For the Sake of Argument I’ll say God
I know something about God.
So do you. And now
we know something neither of us knew
until, and because, we met.
One time, or many times, when we might have
listened to each other
tell the stories that wanted to be told
in that particular moment.
A transmission happened,
though we would not have called it that.
We might have been doing the dishes,
our hands in the water,
reading pages out loud to each other from our
Books of What God Is.
And what that old, old Redwood knows of God – the music
that has been recorded of her long, slow dance
in her Book of What God Is…
If I lean into her body, sink in until we can
listen to each other,
my story in exchange for
what small portion of hers
she may be able to impart
to one so new –
I may receive one page, perhaps, from her Book
that I can then add to all that I know
And maybe one day, I open my book to that page –
just out of the blue, or so it would seem,
and that page begets a new page
called a poem –
conceived in a conjugal union of
Past and Present –
about a redwood tree
and cycles of life,
one of many that fill the Book of What God Is.
Yes, if we could lean in and
listen to each other
like we can with a Tree,
or the Wind, or the Ocean
receive each page with love,
knowing that we’re learning still more of what God is.
We’re all reporters for the Book of What God is
writing and reading
“All the news without fear or favor.”
So, let’s say that poem I write gets read,
to a haphazard gathering of strangers and friends,
and one, whom I may not even know,
finds a thread in the poem
which leads to some overgrown, tangled place
in her heart. Somewhat dazed, she stares
out a window
she looks through every day,
but only now
that old Valley Oak, so stalwart and reaching
out like the shelter of mothering arms. She goes outside, for she hears the tree
calling her, knows
that in this moment they can
listen to each other.
As she opens her Book to put in this page
a hundred pages spill out,
and flow past her eyes
like a river. She weeps,
tasting the tears in her Book of What God is –
the pages she’d tucked away and forgotten.
and all of them sing themselves back to her.
for things she didn’t know needed weeping.
She writes a new page with
her grief, in moans, and her praise
in crazed laughter –
the kind that only comes after the prisoner
is set unexpectedly free.
Those sounds heaving up from her heart
write a crystalline code
into each teardrop falling
from her face to the earth.
And the billions of organisms
who live in the soil
made moist by her tears
receive this transmission – each of them
has a new page for their Book of What God Is.
And they tell their stories to countless others;
the tree receives her story and theirs,
multiple versions of this one multifaceted moment of God.
The pages swell.
Sparrows, ravens, hearing her cries
write their pages.
The evening sun, glancing over one shoulder,
casts a moment
that the Earth herself writes into the Book –
a moment filled with infinite moments
of beauty and surrender,
pages within pages,
stories within stories
making One glorious infinite Story.
is reading and writing,
reading and writing,
reading and writing:
I am that.
I am that.
I am that.
by Purple Hazel Green
for Marleen, and everyone else
September 6, 2015
We feel it, we sense it, some people say it happens as we get older…. but is time acceleration a real phenomenon? Can time truly accelerate? If time is accelerating, does it mean that the earth is moving around the sun faster? Will there be fewer than 24 hours in a day?
Nature is full of eloquent lessons for us,, and one of my favorites is one that Spider taught me about time and space, in terms of qualities, not quantities. The music of time-space, which indeed defines its measurement.
Spider creates the foundations of her web by spinning lines that are attached to things in her surroundings – a rose bush branch, a fence post – all converging on a center she has already perceived. These foundational ‘spokes’ define the space and character of the web as a whole. Each of the spokes has its own character in terms of length and what it is influencing its movement. As Spider is weaving these spokes, she leaves a sticky substance along the filament. When she gets to the end of the line, she plucks it, causing it to vibrate. It has its own tone, just like a guitar string.
Pythagoras was one mathematician/musician in a lineage of ancients who understood that when a string is plucked, there are intervals along the string that do not vibrate. That is what gives the string’s sound its tonal character. These harmonic intervals are so called because they are created by the overtones or natural harmonies that the string is producing. These natural harmonic overtone intervals have a mathematical relationship to the string, so no matter what the tone, the intervals are proportional the length string.
When Spider plucks the string, that sticky substance vibrates and collects in the intervals where the string is not vibrating. She knows that each string has its own ‘scale’ and she is going to make use of it to build her web. In terms of the metaphor for our galaxy, which I believe is a fractal of our universe, Spider has now set the music in motion, she has set time in motion, and now she will create space.
