Iguazu Falls – South America (Argentina & Brazil)

(1) Iguazú National Park – Argentina

June 14, 2019

Iguazú Falls – Misiones Province – Argentina

Gallery

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(2) Iguaçu National Park – Brazil

June 15, 2019

Iguaçu Falls – Paraná State – Brazil

Gallery

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All photographs by J.J. Montagnier 

14 – 15 June 2019

© Copyright. All Rights Reserved. Gypsy Café

Unity in Diversity vs. Disunity in Ideologies

Ubuntu Festival in 2009, Cape Town, South Africa (Photo by JJM)

Unity in Diversity vs. Disunity in Ideologies

Introduction

Ethnocentrism: Evaluation of other cultures according to preconceptions originating in the standards and customs of one’s own culture [1] – Oxford Dictionary

Ethnocentrism is inherent in all human beings. It has advantages and disadvantages. Since it cannot be removed or reduced without negative side effects, it would be better to find ways to work with it positively.

Positive ethnocentrism would allow for the natural maintenance and preservation of a person’s original culture and identity while also allowing and motivating for an appreciation of other cultures that live within the same environment. Unity in Diversity could be the perfect example of positive ethnocentrism in that it is very likely to deliver consistent positive results, if fostered, cultivated and maintained on a continuous basis.

Implementing Unity in Diversity would depend on both will and goodwill of all parties involved. Unity in Diversity has a weak point in that it is a relatively fragile concept that is vulnerable to being disrupted by intrusive forms of negative ethnocentrism such as identity politics and nationalism.

Identity Politics: A tendency for people of a particular religion, race, social background, etc., to form exclusive political alliances, moving away from traditional broad-based party politics [2] – Oxford Dictionary

Values and Identity

Our foundational value systems are mainly derived from our culture and a strong part of our identity resides in our value systems. What you stand for determines to a large extent who you are. If you lose a part of your identity, because you have lost parts of your value system, you are likely to experience an identity crisis.

Insecurity could result from an identity crisis which could lead to a defensive attitude and a tendency to see others as a threat – or as adversaries – instead of seeing them as equals. Confidence within oneself is needed to view others as your equals, even if they are different from you. Having a lack of confidence and a defensive attitude could reduce one’s ability to enter a neutral state in order to understand other cultures better.

Unity in Diversity vs. Disunity in Ideologies

The system of apartheid in South Africa that ended in 1994 was largely based on ethnocentrism. Many, if not most, apartheid policies were created from a position of classifying ethnicity and race ethnocentrically.

This created a system that denied South African citizens of all races equal opportunities and equal treatment universally in all spheres of life. Over time South Africa was immensely damaged through that system – in terms of cohesion amongst its citizens, in terms of maintaining internal stability in the country and in terms of its status in the world.

Post-apartheid South Africa has not escaped ethnocentric behaviour though and the country’s social cohesion is being damaged through identity politics [2]. Identity politics, a form of negative ethnocentrism, arrived in South Africa around the time of the passing away of Nelson Mandela, and has since caused serious damage to many of the gains made towards a stable, democratic, multicultural society. As long as identity politics prevails as a major influence in how personal identities are formed or defined, negative ethnocentrism is likely to prevail as a destabilizing force within South African society.

In South Africa one type of negative ethnocentrism – apartheid – has been replaced by another – identity politics, with a short period of positive ethnocentrism in-between: Between 1994 and more or less 2010, the concept of ‘Unity in Diversity’ [3;4] prevailed, meaning: “We are uniquely different, but equal at the same time and we are all confident about who we are within our own groupings, meaning we have true diversity. As individuals and cultural groupings we are all committed to working on building a [new] country together to reach a common goal towards prosperity and opportunity for all”.

Identity politics [2] has in recent years (post-2012) turned that approach on its head, because it functions from an in-group versus out-group perspective, resulting in the in-groups viewing the out-groups as adversaries. Identity politics tends to cause in-groups to view themselves as victims of out-groups, thereby dis-empowering themselves by taking on the victim role.

This is particularly noticeable within the South African context today where instead of focusing on the benefits of equal opportunities and the added advantages of affirmative action policies for the previously disadvantaged, brought by post-apartheid democracy, the idea of being victims of oppression based on past history takes priority and is emphasized even more than before.

In light of affirmative action policies, those with a sense of victimhood are in reality often in an advantaged position in relation to educational and job opportunities, but continue to view themselves as disadvantaged, because within identity politics there lies currency in victimhood and all in-groups are vying for this currency.

One could argue that although the concept of Unity in Diversity, as is expressed on the (new) South African coat of arms [4] and as was practised in South Africa between 1994 until around 2012, would under normal circumstances be the best possible philosophical approach as a counter to negative ethnocentrism, that seems to be not the case. Unity in Diversity is evidently no match to identity politics when introduced into a fragile young democratic environment, such as the post-apartheid South African one.

Identity politics [2], a negative ethnocentric phenomenon that did not originate in South Africa, but came across from North America and Western Europe seems to hold great appeal to young people, which in a general sense has a lot to do with a general deterioration in the higher education system, with university campuses having served as fertile ground for identity politics to flourish. The South African higher education system being modelled on the Western one therefore facilitated the cross-pollination of identity politics into the local environment from abroad. Another factor has been a deterioration in parenting in many countries.

Due to the revolutionary history of South African politics during the apartheid era, identity politics caught on rather quickly when introduced locally and the philosophy of Unity in Diversity was sidelined and left behind in no time. This points to the fact that “the spirit of revolution” does not depend on oppression to come alive, but that it can have an energy all of its own and that in some cases “any justification would do.”

It also points to the fact that Unity in Diversity was not something that especially younger South African citizens deeply embraced, which mostly has to do with a generational lack of context and lack of understanding of the processes that lead to adopting the concept of Unity in Diversity in the first place. One could go as far as speculating that young South Africans do not have a full appreciation for the value of peace and harmony, due to not having experienced the turmoil in South Africa at the height of the apartheid years.

Unity in Diversity demands a certain level of maturity and strong individual as well as group identity to function. Globalization has over the years caused a weakening of the cultural identity of culture groupings. Weak cultural identity combined with weak personal identity will cause people to be drawn towards identity politics, because they can find identity in political ideology, which would substitute the lack of finding it in cultural or strong personal values.

In order to experience a sense of personal identity, a basic need of all human beings, identity is thus found in group contexts instead of within the individual’s own personal Self (which would require dedicated personal development and well-clarified values) or within their own traditional cultural contexts.

Identity found in group settings is insecure by its nature and tends to automatically revert to the in-group versus out-group dynamic. Although one may have expected that the weakening of cultural identity would have increased cultural relativity, which in turn would have reduced ethnocentrism, it apparently has had the opposite effect.

Ethnocentrism does not disappear when genuine cultural diversity is weakened, it just shifts to identity politics. One is thus left with the following question. Which type of ethnocentrism is the preferred one? Since ethnocentrism cannot be avoided or removed from cultures altogether, because it is a foundational motivator for the forming of culture in the first place, would we rather have strong, genuine cultural diversity with its natural mild to strong ethnocentrism, or would we rather have identity politics which has strong to very strong ethnocentrism? Both forms of ethnocentrism, when strong enough, can lead to polarisation. Identity politics seems to specifically thrive on polarisation, because it essentially comes down to being a political system of opposing ideologies which requires confrontation to maintain itself.

This author would like to make the case that in multicultural societies such as the South Africa one and in others, a middle way is possible, Unity in Diversity, which reduces negative ethnocentrism and transforms it into positive ethnocentrism, while retaining natural cultural and personal identify at the same time. Importantly however – and it bears repeating; cultural identity should be maintained and strengthened at the same time. This combination will provide for natural confidence and contentment within one’s own culture, while also being comfortable with other groups being present in the same country or land.

Unity in Diversity can only function with individual and cultural identity having been consistently infused with the Unity in Diversity philosophy and principles from the start and both parental and higher education are key components in such a process. If both parenting and the education system fails in this regard and if personal and cultural identity become diluted and weakened, the idea and concept of Unity in Diversity would not be believed in enough to be supported and would not be strong enough to act as a bulwark against identity politics.

When culture is reduced, insecurity sets in and identity politics becomes a refuge. Take the foundations away and Unity in Diversity gives way to disunity in opposing ideologies through identity politics.

Solution and Approach

Unity in Diversity is positive ethnocentrism. It is what is needed for having balanced societies within multicultural and multi-ethnic contexts. It is a higher state that requires effort, because we have to first become conscious of our ethnocentrism and then become more conscientious about how other cultures within our (own) environment(s) are equal, but at the same time different to us. Such an outlook would have to be fostered, cultivated and maintained on an ongoing basis, because it often does not come naturally due to elements of negative ethnocentrism being inherent in most people – all people are ethnocentric to a certain extent.

The best approach would be a combination of maintaining one’s own culture – and learning how to truly value it – while learning that other cultures also truly value their own cultures. Such a basic realization can foster mutual understanding in how we are all united in deeply valuing our own unique, but diverse cultures. In this context, the importance if genuine diversity needs to be emphasized.

Understanding the value of preserving culture is very important, but equally important is understanding the value of preserving harmony and balance amongst cultures.

South Africa set an excellent example to the world for close to two decades by way of the successful implementation of Unity in Diversity, which is one reason why South Africa makes such a good case study. Unity in Diversity is failing in South Africa today, because significant portions of society have eagerly embraced identity politics. That does not mean that Unity in Diversity cannot work – it can, as South Africa has already proven, but Unity in Diversity does not maintain itself, which is also being proven.

