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The Power Of Yin: The Gift Is Given

Dec 8, 2007
From Chapter III of The Power of Yin:

Barbara: I would like to ask you, Jean, whether you have specific images of the future. Don't use the word future if it is too linear.

Jean: I don't even have to talk about my own images; I can talk about what is emerging. We don't allow prophesy in our culture, so it goes underground and comes up as science fiction. In the 1880s and '90s, the mode of science fiction was hardware science fiction: the ship to the moon, the ship under the sea, the laser. In the 1920s and '30s, this becomes manifest. In the '30s and '40s, the cutting edge of science fiction is sociological science fiction: Brave New World, 1984.

And we're well on our way to that. In the 1960s and '70s, two dominant forms have been emerging: psychological science fiction and ecological science fiction. Consider Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, or the books of Carlos Castaneda, or 2001. Wonderful science fiction! And they're all about mutations or new ways of being.

Look at the characters of Castaneda -- Don Juan -- and Heinlein - Michael Valentine Smith from Stranger in a Strange Land. You find that they make use of different sense perceptions - synesthesias. They hear color; they see sound; they touch taste; they taste God; they smell time. They can look in the aroma of a desert flower and perceive galaxies billions of light years away. They have enormous freedom in time and space. They can experience five minutes as ten hours and thus review material that would normally take ten hours in five minutes. Their relationship to machines . . . all of these mythogems take place in modern times, but their relationship to machines is very different.

When Don Juan or Michael Valentine Smith are around, machines go haywire, break up, disappear. It's as if they're making use of a different symbiotic ecology to get things done.

I know, from the point of view of what I know about the instrumentation and the fraction that we're using, that a lot of these so-called third-world modes of doing things -- be it medicine, be it transportation, be it modes of communication -- are resonant in us. But we are so tuned to ourselves as prosthetic extensions that we have lost this enormous amount of knowledge. Anything that you read in Castaneda or in Heinlein we can demonstrate for you in the laboratory. Including having Ford cars appearing and disappearing in the living room, as occurs in Castaneda. That's a very simple thing to do.

Time: we could give you five minutes of clock time to experience hours and hours in which to rehearse your piano, or golf. Because of the very minute synaptical connections that would have been made in a trance state, with intensive imagery of rehearsal, and subjective time distortion, you would come out at the end of five minutes as if you had had ten hours of practice, and you would be that much better. This is something that musicians have always known. We can do this in the laboratory. The brain can process millions of images in microseconds: images have a different time. It's like falling from a cliff, expecting to die, and in that very brief time reexperiencing your entire life -- in its own time.

And another thing is that the remembering of the future may already be coded into the potential of ourselves.

(Reprinted from The Power of Yin with permission).
About the Author
The Power of Yin by evolutionary economist Hazel Henderson; Human Potential Movement founder Jean Houston; and social innovator Barbara Marx Hubbard, is an empowering invitation to help evolve the human community. Visit The Power of Yin
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