10 Billion Reasons to Catch the Beat

A Drumming with Planetary Purpose

©2009 Carlisle Bergquist, MA, LCMFT

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Everywhere, sound, vibration, frequency moves me as it has moved cultures for millennia.  Sound provides a doorway in consciousness, an avenue for outward creation, and a pathway in to the deep reaches of our being:

• Recently as I walked down the National Mall in Washington D.C., I heard an ancient rhythm from a ceremonial drum ricochet through the marble and limestone canyons formed by Government buildings and the monuments of our nation’s memories.

• Outside the vast sprawl of Såo Paulo, Brazil, I listened in a small, unassuming temple, to three great bass congas bellow a charismatic beat that melded a room filled with eager devotees into an entranced frenzy.

• In my imagination from atop my hill in Kansas, I still hear the medicine drums calling tribes to council and the thundering cadence of bison hooves in mass moving across the valley below.

Long before I understood sound as a doorway, I noticed how drumming brought people together.  Without words, without melody, drums sing a universal language, perhaps it is the language of Spirit.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s a drum solo in a rock band, or the underscore of an indigenous chant around a fire, the sound touches something elemental within us and collectively, we pay attention.

Creation stories from around the world implicate sound as primordial, the vehicle by which the universe formed.  The sound is “Hu” to the Sufi, “Om” to the Hindu, “Kung” to the Taoist, and “the Word” to Judeo-Christians.  Native American and Andean traditions say the sound of the drum represents Earth’s heartbeat.  I know that when I listen to the drum, I hear all these sounds in its resonance.  It connects me not only with the deep states of consciousness within; it connects me with creation itself and draws me into relationship with the heartbeat of our Earth.

This relationship with our planet is more primal than sharing life with a mate, yet it is easily over looked.  It came naturally with the innocence of childhood.  Once we approached nature with wide eyes, fascinated by every firefly, tadpole, and daisy.  We couldn’t wait to talk to our pet, converse with a passing toad, or find a unicorn in the clouds above our head.  Our storybooks told of adventures shared by fairies, elves, and frogs that turned into a prince.  As children, we drank in our surroundings anxious to learn from–and about–the world we had come here to inhabit, not as observers but as participants.  As children, the world was our lover; we cherished every offering it provided and traded our wonderment for the blessings of creation eager for the exchange.

In mass, as adult inhabitants, too many have forgotten this relationship.  Perhaps it was with the rise of Western theologies or during the Industrial Revolution, but somewhere as a species we went to war with our planetary partner.  We assumed that whatever we did had little or no effect on a big ball of dirt, it was our resource.  We forgot she was once our lover, once the source of our wonderment and vitality.  We forgot she had a heartbeat.  Like any relationship, when one partner ignores the other’s heart long enough, things get shaky, stormy, and hot.

Andean mystics describe our personal existence as occurring within a universe of living energy with which we constantly exchange.  Adding to our childlike wonderment, it suggests we enter into a deliberate, respectful relationship with this energy at large.  Ayni (a Q’ero word pronounced I-nee) is a state of reciprocity, a sacred interchange with everything–yes everything.  In Christian terms, it is doing unto others, as you would have them do unto you but in the Q’ero culture of Peru, it means helping the people in your community and caring with respect for your neighbors who may happen to be mountains, forests, plants, animals, or minerals.  The idea is that we are always giving and taking with everything around us.  The energy exchange is constant and we must be consciously “giving at least as good as we get” to everything without measuring what we’re getting back.  That’s a formula for success in any relationship.

If I have drummed up your interest, I would like to take these ideas a bit further, to where they have led me.  Our imbalanced relationship with creation, and our fellow beings, is noticeable to me and probably to you.  We can deny the problem, rationalize that someone else will fix it, or respond.  But how?  Perhaps like me, you sense a shift coming on this planet in your bones and that more is asked of us than to fearfully wait for deliverance.  My first response was writing a book.  In it, a shamanic character says, “Do what you know, learn all you can, and trust that the rest will be provided.”  Heeding my character’s words–“now is the time to do what I’ve been learning for.”  Here are a few things I’ve learned, along with what I am going to do.

