Global Cooperation

News Item: Complexity and Collapse by Niall Feguson

Guest Blog Post – Dennis Bumstead

From time-to-time, Global Cooperation will publish articles by other authors. These articles will have as their common element, an insightful commentary on the state of the world related to that described by Adi Da in his book Not-Two IS Peace
This post is particularly interesting in relation to the “systems” chapter, “Reality-Humanity”, p 213 in Not-Two Is Peace, and more generally in relation to the often asked, often doubting question ‘can radical, large-scale change ( for good or ill) actually happen?’.
Dennis is the General Manager of the Global Cooperation Project – read more at

Complexity and Collapse

Empires on the Edge of Chaos

March/April 2010
Niall Ferguson
NIALL FERGUSON is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, a Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. His most recent book is The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World.

There is no better illustration of the life cycle of a great power than The Course of Empire, a series of five paintings by Thomas Cole that hang in the New-York Historical Society. Cole was a founder of the Hudson River School and one of the pioneers of nineteenth-century American landscape painting; in The Course of Empire, he beautifully captured a theory of imperial rise and fall to which most people remain in thrall to this day.

Each of the five imagined scenes depicts the mouth of a great river beneath a rocky outcrop. In the first, The Savage State, a lush wilderness is populated by a handful of hunter-gatherers eking out a primitive existence at the break of a stormy dawn. The second picture, The Arcadian or Pastoral State, is of an agrarian idyll: the inhabitants have cleared the trees, planted fields, and built an elegant Greek temple. The third and largest of the paintings is The Consummation of Empire. Now, the landscape is covered by a magnificent marble entrepôt, and the contented farmer-philosophers of the previous tableau have been replaced by a throng of opulently clad merchants, proconsuls, and citizen-consumers. It is midday in the life cycle. Then comes Destruction. The city is ablaze, its citizens fleeing an invading horde that rapes and pillages beneath a brooding evening sky. Finally, the moon rises over the fifth painting, Desolation. There is not a living soul to be seen, only a few decaying columns and colonnades overgrown by briars and ivy.

Collection of the New-York Historical Society
The Savage State, from Thomas Cole’s The Course of Empire (1833-36)

Conceived in the mid-1830s, Cole’s great pentaptych has a clear message: all empires, no matter how magnificent, are condemned to decline and fall. The implicit suggestion was that the young American republic of Cole’s age would be better served by sticking to its bucolic first principles and resisting the imperial temptations of commerce, conquest, and colonization.

[The balance of the article is available on the Foreign Affairs site at


People of the Internet

A very good, new series on the BBC – SUPERPOWER – which considers the influence of the Internet on our world and this time, is now [March 2010] on. For one of the commercials promoting this series see below. This brief clip relates directly to the theme of our previous blog entry, and illustrates in a creative, poetic manner, the prediction of Adi Da about the role of the Internet in saving the planet.

For information on the series see  SUPERPOWER

And for more on Adi Da’s guidance on what this time is and what we should do about it, please see

The Secret to Global Peace

The working-presumption of prior unity—rather than the search for unity—is the right and true context for all human exchanges. If there is the working presumption of prior unity, then ego-surrendering cooperation and tolerance make perpetual human peace. . .

Not-Two Is Peace by Adi Da

Writing pacifist words does not produce peace. Making pacifist speeches does not produce peace. Peace marches and meetings do not produce peace. Big peace events do not produce peace. Praying for peace does not produce peace.

All those things are good, but if they could produce peace, we would already have it. Why don’t all the good things produce peace?

Because they are based on an all-pervading error in consciousness.

What is that error? It’s the error that humankind has been making for thousands of years. It’s the presumption of separation—the old consciousness that presumed that basically we are all separate.

What is the truth? The truth is that basically—even scientifically established—we are one, we are in the state of prior unity—inherently one before any act or feeling of separation.

The great secret is that the billions of humankind actually already has the power to take control and make global peace our reality. What is required to realize peace is an all-pervading change of consciousness–the force and integrity of everybody, resonating with the truth of our inherent unity.

Sarkozy, Happiness Index
September 24, 2009, 8:38 pm
Filed under: Global Peace, Society | Tags: , , , ,

Sarkozy: Happiness is an economic indicator

“PARIS — French President Nicolas Sarkozy asked world leaders to join a “revolution” in the measurement of economic progress by dropping their obsession with gross domestic product to account for factors such as health-care availability and leisure time … A great revolution is waiting for us …” Sarkozy said.

