The Feminine Science of Water, Part 1

comments 22
Course Ideas / Reflections / Science

Water as a subject became interesting to me only as a consequence of my earlier interest in the ideas of Nikola Tesla, John Keely, and Walter Russell, among others. Not only was their work based on notions of sympathy, connectivity, and resonance, it reflected an appreciation for the hidden, subtle levels of the natural order that give rise to the world we see. Perhaps equally important, their ideas emphasized the balance at work in nature—the inherent reciprocity of the male and the female, the expansive and the compressive, the decaying and the growing.

The science that might have emerged from this work would have possessed an appreciation for the order-generating, feminine principle in the natural world—a force more elusive than the masculine half of the coin, which manifested itself most obviously as the explosive, heat-releasing processes at the core of all the great machinery of the Industrial Revolution. This emphasis on the masculine reached its culmination in the destructive power of the atom bomb, in which atoms themselves were ripped apart to release tremendous quantities stored energy. The great advances of twentieth century physics thus eclipsed the possibility of a gentler path that was also available to humanity at the time.

My curiosity led me eventually to the discovery of Viktor Schauberger’s ideas. Viktor was known as “The Water Wizard” because his ideas about water enabled him to construct specially-shaped log flumes that could transport heavy timber out of the Austrian mountains in ways that conventional flumes could not, and which avoided the material losses that occurred when heavy timber sank into rivers and formed intractable “log jams.” My first, and primary, exposure to Viktor’s ideas came from reading Callum Coats’ four-part Eco-Technology series, a compilation of translations of Viktor’s original writings, papers and correspondence, organized into thematic volumes. The first was on water, the second on the subtle structures of the natural world, the third on agriculture, and the fourth on energy—(the sort of energy we use to power homes and automobiles and factories).

Viktor’s work was fascinating to me for many reasons. One is that it had simply been ignored, despite having achieved a number of noteworthy outcomes, and the second is that it felt essential to helping humanity develop a sustainable footprint on this planet. The latter was a primary focus for Viktor, who bemoaned time and again the long-term environmental degradation he felt certain would arise from our blindness to the subtle temperature dynamics at work in the natural world. Indeed, in the 1930’s, though global warming was on the distant horizon even as a concept, he spoke and wrote frequently about the ways in which so-called modern thinking failed to grasp the subtle temperature dynamics at work in soil and stream, on which the maintenance of ecological health depends. We were killing our water, our forests, and our soil, he said, because of management practices rooted in a mindset that could not fathom the finely-tuned, generative processes at work in Nature.

This mindset—my words, not Viktor’s—is the arrogance of a predominately male materialism, a system of thought I would describe as being content with explanations derived only from what is measurable at the time, and sorely lacking in a heart connection with the natural world. It is abstract and logical only, and excludes the intuitive and heart-centered modes of comprehension. Without respect for the possibility that nature is far richer in composition than the mechanisms of which their minds could conceive, and with profound satisfaction for the brutish mechanical assemblages they wrought, this way of thinking ran roughshod over the delicate web of relationships that underwrite the natural world.  This is the mindset of the Titanic, the nuclear bomb, the traffic jam, Love Canal, the soil-killing programs of synthetic fertilization, and other instruments of so-called modern-thinking too numerous to name.

The general erosion of the world’s physical fabric, manifest today in so many ways and mistakenly abridged into the singular concept of “global warming”, is precisely the future against which Schauberger railed. The environmental degradation we’ve witnessed over the past century or two is the inevitable outcome of a system of thought that excludes the generative, feminine half of Nature’s fundamental processes from its purview, and can think only in squares and lines about a world that moves in circles and spirals.

One might say that Viktor was “right” merely on the forecasts he gave, which sadly have come to be, but when I discovered his writing I wanted to know if he was also correct about the nature of water itself. This led me on the journey of discovery I aim to recount in this series of posts, which has made it painfully obvious to me that Viktor Schauberger was absolutely correct in his assessment. It has shown me not only that water, and life itself, are much different than we have conceived them to be, but also that the domineering mindset on which the advances of the last century were based is deeply entrenched in our society. It is not simply a question of our science, but of how all of us think and comprehend our relationships to the world around us.

Where do we even start in developing a more feminine science? What does that even mean? I think it begins with the acknowledgment that wholeness is a fundamental property or condition of the natural world. I further think it means an emphasis on science that acknowledges the value of all life, that acknowledges the wisdom inherent in the natural order, that values qualities as well as quantities, and that places an emphasis on answering questions that would increase our ability to nurture the planet and one another. Such a science would value a deeper understanding of what Nature is being, and how it is to be supported, over predictive power, and would acknowledge that in a universe composed only of life, there is uniqueness at every turn.

