Monday, 16 April 2012

Think 2 - the other side

I'm sitting at my desk pondering over four books.  Each book relates to the other in some way but all are very different.  How do I make sense of it all?  The most enlightening thing that I've come to realize is that I don't actually have to make complete sense of it all...yet.  The books that make you think the most are the ones that question what it is you are thinking about in the first place!  I know that at this stage of my study I am only very tentatively knocking at the door of my concept.  The 'thinking' part of it, is the realization that it doesn't have an end point!  The philosophy of it all is to 'think' and continually question.  This is an overwhelming thought to a novice like myself, but the thought is in fact the nature of all study and as I have read many times today, of 'being'.
I found a useful's definition, an approach that concentrates on the study of consciousness and the objects of direct experience.  I like the sound of this.  So, each book generates the experience of discovery.  A good book will encourage you to look further, sometimes in a direction that you had no intention of going.  Of course I am questioning my concept now.  How can I discuss my ideas in a logical way when I don't know what is real?  My art practice will reflect these questions and I intend to inject my experiences into the heart of my work.  My feminist enquiry will enable me step forward as a free thinking woman, questioning (nervously at the start).  And the books will support my endeavors  once I have opened the door to the other side.

A la porte de la maison qui viendra frapper?
Une porte ouverte on entre
Une porte fermee un antre
Le monde bat de l'autre cote de ma porte.

Pierre Albert Birot
Les Amusements Naturals, p.217

At the door of the house who will come knocking?
An open door, we enter
A closed door, a den
The world pulse beats beyond my door.

Saturday, 7 April 2012


I've been reading a very enlightening book.  'Think,' written by Philosopher Simon Blackburn.  I need to write the opening paragraph of chapter one to explain what it is I'm trying to understand...

Perhaps the most unsettling thought many of us have, often quite early on in childhood, is that the whole world might be a dream; that the ordinary scenes and objects of everyday life might be fantasies.  The reality we live in may be a virtual reality, spun out of our own minds, or perhaps injected into our minds by some sinister Other.  Of course, such thoughts come, and then go.  Most of us shake them off.  But why are we right to do so?  How can we know that the world as we take it to be, is the world as it is?  How do we begin to think about the relation between appearance and reality: things as we take them to be, as opposed to things as they are? 

Of course this poses way more questions than answers!  

My line of questioning in my studies begins with the narrative. How do we perceive the story and does it distort over time?  We, as human beings who can process by logical thought, are the decision makers of how the narrative evolves.  So after reading this book I have to ask, was the story real at its conception? Was it a dream...conjured up by an exhausted house wife whose everyday life was so sad and tedious that she decided the person in the photo was her father who was of royal blood. Somehow, through fate, she was poor, married to a fisherman and had 7 children.  As the story of the photo gets told and retold by her children and grandchildren, I wonder, does the man in the photo become God who is going to save them all?  The narrative in this instance gives 'hope.'  

Cripes!  Back to reality!  Maybe it's just the sinister Other getting into my thoughts that's making me think such things.  I enjoy thinking and dreaming.  It's part of my artistic personality and is quite often the seed that germinates into something extraordinary.  It's great to question what we see and wonder.  Who's to say it's wrong?  I believe if we humans didn't imagine and create wonderful fantastical stories sometimes our life would be a sad place.  What's that saying....I think therefore I am.  I'm thinking so I must be alive and that's got to be good!