It is related that one day they came upon Majnun sifting the dust, and his tears flowing down. They said, "What doest thou?" He said, "I seek for Layli." They cried, "Alas for thee! Layli is of pure spirit, and thou seekest her in the dust!" He said, "I seek her everywhere; haply somewhere I shall find her."
(Baha'u'llah, The Seven Valleys, p. 6)

Who is Layli and why do we seek her?

What is a Seeking Layli Event?

Friday, 18 December 2009

A lofty mountain wherein no one dwelleth

It was actually the Bab who said " Verily, behold My habitation -- a lofty mountain wherein no one dwelleth."  He had been imprisoned there. But perhaps Layli might be following His example?
Anyway we are going to check out Mount Barrow again on Sunday January 3rd 2010 to see if she's there.  We've been up there twice before but once was in rain.  Our second attempt is documented here
The arrangements are the same as last time.  We will meet at the picnic spot at noon for picnic and prayers.
Mount Barrow is about 46 km north-east of Launceston. Follow the sealed Tasman Highway (A3) for 31 km north-east from Launceston, then turn right onto the gravel Mount Barrow Road (route C404) which leads to the Mount Barrow State Reserve (approximately 9 km) and the plateau (approximately 15 km). The trip takes about 3/4 hour.
The last 2 km of road to the plateau is narrow, steep and winding. During winter the road beyond the picnic ground is periodically closed due to snow. 
However, we may change our search methods.  In the past we have gone up to the plateau and looked down hoping to see Layli.  
Perhaps it might be pleasanter and maybe more successful to search through the forests below the plateau?  We can decide during the picnic.
Hope to see you there!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

All Life is of Thee

"My God, the Object of my adoration, the Goal of my desire, the All-Bountiful, the Most Compassionate! All life is of Thee, and all power lieth within the grasp of Thine omnipotence" (Baha'u'llah)


Various conflicting events resulted in only a small group of three seekers arriving at Pine Lake to be greeted by what seems at first sight a barren landscape -  beautiful in its windswept emptiness but seemingly inhabited only by stunted grey brown plants. Not the kind of place one would expect to life in all its beauty, profusion and variety to be celebrated.
But all life is from God and nothing God creates but is wonderful in itself.  One cannot be long at Pine Lake before something hits you with its beauty and perfection.

It is not just the flowers though they are impressive indeedThere are the 'block rivers'  resulting from ice-age glaciation.

There is the lake itself

And the sculptured forms that the Pencil Pines have acquired in their long lives

As one of us commented - there is something Japanese about it.
"Every created being however revealeth His signs which are but emanations from Him and not His Own Self. All these signs are reflected and can be seen in the book of existence, and the scrolls that depict the shape and pattern of the universe are indeed a most great book."    (Baha'u'llah)
Perhaps at Pine Lake  the scrolls that depict the "shape and pattern of the universe" are more visible, less concealed by veils but for whatever reason it a very special place.  No we didn't find Layli there, but, when we do find her, we will certainly recommend Pine Lake to her.

We walked and talked and said our devotions and we stopped at Liffey Falls on the way back.  It was a very peaceful and fulfilling day.
"Know ye not that the Hand of God is over your hands, that His irrevocable Decree transcendeth all your devices, that He is supreme over His servants, that He is equal to His Purpose, that He doth what He wisheth, that He shall not be asked of whatever He willeth, that He ordaineth what He pleaseth, that He is the Most Powerful, the Almighty? If ye believe this to be the truth, wherefore, then, will ye not cease from troubling and be at peace with yourselves?"    (Baha'u'llah)


Wednesday, 18 November 2009

the high places of the earth

He bringeth to light whatsoever He willeth, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, invested with transcendent majesty and power. (Baha'u'llah)

On Sunday 6th December we are going to the high places. In fact returning to the high places because we have been to Pine Lake before. Our last trip was wrapt in veils of winter mist but a solo scout by one of our members had better luck last summer.

