Last year, because of a major family crisis, I was left feeling impotent as it seemed there was nothing I could do to resolve the problem. So one day my daughter, who was concerned about me, came and started painting my bedroom. Her philosophy: don’t focus on what you can’t change but on what you can change. So I did and, no longer feeling powerless, began to feel much better.
This year there’s a new crisis and a big one, too. And the feeling of powerlessness has returned.
Last year my dear friend, Anthy, gave me a purse made of woven packaging bands. It was in terrible shape and one side was completely unwoven and many of the bands too brittle to manipulate. But, because of my love for transformation, she gave me the purse thinking I could do something with it. The purse was in such a bad state that I was tempted to dump it. Then I remembered how good I felt after my bedroom walls had been painted blue. And so decided that the old purse needed a makeover, too. I knew that I had the power to transform it and, by doing so, would simultaneously reactivate my own personal power again.
While working on the purse, I listened to Colin Wilson interviews on youtube. Several years ago I’d read Wilson’s “Super Consciousness” which focuses much on Abraham Maslow’s Peak Experience. That is, a moment of great joy, euphoria, insight, self-actualization, etc. Maslow argued that these experiences occurred spontaneously and you couldn’t program them whereas Wilson believed that they could be self-induced. I tend to agree with Wilson. And Anthy’s purse is proof of that.
Anyone who works with their hands, who makes things, knows that the focused attention you give to what you’re working on puts you in a semi-trance like state. This form of active meditation mellows you out but the moment you see the results of your efforts, a feeling of pleasure hits you like a cool breeze. It’s the reward you get for having conceptualized an idea, worked on it, then actualized it.
When the brain connects activity with pleasure, it will want to repeat the process. And the more we repeat this process, the more it will become a part of us, and the easier it will be to access to the pleasure reward. So by fixing the purse, I am actually fixing myself.
The mind has exactly the same power as the hands; not merely to grasp the world, but to change it. Colin Wilson
Related: Blue Walls and Pretty Thoughts + Breaking the Loop + Super Consciousness 2019 + Colin Wilson: Strange is Normal youtube + Colin Wilson: The Peak Experience + The Case For Working With Your Hands + In Praise of Hands +