Archive for the 'Infinite space' Category

305. Flying above the landscape, with all his knots

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With all his knots

he found himself flying

above the landscape

He was a line who wanted to flow in curves

he was a thought that wanted to open up

to thoughtlessness

Then, a feeling in the middle of the body

turned into a mountain range

with trees

And emptiness

as it has always done

held its breath.

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304. An easy way into awareness

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Maybe you wonder who is this little line in the picture that I called, in entry #301, the baby with the orange light?

He represents, for me, awareness, which is always newly born. Right now it is looking at the rest of the painting in 301, where there is some struggle. But he is from endlessness, which is free from the difficulties.

Just the fact that he looks heals what he is looking at, because he looks in a way that only awareness can. He lives inside of every one of us. But we need to bring his view to our normal consciousness, so that it too will heal.

………………………………………

Why drawing and painting are good ways to dip in our larger aspect, which is usually called awareness?

Other art forms are also good for this. But drawing and painting leave marks on paper or other materials that we can look at after they have been done.

This gives us the opportunity to understand (by reading the art) with our narrow style of consciousness, what our aware state has already known.

…………………………………..

Let’s look at why we are not in the deeper state all the time.

Our consciousness is made in such a way that we are very focused. We think only one thought at a time. We concentrate on only one thing at a time. For us this is the way things are, and we do not even consider a different way of experiencing.

We never see a wider picture of our experiences (unless we shift into awareness, which we actually do, spontaneously, many times).

While we live with this narrow way of observing, there is something that keeps making the choices for us about what we are going to concentrate on.

It is what we call the subconscious.

Based on our experiences of the past we have taught the subconscious what is important to us. Now it brings to our attention only those parts of the whole picture that it knows are important to us.

Of course it is a wonderful thing, not to have to examine our experiences whenever they emerge, and decide again what, among all of them, is important. On the other hand, because this is how the human mechanism works, we are prevented from experiencing a wider version of our experiences.

What is so good about the wider version?

When we observe with a wider, more inclusive perspective, we become relieved from the worries of the narrower view.

The subconscious still gives us its usual alarms that were created with the narrow view. But since we are in a more comfortable place, we don’t care about these alarms that much.

This is just one benefit. Observing with the wider view is so different from observing with the narrow view that it is really impossible to explain it while using the narrow view.

We can only talk about one aspect at a time. But awareness is a multi aspects thing.

So I’ll point at a few characteristics of awareness, but remember: It really does not do justice to it.

The wider view is the only way we can experience beauty. Beauty has to do with a complex relationship of many parts. We all can experience beauty in our unique ways. It is different for each one. But we all can experience what is beauty to us.

So it means that we all are making use of our awareness.

When we are in nature, for example, which is so filled with details and multiple kinds of relationships, the subconscious does not, usually, have any special instructions about the view.

It may have some warnings about snakes, crocodiles, bears, tick-bites, etc. But just looking, when there is no immediate specific danger, does not, usually, come with instructions.

This allows us to slip into the deeper, wider, relaxed view. We see beauty. We feel good. We become activated in a much fuller, more rewarding way.

So being in awareness feels good. Holding a narrow awareness is stressful in comparison.

When we feel good, instead of being weary of others, we love them spontaneously.

Instead of feeling pressed to fix this or that, we feel like playing. We feel like children. We laugh easily, we imagine whatever we want and we can even feel being taken care of.

All these are healing states.

So now imagine making art by following your individual sense of beauty as your only guide in the art making.

As soon as we give our attention to our sense of beauty, to watch whether what we make is beautiful for us or not, we slip into the state of awareness. There is no escape for us from using a wider attention, to perceive beauty.

This is (awareness is) the fundamental condition that is the only one that can heal our emotional and even physical suffering. There is no way to heal us without entering awareness.

So this is the instruction: Make art just by choosing, step after step, to do only what makes your art more beautiful to you. Stop when you feel that adding anything to your art will not feel beautiful any more.

Be loyal to this and see how it makes you feel.

This is an easy access to what all the meditation teachers call awareness.

I’ll end here with something that my Chinese meditation teacher said once (not precisely in these words): Keep being aware and awareness will keep you.

If you want to have one practice that is simple and will make you freer and freer, this is it. Develop the habit of awareness (in whichever way you choose to reach that state).

