The Mysteries of Water: “In Every Drop of Water Dwells a Deity”

Gail Thomas, Ph.D.

When we planned this series on elemental nature, were we prescient? Did we know intuitively back in the early summer that by the time the series of talks began, we in America would be either on our knees in prayer and/or also, (and this image is so frightening to the rest of the world,) on a course of retaliation that will involve all nations of the world? We cannot say. We cannot know the mysteries through our rationalminds.

But listen anew with images of New York still fresh in your memory to the words describing the City of Imagination series, “The City and Elemental Nature” in the Dallas Institute’s Fall 2001 brochure:

How will [the city] keep the urban atmosphere breathable and hale? Where will energy come from? What will insure that supplies of water are healthy and plentiful?…Underlying all the lectures will be the strong hope that intellect and imagination can reopen the powerful dialogue between the city and the natural world.

Indeed, it has been done unto us. Amidst this extraordinary experience of violence and terror we have awakened, more profoundly than ever more in our history, to the mysteries of our natural world — Earth, Air, Fire, and Water (and, amazingly, the Chinese canon of the elements includes Metal and Wood)

Scenes from September 11 remain: the twin towers in flames; people running for their lives in front of the mammoth ball of explosive debris, and choking on the air that was no longer air, but the material body and blood of New York City. A national, nee, a worldly sacrifice. And we are on our knees asking for guidance, praying for understanding, for solace and comfort in our grief. And now, three weeks after the deeply penetrating wound, many are uttering words of wonder and awe that this sacrifice has been made for us, that we may be transformed with newness of life.

Sitting in my church, St. Michaels and All Angels last Sunday morning, I listened more attentively than usual. We celebrated the ritual of Baptism for three babies. I heard and read these words from our Book of Common Prayer:

We thank you, almighty God, for the gift of water. Over it the Holy Spirit moved in the beginning of creation. Through it you led the children of Israel out of their bondage in Egypt into the land of promise. In it your Son Jesus received the baptism of John and was anointed by the Holy Spirit as the Messiah, the Christ, to lead us, through his death and resurrection, from the bondage of sin into everlasting life.

And when the ritual of baptism takes place, the priest speaks these words:

Heavenly Father, we thank you that by water and the Holy Spirit you have bestowed upon these your servants the forgiveness of sin, and have raised them to the new life of grace.

And so I speak tonight of water, the mystery within it, and the grace that accompanies it. Water, the soul elixir of life. Water, the most elemental of all.

All stories of creation are told with the understanding that water is already present. There is no “beginning” of water, other than what is told in our Bible:

“God created the Heavens and the Earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” [1]

The water was already there, reflecting the face of God. The water was already there, reflecting the face of God. The water was already there, reflecting the face of God.

Then, this meditation comes to me.

The Water was there in the beginning, reflecting the face of God. The Creator…. Creation Itself…. There, in the Beginning…. Water…. There…. In the Beginning…. Creation…. The Womb, Primordial Waters…. The Source of Life…. There, In the Beginning…. Water. Change, Transformation…. Never Step into the Same River Twice, Transformation…. The Only Constant is Change Itself…. Transformation…. The River is a Strong Brown God…Waiting, Watching and Waiting…The River is within Us, the Sea is All Around Us….Water, In the Beginning, Creation. Water, Reflecting the Face of God. Water, in the Beginning. Many Gods and Many Voices…. Genesis 1 and 2. In the Beginning, Water, Reflecting the Face of God.

What is this water that is there in the beginning reflecting the face of God?

I want to suggest that water is the soul elixir of life. I want us to consider water as a way of imagining Soul at work in the world, in the universe. Water, as Soul itself, moistening, creating, interpenetrating, there in the interstices of all things, in the in-between, interlocking, connecting, uniting.

