On April 10, the year of 2019, a great light left this planet. A special Being in the physical form of Barbara Marx Hubbard, has left this world to explore the vastness of inner space and the worlds beyond.
Whether we realize it or not, our lives are a search for those of “like mind,” who can expand and stretch our consciousness as if awakening it to a dawn of a new day. We look for those Beings who can be teachers, mentors or friends. Barbara was all that to me.
She entered my life when she was the first woman to seek nomination as the Democratic Party’s candidate for vice presidency of the United States in 1984 (shortly after speaking at the national convention, she withdrew from the race in favor of Geraldine Ferarro). I had just moved with my family to the Seattle area when I received a call from a member of the local Democratic Committee wanting to know if I could drive Barbara from Seattle to speak at a rally in Olympia, Washington. How could I know that when I said “yes,” it would change the future of my life? Ironically, Barbara called herself a “futurist.” She had studied with Buckminster Fuller and was considered to be his protégé.
At the college rally, I stood in awe as she answered every question from skeptical young students and brought them to their feet in inspirational applause. Barbara was magnificent as she won over hearts and minds including my own. Even though I was deeply steeped in Yoga and its eternal philosophical teachings, she opened not just a new window but a gateway of expanded consciousness. She was like a master of the universe showing me how to link theories of ancient eastern teachings to evolution and futuristic visions of that which is timeless and eternal.
When I was asked to travel to the Soviet Union (of which Russia was part) at the height of the Cold War in the 80s, I had a vision to bring a few thousand people there to “meet the enemy.” The vision was to bring Americans to meet with their Soviet counterparts behind the “iron curtain” so they too could change the stereotypes they held of one another.
My concern was that the enemy concept could create a negative critical mass that could actually manifest in what we feared most, a nuclear war between the two superpowers. My hope was that when the Americans met the Soviets face-to-face, they would change their stereotypes of one another, as I had done. My vision was that they too, would see that there was no enemy, only those who shared the same hopes, fears, and dreams of the future. An idealistic vision came to me in Red Square. Soviets were not allowed to travel in those days, so we had to bring the Americans to them.
Shortly after I returned to the U.S. from the first of 57 trips to the Soviet Union, I immediately tried to find Barbara. I sought her out and found her in Topanga Canyon. It was a sad time in her life when the excitement of having her name placed in the vice-presidential nomination was over. “What will I do now?” she asked through her tears. I simply said, “Come with me to the Soviet Union. I think the next era of your work will be found in Russia. She was interested and later said that she felt at that moment she was being guided to the next step of her work.
We arranged for her to speak in Finland at our briefings as well as in Leningrad and Moscow at large meetings organized by the Friendship Society and the Soviet Peace Committee. I had previously arranged for our American delegation to meet with their Soviet professional counterparts. Barbara’s presence and vision of bringing Soviet and Americans together around themes of “the future” brought the work to a whole new level.
We arranged for her to meet with officials as well as the non-official people in their homes and at our hotel, which was not done at that time in the U.S.S.R. It was so powerful for both Soviets and Americans to meet! They bonded like brothers and sisters who have been separated for a very long time.
When Barbara spoke of the Alpha and Omega, she stirred excitement with the Russians who said they had waited for someone like her to come into their lives. Barbara said, “We speak the same language…the language of the future.” They loved her, trusted her, and now and then joked about her name “Marx.”
For the next few years, along with our co-worker Linda Johnson, we worked together on developing proposals to find ever-new ways and methods to expand into nearly every area of Soviet society. At first, I felt like I was clearing a path with a machete. But when Barbara entered the work, together with our colleagues, we co-created new pathways, roads, and then highways. Barbara was a fearless pioneer and partner in exploring forbidden new frontiers.
Together with Linda, we organized themes of trips such as, In Search of a Positive Future and The World Peace Event. With the help of Barbara’s sister Patricia, we brought together Soviet and American military generals to find solutions to the imposing Star Wars program (President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative). Speaking of stars, one of our projects was also bringing together Soviet cosmonauts with American astronauts.
One day I told Barbara that when we brought Americans to meet with their Soviet counterparts, it was difficult for them to say, “goodbye.” They would hug and cling to one another with tears in their eyes thinking they would never see each other again. I told her that a Soviet official, Slava, said it was because we are like brothers and sisters of the one humanity who have been separated for a very long time. “After finding each other again,” Slava said with tears in his eyes, “it is always difficult to say goodbye.”
Barbara immediately came up with a brilliant idea of having Soviets and Americans working together on joint projects that would keep them linked. One winter day in meetings in Moscow, Barbara along with our brilliant Soviet friends came up with a futuristic title for us to launch joint projects, The First Soviet-American Citizen’s Summit: Social Inventions for the Third Millennium. It was boldly planned to be held in Washington, D.C.
The Summit brought together 100 Soviet leaders representing organizations within their government such as psychology, sociology, philosophy, and medicine. There were educators, Russian orthodox clergy, generals and statesmen. There were musicians, ballerinas, and superb visual artists. The delegation included nearly every editor of every Soviet publication. We arranged for the Soviets to meet with senators and other major representatives of our government. We even arranged for some of the Soviet leaders to attend an early morning prayer breakfast at the Pentagon where we all sang hymns, read from the Bible and yes, stood up with hand over heart to honor the American flag.
