Re-uploaded as TED have decided to censor Rupert and remove this video from the TEDx youtube channel. Follow this link for TED's statement on the matter and Dr. Sheldrake's response: http://blog.ted.com/2013/03/14/open-f...
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RUPERT SHELDRAKE, Ph.D. (born 28 June 1942) is a biologist and author of more than 80 scientific papers and ten books. A former Research Fellow of the Royal Society, he studied natural sciences at Cambridge University, where he was a Scholar of Clare College, took a double first class honours degree and was awarded the University Botany Prize. He then studied philosophy and history of science at Harvard University, where he was a Frank Knox Fellow, before returning to Cambridge, where he took a Ph.D. in biochemistry. He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, where he was Director of Studies in biochemistry and cell biology. As the Rosenheim Research Fellow of the Royal Society, he carried out research on the development of plants and the ageing of cells in the Department of Biochemistry at Cambridge University.
While at Cambridge, together with Philip Rubery, he discovered the mechanism of polar auxin transport, the process by which the plant hormone auxin is carried from the shoots towards the roots.
From 1968 to 1969, based in the Botany Department of the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, he studied rain forest plants. From 1974 to 1985 he was Principal Plant Physiologist and Consultant Physiologist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Hyderabad, India, where he helped develop new cropping systems now widely used by farmers. While in India, he also lived for a year and a half at the ashram of Fr Bede Griffiths in Tamil Nadu, where he wrote his first book, A New Science of Life.
From 2005-2010 he was the Director of the Perrott-Warrick Project funded from Trinity College,Cambridge. He is a Fellow of Schumacher College , in Dartington, Devon, a Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences near San Francisco, and a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute in Connecticut.
He has appeared in many TV programs in Britain and overseas, and was one of the participants (along with Stephen Jay Gould, Daniel Dennett, Oliver Sacks, Freeman Dyson and Stephen Toulmin) in a TV series called A Glorious Accident, shown on PBS channels throughout the US. He has often taken part in BBC and other radio programmes. He has written for newspapers such as the Guardian, where he had a regular monthly column, The Times, Sunday Telegraph, Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, Sunday Times, Times Educational Supplement, Times Higher Education Supplement and Times Literary Supplement, and has contributed to a variety of magazines, including New Scientist, Resurgence, the Ecologist and the Spectator.
Books by Rupert Sheldrake: A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Formative Causation (1981). New edition 2009 (in the US published as Morphic Resonance) The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Habits of Nature (1988) The Rebirth of Nature: The Greening of Science and God (1992) Seven Experiments that Could Change the World: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Revolutionary Science (1994) (Winner of the Book of the Year Award from the British Institute for Social Inventions) Dogs that Know When Their Owners are Coming Home, and Other Unexplained Powers of Animals (1999) (Winner of the Book of the Year Award from the British Scientific and Medical Network) The Sense of Being Stared At, And Other Aspects of the Extended Mind (2003)
With Ralph Abraham and Terence McKenna: Trialogues at the Edge of the West (1992), republished as Chaos, Creativity and Cosmic Consciousness (2001) The Evolutionary Mind (1998)
With Matthew Fox: Natural Grace: Dialogues on Science and Spirituality (1996) The Physics of Angels: Exploring the Realm Where Science and Spirit Meet (1996)
Marijuana is the biggest destructive force in the history of mankind. It has ruined so many lives that the punishment for use should be death! In this video, I walk you through just a few of the victims of this devil's weed.
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In letters written to the court, the girl said the former pastor "told me to confide in him, to trust him, and he made me feel safe and comfortable around him as a man of God. … (Schaap) preyed on that trust and my vulnerability," the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Schaap's inappropriate relationship with the teen was reportedly discovered when a church deacon saw on Schaap's cellphone a picture of Schaap and the teenager kissing.
Schaap and his wife Cindy, the daughter of a beloved former pastor, have been married for more than 30 years and have two children. Schaap had made a career writing advice books about dating in addition to overseeing the megachurch, one of the nation's largest.
Am mai scris despre cum “asigurarea obligatorie a locuintei” este în realitate o medie între riscuri care nu exista si certitudini, din care câstiga doar câteva firme de asigurari conectate politic. Între timp, proiectul a fost pus în practica iar multi români – convinsi sa dea bani degeaba. Un lucru n-au luat în calcul initiatorii legii: un client prostit o data nu este prostit la nesfârsit, asa ca rata de reînnoire a politelor este teribil de mica. Asa ca lobby-stii plimba iar prin Parlament valize cu documente si ce-o mai fi pe acolo: sa faca obligativitatea si mai obligatorie iar pretul – si mai mare.
