A Vision of Global Engagement & Consciousness
Zemlyanin is a Russian word and concept with a profound global significance:
A person, at birth, is innately connected to the whole planet - not to their country, cultural tradition, race, class, or even gender.
We are all Zemlyanin.
Zemlya is the Earth. Zemlyanin is the global, natural, authentic characteristic of all human beings. Every person is naturally Zemlyanin at birth. It is a remarkable aspect of the Russian language that it manifests this intuitive, communal conception that our collective humanity is grounded within - and united by - a passion for a common global consciousness.
The word human has the same Latin root as humus - soil - ground - earth. The intent in this work is to identify and promote the manifestations of our human condition that engage Existence and Being lived as an outgrowth from - and as a generation of - the Earth.
This suggests the idea of 'earth' as both a metaphor of experience and a new psychic grounding on which free persons can be called to account. Zemlyanin characterizes the 'globality' or the inclusion of a comprehensive global consciousness.
We believe this emerging global Zem identity is the vision of living within global integrity and authenticity. Zem is the embracing of all people - at all times - in all places.
Throughout this work there is a constellation of ideas and concepts deeply rooted in Russian religious philosophy, considerations steeped in esoteric conceptions, propositions expressed in terms of Western futurists, themes embraced by ‘New Age’ advocates, and postmodern notions of a ‘revolution of consciousness’. However valuable these considerations are, these ideas are not at the core of our work. This series of our explorations will investigate previously unexamined relationships between transformational psychology, contemporary philosophy and sciences, cultural spiritualities and progressive political postures. And it will include influences on consciousness/spiritual evolution individually and in humanity-as-a-whole not previously synthesized into a global perspective. We have termed this - Global Perestroika.
This vision is created from the perspective of personal concern and public consequence. These essays are the initiation of an ongoing project for specialists in the theory and practice of developing global consciousness and creating effective new conflict resolution processes. The purpose of these writings is to create a body of information that sustains intellectual inquiry while attempting to grapple with essential world issues. An example: The complex area that Russians identify with the noun conflictology Americans prefer to identify as an active verb form , conflict resolution. The significant and urgent inquiry into the critical nature of social conflict, as expressed by this noun/verb dichotomy may, well provide a seminal metaphor for the constitutive and necessary interaction of disparate voices.
Since this writing is the beginning of an on-going discussion, which will continue in the proposed Zemlyanin Journal, it was deemed appropriate to include methodologies and theories connected with conflictology/conflict resolution. This suggests a wide spectrum of problems - philosophical, sociological, and political - as well as significant questions emerging from transpersonal psychology. The specific emphasis of this work is the global context of transforming community consciousness and personal consciousness. The idea of using the methodology of a planetary approach (rather than persons/states/nations) to problems of humanity is largely promoted by the catastrophic situation of ‘third world’ countries - ecological problems, intensification of national, religious, and class contradictions. But we believe that this discussion will reveal serious challenges to humanity as-a-whole for which every individual, nation and culture is a stakeholder.
We believe it is inherently necessary to apply a global methodology to the decision process of any particular issue.
A global context is the vortex which enables us to understand deeply the most complicated processes occurring on the planet. These global process seen otherwise may seem illogical, even absurd, or may seem exclusively the result of human error, i.e. the apparent manifestations of ‘evil’ as historical impetus or imperative.
We realize that it is intellectually unpopular to use the nearly archaic rhetoric of Good and Evil as we enter the 21st century. But we believe this is a uniquely Western Eurocentric bias, with much of the rest of the planet's cultures fully comprehending the Good/Evil - God(s)/Satan - dichotomy. 1 This is particularly evident when seen through the Russian perspective with its social/political chaos, its tendency for total and mutual accusations - searching for ‘who is guilty?’ - and with a conspicuously permanent absence of an answer to a perennial Russian question: "What should we do?" This question is increasingly reflected in all cultures as we grapple with degenerating chaos that challenges our persistent hope in discovering a ‘way out’. And there is, encouragingly, increasing insistence that the ‘way out’ devised must comprehend all people in respect and with humane values. All this testifies to the necessity for forming a general view on what is occurring in the world, especially by those who are connected with the theory and practice of conflict resolution.
Attempting to understand global aspects with corresponding images of the formation of a global humanity, expands the consciousness of conflictologists and increases their ability to evaluate meaningfully an immediate situation. For example, social and political phenomenology could be understood as a interactive projection of social/political levels and laws (regularities) with higher levels of physical laws and cosmologies. One approach, for example, is to overlay social evolution with the evolution of the universe; to investigate how they effect each other..