Spider goes back to the center of the spokes now and begins to weave a spiral out from the center by connecting the beads that are along the spokes of the web. She uses these beads as intersections. Around and around in a spiral until she reaches the outer parameters of her spokes – the final beads or ‘notes’ if you will. There is no more perfect metaphor for the nature of the fabric of timespace than that, and it is no wonder that Spider Woman, the Great Weaver, is the Creatrix in our mythopoeic imaginations.
So what can this teach us about acceleration? Let’s take an imaginary trip on Spider’s Web from that outside point she left off from. Let’s say we are a little microorganism that was born on that sticky bead and we go for a walk, a quest, to discover our place in this big web that looks like it started from a singularity….
We start walking along that spiral until we get to the next bead, or intersection. It definitely feels different from the last intersection – and that’s because the nature of the spoke is different – a whole different tone or quality of experience. Then we move on to the next bead, and we notice the same thing – it’s a completely different experience than the last two….We move along then, and it seems like we are experiencing time in a line… there is something in front of us that looks like our future and something behind us that feels like our past. It takes a certain amount of time to reach the next bead and we are starting to get used to that timing now that we are almost all the way around.
Then eventually we get to a bead that is back on that first spoke we started from. It’s not the same exact place, because it’s closer to the center, but since we think we are walking in a straight line, and are not aware that this line is a spiral, we don’t know we are standing on that same spoke, However, something about it feels familiar…. there is a quality about it that our body senses, because our body is receiving the vibration of that string directly….
We move on to the next spoke, and the next, and each time now we are getting a kind of “deja vu’, but it’s still a long time between beads, so we can’t really put our fingers on it. We go around and around the spiral in this way for several cycles, until we begin to notice a couple of things: One is that it is taking less and less time to get to the next bead than it used to, even though we are walking at the same speed. We are also starting to notice that there is a patterns to these “old familiar feelings” we get when we reach one spoke and then another.- to the point where we can almost anticipate what the next one will be. This is what happens when we get closer to the center, when the spiral starts to tighten up. We start to sync up.
By now we may even discover that we are walking in a spiral and not a line. We start to remember what this song is about, this energy – what opportunities it makes available, or what things to watch out for… So although things may appear one way, it is always important to feel what song the moment is singing to have a full understanding of where we are, to feel the resonance.
The Ancient Time Keepers – the Maya, who left us a calendar etched in stone, and the pre-Han Chinese system of the I Ching, as just two examples – were tracking time based not on sun and moon alone, but on the waves of Galactic Time – waves of energy that pulses from the center of the Milky Way which are the heart-beat, the time-keeper for every star in the galaxy. These pulses are the spokes of the spider’s web, the time signature of the unfolding music of life in this galaxy. The Milky Way Galaxy is a spiral. All life forms on earth unfurl in spirals in the dance of this time.
Time for us is a spiral. By deduction, then, I imagine that each galaxy has its own timing, it’s own symphony, and that this is a fractal pattern that reveals the universe itself. The Uni-Verse – the One Song….
This is the unfolding of time in our universe. We are getting very close to the center of the spiral now. We are feeling the resonances with what has gone before, and we are beginning to understand, to master, Time…. And once we do, we will no longer need linear time. Training wheels off. The joy ride of Multidimensional Time is awaiting us….
Or so I believe.
What calendar and time-keeping do you live by? What cycles and rhythms does it mark and celebrate? For millenia of human history, customs, rituals, and celebrations have marked important cosmic events tracked by various forms of calendars and time keeping methods. The primary referent of the system – the sun, the moon, or astronomical events – tells us much about the values, needs, and cosmology of the culture who sets up and follows that system.
Many societies in the temperate latitudes on Earth are guided by the timing of the solstices and equinoxes that mark the high point of the four seasons, measuring the movements of the sun for agriculture and physical survival.
Others still mark and celebrate the Quarter Days, which are the half-way points between the solstices and the equinoxes Quarter days mark the thresholds between seasons. For example, Feb 2, known in the Celtic tradition as Imbolc, comes half way between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, marking the time when the winter ground begins to thaw, seeds begin to swell and buds start to form. Quarter Days are not very well-recognized in the time-keeping system of industrialized culture, and this has caused a disconnect to the seasons. Our calendars tell us that the Winter Solstice, for example, is the first day of Winter, but the longest night marks the mid-point of Winter.