În umbra obligativitatii a crescut si o industrie a asigurarilor facultative ieftine, dar de multe ori la fel de înselatoare: cele care tot pentru 20 de euro pe an si 20.000 de euro despagubire asigura pe lânga riscurile obligatorii, “cutremure, inundatii, alunecari de teren”, si unele suplimentare, mult mai probabile: incendii, distrugeri etc. Sunt doua tipuri de abordari la baza unei astfel de polite, asa ca ele trebuie analizate cu prudenta, fiecare în parte.
Abordarea legitima: Unele contracte se folosesc de diferentele naturale pentru a acoperi ieftin riscurile mici si a folosi diferenta pentru riscuri reale. În clipa asta, cine cumpara astfel de polite “scapa” de obligativitatea celorlalte. Asta îi înnebuneste pe membrii cartelului pompos denumit “PAID”, care îsi vede vânzarile diminuate.
Abordarea ilegitima: Alte contracte promit ca asigura riscuri la gramada, indiferent de locatie, paralel cu PAID desi unii dintre asiguratori sunt membrii. De ce fac asta? Pai pentru ca în interiorul PAID macar trebuie sa plateasca reasigurare, care manânca aproape toti banii. Iar fara reasigurare, sunt trei cai de-a “rezolva” despagubirile.
1. Cât timp nu exista daune, trebuie doar sa convingi clientii (usor) si supraveghetorii (si mai usor), ca ai “rezerve tehnice” suficiente. În realitate, toti asiguratorii împreuna nu au destule rezerve pentru o inundatie mare sau un cutremur mediu.
2. În cazul incidentelor individuale, prin “managementul daunelor”, adica cocktail-ul clasic de clauze-capcana, sicane si tergiversari.
3. În cazul catastrofelor reale, solutia este falimentul complet al firmei de asigurare – despre al carei portofoliu se descopera ca era “toxic” – si lasarea “asiguratilor” cu buza umflata.
The Rothschild International Banking Family who are Russian Khazars who were originally from a country called Khazaria, which occupied the land locked between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea which is now predominantly occupied by Georgia and associates which also includes members of the Royal Families of Europe, and the following family names: Astor, Bundy, Collins, duPont, Freeman, Kennedy, Morgan, Sachs, Oppenheimer, Rockefeller, Sassoon, Schiff, Taft and Van Duyn are responsible for over 3 billion mass murders in the last 250 years through their manipulation, finance and control of wars and conflicts, starvation, malnutrition, slavery, famine, holocausts, genocide, ethnic cleansing, disease and other methods are set to be indited in the International Court of Justice as the biggest war criminal the world has ever known, after 30 years on investigations have been complete by a special investigation team funded by the real Jewish business people whose families were murdered in Death Camps by poisons originally designed to kill insects made and produced in factories belonging to these evil criminally insane Mass Murderers.
Rothschild Banking Family Friends and business associates murderess control of over three billion deaths on the planet earth for over 250 years. These people control the central banks in most major countries around the world which includes The USA Federal Reserve Bank, the Bank of England, the Federal Reserve Bank of Australia, the Federal Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the Canadian Federal Reserve Bank and many more. In fact there is only about six large countries they do not control the central banks of which includes Iran. That is of the many reasons why they are determined to make war against Iran which will be the third world war, which will be used to create chaos and fear by everyone in the world so that everyone willing agrees to their One World Order plan with One Government, One Army and One Bank to control the world with everyone on the world will willingly have Micro Chips implanted in them which will track their every move on the planet and have all their personal information and money on these RDIF Radio Tracking Chips. In anyone wants to complain about the way the world is run by these powerful elite, then they will simply just term off their chip and they will not be able to buy food, obtain transport, get into their house, or do anything else as the whole of society will be based around the use of these micro chips.
