Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Walking Lines

Unnamed and unnameable...boo!
I apprehended myself being unaware.
With the roar of a lion, I stormed out of my body, and whimpered as duckweed welcomed.
Twas radiation from beyond the stars and reflection from my eyes
which twice tatooed my soul,
whose mistress is the mother of all womb-anity.


  1. DAY FIVE June 9, 2009
    Today is already June 10, though very early in the morning. Too much coffee yesterday has me up in the night, but at least I can finish the background on today’s (yesterday’s) line.

    Everything about the process felt good today. The material all felt fresh and jived nicely and when I took my walk, the line came to me quickly. This will be the first time I will also discuss the line a little. I’ve felt that for other entry’s the line spoke for itself, but for today, because of the making of the word womb-anity, I will also cover that a little.

    As usual, I started with Ancestor Lu. The line is:

    Real constancy should respond to people.

    I loved it because it departs from the first five lines and is getting into “action.” What I mean by that is it is moving past philosophy of what the source is and recommending a lifestyle. It is saying, “get out there in society. Don’t just be a hermit meditator. Take this knowledge and understanding which comes from the process of self cultivation, and mingle.”

    Then I went to Emerson and he was also very fresh today. I stayed in Chapter Three, Beauty and stopped just before he deals with the third aspect of Beauty. The first aspect he describes the simple or surface Beauty of Nature. In that aspect he is describing the most discernible loveliness of nature, such as sunsets and rivers. I’ll go now for some lines which stand out:

    Oh I liked this a lot…He was talking about the scene of his walk, and remember it was winter and he said about the trees:

    The leafless trees become spires of flame in the sunset, with the blue east for their back-ground, and the stars of the dead calices of flowers, and every withered stem and stubble rimed with frost, contribute something to the mute music.

  2. day 5 cont'd
    Another: The succession of native plants in the pastures and roadsides, which makes the silent clock by which time tells the summer hours, will make even the divisions of the day sensible to a keen observer.

    He talks about the river and says, “Art cannot rival this pomp of purple and gold.” That line reminds me of the line when Jesus states, “…even Soloman, in all of his glory is not adorned as the lilies of the field.”

    But then in the second aspect of Beauty he is dealing with Spirit. Again, as he has done before in this essay, he alludes to the fact that this spirituality is the integration of the human observer with the divine.

    What he is getting at in this part is that we (humans) own all of Nature as part of ourselves. We take it in with observation but we are part of nature. He says, “Every rational creature has all nature for his dowry and estate.

    He says, Nature stretcheth out her arms to embrace man, only let his thoughts be of equal greatness.
    I was excited about my walk and ready to see what Nature would teach me this night!

    Next I went to the I Ching. It was easy for me to recognize the pattern of the Yin and Yang which had developed. Yesterday was water over water, so today would be fire over fire, or Yin contained in Yang above and Yin contained in Yang below. This is obviously a powerful hexagram. Just looking at it, you recognize the stability of it.

    I called it Double Burn but that is just a play on words because of double stream from yesterday. If anything, it should more appropriately be called double illumination. But I see it as much more. In fact, the yin inside yang seems to really strike a chord with me in general and as I think of my own Walking Lines up to this point, they have been building toward this awareness of Yin contained in Yang.

    From the Ritsema translation about hexagram 30 (referred to as Radiance in this translation), we have this:

    This hexagram describes your situation in terms of expanding light, warmth and awareness. I love that, though this translation has lost much significance for me since Cleary. The thing about the Ritsema translation is that it is rooted in Jung philosophy and Jung’s translation at the time was archaic, and not really accurate. Also the Ritsema is written much more as an oracle. And I no longer think of the “I” (ee) as a tool to read under the influence of coins or reeds, but simply as a book of wisdom.

    Still the translation is a wonderful complement to Cleary and it is with the Ritsema translation that I got the feeling of “congregation,” which went together with the fifth line of Ancestor Lu. Because it is this translation which recommends the action of Congregate (flock together, herd) under the sign of Radiance.

    In Cleary we get the notion of how to use this radiance, which he calls illumination. “Illumination is the energy of open awareness in the palace of fire (the heart); it is the spirit of humans, the master of mind.

    But the translation points out, “However, although fire is beneficial to correctness and development, if you only know how to use illumination and do not know how to nurture illumination, you will not attain development.

    What is so great about this is how it dovetails with Emerson. The first aspect of Beauty is to recognize the “touch” of beauty. The scenery and colors and how the sense of that goes directly to our marrow and we call it beauty. But to commune with Nature requires that we go deeper, or what the Cleary translation of the “I” describes as “nurturing illumination.”

    Again, as I read this, I was quite excited and anticipated joy would spring from my walk.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Last on Day 5:
    Then I went to Lao and read in Chapter Five which talks about the space between heaven and earth being like a bellows. You know, I need to get my Cleary translation of the Tao because as lovely as the Gia-Fu Feng translation is, it doesn’t speak our language as effectively. Actually, that isn’t correct. It speaks in a language of art, which I love. It moves me and touches me at a level which is inexplicable. But to take a line from it, for analysis is really (or can be) counter productive. Still for this exercise, this line told me something.

    I saw Nature and illumination as being that space between Heaven and Earth, in the context of what this chapter of the Tao is talking about. When talking about that space, this chapter says, “the more it moves, the more it yields.”

    Everything was telling me to “Go.” To walk and to listen and to learn.

    So when I prepared to take my walk, the weather didn’t seem to cooperate. The clouds had gathered and were promising to storm. The wind came in from the West and the temperature had dropped. But I reflected on Emerson pointing out the changing of the face of Nature and how all aspects are beautiful in their own way and resolved to take my walk, in the face of whatever the weather would dish out.

    There was a light spray as I stepped out side and the temp was actually very walker friendly. I had my rain jacket on but into my walk had to take it off because as my body built up heat it was too much. Even though it threatened, it never rained on me in the whole hour.

    Right away the line started forming. I wasn’t even out of the neighborhood that the feeling came. The first thought was to extend from yesterday’s line, which was about duality. I wondered, “how does this awareness of duality transcend or progress into congregate?”

    It seemed that the poem needed to move to action and so what was needed is a transforming line. I needed to move from philosophy to action, just like Ancestor Lu had. But still I needed to explain how you can be aware of duality and still transcend.

    So I thought about the elements which are moving in the background of this whole poem and what came to me was this thought of my soul kissing the lips of the divine. But as I played with the concept, I needed to integrate congregation, so I happened on to the thought of kissing the lips of humanity.

    Right away, I recognized the “man” in humanity and thought about the Yin within Yang, so I went to hu-womanity. And it was clumsy and awkward, but I still was digging the feeling. Along my walk it occurred to me about the root word of womb and how that sounds like “hu.” Also by this point in my walk I had turned over in my mind about who it was or what it was my soul was kissing. And this thought of mistress came to mind. But as heaven and earth go, I thought about the legend of Gaia and of the fallen angel who became Earth, and the symbolism of all humanity springing from this same mother who gave birth to all species on the planet. So the concept of Mother of all womb-anity was a very powerful message to me.

    And there it was, the line.

    When I got back, the poem was put together within minutes without a single change from what occurred to me on my walk. So when I went to find an image, I finally found this and liked it: