On with the winter solstice – not the end

As we are slowly ushered into the new era some are waiting for the end (December 21 last day on the Mayan calendar) – these days I suppose I may also be guilty of this with all the nihilism that has been going around like a virus through my system. Is there any hope for society and human beings? This is a very good question, one that can only be answered by stating that hope is a false sense of security, but it sure feels good sometimes to pretend that there is not only security in our lives/world, but also control.

Ahhh control.

If you are one who feels like you have control, think again, you have responsibility. Responsibility to act, to inform yourself, to do everything yourself. You are responsible! The world is not going to hold your hand while you are waiting to find “control.” Too bad it doesn’t work this way. Of course this has turned into more of an end of the year jaded rant in which I am writing as I somehow just sorted out that I can write blog entries on the go on my iPhone, sorry smart phone. Apple does not need anymore plugs!

This is a little all over the place, but what do you want when I have not written since August, or I guess what do I want. Who is actually asking the question? That is the real question. Consciousness, will humanity begin to embrace some consciousness evolution or just continue to grow through our technology and narcissism? Some seem to think we are going to be ushered into a golden age as we are, fucking obviously, in a dark age now. So what do you think? And before you answer that who is it that is thinking?

In closing here is a photo of a painting I am working on, really free expressionism here, no goal and staying with using gravity to ground the viewer as well as the paint. Bringing us to the ground, where we always dwell. I can go on and on….but this was supposed to be in closing.

20121219-192241.jpg

Advertisements

3

Symbols give us the ability to reconcile opposites as well as utilize something that points to a transcendent reality, which in turn, can assist in the process of unveiling the unconscious mind and expanding our sense of self. When we look at a symbol of say a cross, it means many things to many people, the trinity perhaps, pain and oppression, the death of Christ, or an entire set of values and religious affiliation. Not only can the cross hold these types of meanings, but personal meaning as well as maybe a tie into memory and experiences that we have had. It is the transcendence of symbols which Carl G. Jung felt to be of such value to individuals on their quest for wholeness or individuation (as Jung referred to the process of achieving a state of balance). Think about how many meanings something such as the cross really does have, and to even deepen this all further, think of all the meanings that this symbol has taken on throughout time! It is really quite amazing and we can use this knowledge to begin to understand parts of our lives or what the universe or psyche is trying to show us exists.

For myself, the number 3 seems to be coming up for me lately. I see this as a correspondence with the 3rd Chakra in my case through the process of self-inquiry. The Chakra system can be likened to 7 centers of energy and awareness that is held in the body. It has been around for thousands of years and is not as some ignorant people like to pretend “new Age.” The 3rd chakra sits around the navel and corresponds to the stomach and parts of the digestive system. Within the 3rd chakra is held: willpower, self-confidence, self-development, self-control, feelings, sensitivity and most important Power. One symbol of this chakra is the triangle (surprise, surprise) and the element it is likened to is fire. Manipura (meaning “shinning jewel”) is the Sanskrit name for this chakra and you can imagine the issues that crop up if we are in excess or deficient by looking at what it holds. The third chakra is considered to be rich in energy and is traditionally portrayed in gold and yellow colors which are two colors which I have not connected with myself for a while now. As we can reflect on personal power, it is something that I have had great struggles with in my own life for many reasons (see my post In Progress if you are interested). In accordance with any symbols in my life that crop up they are everywhere; in receipts, photos, lines, art, everything that I involve myself in. So here is one of many symbols that my own psyche is throwing at me to heed the call of the 3rd Chakra. Enjoy and reflect on symbolism in your own life, as it is always there, you just need to wake up and see it!

Meeting the Shadow

I have recently been teaching a class entitled Creative Arts & Self-Inquiry which focuses on the testing of reality from various theoretical orientations and understandings as well as an inquiry into the Self. Using Jung as a jump off point and bringing in Neo-Jungian concepts has been a return to the shadow for myself as the universe always seems to have an interesting way of throwing things back your way.

Hate and rage is something that most of us deal with at one point or another in our lives. And to look at the state of society these days one can see that there really is not much hope in looking to others unless we are able to look into our Selves and reconcile some of the opposing forces in which we deny or run from. Jung explains this as our persona (our public face), which is essentially a compromise between you and the world. For example; as a student you may receive a low mark and be enraged at you low mark; you approach your instructor and repress the anger and rage as you know that it is not socially acceptable to release your anger on someone in that context and would probably be concerned that you may get yourself into trouble. Where do you think all that anger goes if it is not released? Into the shadow that holds all our unwanted emotions and parts of our personality, which is held in the unconscious.