Unity in Diversity is a challenge well-worth undertaking to bring about a more harmonious world. We are not there yet, because of disruptive identity politics, but becoming aware of how we end up undermining the social cohesion in our own countries by embracing identity politics, would go a long way to motivate genuine individual identity development and an understanding of the importance of not losing our cultural identities altogether.

By JJ Montagnier

JJ Montagnier is a writer based in South America. He has a personal interest in conflict resolution, democracy and social cohesion. He has lived in South Africa and Northern Ireland (among other places.) The views and opinions expressed in this essay are those of the author.  

Note: This essay was written on November 22, 2017 and updated on June 7, 2019. The question that prompted it was posed in a sociology course: “Give an example of ethnocentric behaviour in your country [of origin.] Has it helped or hurt your country?

Publishing details:

Original version published on *Writerbeat.com: July 16, 2018 [* website now defunct].

This updated version published on GypsyCafe.org: June 8, 2019 for The Truth Project.

References to (and excerpts from) this article may be used, provided that the author is mentioned and with direction to the original content: please use the  page address (URL) in the browser to link to.

Copyright © · All Rights Reserved · Gypsy Café

**

References:

1. Ethnocentrism
Evaluation of other cultures according to preconceptions originating in the standards and customs of one’s own culture.  
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/ethnocentrism

2. Identity Politics
A tendency for people of a particular religion, race, social background, etc., to form exclusive political alliances, moving away from traditional broad-based party politics.
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/identity_politics

3. Unity in Diversity
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unity_in_diversity

4. South Africa coat of arms
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coat_of_arms_of_South_Africa

5. Nationalism
Identification with one’s own nation and support for its interests, especially to the exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations.
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/nationalism

6. Tribalism
1.) The state or fact of being organized in a tribe or tribes.
1.1) The behaviour and attitudes that stem from strong loyalty to one’s own tribe or social group.
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/tribalism

7. Ubuntu
A philosophical doctrine or approach to life that emphasizes social unity and generosity of spirit.
https://www.yourdictionary.com/ubuntu

Peruvian Colours and Contrasts – All in a Day’s Trip

‘All in a Days Trip’

On Sunday the 14th of April, a day after I arrived in Cusco on the weekend before Easter, I did one of the many excursions that are available from Cusco city. It’s always a good idea to select a smaller company when doing group day trips and for some excursions private tours would be optimal due to the time of day that most of the tour busses arrive at some of the sites in and around the Sacred Valley.

The Maras and Moray day trip is quite a well known one, although not the most popular, but it is one of the best day trips in the Sacred Valley due to the jam-packed itinerary and especially the colours and contrasts encountered  on this excursion – all in one day. I will let the pictures do the talking, but feel free to ask any qestions for more details!  

by Jean-Jacques

– Kantu, Chinchero – Cusco Region –

Kantu Weaving Center, Chinchero, Cusco area. (1)

Kantu Weaving Center, Chinchero, Cusco area (2)

Kantu Weaving Center, Chinchero, Cusco area (3)

Kantu Weaving Center, Chinchero, Cusco area (4)

Kantu Weaving Center, Chinchero, Cusco area (5) 

Kantu Kantu Weaving Center, Chinchero, Cusco area (6)

Kantu Kantu Weaving Center, Chinchero, Cusco area (7) 

Kantu Kantu Weaving Center, Chinchero, Cusco area (8)

***

– Moray – Sacred Valley –

Moray [lab 1], Sacred Valley, Cusco area – designed and used by the Incas as experimental food labaratories (1)

Moray [lab 1], Sacred Valley, Cusco area – designed and used by the Incas as experimental food labaratories (2)

Moray [lab 1], Sacred Valley, Cusco area – designed and used by the Incas as experimental food labaratories (3)

Moray [lab 1], Sacred Valley, Cusco area – designed and used by the Incas as experimental food labaratories (4)

Moray [lab 2], Sacred Valley, Cusco area – designed and used by the Incas as experimental food labaratories (5)

Moray [lab 2], Sacred Valley, Cusco area – designed and used by the Incas as experimental food labaratories (6)

Moray [lab 2], Sacred Valley, Cusco area – designed and used by the Incas as experimental food labaratories (7)

 Mountain view from Moray (8)

***

– Salineras, Maras – Sacred Valley –

Salineras – Maras, Sacred Valley, Cusco area – these are functioning ‘salt mines’ (salt evaporation ponds) originally designed and used by the Incas (1) 

Salineras – Maras, Sacred Valley, Cusco area – these are functioning ‘salt mines’ (salt evaporation ponds) originally designed and used by the Incas (2) 

Salineras – Maras, Sacred Valley, Cusco area – these are functioning ‘salt mines’ (salt evaporation ponds) originally designed and used by the Incas (3) 

Salineras – Maras, Sacred Valley, Cusco area – these are functioning ‘salt mines’ (salt evaporation ponds) originally designed and used by the Incas (4) 

Salineras – Maras, Sacred Valley, Cusco area – these are functioning ‘salt mines’ (salt evaporation ponds) originally designed and used by the Incas (5) 

Salineras – Maras, Sacred Valley, Cusco area – these are functioning ‘salt mines’ (salt evaporation ponds) originally designed and used by the Incas (6) 

***

– Cusco Town Centre – 

Cusco – Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús (Church of the Society of Jesus) – historic Jesuit church in Cusco

Cusco Cathedral, Plaza de Armas, Cusco

Cusco Rooftops and hills

Monastry converted into a hotel, in front of the little plaza of the Nazarenas, Palacio Street No. 136 – Cusco

All photographs by JJM (14.04.2019) with Pentax K50 DSLR with Tokina 28 – 105 (manual focus)

Copyright © 2019 · All Rights Reserved · Gypsy Café

The Keys to Conscious Co-Creation

‘Holding the Key’. A mural by Jade Rivera, Barranco, Lima. Photo by JJM.

We are Destined to be Co-Creators and Free Will is the Key. The interesting thing is that the source (the Source) and force of creativity, (creative energy) flows through humans, which then leads to the creation of new paradigms. Energy creates through us – we are the channels for Source energy on earth, but we are not (the main) Source itself.

We are remote extensions of Source, so remote that many of us are not aware of our connection to Source. As channels of Source we are collaborating with Source. At the same time we are also autonomous energy configurations. That is because we all come into this world as an energy archetype – we could call this our borne identity. Each person’s born identity – the archetype he or she was born as – is an energy configuration (energy frequency) because in fact it comprises a combination of a number of archetypes, with the main core archetype being dominant.

Each person’s born archetype configuration is his or her energy imprint that lies deeper than the socialisation or environmental factors that would usually play a role in personality formation during childhood. This is the foundation and framework of the authentic deep-Self. It is the framework and vessel of each individual’s true identity. This archetype is largely hidden to most people, but it lies at the core of each human’s being.

The personal archetype is the foundation of each person’s individuality and can take a lifetime to fully uncover. Many people concentrate mainly on developing their ego-personalities (which are also important) or their personas (the masks that we present to the world), but they neglect to delve deep into their authentic selves.

Each person’s individual autonomy stems from free will, something that humans are uniquely endowed with, as opposed to other species. With free will we are able to completely shut out (or deny) our awareness of our connection to Source – and many of us do. This is because the combination of our ego-selves and free will can give us the illusion that we are already whole, or that we are already fully developed autonomous beings (and therefore, by implication, why would we need to be connected to a source?)

Free will naturally makes us want to be independent from Source, which leads to ego-development (which is also important), but it can lead to people not choosing to also go down the deeper self-development road. Holistic self-development would encompass spiritual development, which many people shy away from. However it is through the spiritual development path that we arrive at a realisation of our true connection with Source.

Ironically, although free will makes us want to be independent from Source, many of us lack the will to be sufficiently independent from society (from group-consciousness). This tends to result in an oscillation between the ego-self and the group-self, with the real-Self being neglected.

All of us are born into this world with great potential and great purpose. That borne purpose is indeed for each and every one of us to co-create along with the universe (the creative Source Energy) and to thereby also be drivers of evolution right here on earth (…and there some of us thought that we were just insignificant little humans who are of no real consequence…) However, there are two important requirements for becoming conscious co-creators. First of all, co-creation requires humility. Secondly it requires free will.

Although the human ego is very important – because it allows us to form our individual personalities that we use to interact with the outside world – it can get in the way of co-creation. That is because co-creating consciously with the universal Source Energy is a divine act. When we co-create we need to do so from our higher-Self, which can only be accessed by bypassing the ego-self.

To co-create consciously and continuously one would need to be able to operate or live from one’s higher-Self much of the time, which would require ongoing spiritual development (and a lot of self-knowledge). Such ongoing spiritual development would then result in the ongoing humility that is required for divine co-creation with Source.

In addition, free will is the required key for activating and entering the co-creation teamwork process. In other words, we have to willingly and consciously commit ourselves to becoming co-creators. We have to activate ourselves within our given roles as co-creators through a conscious decision to be of service to Source by becoming conduits of Source. Our well-developed authentic-Self would then form a conscious partnership with the Creative Source.

We bring our gifts and talents (gifted through our archetypes), our skills and abilities (developed through life experience, work and education) and our free will and commitment to the conscious co-creation project. We also bring natural confidence, without developing a “god-complex”, because a well developed authentic-Self has confidence that does not stem from ego-consciousness.

