On Becoming a Person – Reading Carl Rogers – part 2

The Person Who Emerges

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  1. Openness to Experience

… individual becomes more open to his experience..

if the evidence of our senses runs contrary to our picture of self, then that evidence is distorted -> we cannot see all that our senses report, but only the things which fit the picture we have.

the individual becomes more openly aware of his own feelings and attitudes as they exist in him at an organic level – he also becomes more aware of reality as it exists outside of himself… he is able to take in the evidence in a new situation, as it is, rather than distorting it to fit a pattern which he already holds.

openness to experience = more realistic in dealing with new people, new situations, new problems; … his beliefs are not rigid, that one can tolerate ambiguity.

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The Curiosities of Janice Lowry

Last Friday I went to pick up a book from the library and found something extraordinary on display – the Curiosities of Janice Lowry. Until then was totally oblivious of this American artist. I’m still discovering about her life and work. Here wanted to note a few of her assemblages about time. 

A balanced time perspective and finding fulfilling work

As Abraham Maslow famously noted, “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.” – I study time perspective and I see traces of it almost everywhere. Here are some of my time perspectively infused notes while reading “How to find fulfilling work” by Roman Krznaric.

“We are not psychologically ready to deal with the expansion of choice in recent history”

While discussing his concept of ‘hardiness’ Salvatore Maddi notes: When choosing a future, or unfamiliar path, over repeating a past, something familiar and convenient, it is most consistent with our pursuit to elaborate life’s meaning (and finding a fulfilling work), but it also brings ontological anxiety – the fear of uncertainty and possible failure:

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Reading Brassaï about Henry Miller

While reading “Henry Miller: The Paris Years” by Brassaï I made a few discoveries about Miller, but also about Anais Nin and Brassaï him-self.

Henry Miller by Brassaï

Henry Miller by Brassaï

Revived my interest in the surrealist movement. Currently am looking into finding their essays about the automatic writing and such. But it is amazing what an impact the psychoanalysis had! The power of dreams that became legit in all the different forms of arts — literature, visual and performance arts. At same time it is not really measurable by the impact factor of scientific journals at all! Some of the ideas just go through and nowadays it is even hard to trace their origin and put a tag on it.

I discovered also that most of Miller’s novels are not as autobiographical as I thought earlier — it’s just he had a very strong power of imagination and sometimes couldn’t even distinguish between reality and fiction or dream. “…like the Surrealists and the Dadaists, Henry believed that the dreams provided fertile soil for writing, and that the writing did involve the struggle to bring to the surface that which was unknown, hidden, and unrealized” (p. 155). I’ll have to also look up his work “Into the Night Life” which he thought was like the Surrealists were doing.

So much like Brassaï “I live in what I see and hear” and Miller’s “treasures are buried deep within yourself, deep within the bowels of your inner self, and from them you can bring forth copper, or silver, or gold”. I am all about the details which have to match somehow. Scrupulous and pedantic… and so is my art, well, most of it.. Funny fact is both Brassaï and me were born on September 9th.

quote from Brassai

I have also discovered that some of Miller’s prose can actually be read as poetry and it makes a lot of sense. And I am curious to reread his books in English now.

I was hoping that the book will have more photos by Brassaï in it, his nocturnal Paris. But I ordered a few from the library to complement the reading with some visuals. A journey to Paris that doesn’t exist any more. Likewise Istanbul depicted by Orhan Pamuk and Ara Güler. Somehow these poetic city journeys are very interesting for me. Like many other people, I love to walk the city. To see where the feet will take me. What discoveries I will make on my journey.

I wish there was a similar book about Riga. There are so many different interesting corners in my hometown. Every time I go back there, I want to document every street of it. Every story that those streets have…

Books in my life

Human organisations..

Human organisations are not at all like mechanisms. They are made up of living people who are driven by feelings and motives and relationships. Organisational charts show you the hierarchy, but they don’t capture how the organisation feels or how it really works. The fact is that human organisations and communities are not like the mechanisms: they are much more like organisms.

– Ken Robinson: The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything