All posts filed under: Symbolic Sight

symbols, archetypes; observations, interpretations, insights; context & clarity

Timeless in Tuscany

It’s 3 o’clock on a Saturday. Saturn-Day, as in Saturn, the great teacher. We’ve arrived. The grandfather clock behind the reception desk stands still, frozen at some previous, unspecified 4 o’clock. Looking closely, I make out the phrase on its face: tempus fugit. “Sed fugit interea, fugit inreparabile tempus, singular dum capti circumvectamur amore”  Virgil, Georgics “Fugit inreparabile tempus” (It escapes, irretrievable time), wrote the poet Virgil — later expressed in English as: time flies. While time may fly, it can also stop for a spell. Also not flying on this day: our luggage — left behind by the airline along the way. We check in and then go to the center of this piccolo villaggio, hoping for a shop with swimsuits. Aha, a shop: Fata Morgana. This is the Italian name of the Fairy Morgana, the sorceress Morgan le Fay in Arthurian legend. Fata Morgana is also the name of a mirage of sorts, visible above the horizon, once believed to be fairy castles conjured up by witchcraft. Now known as an “optical phenomenon.” They are sometimes seen …

Lucid Dreaming

What distinguishes lucid dreaming from dreaming? What makes a lucid dream – lucid? Why explore and develop this skill? How could it contribute to better health and well-being?  To begin exploring this, let us first land upon a story shared in the Zhuangzi, by the master Zhuang. In the “Butterfly Dream”, Zhuang Zhou dreams of being a butterfly, happily fluttering around. He awakens from this vivid dream and – pauses, wonders – is he Zhuang Zhou who dreamt of being a butterfly? Or is he a butterfly, dreaming that he is Zhuang Zhou? “The Butterfly Dream” of Zhuang Zhou is a dream, recalled — and a portal through which we can move between the concepts of dreaming and lucid dreaming. Psychophysiologist Stephen LaBerge specializes in the scientific study of lucid dreaming. He describes lucid dreaming as “fully reflective consciousness during unequivocal (REM) sleep” — and also simply: “dreaming while knowing that you are dreaming.” When you become aware that you are dreaming, myriad new possibilities emerge in your dreams. Applications being explored by lucid dreamers include: …

If Ewe Know, Ewe Know

Night and Light and the Half-Light The Gaelic seasonal festival Imbolc takes place halfway in the cycle between the winter solstice and the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere (1 February in the calendar of days).  It is a celebration of the returning of the light, or the returning to the light, depending on one’s perception. (After all, does the sun really ‘rise’ in the east and ‘set’ in the west?) At this time, some will walk ‘round holy wells. If we tune in, we sense the days getting longer. The stretching glow of candles in the home softens the breath in the evening. Sparks. Fresh energy. These spheres ripple into our fields, always present if not always acknowledged, until they reach the graspable routine of 24 hours, in the lived experiences of our circadian rhythms. Responding to the light and the dark, these biological rhythms affect our health by influencing hormone release, body temperature, and rest and digest functions. Our internal circadian clocks need to adjust and readjust to remain in alignment with external time, …

In the Margins – Poem #9

| In the Margins – Poem #9 – From the pages of Mary Windermere’s Book of Exotic Fish (unpublished). -M.J. Heinrich | …Come true In the absence before your presence, I called for your essence; Permanence greeted me Your entrance—alchemy— Humans in the Garden of Eden (We were singing—softly; Silently conferring:  Is it getting late to be falling in love— in the holy beginning?  Or is it nearly time  to be rising in Love—  and leaving this level of Heaven?) Pondering these words on our island; immersed in the crystal green water, I open my eyes—smile and wonder—  indigo orange fish Remind me of a wish… Feature photo by Marta Dzedyshko

Survival of the Most Adaptable

The German Sustainability Award, sponsored by the Federal Government of Germany, is the most comprehensive environmental award in Europe. Competition is focused in eight categories: architecture, companies, corporate partnerships, design, municipalities, NEA (next economy award), packaging, and research. Research plays a significant role in all areas but merits its own category. A rich potentiality thrives in research and yet it can be daunting, as new ideas are cooled in theoretical frameworks, pooling deep in scientific journals and libraries—instead of focused, like a laser-beam, towards generating new dimensional realities. How do we shift into applied research (pivoting away from what Greta Thunberg recently called the “blah, blah, blah” of politicians’ speeches) and turn the knowledge available to us into solutions and action—baby steps, if that’s what will get us started—immediately? First, we recognize where we are. The leitmotif in the research category this year is adaptation — adaptation to climate change and extreme weather events. In western Europe, as in other regions of the world, the extreme rainfall, flash floods, and intense heatwaves in recent years have made it clear that …

Caveat Meditator

| INT. – A bookstore in Rishikesh, India – Afternoon | I am with a yoga teacher from the west. She is browsing the shelves for herself, but then remembers that I, her student, am present. She hands me a book. “Here, this is good. You should read this and practice the exercises.” The book she has handed me is on advanced breathing techniques. While it is a good book, it is not a good book for me at this stage. Curiously, she has not asked me essential questions about my previous training, interests, and goals; so how does she know that this is appropriate for me? Simple answer: she does not know. She has not asked me the questions because this retreat she has organized is not for me or other participants. It is for herself. And this book is not for me—not yet. What little I do know about advanced breathing techniques: they are powerful. One must proceed with proper training, adequate knowledge, and competent guidance. Otherwise, it could be dangerous. This book requires far more …

Hygiene and Wellness

When it comes to hygiene – personal hygiene – the cleanliness of body, clothing, and home environment are typically the focus. And while these are important, hygiene is much more: it is about maintaining health and preventing disease – and so that includes physical and mental cleanliness.  In the 19th century, the poet Robert Browning dropped us into the secret inner world of a monk who is enraged at “Brother Lawrence”. What exactly did this Brother Lawrence do? You might wonder, if you haven’t already read the fiercely gnarled interior monologue known as the “Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister”. Well, for one, Brother Lawrence grew melons to share with the order. (The effrontery! The virtue signaling!) “Oh, those melons! if he’s able   We’re to have a feast; so nice!One goes to the Abbot’s table,   All of us get each a slice.How go on your flowers? None double?   Not one fruit-sort can you spy?Strange!–And I, too, at such trouble,   Keep them close-nipped on the sly!” This is a monk going through the motions of appearing pious, and while we witness his contaminated thoughts …