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Interview with Barbara Marx Hubbard
Educator, Futurist, and bestselling author of
Conscious Evolution

Barbara Marx Hubbard is a noted author, public speaker, futurist and former Vice Presidential candidate. She is president of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution. In the 1980s she presented a 14-part television series, Potentials, interviewing some of our greatest futurists, including Buckminster Fuller, Norman Cousins, Gene Roddenberry and Willis Harman. She lived in Marin County for many years, and currently resides in Santa Barbara, California.

Interview by Dennis Hughes, Share Guide Publisher

Barbara Marx Hubbard photo

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Share Guide: May I ask first off, about your organization, and what's going on there in Santa Barbara with the Foundation for Conscious Evolution?
Barbara Marx Hubbard: The Foundation for Conscious Evolution has as it's purpose to bring a new world view, called 'Conscious Evolution,' into the global culture. Because we believe that it holds within it the most hopeful guidelines for a positive future of any world view now available. By Conscious Evolution we really mean that humans have gained the power of co-destruction and co-creation. By learning that we are actually responsible in some growing way for guiding the evolutionary process on this planet, means we have to learn a whole new set of skills, spiritually, socially and technologically. So we're bringing the new world view of Conscious Evolution into the global culture. The work we're doing in Santa Barbara, is very exciting and new. It started in October 1998, when I was doing a speech in Santa Barbara. After I did my talk on Conscious Evolution, I asked a question: "What would happen if this community were to experience it's own potential for Conscious Evolution?" Now I had never asked that question before. I said, "Would anybody here be interested?" And about 180 people put their names in a box. So then a group formed to bring me to Santa Barbara to do some kind of introductory teaching, which I did. And I said, "There are some things I think we need to know, to realize our full potential. First, we need to know our new story of creation, which is "cosmogenesis." The universe is, has been, is now evolving through us. And in that process of evolution, it has led to higher consciousness and greater freedom through more complex order. So we're placing ourselves as humans in the process of cosmogenesis. Also, we need to know that we--wherever we are in our personal lives, whether we're depressed or full of motivation--that the universe is in us, moving us. And it's my theory that there's a whole crop of people evolving into what might be called a "universal human."

Share Guide: Is this what you refer to in your book as "Cultural Creatives?"
Barbara Marx Hubbard: It's more than that. It includes that, but it's deeper than that. Cultural Creatives are people changing their values towards a more planetary and global culture, and this is certainly part of it. But I'm seeing something deeper. I believe that there's an emerging species in humanity that has been pre-figured by the great avatars, Jesus, Buddha, and so forth. But that is becoming a new norm, as we expand in consciousness, expand in empathy, expand in connectedness, expand in creativity. I believe that we are, in a way, a transitional species, between the self-conscious homo sapiens, and what might eventually become a truly universal species. And by that I mean spiritually and physically. Because we're going to be moving outward; we are already working and living in space. By the third millennium, we'll be a solar system species, if we don't blow ourselves up. By the fourth millennium, we may well be galactic.

Share Guide: So the Cultural Creatives are a step along the way?
Barbara Marx Hubbard: Exactly. But there's something of a deeper nature happening among the Cultural Creatives, and others, which I call "Emergence." I don't know if you've felt this yourself, Dennis, but it feels almost like a shift of identity, from the separated self-centered stage to a more unified stage. And in that shift of identity, there's a maturation of our consciousness, and our creative responsibility, that I think is the harbinger of what we may be 2,000 from now. We've had homo habilus, homo erectus, homo neanderthal, homo sapiens…I think we're becoming homo universalis, a universal humanity.

If you add the capacity for unitive consciousness for self-healing, and even eventually regeneration, and the capacity for the information revolution, and the global brain, and the capacity to live and work in space, and so on, you begin to see radical new powers. I'm taking it spiritually, socially and technologically, putting it all together, and saying this is a quantum jump. We humans, who are living through this period of transition on the planet, are potentially an emerging new species.We need to know our own story of creation, and that we're part of it. And we need to know that we're an "emergent human," and that our growth potential literally has no limit. Part of this is that we need to learn co-creative relationships, and how to find our deep life purpose. The concept of finding vocation is part of the emergent species. Women are shifting from maximum procreation to co-creation, to an expansion of creativity. As we move into that kind of action, we seek to model the changes we'd like to see in the world by the way we create. So we don't just create more bureaucracies, and more competition and more violence. We want to go out and create what I call "Resonant Cores--connecting to the heart with one another. And then the last thing is, we need to develop processes for social synergy and co-creation. In Santa Barbara, we're learning all of this, and we're aiming at a community-wide synergistic event, with a local "Peace Room." The Peace Room is an idea I used when I was running for vice-president. Basically, it's a new social function that scans or maps and communicates what's emergent, what's working, what's innovative, what's already transforming the world.

