About this time last year I wrote a piece entitled ‘The End of the World or a New Era?’
Since the world did not appear to have ended on December 21, 2012, as some predicted, I suppose it is safe to say we have entered a New Era. Some say the Mayan long count calendar of 0.0.0.0.1 began anew on December 22nd, taking us through roughly the next 5125 years.
Let us assume the Mayan scholars who believe this are correct. What is this New Era? Should we be concerned? Exhilarated? A month has gone by and it rather seems as if it is business as usual. Which is as expected. It generally takes a long time to go through an Era.
In one of those circumstantial ways that are no accidents, recently I turned the TV on at a certain time to watch an interview of a friend and somehow the times got messed up and I ended up watching one of the most fascinating interviews I could ever have chosen myself.
The interview was with Dr. Neil Turok, director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. Perimeter was founded – and funded to the tune of $150 million of his own money, by Mike Lazaridis, co-founder of RIM, better known as BlackBerry, in 2000. Subsequently, the Stephen Hawking Centre at Perimeter Institute was opened in 2011, the first building to which the great man has ever lent his name.
Perimeter, in their own words, is “…a major centre for theoretical physics research, attracting a diverse community of resident and visiting scientists from around the world. They cluster in Waterloo, Ontario, to forge new, mind-bending ideas about the ultimate nature of our universe, from space and time to matter and forces. Driven by curiosity, their mission is to unlock nature’s most profound secrets hidden deep inside the atom and far across the universe.”
I unabashedly admit to being a geek, but only in respect to using geek-stuff and a fascination with the science of things. The nuts and bolts of it I leave for others. I understood about a billionth of what Dr Turok was saying. Theoretical Physicists tend to talk in billions: The Universe we live in is fourteen billion years old; it is 150 billion light years across; it contains hundreds of billions of galaxies, each of which has hundreds of billions of stars. All theoretical, of course.
What caught my attention from the interview were two things I did understand:
- Human beings have the capacity to conceptualize the Universe in our minds.
- There is a big Shift coming in human understanding.
Last year I suggested that the beginning of the New Era would be a Renaissance of expansion of invention and creativity encompassing the entire world. That is indeed taking place.
A few days ago I saw an interview on Bravo with Charlie Rose and two youngsters who founded Twitter. Here they talk about social media and interacting with folks around the world, and the social ramifications of that. They are full of ideas and are currently working on a couple of projects including Medium.com, which they term ‘re-imagining publishing’; and Branch, an adjunct to Twitter where individuals can invite like-minded ‘friends’ to engage in certain topics. Both are in early stages, but are meant to encourage longer and more meaningful conversations.
These interviews and other wisdom which has recently come my way from socially conscious entrepreneurs and scientists, have led me to envision the New Age on a much grander scale. What if the new era is an Age of Enlightenment fueled by creativity unleashed by the deeper conversations. Could this age marry up science, metaphysics and entrepreneurship resulting in radical social change, much as the previous ones did?
Almost for certain we are headed toward an understanding of our Earth as one entity. No more will governing bodies be able to stifle the freedom of its citizens by keeping them in the dark. No more can those who know freedom turn their backs on those who do not. The past few decades of the Age of Information is firmly entrenched. We meet people from all over the world. Not only do we talk with them, we see them in images and videos. We have learned to tap into the waves that bring us this technology. From the looks of things we may only have found the tip of the iceberg. There are many other waves of energy available for exploration.
I see Boomers playing a part in this Age of Enlightenment. Many of us have time on our hands and the acquired wisdom of experience of Life in general. We are children of the sixties’ counterculture; we’ve gone through social revolution and war, birth and loss, major catastrophes, deep happiness and deep sadness. We have perspective. We know that life sends us curveballs and we’ve learned that we can survive them. We invented the Internet and we made sure it was freely available in the public domain. We are interested in where things are going; see the need for social change.
The possibilities, as that trite old saw suggests, are endless.
Still, the whole End of the World thing was kind of fun while it lasted. Apparently 12% of us believed that the world would end and 20% or so believed some kind of disaster would take place. A similar number brought in supplies in case. This is not insignificant.
At the very least it made us think. And how often do we humans get to live through the end – and perhaps more importantly, the beginning – of a 5125 year cycle?