Here are the people Tom Shadyac interviewed for the documentary ‘I am’.
i plan to read / experience more of, these people and their findings:
David Suzuki – solutions are in our nature
Lynne McTaggart – science based programs for health and growth
Dean Radin – entangled minds
Thom Hartman – author of “Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight’
Dacher Kelter – UC Berkeley psychologist
David Quinn – author of “Ishmael”
Marc Ian Barasch – author of “Field Notes on the Compassionate Life.”
Desmond Tutu – Archbishop Emeritus Cape Town
Elizabet Sahtouris – Evolutionary biologist & futurist
Marilyn Schlitz – Emerging Worldviews
Howard Zinn – historian, playwright and activist
Rollin McCraty – heartmath institute
Coleman Barks – The Essential Rumi
Ray Anderson – Interface
And here are some of the highlights that have opened and ignited my world in the past 48 hours.
“The biosphere is ozone, air, water and land where all life exists. But there’s another layer that humans have created that Wade Davis calls the Ethnosphere. The Ethnosphere is the sum total of all the ways human beings have imagined the world into existence (David Suzuki).”
“Joan Didion had a wonderful quote. She said: ‘We tell ourselves stories in order to live.’ And probably the biggest story we’ve ever told ourselves is the scientific story. And we always think of Science as the ultimate truth. But Science is just a story. Our current scientific story is more than 300 years old. It primarily describes a very reliable, well behaved universe where separate objects operate according to fixed laws in time and space. The other part of our scientific story is written by Charles Darwin, who described a process of competition for survival. And those things together have fashioned our world. We’re told that we operate in a certain way. We realise that we’re separate, and for me to do anything to anyone else, I have to do something physical to that person. I have to punch him, drop him, freeze him, burn him or give him a swift kick. (Lynne McTaggart).”
“Here’s a metaphor that explains the whole thing: Assuming I’m a decent mechanic and I know how cars work, I can take my car which is running, turn it off, take it apart and spread the pieces all over the driveway and put it back together, turn the switch and it will turn back on. If I take my dog and cut him up into little pieces and spread him all over the driveway and I’m a really competent surgeon and I know exactly how to reattach all those pieces, and I put ’em all back together – he’s not going to bark at it.
There’s something fundamentally different between machines and life. And we are running our society as if we are pieces of a machine and as if the world is a machine (Thom Hartman).”
“And what we create from that, is a world in a sense, based on the notion that we’re all separate. And from that we create education based on the notion that we’re separate, and so we honour and enforce independence and competition. We create our business environment based on the idea of scarcity and competition. And our towns and cities are all based on this idea of separation. And so we fashion our world on the idea of needing to be significant at someone else’s expense (Lynne McTaggart).”
“Jack Davis (Professor of Native American Studies, University of California Davis) says: ‘In our language we have this word ‘wetico’ which means cannibal – one who eats, not literally the flesh of another, but who eats the life of another. We very quickly realised when you people came form Europe, that you were infected with wetico. It’s a mental illness. (Thom Hartman).”
“A couple of hundred years ago people believed in dragons and monsters but now we’ve got another monster and it’s called the economy. And you know if you read the Wall Street Journal, they treat the market and the economy, as if they are a thing. The market is not some natural force of nature – we created the damned thing. And I believe the heart of our problem now is the separation of humanity from the natural world, and the sense the economy is the most important thing in our lives. We never ask the important question, like, what is the economy for? How much is enough? (David Suzuki).”
“And this key idea that we embrace, that is so dangerous: that humans belong to a species that is separate from the rest of the living community. The only prediction I have ever made: if there are still people here in 200 years, they will not be living the way we live. They will not be thinking the way we think (Daniel Quinn).”
“Every culture ultimately comes up against the limits of growth and either dies off or reinvents itself in a way that’s sustainable (Thom Hartman)”
“Is the essential nature of humans to co-operate or dominate? Is the essential nature of humans to have kingdoms or the have democracies?
If you talk to people in Aboriginal Indigenous cultures, you find that the highest societal value is co-operation and competition is a very low value (personal note: is this left versus right politics?) and competition beyond certain boundaries is considered mental illness. And you look at ‘our’ culture and co-operation is considered a relatively low value and competition is considered the highest value. And we celebrate the most powerful competitors (Thom Hartman).”
“The basis of nature is cooperation and democracy. It’s in our DNA. (Thom Hartman).”
“When Darwin wrote ‘The Descent of Man’ he mentioned ‘survival of the fittest’ twice and he mentioned the world love 95 times. He talked a lot about behaviours like conciliation, co-operation. He found in mammals all of the lineaments (as he put it) for the golden rule, for the great religious ideals. The world was both co-operative and competitive. Darwin was interpreted and popularised by Huxley. Huxley had a much gloomier view of human nature and really stressed the idea that the natural world was an anarachy of the strong treading the weak. So, that’d what created this distorted thread. The selfish gene. The idea that we get down to the smallest unit of being and behaviour and you find selfishness and self-interest (Marc Ian Barasch).”
“Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature (by Darwin told by Marc Ian Barasch).”
“There are really sound reasons, deep survival, reproduction related reasons , for why we have evolved to be good to others (Dacher Kelter).”
“We are hardwired for a compassionate response for the trouble of others. (by Jonathon Height told by Marc Ian Barasch)”
“It’s in our DNA.
We’re born to be egalitarian, democratic.
We’re born to respect each other.
We’re born to be community.
