The Art of Creation
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 15 May 2013 04:24 )
A Curious Relationship
From as early as I can remember, my relationship with art was rather curious. In kindergarden, I was repeatedly asked to create what was considered to be age-appropriate forms of art - handicrafts and drawings. Supposedly intended to spark creativity in children and delight their parents, these activities often caused me quite some distress. When the task was to glue seeds onto a piece of paper, I could still find a way around the drama: I would simply group them on my sheet in whatever logic I applied at that point. However, the explicit assignment to draw a representation of any object or person existing in physical reality regularly brought me to tears well into primary school. How could this be asked of me? As I apparently wasn't born-again high-renaissance painter Raphael – wasn't the impossibility of this task obvious? How could the other children declare seemingly arbitrary strokes of paint to be a butterfly – or even more daring, to be an image of their parents? My frustration about this incoherence between original observation and artful representation was immense. It is only with my newly found understanding of art that I realise the aspects the artist should seek to express are far beyond what meets the eye – which is part of what will be discussed in this essay. The label artist was attributed to me for the first time through the badge I wore for Mindfield Festival, where I spoke on distributed communications and sustainable systems. Until some months ago, I wouldn't have considered myself to be an artist and the word still bears unresolved connotations – jack of all trades, bon vivant, hedonist? Through deliberation and my visible activities of writing and DJing, I now come to understand what being an artist entails – and that it includes the realisation of infinite potential, conscious manifestation and absolute responsibility.
A Shift in Perception
Last Updated ( Thursday, 02 May 2013 21:08 )
Living through Experience
We live through experience. Life – in its totality of both known and unknown, physical and astral realms – contains the whole potential of experience. We are able to have a vast array of experiences, but we can only know what we can actually perceive. In a state of waking consciousness currently considered to be the standard, we are only conscious of a very specific fragment of experience which is the part we can actually pay attention to. There is an incredible quantity of information presented to us at any given moment, but we actively process and thus experience only a tiny fraction of it. Photography as an analogy to vision provides us with a clear example of this phenomenon. When taking a photograph, we are usually consciously aware of a just one specific symbol of interest such as a sunset. Upon inspecting the picture more closely afterwards, we might find other elements we hadn't noticed before. The sunset will still show on the picture, but we might now become aware of the sun's colourful beauty, the curious arrangement of clouds in the sky or even some dust on the lens, occluding the image.
In a way, our experiences may be likened to a series of such images – a motion picture which constitutes the movie of our live. To the extent that we become aware of the fact that we are its director, we may change the movie's content at any given time. We may not only influence the current frame, but we may even choose the present to be our past through the imaginative act of remembering. Through this method, we can try to inspect an image of our experience more closely, but this usually comes at the expense of missing the picture of the present moment entirely. So we find ourselves to be ignorant to many aspects of experience. On one hand, this allows us to focus on specific perceptions. Yet on the other hand, it means that there is a lot to be discovered. A lack of self-reflection to de-construct social conditioning or even wilful denial causes a considerable portion of these experiential frames to become tainted, blurry or even completely blacked out. Unpleasant experiences and difficult emotions often fragment our experience, putting it out of context. So we find that the so-called normal state of mind allows us to process just a tiny sample of an already disjointed reality. It's like watching an old black-white movie – but without being able to read the subtitles. Knowing about colour, high-definition images and surround sound: Obviously, we are missing out! [ 1] There is an immense beauty and depth of potential experience in life even I can fathom, so I feel compelled to share my observations on states of expanded perception as well as my own experiences. Ultimately, I contend that both a more detailed and more comprehensive view of reality can be attained through an exalted state of consciousness. [ 2]
The Missing Link
Last Updated ( Monday, 13 May 2013 09:27 )
Of Mind and Body
I'll be perfectly honest with you: For the longest time, I really wasn't interested in physical exercise or especially curious about being aware of my own body, preferring intellectual endeavours. Starting with primary school, I really couldn't be bothered with competitive sports such as soccer which I merely saw as people chasing a ball bumping into each other... While I sometimes played outside, I soon preferred video games to taking long walks in nature, which usually rather bored me. Long-distance running was (and still is) simply exhausting, as I never reached the endorphine-induced peak experience many athletes are fond of. It was only in combination with music that I would become enthusiastic about exercising my bodily potential. As a teenager, it would at first also be tied to an arcade-game setting such as the fabulous Pump It Up, while I later actively sought out to learn established ways of dancing, such as Hip Hop and African styles. During the time my aunt became a Yoga instructor, I also started to be more interested in the relationship between the body and the mind, now doing yoga on a regular basis. [ 1] Through further study in a range of topics and my personal experiences, I now come to understand the importance of the connection between mind and body. In Western society today, it is indeed The Missing Link.
The Definition of the Material World
Last Updated ( Thursday, 11 April 2013 16:46 )
Deliverance through Technology
Until recently, I have been involved with the Earth Organisation for Sustainability, an association with technocratic roots. While the organisational concept was significantly improved in comparison with it's ideological grandfather, Technocracy Inc., the basic technocratic premise of solving problems through material technology still remains. [ 1] In fact, this is the rationale most of the Western countries officially identify themselves with: Progress through Technology. Of course, the question of where this is going and whether this is the kind of progress we actually need can seldom be heard. The assumption is that the development of new technologies allows for the production of new goods and services, which in turn help to create employment and further economic growth. My argument here is not over the uselessness of economic figures such as gross domestic income in order to gauge the well-being of people or the now-obvious shortcomings of economic growth. Rather, it is about refuting the idea that so-called modern technology builds us the golden bridge to deliverance. I would like to inspire an alternative route.
Awakening to Creator-Consciousness
Last Updated ( Thursday, 11 April 2013 16:50 )
Have you had experiences you would call extraordinary or strange? Perceptions during which you maybe weren't exactly sure what was happening? Which you found difficult to explain to yourself, but you still observed the experience and just went with the flow? Allowing yourself to remember these events is an achievement in itself. Many tend to block out any perceptions which might threaten their world-view and pose an imminent danger to their self-understanding. Obviously, everything we can't quite grasp with our current understanding can put our internal concept of existence in disarray. Yet it also provides an opportunity to go beyond of what we thought of the world and ourselves until that moment. I would like to share some of the experiences I had in this regard with you.
One ordinary afternoon, I was pondering. I believe I was about 15 years old - so you might also call it a lazy afternoon. Unlike some of my classmates, I made sure to finish my homework quickly and never to have too many afternoon activities, since I thoroughly enjoyed playing computer games and doing the things teenagers do. Maybe distinct to a degree, I also enjoyed pondering about whatever came to my mind. I can't remember what initially fuelled the engine of this train of thought, but I was concerned with the idea of willpower and achievement. Although I don't talk to myself (that) often, I started to articulate my thoughts with my voice in order to help their development. I can't recall the content of these thoughts anymore, but I believe I went on like this for about half an hour until I finally reached a satisfying conclusion: “In order to achieve anything, I must will it. If I will it, I can achieve it.” For me, this is a cornerstone of subsequent realizations, but this particular experience was most likely only the iceberg's visible tip of a process already going on for much longer. In retrospect, I am also aware of the many so-called limiting beliefs I held back then which prevented an even fuller realization of effectiveness through willpower.