Lessons from the River - On Observing
edited: Sunday, September 30, 2007
By Regis Auffray
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Sunday, September 30, 2007
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Photos (by me) of the river in question. Article by Sha'Tara.
Lessons from the River - On Observing
[voice from the Other Side - Sha'Tara]
I have the power to curse
I have the power to bless
I have the greater power to choose
Which shall it be?
I would never curse myself
therefore I chose not to curse at all
I would always bless myself
therefore I chose to bless all...
[Chronicles of the WindWalkers]
The following is an observation, or part of a series of observations.
As I look over the vast expanses of sand, gravel, drying mud and shrubs from which the River has withdrawn more than usual due to this summer's drought, I notice how much has changed here over the years. Gone are the miles of smooth, naked sand dunes that graced the flats, washed away and replaced by mounds of muddy gravel covered in horsetails, coarse grasses, willows and cottonwoods. New streams have cut channels away from the main River, creating "instant" islands surrounded by rapidly flowing waters. So now there is new music to listen to, besides the wind.
This change reminds me that observing a thing changes a thing. And this brings me into the realm of so-called miracles - those happenings that have no natural explanations yet appear real by observation.
In the first Star Wars movie series, Luke Skywalker finds the old Jedi master Yoda on some swampy, watery world. As luck would have it, his X-wing fighter sinks in a swamp. Yoda teaches Luke the power of thought by lifting the machine from the swamp with the wave of his hand after Luke had given up.
"I tried" he said. "I can't do it." And Yoda replies, "There is no try. Do, or do not."
Observing a thing is a very difficult thing to do. Being a spectator has nothing to do with observation. We are not looking at something but interacting with it with our spirit-mind-heart. When we observe, we engage all our thinking faculties with the observed. We remain focused and committed to the observation until it yields whatever results we hoped for, or until we are satisfied it will not.
Observing would be hard enough if we were alone. But obviously we are not the only observers of reality! Most times, reality does not respond to our desires. That's not because reality can't be changed. Reality lives for change! But if we observe unaware, we do not see we are pitting our observations against those of others who may have a serious stake in preventing the change we are intending, or creating change that blocks our lesser attempts. It would seem that the change-agents of Earth are still very much at the apprentice stage!
Left to its own ways, reality will follow a kind of chaos/order/chaos/back to order pattern we call nature. A powerful observer can change the nature of things; can break their pattern and create new ones. A powerful observer not only changes a thing observed, but re-shapes it according to some thought.
Over the decades I spent canoeing, kayaking and walking the changing courses and shores of the River I seldom spent time engaging her changes in that way. I accepted them and adapted to them, mostly unaware I had the power to mould the change. Even now, knowing I do, I haven't decided whether I want to get involved. Selfishly, yes, I'd like to see the dunes return. But what does the River want? Need? Is this new face her way of returning to another time, shaking off the legacy of strip logging; of mining and farming and the cancerous spread of roadways and cities that forced so much negative change upon the waterways of this beautiful land?
On the subject of observation, there is one other point to consider: while we are absorbed observing a thing, a process, it is good to remember that we too are being observed by someone/something else with a mind of its own whose purpose may well be diametrically opposite to ours; may even be injurious. That we may be "changed" by such observation can be easily verified: how many times have we done things which our own nature would normally condemn in others for which we had to invent some lame justification? How many times have we encountered problems of circumstance or health that have no natural or logical explanation?
Remember, "As below, so above." Only the very foolish would believe that whatever lies outside their ken is serendipitous. If we are not self-empowered and utterly detached we are always open to being moved, rarely to some great purpose; more often forced into situations detrimental to ourselves, loved ones and environment. This we see everyday.
When I go out on the River it is usually in a passive state. I know the Watchers are out here and that I am being observed. I know also that such observation has caused great change in me simply because I invite it. I feel safe in allowing these forces to mould me, trusting the unassailable memories of thousands of years of past experiences or "past lives."
Where is the "good" in all of this? Where is the "bad"? Life is neither. From the River I have learned to see life as a non-competitive power struggle. Change is both cause and effect of this endless struggle. Each struggle is a full-fledged "fairy tale" from which one must honestly remove the word "happily" in the closing line to read... "and they live ever after." Another way of putting it is that life is an endless series of sequels. And as we know so well from movies, sequels often leave much to be desired when compared to an original work... How do we ensure our sequel will be of a higher caliber?
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|Reviewed by Tinka Boukes
|A true lesson within this write...thank you dear one!!
|Reviewed by chris stienstra
|Perhaps the sequel will be of higher caliber as we let it happen and continue to "observe", allowing earth's destiny to unfold while knowing we are a part of this evolutionary process, good or bad.
My very best to you this day
Thank you for this one....
|Reviewed by Karen Palumbo
|This is a very fascinating article and I love the photographs. I do understand most of what you describe in this piece, but I have always found that some things are beyond mankind and in the hands of God himself in conjuction with the needs of mother earth. Nothing remais the same, all is ever evolving. Many of the problems occur when we assume as mankind that we can stop, delay or change the inevitable. Terrific write....
|Reviewed by Missy Cross
|Reg - If one could equate reading to observation, your words are a similar chage agent, in and of themselves. Thank you for this deep and moving insight through the rapids of spirit. All the best to you. Missy|
|Reviewed by D Johnson
|Reg, all I can do is echo what others have already said. This, like many of your writes comes from a deep and spiritual place.
|Reviewed by Kathy Armijo
|One of my favorite pastimes is “people watching.” There is a lot to be gained through observation – my reality compared to “their” reality. My people watching parallels your river watching [I think] in that change is inevitable – is this change the result of people affecting nature/people, or nature/people influencing people? It is my opinion, that how we handle change is what makes us contributors or hinderers of growth. In the final analysis, we [each one of us] will have to answer to God for what we did or didn’t do.
