Earth Walk

I have observed too many sunsets to search for gods
beyond earth’s endless horizons, tipped backward
out of rafts into one too many roiling icy streams,
floated face-down in countless salt-laden seas,
wondering what would appear in that vast expanse of sapphire,
flash of silver, pelagic bodies schooling along, rippling gills
of giant manta heading straight into view;
and why would I long for anything grander
than this manifest miracle of creation?

Even behind eyelids in unseen realms bypassing common vision
where splendor awaits, revealing to astonished senses half-truths
in half-tones, langourous variegated tapestry glimpsed as if
through frosted windowpanes, unsure what is real and
in what context;

My garden, on the other hand, yields fruit piled high
in hands urging harvest from tiny seeds packed into sepia soil
forgotten by live volcanoes still spitting lava flowing
into watery swells, stretching perimeters of island mass,
biding time until time, itself extinguishes and the world
we presume to know slips ineluctably out of awareness,
beneath waves of consciousness, disappearing,
as all things must, into the mist of memory.



13 thoughts on “Earth Walk

  1. I have a feeling Spinoza was right, and that God is nature, nothing else. She doesn’t even need the name we give her, let alone the oft self-serving obeisance and genuflection dissembled in places we call her house, the stories our ancestors wove of her might and wrath, the gold-leafed icons we trade and which depictions we reify, the blood we spill in setting her against herself. No, it is enough to know her as you do, and as so exquisitely expressed in words above. Yet another triumph for you, dear Bela, and gift of nature to we, your readers. ❤

    1. Many thanks again, Hariod. I loved what I read of Spinoza, back in the day. Speaking of that time (early ’90’s) I once interviewed an author on radio, John David Ebert, author of Twilight of the Clockwork God. In it, he speaks of a meeting between Rupert Sheldrake, Terence McKenna and (Timothy Leary?) – (I am blurry on the facts now, and am off and running this morning and don’t want to take time to find the book and look it up in my library) but these scientists and adventurers of the mind took psylicibin mushrooms in a desert somewhere and all saw the same thing: that the ‘extraterrestrial’ beings so popular at the time with distinctively ET-type features were actually ‘Super’-terrestrial in nature, an Intelligence abiding deep in the earth. I wish you and I were sitting across the table from one another, I’d tell you stories. Suffice it to say, when I was a very young girl, I encountered such a Being, and it was in my safe place down in a eucalyptus grove by a stream in back of our housing development (later turned into a golf course – ugh). I cannot get into this here, but I knew this Presence was not Other, rather it was very much of This Place. And with that, perhaps you know more about my connection to our divine Mother Earth. Although I do reckon there are other dimensions of consciousness to explore, I am going to love this one as long as I am able. It’s a miraculous place. Enjoy the weekend! ❤

      1. Yes, Spinoza’s thinking was of course way ahead of its time by Western measures (though had uncanny similarities to the Hindu Advaita Vedanta of twelve centuries before), and is still intellectually valid today – save for his thankfully brief views on the nature of womankind. You doubtless know all this, but when he talks of God as nature [“Deus sive Natura”] he refers not only to the entire cosmos, the universe, as known to we humans as one of spatially extended things, and also immaterial thought itself, but also as part of a limitless interdependency with things unseen, unknown, and yet to emerge from their potential to actualise. So, because of that interdependency, we, in the nature we do know, are not outside of that which we do not know – that unknown is therefore not supernatural, or preternatural, in the commonly accepted sense of ‘magical’ and ‘outside of nature’.

        I suppose it must remain open to debate as to whether drugs can allow us to glimpse into these aspects of nature which are normally hidden from any view accessed solely in spatial extension and thought (our normal modes), but certainly ought not dismiss the idea of them being possible to intuit (according to Spinoza, our highest faculty as humans). Many spiritual seekers come to their practise, faith and commitment based on drug-induced experiences, as I feel sure that you know; some coming to the very deepest of realisations and which confirm their faith was not misplaced, and that their experiences with drugs were portals to the otherwise hidden nature of things. It sounds as though you had similar revelations, but unaided by drugs and untainted by the scepticism of adult ‘sophistication’. My own experiences of such things are very limited, and not terribly dramatic or exotic, but cannot be explained in any Hard Materialist worldview. H ❤

  2. Aloha, Hariod, thanks for the clarification re: Spinoza. I remember little of his particulars, so appreciate the refresher. I was a Depth Psych student and read the philosophers only insofar as they ‘fed’ into that field. Interesting stuff and yes, ahead of its time, no doubt.

    In my own inner knowing, we avail ourselves of so little, there are myriad distractions in life which take us far afield, then ‘this’ becomes our ‘new’ reality. I agree with (you? Spinoza? both?) that we all possess that knowing, though if one considers things like the karmic nature of souls incarnate, perhaps that vast field of knowing is buried far deeper, the veil thicker to penetrate. Who can say. I only know my own experiences validate some of what others have also experienced.