The problem with ego is that it is rarely mature enough to deal with divine matters, so the divine aspect of the co-creation process is often lost when ego gets in the way. What happens is that ego tends to want to take control of the direction and often loses its way (it also tends to want to bask in all the glory), because it loses sight of the divine influence that is present in the individual’s person’s positive creative output. Humility therefore remains a key ingredient for being in line with one’s higher-Self.

Co-creation and collaboration with the universe on a conscious level can only occur from our higher-, core-, true-Self, because that is where the link to Source resides. There is therefore a process that needs to be followed. Once the commitment from our side is made for conscious co-creation with Source (and should we not yet know what our inherent purpose is) our individual purpose needs to be identified first. Doing that would provide the direction and momentum required to move ahead with the co-creation process.

Some people have a strong sense of purpose from a young age, others develop it along the way. Most people discover it through long-term self-development and dedicated spiritual exploration as it takes time to learn how to differentiate between all the different components of the psyche, i.e. the ego-self, the persona (the false self), the idealised-self (the hypothetical ‘perfect-self) and the authentic Self (the real-Self, higher-Self or core-Self).

Such advanced technical analysis as described above is however not necessarily necessary to co-create. There are several ways that one can unlock knowledge of your purpose. The easiest and most natural way would be to simply ask the Creative Source in the universe to show the way. This could be done through whichever method a person is most comfortable with, whether through meditation, prayer or simply posing the question to Source in thought. By having trust in receiving an answer, an answer will come, either through signs, events, circumstances or opportunities. The important thing is to look out for the answer and to accept it when it arrives.

Fortunately there are also very good tools available (for those who prefer this route) for assisting us in the self-discovery and personal development processes. Well known typology (personality) tests such as MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator), mainly based on the work of renowned Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung, and The Enneagram of Personality, partially based on the teachings of mystic George Gurdjieff, are very useful in identifying a person’s inherent temperament and archetype. By studying the results one would then by definition also arrive at having a good idea of one’s purpose.

One of the most advanced solutions for accurately identify one’s born purpose is by learning about your born energy configuration. The sacred Mayan Cross, gifted to the world by the ancient Maya civilisation, offers a very deep and accurate method for learning about your born energy archetype with it’s accompanying energetic life purpose.

Just like MBTI and Enneagram, The Mayan Cross requires time and dedication in order to fully appreciate and understand how all its components fit together. You can however more or less instantaneously get an overview of your personal energy profile with The Mayan Cross, whereas the other two tools require filling in a questionnaire in each case, which requires you to know yourself relatively well in the first place.

The Mayan Cross is a blend of the deep study of galactic energy forces, ancient Mayan cosmology and telluric (earth) energies, specifically designed for human development. When getting an advanced report (a reading) about your Mayan Cross it will not only reveal your main personality archetype with its characteristics and purpose, but also your personal energy balance (your yin and yang archetypes). In addition it will reveal your past archetype (your energetic heritage with it’s purpose) and importantly, your future archetype (your destiny in terms of your purpose.)

By concentrating on your present and future archetypes (and their combined purpose), while also getting to know your yin and yang components, a person can then move forward in balance with a deep sense of meaning (and purpose.) A natural sense of inner confidence is the result of following this path as the individual becomes aware of a certain natural order in the universe – one where each one of us has a divine, predestined role to play as conscious co-creators along with the divine Creative Source.

When working with any of the above tools we realize that all people are creative and that all people therefore have something to offer as co-creators. It does however become clear that there is diversity in how people are endowed with creativity. Not all archetypes would be equally good at fine art for example. Neither would all archetypes be equally good as engineers or scientists or writers, but all human talents, as gifted through our archetypes, can be applied creatively and in a way to specifically co-create.

In other words we can positively direct our individual creativity purposefully (consciously) through our work and creative activities (the hobbies, crafts or community work we are involved in) with the specific objective to facilitate positive evolution for the greater good.

An advantage of all three of the above self-analysis tools is that they give us an understanding of how each archetype has a lower (immature) self and a higher (mature) self. So once you have identified your archetype you can then analyse your own behaviour or thoughts through honest self-reflection and self-observation and match that with the description of a well-developed version or less developed version of your archetype. You can then place yourself on a scale of development and identify areas to improve in order to reach a higher form of yourself.

Of course, the intention to become a better version of yourself must exist in order to benefit from these tools and it goes without saying that there would be a lot of personal work (on yourself) involved. This takes courage. It is also where humility comes in, because it can be very hard for the ego to accept that its personality has flaws (but there can be no gain without pain.)

People who have a natural love and passion for the world we live in (regardless of how flawed and broken it may seem to be) and for all living things, are already active as natural co-creators, whether they ae fully conscious of it or not. Although such people seem to be very rare (actually most people have suppressed their capacity for compassion, or haven’t developed it) and although love and compassion may not seem like a natural state of being – considering the presence of so much malevolence in the world, especially at present – developing compassion is a core key for co-creation, because without care for others and the world (the planet and the environment) one cannot and will not want to co-create.

A shortcut to co-creation would be to develop compassion and empathy, which will generate the motivation for wanting to be a force for positive change. This will help bring about the necessary energetic correction that is required to re-balance the world. As co-creators that is in fact our very purpose here on earth.

As we presently transition into a new paradigm (a new metaphysical energy framework) which is happening due to The Shift of the Ages (as predicted by many ancient belief systems), right now is a crucial time for conscious co-creators to step forward. Their role is to creatively colour in the framework of the new paradigm as it forms, so that future generations can drink the sweet nectar of that which was created with Love in service and in partnership with the Divine Creative Source in the universe.

By J.J. Montagnier

(May 2, 2019)

This essay was purposefully written for The Truth Project coordinated by Laura Livia Grigore.

** Special Offer: MayanMajix has made an exclusive $2 discount coupon code available for readers of this article when ordering a comprehensive 15 page personal Mayan Astrology report (based on your Mayan Cross). This is one of the best Mayan Cross readings/reports available on the web and I can personally vouch for it. Highly recommended! – JJM 

Order Here

Price: $12.00 (before discount is applied) 

[At checkout use coupon code:  1320

© Copyright. All Rights Reserved. Gypsy Café.

*’Conscious Co-Creators’. A mural by Jade Rivera, Barranco, Lima. Photo by JJM.

“SOUL’S PURPOSE – The Maya believe in karma and reincarnation and know that each lifetime the soul has a purpose. The energies of the Mayan Cross reveal what we have to work with in order to reach our destiny and attain the highest expression of ourselves in this life time, our soul’s purpose.”

http://www.mayancross.com/reference-glossary

[* Titles of murals by JJM – original titles given to the murals by mural artist Jade Rivera are unknown].

The Road To Caral – A Visit to Peru’s Ancient Lost City

Caral, Peru

Two hundred kilometres north of Lima lies the recently discovered remnants of one of the most ancient centres of a civilisation yet to be unearthed in modern times. The Caral civilisation is the oldest know of civilisation in the Americas and one of the oldest in the world. It was a Pre-Caramic civilisation and it is believed that the Quecha language originated there. Caral covers approximately 60 hectares (with most of it still unexcavated) and is estimated to have had around 3000 inhabitants in its heyday.

Caral was fist discovered in 1905 by German archaeologist Max Uhle. The excavations were not dated properly at the time and archaeologists assumed that the uncovered structures were built by a recent Andean civilisation. However, Ruth Shady, a Peruvian archaeologist, visited Caral in 1994 and immediately realized that Caral was potentially much older.

Results of subsequent carbon dating proved that (astonishingly) some artefacts from Caral were no less than 4600 years old. To put this into perspective, Caral was built 4000 years before the Incas built Machu Picchu, which was founded in 1450. At Caral’s ancient astronomical observatory there are geoglyphs which were created 3300 years before the famous Nazca Lines in southern Peru. Equally, Caral is as much as 3300 years older than some of the Maya cities in Mesoamerica.

The centre of Caral was built upon a desert platform providing protection from natural disasters while being situated adjacent to a fertile valley providing access to agricultural land and water. Caral’s significance is important in a modern context for various reasons:

No traces of warfare or weapons have been found since excavations began, pointing to a peaceful civilisation that apparently did not sense the need to protect itself from potential invaders. Gender equality appears to have been a feature of Caral with men and women both enjoying high status. Caral featured sophisticated sustainable urban planning and boasted intricate and extensive irrigation systems indicating an advanced form of ancient sustainable development.

Caral was a mother civilisation which means that it provided the foundation for the formation of later civilisations. It developed at the same time as the Old World civilisations in Egypt, India, Mesopotamia and China, but developed in almost complete isolation. The ancient city of Caral literally remained lost for centuries and it is speculated that the city was deliberately buried to preserve it when its inhabitants realised that their civilisation was collapsing.

Today it can be observed that Caral contained monumental buildings, sunken plazas, collective assembly spaces and hierarchical residential units. Some buildings were used for sacred rituals or private rites while buildings had symbolic meaning and ancestral relevance. Astronomy, time-keeping, accounting and mathematics were practised in Caral. The city’s infrastructure design also featured seismic resilience and underground air ducts which fuelled fires for heating and cooking.

The first tourists apparently only started visiting Caral around 2013. It is therefore in many ways still a relatively undiscovered site and is off-the-beaten-track, even by Peruvian standards.

By J.J. Montagnier

(All photographs taken on 17 March 2019)

**

Recommended excursion:

Peru Ministry of Culture – Caral Educational Excursions Program

Recommended further reading:

First City in the New World?

