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Planetary People

The initiation and termination of this publishing project, the Whole Earth Catalog, is one of the clearest indications of the unique characteristics and needs of our age. What the Catalog has attempted to do is to get out the essential information that is necessary for life on a planet. In many ways the Catalog has succeeded; where the Catalog has failed perhaps the successors it has mid-wifed, by the early announcement of its intended demise, will someday find the answers required.

Our historical position is unique, as has been pointed out by many others, notably Bucky Fuller, because we are members of a closed planetary system: Earth. In the past the fragmentary behavior of man could be held to relate specifically to his essential disconnectedness.

Since the connection of original telegraph lines the world has slowly, electrifyingly become interconnected. What has not been accomplished by radio, telephones and television will soon be force fed by satellite systems to many unprepared Earth people.

Though perhaps less than half of our world's population is aware of our essential connectedness, there is no turning back. All problems and all solutions are now local, that is, global.

When Yuri Gagarin was able to look at our planet from space he was the first man to experience a physically perceived, holistic view of one planet. There are no borders  here,   no  boundaries.
Those of us who are aware of our global inter-connectedness have certain planetary responsibilities. We are the first of the planetary people. We must begin to perceive in planetary patterns. A tremendous amount of cultural assimilation will be necessary to mold and shape already existing planetary energies,
I am currently finishing a book that will be published later this year under the title Turning On Without Drugs by Trident Press. Most of the book will be devoted to the social consequences of a turned-on social situation and to a manual that will describe and delineate several hundred methods, old and new, for altering consciousness without drugs.

The last section of the book is an essay in which I explore what we do after we'ie become turned on. By that I mean: what do we do after we've discovered some basic and verifiable "truths" about ourselves and relations with our universe?

I mean what happens after we've become adept at altering our consciousness by choice so that we now have insights and intuitions and scenarios for new ways to operate in our present world? I am also referring to the strategy of the psychedelic consciousness that so paralyzes most adults, Timothy Leary's "Turn on. Tune in, Drop out."

I would like here, to consider some of the themes treated in greater detail in my book.

In the past two decades we have witnessed an extraordinary transformation of psychology, the science of mental processes and behavior. Many origins of psychology relate to information abstracted from the behavior of sick people. The beginnings of some forms of psychology go back, essentially, to psychopathology. Since the 1950's, and largely due to the work of the late Abraham Maslow, psychology has begun to incorporate into its theories and strategies information abstracted from the behavior of healthy people." The science of psychology has been far more successful on the negative than on the positive side; it has revealed to us much about man's shortcomings, his illnesses, his sins, but little about his potentials, his virtues, his achievable aspirations, or his full psychological height."
-Maslow in Motivation and Personality

At the same time that Maslow was delivering the theoretical foundations for a psychology based on health, rather than illness, a number of systems that provided methods and techniques for being and staying healthy were being formulated, or, in some cases re-discovered. These included the Gestalt Therapy of Perls (both Perls and Wlaslow draw heavily in their work from the organismic gestalt findings of Kurt Goldstein), the bio-energetic systems of Reich and Lowen, the physical integration systems of   Rolf and Alexander, and  many others.

At this same period there also began the experimentation and spreading sub-culture use of psychedelic drugs. Perhaps these agents, more than any methods or techniques, therapies or theories, did more to open up American society to the rapid-paced cultural and technological change that it was already experiencing but attempting to ignore. For many, psychedelics provided "answers" for what seemed to be unanswerable questions pertaining to identity, life, meaning and the universe.

After a great deal of psychedelic experience I found that I was facing an extreme dilemma: I didn't know what to do, I didn't know how to apply the insights I had digested under psychedelics and bring those insights into working relationships and applications with day-to-day life. It was one thing to turn on, quite another to tune in but somehow the dropping out did not seem to answer the problem.

The above may be somewhat misleading. I myself "dropped out" but this was merely an intentional separation from my culture in order to allow the processes of integration to become active.

But there are many who took the "turn on, tune in, drop out" message very seriously. Coming down from psychedelic cosmic journeys, these voyagers looked with clear eyes at a culture in the throes of disintegration and chaos. Many of them decided that it would be better to separate from that culture and try to live life as sanely as possible, as much in accordance with cosmic principles as was possible.

Slowly others who had made similar cosmic expeditions came back to perceive the same scene. Fortunately there wre some who decided it would be better to set up communications systems so that information about the potentials and possibilities for our planetary environment could better be disseminated. The Whole Earth Catalog has been one of those vehicles of such information flow.
The third phase of psychological evolution has already begun. We no longer need adapt from the data of psychopathology.   And this third phase will add to the dData on healthy man. The third phase of psychology, the phase of planetary people, will draw its data from the behavior and mental processes of the enlightened individuals of our past and present.

But this psychology will not be an assembly of the teachings of the great teachers. Though these teachings are important, equally important and often overlooked material is available in the way these men and women have become enlightened, how they have retreated from society and, most essential for us, how they have brought their insights and enlightenment back to their culture and made these "truths" that they have perceived "live" in their own worlds.

This material is essential for our ongoing situation., If the ecological, resource management, distributive and political   systems  of  our planet are to function successfully on a planetary basis we will need wisdom.

This wisdom will need to deal with the everyday realities as well as the special case situations. It is our relationship to our planet that we must consider, not the individual habits that have caused destruction or decay. No symptomatic bandaging of our problems will be successful. What is necessary is a systematic transformation of what we do and the way we do it.

I am hopeful that the findings, theories, techniques, and systems of the psychology of planetary people will enable us to bring back to our community. Earth, the insights and intuitions that so powerfully alter our perceptions and change our ways of being. It is through journals such as this Supplement that planetary psychology will begin to grow. It will be through electric media that the findings of planetary psychology will be quickly delivered to a perhaps unsuspecting world population. ". . .how hard it is to keep the mind open to surprises!"

-L.   L.  Whyte  in  Internal Factors in Evolution The future of our planet depends on the integrations that will have to take place in the next decade.  May we be guided  in these times by the wisdom  of great men and women of all times.

"In their search for self-realization they (great men and women) discovered that man has always had the same illness, and he has rarely faced it; for he has found it easier to live partially than to develop his fullest potentialities. Despite his ever-expanding scope of reason and increased area of awareness, the situation remains the same. Total cure can only be attained when all men are "born" or when every individual fully develops his capacities, that is, when he can identify himself with mankind."

-A. Reza Arasteh in Rumi the Persian: Rebirth in Creativity and Love The psychology of the sick and the psychology of the healthy will now be supplemented by and integrated with the psychology of the enlightened: planetary psychology. We will use planetary psychology as a guide to the transformations and changes of our nature that will bring about the true awakening of planetary people.