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Clockwork

By new Halithaz contributor, formerly guest writer, Kyle Brickell.

Our world is turning. Our lives, our fates, our undertakings and adventures. Everything is
perpetually spinning. Falling into the underworld, entering winter, becoming engulfed in darkness,
swallowed by the wolf – only to inevitably erupt forth again into triumphant light, Apollo returning
from Hyperborea.


It is an archetypal system of flawless entangled clockwork. Intersecting and dependent gears of
an unfathomable mechanism built by masterful hands. It is echoed across all levels of existence, fractal
and permanent. From the orbit of planets around their burning, illustrious stars, down to the minutiae of
subatomic particles which may not even exist in a manner perceptible to our current concepts of
consciousness. All things spin, turn, whirl about in their seasons. From the zenith of the summer
solstice – jubilation, fertility, sweating naked under the blazing rays of the Sun as it warms our bronzed
skin; down to the pit of the winter solstice, where we plod to and from work in the dark, the clouds do
not part, the earth beneath our feet saturated with the cold, clinging rain of weeks or months. We feel
this, chronically and acutely, and the vast majority of us know of the term seasonal affective disorder.
We know most poignantly as people inhabiting climates and areas of the world with stark seasonal
contrasts that the turn of the year, the implacable and relentless spinning of our world around our Sun
and around our axis are manifestations of the grand clockwork of existence.


Begin to look at all of existence – the next minute, hour, day, month, season, year, decade, your
life, your friends’ lives, our civilization (and this one in particular at the moment) and all other cultures,
empires, and tribes that have risen and fallen into and out of existence throughout the relentless march
of what we perceive to be time. Consider the rotation of our world, and all the other ones. The spin of
our galaxy, the whirling insatiable yawning void of supermassive black holes consuming starlight and
engulfing raw information.


You know that they are all connected. Even as leaps and bounds of understanding are made in
the realms of theoretical quantum particle physics, all these contemporaries find are facts known to the
ancients and to the Gods they lived with – and we are blessed by our fate to be rediscovering that
thread beneath the detritus of our contemporary epoch. The interconnected nature of all things
throughout existence and throughout time.

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And so where to begin dissecting the notion of “time”? At this point in our journey, it must be
assumed that we are no longer thinking of time as linear. This Abrahamic concept is no longer relevant
to out hearts and souls. Recognizing and acknowledging historical events that have happened in our
physical, mundane world at any given time and place are only manifestations of that same archetypal
cosmic drama that has played out – is playing out – and will continue to play out amongst the myriad
stars and throughout the infinite turns of the great Wheel. Perhaps it is best to start at the human scale.
We have moments – perhaps hours, days, weeks, months for the lucky ones – of incredible
fruitful, fertile creation. New songs, paintings, sculptures, works of art and the ability to forge into
physical existence those things that live deep within our hearts and come to be only through our hands
and tongues. And we have times of remaining barren, during what appears to be stagnation or a plateau.
We spend our days from waking, to high noon, to sleep. We break each hour up – quarter past, half
past, quarter to…

Have you ever sat and watched the second hand, the minute hand, the hour hand of a
clock turn? “A minute is a really long time.” Have you ever had the intriguing privilege of looking
inside a carriage clock chassis from a time before your great, great grandparents? Consider the
Antikythera mechanism. The gears, the “clockwork”, all spin at varying rates. Turning, and by their
turn, effecting the spin of other gears both near and far by their implicit and inescapable mechanism.
One might even say their Dharma. Construct this clock in your mind’s eye; walk up the staircase of Big
Ben in London, the Münich Glockenspiel, or the Prague Astronomical clock. Take in all the gears,
levers, cogs. The master craftsmanship that most of us can barely comprehend. Which aspect was
installed first? When they all rely on one another in infinite, repeating cycles, would it even matter
which was placed first? How about which one began to spin first?


As you admire these mechanisms, whirring, clicking, maybe grinding in their relentless turns –
mirroring that grand archetypal wheel or Mill – paint upon each gear one half in darkness and one half
in light, from the tiniest toothed cog, barely perceptible yet doing it’s sacred work, up to the monstrous
iron wheels that spin with the irresistible force to crush limbs. These cogs are all spinning at different
rates in accordance with their size. All will spend half the time with their light side “up”, and half the
time with the dark side “up”, some spinning fast enough that the difference may become irrelevant to
our perception as they blur to grey. Some spinning so slow you bore waiting for the turn.
We focus on one moderate sized wheel. It spins at a rate that we can perceive that it is turning,
yet it becomes increasingly frustrating to wait for the light side to point definitively “up”. Akin to being
told to watch a minute hand of a common clock and being told you can only be active while it is
between 9 and 3 in the upper half. We are focused so intently upon this one gear or minute hand that we
neglect the plethora of other wheels spinning at various other rates, taking many turns, involutions, or
rotations while our attention is diverted.


