Here Comes Irma

My Recent Posts


Hurricane Irma, a category 5 storm, is headed our way.  Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has proclaimed a mandatory evacuation for several coastal Georgia counties, including Chatham, where I live.  Less than a year ago, Hurricane Matthew, closely following tropical storm Hermine, knocked down so many trees that we are still clearing the debris.  For a week, we had no electricity.


My favorite philosopher, Seth, the speaking entity in the Jane Roberts series of channeled books, claims weather is created by human emotions.  In books like The Nature of Personal Reality, he says that individual and collective emotions create electro-magnetic energy fields that extend far and wide, depending on the intensity of the emotion.  Groups of people emitting similar energy patterns can create large, intense fields that affect weather patterns. 


I’m sure most people have never heard such a strange notion, and skepticism is understandable.  The disconnect between science and metaphysics is profound, but it wasn’t always that way.  Ancient disciplines like astrology and alchemy provided the foundations for modern astronomy and chemistry.  Back when speculation about the “how”s of life was integrated with the “why”s of life, when science and religion re-enforced each other, belief in the interactions between man and nature were taken for granted.  The “rain dances” of some tribal cultures attest to this belief in the power of man to influence nature.


Modern science, with its mechanistic views, distanced itself from consideration of a living universe.  In Western science, the idea of a god or gods is passé, regarded as old-fashioned superstition.  Science chooses to ignore what it can’t measure--such as life force--or intangibles like emotion.  Science is practical, too practical to put much stock in psychic phenomena or un-provable claims.


Science is happy to make predictions, though, formerly the realm of fortune tellers and other seers.  It’s happy to predict global warming through the 21st century, and it’s happy to predict hurricanes and their possible trajectories.


The common denominator in all these predictions is fear, whether of global warming or this week’s hurricane.  The fear culture abounds in politics and the stock market, in foreign policy, the media, and in health care.  It infects every thought and decision at individual and group levels. 


Chronic fear has a definite and generally predictable effect on the body, too.  We call it stress, and it leads to health conditions like high blood pressure, other cardiovascular disease, and immune system dysfunction, to name a few.  In fact, chronically elevated stress hormones, generated by worry, anger, hate, or other negative emotions, ultimately affect every organ system.


It doesn’t have to be this way.  The anticipation of trouble causes the body to react in the same way as the trouble itself.  At least with real trouble, the hormones can lead to effective action, but this isn’t true when the mind is engaged in worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet and maybe never will.  In fact, there is a possibility that focusing on anticipated trouble may help bring it about.  Decisions and behavior follow a defensive line of reasoning, based on a superstitious anticipation of evils around the corner.


There’s no way, at present, to prove or disprove whether human emotion creates weather.  Seth says that if it weren’t for storms, we would all go crazy.  It does appear that storms and other natural disasters serve to remind us of priorities, and to stimulate the cooperation that flowers between people in a shared calamity.  It’s unfortunate, in our conflictual present times, that we seem to need disasters to bring out our more lovable qualities.


Religion has certainly perpetrated its own brand of fear, through the centuries, but the idealized image of a benevolent--or at least conscious--creator or creators can serve to balance the fear of feeling adrift in a cold, mechanical universe.  This may be where science and religion, physics and metaphysics, could stand to meet and shake hands, acknowledging the value of each within the human psyche.



