Tag Archives: worldview

TEDxWestHollywood Loves Tiffany Shlain

Ex TEDxWest Hollywood is an artsy, progressive city, and, after six months of my courting, our marriage is sealed. The City Council’s meeting place, in the new, award-winning Library, is being donated for a TEDxWestHollywood daylong event on April 14th, 2013.

Get on the mailing list to be kept informed about Brother, Can You Spare a Paradigm?, subtitled, “Making the Quantum Leap,” that I’m producing. TEDx events typically sell out — we only have 100  places — and we’ll let the list know when tickets go on sale. If you want to join our wonderful team, be in touch. And any potential speakers can look at guidelines on the site.

We’ll be dealing with our worldview, a central issue of our time. What is a worldview? Why does it matter? What is our worldview? Can we influence it? What would the world be like if our worldview changed? What’s happening now that models how things would be in the future we’d like to be in? These will be questions on the TEDxWestHollywood floor. The world needs a better game and we hope to ignite the passion of the attendees and of a worldwide internet audience to move us beyond where we are so violent with one another and so abusive to the planet.

We hope to spark a sense of community and to follow up with other gatherings. There were projects in Los Angeles for transformationally-minded people in the early 80s, but since then it’s been slim pickings. We hope to be playing together again.

Our TEDx event is a good fit with the work of Tiffany Shlain. She’s the founder of the Webby Awards and the daughter of Leonard Shlain, a renowned surgeon who authored books dear to my heart. The Alphabet Versus the Goddess deals with how we got on the track we need to divert from now.

In this groundbreaking book, Leonard Shlain, author of the bestselling Art & Physics, proposes that the process of learning alphabetic literacy rewired the human brain, with profound consequences for culture…It is a paradigm shattering work that will transform your view of history and mind.

We’ve talked about an L.A. showing of her movie, CONNECTED, a tribute to her late dad framed in material about how we are all connected, which is what our TEDx program will deal with. Tiffany either will be live or presented in one of her recorded TED Talks. Perhaps a screening of CONNECTED at an event devoted to her will be the next thing we do.

I haven’t told you what Tiffany is doing with her films, through her Moxie Institute, that could matter a lot to the world.

The team’s latest project, Let it Ripple: Mobile Films for Global Change, employs a new type of filmmaking they pioneered called “Cloud Filmmaking,” which experiments with making films collaboratively with people all over the world, and then providing free customized versions of those films for organizations working to make the world better. Find out more by reading The Cloud Filmmaking Manifesto.We started offering free, customized versions of our films for nonprofits and organizations all over the world. We work with them to craft a custom “call to action,” and we then replace   ours with theirs. They then can use their version of the film to help activate and inspire their base, spread their message, drive fundraising, and support other goals and initiatives. Because the films have been translated into many languages, its potential is limitless. In the first four months, we made 80 of these free versions of the films for organizations, and we now are up to 450. If you work with a nonprofit organization that strives to make the world a better place, we would love to make a version of one of our films for you.

Here’s the third, most recent one:


Tiffany_ShlainI feel inadequate in bringing you the marvel that is Tiffany Shlain. She could be a huge influence on us to get us to think differently. Please follow the links to read up on her and to get your socks knocked off by more of her work.

Here’s Facing the Future, a two-minute film Moxie just put out to encourage us to behave as we would were our worldview based on our oneness rather than on our separation. I can feel the potency of it to create social change!

If sponsorship of our TEDxWestHollywood event is your thing, or if you can send me to people who might donate money (we are allowed to raise $10,000 — and not allowed to make any money ourselves) or in-kind contributions of what we can use or give at our event, please let me know. And send good thoughts my way for TEDx ahead…

Scratching our Heads to Open our Minds

What can kick us over the edge of this reality into the next one? That’s the worldview where greed is supplanted by compassion as the m. o. We’d all feel for the world and strongly identify with being part of the large whole. Think indigenous tribes – something like that. In fact, we’ve made saints out of those rare characters who embody that perspective. What different dialogues would be taking place if that were the track we were on. Our 24/7 news would be bubbling with how we were making the world work.


