Episode #69 Honouring the Children: We bequeath them the Earth. What do they need from us in this time of transformation?

apple podcasts




you tube

“No decision shall be made and no action taken unless it holds the good of the children of all beings, of this generation and seven hence, at its heart.”

How would our world be if we based every act on the impact it would have down the generations? What do our children – and their children – need us to do now, to grant them a flourishing future? A simple video asks that question and invites our children to answer. We talk to its makers.

When David SmartKnight heard that the G7 summit was coming to Cornwall in June 2021, he went to the land and asked of it ‘What can I do?’ That night, he had a dream… and as is the way of things, when we align ourselves with life, the world joins our actions. Pretty soon he and his co-producer, Klaudia van Gool had a team of people, who came together to make a beautiful, moving 3 minute video and a project of awe-inspiring scope, to bring the words of the world’s children to the world’s leaders in ways they cannot ignore.

As for David himself: Following a thriving career as an IT consultant, for 25 years David has asked: “What does it mean to live sustainably?”. This has resulted in studying & applying Permaculture, shamanism, Non-Violent Communication, storytelling, teaching, social enterprise, running a smallholding, planting and managing coppice, making greenwood furniture, keeping livestock and holding ceremonies. All woven into a second career as an environmental educator, devising and delivering a European-wide teacher training program, creating and piloting a sustainability curriculum for secondary, establishing two award-winning Environmental Education Centres and running eco-build projects as community empowerment exercises.

“Sustainability”, he believes “is a completely inadequate ambition: what we actually need is regeneration, which, by necessity, requires both personal fulfilment and social justice.”
Between his deep-nature connection business, the complexities (and joys) of single-parenting two teenagers and devoting much of his time to supporting the Regenerative Cultures strand underpinning Extinction Rebellion, David currently is spearheading The Children’s Fire Project – an ambition to bring the 7th Generation Principle to the heart of global economic thinking.

And this is Klaudia: I grew up on the edge of a village in the south of the Netherlands, considering the fields out the back my play ground. I had an urge to garden and made small gardens around the house. I signed myself up as a youth member of a national nature conservation charity.

It wasn’t until I decided on an Environmental Science degree after moving to the UK and having children, that things came together for me and I realised i couldn’t think of anything better to do than work in the field I loved, which I have continued to do ever since. I worked as an Environmental Business Services Adviser for the Groundwork Trust for eleven years, after personal experience of various small businesses ranging from construction to food processing.

In addition to the degree in Environmental Science, I attended many trainings in the fields of business, permaculture, education & teaching, facilitation, management, sustainability skills and personal development. I have gathered many skills through training and practical experience: gardening, preserving, foraging, basketry, living willow structures, straw-bale and cob building, bushcraft, herbal medicine and more.

Once I started on the permaculture path, I got hooked, started teaching permaculture in 2007 and have taught 31 PDCs to date. This path had led to a social permaculture interest.

In recent years I have been involved with Extinction Rebellion, mostly focussing on regenerative cultures and deepening my curiosity for ceremony and herbal knowledge and skills.

In Conversation

Manda: Hey, people, welcome back to Accidental Gods to the podcast where we believe that another world is still possible and that together we can make it happen. I’m Manda Scott, your host at this place on the net where art meets activism, politics meets philosophy and science meets spirituality, all in the service of Conscious Evolution. This week’s podcast has been an interesting journey. The conversation I thought we were bringing to you didn’t pan out as planned. And then I thought we were going to have a gap, which I really didn’t want. But I also didn’t know who I could call up to fill in at such short notice. And then Steve Kent, thank you, Steve, if you’re listening, sent me a YouTube file. And there’s all kinds of stuff that comes into my email, and most of it is spam, or are the result of somebody else being hacked. And when I just get a YouTube file, I generally ditch it straight away, which is what I was about to do. And then I thought, actually, let’s have a look at this, because it’s Steve and it could be good. And my goodness, I am so glad that I did, because what he’d sent was the newly released video of the Children’s Fire, which you’re about to hear all about. So now I’m going to tell you all the detail. But it was made to bring the voices of the children and young people of the world to the G7 summit that is taking place in Cornwall, which is in the far southwestern part of Britain, one of the most magical parts of a land that is really quite magical.

