Make The Climb [on Not So Flawed Wednesday]

display of knowledge in frame copy

Roger and I used to talk about art in terms of levels of sophistication. For instance, no one masters an instrument the first time they pick one up. There are layers of learning necessary before the musician “knows” how to play. The “knowing” has little to do with the accumulation of information and everything to do with giving over to what the body learns. Finally, it is a letting go (of the mind) into an undefended sharing. Flow. It has nothing to do with knowing and everything to do with availability. This ‘availability to experience’ is what we called sophistication.

Both the artist and the audience pass through layers of greater sophistication. The artist wants greater and greater challenges. The audience wants greater and greater challenges, that is, they want to participate in something that demands more from them. It requires that both artist and audience show up, open, give over. Union is the ultimate purpose of art. Participation in something greater than your self. That is how art informs and transforms.

And then, there is the flip side, the anti-art. You can feel it. The absence of the genuine experience. The demonstration of accumulated knowledge. I cringe when a curator launches a three-masted-ship-of-study that tells me what the art is about, what the artist felt, and what I should see and feel. When the actor attempts to control what I see, when the art is so conceptual that it precludes me or anyone save the artist from entering the conversation, when the  knowledge priest stands between me and my god…you’ll know the levels of sophistication have left the building when the conversation is one way, judged, controlled.

Kerri calls this the blah-blah. When a real moment is disrupted by an agenda, when the flow is dammed by an unnecessary display of knowledge. And, the kicker is, we are all guilty of it. I am. It is a necessary step in climbing the ladder of sophistication, slipping back down the ladder of sophistication. To confuse technique with art. To garble the necessity of the open heart with  the realm of the intellectually abstract.  To give a standing ovation to something that put you to sleep. To try to control what the other person sees or thinks or feels; a fool’s errand. The great artist trap. The great life trap.

And, the best you can do (truly, the best thing), is to catch yourself in the moment of blah-blah, laugh at yourself lost in the trap, pull out the ladder, and begin again to climb toward simplicity.

 

read Kerri’s blog post about AN UNNECESSARY DISPLAY OF KNOWLEDGE

 

 

cropped head kiss website copy

 

Learn The Space Between

763. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

I just read this phrase in an old notebook. I’m not sure who to attribute it to though it sounds as if it came from Ana-The-Wise: Between the inhale and the exhale there is an empty state. It is from this empty place that we create.

The “space between” has emerged as the theme this week.

A few days ago I had a conversation with a class about the space between actors on a stage. The play is never about the actors or the characters, the play happens in the space between them. It is the space of relationship. It is the place where the verbs express. If the actors are honest, the space between them opens and the audience joins the story. The audience participates. If the actors are pretending, if they are dishonest, the door closes and the audience can only witness the lie.

In Transformational Presence coaching class we also worked with the space between. In this case, it was the gap between what we know and how we live. Alan calls this praxis and has defined praxis as integrating belief and behavior. He writes, “Praxis is closing the gap.” In exploring the gap we worked with the relationship between what we know and how we live. They are not separate concepts but a living relationship. The gap is a dynamic space. It is the space where you will find your fears and stories of limitation. Close your gap and you will discover and transform all the reasons you believed you couldn’t walk your talk. And, just as actors on a stage discover, bringing an honest intention to the space between (relationship) creates movement, openness and flow. Bring dishonesty to the space between and the door closes. Fear takes over. Limits flourish.

The space between is always a relationship. It is never and empty space in the sense that is a void. In meditation it is the door to stillness. Learn the space between your inhale and exhale and you will find a quiet mind; it turns out that your thoughts and breath are as integrated as the rhythms of your heart and lungs. Place your focus outside of yourself, put it on the space between you and the world, and you will find a fertile, vibrant, creative realm ripe with possibilities.