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1. BEGINNING / Water projection

  • Published: 2012-10-26T14:56:50+00:00
  • Duration: 271
  • By Novinastudio
BEGINNING / Water projection

http://www.novinastudio.pl According to the Mayan calendar December 21, 2012 will be an certain era ended. Some followers of conspiracy theories claim that in this day the world will end. In June of this year, held an outdoor event, entitled "Revocation end of the world". The whole event was opened the water projection operatively called "Beginning". Animation in a nutshell, was to introduce the audience in modern times. Scenario, design, animation: NOVINASTUDIO / Grzegorz Nowiński Sound: Adam Hryniewicki Advisor: Paweł Filimoniuk


2. COHERENT STATES | facade projection

  • Published: 2012-01-02T13:44:36+00:00
  • Duration: 255
  • By URBANSCREEN
COHERENT STATES | facade projection

A video mapping installation on a 120 meters long and 15 meters high graduation works. The staging premiered on the 1st of October 2011 during the www.lichtsicht-biennale.de, covering a total runtime of more than 3 months. This year’s edition of 'lichtsicht' is the 3rd projection biennale in Bad Rothenfelde, representing a forum for international video art. Every second year at the beginning of autumn, the largest salt works in Western Europe is being transformed into a huge projection surface for this emerging art form. The staging has been designed for a graduation works, which is layered with salt-covered blackthorn branches. Ferrous and gypsum sediments, as well as limescale of varying thicknesses is covering the stacked up blackthorn twigs, causing reflections shrouded through a fine haze of salt water. These exceptional key features of the monumentally seeming construction are mainly shaping the appearance, giving the staging its distinct and unique characteristic. Art Direction: Jonas Wiese Concept: Thorsten Bauer 3D Operator: Peter Pflug Project Manager: Majo Ussat Commissioned by: lichtsicht - Projektions Biennale Documentation Director: Jonas Wiese Camera: Moritz Horn Edit: Jonas Wiese Music: Jonas Wiese (www.jonas-wiese.de) Winner of the Lichtsicht Biennale 2011/12 An www.URBANSCREEN.com production http://www.facebook.com/urbanscreen


3. At Sea DVD Installation Earl Lu Gallery Singapore 2003 Plus:

  • Published: 2012-02-25T14:57:24+00:00
  • Duration: 336
  • By Chris Welsby
At Sea DVD Installation Earl Lu Gallery Singapore 2003 Plus:

Seen here at the Plug In Institute for the Contemporary Arts, Winnipeg Canada as part of a retrospective of recent installations "Liquid Light" - At Sea 2003-Waterfall 2004 "Lost Lake 2" 2005 At Sea A Four Channel Video Installation At Sea is a fictional seascape constructed with a combination of digital image making technology, multiple DVD loops and four screen video projection. The starting point for the work is the inability of the camera and the frame, as well as the inability of the viewer, to “see” the enormity of the ocean. What at first appears as documentation of a dense fog rolling over a sea vista, stretched across four projection screens is in fact a number of very separate images of the sea. These images are linked in terms of subject matter (the sea and the fog), image density, colour, scale, light, texture and line (horizon) and in the gallery, in the installation, these elements become linked in time as well as space. A number of video shots of the coast of British Columbia, (Canada) are projected side by side to form a single, continuous moving image. This image contains elements such as ships, buoys, floating driftwood, tree covered islets, sea birds, open ocean and drifting fog banks. The dominant colour is grey; grey infused with a multitude of ocean blues and greens. The overall feel is somber and mysterious; a study of winter light falling on the surface of water and cloud; an evocative portrait of the Pacific North West. The material is encoded on four DVD’s for continuous (looped) projection in the gallery. By placing the four projectors side by side, the impression of a continuous 40ft x 8ft image is created on the gallery wall. Speakers are placed in the four corners of the room. The sound of the ocean is occasionally punctuated by raucous sea birds, the ghostly echo of a distant fog horn and the sinister, almost sub audio, sound of a large cargo ship passing in the fog. In keeping with the image, the soundscape is spacious and largely empty, adding to the spatial ambiguity and dream like quality of the scene. Subtle changes in light and colour drift from screen to screen. As the ‘visibility’ improves trees and ships appear to emerge out of the fog only to disappear back into the grain of the digital image. There are times when only the swirling fog and the steel grey expanse of ocean is visible. Gradually, as time passes, the same, half remembered, landmarks or events re-appear out of the fog, sometimes in the same place and sometimes on a completely different screen. I am reminded of TS Elliots model of the mind in which a Groaner buoy chimes it’s somber bell, like consciousness itself, rocking to the uncharted swell of the unconscious. “And Under the oppression of the silent fog The tolling bell Measures not our time, rung by the unhurried Ground swell, a time Older than the time of Chronometers….. Trying to unweave, unwind, unravel And piece together the past and the future futureless Between midnight and dawn, when the past is all deception, The future futureless, before the morning watch When time stops and time is never ending; And the groundswell, that is and was from the beginning, Clangs The bell” TS Elliot from The Four Quartets. Through observation of the present and memory of the past, the viewer may begin to ‘see’ the seascape again, but this time as a digitally constructed fiction and not, as it first appeared, as a coherent pictorial space. While half seen objects hover on the threshold of visibility, viewers are invited to consider their own role in the construction of a fiction, a seascape which only exists in the moment of the projection event. In conventional continuity editing, pattern recognition and memory are used to turn a series of discontinuous spaces into the illusion of a continuous space. In this installation the process is reversed. At Sea starts with the illusion of continuous space and uses memory and pattern recognition to disrupt the spatial continuity of the image. This digitally constructed seascape can, in time, be framed and viewed in its entirety, from one end to another and from beginning to end. But the very constraints of this frame inevitably suggest there is more. One’s understanding of the sea demands that there be more. The viewer’s imagination moves beyond the limitations of pictorial space and another fiction is created. This second fiction, just like the sea, refuses to be framed and cannot be seen in it’s entirety. Perhaps this second seascape, this product of the human imagination, is the only thing we have that is even more mysterious than the vastness of the ocean itself? Waterfall A Single Channel Video Installation The visual material for Waterfall is a continuous take of a large and ‘scenic’ waterfall. The falling water, as it cascades down a sheer craggy rock face, crashing over huge boulders on its way, fills the entire video frame. Thousands of tons of falling water displace a huge air mass that billows out towards the camera causing spray to be deposited on the camera lens. Over a period of five minutes this process obliterates the vast three dimensional image of the waterfall transforming it into a two dimensional surface of shimmering water droplets and thereby emphasizing the surface of the picture plane. The shift in focus from distant waterfall to close up detail was made by the camera’s built in auto focus as it gradually ‘decided’ which image to concentrate on. In this way it is the interaction between technology and nature which governs the composition, editing and duration of the image. This five minute take is looped for continuous projection in the gallery. At each repeat of the five minute take the viewer experiences a visual jump from the tiny water droplets on the picture surface to the vastness of the deep space image of the waterfall. The sound is comprised of two elements: the white noise rush of falling water recorded at the time of shooting and the close focus sound of the ‘same’ water gently running down stream behind the camera. These two elements were cross faded over a period of five minutes as the image changes from that of waterfall to that of water droplets on the surface of the screen. A large translucent projection screen is suspend from floor to ceiling of the gallery, and sized to exactly match the projected image. This screen is placed in the centre of the space inviting the viewer to examine the image from all angles and to pass behind the waterfall. The thin, stretched, membrane of he screen draws attention to the surface of the image, the delicate play of light on the lens of the camera. Thus the fragile and transitory nature of the digital image is seen in sharp contrast to the vastness of the mountainside and the thunderous roar of falling water. Projecting the image on this scale magnifies the image of the water droplets on the surface of the lens drawing attention to the substance of the waterfall itself. This large scale projection also magnify the digital pixels that, in a similar way, constitute the substance of the video image. Perhaps it would not be too whimsical to suggest that the pixels are to the video image, what the water droplets are to the waterfall! The viewer is encouraged to explore the video image, engaging with the physical space of the gallery as well as the representational space on the screen. This combination of camera work and projection strategy combines to challenge the framing of the landscape as picturesque or as “sublime” Instead the emphasis is placed on the material substance of the projection and, by inference, the solid physical presence of the waterfall itself. Chris Welsby August 2004


4. Nikhil J. Sahane Lighting TD 2017

  • Published: 2017-11-14T21:06:10+00:00
  • Duration: 147
  • By NikhilSahane
Nikhil J. Sahane Lighting TD 2017

Shot Breakdown 1. Wonder Woman (2017) Role : Lighting TD Scene Lighting using Clarisse. 2. Wonder Woman (2017) Role : Lighting TD Scene Lighting using Clarisse. 3. Wonder Woman (2017) Role : Lighting TD Scene Lighting using Clarisse. 4. Peter Rabbit (In Production) Role : Lighting Artist Scene Lighting Using Maya and Glimpse. Lighting and Rendering pig. 5. Peter Rabbit (In Production) Role : Lighting Artist Scene Lighting Using Maya and Glimpse. 6. The Boss Baby (2017) Role : Lighting Artist Scene Lighting Using Torch. 7. The Boss Baby (2017) Role : Lighting Artist Scene Lighting Using Torch. 8. The Boss Baby (2017) Role : Lighting Artist Scene Lighting Using Torch. 9. Trolls (2016) Role : Lighting Artist Scene Lighting Using Torch. 10. Trolls (2016) Role : Lighting Artist Scene Lighting Using Torch. 11. Life of Pi (2012) Role : Sr. Lighting TD Water simulation and rendering using Houdini. 12. Life of Pi (2012) Role : Sr. Lighting TD Water simulation and rendering using Houdini. 13. Life of Pi (2012) Role : Sr. Lighting TD Water simulation and rendering using Houdini. 14. Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters (2013) Role : Sr. Lighting TD 15. Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters (2013) Role : Sr. Lighting TD 16. Bahubali: The Beginning (2015) Role : Lead Lighting TD, Assistant to VFX Supervisor on set. CG Bison I was handling a team of 4 Lighting artists spread across different locations. I also helped set-up lighting workflow/pipeline for this show along with attending shooting collecting set data, shooting HDRIs, collecting camera data and working as assistant to VFX Supervisor. 17. Bahubali: The Beginning (2015) Role : Lead Lighting TD, Assistant to VFX Supervisor on set. CG Bison 18. Bahubali: The Beginning (2015) Role : Lead Lighting TD, Assistant to VFX Supervisor on set. CG Bison 19. X Men: Days of future past (2014) Role : Sr. Lighting TD Lighting and rendering Wolverine's bone-claws in R&H proprietary software. I was also responsible for generating skin texture using projection mapping & baking in Maya for deforming skin areas as bone-claws tear through his skin. 20. X Men: Days of future past (2014) Role : Sr. Lighting TD Sequence and Scene Lighting. Lighting and rendering Gulfstream, using Crom (Rhythm & Hues proprietary software which was still in the middle of development) For reflection of passing clouds on the plane’s geometry, I had to use Houdini + Mantra to create moving reflections. 21. X Men: Days of future past (2014) Role : Sr. Lighting TD Sequence and Scene Lighting. Lighting and rendering chrome balls, using Crom (Rhythm & Hues proprietary software which was still in the middle of development) I had to re-create entire corridor, and magento’s palm using plate projection in Maya and used in Chrom. 22. X Men: Days of future past (2014) Role : Sr. Lighting TD Sequence and Scene Lighting. 23. Winter’s Tale (2014) Role : Sr. Lighting TD Scene Lighting. 24. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (2011) Role : Sr. Lighting TD Sequence and scene Lighting. 25. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (2011) Role : Sr. Lighting TD Sequence and scene Lighting. 26. Hop (2011) Role :- Lighting TD Scene Lighting 27. Hop (2011) Role :- Lighting TD Scene Lighting 28. Yogi Bear 3D (2010) Role :- Lighting TD Scene Lighting 29. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009) Role :- Jr. Lighting TD Scene Lighting


5. ESCALAY: The Water Wheel

  • Published: 2011-11-14T21:50:29+00:00
  • Duration: 656
  • By Sam Davis
ESCALAY: The Water Wheel

ESCALAY: The Water Wheel is a two channel video installation with no beginning or ending, only a necessary electronic start. As the individual channels loop, their difference in length produces a changing combination of images. Reduced to one channel for the sake of documentation, this excerpt contains a single cycle from each projection. Starring Thomas W. Harrington and featuring Ken Burbank as Left Channel Voice and Mike Grosse as Right Channel Voice. Music by Steve Roach from his 1984 album, Structures from Silence.


6. CLEANSING

  • Published: 2017-07-31T22:16:07+00:00
  • Duration: 628
  • By Eyal Gever
CLEANSING

In his projection mapping »CLEANSING«, the Israeli artist Eyal Gever lets the Karlsruhe castle virtually flood and its façade davons its impressively simulated water masses. In line with the daily reporting on the destructive events of war, terror and natural catastrophes, Gevers water floods recall at the same time the beauty as well as the fragility of all life. "CLEANSING", however, also corresponds to the promise of a cleaning process, which seems to bring with it the possibility of a new beginning. "I'm an avid follower of the news, and sometimes I just can't take any more war, any more disasters, and you want to remind yourself there's beauty in the world. Constant stream of bad news, war reports, and devastating images of terror, accidents and violent assault. The decay of our urban environment. Nature catastrophes, with its uncontrollable power, unpredictability, and potential for cataclysmic extremes. Waves of headlines on how immigrants are streaming and pouring into Europe, flooding the continent’s frontiers as well as bursting through national borders… water metaphors headlines! dehumanizing with its panic-inducing nature. —- People Can’t Flood, Flow or Stream! These every day events are my constant reminder of the fragility and beauty of human-life and what led me to create ‘Cleansing for Schlosslichtspiele 2017. Here the Castle Karlsruhe representation acts as a metaphor of one going through a cleansing process - that could be a personal process of mental and emotional cleansing process but also it could be interpreted as a global cleansing process - our planet responding to the warming climate change causing sea levels to rise with devastating consequences. Eventually earth will turn on us because its being pushed to the edge by us - humans — and may well be heading for a crash unless we act now. The art work is intense - confronting us with the thought that we are at a breaking point. Huge stream of water are flooding and erasing the castle - and by that bearing away the past and carrying the future at the end of one and the beginning of the next - forcing us to think / fear if we Passed the Point of No Return on Climate Change … eventually the castle is reborn leaving the viewers with the feeling of hope — that the end of the world turns out to not be the end after all, but a new beginning - for our planet as well as ourselves". Curated by Peter Weibel, Chairman and Artistic Director of ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe,  Music created by Ori Lichtik, Liquid simulation technical Yuval Kolton 


7. Fantasmic at Disney's Hollywood Studio (in HD)

  • Published: 2012-03-18T19:32:30+00:00
  • Duration: 1577
  • By Dennis Hansen
Fantasmic at Disney's Hollywood Studio (in HD)

Download this and other Disney soundtracks for free from here: http://www.box.com/s/95rf5czdnp1ev0ibba15 or download this HD video (for free) to your iPad or Apple TV at: http://bit.ly/iTunesHS Fantasmic! is a long-running Disney nighttime show at both Disneyland in California and Disney's Hollywood Studios, Florida featuring fireworks, live actors, water effects, fire, music, several boats, decorated rafts and projections onto large mist screens. The show begins with Mickey in formal attire directing a water show on the river. The show's signature water projection screens are activated, onto which animation from the Sorcerer's Apprentice sequence from the film Fantasia. Musical scores from "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" and the "Imagination" theme accompany the animation as Mickey conducts animated shooting stars pyrotechnics launched from the six pyrotechnic barges on the river. The animation then blends with live performers interpreting different flowers. The lighting and music change to a jungle beat, and a 100-foot-long (30 m) puppet of Kaa, the snake from The Jungle Book, makes its way across the island with beams of light firing from his eyes. Accompanying this scene are three floating barges carrying King Louie and black-lit monkeys across the river stage. The music segues to a contemporary rendition of "Pink Elephants on Parade" from Dumbo, as animated pink elephants appear onscreen and in the form of performers on the island. The elephants then seem to be puppets dancing on strings, which serves to transition into a sequence based on Pinocchio. Three large puppets are manipulated by nine performers with fiber-optic "strings" stretching 30 feet above the puppets. Onscreen animation shows Jiminy Cricket underwater searching for Pinocchio. An animated Monstro the Whale interacts with live splash effects on the river. The story line progresses as Mickey notices his dream becoming darker. A concussion cannon is fired from Sailing Ship Columbia, which portrays Captain Hook's pirate ship. Hook, Smee, Peter Pan, Wendy, and pirates participate in a stunt sequence as the ship makes its pass. Following the ship is an articulated crocodile barge, with the sound of a ticking clock emanating from its tail. Snow White and her Prince, Ariel and Prince Eric, and Belle and the Beast appear on three floating stages (transformed since the Jungle scene earlier) on the river, dancing to a medley of each princess' signature song, accompanied by lighting and water effects. The show enters its villain segment, as the Evil Queen from Snow White appears on stage, calling for her magic mirror — which appears onscreen in animated form. The mirror informs the Queen that the three princesses are fairer than she, and that "in Mickey's imagination, beauty and love will always survive." In anger, she moves to her cauldron, where the Queen transforms into the Hag from Snow White. The hag summons "forces of evil" to transform Mickey Mouse's dream into a "nightmare Fantasmic." Ursula, from The Little Mermaid sings and joins the plot against Mickey as her two pet eels, Flotsam and Jetsam, glide across the river. Onscreen, the face of Ursula transforms into Chernabog from Fantasia. Animation from the "Night on Bald Mountain" sequence from Fantasia accompanies Mussorgsky's score. A pyrotechnic burst of flames announces Maleficent, from Sleeping Beauty, beginning the climactic showdown sequence. Maleficent rises 30 feet from the stage and transforms into a dragon onscreen. The animation gives way to a 45-foot animatronic dragon, who rises from the stage before breathing fire onto the river, which utilizes fire-on-water effects. Mickey appears as the Brave Little Tailor and uses a sword to destroy Maleficent's dragon form. As the dragon screams, the villains who have appeared are also destroyed onscreen, and the sequence ends with a pyrotechnic burst from the river. Following an appearance by Tinker Bell, the Mark Twain Riverboat crosses the stage, piloted by a black and white Mickey Mouse, dressed in attire from Steamboat Willie. Approximately 50 Disney characters dance on the ship in a ribbon routine. The sequence is accompanied by searchlights, fountains, and pyrotechnic effects. Then in a flash of light, Mickey appears on top of the tavern as Sorcerer Mickey, and "conducts" laser beams, fireworks, and other lighting effects that span the length of the river stage. With a flash, he disappears from atop the Tavern and re-appears center stage, resuming his formal attire. Mickey says to the audience, "Some imagination, huh?" and disappears in a flash. A final burst of pyrotechnics is accompanied by searchlights placed around the tavern and stage. I recorded this family video on November 12, 2010 at Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World using my Canon HV30. All references to Disney characters are property of Walt Disney Co.


8. CLEANSING close up

  • Published: 2017-07-31T23:27:21+00:00
  • Duration: 630
  • By Eyal Gever
CLEANSING close up

A projection within the "Schlosslichtspiele" In his projection mapping »CLEANSING«, the Israeli artist Eyal Gever lets the Karlsruhe castle virtually flood and its façade davons its impressively simulated water masses. In line with the daily reporting on the destructive events of war, terror and natural catastrophes, Gevers water floods recall at the same time the beauty as well as the fragility of all life. "CLEANSING", however, also corresponds to the promise of a cleaning process, which seems to bring with it the possibility of a new beginning. "I'm an avid follower of the news, and sometimes I just can't take any more war, any more disasters, and you want to remind yourself there's beauty in the world. Constant stream of bad news, war reports, and devastating images of terror, accidents and violent assault. The decay of our urban environment. Nature catastrophes, with its uncontrollable power, unpredictability, and potential for cataclysmic extremes. Waves of headlines on how immigrants are streaming and pouring into Europe, flooding the continent’s frontiers as well as bursting through national borders… water metaphors headlines! dehumanizing with its panic-inducing nature. —- People Can’t Flood, Flow or Stream! These every day events are my constant reminder of the fragility and beauty of human-life and what led me to create ‘Cleansing for Schlosslichtspiele 2017. Here the Castle Karlsruhe representation acts as a metaphor of one going through a cleansing process - that could be a personal process of mental and emotional cleansing process but also it could be interpreted as a global cleansing process - our planet responding to the warming climate change causing sea levels to rise with devastating consequences. Eventually earth will turn on us because its being pushed to the edge by us - humans — and may well be heading for a crash unless we act now. The art work is intense - confronting us with the thought that we are at a breaking point. Huge stream of water are flooding and erasing the castle - and by that bearing away the past and carrying the future at the end of one and the beginning of the next - forcing us to think / fear if we Passed the Point of No Return on Climate Change … eventually the castle is reborn leaving the viewers with the feeling of hope — that the end of the world turns out to not be the end after all, but a new beginning - for our planet as well as ourselves". Curated by Peter Weibel, Chairman and Artistic Director of ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe,  Music created by Ori Lichtik, Liquid simulation technical Yuval Kolton 


9. experimental

  • Published: 2012-05-03T15:16:19+00:00
  • Duration: 48
  • By dimitris mav
experimental

(headset is recommended) "A bird's song and a reflection" The reflection of the sun on the water is revealing through deflection of light the fractal nature of life while the psychedelic urge of the bird expressed in high frequency audible form , creates a unique acoustic experience in the environment. The image and the sound are unfolding together and independently at the beginning. Then one permeates the other giving way to the fractal element of things upon which the whole concept of this here projection is being based.


