How Soon Is Now?

My book, How Soon Is Now (Watkins Press), is available as hardcover, paperback, Kindle, and audiobook via Audible. In this book, I tried to to do the almost impossible - and that is one reason it took me ten years to complete it, after numerous tries. How Soon Is Now looks at the ecological crisis as a rite of passage or initiation for humanity, collectively.

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I explored the subject of initiation in my earlier books, Breaking Open the Head and 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl. I believe they are not just cultural events but have a neurological function. The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that makes us distinctly human - able to plan for the future, process abstract symbols like language and numbers, etc - but it only developed to its current state in the last few hundred years. The prefrontal cortex can also make us feel separated and alienated from the cosmos and trap us in an ego-based sense of identity. The value of transcendent and visionary experience - initiation - is that it breaks us out of that limited ego-ic identity. We discover we are actually connected to the world as a whole, even the universe. This meant, for indigenous communities, an initiated adult could be counted on to to act responsibly for the whole group.

With the rise of modern European civilization, initiation rituals disappeared. Direct visionary knowledge was demonized - the witches, possessors of visionary plant knowledge and “second sight” got burned at the stake because they threatened the authority of the Church. The priests were supposed to know the “word of God,” and everyone else just obeyed and had faith.

In the contemporary world, lack of initiation has led to successive generations of “Kidults:” Our adults believe their own impulses and selfish desires are the only thing of value in an empty, nihilistic universe. The over-focus on material comforts and amassing personal wealth drives the Capitalist industrial system which has destabilized the climate and threatens to drive us to extinction in a short amount of time. Global warming is leading to famine and drought. Species extinction could collapse the web of life. We are pouring toxic pollutants into the air, water, and Earth. There is a new culture of spirituality and mysticism. Unfortunately, while many people now seek mystical gnosis for themselves, their quests are often disconnected from any larger social or ecological project. People therefore end up back on a self-serving path, becoming “spiritual materialists” in a sense. In our current circumstances, an authentic spirituality requires risking yourself for what you believe in - fighting for refugees or outcasts, being willing to undergo prison even, to protest against the ongoing desecration of the Earth.

In How Soon Is Now, I offer a model for how we design, prototype, and launch a new operating system for human civilization in the next few years. I look at three main areas we need to address, like three big wheels that turn each other: The technical infrastructure (agriculture, energy, industry), the social systems (economics and governance), and, lastly, consciousness. In particular, how the collective consciousness is continuously produced and reproduced via media and education systems that function as mechanisms of indoctrination.

So far, How Soon Is Now has had an interesting life. While the book bears introductions by Russell Brand and Sting, it did not receive any reviews from the mainstream media, which meant I also was unable to get my message out through television. I believe the book (which came out in 2017) may have covered so many subjects from so many angles that it was hard for people to fathom it. However it continues to find dedicated readers and people regularly writer to me to tell me it was transformative for them and led them to change their lives.