Thursday, December 22, 2011

A gift from my daughter Kersti this morning

Every semester before teaching environmental science at Mendocino College I had to make a decision as to exactly what would be my method for instilling the importance of the subject to my students. There were two avenues that I had whittled it down to after 20 years of teaching. One was to use The Mother Earth Theme, the other, The Careless Disregard theme….one to awe, the other to frighten. I never knew which I would choose until I met my first class and the disposition (hopes) I had at the time. Worked well for me and my students too I believe. In this Solstice post I had to make the same type of decision. The incredible beauty and peace I am finding in my life here in my beloved Mexico or a more serious post, not to necessarily frighten but to nevertheless embrace my responsibility as an ELDER (I am now 70) and “speak my truth” as I was encouraged to do by one of my Native American Mentors some years ago. I will do both.

I will begin with the “good stuff” and those of you who have heard enough about the many difficulties we face can skip the second part.

Pre-Dawn Solstice Fire at my place

Today is The Winter Solstice. It is the MOST ancient communal celebration in the entire history of humankind throughout the world……..ALL peoples, everywhere! Reversed in time with The Southern Hemisphere but nevertheless shared. It pre-dates the communal celebrations of The Mythical Religions (Judaism, Christianity and Mohammadanism et al) by at least 20,000 years, and that is very conservative. Please reflect then on this day, it is to celebrate the “returning” of The Sun.

The Humpbacks are definitely beginning to show up here in my grid. Almost every day for the past week or two people have been seeing them in front of El Cardonal, Punta Pescadero or Las Tinas. Not many, one or two at a time but they are here, and I of course rejoice.

I was lucky enough with my friends the other day, to come across a lone Humpback about two miles out while kayaking in The WZ. That was EXTRAORDINARILY lucky and we were able to get within about 300’ of it. It fluked up 3 times during our encounter and at one point must have gone just underneath us (no telling the depth) before continuing out of our area. With me was Charlie and his son Danny and daughter Carolyn and Robert with his daughter Jinny. A fine group of people and strong kayakers as well as being adventuress, great day for me for sure. Three days later I took them out with me in the panga for a real search but we didn’t see anything.

My dream world has been very active the past few weeks with lots of Dolphin and Whale images. That is partially due certainly to the anticipation of The Whale Season and also because I have finally started writing my Whale Book. I am into the second chapter already and I think it is going to be a most delightful project. I believe my last post got my creative juices flowing and I am excited about what will come from this.

Here is the most well remembered Whale Dream

I’m on a big sail boat in The N. Pacific, heavy seas, icebergs, I’m at the bow with “tourists”. There is a big breach in front of us, big wave too, I think dangerous. Then 3 HBs breach in front of us, I call down below to get everyone on deck, one kid is on outside of bow and in a precarious spot. I tell him to get back in, he won’t, suddenly a whale breaches right next to him and he’s overboard. Seas are too rough and cold for me to just jump in…….moral question of diving in or not, water not clear enough to see him. My son Zack is there in the bow and I ask him to stir, I finally dive in but can’t see the kid, a grey whale swims next to me, I know this is the whale that dislodged the kid, the whale is sorry, wants to help, I have no mask, can’t see anything, Navy arrives, I’m pulled out, I have no suit on, get my black one, then find I’m walking into a church (?) to be interviewed, and then dream deteriorates.

Here’s the critters I would be studying if I wasn’t doing Whales. This was sent to me by my daughter Kersti indicating the totem spirit she sees as hers. So right on!

Here is another picture she sent recently, incredible what nature offers us genetically sometimes.

Albino Peacock

And how about a REAL dragon

And for those of you who read The Tintin Books to your kids, isn’t this a nice vision?

Ok, now for the other stuff.

These are some things to consider as we approach Christmas and the coming decade.

The 6 Walton children (Walmart) have more wealth than the bottom 30% of Americans COMBINED

The Banks have melded into a small group of very powerful people,

and are perpetuating and encouraging the incredible gap between the First and Third Worlds.

The environment is eroding faster than any of us in The Sciences anticipated and it is due to The First World’s consumerism and the fuel needed to provide the goods. We MUST stop using FOSSIL FUELS completely at some point. The Planet is a CLOSED SYSTEM, there is no faucet out there to let in clean air and water, nor a drain out to The Cosmos for our garbage. Think NEW PARADIGM.

When you have an arbitrary economic system that has at it’s core, not only an accommodation for greed but an encouragement towards greed, and masked as somehow equivalent to Democracy, Justice and Freedom, you cannot but have social injustice.

When you have a government beholding to corporate power and a corrupt banking system that denies basic human rights and dignity, you cannot but have social injustice.

When you have a common religious mythology (Judeo-Christian-Muslim) that implies sin, retribution and superiority as acceptable tenants of belief, you cannot but have social injustice.

When you have a professional military that is ready to invade any country, torture it’s enemies, turn on it’s own people and devise increasingly heinous means by which to kill, you cannot but have social injustice.

The only FREEDOM is freedom from the above!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

On the 22nd of December The Earth begins "tipping" back to the vertical

Please be good to yourselves. This year, the 22nd of December is The Winter Solstice. It will then be MIDWINTER and Grandfather Sun will begin his journey North to bring us light, warmth and rebirth. Do not despair because of the commercial and religious insanity of The Judeo-Christian-Corporate Mythology, it IS the return of The Sun that makes this period of the year truly sacred…..and that is as REAL, SOLID and DEPENDABLE as the heart that beats within you.

