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About Yueya

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    月牙 yuèyá (Crescent Moon)

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  1. TDB as an organism

    A slightly edited version of something I wrote a while back on another thread: As someone who lives a fairly reclusive life, I come here for community to some degree. I like connecting with other people whose spiritual life is foremost. At times I feel the real warmth that comes from genuine connection. And there’s plenty of variety in personalities and perspectives here. Also, there’s occasionally information I find particularly helpful. However, the nitty gritty of my experience is in working through difficulty. I live within a semi-wilderness environment and my communion is mostly silent interaction with nature. That’s the core of my life. I don’t need any shields against intrusive human vibes or to expend energy on projecting an identity. But that in itself can lead to inner weakness. I’ve learnt that I also need meaningful opposition. That’s what I find on Dao Bums. The forum abounds with heavily defended city dwelling people, sensitive people who have needs for strong psychic shields. There’s so much unexpressed emotion lurking behind the words, so much psychic content to contend with. Strong ego’s, forceful opinions, powerful identities, hostility both expressed and covert. You name it, it here in spades. All these attributes help me gain insight into similarities within my own psyche. In particular, it reveals my emotional weaknesses and shows me how fragile my serenity can be. That shows me the specific areas I need to work through in a way that allows my heart to remain open amongst difficulty and opposition. For me, that's achieved by an ongoing alchemical process of enhancing and enriching my ability to feel in an undistorted way through the harmonisation of my innate feeling sensitivity by means of transmuting my emotional vulnerabilities so they become inner pathways into deeper reality. I've found by doing so I naturally enhance my alignment with heart-mind of Dao, with Spirit, with my Buddha nature (or whatever else you might like to call it.) And that's the only true basis for inner strength. If a community could ever be perfect then none of us would need to develop inner connection with Spirit, with the Divine. Of course, I appreciate the effort people here, including myself, have made in the past and continue to make to try to maintain some degree of health here. That’s vital. It's in all of our interests. However, it will always be a futile task to try and impose that from the outside using rules. Ultimately the quality of discussion can only ever be a reflection on our collective de, with the most active contributors having the greatest influence. To my mind, Dao Bums does very well for an online community. Underneath all the surface froth there’s real Spirit at work here. And that can only ever be something that's revealed to us in glimpses. [Addendum: The new moderation team has definitely reigned in some of the more hostile forum traits I've mentioned.]
  2. A message to the moderators

    I have no answers to these heartfelt comments about our interactions here. I listen and I feel. The references to thick and thin skins are important, reminds me of something speculative I wrote last year: A couple of weeks ago while I was sitting on the veranda of my studio a flametail finch flew inside through the open door and got itself trapped against a fixed window, flapping frantically against the glass. (I live on a forested acreage and have a studio located about 200 metres from my house.) I tried catching it by throwing a light cotton T-shirt over it but it kept evading my attempts to wrap it up. Easy enough to cover it with the T-shirt but difficult to find such a tiny bird underneath it. After a few attempts I was simply able to grab the bird and hold it in my hand. The whole time I was trying to project calmness and loving-kindness. Now the special thing, the magical thing that awoke a new realisation within me, came about from something I've felt many times before and I'm sure we've all felt without any special realisation. This time feeling the vital essence of that tiny bird, warm and full of wild life, terrified, heart beating frantically, but not struggling found a deep resonance within me. I only held it for a few seconds, just long enough to carry it out the door and across the veranda to release it. That magical thing, that vital essence is something all animals have, including we humans. It’s something hidden within our skin, within my skin. We all have it, yet it’s intensely individual. It’s my soft inner core that I must protect at all costs. It’s my animal nature that connects me with all my fellow animals and life in general. For me, that ‘little bird’ inner essence is what I need to nurture and slowly expose so that it may grow ‘self-so’ into a diamond body, an indestructible core. It’s my Buddha nature in embryonic form. The normal process is to grow a thicker skin for protection by developing a strong ego and social persona; both necessary to function in society. My revelation here is to relate this external event with my growing awareness of my inner core as something other than my familiar conscious me. It has its own life-force, like that little bird. I have it within me, yet when I feel into it I can feel how it’s connected with the same essence in all other people, indeed all life. It's both strange and amazing to feel this mysterious 'something' within me. I want to allow it to grow so that it shows me the way, not vice versa. I know in its fragile state I can kill it with my own expectations.
  3. A message to the moderators

