Yesterday I started reading Magical Child by Joseph Chilton Pearce. Or at least trying to read it - I'm finding it a little bit dated and quite anthropocentric, but there are also some really useful and interesting ideas to be found in his work.
One concept that fascinates me is that of the brain as a hologram, that even just one cell of the brain contains the information contained in the organ in its entirety (albeit with lower clarity). Further, Pearce proposes that each human brain is a fragment of the Earth hologram - "the human brain may be a kind of microminiature replica of the living planet itself, just rather fuzzy at the edges, needing clarification (6)." As we mature, starting out in the safe environment of our mother's womb, moving on to rely on our mother (or other caregivers) as the solid base from which we grow and branch out, and eventually learning more about the world at large, we require extensive interaction with our surroundings in order to figure out where we fit in. "Confine a newly born brain and prevent interaction with the earth, and no clarification can take place," says Pearce. "To the extent that the newborn is allowed interaction with the earth, to that extent the brain clarifies its own portion of the picture (6-7)."
As someone who wants to understand how we can raise our children to be responsible, creative citizens of the Earth, I found myself wondering what the implications are of viewing ourselves as a holographic fragment of the planet, and indeed the Universe. I've read research that suggests that one common commonality among the childhoods of many different social justice activists is that they were taught to love and enjoy their natural surroundings by important adults in their lives. This is not only true of those who grew to become environmentalists; the youths of animal protection activists and those who work for human rights also follow this pattern. I've always wondered, why would this be? What does loving trees as a child have to do with fighting for Chinese sweatshop workers as an adult?
Pearce's matrix may hold the answer. Perhaps interaction with the natural world allows us to understand what it means to be human in a meaningful, big-picture way, so that we can clarify our own roles in the system. Some find their niches fighting to ensure that enough natural world is left for later generations of children to experience, and others perform covert rescue operations to free battery-cage chickens or work for the Peace Corps. Whatever our niche, we need the firm foundation that we gain from an intimate understanding of our Earth from which we can grow and develop a greater vision.