From the Press Democrat of Santa Rosa, CA, By EMMA VANDORE, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Whatever his motivation, Le President de la République takes a step in the right direction by calling for major country national governments to move away from their huge focus on the current model of economic indicators that everybody equates to a measure of how well the country is doing. These days, we have a lot more to consider to make a judgment about that.  GDP, or Gross Domestic Product, is a blunt instrument at best, equating economic output created by running prisons, with that of growing food. The money made making and selling bombs adds in to the same total as the money made treating their victims.

Adi Da has said, in his book ‘Not-Two Is Peace’:

“The present-time human world is fragmented and stupefied, utterly misled by the grossest kind of deluded thinking about “reality”.  The mass populations of the world are being seduced by the absurdities of “consumerism”. Human beings are, now and everywhere, entrenched in their commitment to absurd “consumer” notions about the potential of absolute “self”-satisfaction—and otherwise, human beings are (based on their failures of “self”-satisfaction) overwhelmed by gross realism views that appear to sanction nihilistic despair, and even unlimited (and intrinsically meaningless) violence.”

This is the view from the source – the “radical” view. Adi Da explains that the GDP picture, the total consumption of a society, is a deluded measure of value, or benefit.  The move to at least broaden the picture of what is of true value to societies is a step in the right direction.

For more please go to:


Report by the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress, by

Professor Joseph E. STIGLITZ, Chair, Columbia University, Professor Amartya SEN, Chair Adviser, Harvard University, Professor Jean-Paul FITOUSSI, Coordinator of the Commission, IEP

What Is ‘Prior Unity’?
September 10, 2009, 6:33 am
Filed under: Global Peace, Society | Tags: , , , , ,

To understand how things can change we must understand ‘prior unity’ – a condition that is already the case – not something we have to accomplish.

E Pluribus Unum’ is Latin for ‘Out of Many, One’, a motto found on the great seal of the United States. Originally, perhaps it simply meant that a single nation emerged out of many colonies or states, but since then, it has come to suggest that out of many peoples, races and religions, a single people and nation – the United States, came to be.

But ‘Prior Unity’ is NOT a union ‘out of many’. And ‘Prior Unity’ does not mean some condition that used to exist in some bygone golden age. Prior unity is already there – like now, before anybody does anything.  Prior Unity means a unity in which there is no separateness, no “difference”, no otherness and therefore, no opposition. It is already ‘one’. In his book of the same name Adi Da says: “Not-Two Is Peace”. “Not-Two” is another way of saying prior unity.  So he is saying that the acknowledgement of prior unity is the requirement for there to be peace in the world.

Notice that we’re not talking here about struggling with anyone to establish some kind of structure or system, or convince everyone that there is prior unity. If prior unity really does exist, then it is like the law of gravity: it operates whether you know about it or not – whether you understand it or not.  But in spite of the law of gravity, planes can still fly and rockets still can go into orbit.  And despite the truth of prior unity, people can still have wars and huge difficulty getting things done together.  How is that? I’ll comment on that in future posts.

The full text of Adi Da Samraj’s brilliant Not-Two Is Peace, my principal source, can be downloaded from the Da-Peace website.

Doomsday or Turn-About Moment?

Well, I’m hoping it is the ‘turn-about’ moment of course. The end of the world, be that on December 21, 2012 or any other time soon, would definitely ruin your day, and should be avoided.  This blog is about choosing the other possibility. Choosing the turn-about moment possibility is definitely within our grasp – IF … The big “IF” depends upon us changing the way we look at the world. I will comment on things that happen in the world, bringing in that alternative point of view.

The world right now is in a mess. We have a global financial crisis, with a huge mass of debt hung around our neck – or as The Economist put it:

Our Debt Legacy

Our Debt Legacy

a huge and possibly crippling legacy of debt for future generations.

On top of that, we have an environmental crisis, with glaciers melting faster than forecast, which will result in coastal flooding, mass migration, pressure on already strained food, water and other human support systems. And the world is fast heading for the end of cheap oil, with the chief economist of the International Energy Agency forecasting the likely peak of world oil production in 10 years.  And then, on the war, terrorism, nuclear proliferation front, things don’t look great either, with North Korea and Iran positioned to do something dangerous.  It doesn’t take a Hollywood script writer to dream up a whole lot of perfectly plausible disaster movie scenarios!

The good news is that all of this is avoidable: not guaranteed by a long-shot, but potentially avoidable. In this blog I will describe the alternatives to the disaster movie scenarios. In a few words, what is required is an entirely new picture of global cooperation. The key words are ‘prior unity’ and ‘everybody-all-at-once’.

The full text of Adi Da Samraj’s brilliant Not-Two Is Peace, my principal source, can be downloaded from the Da-Peace website.