Wednesday, July 05, 2006

"Greenland's Ice Sheet is Slip-Sliding Away",0,1308610.story

From the Los Angeles Times


Greenland's Ice Sheet Is Slip-Sliding Away

"The massive glaciers are deteriorating twice as fast as they were five years ago. If the ice thaws entirely, sea level would rise 21 feet."

By Robert Lee Hotz

Times Staff Writer

June 25, 2006

JAKOBSHAVN GLACIER, Greenland — Gripping a bottle of Jack Daniel's between his knees, Jay Zwally savored the warmth inside the tiny plane as it flew low across Greenland's biggest and fastest-moving outlet glacier.

Mile upon mile of the steep fjord was choked with icy rubble from the glacier's disintegrated leading edge. More than six miles of the Jakobshavn had simply crumbled into open water.

"My God!" Zwally shouted over the hornet whine of the engines.

From satellite sensors and seasons in the field, Zwally, 67, knew the ice sheet below in a way that few could match. Even after a lifetime of study, the raffish NASA glaciologist with a silver dolphin in one pierced ear was dismayed by how quickly the breakup had occurred.

Wedged between boxes of scientific instruments, tent bags, duffels and survival gear, Zwally had no room to turn inside the cramped passenger compartment of the twin-engine Otter. He passed the whiskey bottle over his shoulder to geophysicist Jose Rial from the University of North Carolina, squeezed on a jump seat between a surveyor and a sleeping climatologist.

Homeward bound — windburned, bone-chilled and greasy after weeks on this immense ice cap tilted like a beret flopped across the top of the world — they all had been in a celebratory mood.

Somber now, Zwally and Rial shared a drink in silence as the shadow of the plane slipped across azure meltwater lakes, rust-red tundra and silver tongues of ice.

The Greenland ice sheet — two miles thick and broad enough to blanket an area the size of Mexico — shapes the world's weather, matched in influence by only Antarctica in the Southern Hemisphere.

It glows like milky mother-of-pearl. The sheen of ice blends with drifts of cloud as if snowbanks are taking flight.

In its heartland, snow that fell a quarter of a million years ago is still preserved. Temperatures dip as low as 86 degrees below zero. Ground winds can top 200 mph. Along the ice edge, meltwater rivers thread into fraying brown ropes of glacial outwash, where migrating herds of caribou and musk ox graze.

The ice is so massive that its weight presses the bedrock of Greenland below sea level, so all-concealing that not until recently did scientists discover that Greenland actually might be three islands.

Should all of the ice sheet ever thaw, the meltwater could raise sea level 21 feet and swamp the world's coastal cities, home to a billion people. It would cause higher tides, generate more powerful storm surges and, by altering ocean currents, drastically disrupt the global climate.

Climate experts have started to worry that the ice cap is disappearing in ways that computer models had not predicted.

By all accounts, the glaciers of Greenland are melting twice as fast as they were five years ago, even as the ice sheets of Antarctica — the world's largest reservoir of fresh water — also are shrinking, researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of Kansas reported in February.

Zwally and other researchers have focused their attention on a delicate ribbon — the equilibrium line, which marks the fulcrum of frost and thaw in Greenland's seasonal balance.
The zone runs around the rim of the ice cap like a drawstring. Summer melting, on average, offsets the annual accumulation of snow.

Across the ice cap, however, the area of seasonal melting was broader last year than in 27 years of record-keeping, University of Colorado climate scientists reported. In early May, temperatures on the ice cap some days were almost 20 degrees above normal, hovering just below freezing.

From cores of ancient Greenland ice extracted by the National Science Foundation, researchers have identified at least 20 sudden climate changes in the last 110,000 years, in which average temperatures fluctuated as much as 15 degrees in a single decade.

The increasingly erratic behavior of the Greenland ice has scientists wondering whether the climate, after thousands of years of relative stability, may again start oscillating.

The Theory at Work

Huddled inside a red cook tent atop 3,900 feet of ice, Zwally shoveled snow into a pot simmering on a two-ring propane camp stove.

He had to melt enough to boil lobster tails for dinner. Zwally, who works at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., had purchased them at Costco and lugged them to Greenland.

The beating wings of a 30-mph wind slapped against the tent fabric. Every 15 minutes, a gust sucked open the door and frosted the room.

The tent — buried in drifts and entered by a ladder through a hatch in the roof — was part of Swiss Camp, located 155 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

For those assessing the effect of global warming, there may be no more perfect place than this warren of red tents on the Northern Hemisphere's largest ice cap. Here, the theoretical effects seen in computerized climate models take tangible form.

University of Colorado climatologist Konrad Steffen set up Swiss Camp in 1990 to study the weather along the equilibrium line. As a precaution, Steffen, 54, built the camp on a plywood platform to keep it afloat when the ice turns into summer slush and open lakes before refreezing in the fall.

Even so, Steffen and Zwally often spent days chiseling out tables and chairs had frozen in floodwater into a single block of ice.

Zwally joined his colleagues there on May 8 in the regular spring migration of scientists to the Arctic.

He has been coming to Swiss Camp every year since 1994 and has been studying the polar regions since 1972, monitoring the polar ice through satellite sensors.

Eventually he realized he had to study the ice firsthand.

The ice sheet seemed such a stolid reservoir of cold that many experts had been confident of it taking centuries for higher temperatures to work their way thousands of feet down to the base of the ice cap and undermine its stability.

By and large, computer models supported that view, predicting that as winter temperatures rose, more snow would fall across the dome of the ice cap. Thus, by the seasonal bookkeeping of the ice sheet, Greenland would neatly balance its losses through new snow.

Indeed, Zwally and his colleagues in March released an analysis of data from two European remote-sensing satellites showing the amount of water locked up in the ice sheet had risen slightly between 1992 and 2002.

Then the ice sheet began to confound computer-generated predictions.

By 2005, Greenland was beginning to lose more ice volume than anyone expected — an annual loss of up to 52 cubic miles a year — according to more recent satellite gravity measurements released by JPL.

The amount of freshwater ice dumped into the Atlantic Ocean has almost tripled in a decade.

"We are clearly seeing the effects of climate change starting to kick in," Zwally said.

Since Steffen started monitoring the weather at Swiss Camp in 1991, the average winter temperature has risen almost 10 degrees. Last year, the annual melt zone reached farther inland and up to higher elevations than ever before.

There was even a period of melting in December.

"We have never seen that," Steffen said, combing the ice crystals from his beard. "It is significantly warmer now, and it happened quite suddenly. This year, the temperatures were warmer than I have ever experienced."

At this time of year, the sun never sets, and at Swiss Camp, the pace of field work slackens only for dinner.

Layered in fleece, the field researchers gathered around a makeshift plywood table littered with heels of whole grain bread, pots of raspberry jam and crumbs of granola. A ridge of ice 6 inches high encased an electrical cable running between their feet.

Their cheeks were coarse with stubble. Their hair rose in waxy spikes. Their eyes had reddened from insomnia and too much midnight sun.

While one researcher spooned out the first course — pasta in a sauce of sun-dried tomatoes — another opened the last bottle of the 2003 Cotes du Rhone.

Zwally tended the pot on the stove.

The Greenland ice sheet was in the same predicament as his frozen lobsters, steaming in meltwater.

Getting Into the Ice

The pilot refused to land. There were too many crevasses.

Steffen waved him on to fly farther inland. He checked their position by satellite every few hundred yards.
After 34 years in the Arctic, Steffen was attuned to its subtleties. Where a novice could only see a monochromatic plain stretching to the horizon, Steffen could discern the undulating outlines left by seasonal lakes and riverbeds.

Clear of the hazard, the Otter touched down and glided on its skis to a halt on an inviting featherbed of snow.

Steffen and his crew unloaded crates of equipment and began drilling into the ice. Zwally, stripping wires with bare fingers in the biting wind, hooked up a satellite receiver.

Within the hour, they erected a tall mast festooned with monitoring instruments.

They continued to hopscotch by air across the ice sheet, planting sensors at every stop.

