This year we are organizing a series of events to deepen our conversation with pioneers and visionaries working in an array of fields of study about the world around us and within us. Our first event is in Santa Fe is next month, details are below. Future events will be held in San Francisco and London.
SYNERGETIC SYMPOSIUM & SALON
on Earth Consciousness & Lore of the Amazon
Conversations on Ayahuasca, Ethnomedicine, and the Biospheric Imperative with
RALPH METZNER • DENNIS MCKENNA • RICK DOBLIN • ALLAN BADINER • JOHN ALLEN • GEORGE GREER • VALERIE PLAME WILSON • GAY DILLINGHAM • MICHAEL GARFIELD
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6
4:00 – 11:00 PM
Talks • Dinner • Visionary Art • Poetry • Music • Dancing
Santa Fe, New Mexico
deborah at synergeticpress.com
- We live in the ANTHROPOCENE: The Age when humans are recognized as the dominant geological force of the planet;
- BIOSPHERICS is the interdisciplinary science essential to understanding planetary and cultural dynamics;
- The NOOSPHERE, a sphere of intelligence around the planet that is emerging to determine our evolutionary future.
Humanity is undergoing a process of “planetization” becoming a truly global culture and entering a new era of the human journey.
-Teilhard de Chardin
News & Events
Biosphere 2: World’s Largest Laboratory for Global Ecology Documentary Short on YouTube
The Anthropocene at the Royal Society of Arts and Royal Institution in London
The Anthropocene: The Human Era and How it Shares Our Planet, by award winning environmental journalist, Christian Schwägerl, was launched in London last Spring at the October Gallery, and joined by Tony Juniper in a talk on the subject at the Royal Society of the Arts. CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON THE RSA CHANNEL
Read the Introduction by Alexander Yanshin, VP Emeritus, Russian Academy of Sciences for FREE.
Forthcoming titles include the Ayahuasca Reader and The John C. Lilly Reader. Click on the covers below for more details. Sign up for our mailing list to keep informed of new titles and events. www.synergeticpress.com
Our dear friend Ornette Coleman passed away on June 11. Our condolences go out to his son, Denardo, and extended family in this time of loss. We will always remember the delight and inspiration that he and his music brought us over the years.
The video below is a clip from the award-winning documentary Ornette… Made in America, featuring the opening celebration for the Caravan of Dreams Performing Arts Center in the city of Coleman’s birth, Fort Worth, Texas. The city of Fort Worth welcomed back their native son with a mayoral proclamation of September 29, 1983 as “Ornette Coleman Day,” and Coleman was presented with a key to the city. On that night, Caravan of Dreams opened with Ornette and Prime Time on stage, while dancers twirled around the cameras in this film directed by Shirley Clarke. (Courtesy of Global Ecotechnics)
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And we leave you with a poem by his friend, Johnny Dolphin.
Ornette Coleman’s Manhattan
Ship searching out cross-currents,
Myself stalking this big city
Ornette and me circling higher in simple talk
Until words turn prayer flags
Whipped into tatters on passes between peaks
While music shatters into microtones
Leading captured melodies into ancient slavery.
My poems are your saxophone
Your sax reads my reading;
Words and music make mad lucinations
Navigating existence into pulse.
You threw away keys,
I threw away logics,
We honed our intuition
Rapping in an old warehouse pad.
Our Apollonian attractors dive,
Nitroxed in gaudy Dionysian reefs.
Trip of trips
Cold sober in every drunken gene,
While sweet potato pie
Concentrates our eye.
Launch of The Anthropocene at The Royal Institute of Arts in London, The Book Most Likely To Save the Planet (Hint: we published it!) and a Sneak Peek at our upcoming titles.
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May 6th, 2015 marks John ‘Dolphin’ Allen’s 86th solar orbit as a crew member aboard Spaceship Earth. On his birthday, we reflect on the exceptional life of our inspiring friend.
A poet, playwright, savant, and inventor and co-founder of Biosphere II, Allen emerged from modest beginnings in Oklahoma during the dust bowl to become one of the most productive and eccentric personalities of the 20th century. An expert in mining and metallurgy, as well as high finance, this restless graduate of Colorado School of Mines and Harvard Business School simply could not accept the state of civilization ‘as is’ and took to a life of adventure, exploring the cultures and biomes of our planet and returning to spearhead work groups that would develop the foundations for what he calls, “synergetic civilization.”
Building on the experiences and esoteric transmissions acquired through his world travels, Allen and his cohorts began in the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco in 1967 with the ‘Theater of All Possibilities’ acting group and would go on to develop ‘eco-technic’ enterprises, referred to as ‘synergias’ all around the world. The short list includes:
Synergia Ranch (organic farm, orchard, adobe construction company and more) in Santa Fe, NM, the Research Vessel Heraclitus (a ferro-cement ship, based on the design of a Chinese Junk, that has seen 18 expeditions), the October Gallery in London, UK (home of the ‘transvangarde’ art movement), the Vajra Hotel in Katmandu, Birdwood Downs ranch in Australia, Las Casas de la Selva sustainable forestry project in Puerto Rico, the Institute of Ecotechnics (which has held annual conferences on pressing ecological concerns at the highest level since the early 1970s), and more; all culminating in the massive Biosphere II closed systems experiment in Oracle, AZ that took place in the early 90’s.
