When our parents graduated from college, the bachelor’s degree was a coveted badge of honor. It gave applicants instant cred (and usually a larger paycheck) no matter what the job. Now, having a bachelor’s degree does nothing to make an applicant stand out from the masses. And if you’re applying for a job well below your skill level because you’re desperate for a paycheck, that B.S. degree will probably get your carefully crafted resume tossed in the trash.
American youth are slowly realizing that the old system is broken, and no longer holds the answer to all their dreams and desires. We’re discovering that stable, satisfying careers can be found outside the offices and factories around which our parents and grandparents built their lives. We’re acknowledging that the pursuit of bigger, better, and faster things have plunged our country into a time of despair and difficulty. We’re convinced that business as usual isn’t an option any longer–but what’s the alternative?
Together, we’re learning that instead of waiting for politicians and corporations to fix the system, it’s possible to create a better one of our own, right under their noses. A new way of living, in which access is valued over ownership, experience is valued over material possessions, and “mine” becomes “ours” so everyone’s needs are met without waste.
If these ideas get your blood pumping, there’s good news: young people all over the world are already making them a reality. It’s called collaborative consumption, (or the sharing economy) and it’s changing the way we work, play, and interact with each other. It’s fueled by the instant connection and communication of the internet, yet it’s manifesting itself in interesting ways offline too.
If you’re ready to connect with people who can help you save money, pursue your passions, and reduce waste, here’s a quick-start guide to your sharing experience:
1. Remove all items from the box and assess
Sit down with yourself (or some friends) and talk about what you’ve got, what you need, and what you could live without. Take stock of what you’d be willing to share, rent, or give away. Write down all the things you really need to be productive/happy/connected. Then, cross out all the things that you want just to have them, and highlight all the things that involve a valuable experience. Now you have a list you can tackle through sharing.
2. Connect to the power source
The collaborative consumption movement empowers people to thrive despite economic climate. Instead of looking to the government or corporations to tell us what we want or create a solution for our problems, we take action to meet our own needs in a creative fashion. This is our power source. Start looking for ways to share at school, on community billboards, by asking friends, or use the resources below (US-based unless noted otherwise):
Roomates.com – A roomate finder and roomates search service which covers thousands of cities nationwide.
Kickstarter – A crowd-funding site powered by a unique all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands.
BetterMeans – Use open-source decision-making rules, and self-organizing principles to run your real-world projects.
TaskRabbit – make extra money doing odd jobs or outsource small tasks and deliveries with this errand and delivery marketplace.
Skillshare – earn some extra cash teaching a class or learn a new skill to help you get or create that dream job.
Use the coworking wiki, Loosecubes or Liquidspace to find a friendly place to cowork. Coworking is a flexible and community-oriented workspace option for business travelers, independent workers, and entrepreneurs.
CouchSurfing – An international network that connects travelers with free accommodations offered by locals in over 230 countries. There’s no better way to immerse yourself in the local culture than to stay with an friendly local.
Airbnb – the leading a fee-based service that connects people who have space to share with travelers looking for lodging, all over the world. Also check out similar services iStopOver, Roomorama, and Tripping. Save a ton of money and connect to the local scene through these peer to peer lodging sites.
Check out 99 Dresses where you get access to free fashion in “the infinite closet” by sharing your unused clothes.
And when the time comes to start a family, use ThredUp to swap kid’s clothes, books, and toys with other parents.
Redistribution Sites (where unneeded stuff finds a loving home)
Freecycle – The original grassroots organization for giving and getting free stuff in your town.
Craigslist – This is the ultimate free classified site with categories for free stuff, shares, barters, sublets, garage sales, house swaps, tons of used stuff for sale, and more. New in town? You can set yourself up with a job, an apartment, furniture, and a date all from this site.
eBay – International online auction that allows you to buy from and sell to other individuals.
Try out Zaarly, a classified service optimized for smartphones.
Renting and sharing of general goods where you live
Once you discover local opportunities for sharing and collaborating, it’s time to add the power: you. Get involved. Create a profile on sharing/renting/bartering site and actually list some stuff you could trade. Contact the moderator of a local offline sharing group and offer up your goods or services. Collaborative consumption requires a venture into a social world, even if it’s only online; you need to get out there.
4. Sync with other devices and enjoy
Ideas like eBay, Netflix, and GameFly are pretty well-known examples of sharing, but it’s important to remember that options exist offline as well. Sure, the internet makes it safe for us to share with strangers, but that doesn’t mean you should forget about the satisfaction of sharing face-to-face. Coworking brings collaboration into your professional life; a local food co-op brings sharing into your pantry, and skill-sharing communities bring comraderie to your weekend hobbies.
Don’t be afraid to let sharing/bartering/collaborating go viral in other areas of your life as well. You’ll discover, as Rachel Botsman does in What’s Mine is Yours, that “over time, these experiences create a deep shift in consumer mindset. Consumption is no longer an asymmetrical activity of endless acquisition but a dynamic push and pull of giving and collaborating in order to get what you want. Along the way, the acts of collaboration and giving become an end in itself.”
Americans have the tools and money to create an America where all workers are employed, whose every square mile is beautiful; whose cities are safe playgrounds for children; whose food is fresh and affordable; whose waters are clean from sea to crystal sea. An America run by Americans for Americans is fully capable of rebuilding all homes so they’re earthquake-proof, hurricane-proof, tornado-proof, flood-proof, drought-proof, fireproof, and bank-proof. When Americans take control of money, we are wealthy enough to build an America where it’s easy to stay healthy and to get healed; where costs of living get smaller and our lives get bigger.
What blocks these goals? Both Us and Them.
On the one hand, all of America’s institutions have become too big to change. Like sumo wrestlers in a basketball game, they move too slow. Big Government, Big Oil, Big Insurance, Big Finance, Big Agriculture, Big Highway, Big Education, Big Military, Big Prison, Big Police, Big Poverty — these feed on disaster and control. They no longer exist primarily to fix problems, but to grow.
Then on the other hand, millions of us are employed by these institutions to enforce the past. Millions of us depend on their stocks. Many of us watch their commercials and obey their laws. Many prefer dull safety to risky action, even to save America. We drive straight, even when the road curves.
Therefore American politics wallows like a car stuck in mud with an elephant sitting on the roof, dragged by a lazy donkey, going nowhere but deeper.
As a result, the Middle Class dream has become a burden sinking millions through mortgage, insurance, utilities, tuition, credit card fees, cars and fashion. Consumerism by liberals and conservatives alike has depleted America’s essential resources and our national sovereignty.
The next American generations will never achieve Middle Class excess. That’s good for the planet and tough for them. Fortunately, though, Millennials can become a prosperous Mutual Class by starting genuinely nonprofit mutual aid systems that enable them to live well by sharing resources. Such programs were widespread and successful one hundred years ago.
Through them we create millions of jobs that revive our neighborhoods. We give ourselves raises by lowering prices. And all our current skills are employed while we enjoy new talents.
Young and old, we will become the government as we create these regional food systems and regional stock exchanges, establish green co-housing programs and green labor administrations, reduce dependence on fossil fuels toward zero, replace automobile space with train and bike space, convert vacant urban land into greenhouses and orchards, develop co-operative health plans and clinics, issue our own education credentials and our own community money.
Such local systems prepare us to take power by creating parallel authority. By taking power together we regain time for creative individuality. We move from dependence to ownership.
The Mutual Class will also pioneer Mutual Enterprise — local businesses committed to community, ecology, and social justice.
Let’s look at a sample Mutual Day. We start with sex and music, then breakfast. We walk or bike to work, four days per week. After three hours work, we return home for a long lunch and sex, or we eat with co-workers: we discuss work plans, utility and durability of product, marketing, sales, prices and wages. Then two more hours of work. We have time and energy for an afternoon stroll or game, then prepare dinner, make music, make love (Why so much sex? Because we’re relaxed). We finish with an evening stroll in our beautiful neighborhood.
To achieve such better dreams, Americans must at the same time confront anti-American institutions. Laws that forbid urgent change are a cage for us to die in. Regulations must be broken when they block American liberation from debt, layoffs, foreclosure and bankruptcy, earthquakes, tornados, floods, heat waves, cold snaps, blackouts and traffic jams.
This is merely the revolutionary American tradition that ended slavery, gained votes for women, won the eight-hour workday, secured civil rights, and started this nation. By contrast, conferences and elections are powerless displays.
Yet the most direct path to deflate bad authority is to withdraw personal dependence. Time to leave the car in the mud and get back on track. Use train, bike or feet rather than car. Shop less and shop local. Move your money into a local bank or credit union. Insulate your housing. Be a creator, not a consumer. Eat less meat or none. Have one or fewer children.
The next America will look entirely different than the one we know. We’ll have fun building it and our grandchildren will thank us. America went to the moon. Now America will go to the future.
At exactly 10:53 p.m. on Saturday, November 5, 2011, Joe and Mary Reneau were in the bedroom of their whitewashed and brick-trimmed home, a two-story rambler Mary’s dad custom-built 43 years ago. Their property encompasses 440 acres of rolling grasslands in Prague, Oklahoma (population 2,400), located 50 miles east of Oklahoma City. When I arrive at their ranch almost a year later on a bright fall morning, Joe is wearing a short-sleeve shirt and jeans held up by navy blue suspenders, and is wedged into a metal chair on his front stoop sipping black coffee from a heavy mug. His German shepherd, Shotzie, is curled at his feet. Joe greets me with a crushing handshake—he is 200 pounds, silver-haired and 6 feet tall, with thick forearms and meaty hands—and invites me inside. He served in Vietnam, did two tours totaling nine years with the Defense Intelligence Agency, and then, in 1984, retired a lieutenant colonel from the US Army to sell real estate and raise cattle. Today, the livestock are gone and Joe calls himself “semiretired” because “we still cut hay in the summers.”
On that night in November, just as he and Mary were about to slip into bed, there was “a horrendous bang, like an airliner crashing in our backyard,” Joe recalls. Next came 60 seconds of seismic terror. “The dust was flying and we were hanging onto the bed watching the walls go back and forth.” Joe demonstrates by hunching over and gripping the mattress in their bedroom. He points to the bathroom. “The mirror in the vanity exploded as if somebody blew it out with a shotgun.” When the shaking stopped, Joe surveyed the damage. “Every corner of the house was fractured,” he says. The foundation had sunk two inches. But most frightening was what Joe discovered in the living room: “Our 28-foot-tall freestanding chimney had come through the roof.” It had showered jagged debris onto a brown leather sofa positioned in front of their flat-screen TV. Joe shows me the spot. “It’s Mary’s favorite perch. Had she been here…” He chokes up.
The quake baffled seismologists. The only possible culprit was the Wilzetta Fault, a 320-million-year-old rift lurking between Prague and nearby Meeker. “But the Wilzetta was a dead fault that nobody ever worried about,” says Katie Keranen, an assistant professor of geophysics at the University of Oklahoma. We’re driving in her red SUV, just south of the Reneaus’ property, when she stops to point out where the quake tore open a footwide fissure across State Highway 62. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) maintains a database of seismically risky areas. Its assessment of the Wilzetta Fault, Keranen notes, was “zero probability of expected ground motion. This fault is like an extinct volcano. It should never have been active.”
When the Wilzetta mysteriously and violently awakened, Keranen wanted to know why. So she partnered with scientists from the USGS and Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. The morning after the initial foreshock, Keranen’s team scrambled to install three seismometers around Prague. They did so in time to capture the quake system in unprecedented detail. She says, “We got this beautiful image of the fault plane.” Within a week, her team and other scientists had placed a total of 25 devices around the fault zone. One is buried in the Reneaus’ backyard. Now, having completed a yearlong study (just published in the journal Geology), Keranen’s research indicates the Oklahoma earthquakes were likely attributable to underground injection of wastewater derived from “dewatering,” separating crude oil from the soupy brine reaped through a drilling technique that allows previously inaccessible oil to be pumped up. “Pretty much everybody who looks at our data accepts that these events were likely caused by injection,” Keranen concludes.
