Thursday, December 02, 2010

"PLANT MEN AND OTHERS", from 'The Star-maker' by Olaf Stapledon (1937)


















FREE E-BOOK DOWNLOADS:
http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/s/stapledon/olaf/

"Year by year, month by month, the plight of our fragmentary and precarious civilization becomes more serious. Fascism abroad grows more bold and ruthless in its foreign ventures, more tyrannical toward its own citizens, more barbarian in its contempt for the life of the mind. Even in our own country we have reason to fear a tendency toward militarization and the curtailment of civil liberty. Moreover, while the decades pass, no resolute step is taken to alleviate the injustice of our social order. Our outworn economic system dooms millions to frustration." Olaf Stapledon, preface to The Star-maker


"After untold distresses they began to realize that their whole way of life was alien to their essential plant nature. Leaders and prophets dared to inveigh against mechanization and against the prevalent intellectualistic scientific culture, and against artificial photosynthesis. By now nearly all the roots of the race had been destroyed; but presently biological science was turned to the task of generating, from the few remaining specimens, new roots for all. Little by little the whole population was able to return to natural photosynthesis. The industrial life of the world vanished like frost in sunlight."

From
The Star-maker, Olaf Stapledon (1937)


Chapter 7
More Worlds

3. Plant Men and Others


Before passing on to tell the story of our galaxy as a whole (so far as I can comprehend it) I must mention another and a very alien kind of world. Of this type we found few examples, and few of these survived into the time when the galactic drama was at its height; but one at least had (or will have) a great influence on the growth of the spirit in that dramatic era.

On certain small planets, drenched with light and heat from a near or a great sun, evolution took a very different course from that with which we are familiar. The vegetable and animal functions were not separated into distinct organic types. Every organism was at once animal and vegetable.

In such worlds the higher organisms were something like gigantic and mobile herbs; but the violent flood of solar radiation rendered the tempo of their life much more rapid than that of our plants. To say that they looked like herbs is perhaps misleading, for they looked equally like animals. They had a definite number of limbs and a definite form of body; but all their skin was green, or streaked with green, and they bore here or there, according to their species, great masses of foliage. Owing to the slight power of gravitation on these small planets, the plant-animals often supported vast super-structures on very slender trunks or limbs. In general those that were mobile were less generously equipped with leaves than those that were more or less sedentary.

In these small hot worlds the turbulent circulation of water and atmosphere caused rapid changes in the condition of the ground from day to day. Storm and flood made it very desirable for the organisms of these worlds to be able to move from place to place. Consequently the early plants, which owing to the wealth of solar radiation could easily store themselves with energy for a life of moderate muscular activity, developed powers of perception and locomotion. Vegetable eyes and ears, vegetable organs of taste, scent and touch, appeared on their stems or foliage. For locomotion, some of them simply withdrew their primitive roots from the ground and crept hither and thither with a kind of caterpillar action. Some spread their foliage and drifted on the wind. From these in the course of ages arose true fliers. Meanwhile the pedestrian species turned some of their roots into muscular legs, four or six, or centipedal. The remaining roots were equipped with boring instruments, which on a new site could rapidly proliferate into the ground. Yet another method of combining locomotion and roots was perhaps more remarkable. The aerial portion of the organism would detach itself from its embedded roots, and wander off by land or air to strike root afresh in virgin soil. When the second site was exhausted the creature would either go off in search of a third, and so on, or return to its original bed, which by now might have recovered fertility. There, it would attach itself once more to its old dormant roots and wake them into new activity.

Many species, of course, developed predatory habits, and special organs of offense, such as muscular boughs as strong as pythons for constriction, or talons, horns, and formidable serrated pincers. In these “carnivorous” creatures the spread of foliage was greatly reduced, and all the leaves could be tucked snugly away along the back. In the most specialized beasts of prey the foliage was atrophied and had only decorative value. It was surprising to see how the environment imposed on these alien creatures forms suggestive of our tigers and wolves. And it was interesting, too, to note how excessive specialization and excessive adaptation to offense or defense ruined species after species; and how, when at length “human” intelligence appeared, it was achieved by an unimposing and inoffensive creature whose sole gifts were intelligence and sensibility toward the material world and toward its fellows. Before describing the efflorescence of “humanity” in this kind of world I must mention one grave problem which faces the evolving life of all small planets, often at an early stage. This problem we had already come across on the Other Earth. Owing to the weakness of gravitation and the disturbing heat of the sun, the molecules of the atmosphere very easily escape into space. Most small worlds, of course, lose all their air and water long before life can reach the “human” stage, sometimes even before it can establish itself at all. Others, less small, may be thoroughly equipped with atmosphere in their early phases, but at a much later date, owing to the slow but steady contraction of their orbits, they may become so heated that they can no longer hold down the furiously agitated molecules of their atmosphere. On some of these planets a great population of living forms develops in early aeons only to be parched and suffocated out of existence through the long-drawn-out denudation and desiccation of the planet. But in more favorable cases life is able to adapt itself progressively to the increasingly severe conditions. In some worlds, for instance, a biological mechanism appeared by which the remaining atmosphere was imprisoned within a powerful electromagnetic field generated by the world’s living population. In others the need of atmosphere was done away with altogether; photosynthesis and the whole metabolism of life were carried on by means of liquids alone. The last dwindling gases were captured in solution, stored in huge tracts of spongy growths among the crowded roots, and covered with an impervious membrane.

Both these natural biological methods occurred in one or other of the plant-animal worlds that reached the “human” level. I have space only to describe a single example, the most significant of these remarkable worlds. This was one in which all free atmosphere had been lost long before the appearance of intelligence.

To enter this world and experience it through the alien senses and alien temperament of its natives was an adventure in some ways more bewildering than any of our earlier explorations. Owing to the complete absence of atmosphere, the sky, even in full sunlight, was black with the blackness of interstellar space; and the stars blazed. Owing to the weakness of gravitation and the absence of the molding action of air and water and frost on the planet’s shrinking and wrinkled surface, the landscape was a mass of fold-mountains, primeval and extinct volcanoes, congealed floods and humps of lava, and craters left by the impact of giant meteors. None of these features had ever been much smoothed by atmospheric and glacial influences. Further, the ever-changing stresses of the planet’s crust had shattered many of the mountains into the fantastic forms of ice-bergs. On our own earth, where gravity, that tireless hound, pulls down its quarry with so much greater strength, these slender, top-heavy crags and pinnacles could never have stood. Owing to the absence of atmosphere the exposed surfaces of the rock were blindingly illuminated; the crevasses and all the shadows were black as night.

