Today’s reflection on Freedom is from Anna. Anna is an artist and has brought a visual perspective to the theme, which is both remarkable and ‘eye opening’.
The sculpture Space Under my Chair by Bruce Nauman is a playful as well as a powerful pointer to an essential quality of reality that we perpetually seem to overlook.
The conditioned mind is such that we see objects rather than the space that holds the objects and enables them to exist. The narrowed vision that focuses on objects has advantages when it comes to survival. The ability to separate out and identify an approaching tiger instantly out of all the visual clues can mean the difference between life and death. However, adopting the narrow vision of the survival mode as the default way of looking and perceiving is limiting innate freedom.
The sculpture Space Under my Chair is focusing the attention of the viewer on what is habitually ignored, the space that enables the object to exist. Be that literal space that holds chairs, buildings, trees, mountains, or Mind space that holds thoughts, feelings, sensations, sense perceptions. Our point of view narrows and focuses on objects to the exclusion of the most essential. It takes an artist to point out our limited view and make us aware of how we are conditioned to ignore the most fundamental element of reality, boundless space, limitless potential, present in every moment.
The conditioned mind calls space without objects, empty, void, nothing, that is no-thing. Yet empty space contains everything, either manifest or potentially, so nothing in fact equals everything.
Whether in literal space or in mind space, widening the narrow, object-oriented view and perceiving objects, phenomena, not in isolation but in the context of the wider reality that holds them, is innate freedom actualized. It is the source of all creativity.