Back Theoretics

Creek Tuning

Once upon a time I tuned a creek. Really. It occurred shortly after my first recognizable religious experience. At the time I had lost almost all my moorings to the world but had the good fortune to be living in a redwood grove of great beauty in a pocket sized valley. At the bottom was a little spring-fed creek that ran merrily all the year round. I was in the habit of sitting by the side of that creek, lulled into a meditative state by the trickle and gurgle of the water's dance toward the ocean four miles away.

Then I discovered the 'throne'. Oh I know it was just moss-covered rocks, but the geological tumble had resulted in a comfortable back and seat with arm rests. It was perfectly positioned for swishing my feet around in a little pool. Many hours I sat there listening to the melody of that creek until I realized I could tune its bubbling murmur. Several weeks went by as I created little waterfalls and dams in the vicinity of the throne and listened with great enjoyment to the changes in the streaming song.

One day, as I was immersed in my creative interaction with nature, I received what I now recognize as a spiritual gift. With a sense of expanded consciousness, I suddenly experienced a feeling of place. It was wonderful. I was connected to the earth in a way I'd never before felt. It was as if I had started establishing roots in the whole of Creation. I sensed being a tiny mote of awareness on a little capillary of the life-sustaining waters of the Earth. I could feel the whole planet and even a shadow of our solar system.

That marvel was so astonishing I sought to share it with other people. The first two lightly ridiculed my description of the experience and had no interest in it except as a source of humor. The last person to whom I tried to offer my wonder declined before I was even able to describe it. From those three responses, I realized that some things just couldn't be shared. They are individual gifts and, in that light, unique events.

Forty-two years later a friend made a profound comment. To paraphrase, "Everyone," he said, "who has an idea about spirituality believes they are right." I was stunned by the simple truth of his statement. After pondering the implications of that thought for a bit, I absorbed it with a subtle difference. In fact, everyone who is making spiritual progress is right. The ideas we have acquired and to which we have become attached are exactly those needed at the time. Of course our beliefs will be rendered obsolete as they are superseded by new concepts, the horizon of our expanding consciousness.

Actual experience is the evidence of our progress. The phenomenon of inspiration is hard to share. We can share those sparks of our realizations only occasionally when our meandering paths of ascension parallel one another for a short time. Yet our unique interpretations are valuable, for we are weaving a tapestry of new spiritual realities from among all the threads of our collective efforts. As long as we try there is success, even though life may seem to be a constant comedy of errors. The tedium of falling short is periodically mitigated by moments of illumination that show the way in a positive light. It banishes the dusk of uncertainty for a moment. Then the light fades and we slide once more into a sort of blind man's bluff, relegated to feeling our way ahead. Along my way I had become a Creek Tuner. Put A Babble In Your Brook