STORED and the power of STORIES

The past is a storehouse of all the things that have been done.

The transitoriness of life does not annihilate what has happened.

On the contrary, what has happened is stored forever in the past. 

Something done can never be undone. (Viktor Frankl)

The past is “stored” and this is clearly why stories are so powerful. They can recreate things experienced in the past with the possibility of transforming them in the present.

THE WAY OUT IS IN | THE OBSTACLE IS THE WAY

The Way Out Is In

The Guest House – Jalaluddin Rumi

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
They may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

The Way Out – Is In

This exquisitely elegant axiom of Thich Nhat Hahn is profound in its simplicity. In light of this coronavirus crisis, it takes on a prophetic dimension.

We are now, all 7 billion of us, in a retreat. We are pushed to reflection, to examining the visions, values, hopes, and fears that determine our actions and experience. Have we ever had such an opportunity before? I think it is important to ask ourselves what went wrong, and also to reflect on who or what has some fault. Yet, I believe that healing and creative transformation are better served by exploring our dreams. Our dreams and the stories we create to express them have creative power. They shape our world. We must understand that even those things we want to change, the things we feel are obstacles, and oppress us, have their roots in dreams, in the stories we tell ourselves and tell the world.

Consider this, the original meaning of the magic word Abracadabra is “I create what I speak.” If we are dreaming of scarcity and fear, we will create situations of lack, competition for resources, and fear of not having enough. And from this dream come all the forms of domination, seeking power, control,  and the violence it takes to hold to such attempts. All of this rooted in these fearful dreams. If we look at the world and the injustices we see, it becomes clear that they are rooted in this kind of thinking, this kind of dreaming.

 The enigma of dreaming, the mystery of our capacity to find and create meaning, to find and receive purpose and inspiration in dreams and intuitions, our ability to imagine and envision ways of living, and our talent to interpret the meaning of all aspects of our experience, is truly awesome. Awesome, in both senses of the word, as something wondrous and as something inspiring of fear. The power of stories to shape our lives is as mighty as it is mysterious.

The way out is in, and this other powerful notion that the obstacle is the way, are teachings that we can now verify collectively. This situation caused by coronavirus pandemic is forcing us to go inside. The question is, do we perceive this quarantine as an emergency lockdown disaster, a forced retreat, a totalitarian coup d’etat or a challenge and possible healing? This situation is causing an unprecedented global confrontation with our inner and outer experience. We are obliged to explore what Arnold Mindell (founder of Process Oriented Psychology) has called Dreamland. Processwork has integrated teachings that can be found in many traditions of self-development and self-knowledge. It considers disturbing or threatening symptoms as starting points for the initiation of processes leading to deeper understanding, healing, and resolution of adverse conditions or conflict. “Every criticism, judgment, diagnosis, and expression of anger is the tragic expression of an unmet need.” This quote of Nonviolent Communication creator Marshall Rosenberg, also points out that what appears as an adversary can be welcomed as a messenger of some greater understanding and freedom.

Dreamland is the world of our emotions, values, fears, hopes, beliefs, ideals, in short, our subjective reality, our psychology. This situation is giving humanity a singular opportunity to ask essential questions about our lifestyles and our socio-economic and political systems. The opportunity here is to discover what is wanting to be born and then find the individual and collective courage, focus, and organization to bring the dream into everyday reality.

This is the opportunity before us: if our “old” world seemed crazy, let us not desire to return to that “madness” we called “normality.” A society rooted in myths of scarcity, separateness, and competition. Creating a world of anxiety, stress, fear, hostility, and mistrust. Let us instead dream wonderfully and remember Ruby Tuesday: “Lose your dreams, and you will lose your mind.”

Artivism & Moments Of Truth

 

 

 

My neighbour and her boy and another neighbour’s  2 girls made drawings in front of an old people’s residence in Amsterdam. Artivists and activism is changing the world!

La mia vicina, il suo bimbo e le due ragazze di altri vicini hanno fatto dei disegni davanti a una residenza per anziani ad Amsterdam. Artivisti e attivisti stanno cambiando il mondo!

What’s the point of this movie?

It tells the story of a group of people who followed a dream of giving voice to an artistic life of freedom, expression, love and courage. A dream that allowed them to overcome great challenges, issues of life and death, loss and joy to be reborn from time to time as the sphinx and inspire and let joy unfold for thousands of other voices.

This is an important story now, for all of us who are facing challenges that test our humanity, that ask each of us to reflect on what kind of life we want to lead and in what world we want to live it. Challenges that ask us to affirm our solidarity and to take our dreams seriously. We believe that artivism and artivists (which we all are) are agents of change and are creating a new world. Every act of beauty and meaning has consequences that go beyond the immediate visible and measurable. Every act of compassion for oneself and others contributes to the creation of a new mythology that has the power to change the world.

What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is an act of love, friendship and trust in the power of imagination and collective action. For example, Uri and I have 4800 friends on Facebook. If everyone was ready to contribute only 5 euros, we would have 24,000 euros to complete our work of love to inspire everyone to go for their dreams and follow their own artivist path!

