bcl_1789821353.htm

Movement between

soul and surroundings

Ielse Slager

RE-

SEARCH

Movement between

 

soul and surroundings

We will follow a walk. A

 

 

motion through time crosses

 

distances. Walking almost

 

becomes a dance at the

 

rhythm of your own reading.

 

Walking is a movement

 

between our surroundings

 

and the self.

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Movement between soul and surroundings

 

Contents

 

 

Epitome ..............................................................................

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Act I Prelude to a journey.....................................................

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Scene I. To the north........................................................

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Going.........................................................................

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Continuation of going .................................................

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ACT II Imagination..............................................................

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Scene I. Road towards north...........................................

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Imagination of the reader as a stage ............................

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Awareness of being a reader.......................................

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The Guide ..................................................................

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Sharing imagination....................................................

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Scene II. Nowhere ..........................................................

23

Division......................................................................

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Imagination and dreaming. .........................................

26

Stargazer....................................................................

28

Scene III. Edge of the first horizon. ..................................

29

Placement..................................................................

30

Scene IV. Where?...........................................................

31

Wandering in a mind palace ........................................

32

ACT III Navigation and the self ............................................

33

Scene I. Night.................................................................

33

Imagination and soul ..................................................

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Scene II. Stars and distance.............................................

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Navigating the space of thought..................................

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Culturally imagined.....................................................

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Creating distance with the real world...........................

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Experiment: Motus Exterioris......................................

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Act IV Silence.....................................................................

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Scene I. Here..................................................................

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Distance and time.......................................................

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Here and there...........................................................

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Through our bodies we can think.................................

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Nature.......................................................................

50

The perception of the soul ..........................................

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The imagined tree ......................................................

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Scene II. Out there .........................................................

55

Outward movement ...................................................

56

The “I” .......................................................................

58

Soul world..................................................................

60

Scene III. Clouds hiding the rising sun..............................

61

The hiding sun............................................................

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The need of rest .........................................................

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Sublimation as soul expansion.....................................

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Scene IV. Still nothing.....................................................

67

POST HOC ERGO PROPTER HOC...................................

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Hope?........................................................................

70

Stillness and quietness................................................

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Ant hope....................................................................

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Act V Movement................................................................

75

Scene I. Grass and sun....................................................

75

Dancing......................................................................

76

In-between ................................................................

78

Becoming movement..................................................

80

Scene II. Difference ........................................................

81

Change connected to the soul .....................................

82

Bezielen and the surrounding soul...............................

84

Scene III. Around the corner ...........................................

85

Believe.......................................................................

86

Crossing the sea .........................................................

88

Act IV Around the corner....................................................

91

Scene I. Sea....................................................................

91

Ethics?.......................................................................

92

Scene II. As we are carried..............................................

93

The third, fourth and fifth voice...................................

94

Care of the soul ..........................................................

96

End note ...........................................................................

98

Sources...........................................................................

100

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Epitome

Dear those who haven’t decided to start reading yet,

This little book is filled with words that are trying to raise awareness of our understanding of our self. Answers are being looked for and found again. Searching for the things already found before is a search again and again and it is in the most literally sense re-search. This book is for me a re- exploring of places, experiences and thoughts bringing them together in a walk north.

The reasons for me for starting this project are founded in the necessity to have to write and to look for change. The need for writing comes from a need to be able to communicate my thoughts well for you and also for me. I look forchange because I am critical about the present and I wish to share hope. During writing I am influenced by my surroundings and writing has influenced my surroundings as well. For example; writing gives me ideas for drawings and sculptures. Making, conversations and travel give me ideas for writing.

If you read the titles of the upcoming chapters you try to connect them to find a topic. There is a common ground or meeting place of these topics, which I wish to find together with you. The main question for me is: What is our position in our surroundings and how does the interaction work between the self and the path we are on?

Bon Voyage. I wish you a good journey.

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Act I Prelude to a journey

Scene I. To the north

Enter One and Two meeting each other

Two. Good to see you again, One!

One. It is good to see you, too!

Two. Where have you been? Haven’t seen you in a while. We should catch up again, sometime.

One. We should indeed! I just arrived from a journey. I went back to the North for a while. Hope you are doing well, too.

Two. I am ok. Have you found what you were looking for since the last time we talked?

One. Yes, I found it again! Well I was expecting it, I can always find it again, but it is not guaranteed. I still fear that it will be gone and the North will be just a space.

Two. I wish to see what you find there…

One. You can find it too. I could find it because of the solitude there.

Two. It is not solitude I am looking for just some rest from this place.

One. Solitude there is different than the solitude here. Within solitude there you can find rest.

