Thursday, April 7, 2011

Touch the Earth: A Portrait of Indian Existence

I was perusing through a used bookstore a few weeks ago... not really looking for anything in particular. When I'm in a bookstore.... I'm kind of like a four year old in a candy shop without a grownup. I open every book that looks interesting to a random page and test it out... If it continues to interest me, I sit on the floor and read the first chapter. If not, I put it back on the shelf. I grabbed this book in my mad book-consuming frenzy and was blown away by the paragraph I randomly opened it up to.

"You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round.... Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle. The Sky is round and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball and so are all the stars. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same, and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were, The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood and so it is in everything where power moves. Our tipis were round like the nests of birds and these always set in a circle, the nation's hoop, a nest of many nests where the Great Spirit meant for us to hatch our children."

That paragraph reminded me of an essay by R.W. Emerson that I have always held close to my heart. 

"The eye is the first circle; the horizon which it forms is the second; and throughout nature this primary figure is repeated without end. It is the highest emblem in the cipher of the world. St. Augustine described the nature of God as a circle whose center was everywhere, and its circumference nowhere. We are all our lifetime reading the copious sense of this first of forms. One moral we have already deduced, in considering the circular or compensatory character of every human action. Another analogy we shall now trace; that every action admits of being outdone. Our life is an apprenticeship to the truth, that around every circle another can be drawn; that there is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning; that there is always another dawn risen on mid-noon, and under every deep a lower deep opens."

Oh, and this of course ties in with my affinity for fractals and the fractal universe theory.

I wish I could give you the entire book in this post, but it's far too complex and time-consuming to explain it all. You'll just have to read it.

1 comment:

  1. Dogs chase their tales in circles, children play games holding hands in circles, we put rings on the finger of our beloved when we marry, we "encircle" our friends in a hug....there are so many comparisons! Thanks for sharing this!