Tag Archives: artists

David Bohm on art

14 Jan

The eternally amazing David Bohm

As a kid/young adult, one of my favorite radio programs was New Dimensions Radio – with Michael and Justine Toms. Michael interviewed physicist David Bohm and I feel the resonances of that talk rippling across the years of my life. The New Dimensions site is temporarily down today, but it’s well worth checking out their archives and interviews when they’re back up and running. I can’t think of many people in the 80’s and 90’s that Michael Toms didn’t interview. Fabulous resource about who and what influences our world.

David Bohm on the Word ‘Art’

” Considering the word art: The original meaning of this word is ‘to fit’. This meaning survives in articulate, article, artisan, artifact and so on. Of course, in modern times the word art has come to mean mainly ‘to fit, in an aesthetic and emotional sense’. However, the other words listed above show that art can also call attention to fitting in a functional sense.

The fact that we are hardly aware of the syllable art in words such as articulate or artifact is an indication of an implicit but very deeply penetrating fragmentation in our thought between the aesthetic, emotional aspects of life and its practical functioning aspects. This fragmentation tends to operate also in the meaning of the word beauty, which is ‘to fit in every sense’. Nevertheless, this word also tends mainly to emphasize aesthetic and emotional fitting.

It can be seen that, in a very profound sense, all these activities are concerned with fitting, i.e. with art. All that man does is a kind of art, and this implies skill in doing things, as well as perception of how things fit or do not fit. This is indeed self-evident for the visual or musical artist as well as for the artisan. It is true also for the scientist and the mathematician, but less evident.

It is clear, then, that reasoning is to be regarded as an art. And thus, in a deep sense, the artist, the scientist, and the mathematician, are concerned with art in its most general significance, that is, with fitting.” — David Bohm; The David Bohm Society

Bohm also saw artists as people who were fundamentally trying to change the meaning of life by challenging the conventions of the past. His fascination with linguistics led him to all sorts of crazy interesting speculations and perspectives. In his interview with Toms, he touched on the idea of beliefs.  He pointed out that our word ‘belief’ comes from the German  ‘Glauben‘: meaning “to hold dear, esteem, trust’. Our beliefs therefore, are quite literally, our beloveds and we have a hard time of it when they are challenged.

Artists, being primarily concerned with art; with the way things fit together, are prone to challenge our beliefs, our beloveds, continually. This is part of the blessing and curse of living the creative life. I am finding as I get older that more and more of my beliefs/beloveds do not fit. Emotionally, I have outgrown them, aesthetically they hang about me like a shroud and as for functionality – not so much.

For today, I am not going to try on a new set of beliefs for size – I am merely trying not to pick up all the out-dated wrappings that I cover myself in every day, without fail. It is uncomfortable- I feel myself grasping for the structure these beliefs provide, the known security I often hide behind – and yet, as an artist, constantly challenging myself to discover and incorporate the new- whether technique, concept or tool – I find this clinging conceptually odd.  Beliefs are good. But they are they beloveds? If I am an artist; concerned with how things fit, then I must be aware when things do not fit. Ah yes. The beliefs that no longer fit are not who-I-really-am anyway; they are artifacts; things of historical interest. Today I will leave them on the shelf in my imaginary room of curiosities…

Reality is what we take to be true. What we take to be true is what we believe. What we believe is based upon our perceptions. What we perceive depends on what we look for. What we look for depends on what we think. What we think depends on what we perceive. What we perceive determines what we believe. What we believe determines what we take to be true. What we take to be true is our reality. ~David Bohm

…and I will change the meaning of my life; doing what the artist does best.

I create.

3 Jun Drawing out the beauty of the soul! - janet balboa

Studio 141What is deciding your future right now? Often it’s an unfortunate combination of pure chance, not- so- enlightened reactions to circumstances combined with  frustration and monotony. Welcome to the world of quiet desperation…
Escape from the daily grind means reclaiming and using your power to consciously create a life that sustains you. Your future is not determined by the economy, your income level, your parents or your best friend. There is one person at cause, making all your decisions, who determines all the effects of your life, and that’s you. Take ownership of your actions and the consequences. When you say things like “It’s not my fault” and blame another person or the situation, you surrender the power you have to change ‘what Is’ into ‘what Can Be’’.
If no one is at fault, then no one is responsible. It’s a temporarily safe position. You can pass the buck and not have to do anything yourself. However, it is an ultimately weak position. Every time you blame, judge or accuse someone or something else, you are in effect saying “This person/ thing/situation is responsible for me. I cannot be responsible for myself. By making this choice, I allow it/them to decide the outcome of my life.” Then you get mad and resentful because you feel so powerless. It’s a vicious cycle.
When you choose to accept your ability to create in your own life, then you accept the power to change your own life. Take responsibility whenever you can. When you take responsibility you reclaim your power as a co-creation your life. You have the power to change course and choose a different outcome. Don’t blame yourself for how you’ve been in the past, just accept your power to choose different actions now, therefore different outcomes, in the present. All things change when you do.
Learn to use your power to create what you desire . The adage ‘energy flows where attention goes’ is true. Your ability to co-create means you can and should be directing the flow of your energy consciously. You already do it, mainly unconsciously, sending energy to everyone and everything you put your attention on. If your attention is focused on people and things ‘out there’, that is exactly where your energy is going, out there, feeding other people, circumstances, and situations. When you take responsibility just for you, you stop energetically feeding the externals. More and more of your energy will stay with you. When you are in possession of your energy, you are full. When you are full; energized, you can give. How can you give if you’re constantly running on empty? Begin to take care of yourself. Pay attention to where you put your attention. Learn to keep yourself full and consequently in the best position to give.
When you blame, judge or accuse, your powerlessness keeps you tossed about by circumstances– you react to everything, put out fires everywhere. It’s crisis management. When you begin to consciously take responsibility for where you put your energy, you will build a firm foundation from which to respond. Intentionally directing your energy allows you to be on top of situations and circumstances, not controlled by them.
Just like the blame game, getting caught up in the drama of everyone else’s life will distract you from your life’s purpose. In stead of focusing on what you can change, you focus on the never ending parade of ‘who said what’, –which you have no control over. Getting stuck here is a recipe for ineffectiveness and despair. Focusing on outer drama creates inner drama in your own life– resulting in incessant whining and wheel-spinning. Your unfocused energy, with no defined purpose, leaks away into people and situations that keep you busy and dissatisfied. Powerless.
In order to begin taking charge, it’s important to get a few things straight. Taking charge is not being in control. Taking charge is knowing who you are and where you are going. It is not about controlling what happens to you along the way. Bad things, unexpected things can happen. These things have the potential to throw you off course for awhile, maybe a long while. The important thing is to have a course to get back to. If you firmly know where you are coming from and what you’d like to accomplish along the way, you will watch your dreams turn into your reality.
Don’t assume that anyone else can make your decisions for you or is better equipped to run your life. When you start intentionally investing your energy into things and outcomes that serve you, your life will change. By consciously choosing and holding the image of what you want to see next in your life, you determine where your energy will go. When you decide what you want, a way to achieve it will present itself . In all instances, when we take charge of our own lives, and get to know ourselves and what we desire, our manifested dreams become natural extensions of our power to create.

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