Share Guide: Is there such a Peace Room now? And is it supposed to be the opposite of the war room?
Barbara Marx Hubbard: No, there isn't one yet. But it is the opposite of the war room. We're designing it now in Santa Barbara, which has self-selected to be a prototype community, to see how this actually works. I've been carrying these ideas for many years, but what I realized, this last October when the community responded, is that it takes whole communities to ground the idea of this new world view. It's not just self-help. It's not just social action, it's a whole system transition. So, that's what we're doing here. Let's just say I have a vocation now to bring this into the world. But I have to develop a team. I can't do it alone. And as I develop a team, the way we relate to each other, the way we do the work that we're called to do, we want to have that way model the change. In other words, it's the famous saying, "Be the change you'd like to see." And we don't mean just personally. First of all, in small groups, and eventually in communities. If the community can be the change it wants to see, that's the most effective thing it can do.

Share Guide: Right, sort of the town meeting hall. The village center, which is lacking in suburbia frankly.
Barbara Marx Hubbard: Totally lacking. I call these synergistic events, which are like town meetings in the round. Instead of having people voting on issues, we have people in circles by function, health, education, government, science, the arts, media, culture, saying what they want to create, and then matching needs and resources with each other to co-create at a community level. We are designing that type of event along with a peace room, which would be a way for people to track and map what's actually working. I think my most important insight, that moved me from San Rafael to Santa Barbara, was that it takes a community to consciously evolve.

Share Guide: To take it beyond your own household.
Barbara Marx Hubbard: Yes. And a community is the appropriate size... You know, like Hillary Clinton said, "It takes a village to raise a child." It takes a community to bring forth the creative potential of it's people. And the way nature has worked for billions of years, is through separate parts joining together, to form a greater whole, through synergy. Synergy doesn't mean that everybody has to become the same, or do the same thing. It means everybody gets to do more of what they are uniquely creative in, by interacting with other people doing the same.

This is my hypothesis. I tested it out during the 70s, in the inner city of Los Angeles, and in the nation of Jamaica on the beaches, with people who didn't know how to read. Also in sophisticated places, like Washington D.C. When you create an environment that facilitates synergy and co-creation, it's totally natural, because people need each other to create. And we ask people three simple questions, in every sector of the wheel. "What is your current passion to create? Where is the juice for you?" Number two, "What's blocking you?" And, number three, "What resources do you have to share?" And when they respond to those three questions, even at a table of ten, there will be people who have something, a resource to match the need. Then the different sectors join together, and present this to an assembly of the whole. Let's say the health group says, "You know, here's what we want to create. Here's our needs, here's our resources." Another sector will say, "We have a resource to meet that need." And before you know it, the whole thing is synergizing. It's very exciting.

Share Guide: I would like to know ways that people can take action in our local area, county by county. Any tips or thoughts on how we can do some of these things you're suggesting in our area would be good.
Barbara Marx Hubbard: We have a website, it's www.evolve.org. We'd like to have people check into that, because it's the beginning of the Peace Room. We ask people to put their projects into the peace room and then, as we develop that further, we will have instructions and guidance...how we're doing it, so that others can learn from us, and we can learn from them.

Share Guide: One thing that I've told my friends who were not entrepreneurs over the years, is when you've got a job, you're walking a course that's already laid out for you. In our case, we're kind of dreaming it up, as we go. So I understand you're in the creative mode, even while you're in the action mode.
Barbara Marx Hubbard: We're discovering as we go, because we've attracted about 150 people to form a kind of team, who will be practicing the resonant cores, and studying conscious evolution. And then, moving out into the community to find the growing edge in every field, and bring people into synergistic events. So we're going to connect that which is emergent. Connect that which is innovative. And it's through the increased interaction of that which is already emergent, that you take the leap. This doesn't mean just a well known artist, and leaders&endash;it also means kids and older people, wherever they're at their creative edge. We want this to be very much grass-roots. Very open, with a wonderful diversity and mixture.

