New: for Rob Jones who contacted me to say "thank you for all the amazing insights I got by reading the Thread of Awareness and Log of the Moria websites." click on the photos to thread through time 25 years from this log entry, to see memory bubbles of Baie de Prony.
"This has got to be one of the most special places in the world" Freddy says in the calm summer afternoon. The sky and mountains are mirrored in the upper reaches of the Baie de Prony. The birds ashore are celebrating the day at the top of their little lungs.
"It is now, but if we were here in the 1870's there would be the sound of the French guards and their prisoners chopping down all the trees to provide the wood to build Noumea.
If we were here at the turn of the century we would have heard the prisoners digging out the chrome and cobalt, chugging and tooting along in their little ore trains." I sip the ice cold Number One beer out of the bottle.
"The Moira would be covered in soot from all the fires," Freddy waves her hand at the clear panorama of the bay. The miners used the remaining trees to make railway ties. Then they used the smaller brush for fuel for the cute little steam locomotives. The sparks from the locomotives eventually set fire to the whole southern end of New Caledonia.
"In the fifties and sixties the Aussies were busily strip mining three million tons of iron ore from these hills. Think what that must have sounded like. Bulldozers, trucks, ships, roaring, clanking and bashing about people shouting to each other." From where we are sitting we can see the red open wounds where the miners stripped the soil from the land. Nothing grows there now, the old mines look like a Martian landscape. The last of the ships left here in September 1968, taking the last of the people with them. Now the old mining village is a ghost town.
"Must have been horrible to see it and hear it all happening." Freddy finishes the last of her glass of beer, while we both sit there listening to the birds, looking out over the calm, empty anchorage.
"You know where we are?" she says suddenly, like she has discovered we are not where we thought we were.
"We're in a fold in time."
"Think you're right. In twenty years this place will be crawling with people again. Resorts, houses. Maybe even another mining operation."
This morning we zoomed over the mirror surface of the bay, over patches of ghostly blue white thickets of Acropora coral, and into a mangrove estuary. The amazing thing was that the water in the estuary was clear. Biologists believe that estuaries are supposed to be muddy, and the water turbid. But not the water in the estuary here. We could see schools of saltwater fish happily swimming along below the surface layer of clear river water.
We took the Avon right up the river to a lovely waterfall tumbling over black rocks, tied it up to an old rock wall built by prisoners last century, and walked along a red clay-like road made by the miners in the forties. We walked the whole length of the river, right out of the valley and stood there looking out at a panorama devoid of humanity.
"I don't think we have ever been anywhere where we could stand there and look out over a watershed of a river and not see humanity." I muse as Walter Cat casually walks over me headed for Freddy.
"A healing experience," Walter flops down on her lap, reaching his arms up around her neck and touching noses with her. "He likes it here too. Maybe because of all the birds ashore. Did you see how tiny some of them are? Like little feathery airborne mice. Teeny little feet. Walter would love one, wouldn't you monster cat?"
Despite the obvious erosion from the old mining the river runs crystal clear over green jadeite and gold colored rocks. Just having access to a clean, clear river without humans mucking it all up is something special. "You know, there are damn few rivers anywhere in the tropics, and especially in the Pacific Islands, that are not polluted, filled with silt, and encrusted with people."
At dawn we load up the Avon with towels, a picnic breakfast, laundry and running shoes and head back to the river. Freddy wants to play in the fresh water, I want to go for a run. We tie up to a tree below the waterfall and walk along the river until we find a beautiful little pool made of jadeite. A little waterfall jets from the pool and lands in a smaller basin perfect for sitting in to get a water massage. I leave Freddy setting up and stripping down and head up the red road, moving fast.
The road is rough, with rounded rubble and rocks. I concentrate on where I put my feet as I run up a hill. In a few minutes I am breathing hard and my heart is pumping at a comfortable almost full throttle. I keep it going at that speed, thinking, as I walk and run, of The Caldron.
Last night I asked the I Ching if the Cultural Association that Yves has planned will help resolve the cultural problems developing here in New Caledonia. What I was thinking of as I asked the question was tracking. Seeking different pathways to respond to environmetal clues. The I Ching answered with the hexagram 50. Ting, the Caldron.
A Ting is a ritual vessel used by the ancient Chinese in ceremonies offering sacrifice to God. The I Ching says, "Here we see civilization as it reaches its culmination in religion." The Image is: "Fire over wood. Thus the superior man consolidates his fate by making his position correct." (It was astonishingly right but I didn't know why at the time). The host always served honored guests from the ting. The hexagram has to do with nourishing - the wood serving as nourishment for the flame - the spirit. "All that is visible must grow beyond itself, extend into the realm of the invisible. Thereby it receives its true consecration and clarity and takes firm root in the cosmic order."
The I Ching also says, "if he succeeds in assigning the right place to life and to fate, thus bringing the two into harmony, he puts his fate on a firm footing. These words contain hints about the fostering of life as handed on by oral tradition in the secret teachings of Chinese yoga."
I always pay attention when someone mentions the words hints and secrets.
So I run along the old mining road on this bright sunshiny day, trying to assign the right place to life and fate and stay on a firm footing on very uneven ground. The Caldron and the River, Place and alignment all blend into a most alluring pathway. I decide to just go where it leads and play a mind game with the Cauldron.
I mentally view myself running down the road and move my viewpoint up, seeing myself from above, arms swinging, legs churning, racing along by the river.
I become aware of the fact that I am made mostly of water. It is almost as if a small chunk of the sea was running down the road. Then I begin to visualize the whole water cycle. The evaporation of the water from the sea, the rain on the land, the water coursing down the river (nice watery sound goes well with this), the estuary, the sea, and back to the land via the air. What I do is to visualize this process with myself - and awareness - embedded in the cycle as the water also flows through me.
I feel the wind as it blows over my skin. I contact the wind, become the wind, move with it through the valley. I see the wind moving through the woods. This heightens the feeling of the wind on my skin. I contact the wind, become the wind blowing over the wood.
I feel the wood (I stop and put my hand on the trunk of a small tree and feel the wood). The wind blows over the wood. I contact the wood - mentally feeling my own body, my churning flux of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen, as the wood. I become the wood and feel myself as the wind blowing over and through myself as the wood. This sensation and awareness generates a remarkable new awareness.
The wind ignites a fire. The fire is the spirit of life burning the wood (metabolism as the oxygen from the wind is burned in my mitochondria). I feel the fire - feel the spirit burning from the merging of the wood and the wind, rising upwards. Now I can see the spirit rising up in the trees and plants all around me like green flames fanned into life by the wind. I rush past them, a blend of wind and wood and fire. The fire heats the caldron.
I feel the caldron. It is metal. The fire heats the metal. The metal, in Chinese thought, is creativity. It is man- (mind)-made. I contact the cauldron, become the cauldron. I am the creativity of mind heated by the spirit of life, consuming the wood, fueled by the wind.
The cauldron heats the water within it.
The water begins to boil. When the water boils it creates something brand new and different. Steam that forms as bubbles. The steam rises to the surface of the water and bursts out and upwards into the sky, leaving the caldron of creativity. This is the moment of birth - of new ideas, of myself, of all life.
Contact the moment of birth, emerging from creation. The thoughts of becoming condense into water and flow down over the mountain of past thoughts, joining other tributaries to become a mighty river flowing downwards through time. It is the thread of awareness in chaos! I see it as the river flowing - with my own being immersed in it, racing downstream past the rocks and shores of history.
Now I am leaping from rock to rock as I cross a tributary to the river. I stop and splash some of the clear cool water over myself to enhance the moving meditation. Then I run again, alongside of the river, leaping from rock to rock. But I see myself as water running alongside of itself. A creature made of water emerged from its cauldron of creation (the sea) so long ago to breathe air and walk on the surface of the land.
I flow with the river of time, moving through the landscape of becoming as mind awakening from the cauldron until I pass at last into the estuary and out into the vast magic sea from whence I began.
I stand now on the top of a mountain overlooking the whole watershed. A part of sea uplifted by creativity to be aware of itself as it moves through its cycles of becoming.
I see an internal panorama and explore it - tentatively at first - then with full abandon as I decide that this is what the caldron is offering this morning in the way of spiritual nourishment. I see:
A matrix overlaid on the four interlocked elements of reality - to be, to change, to have direction, creating by their intercommunications - the observer.
The matrix is represented by movement as the observer aligns itself with fate.
To be is the direction forward or away as elements and energy flow into and out of the focus of our being.
To change is up and down as we adjust our position relative to other beings in our environment, dominating or submitting to control systems.