Che senso ha questo film?

Racconta la storia di un gruppo di persone che hanno seguito un sogno di dare voce a una vita artistica di libertà, espressione, amore e coraggio. Un sogno che gli a permesso di superare grande sfide, questioni di vita e di morte, di perdita e di gioia per rinascere da volta in volta come la sfinge ed ispirare e lasciare che la gioia si dispieghi per migliaia di altre voci.

Questa è una storia importante adesso, per tutti noi che stiamo affrontando sfide che mettono alla prova la nostra umanità, che chiedono a ciascuno di noi di riflettere su quale tipo di vita vogliamo condurre e in quale mondo la vogliamo vivere. Sfide che ci chiedono di affermare la nostra solidarietà e di prendere sul serio i nostri sogni. Crediamo che l’artivismo e gli artivisti (che siamo tutti) siano agenti di cambiamento e stiano creando un mondo nuovo. Ogni atto di bellezza e di significato ha conseguenze che vanno oltre l’immediato visibile e misurabile. Ogni atto di compassione per sé e per gli altri contribuisce alla creazione di una nuova mitologia che ha il potere di cambiare il mondo.

Che cosè crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding è un atto d’amore, amicizia e fiducia nel potere della immaginazione e l’azione collettiva. Per esempio, io e Uri abbiamo 4800 amici su Facebook. Se ognuno fosse pronto a contribuire solo 5 euro, avremmo 24,000 euro per completare la nostra opera d’amore per ispirare tutti che lo vedranno ad andare per i loro sogni e seguire il proprio sentiero da artivista!   

                 .

The End Of The World

Yes, and I say it joyfully, the world has ended!

When I ask them, friends are saying, “yes, this slowdown, this lockdown, this stop which came from nowhere, the way we’re living now, home with loved ones eating, reading, dancing, making love, talking about it all, reflecting, meditating, chatting with others, it’s the life we always wanted”. Others say, “Hey look, they took over, fascism, dictatorship is rising, look at all this control of people suddenly, everybody everywhere locked in their houses, the economy has come to a screeching halt and soon the big boys will be asking for a bailout at our expense, and look, the only ones allowed to circulate freely are police and military”. Things that make you go Hmm.

Perhaps it’s not what it seems. Perhaps this is a gift, a deep and severe teaching. Maybe the old world is done, gone for good. Perhaps this new situation is it, a new world that begins here and goes on like this for, I won’t say forever, because nothing is forever. Yet everything is always now, the time in which we live it. And that old world, the world who’s voices still can be heard when we say “this could be the beginning of a new reality”, we can hear them in the whispers and shouts you hear inside and around you saying, “yeah but how are you going to make that work?” Well, are those old voices? Could they be echoes of our dreams of scarcity, and our ancestors, the ones we were until a few days ago –  until we that world came to an end?

Well, is this true? Is it just a wild fantasy? It’s up to us, choose!

Decalog Against Fear by the inspired Italian Franco Arminio

Image may contain: 1 person, beard and closeupCORONAVIRUS: The Decalogue Against Fear, written by the poet and landscape architect Franco Arminio (passed to me by a serious person):

1. The passions, the intimate and the civil ones, increase the immune defenses. Being enthusiastic about someone or something defends us from many diseases.
2. Reading a book rather than going to the mall.
3. Making love rather than going to a pizzeria.
4. Walking in the countryside or in almost empty villages.
5. Understand that we are immersed in the universe and that we could not live without plants while plants would remain in the world even without us. Staying a little time away from crowded places can be an opportunity to rediscover a relationship with nature, starting from the one within us.
6. Traveling around. Tourism is a much bigger plague than the coronavirus. It is absurd to pollute the planet with airplanes just because we no longer know how to stand still.
7. Knowing that commercial life is not the only life possible, there is also opera life. The economic crisis is serious, but much less so than the theological crisis: losing a company is less serious than losing the sense of the sacred.
8. Life is dangerous, it will always be dangerous, each of us can die for any reason in the next ten minutes, there is no possibility of not dying.
9. Wash your hands very often, inform yourself but without exaggeration. Knowing that we also have a lust for fear and immediately find someone who will sell it to us. Our vocation for consumption now makes us consumers of fear. There is a risk that panic will become a form of entertainment.
10. Be quiet now and then, watch more than talk. Knowing that the cure before medicine comes from the form we give to our lives. To escape the dictatorship of the time and its evils one must be careful, quick and light, exact and plural.

What a splendid time to be alive!

with great thanks to Dustin Quasar for the use of his beautiful image

(was that ever not so?)