As spring comes earlier each year, alpine glaciers recede, hurricanes gather power and other signs of climate change accrue, the research team tries to understand how the Greenland ice sheet can respond so quickly to rising temperatures.

"How does climate change get into the ice?" Zwally asked.

Most of the computer models on which climate predictions are based did not take the dynamics of the glaciers into account.

Contrary to appearances, the monolith of ice is constantly on the move, just as Southern California, driven by plate tectonics, inches every year toward Alaska.

In that sense, the Swiss Camp is a measure of shifting property values.

The camp has been rafting on the ice stream toward the sea, on average, at about 1 foot every day. Since Steffen pitched the main tents, the camp has moved about a mile downhill.

When Zwally started tracking the velocity of the ice with Global Positioning System sensors in 1996, the ice flow maintained a steady pace all year.

But he soon discovered that the ice around Swiss Camp had abruptly shifted gears in the summer, moving faster when the surface ice started to melt. By 1999, the ice stream had almost tripled its speed to about 3 feet a day.

In an influential paper published in Science, Zwally surmised that the ice sheets had accelerated in response to warmer temperatures, as summer meltwater lubricated the base of the ice sheet and allowed it to slide faster toward the sea.

In a way no one had detected, the warm water made its way through thousands of feet of ice to the bedrock — in weeks, not decades or centuries.

So much water streamed beneath the ice that in high summer the entire ice sheet near Swiss Camp briefly bulged 2 feet higher, like the crest of a subterranean wave.

"This meltwater acceleration is new," Zwally said. "The significance of this is that it is a mechanism for climate change to get into the ice."

To better track the seasonal movements, Zwally and Steffen set up two new GPS stations around Swiss Camp, while a team led by University of Vermont geophysicist Tom Neumann erected an additional 10 GPS sensors to map the changing velocity of the local ice.

At the same time, University of Texas physicist Ginny Catania pulled an ice-penetrating radar in a search pattern around the camp, seeking evidence of any melt holes or drainage crevices that could so quickly channel the hot water of global warming deep into the ice.

To her surprise, she detected a maze of tunnels, natural pipes and cracks beneath the unblemished surface.

"I have never seen anything like it, except in an area where people have been drilling bore holes," Catania said.

No one knows how much of the ice sheet is affected.

Since 2002, Greenland's three largest outlet glaciers have started moving faster, satellite data show.

On the eastern edge of Greenland, the Kangerlussuaq Glacier, like the Jakobshavn, has surged, doubling its pace. To the west, the Helheim Glacier now appears to be moving about half a football field every day.

In all, 12 major outlet glaciers drain the ice sheet the way rivers drain a watershed, setting the pace of its release to the ocean.

If they all slide too quickly, there is a possibility that, perhaps decades from now, they could collapse suddenly and release the entire ice sheet into the ocean.

"They are like the buttresses of the high cathedral," said Rial, the North Carolina geophysicist. "If you remove the buttress, the cathedral will collapse."

The accelerating ice flow has been accompanied by a dramatic increase in seismic activity, as the three immense streams of ice shake the Earth in their wake.

The lurching ice has generated swarms of earthquakes up to magnitude 5.0, researchers at Harvard University and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University reported in March.

Last year alone, the Harvard and Columbia researchers detected as many ice quakes as the total recorded from 1993 through 1996, with five times as many in the summer as in the winter months.

"Instability is the key," Rial said.

In the Swiss Camp laboratory tent, Rial moved his finger along the jagged seismic trace displayed on his iBook screen.

The signal had been detected by the 10 sensors he had placed around the camp six days before.

The ice sheet was trembling.

Copyright 2006 Los Angeles

SYNTH-ARCHIVE#24: "The Raising of the Djed" Moira Timms

original posting: 27 feb. 2002

"The Raising of the Djed: Remembering the Center" Moira Timms

Because Egypt is both the center of the Earth's land mass, and the place where the Djed originated around the beginning of the present cycle, it is appropriate that the main event of The Raising of the Djed, occur there. However, readers are reminded that in the holographic model every sacred site is also the "center"- as is every individual. The "center" can also be created, where ever you are, by invoking and honoring the four directions.

The Djed was the Eqyptian symbol of human, planetary, and cosmic stability, continuity, and regeneration,. As the cosmic axis, it was the "cylinder," the column of light, that linked Earth to the pole star-the still point, or stable point of reference, around which the heavens revolved. To raise the Djed was also to erect the backbone of Osiris, the lunar, underworld, god of regeneration. The Djed represented continuity of nature's cycles, as well as ascension and resurrection of the human spirit.

Historically, the Djed was raised at crucial transitional times between cycles, evoking light and stability to dispel darkness and chaos. Such periods were the annual Winter solstices, the failing years of a reigning monarch or the coronation of a new one. However, according to the texts of the Temple of Horus at Edfu, the Djed served its greatest purpose and revealed its greatest mystery at the ending of one world age, and the beginning of another. Winter solstice, December 21, 1992, according to the ancient calendric reckoning, inaugurates such a period.

    The Raising of the Djed

    Re-membering the Center

    by MoiRa Timms


The two universal forces that most concerned ancient peoples seem to have been those of cosmos (harmony, and the organized, known order) and chaos (the forces of entropy, confusion, and the unknown). Preserving cosmos and repelling chaos have kept us busy and preoccupied since time immemorial. When the magnetic Center that controls the periphery fails to hold, things fall apart and the chaos that was in the beginning begins to return. Chaos, of course, has always been the most feared of all the primal powers. Beyond the known order--the light of the campfire, the walls of the city, the edge of the forest or horizon--loomed the unknown, the domain of darkness, danger, and demons.

There has never been anything quite like the unknown, of course, for bringing up our fears, and providing a fertile back-drop for our worst projections--especially those of our own "shadow." Being "afraid of one's own shadow" is, in fact, the crux of the whole matter where chaos is concerned. And so it was since primitive times that outsiders were regarded with suspicion, feared, and often hated. In the harsh struggle for survival, the security of one's own kin, clan, or tribe was primary. While alien "others" were always lower or less--"butt-faces" and "barbarians"-- only one's own kind were believed to be the real human beings. At worst, "they" were not fully human and held in contempt as flawed animals, or even demons. For the most part, that which was of the unknown was dealt with by means of superstition and magic. Remnants of these attitudes still prevail today, reflected in class systems, racist attitudes, the separative dogmas of the religious right, and hate crimes.

The world over, ancient and indigenous cultures had an innate sense of themselves as existing at the Center of the universe, and the coherence of their world depended upon maintaining their connection with it. To that end, archetypal symbols --such as circle, spiral, tree, pillar or pole--were magically and ritually employed to preserve essential order. To provide safe space, central space "on call," people learned to do just that. They called upon the four directions, defining the boundaries of sacred space and time to create an instant mix of Center, the directions of above and below forming the central vertical axis that connected heaven and Earth. The Center of the Center was the direction found within each individual.

Every major culture of antiquity revered as sacred its particular version of the World Tree with its roots and branches linking Earth (as matter) and sky (as spirit.) Every sacred mountain became the center of the world, the navel of the Earth, as did every sacred city. This was the holographic model, whereby the center was everywhere and the periphery nowhere.

Out of this context the divine kingship of early cultures became an institution whereby the ruling monarch was the living conduit between heaven and Earth. The person of the god-king himself was the central source and mediator of life, abundance and stability for the entire kingdom. For this reason, when King Arthur was sick, the kingdom fell into decline and disarray. (The word "king" derives from the Indo-European root for "kin," in the sense of family, and "divine procreator"--in which case, I guess it is OK for a Queen to have a "kin(g)-dom.") Unlike American Presidents who, despite a lack of competence can be elected for two terms, rulers of some prehistoric king systems were ritually sacrificed after serving one seven year term, and held personally accountable for acts of Nature such as crop failure, famine, plague, and war1 .

Today, it is believed that we are responsible for our own reality, so we must all be accountable. When an evolving species learns to split the atom and unlock the secrets of nature that fuel the stars, it brings about its own demise if the resultant technology is not harnessed in the service of the planet. Is that what happened in previous cycles? Atlantis? Lemuria? Today, the whole systems that maintain the working harmony of our biosphere are breaking down because we screwed up and disconnected wisdom from knowledge. We have been ripping the web of life to shreds, basically to support profits.