This, is what we might call ur–water. (I will go into this notion of ur-water in a moment.) It has no history, because it was there in the beginning of things. Dallas Institute Fellow Ivan Illich calls water, the “stuff” of the universe. Sounding somewhat “Faulknerian, Illich says: “Water envelops what exists before space was. Water is the blood that nourishes even before milk can flow.” [2]

Ur-water is elemental nature itself.

This profoundly mysterious topic — Elemental Nature — invites an exploration of realms that four hundred years of scientific training has left us unprepared to see. The elementals have been eclipsed by the microscope. If we are to attempt to perceive nature’s most profound secrets, we must adopt an imagination more akin to the ancients, what we might call a merging of the physical and the metaphysical. We have even given this merging a name and a space — we have called it “the vesica”, an overlapping of realms, so that truth comes to us from a variety of resources, not only reason, but through feeling and intuition, and even Grace. This is the area — this overlapping, interpenetrating vesica — is where I feel most at home as a psychologist concerned with the interlocking of Spirit and Soul. So, the merging of the physical and the metaphysical. As the Saxon poet Novalis says, “Soul is there where the inner and outer worlds meet.” Or Rilke in Two Solitudes:

“Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect, and touch, and greet each other.”

What has happened to us after several centuries of scientific thought and training is that we have been living in solitudes, in our professions, in our separate disciplines. We have learned to rely solely on the material, rational, physical plane and have forgotten that there is always an interpenetration of the metaphysical at work, participating in our everyday makings. But, we have now lived through this period and are on a new course. Science is now making discoveries that invite quantum leaps, and we begin to see a merging of the scientific and spiritual worldview.

Let us consider that we live in a resonant universe. Our world resonates. It hums, vibrates, and moves. The planets, stars, galaxies, novas, vibrate to a certain frequency. What is the vehicle for this resonance? For this vibration? Of what do the waves consist? What hums? Indeed, the August 2001 issue of Astronomy Magazine reports in its cover story “Wet Universe” that water is indeed “everywhere.” There is within the past month, new discoveries of water on Mars. According to a talk I heard earlier this week by Randy Best[3], photographs taken with telescopic cameras from orbiting spacecraft record recent mudslides on Mars. Scientists now claim to know there is water on the moon , although it is not on the surface and would have to be drilled for to retrieve. The view is that comets carry water to other planets, impregnating them with life-giving water. Scientists who had formerly been unable to locate water in the universe claim now that it is not missing; it has been there all along.[4] Remember Ivan Illich’s words: “Water envelops what exists before space was. Water is the blood that nourishes even before milk can flow.”

The technological phenomena of our present world are teaching us what we have forgotten—that is, that there are many realms co-existing at any given time and place. (Cyberspace is, in this way, a profound teacher.)

To comprehend that the other realms exist takes a leap of what we call imagination. We have no other access to it. We have forgotten that we have forgotten. Thus, our (The Dallas Institute’s) emphasis on the imagination, and this series –The City of Imagination. We are attempting to acknowledge the invisible realms interpenetrating with our physical one. We might call these realms “elemental nature.” Or, another term I would suggest is, as I have mentioned, “ur-nature.” The ur prefix suggests that which is original. It implies primordial, fundamental, elemental nature. To suggest the ur of nature asks that we pay attention to the first principals of nature – the nature of nature. Our scientific mind would probably have to resort to saying the mystery of nature.

So, it is with this ur sense that I speak about water. Ur water is the mystery of water. But, okay, what is it? I have spoken previously about the ure of architecture. Imagine the archoi ( the old ones, the proven ancients as principles of number, harmony, and form), woven through the text (tect) of our built world and pulled by unseen forces into a higher octave—the ure. This ure marks the main difference between our being a cult and having a culture. A culture is a higher frequency of vibration or resonance than that of a cult. Granted their difference; it seems that perhaps ur is the primordial first cause and the ure is a raising to a higher octave, or, we might say, a pulling of being into the future. In a similar way, ur-water is a way of speaking about water as the source of creation itself.

