Wednesday, April 2, 2008
The 5th & Final (amazing) Day: Conference on Science & Consciousness
The day began with the well-attended and much-anticipated keynote address by Rupert Sheldrake, a brilliant and articulate speaker. At last I could understand the concept of morphic field and resonance. Briefly, the part that was discussed this morning boils down to: Our memories are not held within our skulls, but within the morphic field shared by all creation. Our brains are needed to access the memories, not contain them. So simple, yet so revolutionary.
I was impressed by Dr. Sheldrake's clarity and ease with which he conveyed his ideas; his ability to make a basically technical subject accessible and entertaining. There's a lot to be said for British humor. But more, I was struck by the apparent ease and courage with which he has conducted his life. These ideas are revolutionary to the point of being dangerous - to the power structure and the prevailing paradigm that props it up. Didn't I write something yesterday about burnings at the stake?
The day went on: pack up & leave the hotel; good lunch at the Himalayan restaurant; back to my door monitor post at Angela Browne-Miller's workshop. Angela was speaking opposite Dr Sheldrake, who was upstairs in the ballroom. His audience would be much larger, but I didn't mind: I wanted to see Angela again. She lead us through techniques for accessing higher dimensions of the self: good practice for what was to come. At break I asked her to sign my copy of her book. We spoke and hugged, and got ready for the final hour of the formal part of the day.
About that time, things were afoot upstairs. I didn't learn until I returned to the workshop circle: As Dr Sheldrake was finishing the first segment of his presentation, a disturbed young man ran up to the podium and stabbed him, in the leg, with a knife. The attacker was immediately subdued, and medical assistance was immediately on hand. At the risk of sounding crass, I guess if you're going get attacked, do it in the midst of a group of healers. As the ballroom was emptied and the police began interviewing witnesses, the conference attendees were directed into the workshop with Angela, which then became the holding ground and energy-processing center for all of us. Instant debriefing to clear the shock and make sense of what had happened. Updated information revealed that Dr Sheldrake had been taken to hospital and was in stable condition and good spirits. The wound, although severe, did not require surgery. Thanks to prompt action of those close to Dr Sheldrake, serious danger was averted.
Those are the bare-bones outlines. The significance, the meaning of this event, came out in our sharing. We are the people we have been waiting for: that theme was echoed over and over again. This was a test, a practicum, and we have risen mightily to the occasion. People who had been in the ballroom spoke of how calm and effective our collective response was: The attacker was subdued by participants; the first medical response was by participants; emergency calls were made by participants; and above, we held the energy. There was shock and grief and tears and hands held and singing of "Amazing Grace," but there was no panic.
I felt from the moment I heard about the attack, that it was about much more that Dr Sheldrake and this disturbed individual. They were both agents of much larger forces, playing out a pattern that has been repeated over and over again, for millenia. The old, the dark, hangs on to itself, resisting our advances toward the light. (At the risk of repeating rumors, I learned from those who had seen the attacker earlier this week that he had talked about "mind control." When he was asked why he did it, he was reported to have said, "They told me to.") We can limit this to diagnoses of mental illness, or we can descend into conspiracy theories. I prefer to see it, in Sheldrake's terms, as the old morphic field defending itself. And perhaps, just maybe, by our calm and collectively strong response to this event, we are helping to shape a new morphic field that will lead us to the world we want. We are the people we've been waiting for, and we are strong.
So. I've gotten more than I bargained for when I signed up for this job! Home is five minutes away and my Luvlee cat is waiting. Good night, fellow-travelers. This leg of the journey is over.