Living With the Contradictions: A Human Potential Visionary Talks About Our Infinite Potential and How We Also Block Progress
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I like business; I went into business. One of the things I was working on, it used to take quite a bit of time for bad news to get from one country to another. And now suddenly, take for instance 9/11 in this country, when that calamity happened it was immediately known all over the planet, and it caused great, strangely great, concern all over the planet. And all the things that happened with 9/11: the videos of it that kept showing over and over on the news and the reaction of people, even over in Australia. So we had a single negative reaction that affected the entire global population all at once, which is the great power, the tremendous force, that never could have happened before because the news would have taken too long to move from one place to another and would not have carried that force of unanimous action and emotion. There's a great, huge power that emotional energy carries.
CE: Theoretically it could work for positive emotions too.
JCP: Well, of course. It could, but it just is not doing that, and the only ways in which this unanimous energy is ever positive are in ways that influence us, like in our buying habits, or our voting habits, or things like that.
CE: There is this disastrous trend of separation that is reaching its extreme. For anything to turn or change, it has to fulfill its extreme. The current ideology, the cultural story, that we live in has to finish its telling before a new story can be born. Perhaps the intensification of all the trends you have written about for decades that is happening now with technology, perhaps this intensification is kind of the extreme of yang before it gives birth to yin, and from the breakdown that is generated by all the things you write about -- the social breakdown that's generated from the cut-off of nurturing and child hood play, the environmental breakdown that is caused by our technologies of control -- from that breakdown, when things fall apart, then the field is clear for something new to arise. That's what I see happening.
Sometimes I meet people who, by all rights, should have no access to the more developed functions of mind you write about. From their prenatal experience on, they didn't have any of it. They weren't breast-fed, they weren't held, they missed out on all of it, and their lives were therefore a ruin, but then at some point, something magical happened. They had some kind of spiritual experience, some kind of breakthrough. Despite having been bereft of all that nature intended, they have access to these hidden potentialities anyway. What do you make of that? Because really, I meet people like that all the time. What do you make of that kind of miraculous transformation and healing of all that was lost?
JCP: There's no way you can ever account for the movement of the spirit. There is a healing spirit always in movement, and there's no way to account for what can happen in that realm. In fact, I'm just reading about the idiot savant, Kim Peek. He has no left hemisphere at all, only a right hemisphere, no corpus callosum to connect, and as a result he has virtually no physical capacities; he can't tie his shoes, or do any of that. And yet on the other hand, we find he has done a number of extraordinary things that he otherwise could not have done because the very hemisphere that's missing would have gotten in the way of what he's doing. The human being is of a caliber that nothing can really change the basic structure of a species, but I think that we can get it through some rather difficult periods in time. There's no guarantee that we're all, as a great marching unit, just going to waltz right through. When I look back on World War II and the unbelievable horrors that went on, and yet, we had incredible minds and incredible people emerge who did magnificent things against overwhelming odds. I take all that into consideration; a saving remnant is probably always there. We don't make this thing up to begin with; this is our given. Life is given us by an incredible and as yet never really fully named power. There we get into some pretty spiritual aspects. Not religious, but spiritual. The same is true for our capacity as humans, but I don't think as we are turning our forces now that we're doing ourselves any good whatsoever. I feel rough times ahead.