We may imagine the Old Brain – the Reptilian Complex (brain-stem and mid-brain) at the base of our brains – being the nearest to the earth of our three notional cerebral systems, is the more earth-bound, governing our essential systems from breathing and heartbeat to digestion and sex in all their manifestations. And we may imagine what used to be called the Limbic System, the apparent next stage of early mammalian awareness, encompassing root cerebral motivations, imitation, emotions and responses, trifling in and out of near-focussed consciousness, dancing with raw survival. If we imagine the Cerebellum to be the facilitator of rhythm, movement, coordination, uprightness, physical balance and orientation, (attached behind and below the neocortex), that leaves the vastly greater mass of the Neocortex, surrounding and enclosing most of the rest, which we ‘see’ as developing, pioneering, possibly evolving the human species and whatever passes for ‘intelligence’, closest to the sky.
The giraffe, prized by Bushmen, is the earth’s tallest creature – closest to the sky – grown that way to feed on fruits, leaves and twigs out of reach of others, and to see farther than others; generally passive and protective; its young being vulnerable to shorter-legged feral predators. Up close in the wild, a male can be nervous of man, appearing to be protective of a mate more than afraid. When hunted, they can be elusive.
And there are those wonderful trees growing ever heavenwards. Magnificent Oaks, Beeches, Chestnuts, the phenomenal Gum tree autumn spectacular, the ubiquitous Plane trees, dancing Birches, wondrous Wellingtonias, and many others rejoicing worldwide; our wisdom friends, providers and protectors.
There are the birds, what’s left of them, calling, singing, alarming, playing in the air, flying in the heavens. Once, sitting on a mid-Himalayan peak, I watched an eagle gliding for more than 20 miles without twitching a feather. Another time, in southern India, an eagle circled around and around over me while having an outdoor massage under a tamarind tree. And, I would hope, that all children have rejoiced in dawn choruses, and in wrens and robins in their gardens and will have listened to nightingales in early summers. Species closer to heaven.
And there is us – upright, two-legged humans – long-evolved from the four-leggeds, despite skeletal, joint, and organ challenges, (knees, hips, lower-back, shoulders, elbows), growing skywards; multi-generationally, instinctively, adapting to different environments, and intuitively ‘reaching for the sky’. Historically, successful hunter-gathering techniques and protection awareness led to cooperative collectives, settlements, and food cultivation; to relationships with dogs and horses; to realised communication; to self-awareness; and to something else : to awareness of a greater intelligence out there somewhere ‘in the sky’, and all around. 
In the great scheme of things, however foolish Man may appear to be nowadays, there is that about some part of most which appears to reach for greater understanding – unfortunately, too often ‘scientifically’, being man’s egocentricity at work, seeking ‘terrestrial knowledge’. ‘Spiritually’ being an almost undefinable reaching for whatever goes on in the heavens; a seeking for Oneness with wherever we all came from, for understanding meaning and purpose, for which our brains prove to be limited, unable to fathom much, because those cerebral ‘routes’ have been buggered by wrong belief, wrong teaching, wrong mores, confused, and inadequate.
Each needs to find that essential additional dimension within (and without) which for now we will call ‘Mind’; that part connected to our soul – our essence – and to the vastness, the Cosmos, to Life and Love. Many decline the journey from ‘fear of the unknown’, looking for shortcuts, looking for notions of others that seem to chime, anything but settle down to do their own work, perhaps because there is so much else going on in their lives, relationships, sex, children, home, family, friends, diets, exercise, worries, contacts, business contracts, and more recently, sadly, mobile/cell space-invaders, social media, scams great and small, advanced claptrap, and the rest.
That most forewent seeking the essential; sought alternate, nihilistic ways to justify their existence, quasi-nitro-fertilising their egos, led to millennia of carnage, environmental degradation, and so on; to humankind’s destruction of Life on Earth; to the impending ‘Correction’. Surely, any clear-thinking person can see that we’ve got it all wrong; clear-thinking meaning someone whose intellect isn’t obfuscated by the manure of ‘false civilization’ ? Ask a child.
So, Who Are We ? Who Am I ? The generational question haunting every adolescent teenage and young adult ego; and so often nowadays, the child-abused, lost, ecstasy generations.