10. Sagrada Familia 2045 Under the Sea. Climate Change Effects. Barcelona.

Sagrada Familia 2045 Under the Sea. Climate Change Effects. Barcelona.

I did this exercise with Photoshop and Nuke in my spare time. In the beginning, I just wanted to imagine how such an impressive Cathedral would look like under the sea, so I started to "play around" with Photoshop. Once I saw something that satisfied me, I wondered how it would look like, if I could animate it. That gave me the idea to extrapolate it to Nuke, which was the ideal software. I practiced a bit more with: - 3D Projection Textures, - Unwrap Geometry Textures with UV projection Mode in ScanLineRender - ScanLineRender Z-Buffer to create Z-Depth Maps for Blur and Underwater Fog effects - IDistort Motion Maps for the Reflection/Refraction Maps on the Water Surfece - Caustics, Glow and Volume Rays for light effect...


11. CLEANSING

  • Published: 2017-08-10T07:06:17+00:00
  • Duration: 633
  • By Eyal Gever
CLEANSING

I am excited to share with you my new art work »CLEANSING« an Augmented Reality projection mapping on the 18th century baroque Karlsruhe Castle at 2017 Schlosslichtspiele Germany. This art work was commissioned by the ZKM museum. In »CLEANSING« the Castle Karlsruhe representation acts as a metaphor of one going through a cleansing process - that could be a personal process of mental and emotional cleansing but also it could be interpreted as a global cleansing process - our planet responding to the warming climate change causing sea levels to rise with devastating consequences. The art work is intense - confronting us with the thought that we are at a breaking point. Huge stream of water are flooding and erasing the castle - and by that bearing away the past and carrying the future at the end of one and the beginning of the next - forcing us to think / fear if we Passed the Point of No Return - A reminder of the fragility and beauty of human-life … eventually the castle is reborn leaving the viewers with the feeling of hope — that the end of the world turns out to not be the end after all, but a new beginning - for our planet as well as ourselves. Honored to collaborate with: Curated by Peter Weibel, Chairman and Artistic Director of ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Music created by maestro Ori Lichtik, Liquid simulation physics YuvalKolton. Project Management platoon.ai. Huge thanks to @roniesh for all your help and support ❤️#art #futureart #projectionmapping #zkmkarlsruhe #simulation Video recorded by Moritz Büchner M.A.


12. Trailer : 4.1868 The Theory of Heat

  • Published: 2012-10-04T14:17:06+00:00
  • Duration: 229
  • By Adrian Abela
Trailer : 4.1868 The Theory of Heat

4.1868 The Theory of Heat is a composition comprising of a video projection (55 mininute loop), stereo audio, two paintings and a bilingual text. The video was made using both thermal and visual cameras with the purpose of, and in a manner to, account a story looping between facts and metaphor derived from scientific theories and mythology. These images discuss heat as the focal point as well as central character. The title is derived from the measure of one joule, 4.1868 a unit of energy and the book, ‘Theory of Heat’, by James Clerk Maxwell. The visual narration starts with the 'beginning of life', as Charles Darwin had said. He described life as emerging in a 'warm little pond' and explained the role of heat in the creation of the first life form. Water and heat are also present in the formulas of contemporary theories of the origin of life. These are also vital for its preservation. Melqart, a god of the sea and the land (or underworld), is used here to personify this duality. He or she can be found on an ex-voto offered as the Cippus in the 'Tas-Silġ Temple' in Marsaxlokk.The ex-voto is an offering to a divinity or a saint as gratitude for saving their lives during a dangerous voyage or for recovery from illness. Here Melqart is represented as the same body manifesting his two characteristics, lord of the sea or water and that of land or heat, using the split screen and sound differing from left to right. The object used to manifest these images was the infra-red camera recording variation in heat, usually used to diagnose diseases at an early stage preventing medical complications and illnesses which might lead to death, or as a detector of life. Hence in this action of narration the camera is representing the Cippus, and it serves as a modern day ex-voto. We now use these ‘machines’ for diagnoses or as preventions, whereas before it was prayer which manifested itself as the 'object'. The ex-voto used here, the Cippus offered to Melqart now becomes the technology and scientific knowledge. This is further shown and elaborated on in the video in which Melqart stands in this threshold between land and sea, a line concerned with the rise in heat of the earth which is induced by humans burning fossil fuels. Melqart in the images visually revives fossils by transferring his or her heat to the dead animal to make it visible to the camera, as if reviving it with the use of heat (black signifying cold, to yellow, which is warm). These fossils are the same ones used to shelter us through architecture. They are stone made out of dead life from the sea. The dead birds shown being given life in the video are Migratory birds who came to the island through sea, similar to the first humans who then settled on the island, as well as the Cippus itself having text showing its origin. The composition is made to question the boundaries of that which is scientific and that which is seen as art or deemed mythical, since there is no distinct line between them, similar to the shore line between land and sea and who controls it. They are interdependent in defining themselves. What was seen as unexplainable or divine is now considered everyday practice and common knowledge. These modern day ‘ex-votos’ give us insight we couldn't otherwise have acquired, therefore gaining these divine-like attributes. Contributors: Tia Reljic, Aidan Corlett, Martha Vassallo Sound: Nigel Baldacchino http://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/cippus-malta


13. Excerpts from Wave Patterns

Excerpts from Wave Patterns

In Wave Patterns, twelve video channels are arranged in a matrix of three channels high by four wide. Shot at several Canadian locations, each channel captures flowing water and its shifting reflections, colours, moods and movements. Together they form an ever-changing tapestry as each video evolves itself and in concert with the others, beginning with a single channel and culminating in the full grid of twelve. Channels fade in and out individually and in groups as the rectangular grid pattern fluidly builds up, breaks down, and builds itself up again. Abstraction emerges in the colour and forms of the water imagery, as well as in the visual patterns created by the play of oscillating and fluctuating rectangles of video. By contrasting the free-flowing water with its containment within the ordered structure of the grid, the work explores the intersections between the natural world and the human impulse to build and make order. The audio track contributes to the work’s constructive process by building an unexpected soundscape of construction sounds; the noises of different tools are associated with the appearance of particular video channels according to the rhythm of the editing. In the relationships of its many parts to the whole, the video projection creates a dynamic choreography of change over time, simultaneously exploring both fragmentation and unity. BIOGRAPHY Cheryl Pagurek is a photo-based and video artist living in Ottawa, Ontario. She received an M.F.A. from the University of Victoria (1992). Since then her work has been shown extensively in galleries across Canada from Victoria to St. John’s, as well as in a commissioned project for Prefix Photo magazine (2004). Some of her recent exhibitions and screenings have been in Ottawa, Toronto, Kingston, Montréal and Chicago. Her video and light box installation Reflection and Flow was shown in 2009 in Montréal as part of Le Mois de la Photo, and in 2010 at Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery in Halifax. In 2010 she also launched the video Growing Pains and photographic series High Value Targets at Patrick Mikhail Gallery in Ottawa. In 2011 she installed a public art commission, Currents, at Market Place Transit Station for the City of Ottawa; it is the first permanent outdoor art video display in Ottawa. Her work is in several collections including Foreign Affairs Canada, the Canada Council Art Bank, the Library of the National Gallery of Canada, the Ottawa Art Gallery and the City of Ottawa, and has been written about in Canadian, American and British publications, including Ciel Variable, Vie des Arts, Canadian Art online, Next Level (UK), and Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism. She has received grants from the City of Ottawa, the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. She is represented in Ottawa by Patrick Mikhail Gallery. cherylpagurek.com patrickmikhailgallery.com


14. Suspension

  • Published: 2012-04-12T16:39:34+00:00
  • Duration: 58
  • By Angela Molloy
Suspension

This piece ‘ Suspension’ is based on being suspended in water. The viewer is forced to come to terms with it by questioning whether or not I will come up for air. This performance was projected onto the pillow of a hospital bed and installed into the middle of a room. It conjures up the uncertainty one has when someone has had an accident or has been admitted to hospital. It is based on the element of survival and the hope that one will pull through. I was intrigued by Thomas Demand’s work where he made a replica of where someone was murdered. It made me think how the reconstruction of a room or object could reveal a truth. I feel the hospital bed is loaded with meaning. It is the culmination of my work and the themes I have used throughout. The suffering one has to endure in a hospital bed and the uncertainty of one’s destiny. I see the hospital bed as a significant object. I decided to incorporate the bed when I saw the work of Marcel Duchamp. He signed his name on a urinal. He provoked the debate about an artist’s right to designate something manufactured as a piece of artwork. I wanted to give the hospital bed its place and leave my mark on it. I was influenced by Kathleen Bitetti’s work ‘Weary Heads’ where she used a series of ten life size beds. ‘These are beautiful objects but they are also very dangerous. These works transform an object that usually provides comfort, into one that has nightmare qualities.’ Kathleen Bitetti The hospital bed and the projection of me continually under water on the pillow reveal a truth. Will I come up for air of will I drown? There are undertones of whether or not I will survive. I researched the Shakespearian tragedy ‘Hamlet’ where the queen speaks of Ophelia’s death. As one incapable of her own distress, Or like a creature native and indu’d Unto that element; but long it could not be Till that her garments, heavy with their drink, Pull’d the poor wretch from their melodious lay To muddy death. Shakespeare There are ambiguous meanings referring to Ophelia’s death. The references to water are significant. I looked at a hologram of Kate Moss presented at fashion week where her hair and material floated like it was under water. I looked at an image of the statue of Saint Teresa where the material flowing around her face and body was reminiscent of the way my hair and clothing floated under the water. Saint Teresa describes her pain as a mingled pain of body and soul. There is an illusion of time, which highlights the suspense and unknown outcome. It is like being suspended in time. It is the crucial time of recovery and a time of emergency. It is a time to cope and a time to heal. Is it a beginning or an end? Is it just in time or too late? It is a time when the body goes into hibernation and recuperates or shuts down. The image of my head on a made bed has a ghostly appearance. It suggests matters of the brain, thoughts, emotions and deals with the mind. I had experimented with the idea of projecting my body onto the bed but I felt my head had a lot more impact. The made up bed is clean and ready for the next person but a residue still remains. I considered the importance of hospital sheets and the residue of one’s experience. I looked at Yves Klein’s work and the significance of the body’s imprint. My work deals with issues such as the healing process, suffering, pain, and the persistence of inhumanity, endurance of the human body and survival. My piece ‘Suspension’ brings together the concepts behind my work. It expresses a prolonged agony and not knowing the outcome of one’s life. It is open to interpretation but conveys a quiet desperation that is often experienced in life.


15. 'The North' Installation, 2006

  • Published: 2010-12-01T12:52:51+00:00
  • Duration: 39
  • By Jade Boyd
'The North' Installation, 2006

The North (installation) Jade Boyd, The North video installation: video projection (7:42), amplifier, 2x speakers, dead branches. Dimensions variable. ‘Podium’ at Galleri Badet, Kulturhuset, Hausmania, Oslo, Norway, 2006. 'The North', originally an installation for my graduation exhibition at Sydney College of the Arts (2005), was the beginning of a trajectory of work and research based around the sublime and the supernatural. In this installation I projected a video made with footage of the Norwegian landscape combined with footage from earlier works. The video was projected so that it fell partly onto the tips of the pile of twisted, dead branches, that lay on the floor, echoing the elements of nature within the video. The darkly layered soundtrack was heavy with bass, holding reference to Norse folklore with the imagined cries in the woods and a voice (suggestive of the Nøkken), beckoning in old Norwegian to `cross over´ (the water). The video moved in stilted procession, recalling Muybridge´s sequential photographic studies of locomotion, and creating a dislocated world, enclosed within the dark confines of the room.


16. Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

Pranamasana was an interactive projection installation wherein each user was represented as a single wave in a larger ocean of waves. You could flap your arms around and cause shallow ripples in the ocean, but I designed the project to encourage users to stand still with their palms pressed against each other near their sternum -- imitating what is known as the Prayer Pose. When you interact with it in that way, it causes your wave to grow larger and the infinite feedback loop effect in the background to twist into a really trippy spiral. We attached a caption to the piece when we installed it which I think helps to explain the metaphor: "When we look at the ocean, we see that each wave has a beginning and an end. A wave can be compared to other waves, and we can call it more or less beautiful, higher or lower, longer lasting or less long lasting. But if we look more deeply, we see that a wave is made of water. It would be sad if the wave did not know that it is water. It would think, 'Some day, I will have to die. This period of time is my life span, and when I arrive at the shore, I will return to nonbeing.' These notions will cause the wave fear and anguish. We have to help it remove the notions of self, person, living being, and life span if we want the wave to be free and happy. When the wave touches her true nature -- which is water -- all her complexes will cease, and she will transcend birth and death." - Tich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of the Buddha's Teachings Developed in Unity3D by Into Outof Studio. Uses Kinect 2 input. Displayed at Indie MEGASHOW on July 15th, 2017 at The Tabernacle in Atlanta. Song is NY Pt. 1 by Teebs.


17. THE S P I R A L | a design for an exhibition space

  • Published: 2012-08-19T11:27:01+00:00
  • Duration: 167
  • By d.teil
THE S P I R A L  | a design for an exhibition space

a competition entry. China 2008. spiral: 1. masterplan: to the east of our side is a ca. 250 meter strong line of a tall government building. the line is going along the main street and form a kind of a plaza in the center of it by setting back with that line. to the west and to the north there will be the main park for this island. we are following with our design the strong line by the government building to continue this one and giving the whole design an endpoint with the exhibition spiral before the park is starting. by doing so a 350m strong line (with set backs) is formed with a necessary endpoint. the shape of the garden level in the north is curved because of the landscape around. 2. function. we are using the different levels (street level and park level) to seperate the functions of the building. coming from main street (west and east) as also from the center of the government complex we are curving our line to the entrance so that the visitor will be automatically absorb to that one. in the bulk we are placing on 2 levels the office and the gis space. the spiral is especially designed for the demand of the client with the huge model in the center. from the entrance you may go directly through a big open stair to the garden level with the archive and the theaters. THE SPIRAL: the archetype of this shape coming from a classic filmstrip (by elevation) and by drawings from the world famous artist Escher which were drawing a continuous line (by function). we are seeing in the exhibition space a certain way the visitor should go. the beginning and the end of this one should be the same point (which is the entrance hall) with the main issue as the heart of it right in center which is the big model of the 3 islands. this heart you will be able to see from almost the whole exhibition space, but always from a different angel and height to create an exciting space. 1.the starting point of the exhibition will be this heart so the model which is already around 2 meter deeper to see clearly the masterplan of the islands. 2. after it the exhibition space will present the past - the present and the future in a continuous space. in this space we are using the curved walls to the outside for multimedia shows (the filmstrip in the elevation). when it's getting dark this elevation will be change to a huge screen to the outside. to the inside the visitor will be able to watch almost always to the big hall with the model inside. 3. the exhibition will be end with a theater space (where the visitor can see once more information material about the ideas and the future of this islands. THE ORANGERIE: this is the space on the garden level with a hundred meter glass wall to the north where you will find an inside park designed as a chinese garden with water around as the border. along this curved glass wall (the orangerie) we areseperating the other functions: the entrances to the two theaters , a cafe as also the archive with the reading places to this glass wall. we are thinking that this is a quitely and nicely space by having all the way long the view to a colorful garden by doing research (archive), listen to some lectures (theaters) or just drinking a cup of coffee. THE GARDEN: the archetype of this garden is the reason why this building has to be built: the future of the 3 islands. therefore we are creating a landscape with 3 islands and the main land which are similar in shape as the original ones. each of the 3 islands are getting there own atmosphere by flowers and plants. . the main land in this case our terrace along the glass wall. a fontaine in a circle of water symbolize the future port of the island. between and along the border to the park and the government area we are placing some water as an important element in a traditional chinese garden. THE PUBLIC ROOF DECK: the public will be able to go on the roof of the whole complex to get exciting views to the inside of the spiral , to the landscape garden in the north as also to the public park in the west. . this gesture should symbolize that this building will be one for the public too. it will be a part of the park by placing (between spring and autumn time) different kind of dalian flowers on it. 3. THE FACADE: we are using our shape as a huge screen which is also visible on the outside especially in the evening and night. the facade getting with this 3 or more different faces. the elements: outside a layer of low iron u profile glass with translucent isolation. between the frame structure and led lighting and inside a simple layer of transluzent glass which has also the function as a curved screen. installed projectors projection movies and images on this screen.


18. What is rising / Art-Act

  • Published: 2016-01-06T15:16:59+00:00
  • Duration: 1487
  • By Oudeis
What is rising / Art-Act

This project has been developped during a two-month residency at CentralTrak in Dallas. Gaspard and Sandra have been laureates from the Institut-Français Artist-In-Residency Program in USA. More informations: http://art-act.fr/en/portfolio/ce-qui-monte-2/ http://ifmapp.institutfrancais.com/residences#f2_9585-Gaspard-Bebie-Valerian-Laureat-du-programme-de-Residences-americaines-2015 Context This project explores the fracking issue, usually associated to the shale gas exploitation in several countries and areas. Its starting point is based in Texas, Dallas and its surroundings. For several years now, wells are drilled around the city, and others like Denton, Irving. But as the shale gas exploitation grows, unusual seismic activities have been reported. The population suspected the earthquakes to be induced by fracking. According to the US Geological Survey, there is evidence that some central and eastern North America earthquakes have been triggered or caused by human activities that have altered the stress conditions in earth’s crust sufficiently to induce faulting.­ Activities that have induced felt earthquakes in some geologic environments have included impoundment of water behind dams, injection of fluid into the earth’s crust, extraction of fluid or gas, and removal of rock in mining or quarrying operations.­ Progressively, some groups try to organize actions to regulate or get more informations about the consequences of this industry. However, now, the fight is disproportionate between the two camps. The oil and gas industry invokes economic, geopolitical arguments and uses very convincing means of communication. More than just the question of fracking, this project questions the notion of catastrophe, the notion of civilisation which grows to the contact of natural phenoma as earthquakes. But the real difference, today, is that these phenomena are a direct consequence of the industry, they get a power that until now only nature was able to provoke. What is Rising, then, is a project which questions the dimension of the risk, its acceptance… Even if the natural disasters are an integrated element of the American culture, the concept of ‘catastrophe’ is universal and could be declined in any situation or country. Moreover and in prolongation of a cultural approach of the country, it is the question of acceptance and how to «live with» which is involved.­ The apprehension of disaster or catastrophe is deeply embedded inside us, it makes us relativize, so far the industrial disaster comes to be a part of our unconscious and solicits our imagination and projection to the world.­ Description For this project, we’ve used earthkquakes transcriptions as graphes and translated them as data. Then, the data have been drawn on paper rolls.. These retranscriptions are used as an element of sound and sensory composition, like an active sheet music. What is Rising is both an installation and a performance. Within this installation, we’ve transformed seismograph, using hardware electronics as sort to play the earthquakes graphs in realtime and write the data on a paper roll. At the beginning, the project was intended only to be one installation but including 3 seismographs.­ After the residency in Dallas, we decided rather to make on performance from this subject. It allows us to get something more complex, richer and evolutive. The performance includes the seismograph as a module which fully participates to the senography. The seismograph is like an instrument, it produces and follows the narration like a sheet music. Thus, the seismic drawing is the retranscription of the narration, it is the visualisation of the earthquake which progressively reachs the space where the installation is.­ The sounds, triggered and read as we go along the reading of the seismographes, are our own recordings mixed and modify as a musical composition alike field recording and electroacoustic music.­ The performance lasts 25 minutes and involves two performers. One for the spatialisation of the sound (6 speakers and 2 subwoofers) and one another for the creation in real time of the visuals. We used a lot of found-footages from the dust-bowl period. This period has lasted 10 years in USA and has been the consequence of an excessive exploitation of the earth for the agriculture. Making a connection between the dust-bowl and the fracking is for us an interesting bias cause it involves the same relationship between excessive exploitation of the natural ressources, its industrialisation and the dramatic consequences for the population.


19. TALKING TO GOD (HITBOD'DUT) complete (90 minutes)

TALKING TO GOD (HITBOD'DUT) complete (90 minutes)

Breslav Hassidim and Franciscan Catholics are told to talk to God in the woods. Gestalt Therapy provides us with many tools to help us get past our own ego trips and really speak to God. Part 1 of this project shows us "dumb hitbod'dut", all the wrong things to do, while parts 2-7 of this project attempt to demonstrate some of the right things to do to be more successful if and when you do talk to God. 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. "HITBOD'DUT" CONVERSATIONS WITH MR. H A LOWBROW, SLIGHTLY IRREVERENT INTRODUCTION TO BRESLAV THEOLOGY by franklyn wepner december 2008 [email protected] PREFACE (a) ON THE HYPOTHESIS OF THIS EXPERIMENT The teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslav, as embodied in today's Breslav Hassidic sect of Judaism embody a form of what traditionally goes by the name of "Pietism". Pietism emphasizes faith and simplicity over against complex intellectual explanations of religious matters. But from the day that the Baal Shem Tov, it is said, sought God by talking to Him in the woods and jumping back and forth from one side of a stream to the other, until the day Nachman published his collected essays, "Likutei Moharan", much water in the stream of Jewish Pietism has passed under the bridge. That is to say, Likutei Moharan is not simple stuff. In order to write what he writes in those pages, Rabbi Nachman had to be well versed in the complex tradition of Pietist religion. Whether he got it from the original sources or from other compilations, he had to know something about the Neoplatonism of Philo, Ibn Gabirol, Judah Halevy , Abu-l-Barakat and Leone Ebreo. He had to know something about the responses of Hasdai Crescas to the Aristotelian Jewish tradition which crystallized in Maimonides "Guide For The Perplexed". To these two traditions, Nachman of Breslav added a strong emphasis upon the philosophy of language, in the sense that the Word of God is coming to us from a Jewish God who in a profound mystical sense is a speaking God, speaking to us and speaking through us. Though it is hard to find precedents to this in Judaism, we can find it in the work of the Christian theologian Johann Georg Hamann, which appeared, shortly before the time Nachman was born, in Konigsberg, East Prussia, not far from where Nachman lived in Eastern Europe. In the work of Hamann we find much of the philosophy of language which Nachman incorporated into his teachings. In other words, since the teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslav are so saturated with the complex tradition of Pietism, they are anything but a return to the naivete of the Bal Shem Tov. In this respect Nachman is deliberately deceptive when he tells his disciples again and again to keep it simple, and rely mainly on prayer. But he also tells them to study! So he is not preaching mindlessness. Nor is he teaching blind following. His elevation of "the tsaddik of the generation" to the level of highest authority in the community of Hassidim is to be read both in the literal, "pshat", sense, and also in the profoundest philosophical sense as the Moses-Mashiach element potentially available in every person who submits himself to the theological process outlined in Likutei Moharan. Traditionally in Judaism it is said that each Jew shares in the living reality of Moses receiving the Torah on Mt. Sinai, but for Nachman this notion is merely the tip of an iceberg which is available to those who take the trouble to fathom the ideas of Likutei Moharan. In view of these elements contained in Nachman's teachings, it should not be surprising that in what follows here I discover profundity rather than naivete in Nachman's advice to his disciples that they ought to sequester themselves every day and talk directly to God. Of course, we can talk naively to God in the manner of Tevye in Fiddler On the Roof. That procedure here I label "dumb hitbod'dut". Dumb hitbod'dut in that sense is in most cases better than no hitbod'dut at all. It can't hurt, and it might even be more useful than talking to oneself. But I am after bigger fish than that. My goal here is to begin to apply the principles of Likutei Moharan itself to the process of hitbod'dut. This introduction is not the place to spell out the complex principles of Likutei Moharan. You will find some of that in the sequel. Here I will just outline my basic assmptions for this project, which are that (i) Since Neoplatonism and Hamann's philosophy of language are examples of dialectical thinking, therefore Likutei Moharan likewise is dialectical thinking. (ii) Gestalt Therapy also is dialectical thinking, containing both Platonic and Aristotelian aspects. (iii) Therefore, applying dialectical thinking and Gestalt Therapy principles to hitbod'dut is entirely appropriate. (iv) Hitbod'dut divested of the Gestalt Thrapy list of "self-interruptions" that rob our actions of their potential for authenticity and effectiveness is better than hitbod'dut saturated with this nonsense. The list of self-interruptions includes, beginning with the most pernicious, (a) confluence, (b) introjection, (c) projection, (d) retroflection, and (e) egotism. I will present these problems, one after the other, and then I will go on and attempt to demonstrate that smart hitbod'dut is better than dumb hitbod'dut. (b) ON THE STYLE OF THIS PRESENTATION That is the rationale for this project. Now a few words about the style of this project. It is, first of all, an experiment. I never saw it done before, but I decided to try to do it anyway. I state at the beginning that it might not work. As a matter of fact, I believe that it did work. I believe it worked very well, but you might not agree. That is for you to decide. Being an experiment, it had a hypothesis and a procedure. The hypothesis I just explained above. The procedure was simply to do my own personal hitbod'dut work, talking to Mr. H (Hashem, Hebrew: The Name, i.e., God), on tape as a here and now spontaneous improvisation, with you looking on as the audience. If you have access to that CD I hope you will invest the 2 hours or so it takes to listen to it. If you do so, you will discover that this written version has been edited to make it more coherent and more readable. Also, I have taken the liberty of correcting certain blunders. But on the other hand, I purposely retained the style of a here and now spontaneous improvisation. You should know that the "actor" of that theatrical event is not such a nice guy as the erudite elderly gentleman who, with the wisdom of hindsight and in the manner of cool reflection, is writing this introduction. That actor doesn't mind insulting his audience if he feels - perhaps mistakenly - that by doing so he can better get his point across. But he has asked me to beg you please not to take it personally! It is merely poetic license. And after all, he is doing therapy up there, working on his existence. He is just exploring the range of expression available to him there and then (here and now) in his studio or up on his favorite hitbod'dut hill in Yavniel, Israel, which - by the way - is about 5 miles west of the sea of Galilee, in the vicinity of the city of Tiberias. It is Chanuka/Christman time, December 2008, but the weather is balmy, except for a breeze that occasionally makes its presence known in the form of microphone noise. He is making every effort to remain faithful to the process of hitbod'dut as he understands it based upon his sources, the Likutei Moharan text of Nachman of Breslav, and the Gestalt Therapy texts of Fritz Perls. Also, as he tells us, he is at pains to select topics personal enough to be meaningful and on the other hand not so personal that he damages himself or others by having an audience find out about them. If you think that is easy, he suggests you try it yourself sometime with your own recording equipment and send him the results. CONTENTS (1) SMART HITBOD'DUT AND DUMB HITBOD'DUT (a) WHAT IS HITBOD'DUT? (b) PROJECTION (c) INTROJECTION (d) CONFLUENCE (e) RETROFLECTION (f) EGOTISM (g) SUMMARY (2) SMART HITBOD'DUT AS INDUCTION, FAITH AND PRAYER (a) HERE & NOW ON MY FAVORITE HITBOD'DUT HILL IN YAVNIEL (b) THE TREE OF LIVING ORGANISMS: "GESTALTS" (c) MR. H "ROCHEV AHL ARAVOT"ABOVE THE SPHERES (d) LEIBNIZ' THEORY OF MONADS (e) REINTEGRATING PROJECTIONS (f) NO QUESTIONS ALLOWED (g) "PRAYER" AS RIDING THE MOMENTS (h) INDUCTIVE LOGIC VS DEDUCTIVE LOGIC (i) THE RHYTHM OF CONTACT AND WITHDRAWAL (j) THE CONCRETE DIALECTIC: THESIS/ANTITHESIS/SYNTHESIS (3) USING PROJECTIONS CREATIVELY FOR HITBOD'DUT (a) USING PROJECTIONS IN HITBOD'DUT (b) FINDING A CONCRETE SITUATION (c) THIS IS PROPHECY AND ANAMNESIS (d) DIALOGUE OF AVRAHAM, YITZCHAK & YAAKOV AS "ANGEL" (e) THE SPIRALING DIALECTIC OF EGLAH / EEGUL (f) NEW PROJECTIONS: TIBERIUS (Y) AND YAVNIEL (-Y) (g) THE SYNTHESIS: YAAKOV, JERUSALEM (h) TSELEM ELOKIM AND THE COMING SOLUTION (i) INDUCTION AS TRANSLATION AND PRAYER (j) "LA-SHUR": TO GAZE AND "SHOR" (BULL) (k) BRECHT AND STANISLAVSKI (l) SUMMARY (m) WHO IS MR. H? (1) SMART HITBOD'DUT AND DUMB HITBOD'DUT (a) WHAT IS HITBOD'DUT? Recording number one. This is an experiment. We're going to see if it works. FW: So, Mr. H, listen, it's Wepner here. I got to deal with a fly that's buzzing around me, and I got to deal with you at the same time. So, forgive me . . . if I don't quite connect! So here I am sitting in my studio, with my microphone, and my recorder, and my keyboard. (plays sounds) That was "orchestra". You want to hear a trumpet? (more sounds) Trombone? (more sounds) That's not a good trombone. (sounds) That sounded a little more like a trombone. (sounds) OK, so Mr. H, I'm not going to say who You really are, since I'm not supposed to use Your name in vain. But I'm going to play around with this project, and see what happens. So the point of the project is we're going to talk about the difference between smart hitbod'dut and dumb hitbod'dut. First of all, what is "hitbod'dut"? It's a Hebrew word meaning "being alone". But the way the religious people usually use it, when they say "hitbod'dut", is that you're supposed to be alone talking to God, like Tevye in Fiddler On The Roof. Like you say, Ha-shem! Oh, you're not supposed to say Ha-shem. Mr. H! I'm trying to peddle my work, and nobody wants to take it seriously. So I'm trying this approach, making a CD like this. Maybe somebody will listen to it. Nincompoops out there! Listen! Listen. I got something important here. If you dummies don't appreciate it, that's your problem! (b) PROJECTION In hitbod'dut, when you do a projection you think you're talking to God, but really all you're talking to is yourself! Let's see how that works. That sounds a little bit like Schopenhauer. " The World as Will and Representation (or Idea)". The Will is the force that motivates things, keeps them going along. The representation, that's our ideas, our projecting all over the place, and we make a world out of that. So from this point of view everything is a projection. If I say, FW: Mr. H out there, hi! You seem rather withdrawn today. You're not talking much. What am I doing? I'm just projecting my own "withdrawn-ness" out there into the void, into that empty space, wallpapering the world with withdrawn-ness. Basically, I'm talking about my own "withdrawn-ness". In other words, I'm experiencing some withdrawn-ness, but I don't want to acknowledge that I am withdrawing, that I am holding back, so I project it out there and I say, FW: Mr. H, you are withdrawing! That's called a projection. But if I don't realize I'm doing that, if I don't realize that I am making that projection, then I'm just going to say, FW: Hey, Mr. H, how come you won't talk to me today? I'm lost in myself. I have no contact with Mr. H, because all I'm contacting is my own projection, my own dumb projection because I'm not aware of what I'm doing. You think you're talking to God, but really all you're talking to is your own crappy ego that you're trying to get out of! You see? And there are a million different variations of the same ego game. (c) INTROJECTION We're rattling off the Gestalt list of problems, the list of "self-interruptions" as they call them. Next on the list is "introjection". So instead of interrupting your communication with God or with your soul, or whatever it is, with a projection, you might try an "introjection" that day, that moment. The roots of the word "Introjection" is "jectare", to throw, and "intro", in; so it's "throwing in" that you are doing. You're swallowing whole some authority figure in your life, most likely when you were a child, for example, if you had an authoritarian father. Father: That's it! Do what I say, and that's it. I don't want to hear from you! That's the authoritarian father. You want to do hitbod'dut. You want to talk to God but you're just talking to your introject, your dybbuk, that soul of your father that doesn't want to go away, that's possessing you, inhabiting you, polluting you So you say, Hey, Hashem! And then you imagine Hashem saying something critical. Mr. H: Oh, you dumb son-of-a-bitch, you screwed up your life today. You should crawl! So you say, (whining) Oh, Hashem, I'm so terrible. I did this today, and I hurt this person and I hurt that person. Oh, forgive me, Hashem! But really, you're not talking to Hashem. You're just talking to your father again. And, you know, it's boring. It's stupid. You're not going to get to Hashem that way. You're just going to get back to your father, and the more you get into that trip of projecting that authoritarian image out there the more lost you get in self-abuse. Oh, God, how can I possibly do all of your 10,000 mitzvot, commandments?! It's overwhelming. I can't do it. I'm a terrible Jew! That's bullshit! That's religious bullshit that you're stuck in because your rebbes don't know what they're doing so they can't teach you what you should do. You understand? You get the idea? That's "introjection". OK? You got an introjected authority figure, or maybe you got an introjected mama that was always, Mama: Oh, my poor, loving, what can I do for you this moment, you poor, helpless child? So then every time you talk to God you're going to be talking to your mother that's calling you a poor, helpless child, and you're going to say, (crying) Oh, God, I'm so helpless today, I don't know what to do! I'm so helpless. I can't deal with anything! And then you're back to being the crybaby that mother incubated in her womb cause she needed to have a crybaby so she could play her game on you. So there's another introject! (d) CONFLUENCE What else do we got here in our package of goodies, our ego goodies that we use all day long? Umm, we did projection, we did introjection. Now, another one. The worst once is "confluence". That's where you're totally out of touch with anything except your own habits. So let's say you have a habit of bossing people around, FW: Do it my way, or else, buddy! Look, I'm running the show here! So then you're going to treat Hashem that way. Mr. H! Hi. Here's my list of what I want today. I want this and I want that. I want some money. I need about 25 students, to help pay the rent. I need some credibility here. These rabbis won't take me seriously. I don't have any credential . . . but that was my problem. No! I don't have any problems. I'm perfect! You need to give me what I want, and that's it! That's it, cause I'm just in touch with me and my needs. All right, that's it. Give me this and give me that. That's an example of confluence. "Con" is "with" and "fluere" is "to flow". You're flowing with your past habit, your previous habit of being a spoiled, snotnose child that got whatever he wants. So, Hashem, here's my list. I want two pounds of coleslaw, two dozen knackniks, uh, a new pair of underwear and some perfume. OK. That's what I want today. You better deliver it, or else! (e) RETROFLECTION Let's see what else we got here? OK, there's "retroflection", the perseverator. I'm feeling a need to communicate with God, but instead of letting that need come out directly, I am putting all the energy into myself. So I'm going to dahven up a storm (Yiddish: "to pray"). I'm dahvening back and forth, (straining, pushing, working himself up to a frenzy of hysteria) Oh, I'm dahvening back and forth. I'm swaying back and forth. My muscles are tense. And I can't, and I'm tightening up my throat, and all my energy is going into me, and this repetitive, retro . . . "retro-", "back", "-flection", "turning it all back onto myself". All my energy is going back into my body. Instead of contacting Hashem, I'm just contacting my own anxieties, my own perseverating, my own compulsions. (wailing) Ohhhh, oh, I'm swaying back and forth, I'm dahvening. I'm dahvening. Hashem, you gotta give me this! My life is falling apart! I can't take it! I can't take it! I can't even breathe! I can't, I can't, I can't, I, I, I . . . (gasping for breath, wailing) That is another dumb move! That's retroflection. You don't want to do that either. It's healthier than confluence, healthier than introjection, healthier than projection, 'cause the energy at least is coming out. But instead of going to Hashem, it's going back into your own body, your own anxieties, your own trip. (f) EGOTISM What else we got? There's one more on the list: egotism. OK, now you're really getting close to Hashem. Oh, hello, God, Excuse me, I'm not supposed to say Hashem. Hello, Mr. H. This is Wepner today. And I'm . . . er, umm . . . Oh, "praise"! Praise Mr. H! You're so wonderful. You fill the world with your goodness, and all that. Now praising the Lord at least gets you a little bit, a little bit out of your head, whether the words mean anything or not. But at least it gets you out of your own ego trip. 'Cause, you know, nobody knows what Hashem is, what Mr. H is anyway. So you praise, Oh, Mr. H, you're so wonderful. You run the whole world. You create, every moment you're creating me and my life. Oh, I thank you so much! But then, when you get to the bigger things, Oh, God, I need to tell you what I really need today, and then, all of a sudden, Oh, but I'm embarrassed! (fearful, withdrawing) I'm afraid to tell you. I'm afraid. I mean, you know, Franklyn here, I'm not the kind of guy that shares this kind of stuff. I'm just not that type, you know. I'll tell you tomorrow. Maybe I'll tell you tomorrow. But today I just want to tell you how wonderful you are, and everything . . . OK, that's "egotism". What did I do? The energy almost comes out, but I short circuit it. I short circuit it, and I say, "I'm not the type that can". I'm stuck in an image of myself. So the image of myself is a box I put myself in. And again I block my impulses. I'm almost there. I'm almost communicating with Mr. H, whatever that is, but I fall back on being a certain type, and therefore my ego image of myself is my self-interruption. (g) SUMMARY So we have these five different levels of self-interruptions. (1) Confluence is the worst one, where you're not in touch with anything, except your habits. And if you're not in the back ward of a hospital, a psych ward, even then you're not functioning too well. (2) The next one is introjection. You've introjected, you've swallowed whole some authority figure, from childhood probably, so you are not aware of what you need at all. All you are aware of is what he needs. (3) And then comes projection. This time when you have a need, instead of feeling the need yourself you think they have that need towards you. You're projecting the need out there. For example, Oh, I'm so sad! And then you think of Hashem out there, God, You must be so sad at your people Israel today. Mr H, you must be so sad at your people Israel today, because of all the terrible things we did! (4) Then there's retroflection. That's the one where you're back and forth with all kinds of tension and anxiety, and all the energy flows into your own body and your compulsive repetitions. (5) And finally there's egotism, where you have a frozen image of yourself as a certain type. You're almost ready to be authentic, but then you get stuck. So that's our introduction to different ways of doing "dumb hitbod'dut". You see how stupid it is, cause all you're doing is being stuck in your own ego habits and ego trips. The trouble is you don't know how to do the process so well, so you might need to call me up, FW: Hey, give me a job, buddy. I need the money! So call me up and I can help you! Or, read the book. "Gestalt Therapy Verbatim" is one book, by Perls, Frederick Perls. That's the easiest one to read. The more thorough, more systematic one, is "Gestalt Therapy", by Perls, Hefferline and Goodman. Those are the main books of Gestalt. So if you don't want to pay me, then buy the books and do it yourself. It took me 35 years to figure this out. We'll see how long it takes you to figure it out. (2) SMART HITBOD'DUT AS INDUCTION, FAITH AND PRAYER (a) HERE & NOW ON MY FAVORITE HITBOD'DUT HILL IN YAVNIEL OK. Welcome, folks. This is good old Franklyn here, older every day. I'm sitting here on top of my favorite hitbod'dut hill, here in Yavniel. What we're trying to do here is a hitbod'dut session, smart hitdod'dut instead of dumb hitbod'dut. I hope you've done your homework and listened to the first session, the "dumb hitbod'dut" one, so you know what not to do. This time, now, I'm going to see if I can do it right. Of course, I have a split focus here, Mr. H. up there and you folks out there. We'll see what I can do. I don't know if it's going to work or not. I'm testing, testing the audio system. Test! Test! Test! OK, I guess it's all right. Testing, testing. Maybe it's too soft. Maybe it's all right. Um, I'm here and now. I'm looking out there. I see blueness. I see blueness in the clouds. And I see green-ness down there, all kinds of shades of green in the fields. And I hear some noise. I'm looking around. Now it stopped. If you're listening to the disk, you can hear that noise also. I hear a bird, some kind of . . . I hear a bird. And . . . so the first thing is we want to get into the here and now. (b) THE TREE OF LIVING ORGANISMS: "GESTALTS" You see, every moment of awareness is a gestalt, an idea, a living creature, according to this philosophy, phenomenology. We're dealing here with contact experiences, with the living reality, the living contact boundary of experience. They call it the living God, the divine soul . . . whatever you want to call it. And every moment of contact is an organism, an idea that organizes a certain amount of input, of awareness - sensory awareness or motor awareness - into a pattern, into a living organism. And then we have higher and higher levels of organisms. For example, if I look out there and see a twig blowing in the wind. I see "twig". That's organism number one. And now I feel a breeze. I'm putting together sense of "breeze" plus visual input of "twig", and that gives me a combined higher level integration of the two gestalts, the two little mini-organisms, micro-organisms, into a higher level organism. Et cetera, et cetera, right up the ladder till I get to God, who is like the highest level, or beyond the highest level. What's that noise? That sounds like some sort of a bird. Quack, quack. That sounds like a woodpecker. You hear it? Maybe it's an animal. Mm, sounds very close, doesn't it? Kah, kah. Is there something wrong with my machine, or something? What is it? What is it? There it is again. Anyway, so what does it have to do with Ha-shem? (c) MR. H "ROCHEV AL ARAVOT", ABOVE THE SPHERES Even though we haven't mentioned the word "Mr. H" yet, we're still dealing with Him, in the sense that we start on this ascent, going up and up to bigger and bigger gestalts, to higher and higher levels of integration, the little gestalts and the bigger gestalts. At the highest level we get to the outermost sphere. If we use Aristotle's terminology (and Maimonides' terminology), we're dealing with spheres. That was 500 B.C. Aristotle talked about spheres. We call them gestalts. So we've really progressed, haven't we? The same thing with a different label. According to Aristotle and Maimonides you have bigger and bigger spheres. Man is the center of the universe. And so I'm starting with little spheres and working my way out to big spheres. Mr. H's sphere is the one that's beyond the spheres. As they say in Judaism, "rochev al aravot", He "rides on the deserts" of all the dead forms that He's going to "m'chayei maytim", that He's going "to bring back to life". That's the theory, anyway. (d) LEIBNIZ' THEORY OF MONADS Another way, another jargon we can use, is Leibniz' terminology. We can call every one of these gestalts a "monad", from the word "one": one little unit of oneness, one organism. We start adding up gestalts or monads. Then, instead of building up a strong gestalt which includes many weak gestalts, we build up a "monadology", a big tree of all these little monads all integrated into one big idea or one big monadology. That's Leibniz' theory, a little bit. OK. Now we're going back to Ha-shem here. All right. So let's make it more specific. Let's talk to Mr. H. FW: Hello, Mr. H. Hope you're home today, 'cause I got an audience. (e) REINTEGRATING PROJECTIONS Now let's see. If I already did that, did I just use a projection? "I hope You're home today!", In other words, "Did You abandon me today?" "Did You leave?" "Did You close the door?" Now, that has to be my own ego projection of "abandonment". I'm feeling abandoned right now . . . by all you folks who won't pay my rent! Aggravation. So the way to deal with a projection of "abandonment", Ha-shem as "the abandoning God", is to reown it, to include that part of myself, that gestalt, that fragment of God that I just projected out there. We need to include it, integrate it. So I'm going to play God. I'm going to play the Abandoning God, and see what He has to say. Mr. H: Wepner, it's about time you got here! I'm losing my patience with you. I'm going to give you another crack at it today, to see if I can take you seriously. The sound of that voice doesn't sound too much like Mr. H. That sounds like Franklyn Wepner. I got to find a voice for Mr. H, so I can tell them apart. (f) NO QUESTIONS ALLOWED Mr. H: Well, ho ho, it's about time you got here, you dummy. I've been waiting for you. You brought all these people with you! Snotnose, can't you give me a little time by yourself? You gotta bring all your friends along! OK. Well, what do you want today? FW: There we got a gestalt problem. No questions allowed, Mr. H! We're doing Gestalt here. No questions. Everything has to be direct. You don't want to sabotage the process. Mr. H: Well, let me see now. I'll make that a statement. FW: That's right. You gotta make it a statement. Mm. Let's see. I think I'm going to stop here and see what I got here on this tape, if I got anything at all! All right? . . . OK. So where were we? All right. It worked fine, so far. I got a good recording. We'll go on. Well, we're not really going "on". It's still the same old here and now. And if we're lucky we'll be able to say we got to the "messianic now". Huh? If we succeed in this project . . . That noise! The microphone is making a noise in the pocket. I got to stop that noise . . . FW: So, Mr. H, we were saying "no questions allowed". Mr. H: Uhhh. Ya gotta worry 'bout technology up here? All right, wadaya want? Uhhh. All right, no questions. So, uh, I'd like to hear what your needs are today, Wepner. FW: Well, let's see. Like I said, I need some money. First of all, that comes to mind. Um, I got woman problems, too, because, you see, I have this girl friend I've known for 26 years, ex-wife. And she's around, visiting. On the other hand, I got on the internet and I met a few more. So the ones on the internet are upset about the ex-wife, and the ex-wife is upset about the ones on the internet. And, um, I'm not the type that can lie to people. So, (chuckle) I have a tragicomedy situation here. I might end up with nobody! Mr. H: Ha, ha, ha, ha. Serves you right! Triple timing, quadruple timing! (g) "PRAYER" AS RIDING THE MOMENTS FW: Well, so you're not going to give me advice? Help me out here, Mr. H, what should I do about these women? Mr. H: Well, umm, uh . . . FW: Oh, I'm not supposed to ask questions either! I'm supposed to say . . . something. Well, I'm just riding the moments, you know. Staying with the here and now thing and trusting, with faith. And by being in the here and now, that is a form of prayer. 