    Much appreciated, but that doesn't mean I like your idea of this forum as a version of the bar in Cheers. As to this discussion, my bottomline is that the forum has a new moderation team and hence a new flavour. I’m interested to see how that plays out over time and want to give the moderators plenty of space to find their appropriate level of policing. I’ll continue to give any feedback I feel is appropriate, as I have done here in my OP. I’m not a major poster but Dao Bums is important for me. I learn plenty from my largely silent, but deeply felt engagement here. It’s a vital part of my ongoing xing cultivation. Hence I try to be constructive in my involvement. While I see the importance of conflict for the reasons Jung expresses it in my OP quotation, that can only work when combined with rigorous personal introspection. Conflict with the aim of knocking the other person out is a dead end for inner growth. And it’s toxic for this forum, as we’ve all seen.
  4. A message to the moderators

    (My bold added.) I completely agree with this, providing the member receives due warning, which in my experience they always do. And I thank all the moderators for their openness. I greatly appreciate their willingness to explain their actions and personally examine their motives for taking such actions. They have shown they listen to our feedback and modify their actions if they feel it's appropriate. For me, that's what makes Dao Bums a special place. The moderation here is definitely not oppressive. However I fully appreciate that tolerance and introspection can only go so far without stressing out the moderators, in which case they must take actions they deem appropriate. However, I sincerely hope no one needs to be suspended over this. In the context of this discussion, I think it's up to any member criticizing the moderators to thoroughly examine their own motives. And when any member shows willingness to do that -- to find fault within themself rather than inappropriately blaming others -- then they have my full support, my admiration even.
  5. Two topics now closed fro review: To my mind Dao Bums needs to allow this sort of discussion. It relates directly to practice and the shape of this forum. From Carl Jung: “The stirring up of conflict is a Luciferian virtue in the true sense of the word. Conflict engenders fire, the fire of affects and emotions, and like every other fire it has two aspects, that of combustion and that of creating light. On the one hand, emotion is the alchemical fire whose warmth brings everything into existence and whose heat burns all superfluities to ashes. But on the other hand, emotion is the moment when steel meets flint and a spark is struck forth, for emotion is the chief source of consciousness. There is no change from darkness to light or from inertia to movement without emotion.” [As an aside, Jung’s reference to Luciferianism inspired me to research what he meant. I first read this article about how the name Lucifer became (falsely) associated with the devil. That got me interested in the subject and I wondered at its truth so I followed it up by reading the more comprehensive Wikipedia entry on Lucifer. Heaps of interesting info there. Reading this sort of stuff reminds me of just how rich and fertile a country Christianity is. It's a vast place, full of diversity. Although it feels like a foreign country to me, I appreciate the fundamental truths it seeks; truths that shape our Western culture. From Wikipedia: Luciferianism is a belief system that venerates the essential characteristics that are affixed to Lucifer. The tradition, influenced by Gnosticism, usually reveres Lucifer not as the devil, but as a destroyer, a guardian, liberator, light bringer or guiding spirit to darkness, or even the true god as opposed to Jehovah.]
  6. What do you see? (This is a test)

    I like that image. I see within it the shifting of forms formless. Yin manifest, no hard edges or centre. It reminds me of Daodejing 21: As for the Way, it is vague and illusive Vague and illusive! Within it is an image Vague and illusive! Within it is a thing Withdrawn and dark! Within it there is an essence The essence is genuine and authentic
  7. Am I who you think I am?

    Thanks Cloud Hands. I’m happy to leave it at that. To my mind, any further discussion would be counterproductive. I’ve given my account and you’ve listened. Likewise, you’ve given your account and I’ve listened.
  8. Am I who you think I am?

    Thanks Steve. Excellent . I feel very comfortable with all you have said about yourself and your vision for this forum. I think psychotherapy of an appropriate sort has much to offer for those of us on a spiritual path . For me personally, Carl Jung's insights are a perfect complement to Daoist praxis. His style of psychotherapy goes to the heart of what is now called spiritual growth. What I particularly like is its relevance to our contemporary Western psyche.
  9. Am I who you think I am?

    Thanks Steve. That you are able to respond in that calm way reveals to me the deep reach of your practice. What follows is purely my take on the situation: During the recent time without moderation this forum, in part, became a battleground of people trying to pull each other down. But because it was recognised as a battleground by those involved, people had their defensive shields up, their hearts closed off. Most of us could see the obvious – namely, that’s not a healthy dynamic for a forum focused on spiritual growth. Thankfully the new moderator team banished that overtly hostile dynamic. I think Steve in particular wanted to make the forum a safe place. I like that but I wondered how it would play out in practice: A safe place for people to reveal their hearts and explore their shadow side, or a safe place where people could build their egocentric persona without opposition? With this topic, Steve in his OP, intentionally or not, has opened his heart to some small degree. He felt safe enough to do so and suggested we all do likewise in our interactions here. Yet what happened shows me how dangerous this can be. We wear our shields for good reason. As I see it, into this opening of his heart, Cloud Hands fired off an arrow. Was it an arrow of compassion designed to heal, or an arrow mean to wound? I’ll leave that for Cloud Hands to answer. In any case I see the hand of Spirit at work here. Growth through wounding and healing are at the core of a healthy spiritual path. I suspect Steve will be able to hold both his commendable public side as outlined by Manitou above and his shadow side, and hence become more whole as a person (though perhaps not with the easy acceptance he has implied.) This is the alchemical process – a heating of the ingredients with the fire of emotion, leading to a ‘chymical wedding’ of the previously hostile elements within our psyche so that they are transmuted into pure psychological gold. But that is not something to be rushed into. It’s a lifetime’s work. It requires much inner refinement; especially deep compassion and humility. Try to force it and the whole process goes awry.
  10. Am I who you think I am?

    And with that comment this topic becomes very real, perhaps too real. Something fundamental I learnt from my days as a shiatsu therapist is to never point out anyone’s shadow unless I can be genuinely and fully supportive of them. Otherwise I will simply arouse a fierce hatred from them. Even if asked wouldn’t do so here because it’s powerful stuff. Very emotive. It’s not something for discussion on a public forum. If what you’ve said is real, and I suspect it is, my heart goes out to Steve. My hope is Cloud Hands judgement is good, and Steve is able to handle it. Though for me it’s aroused much emotion. A taboo has been violated; an arrow shot into someone's heart.
  11. Am I who you think I am?

    I find this forum is a great place to learn about the psyche of people on a spiritual path, and hence to know myself better. The whole dynamic of discussion here interests me, as much if not more so than the actual content. I note which topics gain interest, how the discussion flows, what power plays are active, etc etc. Currently I’m interested to see how the forum develops under the new moderator team with its emphasis on providing a safe place for discussion. The members who post frequently make great research subjects. Over time they reveal plenty about themselves outside their intent, including glimpses of their shadow side. My intuition about other people is generally good, but dismal when it comes to knowing myself. (From my observation, we are all like that, with those who claim perfect insight into themselves the most blind.) Hence I mostly get to know hidden aspects of myself through reflection. For instance, I note my reactions to comments and examine how I feel; especially when my emotions are aroused. That’s an indicator of something important bubbling up just below the threshold of my consciousness.
  12. What are you listening to?

    And this one makes me weep.
  13. What are you listening to?

    The old made new. Makes me smile.
  14. The Earth has a Soul

    I read the following review of this book on Goodreads and thought it well worth sharing here. It was a bit rambling so I’ve edited a little: Most practical book on Jung I've read! Read it if you are restless sometimes or most times. We are suffering, in our cities, from a need of simple things. Nature is an incomparable guide if you know how to follow her. She is like the needle of the compass pointing to the North, which is most useful when you have a good man-made ship and when you know how to navigate. That's about the position. If you are the river, you surely come to the sea finally. But if you take it literally you soon get stuck in an impassable gorge and you complain of being misguided. The unconscious is useless without the human mind. It always seeks its collective purposes and never your individual destiny. Your destiny is the result of the collaboration between the conscious and the unconscious. But reduction to the natural condition is neither an ideal state nor a panacea. If the natural state were really the ideal, then the primitive would be leading an enviable existence. But that is by no means so for aside from all other sorrows and hardships of human life, the primitive is tormented by superstitions, fears, and compulsions to such a degree that, if he lived in our civilization, he could not be described as other than profoundly neurotic if not mad. Some of Jung's advice for remedying the loss of contact with Nature, within or without: - live in small communities - work a shorter day and week - have a plot of land to cultivate so the instincts come back to life - to make the sparest use of radio, TV, newspapers and technological gadgetry The purpose of doing these things, however, is not to repair Nature, but rather to let Nature affect us. “I chop the wood and cook the food. These simple acts make man simple; and how difficult it is to be simple!” ~ Jung All time saving devices, amongst which we must count easier means of communications and other conveniences, do not, paradoxically enough, save us time but merely cram our time so full that we have not time for anything. Hence, the breathless haste, superficial-craving for stimulation, impatience, irritability, vacillation, etc. Such a state may lead to all sorts of other things, but never to any increased culture of the mind and heart. “I detest noise and flee it whenever and wherever possible, because it not only disturbs the concentration needed for my work but forces me to make the additional psychic effort of shutting it out. You may get habituated to it as to over-indulgence in alcohol, but just as you pay for this with a cirrhosis of the liver, so in the end you pay for nervous stress with a premature depletion of your vital substance. [...] Noise protects us from painful reflection, it scatters our anxious dreams, it assures us that we are all in the same boat and creating such a racket that nobody will dare to attack us. [...] The real fear is what might come up from one's own depths - all the things that have been held at bay by noise. [...] Modern noise is an integral component of modern "civilization," which is predominantly extroverted and abhors all inwardness.” ~ C G Jung Jung's list of how civilization makes Modern Man sick (causes and symptoms): - effort to set records - urge towards conformity - desire for material possessions - we keep forgetting we are primates - atrophy of instinct, age-old forgotten wisdom stored up in us - hypermasculine, linear, causal, goal-oriented orientation toward the visible outer world - condescension toward whatever seems "irrational" - overstrained from boundless activity - the disease of knowing everything - extraverted as hell - lack of introspection - greed, restlessness, uneasiness, superficiality, nervous exhaustion - craving stimulation, impatience, irritability - usual remedies such as diets, exercise, studying inspirational literature - can't seem to find a way to live meaningful life - ridiculous clothes, meanness, vanity, mendacity, egotism - always seeking something - too much head, too much will, too much moving from place to place, and nothing rooted - objective existence and meaning - exaggerated self-esteem - inferiority complex - intellect, rationalism - loss of moral and spiritual values - despiritualization of nature through objective knowledge of matter - learned to control ourselves, disciplined, organized - for all his outward success, modern man stays the same inwardly - time-saving devices cram our time so full that we have no time for anything - loss of soul - social welfare - constant noise that protects us from painful reflection, scatters our anxious dreams and the fear of what might come up from one's own depths - thinking we are not nature - people will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls - modern education is too one-sided and only enables a young person to adapt himself outwardly to the world but gives no thought to the necessity of adapting to the self - domination of nature Jung's list of solutions to prevent disease/diminish effect: - turn back too simple things - rest - realize that things being sought are irrelevant to a happy life - listen to and analyse your dreams - live in small communities - work a shorter day and week - have a plot of land to cultivate - make spare use of radio, TV, newspaper, technological gadgets - high mountains, rivers, lakes, trees, flowers, animals - mystery, symbols, belief, age-old customs and convictions - spirit - living here and now - spiritual welfare - compensate intellectual work with philosophical interest - self-expression and seeing the fruit of your own labour to nourish psyche - ask yourself whether by any chance your unconscious might know something to help you - look deeply into the eyes of an animal - healing contact with Nature from the outside and from the inside (through experiences of the unconscious and dreams) - cooperation with nature - make contact with the archetypal functions - "Go to bed. Think on your problem. See what you dream. Perhaps the great man, the 2,000,000 year old man, will speak." But dreams are pure nature to which must be added human reflection and discernment. We now know that the dreaming function in mammals is approximately 140,000,000 years old and does have a survival function. (Reviewed by Olivier Goetgeluck)
  15. The Tale of Leap the Elk and Little Princess Cottongrass – illustrated by John Bauer (A translation of ‘Sagan om älgtjuren Skutt och lilla prinsessan Tuvstarr’ written by Helge Kjellin) The sun is shining like gold on the meadow of Dream Castle. It is summer, and the grass has a thousand fragrant blossoms. A little girl, rosy and delicate, sits among all the flowers, combing her long, yellow pale hair. It sifts like summer gold through her small fingers. A golden crown is lying in the meadow beside her. The girl is the princess of Dream Castle, and today she has slipped away from the high, stately chamber where her father, the king, and her mother, the queen, sit on golden chairs, with sceptre and orb, to rule their people. She wishes to be alone and free, and has come to the flowering meadow to play. The meadow has always been her playground. The princess is small and slim, still a child. She sits there in a gown whiter than white, made of silk and satin and muslin as thin as gauze. Princess Cottongrass—that is what they call her. She combs her hair with her small, thin fingers, and smiles at the shining strands. An elk snuffs and stalks past. She lifts her eyes. “Oh, who are you?” “I am Longleg Leap. What do they call you?” “I am Princess Cottongrass.” She lifts the crown from the meadow to show that it is so. The elk stops to look at the princess long and searchingly, then lowers its head. “You are beautiful, little one.” The princess rises and moves closer. She leans towards the elk’s trembling muzzle and strokes it gently. “How big and stately you are. And you have a crown, too. Let me come with you. Let me sit behind your neck, and then carry me out into life.” The elk hesitates. “The world is big and cold, little child, and you are so small. The world is full of evil and wickedness, and it will hurt you.” “No, no. I am young and warm. I have warmth enough for everyone. I am small and good, and want to share the good I have.” “Princess, the forest is dark and the roads are dangerous.” “But you are with me. You are great and strong, and can easily defend us both.” The elk tosses its head and shakes its mighty crown of horns. Its eyes look fiery. The princess claps her small hands. “Good, good. But you are too tall—bend down so that I can climb up.” Obediently, the elk lies down and soon the princess is sitting securely on its back. “I am ready, and now you must show me the world.” It rises slowly, afraid of unseating the little one. “Hold on tight to my horns.” And it sets off with leaps and bounds. The princess has never had more fun. There are so many new and beautiful things to see. She has never been beyond the meadow at Dream Castle before, and now they are running over hill and dale, over plains and mountains. “Where are you taking me?” she asks. “To Forest Moss,” Leap answers. “I live there. No one comes there and it is a long way off.” Evening is coming and the princess is hungry and sleepy. “Are you changing your mind already?” teases the elk. “It’s too late to turn around. But don’t be afraid. Wonderful berries in the marsh where I live. You can eat them.” They travel a while, when the forest begins to thin, and the princess looks out over a mile-long marsh, where tufts of sedge come together in soft hollows and hillocks, and where the little stunted bushes on the bank haven’t the courage to follow. “Here we are,” says Leap, and bends down so that the princess can dismount. “Now we shall have supper.” Immediately the princess forgets all about sleep and begins to jump lightly from tuft to tuft, just like Leap, to pick the delicious big berries. She and Longleg Leap share them delightedly. Leap says, “We must hurry on before it gets too dark,” and once again Princess Cottongrass climbs on to his broad back. Leap sets off, surefooted, across the marsh, stepping confidently on the tuft as if he knows they will hold him. After all, he was born there. “Who is that dancing there?” asks the princess. “They are the elves. But be careful of them. They seem sweet and friendly, but never trust them. Remember what I tell you: don’t speak to them, but hold tight on my horns and pretend you don’t notice them.” Yes, the princess promises, she will. But the elves have already caught sight of them. They come forward and circle around and dance up and down in front of the elk, floating tantalizingly close to the little princess. But remembering what Leap has just told her, she clings to his horns with all his might. “Who are you, who are you?” ask the elves. Hundreds of questions are all around, and the princess feels them like the cold breath of the wind, but she does not answer. Then the tiny elves, in their white veils, become bolder. They tug at her dress and her long yellow hair. Leap snorts and begins to run. Suddenly the princess realizes that the golden crown on her head is slipping, and she is afraid it will fall off—imagine what Father-king and Mother-queen, who gave it to her, would say—and she forgets what Leap told her and calls to the elves, at the same time letting go one hand to clasp her crown. At that moment the elves have power over her—not altogether, because she still clings to the elk’s horn with one hand, but with joyous mocking laughter they snatch the shining crown from her head and float away over the marsh. “Oh, my crown, my crown,” moans Princess Cottongrass. “Why didn’t you obey me?” Leap scolds her. “You have only yourself to blame. Probably you will never get your golden crown back, but you are lucky it was not worse.” Yet the princess cannot imagine anything that is worse than what has just happened. Leap walks on, and soon she spies a clump of small trees on an island in the middle of the marsh. “Here is where I live,” says Leap. “This is where we shall sleep.” Soon they are there. The low hill rises above the marsh, and it is dry and delightful among the fir trees and pines. The princess kisses her dear friend Leap good-night, undresses, and hangs her gown neatly on a branch. She lies down and is soon asleep, with the long-legged elk to stand guard over her. It is almost night, and a few small stars are twinkling in the sky. Next morning the princess is awakened by the soft touch of the elk’s muzzle on her forehead. She jumps up quickly, stretches naked in the golden-red morning light, and then collects some dew drops to drink in her hands. A small chain, with a golden heart on it is hanging from her neck and catches the sunlight like fire. “Today I will go bare,” she exclaims. “I will carry my dress in front of me and then you will carry me on your back and show me more of the world.” “Yes,” says the elk, unable to deny her anything. It had been awake all night watching over the strange, white little girl on the ground, and that morning there had been tears in its eyes. It did not understand why, except it felt autumn approaching and was seized by a longing to do battle and a desire not to be alone anymore. Suddenly it dashes away into the forest. The fair-haired princess finds it very difficult to hold on. Branches whip her face and shoulders, and the little golden heart dances on its chain. But before long, Leap calms down and slackens his pace. Now they are traveling through a large, strange forest. The long branches of the firs are covered with hanging moss, the tree roots bend like snakes and large, lichen-covered boulders seem to threaten them from the side of the path. The princess has never seen such a queer place before. “What is that moving deep in the woods?” she asks. “I think I see long green hair and a pair of white arms waving to me.” “It is the witch of the woods,” says Leap. “Answer her politely, but by no means ask her for anything; and whatever you do, hold tight to my horns.” Yes, the princess promises, she will hold on tight. Now the witch glides closer. She does not want to show herself entirely; she always hides half way behind a tree. Curiously and slyly she peers at the elk and the girl. The princess scarcely dares look that way; but she can tell that the witch has icy green eyes and a mouth red as blood. Then the witch begins to slither from tree to tree, following the elk as it runs. She knows Leap well, but is puzzled by the little white one with the golden hair. Suddenly she calls, “What is your name?” “I am Princess Cottongrass, of Dream Castle.” The girl answers shyly, taking care not to ask the witch’s name. Of course, she knows who it is. “What are you carrying in front of you?” the witch asks. “It is my finest gown,” replies the princess, with a little more courage. “Oh, let me see it,” the witch begs. Of course she may, and the princess lets go with one hand to show the witch her white dress. She should never have done so, for in a trice the witch has snatched the dress and disappeared into the forest. “Why did you let go of my horns?” says Leap. “If you had let go with both hands, you would have had to follow the witch, and probably have never come back.” “But my dress, my dress,” sobs Princess Cottongrass. Yet after a while, she forgets it, and the day passes, and that night the princess sleeps under the fir trees with Leap standing quietly beside her to keep watch. When she wakes in the morning, the elk is gone. “Leap, Longleg Leap, where are you?” she calls fearfully, and jumps up. Here he comes, breathing heavily, through the undergrowth. He has been on top of a hill, looking east, sniffing the air, and he has scented something. What? He cannot tell, but his coat is wet and his legs are trembling. He seems to want to move on, and bends down to let the princess climb on his back. Then they are gone in a rush, galloping east. He hardly hears when she calls to him, and rarely answers. As if in a fever he breaks through the tangled forest at a furious rate. “Where are we going?” asks Princess Cottongrass. “To the pool,” is the answer. “Deep in the forest is a pool, and that is where I go when autumn is coming. No person has ever been there, but you shall see it.” Abruptly the tree trunks open up, and here is the water, shining brown-black with flecks of greenish gold. “Hold on tight,” Leap warns. “There is danger under the water. Watch your golden heart.” “Yes, what strange water,” says the princess, bending forward to look more closely—but, oh dear, at that moment the chain with the golden heart slips over her head and drops into the pool. “Oh, my heart, the golden heart that my mother gave me the day I was born. Oh, what shall I do?” She is quite inconsolable. She stares at the water looking for her heart. “Come,” says Leap, “It is dangerous for you here. Looking for one thing, you will forget everything else.” But the princess wants to stay, she must find her heart. “Go, my friend. Let me sit here alone. I know I shall find the heart.” She flings her arms about his bent head, kisses it, and strokes it softly. Then, small and slim and undressed, she goes and sits down on a grassy hillock. For a long time the elk stands quite still and looks at the small girl. But when she no longer seems to notice that he is there, he turns and, with hesitant steps, he disappears into the forest. Many years have passed. Still Princess Cottongrass sits and looks wonderingly into the water for her heart. She is no longer a little girl. Instead, a slender plant, crowned with white cotton, stands leaning over the edge of the pool. Now and then the elk returns, stops, and looks at it tenderly. Only he knows that this is the princess from Dream Castle. Perhaps she nods and smiles, for he is an old friend, but she does not want to follow him back; she cannot follow anymore, as long as she is under the spell. The spell lies in the pool. Far, far under the water lies a lost heart.