"One might well say that mankind is divisible into two great classes: hosts and guests."  — Max Beerbohm

Adult Passage: Three Practices For Any of Us Finding Our Way - Part 3

 

3. Practice Differentiation -- Find Your Note (in relationship with others)

It is no secret that a key part of child development is for kids to differentiate from their parents. Particularly in the teen years. Some of this is about claiming difference. Some is stubbornness. Reactiveness. Some of it is messy. In the healthiest differentiation, underneath, I believe it is about creating enough distance to begin to birth one’s own self. A bit like finding a quiet space in which to strike a tuning fork, free of interfering noises. Physical distance. Emotional distance. Intellectual distance. It’s all part of it. The irony is that though this appears on the surface as separation, I believe it is more about finding one’s note that can then be offered to the musical score that is integrated adult life.

Some people relate to finding this note as listening for inner guidance or spiritual clarity. I relate to it as a gut feeling. It was my Mom who taught me most about this. As a younger boy, I would agonize over decisions. Whether the blue pants were better or the brown pants. Whether to ask this girl out or not. My Mom, quite patiently, would eventually ask me, “What do you feel in your gut?” I wouldn’t have known it back then, but I think my Mom was steering me towards a kind of early differentiation and an early expectation to look within, to hear my own tuning fork.

 

As I write this, my daughter is now nearing the end of her first semester of university classes. She started with an undeclared major, but with leanings to Journalism and English. She can decide that later. I love the ways that she is beginning to look beyond the familiar. Taking responsibility to notice what interests here. Humanities. Greek Mythology. Psychologyy. Offering herself to those she is learning with. And in her differentiation, finding things that she couldn’t have known earlier. Perhaps starting to feel the vibration of her own note. 

 

Clear choice always serves well.

 

A Last Thought

 

Well, I loved the trip with my daughter. Truly. I loved the conversations with her. The laughing. The exploring. The memories that have immense shelf life. I loved feeling a kind of contribution to a shift in her attention, and mine, to these practices. Adult passage is a becoming. It has far less certainty and finality than what I would have imagined when I lived in Edmonton thirty years ago. It is so much more of a stepping further, in practice, into the complex and evolving human family that needs each of us as a community of contributors. 

 

Adult stuff. Adult practice to help us find our way.

 


Tenneson Woolf  is a TAO Blogger and facilitator, workshop leader, speaker, and writer. He works globally. He designs and lead meetings in participative formats. To help people be smart together. To get people interacting with each other — learning together, building relationships, and focused on projects. To get deeper to the heart of what matters. From strategic visioning with boards to large conference design. Living systems, self-organization, and emergence inspire his work. He resides in Lindon, Utah. 

Tennenson can be found at Tenneson Woolf in both Twitter and Facebook.

 

Adult Passage: Three Practices For Any of Us Finding Our Way - Part 2

 

2. Practice Generosity

 

My friend Chris Corrigan is one of the best examples I know of of a person who practices this kind of generosity. Practices. Does it repeatedly. Such that it becomes a natural way of being. Yes, Chris sometimes offers resources. But here I’m talking more about offering skill, perspective, talent. Kindness. Offering things he is good at or that he loves to do. I’ve worked with Chris in many settings when we have been leading multi-day workshops together. Chris comes with teachings and with process design. We both do. And the others we work with. That is our job. But Chris has taught me something more as I’ve watched him over the years. He offers himself to the group. Generously. Quite fully.  

 

When night time rolls around, the introverted side of me is usually ready for quiet or private space. I need it. Chris, on the other hand, is rather extroverted. I’ve seen him sing songs with participants deep into the night. Heplays his guitar. Sometimes his Irish flute. He sings songs. Asks people what they like to sing. Shares the guitar. It is awesome to be a part of. It took me a while to realize that it wasn’t just about the fun or the extroversion of it. I began to see Chris as practicing generosity. He was bringing something to the group that he loved, that he could do, and that he could invite others too. 

 

Adult passage is served well by adopting this practice. If it were a potluck meal, practicing generosity is the shift from just eating what others bring, to bringing some food to the party. And, perhaps, not just any food, but a special recipe. Grandma’s famous recipe for potato salad, prepared in beautiful dish. 

Back to my daughter. I watched her feel initially quiet with the people in Greece that we ate many of our meals with. There were ten of us together around my friends outdoor kitchentable on the Pelion Pennisula. I could see my daughter wondering who these people were and what they were about. Feeling shy. Feeling her uncertainty or insecurity of being in a new country, her first outside of North America, and with these people from five different European countries. I would have been shy also at that age. Still am a bit. I loved watching her open during the week. From reserved to becoming a more natural part of the group. Offering to do dishes. To help cook. To tell stories. 

It can be family. It can be a circle of friends. It can be neighborhood, municipality, nation, global community, or circle of life. Offering is an essential practice that bonds us as adults in all of them.

 

 Bring a dish.

 


Tenneson Woolf  is a TAO Blogger and facilitator, workshop leader, speaker, and writer. He works globally. He designs and lead meetings in participative formats. To help people be smart together. To get people interacting with each other — learning together, building relationships, and focused on projects. To get deeper to the heart of what matters. From strategic visioning with boards to large conference design. Living systems, self-organization, and emergence inspire his work. He resides in Lindon, Utah. 

Tennenson can be found at Tenneson Woolf in both Twitter and Facebook.

 

Adult Passage: Three Practices For Any of Us Finding Our Way

 

First in a three part series.

Thirty years ago, when I was growing up in Edmonton, Alberta, turning eighteen meant you were an adult. It was passage. From a kind of frivolity of teen years to real responsibility of adult life. It was not just any birthday. It was added celebration. You could now vote in political elections. Go to a bar. Live on your own. Join the military. Follow university studies. Begin careers. Travel abroad. Sign legal documents. Adult stuff.

I won’t pretend to have been particularly thoughtful about this shift in my own life. I remember people talking about added freedom and added responsibility. But, then, as it is now for many living in the western world, it was a transition made largely without conscious initiation. For most, no group of elders to send us on vision quests or to help us receive spirit totems. It was mostly sideways, wobbly self-initiation. Like buying stuff. A car or a stereo.

 

Over thirty years, I’ve learned much more about being an adult. First and foremost, that becoming an adult is not a singular moment. It is of course, an ongoing process to revisit often regardless of age. And lately, my revisiting, my thinking, has been from my perspective as a father. I wonder to myself, what I can share with my kids that helps them as participants in more deliberate passage? What are a few simple markers that can help them as they nibble at the front edges adult life?

 

This past summer, my daughter and I took a dream trip together to Greece. She had turned 18 six weeks prior. Graduated from high school three weeks before that. She was signed up to begin university studies a month after we would return. She would be living on campus, in a dorm with a friend. My daughter and I shared four days in old Athens. Eight days on the Pelion Peninsula in and around the Kastri Beach. And two days on the airplane. We were both anticipating many things on this trip. Fun. Food. Friends -- we stayed at a friends family flat in Athens and near her home on the Pelion. New language. Culture. Visiting sites. History. Olive trees. Beach. The Aegean Sea. Singing songs from Mamma Mia -- some of the filming for the movie took place at the islands of Skiathos and Skopelos, near the Pelion.

 

Fun, right? 

 

For me, fun becomes super fun, and super important, when integrated with deliberate conversation and sharing. The real stuff in our lives. Just as much as I welcomed the joy of swimming in the Aegean, I relished prolonged time with my daughter. Just as much as I wanted to explore the Acropolis, I wanted to share and explore with my daughter learnings about passage that would endure and might guide her life or ours together. Like the Acropolis, the city on the hill, learnings that could be easily seen from many vantage points in future life. 

 

Below are the three practices I shared with my daughter. Practices. To do items. They aren’t formula. That are start-here points. I trust that in her, in me, and in others, the next steps that come from these practices will make themselves clear. 

  1. Take Responsibility for Your Learning -- Stop Blaming

As a kid, I remember feeling that the world was run by adults. They were the smart ones. They were the ones that knew what was going on. It was for them to do. And, well, to provide for me. I was a reasonably responsible kid and young adult. I took pride in being a good helper and a tenacious worker. But still, the adults were supposed to take care of things in the end, right? Even when I screamed for my independence, underneath, I think I still wanted them to provide. To make it easy.

 

Adult passage involves taking more responsibility. For learning. For emotions. It’s less about passive participation. It is more about owning up to being a contributor. A contributor in relation to others. Less about blaming others for varied problems or deficiencies. More about seeing interconnectedness and one’s place within that.

 

I was once driving with a friend and his teenaged daughter. He was teaching her how to drive a car. I sat in the back seat. He in the passenger front seat. She driving, one of her first times behind the wheel. My friend was so calm, guiding her. In such a soothing voice, telling her in advance, what was coming, what lane she would need to be in, where to turn. His daughter drove. Hands on the wheel. Looking intently in front of her. Nervous. But, I believe quite thrilled to be driving. Feeling the power of it. At one point, the four-laned road curved. Rather than holding her lane to follow the curve, my friend’s daughter drove a straight line, crossing into another traffic lane. She didn’t think to check to see if anyone was behind her. If there would have been, she would have cut that person off, or possibly hit them. My friend jumped on this one. He told her, with tension and relief, that she had to look before she changed lanes. She had to know where she was and what was around her. It was simple. Something that his daughter will likely get very easily in the future. Something that all of us who learn to drive may have experienced. I remember her response  to her dad as a mixture of apology and defensiveness. “You should have told me. I didn’t know I was supposed to check.” It was a kind of externalizing of responsibility. A subtle way of blaming. Blaming another. Blaming her dad. She will learn. And hopefully be safe.

