The Bushman Sacrament


Links in time to when the Wilderness was our ”last authentic cathedral” …
I’ve long considered what a privilege it is to witness something primordial – an open air ”art gallery” of several hundred rock art paintings – located a mere 3-hours drive north of Cape Town, and have been pondering why these images trigger such a powerful response.

When we look at Bushmen/San paintings, they ”reflect the thought process of a prehistorical world, where people had psychic abilities we have lost.”
These sacred spots scattered over southern Africa’s landscape, are ”where true spiritual values can be found, not just in Europe,” but places which ”to the Bushmen are what Chartres would have been to the locals in 1220.”

”The Bushman is our link to a time when none of us could separate himself from nature. When we walked around digging for grubs and gathering berries or snaring small animals. I call this the Bushman sacrament.”
So say some perceptive characters in Justin Cartwright’s To Heaven By Water, where he excavates the journey of souls in witty, metaphysical prose. Do read!

Wilderness is where the prophets of old found healing, wholeness and holiness, including C.G Jung. Have also long cherished the words of Laurens van der Post: ”If man loses contact with his instincts and nature – not just living with material possessions – his spirit diminishes.
That’s why we visit the wilderness – because it’s our last authentic cathedral, where we can get in touch again with religious feelings of life and universe. Without it we lose our spiritual element.
Wilderness is the last temple left to us unaffected by hubris. It’s the closest we can get to the original blueprint of nature and creation.”

That there are sacred spots going back to Stone Age man, literally in my backyard, make me profoundly grateful to be living on this ancient continent, where human life began.

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