Route finders give several probably interesting back roads that lead to Pine Lake but by far the easiest way is to get to Deloraine and head up the Lake Highway towards Miena. Once you complete the climb and get above the tree line and things flatten keep your eyes open for the lake on the right. You will see the signs proclaiming it an environmentally sensitive area.
We won't be quite above the treeline because Pine Lake is named for the wonderfully gnarled tough and long-lived Pencil Pine (which are not really Pines at all).
And this is a very easy walk. I know some people will be thinking "I've heard that before" but it really is. Being environmentally sensitive they have built a dead flat broadwalk and you are not allowed off it. You could take a wheelchair on this trip!
For those who would fancy a bit more strenuous walk there is a nice downhill maybe 1 to 2 hour walk from a scenic point on the Lake Highway down beside the Liffey to the Falls car park and I'm sure we could arrange cars to make it a one way trip.
There are no facilities at all at Pine Lake so this might be a time to bring any folding chairs tables you may have. Or perhaps for the picnic and prayers we might drive a little bit further on to the lookout above The Great Lake. Lets meet at 12 noon at the Pine Lake car park and make our plans then.
See you in the wilderness.

All the Embodiments of His Names wander in the wilderness of search, athirst and eager to discover His Essence, (Baha'u'llah)

Monday, 16 November 2009

Dwelling in the green garden land

Nay rather, the denizens of the undying city, who dwell in the green garden land, see not even "neither first nor last"; they fly from all that is first, and repulse all that is last. For these have passed over the worlds of names, and fled beyond the worlds of attributes as swift as lightning. Thus is it said: "Absolute Unity excludeth all attributes." And they have made their dwelling-place in the shadow of the Essence. (Baha'u'llah)

GLORY be to God for dappled things,
For skies of couple-color as a brinded cow,
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls, finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced, fold, fallow and plough,
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange,
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim.
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change;
Praise him.
(Gerard Manley Hopkins)

It was, so said the web sites, an easy two hour return walk to the falls.
Well, no doubt easy for some. For most of us it was a struggle, But it was worth it.

Not particularly for the waterfall itself, though it was a perfectly respectable waterfall but for the green dappled wonderland we made our way through. A light canopy with a lot of dogwood allowed light to penetrate in rays and glimpses and spots into an almost miraculously green rain forest.

As you can see below we lost and found each other amongst the ferns, and moss and greenery. Did I mention it was green?

A highlight is shown by this photo below which many of us feel clearly shows Layli relaxing in her green bower. Skeptics insist that the facial features and clothes are those of one of the Layliseekers but who but Layli could be sitting with such composure in such a spot? Do they not know that we all carry something of Layli within us?

With the hands of power I made thee and with the fingers of strength I created thee; and within thee have I placed the essence of My light. (Baha'u'llah)
Turn thy sight unto thyself, that thou mayest find Me standing within thee, mighty, powerful and self-subsisting. (Baha'u'llah)

Prayers were said, God was praised, picnic was eaten, and weary and aching bodies dragged homewards filled with wonder and the beauty of creation.

His eyes are ever expectant to witness the wonders of God's mercy and eager to behold the splendours of His beauty. Blessed indeed are they that have attained unto such a station, for this is the station of the ardent lovers and the enraptured souls. (Baha'u'llah)

Sunday, 18 October 2009

...walk upon the earth as though they were in the presence of God ..

"Yet it behoveth the people of truth that the signs of humility should shine upon their faces, that the light of sanctity should radiate from their countenances, that they should walk upon the earth as though they were in the presence of God and distinguish themselves in their deeds from all the dwellers of the earth."    (Baha'u'llah)

On Sunday November 1st we are offering a splendid opportunity to 'walk upon the earth'.  We will go looking for Layli at Westmoreland Falls.  It is a fairly easy walk one hour each way though with some creek crossings involved.  Those of us who can't manage a two hour walk should not be discouraged.  The walk is reported to be marvellous from the start so its a matter of pottering along as far as you feel comfortable with whether its fifty metres or all the way to the falls.
The walk and the directions to get there are described here
and there are great photos here

We assume everybody can find Mole Creek the starting point?