299.Three drawings

Swinging in endlessness

First started with a face. It is on the left.

I almost decided to draw a face in a way that can be recognized. I started in this way and as I went along I answered impulses from the heart and distorted the face beyond recognition.

Then I started drawing a little house. I thought about a tree and then thought that I always go for trees, so I decided to draw something else. A house came to me. I knew it was my house, where I lived with my wife and children in Israel. Then the tree had to be there, as we did have a huge pine tree next to the house.

And I remembered the swing with my first daughter in it, swaying extremely long sways.

Then there was no place for anything else, even though I entertained the idea of going on, adding more things. But the swinging child faced the open space and this was a complete cycle. There was no need for anything else.

First was the experiencing of a twisted flow, which means that the infinite emptiness flowed through preconceived ideas (the face). Then the drawing came closer to love, by touching on the home and the tree, and indeed my first daughter. And with this closeness to the heart, the swing swayed a long way and we came back to be face to face with the endlessness.

This one drawing has a whole process of healing.

Then came the exercise: Find the spot that feels the best and dive into it with a second drawing. I chose the space that my daughter faced.

This was the motivation behind the second drawing.

Expansion

The drawing shows expansion. The heart opens. The language changes from the language we usually use, like in this writing for example, into an energetic way of experiencing and communicating. You cannot satisfactorily describe this experience with any word language. But if you feel anything when you look at this drawing, it is because you too can experience things that cannot be described in one of our languages.

And what is the dot in the middle?

Maybe the feeling of being a local spot around which there is endlessness? Erase this spot and there is no time and space. And maybe the dot comes from a sense of something very far that the ‘I’ wants to reach, out of curiosity? Maybe the dot comes from the feeling that there is always more?

Then again: looking for the place in this drawing that felt the best, I chose the object at the top middle that looks somewhat like eyelashes or a line of cypresses on a far horizon.

Angels

Diving into this, I drew the group of what may look like trees that feel very good with each other, or maybe like a group of angels playing together in the sky, like babies.

Then it came to me to indicate some ground, to show that the first group was up somewhere, and as I did it, it became plants and ground and the plants look somewhat like the angels.

Now when I asked myself where is the place in this last drawing that feels the best, the answer that came to me was: The space between the ground and the angels.

So I see this space as the place that feels like home. From it emerge objects of fascination. They feel good too in another way. But once I entertain this fascination with the objects, I long again to the home space.

And maybe I should simply choose, for the best feeling place, everything. Just everything.

294. And there we are

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What happens here?

It looks there is wind, coming from the right and everything that we see is effected.

It is a strong wind. Little things are being blown away to the left.

If the wind goes on like this for a longer time, what are we going to be left with?

Maybe some branches will break?

Maybe the light green figure will run away? Or, will it stay all the way to the end, to see how everything else has disappeared?

The empty space will seem devoid of things to look at.

So the figure will eventually give up on trying to see physical things.

With nothing in its environment, the figure too will have no reality. With the impossibility of a contrast, how can anything be?

Aren’t we creatures of contrast?

We say: This is I and this is you or this is the world. But without a world, who are we?

And there is that grey shape that may look as if it is the thought of the figure. As I was painting it and as I had gotten to this point, something from inside of me stopped me. Enough said, it told me without words. Don’t add any more.

So the grey shape remained unfinished, as if there was no point any more in believing in what we thought was real.

When the figure’s last thought stopped before it became full, when the belief in thought and the reality stopped, what was left?

Try it out.

There is a power that makes everything be, and it comes from our thoughts. You feel it in your guts.

In time it also blows everything away. Then the last thought is never completed.

And there we are.

293. Colors that run away from each other

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In this painting you can see the pain. It is in the lines, it is in the intensity of the colors, it is in the way the colored areas run away from each other, concentrating in themselves, as if the whole picture is falling apart. And you also see some environment: A horizon with two trees, a part of a cloud and maybe a fruit on a limb.

The drawing is of faces overlapping, worried and separate, in spite of the closeness, pressed into the presence of each other.

The white is like the knuckles of a clenched fist.

At some point I discovered some dirt that was somehow transferred to the paper after my hand touched some food. I erased some of it but could not get rid of it completely. Erasing vigorously leaves marks too. The solution was to place the signature on the stain. It is like placing myself on some mess that I had created, to cover it up. Here is one of the things that life seems to be about sometimes.

