Golo Pilz. Adviser for renewable energy for the Brahma Kumaris with an insightful interview looking at climate change and caring for our planet at the recent Spirit Of Humanity Forum in Iceland.
Jim Paymer – You developed a huge solar array in India that is very dynamic and powering the Mount Abu area around the Brahma Kumaris…how did that come about?
GP – I came to India in the middle of the 80s, and you see first the deforestation, the poverty of the people. But on the other side you see the sunshine and the possibilities. In Germany, as a front runner in research and development in renewable energy I thought, how is it possible to bring some of the technology to India. In the 90s we started to look more seriously at it, we came in contact with people who had created the parabolic dish, and we started to do research in solar cooking with the dish, concentrating the sunlight on a receiver, generating low pressure steam and sending it into the cooking vessels. We then created institutional cooking in the Brahma Kumaris and India, and the first system was built in 1997 and still works like clockwork after 20 years.
JP – There were no cars when you first went to Delhi with blue skies. Now today it is one of the most polluted cities on Earth as a result of fossil fuels. Can we turn that around?
GP – One thing is of course the technology. Fossil fuel based technology is causing emissions and these are causing the trouble. Here we need technology which is more efficient, based on renewable energies, maybe electric cars, better mass-transportation systems. Delhi has done a lot of work with the likes of the metro, but now of course that is now over crowded. On the other side we need to look at our lifestyles, especially in the West. Our consumption of our energy footprint per person is way too high. We are told that in the West we have to reduce the carbon footprint per person by 60-70%, and that is a lot, which means a change of lifestyle and habits.
JP – Can we change the habits? I recycle everything I can at home, I run around turning lights off, I don’t want to be a contributor to greenhouse gases, but how do we change the mind set?
GP – I looked a lot at meditation and a change of lifestyle and mind set. I came across a lot of research work being done showing how meditation affects our behaviour, and if you are able to meditate regularly you can change your behaviour pattern, you literally change your neuronal networks and how your brain is wired. You can get rid of negative and adopt positive habits. If we change habits of needing more than we really need we can contribute to climate change in a positive way. But we have to change how we are wired, and meditation is a very powerful tool to initiate such a change.
JP – The SOH Forum – how do forums like this help us change mind set?
GP – We talk a lot about change, so we see problems, and we talk about the way out. The good news here is that there is meditation and reflective sessions where we open our hearts to the problems and we are not trying to analyse it all the time intellectually. It has to come from the inside.
JP – There will be 10 billion people by 2050. There are 1.4 billion people in India. How do you change the mind set so people think differently about how they live their lives?
GP – I first believe I have to change myself. I have to be an example myself whatever I am talking about. If I talk about peace, I need to become peaceful on the inside. People then see my words and my actions have more impact because I embody what I talk about. I feel it is important that we look into our own behaviour, our own programmes which we are executing daily and see where I would like to change something.
JP – How do you pass that on?
GP – I believe in the power of our thoughts. If I have a powerful thought about someone, I believe it has an impact on them. There is a power in non-verbal communication through subtle energies. I am trying to cultivate these, charge myself with light and inspire others to become a change maker.
JP – Many believe we are at a tipping point, that we are going to cross a threshold that it will be difficult to return from. Even now if we stopped all pollution, it would take decades to get the greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. But if we don’t change, what do you see happening?
GP – The news from the recent Climate Conference is not that good. Some scientists say we have crossed the threshold, others say we have a window opportunity for two or three years. It is difficult to say we have crossed or not, but what is quite clear is that the world is in a shift and a transition, and we need to strengthen our resilience and become fearless. We can then spread that energy. There is a strong connection between my inner thoughts and what the world does. A lot of work has been done again with quantum physics about the observer and physical experiments, and the close link. So if we can shape the physical reality through a shift in consciousness, it is a very positive message for people because we can all become a member of change.
JP – Do you see a possibility that mankind can shift fast enough to stop the ice melting for example, and massive sea rise?
GP – I envision we can do that. An enlightened mind is a master of matter. I can envision it that as we as a humanity rise, we can bring a shift towards the positive, where we live in peace and harmony. On a personal level I don’t worry. In India, they say that time is a big cycle, like a wheel. After this, the paradise is going to come and I believe we are in this transition period where the old world is going under stress, the new world is unclear but we can feel it coming and you can be a positive part of that change.
JP – But our political leadership does not seem to have the will to make the environmental changes that are necessary so we don’t go beyond that tipping point…
GP – This transition is very powerful and I believe in order to heal the planet you have to be a healer. It is not a question that if you are politician, it is a question that you listen to that inner call and change from the inside to the outside.