It's my personal soapbox, a place for me to express thoughts and feelings, musings and rants, reflections and recollections; to have fun with words -- about things spiritual, environmental, social, political, economic, and, from time to time, personal. And of course about peace. Soapboxes are in public places (as London's legendary Hyde Park) on purpose, and so I invite conversations with you, for it is through civil discourse that we can gain some perspective on the seeming chaos of these changing times and learn together how to shape a positive future for ourselves, our communities, and the generations to come.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

An Epochal Moment: Eagle and Condor Fly Together

People in the United States and around the world are experiencing a period of change of historic magnitude. It is an epochal moment, as worldviews shift from separateness, fear, and security through competitive dominance and win-lose violence to oneness, hope, and security through cooperative interdependence and win-win peace.

It is a time of breakdown and breakthrough. It is a time in which economic, social, political and other human systems created out of a culture of violence are, at last, increasingly being recognized as just not working any more. It is a time in which those systems are necessarily giving way to new systems based on a very different view of reality, a culture of peace. It is a time in which the eagle and the condor are learning to fly together once again.

In his book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins writes (p. 209):
Nearly every culture I know prophesies that in the late 1990's we entered a period of remarkable transition. At monasteries in the Himalayas, ceremonial sites in Indonesia, and indigenous reservations in North America, from the depths of the Amazon to the peaks of the Andes, and into the ancient Mayan cities of Central America, I have heard that ours is a special moment in human history, and that each of us was born at this time because we have a mission to accomplish.
The titles and the words of the prophecies differ slightly. They tell variously of a New Age, the Third Millennium, the Age of Aquarius, the Beginning of the Fifth Sun, or the end of old calendars and the commencement of new ones. Despite the varying terminologies, however, they have a great deal in common, and “The Prophecy of the Condor and Eagle” is typical. It states that back in the mists of history, human societies divided and took different paths: that of the condor (representing the heart, intuitive and mystical) and that of the eagle (representing the brain, rational and material). In the 1490's, the prophesy said, the two paths would converge and the eagle would drive the condor to the verge of extinction. Then, five hundred years later, in the 1990's a new epoch would begin, one in which the condor and the eagle will have the opportunity to reunite and fly together in the same sky, along the same path. If the condor and eagle accept this opportunity, they will create a most remarkable offspring, unlike any seen before.
“The Prophecy of the Condor and Eagle” can be taken at many levels — the standard interpretation is that it foretells the sharing of indigenous knowledge with the technologies of science, the balancing of yin and yang, and the bridging of northern and southern cultures. However, most powerful is the message it offers about consciousness; it says that we have entered a time when we can benefit from the many diverse ways of seeing ourselves and the world, and that we can use these as a springboard to higher levels of awareness. As human beings we can truly wake up and evolve into a more conscious species.
You can also watch a YouTube video of Perkins speaking about the prophecy. If you google on “eagle and condor prophecy”, you’ll find many more sites describing and discussing it, for example, this one.

The prophecy is a very personal story as well as a cultural one. The eagle is the head of each of us. The condor is the heart of each of us. Flying together in each of us, they will spawn – indeed, are spawning – a new culture, a culture of peace. It is a culture that synthesizes the knowledge and wisdom of both – West and East, North and South, Modern and Indigenous, Rational and Intuitive, Analytic and Holistic– and thus synergistically transcends both.

Accordingly, I will be (and in many ways already have been) posting  to The Green Pen thoughts and musings from both head and heart and of both personal and cultural focus.

Stay tuned.


  1. The head and the heart/rational and intuitive/thinking and feeling/art and science.... and many more terms to describe the split in our thinking that usually is dated back to Descartes. For centuries we have been see-sawing back and forth, valuing one more than the other, and always throwing the baby out with the bathwater - demonizing and discarding the one of lesser value.
    But now, we recognize more and more that the heart informs the head and the head converses with the heart. Cognitive scientists have taken huge steps to show how the brain responds to feelings, and how decision making starts with the feeling and then enjoins our reasoning powers. When we don't denigrate one or pit one against the other, we can live more harmoniously as individuals and in groups.
    Our older generation was taught to value reason over feeling. There were many admonitions against emotional, even aesthetic behavior. But we can now teach the union of head and heart in our decision making process, and should begin this when children are young. There have been curricula developed for this approach but it has never won favor in our education systems. Perhaps the time is ripe now to push for this new education.
    I usually respond to Mike's blogs with a plea for a focus on education from pre-school to post grad curricula. Perhaps more conferences on peace could be focused on how to start the process with young children.

    1. Bernice, this is beautiful. Thanks so much for the contribution. Actually, what you are saying here presages the blog I posted the next day about "balance" as viewed in Bali. And the implications for education apply not just to public schools but all forms in all places, including the values and outlooks parents enculturate their children with every day beginning with the day of birth.