Many of the valleys had been turned into reservoirs, seemingly of milk; for the surfaces of these lakes were covered with a deep layer of a white glutinous substance, to prevent loss by evaporation. Round about clustered the roots of the strange people of this world, like tree-stumps where a forest has been felled and cleared. Each stump was sealed with the white glue. Every stretch of soil was in use; and we learned that, though some of this soil was the natural result of past ages of action by air and water, most was artificial. It had been manufactured by great mining and pulverizing processes. In primitive times, and indeed throughout all “prehuman” evolution, the competitive struggle for a share of the rare soil of this world of rock had been one of the main spurs to intelligence.

The mobile plant men themselves were to be seen by day clustered in the valleys, their foliage spread to the sun. Only by night did we observe them in action, moving over the bare rock or busy with machines and other artificial objects, instruments of their civilization. There were no buildings, no roofed weatherproof enclosures; for there was no weather. But the plateaux and terraces of the rock were crowded with all manner of artifacts unintelligible to us.

The typical plant man was an erect organism, like ourselves. On his head he bore a vast crest of green plumes, which could be either folded together in the form of a huge, tight, cos lettuce, or spread out to catch the light. Three many-faceted eyes looked out from under the crest. Beneath these were three arm-like manipulatory limbs, green and serpentine, branching at their extremities. The slender trunk, pliable, encased in hard rings which slid into one another as the body bowed, was divided into three legs for locomotion. Two of the three feet were also mouths, which could either draw sap from the root or devour foreign matter. The third was an organ of excretion. The precious excrement was never wasted, but passed through a special junction between the third foot and the root. The feet contained taste-organs, and also ears. Since there was no air, sound was not propagated above ground.

By day the life of these strange beings was mainly vegetable, by night animal. Every morning, after the long and frigid night, the whole population swarmed to its rooty dormitories. Each individual sought out his own root, fixed himself to it, and stood throughout the torrid day, with leaves outspread. Till sunset he slept, not in a dreamless sleep, but in a sort of trance, the meditative and mystical quality of which was to prove in future ages a well of peace for many worlds. While he slept, the currents of sap hastened up and down his trunk, carrying chemicals between roots and leaves, flooding him with a concentrated supply of oxygen, removing the products of past katabolism. When the sun had disappeared once more behind the crags, displaying for a moment a wisp of fiery prominences, he would wake, fold up his leaves, close the passages to his roots, detach himself, and go about the business of civilized life. Night in this world was brighter than moonlight with us, for the stars were unobscured, and several great clusters hung in the night sky. Artificial light, however, was used for delicate operations. Its chief disadvantage was that it tended to send the worker to sleep.

I must not try even to sketch the rich and alien social life of these beings. I will only say that here as elsewhere we found all the cultural themes known on earth, but that in this world of mobile plants all was transposed into a strange key, a perplexing mode. Here as elsewhere we found a population of individuals deeply concerned with the task of keeping themselves and their society in being. Here we found self-regard, hate, love, the passions of the mob, intellectual curiosity, and so on. And here, as in all the other worlds that we had thus far visited, we found a race in the throes of the great spiritual crisis which was the crisis familiar to us in our own worlds, and formed the channel by which we had telepathic access to other worlds. But here the crisis had assumed a style different from any that we had yet encountered. We had, in fact, begun to extend our powers of imaginative exploration.

Leaving all else unnoticed, I must try to describe this crisis, for it is significant for the understanding of matters which reached far beyond this little world.

We did not begin to have insight into the drama of this race till we had learned to appreciate the mental aspect of its dual, animal-vegetable nature. Briefly, the mentality of the plant men in every age was an expression of the varying tension between the two sides of their nature, between the active, assertive, objectively inquisitive, and morally positive animal nature and the passive, subjectively contemplative, and devoutly acquiescent vegetable nature. It was of course through animal prowess and practical human intelligence that the species had long ago come to dominate its world. But at all times this practical will had been tempered and enriched by a kind of experience which among men is very rare. Every day, throughout the ages, these beings had surrendered their feverish animal nature not merely to unconscious or dream-racked sleep, such as animals know, but to the special kind of awareness which (we learned) belongs to plants. Spreading their leaves, they had absorbed directly the essential elixir of life which animals receive only at second hand in the mangled flesh of their prey. Thus they seemingly maintained immediate physical contact with the source of all cosmical being. And this state, though physical, was also in some sense spiritual. It had a far-reaching effect on all their conduct. If theological language were acceptable, it might well be called a spiritual contact with God. During the busy night-time they went about their affairs as insulated individuals, having no present immediate experience of their underlying unity; but normally they were always preserved from the worst excesses of individualism by memory of their day-time life.

It took us long to understand that their peculiar day-time state did not consist simply in being united as a group mind, whether of tribe or race. Theirs was not the condition of the avian units in the bird-cloud, nor yet of the telepathically constituted world-minds which, as we were later to discover, had a very great part to play in galactic history. The plant man did not in his daytime life come into possession of the precepts and thoughts of his fellow plant men, and thereby waken into a more comprehensive and discriminate awareness of the environment and of the multiple body of the race. On the contrary, he became completely unresponsive to all objective conditions save the flood of sunlight drenching his spread leaves. And this experience afforded him an enduring ecstasy whose quality was almost sexual, an ecstasy in which subject and object seemed to become identical, an ecstasy of subjective union with the obscure source of all finite being. In this state the plant man could meditate upon his active, night-time life, and could become aware, far more clearly than by night, of the intricacies of his own motives. In this day-time mode he passed no moral judgments on himself or others. He mentally reviewed every kind of human conduct with detached contemplative joy, as a factor in the universe. But when night came again, bringing the active nocturnal mood, the calm, day-time insight into himself and others was lit with a fire of moral praise and censure.

Now throughout the career of this race there had been a certain tension between the two basic impulses of its nature. All its finest cultural achievements had been made in times when both had been vigorous and neither predominant. But, as in so many other worlds, the development of natural science and the production of mechanical power from tropical sunlight caused grave mental confusion. The manufacture of innumerable aids to comfort and luxury, the spread of electric railways over the whole world, the development of radio communication, the study of astronomy and mechanistic biochemistry, the urgent demands of war and social revolution, all these influences strengthened the active mentality and weakened the contemplative. The climax came when it was found possible to do away with the day-time sleep altogether. The products of artificial photosynthesis could be rapidly injected into the living body every morning, so that the plant man could spend practically the whole day in active work. Very soon the roots of the peoples were being dug up and used as raw material in manufacture. They were no longer needed for their natural purpose.

