Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer and my guest today is Elizabeth Satorious. Elizabeth, I’ll just read your bio here. Dr. Elizabeth sitarist is an internationally known evolution biologist and futurist living in Spain, my orca to be specific. Her postdoctoral degree was at the American Museum of Natural History. She taught at MIT and the University of Massachusetts, contributed to the Nova horizon TV series. As a fellow of the World Business Academy, with an honorary chair in living economies, and an advisor to ethical markets. She convened international symposia on foundations of science in Hokkaido, and Kuala Lumpur. Her books include Earth Dance, living systems in evolution, which I’m reading at the moment. If those of you who have been listening to the show for a while, will probably be aware that from time to time, we talked about the fact that enlightenment or awakening is not just sort of intrinsically valuable for the person experiencing it. But that if it’s real and as significant as it’s cracked up to be, it’s got to have global implications or impact. And we’ve probably discussed the idea that all the things we see on the surface of life wars and famine, and, you know, various social changes and good things as well, are really just symptomatic of deeper shifts in collective consciousness. So one of the reasons I’m excited about interviewing Elizabeth is that she really brings an exciting perspective to this whole idea. And just as I was wondering how to introduce this, and just this morning, my friend Francis Bennett posted something on Facebook, which I thought was really to the point. He said, seeing the oneness of life is not an endpoint at all, but rather a beginning point. There are many wonderful and far reaching implications to seeing and knowing oneness that can potentially have many wonderful miraculous effects. socially, politically, ethically, economically, ecologically, artistically, culturally, educationally, technologically and diplomatically. The consciousness of unity of oneness can be and does need to be lived and expressed and manifested in the world. And when it is, it has the potential of transforming the Earth into an almost heavenly realm. If we live and move and have our being in the unity of oneness of life that includes absolutely everything and excludes absolutely nothing. And when this living in oneness happens more and more globally, crossing all the boundaries of religion and culture and politics and ideologies and social class systems, we will begin to see miracles of love that will transfigure and heal our suffering and broken planet. There can truly be a new heaven and new earth if we live from the heart of oneness. So Elizabeth, how’s that for a springboard to get you going?
Elisabet Sahtouris: I like it a lot. Yeah. As an as an evolution biologist. Well, as a biologist, I’m very aware that in nature, nothing is separate from anything else. Although Western science has tried to pretend that that is the case, it’s tried to pretend that we humans are separate from the rest of nature, that we can study it objectively. And it tends to see rabbits and habitats where I see rabbits hats. So I, I am a little bit different from most of the practitioners, mainstream science practitioners in that sense, that to me, it’s it’s perfectly obvious that it’s not about evolving species. It’s about evolving ecosystems and evolving planet in an evolving universe. And I also have a lot of difference with the basic story of science and AI. As you know, I’m very interested in how science is built on cultural assumptions. Which are there actually belief so the things that whoever founds a science find so obvious about the universe, that no one there’s no need for proving them? Because you cannot make theories in a vacuum. If you want to make a scientific theory it has to be a battle Nature about a cosmos. So you have to have some concept of what nature or a cosmos, whatever you’re calling it is. And those are the things that the founders of science find terribly obvious, right? So it’s kind of fun in a number of times when I have talked about a living universe and a living planet, a scientist will saunter up to me and with a sort of Wink, wink, say, loved your poetic metaphors, because if you use organic metaphors, they’re poetic, since we’ve all been taught in science to use mechanical metaphors for nature, loved your poetic metaphors. But of course, this isn’t really science, is it? And then I say, Oh, interesting. Why do you say that? And they say, Well, you can’t prove it. Can you say prove what said, You can’t prove this is a living universe or a living Earth? And I said, Oh, that’s very interesting. Can you tell me how you proved it was a nonliving universe or a nonliving? Earth? And for a moment, they’re taken aback? And then they flip right back and say, You don’t have to? And I say, why is that? They say, because it’s obvious. Enter the conversation goes, well, you know, it hasn’t been obvious to a lot of other human cultures. They say, Well, of course not. That’s because they’re pre scientific. You think I had to do something about that?
Rick Archer: You think that by this time, scientists would be leery of using the word obvious because the history of science is littered with revisions where something that was supposedly obvious became over was overturned. And we, and science tells us if we study anything, that that which we obviously perceive through our senses is not what’s really going on. So it’s funny that they still fall into that trap.
Elisabet Sahtouris: Yes, isn’t it? But I think that’s the failure of our education systems to teach systemic thinking, and how on earth can you teach oneness, without some sense of systemic thinking? big picture thinking.
Rick Archer: And if the teaching of oneness I would suggest is merely conceptual, there’s where you might have a problem, because really, the human nervous system is so constituted that it can, it can provide, it can allow actual experiential cognition of oneness. But if it remains on a sort of a conceptual level, then you know, you don’t really get that right down to it. And you’re not actually really doing science yet, because science requires both theory and experiential verification.
Elisabet Sahtouris: Yes, and obviously, fortunately, we can access oneness through the inner ways of knowing what we then have to communicate them in the inner ways of knowing we commune with the larger picture, I like to distinguish between the internet and the internet, the the communion, and the communication. And that I think that’s getting to be a very important issue. Now, as more and more young people are either coming in with the natural human trait of communing, or since it’s been kind of beaten out of us in our culture, to do that, on the grounds that it isn’t real. They have to otherwise they are learning it. And some of it some of its being learned through the internet and through technology such as iPhones.
Rick Archer: Yeah. And I also like to come back to the notion or maybe I haven’t really introduced it, that the human nervous system itself is a scientific instrument. It’s not what we usually think of as being one but it’s actually the one that you need to have in order to use any other scientific instrument, right? I mean, if you don’t have a nervous system and senses and a brain and so on, then you can’t use a microscope or a telescope. But, you know, the, the more ancient cultures, the Eastern in particular, and also many Western have utilized the nervous system in and of itself as a method or tool for an inner investigation. And it can be used in that way systematically, scientifically, actually adhering to the criterion of science.
Elisabet Sahtouris: Yes, of course, it can. And there have been sciences other than Western science. Western science, in fact, is the youngest science on the planet. And the young tend to be brash and egotistical and and fond of saying my way or the highway know that I know it all. And there is that I know it all. Spirit in in western Science, that even though it will acknowledge that it was built on things discovered in Arabic science, or Egyptians science or Chinese Science or something else, it will then say, well, but now we know the real and now we have the real science. And what do you mean other sciences because I go around saying that just as there’s a global consortium of religions, we should have a global consortium of sciences, in which the rule is that, well, we distinguish between religion and science because religion gets its knowledge through Revelation through the inner path and science to research or the outer path. However, since science is built on these basic concepts that are cultural and belonged to historical times, such as Western science, deciding this is a non living universe, to my knowledge, no other culture ever had a concept of non life at all. They knew life and death, but non life is something that never was alive and never will be like our cosmos, okay. So that was a fundamental assumption, the the notion that it can be studied objectively, without interfering with it is another assumption. Now, there were other sciences based on very different assumptions. And I held a series of international symposia on that very subject of getting different sciences to write out what their fundamental assumptions are. So if you made it a requirement, that is science must get its knowledge through research. And it must open up publicize its fundamental non research question foundations, then we might have, because, for example, Islamic science, it turned out has a science of a living universe and a living planet. And Vedic Science has a science, it’s founded on consciousness as fundamental. So where Vedic Science says, consciousness creates matter. Western science says no matter creates consciousness, diametric opposites, right? So why can’t we acknowledge these other sciences and dialogue, because for example, Western science is wonderful a technological spin offs, but its failure to understand how life really works makes it downright dangerous in areas such as food and health. So if we could talk to each other across the sciences, we might be able to say, well, you’re good at this, so do it. And you’re good to just do that. science
Rick Archer: itself is a little bit schizophrenic. I mean, a couple of weeks ago, I interviewed a physicist John Hoagland who wrote a paper called is consciousness, the unified field, he wrote that 25 years ago, and we had a lively discussion, and I have a few other physicists in the pipeline. But, you know, certain branches of science, such as his are perfectly comfortable with the notion that consciousness creates the brain and not the brain, but the whole universe, rather than the other way around. But, you know, obviously, their differences of opinion are also differences. You know, science becomes such a narrow focus kind of thing, a person specializes and goes to graduate school and gets down to some minute little sliver of knowledge, and that’s their whole world, you know, and so they may be completely unaware of a very different perspective that some other branch of science has. And and in particular, you know, we’re talking about the the latest cutting edge of physics, which is, as I said, very comfortable with the notion that consciousness is fundamental. The material universe is really just an excitation of that.
