"My god I've never seen water this clear before," I bob head up in the sea just off Bomatu Point on the northern tip of Kiriwina. Freddy and Barbara Allen bob with me.
"It's unbelievable," agrees Barbara. She is a tall attractive woman who I knew in my former incarnation, years ago, when I worked for Westinghouse Ocean Research Laboratory. She turned up here on vacation along with Dave Whitcombe, a man from National Fisheries Research Division in Port Moresby. Dave is back aboard Moira with the a bad dose of the trots.
I replace my snorkel and look again. The visibility is stunning. Far away, I see a school of fifteen big, hump-headed parrot fish, some of them probably close to two meters long and weighing 50 or 60 kilograms. They glide along single file, like a herd of elephants racing over a hilly terrain. They come towards us, sense our presence, veer off to safer regions.
We search the shallows and find a couple of Black Lip oysters. Freddy snorkels down and twists them free. We'll check their characteristics - although they look like normal Black Lip to me - and see if they contain any seed pearls and feed the meat to our Monster Cat who adores them.
Dave greets us with a story as we load our gear back aboard Moira, "The minute the sound of your motor vanished around the point I heard someone come on deck. I was resting in the forward bunk and I guess they thought everyone was off in the dinghy diving. Anyway, by the time I got to the companionway they had gathered up half a dozen things off the deck and one of them was coming down the ladder inside. When he saw me, he let out a shout and the whole lot dropped everything right there on deck and dove over the side. Two of them got into their canoe and paddled off ashore. It's that one there, pulled up just to the left of the main path to the village."
We all stand around dumbly listening to Dave's story. "Well, this is the first time it has happened to us," I break the silence.
"It's a good thing you've got the shits," Freddy starts us all laughing.
In the evening I show Barbara and Dave my Moirascopes. Last week, I made up six of my dark field kaleidoscopes and two reality scopes. It has been awhile since I've done a kaleidoscope show. Barbara lets out little murmurs of awe and delight as I slide them out of their velvet bags. I give one to her and one to Dave and they cautiously hold them up and look inside. As they peer into the glittering world within, I talk about our adventures with the living planet.
Every day I come a little further along the track of the Moirae. Telling someone about synergetics, about the living, conscious planet, helps center my thinking, makes things clearer in my own mind. I've got the main aspects of the story down to about a 40 minute monologue. It starts with the handing out of the Moirascopes. Forty minutes is about the maximum time anyone can follow something even with the aid of the hypnotic Moirascopes. It is also the minimum time language will permit saying the single concept I want to express.
The Moirascopes are not just attention grabbers. They are awareness tools. With their optically excellent mirrors and dark-field illumination, the sharp colored patterns form into a single, ever expanding image.
"Let your eye follow the patterns outward from the center to the infinity of images floating off into darkness on the never ending circular border. Your mind can understand infinity when it looks at the larger patterns spiraling off into the darkness just as you can know infinity when you stand under the stars on a clear night and see them spiraling off into the darkness".
"And in the center of all the colored patterns is one triangular reality full of real things (as you think of them). But which one of those triangular images is the real one?" I pause. It is nearly impossible to detect the original triangular image with the shells and bits of glass. The reflected images in the optical quality mirrors look exactly the same. They know it is one of the ones in the center but that's as close as they can come.
Dave shakes his head, he can't guess. I continue, "Hard to tell? They are all real images." As I say this I hold the light steady and they stop turning the Moirascopes, frozen with this concept. I can always tell if someone is following me here when they stop moving to consider this.
"And the image you could touch, the one you think of as real shells and bits of glass, what is it but atoms dancing in nothingness lit by photons flying through emptiness to illuminate your mind?"
"It is easy to know infinity when you gaze upon the stars. Why is it so hard to know infinity in the center, where you are?"
"Try to see one sea shell in there. See it as just one shell. Now see it as part of the greater pattern, as many sea shells moving together. OK? See one, then see many. To your mind these are two different patterns, two levels of reality. An individual thing. A part of a larger pattern."
"You can also see the sea shell as part of a color pattern. And as part of a changing pattern. Turn it now. That's right. Always new and different. Still more levels of reality. Now try to see all the levels at once. It's really hard, but try. See the shell and think of its 200 million year evolution. See the pattern of shells, newly created by you. And add the colors and the larger color pattern. Now think about the change and the newness. See them all as one seamless whole while you stay focused on one shell."
"Not easy, huh? Like trying to find the one real image in the center. Our minds are trained to see the forest or the trees, the one or the many, but not both together."
"Now try the Moirascope with your other eye." They shift eyes. I note Barbara is naturally left-eyed, Dave is right-eyed. This tells me a great deal about a person. People who look through a Moirascope with their left eye will generally be more of a romantic than those who look first with their right eye. Some people have difficulty changing eyes and looking with the other one. These people have poor communication between the different hemispheres of their brain, perhaps one side hiding something from the other or some basic conflicts between their dreams and their realities.
Almost everyone is startled by the difference when they shift eyes. I talk about right/left minds. List the functions of the right-side speaking mind and the left-side dreaming mind. "Exercise the right eye then the left eye. Awaken the inward side to reality testing, to the physical beauty and harmony of the synergetic outside world."
They sit at the dinette of the Moira totally absorbed into the dazzling everchanging world of the kaleidoscope. My words, the exercise of looking at first one object and then seeing the one object as part of the expanded whole system, plus the act of shifting awareness from one eye to the other and back helps move them to other levels of awareness. "Who would ever guess the shells and glass, when ordered by three little mirrors, would form the patterns they do? Would create a network of images behaving so differently from the individual parts?"
"What you see in there is a physical demonstration of synergy. The behavior of the whole system is always different from and unpredictable by the behavior of its parts. It is the way new things are created from old ones."
"The way the behavior of water is totally unpredicted by the behavior of the colorless, odorless gasses of hydrogen and oxygen as they interact to form it. The way your behavior is totally unpredicted from the behavior of the trillions of little cells interacting with each other to become your body. Who could predict the atoms you eat and drink and breathe could be reassembled by molecular DNA into a synergetic whole able to behave the way you behave and look the way you look?"
The talk of food and drink breaks them out of the Moirascopes. Intermission. Freddy provides refreshments.
We talk about the dance we saw at the village today. I was fascinated that many of the youth had painted their faces bilaterally, with the left face different from the right face in design and color - and the left side (the "unconscious" side was black, the right side the "conscious" side was white.)
After a while, Dave asks, "What was that about synergy and the formation of water?"
"If you fill a room with hydrogen and oxygen, you will wind up with a room full of two colorless, odorless gasses. But if you add a spark to the mix, you get a big bang and wind up with water. Water is something quite different from oxygen and hydrogen. Water is the interaction of the two gasses in a certain, geometric motion. Water is a pattern, a moving, geometric interplay of forces created in hydrogen and oxygen, by hydrogen and oxygen, from hydrogen and oxygen. But is not hydrogen and oxygen. It is something brand new and different."
This gets me back into it, and I revel on about how stars formed the naturally occurring elements and how awareness has ordered the synergetic flow of these original atoms into the constantly flowing images of all the forms of life on Earth. I offer them the image of the interaction of sunlight with the atoms of the planet rising up to dance the myriad forms of living beings. "Like a cosmic kaleidoscope, the parts remain the same but their relationships build bigger and bigger patterns of great complexity and beauty." When they finish the tea and cake I have them look into the Moirascopes again.
"As you watch the fascination of change and meaning, of synergy and entropy, notice, please, the intelligence in there. It is your awareness. For you are the moving force. You turn and know, even though you yourself are moved by forces of the star Sol and its mate Earth. The triangles, circles, hexagons and patterns inside the Moirascope reflect the meaning inherent in reality. And the mirror reflecting meaning is mind. Your mind."
"Does the planet think? Does sunlight think? Do molecules think? Are you - Earth atoms dancing with sunlight - you designed, built, maintained by a molecule called DNA anything but Earth thinking? Sunlight turned into thought? Molecules in a synergetic dance called awareness?"
"You are the planet Earth. Just a small part, but that's what you are. From this viewpoint Earth is alive. It thinks. We are a part of a planetary community of life. Yet we are clearly different from all the other life forms in a very special way because we are conscious we are the planet Earth aware of itself."
I notice Barbara is holding tightly onto the Moirascope as she slowly turns it, gripping its cool, smooth reality as if she might otherwise slip in there completely and vanish into the whirling vortex of ideas. It's too much for Dave. He's gone along happily with everything until I came to the part linking individual humans with the entire planet.
He puts down the Moirascope, blinking his eyes, coming out of it. "Concept Alert" in his eyes. Oh well, some people see it, some don't. Won't.
Barbara's face says she gets the idea, but does not know what to do with it. She's not alone. I don't know what to do with it either. In the afterglow of the experience I try to get them to say something, to discuss the concepts with me.
"When I think about Man's consciousness I sometimes see it as Sun awakening or the Earth flowering. And sometimes it seems to be the pollen of the Sun/Earth interaction." No reaction.
"Man is the only creature to know it is the planet....But this is not really true for most people. Why not?" No reaction. Hello, Barbara? Earth to Dave, come in Dave. They look like I have pole-axed them. After a prolonged moment of silence, I decide to just keep talking. "Why don't people understand their interaction with the world around them? Because to be aware of something it must move against a backdrop - must stand out to be labeled, differentiated."
"My body's cells are me and they recognize this in some functional sense, repelling outsiders of all kinds from their ecological domain. But they are not really aware of me or that they are me."
"In the same way, man's ecology of mind recognizes "outside" mental concepts and repels them. Each of us knows, in a functional way, man is the consciousness of the planet. Yet individual people are largely unconscious of their integration within the planetary tiers of synergy. They can't be aware of it because they have no background of not being integral with it. Or, you could say, Man's role in the planetary life system is invisible because it does not change against our personal background; it IS our personal background. We can't see the forest because the trees get in the way. We see the individuals and the collective but not the link between them. "
"Its like gravity. We can be very aware of gravity if we become weightless but unless we fall, gravity is simply not there. Man's present awareness of gravity is embedded in language. The invention and definition of the word gravity by Isaac Newton gave mankind the conscious understanding of what always existed. The language created the viewpoint, the reality was always there."
"We act as if we know all the obvious things about our relation to Earth's consciousness exactly as man always acted as if he knew all about gravity even when there was no word for it, no conscious awareness of it. One would think our language has matured to the point where it can describe a new viewpoint for man. But even if man is unconscious of his reality, he functions according to plan anyway. Look at the odd things people believed during the mid-evil ages; they got along fine anyway. Aborigines believe a number of incorrect things. They get along fine, too."
Silence. As usual. I wish they would say something but they just sit there, quietly, thinking about all this.
"Time for bed," Freddy announces and gets up.
I go outside to check the anchor. I look up at the stars, around at the planet and down at the Moira. I've told my synopsis to maybe 50 people over the past year. There have been two reactions. The most common is a blank. The second reaction is the person begins to think about God. "Are you talking about God?"
What I'd really like is for someone to say, "Hey, Right! That's an interesting idea" and then we'd talk about it. Share thoughts. Brain storm a bit. Or even, "I disagree, and here's why..." and we'd share thoughts. Brain storm. Break out laughing. Even argue.