In the past decades, physicists have peered into the depths of the subatomic particle world only to discover that there aren’t really particles there.  Instead, they found a world of vibrating energy that seemed affected by our observation, by our interaction with it.  Physicists describe the interference patterns of energy at the subatomic level as “nodes of resonance.”  You might call my next response to the relationship problem a “node of resonance” in a larger world, a pattern formed by the interaction of my work with drumming and sound, Peter Russell’s book “The Global Brain,” and Lynne McTaggart’s work in “The Intention Experiment.”  Could these ideas work together?  Can we use them to affect the living energy world in a positive way?  If energy follows thought, why not try.

“The Global Brain” proposes a systems perspective of how life is developing on this planet.  Throughout Earth’s history, each time certain essential elements reached a critical population density, a new property emerged, and the whole became greater than the sum of its parts.  I’ll leave it to that author to explain his full premise, but the key element here is that critical population was about 10 billion.  We are now approaching that population as a species on this planet.  “The Intention Experiment” studied how applied intention, the subtle energy of directed thought, positively affected the outcome of illness.  It is not the only such study; in other words, her work and other’s, demonstrate that our thoughts–our intention–influence the world from the smallest level to our very being.  Can we enhance an intention’s effect by using the sound of the drum to deepen consciousness and reiterate the beat until we approach the critical threshold of 10 billion?

We live in an extraordinary time.  On one hand, we see a rise of hope in the world that offers the promise of bonding us together and overcoming a hard time.  In contrast, we see that divisions between nations, political parties, and religious extremes seem unfazed.  Some prophesy that we have come to the end of our days while others say we are about to advance.  Here is an idea in response to this current paradox:  10 Billion Beats.  Without doctrine or dogma, it has a simple agenda: to foster goodwill within the entire living family on the planet in which we live, move, and have our being.  I know it does not solve all the problems, but as a family relationship therapist with several years of experience, I’ve seen division before.  I’ve learned that before a family can find solutions, they have to hear each other’s heartbeat.

10 Billion Beats is a Global Intention Experiment that will use drumming to send a wave of positive intention around the world.  Starting in Central Kansas, it will follow the sun through the time zones at 7:00 PM on Sept. 18, 2009.  (Sept. 19 as it crosses the dateline)  It is to continue the energy exchange giving at least as good as we have received.  This project is for everyone like me who is crazy enough to think they can change the world and everyone else for whom they want to change it.  That includes you.  The idea is admittedly huge.  This is a grassroots movement–it is not a commercial event–it will only work if people like you get excited, if people like you participate, and if people like you tell others about it.  If this resonates with you, please visit http://www.10billionbeats.com and get involved.

You and I may hear, and even play, different drums.  That is as it should be, but for a short period on one day this fall, perhaps we can find a common beat.  The Sufi Mystic Hazrat Inayat Kahn (1983) said:

All things being derived from and formed of vibration have sound hidden within them, as fire is hidden in flint, and each atom of the universe confesses by its tone, "My sole origin is sound." 

Everywhere, sound moves us.  I invite you to catch the beat and be the wave.  Confess your tone along with 10 Billion of them, join in, and let’s drum up the new world!

Carlisle Bergquist
Originator of 10 Billion Beats





Article Summaries

The Coyoté Oak: Burgeoning Wisdom

The Coyoté Oak: Burgeoning Wisdom (Preview Chapters)
by Carlisle Bergquist

A modern-day parable for planet in transformation.

"The Coyoté Oak:  Burgeoning Wisdom by Carlisle Bergquist lives up to its name.  Like the trickster Coyoté, this fanciful read informs with unpredictable authority.  The visionary novel weaves deep ecology, shamanism, quantum physics, Native American spirituality, Taoism, mysticism, and even Christianity into an engaging healing adventure.  No small accomplishment as its wisdom rings loud and exquisitely clear.  The author’s vivid descriptions engulf the senses; you can almost taste the pancakes, smell the moss, see the sunsets and you will certainly fall in love with the characters.  Expect to be drawn in deep, transformed and left howling for more." Share Guide - San Francisco, CA

Available wherever books are sold

ISBN:  0-9791750-6-2
Published by Reality Press

Transcendental Creative Systems:

An Exploration Using General Living Systems Theory

Creativity is the merger of matter/energy with new information.  The process of bringing something new into existence, is an inherent characteristic of life.  To live is to create whether we do so unconsciously, or with full awareness.  This essay is an academic approach to the creative process using James Miller's General Living Systems Theory to model the course from non-being to created work.

