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Fotolia.com | Richard Lister

© Fotolia.com | Richard-Lister

So water is more than H2O 2/4

All founders of religions, philosophers and wisdom teachers from all periods and civilizations knew about that. 

The wonderful young man from Nazareth, an ecologist even 2,000 years ago, said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” 

Responsible handling of water is religious service. And to those who wanted to follow him, ecologically-minded Jesus called out; “Be springs of living water.” He did not speak of impure or contaminated water. Parson Kneipp taught in the 19th century: “Aqua sanat – water heals!“

In all religions water is the symbol of transubstantiation. Young Jesus experienced the transubstantiation that almost certainly decided his life, in water – when he was baptized on the river Jordan. Only after that did he make public appearances. Water had inspired him. In all creation myths water was at the beginning – only then does land appear.

“Water is the best”, wrote the Greek poet Pindar

 His fellow countryman Thales said: “Water is the primordial element from which everything comes into being and into which everything passes away.” All holy scripts of mankind testify to the purifying force of water for body, mind and soul. As our collective unconscious still knows about this profound truth, millions of people are still attracted by holidays at the seaside.

Francis of Assisi praised “Sister water“ in his hymn to the sun

In Africa indigenous visionaries and shamans are still tied up with the mythology of water. In many African villages water is still considered as “God’s blessing”. Occidental-Christian progress and its often dubious technological projects, however, led to water shortage and contamination.

Water is unique

It is both symbol of power and violence, of kindness and hope. Water is ambiguous. It means life for those who are dying of thirst and death for people drowning. For Tsunami victims – mostly fishermen – water was the basis of their job – but then it meant death for hundreds of thousands.

Next to air and earth water is our most important element. Waves and the sun also heal sick souls. Aqua vitae – the water of life symbolizes any spiritual and psychic process of change. After our marriage had reached crisis point, I had a water dream, before my wife and I made a new start. Water is the symbol of the living force of the soul. This water dream was my key dream for the second half of my life.

Our “sister water” is our companion from the first to the last second of our mortal being and must be treated well. For it feeds us, is drinking water, washes our clothes, irrigates meadows, trees and flowers, waters cattle, carries our loads, it is always flowing and provides electricity and – at least to a certain degree – processes even our waste, quite naturally. But we should not exaggerate.

And that’s where the problem lies. When water cannot purify itself any more, all life is jeopardized. As long as water is pure, Creation goes on incessantly Hermann Hesse calls water the voice of life, the voice of being, of eternally coming into existence.


Part 1: Water is becoming more precious than gold 1/4
Part 2: So water is more than H2O 2/4
Part 3:  Water in trouble 3/4
Part 4: Ways of a new water policy 4/4 


Franz Alt 2013 | Translation: Peter Reif 2013

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