Ancestors Day – the First/Last/Next Wave

the-last-wave-movie-poster-crop-1977Last night (on the eve of Fathers’ Day, which coincidentally – has been a washout – with pouring rain), I finished watching a movie (with my son) called “the Last Wave” – directed by Peter Weir – featuring Richard Chamberlain, David Gulpilil, and Nandjiwarra Amagula (an actual Tribal leader who was brought in to act, but he also had a say in certain scenes and dialog in the film).

It’s reviewed with actual interview quotes from the director himself, here (on FlickeringMyth.com, author Trevor Hogg). There’s also a more recent “The Last Wave Rewatched – Mysticism, Prophesy, and the End of Times” blog entry by The Guardian’s Luke Buckmaster (2014). And I’m sure some good things were written “back in the day,” when the film came out – in 1977 overseas, and 1979 in the U.S. – I saw it myself, in the ’80’s (more than 30 years ago).

Most of what you’ll find on the web about this film – understandably – will include a synopsis of the film’s plot. So I won’t dwell on that. Plus, I hope you’ll see it yourself – no spoiler alert – but I will touch on some details of the narrative.

Last Wave dinnerWhat I’m “doing” here, is a different exploration (it’s not a movie review). The particulars of the deluvian story are less significant to me than the underlying reality of “the dreamtime” – a conception of the Australian aborigines – which is common to all “original” cultures: that the “realities” of our waking, conscious experience are impacted by, and occur in the context of a vast, shadowy, watery, surreal, indeed metaphysical reality (that is – if you can believe it – “more real” than “reality”).

During an angry outburst at his pastor stepfather, David Burton (Chamberlain’s character) accuses the pastor of explaining away the unexplainable, dismissing this enormously significant phenomenon or context (as the popular versions, or most visible proponents of many mainstream religions tend to)…sweeping The Great Mysteries under the carpet…dumbing down The Great Truths into more easily consumed tidbits (for the masses).

Playing to the most (or least) common denominator is the way of even the most ancient of civilizations – because we have a society to maintain (after all) – but the outlyers, the visionaries, often the artists, mystics of a community, tend to carry the burden of esoteric knowledge…as does Burton (increasingly)…over the course of this movie.

There is talk of how “Westerners” (ie. white Europeans on whichever continent) have lost touch with their dreams, and are limited to a more rigid, tangible perception of reality – as evidenced by the opening arguments of the Prosecution – and represented as well by the lawyer who’s spent more time working with aboriginal peoples (than Burton).

Apparently, the area of study “Metaphysics” once included efforts to understand patterns and meaning – not only in the Spiritual world, but also in the physical world – till it was increasingly banished to the fringe…once “proper” Science (with it’s exclusive focus on the results of reproducible experimentation) came of age, a mere few hundred years ago.

hominid_graph

 

Our history spans far longer – with our own human lineage dating back 3-5 million years – and the first apes (leading to “us”) leaving the forest about 10 million years before that.

 

 

modern_human_family_treeModern humans (Homo Sapiens Sapiens) only took current form – originally alongside the larger brain-capacity Neanderthals (with whom I have an intrinsic affinity) – 100,000 years ago.

human routes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking a 25 year (low-end) average life expectancy, or generational period, that’s 4,000 generations we’ve been through – just as we are now – leading up to the present…with a handful of generations going back to Slavery…and even less since the advent of electricity, lighting, universal plumbing, cars (never mind computers)!

This modern world (and mentality) – which we consider the benchmark of “what is” – is really a thin veneer on a much deeper reality of the entire human (and pre-human) experience. Imagine all the dreams of every being, over the course of all time! Older civilizations (including small bands of isolated peoples) were/are in awe of this history, and appreciated the miracle of their having been brought forth – through the ages – by “the ancestors.”

A continuity of Natural Law – synthesized into Tribal Law – ruled long before there were secular courts…and it was meant to be respected and not broken…which in the case of the guy who dies early on in the movie, results in the meting out the maximum penalty of punishment. Interestingly, this is forgivable – even in Australian Law – if it can be demonstrated that the defendants are Tribal (and not merely “city” people). There is (oddly) a respect for at least one lingering aspect of the “first people’s” custom.

