Berkley, California has always been a mystery to me. Radical student politics in the 60s… The home of U.C. Berkley. Somehow part of the whole Bay Area scene… Beyond that, I had no idea.

The crowd at U.C. Berkley

The crowd at U.C. Berkley

The mystery was revealed last weekend. Turns out, it is a highly-priced, slightly quaint, sometimes slightly worn-down-looking California town on the other side of the Bay Bridge from San Francisco.

My colleague, Rachel Morrison, and I had the opportunity to stay with Barbara Marx Hubbard in Berkeley and participate in a visioning session for the Planetary Mission.  Yes, THE ONE AND ONLY, Planetary Mission!

Barbara Marx Hubbard

Barbara Marx Hubbard


I’m not a pessimistic person, but there are large issues facing this planet – financial instability, political dysfunction, global warming and still, the nuclear threat, to name a few. And yet, our crisis is a birth.

One of the stories Barbara told during our time was of the moon launch in 1969. All of NASA was focused on the mission. A janitor was asked, “What is your job as a janitor?” His answer? “To bring them home alive.” It was a testament to the mission-focused awareness of every person at NASA. 

As we spoke about the Planetary Mission, we used an evolution of NASA’s motto. Bring us forward alive! It is clear to me that we – all of humanity – are facing a gateway… a choice… a hero’s journey. And we can only face it together. By the very nature of the issues we face, there is no individual victory. There is no individual victory to financial collapdreamstime_xl_44303315se, global warming, or nuclear war. It is clear to me that a self-seeking orientation disqualifies us from contributing to or participating in our forward movement. We need a vision and a template that takes us into a new future – a thriving future that takes us past the limitations of our current way of being on this planet.

Our crisis is a birth. Barbara must have uttered these words at least ten time during the day we spent together. We are facing an initiation into a new way of being, a new relationship with each other and with the planet. It is too bad that we, as human beings, don’t simply leap from victory to victory, without any setbacks or tragedy that spur us on our way. But the reality is that for most people it takes a crisis. Some kind of challenge that demands change.

If all we see is the challenge, we are not likely to thrive. We won’t participate in the new birth because that takes a conscious choice. And if we don’t see the choice, we won’t make it.

There were 13 of us brainstorming together. How can we bring the possibility of a new birth to the world? How can we bring us all forward alive? These were the burning questions we sought to answer.

One of the simplest, yet most profound things we can do is to publicize all the people around the world who are modeling the conscious choice to act in enlightened ways in service to our collective future. There seems to be no end of news from the mainstream media that tells us about all the wars, disasters, crime and divisiveness in the world. We decided to get behind Barbara’s effort to create an Office of the Future at the United Nations whose goal would be to track and publicize the enlightened efforts of people around the world. There is real interest at the United Nations in setting up such an office.

Sunrise Ranch , where I live and work in Loveland, Colorado, is a teaching and demonstration for such enlightened efforts. We are demonstrating what it is like for a community of 100 people to live and work together on the basis of caring for each other and living a life of service. We are demonstrating what it means to steward the natural world and to make enlightened us of technology. And we host and promote brilliant teachers who are showing what the new birth looks like in many facets of the human experience.

Sunrise Ranch

Sunrise Ranch

Here is something we can all do to bring us forward alive. Find the most enlightened way to conduct ourselves in our own lives. That takes some thought. And some willingness to do things differently than we have been doing them before. Then share what we are doing, and the new thought behind it, with other people.

Coming home from Berkley, I was elated. I’ve been sharing that elation with anyone who would listen. Some got it. Others, not so much.

Meanwhile, the daily events of my own life carry on. I’m still making a cheese omelet for breakfast, walking the dog, and answering e-mails. Through this mundane daily sacrament, I am on a planetary mission.

How about you?

David Karchere