Art & The Conscious mind – Eastern Theology & Workshop

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(Image taken from; http://calebthompson.io/images/iceberg.png)

The workshop began with a lecture, a little unexpected, but interesting enough. An image of an iceberg was shown; ‘The iceberg that we can see is our conscious mind in normal everyday life. The part of the Iceberg we do NOT see, is our subconscious mind.’ the lecturer told us, and she began to regale a tale of harnessing this underlying consciousness through a method of Evolution. As you ascend the evolutionary chain, consciousness increases.

– A Bacterium’s sensory understanding is almost non-existent, it responds to touch, and touch alone, and exists only for a sole purpose.

-An ant, although having more sensory inputs, still exists in a hive mind, it works for the colony, and although can achieve more than the bacterium, still only ha a consciousness that extends no further than the colony. An ant may wander onto the foot of a human, and may experience the foot as an object, but it would not be able to comprehend the human in it’s entirety; it can not picture the human within it’s mind.

– A dog, arguably, has a level of consciousness. It can remember past experiences and link them into it’s current state of being. However, it is still ruled by instincts at times; how it eats, how it smells and lives is still dictated by it’s biological instincts, not it’s consciousness.

– A Human being is the highest level of consciousness that we know of, it allows us to collect, collate and analyse information, and experience the word in a way that other beings on this planet cannot. In many religions we are seen as the highest beings on this planet, consciously, but we can ‘achieve’ a higher consciousness by becoming closer to God. This is the way that  western theologies believe we can gain a higher consciousness, however, eastern philosophies believe that one can achieve this through meditation.

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(Image taken from; https://sacredsquare.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/475-card-a11.jpg)

We then took a short break to meditate, and although I have meditated before, I did not enjoy the way we meditated in this workshop. When there is a leader, they keep talking to those who are meditating around them. This is all well and good, but it kind of distracts you when you begin to fall into the trance that meditation gives. Nevertheless, I did enjoy our experiments in meditation. After this point, we began to experiment with ‘Enso’, which I had experience wiht before, basing a series of work on the experience of inner reflection brought about by the Enso, which can be see here; https://ethangrantdodd.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/final-piece-evaluation-the-enso-circles/. It was increibly interesting to meditate in an environment like this, and will endeavour to work on this more often.

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