“Nature has not designed us to compete. Nature has designed us to share, care and be fair.”
– an interview with Lynne McTaggart on her latest book The Bond by Femke Wijdekop
On Saturday March 31st, Lynne McTaggart, the celebrated journalist, bestselling author and one of the speakers of the movie What the Bleep Do We Know?!, spoke at the Wake Up! Party in the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam. This Wake Up! Party was organized by Rishis, Mirror Centre and Spiritueel Centrum De Roos (Click here to get an impression of this amazing party, which combined Lynneʼs lecture with the mesmerizing beats of DJ Esta Polyesta and DJ Isis). Lynne captivated the audience with her message that the most essential aspect of life is not the isolated thing – be it a subatomic particle or a living being – but a Bond, a relationship that exists between our body and our environment, between ourselves and all of the people with whom we are in contact, and between every member of every societal cluster.
I had the opportunity to interview Lynne McTaggart and asked her all I wanted about this mysterious Bond that literally is the connecting thread of life!
Iʼve transcribed the ﬁrst 4 questions here on this Blog, but you can listen to the whole interview for free by clicking on the MP3-link at the bottom of this interview! The total interview time is 1 hour.
Q: Lynne, can you please explain to our customers exactly what the Bond is?
The Bond is essentially the unit of the universe. We have deﬁned our universe according to science, and science basically tells us who we are and how we are supposed to live. It writes the story we live by. And the current story that weʼve had to date, which is really a story written by the greats in science, like Isaac Newton, deﬁnes us as individuals, and deﬁnes our world as being populated by very well-behaved batch of individual things. And we think of ourselves as being one of these ʻthingsʼ, you know, that we end with the hair on our skin at which point the rest of the universe begins.
But new scientists, quantum physicists and also the scientists in every area, ﬁnd that actually, when you dig down to the essential particles of the universe, there arenʼt things there. Particles are actually not like little billiard balls, they are more like vibrating packages of energy, that trade energy back and forth, like an endless game of tennis. And so what that really means is that the unit of the universe isnʼt a ʻthingʼ at all. It is not about individualism. Itʼs about a relationship!
Two sub-atomic particles are in an indivisible relationship and we ﬁnd that scales up all around the universe. Between not only our sub-atomic particles, but our bodies and the environment, between us and everyone with who we come into contact with, and even in our social units there is a Bond, and by Bond I mean a connection so profound and intricate, that it is impossible to say where one thing ends and the other thing begins.
Q: Yet we live according to a very different worldview. Most of us will be quite surprised to hear that actually science is telling us that weʼre all connected and that weʼre all exchanging information all the time! So how did we end up with a paradigm that tells us that we are all isolated and little units of life force that have to make it on their own? How did we end up with a paradigm that is actually contrary to our true nature?
Well, I think that we ended up with this paradigm for several reasons. One was, as I mentioned before, the whole Newtonian revolution, which re-deﬁned our universe as being populated by a lot of individual ʻthingsʼ. Then you have, aside from the scientiﬁc revolution, the industrial revolution – the ﬁrst and second industrial revolution, which really changed, in a very profound way, how we look at ourselves in relation to our world. You know, life became deﬁned by the machine – by the most inﬂuential machine of all: the steam engine. The steam engine created factories and also created a kind of parcelling out of time, that wasnʼt seasonal. Before that, we really lived according to the seasons and according to light and dark, and suddenly we became another machine ourselves! We lived according to the dictates of the machine and the factory.
And this got even more intensiﬁed with the theories of Charles Darwin. Now Darwin never actually said the term ʻsurvival of the ﬁttestʼ – that was coined by a friend of his. But Darwin was very inﬂuenced by ideas about population explosion at the time. And he felt that there wasnʼt enough to go around. So life must proceed and evolve through struggle. That was his idea – his take on the whole thing was that ʻlife is warʼ, essentially. So he demonstrated that not only do we have these individual things out there in the universe, but these things are set against each other. They are in competition for survival. And hereʼs why it is impossible to underestimate the inﬂuence of Charles Darwin, because at the time, with mass printing just happening, his ideas swept the globe, and they became a justifying principle for many things. Everything from virgin capitalism to the idea that we do best for society by looking out for number 1, by looking out for ourselves ﬁrst, to domination by certain nations against others and the colonisation of a lot of countries around the world, were really shaped by Darwinism. The idea that certain races have the right to take over other races. And even sociopathic behaviour! Hitler was a great fan of Darwin.
So those ideas, seeing us as individual things against our world, the idea that we are in competition, all of this has become the working paradigm of our lives. And it informs every aspect of our lives, if you think about it! Competition, dog-eat-dog competition, is the engine of our educational model, of our business model, of our all-over global ﬁnancial model, of our neighbourhood, of our relationships. Itʼs all about: “whatʼs in it for me?” Itʼs all about “I have to do best for number 1 and if I donʼt, somebody else is going to take advantage of me”. Itʼs all about us versus them.
