(Swans - June 3, 2013) So far Ervin Laszlo's and Aurelio Peccei's efforts to manage the world had ignored the participation of the mass of humanity, and so, as Laszlo tells it, at this stage they realized that changes would not come about unless the elite "were pushed by a critical mass." Therefore, in order to prompt the masses to demand their changes, Laszlo suggested that the Club of Rome needed to include artists among their fold. This apparently was not feasible, so instead Aurelio proposed that Laszlo should gather together a group of artists, writers, singers, and spiritual leaders to advise the Club. According to Laszlo such a group would be more intuitive and holistically orientated, but things never quite got off the ground And so it was only in 1993 that Laszlo eventually brought together this global cultural group as the Club of Budapest, whose aim was "to achieve timely and fundamental change in the world through timely and fundamental change in people's consciousness." (1) Just as one might expect, the Club of Budapest's "Manifesto for Planetary Consciousness" was written (in 1995) by just one person, Ervin Laszlo -- with absolutely no democratic accountability to the mass of humanity whose lives he was attempting to irrevocably alter. Although to be fair Laszlo did spend three hours in consultation with the Dalai Lama making final revisions to his final six-page manifesto. (2)
Since then, the Club of Budapest has grown in size and political stature and acquired a hundred-strong membership of the world's cultural elite. Well-known members of Laszlo's unique consciousness-raising-cadre include the Dalai Lama, Peter Gabriel, Oscar Arias, Bianca Jagger, Mikhail Gorbachev, Jane Goodall, Vaclav Havel, Mohammad Yunus, and Desmond Tutu. Equally represented among the Club's ranks are less-well-known, yet still influential members of what I like to refer to as the "mumbo jumbo elite," which includes human potential guru Jean Houston, UN International Temple of Understanding chairman Karan Singh, Institute of Noetic Sciences founder Edgar Mitchell, deep ecologist Helena Norberg-Hodge, reincarnation therapist Ruediger Dahlke, New Age philosopher Richard Tarnas, and consciousness mega-star herself, Barbara Marx Hubbard. This of course is but a small sample of the powerbrokers collected together by Laszlo, and for further details of the names and affiliations of the Club's full membership, past and present, follow this link. Much like the rest of the New Age community, the Club of Budapest decided that the year 2012 was going to be a special time for "sustainable transformation and conscious evolution" and thus on the "auspicious date" of 09/09/09, the Club launched their WorldShift 2012 Movement, which coincided with their latest publication WorldShift 2012: Making Green Business, New Politics & Higher Consciousness.
What Laszlo means by creating a higher consciousness is best explained by his own magical work, and he recalls how his first published text exploring his conception of the akashic field was published (in Italian) in 1987. In that same year, Federico Mayor Zaragoza, his "old friend and Club of Rome colleague" was elected Director General of UNESCO and Laszlo joined him as his science advisor no less. Thereafter, between 1993 and 2003, Laszlo, the former highly influential UNESCO science advisor, published four books on psi-fields, these being: The Creative Cosmos, The Interconnected Universe, The Whispering Pond, and The Connectivity Hypothesis. Despite such dedicated efforts to push science beyond the margins of rationality, Laszlo was miffed that the mainstream science community chose to ignore his "revolutionary proposition[s]"; although, he notes, scientists did take the time to ridicule the related (and equally nonsensical) work of Dr Rupert Sheldrake. Arguably, this difference in approach on the part of the scientific community owed much to the fact that Sheldrake actually courted media attention, while Laszlo did not. Therefore scientists justifiably did not feel it was worth drawing attention to Laszlo's own special brand of mystic "science." (3) This perhaps was a serious mistake on the part of the scientists.
Either way, Laszlo was not put off by his dismissal by the scientific mainstream, and determined to prove the legitimacy of psi-fields he teamed up with the scientific director of the Club of Budapest, Maria Sagi, who, as it happened, was a macrobiotic convert in the possession of "remote healing abilities." Laszlo has now joined the macrobiotic faithful. Moreover, as far-fetched as Sagi's combined dietary and psychic abilities may seem, Laszlo acknowledges that: "For the typical modern person remote healing seems like magic. But" he continues, "Maria showed that it worked." Astoundingly, Laszlo's initial proof for this assertion derived from the "fact" that Maria had remotely healed his own ailing body on a number of occasions. But he understood that such proof would convince no one, so in order to obtain "scientific" evidence to support his claims he sought out the help of Professor Gunter Haffelder of the Institute for Communication and Brain Research in Stuttgart, Germany. Working together, the three paradigm-busters then apparently obtained scientific proof that "information can be transmitted from the brain of one person to the brain of another without passing through the senses"; findings that were subsequently published in Laszlo's book Science and the Akashic Field. (4) But as if that did not definitively prove the existence of magic, he writes:
In the spring of 2007, I encountered something that opened up a truly mind-boggling feature of nature's nonlocal in-formation field: it appears to conserve some elements of a person's consciousness even when that person has died.