My artist friend H observed in my art that even when I speak about torturous pain, the paintings have some cheerfulness to them. He recommended, carefully indeed and lovingly, to express the pain more freely, and maybe there will be a physical relief from it, not to mention the psychological relief. Maybe this is why there is a bit more expression of suffering in this painting than is usually expressed in my art. Or maybe it is because I came to the table at 3 or 4 at night, when the pain made me jump out of bed, and I started to draw right there.

But I can’t escape myself. Even the suffering in my life is viewed from an aware place that is basically calm, curious and loving.

I love my friend for who he is and for how what he is, is being expressed in everything he does. And I also love myself enough to allow what-makes-me-nowadays, to express itself with all the facets that it has.

Maybe it is strange to many people that there is no full expression of the suffering in my art. Instead there is what looks like a distanced or muted expression. How can one not scream about his suffering in his art and indeed tear people’s hearts when they become witnesses to it? But this would be untrue to my experience.

Yes there is some distance when I experience being more than my body. My body shakes with pain many times, but there is the bigger me, to whom this looks like a fantastic, colorful, emotions-full, drama that I had created for myself, not knowing who I am. Yes, it is not the usual life, to have one foot in the body and another in a much freer place.

 -And what if I hit you on your toes with a heavy hammer, will ask an imaginary friend?

-It will hurt.

286. How can you live in a house like that now?

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The house was at the end

When you started to climb

you needed to be very daring

You didn’t know

that if you fell you’d float

And then you saw

that every adventure

came from a belief that you had

The big view

the open view

the view of eternity

was the only view that helped

Every step was scary

and then funny

And the house at the end

how can you live in a house like that now?

285. The dream and the life

White House Dream

4:40, early morning.

I don’t know when it started. From that point on, I had the same dream all through the night, till now.

The White House exploded and burned down.

All the people who worked there came to work in my living room.

There was place for all of them but it was crowded. They rearranged the pillows on my bed and this made it possible for them to sleep there. Trump said to a reporter that they did not need that many people, that all those who left, only made the White House work better. “We don’t need that many people, he said, it is a simple thing to run a country.”

I think this dream touches on my getting rid of a big part of what I kept before, and how having stuff that conflicts with your freedom to be who you are, is slowing you down or even preventing you from being you.

And this connects to having mental habits that don’t support your free flight.

In the last period of my sleep, most of the pains in my feet subsided and if I was careful enough I could keep it that way and get some sleep. Only one pain seemed to stubbornly menace me. It woke me up and I sat up in my bed. The people from the White House were not in my bed any more, but I still was under the spell of the dream. I felt that unpleasantness of having uncomfortable things that fill up all the space.

I tried the stronger ointment on the top of the right foot. This will take care of it, I thought. I cannot use this all the time but now it is okay.

The pain did not stop. I put the ointment again.

The pain started to subside but the parallel place in the other foot started to hurt. I treated the new pain with the stronger ointment too. Now both feet hurt. It was a hard-to-live-with pain.

Nevertheless, sitting in bed, I fell asleep and started to fall. I woke up abruptly and avoided the fall.

This pain too, in the context of this writing, has to do with thought patterns that block flying. Have you ever considered that pain is a thought? We will have to talk about it some other time.

I went to the kitchen to make some coffee.

Long ago in this continuing fight with the pain, I made up my mind that I won’t succumb to suffering. If the pain keeps me awake, I’ll do something pleasant.

On my way to the kitchen, a bit more awake, my mind started to think with some coherence.

The thoughts that came to me were about the trauma. There was that time long ago, when I felt that I was succeeding in becoming like my father. For some reason, habitual most probably, I still consider that little sweet boy to be me, even though the only thing that we truly have in common is this infinite consciousness, who has always witnessed us from inside.

I was three and a half. I climbed all the way to the top of the structure in my new kindergarten. I stood there, at the top, and knew that I had made it. Now I am like him. This kindergarten was my new place. All the kids were older than those in the kindergarten that I left. It is happening, I thought. I am becoming my father.

He was in the war in the Galilee and in that same day he was killed.

