Monday 10 December 2012

BodyWorlds, MindWorlds

I recently went to the BodyWorlds exhibition in Cape Town. The experience moved my boundaries of perception unexpectedly. Perceptually, emotionally, attitudinally, I had to retreat and regroup after going in the direction that I was led, there. I learnt that the platforms of perception that we build for ourselves, our emotional homes and our stumbling attempts at decision are indeed temporary.

Looking into the space between the front and left sides of a human head, cloven in two, was humbling, as was the peaceful and almost communicative expression on the plastinated face. Observing an entire nervous system laid and pinned out, resembling a Christmas tree, made me more, not less aware of the profundity of human awareness.

I admire the originator of these exhibitions for the courage, scope and art of what has been achieved so far. The taboos across which he has stepped are also temporary.

I began to wonder what could emerge if a "MindWorlds" was attempted. How could mind be portrayed and set out in a similarly truthful and provocative manner? It struck me that everything manmade is already a MindWorlds. From pencils to ipads to tennisballs to bread, wine whisky and Wellington boots, the obvious creative, pragmatic and concrete evidence of mind is observeable.

That which holds, however precariously, businesses, marriages, families, nations and cultures together is mind-glue: emotional attachment and permissibility of belief. For tweny-four hours a day we breathe our way through mind, largely unaware of the immensities and temporary structures that offer a sense of reality, when indeed, there is no reality except for what dreams may come.

The exhibition underlined, for me, the understanding that my spiritual destiny and earthly work are the same thing. I was brought up to be certain of being spiritually correct: a worthy yet impossible quest Now I grasp that spiritual correctness is not only in the thoughts but in the action, movement and desire that result in obvious fruit of mindfulness. I have invented nothing, have composed one somewhat useful tune that was performed at a tweny-first birthday decades ago, have written some poetry, have produced a non-productive novel, have put out some academic papers and contributed to a number of journals. I have changed from being an isolate to participating in many overlapping family layers. I have given myself permission to live as I have been created to live. My heart has learned how to beat with gladness rather than mere purpose.

The fascination that surpised me at BodyWorlds remains with me now, as I observe with greater clarity the worlds of mind that impinge on me, and encourage me to engage with more directness and empowerment. Realizing that mind is as liquid as water yet as productive as fertile ground is a connecting perception that follows its own route from person to person.

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