Adam Wolpert - Dialogue

[The following is the transcription of Adam Wolpert's Dialogue. It remains unedited at present, but will be updated shortly]

Now I want everyone to stand up. Wave your hands in the air. Now stamp your feet. Stamp your feet! Let's hear it! Let's hear it! Stop. Now sit down!

I want first to the organisers. I want to thank again Professor Phil Grant who is the person responsible for my being here. And all the wonderful friends, Frank and John and Margaret and Albie and Sally and Chris and Stewart and Myong-Hee, and Mr Anzai, and all the people who have made this possible. It's wonderful to be here. And thanks to Satish, who's much younger than I am, and it makes me see that you can get young with time.

I begin with an optimistic note, because I think that we find ourselves in a time of awakening. And it's not just the millennium, but it's the decades that we live in, from the eighties to two-thousand and twenty or twenty five. It's a period where science is beginning to prove what the great religions have always known, and that is that we are all one; that there is a vast web of life and that we're all part of it. And science, the scientists - the cynics, the rational scientists - are even now saying, indeed, we are all connected. It's not theoretical anymore, it's not religious anymore, it's scientific - we're all connected. A man named Paul Stamets is doing remarkable work with fungi. You know the fungi kingdom - mushrooms in Japan, you really know how to appreciate mushrooms - there are six million species of mushrooms, and only fifty-thousand of them have been catalogued. Six million! And they have networks that go through all of the land and float on all of the oceans, called mycilial webs. This is real, it's not in the bible like Satish says. And these networks are in fact an internet. Our internet is not new, and it's not modern, and it's not sophisticated. It's a cumbersome primitive, over-structured, over-mechanised attempt to do a tiny fraction of what mycilial networks of the planet are already doing. This is true. And the internet is simply our arrogant expression of a very humble truth, which is in fact that we are very small. And these mycialial networks are, in fact, billions of years old, perhaps. And they exist. And what do they do? They are like the nervous system of the planet. The nervous system of Gaia. And they produce enzymes outside of themselves called extra-cellular enzymes. And those enzymes effect the environment. They interact just like the nervous system in the body produces neuro-transmitters or chemicals that effect the environment of your body. And this is the thing that ancient religions have been saying - we're all connected, we're all one. It's one big body. And if you take your microscope, on a cellular level, you see this is true, and if take out your telescope, and you look at the planets, you see that this is true - for every order of magnitude. We're all connected.

Now blindness to this truth has characterised this time. And as was being talked about last night, we have had the age of humans, of man, and now we're going into the next millennium. So what's going to characterise the next millennium? Well let's look back and see how in history our approaches have worked. And look at the world - they haven't worked very well. In fact there are so many problems in the world that I'm not even going to list them. Because we know them, because they're all around us. We know them, and they make us sad, and they make us feel heavy. And so I won't go into list them. But I know that the delegates have been listing them. And I read in some of your statements your understanding of the problems of the world. So you don't need another person to get up and tell you what all the problems are. Instead lets look at what caused the problems. And the central thing that causes the problems, is that we still don't feel we're in one family. And people still believe that they can prosper while someone else is failing, and hurting and in misery. And the great United States, and the great Europe, and the great Japan, can actually put on the headlines of the newspaper "we are growing, and we are succeeding." At the same time that the other people of the world are in misery and starvation and hunger and disease. And they are being trampled by people standing on their heads. And imagine if in your family - in your very own house - if you are succeeding, and your fourteen brothers and sisters are starving downstairs. At least you'd be quiet about it. At least you'd maybe hide the fact that you're so happy, healthy, and vibrant, and you're growing, and pronouncing how wonderful you are, and your fourteen brothers and sisters, and your mother and father are all downstairs, and they're crumpled and they're starving. That's what we're talking about.

It's unbelievable, because you know it's true. It's true. You read the paper, and the pronouncement today in the Japan Times - the United States is going to make special changes to ward off the decline in the boom of the stock market. Big news! Imagine, downstairs, the fourteen brothers and sisters, they all read the morning paper and it's "Brother Success!" who lives upstairs and has the whole top floor of the house. He is going to make new changes - he is bringing in scientists from all over the world to make sure that he doesn't get a reduction in his happiness. We're being that. That's true! It's happening today! It's madness! So, why do we keep doing this? Stop tomorrow, as Satish says: "It's so simple!"