I must not spend time in describing the hideous plight into which this world now fell. Seemingly, artificial photosynthesis, though it could keep the body vigorous, failed to produce some essential vitamin of the spirit. A disease of robotism, of purely mechanical living, spread throughout the population. There was of course a fever of industrial activity. The plant men careered round their planet in all kinds of mechanically propelled vehicles, decorated themselves with the latest synthetic products, tapped the central volcanic heat for power, expended great ingenuity in destroying one another, and in a thousand other feverish pursuits pushed on in search of a bliss which ever eluded them.

After untold distresses they began to realize that their whole way of life was alien to their essential plant nature. Leaders and prophets dared to inveigh against mechanization and against the prevalent intellectualistic scientific culture, and against artificial photosynthesis. By now nearly all the roots of the race had been destroyed; but presently biological science was turned to the task of generating, from the few remaining specimens, new roots for all. Little by little the whole population was able to return to natural photosynthesis. The industrial life of the world vanished like frost in sunlight. In returning to the old alternating life of animal and vegetable, the plant men, jaded and deranged by the long fever of industrialism, found in their calm day-time experience an overwhelming joy. The misery of their recent life intensified by contrast the ecstasy of the vegetal experience. The intellectual acuity that their brightest minds had acquired in scientific analysis combined with the special quality of their revived plant life to give their whole experience a new lucidity. For a brief period they reached a plane of spiritual lucidity which was to be an example and a treasure for the future aeons of the galaxy.

But even the most spiritual life has its temptations. The extravagant fever of industrialism and intellectualism had so subtly poisoned the plant men that when at last they rebelled against it they swung too far, falling into the snare of a vegetal life as one-sided as the old animal life had been. Little by little they gave less and less energy and time to “animal” pursuits, until at last their nights as well as their days were spent wholly as trees, and the active, exploring, manipulating, animal intelligence died in them forever.

For a while the race lived on in an increasingly vague and confused ecstacy of passive union with the universal source of being. So well established and automatic was the age-old biological mechanism for preserving the planet’s vital gases in solution that it continued long to function without attention. But industrialism had increased the world population beyond the limits within which the small supply of water and gases could easily fulfil its function. The circulation of material was dangerously rapid. In time the mechanism was overstrained. Leakages began to appear, and no one repaired them. Little by little the precious water and other volatile substances escaped from the planet. Little by little the reservoirs ran dry, the spongy roots were parched, the leaves withered. One by one the blissful and no longer human inhabitants of that world passed from ecstasy to sickness, despondency, uncomprehending bewilderment, and on to death.

But, as I shall tell, their achievement was not without effect on the life of our galaxy. “Vegetable humanities,” if I may so call them, proved to be rather uncommon occurrences. Some of them inhabited worlds of a very curious kind which I have not yet mentioned. As is well known, a small planet close to its sun tends, through the sun’s tidal action upon it, to lose its rotation. Its days become longer and longer, till at last it presents one face constantly toward its luminary. Not a few planets of this type, up and down the galaxy, were inhabited; and several of them by “vegetable humanities.”

All these “non-diurnal” worlds were very inhospitable to life, for one hemisphere was always extravagantly hot, the other extravagantly cold. The illuminated face might reach the temperature of molten lead; on the dark face, however, no substances could retain the liquid state, for the temperature would remain but a degree or two above absolute zero. Between the two hemispheres there would lie a narrow belt, or rather a mere ribbon, which might be called temperate. Here the immense and incendiary sun was always partly hidden by the horizon. Along the cooler side of this ribbon, hidden from the murderous rays of the sun’s actual disc, but illuminated by his corona, and warmed by the conduction of heat from the sunward ground, life was not invariably impossible.

Inhabited worlds of this kind had always reached a fairly high stage of biological evolution long before they had lost their diurnal rotation. As the day lengthened, life was forced to adapt itself to more extreme temperatures of day and night. The poles of these planets, if not too much inclined toward the ecliptic, remained at a fairly constant temperature, and were therefore citadels whence the living forms ventured into less hospitable regions. Many species managed to spread toward the equator by the simple method of burying themselves and “hibernating” through the day and the night, emerging only for dawn and sunset to lead a furiously active life. As the days lengthened into months, some species, adapted for swift locomotion, simply trekked round the planet, following the sunset and the dawn. Strange it was to see the equatorial and most agile of these species sweeping over the plains in the level sunlight. Their legs were often as tall and slender as a ship’s masts. Now and then they would swerve, with long necks extended to snatch some scurrying creature or pluck some bunch of foliage. Such constant and rapid migration would have been impossible in worlds less rich in solar energy.

Human intelligence seems never to have been attained in any of these worlds unless it had been attained already before night and day became excessively long, and the difference of their temperatures excessively great. In worlds where plant men or other creatures had achieved civilization and science before rotation had become seriously retarded, great efforts were made to cope with the increasing harshness of the environment. Sometimes civilization merely retreated to the poles, abandoning the rest of the planet. Sometimes subterranean settlements were established in other regions, the inhabitants issuing only at dawn and sunset to cultivate the land. Sometimes a system of railways along the parallels of latitude carried a migratory population from one agricultural center to another, following the twilight.

Finally, however, when rotation had been entirely lost, a settled civilization would be crowded along the whole length of the stationary girdle between night and day. By this time, if not before, the atmosphere would have been lost also. It can well be imagined that a race struggling to survive in these literally straightened circumstances would not be able to maintain any richness and delicacy of mental life.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"FOOTNOTES ON GLEN BARRY/EDWARD ABBEY & CARL SAGAN/IMMANUEL VELIKOVSKY", JEFF PHILLIPS









































NOTE FROM JEFF: What follows is a two-part follow-up to recent postings on my e-group, motivated by responses from three friends for whose acumen I am grateful. Please check it out, as these are important qualifications to the articles I posted.

1) GLEN BARRY INTERVIEW, founder, ECOLOGICAL INTERNET

http://www.ecologicalinternet.org/

I have to thank our great friend John Garlick of Auckland NZ for pointing this out to me. As I sometimes do, I posted this interview without having read it in its entirety. I first heard of Barry only a few weeks ago through Jean Hudon's newsletter, and learned of his internet activism which supposedly had been instrumental in shutting down Gunns Timber in Tasmania, or at least in getting them to stop old-growth logging there.

John sent this email:

"Jeff

I believe this is a highly dangerous proposal which could get out of control!

Glen Barry wrote:
'I firmly believe that on a personal level—without asking anyone to do anything illegal—that it may well come to a period where a cell-based structure that carried out sabotage and very carefully-conceived insurgency activity against the equipment and people destroying the Earth, may well be the one and only means that we have to stop what are such insurmountable trends destroying the Earth.' "

I replied to John that I agreed with him and that I hadn't read far enough in the Barry interview to see this statement. Thanks again, John!

