Friday, August 24, 2007

Getting out of my head

I've been reading a library copy of Daniel Pinchbeck's book, 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl and I'm on the last few chapters now. It's fascinating stuff. It reads partly like a scientific journal, partly like a diary, and partly like a travelogue of strange and exotic places and events.

Some of the things I find to be particularly resonant with my current life, such as the author's stance on the current state of interpersonal relationships (as outlined in his article The Sexual Revolution, Take 2). I've also become newly interested in crop circles, and I hope to visit England in 2008 to look at some, as well as visit the Chalice Well in Glastonbury, an organization of which I am a Companion (you can see a replica of the well cover I wear around my neck in my pictures, given to me by my family as a Christmas present last year).

Couple of other interesting tidbits from Pinchbeck's book I wanted to share:

"In the version told to me, one of the Buddha's disciples went to him and asked to be shown Heaven. The Buddha said, "If you want to see Heaven, you will have to see Hell first." The disciple agreed. The Buddha took them to Hell, where an enormous banquet table was set up, piled high with fabulously delicious food. Unfortunately, all of the diner had, instead of hands, enormously long forks on the end of their wrists, and they kept trying to get the food into their mouths, but could not reach them. They wailed and gnashed their teeth in misery. The Buddha then took his disciple to Heaven. Heaven was exactly the same situation - diners at a sumptuous banquet table, with long forks on their wrists instead of hands. The only difference was that, in Heaven, everybody was feeding each other."

"Robert Johnson notes that the English language reflects our emotional paucity. Ancient Persian and Sanskrit possessed more than eighty words for love, denoting different qualities and valences of communal and erotic feeling. Whether we want to proclaim our affection for Krispy Kreme doughnuts or our significant other, we are stuck with just the single word, obliterating differences and qualities."

In other news, I went to my last acting class last night. I've enjoyed my time there immensely, and of course it's great that my company paid for those classes, but I think I've learned everything I can learn from that class and it's time to move on. As part of evaluation process required by my company, my instructor wrote a summary of my progress in the class, and I think his comments on my character are pretty illuminating and probably align with what most people who know me would say about me.

To Whom It May Concern:

Michelle began to study with me in my beginning acting class on Thursday, April 5, 2007, participating once and week for five months. Initially she exhibited an openness and willingness to learn and amazing courage in letting the class share in some of her private and personal challenges. This is rare for a beginning actor and it parallels what I teach, for the class is as much of a life class as it is an "acting" class. Overcoming your fears to trust yourself enough to fully express your uniqueness while being raw, open, and truthful moment-to-moment - this is the challenge of acting. And Michelle was open to the coaching. Her progress was steady and she showed improvement every week.

Michelle's challenge is to get out of her head and to trust her gut instincts more often. Yogi Berra once said "you can't hit and think at the same time." That is also true of acting: you can't act and think at the same time. Although still a little "heady" in her acting, she made a quantum leap in her last class and is moving in the right direction. If she wants to continue on in this field, I would recommend a class in improvisation.


I'm not sure if I want to continue to study acting, as I don't have aspirations to be an actor, and I think the craft has limited benefit to me professionally. However, it did help me in other ways, so it's something I might revisit at a later date.