Sacred City of Caral

The Road to Caral Slideshow

Barranco Murals and Street Art – Lima

Barranco Murals 1

Barranco Murals 2

Barranco Murals 3

Barranco Murals 4

Barranco Murals 5

Barranco Murals 6

Barranco Murals 7

Barranco Murals 8

‘Think With Your Heart’ – Barranco Murals 9

‘Think With Your Heart’ – Barranco Murals 10

Barranco Murals 11

Barranco Murals 12

Barranco Murals 13

Barranco Murals 14

Barranco Murals – Lima, Peru.
Taken on February 26, 2019.

All photos were taken while on a walking tour in Barranco, the bohemian neighbourhood of Lima.

The tour was lead by local expert Gabriel Braun who also offers gourmet food tours of some of the best restaurants in Barranco (at a reasonable price) – for more information, please visit:
Peruvian Adventure Tours

By J.J. Montagnier

© Copyright. All Rights Reserved. Gypsy Café.

Energy Shifts (6) – There Are No Limits To Growth

Temple of the Great Jaguar – Tikal, Guatemala [Photograph by the author, 2015]

Click here for PDF version

Introduction

In this chapter, we will explore why humans are driven to such strong material growth and how we could transition to a less resource-intensive form of growth in light of future physical resource constraints. Given that humans are naturally driven to growth, how do we canalize our will to grow appropriately and in line with the new incoming energy of the age?

Unconstrained Material Growth

During a materialistic epoch, such as the one that we are in, it would be natural for civilizations to generally tend towards material growth, because humans are to a large extent bound by the dominant energy of the age in which they find themselves [see Part 5].

Most cultures would, nonetheless, endeavor to preserve and promote spiritual practices that would offset materialism in order to maintain some balance. There is usually a natural understanding amongst spiritual leaders in all cultures that by abandoning spirituality completely, people could ‘lose their heads’ in materialism – and that would be especially true in a material age. Should that happen, sufficient internal moral codes to limit external material excesses would disappear.

Disconnected Material Growth

Material growth, accomplished with restraint and within an environmentally conscious framework, would require maintaining a connection with the natural environment, but the concept of modern progress in itself depends to a large extent on moving away from nature. Urbanization and modernization go hand-in-hand, which means that physical removal from nature is usually followed by intellectual removal from nature – and vice versa.

The Power of Modernization

Bearing physical constraints in mind would always be the wise thing to do, especially when moving away from nature; however, maintaining such an equilibrium when almost permanently isolated from nature may be easier said than done.

When societies are swept up in the heady currents of modernization, with the driving force being progress at all costs, nature and the environment recede into the background. They are only occasionally focused upon, usually temporarily, mainly when large environmental crises hit news headlines.

The price that we would pay for living within resource constraints would be reduced material growth with limited modernization, while the price that we are paying for powerful, unconstrained modernization is a loss of perception in relation to natural resource boundaries. The more we modernize, the further we drift away from limited resource realities and the more our collective myopia grows.

Severed Connections

A loss of connection with nature results in a loss of empathy for it by not having any direct relationship with it. Indeed, the idea of having empathy for nature would in itself seem odd to many. However, watching National Geographic documentaries about the living earth, with us as part of the biosphere, simply doesn’t suffice.

You have to live in the natural world, or live very close to it, to engage with it and to experience it in order to have a connection with it. When such direct and natural interactions with nature are lacking, a sense of the sacredness within nature is lost. Maintaining a moral approach towards the natural world and the biosphere then falls by the wayside.

When we do not know nature directly, our inclination to appreciate it, respect it and care for it is diminished, and so is the likelihood of feeling a sense of duty or responsibility towards the natural world.

One-Sided Growth

Interacting with nature regularly puts people in a better position to have natural empathy for it, because they would understand that nature has natural empathy for them in the sense that it provides for them. Everything that we use and consume comes from the natural world first and foremost. It is then processed and refined, but the modern mind tends to not make that connection consistently enough.

There is no doubt that incredible human progress has been made through modernization, notably in the sciences and technology. This progress has undoubtedly led to the further development of the human mind, but it has also led to a one-sided form of development due to our intellectual disconnect from nature.

An imbalance has developed in that modern humans do not fully comprehend that they are naturally and fundamentally connected to nature at all times, and that they are an intrinsic component of nature. We are not alien to this world and neither are we aliens in it, but one-sided intellectual development away from the natural world can and does at times lead to such a perspective.

Committed to Material Growth

Our dependence on material growth for modern prosperity, welfare, safety, comforts and quality of life – things that everybody wants and aspires to – means that our capacity for prioritizing anything outside of this paradigm is greatly compromised. Even the idea of limiting material growth would, in many cases, motivate an even stronger commitment to it.

Indeed, having to let go of material growth without anything to replace it would be near-impossible for most people. Much of what they have ever known, especially in the developed world, has had to do with material growth, with a bit of spiritual growth on the side. Therefore, the idea that material growth could potentially come to an end one day would oftentimes be experienced as a looming disaster of epic proportions.

Growth of the Urban Class

Once people are modernized, they rarely voluntarily revert to the pre-modernization state. By the same token, once urbanized, people generally do not return to the land.

It can be observed in developing countries that when individuals from indigenous communities become urbanized and modernized, they tend to consider themselves as having become more advanced than their peers who had maintained their traditional lifestyles in rural areas.

This is a phenomenon that has become clearly visible in the developed world, too. City dwellers often consider themselves to be more educated, more sophisticated and more forward thinking than rural or farm residents. This became quite evident during events that played out during and after the UK-EU ‘Brexit’ membership referendum in 2016 and during the USA presidential election in the same year.

It would appear that on the part of the urbanized population there tends to be a lack of understanding of what it takes to live and work close to the land and how the educational, technological and social requirements would be different.

Urbanized middle and upper classes, therefore, seem to develop a tendency to look down on those who had “stayed behind” in the country. There is, perhaps, a perception that rural people suffer a deficit in education and a lack of sophistication and, therefore, by implication, that they lack class. In spite of such perceptions, the urban class remains fully dependent on farming communities for their food supply.

Although there are many communities worldwide with one-foot-in and one-foot-out of urban living due to spending time in the countryside with family members or by commuting from the countryside to towns or cities for work, once people become fully urbanized and have never known rural life, then choosing to become a farmer becomes a rather remote possibility.

Towards Upward Mobility

There is, presently, a strong, ongoing, worldwide trend towards urbanization [1]. The number of countries where this trend does not feature is no more than a couple of dozen [2]. This means that there is an ongoing trend towards more materialism through the consumerism which is an embedded feature of urbanization and modern living.

When people urbanize, they get access to a variety of goods, services and forms of entertainment that they would otherwise not have access to on a consistent basis. They would also have access to modern infrastructure, amenities and technological conveniences which are lacking outside of urban areas. There are also educational and skills-oriented opportunities available in urban areas, which rural environments simply don’t provide. There is a strong correlation between urbanization and prosperity [3].

The Freedom to Grow

Personal growth in a material sense requires freedom. Community-oriented, traditional lifestyles don’t usually provide many opportunities for fully pursuing personal interests and objectives. Modernization, however, promises to potentially deliver individual achievement and success on multiple levels.

That people would choose to modernize in order to self-realize is simply a logical conclusion of going after opportunities, in many cases pursuing new opportunities that are opening up [4]. It is, therefore, little surprise that given the innate drive of humans to progress and to evolve, people would be drawn to self-realization through modernization within a materialistic paradigm.

Modern progress (through industrialization, mechanization and automation) only becomes a problem when global population numbers grow to the extent that massive environmental degradation is caused by so many people self-realizing through modernization that it ends up threatening the collapse of civilization back into a pre-modern age.

Material vs. Spiritual Growth

The natural close proximity that indigenous people have to nature allows them to maintain – quite naturally – an equilibrium between materialism and spirituality. Indeed, indigenous people are often more spiritual than materialistic, even within the context of a material age.

Human consciousness being predominantly materialistic in its orientation in the present age means that becoming more spiritual and less materialistic within an urban environment could have the benefit of reducing overconsumption on an individual level.

There is, however, a relatively large difference between personal development in a modernized setting compared to nature-based spirituality. Becoming more intellectually spiritual through self-development while living in a city does not necessarily result in having closer contact with nature.

One Foot In and One Foot Out

On the other hand, it is also true that many people do, indeed, manage to maintain some form of balance by getting out of cities frequently for nature-based activities. In addition, they may also maintain frugal and responsible environmentally conscious living practices.

These individuals would probably cope better should a need ever arise to leave urban areas and return to the land. Nevertheless, it remains unlikely that even this section of society would relocate en masse from urban areas by their own volition.

Individually removing oneself on a permanent basis from a city or town could be a solution and would, perhaps, be the only real way to bring about a personal transformation in terms of actively being more in harmony with the environment on an ongoing basis.

Modernization vs Simplification

Even so, should one make heavy use of vehicles or machinery in the countryside, one’s carbon footprint would not be much different from someone living in a megalopolis. In other words, only by reverting to the most basic of lifestyles would one actually reduce one’s personal impact on the environment and the planet.

This is due to exponential global population growth [5]. The more people there are on the planet, the higher each individual’s impact is. If we had maintained smaller numbers, the level of modernization might have been lower and our individual impact less, even when using modern technologies and equipment.

The bottom line is that, for the time being, nobody wants to go back in time in terms of progress and, in the minds of the vast majority of people, progress means modernization, which is, of course, also true for them on a practical, material level. Modern progress is what the vast majority of people want.

‘De-modernizing’, degrowing and deindustrializing go directly against the modern concept of progress and are completely counter-intuitive to the majority of people, regardless of resource depletion realities on the ground, obvious problems related to unsustainable population growth and ongoing environmental degradation.

