INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS have noted that in its journey around the Galaxy, the solar system enters into different Dreaming tracks, changing tracks approximately every five thousand years. According to them, we are in the transition period to a new track1.
The Maya call these tracks of time Suns, each one lasting a total of 5,125 years. Their long-count calendar states that we are also in the transition period towards the Fifth Sun. Some say it started in December 21st 2012, but this is the date according to the most used correlation between the Mayan Calendar and the Gregorian one, called GMT and the one anthropologists tend to use. However, it is not necessarily the most accurate and surely it is not the only one.2
The Aztecs, also call them Suns. For them, it is the First Sun3, the starting point of a new cycle of five Suns that will last for 25,626 years.
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The Inca priests also consider we are entering into a new cycle, each one lasting for around five thousand years.4 as the year of completion of the change towards this new era.
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For the Hopi, it is the end of the Fourth World and the beginning of the Fifth for a total of Six Creations. They say the previous world was destroyed by water around 12,500 years ago, when the previous Ice Age ended abruptly.
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However, it should be noted that none of these prophecies say the world is going to end, or that the planet will be destroyed. Quite the opposite! Those who listen with hope and not with fear and attachment to the past will see that all of these traditions talk about a new period of peace and harmony for all humanity. It is as if—in the consensus dream we call reality― we were standing on the edge of a cliff, with two options:
But in order to collectively start to fly, a sufficient number of us need to understand that «reality» is made out of the same substance as dreams and that, like dreams, we can change it. It is a “consensus reality”, which is the Tibetan term for it.5
According to the oral traditions of the indigenous Australians, the Dreaming track we are about to end has helped us to harness knowledge in the physical aspect of reality, whereas the path laid in front of us will enhance our spiritual growth until collective self-realisation is attained.6
The Inca talk about «the Mastay», or reunion of the people of the four directions. With the Mastay, the Taripay Pacha will start. Taripay Pacha literally means the «age of meeting ourselves again»; that is, the reconnection with our divine nature, leaving materialism behind.7
We find ourselves in a transition period, from one cycle to the next. To flow with the time and the changes that it will bring us demands, first of all, an understanding of the ‘pillars’ that sustained the previous World, Sun, Dreaming track or the Age that is about to finish. Without knowing that which is meant to change and that which remains and will be consolidated, we will lack the lucidity necessary to awake and fly in bliss. Such lucidity is required to attain a collective state of expanded consciousness, called rapture or ascension in many holy scriptures.
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This does not mean that the pillars of the finishing Age will suddenly collapse, creating chaos and pain. Whoever thinks so will be acting from fear and not from love. We might shake and stagger a bit, since during the preceding five centuries, and especially in the last fifty years, we have expanded too fast—remember that in nature when something grows too quickly, it also becomes weaker and unstable. Nevertheless, the world will not fall apart, neither the sky will fall down upon us. As time passes, these pillars will become less relevant, until 2,000 years in the future when they will be completely transcended. We are meant to leave them behind, just as we have before, so that they can be rediscovered again at the beginning of the next dark age or Kali Yuga, expected in around 20,000 years in the future.
AFTER READING THIS introduction, which would you say are the pillars that hold up our current civilisation, the one that is about to end? Please think about this for a moment before continuing to read…
Can you guess them know?
The first is obviously money. The oldest expression of money is the shekel, from the Hebrew shaqal “he weighed”. It was a unit of weight initially measuring barley, employed in old Mesopotamia or present-day Iraq. It started to be used by the ancestors of the Jewish people at around 3000 B. C. Since it first appeared―five thousand years ago―money has definitely played a major role in our society. It has served to unite, but even more to divide.
Can you guess the second pillar? Think again of the coin, while it rolls towards you, making its typical sound, changing its pitch as it comes closer. It is not music, which has always existed. It is the wheel. The first archaeological remains showing the use of a wheel were found in the Sumerian civilisation, also in Mesopotamia, around the year 3500 B. C. They were spinning wheels for the manufacturing of pottery.
What about the third? Again, remember the coin. There is a face engraved on it. Whose face is it? There is a year, in Roman or Arabic numerals. What year is it? And the value, on the reverse. What value? You probably have already figured out that the third pillar is writing.