Share Guide: It sounds like a good way of going about getting people to do more than dream about it.
Barbara Marx Hubbard: It does. Everybody gets to do more of what their passion is. That's why it works so well.

Share Guide: Are you familiar with something called, Green Plans, and Green Planning?
Barbara Marx Hubbard: No.

Share Guide: It's basically something that's grown out of the Rio Summit, in the early 1990's. It's being adopted county by county, and state by state in our nation. But the leaders in the world are the Netherlands, and New Zealand, who've basically re-organized their government to deal with their environmental problems. It's the most inspiring thing I've seen. I will get some information to you, because the Netherlands is very polluted and over-crowded. So, they're creating the future model. They've had to take the bull by the horns, and create a nationwide 25 year clean-up plan.
Barbara Marx Hubbard: Oh, I see, that's great.

Share Guide: Yes, and I want you to know that the July/August 1999 issue of Share Guide had an article by Marianne Williamson in it, and I know she and Neale Donald Walsch have an organization, American Renaissance Alliance. We're learning about more people who are not only writing books, and giving presentations, but creating websites and different ideas and ways of working together.
Barbara Marx Hubbard: Right. Well, I'm a member of that Global Renaissance Alliance board. And I think what Marianne is doing so valuable, because she wants it to be an alliance. It's not just one person's work. And if I could put my finger on two things that I think are most needed in our movement, one is greater synergy among that which is already being created. And number two is more continuous outreach into the larger media. I would like it if we would become the news. There is a real disaster area, called the "news." The headlines in the newspapers... If you didn't know that anything was emerging on this planet, you would think we're going to hell, and we're already there.

Share Guide: Well, of course, that's a visualization that some people have, and they sell papers with it.
Barbara Marx Hubbard: To some degree, there is hell going on, on this planet. But you know, I had a wonderful phrase occurred to me, and it sounds outrageous, but I'll tell you the phrase. "But it's springtime on the planet." What I mean by that, if you know how everything looks, let's say in February, or early March, you have nothing but dying things, and dead things. But right under it are shoots of green, but you can't quite see them. Then a couple of weeks later, the lawn is green, and the crocuses are out, and the daffodils are out. I think under the surface of the dying cultures, where we have the vast military build up, and the ethnic cleanings, and the inequities which are horrible&endash;everywhere there are green shoots of new ways of doing this, that are cooperative and loving. But they haven't shown up yet. So it's springtime on the planet, very early springtime.

Share Guide: Well, your 44 million cultural creatives, that's a big number.
Barbara Marx Hubbard: It's a very big number, and that's just the beginning of it. If you looked all around the world, and you looked at all that's emerging, that's created, and loving, and leading to a more positive future, you'd find there's already an emerging culture. So, I think that the idea of the Peace Room, which is to scan for those initiatives, to map them, to connect them, and to communicate them, via all the media is the missing social function. The Peace Room is just a phrase I use to contrast the sophistication of the war room. Because the vision of the peace room really is as sophisticated as the war room. And, if you can imagine Dennis, people really scouting out in every field and function, what's working, and putting that into both the internet, and into smaller social gatherings, where people connect, you begin to see how to accelerate what's already happening.

Share Guide: Yes, to help the snowball grow.
Barbara Marx Hubbard: The two things I think are missing are the linkages among that which is already emerging, and the consistent communication of it, not just as an isolated bit of good news, but as an emergent humanity. It has to have the dynamism of the emergence, of what has been longed for by the human species, which is it's own ability to connect with itself, with nature, and with spirit. And there are millions of people who are doing that now. I call these people a "new norm." We're not extraordinary spiritual geniuses. We are a whole crop of normal humans who are exhibiting some new characteristics.

Share Guide: Exactly. I was sort of a bored Catholic as a child, and then I wound up in the humanistic psychology department at Sonoma State University. Then I got turned on to Ram Dass, and seeing East and West, after living in ashrams, and recognizing I'm an American, I'm going to live here. I discovered the natural foods movement was really a pretty big movement, even though in the early 1970's it was just taking off. When I went to my first trade show, as a little local distributor, I saw that there were quite a few people like me, around the nation. It was really inspiring to find that I was part of a movement.
Barbara Marx Hubbard: Yes, exactly.

