Too slow, baby. Too slow.

Today was the day after having worked two full shifts during which I was supposed to try and chip away at my homework.  I’m not sure what’s going on, though.  I might be resisting my own method — which is to talk things out here until they make sense; or, I might just be…tired.  In any case, I’ve only been up today to satisfy biological requirements, fell asleep last night without getting ready for bed, you know the drill.

This would be fine (except for the “not getting ready for bed” part), but…I can’t do this every day, or I will fall really far behind.  I have, basically, two weeks to complete 7 exercises I did not do for homework (one a day should work) — and to complete Part C of my Symbolic Process assignment.  (And I still need to show my Drawing prof the sheet of paper from DSPS.)

I’ve been brainstorming on alchemy recently (spinning off of my last post as regards this), though I was not able to find a local copy of a book on such.  In any case, it looks like getting into an alchemical mindset is going to be a related, but different, project to working on my story.

As regards my last post on this:  I realized that gases behave differently than liquids as regards cohesion.  Gases tend to expand outward until they reach equilibrium with their container (unless they’re particularly heavy or light); liquids tend to cohere, and solids cohere more.  I’m not sure about plasmas, but I would not expect cohesion there.  So cohesion or separation is really dependent on energy level, which in turn might be shorthanded by temperature.

This got me thinking on what, in an alchemical mindset, is meant by “Fire” or “Water.”  Now we have other terms like “strong nuclear force” and “exothermic reaction.”  What happens in the Sun is not fire; it is an exothermic reaction (gives off energy/light/heat), which is what it has in common with fire.  This still, though, fulfills the relevant requirements for Fire as a source of life or spirit…it’s still giving off light and heat.  “Condensed Fire” still works, though only on a massive scale.  A “Sun Crystal” would be impossible, as it would in effect be nothing but a fissive material, which is the reverse of the way the Sun works (however, maybe in the story, my collector thinks he wants this?) — which is interesting if it turns out to be a Death Crystal rather than a Life Crystal.

Water…I happened to look up in a reference book on Symbols, yesterday.  I found a lot of keywords which have helped, though I still don’t feel like I’ve done enough research.  I suppose it helps that it’s been raining all weekend, so I got to get up close and personal with Water.  Temperature modulation is a big aspect of what gives water its properties to support life.

I’m also still kind of interested in Water as Mind.  If Fire is the source of Life and Water is Mind, this implies that Mind can potentially extinguish Life…again, a reference stemming from Buddhist thought.  There is also the prospect of plants depending on Water, thus potentially being seen as holy in my story because they are full of the element of Mind and dependent on the source of Life.

Mind extinguishing Life, though…brings me back to a comment I read in the book Man and His Symbols, a collection of Jung’s writings.  Whichever author I was reading (Jung or the editor), they were saying that wanting not to exist was inherently suicidal and only tempered by later interpretations (such as in Mahayana Buddhism, where instead of aspiring for nirvana, one basically says they won’t enter nirvana until everyone else has, already; making this potentially a never-ending assignment).

I was thinking about this before.  People like to be happy, but (like Siddhartha) can be led to think that one should be happy all the time, which leads to unease/duhkha.  Because one can’t be happy all the time and one aspires to be happy all the time, one realizes that the only way to escape pain (in the world of samsara) is to escape life.  But in a Hindu milieu, there is no escape from life via dying; one is just reborn, over and over again.  Therefore because one desires to die to escape pain, and one believes they cannot die, they must then end the cycle of rebirth in order to permanently die (nirvana) and thus cease to suffer in the world of samsara.

Wouldn’t it be easier to just accept that one can’t be happy all the time?  I’m pretty certain that whoever it was in reality who came up with Buddhism initially (it may not have been “Siddhartha Gautama”), they were probably clinically depressed in a time without terminology for depression or treatments for such.

Anyhow:  this is all well and good, but is not progressing me on the path towards making an artwork which incorporates all of this.  With that in mind, I’m going to try and start on something that I came up with, before.  I should probably try and figure out what aspects of Water are contained in it…but right now, it’s all I have to go on, and I want to have something to work on, for Tuesday in-class.  I wish I didn’t have to rush, but in practicality, I’m taking three classes on top of part-time work, on top of a disability.  There isn’t much room for lagging (though I did do so, today — I’ve just got to pick it up for the rest of the two weeks).


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Haru ("Codey") is a third-year Master's student in Library and Information Science, hoping to find a way to fuse their desire to make the world a better place and to finance their art.

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