A conversation

What is the colour of silence?

Here presently co-occupied

Where fire and petals concresence

Our rose-garden life be descried

 

But, Mirror Mirror here inside

Deep blue-black pool, the vista wide

Mine the immortal hand and eye

Selfie-framed frozen symmetry

 

What pattern the fret-saw begets

The knot-stich embroid’ring reliefs?

The surf-line that curves as it whets

The sharpening stones of beliefs?

 

Common our cause in unknowing

Reflecting, our I in this prism

Darkly the glass yonder flowing

Secur’d lie i in this prison

 

Time’s presence, bloom of time passing

Consciousness, your fawn’s liquid glance

Thou and mine I, hours amassing

Surprising to joy from this trance

Ceilidh in the Clouds

 

We danced as we gathered

Fresh sublimation of triple-point stars

To the covalent ceildh of clouds

Skylark ascending acceleration of joy

Heel-toe the tapping

magnetic the tempo

Crescendo the cresting

Till..

Swooping tangiential

Pregnant with knowing

Out flowing in ozone of love

 

Raining, tip-tripping we’re falling, soft folding away

Each in our droplet, clear-crystalline skin

Singly we sing, conjoint in orchestral skein

And tip-tap-tip slip-slopping

Hoh o hoh tippie-toe flowing

Torrents a-gurgling, giggle-atumbling

Drenching dry frictional sand

Glisten to demara-gold strand

Irresistably streaming

Mixing dust into lusting

Slaking memory with fire

Returning we quaff

As we laugh.

 

Phlebas the Phoenician, reconstituted

Crying was pulled from the deep sea swell

Wrenched through world enough, and time

(Prophecy lost)

To act again on the stage of her youth

Through this whirlpool ent’ring the clouds

(trailing glory)

Through tongues of fire she arose

(To be won)

 

The journey of water starts as molecule – HoH – evaporated from that sea, arising to form clouds, alive with brownian motion. On the one hand water represents eternal bonding – with the hydrogen and the oxygen atoms held-together through their covalent cloud of electrons through endless cycles of rebirth. A trinity. On the other – they associate variously – in droplets falling, through the rivers to the ocean. Together water retains a memory. (Mixing memory and desire). Water has a triple-point – at 0.1 degrees celcius at atmospheric pressure – where it’s different forms – solid, liquid and gas – are in equilibrium. The phase-change between ice and gas without passing through the liquid state – is called sublimation. An image of resurrection.

Strong Brown God

Strong brown God is the river

Reiver of sods and odds thrown

Our brownian drownian motion a-quiver

Deep pooling in currents its own

 

Still life flowering river

Our silver shiver of life

A gurgling-guddling quick’ning sliver

Wrangling-tangle of strife

 

All we be is water-taught

Aught but water our withal

A tumbling jumbling ripple of thought

Pride before a waterfall

 

Day the rose-garden lifetime

Wild thyme and strawberry day

And infinitely nightly tight-coiled our lifeline

Running through death and decay

 

Well the still point of the world

Whirled without end to be well

For waving and curling dimensions unfurled

Love and its ocean-tide swell

 

Monks of St Giles

January meeting preamble and poem

Pre-amble

Our Fathers who part at eleven

Allow me this quatrain

Our income’s come

Our fill be done in mirth

As it is from seven

Live verse this day so gaily read

And forgive us our mess’d verses

As we forgive those press verse against us

And lead us not into prosation

But deliver us from drivel

Though mine is just dinkum

The hour, and the story

As ever. A river..

 

Life is like a River

This life is like a river

A silver shiver this life

A gurgling-guddling quick’ning sliver

Wrangling-tangle of strife

 

All we be is water-taught

Aught but water our withal

Our tumbling jumbling ripple of thought

Pride before a waterfall

 

Strong brown God is the river

Reiver of sods and odds thrown

Our brownian drownian motion a-quiver

Deep pooled in tides of its own

 

Our day is like a lifetime

Wild thyme and strawberry day

But frighteningly nightly tight-coiling the lifeline

Which runs through death and decay

 

Well the still point of the world

Whirled without end to be well

For waving and curling dimensions unfurled

Love which is ocean’s salt swell

All shall be well; Christ re-unifying Space and Time

“We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

Through the unknown, remembered gate

When the last of earth left to discover

Is that which was the beginning;

At the source of the longest river

The voice of the hidden waterfall

And the children in the apple-tree

Not known, because not looked for

But heard, half-heard, in the stillness

Between two waves of the sea.

Quick now, here, now, always –

A condition of complete simplicity

(Costing not less that everything)

And all shall be well and

All manner of thing shall be well

When the tongues of flame are in-folded

Into the crowned knot of fire

And the fire and the rose are one.”

TS Eliot, Four Quartets; Little Gidding (extract)

Consciousness, the rose and the fire

 

All manner of thing shall be well

When the tongues of flame are in-folded

Into the crowned knot of fire

And the fire and the rose are one

TS Eliot

Any static theory of consciousness feels incomplete. Reality is much closer to a process than a material. Whitehead’s “Process and Reality”, is impenetrable, but so much is clear. Consciousness, our awareness of self and the universe, is transitory, fleeting for most of us. This is to be expected if reality is the intersection of process and the material. It takes intense meditation and study to be able to hold oneself within the stream of the process that is reality as it pours through us. (I am told).

To quote Max Tegmark (New Scientist “Solid, Liquid, Consciousness”) “consciousness is a process that can occur in certain physical systems”. Whilst he invents new language (consciousness is for instance renamed as perceptronium) – it’s an old truth restated. As old, or older than zen. The mathematics are apparently called “Integrated Information Theory” or IIT for short. The system conditions necessary are interesting involving a fluctuation dynamic balance between various factors – system integration and internal separation for instance.

Reality may in fact be the same thing as consciousness (since observation crystallises out particular reality from the infinity of potential). In any case both are a process within a material setting. Matter doesn’t exist without the process of observation and the process can’t flow unless it is materialised. Just as gravitons need material to interact with to create weight. Matter matters – like the zip travelling through time, along the zipper. In this metaphor, what is reality? The changing space that the opening zipper reveals?

And what of the observer phenomenon? After 100 years of quantum investigation there is still no explanation of who or what the “observer” is. In the quantum world at least the observer certainly affects the observed – crystallising out one particular reality from the infinity possibilities that exist. Tegmark states “recent papers have argued that the observer is the key to understanding other fundamental physics mysteries, such as why our universe appears so orderly, why time seems to have a preferred forward direction, and even why time appears to flow at all”.

But is this not what we, each of us are? Fundamentally we observe. For me at least, the words observer and soul are interchangeable – as are the words observation and witness. As Teilhard de Chardin puts it – together we are the phenomenon of man and through us “the universe becomes aware of itself for the first time”. And Teilhard de Chardin also makes the powerful case that consciousness must have been a property of matter from the outset (his inner and outer), and that evolution has led along the path to emergent self-awareness and will eventually lead to (re)unification with God’s love at the Omega Point – when individual units of consciousness, our separate selves – unify and merge.

It seems to me that the separate strands of enquiry – scientific, spiritual and philosophical – are converging or possibly a better description is co-emerging; and toward a knowledge of the presence of God’s love. A rose is a rose by whatever name – love, connection, truth, God.