Sunday, October 23, 2011

Deep Truth

(By Gregg Braden: Excerpt from the Introduction to his new book entitled "Deep Truth")


There is a single question that lurks at the very core of our existence.

It’s the unspoken question lying beneath every choice we’ll ever make. It lives within every challenge that will ever test us, and it’s the foundation for every decision we’ll ever face. If God had a cosmic question “counter” to track the things we humans wonder about most, then I have no doubt that this device would have maxed out and returned to zero so often in registering this one question alone that even God would have lost count of how many times it’s been asked!

The question at the root of all questions—one that has been asked countless times by countless individuals during the estimated 200,000 years or so that we’ve been on Earth—is simply this:

Who are we?

While the question itself appears simple and brief, the way in which we answer it has implications that we simply cannot escape. It tears directly into the heart of each moment of our lives, and forms the lens that defines the way we see ourselves in the world and the choices we make. The meaning we give to these three words permeates the fabric of our society. It shows up in everything we do, from the way we choose the food that nourishes our bodies . . . to how we care for ourselves, our young children, and our aging parents.

Our answer to who we are underlies the core principles of civilization itself: it influences how we share resources such as food, water, medicine, and other necessities of life; when and why we go to war; and what our economy is based upon. What we believe about our past, our origins, our destiny, and our fate even justifies our thinking regarding when we choose to save a human life, and when we choose to end it.

In what may be the greatest irony of our existence, at the dawn of the 21st century, following more than 5,000 years of recorded history, we have still not clearly answered this most basic question about ourselves. And while at any time discovering the truth of our existence would be worth the time, energy, and resources needed to do so, as we currently face the greatest crises affecting life and survival in the memory of our species, it’s especially critical for our time, here, now.

The Clear and Present Danger

One good reason for us to know who we are stands above all others. Maybe it’s no coincidence that today, after three centuries of using the scientific method to answer the most basic question about ourselves, we also find ourselves in deep trouble here on planet Earth. It’s not just any old run-of-the-mill trouble we’re in. It’s the kind of trouble of which dramatic novels and science fiction blockbusters are made.

Just to be absolutely clear: It’s not Earth that’s in trouble. It’s us, the people who live here on Earth. I can say with a high degree of confidence that our planet will still be here 50 years from now, and 500 years from now. No matter what choices we make during that time period—no matter how many wars we wage, and how many political revolutions we begin or how badly we pollute our air and oceans—the world that our ancestors called the “garden” will still be here making the same 365.256-day journey around the sun each year, just as it has for the past 4.55 billion years or so.

The question is not about Earth; it’s about whether or not we will be on Earth to enjoy it. Will we still be here to enjoy the sunsets and sensual mysteries of nature? Will we witness the beauty of the seasons with our families and other loved ones? As I’ll explore in a subsequent chapter, unless something changes soon, the experts are betting against us.

The reason? Because, when it comes to having what it takes for our children and us to live on Earth, we’re dangerously close to making the choices that lead us beyond the “point of no return.” This is the conclusion of an independent study on climate change co-chaired by Britain’s former Secretary of State for Transport Stephen Byers and U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), which was released in 2005. It stated that when it comes to the environment alone, we could reach that tipping point in as little as ten years and lose the fragile web of life that sustains us. But the environment is only one of a host of crises facing us today, each leading us toward the same potentially deadly outcome for the human race.

The best minds of our time acknowledge that we’re on multiple collision courses with disastrous outcomes—from the renewed threat of global war, the overuse of our resources, and the growing shortages of food and drinkable water; to the unprecedented stress we’re placing on the world’s oceans, forests, rivers, and lakes.

The problem is that the experts can’t seem to agree on what to do about these problems.

Act . . . but How?

Sometimes it’s a good idea to study a problem thoroughly before we act. The more we know about a difficult situation, the more certain we can be that we’ve found the best solutions to the dilemma. But sometimes prolonged study is not so good. There are times when the best thing to do is act quickly to survive the immediate crisis, and only then to study the problem in detail from the safety of the time bought by taking decisive action.

