Archive for the 'Truth' Category

269. On becoming a philosopher

The scream, the understanding and infinity

I just wanted to paint or draw the pain again.

In the past I used to draw the pain many times. The pain was not almost constant, as it is now. It would come every now and then and it would be quite devastating. I found then that I could draw it, the way and shape it was felt in the body, and after becoming stronger at first, the pain would start to get smaller and smaller until it would disappear. This would take some five or six drawings, which I made quite quickly in a little pad that I always had with me.

I thought I had the cat’s pajama. This gave me a way to protect myself from the pain and a way to feel capable and not out of control. But it also helped in establishing the pain. Because I did not want the pain and at least part of the activity of drawing was for the purpose of winning against it. When you think this way many times, you repeat the belief that the pain is bad for you and dangerous and needs to be fought against. This establishes the pain, in your mind, as dangerous and needing to be fought against.

I understood this and stopped this practice. But I also knew that there was a lot of good in making art about the pain. The good is, or at least some of it is in this: In order to draw you actually change your attitude from fear to curiosity. Curiosity is a characteristic of the true you, and it is of a higher vibration than fear. This makes you into a place, in which fear’s lower vibrations cannot stay. So it was beneficial in the emotional realm. And it taught me to automatically change my attitude every time the emotional reaction to the pain arose, from fear to curiosity. And you can add the sense of beauty that easily added itself to the drawing and brought a lot more good vibrations.

I am sure there is more good things to be found in this activity, so I decided to paint my pain again and find out. I wanted to let the painting bring in the thoughts and not the other way around.

All that is done with lines is a description of the pain. I took the liberty to twist appearances, as this helped to express the pain. You can see that it radiates strongly to all directions.

Sometimes when I want to give the feet energy with my hands, good, healing energy, the left hand jumps away. As if the strength of the pain’s energy frightens the left hand away.

After the lines, came the color areas, and this was done with a more relaxed state of mind. There is one line of orange round shapes going from a big shape at the bottom to a small one at the top. This is one story line. And there is a blue line of three rounded shapes going from right to left and crossing the orange story. And there is also a line of same-size round, smaller shapes, as if it is a bit farther, going diagonally through the whole picture.

To me, as I’m looking at the painting now, the orange and the blue describe an inner conflict. Two ideas in my being don’t agree with each other. And it is not shown as a juicy harsh conflict, but as an idea. One thought goes in this direction, another goes in a different direction and they disagree. Maybe it is even possible to see that there is no need for a resolution of this conflict. The two ideas can stay intact. We can get used to having contradictory ideas within us, because we all have plenty of them. Solutions, in any case, are never in the same layer of the conflicts. We have to go deeper.

The yellow line of smaller round shapes feels to me as the experience of a deeper layer of myself, where connection to infinity is felt.

How strange. In one painting you have the screaming of the pain, a more peaceful view of an underlying conflict, and a sense of infinity.

I was not interested in this case in the disappearance of the pain, but in seeing the bigger picture. I have changed.

When I told my Friend Stuart, many years ago, that I was about to separate for my wife, he told me a story. A student came to the Rabi and asked weather marrying was a good idea for him. The Rabi said it was. If you both fit each other, then you are a lucky man, he said. And if you don’t, then you will become a philosopher.

I feel as if I am married to the pain, we don’t fit, and I am becoming a philosopher.

In the end it may turn out that it was good for me…

How?

By forcing me into the deeper view.

267. What is there?

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Thinking again about the choice of doing the blog as my direction.

It may feel as if I am an ant, crawling on a topographical map, among hills and valleys in brown and green. And it can also be seen as if I am the sky that is getting involved with the hills, the valleys and the ants.

Somehow it seems that doing the blog is the most forgiving occupation. It doesn’t hold you to a verbally defined commitment. You have seen it going in different directions. One day it was centered on poetry as it looks at life in a fluid way, not entrapped in what seems to be reality, but flowing away from boundaries of shape and time.

Another day I looked at my subconscious beliefs, as they could be detected in my artwork. These beliefs are what mask the truth.

Sometimes discussions of artworks spilled over to glimpses of how things are in these ever-changing worlds, yours and mine.

It can go anywhere.

And don’t forget that it started as a description of self-healing, and almost instructional pieces about the method that I came to find, use and share, and you could read how I viewed the sources of illness (In the ’About’ page).