Negative Progress

Once intellectually modernized through urban living and by embracing modern technologies, there’s virtually no going back. In that sense, one could say that collapse is by design, because there seems to be no reverse gear built into the human psyche once it has become modernized.

Collapse happens when the majority of people within a civilization are unable or unwilling to change their thinking or their behaviors when such change would be the only way to save their civilization. Civilizations, therefore, in some cases progress themselves into collapse.

Destructive Growth

It is well recorded and reported that the environment is taking an extreme toll and showing serious signs of stress globally, while the climate is beyond doubt adversely affected. If we are unable to alter our growth trajectory, we could potentially grow ourselves into extinction through ever-increasing, ever-destructive material growth before we manage to change our thinking or before we run out of physical resources.

Early-Warning Systems

In 1992, over 1,700 scientists – including 104 Nobel laureates – from 71 countries signed a document named World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity [6].

“WARNING: We, the undersigned, senior members of the world’s scientific community, hereby warn all of humanity of what lies ahead. A great change in our stewardship of the earth and the life on it is required if vast human misery is to be avoided and our global home on this planet is not to be irretrievably mutilated.” 

The paper highlighted specific areas in which the environment was suffering critical stresses – namely, the atmosphere, water resources, oceans, soil, forests, living species and population growth.

A section called “What we must do” listed the following recommendations:

  1. We must bring environmentally damaging activities under control to restore and protect the integrity of the earth’s systems we depend on. We must, for example, move away from fossil fuels to more benign, inexhaustible energy sources to cut greenhouse-gas emissions and the pollution of our air and water.
  2. We must manage resources crucial to human welfare more effectively. We must give high priority to efficient use of energy, water and other materials, including expansion of conservation and recycling.
  3. We must stabilize populations. This will be possible only if all nations recognize that this requires improved social and economic conditions, and the adoption of effective, voluntary family planning.
  4. We must reduce and eventually eliminate poverty.
  5. We must ensure sexual equality and guarantee women control over their own reproductive decisions.

In the analysis section, it stresses: “The greatest peril is to become trapped in spirals of environmental decline, poverty, and unrest, leading to social, economic, and environmental collapse.”

The 1992 World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity concludes: “A new ethic is required – a new attitude towards discharging our responsibility for caring for ourselves and for the earth.”

A New Warning

In 2017, a second warning was issued by the world scientists, with a 25th anniversary update on progress that had been made since the original warning in 1992 [7]. The second warning was considered unique in that it was said to have the highest number of scientists who had ever co-signed, and formally supported, a published journal article.

According to the second warning, progress had been made in only one of the critical stress areas since 1992 – namely, a reduction in the prevalence of ozone-depleting substances.

However, according to other reports, the ozone is not actually recovering at lower altitudes above densely populated areas, but only at higher altitudes and, as mentioned before, densely populated areas are, in fact, continually expanding due to ongoing urbanization [8] [9].

The other critical stress areas showed no improvement. From 1992 to 2017, the global population went up (by 2 billion – an increase of 35%), emissions went up, temperatures rose further, ocean dead zones increased, freshwater resources declined and so did reconstructed marine catch areas, the total combined forest area in the world became smaller and the overall abundance of vertebrate species fell (see report for details).

The Economic Growth Imperative

It’s worth doing some analysis on the reasons why very little has been achieved since 1992 in terms of “What we must do”. In a nutshell, it’s all about the economic growth imperative.

Macroeconomics is the study of the overall economic performance of a country, and ‘the growth imperative is an underlying principle of macroeconomics that takes the view that growth is always good for an economy [10]. The reasoning behind it is that continuous economic growth –measured in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – reflects better living standards for the population.

Better living standards become possible when there are more jobs and higher salaries, and that would depend on more manufacturing, more production and more service delivery. These economic activities are driven by the main objective of companies for more profits for themselves and for their shareholders (their shareholders often being employees and ordinary working people.)

Higher industrial output and more jobs result in more taxes from corporations and individuals. More taxes would mean that governments can provide better social support systems, health care services and infrastructure development and can improve overall living standards.

The growth imperative is, therefore, fundamental to modern progress, and it is usually reflected in economic policymaking worldwide as it always aims to stimulate more economic growth for the economies of all countries.

Towards More Upward Mobility

The possibility of achieving better living standards draws people from rural areas towards urban areas which results in more industrial activity – which then causes more environmental degradation [4] [3] . Any long-term decline in economic growth would cause a decline in living standards for just about everyone, except for those who had never had their living standards raised in the first place.

Generally speaking, once living standards rise and people enter the middle classes through upward mobility, they vote for politicians who would continue to secure their living standards. Also, voters usually wish that the politicians they vote for support policies that would provide opportunities for the further raising of their quality of life through sustained and consistent economic growth.

This means that virtually all economically active people support the economic growth imperative, whether in developing or developed nations. The more that people have their material living standards raised, the higher the demand becomes for more material growth which, in turn, exacerbates the negative impact on the climate and the environment.

Sustainable development is, therefore, an oxymoron, because in the bigger scheme of things the economic growth imperative almost always wins out over limited resource realities and environmental concerns. If that were not the case, political parties that champion environmental causes would lead election counts, but they usually trail far behind political parties that champion economic growth.

The Material Growth Trap

This brings us closer to understanding why very little progress has been made since the World Scientists’ report of 1992.  Simply put, virtually all the recommendations made in the report are likely to take a backseat for as long as the economic growth imperative remains an imperative.

To put this further into perspective, let’s revisit the main recommendations made in the 1992 report and explore them in more detail.

Bringing environmentally damaging activities under control to restore and protect the integrity of the earth’s systems that we depend on … will take a backseat for as long as fossil-fuel-driven industrialization, with its negative impacts on the climate and environment, remains a core component of modernization and economic growth.

Moving away from fossil fuels to more benign, inexhaustible energy sources to cut greenhouse-gas emissions and the pollution of our air and water …  is unlikely to be achieved while the economic growth imperative demands further fossil-fuel-driven industrialization. Renewable energies are unable to drive economic growth to the same extent as fossil fuels because of much lower energy output [11]. The use of fossil fuels will, therefore, continue to be prioritized over renewable energies, because no one is prepared to lower their living standards.

Giving a high priority to efficient use of energy, water and other materials … will continue to be hampered by industrial expansion, modernization, urbanization, intensive farming and population growth, all of which are results of the economic growth imperative. These activities all demand huge volumes of energy, water and other materials. Efficiency can be and has been improved; in the bigger scheme of things, however, it has little impact if there are ever more of the above activities taking place (please see: Jevon’s Paradox).

Stabilizing populations  would require letting go of the economic growth imperative, because sustained  economic growth to a large extent relies on population growth, especially when better levels of productivity and higher levels of consumption by fewer people cannot be generated through optimised productivity and higher levels of consumerism when there are fewer consumers [12] [14].

… improved social and economic conditions, and the adoption of effective, voluntary family planning … has contradictory objectives, because improved social and economic conditions require more modernization and industrialization, which tend to initially stimulate population growth further before it slows down later [15]. Voluntary family planning works to a degree but has limited impact in developing nations.

Reducing and eventually eliminating poverty … is hard to achieve in the developing world with ever-increasing population growth. Reducing and eventually eliminating poverty requires modernization and industrialization. Bringing everyone in the world up to First World standards would require several planets worth of resources, because there are already so many people on the planet [16]. Western standards of living have become the benchmark for what everybody would like to achieve worldwide. The more people there are globally, the more people there are who demand Western standards of living.

Ensuring sexual equality and guaranteeing women control over their own reproductive decisions … have been achieved to an extent, especially in developed nations where a plateau has been reached in terms of birth rates and where, in many cases, fertility rates have dropped [12]. The result, however, is that low population growth often means a slowdown in economic growth, because improved production methods cannot always offset a reduction in the number of people available for the labor force. Due to the growth imperative, economies cannot stagnate for too long and so low birthrates are often compensated for by mass immigration programs to replenish the workforce [13] [14].

To conclude, the possibility of becoming trapped in spirals of environmental decline, poverty, and unrest, leading to social, economic, and environmental collapse – as predicted in the 1992 report – will remain an almost inevitable outcome due to the economic growth imperative which, today, is almost universally embraced by individuals, corporations and governments.

A New Ethic

The World Scientists’ report of 1992 talks about the need for a new ethic, but it’s difficult to see how a new ethic would be embraced while the majority of people hold onto the economic growth imperative. Only a change in our collective inner attitude could change our collective outer conduct.

Should the Spirit of the Age change organically, a new ethic could potentially arrive naturally, (as discussed in Parts 3 and  5), but that would require a shift in the metaphysical energy of the age which would result in a general shift in human thinking. Such a shift will arrive incrementally – but may not arrive soon enough to avoid a collapse of our civilization.

As we know, the problem we are facing is that the material growth imperative is responsible for the consistent destruction of the environment and biosphere because our global industrial civilization depends on the burning of polluting fossil fuels. This continuous destruction threatens to eventually result in our planet becoming uninhabitable.

A time will eventually come when humans will be less materialistic in terms of their thinking and would naturally want to move away from the material growth imperative (see Part 5) but, until such time, everything points to the fact that it would be up to individuals to make such a shift on their own (as far as that would be possible for them), both in thinking and in lifestyle.

When physical resource limits for further economic expansion and continuous material growth eventually set in to the extent that the majority of people are personally and directly affected, a general shift in thinking may occur. Regardless, lifestyle changes will eventually be forced upon people due to a decline in the availability of affordable fossil fuels and due to climate change (See: Limits to Growth – A Final Warning.)

