Letter to Phil

When I was a boy snorkeling at Black Rock in Port Philip Bay in Melbourne, I discovered a small cannon 3 feet long that I brought back to shore with some difficulty. Picking it up from some depths, the weight of it prevented me surfacing so had to drop, take a breath, dive and carry, repeatedly back towards the shallows.

I am embarrassed to say, and it reflects my alienation with bureaucracy, but after years – and I preserved, drafted an image on graph paper, and contemplated its origins as well as what to do with it – I decided the authorities would not process it in meaningful ways, and I got rid of it.

I am now sorry, but in telling you about it helps me see the position I find myself with my work.

The bridge between history, nature, our journeys, the arts, philosophy and science, is us. Not our words and works. The actual self that may not be cognitively determined, but is there for the sensitive to notice as a hint beyond what appears of our works and words.

The glitter of what appears and our surface self that appears more certain for its contact with what appears, needs to be confronted and trained – like an unruly vine – to its actuality. Then, in the gestalt, the here and now or emptiness, that is our actuality, we may relate with nothingness, the absence of the solid whole body in reality, who is wilderness, nature, creation and reality, who encompasses our all as a projected part– wherever or whatever we as an identity may think and feel we get to, are, experience, have or do, it is the whole self who is the whole body in reality, who is, is there, and does. Our relation with our whole is the way, process of reality, communion with God, connection with Life, salvation, validation, redemption. Whatever our individual human context and reality may be, they are based on and formed by a whole being in reality. I insist on a distinction between the self and the whole self on these basis.

As for the institutions, their bureaucratic nature is our post-modern end. What they represent, be education, health, commerce, law etc. is stifled, bound in transparent accountability, too busy in doing their business or service in compartmentalised broken lines. They reflect the loss of humanity, our authenticity, as community, family and individuals are gathered and shuffled, reared and kept, in the ever increasing pervasion of institutions, but also urbanisation, commercialism and technology.

I haven’t given up on the institutions but recognise their place and limitations. Though the typed text and digital image and sound in monitors is sucking our lives into them, I hope through them to get the message out, of our part in a process of reality that is our relation with the whole body to whom we belong as parts. I express it in art and poetry, formalised it in the method or system “Orientation”, and exercise it in a physical and an inner or meditative practice.  

The future is bleak, of course. Unknowingly, and some may forgive “for they/we know not” what, humanity has committed itself to what it knows creative or intuitive or not. They/we may be forgiven for not knowing anything but what we know, and then there’s the Old Testament and the Tree of Knowledge – dammed for knowing, away from innocence.

Knowing must be a part of a relation with our whole.

“I think I am” and “I think the world is” and yes, we can think those things and have our personal contexts, narrow or not, but know that reality is the whole body who holds our knowing and their contexts as projected parts. We may think about and question what we think, our thinking, and our self that thinks. Beyond our cognitive, our deeper emotive, somatic, instinctive and intuitive, and what may be considered our mystic and cosmic or spiritual grounds and experiences, is what experiences and the witnessing of our experiencing. It is our actuality, in which we may settle into our whole who is reality and touched by the rest of reality.

Everything changes

In my early twenties I became conscious of being liberated and free with the notion to not expect anything. There was the simple appreciation of life and existence – beauty in a weed or profundity in a moment or in enacting an act. A lot of it was compensation for disappointment or emptiness. Expect nothing, so as to grasp the moment as it is, to live the moment, or perhaps through and beyond the moment grasped, to find life herself.

Have no expectation would work for a period of time, a day or two, sometimes not long at all. To get there or it, might take moments to hours and sometimes it didn’t work. I had to work at it.

Now I know of the whole body and the spirit, one and present. I understand the “hold on gravity” (the displaced countenance to our projected actuality) and the constant (identity) we pretend to be (in virtuality assuming it to be perpetuity). The hc identified with the wot against the whole body in and of reality, gravity and the present, determines our metaphysical make-up in projection. The hc is invalid in being isolated from its whole, identified with what is experienced rather than who creates and places, or projects, our reality of our self and what we experience.

We and our reality are actuality. They exist, but in and as projection or projected actuality, as projected parts of a whole being in creation, in reality. No constant reference in projection can release our particular settings also in projection.

Even the whole body is easily reduced to a concept or a mantra, a “thing”. The thing itself as is, and its actuality, is beyond understanding, cognition or mind’s grasp. The whole body who is, is there in reality beyond projected actuality, experience, and our sense and notion.

The zen and the gestalt takes one beyond the goal, experience, state, process, and the self – through actuality, reality or the way (Dao) may open. But the basis for everything is the whole body who projects our reality. The spirit one, at the core of every one thing, is the essence of the whole of creation or All creation God. It is the true constant beyond references, a true gravitational presence and life.