Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Stops on a Mythical Journey

Once upon a time, back in 2008, two of my favourite Sun sign astrologers, Rob Brezsny and Jonathan Cainer both coincidentally included, in an Aquarius weekly or monthly forecast, mention of such Lunar or mythical locations as the Sea of Clouds, Sea of Fertility, Sea of Ingenuity, Sea of Nectar; Problem Volcano, Fountains of Fear, Marshes of Myopia, Rock of Realism and Valley of Vulnerability.
I was reminded of John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" and his Slough of Despond, Doubting Castle, etc. I keyboard-scribbled a brief outline of the stops on some other imaginary heroic journey travelling via these locations.

When I re-read my old post the other day I, surprisingly, quite liked it. Here's that mythical journey I once imagined:

Setting out from the Sea of Clouds.....Here I stayed a while, gazed into the surface of the Sea of Clouds and saw, far away, a blue sphere - beautiful, spinning slowly, serenely among myriad stars.

When I reached the Sea of Fertility and gazed into its depths I saw, with magnification, life, teeming and multiplying on a beautiful blue planet. In seconds I saw a thousand generations of live creatures pass through, as the planet's surface changed, and changed again, and again.

Soon the Sea of Ingenuity lay in my path. Here I stared deep into it and saw, magnified again, the skills and talents of the creatures of the blue planet. I watched in awe, as time swiftly flashed past, and noted that they were soon able to perform the most wondrous tasks, transforming yet again a large part of the planet's surface.

At the Sea of Nectar I rested, gazed languidly into its calm surface and saw, in horror, the creatures of the blue planet fighting for sustenance. They must surely have drained all goodness from their once fertile habitat.

At this point I began the second part of my journey, approached the Problem Volcano, gingerly drew near to look into its inferno and saw the inhabitants of the far away blue planet becoming troubled, worried, many were fighting.

I hurried on to the Fountains of Fear, where I hoped for brighter visions, but none were to come. Through a silvery mist caused by the sparkling fountains I saw a vision of the blue planet's inhabitants dejected, careworn, now fearful of what the future might hold.

Not far from the Fountains lay the Valley of Vulnerability, and from my distant vantage point there, I understood how weak and fragile are the inhabitants of the blue planet, how little defence against dangers facing them.

Glancing back I noticed a side track leading to the Marshes of Myopia, travelled there and stared across the steaming, stinking marshes eventually realising how it was that those on the blue planet had become so vulnerable. In spite of their skills and talents they had failed to look ahead, far enough into the future, or at all.

I strode away sadly but with determination towards my last venue - the Rock of Realism. A hard place in the near distance, but the only one from which it was possible to obtain a clear view of the future. What did I see? A vision yet part-formed, its completion lay in the hands of the inhabitants of the blue planet.


mike said...

I enjoyed your mythical journey, Twilight! BUT, I wish it could be real, not just on paper (or my computer monitor!). It would be ever so helpfully jarring if we humans could see it as such...sorta like Ebenezer Scrooge's ghosts of Christmases past.

I have a torn dark spot in my mind that, on one hand desires our species to correct itself and continue onward...on the other hand, we humans have been horrid stewards of this planet and countless other species have met their demise via our shortcomings. Perhaps it would be best if we humans depart while there remains something to salvage...perhaps Gaia can heal herself and retain the remaining species, minus us. If we could visit your Rock of Realism, we could see if we were part of the future...if not, better to get out of the way NOW!

As I've previously stated in prior posts, I sense my existence here has an airy-fairy quality to it...not quite real, though it absolutely has to be assumed real, as there do seem to be real consequences if not taken seriously. I find the current era fascinating in that this is the penultimate stage to our fate...who woulda thunk it back when I was born????!!!! The future glistened with such positive outcomes of our choice back then!

