Stories 1 (older)
We love stories, we live our stories, we create our own stories all the time ..
Classic stories can connect us with nature, life, people .. many are of experiencing different worlds, of experiencing this world in different ways .. some inspire, create wonder; some open our ears, eyes and hearts
Stories may emerge from anywhere; they may come from inspiring conversations or talks that we have or hear, from books, from life experiences that we occasionally 'bump into', or from film, theatre, ceremonial occasions, dreams
May I offer a selection of personal stories written in response to experiences, places and situations ..
There is also a 'connecting' section here on this site listing experiences, stories, teachings and considerings
Stories for our time 1
time for a heart to heart
what we call time ..
subject and object
an alternate view
the view from here
buckets of crabs ..
time for a heart to heart .. heartheartheartheartheart
we need reconnect with our earth - with our real selves
reconnect with earth, spirit, cosmos, consciousness
with who, where and what we collectively are
we need re-engage with life, real living life, with people, relationship, responsibility, wisdom, love, compassion
look at our earth, look at us
the earth is ‘only’ reflecting our own inner world - deserts, dried up rivers, dead trees
our loss of living, loss of spirit, loss of relationship
we can continue to blame anything or anyone else for our problems, but in reality they are all just reflections of ‘us’, symptoms of our own ‘separated from earth’ malaise
we have to stop viewing our collapsing world as separate to ourselves
we are not separated from earth by intellect, or reason, or heaven, or gods
the earth is a ‘dynamic’; it responds, it changes, it is ‘life’
the relationship between it and us - its inhabitants, its consciousness - is so close as to be indivisible
as we abuse it, we abuse ourselves
its problems are our problems
its beauties are ours
its life is our life
What we call 'time' is predicated on moving - moving 'forward' - from a 'past' to 'future', with a 'now' somewhere in between
We designate a formed 'past' and speculate on an unformed, unrisen 'future' .. but where is the 'now' ?
There are are other problems too; thoughts concerning an 'un-risen future' are just that - thoughts; speculation, fantasising
Thoughts concerning our 'past' are very strange; just watch what we are doing when we think we are considering our 'past' .. most thoughts are a tangle of re-arranged events, supposed reactions to these versions plus a mass of 'what I really (thought I) did (or meant to do) was this' ..
So, what - if anything - actually did exist, in our conception of a 'past' ?
And 'now' ?
Where is it ?
Alternatively, if we consider that we are always in a 'now' and that not only (what we call) 'time' not doing any moving, but 'time' is a human construct, a name, a convenience; there is nothing really existing that is 'time'
'The present moment abides naturally and unconstructed'
Sitting, sunshine, at peace ..
thoughts are transitory, ephemeral
they have no inherent substance nor meaning
attaching ourselves (in our minds) to thoughts is illusory
constructing our world view around such attaching is delusional - and can cause resentment, anger, desires
whilst all being based on transitory, no-substance thoughts
further, we then separate our minds from our bodies (in our minds), inventing status, virtues and 'nooses' to proclaim the fact
our minds, however, are still full of constructs based on attachments based on illusory thoughts !
a real 'house of cards'
May we all realise freedom
freedom from ignorance , avarice and anger
from dogma and superstition
from fear - of death - and life
and imposed guilt
freedom from shouting, public fibbing and officials
from flag waving and the pursuit of mediocrity
free to accept responsibility
and to recognise human opportunity
freedom for all in and of the earth
for all creatures, forests and places in which to live
and to wonder
freedom to understand, gain wisdom, compassion and love
freedom from FREEDOM
Tropical flame tree
Subject and object
We are taught to divide everything this way; to view the world this way;
our (english) language is predicated on this construct
This is 'me', 'my', ‘I’ - the subject; everything else is external to 'me',
is an object separated from me
The cosmos - stars, sky, thoughts, air, nature, people, memories - is 'external, 'not me'
But how can this be ?
An alternate view
The 'cosmos' is the centre, is 'all', is everything, is inclusive of everything;
we are a (dynamic) part of this whole, we are not apart from the whole
all we 'do' and 'are' is as the whole totality 'is'
What we call 'physical', sensory, earth, air, water .. is always in transition;
changing forms in a giant cosmic ‘formless’ sea
and it is all fine
Tropical morning light
The view from here ..
in a tropical rain forest garden, early morning dappled light .. birds chatting whilst nesting .. peacocks .. frogs emerging as humidity rises
sees 'fear', and its unending promotion through contemporary media
'fear' as fear of 'others', fear of 'losing' any perceived 'privilege' or 'right'
fear of any loss of our right to be 'right'
sees us losing our capabilities to understand who we are and where we are 'up to' in the world .. and relating to each other as 'us' - rather than as a 'they' being 'other than us'
fear that manifests in presuming that those who yell loudest (that that is 'bad', is 'evil' that 'this' is 'good') are 'right'
fear of knowing we don't know
the view from here ..
sees greed having been normalised - into endless self absorption, of defining ones existence in terms of accrued possessions
sees the constant media parading of famous, celebrity, money rich, the greedy as worthy of note and envy
sees the constant creation of envy as a market tool
sees word mongers, eyes averted from life, producing words devoid of human experience; all head, no heart
the view from here ..
sees the creeping rapacious nature of a contemporary life that cannot leave any remote corner of our earth untouched; any wilderness unmanaged
contemporary life that has to make itself seen - and heard - constantly
its dread of quiet
its existence dependent on the quantification of everything as being 'useful' - but only if exploitable
of seeing, from a distance, the degree to which we have opted out of life, opted out of retaining any real decision making capabilities - about aspects of life that directly affect and concern us
of accepting that being dominated by entrenched interest groups is 'normal'
of seeing the entrenched lack-of-people-interest and compassion in the sorry spectacle of 'government'
of accepting that we (in Australia, at least) dully import tv, media, advertising and unending promotions from other countries businesses as somehow supplanting any stories we might have
the view from here ..
sees a local world (still) dominated by nature; attempts to act otherwise still capable of being thwarted - by simply being blown away
a local world (forced to) 'see' an age old culture, still operating in part, one with a deeper integrity and apparent knowledge of self, earth and community that is wonder-full - and hence ever denied
a view of ancient ley lines surfacing more than occasionally, bringing extraordinary oases of life, contemplation and celebration into the visible world
the view from here ..
manages, through distance and a natural environment, to allow some space in which to recover (some of) one's senses
the impositions are utterly unrelenting; but there is nothing else we can, ultimately, do
originally written Darwin, 2003/4
(Darwin is in the tropical north of Australia, it used to be something of an outpost, once described as being 'as far away (from the citified south of the country) as one could run - without ending up in the sea’; this view has changed a lot !)
Buckets of crabs, winning and thongs
A response - of some years ago - to a newspaper article equating a ’bucket of crabs’ with Australian aboriginal social systems ..
‘There’s no need for a lid, these are aboriginal crabs, if one tries to climb out, the others will pull it back down’
Our egos love these individuation stories; tales of a personality overcoming perceived obstacles and habitat; presenting social ‘limitation’ in succinct visual ‘grabs’ (a crab grab?)
No doubt there are elements of a greater truth contained within the portrayed struggle; but it is a struggle, a struggle always to find the balance between head and heart, between reality and illusion, between competing ‘gods’
Whether we actually gain any lasting ethic through continually promoting the individuation process as lying outside of the group seems to be a very dubious presumption to make though ..
Nathaniel from central arnhemland lived with me (a white fella) near Melbourne for 6 months in the mid 1990s; he was about 7 years old at the time.
This was his first time away from his Aboriginal community ..
He was not much of a (study) student and, perhaps surprisingly, even less of a sports student, competitively naive
The ultimate sports event for the school year was the inter-school races and Nathaniel - who was a fast runner (when he wanted to) charged out to lead the whole group again and again, only to always slow down until all the other runners caught up.
Finally a somewhat exasperated teacher called out, ‘Nathaniel, what are you doing .. why don’t you run and win?’
The reply .. ‘If I slow down, everyone catch up, we all go over the line together - and we all win’
Watching our reactions to this story - and the bucket of ‘black fella’ crabs story - is the interesting bit isn’t it ..
Both stories appeal, each to different parts of ourselves
The important bit though, is that both appeal - and are valid. One is group oriented (family, community, sharing) the other is individual (physical) 'self' expression
Is there a problem ?
Yes .. when either is taken too far away from the other, or, as seems the case with much current ideology, to attempt to deny the existence/validity of any ‘other’ (than just its own one view) all together
It’s not the existence (or non-existence) of a human ‘duality’ that is the problem - but the denial that there is a duality
We are both ‘group’ and both ‘individual’ at the same time - each needing the opposite - the balance - for the ‘other’ to even make sense of itself
(an Australian ‘thong’ is very cheap rubber foot-wear)
An old apocryphal story:
The white fella spies Jimmy, the black fella, walking down the street wearing only one thong ..
‘Hey Jimmy, you’ve lost a thong’ he yells, as is his wont
‘Nah mate’, comes the reply, ‘found one’