The question has been aired on the Guestbook, and in ET: why read public commentaries when they are negative, and might upset the sensitive artiste?
One answer: it is part of a practice. Specifically, it addresses the injunction: "Learn to bear the unpleasant manifestations of people toward you".
On a Sunday, one might draw a parallel between this & the Christian principle "blessed are the meek" (cf. p. 297 of Blake's "Enneagram"). This is part of my practice; it's not part of Adrian's. Perhaps this is why my old buddy gets upset by the pratty commentary on whether he's good enough to be in Crimson.
Let me put this another way: is Fripp good enough to be in Crimson? Actually, not. I guess that means Crimson has a pretty feeble Front Line. That's the bad news. The good news is, at least it's balanced. The other news is, we're both practising so we might get better.
Another variation, for anyone embracing this particular take on practice, is "Learn to bear the pleasant manifestations of people toward you". This is related, but with its own particular twist, flavour, spin & seduction. Technically, dealing with unpleasant manifestations is easier because it requires little discrimination (there are subtleties here, but the argument is essentially sound): you can smell flattery.
I find flattery particularly cloying & offensive. It's easier to transact with people that dislike us: they don't expect the mutual masturbation implicit in puffery. This is also one possible response to a question on the Guestbook re: dealing with compliments. Another is that, in my case, pro & con tend to cancel each other out, so the question doesn't quite apply.
Blake is firing up my own ruminations of the morning. On p.301 Anthony refers to perception in depth. If we apply this to listening, "listening in depth" begins where listening becomes hearing. This is "quality listening". The quality of our listening is determined by the degree of our "being". So, what is "being"?
There are various definitions of this, for example "the capacity to bear suffering"; but it takes time & practising to get closer to an understanding of the sense of this, and we have to get a handle on what "qualities of suffering" might mean. Alternatively, we may go for: "the intensity & degree to which we are who & what we are". Alternatively, being is a measure of our "inner togetherness". This is more helpful for an aspirant musician, who can draw on the remarkable analogical power of the musical vocabulary. Is "being" connected with a personal harmony; being in tune, in tone & in time?
If we live in the basement, what is the quality of our listening? Effectively, we are deaf: flat listening. If the quality of our listening is a reflection of our being, then the quality of our listening indicates who & what we are. It reveals us to others. I find this both fair & terrifying.
The analogy of floors - "levels" in our house - is, like all analogies, limited. A more accurate & non-hierarchical picture is of the floors in the house "enfolded" (Bohm's term) within each other. If we live in the basement, we are "within" the penthouse & its roof garden, but our eyes are closed to seeing it; our heart is not sufficiently open to feel its presence; we lack the wit to know our good fortune. This awareness begins on the garden floor. On the garden floor we're ignorant, but we know our ignorance. Like this:
Firstly, we are ignorant.
Secondly, we recognise that we are ignorant.
Thirdly, we acknowledge our ignorance.
Fourthly, we address our ignorance.
Knowing our ignorance is the beginning of knowledge. If this realisation is a sufficiently horrifying experience, we set ourselves to move out of the basement - whatever it takes. During this attempt to "move upwards" (actually, withinwards) we confront the sheer nullity of what we are. This returns us to the notion of "being" and, on a Sunday, to: "blessed are the poor in spirit" in the wonderful words of the King James translation, an intrinsic part of the flowering of the English language at the end of the C16th. & the early 17th. century.
Fine words, dude, but what does it mean? Perhaps: blessed are those who have seen the poverty of their spiritual nature, because this is their beginning.
Phyllis & Kent called: they enjoyed seeing The CGT (see Paul Richard's Diary).
Pat & Bill have just walked out the door & John Sinks has set up the Lunar Module. I'm back from bibliophiliacal tumesence at the Davis-Kidd 20th. anniversary discount evening, followed by soup & salad at Granite Falls.
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