Although certainly not the only crop circle gathering each year, the Glastonbury Symposium is the longest-established, and as such makes for a good place to ‘test the temperature’ of where the collective philosophy of the crop circle mindset – and increasingly far beyond - is at. In amongst all the cerealogical presentations at the sixteenth annual Glastonbury Symposium, wider concerns emerged. BARBARA WADDELL shares her personal reflections on the event…
When I got home after the 2006 Glastonbury Symposium (‘Investigating Crop Circles & Signs of Our Times’), held in the last three days of “the hottest July on record”, somebody asked me what we discussed: “You can’t spend three days talking about crop circles!” That’s right. We didn’t talk much about the weather either, even though the English are said to find it an interesting subject of conversation. After all, it has also been said that, while the rest of the world has climate, the English have weather.
We have felt it makes sense to prepare for “bad” weather, but have considered it a pitiful superstition of some other cultures to believe that shamans can, for instance, bring rain. What I find interesting is that, when we talk of climate change, we mean change for the worse and we accept that we have brought that change about – at least in part. So – at least in part – we must be able to bring about change that is for the better.
So to answer my friend’s question, I think many of us go to the Glastonbury Symposium looking for ways to change things for the better – and we are stimulated to do so by the very existence of the crop circles. It’s a joy – and fun – to consider crop circles for their individual beauty and the detailed technical skill that went into their creation (by somebody or other), rather like the way we sometimes study paintings in an art gallery. But such a study is sterile if we fail to consider the (often subconscious) impact of art on our minds.
What came over to me at the Symposium this year was that our consciousness is expanding to take on board – to our hearts as well as our heads – the idea of responsibility for our lives, not only on this planet, but in the wider context of what I call greater reality. Remembering to take a mac with us, in case it’s raining when we stream out of Glastonbury Town Hall at the end of a long day of presentations – that is responsible behaviour in miniature. But do we congratulate ourselves that we have remembered? Or castigate ourselves because we forgot or decided it wasn’t necessary? Or simply accept that the rain falls on the just and the unjust and we are among the latter because “it always happens to us,” or to the former even though we are full of love and light?
In his keynote address this year, Andy Thomas said that being full of love and light – just being “fluffy bunnies” – isn’t enough in itself to change the world for the better. “The circles seem to be saying the time has come for us to do something.”
If we create our reality with our thoughts, as Barbara Lamb emphasised during the Open Forum, then it doesn’t make sense to concentrate on the horrors we perceive. It is important to realise they are there, but then focus positively on what we want. If we don’t want war, homelessness, hunger – it’s no help to focus on them by trying to provide food and shelter for other people and telling them to stop fighting. We need to focus on the fruits of peace and their enjoyment. We cannot enjoy them if our having them deprives other people – if only because then we’re afraid those other people will try to take away what we have. There is no peace if we are afraid of what will happen next. Fearful thoughts produce fearful events like “the war on terror”.
Our consciousness is expanding to take aboard the realisation that we each have a unique contribution to make and, as integral parts of the reality we create, we each have a natural right to an appropriate share of the available whole. Since we’re creating the whole – if you think about it, we can’t be PARTLY creating it – we must at some level be ensuring there’s enough to go around! The problem is “Why on earth then do we create what we don’t want – like the many ways our freedom to enjoy life is being taken away?” The answer again is fear – that somebody or other is better than we are at creating what they want.
Andy underlined this danger of the “us & them” syndrome – as when we in “the West” assume those in the “developing world” are striving to become more like us, or when we even behave as though some of “us” haven’t developed to the level that (for instance) we as croppies have. To show how narrowly focussed a self-elected elite can become, he told us that Dr Eric R Pianka (recipient of the 2006 award for “distinguished Texas scientist”) recently said, to enthusiastic applause, that 90% of the human race should be exterminated – by means of the Ebola virus.
At least Plonker – sorry, Pianka – makes no secret of his extreme belief, so it is possible to challenge him. But would that get anyone anywhere? When Richard Dawkins (whose extreme belief it is that religion is a disease of the mind) tried to get the evangelist preacher Ted Haggard to provide evidence for a creator god, he was escorted from the premises. Which rather made his own point that polarization into factions is ripping the world apart. So much for reason.
If we who are drawn to crop circles and the suchlike think we have a wider perspective than people who want to wipe out 90% of the population or are locked into scientism (or are “waiting for the rapture”), surely, says Andy, we are in the best place to create a genuine middle ground? We mustn’t become equally dogmatic: WE HAVE TO MATCH THEIR INTENT without falling into the negative spiral of elitism. How to go about this? “I don’t yet have an answer” said Andy – and threw it over to us to find one, which is where it can only be found – in co-operation.
Christine Page, our Saturday evening guest, went a long way to putting us in touch with an an-swer. She asked for a show of hands to indicate that “you believe you create your own reality, chose your parents, your family” – and then helped us to realise that we hide this knowledge from ourselves because we find it easier to give up our power of choice by thinking of ourselves as victims. She knows from her experience as a medical doctor that we “make no mistakes” in the choice of disease, and quoted a case of a woman of 34 who at least tried to free herself from a breast cancer by letting go of the idea that she must do everything demanded by a loving but overbearing mother. Healing comes when we stand up to the demands of others in order to live our own life. But it’s so much easier to remain stuck in an old pattern of thinking – above all to see the need for change, but think we can put it off to another day.
Christine’s second main point was that, if we see in others something we don’t like, we have to realise we are projecting it upon them because we don’t like it in ourselves. But that, as she points out, is a situation we have created – in agreement with them – in order to learn about ourselves. She outlined the case of a woman who had been abused three times – by mother, brother and husband, all of whom had been throwing back to her the power she had given up. But then the abused woman took back her power: “She threw out her partner and realised she didn’t want to take care of people who were helpless, because all she was doing was projecting ‘out there’ what she couldn’t deal with ‘in here’. Our world is a manifestation of our own needs.” If you work with the homeless, says Christine, who’s homeless? Who’s in poverty?
“There’s nobody you’re meeting who hasn’t been with you many times before.” In this life, she said, she was learning from a rerun of certain attitudes she had in Atlantis. (She was cleverly throwing in this reference to reincarnation as though it was something we all took for granted – which, of course, many of us do at a deep level.) And we are often attracted to someone in this life in order to take back what we gave another time. Or vice versa, of course.
In her medical research, Christine has noticed with awe that a sick cell that becomes attached to a healthy one is not its victim: it gets healthier. Even two sick ones working together start returning to the natural state of health.
Now, Christine’s title was “When Mythology and Magic Meet”, so it was to be expected that she would be working with symbols beyond the crop circles, but I wonder if her very pertinent, joyous and magical message was being obscured by too much emphasis on mythological symbols for the path she personally has followed via the concept of the feminine as virgin, mother and crone. Surely what she so effectively does is show that, when mythology and SCIENCE meet, it becomes possible for us to create magic by taking back our power.
As Ian Crane said during the Open Forum, we need to react to the teaching of science that everything is definitive – we have to rely more on our own experience. Our power lies in the fact that in creating our reality we are creating our own experience of it. Why do we find it difficult to see that there are multiple versions because there is multiple experience of an event – as in the case of 9/11? The intent of the crop circles is to awaken us – encourage people to re-evaluate their perception of reality and then make some decisions as to where they want to go.
Perhaps that is why the circlemakers are making us wonder why there are far fewer formations this year. More and more of the same tends both to confuse and to make us blasé: What’s new about crop circles, we ask – they’ve been happening for yonks.
As Barbara Lamb commented in the Open Forum, science now accepts more and more dimen-sions. We can nevertheless still harbour the belief that there is no experience outside physical reality. To redress the balance, Patricia Robertson regaled us with the evidence of “Life after Death” in the form of stories – experiences to which we can relate. Also a user of stories as evidence, to support her aerial crop circle photography and the clear exposition of her research into the effects of electromagnetic fields on living systems, is Lucy Pringle.
We think our power is limited: it is not. Hamish Miller pointed out that it is our thinking that is too narrow – he demonstrated that some of the earth energy patterns he has dowsed closely resemble crop circle forms.
Glenn Broughton tries to build bridges between intuitive and intellectual perspectives, so he presents information in a way he feels most people are likely to understand, referring for instance to “ley lines,” though he knows Hamish has established that the lines of electromagnetic energy on the planet are not straight, but meander like rivers. He reminded us of the strong connection between the crop circles and underground water, and presented the curious information that just as 94.6% of all crop circles in Britain have occurred above aquifers – although these occur under only 40% of the landmass – even so in US it is also 94.6% of crop circles that are located above underground water!
The value of experience over theory was also emphasised in the ‘Crop Circle Connector’ DVD we were shown, in which two Norwegian ladies were enabled in an interview, sensitively conducted by Stuart Dike, to tell their story of balls of light they had seen in the fields.
It was balls of light rather than “spaceships” that were the UFOs that David Kingston was re-searching for RAF Intelligence in the 50s and 60s – and that was when he saw his first crop circle. He showed us some rare photographs of early formations now available to him through his contacts since the Freedom of Information Act. From an extra-terrestrial perspective, Christine Page sees spaceships as portals – toroidal systems to transform energies from higher frequencies to lower on entry into our dimension and up again on departure, but “most of those working with us don’t need a spaceship for the means of travel”. So, balls of light? David reflects that we do seem to be in the kindergarten of greater reality: we still don’t seem to realise experientially that there ARE other dimensions!
Paul Vigay told us how, beginning as a sceptic, he was convinced of the power of crop circles not merely by reasoning, but by evidence of people’s experience – like a woman in her 70s who hadn’t walked for years getting out of her wheelchair when in a formation, and not having to return to it to come out of the circle. His experiments with energy detection in crop formations led to his becoming actively involved with running the first-ever computer database of the phenomenon (see www.cropcircleresearch.com). After at first thinking his leg was being pulled, he expressed slight unease that the Ministry of Defence had shown interest in his researches – but I would suggest that military intelligence is not necessarily hostile, and he himself advises us to let go of fear. Who would be fearful of David Kingston’s intentions? Indeed, is it not because of his experience in RAF intelligence that David’s consciousness has expanded to an extent that qualifies him at least (in his own terms) for junior school?
Paul told us of a dream experience telling him “if you’re on the right path you know it”. He feels that crop circles represent a new philosophy – beyond art. Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle makes us pull back from the detail (which confuses us) to look at the bigger picture. Which we indeed did during the stunning Sunday evening presentation by Graham Hancock.
The objective of Graham’s talk was to demonstrate how we have lost contact with spirit – and how we might bring this vital part of our makeup back into play rather than treating it as a coat to be put on for special occasions. “The world is in a mess and we are not taking responsibility for it”, he said.
“A long process of dissolution is coming to a crisis point. We do not see that anything can be solved except by materialist thinking… We have lost our belief in the spirit. There are people who know how to restore it. It is arrogant for a science that has existed for 150 years to tell those with a culture that has lasted thousands of years that they are wrong. The shamans of hunter-gatherer societies around the world keep alive an ancient way of relating to the universe and reality. They know the medicinal and healing and pharmacological qualities of the 80,000 species of trees. The lost forests of the Amazon (which have been nourishing the planet for millions of years) represent a spiritual problem, not just an ecological one.”