Some say that writing appeared around the year 3000 B. C. in old Mesopotamia as well. I rather think it reappeared first in the so called Harappan civilisation, in what is now Pakistan, a culture much older than it is generally understood to be.8 For example, old Indian legends tell us that the sage Vyasa climbed the high mountains of the Himalayas shortly after Krishna’s death in 3012 BCE to compile the Vedas (sacred scriptures of Hinduism) and to write the Mahabharata, an epic which includes the Bhagavad-Gita. Vyasa knew that with Krishna’s death the Kali Yuga―the dark period of materialism―was about to start. The only way to preserve knowledge was by writing it down, since during such an iron age, there would be not enough wise ones to transmit it orally. The cave where this presumably happened is visited daily by thousands of pilgrims. It is located in the town of Mana, three kilometres from Badrinath, one of the four sanctuaries of the Ganges river.
THE THREE PILLARS reached landmarks five hundred years ago that triggered their gradual process of acceleration. This happened while Christopher Columbus was arriving to America. At that same time:
Gutenberg invented the printing press (1439), which started the Printing Revolution. Sixty years later, at around 1500, there were more than twenty million published books. By 1600, the number was close to two hundred million. This steppingstone accelerated the use of writing as a mean of communication.
Concerning money, in 1494 Luca Pacioli published the first book with a scientific base on the art of accounting. It explained in detail the double-entry, an accounting system used by the Venetian merchants. With the publication of this book, and thanks to the printing press, such practices spread all around Europe. This made possible the birth of the banking system as we know it today. If we add to this the sudden influx of gold and silver coming from the Americas, the international financial system was born. If we add the division of capital into shares, the incorporation of companies, and their limited liability, capitalism is born.
In relation to the wheel, towards the end of the 1400s9, the spring-driven clock was invented. It was a purely mechanical device that somehow seemed to be alive. With the spring-driven clock it wasn’t long before a Descartes developed a vision of reality, that was based on a mechanical paradigm. This new paradigm stated that everything could be explained in the same way one understands the mechanism of a machine. As we know, machines can be taken apart so that once the functioning of its parts is understood—of all its cogs (wheels)—the totality can be also understood. However, this mechanistic view is quite limited, and nature goes deeper than this. In the ensuing years since the introduction of the Cartesian paradigm, we have come to realise that the whole can never be fully explained by the simple addition of its parts and this is why we are moving now towards a new paradigm that takes into account this new understanding.
The European Renaissance would have been impossible without the Gutenberg printing press, the Cartesian vision of reality brought by the spring-driven clock and money from the patronage from families like the Medici, whose banking businesses were thriving thanks to the double-entry accounting system and all the gold brought from the Americas. Two thirds of Europe seemed to start a new day, after what they call the long night of the Middle Ages. At the same time, a long night of five hundred years was falling upon the indigenous people of America and upon the one third of Europe that saw its Golden age in the period going from the 10th to the 15th centuries (e.g. My native country, Catalonia, and what is now the South of France).
THEN, AT THE end of the 1960s, the three pillars began to integrate, accelerating the change and also increasing the complexity and vulnerability of the system. From the fusion of the wheel and writing, information technology was born, with its hardware (wheels) and software (writing). Then money and information technology combined, resulting in electronic money or e-money, which moves swiftly throughout the international markets of debt, shares, foreign exchange and commodities.
An steppingstone in this integration process took place August 15th 1971, when US president Richard Nixon abandoned gold parity, in what has been called the Nixon Shock.10 By ending the gold parity, money was no longer backed up by gold, but by another asset: debt. The new asset that replaced gold was immaterial and therefore did not have to be stored. Furthermore, it could be created out of thin air, as far as someone was willing to assume this debt, meaning that it was not subject to scarcity. Debt was an intangible asset on the balance sheets of financial institutions.11 By then, accounting transactions, as explained by Luca Pacioli five centuries before, were no longer written in the books that Gutenberg made so popular. They were stored in computers. Money became intangible, fictitious, something called FIAT that has value for as long as value is ascribed to it.
By the same time, the first personal computer was invented (beginning of the 1970s), making information technology accessible to everyone. It was a milestone of writing. Shortly before, humankind had landed on the moon12 (1969), a milestone of the wheel.
Since then, the amount of money has been growing exponentially and the same has happened with:
and a long list of etceteras follow these.
THIS EXPONENTIAL GROWTH of everything since August 1971 tries to neutralise the original increase in the money supply (called M3). Nevertheless, for the banking system to continue creating money out of debt, two conditions are required:
The result is a culture of growth and the accompanying waste necessary to promote growth. To attain growth, four strategies have been followed:
These four strategies have been behind most of the economic growth since the early 1970s. They are also responsible for current environmental and human crises, and the crisis in values being experienced worldwide.
