America's attention has been focused on Watergate for some time now. And why not? People involved in generating the decision-making policy of the country have been acting in ways unworthy of the trust that they were holding. There are so many sidelights and highlights to the affair and it is of such a serious nature that interest in it has been sustained for months. Every other headline and news magazine cover story has been Watergate-related, and hours of television time have been devoted to the Senate investigation.
One question that Watergate raises, is, "Who can you trust?" Even those who were involved in the break-in and its subsequent cover-up are asking this question. And everyone else asks it as well, when people regarded as incorruptible are corrupted and show themselves to be subject to the same paranoias, immature decisions and irrational actions more becoming to petty thieves and political zealots than the leaders of a nation.
We live in an unstable country and this is a reality that people are gradually accepting. For a long time we have read of other countries being burdened with changing governments, dissatisfied populations, and national scandals. Now Watergate has made us conscious of the fact that we are on the same boat. Progress seems to be traveling hand in hand with destruction; the world is unstable even on the environmental plane and this has added a physical dimension to what was formerly only a political, social and economic situation.
We are unavoidably involved with the rest of the world. Events such as the war in Indochina have taught us this. Not too long ago it seemed possible to be self-sufficient enough to continue developing no matter what happened elsewhere. Now, however, treaties, trade agreements, natural resource needs and traditional enmities have made it obvious that we can't maintain an equilibrium at home, apart from the rest of the world's struggles and suffering.
This world view is a new step for us, and if Watergate helps us to see beyond national boundaries, then it will have had at least one beneficial effect.
People, however, are more aware of instability in their everyday lives than in a political sense. Human experience is first of all individual. The heart attack statistics, ulcers and sedatives are all examples of the tension and imbalance that people are feeling. The divorce rate is astronomical. Who can you trust? Apparently not even wife or husband.
Newspaper stories about bizarre acts of violence have become everyday over-breakfast reading: children shooting parents, rape, child neglect and even "everyday murder."
Still, these events are some distance away in the lives of most Americans. We read about them in the newspaper; we don't watch them from our back doorstep. The criminals involved, if caught, can classified, andsified,and jailed. But Watergate, prolific bugging, and other domestic spying hit closer to home.
Who can be trusted? And what will happen next? These are interesting questions and they probably have very interesting answers.
I have just seen the April issue of And It Is Divine. No other magazine holds together so well as a unit with continuous flow from one article to the next. Reading from cover to cover is an experience which one cannot find with any other literature being printed for the public today. With the past two issues, the enthusiastic response in Europe to And It Is Divine has greatly increased. I can see that you will be reaching many readers throughout the world before long.
I just saw my first issue of your fine publication, (May '73 issue), and found it most rewarding and thought-provoking.
I have a number of observations and comments which I wanted to share with you and your readers - all are intended as constructive, (i.e., truth-seeking), though they are challenging … .
A case in point: "The Man Who Bends Science." The view that Uri Geller's unusual feats prove mind is more fundamental than matter and violate the laws of physics, does not necessarily follow from the evidence.
Certainly there is a compelling temptation to leap immediately to that conclusion especially by those, such as Dr. Puharich and astronaut Mitchell, who already wanted to believe that conclusion. I personally happen to believe that that theory is the most logical one - but, d one truly hasa determination to get to the bottom of the matter, to find the unvarnished truth no matter whose theories are threatened or overturned (whether the Establishment's or his own), then as a good scientist or truth-seeker, he should be willing to consider other obvious hypotheses.
Within a few hours after reading the article about Geller, two other quite plausible explanations occurred to me that do not require we believe mind is the fundamental "stuff" of the universe, and do not destroy the laws of physics, (though they might be added to, which is the type of thing regularly done as science progresses).
Arthur C. Clarke, who wrote "2001: A Space Odyssey," has written words to the effect that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Today, many phenomena which man's technology has produced would be regarded as "violating the laws of physics" by early scientists, if they were alive to witness them. And if the phenomena were left unexplained, they might easily conclude that modern man has found ways to hold in abeyance the basic laws of the universe. But the explanation makes all the difference in the world. The sight of an airplane flying might
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR CONT.
lead to a belief that the laws of gravity were being violated. An atomic explosion would be especially inexplicable to them: unless explained, they would wonder how it was possible for such a small amount of material to produce such a huge explosion.
The two possible explanations:
A. There have been just as many reports recently in the news media about UFO sightings as there have been about Geller's feats. It's not at all out of the realm of possibility that some beings of "sufficiently-advanced" technology are observing us, and even playing or experimenting with us. They could, by making use of some "new" (new to us) force in the universe which we have no knowledge of, and without Geller's knowledge, be inducing him to perform these feats; they could be funneling a force field through him which is triggered by his own wants. When he thinks, "I want to bend that fork," they could see that it's done - actually, it wouldn't even have to be funneled through him. They could merely be tapped in to his brain by some wireless method, and when he wishes something to be done, they could have a remote control force field accomplish it, without going through him at all.