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Going

The title says going, but in a sense we already have left. As the writing started, you have also started reading and together with the anticipation for what will happen we are on a road. A journey started with the meeting of One and Two. With text at the sideline I, me the writer, would like to take you, dear reader, with me on this journey. We will follow One and Two and discuss their paths and we will most likely drift away from their paths as well. One and Two will be our guides and our subjects for experiments and conversation.

One and Two decided to go north, or more precise they were made to choose to go there by the author. It is not going ‘to’ the North, but more going ‘back’ for One. This theater play is most literal a re-search in the sense that One is going back to search for the things he/she already found before. Going back to explore the something left behind adds a sense of already knowing that there is something to be found and to be shared. For us too we know now we can expect something to be finding as well.

One speaks about going back in search for an experience of a place and something else not defined yet. The following conversation between me and you is similarly undefined and initiated.

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Two. What you find was there, because it was not here?

One. There is different. There is rounder. There the earth feels like an orb. As I traveled, the world changed and it was as if I could feel the curve of the earth and I could feel the presence of things glooming below the edge.

Two. Glooming below the edge?

One. In a positive way, you’ll see! You should join me. In a month I will leave again. That place has enough space and thoughts to share.

Two. I would love to join even though I do not know if I can find what you find or feel the way you do, but I do need to get out of this place, for my own good.

One. I’m excited already to go back! It is always traveling ‘back’ never traveling ‘to’, strange huh.

Two. That place holds the things you seek. It has become a

home and you go ‘back’ home not ‘to’ home.

One. You are right. It is my other home.

Two. Thank you for asking me to travel with you.

One. No thanks needed. I am really happy to share this walk with you.

Ending Scene I. Prelude to a journey.

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Continuation of going

To travel and to talk is to share a place and to share thoughts in conversation. Even when silent together we share. We become aware that the other is seeing the same things you see while trying to find a common walking pace.

This willingness to share, which is the reason for going north for One and Two, will be the beginning of the conversation for them and also the beginning of their re- search. Like them I am going, or at least trying, to share knowledge, thoughts and questions with you during our walk. By addressing you I can imagine what you ask me and what questions you might have for me or for One and Two. The next topics on this journey will be imagination and traveling. I would have liked to hear what you have to say to me or to One and Two as well, but for now I will imagine your input in the conversation.

Although imagination is abstract One and Two and I will try our best to make things clear to you. The text could be longer and could have more depth, but I find it better to leave space for your own contribution.

The path we are let on by One and Two is not straight and we will hopeful reach the place where One is talking about to understand the reasons for the route taken. For now I would like to ask you kindly to follow me and join One and Two for a walk.

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In-between

What presumable happened between the first and second act:

We can imagine:

A train is moving. As we zoom in to the train and zoom in further at one window we see One and Two sitting across of each other cramped against the window with others sitting next to them. We can not hear them talking or laughing from the outside, but we see them as the camara moves with the speed of the train.

We can imagine:

A moment later One and Two get out onto the platform and they look annoyed at the crowdedness at the station as they were relieved before to escape the crowded compartment. One beckones Two to follow, because asking is impossible with the clutter of sounds made by trains and people. The noise is to much for us too and we mute the video at this point.

We can imagine:

After trying not to shove people away and following in the wake of others towards the next train and then towards the next bus. They are close to where their official yourney will start; in the rural part of the world.

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ACT II Imagination

 

Scene I. Road towards north.

 

Enter One and Two walking

One.

Two?

Two.

Yes?

One.

Do you see that line over there?

Two.

No.

One.

No?

 

One points towards approximate northwest.

One.

The line is over there! See?

Two.

No. I am sorry, I truly am, but I do not see a line at the

 

direction you are pointing at. Are you sure it is there,

 

One?

One.

Yes. It is there.

Two.

I only see the road we are walking on and the grass and

 

the sky.

One.

Yes!

Two.

Huh? What?

One.

Look!

 

There between the sky and the grass there is a line.

 

There!

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Imagination of the reader as a stage

Act I, Scene I; this beginning implies a theater play and thus it implies a narrative or a telling with possible entertainment. A theater play is mostly fiction in our collective knowing, even though it can stem from facts; it is performed with actors and with a stage of some sort. The setting is in-between times two, the one of the reader and the one of the play. The theater play is projected to the world of the present of the reader as the imagined line is projected on the road of the world of One and Two.

One and Two are on a road, there is a sky and there is grass, but we do not know what else surrounds them. The place One and Two are is a place given by the writer without much reminiscence and without a clear description of the place itself, it is left to the reader to imagine a surrounding.

The written play uses, even more so than a novel, the imagination of the reader. The theater play becomes even an imagined world by One and Two’s conversation about their own effort to share imagination, playing with the imagination of you the reader.

The stages shift continuously. ‘There’ becomes ‘here’ in just a few pages. Words influence our imagination. ‘There’ is different than ‘here’ and they can be imagined as opposites. If the north is calm, ‘there’ is probably not calm. Words create pictures of imagination.