A LITTLE MORE FROM THE DEFUNCT SITE:
These evil, criminally insane Russian Khazars who were originally from a country called Khazaria, which occupied the land locked between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea which is now predominantly occupied by Georgia, and are fraudulent pretending to be Jews (which they are not real or genuine Jews at all), so they can fraudulently claim control of Palestine and Israel for themselves have been responsible for the manipulation, and have taken over London and Britain, as their head financial office, Washington and the USA as their main Military office, and the Vatican City as the religious and spiritual office, using each county's armies they control central banks in as their own personal armies to fight what are really "bankers wars", not real countries wars for power, money, gold, oil, land ownership and control and ownership of all the natural resources on the planet Earth, control, financing, execution and masterminding the deaths of over one billion people on plant Earth since the 1700's be methods for having the shot, blown up, starved to death, manipulated diseases and convincing them that they should kill each other over disputes over money, religion, land, power, oil, gold, and racial hatred and any other possible way of getting people to fight each other and/or paying people to fight and kill each other, all for the purpose of profit, greed and power, with the long term aim of obtaining control and/or ownership of all the world's money, gold, silver, oil, uranium and other precious metals and natural resources, the world's food supply, the world's land and seas and rivers, with the long term aim of becoming the sole rulers of a one World Government and Powerbase, which has one World Bank and One World Army. In a world were the whole world is run by one big computer monitored by a satellite and every man women and child have a RFID radio controlled Mirco Chip implanted into the that monitors every move, action and transaction they make with every part of society's activities being fully dependant on this microchip being active, and all money on these chips, everyones ID and all their personal information will be on these chips and if at anytime anyone dares to protest of what the One World Government are doing to the people on Earth or violate what the controllers of the One World Government want, they will simply just turn off their chip. It will also be a world where the One World Government will control the supply, production, coding, labelling and licensing of all food, herbs, plants, animals, birds, fish, nuts, fruits, vegetables etc. under their One World Controlled Codex Alimentarius Commission, their United Nations, World Trade Organisation, WHO and their Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) so that all intake, production and manufacture, licensing and labelling off food, herbs and nutrients will be controlled by them and only foods, herbs and nutrients that are listed on their approved list and the the nutrients and pesticide levels approved by them are allowed to be consumed on Earth with the overall effect that over 3 billion people will die of starvation, malnutrition and disease through low levels of healthy and naturally nutritious nutrients, vitamins and minerals in the food and high levels of dangerous toxic chemicals and pesticides, growth hormones and geneticly engineered ingredients in the food for the general population, with only the very elite at the top of their Illuminati organisation and their families being able to purchase and grow healthy and natural food where they will have a proper balanced nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
Starring and written by the comedy group Monty Python (Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin), and directed by Jones. It tells the story of Brian Cohen (played by Chapman), a young Jewish man who is born on the same day as, and next door to, Jesus Christ, and is subsequently mistaken for the Messiah.
The film contains themes of religious satire that were controversial at the time of its release, drawing accusations of blasphemy and protests from some religious groups. Thirty-nine local authorities in the UK either imposed an outright ban, or imposed an X (18 years) certificate (effectively preventing the film from being shown, as the distributors said the film could not be shown unless it was unedited and carried the original AA (14) certificate). Some countries, including Ireland and Norway, banned its showing, with a few of these bans lasting decades. The film makers used such notoriety to benefit their marketing campaign, with posters stating "So funny it was banned in Norway!".
The film was a box-office success, grossing fourth-highest of any film in the UK in 1979 and highest of any British film in the United States that year. It has remained popular since then, receiving positive reviews. The film received a 96% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes with the consensus "One of the more cutting-edge films of the 1970s, this religious farce from the classic comedy troupe is as poignant as it is funny and satirical", and it was named "greatest comedy film of all time" by several magazines and television networks. It is the first Monty Python film to receive an R rating in the United States.
Brian Cohen is born in a stable a few doors from the one in which Jesus is born, which initially confuses the three wise men who come to praise the future King of the Jews. Brian grows up an idealistic young man who resents the continuing Roman occupation of Judea. While attending Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, Brian becomes infatuated with an attractive young rebel, Judith. His desire for her and hatred for the Romans lead him to join the People's Front of Judea (PFJ), one of many fractious and bickering independence movements, who spend more time fighting each other than the Romans.