Art is a great way to release the shadow, or at least begin to accept and befriend it. As we begin to touch the dark seedy part of us all, we begin to expand our sense of personality and thus can understand that we are a sum of our parts, not just one aspect as we tend to believe. This assists in having a wider view of ourselves and the world around us as we can see that so much of our struggle and strive in life is by our own creation.

Below is a shot that I did after an intense session of writing, drawing, and painting in which I feel really brings this concept to life – feeling an intense distaste the entire time.  It speaks for itself.

Kyler

The Suchness of Reality

'06
 

  I uploaded this painting a while ago and it just sits in the side bar in “drafts” cause I dont know why exactly I uploaded it so I thought I would use it first. This used to be my favorite painting (that I have painted) as it seems to convey a certain mood.

 

 I had moved to Kimberly B.C to do a practicum (2006) and was spending alot of time alone, writing and painting and just doing those kinds of things. I started to really witness the universal reality of sadness and the absolute connection with all around me. It was an interesting time in my life. I was overcome with intense feelings of sadness almost all the time for a period. It was a very transformational experience.

The whole thing of it is just the reality of existence, things fade in and out of existence and we are faced with life and death everywhere we look, it is only a matter of opening our hearts and our minds to what else is going on around us. We need only begin to move a little away from our egoic existence in order to begin to witness the world – and our own egos – in a different way. We are terrified as individuals to really embrace sadness, but sadness and emotional intensity does not have to be something to fear. As we look further intraspectively through contemplation,  meditation, and yoga (I also use art for meditative and reflective purposes) we the grip of the ego begins to loosen and provide a newfound freedom that we never thought was possible. I will quote the Heart Sutra here as it gives such a great description of this;

            O Shariputra, form is no other than emptiness,

            Emptiness no other than form;

            Form is precisely emptiness,

            Emptiness is precisely form.

            Sensation, perception, reaction, and consciousness are also like this.

            O Shariputra, all things are expressions of emptiness:

            Not born, not destroyed; not stained, not pure; neither waxing nor waning 

 

 

This is a great conversation between the Buddha and one of his students. I feel that the Sutra really speaks volumes to challenge what we think we know about everything around us. Another quote I did want to include and comment on is in regards to therapy (as a therapist). This quote is from Mark Epstein who is a Buddhist psychiatrist out of  New York:

 The traditional view of therapy as building up the self simply does not do justice to what we actually seek from the therapeutic process. We are looking for a way to feel more real, but we do not realize that to feel more real we have to push ourselves further into the unknown.

Such a great quote to give us a new perspective on things when we are looking at life and especially the internal verses the external reality. As we look outside of our “selves” and build our “selves” up more and more we begin distance from the consciousness that we are. To feel “more real” as Epstein says, one must begin to look at the structure of “self” itself, and deconstruct certain “fixations” and “illusions” through the process of what many others  call inquiry. As Maharshi states; “Self-inquiry is to focus the entire mind at its source. It is not, therefore, a case of one ‘I’ searching for another ‘I.’ 

 

So to start simply take up the contemplative practice of “who am I?” It is not just a thought “who am I?” It is a contemplation on “who am I?”  Not thinking about it, contemplating it. Similar to a Zen koan in which it is a question that may take the practitioner years to answer, or realize that there is no answer, the self-inquiry of “who am I?” is a long deconstructive process by which we can begin to know Self/consciousness. Enjoy…

 

(C) Kyler Evans, All Rights Reserved

The Phoenix Rises Again…& Again…& Again…

My life, and I suppose most peoples lives in one fashion or another, is filled with change and death. Death is change, and change is death. I dont mean death only in the traditional “dead body” sense. No, no, no, I mean like each moment dies into another moment and is then reborn to the next, no holding on to anything, just dying. Each and every moment. Now while the phoenix itself, is of great symbolism in my life*, is maybe not nessisarily representative of the whole “die to each moment” part of rebirth; it seems to hold that symbolism for me. So as I think about the phoenix I can only say that it is a symbol which pops up in my life over and over and over, hence the name of the blog, website, and so on. So here is another visual piece that has come up today. It is a digital art sort of piece I guess, abstract, deep and dark. But I feel at home in the dark and in the light these days (there is always solice to be found in both darkness and light) which is a nice change. As Jung talked about the shadow being such a driving force in creativity, all of the red, orange, and black that I am drawn too, is also a testament to that. As Nietzsche states, “We have art so that we shall not die of reality.” And thus, reality, is what we all really run from isnt it? Look at all the paradoxes of life:

Paradox

 

As the globe is illuminated by a pale magenta glow,

A women is raped.

