This week’s exploration has had a lasting impact on most everyone’s attitude towards the marking materials, as well as a new connection to the animistic field. Our marking shifted materials as commodity to means of devotion. Devotion at first felt like an old unused word relating to organized religion, but as we explored it, we realized that we are all devoted in any number of things.
As we go into shapeshifting in the seminar, In-Bodying the Field in Marking, it is a means to explore the animate-field in which we live. As we change shapes in the imaginal realm we want some navigation tools, like a strong concept of selfhood and an anchoring in the physical body. This week we mark into the centering and grounding of axis mundi, somatically feeling it through gravity’s attraction to the center of the earth. This also gives us a sense of directionality and relationship in the cosmos. Like all our explorations in marking this is not claiming a new belief system but nudging our unquestioned one for a possibly greater perspective and insight into our relationship to life.
Selfhood implies a level of maturity that identifies with a larger sphere. To guide us to this understanding we took the time for conscious breathing over and extended period showing and feeling how the exhale and inhale are distinct yet intimately a part of a whole that does not work without total union. Just as in breathing, selfhood denotes a larger container beyond cultural beliefs, national identity, age and occupation. It includes our character holding all the other selves.
In our adventure of challenging the current paradigm we question the man-made cultural norms that dictate our lives. More than anything else, our greatest repression is the “Denial of Death”. Pulitzer Prize winner, Ernest Becker’s book by that title maintains. Human beings spend an inordinate amount of energy strategizing to ward off recognition of our mortality. Socrates said as recorded by Plato, “the practice of dying” is a phrase that describes one aspect of how we become “morally mature.” Socrates urges us all to turn inwards and face our mortality. The Greek philosopher is among many others insisting we live with death in order to clarify our motives in life. It is surely possible that denial of death is at the bottom of our materialism, consumerism, addiction and escapism.