This is why choosing a direction settled quite easily, in the end, into taking this blog-making as my thread, the line in the middle of my path of choosing and doing. It is a direction without a goal, but with a compass. It has no end. And I’m sure that along the way I’ll be healed from the physical ailments and more and more clearly will be living as an expression of the truth, knowingly.

For one year, when I was 21, I worked as a surveyor’s assistant in a copper mine. Two of us, the assistants, were given the geologist’s instructions to the miners about which direction to dig now, and we descended into the dark tunnels with headlights, heavy batteries attached to our belts and the surveying equipment, to mark with little metal pegs that we hammered into the rocks, which are the new directions in the different faces of the mine.

Sometimes we sneaked away to some neglected, dead end tunnel, far from the noise and sweat of the digging machines. We would sit quietly on the damp earth and turn off the lights on our helmets. We would be then in total darkness, such that you cannot find outside of the mine.

The world would disappear and we would hold our breath.

Why do people do things like this?

I think it is to find the truth. What is there, when everything is gone?

What is there?

265. My heart has been here already (the door)

You will have to imagine the picture for this entry.

Imagine a few wide horizontal lines, painted with a soft pastel in brown, any brown that you like. The lines overlap and, together, create one thing that travels now and now and now. It travels joyfully, like a dolphin in water. Sometimes one of the lines becomes bigger. At other times another one does it. Sometimes the colors change. Let it be painted by your heart.

Now in words.

The big picture:

I hear a bird outside. I don’t recognize it. But somewhere, in a deep place in me, Of course I know it. And I think: this bird sings from my heart. Then I think: everything that happens in this world comes from my heart. The buildings, the people on my block. There are many of them. I live in New York City. The street here is like a canyon. The precipices on each side are made of some eight floors apartment buildings that are more than a hundred years old. The number of people who live on my block is probably 300 times greater than the number of people who lived in the village of my youth.

And everything, all these people, the dust and soot, the funny and strange cars, the way the sunlight manages to come in and paint parts of the walls, all are coming from my heart.

This is the big picture for our purposes now.

The small picture:

What do I want to do?

For 14 years I was a designer, and changed to an illustrator. Then, after 17 years I changed to an art therapist. Now, 13 years later, I’m changing again. The change happens by itself. Usually people don’t let the change go through, because, logically, it does not make sense to start everything anew, when the old thing is working already and even gets you some recognition and acknowledgement.

But I learned not to stand in the change’s way, because I suffer if I do not follow my heart.

So the new thing was here already and was doing itself. It did not come from any ’sense-making.’ But I did not recognize this clearly yet.

At first I thought I wanted to live like an artist now. The studio was calling me. All the paints were getting excited.

But I also wanted to write and make books and children’s books. My life would be too bad without making them.

And what about living on the path that leads deeper and deeper into the truth of everything?

And what about sharing what I find with others who are interested? This is one of the most beautiful things that I can do. What else is there to do here, on earth?

And I wanted to make music.

And so went my thinking and I did not know what to do.

I’ve learned that when I have such a weighty question, it is best to keep it as a question and since this is after all a matter of the heart, I’ll invite the heart to answer. It always answers in its time. So every time the question came, I gave it to the heart: Here, this is the question I am looking for an answer for.

And one day, when I was in a short meditation, and the question was tickling, the answer came:

The blog.

I ‘work on myself’ all the time and the blog accompanies me as I go. I use artmaking and reading the art as my main method, so I have the art and the writing. It is already like a book. I can, at some point, collect some entries according to a subject that I’ll choose and make a book out of them. Or even more than one book. Sometimes it has illustrations too. Everything that I do from love and interest is already included in the adventure of the blog making. I have a conversation with other people too.

Everything that I did in my life was always about these same things, about development, freedom, beauty, living meaningfully. It is as if I have been doing this blog all my life.

And for income I can exchange the art that is created along the way with money that will pay for my life. It’s all very flexible. Things can be added, directions can change.

And in this way, with all these thoughts coming in very fast and quietly, everything fell into place.

When this clicked into place I felt a huge relief. I knew that everything was okay. And there was no need to change anything, as I was already there. For a while i made sure that I did only what I wanted to do. Tis opened the door for my heart to choose for me, and I was already where I wanted to be.

