Existential Experience

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A gap of two months or so since my last post, whoa, time flies! It’s been a busy time with three weeks away sailing, editing my first book, working on the cover, getting close to finishing the first draft of my next book, planning another cover, learning more about self published marketing, producing a five-year plan for my writing, creating the plot for my next book (actually a series of five books, OMG what task have I set myself!), plus holding down my day job, and more. Something had to give and it was this blog.

But back to the title and the photo –

The picture was taken at one of my favourite places, Loch Tarbert, Isle of Jura in the Scottish Highlands. The rainbow was stunning and stayed as it is in the photo, about half a mile away, for about thirty minutes.

Now, the opinion I want to express, and the theme of this post –

The photo is attractive, though it would have been taken better by a professional photographer with superior equipment (rather than a point and shoot iphone). But that is beside the point. No matter how good the photo it cannot replace the experience of being there. The colours will not render as true to nature, however ‘HD’ they are. There is no record of the smells, the touch of wind on my face, the sound of birdsong, the taste of the salt air, the immaculate peace of the moment, experiencing all those things right there, whilst witnessing the scene.

This is one reason I don’t take photographs very often. I see a beautiful sight in my daily life, or visit places on sailing adventures where the scenery is spectacular over a field of view of 360 degrees. You can’t photograph that, images yes, the experience, no. If I experience a profoundly beautiful moment, perhaps with wildlife or a fantastic view then show a photo of such, and this has happened, the response is usually something like  ‘oh, that’s nice’. No! It wasn’t ‘nice’, it was fucking amazing! But you have to have been there. You can’t experience someone elses experiences.

What about using photos to assist memory? The only photographs I would wish to re-view are those of scenes that are so ingrained in my memory that the moment lasts a lifetime, so the photos would be redundant anyway. A danger is that by reaching for a camera, focusing and composing, we lose the moment, not for the image but for ourselves, especially a fleeting moment.

I recall a moment many years ago while sailing in the Western Approaches, somewhere between Ireland and Lands End. It was dawn, a warm sunrise, a placid sea and blue skies, no land in sight, perfect peace and tranquility after the previous day of harsh weather. But then it became sublime; a school of a dozen or so dolphins broke the surface, and played with the boat.

 As they surged at the bow, shot under the keel, and entertained themselves I called my then wife who was asleep. She didn’t hear. I considered searching for my camera, or going below to shake her, but resisted. I didn’t know how long the moment would last, ten minutes or a few seconds. So instead I ignored the desire to record the event on film and ‘recorded’ that beautiful moment in my mind. 20-plus years later the memory and the feelings are still with me, as clear as the moment in which they happened. I had learnt a valuable lesson.

It is not possible to experience life through tv, social media, video, glossy magazines, etc, nor with the distraction of being permanenly connected to a smartphone as if you have no life without one. These are entertainment and tools for modern living, not life itself, but they have become the bulk of what many people experience as ‘life’, living through other people’s experiences, force-fed beliefs and opinions, losing their own; plugged into the Matrix of media.

As an exception I would argue (with some bias!) that a good novelist can transport you to new realms of experience, though you are still living his/her experience or creation not your own.

I love a fascinating insight by Stephen King in his book ‘On Writing’, he says that a book is telepathy. Really, it is. A book you may be reading is implanting facts or a story in your mind from the mind of the author many years and miles distant. From his mind to yours across time and space – telepathy truly! A beautiful thought.

The only way to experience life is through your own actions and state of mind. To be present in the moment, alive to your surroundings through every sense. To go out and live new sights, to search out new experiences, and create your own world. For creating our world is what we actually do, we create our own reality – the subject of forthcoming posts.

Existential experience of life, not existence by proxy.

To finish, a couple of loosely related images. How not to live in the moment. Both humorous and a sad indictment of the current state of much of ‘civilised’ society:)the_zombie_apocalypse_has_begun_big

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Star Tripping

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In star spanned dreams I ventured

Through time and space unending

No point of reference I saw offered

For time existed no more

And distance was beyond measure

How small my being and unknown

Until next I was present in all

Consciousness spanned and joined

With all stars, galaxies and universes

The atoms of my being ceased to be

And were dispersed through infinity

Their true home, boundless

Spread through the vastness

Yet condensed to the singularity

Of one knowing point of existence

And in the majesty of all,

Looking back towards me

As a reflection, I saw your face

So we created existence, you and I

Together with all sentient beings

Through the desire of thought

And we gloried in the structure

Of a creation built of love.

