LIGΗΤ ΑS ΜΑΤΤΕR
Interview / Zeitspuren Text: Walter Kern
Man is a creature of light. Light enables him to engage in a creative dialogue with time. The futurologist who predicted the end of the trend era postulates the materialisation of light, opening up a new level of consciousness. In a paradoxical state of maximum tranquillity and maximum intensity we are to acquire the ability to look round corners. The futurologist as sorcerer's apprentice?
From the eighties to the late nineties of the last century, Gerd Gerken was showing business leaders and politicians what was brewing in society. During that time, the man considered Germany's most distinguished forward thinker identified innumerable fault lines and changes which invariably gave rise to new trends. He sniffed them out in futurological lab and field work. Then, just before the dawning of the new millennium, he proclaimed the end of the trend era. Since then Gerd Gerken has been looking at the phenomenon of time from a different angle. He is interested in the creative momentum of time. He asked himself how a human being could achieve a state of consciousness in which the brain was capable of -as it were-harvesting revelations. He went in search of the sources of the light of life. And in doing so, he saw the light.
Herr Gerken, what does time mean to you?
For me time is creativity that comes about through human self-reflection. Put the other way around, creativity is lived time. This creative time somehow possesses the will to enter into contact with us. Time is therefore the subjectively experienced "now" of creation, an element that enables the human being to organise his further progression, to engenderself-improvement and renewal. Something that intrigues me is the relationship between what we do with time, and what time-without our doing, as it were-constantly presents as an offering or gift.
As a futurologist it is actually your profession to reflect on time...
I am fascinated by the question of whether mankind is capable of connecting with the origins of our future. Whether biological and cultural evolution gives us the ability to make forward connections, rather than just backward ones (re-ligio). We are all trapped in an arrow of time, a constant flow from the past into the future. How can we escape this arrow of time? Meditation offers a possible way, but in my view leads only to an even more intensive backward connection. You land up in the floating entity that quantum physicist David Bohm referred to as the "unmoved mover". And in that, the most important element is lacking: becoming. What I consider more important than mankind landing in this Urgrund-or primeval source of being—is that we become more creative, and more creative still. Time is benevolent, kind and caring. At least that is my hypothesis. But we can only perceive and make imaginative use of this "now" of time-which I understand as the creative principle-through our own temporal constructs, the artifices with which we try to grasp time.
What do you mean exactly by temporal constructs?
An example of a temporal construct is a trend. At one of our "future labs" we asked ourselves how a collective, i.e. the collective brain of a society or a culture, reacts to a trend. How does the majority adapt to such an intervention-something that appears as a disruption of society's sense of values-so that the rupture or break-out becomes a positive one, an improvement. As a trend consultant or inventor of interventions during the last two decades of the twentieth century, I worked intensively on the study and forecasting of trends. It was interesting to ascertain that there were trends which actually emerged, and others which evaporated into nothing, despite the fact that, empirically, the latter were just as demonstrable as the former. So we asked ourselves what collective pattern of perception in a culture could lead to a trend either developing a self-perpetuating dynamic or else just petering out. We then encountered the phenomenon of cultures organising something like collective instantaneity. In this collective instantaneity we discovered patterns which determined whether a trend could assert itself or not. Clearly, we were on the track of the meta-trends that determine the destiny of individual trends.
The business world also made use of trend research?
Companies wanted methods they could use to determine whether trends would happen or not. They wanted to know what trends were germinating in society, which of the seeds would sprout and grow, and which would wither. We provided them with that intelligence.
What was your approach, in practical terms?
Trends form among imaginative people who often act totally spontaneously. Such people evolve new patterns of behaviour, purely arbitrarily, which then become modish in certain circles. These fads either develop into a trend or they don't. To track down such trends and sound them out we employed eighteen trend scouts in the USA, Asia and Europe. The task of these scouts was to enter into a dialogue - as amiably as possible-with potentially trend-setting circles, in order to identify the broad outline of what these people were imaginatively inventing and what motivated them to do so. For the evaluation, we compared the trend scouts' reports, analysed them and used the findings as a basis for our forecasts. Another important tool was content analysis of so-called "early media", from which we were also able to identify undercurrents and tendencies which could lead to break-outs.
An example of a trend that was able to break through?
| remember the prophets of the New Age in the seventies and eighties of the last century who announced the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. They espoused a paradigm shift towards a heavenly togetherness of the human race, of people in harmony with each other and with Mother Nature. New Age survived as a subculture for almost two decades-in fact it is still alive today.