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John is currently based at Synergia Ranch in Santa Fe, NM. And though he spends the majority of his time writing, he still travels Spaceship Earth yearly to visit and inspire the synergias that he worked so hard to seed. Happy Birthday Johnny- we will always be grateful for your tireless work and living inspiration!
On April 25th, 2015 Nepal was struck by the most powerful quake the country has experienced in 80 years, 7.8 magnitude. The epicenter was just 50 miles west of Kathmandu, and devastated much of the city with death tolls in the thousands and many still missing.
We send our hearts and prayers to the people of Kathmandu Valley, and our friends who run the Vajra Hotel and Project Tibet. Located on the slopes of the Swayambhu Temple in Kathmandu, The Vajra Hotel was one of the Institute of Ecotechnics’ early projects. The hotel, built in 1981 was designed by ecological/cultural entrepreneur, John Allen, working with Margaret Augustine, project design manager, and chief architect Phil Hawes, who synergized the traditions of Nepal’s great architects with modern earthquake resistant techniques.
We have learned that the Vajra Hotel is still standing. Although books flew off the shelves in the library, and art fell from the walls, the main structures of the buildings are in good shape, including the newer wing which was built circa 1990.
Many of the surrounding buildings have fallen or been badly damaged. There are 300 to 400 people who are reported to be taking shelter in the garden and are being provided with food and water as much as possible, and one pregnant woman has been given a room. There is a generator, making electricity available, but internet access is extremely limited.
As we pause to take in the full impact of what has shaken the roof of the world, we reflect on some of the words of the man with the original vision to build Vajra Hotel as a cultural hub in Kathmandu, John Allen, from his memoir, Me and the Biospheres:
Vajra Hotel’s opening in 1978 realized one of my fundamental objectives in life of bringing together in one place representatives of East and West, culturally, and North and South, politically. This synergy of the Vajra Hotel and the ongoing expeditions of the Heraclitus gave the Institute of Ecotechnics and its friends and associates remarkable portals into ethnosphere and biosphere. Explorers, anthropologists, ecologists, dancers, the World Wildlife Fund, and other creative individuals and development groups used Vajra Hotel’s premises for encounters, conversations, meetings and performances. Rinpoches, swamis, depth psychologists, top Asian art experts, Baul singers, European yogis and philosophical teachers reserved its great rooftop pagoda, with its ceiling paintings by Rinchen Norbu and his school of traditional Tibetan muralists. . .
Connoisseurs of travel considered the Vajra Hotel an architectural gem and ‘in’ place. . . . The Vajra quickly became a sought after destination by travelers to Kathmandu. Many locals, artists, intelligentsia, and business people came for conversations in its dining hall, or climbed up to the rooftop where you could see into Durbar Square, the heart of medieval Kathmandu. Scholars from the West and East sought out our Institute of Ecotechnics library for which I handpicked over a thousand volumes. Its shelves contained the Tibetan canon, approved by the Dalai Lama, and the Hindu canon, approved by my friend, Swami Dharmjyoti, the head of the Nagarjung Order, who became our librarian. I selected an approximation to a Western canon, in literature, anthropology, history, management, and philosophy.
From the Vajra Hotel, you can walk straight up to Swayambhunath (the Self-Realized) Hindu-Buddhist temple complex, rising on a twenty-thousand-year-old artificial platform topping a small mountain. It had been a center of the Naga cosmogony and religion that still exists in Nepal. You’re supposed to count the steps as you go up and down, and you have to do it all over again if you lost count. Exoterically, vajra (dorje in Tibetan) means lightning bolt, but esoterically it means an ‘indestructible diamond point’ of attention where a human can realize dharmakaya (the reality or cosmic decision body). I used to go up to Swayambhu every week while the Vajra Hotel was under construction and sit in silence with Sechu Rinpoche, while, telepathically united, we gazed at the Vajra and Durbar Square.
While we are happy that the structural integrity of Vajra has allowed this cultural center to continue into the future, many of the surrounding buildings and their inhabitants were far less fortunate. In keeping with the notion of the ‘diamond point,’ which is an unbreakable foundation that becomes the opportunity for metamorphoses and transcendence, let’s get help to where it is needed the most. Aid can be given through various agencies. One in the immediate area is The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), which is prepping resources from its hubs in New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. The federation is releasing funds from its Disaster Response Emergency Fund to support vital services including food, shelter, water and sanitation.
You can aid their efforts by donating here:
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On behalf of all of us, godspeed to all at the Vajra Hotel and the Kathmandu Valley as they rebuild their lives on the roof of the world.
John Allen, Chairman, Global Ecotechnics
Marie Harding, President, Global Ecotechnics
Mark Nelson, PhD
Chairman, Institute of Ecotechnics
Deborah Parrish Snyder
Publisher, Synergetic Press