What say you to the idea that sight is but the secondary purpose of our visual system?
This is the claim of a German man, Peter Grunwald who currently lives in NZ. His sight was once so bad that he wore glasses in the shower. Now he travels the world (& his shower) without specs & teaches his 'views' to those with ears to hear. He sees our eyes & all they are attached to i.e. us, in a radically different way. And as far as he is concerned the primary function of our visual system is the coordination of our mental, emotional & physical states.
X marks the spot?
I have been working on a kind of widescreen format of ideas lately & this secondary idea fitted well with where I have wandered & wondered...
Which is contemplating more & more the idea that life is not at all like we think we know it.
Contemplating that what we do & what we see are two very different things indeed. Contemplating the idea that we are supposed to be creating & linking with magic, each day, but that somewhere along the way we had the magician knocked out of us.
As mentioned In the Ma'at Ariel World, I have been looking at material about material for a while. The whole world of spinning & weaving has drawn my attention time & again, especially in relation to the bigger picture of the universal tapestry within which we currently find, or have lost, ourselves.
For century upon century, spinning & weaving (& the fabrics that they birthed) were highly valued. We in our world of hard logic will no doubt say that this was because they needed clothes & blankets & suchlike for warmth & survival.
Well what if clothes'n'blankets'n'suchlike were the secondary purpose of weavers & spinners?
What if their main function, was the co-creation of their world? I'm suggesting that as they spun & wove their threads, they were also symbolically & literally spinning & weaving their world - a partnership with reality (of epic creative proportions). What if the peoples of old were (k)not blots on the landscape, rather they were the weavers of it? What if as their hands spun & wove, a ritual was carried out, one that ensured the continued creation of life?
What about food? What if it's function as nourishment for our bodies is it's secondary purpose? What if food has a vitally important primary function? What might it be?
How about as a re-connecter of humanity?
There can't be many more pleasurable experiences than sharing a meal with friends. Food is an absolute essential of all celebration, why is that do you think? Just what exactly does our daily bread or focaccia actually symbolise? And why is Jesus a wafer?
I recently asked a French pastry chef I know, if he thought that food was more than just food. He gave me a slightly 'Are you stupid or what?' look before replying "Of course." Keeping up my 'Yes I really am stupid' image I asked further "So if someone said that nourishment was the secondary reason for eating would you agree?" he answered "Yes" with absolute certainty. I trust a Frenchman with an answer to a food question in the same way I would trust a child with a question about play.
Is food the nourishment of the human (& humanity/Earth) bond? The daily affirmation of our RITE to be? I have been wondering about all those times when people have starved to death - did death came because of the lack of cell nourishment or was it primarily through the denial of the bond that food asserts? Just as babies will die without touch, will humans cease to exist without the sacred bond of what perhaps should be called, 'soul food'?
When I was growing up food was a definite issue. Both my sister & I struggled mightily with a vicious cycle of unvarying & unappetising food, one 'offering' in particular would often make us retch. Emotionally & spiritually my family got very sick & I spent a number of months in hospital as an anorexic. Until I started contemplating food as more than food I could never understand the gut wrenching feelings that this issue brought up in me.
Perhaps the reason we find it hard to cook just for ourselves is because at a deeper level we understand that food is really about connecting & reconnecting.
A third secondary look I want to touch on, is touch. This topic has been a big part of my recent researching.
Touch is the first sense to develop & thereafter it never switches off. All of us learned this world through the touch of our mouths (as babies) & later through the direct contact of our hands & various parts of our anatomy. Our first emotional bonds are created through skin (& the food it brings). We only know something when we have touched/felt it. We learn by 'hands on' experience. Our fingertips & mouths are laden with sensors for feeling, touching, tasting, interacting & communicating with each other & with our world.
We are a world within a world designed to interact in a deeply physical way.
Mention the importance of touch & I virtually guarantee the topic of Romanian orphans dying from lack of touch will, be introduced. The media has made damn sure we understand that touch is important for the development of babies - hmmm... I wonder if in today's media-medicated world, a 'development', is the collective noun for a group of babies?
What if 'development', or it's softer (but still media-popular term) 'nurturing' is the secondary role of touch?
What if touch is about the transference of ancient knowledge?
What if touch grounds the toucher or touchee in the same way that the earth grounds lightning - opening the door to our bodies by unlocking the tower door of our minds?
