Our world is in a peck of trouble politically, environmentally and many other ways — and Ashland author-philosopher Will Wilkinson has penned a book, “Now or Never: A Visionary Map for Quantum Activists,” that offers ways to change the world by changing your head.
“It’s a book for people who want to make a positive difference in the world but feel powerless, who feel that no matter what they want to do, it’s like peeing in the ocean,” says Wilkinson. “To do this (shift), we must change from ‘what can one person do’ to ‘what can one person be.’”
At Wilkinson’s book launch at 7 p.m. Monday, June 4, at Bloomsbury Books, he plans not to read from the book, but rather take people through seven “quantum practices” from the book — love, connection, imagination, balance, vision, navigation and transmission.
The book is dedicated to making you look at old, intractable ways of thinking (and acting or not acting) and getting you to question and rejigger them. The first sentence in the book is a prime example: “Something wonderful is happening.”
This is the foundation of “radical activism” and steers you away from the normal state of mind, where “we keep trying harder and eventually accept our fate as yet another doomed species, while binge-watching with nachos.”
Is this simply positive thinking and looking on the sunny side? Sure, but it’s bigger, as noted spiritual author Andrew Harvey says in the book’s forward, “It reveals how to balance authentic mystical experience with radical, urgent, wise action in the world.”
Using the “verbal cue” that something wonderful is happening “reminds me that we’re living in a functional system of nature, where, even with the insanity in the system, we still can change the system pretty well,” Wilkinson says. “Think of the ecosystem, which is made of trillions of other systems, like my garden that is growing, my heart beating, my digestion and breathing going on and, really, that’s a miracle.”
We live in a “negativity bias” world, he says, and that means we let bad news have a bigger impact on us than good or neutral inputs. Bad news is the focus of the news media, he adds, and we have to counterbalance that to get a true view of reality.
To that end, Wilkinson is launched on a personal campaign to organize a global network of “quantum activists” by next May 1, a day on which members will do some kind of transmission, perhaps “repatriating” billions of US dollars, now invested offshore, to fix America’s infrastructure.
It’s worked before, he notes, and is called “the Maharishi effect,” after a large group that meditated for two months in 1993 on bringing the violent crime rate down in Washington, D.C. and, according to the group, violent crime dropped 23.6 percent in the first four weeks.
Wilkinson is not trying to create a movement, so much as prod people to get going on their own “BHAG,” which is a “big, hairy, audacious goal” that takes your mind off the negativity and lifts the spirits, as when President John F. Kennedy in 1962 said, “We choose to go to the moon” before the end of the ‘60s — and everyone got on board and it happened.
A major mind trick Wilkinson teaches is not having a vision (that’s in the future), but behaving as if you’re already there and are looking back and celebrating the reality of having done it.
“That’s the secret of a successful vision. You see it as all done, not the Law of Attraction that places it in the future. You add action steps. A lot of people get lost in their inner work and shadow work and become self-absorbed, but you need to bring it into the world and ground it here.”
Another big tool, he says, is simple called “and.” That means when the conversation is all about negativity, realize life is like a pendulum that swings back and forth AND it can and will swing in alternative directions, so let’s think about those, too — or, as Mark Twain put it, “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”
Wilkinson uses the word “quantum” a lot, using the New Age spin, which involves mysticism, that is, the power of the human mind to affect and guide reality — so, therefore, it’s important to use the imagination and be asking “what if?” a lot.
This, he says, involves asking what if the 2016 election turned out differently? Would the MeToo revolution have happened? And what if (choices of cabinet secretaries) had not happened? Would these thousands of women be running for office? Are breakdowns really breakthroughs?
More information is available at www.willtwilkinson.com.
John Darling is an Ashland freelance writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.