Oh! I think I know what you mean by “bird philosopher”. He is not a bird philosopher, he’s a modern day Druid (self-given name to his spiritual orientation, he’s an author and commentator on just about everything. Name is John Michael Greer. I just find that his statement about birds being the next apex species VERY interesting, but he does, in my opinion, say some lame things, too!
Today this showed up in my inbox, so had to post it, remembering Douglas’ story about hearing this bird and whistling back and her/his responding in kind… that story is still with me.
The Tsalagi/Cherokee call the sparrow Principle Bird (in the same way that they call themselves Principle People). This is a thread of my heritage I am following… There’s a lot for us learn about our avian friends, isn’t there?
Thank you for this, kind Friend! I had (previously) been unaware of such a strong connection to
mes amis aviens. Perhaps I had taken their existence for granted. When something is always present, we tend to tune out its significance. Johnny does his best to tune out the NYC noise in order to retain the liminal living.
A few thoughts:
I mentioned in a separate conversation reminiscing about days in which I spent hours climbing trees. the metaphor I sought was of a grounded ecological view, yet high enough to seek out the wonderment of nature and the universe. Treetops are not high towers:
Birds naturally have a birds-eye view. As we learn that maybe we do some “thinking” outside of our “bird brains”…we can begin to imagine the sorts of occurrences experienced by birds or trees or the wind. Generation after generation of other species have their own philosophies.
Love of wisdom. What is wisdom? defined as “clever, skillful, intelligent, or wise” …one can map the ideas behind these words onto the clever crow, the skillful sparrow, the wise owl. But beyond anthropomorphism, there is the birdness we cannot explain. The wisdom of not having an opposable thumb, of nesting in a liminal space such as a treetop (the best of both worlds). Humans have words for almost anything imaginable, but words do not necessarily cover all of the imagination and experience.
To share thought space is harmless and great. But, as some of us notice, thought space is not solely cognitive engagement…it manifests into the physical. It manifested when I shared language with the sparrow. I do not remember if I shared with others here that the sparrow also infused me with the language of its space, of its realm of understanding and processing the surrounding environment…its agencement…the sparrow’s environmental layout or structure was shared. How?
I am brought to tears of wonder right now… this is the life path that has beauty and meaning. This is what it truly means to me to exist in the world. When I am down or out of agencement with these invisible worlds, I am not living. I am not a true self. How do we share such modes of living with the dead-inside surface worlds? Not by force. Many sacred thoughts involve “be the change” or “let your life speak”…when it comes to sharing the attunement to invisible worlds, bringing the abstract into the concrete worlds proves challenging. A core component is some peaceful anarchic existence with your surroundings…others will hear you speaking as you glide across floors, lift off into space, swing from the trees. A core component is the sharing, the conversations cradled with care, whether with Team Human or with our friends from the invisible landscapes. Thank you, gracious @Ariadne, for leading me to the waters of the virtual inkwell.
I am so deeply moved by what you express here, Douglas, all of it—your questions are my questions, your wonderings, too, and your reverence . What a beautiful sensitive being you are.
“Birds or trees or the wind… I am brought to tears of wonder right now… this is the life path that has beauty and meaning.” Oh, yes. Yes.
You’ll love this, Doug: while I was writing this very post, my beloved Song Sparrow sang out and I, as I always do, sang back. But here’s the thing: it was dark. Sparrows are not nocturnal. The lovely voice in the night was/is an unexpected gift, a synchronous gift for us all.
Wanted to respond to alll who ere part of the Bateson Reading Group (in the Video replay posted here) but don’t know how to respond to a group of people, and so doing it here, via Doug who posted the video. In this conversation, there was a wondering about how to integrate both slowing down and “intentional imagining” and so I wanted to mention a practice modality that I and several friends do in two-somes by phone (we either all live far away in spacetime or our schedules don’t mesh at all). We set aside a time period (say an hour a week) in which we connect by phone and do what some of us call “mutual spiritual direction”, which is slightly formal, that is, it has a format to it, but one that is very very flexible. We speak aloud experiences in the present in any of their modes or dimensions while the partner does not respond verbally, in the first, say five or ten minutes, only listens intently. Then we switch places, so to speak. Then we have a very very slowed-down and present moment focused “conversation” in which silences may be long or short between speaking, as in the Quaker tradition, eg, allowing silence to be the “vessel” out of which words arise in a measure pace. Variations on this basic form have been legion! We might intentionally create an imaginal interaction… or we might just go with the flow, literally, and have no direction or plan, see what emerges. So though I said “spiritual direction”, there is no actual “directing”, rather a lot of “following”, improvisation, spontaneity. With one partner, we sometimes broke into made-up chanting or harmonizing sounds. With another we tend to do visual imagining things or describe dreaming streams in real time that happen to start up. Occasionaly, we even do interactive “thinking” around subjects of deep meaning to us. It’s like experiencing the inside/outside of a “co-mind”. Some people do call this co-meditation, actually. I have never found a name that fully satisfies!
