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The Remembering - in a realm of it's own from anything else Yes has created.

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    The Remembering - in a realm of it's own from anything else Yes has created.

    And they bettered it live.

    https://youtu.be/cyWC-5YjRMA

    Steve

    #2
    Agreed. One of my absolute favourite pieces of music - by anyone!
    I did a lengthy, and incomplete, deconstruction of the lyrics about 15 years ago on Yesfans. I no longer have a copy of it myself, but I think if you Google Yes Philosophy The Remembering you can find it.
    'Yes Philosophy' was the thread title as I recall...

    I love its dynamic contracts, the melodies, its pacing, its spaciousness, and how it soars at the climax. Breathtaking, exhilarating music.
    Sometimes the lights all shining on me, other times I can barely see.
    Lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip it’s been.

    Comment


      #3
      Ah, found it:

      http://www.yesfans.com/showthread.ph...009&viewfull=1
      Sometimes the lights all shining on me, other times I can barely see.
      Lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip it’s been.

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks Ash. Interesting read and also reading the following comments (is all this to be lost when Yesfans closes?).

        I pull back from the meaning of the lyrics. I go with a metaphoric meaning of the lyrics. Meaning the lyrics gives me shapes and colours, rather than a narrative. But I'm on your page in that's something going on about water and the sea, and both depth and height.

        This music could only have come into being with these five musicians, and I'm not sure anyone else could replace Anderson, Howe, Squire, Wakeman and White to reproduce it or perform it live. Most obviously Anderson, who delivers vocals with such dynamism and character, and together with Howe and Squire building the harmonies , climbing up further whilst revealing more depth. Anderson uses his full vocal delivery skill to push forward the character or the narrative - whatever that narrative is!

        Whilst the actual shape of The Remembering is different to Awaken, it is very much of a similar vein.

        Steve

        Comment


          #5
          Whilst I keep some skepticism about 'first reaction' Youtube vids, I think this guy seems genuinely floored at 16:30 in the vid, and for the rest of the song. And when he says the music has gone through so many dimensions, he certainly speaks for me.

          https://youtu.be/3Pl1-fbKoMo

          Steve

          Comment


            #6
            Steve, check out Doug Helvering's Daily Doug channel on YouTube. He did a reaction to Revealing Science last week! I'm friends on FB with Doug. He's a really nice chap, and knows his stuff.
            Sometimes the lights all shining on me, other times I can barely see.
            Lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip it’s been.

            Comment


              #7
              The Remembering is a fascinating piece, though I do find it outstays its welcome in certain parts, it sort of gets stuck in parts that pad out the songs length I feel to artificially reach the approx. 20 mins. It isn't as flowing as the Revealing or Ritual which I feel have more interesting musical ideas. It is a beautiful song though in its own right it was just never one of my all time favourite Yes pieces.
              The Definitive YES Albums

              -The Yes Album-Fragile-Close to the Edge-Tales From Topographic Oceans-
              -Relayer-Going for the One-Drama-90125-Big Generator-Union-Talk-
              -The Ladder-Magnification-Fly From Here-The Quest-

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Ash Armstrong View Post
                Steve, check out Doug Helvering's Daily Doug channel on YouTube. He did a reaction to Revealing Science last week! I'm friends on FB with Doug. He's a really nice chap, and knows his stuff.
                Hi Ash, yes, I saw Doug's reaction to Revealing. I'm sure he'll do The Remembering at some time.

                Steve

                Comment


                  #9
                  Wow, you should save/repost that essay here, since the other site will go offline
                  "We all gotta climb mountains!" - Jon Anderson 2003

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Among Squire's best work on a Yes track. He may have said that himself. The climax at the end should have your neck hair standing especially the vocals/ Howe's work!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by John Vehadija View Post
                      Wow, you should save/repost that essay here, since the other site will go offline
                      I've managed to save a copy to my tablet (I don't have a laptop), but as it's from 15 years ago the formatting is all over the place. And it's definitely in need of comprehensive revision!
                      Sometimes the lights all shining on me, other times I can barely see.
                      Lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip it’s been.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Here we go:

                        The Remembering

                        On the thread in Yesmusic about annotated lyrics, I mentioned a sort-of incomplete analysis I did over 10 years ago, and posted here at that time, of The Remembering. So, here it is again. I haven't read it through, and it's an old version of MS Word, so the formatting may be all over the place. Anyway, read it, don't read it, it's just a personal take on the words and it was over a decade ago, so no lynching parties.

