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1. Bat Behavior Inquiry-based Program: Organization for Bat Conservation

  • Published: 2016-09-28T16:33:12+00:00
  • Duration: 295
  • By Save the Bats
Bat Behavior Inquiry-based Program: Organization for Bat Conservation

Overview: Inquiry-based learning is a great way to teach science and the scientific method! By taking an active role in collecting data students will stay engaged in their lessons. The purpose of this activity is to utilize the Inquiry method by observing animal behavior, specifically bats, to draw conclusions based on their observations. Building hypotheses is an important part of the Scientific method and will be practiced here. Students will watch and record behaviors from a video demonstrating bat food preference. The first time with their teacher, again on their own, and a third time with an OBC educator when they bring live bats to the classroom. This video will be used to help the students practice inquiry-based science investigation, build science literacy, and begin to discover what a scientist does when conducting their investigations. Studying animal behavior helps in the conservation of many species. Click here to download the pre-visit guide for your class: http://batconservation.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Bat-Behavior-Inquiry-Previsit-Activity.docx


2. Using Immersive Virtual Environments to Promote Creative Scientific Problem-solving: the SAVE Science Project

Using Immersive Virtual Environments to Promote Creative Scientific Problem-solving: the SAVE Science Project

Diane Jass Ketelhut, University of Maryland, College Park, USA. Situated Assessment using Virtual Environments for Science Content and Inquiry, SAVE Science, is an NSF-funded study developing an innovative system for contextualized, authentic assessment of learning in science. In SAVE Science, we are creating, implementing, and evaluating a series of immersive virtual environment-based modules for assessing both science content and inquiry in the middle grades. The modules are designed to enable students to perform a series of assessment tasks that provide data about how well they have mastered and can apply content knowledge and inquiry skills taught via their regular classroom curricula. Multiple pathways are supported. This demonstration will show one module and then allow participants to explore a second with time for discussion at the end. http://europe.immersiveeducation.org/events/ied-europe-summit-2012/


3. Learning vs Education

  • Published: 2012-05-26T15:32:20+00:00
  • Duration: 1024
  • By Brigi
Learning vs Education

As long as we are not aware of the ritual through which school shapes the progressive consumer - the economy's major resource - we cannot break the spell of this economy and shape a new one. by Ivan Illich After screening of the documentary “Schooling the World” (directed by Carol Black, link to the trailer: http://schoolingtheworld.org/), I facilitated and filmed a conversation with postgraduate students of Holistic Science and Economics for Transition at Schumacher College in April 2012 (Juliana Schneider, Ruth Potts, Megaia Beyer, Adriana Puech, Chris Tittle, Denise Curi and Brigita Laykovich). The equipment was basic, hence the quality of this first video I have made. Captured stories, related to education that you have heard (or you will hear) are based on personal experiences of 6 inspiring individuals who have been and still are on a very interesting journey of exploration, discovering what is possible beyond the mental constructs and brick walls. Many relevant issues have been raised; such as systemic problems of education, standardization, indoctrination and institutionalization of education, disconnection from reality and surrounding environment, abstraction, education becoming a business, needs for alternatives (example of Efecto Mariposa and principles of Steiner School), reconnection to the land and a need for a more holistic way of learning, which gives equal opportunities to all. Most important; creating an environment for individuals where they can learn from each other, from the land, surrounding environment, from their ancestors and to further develop their own, unique way of thinking, doing and being. Personally, I feel I was being robbed of my own experience too often, while being at school. For example, having to read the poem and interpret it the way it was suggested at the end of the book, or the way my teacher wanted the poem to be interpreted, instead of having the freedom to share my own experience of the poem. I found that very disturbing. Sir Ken Robinson puts it very well; saying that schools today are still being organized as factory lines on ringing bells, with separate facilities, specialized into separate subjects. Children are being educated in batches, depending on their age group. This story brings a cold image of an assembly line, while the whole schooling process appears like a standardized manufacturing process. I’m sure this “rings a bell”! To start changing the way people think, we first have to start with the process of awareness rising among educators and those connected to education; either students, parents or policy makers. This video is a first step of inquiry, which will further develop through the process of dissertation. Few words about the people you have just seen, or you're about to see in this video: Ruth Potts, current MA student on Masters of Economics for Transition, from UK an activist, writer, nature and art lover, an absolutely inspiring being; Ruth Potts is a co-founder of the radical collective, Bread, Print & Roses, and is completing an MA in Economics for Transition at Schumacher College. She was the Campaign Manager of the Great Transition at nef (the new economics foundation) from 2009-2011 where she co-developed a new model of campaigning designed to kick-start the decade -long transition to a new economy. Before that, she did time in the press offices of nef, Amnesty International UK and Christian Aid, and in public affairs for the National Federation of Women's Institutes. She is a Trustee of the Pioneer Health Foundation. Adriana Puech, current MSc student on Masters of Holistic Science, Colombian French Adriana Puech, current MSc student on Masters of Holistic Science, Colombian FrenchBorn in Bogotá, Colombia in 1980, Adriana is an Environmental Engineering graduate of la Universidad de los Andes and l’Ecole de Mines de Nantes in France. She has worked in olfactory research in Veolia Water, in waste water treatment consulting in GES in France and Spain and in adaptation to climate change at UNICEF for a joint program of the United Nations. Fond of improvisation and the depths of sound, Adriana has been part of various choirs as a soprano soloist and regularly performs in jazz groups and as a singer of soul. In 2010 she co-founded and continues to co-direct Efecto Mariposa ,a non profit organization that aims to awake new ethics based on the wonders of life through deep ecology and holistic education. Passionate about the interconnectedness of the challenges we face, she is currently completing the MSc in Holistic Science at Schumacher College. Adriana is a life-long lover of landscapes, music and beauty, with a particular interest in the invisible dynamics that touches, connects and transforms us Chris Tittle, current MA student on Masters of Economics for Transition, from US an adventurous traveler with an open heart and brilliant mind, used to work as an educator in Japan, is currently Katmandu in Nepal. Link to his blog... http://oaktreegarden.wordpress.com/. Megaia De Beyer, current MSc student on Masters of Holistic Science, South Africa at the moment busy setting up a transition tow outside Cape Town with Joe Stoedgel and Charles Hutchinson. (http://ourendlessriver.wordpress.com/category/megan-de-beyer/) Megaia runs parenting workshops Internationally, work with all forms of group facilitation and raise ecological awareness and has written many articles on related topics. She participated in numerous international conferences on psychotherapy and holistic healing and she's also an amazing Yoga teacher. (http://www.iafrica.com/article/70573.html) Juliana Schneider, current MSc student on Masters of Holistic Science from Brazil Currently a master's support coordinator at Schumacher College, Experienced in communication and sustainability in non profit organizations and the private sector (Co-Director at Universo TXT), specialized in trans-formative development, Eco-Facilitation. Juliana's an amazing person, full of life, joy, creativity and ability to generate a positive atmosphere. Denise Curi, hold a BA in Chemistry · PhD in Science - Organic Chemistry, from Brazil Denise used work as a teacher, a coordinator for the project Education for Sustainability; Supervisor in projects for introducing high school students to scientific research and is currently working as volunteer coordinator at Schumacher College. She is person with great passion for life itself in all its forms.


4. Promising Practices in 21st Century Learning - Ch. 9 and Ch. 10

  • Published: 2010-08-23T17:50:05+00:00
  • Duration: 583
  • By C21L
Promising Practices in 21st Century Learning - Ch. 9 and Ch. 10

Chapter 9: Promising Practices in... • Interdisciplinary Study • Individual & Group Research • Interactive Learning • Self-Reflection Interdisciplinary Study, Galileo School of Math and Science Colorado Springs School District 11 Chapter 10: Promising Practices in... • Project-Based Assessment • Experiential Learning • Scientific Inquiry • Problem Solving • Daily Reflections Physical Science Class, North Middle School Colorado Springs School District 11 The Council on 21st Century Learning Presents 10 Promising Practices Segments. These segments were recorded in Colorado classrooms during the 2008-2009 school year in Aurora, Denver and Colorado Springs District 11. C21L continues to produce videos that encourage and foster support for teachers and administrators who wish to bring 21st Century learning skills into the classroom. For more information about the work of C21L go to: www.C21L.org


5. Emily Sturman: Click!Online

  • Published: 2010-06-04T00:53:47+00:00
  • Duration: 495
  • By Ray
Emily Sturman: Click!Online

Spotlight talks with Emily Sturman of the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh about Click!Online, a web-based augmented reality game for adolescent girls that teaches science, math and technology. Click!Online recently won a Learning Lab award for innovation in digital media as part of the 2010 Digital Media and Learning Competition. At the Click! Agency, a fictional online spy school , girls entering 6th, 7th and 8th grades work together to solve mysteries related to biomedical science, environmental protection and expressive technologies. Participants collaborate in a science-based social network and use virtual laboratories combined with real world inquiry to solve challenges. In the case of the perplexing peach, for example, one of the Pittsburgh stealers has fallen mysteriously ill. Girls must examine case files of patients, figure out how to extract their own DNA, and visit the Del Monte peach processing plant to uncover the source of the mysterious illness. “We focus on girls because there is a huge disparity in girls’ representation in the STEM workforce,” said Emily Sturman, assistant director for the Girls Math & Science Partnership at the Carnegie Center. Sturman said that research shows girls’ interest in STEM subjects drops after 4th grade and that women are dramatically underrepresented in STEM related fields like computer science. “Women can contribute so substantially to the STEM workforce,” she said. “The unique ways that women work with each other - we’re more collaborative, we’re good problem solvers - are exactly the types of skills that are critical to ensuring that our workforce is as creative and innovate as possible.” To this end, the project focuses on hands-on inquiry workshops that encourage collaborative problem solving and participatory learning. “We know that hands-on inquiry is important to learners of both genders, but we at the Girls, Math & Science Partnership really emphasize the altruistic components of the science,” Sturman said. “Because we know that if girls feel that what they are doing can positively contribute to the world or help other people, they are much more likely to stay engaged.” Sturman says this approach not only helps the girls stay connected, but also teaches civic responsibility. “For example, in Click Level Two, which is all about environmental protection, they are not just testing water quality, they are learning about the broader implications of poor water quality on the health of our rivers,” she said. “By emphasizing the broader implications of this content, we’re teaching girls that they can be savvy consumers and savvy citizens of our community.” For more on the Digital Media and Learning Competition see http://spotlight.macfound.org/btr/category/digital_media_and_learning_competition/


6. Austin Energy Regional Science Festival 2016

  • Published: 2016-03-04T13:49:03+00:00
  • Duration: 359
  • By Trey Selman
Austin Energy Regional Science Festival 2016

The Austin Energy Regional Science Festival serves 3rd - 12th grade students from 12 Central Texas counties and 23 school districts, as well as private, home and charter schools. It encourages their inquiry-based learning and recognizes and celebrates the students' achievements in order to keep them interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). It also provides scientists, engineers and other professionals a chance to interact with the next generation of young scientists. Learn more at http://www.sciencefest.org and www.austinscience.org.


7. Vimeo Promo

Vimeo Promo

The Early Learning Department embarked on a three year journey to research best practices in teaching children science concepts through the use and inquiry and play-based practices. Specialists and teachers worked side by side to capture questions that sparked their early learners’ curiosity and designed a path of instruction. This video series is a professional development roadmap that allows other Early Learning educators to plan instruction using the 3 Phases of Inquiry inspired by the work of Lillian Katz and many others. You will view students investigating as they first explore and identify an area of interest in Phase 1, research to find the answers to their questions in Phase 2, and present their new knowledge by making a project in Phase 3. Not only will you learn how to plan instruction using the inquiry cycle and walk away with specific ideas you can implement the next day, but you will be able to watch the videos again and again to study the charts and documentation displays to make your learning come to life in your own classroom setting. The four units of inquiry focus on nature, water, building and structures and light and shadows.


8. LSRI Speaker Series: Learning in the Disciplines: Reading is Fundamental

  • Published: 2017-02-01T17:27:45+00:00
  • Duration: 2804
  • By LSRI
LSRI Speaker Series: Learning in the Disciplines:  Reading is Fundamental

Dr. Susan Goldman, Ph.D. LAS Distinguished Professor Psychology & Learning Sciences Project READI is a multi-institution, multi-disciplinary collaboration based on the premise that there are important literacy practices associated with each and every discipline and that these are largely implicit in current instructional approaches, especially in the education of adolescents. However, to engage in inquiry and build knowledge in a discipline, learners need to use the literacy practices of the discipline. Thus, Project READI researched and developed instructional approaches to support adolescents (Grades 6 – 12) in developing literacy practices for learning in three content areas – literary analysis, history, and the sciences. The Project READI approach focused on learning to engage evidence-based argumentation drawing on content from multiple texts. Texts are broadly defined as including the multiple modalities and genres of information sources typical in these disciplines. Multiple strands of work were involved, including design-based research in collaboration with classroom teachers, short-term quasi-experimental studies of specific variables related to tasks, texts, and scaffolds, and a randomized control test of the efficacy of the approach in science. Highlights of these strands of work will be presented. The final portion of the presentation will focus on the work of various members of the UIC/LSRI Project READI team using a poster symposium format. Lecture recorded January 13, 2017


9. Mapleton Public Schools - Academy High School (9-12)

Mapleton Public Schools - Academy High School (9-12)

Academy High School A School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) At Academy High School students develop powerful problem-solving and critical-thinking skills through coursework that exposes them to challenging engineering and biomedical courses. Students work to master core subjects with an emphasis on science, technology, math and engineering, gaining technical skills they may apply in the real world. Students are encouraged to research, learn and apply new material through hands-on projects, activities, and problem-based learning. Academy High School students embrace their individuality and thrive in a community devoted to the pursuit of excellence. Students receive support through seminar courses. Seminar courses provide students with additional academic assistance, college readiness skills, and help to refine the technical skills they will use in core classes and electives. Seminar classes reinforce Academy’s character pillars of perseverance, integrity, respect, responsibility, courage, and curiosity and encourage a supportive learning environment. Classrooms and learning spaces were designed specifically to inspire inquiry and independent discovery. Standing counters, open computer areas, laptop stations and movable furniture create multi-use spaces for collaboration, small group work, or individual study. Academy High School will prepare students with the necessary skills to succeed, compete, innovate and lead in the evolving 21st century global economy. Academy students... Have a strong interest in mastering State and School District standards with an emphasis on science, technology, math and engineering Actively seek college preparation Desire an authentic and engaging learning environment Want to be prepared to compete, innovate and lead Take pride in their school and in their peers Want to be a part of and contribute to their school and community School Specs 9th-12th grade Uniformed dress code for 9th-10th grade, strict dress code for 11th and 12th grade


10. iSWOOP

  • Published: 2015-05-05T19:41:35+00:00
  • Duration: 180
  • By videohall.com
iSWOOP

iSWOOP - Interpreters and Scientists Working On Our Parks This video is posted as part of the NSF 2015 Teaching & Learning Video Showcase, May 11th-18th, 2015. Join the discussion at: http://videohall.com/p/474 NSF Award #: 1323030 iSWOOP, Interpreters and Scientists Working On Our Parks, is an NSF-funded, pilot initiative that seeks to create a model of professional development for national park interpreters to help advance STEM learning for the more than 275 million annual visitors of America’s National Parks. iSWOOP is based on a collaboration among scientists, informal science educators and park interpretive rangers. They all work together to conduct park-based research and to design engaging and informative interpretive programs on scientific topics of relevance and interest to the general public with a focus on the process of science. In this first phase of development, the project is discovering best practices that allow visitor engagement through visual storytelling, inquiry and facilitated dialog. Piloted at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, we anticipate extending the model to other national parks around the US.


11. Project X Foundation and Armory Center for the Arts present: What does art practice have to do with political activism?

Project X Foundation and Armory Center for the Arts present: What does art practice have to do with political activism?

Project X Foundation and Armory Center for the Arts present: What does art practice have to do with political activism? with Danielle Bustillo, Willem Henri Lucas, Chandler McWilliams Organized and moderated by Johanna Hedva (formerly Kozma), current Project X Desk at [email protected] resident Tuesday, October 28, 2014 7 – 9 pm Armory Center for the Arts 145 N Raymond Ave Pasadena, CA 91103 What Does Art Practice Have to Do with Political Activism? For artists, the question of practice vs. theory becomes especially relevant — and complicated — when asked in the context of the political. Artists who are interested in political questions, critique, and activism, must consider strategies for making that sit, sometimes uneasily, atop boundaries of multiple disciplines, ethics, obstacles, and goals. This panel brings together three artists from varied backgrounds and media, whose engagement with the political has taken distinct forms: from prankster gestures to philosophical inquiry. Moderated by Johanna Kozma, the artists will discuss the practical considerations of art-making in relation to political engagement. Organized in parallel to the theoretical panel “How to Cite a Leaked Document: Civil Disobedience in the Digital Age,” hosted by the Aesthetics and Politics lecture series at CalArts in early October, this panel is the culmination of Johanna Hedza's residency at the Project X Desk at the Armory. During her residency, Kozma was at work on a mythico-political novel that proposes Snowden and Manning as contemporary versions of Icarus and Dedalus. About the Participants: Willem Henri Lucas studied at the Academy of Visual Arts in Arnhem in the Netherlands and did his post academic studies at the Sandberg institute (Rietveld Academy) in Amsterdam. From 1990 to 2002, he served as professor and chair of the Utrecht School of the Arts’ Graphic Design department. From 2009 to 2014, he was the chair of the Design Media Arts department at UCLA where he continues to teach. His works is mostly based in the fields of culture and art. He has won several book and poster design awards in the Netherlands and the US. Primarily a book designer (exploring sensibility of printed matter, in material as well as content), Lucas is interested in addressing social issues and bringing design back “to the street,” and “humanity” back into design, encouraging future designers to be a valuable part of their communities. His body of work deals with issues of “war” and “love,” and “the human condition.” Chandler McWilliams is an artist and writer living and working in Los Angeles. His work uses sculpture, text, and performance to cope with ethics, space, perception, and thought. He has studied film, photography, and political science; and completed graduate work in philosophy at The New School For Social Research in New York City. In 2013, he received an MFA from the Program in Art at the California Institute of the Arts. He currently teaches in the Design Media Arts program at UCLA. Danielle Bustillo: +born in Miami, Fl to a French mother and Cuban father +understood that to be a ‘communist’ was not actually a slur by the time she left the U.S. for France at age 9 and began to wear Che T-shirts and peace sign chokers +attended 5 different institutions before finally completing a bachelors in art at Hunter College, NY +received an MFA from the Art & Technology program at California Institute of the Arts +interested in the dynamics of power and authority and in complicating authorship strategies +a host and member of the Best Friends Learning Gang, a pedagogical initiative that explores collective, decentralized learning +an organizer in neverhitsend, an artist collective that emerged in the wake of the first Snowden leaks in June 2013 that performs and discusses issues around communications ideology +part of a cyberpunk reading club Johanna Hedza is a Los Angeles-based artist and writer. Her work has been performed at the Hammer Museum, Southern Exposure, PERFORM! Now, Machine Project, PØST, New Wight Gallery, Anatomy Riot, PAM, and in The Getty’s Pacific Standard Time. Her writing has appeared in PANK, Circle, InDigest, Rymden Magazine, and in the WHL Studio Reader series, of which she is a co-founder. She has been a visiting artist speaker at Art Center College of Design, Pomona College of Art, UCLA, and California Institute of the Arts. She holds an MFA in Art and a Master’s in Aesthetics and Politics from California Institute of the Arts.


12. The Art-Science Interface - Andrew Yang, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago

The Art-Science Interface - Andrew Yang, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago

The Art-Science Interface Andrew Yang, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago C.P. Snow’s notion that the arts and the sciences represent “two cultures” has come to characterize their largely divergent paths in terms of education, research, public support, and popular conception in the U.S. At the same time, it is often argued that there is a strong if not fundamentally synergistic connection between them as creative endeavors. A recent upsurge of interest in the interfaces between the arts and the sciences has begun to take shape over the past ten years through a variety of conferences, books, university initiatives, as well as large NSF funded projects that seek to establish arts-based learning within STEM curricula. The diverse and multifaceted approaches to art-and-science are as varied as the communities and audiences they seek to engage. Some claim that this form of interdisciplinarity signals a new renaissance, with the potential to not only help reimagine basic scientific research and the public understanding of science, but also to “shape the 21st century workforce” to the most innovative and creative in history. Others doubt the substantive conceptual role art or artists can play in science, while there is also great skepticism about the dynamics within art and science collaborations given differences in funding, creative goals, and standards of evaluation. This session brings together researchers who have worked broadly in the visual arts as well as science & engineering to discuss this exciting, emergent - and sometimes contentious - frontier in science today. Further References Elkins, James. 2009. Aesthetics and the Two Cultures : Why Art and Science Should Be Allowed to Go Their Separate Ways. In Rediscovering Aesthetics: Transdisciplinary Voices From Art History, Philosophy, and Art Practice. Eds. Francis Halsall, Julia Jansen & Tony O'Connor. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 34-50. http://www.academia.edu/163448/Aesthetics_and_the_Two_Cultures_Why_Art_and_Science_Should_be_Allowed_to_Go_Their_Separate_Ways Gewin, Virginia. 2013. Interdisciplinarity: Artistic merit. Nature 496: 537-39. http://www.nature.com/naturejobs/science/articles/10.1038/nj7446-537a Glinkowski, Paul and Anne Bamford. 2009. Insight and Exchange: An evaluation of the Wellcome Trust's Sciart programme. London: Wellcome Trust. http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/About-us/Publications/Reports/Public-engagement/Sciart-evaluation-report/index.htm Ox, Jack and Richard Lowenberg. 2013. What Is the Challenge of Art/Science Today and How Do We Address It? Leonardo, 46 (1): 2. http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/leonardo/v046/46.1.ox.html Root-Bernstein, Bob, Todd Siler, Adam Brown and Kenneth Snelson. 2011. ArtScience: Integrative Collaboration to Create a Sustainable Future. Leonardo, 44 (3): 192. http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/LEON_e_00161 Snow, C.P. 1960. The Two Cultures. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Yang, A.S. 2011. Interdisciplinarity as critical inquiry: Visualizing the art/bioscience interface. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 36(1): 42-54. http://www.andrewyang.com/folder2/ArtBioscienceISR%28Yang%29.pdf


13. What's Up (Frequently Asked Questions About Space, By Kids, For Kids): Illuminating Standards Video Series

  • Published: 2014-11-05T16:28:35+00:00
  • Duration: 357
  • By EL Education
What's Up (Frequently Asked Questions About Space, By Kids, For Kids): Illuminating Standards Video Series

This video demonstrates how a project-based approach to science with an authentic audience for students’ work can build deep conceptual understanding. Contrasting a third-grader’s clear understanding of an astronomical concept with the misconceptions of Harvard graduates, the video follows up with the featured third grader five years later to show that her understanding was retained. This video sharply displays Common Core literacy standards, and shows how they can be reached deeply in an inquiry-oriented classroom with integrated arts. The Illuminating Standards Project In the last two decades of the ‘standards movement’ in American public education, many educators have concluded that ‘teaching to the standards’ and project-based learning are incompatible. Ron Berger (Expeditionary Learning) and Steve Seidel (Harvard Graduate School of Education), co-directors of The Illuminating Standards Project, wondered if this conclusion was true. Indeed, they speculated that long-term, interdisciplinary, arts-infused, community-connected projects may well be one of the best ways to actually see what state standards look like when fully realized in the things students make in school—to make the standards visible. Three questions frame the work of The Illuminating Standards Project: ~ What does it look like when state standards are met with integrity, depth, and imagination? ~ How can we use standards to open up and enrich curriculum, rather than narrow and constrain it? ~ How can we use student work to raise the level of our understanding of standards and our dialogue about them? The Videos Collaborating with Berger and Seidel on The Illuminating Standards Project, over 30 students at the Harvard Graduate School of Education have explored these questions by choosing projects from the Student Work Archive in the Center for Student Work and considering the ways in which those projects did—and didn’t—meet specific state standards. Further, they examined how the student work illuminated the standards—and vice versa. Many of those students created short films and 13 of those films are presented here. We invite you to watch these films and we encourage you to use them as the catalyst for discussions with your colleagues about the relationship between your commitment to meet demanding state standards and approaches to designing powerful learning experiences for our students.


14. THE BRANCH gestalt dreamwork on a painting, part 4 (HQ)

THE BRANCH gestalt dreamwork on a painting, part 4 (HQ)

