Now, while stumbling into the Salt Cave and Pink Himalayan Salt lamp boutiques in Asheville were a complete coincidence, visiting multiple waterfalls were intentional from the beginning. Interested in the health benefits of breathing in negative ions, I decided to visit some of North Carolina's most majestic waterfalls: High Falls, Looking Glass Falls, Sliding Rock, Mingo Falls and Triple Falls. There are almost zero places better than getting your fix of negative ions than at the bed of a misty waterfall. This source place of persistent power mixed in with misty negative ions is primal ground for both physical and figurative inspiration. It's the perfect place to breathe and dream. Especially during the mornings of the winter months, when very few people bother to visit these exploding waterfalls and, instead, leave them all to you.
Since we're on the subject of falling water and Nature, I might as well take you on a relevant white water tangent of thought. As I busily observed these waterfalls, a peculiar notion I've been intrigued by for some years palpably came back to mind. In an early 1990's interview for the psychedelic brain-candy book, Mavericks of the Mind, the author, David Jay Brown, sat down with the legendary chaos and dynamical systems theorist, Ralph Abraham, to talk about a fun-bag of interesting topics including mathematics, mythology, psychedelics, dynamics, ancient cultures, white water, dolphins, Dionysian rituals, Eros and Chaos (among many other seemingly chaotic topics). Below is a small excerpt of the fascinating interview. If you'd like to read the interview in its entirety check out the full interview with Ralph Abraham: Chaos and Life. Although I really suggest you take it a step further and purchase a copy of Mavericks of the Mind. Just make sure you read it with caution; it might blow your circuitry.
The repression of chaos began with the patriarchal takeover six thousand years ago. So to look at an example of a high culture accepting chaos as part of their mythological pantheon and in their arts and behavior, one has to go back before that takeover. And the most common example of such a culture is Minoan Crete… A lot of things are known through mythology that are traced back to Crete. One thing that’s known from paintings is the dance with bulls. There were the Bacchic mysteries, derived from the Orphic, the Dionysian and so on. Following this backwards, like tracing roots or Ariadne’s thread, you come to a certain mythic kernel which would be associated with Minoan Crete. I wouldn’t say these are expressions of chaos. They might be, but there are so many differences between our culture and the Cretan culture. We know something about Dionysian ritual; the importance of music in ritual, the dichotomy of religious ritual into two types, outdoors on the open plain and indoors in a cave. The mystic revelation that came with Gaia sees the planet as an organism, and the plain as its surface. Gaia is very chaotic, so if you reject chaos, you reject Gaia. It goes together: the orphic trinity of Chaos, Gaia, and Eros. That’s what I suggest to you to think about. Gaia as the Earth, the love of the planet,the integrity of life-forms; Chaos as the essence of life: more chaos is healthier, Eros as human behavior in resonance with Chaos and Gaia. It’s rumored that the Minoans had a very high degree of bisexual activity, licentious behavior and wild parties. This may be the quality of the genders in a partnership society as described by Riane Eisler.