Douglas Gillies
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an interview with

Ken Carey

author of

The Starseed Transmissions and Return of the Bird Tribes

Ken Carey was interviewed by Douglas Gillies at "The Grail," an invitational conference hosted by Jean Houston and produced by East Beach Productions for La Casa de Maria in Santa Barbara, CA.

Douglas Gillies: Your life is sort of an inherent paradox because the fruit of your labors are books that are written in words trying to describe something that words get in the way of experiencing.

Ken Carey: Whatever gift I have with language and writing stems largely from the fact that I don't take words seriously. I know they can't express it. And in the beginning, like when I first stepped into the consciousness - it's conveyed to some extent in The Starseed Transmissions and Return of the Bird Tribe - I knew that was a nonverbal awareness and I knew that it was impossible to put it into words. But I don't like the word impossible and something about that challenged me. I thought, "Well, yes, but I know these things always but in the day-to-day world of interaction with other people, I forget. So if I could just capture enough of this awareness, record enough of it in language to trigger my memory, my awareness, at times when I'm frustrated, discouraged, down, there will be a value to it." I think the best writers are those who don't take words that seriously and realize that they'll never be perfect reflections of the truth or reality because they're so linear, so one dimensional. And that makes the process fun too. It's more of a play than work.

Douglas Gillies: And the words then are not describing, they're just impressions.

Ken Carey: Exactly, and I'm very aware when I write a book like The Third Millennium or Starseed Transmissions that the real communication is going to occur on a level deeper than the conscious mind so there is a rhythm to the words. I don't manufacture it or create it or intentionally do it but if I allow it to happen and I don't give it any thought, there's a pulsation, there's a rhythm and there's even a rhyme that sometimes appears. And sometimes, and this is my greatest hope for anything that I publish, sometimes that deeper rhythm, that rhyme begins to establish that same rhythm in someone else and they begin to remember it from the inside and then they can put the book aside. I think of it as a communicable ease, as opposed to a communicable disease. There's something that's conveyed beneath the language, but language can be a trigger. It can be a key and it can be, I know for me, a very important way of grounding a transcendental awareness in a very practical day-to-day world.

Douglas Gillies: It's almost as if the words set up a wave pattern in our brains that corresponds to a higher wave pattern and then the synapse is the experience.

Ken Carey: Exactly. That's the only kind of writing I'm interested in. Otherwise, we're just exchanging ideas and if others haven't experienced the reality of those thoughts, concepts, perspectives, ideas, and they adopt yours, it's like the age-old problem. The world is in trouble precisely because people invest their faith and belief systems in other peoples' experience. I think the answer for us as a human race, and for myself personally, is to place more trust, more faith, in my own experience and to make decisions from my own experience. To whatever extent the expressions of others can help me express what I already know intuitively inside myself, that's valuable. But to adopt a second-hand opinion as your own is part of the old paradigm that I think we're maturing beyond and waking out of.

Douglas Gillies: The challenge that I'm faced with here facilitating this Summit is to create a conversation that raises people above the level in which they're repeating old ideas

Ken Carey: I know exactly what you mean. I'd venture a guess that 80% of the real communication is occurring heart to heart, below the level of language, below the level of words, below the level of the mind. There's a bonding, there's a connection going on and the words are the frosting on the cake. Today in the last session we saw people who are vocally argumentative but who are total sisters and brothers underneath and they know it. And they're just being argumentative because that's how we grow together, we learn together. I think the greatest creative power that is invested in our human race can only be actualized through collective efforts, through groups, because I don't think any individual can be trusted with it. No individual really has the largess of perspective to utilize that very creative power and so a group like this works because when we share from our experience. When you speak from your experience, you always speak the truth. When you're in dialogue with others who are doing the same, if their experiences led them to a conclusion that is diametrically opposed to your own, you grow from that. They grow from that and we begin to establish the beachhead of that collective entity that can then channel the new creative energies which I believe are emerging.

Douglas Gillies: Is it easier to do this individually than it is to do it in groups?

Ken Carey: When we're in groups it brings up so many things about ourselves we don't want to look at. We have to be totally honest. The central guideline of the new way of being is honesty with oneself and honesty with others. For many of us, honesty with others is much easier that honesty with ourselves. What makes it easier is to realize there's no guilt, no shame, no blame, no need to analyze it, no need to get bogged down. We've emerged from a culture, a society, a world, a multi-thousand year-old era of history and we've all been programmed to believe lies. The first and probably most damaging is that the individual is fundamentally cut off from God, from nature, from other life forms, other species, from other human beings. And that's just for starters. There are so many other myths, not in the way Jean Houston uses the term but in a negative sense of illusions that we've been programmed with. We need to lighten up, let go, open up. The process can be a playful one and to fear it is to fear healing. It doesn't make sense to fear healing, does it?

Douglas Gillies: But they say it hurts to grow.

Ken Carey: The only time growth has hurt me is when I've resisted it.

Douglas Gillies: Do you think what I'm trying to achieve here today is possible, what I described this morning? Do you think we can actually step through the Grail and speak from this new story that we're all being pulled towards?

Ken Carey: I think it's possible if we accept the premise that it already exists, it's already there. It's not something we have to manufacture or create. Subconsciously, we know the inner connectivity that links us with one another and with all of life. Subconsciously, we know ourselves as awakening intelligence cells in the planetary spirit. We don't have to struggle or strive for agreement. Agreement is already present on the level of the spirit. It doesn't mean there's agreement in terms of perspective. That wouldn't be healthy. Perspectives can diverge 180 degrees, but the spokes of a wheel diverge 180 degrees and that's exactly what gives the wheel its strength. I think the fundamental agreement, where we meet in that central hub of balance that is the truth and that is the heart, the core of the soul, the center of each one of us, is already there. Our challenge is just to accept that and to lighten up. We've got to take our beliefs less seriously, our favorite ways of describing things, our favorite terms, images. We don't have to dismiss them or say they're good or bad, but we've go to lighten up and realize that they might be clouding our vision. When we take them lightly - our belief systems, our religions, our language and ideologies - and really listen to what the other is saying, even if they're saying it poorly or articulating it in a confrontational way, if we look in their eyes and really hear what their spirit is expressing, we recognize a sister or a brother and we know exactly where they're coming from. The words are not the central feature of communication.

Douglas Gillies: But it is possible to hold conversation from that consciousness.

Ken Carey: Oh absolutely, absolutely. Sure, we've done it a bit in the last couple of days. And your goal is to do it more. I think it's happening. I think we're going to flow into that.

Douglas Gillies: I think that's probably what brought us here.

Ken Carey: I think so too. I think for many of us that's the next step, the real breakthrough.

Douglas Gillies: What's your experience when you write? Is that anything like what are talking about?

Ken Carey: Yea, it is. When I write a book like The Starseed Transmissions, The Third Millennium, Return of the Bird Tribes, I am aware of a consciousness that I experience non-verbally. I know that to reduce it into language is arbitrary. It's like trying to channel a river into an hourglass. It can't be done. That consciousness that is so easily experienced, especially with a group of people, you know, where two or more are gathered, it's easier. That awareness that is so easily accessible and that so many of us experience regularly is almost impossible to accurately reflect in words. But I write primarily to remind myself of things that I know in my better moments and forget in my moments of frustration with the day-to-day stuff. Initially, I wrote my first book, The Starseed Transmissions to remind myself of a state of consciousness that I had drifted in and out of ever since I was four years old. But after it had left or it had been subjugated beneath an overlay of consensus reality dialogue I couldn't remember much about it except that it felt good and it seemed like I knew practically everything then.

I take words lightly and I know they can't say it all and I know they won't ever adequately reflect the truth. But I know they can be triggers. They can serve as reminders, catalysts. Words manage human exchange across the planet. To reflect that holistic consciousness, that consciousness of God and nature and the individual human being as one, to reflect that in language is fun. I enjoy it. It helps me stay more frequently in those spaces. It helps me bring that into the realm of my inter-human relationships. It's easy in the woods among flowers and trees and plants and animals. Our challenge is in the human community and that's where we really need to bring this sense that there is no absolute other. Jean Houston says, "The skin encapsulated Ego is really a permeable membrane." The deeper you go into yourself the more collective it becomes. And ultimately, for all our beautiful individuality, we all are expressions of the same ground of being that is expressing every other human, every other plant, every other animal. To experience that, as opposed to believe that or accept it as a belief system, to experience that really changes the way we relate to one another. When you see yourself in another's eyes or you look out upon a landscape and you feel it as your own skin, you relate differently to that landscape, you relate differently to that human being, than you do when you see them as utterly separate and distinct.

Douglas Gillies: A lot of people are afraid to look into other's eyes for very long. Something starts to go and they jump back. I was noticing that the other night when we were doing something and several people were looking away from their eyes. It's embarrassing isn't it?

Ken Carey: I don't know. I never understood that very well myself.

Douglas Gillies: There's a point where we hide. I guess it's embarrassing to say, "All right, you can see all that I am."