gestalt dreamwork on a painting instead of a dream, done by franklyn wepner. TO VIEW OR DOWNLOAD ALL OF MY VIDEOS, PLUS 1500 PAGES OF MY EXPLANATORY ESSAYS (ALL AT NO CHARGE) PLEASE VISIT MY WEBSITE: franklynwepner.com. ALSO PLEASE NOTE MY NEW EMAIL ADDRESS, IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH ME ANY COMMENTS ABOUT MY WORK: [email protected] IN THE LISTING OF VIDEOS THE LETTERS (HQ) REFER TO A HIGHER QUALITY VERSION OF THE VIDEO, WHICH IS AVAILABLE TO YOU IF YOUR COMPUTER CAN HANDLE IT. FRANKLYN WEPNER JUNE 2009 ESSAY: "HEIDEGGER & NACHMAN ON THE ORIGIN OF ART" REFERENCES: (1) NACHMAN OF BRESLAV, "COLLECTED ESSAYS" ("LIKUTEI MOHARAN"), SECTION 5 (2) MARTIN HEIDEGGER, "THE ORIGIN OF THE WORK OF ART", IN "PHILOSOPHIES OF ART AND BEAUTY", ED. HOFSTADTER & KUHNS (1) THE "OPEN" & THE PURE PROCESS MODE (2) THE TEMPLE, PLATO & MASHIACH (3) CONSECRATING THE TEMPLE AS RITE OF INITIATION (4) NACHMAN'S TEMPLE IN BRATSLAV (5) CLAPPING HANDS AS ALCHEMICAL MAGIC (1) THE "OPEN" AND THE PURE PROCESS MODE H 681. Setting up a world and setting forth the earth, the work is the fighting of the battle in which the unconcealedness of beings as a whole, or truth, is won. FW: The above is a typical sentence taken from Martin Heidegger's essay, "The Origin Of The Work Of Art". This sentence is loaded with Heidegger technical jargon: world, earth, battle, unconcealedness, beings and truth. Also in this sentence, these terms are laid out in an interlocking manner such that words that we thought we understood suddenly become very strange to us. We are mystified. But let us try now to decode this knot of dialectical jargon. Decoding even this one sentence will reveal much of the underlying logic of Heidegger's philosophy of art. Our project in this short essay is to see whether Heidegger's recondite reflections about art can shed valuable light on the work of Nachman of Breslav. We have been approaching Nachman mainly from the perspective of Isaac Luria's dialectic of conflict, which was Nachman's own reference point in 1800. But doing so required jumping right away into the tsimtsum theory, and we risked explaining something very obscure in an even more obscure manner. Fortunately, we have available a magic carpet tool from the performing arts which in one quick, painless stroke will land us in the middle of the dialectical universe of both Heidegger and Luria and allow us from those two starting points to converge on our primary target, the work Nachman of Breslav. This tool is a world class technique with a long history. It constitutes a major foundation of the dance theaters of Asia, and in today's avant garde theater world it is known as the "pure process mode". Again I express my gratitude to the Mabou Mines Theater Company for initiating me into this bit of esoterica. FW: The pure process mode as performed looks a lot like Tai Ch'i, but then again you might not know about Tai Ch'i either so I'll start from the basic idea. A group of performers is told to focus on awareness rather than thinking. Like in Gestalt Therapy, awareness here includes contact with one's environment using senses, with one's body using proprioception, and with one's fantasies. The stress in this exercise is on environment awareness. Along with work on awareness, the group is instructed to begin a holistic, total movement of all body parts, very slowly and very relaxed so as not to let the movements or body tension interfere with the awareness. All this is here and now work, passively responding to what is happening in one's awareness. What to do next stems from passively reacting to what already is happening, and going with that flow in a non-deliberate manner. Philosophically, what we have here is "induction" or Platonic collection, or gestalt formation, in the sense that from the particular details the performer infers a single new encompassing idea which then becomes the rule that guides his next choices. From the ground of what is happening arise potential figures, weak gestalts, until one of them becomes the strong gestalt or monad which then is the new world of that emerging moment. And here we have Heidegger's key term, "world", emerging as a product of inductive, intuitive thinking. The world that worlds, using Heidegger jargon, is the emerging gestalt or figure that then is the organizing center of the organism's existence until the next strong gestalt (world) takes over. For Gestalt Therapists a neurotic is an individual who interferes with, who interrupts his natural figure/ground process such that strong gestalts do not congeal and the ground keeps churning up weak gestalts aimlessly. FW: So far we have presented half of the pure process mode concept, the side of passivity and induction. The other, complementary side of the pure process mode is the active, deliberate, deductive side. Here is how that works. As I am doing my awareness and movement exercise, I am instructed also to allow any particular focus that emerges strongly enough from the ground that it attracts my conscious attention to continue to develop, and then I see where it takes me. In other words, I am looking for associations, or what Nachman would label "behinot". This is an aspect of that and that is an aspect of the next thing, endlessly. The main motor of the pure process mode is the passive, induction side, but riding on it is a series of deductive moments or deliberate active choices to accept the hint and go with that idea to its completion as a particular "thing". For example, I notice that my body is doing something like a swimming breast stroke, and I allow myself gradually to go almost fully into the breast stroke form. But here I interrupt the naturalistic form I am performing and remind myself that I need the active/passive balance, the middle way. And so I now allow the breast stroke form - again gradually with full awareness - to dissolve back into the passive aspect of the pure process mode. We now have the two poles of Heidegger's dialectic. The deliberate, active point of view Heidegger calls "earth", and the passive point of view Heidegger calls "world". Here again is our initial Heidegger quote. H 681. Setting up a world and setting forth the earth, the work is the fighting of the battle in which the unconcealedness of beings as a whole, or truth, is won. FW: The "battle" is the competition between world and earth, induction and deduction. Usually when we do the breast stroke in the pool as part of our 20 minute exercise routine, the choice is deliberate, and the details of the stroke fit into a vast grid of distinctions of different kind of muscular and breathing activities. The ramification of the basic idea of "swimming" into all these strokes and nuances of strokes is an example of deductive logic, moving from the general idea of "swimming" to the particular differences of each stroke. The opposite of deduction in this sense is the passive experience of letting all those details and nuances fade away into no-thing-ness. The combination of deduction and induction, earth and world, kabbalistic left pillar and right pillar, is the concrete dialectic which grounds much of sophisticated world culture, east and west. Doing the pure process exercise is like a slow motion movie of some sport which reveals the seams linking the individual moves. These seams usually are a hidden, "concealed" ground for the chain of deliberate moves. The pure process mode reverses our usual figure/ground process, thereby "unconcealing" the ground of "being as a whole". If we think of our usual daily existence as packed with habitual, mechanical behavior, then the pure process mode opens up or clears a space in that dense structure. Here is another Heidegger statement, This time he describes this "open center" of our existence. H 679. In the midst of beings as a whole an open place occurs. There is a clearing, a lighting. Thought of in reference to what is, to beings, this clearing is in a greater degree than are beings. This open center is therefore not surrounded by what is; rather the lighting center itself encircles all that is, like the a Nothing which we scarcely know. FW: Just substitute no-thing-ness for Nothing, and we have again the pure process mode, with things coming into existence and going out of existence devoid of their usual thingness as specific objects that we make use of or relate to. FW: Turning now back to Nachman of Breslav, let us read Heidegger's prose from the point of view of the dialectic of conflict and the tradition of alchemy which Nachman inherited from Isaac Luria. Immediately we see a likely source for Heidegger's choice of the word "earth" to suggest the process of deduction in opposition to the process of induction. For the process of deduction or creation on the left pillar of the tree of life descends deductively from alchemical water to alchemical earth, before ascending inductively through alchemical air to alchemical fire. Moving through these four elements, water, earth, air and fire, completes the cycle. Alchemical air is what becomes revealed (unconcealed) at the moment of tsimtsum, as God or man contracts his frozen x/-x polarities to allow a relative vacuum. Into the void emerges or overflows inductively a new idea from the macrocosm which then encompasses the two sides of the former impasse in a higher integration. The encompassing new idea Nachman labels, logically enough, the "maqqif", since in Hebrew the word "maqqif" means "encompasses". The void is the "open" of Heidegger, which begins as an air pocket and then does a figure/ground reversal from air pocket to encompassing no-thing-ness in which the two sides, x/-x, of the former impasse disappear. This disappearing is the negation of the negations of the One Without A Second. The negations, the stuck antagonists of the impasse, are thus burnt up in alchemical fire, completing the circle of alchemical elements of the concrete dialectic. FW: By stressing the impasse at the expense of the pure process mode, kabbalists like Luria and Nachman of Breslav highlight the absence of new ideas flowing from on high. This is like building up charge on a condenser. The ideas certainly are there, since God is in all the world, but they are apparently absent. Arthur Green shows how Nachman made his own personal experience of the apparent absence of God a central dogma of his renovated hasidism. The Breslaver hasid is instructed to seek out more and more challenging conflicts, "maqqifim", as a way to stimulate his need to rely upon faith rather than look for an intellectual understanding of God. Eastern religions, without as much stress on a personal God as has Judaism, can do without such a condenser model of faith and rely more upon the natural power of awareness as a tool to access divinity. Here is Nachman's version of Heidegger's "the open" and the Asian dance theater pure process mode. It's the same dialectic, with different cultural overlays to mask it. Since the Fall, since the Tower of Babel, since the decree, different peoples need to disguise their prayers with different codes, different "stories", lest the accusing angels on the left (our need to maintain cultural distinctions, our "gevurot") protest. LM 5:5. Know as well that a person must couple the gevurot (severities) with chasadim (benevolences), left with right, as is written (Psalms 20:7), "with the saving gevurot of His right arm" . For the main revelation comes about by means of chasadim, as is written (ibid 110:1), "Sit at my right hand while I make your enemies your footstool". It is likewise necessary to couple love with fear of Heaven, in order to generate thunder. This love is from the right side, from "a mind as white as silver" (Tikkuney Zohar #70). . . ."The sound of Your thunder was in the sphere." and this is (Song of Songs 8:7), "Many waters cannot extinguish the love." For the ability to conquer is mainly by means of love, as in , "Sit at My right hand while I make your enemies your footstool." FW: Both Heidegger and Nachman point toward resolving the "battle" of world vs earth dialectically. In LM 5:5 Nachman uses alchemical water rather than alchemical earth to symbolize the side of deduction, and "love" symbolizes the power of induction to encompass strong polarities (enemies) in a higher unity. Parallel to this dichotomy is that between the Fear of Heaven and love, in the sense that extreme polarities in our existence drive us to the breaking point, abyss, void, and instill thereby in us a "fear of heaven". Thunder in LM 5 symbolizes these extreme opposites reverberating in our lives. The reverberations of thunder reach on high and invite drops of dew (new ideas from the macrocosm) to enter the void in the microcosm and open up new possibilities. The new possibilities, dew drops, at first are merely weak gestalts/figures percolating up from the ground, analogous to the weak figures or gestalts that pass through the body and mind of the performer in the pure process mode. Thus, thunder and lightning serve Nachman in LM 5:5 as structural equivalents to Heidegger's "the open" and the Asian dance theater pure process mode. Nachman's version of the conflict dialectic makes the conflict much more explicit, in order to stimulate a greater reliance on pietist faith in a personal God than is necessary in the Eastern equivalents. (2) THE TEMPLE, PLATO, AND MASHIACH H 670. A building, a Greek temple, portrays nothing. It simply stands there in the middle of the rock cleft valley. The building encloses the figure of the god, and in this concealment lets it stand out into the holy precinct through the open portico. By means of the temple, the god is present in the temple. FW: Again Heidegger approaches the conflict dialectic, this time with a metaphor much closer to the tsimtsum framework invoked by Nachman in LM 5. Rather than associating to the gentle pure process mode, the allusion to the conflict dialectic and tsimtsum is here much more direct. First we see this in the location of this Greek temple: "the middle of a rock cleft valley", i.e., the two extremes making up the impasse that opens up the void. The word "building" points immediately to the left pillar headed by "binah", from the Hebrew root "to build". The figure of the god is the emerging new macrocosmic, Platonic idea, the "maqqif" which negates the "pnimi" (the impasse of one's heart) and supplants it dialectically. In the pure process mode it is "the Open" (world) which houses the forms which come and pass away (earth), but here it is the rigid structure of a temple (earth) that houses the constantly emerging open (world, god). Here we are back in the typical Lurianic kabbalah terrain that is Nachman's home ground. H 671. Standing there, the building holds its ground against the storm raging above it and so first makes the storm itself manifest in its violence. The luster and gleam of the stone, though itself apparently glowing only by the grace of the sun, yet first brings to light the light of the day, the breadth of the sky, the darkness of the night. The temple's firm towering makes visible the invisible space of air. FW: Around the temple crashes the thunder and lightning of a great storm, which is the moment of tsimtsum in the concrete dialectic. And this time it is alchemical air which Heidegger cites to remind us of his own grounding in the traditional dialectic. Or perhaps in this compact temple image we have the entire dialectic: water (the storm), earth (temple as rigid framework), air (the space for the emerging maqqif idea) and fire (the lightning and the heat of the sun). Let's see how our two gurus articulate these alchemical ideas, each with his own "story". First Heidegger: a Greek pilgrim approaching in the valley sees first the temple in the distance, before the small figure of the god inside is visible. And Nachman says in LM 5:6, LM 5:6. This is the aspect of fear which precedes. For fear of Heaven precedes all else, as is written (Psalms 111:10), "The beginning of wisdom is the fear of God". FW: But what exactly is the function or work of this Greek temple? H 670. It is the temple work that first fits together and at the same time gathers around itself the unity of those paths and relations in which birth and death, disaster and blessing, victory and disgrace, endurance and decline acquire the shape of destiny for human being. The all-governing expanse of this open relational context is the world of this historical people. Only from and in this expanse does the nation first return to itself for the fulfillment of its vocation. FW: The work that is done in the temple and by means of the temple itself is the concrete dialectic, which for both Heidegger and Nachman includes the Platonic concepts of collection and anamnesis (Greek: "not forgetting"). Specifically, the temple work (dialectic) gathers around itself (collects) the unity of those paths and relations (the weak gestalts encompassed by strong gestalts, maqqifim). Heidegger was a contemporary of Fritz Perls, and a glance at the Gestalt model will clear away a lot of metaphorical muddle here. The gestalt work (temple work) that the Gestalt patient does by identifying with pair after pair of his polarities in his work on his games and unfinished business serves to encompass all the inner ideas of these points of view within his own emerging self-as-process. This is Platonic collection of weaker ideas, gestalts or monads within stronger ideas, gestalts or monads. The "coming solution" with which the patient identifies as his goal is thus on a higher level of integration than his previous game playing self. It is as though an unruly mob has been integrated into a mature human populace with a clear sense of purpose. This is the return of the members of the nation to its true self, its archetypal dialectical ideas and logic, and the grasping of its destiny ("vocation"). Plato, like Heidegger, placed the needs of the republic above the needs of individuals. Heidegger as Nazi leader showed us the ugly side of Platonism, while the restraints imposed by hasidic halachah kept Nachman and his followers closer to a balanced position. The "world" of a historical people is for both thinkers inhabited by ideas associated with the folklore of that tribe. These are the personages of Wagner's operas for Germans and the patriarchs of the Bible for Jews. In LM 5 Nachman makes use of Yitzchak and Avraham for this purpose, and likewise for Yaakov in LM 1. LM 5:3. This is what our Sages taught: When a person has fear of Heaven his words are heard (Berakhot 6b). For when someone possesses fear of Heaven, his voice is converted into thunder. This is because thunder is from the side of Yitzchak, as in, "the thunder of His gevurot." This causes his words to be heard - i.e., "the voice is transmitted to the creation." For hearing is linked to [the fear of Heaven], as is written (Habakkuk 3:2), "O God, I heard of Your message; I feared" (Zohar III, 230a). . . This also corresponds to the sound of the shofar - i.e., the shofar horn of the ram, the ram of Yitzchak (Zohar III 235b) - which is an aspect of "the thunder of His gevurot". LM 5:5. It is likewise necessary to couple love with fear of Heaven, in order to generate thunder. This [love] is from the right side, from "a mind as white as silver" (Tikkuney Zohar #70). This is (Exodus 14:27). "The sea" alludes to the sea of wisdom, "when it turned morning" - this is the morning of Avraham (Zohar II, 170b), corresponding to "Avraham My beloved" (Isaiah 41:8), "to its might" - this is gevurot, corresponding to "The sound of Your thunder was in the sphere.." And this is (Song of Songs 8:7), "Many waters cannot extinguish the love." For the ability to conquer is mainly by means of love, as in, "Sit at My right . . ." LM 1:2. For the Jew must always focus on the inner intelligence of every matter, and bind himself to the wisdom and inner intelligence that is to be found in each thing. This, so that the intelligence which is in each thing may enlighten him that he ma draw closer to God through that thing. For inner intelligence is a great light that shines for a person in all his ways, As is written (Ecclesiastes 8:1), "A person's wisdom causes his countenance to shine. This is the concept of Yaakov. For YaAKoV merited the right of the first born, which is reishit (beginning), the concept of wisdom. FW: Let's relate these two sets of metaphors to each other, i.e., Heidegger's account of the temple and Nachman's account of the patriarchs. Yitzchak, symbolizing the left pillar, (gevurot, severities, distinctions, judgments, deductions) is likened to the Fear of Heaven arising from the extreme polarities associated with tsimtsum/thunder. Avraham, symbolizing the right pillar (love, grace, benevolence, induction, ideas from above, maqqifim) is depicted as powerful enough to encompass "the waters" of deduction. Thunder in LM 5 has a double reference to tsimtsum. In regard to Yitzchak thunder suggests the extreme polarities of the storm, while in regard to Avraham the allusion of thunder is close to that of "the Open" in the pure process mode. "In the morning" the naturalistic forms which congealed dissolve back into the pure process mode. Earth gives itself up to world, in order to restore the balance of the middle way. This is Yaakov as maqqif, encompassing Yitzchak and Avraham in a higher integration. FW: Again, Gestalt practice can help to get the point here. Think of the Gestalt pilgrim working his way through his objective history. After identifying with the inner ideas of each of his x/-x polarities and doing the work of each dialogue in the ascending spiral of the dialectic, the Gestalt pilgrim is instructed to "identify with the coming solution", close your eyes and enter your body and fantasies. This is the rhythm of contact and withdrawal which is the Gestalt equivalent of the tsimtsum idea. The result of this process is grasping the existential message of the entire work, i.e., Yaakov, the balanced wisdom, the sword of the messiah that veers neither to the left or to the right. For Nachman, the tsaddik function, represented by himself as paradigm and potentially available in each Jew, is this archetypal dialectic, the messianic soul Jews receive from Adam, from Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai, etc. and lastly from himself as Mashiach ben Joseph. This original messianic soul incorporates the three patriarchal ideas dialectically: Avraham as the thesis, Yitzchak as the antithesis, and Yaakov as the synthesis. Recalling these patriarchs in the context of an ongoing spiritual search grounded in faith is Nachman's version of Platonic anamnesis. Learning, for Jews, is remembering the wisdom of our original founding fathers, our origin. FW: Heidegger had an analogous philosophy of education which he attempted to implement in 1933 as Nazi party member and rector of the University of Berlin in Hitler's Germany. Like Nachman, he found active messianism a bit too difficult and was forced to give up the job. Also like Nachman, he then turned to art as a sublimation of his messianic longings. Hence the title of this essay which we are studying, which Heidegger wrote in 1935, is "The Origin Of The Work Of Art". The essay announces that for Heidegger art - Nazi art, that is - serves the messianic function, with the artist standing in for Jesus or some Aryan equivalent. This parallels Nachman's grand messianic vision of the role of the tsaddik - especially himself - in Jewish lore. Nachman's Platonic gathering and inductive collaging of quotes from traditional Jewish sources as a code for the conflict dialectic is an example of religious art fulfilling the messianic function using anamnesis of archetypal ideas in a Platonic manner. Wagner's operas, with their teutonic patriarchal heroes, serve a parallel Platonic collection function for a Nazi German soul. (3) CONSECRATING THE TEMPLE AS RITE OF INITIATION FW: Doing a Gestalt dreamwork session and moving dialectically through a series of polarities according to the rhythm of contact and withdrawal, is, dialectically speaking - in the sense of Heidegger - setting up a temple with the "coming solution" as the god inside who is illuminating the entire structure. If this is the Gestalt client's first such experience, then Heidegger would speak of "consecrating" the temple. In fact, the process also alludes to the "B'reishit" moment of Genesis, which from a philosophical point of view is happening at every moment of authentic action as God constantly renews his creation. H 672. To dedicate means to consecrate, in the sense that in setting up the work the holy is opened up as holy and the god is invoked into the openness of his presence. . . To e-rect means: to open the right in the sense of a guiding measure, a form in which what belongs to the nature of being gives guidance. FW: We have seen the notion of "measure" in LM 5, in Nachman's stress on attaining a proper balance of left and right pillars, the Fear of Heaven on one side and love on the other side, this being the state of Yaakov, which dialectically synthesizes the antithetical relationship between Avraham and Yitzchak as they usually are portrayed in the kabbalah. Arthur Green has shown clearly that identifying with these three patriarchs was for Nachman a major part of his spiritual quest. Nachman considered the dialectic of the patriarchs as a symbol of his own struggle to attain a level of spirituality appropriate for the leader of a hasidic community. Green maintains that Nachman's journey to the land of Israel was primarily a need for a symbolic rite of passage, the goal of which is in Judaism represented by the dialectic of the three patriarchs. Here is Green's argument. After returning from his journey to Israel, amidst Napoleon's naval bombardment of the Turkish fleet, Nachman TM 85. had "passed through water" for the sake of God, and had seen his faith withstand the threat of imminent death. He was now one who could deserve the vision of the patriarchs, having followed their example by the utter denial of his corporeal self. TM 84. It is now clear that Nachman's journey to the Holy Land may best be defined as a rite de passage, or a voyage of initiation, the likes of which have been studied in various other religious cultures, both pre-literate and classical, but which are not generally considered to be a part of latter day Judaism. TM 82. The patriarchs, who fulfilled the mitzvot in purely spiritual ways, are, in Nachman's imagination, symbols of complete transcendence of the bodily self. Chayay 5:19 Shortly before he departed for the land of Israel, someone asked him why he did not draw the disciples near and speak with them. He said that he now had no words, but said that "by means of the verse "When you pass through the water I shall be with you" (Isaiah 43:2) it has become known to me how one may see the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob whenever one wants." FW: Green cites Eliade on the relationship between rite of passage and consecration. TM 92. The road is arduous, fraught with perils, because it is, in fact, a rite of the passage from the profane to the sacred, from the ephemeral and illusory to reality and eternity, from death to life, from man to the divinity. Attaining the center is equivalent to a consecration, an initiation; yesterday's profane and illusory existence gives place to a new life, to a life that is real, enduring. M. Eliade, The Myth of the Eternal Return (Cosmos And History), p. 18 FW: Finally, here in LM 5 we find all of these themes succinctly expressed with Nachman's usual collage of Torah quotations. LM 5:5. When you guard your mind from the aspect of chametz, so that it does not become clogged, then your voice will strike your skull and be converted into thunder, and the heart's crookedness will be made straight. Then, you will merit joy, as in, "and joy for the straight of heart." This is the meaning of (Psalms 81:8), "When you called in secret, I answered you thunderously, I tested you at the Waters of Conflict. Selah" FW: Nachman asks his disciples to surrender themselves to an intense, harrowing rite of passage by doing their work of hitbod'dut, talking to God, in a manner directly analogous to the Gestalt therapy monologue process of creating a world of one's own. The Waters of Conflict his followers will pass through thereby are the descending pillar of the conflict of dialectic. His hasidim are to seek to obtain a properly balanced dialectical relationship between the patriarchs symbolizing the left, right and middle pillars, which is Nachman's kabbalistic way of speaking about what Plato calls "measure", and other call the middle way. Initiating this monologue by calling out to God is what Heidegger labels a consecration of the temple, which is at the same time an opening up of a world of holiness and an invoking of the god. Nachman, of course, is referring to the tsimtsum experience which opens up the void and invites new ideas to descend from the macrocosm. We also have heard him refer to this process as attaining the place from which the prophets suckle, and also in LM 5 we recall we have found right in the text the main points of Luzzatto's theory of prophecy articulated in terms of seeking the most unclouded aspaklariot (lenses) through which to experience the word of God. Luzzatto uses the word unclouded, while Heidegger says more or less the same thing in his own idiosyncratic manner by using referring to the unconcealment of truth. (4) NACHMAN'S TEMPLE IN BRATSLAV FW: A very clear parallel between Heidegger's use above of the terms "world" and "right" for the notion of opening up a holy space is a homily Nachman delivered shortly after moving to Bratslav, which perhaps served to commemorate the opening of a new temple. At TM 137 we have the following taken from LM 44, in which Nachman likens his arrival in Bratslav to Abraham's arrival in Israel. Nachman viewed his own arrival in Bratslav as the founding of a new Jerusalem, the center of a world based on his teachings. TM 137. Thus our sages say: "Whoever establishes a fixed place for prayer, the God of Abraham helps him." For by his hand a new world is built, and this new building is through Abraham, as Scripture says: "The world is build by chesed". (Psalms 89:3). Abraham was the first to attain Erez Israel. FW: Heidegger makes the dialectical foundation of this consecration very explicit. H 72. What does the work, as work, set up? Towering up within itself, the work opens up a world and keeps it abidingly in force. To be a work means to set up a world . . . Wherever those decisions of our history that relate to our very being are made, are taken up and abandoned by us, go unrecognized and are rediscovered by new inquiry, there the world worlds. FW: Going back to our paradigm case of a Gestalt dreamwork session, the "work" is the dialectic initiated by beginning a session, as the pilgrim sets out to work his way through the series of x/-x polarities, the rhythm of contact and withdrawal, that constitutes what Hegel labels the "objective history" of the pilgrim's soul. Going deeper, the overall superobjective that guides the Gestalt session, what Aristotle labels the actuality which is prior to the potentiality of each of the beats of the dialectic, is this opening within the denseness of Being. The via negativa way of formulating the opening is to invoke the notion of a vacuum, what Luria and Nachman refer to as the tsimtsum process. Likewise, in terms of the sefirot, at the moment of Genesis it is chochmah, the new idea, which opens up a world within the pre-existent being of God, binah, which already is built up. The Hebrew root of "binah" is "to build". Likewise chesed, God's grace or benevolence, is the opening up of a space within a pre-existent state of judgment, limitation or Fear of Heaven. Chochmah and chesed are on the right pillar. Nachman's goal is that left and right will combine to give the balanced middle pillar/middle way, symbolized by Yaakov. In the following passage Heidegger specifically mentions the role of grace (chesed) and its absence, (5) CLAPPING HANDS AS ALCHEMICAL MAGIC H 73. In a world's worlding is gathered that spaciousness out of which the protective grace of the gods is granted or withheld. Even this doom of the gods remaining absent is a way in which world worlds. FW: Here Heidegger zeroes in on exactly the founding principle of Nachman's dialectic, the apparent absence of God in the secular world, and we wonder if the grand theoretician of Nazi Germany in 1935 had perhaps got his hands on a translation of Nachman's work as a pretext for his own projects. If Heidegger had read LM 44 he might have found in Nachman himself much of the same racist magical wishful thinking which his own colleagues later perfected to make their own conquered lands "Judenrein", cleaned out of Jews. Nachman's recipe for instantly ridding a town of goyish presence was very simple: just clap your hands. It is reminiscent of Mary Poppins' advice to the children on how to get rid of unpleasant thoughts by singing a happy tune. Nachman said, in that same sermon at Bratslav, TM 137. All things are called the power of His deeds, the word power [ko'ach, numerically twenty eight] corresponding to the twenty-eight letters [in the first verse] of Creation and to the twenty-eight joints on a person's hand. As is well known, the atmosphere of the pagans' lands is polluted, while the air of the land of Israel is holy and pure, since God has taken it away from the other nations and given it to us. Outside the Holy Land, however, the air remains impure. When we clap our hands together in prayer [using the twenty eight joints] we arouse the power of the twenty-eight letters of Creation, the "power of his deeds", showing that He has the power to give us the inheritance of the nations, since everything belongs to God. Thus we are able to purify the air of other peoples' lands, as these lands are brought back under the rule of God, and He can distribute them as He wishes. FW: All this is one more example of why hasidism (for Nachman) or hegelianism (for Heidegger) without education concerning the philosophical roots of what all the mumbo-jumbo means is irresponsible at best. At worst, we need only look back at the last century to see the fruits of a world run amuck after uncritically gobbling down a too generous helping of dialectical thinking. Clapping our hands to push aside polluted air and open up a space of pure air is alchemy, with alchemical air representing the kabbalistic empty space of tsimtsum which opens up within alchemical earth. Alchemy and dlalectics are elements of renaissance science, which hovered on the borderline between science and magic. Pushing back the borders of hard logic (deduction) to allow "the Open" of wishful thinking (induction) is a wonderful tool for liberation of the human spirit, so long as what then enters the vacuum is carefully monitored. Monitored by what? Monitored by who? Perhaps just asking these questions is sufficient here. Building a temple is a noble enterprise in itself, but then we need to ask what god will then be invited into this new temple to serve as Aristotelian final cause, pure Platonic idea, or to embody alchemical fire ignited to negate all negations of the One?


