Tuesday, June 05, 2007

My amazing friend Aaron, the man behind the previously blogged Tactical Ice Cream Unit, is exhibiting at Psychobotany in Los Angeles through June 17. In this project, Aaron and the Center for Tactical Magic explore the nature of consciousness and the consciousness of nature through interaction between the human mind and living plants.

While the theories of the effect of human communication on plants isn't new, I'm positive Aaron has something dazzling, engaging, and provocative up his sleeve, especially for the lecture! And while the implications for direction on this subject are multifaceted (environmental, military-political, social, etc.), for me the social aspect won out. I think it is extremely important to be reminded of just how effective our own energy can be on other living beings when thinking about cultivating and continuing contentment, health, and compassion. This is something I really wish to remember in my communications with, and my thoughts about, people around me.

From the Center for Tactical Magic website:

Within less than a day, the "negative" plant was already looking significantly wilted. By the end of the exhibition, it was nearly dead, and perished shortly thereafter. Few changes in overall growth were detected between the "control" and the "positive" plant. Both continue to live; however, only the "positive" plant has borne fruit.

Y'all know I am a huge proponent of one gaining strength and resilience from adversity. But in this type of experiment I can't help but think about continued, relentless human toxicity and how that intersects with compassion.

When your fear touches someone's pain it becomes pity; when your love touches someone's pain it becomes compassion -- Stephen Levine

Plants demonstrate quite well the effect of toxicity leveled at them, but they are only one-way, because they cannot talk back. How many of us know someone whose constant negativity and pain results in a vicious poison circle from which they cannot exit -- devastating not only those around them. but themselves? What to do with that kind of misery? It is a constant struggle when in this type of relationship with someone, to overcome impulses to "fix," maintain one's own sense of worth and happiness without getting angry at the person, and not enter that toxic arena. I'm frankly no good at this at all, and I know very often I've gone the easier route and just removed myself from the situation. Sometimes you have to.

Funny, this, because I've also been reading recently about mindfulness meditation which may help one shed negativity in interactions, maybe put some positive energy out there for grabs if it's wanted, and move toward becoming stronger and more resilient in the face of adversity. Hee, maybe you can mix the bootstraps with Buddhism.

I guess the ultimate result for me at least would be to stay connected but still move freely in and around in a neutral or positive manner, and then move out -- because a living thing must also have its own will and space to live and grow too. Easier said than done, huh? No wonder therapists and yogis can charge so much for their services!

Anyway, lately when I see Aaron I have been feeling a real sense of light and love coming from him, even more so than usual. Just being around him perks me up. There's definitely something to this.

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