We’re born to be our brother’s keeper.
It’s the way that we’re wired (Thom Hartman)”
“Now and again when we have served others, we actually discover a deep contentment, almost an ecstasy, that is absent from the opposite (Desmond Tutu).”
“We function better in a state of empathy and compassion and love than we do in a state of separation.
In every tradition culture the heart is considered to be the centre of the self, not the brain.
The heart contains intelligence.
The heart is not just gooey emotion.
The heart is smart. (Marc Ian Barasch)”.
“The heart when it beats it generates a large electromagnetic field.
So, that field generated by the heart radiates external to the body. I’m not describing an aura now. This is a mineral measurable field. If you now wire up two people, and we can literally measure my heartbeat and it can be detected by your brain. And, not only can we measure it, it can have a physiological effect (Rollin McCraty).”
“What we found is that the heart is the first system to know this intuity of information. What this study did confirmed what a lot of great religions and philosophers for the past millenia have been saying. That the heart really is the primary access point to what one call call your spirit or higher self (Rollin McCraty).”
“What was said to the rose to make it open was said to my chest (Rumi).”
“We are not separate. Nothing is separate. That everything is connected everywhere at all times. (Marc Ian Barasch)”
“My emotional state can impact the yogurt bacteria sitting in front of me (Tom Shadyac).”
“Human emotionality does create a very real energetic field that radiates from others and other living systems are attuitive to those energetic fields.”
“When mass mind becomes highly focused, something about the physical environment changes as well (Dean Radin).”
“What we do at an individual level really does effect the global environment. (Rollin McCraty”
“Well, this is the primordial mind matter interaction. This is saying that something about your mind (conscious awareness) is able to turn the potential fabric of reality into the world that we live in. Unfortunately, this sounds way too close to new age concepts of ‘you create your own reality.’ A lot of Scientists will hear what I’m saying and dismiss it instantly. But actually the essence of this idea is not even that controversial. The idea that consciousness is somehow linked into the behaviour of the quantum world (Dean Radin).”
“‘Just to be in body, and sentient, is a state of rapture (Rumi).’ Just being here is a cause for celebration. It’s our cause for grief too – but grief is also a form of joy. The rose celebrates by falling apart…and the clouds by weeping (Coleman Barks).”
“Air is this thin layer around the planet that holds us together than unites us that links us to the past and the future as far as we can see. What happens to one breath of air? How do you follow a breath of ait? 1% of the air is an element called Argon. These elements are so snooty aristocrats that they don’t react with anything else. They’re inert (David Suzuki).”
“You breathe in a breath of air. You can actually calculate how many molecules of Argon are in that breath of air. And that breath of air goes out of your lungs and it laps around the room and over time it spreads all around the world. And you can actually calculate how many Argon atoms you just breathed in, that were breathed by Alexander the Great, Mohammed (Ray Anderson).”
“Every breath you take has millions of argon’s atoms that were once in the bodies of Joan of Arc and Jesus Christ. That every breath you take have millions of argon atoms that were in the bodies of dinosaurs 65 million years ago. That every breath you take will suffuse life into the future as far as we can see (David Suzuki).”
“We are connected. The Argon. Across the centuries. Across space and time.(Ray Anderson).”
“Aboriginals are absolutely right. All of life is our biological kin. To me the most amazing thing about the human gene project was that it turns out over 99% of the genes in a human being are identical to the genes in our nearest relative, the great ape. That the vast majority of genes in our cells are identical to the genes in our pet dogs and cats. We have thousands of genes identical to the genes in fish and insects and birds and funghi and trees. They are our relatives. We should be grateful and celebrate our dependence on our relatives – the rest of life on earth. And celebrate the air, the water, the soil, the sunlight that makes our lives possible (David Suzuki).”
“So, what we’re now discovering in a science that underpins and explains all of those intuitive ideas that native culture, traditional cultures and eastern religions has understood for pretty much all time. Now Science, is finally catching up with religion and spirituality and saying yes. That was right. That was right all along. We were wrong (Lynne McTaggart).”
“It questions the story that Science has developed about who and what and that story is very important in driving how we behave. So, if it turns out that we’re just robots made out of meat and there’s nothing else there’s no intrinsic meaning or virtue or values or anything – it’s just we’re here and it’s a mechanical system and that’s all there is. If you strongly belive that, you would behave in a different way than if you also believe there’s something beyond that . Not religious. Not necessarily even spiritual. But just some form of connection between what you strongly believe inside and the way you experience it, is somehow reflected in the world at large, and effects other people as well. So, if I strongly believe that, if there are people in the world who are starving and angry, whether I know it or not, that’s affecting me. And so, I would be much more inclined to help people all the time (Dean Radin).”
“Every Spiritual Teacher has said it. We have to embrace the whole. See all of nature as family. See all of humanity as family. This is the emerging story. It’s an old story. It’s been told to us before. But I think we’re just at the point of where the confluence of technology and communication and this very ancient narrative are beginning to come together (Marc Ian Barasch).”
“What do I get out of this versus how do I get the best out of you?”
“‘Someone asked the Dalai Lama what is the best meditation for this time’: Critical thinking followed by action. Discern what your world is. Know the plot, the scenario of this human drama. And then figure out where your talents might fit in to make a better world. And each of us must do something that makes our heart sing. Because nobody will want to do it with us if we’re not passionate and inspired (Elizabet Sahtouris).”
“Everyone has the power of one. Just be someone.”