More unsung heroes deserve our attention than we can ever cover here, but we do our best. We’ve got three good ones this time.
Film by Franz Fitzke
This documentary on the life and work of Viktor Schauberger presents a comprehensive and entertaining survey of historical facts, current research, and various practical applications in both technology and the natural world.
Schauberger (1885-1958) was born in Holzschlag, Austria, to a long line of Austrian foresters who could be traced back to early Germanic tribes with views on, and concepts of, nature entirely different than the ones currently known to us. Creek and river flow fascinated Schauberger during his youth. He went on to develop a basic theory that contains a twofold movement principle for such phenomena. His first concepts were brought on by studying trout in its natural environment. He was quoted as saying: “How was it possible for this fish to stand so motionlessly, only steering itself with slight movements of its tail fins, in this wildly torrential flow, which made my staff shake so much that I could hardly hang onto it? What forces enabled the trout to overcome its own body weight so effortlessly and quickly, and, at the same time, overcome the specific weight of the heavy water flowing against it?” These questions inspired further investigation into the force that allowed such effortless natural motion. His conclusion led to his theory of natural vortices.
Schauberger’s second major theory was in the structure of water. He believed that water is at its densest when cold and that there are many layers in the structure of flowing water. He claimed that nature creates vortices to create equilibriums. He further claimed that our current form of energy production/consumption scatters matter into disequilibrium.
Employed by an Austrian prince (Adolf I, Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe) with a large area of untouched wilderness, Schauberger had the benefit of years of study of life processes as he managed the forests. In 1922 he designed and had built several log flumes for the prince which reduced the timber transport costs to one-tenth the previous cost and allowed transport of denser-than-water woods, such as beech and fir. The log flumes used for timber flotation allegedly disregarded the Archimedes’ principle; i.e., Schauberger was able to transport heavier-than-water objects by creating a centripetal movement (making the timber spin around its own axis, by special guiding-vanes which caused the water to spiral). He eventually quit his job as royal forester, actually regretting having created his log flume, when his employers began to clear cut the forests instead of selective logging. This landscape healer and inventor of environment-friendly technology vividly described how our disdain for nature’s ways will bring only environmental catastrophe.
Schauberger’s insights into nature’s ways pivoted around the essential characteristics of water as a living substance that energizes all life, both organic and inorganic. He frequently asserted “water is a living organism”—an idea to which poets and philosophers have subscribed, but which has escaped conventional science. This DVD begins with the beautiful sound of a babbling mountain stream with the narrator commenting: “At each stone the water whirls and draws in air; the water breathes. In the spiraling of water, the Austrian natural scientist, Viktor Schauberger, recognized a basic form of movement in nature. His aim was to imitate the spinning movement in technical devices and thus produce naturally inclined, environmentally friendly energy.” Unfortunately, the DVD doesn’t end as pleasantly, though. For, as has been the case with other notables in the alternative energy field, the drama takes its toll.
His discovery of the enormous energy potential contained in living water led him to develop the technology of implosion with radical new forms of propulsion and an appliance that converted lifeless water into healing water with the vitality of a mountain spring. His insights into vortex energy and implosion have made possible development of a wide array of products which could give us sustainable and healing energy, and which show the way to healing our environment, many of which are shown on this DVD—the “Spiral Plough,” an apparatus for soil cultivation made of copper; tests with “spiral pipes”; and of course, his “Repulsator” (though incomplete, thanks to some disgusting shenanigans!).
He was passionate about trees and natural forests as the cradle of water, and he warned how deforestation would deplete the world of water and destroy fertility, causing desert and climatic chaos. Although we are still part of nature, we behave as though we are not, but above it, dominating and exploiting it. He warned that the more we continued to go against nature, the more the whole eco-system would become sick, the climate destructive, and human society would break down, with extreme violence, greed, and pandemic illnesses.
Included on this DVD is black-and-white footage from a 1929 documentary featuring Schauberger’s log flume. Those who are familiar with the man will certainly want this fascinating production in their library; and those who aren’t familiar with him will find this DVD to be a welcome introduction to an intriguing man. This is a beautiful and impressive film.
DVD – 75 min.
Biologist Rupert Sheldrake is also the author of more than 75 scientific papers and ten books, including: Dogs that Know When Their Owners are Coming Home, The Sense of Being Stared At, and A New Science of Life. In his books, Sheldrake details his theory of Morphic Resonance. Similar forms (morphs, or “fields of information”) reverberate and exchange information within a universal life force. “Morphic resonance,” Sheldrake says, “is the idea of mysterious telepathy-type interconnections between organisms and of collective memories within species.” He says that this may account for phantom limbs, how dogs know when their owners are coming home, and how people know when someone is staring at them.
A former Research Fellow of the Royal Society, he studied natural sciences at Cambridge University, where he was a Scholar of Clare College, took a double first class honors degree and was awarded the University Botany Prize. He then studied philosophy at Harvard University, where he was a Frank Knox Fellow, before returning to Cambridge, where he took a Ph.D. in biochemistry. He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, where he carried out research on the development of plants and the aging of cells. At Clare College he was also Director of Studies in biochemistry and cell biology. From 1968 to 1969, based in the Botany Department of the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, he studied rain forest plants. From 1974 to 1985 he worked at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Hyderabad, India, where he was Principal Plant Physiologist. While in India, he also lived for a year and a half at the ashram of Fr Bede Griffiths in Tamil Nadu, where he wrote his first book (published in 1981), A New Science of Life (revised edition released in 2009). One of the world’s most innovative biologists, Rupert Sheldrake is best known for his theory of morphic fields and morphic resonance, which leads to a vision of a living, developing universe with its own inherent memory.
That said, Sheldrake’s concept of morphic resonance has had little support in the mainstream scientific community. ‘Skeptics’ consider Sheldrake’s concept to be scientifically faulty, and they put it in the realm of pseudoscience. However, this is accompanied with their refusal to even consider the evidence. These would be some of the same scientists mentioned in our previous review of the DVD, Expelled; i.e., Richard Dawkins, et al. Sheldrake has this to say about skepticism: “Healthy skepticism plays an important part in science and stimulates research and critical thinking. Healthy skeptics are open-minded and interested in evidence. By contrast, dogmatic skeptics are committed to the belief that ‘paranormal’ phenomena are impossible, or at least so improbable as to merit no serious attention. Hence any evidence for such phenomena must be illusory.” Several such skeptics have attacked his research on the unexplained powers of animals and on the sense of being stared at. Most of them are associated with CSICOP, the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, an organization devoted to debunking evidence for ‘paranormal’ phenomena and to promoting skeptical claims in the media.
This 186-minute lecture with question and answer periods will provide you with Sheldrake’s unique insight, so you can come to your own conclusions, or maybe it will pique your interest in pursuing the topic. Just a sample of the many interesting questions and answers:
Questioner: Are there any ethical consequences to this theory?
Sheldrake: “One of the things it does is show that we are more responsible for our thoughts and attitudes than we might otherwise be. Everyone agrees we’re all responsible for our words and our actions, but if our attitudes and our thoughts can effect other people, which morphic resonance would suggest they can, and also the telepathic connection would suggest they can, we’re much more permeable to other people’s thoughts and attitudes than we might otherwise be, so we become more responsible for the way we think and the kinds of attitudes we hold because they can affect others as well as ourselves. That’s one consequence of it, a feature of this theory, a necessary consequence of it.… This one (hypothesis) emphasizes the importance of interconnections and location within social groups; this is not an individualist philosophy. I would say individuals are rooted within larger social groups—families and communities and so on. This tends to play down extreme individualism, also the idea of extreme isolation. The standard view says that our minds are located inside our heads, insulated from everybody else in total privacy. It’s not like that in this view of things.”
Question about the consciousness of the sun and celestial bodies.
