After introducing the concept of the birthing pool in the 1970s, Michel Odent has continued to expand his interest in the mysterious connections between humans and water. In Planet Ocean, Odent shows that the evolution of the oceans--particularly the fluctuations of sea levels--and the evolution of humankind are inseparable. The oceans are our givers and sustainers of life, containing ninety-five percent of the planet's habitable space within their immense depths.
The author steers us toward a radically new vision of human nature. Our defining feature--a supersized brain--becomes a leitmotif that enables links between topics as diverse as our nutritional needs, our relationship with sea mammals, and the way members of our species give birth. He relates "transcendent emotional states" with what the French writer Romain Rolland calls "oceanic feeling"--both terms suggesting the absence of limits. Access to such states can be associated, for example, with "fetus ejection reflex." This leads to the extraordinary conclusion that swimming--as a learned behavior among human beings--the birth process and access to transcendence are interrelated topics for students of human nature.
Planet Ocean is a fascinating, interdisciplinary study that demonstrates our manifold connections to water and suggests their relevance to our everyday life.