"Walter is growing at the rate of one centimeter per day," I announce. Freddy gently holds the kitten so I can measure from the tip of his little pink nose to the black tuft of hair at the end of his tail. "Incredible."
"You guys up?" Reinhart, from the little Canadian boat Ganesh, is alongside in his dinghy.
"We've been up for hours," I look out of the hatch. Reinhard struggles aboard, looking bedraggled and hung over.
"You look terrible," Freddy says.
"I am terrible," he groans. "We didn't quit till damn near midnight." There was a big party on the catamaran last night. We left early since neither Freddy or I drink and everyone was getting rip snorting plastered.
At the moment, Malaupaina's lagoon has five cruising yachts in it, including Reinhard & Arlene's Ganesh, a big black ferrocement Junk, a rundown catamaran, two boats which came in yesterday, and of course, Moira and El Torito.
"Can I bum a cup of coffee from you guys?" Reinhard comes below. "Arlene is not speaking to me."
"Why not?" Freddy asks.
He sits at the dinette with his head in his hands. The evils of that devil booze. "Just after you left Terry sang this song. You ever hear it? About a guy who is up before the judge for uh...necaphillia?"
"Necrophilia? You mean screwing a dead person?" I laugh, knowing Terry this was going to be good.
"Right. That's it. Anyway, Terry does this song and I mean it's really funny, OK? But he sings it quiet so we all are real quiet listening to every word. He goes on for maybe three or four minutes, and ends up with, `I'm sorry your honor, I didn't know she was dead, I thought she was English."'
Freddy and I laugh but Reinhard just puts his head back in his hands and looks miserable. "So?" I prompt.
"Well, it was funny, really. Everybody else laughed. So I let go and roared. You know, I was feelin no pain. I laughed my ass off. OK, so maybe I was the last one laughing. Big deal."
"I'm missing something." I look at Freddy.
"Arlene is English," she stage whispers to me, setting a cup of coffee down in front of Reinhard.
"Yeah. She stomped off right then, but I was drunk and laughing and didn't even know she was going." He shakes his head and sips his coffee. Walter the Cat appears from nowhere, a little gray blur, he bounces off Reinhard and darts off again.
"Oh she'll get over it," Freddy giggles.
"That's not all." He groans.
"Oh No! What else?" I ask.
"She jumped down into the dinghy to go back to Ganesh."
"Well, I tied it up between the hulls when we arrived. You know, all the other dinghys were all around, so the center sort of seemed like a good place." He frowns into the coffee mug. "Oh my God!" I know what's coming.
"Yeah. Right. Hey, it was dark. OK? I forgot. We all forgot. I saw you do it too, pissing over the side up there between the hulls." Freddy and I are in stitches. "Anyway, Arlene steps down and at first she thinks the dinghy is leaking. Then she realizes the water in it is kind of warm. I'm, still laughing my ass off and roaring 'I didn't know she was dead. I thought she was English', when she realizes she's standing ankle deep in piss. She lets out this blood curdling scream."
"Ho hooo ha ha ha ha," I can hardly stand it.
"And over she goes, piss and all, into the lagoon." Reinhard finishes.
"No, stop, stop," Freddy has tears coming out of her eyes.
"She made me sleep on deck last night," he sighs.
I hear shouting outside and go on deck to see what's happening. The guy on the black junk is beating up his girlfriend with the silicone tits. They are ashore, on the edge of the lagoon. He's really punching her out and she's screaming at him. He lands a powerhouse right and she goes down. Black eye for sure. Must have been a weird party after we left.
Reinhard finishes his coffee, gathers up his courage, and heads back to his boat. Out of curiosity, or maybe to see another good fight, I watch as he arrives there. Arlene is waiting on deck. He gets aboard, she gets off, takes the dinghy and rows ashore leaving him standing there, looking after her.
I pick up my notes.
Veneration and reverence creates power.
Venerate truth and knowledge, these are food for the soul.
Enter lovingly, with devotion, into positive actions.
Keep going, never be content at any level.
Seek ideals, shun desire.
Never infringe on another's free will.
Review emotions and self action from a higher vantage (i.e. by another person or spiritual level)
Thoughts are things in space, real things.
Think carefully before speaking.
Seek no counsel from others, form no opinion or theories.
Write down important thoughts and meditate on them.
Thoughts and feelings are as vital as actions.
A friend of mine, Ron Dario, who lives in Rhode Island, has (operating according to Walter's law of improbability) sent me a whole stack of books about Rudolph Steiner. Steiner was a researcher into alternate levels of consciousness back in the twenties and thirties. As a young man, Steiner had a series of mystical experiences. He could perceive, directly, levels of awareness others could not see. The sort of awareness Walter and I were experiencing just four days before the Steiner books arrived. Steiner figured if others could see these higher levels of consciousness, the world would be a better place. He dedicated his life to trying to find a bridge between ordinary levels of awareness and higher levels of awareness. He wrote everything in German and so I have to work with English translations. Who knows how accurate they are?
