I catch myself on a sort of mental speculation! Just wondering if that happens to you too? So, hoping that my story will resonate with your soul, I’ve decided to share my experiences so publicly.
So, what is that mysterious mental speculation I am talking about? Every time I was standing in front of something unknown, being it an object, a fact or event, instead of confessing that I do not know or understand it, I used to immediately grab whatever tag out of my sack of known things, and label my unknown object, even before thinking or feeling it. I used to do it in such a rough manner, as if I was ashamed to take some time for thinking, as if somebody was watching me and counting seconds, and judging me for how fast I would cook my verdict and give a definition to this unknown.
I clearly understood that I was doing something wrong, and naturally, a simple question has been raised to my mind – “what if I do not label or define the things around me, or at least for some time?” I felt somehow, that my definitions were my obstacles to truly understand the essence of things from inside. So, I decided to make a small experiment. I took a minute or two observing those things before defining them. I actually started observing not so much those objects, but observing myself, in the process of observing those unknown things.
Saying honestly, those minutes of inner silence were very hard to sustain. Well at least it was hard for me. It felt like staying still, without breathing, watching a meter and proudly resisting each second.
Strange thing is that when I stopped generating my perceptions, I felt that these objects started revealing themselves more. It is like listening good music carefully and catching more sounds and phrases in it. You keep yourself from naming it. You just let those objects to tell about themselves. Make sure you let them to tell enough, so that you could gather as much colors of that feeling, as it is enough to build up the true image of the source of these feelings.
It is sensible only through listening, not through thinking. You see, when we think, we talk in out thought, and usually when we talk we do not feel in that very moment. We somehow know what we should say, and we just say it. Thinking takes your ready thoughts and tries to match them to the feelings and if it succeeds – you would name that feeling the thought that you are holding. But that is exactly what is wrong! You should not cover alive feelings with your instantly found but dead thoughts. Listen without interruption. Just be kind, and you will definitely experience your perceptions becoming more sensitive and rich. Slowly you will give a birth to the new senses that would otherwise pass by, unless you would allow them to flourish inside you.
It may take a week or two, but I promise if you sincerely try this – you will notice the change. It really works.
Sad thing is that the moment I decide to recall these feelings, analyze them or just think about them, those feelings just stop streaming. I used to observe those feelings always in past tense, never in present or in real time. What I could not achieve is doing feelings and thinking in the same time. Though, somehow I know that it’s going to be something really extraordinary.
Usually, a very opposite happens – we stop feeling and boost thinking, and we break it into parts, compare to what we already know, define it, label it, frame it and kill it. Yes, kill, because after all, we have no live connection any more. We even feel no need in that connection. We start believing that thinking is a source and slowly start neglecting the real source of inspiration and creativity. We become more and more senseless, and if something happens and we understand it we would immediately start covering this disability with even more ridiculous slogan – “do not show emotions, otherwise they would think that you are weak”. I want to ask those people a simple question back: “Do you really think that you need to be weak to be sensitive? If so, could you please be weak say 30 minutes every day, when you are alone? It is an important procedure for maintenance of your sensual antennas!”
I used to make such comparison to better explain it: think about a properly played music which raises no emotions and emotionally played music, but played with many mistakes.
I used to perform on stage some jazz, and when it comes to the improvisation there is definitely a need of real-time feeling, as much as real-time thinking. If you only feel, you may hear great music in your ears, you can devote yourself to this music, penetrate yourself with a certain chord and play around nicely, but then next chord is coming and you are not ready to make a bridging phrase. So, you have to be awake, but if you are awake and think about next chord, how can you devote yourself to the previous chord?
It was clear that too much thinking was causing loss of sensitivity and rigidness of my phrases. Even other musicians were like this. It was so obvious for me that those musicians who tend to be feeling oriented, preferred to play more simplistic harmonies so that they could burn themselves in emotions better. On the other hand those whose strong side was thinking, they had found tricky patterns and they preferred complicated harmonies, to demonstrate their achievements better.
One thing I know from music that I needed both. I needed to be prepared mentally well. That meant to know many good phrases which is mainly achieved by listening of great musicians. Even copying them is a good learning tool. And ones your sack of known things becomes big enough, keep it open, start playing and you will instinctively use it in the moments that you would not even expect. But, actually while improvising, dive into the feelings, as if you do not have that sack. Each phrase had to be re-experienced before pronouncing. This real-time experience is a must. Nobody needs music which is experienced yesterday. Demonstrate real-time feeling, allow others to be connected to that source too, and you will attract others with such a great magnetism that you will be pleasantly surprised. It really creates an irresistible attraction.
Some people start cognition process from feeling. Some people start it from thinking. No, it would be more correct to say: sometimes we start from feeling and sometimes from thinking. But, no matter which way we take, the end is one, and it is to get harmonized with the opposite side. Understanding is nothing more than harmonizing feeling and thinking. And inspiration is joy of that harmony, which naturally leads to creativity. So, that’s how much we lose by neglecting feelings.
- Stop shouting your thought. Nobody needs your quick definitions. Stand silent in front of new experiences and allow it to tell its story, invite it, grow and allow it to flourish in your soul. Wait as much as it is necessary for the fruits to become sweet.
- Perfection includes both feeling and thinking. Do not worry where you start from. Anyways, you will have to adapt yourself to the other standpoint.
- When you see different, you have a chance to see yourself.
- It is a miracle that we have an ability to understand new things. Thus you truly are more than what your sack of known things contains.
- Observing feelings is not a sin and it is not diminishing the feelings. Just the opposite, amplifies them.
- Creativity, inspiration and motivation, all have the root in feelings, not in thinking. So, do not neglect it, manage it!