Tag Archives: Water

The good, the bad and the energy

Let´s talk about energy for a bit. I mean the cultural phenomenon, the modern version of aether. In particular the concept of positive energy versus negative energy. And I mean it in contexts such as: ´this guy has such negative energy´, or ‘wow, you can really feel the positive energy here’. I have a bit of an objection against this distinction, particularly the negative pole, because it legitimizes judgmental beliefs. I think it motivates people to believe in their own projections, and by that stimulates the construction of their own mental cage.

The reason why I bring this up, is that the belief in spiritual energy is often seen as an emancipation from the religious dogmatic thought. Heaven and hell are let go because they are seen as a design to blind us from the truth. But if that truth is that you should follow positive energy and avoid negative energy so that you can reach nirvana and leave this semi-damned existence, then I don´t think much as changed.

What would you think if I told you that there is positive fire and negative fire? Good water and bad water? Sacred air and evil air? Perhaps you´d laugh, or perhaps you´d think I mean the level of pollution of a pond or a city street. Or maybe you´d say that it all depends on the intensity of these elements. Their pressure. I don´t think you would think that I mean that those elements are somehow negative.

Okay, so what if we assume that people who talk about negative energy mean to say that the energy is polluted? In many cases they probably do. My question would be: what is the energy polluted with?

It is an important one to answer, I think, because we´re talking about a medium here that, in my view, is easily coloured by our thoughts and emotions. That´s how a stressed person causes an emotional sandstorm just by walking into a room with people, or how a little kid can fill the hearts of many with delight. You would have to be quite trained or at least very sensitive to distinguish the level of pollutedness of the energy from the impact of your own emotionally charged perception on that energy.

I think that most often when people get negative vibes from someone, what they actually perceive is an incompatibility of their emotions with those of another person. I would explain this by differences in energy pressure. When an active person meets someone who´s tired for example, it can be quite irritating for both. That doesn´t mean that either one has negative energy. With a bit of willpower from both ends, such pressure differences can be easily overcome.

Energy could also be perceived as negative when it triggers a fear or discomfort. In my case that´s most often the fear of the unknown or the fear of being manipulated. It could also be the fear of not being accepted or the fear of pain or death. But being afraid of something doesn´t mean that this thing is harmful to you. And even if it is, harm will be healed.

What I guess I want to say is that classifying aspects of life as negative immediately makes you miss out. It is closing your own doors to life. I do believe that real, deep experiences of energy can be an intimate, revelatory thing with potential to give direction to life. By all means, attend to them as they come.

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Mental life

If you’d start a religion today, would you ban or allow violent video games?

The reason why I ask, is that my sister gave me Grand Theft Auto V for my birthday. Playing it brought me back to my teenage years, when a big part of my worries could be narrowed down to the question: “how can I beat the next boss and get into the next level?”. It also helped me see this game for what it really is: a piece of art.

GTA V, not unlike earlier versions, has so many facets that it is hard to know where to begin talking about it. The game holds a tremendous amount of possibilities: you can shoot down people in the street, do some yoga, blow up busses in a drive by, play tennis with a real or virtual friend or you can just light up a joint and enter in a fist fight with one of the innumerable clowns that materialize from the smoke. GTA V has storylines in which you make choices and feel the consequences of your actions and characters that support you or fuck you over. All of it happens in a world full of detail which would take you about half an hour to drive around in one of the faster cars, stolen or bought.

The game comes with an excellent package of sarcastic jokes about all aspects of western society, in particular media manipulation, New Age gurus and consumerism.  The in-game equivalent of Facebook, for example, is called Lifeinvader. It has its own office building in Los Santos, which you can enter to mess with the technology. Another example: the day you steal nerve gas from a lab somewhere in the mountains, the presenter of the news on the radio wonders why “the criminals went to great lengths to get their hands on a formula for cheap perfume”. Afterwards, the same radio channel broadcasts a commercial on why “Flow”, with its great packaging and advertisements by famous people, is far better for you and your self-esteem than tap water.