We'll meet as usual at the car park at 12 noon.  bring a picnic to eat or share and if you are willing some devotional reading or whatever form of worship you prefer.

........ its streams flowing, and its trees luxuriant........

"One day of days We repaired unto Our Green Island. Upon Our arrival, We beheld its streams flowing, and its trees luxuriant, and the sunlight playing in their midst." (Baha'u'llah)

We met at O'Neill's picnic reserve. Convenient with its picnic tables and toilets but not in itself particularly beautiful. But leading off the reserve there is a fairly easy walk. It needed to be easy as many of us are unfit and at least one was carrying an injury. And it went along beside a creek and it was absolutely lovely.

There was much to see including this yellow worm. Can Layli assume the form of a yellow worm? Perhaps, but would she want to?
".... every man that hath eyes to perceive and ears to hear cannot but readily recognize how evanescent are its colors." (Baha'u'llah)

"In a rich soil, its plants spring forth abundantly by permission of its Lord,
" (Quran)

Then it was back to the picnic reserve where we used it as its name implied and also to say and sing our devotions.

Then we piled in the cars and headed to Mount Round Lookout.

Then we split up, those who still had oomph in their legs headed up the hydro road leading to the summit to get better and better views while others of us started to wend our way homewards via Mole Creek. One of our newer members. but an old hand in the Tasmanian bush, showed us en route a marvelous hidden picnic spot beside the Mersey River

It will, we feel sure, be a the site for a future Layli hunt as it seemed just the magical spot she might choose to haunt.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Dwell not save on the mount of faithfulness

The first call of the Beloved is this: O mystic nightingale! Abide not but in the rose-garden of the spirit. O messenger of the Solomon of love! Seek thou no shelter except in the Sheba of the well-beloved, and O immortal phoenix! dwell not save on the mount of faithfulness. Therein is thy habitation, if on the wings of thy soul thou soarest to the realm of the infinite and seekest to attain thy goal.    (Baha'u'llah)

Well I think we can all agree that Layli probably lives in Tasmania and that being the case perhaps she took Baha'u'llah literally and dwells on a 'mount of faithfulness'?
Could it be Mount Roland?
We'll find out this Sunday 4th October.  Mount Roland is situated at Gowrie Park between Sheffield and Cradle Mountain and can also be reached down a more interesting but probably slower road from Mole Creek.  Gowrie Park is easily found on Google maps or any other popular route finder.
We'll meet as usual at noon at O'Neill's Picnic reserve which, if you're coming from Sheffield is on the left hand side near the start of Gowrie Park.   Theres a nice little creek path leads off it which might be a good gentle walk for the less fit and will I'm sure have places for picnic and prayers.

For the fitter there are of course many more strenuous walks available up to and including the ascent of Mount Roland itself, which I for one will not be doing.

One middle level possibility is to drive the few kilometres to Round Hill Lookout (worth it for the view alone) From there is a walking only road up made, probably, for the communication towers.  You don't have to go very far to get special views.

Remember, bring some food to eat and/or share and a willingness to at least tolerate others devotions or offer your own in your own way and keep your eyes peeled for Layli. And if you need a lift email here or contact me privately.
Its a reasonable run from Launceston so it may be a time to make up groups and share petrol costs.

A closing couple of views of the Mount to close with.

Though weariness lay Me low, and hunger consume Me, and the bare rock be My bed, and My fellows the beasts of the field, I will not complain,    (Baha'u'llah)

If the rock should be as grand as Mount Roland why would anyone complain?