Here are my thoughts on all this: Barry seemed to be taking credit for "ending" old-growth logging by Gunns in Tasmania, which for years has been one of the grossest of environmental catastrophes sponsored by corrupt politicians in all of Australia. But when I thought back on my early years in Tas, meeting many activists there, they told me that the permits for old-growth logging actually ended in 2010, and that Gunns was pushing to take as much as possible before then. So, if this is in fact the case, Gunns would have had to quit this year anyway, and so this apparent move to "voluntarily" stop is really just a "pr" maneuver to enhance their dismal public image.

More importantly, in this quote from the interview, Barry is more or less inviting people to become what is actually the New World Order's textbook definition of the "terrorists" that they have vaulted to the status of "Global Enemy Number One." Think about it.

In 1968 American author Edward Abbey published what is to this day one of my favouite books of all-time, Desert Solitaire, a collection of essays based on journals he kept as a park ranger in Arches National Park in Utah. In this book he formulated the origin of what later became known as "monkey-wrenching", whereby environmental activists or whomever would do things to obstruct the commercial destruction of the environment, like cutting down bill-boards with a chain-saw or putting sand in the gas-tank of a bulldozer. This was, to me, an acceptable response; even though it did involve the illegal destruction of "private property", it was more symbolic than anything.

What Barry is advocating is decidedly NOT "monkey-wrenching." Because of his choice of words like "cells", "sabotage" and "insurgency" what he is doing is recommending that people actually BECOME the textbook definition of the "terrorists" that the NWO is so keen on ridding us of through any means possible.

What I see at work here could in fact be the CIA. The way they work is to "infiltrate" a country, government, environmental organization, etc. with someone who pretends to be a "leader of the cause"; these people draw to them unwitting supporters who believe in "the cause", whether it be "fundamentalist Islam rights" or "protecting the Earth." These unwitting do-gooders then BECOME exactly what the "anti-terrorism" NWO police-state junkies want: REAL 'TERRORISTS.' Then, with "real terrorists" out there, the NWO can then justify whatever means they wish to employ to "protect" us all from them.

Even further, Barry is also using the internet for all this, which adds another dimension: the NWO-controlled Pentagon has long targeted the internet for "cyber-warfare." For someone advocating "terrorist cells", "sabotage" and "insurgency" on-line, this gives the police-state crowd yet more "justification" to clamp down on the internet.

Are you following me here?

Finally, and most ridiculously, Barry is targeting the "the equipment and people destroying the Earth." But who, in fact, is that? What conscious and intelligent person can stand there pointing a finger at some "evil them" when the reality is that it's US all together who are making it all possible. We ALL contribute to supporting the corporations and military-industrial complex everytime we pay Federal income tax, buy petrol, use electricity from the grid, consume commercially manufactured products, take a pill or use a mobile phone.

All I can say is "be aware" of this person.

2) "CARL SAGAN AND THE ULTIMATE TECHNOLOGY"

Last week I posted an article I wrote about the astronomer Carl Sagan, who I had admired for his "cosmic vision" and goal of inspiring people to be aware of the uniqueness and fragility of life on our "pale blue dot", Earth. I was aware that Sagan had been an outspoken critic of Immanuel Velikovsky, a well-known Russian psychoanalyst who, like Carl Jung, had been a student of Sigmund Freud, and had moved on to do some extremely ground-breaking research into the history of the Earth and the local solar system.

In response to two emails, one from Michael Armstrong of Mikamar Publishing ( http://www.mikamar.biz/Default.htm ), whom I thank for alerting me to this BUT whose email I will not reproduce because he completely berated both Sagan and myself, accusing Sagan of the worst forms of evil and me of being "self-aggrandizing" and an "Earth worshipper." Armstrong is a big fan of Velikovsky, as you might guess.

The second email was from Jon Eisen, publisher of Uncensored magazine in Auckland

http://uncensored.co.nz/

(see a new article "Former CIA Officials Admit Faking Bin Laden Video")

http://uncensored.co.nz/2010/11/17/former-cia-officials-admit-to-faking-bin-laden-video/

Eisen alerted me to the fact that Sagan went to the trouble of lobbying the publisher of Velikovsky's books to stop publishing them...successfully!

I had no idea of this! Below are two reviews of a book Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky...the basic scenario is explained.

SO pitiful and ironic that a HUGE public figure like Sagan, advocating "scientific" thought and the "search for truth" could be so arrogant and stupid, even as he praised the importance of "imagination." In his Cosmos series, Sagan even goes into great detail on how the great library at Alexandria had been burned by the barbarous invaders, and how hundreds of thousands of unique scientific texts had been lost forever. Sagan even details the story of a lone women scientist who was burned to death for daring to stick to the quest for "truth."

Velikovsky's insights may in the long run prove to be FAR more valuabe than anything Sagan contributed, especially concerning his "mankind in amnesia" theory that may in fact explain why humanity as a whole acts like a traumatized psychiatric patient in our refusal to act on the best knowledge we already have.

To read more of what I have to say about this, check out

"Carl Sagan and the Nuclear Scenario: A Cosmic Perspective on Terrestrial Problems"

http://synthaissance.blogspot.com/2006_07_16_archive.html

http://www.velikovsky.info/Carl_Sagan_and_Immanuel_Velikovsky

Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky is a book (1995) by Charles Ginenthal, who gives his views on Carl Sagan's criticisms of Velikovsky's work. Ginenthal states:

"Dr. Carl Sagan, a professor of astronomy from Cornell University, a well known public personality and writer of popular books of science, in 1974 at a symposium of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) delivered a paper, "An Analysis of Worlds in Collision". This paper was later edited and presented in a book, Scientists Confront Velikovsky, published by Cornell University Press. The paper was further edited and presented in Sagan's book Broca's Brain, under the title "Venus and Dr. Velikovsky". Sagan's paper is a critique of Immanuel Velikovsky's book Worlds in Collision.
"Having read Velikovsky, I also read Sagan's paper; I thereafter discovered that a group of scientists and scholars had written critiques of Sagan's analysis. After reading these criticisms I began a search of the literature and over a period of time I became convinced that Sagan's critique lacked substance. Most surprising was the number of statements made by Sagan that proved to be clearly untrue. Further reading reinforced this discovery of the glaringly unscientific and unscholarly quality of Sagan's paper. What was much worse, was that it was difficult to imagine that even Sagan was unaware of the misrepresentation of evidence presented as scholarly criticism by him and offered to the public."
"[..] the realization struck that Carl Sagan's criticisms had been uncritically read by a wide audience. This was soon discovered to be the case among friends and relatives. Seemingly, they had all read Sagan's side, but not Velikovsky's. With little or no scientific background with which to judge, they had accepted Sagan's word on all matters. It was then that I conceived the idea for this book. It is hoped that reading the other side will permit laymen to clarify the issues."[1]
http://www.revish.com/reviews/1561840750/MauriceAWilliams/

Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky
by Charles Ginenthal

The dark side of scientific debate

Charles Ginenthal in his “Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky” tried to correct the unfair treatment of Velikovsky by his contemporaries. Ginenthal points out that Velikovsky predicted many never-before-proposed phenomena about The Solar System (like Venus was very hot at a time when the Venus was considered by main stream scientists to be a planet similar to Earth but possessing a heavy cloud cover). Mainstream scientists scoffed at Velikovsky’s predictions and ridiculed him for proposing them. Later, when space probes explored The Solar System, many of Velikovsky’ predictions proved true. In an unbiased way, Ginenthal clarifies much of what Velikovsky proposed.