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Two.

I do see the sky and land, but that is not a line, it is a

 

place. A place that will be nearer to us with each step we

 

take.

One.

True it is a place, but also a line. It is the horizon. It is

 

imaginary.

Two.

Ah.,

One.

Imagine a line betw…

Two.

Imagine a line?

One.

Yes. Imagine a line betw…

Two.

How?

One.

How? Uhm.

 

You see the horizon in front of us between the sky and

 

grass, imagine there being two points. Draw a line in

 

your imagination between these imagined points

 

following the border of sky and land.

Two.

Yes?

One.

Can you see the line of the horizon?

Two.

No, I don’t see it, but I can imagine a line now, I think.

 

But it will not be the line you imagine, because I

 

probably imagined different points between the grass

 

and the sky.

One.

Or maybe we have taken the same imaginary points, we

 

do not know.

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Awareness of being a reader

We imagine a line. The experiments of thought and imagination performed by One and Two are also performed by the reader and also by me the writer. As I ask the reader, too, to imagine a line which may, or may not, be the same line as One and Two imagined. We are aware of ourselves as readers and image creators when we read about One and Two as they imagine lines. We know One and Two are fictional characters, because of their names and the setup, so when they ask each other about fictional powers; this imagination, they themselves are proof for being imagined in our own minds.

One and Two are personalities without a face, without age, but they are not without a voice. The reader gives voices to One and Two each voice imagined differently. The voices resonate with the voices they have in their own mind and remind the reader of voices they know, another’s or their own. We can only dream or imagine things we have seen before and combine them, right? While reading the theater play we become aware that we imagine different voices for One and Two than another reader would.

If I write a letter to ask a deaf born person to imagine the sound of thunder or the sound of the song of a bird what can he or she tell me? Would that person combine thoughts of vision with thought with feelings to get close to the sound? If I ask you to tell me how One and Two would look like and sound like to you, what will you tell me?

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Two. Maybe… Maybe I know something more about an imaginary line, One.

One. What do you know, Two?

Two. I can imagine a different line.

One. Which line? Please tell me. Walking has become a bit tedious without much change in the surroundings. I want to imagine something.

Two. Ok.

We are walking towards the place or line you called horizon right, One?

One. Yes, I believe we are still walking towards there. Two. Please, stop for a minute.

One and Two stop

One. Two?

Two. Sorry, I can’t explain otherwise.

One. No problem, I was growing bored of walking.

Two. One, please imagine the gravity point below your feet on the road.

One. Yes.

Done.

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The Guide

One seems to take the role as the guide, which is a teaching role. One talks about imagination and how to share one’s own. Two as the tourist asks questions. The thought experiment started by One as a form of explanation for the horizon is further developed by Two’s questions and finding another experiment. Two asks One to imagine something and thus turning around the roles. A guidance role is not solely a role of teaching it is also about giving space to the other’s input. To teach is also to learn; to learn is also probably to teach.

“To approach the Other in conversation is to welcome his expression, in which at each instant he overflows the idea a thought would carry away from it. It is therefore to receive from the Other beyond the capacity of the I, which means exactly: to have the idea of infinity. But this also means: to be taught.” [1]

To be thought is a form of the infinite. By understanding that we do not know everything, we understand that there is infinite knowledge still to be obtained. Part of this knowledge wanted, but not asked, is found in the other. We do not know what we want to learn before someone else tells you about it. One and Two are aware of the other as knowledge vessels. By listening and speaking they both get further in understanding the topics talks about and they too get a better understanding the relation between the self and the other.

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Two. Now, imagine another point where you will walk to in the future. Then you draw with your imagination a line in between that point in the future and the one under your feet. It is an imaginary line towards the future, right?

One. No, it isn’t. Only if we walk there will it become a line towards the future, but we can’t know what the future holds. That is the reason why from my position towards where I could go is a line of expectation.

Two. What could happen to prevent us from reaching the imaginary point in the future?

One. We can find out by trying to walk the imaginary line of the expected future. Two? Will you please lead me to your imaginary point of the expected future?

Two. Why not yours?

One. Because I imagined my expected line going across the horizon and I think your imagined path line is shorter.

Two. It is. Follow me, One.

One and Two walking

One. Now I will not reach my imagined point across the horizon. See! Anything can happen.

Two. Asking me to go towards my imagined line was just because you wanted to say that.

One. Yes. Let’s make your imagined path towards the expected future real.

Endings Scene I. Road towards north

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Sharing imagination

“Will you please lead me to your imaginary point of the expected future?”