Eventually, the number of people motivated to shift to another form of growth would swell exponentially and they would then follow in the footsteps of those individuals who had made the shift earlier on. In the meantime, all evidence points to the fact that the vast majority of people would only choose to make changes that involve a reduction in quality of life through external circumstances. They will not choose to do so except if it is absolutely necessary.

There Are No Limits To Growth

There are no limits to growth. Although there are limits to external growth, there are no limits to internal growth. One thing that will never change is our will to grow. As humans, we are absolutely driven to grow. The very reason why we are here is to grow – but not only materially so, and that is where we need to change our thinking. What has to change is the way that we grow. We need to shift our approach from being outer-growth-oriented to inner-growth-oriented.

The Great Shift

Growth is cyclical; sometimes it is material and sometimes it is spiritual (as illustrated in Part 5). We have entered an era of exponential spiritual growth while the window for material growth is closing. Most people are so committed to material growth that they are unable to make the shift in advance – and few are even contemplating it.

From Circles to Spirals

Material growth is a closed circle – a self-reinforcing loop that relies on the continuous availability of limited external material resources, some of which we will eventually run out of, without there being any substitutes.

Spiritual growth in the form of inner self-development is an open, ascending spiral with infinite growth potential that draws on unlimited intangible resources within and which can be tapped indefinitely for internal expansion.

Making the Shift

The whole objective of self-development and self-transformation is to grow beyond the general state of being that is the standard level of development of the times.  Those who follow this path become the pioneers who traverse The Valley of Shadows in advance. They transcend the limits of the present paradigm early by living in the next paradigm consciously and practically, while still being in the old paradigm at the same time.

The Inner Growth Imperative

The inner growth imperative will, one day, become as powerful as the outer growth imperative is today. To be in line with the new energy in advance, we would need to switch over from an external economic growth imperative – based on material and physical accumulation and consumption – to an internal self-realization growth imperative that is based on internal expansion and the accumulation of non-tangible inner-wealth.

Once we have made this shift consciously and intellectually, we will have the ability to be happy with less and we will be able to embrace the coming changes more naturally. We will also have reduced our carbon footprint in advance. Individuals who choose this path are a minority, but they will be better positioned to pioneer and conceptualize new ways of living compared to people living exclusively in a material growth paradigm physically and mentally.

The Vision Quest

We have to evolve into creating for ourselves non-material comforts and pleasures. We have to create an environment that would provide peace and spiritual prosperity, notwithstanding having less material abundance. We have to formulate a new ethic that allows for personal and individual freedoms within the context of a renewed responsibility to our community and our environment at the same time.

This and more are achievable, but it would require forward-thinking people who are motivated to make an early shift. While we still have time, we need to envision the world that we would like to live in. It is most likely going to be a low-carbon or post-carbon civilization, meaning that we are going to return to a slower way of life. Taking a positive view of this probable future and having a pragmatic approach towards it would enable us to envision solutions more clearly as we shift.

Towards Simplicity

The meaning of progress and development will change. In the future, it would mean a return to a simpler life, combined with personal inner development, as opposed to a complex life with external development in the form of possessions and status.

We have to revert to the Great Year Within and uplift ourselves. We have to spiral upwards along with the upwards-moving energy on the ascending arc of human evolution. Such a state can only be reached through self-development.

The more people start moving in this direction and combine it with a one-foot-out approach – spending more time in nature – the sooner we will make the transition in advance and the more people will be available to build resilient communities in anticipation of the coming changes. 

By J.J. Montagnier

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J.J. Montagnier is a futurologist and travelosopher based in South America. His writings on the Mayan calendars are intuitively inspired and are influenced by his knowledge of Jungian psychology. The author visited Central America in 2015 to do research on the subject.

Copyright © 2018 · All Rights Reserved · Gypsy Café

This article has been written for general consumption and some concepts have been simplified. The views and opinions are those of the author.  Creative license has been applied to make some concepts more accessible. Please note that all articles in this series are written in a highly condensed format. Readers are encouraged to do further reading for deeper understanding – please see references.


References to and excerpts from this article may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content: please use the  page address (URL) in the browser to link to.

The Energy Shifts series now has a dedicated home at: http://energyshifts.net/


Resources:

  1. http://www.unesco.org/education/tlsf/mods/theme_c/popups/mod13t01s009.html
  2. https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.RUR.TOTL.ZS
  3. https://ourworldindata.org/economic-growth#urbanisation-and-prosperity
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_mobility
  5. https://ourworldindata.org/world-population-growth
  6. https://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/attach/2017/11/World%20Scientists%27%20Warning%20to%20Humanity%201992.pdf
  7. http://scientistswarning.forestry.oregonstate.edu/sites/sw/files/Warning_article_with_supp_11-13-17.pdf
  8. https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2018/02/06/sorry-earth-the-ozone-layer-isnt-healing-itself-after-all/#2094a78a5418
  9. https://weather.com/science/environment/news/2018-02-07-ozone-layer-thinning-climate-change-chemicals-global-warming
  10. https://www.economicshelp.org/macroeconomics/economic-growth/0
  11. http://euanmearns.com/eroei-for-beginners
  12. https://ourworldindata.org/fertility-rate
  13. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dependency_ratio
  14. https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/countries-with-the-lowest-birth-rates-in-the-world.html
  15. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographic_transition
  16. https://persquaremile.com/2012/08/08/if-the-worlds-population-lived-like/

Energy Shifts (5) – The Yin and Yang of Growth

A Pyramid Window with a View – Xunantunich, Belize [Photo by JJM, 2015]

In front of them lie the bright foundations of a New World. Those who have managed to traverse the Valley of Shadows in advance have become transformed by the process. They are now able to add their unique individual building blocks to the foundations of a bright New World while the Old World continues to crumble  behind them.

The Rise and Fall of Civilizations

The evolutionary drive of humans seems to know no bounds, to the extent that it would override obvious resource limits when it comes to material growth. Yet, many indigenous peoples around the world have willingly continued to live within their natural resource boundaries and have continued to do so even during our very materialistic times. 

This phenomenon is very likely by design, because for there to be built-in species’ resilience on the planet some foundational cultures need to remain in place in the event of advanced civilizations collapsing. Wiser and simpler ways of living would then still be in place that could be emulated or returned to until new civilizations rise again.

An overlap of civilizations, cultures and communities, with different levels of complexity as a feature, has resulted in the weaving of a rich tapestry that is the history of human progress and development.  For such continuous diversity to unfold, natural breaks in continuity between the rise and fall of civilizations would need to occur from time to time.

Timeline of Ancient Civilisations

Fig 1 – Timeline of Ancient Civilisations [click to enlarge] © Parthenongraphics.com 

Each civilization has a timeline that matches its life cycle. In the same way that humans are powerfully driven to build grand civilizations, civilizations eventually run out of steam and peter out or collapse spectacularly due to forces apparently beyond their control. The Classic Maya civilization and the Roman Empire were cases in point.

The best that could be done when facing a collapse scenario, it would seem, is to aim for a soft landing or a slow decline rather than being caught up in a sudden and destructive unwinding of a complex system.  

Keeping an eye out for signs of collapse would always be a wise thing to do and, when they appear, planning accordingly would be the prudent thing to do. However, knowing what to plan for would require an expansive big picture view that would ideally also offer some kind of road map for the future.

Energy Mapping

A big picture view of growth and decline would require a framework that could measure not only material growth, but also human growth in terms of the rise and fall of human consciousness. It is, after all, human consciousness that directs the rise and fall of civilizations.

Such frameworks do exist; they can be found in ancient metaphysical energy-measuring and energy-tracking systems. One such system is the collection of ancient Mesoamerican calendar systems from Central America, composed of numerous overlapping and interlocking calendar cogs and wheels that measure different evolutionary cycles, processes and phenomena. The Maya calendars are the most well-known amongst the  Mesoamerican calendars (as explored in previous chapters.)

The Vedic Great Year

Another such framework is the 24,000-year procession of the equinoxes’ cycle known as the Vedic Great Year from ancient India, as interpreted by the Hindu Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri in his acclaimed book “The Holy Science” published in 1894. In this book, he sets out to correct an error that was made in the calculation of world ages during the Kali Yuga Dark Age (at the time, all ages were erroneously multiplied by 360) [1].

 

Fig 2 – The Vedic Great Year Yuga Spiral

In the Vedic Great Year – which is a combined circular and cyclic system – evolutionary processes flow outwards and downwards from the spiritual source at the top of the cycle into material growth for the first half of the cycle. In Theosophy, this process is described as a descent of spirit into matter and is known as involution [2].

During the second half of the Great Year, after crossing the halfway mark at the bottom of the cycle (which would mark a spiritual low point and a material high point), evolutionary processes start flowing upwards again, this time inwards back towards the original source at the top of the cycle.

This happens through ever-diminishing material growth and ever-increasing spiritual growth as the growth process moves along the ascending arc. In Theosophy, this process is described as an ascent of spirit out of matter and is known as evolution [2].

The shift point from involution to evolution happened in the year AD 498 at the very bottom of the Great Year which marked a low point for human consciousness. Notably, the collapse of the Roman Empire concluded around that time.

Energy Overshoot

We are presently [in 2018] 1,520 years into the 12,000-year ascending arc of the Vedic Great Year [3]. The good news is that we are evolving out of matter as we speak and that we have been doing so for quite some time. On the surface of it, however, it would appear to be the other way around, i.e. that the world is devolving further into matter and materialism, and that is because we are deep into energy overshoot.

