I think of the children who will never know, intuitively, that a flower is a plant’s way of making love, or what silence sounds like, or that trees breathe out what we breathe in.
Subscribe and Save up to 55%
I’m talking about time not existing. Time as a continuing thread that unravels in an endless progression, linking all events together while remaining independent of them — that doesn’t exist. Sequence exists. Rhythm exists. But not time. This reification of time is related to the notion of mass production and division of labor. Tick, tick, tick, as you said: Identical seconds. Identical people. Identical chores repeated endlessly. But when you realize that no two occurrences are identical, and that each moment is different from the moment before, time simply disappears. If events are always novel, then not only is routine impossible, but the notion of time is meaningless.
At thirteen minutes, fifty-five seconds chart time, the thought entered my mind to burn the leaf. I didn’t verbalize the idea; I didn’t touch the plant; I didn’t touch the equipment. Yet the plant went wild. The pen jumped right off the top of the chart. The only thing it could have been reacting to was the mental image.
On the nineteenth of April 1989, one of the huge gun turrets on the battleship Iowa blew up, killing the sailors who were manning it. Debate about responsibility for the explosion continued long afterward, but lost in the emotion of the tragedy was a curious aspect of the story.
Our new false god is the idea that we can order the future. It’s a secular messianic view of a world in which there will be no death, no sickness, no stupidity — a world we will have totally ordered by the force of our own intellects and technology.
My theory is concerned with self-organizing natural systems and the cause of form. The cause of all these forms, I believe, is organizing fields, form-shaping fields, which I call morphic fields, from the Greek word for form. I’m saying that the forms of societies, ideas, crystals, and molecules all depend on the way previous ones have been organized. There’s a kind of built-in memory in the morphic fields of each thing.
The root of our contemporary industrial pathology is what I call a deep, hidden rage in the Western world against the human condition. We are devastating the planet in an orgy of destructiveness. We refuse to accept anything in its natural state.
Today, October 22, 1983, with several million people throughout Europe taking part in demonstrations in support of United Nations Disarmament Week and protesting against plans to deploy yet more nuclear weapons in Europe, it is impossible not to be aware of the increasing danger with which we are faced. It seems to me that unless we change the way we think and feel, the chances of our own survival and the survival of countless other living organisms on this planet are remote. I hope that we can reflect a little more about this question of our attitudes and the influence they have.