I thought it would just “be a long weekend,” to attend Barbara Marx Hubbard‘s Summit of Agents of Conscious Evolution. Perhaps it would have felt that way had I left home early Friday morning, driven straight to the airport. That would have made it just 4 nights away from home, but I wanted to take my vehicle to the service department for a repair, so I went to Anchorage the night before so I could drop the van off and have a more leisurely trip to the airport in the morning. I had a fantasy that I would have some time to shop at Nordstrom’s in downtown Anchorage the night before departing so I chose a hotel downtown. I’ll never do that again; it is horribly noisy in downtown Anchorage late at night (visitors beware.) My return flight from LA didn’t land till almost midnight, so another night in a hotel room (this one my favorite, quiet, pet-friendly, Micro-Tel), making my total number of nights away from home, five.
Travels to LA were uneventful, in spite of “the sequester,” although I was momentarily disappointed to discover that to officially qualify for the Pre-Checked Line, I needed to have entered my new Global Entry Trusted Traveler Number into my Alaska Airline Profile. I had to go through the normal inspection, although they did let me go to the head of the normal line. No worries, I was happy to know, so that I can correct this before I travel again.
Seeing my friend M was amazing and still so sudden and truly unexpected; we had barely a moment to hug and visit the restroom before heading down to the start of the Summit, at 7:00 PM. When I had checked in at the Front Desk I had gotten directions, as had M, so we both knew where we were going. Happy to find a small shop along the way, we got our bottles of water to stay hydrated. We wanted to sit near the back so it would be easy if we wanted to slip away, but they had a circle built and some empty seats in the front row on the opposite side of the room. We got encouraged to re-seat ourselves, which we did.
Friday evening was a blur, the Summit mostly a night of introductions, not much else sticks in my head. I didn’t do a head count, but in general, over the weekend there were roughly 50 people participating; with about a 3 to 1 ratio of women to men, I was happy to see a number of men! One gentleman, involved with the Coffee Party, only stopped in for a few hours; I was happy to meet him, and look forward to some political discussions with him in the near future. I learned about the Coffee Party in 2010 when I attended Jon Stewart‘s Rally to Restore Sanity; I even have a Coffee Party button!
When they wrapped up Friday evening, M and I headed to the Bistro for a late dinner and a lot of catching up. We continued this in our room until after 1 AM when we finally turned the light out, after setting the alarm for 7:30 a.m. The Summit restarted at 9; we figured that would be plenty of time for breakfast, which we were both relying on.
It took a while to get seated, and then, since we didn’t want the Breakfast Buffet for $24 (yikes!), we never got anything but coffee (oh, and a shot of fresh carrot juice). We did, however, have a number of people from the Summit at the same table, so it was much fun. Luckily, M packed some granola bars with her and had thrown some in her bag before we headed out in the morning.
Saturday is also much of a blur ~ after a lovely meditation led by Barbara’s sister, Patricia Ellsberg, we broke down into 12 groups (12 spokes of the “Wheel of Co-Creation” which is Barbara’s ‘thing.’ Then a 13th group that was all the people who believed they were the hub of the “wheel” ~ I was among those. In the end, it turns out the instructions were unclear and none of the groups did what the Instructor had asked, or had wanted. They, Barbara and Stephen, perhaps more so Stephen Dinan of The Shift Network, used this chaos as a learning opportunity and exercise, so all was not lost. Come to find out, this Summit was a testing and gathering exercise for a new class Barbara and Stephen are designing. That’s ok; there was still great value in it for all of us, and it was not all that expensive really. The Summit itself was just $147 for a couple of hours Friday night, Saturday all day and evening and Sunday morning and early afternoon. That doesn’t cover any meals, just the room and people’s time; still, quite reasonable and I certainly feel I got my money’s worth. I had felt very reluctant to invite M, knowing she’d have to make this investment. I think she would agree, it was worth it.