Manda: So I watched the three minutes of this video, and then I got onto the website and I followed the link, and there was a second video showing the making of the first video. And I listened and watched as David Smart-Knight spoke of how when he heard that the summit was coming to his home county, he went out to the Land and asked it what it needed him to do and that the video was the result,. And if you’ve been listening at all to this before, you know that this is the whole principle by which Accidental Gods moves in the world. We talk about this, we talk about how we can do it, we talk about all of the pitfalls and all of the absolutely astonishing help that is available when we open ourselves to the more than human world and ask, what do you want of me? And here is someone who had actually done that. So, of course, I got on to the net and cast out the question of do you happen to have any time? And here we are. So people of the podcast, please welcome Claudia Fangul and David Smart-Knight of the Children’s Fire. So, David and Claudia, welcome to Accidental Gods podcast. And genuinely, I didn’t know you guys existed until yesterday when that glorious video came round on YouTube. And I really wanted to talk to you. So the floor is yours to tell us how it arose and where it’s going.

David: Thank you. Before we do that, I would I’d love to start from a place of gratitude so that we are just in that place of appreciation of life. And I just want to say how well, one, thank you for asking us, and and two for the Technology Gods for getting that video to you and where everywhere else it’s been. And I want to thank all the, just the the things that are sprouting and showing forth, and the leaves that are coming out and the flowers and the blossoms, and that kind of emergent sense of spring is just filling me with joy, I’m really appreciative of that at this moment. And I’d also just like to frame what we’re doing by lighting a candle. And this is to represent the Children’s Fire, to represent the good of the children of this generation and seven generations hence, to remind us that what we’re doing is not, we don’t, we’re not living our lives for ourselves alone. But what we do has ripples that go out into the future. And so yeah. So thank you for that.

Manda: Beautiful. So everybody listening, we now have a candle between the three of us to represent the children’s fire. So would one or other of you like to tell us what that is and how you came to know of it in order to for it to be central to the video? 

David: I imagine that’s probably me that needs to answer. So I don’t know where to begin in truth, because I don’t know where I first heard of the children’s fire. It may well have been from Mattc McaCartney, at Embercombe. But when he first said it, it was like I knew this and I’m not sure where from. But there’s this idea that everything we do, we do not just for ourselves, but for the coming generations is just so true, it resonates within me. I’ve been involved in activism and in environmental education and for, I don’t know, twenty, twenty five years. And it was announced the G7 were coming to Cornwall to Carbis Bay, which is just down the road from where I live. So I took myself down to the Land there. And as I have been taught by various teachers, I introduced myself to the Land and I asked the Land to inform me what’s the most important, most useful thing that I can do. A couple of days later, actually, at four thirty in the morning on Imbolc morning, the 1st of February, I woke up from a dream and I wrote down the words G7, the seventh generation is watching you. And to me, there was this whole whole dream that came with that, that is very difficult to articulate in English, but the the next thing I wrote down was honouring the children, three minute film, analogy, the Children’s Fire. And so what has occurred since then has been an endeavour to bring that dream into a place of reality.

Manda: Can I ask are you a filmmaker anyway? Have you done this before?

David: No, never.

Manda: So did you bring in technical people? Because the technical quality of that film is beautiful. 

David: Two or three days before that, a new neighbour, someone I’ve known for a long time but recently moved, became a neighbour, had shown me a film he’d made of the heron that he’d come across and he’d seen this heron and he got out of his iPhone and filmed it in slow motion, and it’s the most stunning video of of this prehistoric creature, just, oh, it’s magnificent. So my first thought was, well, George, knows how to make slow motion movies. So so I went to talk to him and there was this vision of, like grandmothers. It has to be grandmothers, because the grandmothers are the ones that hold the dream and the vision and the it was well, Claudia knows how to light a fire. I actually don’t know anyone knows how to live better than Claudia. So I asked Claudia if she would be up for being filmed creating a fire, and George if he would be up for filming. It was that simple.

Manda: All right. So let’s talk to Claudia then about first of all, how did you learn to light fires like that? Because it is it’s deeply impressive.

Claudia: Actually, it came out of a journey of self development where having done a variety of different things, somebody said the most influential thing I ever did was to learn about survival. And so I signed up for a yearlong survival class with a survival quest at the end of it. And fire-making. But it was more than that. It was half and half with Shaman teachings too.

Manda: Was it the Eight Shields?

 Claudia: Before that, although it has the same root actually, both comes through Tom Brown Jr. and through that to an Apache elder. But yes, I learnt as part of that process.

Manda: And have you used it much since?

