“Spirit of Creation”
The Bushmen of the Kalahari,
Watercolor by Hudley Flipside.
“There is a part of our spirit to which this voice of Mantis, speaking from an age of stone to an age of men with hearts of stone, commands us with the authentic tone of eternal renewal.”The Creative Pattern In Primitive Africa by Laurens van der Post. Pg. 40
INSIGHTS AND NOTES THROUGH THE CREATIVE “THINKING STRINGS” FROM THE ERANOS LECTURE SERIES; THE CREATIVE PATTERN IN PRIMITIVE AFRICA BY LAURENS VAN DER POST
“But the Bushmen say that ever since then “The Dawn’s Heart” comes home by the first light of day with an angry look in his eye, a spear flashing in his hand and an arrow ready in his bow in case those twilight beings have tried to harm his beloved lynx again. Is there any very real inner separation between the Bushman, who think of the stars thus, and the poet Blake who spoke of the moment:
“When the stars threw down their spears, And watered heaven with their tears.”
The Bushmen, Goethe, Laurens van der Post and the Praying Mantis.
I am in the process of reflecting on the lecture, The Creative Pattern In Primitive Africa by Laurens van der Post. The lecture speaks of the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert and their ancient mythologies that happen to include Praying Mantis as their own “Spirit of Creation.”
The Bushmen worshiped the Mantis and consulted him as an oracle. Pg. 21.
I include in this post, from the lecture, a poem / lament “by a father of a Bushman that lived over a hundred years ago… he was a rainmaker and a magician.”
People were those who Broke for me the string
The place became like this to me,
On account of it,
Because the string was that which broke for me.
The place does not feel to me,
As the place used to feel to me,
On account of it.
The place feels as if it stood open before me,
Because the string has broken for me, Therefore,
The place does not feel pleasant to me,
On account of it.Pg. 38
“The Mantis will sit in an attitude of extreme reverence and contemplation, his head turned sometimes slightly on one side as if he were waiting, like the poor old homesick Bushman convict of which I have spoken, for the wind to come form far beyond the mountains on the other side of the desert to bring him a story of life before an beyond the moment. Moreover, if you look at the Mantis you will notice that his face is curiously human. In colour it is almost like the Bushman himself.” Pg. 22
“The result of all this was that the Bushman saw in everything the Mantis and his symbolic act as of birth and rebirth.” Pg 22
What is interesting to me is though Laurens van der Post naturally brings and weaves the Bushmen and Wolfgang von Goethe together in comparison as to the writing of their particular styles of poetry, I take it further by placing it in the continuity of music which highlights this post in a delightful way.
An essence of what this brings together and what it very well means. I came upon a connection or “thinking strings” between Wolfgang von Goethe and the German band Kraftwerk. and also William Blake.
This is the process of reconnecting the “thinking strings.” A continuity of thoughts, dreams, magic, “stories from the wind” and life.
Listen to the music and read the poetry. I am asking for the feelings that it generates in you. It will provoke you. My hopeful goal is to tie the “thinking strings” together again and to find what may have been lost, which is the spiritual beauty of the Bushmen. The Bushmen are the foundation of this Lecture by Laurens van der Post. Reading it has had a profound impact on my life. I also wait for the “stories of life before and beyond the moment.”
Kraftwerk – Kometenmelodie Lyrics
[Lyrics are an excerpt of “The Heaven Prolog” from Faust – Wolfgang von Goethe. In this masterpiece, these lines are said by Raphael archangel]
The sun is chanting his ancient song
In contest with the brother spheres
Rolling with thunder steps along
Down the predestined course of years