|5 March, Ash cloud rising from Pu`u `Ō `ō as crater floor collapses|
due to magma withdrawal, Kilauea Volcano.
I was speaking figuratively in referring to Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess who lives in Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, when I wrote:
This force that is welling up from the interior of the planet is another incarnation of Mother River, the Mother of Life, the Nurturer, but also the Destroyer. She is what the Hawaiians call Pele, the Volcano Goddess.
How was I to know that she was so soon to express herself?
|5 March Kamoamoa Fissure Eruption, Kilauea Volcano|
I was feeling the vibrations, spiritually, of the Feminine Force erupting, and being mirrored in Egypt and celebrating its reverberating power.
|view of 2 March Lago Puelo fire|
from my house
| Izanagi and Izanami|
by Kobayashi Eitaku
or that Izanami-no-Mikoto, Mother Goddess of the Eight Islands of Japan and Grand Diety of Yomi, the Underworld of Death, would join in the ruckus and awaken Susanoo-no-Mikoto, the God of Sea and Storms?
|Susanoo slaying the Yamata no Orochi, by Toyohara Chikanobu|
How could I have fathomed the magnitude of the force of violent change, or how far and wide the ripples were to spread, or how formidable their oscillations would be?
|waves (image via Wikipedia)|
Excerpts from No Stranger To Strange Lands:
Just a few bends in the road away from Los Alamos National Laboratory, we came upon Bandelier National Monument. We didn’t know anything about it except that it was on the map. What a lovely place it turned out to be. There are artifacts here from the Ancestral Pueblo Culture – remains of walled structures, like small mazes, and caves that those people had excavated out of the side of a massive cliff wall, plus all the spear points and pottery shards and other items that are in the museum. It is a beautiful, tranquil location, a bit on the warm side. Its inhabitants are believed to have stayed here in the winter, a protected spot along a stream, and then would go back to their nomadic ways in the summer. This is very similar to what we do when we do not leave the States for the winter – hunker down for a few months, and then hit the road come springtime. That must be why I hold these people in such high regard – I connect with their way of life. They were very versatile. And they chose such a great, beautiful place to live their lives. No one really knows why they abandoned their sites throughout the area – enemies, perhaps the thieving Utes, or environmental issues, such as drought or overuse of natural resources. Evidence also exists that suggests that they went through a profound cultural and religious change. Pueblo traditional lore says that the Ancient Ones had developed such spiritual powers as to gain control over natural forces, but in their wielding of their powers, ended up changing Nature in unintended ways, which they sought to undo by the dismantling of religious structures such as those at nearby Chaco Canyon and a total re-thinking of their cultural ways. They passed through the cycle of learning about power, control, and in their wisdom, they were open to radical change and new horizons. Their descendants still survive further south as the Pueblo Peoples of the Rio Grande Valley.
The gravity of the site made me ponder... not only what the people were like when they were here and what really happened to them, but also that this is so close to Los Alamos, this place – how is it that the same thing is happening here again, that humans have gained unprecedented power, the power of the sun, itself, but lack the wisdom to control that power? Will those who currently inhabit this place ever learn the same lessons that these disappeared people had? Do places hold even more than memories and energies – perhaps some other form of energy? Could there exist some profound, organic knowledge that emanates from this place; might there be cyclical patterns of Time that can cause history to repeat itself; is there some powerful magnetism that drew the creators of the atom bomb to this particular place on the planet, to repeat what the Ancestral Pueblo People had done before here, to unleash unmanageable power that we need to realize has its unintended effects on Nature and on ourselves, and it might be wiser to abandon that power than to allow ourselves to be consumed by it?
Nuclear power, the power of authority, the power of medicines, knowledge, religion, and all tools and skills and toys that we utilize to live our lives, even the power that food provides, require us to be judicious in their use. Einstein’s quote, “It has become appallingly clear that our technology has exceeded our humanity,” is so prescient because the development of the nuclear bomb that occurred at Los Alamos National Laboratory brought a new level of power, but not the wisdom to truly understand what we were unleashing into the world. Will our Humanity be able to catch up to our technology? It will only when we learn that without wisdom, we cannot control power.
Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico, USA
* * * * *Power Requires Wisdom
Power and energy are irrational. Fire and combustion are irrational. The forces of Nature are irrational. And the human forces of emotion and belief are also irrational. We can somewhat understand how they work and utilize their energies, but we cannot always control them.Wisdom tells us that control is another tool to be used judiciously, responsibly, thoughtfully, patiently, respectfully – wisely. It can be used to rationalize the irrational, but only to an extent. Wisdom tells us to know our limits. We are limited in our ability to control Nature’s powers, just as we are limited in our ability to control other forms of power: economic, social, political power, sexual power, psychological power, powers that are also essentially irrational. We must recognize our limits in controlling all of these powers.Wisdom tells us to be very weary of the powers of wealth and greed, and to be keenly aware of our limits in controlling these powers. For, they are perilous powers. They are seductive and corruptive powers. They can connive and bribe and extort and befuddle. They attach themselves to the power of ideas, language, imagery and perception, where Truth can be obfuscated and reality denied as easily as hearts can be uplifted and inspiration unleashed. Wisdom tells us that these powers dwell entirely in the minds of humans, such that their true power lies in their wielder’s ability to convince others in society that they are powerless. But this is only an illusion. Individuals are only powerless when they willingly cede their own power. Wisdom tells us to discern what is real and what is mere perception.Wisdom tells us to understand that society removes Humanity from the realms of Nature, and that the laws of Nature are not the same as the laws of Human interaction that regulate the systems of society, be they monetary, social, political, religious… These systems are all based on unnatural ideas about value and ownership and control and faith, and to assume that human interactions within these systems are anything like the interactions of the forces of Nature is a dangerous failure to comprehend the underlying structures of these human systems. This failure can lead to division, strife, and ultimately, to the failure of society, itself. For, any structure built without careful engineering lacks Integrity and cannot stand for long. Wisdom tells us to discern what is of Humanity and what is of Nature.Wisdom belongs most to those who realize that humans are not particularly good at knowing our limits, and that we tend to lose control much more readily than we would like to admit. Wisdom tells us to know thyself. Know that we are human, and that the wielding of power requires the greatest wisdom, lest control of that power is lost, or reversed upon those who wield it. If Humanity can achieve this, then, perhaps we will one day assume the courage to change how we structure our societies, and how we interact with other societies, so that our Technology will at last become a tool in the service of our Humanity rather than one of division and greed and war.* * * * *
|Mushroom cloud over Hiroshima, as seen from Enola Gay|