How can we be free if we are ruled by mechanisms that control our life? We have to become aware of the patterns that are not good for us so that we can change them. We don’t need to go around like automated zombies. If we focus our perception on these mechanisms we can wake up.
Humans have been rebelling against their passions, habits and opinions to find a better way of life since the beginning of mankind. But even the most ascetic monk who follows a daily routine towards spirituality is following a system. We work through repetition. Psychoanalysis studies the repetitions in our behavior, in our character, and tries to help us overcome our limitations. We have to become aware of these mechanisms so we can evolve. If we look at these rhythms and rituals of society as if it was the first time, without our imprints, it becomes easier to break them.
If we think about it, our perception is already part of the system, because we create our personalities based on pre-ordained experiences. True liberation is what Buddha tried to show us, complete emptiness of mind, ego-loss. He created a true ARThropotechnics by building a new spiritual structure in search of freedom. That’s the same reason we see Sadhus ‘torturing’ themselves in the woods of India.
Rituals are important to direct our attention to where we want to go. The same construction of meaning happens in the arts or any cultural product, or to war heroes who die to achieve the purpose of a lifetime practice in search of this feeling of liberation. The suffering of an athlete who gave his life for sport is also worth the price of achieving his goal: Freedom of breaking limits. Its paradoxical in the sense that we use a system to break another system, but it shows us how we can overcome limits through practice.
Yoga is an exercise of repetition to connect body and soul, to reach autonomy from the mundane. The sublimation of sexual desires, the search for beauty, all are transformations of reality through exercises based on our understanding of things. We dominate the cosmos and build concrete structures based on ideals, on religious beliefs. But in modernity these assumptions were crushed, and now we must find a harmonious new model.
The thought of being able to adapt to a model lead to extremisms like Nazi camps. But in the other hand, schools have been moving away from the technical oriented studies to a more self oriented practice, where one builds their own knowledge of the world based on the studies they choose to follow. In this cosmos of information each one can build their own gods and ideals if we understand that everything is representation and we can manipulate the code in our favor. We have to leave the manipulated mechanism where we believe in everything that is given and activate our autonomy of thought, that’s how we can change our lives.
If each one of us can give the meaning they want so where do we converge? This belief in representation is what has been guiding us, transforming, from iconic art to the art of today, where the artist’s expression is the meaning. But sometimes it doesn’t resonate with the public because it’s too self-referential, selfish. We have to try to harmonize, connect.
I believe in contemplative art as a way of connecting with the self. In abstract art the meaning is what the observer sees. Like meditation practices, they are individual but at the same time tries to connect on a universal sphere. Iconic art tried to make everyone see the figures it represented as reflections of the world. Greek sculpture was made to be believed in itself as the representation, form and content merged into one. Only in Modernity we achieved the notion of representation, it ended with the alienation and showed us the way to dominate the codes to direct our daily life. It tried to lead people into world improvement through medicine, arts, Democracy, redirecting the forces of escapism into beneficial practices for all.
In this cultural carriage we find ourselves in, we should put our heads out the window and look. How can we escape reality to have a glimpse out of the system and at the same time find a system for world improvement? We should aim to reach the age of balance, of earth and life, ying yang. Humans have been trying to reach this balance since the beginning of mankind when we were so close to earth and nature, but then we started to take a step back and see the world as representation until we reached the point of today where we believe the observer can create the world. Still, we have to take a step further and not see the world as to our self only, but away from the self, the world as it is in its own. Empty of all the talk of society.
We are afraid to reach this point of no referentiality, no God, no truth. If there is no unique truth where can we find a point of universality? From this world of no referentiality we build points of conversion of meaning and create works of art, science and culture. From chaos we build structures to dive into the void again. Nietzsche says that we can only advance if we aim for the impossible. Leap into the unknown, the sublime. There is one thing we all agree on: we must change our lives!
Only the sublime makes us believe we can make it, have a glimpse out of the ordinary. The disbelief is what is slowing us down. Our politicians don’t want to break with the system that supports them and make a blind eye for the catastrophe that lies ahead if we don’t change our ways of living. Also, why should we be worried about humanism, ecology, etc when there are bills to pay and our child is sick? We don’t see it all depends on how we look at things and behave. We have to understand that our actions can change things if we choose to network, live in coexistence, solidarity. Like our biological system and the Earth, in synergy. We are part of this organism and we are in the face of an immunological battle. What is this virus that afflicts us?
