[Replying to Faith Communities and Learning Organizations LO21902
of July 1999. That msg is at http://www.learning-org.com/99.06/0114.html
Dear Gavin and other Dear Learners
You recently wrote,
>To see your own needs often takes a lot of courage for then we see
>ourselves naked and empty and it is this very emptiness we are afraid of.
Let me a little tidying do;-)...To see YOUR OWN NEEDS often takes a lot of
courage for then YOU see YOURSELF naked and empty and it is this very
emptiness YOU are afraid of.
Gavin, there is in us 'each' as there is in the 'all' enough and
sufficient, and in your thoughts as expressed I see the possibility that
there is never enough for the 'greedy' in us; both in us as 'each' and in
us as 'all'.
You preach a 'hard doctrine' to my LO colleagues and me. And I know some
of them are very tough;-) whereas I am and others are very tender ;-)
I don't know how you 'find' in order to 'see' other people 'naked' and
'empty', nor yourself. Perhaps with a lot of courage and some steady nerve
you will share your feelings about that with us?
Today I HAPPEN to have been studying works of art created out of the
Holocaust. It is preparation for a journey that I have to make soon
enough, one I have avoided like a plague. It is a spiritual journey and a
physical journey, both/and. FITTING.
This is not a place for the intensity of graphic description I have felt
in that reading and looking, nor is it my purpose to upset anyone who
might read from this list and have made that journey themselves or know
someone who did- in fact I know someone who does have that kind of
'connection' who is a LO colleague and to that person, before I write the
following lines I bend my head and back two generations. Shalom.
Let me a little joining do...writing of the creative artefacts that were
born in Auschwitz, Theresienstadt, Buchenwald and other places of human
'emptying' and 'stripping' the Director of the Holocaust Art Museum at
Kibbutz Lochamie HaGhettaot refers to ALL FORMS of Holocaust art as
Let me share with you a realisation. That some artists know that it is
precisely when one sees one's own needs in and through 'nakedness' and
'emptiness' that one may become ready to become filled with something much
more important, the needs of the 'others'. Emptiness and nakedness is by
some strange definition in my crazy lexicography anyway the CAPACITY PAR
EXCELLENCE. I don't know At de lange, is that a kind of CREATIVE COLLAPSE,
A BIFURCATION of IN/ORDINATE POTENTIAL? When the artist works with the
naked person as a 'model' the correct term is to DRAW FROM LIFE.
LIFE is BIGGER than ONE'S OWN NEEDS.
We only OWN what we can GIVE AWAY, otherwise it seems to me that the NEEDS
OWN US, and we are more truly prisoners then of our own UNCREATIVE making.
ONE might think that art is a petty thing compared to the suffering I have
alluded to, so allow me to quote the words of someone who was there for
over five years. TO me, FOR me, it is the empty(sic)void filled, the
"I FEEL GOOD; FOR THE FIRST TIME IN FOUR YEARS I HAVE ONCE AGAIN BEGUN TO
DRAW.....LIFE ONCE AGAIN ACQUIRES MEANING AND PURPOSE"
Maybe you know something better, deeper, more true, more lasting about how
we humans are in the 'difficult' world.
One more value laden remark about NAKEDNESS. By common consent, especially
among younger students, but actually all, the most commonly shared FEELING
in the 'life room' is of HUMILITY in the face of NAKEDNESS. Oh, and the
realisation that one works before the most SENSITIVE and COMPLEX BECOMING
BEING IN THE COSMOS.
Now a little teaching I WILL do.
There is no-one writing on this list to compare with Mr William Blake. Blake
realised with spiritual intensity and immense imagination and great self
discipline that there is indeed a price to be paid in this 'mortal coil'. he
subdued himself to the shallow products of another's imagination as we all
" None could break the Web, no wings of fire. So twisted the chords, & so
The meshes: twisted like to the human brain-"
- In his later life he was known not as a genius only as an engraver, a
journey man;-) with wild notions and a propensity for writing unintelligible
verse. He laboured for his bread, eccentric, dirty and obscure. He was part
of the first great period of commercialism and mass manufacture in English
history, and he was one of it's first casualties. I have now before me a
small sketch he made, a 'disc' in the centre and two angels on each side
facing inward to the circle, they appear to be weeping. Inside is written,
"Continually building, continually decaying because of love and jealousy."
In Great Eternity, every particular Form gives forth or Emanates It's own
peculiar Light & the Form is the Divine Vision And the light is his garment
This is Jerusalem in every Man.
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