wsucram15 Added Sep 7, 2017 - 9:14pm
I have two friends who had to evacuate for Irma, one of which survived Katrina and was left with nothing but a suitcase with some clothes.  Some of the people in Texas are going to be in the same position because they left too late.   That is the sad part of a hurricane you dont hear about.
Your ideas are plausible, and I will not dismiss them since I am not an expert. It is entirely possible for the earth to feel some pressure or variance in our emotions.  But I would feel the warm water- cold air system and low pressure variance has more to do with these storms.  Why they are so frequent or so large is another story altogether.
Paul H. Mayo Added Sep 7, 2017 - 9:26pm
Plausible, just as good and evil are a part of our world. Ying and Yang. Evil will always be there as a force. The palpable hate encroaching into all aspects of our lives lately has to manifest itself somewhere. Why not Harvey and Irma. Tired of the constant hate everywhere, Facebook, WriterBeat,et al. We need to show the good, we all have to conquer this evil.
Saint George Added Sep 8, 2017 - 4:43am
Skidmark-john-g (named after "Toilet G" on the Ground Floor of the brothel in which his mother birthed the rat-tailed miscreant [father unknown]) trolls this site because he shills for Russia and Palestinian terror organizations that commit, or enable, atrocities against innocent people.
Who is your ideological compliance officer, skid-mark-john-g? Do tell.
Curious minds want to know.
Stone-Eater Added Sep 8, 2017 - 11:53am
You might as well use that red x besides the comments of some people in order to keep a useful conversation going......
Jeffry Gilbert Added Sep 9, 2017 - 3:06am
She's pushing 3 meters or storm surge in front of her Likely to pass over the keys. This one is gonna hurt.
Katharine Otto Added Sep 9, 2017 - 10:34am
As of today, Saturday, the storm appears to have turned westward and may go into the Gulf.  Whether to leave and which direction to go becomes a crap shoot, I guess.  Why does a flood drown some victims and not others?
If you can accept as plausible the idea that we do generate force fields with emotions, it follows that positive emotions on an individual level can help change the world for the better.  
Certainly, when under the threat of a natural disaster, the latest presidential tweet loses relevance.
Katharine Otto Added Sep 9, 2017 - 10:43am
Paul H. Mayo,
Many people may find this idea offensive, but I don't believe in evil.  What we perceive as evil, according to me, is fear made manifest, based on misunderstanding. 
While we in the West link good and evil with yin and yang, I perceive that yin and yang refer more to the forces of construction and destruction, or the natural rhythms that allow for growth, maturation, death, and rebirth. Not good or evil in themselves but a progression that allows for constant evolution.
No one looks at animals as good or evil.  It is human judgment that makes that distinction.
Katharine Otto Added Sep 9, 2017 - 10:55am
John G and St. George,
Fear feeds on itself and leads to extremist beliefs and behavior.  Whose god is the "right" one?  It seems much of we we term "evil" in the world comes from ancient grudges and the antagonism against people and ideologies with different perspectives.
You two are most creative with your insults against each other.  If you could apply your creativity toward finding grounds of agreement, some of us might appreciate it. You both make interesting points, from time to time, and both seem well versed in your points of view.
Katharine Otto Added Sep 9, 2017 - 10:57am
I believe in free speech.  People have a right to sabotage themselves.  As long as they're not shooting each other, or threatening to, I'm okay with their comments.
Katharine Otto Added Sep 9, 2017 - 11:01am
If human emotion can influence weather, this is a good time to practice wishing (or praying, if that's your thing) for the best possible outcome for everyone.  If nothing else, it's an exercise in cooperation as a way of solving problems.
Hurricanes are, after all, apolitical.  
Stone-Eater Added Sep 9, 2017 - 12:16pm
Fair enough, it's up to you.......some say that HAARP has something to do with it. Well.....IF it would, would they direct a Hurricane to Florida ? LOL
Katharine Otto Added Sep 9, 2017 - 12:21pm
I just finished talking to a friend, who told me about HAARP for the first time.  I'll look into it.  Anything is possible, is it not, in this strange world?
Stone-Eater Added Sep 9, 2017 - 12:45pm
I don't really believe it. Kind of like flat earth and military bases on the dark side of the moon. Too much loony stuff out there. But climate change surely HAS an effect on it (heating up of oceans), but I refrain from THAT discussion.....;-)
Stone-Eater Added Sep 9, 2017 - 12:48pm
human emotion creates weather.
If that would be the case I'd be able move-think my chair to the place I want to sit LOL
Stone-Eater Added Sep 9, 2017 - 12:50pm
