Education: Life and Consciousness:


The Nature of Thought – Part XV


by Mr. Iain Kirkaldy-Willis,

Naturalistic Philosopher

Canary Islands, Spain


This article follows on the heels of the sequence of articles recently submitted to the BWW Journal, as an afterword. The question of who we are that the articles focus on is not an easy subject. Probing the matter is highly uncomfortable. That is why I used that number of articles, in order to circle over features in the landscape; marshal facts in different ways, and consider the matter in a variety of contexts. Though it is not hard to be straightforward and make categorical statements, it is not so easy to get the feel for the matter that we would need if we are to really achieve the understanding that enables each of us to bring change about.


Though it surprises me to be writing again so soon, it is because we have some serious thinking to do, thinking of a philosophical nature because of how it concerns who we are and I´d like you to have a better sense of the factual footing, in order to do so.


First, though, the question of how serious the thinking we need to be doing is. Let me summarise what has come up in one article and another like this:


In 1947, The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists began keeping The Doomsday Clock, with regard to nuclear proliferation.


1969/70 UN Secretary General, U Thant, addressing the UN General Plenary Session said that, unless the prevailing economic growth model was replaced within 40 years, the global economy and the state of the environment would have reached a tipping-point.


By 2015/16, the collective failure to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, act on climate change and find safe and sustainable sources of energy had moved The Doomsday clock to 3 minutes before midnight.


Then, 2018’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences estimated that, with bacteria at 13% of the world’s biomass, plants represent 82% of all living matter and all other creatures, from fungi to insects, to fish and animals are just 5%. In that context, the world’s 7.6 billion people represent 0.01% of all living things. Yet human conduct has caused the loss of 83% of all wild animals and half of plants, while livestock kept by humans abounds.


This state of affairs is ridiculous. Our use of science and technology has brought this to pass. The same science and technology are monitoring what is happening. While, in still other hands, the science and technology that has made for the style of life we have, continues inventing and producing what supports our living it, so hastening the downward spiral we are in. With ever grander projects, it goes on treating environmental issues as glitches that need fixing. Yet the real problem is ignored!


How so?

The sea covers about 70% of Earth’s surface, to an average depth of almost 4,000m, which makes it 99% of Earth’s living space. Human activity has brought about the likes of the melting of polar ice, ocean warming, rising sea levels, change to both its acidity and salinity and creating dead zones. This shock to the sea’s physics and chemistry has affected its vital functions; already impacted the conditions of life in it, to an extent that is bringing about biological change. As with a canary flapping in its cage at being gassed down the mine, we are clamouring about climate change when it is what has already happened in the sea that is in the driving seat. We have unleashed powers in 99% of the planet’s living space, the consequences of which are beyond our reckoning. The matter has passed the point of no-return. The sea is sick.

.... next!


In my articles I drew from the rapidly developing cross-referencing there is between the traditional sciences, the social sciences and the gamut of what comes under the label of esoteric and psychic material. In order to get at the nature of thought and who we are, there is no point trying to plumb the extent of this convergence or to cover the data that is emerging, when its appearance is exploding at an exponential rate. However, by way of illustration, I will mention 3 examples; firstly, one concerning newer disciplines like archaeo-astronomy and archaeo-ecology with more extensive findings in archaeology, climatology, geology and palaeontology that are changing the prehistoric picture; secondly, concerning a mix between biological and neurological research, on the one hand and shamanic sources, on the other, with regard to genetics, and thirdly, concerning the concept of “the heart of the world” that stems from what the second demonstrates.


Firstly, along with other investigations in newer archaeological disciplines and records, archaeo-ecological reconstruction of the rise and fall of the River Nile’s level and course over a time-span of thousands of years has led to a completely different picture of Nile civilisation. Together with what a variety of disciplines have to show about the collision of material from space with our planet 11,500 years ago a time-line that reaches back to “a First Time”, around 39,000 BC, falls into place, putting the sudden emergence of neighbouring civilisations 5-6,000 years ago, fully-fledged, into a larger historical context.