“We still feel tremors weekly,” complains Joe Reneau. “They rattle our windows.” The couple hasn’t bothered to rehang family photos in their living room. Instead, the framed snapshots are stacked in tidy piles on a coffee table.
“The Wilzetta was a dead fault that nobody ever worried about.” Then the drillers came. And so did a swarm of quakes.
Such seismic activity isn’t normal here. Between 1972 and 2008, the USGS recorded just a few earthquakes a year in Oklahoma. In 2008, there were more than a dozen; nearly 50 occurred in 2009. In 2010, the number exploded to more than 1,000. These so-called “earthquake swarms” are occurring in other places where the ground is not supposed to move. There have been abrupt upticks in both the size and frequency of quakes in Arkansas, Colorado, Ohio, and Texas. Scientists investigating these anomalies are coming to the same conclusion: The quakes are linked to injection wells. Into most of them goes wastewater from hydraulic fracking, while some, as those in Prague, are filled with leftover fluid from dewatering operations.
The impact of fossil fuels is no secret, but until now the short list of dirty energy’s villains never included water. Together, oil and gas extraction and production generate about 878 billion gallons of wastewater annually, roughly what tumbles over Niagara Falls every two weeks. More than a third is injected back into disposal wells. With natural gas production on the rise—it has jumped 26 percent since 2007, chiefly because fracking now makes it economically viable to pursue gas trapped in shale deposits—and unconventional practices such as dewatering ramping up domestic oil development, the wastewater deluge is expected to get worse. Operators are injecting more water than ever into drilling wells, while boring new wells to accommodate the overflow. Yet nobody really knows how all this water will impact faults, or just how big an earthquake it could spawn. In the West, small quakes don’t often cause much damage because of stricter seismic regulations but also because the underground formations—buckled, with younger rock—absorb all but the biggest events. Induced quakes, however, are happening primarily in flatter states, amid more rigid rock, making them more destructive—a stone makes a bigger splash when it’s hurled into a glassy pond than a river of raging whitewater.
For its part, industry is doing its best to avoid discussing the issue publicly, even as its leading professional guild, the Society of Petroleum Engineers, recognized the matter was serious enough to call its first-ever meeting devoted to “injection induced seismicity.” Held in September, the SPE’s 115-member workshop sought to “better understand and mitigate potential risks.” When I reached out to SPE coordinator Amy Chao, she told me, “I appreciate your interest but press is not allowed to attend in any fashion.” My requests to speak with geophysicists at leading oil and gas companies implicated in injection-induced earthquakes were also ignored or denied. I did manage to speak with Jean Antonides, vice president of exploration for New Dominion, which operates one of the wells near the Wilzetta Fault. He informed me that people claiming to know the true source of the Oklahoma quakes are “either lying to your face or they’re idiots.”
Nonetheless, there’s growing concern among state officials. After a spate of quakes linked to injection wells shook northern Arkansas, the state’s oil and gas commission declared a moratorium on underground wastewater disposal activities within a 1,000-square-mile area encompassing the towns of Guy and Greenbrier and required seismic-risk studies in the greater Fayetteville Shale area. Affected residents filed a class-action lawsuit against Chesapeake Energy and BHP Billiton Petroleum—the first time anyone has sued oil and gas companies for causing an earthquake. After an injection well was linked to quakes in Youngstown, Ohio, Gov. John Kasich issued an executive order requiring operators to conduct seismic studies before the state will issue well permits. So far, Ohio is alone in this regard; no other state—or the federal government—requires any type of seismic-risk assessment for all of its injection wells. And that worries scientists: “Nobody is talking to one another about this,” says William Ellsworth, a prominent USGS geophysicist who’s published more than 100 papers on earthquakes. Among other mishaps, Ellsworth worries that a well could pierce an unknown fault “five miles from a nuclear power plant.”
The EPA classifies and regulates underground injection wells—some 700,000 and counting—based on what goes into them. There are six categories. Class VI wells sequester carbon dioxide; Class V wells store nonhazardous fluids; nuclear waste is stashed in Class IV wells; Class III wells are used in mining salt, uranium, copper, and sulfur; industrial chemicals get stored in Class I wells. Wastewater from oil and gas operations is discharged—typically by injecting it under pressure—into Class II wells.
There are at least 155,000 Class II wells in the United States. Of these about 80 percent are involved in recovering hydrocarbons, predominantly through slick-water hydrofracking, a technique developed by Halliburton. Fracking fluid—water blended with lubricants, thickeners, disinfectants, and other compounds—is pumped into well bores at extremely high pressures. Eventually, the fluid reverses course and—along with millions of gallons of salt water that resides underground—ascends to the surface. The “flowback,” now laden with natural gas, is collected, the gas is extracted, and the residual fluid is pumped into disposal wells. There are roughly 40,000 of these, and they can be up to 13,000 feet deep.
The extraction process itself doesn’t generally produce earthquakes. This is because of something known as pore pressure, a measurement of how much stress a fluid exerts into the “pores” of surrounding rock. The whole aim of fracking is to rapidly increase pore pressure just long enough to cleave fissures into sediment and free trapped gas, after which time pore pressure equalizes, easing the subterranean stress. Only rarely is pore pressure high enough in a fracking well to cause an earthquake that can be felt at the surface.
But while fracking wells are intended to withstand high pore pressure, wastewater disposal wells are not. When pore pressure spikes in disposal wells, it can move rock. Disposal wells are drilled into vast, permeable formations—think giant sponges—where there’s plenty of space for water to spread out. But because water is heavy, the more of it that is sluiced into a well, the more it weighs on the rock below. And as Scott Ausbrooks, a geologist with the Arkansas Geological Survey, points out, “Water does not like to be squeezed.” Eventually it finds an escape route, “just like a room of people. The more you put in, the more crowded it gets, and at some point, people are going to start being pushed out the doors.”
Animated GIF: fracked Up?
Drillers inject high-pressure fluids into a hydraulic fracturing well, making slight fissures in the shale that release natural gas. The wastewater that flows back up with the gas is then transported to disposal wells, where it is injected deep into porous rock. Scientists now believe that the pressure and lubrication of that wastewater can cause faults to slip and unleash an earthquake.
With the oil and gas boom generating record amounts of wastewater, these rooms are getting increasingly jam-packed. Exactly how much? The EPA tracks volumes but wouldn’t provide them; agency officials declined numerous requests for interviews. Companies are also pumping into denser rock, or into deeper formations that are inherently unstable. “There’s much more injection going on today where there wasn’t injection before,” says Cliff Frohlich, associate director of the Institute for Geophysics at the University of Texas-Austin, who recently identified a cluster of wells at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport as the likely culprit for nearby earthquakes.
Too much wastewater in a disposal well forces liquid downward and outward, he adds. It can meander for months, creeping into unknown faults and prying the rock apart just enough to release pent-up energy. Frohlich describes this as the “air hockey” effect. A puck on an air hockey table won’t move even if the table is tilted upward a few degrees. “It would just sit there,” he says. “But when you turn on the air, it reduces the friction and the puck will slide. There are faults most everywhere. Most of them are stuck, because rock on rock is pretty sticky. But if you pump a fluid in there to reduce the friction, they can slip.”
*It should be noted that the United States Geological Survey used two different techniques to estimate the earthquake magnitude at 5.6. The Global Centroid-Moment-Tensor Project at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University used different methods to measure it at 5.7. As Justin Rubinstein of the USGS told us, this type of variance is not unusual, and the measurements are considered consistent.
hat’s exactly what happened in northern Arkansas, where, according to state geologist Ausbrooks, water from several injection wells pushed apart the two sides of a fault, “allowing it to slip and start popping off the earthquakes”—thousands of them. Ausbrooks, along with Stephen Horton, a University of Memphis seismologist, identified the source: a previously unknown seven-mile-long fault that hadn’t budged in modern times. Though not huge, the fault is still long enough to generate a magnitude-6.0 earthquake. (In 1993, when an equal-size temblor hit Klamath Falls, Oregon, it killed two people and caused $7.3 million worth of damage—in a rural area.)
While the largest faults in the United States are documented and mapped—the San Andreas, New Madrid, Cascadia, and dozens of others—”there are faults everywhere, and some are too small to be seen,” explains Mark Zoback, a professor of geophysics at Stanford University who was on the National Academy of Engineering committee that investigated the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. “A fault can be missed that could produce an earthquake large enough to cause some moderate damage.”
Oil and gas companies say they don’t cause quakes but refuse to provide scientists or regulators the data to prove it.
Scarier still is that any fault, no matter how minuscule, can instigate the domino effect scientists have observed during injection-induced earthquakes. “The scenario we worry about is one earthquake spawning another,” says the USGS’s Ellsworth. This phenomenon was evident in Oklahoma, Keranen says, where “we had one fault-plane go, a second one, and then a third one. They ruptured in sequence.” The first tremor in Prague sprang from a minor fault that collided with a larger fault, sparking the quake that trashed Joe and Mary Reneau’s home, along with a dozen others.
How far from the site of an injection well could a quake occur? Scientists aren’t sure. In Arkansas, along the fault discovered by Ausbrooks, tremors emanated nearly 10 miles. Had those quakes collided with another fault, the shaking might have extended much farther. “Once it starts moving, it’s like a chain reaction,” notes Ausbrooks.
All these factors were in play in Youngstown, where D&L Energy Group conducted an experiment, burrowing 200 feet into solid rock known as the Precambrian layer, according to Heidi Hetzel-Evans, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Tremors began three months after wastewater entered the well. The strongest, a 4.0, struck on New Year’s Eve. Wastewater had seeped nearly 2,500 feet beyond the bottom of the borehole into an unknown fault. “There will be no more drilling into Precambrian rock in Ohio,” Hetzel-Evans dryly tells me.
John Armbruster, a seismologist at Lamont-Doherty who was among those summoned to Youngstown, told me, “This well caused these earthquakes. There were no felt earthquakes in Youngstown in 100 years.” Within a year of the well opening, there were “12 felt earthquakes. After the well was shut down, the number decreased dramatically. You’d need Powerball odds for that to be a coincidence.”
There is no shortage of evidence. After quakes struck near Trinidad, Colorado, in 2011, the USGS set up a monitoring network. “A magnitude-5.3 earthquake occurred within two kilometers of two high-volume injection wells,” says Justin Rubinstein, who is part of a new USGS project to study human-induced seismicity. “These earthquakes were caused by fluid injection.” Ditto in Dallas; as UT-Austin’s Frohlich points out, “These earthquakes could have been anywhere. They weren’t. Virtually all of them were near injection wells.”
Earthquakes near Prague, Oklahoma, from November 5, 2011, through December 4, 2011. Red indicates 2.2 magnitude; magenta represents the 5.7-magnitude quake. KellyMcD/Flickr
Ellsworth, who peer-reviewed Keranen’s study, has researched earthquakes for more than 40 years and is a recipient of the Department of the Interior’s highest honor for his contributions to seismology. He studied geophysics at Stanford, earned his doctorate from MIT, and is the former president of the Seismological Society of America. When I asked him if there is any doubt among his colleagues about what produced the quakes in Arkansas, Colorado, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas, he replied, “Injection of wastewater into Class II wells has induced earthquakes, including the ones you cite.” Rubinstein agrees: “In my opinion, it’s pretty clear in all of these cases—Youngstown, Arkansas, DFW, Trinidad, and Oklahoma—that injection wells were the cause.”
