The bottom of the sea

“You go down to the bottom of the sea, where the water isn’t even blue anymore, where the sky is only a memory, and you float there, in the silence. And you stay there, and you decide that you’ll die for them. Only then do they start coming out. They come, and they greet you, and they judge the love you have for them. If it’s sincere, if it’s pure, they’ll be with you, and take you away forever.”

– Jacques Mayol (Le Grand Bleu- on mermaids)

Have you ever been to the bottom of the ocean?
Where the vastness of the universe seems to be in tune with the heartbeat? Where there is no distinguishing between what is false and what is right?

There exists an exquisite silence right there where there is no noise, no pollution, no questions that one may have to ask. Right at the bottom of all things one can finally relax and tap into the silence.

It marked the year 2013. I had spent a summer in Dubai surfing (even in ankle biters- one becomes pretty desperate in such circumstances), cycling in the summer heat, doing some corporate gigs, and free diving. I had met some locals who were teaching free diving and went out with them on a boat. We encountered dolphins, saw reefs so beautiful, exploding with colors that it was hard to deny that there was a different life-form at play. Plenty of sea live and fish to be had, pure, there seemed to be a set of other rules at play then on top of the world where us humans were residing. It was as if we entered an untouched civilization that stayed eternal. Whether us humans were trying to interfere or not was of no importance. All was as it was meant to be. That summer remained one of my favorites in my heart. Through so much beauty and a healthy lifestyle something else seemed to have been activated. Hard to say in hindsight, but out of a sudden the world seemed to resonate in different colors, frequencies, and became luminous. My heart had opened to a different kind of vibration and I was stunned that so much beauty even existed. I remember paddling out to the Burj Al Arab where only a few people with kayaks came by and I was left in solitude to resonate with the frequency of the water and its inhabitants.
A few weeks later I became terribly ill due to psychic openings that I only understood at a later point. This is another topic for another blog post.

That fall I spent in Bali under not so ideal circumstances with a hip displacement and the above mentioned psychic openings. But at a later point of that stay I did a free diving course. It astonished me that, out of nothing, I was able to hold my breath for four and a half minutes. The teacher said I could even go longer if I wanted to. It would be easy for me with a little bit of practice. On the second day we went out into the open ocean. My very first time under controlled circumstances with a teacher to free dive. And it was beautiful!
Above the surface there was some wind, but not too much, a few waves were coming in, but the spot was secure. As I felt held by the Ocean’s embrace, I did the breathings, counted down, and finally did my first dive down the rope with the teacher. When we arrived at the bottom, I felt that I had an infinite amount of time down there, that somehow I was being breathed by the Ocean itself. For the first time in my life I felt free: Free from the noise that is our world, free from anyone connecting to me, free from the constraints of a body that was starting to seemingly give up. It was this peace that I had been seeking all of my life. The teacher was signaling to take a look around. It was beautiful and I smiled at her. She signaled to even look up and I just recognized the distance between myself and the surface. There was no fear involved or any form of judgement. Down here I was set free.
I finally understood what Jacques Mayol meant when he talked about the depth of the ocean and being judged by the mermaids. He mentioned that it is rather hard to come back to the surface, that one needs an extremely strong reason to re-surface.
It was this peace and this unconditional love that he was talking about that touched me down here. Even though it was only 25 meters below the ocean’s surface, I understood that right now there was nothing that was keeping me above the surface. Maybe I would have stayed down there endlessly but at the end the teacher signaled to go up. I looked at her, nodded and bit by bit we made our way back to the surface. Back above the surface, the world with its terrible might came crushing down on me and I felt unhappy to have been ripped apart from that intense silence that I never knew I had been longing for. I had a headache and a stiff neck, but as I was to learn many years later, this was not mine but from the other people I had been diving with. Subconsciously I had been taking on their things. I just knew that I had to get back down there in order to feel what was our natural human state: Stillness.

In this moment I knew that this was what I had been looking for and that I would not give up until I would find this in my every day life. Little did I know that this became a whole other odyssey in itself.

Have you been to the bottom of the Ocean?


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