And an example of one that didn't make it?
The Light-Age movement of the eighties. It was something of an echo of New Age and saw itself as an integral culture, as a concept that was a successor to industrialism - a kind of high-tech spirituality. The Light-Age idea did not break through. After two or three years it evaporated again without leaving a trace.
Were does trend research stand today?
Trend research was booming until well into the nineteen-nineties. Suddenly, it was trendy to philosophise about trends. The very topic of trends became a trend in its own right. As the turn of the millennium approached, I prophesied the Big Bang of all the trends. Our screening methods provided clear indications that the fondness for trends would disappear with the drama of the new millennium. The so-called "noughties" would be a grey, tired, hollow and depressing decade. The new millennium stretches out so hazily in front of us that the fondness for trends is unlikely to revive until the twenty-twenties.
What does the trend researcher do when the trends take time out?
In 2002 I launched a new initiative, again connected with time. We call this "spiritual laboratory" Fulfilness. We are concerned with the search for a material that is capable of increasing the creative potential of a person to the point where he or she develops a faculty for what we term co-evolution. By that, I do not mean perception or intuition, but rather something like epiphany or revelation. Why do certain people have a foreknowledge of what lies ahead whispered in their ears, and others do not? Why do some people seem able to see what's happening round the next corner? And above all: how could this ability to see round life's corners be made accessible to everybody?
You want to identify the very essence of inspiration?
| work on the assumption that time is always creative. If that be so, it leads me to the inference that time gets something in return when it empowers us human beings to work with it, hand in hand. There must be a momentum of some kind in our cultural evolution which gives us an intrinsic faculty for co-evolution, which enables us to work in direct collaboration with the impossible, as it were. On a practical level, we are investigating in the Fulfilness laboratory which stimulators must be given to the human organism to give man the faculty for co-evolution, to make him capable of experiencing the unthinkable, so that what is impossible for him enters his consciousness.
You are also venturing into the realm of brain research?
The 40-hertz oscillation of the brain is in fact seen by science as the pulse generator of the human mind. This is what gives rise to the eureka moment, the "Oh, I get it!" realisation, when something suddenly dawns on you that previously was not there to see. So the brain hypothesis is only a short step. However, we went further and stumbled on something that a researcher in the United States has termed the "signature field". This woman works primarily with NASA and has studied what happens in the brains of astronauts when the body is in a state of weightlessness. The research programme is still ongoing. The little that has been published so far indicates the existence of a subjective, individual probability field – a signature field. This field is in no sense static, but can be modulated. It can shrink, fragment or show signs of dissolving, but it can also be cleaned out and sorted, and thus become an instrument of co-creation. If such a signature field exhibits a high degree of order and intensity, then it extends into the creativity of time. It is as though it latches onto creative time and says – hey, let's do something new together.
And what is your approach to making use of these associations?
We take a methodological and pragmatic approach. We ask ourselves: what exactly is a signature field, and how can we clean it up, make it bigger and more intensive? How can we potentiate it in practical ways, so that it develops in the right direction, namely back into the time before our subjective time? Quantum physics offers itself as an inspirational model for the research into such questions.
So your approach is via quantum physics?
Abstract models drawn from quantum physics, such as those developed by David Bohm, a student of Einstein's, do at least give us a theoretical starting point. He wrote a great deal about light. In quantum physics, light has two sides which are inextricably linked: energy and information. According to David Bohm, the two elements, in their coherence, form what we experience as the light of life. What we are investigating in the Fulfilness laboratory is, as I said before, the question of how this light of life can be imparted to the human organism, and imparted in such a form that the mind can integrate itself into creative time. If David Bohm is right, the light of life is within us at every moment. Now at this point we have to introduce the concept of biophotonics. Professor Fritz-Albert Popp, the discoverer of biophotonics, has proved that the life of cells consists of light. If the light escapes, the cell dies. The human being is a "light being" that is constantly consuming light; a light transformer with a permanent intake of light energy. Our working hypothesis derives from this insight: if we were to succeed in reinforcing the inherent light of the organism, we would enhance the ability of human beings to perceive the light of time, the creativity of time. That is what we mean by the ability to look round corners.
And today you know how light can be imparted to the human organism?
