FMBR Editorial: Jan, 2013
When the Spirit World Speaks
William C. Gough
Part 1 written before the election
As I watch the huge storm Sandy begin to hit the East Coast I began to think of "weather spirits" that shaman interact with and respect. In our Western culture we don't recognize the intelligence of such spirits and their ability to interact with us. I think of the Republican Presidential Convention and how those attending laughed at the possibility of global warming and that human actions could affect the weather. Both presidential candidates have avoided discussing the human impact upon the weather, and one has proposed actions that would significantly accelerate this impact. Now if I held the belief system of a shaman I would be speaking to the weather spirits with respect and not ignoring or insulting them.
How might intelligent weather spirits react to our actions during this presidential campaign? The spirits just might create weather conditions that would shut down the economic heart of our financial system, the NY Stock Exchange; close down the heart of our government in Washington, DC; stop our transportation systems from running; and turn off our electrical power. Such interactions could cause us to stop thinking solely about jobs and instead begin thinking about life on this planet, including our own life. And just for fun the spirits could throw in an October surprise for our whole U.S. electoral process.
Part 2 written after the election
I began to think some more about weather spirits. What about hurricane Isaac, a storm that changed course for reasons that are not understood. It ended up heading towards Tampa, Florida, the site of the Republican Convention. The first day of the convention was canceled and the official schedule seriously disrupted -- the video biography "introducing" Romney to the nation and the GOP star Marco Rubio were both bumped off prime time TV coverage. Then just a little over a week before the election hurricane Sandy struck -- over Halloween. The presidential campaigns went into "freeze" mode while Obama swung into "commander in chief" mode. The positive surge that Romney had been experiencing was suddenly also frozen.
Most would say that the timing of these weather events was accidental. But what if there were weather spirits with intelligent intent that observe us and can work with the weather systems in the physical world?
I looked at Sandy. It did not behave as one would normally expect. There were three weather systems that had to "cooperate" to produce the superstorm. There was a strong ridge of high pressure centered over Greenland that blocked Sandy from going north or east, and there was a cold front on the mainland that was drawing the storm westward. Was this amazing combination of meteorological factors just an accident or could it be three "intelligent beings" working in harmony to produce an effect? Yet, how could an organized weather system consisting of water and air be "alive" -- it's nothing but inorganic material. But then we are up to 60% water, our brain is 70% water and our lungs are nearly 90% water, and we can't live without air. But, don't you need a heart and brain to have "intelligence"? Not necessarily. We will all agree that a jellyfish is alive, yet it has no heart or brain or bones, is 90% water and has been smart enough to survive for more than 650 million years, longer than the dinosaurs.
There was a time when I thought that the spirit world couldn't really affect us. Could we be unknowingly interacting with intelligences that are powerful and could get mad at our stupidity and lack of respect? I've had experiences where the spirit world expressed itself and made me think twice about this possibility (See my introduction to the paper What Science Can and Can't Say About Spirits by Gough & Shacklett, 2000/2001 (https://fmbr.org/what-science-can-and-cant-say-about-spirits/)
After Sandy and the election, society again began to seriously talk about global warming. Our 44th president in his inaugural speech now addressed the topic. "We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But American cannot resist this transition. We must lead it." The weather spirits smiled. For a short time the grey skies over Washington, DC changed -- the sun shown though. Maybe we humans are finally beginning to listen to what the shaman and weather spirits are trying to tell us.
William C. Gough, FMBR CoFounder and CEO Emeritus