228. Imprisoned in his own choice


In this painting there are three major systems:

  1. The lines, which are in purple, olive green and one little line is in blue.
  2. The areas of color that appear to be behind the lines.
  3. The red areas that are inside of shapes, delineated by some of the purple lines.

Many times it is enough to describe with words what you see in a picture, to know what it is about. This indeed is one of the ways to read art.


The system of lines that has its story, appears on the background of nothing. The story may be that the lines describe something, that some of them do something to other lines, that some are purple and some are in other colors, etc. The background of nothing is the white that has no features except that there are no colors and no shapes in it.

The system of colored areas appears behind the line system. The colored shapes system has its own story. It is not being told in continuous lines or shapes. Things appear mostly unconnected. But you can feel relationships. For example, you can feel that all the greens belong to each other because of having the same color. All the shapes, because of their general outline, which is softly rounded, without sharp points or angles, all of them are of the same kind. This whole system appears in the same proximity of the lines system, and therefore the two systems seem to be related to each other, as if they are parts of the same thing. How about seeing this as a person and his emotional system. (Here I went beyond just describing what I see. I added an idea that seemed to make sense to me.)

There is one shape among the colored areas that is different. It is the blue one that looks like a river or a road. It goes from close to us to another place far away that we do not see. This may be the path of life on which we float with ease or with struggles. (again, an interpretation. It can be something else too. But something that leads the eye far away, to where you cannot see the end, these can be seen.)

Now let’s take the reds, which got caught within some of the purple lines that created closed shapes. Usually in the picture, the lines go freely to wherever they go. They describe shapes, that you have a feeling are not finally determined. These shapes still can grow, shrink or move. But these areas that caught the red inside of them seem to be more final. Their muscles are stretched and tense, holding the red and preventing it from changing. This is where the happily and freely flowing human system is becoming hard and inflexible. This goes against the nature of free flow and therefore it is the place of suffering.

And all of this appears to play in an environment of no features (the white). This is not a physical portrait in a realistic environment. It is the inner experience of life, created in awareness and experienced in awareness, done and felt in the same moment. Doing and experiencing here are not separate.

And if you see that, where do you choose to place your identification? What part do you choose to be?

Here is another way to look at it:

There are two big systems that relate to each other harmoniously. There is no event  in that. Only a continuous flow. The two systems can go on and change together, every one of them in its own related way to the other. They can go on forever. But the minute the regularity is broken by an unusual behavior that occurred in a few parts, an event is created and it starts to be interesting. That’s life.

Where was the identification, when it happened?

It was in the parts that caught the red. “I must have this red in me,” said the ‘I’ who identified with these parts. Before, there was freedom there. But now the travelling ’I’ became imprisoned in his own choice.


4 Responses to “228. Imprisoned in his own choice”

  1. 1 Nissim Francez March 21, 2016 at 2:53 am

    I like this drawing a lot, and can understand major parts of its verbal description.
    Do you find the following two observations significant, contributing to the interpretation of the drawing?
    1. What you refer to as lines (a motive occurring in many other drawings by you) looks very much like pipes in which some coloured fluid is flowing.
    2. In the top left part of the drawing there is a solid shape (ochre?) not
    intersected by any of the “lines”. It gives the feeling of a isolated part, maybe
    a part that has escaped the general frame.

    Also, you say:
    “Doing and experiencing here are not separate.”
    The thought that this is so may be a big epistemic human illusion,
    leading to several paradoxes. The apparent analogy between
    1. When I see I know that I see
    2. When I know (something) I know that I know (it)
    is very misleading and far from obvious that it is a valid analogy.


  2. 2 intuitiveflow8888 March 22, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    The pipes:
    I agree. Line has been of major interest for me from as early as I can remember. It is the main carrier of meaning for me. Or maybe, in another way, the main describer of inner experiences. So if I blow up the line, I can give it more content or a richer language by filling it up with liquid colors. They can be diluted or concentrated, they can mix with each other in many ways, they can create a feeling of something flowing and so on. All these and more are added to what lines have anyway, which is how they flow through the painting, do they shiver or are they straight and inflexible, what kind of turns they make, how do they behave when they meet other lines, do they cross other lines? Do they never touch each other, do they get bewildered in some ccircumstances, and so many more possibilities of being.
    I can say, every one of them, or even only a short part of any one line can tell you so many things.
    The physical characteristics may seem to be the same, or very close for most observers. But the interpretations will be different. The interpretation is based on conditioning, aspirations, openness, clarity, and/or many other attributes of the observer.
    So it is meaningful indeed. What is interesting to you in the art relates to what is important to you in your inner and outer worlds. And in the end, the bottom line is always in the inner world. What do you want to know about your inner world and what do you want to express about your inner world, what do you want to confirm and experience.

