How many grains of sand does it hold?


How many grains of sand does it hold White Rabbit? The hourglass. You know but can’t tell me. Well, how do I respond to that? Not with a rash outburst of annoyance. I peer at the hourglass and notice that there isn’t any sand in it but something else. How strange. As is the unlit candle and skull. A reminder of our mortality perhaps. The rabbit hole looks different on this occasion. Gone are ancient glyphs of the ancestors and in their stead are reminders of our civilisations. What remarkable achievements, their ideals and sentiments achieving incredible transformations but ultimately to crumble into dust and leave not a trace. Sounds so stark and inescapable. This is the way of all existence, yet, why mourn? If we hold fast to the material we miss out on the sublime that lies beyond this reality. A vast Universe of possibilities and perceptions awaits, we only have to relinquish thoughts of linear time in order to understand what lies beyond.

Such deep thoughts for this time of the day! The atmosphere in this place is volatile. It provokes questions and unsettles. The walls aren’t static but shimmer like mirages. The roof is held up by columns in the form of papyrus reeds. In one corner of the room I can see an owl sitting on a perch, he opens his eyes and peers at me intensely. In the opposite corner sits a crow, his eyes mirroring the place that is in-between the worlds. Both messengers form other worlds and forms of consciousness. I wonder where the blackbird is, messenger of Rhiannon.

Projected on the walls I now see images of human history, from its beginnings to its eventual end. From fire we came and to fire we will return. From this ending will arise new life. Professor Brian Cox made a beautifully profound and simple statement regarding the issue of life being completely dependent upon carbon. Carbon comes from the stars and “in order for us to live, a star must die”. Sacrifice on a universal level. We are made of stars, within us lie billions of years of memories and lives. We are eternal, immortal and enduring. Although our bodies may protest otherwise! Seen against that canvas, how can we possibly shackle ourselves with fears and uncertainties regarding existence? As the cliche goes ‘easier said than done’.

All this talk of becoming and unbecoming brings to mind a comment made by the great Sufi Master, Jalaludin Rumi:

 What Shall I Become?

“I have again and again grown like grass; I have experienced seven hundred and seventy moulds.
I died from minerality and become vegetable; and from vegetativeness I died and became animal. I died from animality and became man. Next time I shall die bringing forth wings and feathers like angels: after that soaring higher than angels – what you cannot imagine. I shall be that.

The White Rabbit looks at me and smiles. I understand what he means now by the comment about the hourglass. We are the hourglass, holding within us the sands of infinite time. There is no need to know how many grains are within it, that is a futile exercise and waste of energy.

“What you cannot imagine. I shall be that”.