Water, I’d say, is a great place to begin, as I hope to show.

22 Comments

  1. I appreciate your inquisitive nature Michael and look forward to seeing where you take this exploration of a new feminine approach to science. I’ve heard of Viktor Schauberger and his study of water, but haven’t read anything he’s written. Most certainly we need to learn to live more integrated within the natural systems that we inhabit. Maybe the current challenges will help nudge us toward a more enlightened approach.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Brad! I’m looking forward to it as well. I feel I have a good topic in front of me that I’m inspired to write, think about, and explore. Based on his writings, Viktor was not simply an observer of nature, but a profound receptive one. I suspect the long periods of time he spent in nature brought his consciousness into states he might have taken for granted, but which we’ve largely forgotten. A month or two in the natural world would probably change many people’s perceptions of what is so!

      Glad to have you here as always, Brad!
      Blessings
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for this Michael. So unexpected and interesting. I’m hoping that the pandemic will do more than nudge us beyond the old masculine ways!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I hope so, too. And I hope you enjoy the series! It will be autobiographical in many ways. I’m looking forward to it…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I believe the time of the divine feminine is coming, but it’s going to take a major upheaval to ge there. Looking forward to your future posts about this.
    Alison

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Alison. I hope the upheaval is gentle, and the transformation profound. Wouldn’t that be nice!? But yes, it seems to take a nudge or two in order to get us over the energy barriers of convention and into the New. I am looking forward to writing more on this topic as well. When I sat down I thought I was going to just write about water, but then I realized it’s just a vehicle for me to describe alternate ways of engaging with the natural world that really inspire me…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Lee Roetcisoender says

    Such a science would be an “Intellectual Renaissance” that is unprecedented. In a universe composed only of life, we all share a common kinship which supersedes the arrogance of our own exceptionalism. Explanatory power must prevail over predictive power in science as visionaries such as ourselves dare to dream of an ideal that is inclusive, an ideal which can supplant the pathology of skepticism. It takes courage to open one’s heart to possibilities, even of those possibilities only exist within one’s mind.

    DeAnn and I are looking forward to your next installments my friend.

    Peace

    Liked by 2 people

    • You hit the nail on the head, Lee, for me, with your note that explanatory power must prevail over predictive power. I agree completely with this notion. It’s about our relationship with, rather than our once-removed forecasting, or our power-over by controlling the process. Relationship reveals the mystery, and I do believe there is much waiting for us should we ever undertake this intellectual-intuitive adventure!

      Thanks so much for reading and responding! Glad you both enjoyed it!

      Peace to you and DeAnn as well–
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Mr Michael Mark and Lee Roetcisoender,

      After reading your two latest posts and the numerous comments, I ran out of time to make a comment yesterday, as I had to attend to some errands.

      Now I have finished reading your third post too, and is ready to return here to comment. Thank you for your respective contributions towards and insights into the matters being discussed.

      I particularly like the following passages from this post:

      …modern thinking failed to grasp the subtle temperature dynamics at work in soil and stream, on which the maintenance of ecological health depends. We were killing our water, our forests, and our soil, he said, because of management practices rooted in a mindset that could not fathom the finely-tuned, generative processes at work in Nature.

      This mindset—my words, not Viktor’s—is the arrogance of a predominately male materialism, a system of thought I would describe as being content with explanations derived only from what is measurable at the time, and sorely lacking in a heart connection with the natural world. It is abstract and logical only, and excludes the intuitive and heart-centered modes of comprehension. Without respect for the possibility that nature is far richer in composition than the mechanisms of which their minds could conceive, and with profound satisfaction for the brutish mechanical assemblages they wrought, this way of thinking ran roughshod over the delicate web of relationships that underwrite the natural world. This is the mindset of the Titanic, the nuclear bomb, the traffic jam, Love Canal, the soil-killing programs of synthetic fertilization, and other instruments of so-called modern-thinking too numerous to name.

      I concur that science can be coopted and tainted by the patriarchal system and corporate hegemony to the detriment of the society and the environment. The critical issues stem not just from inequality and imbalance but also from resource utilization as well as the relationships within and between humans and nonhumans.

