ROLLING THUNDER FALLS, Eagle Cap Wilderness, Oregon

ROLLING THUNDER FALLS, Eagle Cap Wilderness, Oregon [ click photo for next . . . ]
On the road in the American Northwest.

Passion only comes with the route

one has found for oneself.

I'VE BEEN MEDITATING a lot recently on Thoreau's little 7-beat aphorism, "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root."

"THINK OF A RIVER (as something powerful)" was composed in preparation of a 56-day double circumambulation of the WALLOWAS, a vast and rugged wilderness area where I work in the US, about 1/6th the size of Switzerland, running from alpine peaks above 3000 m. all the way to the great Hells Canyon and the Snake River at 600 m., where we can almost smell the Pacific Ocean. I did the outer circle on Mt. bike, and the inner circle, all the round what I sense as the "hub of the wheel" of Eagle Cap, on foot.

The idea is simple. If you want to understand a watershed, walk it. And always running parallel, "If you want to understand, to "strike at the root of evil," observe your own thought and thinking.

The two streams, that of the river, and that of consciousness, are for me inseparable. To understand one is to understand both. A revolution of consciousness is a revolution in the nature of our relationship to water.

Why the synthvoice, you ask? Well, I do that sometimes with longer texts that are important to me that I wish to study over a longer period of time as if they were composed by someone else. The distance from my own acoustic voice creates a kind of neutral space, a kind of objectivity that helps me, I hope, see and hear more clearly. There are many things not right about this piece, I know. But I still wish to share it for fellow travellers interested in dialogue, in water, and a revolution of consciousness.

THINK OF A RIVER (as someting powerful)—
a flowform meditation

Think of a river.

Think of a river where it begins.

Think of a river where it begins, with
snowfields and glaciers, and flows
in one whole, unbroken braid,
from highest peak to sea.

Think of a river seen from far above the Earth,
as one shining ribbon of light.

Think of a river, one at a time and all at once,
as both flowing, living water, and as
the whole of flowing consciousness.

Not your consciousness. Not mine.
Just consciousness. Intelligence.
The consciousness of the whole. of nature,
the tree, the mountain, the stars,
the flowing, living water.

All at once and one at a time, we see
both rivers, shining, both whole and flowing,
and we see both rivers in and outside
of both movement and time.

Now start over . . . .

Think of a river.

Think of a river, flowing fast and clear,
and then, flowing further and further downstream,
and then suddenly slamming into a dam.

Call this dam the House of Thought.

The House of Thought contains all
the artifacts of all cultures, all
the ideas, all the ways of looking, all the religions,
all the technologies, and most especially,
all the maps of the river itself,
the river of consciousness.

Some maps, like the science of mind, or mysticism,
or Taoism or Buddhism, include all, or some, of the other
maps of the river of consciousness,
No matter how good, how complete,
how subtle these maps may be, one mistake is made
over and over again, the mistake of mistaking
the map for the world it draws attention to.

Now start over, again . . . .

Think of a river.

Think of a river slamming into a dam.

Below the dam, and downstream of the
House of Thought, this map of consciousness,
and its artifacts, aren't even thought about much,
and yet this map underlies everything we think, say, and do.

This is why we make the mistake of thinking
the House of Thought is all that there is.

Above the dam, closer to the river's source,
it's easy to see that the House of Thought,
and all of these maps, and
the artifacts that flow out of them,
mean little, mean almost nothing.

Yet, it is hard not to get stuck, not to get stuck
in a cave meditating on the nature of flowing water,
not to get stuck in the House of Thought,
fighting against war, fighting against pollution,
fighting against climate change,
far below the dam.

Below the dam, the world is a troubled, violent place. It's
very easy to start thinking that the violence
of the House of Thought is all there is,
that the violence of the House of Thought
cannot be otherwise.
And so, we continuously make the mistake of
working not directly to end the causes of the violence,
but rather futilely trying to eliminate the effects.

Below the dam, the world is a violent place mostly
because of this one mistake of being confused
about the stream of consciousness,
this one mistake of mistaking the map
for the reality it represents.
and refusing to change the map,
even when demonstrated


Because I unknowingly identify with the map.
I may knowingly or unknowingly even call it sacred.

The map is not sacred. Nothing about it.

Now, start over, again . . .

Think of a river.

When we think of a river, the view of this river
changes instantly and irreversibly
if we ask but one question:

"Why is the House of Thought such a violent place?"

"What is the source—the cause—of the violence,
the source of the pollution of the river of consciousness?"

We want to end the pollution at its source, right?
before it enters the river, before it enters
the river of consciousness,
and not just continue cleaning up the effects
of the violence below the dam, the effects of war,
the effects of what we have done to the living Earth.

So we walk religiously the whole of this river, every day, from
peak to sea, asking but one question,

"Can I end the pollution, the violence, at its source?"

The air is lighter, clearer above the House of Thought.

We can see for a 1000 miles.

It is the pilgrim's way.

| download THINKI OF A RIVER mp3 [8.1 Mb] |

THE LITTLE CLAVIER please preview 150 of 631 pages
w/ my black & white photography [opens in new window]

Featured gallery, mountain water . . . .
If you're a picture-poems fan, please visit my Living Water Gallery—some of
the best of my flowform photography w/ a selection of the highest quality
prints & frames . . . [ mouse over for controls / lower right fro full-screen ]

All Photographs & texts by Cliff Crego © 1999-2013
(created: IX.18.2012)