Maybe the best way to illustrate what I mean here is with a make-believe scenario:

Let’s say that on a beautiful, clear, and sunny day you’re crossing a stretch of highway with a friend in order to get from your house on one side of the road to your friend’s home on the other. Suddenly you both look up after being engrossed in deep conversation and see a huge 18-wheel tractor-trailer rig coming directly toward you. Instantly your body’s “fight or flight” response kicks in so that you can act. The question is: How? You have to decide quickly what to do. You and your friend both must choose, and choose fast.

So there you are, in the middle of the highway, with three lanes in front of you and three lanes behind you. Your dilemma is this: Do you have time to move forward to your destination— the other side—or is it best to move backward to the place you began? To answer the question with absolute certainty, you would need information that you simply don’t have at your fingertips in this moment. You do not know, for instance, whether the truck is empty or loaded. You may not be able to tell precisely how fast it is moving or whether the driver can even see you on the road. You might not be able to recognize if it’s a diesel- or gasoline-fueled truck that’s coming your way, or what make the vehicle is.

And this is precisely the point. You don’t need to know all of those details before you act. In the moment that you’re crossing the highway, you already have all of the information necessary to tell you you’re in a bad place. You already know that your life is in danger. You don’t need such details to recognize the obvious: there’s a big truck heading your way . . . and if you don’t move quickly, in a matter of seconds nothing else is going to matter!

While this scenario may sound like a silly example, it’s also precisely where we find ourselves on the world stage today. Our paths as individuals, families, and nations are like that of you and your friend walking across the highway. The “big truck” that’s bearing down upon us is the perfect storm of multiple crises: situations such as climate change, terrorism, war, disease, the disappearance of food and water, and a host of unsustainable ways of dealing with everyday living here on Earth. Each crisis has the potential to end civilization and human life as we know it.

We may not be in agreement as to precisely why each of these events is occurring, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are actually happening now. And, like two friends deciding to move forward across the highway or go back to the safety of where they’ve come from, we could study each crisis for another 100 years . . . yet the fact is that there are people, communities, and ways of life that will not survive the time it takes for all of the data to be compiled, the reports to be published, and the results to be debated.

The reason is that while we’re evaluating the problem, people’s homes will be destroyed by earthquakes, “superstorms,” floods, and war; the land that sustained them will stop producing food; their wells will dry up; oceans will rise; coastlines will disappear— and those individuals will lose everything, including their lives.

While these scenarios may sound extreme, the events I’m describing are already occurring in places such as Haiti, Japan, the Gulf Coast of the United States, and drought-ridden Africa . . . and it’s getting worse.

Just as it makes tremendous sense to move out of the path of the big truck coming your way on the highway before you study the problem further, it makes tremendous sense to move out of the way of the multiple disasters looming on the horizon before they take an even greater toll. And just as the direction you choose to move on the highway determines whether or not you get to your friend’s house on the other side, the way we decide to take action in the face of the greatest threats to our existence will determine whether we succeed or fail, live or die. Our choices for survival all point back to the way we think about ourselves in the world, and how our thinking leads us to act.

The message of this book is that we must act wisely and quickly to head off the collision that awaits us on the highway of life we’ve chosen to cross. Maybe Albert Einstein said it best: “A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels.” Developing a new level of thinking is precisely what we need to do today. We know the problems exist. We’ve already applied the best minds of our time, and the best science based upon the best theories available, to study those problems. If we were on the right track with our thinking, doesn’t it make sense that we would have more answers and better solutions by now? The fact that we don’t tells us we need to think differently.

