Friday, December 4, 2009

The Art of War

Disclaimer: I'm always the first to admit that my shamanic conversations could very well be a product of my active imaginaion. But frankly I've never thought about armies and war like this before yesterday. The conversation felt very "real" to me.

I approached them so differently yesterday. I behaved deferentially, bowing low and gazing at their chests, or the floor rather than right into their faces. Then I sat on a bench and simply listened.

What I "heard" from the infantry guys and chariot driver was all about the beauty of a well disciplined army, marching in formation, all of one mind. They compared the army to similar forms in nature, horses running across the steppe, flocks of birds flying together, schools of fish. They spoke of armies as man's birthright, a way to live in harmony with nature. But what about the violence, the killing? I wondered. What I "heard" was, At the confluence of two mighty rivers there is chaos and destruction.

Hmmm. That's pretty interesting. But I remained unconvinced, because of the violence and death. What I "heard" was There is no such thing as a pretty death. In battle, fighting for what you believe, death is fine, perhaps better than death from rotting. I think "rotting" refers to growing old or dying from disease. What do you think? Longevity is greatness, but death is inevitable. Go bravely, with honor, they said.

The archers talked to me about their art as a quest. The arrows are seekers, flying first into the air to speak with the gods, then finding their truths. Truths? Were they trying to say "targets?" Sounded like 'truths' to my inner ear, but who knows?

The generals and high ranking officials "spoke" to me about modern warfare of which they take a pretty dim view, apparently. These days we no longer fight like men, according to them, but either as animals, hiding in the trees or by pretending to be gods, throwing fire from the sky. We are no longer fighting as men which is a Big Problem.

They told me the art of war is lost, not only because of our tactics which separate us from fighting as men, but because we don't believe in what we're fighting for, we don't even know what we're fighting for. When I wondered what we're supposed to do now, they "said" that we must now find another way. The age of war is done.

I wish I wasn't the only one listening!

It's a lot to think about, but right now I'm out the door now to work on the living; I'll have to contemplate later. Happy Friday, y'all!


Reya Mellicker said...

Sorry that middle pic is so blurry. It's the back of a kneeling archer's head.

ellen abbott said...

I think I would have to agree. There is no honor in war today. When armies had to meet each other face to face, when warriors had to be in touching distance to dispatch the enemy, there was at least some honor in it, you had to get your hands bloody. Guns changed all that. Now, the only blood on their hands is their own. Now, soldiers never meet. They don't have to look in the face of the person they are trying to kill. Guns, rockets, bombs...all from a distance. It makes it so much easier to continue war. It's just a job now.

Thinking about the arrows. Perhaps finding the heart of the enemy or prey is the truth for an arrow.

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lakeviewer said...

Oh Reya, you're my favorite down-to-earth philosopher. You help us understand so many things in just one post. Let me list:

-beauty can be found in many places
-let art speak to you
-position yourself in deference for the truth needs an entrance point
-there is power and beauty in discipline
-there is power and beauty in numbers
-there is beauty in what comes naturally
-there is beauty in chaos and destruction.

Man's idea of a good life has changed in time.
War, especially in our days, stands for different things. We admire and revere our military; yet, we are conflicted by the goals of the war.

Tom said...

wonderful...i imagine they would think of our entire civilization dimly as well. Maybe someday soon we will employ our armies in more peaceful ways...let's hope.

StreamSource said...

Thanks so much for these beautiful photos. I will be coming to see this exhibit in March (if I can wait that long!)

You channel the voice of wisdom with ease. Truth is timeless. Once heard and recognized as such - it resides in the soul. Even if the Truth we hear is from another lifetime, it remains with us.

Ancient figures.

Mud and water fused with Spirit.

Brought to life by your glance.

They spoke, you listened, we heard.

This Truth is now our Truth, once more.

Nancy said...

The age of war is done.

Please let it be so.

steven said...

when i read this through reya i felt so honoured to be able to freely read your thoughts. i can't recall thanking you for being this available.
war's about perceptions of rightness.
war's about the wrongness of perception.
war's about perceptions of need.
war's about the need for perception.

there's more but not now. steven

Pauline said...

fascinating conversation... even if it is just you talking to you, what you "heard" make sense in human terms.

Reya Mellicker said...

-position yourself in deference for the truth needs an entrance point

Wow! Rosaria, thanks. You always teach me something so cool.

And thanks for all the wisdom and thoughtfulness of you all. I'm always a bit reluctant to put my shamanic stuff out there cuz it's so ... out there!

Whenever I do, though, I get the coolest responses so, why not?

Pam said...

Love your shamanic stuff Reya.Wonderful you have the ability. So many don't. Wise words!

Whitney Lee said...

The way their truths are phrased makes a lot of sense.
Perhaps the arrows finding their truth is more about landing where they are meant to. Maybe it's not 'target' in the sense we would assume but more finding that soul who's now ready to go. I'm not sure I've expressed that thought very clearly.
I really enjoy your shamanic posts. They always present a unique viewpoint and stretch the usual boundaries of my mind.

Ronda Laveen said...

It is so cool that the warriors trust you enough to share their experiences with you. That their warfare mimics the creatures that are such totems in their culture makes total sense. And it is true that their is a violent side of nature that brings order to the kingdoms.

And that the after speaking to the gods, the seekers find thier truth, their true targets, rings true.

I continue to hold the thought form that the age of war is done. There are other ways.

StreamSource said...

~~~ ~~~~ ~~~~ -position yourself in deference for the truth needs an entrance point" ~~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Barry said...

I have to agree with all of the above. This was really an excellent post Reya!

Reya Mellicker said...

Whitney I love that thought - that the arrows' "truth" is about landing wherever it's supposed to. That makes sense and brings to mind the spirit of the sign of Sagittarius.

Thanks, all! Maybe I should stop being a reluctant shaman and just go with it. Hmmm...

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

Reading your words made it feel as if I was there, hearing what you heard. I hope I can make time to visit the exhibit, but if not, you took me there.