      I would like to propose the ISEA Model that I have devised to analyse and describe the Instrumental, Spiritual, Pro-Environment and Pro-Animal/Plant perspectives affecting people’s worldviews, relationships and sociopolitical praxis, all of which are often permeated with a productivist ethos, such that productivism or growthism reins supremely in the core tenet or belief that measurable productivity and growth are the purpose of human organization and social progress insofar as “more production is necessarily good” even when infinite growth and endless resources are as illusory as ever.

      The ISEA model is an analytical model to examine the extant differences in people’s outlooks, behaviours and reasonings towards other beings and their surroundings.

      I have so far applied the versatile ISEA model on two of my posts. The first one is entitled “🎧 Facing the Noise & Music: Grey Barriers and Green Frontiers of Sound, Society and Environment 🔊🏡🏞” published at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/facing-the-noise-music-grey-barriers-and-green-frontiers-of-sound-society-and-environment/

      By the way, if or when you try to access my main blog, please be informed that it will benefit from being viewed on a large screen of a desktop or laptop computer, since those lengthy multimedia posts and my blog could be too powerful and feature-rich for iPad, iPhone, tablet or other portable devices to handle properly or adequately.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hello SoundEagle,

        Thanks for your note! I read and enjoyed learning about your ISEA model. You clearly have a great deal of passion and appreciation for the animal world, and the power of animals to express themselves. I was woken early this morning by the sounds of bluebirds, who are nesting close to the house, and it was a most glorious (though quite early) experience. They are so very expressive when you listen attentively. Magical, really.

        I also note you brought up the topic of growth, which is one I recall Schauberger also discussing. It’s been a while since I read the details, but I think for him growth was the product of a progressive, creative interplay of the most subtle factors at work in the natural world. He saw the disturbance of those factors leading to cancerous growth, and growth at all costs as a mindset completely at odds with the natural world’s focus on quality.

        Thanks for reading here!
        Peace
        Michael

        Liked by 1 person

        • Dear Mr Michael Mark,

          Thank you very much for visiting and reading my posts. I am delighted to read both of your excellent replies here, and would really appreciate it if you could kindly leave your pertinent comments in the said respective posts.

          You can simply copy and paste both your comments to the two respective posts and perhaps add more if you have something extra to say. Thank you in anticipation.

          May you have a wonderful week!

          Like

    • Hi Mr Michael Mark and Lee Roetcisoender,

      Continuing from my previous comment, the second post using the ISEA model is entitled “🦅 SoundEagle in Debating Animal Artistry and Musicality 🎵🐕🎶🐒🎹🐘🖼🐬🎨” published at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2013/07/13/soundeagle-in-debating-animal-artistry-and-musicality/

      As you probably already know, we are already in the midst of the Sixth Great Extinction. The main issue is twofold: speciesism and anthropocentricism. Until we critically deal with the main issue, even environmentalism in all its diversity may not suffice to turn things around, as discussed in this second post, which is simultaneously witty and serious about a number of outstanding issues.

      The said post actually ventures far beyond whatever its title may suggest or mean to any reader, especially in the very long “Conclusions” section.

      Happy June to both of you and happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hello SoundEagle,

        I read most of this post. I confess it was long for me to process after a busy day. But this line jumped out and I think you are profoundly correct here: Upon closer examination, we are bound to discover that the crux of speciesism, as of anthropocentrism, and of every otherness that we could discern, is our deplorable ineptitude as humans to (be)hold difference and sameness together. This to me is what we are seeing with the rioting happening the US right now–this very same core issue in all of its manifestations.

        Thank you for your work and passion!
        Peace
        Michael

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, the way we manage resources certainly is worth pausing and reflecting and challenging. Change happens all time, so let’s manage what change is. I agree, water is an excellent starting point.
    A fascinating read Michael, thank you.
    Harlon

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Harlon. Am I correct in thinking you have some biological training in your background. It’s something I seem to recall. At any rate, thanks for reading and visiting. Always a joy to have you here. Interesting point about managing change, too. A few little nudges perhaps, are all we need…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  6. So many people in the modern world do not experience nature firsthand. Perhaps if we looked at how Native American Indians treated nature by encountering it directly, a more feminine or human view of science would arise.

    Like

    • I couldn’t agree more, USF. We have become so locked into our analytical modes of thinking, we’ve all but forgotten the profound capabilities and wisdom built into the directness of our senses and inner knowing. This will need to be valued once again in order for the feminine to enjoy a greater, and much needed, role in our science going forward.

      Michael

      Like

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