Occupy Wall Street is adding a huge burst of energy to what has been building up in the widespread dissatisfaction with the status quo. (Look at this heartwarming aspect of it: We are the 1 percent. We stand with the 99 percent.) The 60s were the beginning, where the Ozzie and Harriet world sprung holes. The human potential movement and our quest for self-awareness came next, as we began to get the idea of how we needed to develop ourselves in the new model that we touched via psychedelics. Psychological awareness of what makes us tick led to spiritual explorations with some of those sainted figures who were the gurus we followed en masse. Spiritual awareness sans figures to worship was in the mix, and carried us beyond homage to outer divinities into recognizing our own. So, here we are, stoked for dealing with the steady march of capitalism where rugged individualism has led to dog eat dog exploitation and we’re mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.

The forces of fundamental change are mysterious and elusive, although progressing cyclically along the lines of the Hegelian dialectic of thesis, antithesis and synthesis: a worldview becomes unworkable as things that don’t fit in it emerge, until there is a reordering where the unfitting parts get integrated into a new worldview – and the cycle starts again. Antithesis is well along now, and shoving it over to synthesis is the head scratcher. It could spontaneously occur, like the Berlin wall coming down or the Soviet Union collapsing – somehow it “just happens” when the contradictions to the status quo get too great for the center to hold. Are we at that point? Who knows? But anything we can do to evoke the new crystallization is worthy pursuit.

See the next post.

Good Report on Crop Circles in UFO Magazine

After appearing on 21st Century Radio, with Dr. Bob Hieronimus, material from the show I did was woven into this piece, published in issue #155 of UFO Magazine. I think is just about the best reflection, in print, of what I think about the crop circle phenomenon.

Do Reports on Crop Circles Even Belong in a UFO Magazine?

by Drs. Bob and Zohara Hieronimus

The answer is yes if you acknowledge that UFO readers are curious and open-minded people interested in any true planetary mystery. Although there is no apparent link between the two phenomena, much like the UFOs that are explored in this magazine, crop formations are a true Earth mystery. Many have assumed a UFO connection, especially in the 1980s before crop “circles” grew into elaborate formations. Back then, some people were even calling them landing sites for UFOs.  Now that the geometric and mathematically elaborate patterns consist of more than just circular shapes, many still assume a UFO connection, if only because they appear so darned non-human. Famed Harvard psychiatrist and abduction researcher, Dr. John Mack, became entranced with crop circles shortly before his death in 2004, calling them “the most dramatic and most extraordinary crossover from the other dimension in the history of the human race.”

Mack is one of many fascinating people featured in Suzanne Taylor’s film, What On Earth? Inside the Crop Circle Mystery, produced by Mighty Companions (http://theconversation.org). Taylor, long an appreciator of the phenomenon, engages with many “croppies” — scientists, philosophers, geometers, educators, and artists from all over the world — who gather in England every summer, where the most and the best formations appear.  Like the UFO community, they are pooling their experience and background to come up with theories based on the patterns they have identified. What On Earth? won the EBE award for Best Feature Documentary at the UFO Congress Film Festival, where Patty Greer’s crop circle film, The Wake Up Call, won that award in 2010, and Crop Circles: Quest for Truth, for which Suzanne was Executive Producer, won the Audience Award in 2003.  It’s obvious that the elegant, mysterious beauty of this anomaly has captivated the UFO audience. Taylor says, “Fortuitously, the UFO people think of crop circles as part of their world. I’m very happy to get their award, which, by the way, looks like an Oscar, only it’s an alien with a little camera on his shoulder. He’s very cute.”

On 21st Century Radio, with Dr. Bob Hieronimus, Suzanne Taylor explained that as a long-time student of consciousness and the human potential, she was attracted early on to the crop circle mystery. Back in the 1980s, she “zeroed in on them as a possible transformative agent,” and began producing programs about them in Los Angeles. She made her first trip to England in 1993, and the more she learned the more she was convinced that “the circles present an opportunity for a radical shift of our worldview.” We all worry that Earth is in danger of destruction at the hands of humans, Taylor says. “If we knew we were being visited, we would be one humanity in relation to ‘the other,’ and, as someone in the film says, ‘That could be what saves this civilization.’”

“Look, nothing’s working,” elaborated Taylor on 21st Century Radio. “We can’t make things work because we’ have the wrong idea. We’ve got a system where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, and war is perfectly acceptable. You can’t run a world this way. It doesn’t hold together. It’s a dangerous time and we need a shift in our fundamental worldview about who we are and what we’re doing here. Of course, if we blow up half the world, that would change things. Horrible disasters can change the fundamentals. But, I like to think something peaceful could, too. I mean, by accepting the fact that we’re not alone and the ramifications of that, just think how that would ripple out and  get us to revise our perspectives on who we are and what we’re doing here.”