The Dilemma

In recent years, an explosion of new discoveries throughout the sciences has left little doubt that many long-standing views about life, our world, and our bodies have to change. The reason is simple: The ideas are wrong. New evidence has given us new ways to think about the perennial questions of life, including where we’ve come from, how long we’ve been here, how we can best survive the crises that face our world, and what we can do now to make
things better. While the new discoveries give us hope, despite the breakthroughs we still have a problem: the time required for us to integrate these discoveries into the accepted way of thinking may be longer than the time that’s available to us to solve the crises.

The state of biology is a perfect example of how this works. The recently developed science of epigenetics is based upon scientific fact. It proves that the genetic code that we call the “blueprint of life,” our DNA, changes with our environment. The piece that traditional scientists are reluctant to talk about is that the environment changing our DNA includes more than the toxins in our air and water, and more than the electromagnetic “noise” inundating those who live among the power lines, transformer stations, and cell-phone towers of the biggest cities in the world. The environment includes our very personal, subjective experiences of beliefs, emotions, and thoughts as well.

So while the scientific evidence tells us that we can change the DNA at the root of the life-threatening diseases that ravage our friends and loved ones, the textbooks that Western medical doctors rely upon still teach us that we can’t, saying that we’re victims of heredity and other factors beyond our control. Fortunately, this is beginning to change.

Through the work of visionary scientists such as stem-cell biologist Bruce Lipton, author of The Biology of Belief (Hay House, 2008), the surprising results of the latest studies are slowly percolating into the textbooks we rely upon for medical understanding. However, the conduit that carries these new discoveries about our cells—as well as those updating what we know of the origin of our species, our civilization, and the details of our past—is a system that is notoriously slow. The general rule for the lag time between a scientific discovery and its review, publication, and acceptance— before it shows up in the textbooks—is eight to ten years, and sometimes longer. And this is where the problem becomes obvious.

The best minds of today tell us in no uncertain terms that we’re facing multiple crises posing threats of unprecedented magnitude, and that each of these crises must be dealt with immediately. We simply don’t have eight to ten years to figure out how to adapt to the situation and head off the emerging threats of terrorism, war, and a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. These are issues that must be addressed now.

Our old ways of thinking—which include believing in survival of the fittest, the need for competition, and our separation from nature—have brought us to the brink of disaster. We’re living at a time in history when we must confront the potential loss of all that we cherish as a civilization. It’s precisely because we need new ways of thinking that the ancient question of who we are takes on a significance that is greater than ever. At the same time, a new mode of seeing the world, based upon a growing body of scientific evidence, is filling in the missing pieces of our knowledge and changing the way we think about ourselves.

In light of the new evidence regarding near–ice age civilizations, the false assumptions of human evolution, the origin and role of war in our past, and the undue emphasis on competition in our lives today, we must rethink the most basic beliefs that lie at the core of the decisions we make and the way we live. This is where Deep Truth comes in.

Why This Book?

While there is certainly no shortage of books that identify the extraordinary conditions threatening us today, they fall short of addressing the single element lying at the heart of how we deal with them. How can we possibly know what to choose—what policies to enact, what laws to pass—or how to build sustainable economies, share lifesaving technologies, and bridge the issues that are tearing at the fabric of our relationships and society . . .

until we’ve answered the single question that lies at the very core of our existence: Who are we? As individuals, as families, as nations, and as a combined human civilization, we must first know who we are before we can make the right choices. It’s especially important to do so now, at a time when every choice counts.

How can we know what choices to make until we answer the single question that lies at the heart of each and every choice:

Precisely who are we?

Without answering this fundamental question, making life altering decisions is like trying to enter a house without knowing where the door is. While it’s possible to break in through a window or knock down a wall, we’d damage the home in the process. And maybe this is a perfect metaphor for the quandary we find ourselves in. For our human family, which has more than quadrupled in size in a little over a century—from 1.6 billion in 1900 to about 7 billion in 2011—we can either use the key of understanding who we are to move through the door of successful solutions. . . or we can damage our home (Earth and ourselves) by responding to crises through the knee-jerk reactions of false assumptions based in incomplete science.

