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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« on: 18 August 2013, 01:40:50 »

A route-map through Flowmancy


Also available as a Word document, attached to this post.
« Last Edit: 18 August 2013, 01:51:16 by Coren FrozenZephyr » Logged

"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #1 on: 18 August 2013, 01:48:55 »

FLOWMANTIC PHILOSOPHY

Flowmancy is a way of life for Wayist monks, not just a method of magic. This entry delves into the philosophy behind Flowmancy. Here we have collated the essential concepts of this worldview for your perusal.


(1) The concept of ‘Flow’
  • Flow: the streaming of existence
    The Flow signifies the energy of the universe as a way, current, course or flow which is at once intelligence and spontaneous, yet not personal like a deity. It cannot be defined – for the simple reason that one cannot stand aside from it and examine it as something out there.

  • Everything flows.
    “Everything flows, and you cannot step twice into the same stream. The flow of water, of wind, and of fire is obvious, as is the flow of thought. The flow of earth and rock is less obvious, but in the long run the hard is as liquid as the soft.”

  • Self-regulating
    “When the stream is not externally controlled it controls itself. All force is tension against the stream.”

(2) Emptiness
The monks see nothingness, or emptiness, as the origin of being: “Without the spatial field, no entity could be manifested or distinguished. Between space and entity is the same polar relation as between crest and trough, for which reason nothingness is not simply the contrary or absence of being but rather its ground and origin. Emptiness is the essential prerequisite for every form of being.” (Master Seastone of White Mountain)

“The void is creative; being comes from non-being as sound from silence or light from space.” (Master Kao)

The usefulness and potency of emptiness is precisely that it is perfectly empty. As the poem says:

“Thirty spokes unite at the wheel’s hub;
It is the centre hole [lit: ‘from their not being’]
That makes it useful”

“Shape clay into a vessel;
It is the space within that makes it useful.”

(3) Interconnectedness
The Ancient Krean’s image of the universe was a multi-dimensional network of jewels, each one containing the reflections of all the others ad infinitum. Each jewel was a ‘thing-event’, and their principle of ‘between one thing-event and another is no obstruction’ expounded the mutual interpenetration and interdependence of everything happening in the universe. Pick up a blade of grass and all the worlds come with it. The whole cosmos is implicit in every member of it, and every point in it may be regarded as its centre.

We do not understand all the interconnections between things, because in reality what we call ‘things’ are not really separate from each other. The words and ideas about them separate them from each other, but they are not separate. They all go with each other, interconnected in one vast vibratory pattern, and if you change it at one point it will be changed at all sorts of other points, because every vibration penetrates through the entire pattern.

The universe is therefore an arrangement, or pattern, in which every so-called part is a function of the whole.

(4) Principle of mutual-arising:
At the very roots of Krean thinking and feeling lies the reciprocity or mutual interdependence of polar opposites – being and nothing, centre and surround, self and other, doing and happening. This is the principle of polarity, which is not to be confused with the ideas of opposition or conflict. The crest-trough principle is not a dualism, but an explicit duality expressing an implicit unity. Polarity is the principle that crest and trough, speaking and listening, are different aspect of one and the same system, and that the disappearance of either one of them would be the disappearance of the system.

The key to the relationship between crest and trough is called mutual arising or inseparability. To be and not to be arise mutually. High and low are mutually posited. Every inside involves an outside, and every outside an inside. They are different, but inseparable. They are like the different, but inseparable sides of a coin, the poles of a magnet, or pulse and interval in any vibration. Being and non-being are mutually generative and mutually supportive.

In short, the crest-trough principle is that the somethings and the nothings, the ons and offs, the solids and spaces, as well as the wakings and the sleepings, and the alterations of existing and not existing, are mutually necessary.

When we consider energy itself, the mutual interdependence of ‘white’ ons and ‘black’ offs is still more obvious, because all energy is a vibration or pulsation, or a propagation of waves. Unless on and off, wave-crest and wave-trough alternate, there simply is no energy.

(5) Timeless Time
For elucidation, we bring you the words and wisdom of Master Seastone of White Mountain:

  • Time as an ocean:
    “Think not of time as a river bearing the ones you love and have lost further away, but as an ocean around you in which you are steeped. Listen to the breaking and washing of the waves. In the motion of waves there is no marching rhythm. No urgency. It does not count our days. Its pulse is not in the stingy spirit of measuring, of marking out how much still remains. It is the breathing of eternity, a rhythm which has been just the same for millions of years, inhaling and exhaling, manifesting and dissolving the worlds, forever. In the rhythm of waves is timeless time.”