A quotation from Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything:

"We don't know what we are doing right now or how our present actions will affect the future. What we do know is that there is only one planet to do it on, and only one species of being capable of making a considered difference. Edward O. Wilson expressed it with unimprovable brevity in The Diversity of Life: "One planet, one experiment."
If this book has a lesson, it is that we are awfully lucky to be here-- and by "we" i mean every living thing. To attain any kind of life in this universe of ours appears to be quite an achievement. As humans we are doubly lucky, of course: We enjoy not only the privilege of existence but also the singular ability to appreciate it and even, in a multitude of ways, to make it better. It is a talent we have only barely begun to grasp.
We have arrived at this position of eminence in a stunningly short time. Behaviorally modern human beings-- that is, people who can speak and make art and organize complex activities-- have existed for only about 0.0001 percent of Earth's history. But surviving for even that little while has required a nearly endless string of good fortune.
We really are at the beginning of it all. The trick, of course, is to make sure we never find the end. And that, almost certainly, will require a good deal more than lucky breaks.”

Twilight said...

mike ~ It certainly is jarring to realise what we have become.

The era, as you say, could be the "penultimate stage of our fate", and we're definitely at a point where no humans (as far as we can tell) have ever stood before. There are no users' manuals available, and we seem not to have any leader with wisdom enough to lead properly and give us optimism - not just in the USA but all over the globe.

It's gloomy, yet we don't know for sure whether there'll be a bend in the road leading to....I dunno....the River of Redemption....the Rivulets of Realisation....

We'd best not lose all hope, if we do we'll certainly be lost in the Quicksands of Quitting.

I lurve Bill Bryson's writings, books and insights. :-)

Twilight said...

mike ~ I've just read this fairly brief piece at Leftist Review.
I thought it excellent and it kind of fits in today. It's a few months old but none the worse for that.

Mother Antimony: Reflections of a Primate in a Strange WorldBy Peter Le Zotte

LB said...

Twilight ~ You've painted a vivid picture of our walk here as being a sometimes beautiful, occasionally terrifying, but always awe-inspiring, bitter-sweet journey, fraught with danger and that impossible-to-avoid Rock of Realism.

Just beyond is the Precipice of Truth, waiting for us to draw closer to the edge. I agree with you and mike, as a species we've reached a critical point in our journey. Even if most of us don't know it yet.

LB said...

Twilight ~ Thanks for the Leftist Review link. It was great and fit right in with today's post.

It also reminded me of a link a friend sent me yesterday to an article, "Chinese honey trade tainted by fraud, honey-laundering":

From another Yahoo Finance article on the same subject:

"Some of the honey was adulterated with rice sugar, molasses, or fructose syrup . . . In a few cases the honey was contaminated with the residue of antibiotics banned in the U.S. In late 2006 an ALW customer rejected part of Order 995, three container loads of “Polish Light Amber,” valued at $85,000. Testing revealed one container was contaminated with chloramphenicol, an antibiotic the U.S. bans from food."

It sparked a memory of a couple of other things I've read about how honeybees are disappearing and why, as well as the devastating effect their disappearance will eventually have on agriculture and our food supply:

We just don't get how interconnected and interdependent everything and everyone is. I took a long walk to the ocean today. It helps me to remember.

Twilight said...

LB ~ Yes! I remember reading about the problem honey trade, especially problems with the Chinese varieties. thanks for the links.

We both had two bouts of 'flu last winter - one of mine morphed into a whooping cough. We used a lot of honey in hot fruit/herb tea, bought the biggest cheapest jars we could find. I swore then that it tasted more like what is called Tate & Lyle's Golden Syrup in the UK than any honey I'd ever tasted - not sure what you call Golden Syrup here.

After I saw some articles similar to those you've quoted I realised what was going on, and resolved that any honey bought from then on had to be from local aviaries or at least be from the USA. Not sure how good or honest the Mexican varieties are likely to be, but more likely to be reliable than the Chinese ones I guess.

The bee disappearance is another worry - yep! :-(

Twilight said...

LB - not aviaries - I meant apiaries.

LB said...

Twilight ~ LOL! That aviary honey is for the birds.:)

Local honey is good. Locally produced and *organic* (non-GMO) is even better.