artismadness - Natura Artis Magistra LO28371

From: Jan Lelie (
Date: 05/01/02

Replying to LO28323 --

The really important thing is telling a tale. What lies behind the tale of
Odyssey, the Ulisses, 2001, A Space Odyssey, and every odd journey we
take? Read: "Open Space" as a command, "Open Sesame", not as a situation.
A command that can be both open ("open-up") and closed (because, in the
first place, it is a command).

Crafting an organisation - see, look, it contains a nation and contains
too - any even organisation is an epic. I love to read the
(auto)biographies of people like Akio Morita, Alfred P. Sloan, Charles
Darwin - who re-invented the world we live in; we should restart the
counting of our years and call 1859, when The Origin of Species was
published, the year 0 and make November 22nd a holyday, like Christmas,
celebrating the enlightenment of the human spirit and the final liberation
of living our tales as stories told by Gods, now at last Nature is talking
too us -, Lee Iacocca, Harold Geneen, Anton and Frits Philips, etc:
because of the tale behind the tale.

This world - in my mind - is a gigantic library with book of books, a
store of stories, stories with stories inside stories. Some finished, most
unfinished and - even better - most of them being told as they develop.
The storyteller is inside the own story. What does (s)he tell us? Can you
imagine a story with the storyteller inside the story - (s)he is sleeping,
better not to be awaken, because that will end this line of tales; Kurt
Vonnegut is inside one of his own story, but he only added a remark on
shitting (and a remark that it was the stroyteller himself that uttered
that remark)- Might then the characters of the story turn against the
storyteller? - What if the characters in the story decide to murder the
poet, the writer? Little do they know that they then have to tell their
own story themselves.

I remember that stories used to have a clear beginning (In the beginning
...) and an end (... happy ever after). After the end, they would tell you
the morale. As we all have a beginning - assuming that you have been born
or have been invented and designed as a character - it is only too easy to
assume that we have an end and a morale. But nobody tells us the end of
our story nor the morale. Eat first, morale later. Consume now, pay never.

Being succesful nowadays means having a story to tell and being listened
too. So most people think: telling a story and being listened too is
important; even more important than the end and the morale. They seem to
think: let's copy the story and see were it ends. Smart. Smart, howver not
smart enough. Copying is ok with me, perfect, mutate metafores, but, mind
you, nobody listens but yourself. Listen to the story behind the tail.

The tales we're told are fairy tales, fables, "sprookjes", legends and
myths, "Warheit und Dichtung". Our lives however have not been fairy
tales. In fact, most tales are unfair, unfairy tales, because life is
unfair. Why do i have this karma? this soul? this spirit, these talents?
Why me? Why do i have to suffer the slings and arrows of an outrageous
fortune. Why is life so complex, why does most of the fine planning we do
comes to halve a page of scrible line? Why cannot we outsmart the other.
Odyssey did pretend he was blind, he didn't want to leave Ithake, perhaps
he was even against this foolish war, - over a woman, thank God we've
somewhat improved since then, now war it is no longer about a woman - but
his baby was put in front of his plough. He worked hardest and smartest,
efficiently, in the war against the Troyan city. However, because of the
gods, fate, fortune, bad luck, lack of planning or commitment, he was to
have a long journey home. LIFE IS NOT FAIR. Life is a tale, but an
unhappy one. A tale of little gain and much loss. And in the end, we're
all silenced.

Children, whom you say are uncorrupted, haven't heard the message yet,
they still live their tale unknowingly. We read them fairy tales and
märchens, tell them bedtime stories, so they'll have sweet dreams. They
are not yet aware of the tale behind the tale. Should we tell them? If we
do, we destroy their innocence; if we don't, they'll never live. So

Perhaps we're stuck in between a rock and a hard place. We have gradually
realized this dream we're dreaming, our tale we're telling, the story that
is being told, the organisation we're organizing. Realizing that it is our
own story makes us responsible for the telling of the story, what we tell
others, how we weave our lives; we do not know the end or the morale of
the tale, but we might be questioned: why do you tell this story, how come
that you authorized this plot? If we choose not to listen to our inner
voice, feel the force, acknowledge our selves, create the myth, we have to
live a story that is basically not our own, we then do not own our lives,
we might seem unauthentic. And yet, and yet, what is the tale behind the
tale, what metafore supports us?

Every change induces a counter invention. (This was the first sentence i
wrote, i borrowed it from Will McWhinney, from the chapter, "Courage for
the road"). The first sentence may become the last, who will say?

Happy telling,

Jan wrote:

