Conversations with Elisabet Sahtouris, scientist, evolution biologist and futurist. Professor Sahtouris is an international sustainability consultant to businesses, government agencies and other organizations. Gaia’s Dance is Elisabet Sahtouris latest book. In this episode she explores Western Science, Vedic Science, and Islamic Science through the keyboard metaphor. She declares that the task of science is choosing the appropriate metaphors because metaphor is the only way to convey the scientific mode.
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Cristina Redko, PhD
Elisabet Sahtouris. Gaia’s Dance: The Story of Earth & Us, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2018
See also http://www.sahtouris.com
Piano pieces interpreted by Justin Allan: “Old French Song” by Tchaikovsky; and “L’Adieu” by George Peter Tingle.
04845 andean flute short melody.wav CC by 3, Robinhood76, sound effect from Freesound.org
Theme music created by Tim Moor. Source: https://soundcloud.com/tymur-khakimov
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Gaia's Dance, Part II
Cristina- Welcome to Alive. I'm Cristina Redko.
Elisabet-Aloha mai käkou from Hawaii, everyone that means loving greetings to you all.
Cristina-Yes, that is Elisabet Sahtouris, the evolution biologist.
As you learned from the last episode Elisabet has worked for decades for a new vision for science and for humanity. Elisabet. Elisabet will share her vision for science today. She suggests that science has the task of choosing the appropriate metaphors because metaphor is the only way to convey scientific models. Let's listen.
Elisabet- So there are things science just has not been able to deal with. I like to use the metaphor of a keyboard for what we are and what the whole universe is because while, Newtonian standard physics models, science and quantum science , have not been able to unify there's something blocking their unification, but they all agree that the universe is made of vibrations somehow.
Now a keyboard is a metaphor for endless keyboard of vibrations. And so I call matter is the vibrations of the low keys if you're thinking piano, and then you move up into the realm of energy, electromagnetic energy and science only in the past century or so began to be able to measure energy so that it became real to Western science, which is so matter based. That everything to be real must be measurable with physical instruments. And so then Einstein came along and showed us. You can transpose the music up and down the keyboard between matter and energy, because matter is energy. Energy is matter. That is what EMC squared says. Now, Western science then gets stuck.
It can't get any further up the keyboard because higher up on the keyboard, that energy dematerializes further into mind. And spirit and all cosmic consciousness.
So there are other sciences in the world, the Eastern sciences, the indigenous sciences who started at the other end of the keyboard to look at the same universe, they start in the realm of consciousness and they just slow the vibrations down into electromagnetic, magnetic energy and eventually into matter.
So the Taoists, for instance, they have the same, body, mind spirit, that they have the same sequence that I find on the keyboard. And I love it because it also shows us that we don't have to integrate science and spirituality. We just have to ask, why did we take them apart? It's all part of the same keyboard!
Cristina- It is so beautiful. How you combine Eastern sciences and Western science. Would you explore that a little further
Elisabet- yes. I love my keyboard metaphor because I can show that the humanity has developed very different sciences depending on where they start looking at the universe from the low keys or from the high keys.
And this is very interesting. And I actually convened a couple of symposia on the foundations of science to understand how these different sciences function you see science is about research rather than religion is revelation through the inside. You get information. Science does research in the outer world.
It does experiments . To do research. You have to have a hypothesis. To have a theory about a universe. You have to have some notion of what's a universe what's nature. You have to have some story, some foundational story, a set of statements about what is a universe. So when we looked into Western science deeply, we see, for instance, the universe is made of matter.
And energy when it came into science, nothing more. And, humans can study nature objectively without being a part of it as though they are completely separate from it, they can study it. And so you have a set of axioms or principles of that kind that give you the basic worldview on which that scientist built.
So when I did the first symposium, we were comparing what's called the paradigm shift now where the new versions of science with the ones that people like me with PhDs have been taught in Western science. And that new paradigm of course came from the Vedic science of India. Because quantum theorists when they push their way through matter and found nothing but relationship and a dance constantly creating itself.