Better we should support prophets instead.

From the great traditional cultures of the past a number of identical prophecies have survived to warn us, so that we may preserve harmony and avoid catastrophe by acting appropriately to influence the train of events. Native Americans, Australian Aborigines, the African Bushmen, the Kogi of Columbia, the indigenous peoples who gathered at the World Summit in Brazil, issue to us a collective warning: "You are killing the Great Mother. We cannot say when the world will end, but your looting will destroy it." They declare "the changing of the worlds" is close and urge us to revise our perception of reality before it is too late. They tell us we must return to our Center. But this is the root of the problem--Western culture doesn't have one! And this is why we now look back to the past to rediscover what it means in both mythic and practical terms.

The Turning Point

"In the beginning" the One set out to become the many. In ever widening circles of complexity, the great spiral of creation evolved a complete menu out of the primal soup. From the gas that burned the minerals, that cooked the plants, that fed the animals, that in turn fed the humans who analyzed and named everything down to the last quantum particle, the One has indeed become as many as it could possibly be. Now the turning point of history has arrived when matter begins to merge gently back into spirit ,and the many can again become the One. But the spiral has swung so far out it has lost its curvature. The evolutionary journey is supposed to be a round-trip, not a one-way ride to oblivion. Historically, we are at the fork in the road where the choice between two paths must be made. The problem, however, is that under the linear, left-brain, materialistic, patriarchy, the outer reaches of the evolutionary spiral have taken on the forward thrust of a line and the Center is no longer holding.

To facilitate the necessary "turning point" a counter-force must nudge the linear vector ("koyannisqatsi"--world out of balance, according to the Hopi) back on course as a continuing spiral. This is why the feminine, right-brain, conserving principle of the circle has now arisen as the multiple forms of The Goddess, the consciousness of Gaia as the Power of Nature (Earth changes), the Great Mother (Women unite.) Line and Circle, in union, create the spiral--the form of the evolutionary force.

Very few of us today can claim to be one of the "real" human beings because we are still in the striving mode; we are more like "human becomings." Each of us is one of the many that the One has become. Through the mobilizing archetype which gives meaning to symbols of the Center, we evolve back into Oneness. Such a symbol always arises from the depths of the collective unconscious at the conclusion of major historical cycles when primal chaos again threatens to engulf the world. Not everyone perceives the symbol. And out of those who do, few recognize its significance. However, such images are themselves keys or codes that inform our consciousness, whether we understand it with our rational mind or not. The advantage of understanding, however, is that it increases our effectiveness in co-creating and consciously participating in the process that is unfolding.

At this time in history, as chaos again presses in and the cycle draws to a close, the Djed as the oldest known type of the central World Tree, emerges once more into our collective awareness, activating the imagination, appearing in dreams and art as an archetypal image full of mystery and power. It allows the ancient wisdom to work through us, awakening and aligning the divine in each of us with the transcendent Self--and each other. In this way, the many again get to become the One.

Two Paths

Most, if not all, ancient civilizations shared a comprehension of time as cyclical. This enabled them to plan for the short term, and to predict and prophesy with astonishing accuracy for the long term. This is why the various world prophecies form a coherent whole, and why most archaic traditions share similar cosmologies and eschatologies. Western culture's linear march- of-time model, however, has been the means of our undoing and is responsible for ecological and planetary crisis on a scale unprecedented in human history. So, to understand where we have come from helps us to understand where we are going. The legacy of high wisdom from past and present traditional cultures awaits our comprehension. It is our blueprint to the future; the means of our survival.

The prophecy cycle that began in l945 with the advent of the atomic bomb is predicted to end around the year 2,000. The remaining years until 2012 AD. are designated as a sorting out period known to the Maya as "the beak of time."

The engines of history are roaring, accelerating us, "fast forward," to an evolutionary crossroads, and the choice between two paths. This choice appears throughout many of the ancient prophecies. The linear path vectors off into chaos and annihilation, while the other one spirals on to a new phase of human evolution. Which path have we/will we collectively choose?

The Christian concept of the broad and narrow paths conveys the general idea, whereby the broad path is the way of the world, full of materialistic enticements, greed, and tawdry pleasures. The narrow path is the Christian way, being "in the world but not of it." To those who chose the broad path salvation is still possible, however, if they "repent" and "believe on His [Jesus'] name."

The Hopi Life Plan, carved on a rock at Oraibi, Arizona, spells it out pretty clearly, too. The horizontal path of materialistic white culture is above, the Hopi path in harmony with nature is below. The first vertical line is the original meeting of the two cultures and the opportunity to change paths. The two circles on the lower line are the two world wars. The second vertical line is the last-minute chance to change life paths before the third world purification results in the end of the materialistic path and the continuance of the Hopi one attuned to Nature.

The Great Pyramid contains prophecy in the form of geometric interpretations along a measured time-scale. Ascending and descending passageways both incline at an identical angle of slope. Each symbolizes a choice and direction of life path. Just before the descending passage ends in the pit, there is an opportunity to "get back on track." A tortuous, vertical, tunnel connects with an upper passage leading to the (initiatory) King's Chamber--a dangerous, difficult, but possible climb.


Mythic themes are emerging as dominant archetypes now because they are becoming real-ized in our collective experience. Myths provide a contextual understanding for our existential predicament, clarifying what is being played out, what our role is, and who we are in the greater scheme of things.

The story of Osiris is in the shamanic tradition, and it begins with Osiris' murder by his evil brother, Set. One version says his body was cast into he river, washed ashore and entombed within a great tree (a type of the Djed) that grew around him. Eventually he was discovered and extricated from the tree by the great goddess Isis. The bare bones of the other version are that his body was dismembered and scattered throughout Egypt, but that after a long and arduous search, Isis retrieved and re-membered his parts. Both accounts end with Isis raising Osiris' spine to a vertical position, "making him stable," and resurrecting him to life by means of the words of power taught her by Thoth, the Master Initiator of Light.

The dismembered parts of Osiris represent the spiritual fragmentation of the human condition. His re-memberment is the restoration of the human spiritual body and the realization of the gnosis. (Seven distinct spiritual bodies comprised the risen "Osiris" body). As such, the raising of Osiris was the central fact in the structure of the Egyptian universe, for each person aspired to become resurrected after death; to become "Osirified"--just as we aspire to become "Christed." In the Egyptian book of the Dead, for example, the chapter on "Making the Transformation Into the God [Osiris] Who Giveth Light in the Darkness" is directed at "uniting the two fighters [Horus and Set, deities who represent the principles of light and darkness] who live in my body, with the enchantment of my utterance . . . raising him that hath fallen [Osiris] . . . I have re-membered him . . . I have overthrown the destroyers . . . I have lighted the darkness." These are noble thoughts, expressed with an eloquence that today still touch one's heart with light and meaning.

The Djed

The Djed is a pillar, a type of the central World Tree, representing stability, continuity, and regeneration. The Festival of The Raising of the Djed dates back more than 5,000 years to predynastic times--as does the Egyptian Book of the Dead which identifies the Djed as both the backbone of Osiris and the support and backbone of the universe. The Djed, however, is more than just an object; it is a mythic complex that existed long before Osiris emerged from the dark realm of the collective unconscious.

Historically, the Djed was raised at crucial transitional times between cycles, evoking light and stability to dispel darkness and disorder. Such periods were the Winter solstices, the failing years of a reigning monarch or the coronation of a new one. However, according to the texts of the Temple of Horus at Edfu, the Djed served its greatest purpose and revealed its greatest mystery at the ending of one world age and the beginning of another. This is such time!