Such a scheme has only one possible consequence: the eventual loss of the value of money. Money will end up losing its value because although it is possible to keep on adding zeroes to a balance sheet, that is, to increase debt indefinitely, the goods and services to be exchanged with such money cannot grow forever. Therefore, when the economy stops growing, or when more money is created than the amount that can be safely absorbed by the economy, money will start losing its value. This is already happening.14
On the other hand, to keep all the wheels rolling, the current economic system is mostly relying on fossil fuels, a source of non-renewable energy. First it was coal, then oil, and in the future some argue it will be natural gas, obtained from pouring 500 contaminants into the subsoil, thus forcing the Earth to spit it out in a process known as fracking. But the three fossil-based will someday come to an end, and if there are no renewable alternatives, all these spinning wheels will stop.
Stopping the wheels means less production and further inflation of prices. Based on all this, the hyperinflation that Germany experienced after the First World War is a certain future for most, if not all, of the world currencies.
On the side of writing, most of the information is now recorded electromagnetically, for example, in the hard-drive of a personal computer or a server located thousands of kilometres away. Such information is very vulnerable to solar disturbances, or any other electromagnetic phenomena of a magnitude similar to the solar storm of 1859.
THE SWAYING OF the three pillars does not mean they will disappear, rather, they will transform themselves into something else, losing preponderance until they are fully transcended.15 It is a swaying meant to trigger the replacement of the current model by a new one. During this period of transition, the more dependant we are on the pillars of the old model (i.e. wheel, writing and money) the more vulnerable we will be to their eventual collapse. Shedding such dependency is the first condition to make us more resilient and better prepared for what the future holds for us as a united humanity.
For a smooth transition from the old into the new we must integrate into our current model elements from social systems that thrived without the need of any of these three pillars. The social models applied by the indigenous cultures of this planet are obviously the first ones that come to the mind. Traditional cultures used none of these pillars. Some may say they never discovered them, that they remained in the Neolithic Revolution. Others might argue that they didn’t even make it that far, that they continued as hunters and gatherers in some sort of cavemen society. I prefer to think that in their wisdom, they saw how the three pillars were going to alienate us from Nature, causing serious problems that needed to be avoided.
You might wonder, how were they going to alienate us from Nature?
The wheel by its promise to do the work for us, increasing our leisure time at best, or subjugating us to the machines at worst. Since Ancient Greece, work has been seen in the West as something to be avoided, instead of a source of satisfaction and fulfilment. The machines were expected to do this drudge work for us, but instead they have made work repetitive and degrading for those working 48 hours a week or more on an assembly line or at the wheels of a machine. The wheel has also scratched the land with its long nails, and covered it in tar, so that we could “ride on black ribbons in horseless wagons” as prophesied by the Hopi long ago.16
Money made greed a virtue, sustained by the logic that more possessions would bring us more happiness. Happiness was no longer an inner state of contentment, but an outer state of attainment. Instead of working for the fulfilment of our own potential, we were asked to work for gold first and to pay out our mortgage thereafter. Nowadays, we need money for survival, as it is the dominant mean of exchange in all human interactions. Thus, the leisure-time promised by the wheel, was eaten up by money.
Regarding writing, indigenous people knew that at some point the written word would lead us to interpret reality not as the result of our personal and direct experience, but according to what was read. Then Goddess Technology was born, daughter of the God Market and the Goddess Science. Technology virtualised reality even more, further alienating us from Nature and even from our fellow humans when not applied properly.
I make all these comments not with the purpose of going back to the self-sufficient communities of the Neolithic Age, but to consider the creation of a hybrid between past and present, a more resilient system that is therefore less dependent on the wheel, money and writing. This is how Nature grows and moves forward, unfolding the future from the combination of past and present. We see it in the Fibonacci sequence, where each successive number is obtained from the addition of the two preceding ones. Such a series is: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34… and it tends towards phi17, also known as the golden ratio or divine proportion, as it forms a pattern repeatedly found in Nature. That is why we should take elements of the Age that is about to finish (3000 BCE to 2000 CE) and of the preceding one (8000 BCE to 3000 BCE) to build a social model for the future.
The examples provided by the indigenous people of this planet―those who never applied the three pillars―are all valid when it comes to building small resilient communities. Nevertheless, to this we must add what we have learnt in the last five thousand years. We need to emulate traditional societies by building communities that are woven to the land, as they did. But we also need to bring them together in a more complex fabric, a warp and woof that goes beyond their isolated and autarchic existence—a global and decentralised network of communities able to sustain the billions of people currently living on this planet. What is needed is a matrix that will ‘envelope’ the land to make it more fertile and rich, instead of ‘developing’ it to cover the ground with cement and loot all its wealth.