To have direction is right or left as we track our needs.
The observer is the afterimage that carries us through time.
We develop strategies to deal with these layers of becoming.
To and from, happens during the first three years following birth. During these years we learn to get what we are attracted to (towards) or get away from what we fear (away). We learn these stragegies as an infant reaching for the breast, retreating from lonelyness. We are totally absorbed in pulling in what we want and pushing away what we fear.
Up and down, begins at about age 4 and lasts until age 10. During this interval we learn about up and down. I am bigger than you. You are bigger than me. Our basic strategies for dealing with hirearchies impint on our minds as we struggle with where we fit in the vertical scheme of human behavior. It is here we are imprinted with our strategies and awareness of our place in the natural scheme of the planet. Biologists and environmentalists begin their careers between the ages of 4 and 8 when they suddenly look beyond their immediate wants and fears to see a larger world and are fascinated by "nature" for the first time.
Left and Right starts in the teen years. Am I doing this right? Do my friends like me? Which way should I go with this? Left and right decisions as we navigate the forks in the road that carry us through the social monuments of our villages, towns and cities.
Begins with maturity. For better or worse, we have developed our strategies to get what we want, avoid what we fear (to and from), we know our place in the hirearchy of society (up and down), have dealt with the complex problems of social decisions (left or right). The next dimention of conquest is time. In this phase we strive to extend our being through time. By having children, building structures, writing books, painting pictures, making music, doing something creative or heroic.
In times of stress, when we want something or fear something we revert to the strategies learned when an infant. If our position in a hirearchy is at risk we use strategies developed when we were between 4 and 10 years old. In a complex social dilemma we rely on our teenage behavior to get us on the right path. In our passage through time we are on our own.
There is another overlay. Standing here on the top of a magic mountain at the focus of the Baie du Prony on the Southeast tip of New Caledonia, I see another layer of four control systems built on those of our everyday lives.
Our attraction and fear of this higher level of awareness. We are attracted to or repelled by religion - metaphysics of all kinds. We move towards or away from our higher self, God, Jesus (the gateway to this realm for those who open their hearts to him), guardians of light, even mother nature. It hardly matters what attraction we use, so long as it acts as a mind-lens to focus our awareness on this higher level of awareness. When we move towards this higher level we are like an infant learning how to find its mother's milk or learning how to move away from fear and lonelyness.
Once in this higher level of awareness, we begin the process of learning how to move up and down through the layers of awareness. We establish strategies to move our focus up and down the rungs of awareness from our basic biological self through our human awareness to the higher levels of consciousness, and back again, seeing the networks of control systems that impact each of these levels more and more clearly each time we do it.
This opens the next phase of decision-making. The questions we ask ourselves and others about how the higher levels of awareness might be used. Our decisions deal not just with our own personal lives, but with the lives of everyone, everywhere.
Is again through time. In this phase we discover and become the Thread of Awareness in Chaos, our awareness reaching back through the learning of all the molecular DNA in our cells - memory patterns that have lived since life began billions of years ago - and ahead into the future as shadowy projections of becoming on the trajectory of life.
I touch the thread of awareness that weaves me from the wind, the wood, the cauldron, the steam, the water and the sea and become the mountain, the river, the sea. And by their intercommunication, I am.
As predicted in this log entry, there is now an enormous strip mining operation and nickel processing plant closing the fold in time on the Baie de Prony. We call it Mordor and it truly is an attack on Middle Earth. The area around the anchorage, including the watersheds of the 5 small rivers that enter the Baie de Carenage, is still gloriously free of human habitation and disturbance and retains the sense of wilderness and beauty described in this log from the Moira. But the land has already been leased for strip mining so the memory bubbles on 360Cities.net and Google Earth will one day soon be all that remains.
Someday, long after you and I are gone, the fold will open again. If there is anyone still around to see it, perhaps they will understand that the fold in time was a small interval in the life of our planet when Man opened the earth to give birth a new level of becoming.
And if anyone is still around to see it, I truly hope they understand what the new becoming was all about and they can enjoy the thrill of experiencing the Cauldron described in this log entry as much as I did. If you want to come to New Caledonia and see it now - before the mining comes this way - download a copy of the Guide to New Caledonia and book your reservations. Or if you have a yacht, download a copy of the Cruising Guide to New Caledonia and come enjoy this wilderness while it lasts.