Sunday, August 13, 2006

Looking and Seeing

In yoga we make the distinction between looking (active, consumptive) and seeing (passive, receiving). In physical asana practice when you stare really hard at something it is an equivalent of grasping, grabbing, clutching. If you can let your gaze rest on something in an even, broad way so that you take in the wider scene, your mind is more still, yet still fluid and adaptable. As in asana, as in life. Rigidity and intractablness create tension which clouds the ability to think and act clearly. Maintaining a certain firmness (discipline without a sense of punitiveness or over-control) creates a spaciousness that allows you to perceive a whole scene or scenario and respond likewise, in a calm, focused and decisive manner.

I enjoyed this article from this weekend's Guardian about looking, hope you do too . . .

How to ... look

Guy Browning
Saturday August 12, 2006
The Guardian

Everyone sees but few look. For most people ,"having a good look" happens only when something interests them. For the small minority who are in permanent "have a good look" mode, everything is interesting. In general, the more you look at something, the more interesting it becomes.

On average we see a thousand advertising messages a day. When we go to bed we might remember one of them. This tells us two things: 1) most advertising is wasted;, and 2) just because we've got our eyes open doesn't mean we're looking.

The song says that you can look but you better not touch. But looking is a way of touching, which is why you can often sense when you're being looked at. Similarly, when you look into some individuals' eyes, it give you a physical jolt, as if you'd been kicked by a small horse.

Many people don't look much because what's happening inside their head is far more interesting. The less they look at the real world, the more unreal their internal world becomes. The level of people's eyes is a good indicator of where their minds are: eyes up, daydreamer; eyes ahead, well-adjusted person; eyes down, introvert or bingo player.

Love is blind but has a great sense of touch. More interesting than love at first sight is love at 74th sight, when someone who was part of your comfortable visual furniture suddenly becomes a thing of incredible beauty. The world would be a much better place if we could see everyone as incredibly beautiful, but that would make falling in love a less intense experience.

Looking at something carefully doesn't mean you can see it properly. That's because everyone wears the distorting glasses of their personality: paranoid people see everything as a conspiracy, greedy people see everything as a potential snack. The rule is, you don't see the world as it is, but as you are.

People see only what they want to see. Being something or someone that no one wants to see is therefore the closest we're likely to get to being invisible. Advanced physicists and philosophers will tell you that things exist only when you look at them. It would therefore be a great experiment if everyone agreed not to look at advanced physicists and philosophers for a while.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

i hate to admit i'm old . . .

" The idols of today are unmistakable - self esteem without effort, fame without achievement, sex without consequences, wealth without responsibility, pleasure without struggle and experience without commitment."

. . . but I agree with this quote, so I guess there's no denying it :)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

water bears

. . . win this years prize for cuteness and adapability under 1mm. These weird little things make us seem quite lame as far as impressive biological abilities. They "look more like a candy Gummy Bear than a grizzly bear -- they have the bright orange, red or green colors of Gummy Bears, and a gummy surface texture."

All this cuteness plus they can do lots of superhumanoid stuff like survive amazing heats, freeze and come back to life, be desicated and come back to life (this does not involve coconut in any way : ) but rather means they can lose every tiny droplet of liquid from their system and still reanimate).

For more amazing geeky facts and excitement check out the above link to "the incredible water bear".

Enjoy : )

disclaimer: drawings are cuter than reality - IW still thinks they're very cute
(i say maybe in a liquified orange ameoba/slater type way . . .)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

"When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago"

- Nietzsche

I find this extreme -ly true.

Humans are amazing little science projects of someone bigger standing over trying out stuff in a random jenn-understanding-of-science kind of way! : )

There is the madness (good as well as bad) of sleep deprivation, excesses, lacks, and compacted psychoses borne of compressed and concentrated living.

Kind of like the intense colour and power packed intensity of fruit juice "drinks" the ones that list the fruit around ingredient number thirteen - right behind 5 synonyms for sugar, 5 "colours" disguised as numbers and 3 stabilisers ( i think these are what stop you from going right over the edge on your long way dooooooooown from the sugar high of the drink).

This ramble has been brought to you by one well rested (and falsely buoyed by that ole seductive morning siren caffeine) . . .

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Grew, well, ok "aquired" a moustache, no really . . .


Handiwork and design care of one I. C. Watson origamist extraordinaire, big ups! (hippy floral body art issuing from same source . . . ).

The occassion? Other than general lack of hairyness demanding to be dealt to ?

My friend Marese's birthday in the park, summer summer summeryness, rockabilly band and picnicing, all the things that make you forgive London's naughtynessess (for a bit at least).