Does industry concur? Jim Gipson, director of media relations for Chesapeake Energy, operator of the wells under DFW airport and a now-closed well near Greenbrier, Arkansas, declined my request for an interview. Hal Macartney, geoscience adviser for Pioneer Natural Resources, which owns some of the wells implicated in the Colorado quakes, dodged my calls and emails for three weeks. Even those not implicated directly with quake-causing wells are staying silent. Hydrofracking pioneer Norman Warpinski, who works for Halliburton, refused comment. Geophysicist Mark Houston and managing partner Steve Sadoskas, at oilfield-services provider Baker Hughes, wouldn’t talk. Julie Shemeta, founder of MEQ Geo, a firm that does seismic consulting for oil and gas exploration, said she was too busy for a 15-minute phone call even though I offered her a two-month window to schedule it.
I’m not the only one getting rebuffed. There is “a lack of companies cooperating with scientists,” complains seismologist Armbruster. “I was naive and thought companies would work with us. But they are stonewalling us, saying they don’t believe they are causing the quakes.” Admitting guilt could draw lawsuits and lead to new regulation. So it’s no surprise, says Rubinstein, “that industry is going to keep data close to their chest.” When I ask Jean Antonides, New Dominion’s VP of exploration, why the industry is sequestering itself from public inquiry, he replies, “Nobody wants to be the face of this thing.” Plenty of misdeeds are pinned on oil and gas companies; none wants to add earthquakes to the list.
The USGS’s Ellsworth tells me that some operators track seismic data near well sites but won’t share it, and so far there is no state or national regulatory requirement to do so. And the “Halliburton Loophole” written into the 2005 energy bill at the behest of then-Vice President (and former Halliburton CEO) Dick Cheney excludes hydrofrackers from certain EPA regulations, among them provisions related to “the underground injection of fluids…related to oil, gas, or geothermal production activities.” Upshot: “It’s an age where information has exploded, but this is an area where we’re still working in punch cards,” Ellsworth says.
Just knowing the daily volumes of water being pumped into a well would yield critical clues. “There is a correlation that shows the largest earthquakes tend to be associated with the largest volume wells,” adds Ellsworth. Ideally, the USGS would get real-time data. But operators are only required to track monthly volumes, and those tallies are often delayed six months or more. By then, it’s too late. Rubinstein wants “industry to actually give us hourly or daily injection pressures and volume, so we can model where the fluids are going and predict how the stress evolves over time…and be able to come up with some probabilistic sense of how likely you are to generate an earthquake.”
As for Keranen’s explosive research on the Wilzetta Fault, New Dominion’s Antonides is recruiting his own scientists to produce a report challenging it. Meanwhile, he has his own theories. “The traffic driving across the freeway could have caused it,” he says, adding that another “trigger point” is the two large aquifers that bracket the fault. Drought has reduced their water levels, “removing a lot of the weight” and allowing the ground underneath to “rebound” and perhaps release energy in a pent-up fault. “All this stuff is tied together—the aquifers, plus trucks driving across the freeway, plus water disposal, plus 50-story buildings—the whole system of man.” (This hypothesis has some basis in reality. Scientists in Taiwan fear that the weight of a skyscraper unhinged faults underlying Taipei. Though no such structure, it must be said, is found within 50 miles of Prague, Oklahoma.)
Nine days after the New Year’s Eve quake in Youngstown, D&L Energy Group issued a statement that said, “There has been no conclusive link established between our well and the earthquakes. Proximity alone does not prove causation.” In March 2012, state officials published a report explicitly detailing the connection, noting that the recent quakes were “distinct from previous seismic activity in the region because of their proximity to a Class II deep injection well. In fact, all of the events were clustered less than a mile around the well.” But D&L still questions the new findings—even though the quakes petered out soon after the company voluntarily shut down its well.
Ausbrooks and Horton partnered for nearly a year to research the Arkansas earthquakes, driving around the state to install seismometers and collect data. And yet when it came time to publish the results in a leading scholarly journal, Seismological Research Letters, Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe forced Ausbrooks to remove his name as coauthor. Ausbrooks’ boss at the Arkansas Geological Survey is Bekki White, who did two decades of consulting for the petroleum industry prior to her current post. “Ms. White conferred with our office,” Matt DeCample, a Beebe spokesman, tells me. “We felt that putting the state and/or Mr. Ausbrooks as a coauthor would represent additional academic credentials beyond their usual scope of work. The survey is in the business of data collection, not interpreting that data and reaching conclusions.” When I ask Ausbrooks for a better explanation, he laughs nervously. “Oh, let’s just say, I want to say, but I can’t. I’ll just put it this way: There’s money and politics involved.” (The state collects $14 million in property taxes from Chesapeake Energy alone.)
Fracking is an area where conflicts of interest seem particularly apt to emerge. In December, UT-Austin was forced to retract a much-ballyhooed study showing that fracking didn’t pollute groundwater after Bloomberg News and an independent analysis by the Public Accountability Initiative revealed that the lead author (and former head of the USGS), Charles Groat, had received an undisclosed 10,000 shares a year and an annual fee ($58,500 in 2011) from a fracking company. The head of UT-Austin’s Energy Institute, Raymond Orbach, also stepped down. (Groat is now the head of the Water Institute of the Gulf in Louisiana; Orbach remains at UT.)
Seismologists and geophysicists who work in academia often consult for the oil and gas industry. For example, Stanford’s Zoback is on the board of the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America, a nonprofit oil and gas advocacy group whose charter is to “effectively deliver hydrocarbons from domestic resources to the citizens of the United States.” Its members include Halliburton, Chevron, BP, and ConocoPhillips. During our conversations, he peppers his answers to my queries with caveats. “People forget that earthquakes are a natural geologic process, and in most of the cases, what the [injection wells] are doing is relieving forces already in the Earth’s crust on faults that would have someday produced an earthquake anyway—maybe thousands of years from now. The oil industry has a history of operating 155,000 [wells] without a problem. Now we have a handful of cases. Without seeming like I’m taking industry’s side, where is the problem?”
Keranen, too, juggles conflicting interests. When we talk, she occasionally cuts herself off mid-sentence and then confesses, apologetically, “I have to be careful what I say.” Her research on the Prague quakes hasn’t been published and she seems concerned it might antagonize those who will decide on her academic tenure. Randy Keller is the chair of the University of Oklahoma’s ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics. In 2007, the energy behemoth donated $6 million to the university, earning it top billing. Keller is also director of the Oklahoma Geological Survey, which has a mandate to “promote wise use of Oklahoma’s natural resources.” Such alliances make it difficult for him to point fingers. In December 2011, the OGS published an official position statement on induced seismicity, emphasizing that quakes could easily originate through natural dynamics and that “a rush to judgment” would be “harmful to state, public, and industry interests.”
When I emailed Keller in October to inquire whether the OGS had modified its assessment in the face of Keranen’s findings, he replied, “We do feel that the location of these events…the nature of the aftershock sequence, and the focal mechanisms can be explained by a natural event.” A few hours later, he sent me a follow-up. “I wonder if you understand what I was trying to say. We have never flatly said that the injection wells did not trigger the earthquakes. Our opinion is that we do not yet have the data and research results to make a definitive statement about this issue.” Keranen walks the same line, saying that her study will show that wastewater injection “very potentially” roused the Wilzetta Fault. Politics aside, there’s widespread scientific consensus that unregulated wastewater injection presents a serious risk to public safety. “We’re seeing mid-5.0 earthquakes, and they’ve caused significant damage,” Rubinstein says. “We’re beyond nuisance.”
So what would the scientists do? One option is to require operators to check geological records before drilling new wells. The Wilzetta, mapped during Oklahoma’s 1950s oil boom, could have been avoided. Another approach is using high-frequency sound waves to render three-dimensional images of underlying faults—technology that oil and gas companies already employ to hunt for untapped reservoirs. For existing wells, operators could set up seismometers to capture the tremors that often portend larger events. Finally, simply pumping less water into wells might mitigate earthquakes. Horton attempted to test this tactic in Arkansas. “We suggested reducing the amount of fluid they were injecting and continue [seismic] monitoring. We actually submitted a proposal to the industry to do that and they blew us off.” Ohio’s regulations for Class II wells, effective as of October, encompass many of these proposals.
Stanford’s Zoback is not opposed to regulation, so long as it’s not a knee-jerk reaction: “Three things are predictable whenever earthquakes occur that might be caused by fluid injection: The companies involved deny it, the regulators go into a brain freeze because they don’t know what to do, and the press goes into a feeding frenzy because they get to beat up on the oil and gas industry, whether it is responsible or not. While I’m making a joke here, there is currently no framework for scientifically based regulation. Assessing and managing the risk associated with triggered seismicity is a complex issue. The last thing we want to implement is a bunch of new regulations that are well meaning but ineffective and unduly burdensome.”
Getting regulators to agree on new rules is not going to be easy, because the connection between injection wells and earthquakes is inherently circumstantial. Seismologists can’t situate sensors miles underground the instant an earthquake occurs, which means they might never be absolutely certain that wastewater and not natural forces led to the rupture. Frohlich puts it this way: “If you do the statistics, smoking causes lung cancer. But that doesn’t mean that smoking caused your lung cancer.” Ultimately, the courts may decide how much evidence is enough, if the lawsuit in Arkansas goes to trial.
Until then, the Reneaus face more home repairs and an uncertain future. When I leave, Joe walks me out to the driveway. Resurfaced after it buckled in the quake, it’s already showing hairline cracks from recent tremors. Joe blames injection wells but thinks culpability will be hard to come by. “My theory is that even if God came down and said, ‘You oil company guys are at fault,’ they would still deny it. The only thing that’s going to stop this is another big earthquake.”
Saturday, 9 February, 2013 at Salt Lake City, Utah (posted 28 March, 2013)
This channelling is a continuation of the channellings from Phoenix and Boulder (below). It continues the discussion, a very controversial one, that Human scientific advancement is controlled… released to Humanity when it is ready. If this is the case (and the logic of it makes sense), then what is coming and where is it coming from? Are there Gaia time capsules left for us that open with ideas and enlightenment as we move into this newer energy past 2012? Are there personal time capsules as well? Where? When? It’s all here…
Greetings, dear ones, I am Kryon of Magnetic Service. The message that I give this evening is an extension to the two that I have given previously within the last weeks [in Boulder Colorado, and Phoenix, Arizona].
The information that you need to know, old soul, needs to be repeated sometimes, so we’re going to do a little bit of a review first.
There is a truth laying in the room, and one that is refreshing. There is a newness here, a renewal, and a recalibration of all things. Having passed this marker of the 2012 energy is far more significant than any of you realize. Many are watching in a quantum state from afar, and there is celebration. You can’t take back what you’ve done, and there are some axioms we wish to remind you of that may affect how you think about it all. But let us review, just for a moment.
When my partner awoke 23 years ago, he did so slowly, and we have said this before. We came at him in a slow fashion so he would not be frightened. We gave him the information slowly and simply, so it would be believable. But even back then, we had just opened the door of potential, and I had arrived because of what you had done. Old soul, some of you were young then and some of you were not. All of you were here on purpose, however.
For the last 23 years, you have simply been in survival. For the last 23 years, I have been telling you about things to expect and the profound potentials that were before you. I spoke of some of the energies that you would face, and you did. All of this was given in the metaphor of fighting an old energy, and of having a duality that constantly is being challenged and worked with. Now it’s different. Now the work begins.
