BOOKS: Life Song: In Harmony With All Creation

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1995:

Life Song: In Harmony With All Creation, by Bill Schul, Ph.D.
Stillpoint Publishing (Box 640, Walpole, NH 03608), 1994.
204 pages, with bibliography. $12.95.
Bill Schul endorses the idea of a
universal life spirit, not the private domain
of homo sapiens, but shared by every organ-
ic entity on the globe. It is a spirit of com-
munication and intelligence, having its
essence at the very cellular core of each liv-
ing thing. This is an idea of mythic and con-
tentious proportions, yet Schul glides easily
across this semi-mystic plane where many
others before him have been blown to bits by
the land mines of the Scientific Method.

In order to accept the idea of a uni-
versal life spirit, we are “required to adopt a
shift in consciousness,” somewhat an under-
statement when we are asked to consider our
spiritual and even intellectual kinship with
bats, gazelles, paramecium, toadstools,
snakes, and the like. But it is this “shift in
consciousness” which makes or breaks his
argument, and like any other epiphany, it
occurs seldom and is little understood.
In anecdotal style, Schul discusses
many human/animal communion experiences
alleged to have occurred over the centuries.
There are the perennial favorites, such as
Fido saving his human family from certain
death by waking them before fire overcomes
them, and how Puff and Rover traverse thou-
sands of unfamilair miles to be reunited with
their owners. Or, switching from Disney to
a more “In Search of…” mode, stories of
Muffy and Bowser returning from the grave
for one last goodbye lick or lifesaving feat.
Thrown in for New Age good measure is the
inevitable retelling of the miracles of garden-
ing performed by the Findhorn devas, plant
spirits receptive to human intervention and
communication.
Between and throughout these
chestnuts, Schul includes more subtle and
troubling examples; troubling because in
every instance humankind comes across as
the blind, deaf and dumb poor cousin. Schul
describes a world where there is a constant
exchange and flow of language, ideas, and
communication going on all around us, even
through us, but seldom consciously accessed
by us. The anecdotes he cites are the
instances where, for one reason or another,
people a little more sensitively attuned were
able to pick up bits and pieces of this flow,
being largely baffled by it. Not fitting in
with known scientific data, these experi-
ences get shunted to the potboiling catch-all
of “occult” or “new age” phenomena.
Schul sidesteps scientific land
mines by simply not paying them any quar-
ter. This is not necessarily as heretical or,
worse, sloppy, as it may sound: there is a
growing sense, voiced by popular author
Michael Crichton, that “we are witnessing
the end of the scientific era,” citing science
as an increasingly outmoded system.
Science was supposed to eventually answer
every question; instead it has only uncov-
ered millions more. Worse, “the lucrative
attraction for inappropirate technology has
led to a life estranged from Nature,” as Schul
quotes psychologist John Ocean. In other
words, we are not only deaf, dumb, and
blind, but damned proud of it, proud to
death.
The vague spiritual notion under-
pinning much of the present age is that life is
a stage upon which we are to act out our
individual salvation, with all the rest of
organic nature mere props and arty back-
ground. Not so, Schul argues; rather, the
life force––or “Life Song”––of all nature is
in constant and concerted forward motion.
Not our constellated human egos aspiring
toward some otherworldly goal, but each
living cell in every organism is propelling all
of creation toward something we can’t even
begin to envision.
––P.J. Kemp
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