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Diversified by Various Causes

Say: Nature in its essence is the embodiment of My Name, the Maker, the Creator. Its manifestations are diversified by varying causes, and in this diversity there are signs for men of discernment. Nature is God's Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world. (Baha'u'llah)

Of all the places we've visited on our quest for Layli, Lost and Meetus falls have probably showed the diversity of nature more than any other. For a start there's the falls themselves. Meetus as shown here is a classical single drop waterfall looking rather impressive after the recent rains.
While Lost Falls, shown below, is hardly a waterfall at all. More a few hundred metres of cascades.

The contrast is not confine to the Falls. When we arrived at the Lost Falls car park we seemed to be in the middle of a vast dry Sclerophyll forest. And we were. All the usual signs of an Australian forest not all that long since having been damaged by fire but back in growth. All the usual tangle of dead branches and little understorey.

But as we made our way down to the river we were entering a different micro-ecology. First the understorey thickened being dominated by Mountain Berry.

Then as we reached the river the vegetation was almost rain forest, certainly riparian and the place was a rock hopper's paradise. Here one of the group uses sensitive photo-electrical equipment to check for spiritual activity amongst the rocks.

We said prayers while perched on the rocks and felt as Baha'u'llah put it:
"Were anyone .... to worship God in the forests, valleys, and mountains, upon high hills and lofty peaks, to leave no rock or tree, no clod of earth, but was a witness to his worship ..."

but it is wise to remember how Baha'u'llah continued.
"-- yet, should the fragrance of My good pleasure not be inhaled from him, his works would never be acceptable unto God."

Then we left the river, climbed back up to the car park, and headed in the other direction where on top of a small hill were large, almost circular rock areas where wild flowers grew:

and, as promised by Forestry Tasmania who do not lie to us, we had views over the Freycinet peninsula.
Then, of course it was a 20k drive to see Meetus Falls. Regrettably, time did not permit us to press on and check out if Layli could be found at Harding Falls, Mount Puzzler Reserve or any other wonders of the Eastern Forests.

Indeed, O Brother, if we ponder each created thing, we shall witness a myriad perfect wisdoms and learn a myriad new and wondrous truths. (Baha'u'llah)

Sunday, 30 August 2009

...lost in the wilds of remoteness ..

Nay, the manifold bounties of the Lord of all beings have, at all times, through the Manifestations of His divine Essence, encompassed the earth and all that dwell therein. Not for a moment hath His grace been withheld, nor have the showers of His loving-kindness ceased to rain upon mankind.    (Baha'u'llah)
We'll take Baha'u'llah's word about the "showers of His loving-kindness" but we can vouch from mere personal experience that more earthly and wetter showers have not recently ceased to rain down upon Tasmania.  As a consequence, all the rivers run and the waterfalls roar.
As previously advertised, on Sunday September 6th we're going to Lost Falls.  We meet as usual at the car park at 12 noon.
This is a longer trip than usual for most of us.  First get to Canpbell Town.  Then, just at the south end of the town take the road signposted 'East Coast Via Lake Leake'  About 40 km down this road, after Lake Leake and Kalangadoo, there is a cross road.  To the right, well signposted, is the road to Lost Falls while to the left, not well signposted, is the road to Meetus Falls. The signposted suggests Lost Falls reserve is 4kms from the junction and we are sure that Forestry Tasmania wouldn't lie to us.  The reserve may start 4km from the junction  but the car park you are headed for is a couple of kilometres further so if you were planning a pleasant walk factor that in.  Of course Lost Falls is also accessible from the East Coast.
The track from the crossroads is dirt and not a particularly good dirt track at that.  It will I am sure not cause problems for anyone used to driving on gravel but if, for any reason, you wish to come but don't wish to drive off tarmac e-mail us here and we will arrange to meet you at the crossroads where there is plentiful parking.
The reserve claims to have basic facilities - very basic I would say.  Here they are.  note - no toilets.

It also according to the website has spectacular views of ...... well of the inside of a cloud when we visited but we are assured on other days it is views of the Freycinet Peninsula and surrounding coastline.