Share Guide: And now, decades later, this is all bigger. Now we have the internet as an opportunity to link us up faster. After a decade in natural foods work, I got tired of flying around the nation doing trade shows. I decided to do this journalism thing. I was also disgusted with how the mundane news was so negetive. You know, it wasn't even 50% good news and 50% bad news. I was thinking that if they could at least show some good things that were happening, and some possibilities it would be good. Well, kind of out of frustration, Share Guide started.
Barbara Marx Hubbard: See, it's so valuable what you're doing, really. All the smaller journals, and smaller radio stations and all, it's the building of that.

Share Guide: Right. Well by now, on our website, we're linked with over 200 holistic sites, that are either regional like us, or some of the big ones, like New Age Journal. Some are in other nations. One of my big goals now, and it'll be helping to spread the word about you too, is to get this information that I've been gathering out to the other positive media. Beause, many of them, like mine, are much more of a guide, a new age yellow pages, than really informative in-depth articles and interviews. So, I'm going to take this network and figure out to get this word out further through the network. The reason I wanted to interview you, more than anything, was this business of the social potential movement. In college, it was called human potential movement. It was just the phrase, and it just feels like your phrase is the next one.
Barbara Marx Hubbard: I believe so. The reason we're having the social potential movement is because there was so much of a human potential movement. It moved us out from where we've been. All the values, and the personal growth. And, now those values are being taken, and applied, and social transformation is happening.

Share Guide: Sometimes you see all the problems happening in the world, and you just feel like sticking your head in a hole, and going to work, and watching TV, and leaving it at that, you know. But there are so many sprouts coming up, that people need to be re-inspired.
Barbara Marx Hubbard: Well, that spring time on the planet, early springtime, is a really nice image. Think of all those little green shoots coming up out of the dying embers of the past.

Share Guide: You see people everyday who are completely asleep. But you see others who have an inkling, and would like to know more, and make a change. Those are the transitional people.
Barbara Marx Hubbard: That's right. I have a metaphor for this, that we're undergoing a planetary birth. It took 15 billion years to get a planetary system that became aware of itself as a whole, that realized it had to stop over populating. That realized that women had to shift from maximum procreation to co-creation, which means finding life's purpose in meaningful creativity. Which relieves the men from having to take care of the huge families. Which starts the realization that we have to manage a whole planetary system. You know, we have to coordinate food, we have to understand to switch to renewable resources. We never had to do any of that before.

Share Guide: This is really a new paradigm.
Barbara Marx Hubbard: Because of the crisis of birth. The species has got the evolutionary driver forcing us to learn how to co-evolve with nature or die. Now if we learn it, it means we're going to be universal. Because we will restore this earth, and we will bring the human environment into space. And we will, finally, probably, travel to the billions of galaxies.

Share Guide: Non-polluting energy sources are known already. We're just, you know, holding the patents down by the companies that are making the money.
Barbara Marx Hubbard: We obviously have to shift the economic system. How do we create a planetary economic system that's just and sustainable, and allows for the new creativity at the same time? That's a very great challenge, we know that.

Share Guide: We need to have ethics as part of creating a corporate charter, as well as making money.
Barbara Marx Hubbard: Well, I think eventually people will experience that community, and creativity, and reciprocity will supplant competition and commercialism. The reason for that is, ultimately it doesn't satisfy the human heart. Ultimately commercialized, individual, alienated society does not satisfy. People who've been through the materialistic phase of western culture, are already seeking something new.

Share Guide: That's right, we're beyond just wanting that.
Barbara Marx Hubbard: Like, in China, you can't tell the Chinese, "Well, you shouldn't have a washing machine." Because, they want washing machines. But people who've had washing machines and cars...We may not want to give up our washing machines, but we know that more washing machines will not make a difference. We know that more cars will not make a difference. The most innovative people on earth are those that already have enough, and are moving into a new phase of social transformation, personal transformational, co-creation. I think that's the growing edge of evolution, wherever it's happening.

Share Guide: One key point about this Green Planning I mentioned, is that when people decide to pollute less, they ultimately find they're saving resources. And that they're more profitable. So it helps for the economy. Plus, the countries who are learning to clean up first, they're now on the cutting edge of technology. Other countries want to buy their technology.
Barbara Marx Hubbard: Wonderful.

For more information about Barbara Marx Hubbard and the Center for Conscious Evolution, please visit


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