I made a sweet little film called What on Earth. I meant for it to charm you and to fascinate you. And to make you think about the big picture. What if we are not alone? Not science fiction. Really. It wouldn’t be just a passing news event but a seismic adjustment that would change us forever.
Before I made What on Earth?, I also served as Executive Producer on a film called CROP CIRCLES: Quest for Truth.
What On Earth?
Against the backdrop of the breathtaking crop circle phenomenon, storyteller Suzanne Taylor engages with people who have devoted much of their lives to it. This fascinating community of visionary artists, scientists, philosophers, mathematicians, and educators from around the world, who converged on southern England each summer when the circles were appearing, paint pictures of the creative genius being expressed in farmlands as they try to make sense of why they were being delivered and how the world can ignore such wonders.
Although “real” crop circles can’t be made by people, the objective of the film isn’t to convince viewers of this. As far as figuring out how the circles got here, the film doesn’t do that, either. We don’t know where the deliveries came from or the method by which they were sent. We just know that for years we got scores of them in some 40 countries around the world.
The film shows how intelligent the source is – how it runs rings around us, dazzling us with communications that let us see how brainy it is. Also, the movie deals with how the circles make us think about life. What is real? What is art? What is the nature of proof? What are the limitations of science? What is the place of humanity in the cosmos? “These are all big questions, and we don’t have a forum for big questions today,” says John Martineau, the brilliant geometer who showed the world a mathematical teaching delivered in these crop formations.
You will see that we cannot dismiss the possibility of visitation by a non-human agency. And you’ll come away from the movie thinking about what that could do for us. If we knew we were not the only intelligence in the universe, we would be one humanity in relation to “the other,” and, as someone in the movie says, “That could be what saves this civilization.”
Claims to Fame:
A good review in The New York Times
A report on Denver’s pledge drive
It was so successful it was repeated several times
My Current Thoughts on Crop Circles
As people send me reports of the latest crop circles, I’ve been trying to sort out my thoughts in order to respond. Truth be told, I’ve stopped paying attention. However, that doesn’t mean I’ve joined the disbeliever camp.
What I see now, that’s no different from what I saw when I was deeply involved, is that something inexplicable is going on. The mystery is the core. You can’t get behind it to dispel it. There are things that occur in the formations which, within our terrestrial parameters, cannot be. Like biological changes to plants and chemical changes to soil. Like plants bending when they should be breaking. Like electrical devices going haywire.
It was very exciting in the early years when we were enthralled by the mystery, and what happened was that humankind, exercising its penchant for meaning-making, developed a mythology rich in detail about the many aspects of what was showing up. Imaginative people teased out intricate messages and saw into presumable intentions, weaving everything in a web of enthusiasm that people who were paying attention were swept into. Glorious, delightful, intriguing possibilities were speculated about so charmingly that there was a passionate buy-in to a new reality.
There is an ugliness that prevails now in the relations among the cadre of people who are the bedrock of the crop circle world. The hoaxers became its terrorists and a war-like atmosphere now prevails. Also, a dog-eat-dog competitiveness for customers developed — for photographs, books and events — that also killed the enthusiasm. The reality bubble of a glorious adventure into the mysteriousness of this awesome universe burst. Its center could not hold. The world of magical reality depended on the players being in its thrall, but it is gasping now, too far gone to be revived. There is no one to turn to for guidance or advice. In the fog of skepticism that has descended, no clarity about distinguishing the inexplicable from the human-made exists. No good-will flows. And, in this negative energy, I believe the real phenomenon has flown the coop. As my movie tells the tale, since the first evidence of circle activity, in 1678, there have been repeat flurries every hundred years which came and quickly went without mass recognition. This time around, the circles got mass attention and became the elaborated phenomenon we were treated to. In a pearls-before-swine reality where they have not been accepted and appreciated for their awesomeness, I think they have left again.
Humanity has advanced in major leaps by overcoming catastrophes. But, by our shared excitation and by a humility we would have experienced as we engaged with a higher order of reality than the rapacious one we are in, the circles offered a gentler way. What I do now is pray for something else to come along that is so beautiful and so inspirational that it captures our fancy to lift us out of a deadening sadness of egos and superficiality before something so horrible happens that progress comes from having to reconfigure our world — or, worse, where our capacity for destruction leads us into an abyss from which we cannot emerge.
My circle talks now will be strolls down memory lane. They will be stories about a bygone era, when, for a few shining years, there was a hope for humanity. And they will be invitations to look for whatever might be coming along that could open our eyes to how magnificent the universe is and to the privilege of being residents in it.
For a sense of how it used to be, my documentary, What on Earth?, that got a good review in The New York Times, streams free if you you have Amazon Prime or it streams for $2 on Vimeo.
“The scientific worldview is failing. It fails in a number of crucial ways. It doesn’t tell us what really exists in the cosmos. It doesn’t tell us about our own inner life. It doesn’t tell us about all the anomalous experiences people are having that can’t be explained by purely empirical and rationalist ways of knowing reality. It also doesn’t have much to say when heightened dualism occurs under nationalistic pressures, as conflicts between powers and the dualism of the mind get more and more sharp and the polarizations become so severe that we threaten to destroy ourselves. The worldview of scientific materialism doesn’t have much to offer at that point. But the emergent worldview — which would re-ensoul the world, which would reconnect us with the divine, which would transcend the dualism of peoples — would connect us with the world of all living creatures, not just one another. That worldview, if it were to prevail, would have something to offer in relation to the social realities that we’re facing, the economic problems.” – JOHN MACK
CROP CIRCLES: The Bones of God, by Michael Glickman, is my favorite book. Michael, who’s in my movie, did brilliant, seminal work on the circles, and he takes you into his discoveries in a way that will fascinate you. This is the post I did in 2010 when the book came out. Excerpts from Amazon reviews:
“My only complaint is that the book wasn’t at least four times longer.”
“Lucid, concise and copiously illustrated with photos and diagrams, this slim volume will crack a complacent head wide open.”
“I have studied and researched crop circles for years and I have yet to come across a book as beautifully written and illustrated as this.”
Two minutes where I make the case for the importance of the crop circle phenomenon
Crop Circles Real and Fake — Charles Mallett, who is in What On Earth?, was the proprietor of the Silent Circle in England, which for years was an information center and gathering place. He also is a circle photographer. Charles makes a cogent case for there being a real phenomenon.
Crop Circles: A Doorway to Another Reality
A talk at a conference in the summer of 2013
About CROP CIRCLES: Quest for Truth, for which I was the Executive Producer
WHAT ON EARTH? Crop Circle Montage – One piece of Bonus Material on the DVD
I was Rosie O’Donnell’s last guest on the TV show she did for Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network.