There’s a profound possibility in organizing aesthetically … in other words to see the world in terms of pattern and potential beauty. I used a word for it in a response on Facebook earlier today … “SPLENDOR” … to become present to and aware of SPLENDOR.
Specifically the beginning point may be as simple as choosing to acknowledge that your experience reflects you. What you perceive reflects your being-ness in any given moment. I keep peppering my posts with the word “ontology” referring to this idea of being-ness. From my point of view it is both the beginning, center and end point of everything we experience.
Much of what has been written about “personal development” and even much of what has been written about “spiritual development” is organized around what we know and/or believe to be true. What we know and believe belongs in the domain of epistemology, which as I see it emerges from ontological ground.
Here’s an easy way to translate the fundamental position I’m presenting from the philosophical …
“You can’t have an idea or opinion if you don’t first exist.”
So I’ve pointed the vast majority of my adult working life towards exploring existence … my own and that of others … what it is and how we do it.
The Aesthetic Frame
What I’ve found in my explorations of existence, i.e.: my ontological research, all points to the possibility that the only way to fully experience our existence resides in the aesthetic frame.
We experience everything first sensorially, through direct sensory experience. Even our inner reality seems to be comprised from bits and pieces of our sensory experience … recombined, reconstituted, re-formed into vast landscapes of imagination.
If this has any validity, i.e.: we first experience everything sensorially, through our senses … doesn’t it then make sense to build a methodology that deepens our sensory experience as the primary means we possess to experience our lives most fully?
This is the primary argument for building the aesthetic frame, to experience our lives most fully.
The aesthetic frame requires that we suspend all judgement and/or assigning any meaning until we’ve fully experienced at the sensory level the events of our lives. This pattern of willful suspension, an intentional inhibition if you will, creates a uniquely powerful framework for making meaning, taking decisions and acting in our lives.
So What’s The Problem?
Well … there isn’t any really. As a fan of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s later philosophy (most of it published posthumously), I accept that all problems are actually puzzles in language … if you accept that logic is bound in language (and I do that too).
(If you want the direct insight on Wittgenstein’s premises of philosophical puzzles start with his “Philosophical Investigations“ … and let that lead you to what’s next …)
However, back to the issue of building The Aesthetic Frame …
The most significant thing you can do when you are organizing an aesthetic frame begins with learning how to operate in multilevel, multilayered realities – realities that are common to all creative geniuses. As simply stated as I can these realities hold more than one “truth” simultaneously, often “truths” which are in opposition or cancel one another out.
Another way of putting it would be to say that these realities hold multiple perspectives regarding the same data present in the system in this moment, effectively creating multiple moments of opportunity simultaneously.
Once you get the power of accessing multilevel, multilayered realities you’ll have access to a level of creativity that very few folks ever experience.
When you hold multiple positions of perspective simultaneously – about any given “truth” – the sense of uncertainty that so often unnerves and confuses others in complex and chaotic situations, never comes up for you.
This is another function of achieving an internal cognitive state of NOTHING, which is different from the ontological or internal state … or more simply stated, a way of being you operate from … where the cognitive state of NOTHING is present.
Resonance & The Aesthetic Frame
One of the most powerful ways to arrive at NOTHING is through the lens of resonance …
Accessing resonance in your life begins with becoming open to what I refer to as the “Signals In The System” … or the seemingly insignificant data that arises and becomes present in the context in which you are operating.
Noticing birds of prey as an example of resonance that I attend to is one that I’ve used before. In and of itself the bird of prey, an eagle … hawk … or falcon … isn’t necessarily significant, but I place significance on its presence when I become aware of it.
When I notice a bird of prey it shifts my internal state so something we can refer to as hyper-awareness. It focuses my attention and I begin to notice other data in the environment, my own internal state and my thoughts in the moment. This shift in consciousness often leads to cognitive leaps where something seemingly insignificant becomes significant, or I may arrive at a conclusion about something that’s been elusive that suddenly comes into focus and becomes clear.
On another level, noticing for “Signals In The System” can also be about noticing very subtle signs and signals that are present in a context that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. An example of these kinds of signs and signals might be noticing a subtle somatic shift as someone is speaking, either in the speaker or a listener … or it could be an equally subtle and elusive change in tone.
The famous anthropologist, E.T. Hall, referred to subtle contextual signals in terms of spatial distinctions, e.g.: high territoriality and low territoriality cultures, temporal distinctions, e.g.: monochronic and polychronic cultures, and communication preferences, e.g.: high context and low context cultures. These can also be referred to as attending to “Signals In The System.”
Within the context of the work I do, i.e.: using the Soma-Semantics model within the MythoSelf Process, we place a significant amount of attention on subtle signals that can be referred to as attending to transpersonal data. For instance, using what emerges contextually in terms of semantic and somatic data that the individual presents in conversation/dialogue a significant amount of information about their personal history becomes obvious, despite what they are attending to in the moment.
E.g.: As someone begins talking about a movie they’ve recently seen they inevitably reveal information about what they attended to (noticed) and how they attended to it in the storyline. This information reveals something about when developmentally they were perceptually positioned relative to the story. This information will be present in their semantic (language) and somatic (body based) exposition.
Attending to information at this level demands residing within an aesthetic frame. From within the aesthetic frame this kind of information becomes most evident and trackable in terms of resonance. Rather than attempting to attend to the subtle “Signals In The System” directly it can be far better to simply REMAIN PRESENT TO THE TOTALITY OF WHAT EMERGES AND NOTICES WHERE YOUR ATTENTION FLOWS … WITHOUT ATTEMPTING TO CONSCIOUSLY DIRECT IT.
This effect, i.e.: noticing without effort via attending to what becomes resonant for you, rises naturally from residing within the aesthetic frame.
POWER | CREATIVITY | INFLUENCE
Within the tri-legged structure that I use, POWER | CREATIVITY | INFLUENCE, the idea of the aesthetic frame constitutes the foundation for the CREATIVITY leg.
Creativity allows you to exceed the limits of the current frame you find yourself operating within. Using a creative process/approach you are literally about to extend the frame beyond its current limits. You add to what is present by bringing into the context something that is not yet contained within it.
To do this … bring something into the context something that is not yet contained within it … you must be able to extend yourself beyond the limits of the current frame, i.e.:
When you are operating creatively,
rather than playing within the boundaries,
you begin playing with the boundaries.
This way of operating, i.e.: playing with the boundaries, allows you to transcend uncertainty … and to bring certainty into a context where it isn’t yet present.
This is akin to bringing certainty to the unknown … quite a trick (literally a quantum trick, transcending linearity and cause & effect, by making a quantum jump to what exists outside of and beyond the frame that contains you in the moment)!
This also requires holding multiple perspective simultaneously in place. In order to have certainty in the face of the unknown you must bring NOTHING to bear on the current situation. By this I mean that you apply no judgement or expectation to the situation.Specifically, the ability to hold an intention about outcome/s without necessarily holding an expectation about the outcome … other than in a moment to moment manner.
Bringing NOTHING to bear on the current situation is the ability to hold only “What’s Next …” in mind at any given time as demanding action, while holding the entirely of the scope of your consideration in place without any urge or urgency about committing action to it.
As I said quite a trick …
Joseph Riggio, Ph.D.