Barbara Marx Hubbard, 89, Futurist Who Saw ‘Conscious Evolution,’ Dies


The candidate wished no a part of the negativity endemic to politics. Instead she supplied an aggressively upbeat view of the long run she foresaw for the human race.

“We must combine our compassion with our creativity,” she urged the conference. “We must initiate a new process in democracy to identify our positive options, discover our potentials and commit our political will to long-range goals.”

The phrases might need match properly into the present presidential marketing campaign, however they really have been spoken 35 years in the past on the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco by a lady few anticipated to see take the stage, a lot much less be nominated for the vice presidency. She was Barbara Marx Hubbard, who was not a politician by commerce however a futurist, non secular thinker, writer and proponent of what are immediately lumped below the label of New Age concepts.

Ms. Hubbard, campaigning for months, had gathered sufficient assist to have her title positioned in nomination, principally so she might make a symbolic speech to the conference earlier than endorsing the already assured ticket of Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro. Ms. Hubbard believed that people would graduate to a brand new stage of cooperation and enlightenment, and in her speech — delivered to a largely inattentive viewers, and never within the prime-time tv window — she urged who may prepared the ground into that courageous new world.

“The office of the vice president is the perfect place to call forth the genius of our people to build a world equal to our power and our aspirations,” she mentioned.

When Ms. Hubbard died on April 10 in Loveland, Colo., at 89, her imaginative and prescient of a newly important vice presidency remained unrealized. But her concepts, books and lectures had reached numerous seekers seeking to make clear their goal and increase their consciousness.

Peter Hubbard, a grandson, mentioned she died after a quick sickness.

Ms. Hubbard was a frequent speaker at seminars and conventions organized by teams just like the World Future Society, and her 1998 guide, “Conscious Evolution: Awakening the Power of Our Social Potential,” is a core textual content amongst those that suppose the human race is getting ready to an enhanced manner of present.

“Conscious evolution is occurring in our generation because we are now gaining an understanding of the processes of nature: the gene, the atom, the brain, the origin of the universe, and the whole story of creation from the big bang to us,” she wrote. “We at the moment are altering our understanding of how nature evolves; we’re shifting from unconscious evolution via pure choice to aware evolution by selection.

“With this elevated information and the ability that it offers us,” she continued, “we can destroy the world or we can participate in a future of immeasurable dimensions.”

Barbara Suzanne Marx was born on Dec. 22, 1929, in Manhattan. Her father, Louis, based Louis Marx & Company, a number one toymaker.

“By the time I was 6 years old,” Ms. Hubbard mentioned in “American Visionary,” a current documentary about her directed by Karen Everett, “I had so many toys that I learned one big lesson: More toys cannot make us happy.”

Her mom, Irene (Saltzman) Marx, died of most cancers when Barbara was an adolescent; her father, together with his self-made-businessman ethos, was a powerful affect.

“I had asked my father, who was completely areligious, ‘What religion are we?’ ” she recalled within the documentary. “ ‘Oh,’ he said, ‘you’re an American. Do your best.’ ”

The atomic bombing of Japan that ended World War II made a stark impression on her when she was an adolescent, she mentioned: It underscored the reality that the human race had attained the power to wield monumental technological energy that could possibly be both helpful or damaging — or each.

“The first major question to shape my life was, ‘What is the meaning of all our new power in science, industry and technology that’s good?’ ” she mentioned.

She graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1951. That identical yr she married Earl Hubbard, an artist she had met in 1949 whereas in Paris. They settled in Connecticut and had 5 youngsters, however Ms. Hubbard was not content material with becoming into the suburban-housewife mould of the day.

She started studying the works of the thinker Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, who wrote concerning the additional evolution of the human race; labored with Jonas Salk and the future-oriented Salk Institute; developed an curiosity in area exploration; and extra.

Her marriage ended within the 1970s, a casualty of her elevated exercise in these areas, which included founding a company she referred to as the Committee for the Future. She additionally took to organizing “synergistic convergence conferences,” or Syncons, at which representatives of disparate teams would trade views and concepts.

From 1972 to 1976 she organized 25 such conferences. One introduced collectively members of Los Angeles road gangs, police officers, crime victims and extra. “All participants met as equal members of the community,” she wrote in “Conscious Evolution,” “trying to work out something together.”

A pivotal second in Ms. Hubbard’s life got here in 1966, when she had a very sturdy non secular imaginative and prescient.

“In a flash, I was catapulted into the future, and I could see a few frames ahead in the movie of creation,” she mentioned. She noticed human information and social methods meshing right into a constructive, empathetic power.

“What Christ and all the great beings came to earth to reveal is, we’re one, we’re whole, we’re good, we’re universal,” she mentioned, an perception that got here with the message “Go tell the story, Barbara.”

Ms. Hubbard’s eldest son, Wade, died in 2008, and her longtime accomplice, Sidney Lanier, died in 2013. She is survived by a son, Lloyd; three daughters, Woodleigh Hubbard, Suzanne Hubbard and Alexandra Morton; two sisters, Jacqueline Barnett and Patricia Ellsberg; a brother, Louis Marx Jr.; a half brother, Curtis Marx; eight grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Though a lot of Ms. Hubbard’s concepts have been considerably esoteric, one which she expressed within the 1984 deal with to the Democratic National Convention concerned a really sensible rebranding.

“Eighty percent of our scientific and technological genius is focused on killing,” she mentioned.

“We must bring together the genius now focused in the War Room in a Peace Room in the White House,” she continued. “Its purpose will be to defeat the real enemies of humanity: hunger, disease, illiteracy, poverty and war.”



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