Category Archives: Personal Journal

Awesome Elements of a Campout

At a recent campout with friends and family, I experienced two different instances of incredible complementary polar forces: Sky and Earth; Fire and Water.

I felt drawn to climb a tree. I made my way ~18′ up a sturdy looking white pine and admired the forest. I zoomed in on the tree itself and all the life it harbored in and around it. I zoomed out beyond the forest I could see to the vast forest it was a small part of. In this effort I became in awe of the vastness of the sky, and how the sky overhead continued all around the world. Looking out into that blue sky I recognized that the same Sky was present over those in far away lands, and over all sorts of lands, that Sky watched over the wide variety of All experiences on Earth. With that, I thought of the Earth. The ground beneath me is solidly connected with the ground beneath all others on this planet, held together by the attraction of its heart itself.

After the sun set, we had a campfire going and saw lightening flashes in the distance. Sensing the approaching storm we setup something of a small tarp town for the ~10 campers present. The team work and adventure involved in rigging up tarps was a wonder in itself. Later in the night, soaked and exhausted after having fun through heavy rains, I sat with my love and observed an awe inspiring feat of nature: the rain pounded down on the tarps, on the ground, and all around. All the while, the blazing wood pile stood firm and blew flames high up above it. Both elements made a similar but subtly different crackling sound – the impacts of raindrops on wet tarps, ground, trees, and all that goes with that, accompanied by the snapping, popping, sizzling, and crackling of a raging fire which pressed ever onward, upward. The water poured down and the fire roared up. Where the two met was a mysterious gradient – I’m sure there was perfect peace at some place there. For myself, I wandered between being wet or baked by rain or fire.

Awesome. Bewildering. Simple – a Forest between Sky and Earth, a Space between Fire and Water. An Observation.

Real recognize real

Unless we learn to recognize and accept all parts of ourselves – dark and light, near the surface and in the depths – we may be destined as a world to a prejudice far worse than what we face now, due to more extreme conditions in the near future testing our patience about ourselves.

What to do with the dark parts of ourselves we cannot reconcile with? I think it depends on perspective. All things have a place in nature, eating someone and being eaten by someone else; those things which have no place can cease to exist, eaten and not returning, or migrating to a more suitable habitat. What is the force of succession within us? What are your internal ecosystems, where your light and dark exist? Are they at peace, or are they troubled and troubling?

The task at hand – the sort of psychological progress Carl Jung focused on – is a deeply personal one. Yet, it may be a critical work for the future of humanity.

I & I

Elemental observations in everyday life – from shamans and scientists

A mystical throwback* and a short essay update to modernize the ‘elementalism’. Thanks to the many sources and the one source.
(* The throwback is referring to a shared ‘Post from the Past’ which was presented on FB from 5 years ago today. That post is shared later on in this entry.)

The classical elements were concepts that helped our ancestors tap in to various ways of knowing – spiritual and ecological knowledge, as well as proto-scientific knowledge. Most folks reading this base their life, knowingly or not, on scientific ways of knowing. Science teaches us that ‘the elements’ are not simply Earth Wind Water Fire and Quintessence; there are chemical elements – unique atoms – and a whole weird world of particles and finer yet.

Are the ‘classical’ elements still useful, given our scientific progress? Continue reading →

Networking – I give thanks

A friend of mine explained why the goat and the cow he owns does not live in his backyard and in doing so, shared with me a valuable lesson: for herd animals, such as cows (or humans), it is stressful to be isolated and wellness necessitates some degree of community. Since then the lesson has grown on me. I’ve grown to better recognize the place of the hermit-personality and of the community in one’s life. This post shares a little bit about the role and value of community in my life.
Continue reading →