The Gift of Sentience / Forest People

Hosted byConnie Willis

The Gift of Sentience / Forest People

About the show

In the first half, writer, director and producer Kristin Gillespie joined Connie Willis (info) to discuss the concept of sentience and its importance to the human condition, which is also the subject of her "awake-umentary" films. A kind of emotional intelligence, Gillespie argued, sentience is a "primordial superpower" that draws upon the divinity within us to allow access to our own spiritual potential. "As humans—incarnates, here in the physical Earth plane—we are the interface between universal consciousness, psychic intuition, and human intuition," she explained.

The rewards of a sentient life are great: it's a stargate to our galactic citizenship, "a Heaven on Earth scenario" that connects us to the archangelic energies all around us. According to Gillespie, "Truly, if you can heal yourself, then you can heal the world, and you can heal the cosmos." Her own practice for channeling her higher self includes daily meditation, yoga, and journaling. Taking opportunities to commune with nature and find groups of others seeking sentience are also recommended.

That's not to say, however, that sentience means the absence of negativity or pain. For Gillespie, fear, anger, and sadness carry valuable emotional energy that we can use to grow in our self-knowledge and clarity of purpose. Accepting all aspects of our circumstances opens our hearts to the spiritual messages to be found in our challenges and tribulations. In fact, she said, as low-vibration energy, negative emotions are necessary for us to experience the full spectrum of consciousness sentience offers.


Mel Skahan, researcher of the forest people and enrolled member of the Yakama Nation, was the guest in the second half. Also known as Bigfoot or sasquatch, the forest people have long been in contact with the indigenous Yakama people, said Skahan, and he's spent thirty years adding data to the record of their co-existence. The bedding areas he's found while working in forestry, for example, have revealed a lot about their habits and family life, and indicate that they're highly intelligent and social beings.

Skahan concluded his appearance with the emotional story of how he achieved mutual respect with one of the forest people. While on duty one day, he related, he discovered a large nest of woven branches which he recognized as belonging to a sasquatch. He collected a few of the fine hairs he found there, brought them to his office, and kept them in his desk. Years later, at an unrelated house cleansing ceremony on the reservation, the nest's occupant suddenly appeared, vocalizing and upsetting objects in the room. After the shaman at the ceremony advised him that he needed to make peace with the offended sasquatch, Skahan offered up the stolen hairs, and, he believes, was absolved of his offense.

Bumper Music

Last Night

Mysteries of the Pyramids / Crystals & Stones
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