Secondly, again there is a data convergence between what scientific findings concerning DNA are turning up; what the social sciences explore, with regard to indigenous peoples and their knowledge sources, and what shamanism demonstrates. However, it is a rather loose-knit, indeterminate thing, so far, though the parallels are obvious. So, in my own research I have been following on from how the visual cortex processes cellular DNA photon emissions in the same way as it does normal visual stimuli, to connect the dotted lines that show how, in experiencing other levels of awareness, we access perceptions that give us a larger sense of life and a more coherent view of the world that includes the shamanic experience of communing with plants, other creatures and the “spirits of nature”.


Thirdly, this communion we have with plants, creatures and nature, just referred to, is about “the oneness of all life”, in which what is at the core of every living unit in any particular entity is its permanent state of communion with the rest of life, with The Heart of the World.


So, what we can extrapolate from these 3 examples? First, let’s take the following concerning the nature of “the heart of the world”. Every unit of life is the centre of its `world´. It has to be, for it needs the nourishment and support its world gives it, in order to perform as itself and fulfil its part in the scheme of things, the scheme of the ways that world is with what it needs from every entity therein to be the world that it is. If this was not so, that world would not have a place for that entity, but would be full of others that would. That entity would not exist. Furthermore, therefore, that entity is the centre of life in its world, for, if that world does not meet its needs, it will not fulfil the requirements its world has of it. As the entity it is, it would choose not to because it could not. The contract it had with its world would have been voided, in some way. It would be ill at ease, become sick and, lacking its input, its world would fail, in some way or other, great or small. This is so with every cell in every tissue, in each organ of the body of each form of life, on out into the universe and beyond, for bodies that are whole give that to the larger life to which they belong, thus making it complete.


Secondly, in-as-much as such matters fail, life employs any and every tendency towards disorder and chaos to further itself. Imbalance and failure are the consequence of factors affecting an entity, impinging upon a system and breaking into the world from elsewhere (whether it be a pathogenic germ breaching an organism’s integrity or some cosmic occurrence lashing the solar system), bringing about disorder and causing chaos as the repercussions play back and forth on all planes and move this way and that in every dimension, for Life orchestrates chaos. That is how it works. It is what Life is.


Thirdly, there is a genetic aspect to this, for it is the DNA of every unit in the scheme of life that makes it what it is. DNA speaks and is spoken to from the most primary units of life, like the cell, on, through what their photon emissions communicate. So, DNA is life’s language, how it expresses itself through this entity and that, to phrase the existence of the bodies and systems that are entrained to it and that cohere with it.

Then, as their DNA makes all forms of life variations on a common theme, ‘words’ in the language of life, they are in communion, whether they are whole or ailing, and it is that wholeness and suffering that they communicate, for they are all involved in the common good of the Whole to which they belong.


Last, but not least, archaeo-ecological findings concerning the Nile’s changing levels and shifting course over the 6 millennia between that catastrophe 11,500 years ago and the re-appearance of civilisation in Egypt is an illustration of the larger view that extensive data convergence gives us.


I will not further elaborate or explain these matters, since various articles have already enlarged upon them. 


Well, that being said, let’s move on.


Some things are so obvious that we do not appreciate them. Take this, for example! Elephants are not defective in the natural world. They are perfectly elephant in form and function. They exist because they are perfectly suited to the habitat within which they move about, to the extent that their presence and activity makes that habitat what it is. Wolf, in culling the herds it preys upon, is a key factor in the maintenance of the balance of life in their habitat, by doing so. (N. America’s Yellowstone Park’s experience of this is a prime example.) In the same way, Sharks having been around, for something like 400 million years, has come to be appreciated as having husbanded the seas, its activity bringing about the order that exists in that realm and stabilising the balance of the forms of life therein.


It is not that any environment has to be the composite of the floral, faunal and microbial life it is, working the way they do in it. It could be something else. So, if, for some reason, there is deviation, it drifts, key factors change, as they found out in Yellowstone when they took Wolf out of the picture. Lacking Wolf’s presence, the order no longer held. It began to fall apart as the remaining mix of life forms brought change about. The flora started to change, as Deer, no longer culled, over-browsed the vegetation. This brought other factors into play. The new circumstances began to shape the situation differently. The chaos that would have led to a new order emerging was under way, except that they brought Wolf back into the picture soon enough for the old order to reassert itself.