    I was going to hesitate mentioning any of this, but here I go, and might delete it later after you’ve had a chance to read it. I never ingested psychedelics of any kind, even raised as I was amongst peers who preferred them. They frightened me. But in my late ‘fifties of all stages in life, I found myself eating a tiny quantity of Pacific Northwest psylicibin mushrooms with one of my daughters, similarly disinclined to destroy her body with harmful substances. And yet, there we were. What we experienced together was beyond anything I could have conceived otherwise – things that were revealed to us both, as if glimpsing thorough the same eyes. But leaving that aside for a moment, I had been experiencing some nonspecific internal ailments on which I was wanting clarification. (This was the impetus for the experience.) Mycelium is one of if not The oldest communication networks on the planet, and much has been written on the subject of its innate intelligence. I would never have ingested anything man-made in a laboratory like LSD. But being of the earth and completely unadulterated, I thought, ‘why not?’ So I asked ‘it’ a question, popped it in my mouth and, some time later when I began feelings its effects, I was conveyed to my body’s interior in a way I could not even conceive possible. At first it really freaked me out, as what I saw was ‘blood and guts,’ so to speak. Then almost immediately I felt calm, as if realizing, ‘well, what else did you Think the inside of a body would look like?’ Anyhow, the long and the short of it was that the knowledge that was revealed to me put me on a course that takes me to this day with a well-being I have never felt before.

    The post script to this tale is that the effects lasted all through the next day, but when I looked in the mirror, I was shocked to see I looked about 10 years older. The stretching it took to bring me these realizations was very taxing to this physical body, and, though I certainly recovered, I have not been inclined to repeat the experience. I got my answers, and that was enough. Yet this encounter with that sort of Intelligence certainly validated, at least for me, what these scientists likewise discovered, at least with mycelia. I know McKenna and Leary ingested enormous amounts of LSD in their lives, but I would certainly imagine that to be a wholly different experience. I don’t believe humans could ever duplicate what nature, herself offers up, unadulterated.

    Anyhow, the beat goes on, does it not, dear Hariod? Enjoy your weekend! ❤

  3. A really wonderful poem Bela. I really like the way it starts, as it really mirrors my own thoughts towards nature. I was discussing with a commenter on one of my previous blog posts, that the search for God seems an overall meaningless one, since A) We’ve never found one, and B) Such a God would be so complex beyond our capacity to understand that grasping such a being seems to be akin to asking a 2 year old to write a psychological profile of an adult. However what we can do is to appreciate and try to understand creation itself. For me this is the question and curiosity to understand life, chemistry, physics, and in that understanding we learn to care more and appreciate more what such a being has created. If there is a God to me this is what seems to be the best way of getting closer to it. Look at that sunset, appreciate how far it has traveled to see it, appreciate the physics of photons scattering about particles in the lower atmosphere and different colors are scattered according to the different size of particles being struck by the light…appreciate the way our eyes have evolved to see color and how everything we see is just information interpreted by the brain into an image. And as you eloquently transition to at the end of your poem, the comprehension of the vastness of time. We can look at those rays and remember that they come from a star, made from an older star, that was made from an older star still and so on. A vast seemingly bottomless of well of time has gone by to create the sun and you sitting there being able to appreciate it. For me at least, that is the spiritual experience of a sunset, because that one vision is both beautiful and yet also a composition of so much more in the universe. 🙂

  4. Swarn, I really appreciate your thoughts and reflections precipitated by this piece. I read in some esoteric tome long ago that the supreme intelligence assumed to be responsible for all of creation here on earth and beyond, is becoming more conscious and aware of itself through each and every one of its creations (again on earth and beyond). This gave me bright hope at the time, for it resonated so fully with how I experience reality (on this earth and beyond). Your eyes and mine, so to speak, give rise to our own unique views and visions of what we observe and take in. And in so doing and through subsequent reflections, we have the opportunity to explore and expand into tiny cracks in the cosmic egg, filling in gaps or adding cohesion to what was once ever so minutely fragmented. I never ‘expect that anything is new under the sun,’ so to speak, but we approach what we observe in unique ways, filling in/out the spectrum a bit more.

    This fully supports my theory that none of us are special and yet all of us are. It’s all perfect or none of it is. And I understand grey areas, believe me – I’m not so didactic as to assume everything is black and white. Not at all. Yet I do know that nothing of enduring value is created through hubris, it does not serve and few can learn from such a presentation. Any one of us who are privileged to be conduits of inspiration must at some point realize we know not the source of the hand that struck the match. Where did that insight come from? And as you so colorfully state, above, “Such a God would be so complex beyond our capacity to understand that grasping such a being seems to be akin to asking a 2 year old to write a psychological profile of an adult.”

    And now I say to you with palms together and head bowed, Namaste, for in my comprehension of the term, the god in me sees/bows to the god in you. Aloha means much the same: I recognize in you the breath of life (that we exchange, just now). So happy to be chatting in this way with those who deeply consider such things. Enjoy the day! 🙂

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