Archive for the 'energy' Category

290. Who needs a subject?

Birdman

I finished it yesterday and wrote a mistaken date, as you can find in the signature. It should be 050418.

I started it in the night that lead to the forth. I came off bed where I did not sleep and sat down to do a drawing.

The colors will come in the day, I thought. This is indeed what happened.

I had a feeling about how I wanted the language of the painting be. It was a pleasant feeling, like a feeling that I used to get when I would be on my way to the swimming pool, already imagining the sensation of water touching my body everywhere.

I want to write about this language.

But first, it seems there is some form that is being depicted in the picture. Maybe it is some sort of a big man with a bird’s head. Whatever it is, it is made of a flimsy structure of moving lines that hold a strange gathering of soft, mostly translucent shapes.

These shapes of colors; what holds them in place? Are they confined? It does not seem so. It looks as if these shapes can move away and be free of the drawing. Some pieces do radiate away.

Do they want to be together? Maybe their behavior has nothing to do with wanting? Maybe this is just what they do when they are in certain circumstances?

All these details are told with the language of the artwork. You can say, maybe, that the language and the story that is being told cannot be separated.

Just like in any language, when the language and what it describes cannot be separated, the whole thing becomes a poem. Or maybe, since this is a visual art piece, maybe we can say that it gives the feeling of something true. If we experience this feeling, we tend to like the painting and usually it is hard, if at all possible for us, to explain why we like it. The whole experience belongs in a different realm than the one we usually describe successfully with a language.

But is this at all possible to describe any experience in a language?

This is why for some of us the language of numbers feels more capable of describing phenomena or experiences. If it is three, then it is three and nothing else. At least we know this. But do we?

Maybe this is good enough for now, for this discussion?

I want to aim the light of our thinking onto the use of the visual language. I think that the language shares more information than the content.

So the lines here seem as if they are not sure where they are going. They try and fail to describe something. But in their failure, a feeling is created that something is there. We are not sure what exactly the lines do. Do they try to describe a shape, or do they describe the quivering of the energies as they move through the form? Is it a living form, because there is energy moving through it?

How does the form feel? Does it want to be there? Is it wondering about itself and its environment?

Is it just trying to be filled with enough being, so it can experience everything around and in it?

And as such, does it matter at all what the form is? It is a wanting to experience. This is enough.

And let’s take the colored forms.

They come together as different units of being, made of what? Maybe too made of wanting to know or wanting to experience? They touch each other and overlap, where they mix with each other. They accompany the quivering curious delineated shape of lines and they interact with it too.

And all the parts, the lines and the shapes, are free in their nature. They don’t have to be there. They have just come together as a strange occurrence, involving all kinds of being, stories and feelings, out of their common curiosity.

Are they focused on the inner world, so to speak, or the outward one? It seems that there is nothing really substantial in their gathering. Nothing is heavily real in both the inner and the outer world that they create. Only deep, rolling, playing interest in what can be made up and be experienced.

But since there is nothing very substantial in that coming together of these suggestive, wondering lines and the friendly mixing together color shapes, then who is experiencing anyway?

You see? All of this is given or shared through the language of this art.

Who needs a subject then?

Well, we need a subject for this coming together and experiencing. But it is never as substantive as we make it to be in our thoughts.

Think about it if you wish, or maybe it will become a poem?

 

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288. The stuff of life

FullSizeRender 3

I painted it mostly with my face very close to the paper. This is how I love to make art. From close up I feel that I am in the space of the painting. This is where I’d like to always be. Every area of color is like a place, a version of mood that I can choose to walk into. Then come the spaces among shapes and lines, where you can smell freedom. You can enter these and see how it feels. Colors overlap to create new colors. How does it feel to be in a place of a mixture? How do the clear paints feel near mixed ones? Do you want to run away from places like this, or enter? And there are the placers where the pink guiding lines that I made before putting in the colors show through the layers and cause the surface to feel like leather.

FullSizeRender 4

When I look at it from so close everything feels alive and happening right now in front of my eyes. I make myself a little world and get lost in it, just as we all do with our lives.

I started, as always with the drawing. I chose to describe the way I felt. What is my experience of this moment? This is the question that I ask before I start. Who do I ask? I ask the deeper parts of myself.

