Syzygy (syzygy) wrote in syz_quasirelig,

I'm about halfway through The Secret Life of Plants. The ideas therein are quite remarkable; they give a physical aspect to the dreambody of ideas I've kept, from various sources, on plant spirit.

Although plant sentience is observed in different ways, the most common seems to be electrical conductivity. (It is conductivity, right? The fundamental science is never laid out clearly enough for one such as myself.) Although plants don't have nervous systems as animals do, if I recall correctly, nerves communicate through electrical impulses. This would suggest that electricity is the basic form of awareness. If the net also functions by transmission of electrical impulses (wow, how little I know about these things), that could be yet another way in which it is the raising of the communal subconscious into a communal conscious.

The book has also emphasized for me the idea that if I am to succeed on my current path, I really must have an energetic connection to the plants. Reading about George Washington Carver was especially inspiring in that respect. And that energetic connection would also be involved in human and animal relationships, although our marvelous sapience sometimes challenges benevolence. For some reason, even though I've always been attracted to such ideas, and I have sensed and practiced such connection at times, it doesn't come naturally to me. It comes with more difficulty than, say, prayer and imaginative contemplation. It even comes with more difficulty than the limited 'clairvoyance' that I've reached at times. In fact, I used to be one of those people that killed houseplants. They're so quiet when they're thirsty, I used to say, how can anyone remember to water them? Over the past few years my attraction to green things has grown, and my green thumb with it. But it's still pretty limited. I certainly do feel love and excitement for the plants, but something in me resists the cultivated expression of those feelings. And likewise, I find it harder to open clear lines of communication with their related spirits than with more intellectual spirits.

In some ways I think this is because I'm basically a dull person, and I have to exert some effort to shine. I don't necessarily mean 'dull' in the same way that it's normally used; think of it as dull in an earthy sense. A few things come of their own accord, but take 'clairvoyance' for example. I couldn't be called a psychic, because I don't ordinarily experience almost anything that psychics experience. In order to give a reading or obtain similar information I usually have to access something in myself which is not at all part of my regular functioning. I think of it as climbing down into a semi-basement room and looking out through a special window. Psychics, on the other hand, are people who have windows everywhere, and have to learn how to close and curtain them. Anyway, the only way to shed this dullness is to take the constant little leaps into the unknown, to frequently try and to accept failure as a positive and temporary thing.

Aside from dullness, though, there is actual bad energy: hostility, infertility, swampishness. There are doubtless other forms of bad energy, but these are the kinds that seem to get between me and the plants. At the moment I especially feel a certain general hostility and aggressiveness, from too many arguments, grudges, and disturbing encounters accumulated. Although I intellectually believe in ahimsa as a dynamic power, I no longer believe in it emotionally; emotionally I believe more in survival, protection, and defense. (Well, I'm exaggerating a bit for the sake of clarity.) Of course, this is negative, but it has a useful and vital quality; obtaining this energy has been part of my maturation. If I were to simply try to rid myself of this energy, not only would I probably cause it to fester in my subconscious, but I would lose out on the helpful forms this seemingly negative energy can take. So instead of ridding myself of it, I would like it to be transformed. It could even eventually become positive hostility, for all I know--I don't have a strict idea of what it should transform into. But I do have a sense of what will transform it, which I call nourishing love. (Even to talk about it--the whole process--like this objectifies it into limited, nearly sterile words.)

In order to help this process along, I contacted a Sufi teacher and asked her to recommend a wazifa for this purpose. Now, I don't know as much as I'd like to about wazifas, their history and so on. So I'll just write some of what I do know.

According to Sufism, God has many names. 'Allah' is his and her greatest, absolute and all-encompassing name. Traditionally he and she has ninety nine other names, although in practice there are many more. Each of these names is related to a particular aspect of God, some only subtly different. A wazifa is more or less a daily recitation of a pair of God's names, such as Ya Rahman, Ya Rahim: Oh Compassionate One, Oh Merciful One. 'Ya' is the invocation, the calling out of. You never say 'Ya' before 'Allah' because in the form of Allah God is specifically always already present.

When I was first reading about Sufism I came across some story of a great Sufi who, at a young age, spent forty days secluded in a holy place, reciting the name of God. He later said that he discovered many things during that period. Thinking about that, it occurred to me that 'Allah' is closely related to the breath.

The first wazifa I was ever given was specifically for the cure of what I described as distrust of God. It was Ya Ali, Ya Qadir: Oh Highest One, Oh All-Powerful One. The teacher pointed out to me that you can hear the meaning in the very sound; the 'i' in Ali soars, and she described the consonants of Qadir as knocking. I imagined it as a thunderbolt from on high shuddering into the covering of my heart.

Recently, the wazifa I drew from this teacher's suggestions is Ya Wadud, Ya Muhyi: Oh Loving One, Oh Life Giver. You can hear caresses in the 'd's of Wadud, and an urgent whisper in the 'h' of Muhyi. It struck me that, just as I might murmur this wazifa to a slow seed, so this wazifa is in fact being murmured to me as I recite it, expressive waves to induce greater life.

Despite the times we live in, I'm beginning to feel a great excitement for the future. A seed seems lifeless, but in fact it is alive. A small plant seems weak, but some grow into enormous forests. According to the I Ching, whatever is below will sooner or later ascend. This process takes time because it's also about internal changes. In many microcosms--people's spirits, communities, small practical acts--I see great things happening, and eventually they will blossom forth into the macrocosm. And then this ... must break free of the dyad so that we can be continually transformed.
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