The old soul will say, “Wait Kryon, I’ve been working for a long time! How can you say it begins now?” Indeed, you have been working, slogging through the tar of an old energy. But that was just survival. You have been an old soul with information, and you knew there would eventually be an awakening where that information would be used. Now the tar is starting to go away, and the awakening begins.
The 2012 Marker
Let me review from a previous channelling. There has been a time marker that has been self-imposed by Gaia on humanity, aligning itself with the precession of the equinoxes. This was a 26,000-year cycle of time given appropriately and seen by the ancestors as an end or a beginning. Should you make it past this point, there would be no going back.
There are some who are saying, “When are we going to get back to what we’re used to? I want to feel normal again.” Dear ones, you started this race when you were born and you have run a marathon, existing in miles and miles of what you call Human experience. Do you really feel that as you win this race, you’re going to be transported back to the beginning or the middle? The answer is no.
Perhaps there are those old souls who are sitting around waiting for things to return to normal, but you don’t know what normal is! You’ve always been battling the old energy, over and over for lifetimes! You have always had to be on alert ever since you understood duality. That’s not normal.
Let me describe the new normal. Normal is an earth, a planet, that has moved into a transitional period of energy where the ideas you have as an old soul now have merit and value. It’s almost like the sun has come out in a darkened area and things that didn’t used to work suddenly do. That’s the new normal. Normal will now be a time when you don’t have to wake up and slog through the mess anymore.
Reminder of What Has Happened
Continuing the review, in your new Old Soul Toolkit, use the patience tool. Don’t make up your mind that things are not happening fast enough. Instead, take a rest. Take a breath or two, as we often say, and sit back and rest. Look at what has taken place and take a moment to thank the ancestors who brought you here. Take a moment to honor your mother and your father, whether they’re alive or dead, and whether they believe in these things or not, or whether they were good to you or not. Thank them for bringing you here. Because on the other side of the veil, dear ones, before they ever got here, they knew what they were doing. There was a potential of when their biology would unite and bring your old soul back into this planet, by design.
Take a moment to honor Gaia for having brought you to this place where the energy of the planet can now start to align with you, as it did with the ancestors, for you will start to see an awakening of the dirt of the planet. Understand the alliance that is there, even in a modern day, and give thanks to the earth. For that’s where you came from. Have patience. You’re going to have to have some because of what I’m going to tell you next.
The Time of the Crazies
There is an odd, unsettling energy when darkness starts to diminish, because you grew up fighting it and you begin to miss it. Some of you are actually used to it! Some of you depend on it because you push and it pushes back. You see that attribute as balance! When it doesn’t push back as you expect, you tend to be uncomfortable and you are out of balance. So there is an unsettling energy even within the old soul. You’re not really sure what’s going on. So we say to you, relax, breathe, be patient, and recalibrate slowly to a new energy that doesn’t push back quite as hard so you’ll know how to operate within it.
Now, dear one, have you seen anything unusual lately regarding what some people are doing? Sometimes it’s in your news, but not always. It started right before the equinox, right before the solstice. You could look at the news and see what was taking place.
It seems that certain Human beings are going crazy and that some are going so far as to shoot other Human children. Others are going on rampages, making no sense whatsoever, and making you wonder all about humanity and what is truly happening. This seems no different than what you see each month, called the full moon. You are aware of the full moon, aren’t you? It’s an unusual time where the presence of the moon in a certain phase creates seeming unbalance in people. Those who are on the edge often go over it and do things they would never do if it were not the full moon. Now, I have something to tell you that isn’t pleasant. Prepare for a year of full moon energy! That’s the kind of energy you’re looking at.
Some are starting to add these things up and look at them and make statements. There are some who would tell you that the Earth is going into a diseased state. They’ll tell you that this is what the prophecies always said, and that people are becoming unbalanced. What are you going to say to them? No, it isn’t happening? It looks like it is! What’s really happening is the old energy is flailing because it can’t believe you won! And you have.
The Old Energy Has Lost the Battle
Are you feeling an energy of unbalance? Do you think you’re feeling odd due to this? Well, just think about those who depend on an old energy to exist! Think for a moment about the greed masters, those who make their living tricking others. They believe they know Human consciousness so well that all they have to do is wiggle their finger a certain way and they can trick almost anyone. They can swindle their way through life. Did you know that’s not going to work anymore? How do you think they feel? Their very survival is at stake.
Since the old ways are not working as well, they will now try other things. This is what I’m talking about, and you’re going to see a lot of dark things get darker, because those who are invested in them are starting to realize that what they used to do is not working. You’re going to see this very soon, and you’re going to continue to see it in your economy, for anything that was produced out of integrity is going to get worse until a system is developed that has integrity from the new energy.
You’re going to see it in your politics. You’re going to see it in the way politicians will campaign. You’re going to see what Human Beings in a new energy will tolerate and not tolerate, and this is all about shift. So this review is to say to you that you’re going to have to tolerate some crazies for a while. Some of them will be closer to you than not. When you see it, I want you to remember this channelling. It’s a year of a full moon energy, or at least that’s what it’s going to feel like. Watch for bizarre, unbalanced leaders, too!
Things may seem a little out of balance, and you still won’t know where the energy is settling. You really are not certain what you’re supposed to do next, and I am all the while telling you to take it easy, take a vacation, relax, and be patient. Old soul, you’ve come too far to get into this shift and then worry about how it feels.
I want you to begin using the wisdom that you came with. Those of you who have raised children, I want you to remember what this was like in certain stages of growth for them. What did your children go through in their learning curve? Was there a time when they didn’t like you, and then later they did? Did they go through sweeps of emotional change? This is what the planet’s energy is going through, and it’s almost like a rebirth.
Ideas and Inventions Are Not Random
Now, I want to revisit this because we’re coming to the point of what I want to speak of, which we have not spoken of before. It seems unbelievable, but the fact is that ideas and inventions are given to the planet when it’s ready, and not before. We told you last time that humanity believes it can “think of anything.” The intellectual believes the sky is the limit in creativity. Yet, isn’t it interesting that everything profound in ideas and inventions has come almost at the last moment? When you take a look at humanity and how long you’ve been here and how long there have been smart Human Beings, why is it that only in the last seeming second of time that almost all modern invention took place?
Imagine going through thousands of years without understanding what a bacteria was, or not believing in germs, or not having electricity. When you think about these things and the order in which they came to the planet, it’s quite revealing. Many Humans were working on the same invention at the same time and didn’t even know it. Suddenly, you received the invention of radio, then pictures that fly through the air, then flight. It all came together seemingly in the last moment. You’ve got to ask, do you not, how logical is this in the scheme of how things work? Did you have to come to a certain point in history before Humans got smart? Or do you think there was something else going on? The answer is there was something else going on. It seemed as though these ideas were being “delivered” to the planet all at the same time, and many were understanding these things suddenly all at once.
The Time Capsules
Here is what happened: Within that which you call Gaia, there is the Crystalline Grid. This is the memory of all things placed there by the Pleiadians. The Crystalline Grid was created for this purpose by the Pleiadians. When it’s proper and when humanity’s consciousness has reached a certain point, these ideas are released. It is a time capsule of invention and more. This does not happen from the great central sun; it does not happen from outside the earth, but rather it happens from within.
In the beginning of the 2000s, we sat in a place called Mount Shasta [California] and we told you of the Lemurians in the mountain. We told you of the time capsules there, and now you have the explanation. Those in the mountain are not going to come out and present themselves and shake hands. A time capsule is about information and ideas. The capsules are about quantum attributes of science and life that you’re going to discover. It is about ideas you need to have to move into a new energy when the full moon crazies are over… and they will be. So the time capsules seem to be alive by those who can sense them, and they “buzz” with activity to the esoteric “see-er.”
Did you ever put these things together? Did you ever ponder how long civilization has been on the planet? You sit in this country called the United States, but do you realize that the founding fathers of this nation put together something completely and totally unique that had never been thought of before? Out of their minds came ideas for government where the rights of the Human Being came first. Where do you think those ideas came from? I’ll tell you – right out of the ground! [The Crystalline Grid]
How long should it have taken humanity to think of that? It was a system that would seem so obvious, put together clearly and succinctly, creating a country that was young and so far ahead of all the others that it set the standard for 100 years or more that was new and different. Why didn’t that happen 1,000 years ago? You have to ask yourself, is this logical to you? Again, was humanity just unaware for thousands of years? Why were there no logical ideas for higher thinking and inventiveness?
Tesla the Man
There was a point in time when humanity almost stumbled, by the way. You were having a hard time with electricity. So a man came along who was way ahead of his time and was available and his name was Nikola Tesla. He gave you a principle that today you call alternating current. Dear ones, I challenge you to understand this principle. Most of you can’t, because it is not in 3D. The attributes are still considered “genius-level thinking” to this day. The whole idea of the kind of electricity you use today comes from this man’s quantum mind.
That was all he was allowed to do. Tesla himself was a kind of time capsule, delivered at the right time. He had more, but alternating current was all that was allowed to be given to the planet at that time. Oh, he tried to give you more. He knew there were other things, but nothing was able to be developed. If I told you what else he had discovered, you might not be aware of it at all, since it was never allowed to get out of the box. Earth was not ready for it.
Tesla discovered massless objects. He could alter the mass of atomic structure using designer magnetics, but he never could control it. He had objects fly off his workbench and hit the ceiling, but he couldn’t duplicate or control it. It just wasn’t time yet. Do you know what else he was known for? It was seemingly the failure of the transmission of electricity. However, he didn’t fail at all.
There are pictures of his tower, but every time a Human Being sees a tower, there is a biased assumption that something is going to be broadcast through the air. But in the case of Tesla, he had figured out how to broadcast electricity through the ground. You need towers for that because they have to pick up the magnetics within the ground in a certain way to broadcast them and then collect them again from the nodes of the planet’s magnetic grid system. We talked about this before. He was utilizing the grid of the planet that is in the earth itself! He was on the edge of showing that you could use the whole grid of the planet magnetically to broadcast electricity and pick it up where you need it, safely, with no wires. But the earth was not ready for it.
Tesla died a broken man, filled with ideas that would have brought peace to planet Earth, but he was simply not allowed to give any of them to you.
Now I’ll tell you why he was stopped, dear ones, and it’s the first time we have ever told you – because these inventions were too easy to weaponize. Humanity just isn’t ready for it. You’re not ready for massless objects, either, for the principles are too easy to weaponize.
“So,” you might say, “when will we be ready for it?” I think you already know the answer, don’t you? At the time when Human consciousness reaches a point where that which is most important is unification and not separation, it will happen. A point where conquering and power are not desirable ideas or assets. A point where humanity will measure the strength of its population by how healthy they are and not by economic growth. A point where coming together with your neighbor is the main objective to social consciousness, and not conquering them or eliminating them. That’s coming, dear ones. It’s a ways away, but it’s coming. Look around the planet at the moment. The old energy leaders are obvious, are they not? It’s like they are relics in a world of thinking that is passing them by.
The Opening of the Time Capsules
There is a storehouse of future knowledge and ideas in these time capsules you call Gaia, placed there a long time ago by those who you would call the Pleiadians, and these time capsules will open with new ideas about unity and peace first before they open with inventions. Humanity must soften before the inventions will come your way, and you will see what I mean over the next period of 18 years. These are the time capsules beneath your feet in the form of the nodes of the Crystalline Grid, and how fast these things are released to you will depend completely and totally on what you do next.
What To Do Next
So let’s discuss what to do next. I want you to take a vacation and learn to love yourself! That should be the primary work for 2013! Cast off the fears and the worries and put them in a metaphoric jar for awhile. You can take that jar out occasionally and worry with it, but don’t let that be the focus. The focus should be who are you, why did you come, what’s next for the planet, and a total realization that you’re not alone.
