10/14/2009

Being Water, Ocean and Waves

A slightly different version of the metaphor of the ocean and the waves.

Imagine water was aware. Imagine the ocean. The ocean is aware water being an ocean of water. An ocean, being an ocean, does what an ocean does. At the bottom, it is very still, unmoving water; at the surface it is constantly moving, shaping itself in the form of different waves.

At the bottom, the ocean, in its absolute stillness, is water aware of being water. It is not busy with or worried about its being an ocean. It rests in and as that which it is; “here” there is nothing to distract it.

On its surface, the ocean’s movement produces waves, which is what an ocean can do because it is that: an ocean. “Here” (still nowhere else but the ocean) its movement, its rising and crashing, the foam and the roaring (all “things” which the water is aware of “now”) appear so central that they seem to obscure the water’s awareness that waves are what an ocean does, while uninterruptedly being water. Although and because water is that which is aware, the water “here” seems to become many different “entities”, each with an individual, special shape: this particular moving wave here, now vs. that particular one there or then. It seems that every wave is aware of itself as a wave -the knowing that they are nothing but the ocean, or that it is only water moving… oh well, they are too busy “being” waves. “Here” it seems as if one wave, its particular speed, volume, or height had an impact on other waves. Each wave, in the limited awareness of what is going on “from” the perspective of its apparent form, assumes it is in charge of its own movement. It has to run away from larger, dangerous waves if it doesn’t want to be crashed upon, or it has to move faster in order engulf the one ahead to it.
Because water is aware, waves have this “feeling”, this “knowing” that they are “something else”, that they “somehow belong together into something larger, more powerful, and more pure”. No wave has ever returned after crashing. And constantly, new waves appear out of nowhere, or out of the already existing waves. There are waves with intuition that tell about something called Ocean. They say it is vast, eternal, omnipresent and omnipotent. They recommend to look within, to go deeper and find this force. Other waves talk about Water, still, peaceful and omniscient Water. Look for the knowing of that which is your essence, they say, be like Water. No wave has ever found either Ocean or Water, but they are told how to be-have in order to have (be) such qualities. They are given instructions to be a better wave, or a purer wave, or a stronger wave, a more peaceful wave…
Waves develop a sense of purpose and effort in order to follow the advice. They struggle to rise high and endure. They feel for those weaker than them that “don’t make it”. Some seem to succeed and are admired. Others strive to keep up, to be like the taller waves. Some fail and never produce but a tiny ripple. Others resign and do not even bother… They all suffer, because as waves, “sooner or later” they will “one way or another” disappear and will seem to be replaced.

Is there a cause that makes water in the ocean be the ocean? Is there any purpose to the ocean’s movement and apparent creation of waves? Is there any meaning inherent in the waves’ shapes and forms? Will a wave ever succeed in being anything other than the ocean’s movement? Will any effort by a wave change the nature of the ocean, its being, its movement? Do the same waves that disappear ever return in a new form? Do the waves go anywhere after disappearing?

Do any of these questions make any sense?

There is only water. At no point does water coexist with an ocean or with many waves. There never is an “ocean thing” and there never are many “wave things”. From the perspective of water, there is no ocean, there are no waves. Ocean is what water is being. Waves are what water, in its being an ocean, does. And yet, in an ocean of water, waves appear, rise and dissolve always anew, each wave just once, all of them together at once just once.