As the snowflakes float down to tickle my face,

A man has been beaten and killed.

As the unity of all universal beauty commences in my heart,

A child has been struck.

A dying breed, that continues on…

 

2006

 

I suppose it is quite a nihlistic view of the world, but none the less, it is a picture of expression for that time in my life and how I felt in the world. I would not say that I still feel the same, but I would not say that I dont either. So here is the piece I have been talking about, Enjoy…

 

phoenix

 

“Phoenix Taking Form” 2009

 

2006-2009 Kyler Evans, All rights reserved.

NOTE: Permission for the use of my images and writing is granted for personal websites and blogs (THAT MEANS NO ADDS AND NO SELLING OF ANY KIND) but must include a link back to this site and proper credit given to me for my work, Kyler Evans.

Link to be used…(https://arisingphoenix.wordpress.com/)

*I have one tattooed on my left shoulder which was designed by a good friend (check out Rion-art link if you want to see his stuff).

Here is a self-portrait of my tattoo:

Phoenix Tat

Tattoo done by Mike Peace, Calgary, AB, (cant tell you the year, but it has been a while…)

A Simple Koan

I have been doing a lot of responses to what my unconscious mind seems to put down on a canvas or paper or whatever I am using at the time. This is just the simple process of expressive arts and using art as a path in itself. Anyway, the piece iself is oil pastel, and is called

 

Fluffy Bunnies: Theres Heaven, Theres Hell, then there is the Balance of NOthing that lies in-between. 

Fluffy Bunnies: Theres Heaven, Theres Hell, then there is the Balance of NOthing in-between

So that is the piece itself, here is the response to it, note I tend to have many images of faces turn up in almost everyone of my paintings. The unconscious is an interesting thing.

A Simple Koan:

 

Faces,

            Faces,

                        Faces with no face at all,

 

To whom to come;

            To whom to fall,

                        For they have no names at all,

 

The Faces…

                                       So many Faces,

                        Eyes seem to call,

 

“nothing”…

                        “nothing at all.”

 

For it is only in my mind,

            That there is such a grind,

                        To create such a scheme,

                                    Or,

                                                Is it all just a dream?

2006-2009 Kyler Evans, All rights reserved.

NOTE: Permission for the use of my images and Poetry is granted for personal websites and blogs (THAT MEANS NO ADDS AND NO SELLING OF ANY KIND) but must include a link back to this site and proper credit given to me for my work, Kyler Evans.

Link to be used…(https://arisingphoenix.wordpress.com/)

 

 

In Progress

In progress…

 Peering through the glass door,

                One just never knows,

                                What the depths will bring you,

                                                Or if the hole will close.

Looking at the earth,

                It breaks my heart in half,

                                Yet, I still don’t know,

                                                If there is a true path.

Trapped behind a curtain,

                I sat by idle and cried,

                                No freedom or respect their,

                                                And no matter what I lied.

It all just seems so crazy,

                So fucked up and surreal,

                                What I had to do for survival,

                                                Begrudgingly… start to feel.

The really big issue was that, I never got to heal,

from all of the suffering, pain and utter shame,

being on top of the world ,

                                then wanting to blow myself away.

The rollercoaster up and down,

                Made my mind twist and turn round and round,

In a ridiculous circle,

                                (Have you seen that internet commercial?)

                                                                The wild comments and allegations,

But I worked there too and,

And even then, had my own reservations,

But I wanted to help,

The suffering addicts,

                To find the life,

                                                I thought I had,

Until I did some reading,

                                Which made me feel sort of sad.

I somehow feel guilty,

                But know if was not my fault,

                                And yet that does not seem to,

                                                Jive with the all the thoughts, in my unconscious vault.

