POTENTIALS: 
Envisioning the New Millennium 

By Barbara Marx Hubbard

 

In the late 1970s, author and futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard dreamed of producing a television series about "the new news, the good news of our time." In 1981, when producer Marta Houske interviewed Barbara for the international hit television series "In Search Of . . ." starring Leonard Nimoy,  Barbara and Marta's friendship was ignited through their mutual desire to create a positive vision of humanity's future on television. They joined forces to create a unique TV series: "POTENTIALS:  Creators and Innovators of Our Time."

Based upon Barbara's decades of research and work with some of the great creators, innovators, visionaries and thinkers of the Twentieth Century, POTENTIALS was executive produced by Marta and Barbara in 1982.  Some of the most extraordinary individuals of our time joined in conversation with Barbara in a Los Angeles television station to envision a positive future.  The taping was conducted over three days, capturing forever on video some of the Twentieth Century's "master builders" of a positive future: Gene Roddenberry, Norman Cousins, Buckminster Fuller, Ray Bradbury, John Lilly, M.D., Timothy Leary, Brugh Joy, M.D., Willis Harman, and Marilyn Ferguson amongst prominent others.

POTENTIALS also had innovative interactive elements: "Connections" made books and tapes available to the viewers, "Meetings" brought the viewers together with the series' guests, and a "Discussion-Study Group" was formed.

POTENTIALS aired on a small but powerful Los Angeles television station to an overwhelmingly encouraging response. The letters poured in! Barbara and Marta tried mightily to get POTENTIALS onto a major television outlet, but it was a different era, and their ideas fell on deaf ears.  POTENTIALS was archived.

In 1997, POTENTIALS was reborn. Based upon his longtime admiration of Barbara's work and as one of the early believers in POTENTIALS, Gordon Beaham III, CEO of the Faultless Starch /Bon Ami Company, stepped forward to help put the series out on videotape.  The original camera tapes were archivally restored in New York, and the effort to "get the word out" about POTENTIALS was once again underway.

POTENTIALS is now available to individuals, schools and libraries who dream of a positive future for the Earth and its people.  "What humanity envisions can often be achieved."

Our purpose was to present on television via POTENTIALS, some of the greatest innovators and creators of our time, that is, futurists who are setting new patterns for the human race.   I don't mean "optimists" who think things will inevitably get better, nor "pessimists," who think they will get worse, but "potentialists."  A potentialist is someone who does not necessarily believe that things will get better but thinks that things can get better.  A potentialist sees the possibilities, and knows that what really counts is what we each do about it.  As we see the possibilities, we act upon them, and thereby create a new reality.  Each person interviewed in the POTENTIALS series is at the very cutting edge of human endeavor.  Together they offer us an overall picture of the potential of humanity now.

The scene POTENTIALS sets, is that we are going through, not just a historical change, but an evolutionary change.  Something radically new is emerging. Something that has not happened before. Everywhere we see breakdowns - in our health care systems, in our governments, in education, in our communities, in our families.  But at the very same time, although harder to see, there are innovations, creative solutions, and new possibilities emerging in every area of human endeavor. 

The POTENTIALS video series features some of those breakthroughs so that you can get a picture of where we are going that is positive, attractive and exciting - and what each of us can do about it now. Each of us who becomes future-oriented has a story, a personal narrative of how we happened to wake up and find that we have a unique role to play in the evolution of our world.

In 1970 the Club of Rome published "The Limits To Growth" and foresaw that if things continued as they were, there could be a global catastrophe by the early 21st century due to the interaction of negative trends.  My quest deepened to find positive meaning within the modern powers of science, industry and technology.  Through the work of three seminal thinkers whose work is changing the world ‹  Abraham Maslow, Teilhard de Chardin, and Buckminster Fuller, I discovered the answer to my question: "What is the meaning of our power?"    Here were the three great "thought pillars" that for me laid the foundation for the possibility of a positive future for humanity.

Abraham Maslow in his book "Toward A Psychology of Being" studied well people rather than sick people and discovered that all joyful, productive and creative people  have one trait in common.  They have "chosen" work,  creative expression, something they are doing as a life purpose that they feel is of intrinsic value and self rewarding.

The second great pillar of a "positive future" for me came from Teilhard de Chardin.  In his famous book "The Phenomenon of Man,"  he studies  evolution as a continuous process of creation from the origin of the physical universe (the Big Bang) through the formation of Earth, life, animal life and human life.   He understood God as the pattern, the intelligence, the "divine intentionality" moving through the system, becoming ever more conscious in us. He states that as systems become more complex they jump in freedom and consciousness, as from non-life to life, from single cells to animals, from animals to humans.  Now, planet Earth itself is becoming a more complex whole system.