At one point, the more seasoned lawyer – in aboriginal matters – chides Burton for his patronizing, high brow (he was actually a tax and corporate lawyer up until then) idealization of the situation, scoffing at the idea that any Tribal people had indeed survived in the heart of Sydney (which of course, it had). Even the most profound understanding can exist in the least likely milieu.

This unlikely candidate to defend the accused murderers (Burton), is also enmeshed in their Dreamtime mythology – an actual “Mulkurul” incarnate – who in the end, finds a death/life mask of himself among the relics of an ancient, lighter complected race that came from the East (the Maya?) and were somehow involved in the foretelling, or even the bringing on of cyclical, cataclysmic tsunamis (great floods).

It’s a bit of a clunky jumble of cultures – but hey – isn’t that what our “melting pot” is all about? And it’s certainly a romp through the ages – where past, future, and present meld seamlessly – but what better blend could a New Age hipster hope for?

Now I don’t want to fall into romanticizing original cultures – as wonderful as they are – there are downsides all around (and I don’t pretend to believe that living 20,000 years ago was a walk in the park).

Likewise – though I see the paramount importance of recognizing a Natural Law whose violation is resulting in our own progressively harsh Judgement today, through climate change – I take issue with people projecting their own idiosyncratic, subjective comprehension of The Law with their own fabricated law (and imagining that it’s the ONLY law).

Herein lies the Trojan Horse of inter-religious animosity, and the subjugation of the individual to unquestioning adherence to some (often selective perspective on) whatever they’ve embraced as “The Law.”

We are all entitled to our own experience of The Golden Rule – both fortunately and unfortunately (because people often choose a self-serving interpretation of it) – and as serious as we take it (thinking of it as universally applicable), we still must recognize that our fellow co-habitants of the planet may have equal or opposite views (which they feel as self-righteous about).

Time and Nature will wash us all away, but that doesn’t make our existence – or the beliefs we hold – insignificant. As the Aboriginal (Native American…whichever longer standing culture you want to substitute into this sentence) – their ways and knowledge continue to have worth – so too does the mighty thread of Western “Civilization.”

It’s important to remember that before the Romans, and later, the Roman Catholic Church (note the continuity there) took over Europe, there were myriad languages and Pagan cultures thriving independently (hello: Stonehenge!).

Last Wave Chris n Rock

being a Crystal guy – I of course appreciate this passing of the sacred stone – emblematic on so many levels

As the movie shows, it’s false to consider even a straight laced English lawyer to be immune from having a tribal clan in his past (or present!). The Aboriginals know and accept this. Reality – particularly the Dreamtime – supersedes the superficial, and weaves together disparate elements into an impossibly rich and magnificent fabric of “true and complete” Reality…too complex for most people to grasp…and too wild for even the few to harness, completely.

I’d like to think Shamans, Healers, even Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers, and Garbage Men (indeed Mothers, Fathers, and Children of all stripes) – we all have the capacity to comprehend (or at least access) – the Great Mysteries…and each of us – in our own ways – have adapted to and “tamed” them to some degree, to serve our own purposes (and ideally, the betterment of others).

In closing – I’d like to thank the community that made “The Last Wave” possible – and gratefully pass it along, like Life itself, to the next generation…to love and to fear…to struggle with, and to try to make sense of (in whichever, small way).

Kyle w light beam

 

About the Author: Kyle Russell has been working with Crystals for 30 years, and considering Matters of Spirit for far longer (including other lifetimes). He mostly write about Crystals from the perspective of his modality Crystal Concentrics, which he teaches and uses through Meditations, Classes, Writing, Social Media, and via Individual Sessions. Russell also buys and sells Gems & Minerals through his http://www.PowerStoneCrystals.com site and at metaphysical Expos. You can reach him easily at Kyle@CrystalConcentrics.com.

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are Crystals un-Godly?

milky Calcite 'candle wax' cluster

milky Calcite ‘candle wax’ cluster

I was gonna name this Blog: “Are Crystals Godly?” and I know plenty of people I’m connected with (like on Facebook) who’d say “of course!” As mineral wonders of great beauty and energy (especially for those who go in for that sort of thing), how could you NOT think so?!

In fact, many of us would say crystals are hyper-Godly, being particularly representative of the divine.  They were formed without human intervention. They represent the creative and magnificently structured capabilities of nature (ie. the order of the universe). And they will endure – forever – so long as there is an earth (unless they’re ferried off the planet during its final stages).

It’s interesting to note that without interference (unlike with biological forms), crystals remain unchanged, without any particular need for maintenance or special care (unlike paintings). They do represent the Eternal, constancy, and equilibrium through change…what’s “on the other side” of our mutable experience…a bit like Nirvana.

not-for-sale personal power pieces

not-for-sale personal power pieces

But I was inspired to write this blog more based on a comment that I got to my Facebook post of personal pieces I’ve displayed at the Expos recently (see picture here, to the right).

One person says “Drool,” another says “Beautiful,” and still another says “Very nice collection.” My eyes stopped on reading the following: “Sad.healing is not in rocks.But only through the blood of Jesus” (verbatim).

My first reaction was to delete – or delete and ban – but something made me keep it, to contemplate. That first, defensive reaction was to say “we don’t need people raining on our parade here: it’s hard enough living in a skeptical, horrible world…without party poopers trying to invalidate what comforts we stumble upon.”

I let a few days pass, and then actually Replied: “I guess that means healing doesn’t come through human compassion, medical intervention, healthy living, or any other, of the other wonderful tools the Creator has made available to us…” which felt like a decent Reply – not based on feeling threatened – and fully acknowledging that all good things can fairly be said to originate from, and be gifts from G*d our use and appreciation.

composite logo for the concept of coexistance

composite logo for the concept of coexistance

How can you deny someone whatever methods they’ve found to experience and share Love (or Life force)? I respect the right of every Religion to use whatever means they believe in, to get to Heaven…but tromping on others (or their beliefs) does not seem like a reasonable (or fair) part of that road map.

In an ideal world, we should live and let live. Metaphysically oriented New Agers do sometimes use methods of escape to inform their experience of day to day living. But to the last, I would argue, their first hope is to better off their own reality and by some process, to also improve others’. Paganism attracts people who feel we got it wrong – as a civilization – once we latched on to the monotheistic religions…and that earlier cultures had something worth preserving, not denying.

Wicca, the Feminine, and the Elements

Wicca, the Feminine, and the Elements

Wicca has kept certain traditions alive, and there are innumerable other sects and devotions (not to mention the other major world religions: non-deistic Buddhism and polytheistic Hinduism) that explore Spirit without denigrating other beliefs – that acknowledge the natural as sacred (native religions, and animism) – and aren’t afraid to have the human coexist with the holy…or the profane frolic with the priestly.

My point – in closing – is twofold. First, that crystals – and we who enjoy them – in no way put down the religious. There’s no reason the other way ’round should be happening. And I fully recognize that reason often has no part to play for “the righteous.” But in a world where there is inescapable (and glorious) diversity, peace and civility demand a certain measure of it.

If applying the Golden Rule has any merit, then please do not do unto others as you would not have them to unto you. I, myself, am G*d-fearing (and loving!). I don’t see a conflict. Crystals in no way threaten the greatness or majesty of The Father, Mother, or whatever named or nameless entity you want to ascribe dominion of our reality to. To the contrary, I think they demonstrate the ingenuity and wonder of the universe’s tremendously innovative, and creative power.

spectacular clear Quartz

spectacular clear Quartz (un-enhanced image)

Secondly, in my post, I said nothing about healing. Though I could have, and perhaps will be doing so more often. On average, a tiny minority of my posts make any claims regarding the curative qualities of crystals. Not to say that they don’t have them – but I object to the ubiquitous literature making broad and sweeping prescriptions about what this and that stone will “do” or “is good for.”

My beef with much of the prevailing crystal lore is a topic for other writings, but my take home (or share-with-you) message from all of the above, is put the power back into yourself, let there be accessible forces in our midst. Don’t give up your own capacity for mastery – and perception of how things work – entirely to one set of religious dogmas.

Spirit presence among "the ancestors" cluster of African Smoky Quartz

Spirit presence among “the ancestors” – an impressive cluster of African Smoky Quartz

Empowerment is the key to personal and planetary healing. Indeed there is scriptural basis to believe that since the expulsion from Eden, the human journey G*d has set for us is one of Choice, and not slavish obedience to some destiny – more often set up by selfish earthlings – than by angels.

We all need to lend a hand in getting G*d’s work done. Whether we are atheistic or not, we should be open to, and embracing, of all the tools given to us to manifest Spirit. I, for one, am “sold” on the utility of crystals in this mission.

Why Rock and Why Now?

Why Rock…and Why Now?

To start with a Religious Tradition – since that’s most people’s “gateway drug” into (or away from!) Spirit – you might know (or want to know) that in Judaism, there is an annual celebration of The Trees. It’s called Tu B’Shvat…and yes, I’m talking about the actual “arbors” growing tall and green, particularly in the summer, and out of doors.

trees in autumn

Trees in Autumn (c/o Google Images).

If that’s acceptable, and Christians have adopted the pre-Christian tradition of creating a shrine with a pine at Christmas, then why shouldn’t there be an annual “turn-over” time for “The Stones,” or Rock? I’m not talking about bringing a cairn indoors (though I do take one specific New Hampshire smoky onto my porch at this point in the year). The idea is not necessarily to create a ritual or celebration for the occasion (though both are certainly in order!).

What I’m talking about is sensing and acknowledging a particular time of the year for its unique, transformative quality, and pairing that time period with the bedrock and craggy backdrop of our lives. Rock is beneath our feet, all around us in the hills, and above us in the highest mountain peaks.

Not to be spooky, but this recently snapped image of tombstones reminds me of how they're employed to signify the eternal memory of a gone soul, and yet the grander context - the eternal cliff behind them - bears testament to why we even choose grave stones to be remembered by...they'll always be around (photo by Kyle Russell).

I’m proposing that this begins within days of October 20th. Maybe that’s on account of my living in a place – New England – that’s truly witness to the 4 seasons. The harvest time is pretty much done, and Halloween (or All Souls Day) is nearly upon us.

The Pagans previously (and still) – as well as the Christians (in a secular capacity) mark a time when “the veil” is thin between the worlds, and spirits are to be pacified with treats (or offerings), lest they turn on (or trick) us. Hence: the festival of “trick or treat.”

Rock (yes, down to those small pebbles we trod on outdoors) predates every human imagination by innumerable eons. How can we pretend to be more important than them?

This vocanic plain in Galapagos symbolizes the original rock face of the planet, and being relatively "young" geologically, it shows - as do everything from earthquakes to tsunamis - that the earth is still in geological flux (photo by Kyle Russell).

I don’t mean to anthropomorphize – as if the hills had eyes – but I’m simply trying to attempt to identify the strata of rock as a whole to be a witness, an entity considerable in and of itself, as materially AND spiritually significant.  If time were a test of meaning, value and significance, surely our paltry spot on the historical time line would sideline us as being irrelevant, except, perhaps, for our unusual capacity (as a species) to bring the planet to its untimely (and undeserved) demise.

I realize the human race has MANY other redeeming qualities, which make it’s relative newness to the scene pale by comparison with the wonders the human race is capable of. Our capacity for love, thought, language, and compassion are paramount. But that’s not my focus here.

...from an aptly named emporium's entryway (photo by Kyle Russell).

As you can see from the title of this posting, I ask the question: Why Rock? And the name of this Blog? It’s Crystal Concentric. It’s a long story, but I’ve become a bit of a rock hound, and more than that, have been exposed to the notion (eegads!) of “Crystal Healing.” Which means, for the purpose of this particular “chapter” of my expression, that I take rock more seriously than merely as something to walk over.

More to come on the “Why Rock?” but now for some more on “Why Now?” The latter is timely (necessarily), the former is timeless. If time is the current moment, every other moment – past and future – partakes of the timeless.