A theme that follows from this is the afore-mentioned Life as orchestrated chaos, the capacity Life has for organising and re-arranging itself. It fixes the imperfect of what has gone out of kilter, whether that is taking over in your back yard, or with regard to what human activity has brought about in the wider world. Life simply does not do imperfect. Life does not stop things going wrong. It does not work that way, but uses things falling out of kilter to tweak ‘the system’. If Life is ever doing things better, when, so at variance with Nature, so out of place with the order of Life, our societies so dysfunctional, how come, we see ourselves as “the cream of the evolutionary process?


Over and again, indigenous societies living in peace and harmony with life have been referred to. Wherever they are, they are (or were!) perfectly at one with the situations they are (were!) in, living in accordance with how circumstances are (were!) therein. They are at home. This is so different from the over-blown technology and life-style excesses that we use to make life for ourselves in the face of the enormity of the life from which our culture has alienated itself. As if the human race was responsible for that cataclysm 11,500 years ago, feelings of guilt for the disasters suffered have spawned one civilisation of ruination after another, each demonstrating the discord of obsessive/compulsive preoccupations with domination, order and survival, at whatever cost, to the point where the way we are bringing the world down about our ears, mirrors the devastation of that catastrophe humanity experienced 11,500 years ago.


According to how Life produced us, therefore, we had to have been just right, perfectly suited, located within the web of life the way all other forms of life were, since that is what Life is, a fabric of co-evolutionary being and activity. So something happened that affected the condition of a huge swathe of humanity, which overwhelmed and wounded it (though, not all, as indigenous societies living at the heart of the world demonstrate). So far, everything seems to point to the afore-mentioned catastrophe and the aftermath of further cataclysmic terrestrial upheaval over a subsequent 6,000 years being the culprit.


It is only creatures in captivity whose conduct shows how they are handicapped by no longer being within the web of life where they were at home. So it goes for us in the human zoo, too. It is not home. We ‘lost it’ and, in a state of amnesia, we do not know any better. We have forgotten both the perfection and what made us lose it. One can truly say that we no longer know who we are!


So, what is what about this difference between us and the wholeness of indigenous peoples?


Yes, some articles have had much to say about living by direct experience. But, at this point, let´s go back to self-organisation, again.  Traditionally, the earth sciences look at what goes on in the atmosphere, in the seas and on land, forces of nature, how these things dovetail, and so on, all of which are said to have brought about conditions favourable to life in all its different aspects. They make it all sound so smooth and easy, so logical and orderly. So why the panic about the sky falling down then? -- you know, stuff from space flattening planet Earth once more. Or, the thing about solar bombardment having lethal consequences, as Earth´s magnetic field weakens and the poles shift yet again. Or, what about this 6th extinction we are bringing about? 


The fact is that it is not such factors that keep life rolling on Earth, but what life promotes through them. There is nothing sure, or safe, about life. I have just written above that Life is chaos, that Life organises itself out of and through chaos. It is exactly this that scares us about life which indigenous peoples understand and with which they are comfortable. What their stories told and their myths explained had them living multi-dimensional lives. There they are (or were!) in the frozen Arctic, living comfortably with what was around, contented with how to get on with life there. There they are (or were!) moving around in desert wastes, knowing exactly what was where, whenever they wanted it. There they are (or were!) in hot, tropical rain-forest, cheek by jowl with any number of hazards. Each lot had their special accounts of what it was all about and how they fit, giving them the sense of belonging that they experienced as being at the heart of the world. So, they lived directly from that.


Now, is that not what one would call science and technology, people looking at the world around them for what it is, fully aware of the enormity of life and making things work so well for themselves, as a result, that where they are is home? From the Darwinian perspective of earlier peoples being primitive, we are disparaging about all this. Yet, we are not able to manage life with their directness, grace, humility and joy. From their point of view, we are immature and irresponsible!


However, self-organisation is but an activity, a functional characteristic of natural systems, a property of living entities. So what end does it serve?


Several image/text series have referred to how the physical structure of different parts of the brain comes about in successive stages during foetal development and that after birth this emphasis shifts to their functional development. This is an example of how transcendence, the ability to rise and go beyond established parameters, has biological substance. Each stage gives way to growth at the next level, each system incorporating the previous one and transcending it, ultimately creating the complete mind of an adult human being, thereby, whose faculties are available for employment towards adult human purposes, in just the same way as Elephant’s, Wolf’s and Shark’s brains develop towards being the on-board computers their intelligences require.