There is a participative process methodology that I use often when working with groups. It is called Open Space Technology. It helps participants to claim the kind of responsibility I’m talking about here. In short, it is a self-organizing process with just enough structure to help people form working groups and learning groups. It is a way to help a group of people create their own agenda. My friend and colleague Peggy Holman talks about these self-created agendas as “taking responsibility for what you love.” You get to choose what you are going to learn rather than it being assigned to you. If it interests you, you get to create it or invite it with others. It is up to the participant to take the minimal step of naming the topic and then working with whoever decides to come join that group. As I see it, whether as an open space participant, or as a student driver, a key practice in adult passage is taking responsibility for one’s learning. It is an attitude. A disposition to cultivate. An invitation to commit to doing something with one’s curiosity.

 

Mamma Mia!

 


Tenneson Woolf  is a TAO Blogger and facilitator, workshop leader, speaker, and writer. He works globally. He designs and lead meetings in participative formats. To help people be smart together. To get people interacting with each other — learning together, building relationships, and focused on projects. To get deeper to the heart of what matters. From strategic visioning with boards to large conference design. Living systems, self-organization, and emergence inspire his work. He resides in Lindon, Utah. 

Tennenson can be found at Tenneson Woolf in both Twitter and Facebook.

The Arts of Discovery

 

Why do so many of the poets draw attention to the fact that they are making poetry?  … These poetic works are not, or at least not primarily, didactic tracts where one might expect to find overt mention or explicit use of rhetorical techniques and strategies.  Rather, the poems of the troubadours contain some of the most beautiful and lyrical verse of all time.  Why, then, ‘spoil it’ with the metalanguage of rhetoric?”

“Rhetoric and Hermeneutics”

Sarah Spence

Societies, like individuals, operate on certain unconscious assumptions, which at first fuel their development, and later hasten their demise.  The respective roles of the sciences and the arts, the first as a vehicle of discovery, the second as a means of entertainment, is just such an assumption in our culture.  Anyone who would demand that papers on theoretical physics or molecular biology must be entertaining would be seen, at best, as an eccentric kook, and at worst, as a dangerous heretic.

Take a minute now to absorb what the implications of this change in perspective would mean for the sciences?  for society?  for the search for and the application of knowledge? 

If the bastions of science were stormed by entertainers, and the scientific method were corrupted by the necessity of entertaining its “audience,” what would happen to science as a force for discovery and change? 

Most people, and certainly most scientists would be appalled by such a transmutation, but gradually, for centuries now, the arts have been relegated to just that role in the culture.  We allow that the arts may imagine, speculate, amuse, stimulate, or inspire, but few would give them preeminence in the power to research and to discover new and critical truths about the world.

Thirteen years ago, I discovered the structure of a linguistic form, which could hold a virtually infinite number of narratives, themes, and metaphors.  This form could even allow for innovations in the basic structure of language itself, that is, innovations and transformations of lexicon and syntax, and all without losing the structural integrity that makes a form a form.  The result of this discovery can be seen in a work that I call A Monument of Wonders, and as a whole, it is a linguistic, cognitively operational model of language, consciousness, and time.

I have called the structure of this form a “discovery” because it seems not to be merely a personal burgeoning of imagination, or even a human creation, but rather appears to embody some property of the universe, just as do atoms or DNA.  In this case, however, the discovery pertains to aspects of language, which like atoms and DNA, have their own nearly infinite varieties of permutation.  It also requires, just as does research into physics or chemistry, a foray into realms invisible to ordinary consciousness and perception.  The discovery is not to be found in the content of the narratives, themes, or metaphors, but rather in the invisible substructures of language from which these aspects of “meaning” emerge.  In brief, to fully grasp it, the reader has to engage in a sort of meta-reading, where these invisible structures and forms are operational.  In may seem strange to say, but what makes words “mean” is not the ordinary “meaning” that we ascribe to them. 

The idea of a worker in words as an explorer, whose discoveries are analogous to the explorations of scientists, is not new, but it has long since fallen out of the general consciousness of Western Civilization.  From about A.D. 1000 to the middle of the 13th century, a species of versifiers called “troubadours” flourished in southern France.  The word “troubadour” derives from an expression meaning “to find.”  Almost everything we think about romantic love, and in a sense, the entire family and social structure of modernity, not to mention almost the entire form of our interior lives vis à vis male and female relationships, is derived from their linguistic discoveries.  They were called troubadours, finders, not authors, because the word “author” was reserved for those who were authorities in some specialized field of knowledge.  The work of the authorities of the time of the troubadours — their medicine, physics, theology — is now viewed as scientific hogwash, bizarre conglomerations of superstition propped up by intricate systems of logic.  But the linguistic discoveries of the troubadours, and their subsequent influence on the way our whole culture thinks, acts, and pursues its path into the future are as vital as ever. 