When we embrace the truths of our history on Earth, our planet’s cycles of change, and the role these play in our lives, then we’ll understand what we’re really up against, what our options are, and what choices are available.

This book identifies six areas of discovery (and the facts they reveal) that will radically change the way we’ve been led to think about our world and ourselves in the past. As we address the great crises of our time, these are the most important truths we must consider:

Deep Truth 1: Our ability to defuse the crises threatening our lives and our world hinges upon our willingness to accept what science is revealing about our origins and history. As we face the never-before-seen threats that must be resolved within the next eight to ten years, how can we possibly know what choices to make, what laws to pass, and what policies to enact until we know who we are? The false assumptions of longstanding beliefs regarding evolution and human origins make little sense in the face of recent discoveries throughout the sciences.

Deep Truth 2: The reluctance of mainstream educational systems to reflect new discoveries and explore new theories keeps us stuck in obsolete beliefs that fail to address the greatest crises of human history. We base our choices of life, government, and civilization on the way we think about ourselves, our relationship to each other, and our relationship to planet Earth. For the last 300 years, these beliefs have come from the false assumptions of an outdated science. The sound principles of the scientific method have a built in feature for self-correction of false assumptions that is effective when we allow the method to work as it was intended.

Deep Truth 3: The key to addressing the crises threatening our survival lies in building partnerships based upon mutual aid and cooperation to adapt to the changes, rather than in pointing fingers and assigning blame, which makes such vital alliances difficult. Our multiple crises (some induced by humans and some that have arisen naturally) have arrived at the tipping point of threatening the ultimate survival of our species. The industrial age has definitely contributed to the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere; and we certainly need to find clean, green, and alternative ways to provide electricity and fuel for the seven billion people who are presently living on our planet . . . however:

  • Fact: Climate change is not human induced. The scientific evidence of 420,000 years of Earth’s climate history shows a pattern of warming and cooling cycles at approximately 100,000-year intervals when no human industry was present.
  • Fact: During the warming and cooling cycles of the past, the rise in greenhouse gases generally lags behind the temperature increase by an average of 400 to 800 years.
  • Fact: It will take never-before-seen levels of synergy and teamwork to create sustainable lifestyles that help us adapt to natural cycles of change, as well as to address human-induced crises.
Deep Truth 4: New discoveries of advanced civilizations dating to near the end of the last ice age provide insights into solving the crises in our time that our ancestors also faced in theirs. While the scientific revelations involving near–ice age civilizations are upsetting the way historians traditionally think of humankind’s journey through Earth’s different ages, they support the oldest records of our past and the indigenous view of a cyclic world . . . with the rise and fall of civilizations, catastrophic events,and the consequences of poor choices repeating themselves.

Deep Truth 5: A growing body of scientific data from multiple disciplines, gathered using new technology, provides evidence beyond any reasonable doubt that humankind reflects a design put into place at once, rather than a life-form emerging randomly through an evolutionary process over a long period of time. While science may never identify precisely what, or who, is responsible for the design underlying our existence, the discoveries strongly challenge the conventional wisdom of evolutionary theory, and demonstrate that the chance that we resulted from random processes of biology is virtually nonexistent.

Deep Truth 6: More than 400 peer-reviewed studies have concluded that violent competition and war directly contradict our deepest instincts of cooperation and nurturing. In other words, at the core of our truest nature we simply are not “wired” for war! Why, then, has war played such a dominant role in shaping our history, our lives, and our world? Clues to the answer are found in the records of our early experiences on Earth, and the ancient accounts that hold instructions for ending the “war of the ages” and living at the heights of our destiny, rather than succumbing to the depths of our fate. The sheer magnitude and number of crises converging in the first years of the 21st century pose a critical threat—a clear and present danger to our survival—and follow the cyclical trends that led to the loss and collapse of civilizations past. Knowing who we are, where we are in the cycles of civilization and nature, and the mistakes of past civilizations that we can learn from is the key to surviving the crises facing us today. The best science of our time, when it is married to the wisdom of our past, confirms that we still have the ways and means to shift our time of crisis into a time of emergence. We can create a new world based upon actionable and sustainable principles rooted in the core understanding of our deepest truths.