A plant’s development from germination through to bearing seed is another example. The seedling grows, not just through being nourished by rain, soil and sun, but through what it makes of the other factors and influences that nature and circumstances throw at it, modifying its development accordingly. Then, rising and going beyond the parameters of vegetative growth, it flowers, is fertilised, fruits and makes seed. Subject to the conditions that prevail, it conducts itself accordingly, so the process finds completion in the production of viable seed, even if it has had to stunt itself to do so. It is the activity of self-organisation that engineers all this.


Therefore, we could say that self-organisation is the mechanism that brings transcendence about.


In the face of the seriousness of the thinking it would be good for us to be doing, here is another instance of transcendence that self-organisation makes possible. Each of us shifts gear a number of times throughout life, rising and going beyond the parameters of infancy, childhood and adolescence, each time, to become adult. In talking about the successive stages of the brain´s development, this was phrased in the context of human consciousness evolving towards the fulfilment of what human intelligence is about. Though consciousness evolves through these stages, the matter does not stop with achieving adulthood, for that is actually where what human intelligence is about begins. The human intelligence that becoming adult activates is now ready to move towards rising and going beyond the parameters of adulthood. Life endows each and every form of itself with their particular nervous complex, in order to perform the functions that enable them to give expression to the intelligence with which Life imbued them.


As a number of articles have pointed out, you and I are self-organised systems, through whom Gaia speaks of the work she has given each of us to do. This means that deep inside some part of us knows what it is that we should be doing, in the same way as our internal organs know what they are to do. In telling each of us what to do, that thing within is an expression of Gaia speaking through the movement of each of our lives. It is through our conformance with this, as we find solutions to the challenges each of us faces, that the Gaian system finds fulfilment.


On the inside, in the communion of all life, everything is connected. Such communion is a simple, natural thing that comes into its own, if we but recognise that and cultivate it. It is right there within us. The helping, healing, letting the light come through and growing ourselves to be better able to do such things are vital to our being whole human beings. For it is through the likes of our comprehension of Life; our attention to the world in which our lives are embedded; our concern for its wholeness as the source of our own wellbeing, and the actual expression of such awareness through how we live our lives, that we attune ourselves with Life and make our walk in the world, whatever state we find it in, whatever the condition of those we move amongst in it. This is what human adulthood is about.


Now, one last thought, all of this is about DNA!


Without realising it, we are breathing the DNA of other species, so disseminating bacteria to play DNA´s game everywhere else. With 40 trillion microbes living in the human body, 37 billion of which get into the air around us every hour we sneeze, cough, talk and breathe, the air is an ocean of life. In your wildest dreams could you ever have imagined the sea of DNA you are in, when, for just one hour, you put 37 billion packets of DNA into the world? That is just YOU, in 1 HOUR! And then there is the DNA wriggling in every cell of the organs, tissues and fluids of your body, in all the 90% of other organisms that constitute the world that YOU are, in the rest of us who are but 0.01% of the mass of living things, all other life and all that DNA at loose in the atmosphere, soil and seas of the planet. But with no recognition of what this means, it engenders nothing in us beyond the mundane fear and revulsion of catching something from others´ germs!


Though DNA is chemical, it is not just molecular. Some articles have referenced it as a language, the informational substance of life. As such it is Consciousness and Life. Viewing it as having evolved randomly, one is presupposing that no intelligence wrote it. In which case, is it not strange that people should be reading, translating and analysing coded texts that `nobody´ wrote? - one of the texts being  the one in which our intelligence is transcribed!                                                                                                


How can nature not be conscious if our own consciousness stems from nature!                                                                                                                                    


How can the dance of the chromosomes during cell division occur without some kind of intention?


How can we pretend that nature is devoid of intent?                                                                                


Some articles have touched on how, at the hands of the patterns our emotional lives follow, the limited range of the body-pharmacy’s release of neuro-transmitters alters cell chemistry in the long term, causing genetic change. There is, therefore, no moment in any day when we are not engineering our own DNA and that in the world around us, for there is no ‘in here’ or ‘out there’. All life is one. So, there is no point at which our life-style with the science and technology that backs it is not messing around with any of this.


Yes, these are considerations with serious implications. So, here are 2 image/text series to dwell on the matter just that bit longer!


For correspondence with the author, contact: Bibliotheque: World Wide.



Presentation A
Presentation B