15. THE BRANCH (complete) gestalt dreamwork on a painting

THE BRANCH (complete) gestalt dreamwork on a painting

complete session (60 minutes) gestalt dreamwork on a painting instead of a dream, done by franklyn wepner. TO VIEW OR DOWNLOAD ALL OF MY VIDEOS, PLUS 1500 PAGES OF MY EXPLANATORY ESSAYS (ALL AT NO CHARGE) PLEASE VISIT MY WEBSITE: franklynwepner.com. ALSO PLEASE NOTE MY NEW EMAIL ADDRESS, IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH ME ANY COMMENTS ABOUT MY WORK: [email protected] IN THE LISTING OF VIDEOS THE LETTERS (HQ) REFER TO A HIGHER QUALITY VERSION OF THE VIDEO, WHICH IS AVAILABLE TO YOU IF YOUR COMPUTER CAN HANDLE IT. FRANKLYN WEPNER JUNE 2009 ESSAY: "HEIDEGGER & NACHMAN ON THE ORIGIN OF ART" REFERENCES: (1) NACHMAN OF BRESLAV, "COLLECTED ESSAYS" ("LIKUTEI MOHARAN"), SECTION 5 (2) MARTIN HEIDEGGER, "THE ORIGIN OF THE WORK OF ART", IN "PHILOSOPHIES OF ART AND BEAUTY", ED. HOFSTADTER & KUHNS (1) THE "OPEN" & THE PURE PROCESS MODE (2) THE TEMPLE, PLATO & MASHIACH (3) CONSECRATING THE TEMPLE AS RITE OF INITIATION (4) NACHMAN'S TEMPLE IN BRATSLAV (5) CLAPPING HANDS AS ALCHEMICAL MAGIC (1) THE "OPEN" AND THE PURE PROCESS MODE H 681. Setting up a world and setting forth the earth, the work is the fighting of the battle in which the unconcealedness of beings as a whole, or truth, is won. FW: The above is a typical sentence taken from Martin Heidegger's essay, "The Origin Of The Work Of Art". This sentence is loaded with Heidegger technical jargon: world, earth, battle, unconcealedness, beings and truth. Also in this sentence, these terms are laid out in an interlocking manner such that words that we thought we understood suddenly become very strange to us. We are mystified. But let us try now to decode this knot of dialectical jargon. Decoding even this one sentence will reveal much of the underlying logic of Heidegger's philosophy of art. Our project in this short essay is to see whether Heidegger's recondite reflections about art can shed valuable light on the work of Nachman of Breslav. We have been approaching Nachman mainly from the perspective of Isaac Luria's dialectic of conflict, which was Nachman's own reference point in 1800. But doing so required jumping right away into the tsimtsum theory, and we risked explaining something very obscure in an even more obscure manner. Fortunately, we have available a magic carpet tool from the performing arts which in one quick, painless stroke will land us in the middle of the dialectical universe of both Heidegger and Luria and allow us from those two starting points to converge on our primary target, the work Nachman of Breslav. This tool is a world class technique with a long history. It constitutes a major foundation of the dance theaters of Asia, and in today's avant garde theater world it is known as the "pure process mode". Again I express my gratitude to the Mabou Mines Theater Company for initiating me into this bit of esoterica. FW: The pure process mode as performed looks a lot like Tai Ch'i, but then again you might not know about Tai Ch'i either so I'll start from the basic idea. A group of performers is told to focus on awareness rather than thinking. Like in Gestalt Therapy, awareness here includes contact with one's environment using senses, with one's body using proprioception, and with one's fantasies. The stress in this exercise is on environment awareness. Along with work on awareness, the group is instructed to begin a holistic, total movement of all body parts, very slowly and very relaxed so as not to let the movements or body tension interfere with the awareness. All this is here and now work, passively responding to what is happening in one's awareness. What to do next stems from passively reacting to what already is happening, and going with that flow in a non-deliberate manner. Philosophically, what we have here is "induction" or Platonic collection, or gestalt formation, in the sense that from the particular details the performer infers a single new encompassing idea which then becomes the rule that guides his next choices. From the ground of what is happening arise potential figures, weak gestalts, until one of them becomes the strong gestalt or monad which then is the new world of that emerging moment. And here we have Heidegger's key term, "world", emerging as a product of inductive, intuitive thinking. The world that worlds, using Heidegger jargon, is the emerging gestalt or figure that then is the organizing center of the organism's existence until the next strong gestalt (world) takes over. For Gestalt Therapists a neurotic is an individual who interferes with, who interrupts his natural figure/ground process such that strong gestalts do not congeal and the ground keeps churning up weak gestalts aimlessly. FW: So far we have presented half of the pure process mode concept, the side of passivity and induction. The other, complementary side of the pure process mode is the active, deliberate, deductive side. Here is how that works. As I am doing my awareness and movement exercise, I am instructed also to allow any particular focus that emerges strongly enough from the ground that it attracts my conscious attention to continue to develop, and then I see where it takes me. In other words, I am looking for associations, or what Nachman would label "behinot". This is an aspect of that and that is an aspect of the next thing, endlessly. The main motor of the pure process mode is the passive, induction side, but riding on it is a series of deductive moments or deliberate active choices to accept the hint and go with that idea to its completion as a particular "thing". For example, I notice that my body is doing something like a swimming breast stroke, and I allow myself gradually to go almost fully into the breast stroke form. But here I interrupt the naturalistic form I am performing and remind myself that I need the active/passive balance, the middle way. And so I now allow the breast stroke form - again gradually with full awareness - to dissolve back into the passive aspect of the pure process mode. We now have the two poles of Heidegger's dialectic. The deliberate, active point of view Heidegger calls "earth", and the passive point of view Heidegger calls "world". Here again is our initial Heidegger quote. H 681. Setting up a world and setting forth the earth, the work is the fighting of the battle in which the unconcealedness of beings as a whole, or truth, is won. FW: The "battle" is the competition between world and earth, induction and deduction. Usually when we do the breast stroke in the pool as part of our 20 minute exercise routine, the choice is deliberate, and the details of the stroke fit into a vast grid of distinctions of different kind of muscular and breathing activities. The ramification of the basic idea of "swimming" into all these strokes and nuances of strokes is an example of deductive logic, moving from the general idea of "swimming" to the particular differences of each stroke. The opposite of deduction in this sense is the passive experience of letting all those details and nuances fade away into no-thing-ness. The combination of deduction and induction, earth and world, kabbalistic left pillar and right pillar, is the concrete dialectic which grounds much of sophisticated world culture, east and west. Doing the pure process exercise is like a slow motion movie of some sport which reveals the seams linking the individual moves. These seams usually are a hidden, "concealed" ground for the chain of deliberate moves. The pure process mode reverses our usual figure/ground process, thereby "unconcealing" the ground of "being as a whole". If we think of our usual daily existence as packed with habitual, mechanical behavior, then the pure process mode opens up or clears a space in that dense structure. Here is another Heidegger statement, This time he describes this "open center" of our existence. H 679. In the midst of beings as a whole an open place occurs. There is a clearing, a lighting. Thought of in reference to what is, to beings, this clearing is in a greater degree than are beings. This open center is therefore not surrounded by what is; rather the lighting center itself encircles all that is, like the a Nothing which we scarcely know. FW: Just substitute no-thing-ness for Nothing, and we have again the pure process mode, with things coming into existence and going out of existence devoid of their usual thingness as specific objects that we make use of or relate to. FW: Turning now back to Nachman of Breslav, let us read Heidegger's prose from the point of view of the dialectic of conflict and the tradition of alchemy which Nachman inherited from Isaac Luria. Immediately we see a likely source for Heidegger's choice of the word "earth" to suggest the process of deduction in opposition to the process of induction. For the process of deduction or creation on the left pillar of the tree of life descends deductively from alchemical water to alchemical earth, before ascending inductively through alchemical air to alchemical fire. Moving through these four elements, water, earth, air and fire, completes the cycle. Alchemical air is what becomes revealed (unconcealed) at the moment of tsimtsum, as God or man contracts his frozen x/-x polarities to allow a relative vacuum. Into the void emerges or overflows inductively a new idea from the macrocosm which then encompasses the two sides of the former impasse in a higher integration. The encompassing new idea Nachman labels, logically enough, the "maqqif", since in Hebrew the word "maqqif" means "encompasses". The void is the "open" of Heidegger, which begins as an air pocket and then does a figure/ground reversal from air pocket to encompassing no-thing-ness in which the two sides, x/-x, of the former impasse disappear. This disappearing is the negation of the negations of the One Without A Second. The negations, the stuck antagonists of the impasse, are thus burnt up in alchemical fire, completing the circle of alchemical elements of the concrete dialectic. FW: By stressing the impasse at the expense of the pure process mode, kabbalists like Luria and Nachman of Breslav highlight the absence of new ideas flowing from on high. This is like building up charge on a condenser. The ideas certainly are there, since God is in all the world, but they are apparently absent. Arthur Green shows how Nachman made his own personal experience of the apparent absence of God a central dogma of his renovated hasidism. The Breslaver hasid is instructed to seek out more and more challenging conflicts, "maqqifim", as a way to stimulate his need to rely upon faith rather than look for an intellectual understanding of God. Eastern religions, without as much stress on a personal God as has Judaism, can do without such a condenser model of faith and rely more upon the natural power of awareness as a tool to access divinity. Here is Nachman's version of Heidegger's "the open" and the Asian dance theater pure process mode. It's the same dialectic, with different cultural overlays to mask it. Since the Fall, since the Tower of Babel, since the decree, different peoples need to disguise their prayers with different codes, different "stories", lest the accusing angels on the left (our need to maintain cultural distinctions, our "gevurot") protest. LM 5:5. Know as well that a person must couple the gevurot (severities) with chasadim (benevolences), left with right, as is written (Psalms 20:7), "with the saving gevurot of His right arm" . For the main revelation comes about by means of chasadim, as is written (ibid 110:1), "Sit at my right hand while I make your enemies your footstool". It is likewise necessary to couple love with fear of Heaven, in order to generate thunder. This love is from the right side, from "a mind as white as silver" (Tikkuney Zohar #70). . . ."The sound of Your thunder was in the sphere." and this is (Song of Songs 8:7), "Many waters cannot extinguish the love." For the ability to conquer is mainly by means of love, as in , "Sit at My right hand while I make your enemies your footstool." FW: Both Heidegger and Nachman point toward resolving the "battle" of world vs earth dialectically. In LM 5:5 Nachman uses alchemical water rather than alchemical earth to symbolize the side of deduction, and "love" symbolizes the power of induction to encompass strong polarities (enemies) in a higher unity. Parallel to this dichotomy is that between the Fear of Heaven and love, in the sense that extreme polarities in our existence drive us to the breaking point, abyss, void, and instill thereby in us a "fear of heaven". Thunder in LM 5 symbolizes these extreme opposites reverberating in our lives. The reverberations of thunder reach on high and invite drops of dew (new ideas from the macrocosm) to enter the void in the microcosm and open up new possibilities. The new possibilities, dew drops, at first are merely weak gestalts/figures percolating up from the ground, analogous to the weak figures or gestalts that pass through the body and mind of the performer in the pure process mode. Thus, thunder and lightning serve Nachman in LM 5:5 as structural equivalents to Heidegger's "the open" and the Asian dance theater pure process mode. Nachman's version of the conflict dialectic makes the conflict much more explicit, in order to stimulate a greater reliance on pietist faith in a personal God than is necessary in the Eastern equivalents. (2) THE TEMPLE, PLATO, AND MASHIACH H 670. A building, a Greek temple, portrays nothing. It simply stands there in the middle of the rock cleft valley. The building encloses the figure of the god, and in this concealment lets it stand out into the holy precinct through the open portico. By means of the temple, the god is present in the temple. FW: Again Heidegger approaches the conflict dialectic, this time with a metaphor much closer to the tsimtsum framework invoked by Nachman in LM 5. Rather than associating to the gentle pure process mode, the allusion to the conflict dialectic and tsimtsum is here much more direct. First we see this in the location of this Greek temple: "the middle of a rock cleft valley", i.e., the two extremes making up the impasse that opens up the void. The word "building" points immediately to the left pillar headed by "binah", from the Hebrew root "to build". The figure of the god is the emerging new macrocosmic, Platonic idea, the "maqqif" which negates the "pnimi" (the impasse of one's heart) and supplants it dialectically. In the pure process mode it is "the Open" (world) which houses the forms which come and pass away (earth), but here it is the rigid structure of a temple (earth) that houses the constantly emerging open (world, god). Here we are back in the typical Lurianic kabbalah terrain that is Nachman's home ground. H 671. Standing there, the building holds its ground against the storm raging above it and so first makes the storm itself manifest in its violence. The luster and gleam of the stone, though itself apparently glowing only by the grace of the sun, yet first brings to light the light of the day, the breadth of the sky, the darkness of the night. The temple's firm towering makes visible the invisible space of air. FW: Around the temple crashes the thunder and lightning of a great storm, which is the moment of tsimtsum in the concrete dialectic. And this time it is alchemical air which Heidegger cites to remind us of his own grounding in the traditional dialectic. Or perhaps in this compact temple image we have the entire dialectic: water (the storm), earth (temple as rigid framework), air (the space for the emerging maqqif idea) and fire (the lightning and the heat of the sun). Let's see how our two gurus articulate these alchemical ideas, each with his own "story". First Heidegger: a Greek pilgrim approaching in the valley sees first the temple in the distance, before the small figure of the god inside is visible. And Nachman says in LM 5:6, LM 5:6. This is the aspect of fear which precedes. For fear of Heaven precedes all else, as is written (Psalms 111:10), "The beginning of wisdom is the fear of God". FW: But what exactly is the function or work of this Greek temple? H 670. It is the temple work that first fits together and at the same time gathers around itself the unity of those paths and relations in which birth and death, disaster and blessing, victory and disgrace, endurance and decline acquire the shape of destiny for human being. The all-governing expanse of this open relational context is the world of this historical people. Only from and in this expanse does the nation first return to itself for the fulfillment of its vocation. FW: The work that is done in the temple and by means of the temple itself is the concrete dialectic, which for both Heidegger and Nachman includes the Platonic concepts of collection and anamnesis (Greek: "not forgetting"). Specifically, the temple work (dialectic) gathers around itself (collects) the unity of those paths and relations (the weak gestalts encompassed by strong gestalts, maqqifim). Heidegger was a contemporary of Fritz Perls, and a glance at the Gestalt model will clear away a lot of metaphorical muddle here. The gestalt work (temple work) that the Gestalt patient does by identifying with pair after pair of his polarities in his work on his games and unfinished business serves to encompass all the inner ideas of these points of view within his own emerging self-as-process. This is Platonic collection of weaker ideas, gestalts or monads within stronger ideas, gestalts or monads. The "coming solution" with which the patient identifies as his goal is thus on a higher level of integration than his previous game playing