To live in harmony we will have to make concessions for a better social organization for all, we live in a selfish world, that’s why it doesn’t work. Because we created this referentiality based on our ego that has separated us. How can we find the point of convergence? We would have to change our habits, create daily exercises for shared survival, or else the human race will be extinct!
We relate to nature culturally, according to our beliefs, practices and habits. That is how we can take care of nature. Our beliefs are a product of our natural immune system that better adapts to evolve. Our language and communication practices are also a product of our natural system. We can control our way of thinking and adapt to how we want to live our life. Creating language was part of our evolution, we can analyze the codes we use to navigate life because we built them.
If everyone believes in a good practice for all we would feel is the right thing to do and we would not feel disoriented. Sometimes we get so lost in the codes we invented we don’t see them for what they are, just codes, and we can manipulate them as we like. In poetry and music for example, we get the right code that unlocks a mysterious feeling of going the right way. We know its truth because we feel it. Religion can also unlock this code when the power of an ideal finds a force on our necessity as a whole.
The questioning of religion for me can be accepted because we need to understand how to break these beliefs to be able to found new ones, not individual practices but share new beliefs we create on a new path to enhancement. Change has to come from little things, little change of our habits. Existential acrobatics is to understand the codes of life and live by transcending them, like an artist that lives by transcending the codes of the mundane into the codes of his own art. He uses the same codes of language but to achieve something superior through ARThropotechnics. The same happens in religion, which uses its codes to reach a higher purpose. This transcendental practice can also be seen in movements like the Beat generation, who take off from the rules of society to live by their own.
Let’s think about it, can we all share the same belief? I know that we can all dive together into the unknown. Break with the patterns of the past. Like acrobatics and Olympians who push their limits through exercise and practice. As modern gods, they don’t need to be believed in but experienced. People who have suffered a major injury or had to go through a tragedy in their life are the ones who found a stronger system of beliefs and practices, to change their life for the best. They show us that if we put our heads and action into it we can conquer the improbable. Anyone can do it! Actually, we already live in the unknown. We use culture and our beliefs to sustain us. When we realize that we are already in the void we wake up. This understanding that we control the codes we use to act on life is what liberates us for transformation.
When we understand that we are ruled by contexts, based on our being-in-the-world, our subjective individuality and everything in between we can choose to follow the rules, but the ones we make. New passions, new habits, ones that will make a better world for everyone. We already know the mechanism to make it work, by building repetitive behavior, exercises, following new meanings that will save us. We can expose a different way of seeing things through education and art, because they show us we live by representations, codes we create. They aim to reach autonomy, to be able to play with these codes and transform them. We need to break free from the dominion of unconscious habits, wake up and create new identities, be artists of our lives!
We should not only live our lives but lead them!
Are we conscious of our choices or do we repeat our acts unknowingly?
Education will free us! It takes us away from the absorption of the system of society to make us see, and take a conscious act of participating on it. Teachers are guides. They should bring autonomy to their students, not produce automated programmers. Freedom education is to have them understand that they own their mechanism to evolve. Teachers can lead to emancipation, the practice of enlightenment on everyday life.
When we transcend old habits we feel free, even if it means suffering for leaving desires behind to follow a path of liberation, evolution, emancipation. The guide leads the way into the unknown giving the tools they need, the power to choose wisely. Through small repetitions of an act we can become masters of ourselves, teachers should lead one to believe in themselves, control bad habits, do what is best to grow in a healthy environment. Children education can save us! After all they are the seeds we are planting today.
Many different guides appeared along history with a code of conduct to try to save us, but now we consciously know there are many ways of sculpting our future, we control our intelligence. Culture is a tool given to us by evolution, we can use it to transform the world around us. Prayer and meditation, are practices that provides us to know more about ourselves, we can use them to bring the good habits into our lives. Many religious exercises aim to take us out of the ordinary world. But why do we feel the need to detach from this world? We have to be able to connect to everyone around us.
