Vis Viva – A Journey to Sirius Chapter 5

Chapter 5 Oh come to me….Beautiful Rain

A Fremen dies when he is too long from the desert. We call this the water sickness.

Frank Herbert, “Children of Dune” Gollancz
Orion Publishing Group, London. Page 127 ISBN 0 575 074906

Eric says that today we should talk about rain, beautiful rain. For today is not a day of fire and orange red suns, not yet. He says that we should wait for one of those spectacular sunsets before we talk of fire, today is a day of water. He suggests that before we get started I should open the door so that I can hear the rain and the birdsong because it will help me to remember that I am a being touched by the desert and the bush. My relationship with rain is different from the English. Only those who have lived with cloudless skies and scorching desert suns can love the rain as much as I do.

Today it is comfort rain, soft downy and close. The earth is drinking and all around things are growing, you can almost see them. It is getting heavier now and in the wet slabs of stone I see the shadow of a bird flying above and I look up to see a heron, its wing feathers slightly tatty around the edges and the sound of those wings is soft on the wind. He is taken to the wide rivers of Africa and the parchment creeks of the Australian desert. For his life has also been one of rivers and of mountains. He was born of stock from the foothills of Snowdon and taken as a child from this green and pleasant land, far away across the seas, to the Southern hemisphere. There he was marked by a different sun and saw panoply of stars that truly put the sky into, sky.

Eric says that there is an urban legend; that Eskimos have many words for snow and wonders why aren’t there quite as many for, rain? He says that when rain comes to him in his dreams he understands it as meaning the process of life and a reminder to be aware that the vis viva is always busy; that we should trust whatever it is that the power within has for us to do. He says that now we have got started on this Chautauqua he feels that the time is right for us to be doing it and that the I Ching has agreed, Sheng {Pushing Upward}, and he has noted the text there.

Today then he says that we should talk about relaxing into the process of life and that although this is linked to the journey motif what we should discuss is water and actions, those that yield and dissolve making life more fluid than sand. He says that action without condition is the means by which one walks the path with heart and that for him there can no longer be any other way.

Eric reckons that most people never truly listen to what others say, most lives are spent and he is sure that this is the right word, fighting for air time and clamouring for attention. I agree and am pretty sure that most people use words and phrases they have borrowed from others and spout truths which they themselves have never checked the validity of.

Life then is not about a reactive and hurried knee jerk to the world; a cause and effect, a reason and a justification. There is more than this. In order to be able to do this, what one needs to do is to, stop the world, to……….

Pause.

In a helter-skelter mad-dash dog-chasing-its-tail way there is, whether you believe it or not, still plenty of time to pause, step back and look at the process of life to get some clarity on what is actually going on and then to respond intelligently to what transpires. Yes one can always meet force with force, yet often to yield is so much more powerful, and here I mean power in the sense of learning and knowledge and not the other way. He says that most people have buttons that are easily pressed and initiate a knee jerk reaction which he calls a control drama.

These control dramas are there because the so-called rational mind likes to protect what it holds as sacrosanct behaviour patterns and thoughts, learned at mother’s knee. He reckons the only way that one can begin to unpick them is to first take an inventory of ones doings and then, don’t do them any more.

He rather liked Luke Rheinhart’s “The Dice Man” for this but doesn’t recommend that as a way of being. What he means is that once there is a little clarity about behaviours one can do an exciting experiment on oneself to find out where they all came from and get some freedom, by not responding in such a Pavlovian way.

He says that if there is intent to change one can initiate this in an intelligent way and that one of the best ways to do this is to be like water. That is to yield and dissolve and flow and eddy; to absorb and to treat everything for its potential as a gift of learning and new knowledge. Which as we have already discussed allows the power within to guide our development imbuing us with a vitality which is that capacity to live life to its full, so that the vis viva, imbues the power within to organise the form into living the challenges of physical plane existence to the max.

People have barbs, he says, and some of them are so emotionally charged that they wound, a few words spoken with malicious intent can damage as much, if not more than, a knife. They can cut people down. He reckons that it is the quality of the e-motion which is linked to the underlying intent, that has a sound and the sound is what damages. We will come back to colour and movement perhaps another day he says.

If one listens to both the face value of the words and the tonal balance of their delivery he reckons that you can learn quite a lot about what is actually going on. It is the battle of one-up-man-ship that most people try to exert over each other, that maintains a mis-guided sense of control over life and that this is the basis of the construct we appear to live in. Here competition is against and usually for some form of pecking order. Eric reminds me of Terry and how we knew that despite all his brouhaha and forceful manipulation what he feared most was a simple hug from another man.

He says that he finds it ironic that rational mind has inherent in it the quality of ratio and the quantity of ration. Hinting that it attempts to balance whilst limiting the scope of what it is considering. He says he much prefers the irrational as this is much less limited and full of possibilities; that the worst insult you could give him would be to call him rational. Rational is nearly always tied up to justification and presupposes right, that there is only one answer.