The Four Yugas

Each 12,000-year half cycle of the Great Year is segmented into four distinct ages, each with its own characteristics: an Iron Age known as Kali Yuga (2,400 years), a Bronze Age known as Dwapara Yuga (2,400 years), a Silver Age known as Treta Yuga (3,600 years) and a Golden Age known as Satya Yuga (4,800 years) [4].

 

Fig. 3 – The Vedic Great Year Cycle

The Golden Age at the top is the most spiritual age of all; the Iron Age at the bottom is the most materialistic; the Bronze Age has a more subtle materialism; and the Silver Age is quite light in materialism. The higher you go, the less influence material energy has; and the lower you go, the more materialistic it becomes.

The Golden Age at the top and the Iron Age at the bottom of the cycle are ‘cut in half’ by the symbolic shift points from ascending to descending energy and vice versa respectively [See Fig. 3 – Yuga Cycle: descending on right, ascending on left].

To recap: Spiritual energy has its strongest concentration in the top half of the Great Year, covering both the ascending and descending arcs, and material energy has its strongest concentration in the bottom half of the Great Year, covering both arcs, too.

Kali Yuga, the Iron Age, had already been active on the descending arc for 1,200 years prior to the involution to evolution shift point in AD 498. It then progressed upwards on the ascending arc for another 1,200 years until the year 1698 when our present age, Dwapara Yuga, commenced. We have been in this Bronze Age of Dwapara Yuga for 320 years at the time of writing in 2018 [3].

Energy Transitions

As we have learned in previous chapters, all cyclical energy systems have transition phases from one age to the next which cause energy overlap. In the Great Year, these transition phases are known as sandhis – and they take around 200 years to complete.

Dwapara Yuga that started in 1698 (around AD 1700) only became fully active, therefore, 200 years later in the year 1898 (around AD 1900.) This means that, energy-wise, we have only been in it fully for 120 years since the 200-year transition phase was completed. Our Bronze Age is, therefore, still at a very young age and still in the process of ‘growing up’ [See Fig 2: ‘Yuga Spiral’].

This is significant in terms of pinpointing where we are, because it shows that in the big scheme of things we have only just recently stepped out of the Vedic Dark Age (the very materialistic Kali Yuga Iron Age.) In addition, even though the 200-year sandhi was completed 120 years ago, our Dwapara Yuga is still to a large extent under the influence of Kali Yuga (which will be illustrated in detail in the next installment.)

Built into the Cycle

In the overall context of the Vedic Great Year, we can thus observe that material overshoot is, in fact, built into the cycle. In a general sense, that would mean that we are still metaphysically bound by materialism, because – as noted before – materialism dominates most of the bottom half of the Great Year, covering both the descending and ascending arcs.

As Above, So Below

The universe is governed by energy, and the metaphysical configuration of the energy influences what happens materially. The strong tendency for humans to be materialistic is thus explained by this phenomenon – it is due to the influence of metaphysical material energy on human consciousness.

As material energy weakens gradually on the ascending arc of the Great Year, it will incrementally fade out. That will happen to the extent that social, societal and civilizational structures based solely on materialism will start to crumble (we have already entered such a state.)  New systems that are more in line with the new incoming energy configuration would then be required to take the place of the old structures.

However, a gap may develop between the collapsing of old systems and the establishing of new ones due to the energy still being in flux, which could make it difficult for anything of a lasting nature to form. Once the energy has settled, new structures should be able to form naturally. In the meantime, we are in an old-paradigm overshoot – intellectually, philosophically and spiritually speaking – while the seeds of new growth are still forming.

The Great Year Within

It’s worth noting at this point that within every individual resides a symbolic Vedic Great Year. Individuals can be at different levels of spirituality and materialism than the general position would indicate in the Great Year. Some people could still be living in Kali Yuga, while others may have progressed much further along the ascending arc.

The Great Shift

As energy continues to shift upwards, it will become increasingly difficult to hold on to the old paradigm. The more individuals start focusing on inner growth – which is what The Great Shift is all about – the closer they will bring humanity into line with the naturally evolving direction of energy growth that is taking place in the universe, which is a shift from material growth to spiritual growth. 

To be continued… 

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J.J. Montagnier is a futurologist and travelosopher based in South America. His writings on the Mayan calendars are intuitively inspired and are influenced by his knowledge of Jungian psychology. The author visited Central America in 2015 to do research on the subject.

Copyright © 2018 · All Rights Reserved · Gypsy Café

This article has been written for general consumption and some concepts have been simplified. The views and opinions are those of the author.  Creative license has been applied to make some concepts more accessible. Please note that all articles in this series are written in a highly condensed format. Readers are encouraged to do further reading for deeper understanding – please see references.

Please note: References to and excerpts from this article may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content: please use the  page address (URL) in the browser to link to.

The Energy Shifts series now has a dedicated home at: http://energyshifts.net/


Resources

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holy_Science

[2] http://davidpratt.info/cyclicevo.htm

[3] All calculations were made according to the Yuga timeline dates and shift points listed in: Astrological World Cycles by Tara Mata (Laurie Pratt) Published in Serial Format in 1932-33.

[4] Astrological World Cycles by Tara Mata (Laurie Pratt) Published in Serial Format in 1932-33.

Bibliography & Further Reading

Astrological World Cycles by Tara Mata (Laurie Pratt) Published in Serial Format in 1932-33:

Astrological World Cycles (Pdf)

The Sacred Tree – The Daiva Yugas and The World Cycles of Human Evolution:

The Sacred Tree (Pdf)

Recommended Interview

Recommended Documentary

The Great Year by The Yuga Project LLC

Buenos Aires Murals and Street Art

[click to enlarge]

Buenos Aires is a paradise for street art enthusiasts and artists alike. One of the reasons is that unlike most large world cities it has an open and relatively unrestricted approach to urban art. This means that abandoned and derelict as well as occupied buildings can be used as art spaces as long as owners give their permission.

On a recent long weekend visit to Buenos Aires I decided to join a guided street art tour instead of seeking out murals and street art on my own, as I usually do. There are several walking tours available, but I decided to go with Graffitimundo, a non-profit organisation directly involved in supporting the urban arts scene in the city.

The advantage of doing a walking tour is that you get to learn about the artists, their philosophies, styles and inspirations and also how and why they got into street art in the first place. The tour I joined was led by Cecila who also invited us for coffee at the Graffitimundo’s gallery and workshop where some of the artist’s works are on display.

The images in this photo gallery were all taken in the Colegiales and Palermo Hollywood neighborhoods in the northern areas of Buenos Aires. 

– Jean-Jacques

Santiago Murals

 

Signs of the Times (?)

Museo a Cielo Abierto 2

Museo a Cielo Abierto 3

Museo a Cielo Abierto 4

Museo a Cielo Abierto 5

Museo a Cielo Abierto 6

Museo a Cielo Abierto 7

Museo a Cielo Abierto 8

Museo A Cielo Abierto 9

Museo a Cielo Abierto 10

Museo a Cielo Abierto 11

Metro Bellas Artes – Santiago, Chile 12

Metro Bellas Artes – Santiago, Chile 13

Street Art, Mural, Cafe – Santiago, Chile 14

Santiago Murals. January 2018. Photography by JJ Montagnier. 
 © Copyright. All Rights Reserved. Gypsy Café.

Also see: SANTIAGO STREET ART

Los Lagos y Los Volcanes

Visiting The Chilean Lake District – January 2018
Photography by JJ Montagnier

[click to view slides]

These photographs were taken in the Los Lagos region of Chile, bordering North Patagonia: The lakeside towns of Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas are ideal places to take excursions from and there are regular local buses that go to the lakes, volcanoes, nature reserves and lakeside beaches. This gallery features the volcanoes and lakes that I captured in the area during my ten days stay. Please click through the images for details of each place. Thank you for visiting and viewing. 

Jean-Jacques

02.02.2018

Copyright © 2018 – All Rights Reserved – Gypsy Café

Energy Shifts (4) – What Does the Future Hold?

A Five Level Pyramid at Tikal, Tikal National Park, Petén, Guatemala, (2015, JJM)

“It was halfway famine, it was halfway feast” [1].

This is the translation of the original Maya prophecy for Katun 2 Ahau (2012-2032). In the next chapters, we will match this prophecy with real trends and we will make realistic forecasts for the next fifteen years.

Physical energy configurations, such as fossil fuel resources and renewable energies, will be factored in, and we will make predictions on how human beings are likely to respond to the challenges facing them in the coming years.

Having the Right Attitude

If we are internally (spiritually, mentally and psychologically) prepared for the external material changes in the world, they will appear to be positive, and our approach to them would be pro-active, courageous, responsible, motivated and engaging.

“As above” (spiritually and internally)

“So below” (materially and externally)

If we are not internally prepared for external changes in the world, they would appear to us on the outside as negative, disastrous, calamitous and unfair, and our approach would be that of fear, denial, evasion, resistance, victimhood and escapism. 

A Concise Prophecy

The first thing that we notice about the prophecy for Katun 2 Ahau is that it is reasonably short: “It was halfway famine, it was halfway feast” [1]. This is the section that is considered to be the most important part by translators. The rest of the prophecy consists of a few additional sentences, which we will touch on later.

The wording of the English version differs, depending on the translation and the codex from which it was taken, but “It was halfway famine, it was halfway feast” is Munro S. Edmonson’s interpretation and is from The Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel.

