Tuesday, April 24, 2012
7 AM. All right. I am hoping in general and specifically that you have a syllabus or at least an agenda to follow, so that my part may be mostly amanuensis, at least until I get my feet planted. Yesterday you raised the image of us living in a world of perhaps undetected emanation on all sides, including from ourselves.
The motivating idea was to have you see that the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms do not so much coexist as neighbors, as constitute specialized divisions of one whole. You were given an image and an argument years ago; it connected forward to this. The sense of it was, if man depends for his life upon moment-to-moment interaction with the atmosphere, but the atmosphere does not depend for its existence upon the existence of man, which must be considered to be an extension of which? That was to show that humans are not the lords of creation but the children of it. Now we extend the argument to show that neither are they orphans or interlopers.
We will try a side-argument, and see how it goes.
At any given time in the life of the planet, a different mixture of elements predominates. (We don’t here mean chemical elements. You will see.) What are called geologic eras are one example. In one era, a certain combination of atmospheric gases will go with a certain combination of flora and fauna. Temperature, opacity of atmosphere, salinity of oceans, air and water currents, vulcanism – all will combine to produce a certain holding pen, a certain stage, or laboratory condition – think of it as you will. Within that environment will be all the elements that fit with it, and of course none that do not.
At a different time, under changed conditions, the planet will be sufficiently different that it will present a different aspect. The flora and fauna, and their circumambient conditions, will be consistent with each other but may have little or nothing (or much) in common with preceding or following eras.
You see what we are doing? We are merely restoring intelligence and consciousness to your picture of the workings of nature. No one era’s raison d’être is to serve as predecessor of what may follow, any more than a person’s raison d’être is his or her children. One’s children are one fruit, one result, of one’s existence, but not one’s sole purpose. Seeing an individual or a set of geological conditions only as a precursor (or as a successor, for that matter) is merely a case of blindness to what is, caused by excessive attention to what is to come.
Restate this, please, so that we may see how clearly it is set – not so much for you as individual as for those who will receive this “cold.”
I hear you saying, merely, that each geologic era is a unique mixture of qualities, and everything that exists in that era belongs there, or it couldn’t exist.
Yes, and our main point did not come through clearly. Every element of every era exists cooperatively.
Isn’t that implied in what I said?
It is implied for some and not for others. It depends upon the mental associations one brings to it. Thus, we spell it out, at some risk of tedium for those to whom it is obvious, because in this instance clarity is of more value than elegance.
You are accustomed to think of the rocks and gemstones of the planet as existing as byproducts of processes. Thus sedimentary rocks were laid down by the forces that laid them down, igneous were produced by fire, etc. This is true but to express it so is to risk taking only a superficial view of it. An equivalent would be to describe a human baby as a result of the physical processes that allowed it to come in to existence, without considering the other dimensions of life.
That isn’t quite clear to me. I have the general idea but not the application.
You might begin to think of a mineral as a frozen moment in time. Does that help?
Again, I’m sort of getting it. Not quite. A sense of the igneous rock being formed by the momentary fire and then holding the essence of something behind the fire.
Yes, good. Anything created partakes of the quality of the moment in which it is manifested. In human life, you think in terms of astrology. In mineral life, though, the timescale is vastly different, so the quality of the moment must be measured differently. If the process of forming a mineral extends over years, what good would it do to know the spaces the planets traversed from start to finish, even if you had a way to fix a starting or ending date? But just because an era cannot be measured by human measurement, human scale, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a quality all its own, any more than it means that the part of creation at the microscopic level, whose existence may perhaps extend only to fractions of a second, don’t have a quality of their own, however impossible it may be for you to measure or predict or summarize after the fact.
A rock may be looked at as a crystallization – metaphorically – of a moment of time. The rock formed by a volcanic eruption takes on, or rather is produced by, the quality of the elements from which it was formed, and the times in which it was formed.
You will have to forgive us our ponderousness. It is not so easy to convey our meaning to so different a sort of mind. You extend, we extend. In both cases there exists the possibility of slippage. Everything has to be translated!
I‘m willing if you’re willing.
Yes. We just emphasize that sometimes we will state the obvious; other times we will be impenetrable in meaning. This is not by intent. We will have to feel our way along, judging as we go, examining what you seem to us to have absorbed of what we say.
All right. I have the patience if you do.
You do have the patience, but keep up your courage. Do not let yourself be discouraged by error or inadequacy or seeming pointlessness.
Forewarned is forearmed. Okay.
Enough for now. We know it is only a small step. Small steps add up.
All right. Till next time.