The Djed is the supreme unifying symbol of all polarities, connecting us to the transcendent reality of the whole, the One. It symbolizes the macro and microcosmic "axis." As the cosmic axis the Djed is the "cylinder," the column of light linking the Earth to the pole star. It represents stability because it aligns the North pole of Earth with the still-point of the revolving "dome" of the heavens--the pole star. Beyond the pole star were/are the realms of the "gods" and higher dimensions of being. In the microcosm, within us, the human axis is the spinal column, the time-tunnel of the transformative journey from the gross materialism of homosapiens to the Self-realization of homoChristos at the crown chakra. It is through this chakra that we, too, are aligned with the energies of the pole star.2

At a time when the planetary grid (Earth's geometrically arranged energy system web) was understood and, it is believed, consciously administrated by a global network of high initiate engineers, the Djed was a sacred instrument in the powerful technology of "cosmos regeneration" (a domain explored by the work of Reich and Tesla.) From the geodetic and astronomic perspective, the raised Djed is the fixed reference point which makes firm the bond between Earth and sky, evoking geophysical stability at a time of increased potential for Earth changes. And, as we approach the end of the prophecy sequence and the final 20 years of the current cycle, the Djed replaces the prospect of Earth changes and geophysical "pole shift" with that of "pole stability."3

The Djed is being raised again--globally, annually, at the Winter solstice (and various other times--the 1996 Spring equinox, in particular) until the closing of the cycle in 2012AD. Because Egypt is at the center of the Earth's land mass, and the place where the Djed originated around the beginning of the present cycle (3,100BC), it is appropriate that The Raising of the Djed, be reinaugurated at its original site in Egypt. However, readers are reminded that in the holographic model every sacred site, every community gathering, is also the "Center"--as is every individual. Reerrecting the Djed today serves well its ancient purpose, for it is the archetype of stability and continuity for the current transitional phase.

In the ancient Egyptian creation myth the Pillar of Shu (god of atmosphere) was the column of light that separated the union of Earth and Sky, setting them apart and in correct relationship to each other. The dome of the sky overlay the surface of the Earth according to the divine blueprint of creation so that, in the words of Thoth the great Master Initiator of Light, "That which is above is like that which is below."

Today the stars no longer guide our navigation, orchestrate our time-keeping, or pace our planting and harvesting, because we replaced them when we invented the compass, clock, and calendar, to name a few. Over the millennia, we became governed by our own material creations, and our fundamental connection to "all our relations" within the greater whole was lost. Not only was it lost, it was also forgotten.

Although we are now beginning to remember the importance of our connection with the Earth, there is only the faintest glimmer of a reciprocal connection with the heavens. But it is coming. We are approaching it through astrology, through rediscovering the myths of gods/goddesses and celestial archetypes, not to mention the more "grounded" reality of the space program. Raising the Djed in ceremony, with the right consciousness, reestablishes the primordial connection between Earth and Sky, matter and spirit. When we experience our own connection between the two a resounding"Yessss!" will synaptically ricochet throughout the global brain, the morphogenetic field of the planet, (and the Internet.) Our conscious reconnection with the wisdom of our own origins, and the rediscovery of the archaic celestial/terrestrial technologies, initiates us into "whole" consciousness.

It is possible that the peoples of prehistory may not have been entirely primitive, but were reduced to grubbing around with stones and living in caves after some great global upheaval obliterated all traces of civilization. The clues lie within the myths of history, and within the timeless precincts of sacred rituals preserved by indigenous peoples who know how to access the "mind of Nature." We know that as the wheel of time revolves it allows us to recover buried or repressed psychic structures so as to incorporate the recurring patterns of meaning into the present. In this sense we are reminded that in psychoanalysis the cure is often associated with the recovery of a forgotten memory. But within cyclical time it is not memory that calls up the past, but the past itself that returns4 for healing, completion and apotheosis. As we prepare to catch the wave of the past this time around, the image of the Djed and the World Tree rise into our collective awareness. Through them we may enter once more the precincts of the recurrent golden age.

The Raising of the Djed has been called the "mystery of mysteries."5 It appears to have been a physical ritual with psychospiritual and interdimensional implications--which renders it an event of profound significance for our time. Through its enactment Thoth's words can again come alive--for, performed correctly and at the appropriate geodetic coordinates, it is suggested that the Raising of the Djed is instrumental in the periodic, historic, realignment of the planetary and celestial grid meridians. We believe this realignment is an integral part of the formula for "holon"6 hook-up--the matching of our personal and planetary Light bodies with their overlighting celestial template. There is cause here for deep reflection and inner questing as we set with the concept, allowing its' meaning to percolate throughout the sacred chambers of the heart and the fertile recesses of the collective mind.

Time Shift

Changing our perception of reality, as the indigenous peoples of the world exhort us to, means keeping our ear to the ground for messages of the "planet drum," and our eyes on the horizon for the metaphorical smoke signals. As we approach the turn of the century both the pace of life and the passage of time seem to be accelerating. The time-keeping system of the Maya provides some clues.

In l992, the Maya calendar entered its final 20 years, highlighting an event that was code named "Time Shift" because it marked the beginning of a change in the timing frequencies affecting Earth's evolution. Like a train changing tracks in the shunting yard, this shift (according to the scholarship of Jose Arguelles) is ultimately expected transform our concept of linear, symbolic, time into cyclical, real, time. We know that spiritual causes gestate into physical effects, but we don't know how long the incubation period may be. So the question becomes "how long after a 'time-shift' might it take for the physical counterpart of 'pole-shift' to occur?" We suspect that this is where the Djed factors into the equation.

The frequency at which matter vibrates has been speeding up, causing an acceleration of personal and planetary karmuppance.7 This, and associated phenomena, are purifying and transforming the world into something considerably more refined than the physical plane as we have come to know it. Like the ice-cube that transforms from frozen solid, to water, to steam, then vapor, the physical world itself is now becoming spiritualized. We are seeing this process unfold as science and prophecy, physics and metaphysics, begin to segue and come into agreement. Increasingly, we can expect to experience the apparent separation between past and future, inner and outer, dreamtime and waking, self and other, as a semipermeable membrane allowing oneness with and flow between.

Hindu yogic teachings explain that as time speeds up synchronicity increases. As awareness begins to stabilize in the higher chakras the polarities within us reconcile. And, we are told, that when the Self is real-ized temporal time ceases to exist altogether! Modern Chaos Theory seems to agree, and asserts that maximal chaos ultimately resolves into synchronicity. So, "no problem!". . .

If the boundary between cosmos and chaos, control and confusion, known and unknown, is a function of perception then that boundary dissolves proportionate to the expansion of our consciousness. "What we see is what we get" because it is our own externalized un-consciousness; our "shadow." This means there is actually nothing outside of ourSelf. All that is unlike love can be released along with the age-old, "us vs. them" program. Getting with the real program means accessing the source of our highest mutual good--the repository of our highest collective wisdom--our higher Selves. We are all more similar than we are different. So, order or chaos, light or dark, like it or not--it is all us!


Osiris "Djedi" was a title of Osiris, as the Great One,8 Lord of the Universe (the universal, Self-generating life principle of the Center--i.e. the transcendent Self). The "Djedi" were the "stable ones"--wisdom keepers of one mind and one spirit who, as initiates of the Osirian mysteries, comprised the living, terrestrial body of the archetypal, celestial Osiris. Contemporary Djedi are self-selecting regenerators of cosmos. They are those who, regardless of race or creed, are awakening to mission in service to the planet and the epochal imperatives of stability, continuity and regeneration.

Egyptologist Sir Wallis Budge quotes the ancient expectation that "Since Osiris was raised to life by the words and ceremonies which Thoth taught Isis, and since Osiris has gained immortality by means of them, these same words and ceremonies will raise us to life and give us immortality also."9 The "secret Books of Thoth" containing those formulae no longer exist. But they are deeply encoded within the repository of our collective dreamtime, informing our DNA and waiting like seeds to be activated in due season by the right evolutionary imperative and guiding initiatory archetype.

It is the world soul and the force of history that now calls for, and causes, the Djed to be raised. Like the flag with its emblem raised aloft in the thick of battle to rally the flagging energies of the army, the Djed is a beacon raised in the battle for the soul of the planet. (Horus and Set are at it again . . .) And, like the warrior heroes who have throughout history stood tall as champions of the many during times of great danger and crisis, the Djedi come forth that the Djed may be raised.