self. It is as though an unruly mob has been integrated into a mature human populace with a clear sense of purpose. This is the return of the members of the nation to its true self, its archetypal dialectical ideas and logic, and the grasping of its destiny ("vocation"). Plato, like Heidegger, placed the needs of the republic above the needs of individuals. Heidegger as Nazi leader showed us the ugly side of Platonism, while the restraints imposed by hasidic halachah kept Nachman and his followers closer to a balanced position. The "world" of a historical people is for both thinkers inhabited by ideas associated with the folklore of that tribe. These are the personages of Wagner's operas for Germans and the patriarchs of the Bible for Jews. In LM 5 Nachman makes use of Yitzchak and Avraham for this purpose, and likewise for Yaakov in LM 1. LM 5:3. This is what our Sages taught: When a person has fear of Heaven his words are heard (Berakhot 6b). For when someone possesses fear of Heaven, his voice is converted into thunder. This is because thunder is from the side of Yitzchak, as in, "the thunder of His gevurot." This causes his words to be heard - i.e., "the voice is transmitted to the creation." For hearing is linked to [the fear of Heaven], as is written (Habakkuk 3:2), "O God, I heard of Your message; I feared" (Zohar III, 230a). . . This also corresponds to the sound of the shofar - i.e., the shofar horn of the ram, the ram of Yitzchak (Zohar III 235b) - which is an aspect of "the thunder of His gevurot". LM 5:5. It is likewise necessary to couple love with fear of Heaven, in order to generate thunder. This [love] is from the right side, from "a mind as white as silver" (Tikkuney Zohar #70). This is (Exodus 14:27). "The sea" alludes to the sea of wisdom, "when it turned morning" - this is the morning of Avraham (Zohar II, 170b), corresponding to "Avraham My beloved" (Isaiah 41:8), "to its might" - this is gevurot, corresponding to "The sound of Your thunder was in the sphere.." And this is (Song of Songs 8:7), "Many waters cannot extinguish the love." For the ability to conquer is mainly by means of love, as in, "Sit at My right . . ." LM 1:2. For the Jew must always focus on the inner intelligence of every matter, and bind himself to the wisdom and inner intelligence that is to be found in each thing. This, so that the intelligence which is in each thing may enlighten him that he ma draw closer to God through that thing. For inner intelligence is a great light that shines for a person in all his ways, As is written (Ecclesiastes 8:1), "A person's wisdom causes his countenance to shine. This is the concept of Yaakov. For YaAKoV merited the right of the first born, which is reishit (beginning), the concept of wisdom. FW: Let's relate these two sets of metaphors to each other, i.e., Heidegger's account of the temple and Nachman's account of the patriarchs. Yitzchak, symbolizing the left pillar, (gevurot, severities, distinctions, judgments, deductions) is likened to the Fear of Heaven arising from the extreme polarities associated with tsimtsum/thunder. Avraham, symbolizing the right pillar (love, grace, benevolence, induction, ideas from above, maqqifim) is depicted as powerful enough to encompass "the waters" of deduction. Thunder in LM 5 has a double reference to tsimtsum. In regard to Yitzchak thunder suggests the extreme polarities of the storm, while in regard to Avraham the allusion of thunder is close to that of "the Open" in the pure process mode. "In the morning" the naturalistic forms which congealed dissolve back into the pure process mode. Earth gives itself up to world, in order to restore the balance of the middle way. This is Yaakov as maqqif, encompassing Yitzchak and Avraham in a higher integration. FW: Again, Gestalt practice can help to get the point here. Think of the Gestalt pilgrim working his way through his objective history. After identifying with the inner ideas of each of his x/-x polarities and doing the work of each dialogue in the ascending spiral of the dialectic, the Gestalt pilgrim is instructed to "identify with the coming solution", close your eyes and enter your body and fantasies. This is the rhythm of contact and withdrawal which is the Gestalt equivalent of the tsimtsum idea. The result of this process is grasping the existential message of the entire work, i.e., Yaakov, the balanced wisdom, the sword of the messiah that veers neither to the left or to the right. For Nachman, the tsaddik function, represented by himself as paradigm and potentially available in each Jew, is this archetypal dialectic, the messianic soul Jews receive from Adam, from Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai, etc. and lastly from himself as Mashiach ben Joseph. This original messianic soul incorporates the three patriarchal ideas dialectically: Avraham as the thesis, Yitzchak as the antithesis, and Yaakov as the synthesis. Recalling these patriarchs in the context of an ongoing spiritual search grounded in faith is Nachman's version of Platonic anamnesis. Learning, for Jews, is remembering the wisdom of our original founding fathers, our origin. FW: Heidegger had an analogous philosophy of education which he attempted to implement in 1933 as Nazi party member and rector of the University of Berlin in Hitler's Germany. Like Nachman, he found active messianism a bit too difficult and was forced to give up the job. Also like Nachman, he then turned to art as a sublimation of his messianic longings. Hence the title of this essay which we are studying, which Heidegger wrote in 1935, is "The Origin Of The Work Of Art". The essay announces that for Heidegger art - Nazi art, that is - serves the messianic function, with the artist standing in for Jesus or some Aryan equivalent. This parallels Nachman's grand messianic vision of the role of the tsaddik - especially himself - in Jewish lore. Nachman's Platonic gathering and inductive collaging of quotes from traditional Jewish sources as a code for the conflict dialectic is an example of religious art fulfilling the messianic function using anamnesis of archetypal ideas in a Platonic manner. Wagner's operas, with their teutonic patriarchal heroes, serve a parallel Platonic collection function for a Nazi German soul. (3) CONSECRATING THE TEMPLE AS RITE OF INITIATION FW: Doing a Gestalt dreamwork session and moving dialectically through a series of polarities according to the rhythm of contact and withdrawal, is, dialectically speaking - in the sense of Heidegger - setting up a temple with the "coming solution" as the god inside who is illuminating the entire structure. If this is the Gestalt client's first such experience, then Heidegger would speak of "consecrating" the temple. In fact, the process also alludes to the "B'reishit" moment of Genesis, which from a philosophical point of view is happening at every moment of authentic action as God constantly renews his creation. H 672. To dedicate means to consecrate, in the sense that in setting up the work the holy is opened up as holy and the god is invoked into the openness of his presence. . . To e-rect means: to open the right in the sense of a guiding measure, a form in which what belongs to the nature of being gives guidance. FW: We have seen the notion of "measure" in LM 5, in Nachman's stress on attaining a proper balance of left and right pillars, the Fear of Heaven on one side and love on the other side, this being the state of Yaakov, which dialectically synthesizes the antithetical relationship between Avraham and Yitzchak as they usually are portrayed in the kabbalah. Arthur Green has shown clearly that identifying with these three patriarchs was for Nachman a major part of his spiritual quest. Nachman considered the dialectic of the patriarchs as a symbol of his own struggle to attain a level of spirituality appropriate for the leader of a hasidic community. Green maintains that Nachman's journey to the land of Israel was primarily a need for a symbolic rite of passage, the goal of which is in Judaism represented by the dialectic of the three patriarchs. Here is Green's argument. After returning from his journey to Israel, amidst Napoleon's naval bombardment of the Turkish fleet, Nachman TM 85. had "passed through water" for the sake of God, and had seen his faith withstand the threat of imminent death. He was now one who could deserve the vision of the patriarchs, having followed their example by the utter denial of his corporeal self. TM 84. It is now clear that Nachman's journey to the Holy Land may best be defined as a rite de passage, or a voyage of initiation, the likes of which have been studied in various other religious cultures, both pre-literate and classical, but which are not generally considered to be a part of latter day Judaism. TM 82. The patriarchs, who fulfilled the mitzvot in purely spiritual ways, are, in Nachman's imagination, symbols of complete transcendence of the bodily self. Chayay 5:19 Shortly before he departed for the land of Israel, someone asked him why he did not draw the disciples near and speak with them. He said that he now had no words, but said that "by means of the verse "When you pass through the water I shall be with you" (Isaiah 43:2) it has become known to me how one may see the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob whenever one wants." FW: Green cites Eliade on the relationship between rite of passage and consecration. TM 92. The road is arduous, fraught with perils, because it is, in fact, a rite of the passage from the profane to the sacred, from the ephemeral and illusory to reality and eternity, from death to life, from man to the divinity. Attaining the center is equivalent to a consecration, an initiation; yesterday's profane and illusory existence gives place to a new life, to a life that is real, enduring. M. Eliade, The Myth of the Eternal Return (Cosmos And History), p. 18 FW: Finally, here in LM 5 we find all of these themes succinctly expressed with Nachman's usual collage of Torah quotations. LM 5:5. When you guard your mind from the aspect of chametz, so that it does not become clogged, then your voice will strike your skull and be converted into thunder, and the heart's crookedness will be made straight. Then, you will merit joy, as in, "and joy for the straight of heart." This is the meaning of (Psalms 81:8), "When you called in secret, I answered you thunderously, I tested you at the Waters of Conflict. Selah" FW: Nachman asks his disciples to surrender themselves to an intense, harrowing rite of passage by doing their work of hitbod'dut, talking to God, in a manner directly analogous to the Gestalt therapy monologue process of creating a world of one's own. The Waters of Conflict his followers will pass through thereby are the descending pillar of the conflict of dialectic. His hasidim are to seek to obtain a properly balanced dialectical relationship between the patriarchs symbolizing the left, right and middle pillars, which is Nachman's kabbalistic way of speaking about what Plato calls "measure", and other call the middle way. Initiating this monologue by calling out to God is what Heidegger labels a consecration of the temple, which is at the same time an opening up of a world of holiness and an invoking of the god. Nachman, of course, is referring to the tsimtsum experience which opens up the void and invites new ideas to descend from the macrocosm. We also have heard him refer to this process as attaining the place from which the prophets suckle, and also in LM 5 we recall we have found right in the text the main points of Luzzatto's theory of prophecy articulated in terms of seeking the most unclouded aspaklariot (lenses) through which to experience the word of God. Luzzatto uses the word unclouded, while Heidegger says more or less the same thing in his own idiosyncratic manner by using referring to the unconcealment of truth. (4) NACHMAN'S TEMPLE IN BRATSLAV FW: A very clear parallel between Heidegger's use above of the terms "world" and "right" for the notion of opening up a holy space is a homily Nachman delivered shortly after moving to Bratslav, which perhaps served to commemorate the opening of a new temple. At TM 137 we have the following taken from LM 44, in which Nachman likens his arrival in Bratslav to Abraham's arrival in Israel. Nachman viewed his own arrival in Bratslav as the founding of a new Jerusalem, the center of a world based on his teachings. TM 137. Thus our sages say: "Whoever establishes a fixed place for prayer, the God of Abraham helps him." For by his hand a new world is built, and this new building is through Abraham, as Scripture says: "The world is build by chesed". (Psalms 89:3). Abraham was the first to attain Erez Israel. FW: Heidegger makes the dialectical foundation of this consecration very explicit. H 72. What does the work, as work, set up? Towering up within itself, the work opens up a world and keeps it abidingly in force. To be a work means to set up a world . . . Wherever those decisions of our history that relate to our very being are made, are taken up and abandoned by us, go unrecognized and are rediscovered by new inquiry, there the world worlds. FW: Going back to our paradigm case of a Gestalt dreamwork session, the "work" is the dialectic initiated by beginning a session, as the pilgrim sets out to work his way through the series of x/-x polarities, the rhythm of contact and withdrawal, that constitutes what Hegel labels the "objective history" of the pilgrim's soul. Going deeper, the overall superobjective that guides the Gestalt session, what Aristotle labels the actuality which is prior to the potentiality of each of the beats of the dialectic, is this opening within the denseness of Being. The via negativa way of formulating the opening is to invoke the notion of a vacuum, what Luria and Nachman refer to as the tsimtsum process. Likewise, in terms of the sefirot, at the moment of Genesis it is chochmah, the new idea, which opens up a world within the pre-existent being of God, binah, which already is built up. The Hebrew root of "binah" is "to build". Likewise chesed, God's grace or benevolence, is the opening up of a space within a pre-existent state of judgment, limitation or Fear of Heaven. Chochmah and chesed are on the right pillar. Nachman's goal is that left and right will combine to give the balanced middle pillar/middle way, symbolized by Yaakov. In the following passage Heidegger specifically mentions the role of grace (chesed) and its absence, (5) CLAPPING HANDS AS ALCHEMICAL MAGIC H 73. In a world's worlding is gathered that spaciousness out of which the protective grace of the gods is granted or withheld. Even this doom of the gods remaining absent is a way in which world worlds. FW: Here Heidegger zeroes in on exactly the founding principle of Nachman's dialectic, the apparent absence of God in the secular world, and we wonder if the grand theoretician of Nazi Germany in 1935 had perhaps got his hands on a translation of Nachman's work as a pretext for his own projects. If Heidegger had read LM 44 he might have found in Nachman himself much of the same racist magical wishful thinking which his own colleagues later perfected to make their own conquered lands "Judenrein", cleaned out of Jews. Nachman's recipe for instantly ridding a town of goyish presence was very simple: just clap your hands. It is reminiscent of Mary Poppins' advice to the children on how to get rid of unpleasant thoughts by singing a happy tune. Nachman said, in that same sermon at Bratslav, TM 137. All things are called the power of His deeds, the word power [ko'ach, numerically twenty eight] corresponding to the twenty-eight letters [in the first verse] of Creation and to the twenty-eight joints on a person's hand. As is well known, the atmosphere of the pagans' lands is polluted, while the air of the land of Israel is holy and pure, since God has taken it away from the other nations and given it to us. Outside the Holy Land, however, the air remains impure. When we clap our hands together in prayer [using the twenty eight joints] we arouse the power of the twenty-eight letters of Creation, the "power of his deeds", showing that He has the power to give us the inheritance of the nations, since everything belongs to God. Thus we are able to purify the air of other peoples' lands, as these lands are brought back under the rule of God, and He can distribute them as He wishes. FW: All this is one more example of why hasidism (for Nachman) or hegelianism (for Heidegger) without education concerning the philosophical roots of what all the mumbo-jumbo means is irresponsible at best. At worst, we need only look back at the last century to see the fruits of a world run amuck after uncritically gobbling down a too generous helping of dialectical thinking. Clapping our hands to push aside polluted air and open up a space of pure air is alchemy, with alchemical air representing the kabbalistic empty space of tsimtsum which opens up within alchemical earth. Alchemy and dlalectics are elements of renaissance science, which hovered on the borderline between science and magic. Pushing back the borders of hard logic (deduction) to allow "the Open" of wishful thinking (induction) is a wonderful tool for liberation of the human spirit, so long as what then enters the vacuum is carefully monitored. Monitored by what? Monitored by who? Perhaps just asking these questions is sufficient here. Building a temple is a noble enterprise in itself, but then we need to ask what god will then be invited into this new temple to serve as Aristotelian final cause, pure Platonic idea, or to embody alchemical fire ignited to negate all negations of the One?