Such things really remind me of religion for a, basically, educated people. Strew some "scientific data" into it and people will believe it. Good mix.
George N Romey Added Sep 9, 2017 - 12:57pm
As we await a bailout of the insurance industry.
Katharine Otto Added Sep 9, 2017 - 1:03pm
Move-thinking your chair falls in the realm of psychokinesis.  It's presumably possible if you want it badly enough.  However, it's easier to "move-think" your muscles into getting up and moving your chair with your hands.
Katharine Otto Added Sep 9, 2017 - 1:10pm
Who benefits from a hurricane?  The re-builders, I guess.  Will more people buy insurance after a hurricane?  Will the government bail out the insurance companies who might be bankrupted by claims after the storm?
I guess there are lots of people suing the insurance companies for altering engineers' reports after Hurricane Sandy.  
Stone-Eater Added Sep 9, 2017 - 1:13pm
LOL I will now concentrate on my chair for am hour. Maybe it'll but me to sleep ;-)
Paul H. Mayo Added Sep 9, 2017 - 1:27pm
Katherine Otto   I believe, now more than ever, that we can manifest our hate (or good) to change the weather and other outcomes. I am seeing many more positive pages on Facebook and other sites asking for prayers for Florida. Seeing less pages on Trump, racism, and the palpable hate that has been pervasive the last year and more.
 And with positive hopes and prayers, I believe we have already taken steam from Irma. It’s now a category 3, and I do believe, if everyone got together, stopped hating, we could stop the storm.
 I was one of the haters, answering back with hate on Facebook, Politico, WriterBeat et al. I have changed my attitude(recently)towards others, and will respond here on out with kinder words.
 I know I am a dreamer, and we cannot get everyone together to make such a huge change, but I think enough people have forgotten the hate for now, and are truly wishing the people of Florida the best., and it is working, to a degree.
Paul H. Mayo Added Sep 9, 2017 - 2:13pm
Katherine Otto, I posted this on my Facebook page, and followed thru and started pasting it on the hateful comments "Stop hating for a day and say a prayer for the people in the hurricanes path, even if you do not believe in God, believe in your fellow humans. Please Share." Facebook stopped me from posting after a dozen posts! 
 Also, I received 4 negative comments already. Crazy.
Stone-Eater Added Sep 9, 2017 - 2:31pm
I prefer people who help and not pray. Does that sound too hard ?
Katharine Otto Added Sep 9, 2017 - 2:33pm
If you fall asleep, you can dream your chair has moved, maybe.  We as a species have never learned to use dreams effectively.  Apparently, the now obliterated Senoi tribe of Malaysia used individual and community dreams to solve multiple problems.  I guess it didn't save them from foreign invasion, but the concept of using dreams has always intrigued me.  I do it, with some success, in my personal life, but haven't solved the world's problems yet.
Katharine Otto Added Sep 9, 2017 - 2:40pm
Thanks for the reassuring reply and affirmation of the power of prayer.  Negative comments show you are having an effect, at least.  Someone who cares enough to comment, cares, so I would consider that a success.
Stone-Eater Added Sep 9, 2017 - 4:57pm
I know that stuff like this exists to a degree in tribes like the Bamiléké and Bambara in Africa where I'm at home. But I never thought of addressing that subject. I'll do it, thanks for the tip !
Stone-Eater Added Sep 9, 2017 - 5:02pm
BTW: My wife told me once stories of people who were at two places at the same time. They have a lot of such stories going. But I myself experienced "maraboutage" (google that) on a rich French guy who created us problems in Mali, and suddenly it stopped......he didn't even recognize me anymore. I knew a guy who fixed him, friend of my body harm, though. The guy, a hotel manager, sort of became a vegetable...Story is too long - but it really made me think.....
Dr. Rupert Green Added Sep 9, 2017 - 5:32pm
I believe that collective force can be generated through prayer induced by stress, not the regular praying of individuals. Christians have long stated that God would destroy this evil nation. If God is using a hurricane to do so, why the stress from Christians?
Stone-Eater Added Sep 9, 2017 - 5:38pm
There ain't no connection to any religion or belief, Human character IS NOT PEACEFUL. Perverted survival drive. Keep praying....
Paul H. Mayo Added Sep 9, 2017 - 5:44pm
Stone-Eater I do not believe any connection to religion or belief, I do not believe in the God of any religion. But I do feel we are all connected, and are more powerful together, I believe we as a whole, are God, and we certainly control our destiny.
Stone-Eater Added Sep 9, 2017 - 5:51pm
I believe we as a whole, are God, and we certainly control our destiny.
No objection :-)
opher goodwin Added Sep 9, 2017 - 6:13pm
