Friday, April 11, 2014

Coming to our senses...

Breaking Free
"Have you taken complete leave of your senses?"

   Well, have you?  We are a culture that values common sense and rationality.  For many folks this no nonsense approach makes the most sense to them. 

    Of course, these phrases all relate to the sense we can label and which resides firmly in the left side of the brain.  We know, through our work in contemplative photography, that there is a heart based sense as well. 

   Some might call it intuition.  I use the term "whisperings" a lot. This is a way of knowing that goes beyond mere knowing on a rational level...a "stuff in the gut" way of knowing. This is the sense I wish people would come back to.  I wish people would not only come back to this intuitive way of knowing but learn to value and celebrate it as well.  This is the sense we, as contemplative photographers, try to tap into as we engage the landscape in a dialogue of spirit.  This is what I mean by coming to our senses.  

   During my SoulCollage ® retreat I learned that there are two ways to make cards, intentionally and intuitively.  You  can gather photographs by either process as well.  You can intentionally set about looking for specific images or you can let your heart's GPS guide you.  The later process I also call gathering breadcrumbs as you go.  Sometimes you combine the two.  You might set out to photograph the ruined chapel you read about in the travel guide but come back with entirely different, intuited, images.  When I arrive at a specific destination I had gone looking for, I send the rational left brain part of me out for a cup of tea while I let my intuitive right brain respond to the location.

   Rationality has it's place of course.  Perhaps for most of our daily life, thinking our way through is even preferable. But there are times, especially when you have your camera in hand, when feeling your way through, following your gut rather than your brain, will lead you to a more engaging encounter with the a balance between the two senses...

One eye sees, the other one feels.
-Paul Klee



kimmanleyort said...

I've been pondering intuition a lot lately. Listened to a podcast with physicist Brian Greene recently, where he talked about how we can't rely on our physical senses to tell us about the world, because there's so much hidden from them. I wonder if our 6th intuitive sense can tap into that reality that science hasn't figured out yet or that can't be seen with our physical senses.

Patricia Turner said...

Oh I would say science hasn't even skimmed the surface! We have the capacity to intuit so much but it is way of being that takes practice and patience. That is one of the reasons I do my visual listening exercises. It opens by heart to the whisperings my ears can't hear.