Traditions and Beliefs about Water...
Buddhist traditional philosophy is based on analyzing and presenting solutions for overcoming differences that divide us, through teaching kindness and compassion, as so well stated by His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. "This is my simple religion: There is no need for temples and no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness."

Traditions and Beliefs about Water
A Selected World Survey
by Mairéid Sullivan

Every culture on earth relates a legend of a deluge or great flood, along with beliefs that life came from water. And, although the world's earliest civilizations had deep respect for this precious resource and lionized it in creation myths, contemporary Western industrial nations seem to take water for granted and view it as disposable.

In Australian Aboriginal myth, the Wandjina Rain Spirit of the Wunambul, Wororra and Ngarinyin language people is the controller of the 'Seasons'—the bringer of rain, the waters of life. She is the Woongurr – the powerful and wise leader who commands respect for the great powers of water.

The Celts saw wells and springs as doorways between the earth and the realm of the spirit. Holy Wells or Lady’s Wells abound across Ireland, where people still make pilgrimages. Many rivers are named after ancient goddesses, such as the Shannon River, after Sinann, and the Boyne, after Boann, an Irish water goddess, and wife of Nechtan, an Irish god of the water. One of Boann’s myths concerns the water of a sacred well (Sidhe Nechtan) that contained the source of knowledge.

For thousands of years the famous spring waters at Bath, in England, have had 250,000 gallons of mineral water pouring forth each day from the ground, at 120 degree Fahrenheit / 46.5 degrees Celsius. The Celts established a shrine at the site, dedicated to Sulis, followed by the Romans who renamed the town Aquae Sulis, and built a temple to Sulis Minerva. In recent times, as many as 16,000 Iron Age coins have been discovered within the springs.

In Glastonbury, England, there is the Chalice Well, where they say 25,000 gallons of mineral water emerge at the surface every day, filling subterranean water storage chambers. It’s not surprising that these mineral rich waters are legendary for their healing powers. According to archaeological studies, people have been using the spring since 3000 years BC.

Across Europe there are many such healing springs. A huge excavation in France, in 1963, at the Gallo-Roman Fontes Sequanae sanctuary at the source of the Seine, named after the goddess Sequana, found 200 wooden figures, carved from oak, representing parts of the human body —heads, limbs, trunks; with internal organs carved in relief on wooden plaques. These are interpreted to represent the range of illnesses the goddess of the sacred spring was believed capable of curing.

According to the Hindu holy books, all inhabitants of the earth emerged from the primordial sea. Ganges, (Latin word for Devanagar), which means 'sacred river', has a long history of reverence in India and is often called the 'Holy Ganga'. The source of the Ganges lies in the Himalayas, the mountains of the Gods, and descends to the plains of India as if from Heaven. The Ganges is dedicated to the Goddess Shiva. It is believed her healing powers are in the essence of the river. Up to twenty million pilgrims go there every year in the hope that by bathing in the waters they will increase their fertility, recover from illness, and be forgiven their sins.

The Babylonian moon goddess, Ishtar, was associated with sacred springs, and her temples were often situated in natural spring grottos.

In Genesis, God creates a firmament in the midst of the waters to divide the waters. The spirit of God is described as stirring above the waters.

The Koran states: We have created every living thing from water.

And, the water of the River Jordan is sacred because John the Baptistis said to have baptised Jesus there, in the traditional ceremony representing the reunion of the spirit with God through immersion in water.

St. John, in the New Testament (5:2), describes the colonnaded pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem, where disabled people lay in wait for the healing spirit to stir the waters.

The Roman philosopher Seneca declared, “Where a spring rises or a water flows there ought we to build altars and offer sacrifices.”

While sacred in their own right, sacred springs also draw attention to the sacredness of water itself, reminding us that water is a symbol of grace.

The ancient Greeks erected artificial basins and enshrined icons of deities near sacred springs.

The 'New World' of America represented the Fountain of Youth for Europeans. Spanish conquistador Don Juan Ponce de Leon arrived in America on Columbus’ second voyage in 1493. His second voyage in 1513 was an expedition to find the Fountain of Youth.

Oceans, streams, and lakes were formed by the 'singing' Creation Power, according to the Lakota Native American creation legend: "Singing, the Creating Power shaped the mud in his hands and spread it on the water, where it was just big enough for himself and the crow. He then shook two long eagle wing feathers over the mud until earth spread wide and varied, overcoming the waters. Feeling sadness for the dry land, the Creating Power cried tears that became oceans, streams, and lakes. He named the new land Turtle Continent in honour of the turtle who provided the mud from which it was formed.”

Buddhist traditional philosophy is based on analyzing and presenting solutions for overcoming differences that divide us, through teaching kindness and compassion, as so well stated by His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. "This is my simple religion: There is no need for temples and no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.

Liquid Light ~ The Power of Water
A film proposal, by Mairéid Sullivan and Ben Kettlewell
liquid light - the power of water audio visual awakening of the senses to the wonder, the magic, the power, and most importantly ~ the value of water to our existence.

Liquid Light – The Power of Water will take us on a journey into exotic parts of the world, on six continents. Hand in hand with local people, we will explore traditional stories that interweave beliefs and legends, rituals and symbols relating to the power of water. 

"Through the creative production methods employed by Maireid Sullivan and Ben Kettlewell, this project will utilize the interplay of light and music to capture the beauty and power of water in sustaining life. 'Liquid Light - The Power of Water' will examine water in all its' forms; from liquid to ice, vapour to liquid and back again, the interaction of water with gravity and the inescapable relationship between it and the survival of humankind. The overwhelming power of water when utilised, such as extracting energy from waves and converting it into electricity, while desalinating - will all form part of this fascinating and unique review of the water resource."
– Phillip Honeywood, M.P. State Member of Parliament for Warrandyte, Victori
a, Australia

“This film has importance both tangible and intangible. It has an advocacy component that could be of value to the public at-large and to organizations that address water purity and availability. It addresses the current and future availability of clean water for the poor. Most people only drink bottled/purified water. However, this isn't an option for many. It touches on topics often missed by other projects about water, that have focused on the "ethereal" qualities of water but never addressed the "utilitarian" part ... the part that answers a more pragmatic (or cynical) "So what?" It offers "think globally, act locally" opportunities.”
– Ron Thompson, Philanthropist

The film will present an artistic treatment on the transformative power of water in all its forms, while exploring salient examples of systems in water technology, past, present and future.

We believe this film will inspire compassionate confirmation of humanity’s crucial relationship with water.

Our vision is to create a feature length (60 minute) documentary film that will both educate and inspire the viewer on key points related to the planet’s most precious commodity, water: Through interplay with light, colour, music and sound, we will focus on the beauty and structure of water, and on its quintessential power in sustaining life.

This is the story of the whole human race, for we are made up of approximately 75% water. Between 50% and 90% of the weight of any living organism is water. 

Water can create life or destroy it.
Water is magical and mercurial.
Water is the earth’s ‘shapeshifter’.


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