I had a very visceral response to the Rumi Quote Patricia used in the meditation (“Beyond the rightness or wrongness of things, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”), and then the work done by the Hub group was exceptionally rewarding. I know for others, the work done in the groups was of great value to the group participants. There seemed general disappointment that the instructions were not clear; it was sad that there was one group that never got to share.
We shared tables with others from the Summit, for all the rest of our meals, and were able to enjoy much stimulating conversation. I discovered someone who genuinely appreciated my comments during class the week before, about “evil.” I found this greatly reassuring; it’s rare even in these studies to find people who truly understand “oneness” the way I think of it (I’ve actually found a second person through this class but she was unable to attend the Summit). I found someone in Barbara’s apparent “inner circle” who is familiar with “The Life and Teachings of the Masters of the Far East,” by Baird T Spalding. Journals that contain information I believe critical to becoming a real Agent. Unfortunately, Barbara and her sister Patricia are not familiar with the works. During the weekend, I also found someone who has a similar, but not as organized, “gratitude writings” habit. He described to M and me his writings and said “I’ve never met anyone who does what I do,” to which M replied “LAMP does that! She does something like that every day!” She is correct, I do, and I felt the same way as he, amazed and blessed to finally meet someone else with a similar dedication. (I believe it is a habit integral to overall success.)
A most interesting synchronicity was what I learned about Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. This Jesuit Priest is a huge favorite of Barbara’s. In fact, it often seemed as if she stopped reading after de Chardin and Buckminster Fuller. When I started the ACE Class, I was unfamiliar with de Chardin’s writings and did not find what Barbara quoted appealing. Since he is her #1 go to reference, I have tired of him as the class has gone on, and grown a bit impatient with some of Barbara’s views and mentors. (I’ve always resisted anything having to do with extremely structured religion (especially any religion who uses a King James version of the bible).)
On Sunday one of the attendees handed out a sheet of inspirational quotes. I’ve had the following quote hanging in view since the late 70s or early 80s: “I am not a human being having a spiritual experience. I am a Spiritual Being having a human experience.” It has always been one of my “go to” quotes, but I’ve never known who said it! Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said it., so it was interesting to learn the source of my most favorite quote and a good reminder that there are pieces of wisdom in all views. (The problem as I see it is there are too many views that have fractured the “One” view that is ultimate “reality.” Too many people have “edited” the story, and when a politician has had a hand in things, it is not good, really, not good!!)
Sunday’s morning session had a few other significant moments. Barbara did a lot of reading from her writings, and spent a lot of time referring to the “Pentecost.” It was my least favorite part of the weekend, Barbara becoming borderline fanatical Christian. I like the idea of being an “Agent of Conscious Evolution.” I don’t want religion to play a part in that; nor do I believe it should play a part. I believe Religion is one of the biggest problems. In my understanding, as a result of my studies, I believe Barbara has missed a rather fundamental aspect of what a true Agent of Conscious Evolution is, even though I believe she came up with the name! Without the understanding of thinking stuff and our absolute powers to manifest, I find her material lacking. Alas, I have digressed. Back to the Summit!
I had Googled the word “pentecost” the day before when I saw it on the schedule for Sunday. I Googled it again while Sunday’s session was going and Barbara was talking. Yes, rude, I suppose, but I am a serious student, and I didn’t understand the word how she was using it. I still don’t. The word “pentecost” means 50. It stands for 50 days or 7 weeks after Easter Sunday. I wasn’t getting it, but suddenly I thought to count the people in the room. There were exactly 50 people counting Barbara and staff, counting everyone at that particular moment. I wrote: “Pentecost = 50. There are exactly 50 people in the room.” At one point Barbara stopped reading and engaged the room. She was near me and it felt acceptable, so I handed her the note and she read it aloud. There was an audible reaction in the room; one person thanked me later and said it had been a significant moment and insight for them. I still don’t understand what she was saying, but I felt the power in the room and others did too.
Sunday’s highlight for many was an exercise called “I see you.” You take a partner, and you tell them what you see, shining from their soul, what you know is their essence, and how you see them from your center, divine being to divine being.
