Receptivity - Daily Original Art Painting Challange

Monday, October 06, 2008

So today's topic is "receptivity". And I, in my short and to the point way, would like to ask, 'how receptive are you to the possibilities all around?' Magic happens, if you'll let it. It's all in the way you DECIDE to view the world.

Another explanation I found while wandering the blogosphere is excerpted below. It's very wordy, but I think, well worthwhile. Read the full piece here if you feel inclined.

"There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet
an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says,
"Morning, boys, how's the water?" And the two young fish swim on for a
bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes,
"What the hell is water?"
A huge percentage of the stuff that I tend to be automatically certain
of is, it turns out, totally wrong and deluded. Here's one example of
the utter wrongness of something I tend to be automatically sure of:
everything in my own immediate experience supports my deep belief that
I am the absolute centre of the universe, the realest, most vivid and
important person in existence. We rarely talk about this sort of
natural, basic self-centredness, because it's so socially repulsive,
but it's pretty much the same for all of us, deep down. It is our
default setting, hard-wired into our boards at birth. Think about it:
there is no experience you've had that you were not at the absolute
centre of. The world as you experience it is right there in front of
you, or behind you, to the left or right of you, on your TV, or your
monitor, or whatever. Other people's thoughts and feelings have to be
communicated to you somehow, but your own are so immediate, urgent,
real - you get the idea.
But then you remember there's no food at home - you haven't had time to
shop this week, because of your challenging job - and so now, after
work, you have to get in your car and drive to the supermarket. It's
the end of the workday, and the traffic's very bad, so getting to the
store takes way longer than it should, and when you finally get there
the supermarket is very crowded, because of course it's the time of day
when all the other people with jobs also try to squeeze in some grocery
shopping, and the store's hideously, fluorescently lit, and infused
with soul-killing Muzak or corporate pop, and it's pretty much the last
place you want to be, but you can't just get in and quickly out: you
have to wander all over the huge, overlit store's crowded aisles to
find the stuff you want, and you have to manoeuvre your junky cart
through all these other tired, hurried people with carts, and of course
there are also the glacially slow old people and the spacey people and
the kids who all block the aisle and you have to grit your teeth and
try to be polite as you ask them to let you by, and eventually,
finally, you get all your supper supplies, except now it turns out
there aren't enough checkout lanes open even though it's the
end-of-the-day rush, so the checkout line is incredibly long, which is
stupid and infuriating, but you can't take your fury out on the frantic
lady working the register.
The point is that petty, frustrating crap like this is exactly where
the work of choosing comes in. Because the traffic jams and crowded
aisles and long checkout lines give me time to think, and if I don't
make a conscious decision about how to think and what to pay attention
to, I'm going to be pissed and miserable every time I have to
food-shop, because my natural default setting is the certainty that
situations like this are really all about me, about my hungriness and
my fatigue and my desire to just get home, and it's going to seem, for
all the world, like everybody else is just in my way, and who are all
these people in my way?
If I choose to think this way, fine, lots of us do - except that
thinking this way tends to be so easy and automatic it doesn't have to
be a choice. Thinking this way is my natural default setting.
But most days, if you're aware enough to give yourself a choice, you
can choose to look differently at this fat, dead-eyed, over-made-up
lady who just screamed at her little child in the checkout line - maybe
she's not usually like this; maybe she's been up three straight nights
holding the hand of her husband who's dying of bone cancer, or maybe
this very lady is the low-wage clerk at the Motor Vehicles Dept who
just yesterday helped your spouse resolve a nightmarish red-tape
problem through some small act of bureaucratic kindness. Of course,
none of this is likely, but it's also not impossible - it just depends
on what you want to consider. If you're automatically sure that you
know what reality is and who and what is really important - if you want
to operate on your default setting - then you, like me, will not
consider possibilities that aren't pointless and annoying. But if
you've really learned how to think, how to pay attention, then you will
know you have other options. It will be within your power to experience
a crowded, loud, slow, consumer-hell-type situation as not only
meaningful but sacred, on fire with the same force that lit the stars -
compassion, love, the sub-surface unity of all things. Not that that
mystical stuff's necessarily true: the only thing that's capital-T True
is that you get to decide how you're going to try to see it. You get to
consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn't.
And the world will not discourage you from operating on your default
settings, because the world of men and money and power hums along quite
nicely on the fuel of fear and contempt and frustration and craving and
the worship of self. Our own present culture has harnessed these forces
in ways that have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal
freedom. The freedom to be lords of our own tiny skull-sized kingdoms,
alone at the centre of all creation. This kind of freedom has much to
recommend it. But there are all different kinds of freedom, and the
kind that is most precious you will not hear much talked about in the
great outside world of winning and achieving and displaying. The really
important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and
discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people
and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy
ways, every day. That is real freedom. The alternative is
unconsciousness, the default setting, the "rat race" - the constant
gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing.
It is about simple awareness - awareness of what is so real and
essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, that we have to keep
reminding ourselves, over and over: "This is water, this is water.""

And at last, the vid!

Receptivity by you.

You Might Also Like

0 thoughts

Say what you like just keep it sane and polite. It's my blog and I'll delete if I want to.