Phenomenology of Being - Personal Notes

    Table of contents
    1. 1. Time and Appreciation

    by Calvino Rabeni

    For me, phenomenology,  "being", and the Time / Space / Knowledge philosophy overlap quite a bit as areas of study and practice.  Everything I do includes a phenomenological perspective and a Being perspective.  My interest and activities in PlayAsBeing might be considered an effort in applied phenomenology. 

    On this page I've collected some personal, first-person-perspective notes regarding these topics.

    Disclaimers:  I'd like to point out these personal impressions do not represent anything about the views of the Kira institute or about phenomenology as it may be understood by any experienced or professional philosophers.

    Time and Appreciation

    The following are my notes from an assignment given during the Time Workshop.  The weekly discussion was on Chapter 7 of the Time, Space, and Knowledge book.  The idea was to focus on experiences around the theme of Time and appreciation, and then (optionally) to describe and share those experiences.

    I find it hard to condense these impressions into a summary, so I'll just narrate them.

    It's a "busy" day - I have at least four scheduled meetings coming up, and things to do to prepare.  I have a familiar feeling of tension,  like I am pushing forward and being held back at once.

    One thing I need to do is house cleaning.  But a voice in me says - I wish I didn't have to do this now!  Everything else is more deserving of my attention!  And so forth, but I know I can actually do it all and remember that I'll appreciate the environment more if it were cleaned.

    Something like Level 1

    So I'm washing the dishes in the sink.  I decide to go for Level 1.  These are nice red tea cups.  I like the particular rich color of the glaze.  They look better when clean and white inside.  I appreciate I get to live here, like a king compared to many people in the world. 

    But... I can't find the sponge!  I think it's down inside the suds, which are too hot to grope within.  I'm feeling for it in quick immersions. The dishes are in the way.  I am not getting the job done, I think somewhat tensely, recalling my appointments.

    The dishes seem to be where where they belong (in the water, in the pan), but kind of stuck there, like I am reluctant to move them.  But then I get an idea to shift dishes and awareness. 

    Something like Level 2

    I take the dishes out and place them aside.  They are now "on vacation" from the earlier pattern.  I find the sponge.  When I put the dishes back into the pan, I appreciate the way they just nestle together according to their own shape.  The water feels good.  The "objects" offer themselves to me, their colors, their ability to move in relationship to other things.  I appreciate them.  I feel free of my original "rush" or "chore" way of experiencing.  The dishpan looks like an art composition.  It also reminds me somehow of a musical composition.  I hear sounds in the background, first a fan in another part of the house.  It connects me with a kind of feeling of the ground state of relaxed awareness.  An unidentified sound is mixed in - with an energetic quality - I like it for that quality.  That before I interpret it as an overhead jet. 

    I appreciate the opportunity for practice that is afforded by doing everyday activities like cleaning dishes.  I notice I'm getting really efficient and effortless with it.  The objects seem "comfortable" with each other and their interactions.  Breaking the pattern earlier about the spatial arrangement of the dishes - now it seems to lead me to a similar feeling about Time.  Things can happen all at once, without it feeling like there isn't enough freedom (time or space) around them.  This appeared as follows - prior to starting the task, I thought that cleaning the dishes would interfere with some thinking or considering I wanted to do in preparation for later activities.  But at this point I feel like the dishes and other objects are not just that, they are also metaphors for the other things, as well as being themselves.  I start to get insights about the other issues that concern me - courtesy of the dishes.  I really appreciate, because I feel like I can be in two places (or at least, states of concern and of mind) at once, involved with two worlds.

    Although I am still cleaning the dishes, I start remembering a dream from last night. The metaphoric point of connection with the dream is by way of the feeling quality.  In the dream I am in a classic sports car and it knows how to drive itself.  It is taking me for a ride around my city, a kind of tourist's tour.  I just relax and can see things with "new eyes" and appreciate them.  I notice a new bridge has been built over a lake.  It is a graceful and elegant retro-19th-century design with spidery green webs made of iron.  I recognize this dream as a response to an earlier "wish" (or intention, or request, or prayer, or autosuggestion, whatever you want to call it).  It seemed like the response of the dream world's intelligence, to answer the request I'd formulated within the last couple of weeks.

    Cleaning done!  I look at the clock - it didn't take very long.  I pause to witness and appreciate the cleaned room - it evokes the the "clean mind" (or "Eden effect") about the way the fresh, quiet, spacious way the world looks after some meditations. 

    Now it's on to all the other elements of my full, chaotic schedule.

    Tag page (Edit tags)
    • No tags
    You must login to post a comment.
    Powered by MindTouch Core