Sunday, April 6, 2014

Bloodroot Consciousness


Photo of Bloodroot just budding, April 6

                              Butterfly
                        sleeping
                              on the temple bell.
           
                                    Buson, ~1750
                                     in The Essential Haiku
                                     R. Haas, Ed. p.108.

      The butterfly, prime archetypal image for transformation, sleeps as if consciousness is not fully availed; perhaps the wings will spread and flight begin when the resonance with the deity sounds.
      Antonio Machado in Spain offered a similar summons a hundred and fifty years after Buson was writing haiku in Japan. Still a century ago, Machado said that all Jesus’ words were one word: Velad.  Robert Bly translates that word as “Wakeup” (Times Alone, pp. 108-109). Velad might also be interpreted as keeping a vigil, even the watch set “before the holy sacrament when it is manifested” (http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/velad ). 
      Yet more recently, but still forty years ago, Robert Ornstein in Psychology of Consciousness elaborates the resistance to coming awake: the scientific study of the possible alterations in human consciousness still evokes many misguided ideas and unfortunate opinions . . . Others reject the idea of alterations in consciousness immediately. For them, a true and agreed-on “common sense” reality exists, and anyone deviating from their version of the external reality is either foolish or “insane.”
      Ornstein references evidence that “normal” consciousness: is not stable and is not unitary at all. Both the mode and the contents of ordinary consciousness alter radically due to situational factors like hunger and other needs, and to more enduring factors such as a person’s language, training, and profession. . . we should consider the differing continua of experience that vary on one scale of arousal from sleep to full awakening, on another scale from linearity to simultaneity, and also from internal control to external. . .
      Today, our study in Good Stories aims to advance consciousness, and we assert that human progression can move toward increasing peace and justice; but this does require Waking Up! We read Brian Boyd’s interpretation of The Odyssey telling of the evolving capacity to defer immediate gratification: refusing to stay with the demi-goddess, not choosing intoxication, and not giving up on the eternal return home. In deliberately engaging the continua of experience, concrete to symbolic, of making connections internally and socially, we work toward quantum consciousness.

      Strangely enough, to wake up often means to dream, to imagine worlds that are inspired by good stories, and to play across the multiple tracks of composing digital media. Velad! Spread butterfly wings again--Spring.
April 27, 2013
July 23, 2013