Elisabet Sahtouris: Yeah, yeah, I, I like to use the metaphor of a keyboard, you as a as a human, or a keyboard of energy. Everything in the universe physics has told us is energy. And Einstein showed us that what I call the low keys on the keyboard where the matter is, and the middle range, which is where the electromagnetic energy is, or the same thing are transmitted. So you can transpose the music up and down from the Low Keys to the mid range. We haven’t yet done that for Mater to consciousness or for even for electromagnetic energy to consciousness, but it’s in the it’s in the pipeline, isn’t it? And so, I like to see us not as bodies with souls and spirits, but as as matter energy, spirit beings, playing a whole keyboard and The, as far as I can see, the main point of the creation of physical worlds was to expand the keyboard, that consciousness steps itself down into the frequencies of electromagnetic energy and on into matter, because it gives a wider range of experience. It permits a wider range of experience.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it gets into some very interesting ideas about, you know, why the universe manifested in the first place, and whether consciousness has a self referral quality that sort of causes manifestation to bifurcate and occur, and, you know, so on and so forth. But, but perhaps one thing we can take from it, it’s just that we are multi dimensional beings, who usually restrict ourselves to a very small spectrum of that of the full range of possibility. And the enlightenment, as I understand it, is a broadening or, you know, to living the whole spectrum at once. So from you know, most superficial, concrete to most subtle, transcendental, and everything in between having the capacity to incorporate all of that within one’s awareness simultaneously and function at whatever level one’s a call to function.
Elisabet Sahtouris: Yes, I would agree with that in the sense that we usually think of enlightenment as waking up and waking up means expanding your view, getting more of the of the whole picture. And it’s interesting to me that if you go for instance, to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, his maturation goes from the very egocentric infancy to the taking in more and more into your perceptive field, your family, your community, your ecosystem, Your World, Your whole cosmos. And a long time ago, in in my unhappiness with definitions of intelligence, I came to the definition of intelligence as the number of levels of this, what cuslar called Whole Larkey thing you know, the embeddedness, the onion skins, the Russian dolls, the more levels you take into account in all of your decisions, the more intelligent the decision can be. So, this comes up over and over this, this sense of moving from mean the physical world is also about individuation. To do a physical world, Cosmos had to do dualities. And we humans are still at the level where we’re constantly trying to choose one end or the other of duality without being able to hold them as unities. Right. So we, for instance, I live in a very small village, the politics of which are much like the American Congress, with one party, the incumbent party saying to the other, don’t even bother proposing anything, because we’re going to oppose it. And they don’t get that in nature, nature’s profoundly conservative with the things that work well, and radically changes things when they don’t work. So the two parties, if you held them as a unity would be a cooperative with a division of labor, rather than an oppositional entity.
Rick Archer: Give us give us some examples of that, from nature of what you just said about liberal or radical and conservative.
Elisabet Sahtouris: Yeah, well, for instance, cockroaches and sharks, you know, work really well, no matter what kind of environment till changes have happened to them as species, they’ve been able to adapt. So they have been able to conserve a body shape type through huge changes. And yet, in some cases, in every time nature’s had like an extinction where up to 95% of the life forms have just gone out of the picture. It’s then gotten radically creative with whole ecosystems reinventing themselves from the genetic pool, and doing making a whole set of very different creatures from what they had been before. So that that’s a really obvious sort of example of that kind of thing.
Rick Archer: So bring it back to politics.
Elisabet Sahtouris: Why change what works? You know, you want to change the things that aren’t
Rick Archer: working well, right. If ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Elisabet Sahtouris: If that’s how nature works, if it ain’t broke, she doesn’t fix it. But she’s creative. And And when there’s a problem, she gets really creative and really fast. Look at look at what’s happening with global warming. Now, you know, she’s had to deal with with this obstreperous new species, causing an awful lot of problems in the last couple 100 years. As it’s gotten too smart for its own good guy sounds like.
Rick Archer: So what you usually see in human politics is, you know, a lot of times people holding on to things that don’t work, and, and not wanting to fix them. And, you know, on the one hand, and since I tend to be of the other persuasion, and that I have a hard time being critical of it, but you know, the those who don’t want things to change are usually pretty upset with the pace of change, that those who want things to change are espousing. You know, they feel that the whole underpinnings of society are being, you know, destabilized, and that we’re all going to hell in a handbasket, because, you know, gay marriage or whatever.
Elisabet Sahtouris: Yeah, well, I think a lot of this comes from the oppositional the training, we get that, that we’re necessarily oppositional. And it comes from the fact that the Darwinian hypothesis about evolution was the only one adopted by Western science. The Soviet Union, interestingly, taught evolution biology through Kropotkin, his work and his main book was called mutual aid. So they looked for all the cooperation in nature, because they wanted to teach people to basically sacrifice their individuality to community by being very cooperative. Well, Western capitalism love Darwin’s competitive theory, because it gay, it rationalized exploitation big time, and and it taught that we are naturally competitive creatures who are going to be aggressive and hostile to each other, and may the best man win. So if both sides have a half picture, again, it’s when you separate dualities like that, you you don’t get that they belong to a single continuum that has a validity in its own right, the basic validity is the whole continuum. So once you see that, that nature is both competitive and cooperative, you also can start seeing that there’s a maturation cycle there, and that the competitive phase is the youthful phase. And the sustainable phase is the cooperative phase, you grow up to adolescent yourselves keep, keep duplicating themselves, and growing you to a full sized human body. But you can’t keep doing that for the rest of your life. Nor do plants they flower at a certain point, you know, they they stabilize. And that’s where we are right now in our human evolution. And that’s the beauty of all the crises. We’ve we’re in adolescent crisis. And we’ve created a big time, confluence of crisis, a perfect storm, if you like, which are just there to bug us into maturing. Like what other species?
Rick Archer: Yeah, I’ve heard and read you saying that a number of times that crisis is actually an opportunity. And that is, you did you have?
Elisabet Sahtouris: I mean, the Chinese symbol of crisis is built in with opportunities.
Rick Archer: Okay. And, but obviously, we, the crisis can’t be too severe, or else, you know, we’ll it’ll be a setback. I mean, you know, thermonuclear war wouldn’t necessarily be a great opportunity for evolutionary revival, whereas maybe the climate change we’re undergoing and or, you know, some of the more manageable crises we’re facing, could just be stimulated growth, would you say?