What if our skins talk to each other, releasing our untold stories?
From the sculpture "The Skin Speaks a Language Not It's Own" (Bharti Kher)
A book I'm currently reading states there was a time when touch was a very important part of healing, but the use of drugs removed that need - I wonder why?
"It seems that we're communicating less and less through touch. Apart from technology that stands in the way, increased awareness of inappropriate touch is also discouraging positive touch."
What I'm looking at here with thoughts of weaving & food & touch is but a taster of what can be looked at. I'm suggesting that we are a physical race whose primary existence has been vandalised & denied. I suggest that for every secondary-scientific-reasoning applied to humanity (& this world), there is a primary purpose that is felt but unseen, known but hidden from us, craved (by the human heart) but denied existence by the business of maintaining a society directed to increased productivity.
When I went looking to see if I could see where we lost touch, I was drawn to the Industrial Revolution, or should I say When the Machines Came.
I recently read an interesting book called The Body has a Mind of It's Own. Although the authors prefer to stay within scientific parameters, it did contain new ways of seeing. My understanding of what was said goes like this -
'as far as our brains are concerned we are more than the body which greets us in the mirror. Our brains map all the space within arms reach as a part of us. Whats more when we are holding or using something, then that too becomes mapped as a part of us.
The knife becomes an extension of the self. And even though it's made of metal we can feel the food as we reshape it. We can also feel our way (& our selves) through larger objects like cars - it's as if they become a part of us.
But what would happen if machines got too big for us & we could no longer feel our way?
"The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and transport had a profound effect on the socioeconomic and cultural conditions in the United Kingdom. The changes subsequently spread throughout Europe, North America, and eventually the world. The onset of the Industrial Revolution marked a major turning point in human history; almost every aspect of daily life was eventually influenced in some way... Historians agree that the Industrial Revolution was one of the most important events in history."
"It changed the Western world from a basically rural and agricultural society to a basically urban and industrial society."
What happened when a people used to working with hand-held tools, were driven by necessity to work with vast & previously unheard of machines? What happened to a people that could no longer connect with the goods they made because they themselves were now simply a cog in a machine or part of an assembly line? What happened to a people whose time was legally stolen by industry? In what must be one of the greatest business coups of all time, employers claimed both the time & the production of their workers, the magnificent two for one deal that still applies today.
What happens to the soul when all the hours of daylight are confined within factory walls
"She locked me in a jail of dismal walls
unjudged & yet condemned
to spend my life enslaved
amongst the grief & groans of men"
What happened to a people when quantity or increased productivity became a god?
I feel that this is the time period where humanity began to lose touch & that which is the Western World began to creeper it's way into the fibres of our beings. Here is where the race of the rats began.
A woman 'alone', stands beside a combing machine. Once upon her time, a hundred women would have combed the stuff of life into those threads.
Now up till a short while ago, I thought I would give some examples to round off this theory & leave it there, but some symboly thingys caught my eyes, did a little jig in my brain & insisted that I take a walk on the ritualistic side & wonder a while longer.
What if it is vital to live life symbolically? vital late 14c., "of or manifesting life," from L. vitalis "of or belonging to life"."
What if the actions I undertake during my day, are, at some level ,vitally important to the well-being of this world. What if I am meant to imbue my activities with blessings & create with passion because it is that which fertilises the world that will be my (& your) tomorrow?
If this arousing time period is a chance for us to break out of an energy-prison, then those who have much invested in keeping the door padlocked, must have seen this prison break committee a-coming. A build up of a couple of hundred years would have been about right - a period of intense traumatisation & dehumanising of humans, combined with the phenomenally successful mind fucks of two world wars, topped off with a new religion, Hol(l)yworld & a nouveau god, the Webbed-One & hey presto you have m'asses of asses.
"Of particular interest to anthropologists has been the role of ritual in structuring life crises, human development, religious enactment and entertainment.
Certain anthropologists... treat ritual as social action aimed at particular transformations often conceived in cosmic terms... they become a sort of cosmic event, one stretching into "eternity".
In order to weave some magic unspellings we first need to ride our time machine back prior to the Industrial Revolution (don't worry I've packed some sandwiches.)
The Wiki page on 'When the Machines Came' apprises us of the following;
"However recent research... has challenged the traditional, supply-oriented interpretation of the Industrial Revolution.
