Crew Commentary

Crew Consciousness and the Shambhala Prophecy

Bob Leonard - Climate Risk Manager


I viewed a video of Joanna Macy telling the story of the Shambhala Prophecy.


“The most remarkable feature of this historical moment is not that we are on the way to destroying our world… we’ve actually been on the way quite a while. It is that we are beginning to wake up, as from a millennia-long sleep, to a whole new relationship to our world, to ourselves, and to each other.” – Joanna Macy


Joanna Macy is an environmental activist, professor and Buddhist scholar. She is the author of twelve books.


The Prophecy is a 1,200-year-old Tibetan Buddhist prediction of the coming of ‘The Shambhala Warrior’. It tells of the rising of regular people who wish to bring about great change and healing through the powers of Compassion and Insight. I was struck by the alignment between it and Crew Consciousness and our journey from being passive passengers on Spaceship Earth to becoming active crew members.



The Shambhala Prophecy says there will come a time when all life on Earth is in danger. In this era, great barbarian forces will have arisen which have unfathomable destructive power. In this era, when the future of life seems to hang by the frailest of threads, the kingdom of Shambhala (global crew consciousness) will appear.


The kingdom of Shambhala is not a geopolitical place, but a place that exists in the hearts and minds of the Shambhala warriors (crew members). These warriors wear no special uniforms, nor do they have titles or ranks. They have no particular workplace, as their work is everywhere.  


Great courage (intellectual, moral and spiritual) is required of the Shambhala warriors (crew members). The time comes when they must go into the very heart of the barbarian power, into the tall buildings, halls of government, offices, factories and citadels of learning where the weapons of destruction are made… and dismantle them.


This signifies the need for systems change… replacing business as usual with new systems that place the planet and all the species living on it above the pursuit of money and power.


The Shambhala warriors have the courage to do this because they know that these destructive weapons (economic systems, fossil fueled machines, politics based on greed) are created by the human mind, and they can be unmade by the human mind. The barbarian lie that these weapons are the inevitable result of progress must be exposed. Shambhala warriors (crew members) know the dangers that threaten life on Earth are not visited upon us by any external powers, satanic deities, or preordained fate. They arise from our own decisions, our own lifestyles, and our own relationships. We must save ourselves from ourselves.


The tools of the Shambhala warriors are compassion for all, and insight into the connectedness of all things. Both are necessary. Compassion fuels the actions necessary to make these foundational changes. But compassion alone is not enough. Shambhala warriors (crew members) also require insight into the radical interdependence of all things.  


The Shambhala Prophecy is just one of many myths, legends and spiritual predictions that forecast a radical and requisite change in humanity. Crew membership was not developed as a spiritual concept, but I think it has a spiritual aspect. We are embarking on an epic battle. We have a common cause and purpose. Changing the way we live and how we relate to each other is required. And that will take courage, compassion and insight.


Here’s that video of Joanna Macy