Elisabet Sahtouris: Well, I’d say thermonuclear war wouldn’t be a nice opportunity for us as humans, it might be okay for the rest of the planet. Who knows what mutations might do very well after such a crisis. But from a human perspective, absolutely not. Yes. And that’s the push is can you solve these crises? And can you use your proactive mind to avoid total disaster? And this is this is something that I’m really wrestling with personally now. In the sense that crisis not only immediately flips people into their natural ability to cooperate, and we see that every time in Fukushima it was 100% cooperative. In most cases, it’s at least 95% cooperative, so that we can see that we know without training, how to do it, it’s in it’s already in our genes or proteins or whatever. But do we need that extent of suffering to open our hearts to to really bring cosmic love down into our physical bodies, our physical experience, is what I’m wrestling with, should I stop complaining that we’re not being proactive enough? And say, well, maybe this human drama has to go through immense suffering to open the heart? Well,
Rick Archer: yeah, let’s say I mean, a little kid, let’s say is kind of dirty and refuses to clean behind his ears. So his mother has to do it, and he hates it, she’s scrubbing behind his ears. And she said, Well, if you’d clean behind your own ears, then I wouldn’t have to do this. So you know, maybe the more we can kind of wise up and make the sort of changes that need to be made, the less that God or nature, whatever you want to call it is gonna come have to come in and smack us around to get those changes made?
Elisabet Sahtouris: Well, I don’t think it’s smacking us around as much as trying to save itself. I think the I remember in the 1980s Jim Lovelock came to visit me in Greece, I was at that time on living on Greek islands. Now I’m on a Spanish island. And, and he was saying, Elizabeth pray for an ice age, we’re due for one. And if we don’t go into an ice age, the Earth will have to flip in the other direction, and go into a hot age, we humans have survived a dozen ice ages, we’ve never done on a hot age. So I don’t know how, how hard that will be. Now, personally, I believe we can survive a hot age. You know, an ice age is on average, four to seven degrees colder than what we consider normal. We’ve been blessed with a very stable climate over past recent generations. And the hot age is about the same amount hotter than that temperature, which is still less than a lot of humans have lived well in in deserts. And I’ve I’ve, you know, traveled to Morocco and places like that, to see how with very low tech solutions, they could be very comfortable in such climate. So I have no doubt that we humans can survive our age. However, we’re going to have to adapt rather than then in our egotistical mode thinking we can stop it.
Rick Archer: Well, yeah. Well, first of all, if we do go to a hot age, such as the tide, what you’re referring to, probably hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people are going to be displaced and perhaps die. So that’s going to be a bit tumultuous. Right? There are going to be, you know, mass migrations, and depending how sort of compassionate we are about it, there could be huge wars over water and territory and so on. You know, so it ain’t gonna be pretty.
Elisabet Sahtouris: Oh, you’re right. That’s, that’s why I have to really struggle with my impatience, that we’re not being more proactive,
Rick Archer: right. And we could be I mean, we, you know, we could have a moonshot effort to, you know, put solar panels on every roof and do all sorts of things that would radically change the environment for the better, but we’re not doing it. And, you know, half the Congress insists that it’s there isn’t actually any global warming taking place. It’s not a problem. So, you know, doesn’t look too hopeful?
Elisabet Sahtouris: Well, half of them don’t even believe in evolution, it seems. Yeah. I think the education system is, you know, in dire straits, and has has just sunk below the levels of almost souls rest of the world. And that that’s a very
Rick Archer: one a fourth or something, by most measures in us.
Elisabet Sahtouris: Health care and education and way down there, double digits way down there. But hey, we were supposed to have a democracy but a democracy doesn’t function very well, if people don’t know what’s going on. And the American mantra has been, Don’t fence me in don’t make any rules for me, and don’t make me do anything. And that there’s a you know that that’s a dangerous perspective. Because if you put individual individuation has been a very important part of our cosmic evolution, I believe, but you can carry it too far. And when you completely lose sight of community that and you only go for who can make the most money, you’re you obviously get into adolescent crisis. So can we take the beauty of this individuation into community Ready to leave your level than we had before? Will it? How much suffering will it take?
Rick Archer: I think that what we’re talking about when we talk about individuation, and community are kind of the human reflection or manifestation of very fundamental forces that are sort of kind of basic to the actual formation of the universe. I mean, there, there’s a sort of individuation process that takes place. But it’s its specificity arising out of universality. And I think there’s an equally strong current in the other direction, toward universality. But that’s, and we can find both of those things within us. I mean, there’s a tension, there’s a tendency of the senses to focus outward and get more and more specific, but then there’s also a natural tendency, if we utilize it to allow the attention to go within to unbounded awareness. And the whole trick is to be able to cut to integrate and incorporate both simultaneously so that you can focus within boundaries while maintaining unboundedness. And if this can become more of a societal norm, rather than a sort of a kind of a rare anomaly, then I think this as we started out this whole conversation, the society would begin to reflect both those values and integrate both those values harmoniously. And we’d see the kind of resolution that we’re, we’re alluding to here.
Elisabet Sahtouris: Yes, one one of the problems in being a young species is that you’re not prone to listen to elders, right. There’s an apocryphal Mark Twain story about the young man who leaves home and find stumbles in round in the world falls on his face a few times, comes back home, and suddenly says to his father, gee, Dad, you’ve learned a lot while I was gone. And we laugh, because it’s the son that’s mature, not the father that’s changed, that he can now hear the wisdom. And for me, we’re all regardless of political persuasion, or religious belief walking around in the same kind of body, that’s got 100 trillion cells, working in concert, in amazing ways, with a beautiful economy, in which every one of your individual cells has about 30,000, banks giving out free money, no debt system. No, no complaint on the part of one part of the body that aid is sent to an injured part, no effort of the heart to make your liver be another heart, you have the appreciation of diversity, the super cooperative economics, and yet every cell has an individuality and has to meet its own needs and can can negotiate for those needs, however, not independently of the organ that belongs to so I like to talk about, say a couple is, is a whole Larkey of two levels, that one level is the two individuals. And the second level is Couplehood. And if you’re trying to decide whether to go to the movies, or the opera on Friday night, Couplehood, to which the finances belong, may argue against going to the opera. So it’s not just an argument between the two individuals, but a whole archaic negotiation between levels. And that’s what happens in your body. And it’s that self interest at every level, when negotiated, that makes for a viable, complex community. And that’s what we need to learn here that you can’t sacrifice the individual to the community or the community to the individual.
Rick Archer: What I want to hear you saying is that there’s unfathomable intelligence functioning in the human body, even even a single cell is like I’ve heard you say it’s more complex than a modern American city, and we don’t even begin to understand what’s going on. And so this is incredible. Intelligence functioning in in us, and not only in us, but in all of nature. But somehow that intelligence gets dumbed down to a great degree when when filter to the human nervous system and, and, you know, we form a society. And if the society could begin to reflect even, you know, a few percent more of the degree of intelligence that is actually functioning in our bodies, then it could be radically different and better.