So what I am saying in The Bond, is that this is contrary to Nature! Nature has NOT designed us to compete. Nature has designed us to share, care and be fair. And the reason why we are in the mess we are in right now, in every area of our lives, is because we are living contrary to our true nature.
Q: So there is a relationship then between the paradigm we have been living under, and the multitude of crises we are witnessing on the world scene. Is that what you are saying?
Yes, I think that what we are seeing, is “what selﬁsh looks like”. Selﬁsh looks like the collapse of many systems. If itʼs every man for himself, eventually all those systems we have created as a society, begin to break down. We see it with capitalism. We have a real fractioning of that system as it has become. Capitalism has become very much individualistic capitalism, not cooperative capitalism, and thatʼs why itʼs falling apart. The ecological system – if it is every man for himself, if all we are concerned about is proﬁt, then we are pillaging our environment. And at the end of days thatʼs what is going on with our ecological system: that there is no concern for anybody else, there is no concern for anything but proﬁt. We are seeing it in the collapse of our neighbourhood, in our society, where the mantra of our lives is “I look out after me and mine alone, and thatʼs it.” And with that kind of mindset, of course, things like neighbourhoods break down. All of this has to do with this faulty mindset.
So the purpose of The Bond was not only to change our story and give us a new story that is much more in keeping with what scientiﬁc revelation are showing us now, but also to give us a blueprint of how to live according to this new story.
Q: Could you give three examples of scientiﬁc ﬁndings that tell another story? To make it very clear for our customers what actually is being discovered in science that is so hope-giving, and so very different from what we learned?
OK, well ﬁrst of all, letʼs just start with our own biology, letʼs start with the idea that we are individual people. And thatʼs what science really tells us. It tells us that we and our bodies are the greatest examples of individualism, because we operate according to a unique genetic code, and that code makes us wholly self-sufﬁcient. Science tells us that we are completely created by our DNA.
But what science is discovering now, is that actually DNA is a lot more like the keys of the piano. These keys just sit there, and they get played or not according to environmental inﬂuences. There is a little quartet of atoms that sit above every gene, and they determine whether those keys get played. So what the inﬂuences are, are things like the food we eat, the air we breath, the water we drink, the friends we have, the sum total of how we live our lives. All of this determines whether or not those keys on the piano get played. So what they are understanding is – you know we used to think that we get created from inside-out, that our DNA creates our cells and our tissues and our organs – but they now understand that we are actually created from outside-in! That itʼs all those environmental inﬂuences that determine whether or not our genes will get expressed! So what Iʼm really saying is, we are actually a Bond, we are a sum total of everything, within and without of us, and we are a sum total of all of the inﬂuences we have in our lives that determine who we are in physical form. So that in itself is a Bond.
Now letʼs look at our mental processes. Because again, a real example of how we think of our individualism, is that we must have thoughts locked inside our heads, and these thoughts are wholly and exclusively our own. But the scientiﬁc evidence from people like Giacomo Rizzolatti, now shows something remarkable. Rizzolatti did an experiment with monkeys, and looked at movement and where movement is registered in the brain. So he had a little study where he was measuring the movement and ﬁring of neurons, when his monkeys reached and grasped for something. And he discovered something completely unthought of. He found that the very same neurons that ﬁred when the monkey reached for something, also ﬁred when the monkey observed one of the researchers reaching for something! And he was thunderstruck by the idea, because he understood then, that there must be such a thing as copy-cat neurons, that ﬁre when we are doing an action, but also when we are witnessing that action in someone else. So he began doing research in human beings and he found that it was exactly the case. The very same neurons ﬁre in us, when we are witnessing an action, when we are witnessing an emotion in someone else, as when we are having the same emotion or we are carrying out the action ourselves. So he called them mirror-neurons. And hereʼs what it means: it means that in order to simulate, in order to understand someone else, we have to simulate their experience neurologically. We have to simulate how they think. So in a way, every time we see someone else, we are temporarily merging with them.
So this starts to get kind of messy, because what we are really saying is that our thoughts arenʼt just exclusively our own, but they are a complicated mix of our own and the thoughts of everyone who we come into contact with. So my thoughts are a complex mix of everything I see around me. So put it all together and you think about that if there are no individual things when you get down to the small units from the universe, if my thoughts are a mix of everyone around me, if my biology, my body, is created from everything around me, too, then how I can say with any ﬁnality where I end and the rest of the universe begins? How can I say with any conclusive evidence, that this alone is me? And the point is – I canʼt! Because I am a Bond with everything around me, and I can only be understood as an intergalactic superorganism!
The full Lynne McTaggart Interview by Femke Wijdekop