New York State of Mind

So here I am in the Big Apple, attending the BEA-America’s largest Book Expo, along with tens of thousands of other authors, publishers, agents, bookstore owners, media, and book lovers in general. Walking through these halls with its millions of books and endless displays is enough to deter me from ever writing a book again. Does the world really need another book, I wonder?

a_610x408A majority of the titles I see are self-help books: how to become richer, prettier, slimmer, sexier, smarter, empowered, enlightened, or electronically connected. It is a huge mass of information catering to the egos of individuals. Like any marketplace, each vendor is trying to be seen, each author wanting to be noticed, each reader looking for something that might make their lives a little better.
But what is it all for?
At the end of the day, I have dinner with my publicity agent, Eileen Duhne. We walk through Times Square and witness its “screaming cacophony of electronic narcissism,” as writer Thomas Homer Dixon puts it. Each business is flashing its individual lights as if to say, “Come look at me, Buy from me, Eat here, See this.” Thousands of individuals from all walks of life, all races, genders, ages, sizes, nationalities, sexual persuasions, and socio-economic status throng along the street, beckoning to the call, with the innocent agenda of just looking for a good time.
But what is it all for?
I think of the single-celled organisms that spread across the earth in teems of microbial mats for nearly 3 billion years before they finally figured out how to overcome their individuality and combine forces. After that, creativity was unstoppable. In the next ten million years, (which is only .3% of that time) we had our first multi-celled creatures, and less than a billion years later, humans with opposable thumbs were thronging through Times Square on a Friday night in New York, a teeming mass of 8.245 million people.
Times_Square,_New_York_City_(web)I look at the lights and imagine what would happen if we were able to coordinate all that energy and focus into a unified purpose: to make incredible beauty, to create heaven on earth, to demonstrate majesty, to allow us to see our true capacities as humans, gifted as we are with the ability to create almost any reality we want.
We have enough energy, technology, creativity, and power to correct all the wrongs in this world: all our environmental problems, world hunger, overpopulation, global warming. We can reforest the planet for less than what Americans spend on ice cream in a single year; we can end world hunger for a portion of what we spend on diet and fitness; we can solve everything for a fraction of what we spent on the Iraq war. We just don’t know how to channel it into collective good. We have not yet matured into the coalescence of consciousness that allows us to see the magnificence we could create if we work together and look at the bigger picture.
We have not yet seen that making a world that works for all, makes a better world for each of us. It transcends our individual needs, turns the world green again, makes us healthy, lowers crime, and surpasses any expectations we might have. It gives us more than we could possibly have on our own.
Look at the most elaborate operating system, Linux, made by collaboration. Consider the most extensive encyclopedia of information, Wikipedia, which I’ve already accessed several times in writing this blog. Look at all that we have already made: elaborate cities, a world transportation system, feeding almost seven billion people (not all are fed well), peace among most nations, and greater freedom and power than humans have ever had before.
This is the theme of the global heart’s awakening, the book I am here to bring to the world. Tomorrow I will line up with hundreds of other authors, facing lines of strangers, giving out autographed copies. Maybe they’ll read it, maybe they just want to reGHA_3Dsell it on Amazon. I will have 30 seconds to look into their eyes and wonder if they can imagine a world ruled by the heart, by the best of our human potential, through the fruits of all the self-help books ever written, by the immense creativity, cooperation, peace, and prosperity we are capable of creating.
I hope that I can seed this vision. It is very big. It has many pieces. I don’t know exactly how we get there. But I know that it is coming. The more we start to look in that direction—to the future picture of creating heaven on earth—the sooner we bring it about.
Love and blessings,
Anodea Judith