Maybe you are wondering where all the water in a river came from, but if you
travel downstream, you will find that the idea of “religion” turns into vapor. The
herdsmen of Palestine, for example, knew about resting the trampled pastures. They
believed that this practice would allow something more than the grass to grow. Today we
vastly oversimplify this practice with the concept of “ground water” and it is unfortunate
that we no longer travel downstream to discover its meaning. Neither do we seem to
understand plants and water as one, which makes eating a spiritual pleasure.
We can mark the places on a map where the herdsmen gathered to talk about this.
Such a map will be accurate, but it will take many experiences of dreams to read it.
Because some of these places might still be too independent to grow the necessary
churches, the herdsmen know that it is not yet time to travel there. They are waiting for
the dormant plants to give them a sign. Maybe the plants are also waiting for a sign from
Quite a number of the herdsmen who speak the loudest are really very frightened of
taking the creatures which make up their life to the place for the eating of dreams. This
fear is a dangerous thing, and it can attack anyone who does not already share it. You
could say that fear creates its own friends. You can also say that fear moves slowly up the
mountains with these friends. You would have to be a very confident hermit not to be
You may have been discovering in your own life how the herdsmen could forget to
follow the water to reliable pastures, the ones that keep coming back over many many
centuries, and how they could try instead to bring all the ground water to the place where
they wanted to stay. It may not be obvious how dangerous such a thing can be, and it
might seem logical to bring what you need to where you are. It might not be clear that
this changes what you need.
Many stray thoughts of the herdsmen were made into soups and these soups remind
us to always camp near water, but they do not tell us where the water is. That is because
their life is what keeps them moving and only a few of the brave questioners have learned
that many little things which others might not notice can tell you where more helpful
darker dreams can be found. If you are a true seeker of light, you will want to travel
through the dark.
Maybe you are wondering where all the prophets came from. Most of them are
from a childhood of very dry emotions. They believe they barely escaped a drought and if
they do not collect all the water in one place, next time they will die. This too is a way of
death, which looks like life, but we should remember that life and death swim in the same
The real prophets speak out of the sides of their mouths with ghostlike arrows or
clinging seedpods that point and burst open later when you are ready to be alone with
them. No real prophet lived always among people. You would have to be a very unusual
prophet indeed not to have been alone most of your life.
So maybe now you are wondering how to travel downstream far enough to find some vapor.
If you are wondering this, you probably haven’t found enough darkness yet.
Such experiences do not run downhill, and they can make it hard to see the mountains.
You won’t find such thoughts climbing skyscrapers. When you feel like maybe something
is falling out of the side of your mouth, begin sniffing the air. You may notice a
difference. If you desire, for example, to talk to your food, you must first listen to it and
for this purpose, your ears are not very useful. They have already been misinformed.
Eat lots of water. Grow inside it. Share what’s left of your body with it. Begin
taking apart your thoughts. It’s a good start. Take apart what’s left and then see what you
have. Take that apart. In time the air may want you.
Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2013. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily: Burrow Guide.