The walks to the various view points are short and easy from where as well as the Freycinet Peninsula you get distant views (possibly through a cloud) of the waterfall.  There is a steep, scrambly, though not long path down to the river and presumably close-up views of the falls.
That's it.  It's a long trip to a little known reserve and falls but one well worth visiting.  Plenty time to take in Meetus falls as well.
There will be the usual shared devotionals and picnic.
......wonderful scenes of the world of nature, which bewilder the minds of men, are manifest. Lofty mountains, deep canyons, great and majestic waterfalls, and giant trees are witnessed on all sides,    (Abdu'l-Baha)


Layli 1 Seekers 0

He sendeth down the rain from Heaven: then flow the torrents in their due measure, and the flood beareth along a swelling foam. (The Qur'an (Rodwell tr)
As the day approached we had such high hopes. Many of us, with no real evidence, have a gut feeling that Layli surely lives somewhere amid the forests, cliffs, and wild tundra that run from Liffey up to Pine Lake. With the river running so high would she not be at the waterfall?
But, as the day dawned, the rain was still pouring down. Doubts set in. What exactly is "due measure" and where would the torrents be flowing? Fears were expressed that they'd be flowing gleefully down the dirt track that is the road up from Liffey to the waterfall. The Bureau of Meteorology didn't help with promises of thunderstorms, winds and more rain not to mention vague 'Flood watches' and 'Minor Flood warnings'. The phones hummed and, by mutual consent, the event was informally canceled. One rather glum organiser set off to park as near as possible and warn off anyone who had not heard of the cancellation.
Before you accuse us of cowardice remember the words of God:
And it shall be no crime in you to lay down your arms if rain annoy you, or if ye be sick. The Qur'an (Rodwell tr)
Rain had certainly annoyed us.

However, the organiser found things not as bad as feared. The track was no worse than wet, slippery, pot-holed and dangerous so no problem if taken slowly. Though no Layli seekers were found there were rather a lot of Tasmanians up there seeking a waterfall in spate and who is to say that is not, in its own way, just as spiritual a quest?
And the Liffey was running white:

And the falls were full:
Even the little tributaries which normally trickle drop by drop were miniature waterfalls:
And then a quite place in the moist forest for prayers and and a somewhat lonely picnic.
So the great game of spiritual hide and seek continues. In the title of this post we have recorded a clear win for Layli - we did after all cancel the search. But more by accident than design, the waterfall was visited, prayers were said, the celebratory picnic was eaten. Did we possibly snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat?

And then perhaps the search for Layli is a search which can never succeed. Perhaps it is its own reward. After all what will we do if "haply" somewhere we should find her? Chat about the weather? Ask her what kind of music she likes? Below are two quotes from Baha'u'llah highlighting different aspects of the search for the Divine.

It follows, therefore, that every man hath been, and will continue to be, able of himself to appreciate the Beauty of God, the Glorified. Had he not been endowed with such a capacity, how could he be called to account for his failure? (Baha'u'llah)
Every attempt to attain to an understanding of His inaccessible Reality hath ended in complete bewilderment, and every effort to approach His exalted Self and envisage His Essence hath resulted in hopelessness and failure. (Baha'u'llah)

And heres one that combines both views:
How can I claim to have known Thee, when the entire creation is bewildered by Thy mystery, and how can I confess not to have known Thee, when, lo, the whole universe proclaimeth Thy Presence and testifieth to Thy truth? (Baha'u'llah)

The rules of this game are beyond my simple mind but Baha'u'llah has a recognition even of our confusion.
Ye shall be hindered from loving Me and souls shall be perturbed as they make mention of Me. For minds cannot grasp Me nor hearts contain Me. (Baha'u'llah)

Sunday, 9 August 2009

the clouds have rained down their rain, and the streams have flowed,

..... the clouds rain their bounty upon men, and the earth bringeth forth its fruits. (Baha'u'llah)

Well the clouds have certainly rained down their rain on Tasmania in the last few weeks and as a consequence the streams have flowed and the waterfalls have been spectacular.
We're going to take in a couple of them in our next two trips for surely not even Layli could resist the temptation of a mighty waterfall in full flow?