Luckily, we have two models, both from the so called New World, which show us how it is possible to create a more complex society without the need of the wheel, writing, and money:
The first model comes from North America, and it is the Iroquois Confederation. The structure of such a confederation inspired some of the forefathers of the US Declaration of Independence, such as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. They were inspired specifically by the idea of achieving a Federal Union, with political freedom; the need to listen to the public opinion when making government decisions; and the role of the government to guarantee the well-being, happiness and freedom of all citizens.18 The Iroquois Confederation existed on what is now the Northeast of the United States.
The second model comes from South America, from a civilisation that without the wheel expanded its influence over more than four thousand kilometres of mountains ranges; without writing created a state with more than 16 million subjects, amalgamating more than 14 different cultures; and that without money built a society based on reciprocity (ayni). I am referring to the Andean culture, particularly to the Inca civilisation. From them, we can learn how to organise ourselves not only as a local community (ayllu)―a human group that looks for resilience and a more intimate contact with Nature―but also as a wider fabric that encompasses all the Earth.
THIS ARTICLE WOULD NOT be complete without mentioning which I think are the “Pillars of the New Era” And, as I did in the beginning, I will ask you to discover them yourselves, with the help of the following tips:
According to the law of the cycles, the pillars of a new era begin to germinate during the last five hundred years of the preceding one, precisely when the pillars of the preceding Era start accelerating. Therefore, in the period 3500 BCE to 3000 BCE, when agriculture was losing its preponderance and the climate change forced us to alter our organisational models, the wheel, money, and writing appeared. And as we will see, it is during this last fifty years of an era, when the pillars of that era begging to integrate, that the ones of the new era begin to sprout.
So the pillars of the incoming Era were germinating by the time Magellan and Elcano sailed around the world in 1522. It was the first documented round-the-world trip and it changed the mentality of those who still believed in a flat Earth, finally convincing them that it was spherical. But it also made them realise that the Earth was something real, and not a mere stage where the drama of life unfolded.
Can you guess what the first pillar is? I will give you another clue.
Four-hundred-fifty years latter, on December 7th, 1972, the Apollo 17 mission took the first picture of the Earth from space, an image called «The Blue Marble». With this picture the seed of the first new pillar started sprouting. The vision of our planet from space transformed our perception from that of a dead mass of inert matter to something alive. It was around this time that the ecology movement was born and that James Lovelock published the Gaia Hypothesis. 19 Something that we had forgotten during the darkest times of the era that is about to finish―that our planet is alive―was suddenly remembered.
Can you guess is now? Yes, it is «planetary consciousness», the realisation that we live on a planet that breathes, that feels pain, that loves us and breast-feeds us with her nourishment. She is our mother, the mother of all mothers. It is the realisation that we are but part of a matrix of relationships that interlink us and create interdependence among all the planet’s life-expressions: mineral, vegetables, animals and humans. It is the understanding that it is our duty to preserve this matrix of life, instead of continually destroying it. Only if we do so, planetary consciousness will turn into cosmic consciousness.
The second pillar I propose has already been introduced in the previous paragraph. Can you guess it? It is the net. The seed germinated during the 15th century thanks to the widespread use of the compass, with its magnetic needle, which made transoceanic navigation easier. Discovered by the Chinese and brought to Europe by the Arabs, journeys like the one of Christopher Columbus in 1492 would had been much more difficult without the compass. Transoceanic navigation began to create an interconnected net of harbours, triggering the Age of Exploration.
The seed of the net as a second pillar began to sprout in 1969, when two computers were interconnected for the first time in a network. Once interconnected the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) developed the protocol TCP/IP for mutual communication, thus originating the future Internet.20
This happened in the early 1970s.
As we enter into the new dreaming track, the exchange of knowledge will be carried out more and more in a direct way, with information transmitted without any need to write it down. Firstly, it will be transmitted by electronic means, as multimedia objects over the internet, as it is the case today; but eventually it will become telepathic, as new faculties are awaken and we recover the skills we had in previous cycles.