Elisabet Sahtouris: Yeah, probably, to me the the two most important things on our agenda are the room real grounding of love in the physical angels can’t feel emotions. You know, Stephen Mitchell’s book meetings with the archangel haven’t read it. No. Okay, so wonderful. It’s the subtitle is a comedy of the spirit. He’s Byron Katie’s has been, you know her work. Sure. And then the end of the book, the Archangel basically says to the human, don’t look to us angels for compassion. We can’t feel passion, because we don’t have physical bodies. And that, that there’s an appreciation for physical bodies, and many say that the angels are lined up for them. Because only in the physical body can you really experience the full range of feelings and emotions and, and heart that we need to then feed into back into cosmic love once we learn it. So there’s always this interplay of matter and spirit. But the other important thing I think that’s that’s happening again, is I do believe it’s a that communion is our birthright. And we know that for many indigenous cultures, and from wonderful books, like JL and boons, kinship with all life in which a dog teaches them, direct communion communion transmission of intricate conversations, not just feelings. Now, our new technology, the the iPhone, let’s say, what are the kids doing with these iPhones, they’re transmitting, they’re communicating with a language in which they stripped down the verbal and added the world’s first alphabet have feelings of emotions with the emoticons, and when a girl in the US and California is, is communicating with a boy in Japan, they can resonate through these symbols with each other. And that pushes them into communion or flips them into communion. And that can then be an avenue for the transmission of more complex information. So I think our internet is leading us back to an internet that’s our birthright. One of the most important features of read internet is transparency is its main feature. And transparency prevents lying. If humans couldn’t deceive each other, we couldn’t keep the culture we have currently going at all. It depends on our ability to deceive each other. And so if that internet really opens up, and we can’t deceive each other, and we know each other as oneness, we pretty much are going to have to be a lot better to each other than we are. So definitely my hope.
Rick Archer: That’s interesting, Edward Snowden comes to mind. And you know, all sorts of changes have been made. Now already. Just recently, Obama announced a bunch of changes based which he had to make based upon Edward Snowden revelations. So in other words, more transparency, which lets hope that those who would like to prevent transparency never managed to put a lid on the internet.
Elisabet Sahtouris: I don’t think they can anymore. You know, it started with Enron in the business world, and then it moved into the Catholic Church. And now governments with WikiLeaks and Snowden and all these things. I think this this transparency is an evolutionary wave, that’s, that’s going to be very much in our favor.
Rick Archer: I just like to remind listeners, that there’s the bigger context of what we’re talking about here is that there is an evolution taking place on the planet. And that the many, many individuals experiencing an awakening and it’s becoming somewhat epidemic, in my opinion, are just kind of indicative of that await global awakening that’s taking place. So the sorts of things Elizabeth and I are are discussing are symptomatic of that. And we’ve touched upon a number of things, we’ll probably touch upon a number more. But that’s the context in case you’re beginning to wonder, you know, what does it have to do with enlightenment or awakening, which is what the show is usually about, but, you know, my whole point in using it and inviting Elizabeth is that enlightenment isn’t just an individual thing. It has global implications. No man is an island. And if it really is as fundamental as significant as it supposed to be, then we can expect it to as it proliferates, which it appears to be doing, too. really rock our world?
Elisabet Sahtouris: Absolutely, yes.
Rick Archer: And I think it’s already rocking it. And we just have to sort of rocking it hold on and enjoy the ride. In fact that a couple of, well, something I once heard Maharishi Mahesh Yogi say, I was on a boat ride with him in Switzerland. And we were talking about this whole idea of phase transition, which is a term from physics, but being applied to society where the society was going to undergo this huge transformation. And people were concerned, they might not survive it. And they asked him, Well, how can we survive it? And he’s just said, Hold on to yourself. Yeah, meaning self with a capital S, if you can be established in that, then all heaven on earth might pass away, but I go on forever.
Elisabet Sahtouris: Well, of course, that’s it, that’s a big thing in our culture that we’ve been taught a lot of fear, a lot of, and fear of death is one of the primary fears that we’re taught, and then fear of the other fear of the enemy. And of course, fear always makes it easy to manipulate people. Because you can tell them that you’re the solution to their fears.
Rick Archer: Let’s let’s get back to the idea of discuss a little bit more about whether or not this is a mechanistic universe. As some scientists believe it is. The other day, I was looking at some beautiful pictures that were taken by the Mars Rover of real close ups, you know, down to the tiny little pebbles of rocks on Mars. And, and it was just as I was looking at, I was just thinking, golly, you know, there’s the same brilliant organizing intelligence, in those little pebbles on Mars, as here in my thumb, and, you know, here in this room, and so on, it’s just the present, which is, of course, a word that’s used to describe God. And, and I, you know, and I, when I get on that sort of train of thought I, I also think, well, you know, how in the world could anyone think of this as a mechanistic universe? It’s so obvious that, you know, it’s not little billiard balls randomly running into each other. Even if we, you know, if we give some credence to randomness and natural selection and all what’s there has to be some intelligence behind that that’s running the show that set up the rules in that way. So I don’t I just scratch my head. When when I you know, very intelligent people, Neil deGrasse Tyson, I was listening to him the other day. And, yeah, and he seemed to be saying that, you know, kind of Pooh poohing the notion that anything resembling God, in any sense had anything to do with with the running of the universe, if I understood him properly. So anyway, sure. Yeah, maybe I’m wrong in assessing him. I was just listening to one podcast, but and so I apologize if I misrepresented him. But there’s so many scientists who feel this way. And it was amazing. I don’t understand how, how a scientist, somebody who looks at nature closely, or a surgeon, for instance, who’s busy opening up the body and looking at its Marvels could be an atheist.
Elisabet Sahtouris: Yeah, really? Well, I really do understand, I think how this came about. And that’s just because the founding fathers of science in Europe, were obsessed with mechanism, but was still relatively new, it was very much in development. And it could be completely understood. When you construct a machine from parts, you really understand how it works. And so what they did was they projected this this engineering skill onto God himself. I mean, Descartes literally said, God is the grand engineer inventing the machinery of nature. So it was very clearly a projection of these men onto God, and then turning it around and saying, we’re created in God’s image. So as Descartes said, God put a piece of God mind into man, so that he too could create machinery. So God created the machinery of nature and then put God mind into his favorite robot. That’s, it sounds a little odd to us today. But at that time, and you have to have to admit it’s logically it’s complete, because there’s intelligence at all levels in that system. It’s not exactly the way you would frame it. But I’ve heard you use
Rick Archer: the word God about a dozen times in that paragraph. So it does imply that, you know, even if the
Elisabet Sahtouris: fathers believed in God, the founding fathers of science, yes, when they when they constructed the mechanical universe, it was the creation of God. Right. Now, the problem is you see they I come from within the Christian tradition. And the Christian Islamic Judaic tradition, the what we call the desert religions sometimes had an external Creator God and and who is separate from his creation, whereas the Eastern religious or philosophical systems also creation is coming from within, from a field of consciousness from from a deep within, and the contemplatives in the Western religions also get reached that. So, in a way, it was easier to deal with the masses, I think, with this concept of a father God that gives the rules and stuff like that even the Vedic ‘s made up local gods and stuff to for the people to worship, because they, they felt they couldn’t grasp the real thing. So anyway, I don’t think it’s so hard to understand how it came about the Industrial Revolution was a very heady time for humanity. And it was a matter of, you know, projecting ourselves onto God and then saying it was the other way around. But what to do with that now, when we’re, you know, have a bit broader view and know a lot more about the universe and have a physics that’s gone down into showing that everything is energy and, and even bumping into the fact that our consciousness is, as some physicists call it collapsing wave functions to create the reality. We’re in a different place now. And we are in a in a paradigm shift. With all of this now, I think it’s interesting that you mentioned Neil deGrasse Tyson, because Bill Moyers has just done that series, little scientists watch part three of that,
Rick Archer: I’ll be getting to that in a day or so I’ve watched the first two.
