Yesterday, I wrote about the universal force “Orkan,” a gift to us from our ancestors.
Orkan: aka Bowron Lake
This Icelandic concept, translated as “energy,” is an ancient Indo-European understanding. Humanly, it is recognizable as whirlpools, hurricanes, organs, world, Earth; it is understood as will, work, worry, weary, worth and ore. The “will” here is not what a human intends, or wills, but what initiated that willing, the world. It is what Earth intends for humans and to which they respond by willing it.
Saskatoon Berries, Willing a Response
Accordingly, we say that someone who responds to such a call is giving a willing response. The words aren’t playing tricks on us. This is the understanding that underpins thought. So, ore. Today I’d like to speak a little about it, as a demonstration of how orkan shifts from a state of action to a state of materialized form. This shift makes terms like “ore” vital parts of human-Earth communication. The points that bracket the shift, “action” and “materialized form”, are demonstrations of this communication in action. Contemporary terms for them might be “spirit” and “matter,” although in orkan they are not differentiated in such a permanent sense. First, there is ore. It is a mineral substance, untreated by artifice, which can, under the right treatment, yield metal.
Gold Mine at Palmer Lake
The Earth is, in other words, ore. One could as well say “orkan,” but “ore” is nicely delineated: it is orkan in a specific form that can be worked (orkan again) to produce metal. This metal, which contains the energy of its working, can be worked again: one works the original working again. This energy does not leave it. It is called “use,” but it is never “used up.”
Work, Sticking Up into a Tree
The ore, or the ur-form, or the orkan within it is not diminished by smelting, by use, or even by breakage. Contemporary terms for this energy would be copper, zinc, lead, iron, gold, silver, molybdenum and so on, which are, as well, fine distinctions, but for the moment let’s consider them as the unity that they are: ore. The point here is that ore represents a primary capacity of the English Language of 1100 years ago (in the main, the language that Icelanders speak today.) It lives on in English today and is the capacity that allows words to change form. A bite becomes a bight (a mouth bitten into a coast). The piece removed is a bit. Bite, bight and bit: they are the same word, in the same way that orkan is “world,” “storm” and the swirl of petals around a flower.
A storm of petals (Arrow-leafed balsam root.)
Similarly, strings, plants, shores, land, wind, lift, and water are all transformations of this kind: orkan that becomes ore that becomes orkan again. The water that is mist, ice and flow at once.
A Canada Goose’s Nighttime Nest in Okanagan Lake.
These are called changes of state. They are also progressions in a conversation, or “will” in the sense of the saskatoon above. The lesson they offer is that those billions of us who speak English today have a language that can express, precisely, the transfer of energy from one state to another. It is a transfer that escapes the limitations of quantum physics, which has to postulate non-states in the place of orkan. It then, quite brilliantly, permits them to materialize as either waves or points of energy, depending on the method of observation. The world responds to will, in other words, in the way that will responds to the world. Our ancestors knew this without fuss. In the sense of their conversation, ore is materialized orkan, which contains its materialization and can release it again, without diminishment. It is, in other words, a form of consciousness. It is Earth given the consciousness of the human-Earth conversation. It is the middle way. It should be no surprise that it shapes and divides. This thirty-five-year-old axe head made out of one of Mao’s railroads, working on its fourth handle now, for instance.
The metal that ore has become is substance for further working. One can work it for a long time. It transfers orkan. It speaks it through both its handle and its head.
Next: bright, the term that binds these two forms of speaking.