Lewis Mumford has proposed that the Industrial Revolution had its origins in the early Middle Ages, much earlier than most estimates. He explains that the model for standardised mass production was the printing press and that "the archetypal model for the industrial era was the clock". He also cites the monastic emphasis on order and time-keeping, as well as the fact that medieval cities had at their centre a church with bell ringing at regular intervals as being necessary precursors to a greater synchronisation necessary for later, more physical, manifestations such as the steam engine."
Now I find I'm becoming a picky little sifter when it comes to being tolled things - I find there are a few nuggets to keep & many, many dusty words to discard.
Here's what I found in my symbology-sifting word-pan.
In the beginning (of the Industrial Revolution) was the word (printing press). Not just any words, but the written word. Just what impact was there on humanity when the tradition of passing stories through the voice ended. What happened when our eyes replaced our ears?
"In mechanical watches and clocks, an escapement is a device which converts continuous rotational motion into an oscillating or back and forth motion, creating the familiar ticking noise... The importance of the escapement in the history of technology is that it was the key invention that made the all-mechanical clock possible. This development in 13th century Europe initiated a change in timekeeping methods from continuous processes, such as the flow of water in water clocks, to repetitive oscillatory processes, such as the swing of pendulums." (wiki).
Is this where time got (c)locked? Is this where humanity learned what time looks like? A machine ticking forever past 12 frozen numbers - an endless mechanical circle counting down our days.
Words & numbers -
Two special spells to initiate the touch down of the Industrial Revolution?
Now look at this;
"Starting in the later part of the 18th century there began a transition in parts of Great Britain's previously manual labour and draft-animal–based economy towards machine-based manufacturing. It started with the mechanisation of the textile industries, the development of iron-making techniques and the increased use of refined coal... The introduction of steam power... underpinned the dramatic increases in production capacity...The impact of this change on society was enormous." (Wiki)
What if creation must take place on a symbolical level? What if the Industrial Revolution was a giant 'initiated' creation. Before I plough on & in case you hadn't realised, I will mention that I work simply & deeply with intuition & gut feelings, often mixed with synchronicity & a great deal of research. I'm not an expert or initiate of anything. What follows is pure gut-work
If the Industrial Revolution was a spell, I would expect to see the four elements of magic -earth, air, fire & water being invoked. Here's what I have seen;
Earth - "Iron was needed to make the railway tracks, steam locomotives and the giant Watt steam engines that pumped the mines and provided energy to run factory machinery"
"the Earth's core is believed to consist largely of an iron-nickel alloy constituting 35% of the mass of the Earth as a whole. Iron is consequently the most abundant element on Earth."
"Iron in mythology and folklore has a long and varied tradition throughout the world. As human blood smells of iron of which it is largely constituted, and blood in many traditions is equated with the life-force, similarly iron and minerals have been attributed as being the blood or life-force of the Earth."
"The metal iron was sometimes represented by the symbol for the the planet Mars. This is also the symbol for 'man'."
Air - "It [the Industrial Revolution] started with the mechanisation of the textile industries" - ahhh the fabric of the universe? That which in ancient times was believed woven by a variety of goddesses. I can't help but equate fabric/textiles with the element of air.
Fire & Water - The combination of fire & water created something very potent-
"The steam engine was arguably the most important technology of the Industrial Revolution"
"The Corliss steam engine was a symbol of the nineteenth-century belief in progress and industry"
"RMS Titanic was the largest steamship in the world when she sank in 1912"
From our phoenix's point of overview we have a huge concentration of the elements within a relatively short period of time. A whole new world was born from machines, the only human labour involved was that of feeding their time (lives) to the new metal mothers.
Now there was one more revolutionay industrial element that kept calling my attention. I won't give you three guesses because I just don't think you're going to get it.
"Also important was the 1756 rediscovery of concrete (based on hydraulic lime mortar) by the British engineer John Smeaton, which had been lost for 13 centuries."
Be honest now, who was really going to say that?
If there was a nifty little descriptor for the mess we've gotten ourselves or been herded into, I reckon 'concrete' would fit nicely. One pair of cement boots per adult is provided free of charge on entry into the adult world. We live in concrete jungles. Anywhere there is a large population of human, there will you find copious quantites of concrete.
What if it's existence as a building material is a secondary function? Could it have symbolical significance? What might be it's primary purpose?