Edmonson’s version comes across as less symbolic than other translations as he has already applied some interpretation to the symbolism used; this serves the objectives of this article well as we will use it as a reference point for the rest of our discussion.

Interpreting the Prophecy

The words “feast” and “famine” could be further interpreted in various ways. In the context of our discussion, we will consider these words to generally mean “economic growth” and “economic decline”.

In his book, The Mayan Prophecies, Kenneth Johnson explains that most scholars apply mainly two interpretations to this prophecy – namely, that in half of the Katun there would be prosperity and in the other half poverty or that there would be social disparities between the rich and the poor which would cause a lot of social tensions during the Katun.

Prophecies can sometimes (less commonly) be interpreted literally. The meaning often falls somewhere in between the symbolic and the literal. As a thought experiment, we will consider the possibility of there being a literal meaning, too, during our analyses.  

First Easy, Then Difficult

As explained in Part 3, Katuns (19.7-year time periods) are divided into two 9.85 year halves – and the half has a length close to that of a decade. However, Katun-halves do not necessarily start or end at exactly the same time as decades do.

The energy of a Katun ascends during the first half, reaches a peak in the middle and descends during the second half.  We will, therefore, assume that the prophecy should be read in reverse, i.e. that the first half of Katun 2 Ahau (2012-2022) will continue to be relatively “easy” (there will be continued economic growth) and that the second half (2022-2032) will be difficult (there will be an economic decline of some sort).   

Forecasting and Probability

In order to arrive at some realistic conclusions and make forecasts with a relatively high level of probability, we will take an open and philosophical approach to this broad and complex subject by consulting mainstream as well as quality non-mainstream sources.

Due to our scope being somewhat limited, we will keep it concise while being as comprehensive as possible at the same time. In the process, we will inadvertently touch on issues or topics that are frequently ignored or avoided for reasons that we will also delve into later. But first, let’s start with some context.

Prosperity and Poverty

Presently, we live in the most materially prosperous time in recorded history, notwithstanding the poverty that can still be found in many parts of the world. Considering how familiar we are with the abundance of choice in everything that we do and consume, imagining the arrival of “famine” in a real sense is almost impossible for those of us living in the developed world.

Poverty – unlike famine – is, however, something that we can relate to, at least to an extent, because we come across it often enough. Homelessness can be observed even in the richest countries and, in recent years, the arrival of large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers has added to the phenomenon.

Some people in the developed world may even have come close to poverty themselves due to personal financial crises or temporary local economic downturns. That happened, for example, in several first-world countries after the global financial crisis that started in 2008.

In reality, the average middle-class person is basically only a few lost pay cheques away from poverty. However, unlike in the poorer countries, there are relatively good social support systems and safety nets in place in developed nations that can assist people in getting back on their feet.

An Unbalanced World

The abundant standards of living that people are used to in the first world rely on large volumes of resources and supplies coming in from other parts of the world. People in developed countries have, over time, grown accustomed to having access to a much wider variety of manufactured goods and agricultural produce than what their local environments are able to consistently provide [2].

Virtually all under-developed nations rely on imports, too, but their reasons for importing have usually more to do with survival or with maintaining a basic minimum standard of living as opposed to it being based on demands for having as much variety as possible. Some countries fall somewhere in between with sections of their populations just surviving while other sections live in abundance.

The Making of an Illusion

Abundance can only truly be measured by consuming what is only locally available in order to measure if the environment can support local population numbers and consumption habits. If it can’t, we are overconsuming. If nobody has local abundance anymore, then global abundance is an illusion and everybody is overconsuming everywhere.

The downside of not living within one’s own means as a group is that it makes you reliant upon others, and it also puts a strain on them. The same can be said of unbridled population growth worldwide, regardless of how rich or poor countries are. Ultimately, everybody will be impacted.

In the process of living out the illusion of abundance, the future, in terms of arriving at a reasonable quality of life for everyone worldwide, is being consumed in advance, especially by populations that demand a higher quality of life than others [2].

Limits to Limitlessness

A global economic system that depends on infinite economic growth driven by unlimited resource extraction, coupled with endless hyper-consumption as a lifestyle, has – over time – been exported around the world and virtually all nations have adopted it.

The consequence of this is that the first world has locked itself and the rest of the world into a very specific and very set trajectory, i.e. endless, infinite, unlimited, non-stop material growth and expansion forever – or for as long as the raw materials and fossil fuels would last.

Although it is, perhaps, not always obvious, we actually live on a rather small planet with finite resources. Logically speaking, it is just a matter of time before we do, in fact, start running out. The only question is: “When?” [3].

Catching Up

In the meantime, lots of consumer goods and technology have, in recent years, also become available to those who can afford them in poorer nations, and that has significantly increased the quality of life of people worldwide.

Technology has, in many cases, leapfrogged infrastructure development completely, thereby accelerating the process. Overall, one can thus see a trend where the developing world is increasingly catching up with the developed world, and this is happening as we speak.

Huge progress has been made in infrastructure development, too, especially in developing countries with booming economies, with China being a prime example of how fast such developments can occur.  

On the face of it then, one could easily arrive at the conclusion that the nations and peoples who were left behind previously would be able to catch up in the foreseeable future. However, such continued worldwide progress would depend on uninterrupted supplies of affordable fossil fuels and many types of raw materials.

A Precarious Situation

Should, for instance, the flow of resources and food supplies between countries be interrupted or become constrained for some reason, people in most nations would be severely affected. Hardly any countries are self-sufficient anymore, and they all rely on imports and exports.

Having said that, some nations are still more self-sufficient than others, due to being naturally endowed with important raw materials or by having favourable conditions for agriculture and food production. Some countries have smaller populations and, thus, fewer mouths to feed and fewer cars to run – so there’s an overall lower strain on their environments and a lower demand for fossil fuel.  

In many poorer nations, there are still people who predominantly rely on local produce due to subsistence living and agricultural lifestyles. People in urban locations in developing countries often still live within cultural environments that are generally more community oriented or more based on a spirit of sharing and that of supporting each other.

Whose paradigm shift is it anyway?

The San people from Southern Africa, considered to be the oldest living tribe on the planet [4], will not experience a major paradigm shift should, for example, food imports stop coming into the countries that they reside in. Many of the San still live from the land – usually in very arid areas – and they continue to hunt for their food and conserve water as traditional practices. 

The San people are the epitome of human survival due to having preserved their way of life for centuries. They have resilience. Should, for example, first-world city dwellers experience sudden interruptions in food supplies, experience extended power cuts or find a lack of fuel at filling stations, a complete paradigm shift is guaranteed. Modern-world city dwellers do not have resilience.

Another example of people with resilience is the Amish community in the USA who have maintained their rural way of life for hundreds of years in communities that are based on self-reliance, self-sufficiency and simplicity. Importantly, they have avoided becoming too dependent on advanced technologies. The most likely paradigm shift for the Amish would be city dwellers arriving in their rural areas asking for assistance with survival.

That being said, even the Amish and the present-day Maya people in Central America (for example) rely on goods that are brought to local markets with vehicles that operate on fuel and diesel. Therefore, should there be any form of fuel supply shortages in general, even more- resilient groups would have to adapt. However, due to having preserved and maintained most of their survival skills, along with their orientation towards simple living, it would be much easier for them to cope than for the majority of consumer-oriented city dwellers who simply don’t have any reference points for “going back in time”. 

To be continued…

The Energy Shifts series now has a dedicated home at: http://energyshifts.net/

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Read Part 3

Read Part 2

Read Part 1

J.J. Montagnier is a futurologist and travelosopher based in South America. His writings on the Mayan calendars are intuitively inspired and are influenced by his knowledge of Jungian psychology. The author visited Central America in 2015 to do research on the subject.

This article has been written for general consumption and some concepts have been simplified. The views and opinions are those of the author.  Creative license has been applied to make some concepts more accessible.

Please note that all articles in this series are written in a highly condensed format. Readers are encouraged to do further reading for details and statistics – please see references.

Copyright © 2018 · All Rights Reserved · Gypsy Café

Please note: References to and excerpts from this article may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content: please use the  page address (URL) in the browser to link to.


References & Statistics:

  1. Edmonson, Heaven Born Merida and its Destiny, p. 228.
  2. List of countries by food consumption: https://ourworldindata.org/food-per-person
  1. List of countries by food energy intake: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_food_energy_intake
  1. World food waste statistics: http://www.theworldcounts.com/counters/world_food_consumption_statistics/world_food_waste_statistics
  1. Which countries waste the most food? https://wastelesssavemore.sainsburys.co.uk/whats-happening/swadlincote/blog/which-countries-waste-the-most-food
  1. List of countries by oil consumption: https://www.indexmundi.com/energy/?product=oil&graph=consumption&display=rank
  1. List of countries by oil Imports: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_oil_imports
  1. To be explored in the next article – in the meantime please see the Video: Final Warning – Limits to Growth.
  2. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/worlds-most-ancient-race-traced-in-dna-study-1677113.html

Main Resources:

The Mayan Prophecies – The Renewal of the World 2012 – 2072, by Kenneth Johnson, (published in 2012).

The Book of Destiny – Unlocking the Secrets of the Ancient Mayans and the Prophecy of 2012, by Carlos Barrios (published in 2009). [1] [2].

The Historical Value of the Books of Chilan Balam. Author(s): Sylvanus Griswold Morley. Source: American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Apr. – Jun., 1911), pp. 195-214.

The Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel, by Ralph Roys (published in 1933).

The Katun Prophecies of the Paris Codex. Thesis by James V. Rauff. Loyola University Chicago.