After several misadventures, and escaping from Pontius Pilate, the fugitive winds up in a line-up of would-be mystics and prophets who harangue the passing crowd in a plaza. Forced to come up with something plausible in order to blend in and keep the guards off his back, Brian babbles pseudo-religious truisms, and quickly attracts a small but intrigued audience. Once the guards have left, Brian tries to put the episode behind him, but he has unintentionally inspired a movement. He grows frantic when he finds that some people have started to follow him around, with even the slightest unusual occurrence being hailed as a "miracle". After slipping away from the mob, Brian runs into Judith, and they spend the night together. In the morning, Brian opens the curtains to discover an enormous crowd of people outside his mother's house, all proclaiming him to be the Messiah. Brian's mother protests: "He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy". Brian finds himself unable to change their minds, because his every word and action are immediately seized as points of doctrine.
Neither can the hapless Brian find solace back at the PFJ's headquarters, where people fling their afflicted bodies at him demanding miracle cures. After sneaking out the back, Brian finally is captured and scheduled to be crucified. Meanwhile, a huge crowd has assembled outside the palace. Pilate (together with the visiting Biggus Dickus) tries to quell the feeling of revolution by granting them the decision of who should be pardoned. The crowd, however, simply shouts out names containing the letter "r", in order to mock Pilate's speech impediment. Eventually, Judith appears in the crowd and calls for the release of Brian, which the crowd echoes, since the name contains the letter "r". Pilate then agrees to "welease Bwian".
The order from Pilate is eventually relayed to the guards, but in a moment parodying the climax of the film Spartacus, various crucified people all claim to be "Brian of Nazareth" (one man shouting "I'm Brian and so's my wife") and the wrong man is released. Various other opportunities for a reprieve for Brian are denied as, one by one, his "allies" (including Judith and his mother) step forward to explain why they are leaving the "noble freedom fighter" hanging in the hot sun. Hope is renewed when the Judean People's Front come charging towards the Romans, but as a political statement they intentionally commit suicide rather than concentrating their efforts in liberating Brian and his fellow sufferers. Condemned to a long and painful death, Brian finds his spirits lifted by his fellow sufferers, who break into song with "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life".
It was Earth day a couple of days ago, the 22nd April.
Most folk are proud of their heritage, their lineage, where they come from. They will defend family and cultural heritage even when it becomes irrational to do so. Most of the history of Europe was a series of bloody arguments battles between various family dynasties.
Yet, no matter our individual spiritual or scientific or political beliefs, we all have a common heritage. We all belong to something we cannot escape from, yet. Something that had to exist before we could. Something that developed us in all our varied forms. Something that fed and sheltered us. Something that tried to teach our stubborn asses how to work together. Something full of wondrous beauty and if we are lucky, a quiet grace. If we are not so lucky, it rages tempestuously at times for seemingly no reason.
No wonder we often refer to it as “Her” and “mother”.
You are standing on it. Her.
Without this planet, you would not exist. Nor would your family, your car, the fuel in your car, your house, all the crappy shit in your house that you bought to impress someone who doesn’t care about you very much, your noisy neighbors, your food, the air you breath, the water you drink, the internet, everything you believe in, everything you don’t believe in, the stupid crap other people believe in, no birth and no death, no politics, no religion.
No starry nights, no golden sunrise or set on a deserted beach, no misty mornings watching clouds roll through valleys, no lover to share it with, no kittens, no cute little puppies, no birdsong, no butterflies, no flowers, no desert to contrast with the rainforest, nothing to dazzle your eyes, no art, no music, no dance, no literature, no vices to enjoy, “No soup for you!”
Oh, and no chocolate.
There is something here to suit everyone’s tastes.
Early societies were Matriarchal. There were no hierarchies, classes or domination. They were about balance and equality. Being need based, there was no monetary system.
“Matriarchal women are managers and administrators, who organise the economy not according to the profit principle, where an individual or a small group of people benefits; rather, the motivation behind their action is motherliness. The profit principle is an ego-centred principle, where individuals or a small minority take advantage of the majority of people. The principle of motherliness is the opposite, where altruism reigns and the well being of all is at the centre. It is at the same time a spiritual principle, which humans take from nature. Mother Nature cares for all beings, however different they may be. The same applies for the principle of motherliness: a good mother cares for all her children in spite of their diversity.” -Matriarchal Society: Definition and Theory, By Heide Goettner-Abendroth
Have a read of the introduction of that article, think about a person you know who fits the description of a good motherly type, and imagine if today’s societies were staffed by people like this.
April 22, was Earth Day. It saddens me that we need a special day to remind us where we came from. It depresses the soul to see that so few remember or care.
How did we celebrate our mother today?
