The Poetics of Light #2

Casey Braugh


Chapter One

Out of the Ordinary into the Real…. continued

The beginning of this series starts here


          Once upon a time…. the beloved opening of story that incites our imaginations transporting us to imagined times and other worlds. We have the ability to live within story using all our senses. And then we put the book down or walk away from the movie and there we are… in our heads and mentally checking the time to see where we need to be or what we need to do.

          In the dialogues I learned that our regard of time is ingrained and acts as the basic mechanics of human perception. Because of this it has the possibility of qualifying a great deal of what we perceive… especially in our day to day functioning since we are all continually engaging in it.  

        We are encouraged through cultural consensus to organize a view of what is valid to incorporate both a past and a future in a seamless linear progression. We become accustomed to thinking in terms of a past and a future. Because of this linear perception, however, patterns of cause and effect are established due to continually viewing events through the lens of a time progression, where the past can be assessed and a possible future projected or manipulated by our desires, our needs or our fears. The general tendency is to not only live within these patterns of cause and effect, consciously or unconsciously, but to evaluate and judge what is possible or “real” according to their parameters.

          This formed the basis of the initial puzzle I was presented, since through engagement in the dialogues it was also made clear that this time oriented progressive continuum is a solely human way of perceiving and by natural extension, it creates its own “reality”. This in turn becomes a problem because this ingrained way of perception, creating a “reality” based on cause and effect, operates separate from the natural order. Since it is inherently impossible to be separate from the world we exist in, this raises the possibility that we are literally living in two different perceptual paradigms! Many of us have known or sensed this, incorporating our understanding into our spiritual practices, our creative work and most often in our relationships with nature. 

          The questions inevitably arise though. What is the natural order? Are these two systems of creation compatible? Do they function symbiotically? Do they work at odds with one another? What conditions are promoted if one becomes dominant over the other? What effect does this have on us personally and collectively? It makes the head spin and the heart ache…

          The dialogues covered material that I found increasingly difficult, not only to comprehend in their complexity, but to assimilate. Like Alice down the rabbit hole, we are being introduced to another view of the workings of our world. In many ways I entered a heart of darkness, but darkness can also be seen as creatively deconstructive and a source of all fertility.

          In navigating the complications of how to write this narrative I found I was tempered by and tossed between both involvement and a certain uncomfortable resistance. The resistance permeated my understanding of how to approach this narrative when confronted with the challenge of representing the implications of two different operating paradigms in a linear written format. Is it even possible? At times I also felt as if I was a Pandora character letting all manner of chaos out of a carefully sealed box. There was the probability of anything I shared being viewed with the familiar linear logic of a progressive cause and effect. Hadn’t I fallen into this predicament myself often enough?

          The puzzle we are being presented however, can not be understood, let alone assimilated, by a progressive logic or even simple observation using our ordinary way of looking at things! It becomes overwhelming, and personally I have found it a veritable slippery slope, until I am able to enter or engage a perception based upon immediate relationship with the fullness of Divinity including the spiritual intelligence of Nature, our creative counterpart. I am finding that here lie the seeds of trust with the possibility of effective compassionate action. At the very least it has been a catalyst for personal change. This may seem a little abstract…perhaps just noble sounding words on a page. However, we are not alone in our attempts at understanding. Life in relationship is by nature responsive affording each of us opportunities to find our own way to these insights in ways tailored to our own comprehension and within the realms of our personal experience.

     We are being given an interactive map of what has been created due to our collective perception. Collective being the operative word here. It is true that while working in the dialogues, although ideas were introduced, I was never simply handed information. In order to genuinely understand what was being conveyed, to personally acquire a grasp of the material, it was necessary that I make the attempt to communicate solely in the perception that was being introduced. The exploration became an entirely experiential one… one which is impossible to reproduce here. The dialogues however, were based in relationship and this leads me to consider that relationship itself is an essential key to understanding. My experience also leads me to consider that in sharing this narrative here in an open, ongoing format, could we possibly be continuing what has only begun?

