Loosing Our Head For Humanity

I am grateful for having, over the last 30 years, come under the influence of the great contemporary religious philosophy, The Baha’i Faith. Forged in the middle east during the 19th century Baha’u’llah raised a counter culture to the prevailing corruption, religious distortions, and fanatacism of Islamic mainstream of the day. The early followers of that counter culture were also murdered, beheaded, staked, etc, in their thousands. Their contribution to the world is not only in their courage to stand for peace, justice, and a dramatically new view of a global humanity as one people by reason of the diversity of our histories, but that, they saw the world itself as fleeting shadows in which the actions of fanatic and hateful people are simple consequences of a void that exists when nothing real is being created. They saw that ‘real’ was their being as selfless before God, and all human beings regardless of the inability of those humans to ‘know’ the ‘reality’ and distinguish it from the void. They saw that ‘real’ is the unity among human beings, a complete forcelessness, a devolvement of self to the larger miracle of existence. These early disciples didn’t cogitate about this reality or its influence on society, rather they just WERE that reality. And so they died, often cruelly, expecting nothing but seeing that all ‘fire’ creates the space for a new being to exist, and tempers the character of those new beings so that they can create new and extraordinary life in that space. This space is not a geographical space but a transformed and enhanced way that humans BE in the world, in fabulous peace, justice, love, equity, oneness and detachment.

Those who have gone before us, who lost their heads in the heady fragrance of spiritual love, and those who, now, have lost their heads to living in a world of equity, surely allow us all to loose our heads to love for humanity. There will be much deliberation about how to contain ISIS and other terrotrists, how to destroy the evil that it brings. Yet, so many strategies will only be modestly successful, for every strategy will be tainted with hatred and revenge and bitterness and greed. And as such, the strategies will dampen some fire, only to also feed another. So it shall be as we all, as one humanity, learn that it is only in that detachment from our personal interest, can true justice flourish and only in justice can peace and security be established throughout the world.

Art of Movement 2

Here is a video clip of an impromptu contemporary to the music of orchestral didg player, William Barton.

The idea is to play with the immediacy of the music into movement. Video is a great way to review what is there and to see what is not there. My view on movement art is that, like all art, the genre and the betterment comes with persistent practice, review, and reflection. I add to my practice an attempt to see some new possibility in movement. I watch what others are doing to get ideas but don’t want to be limited by mimicry. The older dancer needs to take into account what the body can do on any day. Well, so do younger dancers, even if they can take more for granted. The dancer coming to dance as an older person also needs to recognise that the limitations have a lot to do with habits. Creativity and permission to be creative and expressive will allow new movement to occur.

Be safe. There is a whole lot of great movement that can be small and easy.

Employability now vs the Future

Just finished listening to this talk back with Melbourne restaurateur and youth mentor Peter Coronica. Peter has employed over 1000 young people over the last 25 years.

He says parents play a vital role in preventing youth unemployment by getting kids off the sports ground, out of music class and into paid work as early as possible.

While broadly supporting Peter’s premise and experience, I took some exception to his ‘priorities’, wondering where those choices that he made, came from. Over the years i have read and listened to an array of educational experts and my conclusion is that a learning culture shows up with these characteristics that are applicable from 0 – 99 year:

  1. Mimicry and modelling;
  2. memorization;
  3. physical development;
  4. creative development;
  5. socialization, community engagement, and empowerment;
  6. exposure to the natural environment;
  7. building a knowledge base;
  8. technical skills.

I realise that many of these characteristics come from people who have spent their career on one of these items as has Peter Coronica. And their individual focus tends, i think to skew that characteristic from its appropriate expression as within a wholistic framework constructed from all characteristics.

There is more I can say specifically about this framework for age appropriate development and learning, however the framework implies a great deal of change in the structure of education, learning, culture, productivity and economics. However, i believe it is the surer future for our children and young people: to have it all.

Vulnerability

As with 15 million people worldwide, I have been so taken with the 2010 TED talk by Brene Brown on her research on ‘vulnerability’, that when I heard her TED Radio interview recently, I had to take notes. The TED Radio Hour is great because it takes several TED speakers and interviews them around a consistent theme . The theme for this podcast is about ‘Making Mistakes”. Apart from Brown’s interview, I enjoyed the interview with Jazz player, Stefon Harris, a vibraphone player whose interpretation of the non-mistake of Jazz seemed to have a lesson for many aspects of problem solving in life. The joy of podcasting is being able to replay to really listen and contemplate about something being said, especially the various gems that came from Brene Brown. So here are the gems I found in that interview. A little paraphrasing.

Shame is the fear of disconnection. “I’m not good enough for other people “, “If I tell people …. they won’t want to be around me”.

Out of shame we numb vulnerability (we don’t tell how we are or even listen to how others are). We can’t numb vulnerability in isolation so, effectively, we numb joy and happiness as well.

Vulnerability is our most accurate measure of Courage. eg talking as listening to a difficult conversation. When not acting with vulnerability, we will come to be in shame. Vulnerability is necessary if we want to come through for others. Vulnerability is uncertainty, risk, emotional. It is intimacy, trust, connection. Vulnerability is a raw bid for connection as distinct from a ‘normalising’ conversation. A normalising conversation is a broadcast of complaint to enroll others in your complaint, like we often do on FaceBook. Vulnerability is showing how we are being from our emotional response to a difficulty. Difficulties are what our days are made up of. (Me: We can either be vulnerable and happy Or complaining and unhappy. How to deal with complaint in a vulnerable manner, that is a whole wonderful possibility in life.)

Vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity, innovation, change. (Take it to the bank).

SHOW UP RIGHT NOW. Perfection isn’t possible and if it was, no one wants it of you. WE WANT VULNERABILITY.

Oh, and about Stefon Harris. In jazz there are no mistakes. A mistake would be be not perceiving what someone else just did. That would be an opportunity missed. To get somewhere you think you might like to be, be patient and listening.

 

The Art of Movement 1

So I’m painting the room that will be my new movement/dance studio and serve what social functions I have. It has been a long time getting this far and it seems that life is playing out a bit slowly. Nontheless, plenty of time to listen to ABC podcasts and contemplate on the possibilities for my contribution to the world of movement art, dance, and somatic training.

So I’ve begun to design a program called “The Art of Movement” that will be able to feature the quite large range of ideas that can be incorporated in exploring human movement as a creative vehicle.

However, frustrated by my need to be disciplined around physical renovations that will create the base for my future work, yet wanting to get into the art, an idea bout looking at the functionality of my activities through the lense of performance.

And that little thought lead to these photographs taken as I prepare for another session of work. I’ve titled them: The Art of Movement:Painting.

Warning: This looks simple but I’ve been training around my balance quite a bit, so DON’T do this on a ladder unless you’re confident you’ve trained up for it. I am 55 years old, and while I hope I can show what is possible in physical training for the average Joe, Be Responsible.

Painting_0001 Painting_0002Painting_0003    Painting_0006Painting_0004Painting_0005

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