A Satsang

May 8, 2015

A Satsang

Master sat on the hard stone rising above the polished earth patch with a handful of disciples.

He talked about Surrender. The faces he watched held no secrets – he travelled all those paths.

Now a disciple threw himself in front him.

With a merciless foot Master pushed him away, gazed down. In a second, the face of the lad betrayed shock, then anger, then suppression, then humility. Before it left the anger behind, Master’s finger was thrust towards him: “THAT is true! The shit you gave me before that disgusted me! And now you disgust me again. Get out.”
The end

Something came up during my morning reflection. I recorded it here and to give it some discipline, decided to make it a 100 words short story.

From Wiki: 
Satsanga, Satsangam, Satsang (Sanskrit ??????? sat = true, sanga = company) in Indian philosophy means (1) the company of the “highest truth,” (2) the company of a guru, or (3) company with an assembly of persons who listen to, talk about, and assimilate the truth.[1] This typically involves listening to or reading scriptures, reflecting on, discussing and assimilating their meaning, meditating on the source of these words, and bringing their meaning into one’s daily life.[citation needed]

'You've wasted a lot of time. It's all on my blog.'

‘You’ve wasted a lot of time. It’s all on my blog.’

 

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Reflecting upon complication of the human existence are triggered by everything around at the moment. I feel this is something I am making my mind about. Then again, every moment I am making my mind about many things.

The artist Sergey Balovin, who is travelling the world with no money at all but trading his skill of portrait painting for everything he needs along the way – brilliant demonstration of how little one needs and how easily available it is. One doesn’t need to own much at all. But one wants to. The owning imposes on one responsibilities, necessity of maintenance, un-freedom. Is it all worth it?

Freedom is within me, as well as bondage is within me. Moment to moment I choose which to experience. So does everyone else and neither of us can do the choosing for another. We are each on our own and at the same time each one of us is all ME – I am all I see around me, there is no separation.

I can see myself and each one of us as free, ultimately free, totally free. Moment to moment, the experiences are the games we play, I PLAY, I choose to perceive the “others” play, and knowing all the time that it is only a game, pretense, make-believe. There is no one but me around here. I am alone, I am on my own, I am all that I experience, I am the omnipresent and omnipotent creator of the reality. Awesome!

The most amazing thing of all is my ability to forget my own omnipresence and perceive the “others” and believe in the separation. Without it the game is impossible. The second most amazing thing is to remember the truth. The stage I am at right now is oscillating between the amnesia and the remembering which is a thrill. Every day more is revealed. I wanted this – step by step re-discovery of the I.

This morning Tim and I had a dog walk together.

I relayed to him my bed-time booster conversation with Alina the night before:
“When people think about Alina, the word which springs to mind is Power. Power. Power of brain, muscle power, power of imagination, memory… You are powerful, Alina.”

I do this remedial conversations with Alina because I feel that she is a very sensitive child who, inspite of her huge and multiple powers, tends to downplay herself. Not in a small degree because she is so ahead of the game amongst her peers in many areas. It is uncomfortable to be noticeably different. She is very tall too!

Generally, Life encourages diversity within unity. Unity is the safety, diversity is the progress. But diversity has to prove its resilience in order to survive and contribute to Life. If it doesn’t have enough stubborn gut power to overcome the pressure of the mass which wants every unit to support the unity, then it becomes a thwarted cripple which was born to be different but didn’t make it.

And so, I encourage Alina to embrace her uniqueness, to be proud of it. To stand tall and to reach high never mind what the others think, say or do. It is a balancing game – observe, encourage, listen, counter the “masses” opinions…

Yesterday, to my cooing over her powers she half-jokingly said: I am spekal (mispronounced “special” echoing a character in the play we watched recently “The Play Which Goes Wrong” – brilliant!). I am spekal, – she said, – I am “gifted and talented” (the label the educational system gives to the top 10% of the pupils).

Tim and I laughed about this response of hers, and he expressed a concern that there is a danger of her attitude going too far the other way, towards arrogance. He in turn told me about a conversation between Alina and the mum of her best friend. Chloe, the mum, said that Daisy was being called a “teachers’ pet” at school. To which Alina proposed: “She should turn around and say: “Well, sorry for being that much cleverer than you lot!”

We laughed. “Great, – said I, – one mustn’t feel apologetic for one’s prowess!”

I pondered about it later. Perhaps Tim indeed thinks that getting big-headed is a real danger for Alina. I don’t. And even if she did, I’d rather have her do that than belittling herself in order to fit in with the majority.

In the situations like Daisy’s, which is SO normal, those children who call the others “teachers’ pets” are the aggressors. For their own security, they want to bully anyone who is MORE than themselves into mediocrity. So, those who ARE MORE must never succumb. Succumbing is denying oneself one’s nature. It is self-sabotage, it is moral suicide. And on the long run and bigger scale giving in doesn’t do any good to those bullies either.

If you are a star, don’t let anyone bully you into becoming an asteroid.

Portrait art by Marina Kim

Portrait of Alina or “No Climbing”

Starting Again Again

October 28, 2014

Etching by Marina Kim

“Tightrope”

When one starts something new, everything resists. Material resists, environment resists, one’s own mind resists… Why? I don’t know but this is so.

And so, one has to push through resistance to get to the enjoyable sailing. Like with learning anything, for example a new language, at the beginning all is slow and annoying and incomprehensible before one begins to understand the logic and words get pulled along on a string of it, one word after another.

