PRIMORDIAL AND ABSOLUTE
"Men and women during the Stone Ages witnessed the Moon as a many-phased chalice, not knowing what it was – so what! Their observance was not any less clued-in to the nature of things than modern science's dissections of the orb's astrophysical character.
For as long as we don't know what we are, what consciousness is, how mind comes to root in bodies on worlds, we don't know shit.
Scientists act as though taking stuff apart is the thing to do – and in a certain sense, it is – to see how the gears work. But taking a thing apart tells you nothing about what it is. If you go in with the prejudice that everything about anything is mechanical and spiritless, then that is what you will find – dead tubules and filaments of molecules and radioactive rocks.
Better to see sylvan spirits and lunar demiurges than molecules, better to raise intelligent energy out of the Moon's reflection in a pool and pour its silver over our bodies as mercurial chi, washing our bones in it, then splash it back into the sky. Better to draw vital elixir, better not to stand alienated in Eden.
In the end we have to turn it all in for amnesia and Lethe. Might as well be everything we can until.
In my previous life is a city or a kingdom. It lies on the outskirts of memory, tinged with fairy tales and ballads – "among the leaves so green-o". It fades and then vanishes, as this ephemeral zone establishes its polities, as did other lifetimes, in their hours. The many existences of us accumulate like peridermal layers on a hedgehog's back, blubber of which he is not aware, though fibers of his destiny.
It is the accumulation of lifetimes that makes up a Great Life, a universal Man/Woman in the cosmos. One might detect these existences in us as a sort of isinglass of energy, invisible pellicles karmically imposing personality.
The landscape of forever illumines each life in every world.
The color of the late-afternoon sun on this Maine island is irreplaceable. Fleeting aromas enter the garden; cool salty breezes encroach from offshore. Two nights ago thunder and lightning performed a deluge of rain. Morning smelled like mint. Then there was a full orange moon.
What this adds up to is: if you were going to fashion a world out of atoms and make it round and thick enough to hold and be something to the ghosts who must inhabit it, this is a brilliant start.
Lindy and I were just twenty when we visited film-maker Stan Brakhage and his wife at their home in Rollinsvile, Colorado. Over goat's milk cheese and wine Stan set before us his singlemost question, asked first by his friend Jim Tenney in a supremely happy moment in their youth, "Why can't it be like this all the time?"
I guessed the answer but was shy enough to wait for him to speak, which, after a moment's silence, he did: "It is like this all the time. We just don't know it."
Synchronicity is a far more powerful force than thermodynamics, but it can't be all synchronicities or this world as it is would snap. Synchronicities infiltrate reality now and again. We can never explain them, never solve them; they are in fact insoluble. We must accept them because the universe is linked across its higher dimensions by meaning alone.
There are not even six degrees of separation across the galaxies; how can there be more among tribes and miracles on planets?
A tantalizing hint of this cavorts in the sun; grasshoppers whistling, then taking flight.
Not only are we traveling through the universe but the universe is traveling through us. It needs to feel us, what we are feeling, our marvels and infatuations and heartaches... to know what that stuff is, how it came to be and find its instrument, the source of its music; to experience itself in us or through us. But most of all, and forever, the mystery and the wonder... To record and memorialize that, why we are here at all.
From the first droplet of anything against the first bare surface, we were essential to something vast, rough, ahead of and behind us. Our present struggles and planet-wide dangers are no accident; they are an actual contour of creation.
We are charged with a huge responsibility to bring it home. And this is not just some insoluble crisis or a daunting array of dire contingencies. Nor is it a game for phony spiritual saviors and self-appointed gurus to grandstand, for soldiers to march to victory, on any world accompanying any star.
We have chosen this – that cannot be said enough. We are trying to rescue the "real," and we are neither its victims nor its paragons.
Yet, it is okay to be this happy, this afraid, this alone, this once. It is more than okay, it is an obligation. For it will all turn into something else, in fact can only, can only become, in exile in these amazing shapes, what they are.
When I open my eyes underwater, what I see is muffled light, everything suspended in a brown haze. This is Creation for the protozoa and fish and frogs matriculating here, unfettered by philosophy.
The swim evokes childhood lakes in the Catskills and Plainfield of the 1970s when our kids were young, and big and little bodies dipped in tandem. I feel how stunning it is to be in a wetsuit on such a world, qualms and nostalgias purling even as the waters flutter cold and warm.
I am alive.
Sometimes, thank god, one can't think; one just is – primordial and absolute."