Ken Carey: There's no way we could have grown up in the post World War II era without having a lot of baggage and misconceptions and feelings of guilt and inadequacy. To wait until we've gotten rid of all that before we look into another's eyes and expose ourselves might mean we wait an awful long time. I think the better approach is to say, "Hey, this is who I am. This is what I am. I'm growing. I'm learning. I'm changing. I'm not utterly in harmony yet with the environment that I reflect and that is reflecting me, with the Creator, with the Earth, but I'm heading in the right direction and I've got nothing to hide, nothing that you can't see." When I look into people's eyes, they might be uncomfortable. My role is to help them relax and realize that they're okay. They're fine just the way they are. I define enlightenment as accepting yourself exactly as you are in each and every moment and specifically in this moment, this now, which is the presence of God. We're never going to reach a time or a state where there isn't further evolution, where there isn't blossoming yet to occur, enfoldment in progress. It's all a process. It's always going to be a process and where I'm at in the process, for better or worse, is okay."

Douglas Gillies: There's an expression, "To err is human" but what we're saying is "To yearn is human." Part of our experience is to feel that yearning and to live with it.

Ken Carey: It's a passion for the realization of the potential. Yearning comes from the emotional realm. It's an emotional, gut-level thing but often there's a mental image on the yearning. We want this kind of world, we want that kind of world, we want this kind of relationship with a lover, we want that kind of relationship and that can inhibit growth, whereas allowing, trusting, relaxing fully into the process doesn't curtail the passion and the yearning and the desire, but it's easier and less prone to distortion.

Douglas Gillies: Setting out to write a book, you knew it couldn't be done but you still went forward. That's what stops many people who could write a book. They start and they think, "I can't do this. I can't put it into words. It's too painful or it's too challenging". What keeps you going?

Ken Carey: Knowing that it's impossible makes it an interesting challenge. My first book, Starseed Transmissions, was typed on an old portable typewriter that my brother-in-law got out of the garbage. It was awkward because the stream of consciousness I was swimming in was flowing so much faster. I probably only captured 10% of it on the page. For everything since then I've used a tape recorder. When I just let the words flow an amazing thing happens. They say we only use 10% of our brains. For every word that I say on the tape recorder, something scans my vocabulary through 25 to 30 different words to see which is the closest approximating word or term and then that gets assigned to that particular pulse in what fundamentally I experience as a song or a rhythm or a flow of love. It's effortless. To whatever degree I introduce effort, I inhibit or curtail the process. By just letting it happen, letting the words come, I find that it's possible to put into language a relatively accurately approximation of a consciousness that can't be defined. I've taught people to do this so it's not a gift that's unique to me.

The truth is not a concept. The truth can never be contained in ideology or a belief system. The truth is a living spirit and that spirit lives in each one of us. The scriptures are written to awaken that same experience in us. They're not something to memorize. The most beautiful expression of truth, the most profound way that a certain perspective, dimension of truth, has ever been put into words, is like a beautiful flower. That flower may have been perfectly appropriate, tailor-made to the people 2000 years ago, but it's like a pressed flower in the pages of a book. That flower wants to blossom in us. That flower wants to come through you and me. That's where creation happens. That's where life is. As much as I honor all of the traditions of the past that help us be here more fully now and help us tp awaken, ultimately our challenge, and you're right it is a little scary, is to let that spirit awaken in us and find expression. It's beautiful and it's awesome and it can be a little scary but it's part of the process too.

Douglas Gillies: We're in a world that has many symptoms of trouble, especially the biosphere. We're all collectively looking at this challenge like you would when writing a book. It's impossible, but we have to do it even though we know it's impossible. In our efforts to be in harmony with the planet, we're like the would-be writer who has scraps of paper all over the place but never sits down to write. How can we sit down and re-write this story so that we'll have a future?

Ken Carey: This is central to what this whole conference is about and what my life is about. We can't let the sense of the impossibility of the task overwhelm us and cause us to be inactive. There's a magic that happens. I think that we forget that we have help. Looking at the environment and looking at our human ability to make up for the incredible devastation caused by the industrial revolution, if we think that human beings alone have to heal this, have to bring it back to how it was, it's not just overwhelming. It's impossible. I call my method of writing 'the maple syrup method'. I've never had writer's block so I usually end up writing about 40 times more material than I ultimately feel is worth cutting down the trees to publish.