                        Hi all,

                        I was listening to Debussy’s La Mer one Saturday evening recently while fixing a meal, and it occurred to me that the way in which dear Claude utilizes the sounds of the orchestra to evoke the sea, the undulations of the waves, the ebb and flow of the tides, the wind and the sun at play upon the water reminds me of several passages from 'The Remembering’. At first I couldn't quite figure out why. Listening to it later on it occurred to me that this movement of Topographic Oceans forms the core of the whole concept, evoking the 'ebb and flow and depth of the mind's eye; the topographic ocean'. Although Rick's keyboard work is fundamental as the piece unfolds, I think it's much more subtle than just down to washes of keyboard sounds; what Debussy achieves with his orchestral palette, Yes accomplish with the more restricted resources at their disposal, yet do so with considerable success as a group.

                        I've always loved this piece, I find the closing moments after the lyrics end to be achingly gorgeous; a reminder of why I still listen to this music after 33 years and why it still moves me so much. It also has some of my favorite Yes lyrics and phrases in it. I heard Topographic Oceans the first time in concert, before I knew the album at all, in fact I'm not even sure it had been released when I went to the gig (Nov 26, 1973). Possibly not. My 'remembering' of that concert is pretty hazy after this long a time (gimme a break, I was only 14!), but the effect of the musical experience remains constant and clear.

                        With the opening melodic themes (ignoring the lyrics for the moment) we find ourselves in a relaxed mood; I often think of the opening jangle of chords as like breaking surf at the start of a meandering walk along a quiet sea-shore: then a rising and falling, undulating melody that is metronomic in it's regularity, like gently rolling waves, lapping lazily along the shoreline, or perhaps like the oars of recollection dipping into the shifting waters of memory, just penetrating below the surface, scattering drops of iridescence in the sunlight. Throughout the piece little melodic fragments echo this mood, continually rising from below to hint and suggest at the movement of the vast oceans, and the depths that lie beneath. And all this even before the keyboards have come to the fore.

                        Another aspect of the water/ocean metaphor we might ponder upon is the role that water has played in purification rituals across the ages, obviously in baptismal rites, where one undergoes a 'rebirth' following immersion in a metaphorical, second, womb to emerge into a new, purified and enlightened existence. A tale from an amniotic ocean, then? Water also plays a major role in fertility rites and ceremonies, and where that water is found in a river it is regarded as especially sacred; think of the Ganges, and the Nile, to name but two.

                        Obviously the lyrics point up this oceanic metaphor very strongly, right from the start. The first line always reminds me of 'To Be Over': 'We go sailing down the calming stream/drifting endlessly by the bridge' has clear ties with the mood and metaphorical landscape depicted in 'The Remembering'. The music too has that same languid, effortless quality to it. I think there are also some similarities with 'Wondrous Stories' too, in both mood, and, to a degree, the lyrics. The water/river/story-telling/traveling motif is certainly present in that song, and lines like 'drifting I turned on upstream' and 'it is no lie I see deeply into the future' seem to key into the exploration of remnants of memory idea explored in 'The Remembering.

                        Trying to disentangle the tumble of images in 'The Remembering' is really difficult. I get the feeling that while there is a strong sense of meaning and narrative, it's not necessarily presented in a linear way, but more abstract and apparently disconnected, more dream-like, as if fragments of an alternate view were slipping through our cognitive net. There are words which seem to be present for their sonic qualities alone, like grace-notes, or grace-words: not necessarily meaningful in themselves but a part of the whole, part of the process of getting there, providing a transition from one series of images or ideas to another, but still connected. Making those connections is the tough part.

                        Some things leap out immediately: the repeat of lovely phrases like 'of the velvet sailors course on' and 'into a time that we've all seen on' in their meter and rhythm suggest a pushing/pulling tidal motion. That both lines finish on a suspension, 'on', pulls us onwards like an unresolved chord. It's a beautifully-worked poetic device, and we're only in the first verse!

                        I guess we can regard 'velvet sailors' as referring to ourselves of which the 'soul shall sing', perhaps the physical self, one's spiritual being clad in physical form, akin to a naked body wearing clothes.

                        I think several other elements in those first couple of verses are explicable: there are clear references there to 'light', later on to 'shine' (sunshine?) and the moon, and to singing. Metaphorically and literally, we can't see anything without illumination. We are outside here, under the stars, the moon, or in the soft evening sunlight; I can well imaging the band playing and recording this music in a forest or meadow as they talked of doing, it has a distinct pastoral flavor to it.




                        "We all gotta climb mountains!" - Jon Anderson 2003

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I particularly like the line 'course the compass to offer into a time that we've all seen on'. As I mentioned above it ends on a suspension, leading us onwards into the waking dream of memory, and we are guided on our course by a 'compass'. A compass not only points us in the direction in which we need to travel to reach out goal, it also provides a route back to the present reality, lest we lose ourselves in reverie. Poetically, one's compass is also thought of as the conscience, our inner-voice, our guide.

                          It is offered to us, available to us freely, unconditionally. It's about trust, truth, honesty and openness; it is a challenge, and it requires both inner strength and patient courage. Curiously, for an album supposedly so pre-occupied with meditation and reverie, illumination and enlightenment, power-words like 'courage', and 'strength' are everywhere. Passivity and surrender won't do it, you gotta want to take up the challenge, and persist with the struggle, 'as we try we continue, we receive all we venture to give'. No struggle, no reward.

                          With the 'High the memory carry on' refrain we appear to be entering a waking-dream-like state, upon which our vessel of memory can sail with ever greater ease. 'While the moments start to linger' suggests to me that in this state of mind, we are beginning to move away from the concerns of the everyday, moments become elongated, seeming to be of indefinite duration, everything slows until we seem 'between our time'.

                          'As we shall speak to differ' is a tough one to figure, but I think the sense here is something like that which runs contrary to our assumptions, a counter-intuitive thing. There are never definitive readings or interpretations of a text, this is something we need to be especially aware of in poetic/lyrical language where myth, metaphor and symbol occupy such a pivotal position.

                          I think the crucial word here is 'differ'; it can be taken to stand for freedom of speech and/or will, freedoms that have perhaps been acquired through historic struggle, either political or personal; also freedom of thought and act, along with the social freedom to speak of it, the freedom to differ with others in our views and values and opinions and the freedom to speak of those differences freely. It's a wonderfully rich line, replete with significance and meaning and could probably yield layer after layer of quarried interpretations. I'm attracted to thinking of it in a number of related ways: it suggests we have the capacity, whether learned or inate, to re-examine conclusions we later discover to be wrong or untrue, and to adopt an alternate view in consequence of those discoveries; it connotes a preparedness to differ in our views from others and to accept that difference exists, not in error, but merely in the fact of differing. And we may speak of it, deliberate, discuss, debate, argue and finally, agree to 'differ'. To move momentarily into philosophical discourse, 'speak to differ' falls within the realm of dialectics for me whereby, roughly speaking, one advances a thesis, is confronted by its contradiction (antithesis) as a result of fresh evidence, and subsequently constructs a synthesis which in turn becomes the new thesis which includes and takes account of the new information. And so on, and so on.

                          Which brings us to '[al]so the ends meet the river's son'. I'm inclined to think of 'also' as one of those grace-words I mentioned, although the line-repeat truncates this to 'so' which wraps the whole line much more convincingly.

                          With 'the ends meet the river's son' one is tempted to reach for the identification with 'river's son' as representing god; however this is gender specific ('son) and therefore excludes the female 'goddess' which seems to me to run counter to the spirit of Yesmusic, which should be inclusive. The feminine has always been a significant component of the Yes world-view (think of 'I get up, I get down'), and I'm not persuaded that Jon and Steve would abandon that principle here. I'm inclined to see this as depicting a version of the eternal return, at the end of life we return to the 'universal season' wherein rebirth becomes possible, though perhaps not inevitable if karma has anything to say on the matter! I remain resistant to interpreting 'river's son' as a divine entity; I'm more inclined to refer back to the inspiration for 'Close to the Edge', Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha, and the river-imagery we find in that song. Plus in the final section of CTTE, having flowed along the river to the cusp of enlightenment we find ourselves

