Vladimir Putin’s ill-conceived war on Ukraine reveals a hidden aspect of consciousness evolution: newly emerging stages are seen by existing stages as a regression. Putin the autocrat saw democracies as weak and depleted. So did Hitler and the Japanese before World War II. It’s an old pattern that we can trace back to the warriors of old, who had contempt for the budding traditionalists beating their swords into plowshares.

Over time, however, the emerging stage wins, not only because it brings on new capabilities (traditional order, modern rationality, postmodern sensitivity) but also because every stage contains the capabilities of the previous stages, often repressed but available when the chips are down. Thus, Zelensky, with his media-savvy modern and cool postmodern vibe, reveals in battle the heart of a lion and calls it forth in his people — much to the surprise of Putin, the world, and perhaps the Ukrainians themselves.

The pattern continues in modernity’s misreading of postmodernity (I use a clip from Bill Maher’s show to illustrate this), and in the challenges being put to the emerging integral stage of consciousness and culture.

I finish the episode with stunning excerpts from the book, Bloodlands, the story of Stalin’s war on Ukraine, and how its karmic echoes are resounding today.

I hope you enjoy the episode! – Jeff Salzman