Immanuel Velikovsky rocked the scientific community in 1950 with the publication of his Worlds in Collision. In that book, he claimed that Venus suddenly appeared in The Solar System dragging a long atmospheric plume along with it and nearly collided with Earth and later with Mars. Because of the atmospheric plume, Velikovsky considered Venus a comet (the word “comet” originally meant having a hairy tail). By profession a renowned psychiatrist, Velikovsky was also keenly interested and well read in many fields. His study of ancient civilizations brought him to the conclusion that some of the irrational myths of early civilizations might not be irrational after all. They might be based on first-hand observation of cataclysmic events no longer occurring, especially the almost universal myths among early civilizations that the planets were gods, had battled in the heavens, and had influenced the destinies of these early cultures. Worlds in Collision was followed by Ages in Chaos in which Velikovsky claimed that the accepted dates for Egyptian history and Biblical history are out of sequence by several hundred years.

Sixty years ago, The Solar System was compared to a perfect watch. The positions of the planets were considered stable and secure and had been that way for many millennia. Worlds in Collision changed public opinion about the stability of the Solar System when it became a best seller almost as soon as it was published. Velikovsky proposed that, during historical times, with humans as witnesses, Venus was ejected from Jupiter, nearly collided with the Earth, then nearly collided with Mars, thereby causing Mars to nearly collide with the Earth.

Influential members of the scientific community immediately and prejudicially rejected Velikovsky’s thesis and went out of their way to ostracize him and refute his claims by any means possible, even dishonesty. Open-minded younger, not yet established, scientists rallied behind Velikovsky and fueled a scientific debate that lasted for decades. Disillusioned, Velikovsky desperately tried to defend his position and tried to explain how he came to his conclusions. Finally, drawing on his professional training, this eminent psychiatrist wrote Mankind in Amnesia, proposing that mankind witnessed terrifying and traumatic experiences, the significance of which subsequent generations repressed into their subconscious by redefining them as myths and legends.

Velikovsky died in 1979, still vilified and ridiculed by some very prominent members of the scientific community like Carl Sagan. Velikovsky has been given very little credit by later scientists who wound up making similar observations as Velikovsky, like the Egyptologist David M. Rohl, who proposed that the accepted dating of Egyptian and Biblical history is off by a couple hundred years in his “Pharaohs and Kings: a Biblical Quest,” published in 1995 or like D.S. Allan and J. B. Delair who, in their “Cataclysm! Compelling Evidence of a Cosmic Catastrophe in 9500 B.C.,” proposed that the solar system was disrupted by a huge planet-sized body that entered the solar system from outer space, disrupting the orbits the outermost planets, destroying the planet Electra (now the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars), disrupting Mars, Earth, our moon, and Venus, before plunging into the Sun. These scientists cite many of the documents cited by Velikovsky, plus, as they say, much new evidence that came to light. Yet they give Velikovsky only minimal mention and they give him no credit at all for having been the first to propose that events like these had, indeed, happened.

How sad for Velikovsky to be denied recognition for his contribution to our understanding, even after he is dead. Ginenthal’s “Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky” is a much needed book, not only to set the record straight, but also to show how even the best educated people can let their presumptions overshadow their scholarship. Reading “Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky” will be time well spent.

Maurice A. Williams
http://www.mauriceawilliams.com

FOOTNOTE FROM JEFF:
Here is a very interesting response from Richard K. Moore, author and independent researcher ( www.cyberjournal.org ) Apparently Richard knows Glen Barry and believes him to be a very passionate, even emotional "Earth-saving" person, and probably not a CIA-asset (not knowingly, anyway). So this is cool. And Richard once heard Immanuel Velikovsky speak, which is cool as well.

Glen...[he's in my e-group, too!] Keep up the good work bro BUT...here's what I think: since it's US...that's humanity collectively...who's doing the damage, there is no "them" at whom we can point a finger. More "violence" is just that: more violence.

The way I see it is that if we EACH voluntarily simplified our lives in the material dimension, for example, by reducing the amount we drive, the amount of meat we eat, the amount of energy we use, and avoid health-destroying technologies like mobile phones, television, pharmaceutical drugs, food additives and pesticides, the summation of a widespread simplification done collectively yet by individuals, would have enormous consequences in terms of reducing the ecological impact of the human process, which is literally an unconscious jihad akin to "world war three."

We also have been blessed with "the ultimate technology", our minds/brains, and if we could simply learn how to use it as it's meant to be used, we could very easily literally "reprogram our biocomputers", to paraphrase John Lilly, so that we could perceive reality in entirely new, more creative, less destructive ways. WE HAVE THESE ABILITIES...but why we refuse to use them is the crux of the problem.

Start by loving the Earth and showing her you love her by changing destructive patterns in your day to day life; then show you love yourself by using your mind/brain in ways that reflect a genuine respect for life, our fellow beings, and the Earth.

Jeff Phillips
Balingup WA


FROM RICHARD K. MOORE:

Finally, and most ridiculously, Barry is targeting the "the equipment and people destroying the Earth." But who, in fact, is that? What conscious and intelligent person can stand there pointing a finger at some "evil them" when the reality is that it's US all together who are making it all possible. We ALL contribute to supporting the corporations and military-industrial complex everytime we pay Federal income tax, buy petrol, use electricity from the grid, consume commercially manufactured products, take a pill or use a mobile phone.

Hi Jeff,

Interesting points you make. I've spent time with Barry, and he's emotionally caught up in 'saving the Earth'. He actually started crying when he was talking about how the Earth is getting destroyed. I don't blame him at all, but most people aren't quite that emotional about it. So I'd say we're seeing a sincere activist speaking, who is getting desperate in his hopelessness, rather than a CIA covert op.

And yes, his words would go over quite well in a Congressional hearing about closing down the Internet.