The universe doesn't feel cold or mechanical to me Katharine. It feels full of mystery and weirdness. It is so bathed in awe and wonder that I don't need any god. Somehow I sense that there is a vibration that connects us all to the galaxies and atoms. Not sure what it is. It might be nothing.
Dino Manalis Added Sep 9, 2017 - 6:16pm
Be careful!  Stay safe!
Katharine Otto Added Sep 10, 2017 - 3:12pm
Dr. Green,
Supposedly strong emotion, like stress, creates more highly charged "thought forms," than routine prayers, but the emotion of relief, such as I feel knowing Irma is losing steam, is possibly highly charged, too.
In any case, it's a good exercise to monitor thoughts and recognize they do have power.  The negative ones, I think, boomerang back on the thinker.
Katharine Otto Added Sep 10, 2017 - 3:19pm
I figure since you're going back to Africa, you might "grok" the idea of exploring tribal based traditions and archetypes. Our sanitized intellectualism in more "developed" countries tends to close people's minds to more fanciful, but imaginative perspectives.
Katharine Otto Added Sep 10, 2017 - 3:22pm
I'm not sure we really know what human nature is capable of.  We're only familiar with a very narrow slice of time.  Human nature might be more peaceful, once we learn cooperation is better for survival than competition.  If there's a revolution coming, I like to think it's a revolution in consciousness, with heretofore unrecognized potentials surfacing.
Katharine Otto Added Sep 10, 2017 - 3:30pm
I'm pleased that you see the universe as awe-inspiring. I wonder if you see the universe as conscious.  And what is "life force," anyway?  The Orientals suggest it pervades all things.
Also, my understanding of quantum physics (and of reading metaphysics) leads me to wonder if time and space are illusions, no beginnings and no real endings. If that is true, we are all immortal, in a way.  
Katharine Otto Added Sep 10, 2017 - 3:33pm
The cosmic web, of sorts?  Even the most seemingly insignificant event can have repercussions throughout the universe?  A difficult concept to grasp, but if we're thinking about it, that's a start.
Paul H. Mayo Added Sep 10, 2017 - 4:40pm
Katharine, Don't know cosmic influence, but on our extremely minute corner of it, yes. Can't imagine aliens liking our brand of maddness.
Jeff Michka Added Sep 10, 2017 - 5:14pm
Katherine Otto says: The fear culture abounds in politics and the stock market, in foreign policy, the media, and in health care.  It infects every thought and decision at individual and group levels.- Oddly, as we "celebrate" tomorrow as "Pick the Scab Day" the 16th Anniversary of 9/11 attacks, The fear industry is working overtime to keep us all fearful and constantly fretting.  I believe you said you were, at least at some point, a mental health professional.  Did you treat people who became irrationally fearful of everything since 9/11/2001?  Seems that date is the real anniversary of this country dying as a nation, capable of only fear of anything not deemed officially "safe."  A nation that only jumps when a cop or other "worst responder" says to jump, and not ever even asking why.  Fear won Trump the election, and in many articles and texts here on WB, you can read that fear.  No, sorry, I just wouldn't believe Arabs were going to steal Cessnas, and fly into shopping malls with them like Twin Towers of Retail, despite government assurances "We stopped it! we got the Gitmo prisoners to talk.  See? torture works." No it doesn't but when you've kept someone awake for a couple of weeks, waterboarded them repeatedly, they'll say anything...and we were stupid enough to believe it was all true. 
Katharine Otto Added Sep 10, 2017 - 10:03pm
I agree 9/11 was a turning point, but of what, I'm not sure.  Guilt and fear have been used by religion and government from time immemorial to control the masses.  And, of course, anger, which is probably a secondary emotion arising out of fear.
No, I never treated anyone who became irrationally fearful after 9/11.  You're describing what sounds like PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and those closer to New York or Washington may have experienced and/or treated more of it.
Was 9/11 the beginning of the end of the US?  The symbolic implications--unknown enemies using our own technology against us, toppling the twin phallic symbols of wealth and power--send a clear message to me.  I think the fabric of the US has been unraveling a long time, and 9/11 just woke people up to that fact.  The incessant wars against "terrorism" are a pretext to avoid facing ourselves in the mirror.
I do think people are trying to understand how we've arrived at this point.  There's a huge sense of betrayal going on.  I don't know what or whom to trust, and I know I'm not alone.
Dr. Rupert Green Added Sep 11, 2017 - 12:47am
