I was talking with a friend about life – not a generalised view of life, such as we might do in an introductory talk to mysticism, but in the sense of what life actually is…
The topic of life led us to consider health… and how we might picture health and it’s inevitable effect on the final stages of our lives.
And then I remembered a kind of moving image I had many years ago in a partial dream-state.
In this vision, life was revealed as a beautiful flowing ocean over which our ordinary waking consciousness navigated, as would the captain of a ship.
Beneath the level of the waves, the ocean depths were festooned with all forms of life, possibly representing the evolution of our bodies.
But the sea was anything but level. Far beneath the waves were giant mountains; countless in number.
The aging process was one in which the water gradually lowered its level, eventually revealing the sharp peaks beneath. The captain of the ship had to start being careful about the course – being prepared to change direction to avoid the emerging dangers.
The undersea mountains were the hazards of life – including injury and illness. When young (the full ocean) they were of no concern.
Eventually, as the water level fell further, great skill was required to navigate the vessel at all. There came a sense of inevitably that our fitness for organic life was diminishing and that we would find ourselves surrendering to the fact that our ship was no longer sufficient to continue our journey.
The undersea mountains had always been there, and always would. But the ocean lifts us above them…
Although this sounds depressing, the sense that accompanied it was not negative; rather a recognition that all life was linked and really one, but that our time as individuals in that gift of nature that is our bodies was limited: what has a beginning must have an end.
I hadn’t thought about this for many years, but our conversation brought it back, and I thought I’d share it here…
©Stephen Tanham 2023
Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.
http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk and http://www.suningemini.blog
An excellent analogy.
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Thank you , Darlene. I was worried people would find it too ‘dark’ – which it wasn’t at the time. I’m glad it resonated….
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This describes growing old perfectly, Steve… being unable to navigate well, comes to us all eventually…
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It does, Jaye. The ‘vision’ had that sense of acceptance with it
A great analogy, Steve. If we’re wise, we navigate around what rocks we can, until we can’t. Dignity in old age is not pretending we can still do what we did in our twenties.