He reckons since we are now here we should look logic up on Wiki.

Logic is the philosophical study, or the formal science, of the principles of valid inference and demonstration. The word derives from Greek λογική (logike), fem. of λογικός (logikos), “possessed of reason, intellectual, dialectical, argumentative”, from λόγος (logos), “word, thought, idea, argument, account, reason, or principle”.

As he has mentioned people do not truly listen to each other and often, before a person has even half finished a sentence, others are preparing rejoinders, whether witty or otherwise. He says that in terms of quality, logic which derives from logos, has perhaps become disconnected from its true source, because the logos is the word or the very first sound echoing out of the void, the first thing which is becoming manifest as a vibration within the nothingness, there and then giving evidence of existence and non-existence. Before the first stirring there was only no-thing. In the act of stirring, awareness came into being as a separation. The first word is not quite ineffable and is so much more than the intellectual pissing contest that people think of as debate and conversation. Who then within the rations of the rational mind defines what is valid and what is right?

Eric says that until one has a working knowledge of the second attention one cannot appreciate the quality of words properly or get a feeling for what is left. This left side or feeling is perhaps heart and not mind. In a very real sense the ratio of rational is therefore incomplete in any case, because this left side knowing or inner tuition is left out of the equation. Thus the rational is therefore, if I may use a reasoning word, in a rather odd sense irrational as the referential framework is so limited; and limited to what is in effect and affect concrete thought. What people call rational is all air, mind and lacks. It is not water.

So the rain of this Chautauqua has taken us of down a side tributary of metaphysics and rhetoric in order to describe and discuss rationality. It has been raining now for hours and the pace of it varies. He says it is drawing us back to rivers and streams and to Annwn and perhaps the Celtic salmon of wisdom that features high in the other world journeys, the journeys into metaphor. For whilst the other world journeys beckon one can never step in the same river twice, the world moves on and we cannot step out of the wardrobe from Narnia into an unchanged world. Time’s arrow as perceived on the physical plane is real enough.

He reckons that if you choose you might see life as a river, perhaps sourced high in the broad mountains of mist or from a small limestone spring in the bucolic vale of a shire. Soon that river meets others and they influence each other flowing urgently and precociously over the mossy rocks of life or perhaps more largo over the broad and leafy floodplains. He reckons you can hear brooks chuckle if you listen carefully enough. These streams become rivers and flow towards the wide seas and oceans of life, where man perhaps makes a mark on the world. There the currents are stronger and deeper; within the depths are hidden treasure, perhaps of the abysmal and perhaps of long lost tropical isles where undiscovered pirate gold lies hidden beneath the sing-song dreamlike palms and hammocks.

On its path to the sea the rivers may come across beaver dams constructed by the auspices of the mind that stem the flow of developing consciousness and block it with the tyranny of fear. Perhaps from time to time the river disappears deep into a sink hole or becomes barren and dry, the flow of life vanishes into the desert of a temporary despair. Like the salmon of wisdom we all leave our redds to begin a process of transformation perhaps from parr to smolt and salmon, before we die returning to the source of our birth and as legend has it, reviewing the wisdom gained during our lives. Eric reckons that if we step back and pause to look at our lives as they happen and not afterwards, this magnificent journey is all the richer.

He says that the most important thing he learned during the days of his descent into the underworld of darkness, is to remember that life is a process. He says that no matter how bad things get and how impossible things seem because of rational mind, provided that you are still breathing, the world doesn’t actually end; and that a good night’s sleep nearly always brings a fresh perspective with the rising of the sun.

He says that back then, it really helped him to visualise his life as the course of a river and that rather than seeing footprints in the sand, he sees the moods and themes of the river that is the expression of the vis viva flowing and that it is the quality of flow that allows us to synchronise, synch-chron-ise with the universe, to be in time with it.

He says that when he is a little lost for direction in life he always asks himself what his river feels like, right here and right now. What has the rational mind beaver been doing that stops the flow, how must he be to break out of a corner. What then is needed to move the logs of consciousness that are blocking the flow? Or, isn’t it perhaps now time for a gentle eddy in life, to sit back in the late summer sunshine and let the mayflies dance upon him; to feel the fish turn and break the surface for a well earned meal.

When he finds a barrier in life he asks himself; what is he trying to force? He says that he tries not to force anything but he has a mind too and that desires. It is that force which depletes the vibrancy and makes his brain ache. Time then to dissolve all that is around into the river of his being and take that new knowledge, time to yield and change direction, time to wear slowly down through the matter of the mountain valley and not scrape as a rock filled glacier might; time to pause and eddy and reflect the sun and then because the rain is falling and this process feeds the river, onwards and to the sea.

Eric cautions that until one has lived in the desert of despair a river may seem just a river, he knows then that the rain is precious and it is the contrast that reveals potential. If there is too much water then a man gets complacent and that is what the Fremen call the water sickness, for without some challenge there is no contrast and it is these challenges that help us to be free and most of all, that is what he wants.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s