What about freezing time? Or even human transformation, in the same way that concrete blocks the growth of nature in cities. What if our concrete junglar city (b)locks, are built to (b)lock out a positive energy or hold in in a negative one? What is the effect on our visual pathways of constant concrete vistas? Why did concrete magically reappear here at the very beginning of the Industrial Revolution after an absence of 13 centuries?
"Concrete is a very strong building material. Historical evidence also points that Romans used Pozzalana, animal fat, milk and blood as admixtures for building concrete." Nothing ritualistic there then. I wonder what today's mixtures contain?
Back to Mr Smeaton;
"Smeaton's work led to a more widespread use of concrete throughout England and further advances in technology" & "Smeaton's research into the use of better raw materials in concrete led to expanded use of concrete thorughout Europe in the 1800s."
Wiki says this of Mr Smeaton
"John Smeaton, FRS, (8 June 1724 – 28 October 1792) was an English civil engineer – often regarded as the "father of civil engineering" – responsible for the design of bridges, canals, harbours and lighthouses. He was also a more than capable mechanical engineer and an eminent pysicist. He was associated with the Lunar Society. He was the first self-proclaimed civil engineer."
You did spot it didn't you?
"The Lunar Society of Birmingham was a dinner club and informal learned society of prominent industrialist, natural philosophers and intellectuals who met regularly between 1765 and 1813 in Birmingham, England..."
WARNING: We interrupt this wiki regurgitation for a gullibility test. If you have NOT taken your Gullibility Prevention medication today then please DO NOT attempt to read the next sentence;
"... At first called the Lunar Circle, "Lunar Society" became the formal name by 1775. The name arose because the society would meet during the full moon, as the extra light made the journey home easier and safer in the absence of street lighting."
Well that was a good thinking wasn't it. Clever name too, almost sounds like it could have been a little knees-up of the Industrially Revolutionary forefathers. Forefathering does seem to be soooo important in this new age.
"... a group of Birmingham-area men prominent in the arts, sciences, and theology. Members included [James] Watt (steam engines), Erasmus Darwin (grandad to Charles), Josiah Wedgewood and Joseph Priestly (discovered Oxygen-not sure where he found it). The Society met each month near the full moon. Members of the Society have been given credit for developing concepts and techniques in science, agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and transport that laid the groundwork for the Industrial Revolution."
Interestingly a set of 8 sandstone memorials called Moonstones were unveiled in 1998 in Birmingham, as a tribute to "various members of the Lunar Society... The stones also each have a phase of the moon carved on them, with Watt's (the man of steam) being the full moon"
Mr Smeaton, the Man of Concrete used his skills to construct the Eddystone lighthouse in Cornwall, England (finished in 1759 - "The shape of Smeaton’s lighthouse was inspired by that of an oak tree" (know your symbology!) - It was dismantled in 1877 and moved, stone by stone, to the Hoe where it was re-erected" ( what a dedicated little bunch of lighthouse worshippers).
And a little more for no extra charge - "The lift equation used by the Wright brothers was due to John Smeaton." However they "determined with wind tunnels that the Smeaton coefficient was incorrect and should have been 0.0033" (interesting choice of numbers by the lads).
So where do I finsh?
Let's go back to the beginning, back to seeing differently.
The modern world seems to be incredibly oriented towards the sense of sight. Hearing lags a fair way behind, while the soul builders of taste & touch are nowhere to be seen. What is it about how we see the world & how we 'view' the past, that is so damn important that no expense is spared to keep our eyes locked onto all & sundry media menus?
On a recent walk I jotted down the idea that 'our eyes are keys'. Could this be so? Do our eyes/visual system bring things to life? We're trained to see images flowing in through our eyes, but what if something flows out? Is it powerful? At the beginning of this year someone invaded my space so inappropriately that without thinking I turned & 'looked daggers' at him - not a word was said - he avoided me for rigorously for 6 weeks. So I guess it is powerful.
Can we perhaps sow something amazing through our eyes? If sight is secondary, perhaps we can play even further. Children play make-believe continuously, they have the ability to turn a cardboard box into a house or a boat or a rocket. Or a pot of tea with grass clippings into a delicious beverage. They are always sacredly serious with their play - is that because they have the power to see & work with the symbolical world that is the primary basis of this world?
All actions that children & animals undertake, they make sacred. Why is that? What do they understand that we do not? What do they see that we do not? How do they see what we see not?