The blue beautiful earth, a jewel in the universe, is sparkling with life in the enormity of the ever expanding universe. Mysterious life upon life, teaming all over the blue skies, earthly matters and living water. Converting the universal matter into life energy is just amazing. Blueness prevails in abundance all around us and within us. As the fall merges into winter, the earth hibernates and rejuvenates inward. Fall colors begin to display final exuberant fireworks and the leaves come to rest on the ground like the culmination of an Independence Day celebration.
As winter grows older, the restless spring returns with dancing music all over and the intoxicated tulips begin to rhyme. Color after color beautifying the earth in an unimaginable ecstasy. As spring turns to summer, life begins to shine. It is everywhere radiant, pressing up into the cosmos. All is under the sign of blue—deep blue skies, blue haze, a silver-blue-green aura hovering over our world -the Earth.
In the first chapter of the Orphic-Hermetic novel, Henry von Ofterdingen, the early German Romantic philosopher, Novalis presents his celebrated vision of “the blue flower.” As the story opens, Henry is lying in bed, thinking of wonder-filled stories a stranger has just told: “It is not the treasures that have awakened such inexpressible longings in me,” he thinks.
There is no greed in my heart; I only yearn to catch a glimpse of the blue flower. It is always in my mind. I can think or write of nothing else. I have never felt like this before. It is as if I had a dream, or as if sleep had carried me into another world. For in the world in which I have always lived, who ever bothered about flowers? Such a strange passion for a flower is something I have never heard of.... I feel rapturously happy; and inner turmoil overtakes me only when I do not have the flower before my eye.
Henry then falls asleep, and dreams tumultuously of immeasurable distances, and of wild, unfamiliar regions. He wandered over oceans with inconceivable ease; he saw wild creatures; he lived with many kinds of people, in war, in wild tumult, in quiet huts. He fell into captivity and ignominious affliction. Sensations rose in him to unknown heights. He went through an infinite variety of experiences; he died and came to life again, loved most passionately, and was then separated from his loved one forever.
Toward dawn, when night and day touch and for a moment intermingle and merge, Henry’s soul calmed down. The images in his dream became clearer and more coherent. He saw a basin and as approaching the basin, he saw a pale blue light emanating from it, while within the bowl, the light surged and quivered in endless colors. He dipped in his hand and wet his lips. A spirit passed through him. He felt refreshed and, longing to bathe, undressed and stepped into the basin. A heavenly sensation then flowed through him—as if a sunset cloud enveloped him. The waves lapped at his chest and seemed filled with a fluid female element that dissolved at his touch. Intoxicated, he swam with the luminous stream as it flowed from the basin into the cliff. Then sweet, fantastic, dream-filled sleep fell upon him until he found himself again at the edge of another fountain, surrounded by the softest grass. Blue, veined cliffs lay before him; the light was bright and mild. The sky was dark blue and clear.
A tall light blue flower stood near the spring and touched him with its broad shining leaves. Henry felt an overwhelming attraction for it. It drew him irresistibly. Around it grew innumerable flowers of every color. A delicious fragrance filled the air. But Henry had eyes only for the blue flower. He saw only it. Inexpressible tenderness filled his soul. He moved toward it. As he did so, it began to change. Its leaves became glossier and cuddled closely around the stem. The flower then leaned toward him, and within its petals, upon a great blue corolla, hovered a sphere, a delicate face, a being… “I am you.”… And then his mother woke him!
This blue flower, unveiled in a dream within a dream, in the innermost depths of the soul, speaks of the archetypal human being as both infinite yearning and as yearning for the infinite. To do so we must learn to think and speak in a new way. We must yearn infinitely. Such is human nature and the only foundation for philosophy. But we must be without expectations: we must renounce the infinite in our yearning. Our yearning must be without an object. Renouncing the infinite—renouncing the egotism that would make us commensurate with it and that places us under the illusion that we can master it—we may yet receive it from moment to moment as a gift, a grace, but our hearts must be open.
The flower itself is almost a new being, almost something added, an initiatory transformation. It seems detached from the earth, as if seeking to free itself from it and gravity and soar into the heavens like a butterfly. It has been said that a butterfly is a freed flower, a flower a fettered butterfly. The earth itself is like a flowering plant.
As human beings increasingly gather mastery and deeper understandings of the workings of the material world, we are losing our capacity for compassion, love and blue reflective peace. We are losing the beautiful galaxies and star guided dark skies to artificial commercial illuminations. Increasingly worried parents hustle the kids and themselves home in front of galaxies of screens –television, ipods ,ipads, telephones and computers. Spending countless hours in front of one or the other screens and just before the dawn sets, fatigue prevails thus missing the most beautiful splendor of nature. Today we are emerging into an era where the traditions are being stretched to the breaking point by the progress of the social dialectic.
Our focus on materials is taking away awareness from simple beauty of every day life and causing cancerous worries. One wonders about potential extinction of our true peaceful blueness in current livings in the light of modern science, both physical and behavioral. These are just my thoughts but I would love to know what you think on this subject.
Daylight, full of small dancing particles and the one great turning, our souls are dancing with you, without feet, they dance.
Can you see them when I whisper in your ear?
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1. “Earthly and Celestial Flowers,” by Christopher Bamford in Parabola’s fall 2007