Posts Tagged myth
There was a man who lived in a cupboard,
and all he could see
was what was visible through the keyhole.
Because someone had stolen the key.
And thrown it away.
At any given point in time,
because there was no night or day,
he might see the thigh of a woman
or part of a cat as it passed by,
or the leg of a table but no more,
or an odd S shape in a carpet,
the rest of which was obscure.
And then there was another man
who lived on top of a mountain
and who could see everything
all at once as the wind blew.
His hands were always cold.
And his eyes always wept
and his smile was a rictus.
In between, someone lived
unaware of either constraints or limits.
He had to guess.
Cat parts seemed too mysterious to know
as did the shape in the carpet.
And the horizon was unfeasibly far and long.
He had a choice.
Ponder both views or ignore them.
In his confusion he did both
and both lived and died.
His constraints limited him
and his limits constrained him
They were and were not simultaneously.
Which is as it should be
because that’s the nature of things.
Ask a cat.
It didn’t help him much either
because with each passing moment,
with both his baffled stares and his overwhelmed wonder,
still the pain remained and the joy
and the inexplicable puzzle of it all
were both partly seen and wholly glimpsed.
Ahead lay the divide that ran from top to bottom of their lives,
Defining the move between their doom and their fortune.
So millions of people lived their paths,
Not knowing that far above,
White winged Josef and the raven winged woman
Flew towards the light.
If only the minions also had that sight.
It’s rumoured that we live in a multiverse, comprising an infinite number of universes wherein anything is possible. Somewhere out there there’s a ‘me’ writing something worth reading.
But I don’t think the multiverse is infinite. We may indeed live in a multiverse, but the only universes that exist are those that, from the infinite number of variances of outcome from the Big Bang, actually comprised an outcome that could, by it’s nature, go on to persist and to evolvet.
Most of the potential ways in which the results of the Big Bang could manifest milliseconds after the event were not tenable. They produced results that pretty much instantly collapsed and cancelled themselves out. They ceased to exist, even as they came into existence.
So, whilst there may have been, perhaps still is in creation, an infinite number of events that could have resulted in a universe, only some succeeded. And we exist in one of them.
Therefore there is not an infinite number of universes. Rather, there are a few. Perhaps, just possibly, there’s only one. And the rest failed to achieve suitable stability sufficient to materialise and to evolve.
And then of course there’s the question of life. At the advent of the Big Bang, when all things were possible and all things were attempted, most things failed. But one outcome was a universe that happened to comprise the elements necessary for the material coalescence of various components that are required for life as we know it, and experience it.
So our universe comprises various forms of hydrogen, carbon and other basic elements, and it’s in the nature of things that as these combine, in all the various ways that they’re capable of, the process we know as life emerges.
The sophistication of this process has also evolved. Because that’s the way of the context in which life exists… a context and combination of interlaced processes that obliges the materials involved to tend towards greater degrees of complexity.
And the ways in which life formed interacted with, and came to observe that context. It thus became more complex in its perspective, and ultimately in its understanding. Until eventually, life evolved that was capable of seeing itself within the very context from which it emerged, and of questioning it.
This isn’t necessarily the same thing as consciousness. All living things are conscious, if by conscious we mean aware of, and able to respond to, the physical environment.
But this awareness was to evolve to such a degree that it became aware that it existed, and so it became conciousness. The universe had evolved a way of critically observing itself. And it did so as part of a natural consequence of its nature – namely its composition.
So we can say that life is as much a part of the nature of the universe as say, hydrogen atoms.Or any other component. Life is an intrinsic part of the nature of the universe. The universe we know comprises life as much as it comprises anything else. So given that life, by its nature, evolves to be self aware, so the universe is self aware. Life is part of the universe’s evolution. And we are the manifestation of the early stages of that evolving process.
So open your mind to the beauty of the world, and its complexity and intricacy, and see your awareness of these things as a separate component that you have a responsibility to nurture. Because a unique quality of conciousness, over all the other elements and components of the universe, is that it’s able to manage its own evolution, and growth, and the way in which it functions.
The universe is like a small child that’s starting to understand itself, its nature and its place. It has become self aware. And it is life in its multitude of forms, that undoubtedly occur on millions of planets, that represents that awareness. You yourself are the universe thinking and watching itself. No less than that.
So wise up. Take your eyes off the money, let go of religious dogma and bigotry of whatever persuasion, see that time spent pondering why and what is not time wasted. Disconnect as far as is practically possible from the world of people, think more freely and let yourself be what you feel inclined to be. Because that ‘you’, with all its potential knock-on effects in a chaotic system, is probably why you exist. To play a part in the evolution of the universe.
With thanks to Jostein Gaarder, and his novel ‘The Castle in the Pyrenees’, for inspiration.
And then turning a corner I saw the moon
Hanging orange in the sky like an upturned half melon.
Silver slivers of cloud ghosted each side
Like angels either side of a god.
I stopped and watched and in that moment soared
Up there where the angels fly,
Dipping down again across the dappled brown land
Divided into little patches with fences around.
A blacker curve cutting across the sky
Told me to rise and I rose in an arc with fingers splayed wide,
Up through the angels.
Up past the god.
Up into a space all of my own,
Where I stopped, sat quiet and contemplated
The worlds of gods and men around me.
In the far distance lay a particularly spiky part of Switzerland, where there stood a magnificent mountain. This mountain was so huge that it wore the clouds around its shoulders like a scarf, and it’s peak was like a nose on a face forever pointed upwards and staring at the icy stars.
Part way down this mountain was a cave. It sat dark and forbidding like an empty eye socket, just above the tops of the clouds. No one had yet been there, partly because most didn’t know it existed, and partly because those that did know couldn’t scale the thousand feet of sheer cliff face to get to it.
There was no other way.
But if someone had indeed made the effort, they would have found themselves standing in a dark cavern that opened up wide behind its entrance. They’d have marvelled at the smooth, almost glassy, walls. And if they’d stood very still and quiet, the blood would have run cold in their veins because they would have heard not one but two things. There would be the steady and resonant plip plop of water dripping for ever into puddles that never filled, and there would have been something else. A regular breathing noise, with an impossibly long cycle. A thirty second long noise that whistled sibilantly from the dark cave depths, followed by a shorter wheeze, but a wheeze way down in the bass notes.
It would have taken this adventurer no more than a minute to turn and run, like the wind, towards the edge of the cave, whereupon one can only hope he would have had the presence of mind to lower himself down the cliff face in an orderly manner, rather than simply jumping into the void.
But of course, this never happened. It’s mere conjecture, because no one had ever been there. No human anyway.
One bleak day in early Spring, the sound of the breathing in the cave started to change. It became less deep. And shorter, mimicking the quickening pace of the sound of the dripping water. And eventually it became irregular and was punctuated by an occasional grunting sound.
Sixenz, as he’d been named, although he didn’t know that yet, was very young. He lay curled in a corner, with the point of his fiery red tail stabbed deep into a rock nearby, so it didn’t flail about in his dreams, and cut him.
This was only his thirty fifth year in this world. Equivalent to a mere toddler in human terms. But he was already as aware of the world as any adult human. His parents had prided him with this cave shortly after his birth and then left him there, as Dragons do.
That was almost twenty five years ago. And as baby Dragons do, he’d leaned to kill and eat and survive, as baby Dragons do. Far below him lay a thickly wooded forest. And when the clouds decided to sink to earth, as they sometimes did, and the forest there lay deeply swathed in fog, Sixenz would slither forward in his cave and peer down at the fog below, that lay like an undulating, gossamer blanket over the world.
He knew that his food lay there somewhere. A rogue deer that had strayed from the herd. Or a bleating foal, whose mother would bleat and squeak and huff great clouds of steam into the air as she ran about helplessly watching Sixenz crush her child alive with his huge, beak like jaws.
This was to be one of those days. As Sixenz stirred slowly, the sides of the tunnel that he saw as he opened his eyes shimmered in reflected sunlight, for here up above the clouds, the sun always shone. He’d been asleep for nine long months, and he was hungry.
In the usual way, he heaved and squirmed his way down the tunnel towards the dazzling cave entrance, the spines on his back grating into the groove that ran the length of the cave, worn into the rock by thousands of Dragons before him, going back to a time before mankind.
He reached the edge and, eyes narrowed against the bright light, he gazed down below. There lay the fog. Like a slow motion river in languid, silky flow across the gentle, hidden hills.
Sixenz longed to stretch his wings, which hadn’t unfurled in more than nine months. He didn’t look up. He didn’t need to as he knew there was no one up higher then he was. Dragons ruled this world, although the world didn’t realise it. So he just looked down, to make sure all was safe before he launched himself from the cave mouth, and shot like an arrow downwards, eight hundred feet to the fog wherein he slipped and vanished silently.
The forest was still and grey. Monotone shades from pale grey like bloodless skin, to dark shadows within shadows. All creatures stayed still and waiting for sun.
Leaves on trees were deathly still and dripped gently. Except some, that quivered momentarily as though something had passed that way, disturbing the tense air.
A lone stag stood still as a statue, his antlers gleaming wet and his dark eyes watching. But he didn’t see enough. For him, the air moved suddenly, a blur to his right and the agony as his rig cage was crushed between two halves of a hooked beak three times his length.
Sixenz had enjoyed the hunt. It was good to feel the cold pressure of the wind under his wings again. And the taste of warm blood brought him alive. Concluded his slumber. The fragile body of the deer collapsed in his mouth.
And then he looked up. Stood not thirty feet away was a man. Watching him. Stood stock still like a statue, eyes wide.
Stillness returned to the forest for a full half a minute, as each looked at the other.
Sixenz saw a man stood there in the wood. But something happened to him then. Then at that point, he grew up and became what he was meant to be. Sixenz wasn’t like any other Dragon. In fact, he wasn’t like any other creature in the world, this one or any of the others. Sixenz came to realise this within the first five seconds of having seen the man.
Sixenz realised with a shock that he could remember his past life, in every detail. All in one moment, he not only acquired this knowledge of a different world in a different form, but he also acquired the ability to process it. All at once. And a mere babe-in-arms Dragon, barely out of the nest, suddenly faced a world with the comprehension of a human man some seventeen times his age, in human-dragon years.
Actually, now Sixenz had seen enough, he saw that it wasn’t a man, it was a woman.
But what Sixenz saw in front of him was no longer a beast called a woman. What he saw was both what he saw normally, as a Dragon, plus what the woman saw. As a woman and also as a Dragon, with warm blood running down its iron hard chin, and warm blood curdling in the other.
Ten seconds had passed.
The woman turned to run and started to scream. Sixenz saw prey and death simultaneously. Sixenz understood the world in a much wider sense. He, in a moment, came to understand the perspective of everyone and every thing. And he knew that he had once been a woman. He lived the life of a human female, before he was born as a Dragon.
As the woman turned and ran headlong away into the disinterested fog, Sixenz reflected. He remembered hating his/her life. He remembered a life of angst, and doubt, and anger at the powerlessness.
He remembered a life of servitude and cleaning and being quietly but obviously afraid of her next lodger. She had to run this hotel and so she was going to have to face down threat with threat.
In the woods, Sixenz lay, dead deer in his jaws. In another world that’s supposed to be past us, a lonely soul lived her life imagining herself defending herself, and never doing anything else.
Everyone down at the local village pub, busiest on Fridays, thought she was a right old dragon.