“The Jungle Told Us What To Do”


I dislike the term, but I suppose it would be accurate to say that I’m a ‘creative’ person and it’s been this way for as long as I can remember. In recent times, my waking hours – and to an increasing extent, my sleeping hours – have been interrupted by a deluge of ideas and imagery that springs unbidden from some unknown source, which is in addition to those times when I actively try to evoke a solution for a problem or else attempt to call something to mind for other purposes.

As a result, I must have written several million words over the last fifteen years, although I’m aware that a high word count does not necessarily mean that everything I write is of the highest quality. Nonetheless, I’ve penned torrents of verse, poetry, lyrics, songs, press releases, essays, synopses, treatments, stories, features, articles and the like, as well as my two books, a once-voluminous correspondence, around seven hundred lengthy posts for my Eternal Idol site, a detailed diary of my lucid dreams, an account of my time inside Silbury Hill and a very great deal else besides.

Somewhere in my archives is a ninety-thousand word book I wrote on Stonehenge in 2005, although I suspect that most of the content is redundant by now, while I’ve written two smaller books over the course of the last twelve months or so, one being a study of the scientific stranglehold on Stonehenge, the other being a brief study of the Afterlife that was inspired by what Machiavelli had to say about communing with spirits of ancient men in his study.

I know I’m not alone in being capable of such an output, because the late Colin Wilson, for example, wrote to an even greater degree; as for the regrettable fact that I’ve not perfected or published everything I compose, then I console myself by recalling that Leonardo da Vinci – an infinitely more talented person than me – never had any of his writing published during his lifetime, while many of his paintings, sculptures and mechanisms remained unfinished at the time of his death in 1519.

As for myself, it’s perhaps relevant to say once again that I don’t particularly enjoy writing, because it’s too solitary a pastime for me. It’s something I feel driven to do, but at the same time, I admit that I actively enjoy applying myself to certain problems, Stonehenge being the one I’ve written about most in public, although there are many other subjects that I privately ponder at enormous length because of the pleasure the process of contemplation brings to me.

As many others have done over the millennia, I find myself wondering if the source for these things is some ‘universal mind’ that certain people can tap into, or if individual human minds alone are capable of generating and creating ideas that are later translated into words, imagery or inventions. I’ve read hundreds of thousands of words over the years dealing with convincing instances of people who seem capable of ‘channelling’ information from a supernatural source, including dreams, but the most striking argument for me and the one that inspired this post came from Lyall Watson’s 1986 book Supernature II.

I was glancing through it earlier today, as it seemed to demand my attention from the great heaps of books here in my study, and I opened it to read a paragraph dealing with the intimate knowledge the tribal Indians of the Amazon basin have of their environment. In brief, Professor Watson described how ethnobotanists were constantly amazed by the sheer sophistication of the herbal cures the tribal Indians employ, something that seems at odds with the comparatively short time period these people have spent surrounded by the flora they transmogrify into medicines and stimulants.

Some potions require as many as a dozen intricate steps in their preparation, but if any one of them is omitted or not carried out properly, the end product becomes not merely ineffectual for the required purpose, but lethal. So, as Professor Watson observed, given that there are hundreds of thousands of different plants in the jungle, it’s hard to see how this fiendishly complex procedure came to be successfully applied to just one plant by trial and error alone in such a short space of time. He finished by observing that whenever the Indians are asked about this, they simply reply “The jungle told us what to do.”

In opposition to the notion of a ‘universal mind’, there’s the train of thought or belief that individuals create things themselves, or somehow conjure them from the depths of their minds. Jim Morrison of the Doors, John Lennon and Freddie Mercury were all prolific writers who died well before their time, so it seems certain to me that each one of them would have gone on to compose many more memorable wonders had they lived longer, while I’ve not heard any evidence that others have somehow accessed their repository of genius by creating multiple albums filled with quality and unforgettable compositions in the tradition of the Doors, Queen or the Beatles.

Nonetheless, we are not short of creatives in our own time and when I glance at the cultural landscape around me, I note that it’s teeming with painters, poets, artists, songwriters, novelists, sculptors, choreographers, film makers, writers and others who actively try to create exhilarating landmarks for society. There are too many to try to list here, but what astonishes and baffles me is the meager to non-existent contribution from our politicians and other leaders in the form of memorable, uplifting deeds and visions.

We live in an age riven with wars, intolerance, conflict, inequality, poverty and a plague of other fearsome ills, any one of which you would think would be more than sufficient to provoke an eloquent and inspirational response from any one of our world leaders. Yet it seems that these people are either individually incapable of articulating a vision to match what our poets, songwriters, novelists and scriptwriters produce on a regular basis, or else their voices are stilled by the dead hands of professional consultants and advisors, who are infinitely more interested in protecting reputations through threatened lawsuits and manipulating online information than they are in enhancing reputations by using their limited imaginations, the result being that we are all the poorer.