Claudia: Yeah, it’s been a really important part. Also, at one point learnt how to hold sweat lodges and we were encouraged, or strongly advised to also light the ceremonial fire in the traditional way. And so it became, it had a real purpose then. And also I’ve taught it, I’ve held it in women’s camps, in short workshops, taking it around as a skill.

Manda: And have you worked with the Children’s Fire as a concept prior to this?

Claudia: Yes, I was also aware of the concept, it’s the seventh generation principle I’ve been aware of for a long time, but again, Mac and Embercombe that coined it with the Children’s Fire in that way. And many years ago, I made a commitment that wherever I could, I would use that in meetings. And so whenever I have a meeting, when it feels appropriate and I have a power to do that, I would bring it in. Yeah. One of the places I’m most happy about is where I’ve managed to sneak it into business training, having a load of truck drivers sitting around doing environmental training and lighting a candle in the middle and and just finding a way with words that still brings it into the centre of that.

Manda: Have you, as the years have gone on, I’m I’m guessing this was a while ago when you learnt it simply because of the lineage, and correct me if I’m wrong, but over time, have you found that people are more receptive to this? So that you wouldn’t have to sneak it into a meeting, you could do it openly and and tell them what you’re doing and why? Or is that my my happy fantasy that the world is growing to that?

Claudia: No, I think it is growing to that. I also have, one of my professions, I guess, is permaculture and it’s the same sort of thing. There’s there’s some of these concepts that are really beginning to become mainstream. It’s also linked with Extinction Rebellion, where I think there’s been so many meetings and it’s such a big movement. And as part of that, we’ve introduced it. And so it’s become a norm in many of those meetings, too. Yes, it seems very just how we do things nowadays.

Manda: So to be clear for the people listening, the concept of the Children’s Fire, certainly as I learnt it, and I think the lineage went back to Miami, a storm and that group, the Ahana group in the States. But again, I could be wrong, but it was the principle that nothing shall be done to harm the children down the seven generations. And that seemed to get flipped a little bit in the way that the old precept of ‘do nothing to harm others’ has been changed into ‘do good to others’, that the Children’s Fire concept over the time I’ve known it seems to have been flipped towards ‘everything we shall we do shall be done for the benefit of the children’ rather than the ‘no harm’ principle. It seems to me, David, that given that everything that we do has repercussions for the future generations, that is one of those things that ought to be at the foundation of everything that we learn throughout every culture in the world. And it hasn’t been in the cultures that I’ve encountered. To what extent has it been part of your life that you’ve been able to spread widely before this?

David: Yeah, I have brought it where I can. And what really stands out was a few years ago, being invited to, I was asked as an environmental educator, will you come talk to these head teachers? And you’ve got ten minutes to tell them how do they go about getting their children to understand sustainability? And how do you do that? And of course, the first 10 minutes to solve the world’s problems. And the first thing I did was, was got people to sit around in a circle. And then we started with gratitude, and lit the Children’s Fire. And then I did things were, its getting them to explore these head teachers, getting them to explore their curiosity and just explore what’s that feel like? Involved a few fairly strange things, like giving them an envelope with a bird’s foot in it. So it was like a whole, slightly shocking. But actually once they got beyond the shock, they’re instantly into the curiosity. And one of those head teachers at the end, one of them went, “That was nuts, that was crazy, but that fire thing? I’m having that.” And it was like, yeah! What if every school day started lighting a fire and saying what we’re doing today is for the seventh generation? What if what if we started everything that way? It would change the world.

Manda: Yes, absolutely. Yes. Because for everybody who grew up with that, that would be the way their world started, their day started, their thought started. And giving the gratitude also. I’m so glad you did that at the beginning, because it’s something that I’ve done silently at the start of every podcast. But we’ve never brought it, we never come out about it in that way. So that feels like a real step forward, even within this tiny little microcosm. I love the idea of giving an envelope with a bird’s foot too. I’m amazed they didn’t all run off with that too, I’m having that! Birds’ feet in envelopes! Although you’d then have to go around collecting a lot of birds feet, I guess.

David: Well, there’s an awful lot of roadkill.

Manda: That’s true, yes.

 David: So there were there were barn owls. And and the way a barn owl’s foot comes together is completely different to the way a buzzard’s foot comes together, it’s completely different to the way the moorhen foot looked. And just extraordinary, just looking at those individual details and so much you can tell just from that one thing, if you explore the curiosity.

 Manda: Yes. And so much that we’re losing now, because we are in the middle of the sixth mass extinction.

