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Learning How To Be Free: An Invitation, from a painter

painter
post Mar 9 2009, 12:23 AM
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QUOTE (Willow @ Feb 15 2009, 11:10 AM) *
After some reflection, my current question is thus wise:

After everything external is stripped away… and I mean everything – all influences and conditioning, every external stimulus, every physical sensation, every thought, every emotion… what is left? huh.gif


thumbsup.gif

But we must begin where we are and that is anything but pure or empty.

And this is exactly as it must and should be. Exactly right.

Negate nothing. Include everything.

Watch, listen, learn.
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Sanders
post Mar 11 2009, 01:42 PM
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You know, for any Kubrick fans out there there is a documentary about him that was done titled 'Kubrick: A Life in Pictures' which I watched recently (it's on Youtube if you look). It talks a little about the widely held notion that the man was obsessive and reclusive (verging on crazy). Interviews with his wife Christiana at their home in Britain however makes it abundantly clear that he had a happy and full home life and enjoyed the freedom to strive for perfection while doing what he loved, surrounded by his family and the talented people he worked with ... nothing like the way he was portrayed by critics. Asked what was the secret to Kubrick's great success, both in his work and in his personal life, Christiana answers, simply, "attention".
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painter
post Mar 11 2009, 02:08 PM
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"Attention" is the key to everything.

What we've yet to understand from the inside out is that there are different kinds and qualities of attention.

That's the problem.

We let our attention get cut off from its source and, thus, we loose a direct connection to our most vital re-source. Thus we wander more or less aimlessly through life, not sure why we are here or what we're supposed to be doing -- except as dictated by influences from the outer world. In this state we are forever captives, prisoners, slaves to a system that we neither understand nor control.
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Willow
post Mar 11 2009, 03:12 PM
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Pardon my technical ineptitude (haven't clue how to post a link, so this probably won't work rolleyes.gif), but I found the Hubert Benoit document Painter directed me to: 'Acceptance - Temporal Attention and Total Attention' to be extremely useful in developing understanding of this essential concept.

Hopefully a link!

(If it doesn't work, maybe someone kind and more 'ept' will put it right for me! whistle.gif )
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The artful dodge...
post Mar 11 2009, 03:22 PM
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Willow, although I could turn around 180 degrees and ask you directly.... this way seems a little more interesting...

"After everything external is stripped away… and I mean everything – all influences and conditioning, every external stimulus, every physical sensation, every thought, every emotion… what is left?"

Is there not a need for that which we perceive ourselves to be as well as a place for the search - i.e. we start from where we are - the need, perhaps is to recognise the incomplete nature of what that is at any given moment otherwise the baby leaves with the bath water. Or perhaps I misunderstand.
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The artful dodge...
post Mar 11 2009, 03:29 PM
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Sorry Painter - you've already been there!!

I've just learned a lesson in watching, listening and learning whistle.gif
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Willow
post Mar 11 2009, 03:29 PM
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QUOTE (The artful dodger @ Mar 11 2009, 07:22 PM) *
Willow, although I could turn around 180 degrees and ask you directly.... this way seems a little more interesting...

"After everything external is stripped away… and I mean everything – all influences and conditioning, every external stimulus, every physical sensation, every thought, every emotion… what is left?"

Is there not a need for that which we perceive ourselves to be as well as a place for the search - i.e. we start from where we are - the need, perhaps is to recognise the incomplete nature of what that is at any given moment otherwise the baby leaves with the bath water. Or perhaps I misunderstand.


On the contrary! IMHO, that's it exactly. As you are so fond of saying: 'We have to start from where we are!'

In fact, that is one of the key points the aforementioned document addresses. It is only through increasing our temporal attention... our full and total awareness and acceptance of where we are and what currently is, without prejudice, that the wider dimension can begin to be perceived.

The idea is not to leave anything behind, but to add to it.
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gugu2dede2
post Aug 6 2010, 04:25 PM
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QUOTE (painter @ Oct 18 2008, 05:47 PM) *
Thanks, bill. That's correct, I'm not talking about reading in the ordinary sense or not only in the ordinary sense. I don't know if you've looked at the "esoteric" thread linked above. Although it has been left incomplete, in it I've attempted to point toward something and perhaps arouse some curiosity.

I appreciate your mention of my "considerable intellect," education (or the lack thereof), semantics and the relationship between language and culture. All these things are relevant to some extent but what I'm getting at is that regardless of how "smart" we are or think we are, how "educated" we are or are not, there is another level of intelligence and education that, for the most part, neither our language or our culture has touched or awakened in us. It isn't that what I'm getting at is "more complex than basic decoding of symbols." it is actually something quite simple: We do not really know ourselves from the inside out. We've not even been taught that such a thing is possible. And for this reason, no matter how much we know or think we know or how many years of schooling we've had, we're all ignorant, all "asleep" in relation to this other level or quality of intelligence that may be possible for us.

In the West, so called "education" relies primarily on the formation of the ability to recall certain pieces of information and the ability to put those pieces of information together in a way that our culture and society finds "useful." All this comes from outside and is inscribed upon the more or less "blank slate" that we are when we are born into this world. There is nothing wrong with this in and of itself. Human society has its needs.

