VIDEO Exclusive: Gregg Braden on Thriving Beyond 2012

On November 9, 2012, Elevated Existence presented best-selling author Gregg Braden with our 2012 Elevated Existence Spiritual Service Award in Pompton Plains, N.J.

The award is given every year to someone who had dedicated their life and work to uplifting the world’s consciousness, helping others learn to help themselves, and spreading spiritual awareness throughout the planet. Previous winners include Hay House founder, Louise Hay; award-winning actress and author, Shirley MacLaine; and best-selling author Dr. Wayne Dyer.

Braden was at the Regency House Hotel speaking at a two-day workshop sponsored by the Metaphysical Center of New Jersey and the Association of Awareness when Elevated Existence founder, publisher and editorial director, Tammy Mastroberte, presented him with the award. (Watch the video of the presentation on Elevated Existence’s new YouTube channel).

The author was in N.J. just after Hurricane Sandy hit the state, and told the audience Friday night to “give thanks for how blessed we all are to be in a heated and lighted room tonight.” He also explained how we are living in a very unique time in history.

“The best minds of our time are telling us we are facing the greatest number of crises and at the greatest magnitude in more than 5,000 years, and we are being asked to solve so many problems in such a small amount of time,” he said to the crowd. “It is a fact that we live in a time of crisis. But if the crisis is still happening, it means there is still time to fix it.”

In his latest book, “Deep Truth,” Braden shares the new revelations of science, overturning what we believed to be true for years, and proving what our ancient and indigenous ancestors have known for years. These “deep truths” must be embraced in order to not only survive beyond 2012, but to thrive, according to Braden.

“The world of the past no longer exists, but no one has told us,” Braden tells Elevated Existence in the December 2012 Issue cover story interview. “The world now has changed, and the way we think and live must change. If someone would explain that at a very high level, then we, the people of the Earth, could mourn the past that is disappearing, let go, and embrace what is new.”

Instead, many people are viewing the changes in the world as a small blip – or a rough spot on the road of life, he says. They are waiting for things to go back to the way they were, and it is these people who will suffer the most.

“They are clinging to the idea of a world that no longer exists, and as long as they cling to that and think in a way that supported that world of the past, they are suffering in terms of their jobs, careers, finances, relationships and families,” Braden explains.

However, he, and many other great evolutionary minds of our time, remain optimistic about the new world emerging, despite what we face. Crisis is a catalyst for evolution, and Braden believes the problems of today are actually providing an opportunity to evolve and transform the world into a better place.

“I’ve never been more optimistic about our nation, the United States of America, or any nation of the Earth, because our systems are broken, and that is what creates the willingness to look for and embrace new ideas, and look for new ways to solve our problems. That is what’s happening right now,” Braden notes. “If we can shift into a new way of thinking where these crises are giving us an opportunity, that is where we can begin a whole new world.”

When presenting Braden with the 2012 Spiritual Service Award, Mastroberte asked him about Hurricane Sandy and other natural disasters happening in the world, and what it means for the future (see Part 1 of the video interview here), and also how we can best navigate the future beyond 2012 – along with what about our thinking has to change (see Part 2 of the video interview here).

For more on Braden and what he believes to be true about the new world emerging before us, visit our new YouTube Channel (be sure to subscribe to it while your there!) and see the December 2012 Issue of the magazine, available now.

Gregg Braden Talks 2012: How to Handle the Changes

The year 2012 is no longer something in the distant future – it is here. And the changes we are experiencing – globally and individually – started even before the year 2012 arrived.

Elevated Existence recently heard best-selling author Gregg Braden speak during a teleseminar series called “Healing With the Masters,” where he discussed the changes occurring in our world today, the concepts in his newest book “Deep Truth: Igniting the Memory of Our Origin, History, Destiny and Fate,” and what we as individuals can do to navigate this new world emerging before our eyes.

“The best minds of our time are telling us in no uncertain terms that we are experiencing very unique times,” he said, explaining we see the changes in the economy, climate, jobs and more. “Experts are telling us we are facing the greatest number of crises in the past 5,000 years.”

However, Braden questions whether these changes are truly “crisis” or are actually transformation? It all comes down to perception and the way we think about the world, ourselves and our connection to one another.

“When we begin looking at why so many systems are collapsing and breaking, we realize the ones that are breaking are the ones no longer sustainable in the presence of the changing world,” he said in the teleseminar. More importantly, it is the way we have chosen to live our lives that has led to the collapsing of these systems, and much of it is based on beliefs and teachings we have been told – many of which science is now proving to be false, he explained.

“There are many false assumptions science has made about our relationship to the world that are deeply engrained into the way we live our lives,” he noted, explaining the basis for his book “Deep Truth” is to unearth these new scientific discoveries not yet making it into the mainstream. “When we embrace these new discoveries, it changes the way we view the world and how we relate to it.”

We need to understand that we are all deeply connected and enmeshed with the natural world – not separate from it – and we need to look to cooperation and natural aid, rather than war to solve our problems, said Braden.

“The best science of our time is telling us there is a field of energy that connects all living things on earth,” he said. “We are linked via this magnetic field.”

New Discoveries
One of the biggest new discoveries is Charles Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest was wrong. Darwin based his observations on what he saw in only some parts of the world, and made the assumption that it was true everywhere, Braden explained.

“This one idea is so deeply rooted into the civilization and economic cycle and the way we do business today,” he said. “This thinking led to some of the greatest genocides of the 20th century. Hitler paraphrased Darwin’s work and justified eliminating what he believed to be inferior members.”

