HOW EARTH CULTURE MAKES ITS RULES
JANUARY 11, 2006. In a nutshell, here is how it works. Someone steps out of character, out of the familiar image that others have of him. What does he do? He imagines and creates something different.
His friends and family are startled. They feel a little shocked and betrayed. One of their own has created a WEIRDNESS.
How dare he do that in a society based on conformity. How dare he upset the applecart.
So they attack this thing he created. They demean it. They call it crazy. They say it doesn't make any sense.
Then the person who stepped out of character experiences fear and shame. So he pulls in his horns and slides back into the fold. He gives up the ghost. He goes back to being the image that everyone knows.
This is a little piece of warfare and victory for the mob. One of their own created something and they took care of that. Boom.
Looked at from a slightly different angle, it goes this way: there is imagination and there is what imagination creates. When a shaky novice invents something and it sits out there, naked, the whole situation is wobbly. A few people shoot arrows at the thing that was imagined and invented, and the novice not only drops back into the conforming pack, he pulls in his imagination and puts it under wraps.
Now you know why many artists develop a cover-persona to deal with the world. They present themselves as somewhat weird to begin with---already, in essence, admitting, "Sure I'm crazy. So don't bother telling me you think what I'm painting is bizarre and stupid. I'm crazy. What do you expect?" It's a way of cushioning the blows.
I'm in the process of putting the finishing touches on a new CD that is, well, a one-year course in how to paint in the Zen way---but the CD is one hour. So I've packed everything in very tight and fast and without fancy flourishes. It's like stepping into the river when the river is in full flow.
I think this is the best way to do it. If I carefully craft a series of tiny baby steps, the whole spirit of the enterprise will be lost. Because inventing something completely different and completely "weird" (painting in the moment) can't be accomplished by taking those baby steps. The steps themselves make it mechanical, make it a calculated system. And it isn't a system.
I would like to see 50,000 people suddenly painting in this way. Throwing overboard all the careful rules and the dainty ideas and the mechanical steps.
This one-year course in one hour doesn't require the person to have any background in painting. It's better if he has no background.
On the CD, I describe about ten things to do in sequence. They are very clear. They need to be DONE, of course, and that requires stepping into the river right away. Then you get the feeling of it. Then you get the energy. Then you are launched.
You are outside the unspoken rules of the culture.
You are imagining and creating and inventing and improvising faster than you can think. When you do that, all the self-generated negative thoughts fall behind. They lose their power. They become vague debris on the water.
I SHOULDN'T DO THIS.
WHAT WILL OTHER PEOPLE THINK.
THIS LOOKS TERRIBLE.
THIS MAKES NO SENSE.
THEY'LL SAY I'M NUTS.
These and countless other thoughts fade away.
And as you keep on painting day after day, month after month, a strange thing happens. Several strange things happen. You gain confidence. You rely on your imagination. You invent worlds. You realize, FIRST-HAND, how the culture tries to hold people inside certain boundaries. You understand that as mind control. You understand that you were trying to impose mind control on yourself.
We all know what the physical world looks like. We pay silent and deep allegiance to it. We tend to think the world (the space-time continuum) is the prime reality. Therefore, if we were going to paint, then naturally we would try to mirror and reflect and copy some piece of the world. We would re-affirm our allegiance.
But suppose we went in an entirely different direction. Suppose we began inventing shapes and lines and squiggles and masses and spaces that don't reflect the world. Suppose we struck off in an entirely new way.
And suppose we began to look at what we had produced, and suppose we looked at it through our imaginations, instead of trying to figure out what it all means through the filter and standard of the physical world.
I'd dare say that, even if you see yourself as a businessman/woman, after you painted this way for a few months, you'd experience an influx of business ideas that would blow your mind. You'd come up with all sorts of different strategies. You'd wake up in the morning with new energies humming.
And that's just the beginning.
The culture of Earth is mainly about familiar patterns repeated over and over, for the purpose of defining our INNER reality. Once that inner definition is subliminally in place, we spin out pretty much the same pattern again and again. We're part of the culture. We're members of the club. We're inside a fence and we don't even know it. Hell, we built the fence.
From inside that spiked fence, we peer out and we see all sorts of lies and deceptions that elites have constructed. We expose these lies. But WE are still inside a fence.
It's a curious and interesting and ironic situation.
My goal is taking the wraps off all that. Blowing it to smithereens.
Much of Zen began with that goal. But in time systems began to creep in. Teachers who shouldn't have been teachers were working with students and unconsciously binding those students to ways of doing things. Patterns.
Imagination is a horse waiting in the stables. You can walk around outside the barn and look through the window and think about the horse, or you can go in there and get on the horse and ride it out into the new day.
You want a new world? Get on the horse.
JON RAPPOPORT www.nomorefakenews.com
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