The game has the perfect combination of qualities to suck you out of your daily trouble into a dream where you are the ruler of your destiny and that of the imaginary other. It has doubtlessly had more attention than the Mona Lisa – during the phases of crafting as well as appreciation -, has brought in more money than most blockbusters and has probably made more people happy than Jesus.

Still, people world-wide fight a battle against the virtual violence in such games which has little more consequences than getting some virtual cops on your virtual ass. Easy to shake off once you have some experience. Opposers of the GTA franchise argue that the violence promoted rewires the back of the players’ brains. They believe that shooting people in a virtual world will alter the subjects perception of life and death in the real world, reducing the barrier to shoot people in real life. Personally, I have to admit that after playing GTA for several consecutive hours, when going to the almost closing supermarket for a beer and a pizza, the thought of blowing someone’s brains out may occasionally cross my mind when a random bastard walks in my way. Of course, it wouldn’t easily happen: I don’t usually carry a minigun around.

The discussion raises an interesting series of questions about the perception of the real versus the illusory, quite relevant in a society where virtual and casual reality overlap more and more. How big is the influence of actions in virtual worlds on our actions in real life? Can the power we feel while playing such games settle inside us as a day-to-day desire? Or could such games satisfy desires we already have, and thus make us live our normal lives in a calmer way? Would that just be a superficial thing, or could virtual lives be deeply nurturing?

Mankind has made fantasy more tangible. Young generations are growing up alternating between real and virtual worlds. From a young age onwards, we learn to discern the two from each other. I do believe that being in touch with virtual worlds helps us relativize our own lives, by making us accustomed to be view things from a distance. I’d guess that rather than having us irrationally import behaviour from one world to the other, games help us see things in their contexts and act according to the circumstances. So next to being masterpieces, I believe they might have educational value.

As long as we still eat, sleep and jump around from time to time in real life. Let’s not forget that.

In the light of death

I wrote this one in the cafeteria of the hospital, right after I met my grandma for the last time. In Dutch, but you can find the translation below. Click to enlarge

 

InLichtDoodBlog

 

 

In the light of death, all is what it is

A glass of water with granules for example

The step of the foot of each person remains but a whole step

Darkness is dark, and light is light

Before death.

 

In the light of death, life is dirty and pure

Unpolishable, it drags itself along, as if a fight about being

Of only itself

 

In the light of death, love is true

Undeniably, it glows up and turns off through

To the core of all little beings

 

Big and tiny can be together in the light of death

For no comparison falls but death

Only fear knows big and small but does not eat death’s cookie to crumble

 

In the light of death, black turns white and white turns black

Just like on a squared coat

A Chakra perspective on Evolution

I wrote this text originally for the Ajna forum on January 5th 2010. I have adjusted it a little.

The beginning? There never was. A misconception of the human intellect. Since she is our home, since she gives us ground to live, let’s start with earth’s awakening.

Rocks, fire, water and air; she brought their spirits into one. Little ones started spiralling, exchanging and flowing along. In the water first, but they quickly reached dry ground.

Plants, rooted in their standing place, breathing light and air, eating rocks and drinking water, developed the spirit of the ground. They vaporize earth mass. By growing and dancing in the wind, they have become our base. Their roots to earth are ours. They are our OM, our chakra of the ground.

Walking out of the waters came a new kind of being. Nerved. Choose well or die, that was its quest. Select by moving around. But use the earth, eat the plants, be attached to her. And reproduce: enjoy! Senses arose to help this choice. So developed the sacral chakra.

When ground was filled, a limit reached, a limit to the growth. The ego had to come in play, the will to overcome. Trees fought for light, beasts for terrain. Among, between, there was war to teach us where to stop. Struggling for survival, power raised, the Plexus Solaris got its form.

Among wars and fights, Gaias bigger ones found the power of communal love. In groups, we could reach greater heights. The work was in the heart. The knowledge of all cells: “Together we are one” now grew among the bigger ones. Cultures formed, dividing what to eat. Groups that loved, avoiding fall-apart. Herds arose, bees unite and lions lied in prides.

Now that battle was not the only option anymore, and animals and trees stayed close, new ways had to be found. A realm of signals was discovered in our throats. Noises, charged with meaning travelled up and down the lands. Civilizations attained new levels, by telling and by listening. Behold the birds, the apes and ants. We slowly formed new minds. And then came the morale.