Deep awareness of the objective logic, or subjective illogic, of historical processes and evolution provides significant opportunities for arriving at a comprehensible schema of both idea and action. Global viewing reduces the subjectivity and partiality of conflict resolution. The ideas presented in this book are a first attempt to synthesize information that may be useful in this aspect.
The consideration of a global context, with a connected methodology and associated general theoretical problems, has forced - or, to be more gracious, has granted and required the inclusion of information which, unfortunately, does not reside within the 'official sciences'. But it does, in fact, reflect the significant experience of mankind accumulated in ancient philosophical, religious and esoteric knowledge. We also feel it is important to include information from various branches of psychology, as well as from other areas of science. We proceed from the thesis that disclosing mysteries and the relationship between a person and the world are possible only by a synthesis of modern psychologies and sciences with ancient philosophies and arts.
So, we shall frequently deal with concepts which are not blessed by a sanctioned status within conventional science - for they do not meet the ordinary and appropriate scientific requirements. They are connected with realities which humanity has gleaned from religious experience, philosophical insight, and spiritual practice. Within traditional science, they are hypothesized realities which are not yet strictly defined. Acceptable science is not readily allowed to fall outside the established limits of so-called 'approved scientific frameworks'. Consequently, traditional science is unable to explain such realities. However, many proponents of science are beginning to recognize the limitations, inertia, and conservatism of traditional scientific approaches. They are beginning to consider almost any exotic and enticing viewpoint that explores the unknown depths of our individual psyche, collective humanity and the wondrous cosmos that embraces our being.
Our position proceeds from the thesis that all inquiry, including Western science, has no right to dismiss the material accumulated in other systems of knowledge. We should never close our minds to any point of view. And as researchers we should not only acknowledge, but also encourage alternative approaches toward knowledge. Analogous to the process by which understanding the views and values of others can lead to the resolution of seemingly irreconcilable personal distances, understanding the fundamental problems of Western traditional science may be found through the inclusion, not the exclusion, of other sciences and metascience.
The absence of conventional scientific acknowledgment of any particular unorthodox thesis does not mean the automatic absence of its metaphysical validity. The existence of 'spiritual reality', for example, can be confirmed by the faith of many generations of people in various cultures and on the basis of immediate experience. In this context the spiritual realm does not need a conventional scientific explanation. We can and should acknowledge the heuristic value of exotic information. As such information continues to accumulate, individual and collective histories of spiritual experience will be accepted as valid. We will also suggest some caveats and criteria when dealing with techniques for gathering such exotic information.
Psychology has seemingly infinite variants: constituent schools of thought, cultural intentions, and social norms. By psychology, it will become clear that our reference is to transpersonal psychology, a ‘deep’ psychological analysis of interaction between phenomena of the consciousness-unconsciousness and human (psychic) potential fields of knowledge. The domains of scientific analysis and psychological considerations - and the framework of general social psychology with its ever widening circle of philosophical, social, political, and spiritual weavings - are all considered the material of global issues, global consequence and global concern.
The content of these essays reflect our common research interests. This includes the influence of the evolution of individual consciousness on group consciousness as well as on omni-planetary processes. These ideas permit the synthesis of interdisciplinary knowledge ranging from global approaches to psychotherapy to the political impact of religious and philosophical traditions.
We have included some important interrelated questions, arising from the central idea of this work - analyzing the influence of human consciousness on planetary processes. Unfortunately, the volume and genre of this paper have allowed us to touch these questions only briefly. We are aware that readers may be left with the impression of many unfinished ideas and considerations. Also, many will refute key methodological positions of the paper, (for example., the idea of the existence of a multi-component, meta-historical factor). It is also possible to reproach us for overemphasizing moral components with evangelical zeal.
Accepting these possible critiques, we would like to underscore that these essays are our first attempt to construct something like the ‘spectrum of problems’ with an internal logic which allows us to move forward in:
> Understanding the current human events on the planet
> More precisely envisioning the tasks of psychology and conflict resolution processes
> Engaging the responsibility of individual consciousness and action for the future of humanity holistically / globally
In the future, should public interest support it, a Zemlyanin Journal will consider this ‘spectrum of problems’ more deeply and comprehensively. For example it is necessary to identify the interaction of factors determining world processes. It is also necessary to create models of the future that are truly multidimensional. For this purpose we propose searching invariants in modern futurological research and comparing these invariants with cultural and mythological predictions and with various ancient philosophical and esoteric ideas about the ‘new epoch’.