After I had spent some time meditating and writing about the “ure” of architecture and culture and nature and mature and manure, can you imagine the leap of my heart when I came across the writings of a man who used the term in a most similar way? This man is Viktor Schauberger, a man who although virtually unknown until a few years ago, is deserving to be called the guru of water. You will know about him before the evening is over.

It pleases me to have the occasion to speak of the work of Viktor Schauberger. Last January, I conducted a conference in Dallas City Hall called “What Does the River Want to Be?” I briefly mentioned Viktor Schauberger’s important research on water, but it was not the time or place to go into any detail about it. Now, it is.

Reading Viktor Schauberger quickened so many questions: Why is it that deep sea fish can glow and give off electric shocks?[5] What causes the sap to rise in trees? Or the blood to course through the body? (Remember Dr. Cowan’s lecture last week: “The force that through the green fuse drives the flower/Drives my green age…The force that drives the water through the rocks/Drives my red blood.” Dylan Thomas)

Schauberger’s careful observance of nature in the 1930’s caused him to ask practical questions that have profound consequences for us living in modern cities today in the 21st. century. “How is it that rivers seldom attack their banks if their inner conformity with natural law has not been disturbed?” And, “Why is it that our technology has not yet discovered an effective long-term artificial bank which can withstand the destructive force of water whose natural flow has been impeded?”[6] And his answer: “Because we try to control water by its banks, not by attempting to influence the water itself.” Schauberger suggests a most amazing approach to the most basic issue of modern life—how to live with water that is vital and alive—by saying we must learn the secret mysteries of water and then conform to them and entice water to work with us for our human good. To do so would imply….What? To do so would imply that the water itself has intelligence—consciousness. We in our society don’t think so. We attempt to control water, not knowing that it can think and that it knows what it is doing.

Listen to the words of Viktor Schauberger.:

“In every drop of water dwells a deity whom indeed we all serve. There dwells Life, the soul of the primal substance – water- whose boundaries and banks are the capillaries that guide it, and in which it circulates.”[7]

Because I will be using Schauberger’s insights during this talk, perhaps I should tell you about him. He was an Austrian forester who has gained world recognition for his understanding of the natural energies of water—the elemental nature of water. Ten years ago, there were no books on his work and no one had heard his name. Today, Google has over 2000 links to Schauberger.

He came from a long line of foresters, stretching back in Austrian history four hundred years. At age eighteen, and against his father’s orders, he did not go to college, but instead went into the Bavarian forest alone to observe the mysteries of nature at work. He developed profound and to this very day radical theories that are just now being shown scientifically to be correct. Alone in the forest far away from the meddling of the human hand, Schauberger perceived phenomena occurring in nature that gave him reason to question so many of the established facts of science and of the modern day technology developed from these scientific theories. He spent hours, days, sitting by the side of mountain rivers observing the salmon swim upstream, carefully analyzing where they positioned themselves in the riverbed in order to brace the force of the water rushing downstream. He watched as the salmon swam up river against the current towards the waterfall by the cliff, thrusting itself into the vortex of the cascading waters, disappearing and then bolting upright several feet and levitating there several seconds, vibrating, but in a holding pattern against the powerful rush of falling water.

He put these observances into practice – harnessing nature’s simplicity in river and flood management, in soil fertility, water-purification, free energy devices, home –powered generation and water-fueled devices for transportation. (This was in the 30’s. Our technology is just now suggesting that we explore these ideas.) During World War II he submitted patents for the turbine engine, jet propulsion, and even produced a tiny scale model of a flying saucer, that when first released in his workshop shot up the ceiling and smattered into bits.

In his early years, just back from his solitary time in the Bavarian forests, he made a fortune for his land owner in timber-cutting by inventing a sluice that would not jam for conveying the cut trees down the mountain and into the rivers for conveyance to lumber mills.

