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1. A Moment Apart [Out Now]

  • Published: 2017-09-12T23:30:11+00:00
  • Duration: 116
  • By ODESZA
A Moment Apart [Out Now]

The new album 'A Moment Apart’ out now: http://odesza.co/a-moment-apart 2017 A Moment Apart Tour Sun, Sep 3 - Seattle, WA - Bumbershoot Thu, Sep 14 - Auckland, NZ - Great [email protected] Fri, Sep 15 - Melbourne, AU - [email protected] Sat, Sep 16 - Sydney, AU - Enmore [email protected] Sun, Sep 17 - Sydney, AU - Enmore [email protected] Fri, Sep 29 - London, UK - O2 Forum Kentish Town# Sat, Sep 30 - Paris, FR - Élysée Montmartre# Tue, Oct 3 - Brussels, BE - AB Main Hall# Wed, Oct 4 - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso# Thu, Oct 5 - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso# Sat, Oct 7 - Berlin, DE - Astra Kulturhaus# Thu, Oct 19 - San Diego, CA - Valley View Casino Center*+ Fri, Oct 20 - Los Angeles, CA - STAPLES Center* Sat, Oct 21 - Las Vegas, NV - Downtown Las Vegas Events Center Sun, Oct 22 - Phoenix, AZ - Lost Lake Festival Tue, Oct, 24 - Santa Barbara, CA - Santa Barbara Bowl*+ Thu, Oct 26 - Berkeley, CA - Greek Theatre*+ Fri, Oct 27 - Berkeley, CA - Greek Theatre*+ Sat, Oct 28 - Berkeley, CA - Greek Theatre*+ Tue, Oct 31 - Sacramento, CA - Papa Murphy's Park at Cal Expo*^ Thu, Nov 2 - Portland, OR - Veterans Memorial Coliseum*^ Fri, Nov 3 - Vancouver, BC - PNE Forum*^ Sat, Nov 4 - Vancouver, BC - PNE Forum*^ Wed, Nov 8 - Minneapolis, MN - Myth*^ Thu, Nov 9 - Minneapolis, MN - Myth*^ Fri, Nov 10 - Madison, WI - Alliant Energy Center*^ Sat, Nov 11 - Chicago, IL - UIC Pavilion*% Mon, Nov 13 - Grand Rapids, MI - 20 Monroe Live*% Tue, Nov 14 - Detroit, MI - Masonic Temple*% Fri, Nov 17 - Montreal, QC - Metropolis*% Sat, Nov 18 - Montreal, QC - Metropolis*% Mon, Nov 20 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory*% Tue, Nov 21 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory*% Wed, Nov 22 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory*% Fri, Nov 24 - Washington, DC - The Anthem*% Mon, Dec 11 - Boston, MA - House Of Blues Boston* Fri, Dec 15 - Brooklyn, NY - Barclays Center* *with SOFI TUKKER #with Hayden James and MUTO @with The Kite String Tangle and Running Touch %with Louis Futon +with Chet Porter ^with Kasbo Follow ODESZA Website: http://odesza.co/official Facebook: http://odesza.co/facebook Twitter: http://odesza.co/twitter Instagram: http://odesza.co/instagram Spotify: http://odesza.co/spotify Apple Music: http://odesza.co/apple-music Youtube: http://odesza.co/youtube Soundcloud: http://odesza.co/soundcloud Snapchat: http://odesza.co/snapchat


2. Postcards 2017

  • Published: 2018-05-16T03:01:47+00:00
  • Duration: 116
  • By Erwin Olmos
Postcards 2017

I had not done a video summary of 2017 yet, so I took some footage and finaly got it. Music : A moment apart - ODEZA - The new album 'A Moment Apart’ out now: http://odesza.co/a-moment-apart Gear: Sony A6300 - DJI Phantom 4 - DJI Mavic Pro - Zhiyun Crane V2 Gimbal - Came Tv Single Gimbal


3. ODESZA - Higher Ground (feat. Naomi Wild) - Official Video

  • Published: 2018-03-30T12:01:36+00:00
  • Duration: 214
  • By ODESZA
ODESZA - Higher Ground (feat. Naomi Wild) - Official Video

The new album 'A Moment Apart’ out now: http://odesza.co/a-moment-apart 2018 A Moment Apart Tour: https://odesza.com/shows LYRICS: Ain’t no surprise that I can’t sleep tonight My only vice is standing by your side So won’t you love me better I’m waiting here I need you now Gravity can’t hold us down so just take me there To higher ground Save me I’m holding onto you My soul is fading I’m falling into blue Why don’t you save me? My blood is running cold So lift me up and give me higher ground Would you give me shelter I need you now If you lead I’ll follow I’m reaching out So won’t you love me better I’m waiting here I need you now Gravity can’t hold us down So just take me there So won’t you love me better I’m waiting here I need you now Gravity can’t hold us down So just take me there to higher ground Save me I’m holding onto you My soul is fading I’m falling into blue Why don’t you save me? My blood is running cold So lift me up and give me higher ground MUSIC VIDEO CREDITS: Starring // Lorelle Crawford, Alana Priest, Fika Tamiru Production Company // YBY www.yby.com.au Director/Producer // Nima Nabili Rad Director of Photography // Sam King Production Coordinator // Phil Sandell 1st AC // Daniel Ross 2nd AC // Jake Viskic Gaffer // Ian Linton, Nick Linton Steadicam Operator // Tim Walsh Animations // EGO Art Direction // Letecia Woods, Nima Nabili Rad Set Dresser // Nikita Kimiye, Lotte Sweeney Stylist // Chloe Spalding MUA // Sam Vlassis Hair // Abi Wales Runner // Michael Charlton Production Assistant // Mit Lade, Jesse Sibly, Tim Tedmonson, Rory Pippan Editor // Brad Hurt Colourist // Marcus Timpson Concept // Nima Nabili Rad, Jesse Sibly Follow ODESZA Website: http://odesza.com Facebook: http://odesza.co/facebook Twitter: http://odesza.co/twitter Instagram: http://odesza.co/instagram Spotify: http://odesza.co/spotify Apple Music: http://odesza.co/apple-music Youtube: http://odesza.co/youtube Soundcloud: http://odesza.co/soundcloud Snapchat: http://odesza.co/snapchat


4. Dear Guardians - A Burning Man Short Film

  • Published: 2014-07-21T06:10:51+00:00
  • Duration: 450
  • By Ian MacKenzie
Dear Guardians - A Burning Man Short Film

Since 2002, the Guardians have held an integral role at the Temple of Burning Man. They have remained largely invisible, holding space from the shadows. Until now. Directed by VISION WEAVER http://ianmack.com Music by HIATUS https://soundcloud.com/hiatus Additional footage ROY TWO THOUSAND http://roy2k.com MATIAS SEVEN CLOUDS https://vimeo.com/sevenclouds Sound design by JEREMY THERRIEN http://www.jeremytherrien.com “The Temple rises apart from Black Rock City, an oasis of calm out in the deep playa that stands resolute, able to bear what participants bring and to be what we need at the moment we call on it. Behind the Temple stands a group that has quietly watched over those structures each year since 2002. The main duty of the Temple Guardians is to protect the Temple and those who visit it. We abide with love for the Temple and everything that it represents.” – The Temple Guardians http://templeguardians.org


5. ODESZA - Across The Room (feat. Leon Bridges) - Official Video

  • Published: 2018-02-22T15:29:46+00:00
  • Duration: 284
  • By ODESZA
ODESZA - Across The Room (feat. Leon Bridges) - Official Video

Album 'A Moment Apart’ out now: http://odesza.co/a-moment-apart Follow ODESZA Website: http://odesza.co/official Facebook: http://odesza.co/facebook Twitter: http://odesza.co/twitter Instagram: http://odesza.co/instagram Spotify: http://odesza.co/spotify Apple Music: http://odesza.co/apple-music Youtube: http://odesza.co/youtube Soundcloud: http://odesza.co/soundcloud Snapchat: http://odesza.co/snapchat Follow Leon Bridges Website: http://leonbridges.com/ Facebook: http://found.ee/leon-fb Twitter: http://found.ee/leon-tw Instagram: http://found.ee/leon-ig Spotify: http://found.ee/leon-sp Apple Music: http://found.ee/leon-am Youtube: http://found.ee/leon-yt Soundcloud: http://found.ee/leon-sc


6. The Pilbara Project - Christian Fletcher

The Pilbara Project - Christian Fletcher

The last and probably most widely known, in these parts anyway, Christian apart from being my twin brother is passionate about photography and being a leader in the craft that is creating a beautiful landscape image. An inspiration to me and someone I can always rely on to capture the moment like no one else I have witnessed. Christian has been involved with Form for a number of years now and is responsible for getting this group of photographers together for such an amazing journey You can check out his website at www.christianfletcher.com.au Also look in on the thepilbaraproject.com


7. ACED Book Trailer

ACED Book Trailer

Rylee and Colton’s ride continues… One moment. Six years ago. The night she made the world around me so much more than just a blur. Now it's the catalyst that threatens to tear us apart. Our happily was supposed to be ever after. So why do I feel like it's slipping through my fingers? How can one moment, when our world seemed so right, resurface and cause our perfect life to spiral out of control? I can't lose her. She's my checkered flag.


8. "Where We'll Go" - 4K

  • Published: 2015-11-20T02:42:04+00:00
  • Duration: 192
  • By Joe Louw

NOW in 4K We are ecstatic to share our first ever timelapse short film with you! During January and February 2015 we returned to the Karoo. This time around we had a purpose! Apart from always looking for a reason to travel, we wanted to create a story. Not just another collection of timelapse landscapes... We set out on this personal assignment which we've been planning since January 2014. We worked strictly with a story board and had very specific shots to get. Good continuity is so important and it was quite challenging for us to shoot accordingly, making sure our shots flow from one to the next. It's even more difficult because you don't work in a controlled environment. Since nature has its own way, you can't change the lights or reshoot the action. You've only got one chance! You're time is so limited, until the moment is gone forever. It has been an incredible journey to produce this film. While the shooting is always the most fun part, it's the processing that brings the final product together. The latter is of course much more time consuming than anyone could imagine. Even more so when you need to keep clients happy at the same time ;-) It's been extremely difficult to balance our time between personal projects and the abundance of work we've been blessed with to finalise the editing. Sorry it took so long... To read all about our travels and trip details, be sure to head over to "The BTS story of Where We'll Go". You can also read the "Just Released" blog if you haven't done so already. There are loads of BTS images and more on Instagram. TIMELAPSE SA - http://tlsa.tv Behind the Scenes BLOG - http://timelapsesa.co.za/blog/item/the-bts-story-of-where-we-ll-go SPECIAL THANKS: My wife: For helping me carry all the heavy equipment! For helping planning the shots and setting up. Also, for documenting the trip via Instagram - instagram.com/jonellelouw Music: Music is so important!! We can get so hyped up about awesome music and it just inspires us to create stuff and get out to shoot!! We just love to recognise other peoples' talents and it makes it so much more rewarding when you have incredible music to compliment you story. Surely these images will not have the same effect on you without the music! Amotz Plessner you've been blessed with incredible talent! Voice over & Recording: A really "special thanks" goes out to Janno Müller from On-Key Recording studios from superb assistance and directing with the recording of our voice over. You have an awesome studio and your time and efforts are much appreciated! To David Sherwood; thank you! It was a pleasure working with you and you quickly picked up on what we wanted. You were great! Let's not delay you any further!


9. Preview: Daniel and Laura

Preview: Daniel and Laura

Last weekend we got to work for a good friend of mine that I met a few years ago. I met Daniel Wilson at a wedding we were both working at and we really hit it off and became friends from that point on. So last Saturday we headed out to Daniel's grandparents house outside of Arroyo Grande, CA. It was absolutely beautiful and they had the ceremony in the middle of a private redwood forest that his grandfather planted about 50 years ago. The lighting and the smell and entire environment was absolutely beautiful. There was one point in the movie and at the wedding that really stuck out to me. When Laura had walked down the isle and was about to be handed off to her soon to be husband, her dad was holding her hand so tight and tears of joy were coming down his cheeks. Then there was this moment at the same point where her dad handed her off to Daniel and I could see the same tears of joy resting on his cheeks. I think this is one of those beautiful moments in a ceremony were you see just how powerful and heavy this is for a loving father to hand off his daughter to be wed. I love how both the father of the bride and Daniel shared such a strong love for Laura. Seeing her hand going from holding her fathers to Daniels was a beautiful picture of this responsibility to love and cherish her had now been entrusted to Daniel. Things like this happen so fast and it is a blessing to witness it. So in the end I feel the wedding went super well. We showed this movie that night and it seemed to have really great response. I very much felt the love of these two families and I was so stoked to have been able to be apart of this day. O and we got to try out some new filming toys, so you will just have to watch to see... Enjoy.


10. GURU - MOMENT OF TRUTH

  • Published: 2013-04-19T14:36:29+00:00
  • Duration: 629
  • By Vital Films
GURU - MOMENT OF TRUTH

On April 19th 2010 the world of hip-hop lost one of its greatest. Guru was not only a legend and pioneer, he was one of a very few to put the music above fame. Its about who was listening to his music and the messages inside of it, not selling records to gain profit and fame. Back in late 2008 and early 2009 we had the the biggest privilege to be able to spend some time with Guru before he passed away. At the time we did not know he had such a shot time left with the world, it just was the biggest opportunity we ever imagined to be apart of. After his passing, we respectively sent all the footage to his family and assumed that we would never put the content out. But now that its been a few years, we feel obligated to share everything that Guru opened up to us...to you. We’re truly honored and privileged to present Guru, in one more "Moment Of Truth". Directed By: Matt Hobbs Produced By: Mike & Patrick McCarney of Akomplice www.vitalfilms.com


11. kid icarus // the screen printing duo

  • Published: 2011-06-01T16:45:27+00:00
  • Duration: 158
  • By stillmotion
kid icarus // the screen printing duo

working with bianca and michael of kid icarus was a blast. their shop is super cute, their location is in one of toronto's hippest neighborhoods, and their love for craft and handmade is infectious. while what they produce is impeccable, kid icarus is really just a two person shop. michael handles all of the production and bianca manages all of the pre and post production, among all of the other facets that go along with running a storefront. throughout the day they continue like busy bee's working apart but every so often they meet. what starts off as a split screen of the two of them working independently breaks when they meet in the middle to work together. the color of the piece was pushed as far as i could go in apple color to really bring out the saturated colors apparent in screen printed goods. one of the main differences between screen printing and digital printing is color; with screen printing, anything is possible - including crazy neon colors (colors that we have incorporated in to printed collateral, particularly the orange that is seen on many of the goods that kid icarus has printed for us), whereas with digital, you can only go so far. now, being that kid icarus is located in a small shop, we did run in to some challenges with lighting. luckily though, kid icarus is closed on monday's so we were able to film while the storefront was closed. setting up lights while the store was open would have been impossible. we ended up lighting from the outside of the shop when we lost the sun in the back of the building, and then lighting the interviews in the same direction of the sun when we lost the sun behind clouds. what i really love about this piece is that it was filmed in 1 day, about 6 hours to be exact, with 1 cinematographer, 1 assistant cinematographer / pa, and an AD. the ability to go in for a day, create a film about kid icarus and their process with relatively low impact is quite amazing to me. the power of these cameras and lenses continually blows me away. - justin ----------------------------------------------------------------- michael, of kid icarus, was kind enough to chime in on the process of being filmed and what it was like from their perspective: I'm always skeptical when someone wants to bring a class on a field trip, a group of tourists, or a film crew into our space. It's not that I get camera shy or nervous around groups of people. It's the fact that our space is about 300 square feet and once there are about 6 people in the store, you start to feel a little claustrophobic. Filming on a day that we were closed was important. Gear scattered all over the place, store product stashed into any corner possible, the store started to look like a packrat's den with just a thin clear path on the floor to get from one side of the room to the other. The folks at stillmotion were great. They put up with my random art direction and shot ideas, and also our many side tangents on whatever we decided to talk about that moment. The night before the shoot we were finishing up a job for the My City Lives Anniversary party. We were on a roll and decided to plow through the printing until it was done. It felt great to head home late that night with another project wrapped up. Bad idea. This left us unable to articulate anything on the day of the shoot. No amount of coffee helped, we were zombies. I'm surprised at the end result of the clip, it comes off really polished despite or lack of sleep. Some of the shots where we are in print production are my favourites, capturing the viscosity of the inks and the texture on the mesh, those look great in video. Alot of it was "1 shot only". From laying down a fresh bead of ink on a screen, to chopping down paper on the hydraulic cutter, it only happens once. When it comes to the physical printing portion, I generally rely on my core muscles to do most of the work . But there were quite a few overhead shots where I needed to shift my usual stance to accommodate cameras hovering over me. Awkward, yes, but I feel those made up the most interesting shots. It's pretty much what you'd see if you were printing. Overall it was an interesting experience, especially not really knowing what angle the crew wanted to take on everything. It was loads of fun explaining the process, doing what we do everyday, and just having people around to document it. ----------------------------------------------------------------- technical notes: we used the Mark IV's with a 4 lens kit (24, 35, 50 and 135) and a couple of lights when needed. there is 1 slider shot in the entire piece, everything else is with a monopod or tripod for the interviews. music is licensed through with etiquette. the artist is purse candy and the song is i need want it.


12. Ashley + Dustin Engagement Video

Ashley + Dustin Engagement Video

It's that time again, when another great guy sets the bar just a little higher than the other. Dustin reached out to me awhile back about capturing his proposal to his now fiancé, Ashley. And of course I wanted to do it because these are some of my favorite projects to be apart of. So, Dustin had this table set up with 6 boxes, all engraved with questions on the front of them that had to do with their relationship over the years. Inside was a keep-sake from that special moment that they shared and a note explaining why that moment was significant. After she finished going through the boxes, she then opened the big white box to find her ring. (Inside the box there was a motion censored song that played when she opened it...really?! This guy is good) He had both of their families, who didn't know what the occasion was for, back in the club house waiting to celebrate the engagement. I had such a great time being apart of this engagement and putting together this project. My hope is that they will cherish this video and that moment for the rest of their lives. Brittan Thanks to Chris Klein ‏@SupremeKleintel for helping out during the shoot. Music License: http://www.themusicbed.com/ Holley Maher - Always Be holleymaher.com @holleymaher Graded in Lightroom 4 with VSCOFILM visualsupply.co/film @visualsupplyco


13. Megalightning

  • Published: 2011-07-07T13:51:43+00:00
  • Duration: 2846
  • By dmptv
Megalightning