                          On the hill we viewed the silence of the valley,

                          Called to witness cycles only of the past;

                          And we reach all this with movements in between the said remark

                          I find in both of these passages the same essential truth being reached for and expressed: we attain a vantage point in the course of our lives from which we can gaze about us at our lives, our pasts, a place of stillness, silence and calm repose, from where it becomes possible to perceive, 'witness', the endless cycles of life, the universe and everything; and it is a discovery, a gaining of elevated perceptual candor, that we are able to speak of and share with humankind. In CTTE it is the end of the song and it attains its goal in a state of exultation and joy; in 'The Remembering' we are at a point in a journey through memory, into memory itself, the vantage point is similar, but the stage we have reached is different, further along. The conjoining of the 'ends' meeting 'the river's son' brings the closing of the circle, the cycle of life, past, present and future meeting at the point of renewal and rebirth; there is a sense of rebirth and renewal present in the inaction of the baptismal rite too of course, and there may be something of that being alluded to here, as it is with the Siddhartha story. We are all sprung from the river of time, and we all find our end there too.

                          Since, like 'Close to the Edge', 'The Remembering' is concerned with the passage of time and how we can access the past, learn from it and make use of it, much of the lyrical content seems to me to be dealing with how we accumulate knowledge over time, how we record it, and make it available to succeeding generations and cultures. We are on guests upon a quest. This strongly suggests that what we should be seeking to access in the past is knowledge of a particular and rarified form; however, accessing it is insufficient in itself, we also need the knowledge of how to use what we find, and how to imbue it with meaning and significance for our own time, to provide for it contexts and points of reference. This is where the 'mind's eye' comes into play. Setting sail on the Topographic Ocean is a voyage of memory, of reverie and recollection, but crucially one of calm reflection, a meditative state of mind wherein that which we seek can be revealed, grasped and understood. We are urged to stop and take the time to wonder, not to worry overmuch with the fleeting moments that press over us for 'the strength of the moment lies with you/us'.

                          Thomas Mosbo, in his book Yes: But What Does It Mean has some incisive comments about this, alternate, view:

                          ‘since we are creatures who have come to be conscious of our own existence through time, it is natural to look back over our lives in the light of new understandings in order to become more fully aware of who we are and who we ought to be.’

                          The voyage we undertake along the river of time ('Close to the Edge' references again) brings us into contact with our own past and our experience of it. As Mosbo puts it, ‘using our memory as our vehicle, we sail backwards in time to experience our past anew’. Each time we cast our minds back though we re-experience the memory of that time differently, because we are continually sailing forward in time; each time we remember we do so from a different point in time and space. Aspects of our memories may rise to the surface unbidden from the murky depths of our subconscious; thoughts, feelings, memories that hitherto had lain below the threshold of our consciousness may emerge in a new light through the mind's eye.

                          "We all gotta climb mountains!" - Jon Anderson 2003

                          Comment


                            #14
                            The ceaseless flow of memory we have access to, the all-encompassing ocean into which all rivers flow, contains more however, than merely our personal conscious/unconscious selves and self-experience. There may be found buried in deeper layers archetypal remnants we have osmotically imbibed over the course of our lives; figures, personas, stories, myths, fables, tales, dream-fragments and, inescapably, nightmares, fears and anxieties, that are co-existent with the human condition. All of these are denizens of the deep oceans of our selves and our imaginations; that which we are aware of in the ordinary courses of our lives is the merest tip of a vast iceberg of which we are infinitely comprised. Mosbo again:

                            We all have access to this ocean through our mind's eye, our inner sight, our imagination. The tales we encounter there, the myths which give meaning to life, are a part of all of us, and are interwoven into our own life experiences:

                            I find Mosbo's readings very helpful and revealing, one I am sympathetic to if not wholly convinced by. I depart from him somewhat in particular interpretative conclusions: he tends to personalize the lyrical content, rendering it as almost exclusively autobiographical. I am wary of inferring authorial intention in this way. There are simply no grounds to do so, beyond a wish to do so.