In the battle for social legitimacy, authors have long since won the day.  It is the poets who are seen as more or less irrelevant kooks and eccentrics. No matter how emotionally compelling, imaginatively stimulating, personally inspiring no one in our culture would take a poet’s work in the everyday language of words as seriously as a physicist’s work in the specialized language of mathematics.  Collectively we seem to have no inkling that the discoveries of poets, in so far as they are made in the most intimate reaches of our psyches, might perhaps be even more vital to our future survival on this planet as any made by our scientific authorities.

As a culture, we are willing to give research grants of millions or even billions of dollars to physicists who might enable us to capture and utilize new forms of energy or to travel in space, or to biologists who seek cures for our chronic and tormenting diseases, but little or no support is given to our own troubadours, whose inquiries into the metaphysical substructures of language could infinitely enrich our lives, and perhaps even change the suicidal course we are pursing in our relationships with one another and with the life of the planet itself. 

Let us hope that the funders and philanthropists catch on before it is too late.  And let us take the arts out of the box of entertainment, and allow them to pursue their course freely as a vehicles for discovery.

I will end with a modest prophesy.  Perhaps a shift in these priorities could lead to an historical shift as profound as the one which moved us from superstition to science.  Perhaps if the poets began to view their work, not so much as personal self-expression, but as voyages of discovery to map an inner space of linguistic possibilities, we might collectively experience a rebirth of wonder. 


Roy Dean Doughty is the author or A Monument of Wonders, a literary work combining poetry and fiction, which explores the marriage of language, consciousness and time.  As a daily practice conducted in conjunction with his Kryia meditation, he has also written a poem every day for more than twenty years.  He is the creator of The Ten Thousand Poem Project and the author of  Fourteen Poems, Yodo International Press, 1987, Clear Mo(u)rningand Spirit Chronologies. His work has been featured on “The Oneness Program” KEST Radio, San Francisco, VoiceAmerica Radio, Phoenix, Arizona, and Unity, FM radio.  He can also be read at www.doughtyspoetry.comwww.doughtysjamesjoyce.com, and www.doughtysbrainfood.com

Image copyright Jeff Clay / Clayhaus Photography

Word and World: Artist and Audience

I am in my here and now, writing.  You are in your here and now, reading.  And yet somehow these words connect us.  I am still not sure what the relationship between the artist and the audience is.  As an artist, if you think about the audience while you are actually “doing IT” this seems a distraction.  The IT must be your entire focus.  Yet something does happen by way of extraordinary rapport.  Audience and artist seem elevated into some third condition of being, inclusive of the two, but synergistically much, much greater.  The conjuring forth of this third, more inclusive entity is amazing enough when audience and artist are in the same proximity: a pianist, for example, with her audience in a concert hall.  But when audience and artist are separated byspace and time, as in the case of writing and reading, we seem to enter into the body of a miraculous transpersonal being, confined neither to body, nor to space, nor to time, but somehow effecting a nonlocal rapport that moves us as much as a lover’s touch. 

The first time I consciously realized this was when a couple of soprano friends of mine wanted to create a performance piece with a few of my poems.  In the audience, as they performed, I had the strange sensation of hearing something that had I created, but not from the point-of-view of the creator.  Writing a poem is like being in the eye of a hurricane, everything is extremely calm, and yet emotions and thoughts are flying with tremendous velocity all around you.  In the audience, I experienced that emotional velocity in a way that I never had as the creator.  You could say I felt the poetry’s force, whereas before I was totally one with that potency, and did not feel it as a thing exterior to myself.  Since the poetry was me, it did not impinge upon me.  Yet when it came to me from the outer, not the inner environment, the affect was almost overwhelming.  Then I thought: "This is what the audience experiences when that connection is made.”  I don’t however think that this is something that the artist “does.”  I think the experience emerges spontaneously from the field effect of artist/audience.

Field effects, as we know from even an elementary understanding of current theories in physics, are nonlocal, and elsewhere in these postings I have referred to such wierdnesses as intrusions of 4th-dimensional effects into our 3-dimensional world. (New Ideas About the Fourth Dimension Parts One and Two)  If that is so, we can see that the unity which we experience as artist and audience cannot be said to have originated in the artist’s personal imagination and then transmitted to the audience.  In the unified 4th-dimensional space, the two — audience and artist — are one, and the audience has much to do with what an artist calls his or her inspiration.  In other words, you, as audience, in your space and time, join with me, as artist, in my space and time, not only when you read these words, but also as I write them.  In a sense, we each go out of our minds, so that we may both be one in the field of Creative Mind.