“When I am present, I feel a special peacefulness. When I am present, I delight in the connection between you and me, and all of life. When I am present, I see you in your full radiance and hear you to the depth of your being. I feel our common bond, our union through the Divine, and my heart fills with the joy of being alive, together, at this very moment.”
Blessed, I was in a triangle instead of a pair, so the three of us saw each other and shared, and then several other women shared with me and then we generally milled around connecting with others in the room. When instructed to state in 45 seconds or less what we plan on doing when we leave the Summit to bring forth our learning, I said I will start an “I see you” Circle. How wonderful would that be, have a Circle, where everyone said this to you, and you said it in return for others. A place where we could share our stories of walking the talk, supporting the challenges we face. I look forward to this evolving. I’m not clear if it’s an in-person circle or a phone circle; one of the details to work out. I’ve had several people say they would like to take part, all long distance, so I’m thinking it will be a phone circle.
Barbara with Stephen’s support will be teaching a 6-month class starting in June; we were given the pitch and offer for a one time only discount if we signed up that day before leaving. I totally understand the marketing side of things; what can I say…..even with that understanding, it soured things a bit for me. Perhaps part of my reaction is just that we had been so “high” on love and oneness energy, to suddenly be faced with mundane, low energy money decisions, was just a downer.
Suddenly things were over and people were running out the door to the airport; there were hugs and tears and promises of being in touch. The room emptied. M and I headed to the bar. We sat there, in a nice sitting area behind the bar, for an hour and a half, just unwinding and talking about everything, she with a red wine, me with an O’Doul’s. As we crossed through the lobby we passed an attendee and stopped to chat….for what ended up being another hour and a half! It was a wonderful conversation and delightful connection.
The rest of the evening M and I spent getting caught up in our personal lives; after all, we haven’t seen each other in many years! Monday morning M’s husband picked us up; I spent the day with them before flying home. M and I went shopping, and everywhere we went, not only were there parking places close at every stop, there were places right in front of the doors at two stops! In LA I can do this; amazing! (For those of you who don’t know, this is one of the ways the Universe and I converse, is through parking spaces, pull through, or right in front; whatever I ask for usually.)
We had an uneventful trip to the airport (unlike in the morning when M’s husband found clogged freeways because of an armed suspect on the Berkley Campus.) The flight was also uneventful and the King Suite at the Microtel, an unexpected but lovely upgrade. The van had not been fixed, but the drive home was lovely. Life since returning has yet to settle back into what I can say is “normal.” I believe my DNA has changed. Alan Sasha Lithman, who wrote An Evolutionary Agenda, describes our transformational challenge as a species as moving from Homo Egoicus to Homo Transitionalis. I don’t know if I believe it’s a true evolution that’s called for or if we merely need to develop what we already have as humans. I do know that I am different from other humans in at least one way. I’ve always been different because of my understanding and memory of where I came from. Lithman describes a “butterfly species” of a human being waiting in the wings, who when it feels the call agrees to go through a seeming “death” process to emerge a new human. All I can say is that when I read his description the hair stood up on the back of my neck, and I felt awash with a visceral response beyond words. Others who know me well say it’s a match. My knees become weak and I feel dizzy with the responsibility when I consider this. So that’s how I’ve been since I’ve been back. Recovering from the “LA Energy” has also played a large role; slowly, I’m re-grounding in paradise, where angels go on vacation. I’ve also had a lot of catching up to do in my “real job,” at Angels Rest on Resurrection Bay LLC. Our summer Visitor Season is nearly upon us! Sorry, it’s taken so long to post this!
My head is still reeling with all the amazing people I met, and all their amazing projects and dreams. I hold each of them in my heart and wish for them everything they need to be successful. To everyone who attended or was involved with the Summit: I love you all!
Thank you, Dear Reader,
With Great Love,
<3 LAMP <3
P.S. I welcome your comments and questions!