Another 175 square kilometers was deforested, destroying the biodiversity that makes our mothers beauty. Only 175 you say? That was just today. In just over a year that equals an area the size of Tasmania. For my American friends who are unaware that there are other land-masses on this planet, Tasmania is that big island under Australia (yes, Australia is on this planet too). That’s nearly 68000 square kilometers per year. Along with whatever strange and curious plants and animals that lived there, being driven to extinction, never to be seen again. Estimates vary, but about 50% (yes, that is a half) of the entire planets rainforests have been destroyed since 1900. Only 15% of the planets land was covered by rainforest to begin with, now we are down to 7%. That’s not good enough for us though, we are speeding up production and merrily planning to have the other half leveled by about 2030, 2040 at the latest.
Don’t mind us mum, just stealing the clothes off your back.
There’s all the mining. Mining in itself, if done intelligently, ecologically and ethically would not be so bad. There have been many amazing suggestions and advances in technology that would allow this, but no, some fat bastards pockets are not full enough. Raping the earth in the hallowed name of profit. And it is not even you or I that gain anything. Nope, we are worse off. Al Gore ran around scaring the simple folk with Inconvenient UnTruth’s about climate change in 2006, every nation in the world whose strings are pulled by the US government jumped on the bandwagon to make Climate Change laws for everything in sight. The Fat-Cats pillaging the ground pay nothing, the extra costs have been passed on to you and I. We are paying taxes for breathing. Lovely. Al Gore apparently, according to one article I read, lined his own pockets with an extra $1.5 billion. For telling fibs. Awesome.
Hey mum, screw you. Take this, and this……
Ahh, that’s much better looking than this…
There are approximately 40 military ‘conflicts’ raging right now while you read this. I really couldn’t be stuffed talking about them. If you think wars are necessary, If you think US troops using depleted uranium on civilian targets in Iraq was necessary, if you think Israel has a right to use Palestinian kids for target practice, if you think terrorists are coming to get you and you should support the troops, if you believe the official line for any of this crap, congratulations – you’re an ignorant fool. The damage this is doing to the planet and it’s inhabitants is atrocious. It is not, never has been, never will be necessary in any way, shape or form so stop defending it.
To cut a long rant short, how about pollution. Every day I see people throw garbage at a bin, miss, then leave it on the ground next to it. Industries belching obscene amounts of gases and toxic chemicals into the air and waterways usually with little if any punishment. Yes the laws are there but so are lawyers whose sole goal seems to be to find loopholes for wealthy psychopaths. A car-wrecking yard near here was caught last week dumping waste oil into a nearby creek. They were shut down and fined. They should have been publically beaten. I could go on, but the screaming fit and following bout of depression turns me off. I’m pretty sure you get the idea.
At what point do you stand up and say, this is my home and I shall defend it as vigorously as I would defend my child? When is enough, enough? After the damage is irreversible? Would you treat your own mother this way?
The earth gave birth to you, fed you, and did all the things your own mother did. Even when you turned your back on her, began making your own decisions and mistakes, forgot where you came from, she was always there, still feeding you, still giving you a place to stay, always ready to forgive. She did all this for your brothers and sisters too, even when you fought amongst yourselves, even when your battles raged out of control and scarred your mothers face, she was still there for you.
How have you repaid this kindness?
Our ego-driven, competitive, patriarchal society has trained us to believe we have limited power, we can’t make a difference, that we are alone and helpless.
Don’t for a minute believe a word of it. How often do you hear of something terrible happening to someone’s child and you catch yourself thinking what you would do the perpetrator if that was your kid? If someone came into your home and violated your mother, beat her, defecated on her, tortured her, what would you do or like to do to the scum, if you were given the opportunity? No army on earth would stop me. How about you?
You and I have the power to fix things. I’ll bet you even have a few suggestions or ideas. There have been some great ideas brought forward, read about them, encourage others to think about them. Look for people trying to make a difference. Open your mind to possibilities. Look into some of the ideas like The Venus Project. It’s not perfect, even it’s founder says so, but it is a great place to start. Go have a look. You may even have an idea to help make it work.
And that is precisely what you can do that WILL make a difference. Start. Get involved. Educate your children, teach them to look after and protect their environment. Don’t be afraid to scold the people abusing your home, your mother. Don’t betray yourself with thoughts of inadequacy, or ‘I’m only one person what difference would I make’ etc.