We discovered the crucial impetus in the work of Friedrich Schiller. To paraphrase, he said: If you want to experience the essence of creation, you have to become like the plants: they have it, they know it, without knowing that they have it and know it. This assertion led us to the biochemistry of plants: plants are constantly processing light through photosynthesis. But not all plants do so to the same degree. The science of biophotonics shows that wild plants accumulate a great deal of light in the form of biophotons: above all wild plants that live under difficult conditions - for example, in alpine environments. In our laboratory, which can be seen in the same light as a chemical laboratory, we tried to obtain extracts from wild plants in such a way that the biophotons are transferred intact to the extracted essence. We do this using a specially developed method which we call low-key distillation. Thanks to a low distillation temperature, the materialised light is extracted virtually intact. In other words: we obtain light substance from plants.
And this light substance can be taken by human beings like a medicine?
We process the pure extract of wild plants to make lotions, tinctures and bath essences which activate the inner light metabolism of the body, creating a strong and harmonious signature field. We will soon have essences available for oral administration – these are still at the development stage. The exciting thing about the products already available on the market is that they enter the body through the skin, but act directly on the brain: a new approach. We achieve this effect by further modification of the molecular structure of certain wild-plant extracts using a specially developed biochemical process. The essence affects neither the musculature nor the nervous system, but homes in directly on the central regions of the brain, where consciousness arises. The light substance has the effect of creating an awareness in the subject of something he is previously unaware of. That is what we mean by the ability to see round corners. The subjective consciousness thus evokes creative time. That brings us back to the subject of time and my conviction that the creative principle in time wishes to cooperate with us and help us in our efforts to improve. This we call the code of self-optimisation. We convey to the human organism this code of self-optimisation through the light substance contained in our products. We call this alchemetics.
Can the effect of the light substance on the brain be proven by observation?
Research has two empirical lines of approach which are being merged. One apparent effect of the light substance is that it causes a significant increase in microvolt levels in the cerebral cortex. Another is a reversal of polarity in the endocrine balance, in other words in the hormonal system that modulates the major emotional energies. The latter effect is apparent in an increase in hormone levels in the blood. Both parameters are measurable and indicate that the administration of the light substance leads to increased perception of things which do not yet exist on a subjective level. This signifies that the threshold of objectivity has been crossed. So it is much more than mere intuition.
How does this effect show itself in human beings?
In a feeling of the greatest imaginable harmony combined with the greatest possible intensity. Professor Giselher Guttmann has conducted empirical research into these effects and uses the term «paradoxical arousal» to describe them. This is a state of relaxation combined with hyper-alertness. The mind is in a state where it is more alert than ever before, but at the same time more relaxed than ever before owing to the discharge of hormones. The revelatory faculty of the brain-this ability to see round corners-is nothing other than a state of mind which combines extreme openness to stimuli, with a deep, harmonious and blissful tranquility: deep tranquility within a dynamic flurry.
Time is the subjectively experienced "now" of creation, an element that enables the human being to organise his further progression.
I am fascinated by the question of whether mankind is capable of connecting with the origins of our future. Whether biological and cultural evolution gives us the ability to make forward connections, rather than just backward ones.
What I consider more important than mankind landing in this Urgrund-or primeval source of being—is that we become more creative, and more creative still.
Trend research was booming until well into the nineteen-nineties. Suddenly, it was trendy to philosophise about trends. The very topic of trends became a trend in its own right.
The new millennium stretches out so hazily in front of us that the fondness for trends is unlikely to revive until the twenty-twenties.
Why do certain people have a foreknowledge of what lies ahead whispered in their ears, and others do not? Why do some people seem able to see what's happening round the next corner?
There must be a momentum of some kind in our cultural evolution which gives us an intrinsic faculty for co-evolution, which enables us to work in direct collaboration with the impossible, as it were.
It is as though the signature field latches onto creative time and says - hey, let's do something new together.
The human being is a "light being" that is constantly consuming light; a light transformer with a permanent intake of light energy.
The light substance has the effect of creating an awareness in the subject of something he is previously unaware of. That is what we mean by the ability to see round corners.
The creative principle in time wishes to cooperate with us and help usin our efforts to improve. This we call the code of self-optimisation.
The revelatory faculty of the brain - this ability to see round corners- is nothing other than a state of mind which combines extreme openness to stimuli, with a deep, harmonious and blissful tranquility: deep tranquility within a dynamic flurry.