In connection with the future stages of civilization these important theoretical questions arise:
> What are the limits of possible knowledge about the future from the viewpoints of science, theology, art, and mystical revelations?
> What are the possibilities of utilizing all these information channels?
> Can we predict alternate future realities or are these only alternate visions of a single reality?
> How and by whom is the future being created today?
> Should we emphasize the moral aspects and possible corrective effects on the future?
Some additional questions about the complicated problems mankind’s consciousness evolution are:
> Has the historical restructuring and previous transformations of civilization expressed an evolution of humanity or has it been merely an illusion of progress?
> What are the criteria for the evolution of civilization and of the individual?
> Is the psychological and probable anthropological transformation of an individual a real development or it is an illusion (involution) ? What is the relationship between them?
> What are the contents of involuntary processes and changes in human nature?
> What are the limits of spiritual growth - if any ?
> Will the individual of the 'new epoch' be characterized by acquiring a ‘super-consciousness’ or by shedding our former humaneness?
> Is the observable growth of mental disorders and individual pathology, the beginning of a pre-adaptation or the fatal disorientation and inevitable explosion of an unavoidable global psychosis?
One of the major considerations when fostering a world/ global process is the opportunity to influence collective consciousness by effecting positive changes within individual consciousness during a person’s spiritual evolution (‘global psychotherapy’). The only real force capable of rescuing civilization is to awaken within mankind the necessity of a unified humanistic civilization built upon a common agreement of basic human values. This influence is possible only by acquiring a true spirituality and the development of constructive creative potentialities.
Global transformation of civilization is an objective process; however, it has activated the most powerful forces hindering this evolution. The struggle between forces of Good and Evil has been aggravated. The intensification of disintegration processes will assuredly inhibit the integration of mankind. Therefore, an essential aspect of future discussions in the Zemlyanin Journal will be to emphasize once more that the challenge of civilization is to examine our common humanity and work toward the evolution of a spiritual, global consciousness.
We would like to underscore that many of Dr. Gostev’s ideas in this book are a result of his being a Project Director of the Synla Institute (Russia) and of his close personal contacts with Dr. Alexander I. Neklessa, who authored the theories of Synla-conception. Dr. Gostev would also like to express gratitude to him for his scientific cooperation and ongoing assistance in developing psychological issues connected with changes and developments of individual and collective consciousness during global transformation. Later in the book we shall speak further about the ideas of Synla-conception.
Part 1 of this book is an overview of the ‘spectrum of problems’ and of the theories and methodologies we feel need to be synthesized to form an understanding of the current evolution of human consciousness. Dr. Andrei Gostev’s seminal work is the ground below this current book. His expertise in the fields of Transpersonal Psychology and Conflict Resolution, and his experience with the Synla Institute have provided him with the foundation from which he has assimilated and integrated information and concepts from an enormous range of fields. His deep belief in the necessity of discovering ways in which to minimize the human ‘fallout’ from the planetarization now occurring has urged him to provide this unique perspective on human consciousness in the new epoch. This heroic vision has remained the plumb line for this current work. J.C.Tucker and Marsha Gilliland have contributed to these ideas, in many cases substantially, but Dr. Gostev’s ideas and vision have remained the force behind our explorations and investigations.
In Part 1, Mr. Tucker and Ms. Gilliland functioned in the role of consultants; i.e., helping to identify key issues, raising critical questions, and commenting on topics of special interest to them. In addition, a primary task for Ms. Gilliland has been to clarify Dr. Gostev’s ideas in English and expand explanations of those ideas, so they meet the goal of developing questions within the ‘spectrum’, while respecting the original decision of not attempting to supply answers in depth. We hope this points towards the path of future exploration in the Zemlyanin Journal, which will investigate more deeply the multi-factored, multi-variant influences on humanity as we enter this New Epoch. We invite participation in the Journal by those concerned with these issues from all cultures and viewpoints.
Part 2 contains a collection of conversations which emerged between the authors from the issues addressed in Part 1. Specifically, the Conversations clarify and expand principles that were articulated in Part 1 as statements. Mr. Tucker was closely involved in Conversations 1-4, but only peripherally in the subsequent ones. All the authors were directly involved in developing ideas, positing issues and presenting viewpoints from their contrasting paradigms and cultures.
The Appendix contains notes, referenced by page number in the main text. We have not interrupted the flow of the text to highlight when notes apply.