For 23 years we have said, “You’re not alone.” You may walk from this place and get in your car. You can start it, put the heater on, but while you wait for it to warm up, I want you to look at the empty seat next to you and say, “Nice to have you along.” This is an acknowledgment of the Higher-Self and the love of God that accompanies you wherever you go. Do you realize what you’ve got inside? You’re going to need this entire engine of knowledge and the quantumness that is in you to start developing the divinity inside. It must become real to you, old soul, in order to go to the next step.
The Personal Time Capsule
Now, this is your personal time capsule, and it’s what we really wanted to talk about. There are three kinds of time capsules. There’s one kind that we won’t speak of yet. There is another kind in the earth and there’s still another kind in your DNA. It’s the spiritual inheritance that you came in with that’s ready to open up like a lotus. When it does, there will be new awareness. There will be peace in a countenance that is not necessarily peaceful. There will be patience in a countenance that is not necessarily patient. That’s when you get to change you, for it releases ideas, emotions and a consciousness that has been within you always, but only now is beginning to show itself in this new energy.
Expect the issues that will occur. Don’t be shocked
Let humanity flail the way it does in a full moon. Let the crazies come out and do whatever they’re going to do. Try to help the ones who are affected. Hold the hands of the ones who need their hands held. But understand that this is temporary, because you won the major battle, dear ones! There’s a whole bunch of energy that doesn’t believe in you or anything you represent. That’s the truth. They can’t see the light in you and only feel that something is now missing in them.
We’ve been waiting a very long time to give you these messages. Now is when the work begins. It must begin with you in ways that perhaps you’re not really prepared for. It’s not about doing, but rather about being.
In these moments and these months, I want you to be aware of who you are, old soul. You came here for a reason. You’re not fighting the system and you’re not a victim of it. Instead, you are slowly becoming the system. Cast off these things that have bothered you. Deny them power in your mind and body. Tell them to get behind you. You’ve got work to do, and that’s the truth this day. Time capsules, beautiful and ready, are being activated on this planet. You should see what’s in them. Some of you will.
And so it is.
The information is free and available for you to print out, copy and distribute as you wish. Its Copyright, however, prohibits its sale in any form except by the publisher.
COMET PAN-STARRS UPDATE: As it emerges from the glare of the evening sun, Comet Pan-STARRS is becoming even more photogenic. Last night, March 17th, Alan Dyer caught it setting behind the Very Large Array, a radio telescope in Socorro, New Mexico:
Movie-goers will remember seeing the VLA in Carl Sagan’s movie Contact starring Jodie Foster. Among astronomers, the array is even more famous for real-life scientific discoveries. On March 17th, the great telescope was window dressing for a comet.
“Light from the nearly quarter Moon high in the sky illuminated the landscape and highlighted the rims of the 27 dishes of the VLA,” says Dyer. “Fortunately, the array was arranged in its most compact formationfor easy photography – at times the dishes can be spread out over many miles.”
“The comet appeared in deep twilight,” he continues. “A classic curving dust tail is now obvious in photos. This comet will bear watching and shooting over the next month, no matter where you are in the northern hemisphere.”
013-03-18 15:27 UTC
– Thanks to ER readers Colin, Tommy, Chris and Vinch77 who have alerted us we can bring you this “breaking News”. A very strong seismic event has started at El Hierro. Check the HT graph and volcanic earthquakes list below (in a time-frame of only 10 minutes, 9 volcanic earthquakes have been listed by IGN + more to come) :
2013-03-18 11:36 UTC
– The M3.8 earthquake which occurred yesterday to the North of Tenerife is a pure tectonic event as the hypocenter was reported at 51 km. There are more moderate tectonic earthquakes to the north of Tenerife.
– A small volcanic earthquake swarm occurred around midnight yesterday. Most of the epicenter below the central crater area of the island. No HT generated during that period. The strongest earthquakes are however visible on the CHIE graph
2013-03-16 16:52 UTC
– A short period of seismic activity near midnight earlier today.
2013-03-13 23:40 UTC
– The so called activity which started around 08:00 this morning ended at 18:00 UTC this evening. The same occurred yesterday. The logical explanation for this is human interference. Seismographs are very sensitive instruments and cars, people or other human activities can influence the recordings. We think this is the case here.
for more information, go to: http://earthquake-report.com/2011/09/25/el-hierro-canary-islands-spain-volcanic-risk-alert-increased-to-yellow/
The notion of a separate organism is clearly an abstraction, as is also its boundary. Underlying all this is unbroken wholeness even though our civilization has developed in such a way as to strongly emphasize the separation into parts. –David Bohm and Basil J. Hile, The Undivided Universe.1
“I suddenly developed a severe headache in the back of my head,” the nurse said tearfully. “It was so painful I could not function and had to leave work. This was strange, because I never have headaches. When I reached home and was lying in bed, the phone rang. I learned that my beloved brother had been killed from a gunshot wound to the back of his head, the same place my terrible headache was located. My headache began at the same time the shooting occurred.”
The woman was a prominent nurse leader at a major hospital in northern California. The occasion was a Q and A session after an address I had given to senior staff of the hospital consortium to which her hospital belonged. My topic was the importance of empathy, compassion, and caring in healing and healthcare. I had reviewed empirical evidence suggesting that empathy and compassion are more than vaporous emotions that float in our bodies somewhere above our clavicles. They are part of our biological makeup, I suggested. Although empathy and compassion arise when we are in the presence of another person, as when a nurse or physician is at the bedside of a patient, evidence suggests their effects are also felt between individuals at a distance, beyond the reach of the senses. Distant individuals often share feelings, sensations, and thoughts, particularly if they are emotionally close. These experiences, I explained, are called telesomatic events. Hundreds of such cases have been reported over the years but have been largely ignored.
This discussion had prompted the nurse to reveal her experience to several hundred of her colleagues in the audience. “Now I have a name for what happened between my brother and me,” she said. “Now I can talk about it.” Her story riveted the audience. When she finished, she was not the only person in the room in tears.
Levels of Connectedness
Neuron to Neuron
In 2009, a team of Italian researchers led by neuroscientist Rita Pizzi demonstrated that when one batch of human neurons was stimulated by a laser beam, a distant batch of neurons registered similar changes, although the two were completely shielded from each other.2 See Table 1.
Brain to Brain
In 1965, researchers T. D. Duane and Thomas Behrendt decided to test anecdotal reports that identical twins share feelings and physical sensations even when far apart. In two of 15 pairs of twins tested, eye closure in one twin produced not only an immediate alpha rhythm in his own brain, but also in the brain of the other twin, even though he kept his eyes open and sat in a lighted room.3
The publication of this study in the prestigious journal Science evoked enormous interest. Ten attempted replications soon followed by eight different research groups around the world. Of the 10 studies, eight reported positive findings, published in mainstream journals such as Nature and Behavioral Neuroscience.4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
In the late 1980s and 1990s, a team headed by psychophysiologist Jacobo Grinberg-Zylberbaum at the University of Mexico published experiments that, like most of the previous studies, demonstrated correlations in the electroencephalograms (EEGs) of separated pairs of individuals who had no sensory contact with each other.14, 15, 16
Two of the studies were published in the prominent journals Physics Essays and the International Journal of Neuroscience, drawing further attention to this area.17, 18, 19
Experiments in this field became increasingly sophisticated. In 2003, Jiri Wackerman, an EEG expert from Germany’s University of Freiburg, attempted to eliminate all possible weaknesses in earlier studies and applied a refined method of analysis. After his successful experiment he concluded, “We are facing a phenomenon which is neither easy to dismiss as a methodological failure or a technical artifact nor understood as to its nature. No biophysical mechanism is presently known that could be responsible for the observed correlations between EEGs of two separated subjects.”20
As functional magnetic resonance imaging brain-scanning techniques matured, these began to be used, with intriguing results. Psychologist Leanna Standish at Seattle’s Bastyr University found that when one individual in one room was visually stimulated by a flickering light, there was a significant increase in brain activity in a person in a distant room.19
In 2004, three new independent replications were reported, all successful — from Standish’s group at Bastyr University,18 from the University of Edinburgh,21 and from researcher Dean Radin and his team at the Institute of Noetic Sciences.22
Person to Person
Strong evidence that our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors may influence someone remotely has surfaced in recent analyses of social networks. James H. Fowler, a political scientist at the University of California, San Diego, and Nicholas A. Christakis, a physician and social scientist at Harvard Medical School, published a provocative article in 2008 in the British Medical Journal, titled “Dynamic Spread of Happiness in a Large Social Network.”23
Christakis states, “[H]appiness is more contagious than previously thought… Your happiness depends not just on your choices and actions, but also on the choices and actions of people you don’t even know who are one, two and three degrees removed from you. … Emotions have a collective existence — they are not just an individual phenomenon.”24
From 1983 to 2003, Fowler and Christakis collected information from 4,739 people enrolled in the well-known Framingham Heart Study and from several thousand other individuals with whom they were connected — spouses, relatives, close friends, neighbors, and coworkers. They found, says Fowler, that, “[I]f your friend’s friend’s friend becomes happy, that has a bigger impact on you being happy than putting an extra $5,000 in your pocket.” The idea that the emotional state of your friend’s friend’s friend could profoundly affect your psyche created a sensation in the popular media. As a Washington Post journalist put it, “[E]motion can ripple through clusters of people who may not even know each other.”25
It’s not just happiness that gets around. The team also found that depression, sadness, obesity, drinking and smoking habits, ill-health, the inclination to turn out and vote in elections, a taste for certain music or food, a preference for online privacy, and the tendency to think about suicide are also contagious.26, 27
Christakis and Fowler published their findings about the spread of obesity in large social networks in the New England Journal of Medicine, widely considered the most influential medical journal in the world. They showed that obesity in people you don’t know and have never heard of could ricochet through you. They attributed the contagiousness of obesity to a “social network phenomenon” without proposing any specific physiological or psychological mechanism.28
To label something, however, is not to explain it, and to merely call this sort of thing a “social network phenomenon” has all the explanatory value of saying “what happens happens.” In the commentary that accompanied the article in the New England Journal of Medicine, the experts who weighed in took the same tack. They discussed the genetic factors that influence obesity and the connections within and between cells in an individual that may contribute to overweight, but they too were mute about how distant humans might influence one another when they are beyond sensory contact.
Some suggest that the ripples work through the action of mirror neurons, which are brain cells believed to fire both when we perform an action ourselves and when we watch someone else doing it. But when people are remote from each other, there is no one to watch, and therefore no stimulus for the mirror neurons to fire. Others suggest that the spread is through mimicry, as when people unconsciously copy the facial expressions, body language, posture, and speech of those around them. There is a hint of desperation in these attempts to find some sneaky physical factor that mediates changes between distant individuals. However, when all is said and done, Fowler and Christakis 29 say they don’t really know how happiness, obesity, etc. spread. The fact that your friend’s friend’s friend, someone you’ve neither seen nor heard of, is affecting your health has begun to rattle many of the gatekeepers in medicine.
This field may be a bomb with a delayed fuse that is getting ready to explode in the very heart of materialistic medicine. A few medical insiders are raising the possibility that something heretofore unthinkable may be going on, such as a nonlocal, collective aspect of consciousness that links distant individuals. Among them is Dr Robert S. Bobrow, a courageous clinical associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine at New York’s Stony Brook University. In discussing the spread of obesity in his article “Evidence for a Communal Consciousness” in Explore in 2011, he says, “Frankly, obesity that develops from social connection, without face-to-face interaction, suggests emotional telepathy.”30
If these experiments don’t take your breath away, they should. They suggest that human isolation is a myth, and that human consciousness can manifest in the world beyond the brain. We are linked, united, entangled.