'Cause I'm not anticipating, not demanding, just living the moments and trusting with a certain amount of faith that, uh, that somehow You'll take care of things! Right? Mr. H: Well, that's very good! You're beginning to get the point, buddy! FW: All right! Then I'm doing it right, huh? Oh, no questions allowed. So maybe I'm doing it right. I'm trusting, you know, and uh . . . What's real will be real, and what's not real will be not real. And that's it! Right? Mr. H: All right, what's next? What else do you want? Oh, no questions. I'm proud of you, Wepner, you're getting your act together here. You're takin' the whole show, you're takin' me on the road too. Maybe we'll get some converts, huh! You're doin' some "kiruv". "Kiruv", a Hebrew word meaning "bring 'em closer". So, you're doin' a good job. You're doin' a good job! Very good! FW: Thanks! . . . Let's see . . . Where was . . . Oh, "prayer" comes to mind. If I'm praying, I need a text. "Baruch atah adonoi, elohenu melech ha-olam, she hechiyanu, v'kiy'manu, v'higiyanu la z'man ha-zeh." Mr. H: Better tell 'em what it means, huh! We might have some goyem out there, listening. FW: Well, it means: Blessed art Thou, the Lord, er, Mr. H. We're not supposed to say Your name! Um, Who got us to this moment. Um, Who caused us to live, who sustained us, and brought us to this moment, this "now". So, thanks a lot! Mr. H: Nuttin'. It's OK. It's OK. Don't worry about it. All right. So we took care of that. We did some "prayer" here. This is "prayer", according to, according to my understanding, especially when you read Breslav stuff, like "Likutei Moharan" (Collected Essays of Rabbi Nachman of Breslav). The emphasis is on faith and on prayer. It means being in the here and now, and trusting that what comes out of the here and now in your attempts, in your dialogue with God, with Mr. H, will somehow be real, in fact more real than what you started out with! So, we're testing out that hypothesis right here, in the laboratory. FW: So, Mr. H, You're my Guinea Pig today! Mr. H: Thanks a lot, buddy! I usually don't think of Myself as a guinea pig, you know . . . Well, in fact, pigs are not even kosher! FW: Well, all right, all right . . . A Guinea Chicken, all right? (h) INDUCTIVE LOGIC VERSUS DEDUCTIVE LOGIC So, uh, this is . . . Each time we take a new moment here, and stay with this thread of concentration, we're building up higher and higher levels of integration, of gestalts. This is called "inductive reasoning", "induction", "inductive logic", where we start with the particulars and work our way up the tree towards the general, towards the big oneness. FW: That's You! Mr. H: Yeah! You better not forget it, either! FW: The Big Oneness, so you're the "One Without A Second". And right now we're eliminating all the Seconds by integrating them into the Oneness. Every time I project another part of myself out there, of Your reality out there, that part needs to be integrated into the Oneness. Mr. H: Boy, that's very interesting. FW: Yeah. You see, I got you all figured out. Mr. H: I don't pay much attention to what I'm doing. I just do it! You know what I mean? FW: Well, but sometimes it helps people to understand the process a little better, 'cause a lot of people need logic to be convinced that praying is worth the trouble. Mr. H: You're right. Give 'em what they need! Well, let's see now. So, this is faith in the here and now, that this will lead to something . . . (noise) You hear that wind? Is that wind disturbing you folks there? I hear wind in my earphones. I think I'm going to close that button on my shirt where the mic is. If I close the button, less air will get in to you. I think the air is disturbing the people out there. It's disturbing me, anyway . . . The button's closed. Less air is going to get in there now . . . Yep. Quieter . . . OK. So here I am sitting on top of the hill. Now, what else is on my agenda? Let's see now . . . Brother Robert in a nursing home, in bad shape. I don't know to do! I got a conflict! Do I sell everything I own to get an airplane ticket to get to Miami to get him out of that nursing home, to bring him here to Israel? Or not? I was hoping various people - I won't mention their names to embarrass them - would come up with the money. But they didn't, so far. So unless something works, I am faced with that very difficult alternative. I got to raise a thousand bucks for a ticket. That's real! That's right now! Now, this is . . . If you're listening out there, I guess I'm doing fund raising, although I didn't plan to do that. OK, I'm doing fund raising. That's what's on my mind. What do you want from me?! Now I'm projecting onto you. I'm projecting onto you out there as "the accusing accusers". You're saying . . . I'll play your part. Accusers: You're using us! You grabbed our attention here with some fraudulent educational project, and now you're trying to bilk us for every cent we got! You no good shyster, you. Con man! I need a new voice for that one. Accuser: You no good shyster con man, you crappy guy! You're deceiving everybody, peddling garbage on the internet. Ech, ech! I'll fix you! Report you to the Federal Something-or-other! Have you banned! Abusing Frumster looking for women, and then you bilk 'em for money! Ha, ha! FW: Wait a minute. You sound like an old witch. Witch: Oh, yea! FW: You sound like an old witch. Look. If you have any compassion, you know, you're not going to be so critical. If you understand what I'm going through here. Understand! I'm not saying you have to come up with the dough, but at least you can understand. You don't have to accuse me. Witch: Well! Just like your sister said. You're just a shnorrer. Your whole life you never worked. FW: Now, come on, don't start that crap! So now we need . . . We have a strong dybbuk out there. a strong introject. It sounds like my father, a little bit. We're getting a little heavier here. We're going from association to association. We started with the judging females out there. Now we moved up to the witch. Then we moved into the association of my father. That's how . . . This process of moving from association to association is part of inductive logic, because each new point, each new association, is a new gestalt, a new moment, a new center, a new organism that's coming out of the void. Here we have a void of not knowing what to do. And each new gestalt, each new monad, each new moment of projection, whatever . . . They come by association, analogy, or types. We get into the category of judgmental types, so we jump from one judgmental individual to another judgmental individual, to another one. You notice we move from the superficial jerky women I just met this week to . . . FW: Excuse me, jerky women! I'm just making a . . . Don't take it too seriously! I'm just . . . Don't run away!! All right, so we're moving from superficial relationships to deeper ones. That is, we're moving up the great chain of being - as some people would call it. 'Cause each of these moments is associated, but they are not logically related in the usual sense of logic. They're just associations. Nachman of Breslav calls them "behinot" (Hebrew: "aspect of"). "Behinot": this is an aspect of that, and that's an aspect of that. And Leibniz would say this is a monad which is a part of that monad, and that is a monad which is a part of another monad. That's a monad, and that's another monad. Another gestalt and another gestalt and another gestalt. One behinot and another behinot. And we're moving up the path of inductive logic. By the way, the opposite of that would be deductive logic. You start from, we start with the idea and you break it down into the little things. So we start with the idea of "here I am on the mountain". Well, on the mountain there are trees and other plants. There's a dog barking. There's wind and there's clouds. OK, we just broke the idea of "mountain" down into ten elements. Or "mountain experience", and we broke it down into ten other secondary experiences. And now we move in on the plants. Let's take the plant monad and break that down into, well, there's green ones and there's white ones and brown ones, and then we move in on the brown ones and there's this particular species and that particular species. That's deductive logic, moving from the big idea , like an upside down tree. Moving from the main root and trunk down to all the little, tiny little twigs. Moving from the One to the Many. That's deduction, and induction is moving from the many to the one. So Gestalt and prayer are mostly inductive experience, the way we're doing them here. Of course, you could do it differently. Maybe in your synagogue they would say, We're gonna do the Chanukah service today! So we'll do this, and we'll do that, and then we should do this and we should do that . . . And they break the idea of Chanukah down into many parts. That is "deductive prayer", and if that works for you, fine, but it doesn't work for me very well. So we have deductive religion and we have inductive religion. You might say that Chabad is the deductive religion. You start from the one idea of the rebbe up there that knows everything and we know nothing. And he slices reality down into slices we are supposed to assimilate, weekly lessons and all this, and so it's all coming from the top. And if you like that kind of rationalist religion - where everything is analyzed and spoon fed according to what somebody thinks we're supposed to be digesting today, then you're a Chabadnik. But if you like the other path, what we're doing here, the Tevye fiddler on the roof path, then you're a Breslaver. If you're Catholic, the Breslavers are the Franciscans and the Chabadniks are the Dominicans, the Papists. So the Pope is like the Rebbe for the Catholics, and the Franciscans do what the Breslavers do, talking to God in the woods or whatever. OK, back to our lesson. Back to Ha-shem. I mean, Mr. H. FW: Hello, Mr. H. Mr. H: Humm. I'm gettin' bored of all those lectures. FW: All right, let's do something else. (i) THE RHYTHM OF CONTACT AND WITHDRAWAL Where was I? Oh, I was dealing with the conflict about women. Did I finish that one? I finished that one. Yea. My brother! So there's a very painful conflict. I don't know what to do! On the one hand, I want to save this guy's life. I don't know if I can. If I get there it might be too late to pile him into an airplane and drag him to Israel. I might be too late. But maybe I could get him to come here and maybe I could oversee him in a nursing home, and keep him alive for a while. So it's a conflict. On the other hand, I don't want to sell my equipment, my instruments and my video and everything. How am I going to do my work? Very painful conflict! Besides, in Israel I wouldn't get much for it. The video system is all NTSC, which is American style. And Israel is PAL. I would get practically nothing for the whole system. It's a painful conflict. So now, how do you deal with a conflict? Well, we have the rhythm of conflict and withdrawal. We have two opposites here. One side is saying, "you're being selfish", Side One: Sell the stuff! Go save the guy's life! Side Two: Hey, I've got a right to live, too, you know. I've got a right to live. He's my brother, but still I have a right. I worked so hard to get that stuff. Somebody already stole some of it. What do you want from me? Lay off. Lay off!!! We have two sides, and I can't . . . I don't know which is right. So we have the rhythm of contact and withdrawal. What does that mean? Simply, let the two monads, the two gestalts sit there, and go inside into the Void. You might say it's "active forgetting". Forget about them, and trust. It's prayer. Again, it's prayer. Cause we're doing faith, and we're letting go of our rational control. And we'll see what happens. I'm gonna do it right now, and see what I get. OK? It might not work at all, but let's just see what happens. I close my eyes, and stop talking for a moment, and get into my body awareness. I'm comfortable. (strong exhale) My breathing is sort of strained . . . a little chilly . . . mmm . . . my breathing feels fine . . . I don't feel much body tension. All right. I'll do a daydream . . . mmm . . . I have an image. It doesn't seem to fit, but anyway, whatever comes, comes. Right? . . . . So here I see myself sitting here with somebody . . . Maybe I shouldn't say who it is, to protect that person's privacy, if I can. I'm sitting here with somebody, in a certain comfy place . . . maybe having a cup of tea or something . . . enjoying that bit of domestic facility, felicity . . . That's my association. What does it have to do with the conflict? Don't know yet. That's the faith aspect here. Don't know. Don't have to know. I allow myself not to know, long enough to discover something. I'll stay with that image a little bit, to see what happens . . . (audible exhale) . . . New image! The image of the experimental theater world somewhere. New York, maybe. Excitement of the theater! Working with all of my skills, and my media. Makes me say to myself, "I want to hang onto my equipment. I want to hang onto my equipment." Now I go to Robert. The rabbi visited him and said he looked like he is 90 years old. Strapped to his wheelchair so he doesn't try to drive it over a, to throw himself out of it to commit suicide . . . poor guy, he's so upset about Mother's death. He doesn't want to eat . . . Now I see an image of the nursing home here in Yavniel. He could be here, if I can get him here. Another image. This morning I called the police department where my sister is, to try to get her to cooperate. He signed over his property to her, but she doesn't give a damn whether he dies or not. So I had the police go and try to find out her phone number which she cut off so I wouldn't be able to call her. Maybe the police will be able to squeeze that airfare out of her. She has power of attorney that he gave her, to sell his apartment. She'll get at least $25,000 or $50,000 for that! And if she gives me $2000 for the trip, to save his life, I think that's reasonable. (j) THE CONCRETE DIALECTIC: THESIS/ANTITHESIS/SYNTHESIS See that! We saw the process here. The process was: first, associations; one monad to another. Thesis, antithesis. The thesis was: I should sell my equipment. The antithesis was: I don't want to sell my equipment! I'm groping around in the Void. Then there is a synthesis, a possible action, and that is: "pursue her, and squeeze the money out of her". So there's the integration, the action that possibly could resolve it. So where did I get the idea from? I didn't, I wasn't thinking of it at the beginning, but you see I was trusting Mr. H. You see that, Mr. H? You're beginning to give me the new idea. Mr. H: Thank's alot. You keep me busy all day long with your problems, one after the other, you know? You're a nuisance! FW: Well, right now is a bad time. But once I get things straightened out, you'll see. You'll be proud of me! Mr. H: I got a lot of patience, you know. All right. So that's an example of faith, prayer, in the inductive, or the pietist tradition, where you don't figure it out logically. You just trust that whatever comes is somehow going to, is part of an ongoing process of the organism attempting to grow, to integrate itself, to restore the Oneness, to find the way to Hashem, the Oneness. "Echad v'ayn sheni", the One Without A Second. How do you like that?! Mr. H: Gee!! I feel appreciated. FW: You certainly are! You see that? We did it right! We did some Gestalt, But I won't call it Gestalt today. We did prayer. We did hitbod'dut, smart hitbod'dut, and we demonstrated a process. Maybe that was too easy, 'cause I . . . Actually, I knew the answer, cause, I mean, I called the police this morning, so it wasn't far from my conscious mind, although I wasn't quite ready to say that when I started out. But, uh, well . . . let's see, should I stop here? Maybe I'll stop here and take stock. All right? And then I'll decide if I want to go on today. All right. Bye bye. (3) USING PROJECTIONS CREATIVELY FOR HITBOD'DUT (a) USING PROJECTIONS IN HITBOD'DUT Recording. Recording. OK. This is the third attempt, the third project. The word "Hitbod'dut": I even forgot to say what it means. In Hebrew "bohdayd" means "alone". To "hitbodayd" means to be alone, to make yourself alone, and when religious people talk about hitbod'dut, they're usually talking about some kind of meditation or prayer procedure, being alone with God, Hashem. I'm calling Him Mr. H because we're supposed to be respectful about that name. OK. So today's project . . . well, I'll first review a little bit. In the first project I talked about dumb hitbod'dut, and one of the things we do when we're doing dumb hitbod'dut is we're making projections without being aware that we are making projections. For example, if I think that everybody's out to get me, which I do think sometimes, then I'm projecting my own aggression onto people, onto the world, instead of using it myself in a more creative way. It's easier to think that everyone, all of you, are out to get me! To get my money. Ha, ha, ha! To mess me up, to deny me success, fame and fortune, for your own ulterior motives, whatever they might be. OK. So even though you're such terrible people, I'm still motivated to try to do my work here. So today I want to try to do the opposite of dumb hitbod'dut. I want to explore how to use projections to do smart hitbod'dut or other creative things. (b) FINDING A CONCRETE SITUATION FOR HITBOD'DUT I'll take some typical situation . . . I'm trying to think of some situation which I can deal with without being too personal - so I don't mess myself up here - and personal enough that it's interesting. You know, it's very difficult to pick a topic . . . I'm going to pick my mother's death, which happened about 5 months ago, four and a half months ago, and it was very painful at the time. I'm going to explore nature objects, what I see out here. Once again I'm on top of my old, my favorite hitbod'dut hill, here in Yavniel, and here on this rock because it's the only place I could find to sit without sitting on the ground. Next time I got to bring a chair. There aren't too many objects around here. I picked a rather desolate place. But even so, maybe I can find something to work with here. Ah, I see this old piece of plastic jar, a piece of plastic from a bottle. It was once a soda pop bottle, or something. Jagged edges, and just dumped here. OK, now what can I do with that? (noise) Oops, there goes a motorcycle. (noise) Hear the motorcycle? I want to project onto that bottle my relationship to my mother. That doesn't make much sense. I don't know what its going to lead to, maybe nothing. But let's do it. OK? So, let's see . . . I see you over there. First I start with addressing the object. (loud motorcycle noises) Those crappy guys with the motorcycles are coming here! (more motorcycle noises) I come here to get away from crappy people, and the crappy people follow me out here . . . They'll probably be back. That's bad, but I'll try to work anyway. I might have to throw this attempt out . . . So, this plastic thing. I'm looking at it. I see you over there, plastic object (sound) . . . That's the wind . . . You're green, and you have what used to be a top of you. It goes around, and, uh, you're jagged, dark green, and you certainly don't belong here on top of my favorite hitbod'dut hill here in Yavniel, but somebody dumped you here . . . Gestalt therapy is a commitment to boredom. That's one of the things that Fritz Perls said. So if you're bored you can leave . . . (humming: dum, dum, dum) . . . contacting body awareness . . . I'm slouched over here . . . I'll sit up better, breathe better . . . There's a smoky smell in the air, like somebody's burning bushes or something . . . It takes time to find the images . . . A fly is bothering . . . I'm scratching a fly . . . OK, I have an image. I'm thinking of noises, disturbing noises. The image flashes back to about 1965. Then I was in Uncle Sam's Army, in Ft. Sam Houston, Texas . . . and I was a Private, and because I was a Private I was living with all these other Privates from all over the country. Here I have just walked out of medical school, big egghead type, and want to do music, to write music. That's why I walked out of medical school, to write music, and here I am listening all day long to music that I hate, rock and roll loud music. So instead of writing the music that I want to write, I'm stuck being drafted here into the Army . . . They told me if I didn't enlist they'd draft me, so I enlisted . . . The image is I am getting so angry about that noise that I pick up that radio on this guy's bed, double decker bed, and I throw it right out the window! I threw it right out the window. Of course, he came and pummeled me for that. He pummeled me for that, beat me up - but it was worth it! I felt it was worth it . . . What does that have to do with this situation today? Some things are "worth it"! That's it! You know? A person gets to a point sometimes. I get to a point sometimes, you do, where you're willing to pay the price. In this case, I so much wanted to come back to the Aretz ("the land", Israel) to try to do my work. 