Elisabet Sahtouris: And, you know, communications are wonderful these days, way back when I lived on Greek islands, you couldn’t catch up that quickly when anything. But what I found most interesting and by the way, the Museum of Natural History in New York where Tyson is head of the planetarium was my alma mater, in terms of my postdoc was there. And also, I once spoke at an international simple meeting of planetarium directors, trying to get them to put together a living Earth program, you know, the series of living Earth shows for planetariums back in the in the nine, very early 90s, or late 80s. But Tyson is the only mainstream physicist subscribing to the standard model in physics, who at least admits that all this dark energy and matter is gravity. And that’s a big step in the right direction. I don’t happen to believe in dark matter and energy, nor do I believe in the Big Bang. My universe is in continuous creation. And it’s in perfect balance, as I think they doubtless totally understood it, the Yin Yang symbol is so obviously radiation and gravity and balance spinning inward and outward. That, you know, a little impatient for, for physics and astronomy to catch up again, with that kind of a balanced universe. It doesn’t have for physical forces, but only two for that has been worked out in the same car main has done it beautifully.
Rick Archer: I’m trying to get him for an interview.
Elisabet Sahtouris: Okay, he’s an old friend. And I’ve watched his whole development of his theory and his work with Elizabeth Rauscher, who was the first woman physicist to get a PhD from Berkeley. And she helped him with the some of the math and was blown away then by how beautifully, the strong and weak atomic forces fall onto the curve of the gravity that spiraling inward. So in the Standard Model, there are four forces, it turns out three of them belong to gravity, when you put it in balance, and so no symbol tell you the dark matter and energy is just a matter of balancing the equations when you’re using the wrong premises.
Rick Archer: Well, that’s a little bit over my head, and I don’t feel qualified to say whether there’s dark matter or whether there was a big bang or anything, but what I do feel is, to me, at least is playing on the note as the nose on my face, is that every single iota of creation is just scintillating. With intelligence. There’s this whatever level you look at it, it’s kind of an awe inspiring play and display of intelligence. Yes, and that’s my conception of what God is. And so how, and I can understand how a person wouldn’t believe that or would not have an opinion, it would be agnostic would have an opinion about it one way or the other, because I’ve gone through those phases myself. And it’s just a matter of kind of cleaning the windows of perception to quote Blake, you know, to be able to begin to appreciate that. That’s right. You know, we’re swimming in an ocean of intelligence,
Elisabet Sahtouris: as CO creators within it.
Rick Archer: Yeah. Yeah, I mean, we are that intelligence, we’re, as I’m fond of saying sense organs of the instrument of the infinite. And not only no sense organs, which have a kind of an input, implication but organs of action.
Elisabet Sahtouris: Yes, and, and have an end of evolution in the sense that we are a creative edge of evolution. Each one of us even though it’s all in the eternal Now. There is this this creative element in us and and in physical worlds, you have to work in linear time, we make it up as a way of ordering our experience, and it works. And we wouldn’t, we wouldn’t function very well without have seen things in linear time. But it’s also important to remember that none of us have ever been outside of now. You can get out of your body, but not out of your mind. Everything is in your consciousness. So those those are interesting things. And for me, the The wonderful thing about evolution, biology is seeing that over 4 billion years of linear time, this maturation cycle from the youthful creative hostilities into the mature sustainability has happened again, and again and again. So it’s just our turn. Now, the ancient bacteria did it without benefit of brain. And in doing so form, the big cooperatives that became the cells were made of the nucleated cells. And then those for another billion years, since they were new on the planet had to go through their own youthful hostilities and creativity, before they formed multi celled creatures. So those are the two biggest steps in evolution prior to us. And then we as humans, at the tribal level got it when we formed the first cities as cooperatives. And they were cooperatives as markets and as information exchange centers and as centers of worship. And we’re only now digging them up are archaeologically up in the Orkneys in the Amazon, in the Middle East, in all kinds of places. But those cities were then new on the planet. So they too, had to go through their youth. And they went into empire building. And we’ve now been, we’re now in the third phase of empire building. In the first phase, we built empires that were acquisitive, and, you know, gathered territory and people, and were ruled by actual emperors or kings. And then we went into national empires, and now we’re in corporate empires. And we’ve reached the limits now of the planet, so that we now have to go into that same sustainable cooperation at a planetary level. And we’ve been practicing it at local levels. So United States of America is is a cooperative, the European Union is NATO is even the oil cartel of the companies after World War Two was showing the benefits of cooperation. And that the transition into maturity that phase it would you shift from competition to cooperation is always when there’s a recognition that it’s become too expensive to continue to compete, that it’s more energy efficient, less costly, to cooperate and to compete. And as soon as you start cooperating, you realize, oh, my god, now we’ve got all these resources freed up, that we were that were so expensive in keeping each other at bay and trying to climb to the top of the mountain over everybody else and things like that. So it’s such a natural process, that I can’t believe we won’t get through it.
Rick Archer: With bacteria, we’re talking about billions of years and with human societies, we’re talking about 10s of 1000s, or maybe even hundreds of 1000s of years. What do you see as a timeframe now? And aids? Pardon?
Elisabet Sahtouris: Now? We’re in decades, decades. Okay. Yeah. So I mean, we’re one of the one of the really shocking things about global warming was that scientists had no idea it could happen as fast as it is. But if you understand exponential curves, you see From the beginning of the industrial era, they the age of cheap energy through fossil fuels has exactly paralleled the growth of the numbers of human beings and the pollution in the atmosphere. So this way, this is a very little blip on the on the screen of evolution, in which we discover all this this carbon that the Earth has buried underground safely, and we’re digging it up and liberating it, and in the process are able to build these huge consumer societies. But our basic scientific story, which is the authority in secular societies, is a dangerous one, a nonliving universe running down by entropy, in which we’re caught, so that the only comfort as as life eventually gets eroded along with everything else is to get stuff and to have a party and we’ve been having a big party, and it’s over now,
Rick Archer: who dies with the most toys wins.
Elisabet Sahtouris: Yeah, now we have to learn. How do we get from this adventure to the ecstasy of communion, and of community building? How do we get how do we make this as exciting building real community of individuated individuals? How can that be as much fun as all hostilities work?
Rick Archer: One thing I find encouraging is that even though global warming is accelerating exponentially, are speeding up a lot faster than then scientists thought it would. And all sorts of other problems seem to be spiraling out of control. At the same time, the good stuff seems to be accelerating exponentially, you know, technolon, I mean, the computer I have sitting here is so much more powerful than what I could have had 10 years ago, you and I couldn’t have been having this conversation or recording it 10 years ago, really. So it seems like you know, the good stuff, and not only technological good stuff, but you know, this upsurge in interest in consciousness and spirituality is rising to meet the challenge of perhaps at least at the same pace as as the negative things are rising, and they may the better man wins, so to speak.
Elisabet Sahtouris: No, I absolutely agree with you. And and I would urge everybody you know, to do something that makes their heart sing, or nobody will want to do it with you, and find a way to build local community, especially self sufficiency. We can’t depend on governments to save us there. You know, there are no saviors we are the ones we’ve been waiting for, as they say nowadays, that’s very true. And it’s it’s our ability to to wake up to see the oneness, to love each other to build community and to, I like to say to young people, all you have to do it, stop doing the stupid things your elders did. You know, you don’t have to do debt money, you don’t have to do racism, you don’t have to do material consumption competition. Treat each other the way you want people to treat each other in the future. Develop the kind of money system you think would work well in the future. And just do it. Never mind what the rest of the world is doing. Just live the future you want. That’s how you create it.