Here is the story: the Austrian Count for whom Schauberger worked as a forester was threatened with the loss of his land because he could not find a way to deliver cut trees down the mountains and into the streams that carried the logs to the river basin and eventually to the lumber mills. One day, the Countess was walking land and came upon Schauberger thoughtfully studying the way salmon swim upstream and swim into the pool of a waterfall and leap high into the air, levitating for seconds at a time before falling back. The forester was explaining the phenomenon to the Countess, and in turn, she confided in him her fear of losing the land because of lack of funds. Schauberger told the countess he could make a sluice that would convey the cut timbers down the mountain. He received the consent of the count, and went to work, knowing he had only a limited time before foreclosure. Schauberger knew the way water wants to flow from studying the patterns water makes on the land. He knew that water wants tension; it desires friction in order to generate its own power. In order to gain its power, water creates a path for itself that continually forces it back on itself forming a vortex of flow.

He ordered the loggers to build a serpentine trough down the mountainside to connect into the stream below. At the head of the trough, they built a large bowl resembling a sink with a plug so that it could be filled with water. The day before the public demonstration was to take place, Schauberger tested the sluice. The cut timbers jammed and did not flow. The dejected forester ordered all the crews to leave the site and leave him alone and return in one hour. Schauberger sat by the side of a tiny mountain stream to ponder his predicament. When he sat down on a log, he disturbed a small snake beneath the timber, and the snake skirted off, writhing and spinning as it went through the water. Immediately Schauberger knew what to do. When the crews returned, he had them splitting timbers into long strips and nailing them in diagonal rows inside the serpentine trough. They worked all night and the next morning, at the appointed hour, the public officials from the local town arrived to watch the demonstration along with the Count and Countess. Schauberger ordered the holding basin filled with water and when it was full, he asked that the largest timber available be pulled into the holding basin. Then the plug at the base of the egg shaped basin was opened. The log floated around the outside rim of the sink as the water formed a vortex and a sucking motion as it entered the gate into the trough. All of a sudden the huge timber stood up on one end, entered the gate and trough and, remaining upright for the entire journey, traveled easily and swiftly down the sluice and into the river below. The Count retained his land and went on to make a fortune in the timber business.

This was the first of Schauberger’s inventions involving water. His theories on water management and hydraulics became known and his reputation grew. In the late 30’s, he was called to Berlin for an audience with the Reich Chancellor, Adolph Hitler for an interview. Hitler greeted Schauberger as a countryman, but after Schauberger refused to cooperate willingly with Hitler’s plans, he was retained against his will in a concentration camp working alongside prisoners to conduct his experiments with propulsion. In May of 1945, he was rescued and placed into protective custody by the Americans.

In 1952, wounded by the strife of war and almost penniless because his patents for the building of jet airplanes and the turbine engine had been confiscated, Schauberger wrote the following:

I must furnish those who would protect or save life, with an energy source, which produces energy so cheaply that nuclear fission will not only be uneconomical, but ridiculous. This is the task I have set myself in what little life I have left.

Today, although it is still not publicly acknowledged, Schauberger’s findings are influencing modern life: river hydrology; water purification; cheap energy resources. Can we envision a time when TXU (offering electric and gas power) is all water-generated ? We are hearing of automobiles running on water as fuel, which was one of Schauberger’s experiments. What about airplanes? Can we imagine?

The secret is the vortex. The concept of the vortex was central to Schauberger’s work. The vortex is emerging as a key principle of the new physics. Ever since Einstein we have known that matter is equivalent to energy. Particles are bundles of energy. But, we have not understood how. One scientist, Peter Hewitt, says the vortex helps solve the mystery of modern physics –i.e. the equivalence of matter and energy. The vortex has the potential to provide an entirely new foundation for physics – that is, that a sub-atomic particle is a vortex of energy. Particles are a paradox in physics: sometimes they are little points; sometimes they are waves. Peter Hewitt says:

