After the huge tsunami of December 2004, Rupert Sheldrake had an article in the March 2005 Ecologist subtitled “Why Did So Many Animals Escape December’s Tsunami?” He discusses this question in the context of earlier earthquakes and avalanches where it seemed clear that animals were anticipating the event hours and days before, sometimes with distress and sometimes with active avoidance. In the article, Tsunami Teachings, in that same March 2005 Ecologist, Vandana Shiva notes:
“Animals and indigenous communities had the intelligence to anticipate the Tsunami and protect themselves.
The information-technology-embedded 21st century cultures lacked the Gaian intelligence to connect to the earthquake and Tsunami in time to protect themselves. We need to revisit our dominant concepts of intelligence and information and take lessons from Gaia about living intelligently on the planet.”
I found a brief article done by a geography class at U Wisconsin-Eau Claire that fills in a little more information about the specific anticipations of cicadas and indigenous people, but these details are not where I want to focus.
My interest here is in asserting: there is a huge amount of information available to us, emanating from Gaia’s natural systems, that we are not yet prepared to pay attention to. I don’t know what the specifics are. I don’t know if seismic activity was what caused the cicadas to fall silent hours before the big waves, or if they apprehend something other than tremors in the earth.
I’m partial to the “something else” theory, given that the tsunami tragedy was also anticipated by the 65 random number generators of the Global Consciousness Project, which got started around 1980, and which has been inexplicably sensitive to similar events for decades.
There’s a lot of information out there that scientific experts aren’t willing to take seriously. I don’t think this is a conspiracy in the sense that “they know but they don’t want us to know.” I think of this as a profound cultural blindness that has some of it’s origins in the battle between the Christian church and the free thinkers who created what has become the scientific tradition. The echoes of that battle linger today, but now it is the institution of science that has become powerful and inflexible and intolerant of “belief” that deviates from its conventions. The scientific establishment has a “story” about what is real and how we know it. People bringing perfectly respectable information that doesn’t fit the “how-we-know-what-we-know” story are frozen out of the conversation.
Dear friends, we NEED, as a civilization, to be paying attention to lots of important stuff we are currently ignoring. And we don’t need exotic random number generators to do it. In the past two weeks I offered stories of two people trusting their lives to inputs –information– which has no scientific respectability, and feeling richly rewarded for doing it. And what Ralph and I were doing is rather similar to what MANY people in our Quaker Meeting do, and even many people walking the corridors of power in industrial civilization. But it’s not “respectable” in the judgment of mainstream culture, so, as a culture, we don’t value it in the way that we should.
I am among the first to say there are some good reasons why we are reluctant to share with others about “what God told me,” or “the intuition that changed my life.” And as I try to address this potentially explosive area I’m going to keep it as small and safe as I can. I’m going to talk to you, my spiritual companions who I know personally, so the most delicate issues can be addressed face to face. Please bear with me. Please share with me.
I am not saying there is a simple “thing” or “spirit” that Ralph and I are both listening to. But
I do think there’s “something there,”
and I bet there are areas of overlap between
my “intuitions and spiritual experiences”
and those of others in my Quaker Meeting
and overlap, also,
with the experiences of Fox and Fell, and other early Friends.
I think we can learn a lot from each other.
What I hope to do with the remaining productive years of my life is to develop –with my community– a language and a way of approaching the “something there” that allows us to talk to each other about these things without setting off each other’s alarm bells.
My installment on the conversation this week has been, “Friends, there are valuable pieces of information –guidance– all around us that are taboo topics in mainstream conversation.
I have faith that we are not
“hopelessly lost in the mess of our materialist culture.”
Rather, I believe that if we reorient ourselves,
as a community,
to guidance from beyond the material world as it is currently understood
we can find our way,
to a new heaven and a new earth.
Come, let us continue.