'Cause nine years I was in the United States and I couldn't find a way to connect to things. I couldn't . . . I tried going to New York peddling my shows. Negative. I peddled my shows in the Miami area. Negative. And then I got some video equipment and started learning how to do that. Then I felt that now that I have some skills I want to go back to Israel and do something with it. I couldn't find a project to connect to, and people to relate to in the United States. Meanwhile, mother is 101 years old. Robert's in a wheelchair, brother Robert. So nine years went by until one day . . . Mother, you're getting very belligerent. You're starting to criticize me, and saying I'm not doing what I should be doing, and all this, and here I am giving up all this to be with you here. Well, that was like, that's the last straw, Mother. FW: If you don't appreciate what I'm doing for you, well, then I'm not going to do it! I'm just going to leave. That plus all the other things I need to do. That tips the balance. So I'm leaving. I'm leaving!! I'm going!! Mother: Well, I'm going to die, and it will be your fault! It will be all your fault. (c) THIS IS PROPHECY AND ANAMNESIS You see, that's a typical ego game trip. That's me projecting the critical side of myself onto my Mother. That's the topdog criticizing the underdog. But the image gave me more. The image also gave me the power to deal with that. 'Cause like I said, a person has a center, and when you contact your center - like I just did - this image, this soul, is like a voice, a macrocosmic Idea being sucked down into the microcosm. This is the way Rabbi Nachman talks about it in Likutei Moharan, essay 3. What is it? The prophets nurse on, nurse on a particular something or other. In other words, suck on something. Yea, the prophets suck the images down from the macrocosm down into the microcosm. In this case the image goes back to 40 years ago, I was 22 years old, 45 years ago! Almost 45 years ago! So that image came back from 45 years ago. That was what we call, what Plato calls "anamnesis". And here it happens right here. Plato talked about it 2500 years ago, and here it happened here and now! And what is anamnesis? "An" means "not". "Amnesis" is "forgetting". "To forget". So, "not to forget". In other words, a kind of active remembering. Now, what are you remembering? I had a conflict. Two sides were "stuck". So the first idea of this dialectical process we are doing here is . . .The first idea is the thesis, the one side. Then, the antithesis is the other side, and the synthesis is the integration of the two of them in a higher idea. Now in this process anamnesis means going back, remembering the most basic ideas. Doing a process like this, the most basic idea is the thesis. And another one is the antithesis, and the other one is the synthesis, and that dialectic is what we call the Logos, the Word of God. Plato called it The Demiurge. (Greek: demos=people, urgos=work, i.e., an artisan, one with a special skill that does people-work, work for the people). It's the work of God being done in this world. (d) DIALECTIC OF AVRAHAM, YITZCHAK & YAAKOV AS "ANGEL" In Likutei Moharan number 7 Nachman talks about an angel. He calls it "Eglah". He says the Eglah is an angel that somehow encompasses two voids, the two "t'homot", the two abysses. That's the (Void of the) macrocosm and the (Void of the) microcosm. And an angel is a force that does the work of God in this world. That's the dialectic here. The dialectic is a process that encompasses both kinds of ideas: the higher, Platonic, macrocosmic Ideas, and the lower, microcosmic Ideas, the ideas of this world. The Platonic Ideas are the ones we need to do a process like this to remember. In Judaism you find this way of thinking all over every major Jewish philosopher. In Judaism these three major ideas usually are symbolized by Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov. In Likutei Moharan, beginning with essay number 1, you see it everywhere. Yaakov is the synthesis. Avraham is the thesis. Yitzchak is the antithesis. Yaakov is the synthesis. In what sense? We started off today with awareness. Here and now I'm aware of this, I'm aware of that, Then the opposite of that is two things you are aware of, in conflict. That's Yitzchak. And the higher integration, the action that allows you to integrate those two and move on in your life, that's symbolized by Yaakov. So we have the right pillar of the Sefirot: Chokhmah, Chesed. That column is the Avraham one. The left pillar, Binah, Gevurah, that's the Yitzchak side. And the middle pillar, that's the Yaakov side, the action (proper balance of activity and passivity, middle way). OK. So in this case, going back to my little project, my little experiment here (audible exhale), I was torn between Mother saying, Mother: You should be ashamed of yourself, and me saying, I have a right to my needs also. And I have a mission even as important as our mission here, you and me, in Israel. So by going into the (microcosmic) Void, doing anamnesis, subjecting myself to, surrendering to Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov, the dialectic (of the combined microcosm and macrocosm), the angel Eglah . . . (e) THE SPIRALING DIALECTIC OF EGLAH / EEGUL Why did he call it an "Eglah", by the way? In Likutei Moharan 7, the root there. "Eglah" means (in Aramaic) a "bull". The word "eglah" means "bull", an angel that's somehow associates to a bull. Nachman adds: "this corresponds to Eegulim (circles), which is an aspect of faith". Now, if we use a little bit of philosophy, which I am sure Nachman of Breslav knew about, we notice that the word "eglah" has the same root as "Eegul". "Eegul" means "circle", "circling". Now, what circles? The dialectic, the spiraling dialectic. I'm torn between "X" and "-X". I somehow find my way out of that, move up to being torn between "Y" and "-Y", move out of that, get up to "Z" and "-Z". OK? So, it's a spiraling, an ascending. It's a circle! And Aristotle says, and this is one of the key passages that Maimonides brought down from Aristotle into Judaism, that the most important kind of motion is "local motion". What is local motion? Local motion is in a circle and in one place. So what kind of motion is in a circle and in one place, that also progresses? A spiral. You move from the bottom, and that's Jacob's Ladder. One beat of the dialectic, the next beat of the dialectic, the next beat of the dialectic. So in this case with my Mother I did one beat of the dialectic. I was torn between Mother and myself, my own needs, and I moved up from X/-X to Y. The new idea is "I have a higher purpose, a higher mission that I need to do, and it is worth the price!" Mother, it's worth the price. It's worth the price. Here I am in Israel, struggling at age 67 to do a little bit of what I can do, and it's worth the price. 'Cause you were taken care of by Robert, and you could have been taken of by Barbara if you would agree to go there. But no, you had to be too stuck to your own independence. You wanted to be alone, so everyone has a right to commit suicide, and you more or less did that. Barbara could have taken you over there, but you wouldn't go. I know you wanted to be with Robert, but you could have found a way to bring Robert with you to Oregon. But you didn't do it. OK, so, I moved up to Y, I moved up the angel, the dialectic. I moved up from one level to the next. And here I am at Y. Right? Now, I don't know where Y is going to lead me. (f) NEW PROJECTIONS: TIBERIUS (Y) AND YAVNIEL (-Y) So now I look around for another projection. I'll do another projection, and see where that leads me. OK? What do I see? Ah . . . This great big, prominent object over there. On the hill is the city of Tiberius, seen from the other side. Not the side where the sea of Galilee is, but the other side. It looks like a pile of junk on top of a nice green hill. White junk, grey junk. Kind of a skin disease, the way D. H. Lawrence once put it in a novel, moving towards Yavniel, year by year, as the fields disappear and the city gets bigger and bigger. OK. So maybe I can use that as a projection. FW: Tiberius, you are a skin disease, moving towards this little glade here. Ten years from now Yavniel and Tiberius might be part of the same, the same . . . skin disease. Tiberius: I am Tiberius. I am . . . (starting again, with a high cackely, rapid witchy voice) I am Tiberius, ha, ha, ha. Skin disease, you . . . You people, listen to me. I'm crawling into your minds! I'm brainwashing you, to think like me. Heh, heh, heh! I'm encroaching. I'm insidious. FW: I'm sitting over here. And I'm Yavniel. OK? I'm the fields of Yavniel. (musical, rolling voice) Oooo, I'm flowing here and I'm flowing there. Ooooooooooooo. My eyes are rolling over my rolling hills here. I'm green, and I'm brown . . . the fields and the wind blowing and nature and it's all very lovely and . . . I see that skin disease over there. Skin disease! By the time you get here I'll be somewhere else. I'll be different fields. I like the fields. You're not going to catch me! Tiberius: Ehhh! You think so, eh? You know you're not going to make a buck up here! You're gonna come back to Jerusalem, and live in one of those crappy tenements in Jerusalem, if you can afford even that! Heh, heh, heh. You, you loser, you! FW: Hey, wait a minute. I'm going to figure out a way to stay here. You know that? I figured it out! I figured it out. I think I have just enough money, and I think I can bribe the landlord. I can tell him, "Look. I'll give you all of my equipment. You can just keep it as collateral until I get caught up with the rent. You know that? You won't get to me! I'll be able to sit here and do my work, right on this hill. How do you like that! Tiberious: Yahhhhh. Shit! FW: But, sooner or later I'll have to go to Jerusalem. And that's it, you know. (g) THE SYNTHESIS: YAAKOV, JERUSALEM Association! Jerusalem as the synthesis. So we have Yavniel, the fields of Yavniel as one side, the rolling fields of nature. That somehow associates to spirituality. And we have Tiberius as a skin disease over there, with all those crappy tourists and heat and humidity and drying up lake . . . and that's the skin disease. But Jerusalem somehow could be a synthesis. 'Cause there you have spirituality and an urban environment. There's enough spirituality to balance the urban-ness. You got maybe a few decent, spiritual people there, among all the phonies. It might be worth the trouble to live there and to try to work it out. (g) TSELEM ELOKIM AND THE COMING SOLUTION So there we went from Y to -Y. Y is skin disease, or Y is Yavniel, the fields . . . No, in this case Y was Tiberius, the strong one, trying to enslave, to infest, Yavniel, the fields, the underdog. We had a conflict, and we didn't have to go into the Void. It naturally associated. "Zoht b'hinah zoht! Zoht b'hinah Zoht!" That's what Nachman of Breslav would say. "This is an aspect of that, and that's an aspect of this", and the associations led up to the next level, from Y to minus Y to Z. Now we're up to Z. We're on another level, encompassing . . . All the time we're bringing more and more aspects of me, and doing this process I'm a "tselem elokim" (Hebrew: "image of God"). I am doing God's work here, working in the image of God, doing an action in the here and now in a meditative process. So it's pure stuff. This is the demiurge of Plato at work. This is the divine soul of Chabad at work. This is . . . what does Nachman call it? . . . Yaakov, he calls it, the middle pillar. Yaakov's the middle pillar, he says, and that's the action. So we're working our way up the logos, the Word of God, the ascent. And, again, this is inductive, inductive logic here. Remember. We're going from the specifics up towards the general idea, looking towards "Hashem rochev ahl aravot", God riding, hovering over the desert of games we play, the trips we run on ourselves and on the world. Meanwhile, the coming solution somehow is beckoning us. We are reaching out to God, and God, we like to believe, is reaching out to us. FW: Mr. H, we're reaching out to you, and I hope you're reaching out to us. What do you say, Mr. H? Mr. H: You're gettin' pretty good at this stuff, boy. I really think you're doin' a good job today. I was worried you'd never get started, with all those distractions, but you finally got your concentration going there. Yea! So like I'm waitin' here for you folks, and nice to see you folks workin' towards me! So, one of these days . . . We need Mashiach. That's a job for Mashiach. You see, you guys, you people should be proud of what, you should be appreciating this Wepner guy, you know. Look, he's doing the work of Mashiach! He's doing the Moses function. He's doing the Moses-Mashiach function, which is what Nachman calls it. He is embodying the dialectic in his guf (Hebrew: body) and in his soul, sharing that with you today. You see! And that's exactly the Moses-Machiach function. He brings himself towards me, and if you watch that, if his voice is a "pure singer" (see Likutei Moharan, essay 3), like maybe it is today, if he's here and now and if he's believable, then his singing is infectious, and brings you with him. He is serving a prophetic function. But this is not new. This is old stuff! My friend Plato did the same thing. He called it "the poet", the possessed poet. The possessed poet in a poetic frenzy, like Wepner is today, infects the audience. You know what Plato called it? He called it a magnet. Plato used the example of a magnet. So Wepner here is the magnet, and you guys are the filings that he's magnetizing with his prophetic voice. Ha, ha, ha, ha! Very good, Wepner! Franklyn, you get a gold star today. FW: Well, thank you, Mr. H. Nice to be appreciated, by you anyway. Not too many people around here appreciate me. Yep. I'm doing your job! The trouble is these dummies don't appreciate it. It's so simple. You see how simple it is. But they get lost in words! They don't believe in angels. They don't follow the Eglah. They don't follow the Bull. Instead of following the Bull, they follow the bullshit! BULLSHIT! And the elephantshit! And the turkeyshit. Every kind of shit, except doing the work. (i) INDUCTION AS TRANSLATION AND PRAYER Anyway, let's see. Did we do our job? We did our job today. We did two loops of the spiral, moved up two levels. By the way, this is not particularly Jewish either. This is basic dialectical philosophy, which comes from all over the world into Judaism. In Christianity they call it "translation". The Hebrew word, "l'ha'atik", has two meanings: "to shift" and "to translate". In other words, angels move up and down the ladder, the worlds, shifting the dialectic from level to level. It's also called in Hebrew "hishtalsh'lut" (literally, "chaining" or "making a chain"), moving up and down the tree of life from one level to the next, shifting or translating. The dialectic shifts from one level to the next. So this kind of dialectical motion is the Eglah, the Logos at work. Since it works oftentimes; therefore, we can use it consciously as prayer - like we did just now - based on faith that it will work and that Hashem will help us get there. Right? Mr. H: Yup!!! I did it, and you did it. Very good. See that? It worked. Even if we don't, even if we are not aware of doing it, it happens anyway. You know? At least it happens in certain senses, that can be seen in the world. Idealistic philosophers like Hegel look back and see the whole history of the universe in that way, but maybe that's a bit much. But at least we know that when we use it as a meditative process, in the context of what Nachman of Breslav and other Pietists would call "prayer", then it works. We begin in the here and now and start from the particulars (the weak gestalts) to get to the general ideas (the strong gestalts). We work our way up the ladder, doing inductive logic rather than deductive logic, which would goes down the other side, from the One to the Many. The Eglah symbolizes the entire dialectic, both sides. The concrete here an now experience of the combined deductive and inductive aspects is what Nachman labels the Eglah. The work of the Eglah combines the work of many lower level angels The Eglah is the highest level archangel, what Kabbalists label Metatron. (j) "LA-SHUR": TO GAZE, AND "SHOR", BULL There's another sense, point of view, b'hinah, from which Nachman uses the word for 'bull" in essay 7. Rather than the Aramaic word Eglah, he also invokes the usual word for "bull" in Hebrew, "shor", and it just so happens that this word "shor" has another, apparently entirely unrelated, meaning. "La-shur" in Hebrew means, "to gaze". What might be the relevance here of "la-shur", to gaze? Here we are now, having worked through two levels of the dialectic. First of all me and my mother, and second of all Tiberius and Yavniel, Finally we got to a higher point of view which somehow encompasses those struggles. So here we are on the top, gazing back. Now that that we have found our way out of them, now that Mr. H has helped us move up with his angel, we can say to ourselves, "how did we ever get stuck in those impasses in the first place?" And from this higher point of view of "gazing" perhaps we can appreciate the power of faith and prayer, at least the way that jargon is being used by Nachman of Breslav. And in this sense we are operating as a "tselem elokim", made in "the image of God", and identifying with the point of view of "Hashem rochev ahl aravot", riding on top of the wilderness. That's what God does. God is on top of the desert of dead forms that we're stuck in during our lives, as we play our games and do our trips. He's not in it. He's on top of it. Right, You're on top of it! Mr. H: Yuuuup!! Hooooo!! I like it up here! It's so nice up here. I don't want to deal with all that crap down there! You dummies! OK. You see? So, um . . . We're doing His process. FW: Right? Mr. H: Yup! (k) BRECHT AND STANISLAVSKI So we're working in the image of God. We're gazing down from His vantage point of being "rochev ahl aravot", hovering on, riding over, the aravah, the desert. Ok. That's one thing I want to say. Now, let's look at it from a different point of view. This stuff does not have to be religion in the usual sense in order to appreciate the concrete dialectic. You can do the entire process without calling it faith or prayer. You could call it other things. Maybe we should talk about that for a minute. Take the idea of "gazing". Here we are gazing with the wisdom of hindsight, gazing back at the path we followed. Eglah and shor, the dialectical path and the gazing back are two aspects of the same process, the "concrete dialectic. The dialectic is concrete because it's here and now dealing with real experiences, real awarenesses, contact experiences. It's concrete, concrete logic, concrete dialectic. Looking at it from this point of view of being on the top and looking back at the wasteland, this stuff can be art, aesthetics, Romantic or post-romantic aesthetics. Take a look, for example, at Brecht, Brechtian theater, which is in the Romantic tradition. Brecht called his theater "epic theater". Now an actor in the epic theater learns how to be "on top of his material". First, he puts together a bunch of forms into a complicated structure. The image track is doing one thing, the voice track is doing another thing. The body track is doing this, and the face doing that. He puts it all together into an interesting collage of stuff. And then he uses the image track objectively. He gazes at the image. "La-shur", remember? And with the power of that objectively he elevates himself above the subjectivity by means of which he was stuck in the pile of junk forms to begin with. He is now a free man. He can work in the here and now and comment on the junk collage. He can express his point of view towards it, rather than being stuck in that formalistic character that he created. The character, the junk collage serve now merely as a filter, and he, the performer, is like a light illuminating the pile of junk from various points of view. And so the character takes on a momentary, a here and now, a messianic now type existence. And all those creative sparks, those indeas, those hits, go right out to the audience. They think something wonderful and mystical is happening, when all he's doing is just the same old dialectic, the same old logos, the same old demiurge, whatever you want to call it, the shor, the eglah, dialectical thinking. He's doing the moment by moment syntheses which pop into his mind when he looks down at the array of antitheses that comprise the junk collage. Now compare that with Stanislavski. Stanislavski has the actor identifying with the character subjectively, in the character, lost in the character and trying to bring the audience into the character with him. And they all follow the big idea, the superobjective of the play which has been laid out by the playwrite and the director from the beginning. And there you have Chabad, on the other side from Breslav. Stanislavski and Aristotle are on one side, while Brecht and Plato - especially the post-Brechtian formalism of Mabou Mines Theater - are on the other side. So you see, you don't have to call this religion. You can call it art if you like. And I am sure there are parallel aesthetic things about painting, about literature. We don't have to call it religion. So if you want to get down on the religious people, you don't have an excuse. If you don't use stuff like this, you're just plain dumb, ignorant. Go sell shoes. (l) SUMMARY OK. Enough for one lesson today. This tape is going on for 44 minutes. That's probably too long. Just to review, we started off using projections to do hitbod'dut, by projecting ourselves onto different nature objects. As they say in Taoism, before you paint the branch, first become the branch. So we became the branch. We became the piece of plastic, the old piece of plastic lying here and the city of Tiberius out there, and that led us to some truth. It led us up the path, Jacob's Ladder. The Christians have a long tradition of using dialectical philosophy. They talk about having faith in a grain of mustard seed. Here we had faith in a little plastic bottle laying here. Then we found our way up the ladder towards Mr. H. Right? Mr. H: Ahh yep!! Come on up here. It's nice up here! Ha haaaaahh . . . FW: Well, we had a nice trip today. Thanks for the trip. Mr. H: No problem. No problem. Anytime, anytime. So we started off with those projections, and we worked our way up the Eglah, the concrete dialectic, the spiral, the tree of life, from Abraham to Yitzchak to Yaakov, the action, the middle pillar. It makes me think of Likutei Moharan essay number 1, where Nachman says, "a Yid has got to find the inner idea in any object", the inner idea that shines in every object. We took that little object, that piece of bottle, that plastic bottle, and we found the inner idea. What's the inner idea? It's the higher level of spirituality, the macrocosmic idea, the Platonic idea, or if you want to call it Mr. H, or whatever you like, but we followed that process and we did it using dialectical thinking. We found the inner idea in that little piece of broken bottle, and now we connected up at the same time the spirituality to my mother. We connected it to my mother, to all the objects that we illuminated today: Yavniel, Tiberius, even the motorcycle and the Brechtian theater were part of it. The point was to learn how to use projections creatively, spiritually, as an of hitbod'dut, and I believe we accomplished that. (m) WHO IS MR. H? Mr. H has been a part of our hitbod'dut process, in all the various forms of it which we have looked at. But can we pinpoint more specifically exactly what is his function along the way? Certainly he is not just another projection, like a broken bottle. Certainly he was not the demiurge, the Eglah, the concrete dialectic which provides a logical framework through which energies flowed. The Mr. H which I treated somewhat irreverently during my journey up Jacob's/Yaakov's Ladder was merely a stand-in, a place-holder, pointing towards the real Mr. H, that is to say towards Hashem, "the Name" which we are not supposed to say at all. Philosophically speaking, we may say - with the Jewish philosophers - that He is that which rides on top of the aravot, as has been explained. In the Pietist tradition of Nachman of Breslav, He is to be approached holistically, by means of both deductive cogitations and inductive experiences (prayer, faith, Gestalt, the arts, etc.), with an emphasis on the latter. As Nachman put it, "What else is there to do in this world, except to pray and study and pray?" ("Rabbi Nachman's Wisdom", #287)


