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Puppetry Theatre

Café-Salon Philosophique #84

August 11, 2001

No. of Participants: 8

Topic for Discussion: "Puppetry Theatre"

Hello, and welcome to Café-Salon Philosophique of Boulder! Discussion began once again by asking participants to share topics of interest. Damien was the only participant, to offer a topic for discussion.

"How are we passively molded by Society? What might be some human characteristics or behaviors that would contribute to this phenomenon?" he asked.

Some characteristics that he identified for passivity were: -Insidiousness -Vulnerability - Confusion Loss of Identity - Manipulation - Authority figures - Irresponsibility -The degree of intelligence, coping & understanding - Acceptance or rejection of change - Suppression, depression, oppression

"How can we change these characteristics?" he wonders.

"You can't escape Society. How can you escape?" asked Dennis. "I guess by turning off your TV set is one way," he quipped. "We have the freedom of choice," said Damien. "We can choose between doing what is right, and that which is wrong."

"The external environment is constantly bombarding, stimulating and influencing every aspect of our being. It works to persuade, permeate, seduce and control us if we let it," he added.

"Sensory stimulation and limiting ourselves to the five senses conditions us," said Samuel.

The systems of government, school, religion, "organizations," "networks," condition us. We do lots of "talking about," but fail to take productive action!

Competition, greed, the man-made "power of money" has resulted in mass conditioning, sleepwalking and sheep consciousness.

The "egos" of people identify with the outer realities. We have become unable to distinguish between that which is real and genuine versus that which is fake. Is there such a thing as authenticity or realism anymore?

"We have to learn to detach on all levels," said Dennis. To learn true discrimination and discernment. This does not mean we should escape life, travel out-of-the-body, or stay in deep meditation for 5,000 years. Meditation without physical manifestation, is not evolution. Finding the "real" is not by escaping.....

Negative characteristics in attitude can hinder the search for finding real, authenticity in life. Judgment can sever, separate, annihilate, and restrict openness, newness and change.

Dan has observed when he travels and studies other cultures, judgment can slip in pretty easily.

"It is pretty easy to stand back, judge and compare, rather than becoming immersed, and truly interact with the people of the culture. It's a behavioral thing. We learn to keep our distance," he added.

"We have to change our way of thinking," says Damien. Develop new ideas. "Overcome a limited mindset. Decode symbols, images and concepts in our own mental maps." (What is BodySpeak™? - Samuel Avital, 1991)

Too often we make the same mistakes over and over again, never learning our lesson. We can choose to ignore the lesson, or face up to the challenge. If we dare to go over the edge, we just might find some new and interesting possibilities.

"So how can we stay out of the realms of societal conditioning?"

"Art is a good way to escape," says Dennis. "It gives you the ability to shape and form your own interpretations of life. Art is a good way to focus while you are working out your problems," he added.

"Art labels things, categorizes and manipulates symbols," countered Damien.

"No two people see art the same way," said Rae. "We all have different perceptions of what art is. When art is put on display, we are open to comments and the views of others. We have to deal with the critics. We are subject to being condemned by those around us who don't understand, are jealous, or are ignorant of what we are trying to say through our art."

Sad but true, Society usually decides the fate of an artist.

"Critics encourage mass hypnosis, laziness and sleep," said Samuel.

We do not value the "essence" of art. We want to be entertained. To do what is popular.

The true artist does not let his work become spoiled or tainted by societal influence or commercialism. The true artist is involved with the creative process of art.

Actually, living is an art. Drinking a glass of water can be an art. Walking can be an art. Any daily activity can be an art in its self........But we never take the time to notice just what it is we are doing, why we are in a hurry.....why we are busy......

"We are losing culture because of globalization and the western influence here and in other countries," said Rae.

"It is a challenge to try and find real culture in the world without the influence of commercialism," said Dan. That which is untouched by "modernization."

"Culture in this life time is trends. We evolve through trends. Whatever is popular and fashionable is culture," said Aaron.

Until we as a Society shift from the driving force of money and materialism, I'm sorry to say, we will truly never know real culture. Not to say that it does not exist, but there is at some level and to some degree westernization of all countries.

"Until we accept the other, stop functioning from chaos, and take some new directions in life, there will continue to be problems," said Rae. "And, continue to be fighting," says Janet.

So, how can we not be influenced, manipulated or conditioned by Society?

Some answers?

-Don't be part of the systems

-Learn to navigate in the world, but not to be of it.

-Become you own authority. Make your own choices, live your own life, write your own script.

-Make intelligent, practical choices.

-Accept change. Welcome change. Break out of old habits.

-Understand the conditioning that is occurring in society and decide not to be a sheep.

-Talk little and do much.

-Work silently and invisibly.........

Having suggested the above "answers" and/or "cures," Samuel wondered this out loud,

"To escape the vicious circle of the Hallucinatory Theatre of Puppets in the "Land of Fools," I doubt that few will really take it to heart to shift from understanding words, to manifesting this radical change into every day action."

"For that, there is only one way to activate the practical wisdom of living, and that is to become courageous and DARE to be your self"...........

Our next Café-Salon meeting will be held September 8, 2001 at the Boulder Bookstore located at 1107 Pearl St., in Boulder, Colorado. Start time is 6:30 p.m.

Come and join us this month for our final gatherings of Café-Salon! Bring a friend. Come share in a review and reflections of Boulder's one and only Café-Salon Philosophique.....

Reported by Alessandra

"Samuel brings awareness to the soul of people and gives the artists who work under his direction the need, dedication, and love for the world of silence and the beautiful art of movement."


- Marcel Marceau, BIP 1961

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About LCDS

LCDS is an independent school for self-discovery through the human Arts.  The school offers seminars and workshops teaching the concepts of Theater, Mime, and Movement.