Nowadays I take some medications to reduce the pain. It does not reduce all of it. But I get longer periods without pain and this enables me to do things. There are side effects. One of them is that the strength of all nerve signals is reduced along with the signals of the pain. It makes it harder to meditate. The effects of being alive come as if they had to pass through a blanket before I sensed them. I learned to become aware of weaker signals.

(I also get tired from thinking. I had to stop at this point because my mind found it hard to continue.) In the afternoons the effect of the nightly medications dissolves and I become clear again.

What can I say about this picture?

Let’s imagine that it was not me who painted this. I tell this to myself, so I can shake off habitual fears about exposure.

I feel, in the shapes of the colors, this same tiredness and inner deafness that I feel in the mornings. Every shape is like a blanket. Or maybe the shapes are like the heavily filtered signals, when I finally get them.

Yes, this is the view.

If you looked at the drawing before I added the painted shapes, you would see suffering and despair. Then a deeper state ensues, just because I was keenly aware of my experience, and I start the colored shapes from a standpoint from where I feel the movements of energy that bring about the outer layer of experience that I described as suffering. At this moment I sailed away from fears and the outermost details of my life. Going on deeper, if I did, I’d come to silence. For me, while doing this layer I already feel the silence. So these energies, as you probably know, come from thoughts, beliefs and expectations that originate at this point from my very long and deep subconscious. Becoming aware of this layer, just being aware from the place of silence, is enough for dissolving these thoughts that create the movements of energy, which eventually bring about what we perceive as suffering.

From this perspective, making art like this is healing. And even though I stopped officially to show in the blog how I heal myself with this way of making art and reading it, the truth is that I have continued all the time. The flow in art-making leads you deeper, to the place from which being aware heals.

And this is helpful indeed psychologically and spiritually at the same time. The more clear of thoughts that mask the truth I am, the more free of suffering I become, from the psychological perspective, and the more free I become, at the same time, of whatever habitual thoughts I have that filter the knowing of my freedom. Freedom is always in me (and everyone). You can never take it away. Some call this freedom love, because, being free, you can’t but love everything.

So this is what we have: despair on the surface and heavily masked signals from inside and outside. What is not shown are the peace, play, curiosity and even joy that are the essence of seeing from a deeper place. You have to guess them from seeing the details of creating a mood with movements of energies that come from thoughts. This is the stuff of life.

284. The yellow drawing

What?

In the moment I finish it I know I want to use some colored pencil on it. I know where and how. I wait for the drawing to dry. I listen to the radio. The music is beautiful. Then I look again and the drawing is dry. And it is beautiful as it is. It is poor in terms of colors. Only one. All that it does was accomplished with the yellow color alone.

But it has endless variations in the way the lines are made. Thin and fat, close to each other and far, straight and round. Sometimes they touch each other and become one line. The expressions of the lines are different. Each little part is different from all the others. The spaces in the drawing are very different too: Closed and open, narrow and wide, pouring into the next space or keeping to themselves.

The whole thing starts from a line that is like some ground. One side of the drawn shape goes up. The other starts going up and then turns around and goes down. The right side is listening to the left side, and when the left one makes a left turn, the right one also starts to turn left. Maybe the right side is more burdened and this is why it cannot go as high as the left one?

Are they one thing with varying sides? And what is that little something at the very right edge? Maybe the right side part stopped going up because it wanted to look at that little thing? So this side is independent, making its own decisions, even though it is obviously connected to the left side. The left one must be independent too. It is just like us, having the ability to make independent choices and at the same time being an inseparable part of the all.

That little shape at the right edge, is it coming or going?

Why did the left part turn back down?

Are they playing?

They have the spirit of playing, don’t they?

Do you need any more than one color?

Is the yellow gold, warm light or straw?

Where does the whole thing stand?

If you happen to walk near it, what will your relative size be?

 

And if we are left with questions only, is this a good thing or not?

281. The beauty of the cloud of anger

A vague Anger

I have learned so much. I have painted so many paintings and read them. But I’m going to skip all of that and be current. I don’t like going back.

The last two paintings are about being fascinated by things that block the mind, the imagination and the openness. I am showing here one of them.

