ratitor's corner

september 22, 1996

september equinox, 11am, PDT

for this special time-buoy, the 1st revolution around SOL complete and the ratitor's corner are different parts of the same whole. here we explore some of the intuitive and instinctual ways of seeing that have been manifesting more of late while the 1st revolution page, after considering a deeper meaning for what is labeled "coe-ink-keh-dink," gives the nuts-and-bolts list of current works-in-progress throughout ratical.
the equinox today, vernal or spring in the south hemisphere, and autumnal or fall in the north, marks the completion of the first revolution around SOL of rat haus reality, ratical branch. quoting from Guy Ottewell's marvelous reference,
        The sun at this instant is in the earth's equatorial plane, besides being as always in the ecliptic plane. Therefore, as seen from anywhere on earth, it rises at the due east point, where the equatorial plane cuts the horizon. It rises upward at the angle complementary to your latitude: on the equator, it shoots straight up at 90°; at 40° N., it moves upward at 50°. At the pole it rises at an angle of 0°, to the right -- in other words, it does not rise at all, or is in a prolonged instant of rising: it skims exactly around the horizon rightward (as the star Mintaka on the celestial equator does all the time). At the south pole, the sun skims around the horizon leftward.

        At the moment of the sun's rising, your shadow is infinitely long, and points exactly west. As the sun goes up, your shadow shortens, and moves round to the north of you if you are in the north hemisphere, or the south if in the south hemisphere; neither, if you are on the equator. At noon, your shadow points straight north (or south) and is shortest. But if you are on the equator, the sun is overhead, and your shadow points straight down.

        The sun sets exactly in the west, wherever you are (except for the poles). It has spent exactly half of the 24 hours in the sky (except that at the poles half of it is spending all the 24 hours above the horizon and half below). For half of the celestial equator is above the horizon. The day and night are of equal length.

"Seasons," The Astronomical Companion, p.24,
Astronomical Workshop, Furman University,
Greeenville, S.C.   29613     803/294-2208

so much has happened in the past 365 sunrises! it's wonderful and a great gift to see an increasing interest in this place by visitors from around our global home. of course, there's never enuff "time" to do all things we fill up our psychic "TO DO" lists with. as some of you know, i've been tremendously taken with books by Laurens van der Post. in a 1991 memoir, he discusses this our perception of time's tempo at this moment for those of us carried along in the post-industrial culture's river:

        The rebellion against time shows itself perhaps most in the compulsion to make life faster. There is not so much a love as a lust for speed, for doing things quickly, which totally ignores the fact that time is nothing if not measured, and that every plant, animal, organisation, stone, star and cosmic system has its own unique measure of time and this measure demands obedience to the rhythm of seasons and renewal. We, however, improve on the `killing time' mentality with the slogan that `time is money', speeding up all the processes not merely of traffic and travel, which is perhaps the least harmful of all, but processes of growth in plants, in flesh and blood, in reaching deep into the mystery of the ultimate genetic units and beginning to manipulate life for our own busy ends so that in systems everywhere `being' has been taken out of life and a compulsive and frantic `doing' and busyness put into its place. . . .

        There is also the worship which follows logically from the love and increase of numbers, and that is the love of size, the proliferation of ounces and inches, and hence a state of spirit which worships giantism and has lost all contact with the small, the invisible seed of creation on which all creation depends.

-- About Blady, A Pattern Out of Time, Laurens van der Post, pp. 86-87.

this state of taking the `being' out of life and putting a `doing' into its place is at the core of what appears to be occuring in this time. Oren Lyons, faithkeepr of the Onondaga Nation of the Haudenosaunee (People of the Long House), articulates fundamental truths about this situation in his Akwesasne Notes article regarding sustainability, processes of living democracy, people being of one mind -- of the good mind, natural law, and ethics and the human genome diversity project.

the mind-blowing activity some focus their life's creative energies on -- to patenting the actual fabric of biological life! a state of life that calls for another way of living. astonishing, this time of Koyaanisqatsi we exist within.

as utterly insane as this "business", and manifestation, of the conceptual abstraction called "ownership" and "personal property" is -- and the ultimate costs it exacts from each of us living out our lives here on this earth in this universe -- there is also the fact that each of us is as conscious as we choose to be, regarding the ineffable basis of our existence, inwardly as well as communally with everyone and everything we come into contact with every moment of our days here.

at present i'm reading van der Posts' biography, Jung and the Story of Our Time. they knew each other as good friends for the last 15 years of Jung's life and the landscape traversed in this book brings me back to elements i was exploring in my early twenties when i read the immensely significant-to-me autobiography of Jung's, Memories, Dreams, and Reflections.

        In plants and trees, perhaps the most intimate issue of the earth's own nature, Jung felt himself closer to the act and deed of creation than in any other physical manifestation of life. It was as if through them, he would say in a voice resonant with awe, that he looked into the mind of the Creator at work on his creations. They were never just trees, plants, or flowers to him. He was to call them thoughts of God, expressing not only the mind of the Creator but also the magnetic beauty of the instant of creation.

        And the older he became, the nearer his own physical end, the closer and clearer his own green thought and the thought the trees expressed in their own green shade drew together and comforted and endeared one to the other.