To be continued…


© Jana H. White

Drawing… Casey Baugh


26 responses

  1. I once dreamed that a number of us were walking down a country road. Open fields on all sides. Prairie sky stretching infinitely above. We walked into something like fog or mist but closer still to spider web. My initial response was a combination of fear and intense discomfort. Imagine walking into deep, hanging spider web! The oppressive touch of a dark cellar in the light of an open prairie. This was replaced almost immediately by wonder as the web simply gave without any kind of clinging or unpleasant sensation at all. More like a silk veil. The landscape fell away.

    The dream came to mind as I read this and felt your task. So did the Zen koan. And the language of poetry. I know that you are talking about more than presence and experiential life. Adding a dimension. “Collective being the operative word here.”

    Good morning Jana. Thanks for the light.

    Liked by 2 people

    • My…you have some great dreams Chris. Thanks for adding this one to the mix.

      Perception is relative to absolutely everything and we are just beginning with our explorations. This is a good place to start (probably a good place to stay too) ….dreams, poetry, art, music. They are all better sources for insight than comparisons of whether any of this fits in to a person’s current point of view, philosophy, religion, ism. We’re more interested here in lumber and pegs than already built houses. Hand tools a requirement. xxxooo

      Liked by 3 people

      • I’ve read this a few times now and approaching it again tonight, I’m left with a great curiosity of how it will all unfold. I’m packing extra batteries for the headlamp and also practicing walking in the dark, balancing with my eyes closed and untying knots of varying degrees of difficulty. I’ve quite a collection of hand tools in any case and a bow and arrows. And of course the record of dreams…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Myself included on the unfolding part since I think it’s continually left open. Ha! I’m impressed if you can balance with your eyes closed. Just tried it and (today) not bad on the right foot. Meh…on the left.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Jana, this is interesting and amazing stuff. As I read this piece I wondered if you think of whether physics, especially the theory of relativity, seems to confirm some of your impressions about the malleability of time. (I’m not at all a scientist. What little I know, I get from newspapers.)


    • I haven’t a scientific background either, Michael, but while immersed in trying to make any clear sense of what was being conveyed in the dialogues I ended up taking out stacks of books about (elementary) quantum mechanics from the library. I was usually holding on by a thin thread it seemed, but the pieces began to fall into place! It was thrilling, I admit.

      I remember looking for Einstein quotes then (more my speed) and this morning found this one….

      “Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. How on earth can you explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love? Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.”

      I’d have to add….That’s relationship.

      Thanks for joining in Michael!

      Liked by 4 people

      • It is thrilling, isn’t it, to see pieces of the puzzle begin to fit? I hadn’t seen this quote from Einstein. What an amazing man he was. And, of course, how much he changed our perceptions of the world. Along with that, he was so warmly human.


  3. I can feel the germination, the tadpole spermatozoa swimming creating untouchable meanings. The light waiting to be described, the bravery and indeed risk of this. The collective , that branch of us exchanging ourselves in the realm of communication and uncertainty. The knowing there is a path we walk but cannot fully see. Jana, explorer. Much love to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for this Brian. For so long the study has been of the collective consensus as it “drives” our perception. But now you have beautifully brought in the element of collective revolution and tadpoles. I can’t see where any one person can effectively swim up stream by themselves when the current is this strong. But together? And if you are feeling the germination … there’s momentum. xxxooo

      Liked by 3 people

  4. This is deep Jana, a lot to take in. Memory informs so much of my own writing, the idea of the past and the present constantly colliding, the path we are all on I suppose.once again beautiful writing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Mark. The writing part is coming easier finally….only a million or so edits! It may seem simpler if it is considered that we are talking about the mechanics of perception and there’s much more to illustrate this. We’ve hardly dipped our feet in the water and the objective is a deep sea dive. Memory is just there. It’s what we do with it that counts. I’m a big fan of what you choose to do with yours!

      Liked by 3 people

  5. This is fascinating Jana. I am months behind and each time I saw yet another chapter, it seemed like I had a lot of catching up to do and I kept deferring because of the enormity of it and the denseness of concepts to absorb, but here I am at what must be just the right time!

