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Tantobourne
06-12-2003, 09:15 PM
Consider this, if you will. The concept struck me from out of nowhere and, no it's not what I think Keenan intended but the thoughts, I think,may be parallel.

Buddha, before his 'enlightenment' spent his time in contemplation of life and death, of suffering and all the why's that go with it.

At the point of his 'enlightenment' or epiphany he was mediating next to a stream, gaze fixed on the water, when he suddenly 'fell in' and all was revealed to him.

Consider Buddha's position on the bank of the stream as his contemplative mind trying to observe 'life' (the stream) from an external vantage point (the bank of the stream).

The 'truth' he sought did not occur until he finally fell into the stream or...until he finally fell into 'life' at which point he transcended.

I'm not some scholar on Buddhism but I'd apply this above interpretation to the moment with the lesson being "Don't sit on the edge of life and try to contemplate it's meanings, rather, jump into the water and through experience you'll reap your rewards".

Now...on to the point of me posting this in the "Swamp Song" forum.

Taking the analogy of water as life a bit further. Where there's water flowing in its eternal cycle there are also those areas where it stagnates: the swamp, the flood plains, the lowlands. I've read passing reference of 'the swamp' by other author's but do not at all know in what way they intended its symbolic use.

In this case, I refer to the stagnation of a swamp, in terms of life: those ruts that we get into, perhaps; obstacles in the way of our contentment or satisfaction.

The song, to me, is an observation of one person looking at another person's plight "in a rut", with a rather "I f*cking told you so, now reap what you sow" attitude. Hah! If I haven't looked at someone in life that I knew and told them to "STFU" and "Get on with it". For that matter, I've had enough people apply a swift kick in the ass to me.

I also interpret it as "I've got my own fucking problems to worry about, let alone watching you wallow in your own."

Anyhow....just some passing thoughts...

Bhikkhu
08-08-2007, 08:41 AM
I know this was posted a long time ago, but it makes sense to me. I like your thoughts.

So, I think what you're trying to say is, that life is change, evolution, like a flowing river. Also personal change (in your life) is something positive in my opinion. Call it enlightenment, transmutogenesis, stepping through your shadow, metamorphosis or whatever.

Now there are a lot of people who are willingly putting themselves in a position where they stop evolving for some reason, because they may be relating themselves with a certain group of people or some other situation. Maybe they are entering into a sect or something, but it might also be something else. They get caught in "the swamp", in the quicksand and cannot move anymore. The water here is not flowing. They stop evolving, because maybe they don't care anymore.

So, the message to these people would be: why don't you get out while you can.

conor moore
08-12-2007, 06:07 AM
holy shit man i think your right

Angel on the Sideline
08-22-2007, 04:54 AM
Grand interpretation. I'm with you here.

Bhikkhu
08-22-2007, 06:25 AM
thanks...
In the area of the Netherlands where I'm from, people created artificial "swamps" by flooding area's of the country which were below sea-level. This was happening a long time ago in the late 16th, early 17th century at a time when Spanish troops were invading the Netherlands. These swamps were created to stop the advancement of the Spanish troops and it worked. I guess this knowledge (and reading "what the buddha taught) contributed to my interpretation.

Angel on the Sideline
08-22-2007, 09:53 AM
Isn't that part of why Amsterdam will be able to withstand a 1,000-year storm while New Orleans was leveled by a 100-year storm?

I went to college with a guy from The Netherlands. He lives there now and plays basketball/works in computers.

Angel on the Sideline
08-22-2007, 09:56 AM
Also, for Bhikkhu or anyone else intersted in this thread/line of thinking, read the novel Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. You'll appreciate the role of water in the novel and it'll tie in nicely with what Bhikkhu is saying. It's a great novel.

ivasativa
08-22-2007, 11:11 AM
Also, for Bhikkhu or anyone else intersted in this thread/line of thinking, read the novel Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. You'll appreciate the role of water in the novel and it'll tie in nicely with what Bhikkhu is saying. It's a great novel.

Maan that is an awesome book, I read it a long long time ago and all I could ever say about it is that "Everything is in that book"

Anyway Im reading a really cool book now, its totally about jumping in the water and what it actually means. SO if any are actually interested to deepen this a possibility is:
"There is no time for Karma"

Robey Paxton
&
Lone J. Jensen

Angel on the Sideline
08-23-2007, 06:47 AM
Sweet. Thanks for the recommendation. I'm an avid reader (I majored in English-Creative Writing and work as a journalist) and delve into just about anything I can get my hands on.

Bhikkhu
08-23-2007, 07:02 AM
Isn't that part of why Amsterdam will be able to withstand a 1,000-year storm while New Orleans was leveled by a 100-year storm?

I went to college with a guy from The Netherlands. He lives there now and plays basketball/works in computers.

I guess it's because we (the dutch) have a lot of expierence with "attacks from the sea" (sry, I don't know how else I should say this)...large area's of the Netherlands have been flooded in the past, but we learned how to build good levees/dikes and stuff. I've heard the total length of those is about as long as the Great wall of China.
Now there's off course the new threat of rising sea-level because of global warming, but the rise is probably very slow. It could be a big problem, because most of the large cities in the west are below sea-level. However, the government is planning on raising the levees and dikes. In the place where I live we're about 10 meters above sea-level, so for me it's not a big problem, but it would suck if all those people in large cities would have to move.

Bhikkhu
08-23-2007, 07:05 AM
Also, for Bhikkhu or anyone else intersted in this thread/line of thinking, read the novel Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. You'll appreciate the role of water in the novel and it'll tie in nicely with what Bhikkhu is saying. It's a great novel.

I guess I'll put that on my "books to read"-list...haven't read it yet. thanks for the recommendation.