The Djedi sense, and know Osiris's arising as their own. As Osiris awakens from the sleep of the aeon, the Djedi also "rise to the occasion," moving into resonant relationship as the reconstellated members of the collective Osiris. Therefore, as the mighty bones creek and the ancient One stirs, let the Djedi return. This is the historical moment of our awakening and our call. The impulse and the need for us to ritualize these events in global celebration arise, naturally, in resonance with the mythic awakening of the archetype and because it is now alive in each of us.

Now, we move from the quickening to the gathering.

"S-aha Djed!"

("Djed be raised!")

SYNTH-ARCHIVE#23: Ministry of Truth coming soon to media near you!

original posting: 27 feb. 2002

"No Expenses Spared Domestic Propaganda"

by New York Times 2/20/02

"Global diplomacy as envisioned in the [as of yet unnamed] office will
inject patiotism into the punishing 24-hour, seven-day news cycle officials

"WASHINGTON - President Bush has decided to transform the administration's
temporary wartime communications effort into a permanent office of global
diplomacy to spread a positive image of the United States around the world
and combat anti-Americanism, senior administration officials said today.

[indymedia comment:] "The Ministry of Truth is in place, do you think
someone found a copy of 1984 at the white house and thought it was a
policy document?"

[indymedia comment:] "yeah... this is really frightening... I am extremely
concerned about this matter... i used to think bush was simply dumb,
butnow i'm beginning to wonder if i had underestimated his propensity for
evil. did his dad give him a hit list on his inauguration day or something,
detailing all the "bad guys" he never got to whack because of that pesky
issue known as american public opinion? i guess that issue won't be so
"pesky" anymore. this is sad. really really sad. and so un-american."

SYNTH-ARCHIVE#22: Ad-busters Intimidation Hot-line

original posting: 27 feb. 2002


Have your activities come under increased scrutiny in the aftermath of

Ours have.

Recently, our Corporate America Flag billboard in Times Square, New
York, attracted the attention of the federal Department of Defense,
and a visit by an agent who asked a lot of pointed questions about
our motivations and intent. We wondered: What gives?

"Just following up a lead from a tip line," the agent admitted.

That's the kind of fourth quarter it's been for many social
activists. Any campaign that dares to question U.S. economic,
military or foreign policy in these delicate times, any critical
appraisal of the handling of the "War on terrorism," risks casting
the critic as a kind of enemy of the state, if not an outright

Vigilance we can live with. Intimidation that amounts to persecution
is another bucket of fish. According to some of the emails and phone
calls we've received lately, many other groups have also found
themselves under investigation in a political climate that's starting
to take on shades of McCarthyism.

Our response to all of this is to set up our own "rat line." If you
know of social marketing campaigns or protest actions that are being
suppressed, or if you come across any other story of overzealous
government "information management," please tell us your story. Go to


If you do not want to continue receiving these updates, send an email

Adbusters Magazine The Media Foundation
1243 West 7th Ave Vancouver BC Canada V6H 1B7
p. 604.736.9401
f. 604.737.6021

SYNTH-ARCHIVE#22: Ad-busters Intimidation Hot-line

original posting: 27 feb. 2002


Have your activities come under increased scrutiny in the aftermath of

Ours have.

Recently, our Corporate America Flag billboard in Times Square, New
York, attracted the attention of the federal Department of Defense,
and a visit by an agent who asked a lot of pointed questions about
our motivations and intent. We wondered: What gives?

"Just following up a lead from a tip line," the agent admitted.

That's the kind of fourth quarter it's been for many social
activists. Any campaign that dares to question U.S. economic,
military or foreign policy in these delicate times, any critical
appraisal of the handling of the "War on terrorism," risks casting
the critic as a kind of enemy of the state, if not an outright

Vigilance we can live with. Intimidation that amounts to persecution
is another bucket of fish. According to some of the emails and phone
calls we've received lately, many other groups have also found
themselves under investigation in a political climate that's starting
to take on shades of McCarthyism.

Our response to all of this is to set up our own "rat line." If you
know of social marketing campaigns or protest actions that are being
suppressed, or if you come across any other story of overzealous
government "information management," please tell us your story. Go to


If you do not want to continue receiving these updates, send an email

Adbusters Magazine The Media Foundation
1243 West 7th Ave Vancouver BC Canada V6H 1B7
p. 604.736.9401
f. 604.737.6021

SYNTH-ARCHIVE#21: "Canadian TV airs Emperor's Clothes 'Guilty for 9-11' Evidence"

original posting: 27 feb. 2002


Join our email list at
Receive about one article/day. [Emperor's Clothes]


by John Flaherty
[Posted 5 February 2001]

For the first time material from Emperor's Clothes series 'GUILTY FOR 9-11' has appeared on a network TV show.

The program was "The Great Deception". (1) It aired Jan. 28 on the Insight Mediafile at Vision TV, a network with 2 million distinct viewers a week. Vision programs are seen across Canada and can reach from 100 to 150,000 people.

Hosted by Barrie Zwicker, the program used research and material from 'GUILTY FOR 9-11, Section 1', the 'Update to Section 1, and 'Section 2' or 'Cheney's Cover Story.' (1a)

After watching the program, Emperor's Clothes Editor Chris Black contacted Barrie Zwicker to congratulate him for taking this brave step.

Mr. Zwicker wrote back:

[Letter begins here]

Dear Christopher Black:

What a joyful surprise to receive your e-mail.

Amidst the avalanche of e-mail I'm trying to cope with, I want to respond immediately to yours.

I discovered I don't know how long, maybe well over a year, ago. I learned to trust it. I have been educated and nurtured by it. And increasingly, inspired.

So for me to receive your e-mail was a complete and genuine and gratifying surprise. I do not consider myself to be in your league as to investigative journalism.

I was suspicious about the 9/11 thing from the outset. For me to be the first, apparently, to ask these questions on air is ridiculous. Big media should have done it already.

[Regarding the information on Andrews Air Force base] really, there must be thousands of people who have first- or second-hand knowledge of complicity. Just take the number of people who live on Andrews AFB who know their interceptors stayed put until too late. I don't think they can keep the lid on this for much longer.

Thank you, Christopher, Israel and the rest, for your wonderful work all along.

Gotta run. I hope to be in touch again. In peace and networking for light.

Barrie Zwicker,
A producer and host
The MediaFile


Here's the transcript of the part of the TV show based on Emperor's Clothes research:


"For large scheduled aircraft, tracked throughout on radar, to depart extravagantly from their flight paths, would trigger numerous calls to the military, especially after two have hit the World Trade Centre and now one is speeding toward Washington, D.C.

"It flies over the White House, turns sharply and heads toward the Pentagon. Everyone - and I mean everyone - now knows these planes are very bad news. It's been reported on all TV networks for more than half an hour that this is a terrorist attack.

"Now, Andrews Air Force Base is a huge installation. It's home to Air Force One, the President's plane. It's home base for two combat-ready squadrons of jet interceptors mandated to ensure the safety of the U.S. capital. Andrews is only 12 miles from the White House. (3)

"On September 11th the squadrons there were: The 121st Fighter Squadron of the 113th Fighter Wing, equipped with F-16s The 321st Marine Fighter Attack Squadron of the 49th Marine Air Group, Detachment A, equipped F/A-18s (4)

"This information was on the website of the base on September 11th. On September 12th, Andrews chose to update its website. I find it odd that after the update there's no mention of the F-16 and F-18 fighters. The base becomes, according to the website, home to a transport squadron only. (5)

"Yet at 6:30 the evening of September 11th NBC Nightly News, along with many outlets, reported:

"'It was after the attack on the Pentagon that the Air Force then decided to scramble F-16s out of the DC National Guard Andrews Air Force Base to fly ... a protective cover over Washington, D.C.' (5a)

"Throughout the northeastern United States are many air bases. But that morning no interceptors respond in a timely fashion to the highest alert situation. This includes the Andrews squadrons which have the longest lead time and are 12 miles from the White House.

"Whatever the explanation for the huge failure, there have been no reports, to my knowledge, of reprimands. This further weakens the "Incompetence Theory." Incompetence usually earns reprimands.