ENTIRELY NEW FORMS OF LIGHTNING HAVE BEEN DISCOVERED UP TO 1000 TIMES BIGGER THAN ANY BOLT PREVIOUSLY SEEN. WHILE NORMAL LIGHTNING FIRES DOWN BELOW CLOUDS, THESE GIANT BOLTS SHOOT UP, STUNNING EXPERTS WITH IMAGES OF LIGHTNING 80 KILOMETRES HIGH. THIS LIGHTNING, SIX TIMES MORE POWERFUL THAN PASSENGER PLANES ARE DESIGNED TO WITHSTAND, MAY BE THE REAL KILLER IN A SPATE OF BAFFLING AIR DISASTERS. Camera takes photo. AND FOR THE FIRST TIME WE CAN REVEAL THE PHOTOGRAPH THAT SPARKED A SECRET NASA ENQUIRY. WAS THIS THE PROOF THAT A HIGH ALTITUDE LIGHTNING STRIKE CAUSED THE CRASH OF THE SPACE SHUTTLE COLUMBIA? Title card: MEGA-LIGHTNING NARRATOR: EACH DAY, THE EARTH IS SHAKEN BY 8 MILLION BOLTS OF THE SKY'S MOST POWERFUL FORCE: LIGHTNING. Bolt of lightning. NARRATOR: ENERGY FROM ONE BOLT EXPLODES IN SPLIT SECOND, BUT COULD POWER A HOUSEHOLD FOR HALF A YEAR. AT ANY TIME, 1800 STORMS PUMMEL OUR PLANET. EACH ONE IS A GIANT BATTERY. INSIDE A STORM, WATER TURNS TO HAIL. FAILLING ICE CRASHES ON RISING DROPLET, CREATING STATIC ELECTRICITY. CHARGES OF UP TO 100 MILLION VOLTS BUILD UP. ARCS OF ELECTRICITY FIRE OUT. THIS IS LIGHTNING. MORE THAN 90 PERCENT OF ALL BOLTS FIRE WITHIN CLOUDS. BUT A HIGHLY CHARGED STORM WILL FIRE A CASCADE OF ELECTRICAL CHARGE TO EARTH, DRAWN TO THE HIGHEST POINT. A TREE OR A BLADE OF GRASS CAN TRIGGER LIGHTNING, OR EVEN A PERSON. EACH YEAR, 100O PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD DIE FROM DIRECT HIT. A LIGHTNING BOLT IS ONLY 3 CM WIDE. BUT AT 33,000 DEGREES CELCIUS, IT IS HOTTER THAN THE SURFACE OF THE SUN. CGI lightning. NARRATOR: THIS HEAT EXPANDS THE SURROUNDING AIR, WHICH EXPLODES OUTWARDS AS THUNDER, THE SOUND OF LIGHTNING. CGI lightning strike. NARRATOR: A LIGHTNING FLASH TRAVELS AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT; IT'S THUNDER TRAVELS MUCH SLOWER. THE SHORTER THE TIME BETWEEN THE FLASH AND THE THUNDER, THE CLOSER THE LIGHTNING BOLT. FEW CLOUD TO GROUND STRIKES ARE LONGER THAN THREE KILOMETRES. AND TEXTBOOKS SAID NO LIGHTNING COULD EXIST ABOVE THE CLOUDS. Cloud to ground lighting with measuring rod. Walt Lyons on balcony. NARRATOR: BUT THEN WEATHERMAN WALT LYONS AIMED HIS CAMERA ACROSS THE COLORADO PLAINS ON JULY 6, 1993. Mountains through Walt's eye glasses NARRATOR: WHAT HE SAW OVERTURNED 200 YEARS OF SCIENTIFIC CERTAINTY IN AN INSTANT. Green sprites images. NARRATOR: HE FILMED THESE VIDEO IMAGES. THEY SHOW LIGHTNING 80 KILOMETRES HIGH AND 40 KILOMETRES WIDE FIRING ABOVE THE CLOUDS. THEIR EXISTENCE HAD BEEN DISMISSED AS FANTASY. THEIR DISCOVERY SHEDS NEW LIGHT ON WHAT HAS BEEN CAUSING AIRPLANES TO FALL FROM THE SKY. Sunrise. Stuart Beecher lights a pipe. NARRATOR: THE DISCOVERY OF MEGA-LIGHTNING BEGAN WITH ORDINARY PEOPLE SEEING EXTRAORDINARY THINGS. Stills of Beecher in name separated by light flashes. NARRATOR: IN 1969 STUART BEECHER WAS DEFENDING A MORTAR PIT OUTSIDE SAIGON IN SOUTH VIETNAM, WHEN A STORM BROKE. Stuart Beecher: There was this giant flash of lighting that reached from the ground through the base of the cloud, completed illuminated the cloud, and out the top from the ground, in this beautiful double helix pattern, that seemed to just go on forever. It was just like it was going straight into space. Amateur photo of above cloud lightning. STRAPLINE: Photograph: Tudor Williams NARRATOR: THERE HAD EVEN BEEN PHOTOGRAPHS. THIS WAS TAKEN AT MT ISA IN AUSTRALIA, IN 1968. SCIENTISTS HAD IGNORED THE SIGHTINGS. Skeet Vaughan flying. NARRATOR: SKEET VAUGHAN, A SENIOR NASA ENGINEER, MET A WITNESS WHO HAD SEEN GIANT LIGHTNING IN 1981. AS A TRAINED PILOT, VAUGHAN TOOK THE SIGHTING SERIOUSLY. STRAPLINE: Skeet Vaughan - NASA Engineer 1959-96 Skeet Vaughan: I wrote an article in one of the flying magazines, and asked pilots to tell me if they'd seen any unusual lightning, or anything out of the ordinary. A number of pilots, about 19 of them, sent me letters telling me about this kind of a thing. Pilot walks to letterbox. NARRATOR: PILOT LARRY PARTRIDGE WAS ONE OF THOSE WHO WROTE TO VAUGHN, REVEALING THAT HE'D SEEN GIANT LIGHTNING ABOVE THE CLOUDS GOING UP, AND NOT DOWN. STRAPLINE: Larry Partridge, pilot. Larry Partridge: All of a sudden, POW! Just a split second, this huge bolt of lightning came out of the top and disappeared into deep blue space. The captain turned to me and said, wide eyed, and said did you see that? And so I said yes, and so we turned and told the flight engineer, and he said, that's impossible. Lightning doesn't go up. CGI blue jet. Pilot Robin May flying. STRAPLINE: Robin May - pilot Robin May: A Strike of lightning appeared to come from the top of the cloud, went straight up, bright white, for ten or 15 thousand feet, then broke up into a lot of little fingers that went through the different colours of the spectrum, and disappeared off into space. CGI of sprite to show what Larry sees through window of plane. Skeet Vaughn: But most of the pilots had said they'd never talk to people about this, they were somewhat reluctant to, in the case that they were flying at night, and they might think they were having hallucinations or problems. They didn't want to talk about it, and nobody would believe it anyway. Till you have documented evidence, a photograph or something like that. NARRATOR: THE PILOTS WOULD HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL HARD EVIDENCE TURNED TO SHOW THEY WERE NOT HALLUCINATING. THE PROBLEM WAS THAT FEW PEOPLE GET TO SEE ABOVE STORMS, AND THE PILOTS WHO DO RARELY CARRY CAMERAS. Pilot flying into clouds. Storm clouds brewing in distance. NARRATOR: BUT IF THE OBSERVER IS BELOW CLEAR SKIES, AND THERE IS A DISTANT STORM, WHAT IS ABOVE THUNDERCLOUDS CAN BE SEEN FROM THE GROUND. Hands put camera on tripod. NARRATOR: BY CHANCE IN 1989, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTO PHYSICIST FRANZ WINKLER WAS TESTING A CAMERA IN THESE CONDITIONS. Sunset. NARRATOR: HE WAS FILMING THE SKY ABOVE A STORM 200 KILOMETRES AWAY. ORDINARY LIGHTNING WAS FLASHING BELOW THE HORIZON. WHEN PROFESSOR WINKLER PLAYED BACK THE TAPE, THE SAW SOMETHING DIFFERENT. CGI Scene and lightning pan up. Winkler sprite. NARRATOR: THE CAMERA HAD RECORDED A FLASH, ABOVE THE CLOUD TOPS SHOWING TWIN PILLARS OF LIGHT. BUT THIS WAS WHERE LIGHTNING WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO EXIST. CGI of size of image in Winkler photo. NARRATOR: AT 10 TIMES THE SIZE OF MT EVEREST, THE MYSTERY FLASH DWARFED ANY BOLT EVER RECORDED. NASA mission control. NARRATOR: THE POSSIBILITY OF GIANT LIGHTNING CAME AT A BAD TIME FOR THE AMERICAN SPACE AGENCY, NASA. STRAPLINE: Atlas Military Satellite Launch 1987 NARRATOR: THEY HAD CONTINUED THEIR COUNTDOWN ON MARCH 26, 1987, AND LAUNCHED A $100 MILLION MILITARY SATELLITE INTO STORM CLOUDS. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT WOULD FORCE NASA TO FACE THE SKY'S MOST POWERFUL FORCE. Rocket rising into clouds. END PART 1 ^^^ BEGIN PART 2 NARRATOR: IN 1987, A $100 MILLION ROCKET HAD LIFTED INTO ORBIT FROM CAPE CANAVERAL. NASA ENGINEERS HAD DEFIED THE WEATHER AND LAUNCHED INTO A STORM. CAMERAS TRACKED THE ROCKET, UNTIL IT DISAPEARED INTO CLOUDS. WHEN THE CAMERA PANNED BACK DOWN TO THE LAUNCH PAD, A LIGHTNING BOLT STRUCK. Lightning bolt hits ground. NARRATOR: THIS IS THE BOLT THAT HAD PASSED THROUGH THE ROCKET, FOLLOWING IT'S EXHAUST PLUME, AND STRUCK THE GROUND NEAR THE LAUNCH PAD. Mission control: We have lost telemetry, don't know quite why yet. We have no telemetry data from any source at hangar A-E. NARRATOR: WITH ON-BOARD COMPUTERS BURNT OUT BY LIGHTNING, THE VEHICLE WAS VEERING OFF COURSE. MISSION CONTROL REMOTELY DETONATED THE ROCKET BEFORE IT COULD CRASH INTO POPULATED AREAS. Press conference. NARRATOR: ASKED IF THEY HAD CONSIDERED THE DANGERS OF LIGHTNING, NASA WERE CAUGHT OFF GUARD. Conference reporter: If lightning hit a rocket as it was going up, what would it do, would it knock out the electrical system? NASA spokesman: Well, there could, any number of things that could happen. I think at this point, I don't want to really speculate. NARRATOR: NASA WAS CRITICISED FOR IGNORING THE DANGERS OF LIGHTNING. STRAPLINE: Jim Dye, National Oceans and Atmospherics Administration Jim Dye: When a rocket goes up into a cloud, there is a plume of ions below it that extends 2-3 times the length of rocket. So in an essence you have a very long wire, strong fields of 10,20,30 thousand volts per meter. You can generate the equivalent of 1 million volts. So you get a discharge then through the rocket, a plume that then triggers the lightning. In the worse case it could actually potentially blow the rocket up. Winkler flash. NARRATOR: WHEN A MYSTERY FLASH WAS FILMED IN 1989, NASA HAD REASON TO FEAR A NEW FORM OF LIGHTNING THAT COULD BLOW UP A ROCKET HIGH ABOVE THE CLOUDS. Skeet walking camera. NARRATOR: NASA ASKED SKEET VAUGHAN TO FIND EVIDENCE THAT THE PHENOMENA WAS REAL. HE SEARCHED FOR SIMILAR FLASHES IN NASA'S ARCHIVE OF STORMS FILMED FROM EARTH'S ORBIT. Skeet in front of space shuttle. Skeet Vaughan: We were able to go through probably 17 or twenty hours, and you had to go through each video frame, and you have to identify the video frame, and compare it to what you know to be out there. Skeet and Bill in front of tapes. Skeet Vaughan jogs tapes and catches images. Stills of Skeet's images. NARRATOR: BY 1992, THE DETECTIVE WORK HAD TURNED UP STARTLING IMAGES. THEY SHOWED THE EDGE OF THE EARTH. BRIGHT COLUMNS FIRED UPWARDS 70 KILOMETRES FROM THE CLOUDS, TOWERING BY THE HORIZON. Skeet Vaughan: We found a total of probably nineteen of those things on different shuttle flights, over time. NARRATOR: NASA FEARED THEY MIGHT BE MORE DANGEROUS THAN THE ORDINARY LIGHTNING THAT HAD PREVIOUSLY HIT THEIR ROCKET. A RACE BEGAN TO FIND OUT IF THESE WERE GIANT BOLTS. AND IF THEY COULD BRING DOWN THE SPACE SHUTTLE. Sprite from space. NARRATOR: NASA TURNED TO WALT LYONS, A WORLD EXPERT IN THE DETECTION OF DISTANT LIGHTNING STRIKES. NASA HAD USED HIS SKILLS TO MAKE LAUNCHES SAFER AFTER THE 1987 DISASTER. THEIR ROCKET SAFETY TEAM NOW SHARED THEIR CONCERNS OVER THE NEW DISCOVERY. Walt Lyons: It appeared this whole new form of lightning not going down but going up. Pan of Colorado plain view from Walt's place. Walt Lyons: Naturally the safety people were concerned and said, we'd better find out about this. Walt on Roof showing camera. NARRATOR: WALT LYON'S OBSERVATORY ON YUCCA RIDGE WAS PERFECT FOR HUNTING LIGHTNING. COLORADO'S CLEAR SKIES OFFERED VIEWS ABOVE STORMS UP TO A THOUSAND MILES AWAY IN TORNADO ALLEY. THE PRIARIE STATES HIT BY THE WORST OF THE 20 MILLION LIGHTNING BOLTS THAT STRIKE THE UNITED STATES EACH YEAR. NASA GAVE LYONS THE JOB TO FILM ABOVE STORMS TO SEE IF THE MYSTERY FLASHES MIGHT BE A THREAT. HE ORDERED A REMOTE CAMERA TO MOUNT ON TOP OF HIS OBSERVATORY. Walt Lyons: This very camera here came on 6th July 1993. We took it out of the box that very evening, we put it on a tripod and lo and behold, it was a massive thunderstorm going on out in Kansas, about 300 kilometers away. It was lighting up the whole sky and I said, aha, this looks good, and I just sat and waited. NARRATOR: LYONS SET UP THE CAMERA AND LINKED IT BACK TO THE VIDEO RECORDER IN HIS VIEWING ROOM. Walt Lyons: It was eleven o'clock and it was really fun to watch the lightning on this video enhanced image. Looking at it, that's impressive that's nice, twelve o'clock, nice but not much was happening. Lightning storm to music. NARRATOR: LYONS WAS WEARY FROM MONITORING THE STORM, WHEN HE SUDDENLY SAW FLASHES THAT DID NOT BEHAVE LIKE ORDINARY LIGHTNING Walt Lyons: Then: Bing! I saw something on the screen and said, what was that? And then another, and I said, oh boy. By the time the sun came up around four thirty, we had seen two hundred and fifty of these bings. We just picked the right light with the right storm, the perfect location. It was classic beginners luck. NARRATOR: IN ONE NIGHT WALT LYONS HAD PROVED THE PHENOMENA WAS REAL. BUT IT STILL HAD NO NAME. Walt Lyons: A friend suggested calling them Sprites, which shows up in Shakespeare's plays. I said, that's a beautiful name, that's perfect, because it's a sort of fleeting, ephemeral type of creature, and it doesn't imply something about the physics. Matt Heavner on tarmac with plane. NARRATOR: A YEAR AFTER WALT LYONS' DISCOVERY, A UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA TEAM SET OUT TO PHOTOGRAPH THE SPRITES FROM THE AIR, UP CLOSE AND IN COLOUR. STUDENT MATT HEAVNER VOLUNTEERED FOR THE MISSION. Matt Heavner: They basically needed someone to operate the cameras and hit record on the VCR and figure out where to fly and things like that. NARRATOR: THE FLIGHTS TOOK PLACE ON THE NIGHT OF AMERICA'S FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATIONS. Fireworks. Storms and sprites. Matt Heavner: In term of danger that may be associated with the sprites, since we were in aeroplanes flying around the storms, there was certainly a danger to us, and in general, the pilots were more worried about that than we were, so we trusted their judgment enough to keep us far enough from the storms that we weren't in danger NARRATOR: AS THE FIREWORKS EXPLODED BELOW, MATT HEAVNER'S CAMERA CAPTURED WHAT NO ONE HAD SEEN BEFORE. THE SPRITES WERE COLOURED A VIVID BLOOD RED. Matt Heavner: I remember a few storms where we were seeing sprites maybe 3 or 4 times a minute and that was pretty exciting. NARRATOR: IN ONE NIGHT, THE LIGHTNING HUNTERS HAD BAGGED HUNDREDS OF IMAGES THAT HAD REVEALED THE TRUE COLOUR OF SPRITES. THEY WERE RED AND BLUE NEON-TYPE GLOWS, A SIGN THAT SPRITES MIGHT BE EXPLOSIONS OF ELECTRICITY EXCITING GASES IN THE HIGH ATMOSPHERE. FROM THE GROUND OBSERVATORY AT COLORADO, WALT LYONS FILMED ANOTHER PECULIARITY. THE SPRITES APPEARED TO BE DANCING ACROSS THE CLOUD TOPS. CGI dancing sprites. NARRATOR: BUT WERE THE SPRITES JUST A TRICK OF THE LIGHT? ORDINARY LIGHTNING GAVE WARNING OF ITS POWER WITH THE SOUND OF THUNDER. IF SPRITES MADE A SIMILAR SOUND, IT WOULD PROVE THEM TO BE MORE THAN A MIRAGE. Walt Lyons: A sprite is very implosive: BOOM! Like that, which means a lot of air is potentially being heated and/or pushed round so I wondered, could there be some analogy to thunder produced by a sprite? Dr Alfred Beddard. Walt Lyons: So I knew Al Beddard in Boulder here. Dr Beddard walks into sensor area. NARRATOR: DR ALFRED BEDDARD, WHO WOULD HUNT FOR SPRITE THUNDER, HAD BEEN A GUARDIAN OF WORLD SECURITY DURING IN THE COLD WAR. Narrator of Fifties propaganda film: If the communist bloc does attack, our radar sites and observers will sound the alert. Atom bomb explosion. Atom blast. NARRATOR: DR BEDDARD'S AUDIO ARRAY NEAR BOULDER, COLORADO, CAN HEAR THE FREQUENCIES UNDETECTABLE BY HUMAN EARS CALLED INFRA-SOUND. Sea and clouds before atom test. Countdown: Three, two, one. NARRATOR: UNTIL THE ADVENT OF SATELLITES, HIS SYSTEM WAS THE MAIN WARNING OF ROGUE ATOM BOMB TESTS. HE CAN DETECT SOUND FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD. IF HE COULD MEASURE INFRA-SOUND FROM SPRITES, IT WOULD SHOW THEY HAD ENOUGH POWER TO FIRE OUT ON THE SAME SPECTRUM AS AN ATOM BOMB. Dr Beddard looks at screen. Beddard: We detected sounds from sprites...these were detected here in Boulder DR BEDDARD CAN MAKE THE SUB-AUDIBLE SOUND OF THE SPRITE HEARD, BY PLAYING IT BACK THROUGH A PROGRAMME IN HIS COMPUTER. Beddard leaves detector fence. Dr. Beddard: There's a very very loud vicious rumbling and all of this is sub-audible but when you play it back at high speeds, you wouldn't want to get near something like that. Sprite explodes with infra-sound thunder recording. NARRATOR: NO COMMUNIST ATOM BOMB HAD ESCAPED DR BEDDARD'S INFRA-SONIC ARRAY. NOW RED SPRITES MIGHT BE TRACKED FAR AWAY, EVEN THOSE THAT FLASHED DURING DAYLIGHT HOURS. THE SPRITES COULD BE HEARD. THEY NEEDED TO BE EXAMINED IN GREATER DETAIL. PROFESSOR UMRAN INAN, A LEADING PHYICIST OF STANFORD UNIVERSITY, WOULD UNLEASH HIS STUDENTS TO PEER INSIDE THEIR FIERY HEARTS. Professor Inan: So I encouraged one of our students. Elizabeth Gherken. I said, Elizabeth why don't we do telescopic measures of this? Elizabeth Gherken in big telescope. Close up of inside of sprites. Professor Inan: What we saw in the first few images of some sprites at least, were consisting of just a whole lot of hundreds of filaments forming the body of the sprite. Inan looks into telescope. NARRATOR: INAN'S TELESCOPE HELPED PROVE THAT A SPRITE, WHICH AT FIRST WAS THOUGHT TO SHOOT UP, ACTUALLY FIRES DOWNWARDS. CGI lightning channels. NARRATOR: THEY WERE NOT A SINGLE BOLT, BUT IN A MULTITUDE OF INTER-LACED LIGHTNING CHANNELS. THE PICTURE WAS BEING COMPLETED. Pan up to cloud in CGI and see stopped lightning bolt. NARRATOR: TO SEE GIANT LIGHTNING, TIME MUST BE STOPPED. THIS IS BECAUSE SPRITES HAPPEN EVEN FASTER THAN THE BLINK OF AN EYE. SPRITES ARE GENERATED IN THE ELECTRIC FIELD ABOVE A STORM. THE FIRST THING SEEN IS A FLAT DISC CALLED A HALO. IT APPEARS AT A HEIGHT OF 85 KILOMETRES. THE ELECTRIC FIELD MUST BE STRONG ENOUGH FOR THE HALO TO GROW INTO A SPRITE. ELECTRICITY FLOWS DOWN TO MAKE A RED BALLOON OF ELECTRICAL ENERGY THE SIZE OF A MOUNTAIN RANGE. AS THE ELECTRICTY TRAVELS LOWER DOWN, DENSER AIR SQUEEZES THE CURRENT INTO 30 METRE WIDE FILAMENTS. THE SPRITE SHOWER A HUNDRED SQUARE KILOMETRES OF THESE BLUE LIGHTNING SHARDS ONTO CLOUD TOPS, AND THEN DISAPPEARS. BUT WHAT WAS PULLING VAST CURRENTS FROM SPACE TO MAKE HUGE TOWERS OF ELECTRICAL ENERGY? COULD SOME MONSTROUS FORCE CONJURE SPRITES FROM BELOW THE CLOUDS? AND COULD THIS IN TURN HELP EXPLAIN SOME OF THE MOST MYSTERIOUS AIR DISASTERS SINCE THE DAWN OF THE JET AGE? Sunset rise behind clouds. Colour film of jet crash site. 1950s jet plane in flight. Interiors of 1950s jet plane. NARRATOR: THE GLAMOUROUS ADVERTISING FOR THE NEW JETS HAD HELPED FOSTER THE MYTH THAT LIGHTNING COULD NOT HIT A PLANE IN FLIGHT. 50s advertising footage. 1950s narrator: The jet age is now here. Flying will be above the weather. NARRATOR: BUT JETS WEREN'T IMMUNE TO WEATHER. LIGHTNING WAS STRIKING PLANES OFTEN. STRAPLINE: Pierre La Rouche Pierre La Rouche: About each 1500-hour of flight which is about 1 or 2 lightning flash per aircraft per year. It's not a rare event, it's a very common event and aircraft has to be very well protected against it. Lightning hits plane wing. NARRATOR: PLANES ARE NOT USUALLY HARMED BY LIGHTNING. ALTHOUGH STRIKES REACH 100 MILLION VOLTS, THEY LAST ONLY MILLISECONDS. THE METAL SKIN OF A JETPLANE ALLOWS THE ELECTRICITY TO PASS THROUGH HARMLESSLY, LEAVING ONLY SUPERFICIAL DAMAGE. Lightning damage holes in wing. Newspaper headline “air disaster” under lightning bolt. NARRATOR: BUT HERE WAS A DEADLY CONUNDRUM - LIGHTNING STRIKES HAVE KILLED 483 PEOPLE IN FIVE MAJOR PLANE CRASHES IN 30 YEARS. THE DISASTER THAT ENDED THE MYTH THAT JETS WERE SAFE FROM LIGHTNING HAPPENED IN 1963. A RECORDING EXISTS OF THE MOMENT. Emergency services voice: We have a plane crash at 59. There's been a plane crash. Plane Crash on Delancey Road just east of Elkton 906. Flash, Photos of night crash scene, Colour 8mm film, Elton crash scene. NARRATOR: THE EMERGENCY SERVICES TAPE RECORDS THE AFTERMATH OF PAN AMERICAN FLIGHT 214. ON DESCENT TO PHILADELPHIA IN 1963, THE PLANE FLEW INTO A STORM THEN CRASHED INTO A CORNFIELD KILLING ALL 81 PEOPLE ABOARD. THE OFFICIAL ENQUIRY BLAMED A FUEL TANK EXPLOSION, BUT SAID A “MASSIVE LIGHTNING STRIKE” HAD BLOWN OFF PART OF A WING AND BURNT THROUGH RIVETS. Pic of wing of plane. NARRATOR: IF PLANES WERE SAFE FROM ORDINARY LIGHTNING, WHAT HAD BROUGHT DOWN FLIGHT 214? Weathermen at blackboard. NARRATOR: WEATHERMEN WOULD HAVE TO THROW AWAY THEIR TEXT BOOKS TO SOLVE THE MYSTERY. Walt Lyons: If you go back you look at the textbooks from twenty to thirty years ago, most people thought that lightning was a giant spark that had a negative charge down to the ground. 1930s film about lightning. NARRATOR: SCIENTISTS HAD KNOWN SINCE 1773 THAT LIGHTNING WAS ELECTRICITY. ELECTRICITY WAS FOUND TO COME IN TWO TYPES, THAT EITHER REPEL OR ATTRACT. THESE ARE CALLED NEGATIVE AND POSITIVE CHARGE. WELL INTO THE 1970S, WEATHERMEN KNEW OF ONLY ONE TYPE OF LIGHTNING: NEGATIVE CHARGED BOLTS. Walt Lyons: With the advent of other systems to look at what's going on inside of the lightning, we found that a number of them worked in reverse. They lowered positive charge to the ground. These became known as positive lightning. CGI positive bolt. Walt Lyons: We didn't realize there were such major differences. They don't just strike but they strike and just burn away for hundreds and hundreds of milliseconds, which is an eternity when you're being lit up by 15,000 kilo amps. NARRATOR: POSITIVE LIGHTNING COULD EXPLAIN THE ELKTON ENIGMA. Walt Lyons: The Elkton crash was during winter, and there isn't much lightning in the northeast of the United States, but when there is, it tends to be positive. There is a fair amount of lightning in intense snowstorms, and our experience has often shown that it's positive and very powerful. CGI positive bolt and lightning. NARRATOR: FLIGHT 214 HAD BEEN ENGULFED BY THE TYPE OF STORM BRISTLING WITH POSITIVE LIGHTNING. A POSTIVE BOLT WOULD UNLEASH MANY TIMES THE CURRENT, AND BURN FAR LONGER THAN ORDINARY LIGHTNING. A STRIKE BY POSITIVE LIGHTNING COULD EXPLAIN THE FATE OF FLIGHT 214. CGI OF sprite above positive lightning. NARRATOR: BUT UNTIL A PLANE CRASH INVESTIGATOR SAW HIS FRIEND BLASTED FROM THE SKY, THE TRUE POWER OF THIS NEW FORM OF POSITIVE LIGHTNING WOULD REMAIN A MYSTERY. END PT 2 ^^^ PART 3 Sprites explode. NARRATOR: IN 1993 THE WORLD OF WEATHERMEN HAD BEEN ROCKED BY THE DISCOVERY OF A GIANT FORM OF LIGHTNING ABOVE THE CLOUDS. THEY HAD ONLY RECENTLY FOUND ANOTHER BREED OF SUPER BOLTS BELOW THE CLOUDS CALLED POSITIVE LIGHTNING. Peter Claiden flying in plane. NARRATOR: THE ROLE OF POSITIVE LIGHTNING IN AIR ACCIDENTS WOULD NEVER HAVE WON OFFICIAL RECOGNITION, IF PLANE CRASH INVESTIGATOR PETER CLAIDEN HAD NOT SEEN HIS FRIEND STRUCK BY LIGHTNING. THE DRAMA BEGAN THE LONDON GLIDING CLUB. Peter Claiden: The day looked reasonable started off with low cloud and cleared to nice blue sunny April day and it was nice day for flying. We took the glider from the hangar and took it to the launch point. I wasn't aware Peter was flying because there were a lot of people flying that day. Glider Pilot Peter Goldstraw: I didn't take any particular notice of the dark cloud Peter Claiden: That whole section of sky was black evil looking black . And it was slowly encroaching on the airfield. Peter Goldstraw: And that's when things went wrong. Peter Claiden: Well, I had landed and taxied in and I was keeping an eye on the sky as pilots generally do, and suddenly there was this very bright streak of light diagonally across the sky. Glider Pilot Peter Goldstraw: The force of the explosion had burst both my eardrums, I was aware of what was obviously a glider, descending nose down, rotating as it did so. I do remember all my clothes fluttering wildly, I remember pulling the ripcord, and I then remember being surrounded with like, autumn leaves, all the little bits of glider that were fluttering to the ground. Still of glider ruin on ground. NARRATOR: PETER CLAIDEN REALISED THAT IF HIS PLANE HAD BEEN HIT, HE WOULD HAVE BEEN KILLED. HE HAD NOT BEEN WEARING A PARACHUTE. Peter Claiden: Had I been struck by lightning almost certainly I wouldn't be standing here now. NARRATOR: THE CRASH WAS A MYSTERY. GLIDERS HAD BEEN STRUCK BEFORE AND HAD SURVIVED. PETER CLAIDEN WANTED TO KNOW WHY THIS BOLT WAS SO DEVASTATING. Peter Claiden: I thought this might be a very good opportunity to look at the subject of lightning, and we discussed ways in which we may be able to quantify the level of energy in the strike by test work at the laboratories. Inside Manchester testing laboratory. NARRATOR: THE LABORATORY COULD SIMULATE ORDINARY LIGHTNING. BUT DAMAGE TO THE GLIDER WAS VERY MUCH OUT OF THE ORDINARY. Testing sequence. Tester 1: This actually came from the glider which was struck, and it hasn't actually melted, what you can actually see, is the magnetic forces, which have crushed the pipe down, and this is indicative of the fact that it was a very severe strike, which took this glider. Electricity boom on model gilder. Testers approach glider. Tester 2: To simulate the lightning strike, we actually use an impulse generator, that can generate over a million volts. Lab dials go up. NARRATOR: THE LAB FOUND OUT THEIR MACHINES WERE TOO WEAK TO REPLICATE THE IMMENSE FORCE THAT DESTROYED THE GLIDER. Door sign: Air Accident Investigation. NARRATOR: THIS FINDING HAD OMINOUS IMPLICATIONS. Accident investigation lecture door pan, to Claiden at lectern. Peter Claiden: It was concluded putting all the figures together it was concluded by everybody who worked on this hat it could have been up to six times the level that aircraft are designed to tolerate with minimal damage. Six times. NARRATOR: THOUGH THEY LOOK LIKE A NORMAL BOLT, THIS POSITIVE LIGHTNING CAN BURN TEN TIMES AS LONG AND UNLEASH SIX TIMES THE POWER OF ORDINARY NEGATIVE STRIKES. CGI of lightning bolts. NARRATOR: THE KILLER LIGHTNING TRAVELLED WITH AN EVEN BIGGER ACCOMPLICE. Walt Lyons: We were able to take pictures of sprites above storms while we're able to map lightning going on inside of the storm. We've never been able to do this before. We went back and got the raw lightning data and for every sprite there was a positive lightning. NARRATOR: POSITIVE LIGHTNING AND SPRITES WERE ONE CONTINOUS FORCE, THAT STRETCHED FROM THE EDGE OF SPACE TO WHERE ORDINARY PLANES FLY. Model plane being struck by electricity. NARRATOR: REGULATORS HAD SET AIRLINER SAFETY THRESHOLDS FOR LIGHTNING BEFORE THE DISCOVERY OF SPRITES. THE WORLD'S AIRLINES FLY WITH SHIELDING TO WITHSTAND ONLY A SIXTH OF THE AWESOME POWER INFLICTED BY THE POSITIVE LIGHTNING FIRED BELOW THE SPRITES. Walt Lyons: What we're learning is that there's a whole sub-class of extremely energetic positive cloud to ground lightning that lower as maybe ten times more current to ground than the old text books said you should get. NARRATOR: THERE WAS POTENTIAL SALVATION. Walt Lyons: We're able now to actually use the sprite as a sort of coal miners' canary, because when you see a sprite out there, it means that there's an exceptionally unusual lightning discharge in the cloud below. NARRATOR: THE SPRITES THEMSELVES MIGHT BE USED AS NEON SIGNS WARNING OF THE POSITIVE LIGHTNING BELOW. Neon. CGI of dancing sprites. NARRATOR: POSITIVE LIGHTNING WAS DEADLY. AND THE SPRITE ABOVE ENGULED A THOUSAND TIMES THE VOLUME OF AIR WITH ELECTRICAL CHARGE. COULD ROCKETS BE CAUGHT IN THE BELLY OF THIS BEAST? NASA FUNDED THE FIRST SPRITE HUNT IN 1993 TO FIND OUT. Matt Heavner: NASA was worried that many of the spacecraft like the shuttle weren't designed to take lightning discharges and so if the shuttle was flying through sprites what was the possible effect be on the shuttle or any other spacecraft NARRATOR: IN 1996 WALT LYONS REPORTED TO NASA ON THE DANGERS OF SPRITES. HE CONCLUDED THAT THEIR VAST SIZE SPREAD OUT THEIR ENERGY, MAKING THEM UNLIKELY KILLERS - BUT CAUTIONED NOT ENOUGH WAS KNOWN TO BE CERTAIN THEY WERE HARMLESS. Walt Lyons: We concluded that the space shuttle was probably not endangered by a Sprite. But I'm not sure I'd be the first astronaut to fly through one either. We just don't know for sure and we still don't know everything. Walt Lyons: it works out that if you had about a hundred descents into Kennedy in the Midwest over summer nighttime periods you'd have about one chance in that hundred involved in the envelope of a Sprite. Shuttle takes off/ inside control room. NARRATOR: NASA TOOK THEIR CHANCES ON THE 107th SHUTTLE MISSION IN JANUARY 2003. NO EXTRA SHIELDING FROM THE NEW FORMS OF LIGHTNING HAD BEEN INSTALLED. BUT THE SHUTTLE WAS TO HUNT FOR THE GIANT BOLTS, ALONGSIDE 200 OTHER SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS. Yoav Yair looks at laptop. THE SPRITE HUNT HAD BEEN INSPIRED BY ISRAEL'S LEADING LIGHTNING RESEARCHER, YOAV YAIR. Yoav Yair looks at observatory opening. Yoav Yair: I came up with sprite research from space during the night part of orbit. STRAPLINE: Yoav Yair - Open University Of Tel Aviv Yoav Yair: There were earlier tries to try and look at sprites from space, but we had a superior instrument on board so we figured out we could do a really good job in hunting those elusive sprites. NARRATOR: YOAV'S FRIEND, ISRAEL'S FIRST ASTRONAUT, ILAN RAMON, WAS TO FILM LIGHTNING FROM INSIDE THE SHUTTLE. STRAPLINE: Ilan Ramon, Israeli Astronaut, Columbia Mission Ilan Ramon: These new phenomena was new for the scientists and they are trying to figure out what it is all about and our camera is actually the best way to monitor and try to catch these sprites going up to space. Launch of shuttle Columbia. NARRATOR: THE SHUTTLE CREW PURSUED GIANT LIGHTNING DURING 42 NIGHT ORBITS. Images of earth from shuttle & storms. Astronauts inside shuttle. NASA voice: This is mission control Houston, pilot Willy McCool operating the Medex experiment or the Mediterranean Israeli dust experiment with one of its secondary observations being to look for the sprites or the lightning phenomena associated with the thunderclouds in the lower ionosphere or upper most atmosphere of the earth. NARRATOR: THE SHUTTLE CREW FILMED HOURS OF VIDEO OF GIANT STORMS LIKE THIS FROM SPACE. THEY FOLLOWED LIGHTNING ILLUMINATING THE CLOUDS FROM BELOW TO PINPOINT THE AREA WHERE SPRITES WOULD EXPLODE ABOVE THE CLOUDS AT THE EDGE OF SPACE. Storms filmed from shuttle. Astronaut radio voice: And Houston we're back, we're tracking some good storms again. NARRATOR: VIDEO OF THE FIRST STORMS WAS BEAMED BACK TO MISSION CONTROL. THE FINAL TAPES WERE KEPT ON BOARD TO BE HANDED DIRECTLY TO YOAV YAIR. BUT THE HAND-OVER FROM THE MOST AMBITIOUS HUNT YET FOR GIANT LIGHTNING WAS NEVER TO HAPPEN. Space from payload bay of shuttle. NARRATOR: AT THE END OF A 16-DAY MISSION, THE SPACE SHUTTLE COLUMBIA WAS RE-ENTERING THE EARTH'S ATMOSPHERE ABOVE THE COAST OF CALIFORNIA. Long shot Columbia re-entering. NARRATOR: ON BOARD WERE THE FILMS OF STORMS FROM SPACE THAT COULD HELP SCIENTISTS UNDERSTAND GIANT LIGHTNING. Yoav Yair: On the morning of February 1st we were expecting the re-entry of the shuttle, watching the big screens and chatting away. NARRATOR: A CREW MEMBER FILMED THE LAST MOMENTS INSIDE THE COCKPIT. SUPER-HEATED AIR CAN BE SEEN FLICKERING ACROSS THE PORTHOLE AS IT RE-ENTERS THE ATMOSPHERE AT 27,000 MILES AN HOUR. Astronaut: You definitely don't want to be outside of there now. NARRATOR: CAMERAS INSIDE MISSION CONTROL AT HOUSTON RECORDED THE LAST COMMUNICATIONS. Mission Control: Everything look good to you, control, and rates is normal, right. NARRATOR: THE SHUTTLE VIDEO TAPE CUTS OFF ABRUPTLY. RADIO MESSAGES ARE ANSWERED ONLY BY STATIC. MISSION CONTROL WAS UNAWARE THAT CAMERAMAN OUTSIDE WERE ALREADY FILMING WHAT WAS LEFT OF THE SHUTTLE HURTLING TO THE GROUND. Inside shuttle control room. NASA controller: Lock the door, lock the door. Yoav Yair: We got all this terrible sinking feeling. Reaction at NASA control room. Controller holds face. Yoav Yair: People started crying, I started crying, I couldn't hold myself, it was really really hard, really really hard. Searchers look for wreckage. NARRATOR: SEARCHERS FANNED OUT ACROSS THE STATES OF LOUSIANA AND TEXAS TO GATHER WRECKAGE. ALL OF THE ASTRONAUTS WHO HAD BEEN SENT TO HUNT GIANT LIGHTNING WERE KILLED. IMMEDIATELY THERE WAS FEAR THAT THE LIGHTNING HUNTERS HAD BEEN BROUGHT DOWN BY THE PHENOMENA THEY WERE SENT TO RECORD. Matt Heavner: As part of my work now at Los Alamos, I operate a ground-based array of lightning detectors, and it was rather early in the morning, I got a call from Murray Pongras, one of my supervisors at the lab, and he says have you seen the news yet? I said no, he said, well, save all your data because the shuttle just disappeared. Walt Lyons: When we heard that the break-up began around the West Coast, we went and checked the weather there and so these sprites jump into your mind. CGI DANCING sprites. San Francisco street scene. NARRATOR: A FURTHER SHOCK FOR THE LIGHTNING HUNTERS CAME FROM SAN FRANCISCO. Camera at San Francisco being lined up. NARRATOR: ANOTHER CAMERAMAN HAD PHOTOGRAPHED THE DESCENT OF THE SHUTTLE. CGI image of shuttle in camera viewer. Matt Heavner: And then it came out, there was this photo associating it with lightning NARRATOR: UNTIL AMATEUR ASTRONOMER PETER GOLDIE LOOKED AT THE PHOTOS ON HIS COMPUTER, HE HAD NO IDEA ANYTHING HAD GONE WRONG WITH THE SHUTTLE'S RE-ENTRY. Peter Goldie: When I saw the picture and heard the television in the background suggesting that things were amiss, the hair on the back of my neck stood up. Fingers to screen. NARRATOR: THE PICTURE THAT SHOCKED GOLDIE SHOWED THE BRIGHT LINE MADE AS THE COLUMBIA STREAKED BY IN THE EIGHT SECONDS OF HIS TIME LASPE PHOTO. Animation of streak. Close up of lightning hit. NARRATOR: IT HAD BEEN HIT BY A PURPLE CORKSCREW OF LIGHT. Peter Goldie: I didn't know what it was, but by all appearance it appeared to be a lightning bolt. NARRATOR: THE APPARENT BOLT STRUCK TWO SECONDS BEFORE A BRIGHTER GLOW SIGNALLED THAT THE CRAFT WAS BREAKING INTO PIECES. SIX MINUTES LATER THE SHUTTLE EXPLODED. WHEN A NEWSPAPER GOT WIND OF THE PHOTO, THE KILLING POTENTIAL OF MEGA-LIGHTNING WAS FRONT PAGE NEWS. News headline outside Chronicle building. Newspaper. Helicopter. Camera taken from tripod. NARRATOR: THE PAPER HAD SEEN THE PHOTO, BUT WAS FORBIDDEN FROM PUBLISHING IT. NASA HAD SENT AN AGENT TO COLLECT THE IMAGE AND THE CAMERA. Matt Heavner: I think initial evidence from the photo, that possibly sprites were responsible for the disaster, was kind of a shock in that way, these were benign friendly things to study, and now they might have serious implications. Professor Inan walks down corridor. NARRATOR: THE LIGHTNING HUNTERS NOW TURNED DETECTIVE TO FIND OUT IF SPRITES WERE THE KILLER. Prof Inan at desk. Professor Inan: There was a photograph and there was some concern that the shuttle during re-entry of course did go through the altitudes that sprites and other high altitude electrical phenomena occur. So to cover all bases NASA was interested in making sure that any possible evidence of electrical effects is thoroughly considered. Columbia wreckage. NARRATOR: BUT THE LAST RECORDINGS OF COLUMBIA'S HUNT FOR GIANT LIGHTNING HAD BEEN LOST IN THE CRASH. RESCUERS COMBED THROUGH DEBRI. IT TOOK TWO WEEKS TO FIND THE TAPES. THEY WERE AIRLIFTED TO ISRAEL, WHERE THE LIGHTNING HUNTERS WERE COPING WITH THE DEATH OF ILAN RAMON, THEIR COUNTRYMAN SENT TO PHOTOGRAPH THE BOLTS. STRAPLINE: Ilan Ramon, astronaut. Yoav Yair: This science work, it's the heritage of the crew for us. So far we have only looked at 1 hour, even less, and we have found at least 50 confirmed events, what we call images, that we are sure are either sprites above thunderstorms. Some of them we don't know what we saw. Yoav Yair moves along corridor. Yoav Yair at Versailles presentation. NARRATOR: AMONG THE FIRST IMAGES MADE PUBLIC FROM COLUMBIA'S LIGHTNING HUNT WAS A METEOR RE-ENTRY, APPARENTLY SPARKING A BOLT OF GIANT LIGHTNING. Yoav addressing meeting: The first meteor coming in here, some lightning below, and this is the sprite. Columbia crew saying “In memory of” NARRATOR: WAS IT POSSIBLE THAT THE SHUTTLE HAD ACTED LIKE A METEOR, Its RE-ENTRY TRAIL TURNING COLUMBIA INTO A LIGHTING ROD, ATTRACTING A GIANT BOLT? Re-play of CGI of bolt hitting Columbia. NARRATOR: NASA'S SUB-PANEL CONSIDERED THIS HORRIFIC POSSIBILITY IN SECRET. MEANWHILE, THE PUBLIC WAS BEING TOLD WING DAMAGE AND MISMANGEMENT HAD CAUSED THE ACCIDENT. Press conference. Admiral Gehlen: The first cause was the foam that came off and hit the, hit the re-enforced carbon. The second was the loss within NASA of its systems of checks and balances. NARRATOR: NASA'S PROBE INTO THE SHUTTLE LIGHTNING STRIKE WAS NEVER MADE PUBLIC. THE REASON: FEAR HAD TURNED TO EMBARASSMENT, THEN RELIEF. EXPERTS WHO CHECKED THE SAN FRANCISCO PHOTO CONCLUDED THE IMAGE OF LIGHTNING PROBABLY CAUSED BY A CAMERA WOBBLE. Professor Inan: Our conclusion was that there was no evidence for any electrical activity at the altitudes that the shuttle went through in the region of the earth that it went through. There was a camera shot. It turned out to most likely be an artifact of the particular camera. NARRATOR: THE GIANT LIGHTNING WAS DISMISSED AS A GHOST IN THE MACHINE. Atomic explosion. NARRATOR: BUT THE MAN WHO HAD BEEN AMERICA'S LOOK OUT FOR ROGUE ATOMIC TEST HAD HEARD SOMETHING VERY REAL IN THE RE-ENTRY PATH OF THE DOOMED SPACE SHUTTLE. END PT 3 ^^^ BEGIN PART 4 NASA scientists examine space shuttle debris. NARRATOR: A SECRET NASA PROBE HAD STUDIED A PHOTO APPARENTLY SHOWING LIGHTNING HITTING THE SPACE SHUTTLE COLUMBIA SECONDS BEFORE IT BROKE UP. WHILE IT WAS CONCLUDING THAT NO LIGHTNING HAD STRUCK, NEW EVIDENCE EMERGED. Atom bomb blast. NARRATOR: AMERICA'S EXPERT IN THE DETECTION OF DISTANT ATOM BOMB TESTS, DR ALFRED BEDDARD, HAD BEEN THE FIRST TO CONFIRM SPRITE THUNDER. HIS INFRA-SONIC ARRAY WAS LISTENING WHEN THE SHUTTLE WENT DOWN. Dr Beddard: My wife and I were watching television, and we were looking at the re-entry, and all of a sudden things were not normal, and it became evident that it was a true tragedy. Graphic lines from Beddard detector. Dr Beddard: So at that point we knew, we had detected re-entries in the past, and we looked at our data to make sure we had something and it looked like we did. NARRATOR: THE DETECTORS HAD HEARD A SINISTER SOUND BEFORE THE SHUTTLE'S BREAK UP. Dr Beddard: We'll start this playing. So this is an hour of data in real time. This is compressed in time to nine seconds. So we're actually able to hear the infrasound, I call it infra audio, as a compressed audio track. So what you're hearing, are the bursts of energy early, right in through here. Then that hollow thud. NARRATOR: THE SIGNAL SHOWED THERE'D BEEN AN ENERGY BURST OUTSIDE THE SHUTTLE BEFORE IT DISINTERGRATED. LIKE THE SOUND OF A DISTANT GUNSHOT, THIS WAS EVIDENCE OTHER FORCES WERE IN PLAY. Dr Beddard: It had the characteristics of a geophysical kind of an event of some sort. As I have said at this range in the past, we've had signals quite similar, that were associated with good-sized earthquakes. Shuttle with earthquake sound. NARRATOR: THE BOMB DETECTORS HAD MEASURED A HUGELY POWERFUL EVENT. THE FORCE OF AN EARTHQUAKE HIGH IN THE SKY. ITS EPICENTRE WAS ESTIMATED TO BE IN THE FLIGHTPATH OF THE DOOMED SHUTTLE. Dr Beddard: The best guess around here, perhaps San Francisco, perhaps a little bit south of here. NARRATOR: DR BEDDARD HAD HEARD SOMETHING LIKE AN EARTHQUAKE CROSSED WITH THE SOUND OF A SPRITE. WHAT COULD IT BE? Walt Lyons: The chances are that the sprite per se is not going to be a threat to the space shuttle but there are creatures out there, which we shouldn't be so sure about. NARRATOR: COULD COLUMBIA HAVE TRIGGERED AN UNKNOWN WEATHER PHENOMENA FROM THE FORCE THAT UNLEASHED THE EARTHQUAKE-SIZED RUMBLE? Alaskan colour footage above storm. NARRATOR: WHEN NASA'S ALASKAN RESEARCHERS FLEW A SPECIAL COLOUR CAMERA ABOVE STORMS IN 1994, THEY WERE STUNNED TO FIND A MORE AGRESSIVE TYPE OF BOLT NO ONE HAD SEEN BEFORE. Jet storm footage. Matt Heavner: It was a storm over Arkansas, and first of all the storm was almost continuously illuminated. There was so much lightning going on down below, and then the jets were shooting off maybe once every 10 seconds at peak, and so you'd just see these spouts of light, and all this lightning going on down below, that was amazing, that was unlike any storm I've seen before. NARRATOR: EVEN FROM 150 KILOMETRES AWAY, THE BLUE JET, HIGHLIGHTED HERE, CAN BE SEEN BURSTING UP FROM THE CLOUD TOPS. IT ERUPTS 15 KILOMETRES, FIVE TIMES THE REACH OF AN AVERAGE LIGHTNING BOLT. APART FROM THE ALASKAN FOOTAGE, LITTLE IS KNOWN ABOUT THEIR POWER, AND WHERE THEY STRIKE. Walt Lyons: I remember the first time I saw the video I was absolutely stunned. I couldn't believe what I was seeing because that wasn't predicted by anybody. That was a total shock. NARRATOR: A BIGGER SHOCK WAS TO COME. JUST MONTHS BEFORE THE SHUTTLE CRASHED, A SERIES OF BLUE JETS WERE FILMED THAT DWARFED ANY RECORDED BEFORE. FIRST, LIGHTNING HUNTERS IN PUERTO RICO CAUGHT THIS FILM OF POTENTIALLY THE MOST POWERFUL TYPE OF LIGHTNING YET RECORDED. THEN OFF TAIWAN'S COAST, RESEARCHERS FILMED THESE TOWERING BOLTS ERUPTING 80 KILOMETRES INTO SPACE FROM THE TOP OF A DISTANT STORM. Walt Lyons: They got this enormous column of light coming out from the cloud top all the way to the atmosphere. They could see it with their naked eye, a screaming brilliant blue. Seems to be far more than the blue jets we saw in 1984. It may be an entirely new phenomena, or just an incredible energetic form of the old blue jet. We still don't know what it is for sure. Giant jet montage of five stills. NARRATOR: ONLY FIVE GIGANTIC JETS HAVE BEEN CAPTURED ON FILM. THEIR KILLING POTENTIAL REMAINS UNKNOWN. Yoav Yair: It's a whole menagerie out there, it's a zoo, there could be other types of discharges and emissions in the upper atmosphere. NARRATOR: THE LIGHTNING HUNTERS WERE BACK WHERE THEY HAD BEEN WHEN THE FIRST IMAGES CONFIRMED MEGA-LIGHTNING WAS NO FAIRYTALE. Matt Heavner: In terms of the middle atmosphere, there are still unknowns, and new discoveries to be made. It definitely should be studied in terms of both manned and un-manned space flights. Walt Lyons: There's a lot of things happening above the cloud tops that we never knew ten years ago and perhaps we haven't designed properly for. Montage of lightning CGI. NARRATOR: THE HIGHER WE FLY INTO THE REALMS OF THE MEGA-LIGHTNING, THE MORE CERTAIN WE ARE TO ENCOUNTER BEASTS THAT HAVE YET TO BE DISCOVERED. CREDIT ROLLER Camera Andrew Dishman Pieter de Vries Yosi Leon Michael Fearnehough Sound Ross Neasham Geoffrey Willis John Bradley Music Moonshine Music Production Manager Alison Cooke Archive Images Walt Lyons, FMA Sunburnt Pictures NASA University of Florida Lightning Research Group University of Alaska Fairbanks The London Gliding Club The National Grid Transco High Voltage Research Centre, UMIST ONERA, France The Historical Society of Cecil County Mark Stanley Victor Pasko National Science Foundation Penn State University The Open University of Tel Aviv Mike Taylor, University of Utah Stanford University Steve McCreevey Chris Knuth Research Mark Tanner Brandy Gee Editors John Gibbs Tom Cordell Executive Producers John Drury James Garrett Produced and Directed by David Monaghan David Monaghan Productions/ITV West With Top Notch/Off The Fence


