Some things have been going on in my life you should know. One in particular: Barbara, my wife of decades, and I are now separated. The details aren’t important here; suffice it to say that no third parties are involved and most of our problems derive pretty directly from my obsession with the Vision/Mission–although my strong personality’s in there, too.
During the past few months I’ve come to recognize that it’s not only her I’ve been driving away. Many of those who love me most continue to socialize now more because of the love than any joy they gain by my company. That’s not a basis upon which one can maintain relationships, let alone build a movement one hopes will save Gaia. I’ve got to lighten up!
Strangely, I’m reminded of an aspect of Trumpeting I rarely discuss. That’s a unique form of meditating I was inspired to perform first in 1988 (for the whole story, see The Call). I’ve known it was precious since receiving the gift, yet how and why has never been clear to me. You may already know I endured fifteen years of Trumpeting silence after losing the ability the night of its discovery. Since regaining the gift in the last few years I’ve indulged myself by continually seeking places where the resonance of the space enhances the sound.
I call my search for locales where the performance transforms into a musical, magical channeling of the Lifeforce “seeking resonance.” It’s an excellent metaphor for that thing which gives me hope in spite of my burden. My Message very often has the effect of draining hope from my listeners, so showing you this metaphor may be critical to preventing my driving you away, too.
Resonance produces a power of its own, far beyond the sound that triggers it, and also enhances the tonality in very mysterious ways. Most importantly, though, resonance has direct parallels in completely non-physical contexts. In particular, in social movements.
I’m talking about everything from a group of individuals trying to get a church established in a new community to the Nazis mobilizing to dominate Europe in 1935 or Russian soldiers laying down their guns and leaving their trenches in World War I. What turns a few cases of desertion into a revolution, or racism and poverty into a war for world dominance, is resonance. It is absolutely the most powerful phenomenon in the human experience.
I’ve found two elements are critically important to finding resonance. The first is the space itself, for reflection of the sound waves is central. In the past thirty years I’ve seen the space in which the environmental debate has been waged undergo huge changes. Never has it had a shape so ready to reflect and magnify meaningful ideas for solutions. But it is definitely also far from lacking in dead spots, the Bush administration and its backers being the most obvious in our hemisphere. So where the debate goes is still undecided.
The second is my being able to perform in a totally uninhibited manner. When I achieve that, the sound itself is a direct result of something more akin to purposeful breathing than any conscious effort to make sound. It can be astoundingly loud, and sometimes brings busy foot traffic to a halt.
More than anything, what I’m trying to do is strike a resonant chord with you, the reader. By emphasizing the dire predictions implicit in the messages of Al Gore and Jared Diamond and Paul Ehrlich and Rachael Carson and thousands of others, I’m reflecting, and I hope, magnifying, their energies. I base that hope on the belief that, by offering an alternative those authors apparently never considered and, hopefully, making that alternative more palatable by both emphasizing the true magnitude of the disaster we’re courting and stressing the unexpected practicality of the alternative, I can propagate and magnify the energies of Carl Sagan, Christopher McKay, Martin Fogg, Robert Zubrin and thousands of others who, despite having profound knowledge, suffer from even less name recognition than even the now deceased Sagan.
This latter group may not have much of a popular following, but theirs is, at its root, a more optimistic view of the future, and environmentalists need to see an option whose potential for success isn’t contradicted by the facts on the ground. The facts on the ground simply don’t support the idea that we are going to save Earth. Any hypothetical, no matter how remotely believable, is better than what we see in the real world every day. Anyone who looks at the state of the world realistically despairs.
Yet resonance makes even the highly hypothetical attainable.
The masses need to join in a chorus to unite those who bemoan the dire future on Earth without believable solutions and those who look only at the stars, believing the future secure. Planetary engineering, if applied to Earth, may buy Gaia considerable time. Mars’ loss of its atmosphere and ambient temperature is an experiment gone bad awaiting analysis to help us anticipate the ways Earth’s present trend toward global warming might go even worse than it already has and thus help avoid or mitigate currently unanticipated disasters here. Studying Venus would seem even more pertinent.
Most importantly, though, developing a livable place apart from planet Earth offers hope in what is otherwise, from my perspective, a totally hopeless situation. The resonant contribution the space experts can provide is the expierence, enthusiasm, and leadership that can make such an undertaking possible.
Your role, dear reader, can be providing the overture that will bring these two disparate groups together. As it stands today, they are not singing in harmony. They see one another as competing for the attention of the masses. Dissonance is what we’re getting from them, not harmony.
You may not buy, or be willing to buy, my tale of the impending end of Gaia. But you need not be willing to “give up on Earth” to see the importance of people realizing that the only possible alternative to really and truly “saving the planet” is building a new, Earthlike, alternative home.
My example ought not go unremarked. My belief in my Message has energized me for twenty-one years. No matter how you perceive the end goal, it’s that kind of dedication this movement must command. The very acceptance that there are really only two options will, for many, elevate the importance of the environmental movement to a point where it might actually be able to accomplish something. The idea would also invigorate a listless space exploration program into a realistic rescue effort.
The point is you don’t have to believe Mars is the solution, as I do, to put into the mix of this rising chorus your own two bits worth. What is paramount here is that you do put in your two bits worth.
The way resonance works is that the vibrating parts reflect energy off one another, exciting each other, making every pixel on the screen of life think it can shine as the sun all by itself; convincing each pixel that it is worth trying. The resulting tumult creates an energy all its own, magnifying the energies of the numerous inputs; radiating the whole like the sun in an odd kind of fulfillment of the otherwise illusory promise. It’s not so important that you sing precisely the same song as I do as it is that you start to sing your own, related, song.
Sing it out.
Therein lies hope.