I never wronged,

                I loved and cared,

                                For others whom my empathy,

                                                Was completely shared.

See,

That is just the problem,

                The issue that I have,

                                I just feel things so deeply,

                                                Which sometimes makes me very sad,

It comes and goes,

                Mind ravaged with madness,

It feels so numb only, fro – Zen

The pathless path,

I was once on,

                Or so it feels,

                                On my brand new, Road to ashes.

Cause here’s the thing,

                Here’s the catch,

                                I know in my heart,

In the bottom of my soul,

                I must die again,

                                Like ashes in my pipe bowl.

I am afraid,

I am unsure,

                                                It makes no sense,

                                                                                                And is quite fucking obscure.

This psychedelic trauma,

                And the rest of the Trip,

And it feels like an iceberg,

                This is only the tip.

Sure I had some issues,

                Who the fuck does not? 

Write it on the tissues,

Used to untie my minds knot,

                Of which all,

Was the credit that you took,

                                Did you write my thesis too?

Did you write my fuckin book?

                                These words are only,

                A representation of how I feel,

I wish you could see,

                How it is for me sometimes to deal.

 I cannot blame,

                I cannot point the finger,

But the struggle I have,

                                                Is that it still lingers,

Within my vast,

                Psyche in fact,

                                But I still have trouble,

                                                Knowing how to act,

In many situations,

                What the hell is that supposed to mean,

                                                SITUATIONS.

I guess that’s the thing,

                When we are all really asleep,

                                And unaware of the fact,

                                                That most of us are just a bunch of fuckin sheep.

I have a real problem,

                With being a sheep myself,

                                and I know that most of time,

it is very bad, indeed, for my mental health.

For no one likes a person,

                who comes off as confident,

                                and Ill tell you sometimes,

                                                it is hard to pay the rent.

In this world,

                This place that we have built,

                                9-5, 44 hours a week,

                                                While our being just continues to wilt.

A fuckin madman,

                I must be,

                                To make the any of the claims,

                                                That I be,

 Whatever.

 That’s just the Alberta in me,

                The redneck, yes indeed,

That can’t see all as equal,

                Or that people that are in need,

Of a community that gives,

                Not tears us all apart,

                                A community of love,

                                                That we all take in part,

Some responsibility and some real reflections,

                And a lesson to be learned in freedom,

                                A thought that when we look at him,

                                                Not everyone wants to be him.

Or him, or her,

                In your fuckin little cult,

                                Wake the fuck up, and realize,

                                                The abuse that you have dealt.

This is the voice,

                The voice of just,

A scared little boy

                                A child who loved, and cried, and felt fear,

And at times could also be very coy…

2006-2009 Kyler Evans, All rights reserved.

NOTE: Permission for the use of my images is granted for personal websites and blogs (THAT MEANS NO ADDS AND NO SELLING OF ANY KIND) but must include a link back to this site and proper credit given to me for my work, Kyler Evans.

Link to be used…(https://arisingphoenix.wordpress.com/)

HDR Frenzy

Cemetary Gate HDR

The last couple days, the sun has decided to come out to say hello, so I decided to go and greet this wonderful entity. The interesting part of it all was, the sun decided to play hide and go seek all day long. The lighting changed drastically from moment to moment, a lot like life. Nothing remains stagnant, only movement, death and rebirth. So I spent the afternoon in a cemetery. What a beautiful place to go. The trees all have so much character and depth, while even situated off a busy road (although the other side backs onto the huge coolie in Lethbridge) it was silent. Giving me lots of time to reflect and appreciate the interconnectedness of life and death, family and attachments. There is so much wisdom that can radiate from a tree. I think that we can learn so much from a tree when it all comes down to it. When a storm comes, they just go with the flow, roots grounded and balanced. Not trying to resist what is.

 

I want to face life like a tree…Tree in a Puddle

So this shot up top is one of the few that I took for an HDR. Then I thought I would try to unwrap it all in photomatrix as well. Quite happy with this shot here as well….

Psychedellic tree

Also did a decided to take my orange cokin filter to see what it could do with HDR, the orange filter seems to pick up very well when it is a little bit cloudy or has that grey lighting outside; which was the case when I took the shot. Its a little weird, but it is what it is.