This morning my dear friend Giuseppe Conoci posted the following:

AN IDEA THAT CAME TONIGHT
We need to find in pain a key element for creating community. Don’t keep it locked up inside, let alone, lock ourselves up in it. Instead, we should share it, write about it, tell a story, sing about it, complain about it if necessary. I want pain no longer to be
shamefully hidden, I don’t want it to be held tightly as a private fact, because it is an illusion to think that it is. It affects everyone, sooner or later our train will pass through that station, sooner or later every individual will be touched by it. You might as well equip yourself then, prepare to learn from your experience. Tonight while I was wandering around in these thoughts, and thinking about asking the mayor of my town for a place where we could meet and share our human pain of living, the idea came to me. I am tired of delegating to institutions, to municipal administrations, almost always encountering their lack of attention, also tired of delegating to listening and caring professionals. I want to propose a simple, direct action in favor of the community in which I live, Otranto. Since I have a bookshop, and also considering that this bookshop bears the name of AnimaMundi, so by vocation it is interested in the soul of the world, once a week, for two hours, I will make it become a listening point for pain in all its forms. Anyone can participate,  participation will be free and open to citizens and tourists passing through. There will be no listening professionals, but people who can tune in to their own pain and the pain of others and give it a voice. The first meeting will take place on Thursday, March 26, at 5 pm.

If we find it difficult to begin, because the pain is stratified in us and we have learned so well to pretend we don’t feel it, then to thaw us out we will ask for help to a few pages of a book, read a poem, listen to a piece of music. I know, one day a week, for two hours, is little, almost nothing. But it can be a start, a small start. If in every country or city small centers of listening to pain were created, I believe that our joy would be more alive and the whole community would benefit. We must stop thinking of pain like a heavy, sad or gloomy thing. It becomes so when in pain, the air no longer circulates because it has been locked up for a long in rooms of the soul where no one passes. On the contrary, when it is authentically shared, it quickly runs towards its opposite, lightness, and joy.

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How many Tabù’s are we liberating and illuminating! This is indeed a time wherein nothing is to be taken for granted, wherein nothing goes without saying, in which everything is being restated, redefined, reinvented, re-cognized.
Let us celebrate this fact, let us be grateful and do our part in this great work of awakening. Tell your story!

art is science – science is art …

The notion that consciousness is the fundamental presence, energy, phenomenon, present in all that is, nowadays comes from the corner of quantum physics. The notion of consciousness as the underlying and organizing principle of the universe, isn’t a new idea, however. Ancient traditions, including the esoteric Qabbalah, Hinduism, and Buddhism have long taught and devised practices to allow us to realize that the universe is, in essence, a mental phenomenon. I like to say that each thing and phenomenon is a manifestation of some kind of consciousness. It is the essence of what makes that thing that thing. The identity of any given thing is its kind of consciousness. Yet consciousness, as a force, like gravity, is a force, but it is not limited to, or generated by, that entity. Consciousness, whose core characteristic is awareness, also enables us to perceive, sense and narrate reality. Thus in a very real way, consciousness can be said to create reality. Seen this way, it is the cause, both of the way things come into being and the way they are put in relationship to each other thus creating order and meaning. On a more metaphysical level, we might even speculate that consciousness is also the way reality comes to know itself.

So, here we are in a dimension where the distinction between art and science blurs. I actually think it is very helpful to blur this distinction because it makes things a bit more human and more authentic…in the sense of understanding who or what is authoring what we call reality.

To my Darwinist friends – I believe that awareness is the substrate and engine of existence. This is not in contradiction with the theory of evolution. I think that universal awareness, trans-entity, has had to evolve towards every form through matter and all life forms to which it has given expression. This movement through matter and life forms is capillary in nature. At every level, every limitation, obstacle, challenge, problem posed by the processes set in motion, are solved through trial and error. Always developing, expanding and applying the models and principles perceived, discovering new possibilities and using them in an experiential way, consolidating and verifying the discoveries and passing them forward through natural selection. It is not that awareness manifests forms and conditions in an immediate “magical” way. It sets in motion processes that develop naturally. This is also the basis of the scientific process.

Seen like this it is true that science and scientific process are artforms.

Tell me what you think…    

 

 

SEPARATION

If we had to give a name for our human disease I think it would be SEPARATION – the feeling of being separate individuals. Of course, individuation is essential if we are to develop our body, mind, and soul to become creative beings and bring our power, passion, and, purpose to the circle of our collective human being, interacting and doing. But the HEALING of our DIS-EASE is surly in joining the Circle. And the circles have been ever-expanding as our awareness of ourselves and the world has grown throughout our evolution. And now this global crisis brings its message, its blessing – the circle is the Circle Of Humanity here now on earth INTERBEING.
DEEP DEMOCRACY – sharing our stories, the things we love and fear, the things we envision and long for, and our capacity to support, help and contribute to each other. Recognizing our common humanity, our connection to our common human needs and nature and connection to Nature that supports, contains and has given us life, this is how the Circle of Stories offers us healing, making us WHOLE.

5 CHAIRS 5 CHOICES & 5 STEPS TO ACHIEVING ANYTHING

22-23 June 2019 Lousie Evans and I gave our first seminar together.

The Art of Relationship — Exploring the Language of collaboration and Love

The group was composed of a community of individuals living and working together and some of their friends…all of them in relationships, all of them interested in improving their partnerships.

The result was a deeply moving and inspiring event that has left us all with the desire to continue and develop this precious work.

Louise and I very inspired and committed to developing our collaboration and offering the fruits of our interaction and cross-fertilization to more people in the future.  Stay tuned!