Morning. I am stood at the bottom of an entire massif that stretches in-between me, in both directions eternally. Intrinsically in my mind I consider what I’m seeing instead to be a whole mountain (as humans we have separated mountain into m o u n t a i n s through names yet they are one). I am now about to climb mountain. Not far from where I am stood is a Loch, created from the last Ice Age. And beside me as I’m walking, a mixed woodland of species tangled like a labyrinth.
In order to get here, I have walked through a village that is surrounded and shielded by mountain. Everywhere from what the eye can see draws you in. Towards the mountain’s textured and overlapping peaks, each peak offering you a pillow in which to lay your head. Cushioned clouds enwrap themselves around each snowy peak.
I feel my body to be barely awake, as I begin following a man-made track, leading me I hope to a summit. I am walking steadily through a Coniferous plantation, a few Birch trees appearing around each bend. I feel tired, unmotivated and stop quickly to refuel, sitting on a large rock. Between the straight lined planted Conifers, I notice small streams pushing themselves through each gap, as they continue travelling down towards the Loch. Often, rocks carried in streams begin their journey from the top of mountain, and where they will go? Everything in Nature is a continuous rejuvenating process in which to support life eternally.
On reaching the summit, I found to my surprise that the mountain was pushed back. I quickly realised that my perspective of looking at the mountain from the village was completely different than before you entered into mountain. Distances, it appears, can never reveal actual length. In doing so, humans would need eyes that could zoom into every space. The further up I go, the skin of the mountain is continuously being revealed to me, forever changing in shape and pattern. In front of me is a long ascending hill of grazing pasture, sheep with their baby lambs are visible in every direction. Sheep or rock? I then looked behind me, and found a messy plantation. Conifers ready to fall off the cliff edge alongside their dried up stumps. I climb over a tall fence, designed to stop deer jumping over into Wilderness. Each mountain has its own name, including the name of the ridge, why isn’t one name enough. I head towards the unknown.
Beneath my feet the Earth is dry and brittle. There is too much grazing here and very little of the original flora and fauna that once lived here. Wiped out to make way for today’s sheep that have no real market value. I’m now looking at a crack within the Earth. I arrive at what is called in geological terms: a youthful stream. I want to bathe and become it. I discovered it too, has a name, stream Gypsy. I edge closer to its eternal sound.
I look into the stream in search of its beginning. I step into stream.
Standing now in stream
in the shape of steps
skeletal structures of animals
jewelled remains of an ancient palace
not a man-made palace
My mind, is as clear as the water I’m looking into rocks, pebbles and sediment. Stream, where are you taking me? Silver not gold shined from the rocks, revealing surfaces. I imagine that on the day of our unity with Nature, that our bodies, mind and spirit will be of this colour.
Lucent as the flowing stream beside me. Pushing ahead, I follow stream all the way to the top of mountain. The higher up I go through the spring snowfall, the more I am approaching dream.
And the more I kept walking through the melody of the snow fall, again the more I felt I was being transcended further. Again the colour of our unity, the eternity of body, mind, and spirit was of everything seen, as I slowly became stream. Then I saw looking through stream, not just the surface of rocks from which we came from but profoundly I was also seeing the very surface of the human skin, the imprint of our souls.
From here, dream revealed to me the first humans pressing their entire bodies within water against rock, which was soft and fresh, a skin out of which they emerged new as the youthful stream I was in. Before he and she came out from the stream, as their bodies began to outgrow their osculated rock, slowly they moved, only a few centimetres up and down. And from the imprint of their given souls, as they continued to now swim between the bedrock and the thin surface line of the water, exploring between the two, merged a body. In every scratch their skin renewed itself from the old rock that they were no longer in, like the tiny tadpoles swimming around them. And like the frog spawn our birth began as human amphibians. I now begin to understand the imagination of Kingsley and what a ‘water baby’ is.
Slowly opening their eyes whilst laying on the bedrock, they looked through the moving water and saw a blue sky. Bubbles of oxygen began to rise from their mouths, each one bursting into atmosphere. Then as they began to move their bodies, they felt for the first time their own body weight; gravity had to be immediately overcome. Raising their entire bodies at the same time; neck, legs, feet and arms; taking their heads above the surface of the water and there a human face appeared, expressionless. Every breath becoming a wonder of sensation. He and she stood fresh from the water, side by side. It was from the stream we came from and will return.
