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Honesty? What is That?

Café-Salon Philosophique #38

June 5th, 1999

No. of Participants: 15

Host and moderator for this event is Samuel Avital, One of the world's greatest mime artist and "Provocateur Extraordinaire"

Topic for the Evening's Discussion: "Honesty? What is that?"

Samuel began the evening by once again emphasizing the purpose of Café-Salon as a means for gathering to discuss philosophy which is sharing, "the love of wisdom - an integration of learning."

Topics for consideration for the evening's discussion were: "Getting Lost, Events of Columbine, Real Talk versus Superficial, Man/ Woman Relationships, The Impossible Dream, Technology Destroys Poetry, Radical Honesty, Issues of the Heart, Your Place in the World, and Technology with Hope."

The group chose to discuss, "Honesty? What is that?" Stephanie began the conversation by sharing the story of "The Man of La Mancha" and his quest for the "Impossible Dream." "We keep our selves in jail through dishonesty and self-deceptive thoughts." Tony agreed and stated, "We live out what we believe."

Just like the Man of La Mancha, we can get caught up in the illusions we create, fight "imaginary dragons" and hope that our own little realities will turn into a "possible dream." "You know, a person's outlook on life can affect the physical state, Mabel said. A healthy mindset makes for a healthy body." Gianni thinks, "problems begin when we second guess ourselves and each other."

Samuel says, "We are masters of self-deception. We tend to create problems where none exist." "We are unaware of what can happen by what we say verbally and think nonverbally. "Humans don't take notice, don't tend to question, or ask what is happening to themselves or those around them." Dan offered, "This is because we worry about ourselves and not about others and what is happening in the world."

Stephanie agrees and disagrees with that remark. She understands that we need to be conscious about what is happening in our world, but she feels as though she is totally spread out by "being a mother, wife, and being busy working." She feels as though "all of her time is sacrificed for others which leaves her little time for her self." There are ways to "learn to relate with one's self" while being busy in the world, said Samuel.

"The trouble is we lie every day to our selves and others," says Tony. "But, we have a right to lie." "I think we learn to lie and be dishonest from the time we are born," he continued. "We have to be responsible for our own actions," said Mabel.

Samuel then asked the question, "What is the origin of lies and self deception?" "From where does it come?" His answer, FEAR!

"Most of the time when we talk, we lie." Our culture teaches us to speak falsely and lie publicly and privately. "People in power use lying and manipulation all the time to deceive people," remarked Dennis. Tony added this little metaphor. "There are three things to measure life by - a gun, the bible and a yardstick!" Nora made this remark about how she "measures" being here. Who she is, "she doesn't know," who she thinks she is "can lie," and who she wants to be "dreams."

Aziza shared a story of a lawyer who when in the presence of a guru discussed his plight. He told the guru how hard it was to do his work at times because of the lies, deception and having to manipulate the truth. The Guru told him to always be "true to the self." Well, this raised a question in the group about whether or not one could really be honest with the self and others while practicing law?

Scott wondered, "Be true to the self? How do we do that?" (He didn't know) But he said, "we all have our own level of honesty." Mabel doesn't think, "we can be 100% honest." Tony thinks we, "lie all the time to our selves and others." Samuel says, "Language is at the root of a lot of our problems." Careless use of words can harm just like anything else. "When we speak, we need to be aware of using words consciously, and not like weapons." Mabel believes "meaningful communication can happen without words." She demonstrated how body language and nonverbal cues can be communicated between two people through communication of the eyes, by the way one sits, poses, leans or gestures, etc. "

"The space and distance established between two people or the way one handles objects is very important," said Stephanie. The touch and point of contact can make the difference in the way the communication is conveyed. Gianni commented on how when we speak, we "speak out of habit." "We don't think before we speak." We use pat remarks such as, "Hello, how are you? I am fine, What are you doing?, etc."

"Why is it that we twist reality?" Dan wondered. "People make up all kinds of different realities. They believe they are real, when in reality they are false." Mabel quipped, "How can you not be honest with your self?" Stephanie wondered this also. She continued the thought by saying, "Most people hate their jobs and/or their marriage but choose to do nothing about it. They'd rather sit around and "belly ache" and complains about "how awful! it is." "They choose to stay in bad relationships or jobs, etc. instead of making changes. "People convince themselves that "they are happy," and "everything is okay," so, they perpetuate the lies.

Tony threw in this remark, Einstein said, "happiness is for pigs." Gianni said, "We are information gatherers. There is only so much that we know and feel deep down inside, the rest is fluff." Samuel commented on how most people do "double talk." On one hand, they say one thing, and on the other hand, they do the opposite. He demonstrated this concept for the group by showing somebody who says he is calm, and really acting nervous. Saying one thing and acting another is what he calls "to live in conflict."

We were then asked to describe in one word what behavior we saw Samuel demonstrating. Some of the answers were, "fidgeting, chaos, worry, nervousness, irritation, agitation, and fumbling." Tony then challenged us to "act out" our own description of what we saw in Samuel's behavior. There were no takers for this one.

So, the evening ended with people still trying to "reason out" what honesty is, and just what we are here in life to do. Our next Café-Salon meeting will be held Saturday, June 19, 1999 at the Troubadour Bookstore located at 1638 Pearl St., in Boulder, CO. Start time is 6:30 p.m. Join us then! Bring your friends!

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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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.