14. 150 Hits of 2013 - Mega Mash-Up Edit by Shahar Cohen (6eneration)

  • Published: 2014-01-01T18:26:21+00:00
  • Duration: 345
  • By Shahar Cohen
150 Hits of 2013 - Mega Mash-Up Edit by Shahar Cohen (6eneration)

Add me here: https://www.facebook.com/sprvd. songlist: Iggy Azalea - Change Your Life (Explicit) ft. T.I. Iggy Azalea -a Work. Iggy Azalea - Bounce. Katy B - What Love Is Made of. Katy B - 5 Am. Avicii - Hey Brother. DIPLO - BUTTER'S THEME ft. GENT & JAWNS. Anna Kendrick - Cups (Pitch Perfect's "When I'm Gone"). A-Trak & Tommy Trash - Tuna Melt. Jessie J - It's My Party. P!nk - Just Give Me A Reason ft. Nate Ruess. Major Lazer - Bubble Butt (feat. Bruno Mars, 2 Chainz, Tyga & Mystic). Demi Lovato - Neon Lights. YG - My Hitta ft. Jeezy, Rich Homie Quan. Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines ft. T.I., Pharrell. Dillon Francis - Bootleg Fireworks (Burning Up). Selena Gomez - Come & Get It. Calvin Harris - I Need Your Love ft. Ellie Goulding. Disclosure - When A Fire Starts To Burn. Stromae - Papaoutai. Daft Punk - Get Lucky ft. Pharrell Williams. Icona Pop - All Night. Drake - Hold On, We're Going Home ft. Majid Jordan. Jason Derulo - Marry Me. Daft Punk - Lose Yourself to Dance. Ellie Goulding - Burn. Maejor Ali - Lolly (Explicit) ft. Juicy J, Justin Bieber. Eminem - Berzerk. Zedd - Clarity ft. Foxes. HAIM - Falling. Imagine Dragons - Demons. Chris Brown - Love More (Explicit) ft. Nicki Minaj. Paramore - Still Into You. Major Lazer - Watch Out For This (Bumaye) ft. Busy Signal. David Guetta - Play Hard (Official Video) ft. Ne-Yo, Akon. Miley Cyrus - Wrecking Ball. Miley Cyrus - We Can't Stop. Naughty Boy - La La La ft. Sam Smith. Britney Spears - Ooh La La. Phillip Phillips - Gone, Gone, Gone. Eminem - Survival. Bruno Mars - Gorilla. Borgore - Legend. Disclosure - You & Me (Flume Remix). PSY - GENTLEMAN. Showtek & Noisecontrollers - Get Loose. Rihanna - Stay ft. Mikky Ekko. Avicii - Wake Me Up. Rihanna - Pour It Up. Zendaya - Replay. Rihanna - Where Have You Been. Ylvis - The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?). Jason Derulo - Talk Dirty feat. 2 Chainz. Martin Garrix - Animals. Borgore & Dudu Tassa - Wayak. Koven - More Than You. Nicky Romero vs. Krewella - Legacy. Lady Gaga - Applause. Lorde - Royals (US Version). Lorde - Tennis Court. Ke$ha - Crazy Kids ft. will.i.am. Katy Perry - Roar. Major Lazer - Jet Blue Jet (feat. Leftside, GTA, Razz & Biggy). Avril Lavigne - Let Me Go ft. Chad Kroeger. Capital Cities - Safe And Sound. MIKA - Popular Song ft. Ariana Grande. Selena Gomez - Slow Down. Lorde - Team. Luke Bryan - That's My Kind Of Night. Daft Punk - Instant Crush ft. Julian Casablancas. Zedd - Stay The Night ft. Hayley Williams. Snoop Lion - Torn Apart ft. Rita Ora. Disclosure - White Noise ft. AlunaGeorge. Steve Aoki, Chris Lake & Tujamo - Boneless. Pitbull - Feel This Moment ft. Christina Aguilera. Jennifer Lopez - Live It Up ft. Pitbull. Priyanka Chopra - Exotic ft. Pitbull. M.I.A. - Bring The Noize ft. Switch and Surkin. Jessie Ware - Imagine It Was Us. Lil Wayne - Love Me ft. Drake, Future. Die Antwoord - Cookie Thumper. Capital Cities - Kangaroo Court. Die Antwoord - Fatty Boom Boom. Borgore feat. Miley Cyrus - Decisions. Disclosure - Latch feat. Sam Smith. Martin Solveig & The Cataracs - Hey Now feat. Kyle. Chris Brown - Fine China. Arctic Monkeys - Do I Wanna Know? One Direction - Kiss You. Maroon 5 - Love Somebody. A$AP Rocky - Fashion Killa. Demi Lovato - Heart Attack. Avicii vs Nicky Romero - I Could Be The One (Nicktim). Kendrick Lamar - Poetic Justice ft. Drake. One Direction - One Way Or Another (Teenage Kicks). Justin Timberlake - Mirrors. Conor Maynard - Turn Around ft. Ne-Yo. Janelle Monáe - PrimeTime ft. Miguel. A$AP Ferg - Shabba ft. A$AP ROCKY. James Blake - Retrograde. Cher Lloyd - I Wish ft. T.I. Janelle Monáe - Q.U.E.E.N. feat. Erykah Badu. Yellow Claw - Shotgun ft. Rochelle. Drake - Started From The Bottom. Kings Of Leon - Supersoaker. Will.I.Am - #thatPOWER ft. Justin Bieber. Madeon - The City. Ylvis - Stonehenge. Ariana Grande - The Way ft. Mac Miller. Justin Timberlake - TKO. Carly Rae Jepsen - Tonight I'm Getting Over You. Skrillex + Alvin Risk - Try It Out (NEON MIX). Calvin Harris & Alesso - Under Control ft. Hurts. Enrique Iglesias - Turn The Night Up. Justin Timberlake - Tunnel Vision. Dizzee Rascal - Love This Town ft. Teddy Sky. Bruno Mars - When I Was Your Man. Christina Aguilera - Your Body. A$AP Rocky featuring Skrillex & Birdy Nam Nam - Wild For The Night. Lana Del Rey - Young and Beautiful. Azealia Banks - Yung Rapunxel. Ariana Grande - Almost Is Never Enough ft. Nathan Sykes. Ariana Grande - Baby I. Ariana Grande - Right There ft. Big Sean. Kendrick Lamar - Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe. A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera - Say Something. Rihanna - What Now. Ciara - Body Party. Ciara - I'm Out (Explicit) ft. Nicki Minaj. Chris Brown - Don't Think They Know ft. Aaliyah. A$AP Rocky feat. Drake, 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar - F**kin' Problems. Avril Lavigne - Here's To Never Growing Up. Katy Perry - Unconditionally. Sage The Gem