                            The voyage we undertake through life is our own, we cannot sail in the wakes of others: you can't slipstream your way to enlightenment. You have to climb your own mountain and cross your own rivers, sail your own ocean. Using your own resources and judgement, learning from your mistakes, bearing in mind that signs along the way may just as likely mislead as not, that a guide may lead you away from your own true course and into theirs. It happens all the time. Been there, done that, not pretty.

                            This seems a suitable place to pause while I put together the rest of this foolhardy undertaking. I hope some of you at least out there in Yesland find something here; I've certainly found it a fascinating experience and I think I've learned a lot along the way. I'm looking forward to continuing the voyage soon.

                            PART 2:

                            Here is the continuation of my revealing of 'The Remembering'. I drew to a pause previously after 'the river's son' before diving into the rest of the piece, mostly to regather my equilibrium, and also to see what sort of response I received. A big Yeshug to everyone who offered their comments!

                            From this point on I see 'The Remembering' as falling into several fairly clearly delineated sections, each aiming to take the listener deeper into the inner world of memory, reflection and re-lived experience, interspersed with passages of what we may take to be actual memories, or at least poeticized forms of recollection. As we do so the music steadily begins to become more dramatic and energetic; there is a feeling of the joy of discovery, and of the rediscovery of moments perhaps previously thought lost. […….]

                            Before resuming the voyage proper however, I thought it would be fun as well as jolly interesting to delve below the surface a little at some of the parts assigned to memory and/or its agency in mythopoeic thinking. The famous footnote on page 83 of Autobiography of a Yogi that is referred to in the cover-notes to Topographic Oceans offers a tantalizing glimpse of the vast collection of Hindu sacred writings that survive […..]; it would be the study of several lifetimes to even begin to discuss those meaningfully here. Instead I'd like to cast an eye over some of the mythic themes that emerge and which seem to comprise much of the mythology, religion and literature of the past, our past.

                            Mnemosyne, daughter of Gaia ('earth') and mother of the Muses; Lethe, the river of forgetting..

                            Interestingly, a later phrase, 'whispers of clay', a favorite image of mine, has resonances with both the poetic language of the Eighteenth Century humanist enlightenment and the Romantic poets: they would often refer to the physical body as a thing of clay, as distinct from the non-corporeal body, the soul or spirit. Think of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein trying to imbue his creation with the spark of life, or creation myths in which people are fashioned by a creator from clay or mud. 'Whispers of clay' then, human speech, the spoken word, sufficient for ordinary communication, but inadequate for expressing, well, the inexpressible. For that purpose we have Yesmusic.

                            Posts here have mentioned before the failure of language ultimately to express all we wish to convey to others, the words lie just out of reach, on the tip of one's tongue, the telling phrase that so maddeningly eludes our grasp, like sand on the seashore that slips between our toes.

                            The fruit of life I take it to mean this knowledge, together with the awareness or enlightenment to be able to understand what it means and signifies. We 'reach over' time and space in order to get to it, but the fruit itself is timeless, outside of time.

                            What is alluded to repeatedly are stories and songs, and those who tell them and sing them, and especially the shift in social development from largely an oral storytelling tradition to one in which stories are written down, becoming in the process frozen, as it where, in time; unchanging (loss in translations notwithstanding!).

                            In the oral traditions of recording knowledge the principle 'book' to be read is the book of nature, of the seasons, the weather, the forests of the sun, and the days of summer so long. It is recorded by ritual, festival, and ceremony in every culture under the sun; it is recalled by story, song and dance, 'we danced as evenings sang their song'. The first part of the song is mostly concerned with exploring the ritualistic nature of the oral tradition, and how much we still depend on it now, despite the ubiquity of the written word and the computer (not in 1973 though!). The song undergoes its transition with the introduction of Steve's twelve-string acoustic. I struggle with parsing 'Don the cap and close your eyes imagine all the glorious challenge', I love the line, I just don't know what it means, really.

                            I think much of TFTO is concerned with this activity, but in 'The Remembering' the manner in which this knowledge is recorded and accessed is, I think, more concrete than metaphysical, although the metaphysical level is, of course, always present.