As in the case with the ground itself (which is a blending of organic – dead, previously living matter – and the inorganic worlds), the first frost is “felt” deeply everywhere the Mercury dips down towards freezing. It’s a logical, scientifically measurable happenstance. Earth and stone get colder when the sun shines less on them. They “feel” different, even to our touch.

Plant growth is halted by the oncoming season - the leaves turn read - only the rock face stays constant (photo by Kyle Russell).

The longest day has passed and daylight is waning. No longer is stone a repository of the Sun’s heat (even during the day). It’s every mammal for itself – reptiles and fish will go dormant – many birds fly South. The leaves fall, and most plants will withdraw energetically into themselves. The stone – which remains (as it always has) – is the enduring foundation of the world. Through all the seasons, though it’s eroding gradually, it remains a constant nonetheless.

From a macro perspective, the world itself is an orbiting rock, a great big stone with a molten core, rotating around an even bigger, all-molten fireball of elements. Yet our planet is blue from afar, holding water on its surface. The water is shared in a give and take with the atmosphere. Life is safe (or in any case IS) here. As far as we know (scientifically), this is the only spot in the cosmos capable of hosting Life. That would make this great big rock we live on (and all its component pieces) a kind of significant phenomenon, well worthy of note.

Earth from Space (c/o Google Images).

I heard an interview on NPR with the author (Leslie Marmon) of  “The Turquoise Ledge,” and she mentioned the possibility that extraterrestrial life might have evolved differently elsewhere, choosing to lodge itself in mineral form instead of organically (to thus be more hearty over time and distances), but we wouldn’t think to look there (in stones) for signs of intelligence). Yet don’t we keep time with the steady vibration of quartz? And aren’t all computer components made up of earthly extracts?

Truly, the chance of there being extraterrestrial life is much higher than the likelihood of there NOT being extraterrestrial life (given the number of suns, planets, and galaxies out there). But the power of stones does not rely on the possibility of there being extraterrestrial, or perhaps even terrestrial intelligence lodged inside them. Nor does it rely on the perception of G*d (however defined) – or any holy books – to ascribe value or meaning to it. We hold THESE truths to be self-evident.

Goddess in Stone at Kripalu Institute (photo by Kyle Russell).

If G*d created us in “his,” “her,” or “it’s image,” then surely stone has got to be a primary key to that reflection.

The mere fact of the earth’s rocky crust being the foundation of everything we see and know, even as we gaze out towards the heavens, is intrinsically meaningful (and I would argue: valuable + spiritually salient).

The food we eat is organic, to be sure, but chock full of vitamins and minerals, which are technically non-living elements. All that is can be broken down to these elements – excepting spirit, our sense of meaning, G*d – and the energies that move the atoms within and betwixt one another.

Where do we draw the line between the fixed and the moving – the Creator and the created – the animate and the inanimate? Why is a galloping horse alive and the wind is not? That is not really a question for this (semi-)“treatise,” but it’s a valid one nonetheless, and one worth at least posing here (although just in passing).

Let us come back to “civilization” for a moment. Where does oil come from, all plastics, precious metals, gems and jewelry…things that make the world economy go round and round (and surround our artificial lives in nearly every way)? The earth, that’s where they come from.

What is the Lost City of the Inka if not a montage of painstakingly carved and laid stones (photo by Kyle Russell).

And what is the hardest, most solid, most eternal concretization of the earth’s image (or identity)? It’s stone.

Coming back again to society, where do we live? Figments of our imagination: architectural concepts are realized with iron beams, poured concrete particulates, hewn cliffs and quarries made habitable. The greatest skyscrapers and cathedrals are made of what?

What is the remaining vestige, for all to see, of the great pyramids, the Maya, even the Temple of Solomon…all are stone, all are rock.

So without getting into any additional spiritual conversation or overlays – discussing the potential personal utility of “power stones” to effect any kind of “change” in our lives – let us end this first communication by resting our case: that rock is worthy of a second look, not to be taken for granted, and certainly not to be trifled with.