Can we really be masters of our lives or is there a big room for fate? Hindus believed in Karma and tried to control their desires in order to manipulate fate. Later, their idea of reality as Maya came to be acknowledged by atomic and quantum physics. Nothing is concrete, we build reality according to our beliefs. They believed in transcendence from the material world, a concept to change all things, so radical like the practices that followed it. Maybe they were trying to keep us from killing ourselves since in the physical world egoism and greed is what reigns.
Like artists, we may take life and craft it as we like, thinking what can we do to make it better for everyone. Evolution is a gift, naturally we are meant to develop in the best way for our species. Consciousness should take us there. Great artists showed us we have the power to create enchanting representations of this sublime creative force behind all things. Through practice they reach this advantageous perception into evolution.
Through exercise we can transform the shape of natural things. Create codes that mediate our relation to nature. That’s what these great artists do. It’s a practice of evolution because it can emancipate ourselves if we dare to see things in another way. Dive into the unknown, exit Plato’s cave!
Artists, philosophers and spiritual guides exit the cave and come back to educate others. We see many examples of people who overcome major difficulties. Like heroes they go through a transformation that means sacrifice for breaking with who they were before, fighting against all imposed concepts. We should all go through this journey of awakening, converging into a more conscious act. All our actions reflect on ourselves and we should be conscious about it!
We provided all the cultural material to analyze ourselves, its in our hands, let’s use it to analyze all the ideologies that were used to shape humankind.
Should we choose to be happy? To do good things? Then that’s how our lives will be. That can be our ideology.
But Modernity brought many questionings. We suffered from a representational crisis, we can’t believe anything anymore! They tried to dissolve every belief, but didn’t see that it showed us we had the power to build a new one, not from scratch but by learning from the past. When we decided to take action and rebel against the traditional patterns imposed we forgot that we need them as a base, to sculpt upon. If we were able to fabricate a belief that many people followed then we can create a new and better one. Modernity killed God, now we realize the power is in our hands!
If we are able to produce a belief that resonates inside of us this feeling of universal union through an ideal or representation, if we can represent God in our great art then we are gods!
Modern activism helped us to understand ourselves, but instead of giving us the power to change, we got lost in Romanticism. We created ideals but didn’t take action and then we become disappointed because it didn’t solve our problems. We need a fitness of great practices and not just ideals. Plant the seeds of change. Provoking a metanoia for liberation, a change of heart. In this sense, education is a form of art with humans. Schools are not to produce dolls, all modeled in the same way. Great schools should come to bring the practice of emancipation for our children. Is not only shoving ideas on their heads, but giving them the tools to think for themselves. Schools are the light to enlightenment.
Art also is a form of art with humans that brings emancipation. The Renaissance helped shape humankind presenting the visual notion of perspective. Modern Art tries to make art with humans teaching them to look at reality in a different way and use imagination. Art education today is different from the Renaissance and even from Modernity because they were shaped by an ideal brought down by an elite. Today the important thing is the power of expression of each individual. What is important is the experience of each individual growing up and not an ideal. Ideals try to shape everyone the same way. But can an ideal end our differences? There were many tries with Communism, Socialism. We don’t need to follow one ideal, but the same feeling all ideals converge to. Today we are able to choose which information we will dive into with such diverse media. Working in the interdisciplinary fields is what will open our minds. Finding oneness in multiplicity.
In the many levels of evolution each human being finds themselves in right now, we can identify the ones that continue following the path of idealisms, mistaking images and ideas for the real thing, and the ones that sees them as projections of the mind. We don’t go to church and believe the statues and paintings to be the saints themselves, but we let ourselves be deceived by propaganda. We feel comfortable believing, it gives us structure. The saints and ideals fulfill the emptiness inside. So we follow them blindly, but we can take hold of ourselves and leave this passivity.
Many books were written in social skills and knowledge always trying to advance our evolution through culture. Culture is a vertical power that mediates our relation to nature, when we wake up to understand this we see that we are not free. Our behavior is modeled by these ideas of society and we all act upon it blindly. But we have the power to choose to leave these patterns behind. Some try to have a peek out of the claws of Culture through intoxication, others through revolt. Many rebels have come to this age, from the Beat generation to the Soviet Revolution, all had their own ideals for changing the human being. All were curators for an ARThropotechnics.