And one of the things that never made it into my latest book, The Third Millennium, was a moment when my love had expanded enough to be one with the Earth's love, and to feel the Earth as a part of myself and to be connected with the planetary intelligence. At that time, there was a lot of talk about incredible pollution. I live in the Midwest along the Mississippi River. And the Earth said in so many words, "You know Ken, all these environmentalists that say it'll take 500, 600, 1000 years to clean out all the pollutants and the toxins from the Mississippi River. They're wrong. I can flush out toxins from that Mississippi River belly a lot quicker than people think." And that was a few months before we had the great floods in the Midwest. If we look at it as something we've got to do alone, it's daunting, it's overwhelming. We feel disempowered. But we have help from intelligent systems, bio-regions, ecosystems, mountains. Every aspect of the Earth is intelligent and as soon as we begin to do our part, we'll see things happening that probably today we would call miracles.

Douglas Gillies: Like that intelligence that scans the words that you choose for your book.

Ken Carey: Yea. If we put ourselves out there and make our best effort, something comes along to compliment it and support it and we find we're part of a team after all. It's true that we can’t do it alone. But as a team we can. And sometimes other members of that team are human beings too. But sometimes they're trees. When we saved approximately 1000 acres of forest from being clear-cut around our home in the Ozark Mountains, every day we'd start with an hour of meditation and we would open ourselves to what we called the spirit of Greenwood Forest. The collective intelligence, the diva angel. I don't know what word is appropriate but the trees told us what to do and the trees literally gave us practical day-to-day instructions. And it was just incredible because a lot of times they were things that we wouldn't have thought of or that didn't even make sense to us. But we learned that they worked and three couples living below the poverty level raised a quarter of a million dollars in nine months and our project succeeded because the trees really guided us. When the local chamber of commerce invited me to give a talk on the project, I didn't talk about that. I spoke of how our proposed method of using the land would bring 3 to 5 times more money into the local economy during the next 10 years than clear-cutting the trees would. And over a longer term like 20 years we were talking about a lot more income coming into the area by managing the forest consciously instead of clear-cutting it.

Douglas Gillies: If the trees in Greenwood Forest can stop a logging company, then what can Gaia do if we find a way to listen to that intelligence?

Ken Carey: Gaia, our Mother Earth, our Planetary Spirit, whatever you want to call it, is longing for people like us, begging for people like us, looking for people like us. I don't think that there's anything that we can't accomplish when we are in perfect harmony with the Earth's long-term evolutionary purposes, working with other human beings who are also in tune with the Earth's long-term evolutionary purposes. The Earth has been waiting for God knows how many millennia, millions of years, billions of years, 3 1/2 billion years since first single-cell organisms appeared. We have the opportunity, the job description, the invitation to be the Earth's means for guiding future creation on this planet. I feel that evolution up to this point hasn't had the conscious guidance that human beings could provide and I think the Earth needs a human or human-like species to introduce a more precise type of creation, a second stage of evolution, far more specific. And I think we'll gradually awaken into that role as we trust ourselves and open to the wisdom that is within each one of us.

Douglas Gillies: If the Earth needs us in its evolution, then perhaps we were conceived by the Earth.

Ken Carey: Yes, but we have two parents. All biological life is the product of the intermingling of Earth and Sun. In reality, the Earth is stardust, the Sun is a star. And it's the starlight and the stardust that entwine and literally form our bodies. Our mind-brain circuitry, our bio-circuitry is far more sophisticated and advanced than any computer and in our citadel of awareness we have the opportunity to bring in the intelligence of the Sun and the intelligence of the Earth. To me this is not metaphor. These are intelligent beings as are all creatures, all life. We have the challenge and the opportunity to blend in ourselves, in our human bio-circuitry, not only starlight and stardust but time and eternity, spirit and matter, energy and structure. It's awesome. This is art. This is real art and we're not here on this planet because we did something wrong. We're here because we're creators and this is the coolest art form that has ever been invented and we want to play with it. We want to sculpt with it. This is our planet for expressing tangibly what exists in spirit. It's a different understanding of self than what we were taught. Many people have a bad self-image and it's inhibiting their success in life, so they try to reprogram themselves with a better self-image. To me that's like replacing the brass bars of the cage with bars of gold. The real challenge is to let Earth and Sun define us, let the planet define us, let the Life Force define us, moment to moment. We are literally hologramatic projections of the Universe and of the Universe's intelligence. We have the ability to not only monitor that intelligence in the Universal sea of information in which we exist but to bring it through in our language, in our art, in our architecture, in our every expression. I get passionate about this.

Douglas Gillies: Are you saying that to the extent we have a creative capacity we are able to bend light so that we can change the hologram by exerting ourselves.

Ken Carey: I agree with you, only I would say instead of 'exerting ourselves', we have to relax into who we are. When we've relaxed into that beingness, then the light bends and the world changes, ecosystems are healed and people are healed.

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Interview with Ken Carey © Concensus Designs, Inc. For permission to reprint portions of this interview, please contact East Beach® Productions.

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