Monday, April 2, 2012
Underneath the Wrapping
As an extension (largely a repetition really) of the last post I thought I'd try to give some examples of conceptual wrappings and some further explanation of what I mean by “the abstract eye”.
When we look at these letters which we are currently reading, we cannot help but silently or loudly, utter or take in, the sounds and meanings we have been trained to associate with them, and their combinations (words). Looking closer at the individual letters, like this U, we can see it has a specific shape, which is really all it is – a shape, or a form. A 'u' isn't a letter anywhere but in our minds. What we see is our minds superimposed upon the form. Typographers, designers, and visual artists, have a better chance of perceiving the u as an image, while most people normally never consider the pure line or curve of it. All they see is the U.
What I'd like us to do now is to gaze at this shape: H until we can behold its form free from the concept we call 'h'. To help out we may start by picturing the silhouette of two pillars attached to each other with a thin horizontal construction binding them together. Perhaps it is the ruins of a once great temple? Try then to see the form completely free from any kind of meaning (Staring at it for a long time usually helps). If we succeed it's great, but if we don't, the fact that we can realize that H is a form, just as “meaningless” as any other form, is beneficial. Though we understand it as a letter, it is still that same and simple form, which the illiterate will confirm, if we doubt it.
We typically don't add much emotional wrapping to the forms we call letters, but some sorts of music, some kinds of food, some occupations, and some types of animals (for example), are not as easily kept free from such additions. Just like the sound added to the letter H doesn't really have anything to do with the H-form, our opinions and ideas about heavy metal, soup, police-men, and spiders, are just that – opinion and ideas. Even if it's true that spiders more often bite human beings than butterflies do, they are not nasty, disgusting, creepy, or evil, anywhere but in some people's minds. (This is also true about police-men.)
The emotional wrappings may partly or fully be caused by actual facts, but hairy, poisonous qualities don't equal fear, because if they did, all beings would fear spiders, and loath heavy-metal. That some people love it and others hate it (whatever “it” may be) should be enough really, for us to see beyond our ego-centric ideas about all things. Unfortunately, this “should be” is wishful thinking. Wrappings don't come off that easily.
When we have managed to look at an H, for a short moment liberated from our branding of it, we can use this same technique on the rest of reality. Just try to keep free from ALL ideas when entering places, and encountering people, and you will notice how strange and marvelous a phenomenon they truly are. Treat every moment as a new and unknown revelation, coming to you all-inclusive and inevitable. There is nothing we can change of what already is, but for our reception and acceptance of it.
If we keep this up, we may be invited into the next level of freedom, where form itself is recognized and experienced as a concept. This is where the H blends together with the background (which no thing can ever escape) and starts speaking to us as the Unity it is. When that happens, we ourselves, simultaneously blend together with the world before our eyes and “seeing” is transformed into “being”.
An H isn't built up singularly by dark lines, but is equally made up by the seemingly empty areas between the pillars, as well as the space surrounding it. It is also fully dependent on the reader, without whom, there could never be form, nor letters. Examining an H is examining ourselves. Let us look beyond our ideas of it. Let us take into account all that which is required for the revelation of an H, and study that boundless process in action. Form and consciousness is now shaking hands, moving closer, and as they do they begin to recognize themselves in the eyes of the other. The merger has already begun.