Reg, this is an extremely thought-provoking article. Based on what you’ve written, I would speculate that we think alike on how we view life.
|Reviewed by Randall Barfield
|Beautifully written, enchanting and spooky at the same time. Spooky that 'watchers' might have injurious intents/thoughts in mind for you! Enchanting that other 'watchers' mould you positively, etc., from their thousands of years of experience, of moving people and things... Hard to top this one. Cheers|
|Reviewed by M.Bennett Hooper (Mikii)
|Regis this is simply beautiful both the combination of words and pictures. I envy your vision but praise you for sharing. Luvya <Mikii>|
|Reviewed by Georg Mateos
|Say the river, "I have the power to curse, I have the power to bless..." "...there is no try, or do, or not do..." "bad or good..." we should hear the Ol'man's river that keep rolling, same thoughts...same philosophy.
|Reviewed by George Thompson
|Well written. If we know ourselves--truly--we can move mountains.
|Reviewed by Walt Hardester
|Any one who Quotes Yoda is ok by me Reg.
"Many things seeing, you will.....changing them, you will not."
|Reviewed by Morning Star
|We all have the power to chose and a mind of our own
We just need to learn from the lessons of life
But this is a very good question
How do we ensure our sequel will be of a higher caliber?
Well Reg your article gave this reader lots to ponder
You always have very interesting
Philosophical article of rights and wrongs
Love Peace and many hugssss....Yolie
|Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner
Beautiful photographs, first of all, the River, always changing, always flowing. Deeply thought provoking, excellently penned.
(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
|Reviewed by Ann Marquette
|Wow! very deep :-) powerful thoughts, and interesting.
WE do have power of mind, if only we can learn to use it for good.
|Reviewed by Karen Vanderlaan
|an intricate and intelligent write-much to consider-i intend to copy and re-read-thank you|
|Reviewed by - - - - - TRASK
|When That River Ends (By (God)It Will...
Where Was All Good (Done) In This Life,i.e. Sadly You (All) Are Going To Find Out How Bad (Holy Hell) It(Really) Is...
You're Consistent Regis...
|Reviewed by Kimmy Van Kooten
|How do we ensure our sequel will be of a higher caliber?
By Faith and Faith alone!
I really feel your mind digging, searching, wondering, questioning...with changes before our eyes, a blink can create surprise!
Love and Peace~
|Reviewed by Leland Waldrip
|I enjoyed this piece very much, Regis. Beautiful photos, accompanied by great observations. It occurs to me to wonder if the changes to the river you describe could be snapshots of a long cycle or if they represent changes we humans have made to the land the river drains that manifest themselves in the typse of changes you observed. If it's the latter, then the changes effected by your observations are probably insignificant in comparison.
|Reviewed by John Leko
|...listening to lessons in your words...I am a firm believer in the laws of cause and effect.
wonderful write Regis...
|Reviewed by Amber Moonstone
|Reg, You pose a very important question.
"How do we ensure our sequel will be of a higher caliber?"
One would hope that enlightened people who will make a difference, will be able to change the way our world exists in the near future and in the distant future. I pray that I am alive to see this change take place. We are destined to make a difference, it is our calling and we must enter the new age with the proper equipment of emotional, physical and universal light and energy.
Wow, you made me go deep inside for this answer.
As usual I just love your depth and amazing lightness.
Peace, love, and Light,
|Reviewed by Susan de Vegter
|The view from your pen is incredible and the back up og the beautiful photographs makes it the more credible. Awesome!
|Reviewed by Victoria's Poetry & Voices of Muse
|The Majestic Beauty Of Your Words Are Soothing & Welcoming In Complimenting The Breathtaking Photo's!!! Nearly exact....are you in a tree? Or on your balcony? Your Front Porch? What A Magnificent View & Feelings of Acceptance & Serenity.....A Visual Blessing With Meaning & Substance Is How I Felt
Reality Does Know Its Own Purpose & Direction.
Love & Hugs
|Reviewed by L Hippler
|Regis, I can sense your strong identification with the river and with nature in general. (Great photos too.)
|Reviewed by Jeanette Cooper
|A wonderful philosophical write about the merits, pros and cons of observation.
One sentence caught my attention: "We remain focused and committed to the observation until it yields whatever results we hoped for, or until we are satisfied it will not."
This statement seems to confirm the concept that man is individualist inasmuch as his perception is much like a fingerprint--no one else has one just like him; thus, what he observes and what he gains from his observation will be different from anyone else. (This imposes a case for linguistics and communication.)
Nice job, Regis.
|Reviewed by Crystal-Rain Love
|You always take the most beautiful pictures, Regis!|
|Reviewed by Ron (sketchman) Axelson
|Your articles are really wise and informative.
Yes happily should stay out.
Did I serve my purpose? Should I serve a purpose.
My purpose is to be kind and help others plus myself.
Anymore I don't help those who don't help themselves.
Thanks for your insight Regis....
|Reviewed by Ann Scarborough
|We are simply caretakers here for a little while. Mother Earth will have her way regarless of our wants. Let her direct the sequel and higher caliber it will be!!
Wonderful write Regis.