    The isolated shape that escaped:
    You have your own interpretation already in the description. Isolation and escape are meaningful to you.
    And maybe if we wait just a little bit more, all the shapes will spread all over, in all directions as if all this is just a snapshot of a changing process. And when the shapes disperse, are they still in the body, or are they crossing over to some other entity? Is there any border somewhere?
    Maybe it is like a sphere of influence? But who is influencing whom? And what for?
    Just like interpreting art, we interpret life events all the time. And in my interpretation of this correspondence, what moves me is that you noted that it was something that you liked and considered it to have beauty.
    In order to notice beauty you have to employ a different method of observing. You have to be impressed at the same time by the many shapes of the whole picture. It is like using the peripheral view. In one glimpse you let-in a whole complex, relational situation of many shapes and lines. This is a different mode of experiencing, so different from concentrated, linear thinking of one thought at a time.
    This state of being is typical of meditation.
    I think you need this state in math and philosophy too, if you want to be creative.
    And it is a pleasant state, isn’t it? Calming.
    While you must put some effort into thinking linearly, effort is completely unnecessary in viewing in this way. This is so, because this is actually natural for us to see this way. It is our true nature to see in this way.

    About knowing that I see and knowing that I know:

    Of course I accept your philosophical input. And I think that a paradox can exist only in language and thinking. So from a philosophical point of view, what I wrote is invalid or at least debatable.
    So many assumptions hide in language, and all that we do with language will have to live with these assumptions as if they are true. (The comparison here will be to a state in which experience and the knowing that results do not depend on language.)
    For example, one such assumption about language is that every word defines one thing only. Or every thing is different and separate from all other things. Maybe also: Things have a physical existence.
    And if we go to the two phrases in your example, there are more assumptions there. The ‘I’ is a person who is associated with his body. There is a separate capacity of the ‘I to see and another separate capacity to know. And when the capacity to know is at work, it cannot know another object at the same time (itself). As if knowing goes only in one direction, which is toward something that can be known.

    But you have already seen that in experiential life there is another mode of being which is more open and not completely defined. And there are more modes of being and all of them are in our capacity and are useful in some ways.
    What I said has to do with experience. From thinking point of view, I think, it makes sense to say that there is something that I can call ‘I’ inside of my body. ‘I’ see, ‘I’ think, ‘I’ experience so many things, so there is a human ‘I’ somewhere to whom all these happen. But experientially you can come to a state in which you clearly see that there is no ‘I’ in the body. It is only an assumption. The experiences happen, but the ‘I’ is not there.

    And you can also come to experience that all that appears to you, including the body and the environment, happen inside of one and the same consciousness. You can already see where it is going. It goes to a state where you are that consciousness, which is everywhere. There is nobody else and nothing else except for you anywhere. An event is created. The event’s appearance and its being experienced are the same. So you can say: How do you create an event? And the answer is: By experiencing it.
    It is illogical. But in the right circumstances it may even make sense.
    So what I meant by writing those logically false statements is to allude to this experience.

  3. 3 Nissim Francez March 23, 2016 at 6:02 am

    First, I would like to remind you of a joke our late Math teacher, Pollack, used to tell:
    Theorem 1: Every three points reside on a straight line, provided the line is sufficiently wide.
    Theorem 2: Every three lines intersect in a point, provided the point is sufficiently large.


    More seriously, you say (about the escaped shape):
    “And maybe if we wait just a little bit more, all the shapes will spread all over, in all directions as if all this is just a snapshot of a changing process.”
    But note that once you are willing to see a static drawing as a snapshot of some dynamic process, you can have a dual process to the one you mentioned:
    Maybe if we wait just a little bit more, we will find the isolated shape enclosed
    too within the boundaries of some lines?
    I think that in a non-figurative drawing, like yours in this post, there is no coherent way to assign directionality (in time) to the process of which the drawing is to be seen as an instantaneous snapshot.
    In contrast, if you draw, say, a woman crossing a door, it is easier to decide
    coherently whether she is entering or exiting. Of course, ambiguous figurative situations are possible too.
    Do you agree?

    As for interpreting life similarly to interpreting art – this goes beyond me …


  4. 4 intuitiveflow8888 March 23, 2016 at 9:42 am

    I didn’t remember but I did laugh now and I understand why it is here.
    The more serious: I agree of course. It can be interpreted in many ways and all of them will be right, because they are right for those who make the interpretation. And of course if there is a clear story that the art describes, we can know what will happen because we know where the story goes.

    I remember another thing that Polak did. In order to prove the existence of the capillary force, he asked Meir to stand on his head, on the table so that everybody will see, and eat his sandwich. The food did go up, but I’m not sure it was because of the capillary force. So in all of his demonstrations Polak supported you.

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The healing process

Entries 1-58 show how I use the method of Intuition Through Art to heal myself from Peripheral Neuropathy.


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