Each of these gears is an aspect of our lives and abilities, we are the mechanism. The segments
of light and dark are Joseph Campbells “The Hero’s Journey”. The waking, mundane world of daylight
and common occurrence, and the dreaming, sacred, ‘dark’ dream world beneath the waves or within the
earth. On any given day we experience one turn of one of the wheels we could simply label as ‘day’.
And by that token, adjacent to the ‘day’ wheel we have ‘week’, ‘month’, ‘year’. Obvious enough, and
thinking on common scales. Shrinking down we have our hours, minutes, seconds. These segments of
this great mechanism are clear enough as well, but taking a glimpse behind we see the depths of the
machine and the infinite components that make up our lives all spinning at different rates. There is a
wheel or even multiple wheels for creation, for hunger and satiety, for dreams, for decision making, for
strength and weakness, for impulse control, for our connection with the divine, happiness and sorrow,
drive and intent, inspiration, and all other things that make us who we are.


They are another part of the Apollonian and Dionysian balance of all aspects of our existence.
The orderly marching in the light, and the ecstatic abandon. They hold the reins of atoms as they gather
under collective gravity in the vacuum of space until under their own weight they ignite and give birth
to a star, and as that star’s wheel turns, it expends it’s fuel and dies. Scattering the remaining particulate
matter into the cosmos where again it will eventually be utilized in the birth of a new star as the wheel
completes yet another inexorable turn. Within the Apollonian though, still rests the potential of “too
much” order and is balanced by spurts of confusion and ecstasy; the spontaneous urge to break habits
and routines even if they are ‘healthy’ and beneficial once they have been wrung of all their nectar. Just
as within the Dionysian there are the blinding illuminating lightning bolts of eureka! Those moments
where, lazing about perhaps in the small hours of the night or morning where we are struck by the
passion of creation from out of the imperceptible void with no forethought, planning, or intention.

So what are the implications for our daily lives? The frustration of stagnation is a heavy burden.
When nothing seems to ‘hit the spot’ and what we create never feels quite right, or that it doesn’t
embody the image or sound that is within us that cries out for manifestation. The brush stroke or the
key fall, the particular order of words or choice of word, the thickness of this line or the richness of that
colour. For those of us who feel it is in our blood to create, these times are horrific. Perhaps physical
training has become a chore. The same tired routine, that, while it may even be a spectacular routine
and has helped you build strength or shed fat, has become mundane. Performing the same movements
week in and week out merely adding a few pounds each time has elicited the sensation of the office
worker stuck in traffic on his way to work to perform the same menial tasks yet again to earn his hourly
pay.


The wheel must turn.


You will feel the impulse. The draw to the “next step” and the frustration and inner conflict of
not taking it and allowing that transition to occur smoothly and organically. There are instances when
resisting this upheaval can result in a veritable wrench thrown into the mechanism, and large portions
of the clockwork will seize and grind and cease to function, building tension and the energy compiles.
Then there are those blessed, natural states of being and flow where the machine spins freely in the
myriad fractals down to the most intimate details, well oiled from one’s connection with the divine and
ability to hear the songs of the Gods; this is not to lend credence to any willy-nilly shirking of
responsibilities as “I suppose this wheel or that has turned” but rather to allow oneself to trust in an
inner voice of impulse. A faith and complicit understanding of instinct, of the “lower” portions of the
brain too often choked out by the cerebral cortex of higher thought that was left above water with the
sinking of Atlantis.


So allow yourself the room to pursue many avenues of lifestyle, thought, creation, and
disciplines. Embrace the passions as they visit you, and be able to freely flow to the next as impulse
takes you – for the irresistible draw to things is there for a reason, a golden thread drawing you forth to
your destiny. Placing a blockage in this unfathomable clockwork of our lives, destiny, universe, by
trying to cling desperately to any manner of thing, person, or experience that has crossed the threshold
into the dark will only cause harm – whether perceived immediately or not. And as all things continue
to turn, perhaps those elements will enter your life once again in some days, some weeks, potentially
years down the line. They may not come back into your life in the same form, as the Gods wander our
world in disguise, but you must be ready to greet them and show hospitality regardless.

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