You remember when the barefooted man came out of his cave in Afghanistan to relieve his Johnson and the world was in fear, raising various color and number terror codes. When you disturb leaves in a garden, hundreds of creatures are effected. When you throw a bucket of water on a piece of earth, thousand of creatures may be killed. Given our propensity for killing, why should a merciful entity above be careful of how s/he fart, least a typhoon is created that could destroy us?
Stone-Eater Added Sep 11, 2017 - 11:05am
I figure since you're going back to Africa, you might "grok" the idea of exploring tribal based traditions and archetypes.
Although I don't know what "grok" means I guess I understand. Actually, yes, I'm a hobby ethnologue as well, and my wife has helped me a lot in understanding how Africans think (at least the tribes I know such as the Peulh, Bambara, Bamiléké, Dogon or Diola where I have friends and/or family).
I'll never be able to really get all of it, but I can scratch the surface and when I know so far has been good in the majority. Africans are grossly underestimated in their thinking. Especially their flexibility and curiosity is astounding.
Stone-Eater Added Sep 11, 2017 - 11:06am
"WHAT I know", sorry. Get off my back, Alzheimer !!!
Jeff Michka Added Sep 11, 2017 - 4:54pm
Katherine Otto asks: Was 9/11 the beginning of the end of the US?-IMO, it was the end, 9/11 served to send US over the edge and tumbling through "The Looking Glass."  The beginning of the end had happened sometime before.
Katharine Otto Added Sep 13, 2017 - 12:02pm
Well, folks,
Irma has come and gone.  No trees lost on the homestead this year, but the 12-plus foot tidal surge flooded my crawl space, including water heater.  Things floated out and are they are now all over the yard.  We lost power for just over 24 hours.  Pump house was flooded, too, but both pump and water heater still work.
Last year, during Matthew, I had no flooding, but eight trees fell over the driveway, and it took a couple of days to cut our way out.  My brother-in-law is still clearing that debris.  We had no power for a week.
Katharine Otto Added Sep 13, 2017 - 12:07pm
John G,
I agree with you that the USA is paranoid, for good reason.  And we keep stoking the fires of aggression. It's like the powers-that-be want to fail, and to bring us all down with them.
Katharine Otto Added Sep 13, 2017 - 12:11pm
Dr. Green,
The cycle of death and rebirth will go on, no matter what we do, even if humans annihilate ourselves in the process.  While I believe in a universal consciousness, I also believe it is learning, too, from events and their consequences.  Benevolence?  I guess it depends on whether you are predator or prey.  
Katharine Otto Added Sep 13, 2017 - 12:21pm
"Grok" is a useful word I picked up from "Stranger in a Strange Land," by Robert Heinlein.  It means the ability to completely understand and identify with something.
I'm glad you say Africans are so flexible and creative. Maybe those who have not been seduced by anal-retentive Western thinking have potentials we haven't begun to understand or appreciate.  "Survival skills technology," for starters.  How many Westerners could survive in the woods five minutes without government help?  I just hope the African tribes can maintain self-respect and integrity throughout the onslaught by foreigners bent on "progress."
Katharine Otto Added Sep 13, 2017 - 12:26pm
Everything runs it course and evolves into something new.  I agree the US has been on the skids for some time, and I hope we can learn from our mistakes.  So far, it's looking pretty grim.
It's also possible 9/11 was the signal event of the New Age, the Aquarian age, the 2000-plus cycle of "Brotherhood of Man," electronics, technology, and other unpredictable developments.  Certainly we will have to learn to get along with each other and Mother Nature if we don't want to go extinct.
Jeff Michka Added Sep 13, 2017 - 5:18pm
Katherine Otto notes: I agree the US has been on the skids for some time, and I hope we can learn from our mistakes.  So far, it's looking pretty grim.-Why I applauded your moves toward community action.  We need to be actually doing things we know are at least the right place to start.  I think, as always, those efforts should be acknowledged, even in passing.  Unlike some here, I don't see it all heading for the wall and we've no choice but to let it hit that wall.  We are better than that, and smarter than that.
Jeff Michka Added Sep 13, 2017 - 5:21pm
Stone-Eater,"Grok" is a useful word I picked up from "Stranger in a Strange Land," by Robert Heinlein.  It means the ability to completely understand and identify with something.  I recommend SEFa pick up an English copy of "Stranger" and give it a good read, at least twice.  My favorite Heinlein book.
Jeff Michka Added Sep 13, 2017 - 5:23pm
Dr. Green,The cycle of death and rebirth will go on, no matter what we do, even if humans annihilate ourselves in the process.- Sure, we'll be down to the last person being Keith Richards and some cock roaches, but that should be of comfort.

Recent Articles by Writers Katharine Otto follows.