Man landed on the moon because ONE person said, ‘Hey guys, let’s go to the moon!’ Then a group worked together to figure out how.
Man learned the earth was round because ONE man said, ‘Hey guys, I think this place is round, lets sail around it and find out.’ We killed him, and a bunch more until finally someone grew a pair and got a group working together to prove it.
Man learned how to fly and built airplanes because ONE guy said, ‘Hey guys, wouldn’t it be awesome if we could fly like birds? Check out these wings I made!’ Then when he crashed and died some other people got inspired, they (eventually) worked together to figure out how to fly.
Getting the idea yet? It only takes one idea, it could be yours.
The next step is to work together. Learn to see our differences for what they are, just opinions, and stop being so emotionally attached to them being accepted by others. Many people will tell themselves, and others, that they don’t care what other people think. If that’s the case, then don’t. We need to express ourselves of course, but we also need to grant others the same opportunity. The sooner you start acting that way, the sooner those around you will too. (It’s actually a bit of a secret, but people get all warm and fuzzy inside when you hear them out without berating them for it. If they think your respectfully granting them the freedom to be themselves, they soon start repaying in kind. Shush, don’t tell anyone!)
When we start changing our ways, our world will change. We only have to start.
Let me leave you with some inspiring words from people far wiser than I.
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. – George Bernard Shaw
Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right!-Henry Ford
When you cease to dream, you cease to live. - Malcolm Forbes
CAMON: Somewhere you've said that your purpose in writing was "for inner liberation." But let's analyze this statement a little more closely. Why have you written? In order to denounce? Thereby to demand justice? To arrive at an understanding of an enigma, a mystery, "the mystery of Germany," the "madness of Germany"? Writing as an appeal to others for help in the solution? Writing as consolation? Out of all this, what was that "inner liberation" you were trying to achieve through writing supposed to be?
LEVI: Your question has to do only with Survival in Auschwitz. I wrote because I felt the need to write. If you ask me to go further and find out what produced this need, I can't answer. I've had the feeling that for me the act of writing was equivalent to lying down on Freud's couch. I felt such an overpowering need to talk about it that I talked out loud. Back then, in tile concentration camp, I often had a dream: I dreamed that I'd returned, come home to my family, told them about it, and nobody listened. The person standing in front of me doesn't stay to hear, lie turns around and goes away. I told this dream to my friends in the concentration camp, and they said, "It happens to us too."
And later I found it mentioned, in the very same way, by other survivors who have written about their experiences. So we're dealing with a typical situation.
CAMON: So was it your collective unconscious that felt that experience to be incredible, at the very moment you were all living it'
LEVI: Yes. But this dream of talking about it was certainly comparable to the dream of Tantalus, which was of "eating-almost," of being able to ring the food to one's mouth but not succeeding in biting into it. It's the dream of a primary need, the need to cat and drink. So was the need to talk about it. Already at the time it was a basic need. Later I chose to write it as the equivalent of talking about it.
CAMON: Talking about it more extensively, in me and space, to more people and over a longer period of time, to be believed finally by every one, since in the dream even your family didn't believe you?
LEVI: Yes. The nightmare of the dream, however, was still inside me. While I was writing Survival in Auschwitz I wasn't sure it would be published. I wanted to make four or five copies, and give them to my fiancée and friends. My writing was therefore a way of telling them about it. The intention to "leave an eyewitness account" came later, the primary need was to write for purposes of liberation.
CAMON: To write, that is, for therapeutic purposes.
LEVI: Yes, therapeutic.
CAMON: And in that sense did it work?
LEVI: Yes, writing relieved me.
8. The works (pp.59-64)
CAMON: Your literary works and those on scientific subjects (Storie naturali, Vizio di forma) are so different from the works on the "concentration-camp condition" as to raise a question about their author: what's surprising is that these "divertissements" (as you've called Storie naturali) are written by the same author as the books on the concentration camp. But I'd go even further and say that since Storie naturali was written simultaneously with The Reawakening, it would therefore indicate a kind of split in their author, a dual operation of his mind.
This is shown, in my opinion, by the different name used by the author: Damiano Malabaila. It may be that the pseudonym was suggested by fear and modesty, but at a deeper level it may well have been suggested by his awareness of being not one author but two-of being, so to speak, divided.
