On December 13th 2010 I will have been blogging for a year and the experiment will be over. I only ever intended to do this for a year, then I will download all 200 odd(some say very odd) posts and get on with other aspects of my creative life; the novels that need a rewrite, the blank canvases that wait for paint, the new books that are brewing. For blogging has been all- consuming experiment, that has taken me up rivers and into new lands that I had no idea existed a year ago. I find, to my astonishment, that I have been on a somewhat obsessive hunt, no less, for the origins of knowledge. It is the 21st computer- led equivalent of the Victorian explorer going off to Africa. I am the Mary Kingsley of my day. Perhaps.
At the moment I am paddling my dugout up a very interesting river. On one bank is Western scientist’s take on DNA and on the other, the far more luminescent and intuitively pleasing, Amazonian rainforest/shamanic take on DNA.
The information contained in DNA makes the difference between life and inert matter. It is a cosmic molecule, only ten atoms wide, so miniaturised that it approaches the limits of material existence. It is in our hair, our eyes, our ears and in every other part of us and the extraordinary thing is that it is also in everything else around us that is alive. The extraordinary thing about DNA is that it changes while remaining the same. It is the master of transformation.
If one stretches the DNA contained in one nucleus of one human cell, it stretches to a 2 yard long thread ten atoms wide.This means it is a billion times longer than its width. Even the most powerful optical microscope cannot reveal it. Its great length packs into the nucleus of a cell (which is 2 millionth of a pinhead) by coiling up endlessly on itself. As you and I are each made up of 100 thousand billion cells and each cell has the above length of DNA, there is about 125 billion miles of DNA in each of us. Your personal DNA is long enough to wrap around the earth 5 million times. But only parts of it tell a story. The rest, which could so easily have been named ‘mystery DNA’, is in fact labelled ‘junk DNA’, which says rather more about the attitude of scientists than it says about DNA.
While mountains have been raised and flattened, seas grown and shrunk, and more species come and gone than remain today, DNA and its cellular machinery for replication has remained constant. All cells in the world, animal, vegetal and bacterial, contain DNA and that DNA is bathed in water , the salt content of which is exactly the same as the water in the oceans. When we weep, we weep the seas. The four bases of DNA are insoluble in water so they pair up and twist to avoid contact with the surrounding water modules which is what creates the helical twist.The mechanism of DNA is the same for all that lives; only the order of instructions is different. The information contained in the genome of the first bacterium is enough to fill a telephone directory. This is said to have emerged ‘spontaneously’ from the lifeless chemical soup. How could that be? Is it any wonder that I prefer to go to the W. Amazonion shaman for my information, rather than a molecular biologist with a huge blind spot?
Not everyone can be a shaman. It requires know-how, discipline and courage. Success rests on the outcome of a terrifying initiation , during which the shaman learns to take his consciousness down to a bio-molecular level. Then the plant spirit speaks in a language that has meaning. What shamans probably do is to tap into the DNA photon exchange that speaks to them in the manner of a language. It’s like turning on the radio and picking up information, via waves, that the brain reassembles as meaningful. With ayahuasca and tobacco(not the sort you smoke as toxic sticks) a shaman can pick up the waves coming through, in order to see and hear what the plant wants to tell. Thisadds up to a lot, as indigenous West Amazonian tribes have held the key to this knowledge and have been doing this for 5000 years.
The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge by Jeremy Narby is another brave book on the subject. For those of you, like me, interested in the unorthodox, it is a great read. The problem with orthodox science today is that it hangs onto a postulate of objectivity at all costs and so blinds itself to the possibility of recognising intentionality in nature. After reading this book (lets face it, I was almost there already) I am convinced that nature has a goal, intention and consciousness. It speaks in a coding that resembles our language and coding systems have always been thought to be the the sign of an intelligent mind.
The human mind can communicate via defocalised consciousness with a global network of DNA based life. Then out of the third dimensional background rises a whole bunch of other contrasting images. Buy a Magic Eye book and start practising. Nature speaks in signs. Hidden from normal vision, in an irrational and subjective world, is the gateway to information critical to our ailing planet. The shaman tells us that they start singing along and as they sing they understand. Sounds a bit like writing this blog.