I spoke to the dead. I can say this without hesitation, for there is no doubt in my mind that this was the case. (pp.198-9)
No doubt scientific evidence to support this delusion will be forthcoming soon! Either way, a few years later he met Arianna Huffington's sister Agapi Stassinopoulos at Deepak Chopra's first "Sages and Scientists" conference in California, and to his delight he was invited to blog at the "super-popular site, The Huffington Post" (which is owned by Arianna). Agapi herself has impeccable New Age credentials, with her most recent tome of psycho-babble being Unbinding The Heart: A Dose of Greek Wisdom, Generosity, and Unconditional Love (Hay House, 2012). (5) The mumbo jumbo bug is contagious among some circles, and despite (or perhaps because of) Arianna's own impeccable establishment credentials, she too happens to be a fellow-traveler on the New Age circuit. I say this because in 2007 she gave a keynote address at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies' annual conference in New York. Fittingly, the inspiration for the creation of the Omega Institute, which acts as a New Age hub of sorts, was the recently deceased Sufi master and member of the Club of Budapest, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan (1916-2004). Welcome to the magic world of the ruling class.
If you find Michael Barker's work valuable, please consider
Feel free to insert a link to this work on your Web site or to disseminate its URL on your favorite lists, quoting the first paragraph or providing a summary. However, DO NOT steal, scavenge, or repost this work on the Web or any electronic media. Inlining, mirroring, and framing are expressly prohibited. Pulp re-publishing is welcome -- please contact the publisher. This material is copyrighted, © Michael Barker 2013. All rights reserved.
Have your say
Do you wish to share your opinion? We invite your comments. E-mail the Editor. Please include your full name, address and phone number (the city, state/country where you reside is paramount information). When/if we publish your opinion we will only include your name, city, state, and country.
About the Author
Michael Barker is an independent researcher who currently resides in the UK. In addition to his work for Swans, which can be found in the 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 archives, his other articles can be accessed at michaeljamesbarker.wordpress.com. Please help fund his work. (back)
1. Laszlo, Simply Genius!, p.171, p.174, p.175. He notes: "We had a wonderful start-up team, made up of my old friend Ivan Vitanyi and his two closest collaborators, the social psychologist and musical creativity researcher Maria Sagi and the polyglot dance and culture historian Gedeon Dienes." (p.174) Maria Sagi is a practitioner of "new homeopathy" (as developed by her teacher Erich Koerbler) and has served as the Scientific Director of the Club of Budapest since its founding in 1993. For those who don't know, new homeopathy "involves diagnosis with the help of a specially developed medical dowsing rod together with a vector system of geometric forms developed by Koerbler." Ervin Laszlo, The Connectivity Hypothesis: Foundations of an Integral Science of Quantum, Cosmos, Life, and Consciousness (SUNY Press, 2003), p.38. (back)
3. Laszlo, Simply Genius!, p.194, p.216, p.194. Laszlo, however, interprets the difference in the scientific community's reaction thus: "My hypothesis concerned the concept of an information conserving and conveying 'morphophoretic' field (rather than Sheldrake's form-generating but physically unexplained 'morphogenetic' field), and it demonstrated that the theory of this field meshes with established theories in the physically sciences. Consequently, my hypothesis couldn't be easily rejected, nor could it be readily ridiculed. But it could be ignored." (p.194) (back)
4. Laszlo, Simply Genius!, p.196, p.197, p.198. Mari Sagi had taken an "in-depth course" with the founder of macrobiotics, Michio Kushi, and in 1995 "had edited the Hungarian version of Kushi's principal work," The Cancer Prevention Diet. She thus had no problems converting Laszlo to a macrobiotic diet. (p.229) (back)
5. Agapi Stassinopoulos's publisher, Hay House, prints countless New Age books including Laszlo's autobiography and other recent soon-to-be mumbo jumbo classics like The Power of Self-Healing, Inside-Out Healing: Transforming Your Life Through the Power of Presence, and Seeds of Freedom: Cultivating a Life that Matters. Hay House was founded by self-help movement guru Louise Hay, a writer whose most famous book, You Can Heal Your Life, has sold over 50 million copies worldwide and was made into a movie. (back)