We want to acknowledge Mr. Tucker’s identification of the term ‘Zemlyanin’ as the essential metaphor for our work and for encouraging its retention for this English version. We don’t think this project could have been as rich, at least as we have experienced it without it.
The Russian references are available in Dr. Gostev’s Russian book, * which formed the basis for this English project.
Our joint vision of the ongoing project will reflect the development of not only the issues raised, but also the interaction between the various views and cultures, traditions and methodologies. We believe that this book will be of interest to psychologists, philosophers, sociologists, political and natural scientists, concerned citizens - anyone who is engaged in the formation of a global world outlook as an essential element of winding our way through the maze, and amazing, events of our collective human experience.
about the authors . . .
Andrei A. Gostev, Ph.D. (Russia)
Dr. Andrei A. Gostev a senior scientific fellow of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow) and Vice President of the Russian Transpersonal Psychology Foundation. He is also an expert on Conflict Resolution Projects in the International Federation of Peace and Conciliation and a member of the International Academy of Energo-Informatics.
Dr. Gostev is the author of three books, three monographs and more than 60 articles in the field of social and personal psychology. In addition to his extensive writing, he has an active lecture schedule that has included a series of internationally recognized presentations throughout Europe and the United States. His professional inquiries and expertise include a vital scope of psychological concerns in transformational psychology and the contemporary issues of human development.
Dr. Gostev’s personal spiritual journey has traversed a vast spectrum :raised amid Soviet militant atheism, he developed an interest in Buddhism and Yoga during his university years, long before serious participation in spiritual paradigms was in mode, or even acceptable, in the U.S.S.R. His search for personal and cosmic truths eventually led him to a commitment to Christ, following Russia’s historic embrace of Orthodoxy. Increasingly, the Christian perspective enriches his professional perspectives and allows him, rather uniquely, to present to classically Orthodox Russians the benefit of his breadth of professional experience in the West, while offering atheistic or non-Christian professionals the legacy of two thousand years of Orthodox traditions and the vitality of his personal Christian walk. Folding his growing spiritual awareness into his professional interests, he focuses on the emerging critical historical changes that now encompass and require global consideration - as well as changes in individual and collective transpersonal consciousness.
J.C. Tucker (USA)
J.C. Tucker is the founder and Director of the Center for Philosophical Education & Inquiry near San Francisco, California.
The purpose of center is to promote philosophical considerations that incorporate a global, intra-cultural perspective - an approach that encourages and supports the full spectrum of human diversity incorporated within individual, as well as collective human experiences, conditions, and psychologies. The program promotes the ideals of 'deep democracy' to foster the development of our unique individual, communal, and cultural philosophical and intellectual identities. Formally a professor of humanities, he is a director of health care information systems and a member in the International Association of Philosophy & Literature, the Institute for Policy Studies, The Transnational Institute, and the Committee for Medical Ethics at Sonoma Valley Hospital in California.
Mr. Tucker considers it critically necessary to address significant global issues as his work with the Zemlyanin Project and Dr. Andrei Gostev of The Russian Academy in Moscow represents. He believes that a commitment of personal inquiry and engagement with global concerns, and our unique role within them, is essential in order to attempt social, emotional, and intellectual awareness. His position is that this transformative process is critical and necessary in order to develop a new sensibility of human consciousness which can be an important stage of preparation toward a meaningful and mutually beneficial history for our, and future generations.
Marsha Gilliland (USA)
Marsha Gilliland pursues an abiding interest in developing humane and efficacious organizations which nurture the spiritual essence of the organization itself, its members/employees, and the communities which they effect. Toward this end she has been involved in communications, community building, conflict resolution, organizational development and leadership style.
Marsha was co-founder and co-owner of a successful Silicon Valley computer-design consulting firm for fifteen years, with a client base including leading international companies. She has left the demands of entrepreneurship in order to focus more of her attention on exploring the concepts of developing organizational environments which support the full humanity of their constituents. Currently, she is working with an Intel design team developing state-of-the-art applications for Intel products. In both her professional and volunteer fields, Ms. Gilliland applies her skills and concerns for creating organizations which meet their purposes and/or profit goals while they simultaneously foster harmony among diversity, respectful responsibility, bridge differences with integrity, and enrich creative and spiritual growth. Her own interests encompass the concepts of Zemlyanin as she seeks to explore ways in which we may each contribute to harmonious and respectful global interaction, while nurturing individual spiritual evolution.