> A bit of a rambler;-) that I wasn't going to post and then thought of no
> reason why knot to.
> Dear At, dear Fred and dear LO
> I have news of May in the Gambia but I will save that for a while.
> John Clare was a totally self educated countryman who taught himself
> poetry. He is renowned in history as a true and important poet of the
> English language. He ended up in the madhouse and these words I have
> before me are in his spidery quill handwriting.
> "Dear Sir,
> I am in a Mad House and quite forget your name or who you are you must
> excuse me for I have nothing to communicate or tell of and why I am shut
> up I don't know. I have nothing to say so I (last word indecipherable),
> Yours respectfully, John Clare."
> "A life is a puzzle, it is not the solution one is after, it is the
> unlayering of the depths of the puzzle so that mystery can be revealed, I
> think of the Spanish verb, "recordar": to remember, to pass back through
> the heart." Anon
> I think what you experienced Fred, was similar in human nature attending
> your tutor to that which At encountered inside the CEO of the company
> (sic) he consulted with, it is a malady I find under many human surfaces.
> It is called Anger. Maybe it is reflecting of something.. at the
> realisation that societies in their many disguises are really disasters,
> disasters of an increasing darkness (metaphorically) when they could be
> more radiant with light;-) Our communities have maybe really just become
> "-networks of domination and manipulation in which we can easily get
> entangled-."
> How strange if companies were really like what Thomas Merton noted in 'The
> Wisdom of the Desert' where the Desert Fathers saw their bottom lining;-)
> or (pocket lining more like;-) societies as "shipwrecks", where each had
> to actively swim for his life, not "drift passively" on the "tenets" and
> "values" of a near baseless society.
> Must. "People must be motivated, youth must be entertained, money must be
> raised, and above all, everyone must be happy." Ought. "We ought to be on
> good terms with church and civil authorities, we ought to be liked or
> respected by a majority, we ought to (be able to) move up in the ranks
> according to schedule, we ought to have enough salary and a comfortable
> life -"
> Thus, " - we are busy people like all busy people, rewarded with the
> rewards which are rewarded to busy people!" People are running on a mental
> fuel of "social compulsions."
> Who am I? "- I am the one who is liked, praised, admired, dislike, hated,
> despised, whether pianist, businessman or minister, what matters is how I
> am perceived by my world. If being busy is a good thing then I must be
> busy, If having money is a sign of real freedom, then I must claim my
> money, if knowing more people proves my importance, I will have to make
> the necessary contacts." The 'compulsion' noted by Merton and Henri Nouwen
> alike above becomes a self perpetuating humanly degrading and
> strangulating loop, the inference being that fear manifests as perception
> of future failure with the generation of a counter-need that is to prevent
> failure at all costs, so more of the same -- more work, more money, more
> friends. Greed and anger are the unholy (fragmenting) brother and sister
> of a 'false self' fabricated by socializing compulsions in an unredeemed
> world. "Oh no, not us!" " They are angry at their leaders for not leading
> and at their followers for not following. They are angry with those who do
> not come to church and angry with those who do come for coming without
> enthusiasm. They are angry with families, who make them feel guilty and
> angry with themselves for not being who they want to be. This is not open,
> blatant, roaring anger, but anger hidden behind the smooth word, the
> smiling face and the polite handshake. It is a frozen anger, and anger
> which settles into a bitter resentment and slowly paralyzes a bitter
> heart." But that was twenty years ago and we are now;-)
> Thank you to those who have so far asked the children what we have been
> doing wrong and what we might do to put it right. Ninety-six to go! I
> think I can safely say my brushes are not going to get wet on this
> occasion;-) Which begs a question inside me. If this LO community with a
> readership of about several thousand cannot summon such an energy resource
> I am beginning to question what and whether I want to continue to
> become/be here. AND I fully appreciate it constitutes no big deal to
> ninety nine point nine per cent of the readership and authorship this LO
> constitutes.
> I am willing to make a prediction on the basis of a tiny sample
> patterning. I think many, many children would want to bring our attention
> to the qualities of fire ;-) water ;-) earth ;-) and air ;-) ..that is
> ALL;-(
> I believe with all my heart that small children as yet uncorrupted by you
> and I in our institutions converse in ways that few other than people like
> At de lange and Peter Beamish can yet conceive. I believe that in their
> minds sits a great powerful salvation. I believe it is the powers of Fine
> Arts to release that power and energy into the world we inhabit and
> destroy almost daily.
> I am asking you all to wake up!
> I think you are all become quite mad in many ways so complex that you'll
> never get to the foundational bottom of it with all this clever
> thinking;-) St. Anthony was asked in the desert about Mastery. This is
> verbatim what he said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when
> they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, ' You are
> mad, you are not like us." The children have not yet fragmented their
> compassion for the whole world.
> There is still time.
> There is only still time.
> I read this and am changing my mind.
> "-It takes a great effort and struggle in prayer to reach that state of
> mind which is freedom from all disturbances; it is a heaven within the
> heart, literally endocardial, the place where Christ dwells in us."
> May has built a compound and mothers are starting to bring their children
> to her and they are 'giving' their children to her.
> NO-ONE in two years here questioned "How is May's learning progressing?"
> And for you and your children and me she risks her very life. What are we
> doing then that is really so important?
> "The stabilizing effect of symmetrizing the histories has been exploited
> to a still more powerful effect ---paint is smeared, slopped, scratched
> and scored into the canvas giving it an unfinished, untidy and
> deliberately filthy appearance -- Nevertheless, de Kooning's powerful
> sense of compositional symmetry, learned from extensive studies of
> classical art, gives the very accidental features of his painting a non
> accidentality, of permanence, and enduring strength. For example, by
> symmetrically organizing 'accidental' marks that he has used in the
> smeared, untidy portrait of a woman, the portrait assumes a powerful sense
> of eternity, a monumentality, equal to a woman painted for example by ----
> " (M. Leyton, Rutgers)
> "Andrew, experience, especially in childhood (literally) sculpts the
> brain." Daniel Goleman;-)
> Why so complicated Eh?
> Love,
> Andrew


With kind regards - met vriendelijke groeten,

Jan Lelie

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