        I remember one evening at Bolligen when he referred to this. A wind was raising a remote Merlinesque sort of moan from the trees he had planted thickly around his tower. The lake was lapping at the shore hard by as the waters of Avalon might have done the night a dying Arthur forced a reluctant knight to toss the great Excalibur back into the deep out of which the image of the shinning and dedicated sword had been born. He could never, Jung said, go along with the concept that man alone was created in the image of God. That wind, those trees, that water we heard, those contemplative plants and flowers outside, the valleys and the great mountaintops with their fall of snow, reflecting sun, moon, and stars underneath, all seemed to him as a boy an expression of the permanent essence of God more true and wonderful than any in men and their societies. It was to them that he turned when the world for the moment defeated his questioning self.

        Animals, much as he loved them, were already one dimension further away in their ability to move at will. They were, to put it symbolically, in both being and spirit already uprooted, and cut off from that which had made them. He hastened to add that it was God's Will that moved them and not their own, but even with this Will they represented a step towards the exile that men today call consciousness.

-- Jung and the Story of Our Time, Laurens van der Post, pp. 68-69.

i have felt for a long time a sense of exile kin to what is being evoked here. it certainly seems to be a "fact of life" in this impersonal twentieth century society i was born into during the 1950s. and yet the cedar tree outside my window here, the mocking birds and finches singing so gloriously with such inspiration expressing the fullness of life this afternoon along with the comfrey, lavender, mint and nasturtiums. what a panoply of being graces my surroundings!

and so such inspiration colors the creativity and nourishes the energy to, among other things in this life, fashion a place webly where significant and relevant materials may be presented for others curious, passionate, and concerned about the state of this world, our world, and enquiring into just what is the nature of being we calling ourselves human are here to explore and discover the infinite dimesions of.

in all that we do, as perilous as the age we are in appears to be, there is something fundamentally grounding and reassertive about life's integrity and each of our own intimate connection to it, when we experience some form of disproportion restored to proportion by whatever natural process that re-establishes such balance.

when i fell off my bicycle, and didn't lose my eye, or become trapped in a coma, or step off this mortal coil, i felt i had been visited by a act of grace beyond anything the rational mind cood explain or justify. i had been feeling a lethargy and depression for sometime. but this "accident" stripped away all that and imparted a radiant sense of being given a whole new chance with life and its infinite, unknown possibilities.

i was freed up from the self-imposed burdens of seriousness that so readily seem to clog and clutter perception of what truly matters and is meaningful in the life we have been given. it feels appropriate to close here with a passage about the capacity for laughter, "immediate, with no inhibition at all between the impulse to laugh and the laughter itself" which van der Post experienced in Jung the first time they met, which he had hitherto only heard among the Bushmen, the first people of his native Africa.

i have known many who express a forced laugh at the slightest provocation, more to camoflage their own sadness, pain, or hurt than to communicate any sort of authentic gaity. to laugh with life and with others is something being explored anew by this one, in the school of being and self-realization we all, as children of life, attend here.

        I was about to add that this, of course, was precisely the principle on which the diesel engine worked and that here, unbeknown, in one of the greatest jungles of the world, primitive human beings who had never had any contact with our own civilisation, which we thought so superior, had for centuries been applying a principle of ignition which we had only recently discovered and whose application to the diesel engine we regarded as one of the brightest of our inventions. But of course Jung had already grasped this point and for the first time I heard him laugh.

        That laugh of his was one of the more memorable events of that afternoon, as far as I was concerned. It was both Olympian and intensely human at the same time. It came out of that big man sheer and immediate, with no inhibition at all between the impulse to laugh and the laughter itself. I had only heard such laughter before among the Bushmen, the first people of my native country, whose brightest possession it is and whose capacity for laughter had impressed and moved me so much in the past that I had felt that if I myself could acquire the gift of such laughter for the proceeds of the sale of everything I possessed, I would not hesitate.

        "How can you do it?" I was to say to him often. "You are the only person I've met who can laugh like a Bushman." And he just laughed all the more. . . .

        If I had still any doubts about the quality and calibre of Jung, his laugh on that sombre and sombring autumn afternoon settled it, all the more because it affirmed that the continuity had not been broken between it and the first laugh of an authentic child of life, laughing because the policeman who for him represented the desert in the human spirit which the grown-up world creates and calls law and order, had been brought low in the common dust by a mere banana peel.

        He could laugh as he laughed then because in this story of fire I had just told them the despised primitive, the rejected child of civilisation, had tumbled the police imperialism of knowledge and values European culture imposed on others to a far greater extent than even its territorial and political dominion, and restored it to its place in the heat and dust where no flesh and blood has pride of place, where men are compelled to accept their common fallible and groping humanity equally and are forced to struggle humbly for such meaning and fire as their brief and impartial ration of time permits.

        There are many ways of laughing, but the greatest is that which comes from the joy of seeing disproportion restored to proportion. Few men, I was to find, had so great a reverence as Jung for the forms of life and mind which the established and powerful world despises and rejects. Were I compelled to select one great text for introducing the main theme of Jung's life and career in his own spirit and for those of others, it would have to be a text taken from the Book of Common Prayer: "The same stone which the builders refused: is become the head-stone in the corner."

        And all this came out of a profound love of the ancient proportions implicit in the original blueprint of life. His laughter was delight, sheer and uncompromising, in the triumph of the significance in the small over the unreality of excess and disproportion in the established great and so a pure rejoicing in another enlargement, however minute, of the dominion of proportion. I never knew him to laugh at anyone or anything so much as with them and with life. It was inevitable that from then on he made me laugh, not only by the infection of his own example but because of his wit, sense of fun, and spirit, more than anyone I have ever known.

-- Laurens van der Post, Jung and the Story of Our Time, pp. 41-42, 44-45.

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