    I will keep reading, but it may take me some time between chapters. How did the dialogues manifest? If that isn’t too terrestrial a question…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello! I think your question is answered as you read on. But I like the way you have phrased it…is it too “terrestrial” a question? And I’d have to say not at all. If anything, the whole experience was, and continues to be, earth based and grounded. Personally the dialogues themselves were a sensory whole body experience. What I “heard” was felt in my entire body. What I “saw” I was immersed in. I think we all have these experiences….especially when in nature. Good to hear from you!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Here | petrujviljoen

  7. I keep getting stuck at this post and specifically this: ”to enter or engage a perception based upon immediate relationship with the fullness of Divinity including the spiritual intelligence of Nature, our creative counterpart. I am finding that here lie the seeds of trust with the possibility of effective compassionate action.”

    That there is progression of time is clear though: the day begins and ends. We are born, eventually we pass away in old age. The effect or ravages of time is clear on all that lives. Where the beginning and where the ending is isn’t so clear though?

    I was initially a bit frustrated that a description of this alternate or other paradigm of natural time isn’t available. But then you did mention, and referencing the paragraph quoted, it’s a highly personal journey and one shouldn’t expect a ready-made thesis.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Petru, for directing me to this passage. I have become well aware that as I attempted to write this narrative I often fell into abstract concepts while sorting through the complexities of translation…and my own subjective response to simply the writing of it. Now I am “gathering” experience to begin a re-write of this narrative with perhaps an experimental workbook component, with exercises in perception. So you see…your comments are most helpful.

      In response to your question though, let me ask you a question in turn…. Perhaps think of it in this way….are we simply conditioned to consider the natural and variable rhythmic cycles of the living world as “progressive”? Certainly it is handy in order to substantiate the progressive lens we ourselves project in order to have an element of control. However, let’s consider the subtleties regarding the difference between “progression” and an actual cognizant participation in “natural rhythmic cycles”. This is most likely something you are intimately aware of Petru…living in a natural setting as you do.

      So….We are immersed in the shifting “rhythms” of day to night. When is sunrise, sunset this time of year? Is my body responding to the light levels? The flow of the seasons. The first warm rain? The last frost? The season of no rain? What phase the moon? Am I feeling its fullness? What are the birds doing? When do they begin their morning song? Why so still? All so intertwined, interrelated….Yes, they follow one another but isn’t this a simplistic observation? Are we taking into consideration all of the relationships forming in this natural “becoming” which we are a part of. How much are we leaving out in our time oriented perception of “observing” rather than a direct acknowledgement of participating?

      Nature in all of its consistent, relatively dependable rhythms…… in all ways variable.

      Your questioning is so helpful Petru… and most appreciated!


      • I then think I’ve arrived at this way of experiencing time a while ago. There are only seasons I said to myself. I threw the clock out the minute I got here. I couldn’t stand it’s ticking! I’ve learnt to gauge the time (more or less) by where the sun is at. And it’s not only a case of when is sunrise/sunset during the seasons, it’s also a case of where! Due east and due west happens one day in the year only. I learned that when I got here. I was perplexed one day to find I have to sit someplace else to watch the sun set!

        Okay, if it isn’t any more mysterious than this then I got you. Or the idea. I’ll probably move on to the next post then!

        Liked by 1 person

        • The sun rises and sets in different locations! How fascinating… I wonder if this is common but more noticeable where you are? I’ll have to take my compass out and see if it is the same here where I live in the mountains of western North Carolina in the US. I haven’t noticed it to any discernible degree. The sun is simply higher or lower in the sky at different times of the year but seems to rise and set in the same place.

          So many questions when coming to an experiential relationship with nature’s rhythms. It can then prompt us to question…Well, wouldn’t this also be consistent within our own bodies? Why would we be any different? Our bodies entertain more symbiotic microbes than we have cells. We are decidedly hosts of other forms of life that follow their own natural rhythms. Why automatically assume that disease, or healing for that matter, is necessarily linear and progressive?

          We can go on and on here with questions that shift our conditioned perception and responses….and we need to!
          It is this type of personal exploration and questioning, each of us in our own ways, that can collectively take us out of our conditioned boxes.

          Thanks again Petru for sharing your inquiring thoughts!


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