Journey to the Center of the Earth



Ever since I was little, I’ve been exploring the underside of things. As a small child, I’d toddle down behind our house in the foothills of the San Gabriel mountains, wading into the stream bisecting a grove of eucalyptus before, that is, it was turned into a golf course. In the water whose level varied with the seasons, I would discover rocks and water bugs and tiny fish trolling about in the rust-colored streambed. It was long before such places became overrun with people – I rarely saw anyone else around. Drawing in the odor of pungent eucalyptus leaves, I’d search until discovering just the right sized branch or twig for poking. Then, crouching down to turn over rocks and chunks of damp leaf mold, the fun began. Worms and bugs and salamanders, not accustomed to the light of day, would wriggle and squirm or wad their bodies up into little protective balls.

Fast forward twenty years and I found myself repeating the same fascinating ritual in the woods of eastern Maine. I don’t know if I experienced some past life, lending me a preponderance for prodding the flipside of things – I only know, at this later stage of the game, it is simply who and what I am – physically, mentally, spiritually. In Maine I would take faith walks in the woods at night; would lie on my back in a canoe for hours, floating freely on the pond, gazing upwards at the star-pocked heavens, pondering the imponderables of existence. Was I searching for something; longing for home? Or was it just that I found the home I had right here on earth infinitely captivating to its depths?

It’s not like I shun the light of day like some vampire. I delight in the daytime and all it offers. Despite my love of darkness and its thrilling, often unacknowledged world – I would be foolish, say, to swim in the ocean at night. It’s when sharks come in to feed. I’m not into tempting fate. And though most owls fly at night, the Hawaiian Pu’eo flies during daylight, sweeping over fog-drenched fields in search of tiny prey. Think of what I’d miss seeing if I only sought the shadows.

I suppose, then, it is only natural that I am a lifetime student of depth psychology. Humanity yearns for the light; Christians and Jews alike look heavenward for their father in the sky. Many Native Americans refer to Father Sky and Mother Earth. Gazing up, we search for answers, for guidance, for ‘higher intelligence.’ Surely life out there must be superior to that which originates down here. Yet the irony for me is that so much wisdom seems to lie right here inside and upon our dear Mother Earth.

University of Cambridge and Harvard educated scientist Rupert Sheldrake is best known for his discovery of morphogenetic fields, or the energetic imprints of all living matter which transcend time and space and are sometimes described as the soul of the world. These energetic fields contain all the intelligence ever derived from all of life, past and present, and may well be what sensitives such as Einstein tap into when discovering something ‘new.’ Perhaps it’s like throwing sticks in the air, and being perceptive enough to make sense of patterns as they fall, seeing an order to things that was previously unrecognized. Like reading tea leaves.

The late “Magellan of consciousness,” Terence McKenna, may best have been known for his experiments with psilocybin mushrooms and might still be marginalized because of it. But he’s always been after something – a fellow mulch-turner, I suspect. Eating fungus tapped him into what he terms the Gaian Overmind, which appeared to him surprisingly, at least once, as that which we’ve been conditioned to believe is extra-terrestrial. This apparition possessed the same features and face of ET; the same large eyes. He had come to believe these beings are not extra-terrestrial; rather they are super-terrestrial, “more or less a kind of integrated intelligence that pervades the entire planet.” (source of quotes: Twilight of the Clockwork God, John David Ebert, pp.92;98).

I had my own experiences with this so-called Overmind when small. Repeatedly. In that sacred canyon aforementioned. And that’s all I’m going to mention here, except that if you wish to know more, start with Ebert’s book, or listen to my interview with him via podcast.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

~ William Shakespeare

11 thoughts on “Journey to the Center of the Earth

  1. I’m glad you dig deeper, broader and further, Bela. Good habit to have, methinks. Plus you interview guests well! John’s captured a great deal with his good sense of exploration. I love the story he told about Rupert teaching so he’d learn about science. Oddly enough, that parallels my experience with going to church. People proudly pontificating while God was somewhere.


  2. Bela,
    Lately I have found myself investigating what lies beneath trees that have been toppled. In the Acadia National Park woods in Bass Harbor I take strolls into the dark mossy woods enjoying the quiet stillness. Off the trails I like to wander in and through the tangles of fallen trees. When the trees fall over they reveal interesting rocks beneath. The stone is mostly blocky shaped pieces of reddish rhyolite (metamorphosed granite) but occasionally there’s some rounded boulders. I think about geological time and how the glaciers may have left them or perhaps the shoreline had once been a little higher than it is now. I think about how long the rocks were under soil and moss and tree roots, not having been exposed to the light of sun for untold years only to resurface again when a storm blows over a top-heavy shallow-rooted tree. Geological time and the contrast of human existence is an often revisited theme that captivates me. Thanks for your posting. I guess I’m not the only one who enjoys these kinds of solitary pursuits.


  3. Profound and food for thought indeed. Was this the overarching consciousness that Einstein was searching for till the end of his life? What he liked to call the Unifying Law of the Unverse.Ans was this why his mind increasingly turned towards Philosophy and Religion as the years went by?

    In learning….



    1. Shakti, it may well have been that. Great observation. Perhaps it’s where McKenna derived his inspiration for the name “Gaian Overmind.”

      I don’t know how anyone who receives the kinds of miraculous inspirations and ‘transmissions’ any of us are fortunate enough to be privvy to can deny the greater forces of Creation. Doubtless this is why Einstein did turn further toward philosophy and religion as time went by.

      Thanks as always for your thoughts and reflections!


  4. Wow! Reading this this morning sent tingles up and down me with the rightness of this all. The soul of the world, something I have sensed all of my life but here what I’ve felt is articulated so well. I’ve read McKenna and about him and come away grateful he shared his knowledge with the world. Recently, in Costa Rica, I saw a ficus tree as I was on a walk way above the canopy of the cloud forest. I tend toward the mystical, but I swear I felt an intelligence, a consciousness. It was like standing before the Tree of Life.


    1. Alethea, great hearing your voice again. I am glad this had a ring of truth, for you.

      I have nowhere felt more in the company of the Great Mystery than in the woods, although of course it’s folly to exclude the ocean or anywhere else on this miraculous planet. To get to our ‘big forest’ here on Big Island, we have to 4WD over two hours, but it is always worth the dust and the day spent with anxious dogs. We never tire of the experience.


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