So, the whole planet is our backyard, and all of humanity is our family,is and if this is true, and again, you know it's true, no one can say it's not true. Even the fundamentalists, even the fanatics of the world, even they admit that we are all human, we're one family. And if you really become learned, if you really read the cutting edge of biological sciences, and physics, you'll find that the most intelligent people in the developed world, the so-called developed world, or overdeveloped world we should say - they know that we are all part of one organism. Gaia! How many people have heard of "Gaia?" Raise your hands. Gaia, the world organism. And here we are within the body and we're dumping toxic waste by our bed, on the counter, on the kitchen counter, we are dumping toxic waste. It's true. There is going to be a moment when humanity is going to wake up to that. Someone said that they're working on a pipeline. What will be in the pipeline? Rather, study the mycilial pipeline. It's already there. All of the great technological innovations of the future have already been invented. They're there - but we are blind to it. So, it's good news, because they're there.

One example, very concrete, from Paul Stamets - he found that these mushrooms, Oyster mushrooms (how do you say "Oyster Mushrooms" in Japanese?) - they produce enzymes which break down wood, which is ligment and cellulose, and the same enzymes break down hydrocarbons, which is a petroleum product - PCBs, pesticides, poisons - they break down poison, and he plants these mushrooms in contaminated soil, and they grow, and they break down the poison in the soil, and they clean the soil, and this is happening today. And he's making a lot of money! And those of you who are interested in money, you should start to do this [laughter] because these are the people in the future who are going to be making the money. And the people in the toxic skyscrapers, who are making their money pumping their chemicals all over the world, like the great crash of the stock-market, they will be putting the gun to their head and pulling the trigger, because their world is going to be ruined. Everyone will suddenly know, "My God! You're pumping a pipeline full of poison into my kitchen! It's crazy!" Is that crazy? Right? Who's going to say? Everyone's in the corner of the kitchen and they're watching the poisons coming into the kitchen, who's going to say "It's crazy - there's poison in the kitchen!" right? Paul Stamets - he'll say "I have mushrooms, and we'll plant them here, and clean it up, and all the money is going to me." He is now getting $15,000 to what I'm doing - one talk! So even for people who want money, there are places to help, and this was your question: "What about the real world?" The real world is a very big world. So, Paul Stamets - look it up! Those of you who are entrepreneurs, business people, international business people, fungal networks - it's where it's at! You heard it here first!

Now what is this thing called, this mushroom? It's called a keystone organism. Anybody who ever heard of that raise your hand! It's a great privilege, I can tell you, the first time this term. Because you will be hearing a lot about this term. It's a term in biological science for an organism that begins a process. Because in the biological sciences, as we know, a process is a chain of events. You can't just plant a four-hundred foot high redwood tree in a sandbox - it doesn't work. How do you get a forest with a tree a hundred feet high? A mushroom begins the forest, and it grows, and Paul Stamets does just this, in a soil bed with diesel fuel, and PCBs, and motor oil, and toxic garbage - he plants the mushroom. And it grows, and it transforms the hydrocarbons into nutrition, and then it dies. And in most of our experience, we are taught when you walk by a rotting mushroom - it's slimy, and it's dark and it's dirty. Right? And if you were the servant in the house, the master of the house would say "go clean that up! Sweep it up and take it away, it's dirty, slimy, and it stinks!"is Actually, it's the most precious thing of all. Remember the idea of pearls before swine? The idea that if you grow something very valuable for people who don't know, they won't react? Well this is what the mushrooms are, and the compost is, and the organic matter, and all the leaves that are falling in the temple gardens in Kyoto which are getting swept up and burned, I hear - that's the goal!

So the mushroom dies, and it rots and flies come. After the flies, other insects come to eat the flies, and then the birds come - because the birds eat the insects. This happens - it's not theoretical. I've been there and I've seen this. The birds come, and what have the birds been doing? They've been eating fruit. They've been at Satish's apple tree and they've been eating the apples. Now Satish said that the apples are free - the tree doesn't ask you to pay money. Well, actually, it's not so. The tree asks you to take a seed for a free ride. It says you take a seed, and take it away, and put it somewhere else. And if you are really lucky apple tree. The seed is going to go through your intestines and come out. And if you are a really lucky apple tree, you are camping, so you don't have a toilet to go to, and you go right there on the ground - now that's a lucky apple tree, because then it can grow!! So, the birds, and they bring seeds, and the seeds start growing, and they start changing the soil, because as a plant grows it matures and a fully mature carbon is the basis of life on the planet.