On Sunday August 23rd we are going back to Liffey Falls. This is probably Northern Tasmania's premier waterfall - some would say the best in Tasmania. We will meet at the top car park at 12 noon from where there are several options for walks though most people would choose the fairly short walk down to the falls and back through a magical wet rain forest.
It is also possible to walk down to the falls and continue beside the river to the lower car park or to walk up the river from the meeting place and after a rather strenuous hour ir two come out at a scenic lookout on the Lake Highway. Both these options would be easier if we can arrange a car to meet you at the end which should be possible.
The usual bring your own and/or share picnic and devotions will be held.

Most people probably already know their way to the Falls but if not there are directions here as well as a good description and for those of you who have forgotten what they look like

After Liffey, we will be starting a new regime. We will go seeking Layli regularly on the first Sunday of each Month. Dates and venues for the next couple of expeditions will be
Sunday 6th September - Lost Falls (near Lake Leake)
Sunday 4th October - Mount Roland

Further details will be provided in due course.

The inspiration to go seeking Layli at waterfalls came from a private expedition two of our members made to the Lemonthyme area. If you doubt that The streams are running and the falls full here's a shot of Bull Creek from behind Bridal Veil Falls.

And of course it wouldn't be the seeking Layli blog at this time of year if we didn't include some fungi. These two are from Lemonthyme area.

Hope to see you at Liffey.

Friday, 7 August 2009

From every direction the signs have been manifested.

"In this journey the seeker becometh witness to a myriad changes and transformations, confluences and divergences. He beholdeth the wonders of Divinity in the mysteries of creation and discovereth the paths of guidance and the ways of his Lord. Such is the station reached by them that search after God, and such are the heights attained by those who hasten unto Him." (Baha'u'llah)

Well we did attain the heights of Mount Direction though it would be stretching a point to say we hastened. It was a hard slog getting up to the semaphore station for those of us who are older or more arthritic and coming down as they say can be worse.

Hopefully, we did as we usually do on these searches behold something of "the wonders of Divinity in the mysteries of creation".
Unfortunately the semaphore though in working order was not actually working so we were unable to utilise to send a direct message to Layli.

Having made it to the top we found a table where we sat and said and sung our devotions.

From the map, we had assumed that from the top we would have rather spectacular views of the Tamar river and estuary. However it turned out that everything was veiled by the forest and we caught only glimpses of the river through the trees. still the earth was beautified by it.
"I entreat Thee by Thy Name through which Thou didst cause the dawn to appear, and the winds to blow, and the seas to surge, and the trees to bring forth their fruits, and the earth to be beautified with its rivers, that Thou wilt aid all them that are dear to Thee with both Thy visible and invisible hosts." (Baha'u'llah)

There was a reminder of how ephemeral all our projects here on earth are. The semaphore was built in the 1830's and no doubt the builders thought they had made a significant and lasting contribution to improving communications and bringing the people of the world closer together. Within fifteen years the new telegraphs had made it obsolete and it was decommissioned and the substantial quarters built for the staff allowed to fall into ruins.
"Fleeting are the riches of the world; all that perisheth and changeth is not, and hath never been, worthy of attention, except to a recognized measure. " (Baha'u'llah)

It was a lovely day, hard work climbing and descending and another chance to ponder each created thing. "Indeed, O Brother, if we ponder each created thing, we shall witness a myriad perfect wisdoms and learn a myriad new and wondrous truths." (Baha'u'llah)

Reaching the bottom of the mountain, we had our picnic, conversation, and at least one of us collapsed on our back in exhaustion and gazing upwards pondered those wonderful created things - the trees.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Seeking a signal from Layli?