There has been a recent groundswell of highly credible sources from the government and the military “going public” about UFO experiences, and several countries recently have released their classified UFO files. Average Americans, who never thought twice about the UFO phenomenon beyond it being a joke and a hoax, are experiencing a dawning realization that maybe we are being visited from elsewhere. “Governments, armies, and the church don’t want that out, because it changes the world; it changes humanity,” says Janet Ossebaard, a researcher from the Netherlands who is featured in Taylor’s film.

In the early 1990s, when the crop circles began developing into elaborate, geometric formations, theories shifted from them being landing sites for UFOs or weather phenomena, to the possibility that they are a form of communication. One of the most popular questions for the croppies, reports Taylor, is whether anyone has been able to “crack the code,” as if you could string all the formations together and they would solve a puzzle. While many individual formations are loaded with information expressed in symbols and codes from many disciplines — astronomy, biology, chemistry, and other systems of knowledge — Taylor tells us that the geometers are the ones making the most exciting connections. The circlemakers are delivering “a virtual curriculum in geometry and number,” she says, with the mathematical information encoded in them. Taylor noted that “they started with circular elements only, and then went into triangles, and then squares, and then 5-sided, 6-sided, 7-sided, 8-sided shapes. They just kept adding more facets to the patterns, and the free-form designs that also appear are becoming more and more complex.”

The sophistication of the geometric patterns is one of the hints to determine that any particular formation is not a human-made hoax. However, the hoaxers have gotten better, and now they also create some splendidly complex formations necessitating other tests to rule out human hoaxes. The most definitive tests are done in the laboratory on the crop and soil samples using strict scientific protocols. There are physical changes to the crops and the soil in the mysterious circles that do not appear in formations made by humans flattening the crops with boards, and the results of these experiments have been published in peer-reviewed science journals.

Before samples can be sent to a lab, however, while inside the new formations, croppies are on the lookout for things they can see, like markings or damage made by boards and feet. They are also looking for things they can’t see, like the anomalous phenomena that often occur inside a mysteriously delivered crop formation. Similar to the phenomena reported during close encounters with a UFO and within locations purported to be haunted, inside crop circles investigators will often report that batteries will drain, mobile phones won’t work, and magnetometers and voltage meters go haywire. “But if you step right outside the circle,” says Taylor, “phones will work again. Step back inside the circle, and they won’t. If any of that happens,” she claims, “you can pretty well know you’re in a genuinely mysterious glyph.”

Those practicing the ancient art of dowsing are richly rewarded in the formations. “If a dowser closes his eyes in a formation,” says Taylor, “he can tell you where the pattern changes, and a lot about the construction. One of our dowsers was blindfolded 90 miles away from a formation, and just using his dowsing rods he told the driver where to make turns to get to that crop circle.”

And what are we to make of the predominance of these formations appearing near the ancient, sacred sites that proliferate in southern England (Stonehenge being only the best known)? Crop formations have been recorded in forty other countries, as well, and Taylor says that all over the world they tend to land near sites with spiritual histories, like Indian burial grounds in the United States.  Taylor calls this “picking the bull’s eye spot,” quoting one of the croppies in her film, theorizing that the circlemakers are “calling us back to a time when we were more connected to the earth, when we were more whole beings, when we weren’t split off from the sacred and weren’t worshipping the material.” She believes that the formations are appearing in crops, the basis of our sustenance, as a means of “calling us to something more elemental than the life we are living now.”

As the world moves toward a re-uniting of science and spirit, and our perspective becomes more holistic, it is the hope of Taylor and other optimistic croppies that these incredible formations will pull humanity into conversation focused on what to do in relation to them. It certainly seems that the circles are being made with the intent of being seen and with the purpose of accomplishing something. They even seem to respond to human interest, delivering more formations when and where people gather to study them. As Taylor concludes, on her website, “It could be that the contact established via the circles will create a new beginning for humanity – the start of an era when awe and wonder will supplant the dangerous oppositional behaviors prevalent today.”

See the film trailer and buy the DVD, with the feature film and great bonus material, at http://www.CropCircleMovie.com.

Article prepared by Laura Cortner. Transcription by Mike Donahue.