15. GESTALT WORK ON AWARENESS (HQ) - PART גשטאלט - מודעות - חלק 1

GESTALT WORK ON AWARENESS (HQ) - PART גשטאלט - מודעות - חלק 1

HQ. gestalt work on awareness, part 1. hebrew subtitles added. BY FRANKLYN WEPNER SEPTEMBER 1, 2006 HOW I WORK: GESTALT DREAMWORK AS THEATER AND PROPHECY GESTALT DREAM WORK AS PREPARATION FOR PERFORMING Since 1975 I have been using Gestalt work on awareness, dreams and personal relationships as a way to train and direct performers. The basic principle is simple. I use the Gestalt work to peel the onion of layer after layer of social cliches, ego games and unfinished personal business, and then I do the reverse process reconstituting the onion in the form of characters or other artist structures. The existential message of the dream becomes the superobjective or action of the tragedy, and then I build up the way the performer handles the characters and the plot around that. My usual procedure is to begin the training with three Gestalt sessions, one on one. The first session, two hours long, deals with the three zones of awareness. During the first hour I simply let him relate what he aware of, since I want to know how he operates before I start meddling with his life. This is important since overall during the Gestalt sessions we are peeling the onion of cliches and games to get to authentic action, and later we will need all of those layers to rebuild the onion as characters involved in the unfolding action of a drama. We need his cliche and game layers for the beginning of the action in Act One as much as we need his authentic action at the end of the dramatic action for Acts Four and Five of a tragic drama. During the second hour of the first Gestalt session on awareness I attempt to guide him towards a balance of the zones of awareness: outer zone awareness of the environment, inner zone awareness of his body, and fantasy zone awareness of his daydreams. The second and third Gestalt sessions are each three hours long, and each is a typical Gestalt dreamwork session as presented by Fritz Perls in Gestalt Therapy Verbatim. The performer tells the dream in the here and now, identifies with (play acts) several of the main images of the dream in dialogues with each other, and experiences the rhythm of contact and withdrawal. That is to say, after each major dialogue of polarized sides of himself (the contact part) he is instructed to close his eyes, enter his body awareness and daydream (the withdrawal phase of the rhythm). Since my goal is theater as well as healing, whenever possible during the Gestalt dreamwork I encourage lots of expression using sound and movements. I work with a palette of about 200 different types of recorded musical excerpts, and whenever appropriate I ask him if that image or emotional state were part of a movie what sort of music might be the sound track. Then I find something close to that in my palette of musical colors and ask him to express the mood using the music along with his vocalizing and expressive movements. While he is doing the entire session I spend most of my time jotting down near verbatim notes and making stick figures of his poses and movements, since later in the work I will feed all this back to him and encourage him to explore using it as creative material for acting, dance or whatever his medium is. Taping the session is less useful, since then I would need to spend too much time replaying the tapes. Taking notes live forces me to sort out the wheat from the chaff very efficiently, even at the cost of not observing or notating every detail. WORKING OUT FROM YOUR CENTERS After the three introductory one on one Gestalt sessions, session number four is for feedback and discussion of the results. I show him in my notes and diagrams all of the stages of competed and uncompleted actions, and together we search for characters in the theater literature that have similar patterns of action. Is he a Hamlet type, or an Oedipus type, for example? In contrast to the usual practice in acting classes, his first acting assignment probably will be a monologue from a serious tragedy, since I want him to begin with a dramatic action with which he can identify totally. In this process he is using his major Gestalt moments as what Michael Chekhov in his book "To The Actor" labels "psychological gestures". Perls calls them the "essences" of a patient's personality, or we can say he is working from his "centers", stretching those sounds, moves and psychological motivations in as many creative directions as he can. I monitor closely to be sure he is not faking it, the way most actors end up doing since they do not have the centers to begin with. Before the performer begins working with others doing improvs and scenework, there is an important transitional stage in the work in which I help him get comfortable using his very personal Gestalt material freely as creative material. He needs to shift from seeing himself as a patient to enjoying the role of an artist of the theater, freely using his life as creative material. He needs to distance himself from the hot personal stuff using alienation techniques usually associated with the epic theater process of Bertold Brecht. Especially useful here is the "mocking your forms" exercise. First he performs one of his most personal forms, the movements and the sounds, and at the same time observes carefully (visually and kinesthetically) exactly what his body and voice are doing. Next he moves over about ten feet and from the new position looks back and imagines he is observing himself doing what he just did. Then, in as critical a manner as he can risk, he begins to mock that image of himself which is doing the form. He uses the form to mock the form by exaggerating it in as grotesque a way as he can risk. "I see you over there, Joe, you are flapping your arms just like a fish, like you don't know what you are doing, etc., etc." The more cruelty he can risk in his distortions and denunciations, the more he frees himself from being self-conscious and also the more the initial one physical and vocal form gives birth to a family of related forms. Other techniques which help expand and loosen up hot psychological material are (a) using various sorts of music as the basis of improvs, (b) stretching the forms into naturalistic short scenes, such as swimming or basketball, or (c) introducing a short text, such as "Yes, but". GROUP TECHNIQUES One he has his core of personal essences and after he has achieved some distance and flexibility in the use of his material, he is ready to work with other performers on improvs and scenes. I can direct several performers simultaneously since I know the sources of their personal material. I am directing them inside and out, so it is not just guesswork and wishful thinking as in most studios. Here again there are certain exercises which are particularly helpful in developing communication between performers and establishing a group improv structure that allows each person to use his personal material in a creative manner. Basic acting or dance improv exercises used by all studios work much better once each performer has a stock of essences to guide his explorations. The mirror exercise and funnyhouse mirror exercise are excellent to establish contact and get the process going. In the funnyhouse mirror exercise one performer, the lead, does a simple real life activity such a brushing his teeth, while the partner grotesquely parodies the lead. In the conductor exercise the lead does only movements while the group "orchestra" does only sounds that correspond to those moves. The puppets exercise is the reverse of the conductor exercise. The lead make sounds, while the group functions as marionettes suspended by strings. Each sound from the lead elicits corresponding jerky moves from the group, as though the sounds are tugging on the strings. The worlds exercise is an opportunity for one performer to explore using all his personal Gestalt material, while a group uses all the improv techniques above to work with the lead in his "world". Once each performer has done the worlds exercise, the last exercise in the series is the leaderless worlds exercise. Here each performer is both lead and follower. The entire group seeks to function as one group organism following "it". Each one actively takes turns as the lead and then passively gives up being the lead in order to enter into the world of each of the others. The result is a profound active-passive state known by philosophers as the middle way and by performers as the pure process mode. THE IDEA OF A THEATER So far we have a combination of four different ways of working: (1) individual Gestalt work as preparation for artistic experience, (2) alienation techniques for distancing oneself from hot personal material, (3) group improvs to make the transition from therapy results to artistic results, and (4) initial work on characters that are as close to one's centers as possible This mix guides a student through a powerful and totally natural, organic introduction to the art of the theater. Each performer remains within the personal world he has discovered during the dreamwork, while simultaneously expanding and then interweaving this world with the worlds of the other performers. In a sense this process develops the sort of ritualistic space found in "primitive" tribal societies. The artform is congruent with the lives of its participants, such as was likely the case when the small world of a Greek polis gave birth to the classical Greek tragedies which corresponded to the fantasies and personal actions of the members of the community. In "The Idea of a Theater", Francis Fergusson contrasts that ideal ritualistic function of a theater with the theaters of today which in most cases have lost that organic relation between a community and its artforms. We have today lost the encompassing "idea of a theater", and we have to settle for productions that present only what individual blind men can fathom of the entire elephant. Fergusson writes, Drama can only flourish in a human sized scene, generally accepted as the focus of the life or awareness of its time, and such a focus no longer exists . . . We do not have a theater in the classic sense nor do we see how we could have one. But we may still study the cultural landmarks - the drama of Sophocles and Shakespeare, the Divine Comedy of Dante - in which the idea of a theater has been briefly realized, so we may learn to recognize and appreciate the fragmentary perspectives we do have; collecting the pieces, keeping the idea alive in the tentative, fallible, and suggestive light of analogy. FF225 What we especially have lost is exactly that which Gestalt dreamwork gives us back, the ability to know objects by identifying with them totally, and then to "say it with your whole body". Here is how Antonin Artaud put it in "The Theater And Its Double". We cannot go on prostituting the idea of theater whose only value is in its excruciating, magical relation to reality and danger. "The Theater And Its Double", 89. To our disinterested and inert idea of art an authentic culture opposes a violently egoistic and magical, i.e., interested idea. For the Mexicans seek contact with the Manas, forces latent in every form, unreleased by contemplation of the forms for themselves, but springing to life by magic identification with these forms. ibid., 11 Fergusson and Artaud use theatrical and philosophical jargon to say what Perls says in psychological jargon. Fergusson uses the term "histrionic sensibility" to mean "identify with the image and say it with your whole body". Fergusson also uses Aristotle's notion of "perception before predication" to refer to Perls' notion of awareness before aboutism. First get in touch with reality and then judge it or add your comments about it. ARISTOTLE AND FRITZ Fergusson quotes Butcher's translation of Aristotle's "Poetics". The plot is the imitation of the action - for by plot I [Aristotle] here mean the arrangement of the incidents . . . But most important of all it is the structure of the incidents. For tragedy is an imitation not of men, but of an action and of life, and life consists in action and its end is a mode of action, not a quality . . . Tragedy, then, is an imitation of an action . . . through pity and fear effecting the proper purgation of these emotions . . . The plot, then, is the first principle and as it were the soul of a tragedy. FF229 In the preparatory Gestalt dreamwork which I do with each performer, oftentimes a 3-hour session concludes with a committed action, profound insight or "existential message of the dream". This is the "ahah" moment of a strong gestalt. From the point of view of this final idea or action, everything that transpired previously during the 3-hour session leads up to and is encompassed by this experience of integration. Fritz tells clients to "identify with the coming solution" as an act of faith. This is Fritz's version of Aristotle's insight that what is actual is prior to what is merely potentially the case. The action, in other words, is somehow already unfolding from the beginning of the session, even though it does not emerge full blown till three hours later. This same notion Aristotle carried over into his notion of action in the theater as a form of poetic art. When he says "the plot is the imitation of the action" he is saying that the series of conflicts and resolutions that lead up to the final choice or revelation in a tragic action are in a certain way an imitation of that final insight or action. They imitate the action in the sense that they are analogous to it or correspond to it. The idea or action of the drama exists on an ideal, Platonic level of truth, to which the stage action can at best only correspond as a code or symbol. Theologically this amounts to saying that while man is made in the image of G-d, he is not G-d and only can seek to intuit how G-d operates and strive to manifest that process in his being and actions. To the extent that he succeeds in this ascent, the performer is serving in the role traditionally assigned to prophets. Contemporary visionaries of the theater such as Fergusson and Artaud will settle for nothing less than a theater which actualizes our prophetic potentiality. CONCLUSION Aristotle's view of the plot as the imitation of an action justifies my use of the Gestalt dreamwork action (the peeling of the onion), as the basis for the theater process (the reconstituting of the onion as a tragic action). For the dreamwork events that unfold over the course of three hours are, in a sense, the plot of a tragedy that is a code, overlay or symbol for the overall action, idea, or existential message of the dreamwork session. I am transferring the plot and action of the dreamwork from the arena of healing to that of art. But it is only in our schizoid, "fallen", fragmented, de-ritualized contemporary society that art and healing are separate events. Humpty Dumpty has fallen off the wall, and utopian, holistic philosophers such as Hegel seek to put Humpty-Dumpty back together again. For Hegel the arts, religion and philosophy are subdivisions of the encompassing realm of Absolute Spirit, and their common dialectical framework allows free movement of theory and practice from one discipline to the other. Gestalt therapy, which leads clients from cliches and habits towards the realm of pure thought (the existential message of the dream) by means of the creative use of imagery, has similar holistic aspirations. Hence Gestalt dreamwork lends itself perfectly to the sort of interdisciplinary manipulations required to allow it to serve as the foundation of a theater which embodies the prophetic vision of "the idea of a theater". VIDEO OF BEL BACA'S WORK ON AWARENESS VIDEO AND ESSAY BY FRANKLYN WEPNER, 2005 [email protected] VERBATIM NOTES OF THE SESSION ARE INCLUDED AT THE END OF THIS ESSAY. (A) INTRODUCTION This essay is a companion piece for two DVD's which I video-ed in April 2005 and completed editing in November 2005. The DVD's present two hours of gestalt work on "awareness" performed by a young actress named Bel Baca, who recently completed a B.A. in Theater at the University of Central Florida. My audience is primarily those who have seen those DVD's, but I will try to make myself intelligible to those who have not seen them. The particular process which I am describing here is a way of working which I pioneered in 1975 and have been doing in basically the same manner ever since, first in New York, then in Philadelphia, then in Israel and now in Miami, Florida. Therefore, what you are reading here represents the fruit of 30 years experience. Going back further than that, Fritz Perls developed the techniques of Gestalt Therapy around 1950. Going back much further than that, according my own research I believe techniques very similar to these have been used for many many centuries in healing and religious practices all over the world, for example in the middle ages in Judaism and Christianity by priests and rabbis who were exorcizing demons and dybbuks - which we now label "introjects" or "projections". And back in 500 B.C.E. Heraclitus and other philosophers already were writing about the logos (dialectic or word) and self-interruptions of the river of awareness (self-interruptions which we now label "anxiety" and "neurosis"). Gestalt work also has roots in traditions of meditative practices, such as concentrating on your breathing in a Zen monastery. "Meditation" in this sense means to stay in the here and now and deal objectively with whatever comes along in your experience as it is happening. I am stressing the long history of this process since I want to make it clear from the beginning that I am not doing what nowadays is called "therapy". The "therapy" thing is a recent invention. It implies a formal and legal agreement whereby somebody takes responsibility to guide the life of someone else according to the rules of a certain group of people who have set themselves up as an organization to grant credentials to its members. This "therapy" item, which then can be marketed as a commodity, brings great financial benefits to its practitioners, whether or not it has much value for the consumers who purchase it. Not being grounded in any world tradition of wisdom and morality and with little accountability except to members of the same clique, these moral entrepreneurs set themselves up as self-fashioned gods driving around in divine chariots powered by platinum credit cards rather than true ideas. In my work, on the other hand, I ask people to sign an agreement stating that we are not doing therapy at all. I inform them that I walked out of medical school in 1963 and was thrown out of social work school in 1974, that I am not a licensed therapist and that I am not at all taking responsibility for their lives. I call my colleagues performers and not patients. I tell people from the beginning not to trust me any more than they decide they want to as we go along in the process. In fact, their not trusting me is an important part of our work, as you saw in these DVD's of my work with Bel Baca. As of this moment in December 2005, to date I have done this particular 10 hour series of one-on-one gestalt workshops with about 610 people over the past 30 years, i.e., a total of about 6200 hours, in addition to the other performer training techniques I have been using. (B) BEL'S AWARENESS WORK Let's summarize now the first hour of Bel's work, what I label her work on "unguided awareness". During the first hour I did not "direct" the work since I wanted to learn where Bel is starting from, how she usually operates when she is on her own in new, unfamiliar surroundings. Bel from the outset showed us clearly how she operates. In a few minutes already we saw overall a pretty well defined pattern ("gestalt") beginning to emerge: Bel tended to implode in on herself, work herself up to a hysterical state of tension and anxiety, and then rescue herself with some sort of escape fantasy image, all within 15 minutes! At the beginning of the session Bel had a certain amount of contact with the outer zone, balanced by some emphasis on the inner zone. But by the end of the first hour we saw that even after my feedback most of her attention went inside. Gestalt directors talk about the "holes" in a person's awareness functioning or map. In Bel's case where there could be eyes and ears we found at the outset - to a certain extent - holes instead. Especially we saw how she tends to avoid looking directly at people, me (her scene partner) in particular. Let me be very specific about this. At the beginning Bel limited her contact with outer zone objects to only a few seconds, whereas she felt comfortable spending much time inside. Outside she saw general properties of objects which did not elicit much interest, while inside she zoomed into compelling details. Keeping her eyes half closed much of the time fit into this pattern. For example, until I pointed it out she did not pay much attention to colors or give time for associations and fantasies regarding objects in the environment. Also, she tended to restrain the natural progression from sensing an object to reaching out and touching that object. Being aware of feeling cold, for example, did not connect to reaching out for something warm to wear until I made the connection for her! I did not call her attention to the nasal outpouring which went on throughout most of the session, and so instead of a handkerchief or a piece of toweling which no doubt was available within 10 feet of where she was sitting in her own apartment, Bel used practically every surface of her hands to deal with the problem during the two hour video! This tendency to remain within her cocoon was especially evident when it came to dealing (or rather not dealing) with me, her scene partner. Usually she waited till I turned away to glance quickly in my direction, but then when I turned back in her direction she was back inside again. I have never seen a prairie dog, but I can imagine they must have developed similar survival techniques to deal with marauding wolves on the prairie. According to Gestalt theory, people who do not see or hear are likely to fill the empty space with imagination in a non-creative, self-destructive manner by cranking out critical judgments of other people and at the same time projecting critical eyes out onto others. They then imagine that these others are judging them critically. This habitual pattern of behavior below the level of awareness, or what Eric Berne labeled a "game people play", is harmful for an actress, since she ends up being so busy worrying about what the audience thinks of her work that she is distracted from identifying with the role. In Bel's case in the DVD we saw, in a classic manner, how after about 5 minutes of work Bel had propelled herself into a state of anxiety and gloom. Instant tears! Along with the tears came shame, as the merciless projected eyes demanded that she be ashamed even of crying. Soon Bel was worried about not being attractive enough (to satisfy the projected critical eyes), and then her associations led her to pop singer Kelly Clarkson and the words of Clarkson's song "Because of You". SONG: "BECAUSE OF YOU" BY KELLY CLARKSON, DAVID HODGES, BEN MOODY I will not make the same mistakes that you did. I will not let myself cause my heart so much misery. I will not break the way you did. You fell so hard. I've learned the hard way to never let it get that far. Because of you I never stray too far from the sidewalk. Because of you I learned to play on the safe side so I don't get hurt. Because of you I find it hard to trust not only me, but everyone around me. Because of you I am afraid. I lose my way, and it's not too long before you point it out. I cannot cry because I know that's weakness in your eyes. I'm forced to fake a smile, a laugh, every day of my life. My heart can't possibly break, when it wasn't even whole to start with. I watched you die. I heard you cry every night in your sleep. I was so young. You should have known better than to lean on me. You never thought of anyone else. You just saw your pain. And now I cry in the middle of the night, for the same damn thing. Because of you, because of you, because of you I am afraid. Because of you I never stray too far from the sidewalk. Because of you I learned to play on the safe side so I don't get hurt. Because of you I try my hardest just to forget everything. Because of you I don't know how to let anyone else in. Because of you I am ashamed of my life because it's empty. Because of you I am afraid, because of you. Notice how the words in bold type are the result of feeling judged by critical eyes and how they led Bel more and more away from the real world and into an imaginary world of self-disparagement. In that cramped cocoon space Bel feels helpless to deal with the alien world "out there", out there where she is afraid even to look. But this is at first no problem, since once she gets lost inside Bel has plenty to keep herself busy. She never tires of concentrating on body awareness, the "ickyness" for example that she contacts in her "tummy". Also, most of her body movements are relating herself to herself, such as holding her hands, twiddling her fingers, curling up in the chair, wrapping herself in a towel (security blanket) and manipulating small objects close to herself. She plays on her body and her breathing as though it is an accordion, going back and forth between constricting her breathing and relaxing it just enough to get some air. All this retroflection (tension and overcontrolling of her body) contributes to her anxiety and after a while we find Bel in a state of despair brooding about Marilyn Monroe's suicide in Los Angeles at age 36. Shortly after our Gestalt session Bel moved to L. A., to "Hollywood and Vine", and like Marilyn Monroe once did, Bel now is making the rounds of auditions. Apparently, like Sheri (the character Marilyn Monroe plays in the movie "Bus Stop") Bel has a straight line "direction" leading right to Hollywood. Now that she is there, her ability to generate instant hysteria and tears is probably a great asset to her as an actress - so long as she does not take it all too personally and end up like Marilyn Monroe did. One other result of all this imploding is that by overcontrolling her breathing and not making much use of her ears Bel started out our session with a very limited range of physical and vocal expression. Her physical moves were general and vague rather than focused and specific, while her voice most of the time was a soft monotone. But fortunately, Bel has a way out of the cocoon she spins around herself. Like Cinderella or like Princess Jasmine in Walt Disney's musical Aladdin, Bel has a heart and a head full of rescue fantasies. Her favorite themes are floating, flying and breaking away, and since she is very musical these themes often enter her mind in the form of song lyrics of pop songs she knows - especially those of Kelly Clarkson. First, the imploding and despair spiral inward like a whirlpool, transporting Bel helplessly into a dark, melancholy void, and then - "it's all so magical!" - along comes the rescue fantasy transporting her - once again passively - "out of the darkness and into the light", like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon. In view of all these parallels in the action, I took the liberty in my DVD of inserting into the scenario a scene from Walt Disney's version of Aladdin. Aladdin in this scene arrives on his magic carpet, rescues Princess Jasmine from the castle, and whisks her off to "a whole new world" of out-of-this-world vistas. As an actress Bel, in her emotional and fantasy life, certainly can capitalize on this cyclical roller coaster ride back and forth from self-generated melancholy to self-generated euphoria, so long as she does not lose control of the machine and succumb to despair herself. (C) GENERAL SUMMARY OF BEL'S ENTIRE SESSION What overall observations can we make? First of all we can say that the work "worked". Bel was open to my direction and despite the monumental obstacle I gave her by putting a Canon XL-2 video camera, with its blinking red light, about 8 feet from her nose she seems to have gotten to some sort of closure during the work. In the language of Gestalt theory we can say that she accomplished a certain "action" during the two hours she spent with me in the here and now. There was a sense of moving forward in all the three zones of awareness, and also there emerged a fluid relationship between the three zones: (1) the outer zone of objects in the environment, (2) the inner zone of body awareness, and (3) the fantasy zone of daydream images. This fluidity of awareness zones reveals a potentially healthy and creative individual, whereas lack of movement between the zones would characterize a brittle, very limited schizoid ("split") personality. Now I'm going to be more specific about Bel's progress and add a bit of interpretation concerning what it all means. But don't worry. In this brief essay I will not say much about the philosophy underlying my work. I won't try to force feed you any particular philosophical or religious system. Of course, to me personally the theory of this work is very important. So if you are interested in hearing more about my take on the process, I hope you will check out some of the interpretive essays I have written where I look at the gestalt process from the perspective of various sects - secular and sacred. Getting back to general observations about Bel's work, here are some prominent trends that I noticed that emerged during the two hours of work on awareness. (1) Balancing the three zones of awareness leads to "the big picture". First of all, Bel managed to balance the three zones of awareness by bringing more outer zone focus and a rich fantasy zone experience into her work. In the fantasies she began with small objects that flitted by and then gradually expanded her range to deal in a sustained manner with a particular person (Marilyn Monroe). Finally, she focused on an image of a kitten in some depth. At first Bel's attitude toward other objects and creatures was distant and defensive, but by the end of the session she reached out, touched and acknowledged feeling a need for contact with others. At the end she said, "I need to be closer to people, so I can share a loving feeling." In terms of the theory of drama developed by Aristotle and elaborated by Fergusson in "The Idea of a Theater", we can say that this was an opening action and a reaching out for warmth and love, like the action of a flower when the sun shines in the morning. This need to open and reach out for love was, as Stanislavki would have called it, Bel's "superobjective" in this tragedy. The character Sheri in Bus Stop and the character Blanche in "Streetcar Named Desire" share a similar superobjective. But while Bel and Sheri succeed in overcoming the obstacles and completing the action, Blanche does not succeed in overcoming the obstacles. Blanche is driven back even further inside herself to psychosis by overwhelming environmental factors - especially the obstacles imposed by character Stanley. Why would Aristotle or Stanislavski call the completed action of Bel or Sheri a "tragedy"? Because in some sense the main character undergoes a death and rebirth of ego, or discovers a new point of view about life. The non-contactful insect style ego which needs to spin a cocoon in order to survive in an alien environment must die, we might say, in order that the human child can be born into a loving world inhabited by other human beings, just like so many classical Greek tragedy heroes need to die in order to fulfil their dramatic function. (2) Good contact results in a wider range of physical and vocal expression. Another area where Bel demonstrated much progress was in physical expression. Contacting and then finding the voice of each body part led to excellent results. This carried over also into vocal expression. At first she was stuck in a soft monotone, but later she began - to some extent - to vary the pitch, dynamics and tempo. She did this not merely technically like a virtuoso musician, but contactfully in response to here and now momentary concrete physical and emotional needs. In her own life and as an actress this is a technique she also can apply to vocal readings to keep her audience from falling asleep - if she is willing to risk that! (3) Bel moves from having abstract "ideas about the scene" to living concretely here and now in the moments. As Bel balanced the outer, inner and fantasy zones of awareness, there was a shift from regarding herself as an ego style Self, a Self with a capital "S", a Self which is a large precious thing that needs to be protected, towards a non-ego self, a self with a small "s", a self which is merely a process of exploring and discovering reality. The Self with its deliberate "ideas about the scene", such as "I am going to die one day" and "don't you dare to reach out and touch strangers", yielded to a less rigid "self as process" which could risk surrendering to the circumstances of each moment. The shift from Self as thing to self as process was an important result of Bel's work today. We saw how this shift of point of view towards that of "the big picture" was, paradoxically, the result of dealing with tiny details of her experience. Her "faith in a grain of mustard seed" (each moment of concrete awareness) was rewarded by holistic progress as she became more and more grounded in reality. Like Sheri in "Bus Stop", she discarded her childish rulebook with its rigid principles, and grasped more holistic ideas, such as "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts" and "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" (of good contact). She discovered that in this wider frame of reference she could find her own support, her own grounding. Being more grounded in reality helped her to deal with the gloom that led to crying at the beginning of the session. As more and more moments of good contact converged into a rich encompassing contact boundary, she no longer had the need to implode into hysterical emotions and a sense of helpless despair. (4) The "rhythm of contact and withdrawal" leads Bel to an overall action or idea of the session, a "superobjective". Aside from basic work on awareness itself, the major structural component of Gestalt work is known as "the rhythm of contact and withdrawal". By "contact" in this context is meant awareness of specific objects such that one can say "I see that" or "I hear that". By withdrawal is meant ceasing the "contact" experience and, one might say, "getting lost" without any specific focus. Usually this implies closing one's eyes, going into one's body awareness and allowing a daydream to percolate up from the "fertile void". The new image oftentimes gives rise to personal associations to events from one's life, especially events involving close family relationships in childhood. The Gestalt director then can guide the performer in an exploration of unfinished business involving that relationship. This all happens in the here and now, without stopping to analyze or talk about what is happening. The performer relives the important event as though it is happening in present time, putting himself in one chair and the other person in the other and going back and forth play acting the roles and the dialogue. One cycle of the rhythm of contact and withdrawal constitutes one "beat" of the underlying (dialectical) logic of the dramatic action. During today's session on awareness I led Bel back and forth between the contact stage and the withdrawal stage, through several beats of the action. I do much more of this sort of work during the second and third sessions, where acting out the dream images and dialogues between them deepens the experience. During the first session on awareness I merely ask the performer to shuttle between outer zone and inner zone awareness and give an opportunity for daydreams to emerge along the way. An indication of how well Bel's work progressed today is the lovely manner in which each cycle of the rhythm of contact and withdrawal led her organically on to the next step and onto the superobjective in what turned out to be the final leap of the series. It was as though a higher or deeper force was propelling the inner logic that was unfolding from the outset. Why did it appear "as though" this was occuring? Answer: because it actually was occuring. There was, "in truth", a higher or deeper force propelling the inner logic that was unfolding from the outset. This, again, is what Stanislavsi means by the word "superobjective". Hence, we can see how dumb it is for actors and directors to expect to grasp the superobjective of a major tragic (or comic) action merely by fooling around with literary minutia or intricate cerebral analyses of a script. Even Brecht demanded that actors first contact their superobjectives before adding on layers of formalist devices and alienation effects to the acting score. Clever shticks, virtuoso technique, literary and intellectual erudition, and "knowing the business" certainly are important in the theater, but an actor (or dancer or singer or poet, etc.) who is floating on the surface of his life in a dinghy full of shticks, information and aboutism is merely paddling aimlessly on the great ocean when it comes to organizing these surface details into a coherent, credible artistic action (Aristotle) or idea (Plato). Rather, an actor needs to discover as many of his own centers as possible, and harness the powers of the great ocean (or whatever you would like to call it in your own cultural context) for his own purposes and the needs of his art. Later stages of this gestalt theater process attempt to do just that. My essays present my own particular way of finding a cultural context for this work within Judaism. (5) The series of withdrawal images reveals the beats of the action, the "acts" of Bel's tragedy (or comedy). I will go through the series of withdrawal images with you now, so you can see exactly what I mean by the beats of a dramatic action or superobjective. At the same time, as we examine the content of the images we will notice that other changes also were happening in a way that moved the process more and more profoundly along the banks of an underlying river. At the beginning Bel's images were fleeting, but they became more and more sustained and developed as the focus of her fantasy zone increased. Another gradual shift was from images that served passively as a release from despair to images that involved committed actions that Bel undertook as part of her existential, or some might say "spiritual", attempt to grow. Let's take these images one at a time. Image 1: the song "Because of You" During her work on unguided awareness Bel is quite proficient at talking herself into a quagmire of tension and despair. Soon she ends up feeling helpless and judged by critical eyes. Then suddenly pops into her head the Kelly Clarkson song "Because Of You". Miraculously, Bel finds some release from her sense of constriction and helplessness. How does this happen? Certainly the words of the song are not all that cheerful and full of hope. My hypothesis is that suddenly Bel shifts her way of thinking from subjectivity (worrying about causes and effects) to objectivity (dealing with life here and now in a meditative manner). The strong image gives her here and now an objective contact boundary, a strong "gestalt" (pattern, focused idea) to grasp. This releases her from cause and effect style anticipations of painful judgments and imminent catastrophes which might occur in the future. "If", for example, "I do not lose weight or get my lines just right (the cause), then soon people will see me as uninteresting (effect number one) or unattractive (effect number two), and then . . . (effect number three, etc.)!" But now, by involving herself in actually hearing the tune in her head, Bel frees herself from self-interruptions (projections, introjects, demons, etc.). She no longer is possessed. She now is able to use her mind and body in a natural human way to restore balance and homeostasis. Bel relaxes her muscles and soon she is breathing freely and concentrating on the task at hand, contacting the three zones of awareness. Image 2: passively floating and flying away on a magic carpet Next, as she begins to discover the power of this new awareness technique, Bel says "I am picturing myself flying". The first time the flying image occurs it is merely a fleeting notion, but the image comes back a little later in a more developed form, and Bel now is able to sustain the focus and see herself lying on her back on the carpet, with her arms outstretched in the shape of what she calls a "cross", passively floating out the window and flying through the air. Nevertheless, the image still is a relatively weak one. For example, there was no music accompanying the image. After the session I asked Bel if she had any musical associations to the image. What came to her mind was the Walt Disney musical animation "Aladdin". But during the work itself Bel did not volunteer any particular musical background. Here is the text of the song Aladdin sings to Princess Jasmine as he whisks her on his magic carpet out of her palace and into a magical new world. I see this song as being entirely appropriate to Bel's state of mind as it appears to me to be at this moment in her work.Therefore, I have taken the liberty of interjecting both the song and the magic carpet ride visual track that accompanies it in the Disney flick into my DVD's of Bel's work. Since my intent here is helping people to grow, and not to make a profit, I hope this use of the Disney clip falls under the heading "fair use". SONG: "I CAN SHOW YOU THE WORLD" FROM WALT DISNEY'S MUSICAL "ALADDIN" ALADDIN: I can show you the world; shining, shimmering, splendid. Tell me, Princess, now when did you last let your heart decide? I can open your eyes, take you wonder by wonder, over, sideways and under on a magic carpet ride. A whole new world, a new fantastic point of view. No one to tell us "no", or where to go, or say we're only dreaming. JASMINE: A whole new world, a new fantastic point of view. A dazzling place I never knew. But when I'm way up here it's crystal clear that now I'm in a whole new world with you. ALADDIN: Now I'm in a whole new world with you. JASMINE: Unbelievable sights, indescribable feeling. Soaring, tumbling, we're weaving through an endless diamond sky. A whole new world. ALADDIN: Don't you dare close your eyes! JASMINE: A hundred thousand things to see. ALADDIN: Hold your breath. It gets better. JASMINE: I'm like a shooting star. I've come so far. I can't go back to where I used to be. ALADDIN: A whole new world. JASMINE: Every turn a surprise. ALADDIN: With new horizons to perceive. JASMINE: Every moment gets better. BOTH: I'll chase them anywhere. There's time to spare. Let me share this whole new world with you. ALADDIN: A whole new world. JASMINE: A whole new world. ALADDIN: That's where we'll be. JASMINE: That's where we'll be. ALADDIN: A thrilling chase. JASMINE: A wondrous place. BOTH: For you and me. JASMINE: (spoken) It's all so magical. ALADDIN: (spoken) Yeah. Image 3: actively flying and breaking away with her own wings A crucial parameter we need to monitor in regard to these daydream images is the extent to which the performer is actively involved rather than being a mere passive victim of circumstances. So far Bel's imagination is becoming stronger, but at the same time so far these images of floating and flying still have Bel casting herself in the role of passive recipient of energies from forces outside herself. But soon another "flying away" image emerges, and this time Bel herself takes responsibility for the action. She daydreams the melody and words of another Kelly Clarkson song, "Break Away". SONG: "BREAK AWAY" by M. GERRARD, B. BENANTE, & A. LAVIGNE Grew up in a small town, and when the rain would fall down I'd just stare out my window. Dreamin' of what could be, and if I'd end up happy, I would pray, trying hard to reach out. But when I tried to speak out, felt like no one could hear me. Wanted to belong here, but something felt so wrong here, so I prayed I could break away. I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly. I'll do what it takes till I touch the sky, and I'll make a wish, take a chance, make a change and break away. Out of the darkness and into the sun, but I won't forget all the ones that I love. Want to feel the warm breeze, sleep under a palm tree. I'll make a wish, take a chance, make a change and break away. Feel the rush of the ocean, get onboard a fast train, travel on a jet plane, far away and break away. Buildings with a hundred floors, swinging round revolving doors, maybe I don't know where they'll take me, but gotta keep movin' on, movin' on, fly away, break away. I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly, though it's not easy to tell you goodbye. I got to make a wish, take a chance, make a change and break away. Out of the darkness and into the sun, but I won't forget the place I come from. I got to make a wish, take a chance, make a change and break away, break away, break away. This time Bel herself is having thoughts of actively breaking away from her past and moving on to new adventures - though not without a certain need to hang onto her roots in the past. Her past she now sees as "darkness" and the freedom she is craving is the opposite, "light". Jet planes and buildings with 100 floors are strong attractions to a young actress who is on the verge of pulling up stakes in Florida and heading for the big time in L.A. Also, here we have music with a strong personal connection for Bel. The song articulates two of Bel's urgent needs: "I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly. I'll do what it takes till I touch the sky." To breathe and think freely and to reach out to touch and find love are two objectives which are crucial components of Bel's superobjective, two parts of the emerging whole. In terms of the overall tragic/comic action of this two hour gestalt session, we can say that we now are in Act Two of a five act drama. Bel now has a clear objective: to break away into the light. Her obstacles are the forces or demons symbolized by what she regards as "darkness" and "because of you". The action still is far from complete. Image 4: Marilyn Monroe as symbol of deep personal conflicts It is only in the next image, that of Marilyn Monroe in "The Seven Year Itch", that finally we have a fully human situation linking specific imagery and emotional needs. This is Act Three of Bel's tragicomedy, and it is no longer just an adolescent cartoon scenario. Now the obstacle ("to disparage myself into a colossal flop") seriously confronts the objective ("to overinflate myself into a superstar"). Bel is moving the action towards an X/-X impasse, a "stuck point" crisis in Act Four. At first Bel can identify superficially with Marilyn Monroe as a happy and attractive star, but soon depressing and ugly thoughts of Marilyn's suicide at age 36 in L.A. intrude and turn the Hollywood dream into a nightmare with which Bel will not identify. From the point of view of her conflict and resultant misery at this point of the action, Bel concludes that the main thing, what she really wants, is "just to be happy". This certainly is a superobjective that seems to resolve the conflict, but actually this superobjective is only a vague and abstract "idea about the scene". Identifying with such an objective as "to be happy" is merely playing a quality of pumped up hysteria. The objective "to be happy" does not imply a series of specific concrete beats that can be used to articulate the action, either as Bel Baca or as any character Bel may want to play in her career as an actress. Marilyn Monroe herself plays a similarly muddled aspiring actress in "Bus Stop". The character Sheri at first is fixated on getting to L.A. at all costs, for the relatively superficial goals of "getting some respect" and attaining lots of success and happiness. But by the end of the movie Sheri resigns herself to dealing with the specific circumstances occasioned by her new relationship with a young man named Beau. Sheri decides that despite all the obstacles it entails from the point of view of her initial program of being a superstar, the prospect of marriage, security and concrete here/now satisfaction with this specific person named Beau affords her a stronger objective than does the vague spectral lure of "Hollywood and Vine". Sheri rips up the abstract roadmap which till then had been a rigid "story of my life", an "idea about the scene", and now she identifies with this emerging new concrete love relationship which here and no is giving her a rich, vital contact experience. Image 5: a kitten as a love object safe to reach out and touch Bel herself does not deal with a similar conflict until the next and final image of her session, the image of a blue-eyed very furry kitten. The content of this image is much less dazzling than either the Hollywood studio scene or the life of Marilyn Monroe, but what is new here is no less important in the deeper logic of Bel's existence. For now, for the first time, Bel is no longer only a passive victim of tragic circumstances. She is no longer breaking away blindly in the manner of a teenie bopper. Rather, as a mature woman Bel now is reaching out to another living creature (be it merely a kitten or a grain of mustard seed) with full contact and emotional involvement. How does Bel feel about the kitten? "I love it", she says. The parallel to the "Bus Stop" movie is striking. When near the end of the movie Sheri's lover "Beau" tries to grab her in the way men have been grabbing her since she was age 12, Sheri takes charge of her life and demands that "this time it should be different", not just being grabbed as an object of someone else's lust. Beau has a similar revelation when he discovers that "kissing someone for serious is scary", scary because it involves authentic contact with another human being and not just blindly grabbing an object you plan to make use of. Like Sheri, who chooses motherhood over L.A., Bel associates reaching out and touching the kitten to holding her sister's baby. The mothering/loving feeling soon generalizes and by the end of the session Bel feels a need to reach out to people in general in a loving way. Perhaps soon Bel will move beyond an either/or conflict in this area towards a higher integration of the opposite sides, but for now the issues are only just emerging into consciousness. Along with this new perspective on life comes a mild explosion into joy and optimism about her life as she anticipates the long journey that "begins with a single step". This is Act Five, the denouement, of Bel's drama, at least on the deeper (or higher) level of the superobjective. We do not have enough current information from Bel to know how this existential action is translating into specific events of her life as it is unfolding now at "Hollywood and Vine" in Los Angeles. (D) CONCLUSION If we look now for general technical terms to summarize Bel's existential journey during our two hours of work, we can say there was a transition from imploding to exploding, from closing in on oneself to opening out to the universe. The session ended with what Gestalt people label a mild "explosion into authentic joy", a shift from gloom to a mild euphoria, as energy tied up in tensing herself and imploding herself became available for living life creatively. This was a mini-satori or enlightenment experience. The implosion process was reversed merely by tuning into the larger context or envelope of here and now experience, the context of life itself. We did not need analytically to meddle with specific events in Bel's childhood or present life. True, in later dreamwork sessions which Bel one day may undertake there would be a place for zeroing in on actual dream images, past relationships and unfinished business, but these individual events are in Gestalt work usually integrated into larger and larger envelopes as a performer or pilgrim gets more and more grounded in the contact boundary and reality itself. Each new conflict along the way leads to its own resolution on a higher level by means of a certain kind of deeper (higher) logic that goes by many names depending upon the point of view of the person doing the theorizing: induction (versus deduction), ascent (on the right side of the tree of life), translation (moving up Jacob's ladder of angels), identifying with the coming solution (Gestalt), the final cause (Aristotle), return to origin via anamnesis (Plato), etc. And so we find that there is no way to avoid dealing with philosophical and religious matters in this work. Secular philosophers talk about how the two sides of a conflict - the thesis and the antithesis - get incorporated into a higher level idea called the synthesis. This way of thinking is known as dialectical thinking, and it forms the basis of most philosophical and religious traditions in the world, east and west. Religious leaders, such as Maimonides or St.Thomas, developed their own vocabularies to deal dialectically with the traditions of their own communities. For example, if we want to use the philosophical framework of Aristotle or Maimonides we could spell out Bel's series of beats as an ascent from conflicted lower, smaller spheres, envelopes or heavens towards encompassing higher and broader spheres of the universe. But I promised not to force feed philosophy or religion in this account. For those who find pondering deep causes of things to be more trouble than it is worth, and for that reason will "pass" on my other essays, this, then, may be the end of our shared journey. I'll conclude this essay now by quoting what Bel had to say about this session when a month or so later I asked her for a "reference". She sent me the following email from L.A. "Be open to a Gestalt session and you'll be amazed. I'd personally recommend Franklyn's Gestalt work to everyone, whether you have a personal emotion or issue you want to work on, or not. Franklyn used this technique in showing me my own awareness paradigm, which in turn helped me in all aspects of my life, including my acting. It served to give me more emotional freedom and helped me grasp the power I have to influence my thoughts, emotions and hence my decisions. Bel Baca, actress, Los Angeles, California, September 2005." BEL BACA: AWARENESS CONTINUUM MY NEAR VERBATIM NOTES TAKEN DURING THE WORK APRIL 17, 2005. THIS SESSION WAS CONDUCTED IN BEL'S APARTMENT. THERE WERE NO OBSERVERS. THE PRESENCE OF HER ROOMMATE MOVING ABOUT OUTSIDE THE ROOM MAY HAVE AFFECTED BEL'S SENSE OF PRIVACY. THE VIDEO CAMERA WAS LEFT RUNNING BY ITSELF THROUGHOUT THE WORK. WE HAD AGREED BEFOREHAND THAT I WOULD TAKE THE TAPE WITH ME AT THE END OF THE SESSION. UNGUIDED AWARENESS: ONE HOUR B: Now I am aware of cool air. My feet are on the ground. I'm aware of my tummy, 'cause I just ate. You want physical things? F: No questions allowed. B: I'm aware of seeing you all in blue. Now I'm aware of feeling a little anxious 'cause I've never done this. I'm aware of my center. My stomach is anxious. You want more? I feel I have energy, but also my energy is zapped. I feel that often. TWIDDLING HER FINGERS. LONG PAUSE. I'm aware that my eyes look red. I have an irritation. It's from soap. SHE SPENDS MUCH TIME LOOKING DOWN AT THE FLOOR. I'm aware of feeling icky. I don't know why. SLIGHT SMILE. Like I want to cry. SHE CRIES, SNIVELS. IN GENERAL MUCH OF THE TIME BEL'S EYES ARE HALF OPEN. Now I'm aware of feeling embarrassed that I cried. EXHALES DEEPLY, AFTER HOLDING HER BREATH A WHILE. AS A GENERAL PATTERN, I NOTICE THAT BEL SEEMS TO PLAY HER BREATH LIKE AN ACCORDION, HOLDING IT AND THEN RELEASING IT WITHOUT BEING VERY AWARE OF HOW THIS OVERCONTROLLING GENERATES A STATE OF PHYSICAL TENSION AND AN ACCOMPANYING SENSE OF ANXIETY. SHE LEANS FORWARD AND LAUGHS. NOW HER EYES ARE ALMOST CLOSED. I'm aware of thinking it's funny that I cried. DEEP BREATH. I'm aware of feeling constricted, because I'm feeling stuck in my body. F: I AM CONCERNED LEST SHE WORK HERSELF UP INTO A STATE OF HYSTERIA, BUT I WOULD RATHER NOT INVERVENE. I AM HOPING THAT SHE WILL WORK HER WAY OUT OF THIS IMPLODING. Let me know if you need help. In the meantime go on with what you are aware of. B: LONG PAUSE I'm aware of the beautiful trees outside, blowing in the wind. I'm aware that I'm a human being, that I'm mortal and that I'll die someday. That makes me feel helpless. I'm looking at my finger nails. Now I'm aware of the taste of this nail polish. It's not good. I'm aware of feeling a little drowsy. I'm aware of the stress I'm putting on my toes. SHE IS PRESSING THEM AGAINST THE RUG. HER NOSE IS DRIPPING NONSTOP, WITH OCCASIONAL DROPS HANGING FROM THE END OF HER NOSE. I'm aware that I'm too aware of bodily feelings as opposed to higher concepts and ideas. MUCH SNIVELING. I'm aware that I probably have fears and anxieties that I need to release. OVERALL: MUCH HOLDING AND THEN RELEASING OF HER BREATH. I'm aware that I'm distrusting of myself and of others in life sometimes. F: I NOTICE THAT BEL MOST OF THE TIME AVOIDS LOOKING DIRECTLY AT ME. WHEN I TURN BACK TO HER AFTER LOOKING AWAY, SHE QUICKLY TURNS AWAY FROM LOOKING DIRECTLY AT ME. B: I'm aware that I'm hoping this exercise will help me in some way. PAUSE. I'm aware that I have a song playing in my head. F: What song is it? B: "Because Of You". I'm aware that I took a deep breath. That felt good. I'm aware that I'm very conscious of how I look, my body image. FEEDBACK: AT THIS POINT I STOPPED BEL'S AWARENESS WORK AND GAVE HER FEEDBACK. I WENT OVER ALL OF MY NOTES, POINTING OUT WHAT WOULD BE CONSIDERED TO BE "AWARENESS" ACCORDING TO GESTALT THEORY AND WHAT WOULD BE CONSIDERED TO BE SOME OTHER SORT OF FUNCTIONING, SUCH AS JUDGMENTS, PROJECTIONS AND AVOIDANCES. I POINT OUT THAT SHE IS AVOIDING CONTACTING HER "SCENE PARTNER", WHO IN THIS CASE IS ME. BEL TOOK A FEW MINUTES TO REPLAY THE VIDEO TO SEE HOW WE LOOK DOING THE WORK. THEN WE RESUMED THE UNGUIDED AWARENESS EXERCISE. B: LONG PAUSE. I'm aware of my face being itchy. I'm aware of you looking at me. AS A MATTER OF FACT, AT THE MOMENT SHE SAID THIS I WAS NOT ACTUALLY LOOKING AT HER. I'm aware of feeling more relaxed. I'm aware of some kind of sound outside. Cars maybe. I'm aware of your shirt. It says "Martin Guitars, Established 1833". Now I'm aware of feeling tired. I'm yawning. SHE IS TOUCHING HER FACE QUITE A BIT. I'm aware that I'm sniveling. I'm aware that I'm more relieved. I'm aware that I am self-conscious, that I am annoyed that I'm sniffling a lot. BEL LOOKS DIRECTLY AT ME FOR PERHAPS THE FIRST TIME. LONG PAUSE. I see that you're wearing glasses and white sox. They look clean. SHE CONTINUES LOOKING AT ME AS I WRITE, BUT WHEN I LOOK UP AT HER SHE QUICKLY LOOKS AWAY. SHE YAWNS. HER VOICE IS SO FAR AN UNEXPRESSIVE MONOTONE MOST OF THE TIME. I'm aware that my nails are pretty. I'm aware that my eyes might be half closed, that I'm smiling and that my shoulders feel sore. I'm aware that I am happy that I am doing this exercise. Now I'm aware that the fan is spinning. I'm aware that last night's show may not have gone well. I was too much in my head. BEL IS AN ACTRESS PERFORMING THE LEAD ROLE AT A LOCAL THEATER EACH NIGHT THIS WEEK. I'm aware of how this bracelet feels on my arm. I'm aware that I am sniffling and that I am touching this bracelet. HER CURLED UP POSITION IN THE CHAIR HAS NOT CHANGED FOR A WHILE. I'm picturing myself flying. I'm looking at that purple back massager IT IS GLASS, ON A TABLE ACROSS THE ROOM. It is very pretty. Now I am picturing what it would be like to touch that piece of paper you are writing on. YAWNS. I'm aware that I just yawned. WITH HER LEGS STILL CURLED UP ON THE CHAIR SHE STRETCHES HER ARMS OVER HER HEAD. I'm aware that I'm stretching. Your pen is an interesting shade of blue. I'm aware of feeling uncomfortable in this chair. I'm aware that I'm trying to keep my eyes more open. RATHER THAN FOCUSING ON OUTER ZONE DETAILS SHE IS FOCUSING ON KEEPING HER EYES OPEN. I'm aware of blue circles on the file box. WHEN I LOOK AWAY BEL LOOKS AT ME. I'm aware that I'm a little tired. I'm aware of what that blanket feels like. SHE DOES NOT GO OVER AND TOUCH IT. I'm aware of how my toes look. I'm aware of your thing holding down your hat, your berette. I AM WEARING A JEWISH STYLE SKULL CAP. BEL IS CHRISTIAN. I'm aware of your curly hair, that your shoes look like they are made of suede leather. SHE MOVES HER TOES UP AND DOWN A FEW TIMES. I'm aware that I am thinking. I am aware that my forehead is probably wrinkled right now. I DO NOT SEE ANY WRINKLES THERE. AT THIS POINT I STOPPED HER WORK, SO THAT I WOULD AGAIN HAVE TIME TO GIVE FEEDBACK BEFORE THE END OF THE FIRST HOUR. I REVIEWED MY NOTES WITH HER, POINTING OUT WHAT WAS AWARENESS AND WHAT WAS NOT AWARENESS ACCORDING TO THE GESTALT POINT OF VIEW. BREAK: 5 MINUTES GUIDED AWARENESS: 1 1/2 HOURS OUTER ZONE B: I'm aware that I'm holding my hands. I'm aware that I am cold. F: What can you do about being cold? B: TAKES BRIGHTLY COLORED TOWEL TO WRAP AROUND HERSELF. CELL PHONE RINGS. I'm aware of my phone making noises. WIND BLOWS THE DOOR WITHIN ITS FRAME SO IT MAKES A THUD. The door made a noise. F: That's the outer zone. Stay there a while. B: I'm aware of the green of that shelf. It's a 70's green. It feels smooth. BUT SHE DOESN'T GO OVER TO TOUCH IT. My nails are black. My bracelet is made of brown wood. I'm aware that I'm on camera being filmed. F: What do you actually see when you look at the camera? B: I see the red light blinking. F: Describe the camera. B: I see a microphone. F: A "microphone" is a complex idea. It's not something you actually contact. Be like an aboriginal who looks at a camera for the first time. Describe the microphone. B: It's a black object. It's circular and long. It looks like it's soft. F: Go and touch it. B: TOUCHING THE MIC. It's not as soft as I had imagined. THROUGHOUT THIS SESSION IN BEL'S APARTMENT I MYSELF AM AWARE OF THE SMELL OF CIGARETTE SMOKE SEEPING UNDER HER DOOR. HER ROOMMATE, WHO ALSO IS HER SISTER, SMOKES. WHEN AT THE END OF THE SESSION I MENTIONED THAT SMELL, BEL SAID THAT SHE IS SO USED TO THE SMELL SHE NO LONGER EVEN SMELLS IT. INNER ZONE F: OK, now let's shift over to working on the inner zone. Close your eyes. What are you aware of now in your body? B: I'm uncomfortable in my gut. Maybe it's anxiety. It's my tummy. I can tell you why. F: No, not "why". Just tell me "what". What's going on in your stomach? B: I'm uncomfortable with myself. F: That's an abstract idea. What is going on physically? Does it feel like hunger? B: No. F: Do you sense something moving there? B: No. Now I'm letting myself breathe. I feel better. I'm aware that my shoulders are hunched. HER FINGERS ARE IN A FIST. F: Go into that. Hunch up some more, and make noise, like this. Squeeze your fingers also. I DEMONSTRATE HOLDING MY BREATH AND SQUEEZING, IMPLODING WHILE I BLOCK THE SOUND SO IT CANNOT COME OUT FREELY. B: FOLLOWS MY EXAMPLE AND CURLS UP ON THE CHAIR. F: The toes too. Curl your toes also. Now relax. Very good. When you are ready open your eyes and come outside. OUTER ZONE B: OPENS HER EYES. F: What's your reaction now to coming outside into the outer zone? B: I want to go back inside. F: What is there that you need? B: I don't know. F: What are you aware of now outside? B: The green cabinet. It has rungs in front, rectangular, like bamboo. And it has a handle that looks like a pinapple. It's yellow, tilted. F: Good. Now that you see it, let's go onto the next step. Do you have any associations when you look at it. Maybe it reminds you of something, or whatever. B: It reminds me of when I painted it. If I picked it up it would be heavy. Inside it are videos and jewelry. What do you mean by associations? F: It could be anything: memories, judgments, images, comments. B: Like I could imagine little midgets jumping on it? F: Right. That's called "creative thinking". You go from objectivity to subjectivity, not the other way around. If you do it the other way around it's psychotic thinking. Like maybe you imagine somebody is out to get you and you don't bother actually to see the person at all. OK, let's go back to the inner zone again. This is called the rhythm of contact and withdrawal. The contact part is the outer zone and the withdrawal part is going back into your body and the void inside. INNER ZONE F: Close your eyes now. First of all, are you comfortable in your body? Any tension? B: I'm not comfortable. My thighs are sore from doing some exercises. If I stretch I'll feel better. SHE STANDS AND STRETCHES, BUT KEEPS HER MOUTH TIGHTLY SHUT AND EMITS NO SOUND AT ALL. F: What was missing that time? The sound. Would you mind doing it again, but this time add the sound. Do it harder and open your mouth and throat. Let all the parts of your body find a voice. Move your fingers. How does that change the sound? Listen to the sounds. Now your hips. Now your toes. Good. GRADUALLY SHE ESCAPES FROM THE FROZEN VOCAL MONOTONE SHE HAS BEEN IN MOST OF THE SESSION SO FAR. HER VOICE BECOMES MUCH MORE EXPRESSIVE. F: Sit down again, please, and close your eyes again. Now we are going to work on the third zone of awareness, the fantasy zone. So far you haven't used your imagination much today. If you don't mind I'd like you to do a daydream. Go on a trip or imagine something. Take your time. You're free to censer, but the more you share the more material we have to work with. B: I'm imagining I'm lying on my carpet, touching it with my fingers. Then I have my arms spread out like a cross and I float off the floor. I float through the walls and out the window. It's like I'm flying. I land on the roof. I can see the road outside. F: If the daydream was a movie can you imagine any kind of music that would go with the movie? B: I am imagining a song, "Break Away" by Kelly Parkstone. F: Can you sing it? B: SHE SINGS THE SONG SOFTLY WITH HER EYES CLOSED AT FIRST. F: Keep your eyes mostly closed and stand up. Dance along with the singing. Find a sound that comes from each body part. Make the sounds as different as possible. High sounds, low sounds, fast sounds, slow sounds, loud sounds, soft sounds. Good. Now zero in on a few key words of the song and drone them over and over. Trip on them and see how they develop. B: SINGS REPETITIVELY " . . . out of the darkness into the light . . . fly away and break away . . ." OUTER ZONE B: I burped. SHE CLOSELY EXAMINES ONE OF HER HAIRS. This hair is split in half. I just ripped it apart. It blew on me. Now I am aware of the red camera light blinking. That light THE CEILING LIGHT WITH FAN ATTACHED TO IT has a string hanging from it. SHE FOCUSES ON A SMALL "FAIRY" SHAPED DOLL ACROSS THE ROOM. The little fairy has feathers blowing on her head. There is a string hanging from her. I can picture touching that. F: Go over and touch it. B: It felt nice: hard, solid. F: Now that you really saw it and contacted it, do you have any associations or thoughts or judgments about it? B: Once I played a character that takes pleasure in little things. I wish I could be like that. She was not just concerned with herself. She lives each moment. F: That is what I call "creative thinking". First you contacted the doll and then you got associations about it. INNER ZONE F: Now we're beginning to get some integration of outer zone awareness and fantasy zone awareness. Let's keep going with the rhythm of contact and withdrawal. Close your eyes and go inside one more time. Are you comfortable in your body? B: Yes. INSTEAD OF CURLING UP ON THE CHAIR BEL NOW IS SITTING UP STRAIGHT WITH HER FEET ON THE FLOOR IN FRONT OF HER. SHE APPEARS TO BE MUCH MORE RELAXED THAN UP TILL NOW. APPARENTLY SHE NO LONGER IS CONSTRICTING HER BREATHING. F: Try another daydream. Take your time. B: I see an image of Marilyn Monroe. She has red glittery shoes and smooth legs. She's wearing her famous white dress, tightened on the waist. Her arms are straight. She has red fingernails. I see her collar bones. F: What's your reaction to seeing this image? Is it pleasant or unpleasant? B: Pleasant. She seems happy. She's smiling. She has pretty teeth and lips. F: What can you say about how this image relates to you? B: She seems happy but also sad. I know she ended up killing herself. F: Do you have any associations when you think about the image? B: I don't know if I want to share them. BEL CRIES. SHE OPENS HER EYES. F: You have a right to censer and protect your privacy, but is there anything you feel you can share? B: It's confidential. F: Does this image tell you anything about what you need in your life? B: I need to feel accepting of myself and like myself. F: Would you rather deal with that question today or let it go for now? B: That may be the area that affects everything. I try to help myself. I use all sorts of techniques, like yoga. I feel bad about myself. I feel I am unattractive. It's due to how I was raised. I need to take responsibility. I don't want to take medication for a chemical imbalance all my life. I just want to be happy. OUTER ZONE F: Since our contract today is to work on the awareness exercise and not go into specific problems I want to return now to the rhythm of contact and withdrawal. What are you aware of in the outer zone now? B: The sound of the wind outside and the door makes noises. F: Take the wind first. How does the wind sound? B: The leaves are rustling. It sounds windy. F: Describe the sound. B: It's a swishing sound. Also there is the dull roar of traffic. F: Now the door sound. B: The door is moving back and forth with the wind. F: So they are related. What's your reaction to these sounds? B: I don't like the door noise. The swishing is soothing. F: You just closed your eyes. You keep wanting to run back into your box. Keep your eyes open for now. How do you encounter me? B: I'm grateful, but F: Wait a minute. I forgot to ask you for associations to the wind and the door. B: The door noise reminds me of people who are angry. The wind is like freedom, nature. F: What about nature? Do you deal with nature much in your life? B: I do not have much freedom or nature in my life. I don't go outside. I'm either here in my room or rehearsing or driving. F: Do you think you should spend more time with nature? B: Yes. F: And what about the angry people? B: I think of my roommates. ONE OF BEL'S ROOMMATES IS HER SISTER. They are always cursing. Also, my parents were always angry. F: Was there a particular reason for that? B: They hated each other. There was no money. SMILES. Too many kids. SHE REQUESTS A BATHROOM BREAK. USUALLY I AM STRICT ABOUT LIMITING THE FIRST SESSION TO TWO HOURS TOTAL. BUT BEL SEEMS TO HAVE TOUCHED ON SOME IMPORTANT AREAS THAT NEED SOME CLOSURE BEFORE WE END THE SESSION. THEREFORE, I OFFER HER THE OPPORTUNITY TO GO ON A WHILE. INNER ZONE F: Actually our time is finished, but we can go on a while if your want. Do you want to stop now or do one more round? B: One more. I'm cold. SHE WRAPS HERSELF IN THE TOWEL AND CLOSES HER EYES. I curled my toes under. I'm taking deep breaths. I feel good. My head feels itchy. F: Any images coming? B: I'm picturing my stomach going up and down as I breathe. It feels pleasant. I feel fat and "icky". F: Keep your eyes half closed, stand up and dance "ickiness". SHE DOES A SILENT IMPROV WHILE WRAPPED IN THE TOWEL. Do it again. Add the sound this time. Open your mouth and your throat. Find the voice of each body part, for example the toes. B: CLOSES HER EYES. I see a kitten, soft with a lot of fur. It's cute. It has blue eyes and white fur. F: In the image what is your relation to the kitten? B: I'm touching it. It's the softest thing I ever felt. I love it. F: Just stay with the image and see how it develops. B: I'm holding it. F: Do you have associations to similar situations? B: I'm thinking of how it was holding my sister's baby. F: Does this work tell you anything about what you need? B: I need to be closer to people, so I can share a loving feeling. F: Good. We need to end the session soon. If you look back over the whole session, can you find an overall message that you got from today's work? B: I feel I'm getting a better understanding of myself. I need balance as far as awareness goes, the outer and the inner. Also I need to be closer to people and not so into myself. F: They are related. Seeing and hearing them helps to relate to them. B: I used to be that way. A year ago I moved here, to a place where I know no one. When we balanced the awarenesses, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. F: I noticed that you stopped the crying by yourself. What is it about the big picture that stops the crying? B: We work on the little things and the big picture gets better. Usually I overdo it. I overload myself. A long journey begins with a single step. F: That's what they say in acting classes. Go in for the moments, the beats. Don't try to eat the whole turkey in one bite. Don't play one big idea about the scene from the beginning till the end. Provide yourself with lots of real things you can contact here and now along the way, lots of outer zone environment objects and inner zone fantasy objects. You need that objectivity to balance all the subjectivity, all that emotional soup that you have a tendency to get lost in. The subjective stuff you are very good at, and a lot of the time that is what the audience wants, but if you do it too much it is overwhelming and boring. You need to give the audience all the realities in a balanced way. And you can't give them what you don't have yourself.


