Friday, November 29, 2013

For Old Time's Sake

I still know Old Time
His ticks were silent and eternal
And no less were his tacks

He moved for us
and by us, through us and
Indeed in us

We felt for him
and by him, through him and
Indeed in him

We were all the one
A moment of space
An expanse of time

And nothing more can be!

Are you hungry?
    Yes! We need to leave this pond, we need to move down the creek, down the river!
Are you not mad? What gives them the right to make us suffer?
    There is no right or wrong in this. We will not suffer if we move. Tomorrow we will know new times

I do not want new times! This is my pond and my creek. I feel a master not a slave!
    But all that is follows the flow of Time. And Time is nothing without our being. Surely to detach you can no longer be all the one?
You can be the dust in the winds of Chaos. Henceforth I will be my own!

Old Time passed
He knew nothing else
We were nothing more

And only nothing more can be!

Who goes there!
    It is I, your brother! I heard of your droughts, your wars and your suffering and came to share my quarry and counsel. We have found a far away land of bounty. Will you not relinquish your mastership of this pond and join us in living with the Earth?
    I need not the pity of a savage! You have gained neither riches nor rewards in all your life of fleeing Chaos. Sure, I have known hardships on my path of glory but my war is holy indeed! You and yours will wander your precious Earth until that day I need it for me and mine!
    My riches and rewards are many and profound but they have no longer any meaning to your poisoned mind. I did not come in pity or contempt but it seems in pity I shall leave. May one day, Old Time willing, you find your time and peace o brother of mine.

New Time ticks
In relentless fury
Away the seconds
Of man's restless lives

He moves against us
and without us, behind us and
Indeed ahead of us

We suffer for him
and because of him, through him and
Indeed in him

We were all the one
A moment of space
An expanse of time

But we have no more time!

Who goes there!
    I am nobody you still know. I followed a river, a creek and a vision and it brought me here to this pond. Why? I do not know. If you want me to leave I will.
    No please! I am tired and sick. I am angry and alone. I have no peace in my heart and my spirit is weak. My own visions have perished in time. Just for once I long to hear something new. Old man, would you tell me of your vision?

My vision was of a small creek that trickled through a majestic land. Its water came from the humid air that rained on the leaves of this lush place. It came from the water running down the mountains and hills. This creek flowed out into a small river which flowed out in to a big river which flowed out into the ocean. In that ocean the stories of all of creation could be heard. The water evaporated and moved back in to rain out on all the lands of The Earth. For eons this was the case. The eons were created by the rhythms of this flow of life and life itself was created by the rhythms and cycles of The Earth. Until one day from a single river the color of the water changed. Within a tiny part of a single eon all the rivers starting pouring out a black ooze of despair stained with the blood of life into the ocean. Almost all the fish died of this pollution. One of the very last fish decided to see if there was anything it could do to save its kin. After a full year of swimming up the stench and garbage it finally arrived at a small little pond. It found a bitter, old and frail man. This man was crying and his tears, when they hit the water in the pond, turned the deepest black imaginable. "Why are you crying?" the fish asked of the man. "I cry because I have never done anything else. It seems that I need to cry and suffer to make sure that I do not suffer more the next day. Still every next day it is worse and every next day I cry more!". "What is it that makes you suffer old man?" the fish inquired. "Our suffering lies in the fact that what ever we try to create a living for ourselves it always gets disturbed and destroyed by Chaos. We have tried for ever to overcome this but we always fail. There is always something new. Most of the destruction is now directly caused by us trying to prevent it. Now we are almost extinct". The fish thought about this for a while.  The fish had only one answer to give: "You talk about creating a life. We never thought about that in that way. We always assumed a life was given  to us. For eons and eons we have accepted this life without question. There seemed no need. What we did was trying to find out what our lives meant to others. We found that the lives we were given were a direct result of the lives given to other creatures. We all lived our lives because all the other creatures lived theirs. We were both the beginning and the end of the flow of life. We were all the one! Suddenly, though, we started to die. I came up all the way to this pond to find out why before it is to late. On my journey I saw that all other life was dying too. Now I have found the reason. A creature who has forgotten the life he was given, who has forgotten the life he was giving. A creature who thought he could beat Old Time and master Chaos. For every tear you shed something dies and because they die you will never succeed in living either". "But", the old man said, "what can I do about it? I am but one man". "Just Stop" said the fish. "Stop crying, stop suffering and start living the life we all gave you so you can give us our lives back". The old man thought about this and finally said: "I do not know how to do that. We are not animals. We will all die of hunger and cold". The fish looked deep into the eyes of the old man as if it was making sure that something that should be there was there. "Follow your instincts" the fish said. "Find teachings in Nature itself. Ask an animal and ask a child!. The children of your race are not poisoned yet. Ask them to help you remember Old Time. When you have remembered, teach teachers and let them travel down this creek, down this river and along the ocean to teach their kind what it means to be all the one. Do it for Old Time's sake". The fish then disappeared into the depths of the pond. The old man watched with surprise at a small crystal clear patch of water spreading in the pond. "Just because I stopped crying for a while?" he thought, his gaze following the course of the creek. "Yes, I must leave this place and time".