Let me illustrate further.  I recently served as a page-turner for a pianist friend, where she gave an extraordinary performance of one of Bach’s partitas.  At some point, transported by the pianist’s performance and Bach’s music, I left my body, and traveled to some Bachian Heaven sustained now by who knows how many performers and listeners.  The next day I wrote the following poem, which seemed somehow to come from that place that paradoxically is no place at all.

 

Sonata Without Sound©

Written October 17th, 2013

 

If when we try to string together

These long, ecstatic moments of first light,

These spirits, clothed in white, who trail

Their platinum shine through our stunned minds,

Dragging night shadows with them as they move,

If we should see what happens when sound grows silence,

Collected into beings, no part of us,

Except that part now purified by bliss,

If here, just here and now, in this sky palace

Of the non-existent, precise particular,

We should, for these moments, extract ourselves from flesh,

And being nothing, join them as they dance,

All intricate, burgeoning brightness,

Each holding a certain note of a certain pitch,

And stepping with a certain rhythmic step,

Then we would know what breathes beyond the noise,

Then, being nothing, we might rest in joy.

 

Pianist, poem, Bach, listeners, readers: together they produce what St. Augustine called radiance, a perfect stasis of perfected mutual emotions, wherein art shines with a celestial transparence.

Yet, as wondrous as this merging is when it expresses as art, it may be that this same effect also radiates from the teacher/student relationship, and from the relationship of healer to healed.  The effect may derive from the parent/child relationship, especially when the mother cares for the child and the two form that bond of provider and provided for, which we call “Providential” when we speak of it as the Divine.  Often this radiance arises in the form of what C.G. Jung called “synchronicities,” in which a person or persons and their environment merge into what suddenly functions as one sentient thing.  Since these events seem a-causal, we often call them miracles.  Most people, at sometime or other in their lives, experience these moments in which what they desire arises spontaneously from the environment, as though the environment had been scanning itself for an entity which would enable it to express some longed-for condition of existence.  I realize I am anthropomorphizing here, but I am doing it deliberately because from both sides — person and environment, or artist and audience — there seems to be intention.

This thing, this Being, that we call art, or learning, or healing or even love, carries us out of ourselves and into a glittering awareness where our rapport becomes so intense that it pulls us out of the 3-d prison of flesh bodies, and allows us for a moment to inhabit some vaster parental space where desire ends in instantaneous fulfillment.  I write for you.  You read for me.  The connection we make is the milk supplied by the spirit of our mutual longing for what is written. 


Roy Dean Doughty is the author or A Monument of Wonders, a literary work combining poetry and fiction, which explores the marriage of language, consciousness and time.  As a daily practice conducted in conjunction with his Kryia meditation, he has also written a poem every day for more than twenty years.  He is the creator of The Ten Thousand Poem Project and the author of  Fourteen Poems, Yodo International Press, 1987, Clear Mo(u)rningand Spirit Chronologies. His work has been featured on “The Oneness Program” KEST Radio, San Francisco, VoiceAmerica Radio, Phoenix, Arizona, and Unity, FM radio.  He can also be read at www.doughtyspoetry.comwww.doughtysjamesjoyce.com, and www.doughtysbrainfood.com

New Ideas of the Fourth Dimension: Part Two

In part one of these postings, we saw that that we cannot depend upon three-dimensional scientific proofs and facts to inform us about the attributes or existence of the 4th dimension.

Now I am going off an a tangent, because after all, in order to create space for a 4th dimension, we must postulate a domain that is inexplicably perpendicular to length, width, and breadth — an impossible feat, which nevertheless . . .

In the early 20th century a handful of artists — Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris, Ferdinand Léger, George Braque and others, decided that the depictions of perspectival space that had dominated Western Art since the Renaissance was not the only way to look at things, or not even the most thorough and accurate way to do so.  Since painting was the reduction of 3-dimensional objects into 2-dimensional space, why could they not add a fourth-dimensional perspective and also make it visible in 2-D space?  “Not possible,” you say.  True.  It is not possible.  But they did it anyway.  The critics howled their derision, and denounced their atrocities as “cubism,” but the painter-poet-magicians persisted.  They presented several “views” of an object or objects on the same 2-D plane.  They did this by adding the dimension of time, expressed as the artist’s movement around the object.  By the application of such techniques as faceting and passaging, they created paintings in which the past could flow into the future and the future could flow into the past.  And thereby they were able to create multiple viewpoints as a simultaneity.  “But wait,” say the skeptics, “Einstein already has demonstrated that space and time are two aspects of the same entity: space/time, and all this can be explained by the application of a new kind of mathematics, without resorting to miracle.  Time is the fourth dimension.”  True, but from the point of view of Newtonian physics, relativity is a miracle.  Plus, in this new 4-D space-time world, time is still just a line that goes in one direction only, straight as the flight of an arrow towards the high entropy heat death of the universe.  In this world, time is not even a plane, let alone a volume.  (Yet, by my mere magical mentioning of these possibilities of “planer-space-time” or “volume-space-time,” we can begin to picture domains which operate by very different rules than those of the 3-D world.)  Enter Niels Bohr and the Copenhagen School with their quantum strange effects such as  “spooky action at a distance,” where the present can effect the past and light can be two different things — particle or wave — at once. 