So what calendars have humans lived by? What kind of time are they keeping? Why is January 1st the beginning of the year? What “begins”? I cannot seem to associate any natural phenomenon or organic process that begins on January 1. So how did that happen? And then, there is this thing called the Fiscal Year based on the seasonal slump of business activity…. very telling of a culture, indeed…
LUNAR CALENDARS: Artifacts from the Paleolithic period suggest that the moon was used to calculate time as early as 30,000 years ago. Tidal relationships, relationships to plant and animal fertility, to the woman’s body – her life cycles and her blood cycles – were recognized as being in sync with the cycles of the Moon.
Without adding days or months to some years in a calendar based solely on twelve lunar months, however, seasons quickly drift. LUNISOLAR CALENDARS have a thirteenth month added to some years to make up for the difference between a full year (now known to be about 365.24 days) and a year of just twelve lunar months.
The ROMAN CALENDAR went through many iterations and adjustments, It started off as Lunar and then shifted into Luni-solar as days were added to match the equinoxes. The reformed JULIAN CALENDAR began in 45 BCE by Julius Ceasar after consulting with an astronomer, and it approximated the ‘tropical year’ or solar year. The Julian calendar has a regular year of 365 days divided into 12 months with a leap day added to February every four years. The Julian year is, therefore, on average 365.25 days long, and is purely a solar referent.
The modern GREGORIAN CALENDAR replaced the Julian calendar in the 16th Century because the time trackers of the day figured out that a solar year is actually about 11 minutes shorter than 365.25 days. These extra 11 minutes per year in the Julian calendar caused it to gain about three days every four centuries. In order to realign the calendar with the equinox times, several calendar days were dropped in one fell swoop. To maintain the adjustment, the Gregorian calendar drops three leap year days across every four centuries.
The Julian calendar is still used in some obscure places and in some religious calendar systems, but the Gregorian is today the standard calendar of the “industrialized world”.
Still other civilizations have other methods and traditions of time-keeping that transcend sun, moon, and planting seasons, such as the Mayan, the Egyptians, the Sumerians, and the Dogon of West Africa, who look to the rising and setting of certain stars and constellations – Orion, Sirius, the Pleiades – to mark the high points of the year. What were/are they tracking? What are their referents?
The familiar seasons that we mark in a solar year are created by the Earth’s axis being tilted. Was there a pre-tilt civilization? I will be exploring that possibility in future blogs…
One of my favorite mental undertakings is discovering the origins of words. So it would only make sense for me to start the voyage of this ‘Cosmology blog’ unpacking the meaning and implications of this word, cosmology.
Cosmo-logy is derived from the Greek kosmos, “universe” and logia, “study” – so, literally, cosmology is the study of the universe – All-That-Is, as we know it.
So is cosmology a science? A philosophy? A mythology? It is all of those things. The cosmology of a people – a culture or civilization – is its story of origin. It is the origin and nature of reality as that culture understands it, experiences it and is shaped by it. One of my teachers, Dr. Larry Edwards, defined cosmology as “The principles of living derived from our story of origin.” African teacher Malidoma Some says that a cosmology is “The foundational model for life itself.” (Malidoma Some, The Healing Wisdom of Africa) The Big Bang theory is an example of a modern-day cosmology. The Old Testament Book of Genesis is a cosmology.
The cosmology of a culture or civilization is embedded in its stories, myths, art. The story of origin is implied in a culture’s scientific pursuits, in their social structures, and in their religions and philosophies. The standards of business practice, economic practices, educational curricula, and religious beliefs pivot around the fulcrum of our story of origin. Our cosmology effects our everyday existence in every way imaginable.
Some cosmologies are literally set in stone, written in books, or survive in an unbroken legacy of oral tradition. But cosmologies change, because new information is always presenting itself as the human story unfolds from generation to generation. Discoveries open up new channels of thought, new evidence for us to ponder. The story changes, and as it does, culture changes. Old structures break down, new ones arise that reflect the new experience. Sometimes the information serves to validate and reaffirm what has been known and passed down through the ages; and sometimes it serves to remind us of what has been forgotten….
So, welcome to my cosmology blog. Here is where I want to explore the story that is emerging as the people of Earth attempt to integrate the barrage of new information that is making its way into our lives at an ever-more accelerated pace from all directions – from the ocean, the stars, the shifting landscapes of ecosystems and from energies and sources beyond our ken. After hundreds of years of conditioning, it is no mean feat to turn the volume down on this obsessive anthropocentric rationalism to be able to hear what is coming in on the wind, and to trust the deep knowing of our feelings – the hackles on our necks and the butterflies in our stomachs. This is the grand shift – from mentally analyzing the universe and our relationship to it, to simply, and profoundly, falling in love with it.