russell higgs

04 Oct 2007 954 views
 
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photoblog image thursday 04102007

thursday 04102007



THE IMMERSANT

I once read this cute perspective about a prehistoric tribal type person who experiences seeing a book for the first time ever.

They open the book, but all they can see is page after page of patterns made of black ink.

I often find myself wondering, where in life do I similarly see nothing but ink patterns?


what am I unable to appreciate or understand because of an absence of knowledge?

what sort of stuff is persistently invisible or inaccessible to me due to me not being in the know?

what can I not perceive? what am I unable to give my attention to? what day to day experiences am I locked out from or am blind to because of ignorance, because of a lack of past experience or simply because I don't have the words for it etc?

Similarly, how much reality do I habitually filter out, how much stuff do I ignore and not pay attention to, in order to ensure that my life (or my memory of my life) fits neatly within the familiar boundaries of my ignorance, my prejudice and my beliefs etc.

and what do I consistently edit out of existence to maintain the tidy illusion that my life is a story?

thursday 04102007



THE IMMERSANT

I once read this cute perspective about a prehistoric tribal type person who experiences seeing a book for the first time ever.

They open the book, but all they can see is page after page of patterns made of black ink.

I often find myself wondering, where in life do I similarly see nothing but ink patterns?


what am I unable to appreciate or understand because of an absence of knowledge?

what sort of stuff is persistently invisible or inaccessible to me due to me not being in the know?

what can I not perceive? what am I unable to give my attention to? what day to day experiences am I locked out from or am blind to because of ignorance, because of a lack of past experience or simply because I don't have the words for it etc?

Similarly, how much reality do I habitually filter out, how much stuff do I ignore and not pay attention to, in order to ensure that my life (or my memory of my life) fits neatly within the familiar boundaries of my ignorance, my prejudice and my beliefs etc.

and what do I consistently edit out of existence to maintain the tidy illusion that my life is a story?

comments (9)

  • ray
  • Thailand
  • 5 Oct 2007, 04:06
"Poor Russell", I thought. "He is having a bad day today, and seems to suffering a little from knowledge agrophobia." Not an accurate thing to say...but it was the first thing that came to mind when I read the cry of alarm.

You have a "Russell's Personal Reality Concept" [RPRC] device, the main purpose of which is to help you cope with this type of anxiety paralysis. Think Dumbo and his Magic Feather device which enabled him to overcome his failure to believe he could fly.

The RPRC easily deals with this situation, Russell; basically, it works like this...

If Russell is not aware [let's avoid saying something nasty like "ignorant"] of something, then it does not exist! QED

Ok? Now, hold on to that "magic feather" and you can crawl out from under that protective tent you made from your bedsheet. One thought...if your RPRC has run out of batteries, don't worry, it takes AA's and you can easily raid temporary replacements from the camera, alarm clock, cordless headphones, etc, and they will keep it running for enough time for you to nick down the the neighbourhood Convenience Store [I am presuming here that Russells Personal Reality model does include an awareness of a local 7/11 or similar].

Oh yes...one last thing...if you are saying your reality is a bit boring, then the good news is your model is equipped with elastic skin and you can put more stuff in there whenever you like.

Go, Russell! Your reality is your World!
russell higgs: ...

sometimes you put such a negative spin on the things that I post.

the overture to your otherwise lighthearted reply is composed with words such as ...... "poor" "a bad day" "suffering" "agrophobia" "cry of alarm" "anxiety paralysis" etc etc

But my motive for writing the post was rooted in the opposite.

Questioning things is a pleasure.

I am energised by questioning things. It instigates Experimentation and Exploration.

I find it exciting, curious and invigorating to attempt to become aware of the boundaries and the mechanics of my perception.

Questions give me sustenance and encourages growth.

meanwhile thanks for the magic feather idea. I've never seen Dumbo, but I'll keep it in mind for one day when I do need to fly.
  • ray
  • Thailand
  • 5 Oct 2007, 11:09
Oh Dear!
sometimes you put such a negative spin on the things that I write in response to your post.
The Overture is self-critical, and admits to being incorrect, so the reader can easily see I am taking the p[i]ss out of myself.
The rest of my response is, I think, a reasonably thoughtful reaction to the interesting points you raise and, I think, supportive of the self-inquiring style in your original piece.
In your response to my response....after the bit where you are bitching about my perceived negativism....you say a lot of good stuff that certainly gives more substance to your initial piece...Go Russell!
So yesterday, the Russian read me a Russian poem. But, you know, in English.
Hi Russell... great questions, and great image for these questions. The photo reminds me of Mr. Magoo (an elderly, bald man whose eye-sight is failing, though he either does not know it or is too stubborn to do anything about it, per Wikipedia). (see him here: http://www.tvacres.com/images/mrmagoo.jpg)
He gets into a series of sticky situations as a result of his nearsightedness, compounded by his stubborn refusal to admit the problem (a description which works quite well here).