 David: Absolutely.

 Manda: So tell me about the children who were part of the audio, because their voices are.. clearly that’s the intent is that the children are at the beginning, in the end, and woven through. Are they your kids, neighbouring kids?

 David: No, they’re not mine. So the way the dream arrived for me involved doing something thoroughly illegal and painting G7, the seventh generation are watching you all over the Carbis Bay Hotel. When I told my daughter this, that would grab media attention and also get me into a lot of trouble and I’d get arrested and all the rest of it genuinely. I think it’d be worth it if that man managed to land this in the centre of decision making, that would be worthwhile. But my daughter, who’s 19, or was then, said Dad, getting arrested is so last year. There’s another way to do this. And it made me think in a different way. And so I kind of reached out to everyone I knew, and some of them involved in film, and they kind of picked it up, went yeah, I know people in Canada, and I know people here, I know village children, and they just went out and got children.

 Manda: Fantastic.

 David: nd so, yeah, they just genuinely, the responses of children to: what is it – in children and youth – what is it that, you know, if we’re going, if it’s true that we don’t inherit the world from our ancestors but we gift it to our children, what state do they want to receive it in? It’s a really important question. So that’s really that’s the question that we’re asking.

 Manda: Yes. What world do they want us to give them? I love the idea that getting arrested is so last year, particularly given that last year it might have been that you might have gone down for maybe a year. They’re feeling really cross with you, by the time the G7 hits, it might be that it’s 10 years, particularly if you topple a statue, which would be a long time. Also, the serious question that comes out through this is we’ve watched a lot of G7s. We’ve watched a lot of COPs, the climate meetings. I spoke in last week’s podcast, to Mothiur Rahman, who set up Muslims for Extinction Rebellion and also the New Economy Law Centre, and has been really active in things like closing down Ineos attempt to frack in Scotland, which was the first big fracking attempt over here. And he spoke, quite interestingly, of a time when he was the lawyer involved in planning applications and his job was to take the thousands of letters that came in and make sure they didn’t impact the final decision. And it seems to me that when the G7 leaders all come for their photo shoot somewhere pretty, they don’t come with the intention of changing the status quo at all. They come, in fact, with the intention of making sure that the status quo doesn’t change, and that the numbers of people outside, or the integrity and raw honesty and the courage that they display, I’ve never thought that that touched the people who make the decisions, that they they seal themselves off. So I’m wondering, how are we going to get them to listen to this video? Because I think I think paint I think your daughter’s right that first of all, getting arrested might be a bit last year, but also they would wash it off. And the people walking past are inured to things written on the walls. I think. How can we get them to listen to this video?

 David: I think the reality is I have no idea. When this arrived, it arrived as a possibility, and all we’re able to do is the best that we can to draw that possibility into a place of reality. I have to say, I’m scared by the by the potential scale of this project. It’s overwhelming. So I’m not looking too far down the road. But if we succeed in getting a massive response, and the world’s youth are loudly saying, we need you to do whatever it is, that is their dream. Then those people within the G7 leadership, they’re also human beings. We need to find a way of speaking to each other as human beings. And to my mind, the Children’s Fire is about being human. It’s reminding us that we’re human.

 Manda: Yes. And I’m remembering Gail Bradbrook talking of going to London and speaking in front of 50 people who were apparently the most influential hedge fund managers in the City of London. And she said what she always says, which is we have got very little time and you could be part of the solution. And she could see them all not quite listening. And there were the guys at the back tweeting what they thought, which wasn’t great. But then one of them came up to her afterwards and showed her his phone and his daughter had tweeted back, Dad, don’t be such an old white man. And he said, and she’s right, so I’m listening. And I think that you’re right, I have a terrible tendency to Other the people in charge, and they are all human, and most of them have kids and most of them, we have to believe, want the best for their children. Because that’s the nature of being a parent. So the video came out day before yesterday, I think? How big has it gone so far in the whole 48 hours that it has been out and about?

 Claudia: Yeah, just all of a sudden in one day become a social media expert and manager of YouTube videos. This is a whole new world. But before we started this podcast in the day and a half, it had, the video itself had twelve hundred and fifty views, something like that.

 Manda: That sounds extremely good to me. And the thing is that with something like this, the point about viral action is that growth is exponential.

 Claudia: Yeah, just because we are not experts at all, we have some people helping out. We’re really aiming to do this, as somebody reminded us, at the pace of trust. So working with the people that we really know and feel comfortable sharing this with and just asking if it speaks to them to to pass it on.