The vortex, as it is developed, shows that even apparently empty space is full of energy. It makes clear how this energy relates to matter and how ‘subtle energies’ interact with the physical world…. Schauberger’s experiments may be explained in terms of a resonance effect between these subtle energies and the energy in matter. Vortices in air or water, moving in the same form as the underlying energy in matter, could exchange energy with them. This principle can be seen in the tuning fork. Sound a tuning fork in a room with the piano, and every string on the piano tuned to that note will start to vibrate in sympathy. …Schauberger may have found a way of tapping not only the energy locked up in matter, but also the ‘cosmic’ energies of space. [8]

Schauberger says water is the carrier of life; it is the ur-source of what we call consciousness. After reading his work for several years, it seems to me that he is able to speak with a clear voice, unimpeded by modern notions, and has observed the patterns of nature, the way She thinks, the way She acts, so that he was capable of making matter and the physical world resonate with her vibrations.

His work, although hidden and unpublished for so many years after the war, is now available. It is as if the work itself waited until we developed the imaginal capacity to understand it, (what we now call the new physics, Quantum electrodynamics ).

We have had to live through this time in our history when we have needed to control nature and have attempted to subdue it with our man-made devises. We are now recognizing our folly in doing so as we observe Nature on a rampage. This past spring, Henry Tatum of the Dallas Morning News wrote an article reporting that General Powers, commander and chief of the Corps of Engineers visited Dallas and announced that the Army corps is now operating under a more “green” directive and that they intend to review all other options before proceeding with levee construction in flood plains. He said: “There no longer is an assumption that structures are the best solution to high water. It may be wiser to allow Nature to take her course.”

It always takes institutions a long, long time to change their course. The larger the institution, the slower the turn, just like the Titanic. But, a turn is coming concerning the Nature of Water, and we are beginning to see it affect our civic decisions.

Let’s look more closely at the mysteries of water.

I want to make some outrageous claims. I am calling to your attention that water thinksI am claiming that water reads. Water, perhaps is consciousness itself. We know that the brain is 85% water, that our bodies are over 75% water, and that our blood is 92% water, carrying oxygen and essential nutrients to capillaries where they are released into a water-based fluid that surrounds the cells called lymph. From the lymphatic fluid nutrients are transferred to the cells and toxins are removed, keeping the entire system nourished and cleansed for optimum efficiency. Water also serves as the lubricant that cushions joints and protects tissues and organs, including the spinal chord from shock and trauma. Listen to this scientific statement: “Neurotransmitters are transported to the nerve endings for transmission of messages on waterways. Water regulates body temperature, aids digestion, works to keep the muscles and skin toned, and assists in weight loss.”[9] One doctor states that dehydration is the root cause of perhaps most of our diseases—arthritis, ulcers, colitis, constipation, high blood pressure, asthma, allergies, diabetes, low back pain, angina, migraine headaches, stress, and depression. He suggests that all symptoms of aging are accompanied by the slow dehydration of the organs and tissues. Amazingly, the scientific literature claims that water retention is actually the sign of severe dehydration, resulting in the kidneys’ efforts to conserve water. Instead of taking diuretic medications, drinking more water can often correct this imbalance.[10]

We know now that earth herself has the same constituency of water as does the body. Imagine the earth’s rivers and streams and lakes acting as the blood of Earth’s body, coursing through her living being, offering life and, (I am suggesting) consciousness. Rivers and streams are conscious living beings.

Water needs motion to come alive. It needs implosion and explosion. It needs the motions of rocks or leaves or trees or grasses or fishes and turtles swimming in it. Rainwater needs the material world to come alive. When it achieves its vortexian motion, it awakens, becomes conscious. It thinks. The moisture in our air is breathed into our lungs as breath and conjoins with our consciousness. Is this how thoughts are conveyed telepathically? If you are thinking loving and beautiful thoughts about me at this moment, I breathe them in and actually become more loving and beautiful. If the opposite thoughts are conveyed, thoughts conveying hate and ugliness, I shrink from love and beauty into ugliness and shame.

