I think Twitter should take notes: Instead of thinking how to make it easier to use, think of how to make Twitter more Fun, Creative, and Useful alà Peach and Google Now. Twitter feels stale, like it has hardly innovated since 2006, and it feels like its catering to brands and celebrities instead of the user. I wouldn’t accuse Google of having Social and Fun in their DNA, but one does feel like they are constantly innovating, in the name of the user, trying to make themselves more useful. Peach also has a personal, interested in the user first, mentality. They’re coming at if from the fun, creative side, but there are seeds of service popping up like the “move” and “song” magic buttons. I’m having fun in Peach, which keeps me in there, and going back more often, and in this attention economy, that quality is hard to overestimate. Twitter should be thinking in terms of pushing into “personal digital assistant” in as much as being a public message bus.
The water represents the energy, the ambrosia of eternity pouring into the field of time. The endless flowing, the continuous flowing, represents the eternal nature of this mystical dimension and also the infinite nature of its source. Since you can’t see the water’s source, that represents that it’s coming from the ground of being and also that it’s coming from another dimension which is invisible to our senses. On a deeper level there’s the paradox and the archetypal sense of the infinite coming from nothingness, which ironically enough is being postulated as the literal truth in the latest scientific origin stories such as the Big Bang theory.
Most fountains that you see spring from a round bowl-shaped container or vase. The inside of the bowl or pool is sacred space, a “Holy Grail” you might say, which represents the transcendence of duality or on a psychological level, the gap between our thoughts.
Water has long been seen as symbolic of the ambrosia of eternity—and in mythology and psychology as symbolic of the subconscious. A fountain represents a sacred opening, gap or tunnel which is a connection to eternity itself—as well as to the depths of our own being.
In a way, a kind of mini temple, yet completely natural: a religious, mystical experience paradoxically combining both the mystical and the physical, representing a connection created by nature herself.
This is why it evokes an archetypal response of beauty in most people: The aesthetic being, at least on the symbolic level, the manifestation of a mystery.
02/09/16 Update: One element that struck me recently, especially looking at the still photograph, is the Lingam/Yoni symbolism. And there is a strong dichotomy of the Lingam, representing Shiva, coming out of the bowl/vase shaped Yoni, which is representative of the feminine aspect. But if you think about it from a Hindu perspective this makes total sense: The “Void” out of which everything comes and back into which everything goes is the Mother Goddess of the Universe. She is it. Symbolically speaking, the divine feminine represents life itself, and the Lingam, the male divine, represents the snake, who by piercing life, right through the middle, throws off death, just a snake throws off its skin.
The fact that the Lingam and Yoni are seen as together, like the Ying and Yang of Asia, as well as the water and bowl of a fountain, represents that the two are one, that the feminine and masculine are merely two different aspects of the same thing, just like the eternal and the imminent, the mysterious and the manifest, and indeed, life and death: this represents to the soul the transcendent nature of its own being.
Read this quote by Joseph Campbell
“Nevertheless-and here is a great key to the understanding of myth and symbol-the two kingdoms are actually one. The realm of the gods is a forgotten dimension of the world we know. And the exploration of that dimension, either willingly or unwillingly, is the whole sense of the deed of the hero.” – The Hero with a Thousand Faces, page 217, The Crossing of the Return Threshold
Here, the “realm of the gods” is symbolized by the Yoni, the void, the bowl, the feminine. And the “world we know” is represented by the Lingam/Masculine aspect. The masculine is representative of manifestation, but that manifestation has the potentiality to come in contact with the divine, indeed become divine, if it has the energy, drive, and intent to summon itself into one direction, namely that of the spontaneity residing inside the bowl of its own heart.
Another dichotomy: Notice in the fountain and in Hindu temples, the Lingam aspect is coming out of the Yoni, not going in: That’s symbolic of a resurrection. New life (Nova Vita) in this case not coming from sexual intercourse, but from a birth of the heart.
It’s not the Western Way.
It’s not the Eastern Way.
Nor the Northern or Southern Way.
It’s your way.
It’s your heart’s way.
Notice how the intersection of the Christian Cross is not in the middle, but rather at the level of the 4th Chakra, the Heart Chakra.
What does your heart want to do? There’s your entryway to your destiny. The transcendence of these pairs of opposites: North, South, East, and West.
And then there’s the crucifixion, not of the body literally, but rather of this mode of egocentric consciousness. Crucifying that puts you on the automatic track of transcendence.
What does it really, really, really, really, want to do with this life of yours?
Not what’s been programmed into you from the outside.
But down deep in your soul, what do you want to do with your life?
It just occurred to me, while meditating just now, that the goal of meditation is not to get rid of your thoughts, but rather to become the observer of them. It’s like watching a play instead of being an actor. Or watching a football game instead of participating.
It’s as simple as that! I heard Deepak Chopra say,
“The ability to observe your emotions without manipulating them.”
That’s it! Just add “thoughts” to “emotions.” Thoughts and emotions are so very intertwined. These are the main activities of the thinking mind. They seem to give rise to one another. Especially if the thought is something that’s very personal or very close to your life. Or something that you’ve been in denial about that suddenly comes exploding to the surface! Then a flood of emotions can come. They seem so intertwined that sometimes that you can’t tell one from the other!
But as you practice observing your thoughts/emotions, stepping back from them, you’ll notice the first and primary benefit from meditation: Calmness.
Before your emotions had you pinned down like in a wrestling match.
But meditation, becoming the observer, helps you step back from that internal conflict and gives you the ability to relax.
You just practice letting thoughts come without having an emotional reaction to them.
This is the key at first, and why it’s better to limit it to 20 minutes or maybe 30 minutes at first. We’re so conditioned to having an emotional reaction to our thoughts, that it is a little exhausting and intimidating to allow yourself to have the attitude of letting them come out of their cage, letting them have free reign, if you will. That’s the irony or perhaps paradox of meditation: it’s not about stopping your thoughts, it’s about setting them free. And then the practice is: to observe them without having an emotional reaction to them. And that takes some work, especially at first, because in many cases, some more so than others, our thoughts are intimately intwined or tied to an emotion. With some thoughts it almost feels like our emotion is inseparable from them. But with practice even the most “nuclear force like bound” emotion-thought duo will gradually loosen, and that in itself releases a lot of negative energy stored up in your system. And that’s a place from which a lot more options become available (“Doors start opening in places we never even knew doors existed”) and lot more happiness has the chance to get in.