16. FRANKLYN WEPNER TEACHER gestalt dreamwork "the branch" 3

FRANKLYN WEPNER TEACHER gestalt dreamwork

part 3. personal gestalt dreamwork on a picture instead of a dream. FRANKLYN WEPNER JUNE 2009 [email protected] LM 5. HEIDEGGER & NACHMAN REFERENCE: MARTIN HEIDEGGER, "THE ORIGIN OF THE WORK OF ART", IN "PHILOSOPHIES OF ART AND BEAUTY", ED. HOFSTADTER & KUHNS (1) THE "OPEN" & THE PURE PROCESS MODE (2) THE TEMPLE, PLATO & MASHIACH (3) CONSECRATING THE TEMPLE AS RITE OF INITIATION (4) NACHMAN'S TEMPLE IN BRATSLAV (5) CLAPPING HANDS AS ALCHEMICAL MAGIC (1) THE "OPEN" AND THE PURE PROCESS MODE H 681. Setting up a world and setting forth the earth, the work is the fighting of the battle in which the unconcealedness of beings as a whole, or truth, is won. FW: The above is a typical sentence taken from Martin Heidegger's essay, "The Origin Of The Work Of Art". This sentence is loaded with Heidegger technical jargon: world, earth, battle, unconcealedness, beings and truth. Also in this sentence, these terms are laid out in an interlocking manner such that words that we thought we understood suddenly become very strange to us. We are mystified. But let us try now to decode this knot of dialectical jargon. Decoding even this one sentence will reveal much of the underlying logic of Heidegger's philosophy of art. Our project in this short essay is to see whether Heidegger's recondite reflections about art can shed valuable light on the work of Nachman of Breslav. We have been approaching Nachman mainly from the perspective of Isaac Luria's dialectic of conflict, which was Nachman's own reference point in 1800. But doing so required jumping right away into the tsimtsum theory, and we risked explaining something very obscure in an even more obscure manner. Fortunately, we have available a magic carpet tool from the performing arts which in one quick, painless stroke will land us in the middle of the dialectical universe of both Heidegger and Luria and allow us from those two starting points to converge on our primary target, the work Nachman of Breslav. This tool is a world class technique with a long history. It constitutes a major foundation of the dance theaters of Asia, and in today's avant garde theater world it is known as the "pure process mode". Again I express my gratitude to the Mabou Mines Theater Company for initiating me into this bit of esoterica. FW: The pure process mode as performed looks a lot like Tai Ch'i, but then again you might not know about Tai Ch'i either so I'll start from the basic idea. A group of performers is told to focus on awareness rather than thinking. Like in Gestalt Therapy, awareness here includes contact with one's environment using senses, with one's body using proprioception, and with one's fantasies. The stress in this exercise is on environment awareness. Along with work on awareness, the group is instructed to begin a holistic, total movement of all body parts, very slowly and very relaxed so as not to let the movements or body tension interfere with the awareness. All this is here and now work, passively responding to what is happening in one's awareness. What to do next stems from passively reacting to what already is happening, and going with that flow in a non-deliberate manner. Philosophically, what we have here is "induction" or Platonic collection, or gestalt formation, in the sense that from the particular details the performer infers a single new encompassing idea which then becomes the rule that guides his next choices. From the ground of what is happening arise potential figures, weak gestalts, until one of them becomes the strong gestalt or monad which then is the new world of that emerging moment. And here we have Heidegger's key term, "world", emerging as a product of inductive, intuitive thinking. The world that worlds, using Heidegger jargon, is the emerging gestalt or figure that then is the organizing center of the organism's existence until the next strong gestalt (world) takes over. For Gestalt Therapists a neurotic is an individual who interferes with, who interrupts his natural figure/ground process such that strong gestalts do not congeal and the ground keeps churning up weak gestalts aimlessly. FW: So far we have presented half of the pure process mode concept, the side of passivity and induction. The other, complementary side of the pure process mode is the active, deliberate, deductive side. Here is how that works. As I am doing my awareness and movement exercise, I am instructed also to allow any particular focus that emerges strongly enough from the ground that it attracts my conscious attention to continue to develop, and then I see where it takes me. In other words, I am looking for associations, or what Nachman would label "behinot". This is an aspect of that and that is an aspect of the next thing, endlessly. The main motor of the pure process mode is the passive, induction side, but riding on it is a series of deductive moments or deliberate active choices to accept the hint and go with that idea to its completion as a particular "thing". For example, I notice that my body is doing something like a swimming breast stroke, and I allow myself gradually to go almost fully into the breast stroke form. But here I interrupt the naturalistic form I am performing and remind myself that I need the active/passive balance, the middle way. And so I now allow the breast stroke form - again gradually with full awareness - to dissolve back into the passive aspect of the pure process mode. We now have the two poles of Heidegger's dialectic. The deliberate, active point of view Heidegger calls "earth", and the passive point of view Heidegger calls "world". Here again is our initial Heidegger quote. H 681. Setting up a world and setting forth the earth, the work is the fighting of the battle in which the unconcealedness of beings as a whole, or truth, is won. FW: The "battle" is the competition between world and earth, induction and deduction. Usually when we do the breast stroke in the pool as part of our 20 minute exercise routine, the choice is deliberate, and the details of the stroke fit into a vast grid of distinctions of different kind of muscular and breathing activities. The ramification of the basic idea of "swimming" into all these strokes and nuances of strokes is an example of deductive logic, moving from the general idea of "swimming" to the particular differences of each stroke. The opposite of deduction in this sense is the passive experience of letting all those details and nuances fade away into no-thing-ness. The combination of deduction and induction, earth and world, kabbalistic left pillar and right pillar, is the concrete dialectic which grounds much of sophisticated world culture, east and west. Doing the pure process exercise is like a slow motion movie of some sport which reveals the seams linking the individual moves. These seams usually are a hidden, "concealed" ground for the chain of deliberate moves. The pure process mode reverses our usual figure/ground process, thereby "unconcealing" the ground of "being as a whole". If we think of our usual daily existence as packed with habitual, mechanical behavior, then the pure process mode opens up or clears a space in that dense structure. Here is another Heidegger statement, This time he describes this "open center" of our existence. H 679. In the midst of beings as a whole an open place occurs. There is a clearing, a lighting. Thought of in reference to what is, to beings, this clearing is in a greater degree than are beings. This open center is therefore not surrounded by what is; rather the lighting center itself encircles all that is, like the a Nothing which we scarcely know. FW: Just substitute no-thing-ness for Nothing, and we have again the pure process mode, with things coming into existence and going out of existence devoid of their usual thingness as specific objects that we make use of or relate to. FW: Turning now back to Nachman of Breslav, let us read Heidegger's prose from the point of view of the dialectic of conflict and the tradition of alchemy which Nachman inherited from Isaac Luria. Immediately we see a likely source for Heidegger's choice of the word "earth" to suggest the process of deduction in opposition to the process of induction. For the process of deduction or creation on the left pillar of the tree of life descends deductively from alchemical water to alchemical earth, before ascending inductively through alchemical air to alchemical fire. Moving through these four elements, water, earth, air and fire, completes the cycle. Alchemical air is what becomes revealed (unconcealed) at the moment of tsimtsum, as God or man contracts his frozen x/-x polarities to allow a relative vacuum. Into the void emerges or overflows inductively a new idea from the macrocosm which then encompasses the two sides of the former impasse in a higher integration. The encompassing new idea Nachman labels, logically enough, the "maqqif", since in Hebrew the word "maqqif" means "encompasses". The void is the "open" of Heidegger, which begins as an air pocket and then does a figure/ground reversal from air pocket to encompassing no-thing-ness in which the two sides, x/-x, of the former impasse disappear. This disappearing is the negation of the negations of the One Without A Second. The negations, the stuck antagonists of the impasse, are thus burnt up in alchemical fire, completing the circle of alchemical elements of the concrete dialectic. FW: By stressing the impasse at the expense of the pure process mode, kabbalists like Luria and Nachman of Breslav highlight the absence of new ideas flowing from on high. This is like building up charge on a condenser. The ideas certainly are there, since God is in all the world, but they are apparently absent. Arthur Green shows how Nachman made his own personal experience of the apparent absence of God a central dogma of his renovated hasidism. The Breslaver hasid is instructed to seek out more and more challenging conflicts, "maqqifim", as a way to stimulate his need to rely upon faith rather than look for an intellectual understanding of God. Eastern religions, without as much stress on a personal God as has Judaism, can do without such a condenser model of faith and rely more upon the natural power of awareness as a tool to access divinity. Here is Nachman's version of Heidegger's "the open" and the Asian dance theater pure process mode. It's the same dialectic, with different cultural overlays to mask it. Since the Fall, since the Tower of Babel, since the decree, different peoples need to disguise their prayers with different codes, different "stories", lest the accusing angels on the left (our need to maintain cultural distinctions, our "gevurot") protest. LM 5:5. Know as well that a person must couple the gevurot (severities) with chasadim (benevolences), left with right, as is written (Psalms 20:7), "with the saving gevurot of His right arm" . For the main revelation comes about by means of chasadim, as is written (ibid 110:1), "Sit at my right hand while I make your enemies your footstool". It is likewise necessary to couple love with fear of Heaven, in order to generate thunder. This love is from the right side, from "a mind as white as silver" (Tikkuney Zohar #70). . . ."The sound of Your thunder was in the sphere." and this is (Song of Songs 8:7), "Many waters cannot extinguish the love." For the ability to conquer is mainly by means of love, as in , "Sit at My right hand while I make your enemies your footstool." FW: Both Heidegger and Nachman point toward resolving the "battle" of world vs earth dialectically. In LM 5:5 Nachman uses alchemical water rather than alchemical earth to symbolize the side of deduction, and "love" symbolizes the power of induction to encompass strong polarities (enemies) in a higher unity. Parallel to this dichotomy is that between the Fear of Heaven and love, in the sense that extreme polarities in our existence drive us to the breaking point, abyss, void, and instill thereby in us a "fear of heaven". Thunder in LM 5 symbolizes these extreme opposites reverberating in our lives. The reverberations of thunder reach on high and invite drops of dew (new ideas from the macrocosm) to enter the void in the microcosm and open up new possibilities. The new possibilities, dew drops, at first are merely weak gestalts/figures percolating up from the ground, analogous to the weak figures or gestalts that pass through the body and mind of the performer in the pure process mode. Thus, thunder and lightning serve Nachman in LM 5:5 as structural equivalents to Heidegger's "the open" and the Asian dance theater pure process mode. Nachman's version of the conflict dialectic makes the conflict much more explicit, in order to stimulate a greater reliance on pietist faith in a personal God than is necessary in the Eastern equivalents. (2) THE TEMPLE, PLATO, AND MASHIACH H 670. A building, a Greek temple, portrays nothing. It simply stands there in the middle of the rock cleft valley. The building encloses the figure of the god, and in this concealment lets it stand out into the holy precinct through the open portico. By means of the temple, the god is present in the temple. FW: Again Heidegger approaches the conflict dialectic, this time with a metaphor much closer to the tsimtsum framework invoked by Nachman in LM 5. Rather than associating to the gentle pure process mode, the allusion to the conflict dialectic and tsimtsum is here much more direct. First we see this in the location of this Greek temple: "the middle of a rock cleft valley", i.e., the two extremes making up the impasse that opens up the void. The word "building" points immediately to the left pillar headed by "binah", from the Hebrew root "to build". The figure of the god is the emerging new macrocosmic, Platonic idea, the "maqqif" which negates the "pnimi" (the impasse of one's heart) and supplants it dialectically. In the pure process mode it is "the Open" (world) which houses the forms which come and pass away (earth), but here it is the rigid structure of a temple (earth) that houses the constantly emerging open (world, god). Here we are back in the typical Lurianic kabbalah terrain that is Nachman's home ground. H 671. Standing there, the building holds its ground against the storm raging above it and so first makes the storm itself manifest in its violence. The luster and gleam of the stone, though itself apparently glowing only by the grace of the sun, yet first brings to light the light of the day, the breadth of the sky, the darkness of the night. The temple's firm towering makes visible the invisible space of air. FW: Around the temple crashes the thunder and lightning of a great storm, which is the moment of tsimtsum in the concrete dialectic. And this time it is alchemical air which Heidegger cites to remind us of his own grounding in the traditional dialectic. Or perhaps in this compact temple image we have the entire dialectic: water (the storm), earth (temple as rigid framework), air (the space for the emerging maqqif idea) and fire (the lightning and the heat of the sun). Let's see how our two gurus articulate these alchemical ideas, each with his own "story". First Heidegger: a Greek pilgrim approaching in the valley sees first the temple in the distance, before the small figure of the god inside is visible. And Nachman says in LM 5:6, LM 5:6. This is the aspect of fear which precedes. For fear of Heaven precedes all else, as is written (Psalms 111:10), "The beginning of wisdom is the fear of God". FW: But what exactly is the function or work of this Greek temple? H 670. It is the temple work that first fits together and at the same time gathers around itself the unity of those paths and relations in which birth and death, disaster and blessing, victory and disgrace, endurance and decline acquire the shape of destiny for human being. The all-governing expanse of this open relational context is the world of this historical people. Only from and in this expanse does the nation first return to itself for the fulfillment of its vocation. FW: The work that is done in the temple and by means of the temple itself is the concrete dialectic, which for both Heidegger and Nachman includes the Platonic concepts of collection and anamnesis (Greek: "not forgetting"). Specifically, the temple work (dialectic) gathers around itself (collects) the unity of those paths and relations (the weak gestalts encompassed by strong gestalts, maqqifim). Heidegger was a contemporary of Fritz Perls, and a glance at the Gestalt model will clear away a lot of metaphorical muddle here. The gestalt work (temple work) that the Gestalt patient does by identifying with pair after pair of his polarities in his work on his games and unfinished business serves to encompass all the inner ideas of these points of view within his own emerging self-as-process. This is Platonic collection of weaker ideas, gestalts or monads within stronger ideas, gestalts or monads. The "coming solution" with which the patient identifies as his goal is thus on a higher level of integration than his previous game playing self. It is as though an unruly mob has been integrated into a mature human populace with a clear sense of purpose. This is the return of the members of the nation to its true self, its archetypal dialectical ideas and logic, and the grasping of its destiny ("vocation"). Plato, like Heidegger, placed the needs of the republic above the needs of individuals. Heidegger as Nazi leader showed us the ugly side of Platonism, while the restraints imposed by hasidic halachah kept Nachman and his followers closer to a balanced position. The "world" of a historical people is for both thinkers inhabited by ideas associated with the folklore of that tribe. These are the personages of Wagner's operas for Germans and the patriarchs of the Bible for Jews. In LM 5 Nachman makes use of Yitzchak and Avraham for this purpose, and likewise for Yaakov in LM 1. LM 5:3. This is what our Sages taught: When a person has fear of Heaven his words are heard (Berakhot 6b). For when someone possesses fear of Heaven, his voice is converted into thunder. This is because thunder is from the side of Yitzchak, as in, "the thunder of His gevurot." This causes his words to be heard - i.e., "the voice is transmitted to the creation." For hearing is linked to [the fear of Heaven], as is written (Habakkuk 3:2), "O God, I heard of Your message; I feared" (Zohar III, 230a). . . This also corresponds to the sound of the shofar - i.e., the shofar horn of the ram, the ram of Yitzchak (Zohar III 235b) - which is an aspect of "the thunder of His gevurot". LM 5:5. It is likewise necessary to couple love with fear of Heaven, in order to generate thunder. This [love] is from the right side, from "a mind as white as silver" (Tikkuney Zohar #70). This is (Exodus 14:27). "The sea" alludes to the sea of wisdom, "when it turned morning" - this is the morning of Avraham (Zohar II, 170b), corresponding to "Avraham My beloved" (Isaiah 41:8), "to its might" - this is gevurot, corresponding to "The sound of Your thunder was in the sphere.." And this is (Song of Songs 8:7), "Many waters cannot extinguish the love." For the ability to conquer is mainly by means of love, as in, "Sit at My right . . ." LM 1:2. For the Jew must always focus on the inner intelligence of every matter, and bind himself to the wisdom and inner intelligence that is to be found in each thing. This, so that the intelligence which is in each thing may enlighten him that he ma draw closer to God through that thing. For inner intelligence is a great light that shines for a person in all his ways, As is written (Ecclesiastes 8:1), "A person's wisdom causes his countenance to shine. This is the concept of Yaakov. For YaAKoV merited the right of the first born, which is reishit (beginning), the concept of wisdom. FW: Let's relate these two sets of metaphors to each other, i.e., Heidegger's account of the temple and Nachman's account of the patriarchs. Yitzchak, symbolizing the left pillar, (gevurot, severities, distinctions, judgments, deductions) is likened to the Fear of Heaven arising from the extreme polarities associated with tsimtsum/thunder. Avraham, symbolizing the right pillar (love, grace, benevolence, induction, ideas from above, maqqifim) is depicted as powerful enough to encompass "the waters" of deduction. Thunder in LM 5 has a double reference to tsimtsum. In regard to Yitzchak thunder suggests the extreme polarities of the storm, while in regard to Avraham the allusion of thunder is close to that of "the Open" in the pure process mode. "In the morning" the naturalistic forms which congealed dissolve back into the pure process mode. Earth gives itself up to world, in order to restore the balance of the middle way. This is Yaakov as maqqif, encompassing Yitzchak and Avraham in a higher integration. FW: Again, Gestalt practice can help to get the point here. Think of the Gestalt pilgrim working his way through his objective history. After identifying with the inner ideas of each of his x/-x polarities and doing the work of each dialogue in the ascending spiral of the dialectic, the Gestalt pilgrim is instructed to "identify with the coming solution", close your eyes and enter your body and fantasies. This is the rhythm of contact and withdrawal which is the Gestalt equivalent of the tsimtsum idea. The result of this process is grasping the existential message of the entire work, i.e., Yaakov, the balanced wisdom, the sword of the messiah that veers neither to the left or to the right. For Nachman, the tsaddik function, represented by himself as paradigm and potentially available in each Jew, is this archetypal dialectic, the messianic soul Jews receive from Adam, from Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai, etc. and lastly from himself as Mashiach ben Joseph. This original messianic soul incorporates the three patriarchal ideas dialectically: Avraham as the thesis, Yitzchak as the antithesis, and Yaakov as the synthesis. Recalling these patriarchs in the context of an ongoing spiritual search grounded in faith is Nachman's version of Platonic anamnesis. Learning, for Jews, is remembering the wisdom of our original founding fathers, our origin. FW: Heidegger had an analogous philosophy of education which he attempted to implement in 1933 as Nazi party member and rector of the University of Berlin in Hitler's Germany. Like Nachman, he found active messianism a bit too difficult and was forced to give up the job. Also like Nachman, he then turned to art as a sublimation of his messianic longings. Hence the title of this essay which we are studying, which Heidegger wrote in 1935, is "The Origin Of The Work Of Art". The essay announces that for Heidegger art - Nazi art, that is - serves the messianic function, with the artist standing in for Jesus or some Aryan equivalent. This parallels Nachman's grand messianic vision of the role of the tsaddik - especially himself - in Jewish lore. Nachman's Platonic gathering and inductive collaging of quotes from traditional Jewish sources as a code for the conflict dialectic is an example of religious art fulfilling the messianic function using anamnesis of archetypal ideas in a Platonic manner. Wagner's operas, with their teutonic patriarchal heroes, serve a parallel Platonic collection function for a Nazi German soul. (3) CONSECRATING THE TEMPLE AS RITE OF INITIATION FW: Doing a Gestalt dreamwork session and moving dialectically through a series of polarities according to the rhythm of contact and withdrawal, is, dialectically speaking - in the sense of Heidegger - setting up a temple with the "coming solution" as the god inside who is illuminating the entire structure. If this is the Gestalt client's first such experience, then Heidegger would speak of "consecrating" the temple. In fact, the process also alludes to the "B'reishit" moment of Genesis, which from a philosophical point of view is happening at every moment of authentic action as God constantly renews his creation. H 672. To dedicate means to consecrate, in the sense that in setting up the work the holy is opened up as holy and the god is invoked into the openness of his presence. . . To e-rect means: to open the right in the sense of a guiding measure, a form in which what belongs to the nature of being gives guidance. FW: We have seen the notion of "measure" in LM 5, in Nachman's stress on attaining a proper balance of left and right pillars, the Fear of Heaven on one side and love on the other side, this being the state of Yaakov, which dialectically synthesizes the antithetical relationship between Avraham and Yitzchak as they usually are portrayed in the kabbalah. Arthur Green has shown clearly that identifying with these three patriarchs was for Nachman a major part of his spiritual quest. Nachman considered the dialectic of the patriarchs as a symbol of his own struggle to attain a level of spirituality appropriate for the leader of a hasidic community. Green maintains that Nachman's journey to the land of Israel was primarily a need for a symbolic rite of passage, the goal of which is in Judaism represented by the dialectic of the three patriarchs. Here is Green's argument. After returning from his journey to Israel, amidst Napoleon's naval bombardment of the Turkish fleet, Nachman TM 85. had "passed through water" for the sake of God, and had seen his faith withstand the threat of imminent death. He was now one who could deserve the vision of the patriarchs, having followed their example by the utter denial of his corporeal self. TM 84. It is now clear that Nachman's journey to the Holy Land may best be defined as a rite de passage, or a voyage of initiation, the likes of which have been studied in various other religious cultures, both pre-literate and classical, but which are not generally considered to be a part of latter day Judaism. TM 82. The patriarchs, who fulfilled the mitzvot in purely spiritual ways, are, in Nachman's imagination, symbols of complete transcendence of the bodily self. Chayay 5:19 Shortly before he departed for the land of Israel, someone asked him why he did not draw the disciples near and speak with them. He said that he now had no words, but said that "by means of the verse "When you pass through the water I shall be with you" (Isaiah 43:2) it has become known to me how one may see the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob whenever one wants." FW: Green cites Eliade on the relationship between rite of passage and consecration. TM 92. The road is arduous, fraught with perils, because it is, in fact, a rite of the passage from the profane to the sacred, from the ephemeral and illusory to reality and eternity, from death to life, from man to the divinity. Attaining the center is equivalent to a consecration, an initiation; yesterday's profane and illusory existence gives place to a new life, to a life that is real, enduring. M. Eliade, The Myth of the Eternal Return (Cosmos And History), p. 18 FW: Finally, here in LM 5 we find all of these themes succinctly expressed with Nachman's usual collage of Torah quotations. LM 5:5. When you guard your mind from the aspect of chametz, so that it does not become clogged, then your voice will strike your skull and be converted into thunder, and the heart's crookedness will be made straight. Then, you will merit joy, as in, "and joy for the straight of heart." This is the meaning of (Psalms 81:8), "When you called in secret, I answered you thunderously, I tested you at the Waters of Conflict. Selah" FW: Nachman asks his disciples to surrender themselves to an intense, harrowing rite of passage by doing their work of hitbod'dut, talking to God, in a manner directly analogous to the Gestalt therapy monologue process of creating a world of one's own. The Waters of Conflict his followers will pass through thereby are the descending pillar of the conflict of dialectic. His hasidim are to seek to obtain a properly balanced dialectical relationship between the patriarchs symbolizing the left, right and middle pillars, which is Nachman's kabbalistic way of speaking about what Plato calls "measure", and other call the middle way. Initiating this monologue by calling out to God is what Heidegger labels a consecration of the temple, which is at the same time an opening up of a world of holiness and an invoking of the god. Nachman, of course, is referring to the tsimtsum experience which opens up the void and invites new ideas to descend from the macrocosm. We also have heard him refer to this process as attaining the place from which the prophets suckle, and also in LM 5 we recall we have found right in the text the main points of Luzzatto's theory of prophecy articulated in terms of seeking the most unclouded aspaklariot (lenses) through which to experience the word of God. Luzzatto uses the word unclouded, while Heidegger says more or less the same thing in his own idiosyncratic manner by using referring to the unconcealment of truth. (4) NACHMAN'S TEMPLE IN BRATSLAV FW: A very clear parallel between Heidegger's use above of the terms "world" and "right" for the notion of opening up a holy space is a homily Nachman delivered shortly after moving to Bratslav, which perhaps served to commemorate the opening of a new temple. At TM 137 we have the following taken from LM 44, in which Nachman likens his arrival in Bratslav to Abraham's arrival in Israel. Nachman viewed his own arrival in Bratslav as the founding of a new Jerusalem, the center of a world based on his teachings. TM 137. Thus our sages say: "Whoever establishes a fixed place for prayer, the God of Abraham helps him." For by his hand a new world is built, and this new building is through Abraham, as Scripture says: "The world is build by chesed". (Psalms 89:3). Abraham was the first to attain Erez Israel. FW: Heidegger makes the dialectical foundation of this consecration very explicit. H 72. What does the work, as work, set up? Towering up within itself, the work opens up a world and keeps it abidingly in force. To be a work means to set up a world . . . Wherever those decisions of our history that relate to our very being are made, are taken up and abandoned by us, go unrecognized and are rediscovered by new inquiry, there the world worlds. FW: Going back to our paradigm case of a Gestalt dreamwork session, the "work" is the dialectic initiated by beginning a session, as the pilgrim sets out to work his way through the series of x/-x polarities, the rhythm of contact and withdrawal, that constitutes what Hegel labels the "objective history" of the pilgrim's soul. Going deeper, the overall superobjective that guides the Gestalt session, what Aristotle labels the actuality which is prior to the potentiality of each of the beats of the dialectic, is this opening within the denseness of Being. The via negativa way of formulating the opening is to invoke the notion of a vacuum, what Luria and Nachman refer to as the tsimtsum process. Likewise, in terms of the sefirot, at the moment of Genesis it is chochmah, the new idea, which opens up a world within the pre-existent being of God, binah, which already is built up. The Hebrew root of "binah" is "to build". Likewise chesed, God's grace or benevolence, is the opening up of a space within a pre-existent state of judgment, limitation or Fear of Heaven. Chochmah and chesed are on the right pillar. Nachman's goal is that left and right will combine to give the balanced middle pillar/middle way, symbolized by Yaakov. In the following passage Heidegger specifically mentions the role of grace (chesed) and its absence, (5) CLAPPING HANDS AS ALCHEMICAL MAGIC H 73. In a world's worlding is gathered that spaciousness out of which the protective grace of the gods is granted or withheld. Even this doom of the gods remaining absent is a way in which world worlds. FW: Here Heidegger zeroes in on exactly the founding principle of Nachman's dialectic, the apparent absence of God in the secular world, and we wonder if the grand theoretician of Nazi Germany in 1935 had perhaps got his hands on a translation of Nachman's work as a pretext for his own projects. If Heidegger had read LM 44 he might have found in Nachman himself much of the same racist magical wishful thinking which his own colleagues later perfected to make their own conquered lands "Judenrein", cleaned out of Jews. Nachman's recipe for instantly ridding a town of goyish presence was very simple: just clap your hands. It is reminiscent of Mary Poppins' advice to the children on how to get rid of unpleasant thoughts by singing a happy tune. Nachman said, in that same sermon at Bratslav, TM 137. All things are called the power of His deeds, the word power [ko'ach, numerically twenty eight] corresponding to the twenty-eight letters [in the first verse] of Creation and to the twenty-eight joints on a person's hand. As is well known, the atmosphere of the pagans' lands is polluted, while the air of the land of Israel is holy and pure, since God has taken it away from the other nations and given it to us. Outside the Holy Land, however, the air remains impure. When we clap our hands together in prayer [using the twenty eight joints] we arouse the power of the twenty-eight letters of Creation, the "power of his deeds", showing that He has the power to give us the inheritance of the nations, since everything belongs to God. Thus we are able to purify the air of other peoples' lands, as these lands are brought back under the rule of God, and He can distribute them as He wishes. FW: All this is one more example of why hasidism (for Nachman) or hegelianism (for Heidegger) without education concerning the philosophical roots of what all the mumbo-jumbo means is irresponsible at best. At worst, we need only look back at the last century to see the fruits of a world run amuck after uncritically gobbling down a too generous helping of dialectical thinking. Clapping our hands to push aside polluted air and open up a space of pure air is alchemy, with alchemical air representing the kabbalistic empty space of tsimtsum which opens up within alchemical earth. Alchemy and dlalectics are elements of renaissance science, which hovered on the borderline between science and magic. Pushing back the borders of hard logic (deduction) to allow "the Open" of wishful thinking (induction) is a wonderful tool for liberation of the human spirit, so long as what then enters the vacuum is carefully monitored. Monitored by what? Monitored by who? Perhaps just asking these questions is sufficient here. Building a temple is a noble enterprise in itself, but then we need to ask what god will then be invited into this new temple to serve as Aristotelian final cause, pure Platonic idea, or to embody alchemical fire ignited to negate all negations of the One?