Heart Music

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When the beloved calls

The song in the heart

Is he Song of Songs

The ancient vibration

Of cosmic love

The sound of eternity

 

When the beloved calls

A vibration so fine

Dissolves all matter

To its true reality

Which is the non-existent

Ephemeral product of mind

 

When the beloved calls

Only the frequency

That binds energy

To itself in structure

Appears as solid form

Tremors in the matrix

 

When the beloved calls

The pull in the heart

Is the knowing of life

Immortal, never formed

Never ending, bound

In one unifying awareness

 

When the beloved calls

The union is seen

Vibrations in harmony

Nothing more is present

The meeting of souls

With the music of the spheres

The Healer

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We knew not from where he came

perhaps out of the air itself

To those who had the sight

his hands, old and wizened

glowed with an aura of azure blue

as did his shoeless feet while

golden light adorned his head

and within eyes dark and fathomless

shone the light of a thousand stars

 

For many days he dwelt among us

He partook not of water nor wine

neither consumed our food

but lived by unseen energy

He taught us to feel the power

through our heads and feet and hands

that one day we may be like him

Free in body and mind, sustained by air.

 

He tended our sickness with care

and made us whole once more

He gave to us his wisdom

To eat not of animal, fowl or fish

those creatures you should love

But be content to consume

those that have no eyes to see

the vegetation, seed and fruit

 

For these beings are your friends too

but created from the beginning

to work with you in harmony

sustaining your body matter

even the smallest atoms of your being

of those parts you have yet no knowledge

To nurture, protect and fortify

against all malevolence and disease.

 

But be sure, he said, with stern eye

that you follow the Mother’s way

Then she will care for you always

Her wellbeing is yours also

Only by human hand and love

should your food be grown

not touched by machine or denaturised

nor adulterated with unnatural substance

 

We grew strong in vibrancy and health

Of those remaining with dis-ease

he laid upon them his hands

telling them to know the source

That he was a mere catalyst

the power to heal came forth

from themselves, from within

And they understood and were cured

 

We were saddened at the parting time

But he told that we had been together

since the beginning of time, grieve not.

There is no separation, we are one

together with the earth and cosmos

Then his body began to fade

leaving only his light which soon

dissolved back from whence it came

 

I write this, millennia later, remembering,

and bearing witness in dismay to the follies

as we have lost our way and turned

away from the Mother in greed

Endemic sickness abounds where Instead

we should be free from the distraction

of frail bodies and their maladies

To raise our souls to our higher purpose

 

And so the beacon shines once again

calling the true healers to come forth

to rebuild the garden of life

to purge the darkness from this world

to make well the ills we have caused

for we have made them ourselves

Cleanse the Mother and her children will follow

ageless, strong in spirit, body and mind.

The Waiting

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She holds him

in her mind

the ecstasy

of what is to come

She plays her hair

twists and teases

emulating his touch

and imagines

in anticipation

 

Her body pulsates

with desire

warm, erotic

yearning to feel

her lover

His arms holding

tight, protecting

his fingers roaming

to secret places

 

She waits

dreams his touch

of caresses longed for

upon her soft, milky skin

She tastes the memory

of the time before

and impatient

her juices flow

How long can she wait?

 

She knows

he can see to her soul

 nothing is hidden

 He approaches

 the promise of love

shining in dark eyes

Naked before her

the dream ascends

in wonder and delight.

The Road

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The endless road

   Winding

                         Twisting

                                                                    Junctions of doubt

 

                                                        Eons of time

                           Paths trod

                                                                   In success

                                                        And in failure

 

                                                        Never tiring

         Searching

                         Questing

                                                              Believing in one

 

                                                                 Shadows and light

                        Beckoning

     Misleading

                                                    Trials of the soul

 

                                                    Until one light

Bright

                    Loving

                                                             Raises the heart

 

                                                               The journey’s end

                      Delight

of spirit

                                                    The road led to you!