Alice talks about the subjectivity of truth and how this is a theme in her writing of short stories in a New York Times interview from 1986. Canada,s Alice Munro Finds Excitement in Short-Story Form
I watched the John Lee Hancock directed movie Saving Mr. Banks the other day. Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson have the main roles in the movie. It was a very touching movie especially the last half of it when P.L. Travers the author of Marry Poppins, played by Thompson, begins to open up. It seemed to be such a natural unfolding of someone who had become quite closed down and bitter about life. It wasn,t the presence of abuse that was the cause of the young P.L. Travers to become stuck in this way but more a quality of love that she had for someone. I found the movie to be quite powerful in the affect it had on me seeing such a realistic possibility that we can become stuck in life for many reasons but than we can come to open and move beyond our point of closing down at any time in our life. It seems that a number of relationships that she developed with some very warm hearted Americans including Walt Disney himself played by Hanks contributed to this. I dont know what the reality of the story is but the movie was a joy.
As I have discussed at earlier blogs what you see is not always what you get. In my own investigation of Marry Travers it became clear that she had some very difficult times in her life. It is also clear that she turned to deeper searching to help find her self and was a dedicated follower of Gurdief. There is lots of controversy about her on the web that illustrates how the movie might not be a reflection of factual truth or at least not complete in its portrayal of people, but I would say that the movie was very well done and that it expresses something real about human relationships and about the possibility of opening of the heart.
Are we always getting a reflection of reality from our professionals and experts on matters.? Hardly,there are many reasons to be doubtful or at least to include the greater context of what is being written or said. There are many ways to perceive life and life events and it makes sense that how we perceive affects what we see.
I have included two articles here that have recently mpacted me, the first one because I can relate to the writers questioning of what is known. In The Folly of Thinking We Know, Pink Iyer discusses the hunt for the Malaysian Airlines 370 and extends the questions of what we know to a larger scale of what we think we know
In the Jamieson Webster and Simon Critchley article from the Stone in the NYT titled The Gospel According to Me the writers write with confidence about what they perceive to be going on in the world of human consciousness today. There is a sense that as philosophers their reporting of what is happening is factual.
Pico Iyer has also written a book The Man Within My Head which is reviewed here by the Guardian newspaper.
The doubter that I am I am not convinced of how correct they are but Webster and Critchley do raise many interesting points and possibilities to consider. They talk about how postmodern philosophy more specifically Existentialism has influenced modern consciousness and has resulted in the present era of Self Absorbed Individualism that has little to do with reality. From my own exploration I understand that many of the existential writers were influenced by an eastern philosophy, too many to list here. Even Goethe and his creation of Faust is thought to have had some exposure to eastern mysticism. So for me it is possible to consider that in the translation of eastern philosophy to a western interpretation there has been more of a focus on perpetuation of the individual identity. This can certainly have some influence on the end result that is the influence today. They suggest that at the heart of the search for authenticity is a profound selfishness and callousness towards others.
In the article The Incessant Selling of Self by author Ann Beattie she writes about the deceptive practice of self promotion that our youth are forced to undertake.
These days much of my time is involved in connecting to and deepening a place of presence. There is a part of me that is engaged in the dualistic experience that is life on this planet. There is a part of me that is involved in witnessing my existence and slowly these two seem to be merging together. Attempts to express and reflect this very subjective experience involves the mediums of art and words. But these are often inadequate and limited in capturing the essence of this deeper more direct experience of being. As well I see the futility in the habitual way of defending efforts to express my experience because in the end they are not the truth of what I am.
My hope through all of this is not to eliminate the ego or duality or to arrive at some ultimate, ideal place but to see and let go of whatever should come into my awareness that interferes with a direct, open and authentic realisation. Things change from this place of seeing. Continue reading “Letting Go Of Barriers”
I have regularly turned to Krishnmurtis talks at various points of my life as an aid and inspiration to opening. I say talks because from what I understand he did not write his books but was asked by others to speak at gatherings. Others wrote what Krishnamurti said in his talks.
He had a confrontive style. I refer to it as a slap in the face style and many people have difficulty with it. I read recently that David Bohm who collaborated with Krishnamurti on a number of occasions was deeply offended by his directness and opinion of him. But at the same time I find that his way was a way of pointing to the truth that works for me.It seems to me that he spoke in generalities and brought attention to things that people took for granted to be true. For me he promotes a questioning and a doubt that is essential to deeper examination. One thing that he said will always remain for me and that was that ” the word is not the truth” and for me his words are not the truth, my words are not the truth. Words are incomplete ways of grasping the truth and he constantly reminded me as he said repeatedly that we should not listen to his words but go discover for ourselves. If words take us from that place where we authentically discover what we are then I wonder what use they are.
At this point in my life I feel as he did that there is a substantial amount of delusion and ignorance that is ultimately destructive and a consequence of mans collective consciousness. In terms of discussion about love the thing that stands out most for me in my own relationships in life is that there can be no love when there is separation, a consequence of dualism and most of what we have created as humans has been a consequence of our dualistic thinking. It is not so much that we should stop thinking but to explore and see for ourselves the nature and limitations of thinking. I know as well for myself when I am self fixated, which seems to be moments that I am consumed by thinking, there is no space for love or connection to another.
I just heard on CBC “As it Happens” an interview with a gentleman who observed a red ball emerge from the sky and eventually dissapeared after some time. Apparently other had seen this as well bit I have not heard what it was.
Our need to feel as if our lives matter is, as always, an issue for most of us. In her interesting article Rebecca Newberger Goldstein covers most angles in her examination of how to bring mattering into our lives. As a philosopher she ends up attempting to support her beliefs in a rational logical way.
She ends by suggesting that “mattering — none of us more than the other — is our birthright, and we should all be treated accordingly, granted the resources that allow for our flourishing”.
Mankind is forever attempting to bring justice and peace to life through the use of rationalism , logic and reasoning, all useful tools but maybe it is needing to feel that we matter that creates problems. Maybe the truth is that we do matter but that we have somehow forgotten this and our thinking minds ways perpetuate barriers rather than changing things as we think they might. Most of what we create in our effort to matter seems to create more kaos. How then do we find our way collectively to a more compassionate and authentic way.
Nisargadatta says ” You want peace, love, happiness and work hard to create pain, hatred and war. You want longevity and overeat. You want friendship and exploit. See your net as made of these contradictions and remove them – your very seeing of them will make them go.
I attempted to write a blog the other day expressing the difficulty of waking up and coping with the awareness of suffering that seems to be so much a part of life. I didn,t do a very good job of it. Now I realise that what I wrote here in the first sentence is enough said and the question for me is how do I bring wholeness and a loving way to my life despite feeling that humankind is quickly taking itself towards destruction. Its probably the only thing in life that I really truly know the answer to. That is in being aware here and now I will be all that i need to be.