The journey for each is long and challenging; there are no short-cuts; the longest way – the full, concentrated route, with our many detours – turns out to be the shortest; takes many years of inner travel, travail, through the forest of troubles, to reach the river, or impenetrable barrier of life and death of the ego. First, there arises a self-created opportunity to find one’s way to a yet-to-be-seen vision; thence to ‘view’ and accept the unknown, unique journey ahead.
We may already have discovered the falsity of ego; now we begin to perceive our inner essence, our soul, is a part of we’ll call ‘universal soul’; that our amazing brains – a part of the chariot – are there for ‘us’ to use, as directed by ‘mind’, our connection to ‘universal soul’, if only we will ‘listen’; that ego, a naughty element of ‘brain’, is our tester, one of many personal teachers; that all life forms offer us learning, will communicate with us, if only we will be our true selves, listen and learn, and communicate mindfully; that our safe path is to ‘listen’, and follow, and trust.
“ If you cannot trust yourself,
Whom can you trust ?
Who can trust you ? ”
‘Westerners’ share not dissimilar notions of age-structured so-called ‘education’ into which they feed their young, conveyor-belt style, guaranteeing a confused uniform-cum-unique product to emerge; ‘the more automatic the system, the less to worry about’. What are imagined to be ‘Leading Schools’ are often expensive private businesses, making enormous profits, which the mass of also-ran, tread-wheel ‘State Schools’, some impregnated with political prejudice, have to try to keep up with. Fatuous People Automation, just about sums it up; a theme that runs throughout bureaucracies. That they all miss the point with 99% of kids is very relevant : humans have continuously cocked-up for centuries.
The Point ? Humans consist of two notable parts : we are Human-animal Beings and ‘Spiritual Beings’, both; the lifetime transformation from human-animal to ‘spiritual’ appearing to be ‘the journey’ – The Point. We are all aware that we never stop learning until the day we die; that ‘learning’ is one of the features common to all humans. Of all species, only humans are aware that they are aware. We are conscious that we are ‘Conscious’; that we have a Higher Consciousness than other species. We may suppose there is a reason for this; that this Higher Consciousness has purpose and destiny. Egoists imagine that we humans are given the wherewithal to hold mastery over every other species, to rule, to grasp anything we want; hollow pyrrhic victories for ‘the fittest’. Contrary to the nonsenses pedalled by foolish politicians, our governance has been generally abysmal. We are facing global catastrophes on every front; a decreasing few will die ‘naturally’. We may suppose the egoists have got it wrong.
Planet Earth appears to be a school for learning; we humans appear to be pupils in the arts of Life, Love, and the Universe, for our lifespans. We like to learn; we learn naturally; but for what ? Where does it lead ? What comes after ? And we wonder what will happen to our pathetic egos when we die. A while ago, back in those same Himalayan foothills, a wise man told this story . . .
Let us imagine that every non-stop night rolling around the globe, hundreds of millions of human copulations occur; and that the gods fertilise many with pure Love. In the heavens, clouds of pure raindrops accumulate until the right time comes, when a hundred million raindrops fall to Earth, each separately here and there, splash !
Each raindrop wakes up with a bump and looks around as far as it is able, which isn’t far. Each, imagining that it will explore, starts to roll a little downhill until it bumps into another, and they become friends. They continue their bumpy downhill ride until they mix with others and form a tiny rivulet, which in time joins up with another, and they brook together, playing, singing, and dancing, feeling yay ! Onwards downhill our brook merges with another, becoming a stream; later, joining a river of others, rejoicing in sharing Life with fishes, otters, watering birds, swans and their cygnets. Onwards, ever-growing with new friends joining, until our river has become so large it separates into a delta before joining the Great Ocean.
The immense Great Ocean travelling here, there, and everywhere, visiting every corner of the globe; a vast, phenomenal togetherness. And his majesty the sun shines down on this creation, catching the tips of waves and surf. Some days get hotter, and the heavens decree what we know as evaporation, and some of our raindrops are drawn from the ocean to ascend to the greater Oneness whence they came, to meld once again with heaven, and pure Love.
So be it.
Copyright © Gaunts Publishing 2023.
 See ‘The Wise of Time’, 2021-2.