A Comparative View of Creativity Theories:
Psychoanalytic, Behaviorist, & Humanistic

Three streams of thought in contemporary psychology view our humanness is distinctly different ways.  This is nowhere more evident than in their efforts to explain creativity.  This essay explores and compares these divergent views and provides a foundation from which to develop a new transpersonal theory of creativity.

Dancing With The Whole:
A Theory of Creative Entrainment

The holistic theory models entrainment as a communicative occurrence. Examples are given from several disciplines and four stages of entrainment are delimited. The essay compares theoretical quantum physicist David Bohm's notions of order with the realms of spirit, mind, and body. It proposes stages of entrainment operant throughout these realms and suggests that they perform cumulatively in the creative or unfolding process. The systems perspective develops the thesis that humankind is an iteration of a larger system and that entrainment is a central factor in the transduction of information between individuals and across system levels.

Doorways In Consciousness:
An Exploration of Resonant Being

Many cultures around the globe embrace sound in their exoteric and esoteric traditions. This essay reviews the role sound plays in the religions, creation myths, and sacred technologies of various peoples. This review connects creativity with healing which is considered an act of regeneration thus creating health in the body. Several varieties of healing through sound are discussed including music, drumming, toning, chant, instruments, Kabballah, and prayer. The essay proposes that techniques of sound healing and therapy currently rely on the intuitive ability of individual practitioners. Acknowledging the need for effective healing modalities, it calls for research that can qualify the elemental effects of existing sounds, tones and prayers. Such categorization may help construct an applied holistic healing technology.

Building A Better Thought Trap:
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Colossal creativity is a state of balance amongst the mind, the body, and the spirit that actuates human potential. This article concentrates on the vitamin and nutritional components of our system so that they resonate more clearly. The focus is on the brain which rests at the focal point of our physical, mental, and spiritual worlds. It traps and interprets inspiration that comes from deep within, transforming it from one world to another. Colossal creativity unfolds when we nourish every part of our being. Digest new thoughts and ideas to nourish your mind. Develop a daily practice -- whatever your faith -- that invites active participation from your Spiritual-Self.

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How Money is Created

by Paul Krumm

Toward an Economy Based on Curiosity and Caring Instead of Greed

by Paul Krumm


  • While the network of money transactions around the world is very complex, the way money works is really rather simple, and is understandable by the ordinary person.

  • The study of the operation of money is pivotal to any discussion of cultural values and social justice, as money is the basic language of economic relationships, and the values built into this language impact all social relationships.

In this paper we will describe how the present money game is structured.  We will show that the idea that money is value neutral is not correct, and go on to describe how money functions to promote greed.

Some preliminary suggestions will be given, based on theory and what has worked in the past, to change the values built into our money to ones that are more congruent with a curiosity and caring driven economy.

We will also show how the present money game is not sustainable, note that the same changes that lead to a curiosity and caring based system are the same changes that make money and our economy sustainable.

Transforming Reality Through The Arts

by Coni Ciongoli-Koepfinger

Could this be the key to CREATIVE EVOLUTION?  Is the creation of a society that questions the reality of its fiction and the fiction of its reality be but a page turn away. Conceivably it is no longer a question of controlling what is real; instead, is it a question of controlling the market analysis that controls what the individual assumes to be real? Perhaps then, we will able to give birth to the new science that is no longer bipolar in its relations of the art and the social – a new science that is born out of a culture that was modified to be the perfect blend of both fact and fiction.

Staying Centered in Peace
by Lisa Hepner

An essay written in the wake of events on September 11, 2001.  This piece addresses the struggles we experience to see beyond the pain.  The author draws together the thoughts of many personal growth writers into an inspiring tonic for our wounded souls.