What I was seeing that day was a mosaic fusion: between our biological being and spiritual becoming.
I was closer to both the sensation of what dream and dreaming actually is; the dynamism of dream. I was inside a dream of our Creator. The dream received that day was being shared with me from elsewhere. And importantly it revealed to me something about the timescale within the act of creating. For when we dream awake, and enter into the place of dream and begin to imagine (for dreaming is creating) the moment becomes timeless. What you have created can immediately be seen within your imagination. Motion within dream is without constraint (for the relationship between what one is imagining and feeling within such a moment is reciprocal).
Understanding this reciprocal relationship cannot be measured with today’s human instruments, it can only be measured from the Pleasures in which we feel through the senses. Because this is essential if we desire to get closer to an aesthetic of our dreams awake and judge their authenticity precisely before making them a reality. This can only be achieved if we learn to distinguish the ethical difference in Pleasure, that difference being either transient or eternal. Because to realise and understand the authenticity of this dream for example can only be testified in the fact that the Pleasure I felt, had extended into more than a day (whilst its visual presence could still be seen in my mind). There was nothing transient about the experience.
The Pleasure I felt that day was eternal in sensation, a moment that became and remained eternal; out measuring human Time. I was eternal. And within that eternal moment, life had intrinsically outstripped human mortality. I was being pulled in and attached to an aspect of life that I had never experienced. What I’m sharing here is not a vision. I’m sharing dream, dream being action within creation. Here amongst stream, dream had revealed to me how a sensuous experience of creating is essential to the becoming of a creation. Therefore, our dreams awake and the place in which we dream from are real, significant and hold meaning than just something imagined. Our dreams awake are essential to our becoming of being in the world.
With human Time evaporated from my mind and still feeling eternal, I make it not far from the top. I am almost 1044M above sea level (another distinction made for mountain). Space I noticed has become more intimate as though one has entered into the rooms of a house, our bedrooms. Everything feels pure and of virtue. Then I became aware of the silence.
I could no longer trace, or see the stream’s beginning. I could no longer hear flowing water, only the slow sound of dripping water. This sound and the silence surrounding each drop began to absorb me. Nothing else distracts your attention; you are free from today’s artificial interactions. I stood completely still; I could see nothing only hear what I was now becoming.
Earth, water and air.
Becoming elements that make up minerals that make up the rocks, from the stream in which our bodies are made from. Becoming the mountain’s atmosphere, the elements (rain, wind, snow and fog) that surrounded me. From which I was breathing in, seeing, hearing, almost touching, and feeling. Becoming the entire stream that reached all the way down the mountain to the river into Loch. Up here, all elements are intimately themselves. They are eternal in essence hence why they cannot be broken down into ‘simpler’ substances.
I became everything through the senses within a single moment.
I was for an eternal moment part of the universe and was once again reunited. Becoming my essential part within Nature. I felt like a Paleolithic man, reborn. Free in exchange with my universe in which I was created. Everywhere amongst the silence I was in, I felt the tender presence of something already known to us.
Because this experience was completely new for me, I was unsure of what I had experienced; I had no prior experience in which to define the moment. I felt fear and Pleasure. It was a reawakening of my senses. It was a spiritual experience which today we can no longer find and make the distinction within our daily activities. We have become blind, blind to the possibility; at least in how to make our living present become and be a spiritual moment (climbing a mountain is only one example). We no longer knowhow to distinguish a spiritual moment, when it is happening… We have forgotten what it means to live. How to make such moments more a part of our lives. Nor do we know what a spiritual experience actually is? A spiritual experience is more than just a moment (we must try a lot harder to define these moments); it is an act of unity within your relationship to life, Nature. We have stopped this ethical search for these precise eternal moments, all our energy instead heads relentlessly in the opposite direction and therefore inconsequence we miss such moments, moments to which contribute to the meaning and quality of our life.
What hasn’t left me since that day when I had climbed mountain, is the profound fact that the nearer I was to the top, the more I became a child again. At nearly 1044M in the air I was no longer an adult. Mountain is the preserver of child. And what the mountain taught me was how to be a child in the world again.
Drawings & Photographs & Text Patrick Phillips (C) 2018