The problem is this so called "education" is both fragmented and incomplete. It produces what I call "educated idiots." That is, people who know or think they know a great deal but who do not know themselves from direct observation and, therefore, do not know how they know and do not know the limits of their so called "knowledge." Such people may make good sheep or good robots for maintaining, implementing, propagating and perpetuating a culture or so called "civilization," but, as such, they are less than fully human. The full potential of the human being is neither developed or actualized in us because it is neither needed nor wanted. To the extent that any lip-service is even given to the possibility, it is usually presented in the context of some rather narrowly defined, limited and often perverted sense of "excellence." Society makes roll-models of geniuses who dazzle us with their ingenuity or creativity or physical ability while everywhere they forget their umbrellas, can not sustain meaningful relationships and/or are addicted to behaviors, thoughts and feelings they can scarcely acknowledge, let alone control. I don't mean to single out any one group or class of people. All of us are unique specimens and yet all of us are in the same boat. We're all "neurotic" in the sense of fragmented, divided against ourselves and one another, living lives that are largely fictions, mostly cut off from and unaware of the possibility of connecting with something deeper, a form of intelligence within ourselves that doesn't come from "out there," can not be found "out there."

It is this possibility of discovering something from within ourselves that is my focus.

I mentioned some of this in the 'esoteric' thread but just to underscore it on a personal note, I was born and raised on a farm in Indiana and came of age in the 1950s/60s. By accepted standards I was not a particularly "good" student. Although I was the first person from my family to even get accepted into an "institution of higher learning," I soon dropped out. Up into my mid twenties, early thirties, I was incapable of writing a coherent sentence, much less connecting together a complex series of thoughts. I say this because I'm aware that my ability to write now often gives people a wrong impression -- that this is something I've always been able to do or is a result of being 'educated'. Not so. Not exactly. I was fortunate enough to have had a 'nontraditional' high school education and have continued my education on my own throughout my life. Much of this has been through my own curiosity, interest and inquiry. Then in about 1980, I began to come into contact with a few people who have significantly influenced and guided my own inner search. This has come in the form of introducing me to certain ideas as can be found in books but, more importantly, introducing me to the possibility of coming to know something from within myself, for myself. Influences in life can not be avoided. We're all influenced by the world around us. To pursue the kind of search I had embarked upon, it was necessary to come into contact with certain ideas to, in a sense, 'till the soil'. Guidance, then, became necessary to cultivate the seed and sprout and help clear away the competing weeds of distraction. But the real 'fruit' and 'harvest' of what I'm pointing toward has to come from within as a result of my own interest and willingness to engage. Nothing of this nature can be given to anyone from anyone -- which is as it should be. Although 'help' is needed, ultimately the responsibility lies with us. One can not free slaves who are satisfied with their slavery or, using another metaphor, free inmates who have grown accustomed to and comfortable in their prison. (Edit to add: especially if they are slaves or prisoners from birth -- as we all are -- perhaps knowing nothing of or only heard rumors of some mysterious thing called 'freedom'.) Perhaps we can sneak the tools in past the slave master or the guards but the slave or the prisoner has to free himself. He has to know that he is a slave and a prisoner and he has to want to escape. Only then will he make use of the tools provided.

If the writer "Carlos Castaneda" is to be believed,is this what you are alluding to.??
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greenrayriver
post Aug 7 2010, 11:49 AM
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QUOTE
First I am inviting you to engage with me and one another in some discussion here about this topic. However, I am very aware that discussion of this topic is by necessity limited so long as it remains nothing more than discussion. To go further requires something more of us: Specifically a willingness to engage in exercises and experiments which can begin to move us beyond mere discussion into the realm of actual experience and knowledge based upon that experience.
QUOTE




I was institutionalized in an American public school. My entire childhood wasted, while I dreamed and looked out the window. I resented that “education”. I then rejected educational brainwashing for my 4 children. Coming up with the motto that, “if someone was gonna fuck up my kids…it might as well be me, since only I love them, and I have their best interest at heart”. Taking personal responsibility for doing things differently than the so called norm when it came to what I wanted my children to learn from me.
Learning is like breathing and eating, you will do it. When a woman is breastfeeding her child, their faces are about 16 inches apart, you are definitely learning on a level you have no control over. It is so primal and evolved, (we are mammals after all). From the moment of birth when baby bonds and imprints, and the baby puts faces to the voices, after listening for months, learning is taking place. Learning what is safe to learn. Learning through touch, being carried on the mothers body. Knowing every event through the physicality of the mothers movements. Survival depends on developing impulses, jump right toward the safety of the trees or left into a tigers mouth. Music and dance innate in each footstep of the mothers grace. And that is just for starters. Learning by living, using nature as a guide. Staying connected human to human, skin to skin. Is it over simplifying to say if you don’t learn naturally, you must compensate unnaturally? Propping a formula filled bottle in a baby’s mouth, and walking away, sends a message…baby reads it loud and clear. You are on your own baby. There may be a right way and a wrong way to learn. Everything else hinges on that beginning, right brain/right breast, switch sides, left brain/left breast. Breastfeeding might seem like it is off the topic of intellect, but to me its not. Breastfed babies have higher IQ’s. Yet breastfeeding is taboo. A woman being available to actually hold the baby, and feed the baby, does not fit into what society deems important. Careers are encouraged, but never a career in mothering. The breast is universal, crossing all language barriers, across time, unused and misrepresented. Talk about dumbing down, from cradle to grave. Break the bond that ties. Create neurotics, you can control. Instead of well adjusted individuals who know how to read the writing on the wall.
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