Sheldrake: “I think this is a vastly unexplored realm…what sort of consciousness might exist at higher levels than our own—within the visible cosmos; I’m not now talking about invisible spirits, but about the intelligences of the celestial bodies. I think there’s a huge realm of unexplored speculation here.”
Question: Wouldn’t there need to be an organizing intelligence directing the creation of all the little fields within it, each one successively controlling, to achieve the end result?
Sheldrake: “Yes. I think if you have a hierarchy of organizing fields, the creative intelligence of the higher level ones, like of the whole solar system, may affect what happens on Gaia, or the planet Earth; the field of Gaia may affect what happens on the ecosystems within it. I think there might be a kind of top-down causation.… Normally, these fields work in accordance with maintaining habits, repetitions; but when things start going wrong and some creative innovation is needed, there’s a kind of intelligence that works through these fields.”
Yes, you might want to watch this DVD with an open mind in order to glean the most from it. It’s relatively fast paced, definitely not boring, and easily understood.
4 DVDs – 186 min.
David Hatcher Childress
He’s back—that captivating speaker, archaeologist, and world explorer—David Hatcher Childress, also referred to as the real-life Indiana Jones by his many fans. This time it’s a lecture at the CPAK conference in San Diego in October 2008. We previously reviewed his DVDs of on-site expeditions with engineer, Christopher Dunn, to Egypt and then to Peru and Bolivia. He makes reference to these trips in a few slides in this presentation—some overlap.
Here he lectures on the intriguing Olmec culture—a civilization that has baffled archaeologists since it was first discovered in the late 1930s.
Who were the Olmecs? Were the inventions usually ascribed to the Mayans actually developed by the Olmecs? Were they transoceanic visitors? If so, where did they come from?
David attempts to provide some answers:
“It is not known what name the ancient Olmecs used for themselves; some later Mesoamerican accounts seem to refer to the ancient Olmecs as ‘Tamoanchan.’ The classic period for the Olmecs is generally considered to be from 1200 BC ending around 400 BC. Early, formative Olmec artifacts are said to go back to 1500 BC, and probably earlier. No one knows where the Olmecs came from, but the two predominant theories are:
They were Native Americans, derived from the same Siberian stock as most other Native Americans, and just happened to accentuate the Negroid genetic material that was latent in their genes.
They were outsiders who immigrated to the Olman area via boat, most likely as sailors or passengers on transoceanic voyages that went on for probably hundreds of years.
At the center of the debate about the origin of the Olmecs is the classic struggle between isolationists (who think that ancient man was incapable of transoceanic voyages, and therefore, nearly every ancient culture developed on its own) and diffusionists (who think that ancient man could span the oceans, which explains similarities in widely disparate cultures).
The Olmecs are said to have occupied “The Land of Olman.” This was a designation that the Aztecs used to describe the jungle areas of the nearby coast. The traditional definition of the Olmecs is that they were an ancient Pre-Columbian people living in the tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico, roughly in what are the modern-day states of Veracruz and Tabasco on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Their immediate cultural influence went much further though, as their artwork has been found as far away as El Salvador and Costa Rica.
The heartland of the Olmecs is also the narrowest land area in Mexico, an area extremely important if an ocean-to-ocean trade route were to be established. This narrow area of southern Mexico is known as the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and it represents the shortest distance between the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean.
The more we find out about the Olmecs, the deeper the mystery surrounding them becomes. We find that the Olmecs seem to include nearly every racial type in the world. How is this possible? The Olmecs are credited with everything from inventing the wheel, the ballgame and hieroglyphic writing, and it is now known they controlled most of southern Mexico from shore to shore. From a diffusionist point of view, the Land of Olman may well have been the “center of the world” as the Ithmus of Tehuantepec would indeed have been the center of the world if there was a strong transoceanic trade across both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. If such a trade and movement of ships had existed, the Olmecs may well have been a cosmopolitical center where worldwide cultures intermingled.
Except for just a couple of slides that were too dark to ascertain the picture, this is a good production with interesting commentary from David.
DVD – 79 min.