The Shape of Water, a great metaphorical movie, is about how culture or world view shapes the mind that dwells within it like a fish. Facts are like flotsam in the bowl and take the shape of the bowl, bending to support the affirmation of the bowl’s story. Culture, the fishbowl of culture is shaped by a story, a narrative that is unconscious to a great degree. People shaped by the bowl are characters in the movie, so to speak.
Those shaped by the Liberal bowl are not unlike Bacon and Newton looking at the shape of the Middle Age world view. The scientific viewpoint is always that of the view outside of the bowl, while the Storyboard viewpoint is that from inside the story bowl.
So the liberal viewpoint is always amazed at how facts get bent by the Story Bowl, even by those like Lindsey who contradict themselves as the bend to support their story of reality.
It was fun picking up items on my artifact shelf and riffing. It’s always interesting how a theme will thread its way through the talk as if it were written ahead of the talk. By surrendering to the moment, a hidden intelligence, a hidden writer, if you will, pens the talk and all the random dots become connected as the talk unfolds. I like that.
This proves to me that life itself is intelligent and wise when you surrender yourself and your plans, fears, and expectations to it. The riff becomes your rap. The riff becomes your art that appears out of your random movements, a collection of dots that make an unexpected or intended picture.
A Zen Fit is the joy of being liberated from the Cross of the suffering mind, the mind that must calculate, plan, and struggle to be. A Zen Fit is the realization that you don’t have to know anything, do anything, be anything in order to Be. A Zen Fit is the sudden realization through and through that you are OK. There is no place to go in order to be You.
Watching this talk I remind myself of a magician with props or Glen Beck when he was using whatever was handy to deliver his message. We need props for the mind. I call them metaphors, working forms, working donkeys who can help us carry the gold we find along the way. A metaphor helps us carry insights by giving them a form. A metaphor is like a turd that bunches the flies of thought. Or a rose that draws the bees of the mind and gives the ideal some form, like a child hugging its teddy bear.
Speaking of metaphors, when I was a newspaper writer I did a story here in Blackstone on the bridge clubs that local women used to enjoy, before women had to work, and it was important when you gave a bridge party to “carry out the color scheme.” This means that your table setting would carry our a single color theme so that your presentation has integrity and coherence, a referent to the whole or single idea that held the collection together.
A metaphor is like that. A metaphor is a single idea that holds the opposites together in gives the mind’s eye a reference to an unseen whole that integrates all the form in one reality. We call that whole grasp of the whole Understanding. I understand means I see the whole that contains all the parts, the picture that is made up of dots. Everything fits. That’s a Zen Fit.
This talk started out with the question about the shape of the Republican mind, and conversely, the shape of the Liberal mind. Are they both in the same Cultural Fishbowl? Two schools of mind in the same bowl, both unconscious of the greater bowl because each one thinks the other school of fish is in a separate fishbowl. Each school thinks they are in the open water and the other school of fish is in a bowl that shapes their school of fish.
If that is true, that both the Liberal and Conservative Viewpoints are fish minds swimming in an unconscious fishbowl, is there a viewpoint that is not shaped by culture, by the condition the mind swims in?
Zen is the Transcendent Way, the Middle Way that Sees through the fishbowls of the conditioned mind.