• 139th International Peace Meditation “Knowing What We Know When We Know It”

    “Knowing What We Know When We Know It”

    July 6, 2008 — I’m not a quick decision-maker; at least, not generally. But sometimes I realize that I know something without rational thinking or reflecting. It is crystal clear and unshakable. That knowing comes from a deeper place within. It is like pure instinct — untainted by influence or societal norms. That unrelenting knowing is what we refer to as Knowledge.

    The question, it seems to me, is not when we found Knowledge, but when we lost it. Perhaps it became covered up by cultural attitudes and expectations. As we were taught to reason, analyze, and debate, gradually we became more focused upon rational thinking. For decorating or choosing a new home; for the justice system and the education system, it works. But sometimes we must rely upon our gut instinct, especially when that gut instinct is making us ill, or confused, as we continue to do what our rational thinking alone dictates. Sometimes, we don’t have all of the information we need. Sometimes we don’t have time for research and investigation. Sometimes we need to rely on our gut instinct, especially when it comes to issues of personal safety. From reacting in time to an out-of-control vehicle, to making a decision about whom to date, Knowledge within us can be a powerful tool upon which to rely.

    How often have you said to yourself, “I knew that!”… “My instinct was to do this, but I did otherwise”? Sometimes the result can be tragic: failure to believe our gut instinct about a health situation regarding a child, loved one, or oneself; trusting some untrustworthy stranger; getting into a business deal with serious financial, political, and/ or legal consequences; or failing to act when on the “inside” we knew better. How did you know better? What was the feeling or internal voice you didn’t listen to? Could it have been Knowledge?

    People laugh about my pet tortoise named Gomer, but he is a good example of Knowledge. Gomer is a Chinese Box tortoise that has been with us for over 16 years. I enjoy watching his reactions, and I have witnessed them change over the years. He will duck back into his shell when approached, but cautiously begin to move his head forward when he is ready to explore. Over the years, trust has developed. This is significant, for when he sticks his head out of his shell, he is totally vulnerable. By now he knows my voice and will look toward my direction when he hears it, even when I’m a few feet away. If I make a certain noise that he appears to recognize, he will wait and then return a “poofing” sound. This has happened on many occasions, so it does not appear to be coincidental.

    What does that mean? Perhaps many things, but I will give some of my conclusions.


    Evolution has taught him how to act like a tortoise: to withdraw, and to wait. He will wait before going to his food until he is certain there will be no interference. In other words, he waits until he feels safe.
    The process of living in a consistent environment with one consistent person who cares for him and talks with him has built a sense of recognition. Is this not perhaps an elementary form of evolution or socialization? Perhaps even early domestication?
    His recognition of my voice causes doubt upon accepted ideas that reptiles with small brains cannot be social. He likes to be petted on his head and neck where he is most vulnerable. He may retreat initially, but puts his head out for more touching.
    His own verbal response to my verbal sounds are perhaps even more interesting as it is a form of communication across species.
    Recently, I was shocked by his actions. When I put my hand into his dry aquarium, he walked, following my hand as I moved it around in circles several times. I asked my husband to watch, and he, too, was surprised. To what can we attribute this behavior of socialization, because animals, other than humans, still rely upon instinct? Had he come to learn over the years to trust another species? Wouldn’t the tortoise, perhaps more than any other living animal, give us evidence of its ability to live through and beyond the dinosaur age, relying upon instinct? If so, what can we learn from Gomer?


    I have come to believe that human-animal, or cross-species, communication is far more advanced than we generally recognize.
    I believe that “cold” animals — reptiles, also have, to some level, the ability to feel. We need to remember that before we acknowledged that human babies felt pain, we operated on them without anesthesia. We can be blinded by our assumptions.
    I believe that communication does not depend on words, verbal utterances or even touch. It may be that communication occurs on an energetic level that we do not yet have the capacity to understand.
    Lack of human understanding is not sufficient reason to believe something isn’t possible. Instead, it should be the impetus for further research and investigation. I don’t know why Gomer behaves as he does. I only Know that he does.

    What about you? What do you Know?

    This Meditation is dedicated to the rediscovery of Knowledge within each of us.

    Sue Kidd Shipe, Ph.D.
    Executive Director
    Please join us in prayer/meditation during the 24 hours of Sunday, July 6, and again the first Sunday of every month. The International Institute for Human Empowerment, Inc. is in our 12th year of continuous International Peace Meditations. Forward our Meditation to all in your address book; make copies for your religious and spiritual brochures and bulletins.

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    Sue Kidd Shipe, Executive Director
    International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc.
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