A boy has a dream that he can float, but unless he holds on, he will drift away into the sky. Even when he is grown up, this idea recurs. After a strange accident, he walks through what may be a dream, flowing in and out of scenarios and encountering various characters. People he meets discuss science, philosophy and the life of dreaming and waking, and the protagonist gradually becomes alarmed that he cannot awake from this confusing dream…
A calm day starting out beautifully. And the interesting fact that, if a day starts like this it’s hard to focus on the more challenging feelings. So I took that as an invitation to explore – with my imagination, a major tool if used with care and not to avoid this, that or the other – my family feelings which I hardly have. That’s not a surprise, I guess, for people who have been following this experiment from the start, and it’s natural to me. I hardly remember my father’s birthday or my mother’s. I need to make a mental note of the birthday of my girlfriend and her daughter, and I actually don’t know the one of my grandchild.
This is shocking!
Not to me.
I’ve tried a couple of times in my life to at least get a semblance of family-feelings going, but it never worked. My guess is that in an important period in my young years something didn’t develop that later simply doesn’t develop anymore. So I have to make do with a sense of loyalty. And I do have a keen sense of that.
A couple of days before I started this experiment one evening I was asking myself, “What would I like to leave as a legacy?” And it was very surprising for me to realize that one of the 3 ‘things’ I would love to leave for those that come after me was “a happy family”. And by family I mean the person closest to me, my son and my girldfriend’s daughter, my grand-son, my next of kin, my soul-brothers and soul-sisters, which are not part of the same bloodline but in some sense are much closer to me than most of my kin. So actually I mean a “happy extended family”. And I really don’t know what I can do to help this come true – my guess these days is, if I can consistently be a true human, and by that I mean someone who is feelingly, intelligently and spiritually present with the whole field of life and living, than this will possibly take care of itself; it will be a consequence of the way I live…
Actually one of the fascinating discoveries in between the high waves of strong feelings that are so common these days is what I’ve come to call feeling-field. It seems to me that with/through this field we are much more connected to life than through our intelligence and even our consciousness.
Oddly enough, in writing this I show that I still believe there to be a clear demarcation line between consciousness and feeling. Yet, feelingly observing those nearest to me it seems like there is no such line. We meander in between consciousness and feeling most of the time.
Con-science means ‘knowing with’, and one of the things that are very, very clear is that we live in a society that has been over-emphasizing consciousness for some hundreds of years . This resulted in an education that is all about knowledge; feeling is a weakness that we still suffer from but we’ll conquer that in the long run.
Well, we can’t really leave it behind, can we? We can put the volume down so much so that it seems like it disappeared – dispassionate science, objective knowledge, processes and situations as ‘things’ behaving according to ‘natural laws’, and so on. All of this has led us into a world where we cannot feel with (com-passion: with feeling) others except in a very abstract or hollywoodesk-romantic kind of way. Just look at the way that around these days the professional helpers dance around our wallet hoping to profit from the Christmas-sentimentality by showing pictures of children with huge eyes and thin, extremely thin limbs.
Descartes’ saying, that we have to torture nature so that it will reveal its secrets, might be regarded as extreme in our day and age but we’re still acting accordingly. In physics the Holy Grail (the myth of the Unified Theory which, supposedly would explain everything physical by reducing it to extremely tiny billiard balls governed by unbreakable rules that are thought to explain everything) is now closer, the conviction goes, because we have just finished for 10 billion or so the biggest machine of all times that smashes particles into each other. Dissect, smash, separate, analyze, torture, freeze, kill, these activities are supposed to reveal reality. Yes, indeed, we live in a civilized world! Feeling is a subjective luxury that governs economy by herd mentality on Wall Street and all the other stock exchanges all over the world – who, by the way through the mechanisms of extreme greed brought us to the brink of systemic change where everybody can now see that “the emperor wears no clothes”, as Andersen’s fairy tale goes.
Truth is gained by torture of nature and greed is the feeling governing the capitalist economy – and culture, of course, and religion to bless the large masses of us who buy our bliss at the prize of ignoring what we feel stirring in the depth of our souls.
This is a depressing perspective, one that might depressurize you enough to stop for a moment and maybe decide to reclaim the primacy of your own experience, the nobility of your own soul’s judgment, the deep breath of your openness – for we are super-social animals that, through ages of suffering and hard learning and a century of wide spread richness (at least in the West, and in many other parts of this world as well) and individualism have the unique chance to truly develop further.
I’m learning to see, by passing through the furnace of facing myself just the way I am on the feeling level, the level that is still largely uncivilized and uncontrollable – the only control being ‘desensitizing’, making dead, denial, active ignorance and skillfully channeled romanticism – I’m feeling-seeing the wonder of our interconnectedness, the beauty that in spite of thousands of years of civilization we still have everything it takes to be here, and through the alchemical fire of what is called civilizedness, we now finally have the means to realize, for a change, the healthy consequence of what we are: super-social, so social that we could move to the next stage of evolution: the one planet, Earth, opening up to the rest of the multiverse.