Well, first I need to comment that in my opinion your post, the questions, do not seem to be any sort of “cry of alarm”, but rather normal questions of someone seeking to know oneself at a very deep and honest level. I sense no anxiety in these questions, but a calm, open asking.

And Ray, if you’re here I would like to offer feedback about how your comments seem to others (this other, anyway), and forgive me if I am wrongly assuming your openness to this. I would strongly disagree that “the reader can easily see you are taking the p[i]ss out of yourself.” This reader sees assumption about Russell’s state of being and misinterpretation of the post in general. After reading Russell’s questions, I was quite shocked at your interpretation, and what felt like arrogant advice-giving (even though part was clearly in jest), and I also did not sense that your response was “a reasonably thoughtful reaction to the interesting points” or “supportive of Russell’s self-inquiring style”. The words you used here (“bitching about perceived negativism”) seem overly strong in response to Russell’s honest and gracious reply. Maybe you did not intend it to sound negative, arrogant and disrespectful, but that is how your written words sounded to me. I do, however, deeply appreciate your contributions and how you help me learn.

Russell, when I read these questions, I was reminded of a personal experience where my total surrender to the unknown, letting go of all preconceived notions and everything I thought I knew opened me to something else, something Now, something real, a glimpse through the veil, if you will. Another side of those questions could go like this:

~~What am I unable to appreciate or understand, what is persistently invisible or inaccessible to me, what can I not perceive, what day-to-day experiences am I locked out from or am blind to because of my preconceived ideas, my judgments and “what I think I already know”?

~~What do I block from experiencing simply because I think I must have words for it?

~~How do my ignorance, my prejudices and my beliefs serve to enclose me in familiar and comfortable boundaries that cut me off from Life, Love, Truth, Reality at the deepest level?

~~What am I habitually filtering out, ignoring, and not paying attention to in order to maintain this mad illusion of safety and security?

Oh yes... one last thing... your reality (my perception of it) does not seem to be the least bit boring to me. Thanks again for the catalyst you are to me.
posing Questions.

posing for the Lens.

RUSSELL HIGGS IS SUCH A POSER.
russell higgs: ...

I LOVE LOOKING.

Looking and exploring.

Looking into the Lens.

Creating a new Look.
  • ray
  • Thailand
  • 15 Oct 2007, 01:51
Hi Russell.
This is for Shanti, as she alerted me by eMail that she had feedback for me on your site...

Hi Shanti.
Thanks for the feedback. So pleasing to find out you had a reaction to my comment about Russell's post.
If I was a callous reader of your post I might think it very arrogant of you to treat Russell like a baby by re-writing his questions...but, of course, I am not callous [today].
Go, Shanti!
  • ray
  • Thailand
  • 15 Oct 2007, 03:59
Perhaps for Shanti & Russell...

When you pose questions, complete with "?", on a publicly accessable website then I wonder why there would be surprise when someone[say...Ray] offers answers.

In fact, my response offered two models, both of which are already known to Russell:
#1 is Russell's Personal Reality model, which he invented, and which he has already discussed with me, and
#2 is the model which I might call "solypsistic reality" and about which I have already said something to Russell.

My original opening paragraph is my play on a word game introduced in his brilliant post-Beat novel "Choke" by Chuck Palahniuk [which, by the way, I think might be good reading for someone who asks but does not get satisfactory answers for questions such as Russell asks here].

Warmest regards to you both...Ray.
  • Russell
  • saturday afternoon
  • 3 Nov 2007, 13:46
Lots of things here to respond to from both Ray and Shanti, and maybe some time I will respond here comprehensively in written words, or perhaps I'll only ever respond privately in my thoughts without feeling there's any need to share my responses etc,

But at this moment I do want to briefly address Ray's mention of solipsistic reality.

Aside from the core self portraitrature angle of this project, I very often position questions and statements in the First Person, Pointed at My Self, because it's one of the best ways I can currently think of to try and avoid coming across as being preachy or overly prescriptive etc.
  • Russell
  • London on Guy Fawkes night
  • 5 Nov 2007, 20:33
part of my original questions from another angle......

shibboleth

A shibboleth is a custom, or idiomatic phrase, used as a test to check who belongs to a particular ethnic or social group, and to exclude those who don't.

"Shibboleth represents borders, the experience of segregation,"

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