Now you may ask (cue that creepy music again, Maestro) “How  are artists able to anticipate and utilize such uncanny effects without the fact-savvy methodologies of physicists?”  Puzzle, cogitate, ruminate, deduce.  The answer will appear following the following parenthetical aside.  (By the way, writers were on to the magic too.  See James Joyce, Franz Kafka, William Faulkner, Jorge Luis Borges, Federico Garcia Lorca, to name a few.  The history of this can be read in Leonard Shlain’s book Art and Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time and Light).  Parenthesis concluded, we can now proceed to answering your question. “How are artists able to anticipate and utilize such uncanny effects without the fact-savvy methodologies of physicists?”  The answer is by applying a fourth dimensional attribute: IMAGINATION.  By imagining, artists of all kinds can create alternatives to this 3-D world, which has entrapped their 3-D bodies, but not, as it turns out, their 4-D minds.

I am not saying here that the imagination is the 4th dimension. But I am saying that imagination is one of those things, like dreams, intuition, inspiration, that cannot be accounted for by any 3-D explanation.  The same is true for consciousness itself, and the same is true for language.  At some other time, we will explore the vast implications of this.  Mainly, is it possible, or even likely, that linguistic events, which are not subject to the physical 3-D laws of entropy or the conservation of energy, can bend the laws of physics as we know them?  Is it true, that in the beginning, it really was The Word?  I would submit here that that is precisely the case.  Yet this is a complex piece of magic best suited for another time (or times).  Hint: Poetry may yet prove to be more elucidating than physics.

Careful readers will have perhaps noticed that the style of this posting (see my earlier post on “style”) has been both diverting and/or annoying in that it has summoned through various metaphors and other acts and re-acts of speech the realms of magicians, logicians, mathematicians, musicians, skeptics, true believers, and various other reprobates both in and out of time.  Loops were and are being created by means of regressions, ellipses, digressions, repetitions, asides, self-referential mirroring, faceting, passaging and other conjurations which collectively form both the hat and the rabbit I am pulling out of it.  Reading, as you may now realize, is like all other effects of language, which has/have never been, nor could ever be, a straight line one-dimensional experience.  The style trowels the line outward to form a plane, and puffs it up to form a volume, and finally scatters time, thought, sound and image through a kaleidoscopic lens, which flashes with glints and hints of life in the fourth dimension.  Welcome, fellow aliens, you have now entered the world of poetry. Mr. Einstein meet Mr. Lorca.  E = MC2 meet — 

Pallid white theories

with blindfolded eyes

Would dance through the forest.

 

Sluggish like swans

& bitter like oleander.

From “Avenue,” by Federico Garcia Lorca

Selected Verse, edited by Christopher Mauer

OK.  Now you have seen the hat, so here’s the rabbit.  Western Culture spends tons of money and time on building super colliders and funding physicists, but the laws of the 4th dimension are already being applied by artists, poets, and mystics.  And remember, it was a “thought experiment” that enabled Einstein to discover the theory of relativity.  No one would ask a physicist to justify his work on the basis of its entertainment value.  Artists should not be confined to that criteria either in order to be supported by the culture at large.  They are chrononauts in the domain of the 4th dimension, and it is through their explorations that we are most apt to discover our next degree of freedom.  


 

 

Roy Dean Doughty is the author or A Monument of Wonders, a literary work combining poetry and fiction, which explores the marriage of language, consciousness and time.  As a daily practice conducted in conjunction with his Kryia meditation, he has also written a poem every day for more than twenty years.  He is the creator of The Ten Thousand Poem Project and the author of  Fourteen Poems, Yodo International Press, 1987, Clear Mo(u)rningand Spirit Chronologies. His work has been featured on “The Oneness Program” KEST Radio, San Francisco, VoiceAmerica Radio, Phoenix, Arizona, and Unity, FM radio.  He can also be read at www.doughtyspoetry.comwww.doughtysjamesjoyce.com, and www.doughtysbrainfood.com

Look for Roy Doughty's powerful online course, "Creativity" starting October 4th — Offered through The TAO Metaversity.