The books Ron sent cover most of his work. Unfortunately, they are stuffy and hard reading, filled with irrelevant verbiage. I've been going through them and outlining the actual activities he recommends to prepare for higher levels of perception. Now, I'll do his experiments and see what happens.
Today I'll give the Stage 1 exercises a shot. In this stage, the student selects different natural objects and spends hours concentrating on them and the feelings which develop during the process. The student must maintain fully conscious self-control at all times. During observation, the student must seek the feelings developing within himself.
"This sounds easy enough." I put down the book and my notes. "Lets go diving."
"Now?" Freddy looks up from her jewelry work.
"Sure, come on." Freddy and I throw the snorkeling gear into the Avon and streak over the quiet lagoon to the pass. Steiner's first step is hardly new to me. I've sat for hours and hours looking at living creatures, thinking about them, observing without speculation, and I know well the feeling which arises as I reach a balance of observation of exterior and interior phenomena.
We splash into the water and swim through the corals that thrive in the currents flowing in and out of the lagoon.
I come across a lovely little Echinothrix. This is a small, almost spherical sea urchin with thin and brittle maroon and white banded spines. Between the spines electric blue iridescent lines represent the urchin's light sensitive areas. My shadow passes over him and he begins waving his spines about in little circles. Thousands of minuscule translucent tube feet reach out from its ambulacra and sense the sea. The little guy uses the spines and tube feet to move around, clean itself, and generally make a living on the coral reef. On top, his anus is surrounded by a white speckled fleshy sac.
I gently turn him over with a finger of dead coral, avoiding the venomous spines he is now brandishing about with enthusiasm. The spines are shorter on the bottom, specialized for walking. The mouth is surrounded by a plated membrane. The five-toothed jaws poke out of the middle of the membrane. Being careful of the venomous spines, I gently put the little guy down on an open piece of sand, hover in Sea and say Steiner's mantra (mentally, of course).
"In my own world of thought and feeling the deepest mysteries lie hidden only hitherto I have been unable to perceive them."
As I chant, I focus my thoughts on flourishing growth, and switch to fading and decay. At first I encompass the urchin and the reef around it, and then, after awhile, I focus on the urchin and its evolution over the millennia. I know quite a lot about this little guy and although I can't see most of it with my naked eye, I can perceive - through memory - details visible only with long and complicated dissection and analysis with an electron microscope. My mind wanders through the layers of the creature's being as it spines slowly over the sand.
I observe, I repeat the mantra, I become aware of the advance and ebb of life in everything around me. Even in Sea, itself. Especially in Sea. I surrender to observation keen and bright.
As Steiner predicted, an inner feeling arises during observation. I follow instructions and let it take possession of me.
A small, yellow butterfly fish comes over to see what's going on. I balance the observation of exterior and interior phenomena, watching the delicate almost transparent fins of the fish move the fish through Sea according to its inner needs. The fish adjusts its eyes to observe me observing it. In a subtle way the fish's behavior becomes more transparent, even predictable. This is working.
The fish retreats and I meditate on the urchin again, seeing it appear as a microscopic larva, looking something like a lunar lander with long red oars. I see it form into a small sphere, grow, inflate, expand.
I need another prop. I swim around for a few moments, looking under rocks, in the branches of coral, until I find a dead test of an Echinothrix. I bring the dead shell back to my observation area, and place it next to the live urchin. That's better. Easier to visualize death and decay with something dead to look at. I meditate on the dead shell, looking at it and imagining it slowly dissolving back into Sea. I look at the live urchin, see it coming together, growing. And death again. Like Steiner says, a different category of inner feeling forms when the focus is on growth versus when it is on decay. I allow these new feelings to expand and grow into alternate perceptions.
Over and over I repeat Steiner's Mantra, "In my own world of thought and feeling the deepest mysteries lie hidden only hitherto I have been unable to perceive them."
I perceive the two inner feelings separate and become clear and distinct. I let them merge and find they are also one feeling. Life and growth is one inner feeling, death and decay is another inner feeling. The knowledge of the process of growth and decay as a single cycle is a third - powerful - inner feeling. My mind perceives them separate, then connected, separate, connected, and I am feeling a pattern of Moirae's threads of coincidence weaving in a landscape of mind normally invisible to my conscious mind. I do not speculate about meaning, I just observe the landscape of the mind slowly weaving itself in Sea..
"Yeahhhhaaaa" I leap out of my skin as Freddy, who has crept up from behind, jumps on top of me.
"I'm cold," she says. "Let's go."
We have a fair bit to go before attaining higher levels of consciousness.