They tried hard to teach us this kind of attention in the meditation retreats. They would say: If you experience being blocked (which is what the subconscious does sometimes, to protect itself against change), do not fight it. Instead, become interested in what is in front of you. Look at that blockage. See what it is made of. Examine. Touch, smell, and experience without language.

It is not easy to do, when you feel being blocked. All you want is to break trough and this cloud is in your way, obscuring everything.

But how about using art?

In this painting I described a vague anger that I felt. I was taking some medication against the pain, so I could meditate (so I could sleep too). It was not a first solution. I meditated and worked with the pain without medications for many years until it became too strong to bear. The medication made me dull and vague. I could not dive deep. I did not feel the subtleties of the energies. And I was frustrated in this vague way, as everything was vague. Painting this anger became my way of coming out of vagueness. It is not that it is important to know exactly how the anger is experienced. It is the state of being interested itself that made the difference. To be interested, to be curious, is to participate in a characteristic of the true self, and this is what made me feel better and this is what opened a window in that inner blocking cloud, to let some fresh air blow in. Now I became aware of the space. I had a chance to make it my home again and what was in front of me became beautiful to me.

What is important in the painting is how the movement goes. It is slow and sticky. It does not burst out but bends and looses power by having parts fall off it.

 

279. What is this?

I skipped number 277 by mistake. I’ll keep this number for something in the future. And for now I’ll just continue with this entry.

A man turning his head to me

Describing a body

Of a man, standing

In profile

But turning his head and gaze

To us

He is just passing there

And it is his business

To be there, walking

On his territory

And we are the transgressors

Who should apologize

And leave with the promise

To never do this again

And since there needs

To be some earth

For this story

I tried my hand

At making it

Some dirt

Some grass

A tree

And a passer by

All freshly made.

I really felt there was a person there, before I started to draw. I can show you what he would look like, had I drawn him as I saw in my imagination.

Here, I made a quick sketch of that.

quick sketch of a man

He has on some kind of a raincoat. You can see he’s not dressed up. And of course he wonders what we are doing there.

So how come this view changed to the drawing at the top?

I remember my years at the art academy in Jerusalem in the end of the sixties. Students with easels, standing around a model, and everybody is drawing. I assess the work in front of me, consider the model’s size and placement on my paper, imagine the arrangement of the main lines and volumes, and I start.

From the ear the line goes down through the chin to the collar, to the shoulder, and now comes the long line of the curved back. As I guide my hand to follow that line, there is another voice in me that tells me not to follow that line of the back. Don’t go down, but to the right, this voice says.

It is not a voice really, but a very strong and compelling feeling, like a longing, that almost takes hold of my hand and pushes it to go right.

I did not understand why I had this different voice in me, but I trusted this voice.

Now I know.

The representational drawing describes the experience of the senses. This is how the eyes see. Of course it is influenced by emotions and ideas, but the cementing substance in the drawing is the physical shape, as the eyes perceive it.

The abstract lines in the first drawing describe the experience of the energy. The energy of me and the energies of the things that are described. I don’t see that energy but I feel it. So the lines are a translation of that feeling. I feel different intentions, different emotions, ideas and beliefs that create that person within my infinite field of energy. And in fact, all of these are mine. They are my intentions, my feelings, my ideas and beliefs. I am creating this person in my flow, in response to these experiences in me.

When my ideas and beliefs change, this person will change too.

And, is there anything out there to disprove that this person, these experiences and me are really one thing, experiencing itself?

276. Can I teach my subconscious something new?

When I say the word HEALTHY, there is a rush of energy developing in my being, and moving through it to unknown depths.

The same thing happens when I only think the word.

If I do it a lot, and experience the vibration of the word many times, this experience starts to take roots in my being, and there is movement in me, to become the expression of this vibration.

Try this: When you feel not so good, ask yourself, in your mind: How can I feel good now? And watch how you feel.

If I ask, beore I start to draw, to have my drawing show me my experience of feeling good, then I’ll spend the time of making the drawing feeling good, and even go into it in a deeper way than just thinking. So my body will feel good in a deeper way than just by thinking, and the experience will last longer.

My subconscious will take notice and will start to realize that it has to learn how to create this feeling, as it seems that I, its owner and commander, am interested in being this way.

Then the subconscious will start producing this feeling of being healthy on its own, every time there will be any association to this coming up in my being.