Many scientists, even in our quite primitive technological state, have already suggested that force fields which are highly controllable and very specific in nature might be developed, using laser beams, electro-magnetic forces, etc. Imagine what might be done by one of Clarke's highly-advanced technologies, if they were monitoring our activities here on Earth.
Of course, if that is what's happening to Geller, it seems apparent that the nature of the force field is not electromagnetic. I understand that Puharich has already demonstrated that psychics does not use any type of electromagnetic phenomena, by his use of Faraday cages in experiments.
But why not force fields made up of forces which man has not yet discovered? There was a time when men knew nothing about light waves, and a time when we knew nothing about radioactivity, and so on. Why assume we've discovered all the fundamental forces of the universe? There may be forces which our instruments cannot detect, because they weren't designed to detect such forces. Puharich's position could be analogous to that of an early truth-seeker being faced with a pitchblende rock at a time when the Geiger counter hadn't yet been invented, nor atomic physics discovered/ invented. Such an early inquisitive mind had no way of knowing what was going on - all he knew was that the rock glowed a little in the dark. Maybe Uri is sort of like that glow in the dark, and Puharich is misunderstanding the cause of the glow, in his haste to believe.
B. Another possibility is that man is beginning to develop some new structure, (or a new functioning of an old structure) in the brain that allows him to make use of forces (as mentioned above) which science is as yet unaware of
- and by way of the same biological evolutionary process that produced man from the original one-celled animal. After all, biological organisms developed many other abilities to make use of phenomena long before man ever came to understand those phenomena
- the eyes, for example, make use of electromagnetic radiation (light waves). It wouldn't be so unusual for biological evolution to be ahead of man's comprehension of it - in fact, that's usually been the case. (One of the few ways biological organisms haven't been ahead of science in "discovering" new phenomena is in the area of nuclear energy - probably because the radioactivity which results is damaging to living tissues.)
Far from proving that mind is more fundamental and occurred prior to matter, the experiments with Geller may merely have demonstrated that matter, through the marvel of biological evolution, is still forming itself into fantastically complex wonders which man himself, as the receiver of those wonders, cannot yet entirely understand.
But if that is the case, no one should feel badly about misunderstanding - psychology and computer science are still having difficulty understanding how the eye and brain work together to form perceptual objects in the mind, and that seems to be a much simpler phenomena than what Geller does.
My criticism of Mitchell and Puharich is that I believe they've leaped to a conclusion they wanted to believe in, and have made the serious mistake of believing that that conclusion is the only possible one they could have come to. And to do the latter is to make the worst sort of mistake a scientist can make: assuming the point which is at issue.
… I look forward to seeing what you do with this letter.
Craig S. Pease
I have been reading your magazine, and the article "People Are Getting Happy" has particularly interested me. Shri Guru Maharaj Ji seems to have a very good understanding of the world and of spirituality. In his discourse he explains that a "Guru is a master, a teacher, and He really hasn't got anything for Himself … I don't want your money." From this I understand hint to mean that a guru or master is the path to God, and not the actual goal. If this is true, I would like to know why Shri Guru Maharaj Ji appears so often in your magazine. It could seem as if you were trying to glorify this guru and not God himself. I feel that it is important to stress spirituality as an alternative way of life, but feel that if you stressed the goal rather than the means, your readers might be more receptive.
Lisa Hall Pittsburgh,
We are not able to present the "end" in a magazine article, but we can present the means.
I read with interest your article about Mr. Uri Geller. I was surprised that you failed to mention that Mr. Geller aroused a great deal of controversy in Israel. In fact, I think that it would be accurate to state that most Israelis familiar with Mr. Geller became convinced that he is a fraud.
I do not pretend to be in a position to judge the credibility of Mr. Geller or of his feats. However, I would expect a magazine description to include some discussion of the relevant skepticism which has been raised.
Neil M. Malamuth
Sherman Oaks, Calif.
I noticed you had some information on Cleve Backster's work in your articles on dolphins. If you did not get this information directly from him, you may not be aware of some of his latest works, which a friend of mine read about (he doesn't remember where) and wrote to me about. It seems Mr. Backster hooked up his polygraph to an unfertilized hen's egg, and got a signal out that resembled in character and frequency a beating heart. Sounds like there is some sort of conscious energy even in this "dead" object.
The magazine is really getting better and better every time.
Danny Clark Denver,
Letters to the Editor, with writers' name and address, should be sent to: And It Is Divine, 511 16th St., Denver, Colorado 80202.