LEVI: That's a question that you can answer better than I. I mean I can't answer. I don't even know of any test or mental experiment that one could do to verify it. Before they arrested me I'd already written a short story, of which I still have a copy, but I've been careful not to publish it. It was a mediocre arabesque, with a little of everything in it.
CAMON: Maybe without the experience of the concentration camp, you would have been a writer all the same (I'm convinced of it-there's no way you wouldn't have been a writer, but an ironical, fantastic, allegorical, esoteric, scientific, naturalist writer.
LEVI: Actually in that first story there's a lot of the natural world, rocks and plants. Yes, perhaps that's what I would have written about; I was fascinated by that world. But for me the experience of the concentration camp has been fundamental. Naturally I wouldn't do it all over again, but still, along with the horror of that experience, which I still feel now, I can't deny that it's also had positive results. It seems to me that that was where I learned to know the facts about people. There's a friend of mine, Lidia Rolfi, who was in Ravensbruck, she was a schoolteacher, and she says that Ravensbruck was her university. It was the only concentration camp strictly for women. I'd been to the university, but I too must say that my real university was Auschwitz. I have the feeling of having been enriched by it, so much so that it took me only a few months to write Survival in Auschwitz and I remember writing it without ever faltering. When it was published by Einaudi in 1958, I inserted one chapter, the one about Initiation, which isn't in the De Silva edition of 1947, and I added quite a lot, but I didn't change, delete, or correct anything.
CAMON: There are sufferings that make us better people and sufferings that make us worse. Probably those experienced in a state of powerlessness make us better.
LEVI: I don't think I became a better person. I understood a few things, but that didn't make me good.
CAMON: How many prisoners were there, on the average, every day in Auschwitz'
LEVI: There wasn't just one Auschwitz camp; there were thirty-nine of them. There was the town of Auschwitz, and in it was a concentration camp, and that was Auschwitz properly speaking, or the capital of the system. Down below, two kilometers away, was Birkenau, or Auschwitz Two: here they had the gas chamber; it was a huge concentration camp, divided into some four to six adjoining camps. Farther up was the factory, and near the factory was Monowitz, or Auschwitz Three: that's where I was. This camp belonged to the factory, it had been financed by it. In addition, all around, there were thirty to thirty-five small camps (mines, arms factories, farms, etc.). The most distant camp was Brno, in Moravia: it was about a hundred kilometers away, as the crow flies, and was under the administration of Auschwitz. In my camp there were about ten thousand of us; in central Auschwitz fifteen or twenty thousand; in Birkenau many more, seventy to eighty thousand; plus another twenty thousand scattered about in these little camps, which were all frightful places, mines, where you worked amid cold and hunger; they were punishment camps. But Auschwitz One was the administrative center for all of them, and Birkenau was the extermination camp. The Auschwitz system was the fruit of experience gathered in all the other camps, both for extermination and forced labor. There's a book about it, in fact the diary of the Auschwitz commandant, who when he was captured was asked to tell his story, and he did.'
CAMON: You're not a depressed man, and not even anxious.
LEVI: Is that a feeling you get from my books or from my presence?
CAMON: From your presence. You have an ironical and tolerant attitude, and you often smile. I have the feeling that by nature you're someone who loves life, who loved it before, and who loves it afterwards. Between the before and the after there's been a violent and total trauma, but it's over.
LEVI: In general, you're right. Since the concentration camp, however, I've had a few attacks of depression. I'm not sure if they go back to that experience, because they come with different labels, from one to the next. It may seem strange to you, but I went through one just recently, a stupid fit of depression, for very little reason: I had a small operation on my foot, and this made me think that I'd suddenly got old. It took two months for the wound to heal. That's why I asked you if the feeling came from my presence or my books.
CAMON: I said from your presence, but it's not that your books contradict it. In your scientific and naturalist works one is aware of a fantastic, allegorical writer, with a language full of life, and a display of metaphor.
LEVI: While I wasn't at all interested in the problem of language when I wrote Survival in Auschwitz, it gradually began to interest me the more I went on writing, until it became uppermost in The Monkey's Wrench, which is an experimental book. And also in this recent book, If Not Now, When?, in which I've been faced with linguistic problems, because it was a mattter of having people speak in Italian-of translating into Italian-dialogue that was supposed to be in Polish or Russian or Yiddish. I don't know either Polish or Russian, and my Yiddish is poor, and so I had to study up on it, which I did. I studied Yiddish for eight months, so as to be able to give to these characters an Italian speech that would sound plausible as a translation, I don't know if the average Italian reader is aware of these things.
