Thursday, March 31, 2016
How Do We Know What We Know?
We are always learning, evolving and developing as we grow, and our progress often reveals itself in layers over time, opening our understand of ourselves and our lives in surprising ways.
One of these revelations came to me through the earth itself, rocks, stones, crystals and other finds. And in a further exploration, gardening. We often discover our relation to the earth and to other people in a very direct manor, although that is not necessarily what we set out to do.
When I was a child, one of my favorite hobbies was collecting rocks. Why? It was simple, it was free and the colors, shapes, look and feel of them fascinated me. There was a lot of joy in this simple hobby. I could just be out walking and looking where I was walking, certain things caught my attention. It might be the way the light reflected off certain rocks, or the way that it fit in my hand, or perhaps the way that water would change the color of a piece.
It might be that some were just naturally heart shaped or arrowheads, fossils or another piece of stone that was chipped to a sharp edge on one side. Another time, it might have been a tooth from what I did not know. Some rocks had a glassy type finish, others were kind of sandy and crumbly, while others had distinct bands of color or spots that might have been a green blotch that appeared to have grown on it and hardened, like moss.
When people were going away on a trip and they would ask me if they could bring anything back for me, I would always ask for a rock. And they were always happy with such a simple request. So my collection grew.
As it did, I started reading books about rocks and finding out the scientific aspects of them, like which ones were formed by fire, water or the movement of the earth and what they were used for. In grammar school, I made displays for science fairs, and in this way gained a deeper understanding of my finds and an idea of how the earth came to be shaped by the elements and time.
Then as I grew up, other things like going to college, working and having a family took up my attention and my childhood hobby fell to the wayside.
Much later then, when I was the editor of the metaphysical magazines for metro Atlanta and a co-sponsor of metaphysical fairs, I was introduced to the idea of stones being used for various forms of healing, meditation and spiritual work, which was an entirely new concept for me. Having energy work done with stone layouts on me or around me demonstrated a whole new range of feeling that could come through stones.
I also participated in making sacred ritual circles out of stones and saw ancient sites where people raised huge stones to mark directions and elements. I helped raise standing stones that weighed thousands of pounds and took hundreds of people to raise using ropes and shovels.
Seeing ancient sites where people marked spaces that were perfectly aligned to events like solstices and equinoxes were another revelation to the role that rocks and stones played. I have also learned how to do readings by casting stones, which our ancient ancestors did before the invention of cards.
I have seen how the light from crystals can illuminate a space and make it more conducive to quiet, peaceful meditations and reflective energy. The concept of touchstones is related to this as well. People often carry a certain stone in their pocket or wear it on a necklace to remind them of something important.
I have also seen sights where indigenous people used stones to carve figures into other stones and how they have lasted for millennia.
So today I have stones in my home and they serve all these purposes, and it is always surprising to realize how my whole appreciation of the world we live in evolved from the childhood hobby to my current work as a healer and reader.
In this way, the tools have remained constant, but my understanding of them has evolved. As we remain open we discover many helpful things that are hidden in plain sight.
There are so many ways to be in touch with the energies around us and work with them to improve our lives. And we all have these opportunities to learn more and grow and see our lives from different perspectives.
We knew that some of these things had value even before we knew what that value was. Sometimes our awakening to it takes a while.