It was a powerful experience when the 100 leaders from all walks of life of the U.S.S.R. met with 500 cultural creatives that Barbara brought together from a broad spectrum of American life. This had never been done before. It was an exciting time for all of us as we transcended old worn theories of “the enemy” to creatively explore together possibilities of building new relationships for a better world.
Twelve task forces met for five days and each time new joint projects would emerge such as Education for a New World, or New Frontiers of Health and Healing. We were thrilled! Barbara’s vision was to use computer technology, newly emerging at the time, to record each joint “social invention.” Her amazing network of Global Family would collect the data, work all night to format it and each morning, all 600 participants would receive a news bulletin of projects that were emerging in each of the twelve task forces. The Soviets as well as Americans were impressed.
Of course, this led to the second Soviet-American Citizen’s Summit to be held one year later in Moscow. The title we came up with was Restoring the Global Environment. It was the first time that Soviet officials actually sat in meetings with non-official Russians, those who were the artisans, writers, teachers, healers, economists, scientists and of course, the famed poets. The poet was sacrosanct in the Russian society, which was still recovering from the Stalin purges of the intelligentsia. It was amazing to see Russians sitting side by side not just with the Americans, but with each other. This was another first that Barbara helped to bring about and again, take to a new level.
For those years, Barbara and I were almost inseparable. We traveled together and shared hotel rooms where we groaned with fatigue after long days of meetings. We presented before the United Nations, had meetings with the FBI in the U.S. and the KGB in Moscow. One of our joint projects was bringing the CIA members together with a representative of the KGB. They found commonality in a joint project developing an institute to study causes and prevention of international terrorism.
Barbara was an inspiration and supportive when I was bringing together women to share their positive vision of what the world looks like when it works. These meetings were held throughout the U.S. and led to another conference at Georgetown University in D.C. entitled Women of Vision: Leadership for a New World. There were 500 women and 50 men, some famous for their work and others yet unknown. Barbara suggested we create themes around the Wheel of Co-Creation. This brought together women who were leaders and newly emerging leaders in a variety of socio-political fields. Their mission was to 1) realize they were already empowered and, 2) explore what they could do together for healing and transformation of our country and our world. It led to an ongoing network of women working together…on… joint projects.
When Barbara entered one’s life, the vibratory frequency exponentially speeded up. It seemed as if we were all carried by a giant wave, knowing we were in our right place, fulfilling our life’s purpose…our dharma…our destiny. Those were exciting years with Barbara, who at the end of a long day of meetings would love to have a sumptuous meal and toast to the success of our work and to the future. She loved to toast!
One day in Moscow, Barbara and I were invited to a private meeting with Yuri Gagarin, the first Soviet Cosmonaut to venture into outer space. He shared stories of his adventures with space travel as Barbara and I were salivating at the thought of leaving the gravitational pull of this earth and leaping into the unknown of outer space. I asked Yuri if it would be possible for us to accompany the cosmonauts on a future flight to the moon. I explained that I taught Yoga and perhaps there were breathing techniques and stretches that could be helpful to the crew. Barbara looked at me in astonishment, saying, “Rama, I didn’t know you wanted to go to the moon. That has been my lifelong dream!” After all these years of working together, we did not know this about one another. Yuri was thrilled at our adventurous spirit and began sharing the elements of the training we could take with the other cosmonauts. We were so excited in planning this venture with Yuri but, of course, our earthly lives were already so busy and full that we could not give the preparation all the time and focus that it would require.
Barbara was never afraid of venturing into the unknown whether on the earth plane or in consciousness. When formidable obstacles would arise, she was like the Hindu god Hanuman. She could prodigiously leap over any obstacles. She did not waste time or mental energy on being critical of others or believing anything was impossible. She was truly a visionary, guided by spirit and the faith and values that were dear to her heart., just her presence on earth was making it a better place for us all to live.
I am sitting here typing on my laptop computer with a cell phone by my side neither of which existed when Barbara and I began the Soviet work in 1984, at the height of the Cold War. Her framed picture is on the table next to me. Her beauty and radiance of spirit continues to be timeless and eternal. She was ageless in her enthusiasm for life in all its myriad forms and formlessness. She was always on the leading edge of humanity’s next step and was a magnet for those of like mind.
When I last spoke to Barbara it was just before her birthday in December. She had just arrived in Albuquerque and sounded youthful and energetic. “I am here having meetings on,” she laughed, “the creation of an interstellar University.” My heart leapt with joy at the thought of all the potential possibilities.
As I write this, tears are falling and my heart is aching even though I know that this image, this energy we call Barbara has just changed form and is always present. Barbara was always and will always be an inspiration to me as she has been to hundreds and thousands of others over her life span. She no doubt will continue her work in whatever interstellar spheres and planes of consciousness she chooses to play in. Who knows, perhaps she is now fulfilling her lifelong dream of journeying to the moon, and many worlds beyond.