16. Close to the Edge Full by Yes

  • Published: 2011-08-11T01:05:47+00:00
  • Duration: 1087
  • By vzqk50
Close to the Edge Full by Yes

Lyrics: [I The Solid Time Of Change] A seasoned witch could call you from the depths of your disgrace And rearrange your liver to the solid mental grace And achieve it all with music that came quickly from afar And taste the fruit of man recorded losing all against the hour And assessing points to nowhere, leading every single one A dewdrop can exalt us like the music of the sun And take away the plain in which we move And choose the course you're running Down at the end, round by the corner Not right away, not right away Close to the edge, down by a river Not right away, not right away Crossed the line around the changes of the summer Reaching out to call the color of the sky Passed around a moment clothed in mornings faster than we see Getting over all the time I had to worry Leaving all the changes far from far behind We relieve the tension only to find out the master's name Down at the end, round by the corner Close to the edge, just by a river Seasons will pass you by I get up, I get down Now that it's all over and done Now that you find, now that you're whole [II Total Mass Retain] My eyes convinced, eclipsed with the younger moon attained with love It changed as almost strained amidst clear manna from above I crucified my hate and held the word within my hand There's you, the time, the logic, or the reasons we don't understand Sad courage claimed the victims standing still for all to see As armoured movers took approached to overlook the sea There since the cord, the license, or the reasons we understood will be Down at the edge, close by a river Close to the edge, round by the corner Close to the end, down by the corner Down at the edge, round by the river Sudden cause shouldn't take away the startled memory All in all, the journey takes you all the way As apart from any reality that you've ever seen and known Guessing problems only to deceive the mention Passing paths that climb halfway into the void As we cross from side to side, we hear the total mass retain Down at the edge, round by the corner Close to the end, down by a river Seasons will pass you by I get up, I get down [III I Get Up, I Get Down] In her white lace, you could clearly see the lady sadly looking Saying that she'd take the blame For the crucifixion of her own domain I get up, I get down I get up, I get down Two million people barely satisfy Two hundred women watch one woman cry, too late The eyes of honesty can achieve (She would gladly say it amazement of her story) How many millions do we deceive each day? (Asking only interest could be layed upon the children of her domain) I get up, I get down I get up, I get down In charge of who is there in charge of me (She could clearly see the lady sadly looking) Do I look on blindly and say I see the way? (Saying that she'd take the blame For the crucifixion of her own domain) The truth is written all along the page (She would gladly say it amazement of her story) How old will I be before I come of age for you? (Asking only interest could be layed upon the children of her domain) I get up, I get down I get up, I get down I get up, I get down I get up, I get down I get up, I get down [IV Seasons Of Man] The time between the notes relates the color to the scenes A constant vogue of triumphs dislocate man, so it seems And space between the focus shape ascend knowledge of love As song and chance develop time, lost social temp'rance rules above Ah, ah Then according to the man who showed his outstretched arm to space He turned around and pointed, revealing all the human race I shook my head and smiled a whisper, knowing all about the place On the hill we viewed the silence of the valley Called to witness cycles only of the past And we reach all this with movements in between the said remark Close to the edge, down by the river Down at the end, round by the corner Seasons will pass you by Now that it's all over and done Called to the seed, right to the sun Now that you find, now that you're whole Seasons will pass you by I get up, I get down I get up, I get down I get up, I get down


17. 1985 Oct 26th Sahaja Culture USA

  • Published: 2011-08-09T10:22:57+00:00
  • Duration: 4654
  • By Ruthvick
1985 Oct 26th Sahaja Culture USA

1985-1026: Sahaja Culture, New Jersey, Ashram, USA Today I was thinking of talking, telling you about the Sahaja Culture. Now we are formed in dharma, Vishwa Dharma. But it must have a culture. So far in all the religions there is no combination of religion and culture. No religion has. That's why everywhere you find different cultures. Say in India, people who follow Hindu religion have different cultures in different places. They are living in Lucknow, or say in U.P., they have a Muslim culture. More Islamic style. They'll eat in one plate, do all kinds of things which normally a South Indian won't do, and the South Indians have a different culture from Maharashtrians. So even in a religion like Hindu religion where culture is important, very important, we find varieties. So the cultures get influenced by the neighboring cultures or surrounding cultures, and that's how people get lost. When you establish a religion like this, Vishwa Dharma, it's not like any other religion. It's the real religion within us, and this reality comes to us because now we are one with the Spirit. So when we talk of Sahaja Culture, it is the culture of the Spirit. Now what is a culture? First of all let us see what is a culture is. So the culture is the pattern of behavior we have with others. Is a common pattern of behavior we are supposed to have with others. Like in English language, for example, we'll say "Thank you". Even if somebody murders, you may say, "Thank you". Or the person who murders you can say, "Sorry". On the phone one may say, just if they say something you can't hear, "Sorry?" Every time, "Sorry". As if "sorry" is a word so easily to be used. I mean if you are sorry, why are you sorry for that? "Sorry?" On the phone they used to first say, "I beg your pardon?", was sensible; but now I find everybody, A to Z, says, "Sorry?" I mean, it has no meaning, because what are you sorry about? Says "Sorry?" For everything they are sorry. Or we can say in English language, when we speak, "I'm afraid". You see, it's very common, "I'm afraid". What are you afraid of? The whole world is afraid of you. So this is the culture, what we talk of, any culture as such, becomes artificial, is not spontaneous, doesn't come from reality. It has no meaning; sometimes it is pointless, absolutely pointless to stick to certain cultures. So the culture of the Spirit doesn't change. It's universal, and is higher than any other culture. Apart from that it integrates all the essences of all the cultures. So it emanates from the spirit. Now, spirit has two sides. One side which you see, the another you don't see, like the moon. The side you see is outside with other people, other Sahaja Yogis, other people, other societies, which are not yourself, absolutely. The other side you don't see is the relationship with God Almighty, relationship with your Mother. If the other side is not all right, the behavioral side outside could become artificial, could become crooked and not Sahaj. So it's the other way round than any other culture. To know any other culture what do we go? We see how they talk, what is their language, how they speak, how they behave: all the outside things we get. We must know "thank you" if we want to know English language, must know "thank you", "please", all that. But if you want to know the Sahaja culture, you have to know your Mother, and you have to know God Almighty. And the relationship between your Mother and the God Almighty has to be absolutely perfect. Then there's no problem. But that, the relationship, if it is not all right, you cannot have artificial Sahaj culture. That is one thing for sure. Artificial Sahaj culture is not all right. I would say that India has, in its basics, the culture of the spirit, India has; because for traditions and traditions in India, and for ages, people have been seeking the truth. Spiritually they are endowed, because of the saints. They are blessed specially because they have been seekers, not of material things, but of the spirit. Specially in Maharashtra, we should say, because the Kundalini is there always like a magnet. People are attracted because Shri Ganesha being the magnet, attracted towards God and spirit. So they form a pattern, but there is lot of artificiality in that also has grown. We must admit that there is lot, lot of artificiality, falsehood, nonsense that has grown into it, because the religion fell into the hands of, spiritual religion fell into the hands of gross, horrible so-called Brahmins who were not realized souls. So the whole culture has become so nonsensical sometimes that you don't know where to look. But to have the culture, first of all, culture is developed through meditation, by facing yourself. First of all you should face yourself, how you feel about your Mother and about God Almighty. First of all, how much liberty you take of your Mother? How much granted, take for granted your Mother? She's a Mahamaya. Even the first "M" is difficult to understand. So when you start taking liberties, all the time putting your pressure on Her, all the time trying to attract Her attention, Her time, or writing letters eleven pages, all that, is one side. Another side is complete indifference to your Mother. So it is to be known through your heart. You don't have to talk to Me. I know whose heart is pulsating. Perhaps I'm the only person who knows really what you are. You may not be knowing yourself also. I may not say, but I know you in all details, out of which I may say little bit, because I am too gentle to say things. Because again of Sahaj culture. Because of Sahaj culture, I cannot say everything to you on your face. I'm correcting it, trying to correct it, correct it; if not possible, then I say to you. Then in that you have to also see how much worshipful you are. Some people, though they spend more time with Me, remain with Me, want to be with Me, it is only when they feel surrendered, also. So it should not be confused: if somebody is spending more time with Me, you should not condemn yourself for that. It's all right. But how far you are surrendered is the point. Now, if you are surrendered, how do you see the surrendering in a person? You see it has one side and the another is the expression. Say a person who is surrendered doesn't talk much to Me, doesn't talk, he listens, doesn't talk. Common sense, he listens. Even people who are very good, I've seen when I'm talking, they'll put in their own words in between. People who are very good, I should say. So the surrendering is not full. Then the time, they become very conscious of the time. Who has made the time? But the person won't come directly and tell Me, but tell somebody else, "Go and tell Mother, She has to go at this time." I know everything, who tells whom, who goes to whom, who is telling someone, who is time-bound. And then I flout it. I know what time to reach, what is the auspicious time, how it will work out. Surrendering has to be to that point, that you shouldn't worry. I would say Dumahl is one of them who is a very great surrendered fellow. When I went there I was very tired, and he said. "Mother, if You want to rest You can rest." I said, "Yes, I want to rest." So he just left Me alone. I was really very tired because I had a very long journey, and then this and that, and then I went down all the way there. I thought, "I'll lie down, and sleep off. " Of course, as I know that everything has to be done at right time, I just went down. And we had a program of My reception at one place in a village, and they were all waiting for Me there. And I was sleeping; he wouldn't wake Me up. He wouldn't wake Me up. He said, "Everything will be all right. Tell them when Mother will come." So there was sun on, they were all sitting under the tree, sun was scorchingly hot. They were nicely having a nice nap under the tree and all that. All the villagers arrived, everybody arrived, everything worked out. And when I got up it was about five-thirty, then he told Me that, "Mother, I didn't tell You the program." He never tells Me. If I get something written, well and good, but, "You were sleeping, I didn't want to disturb You." "What's the program?" "It was at three o'clock." I said, "Three o'clock. Why didn't you tell Me? Why didn't you wake Me?" He said, "You were awake, I knew You were awake, Mother. It's all right." So we started off at six o'clock. Sun had gone down. By that time they arranged beautiful lights and fireworks and everything, and all the rushing about was finished, they're very well settled. And the people from distant villages had also arrived, and they had organized them so well, and they had a proper time, and are very happy that I came late because sun was not there, so scorchingly hot. By the time we reached about seven o'clock it was night and they illumined the lights, and the diwali like this was put up everywhere, and they got everything, they had sufficient time to do everything. Then Dumahl said, "I knew, Mother, You are awake, and You were managing." If one can understand that, then you will not try to organize Me. You can just tell Me, "We have to leave at this time." But if I don't have to leave, I will not leave whatever you may do. In My own sweet way; you will never find Me obstinate, but I am. Because I know what is right is what is right, and has to be done that way. But otherwise I'm very calm, I am not bothered. I never organize you, I never hurry you, I never do anything that should upset you. Spirit is never upset, never excited, never hurries, and never is what you call that "go-go" business. Like now, we have to go to the airport. You'll find everybody was like an aeroplane - round, round, round, round. What has happened? "Oh, we had to go? We'd.." "We have to go, all right. So what?" The whole thing is, all these excitements and all these things come to us because we are outside. But if you are one with your spirit you're absolutely calm, absolutely calm, "All right, we have to go, all right, we'll reach there. Doesn't matter." The other day we had to go for some shopping, I was trying to buy some saris for Indian ladies. We got lost. I never bothered them at all. They were going round and round, and round and round. And then Danny realized and said, "I think perhaps we had to leave vibrations in all these places." I said, "Correct." And for about two hours I think, we were roaming about. Anybody else would be saying, "What's this? You can't find the place, what's the matter with you?" Calm. We reached the shop at the right time, got everything at the right time, did everything, came back at right time. Everything was first class, nothing went wrong. But anybody in My place, I tell you, that time would have been, "Oh God, this, that." Why are you saving time? For what are you saving time? So we miss the present, and that's one thing spirit never misses. It's always in the present. That's the reality. Now in the West people are very futuristic, extremely futuristic, and their futuristicness sometimes takes them to points, say for example if they have to go by train. So instead of arriving at the right station, they'll go to the station which is further on. And then again they'll arrive at the further on. The train will never reach them. Sort of temperament they have. So one should not plan at all anything like that, that fixes you. But at this moment, if I have to be told that we have to go at this time, is all right, finished now. At this moment I've told, is recorded, finished. All right? So it's gone into the memory. There's nothing to worry about it now. Now, present moment, what are we doing? In a very calm way, witness it. Witness yourself, now, witness yourself. "Where is my mind going?" Now somebody who has to cook must be thinking, "Oh, I have to get this, I have to get that." Once you start saying that "I have to do it", you'll never be able to do it that way. But you said, "All right, just now I'm in meditation." Every moment, "I am in meditation." Everything will walk up to you, even matter, and you'll get the right things at the right place. You'll meet right people at the right place. The other day we were just walking, strolling around. Whom do we find there? Carolyn. She just walked out. There is she, I mean I met her. She said, "Christine is just next door." I said, "Let's go," and you should have seen the joy on her face when she came down, and she saw Me. Beautiful experience for Me and her, she was so happy. Then we went together. So when you have so much tied down with your watch, that means you are not tied down with your spirit. So a Sahaja yogi, if he sees watch, then he's not a Sahaja yogi. But the other side could be that the Sahaja yogis are never in time where they have to be. Very common in England. I reach always first, to open the door. And to clean it also sometimes. Now, to take for granted things, as you say, take for granted, that's not the way Sahaja Yoga is. You have to be alert, alert, absolutely alert. If you are alert, immediately you'll know "I have to go now at this time. I have to do it. I have to get this thing now." If you have to miss something, you are supposed to miss it. That's what it is. So, there's a beautiful thing written down, like they say, "Jai sei rakhahu tase hi rahun" - "The way You keep me, the way I am, will be happy." So, satisfaction towards yourself, your spirit, is important. Because ego will plan out, "Oh, we'll go there, we must get for Mother, say, daisies", we decide. "Must get daisies." You don't find daisies, you're disappointed. Why not? These are all My flowers, whether they are daisies or not, they look so nice. Whatever you get, you get it. That's the thing wanted. You know that, that the Divine is working out everything for you. When you are supposed to get something else, better have it. Even by mistake, if I lay My hand upon some things, like a book or something, immediately I'll open it out and see why this book has come in My attention; why this fellow has come in My attention; why this is happening. And immediately I find that there's some connection, something has to be done, something has to be said, something has to be worked out. So for a person who is imbibed with the culture of spirit, the Sahaj culture, impresses others by his calmness and relaxed attitude. Relaxation never means lethargy, by any chance. It doesn't mean lethargy. Lethargy is against relaxation. A person who is relaxed cannot become lethargic. "Relaxed" means a person who's alert and calm. These two things for human beings is an impossibility, because if they are alert, if they are alert then they're not calm. If they're unhappy, sad, then they think they are very, very calm. So this is one of the things one has to remember, that you have to witness yourself all the time. Not to condemn yourself, but witness. Now I said the word "witness" means "detached". Now what happens with this, when you start condemning yourself, you miss every good point. For example, you have some experience of a sudden height being achieved. All right? At that point you should catch hold of it, hold on to it, keep doing, but don't forget that you may go back, no. And then wait for another higher moment to come, hold on to it. That's how you climb Himalayas. But not that, "Oh Ma. Now it's all right, but what will happen next?" Then you are gone down, because you have to face yourself in the way, knowing what are your powers. You are a spirit now, you are no more an ordinary human being, so you have no business to condemn yourself, or to degrade yourself, or in any way to feel unhappy. No way. Past is past. What happened a moment before is finished. "Now I am going to rise. Now I am going to rise." So a person who has a Sahaja culture is not only spontaneous, but is inspired, is a inspired personality. A person who is of that kind, an inspired visionary, then other people get impressed by such a person that, "See, there's a man who's inspired, who talks in an inspired way, in a way that is something very different from others." Something new he says, new that is nourishing. Such a personality - like the other day, you see, we heard the lectures of so many people, and when the New Zealand Prime Minister was coming C.P. said, "Now let's go back, because we'll have a little tea or something." I said: "No, you listen to this man. He's a realized soul." He said, "Really?" I said, "Yes, you listen to him." First everybody was, "He's sitting in New Zealand, such a little titwit of a country, what is he going to speak?" You see, they were moving about, making a... Within two minutes he captured everybody's attention, you see, and he was bubbling with everything, so beautifully, and he spoke all the points so much different, and so much new and so much better. C.P. was amazed. He said, "How do You know?" I said, "I know, because when I was in New Zealand I told them he's a realized soul." And our own Prime Minister is also a realized soul. You'll be surprised, after our Prime Minister finished his lecture and all that, after two or three lectures he was to go; then he turned round and went to this Australian [Shri Mataji may have meant New Zealand] Prime Minister, only him, went and congratulated him, congratulated him. Congratulated and said something very close to him. And the fellow again, you see, flew up into joy. We see it's all there. And then he came away. Why? Because one realized soul understands another realized soul, and everybody was amazed: why did he turn to this man alone, and went and congratulated him? So such a large country like India represented by our Prime Minister, goes down all the way to a little country like New Zealand which is nothing compared to India, and congratulates. And that's a developed country, this is a developing country. Is something people did not understand. And the whole joyous atmosphere both of them shaking hands created. This is Sahaja culture, in which you recognize a realized soul, the dignity of a realized soul. So when it comes to relating to others, first and foremost are Sahaja yogis. But I've seen most of the people are more congenial with others, and less congenial with Sahaja yogis. They try to criticize Sahaja yogis all the time, and I test them. I sometimes say, "All right. I don't think this fellow is very good" and all that. But when the other person turns round and shows compassion and says, "No, Mother, I think it will work out" then I like it. I like that. Or else sometimes I say, "Oh, let them go away. There should be no more food for them, it's all right." No, Mother, we've made food for them." So the culture of Sahaj is to give. Give, and give, and give, and never ask for a reward. Never thinks, "What I have to get". After all, you have got the highest that anybody could get. They said the three heights a human being can achieve in spirituality, which you all got in no time. It's called as salokya, samipya, sanidya. Salokya is that you should be able to see God. That you got. Samipya is the closeness with God. Sanidya is the togetherness, togetherness. You have got all these three. In one incarnation you've got it. When Gods incarnated before, nobody knew that they were Gods. So even they got it, they never knew. Very few people knew about them. But even when Christ said He was the Son of God, who, how many believed Him? They crucified Him. Because they were not realized souls. But by giving you realization I have given you that capacity to get all these three blessings at one shot. I speak your language, I speak your style, I live with your style, and you understand Me. There is no problem. But with other Gods, imagine if I were Mahakali today, what would have happened. You would be all upside-down there hanging, seeing Me from the other way round. I don't know what would have happened - or any one of them. So the three blessings that a saint is promised, you've got all of them. But because you've got them, you don't understand. You take it for granted. There's no shraddha. With this experience there should be tremendous faith. Faith is a thing that resides between Me and you, in between. Is we can say, the ocean of joy that is in between. Whatever I emit to you is that shraddha, and when you are drenched into it, the joy of that shraddha makes everything so sahaj. But for that you must open your hearts. A Sahaja yogi who is secretive, who is insular, who is jealous, who separates himself from others is no good. Open your heart. Give away your things, doesn't matter. Matter has only one value, that it can communicate your Sahaj culture. Little things, you see, I see something that you have got beautiful, and in My Mahamaya acting on Myself I say, "Oh, that's very beautiful." and then they say, "Mother, You gave us this." "Ah, sorry." And then I feel very ashamed of Myself, that this is not Sahaj culture, you see. But the joy is so much that I can't help it sometimes I say, "Oh, I - it's so beautiful, this one." "You gave us, Mother." And the whole rapport and the whole feeling; I feeling a little shy about it, and all, they're so beautiful, so dramatic; so dramatic it is, so poetic. Only at that point I feel ashamed of Myself. Of course to be human being you should be ashamed of yourself sometimes. Otherwise the drama is not complete. So the whole thing is so beautiful and so joyous. But that gentleness towards others and yourself should be there. Now if you become unhappy and serious, you are very unkind to yourself and to others. Anybody who is a serious person, sits with a serious face, know that he is not a Sahaja yogi at all. They should be bubbling with laughter, joy all the time. I cannot be serious for more than, I think, five seconds perhaps. I don't know. I try, because lectures should be serious to go into the hearts of the people. But there's not, and you can see that even when I'm getting angry, My eyes betray Me, and there's a twinkle of laughter in the eyes. That's how a person should be, and don't worry what others have to say. You see, the culture where people are just glum like this, is the same as the people where they are frivolous. Now as we can say American culture is to be frivolous, stupid, you see, I won't be surprised supposing your Prime Minister tomorrow starts wearing a sari, just to amuse you. Anything is possible with them, just to amuse you, you see, too - for cheap popularity. Anything frivolous, stupid, they will do. But supposing, you see, it is say an English old conservative personality, then a lady might wear a very official dress with the lines and this and that, and like a man she might become very soon, like that, develop a very serious face. But both things are nonsensical, has no meaning. You have to be natural, and natural everything is always bubbling with joy. And a message. And a message. These flowers are the message of My coming, writ large on them. So a person who is a Sahaj culture man should emit that message to others, people should see, "Oh, this is the man. He is the sahaja fellow." You can see that clearly. There's no seriousness, there's no unhappiness, nothing. Supposing I have said something that might be upsetting you, forget it. If you cannot forget that, then you have not listened to Me. But "forget" doesn't mean that you do not act upon it. "Acting upon it" means that you face yourself and see for yourself how you have ascended and how far you have to go, not how you'll fall down. So it is all the time acting on both sides, as I'm telling you in My lecture, that on one side you'll see to yourself as relationship with Me, and relationship with others. For a Sahaja yogi it should not matter whether you are in a palace or on the street. The first encounter with the first Sahaja yogis - we have only one surviving, now here sitting down - they couldn't bear, for them it was difficult to be in the beautiful atmosphere of India. The reason is, they were analyzing: they have no good bathrooms, no showers. But you have the whole sky. You have all the mountains. You have all the trees. You have got all the waters flowing. But you want to have a little shower, in which you can't even move. Just an idea, just an idea of comfort. You have no comforts, if you ask Me, compared to what we have in India. No comforts at all. I mean, ask any Indian girl to come and stay, she will cry. Even I think here the President, the President has to wash his utensils perhaps, maybe. What a comfort. There's no division of labor. Now in our country we have servants, but "servants" doesn't mean that we cheat them anything else. They eat the same food as we eat. They live the same way we live. But they do different type of work, because they don't have the same mental capacity to be the President. The President does some other work. You have no comfort of any kind, you take it from Me. Food matter, you get everything processed food. Imagine, any time you might be developing cancer due to processed food. What is your speciality then? Try to understand. What is the kind of food: it's not fresh, God knows how it is processed, how it is preserved, from where it is coming. Suddenly in London they said that, "Don't eat this kind of food," you see, "because it has got something contaminated." So everybody rushes, you see, to the store room, because we have to store up all these things. You can't get at the right.... "Oh it's there"; then you start throwing them out. It's a mad racing because people think that, "God knows what we are eating today, is it correct or not?" So food-wise you are zero. Best thing is to live in the villages or in the forests, to get the fresh fruits, wash them in clean flowing water of a river, eat it nicely and sit down enjoying the sun. The comfort of the spirit is the thing we have lost, and those who seek the comfort of the spirit are Sahaja yogis, not otherwise. Comfort of the spirit comes in giving. Say I've borrowed some money from you, I won't be comfortable till I've paid you back. Going further with it, supposing you are caught up into something, you have got some problems. I'll somehow or other manage that you'll come close to Me somewhere, and work it out on you, clear you out, finished. Till then I won't be comfortable; though I'll suffer, I'll have pains, I'll have this, that. As soon as I came here, left Nabhi was like this going on. Corrected it. I took it upon Myself, I sucked it into Me. So they are adventurous. "Oh I will not touch, I am catching, he's catching." Finished. But now the compassion can only work out if you have that kind of a spirit, otherwise you cannot. It becomes sympathy. For example there's one person, Mr. A. or Miss A. or Mrs. A., whatever it is. I mean, I'm just talking of a common personality, and that person is catching. I would say in an ashram, that person should clear out. But all the ashramites will catch from that person, and that person will never be all right. There's a very nice joke about it. There was a lady, she wanted to reduce herself. So there was a machine like a rolling-pin. They said, "If you rub it, then you will reduce." So she brought, poor thing, she brought the machine and she started rolling it. She found that the rolling-pin became fat, instead of she reducing. Same thing is in Sahaja yoga. Instead of Sahaja yogis correcting the others, they get contaminated. That's why I said, "Don't have anybody in the ashram." Because you sympathize. You do not try to correct that person, in a way that you can correct within yourselves, suck it within yourself as your Mother does, and do it. I do it for thousands and thousands and thousands; you have to do it for one or two, so you are never bothered. And that's how you become strong. Not by shunning them, running away from them or condemning yourself, or saying that: "We must save ourselves on the boat." No. Through adventure. "Let's see what happens". Tamara was telling Me, "Nothing catches me, Mother, what is it?" I said: "But who will catch you? Those who will catch will be hurt themselves." So what is it, that Bhairava is to be established. Sidha kala mane Bhairav' - as you have to establish Shri Ganesha, you have to establish also Bhairava, and Hanumana on the right side. If these three deities you establish within yourself, nothing, nothing on this earth can catch you. You'll catch it for a while. But what I find now, I came to this ashram, everybody's left Nabhi caught up. Everybody's left Agnya caught up. So then I get the pain. Everyone. I mean, I have put you inside My body, do you know that? You are part and parcel of My body, you are the cells in My body. And when you catch, I also catch; not catch, but I really get the pain, but I clear it. In the same way, I have given you powers. Every power I have, I have given you. But you have to develop it and you have to be adventurous. But on the contrary, once we have ashrams, everybody settles down, "Oh, now, very comfortable, very cheap." Very economical, that's the first comfort. It's surprising, for a Western person, it is very important that it should be economical, surprising, affluent people think more of saving money than the people who are poor. And English are the last word, save pounds, at the cost of others. On the contrary if you go to India, where they'll be very happy, they'll invite you in their house. Whatever they have they will give it to you, "Eat, eat, eat." They'll force you. They'll be very happy to give. But in England it's very dangerous, you see. Sometimes in the ashram they may not even have food for Me. Really. And if you tell them, "I know. I know." You know. Finished. Then what do you say? They already know it, now what to do? They know. So with the affluence miserliness grows, and money-orientation. In India also I've seen people who get little more money than the rest become very money-oriented. Money becomes everything, money becomes the power, money becomes their life. Sahaja yogi doesn't care for money. Just.. is the dust of our Mother's feet. What is money, what is wealth? And when they do like that, then their money problems are solved. If you have a money problem, know that there's a problem. If you are very particular about money. I am, in a way, because if I have to give somebody, I remember it. But I've seen people who are very anxious to tell Me that, "You have to pay this man so much, that man so much." That's wrong. That's not your look-out. That's very, very wrong to tell Me that, "You have to pay this man or that man." It's not important. Even if I don't pay, I pay him. So in relationship with Me, you are not to tell Me that, "You have to pay so much money to him, this much money should be paid, this is what he owes You." Nothing of the kind. Let the person come and tell Me. Why are you telling? That kind of a message if you give Me, you are lost. Or if you come and tell Me for somebody else that, "Mother, time is up, we have to go. Somebody is hurrying You up." If somebody is hurrying Me, tell him, "Don't hurry Mother." You must know that your kundalinis were not raised with just your own kundalini, but something that is working it out. Something very tremendous, a big organization. You can't see it, it is microscopic. You must know, nobody got realization like that, did they? Thousands getting realization, what's happening? There must be something about... Now how can you tell anything to such an organization? They don't like it. They know it. Actually they are the ones who know, not the English. They know what is to be done. So your relationship with Me acts as your culture. So it is a Mother's cult, you can call it, the Mother's culture. How we are connected with our Mother. I have seen people, if somebody is rude to them, they get very angry. But if somebody is rude to Me they don't feel angry. It should be the other way round. Now I'll give you an example. This Merv Griffin was funny, and both our PRO's were very angry. It was natural and very... I mean, I liked it, but I calmed them down. And Worlikar of course was on top of this thing. But the other fellow would not. He was giving arguments. I was just watching. I mean, if somebody had said this to his mother... There's another one there, he never came to receive Me at the airport. So Worlikar said, "If your own mother had come, you would not have gone?" Then one can give explanation, "Oh, but our Mother is Adi Shakti. My mother is not, she's helpless." It's not. To show your respect, to show your love, you have to go; for your own gain, not for Her gain. For your own gain. This relationship is for your own gain. Supposing if you strike oil, is it for your gain or for the gain of the oil? If you get to the Source, is it for the Source to gain anything, or it is for you to gain anything? Logic, simple logic. So in that culture, you see, you really thrive and you become extremely a happy person, a joyous person. And the expression of such a person is so different, because such a person, as I told you, rises above and sees the problems of others, the decadence of the society, sees all the problems of the world. Not only that, but knows the solutions. We are not like these ordinary people who have racialism, this.. other diseases, I don't know what sort of diseases they have, I also forget. Racialism now, it's another stupid nonsense, you know. What is racialism? God has made somebody's color like this and somebody's color like that, and those same racists are trying to tan their faces. So in this culture of ours we are not bothered about superficial things. What we are bothered about is our inner cleanliness, inner beauty, but that doesn't mean that you should move about like primitive people, no. But if there is inner beauty, then outer beauty comes. You will never find Me dirtily dressed. You will never find Me without a sari on, even when I sleep I wear a sari, because in the night also I have to work, so how can I go in My dressing-gown to the other world? So a person who is a Sahaja yogi has to be an extremely neat and a clean person, but not to tell others, but should be himself or herself. That's one of the things are very important, because others will see you, like loonies, who's going to believe you? So the one effect is from the Mother, you take from the Source, for what? To be that illuminated quality, in you, so that others see you as something great and adore you, worship you. This is this far we have come, now, how your personality should be. But now, when you are dealing with others, know that they are human beings made by God, not by Sahaja yogis by any chance. And they will be tomorrow's Sahaja yogis, may be higher Sahaja yogis than you. So when we are dealing with others also, talk to them in a gentle way. Be kind to them. Of course we are against gurus, against cults, against all these people. But as soon as they come, if you say: "Oh, you are a bhoot", the person will do right-about-turn and go away. So you are not given this power to be abrupt or to be arrogant with others, not given. Now all such people are coming down, calming down because they see that what helps is your gentle, kindly, firm attitude. Only after Sahaja Yoga you can combine all these qualities. You'll be firm, you'll be alert, you'll be gentle and compassionate, smiling, but not making fun of others. So then you become a personality who is alert: to see what is the reaction they're having on others, this is very important to be seen. So now you start witnessing others. What is your reaction on others? I have seen many a times, a new Sahaja yogi comes in. The person is trying to say something, and the girl starts giggling or laughing. One should not, at that time, because the person might think that, "They're making fool of me, or they're thinking that I'm a stupid person, or something wrong with me." That person will become self-conscious, I won't be able to give realization to that person. But if somebody is sitting before Me and I'm trying to help that person, know that it's a very important moment of this gentleman's life. We have got it, so what? When we are pulling out somebody, when we are helping out somebody, do we laugh? That's the time you have to be very concerned and very much serious, to do the job. Every quality and mood has its own place, like nose is at its own place, eyes at its own place. In the same way, all these moods that we have, have their own places. And that is what is lost in modern society. So when I am trying to help somebody, you should be all concern about that person. How does this come in to us from the Source? How much you are concerned about Me? Supposing I am thirsty, you will feel thirsty. You'll immediately say, "Mother, I'll get You some water." But you may not even ask Me, just bring it here, keep it there. Or just make some tea for Me or look after Me. Do this or do that. In little, little things you should watch. The concern is not in saying something, asking something. You don't ask. Don't ask Mother, you just do it. That's how, when you start doing it, you will understand what you are doing to others. So the reflection on others, how they reflect about you also is very important, and you have to be alert. Suddenly you say something, and everybody disappears. You must know they are not yet Sahaja yogis, they are to be brought in, so you have to very carefully bring them around. Then with Sahaja yogis, among yourselves how you behave is extremely important for others to see. We must cherish each other's company, we must cherish. To meet some Sahaja yogi somewhere, "Ah, what a joy it is to see someone, to talk to someone on the phone." But because we are so insular, so selfish, so greedy, and sometimes very circumcised [should read 'circumscribed'] I should say, or absolutely engulfed into our past, we cannot do that, we do not feel that joy, we cannot adore another Sahaja yogi, we do not enjoy another Sahaja yogi, we cannot cherish his company. That means this finger cannot feel this finger. It's like a developing, what you call, a disease called leprosy. Nerves are finished. Nerve endings are not there. You cannot feel the joy of other Sahaja yogis. And this is only possible if you get over your personal interests. When people come in Sahaja Yoga in the beginning, they have personal interests, like say somebody is trying to sell something, so they would like to sell it to Sahaja yogis. Or they are arranging something, they would like Sahaja yogis to do it. See, personal interest, to use Sahaja yogis for their own purposes. As a result of that I've seen some people become so insular that nobody helps them, no work is done by them; if there's a telephone, nobody will say, "I'll get it." That's American quality, they'll say, "I'll get it." Is regarded good. Not in England, they'll be all sitting, quiet. Even when they have eaten the food, they have to pay the money, they'll look this side, and some poor Indian student will pay for all of them. "I won't look", they say. "Now paid." Now they are normal. It's very low-level. Is extremely low-level behavior. And this is what one has to learn, that you have to cherish others, give presents to others. "You're going there; "Oh, now..."; like the other day I met a lady, she had liked one of My rings of emerald. That's My family ring so I can't give away, you see, I'll have to ask C.P. and he may not like it, because after all I have no right on it, I have to give it to My children, all right? But I found an emerald somewhere, beautiful, so I kept it with Me. The other day when I gave her, she was so enamored. I said, "You liked My ring, I couldn't give you My ring, so.." She said to Me, "You mean to say, I would have taken Your ring?" I said, "I would have forced it on you, but I couldn't give you, so I thought of it. I just saw it somewhere so I got it for you." She said, "How thoughtful." But it's all in My head. I, whenever I get it, a chance, you see, so somebody says, "Oh, I like it", keep it in mind. Next time, even a flower. You must cherish their companies, because it's such a great thing to have somebody who understands you, your spirit, and they have the spirit. Such a great thing. How can you be unkind to each other? That hurts Me the most of all. And the first thing and the foremost thing you have to give Me is congenial, beautiful, loving group, that they love each other. If that's achieved, that you really love, beyond your personal considerations. I mean, of course, in Sahaja Yoga there are now not many people who try to make money, but try to make comfort for themselves. They must have the best room, they must have the best place, they must have... "I didn't get this, I should have it, this, that." Try to do more than others. I know sometimes people take advantage of you, but they will go out of Sahaja Yoga very soon. So be sure that you become generous about it, very generous. And generosity should start from your own Sahaja yogi brothers and sisters. In the culture of Sahaja Yoga we have to have a full imbibement bubbling through our nerves, the sense of chastity. That is a must, whether you like it or not. There should be no bad intentions about any other person, of relationships which are not pure. Absolutely pure relationships, pure eyes without any adultery, adulteration I would call it. Clean eyes is the basic of Sahaja Yoga. Steadfast clean eyes, because your eyes are very powerful. You don't know how powerful they are. So to make it that way, to practice, move your attention inward and towards the Sahasrara. You can. With your eyes you suck in. Even by looking at Me with the shraddha, with the joy, you just suck it inside, My image. Put it on your Sahasrara, put it in your heart, you can do it. It's very joy giving. When you put it in the Sahasrara, then you get the knowledge. When you put it in your heart, you get the joy; and when you put it on your liver, then you get the power of action. From the photograph also you can do it, suck in, move it. But that is shown in the way you behave towards others, completely confident, gentle; no arrogance. Neither the neck up like that or like that, but in the center in a very dignified manner. So in the culture of Sahaj, because the spirit is the dignity, is the majesty, is the glory of God, you have to judge yourself. "Did I say something which is not respecting my spirit? Did I do something that is not glorious?" Like I've seen people, when I'm there, they'll go on asking Me hundred questions. "Should it be white towel? Green towel? Should I do this, should I do that?" Why? Because we don't live with choices. We live with whatever we get it, and there is dignity in that. If you start doing choices, it's stupid. In a group of Sahaja yogis, the food, "What will you have?" They'll take forty-five minutes to decide, if you go in a restaurant, because the first, the consciousness, "We are paying for it", and somebody will have this, somebody will have that. The poor waiter will run away. But why should we have different? It's just the same. Whatever Mother is having we'll have, finished. But if not that, at least whatever everybody is having, "Why have separately?" Choices are not there in Sahaja Yoga, remember this word very clearly. Choices of this, choices of that, I don't like it, I like that. This is not good, that is not good. Because we need everything on the level of vibrations, then the choice is coming. Like, if the vibrations are not good we'll not say it, but we'll not have it. But not question of whether green or red or yellow or white. And that is what they are making fool out of you. They will put one name, Cartier, finished. People will pay any amount for that Cartier. Is any ordinary stuff, it is nothing special. But you see that ego, "I've got the Cartier. I paid more to show that I've paid more, that I've been a fool." To pay more for something that's so cheapish; that's what they're playing upon - remember that. So you have to understand that when you are a Sahaj personality, you have your own dignity. These things do not give dignity to you. You give them dignity. But that doesn't mean tomorrow you come like a clown, or like a limbo on your nose. Of course I must see the other point always, because it just slips out that side. When you become dignified, you will wear always something that is dignified. You will do all that is dignified. Is automatically you become dignified. It's nothing artificial. So dignity that comes, as you see your Mother. Whatever you give Me in Puja I take it, all right, but otherwise you cannot give Me anything else. If you give Me, I'll return it, somehow. Somehow I'll return it. A person who is money-oriented cannot have dignity, because you see him like a beggar. See, if there's money-orientation is too much, he comes down to that level, you can see it, there cannot be dignity there. A man who is power-oriented is an idiot. He looks like an idiot. So we cannot become idiots. All right. So we cannot be power-oriented. The one who is sort of a romantic or a love-oriented, is a stupid fellow. He behaves like a stupid fellow. On the street they go on kissing each other all the time. "Where are you going?" "To the divorce case, but last bit we are thinking of having some kisses." Self-respect is the thing. Self is your spirit. The respect of the spirit should give you that dignity. But in privacy you are gentle with your husband, you are gentle with your wife. You must learn how to be gentle with her in privacy, not in public. That's horrible. Specially in India. I am told that people go round with that romanticism and all that. So please, don't do all those romantic stuff in India, it's very embarrassing for Me, very embarrassing. So we cannot do things which embarrasses our Mother. Once you start knowing that, "This will embarrass Mother, we can't do this", automatically you are helping. So when it is related with Me, immediately, "What will Mother think of in me? Is this the way to behave towards Mother?" Immediately you will get the reward, as that thing working through you, as if you become that nature. Sahaja culture is a sahaja nature. Automatically you will do it. You'll talk in that manner, you will speak in that manner, you'll live in that manner. I mean, I have seen people who have never known Me, on a trunk call or a telephone, they recognize. They know I am something special; if they are sensitive enough. From My photograph, the way I sit, the way I talk, immediately everyone asks. The other day where I went for the meeting with My husband, everybody was asking, "Who is this lady?" "Who is this lady?" "Who is this lady?" There's something in the personality. I talk to everyone nicely, I'm very sweet. We cannot be slavish, and we cannot enslave anyone. We have to cherish, even human beings we have to cherish, because they are us. Not to despise anyone, not to laugh at anyone. In the culture of Sahaj, you have to become an expert: expertise. Expertise comes through your adherence to your Mother. Expertise: you all should be an expert, and who will give you the certificate is your Mother only - who else? I may not say so, but your spirit will say that, and not your ego. In this short time whatever was possible, it's such a big subject, culture is; you cannot. But I've talked to you, I would not say in a very analytical way, but in a very synthetic manner. So I've given you very synthesis of the whole thing. "Analytical" would be one, two, three, four, five - cut short - two, three, four, five, like that. It's not like that. And that is how you have to speak to people. One, this is so; two, this is so; three, this is so; finished. You are not Sahaja yogis. In your speeches if you talk like that, finished. But before saying something or doing something, give a little idea where you are leading the people, so they are not frittered away, attention is not frittered away. Give a little idea, as I say, or else while talking, bring them to a point which is important, so that they wait in the sentence to come to that point. But make the whole sentence look so, that it is going towards certain points, so always a Sahaja yogi must make a point out of what they talk, not just babbling, talking. What is the point you are going to make? Whatever they do, they have to know, "What are we going to achieve out of it?" Now, marriage. "What are we going to achieve out of marriage?" A family, house, everybody has, even a donkey has that. What's so great? We are going to achieve a family unit where realized souls are to be born, we're going to look after them in a proper way, and then we are going to emit that unit into this world, like a sparkling diamond set in the beautiful setting of a family, giving light to the whole world. So one's life should not be pointless, and talk should not be pointless, and every moment should be filled with achievements of your visions and dreams, slowly and steadily, which is not at all difficult. If you can get rid of ego and superego, finished, that's all - simple as that. May God bless you all. Mm.. good.. nice.. relaxed, eh? Relaxed. Witness. Everyone cleared out, I think. And no more... one more thing I must say last, as I've said it before, which I've not said here, no-one is going to say that bhoot did it, because such a person will be sent away to the bhoot clan, not to Sahaja Yoga. Don't put your responsibility on the bhoots. Either you are a bhoot or you are a Sahaja yogi, one of the two, you can't be both.


18. Everything's coming together while everything's falling apart: The ZAD

  • Published: 2017-10-01T09:14:02+00:00
  • Duration: 2194
  • By Oliver Ressler
Everything's coming together while everything's falling apart: The ZAD

Everything's coming together while everything's falling apart An ongoing film project by Oliver Ressler Not too long ago, global warming was science fiction. Now it has become hard science, and a reality we already live in. The latest reports from the sober Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggest that the planet may be approaching multiple thresholds of irreversible damage faster than was ever anticipated. The title “Everything's coming together while everything's falling apart” refers to a situation in which all the technology needed to end the age of fossil fuel already exists. Whether the present ecological, social and economic crisis will be overcome is primarily a question of political power. The climate movement is now stronger than ever. It obstructed pipeline projects such as the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. It stopped Arctic drilling and blocked fracking all over the globe. Coal-fired power plants were shut down by resistance, and the divestment movement that pressures institutions to unload their stocks from fossil fuel corporations has had successes. The story of this ongoing film project may turn out to be a story of the beginning of the climate revolution, the moment when popular resistance began to reconfigure the world. The project follows the climate movement in its struggles to dismantle an economic system heavily dependent on fossil fuels. It records key events for the climate movement, bringing together many situations, contexts, voices and experiences. There is one film for each event. In the first film (17 min., 2016), activists contest the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, a city then under a state of emergency. Like twenty failed annual climate conferences before it, COP21 in Paris in 2015 proved the incapacity of governments to commit themselves to any binding agreement that would curtail global warming through a definite strategy for the end of fossil fuel use. The resulting Climate Agreement avoids anything that would harm the economic interests of corporations. The governments now pretending that non-binding agreements can hold back climate change are the same ones whose binding free trade pacts make dead letter of local environmental and climate legislation. The film on the Ende Gelände (end of the road) action (12 min., 2016) shifts the focus to a massive civil disobedience action at the Lusatia lignite coal fields (near Berlin). 4,000 activists entered an open-cast mine, blocking the loading station and the rail connection to a coal-fired power plant. The blockades disrupted the coal supply and forced the Swedish proprietor Vattenfall to shut the power station down. The action was part of an international “global escalation” against the fossil fuel industry, calling on the world to “Break Free from Fossil Fuels” and putting that imperative directly into practice. The film on the ZAD (36 min., 2017) focuses on Europe’s largest autonomous territory that is located close to Nantes in France. The ZAD (zone to defend) emerged from the struggle against a new airport. In 2012 the French state's attempt to evict the zone was fiercely resisted by more than 40,000 people and police has not set foot there since. Today 250 people in 60 collectives live permanently at the ZAD occupying the wetlands, fields and forests. The ZAD is a successful example that the creation of alternatives and resistance need to happen at the same time. While people take back control over their lives with self-organized bakeries, workshops, a brewery, medicinal herb gardens, a rap studio, weekly newspaper and a library, they hinder the construction of an unnecessary, ecologically disastrous airport project. The film is built along a group discussion with activists living at the ZAD. Despite the efforts of government and corporate PR to convince us otherwise, whether and when fossil fuels are abandoned will be determined above all by social movements and the degree of pressure they exert on institutions. Powerful structures force us into lives that destroy our livelihood. It is these structures that must be changed, and nothing but our action in common can change them. “Everything's coming together while everything's falling apart” was first presented as a 2-channel video installation as part of Oliver Ressler’s solo exhibition “Property is Theft” at MNAC – National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest. On the occasion of this exhibition at < rotor > the project was expanded to three films. Further episodes to be added as the struggle against a fossil fuel-dependent economy continues. Director and producer: Oliver Ressler Cinematography, audio recording: Thomas Parb, Oliver Ressler Narration text: Oliver Ressler & Matthew Hyland Editing: Oliver Ressler Narrator: Renée Gadsden Color correction and finishing: Rudolf Gottsberger Sound design and music: Vinzenz Schwab, Rudolf Gottsberger www.ressler.at


19. GESTALT WORK ON AWARENESS WITH BEL part 3 (HQ)

GESTALT WORK ON AWARENESS WITH BEL part 3 (HQ)

part 3 of a two hour gestalt session on awareness with actress bel baca. the focus here is "the rhythm of contact and withdrawal", alternating between contact with the environment and withdrawal into the void of "not knowing" to discover what fantasies and new ideas are waiting to emerge into awareness there. TO VIEW OR DOWNLOAD ALL OF MY VIDEOS, PLUS 1500 PAGES OF MY EXPLANATORY ESSAYS (ALL AT NO CHARGE) PLEASE VISIT MY WEBSITE: franklynwepner.com. ALSO PLEASE NOTE MY NEW EMAIL ADDRESS, IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH ME ANY COMMENTS ABOUT MY WORK: [email protected] IN THE LISTING OF VIDEOS THE LETTERS (HQ) REFER TO A HIGHER QUALITY VERSION OF THE VIDEO, WHICH IS AVAILABLE TO YOU IF YOUR COMPUTER CAN HANDLE IT. BY FRANKLYN WEPNER SEPTEMBER 1, 2006 HOW I WORK: GESTALT DREAMWORK AS THEATER AND PROPHECY GESTALT DREAM WORK AS PREPARATION FOR PERFORMING Since 1975 I have been using Gestalt work on awareness, dreams and personal relationships as a way to train and direct performers. The basic principle is simple. I use the Gestalt work to peel the onion of layer after layer of social cliches, ego games and unfinished personal business, and then I do the reverse process reconstituting the onion in the form of characters or other artist structures. The existential message of the dream becomes the superobjective or action of the tragedy, and then I build up the way the performer handles the characters and the plot around that. My usual procedure is to begin the training with three Gestalt sessions, one on one. The first session, two hours long, deals with the three zones of awareness. During the first hour I simply let him relate what he aware of, since I want to know how he operates before I start meddling with his life. This is important since overall during the Gestalt sessions we are peeling the onion of cliches and games to get to authentic action, and later we will need all of those layers to rebuild the onion as characters involved in the unfolding action of a drama. We need his cliche and game layers for the beginning of the action in Act One as much as we need his authentic action at the end of the dramatic action for Acts Four and Five of a tragic drama. During the second hour of the first Gestalt session on awareness I attempt to guide him towards a balance of the zones of awareness: outer zone awareness of the environment, inner zone awareness of his body, and fantasy zone awareness of his daydreams. The second and third Gestalt sessions are each three hours long, and each is a typical Gestalt dreamwork session as presented by Fritz Perls in Gestalt Therapy Verbatim. The performer tells the dream in the here and now, identifies with (play acts) several of the main images of the dream in dialogues with each other, and experiences the rhythm of contact and withdrawal. That is to say, after each major dialogue of polarized sides of himself (the contact part) he is instructed to close his eyes, enter his body awareness and daydream (the withdrawal phase of the rhythm). Since my goal is theater as well as healing, whenever possible during the Gestalt dreamwork I encourage lots of expression using sound and movements. I work with a palette of about 200 different types of recorded musical excerpts, and whenever appropriate I ask him if that image or emotional state were part of a movie what sort of music might be the sound track. Then I find something close to that in my palette of musical colors and ask him to express the mood using the music along with his vocalizing and expressive movements. While he is doing the entire session I spend most of my time jotting down near verbatim notes and making stick figures of his poses and movements, since later in the work I will feed all this back to him and encourage him to explore using it as creative material for acting, dance or whatever his medium is. Taping the session is less useful, since then I would need to spend too much time replaying the tapes. Taking notes live forces me to sort out the wheat from the chaff very efficiently, even at the cost of not observing or notating every detail. WORKING OUT FROM YOUR CENTERS After the three introductory one on one Gestalt sessions, session number four is for feedback and discussion of the results. I show him in my notes and diagrams all of the stages of competed and uncompleted actions, and together we search for characters in the theater literature that have similar patterns of action. Is he a Hamlet type, or an Oedipus type, for example? In contrast to the usual practice in acting classes, his first acting assignment probably will be a monologue from a serious tragedy, since I want him to begin with a dramatic action with which he can identify totally. In this process he is using his major Gestalt moments as what Michael Chekhov in his book "To The Actor" labels "psychological gestures". Perls calls them the "essences" of a patient's personality, or we can say he is working from his "centers", stretching those sounds, moves and psychological motivations in as many creative directions as he can. I monitor closely to be sure he is not faking it, the way most actors end up doing since they do not have the centers to begin with. Before the performer begins working with others doing improvs and scenework, there is an important transitional stage in the work in which I help him get comfortable using his very personal Gestalt material freely as creative material. He needs to shift from seeing himself as a patient to enjoying the role of an artist of the theater, freely using his life as creative material. He needs to distance himself from the hot personal stuff using alienation techniques usually associated with the epic theater process of Bertold Brecht. Especially useful here is the "mocking your forms" exercise. First he performs one of his most personal forms, the movements and the sounds, and at the same time observes carefully (visually and kinesthetically) exactly what his body and voice are doing. Next he moves over about ten feet and from the new position looks back and imagines he is observing himself doing what he just did. Then, in as critical a manner as he can risk, he begins to mock that image of himself which is doing the form. He uses the form to mock the form by exaggerating it in as grotesque a way as he can risk. "I see you over there, Joe, you are flapping your arms just like a fish, like you don't know what you are doing, etc., etc." The more cruelty he can risk in his distortions and denunciations, the more he frees himself from being self-conscious and also the more the initial one physical and vocal form gives birth to a family of related forms. Other techniques which help expand and loosen up hot psychological material are (a) using various sorts of music as the basis of improvs, (b) stretching the forms into naturalistic short scenes, such as swimming or basketball, or (c) introducing a short text, such as "Yes, but". GROUP TECHNIQUES One he has his core of personal essences and after he has achieved some distance and flexibility in the use of his material, he is ready to work with other performers on improvs and scenes. I can direct several performers simultaneously since I know the sources of their personal material. I am directing them inside and out, so it is not just guesswork and wishful thinking as in most studios. Here again there are certain exercises which are particularly helpful in developing communication between performers and establishing a group improv structure that allows each person to use his personal material in a creative manner. Basic acting or dance improv exercises used by all studios work much better once each performer has a stock of essences to guide his explorations. The mirror exercise and funnyhouse mirror exercise are excellent to establish contact and get the process going. In the funnyhouse mirror exercise one performer, the lead, does a simple real life activity such a brushing his teeth, while the partner grotesquely parodies the lead. In the conductor exercise the lead does only movements while the group "orchestra" does only sounds that correspond to those moves. The puppets exercise is the reverse of the conductor exercise. The lead make sounds, while the group functions as marionettes suspended by strings. Each sound from the lead elicits corresponding jerky moves from the group, as though the sounds are tugging on the strings. The worlds exercise is an opportunity for one performer to explore using all his personal Gestalt material, while a group uses all the improv techniques above to work with the lead in his "world". Once each performer has done the worlds exercise, the last exercise in the series is the leaderless worlds exercise. Here each performer is both lead and follower. The entire group seeks to function as one group organism following "it". Each one actively takes turns as the lead and then passively gives up being the lead in order to enter into the world of each of the others. The result is a profound active-passive state known by philosophers as the middle way and by performers as the pure process mode. THE IDEA OF A THEATER So far we have a combination of four different ways of working: (1) individual Gestalt work as preparation for artistic experience, (2) alienation techniques for distancing oneself from hot personal material, (3) group improvs to make the transition from therapy results to artistic results, and (4) initial work on characters that are as close to one's centers as possible This mix guides a student through a powerful and totally natural, organic introduction to the art of the theater. Each performer remains within the personal world he has discovered during the dreamwork, while simultaneously expanding and then interweaving this world with the worlds of the other performers. In a sense this process develops the sort of ritualistic space found in "primitive" tribal societies. The artform is congruent with the lives of its participants, such as was likely the case when the small world of a Greek polis gave birth to the classical Greek tragedies which corresponded to the fantasies and personal actions of the members of the community. In "The Idea of a Theater", Francis Fergusson contrasts that ideal ritualistic function of a theater with the theaters of today which in most cases have lost that organic relation between a community and its artforms. We have today lost the encompassing "idea of a theater", and we have to settle for productions that present only what individual blind men can fathom of the entire elephant. Fergusson writes, Drama can only flourish in a human sized scene, generally accepted as the focus of the life or awareness of its time, and such a focus no longer exists . . . We do not have a theater in the classic sense nor do we see how we could have one. But we may still study the cultural landmarks - the drama of Sophocles and Shakespeare, the Divine Comedy of Dante - in which the idea of a theater has been briefly realized, so we may learn to recognize and appreciate the fragmentary perspectives we do have; collecting the pieces, keeping the idea alive in the tentative, fallible, and suggestive light of analogy. FF225 What we especially have lost is exactly that which Gestalt dreamwork gives us back, the ability to know objects by identifying with them totally, and then to "say it with your whole body". Here is how Antonin Artaud put it in "The Theater And Its Double". We cannot go on prostituting the idea of theater whose only value is in its excruciating, magical relation to reality and danger. "The Theater And Its Double", 89. To our disinterested and inert idea of art an authentic culture opposes a violently egoistic and magical, i.e., interested idea. For the Mexicans seek contact with the Manas, forces latent in every form, unreleased by contemplation of the forms for themselves, but springing to life by magic identification with these forms. ibid., 11 Fergusson and Artaud use theatrical and philosophical jargon to say what Perls says in psychological jargon. Fergusson uses the term "histrionic sensibility" to mean "identify with the image and say it with your whole body". Fergusson also uses Aristotle's notion of "perception before predication" to refer to Perls' notion of awareness before aboutism. First get in touch with reality and then judge it or add your comments about it. ARISTOTLE AND FRITZ Fergusson quotes Butcher's translation of Aristotle's "Poetics". The plot is the imitation of the action - for by plot I [Aristotle] here mean the arrangement of the incidents . . . But most important of all it is the structure of the incidents. For tragedy is an imitation not of men, but of an action and of life, and life consists in action and its end is a mode of action, not a quality . . . Tragedy, then, is an imitation of an action . . . through pity and fear effecting the proper purgation of these emotions . . . The plot, then, is the first principle and as it were the soul of a tragedy. FF229 In the preparatory Gestalt dreamwork which I do with each performer, oftentimes a 3-hour session concludes with a committed action, profound insight or "existential message of the dream". This is the "ahah" moment of a strong gestalt. From the point of view of this final idea or action, everything that transpired previously during the 3-hour session leads up to and is encompassed by this experience of integration. Fritz tells clients to "identify with the coming solution" as an act of faith. This is Fritz's version of Aristotle's insight that what is actual is prior to what is merely potentially the case. The action, in other words, is somehow already unfolding from the beginning of the session, even though it does not emerge full blown till three hours later. This same notion Aristotle carried over into his notion of action in the theater as a form of poetic art. When he says "the plot is the imitation of the action" he is saying that the series of conflicts and resolutions that lead up to the final choice or revelation in a tragic action are in a certain way an imitation of that final insight or action. They imitate the action in the sense that they are analogous to it or correspond to it. The idea or action of the drama exists on an ideal, Platonic level of truth, to which the stage action can at best only correspond as a code or symbol. Theologically this amounts to saying that while man is made in the image of G-d, he is not G-d and only can seek to intuit how G-d operates and strive to manifest that process in his being and actions. To the extent that he succeeds in this ascent, the performer is serving in the role traditionally assigned to prophets. Contemporary visionaries of the theater such as Fergusson and Artaud will settle for nothing less than a theater which actualizes our prophetic potentiality. CONCLUSION Aristotle's view of the plot as the imitation of an action justifies my use of the Gestalt dreamwork action (the peeling of the onion), as the basis for the theater process (the reconstituting of the onion as a tragic action). For the dreamwork events that unfold over the course of three hours are, in a sense, the plot of a tragedy that is a code, overlay or symbol for the overall action, idea, or existential message of the dreamwork session. I am transferring the plot and action of the dreamwork from the arena of healing to that of art. But it is only in our schizoid, "fallen", fragmented, de-ritualized contemporary society that art and healing are separate events. Humpty Dumpty has fallen off the wall, and utopian, holistic philosophers such as Hegel seek to put Humpty-Dumpty back together again. For Hegel the arts, religion and philosophy are subdivisions of the encompassing realm of Absolute Spirit, and their common dialectical framework allows free movement of theory and practice from one discipline to the other. Gestalt therapy, which leads clients from cliches and habits towards the realm of pure thought (the existential message of the dream) by means of the creative use of imagery, has similar holistic aspirations. Hence Gestalt dreamwork lends itself perfectly to the sort of interdisciplinary manipulations required to allow it to serve as the foundation of a theater which embodies the prophetic vision of "the idea of a theater". VIDEO OF BEL BACA'S WORK ON AWARENESS VIDEO AND ESSAY BY FRANKLYN WEPNER, 2005 [email protected] VERBATIM NOTES OF THE SESSION ARE INCLUDED AT THE END OF THIS ESSAY. (A) INTRODUCTION This essay is a companion piece for two DVD's which I video-ed in April 2005 and completed editing in November 2005. The DVD's present two hours of gestalt work on "awareness" performed by a young actress named Bel Baca, who recently completed a B.A. in Theater at the University of Central Florida. My audience is primarily those who have seen those DVD's, but I will try to make myself intelligible to those who have not seen them. The particular process which I am describing here is a way of working which I pioneered in 1975 and have been doing in basically the same manner ever since, first in New York, then in Philadelphia, then in Israel and now in Miami, Florida. Therefore, what you are reading here represents the fruit of 30 years experience. Going back further than that, Fritz Perls developed the techniques of Gestalt Therapy around 1950. Going back much further than that, according my own research I believe techniques very similar to these have been used for many many centuries in healing and religious practices all over the world, for example in the middle ages in Judaism and Christianity by priests and rabbis who were exorcizing demons and dybbuks - which we now label "introjects" or "projections". And back in 500 B.C.E. Heraclitus and other philosophers already were writing about the logos (dialectic or word) and self-interruptions of the river of awareness (self-interruptions which we now label "anxiety" and "neurosis"). Gestalt work also has roots in traditions of meditative practices, such as concentrating on your breathing in a Zen monastery. "Meditation" in this sense means to stay in the here and now and deal objectively with whatever comes along in your experience as it is happening. I am stressing the long history of this process since I want to make it clear from the beginning that I am not doing what nowadays is called "therapy". The "therapy" thing is a recent invention. It implies a formal and legal agreement whereby somebody takes responsibility to guide the life of someone else according to the rules of a certain group of people who have set themselves up as an organization to grant credentials to its members. This "therapy" item, which then can be marketed as a commodity, brings great financial benefits to its practitioners, whether or not it has much value for the consumers who purchase it. Not being grounded in any world tradition of wisdom and morality and with little accountability except to members of the same clique, these moral entrepreneurs set themselves up as self-fashioned gods driving around in divine chariots powered by platinum credit cards rather than true ideas. In my work, on the other hand, I ask people to sign an agreement stating that we are not doing therapy at all. I inform them that I walked out of medical school in 1963 and was thrown out of social work school in 1974, that I am not a licensed therapist and that I am not at all taking responsibility for their lives. I call my colleagues performers and not patients. I tell people from the beginning not to trust me any more than they decide they want to as we go along in the process. In fact, their not trusting me is an important part of our work, as you saw in these DVD's of my work with Bel Baca. As of this moment in December 2005, to date I have done this particular 10 hour series of one-on-one gestalt workshops with about 610 people over the past 30 years, i.e., a total of about 6200 hours, in addition to the other performer training techniques I have been using. (B) BEL'S AWARENESS WORK Let's summarize now the first hour of Bel's work, what I label her work on "unguided awareness". During the first hour I did not "direct" the work since I wanted to learn where Bel is starting from, how she usually operates when she is on her own in new, unfamiliar surroundings. Bel from the outset showed us clearly how she operates. In a few minutes already we saw overall a pretty well defined pattern ("gestalt") beginning to emerge: Bel tended to implode in on herself, work herself up to a hysterical state of tension and anxiety, and then rescue herself with some sort of escape fantasy image, all within 15 minutes! At the beginning of the session Bel had a certain amount of contact with the outer zone, balanced by some emphasis on the inner zone. But by the end of the first hour we saw that even after my feedback most of her attention went inside. Gestalt directors talk about the "holes" in a person's awareness functioning or map. In Bel's case where there could be eyes and ears we found at the outset - to a certain extent - holes instead. Especially we saw how she tends to avoid looking directly at people, me (her scene partner) in particular. Let me be very specific about this. At the beginning Bel limited her contact with outer zone objects to only a few seconds, whereas she felt comfortable spending much time inside. Outside she saw general properties of objects which did not elicit much interest, while inside she zoomed into compelling details. Keeping her eyes half closed much of the time fit into this pattern. For example, until I pointed it out she did not pay much attention to colors or give time for associations and fantasies regarding objects in the environment. Also, she tended to restrain the natural progression from sensing an object to reaching out and touching that object. Being aware of feeling cold, for example, did not connect to reaching out for something warm to wear until I made the connection for her! I did not call her attention to the nasal outpouring which went on throughout most of the session, and so instead of a handkerchief or a piece of toweling which no doubt was available within 10 feet of where she was sitting in her own apartment, Bel used practically every surface of her hands to deal with the problem during the two hour video! This tendency to remain within her cocoon was especially evident when it came to dealing (or rather not dealing) with me, her scene partner. Usually she waited till I turned away to glance quickly in my direction, but then when I turned back in her direction she was back inside again. I have never seen a prairie dog, but I can imagine they must have developed similar survival techniques to deal with marauding wolves on the prairie. According to Gestalt theory, people who do not see or hear are likely to fill the empty space with imagination in a non-creative, self-destructive manner by cranking out critical judgments of other people and at the same time projecting critical eyes out onto others. They then imagine that these others are judging them critically. This habitual pattern of behavior below the level of awareness, or what Eric Berne labeled a "game people play", is harmful for an actress, since she ends up being so busy worrying about what the audience thinks of her work that she is distracted from identifying with the role. In Bel's case in the DVD we saw, in a classic manner, how after about 5 minutes of work Bel had propelled herself into a state of anxiety and gloom. Instant tears! Along with the tears came shame, as the merciless projected eyes demanded that she be ashamed even of crying. Soon Bel was worried about not being attractive enough (to satisfy the projected critical eyes), and then her associations led her to pop singer Kelly Clarkson and the words of Clarkson's song "Because of You". SONG: "BECAUSE OF YOU" BY KELLY CLARKSON, DAVID HODGES, BEN MOODY I will not make the same mistakes that you did. I will not let myself cause my heart so much misery. I will not break the way you did. You fell so hard. I've learned the hard way to never let it get that far. Because of you I never stray too far from the sidewalk. Because of you I learned to play on the safe side so I don't get hurt. Because of you I find it hard to trust not only me, but everyone around me. Because of you I am afraid. I lose my way, and it's not too long before you point it out. I cannot cry because I know that's weakness in your eyes. I'm forced to fake a smile, a laugh, every day of my life. My heart can't possibly break, when it wasn't even whole to start with. I watched you die. I heard you cry every night in your sleep. I was so young. You should have known better than to lean on me. You never thought of anyone else. You just saw your pain. And now I cry in the middle of the night, for the same damn thing. Because of you, because of you, because of you I am afraid. Because of you I never stray too far from the sidewalk. Because of you I learned to play on the safe side so I don't get hurt. Because of you I try my hardest just to forget everything. Because of you I don't know how to let anyone else in. Because of you I am ashamed of my life because it's empty. Because of you I am afraid, because of you. Notice how the words in bold type are the result of feeling judged by critical eyes and how they led Bel more and more away from the real world and into an imaginary world of self-disparagement. In that cramped cocoon space Bel feels helpless to deal with the alien world "out there", out there where she is afraid even to look. But this is at first no problem, since once she gets lost inside Bel has plenty to keep herself busy. She never tires of concentrating on body awareness, the "ickyness" for example that she contacts in her "tummy". Also, most of her body movements are relating herself to herself, such as holding her hands, twiddling her fingers, curling up in the chair, wrapping herself in a towel (security blanket) and manipulating small objects close to herself. She plays on her body and her breathing as though it is an accordion, going back and forth between constricting her breathing and relaxing it just enough to get some air. All this retroflection (tension and overcontrolling of her body) contributes to her anxiety and after a while we find Bel in a state of despair brooding about Marilyn Monroe's suicide in Los Angeles at age 36. Shortly after our Gestalt session Bel moved to L. A., to "Hollywood and Vine", and like Marilyn Monroe once did, Bel now is making the rounds of auditions. Apparently, like Sheri (the character Marilyn Monroe plays in the movie "Bus Stop") Bel has a straight line "direction" leading right to Hollywood. Now that she is there, her ability to generate instant hysteria and tears is probably a great asset to her as an actress - so long as she does not take it all too personally and end up like Marilyn Monroe did. One other result of all this imploding is that by overcontrolling her breathing and not making much use of her ears Bel started out our session with a very limited range of physical and vocal expression. Her physical moves were general and vague rather than focused and specific, while her voice most of the time was a soft monotone. But fortunately, Bel has a way out of the cocoon she spins around herself. Like Cinderella or like Princess Jasmine in Walt Disney's musical Aladdin, Bel has a heart and a head full of rescue fantasies. Her favorite themes are floating, flying and breaking away, and since she is very musical these themes often enter her mind in the form of song lyrics of pop songs she knows - especially those of Kelly Clarkson. First, the imploding and despair spiral inward like a whirlpool, transporting Bel helplessly into a dark, melancholy void, and then - "it's all so magical!" - along comes the rescue fantasy transporting her - once again passively - "out of the darkness and into the light", like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon. In view of all these parallels in the action, I took the liberty in my DVD of inserting into the scenario a scene from Walt Disney's version of Aladdin. Aladdin in this scene arrives on his magic carpet, rescues Princess Jasmine from the castle, and whisks her off to "a whole new world" of out-of-this-world vistas. As an actress Bel, in her emotional and fantasy life, certainly can capitalize on this cyclical roller coaster ride back and forth from self-generated melancholy to self-generated euphoria, so long as she does not lose control of the machine and succumb to despair herself. (C) GENERAL SUMMARY OF BEL'S ENTIRE SESSION What overall observations can we make? First of all we can say that the work "worked". Bel was open to my direction and despite the monumental obstacle I gave her by putting a Canon XL-2 video camera, with its blinking red light, about 8 feet from her nose she seems to have gotten to some sort of closure during the work. In the language of Gestalt theory we can say that she accomplished a certain "action" during the two hours she spent with me in the here and now. There was a sense of moving forward in all the three zones of awareness, and also there emerged a fluid relationship between the three zones: (1) the outer zone of objects in the environment, (2) the inner zone of body awareness, and (3) the fantasy zone of daydream images. This fluidity of awareness zones reveals a potentially healthy and creative individual, whereas lack of movement between the zones would characterize a brittle, very limited schizoid ("split") personality. Now I'm going to be more specific about Bel's progress and add a bit of interpretation concerning what it all means. But don't worry. In this brief essay I will not say much about the philosophy underlying my work. I won't try to force feed you any particular philosophical or religious system. Of course, to me personally the theory of this work is very important. So if you are interested in hearing more about my take on the process, I hope you will check out some of the interpretive essays I have written where I look at the gestalt process from the perspective of various sects - secular and sacred. Getting back to general observations about Bel's work, here are some prominent trends that I noticed that emerged during the two hours of work on awareness. (1) Balancing the three zones of awareness leads to "the big picture". First of all, Bel managed to balance the three zones of awareness by bringing more outer zone focus and a rich fantasy zone experience into her work. In the fantasies she began with small objects that flitted by and then gradually expanded her range to deal in a sustained manner with a particular person (Marilyn Monroe). Finally, she focused on an image of a kitten in some depth. At first Bel's attitude toward other objects and creatures was distant and defensive, but by the end of the session she reached out, touched and acknowledged feeling a need for contact with others. At the end she said, "I need to be closer to people, so I can share a loving feeling." In terms of the theory of drama developed by Aristotle and elaborated by Fergusson in "The Idea of a Theater", we can say that this was an opening action and a reaching out for warmth and love, like the action of a flower when the sun shines in the morning. This need to open and reach out for love was, as Stanislavki would have called it, Bel's "superobjective" in this tragedy. The character Sheri in Bus Stop and the character Blanche in "Streetcar Named Desire" share a similar superobjective. But while Bel and Sheri succeed in overcoming the obstacles and completing the action, Blanche does not succeed in overcoming the obstacles. Blanche is driven back even further inside herself to psychosis by overwhelming environmental factors - especially the obstacles imposed by character Stanley. Why would Aristotle or Stanislavski call the completed action of Bel or Sheri a "tragedy"? Because in some sense the main character undergoes a death and rebirth of ego, or discovers a new point of view about life. The non-contactful insect style ego which needs to spin a cocoon in order to survive in an alien environment must die, we might say, in order that the human child can be born into a loving world inhabited by other human beings, just like so many classical Greek tragedy heroes need to die in order to fulfil their dramatic function. (2) Good contact results in a wider range of physical and vocal expression. Another area where Bel demonstrated much progress was in physical expression. Contacting and then finding the voice of each body part led to excellent results. This carried over also into vocal expression. At first she was stuck in a soft monotone, but later she began - to some extent - to vary the pitch, dynamics and tempo. She did this not merely technically like a virtuoso musician, but contactfully in response to here and now momentary concrete physical and emotional needs. In her own life and as an actress this is a technique she also can apply to vocal readings to keep her audience from falling asleep - if she is willing to risk that! (3) Bel moves from having abstract "ideas about the scene" to living concretely here and now in the moments. As Bel balanced the outer, inner and fantasy zones of awareness, there was a shift from regarding herself as an ego style Self, a Self with a capital "S", a Self which is a large precious thing that needs to be protected, towards a non-ego self, a self with a small "s", a self which is merely a process of exploring and discovering reality. The Self with its deliberate "ideas about the scene", such as "I am going to die one day" and "don't you dare to reach out and touch strangers", yielded to a less rigid "self as process" which could risk surrendering to the circumstances of each moment. The shift from Self as thing to self as process was an important result of Bel's work today. We saw how this shift of point of view towards that of "the big picture" was, paradoxically, the result of dealing with tiny details of her experience. Her "faith in a grain of mustard seed" (each moment of concrete awareness) was rewarded by holistic progress as she became more and more grounded in reality. Like Sheri in "Bus Stop", she discarded her childish rulebook with its rigid principles, and grasped more holistic ideas, such as "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts" and "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" (of good contact). She discovered that in this wider frame of reference she could find her own support, her own grounding. Being more grounded in reality helped her to deal with the gloom that led to crying at the beginning of the session. As more and more moments of good contact converged into a rich encompassing contact boundary, she no longer had the need to implode into hysterical emotions and a sense of helpless despair. (4) The "rhythm of contact and withdrawal" leads Bel to an overall action or idea of the session, a "superobjective". Aside from basic work on awareness itself, the major structural component of Gestalt work is known as "the rhythm of contact and withdrawal". By "contact" in this context is meant awareness of specific objects such that one can say "I see that" or "I hear that". By withdrawal is meant ceasing the "contact" experience and, one might say, "getting lost" without any specific focus. Usually this implies closing one's eyes, going into one's body awareness and allowing a daydream to percolate up from the "fertile void". The new image oftentimes gives rise to personal associations to events from one's life, especially events involving close family relationships in childhood. The Gestalt director then can guide the performer in an exploration of unfinished business involving that relationship. This all happens in the here and now, without stopping to analyze or talk about what is happening. The performer relives the important event as though it is happening in present time, putting himself in one chair and the other person in the other and going back and forth play acting the roles and the dialogue. One cycle of the rhythm of contact and withdrawal constitutes one "beat" of the underlying (dialectical) logic of the dramatic action. During today's session on awareness I led Bel back and forth between the contact stage and the withdrawal stage, through several beats of the action. I do much more of this sort of work during the second and third sessions, where acting out the dream images and dialogues between them deepens the experience. During the first session on awareness I merely ask the performer to shuttle between outer zone and inner zone awareness and give an opportunity for daydreams to emerge along the way. An indication of how well Bel's work progressed today is the lovely manner in which each cycle of the rhythm of contact and withdrawal led her organically on to the next step and onto the superobjective in what turned out to be the final leap of the series. It was as though a higher or deeper force was propelling the inner logic that was unfolding from the outset. Why did it appear "as though" this was occuring? Answer: because it actually was occuring. There was, "in truth", a higher or deeper force propelling the inner logic that was unfolding from the outset. This, again, is what Stanislavsi means by the word "superobjective". Hence, we can see how dumb it is for actors and directors to expect to grasp the superobjective of a major tragic (or comic) action merely by fooling around with literary minutia or intricate cerebral analyses of a script. Even Brecht demanded that actors first contact their superobjectives before adding on layers of formalist devices and alienation effects to the acting score. Clever shticks, virtuoso technique, literary and intellectual erudition, and "knowing the business" certainly are important in the theater, but an actor (or dancer or singer or poet, etc.) who is floating on the surface of his life in a dinghy full of shticks, information and aboutism is merely paddling aimlessly on the great ocean when it comes to organizing these surface details into a coherent, credible artistic action (Aristotle) or idea (Plato). Rather, an actor needs to discover as many of his own centers as possible, and harness the powers of the great ocean (or whatever you would like to call it in your own cultural context) for his own purposes and the needs of his art. Later stages of this gestalt theater process attempt to do just that. My essays present my own particular way of finding a cultural context for this work within Judaism. (5) The series of withdrawal images reveals the beats of the action, the "acts" of Bel's tragedy (or comedy). I will go through the series of withdrawal images with you now, so you can see exactly what I mean by the beats of a dramatic action or superobjective. At the same time, as we examine the content of the images we will notice that other changes also were happening in a way that moved the process more and more profoundly along the banks of an underlying river. At the beginning Bel's images were fleeting, but they became more and more sustained and developed as the focus of her fantasy zone increased. Another gradual shift was from images that served passively as a release from despair to images that involved committed actions that Bel undertook as part of her existential, or some might say "spiritual", attempt to grow. Let's take these images one at a time. Image 1: the song "Because of You" During her work on unguided awareness Bel is quite proficient at talking herself into a quagmire of tension and despair. Soon she ends up feeling helpless and judged by critical eyes. Then suddenly pops into her head the Kelly Clarkson song "Because Of You". Miraculously, Bel finds some release from her sense of constriction and helplessness. How does this happen? Certainly the words of the song are not all that cheerful and full of hope. My hypothesis is that suddenly Bel shifts her way of thinking from subjectivity (worrying about causes and effects) to objectivity (dealing with life here and now in a meditative manner). The strong image gives her here and now an objective contact boundary, a strong "gestalt" (pattern, focused idea) to grasp. This releases her from cause and effect style anticipations of painful judgments and imminent catastrophes which might occur in the future. "If", for example, "I do not lose weight or get my lines just right (the cause), then soon people will see me as uninteresting (effect number one) or unattractive (effect number two), and then . . . (effect number three, etc.)!" But now, by involving herself in actually hearing the tune in her head, Bel frees herself from self-interruptions (projections, introjects, demons, etc.). She no longer is possessed. She now is able to use her mind and body in a natural human way to restore balance and homeostasis. Bel relaxes her muscles and soon she is breathing freely and concentrating on the task at hand, contacting the three zones of awareness. Image 2: passively floating and flying away on a magic carpet Next, as she begins to discover the power of this new awareness technique, Bel says "I am picturing myself flying". The first time the flying image occurs it is merely a fleeting notion, but the image comes back a little later in a more developed form, and Bel now is able to sustain the focus and see herself lying on her back on the carpet, with her arms outstretched in the shape of what she calls a "cross", passively floating out the window and flying through the air. Nevertheless, the image still is a relatively weak one. For example, there was no music accompanying the image. After the session I asked Bel if she had any musical associations to the image. What came to her mind was the Walt Disney musical animation "Aladdin". But during the work itself Bel did not volunteer any particular musical background. Here is the text of the song Aladdin sings to Princess Jasmine as he whisks her on his magic carpet out of her palace and into a magical new world. I see this song as being entirely appropriate to Bel's state of mind as it appears to me to be at this moment in her work.Therefore, I have taken the liberty of interjecting both the song and the magic carpet ride visual track that accompanies it in the Disney flick into my DVD's of Bel's work. Since my intent here is helping people to grow, and not to make a profit, I hope this use of the Disney clip falls under the heading "fair use". SONG: "I CAN SHOW YOU THE WORLD" FROM WALT DISNEY'S MUSICAL "ALADDIN" ALADDIN: I can show you the world; shining, shimmering, splendid. Tell me, Princess, now when did you last let your heart decide? I can open your eyes, take you wonder by wonder, over, sideways and under on a magic carpet ride. A whole new world, a new fantastic point of view. No one to tell us "no", or where to go, or say we're only dreaming. JASMINE: A whole new world, a new fantastic point of view. A dazzling place I never knew. But when I'm way up here it's crystal clear that now I'm in a whole new world with you. ALADDIN: Now I'm in a whole new world with you. JASMINE: Unbelievable sights, indescribable feeling. Soaring, tumbling, we're weaving through an endless diamond sky. A whole new world. ALADDIN: Don't you dare close your eyes! JASMINE: A hundred thousand things to see. ALADDIN: Hold your breath. It gets better. JASMINE: I'm like a shooting star. I've come so far. I can't go back to where I used to be. ALADDIN: A whole new world. JASMINE: Every turn a surprise. ALADDIN: With new horizons to perceive. JASMINE: Every moment gets better. BOTH: I'll chase them anywhere. There's time to spare. Let me share this whole new world with you. ALADDIN: A whole new world. JASMINE: A whole new world. ALADDIN: That's where we'll be. JASMINE: That's where we'll be. ALADDIN: A thrilling chase. JASMINE: A wondrous place. BOTH: For you and me. JASMINE: (spoken) It's all so magical. ALADDIN: (spoken) Yeah. Image 3: actively flying and breaking away with her own wings A crucial parameter we need to monitor in regard to these daydream images is the extent to which the performer is actively involved rather than being a mere passive victim of circumstances. So far Bel's imagination is becoming stronger, but at the same time so far these images of floating and flying still have Bel casting herself in the role of passive recipient of energies from forces outside herself. But soon another "flying away" image emerges, and this time Bel herself takes responsibility for the action. She daydreams the melody and words of another Kelly Clarkson song, "Break Away". SONG: "BREAK AWAY" by M. GERRARD, B. BENANTE, & A. LAVIGNE Grew up in a small town, and when the rain would fall down I'd just stare out my window. Dreamin' of what could be, and if I'd end up happy, I would pray, trying hard to reach out. But when I tried to speak out, felt like no one could hear me. Wanted to belong here, but something felt so wrong here, so I prayed I could break away. I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly. I'll do what it takes till I touch the sky, and I'll make a wish, take a chance, make a change and break away. Out of the darkness and into the sun, but I won't forget all the ones that I love. Want to feel the warm breeze, sleep under a palm tree. I'll make a wish, take a chance, make a change and break away. Feel the rush of the ocean, get onboard a fast train, travel on a jet plane, far away and break away. Buildings with a hundred floors, swinging round revolving doors, maybe I don't know where they'll take me, but gotta keep movin' on, movin' on, fly away, break away. I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly, though it's not easy to tell you goodbye. I got to make a wish, take a chance, make a change and break away. Out of the darkness and into the sun, but I won't forget the place I come from. I got to make a wish, take a chance, make a change and break away, break away, break away. This time Bel herself is having thoughts of actively breaking away from her past and moving on to new adventures - though not without a certain need to hang onto her roots in the past. Her past she now sees as "darkness" and the freedom she is craving is the opposite, "light". Jet planes and buildings with 100 floors are strong attractions to a young actress who is on the verge of pulling up stakes in Florida and heading for the big time in L.A. Also, here we have music with a strong personal connection for Bel. The song articulates two of Bel's urgent needs: "I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly. I'll do what it takes till I touch the sky." To breathe and think freely and to reach out to touch and find love are two objectives which are crucial components of Bel's superobjective, two parts of the emerging whole. In terms of the overall tragic/comic action of this two hour gestalt session, we can say that we now are in Act Two of a five act drama. Bel now has a clear objective: to break away into the light. Her obstacles are the forces or demons symbolized by what she regards as "darkness" and "because of you". The action still is far from complete. Image 4: Marilyn Monroe as symbol of deep personal conflicts It is only in the next image, that of Marilyn Monroe in "The Seven Year Itch", that finally we have a fully human situation linking specific imagery and emotional needs. This is Act Three of Bel's tragicomedy, and it is no longer just an adolescent cartoon scenario. Now the obstacle ("to disparage myself into a colossal flop") seriously confronts the objective ("to overinflate myself into a superstar"). Bel is moving the action towards an X/-X impasse, a "stuck point" crisis in Act Four. At first Bel can identify superficially with Marilyn Monroe as a happy and attractive star, but soon depressing and ugly thoughts of Marilyn's suicide at age 36 in L.A. intrude and turn the Hollywood dream into a nightmare with which Bel will not identify. From the point of view of her conflict and resultant misery at this point of the action, Bel concludes that the main thing, what she really wants, is "just to be happy". This certainly is a superobjective that seems to resolve the conflict, but actually this superobjective is only a vague and abstract "idea about the scene". Identifying with such an objective as "to be happy" is merely playing a quality of pumped up hysteria. The objective "to be happy" does not imply a series of specific concrete beats that can be used to articulate the action, either as Bel Baca or as any character Bel may want to play in her career as an actress. Marilyn Monroe herself plays a similarly muddled aspiring actress in "Bus Stop". The character Sheri at first is fixated on getting to L.A. at all costs, for the relatively superficial goals of "getting some respect" and attaining lots of success and happiness. But by the end of the movie Sheri resigns herself to dealing with the specific circumstances occasioned by her new relationship with a young man named Beau. Sheri decides that despite all the obstacles it entails from the point of view of her initial program of being a superstar, the prospect of marriage, security and concrete here/now satisfaction with this specific person named Beau affords her a stronger objective than does the vague spectral lure of "Hollywood and Vine". Sheri rips up the abstract roadmap which till then had been a rigid "story of my life", an "idea about the scene", and now she identifies with this emerging new concrete love relationship which here and no is giving her a rich, vital contact experience. Image 5: a kitten as a love object safe to reach out and touch Bel herself does not deal with a similar conflict until the next and final image of her session, the image of a blue-eyed very furry kitten. The content of this image is much less dazzling than either the Hollywood studio scene or the life of Marilyn Monroe, but what is new here is no less important in the deeper logic of Bel's existence. For now, for the first time, Bel is no longer only a passive victim of tragic circumstances. She is no longer breaking away blindly in the manner of a teenie bopper. Rather, as a mature woman Bel now is reaching out to another living creature (be it merely a kitten or a grain of mustard seed) with full contact and emotional involvement. How does Bel feel about the kitten? "I love it", she says. The parallel to the "Bus Stop" movie is striking. When near the end of the movie Sheri's lover "Beau" tries to grab her in the way men have been grabbing her since she was age 12, Sheri takes charge of her life and demands that "this time it should be different", not just being grabbed as an object of someone else's lust. Beau has a similar revelation when he discovers that "kissing someone for serious is scary", scary because it involves authentic contact with another human being and not just blindly grabbing an object you plan to make use of. Like Sheri, who chooses motherhood over L.A., Bel associates reaching out and touching the kitten to holding her sister's baby. The mothering/loving feeling soon generalizes and by the end of the session Bel feels a need to reach out to people in general in a loving way. Perhaps soon Bel will move beyond an either/or conflict in this area towards a higher integration of the opposite sides, but for now the issues are only just emerging into consciousness. Along with this new perspective on life comes a mild explosion into joy and optimism about her life as she anticipates the long journey that "begins with a single step". This is Act Five, the denouement, of Bel's drama, at least on the deeper (or higher) level of the superobjective. We do not have enough current information from Bel to know how this existential action is translating into specific events of her life as it is unfolding now at "Hollywood and Vine" in Los Angeles. (D) CONCLUSION If we look now for general technical terms to summarize Bel's existential journey during our two hours of work, we can say there was a transition from imploding to exploding, from closing in on oneself to opening out to the universe. The session ended with what Gestalt people label a mild "explosion into authentic joy", a shift from gloom to a mild euphoria, as energy tied up in tensing herself and imploding herself became available for living life creatively. This was a mini-satori or enlightenment experience. The implosion process was reversed merely by tuning into the larger context or envelope of here and now experience, the context of life itself. We did not need analytically to meddle with specific events in Bel's childhood or present life. True, in later dreamwork sessions which Bel one day may undertake there would be a place for zeroing in on actual dream images, past relationships and unfinished business, but these individual events are in Gestalt work usually integrated into larger and larger envelopes as a performer or pilgrim gets more and more grounded in the contact boundary and reality itself. Each new conflict along the way leads to its own resolution on a higher level by means of a certain kind of deeper (higher) logic that goes by many names depending upon the point of view of the person doing the theorizing: induction (versus deduction), ascent (on the right side of the tree of life), translation (moving up Jacob's ladder of angels), identifying with the coming solution (Gestalt), the final cause (Aristotle), return to origin via anamnesis (Plato), etc. And so we find that there is no way to avoid dealing with philosophical and religious matters in this work. Secular philosophers talk about how the two sides of a conflict - the thesis and the antithesis - get incorporated into a higher level idea called the synthesis. This way of thinking is known as dialectical thinking, and it forms the basis of most philosophical and religious traditions in the world, east and west. Religious leaders, such as Maimonides or St.Thomas, developed their own vocabularies to deal dialectically with the traditions of their own communities. For example, if we want to use the philosophical framework of Aristotle or Maimonides we could spell out Bel's series of beats as an ascent from conflicted lower, smaller spheres, envelopes or heavens towards encompassing higher and broader spheres of the universe. But I promised not to force feed philosophy or religion in this account. For those who find pondering deep causes of things to be more trouble than it is worth, and for that reason will "pass" on my other essays, this, then, may be the end of our shared journey. I'll conclude this essay now by quoting what Bel had to say about this session when a month or so later I asked her for a "reference". She sent me the following email from L.A. "Be open to a Gestalt session and you'll be amazed. I'd personally recommend Franklyn's Gestalt work to everyone, whether you have a personal emotion or issue you want to work on, or not. Franklyn used this technique in showing me my own awareness paradigm, which in turn helped me in all aspects of my life, including my acting. It served to give me more emotional freedom and helped me grasp the power I have to influence my thoughts, emotions and hence my decisions. Bel Baca, actress, Los Angeles, California, September 2005." BEL BACA: AWARENESS CONTINUUM MY NEAR VERBATIM NOTES TAKEN DURING THE WORK APRIL 17, 2005. THIS SESSION WAS CONDUCTED IN BEL'S APARTMENT. THERE WERE NO OBSERVERS. THE PRESENCE OF HER ROOMMATE MOVING ABOUT OUTSIDE THE ROOM MAY HAVE AFFECTED BEL'S SENSE OF PRIVACY. THE VIDEO CAMERA WAS LEFT RUNNING BY ITSELF THROUGHOUT THE WORK. WE HAD AGREED BEFOREHAND THAT I WOULD TAKE THE TAPE WITH ME AT THE END OF THE SESSION. UNGUIDED AWARENESS: ONE HOUR B: Now I am aware of cool air. My feet are on the ground. I'm aware of my tummy, 'cause I just ate. You want physical things? F: No questions allowed. B: I'm aware of seeing you all in blue. Now I'm aware of feeling a little anxious 'cause I've never done this. I'm aware of my center. My stomach is anxious. You want more? I feel I have energy, but also my energy is zapped. I feel that often. TWIDDLING HER FINGERS. LONG PAUSE. I'm aware that my eyes look red. I have an irritation. It's from soap. SHE SPENDS MUCH TIME LOOKING DOWN AT THE FLOOR. I'm aware of feeling icky. I don't know why. SLIGHT SMILE. Like I want to cry. SHE CRIES, SNIVELS. IN GENERAL MUCH OF THE TIME BEL'S EYES ARE HALF OPEN. Now I'm aware of feeling embarrassed that I cried. EXHALES DEEPLY, AFTER HOLDING HER BREATH A WHILE. AS A GENERAL PATTERN, I NOTICE THAT BEL SEEMS TO PLAY HER BREATH LIKE AN ACCORDION, HOLDING IT AND THEN RELEASING IT WITHOUT BEING VERY AWARE OF HOW THIS OVERCONTROLLING GENERATES A STATE OF PHYSICAL TENSION AND AN ACCOMPANYING SENSE OF ANXIETY. SHE LEANS FORWARD AND LAUGHS. NOW HER EYES ARE ALMOST CLOSED. I'm aware of thinking it's funny that I cried. DEEP BREATH. I'm aware of feeling constricted, because I'm feeling stuck in my body. F: I AM CONCERNED LEST SHE WORK HERSELF UP INTO A STATE OF HYSTERIA, BUT I WOULD RATHER NOT INVERVENE. I AM HOPING THAT SHE WILL WORK HER WAY OUT OF THIS IMPLODING. Let me know if you need help. In the meantime go on with what you are aware of. B: LONG PAUSE I'm aware of the beautiful trees outside, blowing in the wind. I'm aware that I'm a human being, that I'm mortal and that I'll die someday. That makes me feel helpless. I'm looking at my finger nails. Now I'm aware of the taste of this nail polish. It's not good. I'm aware of feeling a little drowsy. I'm aware of the stress I'm putting on my toes. SHE IS PRESSING THEM AGAINST THE RUG. HER NOSE IS DRIPPING NONSTOP, WITH OCCASIONAL DROPS HANGING FROM THE END OF HER NOSE. I'm aware that I'm too aware of bodily feelings as opposed to higher concepts and ideas. MUCH SNIVELING. I'm aware that I probably have fears and anxieties that I need to release. OVERALL: MUCH HOLDING AND THEN RELEASING OF HER BREATH. I'm aware that I'm distrusting of myself and of others in life sometimes. F: I NOTICE THAT BEL MOST OF THE TIME AVOIDS LOOKING DIRECTLY AT ME. WHEN I TURN BACK TO HER AFTER LOOKING AWAY, SHE QUICKLY TURNS AWAY FROM LOOKING DIRECTLY AT ME. B: I'm aware that I'm hoping this exercise will help me in some way. PAUSE. I'm aware that I have a song playing in my head. F: What song is it? B: "Because Of You". I'm aware that I took a deep breath. That felt good. I'm aware that I'm very conscious of how I look, my body image. FEEDBACK: AT THIS POINT I STOPPED BEL'S AWARENESS WORK AND GAVE HER FEEDBACK. I WENT OVER ALL OF MY NOTES, POINTING OUT WHAT WOULD BE CONSIDERED TO BE "AWARENESS" ACCORDING TO GESTALT THEORY AND WHAT WOULD BE CONSIDERED TO BE SOME OTHER SORT OF FUNCTIONING, SUCH AS JUDGMENTS, PROJECTIONS AND AVOIDANCES. I POINT OUT THAT SHE IS AVOIDING CONTACTING HER "SCENE PARTNER", WHO IN THIS CASE IS ME. BEL TOOK A FEW MINUTES TO REPLAY THE VIDEO TO SEE HOW WE LOOK DOING THE WORK. THEN WE RESUMED THE UNGUIDED AWARENESS EXERCISE. B: LONG PAUSE. I'm aware of my face being itchy. I'm aware of you looking at me. AS A MATTER OF FACT, AT THE MOMENT SHE SAID THIS I WAS NOT ACTUALLY LOOKING AT HER. I'm aware of feeling more relaxed. I'm aware of some kind of sound outside. Cars maybe. I'm aware of your shirt. It says "Martin Guitars, Established 1833". Now I'm aware of feeling tired. I'm yawning. SHE IS TOUCHING HER FACE QUITE A BIT. I'm aware that I'm sniveling. I'm aware that I'm more relieved. I'm aware that I am self-conscious, that I am annoyed that I'm sniffling a lot. BEL LOOKS DIRECTLY AT ME FOR PERHAPS THE FIRST TIME. LONG PAUSE. I see that you're wearing glasses and white sox. They look clean. SHE CONTINUES LOOKING AT ME AS I WRITE, BUT WHEN I LOOK UP AT HER SHE QUICKLY LOOKS AWAY. SHE YAWNS. HER VOICE IS SO FAR AN UNEXPRESSIVE MONOTONE MOST OF THE TIME. I'm aware that my nails are pretty. I'm aware that my eyes might be half closed, that I'm smiling and that my shoulders feel sore. I'm aware that I am happy that I am doing this exercise. Now I'm aware that the fan is spinning. I'm aware that last night's show may not have gone well. I was too much in my head. BEL IS AN ACTRESS PERFORMING THE LEAD ROLE AT A LOCAL THEATER EACH NIGHT THIS WEEK. I'm aware of how this bracelet feels on my arm. I'm aware that I am sniffling and that I am touching this bracelet. HER CURLED UP POSITION IN THE CHAIR HAS NOT CHANGED FOR A WHILE. I'm picturing myself flying. I'm looking at that purple back massager IT IS GLASS, ON A TABLE ACROSS THE ROOM. It is very pretty. Now I am picturing what it would be like to touch that piece of paper you are writing on. YAWNS. I'm aware that I just yawned. WITH HER LEGS STILL CURLED UP ON THE CHAIR SHE STRETCHES HER ARMS OVER HER HEAD. I'm aware that I'm stretching. Your pen is an interesting shade of blue. I'm aware of feeling uncomfortable in this chair. I'm aware that I'm trying to keep my eyes more open. RATHER THAN FOCUSING ON OUTER ZONE DETAILS SHE IS FOCUSING ON KEEPING HER EYES OPEN. I'm aware of blue circles on the file box. WHEN I LOOK AWAY BEL LOOKS AT ME. I'm aware that I'm a little tired. I'm aware of what that blanket feels like. SHE DOES NOT GO OVER AND TOUCH IT. I'm aware of how my toes look. I'm aware of your thing holding down your hat, your berette. I AM WEARING A JEWISH STYLE SKULL CAP. BEL IS CHRISTIAN. I'm aware of your curly hair, that your shoes look like they are made of suede leather. SHE MOVES HER TOES UP AND DOWN A FEW TIMES. I'm aware that I am thinking. I am aware that my forehead is probably wrinkled right now. I DO NOT SEE ANY WRINKLES THERE. AT THIS POINT I STOPPED HER WORK, SO THAT I WOULD AGAIN HAVE TIME TO GIVE FEEDBACK BEFORE THE END OF THE FIRST HOUR. I REVIEWED MY NOTES WITH HER, POINTING OUT WHAT WAS AWARENESS AND WHAT WAS NOT AWARENESS ACCORDING TO THE GESTALT POINT OF VIEW. BREAK: 5 MINUTES GUIDED AWARENESS: 1 1/2 HOURS OUTER ZONE B: I'm aware that I'm holding my hands. I'm aware that I am cold. F: What can you do about being cold? B: TAKES BRIGHTLY COLORED TOWEL TO WRAP AROUND HERSELF. CELL PHONE RINGS. I'm aware of my phone making noises. WIND BLOWS THE DOOR WITHIN ITS FRAME SO IT MAKES A THUD. The door made a noise. F: That's the outer zone. Stay there a while. B: I'm aware of the green of that shelf. It's a 70's green. It feels smooth. BUT SHE DOESN'T GO OVER TO TOUCH IT. My nails are black. My bracelet is made of brown wood. I'm aware that I'm on camera being filmed. F: What do you actually see when you look at the camera? B: I see the red light blinking. F: Describe the camera. B: I see a microphone. F: A "microphone" is a complex idea. It's not something you actually contact. Be like an aboriginal who looks at a camera for the first time. Describe the microphone. B: It's a black object. It's circular and long. It looks like it's soft. F: Go and touch it. B: TOUCHING THE MIC. It's not as soft as I had imagined. THROUGHOUT THIS SESSION IN BEL'S APARTMENT I MYSELF AM AWARE OF THE SMELL OF CIGARETTE SMOKE SEEPING UNDER HER DOOR. HER ROOMMATE, WHO ALSO IS HER SISTER, SMOKES. WHEN AT THE END OF THE SESSION I MENTIONED THAT SMELL, BEL SAID THAT SHE IS SO USED TO THE SMELL SHE NO LONGER EVEN SMELLS IT. INNER ZONE F: OK, now let's shift over to working on the inner zone. Close your eyes. What are you aware of now in your body? B: I'm uncomfortable in my gut. Maybe it's anxiety. It's my tummy. I can tell you why. F: No, not "why". Just tell me "what". What's going on in your stomach? B: I'm uncomfortable with myself. F: That's an abstract idea. What is going on physically? Does it feel like hunger? B: No. F: Do you sense something moving there? B: No. Now I'm letting myself breathe. I feel better. I'm aware that my shoulders are hunched. HER FINGERS ARE IN A FIST. F: Go into that. Hunch up some more, and make noise, like this. Squeeze your fingers also. I DEMONSTRATE HOLDING MY BREATH AND SQUEEZING, IMPLODING WHILE I BLOCK THE SOUND SO IT CANNOT COME OUT FREELY. B: FOLLOWS MY EXAMPLE AND CURLS UP ON THE CHAIR. F: The toes too. Curl your toes also. Now relax. Very good. When you are ready open your eyes and come outside. OUTER ZONE B: OPENS HER EYES. F: What's your reaction now to coming outside into the outer zone? B: I want to go back inside. F: What is there that you need? B: I don't know. F: What are you aware of now outside? B: The green cabinet. It has rungs in front, rectangular, like bamboo. And it has a handle that looks like a pinapple. It's yellow, tilted. F: Good. Now that you see it, let's go onto the next step. Do you have any associations when you look at it. Maybe it reminds you of something, or whatever. B: It reminds me of when I painted it. If I picked it up it would be heavy. Inside it are videos and jewelry. What do you mean by associations? F: It could be anything: memories, judgments, images, comments. B: Like I could imagine little midgets jumping on it? F: Right. That's called "creative thinking". You go from objectivity to subjectivity, not the other way around. If you do it the other way around it's psychotic thinking. Like maybe you imagine somebody is out to get you and you don't bother actually to see the person at all. OK, let's go back to the inner zone again. This is called the rhythm of contact and withdrawal. The contact part is the outer zone and the withdrawal part is going back into your body and the void inside. INNER ZONE F: Close your eyes now. First of all, are you comfortable in your body? Any tension? B: I'm not comfortable. My thighs are sore from doing some exercises. If I stretch I'll feel better. SHE STANDS AND STRETCHES, BUT KEEPS HER MOUTH TIGHTLY SHUT AND EMITS NO SOUND AT ALL. F: What was missing that time? The sound. Would you mind doing it again, but this time add the sound. Do it harder and open your mouth and throat. Let all the parts of your body find a voice. Move your fingers. How does that change the sound? Listen to the sounds. Now your hips. Now your toes. Good. GRADUALLY SHE ESCAPES FROM THE FROZEN VOCAL MONOTONE SHE HAS BEEN IN MOST OF THE SESSION SO FAR. HER VOICE BECOMES MUCH MORE EXPRESSIVE. F: Sit down again, please, and close your eyes again. Now we are going to work on the third zone of awareness, the fantasy zone. So far you haven't used your imagination much today. If you don't mind I'd like you to do a daydream. Go on a trip or imagine something. Take your time. You're free to censer, but the more you share the more material we have to work with. B: I'm imagining I'm lying on my carpet, touching it with my fingers. Then I have my arms spread out like a cross and I float off the floor. I float through the walls and out the window. It's like I'm flying. I land on the roof. I can see the road outside. F: If the daydream was a movie can you imagine any kind of music that would go with the movie? B: I am imagining a song, "Break Away" by Kelly Parkstone. F: Can you sing it? B: SHE SINGS THE SONG SOFTLY WITH HER EYES CLOSED AT FIRST. F: Keep your eyes mostly closed and stand up. Dance along with the singing. Find a sound that comes from each body part. Make the sounds as different as possible. High sounds, low sounds, fast sounds, slow sounds, loud sounds, soft sounds. Good. Now zero in on a few key words of the song and drone them over and over. Trip on them and see how they develop. B: SINGS REPETITIVELY " . . . out of the darkness into the light . . . fly away and break away . . ." OUTER ZONE B: I burped. SHE CLOSELY EXAMINES ONE OF HER HAIRS. This hair is split in half. I just ripped it apart. It blew on me. Now I am aware of the red camera light blinking. That light THE CEILING LIGHT WITH FAN ATTACHED TO IT has a string hanging from it. SHE FOCUSES ON A SMALL "FAIRY" SHAPED DOLL ACROSS THE ROOM. The little fairy has feathers blowing on her head. There is a string hanging from her. I can picture touching that. F: Go over and touch it. B: It felt nice: hard, solid. F: Now that you really saw it and contacted it, do you have any associations or thoughts or judgments about it? B: Once I played a character that takes pleasure in little things. I wish I could be like that. She was not just concerned with herself. She lives each moment. F: That is what I call "creative thinking". First you contacted the doll and then you got associations about it. INNER ZONE F: Now we're beginning to get some integration of outer zone awareness and fantasy zone awareness. Let's keep going with the rhythm of contact and withdrawal. Close your eyes and go inside one more time. Are you comfortable in your body? B: Yes. INSTEAD OF CURLING UP ON THE CHAIR BEL NOW IS SITTING UP STRAIGHT WITH HER FEET ON THE FLOOR IN FRONT OF HER. SHE APPEARS TO BE MUCH MORE RELAXED THAN UP TILL NOW. APPARENTLY SHE NO LONGER IS CONSTRICTING HER BREATHING. F: Try another daydream. Take your time. B: I see an image of Marilyn Monroe. She has red glittery shoes and smooth legs. She's wearing her famous white dress, tightened on the waist. Her arms are straight. She has red fingernails. I see her collar bones. F: What's your reaction to seeing this image? Is it pleasant or unpleasant? B: Pleasant. She seems happy. She's smiling. She has pretty teeth and lips. F: What can you say about how this image relates to you? B: She seems happy but also sad. I know she ended up killing herself. F: Do you have any associations when you think about the image? B: I don't know if I want to share them. BEL CRIES. SHE OPENS HER EYES. F: You have a right to censer and protect your privacy, but is there anything you feel you can share? B: It's confidential. F: Does this image tell you anything about what you need in your life? B: I need to feel accepting of myself and like myself. F: Would you rather deal with that question today or let it go for now? B: That may be the area that affects everything. I try to help myself. I use all sorts of techniques, like yoga. I feel bad about myself. I feel I am unattractive. It's due to how I was raised. I need to take responsibility. I don't want to take medication for a chemical imbalance all my life. I just want to be happy. OUTER ZONE F: Since our contract today is to work on the awareness exercise and not go into specific problems I want to return now to the rhythm of contact and withdrawal. What are you aware of in the outer zone now? B: The sound of the wind outside and the door makes noises. F: Take the wind first. How does the wind sound? B: The leaves are rustling. It sounds windy. F: Describe the sound. B: It's a swishing sound. Also there is the dull roar of traffic. F: Now the door sound. B: The door is moving back and forth with the wind. F: So they are related. What's your reaction to these sounds? B: I don't like the door noise. The swishing is soothing. F: You just closed your eyes. You keep wanting to run back into your box. Keep your eyes open for now. How do you encounter me? B: I'm grateful, but F: Wait a minute. I forgot to ask you for associations to the wind and the door. B: The door noise reminds me of people who are angry. The wind is like freedom, nature. F: What about nature? Do you deal with nature much in your life? B: I do not have much freedom or nature in my life. I don't go outside. I'm either here in my room or rehearsing or driving. F: Do you think you should spend more time with nature? B: Yes. F: And what about the angry people? B: I think of my roommates. ONE OF BEL'S ROOMMATES IS HER SISTER. They are always cursing. Also, my parents were always angry. F: Was there a particular reason for that? B: They hated each other. There was no money. SMILES. Too many kids. SHE REQUESTS A BATHROOM BREAK. USUALLY I AM STRICT ABOUT LIMITING THE FIRST SESSION TO TWO HOURS TOTAL. BUT BEL SEEMS TO HAVE TOUCHED ON SOME IMPORTANT AREAS THAT NEED SOME CLOSURE BEFORE WE END THE SESSION. THEREFORE, I OFFER HER THE OPPORTUNITY TO GO ON A WHILE. INNER ZONE F: Actually our time is finished, but we can go on a while if your want. Do you want to stop now or do one more round? B: One more. I'm cold. SHE WRAPS HERSELF IN THE TOWEL AND CLOSES HER EYES. I curled my toes under. I'm taking deep breaths. I feel good. My head feels itchy. F: Any images coming? B: I'm picturing my stomach going up and down as I breathe. It feels pleasant. I feel fat and "icky". F: Keep your eyes half closed, stand up and dance "ickiness". SHE DOES A SILENT IMPROV WHILE WRAPPED IN THE TOWEL. Do it again. Add the sound this time. Open your mouth and your throat. Find the voice of each body part, for example the toes. B: CLOSES HER EYES. I see a kitten, soft with a lot of fur. It's cute. It has blue eyes and white fur. F: In the image what is your relation to the kitten? B: I'm touching it. It's the softest thing I ever felt. I love it. F: Just stay with the image and see how it develops. B: I'm holding it. F: Do you have associations to similar situations? B: I'm thinking of how it was holding my sister's baby. F: Does this work tell you anything about what you need? B: I need to be closer to people, so I can share a loving feeling. F: Good. We need to end the session soon. If you look back over the whole session, can you find an overall message that you got from today's work? B: I feel I'm getting a better understanding of myself. I need balance as far as awareness goes, the outer and the inner. Also I need to be closer to people and not so into myself. F: They are related. Seeing and hearing them helps to relate to them. B: I used to be that way. A year ago I moved here, to a place where I know no one. When we balanced the awarenesses, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. F: I noticed that you stopped the crying by yourself. What is it about the big picture that stops the crying? B: We work on the little things and the big picture gets better. Usually I overdo it. I overload myself. A long journey begins with a single step. F: That's what they say in acting classes. Go in for the moments, the beats. Don't try to eat the whole turkey in one bite. Don't play one big idea about the scene from the beginning till the end. Provide yourself with lots of real things you can contact here and now along the way, lots of outer zone environment objects and inner zone fantasy objects. You need that objectivity to balance all the subjectivity, all that emotional soup that you have a tendency to get lost in. The subjective stuff you are very good at, and a lot of the time that is what the audience wants, but if you do it too much it is overwhelming and boring. You need to give the audience all the realities in a balanced way. And you can't give them what you don't have yourself.


20. Making of Bohemian Rhapsody: Editor, Barry Stevens

  • Published: 2015-11-22T23:23:56+00:00
  • Duration: 790
  • By Rick Young
Making of Bohemian Rhapsody: Editor, Barry Stevens

Location Hertfordshire, England, November 10, 1975. On this date, the rock band Queen recorded the video for Bohemian Rhapsody, at Elstree Studios, in just under 4 hours. Editor Barry Stevens then spent 5 hours working at the Trilion Studios in Soho, alongside director, Bruce Gowers, to create what is undoubtedly the most influential music video of the 20th century. Running 2 inch Quad tape machines in sync, through a vision mixer, Barry worked with tools primitive compared to today's technology, and produced magnificent results in a very short amount of time. In the words of Barry Stevens: "we had to get a move on 'cause they were waiting to send it to Top of the Pops." This piece documents what went on in the editing room and provides insight into that moment in video history, when one music video promo changed filmmaking forever. A huge thanks to Queen Management Limited, QPL, for making it possible for this film to be shown and thanks to Barry Stevens for telling his story. May this serve as a document of inspiration for independent filmmakers and Queen fans everywhere. **Barry Stevens Bio.** Barry edited, with a razorblades, the Monty Python Pilot in 1969. This was was used as the first episode. Enticed into Soho, he established the reputations of TVi, Trillion, The Palace, Arena, and was featured in the top 10 London editors by Televisual Magazine. He edited "200 Motels" in 12 days with Frank Zappa on 2" Editec at Tvi in London. Also the Dr Who episodes "Dinosaurs in London" circa 1973, and many other BBC dramas and music programmes. Barry has professionally operated every Post Production editing device that has been invented (apart from CMX). In the mid 70's he edited a major part of Top of the Pops independent video content, the most famous being Queens' "Bohemian Rhapsody", also promos for Cliff Richard, Leo Sayer,10CC,Yes,Mike Oldfield, David Essex, Boomtown Rats, Don Mclean, Sheena Easton, Susie Quattro, Siouxsie &the Banshees, the Clash's first punk offering, Paul Mcartney,and the UK's first VCR available in shops - "Electric Light Orchestra" at Wembley (now available on DVD). 1981 brought Royal patronage, in the form of Prince Charles & Princess Diana's wedding album for ITN. (otherwise he does not do weddings!) From 1982-85 Barry edited 22 hrs of Brent Walker "Gilbert & Sullivan " operettas which the BBC wore out over the next decade. In 1991 Avid Technology was anxious to extend the sales of Media Composers beyond the current 5 machines in the UK. From then (as Freelance Chief Editor Avid UK) to date, Barry has evangelised, demoed ,trained, and produced output fromAvid Post Production Software. Barry continues to work as a freelance editor.