I find myself starting things all the time. I start and abandon and start again and then start again AGAIN. There is a reason to that and soon all shall be revealed. And for now, I am starting again yet again…

For a few days now, I am pondering a poem “Living” by Denise Levertov. This is a commission. And it is making me to re-think, re-concider, re-choose and re-start. So, I created the appearance of this commission to weave seamlessly into my art-life flow. Fine then.

And so far, it is too verbose. I feel I have to go very empty to convey the meaning of the poem, but on my sheet of paper there soooo much stufffff! I want to chop it up and burn it…

Living

 

The fire in leaf and grass
so green it seems
each summer the last summer.

The wind blowing, the leaves
shivering in the sun,
each day the last day.

A red salamander
so cold and so
easy to catch, dreamily

moves his delicate feet
and long tail. I hold
my hand open for him to go.

Each minute the last minute.

 

Yes. Money Is His Medium.

February 1, 2012

Two sources brought me to the same point tonight which was percolating for some time in my brain. Both in connection with Damian Hurst. The point is: Money is an art medium.

One source was this article in a Taki’s Magazine. The other was a rant by  HENNESSY YOUNGMAN on Youtube.

The latter said: “Yes, Internet, he just siad that: Money is his medium.” About Damien Hurst.

That was never denied, in fact many times emphasised by the artist himself, and in that alone might be his greatest greatness: he distilled the idea for the humanity, shelled it out. The ultimate measure and the ultimate goal is Money. And so, artist (or in the article an art collector) is an alchemist turning some random matter into gold.

I am an excellent writer!

Because last year I devoted myself to thinking about life, and one thought amongst many that visited me was this one: The art is not important. And I became a writer.

The art is not as important, as I forced myself to believe, signing up to the stereotype that one succeeds by being focused, hard-working and disciplined, doing one thing at a time. I stuck to that in a focused and disciplined way and it didn’t work.

Now I do whatever I am pleased to do and I am more productive than ever!

If previously I’d delete an email such as this (well, actually, I wouldn’t have signed up in the first place) as a waste of time, today I am allowing myself to embark on a totally useless ramble, a certain dead-end of an activity, allowing for an adventure to happen, for the sincronicity to occur. Pourquoi not?

When did I last time go on an adventure?

It’s been so long ago – I can’t remember. What stops me? Responsibilities. No, wait, not that. It is the fear of smearing the carefully painted image of demi-respectability by doing something out of place, out of order, inappropriate for my age or whatever. Blast it!

Blast it! I shall not be a slave to the communal stupidity. I’d rather be a victim of my own.

There it is, my declaration of intent, my manifesto: Freedom to write, to create, to cry; in paint, in words, in code, in notes – is all mine! Heed!

It Is Not About Art!

January 24, 2012

Having a gallery on a High Street for 10 years gives one some experience, even if that particular one is a lazy bum. Artists! Those of you who had a misfortune opportunity to invigilate exhibitions or be a proud owner of a gallery – you know what I mean. One wouldn’t want to spend more time sitting in a gallery than is vitally necessary. Because it is boring.

But I diverge.

The experience. The experience I couldn’t help but get during these last 10 years brings me to a number of conclusions, and one of them is:

It Is Not About Art!

Apart from those obsessed individuals who make it big in art, there are hordes of artists or “artists” and wanna-be-artists who never will make anything out of it, neither they want to make it big. What DO they want then?

Freedom and Creativity.

Freedom is essential to health and sanity.

Unfortunately, civilised society replaced freedom with formulas designed to achieve security, because civilised society puts security above freedom. More – it is actively and aggressively promotes those formulas to the effect that freedom long seized to be a norm, but became a luxury. It is exclusive to those who are extremely rich and/or rather mad.

What about general public?

My definition of general public: A large segment of society operating based on the current stereotypes of thought.

And so, general public believes, that:

  1. Freedom is expensive
  2. Freedom is unattainable
  3. When you retire you’ll have it
  4. Artists have freedom
  5. You pay for freedom by being poor
  6. Artists are mad, take drugs, irresponsible, but most importantly
  7. …majority of them cannot make ends meet.

Given that, and the fact that freedom is essential to human health and sanity, are you still wandering why the humanity is not OK?

And then there is Creativity. Creativity is essential to health and sanity.
But general public is led to believe that Creativity is:

  1. A luxury
  2. Limited to a few talanted people
  3. Who rarely make a living through it
  4. It is a re-creational activity and you can do it when retire.

Are you still wandering why humanity is not OK?

How did I come to these conclusions while minding a gallery?

I talked to visitors. You are probably aware, that independent art galleries don’t normally charge for entry. They hardly can. They are not exactly crowded to be able to do that. And among those scares numbers of visitors there is a big percentage of those who are

  • “artists”
  • wanna-be-artists
  • thinking-about-becoming-an-artist
  • retired and want to attend an art club
  • looking for an art class

and who want to know about how to be An Artist.
That a hint enough to realise, that creativity is essential and people are starved for it. But I think many of us assign a very few obvious activities to the vast field of human creativity.

My definition of creativity: Anything you do, as long as you do it by making it up as you go rather than following formulas.

A person who invents a wheel is being creative. A person who produces wheels is industrious. At the same time the industrious one can be very creative in making up ways of distributing his wheels. A person who paints a beautiful representation of a wheel is creative, as well as someone who creates an event to sell that painting. As long as they al make their own way of doing it, they are creative. Which in turn is based on a combination of someones formulas and their own application and interpretation of them, plus divine insights here and there.

Life is creative. Living is a creative act. We are all being creative all the time, actually! Why do we define SOME part of life as Art then?