Thursday, December 14, 2006


In a meditative state, I’m taken to a buoy far out in the calm ocean. The buoy is rocking gently in the sunshine, miles from any shore or boat. Occasionally it emits a soft bell sound.

Then I am miles beyond the buoy, the quietly undulating sea first under the sunlight, then under the stars and a half moon, liquid surface reflecting the lights of the night sky, and I realize that on this surface there is no way to know that just under that meeting place of air and water is a vast world of life, of beings of every size from smallest to largest on Earth, of coral reefs, multicolored, of swift currents, of differing temperatures, of mountains, of hot flows from the earth’s core.

Having known only the surface, the beautiful, reflecting surface of the ocean, there is no way for me to know what is below. And if I were told that creatures lived below the star-shining sheet, I would know it could not be true because creatures must have air in order to breathe. And I would be especially incredulous if whales and squids and barracuda and rays were described to me.

In “real life”, I’m in the swimming pool and our young cat, Detective Inspector Lovey, is on the deck, having never been in the pool, or in water, and never having seen below the surface of the deck. He is inspecting, as usual. We both hear gurgling, knocking sounds from the pool skimmer, and from my position in the water I can see the skimmer basket in its covered grotto, but the cat, attracted by the sounds, curious, careful, sees only the surface of the deck. He knows only, “on this spot are sounds.” Perhaps to a cat all things are alive.

So the lesson is, just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. How foolish of me to think that the world my senses show me is all that there is. Other dimensions? I’m not equipped to know them or even imagine them. Other beings not within the reach of my physical senses? I’m no more able to experience their reality than I am to see radio waves, or than a radio is able to turn waves into television pictures. I am simply not designed with such perception, and the limits of my receiver should never be misconceived as the limits to what there is to be received.

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