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Identity: Who are you?

Identity: Who are you?

Identity: Who are you?

What a significant purpose of life: Life isn’t about learning to fit in somewhere; it is about creating somebody new.

Socio-cultural identities

Of course, you may want to stay social and cooperative with people in your life. However, with time, the nature of these relationships might transform as your awareness regenerates. Separation from yourself and others means, in a psycho-spiritual way, that you let go of your identity, which is based on social conformity and cultural beliefs that would be misbeliefs in a different culture. You also must let go of attachment to others’ judgments, which are opinions only and have little if anything to do with truth. By distancing yourself from the idealized role you have learned to assume during all the years of education, socialization, and enculturation, you begin to see who you really are.

Don’t waste your thoughts on interpreting equipment, façade styles, and fashions. They are not relevant to our true selves, and they go as fast as they came. We are not our social personalities. Clinging to our social identity and old ways of thinking about ourselves makes us, in any case, matter less than we deserve. Artificial rules that protect selfish interests are not natural laws of life. So don’t take them so seriously!

Children are dependent on the care received from their parents and other adults in the culture they are born into. For them, inter-psychological learning, the influence of other people is unavoidable. Their survival depends on following their caregivers. Such dependencies should not exist anymore later in life, though. An adult person can re-build their own identity intra-psychologically. There is a possibility, even a necessity to recognize your socio-cultural independence. It is a trap to let others’ opinions and beliefs define one. Therefore, such an awareness allows you to free yourself from backward-related definitions of your person by others.

Losing one’s identity

When I moved abroad and ended up being on myself in a completely different culture, there was nobody and nothing anymore that would have supported and validated my identity at that time. For my new environment far away from my former social networks, jobs, and possessions that had defined me to a significant extent for a long time, too, I then was left to be just an unknown foreigner. Therefore, I could not and did not have to live up to any story anymore. What an opportunity. I’ve realized how foolish it had been to build one’s personality too much on the unstable ground of externals.

Meanwhile, having left most of the external things and values behind, there has remained one true identity-giving source: The inner self that connects all of us on a deeper human level. I’ve found this true self when mentalizing back to before I had grown into an adult body, before I was associated with a particular social status and related privileges, and before I started to hold on to a variety of achievements and acquisitions. Then, literally as an alien in a foreign country, I became aware of what was left, what will always be left, and I mentally returned to the core of whom I am: The consciousness that is all and my origin of life. For all my life, I was looking for happiness. Then I found meaning. And when I accepted meaning, happiness became meaningless. That’s when I started to really enjoy life again; joy through the effort to create awareness-intelligently an identity instead of blindly assuming one that’s tried to be assigned to me. That’s also when I better understood what it means to be an artist.

When you experience meaninglessness, low motivation, and urges to give up, it is helpful to check the extra-future element and probe its awaring, for example, as follows. Ask yourself: Am I creating in line with life, the life that continues in all human evolution beyond my family, my party, my nation, my race, etc., or do I identify with such social constructs on which can’t be hold on to in the perishable physical world? If it is the latter, feelings of meaninglessness could stem from such a misidentification. One might feel that clearly when losing somebody close when having lost a job, or being rejected from a social group. We must die to our ego during a lifetime voluntarily. As we shift from socio-cultural group identity to a universally valid life membership, we will have found our purpose in life as well. The ego cannot be overcome by disabling the mind (as sometimes advertised in meditation classes). Selflessness is achieved by thinking awareness-intelligently about the egoless self, through non-transactionality in meeting others and focusing on a mutually beneficial future in all humanity’s interest.

Achieving a symmetrical, congruent (awareness-intelligent) identity

We can clearly feel that we separate mental awareness from bodily sensations and instead picture the wholeness and infinity of life. We can change our way of thinking. The most profound, impactful, and sustainable way to change is to change the layer from where thought arises: awareness. The human condition is no longer dependent on social identity alone. It learns to integrate the three modes of the intra-past, the inter-present, and the extra-future into increased and undivided awareness (for the detailed explanation, see https://mathias-sager.com/tag/awareness-intelligence/). As our thoughts and actions become more symmetrical (and our business and private cards more congruent), life will never feel like a lie again.

Becoming a genuine leader is founded on mastering self-leadership and being at peace with oneself and the world. To serve as a role model, one must be ready to give up their title and position. Too dissonant can a professional identity become with the aware self. How could one ever enjoy people who admire rather their title-based authority and social status rather than knowing about their creativity, vulnerability, and loving character in the first place?

#art #artist #painting #painter #abstractart #modernabstract #contemporaryart #soul #psychology #philosophy #society #culture #identity #Bewusstseinsintelligenz #awarenessintelligence

Lake Island

LAKE ISLAND (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on wood panel, 80 x 80 cm)
Painting LAKE ISLAND (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on wood panel, 80 x 80 cm)

A vacation with my daughter Natalie.

Is it a lake or island?

It can look the same, but not at the same time. Green, greensand, ochre, umber, blue, turquoise. Land and water, summer and winter. Compiling it all into one at once, that’s how I show you the world. I love you, child of the soul.

Is it the shore of a lake or the coast of an island?

The view towards the water. Watching the depths of the psyche. Both fascinating and frightening. Overcoming the fear of the hidden, that’s how I’d like you to understand the world. I love you, child of wisdom.

Is it to float or to dive?

To immerse without the need to walk on water, meeting intuition and inspiration. The conscious and the unconscious. Blurring, transcending the physical boundaries, that’s how we can connect across the worlds. I love you, child of the muse.

