Ladies and Gentlemen, for your enjoyment and edification, may I present the finished poster I blogged about the other day. There’s a ton wrong with it — the scale of the objects is way off, there are some issues with the letters, general sloppiness issues, and so on — but it’s just an elaborate doodle I created for my workout room, something to remind me to stay focused, so who cares? It’s not like it’s art that I’m selling or anything.
I’m sure it’s just the perfectionist in me, but I feel myself wanting to re-do it properly, taking more care. Oh well, another day. I spent several hours on it, a nice relaxing break. Time to get back to finishing the next book…
I want a copy for my work room!
I thought you might – so I went to the copy shop yesterday and made you one!
thank you for your question regarding ‘contemplation’. I deleted my original response because I was not happy with it and I wanted to think more about my reply.
In its etymology, there is a spiritual even religious aspect to ‘contemplation’ which sets that activity apart from engagement with the world (‘con-templum‘ – place set apart for the observation of auguries).
I could contemplate the tail light of your vehicle, the removal of which light you posted on youtube.
In doing so I would appreciate its smooth, elongated form, its colours, the play of light on its structure and the brilliance of its outward aspects.
I could contrast these with the dullness and angularity of those parts concealed inside the structure of your vehicle.
I could pass pleasurable time doing this.
I could also do as you did – engage physically with it, using an appropriate tool to solve a problem (how to remove it – particularly, without breaking it).
I could also, like you, make a video showing others how to do it, how to solve that problem.
The first process of thinking is divorced from praxis, the second based on it.
What do you think?
Best regards, Phil
You are quite right about the etymology and nature of contemplation. How delightful! I made the exact same point in my little martial arts book called “Wisdom of the Raven.” In it I defined what I call “the Three Sisters”: contemplation, meditation, and prayer. Meditation shares its root with ‘medicine,’ and is a focused, results-based practice. The Latin root of ‘pray’ is precari , ‘to beg.’ So, if you’re going to solve the riddle of the taillight repair, you had better meditate on the problem rather than contemplate upon it or pray for God to fix it! That said, as a practical mystic and non-dualist, I cannot say that one is any better than the others. Each has its purpose. Three Sisters are our mental and spiritual food, and a balanced diet is essential for good health (my diet consists of about 75% meditation, 20% contemplation, and 5% prayer). It seems to me that Western Culture is fat on a diet far too rich in prayer and contemplation, and is need of a great deal more meditation (reflection and introspection in particular). This culture is forever wanting, looking outside, and craving more growth and wealth. It is always entreating; it begs gods for blessings, leaders for direction, and capitalism for wealth. And was we have seen and are seeing, both socially and environmentally, this is a very ‘precarious’ state of affairs.