17. FRANKLYN WEPNER TEACHER gestalt dreamwork "the branch" 4

FRANKLYN WEPNER TEACHER gestalt dreamwork

part 4. personal gestalt dreamwork done on a picture instead of a dream, FRANKLYN WEPNER JUNE 2009 [email protected] LM 5. HEIDEGGER & NACHMAN REFERENCE: MARTIN HEIDEGGER, "THE ORIGIN OF THE WORK OF ART", IN "PHILOSOPHIES OF ART AND BEAUTY", ED. HOFSTADTER & KUHNS (1) THE "OPEN" & THE PURE PROCESS MODE (2) THE TEMPLE, PLATO & MASHIACH (3) CONSECRATING THE TEMPLE AS RITE OF INITIATION (4) NACHMAN'S TEMPLE IN BRATSLAV (5) CLAPPING HANDS AS ALCHEMICAL MAGIC (1) THE "OPEN" AND THE PURE PROCESS MODE H 681. Setting up a world and setting forth the earth, the work is the fighting of the battle in which the unconcealedness of beings as a whole, or truth, is won. FW: The above is a typical sentence taken from Martin Heidegger's essay, "The Origin Of The Work Of Art". This sentence is loaded with Heidegger technical jargon: world, earth, battle, unconcealedness, beings and truth. Also in this sentence, these terms are laid out in an interlocking manner such that words that we thought we understood suddenly become very strange to us. We are mystified. But let us try now to decode this knot of dialectical jargon. Decoding even this one sentence will reveal much of the underlying logic of Heidegger's philosophy of art. Our project in this short essay is to see whether Heidegger's recondite reflections about art can shed valuable light on the work of Nachman of Breslav. We have been approaching Nachman mainly from the perspective of Isaac Luria's dialectic of conflict, which was Nachman's own reference point in 1800. But doing so required jumping right away into the tsimtsum theory, and we risked explaining something very obscure in an even more obscure manner. Fortunately, we have available a magic carpet tool from the performing arts which in one quick, painless stroke will land us in the middle of the dialectical universe of both Heidegger and Luria and allow us from those two starting points to converge on our primary target, the work Nachman of Breslav. This tool is a world class technique with a long history. It constitutes a major foundation of the dance theaters of Asia, and in today's avant garde theater world it is known as the "pure process mode". Again I express my gratitude to the Mabou Mines Theater Company for initiating me into this bit of esoterica. FW: The pure process mode as performed looks a lot like Tai Ch'i, but then again you might not know about Tai Ch'i either so I'll start from the basic idea. A group of performers is told to focus on awareness rather than thinking. Like in Gestalt Therapy, awareness here includes contact with one's environment using senses, with one's body using proprioception, and with one's fantasies. The stress in this exercise is on environment awareness. Along with work on awareness, the group is instructed to begin a holistic, total movement of all body parts, very slowly and very relaxed so as not to let the movements or body tension interfere with the awareness. All this is here and now work, passively responding to what is happening in one's awareness. What to do next stems from passively reacting to what already is happening, and going with that flow in a non-deliberate manner. Philosophically, what we have here is "induction" or Platonic collection, or gestalt formation, in the sense that from the particular details the performer infers a single new encompassing idea which then becomes the rule that guides his next choices. From the ground of what is happening arise potential figures, weak gestalts, until one of them becomes the strong gestalt or monad which then is the new world of that emerging moment. And here we have Heidegger's key term, "world", emerging as a product of inductive, intuitive thinking. The world that worlds, using Heidegger jargon, is the emerging gestalt or figure that then is the organizing center of the organism's existence until the next strong gestalt (world) takes over. For Gestalt Therapists a neurotic is an individual who interferes with, who interrupts his natural figure/ground process such that strong gestalts do not congeal and the ground keeps churning up weak gestalts aimlessly. FW: So far we have presented half of the pure process mode concept, the side of passivity and induction. The other, complementary side of the pure process mode is the active, deliberate, deductive side. Here is how that works. As I am doing my awareness and movement exercise, I am instructed also to allow any particular focus that emerges strongly enough from the ground that it attracts my conscious attention to continue to develop, and then I see where it takes me. In other words, I am looking for associations, or what Nachman would label "behinot". This is an aspect of that and that is an aspect of the next thing, endlessly. The main motor of the pure process mode is the passive, induction side, but riding on it is a series of deductive moments or deliberate active choices to accept the hint and go with that idea to its completion as a particular "thing". For example, I notice that my body is doing something like a swimming breast stroke, and I allow myself gradually to go almost fully into the breast stroke form. But here I interrupt the naturalistic form I am performing and remind myself that I need the active/passive balance, the middle way. And so I now allow the breast stroke form - again gradually with full awareness - to dissolve back into the passive aspect of the pure process mode. We now have the two poles of Heidegger's dialectic. The deliberate, active point of view Heidegger calls "earth", and the passive point of view Heidegger calls "world". Here again is our initial Heidegger quote. H 681. Setting up a world and setting forth the earth, the work is the fighting of the battle in which the unconcealedness of beings as a whole, or truth, is won. FW: The "battle" is the competition between world and earth, induction and deduction. Usually when we do the breast stroke in the pool as part of our 20 minute exercise routine, the choice is deliberate, and the details of the stroke fit into a vast grid of distinctions of different kind of muscular and breathing activities. The ramification of the basic idea of "swimming" into all these strokes and nuances of strokes is an example of deductive logic, moving from the general idea of "swimming" to the particular differences of each stroke. The opposite of deduction in this sense is the passive experience of letting all those details and nuances fade away into no-thing-ness. The combination of deduction and induction, earth and world, kabbalistic left pillar and right pillar, is the concrete dialectic which grounds much of sophisticated world culture, east and west. Doing the pure process exercise is like a slow motion movie of some sport which reveals the seams linking the individual moves. These seams usually are a hidden, "concealed" ground for the chain of deliberate moves. The pure process mode reverses our usual figure/ground process, thereby "unconcealing" the ground of "being as a whole". If we think of our usual daily existence as packed with habitual, mechanical behavior, then the pure process mode opens up or clears a space in that dense structure. Here is another Heidegger statement, This time he describes this "open center" of our existence. H 679. In the midst of beings as a whole an open place occurs. There is a clearing, a lighting. Thought of in reference to what is, to beings, this clearing is in a greater degree than are beings. This open center is therefore not surrounded by what is; rather the lighting center itself encircles all that is, like the a Nothing which we scarcely know. FW: Just substitute no-thing-ness for Nothing, and we have again the pure process mode, with things coming into existence and going out of existence devoid of their usual thingness as specific objects that we make use of or relate to. FW: Turning now back to Nachman of Breslav, let us read Heidegger's prose from the point of view of the dialectic of conflict and the tradition of alchemy which Nachman inherited from Isaac Luria. Immediately we see a likely source for Heidegger's choice of the word "earth" to suggest the process of deduction in opposition to the process of induction. For the process of deduction or creation on the left pillar of the tree of life descends deductively from alchemical water to alchemical earth, before ascending inductively through alchemical air to alchemical fire. Moving through these four elements, water, earth, air and fire, completes the cycle. Alchemical air is what becomes revealed (unconcealed) at the moment of tsimtsum, as God or man contracts his frozen x/-x polarities to allow a relative vacuum. Into the void emerges or overflows inductively a new idea from the macrocosm which then encompasses the two sides of the former impasse in a higher integration. The encompassing new idea Nachman labels, logically enough, the "maqqif", since in Hebrew the word "maqqif" means "encompasses". The void is the "open" of Heidegger, which begins as an air pocket and then does a figure/ground reversal from air pocket to encompassing no-thing-ness in which the two sides, x/-x, of the former impasse disappear. This disappearing is the negation of the negations of the One Without A Second. The negations, the stuck antagonists of the impasse, are thus burnt up in alchemical fire, completing the circle of alchemical elements of the concrete dialectic. FW: By stressing the impasse at the expense of the pure process mode, kabbalists like Luria and Nachman of Breslav highlight the absence of new ideas flowing from on high. This is like building up charge on a condenser. The ideas certainly are there, since God is in all the world, but they are apparently absent. Arthur Green shows how Nachman made his own personal experience of the apparent absence of God a central dogma of his renovated hasidism. The Breslaver hasid is instructed to seek out more and more challenging conflicts, "maqqifim", as a way to stimulate his need to rely upon faith rather than look for an intellectual understanding of God. Eastern religions, without as much stress on a personal God as has Judaism, can do without such a condenser model of faith and rely more upon the natural power of awareness as a tool to access divinity. Here is Nachman's version of Heidegger's "the open" and the Asian dance theater pure process mode. It's the same dialectic, with different cultural overlays to mask it. Since the Fall, since the Tower of Babel, since the decree, different peoples need to disguise their prayers with different codes, different "stories", lest the accusing angels on the left (our need to maintain cultural distinctions, our "gevurot") protest. LM 5:5. Know as well that a person must couple the gevurot (severities) with chasadim (benevolences), left with right, as is written (Psalms 20:7), "with the saving gevurot of His right arm" . For the main revelation comes about by means of chasadim, as is written (ibid 110:1), "Sit at my right hand while I make your enemies your footstool". It is likewise necessary to couple love with fear of Heaven, in order to generate thunder. This love is from the right side, from "a mind as white as silver" (Tikkuney Zohar #70). . . ."The sound of Your thunder was in the sphere." and this is (Song of Songs 8:7), "Many waters cannot extinguish the love." For the ability to conquer is mainly by means of love, as in , "Sit at My right hand while I make your enemies your footstool." FW: Both Heidegger and Nachman point toward resolving the "battle" of world vs earth dialectically. In LM 5:5 Nachman uses alchemical water rather than alchemical earth to symbolize the side of deduction, and "love" symbolizes the power of induction to encompass strong polarities (enemies) in a higher unity. Parallel to this dichotomy is that between the Fear of Heaven and love, in the sense that extreme polarities in our existence drive us to the breaking point, abyss, void, and instill thereby in us a "fear of heaven". Thunder in LM 5 symbolizes these extreme opposites reverberating in our lives. The reverberations of thunder reach on high and invite drops of dew (new ideas from the macrocosm) to enter the void in the microcosm and open up new possibilities. The new possibilities, dew drops, at first are merely weak gestalts/figures percolating up from the ground, analogous to the weak figures or gestalts that pass through the body and mind of the performer in the pure process mode. Thus, thunder and lightning serve Nachman in LM 5:5 as structural equivalents to Heidegger's "the open" and the Asian dance theater pure process mode. Nachman's version of the conflict dialectic makes the conflict much more explicit, in order to stimulate a greater reliance on pietist faith in a personal God than is necessary in the Eastern equivalents. (2) THE TEMPLE, PLATO, AND MASHIACH H 670. A building, a Greek temple, portrays nothing. It simply stands there in the middle of the rock cleft valley. The building encloses the figure of the god, and in this concealment lets it stand out into the holy precinct through the open portico. By means of the temple, the god is present in the temple. FW: Again Heidegger approaches the conflict dialectic, this time with a metaphor much closer to the tsimtsum framework invoked by Nachman in LM 5. Rather than associating to the gentle pure process mode, the allusion to the conflict dialectic and tsimtsum is here much more direct. First we see this in the location of this Greek temple: "the middle of a rock cleft valley", i.e., the two extremes making up the impasse that opens up the void. The word "building" points immediately to the left pillar headed by "binah", from the Hebrew root "to build". The figure of the god is the emerging new macrocosmic, Platonic idea, the "maqqif" which negates the "pnimi" (the impasse of one's heart) and supplants it dialectically. In the pure process mode it is "the Open" (world) which houses the forms which come and pass away (earth), but here it is the rigid structure of a temple (earth) that houses the constantly emerging open (world, god). Here we are back in the typical Lurianic kabbalah terrain that is Nachman's home ground. H 671. Standing there, the building holds its ground against the storm raging above it and so first makes the storm itself manifest in its violence. The luster and gleam of the stone, though itself apparently glowing only by the grace of the sun, yet first brings to light the light of the day, the breadth of the sky, the darkness of the night. The temple's firm towering makes visible the invisible space of air. FW: Around the temple crashes the thunder and lightning of a great storm, which is the moment of tsimtsum in the concrete dialectic. And this time it is alchemical air which Heidegger cites to remind us of his own grounding in the traditional dialectic. Or perhaps in this compact temple image we have the entire dialectic: water (the storm), earth (temple as rigid framework), air (the space for the emerging maqqif idea) and fire (the lightning and the heat of the sun). Let's see how our two gurus articulate these alchemical ideas, each with his own "story". First Heidegger: a Greek pilgrim approaching in the valley sees first the temple in the distance, before the small figure of the god inside is visible. And Nachman says in LM 5:6, LM 5:6. This is the aspect of fear which precedes. For fear of Heaven precedes all else, as is written (Psalms 111:10), "The beginning of wisdom is the fear of God". FW: But what exactly is the function or work of this Greek temple? H 670. It is the temple work that first fits together and at the same time gathers around itself the unity of those paths and relations in which birth and death, disaster and blessing, victory and disgrace, endurance and decline acquire the shape of destiny for human being. The all-governing expanse of this open relational context is the world of this historical people. Only from and in this expanse does the nation first return to itself for the fulfillment of its vocation. FW: The work that is done in the temple and by means of the temple itself is the concrete dialectic, which for both Heidegger and Nachman includes the Platonic concepts of collection and anamnesis (Greek: "not forgetting"). Specifically, the temple work (dialectic) gathers around itself (collects) the unity of those paths and relations (the weak gestalts encompassed by strong gestalts, maqqifim). Heidegger was a contemporary of Fritz Perls, and a glance at the Gestalt model will clear away a lot of metaphorical muddle here. The gestalt work (temple work) that the Gestalt patient does by identifying with pair after pair of his polarities in his work on his games and unfinished business serves to encompass all the inner ideas of these points of view within his own emerging self-as-process. This is Platonic collection of weaker ideas, gestalts or monads within stronger ideas, gestalts or monads. The "coming solution" with which the patient identifies as his goal is thus on a higher level of integration than his previous game playing self. It is as though an unruly mob has been integrated into a mature human populace with a clear sense of purpose. This is the return of the members of the nation to its true self, its archetypal dialectical ideas and logic, and the grasping of its destiny ("vocation"). Plato, like Heidegger, placed the needs of the republic above the needs of individuals. Heidegger as Nazi leader showed us the ugly side of Platonism, while the restraints imposed by hasidic halachah kept Nachman and his followers closer to a balanced position. The "world" of a historical people is for both thinkers inhabited by ideas associated with the folklore of that tribe. These are the personages of Wagner's operas for Germans and the patriarchs of the Bible for Jews. In LM 5 Nachman makes use of Yitzchak and Avraham for this purpose, and likewise for Yaakov in LM 1. LM 5:3. This is what our Sages taught: When a person has fear of Heaven his words are heard (Berakhot 6b). For when someone possesses fear of Heaven, his voice is converted into thunder. This is because thunder is from the side of Yitzchak, as in, "the thunder of His gevurot." This causes his words to be heard - i.e., "the voice is transmitted to the creation." For hearing is linked to [the fear of Heaven], as is written (Habakkuk 3:2), "O God, I heard of Your message; I feared" (Zohar III, 230a). . . This also corresponds to the sound of the shofar - i.e., the shofar horn of the ram, the ram of Yitzchak (Zohar III 235b) - which is an aspect of "the thunder of His gevurot". LM 5:5. It is likewise necessary to couple love with fear of Heaven, in order to generate thunder. This [love] is from the right side, from "a mind as white as silver" (Tikkuney Zohar #70). This is (Exodus 14:27). "The sea" alludes to the sea of wisdom, "when it turned morning" - this is the morning of Avraham (Zohar II, 170b), corresponding to "Avraham My beloved" (Isaiah 41:8), "to its might" - this is gevurot, corresponding to "The sound of Your thunder was in the sphere.." And this is (Song of Songs 8:7), "Many waters cannot extinguish the love." For the ability to conquer is mainly by means of love, as in, "Sit at My right . . ." LM 1:2. For the Jew must always focus on the inner intelligence of every matter, and bind himself to the wisdom and inner intelligence that is to be found in each thing. This, so that the intelligence which is in each thing may enlighten him that he ma draw closer to God through that thing. For inner intelligence is a great light that shines for a person in all his ways, As is written (Ecclesiastes 8:1), "A person's wisdom causes his countenance to shine. This is the concept of Yaakov. For YaAKoV merited the right of the first born, which is reishit (beginning), the concept of wisdom. FW: Let's relate these two sets of metaphors to each other, i.e., Heidegger's account of the temple and Nachman's account of the patriarchs. Yitzchak, symbolizing the left pillar, (gevurot, severities, distinctions, judgments, deductions) is likened to the Fear of Heaven arising from the extreme polarities associated with tsimtsum/thunder. Avraham, symbolizing the right pillar (love, grace, benevolence, induction, ideas from above, maqqifim) is depicted as powerful enough to encompass "the waters" of deduction. Thunder in LM 5 has a double reference to tsimtsum. In regard to Yitzchak thunder suggests the extreme polarities of the storm, while in regard to Avraham the allusion of thunder is close to that of "the Open" in the pure process mode. "In the morning" the naturalistic forms which congealed dissolve back into the pure process mode. Earth gives itself up to world, in order to restore the balance of the middle way. This is Yaakov as maqqif, encompassing Yitzchak and Avraham in a higher integration. FW: Again, Gestalt practice can help to get the point here. Think of the Gestalt pilgrim working his way through his objective history. After identifying with the inner ideas of each of his x/-x polarities and doing the work of each dialogue in the ascending spiral of the dialectic, the Gestalt pilgrim is instructed to "identify with the coming solution", close your eyes and enter your body and fantasies. This is the rhythm of contact and withdrawal which is the Gestalt equivalent of the tsimtsum idea. The result of this process is grasping the existential message of the entire work, i.e., Yaakov, the balanced wisdom, the sword of the messiah that veers neither to the left or to the right. For Nachman, the tsaddik function, represented by himself as paradigm and potentially available in each Jew, is this archetypal dialectic, the messianic soul Jews receive from Adam, from Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai, etc. and lastly from himself as Mashiach ben Joseph. This original messianic soul incorporates the three patriarchal ideas dialectically: Avraham as the thesis, Yitzchak as the antithesis, and Yaakov as the synthesis. Recalling these patriarchs in the context of an ongoing spiritual search grounded in faith is Nachman's version of Platonic anamnesis. Learning, for Jews, is remembering the wisdom of our original founding fathers, our origin. FW: Heidegger had an analogous philosophy of education which he attempted to implement in 1933 as Nazi party member and rector of the University of Berlin in Hitler's Germany. Like Nachman, he found active messianism a bit too difficult and was forced to give up the job. Also like Nachman, he then turned to art as a sublimation of his messianic longings. Hence the title of this essay which we are studying, which Heidegger wrote in 1935, is "The Origin Of The Work Of Art". The essay announces that for Heidegger art - Nazi art, that is - serves the messianic function, with the artist standing in for Jesus or some Aryan equivalent. This parallels Nachman's grand messianic vision of the role of the tsaddik - especially himself - in Jewish lore. Nachman's Platonic gathering and inductive collaging of quotes from traditional Jewish sources as a code for the conflict dialectic is an example of religious art fulfilling the messianic function using anamnesis of archetypal ideas in a Platonic manner. Wagner's operas, with their teutonic patriarchal heroes, serve a parallel Platonic collection function for a Nazi German soul. (3) CONSECRATING THE TEMPLE AS RITE OF INITIATION FW: Doing a Gestalt dreamwork session and moving dialectically through a series of polarities according to the rhythm of contact and withdrawal, is, dialectically speaking - in the sense of Heidegger - setting up a temple with the "coming solution" as the god inside who is illuminating the entire structure. If this is the Gestalt client's first such experience, then Heidegger would speak of "consecrating" the temple. In fact, the process also alludes to the "B'reishit" moment of Genesis, which from a philosophical point of view is happening at every moment of authentic action as God constantly renews his creation. H 672. To dedicate means to consecrate, in the sense that in setting up the work the holy is opened up as holy and the god is invoked into the openness of his presence. . . To e-rect means: to open the right in the sense of a guiding measure, a form in which what belongs to the nature of being gives guidance. FW: We have seen the notion of "measure" in LM 5, in Nachman's stress on attaining a proper balance of left and right pillars, the Fear of Heaven on one side and love on the other side, this being the state of Yaakov, which dialectically synthesizes the antithetical relationship between Avraham and Yitzchak as they usually are portrayed in the kabbalah. Arthur Green has shown clearly that identifying with these three patriarchs was for Nachman a major part of his spiritual quest. Nachman considered the dialectic of the patriarchs as a symbol of his own struggle to attain a level of spirituality appropriate for the leader of a hasidic community. Green maintains that Nachman's journey to the land of Israel was primarily a need for a symbolic rite of passage, the goal of which is in Judaism represented by the dialectic of the three patriarchs. Here is Green's argument. After returning from his journey to Israel, amidst Napoleon's naval bombardment of the Turkish fleet, Nachman TM 85. had "passed through water" for the sake of God, and had seen his faith withstand the threat of imminent death. He was now one who could deserve the vision of the patriarchs, having followed their example by the utter denial of his corporeal self. TM 84. It is now clear that Nachman's journey to the Holy Land may best be defined as a rite de passage, or a voyage of initiation, the likes of which have been studied in various other religious cultures, both pre-literate and classical, but which are not generally considered to be a part of latter day Judaism. TM 82. The patriarchs, who fulfilled the mitzvot in purely spiritual ways, are, in Nachman's imagination, symbols of complete transcendence of the bodily self. Chayay 5:19 Shortly before he departed for the land of Israel, someone asked him why he did not draw the disciples near and speak with them. He said that he now had no words, but said that "by means of the verse "When you pass through the water I shall be with you" (Isaiah 43:2) it has become known to me how one may see the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob whenever one wants." FW: Green cites Eliade on the relationship between rite of passage and consecration. TM 92. The road is arduous, fraught with perils, because it is, in fact, a rite of the passage from the profane to the sacred, from the ephemeral and illusory to reality and eternity, from death to life, from man to the divinity. Attaining the center is equivalent to a consecration, an initiation; yesterday's profane and illusory existence gives place to a new life, to a life that is real, enduring. M. Eliade, The Myth of the Eternal Return (Cosmos And History), p. 18 FW: Finally, here in LM 5 we find all of these themes succinctly expressed with Nachman's usual collage of Torah quotations. LM 5:5. When you guard your mind from the aspect of chametz, so that it does not become clogged, then your voice will strike your skull and be converted into thunder, and the heart's crookedness will be made straight. Then, you will merit joy, as in, "and joy for the straight of heart." This is the meaning of (Psalms 81:8), "When you called in secret, I answered you thunderously, I tested you at the Waters of Conflict. Selah" FW: Nachman asks his disciples to surrender themselves to an intense, harrowing rite of passage by doing their work of hitbod'dut, talking to God, in a manner directly analogous to the Gestalt therapy monologue process of creating a world of one's own. The Waters of Conflict his followers will pass through thereby are the descending pillar of the conflict of dialectic. His hasidim are to seek to obtain a properly balanced dialectical relationship between the patriarchs symbolizing the left, right and middle pillars, which is Nachman's kabbalistic way of speaking about what Plato calls "measure", and other call the middle way. Initiating this monologue by calling out to God is what Heidegger labels a consecration of the temple, which is at the same time an opening up of a world of holiness and an invoking of the god. Nachman, of course, is referring to the tsimtsum experience which opens up the void and invites new ideas to descend from the macrocosm. We also have heard him refer to this process as attaining the place from which the prophets suckle, and also in LM 5 we recall we have found right in the text the main points of Luzzatto's theory of prophecy articulated in terms of seeking the most unclouded aspaklariot (lenses) through which to experience the word of God. Luzzatto uses the word unclouded, while Heidegger says more or less the same thing in his own idiosyncratic manner by using referring to the unconcealment of truth. (4) NACHMAN'S TEMPLE IN BRATSLAV FW: A very clear parallel between Heidegger's use above of the terms "world" and "right" for the notion of opening up a holy space is a homily Nachman delivered shortly after moving to Bratslav, which perhaps served to commemorate the opening of a new temple. At TM 137 we have the following taken from LM 44, in which Nachman likens his arrival in Bratslav to Abraham's arrival in Israel. Nachman viewed his own arrival in Bratslav as the founding of a new Jerusalem, the center of a world based on his teachings. TM 137. Thus our sages say: "Whoever establishes a fixed place for prayer, the God of Abraham helps him." For by his hand a new world is built, and this new building is through Abraham, as Scripture says: "The world is build by chesed". (Psalms 89:3). Abraham was the first to attain Erez Israel. FW: Heidegger makes the dialectical foundation of this consecration very explicit. H 72. What does the work, as work, set up? Towering up within itself, the work opens up a world and keeps it abidingly in force. To be a work means to set up a world . . . Wherever those decisions of our history that relate to our very being are made, are taken up and abandoned by us, go unrecognized and are rediscovered by new inquiry, there the world worlds. FW: Going back to our paradigm case of a Gestalt dreamwork session, the "work" is the dialectic initiated by beginning a session, as the pilgrim sets out to work his way through the series of x/-x polarities, the rhythm of contact and withdrawal, that constitutes what Hegel labels the "objective history" of the pilgrim's soul. Going deeper, the overall superobjective that guides the Gestalt session, what Aristotle labels the actuality which is prior to the potentiality of each of the beats of the dialectic, is this opening within the denseness of Being. The via negativa way of formulating the opening is to invoke the notion of a vacuum, what Luria and Nachman refer to as the tsimtsum process. Likewise, in terms of the sefirot, at the moment of Genesis it is chochmah, the new idea, which opens up a world within the pre-existent being of God, binah, which already is built up. The Hebrew root of "binah" is "to build". Likewise chesed, God's grace or benevolence, is the opening up of a space within a pre-existent state of judgment, limitation or Fear of Heaven. Chochmah and chesed are on the right pillar. Nachman's goal is that left and right will combine to give the balanced middle pillar/middle way, symbolized by Yaakov. In the following passage Heidegger specifically mentions the role of grace (chesed) and its absence, (5) CLAPPING HANDS AS ALCHEMICAL MAGIC H 73. In a world's worlding is gathered that spaciousness out of which the protective grace of the gods is granted or withheld. Even this doom of the gods remaining absent is a way in which world worlds. FW: Here Heidegger zeroes in on exactly the founding principle of Nachman's dialectic, the apparent absence of God in the secular world, and we wonder if the grand theoretician of Nazi Germany in 1935 had perhaps got his hands on a translation of Nachman's work as a pretext for his own projects. If Heidegger had read LM 44 he might have found in Nachman himself much of the same racist magical wishful thinking which his own colleagues later perfected to make their own conquered lands "Judenrein", cleaned out of Jews. Nachman's recipe for instantly ridding a town of goyish presence was very simple: just clap your hands. It is reminiscent of Mary Poppins' advice to the children on how to get rid of unpleasant thoughts by singing a happy tune. Nachman said, in that same sermon at Bratslav, TM 137. All things are called the power of His deeds, the word power [ko'ach, numerically twenty eight] corresponding to the twenty-eight letters [in the first verse] of Creation and to the twenty-eight joints on a person's hand. As is well known, the atmosphere of the pagans' lands is polluted, while the air of the land of Israel is holy and pure, since God has taken it away from the other nations and given it to us. Outside the Holy Land, however, the air remains impure. When we clap our hands together in prayer [using the twenty eight joints] we arouse the power of the twenty-eight letters of Creation, the "power of his deeds", showing that He has the power to give us the inheritance of the nations, since everything belongs to God. Thus we are able to purify the air of other peoples' lands, as these lands are brought back under the rule of God, and He can distribute them as He wishes. FW: All this is one more example of why hasidism (for Nachman) or hegelianism (for Heidegger) without education concerning the philosophical roots of what all the mumbo-jumbo means is irresponsible at best. At worst, we need only look back at the last century to see the fruits of a world run amuck after uncritically gobbling down a too generous helping of dialectical thinking. Clapping our hands to push aside polluted air and open up a space of pure air is alchemy, with alchemical air representing the kabbalistic empty space of tsimtsum which opens up within alchemical earth. Alchemy and dlalectics are elements of renaissance science, which hovered on the borderline between science and magic. Pushing back the borders of hard logic (deduction) to allow "the Open" of wishful thinking (induction) is a wonderful tool for liberation of the human spirit, so long as what then enters the vacuum is carefully monitored. Monitored by what? Monitored by who? Perhaps just asking these questions is sufficient here. Building a temple is a noble enterprise in itself, but then we need to ask what god will then be invited into this new temple to serve as Aristotelian final cause, pure Platonic idea, or to embody alchemical fire ignited to negate all negations of the One?


