-5 journals of a summer trip through WA, OR, and CA in 2010-
– A reflection on moving water –
Looking at moving water with a camera.
There is something about moving water that always fascinated me. You can’t really see it with the naked eye; you need the camera, the photo, you need to capture the moment, freeze it and investigate it on your own terms, on the mind’s terms.
The mind is slow; it needs time to fabricate concepts, to remember, to compare what it sees to what it has seen before.
The mind wants to make sense; even when there is no sense. There is no dancer, it only, for a split second, may look like it…
It’s an illusion.
When you don’t look at the frozen picture but look at the chaotic flow in ‘real time‘, (oh, this wonderful scientific term!) in true time, when you look at the real thing, you get dizzy, you really see nothing.
When you do it for a long time you inevitably drop into this meditative state where you surrender and just receive what is and are just aware, without comparing, without judging, without thinking, without interpreting it into sense. A wonderful state, in the truest sense of the word. However, the mind is at first quite uncomfortable there. It’s not in control.
To endure this, to persist, leads to insight, leads to recognizing that the mind is a rather limited, confining instrument. The mind can’t see the truth, it makes up its own truth and believes that instead.
There it takes billions of years, we see the fantastic moment and only imagine the motion; here, with water, it plays in split seconds, we barely see the motion and can only artificially capture the moment.
If these droplets, these “objects” that spontaneously form out of mass and energy according to very simple, unbreakable physical laws of nature also had some consciousness, they could very well perceive themselves as “something”, as “somebody”. They would indeed see themselves as separate. They would live a life. A weird ball of water traveling through space, obviously changing shape on the way, having “experiences” that happen to “him”. He could easily perceive the world happening to him.
We, from outside, from our perspective as intelligent, informed observers could of course see how completely erroneous ‘his‘ view, his ignorant identification is.
Imagine that it is the same with us. We are formed, according to incredibly complex but ultimately comprehensible and incorruptible laws of nature. Note that this formation includes something like consciousness, perhaps a feature of highly complex systems, a faculty to make up stories. So ‘we‘ become aware of our existence. We perceive the world around as other. We are instantly in fear of losing this separateness. We suffer.
But it’s all an illusion, we are not really separate, we don’t really exist, there is no “we”, it’s just appearance.
Look at water and you see how this illusion comes about.
The exciting difference between water and us is, we are in fact capable of comprehending the illusion. We have the capacity to wake up from this dream of a phantom life, see what’s really going on, recognize our erroneous belief and – not suffer. It would all remain unchanged, but there would be no suffering. There would be no ‘we‘, no ‘other‘, no conflict, no fear …
As the phantom drops become water again in a split second, we crazy idiots, dreaming up so much Self in only slightly longer time, eventually also merge back into the soup of atoms whirling around in space all by themselves – what a relief!
A galaxy, expanding, exploding. Stars = water droplets being born, going through their life cycle of illusive individuality, and dying again, merging back into the swirling clouds of pure potentiality.
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Klaus End of June 2010