Photograph of a well-earned break on a plateau by Nicolas Cool.


M'Hoq Toq's voice is written this way

Nel's voice is written like this.

 
And if you go down a hill? If you didn’t know it already, what would you find out when you get down there? That you have to go up the next hill!
Because that’s the essential thing: you go down somewhere, then, you know, at some stage, you have to walk up again.
So, having an easier life, walking down somewhere, you should be aware that there will always be an uphill kind of path — that might be a little bit more difficult to negotiate.
This is what life is about, too. You have an easier phase that helps you recover from things that happened. And then, you go up again. It can be a little more challenging. It does not mean it’s a burden. It’s just that if you can negotiate a life where you have smooth hills --
[He uses Claudia’s hands to describe a series of gentle rolling hills] 
— so the difference is not so big — it will be easier for you. You will have an easier life.
Because, if you think about it, it’s always easier to go downhill.
[He shows a steep incline, moving down fast, with the hand]
Then, you’ll end up at the very bottom and it’s very hard to get up from there again.
 Hopi Jar (c.1880s) by legendary ceramicist  Nampayo . Photo courtesy  Wikicommons .

Hopi Jar (c.1880s) by legendary ceramicist Nampayo. Photo courtesy Wikicommons.

Hmm.

The Hopi had — I’ve been told and you may be able to correct me on this — a concept that time moves in a spiral. As you traveled up the hill slightly, you could go and re-visit, in a different time, a similar lesson or space — that you visited previously on a different level of understanding.

[Nel uses her hands to describe a spiral, with repeated pauses at the point of - say - 10 o’clock, as the spiral moves up].

Yes.
It means you have a balanced life, this way. It’s easier to go up hill because it’s not as steep.

Yes.

And you put in some effort. This effort can be learning, expanding your consciousness, growing your knowledge while you go up there.
[Spirals Claudia’s hand as if going up a gentle slope around a hill]
And then you’re up there and you get rewarded with a connection to places you’ve visited before. And you grow it even more.
[Describes with the hands a kind of peak or plateau]
And then it’s very easy. And there’s a lot of happiness going down again.
[Hand spirals down the hill again].
By then you’ve learned a lot more. So, if you use the spiral to go up again, another time, you’ll have much more energy.
You will still have to put some effort of some kind into it. Every time you do it, it gets easier. But you won’t get anywhere without putting in any kind of effort into something. It’s not like it all comes to you out of nowhere. Over the years it will get easier. A lot easier.

Yes.
You know, everybody wants to win the lottery.

Lottery?

Mmm. Everybody would like to have as money much as — more than they could ever need, to do whatever they want with it.

 Lucky numbers. Photo by  Skitterphoto .

Lucky numbers. Photo by Skitterphoto.

Why? Do you want that? Why would anyone want this?

[Laughs] I’m interested in your comments on that.

See, if you have a lot of this, what you call, money —

Mhmm?

 — it will stop you from going up there again [spirals the hand up to the top of the ‘hill’] and putting some effort in. Because you would try to use a short cut that gets you up there without putting any effort in.
If I talk about what you do in this circumstance, it is like taking a flight to the top with a helicopter or even an elevator. And then you’re up there, you’re enjoying what you get there and then you fall down the other side [he gestures a steep fall off the hill].
 "You're up there... and then you fall down the other side". Photograph by  Marc Wieland .

"You're up there... and then you fall down the other side". Photograph by Marc Wieland.

Mmm. Like a crash, not a spiral, just a crash down.

Yes. You’ll enjoy all these benefits on the top there. It will make you happy for a while. And then it’s time to go down that spiral again. But you did not get, gain, the energy from the effort you put in learning things on the way up there. [Spiralling the hand gently up again] — then you enjoy it, you get rewarded and it makes it easier to go down again.
If you missed out on the knowledge, the energy, on all these things that you would gain, maybe slowly, sometimes a bit faster, on your way up there --
You will enjoy the same benefits by taking that so-called helicopter or elevator to go up there. You will enjoy the same benefits. Each one has to decide, ‘Well, I have to go down there. I can’t stay up there all the time.’

Yeah.

So the one that has gained energy going up there and knowledge, you know, will have it much easier to go slowly down and then move on, go up the next one [spirals the hand up another gentle hill] learn something different, do something different and you’ll have the same experience on the next ‘top’. You’ve learned something new. You enjoy the benefits. You go down slowly. You go to the next and up. And down. And up and down. It goes on like this.

It’s a series of spirals.

If you go up quickly, you crash down. At some point, you won’t have the energy to go up there again. Because you did not build it up. You got up there too fast.

I see.

If you reach a certain (what you call) goal, too quickly, too easily, it won’t last. But if you get what you need, rather than more than you would ever need (as you said) … you might have to focus more on ‘What do I really need? Where do I want to put it in to?’
‘What do I wanna learn out of it?’
And you will still walk up that spiral (to talk in a different way: you might drive up, in your times). But you don’t take the short-cut of the elevator or the helicopter. Or even a rocket.
 Driving up a spiraling hill in Spain. Photo by  Patrick Baum .

Driving up a spiraling hill in Spain. Photo by Patrick Baum.

So, you will reach the very top and it goes faster, but you’ll still learn on the way. And you’ll still have the energy to go down that little hill and be able to go up the next one: with the next challenge, the next thing you have to learn, the next stage in your life.

Yes.

This is how it works. So, what you call lottery is what we call the short-cut. You could call it the elevator or the helicopter.
It can help.
There are some people who, you know, have been up there — walking up, all the way, with difficulty, learning things. And then they were on the top. There are always quite a few on the top there. I'll translate it for you with a picture. Someone goes up there via the elevator, rocket, helicopter, whatever, lands there, enjoys it. You know, they enjoy it, but there is not much space on the top. So someone gets pushed down, who did all the work to go up there. If that one who has been pushed down ‘wins the lottery’, that one will get that push in energy to go up again. Because that one deserved it.
Do you understand?

I do.

I feel a bit — I don’t know — under-challenged? Talking about helicopters and rockets and elevators.

[Laughs]

  Petroglyph from Mesa Verde, courtesy  US National Parks  via  Wikicommons

Petroglyph from Mesa Verde, courtesy US National Parks via Wikicommons

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