And we know this! Science! Study it! Fully mature carbon! What is that? It's when the plant is dry and brown and dead! And your father will say "go into the garden, and clean it up - it's a mess. Clean up the mess! And put it in plastic bags, and put the plastic bags outside on the street. And then drive a big truck full of petrochemical poison, and then drive the truck up to the landfill and throw it in a hole in the ground, where it can't decompose. That's what we do! We do that! Does everyone know that we do that? Does anyone here know that that's what is happening? We're taking the fully mature carbon, which is the sustainer of life on the planet, because the sun, we know about, the sun doesn't care. It's taken care of. We've got plenty of sunlight. At least one thing that we don't have to worry about. Sunlight is going to keep coming. But carbon we have to worry about. Because when fully mature carbon falls in the forest, it begins to break down very slowly over time. And that's sustainable. Because every year is different, and one year there is a drought, and one year there's a flood, and one year it's cloudy the whole year, and one year it's sunny the whole year. And if the cycles of nutrition, like the cycles of our crazy economy, are short cycles, everything will die when things change. And that's what they're worried about - in the U.S. economy - that things will change and everything will go to hell, and everyone will die, you know, speaking economically, which is what they care about. So you need fully matured carbon which is breaking down slowly over time, and in the forest where the leaves fall, and it's fully mature carbon, so it doesn't just turn to slime. It's not like a fresh blade of grass - it's like an infant, like a tiny little baby - a fresh blade of grass. But the old brown wooden carbon that falls on the ground in layers in the forest - when that stuff starts to break down, it doesn't stop. It keeps giving nitrogen which feeds the plants and sustains the forest. And no matter what happens, one year or another year, a flood, or a drought, it'll keep breaking down. It's the brilliance of the forest. The forest already does it. We don't need anymore pipelines - we need to go back to the forest. We need to let the leaves fall, because you know what? It's intelligent! My God! Imagine - somebody from Japan is taken to another planet, and they're set in a room surrounded by aliens, and the aliens will sit and observe, and at a certain moment they'll see - intelligent, it's thinking, it's working. We can deal with this. We can even learn from this, because it's intelligent. And that's the earth - it's intelligent! And we're poking it with needles, and we're cutting down the forests - forty percent of the worlds land is suffering from desertification - it's turning to desert! One billion people in the desert, where they once were on a great soft ground. A fully matured carbon, slowly giving life.

Millions of years of intelligence taken care of by this great mycillial web, this great network - giving enzymes - and making the system beautiful, and whole, and sustainable, and harmonious. Go to an ancient forest. How many people have been to a real ancient forest - a real ancient forest? Look at this! You know why? In California - everybody's favourite right? - environmentalists - one percent is left! Really! And in Japan, I don't know - maybe none! It's second growth, it's third growth, it's fourth growth - the earth is so intelligent, that when you cut it down, when you stab it, instead of stabbing back, it tries again. All right, we'll try another forest. All right and what do we do! Great! Let's cut it down! Let's cut it down! This madness! Look at this! This is crazy! This is fully matured carbon, which is there to give nourishment to the planet, and we cut it down, and we cut it up, and we make theseÖ It's amazing - the madness of humans is very beautiful in itself. You go to these temples and it's amazing what they can do with a forest. And I tell you - I stood in those temples in awe. Amazing! But is it true that they burn them down? Is it true? So I think to myself, in a small situation, where you have a small group of people and they lived in a big forest - I think it's ok to cut down a few trees and build a temple and sit and pray, and every ten years, burn it to the ground, and cut down a few more trees and build a temple. Yeah! There's a hundred miles of forest in every direction. But now, it's one-percent. There's one percent! Enough. We need a new culture. We need to develop a new global culture. A global culture that's awake. Because we are in the kitchen and they're pouring the toxic chemicals on the counter, and it's happening now and you know it's true. So what about reality? Yeah! What about reality! What about the real world? People say "this is all airy fairy, but what about the real world?" The real world is place that is going in the wrong direction fast! So, old people often, when they get very sick, and they're going to die, they become very intelligent, and enlightened. And I've met some old people who are very sick and they have very freat understanding. And a friend of mine, who works for a group called "Rainforest Action Network" said to me, this is the age of death, and enlightenment. Because as the whole thing is starting to wither and die, we're getting it. Oh right! We're on a fertile island, and you say "how many people have been in a real forest and five people raise their hand. That's normal. That's not a good thing! It's not a good sign. Because the secrets are in the forest. The forest is the old man who knows the secrets. It's the old woman who knows the secrets. It's been healing for hundreds of millions of years. November 26-28th - three days - conference. That makes sense to us - imagine hundreds of millions of years, having a conference, where you can figure out things.

Is my time up? Time for questions and comments? Good point! Thank you very much

[This was followed by several questions from the audience and delegates. Click here to continue]

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