Watershed Tale – A Drinking-Glass in the Sea


drinking glass on sea bed

Many years ago, I dreamed of a drinking-glass in the sea, on the sea-bed, deep down.  It is a “Watershed Tale”, and I was about five months pregnant at the time.

25 January 1977
There was a lone figure – a man – on a beach lit as if by sunset.   He stretched out his arms towards the sea, he was taking part in a ritual.   There were others on the beach.   I loved the pure water of the sea in its strong rough waves, and longed to be in it and of it.   I sat in the sea water, on a rock, with Cathy the little girl from next door.   The water of the tide coming in with bigger and bigger waves, was delicious, cold and pure.   I  didn’t mind getting wet.   The water was beautiful on my body.   The waves were bigger and more powerful, nearly drowning us;  little Cathy was frightened, so I swam the few yards back to shore,   carrying her.   The tide was coming in fast.  

“On the beach I found Cathy had dropped her drinking-glass into the sea.   I didn’t want to lose it, so I ran back and dived into the sea, already deep and surging.   I swam a couple of strokes and then dived under,  right to the bottom. 

“I looked all around.   The water was clear and still beneath the surface surging dangers and turbulence –  I was frightened of those big waves.   First of all I saw something else Cathy had dropped, and brought it up, but it was not the glass,  so I went down again and there, amazingly, was the glass, resting upright on the sands, where I could just reach it with the last breath I had.   So I brought it up triumphantly and to shore.

“Sea –  peace,  austere peace,  like in Beethoven’s quartet Opus 131.”


I have often thought of this image, and wondered at it, particularly recently.  The glass developed in my interior eye, to an elegant goblet:  but originally it was of green glass, and someone had made it from the bottom of a bottle, filing it smooth around the rim.

green glass and wood flow


So today I painted it.  It means so many things:  diving into the heart, for one.  The shapely glass is formed from fine sand, from the movement of waves, and by the breath and in fire, it melts and is blown.  How strange, for it to be …  Any human being turned inward, with only a little flower turned outwards, is a bottomless vessel, a drinking glass under the ocean.   I dived for something I lost I think, and I found not that thing, but this, standing on the sandy sea-bed under and in the sea … the outline cannot enclose.

PLEROMA is the empty which is full, and was and is and ever shall be:  the Pleroma where all words fail, you feel it in the heart and in your bones – gnosis:  the gnosis of Carl Jung’s Seven Sermons to the Dead.

Jung as hermit

Jung as hermit

I have been working on this portrait since the weekend.  I had run out of my usual drawing paper, so I used the darker shade.

I am walking with the Red Book, and with the Seven Sermons to the Dead.  A wonderful edition of the Seven Sermons is available to buy online.  It is called The Gnostic Jung, and it is presented by Stephan A.Hoeller.  When he was a very young man in 1949, on a frozen day in Innsbruck he was lent one of the rare copies then in circulation.  All night long he transcribed and translated it, handing the book back to its owner the following day.

The Jungian Gnosis is a creative conjunction of therapeutic discipline with ancient spirituality, which is far more than the sum of its parts.   It is non-academic.   It activates.   It becomes the MEDICINE of the ages.  It heals.

Alchemy through the Red Sea - 2000

Alchemy through the Red Sea – 2000

Deep down there is always peace.  On the surface, a wild weather or a struggle or a crust.   Inside of a tree is like the sea bed.

Be transparent.

Chronically distressed at human poison on its habitat, these days – do we rush to our extinction?   TV ads, idiocy and smartphone media addictions are that.  They are the ragged holes of the nothing, which ate up the living world in Michael Ende’s “The Never Ending Story”.  So many hold this view – should I add to it?   Or reinforce the sap from inside the Tree, a parallel Reality?   We know so little, and the measuring sciences know even less:  just a few tones on the spectrum.

Be happy, do service, die consciously.

Wood bird Yantra

Wood bird Yantra


The Septus Sermones began when the dead came back from Jerusalem and haunted Jung’s house and upset his family.  The dead had gone to Jerusalem (in his inner journey) in 1914 to pray at the holy graves, and now they were back, and dissatisfied.  The holy graves of religion did not yield fruit.  In three winter evenings, the Seven Sermons were written.

In the Seven Sermons, Jung united the Christian God with Satan, gnostically:  Abraxas.  Abraxas seems to be the blind Will, as in Schopenhauer, which is both dark and light: the parodox of our growth.  Jung elaborated this theme in 1952, in Answer to Job.  He was already familiar with Gnostic literature, and circulated the black book script of the Sermons in a private publication for friends.  The name of the author, Basilides, “fell unexpectedly into my lap like a ripe fruit at a time of great stress, and has kindled a light of hope and comfort for me in my bad hours.”

This was at the beginning of 1916, and at the same time, Jung sketched the first mandala of his Systema Munditotius;  then painted it, later.   (January 16).

Mandalas are the pattern of time across the tree:  the seabed of the soul;  the instrument of wholeness and of healing;  the guardian.  Jung’s first pencil sketch is a classic interior four-gated Mandala: the key to gnosis. See my earlier post.

Continued in Aquariel: Mandala, Abraxas and Angel





My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2013. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

5 thoughts on “Watershed Tale – A Drinking-Glass in the Sea

  1. Another inspired post. I’m very fortunate to have found your blog. Thank you, from me personally as I learn from you, and thank you for teaching others and reaching out from such a personal place. It’s brave, and it’s beautiful.

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