 Manda: Yeah. And you have a website. Do you want to tell us about that and how people can engage?

 Claudia: Yes. The A website holds all the information, including the film right there on the front page. So it’s and so people can see the film again there. It’s only three minutes and also find out how to participate. So to have for you to send in the responses, but it also holds a map. So what we do with any links are sent in for films or audio or pictures is we post them on a map so that we can see the response globally. And it’s really satisfying to hear back from already from other countries. So we’ve had a response from Costa Rica and then notably Palestine, and oh, Italy. My cousins spread it to my Italian family. And yeah. So it feels really good to do it in that way through direct connexion, but at the same time it’s cascading, hopping around nicely. And to follow on on that last point is rather than trying to speak directly to say, Boris Johnson, the prime minister, just trusting that somebody will know somebody who knows somebody who goes, hey, this is really important. And it might be his secretary or it might – yeah, who knows, his grocer? Chauffeur?

 David: And it might be his adviser. And it could be anyone. It feels to me that we’re almost testing this theory that we know everyone in the world through seven relationships. And so if I send this to everyone I know and ask them to send it to everyone they know, if that happens, we might actually be able to spread this idea around the world and really get responses from people, particularly people who are already suffering from, you know, we live in a very privileged way. The U.K. We’re very sheltered from the impacts of what’s actually happening. Yes, OK, we’ve got fracking. And, yes, they’re trying to shut down and protest. And there’s but actually, we’re not yet in a place of starvation. We’re not yet in the place of mass deprivation. And that is happening for other people, particularly in those places that we desperately need to take care of, like the Okavango Delta and the Amazon rainforest and all those tribal peoples who are still holding on to their way of life and their culture, yet it’s being slowly eaten away or actually rapidly being eaten away by this consumerist – it likes to call itself a culture. I don’t think it is a culture, I think is a cancer. But that’s my personal take.

 Manda: Yes, and there are quite a lot of people who would agree with you. I spoke to a lovely young man called Alnoor Ladha, who spoke about the Wetiko, which is a mythology from native North America, and that when the white people arrived on the shores, they just looked to all these people and thought we had all been taken over by that. But healing is possible. And what I am loving out of this is that it arose from a dream. Because one of the foundational principles of the work that we do in Accidental Gods is that we learn how to go and ask of the Land what do you want of me? And then respond to the answers. And then it’s not up to us. Or I have always thought it’s not my job to go, yes, but why do you want me to do that? It’s just my job to do it in the best way possible and watch what unfolds, and be ready to be flexible in the moment as is needed. And that’s exactly what you’ve done. You asked the question. The answer came in a dream. You’ve done it in a way that’s beautiful and lyrical and heart moving and powerful and passionate. And as you said, Claudia, beautifully, that it’s moving at the pace of trust. And we know from the pandemic that you only need an R number of three, actually, you just need an R number greater than one, and and viral spread happens. So everybody listening passes it on to one or more other people, then, as you say, with six degrees of separation, it’s spread all the way around the world. So we don’t know where it’s going, is what I’m hearing, and we’re waiting to see. And I’m wondering if just from the people who took part in the making, whether there have been any other thoughts of things that could happen around the time of G7?

 David: Yes, there have.

 Manda: They may not be things we want to talk about in a public forum yet.

 David: There are some ideas that have been bounced around that are really quite exciting. An idea that is there. The pushing for quite or inviting in in the strongest way that I can is to have a child carrying a flame in a Humphry Davy safety lab. So Humphry Davy came from Penzance, he… which is eight miles down the road from Carbis Bay, and he invented the safety lamp, which meant that miners could go into a mine and know if it was safe to breathe the air. So and within it is a naked flame, and it changes colour if the air is toxic. So there’s this thought, well, they’re coming to Cornwall. Cornwall was deeply embedded in spreading the industrial revolution around the world and the heritage of Cornwall, forgetting the extractive side of it for a moment, the heritage of Cornwall is there in the landscape. We see all these tin mines, the engine houses and how iconic. Well, yeah, they represent an extractive industry where someone else made all the money and left. Cornwall is a very impoverished place. But putting that aside, if we could succeed in the child carrying a safety lamp with the flame into the G7 to go, here’s your Children’s Fire. Look after it. I’m going to be back in two days’ time. That I think would would just be the icing on the cake.

