Water: Our Life Blood
Review of The Story of Water, U.K., 2010 (in the U.S., The Spiritual Life of Water), a book by Alick Bartholomew
“If only we could see that water is the essential life blood of the planet and cannot be separated from the natural environment, we could then start to work with nature whose husbandry of water is so efficient.” The Story of Water, p. 262
How we treat our water is a metaphor for how we treat ourselves and the environment. The prognosis is not good for either ourselves or the environment unless we radically re-design our water systems and their connections to energy, health, food and waste systems. Water doesn’t like to be polluted, diverted and dammed up, and neither do we. Water needs to be clean and flow freely and responds positively to being loved and respected.
Alick Bartholomew has written a magnificent book, The Story of Water, that integrates the diverse elements of the central role of water in our lives. This magnum opus is the culmination of the author’s long, distinguished career as an Earth scientist, author and publisher. The book is lucid, deep and comprehensive, covering the extraordinary contributions of Viktor Schauberger, Mae-Wan Ho, Masaru Emoto and others regarding water’s subtle properties, which provide breakthrough insights into restoring purity and vitality to water. This book should be a primary resource for any serious student of both the old and new sciences.
The Story of Water is unique in that it reflects the author’s deep knowledge of the principles of whole geophysical systems, which helps us understand the Earth as an integrated Gaia system that sustains us. The book begins by describing our usual view of water based on Western science and then deftly moves on to the frontier sciences that embrace water as the source of life in terms of biological systems, quantum energy fields, etheric fields, spirals, vortices, and as a medium for communications and memory. An understanding of these principles can lead to strategies for treating our water in ways that guarantee a sustainable future for humankind.
Instead of strategies that treat water as the source of life, we now see the uncontrolled spread of E coli in contaminated water. We see corporate raids on our dwindling water supplies through careless deforestation, mining, drilling, agribusiness and industrialization. We see the pollution and damming of great rivers so that they hardly flow as far as their mouths. We see acidifying oceans that have become the ultimate sewers for plastic trash, chemicals, oil slicks and radioactive carcinogens. And we look with horror at the human-caused extinctions of species. Unless humanity changes its ways, civilization will almost surely collapse and bring down much of the biosphere with it.
Bartholomew says that this wanton destruction of the biosphere is unnecessary, because we already have the knowledge to cooperate with nature and provide abundant clean water for all of us. However, it is necessary for people to understand the high quality and remarkable nature of water and how essential it is to conserve water before it’s too late. More than just a chemical compound to be used and abused, water has extraordinary subtleties that lie at the core of a new spiritual science that is longing to be born. In this book Bartholomew suggests that we cannot understand our relationship with ourselves and the Earth until we understand our relationship to water. We evolved from water-beings, we are composed primarily of water, and the planet’s surface is mostly water. We live or die according to the condition of water inside and outside our bodies. Water has memory, structure and healing properties. It is the medium through which our consciousness works. It’s often said that water is the oil of the 21st century. Water is our very life blood, which is much more important for our well-being than oil. Without abundant clean water, life cannot go on.
Meredith and I live outside Vilcabamba, Ecuador—a village whose pure mountain drinking water is believed to be responsible for the famed longevity of its residents. Yet recently, even though laboratory analyses were showing the water’s continued purity and vitality, our local water board decided that they wanted to emulate the practice of much of North America and chlorinate our water. Unaware of the harmful effects of chlorine on the health of many North Americans, they believed that chlorination would improve the water supply. (Also, the fact that the chlorination unit was offered for free probably had some influence on their decision to chlorinate.) When they asked for my opinion, I immediately referred to The Story of Water, which explains the perils of chlorination, and I (successfully) urged them to leave the water alone and to maintain precautions so that the source of the water and the various connections would remain free of contamination by humans and grazing livestock. Most of the rest of us are not so lucky as the residents of this part of Vilcabamba when it comes to our water supply; chlorine and other treatments may become necessary to kill off harmful bacteria, but they destroy the good bacteria as well.
Close to one billion people on Earth do not have safe drinking water. Waterborne diseases are the number-one cause of early deaths worldwide. Global fresh water is rapidly disappearing from our rivers, aquifers, glaciers and icecaps while corporations co-opt our water supplies and render them chemically polluted. So much water is wasted, and so much is destroyed, for the use of agriculture, mining and industry. Ecuador and Bolivia have both passed new constitutions providing for the rights of nature, which clearly includes the preservation of the quality and quantity of our water. It remains to be seen whether or not these actions will hold up in court in the face of aggressive corporate intrusions into the most sensitive biodiverse and indigenous ecosystems—intrusions that are solely for the sake of profits for the hydrocarbon and agro-mineral export businesses and for their temporary payoffs to national governments.
Buckminster Fuller stated that there is only one kind of revolution tolerable to all societies and political systems, and that’s a revolution by design and invention. We need to re-design our water systems to be compatible with the natural order of life itself, and this will revolutionize our relationship with our planet and with ourselves. The Story of Water provides an eloquent and very much needed call to action—a call to radically transform our relationship with water so that we start to treat water as the sacred life blood of our planet before it is too late.