One asks Two to follow Two’s imagined line, because it is closer. It can make someone curious about how One knows that Two would imagine a point nearer than One’s imagines point across the horizon. This guessing is related to our ability to plan and choose direction. We are used to picking a direction we can see when we walk in an unfamiliar place. You can guess what is behind the next corner of the road, but you cannot know if you have not been there before, because there can also be a death end.

When One imagined, or picked a point across the horizon, we wondered how he or she could do this. How does One know that Two picked a place closer by? That is because they know their own thinking is different than the other’s imagination and also because One has probably already been to the location across the horizon.

Empathy is a combination of knowing a person’s reactions from the past, facial expressions, placing oneself in another's shoes, but mostly it is about guessing what someone else is thinking. Empathy is possible because of our imagination, because besides our knowledge of a person we have to estimate what is going on in someone else's mind.

To share imagination you need understanding of the other. To get an understanding of another you need to talk to them and find empathy towards the other. Only then can

we try to find out how this ability to share through imagination works.

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Scene II. Nowhere

One and Two walking

Two.

We are here.

 

One.

Here? Ah, the ending of your imagined line.

 

 

One and Two stand still

One.

Yes, the ending of the imagined line, but not of the

 

imagined road.

 

Two.

What?

 

One.

You know your imaginary point you took as the ending

 

of the walk?

 

Two.

Yes. We are here.

 

One.

Is it a point, or is it just the ending of your line?

Two.

I have to think. Strangely it is the ending of my

 

imagined line and not an imagined point. How is that

 

possible?

 

One.

It is possible because of how our imagination functions.

 

Perhaps we can try making the ending of the line under

 

your feet become an imaginary point again?

Two.

We can do that?

How?

One.

I don’t know if we can do that, we will try. Maybe you

 

can forget having made the line with your thinking?

Two.

No, that does not work for me. A line is a line.

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Division

You could say that a line exists in a division of spaces. One and Two are wandering, not in real life, but they are creating an imaginary path in your mind. This line grows and lengthens in space and time. The narrative is also a line of time and distance, because it takes time to read, to watch it grow and to trace it with your thoughts.

This line is made by choice of heading towards one direction and not to another. We can choose to follow the guideline of One and Two’s path. A choice is a division.

The road we are walking on together with One and Two is also a division of space. We imagine land on the left and right of One and Two’s path. The line of the horizon is a division between heaven and earth, only seen from a distance. As One and Two question if the horizon is a line or is a space, we also create lines in our mind dividing earth and air to create a horizon. We create lines to make things more clear even though the lines are not there. Cartographers imagined lines in geographical maps to divide the land and sea even though the border between them is not there.

In the conversation between One and Two there is an understanding of the separation between the self and the other. One and Two are trying to cross those borders that aren’t imaginary. They are trying to unimagine the line between them.

While trying to converse my thoughts and opinions I am aware of the division that doesn’t permit me to talk with you. By using the power of imagination I can try to find the words needed to break some of this division between writer and reader.

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One. …No?

Two. No…uhm. Don’t think about the line, but think about a point?

Two. Not thinking is the same as forgetting.

One. Maybe… Maybe this works?

Try to imagine ‘to see’ the road between the imaginary points you took in the past.

Two. And then? I am trying.

One. Are you seeing?

One and Two stare at the road below.

Two. I see the road, I see stones and the grass growing in between them with a couple of flowers, dandelions I believe.

One. Is there a point under your feet, Two?

Two. I can feel the stones of the road under my feet. Yes it worked, One! It worked!

One. Imagination can change our thinking and feelings can change our imagination.

Two. Sound like bogus, One. Let’s move on. Will you lead again?

One. That way!

Both start walking

Endings Scene II. Division

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Imagination and dreaming.

Can our inner selves be seen as an aspect of our wandering minds that we cannot force?

“Hades “smiled grimly and did not disobey the commands of king Zeus.” He tells Persephone to return to her mother, but

first he secretly puts a pomegranate seed in her mouth, ensuring that she will never be completely free of his realm. She will spend one-third of her time with him, and the rest with her mother.

A studentonce pointed out to me that these are the proportions of sleeping and waking. Internal images and emotion of the night can be difficult in quality from those of the day; they may be particularly vivid and disturbing. We get a glimpse sometimes in our pleasurable night dreams of the lovely hundred-headed narcissus which has a beauty beyond what is natural; but we may also feel the terrors of the dark underground of Hades. At least a third of life, too, seems to belong to the lord of death, as we feel the pain of lost relationships, fading hopes, and failed endeavors.” [2]

Maybe dreaming is a part of our imagination, but only on the subconscious layer. Imagination can be the equivalent of unreal and the unreal leads our thinking towards our dreaming and wandering thoughts. Dreaming is part of our nature as it has been for as long as we can remember. Our imagination and dreams are part of us and they can have a dark side to them which is best to not get lost in. To see reality can be healing as daydreaming can be healing too. We need to balance both.

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