And the third pillar? Well, we have the planetary consciousness that re-establishes a lost relationship with Mother Earth, and also bringing a more harmonious relationship among fellow human beings. We have the net, as the framework to carry out such harmonious human relationship and exchanges. The third pillar should be a substitute for money, something that tallies human interactions and transactions. The Andean culture, as well as many other traditional cultures of the planet, offer us a solution. The Inca were able to organise an entire civilisation based on this principle. In the Quechuan language, it is called «ayni», which could be translated as «reciprocity»: the practice of exchanging services or things with others for mutual benefit.
The seed of that third pillar began to germinate five centuries ago, when thanks to the transoceanic navigation, contact among different cultures increased. This allowed those that used money (Europe) to interact with others that without money, were able to build a civilisation (Inca), a confederation (Iroquois), or many of the tribal communities that lived in harmony with the environment, among themselves, and with their neighbours. Thomas Moro published the book Utopia in 1516, inspired by the accounts brought by the explorers of the New World. Two and a half centuries later, these accounts inspired the ideologues of the French Revolution, and in the 19th century they inspired utopian socialism. But the West was never able to replicate those models because it always tried to sustain them on the pillars of the wheel, money and writing. This is why the utopia of socialism of the 19th century became the dystopia of communism of the 20th century.
Then, the seed of reciprocity sprouted at the end of the 1960s with the hippie movement. This was a counter-cultural and alternative movement that brought back exchange systems not based on money and the pursuit of profit. I am referring to the local exchange trading systems (LETS), local currencies, time-based currencies, barter and very specially reciprocity, the so-called «today for you, tomorrow for me» system.
Planetary consciousness, the net and reciprocity: I trust them to be the pillars of the future. The sooner they are implemented, the smoother and more peaceful the transition will be.
In contrast with the wheel, writing and money, which are tangible, tend to centralise and build hierarchies, the new pillars do just the opposite: they are abstract, and help us to create non-centralised & non-hierarchical systems.
That money centralises power is obvious, if we consider that it can be accumulated. But it centralises even more, when such accumulation takes place through corporations based on the voting power of capital (each share, one vote) instead of people (each stakeholder, one vote). And it even centralises more when that capital can own and rule over other capital, creating holdings of companies.21 and the first 50 almost 40% [of what?].]
As it happens with the law of gravity, it gets to a point where «the attraction between two bodies is directly proportional to the product of their mass». This is how the hoarding of the few create the scarcity of the many, with 1 percent of the population already holding half the world wealth.
The wheel also centralises. A clear example is the difference between alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC). The alternating current is generated by the rotation of a turbine, a wheel. Because it cannot be stored (in batteries) but it can be transformed, AC is an electrical current that favours centralised generation, employing large thermal, nuclear, hydroelectric or wind generators. The electricity, once generated is then transmitted through a power grid, thousand of kilometres away, from the generation point to the point of consumption. On the contrary, direct current (DC) cannot be transformed, making it difficult to distribute at long distances, but it can be stored. It is not electricity generated by the rotation of a turbine (wheel), but by other means such as exposing a photoelectric cell to the sun radiation. Its generation is not centralised; on the contrary, everybody can have their own solar panels on their roofs and obtain their own electricity. In this way, it promotes self-sufficiency, resilience and it makes people fully conscious of the environmental cost of the energy consumed.
Finally, the way writing centralises power is through bureaucracy.
In contrast with these three pillars of centralisation and hierarchical control, the new pillars help us to create non-centralised & non-hierarchical models that vibrate in resonance with the Age of Aquarius. Aquarius is the only sign in the zodiac represented by a human being instead of an animal being. Its symbol are the waves produced on the water, to symbolise a new paradigm, one which is not mechanistic but based on vibration.
It is said that there are two types of people: those who dream and those who are dreamt. When a sufficient number of us stop being dreamt, and come to realise that life is just a dream, a consensus dream that can be altered, then we will be able to change it and start flying in the collective bliss of building a better future, a new sun, a Golden Age and a more pleasant dream, instead of falling down the cliff into the abyss of a long nightmare.
Since the process of integration of the three pillars started in the early 70s, with August 15th 1971 as a key date, moment during which the gold standard was abandoned and the current debt bubble started. And considering that I estimate the last phase of an Era to last 52 years, which corresponds to a cycle called “New Fire” (Fuego Nuevo) by the Aztecs. I predict that the real transition into that new Era is going to be the year 2023, moment during which we will see many of the old pillars collapse and the new ones emerge. However, this is not a process to be completed in just year but it can easily take around five centuries.
2012, Marc Torra for www.mastay.info
Translated from Spanish by the author with assistance from Catalina Filip.
Then edited by Kiersten Johnson