I’m done glossing it over: In the presence of feeling-seeing, in the actual flow of being human with other beings, humans and otherwise, in the soulfulness of every meeting – and the dullness of the superficial that also lives here – in the experiment of passion-intelligence-spirit this world is a truly awesome place.
And I am interested…
We have been brought up to believe that the mind is located inside the head. But there are good reasons for thinking that this view is too limited. Recent experimental results show that people can influence others at a distance just by looking at them, even if they look from behind and if all sensory clues are eliminated. And people’s intentions can be detected by animals from miles away. The commonest kind of non-local interaction mental influence occurs in connection with telephone calls, where most people have had the experience of thinking of someone shortly before they ring. Controlled, randomized tests on telephone telepathy have given highly significant positive results. Research techniques have now been automated and experiments on telepathy are now being conducted through the internet and cell phones, enabling widespread participation.
Speaker: Rupert Sheldrake
Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D. is a biologist and author of more than 75 technical papers and ten books, the most recent being The Sense of Being Stared At. He studied at Cambridge and Harvard Universities, was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge and a Research Fellow of the Royal Society. He is currently Director of the Perrott-Warrick project, funded from Trinity College Cambridge.
I think this viedo speak entirely for itself…
I’m on the road right now and it’s only once in a while I have a little time to surf the net a bit.
I felt really blessed when I saw this little video on Urth.tv
As Whole Foods CEO John Mackey seems to have had his share of seemingly not too integral business (we’re all infallible, remember?) This bit of news reached me, and I’m happy to report it back to you… just in case you get into one of these arguments that we need ‘chemical farming methods’ to feed the world…
Organic farming could feed the world
A switch to organic farming would not reduce the world’s food supply and could also increase food security in developing countries, say the authors of a new study.
They claim their findings lay to rest the debate over whether organic farming could sustainably feed the world. Organic farming avoids or heavily restricts the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilisers, as well as livestock feed additives.
Numerous studies have compared the yields of organic and conventional methods for individual crops and animal products (see 20-year study backs organic farming).
Now, a team of researchers has compiled research from 293 different comparisons into a single study to assess the overall efficiency of the two agricultural systems.
Ivette Perfecto of the University of Michigan in the US and her colleagues found that, in developed countries, organic systems on average produce 92% of the yield produced by conventional agriculture. In developing countries, however, organic systems produce 80% more than conventional farms.
Perfecto points out that the materials needed for organic farming are more accessible to farmers in poor countries.
Those poor farmers may buy the same seeds as conventional farms use in rich countries, but they cannot afford the fertilisers and pesticides needed for intensive agriculture. However, “organic fertiliser doesn’t cost much – they can produce it on their own farms”, says Perfecto.
Using data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the team then estimated what would happen if farms worldwide were to switch to organic methods today.
The world currently produces the equivalent of 2786 calories per person per day. The researchers found that under an organic-only regime, farms could produce between 2641 and 4381 calories per person per day.
Perfecto’s colleague Catherine Badgley says she believes the calculations they carried out to arrive at the upper number are more realistic. These took into account the higher yields that would be obtained in developing countries, and the details of which crops are grown where.
She points out that even the lower number is sufficient to feed the world. Nutritionists recommend that people consume between 2100 and 2500 calories a day.
The debate over whether the world can produce enough organic food is misplaced, argues Perfecto: “We are producing enough food – it’s a question of distribution of that food.”
The researchers also found that small farms tend to produce more per hectare of land. “An increase in the number of small farms would enhance food production,” they say. They also note that although organic production tends to require more labour, this labour is often spread out more evenly over the growing season, making it easier to manage.
Carl Pray, at University of Rutgers, New Jersey, US, says there is good evidence that small-scale farming in developing countries is more efficient. This is probably because small farms put more effort in the precise management of small areas of land.
But, he says, “the likelihood of all farms reverting to ‘small farmerdom’ is a big question in an age in which labour is becoming more and more expensive. Take China and India, for instance: the demand for labour is such that people are continually being pulled out of the countryside”.
Perfecto, however, maintains that the idea that conventional farming is cheap is a fallacy. “That is not including the real costs. Once you incorporate the cost to the health of people, once you incorporate the environment cost – then organic agriculture is a much superior system.”
Pesticides are associated with a number of diseases, including cancer – a fact that was first brought to public attention in Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring. Organic farming is thought to benefit biodiversity and the environment, as well as human health.
- NewScientist.com news service
- Catherine Brahic