Monday, September 17, 2007

Snakes and Ladders

What is love?
Sometimes we think we have to explain, justify, when what is asked for is love. This shows why we cannot truly love until we know ourselves as spirit energy – that it is the spirit energy within us that is love. When we suppress this, we create pain, chaos, destruction, war. The levels at which we create this depend upon our own level of growth and the relationship that we have to ourselves as energy – the images of ourselves as energy that we recognize and relate to. In the same way that our friends reflect our energy, our energy reflects our relationship to ourselves as energy beings. Why would we choose violent friends, for example, unless that is an energy we are comfortable with, intimate with, within ourself? An energy that we have not yet changed, healed. Why would we choose war if we knew the reality of peace?

Let’s be realistic, someone said to me.
What does it mean to be “realistic”?

When we look at the history of art, what we call art and why, we see patterns that artists, appreciators, critics have recorded that may help us recognize our perceptions and beliefs about what “realistic” means. Does “realistic” mean a recognizable facsimile of life the way I see it? Does “realistic” mean an image that is recognize as “real” to any human that looks at it? A landscape of beautiful green leaves on trees that bloom in spring – is this recognizable to someone who has grown up in a desert where there are no shade trees, only other kinds of blooms? What does “abstract” mean? At a local library recently I looked at pictures in an exhibit by a local artist whose work was called “abstract” – forms, images, mixed media, some very large. The colors were muted and soft, with some bold strokes. One image brought immediately to my mind a very large painting I saw once in an old friend’s apartment many years ago. The old friend and I are no longer in touch, but the image of the painting in my mind remains vivid and its impression at the time of our last visit is a memory now imprinted in a way that will last forever. Does this mean consciously? When I am “another person,” in another life, does this mean I will keep this memory of this moment and this painting in this room as this person and I felt what we felt and spoke what we spoke? Moments live and die as we do. All are there, within our mind, to be called upon and conjured up, at Will? When we do, what do they mean to us, how do we feel, what do we think of ourselves, of them, how do we relate? Energy never dies, so knowing why we sense as we do, what we do and when, becomes an adventure and the fun of it multiplies when we share it openly as the energy of who we are as we change.

Now I see the danger in our ladders and levels of learning to know ourself as we experience life, as we create experience. With each opening, the myriad of pinpricks and sunbursts of light we may rejoice in, until we know ourselves fully without fear, the shadows of our beliefs which we have willed into being, lurk behind doors, under beds, in the shadows of our thoughts like clouds, or storms, and reinforce the same old beliefs we are more and more ready to release and change. In Bernard Berenson’s Rumors and Reflections , I read a good example of this, which he wrote in diary entry in 1941. He is writing about his friend, Carlo Placci, in Florence, and his reflections of friendship, interaction, images, intimacy, and thinking, are interesting to me. Intimate as they were, B. writes, Carlo seldom gave an indication into the depth of his private thinking. He gave enough to make B. suspect that he was incapable of a wholehearted conviction about anything. He had many fervent opinions, but they seemed only skin-deep, which he showed by the rapidity and completeness with which he turned away from them to whatever was most up-to-date, whatever he had been next convinced of. He relates the habit his friend had of needing the last word. Because I can relate to this, his example means something to me in my learning about the images we create of ourselves as energy beings and the progress we make through life in our learning and living.

Here is B’s example: “…this swift and sure turnover from the extreme of leftism to the opposite extreme was made easy in his own eyes by a book just published that I had in all innocence lent him: William James’s The Will to Believe. It gave him the pragmatic justification for choosing the principles which his whim of the moment and his tropism led him to prefer. Like the Scot who when politely told that he was eating asparagus from the wrong end retorted ‘I prefer-r-r it,’ Placci would bang the lid on every discussion by rejoicing in iniquity, despising reason, and rejoicing in the right James had extended to him, to believe what he willed.”
As I said, it takes one to know one, and I recognize Placci – and what patience it takes for us to grow through this stage, as well as for our friends who remain, to love us despite our annoying habits and not encourage them.

No comments: