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Image by Muriel Massin

The rapid and worldwide growth of a psychological interest over the last two decades shows unmistakably that modern man is turning his attention from outward material things to his own inner processes. Expressionism in art prophetically anticipated this subjective development, for all art intuitively apprehends coming changes in the collective unconsciousness. — Carl Jung

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“Words are events, they do things, change things. They transform both speaker and hearer; they feed energy back and forth and amplify it. They feed understanding or emotion back and forth and amplify it.” — Ursula Le Guin

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Leaning across the table Krishnamurti shook his head. “It’s so damn simple,” he said. “Sir, I’ve only said one thing but I have said it a thousand ways.” What is the one thing the speaker expressed a thousand ways?

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LAKOTA CODE OF ETHICS

Search for yourself, by yourself. Do not allow others to make your path for you. It is your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.

From the time I learned to read I was instinctively doing two things, making art and questing for deeper understanding and meaning. All attempts to knock me off that path failed. I’m incapable of functioning any other way. I liked having money when I had it, but it was inherited money.

I used it to fashion a school where my family and I could experience a bigger life. We all grew in that way of living. We traveled. We lived in France and Italy, we read and created and learned languages. We expanded our outer and inner worlds.

For me, it continues. The children all went back to the States to make their lives, but I seem to be incapable of getting the mystery, beauty and meaning I need in my native land.

I instinctively turned toward abstract art to elicit my inner world onto canvases where I could see it and wonder about it. At the same time, I was learning to watch and question myself so that I could gradually shed the habits of thought and feeling that didn’t serve me. Over time I became more simple, less self contradictory, more at peace with myself and the world.

I’m not an expat because I hate America. I’m following a path of attraction, not revulsion. I am simply attracted to older cultures, to other languages and ancient ways of being. For me, the modern world is lacking in depth. An ethos built on quick-and-easy is disappointing for what it leaves out, what it ignores.

Having said that, I am pretty firmly rooted in English. I speak French and France feels like home to me in ways America never did, but I would never attempt to write in French. English contains a vast and varied world that I will never exhaust. I am fortunate to have inherited that paradigm and for it to be my mode of communication.

Exploration, questing and learning are more important for me than already knowing something. We humans are probably just getting started learning about the inner world. I hope that the human race will become comfortable with inner forces and stop skimming the surface, but I probably won’t live to see it. It has started, though.

That’s where we’re going. My parents had a nineteenth century view of things. I was firmly anchored in taking account of the inner world which characterized the twentieth century. My orientation to art and everything else was naturally focused on trying to understand the inner world of humans. It all comes down to that for me. I envision a society based in basic kindness because that’s the force that heals both the world and ourselves.

It’s obvious that we don’t see ourselves. We don’t notice how our inner world has created endless suffering around the globe. The next stage for us is to see who and what we are and let that mutate us into healers.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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