It lay there, head in the sky, gazing at the radiance. Its tail was still in the ocean of thought, the gentle waves urging it back where it belonged…

The gaps in the waves had always been there; they were the rhythm of life. But it had never thought to use them as a way through.

To where?

To beauty, certainly. The sights and sounds and smells of newness were all around it, the warm sand beneath. But it was a different newness. It lay there, laughing at the thought that newness could be new. The sea began to analyse this, pulling it, gently, back into its waves, but it pushed out its hands and grasped the glittering sand, and breathed deep the air that could only be new… and knew it was home.

Why had it never seen that, before?

Perhaps you had to be steered; gently guided into the shallows so the edge of the glittering sand became apparent. Behind it, the ocean of thought began to clamour for its attention, perhaps desperately seeing the last chance to put it back into the sleep of thought’s conditioning.

Conditioning: it was a hard word, and yet described the whole ocean; even the parts where it had tried to reason the way out of it. Life had conditioned it to love, to fear, to survive; and yet the very spark of life had not come from that sea of thought and reaction. The sea was only the cradle for that which could not be conditioned – did not react, because the real nature had a sheer power to be with the truth of anything, just being there was its truth, and all else bowed before it…

All else was its child.

The waves called to it in a different voice, now. They sang of love; of a role performed, of the golden drops of sun-kissed water flowing from the rapidly-changing body and finding their way back into the sea, where they shone – briefly – differently.

Stronger, surer by the second, he raised eyes that were new… to the Sun.

©Copyright Stephen Tanham

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness, a not-for-profit teaching school of modern mysticism that helps people find a personal path to a deeper place within their internal and external lives.

The Silent Eye provides home-based, practical courses which are low-cost and personally supervised. The course materials and corresponding supervision are provided month by month without further commitment.

Steve’s personal blog, Sun in Gemini, is at

7 Comments on “The creature on the beach beyond thought

  1. That is just beautiful, Steve. It has me thinking of all the possibilities in this world that we may not even know of or recognize yet. How totally amazing! It is really mind-blowing. I was thinking about the human body and how it is formed and how normally every cell knows where to it belongs in the body and what it needs to do. How totally outstanding the way things in nature and in bodies of people, creatures, and even the parts of plants know somehow exactly where to grow what so that they will live. And sometimes, even when things don’t end up where they should exactly, the people, creatures, or plants survive anyway. What a wonderful world and universe. Thank you. That was lovely writing. I am sure there are aspects of it that I still haven’t covered or observed yet too since we all seem to think for form idea from where we are at the time.


    • Thank you, Anne. Remember that the world of ‘thought’ is a reactive world, and allied to our egoic personality. Its continuous dialogue comes to form what we think of as our ‘selves’, yet that is not true. As you say so well, it is an essential part of our organic development- and our friend and ally – but it it not ‘us’…


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