Almost forgotten amid this flurry of research are hundreds of case reports, such as the experience of the aforementioned nurse, which have been accumulating for more than a century. In them, individuals experience similar sensations or actual physical changes, even though they may be separated by great distances. Berthold E. Schwarz, an American neuropsychiatrist, documented many of these instances. In the 1960s he coined the term telesomatic to describe these events, from Greek words meaning “distant body.”31 The term is apt, because these events suggest that a shared mind is bridging two bodies. Most cases go unreported, however, because there is no accepted explanatory mechanism for them, and because of the social stigma that can result from discussing them publicly.
A typical example was described by the English social critic John Ruskin (1819-1900). It involved Arthur Severn, a famous landscape painter who was married to Ruskin’s cousin Joan. Severn awoke early one morning and went to a nearby lake for a sail while Joan remained in bed. She was suddenly awakened by the sensation of a severe, painful blow to the mouth, of no apparent cause. Shortly thereafter her husband Arthur returned, holding a cloth to his bleeding mouth. He reported that the wind had freshened abruptly and caused the boom to hit him in the mouth, almost knocking him from the boat, at the estimated time his wife felt the blow.32
A similar instance was reported in 2002 by mathematician-statistician Douglas Stokes. When he was teaching at the University of Michigan, one of his students reported that his father was knocked off a bench one day by an “invisible blow to the jaw.” Five minutes later his dad received a call from a local gymnasium where his wife was exercising, informing him that she had broken her jaw on a piece of fitness equipment.
Another example that also involved the Severn clan was more unfortunate. One day, while Joan Severn was sitting quietly with her mother and aunt, the mother suddenly screamed, collapsed back onto the sofa, covered her ears with both hands, and exclaimed, “Oh, there’s water rushing fast into my ears, and I’m sure either my brother, or son James, must be drowning, or both of them.” Then, Joan looked out the window and saw people hurrying toward the nearby bathing place. Shortly thereafter her uncle came to the house, looking pale and distressed, and reported that James had indeed drowned.33
David Lorimer, a shrewd analyst of consciousness and a leader of the Scientific and Medical Network, an international organization based in the United Kingdom, has collected many telesomatic cases in his very wise book Whole in One.34 Lorimer is struck by the fact that these events occur mainly between people who are emotionally close. He makes a strong case for what he calls “empathic resonance,” which he believes links individuals across space and time.
The late psychiatrist lan Stevenson (1918-2007), of the University of Virginia, investigated scores of instances in which distant individuals experience similar physical symptoms. Most involve parents and children, spouses, siblings, twins, lovers, and very close friends.35 Again, the common thread is the emotional closeness and empathy experienced by the separated persons.
In a typical example reported by Stevenson, a mother was writing a letter to her daughter, who had recently gone away to college. For no obvious reason her right hand began to burn so severely she had to put down her pen. She received a phone call less than an hour later informing her that her daughter’s right hand had been severely burned by acid in a laboratory accident at the same time that she, the mother, had felt the burning pain.36
In a case reported by researcher Louisa E. Rhine, a woman suddenly doubled over, clutching her chest in severe pain, saying, “Something has happened to Nell, she has been hurt.” Two hours later the sheriff arrived to inform her that her daughter Nell had been involved in an auto accident, and that a piece of the steering wheel had penetrated her chest.37
But if you stop clinging to coincidence and try explaining this trumpery affair, you might shatter one kind of world. –J. B. Priestley, Man & Time 38
Guy Lyon Playfair is one of the best-known consciousness researchers in Great Britain and is the author of the important book Twin Telepathy.39 He has collected a variety of documented telesomatic cases involving twins and nontwin siblings.
One case involved the identical twins Ross and Norris McWhirter, who were well known in Britain as co-editors of the Guinness Book of Records. On November 27, 1975, Ross was fatally shot in the head and chest by two gunmen on the doorstep of his north London home. According to an individual who was with his twin brother Norris, Norris reacted in a dramatic way at the time of the shooting, almost as if he had been shot by an invisible bullet.40
Skeptics invariably dismiss cases such as these as coincidence, but many are hard to squeeze into this category. An example reported by Playfair concerns four year old identical twins Silvia and Marta Landa, who lived in the village of Murillo de Río Leza in northern Spain. The Landa twins became celebrities in 1976 after being featured in the local newspaper after a bizarre event. Marta had burned her hand on a hot clothes iron. As a large red blister was forming, an identical one developed on the hand of Silvia, who was away visiting her grandparents at the time. Silvia was taken to the doctor, unaware of what had happened to her sister Marta. When the two little girls were united, their parents saw that the blisters were the same size and on the same part of the hand.
It wasn’t the first time this sort of thing had happened. If one twin had an accident, the other twin seemed to know about it, even though they were nowhere near each other. Once, when they arrived home in their car, Marta hopped out and ran inside the house, but suddenly complained that she could not move her foot. While this was happening, Silvia had got tangled up with the seat belt and her foot was stuck in it. On another occasion when one of them had misbehaved and was given a smack, the other one, out of sight, immediately burst into tears.
Members of the Madrid office of the Spanish Parapsychological Society got wind of the burned-hand incident and decided to investigate. Their team of nine psychologists, psychiatrists, and physicians descended on the Landa house, with the full cooperation and approval of the twins’ parents. They had hardly arrived when a typical trade-off incident happened to the little twins. When Marta accidentally banged her head on something, it was her sister Silvia who began to cry. The researchers got to work with a series of tests disguised as fun games for the twins. This meant the little girls had no idea they were involved in an experiment.
While Marta stayed on the ground floor with her mother and some of the researchers, Silvia went with her father and the rest of the team to the second floor. Everything that happened on both floors was filmed and tape-recorded. One of the psychologists played a game with Marta, using a glove puppet. Silvia was given an identical puppet, but no game was played. Downstairs, Marta grabbed the puppet and threw it at the investigator. Upstairs, at the same time, Silvia did the same.
One of the team’s physicians next shined a bright light into Marta’s left eye, as part of a simple physical check-up. When she did this four times, Silvia began to blink rapidly as if trying to avoid a bright light. Then, the doctor did a knee jerk reflex test by tapping her left knee tendon three times. At the same time, Silvia began to jerk her leg so dramatically that her father, unaware the test was going on downstairs on Marta, had to hold it still. Then, Marta was given some very aromatic perfume to smell. As she did so, Silvia shook her head and put her hand over her nose. Next, still in different rooms, the twins were given seven colored disks and were asked to arrange them in any order they liked. They arranged them in exactly the same order.
There were other tests as well. The team rated all but one of them as “highly positive” or “positive.”
The Landa tests confirmed what most researchers have found — that children are more prone than adults to this sort of thing, and that results are more likely to be positive when experiments are done not in sterile, impersonal laboratories but in the natural habitat of the subjects and in a relaxed, supportive environment. This latter lesson often has been flagrantly ignored in consciousness research by experimenters who should know better. Researchers have had to learn repeatedly the importance of ecological validity — the principle that what is being tested should be allowed to unfold as it does in real life.
Telesomatic events often are viewed as little more than cute coincidences or weird curiosities, like the simultaneous burn on the hands of the Landa twins. However, there are many instances in which telesomatic happenings are of life-and-death significance. These cases are important because they show that the telesomatic link has survival value, which is probably why it appears to be inherent in humans.
One such case reported to Playfair involved identical twin boys, Ricky and Damien, only three days old. Anna, their mother, would feed them during the night in her bed, propping herself up with pillows. On this particular occasion she had one twin, Ricky, in front of her, while her other son, Damien, lay on a pillow to her left. As she was changing Ricky’s diaper, he suddenly began screaming. This was surprising, for even though only three days old, “he was a really good baby,” Anna said, as was his brother. She could not figure out what was wrong, as he had been cleaned and fed. Then, still screaming, Ricky’s body began to shake, as if he were having a convulsion. Anna reports that the thought suddenly popped into her head that “twins relay messages to each other.” She looked down to check on Damien and, to her horror, saw that he wasn’t there, but was face down in the pillows behind her. She immediately grabbed him and saw that he was blue in the face with his mouth clamped shut. Damien was suffocating. She and her older daughter began artificial respiration and called an ambulance. The terrifying event had a happy ending. Anna concluded, “Without a doubt, Ricky saved his brother’s life. Had it not been for him screaming and shaking, I never would have looked for Damien until I had finished with Ricky, and by then it would have been too late.”41
The theme of shared pain between twins and emotionally close siblings recurs in cases reported by Playfair. In one example, a five month old identical twin awakens as the clock strikes ten, and suddenly begins crying. After 15 minutes he stops, as if a switch was turned. At a hospital several miles away, his brother is having a painful injection. His mother notes the time as 10 pm. In a similar report, the mother of another pair of five month old identical twins reports that when one of them is having an inoculation he takes it calmly, but the other one “yells his head off.”42
Adult identical twins have similar experiences. An example involved socialite Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt (1904-1965) and her identical twin sister, Lady Thelma Morgan Furness (1904-1970). In Double Exposure: A Twin Autobiography, they relate that when Lady Furness was expecting her baby in Europe, Gloria was in New York City. Gloria was planning to travel to Europe to be with her sister in May when the baby was due. But in late March, when she was preparing to go out to lunch, Gloria developed such severe abdominal pains she had to cancel her engagements and go to bed. She said, “I remember saying… that if I didn’t know such a thing was out of the question, I would think I was having a baby.” Gloria managed to sleep for a while, and on awakening she felt normal-and saw on the bedside table a cable from Lord Furness announcing the premature birth of Thelma’s son.43
Sometimes the pain that is shared is emotional and not physical, as in another case reported to Playfair. It involved an American academic while she was an undergraduate at Stony Brook University in New York. She awoke from a deep sleep at six am New York time and cried out, knowing without doubt that her twin sister in Arizona was in trouble. She told her roommate what had happened, and called her mother as well. Her mother informed her that at three am Arizona time a car bomb had exploded just outside her twin sister’s apartment, shattering a window. Fortunately, her twin sister and her husband were unharmed. The time of the bomb blast in Arizona coincided with her terrified awakening in New York.
Although telesomatic exchanges are by no means limited to twins, they are undeniably frequent among them. As Playfair states, in twins we see “the telepathic signal at full volume, as it were, at which not only information is transmitted at a distance but so are emotions, physical sensations and even symptoms such as burns and bruises.”44
Even so, he has found that only around 30% of identical twins have these experiences, but in those who do the phenomena can be mind-boggling.45 Emotional closeness is an essential factor in the twin connection. Also, having an extraverted, outgoing personality has been shown to facilitate the link. And, as we see in the above examples, what twins seem to communicate best is bad news — depression, illness, accidents, or death.
Exceptions to the twin connection can be seen in physicians who emotionally and physically sense when their patients need their attention. A remarkable case is that of Larry Kincheloe, MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Oklahoma City.46
After completing his training in obstetrics and gynecology, Kincheloe joined a very traditional medical group and practiced for about four years without any unusual events. Then, one Saturday afternoon he received a call from the hospital that a patient of his was in early labor. He gave routine orders, and since this was her first baby, he assumed that delivery would be hours away. While raking leaves, he experienced an overwhelming feeling that he should go to the hospital. He immediately called labor and delivery and was told by the nurse that everything was going fine; his patient was only five centimeters dilated, and delivery was not expected for several more hours.
Even with this reassurance, the feeling became stronger and Kincheloe began to feel an aching pain in the center of his chest. He described it as similar to the feeling one has when they are 16 years old and lose their first love — an achingly sad, melancholy sense. The more he tried to ignore the sensation the stronger it grew, until it reached the point where he felt he was drowning. By this time he was desperate to get to the hospital. He jumped into his car and sped away. As he neared the hospital he began to feel better. When he walked onto the labor unit, he had an enormous sense of relief.
