Posted by: Bruce Proctor | June 29, 2008

Day 3: Wyoming/Vernal photo trip: magic

Wed, late morning, tailgate, coffee, warming sun, scarf and cap. Flaming Gorge is below me barely unseen through the junipers. Wind cuts like ghosts through the juniper thick around me, tossing with glee the unsuspecting unfastened.

This has been a time of great magic, but I don’t quite know when it started.

Say last night, in my tent here, reading a passage of Seth’s “Mass Events” and the material just blew me away. It was the most fascinating stuff I think I ever read in my life. Many facets and ramifications, but the central point is that the physical world and our experience is created by our myths, great underlying structures of meaning that inspire and impel us into being. I saw that all my experience, including dreams and imaginings, have importance in the underlying, unmanifest realm Seth calls “Framework 2”, which leads to physical manifestation.

So I wake early feeling quite sick, and say, “I need to sleep in!” Instead of sunshine, I hear a ticking on my tent. Finally, I look out to discover tiny white pellets of ice peppering everything. So the world agrees with me in no uncertain terms: “Stay in bed!” Rain would have worried me whether the tent would handle it. This stuff is dry, does nothing.

So I put on a shamanic drumming tape, and as my consciousness shifts, my physical pain lessens, becomes insignificant. I soon fall deeply asleep, getting just what I needed, hoped for, really out of it.

A dream, maybe earlier. I was homeless, found a big, sprawling old, single story place from 3 generations back, say. Abandoned long ago, but still solid, sound. I took over a room. There were clues about the old, wealthy family that had lived there, an inventor grandfather, others.

One day, the current generation arrives to take it back and renovate it! I greet the father, expecting harsh words. But we’re walking down the street nearby, and he bursts into sobs about the son my age who had died. Maybe I was accepted in his place, somewhat? Even more amazing, a piece his daughter had written, I’d seen before they came. It was brilliant. There was one sentence that was very intricate and subtle, and she’d just barely missed a word tense or nuance. She had shown up with her father, mid-twenties, thin, long black hair, a bit exotic face, as beautiful as any woman I’d ever seen. With her, I mentioned her written piece, we talked. Perhaps it was our next meeting. I looked at her, and something melted inside me, I knew something. “I know this is way out of line, to be so early, but let’s get married!” A sense not only of destiny together, but also of overwhelming love for her I’d never remotely felt for anyone before.

I woke filled with this emotion, and let it linger. The Seth reading earlier clued me in that this dream wasn’t just something to be discarded, but rather it pointed more to the foundation of my very soul– because of the depth of emotion and desire, of its centrality to my soul– than so much of my physical life.

Late morning, no sun, but I felt much better and was ready to rise. As I poked out, the sun came out, like magic. Not only that, but there was an almost clear view of Flaming Gorge below me, a classic shot. Tripod, camera, the clouds scudding over the landscape, my hands freezing in the cold wind. I moved above the stand of scrub trees into a sage plain, and whole new vistas of ridges and cuestas and mountains with overnight snow came into view. The cloud shadows raced over the land. I photographed. This was magic, too, because it was late in the morning for photographic light, and this stuff was exquisite.

What Seth was saying is that there is an intimate connection between us and our world, and it can be accessed, and it can be called magic. The subjective and objective worlds are intimately involved, through desire, curiosity, and appreciation.

Why should the sleet come at that time? The sun at the moment I leave the tent? The photographs so late in the morning?

Science may say that it’s blind chance. But what if the nature of reality is that the world and I are not separate, that these ideas of self and other create the sense of separation, that what the world and I really are are different aspects of a single unity, a unity which can be accessed, and experienced? Then there is a whole dimension of unsuspected majesty to life which plays out like a suddenly-perceived, often-glimpsed symphony through daily life.

And, really: why else photograph, unless there’s magic?!

So, like last evening, thunderstorms lowering, a few drops splashing, falling shrouds in the distance, me searching for a campsite. I found one here, east of Flaming Gorge. It was cold. Set the tent up in a light steady drizzle-which usually means it’ll stick around-had the time to stake it out for a tough night.

Then, as a game, I imagined a bubble over me, a wide bubble, where no rain or snow would fall. The drizzle let up, and I had no further precipitation until the light sleet the next morning. More than that, the deep cold I started with and which I imagined would deepen to well below freezing by morning, unexpectedly let up, and the temperature all night long was almost balmy. Are chance and luck the same thing? Which is which?

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