Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: The Sacred Geography of 21st Century Renaissance Civilization

29 November 2011

The Sacred Geography of 21st Century Renaissance Civilization

(If you got this by email, read it as a web page for full rich media splendor...)

Reading Music:
"Meridians" – improvised at Art Outside Festival 2011
(download this track for free)

“As viewed by astronauts from the moon, the earth lacks those lines of sociopolitical division that are so prominent on maps. And as recognized here below, the web of interlacing socioeconomic interdependencies that now enfold the planet is of one life. All that is required is a general change of vision to accord with those contemporary facts.”
– Joseph Campbell, comparative mythologist

“It’s not science to me unless it’s integrated, in such a way that it makes a story. I have this holistic view. If symbiosis is simply the living together of organisms in the same place and the same time, in physical contact with each other…then Gaia, which is the whole Earth living system, is symbiosis as seen from space. You can’t talk about cost-benefit and cooperation/competition because those words are proper for the banks and the basketball courts, but they’re not proper for a scientific explanation.“
– Lynn Margulis, evolutionary biologist

This month marks the maiden voyage of a most exciting collaboration as lead blogger for The Renaissance Project – an international team of writers and film-makers chronicling the emergence of a new planetary culture, performing a new evolutionary mythos through the personal stories of genre-breaking creative innovators.

As part of our launch, I just published what I think might be my finest piece of writing so far – a jazzy, poetic romp inspired in equal parts by Google Earth, media theory, archeoastronomy, and ayahuasca.

If my calling is indeed to inspire by sharing what inspires me, then it's time for me to take up the sacred sword and devote myself to the illuminated word – to give a voice to this swirling nexus of culture and consciousness, art and science, religion and everyday life in which all of us find ourselves as we cross the threshold into a new way of being.  Out of the clamor of interconnected perspectives, we can hear a new tune playing – the angelic choir of seven billion people unified in a blooming ecology of mind, our flesh quickened in exaltation of the transcendental living mystery in which all of us are woven – the song of the human condition as it awakens ever more deeply to itself through a re-animated sacred and sentient cosmos.

So please, enjoy this declarative first step down the pilgrimage road of my newly-inhabited role as the muezzin for this post-historical call to prayer – I welcome your comments, your sharing, and your reflections as I gear up to expand this work into a regular flow of philosophical performances and, perhaps, finally, a book:

"This all starts right here by recognizing that you live on a spherical creature spiraling around the Sun’s own helical trajectory through the dynamic interstellar medium, through cosmic dust and lightning storms, and whichever way you point we can go no deeper into 'space' than we already are. And as the feeling of humanity as a layer stretching out in every direction on the surface of this sphere increases, as you can almost sense those people in their houses, watching tv or making love or crying about work, the children wondering what adulthood is like, the adults wondering about God…this is you, this is your body, and everyone’s successes are your successes. Every new idea is as yours as your heartbeat – out of your control but part of what defines your being in this time and place." (read more)

This is an open-ended project and we welcome collaborators.  If you feel inspired to contribute to this with your own celebration of world creative culture in an accelerating age, you can fill out an application on the website...here's the video I made as part of that process, to state my interest and intentions.  It's the closest thing I have right now to a mission statement:

Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.  :)

While we're on the topic of awesome creative projects in which I am honored to participate, here's the coolest wall calendar you've ever seen (Long Now Foundation clocks that measure time in the passing of seasonal flowers don't count).  "FutureEarth" is both a solar and lunar 13-month calendar that gives not only the standard weeks and months but also the Dreamspell dates some people use to feel a closer connection to the harmonic currents of time reimagined as art...and with contributions from an all-star line-up of visionary artists (including Martina HoffmannAndroid Jones, Amanda Sage, Adam Scott Miller, Autumn Skye, Jessica Perlstein, and almost the entire Colorado live painting crew), it's easy to see time as art.

AND the $20 you spend on this calendar funds a FREE Youth Art Workshop Series for 2012!  So you're empowering the next generation of creative brilliance by picking up some of these for your family and friends.

Here's my page – big thanks to Justin Maynes for organizing this, and for making me May:

So Many Hats

I've been on a roll with the hand-painted hats, of late, and here's your proof.  Most of these are still available for purchase, if you see something you like:

Stay Healthy For The Holidays!

It's out of form for me to publish a bunch of health links in this blog, but I am after all addicted to sharing, and just found some helpful short articles about psychosocial health and nutrition I think it would be a crime not to spread around.  Here you go – a few easy tips for staying sane and in top form during one of the most stressful times of year:

From the above article:
"Avoid openly trying to reform people. Every man knows he is imperfect, but he doesn't want someone else trying to correct his faults. If you want to improve a person, help him to embrace a higher working goal — a standard, an ideal — and he will do his own 'making over' far more effectively than you can do it for him."


Austin is treating me better than I could have imagined.  Not only do I get to celebrate my 28th birthday and Saturn Return with a free concert at Austin's utterly delectable Whip In on January 8th, but – dude! – I just landed an opening slot for two of my favorite bands in Texas, at one of my favorite venues in Texas.  Click the flyer for more info...I hope to see you there!

...and, lastly, if you've made it this far then you probably have the attention span and dorkitude required to reap full satisfaction from the two-hour interview I just did with poet, former MIT cultural historian, and planetary culture pioneer William Irwin Thompson.  It was an incredible conversation that took us from the religious underpinnings of the singularity movement, to the emergence of new multimodal electronic art forms, to comparisons between the current economic crisis and the critical emergence of photosynthesis on primordial Earth.  And I've never met anyone with betteradvice for a future-shocked planet on how to surf accelerating change.  I can't wait to share it with you.

In the meantime, much love and many thanks to each and every one of you for giving me your time and support!  Lord knows I don't get to book shows at amazing conscious festivals, publish on thoughtful and inspiring websites, and create art that adds lustre to a viewer's soul without this amazing network of friends and co-conspirators turning me onto amazing opportunities and making resonant introductions.  Anything I can do to repay you for your help, please let me know.