Humans rose, with in their heads: mind´s eye. They killed, destroyed, controlled it all except them very selves. With time they learned about the fish and trees. They learned about the heart and soul, they did it for us all. They saw the past, and that which is to come. They saw it two, they saw it one, they saw that all at once.

And now, when new ones are conceived, they have to live it all again. From little fused cell they grow to creature with a brain. They leave the womb into the void and start: motionless base. They eat, they sense, deny and love, learn speech and thought: get lost.

When one learns, all learn, even if so slow. Together with the cats and birds, together with the plants. Together with the rocks and flames, with water and the air. Together we are Gaia’s growth. And then, maybe one day a creature comes that grows a crown, and opens heavens’ earth new ground.

Face

It’s not every day that you find yourself screaming at a stranger in the middle of a bridge. She just hit me full on with her car while I was trying to cross. The sandwich shop a bit ahead seemed interesting, and I had priority. The impact dislocated my left knee. It clicked back, meaning I am standing on a painful leg.
“What the hell were you doing?” I ask severely agitated. “I had priority”
“I had to brake! You were not paying attention!” she calls back. “You should have seen that I was driving here”
“I saw you. I was just looking at that sandwich shop, because it seems that they have good sandwiches. You had no right to drive on. I had priority. If I’d walked thirty-three centimeters further, you’d have killed me!” This last part is bluff. I want to add some spice to the moment. I think it’s a suitable way to express my vulnerability as a pedestrian.
“Thirty three centimeters? Not 32 or 34?” she asks mockingly.
“That is not the point. The point is that you made a big mistake by entering my knee. I’m going to sue you.” To add some power to my words, I point my finger straight at her not unpleasant face. I take a step in her direction with my painful leg. She remains terribly calm.
“You were not paying attention to the road, drama queen. Your mind was on sandwiches. Besides, you were walking too fast.”
“If I was walking quickly, that was because of the appealing way in which they presented the sandwiches in that shop. I cannot help that. Just look at it.”
“Well, that’s right, but I’m not filling in the papers with you, and I’m certainly not letting you sue me.”
“You have no say in that!” I roar. “I’ll note down your licence plate number and go to the police.”
I stumble to the back of her car. This should shut her up.
“You know what, mister tall man, why don’t you go for a swim?” She grabs me by the chest, and tips my good leg out of balance. Backwards, I hobble and bobble over the street while she insists on bringing me to the fence. I realise this is not going the way I want it to when my bottom hits it. When she grabs my inner thighs, I’m shocked, when she pulls them up: astonished. That felt good for a second. Now, my centre of gravity is on a side of the fence where it should not.

My hands try to get hold of anything they can reach, but they fail. Head first, I’m speeding up towards the clear blue water under the bridge. I’ve been beaten by a girl. She managed to vanish from my life. All that stands between me and the turbulent surface is a bit of air and a second. Half a second. Clearly not enough to complete another thought. I’m above all surprised. Instinctively, I stretch my body to diving mode, and make up for a cold impact.

From a distance, a couple walking along the river banks sees a tall body being tilted over the bridge. They too are surprised.
“Did you see that?”
“This guy fell of the bridge”
“But this woman threw him off…”
“It seems like it”
“She’s driving away”
“Yes”
“Nobody stops her”
“No”
“Should we do something?”
“I don’t know… What could we do? She’s gone already”.
“Let’s have a sandwich.”

My eyes close right before my body cuts into the water. It’s cold but nice. My arms spread, and I make a half loop back to the surface. The water streams past my skin. It washes my heavy limbs, refreshes them. I dive under once more, this time with open eyes. The pain shoots back into my knee. The bitch. First she hits me with a car and then she throws me off a bridge? What the hell was she thinking? I want to find her, so I carefully swim to the shore, pushed forward by the water. It’s a wall. Quite a high wall in fact. Too high it seems. I don’t know where to start. My hurting knee will not help either. I might be able to grab a brick and work my way up slowly. The current’s strong though.