CAMON: After the first books, the ones on the concentration camp, one feels this interest in words, in language, and even a taste for experiment. That's why it seems strange to me that you didn't become a literary writer, but went on applying yourself to chemistry and being a chemist.
LEVI: But I was always interested in chemistry, and in school I was lazy and bored, and poor in Italian. As a student I didn't understand the importance of Italian literature; I understood it later.
9. Chemistry and the man (p. 65-68)
CAMON: But what is it in chemistry that interests you?
LEVI: I'm interested in the contact with matter, in understanding the world around me; I'm interested in the chemistry of the human body, biochemistry. In short, science: but the science of particles doesn't say much to me, while I'm thrilled by the discovery of genetic mechanisms, the way the individual is coded, the minuscule chain whose alphabet is made up of molecules. There's a bridge between linguists and geneticists. These new concepts of "pregnancy," of "redundance," of "ambiguity," apply very well to the language of genetics, and genetic failures are due to the lack of redundancy, for which it takes only the slightest error and the reading is broken. But the reasons that brought me to chemistry were different at that time, because chemistry was then a different science, I chose to get interested in chemistry when I was a boy-I was fourteen or fifteen-because I was thrilled by the parallel between the formula written on paper and what takes place in the test tube. Already then it seemed to me something magical, and chemistry seemed to me the main key to open the secrets of heaven and earth, and having read at the time that a spectroscope allows you to know the chemical composition of a star, it seemed to me one of man's greatest powers.
CAMON: So, chemistry and literature; concentration-camp writer, and scientific and naturalist writer. The fact that the literary writing came after the concentration- camp books suggests that the Auschwitz trauma had receded almost to the point of disappearing and that it wasn't simply negative. How about at the private, personal, family level'
LEVI: No, as I said, Auschwitz was not simply negative for me, it taught me a lot. Among other things, before Auschwitz I was a man with no woman, afterwards I met the one who was to become my wife. I very much needed someone to listen to me, and she listened more than others. That's why, in sickness and in health, I'm bound to her for life. Before that I was full of complexes, I don't know why. Maybe because I was a Jew. As a Jew, I'd been made fun of by my schoolmates: not beaten up, or insulted, but made fun of, yes.
After my return from Auschwitz, I had a great need to talk, I looked Lip my old friends and talked their cars off, and I remember their saying to me, "How strange! You haven't changed a bit." I think I'd undergone a process of maturing, having had the luck to survive. Because it's not a question of strength, but of luck: you can't beat a concentration camp with your own strengths. I'd been lucky: for having been a chemist, for having met a bricklayer who gave me something to eat, for having overcome the language difficulty. This I can claim to have done; I never got sick-I got sick only once, at the end, and this too was lucky, because I missed the evacuation of the camp. The others, the healthy ones, all died because they were transferred to Buchenwald and Mauthausen in the middle of winter. I had an argument ... are you a believer?
CAMON: Why do you ask?
LEVI: I had an argument with a believer, a friend of mine from Padua, your city, by the way.
CAMON: You're not a believer?
LEVI: No, I never have been. I'd like to be, but I don't succeed.
CAMON: Then in what sense are you Jewish?
LEVI: A simple matter of culture. If it hadn't been for the racial laws and the concentration camp, I'd probably no longer be a Jew, except for my last name. instead, this dual experience, the racial laws and the concentration camp, stamped me the way you stamp a steel plate. At this point I'm a few, they've sewn the star of David on me and not only on my clothes.
CAMON: With whom did you have that argument?
LEVI: If you remember The Periodic Table, he's the one mentioned as "the assistant" in the "Potassium" story. He's a believer but not a Catholic; he came to see me after my release to tell me I was clearly one of the elect, since I'd been chosen to survive in order for me to write Survival in Auschwitz. And this, I must confess, seemed to me a blasphemy, that God should grant privileges, saving one person and condemning someone else. I must say that for me the experience of Auschwitz has been such as to sweep away any remnant of religious education I may have had.
CAMON: Meaning that Auschwitz is proof of the nonexistence of God?
LEVI: There is Auschwitz, and so there cannot be God. [On the typescript, he added in pencil:] I don't find a solution to this dilemma. I keep looking, but I don't find it.