I am now going to show you a series of slides to appeal to the left brain that always wants proof.

Let me tell you, first, about my source. These pictures are taken from a book called “The Message from Water” published in Japan, written by Mr. Masaru Emoto. (I am grateful to my friend, Kay Patton, for introducing me to this book. She brought it to my class, The Healing Traditions, last spring, and it has led me to many other amazing discoveries.)

Masaru Emoto is Chairman of International HADO, a membership organization that studies subtle energy and consciousness. In Japan, he set up a scientific laboratory to freeze water and then photograph the frozen crystals in order to study the properties of water and how urban water differs from rural water, whether more contaminated and toxic.

Matsuro Emoto of Japan worked with Dr. Lee Lorenzen who studied biochemistry at UC Berkley and became a water researcher and developed Magnetic-Resonance Water. Dr. Lorenzen introduced Emoto to the equipment to analyze the properties of water.

Here are the slides. Distilled water from the same source is placed into identical glass jars. Each jar is labeled with a word like “thank you” or “you fool.” The glass jars are frozen overnight and the frozen crystals are photographed with a high powered magnifying lens. Here is the remarkable result.

  1. Crystalline form of water, with hexagonal pattern. This one is “Thank you”
  2. “You make me sick, I will kill you!”
  3. “You Fool”, in Japanese; “You Fool” in English 
  4. Heavy metal music (breaks up the structure of consciousness) 
  5. “Soul” “Demon”
  6. “Angel” “Devil”
  7. tap water after The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake; and 3 mos. later, after prayers and love sent from all over the world.). What Emoto says in his text regarding this picture is that water is constantly attempting to heal itself, and will if allowed motion.
  8. Chinese character of “water” forms when ice crystals begin to melt, right before it turns to liquid.
  9. Cooked rice from the same pot in identical jars. School children talked to the jars of rice when they came home from school everyday for one month. The jar on the left has been addressed with kind and loving words; the jar on the right with words of anger and insult.

See also

Okay, what does all of this mean? What is this water that is there in the beginning reflecting the face of God?

First of all, it may mean that water IS consciousness, water itself has intelligence—consciousness – it, water, is a merging of the physical and metaphysical realms.

I have suggested that water is the soul elixir of life. I have considered water as a way of imagining Soul at work in the world, in the universe. Water, as Soul itself, moistening, creating, interpenetrating, there in the interstices of all things, in the in-between, interlocking, connecting, uniting.

And we might imagine how water BONDS the physical and metaphysical realms, and that is through itnatural motion which is the vortex. It is as if water is threading the physical and metaphysical worlds together as it spirals through the oceans and the earth, through our bodies and brains, through the air, and in matter itself vibrating within the sub-atomic particles of protons and electrons in constant motion.

All of this is to say that we have so much to learn from water. And we have so much more consciousness and reverence due to the waters of our cities and our lands. Masaro Emoto, says in his book, The Message from Water, that water is constantly trying to free itself from the bondage we have placed it in, — to free itself, so that it can move and vibrate and swirl and heal itself and in so doing, heal us.


[1] Genesis 1,2.

[2] Ivan Illich, H20 and The Waters of Forgetfulness, The Dallas Institute Publications, 1985.

[3] Randy Best, paper on Astronomy and Cosmology, October 1, 2001. The Breakfast Club

[4] Astronomt Mag., August, 2001,p.40

[5] Collum Coats, Water Wizard, p58.

[6] ibid p.56

[7] Viktor Schauberger, Our Senseless Toil. Coats, p15.

[8] Peter Hewitt, Appendix II in Living Water by Olof Alexandersson, Gateway Books, Bath, UlK. 1976, p.151.

[9] Terri L. Saunders, “Water, the Elixir of Life”, Summer 2001, pg. 50. The reference is to Dr. F. Batmanghelidj’s book, Your Body’s Many Cries for Water.

[10] ibid

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