Monthly Archives: February 2008

…relax…

 

“The process of living is the process of reacting to stress.”
Stanley Sarnoff (1917-1990)
Physiologist

*

Creativity is something that naturally issues from a relaxed state of mind but the world as we have created it is not a place conducive to relaxation. On the contrary in fact, it is designed of stress, by stress, and for stress. As a product of our genetic heritage, the manmade world reflects the hyper-competitive history of Homo sapiens.

Our struggle is the mother of our stress. From the beginning we have nudged, shoved, punched, wrestled, pushed, pulled, and strong-armed our way toward the top of the tribe. Struggle is the story of life on earth. What is apparently unique to our species however, is our singularly strong socialized inability to relax. So it happens we must learn to relax.

And when this occurs to us, the next thing we learn is how very difficult a task it seems to be. So difficult, in fact, it is something we must be taught by someone who has mastered it or we need to learn to teach ourselves.

The supreme irony about the difficult task of learning to relax is that once mastered it is such a simple and easy thing to accomplish. It can be done in an instant. One simply allows it to occur.

The clear implication is relaxation does not occur because, in some crucial ways, we do not let it happen – that is we are in the habit of holding on to stress. As counterintuitive as this is, there is no other sensible explanation.

It really is a piece of good news. The most significant thing we can do to relax and move toward more peaceful, accepting, focused, and powerful states of mind is to simply relax. Even though it seems far too good to be true – it is. To rid oneself of the hazardous effects of stress…just let it go.

*

YouTube Video: Instant Relaxation, hypnojim

Leave a comment

Filed under ARTology Now

Cold spirits

If spirits roam
In small spaces
Between slow burning suns
And the inexorable slide of gravity

They see our bodies
Living breathing steam
It freezes white in solid air
As if our souls are there

Getting gasoline
Out cold in orange-yellow bays
Great bright stalls, greasy ice
Where we stand
Shocked in the knowledge
Of our predicament
Driven to wander
Risking everything
Going home

Leave a comment

Filed under ARTology Now

Perpetual Trance

Our minds move…The slim strand of focused awareness we each manage is evanescent, fragile, discontinuous. It slips free, spins daydreams, generates random images, and untethers emotions. Thoughts race in wild unexpected directions, dive into oblivion, and are replaced with new streams of unrelated words, ideas, feelings. In some situations it is all we can do to attend to matters at hand – whether calculating sums, studying texts, or finding ways through complex routes. Distractions abound. Our minds seem all too ready to fly toward them – as if focused awareness is an untenable burden. And once we are distracted we are vulnerable to strong forces broadcast to prey upon our vulnerabilities – our needs, wants, desires. Surrounded by petabytes of probing media, our sensoria succumb to liminal, peripheral cues. With some discipline we may succeed in pulling our minds back to conscious control to continue forward awhile – until the whole process begins again and over again.*The most commonly acceptable definitions of hypnosis indicate that the term is an attempt to denote a state of suggestibility. Consciousness exists as a spectrum of varying states between near-death and full wakefulness. But problematically, we have seen that even a state of being awake involves discontinuity and suggestibility. There can be no clear distinction between hypnotic states and states of wakefulness – all allow for internal and external suggestibility. That is, it is not incorrect to say we are always either coming into or waking up from some sort of trance.I liken the slippery task of managing this state of consciousness we call “being awake” to the sensation of riding a bicycle. The moment of being “in balance” is transitory by nature. Being “in balance” involves momentarily losing balance and then instantly finding it again. The same sort of continual dialectic between losing and regaining balance describes the simple act of walking down the street.*This trance-like state we’re in is a highly suggestible one. It behooves us to learn to manage it as well as possible. If we do not, we may be handing over control of our very minds, perceptions, thoughts, and emotions to forces, influences, and suggestions we would prefer having nothing to do with at all…

Leave a comment

Filed under ARTology Now