had no idea what I was talking about. I myself graduated from college in 1950 and, like the majority of my female peers, got married and started having maximum children. I had five. However, most people today are not going to be having five children. They might have one or two or none.
There was no mass campaign to convince Western women to have fewer children. We began to value our own freedom, our identity, our creativity. And soon it became clear to many women that we don’t want to be equal to men in a dysfunctional world. This change in our behavior was caused by the evolutionary dangers of our past behavior and the resulting drivers towards our own survival and thrival of our whole species. I think we’re the first generation of humans on this planet that ever became aware of evolution and aware that we could affect it by our own actions. Therefore, we are aware that we are responsible. It’s the first Age of Conscious Evolution – evolution by choice not chance.
The MOON: I know that you’re an optimist, and I thank you for that. But truthfully, do you think that our values have evolved sufficiently that we will choose to use our technological and scientific powers for good? To be compassionate; to create a world that works for everyone; to live within our global means, without dividing the world into widely unequal haves and have-nots? The evidence so far is quite the opposite.
Marx Hubbard: Regarding the word “optimist,” I would like to declare that evolution “optimizes.” By that I mean that it takes absolutely nothing and creates everything. This multi-billion-year trend takes nothing and makes energy, matter, life, and the universe. Nature optimizes—makes something optimal out of something lesser. So I’m not so much optimistic as I understand the nature of Nature. Nature is continually evolving systems to higher consciousness, greater freedom, and more complex order. That’s the intention behind reality. So when Nature hits a crisis like our present one, the intention is the same as it’s always been “evolve or die.” The only distinction is that now we are aware that we can cause our own destruction, so there’s going to be an ever-growing number of people who are choosing to evolve. This is not to say we’re completely perfected beings, but we’re awake to our own hearts’ desire to be compassionate, to have gratitude, to realize our interconnectedness. We who are feeling this way are the members of the emerging species. The ones who are not feeling this way are the old folks; the members of the old species. They may be in so-called power now, but they won’t be in power forever because they’re destroying the system upon which they’re feeding.
I believe it’s humanity’s free choice right now. You might say, “God put freedom in the system.” In some respects, it’s like the birth of every newborn baby. No birth is assured. No matter how much you try to guarantee perfect outcomes, birth is risky; it’s difficult; it’s unpredictable. I don’t think anyone on Earth knows for sure what’s going to happen. But people like me have guidance, intuition, and what I call “the compass of joy.” Go in the direction that brings you joy and creativity and love and sharing and caring. There’s a biological feedback inside you when you’re doing it right.
The MOON: I can tell from the joy in your voice and in your presence that you’ve mastered that.
Marx Hubbard: Well, no I don’t always do it right, but I know I don’t want to stay in separation, or misery, for long. That’s a result of all the teachings and trainings I’ve been through—and that millions of us are going through. There are millions of people undertaking personal and spiritual development trainings now—about relationships, health, spirituality, living in joy and abundance. No one’s making us do that; we’re self-motivated. We’re the new norm. We’re not “ascended Masters”; we’re the natural new norm of our species. I think one reason we get so excited about it is because the stakes are so high. We realize that the question is: Can we manage to prevail for the good of all, or not?
I don’t know what the answer will be, but I think one of the great positive factors is that we now have a global brain.
The MOON: What do you mean, “A global brain?”
Marx Hubbard: Just think of the Internet, Google, and all the social media—Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and so forth—plus six billion cell phones. In the last ten years humanity has grown a nervous system that can connect everybody. The scale of our interconnectedness is totally new in the history of our species.
Our “global brain” hasn’t taken the next step yet, which is becoming a complete, coordinated nervous system. It—like us—is still fragmented. We’re in separate countries, cultures, disciplines, and so on, but among the universal human type there’s a sense of the wholeness, a sense of being part of one planetary body, and of wanting to be connected to people of other cultures and nations. I believe there’s going to come a time when the creators of this global nervous system—the people who created Google, Facebook, and so forth—are going to help us technologically connect those who want to collaborate globally. This synergistic collaboration will replace top-down structures of government. Hierarchical forms of government may still remain, but they won’t have the power they do now. They’ll be like the British monarchy, which still exists; it just has no power. Or the Catholic Church, which still exists; it just doesn’t have its former power. I think governments will continue to have certain functions, but they won’t have the power they do now—because they just can’t manage whole systems.
I think people will start collaborating and co-creating on a massive, global scale. This is a Buckminster Fuller scenario: they’re going to start designing self-organizing and self-governing systems to handle everything from urban design to transportation to healthcare, because governments just can’t do it.
The MOON: Do you consider corporations to be a form of this government-replacing global collaboration? They’ve certainly gone around governments in many important ways.
Marx Hubbard: Corporations control governments. And even when they haven’t, corporations are not the type of synergistic, co-creative systems I’m referring to. Corporations are top-down, hierarchical structures, and they’re based on competition, rather than collaboration. They are structured to maximize profit. It’s the structure often, not only the people.
But even healthy liberal democracies—those that aren’t controlled by corporations—are not adequately equipped to accommodate this new paradigm. Because liberal democracies are designed for opposition; they’re based on win-lose voting. That’s how we’ve attempted to limit the consolidation of power, which I think has been a good thing.
But this type of decision-making is not designed for cooperation, synergy, and co-creation—which is what the world needs. So I believe the systems we need are going to come from outside of government. I think the Internet will enable us to connect small groups so that they are able to function as large groups when they need to. I’m very excited about the idea of small, resonant, core groups joining together to co-create. Because if you want to have social entrepreneurship, or any sort of major initiative, you need a team. You can’t do it alone.
What we’re discovering is that those of us who realize we are able to co-create are responsible for the state of the world as a result. It’s up to us to take the right initiatives.