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To Be Known and Unknown

Café-Salon Philosophique #35

April 17, 1999

Number of Participants: 14

The Evening's Topic: "The Mystery of Being Known and Unknon"

"What does it mean to be known and unknown?" asked Samuel. "We want to be known, but yet we want to remain anonymous. We long to be rich and famous, but yet we want to maintain our privacy." Unknowingly, we live and hide behind masks and false appearances that we call "the self."

Does one really think the way we walk, talk and dress reveals the true nature of our being? The roles that we lead in our daily lives, the obsession with material gain, ownership and control in all forms, are all masks used as "fronts" for hiding from our selves and from others.

The media and government bombard people on a daily basis with false information and images, which perpetuate even more a "false sense of reality." As individuals, we are taught to compete, stay busy and struggle in life in order to survive and live "the good life." We are taught to "climb the corporate ladder," "be the best," and "have the most" in order to be happy. We are "busy" living in the external world without giving a thought to our own private, individual inner world. We strive for achievement, recognition and attention. For what or why?

"I was a hidden treasure, and I loved to be known,

So, I created the world that I might be known."

Ibn-El-Arabi

Samuel then asked people to share how they use being "known and unknown" in their own lives. For Suzy, to be known requires "expectations." She likes knowing people on a "one to one basis." She has no great urge to "act and be known in the world."

"You are what you hide. Life is a theatre and you play many parts." Tony stated. "Theatre begins when the fourth wall is opened by the actor for revealing and reflecting aspects of life to the audience. Movements, gestures and expressions of the artist exposes the audience to share in another kind of reality."

Judy shared how she "hid for years behind the mask of being in a spiritual community in search of her true essence." "Emotions is another mask I find that gets in the way of truly being." I also, tend to react and panic in certain situations rather than respond. Reinhard likes being "known." He tries to be open to himself and other people, but sometimes the "saboteur" interferes and then the "poetry isn't written or a painting isn't finished."

"Well, that just makes you a prisoner of your brain," Tony stated to Reinhard. "Change isn't the problem. The problem is thinking that you can't change or you shouldn't, or you won't. Or it is just easier to stay with the old and familiar."

Michael reflected on the influence of growing up in a home where "children were to be seen and not heard." He thinks his artistic nature was somewhat suppressed for years and he had to find the key to unlock the prisoner of his being. Even though he is a classical guitarist, he is uncomfortable with "being known" by having his pictures displayed in public places.

Wayne continued with, "We are involved in one big game and play out various roles." Any situation can be positive or negative depending on how one decides to respond to the situation. "It seems as though people are better known when they have survived something." Samuel added that "everyone struggles to be known and to be an individual."

Jeffrey finds "immortality interesting" and has no problem living with personal alienation. Steve thinks that "it is good to be both individually known and universally connected." "Lots of people don't share because they are afraid of being known or think they don't know enough to share."

Michael wants to be "known for doing something worthwhile." It is important for him to share.Samuel says that "to be known is to crave attention." Why do you think criminals kill or a robber robs a bank?

Jeffrey wants to be "known" for useful ideas. Attilio says those that need to be known usually aspire to "famous people, new cults or movements that are happening within the world." Steve commented, "celebrities have a high suicide rate." Tony thinks "we need to let air into places of our selves where we have never let it in before."

"Religion does its part in keeping people in suppression and oppression." "Commercialism and the media try to dictate how you are supposed to be known in the world." Michael calls this "the blind leading the blind." Attilio states that "there is a need in all of us to express our individualism which happens to become distorted through misuse of fame and fortune and our contacts."

"Really, we are nothing, just insignificant in the bigger picture." Samuel asked if "The invention of God has helped?" Attilio answered, "that it is only one more thing that man has created to aspire to."

Wayne says that "people get stressed out because there is too much competition in the world for trying to achieve fame and fortune. But, people keep playing along with the game." "Advertising slogans condition people to think and act." Humans have become aggressive animals for capital or political gain.

Judy would like to be known by sharing her poetry, but yet, she doesn't like to get up in front of an audience to read. Wayne "doesn't want to compete in this world, so he doesn't mind staying hidden and unknown."

What about sharing? Is there any room for this in our Society? Do we know how to be close and share only in times of tragedy?

Michael says that "we have to come to peace within the battleground of our mind." We need to know who we are in the theatre of our world. We need to recognize the power of the self, keep our integrity intact and speak the truth. Masks, cloaks and veils need to be discarded.

Attilio feels that we are "missing the truth." "We are full of cynicism and fear." "We don't find worthwhile projects and become bored very easily, very fast." Steve says we need to learn to feel and live life from the visceral aspect of our self.

Samuel says we have "forgotten how to celebrate life."

Our next Cafe meeting will be May 8, 1999 at The Troubadour Bookstore located at 1638 Pearl St. Start time is 6:30 p.m. Hope to see you there! Invite 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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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.