Rick Archer: You know, what’s inspiring is if you go to one of these conferences like Bioneers, for instance, and you see how many NGOs there are in the world, and how many F little groups and organizations and people there are doing amazing things and you don’t see that on the six o’clock news. But there’s there’s a lot of stuff going on this this really gives you optimism,
Elisabet Sahtouris: and some wonderful role model communities. A couple of years ago, I visited Dr. at Aria Rodney in in Sri Lanka. And his service area movement has 15,000 villages in early stages of development in it. And he started that whole project back when he was young. And Uranus was a friend of his the guy who started micro finance and in Bangladesh, and that became a huge wave, the micro finance wave. And now we have websites like Kiva where you can give a little loan and it keeps coming back to you so you can give it to somebody else and stuff. It’s kiva.org is my favorite charity, because your your small contributions go so far. And anyway, when Dr. Ari started this movement, what he does with the people that first come into it, is to teach them two things, inner peace and generosity. And those two things just to calm down get out of the mood of Conflict and warfare and all that, which was very important in Sri Lanka, as in most parts of the world. And then the idea that you have something to give to be generous with what you have to give each other. And now the 5000, most developed villages in that system have their own banking system, and everybody’s got a little bank book and their pennies get logged in. And they know that while that money is in the bank, it’s helping other people to develop. And so they have this wonderful sense that they that they have something to contribute. And isn’t that basically what we want that we want to be loved and needed?
Rick Archer: What would you say to someone who, who said, Yeah, that’s fine in Sri Lanka, where there’s all these little simple villages, but but the exons, and the Goldman Sachs and the Monsanto’s of the world are so powerful, you know, that? What can we do in the face of that sort of influence?
Elisabet Sahtouris: Well, there are a lot of places in the world where you can still grow organic food. And, and and Monsanto is in big trouble now. I mean, the transparency movement, of course, has made it much more more clear to people what’s going on? And why would they want to fight against having their their genetically modified food labeled, if it weren’t good for for people, you know, there’s something wrong with that. And so we are waking up to these things, people are winning little David and Goliath fights against these huge corporations. And they to the people high up in them, they know that this can’t go on very long. And a great a great many of them are wearing blinders and say, give me one more fix before itself. So we don’t have to do anything to bring them down. I like the kind of work that Bill Sharman of the future 500 Does, where he brings together the protesters and the companies to get them into dialogue. There’s a big movement for businesses to take stakeholders into account, not just the shareholders who own the business for whom they’re supposed to be making the profits, but everyone affected by the company, which is the stakeholders. And ultimately, that’s everybody. So even there in the corporate world, there, there are good things going on. And there are individuals waking up and realizing that they cannot keep burning fossil fuels. And, you know, by the way, Whether people believe in global warming or not the things we need to do, we should be doing anyway. Certainly, if we’re going into a hot age, we don’t want to breathe bad air on top of it. But even if we weren’t going into a hot age, we don’t want to keep burning fossil fuels. It just isn’t good for our health. And we do have alternatives. But we the people have to you put those alternatives into practice, we can build the windmills, we can grow the organic food, we can practice self governance in new ways. Whatever works. We need to try out different forms of governance to see what will work better than a voting democracy. We need to learn that community requires some responsibility that you can’t say Don’t make me even vote. You know, that was not such a good idea in the US because it left people off the hook for taking any responsibility. How can we choose our leaders if we take no responsibility?
Rick Archer: What was it that Margaret Mead said something like don’t don’t believe don’t doubt that a small group of committed individuals can make a difference. That’s the only thing whichever has, yes, something like
Elisabet Sahtouris: that. And now and we are no longer a small group of individuals, as you say, there are huge numbers of us. And huge numbers of people are getting the oneness. We I just went through a process with a lovely actress from Zimbabwe and then artists from London as a committee of three within a group called Emerging Women emerging world. It’s a new new international group of us, in which we’re identifying 25 alarm bells in the world that show we have to change things. And then 25 exemplars of people already making such changes like the survey idea movement. And it was hard to stop you know, we found so many good things happening in the world. And by the way, for people who say Well, that’s all well and good for Bangladesh or or for Sri Lanka, you know, for poor people in the countryside. But what about all US urbanized people? In Spain we have the Mondragon cooperatives, which were started 30 or 40. Two years ago by a Catholic priest in the Basque Country of Nero, Bilbao, and northern Atlantic coast of Spain. And he said, I don’t want communism or capitalism, I want a society that’s based on loving human relationships. And he went around in bars and wherever you could find young people and set them that challenge, you know, how would you create such a society, and got a lot of ideas, and then they built it as an industrial cooperative. And it now has over two or 300 businesses, a couple of them have gone out of out of business because of the recession, which affects everyone. But on the whole, they’re doing far better than the rest of Spain in this recession, because they take care of each other, no one can earn more than six times the lowest salary, everyone is employed, if business closes down, other employment is found for the people. And you know, they’ve learned how important community is. So we do have good examples.
Rick Archer: One thought that comes came to mind, as you were saying that is that people seem to take for granted that the world they live in, even if it’s changing quickly as ours is, but that the world they live in is kind of normal and the way it is, and it’s hard to envision things being radically different 150 years ago, who could have envisioned aside from people like HG Wells, who could have envisioned, you know, jet planes crossing the ocean in a matter of hours and going to the moon and computers and all the stuff we have now? And yeah, and if you somehow put a person at a time machine from that era, and planted them here, they’d be completely dumbfounded by the degree of change. And, you know, I think we’re still prone to the same myopia now, but but things are, so the change is accelerating so quickly. And if you look at it from that perspective, it’s easy to see how even within our lifetimes, things could be radically different than they are right now, the next 10 to what you said, decades, 1020 30 years, there could be such radical change that, you know, more change than has taken place in the last 150.
Elisabet Sahtouris: Yes, and I, I tend to not be so interested in most of the things that futurist organizations are predicting
Rick Archer: your future, by the way, I mentioned that in your intro and have a talk.
Elisabet Sahtouris: I think the future is going to bring us very different things than what I see I see a lot of interest in the technologies of control of ourselves of our lifespans,
Rick Archer: or placing our organs and all that yeah,
Elisabet Sahtouris: of managing our everything with genetic modification, or I think, I don’t think that’s going to go to nearly the places they think it will go because as we wake up, I think we’re going to lose interest in those things. As we lose our fear of death, we’re gonna have a lot less interest in preserving ourselves for centuries and millennia, on iser, whatever. And and also we’re going to have so much more of for how our own genomes function, and our proteins, which are the real intelligence in the body, I think they invented the genes in order to store their information. They are the ones who do all the work and who pick the genes that get expressed and all that. And they get very short shrift. We always hear about DNA we don’t hear much about protein which is what you see when you look in the mirror. And anyway, I think our oneness and our interest in community in love in sharing and caring in becoming truly sustainable is going to outweigh those those things that were like new toys for us and we’ll find that we don’t need those things to maintain good health for most chronic diseases now are responding extremely well to green smoothies and you know, good diet and good dentistry and and as little interference as possible with the body and nourishing your your immune system is feeding your gut bacteria the right thing. So I think the reason indigenous people didn’t develop any technologies is because they just flat out didn’t need them. They could they could go to the center of the Earth or the moon without a spaceship and see what was going on in the rest of the cosmos because they were in communion. And they could learn they could ask the plants which ones would heal what and so they didn’t have nearly the need for technology that we do. I love technology when it’s used appropriately. I don’t want my food supply messed up I think nature understood very well how to make healthy food and that we can, we can certainly do permaculture and things that make it more efficient to grow good or fat Ganic food, lots of things. And we know how to green deserts again, we know how to do so many things. And a lot of it requires such low technology that no business is interested in investing. So again, that’s why we people have to do it.