When he reached the nurses’ desk, his patient’s nurse was just walking out of the patient’s labor room. When she asked why he was there, Kincheloe honestly admitted that he did not know, only that he felt he was needed and that his place was here. She gave him a strange look and told him that she had just checked the patient and that she was only seven centimeters dilated. At that moment a cry came from the labor room. Anyone who has ever worked in labor and delivery knows that there is a certain tone in a woman’s cry when the baby is nearing delivery. He rushed to the patient’s room just in time to deliver a healthy infant. Afterward, when the nurse asked how he had known to come to the hospital after being told that delivery was hours away, he had no answer.
After that day, Kincheloe started paying attention to these feelings. He’s learned to trust them. Having experienced these intuitive feelings hundreds of times, he routinely acts on them. Usually by the time he gets a call from labor and delivery, he is already getting dressed or is in his car on the way to the hospital. He often answers the phone by saying, “I know. I am on my way,” knowing that it is labor and delivery calling him to come in. This is now such a common occurrence among the labor and delivery staff that they tell the new nurses, “If you want Dr. Kincheloe, just think it and he will show up.”
Recently he had the old feeing, called in, and talked to a new nurse who was taking care of a patient of his who was in active labor. He asked her how things were going and she reported that the patient was resting comfortably with an epidural and that she had a reassuring fetal heart rate pattern. He again asked her if she was sure that nothing was happening that required his attention. Exasperated, she said, “I told you I just checked her and everything is fine.” In the background Kincheloe heard another nurse say, “Ask him if he is having chest pains.” Confused, the new nurse asked him. He replied yes. He heard the new nurse relay his response to the older nurse, who said, “Since he’s having chest pains you had better go check the patient again.”
“Just a minute,” the new nurse said to Kincheloe, as she put down the phone and went to check the patient. Then, he heard the hurried sound of her footsteps returning. She related that the baby was nearing delivery, and that he needed to hurry.
Dr Kincheloe’s experiences show how physical sensations can function as an early-warning system alerting us that something important is about to happen. These telesomatic phenomena are like psychic cell phones uniting distant individuals. The wireless service provider is not Verizon or AT&T, however, but a collective dimension of consciousness that unites individuals at a distance.
Witches in the Waiting Room
Dr Kincheloe may seem unique, but it’s more likely that there are a lot of physicians and other healthcare workers who share his views and simply aren’t talking. In his fascinating book The Witch in the Waiting Room, Robert S. Bobrow, MD, mentioned previously, describes how he discovered that many of his patients, nurses, and colleagues privately believe in powers of the mind that are not officially recognized in medicine. Some are practicing Wiccans. They keep their beliefs to themselves because of the negative reactions these views might evoke if they were made public. Dr Bobrow says, “Who knew? … I go to work as a physician every day, and I’m surrounded by witches. I just never knew it.”47
Colleen Rae is a spiritually oriented counselor who, unlike the closet Wiccans and psychics surrounding Dr Bobrow, went public with her abilities. She considers herself a “reluctant psychic.” Rae grew up with a psychic grandmother and was reared in a family that considered these phenomena perfectly normal. She eventually learned that she was an “empath,” someone who has a profound ability to sense the feelings or thoughts of another person. In a typical experience, for several days Rae had felt excruciating pain in her neck and shoulders for no apparent reason. She could barely roll her neck or tip her head side to side. She wrote in her journal the following:
Yesterday, same thing. Again I was in the shower trying to loosen it up with the hot water. Then I called Mom to find out about her doctor’s appointment. In the course of the conversation, she talked of her tension in her neck and shoulders that her doctor agreed is due… to this horrible anti-cancer drug she’s taking. I asked her to describe her symptoms — the first I’d heard of them from my ever-stoic mother. She described exactly what I’d been feeling. “Excruciating?” I asked. “Yes,” she said.
On another occasion, Rae suddenly developed a toothache for no obvious reason. It suddenly stopped the instant her mother had her own bad tooth pulled.
“Being an empath can be hard on the body,” says Rae in her book Tales of a Reluctant Psychic.48 “But I long ago accepted that without the ‘infection,’ I wouldn’t be able to do one of the more interesting parts of my psychospiritual counseling practice.”
What is seen cannot be un-seen. –Folk saying
Many physicians want to unburden themselves of this secret part of their lives and go public with their experiences and beliefs. Bobrow cites a 1980 survey published in the American Journal of Psychiatry that asked psychiatry professors, residents in training, other medical faculty, and deans of medical schools the question: “Should psychic studies be included in psychiatric education?” More than half said yes. The authors of the survey concluded, “Our results indicate a high incidence of conviction among deans of medical schools and psychiatric educators that many psychic phenomena may be a reality, psychic powers are present in most or all of us, nonmedical factors play an important part in the healing process, and, above all, studies of psychic phenomena should be included in psychiatric education. …”49
Many skeptics have done their best to deny and obfuscate these trends. One often hears from skeptics that only a tiny percentage of practicing physicians and medical educators believe in beyond-the-body happenings. These skeptics imply that physicians who believe these things are out of step with the scientific tradition and are trying to take medicine back to the Dark Ages. But as the aforementioned survey shows, belief in these matters is held not by a few renegades, but is extensive in both clinical and academic medicine. Another national survey in 2004 examined the beliefs of 1,100 U.S. physicians in various specialties.
The surveyors found that 74% believe that so-called miracles occurred in the past and that 73% believe they can occur today. (I suspect that for most physicians “miracle” does not mean a violation, suspension, or breach of natural law but an event that is not well understood. Most physicians would likely agree with St Augustine that so-called miracles do not contradict nature, but they contradict what we know about nature. This is my view as well.) Fifty-nine percent of the physicians said they pray for their patients as individuals, and 51% said they pray for them as a group.50 In a review of these trends, author Stephan A. Schwartz concluded, “[T]here is a growing understanding that ineffable considerations, most subsumed under the concept of nonlocal mind, hold considerable sway in the thinking of both the general population and the medical community.”51
Scientists in general hold similar beliefs. A 1973 survey of readers of the British journal New Scientist asked them to state their feelings about extrasensory perception, or ESP. New Scientist defines its readers as being mainstream working scientists, or as science oriented. Of the 1,500 respondents, 67% considered ESP to be an established fact or at least a strong probability. Eighty-eight percent considered psychic research to be a legitimate area for scientific inquiry.52
In another survey of more than 1,100 college professors in the United States, 55% of natural scientists, 66% of social scientists (psychologists excluded), and 77% of academics in the arts, humanities, and education said they believed that ESP is either an established fact or a likely possibility.53
Therefore, the contention that belief in beyond-the-body phenomena is rare among paid-up physicians, scientists, and academics may be dismissed as nonsense. In general, this notion is perpetrated by skeptics who are woefully informed about the depth of research in this field, and oppose it for ideological reasons.54, 55, 56
Mold on a Shower Curtain?
The neuron-to-neuron, brain-to-brain, and person-to-person events we’ve examined are more than quirky, oddball happenings. They are communication channels between distant individuals, one of whom is often in need. They are reminders that beyond our apparent separateness there are filaments connecting us in ways that are not limited by space, time, or physical barriers. The fact that these linkages often involve emotional bonds suggests a more empathic, kinder side of existence than we have recently supposed.
Many great thinkers have valued the unbroken wholeness that exists between people. Plato, for example, in his Symposium, has Aristophanes saying, “This becoming one instead of two was the very expression of humanity’s need. And the reason is that human nature was originally One and we were a whole, and the desire and pursuit of the whole is called love.”57
The experience of oneness, mediated through empathy and love, is an antidote to the deadening effects of the unyielding materialism embraced by many current scientists. An example of this view is that of astrophysicist and author David Lindley: “We humans are just crumbs of organic matter clinging to the surface of one tiny rock. Cosmically, we are no more significant than mold on a shower curtain.”58 Or as Nobel physicist Steven Weinberg famously said, “The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.”59
These positions can be kept in place only by ignoring the abundance of empirical findings such as we’ve examined. They often involve the deliberate exclusion of crucial evidence, which is scientific malpractice. Moreover, these dismal views have been regularly disputed by some of the greatest scientists. Max Planck, for instance, the leading founder of quantum physics, stated, “I regard consciousness as fundamental. We cannot get behind consciousness.”60 And the eminent physicist Gerald Feinberg said, “If such [nonlocal mental] phenomena indeed occur, no change in the fundamental equations of physics would be needed to describe them.”61 In other words, modern physics does not prohibit the events we’ve examined, but it permits them.
If love does not show up in the equations of physics, and it doesn’t, that is not the fault of love but a limitation of physics. Love nevertheless makes its presence known in scientifically demonstrable ways, as in experiments that demonstrate nonlocal manifestations of consciousness, as we’ve seen. This fact should be cause for celebration in a world worn weary by scientific materialism. It should be good news especially for anyone who likes to compare humans to mold on shower curtains.
Love is a gateway to nonlocal connectivity because love tempers the forces of isolation, separateness, and individuality. Although individuality is a valuable complement to connectedness and unity, when it is excessive it can lead to a hypertrophied ego and sense of self, obstructing the felt realization that we are united with one another and all things. As D. H. Lawrence trenchantly put it, “Hate is not the opposite of love, the opposite of love is individuality.”62
This is not just pretty talk. Overcoming separateness results in effects that can be measured in the lab. In three decades of experimental research at the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) laboratory, Robert G. Jahn, the former dean of engineering at Princeton, and his colleagues have demonstrated that emotionally bonded couples are uniquely gifted in their mental ability to impart order to strings of random ones and zeros produced by random number generators. Moreover, pairs of emotionally close individuals can mentally exchange information remotely, even when separated at continental or global distances. Summing up how it happens, Jahn says, “[The] successful strategy… involves some blurring of identities between operator and machine, or between percipient and agent [receiver and sender]. And, of course, this is also the recipe for any form of love: the surrender of self-centered interests of the partners in favor of the pair.”63 Put simply, love can change the state of the physical world.
The fact that nonlocal, distant communication has been demonstrated at many levels of complexity, from neurons to organs to whole persons, suggests we are dealing with an intrinsic, embedded principle of nature. This consistency across disparate domains is a highly valued feature in science. It suggests that we are on the right track and are not fooling ourselves.
Our connections are real, and they are life-affirming. As Albert Schweitzer put it, “Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into flame by an encounter with another human being.”64
Our connections are not optional; they are obligatory and intrinsic. This implies that we cannot secede from the web of life, even if we try. On this realization our future may depend.
for footnotes, etc., go to: http://www.realitysandwich.com/human_interconnection
Something I find fascinating: You can literally throw away your negative thoughts. In a study done last November, participants were told write down their personal, invalidating beliefs on paper. Those who got to crumple their inner demons and dunk them a la NBA player Terrence Ross into a wastebasket (so maybe it wasn’t as dramatic, but I like to imagine) were less likely to be bogged down by their negativity.
Could the same be true for stressful thoughts?
As a GPS for the Soul editor — someone who reads, writes, Tweets and preaches about stress management all day — I have my own tools that work when stress rears its repugnant head. I know when it’s time to step away from the computer for a break. I’ve stored an arsenal of positive mantras if I’m ever in need of some uplifting perspective. All good. But this doesn’t mean I don’t stress.
So I wonder, could posting a blog on what I’ve resolved to no longer stress about diminish my worry, anxiety and — yes — stress? Once confronted and publically confessed, will the load be lifted (at least a little)?
