Hermeneutic and Buddhist Meditations
Edited By David W. Jardine, Christopher Gilham and Graham McCaffrey
Chapter Sixteen: Quickening, Patience, Suffering
Quickening, Patience, Suffering
DAVID W. JARDINE
A FORTUITOUS E-MAIL EXCHANGE
Jodi [Latremouille]: Hi, David, I was reading The Spell of the Sensuous (Abram, 1996) and was reminded of that paper you sent us a couple of weeks ago. There is a passage about the Australian Aboriginal tradition of “songlines” or “ways through” the continent, meandering trails, auditory route maps that are composed of a melody with various verses to be sung in different locations. It speaks of the Dreamtime Ancestors, while chanting their ways across the land, depositing a trail of “spirit children” along the trail. They are described as “life cells,” children not yet born; they lie in a potential state within the ground. When a woman is pregnant, the actual conception is thought to occur with the quickening, when she steps on a song couplet in the earth. So the spirit child “works its way into her womb, and impregnates the fetus with song.”
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