                            Despite the critical lashing it received, and still receives, for being some blissed-out, hippy-dippy navel-gazing nadir, the album is concerned primarily with cultural learning and knowledge, religion and science, as well as art, architecture, music, literature, medicine, as it says in the album notes, not exclusively with transcending these concerns, but with exploring them and discerning their worth and relevance; it is largely of 'thisworld' not 'otherworld' that it seeks to explore and describe and, hopefully, suggest ways of making it a better one. Not so much, then, an overblown example of progressive music disappearing up its own bottom, more of an epistemological treatise! (please note tongue-in-cheek). Such concerns, we are told, are not properly the province of rock music, which should confine itself to more adolescent infatuations.
                            "We all gotta climb mountains!" - Jon Anderson 2003

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Relatedly, perhaps, here are Donald Lemkuhl's programme notes from the 1973/74 Tour programme:

                              See the Earth unearthly. Earth without oceans. Without mountains, valleys, chasms. Earth without rivers, caves, deserts. Earth without sky. Earth without Moon. Earth without earth. Earth without you. Unearthly. Now Earth is new, just expelled from a star that had grown too great with its own creativity. Earth is whirling in space, heaving, seething, pulsing a pinpoint of molten matter 8000 miles thick. The bowels of Earth and the surface of Earth are the same: an elemental commotion so hot that every atom seems ready for breakdown. Or build-up. Earth is swaddled in a blanket of agitated gases and sublime radiation, thousands of miles deep. Action and reaction. Electron and proton. Atom on atom. Nucleus on nucleus. Heavy on light. Light on heavy. All on all. Here is a sphere of iron and gold and silver. Of hydrogen and oxygen and carbon. Of copper and tin and lead. Of sodium, radium and uranium. Of chlorine, neon, nitrogen. Of mercury. Of sulfur. Of silicon. Of iodine. Of 92 elements compacted into a ball. And it's excited. Everything is in flux. Everything bounds and rebounds. Everything changes. Currents of iron rush from the center to the surface, from the surface to the center. Back and forth. Back and forth. Aluminum, tungsten, magnesium, calcium, silicon bubble and dance, spurt in jets; sink, rise; sink rise. Action and reaction. All on all. Thus, a gigantic cauldron, Earth begins its voyage around the Sun, the first of some four billion six hundred million still to come. For millions and millions and millions of years, Earth revolves and rotates, cooling, always cooling. And as it cools, it becomes more complex. It keeps changing. The heaviest matter condenses into a core, the liqhtest floats like a scum. Elements combine, make minerals, make liquid rock - make something utterly unmade before. Its dense envelope of gas and radiation thins. In time, Earth is cool enough for water to form without being instantly vaporized by the burning surface. And it rains. It rains for a billion years. Electrical and magnetic storms sweep from pole to pole, then sweep back again. The equator is an unimpeded highway for tornadoes that roll straight around the globe. Again. And again. And again. And again. And a light crust forms. And primitive seas form. And the crust cracks from the weight of water. And water rushes to the interior, and is explosively ejected, and rushes in, and is ejected, and rushes in, and is ejected. The crust contracts, expands, deforms: some crust sinks deep towards the center of Earth; some rises high above the waters and land appears: the first continent, the super continent from which all subsequent continents will be derived. And Earth begins to settle down. But not completely. Earthquakes and massive volcanic eruptions shake Earth daily if not hourly. Water encounters everything, every old element, every new mineral. A little bit of everything - and a great deal of a few things - go into solution. And now the seas are a rich chemical soup such as no star could ever create, even though all this has come from a star. And so the foundation for life is laid. All the essentials are there, nothing is missing. And there is no eye to see it, no ear to hear it. It is as if nothing were happening at all. Yet history has already begun, is already very old. Within the Earth already lie the rise and fall of countless species, the birth and death of hundreds of civilizations. Sharks are there, ready to swim; dinosaurs are there, ready to rage; and gibbons, ready to gibber; wolves, ready to howl. The ruins of Nineveh, Troy, Petra, Carthage, Copan and Angkor Wat are already there. The Egyptians with their masks of gold, the Jews with their sacred tablets, the Chinese with their porcelain bowls, the Indians with their thought of Krishna, the Babylonians, the Assyrians, the Armenians and the Persians, the Greeks and the Romans, the Incas and the Aztecs - they are all already within the Earth. And Buddha is within it. And