Featured Images copyright Jeff Clay / Clayhaus Photography

<a href="ht

Word and World: New Ideas About the Fourth Dimension, Part One

To listen to this blog pleas click here:

TAOStyle

Maestro, please, some creepy Twilight Zone music.  We are about to enter a domain so weird and so common that most of us never give it a second thought, until . . . well, until our three-dimensional habitat is inadequate to our needs or explanations.  And then — whoosh! — as if from on high, something strange enters our world and gives us the very thing we have been seeking.  Some call it synchronicity, some call it miracle, some call it intuition, some inspiration, some emergent properties bubbled forth from the quantum foam, but I want to present an idea here that these inexplicable phenomena are actually intrusions from a hyperspace that exists above our three-dimensional world.  Skeptics among you will fold your arms at this point and say something like: “Typical of a poet, wanting us to believe something on faith, not on facts.”  But I would ask for a suspension of disbelief while I present my case of why facts are never going to be relevant in these situations, and that we will get much farther in our inquiries by the operation of certain linguistic levers, some puffs of smoke, and some fancy fan-dancing of the now you see it now you don’t variety.  In brief, in part one of this essay, I will attempt to fleetingly reveal by inference and innuendo why a fourth dimension must exist, and how we experience it from our ordinary three-dimensional perspective.  After all magic is a practice, not a theory or a belief, and we poet-magicians must turn our hunches into Universal Laws, not in order to obey them, but so we can put them to creative use.  Already perhaps you have perceived that a sleight of mind is happening here in which the word “poet” has subtly usurped the power usually reserved for physicists, a rabbit which will come out of the hat to your amazement, even more brazenly at the conclusion of Part Two of this farrago.

Every good game has its rules, so let’s start with the rules that we know about three dimensions, i.e., the line, the plane, and the volume.  Every move from a one-dimensional line to a two-dimensional plane and from a two-dimensional plane to a three- dimensional volume involves a one-degree increase of freedom.  From the domain of a line there can be no evidence of a plane.  From the domain of a plane, there can be no evidence for three-dimensional space.  Thus every intrusion of a higher dimensional vector to a lower one will either seem like a miracle, or conversely, like any other phenomenon of the lower domain.  That is, the miracle will be destroyed by claims of fraud or remain unsubstantiated by whatever passes for scientific rigor in that particular dimension’s definition of facts.  UFO’s will become “swamp gas,” crop circles will become “hoaxes,” and synchronicities will become “coincidences” explicable by the application of laws pertaining to large numbers.  (There is another weirdness here, which I will mention in passing, just to make things more puzzling.  Both the scientist-skeptics and the true believers will be right, depending upon which dimension’s rules they are following.) 

Physicist Michio Kaku, in his book, Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension, has a number of illustrations of how ordinary events in higher dimensions seem impossible or look like magic in lower ones.  Here are a couple of his examples: “ . . . in three dimensions, separate rings cannot be pushed through each other until they intertwine without breaking them.  Similarly, closed, circular pieces of rope cannot be twisted into knots without cutting them. { } However, in higher dimensions, knots can easily be unraveled and rings can be intertwined  This is because there is ‘more room’ to move ropes past each other and rings into each other.”  We can infer from this that any attempt to prove 4th dimensional phenomena by three-dimensional means is going to be at best inconclusive and at worst beside the point.  How could a square on a flat plane demonstrate to itself the existence of a cube?  Ergo: by the logic of illogic we may dismiss the skeptics as being trapped in three dimensions, which makes them in our game, both out of bounds, and very poor sports.  If we want answers here, or more properly, not answers, but experience, we have to turn to those much more tricky and elusive figures, who still lurk at the margins of our culture, and this we will do when we post Part Two of our 4-D excursion.

End part one

 

 

 


 

As a daily practice conducted in conjunction with his Kryia meditation, Roy Dean Doughty has written a poem every day for more than twenty years.  He is the creator of The Ten Thousand Poem Project and the author of  Fourteen Poems, Yodo International Press, 1987, Clear Mo(u)rning, and Spirit Chronologies. His work has been featured on “The Oneness Program” KEST Radio, San Francisco, VoiceAmerica Radio, Phoenix, Arizona, and Unity, FM radio.  He can also be read at www.doughtyspoetry.comwww.doughtysjamesjoyce.com, and www.doughtysbrainfood.com

Look for Roy Doughty's powerful online course, "Creativity" starting October 4th — Offered through The TAO Metaversity.