20. TALKING TO GOD (HITBOD'DUT) part 5 (HQ)

TALKING TO GOD (HITBOD'DUT) part 5 (HQ)

Breslav Hassidim and Franciscan Catholics are told to talk to God in the woods. Gestalt Therapy provides us with many tools to help us get past our own ego trips and really speak to God. Part 1 of this project shows us "dumb hitbod'dut", all the wrong things to do, while parts 2-7 of this project attempt to demonstrate some of the right things to do to be more successful if and when you do talk to God. "HITBOD'DUT" CONVERSATIONS WITH MR. H A LOWBROW, SLIGHTLY IRREVERENT INTRODUCTION TO BRESLAV THEOLOGY by franklyn wepner december 2008 [email protected] PREFACE (a) ON THE HYPOTHESIS OF THIS EXPERIMENT The teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslav, as embodied in today's Breslav Hassidic sect of Judaism embody a form of what traditionally goes by the name of "Pietism". Pietism emphasizes faith and simplicity over against complex intellectual explanations of religious matters. But from the day that the Baal Shem Tov, it is said, sought God by talking to Him in the woods and jumping back and forth from one side of a stream to the other, until the day Nachman published his collected essays, "Likutei Moharan", much water in the stream of Jewish Pietism has passed under the bridge. That is to say, Likutei Moharan is not simple stuff. In order to write what he writes in those pages, Rabbi Nachman had to be well versed in the complex tradition of Pietist religion. Whether he got it from the original sources or from other compilations, he had to know something about the Neoplatonism of Philo, Ibn Gabirol, Judah Halevy , Abu-l-Barakat and Leone Ebreo. He had to know something about the responses of Hasdai Crescas to the Aristotelian Jewish tradition which crystallized in Maimonides "Guide For The Perplexed". To these two traditions, Nachman of Breslav added a strong emphasis upon the philosophy of language, in the sense that the Word of God is coming to us from a Jewish God who in a profound mystical sense is a speaking God, speaking to us and speaking through us. Though it is hard to find precedents to this in Judaism, we can find it in the work of the Christian theologian Johann Georg Hamann, which appeared, shortly before the time Nachman was born, in Konigsberg, East Prussia, not far from where Nachman lived in Eastern Europe. In the work of Hamann we find much of the philosophy of language which Nachman incorporated into his teachings. In other words, since the teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslav are so saturated with the complex tradition of Pietism, they are anything but a return to the naivete of the Bal Shem Tov. In this respect Nachman is deliberately deceptive when he tells his disciples again and again to keep it simple, and rely mainly on prayer. But he also tells them to study! So he is not preaching mindlessness. Nor is he teaching blind following. His elevation of "the tsaddik of the generation" to the level of highest authority in the community of Hassidim is to be read both in the literal, "pshat", sense, and also in the profoundest philosophical sense as the Moses-Mashiach element potentially available in every person who submits himself to the theological process outlined in Likutei Moharan. Traditionally in Judaism it is said that each Jew shares in the living reality of Moses receiving the Torah on Mt. Sinai, but for Nachman this notion is merely the tip of an iceberg which is available to those who take the trouble to fathom the ideas of Likutei Moharan. In view of these elements contained in Nachman's teachings, it should not be surprising that in what follows here I discover profundity rather than naivete in Nachman's advice to his disciples that they ought to sequester themselves every day and talk directly to God. Of course, we can talk naively to God in the manner of Tevye in Fiddler On the Roof. That procedure here I label "dumb hitbod'dut". Dumb hitbod'dut in that sense is in most cases better than no hitbod'dut at all. It can't hurt, and it might even be more useful than talking to oneself. But I am after bigger fish than that. My goal here is to begin to apply the principles of Likutei Moharan itself to the process of hitbod'dut. This introduction is not the place to spell out the complex principles of Likutei Moharan. You will find some of that in the sequel. Here I will just outline my basic assmptions for this project, which are that (i) Since Neoplatonism and Hamann's philosophy of language are examples of dialectical thinking, therefore Likutei Moharan likewise is dialectical thinking. (ii) Gestalt Therapy also is dialectical thinking, containing both Platonic and Aristotelian aspects. (iii) Therefore, applying dialectical thinking and Gestalt Therapy principles to hitbod'dut is entirely appropriate. (iv) Hitbod'dut divested of the Gestalt Thrapy list of "self-interruptions" that rob our actions of their potential for authenticity and effectiveness is better than hitbod'dut saturated with this nonsense. The list of self-interruptions includes, beginning with the most pernicious, (a) confluence, (b) introjection, (c) projection, (d) retroflection, and (e) egotism. I will present these problems, one after the other, and then I will go on and attempt to demonstrate that smart hitbod'dut is better than dumb hitbod'dut. (b) ON THE STYLE OF THIS PRESENTATION That is the rationale for this project. Now a few words about the style of this project. It is, first of all, an experiment. I never saw it done before, but I decided to try to do it anyway. I state at the beginning that it might not work. As a matter of fact, I believe that it did work. I believe it worked very well, but you might not agree. That is for you to decide. Being an experiment, it had a hypothesis and a procedure. The hypothesis I just explained above. The procedure was simply to do my own personal hitbod'dut work, talking to Mr. H (Hashem, Hebrew: The Name, i.e., God), on tape as a here and now spontaneous improvisation, with you looking on as the audience. If you have access to that CD I hope you will invest the 2 hours or so it takes to listen to it. If you do so, you will discover that this written version has been edited to make it more coherent and more readable. Also, I have taken the liberty of correcting certain blunders. But on the other hand, I purposely retained the style of a here and now spontaneous improvisation. You should know that the "actor" of that theatrical event is not such a nice guy as the erudite elderly gentleman who, with the wisdom of hindsight and in the manner of cool reflection, is writing this introduction. That actor doesn't mind insulting his audience if he feels - perhaps mistakenly - that by doing so he can better get his point across. But he has asked me to beg you please not to take it personally! It is merely poetic license. And after all, he is doing therapy up there, working on his existence. He is just exploring the range of expression available to him there and then (here and now) in his studio or up on his favorite hitbod'dut hill in Yavniel, Israel, which - by the way - is about 5 miles west of the sea of Galilee, in the vicinity of the city of Tiberias. It is Chanuka/Christman time, December 2008, but the weather is balmy, except for a breeze that occasionally makes its presence known in the form of microphone noise. He is making every effort to remain faithful to the process of hitbod'dut as he understands it based upon his sources, the Likutei Moharan text of Nachman of Breslav, and the Gestalt Therapy texts of Fritz Perls. Also, as he tells us, he is at pains to select topics personal enough to be meaningful and on the other hand not so personal that he damages himself or others by having an audience find out about them. If you think that is easy, he suggests you try it yourself sometime with your own recording equipment and send him the results. CONTENTS (1) SMART HITBOD'DUT AND DUMB HITBOD'DUT (a) WHAT IS HITBOD'DUT? (b) PROJECTION (c) INTROJECTION (d) CONFLUENCE (e) RETROFLECTION (f) EGOTISM (g) SUMMARY (2) SMART HITBOD'DUT AS INDUCTION, FAITH AND PRAYER (a) HERE & NOW ON MY FAVORITE HITBOD'DUT HILL IN YAVNIEL (b) THE TREE OF LIVING ORGANISMS: "GESTALTS" (c) MR. H "ROCHEV AHL ARAVOT"ABOVE THE SPHERES (d) LEIBNIZ' THEORY OF MONADS (e) REINTEGRATING PROJECTIONS (f) NO QUESTIONS ALLOWED (g) "PRAYER" AS RIDING THE MOMENTS (h) INDUCTIVE LOGIC VS DEDUCTIVE LOGIC (i) THE RHYTHM OF CONTACT AND WITHDRAWAL (j) THE CONCRETE DIALECTIC: THESIS/ANTITHESIS/SYNTHESIS (3) USING PROJECTIONS CREATIVELY FOR HITBOD'DUT (a) USING PROJECTIONS IN HITBOD'DUT (b) FINDING A CONCRETE SITUATION (c) THIS IS PROPHECY AND ANAMNESIS (d) DIALOGUE OF AVRAHAM, YITZCHAK & YAAKOV AS "ANGEL" (e) THE SPIRALING DIALECTIC OF EGLAH / EEGUL (f) NEW PROJECTIONS: TIBERIUS (Y) AND YAVNIEL (-Y) (g) THE SYNTHESIS: YAAKOV, JERUSALEM (h) TSELEM ELOKIM AND THE COMING SOLUTION (i) INDUCTION AS TRANSLATION AND PRAYER (j) "LA-SHUR": TO GAZE AND "SHOR" (BULL) (k) BRECHT AND STANISLAVSKI (l) SUMMARY (m) WHO IS MR. H? (1) SMART HITBOD'DUT AND DUMB HITBOD'DUT (a) WHAT IS HITBOD'DUT? Recording number one. This is an experiment. We're going to see if it works. FW: So, Mr. H, listen, it's Wepner here. I got to deal with a fly that's buzzing around me, and I got to deal with you at the same time. So, forgive me . . . if I don't quite connect! So here I am sitting in my studio, with my microphone, and my recorder, and my keyboard. (plays sounds) That was "orchestra". You want to hear a trumpet? (more sounds) Trombone? (more sounds) That's not a good trombone. (sounds) That sounded a little more like a trombone. (sounds) OK, so Mr. H, I'm not going to say who You really are, since I'm not supposed to use Your name in vain. But I'm going to play around with this project, and see what happens. So the point of the project is we're going to talk about the difference between smart hitbod'dut and dumb hitbod'dut. First of all, what is "hitbod'dut"? It's a Hebrew word meaning "being alone". But the way the religious people usually use it, when they say "hitbod'dut", is that you're supposed to be alone talking to God, like Tevye in Fiddler On The Roof. Like you say, Ha-shem! Oh, you're not supposed to say Ha-shem. Mr. H! I'm trying to peddle my work, and nobody wants to take it seriously. So I'm trying this approach, making a CD like this. Maybe somebody will listen to it. Nincompoops out there! Listen! Listen. I got something important here. If you dummies don't appreciate it, that's your problem! (b) PROJECTION In hitbod'dut, when you do a projection you think you're talking to God, but really all you're talking to is yourself! Let's see how that works. That sounds a little bit like Schopenhauer. " The World as Will and Representation (or Idea)". The Will is the force that motivates things, keeps them going along. The representation, that's our ideas, our projecting all over the place, and we make a world out of that. So from this point of view everything is a projection. If I say, FW: Mr. H out there, hi! You seem rather withdrawn today. You're not talking much. What am I doing? I'm just projecting my own "withdrawn-ness" out there into the void, into that empty space, wallpapering the world with withdrawn-ness. Basically, I'm talking about my own "withdrawn-ness". In other words, I'm experiencing some withdrawn-ness, but I don't want to acknowledge that I am withdrawing, that I am holding back, so I project it out there and I say, FW: Mr. H, you are withdrawing! That's called a projection. But if I don't realize I'm doing that, if I don't realize that I am making that projection, then I'm just going to say, FW: Hey, Mr. H, how come you won't talk to me today? I'm lost in myself. I have no contact with Mr. H, because all I'm contacting is my own projection, my own dumb projection because I'm not aware of what I'm doing. You think you're talking to God, but really all you're talking to is your own crappy ego that you're trying to get out of! You see? And there are a million different variations of the same ego game. (c) INTROJECTION We're rattling off the Gestalt list of problems, the list of "self-interruptions" as they call them. Next on the list is "introjection". So instead of interrupting your communication with God or with your soul, or whatever it is, with a projection, you might try an "introjection" that day, that moment. The roots of the word "Introjection" is "jectare", to throw, and "intro", in; so it's "throwing in" that you are doing. You're swallowing whole some authority figure in your life, most likely when you were a child, for example, if you had an authoritarian father. Father: That's it! Do what I say, and that's it. I don't want to hear from you! That's the authoritarian father. You want to do hitbod'dut. You want to talk to God but you're just talking to your introject, your dybbuk, that soul of your father that doesn't want to go away, that's possessing you, inhabiting you, polluting you So you say, Hey, Hashem! And then you imagine Hashem saying something critical. Mr. H: Oh, you dumb son-of-a-bitch, you screwed up your life today. You should crawl! So you say, (whining) Oh, Hashem, I'm so terrible. I did this today, and I hurt this person and I hurt that person. Oh, forgive me, Hashem! But really, you're not talking to Hashem. You're just talking to your father again. And, you know, it's boring. It's stupid. You're not going to get to Hashem that way. You're just going to get back to your father, and the more you get into that trip of projecting that authoritarian image out there the more lost you get in self-abuse. Oh, God, how can I possibly do all of your 10,000 mitzvot, commandments?! It's overwhelming. I can't do it. I'm a terrible Jew! That's bullshit! That's religious bullshit that you're stuck in because your rebbes don't know what they're doing so they can't teach you what you should do. You understand? You get the idea? That's "introjection". OK? You got an introjected authority figure, or maybe you got an introjected mama that was always, Mama: Oh, my poor, loving, what can I do for you this moment, you poor, helpless child? So then every time you talk to God you're going to be talking to your mother that's calling you a poor, helpless child, and you're going to say, (crying) Oh, God, I'm so helpless today, I don't know what to do! I'm so helpless. I can't deal with anything! And then you're back to being the crybaby that mother incubated in her womb cause she needed to have a crybaby so she could play her game on you. So there's another introject! (d) CONFLUENCE What else do we got here in our package of goodies, our ego goodies that we use all day long? Umm, we did projection, we did introjection. Now, another one. The worst once is "confluence". That's where you're totally out of touch with anything except your own habits. So let's say you have a habit of bossing people around, FW: Do it my way, or else, buddy! Look, I'm running the show here! So then you're going to treat Hashem that way. Mr. H! Hi. Here's my list of what I want today. I want this and I want that. I want some money. I need about 25 students, to help pay the rent. I need some credibility here. These rabbis won't take me seriously. I don't have any credential . . . but that was my problem. No! I don't have any problems. I'm perfect! You need to give me what I want, and that's it! That's it, cause I'm just in touch with me and my needs. All right, that's it. Give me this and give me that. That's an example of confluence. "Con" is "with" and "fluere" is "to flow". You're flowing with your past habit, your previous habit of being a spoiled, snotnose child that got whatever he wants. So, Hashem, here's my list. I want two pounds of coleslaw, two dozen knackniks, uh, a new pair of underwear and some perfume. OK. That's what I want today. You better deliver it, or else! (e) RETROFLECTION Let's see what else we got here? OK, there's "retroflection", the perseverator. I'm feeling a need to communicate with God, but instead of letting that need come out directly, I am putting all the energy into myself. So I'm going to dahven up a storm (Yiddish: "to pray"). I'm dahvening back and forth, (straining, pushing, working himself up to a frenzy of hysteria) Oh, I'm dahvening back and forth. I'm swaying back and forth. My muscles are tense. And I can't, and I'm tightening up my throat, and all my energy is going into me, and this repetitive, retro . . . "retro-", "back", "-flection", "turning it all back onto myself". All my energy is going back into my body. Instead of contacting Hashem, I'm just contacting my own anxieties, my own perseverating, my own compulsions. (wailing) Ohhhh, oh, I'm swaying back and forth, I'm dahvening. I'm dahvening. Hashem, you gotta give me this! My life is falling apart! I can't take it! I can't take it! I can't even breathe! I can't, I can't, I can't, I, I, I . . . (gasping for breath, wailing) That is another dumb move! That's retroflection. You don't want to do that either. It's healthier than confluence, healthier than introjection, healthier than projection, 'cause the energy at least is coming out. But instead of going to Hashem, it's going back into your own body, your own anxieties, your own trip. (f) EGOTISM What else we got? There's one more on the list: egotism. OK, now you're really getting close to Hashem. Oh, hello, God, Excuse me, I'm not supposed to say Hashem. Hello, Mr. H. This is Wepner today. And I'm . . . er, umm . . . Oh, "praise"! Praise Mr. H! You're so wonderful. You fill the world with your goodness, and all that. Now praising the Lord at least gets you a little bit, a little bit out of your head, whether the words mean anything or not. But at least it gets you out of your own ego trip. 'Cause, you know, nobody knows what Hashem is, what Mr. H is anyway. So you praise, Oh, Mr. H, you're so wonderful. You run the whole world. You create, every moment you're creating me and my life. Oh, I thank you so much! But then, when you get to the bigger things, Oh, God, I need to tell you what I really need today, and then, all of a sudden, Oh, but I'm embarrassed! (fearful, withdrawing) I'm afraid to tell you. I'm afraid. I mean, you know, Franklyn here, I'm not the kind of guy that shares this kind of stuff. I'm just not that type, you know. I'll tell you tomorrow. Maybe I'll tell you tomorrow. But today I just want to tell you how wonderful you are, and everything . . . OK, that's "egotism". What did I do? The energy almost comes out, but I short circuit it. I short circuit it, and I say, "I'm not the type that can". I'm stuck in an image of myself. So the image of myself is a box I put myself in. And again I block my impulses. I'm almost there. I'm almost communicating with Mr. H, whatever that is, but I fall back on being a certain type, and therefore my ego image of myself is my self-interruption. (g) SUMMARY So we have these five different levels of self-interruptions. (1) Confluence is the worst one, where you're not in touch with anything, except your habits. And if you're not in the back ward of a hospital, a psych ward, even then you're not functioning too well. (2) The next one is introjection. You've introjected, you've swallowed whole some authority figure, from childhood probably, so you are not aware of what you need at all. All you are aware of is what he needs. (3) And then comes projection. This time when you have a need, instead of feeling the need yourself you think they have that need towards you. You're projecting the need out there. For example, Oh, I'm so sad! And then you think of Hashem out there, God, You must be so sad at your people Israel today. Mr H, you must be so sad at your people Israel today, because of all the terrible things we did! (4) Then there's retroflection. That's the one where you're back and forth with all kinds of tension and anxiety, and all the energy flows into your own body and your compulsive repetitions. (5) And finally there's egotism, where you have a frozen image of yourself as a certain type. You're almost ready to be authentic, but then you get stuck. So that's our introduction to different ways of doing "dumb hitbod'dut". You see how stupid it is, cause all you're doing is being stuck in your own ego habits and ego trips. The trouble is you don't know how to do the process so well, so you might need to call me up, FW: Hey, give me a job, buddy. I need the money! So call me up and I can help you! Or, read the book. "Gestalt Therapy Verbatim" is one book, by Perls, Frederick Perls. That's the easiest one to read. The more thorough, more systematic one, is "Gestalt Therapy", by Perls, Hefferline and Goodman. Those are the main books of Gestalt. So if you don't want to pay me, then buy the books and do it yourself. It took me 35 years to figure this out. We'll see how long it takes you to figure it out. (2) SMART HITBOD'DUT AS INDUCTION, FAITH AND PRAYER (a) HERE & NOW ON MY FAVORITE HITBOD'DUT HILL IN YAVNIEL OK. Welcome, folks. This is good old Franklyn here, older every day. I'm sitting here on top of my favorite hitbod'dut hill, here in Yavniel. What we're trying to do here is a hitbod'dut session, smart hitdod'dut instead of dumb hitbod'dut. I hope you've done your homework and listened to the first session, the "dumb hitbod'dut" one, so you know what not to do. This time, now, I'm going to see if I can do it right. Of course, I have a split focus here, Mr. H. up there and you folks out there. We'll see what I can do. I don't know if it's going to work or not. I'm testing, testing the audio system. Test! Test! Test! OK, I guess it's all right. Testing, testing. Maybe it's too soft. Maybe it's all right. Um, I'm here and now. I'm looking out there. I see blueness. I see blueness in the clouds. And I see green-ness down there, all kinds of shades of green in the fields. And I hear some noise. I'm looking around. Now it stopped. If you're listening to the disk, you can hear that noise also. I hear a bird, some kind of . . . I hear a bird. And . . . so the first thing is we want to get into the here and now. (b) THE TREE OF LIVING ORGANISMS: "GESTALTS" You see, every moment of awareness is a gestalt, an idea, a living creature, according to this philosophy, phenomenology. We're dealing here with contact experiences, with the living reality, the living contact boundary of experience. They call it the living God, the divine soul . . . whatever you want to call it. And every moment of contact is an organism, an idea that organizes a certain amount of input, of awareness - sensory awareness or motor awareness - into a pattern, into a living organism. And then we have higher and higher levels of organisms. For example, if I look out there and see a twig blowing in the wind. I see "twig". That's organism number one. And now I feel a breeze. I'm putting together sense of "breeze" plus visual input of "twig", and that gives me a combined higher level integration of the two gestalts, the two little mini-organisms, micro-organisms, into a higher level organism. Et cetera, et cetera, right up the ladder till I get to God, who is like the highest level, or beyond the highest level. What's that noise? That sounds like some sort of a bird. Quack, quack. That sounds like a woodpecker. You hear it? Maybe it's an animal. Mm, sounds very close, doesn't it? Kah, kah. Is there something wrong with my machine, or something? What is it? What is it? There it is again. Anyway, so what does it have to do with Ha-shem? (c) MR. H "ROCHEV AL ARAVOT", ABOVE THE SPHERES Even though we haven't mentioned the word "Mr. H" yet, we're still dealing with Him, in the sense that we start on this ascent, going up and up to bigger and bigger gestalts, to higher and higher levels of integration, the little gestalts and the bigger gestalts. At the highest level we get to the outermost sphere. If we use Aristotle's terminology (and Maimonides' terminology), we're dealing with spheres. That was 500 B.C. Aristotle talked about spheres. We call them gestalts. So we've really progressed, haven't we? The same thing with a different label. According to Aristotle and Maimonides you have bigger and bigger spheres. Man is the center of the universe. And so I'm starting with little spheres and working my way out to big spheres. Mr. H's sphere is the one that's beyond the spheres. As they say in Judaism, "rochev al aravot", He "rides on the deserts" of all the dead forms that He's going to "m'chayei maytim", that He's going "to bring back to life". That's the theory, anyway. (d) LEIBNIZ' THEORY OF MONADS Another way, another jargon we can use, is Leibniz' terminology. We can call every one of these gestalts a "monad", from the word "one": one little unit of oneness, one organism. We start adding up gestalts or monads. Then, instead of building up a strong gestalt which includes many weak gestalts, we build up a "monadology", a big tree of all these little monads all integrated into one big idea or one big monadology. That's Leibniz' theory, a little bit. OK. Now we're going back to Ha-shem here. All right. So let's make it more specific. Let's talk to Mr. H. FW: Hello, Mr. H. Hope you're home today, 'cause I got an audience. (e) REINTEGRATING PROJECTIONS Now let's see. If I already did that, did I just use a projection? "I hope You're home today!", In other words, "Did You abandon me today?" "Did You leave?" "Did You close the door?" Now, that has to be my own ego projection of "abandonment". I'm feeling abandoned right now . . . by all you folks who won't pay my rent! Aggravation. So the way to deal with a projection of "abandonment", Ha-shem as "the abandoning God", is to reown it, to include that part of myself, that gestalt, that fragment of God that I just projected out there. We need to include it, integrate it. So I'm going to play God. I'm going to play the Abandoning God, and see what He has to say. Mr. H: Wepner, it's about time you got here! I'm losing my patience with you. I'm going to give you another crack at it today, to see if I can take you seriously. The sound of that voice doesn't sound too much like Mr. H. That sounds like Franklyn Wepner. I got to find a voice for Mr. H, so I can tell them apart. (f) NO QUESTIONS ALLOWED Mr. H: Well, ho ho, it's about time you got here, you dummy. I've been waiting for you. You brought all these people with you! Snotnose, can't you give me a little time by yourself? You gotta bring all your friends along! OK. Well, what do you want today? FW: There we got a gestalt problem. No questions allowed, Mr. H! We're doing Gestalt here. No questions. Everything has to be direct. You don't want to sabotage the process. Mr. H: Well, let me see now. I'll make that a statement. FW: That's right. You gotta make it a statement. Mm. Let's see. I think I'm going to stop here and see what I got here on this tape, if I got anything at all! All right? . . . OK. So where were we? All right. It worked fine, so far. I got a good recording. We'll go on. Well, we're not really going "on". It's still the same old here and now. And if we're lucky we'll be able to say we got to the "messianic now". Huh? If we succeed in this project . . . That noise! The microphone is making a noise in the pocket. I got to stop that noise . . . FW: So, Mr. H, we were saying "no questions allowed". Mr. H: Uhhh. Ya gotta worry 'bout technology up here? All right, wadaya want? Uhhh. All right, no questions. So, uh, I'd like to hear what your needs are today, Wepner. FW: Well, let's see. Like I said, I need some money. First of all, that comes to mind. Um, I got woman problems, too, because, you see, I have this girl friend I've known for 26 years, ex-wife. And she's around, visiting. On the other hand, I got on the internet and I met a few more. So the ones on the internet are upset about the ex-wife, and the ex-wife is upset about the ones on the internet. And, um, I'm not the type that can lie to people. So, (chuckle) I have a tragicomedy situation here. I might end up with nobody! Mr. H: Ha, ha, ha, ha. Serves you right! Triple timing, quadruple timing! (g) "PRAYER" AS RIDING THE MOMENTS FW: Well, so you're not going to give me advice? Help me out here, Mr. H, what should I do about these women? Mr. H: Well, umm, uh . . . FW: Oh, I'm not supposed to ask questions either! I'm supposed to say . . . something. Well, I'm just riding the moments, you know. Staying with the here and now thing and trusting, with faith. And by being in the here and now, that is a form of prayer. 'Cause I'm not anticipating, not demanding, just living the moments and trusting with a certain amount of faith that, uh, that somehow You'll take care of things! Right? Mr. H: Well, that's very good! You're beginning to get the point, buddy! FW: All right! Then I'm doing it right, huh? Oh, no questions allowed. So maybe I'm doing it right. I'm trusting, you know, and uh . . . What's real will be real, and what's not real will be not real. And that's it! Right? Mr. H: All right, what's next? What else do you want? Oh, no questions. I'm proud of you, Wepner, you're getting your act together here. You're takin' the whole show, you're takin' me on the road too. Maybe we'll get some converts, huh! You're doin' some "kiruv". "Kiruv", a Hebrew word meaning "bring 'em closer". So, you're doin' a good job. You're doin' a good job! Very good! FW: Thanks! . . . Let's see . . . Where was . . . Oh, "prayer" comes to mind. If I'm praying, I need a text. "Baruch atah adonoi, elohenu melech ha-olam, she hechiyanu, v'kiy'manu, v'higiyanu la z'man ha-zeh." Mr. H: Better tell 'em what it means, huh! We might have some goyem out there, listening. FW: Well, it means: Blessed art Thou, the Lord, er, Mr. H. We're not supposed to say Your name! Um, Who got us to this moment. Um, Who caused us to live, who sustained us, and brought us to this moment, this "now". So, thanks a lot! Mr. H: Nuttin'. It's OK. It's OK. Don't worry about it. All right. So we took care of that. We did some "prayer" here. This is "prayer", according to, according to my understanding, especially when you read Breslav stuff, like "Likutei Moharan" (Collected Essays of Rabbi Nachman of Breslav). The emphasis is on faith and on prayer. It means being in the here and now, and trusting that what comes out of the here and now in your attempts, in your dialogue with God, with Mr. H, will somehow be real, in fact more real than what you started out with! So, we're testing out that hypothesis right here, in the laboratory. FW: So, Mr. H, You're my Guinea Pig today! Mr. H: Thanks a lot, buddy! I usually don't think of Myself as a guinea pig, you know . . . Well, in fact, pigs are not even kosher! FW: Well, all right, all right . . . A Guinea Chicken, all right? (h) INDUCTIVE LOGIC VERSUS DEDUCTIVE LOGIC So, uh, this is . . . Each time we take a new moment here, and stay with this thread of concentration, we're building up higher and higher levels of integration, of gestalts. This is called "inductive reasoning", "induction", "inductive logic", where we start with the particulars and work our way up the tree towards the general, towards the big oneness. FW: That's You! Mr. H: Yeah! You better not forget it, either! FW: The Big Oneness, so you're the "One Without A Second". And right now we're eliminating all the Seconds by integrating them into the Oneness. Every time I project another part of myself out there, of Your reality out there, that part needs to be integrated into the Oneness. Mr. H: Boy, that's very interesting. FW: Yeah. You see, I got you all figured out. Mr. H: I don't pay much attention to what I'm doing. I just do it! You know what I mean? FW: Well, but sometimes it helps people to understand the process a little better, 'cause a lot of people need logic to be convinced that praying is worth the trouble. Mr. H: You're right. Give 'em what they need! Well, let's see now. So, this is faith in the here and now, that this will lead to something . . . (noise) You hear that wind? Is that wind disturbing you folks there? I hear wind in my earphones. I think I'm going to close that button on my shirt where the mic is. If I close the button, less air will get in to you. I think the air is disturbing the people out there. It's disturbing me, anyway . . . The button's closed. Less air is going to get in there now . . . Yep. Quieter . . . OK. So here I am sitting on top of the hill. Now, what else is on my agenda? Let's see now . . . Brother Robert in a nursing home, in bad shape. I don't know to do! I got a conflict! Do I sell everything I own to get an airplane ticket to get to Miami to get him out of that nursing home, to bring him here to Israel? Or not? I was hoping various people - I won't mention their names to embarrass them - would come up with the money. But they didn't, so far. So unless something works, I am faced with that very difficult alternative. I got to raise a thousand bucks for a ticket. That's real! That's right now! Now, this is . . . If you're listening out there, I guess I'm doing fund raising, although I didn't plan to do that. OK, I'm doing fund raising. That's what's on my mind. What do you want from me?! Now I'm projecting onto you. I'm projecting onto you out there as "the accusing accusers". You're saying . . . I'll play your part. Accusers: You're using us! You grabbed our attention here with some fraudulent educational project, and now you're trying to bilk us for every cent we got! You no good shyster, you. Con man! I need a new voice for that one. Accuser: You no good shyster con man, you crappy guy! You're deceiving everybody, peddling garbage on the internet. Ech, ech! I'll fix you! Report you to the Federal Something-or-other! Have you banned! Abusing Frumster looking for women, and then you bilk 'em for money! Ha, ha! FW: Wait a minute. You sound like an old witch. Witch: Oh, yea! FW: You sound like an old witch. Look. If you have any compassion, you know, you're not going to be so critical. If you understand what I'm going through here. Understand! I'm not saying you have to come up with the dough, but at least you can understand. You don't have to accuse me. Witch: Well! Just like your sister said. You're just a shnorrer. Your whole life you never worked. FW: Now, come on, don't start that crap! So now we need . . . We have a strong dybbuk out there. a strong introject. It sounds like my father, a little bit. We're getting a little heavier here. We're going from association to association. We started with the judging females out there. Now we moved up to the witch. Then we moved into the association of my father. That's how . . . This process of moving from association to association is part of inductive logic, because each new point, each new association, is a new gestalt, a new moment, a new center, a new organism that's coming out of the void. Here we have a void of not knowing what to do. And each new gestalt, each new monad, each new moment of projection, whatever . . . They come by association, analogy, or types. We get into the category of judgmental types, so we jump from one judgmental individual to another judgmental individual, to another one. You notice we move from the superficial jerky women I just met this week to . . . FW: Excuse me, jerky women! I'm just making a . . . Don't take it too seriously! I'm just . . . Don't run away!! All right, so we're moving from superficial relationships to deeper ones. That is, we're moving up the great chain of being - as some people would call it. 'Cause each of these moments is associated, but they are not logically related in the usual sense of logic. They're just associations. Nachman of Breslav calls them "behinot" (Hebrew: "aspect of"). "Behinot": this is an aspect of that, and that's an aspect of that. And Leibniz would say this is a monad which is a part of that monad, and that is a monad which is a part of another monad. That's a monad, and that's another monad. Another gestalt and another gestalt and another gestalt. One behinot and another behinot. And we're moving up the path of inductive logic. By the way, the opposite of that would be deductive logic. You start from, we start with the idea and you break it down into the little things. So we start with the idea of "here I am on the mountain". Well, on the mountain there are trees and other plants. There's a dog barking. There's wind and there's clouds. OK, we just broke the idea of "mountain" down into ten elements. Or "mountain experience", and we broke it down into ten other secondary experiences. And now we move in on the plants. Let's take the plant monad and break that down into, well, there's green ones and there's white ones and brown ones, and then we move in on the brown ones and there's this particular species and that particular species. That's deductive logic, moving from the big idea , like an upside down tree. Moving from the main root and trunk down to all the little, tiny little twigs. Moving from the One to the Many. That's deduction, and induction is moving from the many to the one. So Gestalt and prayer are mostly inductive experience, the way we're doing them here. Of course, you could do it differently. Maybe in your synagogue they would say, We're gonna do the Chanukah service today! So we'll do this, and we'll do that, and then we should do this and we should do that . . . And they break the idea of Chanukah down into many parts. That is "deductive prayer", and if that works for you, fine, but it doesn't work for me very well. So we have deductive religion and we have inductive religion. You might say that Chabad is the deductive religion. You start from the one idea of the rebbe up there that knows everything and we know nothing. And he slices reality down into slices we are supposed to assimilate, weekly lessons and all this, and so it's all coming from the top. And if you like that kind of rationalist religion - where everything is analyzed and spoon fed according to what somebody thinks we're supposed to be digesting today, then you're a Chabadnik. But if you like the other path, what we're doing here, the Tevye fiddler on the roof path, then you're a Breslaver. If you're Catholic, the Breslavers are the Franciscans and the Chabadniks are the Dominicans, the Papists. So the Pope is like the Rebbe for the Catholics, and the Franciscans do what the Breslavers do, talking to God in the woods or whatever. OK, back to our lesson. Back to Ha-shem. I mean, Mr. H. FW: Hello, Mr. H. Mr. H: Humm. I'm gettin' bored of all those lectures. FW: All right, let's do something else. (i) THE RHYTHM OF CONTACT AND WITHDRAWAL Where was I? Oh, I was dealing with the conflict about women. Did I finish that one? I finished that one. Yea. My brother! So there's a very painful conflict. I don't know what to do! On the one hand, I want to save this guy's life. I don't know if I can. If I get there it might be too late to pile him into an airplane and drag him to Israel. I might be too late. But maybe I could get him to come here and maybe I could oversee him in a nursing home, and keep him alive for a while. So it's a conflict. On the other hand, I don't want to sell my equipment, my instruments and my video and everything. How am I going to do my work? Very painful conflict! Besides, in Israel I wouldn't get much for it. The video system is all NTSC, which is American style. And Israel is PAL. I would get practically nothing for the whole system. It's a painful conflict. So now, how do you deal with a conflict? Well, we have the rhythm of conflict and withdrawal. We have two opposites here. One side is saying, "you're being selfish", Side One: Sell the stuff! Go save the guy's life! Side Two: Hey, I've got a right to live, too, you know. I've got a right to live. He's my brother, but still I have a right. I worked so hard to get that stuff. Somebody already stole some of it. What do you want from me? Lay off. Lay off!!! We have two sides, and I can't . . . I don't know which is right. So we have the rhythm of contact and withdrawal. What does that mean? Simply, let the two monads, the two gestalts sit there, and go inside into the Void. You might say it's "active forgetting". Forget about them, and trust. It's prayer. Again, it's prayer. Cause we're doing faith, and we're letting go of our rational control. And we'll see what happens. I'm gonna do it right now, and see what I get. OK? It might not work at all, but let's just see what happens. I close my eyes, and stop talking for a moment, and get into my body awareness. I'm comfortable. (strong exhale) My breathing is sort of strained . . . a little chilly . . . mmm . . . my breathing feels fine . . . I don't feel much body tension. All right. I'll do a daydream . . . mmm . . . I have an image. It doesn't seem to fit, but anyway, whatever comes, comes. Right? . . . . So here I see myself sitting here with somebody . . . Maybe I shouldn't say who it is, to protect that person's privacy, if I can. I'm sitting here with somebody, in a certain comfy place . . . maybe having a cup of tea or something . . . enjoying that bit of domestic facility, felicity . . . That's my association. What does it have to do with the conflict? Don't know yet. That's the faith aspect here. Don't know. Don't have to know. I allow myself not to know, long enough to discover something. I'll stay with that image a little bit, to see what happens . . . (audible exhale) . . . New image! The image of the experimental theater world somewhere. New York, maybe. Excitement of the theater! Working with all of my skills, and my media. Makes me say to myself, "I want to hang onto my equipment. I want to hang onto my equipment." Now I go to Robert. The rabbi visited him and said he looked like he is 90 years old. Strapped to his wheelchair so he doesn't try to drive it over a, to throw himself out of it to commit suicide . . . poor guy, he's so upset about Mother's death. He doesn't want to eat . . . Now I see an image of the nursing home here in Yavniel. He could be here, if I can get him here. Another image. This morning I called the police department where my sister is, to try to get her to cooperate. He signed over his property to her, but she doesn't give a damn whether he dies or not. So I had the police go and try to find out her phone number which she cut off so I wouldn't be able to call her. Maybe the police will be able to squeeze that airfare out of her. She has power of attorney that he gave her, to sell his apartment. She'll get at least $25,000 or $50,000 for that! And if she gives me $2000 for the trip, to save his life, I think that's reasonable. (j) THE CONCRETE DIALECTIC: THESIS/ANTITHESIS/SYNTHESIS See that! We saw the process here. The process was: first, associations; one monad to another. Thesis, antithesis. The thesis was: I should sell my equipment. The antithesis was: I don't want to sell my equipment! I'm groping around in the Void. Then there is a synthesis, a possible action, and that is: "pursue her, and squeeze the money out of her". So there's the integration, the action that possibly could resolve it. So where did I get the idea from? I didn't, I wasn't thinking of it at the beginning, but you see I was trusting Mr. H. You see that, Mr. H? You're beginning to give me the new idea. Mr. H: Thank's alot. You keep me busy all day long with your problems, one after the other, you know? You're a nuisance! FW: Well, right now is a bad time. But once I get things straightened out, you'll see. You'll be proud of me! Mr. H: I got a lot of patience, you know. All right. So that's an example of faith, prayer, in the inductive, or the pietist tradition, where you don't figure it out logically. You just trust that whatever comes is somehow going to, is part of an ongoing process of the organism attempting to grow, to integrate itself, to restore the Oneness, to find the way to Hashem, the Oneness. "Echad v'ayn sheni", the One Without A Second. How do you like that?! Mr. H: Gee!! I feel appreciated. FW: You certainly are! You see that? We did it right! We did some Gestalt, But I won't call it Gestalt today. We did prayer. We did hitbod'dut, smart hitbod'dut, and we demonstrated a process. Maybe that was too easy, 'cause I . . . Actually, I knew the answer, cause, I mean, I called the police this morning, so it wasn't far from my conscious mind, although I wasn't quite ready to say that when I started out. But, uh, well . . . let's see, should I stop here? Maybe I'll stop here and take stock. All right? And then I'll decide if I want to go on today. All right. Bye bye. (3) USING PROJECTIONS CREATIVELY FOR HITBOD'DUT (a) USING PROJECTIONS IN HITBOD'DUT Recording. Recording. OK. This is the third attempt, the third project. The word "Hitbod'dut": I even forgot to say what it means. In Hebrew "bohdayd" means "alone". To "hitbodayd" means to be alone, to make yourself alone, and when religious people talk about hitbod'dut, they're usually talking about some kind of meditation or prayer procedure, being alone with God, Hashem. I'm calling Him Mr. H because we're supposed to be respectful about that name. OK. So today's project . . . well, I'll first review a little bit. In the first project I talked about dumb hitbod'dut, and one of the things we do when we're doing dumb hitbod'dut is we're making projections without being aware that we are making projections. For example, if I think that everybody's out to get me, which I do think sometimes, then I'm projecting my own aggression onto people, onto the world, instead of using it myself in a more creative way. It's easier to think that everyone, all of you, are out to get me! To get my money. Ha, ha, ha! To mess me up, to deny me success, fame and fortune, for your own ulterior motives, whatever they might be. OK. So even though you're such terrible people, I'm still motivated to try to do my work here. So today I want to try to do the opposite of dumb hitbod'dut. I want to explore how to use projections to do smart hitbod'dut or other creative things. (b) FINDING A CONCRETE SITUATION FOR HITBOD'DUT I'll take some typical situation . . . I'm trying to think of some situation which I can deal with without being too personal - so I don't mess myself up here - and personal enough that it's interesting. You know, it's very difficult to pick a topic . . . I'm going to pick my mother's death, which happened about 5 months ago, four and a half months ago, and it was very painful at the time. I'm going to explore nature objects, what I see out here. Once again I'm on top of my old, my favorite hitbod'dut hill, here in Yavniel, and here on this rock because it's the only place I could find to sit without sitting on the ground. Next time I got to bring a chair. There aren't too many objects around here. I picked a rather desolate place. But even so, maybe I can find something to work with here. Ah, I see this old piece of plastic jar, a piece of plastic from a bottle. It was once a soda pop bottle, or something. Jagged edges, and just dumped here. OK, now what can I do with that? (noise) Oops, there goes a motorcycle. (noise) Hear the motorcycle? I want to project onto that bottle my relationship to my mother. That doesn't make much sense. I don't know what its going to lead to, maybe nothing. But let's do it. OK? So, let's see . . . I see you over there. First I start with addressing the object. (loud motorcycle noises) Those crappy guys with the motorcycles are coming here! (more motorcycle noises) I come here to get away from crappy people, and the crappy people follow me out here . . . They'll probably be back. That's bad, but I'll try to work anyway. I might have to throw this attempt out . . . So, this plastic thing. I'm looking at it. I see you over there, plastic object (sound) . . . That's the wind . . . You're green, and you have what used to be a top of you. It goes around, and, uh, you're jagged, dark green, and you certainly don't belong here on top of my favorite hitbod'dut hill here in Yavniel, but somebody dumped you here . . . Gestalt therapy is a commitment to boredom. That's one of the things that Fritz Perls said. So if you're bored you can leave . . . (humming: dum, dum, dum) . . . contacting body awareness . . . I'm slouched over here . . . I'll sit up better, breathe better . . . There's a smoky smell in the air, like somebody's burning bushes or something . . . It takes time to find the images . . . A fly is bothering . . . I'm scratching a fly . . . OK, I have an image. I'm thinking of noises, disturbing noises. The image flashes back to about 1965. Then I was in Uncle Sam's Army, in Ft. Sam Houston, Texas . . . and I was a Private, and because I was a Private I was living with all these other Privates from all over the country. Here I have just walked out of medical school, big egghead type, and want to do music, to write music. That's why I walked out of medical school, to write music, and here I am listening all day long to music that I hate, rock and roll loud music. So instead of writing the music that I want to write, I'm stuck being drafted here into the Army . . . They told me if I didn't enlist they'd draft me, so I enlisted . . . The image is I am getting so angry about that noise that I pick up that radio on this guy's bed, double decker bed, and I throw it right out the window! I threw it right out the window. Of course, he came and pummeled me for that. He pummeled me for that, beat me up - but it was worth it! I felt it was worth it . . . What does that have to do with this situation today? Some things are "worth it"! That's it! You know? A person gets to a point sometimes. I get to a point sometimes, you do, where you're willing to pay the price. In this case, I so much wanted to come back to the Aretz ("the land", Israel) to try to do my work. 