Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A New Earth - Chapter 3 - After the class notes.

Eckhart Tolle said "You can enjoy the form more if you don't completely identify with the form."

His answer to this question was an eye opener to me. I wrote this in my book because I was really struggling with this in my own mind. By letting go of the ego, does that mean I must give up goal making and buying things for my house? Does that mean I should not strive to become a better artist? Does that mean I should not prepare for the future at all? I didn't know if my ego is ready to give up all of those things.

I think what Eckhart Tolle is saying is that enjoying goals or things are a natural part of our daily lives. Enjoy them while they are here. Making goals is a good thing. Striving to meet those goals can be a journey of its own. Becoming a better person because you met that goal is all ego. This is very hard to wrap my head around because a thousand what-if's come popping into my head. Something he said in the last class resonates with this idea. If you get something and it doesn't satisfy, that was ego.

This causes me to take a different approach to how I think about doing my art. Rather than count my paintings, hoping that each one gets me one step closer to that label of "She's a good artist" I will just paint, or draw, or do what my gut wants me to do. That doesn't mean I get to be a slacker. I need to honor that time and space I have for art every day that I have it. So many times, I have stood in front of that easel and thought "I just need to get through this painting so I can be one painting closer to the end goal" when things are not going so good. Perhaps a better way to look at it is "I need to stop and breath and really look at my object and try to understand what it is trying to teach me." There is not goal. There is no racing to the finish. There is a journey in each painting.

I am sure that a lot of my artist block is generated by the ego:
It won't be good enough. No body wants a drawing/painting of this. I won't be capable. My instructor would frown if he saw this. I don't have enough training. I am not original. I am not as talented as another artist.
All of these thoughts are my ego in repair mode. If I save myself from disappointment then I can move on to the next empty accomplishment.

Something I heard on Zencast is:
When we look at someone or something and say "This is beautiful" we assume that is a characteristic of that person or thing. It is not a characteristic of that person or thing, it is a characteristic of how we see that thing. There may be others that agree with us, which is just a characteristic of how they see that person or thing. If someone disagrees with us, then it is still not a characteristic of that person or thing, it is simply a characteristic of how that person views them or it.
So perhaps I need not be so worried about what others think. Even better; I need to not be so worried about what I think. Maybe I need to just paint or draw and tell my ego to shut up for a while.

A quote from page 71:

There is only one absolute Truth and all other truths will emanate from it. When you find that Truth, your actions will be in alignment with it.

From page 84:

And so, the three predominate states of egoic relationships are: Wanting, thwarted wanting (anger, resentment, blaming, complaining) and indifference.

While I have many notes in my book from last nights class, these are the thoughts I woke up thinking about.

You can catch Chapter 3 on Oprah's website HERE.

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