Wednesday, December 1, 2010

experience and perspective

Last weekend, I was involved in a light hearted debate with a friend of mine, back home in Australia. He made a comment on one of my facebook pages - he was referring to Deepak Chopra and I was quite suprised that he was so well read. Anyway, after sending him an email telling him as much, he gave me his opinion on Deepak - so I thought I would stir the pot and ask him his opinion on vaccines.

Typically, I dont get involved in those debates. My kids havent been vaccinated - lots of reasons and at the same time, just one. I dont belive in them for my family. But I thought it would be interesting to see the response from my friend - and man, did it stir the pot!!

He also included some comments about homeopathy and science, scientific research and ... well, a lot of other things. I had to laugh - it was nice to hear someone so passionate about their opinions. I replied - but really, who can argue articulately via email. You always forget what you were going to say and go off on a tangent.

Anyway, I thought about how rusty my brain was and how I was finding it difficult to articulate my point of view. I guess that is what happens when you take a break from school for a year. So, I thought that I would write here - after all, this was one of the initial reasons for having this blog. To record my thoughts and musings. And so, I shall muse!

My first thought is that it is interesting that the spelling for muse (the thinking if over, mulling and ruminating meaning of the word) is the same as that for muse - the inspirational, creative power behind an artist or creator of some sort. Speaks to the inherent, inspirational abilities of the mind - to create and to inspire oneself. Perhaps the ability is within all of us to think and dwell upon something, and if we do so for long enough, we would perhaps, unconsciously come to another place. A new place, the one with the answers!

more on that later...

Because at this point, this line of thinking conveniently ties into my original contemplative thought and one that I wished I could articulate a little better in my email debate with my friend in Australia.

I was actually thinking this same thought a few months ago, and found this quote on a friend's facebook status update. It beautifully captues EXACTLY what I was trying to verbalise = and of course, I dont believe in coincidences. So, I copied it down and I know it will play a big part in my thesis.

"Bring a bit of loving doubt to everything you are told... but radically trust every nuance of your direct experience." (Jan Henrikson, Yogini)

I love it - it captures the entire essence of what I think may be the basis for my thesis. I know what I see and feel to be true, I know it because I feel it. My skin and my senses feel it, my heart knows it, my mind can not doubt it. And so, because I have experienced it - I know it to be.

But of course, in the scientific community, the gold standard of the double blind study will always prevail.

Of course, not being the most mathematically enclined person, quantitative research based on statistics was never going to be my cup of tea! Qualitative research has always been the direction I intended to walk in. And the more I think about my final research project, the more I see that my own personal voice needs to come through. And it is this point that I wish to explore.

I have felt it and I know it to be real - and if this is the case, then by default, it is real.

And by the 'it' that I feel, I refer to many things. I think about the intuition that led me here, the energy or qi that I sense through my finger tips, the prana that moves around us all. I see 'it' when my paintings materalise and I have a feeling or a knowing about what a certain sway in the paint might mean.

I can imagine myself, with a passionate voice, describing the process behind my paintings and the knowing that I feel. But with equal certainty, I can imagine the perspective of those that read it - with a different epistimology - a view of the world.

I can understand that - for most of my life, I've been the one with a different perspective. So, I speak the other world and I translate what I hear into my own understanding. So, how will what I have to say translate to those that dont believe?

What I really want to know is, do they not hold what they directly experience up with ultimate faith? Do they discredit their own feelings and sense of things if these thoughts do not come with external scientific proof? And can I ever communicate with those that view the world as black and white? I guess that is the purpose of my thesis!

Anyway, these are my thoughts today - the basis for a lot more contemplation. I feel like I should find a picture to go with these words - always my favourite part about blogs that I look at. The beautiful pictures...

this is one I've used before. But I love it - something about the bright colour and juxtaposition of the snow and the summer flower. This does a good job of summing up my alternate perspective and how it might look odd against the snow of a quantiative world. But the two can and do exist... and boy, they look amazing together.

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