“Even the jungle wanted him dead, and that’s who he really took his orders from anyway.”
Captain Willard, speaking of Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now.

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8 Responses to “The Jungle Told Us What To Do”

  1. satanicviews says:

    Words have a kind of magick to bring things into material reality.

    Liked by 1 person

    • eternalidol says:

      It seems to me that religious leaders often choose to cause change to occur in reality by addressing their followers, although their pronouncements are more often quotations from or references to their holy books than original statements, observations or exhortations. The Dalai Lama seems to be the exception, possibly because Buddhism is more of a philosophy than a religion.

      The people I’ve described as ‘creatives’ seem to do the exact opposite, by coming up with original words or images that capture our imaginations. I would suppose that, as they have the responsibility for entire nations, our political leaders would make an absolute priority of trying to articulate compelling and uplifting visions of how our world can be a better place.

      Given the current state our planet’s in, especially with regard to the environment and to vicious, unsettling conflicts, it seems to me that there’s a vacuum waiting to be filled by someone presenting us with a global variant of “I Have a Dream”, but I’m amazed at the sheer banality and predictability of the utterances of all our leaders, something I’ve ascribed to the dead hand of legions of highly paid advisors who specialise in reputation protection, rather than reputation enhancement. It appears that the Power of Nightmares holds sway over high profile individuals, as well as over the general populace.

      When someone like Jim Morrison held a position on the global stage, he enthralled us with pronouncements like “We want the world and we want it….NOW!” I cannot understand why others, on whose every word the media and the internet hang, seem unwilling or incapable of delivering words to make the spirit soar.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Fascinating. I’ve also wondered where creativity comes from. I’ll look for Lyall Watson’s 1986 book Supernature II.

    Liked by 1 person

    • eternalidol says:

      I’m very pleased you found this fascinating, Dennis, because I do too. As I’m sure you’re aware, there’s a case for viewing Nostradamus as an apocalyptic poet rather than as a seer, in which case, he spells out his method for deriving ‘inspiration’ in the first two quatrains of his first Century. You could say something similar about the Delphic Oracle, while the Master, William Blake, recorded that he spoke to his dead brother as many as twelve times a day, deriving much useful information and inspiration in the process. Then there’s Machiavelli, who also spoke to the dead at length and who tells us he wrote his masterpiece The Prince as a direct result.

      Otherwise, there are dreams and I suppose the most famous works derived from these night visitations are ‘Yesterday’ by Paul McCartney and Kubla Khan by Coleridge, who titled his poem KUBLA KHAN: OR A VISION IN A DREAM. I could continue for hours about all this to the extent of writing a small book, because even if we can derive no certainties from it all, it’s endlessly fascinating to ponder.


  3. corvusrouge says:

    In the book “Brilliant Green” published this year and written by the director of the International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology in Florence, Italy, Stephano Mancuso reveals the evidence that the root tips of all plants are the “sensing organs” of plants that not only provide information for plants to consequently possess the five senses we have, but also may provide the information for another ten senses.. The electrical activity measured in these root tips is most closely alligned to the electrical activity of neurons within the brains of animals. Small plants possess in excess of 15 million root tips, large trees are thought to possess hundreds of millions of them. So it is possible that the literal sense of your title here Dennis, is accurate in it’s most simplistic interpretation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • eternalidol says:

      Thank you very much indeed for that, Red Raven; I’m nowhere near up to date with my reading, so I’m fascinated to learn of the book you’ve mentioned. As for the idea of “the jungle telling us what to do”, I was once present when a Druid spoke to a tree on my behalf and asked it a specific question. The reply came very quickly – it wasn’t one I’d thought of before, as I was looking for the solution to a specific problem, while it was as detailed and as convincing as any other explanation I’d heard offered to me about the mystery in question.

      Also, in 1985, a haunted wood in Wales directly gave me one of the very best verses “I’ve” ever written, which I intend to present one day when I’ve set it to music and recorded it. I could go on for literally hours in this vein, but it strikes me now that I’ve had far more sense and clear communication from plants than I’ve ever received from computers, although I can’t honestly say I’m surprised by this.

      Otherwise, I still wonder why our politicians are so patently devoid of inspiration, with the possible exception of President Evo Morales of Bolivia, who has famously granted ‘rights’ to Mother Earth and I can’t see that it’s a coincidence that Bolivia’s so close to the jungle that spoke so clearly to the tribal Indians I mentioned in my post.

      Liked by 1 person

    • eternalidol says:

      PS: I’ve belatedly noticed your synchronistic mention of Florence, in Italy, a place I’ve been wondering about for weeks in connection with Machiavelli, Leonardo da Vinci and Cesare Borgia.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. eternalidol says:

    And by another one of those cosmic coincidences, I heard my daughter playing this wonderful song by the Growlers earlier today, the lyric being the singer wondering out loud as to precisely where his thoughts come from.


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