My hands slip off every stone I touch. In an attempt to kick myself out of the water, I hurt my knee again. Man, do I wish to get hold of that girl. When I finally manage to grab a brick, the water instantly pulls me off. I try harder, it pulls harder. My chest scrapes the wall. I get carried further and further away from the bridge. No chance here. There might be some mountable holes in the walls further on. I let myself go with the stream, but anger rushes through my veins. Was this necessary? Could we not have found a solution? What have I done that justified throwing me into this river? It was her own fault in the first place. Why didn’t she brake?

I can’t get out. The bricks here may be slightly better to handle, but there are no pieces missing. Maybe I can cross the river and try it there. But the current is strong, and the wall doesn’t seem that different. It’s worth the try. I push off from this shore and swim in a right angle on the current, which keeps pushing me further down stream. It is a long distance with this knee. I tell myself to keep going. My head gets below the surface. I am getting colder. Swim faster. I can’t, it hurts. The water carries on. The shore walls don’t seem more accessible downstream. Stairs? None. My head goes down again. I open my eyes and see the bottom. Plants are dancing with the current. Some have white flowers. Star shaped once. They look cute.

Halfway, cold, I’m struck by another wave of anger towards my aggressor. Would she know how impossible this situation is for me? Is she not ashamed? Would she apply for time in jail? Bet she would. I’m swimming for my life now and besides I missed a sandwich. Pity. It could have been good. My head goes under again. Except for the passing of the water, I don’t hear anything down here. Something shiny. Two eyes, hidden between the starflowers. I go nearer. Crystal green-blue. Astonishing. Not real. I need to breathe. Up.

I’m at the other shore now. Tired and puzzled. Even under water, leaning on my knee is problematic. It hurts to climb the wall, but I manage to rise about a meter. Another step up. No chance. I’m not a climber. I almost get above the surface, but there’s a long way to go. My hands slip, and I fall with my back on the water. I breathe out, and sink slowly to the rocks. What can I do? Swim up and try again? I do, only to find myself back here a minute later. Lay here? Slowly run out of air and faint? The river pulls my legs. My arms. It catches me by the chest, and turns me over. And again. I’m rolling sideways over the river floor. My diaphragm contracts. And again. Air. I have no choice but to push off. Back to the surface. Mouth out, breathe, and back down. I swim along for a bit.

Those eyes again. They’re less intense. They move. A fish? It moves like a fish. Strong tale. A serene face. It puts me at ease in this cold water. No more questions. I have to go up for air again. I don’t feel like it, but I have to. The eyes know. They read it from my movements. Contractions force me up. The air feels strange. Gone. Where did she go? Beautiful eyes. I sink again as I breathe out slowly, back to the rocks and the plants. Gently pushed forward. It’s nice here, with the stream passing by. Did she go ahead? Where to? A voice sings. It’s high, melodious. A female voice. It plays with the current. Jumps over it. Louder and then silent. It somehow connects sound with the abyss. I postpone going up for as long as I can. My lungs want to collapse. Air. It feels cold and it stings my insides. Back under. The current helps me roll through space and time. My jaws move outward. I let the water in. It feels warm. Where did the singing go? Where did everybody go?

The shore seems distant. All I want is to follow the water downwards. Make loops. Swim on my back. Feel it rush by my ears, through my veins. Hear it sing. Hear her sing. Look into her eyes. Which way is up? Do I need to go there? I don’t know. I’m good here. Carried away by a flow to destiny. Something stirs inside me. I go towards the light. I choke. It’s cold up here. My flippers beat the stream. There’s nothing else then to follow it. Where are my friends? Are they looking for me? Why don’t they? Waves from behind support my way. Lead me to them. The water runs through my mouth, along my gills and back outside. I introduce it to my blood. It tastes delicious. The river propels me, drags me, pulls me and lifts me into splatters. I breathe it and drink it, beating along with the current, cast towards my destination. Her voice has evaporated. I am alone again.

Just before she wants to take a bite, a huge fish falls upon her face. With her sandwich in its mouth, it flaps its way back over the fence. She runs towards it. The deep blue mirror of the lake shows not the slightest wrinkle.