"This causes me to ask - and other media need to ask - if there were 'stand down' orders."


Elsewhere in the show, Mr. Zwicker talked about the Payne Stewart tragedy. As you may recall, Mr. Stewart's small business jet ceased to respond to Air Traffic Controllers. The plane continued flying on autopilot.

Here is how Mr. Zwicker describes what happened:

"9:19 a.m.: the flight departs 9:24: The Learjet's pilot responds to an instruction from air traffic control 9:33: The controller radios another instruction. No response from the pilot. For 4 1/2 minutes the controller tries to establish contact. 9:38: Having failed, the controller calls in the military. Note that he did not seek, nor did he require, the approval of the President of the United States, or indeed anyone. It's standard procedure, followed routinely, to call in the Air Force when radio contact with a commercial passenger jet is lost, or the plane departs from its flight path, or anything along those lines occurs. 9:54 - 16 minutes later -- the F-16 reaches the Learjet at 46,000 feet and conducts a visual inspection. Total elapsed time: 21 minutes."


There appears to be an error here. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report on the Payne Stewart tragedy (6) does not state when the military was contacted. Other reports indicate that it took half an hour for the FAA to notify the military. (7)

Several sources state that planes from Tyndall Air Force Base were the first ones sent to intercept the failing jet. (8) But the Tyndall planes don't even figure in the NTSB report. (It also appears that the NTSB report does not state when the military was notified.)

Moreover, the NTSB switches from Eastern Time to Central Time in mid-report. Barrie Zwicker reported a lapse of 16 minutes from the time Stewart's plane stopped responding to radio communication to the time interceptors actually reached the Lear Jet. But given the switch from Eastern to Central Time in the NTSB report, this apparently took over an hour. Again, this is a bit murky; it is possible that planes from the Tyndall Air Force base were dispatched and then recalled, and this is just not mentioned in the NTSB report.

Emperor's Clothes made a similar mistake in 'Cheney's Cover Story.' (9) In the initial post, we stated that when Stewart's plane went off course, the FAA 'immediately' contacted the military. It's fine to make undocumented statements in general argument, but in a Summary of Evidence one needs to document matters of time as much as possible. Since it is difficult to be sure of the exact timing of events in the Payne Stewart case, we have cut out the word 'immediately.'

In any case, the question of how quickly the FAA contacted the Military about the Payne Stewart jet is not worth a lot of research time. Regarding 9-11, the important thing is that the Payne Stewart case shows that, contrary to Vice President Cheney's assertions on MEET THE PRESS, intercepting planes does not means shooting them down. And as Barrie Zwicker pointed out, it does not require presidential approval to intercept a plane, again contrary to Mr. Cheney. These are the key points.

The question of how long it took the military to respond has to be put in context. This was a small business jet plane flying on autopilot towards a low-population area. It was not a hijacked jumbo jet, one of four airliners hijacked on 9-11, of which two had already crashed into the biggest buildings in New York. And it was not the third hijacked airliner, which turned around in Ohio and was flying back to Washington, DC.

Clearly on 9-11 the FAA went on emergency footing. Vice President Cheney says that after the first airliner hit the World Trade Center, the FAA had open lines to the Secret Service. Newsday reports that by 9:06 the FAA had ordered the entire air corridor from Cleveland to Washington, DC shut down. That is, the FAA shut down the route which, we are told, American Flight 77 took heading back to the Pentagon. (10)

It is one thing if the FAA or the military was slow responding to a small business jet on autopilot flying over unpopulated areas, and it is another thing for those in charge of Andrews Air Force Base not to scramble fighter jets when there was an obvious deadly threat to key US military and government installations, not to mention that Flight 77 was heading for an urban area inhabited by several million souls.

-- John Flaherty

Further Reading:

(1) 'The Great Deception'

(1a) The sections of 'GUILTY FOR 9-11' aired on Canadian TV:

* Section 1: 'Why Were None of the Hijacked Planes Intercepted?'
[Posted 14 November 2001]

* Update to GUILTY FOR 9-11 Section 1:
[Posted 18 November 2001]

* Section 2: 'Mr. Cheney's Cover Story'
[Posted 20 November 2001]

(2) 'Great Deception' Transcript



(5) 'Update to GUILTY FOR 9-11 - Section 1'

(5a) 'NBC Nightly News,' "Attack on America," (6:30 PM ET) 11 September 2001, "Tuesday President Bush returns to White House on Marine One," Anchor: Tom Brokaw, Jim Miklaszewski reporting.
See transcript at:

(6) NTSB Report
Accident No.: DCA00MA005
Operator or Flight Number: Sunjet Aviation
Aircraft and Registration: Learjet Model 35, N47BA
Location: Aberdeen, South Dakota
Date: October 25, 1999

(7) AP Chronology on Payne Stewart Crash


(9) * Section 2: 'Mr. Cheney's Cover Story'
[Posted 20 November 2001]

(10) 'Newsday' 23 September 2001, "Air Attack on Pentagon Indicates Weaknesses" by Sylvia Adcock, Brian Donovan and Craig Gordon
Web version (does not link direct to part of article with reference to closing of air corridor) :
Backup with direct link to reference to closing of air corridor is at:

'Map & Timetable for American Airlines Flight 77'
[Posted 8 December 2001]

'Map of Andrews Air Force Base'
[Posted 20 November 2001]

Frequently Asked Questions on 9-11

Includes: 'FAQ #1 - Nobody was prepared for 9-11' and
FAQ #2 - Planes did scramble on 9-11. They just arrived late.'

'Reader Says Emperor's Clothes Wrong on bin Laden, 9-11'
A very interesting debate.
[Posted 28 September 2001]

SYNTH-ARCHIVE#20: Declaration of Energy Independence

original posting: 27 feb. 2002


February 13, 2002

Dear NRDC Earth Activist,

There is nothing patriotic about handing over our natural heritage to
the oil industry. But that's exactly what the White House wants to do
in the name of national security.

I'm asking you to join me in opposing the senseless destruction of our
environment by going to and
signing the Declaration of Energy Independence. The declaration calls
on our government to pursue a sustainable energy future that will
preserve -- not destroy -- our last, unspoiled wildlands.

We have little time to lose. With the nation's attention focused
almost exclusively on the war against terrorism, the Bush
administration has moved quietly but aggressively in recent months to
open up fragile wildlands to giant energy corporations. In Utah, they
were in such a hurry to lease millions of acres of our redrock
canyonlands for oil and gas development that they skipped the
environmental review that is required by law. My colleagues here at
NRDC have already gone to federal court to block this illegal giveaway
of redrock country.

But that's only the beginning. The Bush-Cheney energy plan -- hatched
in closed-door meetings last year with Enron and other energy giants
-- would pave the way for oil and gas companies to despoil an alarming
number of our last wild places: the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,
the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem, Wyoming's Red Desert, and many,
many more.

President Bush says we need the oil to become more energy independent.
Don't buy it! Using the tragic events of September 11th as an
opportunity to advance the special interests of the oil industry will
not enhance America's energy security. Our nation simply doesn't have
enough oil to drill our way to self-sufficiency.

If we really want to declare energy independence, then the only answer
is to dramatically reduce our appetite for oil. For starters, we could
increase the fuel efficiency of our cars and light trucks to 40 miles
per gallon. That would save nearly two million barrels of oil a day by
the year 2012 -- more than all the oil we imported last year from
Saudi Arabia.

The Declaration of Energy Independence sets forth plenty of other ways
to slash our dependence on oil. It proves that fighting terrorism does
NOT require the destruction of our own natural heritage.

Please do your part by visiting and signing the Declaration
of Energy Independence. It will take you less than a minute. Then
please forward this message to your family and friends. If millions of
us sign the declaration, then the White House and Congress will be
unable to ignore its message.

And thank you for helping to save America's last wild places.

Sincerely yours,

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Senior Attorney
Natural Resources Defense Council

About NRDC

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a nonprofit environmental
organization with over 500,000 members nationwide and a staff of
scientists, attorneys and environmental experts. Our mission is to
protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and ensure a safe and
healthy environment for all living things.