Featured Images copyright Jeff Clay / Clayhaus Photography

 

 

 

Word and World: The Ghostly God of Style

Though language appears to us as a perceptual phenomenon, it can be as transparent and understandable as thinking.  Language consists of acoustic or optic signs for our understanding.  Understanding (meaning) is the hidden part of language.  It does not appear in the perceptual world, but occurs — through intuition — in the human spirit.

Georg Kühlewind

The Logos-Structure of the World: Language as Model of Reality

Translated from the German by Freidemann-Eckart Schwarzkopf

This is the first of my blogs in this domain, and my intention is to start some in-depth dialogues centered around my three most virulent obsessions: Language, Consciousness, and Time.  Like the Holy Trinity, the mystery of these three subjects is that they are not three distinct fetishes at all, but only three aspects of something which I have come to think of as the “unseen referent,” that strange attractor which always remains imperceptible and inexplicable, but which nevertheless is the source of all that we perceive and all that we attempt to explain.  By presenting examples from fiction, poetry, scientific, didactic and other types of discourse, future entries will offer a wide variety of ways to experience this tripartite God.  But first things first.  Before we can think about all the different ways in which language, consciousness and time create our world, we have to think about the process of expression itself.  We have to think about “style.”

Psychologists have known for a long time that the content of words carries only a small part of their meaning, the rest is borne through an invisible medium consisting of such vague enigmas as intonation, insinuation, references to past experience, idiomatic conventions and the like.  The wife comes downstairs and greets her husband with the words “Good Morning,” and the husband, brooding, stares into his coffee, and thinks, ‘what does she mean by that?’  This is easy enough to discern, if not decipher, in spoken conversation, but in a written text, it is camouflaged by something that we sometimes refer to as “style.”  Style is the poetry behind the facts.  It carries by some estimates as much as 95% of the meaning of any given communication.  So why is it that in our books, blogs, emails, textings, and tweets, we keep busily killing off so many different varieties of the creature?  Out of jungles and oceans teeming with different life forms, in our linguistic expressions we are making a desert monoculture, where comprehensibility is enforced by an almost universal adherence to what is sometimes referred to as “a conversational style.”  And although there might be as many versions of this as there our ducks in duckland, still, in the end, it is all pretty much quacking.

Although I am an avid reader, I seldom now buy new books, because the printed page has become a commodity product, where editors, in order to sell to the widest audience possible, have enforced this conversational style on every form of human expression.  It does not matter if a book is a scholarly work, a scientific one, a work of fiction, of theology, of poetry, of history, or of social science, — it has to be cut down to fit this same procrustean bed.  So, why is this important?  Why can’t we all be friends, and just have a friendly chit-chat on any subject, without worrying about this ghostly thing called style?  It is important because The Word serves, not only as the mirror and model, but also as the creator of our world.  And if The Word is impoverished, so are we, so, in fact, is everything.  If we equate, as we have above, linguistics with ecology, this process of killing off different styles of communication amounts to a  persistent dumbing down and dimming of consciousness.  It is as if we looked out on a forest, and did not see pines, and spruce, and hemlocks, and oaks, and alders, and willows, and laurels, but only one thing: “tree,” and that a “virtual” tree.

​              

           *Surface Truth                                                          

            How is it then that style came to be

Looked upon as subterfuge, an ornament

Disguising the authentic, an attribute

Hiding the truth, and not the truth itself?

 

In its externals, every culture makes

Fantastic references to the truth.  Icons

Come out of Churches, visit the sick,

Exude miraculous powers.  Soldiers march;

 

Chickens are eaten; dogs are kept as pets;      

Sticks are placed at the crossroads of the heart.

The sun comes up and lights this intricate skin.

Everything leaps to sight, nothing is hidden.

 

Style is not a disguise.  It is the

Authentic surface of an inward motion,                                     

The dance of things that swarms into the eye,                                

Bearing that part of deathlessness that dies.

The poem, Surface Truth, by Roy Dean Doughty excerpted from Camera 144, A Monument of Wonders.

   Watch for the next installment of “Word and World: New Ideas about the Fourth Dimension”


As a daily practice conducted in conjunction with his Kryia meditation, Roy Dean Doughty has written a poem every day for more than twenty years.  He is the creator of The Ten Thousand Poem Project and the author of  Fourteen Poems, Yodo International Press, 1987, Clear Mo(u)rning, and Spirit Chronologies. His work has been featured on “The Oneness Program” KEST Radio, San Francisco, VoiceAmerica Radio, Phoenix, Arizona, and Unity, FM radio.  He can also be read at www.doughtyspoetry.comwww.doughtyJamesJoyce, and www.doughtysbrainfood.com

Look for Roy Doughty's powerful online course, "Creativity" starting October 4th — Offered through The TAO Metaversity.

Featured Images copyright Jeff Clay / Clayhaus Photography

Share / Save