And with such a competent couch within myself, what do you think will happen? With me feeling healthy all the time, how can I ever be sick?

So I set out to draw how it feels to me to be healthy.

Hebrew word

Stretching in the morning

inner energies arise

The first drawing even includes the word ’healthy’ in Hebrew, my mother’s tongue, and the strong energy springs out all around it.

The second is about how the body feels strong and capable.

The last is about how the energy moves in my body when I feel healthy.

At the beginning of the third drawing there were only the heavier lines without the lighter pencil lines and the colors. At that time the drawing was really successful in describing the flowering of the energy inside, arising and opening up. Then I wanted to add the lines and the colors, and the whole art became heavier. The energy almost does not move any more.

It is not what I wanted. But it has beauty so I decided to show it anyway. It srill shows the shining, the power that pushes things up, and some sense of a struggle to arise. The struggle is mental and energetic. All is true in this drawing as to my feeling at the time. Maybe this is why it is beautiful.

But can I change my thinking, and can I teach my subconscious how to create a different feeling?

275. Side effects

Everything is changing in my world.

I am dismantling my studio. I am not doing art therapy any more. The studio will be rearranged, to support what I’ll be doing next. The free flow, that is who I am, has discovered at last that it had invented ways to stand in its own way. I hug it now, but who is hugging? My computer, what I need for making art now, what I need for writing, and a few more things will move to a temporary place in the apartment, for a while.

Here is a painting from a few days ago, and what I had written about it.

Changing

The drawing was ready for two days. I did not want to do the next step until I knew I’d have all the time needed to finish the painting.

I looked, and different possibilities ran through my imagination. Something was missing in all of them. The best thing is to do the colored shapes right after the drawing is done, as a continuous event. This did not happen in this case. But I found a way to experience the drawing freshly. I got closer, as I described in the past. I came so close, that my nose almost touched the paper. This did it. A new, trustworthier stream of ideas started to flow and I went along with it till all the shapes were there. The choice of colors came too as a stream, one after the other. Something in me knew what to do. Guess what part it is.

One thing that jumped to my attention is that in this painting the stronger part of the painting finds it easy to go out of the paper to the left side. In the beginning of the blog most or all of the drawings never went out through the left edge. The left side was usually left empty, and there was a lot of tension about this side. And here there is no problem at all. The right side of the painting goes out through the right, but it is the weaker part of the artwork and it feels hesitant.

So we have a change.

Lets take another issue. There seem to be two people in the painting. Both have a blue body. And around or close to their heads there are circles of colors that can be felt as light. It just came to me, as everything else came, as parts of the flow. My reaction to having the impulse to draw these halos was to avoid doing it and find something else to draw instead of them. But my dedication is to trust what comes. So I went ahead and did the circles of light.

When I was on my first meditation retreat in 1990, I had a dream, in which I saw myself meditating on the top of a mountain. The mountain and I were shown as silhouettes. Behind us was an orange light that became more and more intense. I woke up in the middle of the night and discovered that I could make my mind go totally quiet just by telling it to do so. I said: Enough! And it calmed down.

I have a feeling that both the people in the art are monks. They walk their path alone. They may be versions of the same person. The one on the right embodies an idea that has been let go of, and the bigger one on the left is acting now with a new choice. The word pilgrimage comes to mind. The direction towards which this figure is moving is the true ’I’, which moves all the time, so you cannot really reach it. But you certainly can be it.

There is a story in the bible, the Hebrew bible, about Saul. He is the one who would become King Saul later. At the time of the story he worked as a herder of donkeys. Today it would be like a parking garage attendant, who takes all the cars to the gas station every day. All the donkeys ran away from Saul that day. He ran after them in vein. But on his way he met with the prophet Samuel. Samuel was there because God had sent him with some oil to find Saul, pour the oil on his head and let him know that he was chosen by God to be the king of Israel. Politics was messy then too. To Saul this was quite a shock, I believe. But for the people who told the story, this was a chance to invent a saying: He looked for donkeys and found a kingdom.

Aren’t we all like Saul? We always aim for the less important things and the best happens to us as if it was side effects. Luckily, we pay attention one day to that part of us that is true and always awake, and eventually get it.


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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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