Rick Archer: It’s funny, you just mentioned green smoothies. My wife is sitting here a few feet away working on a book cover about green smoothies, the 10 day green smoothie cleanse has a picture of a green smoothie right on the 100 monitor here. synchronicity? Well, you know, everything you just said reminds me of what we were talking about earlier, which is that if we conceive of this as a mechanistic universe, then you know mechanistic fixes are going to appeal to us getting a new, you know, or you know, mechanistic liver or something, or changing body parts or freezing ourselves or doing all these different things. But it’s not a mechanistic universe. That’s the misconception. And so I think if you know, Jimmy, the Greek shouldn’t bet on, you know, a mechanistically based future, because it’s not, that’s not the way it’s gonna pan out, it’s gonna pan out in terms of it being an intelligent universe and all that that implies.
Elisabet Sahtouris: Absolutely, I’m totally with you on that. And I gave up the mechanistic universe so long ago that that is almost hard to get myself even to think that way again, but I think you’re absolutely right, that the obsession with mechanics comes from that worldview. And that we will lose the obsession with mechanics that aren’t biomimicry that you know, are not done with research. I mean, there’s lots to do in technology. And I know that there are total techies who don’t want anything to do with organic gardening. And that’s fine. Because if they will figure out how to do photosynthesis at the human scale, and make floating houses or whatever, you know, fully recyclable technologies, that’s fine with me, as long as they don’t put any toxics into their technology and make it fully recyclable, let them go for it.
Rick Archer: But it’s like you’re saying you’re there, if we have an either or mentality. And either either it’s got to be all mechanistic or all, you know, mechanically or back to barefoot nature. Or if it’s, you know, political or conservative or liberal, then we’ve got problems. But if we can integrate the best of both worlds,
Elisabet Sahtouris: then elegant simplicity. Yeah.
Rick Archer: And so, you know, I don’t think that Well, I’m not a futurist you are, but I don’t think the future will be, you know, back to like hoeing in a loincloth, it’ll, it’ll be a technologically sophisticated world. But at the very same time, it will incorporate the best of what indigenous cultures have discovered. Yeah, and the two are opposed to one another, necessarily,
Elisabet Sahtouris: more so because we have microscopes, for example, and can look at how nature constructs buildings and look at things as Janine Benyus, in her book, my biomimicry, which is now a huge movement pointed out, for instance, that a wasp nest is is ways, led, you know, 300 times less than its inhabitants, and can be hung by a single thread and not come down in a hurricane. You know, we’re learning so much from the micro world of nature, which is much older than the macro world of nature. So it’s had 4 billion years of evolution, to figure out how to make a cell and how to construct a horn or marine glues and stuff. So there’s, there’s loads of fascinating things for scientists to learn from cosmology to the micro world and, and for people interested in technology to to copy nature, we’ve always copied nature, there’s nothing else to be inspired by. So we’ve humans have always been bio mimickers. In that sense, we fly like birds and we’ve done like molds and we weave like spiders and all that. But now at the at that nano level. We’re learning things that we never knew before. And it’s because of our technology. So that’s the good side of things.
Rick Archer: I’ve been reading your book Earth Dance. Now I read the other things. You said that I’m I’ve taken a big chunk out of Earth Dance, and I’m really enjoying it. And for some reason, as I was reading, it inspired me to write down just a few script, little notes about Darwinism versus intelligent design. And these days, I mean, I still get the sense that in modern Science and Education, your it’s considered blasphemous to question the validity of Darwin and that these religious people that try to bring in any sort of sense of divine intelligence with through such theories as intelligent design are, are dismissed as rubes, you know, who just, you know, just have a have a hidden agenda that is completely antiquated. But to what extent do you feel like, you know, Darwinism is deficient or incomplete, and shouldn’t really be the dominant, understand understanding of evolution? And to what extent does it have good stuff and validity? And perhaps just need supplementation from from a deeper a broader perspective?
Elisabet Sahtouris: Yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s not so much wrong as incomplete. And when, when Darwin at the end of his life, said, humans have to bring ethics into nature, on the one hand, that’s not a bad message. On the other hand, I say, Isn’t my body behaving in extremely ethical ways already, because of the part that Darwin missed the cooperative mode, isn’t it very ethical that, that my heart isn’t trying to turn the liver into another heart and that aid goes to wherever it’s needed, and you know, all of these ways of sharing in the body, the resources and all that. So, but maybe for humans, it’s important to take the responsibility of ethics, because we are the only species that needs to devise an ethical system. I’m saying we could find it in nature, if we wanted to learn from that we could learn from our bodies to do an economy in a much more ethical way. But we did trade this explosive, big brain for knowing what to do, you know, the other animals knew how to make their nests, how to find mates how to govern themselves. And we got this openness, this this freedom of choice. But that freedom of choice comes with the responsibility for figuring out how to govern yourself, and how to not kill each other and stuff built into animals. So that is our cosmic responsibility. And to really practice love, in a human way that integrates cosmic love and Earth love, let’s say. So, Darwin just didn’t go far enough. And some of it seems tautological. I mean, to say that what what survived is what adapted doesn’t really tell me very much. Because it’s kind of obvious. It’s not like a theory. It’s like an observation. So I, you know, I’m not opposed to Darwinism. I, the intelligent design movement, it depends on whether they’re coming from a very fundamentalist biblical perspective, where just now I heard that a congressman or a senator got up and said, the world was only 10,000 years old, and God created man overnight, and you know that that fundamentalist perspective is very unscientific. Maybe Maybe it was Neil deGrasse Tyson who, who brought that up? I don’t mean I did what from today. But, but on the other hand, if you’re if you adhere to the notion that this is an intelligent, self creating Cosmos, that we are co creators within, then if I say I am God, I have no problem saying that kind of thing. But I might look like a lunatic to a religious person, and a quack to a scientist.
Rick Archer: Well, if they thought that you were referring to your individuality, yeah. But you know, if they, if they realized that you were referring to the deepest aspect of of what you are, then then it would make sense. So so if the Texas Board of Education were to call you up tomorrow and say, Elizabeth, you know, we’re having a hard time here between the Darwinists and the creationists, and we can’t resolve it. They both want to control the curriculum. Would you like to resolve this for us? What would you introduce?
Elisabet Sahtouris: I would say, as I did, once, when I was called to the middle west to give a talk to go with the evolution exhibit called the walk through time, for which I wrote the sort of coffee table book that a reporter called me up and he said, Look, you’re an evolution biologist. You come into the Midwest, this is Bible country. I don’t think you’re going to have a big turnout. And I said, Are you writing an article in the paper about my company? He said, Yeah, and I really don’t know what to say. I said, Look, just write that a creationist evolution biologist. Coming to Town said, What do you mean? I said, Well, as far as I’m concerned, you know, evolution, biology is enormously creative, and the whole universe is creative. So I don’t see why I can’t call myself a creationist. I am a creationist, in the sense that I believe the universe is intelligent creation. So he did, and I had a really good turnout, and they bought all the books, and everybody seemed to be happy. And I said, you know, the difference between you and me, to the Christians is only that you see God as external to creation, and I see it as all one. And that’s not such a big difference that we can’t be friends.
Rick Archer: It does say some place, doesn’t it in the Bible that God is omnipresent. And if God is God is omnipresent. How could it be separate? Hello? Yeah. means he’s right here and permeating everything. Yeah.