I am going on at this length because the question raised in the video takes the form for me of this: how do we learn to attune TOGETHER to invisible worlds…which is not the same thing as individually attuning, and obviously neither is “better”. I feel we need both/and /all and more…
Does anyone here have a practice in this regard? I would love to know what you all or any of you are practicing. Or if you don’t have a practice, why and how you feel about all this.
Obviously, no hurry or obligation to respond.
Hi Maia! Thanks so much for sharing your process, it reminds me of something I did years ago within the Quaker context… I don’t really have an answer to your question, I just think that what you are refering to is this idea of a « field » thinking/voicing process we have been struggling to identify on this forum in diverse ways. Nora Bateson insists on the need to do this work from many different perspectives at the same time, and I think that is also what we have been trying to do. We still don’t understand the process « fully » (and maybe that’s not necessary, anyway, maybe the nature of the process is that it can’t be fully grasped…) but I think that, collectively, we are making some kind of progress. Your own contributions « in the margins » as it were, are not insignificant in this regard. It is a fundamentally liminal process in which the margins matter! My two cents (two cents also being a liminal reference!)
Marco, don’t know if I can possibly reply with all the feeling I feel after listening to your musical creation, voice and guitar, reading and speaking about Secret Water–or, secret water…as you say, integral water, holy water, not the poem but the…
My eyes are overflowing with that water we all are and arise from and return to.
No way to thank you enough for listening— for hearing—as you do.
And the great Bateson…walking along a beach…bones on the beach and a horse shoe crab and wondering about the fragile ecology of selves…and I hear within the voices of your blue guitar a dash of Lorca, after he returned to Spain from his visit to New York, a city he loathed but he loved the white headed Bard of Manhatta, the great gringo poet Walt Whitman. Lorca was so entangled in Fascist Spain and was swept away… Something Mediterranean? And Seaweed? Salt air? …I’m not sure…I’m not sure…it’s like long distance viewing…the minds of others…fuzzy, near a gray shore…
Thank you ever so much for this Marco. Happy for you that you had the Sunday morning space. These words flow from your words. From Maia’s words. From our words and the shared waters of mind. I am typing as I listen as we know what you are saying before it is heard…
Maia’s poem, written in the moment, recorded in stone, waters flowing atop its words and freezing the moment in time. Songs sung, lyrics flung. Your semi-edited response reminds us of the limits of the written word…what can we convey on this forum? Peotry is a chosen path.You introduced sound, voice, guitar.
On the use of audio:
This is the idea behind the storytelling society, loosely imagined here in this post, crudely defined as I seem to do frequently:
From the post
I made mention in a past Cafe that I imagine, with all of this technology being tossed onto children and adults, a storytelling society would ideally arise out of the ashes of the techno-malaise. YouTube is a wealth of stories. Yet I am talking more about the in the moment creations; impromptu connections; a society of story-telling explorers, seeking the right language to share. We “bottom-feeders” (those outside of the story being written for us) are passing down stories. No need to write a book; no need to publish the story to tell…simply tell it; speak it in into the air, record it on the spot. Creativity arises from the ashes of the old stories.
I am slowing learning, a slow understanding of, the urgency @johnnydavis54 speaks of… the smell of salt is in the atmosphere a stroll like a drum roll, holding the tension.
In Marco’s intro he mentions Gregory Bateson, an ecologist we are studying. Bateson often asked what is the pattern of relationship that connects the horse shoe crab with the human? Marco mentions secret water, alluding to your poem and I heard his guitar and we had previously discussed at a Cafe Wallace Steven’s Blue Guitar and with all of that…secret water…and a blue guitar… I saw Bateson, barefoot, in a white flannel at the beach…gazing at bones…kind of chill…and trying to makes sense…and then I heard the guitar music and felt Marco’s Spanish cultural influences…and it felt warmer…I knew his mother was beautiful and came from Latin America…his father Italian…and I sensed that Lorca who hated America but loved Walt Whitman runs deep in the background…and something happened near the Mediterranean…I am not trying to present any evidence for anything…it is very fuzzy…out of focus…soft…pleasant…a nice rhythm… mixed voices, sorry if I convey little clarity, Ariadne, as my left brain took a holiday…
No, it’s wonderful! I just didn’t get the link which started the stream of associations off.
I love “right brain” unfurling which also includes “concepts” from left brain, and that’s what you’ve unrolled. Thanks!
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