I have written an abstract for a session on water at the EAA in Helsinki later this year.
Water as a real object is forever withdrawn from its relations and presence. Only water as a sensual object can be experienced. However, not only humans and organic entities “sense” other objects. In the panpsychist view, which is prevalent within object-oriented philosophy, it is argued that everything that exists and relates must also perceive or prehend. Water does so by becoming part of a new object, such as a cave.
Caves are common features in the karstic environment of the Cochuah region in southern Mexico. Most of them have been formed through the prehension between water and limestone. The sensual profiles of the caves made by other objects vary. For the Maya the caves became attractors for settlement and rituals because they were intensively connected to water and rain. What is usually termed “animism” is the sensual profiles the Maya made of the caves, water and other entities. On spatiotemporal scales above the single cave and water pool we find the hydrological cycle interacting with the sea (the Fiery Pool) and the Chicxulub fracture zone. These greater relations affected Maya political history and cosmology.