In This Book

Through the seven chapters in this book, I invite you into an empowering, and possibly novel, way of thinking about your relationship to the world. For some people, this way of thinking may be nothing new. Maybe you were fortunate enough to be raised in a family that allowed current discoveries about civilization and life to fill in the missing pieces of your spiritual, religious, and historical views on the world.

For those who did not have such an upbringing, however, the chapters that follow open the door to a powerful, and practical, new path of self-discovery. Regardless of your beliefs, the evidence forcing humanity to rethink the traditional story of who we are, how long we’ve been here, and why the world seems to be “falling apart at the seams” is fascinating reading.

In the pages that follow, you will discover:

  • Archaeological evidence leaving little doubt that advanced civilizations, with advanced technology, grew and flourished on Earth long before the traditionally accepted date of 5,000 to 5,500 years ago
  • Why the wars we fight today stem from a way of thinking that began long ago, and why they’re the modern continuation of an ancient battle that’s not even ours
  • Science-based evidence that human life is the result of an intelligent design
  • A timeline illustrating when the human code of life is activated in the womb, when the first heartbeat of human life begins, and when consciousness awakens in human development
  • A revised timeline of past civilizations (and how they fit into the world-age cycles) giving new meaning to the crises of today, as well as helping us define the choices that lie before us. It’s important that you know up front what you can expect from your journey through these discoveries. For that reason, the following statements clearly explain what this book is, and what it is not:
  • Deep Truth is not a science book. Although I will share the leading-edge science that invites us to rethink our relationship to the past, the cycles of time, our origins, and our habit of war, this work has not been written to conform to the format or standards of a classroom science textbook or a technical journal.
  • This is not a peer-reviewed research paper. Each chapter and every report of research has not gone through the lengthy review process of a certified board or a selected panel of experts with a history of seeing our world through the eyes of a single field of study, such as physics, math, or psychology.
  • This book is well researched and well documented. It has been written in a reader-friendly style that describes the experiments, case studies, historical records, and personal experiences supporting an empowering way of seeing ourselves in the world.
  • This book is an example of what can be accomplished when we cross the traditional boundaries between science and spirituality. By marrying the 20th-century discoveries of genetics, archaeology, microbiology, and fractal time, we gain a powerful framework within which to place the dramatic changes of our age, and a context that helps us deal with those changes.

By its nature, the exploration of what and how we think of ourselves is different for everyone—it’s a journey that is unique, intimate, and personal. So much of that difference stems from the experiences we share with our families, peer groups, and cultures. We’ve all been taught stories that explain our past and the origins of the earth and humanity, and that help us make sense of our world—stories based on what our community accepts as “truth” at a given point in time.

I invite you to consider the discoveries recounted in these pages and explore what they mean to you. Talk them over with the important people in your life; and discover if, and how, they may change the story that is shared in your family. Deep Truth is written with one purpose in mind: to empower us (as we solve the crises of our lives and our world) to understand our relationship with the past. The key to empowerment is simply this: the better we know ourselves, the clearer the choices in our lives become.

No one knows for certain what the future holds. Quantum understanding tells us that we are always selecting our future through the choices we make in this very moment. But no matter which challenges await us or which choices we’ll be faced with, one thing is absolutely certain: knowing who we are and understanding our relationship to one another, as well as to the world beyond, gives us the evolutionary edge that our ancient ancestors may not have had when they faced similar challenges in the past.

With that edge, we tip the scales of life and balance in our favor. And it all begins with our awareness of the deepest truths of our existence, and how we rely on those truths each day for every choice in our lives.

N.B. If you are interested in Greg Braden's latest literature, please go to the following for further details:

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