My birthday dinner with friends, Roxanne, Darrel, Dawn, Carla and JC was great fun. The food was excellent (I had Cajun Bacon Wrapped Giant Prawns), the conversation lively and I was allowed to tell some stories.

A few days later, on Dec. 1st , we had the clearest water all year. I did laps over the reef and once again thanked The Great Mystery for my good fortune. I went kayaking the next day hoping that the visibility would hold but no. The WZ was not stirring either and I actually got cold out there. Fortunately I had taken my windbreaker with me and I was comfortable, so I was able to enjoy the power of Grandmother.

Big news, NASA has released information that a nearby Planet, Kepler 22b, could be very much like Earth. It orbits a star similar to our own and is at a distance from it’s sun that is called The “Goldilocks Zone”; the zone where a LIFE sustaining Planet could be found. It is a fond hope of mine that we discover Extraterrestrial Life before I pass into a different part of my journey. I’m not talking about anything but simple microbial life, that’s all we have to find just once off Planet and we can be assured that life will be found everywhere in The Universe.

Kepler 22b Artist rendition

You are all aware that for the past 8 years I have been engaged in “Scientific” research into Humpback and Blue Whale population numbers, migration routes, health and surface behavior. I have done this in collaboration with Dr. Jorge Urban Ramirez of UABCS in La Paz. Recently I have been delighted and proud to post that our work has resulted in the recognition of our area as a unique and invaluable breeding/calving ground for a large population of North Pacific Humpbacks.

Since 2007 I began to realize that these magnificent creatures deserved far more than simple “Scientific” study, they deserved to be recognized as the “OTHER” sentient species on this planet and to be treated as such. I was led to this conclusion by first hand experience, various readings and deep contemplation and meditation. In order to further my own interaction I therefore began to dive with them in that same year (2007).

Before my very first Whale Dive Courtesy Susan Janssen

First Humpback "close encounter" 2007, I'm the smaller surface object on the left

"Eyeball-to-Eyeball" with this Blue Whale 2009

"Eyeball-to Eyeball" with This Orca in 2011

Since then I have dove with many Humpbacks, Blues, Bryde’s and Orcas. I have also dove with 3 different species of Dolphin. My “close encounters” now number in the dozens and I expect will increase as the years go by.

These experiences have reinforced my belief that they are indeed a sentient species on an order certainly equal to ours and perhaps even more sophisticated.

With this in mind I have begun to relate to The Cetaceans as the “OTHERS”. Let me explain. Some 50 or more million years ago, a number of members of The Taxonomic “Class” Mammalia, began returning to The Seas to hunt for food. Exactly what influenced that move is not known for sure and it need not have been anything necessarily dramatic. The results however were. These terrestrial, lung breathing, four legged mammals began to adjust to the Ocean environment and slowly evolve body shape and physiology to better accommodate their search for food. This evolution led to The Taxonomic Order Cetacea; the Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises.

Probable Evolutionary Development of The Great Whales

The critical factor here is that within The Class Mammalia there are only four species known to possess what are called “Spindle Cells” in their brain tissue.

The cell on the left is the key to higher consciousness

These species are: Humans, Great Apes, Elephants and WHALES. It has been determined by Neurophysiologists that the Spindle Cell is necessary for “cognitive” thinking, “Free Association” and other generally recognized higher order intelligence functions including recognition of SELF and one’s relationship to others. In other words true sentience!

Of course the Great Apes and Elephants are terrestrial as is the Human, but in the case of the Cetaceans we are talking about species that have evolved this intelligence over a period at least 10 times longer than we Humans. Their brain size and hemispheric connections are also equal or greater to our own. If one were to visually compare the appearance of a Human Brain next to a similarly sized Cetacean Brain they would have a difficult time discerning which was which.

Human Brain

Sperm Whale Brain (6-8 times larger than Human Brain)

Evolution does not favor the retention of a genetic factor if it does not benefit the species. The sophistication of an organ (in this case the brain) does not evolve and get passed on UNLESS IT IS USED. The Sperm Whale actually has MORE Spindle Cells than a comparably sized human brain. Surface behavior and more recent underwater behavioral studies have also indicated sophisticated intelligence, and that doesn’t even include the “Songs” of The Humpbacks or the dozens (and growing in discovery) sounds and frequencies that The Cetaceans communicate in.

The point then is this; we live on ONE PLANET but a Planet with TWO WORLDS. Within the Terrestrial World the Human Species is THE DOMINANT intelligence, within The Marine World it is The Cetaceans that are THE DOMINANT intelligence. It is time to recognize that, honor it, and learn to live with them in a more intimate and loving way.

The other day I took my camera to the beach and took some shots, enjoy…..I did.

The "Perseverance" of Life

Beach Texture

A hunting Whimbril

And here is The Shangri-La “Fleet”, always ready, swift and loyal. The two yellow ones belong to my Quebecois (my extended family; Jean-Luc, Brigitte, Antoine, Tristan and Quentin)

The Shangri-La "Fleet"