As humans evolve we are able to empathize with more and more life forms, beginning with other people and eventually extending to other species that may be very different from us–from elephants to insects.

Officially as of this week we can now add insects to the mix of living creatures that are conscious. –Jeff Salzman

Jeff talks about new research into the interiors of tiny critters and explores the idea that consciousness is an irreducible aspect of reality. The Wilberian notion that consciousness extends all the way up and all the way down, from humans to atoms, is rich for exploration.

Jeff is joined by a special guest who is working to implement basic rights for elephants who have been held captive in temples and zoos and ill-treated for generations. Due to the controversial nature of her activism she has requested to remain anonymous. We’ve called her Annie.

When we reach a green, postmodern consciousness, the idea of stealing a baby animal from its family and training it for our own amusement–a process called phajaan–literally “crushing”–is abhorrent. Thank God for green!

These elephants, they will never forget that trauma and that torture. –Anonymous Annie

Working only through social media, Annie has already begun to make an impact by educating people and encouraging her followers to write and take videos of elephant abuse.

Also, Jeff reviews the movie “The Witch”, which he likes. It tells the story of a family dealing with an evil force in God-fearing New England decades before the 1692 Salem witch trials.

Plus, Trump has clinched the GOP nomination for president and Jeff wonders what exactly he’s tapping into. Is Trump’s populist brand of politics post-ideological or pre-ideological?

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