 Manda: That would be glorious. Oh, I so look forward to this being all over all the social media, because it won’t be on the main media, but we can put it out on the social media. Brilliant. And Claudia will you be lighting that flame, too, with your amazing bow and drill – is that what is called, the bow and drill?

 Claudia: Yes, it’s a bow drill. Yeah. I mean, yes, there’s different ways of doing that. Actually, I’m going to be escaping up to Scotland. I’m going to do something completely different. I’ve just committed to a herbal apprenticeship and it clashes with the G7. So it’s a bit of a.. I’m feeling slightly torn because having done very travelled to London to do protests, et cetera, it’s now coming to my home. Everyone’s coming here and I’m leaving. So no, I won’t be physically taking part or lighting that fire. But that’s a good idea. I’m sure I can find a substitute.

 Manda: I’m sure you can. So just tell us two minutes, just because I’m completely curious about the herbal apprenticeship, because my wife is training in various ways. Where are you going?

 Claudia: I’m going to the magical island island of Arran to train with a guy called Keith Robertson who ran the Scottish School of Herbalism for many years as a degree course. And he’s moved along and has been studying Goethean observation, science. Yeah, it’s about plant connexion. At the same time, there will be practical scientific learning as well. But the key reason I’m going is because I’m somewhere along my own path is to actually have the whole eight weeks out to slow down and hang out with plants, and really connect on a deep level.

 Manda: Beautiful. Gosh that sounds sounds deeply, deeply connected. When is the G7?

 Claudia: Yes. So the G7 is actually in the middle of June. I think it’s eleven till thirteenth of June.

 Manda: Ok, so anybody out there is planning a pilgrimage to Cornwall. Might be a bit full mid-June, but that would be an interesting time to be there.

 David: It strikes me that what Claudia’s doing is going to learn how to listen more deeply to the other people, which is actually where this where this whole project begins from, is listening to the other than human.

 Manda: Certainly for those involved in the Accidental Gods membership, that’s exactly what we’re trying to teach people to do. David, can you tell us? Insofar as you can, and I realise that this often goes beyond words, but give it a go, of how it is for you when you ask the questions of the more than human world and feel a sense that there is an answer on its way.

 David: I often don’t know there’s an answer on its way. It’s dropping into a place of trust. And so I have learnt over the course of time that there’s a place of patience required and the pace of just, OK, I’ve put it out there. And some sometime later I look back and go, oh yeah, this thing that just arrived, that’s because I asked for it. Part of my experience through life has been that when I try really hard to make something happen, all sorts of other things get in the way and it can be really hard work. So with this project, for example, this dream arrived. And so I spoke to my neighbour who went yeah, I’m up for that film. I spoke to Claudia who went, yeah, I’m up for that film. And then we went off to film it. And this in itself was magical because so we went OK, so it would be really good to do this on a beach because the G7 is going to be happening on the shore. The Carbis Bay Hotel is on a bay. It’s got it’s private beach. And so we went down, we thought we’d go to a particular beach, we thought we’d go to, and as we’re driving down the valley to get to this beach, there’s buzzards flying. And it was like it, just everything felt right.

 Speaker2: But then that particular beach was, there was no means to park anywhere near it because of the restrictions and the car parks closed and blah, blah, blah. So we went to another beach Porthkernow, in the same valley and its beach, which is usually packed with people, and we had it to ourselves. My dog was there, so I kind of went off to keep the dog out of the way because otherwise she would have just been dropping sticks in front of, picking up driftwood and dropping it on top of the fire that Claudia was trying to make. And so there I was, going to do that. And I noticed as Claudia blew the embers into flame, the sun came up. It was it was instant. It was exactly at that moment. It was just like the Gods are with us. It really felt like the Gods with us. And at some point later, Claudia pointed out, oh, yeah, Porthkernow. That’s where all those transatlantic natural global communications came into the country when Marconi built those cable lines. This is key in communication around the world. And just total, well, you could say total coincidence or you could say it’s serendipity.

 Manda: Oh, you could say the Gods are with us, which is also the same.

 David: Exactly. And there was so much about that day that was just magical. We we hadn’t actually intended to light a fire and yet we intended to kindle it and to get the fire, the fire baby in the bundle and to film that. But there was all this tinder that was there and it was perfect. So we lit a little fire. But just, there was so much in it that just like everything, the Gods are conspiring to help us. And that has been the case all the way through. We go, OK, we could really use a hand with whatever, and someone sends a message, going do you need a hand with something? On Sunday we launched this thing, put out these prayers. Please help make this happen in the best possible way. And yesterday you went, could you do a podcast? Yeah, I have learnt to trust. Put out the prayers and trust.

