Are you crazy enough to change the world?

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In 2009, about 200,000 people around the world joined in a sincere effort to affect our collective consciousness in a positive way. Some of you may have helped make that happen. 2010 brought even more. Some people drummed alone while others gathered in groups large and small but change doesn't come easy. “Easy” rarely allows us to make a transformation. If we want to make a difference, if we want to become different, we have to be stubborn about it until a new way of being is natural.

10 Billion Beats is a simple idea. It doesn't have a big budget campaign, media savvy, or corporate sponsorship. It started with just three of us. Then people started telling other people and the word spread. Hope emerged that as individuals we could help the world become a little brighter. Together we did a wonderful thing and we are very thankful for everyone's effort. We continue on a worthy path, to change the habitual patterns of separation between others and ourselves, between our species and the planet that sustains us. So here's the idea.

Sound--vibration--provides a doorway in consciousness, a common denominator that without words or melody becomes a pathway in to the deep reaches of our being. Drums sing this universal language; perhaps it is the language of Spirit for it touches something elemental within us and collectively, we pay attention. When I listen to the drums it connects me with the deep states of consciousness within; it connects me with the heartbeat of creation itself and draws me into relationship with Earth.

This relationship with our planet is more primal than sharing life with our spouse. Once we approached our Earth with wide eyes, fascinated by every firefly, tadpole, and daisy. We conversed with passing toads and found unicorns in the clouds above our head. Our storybooks were adventures shared by fairies, elves, and frogs that turned into a prince. As children, we drank in our surroundings anxious to learn from–and about–the world we had come here to inhabit, not as observers but as participants. As children, the world was our lover; we cherished every offering it provided and eagerly traded our wonderment for the blessings of creation.

In mass, as adult inhabitants, too many have forgotten this relationship. Perhaps it was with the rise of Western theologies or during the Industrial Revolution, but somewhere as a species we went to war with our planetary partner. We assumed that whatever we did had little or no effect on a big ball of dirt, it was our resource. We forgot she was once our lover, once the source of our wonderment and vitality. We forgot she had a heartbeat. Like any relationship, when one partner ignores the other’s heart long enough, things get shaky, stormy, and hot.

Andean Q’ero mystics describe the universe as living energy with which we constantly exchange. Adding to our childlike wonderment, they suggest we form a deliberate, respectful relationship with this energy at large. Ayni (pronounced I-nee) is a state of reciprocity, a sacred interchange with everything–yes everything. In Christian terms, it is doing unto others, as you would have them do unto you but to the Q’ero, it means helping the people in your community and respectfully caring for your neighbours who happen to be mountains, forests, plants, animals, or minerals. The energy exchange with everything is constant and we must consciously “give at least as good as we get” without measuring our return. That’s a formula for success in any relationship.

If I have drummed up your interest let me take these ideas a bit further. Our imbalanced relationship with creation, and our fellow beings, is noticeable to me and probably to you. We can deny the problems, rationalize that someone else will fix them, or try to respond. Perhaps like me, you sense a shift coming on this planet in your bones. There’s a lot of talk about it–2012, Earth Changes, Ascension, Rapture, the return of Planet X. Whether any of these events leave us in a New Heaven, on a New Earth, or walking more miles in the same pair of shoes, perhaps we should be asking, “How can we help create the world we all can live in come 2013?” More is asked of us than to fearfully wait for deliverance.

In the past decades, physicists have peered into the depths of subatomic particles only to discover–much like the Q’ero describe–a world of vibrating energy that interacts with our observation. Physicists describe the interference patterns of energy at the subatomic level as “nodes of resonance.” You might call this intervention in the global relationship problem a “node of resonance,” a pattern formed by the interaction of my work with drumming and sound, Peter Russell’s thoughts in “The Global Brain,” and many research studies on the power of human intention. If energy follows thought then we affect the living energy world. Why not affect it consciously with positive intent?

“The Global Brain” proposes a systems perspective of how life is developing on this planet. Throughout Earth’s history, each time certain essential elements reached a critical population density, a new property emerged, and the whole became greater than the sum of its parts. I’ll leave it to that author to explain his full premise, but the key element here is that critical population was about 10 billion. We are now approaching that population as a species on this planet. Several studies have shown how applied intention, the subtle energy of directed thought, affects the outcome of illness. Such works demonstrate that our thoughts–our intention–influence the world from the smallest level to our very human being. Perhaps we can enhance an intention’s effect by using the sound of the drum to deepen consciousness and reiterate the beat until we approach the critical threshold of 10 billion?

We live in an extraordinary time. On one hand, we see a rise of hope in the world that offers the promise of bonding us together and overcoming a hard time. In contrast, we see that divisions between nations, political parties, and religious extremes seem unfazed. Some prophesy that we have come to the end of our days while others say we are about to advance. Here is an idea I invite you to try with me in response to this current paradox: 10 Billion Beats. Without doctrine or dogma, it has a simple agenda: to foster goodwill within the entire living family on the planet in which we live, move, and have our being. I know it does not solve all the problems, but as a family relationship therapist with several years of experience, I’ve seen division before. I’ve learned that before a family can find solutions, they must hear each other’s heartbeat.

10 Billion Beats is a Global Intention Event that will use drumming to send a wave of positive intention around the world. Starting in Central Kansas, it will follow the sun through the time zones at 7:00 PM on Sept. 16th, 2011. (Sept. 17th as it crosses the dateline) It is to continue the energy exchange giving at least as good as we have received. This project is for everyone like me who is crazy enough to change the world and everyone else for whom they want to change it. That includes you and that is always where change begins. The idea–though admittedly grandiose–is not a commercial event. Really, it’s a simple grassroots idea on a grand scale. If this resonates with you, please register and get involved. Join in, and let’s drum up a New World!


Bridges Magazine

The International Society for the Study of Subtle Energy and Energy Medicine's magazine.

The 2010 #2 issue includes an article on how Carlisle Bergquist became inspired to start 10 Billion Beats.

10 Billion Drums the astrology of a Global Gateway

An astrological blog about 10 BB 2010.


Have you ever wondered if all the talk about transformation is real?  Well, I have too.  I still don’t know whose description of possible coming changes is correct or if any of them are.  However, I do know that what my eyes see, and my intuition suggests, are starting to coincide.  It’s time to pay attention.

The past few years we have seen increasing weather intensity on a global scale.  This year there have been floods of epic proportion in Australia, a winter with record snow fall across the US and more anomalous patterns across Asia, Europe, Africa and South America.  Something’s different and we are still arguing about the cause. It’s time to pay attention.

In politics, the US elected a President filled with hope and then retreated into the politics of fear at the following ballot box.  The people of Arab nations across the Mid-East are casting off centuries of submission and demanding personal freedom and opportunity.  How this will all settle out remains to be seen. It’s time to pay attention.

It seems that every polarity is pulling to extremes in an effort survive something.  Politically right and left are further apart, religious fundamentalisms are more certain that their beliefs are the only truth, weather, tsunamis, and earthquakes have all become more deadly.   It’s happening all around us and I can only conclude that something big is going on at a level beyond our understanding.  We must resist the temptation to fall back into beliefs that separate us and push us to extremes. Instead, let’s help each other through, whatever this change turns out to be. 

CAUTION!  TRANSFORMATION AHEAD. It’s time to pay attention.


The Coyote Oak: Burgeoning Wisdom

a visionary novel by

Carlisle Bergquist

A modern-day parable for a planet in transformation.