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Sunday, October 3, 2010

The wholistic way of being in the world.

The wholistic way of being in the world.

're integrating art, science and language'
‘re integrating work, play and learn’
‘re integrating intuition and reasoning’
‘re integrating the mind and body’
‘re integrating the feminine and masculine’
‘becoming PRESENT to the moment’

“We are students of words: we are shut up in schools, and colleges, and recitation-rooms, for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bag of wind, a memory of words, and do not know a thing.”
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
Language forces us to perceive the world as man presents it to us.
Julia Penelope
there are children playing in the streets who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago.
J. Robert Oppenheimer

The  retreat/workshop is an attempt to repair the psychological, physiological and cognitive damages done by modern institutions (schools, market and hospital) and culture. All the tools and skills we acquire become tools for escaping from ourselves. To escape from facing what is wrong with us we do ‘social work’. We are afraid of confronting ourselves.
Foremost that comes to mind is our tendency to imitate the west which causes inferiority complex. As you know most of what we do is imitation of the western culture. But in response to this our reaction is to imitate the east since ‘to imitate’ is what we learn at schools. Imitation as a way of learning is drilled in to us and any exploration is disallowed.

Schooling causes several damages. It turns us in to second hand people as we keep learning about what others have thought and did. We are all born original but schooling makes us second hand. All our senses are crippled as we never use them to make sense of the world.
Boredom is an experience typical to 'modern' human beings, again caused by schooling as it forces us to do things we do not like to do and on top of it do things against our biological or natural propensities. I suspect boredom has its roots in making us sit immobile from childhood quite against our will.
Schools makes us in to rigid, mechanical and second hand  beings, ready to serve or to order as we learn 'authority' at schools. Authority of teacher, authority of knowledge.
Another damage is the inability for creativity as we loose our intuitive ability because of over use of logic and dependency on memorized knowledge. The reasoning ability is often used to reason away, to maintain status quo of our rigid and static mind.
Since our link to the world is through text our experience is textualised. With the digital era this is getting totally illusionary. Even beauty is intellectualised. since we lack experiential and concrete way of being in the world words become our guide.               
So workshop is meant for addressing our mechanical and habit formed selves, de intellectualizing beauty which means to be with beauty with out creating theories, sensitizing our senses to become aware of the world as it is, addressing our reasoning mind, understanding the organic way in which we remember and comprehend.
In a way to become child like again, to be open, curious, attentive, innocent, humble.
Or like children to live in meditation all the time.
Any attempt to search for alternative end up with in the frame work of the fragmented modernity.


1. to attempt to regain child like qualities that enable one to be creative .
2. to enable the adult to understand what the child needs to retain their creativity.
3. to address various damages caused by schooling.
1. To address the fragmentation caused by schooling. To re integrate the wholistic nature of human being
2. To address the alienation caused by schooling. To regain originality and authenticity.
3. Initiate awakening of senses so that they become more observant and attentive which will make them to strive for becoming first hand.
4. To awaken their aesthetic sensibilities so that their being in the world becomes contextual and this also helps the learner to learn to engage with the world aesthetically.
5. To learn to observe children with out the biases of the so called educated mind.
6. to address various aspects that blocks unbiased learning like power, lack of humility and innocence, partiality of all types etc
7. to address the block created by the ‘reasoning’/ rational mind.

Why/ whom/

1. For Parents and teachers to enable them to see children’s real potential and to enable them to learn from children.
2. for the cognitively damaged adults to enable them to re look at certain fundamental issues related to How learning takes place or how human beings learn and to attempt some recovery. Modern education damages our cognition and fragments the being. We not only sees the world fragmented but also fragments the our very being. We become mind, word and reason dominated with the loss of body, intuition and experience.

how human beings learn?

Knowing is an integrated act, not separated by language, science and art
nor is it fragmented as learning, working, playing etc.
Children, in the process of making sense of the terrain in which they find themselves, observe, touch, smell, twist, break, taste, make. They engage with the world with out fragmentation.
Toy is an idea totally misunderstood by the modern adult. Playing is actually learning.
The world outside is integrated and the child is born holistic and is part of this NATURE.
This is the way human beings respond as biological organism.

What schools do?
As we all agree what ever is happening at schools are terribly wrong. We are crippling our children and ourselves.
Children are born in to the experiential paradigm to be rooted but we soon pull them out to believe in our distorted intellectual notions about life.
We need to understand how cognitively damaged and totally confused we are regarding all this and try to undo the damages.
How learning happens- conditions- internal and external
Like water knowledge flows from above to below. So if one needs to learn from children one needs to give up power.

Why learn from children?

When we compare ourselves with children it is clear that they are superior to us in the following qualities.
They are more observant, open, honest, inquisitive, innocent, flexible, daring and also in constant wonder. They are totally rooted and present. They are in touch with the beauty of the world.

Which of these qualities do we still retain?

The paradigm in which we are bringing up our children is one of greed, power, authority, brute force, competition, selfishness, pride, cheating, hypocrisy, boredom etc

The topics I would like to address.

Biological basis of knowing. To understand how as a biological organism we learn.
Bilogical basis for beauty. To understand what is the basis for beauty. Art is a psychological construct where as beauty is a biological fact.
Human being can live with out art but beauty like breathing is absolutely necessary for the human organism. The beat of his heart, the gait of his walk, his connection to nature all are part of this biological necessity.
Human alienation begins with the disconnect between the biology and psychology of BEING.

Cognitive damages of schooling. To understand how schooling damages us.
Paradigms of knowing. To understand how the cognizer is conditioned by the paradigm in to which he is born.


1.Mirroring- facing oneself
First phase is to make the participents realize where they stand in terms of their learning capacity, knowledge base etc for example rigid, habit formed mind. Dependent learning style , initiate self reflection etc

2.Habit breaking
This phase is to make participants address their habit formed responses, biases, inhibitions etc

3.Sensitizing senses.
This phase is for the participants to awaken their observation skills and aesthetic sensibility.

4.Re birthing
Hopefully this will happen may not be during the workshop but may be at a later date.

Techniques used.
Meditative work with clay, habit breaking activities for body and mind, sensitizing the sense activities, Theatre workshop, drawing, painting, clay work. Dialogues, silence, presentations etc

Material requirements.
Clay, Poster colour, 6 inch scale, pencil, paper, sketch pen.
For any substantial impact the duration should be a week to 10 days.
Rule of conduct
During the retreat the participants need to follow instructions strictly as other participants will be disturbed. No reading, no watch, no mobile phone, news papr, tv etc. no discussions as silence is required during the workshop. No processed food allowed. As far as possible un cooked food. eat less, eat only when hungry, break away from routines. Listen to the body, Respect the body

I am no expert in the above said matters but have been at it from 1982 or so.
I am a victim of modern education and culture that crippled me in several ways. For the past 25 years engaged in recovering what I lost with the help from children and non literate people. No credentials to prove anything. Just that the search/ research had been a very consistent and a committed one.
Would like to share the experiences and insights.





Biology of knowing links

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