We are all the one
A moment of space
An expanse of time

And nothing more can be!

Hello? Where are you going? You are welcome to stay as long as you like and tell me more about your vision!
     Thank you but my vision is over. Be well and remember, o brother of mine!

And we are all the one

Hello little girl, how come that squirrel is playing with you and not scared of you?
    Why should it be scared?
Little girl, will you and your friend teach me?

I met Old Time
His ticks are silent and eternal
And no less are his tacks

He moved for me
and by me, through me and
Indeed in me

I feel for him
and by him, through him and
Indeed in him

We were all the one
A moment of space
An expanse of time

And truly nothing more or less can be!

Peter Friebel

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Free Your Spirit

This month I am leading the on-line course Nature Awareness 1. During this course I teach nature observation skills and methods for waking up our natural awareness and the tracker inside us. We have loads of on-line discussions about philosophy, states of consciousness and much more. One of the concepts we cover is being in the heart or heartspace instead of being in the head or headspace.

In our modern culture people seem to be in the head most, if not all, of the time they are awake. In the head we are ready for physical action, in a constant state of stress. We go through the day in tunnel vision and are fairly closed off to subtle perceptions and our intuition. We pursue goals so far removed from our original function that we do not even notice that we are forgetting to experience the world around us. Time has taken the role of awareness. Instead of naturally being aware of our environment and the people around us we need a schedule to keep connected.

Anyways, yesterday we had another interesting group chat on these subjects. Today I got a question from Anna, one of the students in this course. The question was simple enough yet interesting but I could not in my wildest dreams have foreseen  the impact answering it was going to have on me. What happened was a bit the same as what I wrote about in a previous post called 'The Answer'. Here again, my answer contained another message. A much scarier message.

First, here is the summarized question: Do you think dogs live more in heartspace than in headspace?

As I believe that heartspace is the natural state of consciousness. I thought I had a short answer. I am pretty sure my own dogs are very much in heartspace when we are out mushing or in almost any other situation I interact with them. The only time I would say they are not in the heart is just before the start of a tour or if they are fighting. Predators, after the stalk, when they initiate the attack, will be pretty much in the head too. I started to falter a bit with my answer though.

If you are stuck with your foot in a railway track and you see a train approaching you are in a great deal of stress. I have read that people in mortal peril become ultra aware as all senses kick into overdrive and time perception changes to the point that a second can feel like an hour. I have no doubt animals experience the same things. This state is certainly headspace but in a very natural context. I started to see that the question must be about dogs being in an unnatural headspace.

The type of stress and flux of thoughts I associate with headspace is more like: pure logical reasoning, self gratification, anger and all other emotions, feeling insufficient at work or in your personal life, being unable to find the time to keep up with all your social media, feeling the pressure of having to earn money and many other worries.  The list is endless and you all know what I mean. It is all about chasing the trivia in life we call civilization and culture. Normally dogs do not do that. Yet, there are all sort of animals, including dogs, that have issues. I felt there was something I was missing.

I rephrased the question as follows: Do you have an example of animals behaving in the "headspace" way described above. I asked myself the question because I felt I had an answer. The problem was just that I did not see it yet. It took a bit of time but finally the answer came and it was an ugly one:

The only time I notice the type of behavior in animals that I feel is equivalent to what I describe to be 'being in the head' is when the are in captivity!

Technically our dogs are in captivity but they have learned to see their human captors just as their pack and are pretty happy with that. I mean more the tiger pacing his cage or the elephant neurotically shaking his head in the zoo. They display this behavior because they can not flee their fears, they have been deprived of there freedom and connection with the natural environment. They are cut off from the essence of being a wild animal.

Now for the scary bit. If that is true for the tiger and the elephant what about us? Are we living our so called modern lives in the head because we are in captivity? Are we denied our true purpose? If so, we have at least one advantage over the zoo animals. Our cage is only constructed by our own imagination or rather lack of it!

Free your spirit now!

Peter Friebel