Research, Reading and Other things pt 1

It has been WAY too long since I last updated here. I guess that’s the trouble with wanting to post long, whimsical and thought-provoking posts! Any way, I think I have a fair amount to get through so I’ll stop babbling on 😛

I…have been reading. I’m still in the idea development phase so I’m just rubbing my brain on pretty much any reading material that I can find. Like I said ages ago, I want to build on universal/multicultural concepts and understanding of life, who we are and where we can go from here. As you can imagine, that is a pretty fricking huge topic to attempt to tackle (from multiple angles no less). I wasn’t too sure where I wanted to start exactly but I recently finished reading “The Four Agreements: A Toltec Wisdom Book” by Don Miguel Ruiz (I recommend it!) and I’m part way through two others (both of which are shaping up to be interesting reads).

So, I’m doing all this reading…but what have I learnt? In the instance of Four Agreements, I feel like it’s more apt to think of ourselves as spiritual rather than human beings. The author describes this life/our consciousness as a fog and a few times he makes reference to looking past the illusion of self and look towards our oneness in a universal sense; a transition from the small one (our ego/conscious self) to a big one (we/us/the community/universe).

What I find really interesting is that as I read, I keep getting this idea that we are more connected and similar than we realise (or that we allow ourselves to realise). It seems to me as if all cultures put great emphasis on the uplifting of the community over the individual (or at least they used to). This isn’t to say that the individual is smothered or lost. I think that we as individuals could all stand to benefit from a whole, functioning and supportive community.

Another one of the other books that I’m reading is “Ritual: Power, Healing and Community” by Malidoma Patrice Some. I like the concept of creating a sacred space within a community of VoN wearers…something like a fraternity of healing and good will. The concept of people taking charge and using their power to create (by themselves) or co-create (with others) places, ideas and times filled with positive energy makes me light up from the inside.

It also reminds me of something else I came across while reading yet another book (lol!) called “Olodumare: God in Yoruba Belief” by E. Bolayi Idowu. The author was going through one of the creation myths which is where I learnt about Orisa-nla who was essentially a god who had the job of creating the human form however he pleased so that life could be breathed into it. At the moment I read it, I thought that in a way we are all like Orisa-nla; no matter what we create (good, bad or indifferent) it will be given life. That thought is so beautifully powerful that I know it will find it’s way into my design somehow. I’ll also be keeping an eye out for associated symbols.

Reading is introducing me to some awesome concepts but at the same time I know I’m going to have some difficulty putting these words and thoughts into images. These are some huge concepts and I really want to do them justice! We’ll see how well I do as I progress.

Anyway now for some housekeeping: I’ll try to update my blog more regularly. Scratch that, I WILL update my blog regularly. I’m just having a bit of trouble re-organising my life around my new job (which I’m loving if anyone wanted to know!). I’m also pushing to finish one of the projects I’m working on by mid-August or so (more info on that at a later date) so my poor brain is just all over the place. Scheduling has never been a strong point of mine so I’m going to have to work extra hard on that to make sure that my actual projects don’t fall by the wayside! I’m disorganised as hell, but I’m busy and I’m excited! I’m also a bit terrified but I try not to focus on that too much 😀

Thanks for reading! Peace and Love, family.

-J

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