They had no way of explaining it in the Western science story they had been taught and they all, every founding father of quantum theory, Turn to publicly stated that the turn to India, to Vedic science, to explain what they had found, because they found that consciousness lies at the source of everything.
So they had been shifted to the opposite end of the keyboard, so to speak. So then I did another symposium in, Kuala Lumpur to study Islamic science. And it turned out that while Vedic science, was a science of consciousness and Western science was material science, Islamic science turned out to be a living universe, story science where the first Axiom, Allah created the universe as you'd expect.
And the second one is I Allah, created a living universe and told us to study it. And I said to them, why don't you teach Islamic science, side-by-side in your universities with Western science and let people see the difference that the fundamental story of a science makes in what it studies and how it interprets, what the results are you say.
And then we could have a global consortium of science. And they could respect and talk to each other rather than the paradigm shift idea is a conquest model. It's let's replace the old science with the new science is like building a church on a Greek temple ruin. But instead, then we could have checks and balances, and, the living science.
The living economies, science, living nature science, could say to, to Western science, to be careful with your technology, you must make anything. That's not recyclable that is going to harm nature. And so they could support each other in their best aspects. And it would be like the world parliament of religions.
You would have a global consortium of sciences that might be a whole new topic. It's all part of, we humans look at the nature in such different ways over time.
Cristina- I know that you also investigated indigenous ways of science. Would you like to talk about that?
Elisabet-Yes, of course the indigenous peoples never separated themselves from nature.
They always saw themselves as a part of nature and , that their role in nature was to care for the other things. And certainly to always give back for what you use. the Shawnee Indians in the Northeastern part of the United States and up into Canada, we call them the Iroquois. They are the only culture I know in the world, whoever developed a true democracy.
And it's interesting because the ancient Greeks coined the word democracy. But it was only for men and not for slaves and not for women. It had a few flaws and, but the Shawnee. Had the democracy that actually really practiced the principles of democracy of, by the people, for the people of the people and Benjamin Franklin.
One of the founding fathers of the United States. Hung out with those Indians and really learned their culture. And he kept coming back as they were writing the us constitution, saying these people have a constitution, they call it the great law of peace and here's what's in it. And, we can get some ideas there.
And the only thing that was copied was the tripartite government for checks and balances that was copied, but they left out women, children, the. future and nature.
That's the founding fathers of the US democracy, but the Indians had all of that in theirs. And so I have turf, I am a co-founder of something called the worldwide indigenous science network because we were trying to teach young indigenous people that their cultures were doing legitimate science from thousands of years.
I lived for a year in Peru just to study the agricultural science of the Andes it was very scientific, meticulous experiments, and half the food eaten in the world today originated in the Andes , interesting. All of the corn, all of the nightshade for the potatoes, the tomatoes, the peppers, the amaranth grains, the big, important food staples so many of them came from. there. Yes, they did science long ago. Cosmology, cosmological, astronomy, agricultural sciences, medical sciences. They had them all long ago.
Cristina- So you went to Peru to study their ancient indigenous science.
Yeah, the study, their ancient indigenous science. And in Brazil, of course, you also have great traditions, many Indian indigenous traditions, and most of them were very good at maintaining the forest rather than to destroy it.
And if you had a concluding message, what would he be?
I would say stand tall all in your canoe, which is, comes from indigenous people when you feel like you're in a dark place and you can't see your way through the storm anymore. Because we are now navigating this perfect storm of crises. Stand tall in your canoe until you can see your destination. Raise your consciousness up and look at this human drama as if it's playing out on the stage and see what's going on.
See what are the forces, see where you can fit into the flow. That's moving it forward rather than beating your head against a wall or beating yourself up because you're not doing enough or you should be doing something differently. Find your way into that flow of evolution. That way through the storm.. To help each other navigate this perfect storm of crisis.
Cristina- Piano in this episode was played by Justin Allan. Justin is my favorite pianist. And also my son's best friend.