9 ½ Stressors I’m Crumpling Up and Dumping in the Trash
1. Being A “Good” Dancer.
I will never be a good dancer. This is an objective statement. I don’t move like Jagger, I can’t get low, please don’t ask me to drop it like it’s hot. But rather than lean against the wall and stress, I’m just going to enjoy the music and embrace my inner Elaine.
2. Running Solo.
For me, running is meditative and peaceful. I love the feeling of my mind clearing out, and when I’m back at the door from my morning loop there’s this indescribable lightness that embodies my entire physicality.
Running only becomes stressful when other people enter the equation: Some (looking at you, sisters) persist that I sign up for races to get better, faster, stronger. The few I have completed took me out of the moment: I focused on my pace, the feet in front me and the legs I was able to count as I passed. It’s not serene, it’s competitive — and that’s not the spirit of my running.
And, to their vocal chagrin (I’m sorry!), running with friends makes me self-conscious: Am I running too fast? Do I run kind of weird? Should I be embarrassed for listening to “Climax” on repeat? When I run, I want to be by my lonesome, taking in the sights through my own lens, and feeling the endorphins surge.
I’m opting out of feeling obliged to join anyone — friend or opponent — on a run. And I’m saying “no thanks” without the guilt.
Which brings me to number 2 ½ …
2 ½. Still Running Solo.
I’ve never been one to suffer from FOMO. If anything, I suffer from FOMFTIA (that’s Fear of My Friends Thinking I’m Antisocial). I’m incredibly lucky to have such a loving pack who care to spend time with me, but there are moments, once again, that I prefer being on my own. And there lies the pressure — hence the stressor — of being cajoled to join in the fun. Here’s granting myself more permission to say “no” when an afternoon of reading a book, surfing the web (and being generally nerdy) or window shopping beats out the prospect of day-drinking by a landslide.
And yet, coffee has been touted for its brilliance: It could lower the risk for depression, cancer and diabetes and it tastes like heaven (scientifically speaking).
So, whatever. The list of things I am not addicted to is a whole lot longer than the list of things to which I am. Science has a lot to work out about coffee, so in the meantime, just let me have this — jitters, shakes and all.
4. My Sense of Direction.
It’s bad, real bad. Once, on my four-hour trip home from college — upstate New York to Long Island — I ended up back at college … after four hours. Really. If I had a GPS surgically implanted it wouldn’t be the worst thing. And now in Manhattan, HopStop and I are in a semi-romantic relationship in lieu of a subway system that turns my brain inside-out. I used to stress about how I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere without technology. Now, instead of stress, I’m going to graciously accept all the help I can get.
5. Being Blind as a Bat.
Nearly every year, I get my eyes checked and my contact lens script raised. I have spent too much time being dramatic and upset over the possibility that I’ll one day not be able to see — realistically I know, it’s genetic, we are an appallingly near-sighted clan. From here on, I’m vowing to take in all the beauty that I have the privilege of looking at, and banking on that miraculous technology to fix my vision in the near future.
6. The Sentimental Things I’ve Lost.
My grandma’s turquoise pendant, that bracelet from an important boyfriend, a beloved, music-making stuffed animal — Lamby. The list goes on — items I’ve attached meaning to that are nowhere to be found. They weigh heavily on shelves inside my head. But as I’m regretting my careless misplacement of these things, I realize now, their memories — the meaningful parts — live right here, written down, typed up, catalogued in this very blog. Which means I haven’t lost these sentiments in the first place, and there’s not a reason to worry about all that’s unfound.
7. Pleasing Everyone at the Dinner Table.
In my experience, people treat vegetarians like strange, starving, picky burdens. I may be strange and picky, but starving I am most certainly not.
Others’ concerns for how I’ll navigate a restaurant menu (“We can’t go there,” “You won’t like this,” “Will this be enough for you?”) can no longer be of my concern.
Just a note: I’d do a jig for skirt steak salad with crumbled feta (sans skirt steak, please) and if it’s one of those bacon-and-brussels-sprout joints, I’m assertive enough to ask them to hold the pig. Don’t worry, people — be happy. I sure am, especially when I get the chance to dine out.
8. Keeping in Touch.
Facebook has done wonders for keeping us connected, to a certain degree. For me, the upset is the conspicuous reminder that I’ve done a poor job of keeping tabs — other than the ones lining my browser — on the many magnificent people who’ve come into my life. Instead of tossing and turning awake, mentally listing the check-up emails that I should be crafting, it’s been decided — here and now — that people float in and out of your life in waves at the times they’re meant to.
9. My Five-Year Plan.
I have plenty of friends who are on a five-year-track: They know just where they want to be and have a neat itinerary for when what will happen and how. Not me.
I’m not sure where I’ll land down the line, but when I hear people recite their life plans like roll call, or they cock their head at me in that way when I say “I dunno,” to what’s next, well, it stresses me out. I value the unknown and I won’t stress about it — I’m looking forward to good things. I’m optimistic (and almost certain) that my dreams are malleable and will mold and mesh with the times. So I’ll let them.
I love it when things happen in life to remind you that everything is energy, everything has a perfect right timing, and everything has a reason. For years and years I had my ideal car (at the time) on my vision boards. Finally, 2 years ago, I bought the car only a few days before my birthday. The registration date happened to be on my birthday, and the girl who I bought it from also had my birthday! So it was all meant to be, right?
Not even a week went by before I found out I was pregnant, so I knew that my shiny BMW had a relatively short lifespan in our soon-to-be larger household. By mid last year it was obvious we needed a more spacious car and so we put it up for sale. It felt like I’d just needed to buy this one thing for myself and once I had…well I was more than happy to let it go and move on to the next wonderful chapter of parenthood and the world of SUV’s.
Only…it didn’t sell. Month after month went by. No calls. Almost 6 months went by and still nothing. It’s as if it was invisible. (First clue right there!!!) I knew it didn’t have anything to do with ‘the slow market’ or anything like that. Everything is energy. If it wasn’t selling, there was a reason. Maybe the person who was going to buy it wasn’t ready yet, or maybe on some level I wasn’t yet ready to let it go. I thought and thought about what I could possibly still be holding onto but came up with nothing. Finally my aunty asked me something that I constantly ask others: “Have you journalled about it?” Ummm no, no I haven’t!
I have this theory. When you journal, it’s fairly impossible to continue to avoid an issue or aspect of yourself. Likewise if you’re avoiding journaling (especially if you’re usually a regular journaller, or are receiving little nudges to journal) then it’s probably likely you’re avoiding having to look at something. So off to my journal I went.
Well, clearly this was a very deeply embedded, stubborn issue because I must have journalled for about 4 pages before I finally started to feel that I was cracking through beyond really surface stuff. When you’re journaling about an issue, you really want to keep going until you get those lightbulb moments, that feeling of oh my gosh sudden clarity rush through you. It’s like being a miner, digging, digging, until you hear that ping that tells you that you’ve hit something.
My issue went all the way back to my newborn self, to my Birth Day. Sometimes I think our peeps upstairs must shake their heads at how long it takes us to get the message! Here they were giving me all these signs with my car, to look at my actual Birth Day, but I had only seen the references to my birthday! As was often the case 40 years ago, my dad wasn’t present at my birth and guess what…my little newborn self took on all sorts of beliefs as a result! As a conscious adult I felt clear of these old beliefs, but there was still some part of my newborn self that was still feeling and holding them. These beliefs were around being seen (hello invisible car!), waiting for my dad’s approval and acceptance, and waiting for permission to own my own worth and value and right to be here!
Throughout my life I’ve been aware of the many layers of my birth and dad (and other) issues, aware of the many ways they have manifested and have eventually cleared most of it. However, as is the case with 2013, it’s just not possible to carry even one speck of our old beliefs and baggage forward with us into our new reality. Bless the car sale delay – it was forcing me to look at the last remnants of old issues and beliefs that I really thought I had cleared. Perhaps I had cleared them, only now we’re dealing with deeper layers as we are called to move into higher versions of ourselves.
10 pages of journaling later, the phone started ringing. That week 6 people called – but still, no-one came to see it! Okay, now what? A couple of weeks went by and a good friend asked me “Is the car still on your vision board?” I had to laugh. I hadn’t updated my vision board since before I bought the car, and lately it had been falling off the wall – and I’d been trying to stick it back up only to find it on the floor again the next day. So, a new vision board is definitely on my current to do list, but in the meantime I took the BMW picture off the old vision board. I went and sat outside with the photo, and did a little burning ceremony with it while I expressed all my thoughts of gratitude around what this car had been trying to show me. I blessed the car and the sale delay, because it had made me look at old issues in a new way. It had really called me to step up into a new level of myself and embody a new feeling around no longer waiting for permission to own my worth and value and right to be here (if indeed I was doing this, which apparently according to my birth self I was on some level!) I reclaimed my authority over my own self, I reclaimed my power, and I told my newborn self she was loved and worthy and of value and had a right to be here – not for anything she did or was or had, but just because she was her little divine self. What I really loved is that the car just couldn’t sell, and wouldn’t sell, until I had done this!
A few days later, two days before my 40th birthday which is today, a lovely family called. They came, they saw, and they bought the BMW!
So if there is something in your life that is frustrating you right now, some delay or issue or recurring pattern, take out your journal and ask: What are you trying to tell me? There is always a message – and bless those things that are the messengers because as difficult as they can be to deal with they are hanging in there, holding on to the tough situations, even if we get upset, until we get their message! Now that’s love.
(c) Dana Mrkich 2012. Permission is granted to share this article freely on the condition that the author is credited, and the URL www.danamrkich.com is included.
Here are 5 tips that can be used to help you get the most out of your visualizations, whether you’re applying them to heal your body, to change your life, or to improve your sports performance.
Believe in yourself
This is why I write about and teach the science behind the mind-body connection. If you understand that you’re always affecting your body with your mind, and that the brain doesn’t distinguish between real and imaginary, you realise that your mind is not some floaty, ethereal, thing that only interprets life events, but something that actually causes changes in the body. This way, you develop faith in yourself, that what you imagine, hope for, or intend, does have effects.
You can only do it right
This is something I say every time I guide people through a visualization process. Many people think they can’t visualise because they think everyone else sees in high definition (HD). Trust me, they don’t. But it’s the thought that they do that makes us think we’re doing it wrong. Actually, most people just get a vague set of images. What matters most is your intention and that you’re not thinking that you’re doing it wrong. I like the word, ‘imagine’ rather than visualise, because we all imagine in our own way. When I imagine, I have images in my mind’s eye but they are rarely that clear. For me, it’s more a feeling and sensing thing.
This can be easier said than done, but a regular practice of relaxing goes a long way to reducing stress in the body, which can only be a good thing. Meditation is great, as is yoga. Physical exercise is also a good way of relaxing. Eating a good diet can also help, one free of stimulants and high amounts of sugar and saturated fat.
I often suggest that people add a tiny bit of humour to their visualizations. This helps get around the worry that it might not work. When we worry, we activate brain areas associated with fear and anxiety. So if we inject a little lightness into the visualization, we retain our concentration on what we’re imagining and we might even help wire our brain networks away from the worry centres so that optimism and hope are born instead of worry. I encourage people to create a ‘victory dance’ to end their visualization. Basically, you do a silly dance of victory after you finish, and you have to do it until you find yourself smiling. This helps wire lightness into the brain.
The 3 R’s – Repetition-Repetition-Repetition
Research shows that we change brain structure through repetition of imagining movements. Brain scans of people playing piano versus people imagining playing it showed the same degree of changes in the same areas of the brain. But to get the changes required repetition of the movements – real or imaginary. When we stop doing the work, the brain regions shrink again. This is why consistency is key. You don’t become Olympic champion by going to the gym once. It’s important to do consistent visualization practice to get the best results.