Most spiritual books eschew the 'political.'
Most 'political' books avoid the 'spiritual' and the 'sexual.'

Few books I know of encompass an avowedly 'planetarian - as contrasted with a 'globalization' perspective.

This book unashamedly aims to incorporate all these sectors of discourse, and more.

It would not have come into being without the steadfast determination and energy of my beloved life-partner Mary Beth Brangan. She saw the 'form in the stone' and labored persistently to bring it forth, often despite my resistances.

Full disclosure: I continue to have an open mind (in more ways than one, you could say) to the phenomenon of channeling, and a friendly dubiety toward the large sub-culture that has grown up around it and its most popular practitioners. I have the same attitude toward the 'enlightenment' and 'guru industries' in their various forms.
Co-Editor's introduction:

The Personal is the Political is the Planetary

James Heddle

I don't think of myself as a 'channeler,' yet I have shared the informative and mysterious experience of what I would call co-channeling this book with my partner that grew out of the field created by our conjoint meditation sessions.
But the ideas in this book and the voice in which they are expressed are not mine or hers or even ours. Though the ideas resonate with me, thereís no way for me to validate their authenticity; they came through me in some way I donít understand and I continue to feel both surprise and awkwardness about that. But I believe that voice and those ideas deserve to be heard and that I should not stand in the way. I hope readers will understand that, while I take responsibility for helping to make the views in the book available, I do not take credit for them, nor claim they have any special authority. They should be encountered and evaluated by each reader on their own merits.

Challenges and Possibilities
By way of background, I should say that much of Mary Beth's and my work together over the years has had to do with the international citizens' movement against nuclear power plants and weapons - the joined-at-the-hip evil twins of the so-called 'nuclear age.' At the time I was writing the first draft of these comments, the hand of the Doomsday Clock of the Union of Concerned Scientists got moved a minute closer to midnight. As I wrote, the madmen and international criminals who had seized control of the White House, and their Zionist zealot colleagues in Tel Aviv, seemed determined to unleash nuclear war on Iran.

Now, a new Administration, faced with economic meltdown, climate change, peak oil and two imperial occupations, seems to be taking another tack toward Iran, and even talking of 'a nuclear free world,' though still selling nuclear technology to other countries. Meanwhile, the world still bristles with aging nuclear arsenals on hair triggers. Despite the lessons of Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, and while still having no idea what to do with accumulating radioactive waste that remains deadly for millennia, industry lobbyists are pushing for a worldwide 'renaissance' of nuclear power to be subsidized by U.S. tax dollars.
Most 'new age' types in my experience have responded to such facts with something like, 'Donít step on my buzz! I don't believe in giving energy to negative thoughtforms.' Yet, as this book suggests, the antidote to despair is not denial, but informed, determined engagement.

My point is that, much like the Buddhist practice of meditating in a graveyard, spending a lifetime staring (sometimes quite' blinkingly') into the nuclear abyss, while working with others to avert it, has a way of focusing the attention, sharpening the mind and strengthening the heart. It is quintessentially a spiritual practice unique to our time.

But, as this book tries to show, it is only half the discipline required of those on the enlightenment path in this era. The other part of the practice is seeing the co-existent possibility of a peaceful 'planetarian' future and keeping constantly in awareness the ever-growing numbers of people, worldwide, on every continent and in every culture, working to make that future happen. That is what is termed in the book 'binocular vision,'' and itís a fundamental skill underlying the related enlightenment paths the book talks about.

Another key component of this path is taking action without attachment to results. This does not mean abandoning intention, but rather holding the essence of the intention, while letting go of any insistence on what form its fulfillment will take, or what the process of manifestation will be.

Linking oneís own spiritual unfoldment to the local evolutionary project on this planet is both empowering and liberating:† the winds of syntropy are at your back and because so many others are adding their creative energies to the project, you donít have to do it alone.

Syntropy is a word you have encountered often in this book. It means the opposite of entropy, the tendency of thermodynamic systems to 'run down.' Syntropy is the tendency of living systems to 'run up;' to self- organize and self-transcend to ever more elegant and functional states of effectiveness, wholeness and integration. Syntropy is what has gotten us - and Gaia, the living system of which we are a part - to the pivotal point weíre at now - to paraphrase R. Buckminster Fullerís famous dictum: Syntropia or Oblivion.

Whither the Withering Empire?
As for our current political situation, whether the withering empire will weather the combined impact of global climate chaos, peak oil, military overreach, economic collapse, environmental pollution, resource depletion, internal dissent and universal opprobrium and persist in a 'softer,' modified form under Democratic rule - or follow the life cycle of all preceding historical empires and self-destruct in a paroxysm of desperate lame duck hubris, the planetary situation is definitely in a state of 'high perturbation.'

In such a state 'far from equilibrium,' - 'the Chaos Point' - as the general systems people term it, what's known as the ]'Butterfly' or 'Chrysalis Effect' becomes a strong possibility. As a system trembles at the 'tipping point' between self-destruction and self-transcendence, tiny, 'trimtab' actions and events can trigger titanic shifts - in either direction.

According to Wikipidia:
"The butterfly effect is a phrase that encapsulates the more technical notion of sensitive dependence on initial conditions in chaos theory. Small variations of the initial condition of a dynamical system may produce large variations in the long term behavior of the system...." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect

'Breakdown or Breakthrough,' is how General Systems pioneer Ervin Laszlo sees the current historical moment.
"We now live in a period of transformation when a new world is struggling to be born. Ours is an era of decision - a window of unprecedented freedom to decide our destiny. In this decision-window, 'fluctuations' - in themselves small and seemingly powerless actions and initiatives - pave the way toward the critical 'chaos point' where the system tips in one direction or another. This process is neither predetermined nor random. It is a systemic process that can be purposefully steered."

The Seven Lively Syns and The Stochastic Moment
Itís times like this when what I call the Seven Lively Syn Words, and the wild card Stochasity take on special relevancy:
Synoptic - seeing things together leads to...
Systems - seeing wholes within wholes mutually interacting leading to...
Synthesis - seeing the point where opposites merge and become something new and...
Synchrony - the point at which many mutually-interacting processes are happening together, creating...
Synergy - the process by which mutually interacting individual processes become combined in a whole greater than the sum of its parts, opening to unpredictable
Synchronicities - non-causally related events occurring together in serendipitous combinations which create the field conditions in which can occur...
Syntropy - the opposite of 'entropy.' Nobel Laureate Albert Szent-Gyorgyi defined syntropy as the 'innate drive in living matter to perfect itself.'

Arthur Koestler used the term in his 1978 book JANUS, defining it as the active striving of living matter towards the optimal realization of the planet's evolutionary potential. Syntropy confounds cynics and pessimists by producing positive outcomes unpredictable by 'trend analysis.' Syntropies emerge because the cosmos at its base is fundamentally...
Stochastic - randomly determined or having a random probability distribution or pattern that can be analyzed statistically, but can't be predicted with certainty. Apparent trends are not certain outcomes. Hope is grounded in the basic fabric of the Universe; it is the perpetual expectation of surprise.

Our personal trajectories of evolution and unfolding enlightenment are informed by, and seem to us to validate the processes and practices put forth in this book. Admittedly, they are not for all. We offer these ideas to you in the same spirit we do all our work and spiritual practice ñ with the highest intention for the good of all sentient beings, and without attachment to results.

James Heddle
Bolinas, CA
March 3, 2008

Syntropia Press is a project of EON, The Ecological Options Network a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization © 2009