Thursday, October 16, 2014

Meditating on Sea of Being

Meditating Outside My Door
CC Self-portaint:10/15/14 
Seeing Things Anew

Meditating outside my door
pastel kaleidoscope colors
pungent ripeness of fall
transported beyond myself
floating on Sea of Being.

Thoughts about Seeing Things Anew:

Henry Shukman writes about the nature of “seeing things anew” in the current issue of Tricycle Magazine. He tells us that in the field of art, this ability was called “defamiliarization” by Russian literary theorist Viktor Shklovsky who wrote: “The purpose of art is to impart the sensation of things as they are perceived and not as they are known.”

And to accomplish that, art makes objects “unfamiliar,” less habitual:
“Habituation devours work, clothes, furniture, one’s wife, and the fear of war. . . . And art exists that one may recover the sensation of life; it exists to make one feel things, to make the stone stony.”

In essence, Shukman concludes,  “art exists to restore to us our actual experience, unmediated by the veil of what we think we know.” 

Shukman then widens his net by saying that this ability to restore us to our actual experience is bigger than just art but something basic to our search for spiritual meaning in life.

“Even as we are impelled to strive to understand things, somehow we yearn at the same time to be divested of that understanding, so we can meet things more intimately. Defamiliarization is, then, both a function of art and a structural feature of spiritual life, and whether or not it is recognized in this way, it is the source of deep resonance between them.”

Certainly I felt this deep resonance this morning, meditating in front of my door.


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