St. Francis. And Caesar. And Shakespeare. And Newton. The Bible is within it. The Koran. The Upanishads. Painting is within it. Music is within it. Speech is within it. And sex. Earth is waiting, waiting for all to emerge. Earth waits for the octopus and the tiger. Earth waits for the mushroom and the orchid. Earth waits for the mammoth and the ape. Earth waits for the Pyramids and the Great Wall of China. Earth waits for harvests and festivals, for famines and wars. Earth waits for love and fear, for courage and cowardice, for hope and despair. Earth waits for you.For just as Earth is the child of a star, you are the child of the Earth, and no less descended from a star. Earth waits for its star-child, Man, to come and give it the name of Earth. You and Earth and history are one. You do not belong to a race or a nation, to a time or a doctrine. You belong to Earth. Through you - through Man - Earth has sought and found a mouth to speak with, eyes to see with, hands to work with. Through Man, Earth discovers itself and reveals itself to itself and to the rest of the universe. Early Man - unblinded by science and institutional religion, undeafened by economic and political theory - seemed to know this. Early Man was not alienated from the Earth. For him, every tree and stone, every river and mountain possessed a spirit that was inextricably entangled with Earth. Kings felt and understood their descent from the Sun. Their people felt it too. And if they could not express it in cold equations as a fact of physics, believing in it as a divine truth, that does not make them more naive or less sensible than anyone alive today. What they had, what we have lost, is a sense of wonder, a sense of union with every living and non-living entity on Earth and in the universe. Man has come a long way since he first appeared as a species. He has a long way to go. Perhaps Man will go. Perhaps Man is a stepping stone to a higher species with powers of consciousness over mind and matter that are impossible to imagine right now. For, surely, Earth is still waiting, waiting for more to emerge. Earth is not finished. Earth has all the time in the world. Everything about Earth is a mystery. Geologists do not know the structure of the core. Biologists do not know why or how life began. Physicists cannot explain gravitation or magnetism. Psychologists are defeated by telepathy. Historians and modern architects cannot even agree about how the Pyramids were built. It is as if Man had forgotten his origins, like an Easter Island figure staring sightless and forever toward an unknown shore. But how can this be so? Since every single thing on Earth derives from the same source, every single thing must carry the memory of that source. Like some text in a lost language, the history of Earth - of the universe - must be written in the mind of everyman, but inscrutable, indecipherable. For us, then, is the task of recovering, of finding what has been found and lost a hundred times before. Man must return to the source of his being and drink from it, or man will perish, which (clearly) Earth will not permit. Earth will not allow four and a half billion years of creativity to be annihilated by its principal species in a few hundred years. Earth has shown itself to be too flexible, too productive, too loving for that. Earth is not on a suicide trip around the Sun. It has much to do, much more to do. And so has Man. To find out where he is going, Man must first find out where he came from. Music and poetry help him remember, as they always have, for they are basic, uncorrupted and incorruptible. They are the original magic out of which religions were formed, and though those religions may be extinct (even if still practiced), the magic of music and poetry is not extinct. It lives in every one of us. The contemplation of art helps Man remember. Meditation helps Man remember. Communal action helps Man remember. Love helps Man remember. Look at Earth. See its oceans and mountains and valleys and chasms. See its rivers and plains. See its webs and spiders, its foxes and grapes, its vultures and flamingoes. They are all sacred. See its sky and Moon. And then see yourself. You have been alive since the moment of Earth's creation. And you will remain alive as long as Earth continues its daily round of light and dark, and yearly round of miraculous seasons. Life spins its own meaning and is its own purpose. Life is its own religion, and we are all high priests. Neither life nor Earth nor Man needs a savior or a received religion to impose form and direction. The direction and the form are there. We must search for them. And just by trying, just by meditating, just by contemplating, just by submitting to love and love's potent alchemy, direction and form will find us. They will find us where we have always been - with our feet planted firmly in Earth and our heads pointing toward the Sun. You and Earth and history are one. Donald Lehmkuhl, January 1974
                              "We all gotta climb mountains!" - Jon Anderson 2003

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