577. Creative Expansion

Or reflecting on the nature of absolutism and how to learn from others to transform it into a supportive expression

I had a laugh with myself while listening to this audio here My Life of Absolutism (Part 3) – Life Review because I tend to do so when something or someone reflects me back to myself in such an accurate way, and it also can be a temporary way to cope with the blunt image of myself through someone else’s words to then take it through an actual assimilation of what that description of this person as being an ‘absolutist’ means and the consequences it created in his life. I could see myself in his shoes and even wondered that if I had been a male, I would have probably taken it even one step further just like he did towards people.

An interesting thing that has also been quite present for the past month or so is my relationship with people that to me represent the opposite of ‘absolutism,’ people that are more ‘free flowing’ or have learned to stand in the system yet ‘twist it from within’ and not in an antagonistic manner, but more like being able to stand within it/as it and change it from within or assist in reflecting back the nature of the system in a fun way evidencing that there is something we have to change about it within ourselves.

I’m talking about artists for the most part and how there are times when I create specific ‘fixations’ towards certain artists/people/individuals that appear ‘attractive’ to me but not in a physical attraction mode only, but more in the sense of looking at the words they rare living and expressing in how they live/who they are, at least in anything that I have access to at the moment.

I noticed that I created this same experience towards an artist called Morten Traavik, who to me initially appeared to be quite the ‘absolutist’ kind, very frank, direct, diplomatic yet almost ‘militant’ in how he approaches things but not within the context of aligning to ‘how things are’ but in the context of transgressing the system, without opposing it but ‘hacking it from within’ with a lot of finesse so to speak. He’s managed to create artistic projects with North Korea who are supposed to be this very closed-up and censoring nation, and has managed to create artistic events between his country Norway and North Korea, all of it through him creating relationships of trust over time with the people there. He said something quite interesting in one of his talks “if real dialogue is what you want, then you have to be prepared to learn from people you don’t like” and

“If you really want to test your own limits of tolerance and to try something new and something fresh, deal with somebody you would not like to deal with”

A lot of what absolutism represents to me is a unilateral perspective on what I’ve believed is ‘my way’ as ‘the right way’ and ‘how things have to be’ where I’ve invariably created a counter-part that I’ve then by default defined as ‘the opposite’ of everything I’ve stood for, and I didn’t realize how I was ‘by default’ again creating this separation by becoming absolutist in my ways.

The reason why I didn’t question this before is because I judged the things I stood for as ‘the right ones’ as the ‘noble ones’ and the principles that ‘everyone should stand by and live for’ which made it difficult for me to realize how I was in fact at the same time becoming rigid, unilateral, constricted and limited within such militant stance – not that the word ‘militant’ is ‘bad’ either because I found there is a way to live it without the ‘absolutism’ in it, which at the same time leads me to say that it’s not that absolutism cannot be redefined either, both words can be lived in a supportive manner which I’ll get to explain later on.

So, what does that ‘attraction’ represented to me in this time of my life? And I have to here outline that it’s not the usual kind of attraction as it’s usually experienced, but it’s more of a curiosity to want to know more about the person, how they got to be ‘who they are’ and express/live the way they do, which to me is a representation of self-trust through having had a lot of experiences of ‘going for it’ to create things and finding out what works, what doesn’t work, but overall Daring to do so, which is something I’ve been writing about. But I find it very useful to take on examples from other people living certain words in their lives to see how they ‘got to do so’ in practical terms. That’s how I’ve transformed a merely superficial experience of ‘attraction’ into actually getting to see what words that person that I am creating this experience towards is living that I can integrate and live for myself as well.

I wanted to share about Morten because in the way that he works and how he relates to people, he’s quite political in nature and I can see myself having similar stance and ways, yet he is not standing within the ‘current system’ of politics as is, but has taken his current position from within the system to hack it, to use it to expand its horizons, to expose it, to transgress it and to me that is quite innovative and takes a lot of guts.  

I would very much like to do something like that, maybe not in ‘the same way’ he’s managed to do at those political and diplomatic levels, but in my own context and current living situation, while also considering potentials for the future in it.

I got to know of him through watching the Laibach documentary going to play in North Korea called ‘Liberation Day’ which I definitely enjoyed, more so from the perspective of what this whole event represents ‘for the world’ in politics and culture and seeing the role that the film’s director had in it all, which is Morten in this case.

The band in itself represents an artistic mirror for fascism by becoming it, not going ‘against it’ but fully embodying it to then make art within/as it and expose it to itself. I consider that’s been quite a unique way of doing art and that’s how I’ve also looked at words like absolutism and militant which somehow I can resonate with a lot, but not within the context of the actual control they imply to limit, to exist in fear, to dictate, but more as expressions I can use to stand as that resolve, that rotund expression of life, of ‘this is who I am and what I stand for’ without standing ‘against’ anything or anyone, but learning to embrace and be flexible in it all at the same time, which may sound contradictory in theory, but that’s where the challenge begins, to stop seeing things ‘black or white’ and instead live words, aspects of words, what’s best for the words within a supportive starting point. It’s like learning to transcend those limitations created through those words/concepts by using them at the same time. I can live those words in a supportive manner as well.