For more information about NRDC or how to become a member of NRDC,
please contact us at:

Natural Resources Defense Council
40 West 20th Street
New York, NY 10011
212-727-4511 (voice) / 212-727-1773 (fax)
General email:
Earth Action email:

Also visit:
BioGems: Saving Endangered Wild Places

If you would like to change your subscriptions or update your email
address or other information, go to: To unsubscribe from
Earth Action, send an email message to with
REMOVE in the subject line.

SYNTH-ARCHIVE#19: "The Genesis of Infotoxin", Jeff Phillips

original posting: 27 feb. 2002

INFOTOXIN: "Misinformation, negative propaganda, most forms of advertising, as well as the sheer abundance of mediocrity and consumption persuasion which assault the mind from the face of the tube or the glossy pages of the high-glam magazine. It is not necessarily a conspiracy to subvert or enslave the global mind, but a systemic effect resulting from the net actions of many groups of like-minded people motivated by the same sets of values, and attempting to proliferate these values/beliefs through a vast array of modern mass-communication techniques." Infotoxin is the reciprocal of quality, meaning, clarity, and relevance, and is not intended as a category or label but as a conceptual onto-noonic ("ON-toe no-ON-ic") bio-psychiatric instrument for psychological and ecological healing.


The myriad and improbable diversity of water-based life has been constantly evolving and experimenting with new forms of biological expression for at least two billion years on our planet the Earth. Mankind, homo sapiens, "man,the wise", came to be only a few million years ago, and has always existed as one integral but miniscule element within the larger nurturing context of the envelope of inter-connecting ecosystems comprising the planetary biosphere: our natural environment.

Throughout our evolution we have experienced the mystery of the unknown, always pressing against the limits of our perception and knowledge in an attempt to see beyond the horizons of space and time; to navigate more effectively the complexities of life as a land-based primate; to increase the resolution of our collective "big picture", our species weltanschauung. Our facilities of symbolic communication, or language, and shared model-building have been extremely important tools in helping us to be more biologically competent, more flexible and adaptive, and have lain the foundation for our ability to experience anything resembling a "consensus reality."

In recent history, with the advent of external technologies of writing, recording, and electronic signal processing and transmission, we have undergone profound transformative accelerations in our cultural processes, scientific methods, technological innovations, and global industrialization. We have experienced an "information revolution", an unimaginable proliferation of diverse forms of knowledge, creativity, and the exchange of messages and images. This matrix of amplified mass-communication, or (m.c.)2, has expanded exponentially in complexity so that we now experience a new environment, or context, of existence within the larger and more ancient living planetary biosphere. This new shared context is known as our information environment.

The information environment is a complex holistic system of both the hardware or media, and the software, or content, of communication (what astronomer Carl Sagan calls our "extrasomatic cultural information.") We ourselves are embedded within this context; we are the mind/brain of the information environment. We have constructed a sort of typographic/electronic cocoon around ourselves; the sum total of our languages and codes; the semiotic and psychological processes by means of which these symbols and images are shared and understood; and the complex synergic�and little understood�inter-relationships between these dimensions.

You, the reader, and I, the writer, are at this moment using the wonders of symbolic language and modern information technology to share meaningful and relevant ideas across time and space. Indeed, the purpose and focus of this message concerns nothing less than our role in the long-term health of life as we know it here on Earth.

The original evolutionary driving force behind our urge to communicate more effectively is the need to inform and assist fellow beings and to facilitate and coordinate cooperative actions which could not be accomplished by individuals acting alone. The adaptive gains of high-quality communication in homo sapiens are self-evident.

Joseph Wood Krutch says that "man is one of those animals which is in danger from its too successul participation in the struggle for existence�from the standpoint of nature as a whole, he is both a threat to every other living thing, and therefore, a threat to himself also�he has become the tyrant of the Earth, the waster of its resources, the creator of the most prodigious imbalance in the natural order which has ever existed�" Our wisdom has not kept pace with our so-called "intelligence." The human enterprise is indisputably wreaking havoc, committing irreversible extinctions, pollutions and degradations on our fellow beings and natural environment.

Before the advent of modern mass-communication, or (m.c.)2, our information environment essentially was our natural environment. We had books, but we lived on the land, climbed the mountains, farmed the valleys, fished in the rivers, took our children for hikes and told them stories, looked to the heavens for inspiration, felt the warmth of the sun, the pull of the moon, the splendor of the Milky Way. Now we watch television.

The ubiquity and pervasiveness of our information environment has tremendously influenced each of us, for better or worse. Our lives and minds have been broadened and enriched; we have learned of things long ago and far away that we could never experience directly. We have been informed, educated and inspired. We have also been exposed to the virulence of politics and the mucus of celebrity. Does seeing Dan Quayle or O.J. Simpson really make a difference in our lives? We know what car to drive, what beer to swill; we know how to look stylish, how to act cool. We think we are tuned into what is happening. We are media-literate, and therefore hip.

The map, however, is not the territory; and cartographers sometimes make mistakes, especially when exploring uncharted regions. The information environment is an actual, or real system of media, images, and symbols, often conveying understandable meaning; but, unlike our natural environment, our information environment is of human creation: a second-order reality. Our natural environment has been functioning in intelligent harmony far longer than has man; the information environment is artificial and unalive. Moreover, the information environment may convey codifications of things which really exist, but these images are only simulations of the real world; it is in fact a media-based virtual reality.

At all levels of existence and manifestation, from the atomic/molecular to the cellular/organismic to the planetary/galactic, the communication and exchange of energy/information is a fundamental process of physical reality. The universe is patterns of information on various levels, probability aggregates vibrating in mathematical harmony, the "music of the spheres." Living organisms are functions of the information contained within the genetic codes which specify their development and control their health and growth. The flow and balance of this cosmic dance is constant, dynamic, homeostatic and self-regulating.

When the natural harmony of energy/information is disrupted in a living organism or system, a state or condition of unhealth, or disease, occurs. As our information environment has expanded, as more and more people are sending more and more messages for increasingly less life-oriented purposes, human and planetary health has declined.

Are we really communicating? Do limits exist as to how much information we can handle? And how much of the information is truly useful, meaningful or relevant? Is it possible for information to become unhealthful or harmful? Are we being inundated with mega-bytes of information which is of no possible value, that we would be better off not knowing or experiencing? Is the navigational function of our information environment being subverted by unconscious power ploys, naked ape control games, and id-driven marketing imperatives? The answer seems to be in the affirmative.

In biochemistry a toxin is a substance which impedes the proper function or degrades the health of an organism or living system: a poison. Many of the hundreds of thousand of chemicals utilized in medicine and industry are toxic to some degree. Moreover, many substances which at certain levels of concentration are useful or essential for health may become toxic at higher levels of concentration.

At current levels of (m.c.)2 we seem to have entered a state or condition of toxicity in our information environment, or infotoxin. The genesis of infotoxin is both quantitative and qualitative; we have unprecedented numbers of people putting out unprecedented numbers of messages which overall are neither true nor false but wholly irrelevant. And the toxicity and degradation of our natural environment is increasing in direct proportion to the toxicity of our information environment. Infotoxin is driving the forces of ecocide.

Infotoxin is a form of informaion disorder at the level of human mass-communication; cancer is an information disorder at the cellular/genetic level in the human body; a virus becomes an information disorder when its nucleic acids subvert the proper, healthy functions of its host organism�s genetic code.

The parallels are striking. In many ways the human enterprise has become so widespread and so malignantly destructive to itself and to other life-forms that it could be termed the homo sapiens macro virus, or HSMV.

Has our information environment become infected with some kind of alien consumer virus? Is Gaia herself sending invisible invaders like something out of Koyaanisqatsi of The Andromeda Strain to assist the naked ape in thinning himself out? Or are we generating the virus-effect ourselves�"internally arising metabiological and sociometabiological pathogenic influences", in the words of biologist Jonas Salk�through the summation of non-health oriented messages, images and information? Can we somehow seize the reins of this amplifying feedback loop and redirect the impulse-momentum being created by existing tendencies in (m.c.)2 towards more holistic, cooperative and life-sustaining ways of living? This may well be the question of the millenium; from an extraterrestrial perspective, a true measure of the overall intelligence of a sentient species may be the quality and coherence of its highest orders of communication and information transfer,

Interestingly, the Greek root of toxin is "toxon" which means a "bow and arrow." Etymologically, a toxin is both poison and weapon; this reflects both the alpha, or active/intentional, and beta, or unintended/systemic, dimensions of infotoxin.

