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Café-Salon Philosophique #68

September 23, 2000

No. of Participants: 10

Topic for Discussion: "Consciousness"

Samuel welcomed one and all to our Café gathering. The topic chosen for the evening was, "What is Consciousness?" The group discussed how consciousness could mean many things to many different people. Some one referred to consciousness as an "angel" or "messenger of God." Someone else thought of consciousness as an "expression of the animate/inanimate," the "visible and invisible."

Stephanie has struggled for years "trying to understand" the meaning of consciousness. She wonders, "Why is it such a struggle to achieve consciousness?" "Why do we internalize beliefs from our parents? So many of them are lies!"

Samuel reminded us there are two ways of thinking in the world - Eastern and Western. The western way of thinking emphasizes power, money, and materialism, competition. Eastern philosophy is more spiritually based, holistic, meditative and flowing.

Indira offered Stephanie these words of wisdom, "one needs clarity of mind to be able to sift through the old tapes and ways of thinking." "It is every one's own responsibility to "wake up" and step out of the roles as victims. She further stated, consciousness is "applied knowledge." This is what attracts power.

Vijay also responded to Stephanie's comment by discussing how most of us internalize verbal and physical abuse. We play the roles of victims. In Eastern philosophy, Vijay said the belief is, "the force is with you." In western culture, that may be unheard of.

In Vijay's culture Karma is a universal theory which affects all. The belief is that everything has a cause and an effect. "What you put out, is what you get back." Most people seem to be comfortable with staying asleep. Someone used the metaphor of the alarm clock where "we just keep pushing the button and go back to sleep instead of waking up."

In Samuel's tradition, Kaballah, the vessel or container needs to be "shaken" in order to wake up. In other words, we need to breathe, circulate, and move. We are not going to go anywhere if we don't "realize" that we are asleep. Old values, beliefs, attitudes and ideas need to be unlearned. Indira re-itererated how self organization is important in "awakening the self."

Samuel brought up how we are very fortunate in America to able to think for our selves. We have the freedom to organize our selves however we choose. The problem is, we become hypnotized by "appearances." Media and marketing feed us the images and we take on the various personas that they peddle.

Rae finds it "tragic" that in these times, we have to live by man-made rules. She stated, "It's too bad we can't just live with the natural laws and cosmic forces, but then, most people would be lost and have no sense of direction." Indira and Vijay shared how in India, "there are no traffic laws." People in the streets and market place just "flow" with the traffic.

Rae also commented, "It is too bad that 99% of the people are asleep." Samuel remarked, "When it is dark enough, one candle is plenty."

Indira brought up the importance of being in touch with the life force - the breath. Circulation of life. Thought can affect the muscles, said Samuel. If we hold on to negative thoughts, there will be tension. If we circulate good thoughts, there will be flow, circulation and relaxation.

"This has to do with the degree to which "one can be honest with the mind and body," he added. "Also, the body does not lie. It is either honest or it is not. Truth is what can be manipulated and twisted by the mind."

So, how does conflict arise and from where? It is fascinating and interesting to ponder how mental thoughts get trapped and affect the physical body.

Brad doesn't believe we can "totally" trust the body. It seems we tend to react or over-react, rather than taking action towards resolving issues, conflicts or thoughts. Herein, lies the problem. Rae can't understand why we can't understand our selves.

It seems we are the cause and source of most of our problems and suffering. It is easy for us to project blame onto others, rather than finding ways to change or correct the situation. We do have the ability to undo and unlearn those things which are not good for us. We just don't know how.

So in conclusion, we came back to the question, how does one "sort and sift" through the rubble of the mind? How do we learn to be in a new state of being?

Indira referred to the the "Tree of Life." She brought to light the example of a mango tree. In the stillness of the tree, alot is happening. The roots provide the nourishment and nutrients to the tree. The trunk is the foundation or stability of the tree. The branches are extensions of the heart or the part of the tree which bears fruit.

All the parts of the tree have to work together in order to bear or produce the fruit. The tree withstands the many forces of nature. The miracle is, the slow process of the bud turning into a flower, and then into the fruit. Such a slow, subtle process. And we miss all these things in life by our hurried pace. The simple things. The uncomplicated.

Indira continued to express how this metaphor of the "Tree of Life" fills her heart with love and compassion when she sees and holds the miracle of the fruit - the mango from the bearing tree. It is like a meditation or contemplation of life it self.

We must remember that we are almost 100% water. Have you ever noticed how we can boil or cool with emotions? It is our own interpretations or misinterpretions of what is happening in life. The way we translate life events. Body-mind-spirit goes way beyond religions or any man-made notions.

We must learn to regulate and temper those things within us in order to evolve higher. Where are you?

Our next Café meeting will be held October 7, 2000 at the Boulder Bookstore located at 1107 Pearl St. in Boulder, CO. Hope to see you there! Bring a friend!

Bring a new and interesting topic.

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.