There's a scene in Grapes of Wrath that is relevant. A farmer is being evicted, and a fellow is driving a bulldozer, about to demolish the farmer's house. The farmer confronts him (ie, 'equipment and people destroying the Earth') with a shot gun. The driver explains he's just another bloke, needing a job, and someone else would come if the farmer shoots him. A classic scenario.

I really enjoyed The Monkey Wrench Gang, by the way.
Velikovsky died in 1979, still vilified and ridiculed by some very prominent members of the scientific community like Carl Sagan.Velikovsky has been given very little credit by later scientists who wound up making similar observations as Velikovsky, like the Egyptologist David M. Rohl, who proposed that the accepted dating of Egyptian and Biblical history is off by a couple hundred years in his “Pharaohs and Kings: a Biblical Quest,” published in 1995 or like D.S. Allan and J. B. Delair who, in their “Cataclysm! Compelling Evidence of a Cosmic Catastrophe in 9500 B.C.,” proposed that the solar system was disrupted by a huge planet-sized body that entered the solar system from outer space, disrupting the orbits the outermost planets, destroying the planet Electra (now the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars), disrupting Mars, Earth, our moon, and Venus, before plunging into the Sun. These scientists cite many of the documents cited by Velikovsky, plus, as they say, much new evidence that came to light. Yet they give Velikovsky only minimal mention and they give him no credit at all for having been the first to propose that events like these had, indeed, happened.
Velikovsky was cool. I went to a lecture by him, just before he died, and I read most of his books. The response of the scientific community to Velikovsky is shameful in the extreme, and it is also the standard response to anyone who challenges mainstream models, particularly if thy are perceived as amateurs.

It is also shameful that the critics focus on Worlds In Collision, his first book in a series, which was by far the least rigorous and most easily attacked. A 'cheap shot' as we used to say. They never talk about Ages in Chaos, which is much more scientific.

ciao,
rkm

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

"CARL SAGAN & THE ULTIMATE TECHNOLOGY" JEFF PHILLIPS





























"The hard-core reality few people want to face is that the current 'mental operating environment' that defines 'reality' for most of us is hopelessly out-dated and dysfunctional. We have literally 'turned on ourselves' because of it. Only when we look within and begin to understand our own limitations...and therefore our own potential...as conscious creative intelligences...can we begin to 'solve' the human-side of the equation which now appears to be 'insoluble.' We have the ability to 'reprogram' our entire way of looking at things; why we refuse to is the problem. We MUST make this effort, collectively yet at the individual level, before Mother Nature decides not to renew the contract on 'man, the really wise.' "

Greetings from the “third stone from the sun” here in an outer arm of the Milky Way galaxy. Known as “Earth” to some of her inhabitants, and resembling a “pale blue dot” as approached from the outer limits of her star system, she is recognized as a unique gem by sentient beings within a radius of several parsecs, not for her hydrocarbon or mineral wealth, but for her amazing diversity of life.

Home of myriad forms of life based on a complex macro-molecule known as DNA and water, over 70% of her surface area is covered with this unique living substance and teems with ever-changing expressions of improbable creativity. The special qualities of her atmosphere and the ubiquity of water have enabled life-forms to inhabit every possible ecological niche of the planet.

At this point in her spatio-temporal continuum, however, Earth is experiencing an unprecedented form of planetary warfare in which one species of life, an upright bipedal hominid referring to itself as “man, the really wise” has undergone continuous psychic mutation to such a degree that now he has created not only technologies designed to mutate himself even further psychically, but to extend the scope and goals of his species dementia not only over the entire surface of the planet, but also to project his megalomaniacal hallucinations upon the screen of interplanetary space. “Man, the really wise”, believing himself to be “president of the galaxy”, is bent on self-annihilation through the abuse of his most advanced forms of technology, and is currently in the process of destroying every eco-system and transforming “his” planet into a electro-mechanical wasteland devoid of life-as-she-currently-exists.

In what is referred to as the “late-20th century” in local chronological colloquialism, a specimen of “man, the really wise” rose within the ranks of human science, and, through his singular awareness of the cosmic beauty, uniqueness and fragility of life on his planet, was able, for a brief moment, capture the imagination of his fellow beings and share with them his vision, and his grave concern, for the future of life on the Earth.

This man's name was Carl Sagan, and today, 9 November, his birthday, has been declared as “Carl Sagan Day” around the world. Originally a scientist specializing in planetary atmospheres, he was involved in designing experiments for several probes to other planets; but he is best known for his advocacy of what was called the “search for extra-terrestrial intelligence”, or S.E.T.I. The underlying belief here was that if “technological civilizations” existed “out there”, they would surely be detectable, if not candidates for communication, as they would surely be using electronic technology based on radio waves, just like we do.

Sagan was a member of Project Ozma, a group of leading-edge minds, including Dr. Bernard Oliver, founder of Hewlett-Packard, and Dr. Philip Morrison, theoretical physicist, who convened in the early 1960's to speculate on the probabilities, ways, means and effects of “contact.” Sagan worked closely with Dr. Frank Drake to come up the “Drake equation”, a mathematical estimate of the number of “technological civilizations” one might be expected to encounter, and to design the “Arecibo message”, an “extraterrestrial calling-card” using binary digits to encode a range of information on who we are, our scale, form, chemistry, physics, our location and how we think. This message was transmitted from the Arecibo radio-telescope dish in 1974 towards a location in the constellation Hercules, which is the direction that our solar system is moving towards. Sagan was also a key designer of the plaque and “time capsule” installed on the Voyager space-probe, as it was destined to be the first artifact of human technology to leave the solar system. Back then this seemed important, somehow. Sagan probably knew or at least met Dr. Roger Payne, leading cetacean researcher and the first to refer to humpback whale vocalizations as “songs.” Some of Payne's early whale recordings were included in the Voyager catalogue.

Interestingly, a lone biological researcher stood out at the Project Ozma conference, a highly independent scientist of Einsteinian proportion named Dr. John C. Lilly. Lilly had been drawn to study dolphins because of his...and that of mainstream academic science as well...belief that a profound if not mysterious connection existed between the quality of one's consciousness and the quality of one's neurobiological hardware. The dolphins not only had a neurobiology far in advance of ours, but they'd had it for far longer than we had while living on the same planet as us, but in the sea, not on land. Lilly accurately termed them a true “extra-terrestrial” intelligence, meaning “not from on land”, and his approach as an Ozma participant was to try to learn how to communicate with the dolphins. His reasoning: if we couldn't even learn to respect as fellow beings, much less “communicate” with, someone who was already among us, or, rather, on whose planet we have come to exist, what possible chance did we have for “communicating” with, much less “understanding” or even recognizing, an “extra-terrestrial” intelligence from another planet or star-system.

i know that Sagan and Lilly knew each other to a degree, and each was influential on the thinking of the other in many ways. While Lilly was exploring his own mind, coming out with books like The Mind of the Dolphin and The Center of the Cyclone, and working on ways to apply the newly-emerging generation of computer technology towards inter-species communication, Sagan was hard at work lobbying for S.E.T.I. funding, writing his science-fiction novel Contact, upon which the film was based, moving towards Lilly's 'territory' of the mind/brain with books like The Dragons of Eden and Broca's Brain, and producing the award-winning and astronomically popular television series Cosmos, airing in 1980, and which was a testament not only to Sagan's cosmic enthusiasm but also the public's love of the universe! Both Lilly and Sagan commanded their own share of the public imagination, through their writings and media projects; each of them as well was highly respected in the mainstream scientific community and published hundreds of articles in peer-reviewed journals. Lilly was also the inspiration for two “Hollywood-ized” versions of his work, Altered States and Day of the Dolphin.

