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.
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.
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
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"