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Re: From the spring to the pond

Sep 24, 1995 08:30 PM
by Murray Stentiford, Scientific Software and Systems Ltd

John Crocker,

>>KPJ: There's no point in boring everyone with details of how
>>beautiful the hike was, or how peaceful it was ....
>JRC: Oh, I don't know ... about either point. I don't think its
>boring, and have myself made major sacrifices (in the eyes of
>what modern society considers to be important) to live in the
>midst of scenic splendour.
>>KPJ: Living in the city and
>>driving to nice rural spots created a sense of distance and
>>deprivation. Nature was not continuous with the reality in
>>which I lived; it was something you had to escape to.
>JRC: I grew up in suburban
>Detroit, and moved to Montana 15 years ago, and the sensation was
>the same - how remarkable to live where human presence is dwarfed
>by the natural world; where it is but a hop skip & a jump to be
>alone and facing the immensity of the galaxy.
>- perhaps a bit of gushing about the magnificence of a
>hike, the tenderness in a friendship, or the accomplishments in
>our (often seemingly) mundane jobs, would serve to humanize this
>medium ... to make it easier to remember that we are not all just


This post lifts my spirits and encourages me to share some of the
feelings I have about living in the city.

My wife, Jocelyn, and I moved to a new house in a suburb of Auckland, New
Zealand, only 8 minutes' drive from the city centre, just over a year
ago. We took it on for the express purpose of being near to our
workplaces and near to the Auckland theosophical lodge and NZ
headquarters. The idea was to reduce time spent travelling so we'd have
more time for our relationship, theosophical work, and home life in
general. Living in that part of the city is also an excellent financial
investment, due to the rate of rise of property values - again with a
view to freeing us up financially sooner to do things we really want to
with our time, especially theosophical work in a wider sense.

The compromise we had to make for this combination of advantages, was to
accept a pretty ordinary urban environment, ie on flat ground, not high,
not much of a view, and close to other houses. All pleasant enough, but
leaving the spirit wanting, at times. For others in other parts of the
city, it can be a lot worse. Perhaps a bit of a sacrifice, here, on the
other side of the fence from yours.

I see this period of our lives as being one where our connections are
best served by being this close to them physically, but I have a strong
impulse at times to break out and find a more beautiful natural
environment, and keep in touch with the world via the Internet when I
want to. I feel that our time in the present house could be quite short
and we're holding it lightly, ready for a significant change. Meanwhile,
we live in a kind of ongoing creative tension.

I often think of nature as expressed in city dwelling areas, and have
been delighted to find that native birds are beginning to move into the
city. It's a real thrill to hear a tui or a morepork in a tree nearby.
When we plant more flowers, perhaps there'll be more nature spirits

When we first moved into the house, I was very conscious of its being a
collection of materials put together, perhaps not yet well integrated
into a "being" as our Maori indigenous people conceive a dwelling place.
All the walls a clean akashic slate, relatively speaking. I have often
thought love into those walls and asked for the embrace of any interested
orders of beings. When we leave, it will be for the next inhabitants.

The soil in the garden was a heavy layer of clayey stuff dumped on top of
an older fertile volcanic soil, with stones and even the odd small car
part in it. Must have been in a garbage dump, some of it anyway. Made me
quite sad, and at times resentful at what the builders had done.

So, in my morning meditations, I sometimes think of that soil and the
psychic "gunge" that I once read sinks into the soil in a city as a
byproduct of human activity, and decided that it needed more love and
light to sink into it, just as aeration and oxygen is good for soil.
Sometimes I think of that and try to see it as a vibrant reality.

Finally, though this was addressed to KPJ,

>I, for one, would be interested in hearing, over the next few
>months what changes you observe in your energy, in your perspective, in
>your spiritual practices, as your system integrates (or reintegrates)
>into surroundings that you must feel immensely blessed to be living in.

I have experienced a considerable shift in my perspectives and increasing
interest in, and sense of, unity as expressed in connections and
relationships of all kinds, over the last two years. My time in this city
house is perhaps a node in a multi-dimensional net where I can dream of
living away from city lights, in the silence, for it to become a reality
when the time is right.

Murray Stentiford

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