What this artist represents to me is the courage to do what no one else would have maybe dared to do, to transcend limits that have been imposed through politics and cultural definitions and directly work with the people, establishing relationships with ‘the unthinkable’ which is represented in the quotes I placed from him above.

To me those are key words because I’ve become so used to ‘follow my own lines’ that I know I am limiting myself in my self-creation process if I only think in those ‘usual terms’ and that’s definitely the challenge here for me: to step out of ‘myself’ and see reality with a different pair of eyes, which means, stopping living in an absolutist manner where I think that ‘where I am and how I am is the right way and with the right principles and there’s nothing else to look at discovering or changing’ which of course also makes my life boring, because I am creating my own stagnation if I don’t dare to challenge even those tenets that I believe are ‘who I am and will always be’ by now… now that’s really pushing the envelope to me and even writing about it a little bit of an experience wants to emerge in the sense of saying ‘”Nooo! you can’t do that!” But who decides, really, who’s the real policeman in my head?

I have learned from innovative and ‘ahead of our time’ people – mostly artists – that in order to get anywhere, one has to dare to do things that would have been conceived as impossible or ‘out of the norm’ or ‘going against the tide’ by most – but without the antagonism in itself, because it’s not about fighting the system, not about just criticizing it – but having the cunning ways and skills to be entirely and fully into it to step into that self-authority of being in it but not of it, which is what I’ve seen Morten has managed to do with his art and projects, getting to speak  to certain ‘authorities’ in events about politics and culture and stand in the podium and make everyone question if the term ‘cultural diplomacy’ is in fact a paradox lol – that’s the kind of people that from my perspective we all need in all areas/spheres of our lives and this world, daring to have some guts to stand in those ‘echelons’ and speak things as they are, and that involves some words like courage, understanding, confidence, self-trust, frankness to express that, without holding his own views as ‘the right ones’ but in fact mentioning the importance of learning from each other for growth and expansion – his own words there.

I’ve never stopped referencing people that I’ve come to ‘admire’ or ‘be attracted to’ in order to see what words are they living that I can integrate into my own life and live it as myself. And most of them are artists or creative people in the formal sense of the world, which confirms that I am at the right place in what I choose to continue forming myself as and being within the realm of arts, and understanding art as self-creation from the individual to the existential sense, and I am rather grateful there are human beings I get to know and have relationships with that have challenged myself over the years to step out of my own cocoon, because every time it has pushed me to see life differently.

I’d find it very difficult if not impossible to do that if I was ‘a man living on an island’ so to speak, being alone and this is when I am grateful for every person that dares to put themselves out there, their creations, their experiences that I can reference and learn from, be it through artistic expressions like arts, music, films, documentaries or sharing their own writings in walking through their minds and day to day experience. To me that’s one way where I go opening myself up from this absolutism and rigid ways in which I’ve come to exist and go embracing more ways, more perspectives that can assist me to expand, grow and develop myself to where I definitely want to be living in and expressing as in my life, which I have no finite or settled outcome for, because I will precisely be flexible in testing out various ways while having a ‘settled direction’ which is to support myself, to push my own limits, to find out ‘who I am’ in my decisions and choices, learn from mistakes and  live life that way in the best way I can create for me and so for others at the same time – no longer having this finite ‘idea’ about myself or ‘who I should be’ because that is absolutist in nature, it is restrictive – but have an open floor from which I can allow myself to flow with it, to learn to trust myself in it, to dare to do things, to not ‘fear’ and be scared of stepping out of my eggshell and really live life without fear, because that’s the point that absolutism represents to me ultimately, a dimension of fear as control that I ultimately have to let go of in order to really grow.

 What does living in an absolutist and militant manner mean to me currently? Being absolute in my resolution, self-trust and capacity to walk through/ live through something and find who I am in it, in a holistic way – not half-assed, but testing out something fully, to live fully in a way which can only be done from my perspective if letting go of fear. To persevere, to stick to what I plan on doing, to be focused and determined in creating something and getting to see the result of it as my creation and be responsible in it, to own it as ‘my creation’ for the better or to learn from it as a mistake. To be efficient and patient at the same time acknowledging the work and dedication anything in this creation requires, so that’s a way in which I can be absolute and militant in my stance, without the morals, the fears, the judgments and self-imposed limitations I had lived as before.

And how do I eventually walk out of this ‘fixation’ towards a particular person? Once that I start living those words/aspects I see them living and integrate them into my own life, so, that’s what I’ll do from here on within my own life, living context and capacity.

Thanks for reading and, definitely have a listen to these supportive audios to reflect back on one’s own absolutism and so see where and how one can start creating the first steps to expand and grow out from it into a supportive manner.

My Life of Absolutism – Life Review

My Life of Absolutism (Part 2) – Life Review

My Life of Absolutism (Part 3) – Life Review

 

 If you don't try nothing will ever happen

 

Join us in our process of Self-Expression as LIFE

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About Marlen

I share my realizations and perspectives within learning how to live life in self-honesty in the Desteni Process to expand and grow as a person in this world. #IMatter View all posts by Marlen

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