TECHNOLOGY AND AN OLD FISHERMAN : A FORMATIVE EXPERIENCE


I will share an experience that I had when I was 20 years old.
I grew up in Malta, and I happened to meet an interesting guy at a party one night. I started chatting with this man, and discovered that he was one of England’s leading meteorological experts and that he had been hired by the government to help set up a met office in Malta.

 

He told me that he went to a fishing village a few days before and he was chatting with a local fisherman. The fisherman looked out across the sea and up to the sky and said:

“Tomorrow it will rain”.

The met office expert went on to explain to the fisherman, who was illiterate, had never been to school, and had never traveled more than a few miles from his village, that the met office was able to determine with the help of modern technology that tomorrow would be a sunny day.

The fisherman smiled and repeated “ Tomorrow it will rain”.
And sure enough, the next day it rained all day.

The met office expert was impressed and said to me “ I don’t know why they’re paying me all this money – if you want a weather forecast you should ask a local fisherman”.

This is a true story and one of the formative experiences of my life.

From then on if I wanted to learn something, I sought wherever possible to experience it first hand rather than just read what others have said about it.

That is why my training and work in somatic psychotherapy is predominantly experiential, with “theory arising out of the experience”, and why I use only methods that I have personally experienced over a period of time.

In the words of one of my teachers, Native American Sun Bear, “I don’t want to hear your philosophy if it doesn’t grow corn”.