  • Stillness in movement:
    “Streams and waves never stop moving, and yet are at rest, and restful to hear, because they are in no hurry to reach any destination. There is stillness in movement.”

(6) The monks’ conception of ‘self’
The monks have a notion of self that is larger than what is ordinarily taken to be ‘I’, the centre of our volition. The quotations below are from Master Seastone of White Mountain.

  • ‘Mind is empty’: The self as flow
    “Looking inward, I find nothing but a streaming. But what is streaming? I cannot find an answer, even though I have the definite impression that “It” – some current, some basic energy – is streaming – is streaming in every kind of stream, streams of rock, streams of light, streams of air, streams of consciousness. This “It” is not different from the streaming. There is absolutely no way of standing outside it, and getting hold of it.

    Could it be myself – considered as the relatively enduring centre of all my experiences? But if this is so, myself is beyond my reach, and the more I try to pin it down, the more it dissolves into the streaming – into various kinds of pulsing and textures of tensing only arbitrarily distinguishable from the sights and sounds of the world outside me. (If this “I” should try to stop the streaming or to manage it at all, there is only a futile sense of tension without the intended result.)”

  • Nature ‘peoples’ just as it ‘forests’:
    “In the mountain I watch the Flow, the way of nature, and feel myself into it to discover that I was never outside, because nature ‘peoples’ just as much as it ‘forests’. Our ideas do not represent or mirror nature. Our thoughts and ideas are nature, just as much as waves on the ocean and clouds in the sky. The mind grows thoughts as the field grows grass.

    ‘I’, the thinker watching thoughts from outside, is itself a thought, and thoughts, like trees, grow of themselves.”

    “You yourself are the eternal energy which appears as this universe. You did not come into this world. You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean. You are not a stranger here.”

  • ‘Clear light is union’: unity of self and other
    “We consider this image we call ‘I’, the ego, the person, the subject (as distinct from the object), as the doer of our deeds, the thinker of our thoughts, and the feeler of our feelings. But ‘I’ is only a concept or symbol and thus can no more do anything than the word ‘water’ can quench thirst. Also, it entirely leaves out the polar unity of the organism with the universe, ignoring the fact that the two are a single process.

    Under the impression that ‘I’, this pure abstraction, is the vital core and organising centre of our being, we try to exert its ‘will’ when action is difficult or emotions are hard to restrain. And yet every littlest movement to change or to try not to change adds strength to the phantom.

    But the individual is an aperture through which the whole energy of the universe is aware of itself, a vortex of vibrations in which it realises itself as man or beast, flower or star – not alone, but as central to all that surrounds it. The centres are not apart from their surroundings, but stand in mutual relationship to them – centre to circumference. Each centre anywhere implies all other centres elsewhere. The individual is not, therefore, only a centre. He is the entire surround centred at this time or this place.

    The whole system is symbiotic in principle, for no individual can appear, for however short a time, except in mutual interdependence with the whole.

    Yet, the individual feels restricted to the area of his voluntary behaviour, since all else seems to be an independent and uncontrollable happening on the part of something quite other than himself. But, just as one cannot walk without ground, one cannot experience doing except in relation to happening or self (centre) in relation to other (surround). Between self and other, doing and happening, there is the same kind of unity which exists between the crest and the trough of a wave.”

    “Oneself, as both centre and surround, is the eternal universe.”

(7) Flowmancy as spiritual practice
The Krean spiritual disciplines are ways of awakening to the actual sensation of oneself as a process vaster by far than what is ordinarily felt to be ‘I’ – that very limited centre of conscious attention and volition which we call the person or ego.

Krean monks of the Way see Flowmancy first and foremost as a spiritual art, not a system which gives them power and allows them to work magic. To them, it is a form of contemplative practice, a way to attain liberation and enlightenment. They practice it with the aim of understanding the Flow, and therefore nature, thereby learning to pattern themselves after it.

The monks say that as our practice grows deeper, we begin to see that the essence of all that arises is empty. When we do, then every moment of life is free and all experience is spiritual practice: all sound is mantra, all form is pure emptiness, and all suffering is a teaching. This is what is meant by ‘transforming into the path’.
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"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
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