Lilly was a somewhat more controversial figure because of his inner exploration work using LSD and the isolation tank; Sagan, on the other hand, was more accessible and mainstream as “media scientist”, and even became a member of the highly influential Council on Foreign Relations. Lilly was highly critical of the military-industrial complex and their henchmen, the CIA, who had tried unsuccessfully to recruit him in the 1960's. Lilly was able to maintain his independence, and to avoid having his research classified as military secrets; Sagan, on the other hand, teamed up with the establishment at the highest possible level, I believe, with the intention of helping to prevent the destruction of life as we know it on the Earth by our own actions.

Carl Sagan and John Lilly, each of whom I had the honour to meet, were both driven by the highest motivations a scientist could have, those not only of sharing their awareness of the awesomeness of life on the Earth, and of the singular uniqueness of our planet in the vast expanse of the unknown, and the quest for “truth” or “reality”, both in inner and outer-space, but also of working to create awareness of the ways that human activity threatens the health of our planet, and what each of us, as caring and informed “planetary citizens”, could do about it.

Both of these minds have been a great inspiration to me, and my current work as artist/writer/musician/film-maker, “investigative journalist” and information activist centers on the goals that Sagan and Lilly shared, not only as scientists but also as human beings.

They each believed that “contact” or “communication” with “someone else”, whether it be cetaceans or beings from another star-system or galaxy, might end the “long loneliness” that “man, the really wise” has created for himself, isolated as he is at his self-created pinnacle of “intelligence.” Interestingly, I don't think I've ever felt “alone” with so much life and natural beauty around!

In as much as I honour their intentions, to believe that “someone else”...whale or “alien”...is going to solve our problems for us makes for good public relations and is great for selling books...but in reality is a bit na├»ve to say the least. Moreover, both Sagan but especially Lilly, being among other things a psychiatrist with “light years” of inner exploration under his cortex, knew that the problem side of the equation with all this was the human side. The limitations are in US, not in the dolphins or the “aliens” who may or may not exist.

I always found Lilly's approach to be more “down to earth” as it were, more sound logically and scientifically, at any rate, as the dolphins are real, tangible beings, here and now available to interact with; plus, Lilly realized the necessity of inner work before understanding of “someone else” was even possible. Sagan's “technological civilizations”, on the other hand, have to this day failed to materialize or be discovered. Why? Now we come to the most relevant part of this whole story.

Sagan believed that the reason no “needle in a hay-stack” signals from E.T.I.'s have been detected is because there aren't any. His reasoning was that “technological civilizations” must evolve through a form of “global adolescence” and if they are unsuccessful at managing and controlling “forces of nature” that they may have attempted to harness or tamper with, like nuclear energy, well...just like Cheech and Chong, they're “up in smoke” and disappear off the screen of radio-based “intelligence.”

He believed that technological civilizations tended to have relatively brief life-spans because few, if any, had the insight or fortitude first to understand and control their own internal technologies BEFORE unleashing things like atomic energy or engaging in the global extraction and combustion of hydrocarbon fuels, manufacturing and releasing tens of thousands of endocrine-disrupting chemicals into the environment, manipulating the genetic codes of living beings, “geo-engineering” their planet's climate, or conducting mind-control experiments on entire populations using Tesla-technology-based microwave transmitters like HAARP. If they'd bothered to master themselves first, then none of these things may have “needed” to be done!

Sagan correctly identified the nuclear scenario as the single biggest threat to life as we know her and in the last decade of his life became not only a highly outspoken anti-nuclear activist, lobbying governments for the dismantling of the ever-expanding nuclear arsenal, but also co-authoring a series of scientific articles on what came to be known as the “nuclear winter” effect in which the entire Earth would be thrown into a literal 'dark age' in which the sun would become obscured from all the smoke and dust in the after-math of a nuclear war. Not only were these papers highly influential in the scientific community, Sagan also demonstrated in person against nuclear weapons at the Nevada Test Site hundreds of times, and it is my belief that because of his repeated exposure to ionizing radiation there, he contracted the rare form of leukemia which finally killed him in 1996. His last words were that he hoped humanity could someday learn to live by “reason.”

John Lilly, more than Sagan, was acutely aware that the cetaceans are, in fact, a form of intelligence far beyond us, and that the whales and dolphins are so perfectly adapted to living on the Earth and so in balance in every way, that they never had any need or motivation to develop any form of external technology whatsoever. Not only that, they didn't even bother with hands! Their “intelligence” is primarily a spiritual, creative and social intelligence utilizing their “internal technologies” in ways incomprehensible to us, and focusing on being in touch with the Earth, each other, and the consciousness of water, truly the “mother of life” as we know her, as if they are in many ways what I call “the ultimate indigenous people.”

Lilly and Sagan were in full agreement, however, on the fact that nuclear weapons specifically, and the military-industrial complex in general, were the biggest threats to life on the Earth. Lilly's apocalyptic vision, conveyed in his “novel auto-biography” The Scientist, described the development of ever-more-powerful electronic computers which were part of an alien “intelligence” he called the “solid-state entity” which at this stage was using us to create itself and whose ultimate goal was to rid the Earth of water-based life, possibly through its eventual control of nuclear weapons.

Sagan's eschatology was more of the “big bang” school in which an all-out nuclear exchange between rival super-powers, “launched on warning” a la Dr. Strangelove or “accidentally” from...yes, a computer malfunction...would essentially destroy global civilization, plunge the entire planet into a turgid “nuclear winter”, and cause our genome to mutate, creating “new and horrifying varieties of human beings.”

