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!

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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

Self Portrait Project

Here it is….

Take a self-portrait and post 3 things about yourself: I already posted this to my flickr site so thought I would set it up here as well.

1.) I took a break from report writing to do all this. Something I probably should have had done 3 weeks ago – give or take.

2) I am enthralled with the idea of the self-portrait as a way to create a new awareness of the individual and to capture a diary of sorts of an individual. Rembrandt, Van Gogh, De Kalo (Frida), are 3 artists who did this throughout their lives and captured amazing pieces of themselves while doing each and every one. They were not photographers, but painters, and amazing ones at that. I can say that as a photographer, it has really taken me a purchase of a compact digital – where I can look at the frame of the shot – to get any self portrait at all. But did thoroughly enjoy my drawing session, doing a self-portrait with a large mirror in front of me as it was done by the 3 artists mentioned above…

3) I went off way too much on #2 to include a #3….

Visit Flickr to check out the photo, just at the top there, ya at the right….There you go.

One Love

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

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/)

I am

I have a notebook that I leave in my truck so I can write on the go if I NEED TO or feel drawn to do so. It usually just sits in the truck, but it is in the house at the moment, so I thought I would share a few writings and poems. This was written in January of 2007, post egoic death. This experience to which I am talking about is not metaphorical, it was a felt sense of what was going on for me at the time. writing has helped me to make more sense of some of these experiences and integrate them into my everyday consciousness. I have also created many paintings to do a similar thing (will post as I find). But here is the poem;

 

I am

 

The sounds vibrate through me,

Although, I am not here,

Nor there

 

I choose my steps carefully,

As the universe is all that,

I am.

 

The path, the leaves,

The wind, this body, the sky,

All “me”

 

Vast, silencing, piercing energy,

Cutting through the mind,

Sanity is disturbed

 

There is no running or hiding from this,

No end, or beginning,

Infinite

 

The mind is not designed for this,

The eyes bear a heavy burden,

They see all

 

Hundreds of thousands of eyes,

That see and feel,

Itself.

 

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/)