'Cause nine years I was in the United States and I couldn't find a way to connect to things. I couldn't . . . I tried going to New York peddling my shows. Negative. I peddled my shows in the Miami area. Negative. And then I got some video equipment and started learning how to do that. Then I felt that now that I have some skills I want to go back to Israel and do something with it. I couldn't find a project to connect to, and people to relate to in the United States. Meanwhile, mother is 101 years old. Robert's in a wheelchair, brother Robert. So nine years went by until one day . . . Mother, you're getting very belligerent. You're starting to criticize me, and saying I'm not doing what I should be doing, and all this, and here I am giving up all this to be with you here. Well, that was like, that's the last straw, Mother. FW: If you don't appreciate what I'm doing for you, well, then I'm not going to do it! I'm just going to leave. That plus all the other things I need to do. That tips the balance. So I'm leaving. I'm leaving!! I'm going!! Mother: Well, I'm going to die, and it will be your fault! It will be all your fault. (c) THIS IS PROPHECY AND ANAMNESIS You see, that's a typical ego game trip. That's me projecting the critical side of myself onto my Mother. That's the topdog criticizing the underdog. But the image gave me more. The image also gave me the power to deal with that. 'Cause like I said, a person has a center, and when you contact your center - like I just did - this image, this soul, is like a voice, a macrocosmic Idea being sucked down into the microcosm. This is the way Rabbi Nachman talks about it in Likutei Moharan, essay 3. What is it? The prophets nurse on, nurse on a particular something or other. In other words, suck on something. Yea, the prophets suck the images down from the macrocosm down into the microcosm. In this case the image goes back to 40 years ago, I was 22 years old, 45 years ago! Almost 45 years ago! So that image came back from 45 years ago. That was what we call, what Plato calls "anamnesis". And here it happens right here. Plato talked about it 2500 years ago, and here it happened here and now! And what is anamnesis? "An" means "not". "Amnesis" is "forgetting". "To forget". So, "not to forget". In other words, a kind of active remembering. Now, what are you remembering? I had a conflict. Two sides were "stuck". So the first idea of this dialectical process we are doing here is . . .The first idea is the thesis, the one side. Then, the antithesis is the other side, and the synthesis is the integration of the two of them in a higher idea. Now in this process anamnesis means going back, remembering the most basic ideas. Doing a process like this, the most basic idea is the thesis. And another one is the antithesis, and the other one is the synthesis, and that dialectic is what we call the Logos, the Word of God. Plato called it The Demiurge. (Greek: demos=people, urgos=work, i.e., an artisan, one with a special skill that does people-work, work for the people). It's the work of God being done in this world. (d) DIALECTIC OF AVRAHAM, YITZCHAK & YAAKOV AS "ANGEL" In Likutei Moharan number 7 Nachman talks about an angel. He calls it "Eglah". He says the Eglah is an angel that somehow encompasses two voids, the two "t'homot", the two abysses. That's the (Void of the) macrocosm and the (Void of the) microcosm. And an angel is a force that does the work of God in this world. That's the dialectic here. The dialectic is a process that encompasses both kinds of ideas: the higher, Platonic, macrocosmic Ideas, and the lower, microcosmic Ideas, the ideas of this world. The Platonic Ideas are the ones we need to do a process like this to remember. In Judaism you find this way of thinking all over every major Jewish philosopher. In Judaism these three major ideas usually are symbolized by Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov. In Likutei Moharan, beginning with essay number 1, you see it everywhere. Yaakov is the synthesis. Avraham is the thesis. Yitzchak is the antithesis. Yaakov is the synthesis. In what sense? We started off today with awareness. Here and now I'm aware of this, I'm aware of that, Then the opposite of that is two things you are aware of, in conflict. That's Yitzchak. And the higher integration, the action that allows you to integrate those two and move on in your life, that's symbolized by Yaakov. So we have the right pillar of the Sefirot: Chokhmah, Chesed. That column is the Avraham one. The left pillar, Binah, Gevurah, that's the Yitzchak side. And the middle pillar, that's the Yaakov side, the action (proper balance of activity and passivity, middle way). OK. So in this case, going back to my little project, my little experiment here (audible exhale), I was torn between Mother saying, Mother: You should be ashamed of yourself, and me saying, I have a right to my needs also. And I have a mission even as important as our mission here, you and me, in Israel. So by going into the (microcosmic) Void, doing anamnesis, subjecting myself to, surrendering to Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov, the dialectic (of the combined microcosm and macrocosm), the angel Eglah . . . (e) THE SPIRALING DIALECTIC OF EGLAH / EEGUL Why did he call it an "Eglah", by the way? In Likutei Moharan 7, the root there. "Eglah" means (in Aramaic) a "bull". The word "eglah" means "bull", an angel that's somehow associates to a bull. Nachman adds: "this corresponds to Eegulim (circles), which is an aspect of faith". Now, if we use a little bit of philosophy, which I am sure Nachman of Breslav knew about, we notice that the word "eglah" has the same root as "Eegul". "Eegul" means "circle", "circling". Now, what circles? The dialectic, the spiraling dialectic. I'm torn between "X" and "-X". I somehow find my way out of that, move up to being torn between "Y" and "-Y", move out of that, get up to "Z" and "-Z". OK? So, it's a spiraling, an ascending. It's a circle! And Aristotle says, and this is one of the key passages that Maimonides brought down from Aristotle into Judaism, that the most important kind of motion is "local motion". What is local motion? Local motion is in a circle and in one place. So what kind of motion is in a circle and in one place, that also progresses? A spiral. You move from the bottom, and that's Jacob's Ladder. One beat of the dialectic, the next beat of the dialectic, the next beat of the dialectic. So in this case with my Mother I did one beat of the dialectic. I was torn between Mother and myself, my own needs, and I moved up from X/-X to Y. The new idea is "I have a higher purpose, a higher mission that I need to do, and it is worth the price!" Mother, it's worth the price. It's worth the price. Here I am in Israel, struggling at age 67 to do a little bit of what I can do, and it's worth the price. 'Cause you were taken care of by Robert, and you could have been taken of by Barbara if you would agree to go there. But no, you had to be too stuck to your own independence. You wanted to be alone, so everyone has a right to commit suicide, and you more or less did that. Barbara could have taken you over there, but you wouldn't go. I know you wanted to be with Robert, but you could have found a way to bring Robert with you to Oregon. But you didn't do it. OK, so, I moved up to Y, I moved up the angel, the dialectic. I moved up from one level to the next. And here I am at Y. Right? Now, I don't know where Y is going to lead me. (f) NEW PROJECTIONS: TIBERIUS (Y) AND YAVNIEL (-Y) So now I look around for another projection. I'll do another projection, and see where that leads me. OK? What do I see? Ah . . . This great big, prominent object over there. On the hill is the city of Tiberius, seen from the other side. Not the side where the sea of Galilee is, but the other side. It looks like a pile of junk on top of a nice green hill. White junk, grey junk. Kind of a skin disease, the way D. H. Lawrence once put it in a novel, moving towards Yavniel, year by year, as the fields disappear and the city gets bigger and bigger. OK. So maybe I can use that as a projection. FW: Tiberius, you are a skin disease, moving towards this little glade here. Ten years from now Yavniel and Tiberius might be part of the same, the same . . . skin disease. Tiberius: I am Tiberius. I am . . . (starting again, with a high cackely, rapid witchy voice) I am Tiberius, ha, ha, ha. Skin disease, you . . . You people, listen to me. I'm crawling into your minds! I'm brainwashing you, to think like me. Heh, heh, heh! I'm encroaching. I'm insidious. FW: I'm sitting over here. And I'm Yavniel. OK? I'm the fields of Yavniel. (musical, rolling voice) Oooo, I'm flowing here and I'm flowing there. Ooooooooooooo. My eyes are rolling over my rolling hills here. I'm green, and I'm brown . . . the fields and the wind blowing and nature and it's all very lovely and . . . I see that skin disease over there. Skin disease! By the time you get here I'll be somewhere else. I'll be different fields. I like the fields. You're not going to catch me! Tiberius: Ehhh! You think so, eh? You know you're not going to make a buck up here! You're gonna come back to Jerusalem, and live in one of those crappy tenements in Jerusalem, if you can afford even that! Heh, heh, heh. You, you loser, you! FW: Hey, wait a minute. I'm going to figure out a way to stay here. You know that? I figured it out! I figured it out. I think I have just enough money, and I think I can bribe the landlord. I can tell him, "Look. I'll give you all of my equipment. You can just keep it as collateral until I get caught up with the rent. You know that? You won't get to me! I'll be able to sit here and do my work, right on this hill. How do you like that! Tiberious: Yahhhhh. Shit! FW: But, sooner or later I'll have to go to Jerusalem. And that's it, you know. (g) THE SYNTHESIS: YAAKOV, JERUSALEM Association! Jerusalem as the synthesis. So we have Yavniel, the fields of Yavniel as one side, the rolling fields of nature. That somehow associates to spirituality. And we have Tiberius as a skin disease over there, with all those crappy tourists and heat and humidity and drying up lake . . . and that's the skin disease. But Jerusalem somehow could be a synthesis. 'Cause there you have spirituality and an urban environment. There's enough spirituality to balance the urban-ness. You got maybe a few decent, spiritual people there, among all the phonies. It might be worth the trouble to live there and to try to work it out. (g) TSELEM ELOKIM AND THE COMING SOLUTION So there we went from Y to -Y. Y is skin disease, or Y is Yavniel, the fields . . . No, in this case Y was Tiberius, the strong one, trying to enslave, to infest, Yavniel, the fields, the underdog. We had a conflict, and we didn't have to go into the Void. It naturally associated. "Zoht b'hinah zoht! Zoht b'hinah Zoht!" That's what Nachman of Breslav would say. "This is an aspect of that, and that's an aspect of this", and the associations led up to the next level, from Y to minus Y to Z. Now we're up to Z. We're on another level, encompassing . . . All the time we're bringing more and more aspects of me, and doing this process I'm a "tselem elokim" (Hebrew: "image of God"). I am doing God's work here, working in the image of God, doing an action in the here and now in a meditative process. So it's pure stuff. This is the demiurge of Plato at work. This is the divine soul of Chabad at work. This is . . . what does Nachman call it? . . . Yaakov, he calls it, the middle pillar. Yaakov's the middle pillar, he says, and that's the action. So we're working our way up the logos, the Word of God, the ascent. And, again, this is inductive, inductive logic here. Remember. We're going from the specifics up towards the general idea, looking towards "Hashem rochev ahl aravot", God riding, hovering over the desert of games we play, the trips we run on ourselves and on the world. Meanwhile, the coming solution somehow is beckoning us. We are reaching out to God, and God, we like to believe, is reaching out to us. FW: Mr. H, we're reaching out to you, and I hope you're reaching out to us. What do you say, Mr. H? Mr. H: You're gettin' pretty good at this stuff, boy. I really think you're doin' a good job today. I was worried you'd never get started, with all those distractions, but you finally got your concentration going there. Yea! So like I'm waitin' here for you folks, and nice to see you folks workin' towards me! So, one of these days . . . We need Mashiach. That's a job for Mashiach. You see, you guys, you people should be proud of what, you should be appreciating this Wepner guy, you know. Look, he's doing the work of Mashiach! He's doing the Moses function. He's doing the Moses-Mashiach function, which is what Nachman calls it. He is embodying the dialectic in his guf (Hebrew: body) and in his soul, sharing that with you today. You see! And that's exactly the Moses-Machiach function. He brings himself towards me, and if you watch that, if his voice is a "pure singer" (see Likutei Moharan, essay 3), like maybe it is today, if he's here and now and if he's believable, then his singing is infectious, and brings you with him. He is serving a prophetic function. But this is not new. This is old stuff! My friend Plato did the same thing. He called it "the poet", the possessed poet. The possessed poet in a poetic frenzy, like Wepner is today, infects the audience. You know what Plato called it? He called it a magnet. Plato used the example of a magnet. So Wepner here is the magnet, and you guys are the filings that he's magnetizing with his prophetic voice. Ha, ha, ha, ha! Very good, Wepner! Franklyn, you get a gold star today. FW: Well, thank you, Mr. H. Nice to be appreciated, by you anyway. Not too many people around here appreciate me. Yep. I'm doing your job! The trouble is these dummies don't appreciate it. It's so simple. You see how simple it is. But they get lost in words! They don't believe in angels. They don't follow the Eglah. They don't follow the Bull. Instead of following the Bull, they follow the bullshit! BULLSHIT! And the elephantshit! And the turkeyshit. Every kind of shit, except doing the work. (i) INDUCTION AS TRANSLATION AND PRAYER Anyway, let's see. Did we do our job? We did our job today. We did two loops of the spiral, moved up two levels. By the way, this is not particularly Jewish either. This is basic dialectical philosophy, which comes from all over the world into Judaism. In Christianity they call it "translation". The Hebrew word, "l'ha'atik", has two meanings: "to shift" and "to translate". In other words, angels move up and down the ladder, the worlds, shifting the dialectic from level to level. It's also called in Hebrew "hishtalsh'lut" (literally, "chaining" or "making a chain"), moving up and down the tree of life from one level to the next, shifting or translating. The dialectic shifts from one level to the next. So this kind of dialectical motion is the Eglah, the Logos at work. Since it works oftentimes; therefore, we can use it consciously as prayer - like we did just now - based on faith that it will work and that Hashem will help us get there. Right? Mr. H: Yup!!! I did it, and you did it. Very good. See that? It worked. Even if we don't, even if we are not aware of doing it, it happens anyway. You know? At least it happens in certain senses, that can be seen in the world. Idealistic philosophers like Hegel look back and see the whole history of the universe in that way, but maybe that's a bit much. But at least we know that when we use it as a meditative process, in the context of what Nachman of Breslav and other Pietists would call "prayer", then it works. We begin in the here and now and start from the particulars (the weak gestalts) to get to the general ideas (the strong gestalts). We work our way up the ladder, doing inductive logic rather than deductive logic, which would goes down the other side, from the One to the Many. The Eglah symbolizes the entire dialectic, both sides. The concrete here an now experience of the combined deductive and inductive aspects is what Nachman labels the Eglah. The work of the Eglah combines the work of many lower level angels The Eglah is the highest level archangel, what Kabbalists label Metatron. (j) "LA-SHUR": TO GAZE, AND "SHOR", BULL There's another sense, point of view, b'hinah, from which Nachman uses the word for 'bull" in essay 7. Rather than the Aramaic word Eglah, he also invokes the usual word for "bull" in Hebrew, "shor", and it just so happens that this word "shor" has another, apparently entirely unrelated, meaning. "La-shur" in Hebrew means, "to gaze". What might be the relevance here of "la-shur", to gaze? Here we are now, having worked through two levels of the dialectic. First of all me and my mother, and second of all Tiberius and Yavniel, Finally we got to a higher point of view which somehow encompasses those struggles. So here we are on the top, gazing back. Now that that we have found our way out of them, now that Mr. H has helped us move up with his angel, we can say to ourselves, "how did we ever get stuck in those impasses in the first place?" And from this higher point of view of "gazing" perhaps we can appreciate the power of faith and prayer, at least the way that jargon is being used by Nachman of Breslav. And in this sense we are operating as a "tselem elokim", made in "the image of God", and identifying with the point of view of "Hashem rochev ahl aravot", riding on top of the wilderness. That's what God does. God is on top of the desert of dead forms that we're stuck in during our lives, as we play our games and do our trips. He's not in it. He's on top of it. Right, You're on top of it! Mr. H: Yuuuup!! Hooooo!! I like it up here! It's so nice up here. I don't want to deal with all that crap down there! You dummies! OK. You see? So, um . . . We're doing His process. FW: Right? Mr. H: Yup! (k) BRECHT AND STANISLAVSKI So we're working in the image of God. We're gazing down from His vantage point of being "rochev ahl aravot", hovering on, riding over, the aravah, the desert. Ok. That's one thing I want to say. Now, let's look at it from a different point of view. This stuff does not have to be religion in the usual sense in order to appreciate the concrete dialectic. You can do the entire process without calling it faith or prayer. You could call it other things. Maybe we should talk about that for a minute. Take the idea of "gazing". Here we are gazing with the wisdom of hindsight, gazing back at the path we followed. Eglah and shor, the dialectical path and the gazing back are two aspects of the same process, the "concrete dialectic. The dialectic is concrete because it's here and now dealing with real experiences, real awarenesses, contact experiences. It's concrete, concrete logic, concrete dialectic. Looking at it from this point of view of being on the top and looking back at the wasteland, this stuff can be art, aesthetics, Romantic or post-romantic aesthetics. Take a look, for example, at Brecht, Brechtian theater, which is in the Romantic tradition. Brecht called his theater "epic theater". Now an actor in the epic theater learns how to be "on top of his material". First, he puts together a bunch of forms into a complicated structure. The image track is doing one thing, the voice track is doing another thing. The body track is doing this, and the face doing that. He puts it all together into an interesting collage of stuff. And then he uses the image track objectively. He gazes at the image. "La-shur", remember? And with the power of that objectively he elevates himself above the subjectivity by means of which he was stuck in the pile of junk forms to begin with. He is now a free man. He can work in the here and now and comment on the junk collage. He can express his point of view towards it, rather than being stuck in that formalistic character that he created. The character, the junk collage serve now merely as a filter, and he, the performer, is like a light illuminating the pile of junk from various points of view. And so the character takes on a momentary, a here and now, a messianic now type existence. And all those creative sparks, those indeas, those hits, go right out to the audience. They think something wonderful and mystical is happening, when all he's doing is just the same old dialectic, the same old logos, the same old demiurge, whatever you want to call it, the shor, the eglah, dialectical thinking. He's doing the moment by moment syntheses which pop into his mind when he looks down at the array of antitheses that comprise the junk collage. Now compare that with Stanislavski. Stanislavski has the actor identifying with the character subjectively, in the character, lost in the character and trying to bring the audience into the character with him. And they all follow the big idea, the superobjective of the play which has been laid out by the playwrite and the director from the beginning. And there you have Chabad, on the other side from Breslav. Stanislavski and Aristotle are on one side, while Brecht and Plato - especially the post-Brechtian formalism of Mabou Mines Theater - are on the other side. So you see, you don't have to call this religion. You can call it art if you like. And I am sure there are parallel aesthetic things about painting, about literature. We don't have to call it religion. So if you want to get down on the religious people, you don't have an excuse. If you don't use stuff like this, you're just plain dumb, ignorant. Go sell shoes. (l) SUMMARY OK. Enough for one lesson today. This tape is going on for 44 minutes. That's probably too long. Just to review, we started off using projections to do hitbod'dut, by projecting ourselves onto different nature objects. As they say in Taoism, before you paint the branch, first become the branch. So we became the branch. We became the piece of plastic, the old piece of plastic lying here and the city of Tiberius out there, and that led us to some truth. It led us up the path, Jacob's Ladder. The Christians have a long tradition of using dialectical philosophy. They talk about having faith in a grain of mustard seed. Here we had faith in a little plastic bottle laying here. Then we found our way up the ladder towards Mr. H. Right? Mr. H: Ahh yep!! Come on up here. It's nice up here! Ha haaaaahh . . . FW: Well, we had a nice trip today. Thanks for the trip. Mr. H: No problem. No problem. Anytime, anytime. So we started off with those projections, and we worked our way up the Eglah, the concrete dialectic, the spiral, the tree of life, from Abraham to Yitzchak to Yaakov, the action, the middle pillar. It makes me think of Likutei Moharan essay number 1, where Nachman says, "a Yid has got to find the inner idea in any object", the inner idea that shines in every object. We took that little object, that piece of bottle, that plastic bottle, and we found the inner idea. What's the inner idea? It's the higher level of spirituality, the macrocosmic idea, the Platonic idea, or if you want to call it Mr. H, or whatever you like, but we followed that process and we did it using dialectical thinking. We found the inner idea in that little piece of broken bottle, and now we connected up at the same time the spirituality to my mother. We connected it to my mother, to all the objects that we illuminated today: Yavniel, Tiberius, even the motorcycle and the Brechtian theater were part of it. The point was to learn how to use projections creatively, spiritually, as an of hitbod'dut, and I believe we accomplished that. (m) WHO IS MR. H? Mr. H has been a part of our hitbod'dut process, in all the various forms of it which we have looked at. But can we pinpoint more specifically exactly what is his function along the way? Certainly he is not just another projection, like a broken bottle. Certainly he was not the demiurge, the Eglah, the concrete dialectic which provides a logical framework through which energies flowed. The Mr. H which I treated somewhat irreverently during my journey up Jacob's/Yaakov's Ladder was merely a stand-in, a place-holder, pointing towards the real Mr. H, that is to say towards Hashem, "the Name" which we are not supposed to say at all. Philosophically speaking, we may say - with the Jewish philosophers - that He is that which rides on top of the aravot, as has been explained. In the Pietist tradition of Nachman of Breslav, He is to be approached holistically, by means of both deductive cogitations and inductive experiences (prayer, faith, Gestalt, the arts, etc.), with an emphasis on the latter. As Nachman put it, "What else is there to do in this world, except to pray and study and pray?" ("Rabbi Nachman's Wisdom", #287)