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Archive for January, 2007

Time for a Change of Heart?

Saturday, January 6th, 2007

“I’m saying that we should trust our intuition. I believe that the principles of universal evolution are revealed to us through intuition. And I think that if we combine our intuition and our reason, we can respond in an evolutionary sound way to our problems.”
Jonas Salk

Having spent a fair bit of my spare time in the last 2 years gathering and analysing statistics on the correlation between CVD mortality and nitrate fertiliser use, I’ve now been able to add more supporting data to my June 2005 article on the subject.

This year I’m taking a step back from practice to spend more time on this as preliminary findings indicate that the hypothesis is well worth pursuing.

Ringing in the new

Monday, January 1st, 2007


“I do not see a delegation
for the four footed.
I see no seat for the eagles.
We forget and we consider
ourselves superior,
but we are after all
a mere part of the creation,
and we must consider
to understand where we are,
and we stand somewhere between
the mountain and the ant,
somewhere and only there.
As part and parcel
of the creation.”
Unattributed quote from Mohawk Nation of Akwesasne

The New Year here in Scotland didn’t feel very new, being as we were battered by gales gusting to 70mph and most of the major street parties had to be cancelled at the last minute. It seems we’re back to the weather pattern that prevailed for most of November and December before Christmas brought us a temporary respite. The farmers here are saying there’s never been weather like it. Scotland may be infamous for its wet and windy climate, but weeks and weeks of severe gales and relentless rain is uncommon even by our standards.

It’s hard not to see this as a rather neat symbolic comment on the part of the Earth – the party’s over, folks. Global warming is real and if we don’t do something about it soon, then all hell is going to break loose. In their November 8th report “High Stakes”, the UK Institute of Public Policy Research argues that the time left for action is just about zero, and that the risk of catastrophe is about 80-90% if we do not make immediate drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions well in excess of current policy targets.

Yet for as many as are currently painting pictures of doom-laden scenarios, there are also those who point out that the period of relative climate stability which the Earth has enjoyed since the end of the last ice age is rather more the exception than the rule, and that sudden climate change is quite ‘normal’ in the long-term global view of things.

So now that global warming has ousted nuclear holocaust from the number one spot in the Armageddon dance charts, and the hills and vales of our political landscape have acquired a quick coat of green gloss, it’s appropriate to ask what’s really going on here. I don’t pretend to have any special insight into all this, but here are some New Year’s thoughts on the subject. (Beats making resolutions anyway.)


No matter that it’s one of the few certainties in life, western mankind can’t seem to handle the uncertainty of change, and for the most part we prefer to nurture illusions of constancy; the more fixed and unwavering, the better. Bring on those fundamental laws of existence! Never mind that experience and history keeps giving the lie to them, we’ll take the map rather than the territory any day. Despite the fact that we’re constantly dealing with the actuality and experience of change and evolution, and pretty well at that, we remain woefully, pitifully, incapable of intellectually appreciating its impact in our lives or even perceiving it in action.

As individuals, it seems the more change we become aware of, the more averse to it we become and the more negative comparisons with “how things used to be” we tend to make. Things start to seem better in our younger days once we’ve acquired about 40 years’ worth of them, and given that every generation within living memory has come to the same conclusion, it doesn’t take much extrapolation to see that the human race should have passed the threshold of terminal decline a good millennium ago at least, were these observations in any way indicative of an objective trend. But here we still are, currently in the throes of bringing about the end of the world as we know it. Yet again.

Another of our much-cherished illusions is the one of our separation and difference from the rest of the planet’s lifeforms. Earth may have its ecosystems, but we’re not part of that. Or, if we once were, we are no longer. Where does an idea like that come from? Some sort of intellectual hubris or technocrazed arrogance? Even the most dedicated ecologist seems to perceive mankind as a race apart, some kind of parasitic entity assailing the Earth which would probably be much better off without us. And it’s very persuasive imagery, particularly in view of our destructive approach to the Earth’s biodiversity. Yet we evolved with and out of this planet, as much a part of its ecosystems as any other lifeform, and in our continued evolution are as much an evolutionary expression of the planet as any other.

Is it only our delusion that we’re in some kind of ‘control’ that’s preventing us from seeing that we may very well be playing out a necessary role as catalysts of change as the planet moves on to the next stage in its evolution? Possibly. And that’s also conceivably one of the reasons why so many initiatives to reverse the changes have been so half-hearted and ineffective (another, of course, being the belief that nothing much changes so nothing needs to be done).

But what if we’re not in control at all? What if we’re just pawns in the game? So the problem might seem to be not so much what we’re doing, but how we’re perceiving what we’re doing. Rather than wailing that we need to put the brakes on a process so far beyond our control we can scarcely imagine – like building a wall to hold back a tsunami – would we not simply be better spending our energies on preparing ourselves for how we might surf the wave? Change happens no matter how much conceptual resistance we put in its way, and trying to turn the clocks back has never succeeded yet outside of our imaginations.

“Living in the world without insight into the hidden laws of nature is like not knowing the language of the country in which one was born.”
Hazrat Inayat Khan

Thanks to the current insanity revolving around homeopathy in this country, in both media and blogosphere, it's become necessary to insult your intelligence by explicitly drawing your attention to the obvious fact that any views or advice in this weblog/website are, unless stated otherwise, the opinions of the author alone and should not be taken as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. If you choose to take anything from here that might be construed as advice, you do so entirely under your own recognisance and responsibility.

smeddum.net - Blog: Confessions of a Serial Prover. Weblog on homeopathy, health and related subjects by homeopathic practitioner Wendy Howard