 Manda: Yeah. And this is the thing that gives me hope in all that we’re doing, is so many people are saying in the communities that I spread across, that when they do this, when they go into that place of trust and offer themselves as a vehicle more than going, OK, I want to want you to do something with me to the Gods we go, what do you need me to do? And I will give it my best shot. And the help is there. And I really genuinely believe that the help wouldn’t be there, the Gods would not throw so much help if there was not hope that there might be light at the end of the tunnel or whatever metaphor we want to say, that is the hat we can offer a more flourishing world to future generations, and that the help is there to do so if we can but open ourselves to the nudges that come along. And once you’ve opened the nudge, what I’m hearing from you and what I hear from other people is that the help piles on in ways that we wouldn’t have dared to ask for. But because it was more of an offer of being available, then it’s all open. Does that sound fair to you?

 David: Totally. There’s two sides to it. There’s, it’s one thing to put out your prayers and go, yes, this is what I want. But what we have to also do is learn to listen for the answer and pay attention to the serendipitous things that show up so we can respond to them. It’s a two way process. And part of that is listening.

 Manda: Yeah. And being flexible to change your what you thought you were doing to what actually needs to be done.

 David: Yeah. And sounds like I might not have to get arrested, which is great.

 Manda: Yeah, OK, that feels energetically very complete to me. Is there anything that either of you, Claudia or David, would like to say that we haven’t covered yet?

 Claudia: Yes, I would like to add a little bit to that last piece about putting the prayer out and the listening. It feels like another important part of that of what I’m noticing is maybe it is part of the how to listen, but it’s: so, here I am. And if I’m holding myself as best I can in alignment with this prayer to to receive the next step each time. But what what I’m noticing is, is I’m being challenged also to hold that. And so it feels like there’s a piece around conduct. And to as I’m sitting and responding to communications about people wanting to film films, or what are you doing with this, or putting out messages to just stop for for half a breath or a whole one even, if I’m lucky, and I’ll check in that I’m sending it out from a good place and that I’m responding in a good place, and that yesterday we got so overwhelmed we both got a little bit grumpy or actually hangry. So, oh, we haven’t actually eaten yet and should have done that hours ago. And just stopping, stop just for a minute and let’s not put that out. So a real lesson in sending holding good energy as part of all of this.

 Manda: Right. Yes, because the intent and the energetic emotional basis that we bring to everything colours it all. And learning to curate our emotional states so that it is beneficial sounds, what I’m hearing, is really important to how we do this, all of us, as we send it out into the world.

 Claudia: It’s almost, it is the practise of of modelling the regenerative world that we want to see, the regenerative culture. So it’s taking each step and and making sure that whatever I put out, whether it’s worth or feelings or spoken, comes from that place. And obviously I’m not doing that all the time because it’s the challenge, but I try to.

 Manda: But you’re trying to. If that’s the best we can do, is do our best,

 David: Of course, and start where we are and use the tools we have and what more can you do? I think the only thing that I would add, there’s this thing of going through life and feeling woefully inadequate. It’s like we look at the crises, the way that we can see it coming and going, oh my God, it would be so much easier to stick my head in the sand and pretend they’re not coming, because who am I to think that I could do anything with that or but actually, who am I not to, as someone said, and what do I have to do? I just have to pay attention and do the best that I can. So it comes back to that, doing the best that I can in you say, and ultimately, as Gandhi said, be the change you want to see in the world. So if you want to see a world in which we’re honouring Life, because life is so valuable, then we have to also be people that honour life, and and express that and be seen to be expressing that. And so it is the other word, the use of modelling just. And there’s a certain element of sticking your head above the parapet, and this is who I am, this is what I stand for. This is the, this is what’s important. And chasing money, and yes, there’s a certain amount that’s necessary to survive within the world we’re in, but actually when I’m long gone, what would I have left behind? That tells us who we are.

 Manda: Yes, what is my legacy? And is it a more beautiful world that our hearts know is possible? And at some point, we will come back to both of you and and have another podcast, each of you, on what your legacies are. Because I have a feeling, having spent nearly an hour in your company now, that each of you has got such extraordinary stories to tell of your life’s journey that got you to here, to having the wisdom and the resilience and the integrity and the understanding to do what you’ve done. But in the meantime, really, we will play, if we can, the audio from the film at the end of this so that people listening can hear. But we absolutely are encouraging everybody listening to go on YouTube, or go to the website and then go on YouTube. Watch the video, because it’s beautiful, and then send it at the pace of trust to as many people as you can think of who will be able to hear it. Anything else, people, as I thank you for coming on to the Accidental Gods podcast?