In my meditation when this knowing appeared, I saw an image in my imagination. I saw a few wide lines made with a dark brown soft pastel. The lines overlapped, just as the colors usually overlap in my paintings, and became one expression. This is the essence of this blog.

So I answered, for those who were interested. And now, back to life.

260. The art that you are

the 29th day (1)

As soon as I finished it and I wanted to go to bed, I felt that there was something good in it.

I saw it in passing two more times that night and the feeling was still there.

In the morning it became clear to me that I really like this one very much.

This one does not go anywhere. Yes, you can feel that it is part of a bigger scene, and there are more things beyond the borders of the paper, but there is no feeling of wanting to go out, or of any other struggle. There is only the interest in what is happening here now.

The lines and the areas of color join together in a local play. The main interest for me is in how the different color areas touch each other and blend to a degree, but stay independent too. Like the different tastes in a dish that feel good together and at the same time you can tell exactly what are all the ingredients that were mixed in it.

It’s a delicate pleasure and my heart sings. Even though a whole day has passed, it still sings, and that’s the power of real satisfaction.

The most satisfying feeling that one can have as a human being is to experience the truth of who he is. Maybe it is a strange thing to read now, and I can write about it some time later, to make the idea open to everyone. In my life experience I found this to be true.

When we feel unsatisfied, we try to make the experiences that moved us stronger, longer, more pronounced in some way. But this does not really bring more satisfaction. It brings more wanting and frustration.

To find what is deeply and truly satisfying, find a way to get calm and develop an interest in your own inner responses to what is happening now. In those energy movements that you can detect in your being as responses to what is happening to you now, and in your curiosity about them, you will find the main road to knowing yourself and to the beauty, art and truth that you are.

257. Layers

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Yesterday and today I did two new paintings. I did them small. You finish faster this way and are able to see what you made immediately.

I look at the second one now, the one I just finished.

The first one is also interesting to share and maybe it will be in the next entry.

I wonder again about the function of the second layer, the layer of the colors.

The way it looks in this painting is that the line-work is the story, rich in details, like reality itself. It also means that it has in it all the stories that I have used to create this reality. That’s just another way to say it.

And the colors layer with the simplified shapes is a second way to tell that same story. Only it is devoid of the dramas of the first layer and loaded with (my) sense of beauty, which is a characteristic of the language of the real.

These two layers/languages work together through me to create my experience of everything. I experience all the busy details with all the contrasts, difficulties, hesitations, scares and daringness. And I also experience the deeper play of the energies that reveal more beautiful mixtures as steps occur. Again, when I write ‘beautiful,’ I mean my experience of beauty. In the deeper layer there is a sense of peace that is not in the story level.

The lines can be irritating, worrisome, too fast to attend to in a full way, but the existence of the deeper view at the same time and in the same place gives the calm feeling of: everything is okay. We are moving from one beautiful thing to another. Things work together. It is a good world, hiding right under the busy illusion.

You choose to go out (into reality) and you become more worried and more irritated. You choose to step in and you heal. You find the freedom and the satisfaction of meeting with your true self.

What is your true self?

It is a moving target. It is always in the deepest place that you can access now. Tomorrow it may be even deeper.

253.About the stones

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The big stones

That were uprooted

That were torn away

From their heavy comfort

The loose stones

That everybody fears

Know already

Even as they slowly turn

And are about to fall

With a thump

The peace

That will be here next.

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The tree and the stones

Are closer to my eyes

That are in the body

My imagination

Takes flight

Disconnecting from the body

And the earth

The flight takes place in inner space

Which fills up with joy

And this is what

Creates the drawing.

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Arising from the plain

Stones and dust

Become stars

Where am I going?

Why am I tearing myself

Apart

Which is impossible

Anyway?

252. Self-love

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I thought these lines would be the skeleton, to which I’d add pencil lines of many details. But it looked finished and full of mystery.

If I saw a big painting like this in a museum, I’d be very enthusiastic. I’d stop, breathless, right there and take a picture, write the painter’s name, add the date..

Then I’d look him/her up in Google and probably see more samples of his/her work. Then I’d know that he/she is a favorite of mine. I’d follow him/her from that time on.

Maybe I’d meet with him/her one day and he/she would laugh, because he/she is in me always.

And I had to go to the museum and search in Google, for what has forever lived in me.

Or maybe I have lived in 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.