Infotoxin is not a label or category for specific artifacts of (m.c.)2 but is both an attitude or orientation towards the use of these systems for purposes which run counter to the positive evolutionary forces which led us to develop symbolic communication, as well as a state or condition of disease in the information environment. Censors in totalitarian regimes would label "dangerous" or "disturbing" or "subversive" "left-wing" facts or ideas as "infotoxin.; au contraire, to value, protect, implement and enhance total freedom and quality of communication and expression is paramount in our salient and strategic agenda as passengers/crew of Spaceship Earth.

The perception of truth and the experience of meaning are of course relative across the expanses of cultural diversity and individual uniqueness. Our ability to communicate is based on a common ground of sharing and agreement; at this critical point in our role as the dominant species of Earth we need desperately to analyze and reevaluate the fundamental, implicit and unconscious values and beliefs which are driving present trends in the control and utilization of mass-communication; we must strive for an enhanced understanding of the complex inter-relationships between ourselves, our information environment, and the long-term health and well-being of all the life-forms who share our planet.

For the purposes at hand, information is defined as the meaning or understandable content of communication. Communication is generally construed to convey useful, valid, or true information. Although we may use a variety of external hardware/technologies, in the words of Dr. John C. Lilly, "communication is between minds." Because of the centralized nature of mass-communication we have a relatively small number of minds speaking to a vastly larger number of minds who function more or less as passive receivers of messages and images. The fundamental questions to ask about assimilating any artifact of (m.c.)2 are "Why is someone taking the trouble to send this particular message?" and "What difference will this message (artifact, image, program) make in how I think or live?"

Historically our motivations for communication were adaptive and oriented towards helping and educating each other. The inner wisdom of this is that "two heads are better than one." Recently, with the advent of (m.c.)2 , the primary motivations for communication have shifted to reflect the values and requirements of a fully-developed capitalistic economy, a sort of high-tech predator-prey relationship; the majority of messages in our information environment are messages of manipulation of persuasion, overt or disguised, designed to sell a product, service, or belief and to voice the needs of the largest corporate and bureaucratic entities who control the media. Corporations consist of people; and nobody is forcing us to watch television or to buy their products. It�s a free world, right? Well, not exactly�

The structure and dynamics of infotoxin are complex, and are inextricably interwoven with the very nature of the human brain/mind and planetary ecology; but several trends or tendencies in (m.c.)2 can be identified which interact to create a field effect of negative synergisms in our information environment. These include

  1. the unreality industry/amusing ourselves to death/the metastasis of entertainment
  2. the mind management scenario (including negative propaganda, misinformation, psychological warfare, public relations)
  3. commercialization of culture/communication (including advertising, privatization of the public domain)
  4. centralization of media ownership/control
  5. the primacy of style over substance/triumph of technique
  6. separation from/replacement of nature; health effects from content/media
  7. information over-load/tele-shock/proliferation of mediocrity/extinction of independent thought
  8. unknown/unpredictable/unknowable negative synergisms

In a series of future articles I plan to share an interdisciplinary exposition and synthesis of the work of several leading minds in the fields of ecology, linguistics, psychology, media analysis and communications theory. The study of the pollution of the information environment could properly be called information toxicology; the larger endeavor this relates to could be called biomedical noo-ecology (pronounced "NO-oh-ecology"): the science of healing and understanding the living and mental systems of man and the Earth and their complex and dynamic inter-relationships (including how our mind/brains work, how and why we create and are susceptible to infotoxin, how we can improve our cognitional immune response, more fully actualize our potential as spiritual beings, and take more responsibility in our role as guardians of the the Earth). Such an endeavor is of urgent necessity here on the brink of�the unknown!

In the immediate present ("im-media-te" could mean that you don�t know what�s on TV!) the major constructive differences that make a difference are going to be made by critically-thinking minds making conscious decisions to be fully responsible for what enters their heads, to seek out and to share the most relevant and highest quality knowledge and information, to boldy create a new harmonious and synergic paradigm of thinking and relating which reflects a horizon of identity expanded to include all living beings, and most importantly, actually to implement, to live these ideas.

One of the most powerful images of modern times is that of the Earth rising over the moon as photographed by Apollo astronauts. This surreal vision of cosmic beauty�from a perspective never before attained by homo sapiens�was experienced by millions of people through the wonders of modern mass-communication. Let us hold this image in our minds, a symbol of the singular awesomeness of life on Earth and the unknowable immensity of the cosmic context we live within. We are not alone. In the words of R. Buckminster Fuller, "On Spaceship Earth there are no passengers: everyone is crew."



� 1996



  1. The Unreality Industry, Bennis and Mitroff
  2. The Image Makers, William Meyers
  3. Truth is Our Weapon, E. W. Barrett
  4. All-Consuming Images; Captains of Consciousness, Sturt Ewen
  5. The Mind Managers; Culture, Inc: The Corporate Take-over of Public Expression, Herbert Schiller
  6. Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in a Democratic Society, Noam Chomsky
  7. Manufacturing Consent, Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman
  8. Amusing Ourselves to Death, Neil Postman
  9. Brave New World Revisited, Aldous Huxley
  10. Media-speak, Donna Cross
  11. Decoding Advertisements, Judith Williamson
  12. In the Absence of the Sacred; Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, Jerry Mander
  13. The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness; Escape from Freedom, Erich Fromm
  14. The Pentagon Propaganda Machine, Sen. William Fulbright
  15. Victims of Group-think, Irving L. Janis
  16. The Media Monopoly, Ben Bagdikian
  17. The Invisible Pyramid, Loren Eiseley
  18. Video-culture, Jean Baudrillard
  19. The Pentagon of Power: The Myth of the Machine, Lewis Mumford
  20. The Culture of Narcissism, Christopher Lasch
  21. The Cult of Information, Theodore Roszak
  22. Taken In, Stephen Ducat
  23. The American Replacement of Nature, William Irwin Thompson
  24. The Body Electric; Electropollution, Robert O. Becker
  25. The Global Village, Marshall McLuhan and Bruce Powers
  26. War/Anti-war, Alvin Toffler
  27. Propaganda, Jacques Ellul
  28. Unusual Psychiatric Syndromes, David Enoch
  29. The Science of .Coercion, Christopher Simpson
  30. The Plug-In Drug, Marie Winn
  31. Who Owns Information? Anne Wells-Branscomb
  32. The Turning Point, Fritjof Capra
  33. The Dragons of Eden, Carl Sagan
  34. The Voice of the Desert, Joseph Wood Krutch
  35. The Survival of the Wisest; The Anatomy of Reality, Jonas Salk
  36. Our Endangered Life-Support Systems, Eugene Odum
  37. The Music of the Spheres, Guy Murchie

*INFOTOXIN: "Misinformation, negative propaganda, most forms of advertising, as well as the sheer abundance of mediocrity and consumption persuasion which assault the mind from the face of the tube or the glossy pages of the high-glam magazine. It is not necessarily a conspiracy to subvert or enslave the global mind, but a systemic effect resulting from the net actions of many groups of like-minded people motivated by the same sets of values, and attempting to proliferate these values/beliefs through a vast array of modern mass-communication techniques." Infotoxin is the reciprocal of quality, meaning, clarity, and relevance, and is not intended as a category or label but as a conceptual onto-noonic ("ON-toe no-ON-ic") bio-psychiatric instrument for psychological and ecological healing.

NOTE: This article is the sequel to the introduction to infotoxin published in Adbusters (Winter 1995); see for "The Age of Infotoxin" by Jeff Phillips

*** see also the Media Foundation website at and

"the ultimate technology" at

(a spacecraft control panel/mandala for your brain!)

"Ignorance isn't bliss...ignorance is stupid." J. Paul Serengeti