 Claudia: Just really grateful for being here and having the opportunity to share this message. Thank you very much for hearing us.

 Manda: You’re welcome. David?

 David: Yeah, exactly that. And thank you to this candle that’s been sitting here holding.

 Manda: Fantastic.

 Speaker4: What would the world be like if everyone thought about what’s best for the children?

 David: And there came a time when the grandmothers noticed that there was a need for the village leaders to be reminded. Reminded to focus on the good of the village. And so they called upon the spirits, and they called upon the ancestors, and they called upon their teachings, and they called upon the unborn generations, and they called on the spirit of fire. And they kindled a little flame, and nurtured it, tended it. And they took that flame and placed it in the centre of the decision making council and had each one of those leaders make a pledge.

 Claudia: In every action, in every thought, and in every decision that emanates from this council, I promise to hold the good of the children of all beings, of this generation and seven generations hence. And that is my pledge,

 David: And the elders asked, what kind of society wouldn’t put this Children’s Fire at its centre? And the children, those future elders, asked what kind of society would.

 Speaker4: If I was a world leader, I would try and help make a difference in climate change.

 We dream into being a world in which all people can be treated equally and with respect,

 I’d find the Amazon rainforest and protect it.

 Speaker6: People were less corrupt and cared more about things like the environment and climate change.

 I would like the world to be kind.

 I would like to be in a world where everyone is safe.

 I would like the world to be full of nature.

 Speaker2: Animal cruelty did not exist.

 Speaker7: Everyone had access to the same educational opportunities,

 Speaker4: I’d make sure the world was a good place. And I’d try and sort climate change out as much as I could. Our environment and our world is really important to me.

 Speaker7: There are no beauty standards so that people wouldn’t compare themselves to something completely unrealistic.

 Speaker6: No one worried about having a safe and sustainable water source.

 Speaker4: Where everybody is treated equally no matter what colour they are.

 From us here in the U.K. to you all around the world, we want to hear your voices, your stories and your visions for the future.

 Manda: So that’s it for this week, huge thanks to Claudia and David for the beauty of their film, for the absolutely glorious integrity of what they’re doing and for being such ambassadors for hope and agency and trust in the process, and for opening the space in which the children of now, the ancestors of tomorrow, can make their voices heard to those who are still willing and able to listen. So to make this heard and felt, to have its reach as wide as possible, please do go to and watch the link there, or download it from the show notes at One or the other. Get that link, watch the video, let it touch you and share it as widely as you possibly can. We can change the world, but it will take all of us acting together to make that happen. So go to it, people, you know what you need to do, and we will be back next week with another conversation. As ever, enormous thanks to Caro for wrestling with the technology and making magic with a sound and for the music at the head and foot. Thanks to Faith for the website and all of the tech behind the scenes, and a huge thanks to you for listening. As ever if you want to support us, we have a Patreon page. There is a link on the website at You’ll find the show notes there, all of the previous podcasts and as always, access to the membership programme and to the gatherings, both of which are designed to help you find the resources so that you can ask of the world, what do you want of me? And hear answers that are clear and coherent and constructive. And as ever, if you know anybody else who would like to be active in bringing about the more flourishing world our hearts know as possible, please do send them this link. That’s it for now. See you next week. Thank you and goodbye.


You may also like these recent podcasts

The Jay, The Beech and The Limpetshell with author Richard Smyth

The Jay, The Beech and The Limpetshell with author Richard Smyth

Today we speak to the author of ‘The Jay, the Beech and the Limpetshell’ – a work that is both memoir and eulogy for a dying world. It brings together Richard’s passionate love of the natural world with his care for his two young children and considers how we help the generations that come after us to fall in love with a world that is going to be so, so different from when we were young – however old you are now, whatever your memories.


For a regular supply of ideas about humanity's next evolutionary step, insights into the thinking behind some of the podcasts,  early updates on the guests we'll be having on the show - AND a free Water visualisation that will guide you through a deep immersion in water connection...sign up here.

(NB: This is a free newsletter - it's not joining up to the Membership!  That's a nice, subtle pink button on the 'Join Us' page...) 

Share This