My mom was shocked and did things in strange ways. Without talking or hinting at any reason, she brought me back to the baby’s kindergarten that I just left a few days earlier. I talked with her about it many years later and I know that she wanted me to be closer to her workplace so she could come during the work-hours and see me, in case I needed her. But in those days, in a child’s way, I understood it differently: By wanting to take my father’s place and by succeeding in being like him, I killed him. He had to go. There was only a place for one. My mother knew, I thought, even though I did not tell her (I believed that people could see each other’s thoughts), and did not want me to take my father’s place. She wanted him. What a disappointment. She knew I was dangerous and putting myself at danger too. People will know what I did and will come to kill me. I had to be protected against them and prevented from any further success. This was my understanding in those distant days. And indeed I understood it also to be a punishment for following my dream, not to mention the punishment of not having a father any more.

I did not talk. I did not feel anything accept for some resistance to this predicament. I accepted my punishment as just. My subconscious was quick to learn that he had to prevent me from succeeding. I also learned to be careful not to anger Mom, as who knows what else she could suddenly do? Every time I had the feeling that I succeeded in something, my subconscious interfered and some form of blocking appeared. I did not feel these blockages, Just as I did not feel anything in the beginning. The whole air around me was making it impossible for me to be able to evolve as I wanted. The air did not let me succeed. I only felt my resistance to the air in my back and the back of the neck, as if I was pushed backward to a wall and wanted to fight my way out of this.

This is how, in my child’s mind, I paved for myself a life of struggles and some significant failures. Today I look at all this as an admirable invention of a very talented mind. But I don’t want to jump far ahead so quickly.

Everything that started to feel like success, the sky stopped. I would discover that something shocking had happened again, only too late, when the failure had already happened, and I would turn to be emotionless. Sometimes when I thought that I succeeded in something, I started to see in my imagination an angry crowd coming after me to shame and punish me violently.

Every time my mother was a little upset, and later, when my wife was in such a mood, I feared that I was about to be punished and blocked.

So when I thought about the dream that continued all through the night, I felt that it was as stubborn as this disaster-bringing-fear that blocked me so many times, and also like the pain that presented similar characteristics.

On the other hand, the insistent dream forced me to experience the discomfort that is felt when you have a blocking thought pattern that takes over the space of your mind.

So what do you do?

The first thing to know is that you cannot change the situation, as long as you remain on the same level of consciousness.

This means that you can’t win against what you understand to be a war against you or against a fear that you have. You have to let go of the whole struggle, even if it feels like losing. Lose. Let the issue rest, no matter which way it falls. It will make you freer.

We need to go to a deeper state and witness the experience from there.

This is usually enough, when you deal with all minor problems. I wrote abut it in the past. But this one here is a major one. At least from the perspective of a normal human being, like you and me (as long as we see ourselves as such).

I wrote in the past about this deeper state as a child-like consciousness. Being flowingly curious without a practical reason, loving everything, playing with the reality about us as a natural expression of who we really are, and more things like these, including of course being in a creative flow. Creative flow includes all of these characteristics together (which is the real value of art making for everyone).

This child-like state feels so much better than the state in which we suffer, that naturally, looking from this state, we choose not to suffer. Yes, suffering turns out to be a choice, when you look at it through a child-like eyes and heart. It just feels bad, and you choose not to go that way. Instead, you choose to do something that feels better. The old habit comes back later several times, but after a while it just dies from disinterest in it.

But this case is more difficult because at the time that the trauma occurred I was in a child-like state. If I get into a similar state now, I won’t be able to see the difference between my good state now and the child that I was when the trauma happened.

So we need to go even deeper than the child’s state. Only from that deeper state it will become clear that this suffering was a choice too, and the deeper state that we are in feels so much better, that we naturally make the choice not to suffer. Then again, it comes back and because we are not interested in it any more it becomes weaker and weaker, and dissolves completely eventually.

What is the state that is deeper than the child-like state?

Being absorbed in who we really are. This state is the basis, out of which the child-like state arises.

We cannot even be aware of our choices if we are in the same state in which the choices were made.

What can I say about this absorption?

When in it, you know beyond doubt that you are deeply and permanently loved. Nothing can ever change this. All your choices are supported and appreciated. All possibilities are open before you and you can choose differently than that choice that you suffer from now.

In a way it looks as if a mixture of different “I”s are involved in what I wrote.

We have the child, The “I” that I am now, and the deeper “I”, the infinite witness from within. It is perplexing, but all these become one, when you choose to live in the physical world with a deeper perspective.


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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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