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Excerpt from Dreams

Other Intelligences (p. 13)

From chapter "Other Sides"

The argument about whether or not these voices exist in many ways boils down to whether humans are uniquely intelligent and aware, alone in an essentially mindless,mechanical universe; or if humans are one intelligence among a near infinitude of no lesser intelligences, one player in an extraordinarily complex and beautiful symphony.It’s an argument I’ve threshed out and fleshed out in nearly all of my books.

Now, some dozen books later, I’m finally articulating what I’ve known all along, which is that neither arguments nor evidence are anywhere near sufficient to break this culture’s hold over people’s psyches, and the belief that humans are uniquely intelligent (and if you don’t believe this, look at this culture’s utterly insufficient responses to the overwhelming evidence of its omnicide). Sure, arguments and evidence can help, but what we’re really talking about (in addition to an out-of-control and completely insane narcissism and psychopathy—if destroying the earth so some people can maintain their “comforts and elegancies,”as one 1830s pro-slavery philosopher put it, isn’t narcissistic and psychopathological, then those words have no meaning) are entirely incompatible belief structures and worldviews.

If you do not perceive the fundamental beingness of others, or in some sense do not even perceive their existence, then nothing I say or write can convince you. Nor will evidence be likely to convince you, since, as already mentioned, you won’t perceive it, or more accurately, you won’t allow yourself to perceive it.

No matter how well I write, if you have never made love, I cannot adequately describe to you what it feels like to do so. What’s more, if you insist that no such thing as making love even exists, then I will certainly never be able to adequately convey to you what it feels like.

I cannot describe the color green (perhaps a light green with a hint of yellow, the green of new leaves and shoots not yet filled with chlorophyll) to someone who is blind, and who even moreso insists that green does not exist, could never exist; who knows that scientists have proven that green could never exist; who knows that philosophers from Aristotle to Descartes to Dawkins have conclusively shown that green does not exist, could not exist, has never existed, and will never exist; who is under the thrall of economic and legal systems (insofar as there is a meaningful difference, since the primary function of this culture’s legal systems is to protect—through laws, police, courts, and prisons—the exploitative activities of the already wealthy) based so profoundly on green not existing that this basis is almost invisible to the properly acculturated (to even remotely acknowledge that the economic and legal systems are based on green not existing would be to implicitly concede that green actually does exist, which of course one must never do); who cannot acknowledge that this culture’s ontology and epistemology are based on green not existing and then tautologically show that green does not exist; who cannot acknowledge that this culture would collapse if its members individually and/or collectively perceived this green that cannot be allowed to exist.

If I could describe the color green to you, I would do it. I would take you and shake you and spin you around. I would drive you, as R. D. Laing put it, out of your wretched mind.And after you had been driven out of your wretched mind, and after you had then perhaps become how and who you were before you were made so wretched, we could talk. And you might be able to see the color green.

Or someone else could drive you out of your wretched mind. It certainly needn’t be me. I’m not the point. You’re not the point. Your perceived experience isn’t even the point (of course). The point is your wretched mind, and getting out of it. And beyond that, the point then is your real experience. And beyond that, the point is the real world.

But someone or something or some event or experience or relationship must first drive you out of your wretched mind, or you will never see green.

It really is that simple. Fifteen books later, it’s that simple. After six thousand years of this culture destroying the world, it really is that simple.

That simple, yes, but worse, because the inability to perceive isn’t merely physical. Oh, those who can’t see green claim they look for it everywhere. They even look for it by wearing glasses, by using microscopes and telescopes, by using cameras, computers, and CAT scans.

But still they can’t see it. Not because their eyes don’t work, but rather because their enculturation does. They cannot see it (and they cannot see) because they’ve been taught, generation after generation, for thousands of years now, that there is no such thing as vision, and even if there were, there would be no such color as green.

We’ve all had years of people telling us that we better not, that we cannot, see, and that we most especially better not, cannot, see green. We are childish if we see green. We are insane if we see green. We go to school to learn how not to see green. We read books that teach us not to see green. We see television programs—see, we can see!—that inculcate us into not seeing, and into not seeing green. Governments and the economies they support severely discourage us from seeing green.

It is no wonder so many of us do not see green.


Part of the reason we are told that other intelligences, and conversations with other intelligences, cannot happen is because the events are willfully unrepeatable (that is, unrepeatable because the actors in the events have volition, as opposed to unrepeatable because the events are random), and therefore not predictable, and therefore not controllable. This culture is based on the assumption that all of the world (except humans, sometimes) is without volition, is mechanistic, and is therefore predictable (most often absolutely, because of this lack of volition, or at the very least probabilistically, because of randomness). Therefore, the existence of the willfully unpredictable destroys a foundational assumption of this culture. The existence of the willfully unpredictable also invalidates this culture’s ontology, epistemology, and philosophy, and reveals them for what they are: lies upon which to base this omnicidal system of exploitation, theft, and murder. It’s much easier to exploit, steal from, or murder someone you pretend has no meaningful existence (especially if you have an entire culture’s ontology, epistemology, and philosophy to back you up); indeed, it becomes your right, even your duty. The existence of the willfully unpredictable reveals this culture’s governmental and economic systems for what they are, as well: means to rationalize and enforce systems of exploitation, theft, and murder (for example, try to stop Monsanto’s exploitation, theft, and murder, and see how you are treated by governments across the world).

But willfully unpredictable nonhumans exist. Sometimes some of them allow some of us who are willing to look to see them, and sometimes they don’t.


I am sitting on a bluff southwest of San Francisco, reading about humpback whales, about how there used to be so many and now there are so few, and I am reading about their songs. I am reading about the ways this culture’s machines interfere with their songs, with their communications, and I am reading about how this culture is killing the oceans.

A man approaches, asks if I want to see the whales. I say I do, begin scanning the horizon. He laughs at me, then leads me into what I think at first is a small room. He walks to its front, sits in a chair surrounded by dials and switches. He pushes a few buttons, and I hear engines rev up. We are in a cargo plane. It takes off.

I am sitting near the rear cargo door. It is open. I am terrified. I crawl to the front of the plane, tell him about the door. Once again he laughs at me. He pushes a button and the door closes.

He flies the plane only inches above the waves. The waves are high, the sky is dark. I am even more terrified. A wing touches a wave, catches, causes the plane to tumble. We start to sink into the ocean. He laughs yet again. The plane recovers, flies on.

I see a single disarticulated propeller spinning above the waves. And then I hear them. I hear humpback whales singing as they swim in single file, north and west and away from the coast, away from the city. I hear mothers singing to their calves, and I hear calves singing to their mothers.

The man flies closer. I see the whales. I am thrilled, but as we fly closer still I am disgusted, because I can see that the calves are terrified of the plane and its noises. The man laughs, flies the plane inches above the high waves, getting closer and closer to the whales.

This is all wrong, I think, so wrong. We should not behave like this. We should have asked permission.

The plane is no longer a plane. Now the plane is a luxury cruise ship. I wander among the passengers, who eat at tables set with crystal glassware on fine linen. The passengers toast themselves, and they toast their good fortune. Above and beneath their toasts, far beyond the sound of their chatter, I hear the deep rumbling of the engines, and I feel propellers churning through water, and I know in my guts and in my heart that outside, in the cold and swelling waters, mothers and children can no longer find each other, can no longer hear each other’s voices above the noise of the machine.