Slide Show - Images (mostly) from The Illustrated History of Painting


Sunday, March 8, 2015

TANKS ... for the MEMORIES

Tank report:

Note - None of the text below should be read as literal or descriptive. It is opaquely allusive, at best. Or confounding/misleading at worst.

Regular floating (as I did previously, for five years, in the U.S.) apparently allows the troubled 'surface-water' of consciousness to quieten itself. Slowing - in both frequency and intensity - the incessant cross-swell of dictatorial narrative. After awhile, all superficially 'audible' narrative appears to cease.

But that is not the case entire.

Instead, as 'surface noise' drops to seemingly inaudible (or imperceptible) levels, one descends, as if drawn by a down-welling gravitational pull, from one's once-choppy, now-stilled, surface consciousness ... to deeper, and more profoundly roiled, undercurrents of narrative. 

Understanding - for as long as gate-keeper-consciousness maintains itself - as one drops 'down', that internal narrative has hardly stopped at all. In fact, one's argument with life itself, continues to authoritatively and futilely contend;
(basso profondo) at deeper and deeper depths.

I intend, given time and regular practice, to drop and pause at each apprehended layer of reflective (descriptive, analytical, evaluative) narration and allow it too to cease before dropping yet deeper - and repeating. 

To that end (for now) I employ a borrowed (paraphrased,rather) kōan - in the form of a self-eating, curiosity inducing, question: "What happens when I allow everything to be exactly as it is". The seemingly simple-minded question presumes, correctly, that I ( I fucking I ) don't ever intend - as a matter of course - to allow anything to be exactly as it is. I perpetually, and futilely, insist otherwise.

So, rather than setting myself a task, self-imposed discipline, or exercise in futility - for a chronically defiant and unruly mind - I instead bait the observant self - as long as it sustains itself - with a simple, curiosity inducing, question (what happens, if ?). 

Paradoxically, whatever arises, or not, after that, is (ipso facto) things as they are. All - otherwise disruptive - adversarial, phenomenon ( as it inevitably fountains from an artesian well of incessantly assigned human meaning) allies itself (irresistibly) with the infinite allowance(s) of the originally posed question. 

The after-effects of these practices have been both liberating and irksomely discomfiting. They don't 'improve' me (whatever that might mean) as a person, nor do I stupidly expect enlightenment, of one notional type or another, from such efforts. I aspire to nothing. Nothing in particular, that is. Except whatever may happen, or manifest, in the course of inquiry. 

At present I am passively resistant to and/or pleasantly tolerant of what I think of as nafs (a Sufi term) as I'd rather not invest in, chase, or succumb to, the sorts of bliss-states floating regularly affords the inveterate bliss-ninny. 

But then again, this could be yet more self-misdirection ... growing like kudzu from an earlier Calvinist planting, I doubt I'll ever successfully be shift of. Ah, well. 

End of post.