Reading: Event by Slavoj Žižek

“What is really happening when something happens?” says on the book cover.. The notion of “event” has been on my mind since the discussion this February during the Psychological Winter School organized yearly by the Saint-Petersburg State University. Which was an event on its own. It was 20st consecutive edition of the Winter School and during one of the workshops we had a super interesting discussion on what is an event? …

Therefore I was thrilled to see this book in a London book shop, and hence the journey of discovering an event has begun.

All Aboard – Event in Transit

1/ Event can refer to a devastating natural disaster or to the latest celebrity scandal, the triumph of the people or a brutal political change, an intense experience of a work of art or an intimate decision…

2/ Something shocking, out of joint, that appears to happen all of a sudden and interrupts the usual flow of things; something that emerges seemingly out of nowhere, without discernible causes, an appearance without solid being as its foundation.

.. something ‘miraculous’ in an event..

Examples:

  • eventual nature of Christianity – belief in the event of the death and resurrection of Christ;
  • love is eventual;
  • political event – Tahrir Square in Cairo and Mubarak regime;
  • rise of a new art form: film noir.

3 / Event – the effect that seems to exceed its causes, space of an event is that which opens up by the gap that separates an effect from its causes.

4 / Event – an occurrence not grounded in sufficient reasons.

5/ Event of the disclosure of Being – of the horizon of meaning which determines how we perceive and relate to reality (Heidegger). Big Bang (or broken symmetry) – the primordial event out of which our entire universe emerged.

These words brought me back to the Existential Analysis course I’m currently taking, where we also discussing the philosophy of Dasein, and where the exchange with the world is essential – how do we have this dialogue, both as an inner one and external one.

Is an event a change in the way reality appears to us, or is it a shattering transformation of reality itself?

Event – Slavoj Zizek

I find this question to be a very inspiring one.. was musing over it for some time.. came to think that it’s probably both, these are interconnected things..

6/ Basic feature of an event: the surprising emergence of something new which undermines every stable scheme.

Books in my life

Повесть о Ходже Насреддине

Очень мне понравилась книга Леонида Соловьева “Повесть о Ходже Насреддине: Возмутитель спокойствия”. Еще больше захотелось съездить попутешествовать по Узбекистану. Самарканд уже очень давно будоражил воображение. После просмотра фильма The Desert of Forbidden Art, очень хочется попасть в музей в Нукусе. И теперь, после прочтения книги, очень хочется посетить Бухару…

Но торопливость, как известно, есть свойство дьявола, и, кроме того, всем памятны стихи мудрейшего шейха Саади Ширазского: “Только терпеливый закончит дело, торопливый же упадет”. Ходжа Насреддин свернул ковер нетерпения и уложил его в сундук ожидания.

 

Books in my life

On Becoming a Person – Reading Carl Rogers – part 2

The Person Who Emerges

115/

  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