The fish would help me to connect to a novel perspective again. So far, they would encourage me to accept the fluidity of life and re-group effectively, passionately, aesthetically, happily, delightfully and much more.
The theory is - according to Stephen in Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm - that you go back to earlier ways of seeing to re-open the doors of perception. Hence, I started by seeing virtually nothing only darkness and gloom, but, very gradually, I began to see beyond the surface and start recognizing color and form and soon a shoal of fish in an ever-changing colorful grouping - from doom and gloom to amazing uplifting beauty!
But let's backtrack a little. This fishpond was an old discarded container for washing clothes, used before the time of washing machines. It seemed quite ugly without a purpose but now it has one: to suggest novel story lines for our lives as we meditate by means of its reflections.
Nothing stands still: everything must adapt or die. It is a wonder how beautiful the process really is!
So what do YOU see? Something prostrate in front of you. Maybe some sort of bird. To the left might be a leg and claw. Yes, there is a duck's head or is it a seagull's? If you look really hard and then relax a little, you might just see a fallen angel. For what you see in front of you is a piece of the Tree of Life. In essence it is everything, all creatures great and small.
"Life has always seemed to me like a plant that lives on it rhizome. Its true life is invisible, hidden in the rhizome. The part that appears above the ground lasts only a single summer. Then it withers away – an ephemeral apparition. When we think of the unending growth and decay of life and civilizations, we cannot escape the impression of absolute nullity. Yet I have never lost a sense of something that lives and endures underneath the eternal flux. What we see is the blossom, which passes. The rhizome remains." Carl Jung
The Empty Space in the Sustainability Equation
The Fallen Tree is Made to Rise Again – Life Eternal
Life must be understood as an Art : the art of replenishing.... Not long ago we had a lemon tree that was so heavy with fruit that it toppled and fell. I had it pruned and pulled up straight by means of a tractor and a lot of effort. But, although the tree still lives, it has never produced another lemon and has become weaker and weaker. You see, its time had come: the fallen tree is made to rise again, but not in its previous form. Neither is it dead wood but would enter into a new phase of life.
The termites come. The rain, the wind and the sun and the winter cold. It is like a fountain of life supplying food particles – nutrients – to make the earth fertile for the existing life surrounding it... We do not know what will come next, but should feel reassured that life WILL spring anew.
The Empty Space in the Sustainability Equation
Tracks Around the Sacred Spring
It is said that you should write what you need to know, but what that really comes down to is to write what 'we' need to know... imagine that the Great Tree of Life is showing signs of blight that will lead to the destruction of all life as we know it. No, no, no, our mind says. We won't let ourselves do that but will admit to a persistent feeling of threat. And so we tout the idea of sustainability about without really getting to grips with the resources that might eventually make that possible, that might make the parts of the tree that surround us vibrant and well again. For the concept of sustainability is flawed. It is as though there is a hole in it, a leak, so that it won't float on the tide of existence. And this is not new: mankind has been coming up with ways to block up that hole by reducing the known dimension of life, but soon the hole reappears and looms larger than ever. So the hole is here to stay and yet, for the moment at least, our minds still may have the power to make use of the hidden potential in that space. We have it in us to imagine the creation of a microcosm of existence that might come to reflect the macro plane of existence.
Part of the solution is following the Way, doing the Right thing, but more than that is required. We still need to ACT; we still need to hunt and gather, but, in a way that doesn't cause permanent damage, but replenishes.
And so here I am, in the thick of it, trying to exemplify the process consciously while attempting to access the collective unconscious – the virtually infinite thought patterns that make up all known life. Jung pointed to archetypes such as Mother Nature, with a special focus on Animals, and the Green Man - the Ancient in us or the Old Man - and his relation to Creative Fantasy, which we may become progressively aware of by means of dreams and other means if worked through.
But as they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. My 'pudding' is shaky and more at food for thought than physical nourishment. Wild boar churned up the Spring Garden the night before yesterday so that I needed to tend to it and make adjustments and improvements – make significant change a daily part of life, they would tell me.
Witness a self-fulfilling prophecy... one that heals!
I am getting to work on Equine Assisted English Education - language and thinking to usher in the Post Consumer Era - it is my inevitable return to teaching:-)
The idea is to focus on process not product. I imagine thinking that reflects 'doing' rather than being 'done-in' by misleading concepts defining success and failure. The greatest functional linguist Halliday pointed out years ago that the way English is structured in the form of nominalization makes it inflexible and inherently conservative. It is highly likely that such product-based thinking is going to be the death of us, so it is high time to recycle it, unravel the processes focusing on meaning in an existential sense.
Blake portrayed humanity's evolution in the form of a child being carried by a giant, but what would happen if we substitute the giant for a horse? The horse in its truth-bearing role? Something WONDERFUL!
When I was a little boy, my father would ask me to help and, like most little boys, there were occasions when I would hesitate and make a face but this didn't last long. He said, quite simply,
'Come with a goodwill or not at all.'
And that was the end of the matter. Or rather the beginning. To be out of favor with those we love makes life meaningless, leaves no life. The choice we all face is that simple; come with a goodwill or not at all.
Now, imagine that I was to discover that this principle is how a lead horse maintains harmony and success for a herd of horses. That is the option he gives to any horse and, given the other horse needs to be part of a community to survive, it must accept it or perish. It is no wonder horses fitted in here so well: we were brothers and sisters all the time, sharing the same vision and rule of life!
I didn't exactly choose to retire from academic life: like many others, because of the recession, my job was cut. It was inevitable. Yet, what is the recession but an indication that we need to change, to do something different.
Here, on the farm, the situation was very much the same. The market for wine had been destroyed, meat products successively banned and our forests burnt so that it was obvious that we could no longer leave the future to unfold in traditional terms. The renewal that must take place is in our hands alone.
And so like those before us, we take the bull by the horns, confident that we can not only benefit from the force of circumstances, prepared to play and get tossed into the air, but also land safely on the ground and secure events and prosperity for those around us.
And looking around, it is clear that the force is with us:-)
Today I was out mulching, which means cutting up the undergrowth in the forest fine so that the energy and nutrients become available in the soil and, thus, become food for the trees. Similarly, I will prune some trees and coppice others, extending desired growth on the one hand and revitalizing growth on the other. Of course, this takes a lot of work and energy some of which is not renewable. So let's say there is a way to only use renewable energy – no machines or fuel AND make the process more efficient.
That is what horses do when they munch undergrowth, for they also add enzymes that speed up the decaying process and make nutrients available much faster. However, there is a catch: the undergrowth needs to be in a palatable form for the horses to eat; it must be no more than two years old and, thus, tender. Similarly, trees less than two years old are liable to be eaten. So you have to get the balance right: young undergrowth and old trees. Hence, next year, enter the horses: no more mulching, just munching – horsepower at its best.