This view of life breeds completion. More than 400 peer-reviewed studies in the 20th century reviewed Darwin’s idea to discover what the optimum amount of competition was for any environment – whether a classroom, playing field of family – and the conclusion was zero.

“They discovered competition always hurts the individual and the community, and that nature is based on mutual aid and not competition. When we say competition, we are talking about violent competition, where one person, group or community benefits at the expense of another by exploiting the weaknesses of the other,” Braden explained.

He used the human body as an example, saying it is made up of 50 trillion communities of cells that work in cooperation. If they don’t work together, the body breaks down and becomes disease. “We don’t see every cell fighting for themselves,” he said.

Other false assumptions include:
– Civilization is only about 5,000 years old. Peer-reviewed scientific data shows civilization is actually twice as old in places like Peru, Turkey and Egypt. In Turkey, science discovered modern advanced civilization dates back 11,500 years. “The 5,000 years that we are taught is the history of the world forever is actually only the history of the last cycle,” Braden said.

– Consciousness is something separate from our physical world. Some of the best minds in science are telling us “nothing can be farther from the truth,” said Braden.

– The space between things is empty. “There is a lot of energy in the universe that doesn’t conform to what our equipment is looking for, and just because our machines and devices can’t detect it, doesn’t mean its not there,” he said.

Dealing With “Now”
After discovering life did exist beyond the 5,000 years we were taught in history books, these ancient civilizations have been studied. One of the main truths found in all of them was that there was no evidence of weapons or large-scale war. There was not even a need to protect cities with homes or walls, said Braden.

“Archeologist and anthropologists are suspecting now that what we were taught – that war is a natural part of human nature – is not who we are,” he noted. “War is not nature. The first examples of war begin when we believe civilization began – 5000 years ago.”

Before our time, it was known as “The Golden Age” and a time of peace, he said. Archeological evidence is now discovering that civilizations before us knew we would enter “a dark cycle and a cycle of war.” The question now is – do we perpetuate the 5,000-year cycle of war or do we “recognize the deep truths” and make changes?

“Those who are clinging to the ways of life in the past, and clinging to the systems, hoping the changes we see in the world today are just a speed bump in the way of life – those are the people having the most difficult time right now,” he said. “The world changed while we were looking, and nobody told us. The reality of the world we knew in the past no longer exists.”

However, the good news is there is a way of thinking that we can adapt to help us navigate and adapt to the new world. We can make a subtle shift that changes everything, said Braden.

“We have all been led to believe – through false assumptions – that life is a struggle, we live in a dog eat dog world, and we need to struggle for our piece of the pie. The question we always ask ourselves – consciously or unconsciously is ‘what can I get from the world that exists?’ But if we can make the subtle shift from asking ‘what can I get?’ to ‘what can I offer to this new world that is being birthed?’ – that can open the door to new answers, new jobs and new possibilities of abundance.”

What if as individuals, we began to look within to our inborn talents, and begin using them to give back and make a difference in some way rather than expecting the world to give back to us? “It’s a subtle and very powerful shift,” said Braden.

Jack Kornfield Shares His Thoughts on 2012

The rumors are still circulating about what this year will bring and what the Mayan calendar is really predicting about December 21, 2012. During our interview with best-selling author and Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield for the March 2012 issue of Elevated Existence, we asked him to share his thoughts on the year.

“It’s so mysterious and far away to understand how the Mayans saw this eternal turning of time, but to whatever extent there is something to learn from it,” he explains. “We are in 2012. It’s not something coming at the end of the year. There are grave economic problems, continuing injustice, warfare, racism, and division of the world. There is also grave ecological problems and climate change. So we are in it.”

One of the most important things we need to understand is that the solution to our problems is more than just technology and science, he says. We also need to change the human heart, which is the source of racism, warfare, greed and hatred.

“Just as we develop changing technologies, these must be married by a change in consciousness,” he notes. “We can’t feel ourselves as separate tribes and individuals, as if we didn’t interbreed with the rainforest, as if the salt water of the ocean didn’t flow through our blood, as if we didn’t all have one ancestor in Africa, or as if the universe hadn’t given birth to us out of what in Buddhist psychology is called this web of interdependence.”

While there is tremendous suffering in the world, Kornfield also sees a tremendous call for the transformation of consciousness. “Whenever things are truly difficult, people have to rely on their spirit to get them through. It’s not just this time, but I think back to my mother and my grandparent’s generation, living through the depression and war. They too had to find the strength of spirit.”

However, now with the global interconnection of the Internet and so much more, he believes we are being called to make an even bigger change – to shift from beliefs of separation and fear to the truth of our interwoven lives, he notes. “It’s really necessary now, and I’m very hopeful.”

He also believes, as Ghandi did, that it’s a false division to separate the transformation of spirit with the transformation of the world and politics, and he explains a story Thich Nhat Hanh told about those who were crowded on the Vietnamese refugee boats.

“If everyone panicked all would be lost. But if even one person on the boat remained calm and centered, it was enough to show the way for everyone to survive,” he says. “So someone on the lifeboat of the world has to be that beacon of steadiness and compassion, and be mindful and free of heart. As you do that, it changes all you touch.”

We can each have an impact on the world in this way, as everyone has a gift to contribute. His advice? “The say in Zen there are only two things – you sit and you sweep the garden. And it doesn’t matter how big the garden is,” he notes. “Find ways to establish mindfulness of breath and body, and be mindful of your own humanity. Develop loving-kindness, and then take the sitting part of the practice out and tend to the garden of the world.”

For the full interview with Jack Kornfield, see the March 2012 issue of Elevated Existence Magazine.