"That which devolveth upon Me is but to mention the Book of thy Lord and to deliver this clear Message. If thou wishest to enter the gates of Paradise, lo, they are open before thy face and no harm can reach Me from anyone. " (The Bab)

Is it just coincidence that the birth of modern communications occurred at almost exactly the same time as the birth of the Babi/Baha'i dispensation. One of the essentials of Baha'u'llah's Message is that "The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens." (Baha'u'llah). Would it have been possible to carry the Message to all those citizens in a reasonable time without telephones, telegraphs, television, and the internet?

One of the early forms of modern communication which had only a very limited life before being submerged under the avalanche of electric communication was the cross-country semaphore. On Sunday 26th July we're going to Mount Direction where there is what is probably the last cross-country semaphore in working order (though not in use) in the world.

We will meet at 12 noon as usual at the car park where there is a picnic spot and the start of the track up the hill. The signposting is not great but it is on Dalrymple Road only about 25 kms from Launceston along the East Tamar Highway towards Georgetown.The turn-off is on the right if coming from Launceston and the car park is only 200 metres or so from the Highway. If getting directions from Google Maps look for Signal Lane. If you look for Mount Direction it will send you to the nearby township with the same name.
If coming across the bridge turn towards Launceston and if coming from the Northwest there are various back ways to reach Dalrymple road. Trust Google maps on this one.

There is further information at
which refers to a tavern which I have never seen though there is a Caltex petrol station roughly where they say the tavern is.
The walk up to the summit to see the semaphore is about 2km and up is the operative word. As the web site says it requires a basic level of fitness so some of won't go all the way. Never mind its nice walking through through light eucalypt bush with plenty of rest points where we can say prayers.

As usual bring a picnic to eat or share, and if you like, a willingness to offer praises to the Lord in your own preferred style.

Hoipe to see you there!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Dwelling in a cave

He practised self-denial, repressed his appetites for selfish desires and turned away from material pleasures. He withdrew to the mountains where he dwelt in a cave. (Baha'u'llah)

Baha'u'llah was actually talking about Socrates in the above quote, but one of the things we learnt from our trip to Mole Creek caves was just how many life forms do dwell in caves. Here, for example, is the caves' top predator - the cave spider:

Our timing was such that the most convenient tour for us was the 'Cathedral' cave tour. Here we make our way up to the 'Cathedral'.
and here is the 'Cathedral' itself:

It earned its name not only because of its general size, appearance, and the formation known as the 'organ pipes' seen centrally in the above shot. Before this cave came under the care of the National Parks the local people, presumably before many churches were built in the neighbourhood, used to take the long walk to and through the cave to the 'cathedral' and hold their Sunday Services here. Baha'u'llah says:
"Blessed is the ...... cave, ...... where mention of God hath been made, and His praise glorified." ( Baha'i Prayers)
Certainly this spot has been blessed by the praises of the local Christians and, with the guides permission, we added a Baha'i prayer or two.

This little area carries the name of "the garden". A rock garden we suppose.

A cave is of course a dark place by nature but when did man feel constrained by nature? The caves we see as tourists are mosrly about light - light and shade.
Wherefore marvel not at how He turneth darkness into light, light into darkness, ignorance into knowledge, error into guidance, death into life, and life into death. (Baha'u'llah)

If this stubby stalagmite had a name it has slipped my mind but it and all other structures and forms in the caves have formed over extremely long times. It is hard somehow to grasp how an occasional drop of impure water can result in such a solid structure as this.
Thou hast everlastingly been sanctified above the mention of any one but Thee and the praise of all else except Thyself, and Thou wilt everlastingly continue to be the same as Thou wast from the beginning and hast ever been.


And this formation is known as the "Palm Tree" for obvious reasons.

Every mineral can be made to acquire the density, form, and substance of each and every other mineral. (Baha'u'llah)

And eventually, we re-emerged to daylight and another Tasmanian forest, complete with moss, lichens, and of course fungi.

And here we had our picnic (actually before we entered the cave but no matter).