Drawing a cabbage with my left hand

I am right-handed. So you can imagine my surprise in art school when one day my drawing instructor placed a cabbage in the middle of the room and asked all his students to draw it—with their opposite (and weaker) hand.

He next challenged us to draw the cabbage backwards. This strange exercise required that we all had to make special new efforts (and challenge our innate inertia).

His intention was to get us to use different parts of our brain and train us to look at the cabbage differently than we were accustomed to doing. He wasn’t only teaching us to draw better, but to open up new (and latent) capacities of the human mind and the human consciousness.

Later in life I experienced this same unique technique while participating in the sacred movements developed by George Gurdjieff. The premise was quite creative— that our postures and movements correspond to our various states of mind. For instance, when we are sad it shows on our facial features and our bodies tend to slump. When we are happy we become more animated and geared-up.

Gurdjieff’s movements required the participant to adopt postures that were non-ordinary and that the performer was unaccustomed to. This allowed individuals to experience different and unusual states of mind that quickly put their habitual (daily) mind out of its element. This took special effort.

The theological writings of Emanuel Swedenborg also used this same technique by challenging the reader to probe the Bible stories on unexpected and deeper levels of meaning. This requires special mental effort. Again, all these teaching strategies were employed to activate new neural connections (synapses) and raise human consciousness to new levels.

Once you see things differently, you cannot help but to become a new person.

I believe that the descent of God’s Holy City, the New Jerusalem, to the planet earth will become the abode of those who can “draw cabbages” with their opposite hand!

http://www.staircasepress.com

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About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at http://www.staircasepress.com
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