Walkway to everyones fate

And last but not least, I ripped home after the cemetary in the afternoon grabbed some food and when out to an area I have never been before that is a few minutes away from my house. The colors were sort of muted, so I thought that I would also have the HDR reflect that, it sort of fades in and out of color and is really surreal. I posted a bunch more shots on flickr, if you are interested as well as these shots in full size.  Please enjoy and comment if you like it or hate it or what, I am good either way.

Going Southwest

 

 

2006-2009 Kyler Evans, All rights reserved.

NOTE: Permission for the use of my images is granted for personal websites and blogs (THAT MEANS NO ADDS AND NO SELLING OF ANY KIND) but must include a link back to this site and proper credit given to me for my work, Kyler Evans.

Link to be used…(https://arisingphoenix.wordpress.com/)

 

 

Breaks in Reality

After looking at some of my writing I am thinking I will try and add one piece a day, or maybe more. This piece gives a good sense of the experience of no-self and the fear and madness that can ensue when one cannot slow down the mind. Slowing down the mind has been a real struggle for me since I began this journey and is becoming a key to my own sanity really. The mind acts as the self trying to grasp onto something to come back into existence, but it is only a construct of who we think that we are. We are all in fact just one; one entity that continues through life not recognizing the freedom in oneness, wholeness. It is a beautiful thing to access this state and other states of reality that we do not see regularly. This can be done through many different forms of meditation as well as many other avenues, but can take years. As Alex Grey puts it, “These or other related methods may trigger experiences that take the aspirant from a mundane perception of reality, wherein objects seem separate and composed of only material properties, to a view of divine unity with boundless depth of dimension and meaning.” (The Mission of Art).

So next time you experience reality in a new or different way, open your heart, not your mind, and see where the universe leads you. Hopefully you can go back home! 

 

 

 

Breaks

 

The self has died

Only to give way to a vast energy which can not be described accurately

It penetrates all layers

Cutting into nowhere and everywhere

Numb body

Dull vision

Racing mind

Frantic energy

            Unable to come back to the body

            Intensity comes through all areas of the vehicle

            Gone, gone, beyond gone

            This new dimension in which there is no release

Loud

Hurting ears

Penetrating essence

Crunching leaves

            Paranoia sets in and I can not handle it

            Stepping over anything that will break silence

            Fear of all that may be

            I can not hide from the essence of this experience

Anger

Insanity

Loss of control

Suicidal

            I am overcome with the guilty pleasure

            I want to get revenge and leave this body

            Release this nothing into nothingness

            Where it fucking belongs!

Crazy

Nuts

Psychotic

Rage

            It can no longer be done

            There is no solace from the madness

            No ground to stand on

            Only vast luminous emptiness

Surrender

Calm

Beauty

Sadness

            Stillness

                        Love

 

2006-2009 Kyler Evans, All rights reserved.

NOTE: Permission for the use of my images is granted for personal websites and blogs (THAT MEANS NO ADDS AND NO SELLING OF ANY KIND) but must include a link back to this site and proper credit given to me for my work, Kyler Evans.

Link to be used…(https://arisingphoenix.wordpress.com/)

A Journey Begins with a Small Step

Life is a crazy place to be sometimes, and this is why I am setting this blog up. I still don’t really get the whole “blog,” “website,” and whatever else things. But, nevertheless, I have somehow amassed a website (www.arisingphoenix.ca) which is still under construction due to my amazing webpage building abilities, but can be used with the back button from the home page (sorry that’s what I got for now). I could not really decide whether the website would be personal or more business focused. So here is the more personal part of what I am putting out on the web. This blog will mostly encompass; creativity, poetry, visual art, photography, psychology, Spirituality*, philosophy, and whatever else you can call whatever it is that I am always writing, thinking, living, breathing, and sometimes avoiding cause it is a little much. You have to feel some empathy (not sympathy, this is an important distinction in life and all should understand that sympathy is actually somewhat harmful. If you don’t know Google it…) for my wife; she has to live with me and is the one who suggested this blog to communicate my wannabe artesianism.

And that is that for the time being. I will leave you with a quote; “the spiritual path is not fun–better not being it. if you must begin, then go all the way, because if you begin and quit, the unfinished business you have left behind begins to haunt you all the time” (Chogyam Trungpa, The Myth of Freedom)

*I once understood the meaning of this word, but now I don’t really know what it means, it is too household a name to have much meaning to me now, but I will suppose that maybe it is not that way for all.