The third great pillar for me was Buckminster Fuller.  I read his book "Utopia or Oblivion" in which he said we now have the technology, the resources and the "know how" to make of this world a 100% physical success without taking anything away from anyone, and with no damage to the environment.  This is great good news!  While on the one hand we might be headed toward global catastrophe, on the other we are moving toward global transformation. The individual has untapped potential, the planet is evolving into a more comprehensive whole system and we have the technology to free us from poverty, disease, and ignorance so that each of us can express our unique potential - every single person on Earth.

I pieced that all together and saw the human race has a new story.  It is the story of our journey from the origin of creation to the formation of our Earth, of life, of animal life, of human life and now to us, becoming members of a whole system about to jump into the next stage of evolution. It is the fifteen-billion-year story of the birth of a universal humanity.  We are the first generation in the history of this world to be aware of ourselves as one (the picture of Earth from outer space) and responsible for the future of the whole.  We are at the threshold of "the new," on a vast frontier together.

The futurists and thinkers in the POTENTIALS series are charting this frontier: Ray Bradbury on "The Artist as Visionary Creator"; Lt. Col. Jim Channon on "War & Peace:  Alternatives to Armageddon"; Nor-man Cousins on "The Power of Belief"; Marilyn Ferguson on "The Aquarian Conspiracy: Positive Trends Today"; Buckminster Fuller on "The World Can Work for Everyone"; Willis Harman on "Rekindling the American Dream"; Brugh Joy M.D. on "Body, Mind and Spirit: The Art of Healing"; Rev. James Lawson on "The Human Spirit in "The Beloved Community";Timothy Leary on "S.M.I.I.L.E.!  Space Migration, Intelligence Increase, Life Extension"; Toni & John Lilly, M.D. on "Consciousness Frontiers: Animal/Human/Spirit"; Alexandra & Robin Morton on "Communicating with Mammals of the Sea"; Jerry Pournelle on "Space Exploration & Colonization"; Gene Roddenberry on "Star Trek-Technology - the Future"; Senator John Vasconcellos on "Politics for Growing Humans".

As you will discover in my new book "Conscious Evolution:   Awakening Our Social Potential - A Spirit-Motivated Plan of Action for the 21st Century," in my own work in the last decade I have been exploring these growing edges of human endeavor. Also, I have co-founded the Foundation for Conscious Evolution.  By "Conscious Evolution" I mean the  extraordinary fact that the human species is now becoming aware of how nature works -  we are penetrating the atom, the gene, the brain, ecologies, solar systems and galaxies.  We are gaining the power to create new life forms and build new worlds in space. Consciousness has been evolving for billions of years, but conscious evolution is new.  We are the first generation with this power.

We are affecting nature by everything we do, the numbers of babies we have, the cars we drive, the food we eat. We have to become conscious of our effect on evolution and learn ethical evolution if we are to survive.  We must envision and choose positive futures so that we can move toward such possibilities.

The Foundation for Conscious Evolution is dedicated to understanding how to evolve consciously.  It's a point of convergence for people, ideas and projects that are now co-creating a positive future.  Check out our website at www.cocreation.org .

Within the next twenty to thirty years we could have a breakthrough in our collective awareness. We could see that we are all members of one planetary body.  We could see that each of us does have a unique gift to give.  We can envision a co-creative society, in which every single person on Earth is free to do and be our best.  This vision is inherent in the POTENTIALS series and we welcome you to join us in envisioning this together. 

We are entering the 21st century, we are beginning the third millennium.  I believe that our purpose is  to actualize the scientific, social and spiritual potential of humanity, such that we can become a universal species. This is the meaning of our new powers.  We can restore this Earth, we can meet the deficiency needs of people and we can begin to activate the vast untapped potential of humans. We can create social systems that support our growth and we can begin the vast enterprise of exploring the infinite regions of outer space as well as maturing a deeper understanding of the human spirit and of the inner space that connects us all with one another.

POTENTIALS, the Home Video Series, consists of four volumes, each approximately two hours in length and with four episodes. Volume I includes an overview of the series by Barbara Marx Hubbard, Gene Roddenberry, Brugh Joy, M.D., and Senator John Vasconcellos. Volume II features Timothy Leary, Toni and John Lily, M.D., Jerry Poumelle, Ph.D., and Alexandra and Robin Morton. Volume III features Ray Bradbury, Marilyn Ferguson, Rev. James Lawson and Lt. Col. Jim Channon. Volume IV features Norman Cousins, Buck-minster Fuller, and Willis Harman, Ph.D. These volumes can be purchased separately, or as a set.

For more information, please call toll-free (888) 374-7764.


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