Elisabet Sahtouris: But as we said before, in, in youthful mode, you may need to see him as a father.
Rick Archer: Okay, one more line of questioning here. And then I should probably let you go, because I don’t want to over stay my welcome. But um, I saw in the news the other night, that the 80 richest people in the world, their wealth equals that of the 3.5 billion poorest. And there were some other statistics along those lines, but there’s this vast inequity, in wealth in the world. And so from your perspective, as an evolution biologist, and you know, with perhaps with examples from, you know, live other living systems, what does this tell us? And, you know, How sustainable is that sort of inequity?
Elisabet Sahtouris: It’s a clearly it’s an unsustainable inequity. It doesn’t happen in nature and last. And people like Arnold Toynbee, who was the first to really look at civil human civilizations that flourished and then failed, identified as the leading factors in their failure, the inequitable distribution of wealth, and the inflexibility of refusal to change when change was called for. And those are the two things that we’re seeing now that those in charge are being fairly inflexible, and trying very hard to hold on to their inequitable wealth. So that just says this civilization has reached its limits. And once you know, when they coined the word sustainability and got around or unsustainability, I was thrilled because now we can name it. And what does unsustainability mean? It means can’t go on. And that implies must be changed. So we do have to change at fundamental levels. But I think that fundamental change will come from local people, from individuals who wake up, and from local communities that begin to live in the way they feel awakened, people should live with each other. And so there’s no need for debt money, which was designed 2000 years ago to concentrate wealth. And all of the three desert religions argued against it, they knew it was going to ruin things. And now we’ve taken it to absolutely unprecedented, crazy situations where there’s no control over banks, and they can make up whatever money they want. Any nation could say, we’re gonna take the right to coin money back from the banks, and then issue it not as that money but just spend it into the economy and the recession would be over overnight. Maybe you would do that side by side with the banks and don’t do anything to the banks don’t take away what they’re doing, but just start issuing. For instance, in Europe, we could issue pesetas again in Spain, and drachmas in Greek and Greece and whatever, and just feed the economy with them. When could do that? People don’t know their own power. Unfortunately, they they tend to have been sheep, like Dostoevsky said that people prefer being told what to do and don’t want the responsibility of their freedom. So I think we are taking it on again. I think the young people are moving in very healthy directions in wanting gifting societies and you know, not doing racism and warfare anymore. Even in the 60s. What do we say what if somebody called The War nobody came to do that now you know, it’ll be harder. Poverty will Like mercenaries, you know, will feed mercenary armies. But if we can do self sufficiency at local level so that young men don’t have to go to war, I don’t think those whose Yeah.
Rick Archer: Well, the whole metaphor you started with humanity being in an adolescent phase might be a good way of concluding this this interview, it’s, you know, when we’re, when we’re little children, when we’re infants, we’re pretty much in tune with things, but, and we’re protected and taken care of and fed, but we haven’t gained any sort of independence or autonomy. And we necessarily have to go into a phase where we do that. But as soon as we do, we begin acting pretty crazy. And, you know, messing things up and trying things out, you know, getting in trouble and so on. And hopefully, if we survive that phase, we get into a more mature adult phase, where we’ve, we’ve learned from our mistakes, and we’ve, you know, kind of become more stable and our perspective and all. And, you know, so you, you mentioned that we were probably in an adolescent phase, I don’t know how far and maybe do you see DCS is kind of just on the way out of it now and into adulthood, we’re getting close,
Elisabet Sahtouris: very much, I think we’re really on the brink of maturity, and that a lot of people have already reached that maturity and, and are have already built local community to a high degree, as a couple examples that I gave, and the rest of us we were very close to a tipping point, I think,
Rick Archer: good. Oh, that’s an exciting phrase. Tipping Point, I mean, tipping point implies, you know, very abrupt change. And so
Elisabet Sahtouris: locally, for instance, wherever there’s been a flood or a tsunami or hurricane or whatever the tipping point has occurred that quickly where you flip from competition into cooperation, because disaster pushes you. And I sometimes say, well, even though we have these minds that could act proactively maybe we too, like other species have to be pushed into our adulthood. And it’ll be a combination of both some of us are already working proactively, and others will be pushed in that direction. But I think it’s, it’s inevitable, grow up or die,
Rick Archer: hopefully grow up.
Elisabet Sahtouris: And you know, it, it we are like imaginal cells in the caterpillar, you know, we are linking up all over the world, we have this wonderful, good side of technology that enables us to link up this way. And as I said before, make sure you’re doing something that you love doing, that will make a better world and just start to live it.
Rick Archer: That’s great. So to conclude, just to finally once more to put this whole conversation in context, from my perspective, and awakening or enlightenment is not just about a nice subjective experience that someone can have, but that it inevitably has, and it’s going to have an impact on society. And just as war is a manifestation of perhaps, tension and collective consciousness, all sorts of beautiful societal changes will be the manifestation of awakening and collective consciousness through individual awakening. And so that’s why I wanted to have this conversation with you. I think that if I’ve seen spiritual teachers who asked about climate change, and so unsafe, doesn’t concern me it’s the world is an illusion. And I think that’s a little bit of a half baked perspective. It’s, although ultimately a physicist might say the world is illusory. It’s not a complete, mature awakening, if we reduce, dismiss it as such and don’t give proper attention to every level of creation, every level of society, every level of experience, and also manifest the sort of compassion that the greatest spiritual leaders and teachers have displayed in their lives. They’ve they haven’t, you know, just sat on a rock and dismiss the suffering of others, they’ve usually thrown themselves in to some sort of means of alleviating suffering. So
Elisabet Sahtouris: go ahead. Well, I think I would say to those people, the illusion is not matter itself. The illusion is thinking matter is all there is. Matter is real. And why are you here in the physical world if you don’t want to be part of that physical world? I happen to think all of us who are here are here voluntarily, and that we came for this roller coaster ride.
Rick Archer: As a comedian who said I broke up with my girlfriend because I wasn’t really into meditation, and she really wasn’t into being alive. Right? He did both already. So let me just make a few concluding remarks. I’ve really enjoyed this conversation, Elizabeth. You know, it’s like, since I interview a new person each week, I kind of like have to hop on to preparing for the next one. So I start reading their book, and the previous person kind of goes into the rearview mirror. But I’m really taken with your book Earth Dance, and I intend to keep reading and finishing it. And I encourage others to look into it if you’d like a sort of a an intelligent discussion of scientific principles from an evolutionary perspective, from a spiritual perspective, you’ll enjoy that book. This interview has been part of an ongoing series, there are over 200 of them now. And people who found this interesting can see a great variety of other interviews, they’re all sort of on different topics, different angles, with a basic common theme, by going to batgap.com Bat gap. Which you’ll you’ll also find their alphabetical index of all the interviews, a chronological index, were even built, even building a geographical ones because a lot of times people get in touch and say I can’t find a teacher in my area. So someone’s working on building a geographical index of all the people. And there’s also a discussion group. Each interview has its own little section in the discussion forum, and there’ll be a link to that on Elizabeth’s page, there is a link to an audio podcast so that you can just listen rather than having to sit in front of your computer for a couple of hours. And there’s a Donate button. Buddha at the Gas Pump is a 501 C three, which means in the US. It’s a nonprofit, tax exempt Corporation, and a number of other things just explore the menus. So oh, there’s also a place to be notified by email each time a new interview is posted, sign up for that if you’d like. So, thanks for listening or watching. Thanks again, Elizabeth. It’s been a joy talking to you. And we’ll see you all next week.
Elisabet Sahtouris: And a pleasure to be here.