Graham has been experimenting with ayahuasca, a drug that has been used for at least 10,000yrs to contact the spiritual world. It is now illegal in “the West”, another example of the erosion of our liberties, though progress is being made in Brazil to get its use accepted in certain circumstances. It is a hallucinogen without addictive effects – indeed, it can be used to overcome addictions – with, however, the only downside (for uptight Westerners!) that many people experience public diarrhoea and vomiting. (Well, knowing the possible downside of our choice is better than becoming victim to unforeseen side-effects from pharmacological drugs forced upon us!)
So what about the upside? The essential element is DMT, which we produce in our pituitary gland – so it triggers a natural process and the effects are more easily coped with by being short-lived. And “…what happens behind your eyes is like observing a parallel world… and (at the depth of the experience) intelligent beings present themselves to you. Some have heads of humans and bodies of animals. There is a strange sense of love.”
“Could it be that the brain is picking up a reality beyond all of this? The difference between us and chimps is not that we walk on two legs – plenty of animals do that. What sets us apart is symbolism – reacting to something that is not immediately in front of us. To explain something to ourselves, we create a myth… The problem-solving consciousness is not the only one: there are stages of trance – rhythmic drumming, dance, etc; One can feel religious awe…”
“Painting patterns is common to humans – surely the hybrids painted 35,000 years ago are not coated shamans… Maybe the brain is a receiver of consciousness and the substances retune the receiver wavelength of the brain – giving us access to other realities not accessible to our instruments. The experience does not reduce to the DMT… We are tuned to channel normal, but we have been DESIGNED to access other channels.”
There are many ways to get to altered states of consciousness (just as Barbara Lamb pointed out that there is not just one way to make a crop circle). “Our society is doing all it can to keep us tuned to channel normal… Scientists don’t know what hallucinations are – they don’t even know what perception is.”
“Retuning is the new idea with people who are working with altered states of consciousness. Maybe it’s a way to contact other dimensions.”
When our vociferous applause came to an end, Graham supplied answers to practical questions that showed a serious intention to work with these ideas.
We are in an age of transformation. In response to Andy’s suggestion that we must work together to find answers, and in view of what was being said during the Symposium, I suggest that the first and most important thing is to discover the other person’s point of view, and work with points of agreement, as is being done with the reconciliation movements around the globe. (When I looked in Google, I was shown the first ten of over 35 million references, including the South African Truth & Reconciliation Commission and the American Fellowship of Reconciliation.) Maybe we could do this best in altered states of consciousness where we can EXPERIENCE what the other person is FEELING. And our minds collectively have an effect, as Andy pointed out, which is increasingly being demonstrated by the work being done with Random Number Generators (RNGs - see http://noosphere.princeton.edu/)
In this area, there is Gregg Braden’s scientific evidence that, when we have feelings of love, compassion, appreciation and gratitude, the strands of our DNA relax and lengthen – whereas, when we are frustrated and stressed (and no doubt therefore when we either suppress our anger or let it erupt in violence) the strands shrivel. And it only takes the square root of one per cent of the population relaxing their DNA to begin to have the kind of effect that has been registered by RNGs when co-ordinated peace meditations have been directed with intent at a target area: a measurable reduction of violence in general.
Gandhi said “You must BE THE CHANGE you want to see in the world” and an organisation of that name exists with the aim of moving away from hopelessness and fear by taking powerful positive steps toward creating the life – and world – of our dreams.
Speaking at a ‘Be the Change’ conference in London this year, Scilla Elworthy, founder of ‘Peace Direct’, supplied many examples of how people are moving out of the old cycle of violence – notably of an “unsung American hero” who, when leading a patrol in Baghdad, achieved a peaceful outcome to an incident when local people came surging out of their houses: he went on one knee and pointed his rifle to the ground, getting his men to do likewise – an image in marked contrast to the (spoof?) picture of Jesus Christ with an erect rifle that Andy had come across on the Net – and then spoke to the locals in their own language. Reconciliation before the event, so to speak.
Images of the 2006 Glastonbury Symposium (Photos: PALDEN JENKINS)