18. Osy August 2009 Trailer

Osy August 2009 Trailer

Osy is a game being produced as part an NIH/SEPA project at the University of Georgia. This five-year partnership project among scientists and science educators at the University of Georgia, Augusta State University, science teachers in high schools, and the Biological Science Curriculum Study organization is a component of our long-term goal of enticing high school students to consider careers in science. The objectives of this project are to create and rigorously evaluate curricular materials that utilize highly interactive 3-D models and animations of physiological processes as a means for high school students to conduct inquiries into the life-threatening effects of diseases such as diabetes. The inquiry-based learning activities created in this project will cover 7 key biological processes: diffusion, osmosis, filtration, active transport, passive transport, blood pressure, and glucose homeostasis.


19. Elmira College Childhood Education Students Engage in STEM Activities with Beecher Elementary Students

Elmira College Childhood Education Students Engage in STEM Activities with Beecher Elementary Students

STEM ENGAGEMENT: Elmira College Childhood Education students worked with our Beecher Elementary School sixth-graders on Thursday, March 19th. Since January, the Elmira College students have been working with our Beecher Elementary students for 1.5 hours on one day every week. The Elmira College juniors plan instruction for, teach, and assess our Beecher Elementary students in math, science, and technology. In the last three weeks of this program, the Elmira College students are engaging our Beecher Elementary sixth-graders in an interdisciplinary inquiry-based project that includes science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The STEM projects include constructing egg helmets, optimizing growing conditions for plants, understanding the effects of the human water cycle, investigating the function of DNA, and constructing air pressure-powered race cars. During these lessons, the Elmira College students promote the use of 21st century skills while engaging our sixth-graders in various activities and discussions. “We are excited to collaborate with Elmira College in this program and thank the Elmira College Childhood Education students for engaging in cooperative and meaningful learning with our students.” – Hillary Austin, Elmira City School District Superintendent Here's a video of Beecher Elementary School sixth-grader Liberty Somers learning all about DNA from Elmira College Childhood Education students on Thursday. "I'm learning about genetics and how DNA and its bases change what you look like," said Liberty. Other sixth-graders also shared what they learned from their STEM activities: "I'm learning about plants and how sunlight and the type of water source can affect plant growth," said sixth-grader Monika Bustamante. "We're learning about momentum, speed, and impact," said sixth-grader Micah Milo.


20. Project Based Learning Academy taking off

Project Based Learning Academy taking off

More than 200 educators participated in the third annual collaboration between Indiana University and a southern Indiana coalition of business, education, and community leaders to spread project-based learning (PBL) principles to area schools. "The PBL Academy" held a week-long session at Columbus Signature Academy New Tech High School June 13-17, following sessions on the IU Bloomington campus. The PBL Academy is a joint project of Indiana University and EcO15, an initiative of business, education and community leaders to advance K-12 education in a 10-county area in southeastern Indiana funded by the Lilly Endowment, Inc. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE) and the I-STEM Resource Network are supporting the PBL Academy. The PBL Academy has grown out an effort by IU School of Education Mathematics Education Professor Catherine Brown. The ICHE funded "Math Matters" with around 50 teachers in 2009, expanding to add science curriculum last year with "Molecules Matter"--organized by IU College of Arts and Sciences Senior Lecturer in Chemistry Jill Robinson. More than 80 teachers participated in 2010. This year, around 215 teachers, administrators, and other educators have packed the sessions and others had to be turned away because of space limitations. "It is gratifying," Brown said. "It's a little nerve wracking to get up to this size this fast, but I think it speaks to the fact that there's kind of a self-evident benefit to using project based learning." "The growth was much more rapid than we anticipated, frankly," said Bob Abrams, facilitator with EcO15—short for "Economic Opportunities through Education by 2015. EcO15 covers Bartholomew, Dearborn, Decatur, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Ohio, Ripley, Franklin and Switzerland counties. Teachers from those counties as well as Monroe, Brown, and Lake Counties are participating. "This region is becoming a very strong PBL community and we have some schools in this region that as a result of their experience with this PBL training workshop are converting themselves to some degree as PBL schools. Project-based learning is a teaching and learning method that encourages students to drive their learning by using inquiry and technology to investigate a project. Such projects can range across several disciplines. Proponents say the students work in a more realistic or "real-world" fashion while also absorbing material more readily because of their interest and engagement with the project.