I found an old stone today while cleaning a corner of my studio. I do a lot of beadwork, and most days drop everything from seed beads, semiprecious stones and jewelry findings onto the floor where they skitter in a thousand directions. It is difficult, if not daunting, to squeeze underneath my heavy oak desk to clean and retrieve long lost baubles. They tightly jam themselves between the wall and the baseboard, and underneath the lip of a large piece of vintage linoleum which covers the pine wood floors.
I was using a fine horsehair brush below the baseboard to tease out beads and pieces of jewelry findings when I noticed a long forgotten cabochon jammed in there…. I had to use a piece of wire to force it out, it appeared to have been stuck in there a long time. When I climbed out of the shadows beneath my work bench, I opened my hand to discover a gemstone I had purchased in 1987. I remembered it well….
I took over a PhD research study when the original researcher hurt his back and had to return home to China. I applied as a candidate to the professor who held the research grant and was accepted to complete the studies as a Research Associate. I was little prepared for the 3 years of intense field work that was going to be required.
Anyhoo… when I completed my last day of field work, I drove back to the University. On my way, I purchased a ring at the local country store. A ring that contained the stone I found today….. Hmmm. 31 years ago. Now THAT is a river of time that has flowed through my fingers…. As it turns out, the stone is a “composite”, an “assembled” stone. One that simulates a gemstone and is made of two or three layers of gemstone or glass. These are cemented or fused together so as to appear as a whole natural stone. I did not know that at the time I purchased it. The shopkeeper identified it as a “Black turquoise” at the time. Uh-huh….
Holding that little stone in my hand today, I realized that as a human, and a Woman, classical philosophy has turned me into a “composite”, an “assemblage”…. Although I look human, I am so enculturated in the ideas introduced by a couple of Greek guys, Plato and Aristotle. In the most SIMPLISTIC terms, both men cut the “Wholeness of Being” into a “composite”, an assemblage. A theoretical construct of Body + Mind + Soul. In short, both men surmise that we have a physical body, AND a soul/mind (a thinking Be-ing) which is complete in itself, and capable of living without the body.
Don’t you think there might be an error in this way of thinking? Slicing up into parts and defining lines where there are none?…. Their philosophic ideas have been driven deep into European and Western thought and cultures. These ideas have heavily influenced not only how we see ourselves and each other….but how we see EVERYTHING….. A tree? A forest? An ocean? A rock? A cup of tea… No wonder it is so hard to really “see” and “be” with Gaia and the nature. As a ”composite”, I lack integration and interconnection with myself, let alone everything else….
I want to rip these ideas out of my head, pulling them out through my hair roots. Pulling, pulling, pulling still….until I hold the fibers of my spine tingling in my hands. Perhaps the invisible lines of separation created by philosophy and western culture will simply “poof” disappear….. and the fullness of union with all things will take its place….