I'm not sure if Sagan was aware that “nuclear war” had already been unleashed over the face of the Earth, not in the form of the spectacle of exploding war-heads, but in an invisible and much more insidious way, the dissemination of ionizing radiation in the forms not only of fall-out and residue from nuclear detonations and leakage from reactor sites, but even more diabolically, through the deliberate use of what are euphemistically referred to as “DU”, or “depleted uranium” weapons, manufactured from the highest levels of reactor wastes, and that the “new and horrifying varieties of human beings” were already being born every day in southern Iraq, a debacle that now dwarfs Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined in terms of destruction of human life.

Sagan may also have believed, just as Einstein did, that a 'world government' was surely the answer to the certain “self-destruct” of nuclear madness...but I doubt that he was aware that one of the primary agendas of the Council on Foreign Relations, for example, at whose round-table he had sat, was in fact the reduction of the world's population down to a few hundred million people, and that the use of “depleted uranium” and radiological warfare in general as biological weapons was in fact the implementation of strategies conceived by “think tanks” funded by such organizations themselves.

I have been highly educated and inspired by the minds and work of Carl Sagan and John C. Lilly, and in the spirit of what I perceive them to have been all about, I continue to share their vision of the singular uniqueness and beauty of life on this planet, of which we are a part, and to assist in the “solving” of the human side of the equation.

I differed with Sagan in that I believe that “intelligent life” is in fact all around us, or moreover, that ALL life is highly “intelligent” in its own ways. If “man, the really wise” was REALLY so “wise” then he'd realize that he needs to stop doing almost everything he's currently doing and get to know his own inner self, to come to understand the awesome power of our own creativity, of the truly “ultimate technology” which we and all living beings ARE.

And I differed from Lilly in that I don't believe it is right to keep dolphins in captivity...for whatever reason. The only legitimate way to work with or encounter them is either at sea, where they live, or possibly in specially-constructed places where they are free to come and go. Emphasis on FREE. NO ONE who is not free to come and go at will could be considered a candidate for true understanding or communication.

We don't need massive arrays of radio-telescopes to detect intelligent life; we also don't need to keep whales and dolphins captive in “research institutes” or “sea-quaria” for entertainment purposes, nor do we really need to “study” them, even with “non-lethal” methods. If YOU were a whale, would YOU want to be “studied”?

What we need to do is, in the words of my favourite musician on the planet, Ralph Towner, “leave those people alone” and get to know OURSELVES.

This is best done from out in nature, away from the noise, electromagnetic fields, and photochemical smog of civilization, where you can still feel the spirit of life and entrain your brain to the “music of the spheres.” Absorb and contemplate the beauty and power of undisrupted nature; quiet your inner tempest of “looking out for number one”, reverse the suction-polarity of your “getting what is mine” vortex; let star-light bathe your retina and realize that we all ARE one family of life on the only planet we know in the whole universe that has life.

Realize that human choice, decision-making, and activity is creating the wide spectrum of problems that threaten to extinguish life as we know her, and therefore that human choice and decision-making can STOP doing these things.

We don't have to be like the whales and give up having hands...but we COULD seriously cut back on inherently dangerous and unecological things we typically take for granted like, for example, what are literally light-years of needless driving and consumption of hydrocarbon fuels; eating the flesh of fellow beings who love and care for their young, experience fear, and don't want to be murdered for their meat; talking on mobile phones, which are actually microwave ovens placed next to your brain; and watching television, the “atomic bomb of the mind” originally developed as a form of electronic mass-brain-washing technology. And how many of us actually NEED a new 3000 square meter five-story holiday home?

And if we were EXTREMELY radical, we'd even consider “losing our faith” and stop worshiping the Molochs of money by insisting that every thing we do and exchange be defined in terms of a total hallucination created out of thin air by people whose goal is total domination of the world and enslavement of the human population? Whales don't use money...why do we have to? What ever happened to sharing and giving? Did these disappear along with real apple pie, “music” in music, silence in the wilderness camp-ground, and the ability to see the Milky Way from the northern hemisphere?

John Lilly thought that we needed the dolphins to tell us what the solutions are; Carl Sagan thought we needed to hear from a distant “technological civilization” that had miraculously survived its “adolescence” in order to “shock and awe” us into working together.

I differ from Lilly and Sagan here: I believe that if the “problem” is us, then the “answer” is us. Is this not, in fact, pure “reason” of the highest order? Is being in “contact” and “communicating” with EACH OTHER no longer a viable option? If we can't even find a way to do THIS, doesn't our obsession with “someone out there” become clear as the dementia that it truly is?

In honour of the highest “intelligence” I have been able to access, and in honour of life as we know her on this beautiful planet, I have worked for decades to make myself a vehicle of this intelligence and to live a life that reflects this intelligence and respect for life. This is why I am an artist* and networker, film-maker and activist; this is why I don't drive a car, own a house, use mobile phones or watch tv: because I can live healthily and productively without the necessity of owning these things. I have voluntarily simplified. We need some of these things, of course, to a degree, but in general we abuse the privilege of having them, and the summation of these abuses over billions of people constitutes a large part of the planetary destruction we are responsible for. We don't need dolphins or E.T.I.'s to tell us this.

The hard-core reality few people want to face is that the current “mental operating environment” that defines “reality” for most of us is hopelessly out-dated and dysfunctional. We have literally "turned on ourselves" because of it. Only when we look within and begin to understand our own limitations...and therefore our own potential...as conscious creative intelligences...can we begin to “solve” the human-side of the equation which now appears to be “insoluble.” We have the ability to “reprogram” our entire way of looking at things; why we refuse to is the problem. We MUST make this effort, collectively yet at the individual level, before Mother Nature decides not to renew the contract on “man, the really wise.”

"Don't be a soldier in World War Three...park your car and plant a tree...

Use the tube to educate...leave the plants to vegetate."

from Return of the Lorax, 1995

Signing off from the third stone...

JEFF PHILLIPS

NORTHAMPTON WA

9 NOVEMBER 2010

* Interestingly, Sagan thought that pictures would be the most likely way that an extra-terrestrial intelligence would encode information; and Lilly felt many times that whales were telepathically beaming pictures rich in information into his mind. Our art is, in fact, an expression of these orders of information transfer.

"The Ultimate Technology" Jeff Phillips

http://www.dolphinmatrix.com/Jeff/Ultimate.html

"Notes on My Connection with Arthur C. Clarke" Jeff Phillips

http://tutunui-wananga.blogspot.com/2009/09/notes-on-my-connection-with-arthur-c.html

"Who are the Cetaceans?" Jeff Phillips

http://tutunui-wananga.blogspot.com/2009/09/who-are-cetaceans-jeff-phillips.html

"Man and Dolphin" [article I wrote on behalf of Dr. John Lilly for Magical Blend magazine]

http://tutunui-wananga.blogspot.com/2009/08/man-and-dolphin-jeff-phillips.html