Field of the soul

FIELD OF THE SOUL (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 80 cm)
Painting FIELD OF THE SOUL (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 80 cm)

Field of the soul

It cannot be seen, and yet it can be made visible.
A tapestry, a matrix of combined dimensions.
And layers of consciousness, awareness.
Light and triangular roundness, everything else illusion and darkening.
Our duty to show it so that it is not forgotten.
When you are overwhelmed by reality that is ever passing quickly,
come back to the Eternal that grows in the field of the soul.

#art #artist #painting #painter #abstractart #modernabstract #contemporaryart #soul #poem #poetry #psychology #philosophy #Bewusstseinsintelligenz #awarenessintelligence

Acker der Seele

Es kann nicht gesehen, und doch sichtbar gemacht werden.
Ein Wandteppich, eine Matrix kombinierter Dimensionen.
Und Bewusstseinsschichten.
Licht und dreieckige Rundungen, alles andere Illusion und Verdunkelung.
Unsere Pflicht, es zu zeigen, damit es nicht vergessen wird.
Wenn du von der immer schnell vergehenden Realität überwältigt wirst,
komm zurück zum Ewigen, das auf dem Acker der Seele wächst.

#Kunst #Künstler #Malerei #Gemälde #Maler #Abstraktekunst #Modernekunst #Zeitgenoessischekunst #Seele #Gedicht #Poesie #Psychologie #Philosophie #awarenessintelligence #Bewusstseinsintelligenz

A New Sign

painting A NEW SIGN (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 50 x 70 cm)
Painting A NEW SIGN (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 50 x 70 cm)

This painting is a suggestion for the symbol that could represent the novel term and concept of Awareness Intelligence™. It’s time for a new understanding of awareness, instead of maintaining old and incomplete notions of it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said more than a hundred years ago that history should be banned from school. I agree in the sense that the common issue of glorifying the past and using it to legitimate and reinforce established power structures, for example in politics, is hindering real improvement. The world needs new solutions to old problems. A spirit-based awareness to overcome ego-based identification is needed. Rather than closing down for victories, humanity needs to open up for progress. Just because things are our culture, they are not necessarily good. Good is what increases awareness.

For the original research and related articles about Awareness Intelligence, you can visit www.mathias-sager.com

#art #artist #painting #painter #modernart #contemporaryart #abstract #modernabstract #acrylic #acrylicpainting #kanji #sign #symbol #language #calligraphy #psychology #philosophy #awareness #new #Bewusstseinsintelligenz #awarenessintelligence

10 Reasons Why You Might Not Need Pills (A Psychologist’s (not Psychiatrist’s) view)

Painting PILL (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 90 cm)
  1. In the US, one in six persons currently takes a psychotropic drug. In Switzerland, around one in ten regularly consume prescribed antidepressants. This population is a minority; all the others manage to live without, and so can you.
  2. Modern psychopharmacology began in 1950 with the synthesis of chlorpromazine. Only from then on, the industry started to produce, patent, and market its invented/categorized types of diagnoses and related pills. Remember that before 1950 you most likely would have been considered mentally healthy.
  3. The psyche is more than the bio-mechanical brain, and only you know what’s in your soul (again, which is not to be reduced to the physiology of the brain). Why should mood, way of thinking, and motivation be possible to be “repaired” by a so-called soul plumber (in German: Seelenklemptner) who is even not addressing the soul?! Shouldn’t psychological challenges be resolved psychologically (and psycho-spiritually) instead of chemically?!
  4. You don’t have to compare yourself anymore with your friends who are all so super successful, happy, and beautiful (according to today’s conventional notion). If you don’t aspire for the hedonistic treadmill of advertised consumption-based happiness, you will realize that you might already be happier than you were made to believe. 
  5. That you feel down might not be a genetic defect to be corrected with a pill. Prenatal, childhood, and everyday stress (see also point 3) is the main risk for affective disorders, such as depression and even Schizophrenia. Stress also affects the immune system, which is central to the nervous system and the brain’s health. Have you ever thought of reducing stress in the first place?
  6. Antidepressants are prescribed too quickly as remedies for possibly only temporary periods of low moods that are hastily diagnosed as clinical depressions without a holistic (biopsychosocial) understanding of the situation. Antidepressants are often hardly more effective than placebo, according to the latest studies (e.g., the 2019 study of the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Kopenhagen). The world is how you see it, and the treatment that works is that which you believe in. Can you think that learnable mental strategies might be healthier and more effective than pills? I know that you get the medication subsidized by the health insurance company, while the learning to control your mind and to understand the soul has to be borne by yourself. Become more independent, invest in yourself instead of in pharmaceutical companies! Such self-efficacy is a huge reward in itself.
  7. Almost more likely than a positive effect is unwanted considerable side effects that can irreversibly persist even after stopping taking the medication: These side effects include sexual dysfunction, nausea, vomiting, restlessness, and sleep disorders.
  8. Being in control is highly satisfying and a key factor for one’s well-being. So, do you want medically enforced distancing from your emotions, and therefore allow the obscurification of your mental faculties that are disabling the possibility for self-reflection with a clear mind? Observing in an accepting and learning attitude how a lousy mood dissolves anyway might provide the lessons to unlearn learned helplessness and enable self-help and personal growth.
  9. Are you against (synthetic) drugs? Then follow through. How about learning to “be high on your own supply?” There are plenty of possibilities like breathing techniques (the most fundamental function of the body that impacts all its workings), exercising, creative expression, nature exposure (e.g., cold water -> no pain, no gain! :-)), and especially thoughts and acts of kindness.
  10. As with maintaining physical hygiene, it can be good in the mental world to dust off old and prevent new pollution from anxious thinking. Desires for security and the associated fear of loss darken the mind, which leads to defense, exclusion, hatred and aggression (incidentally, ignorance and avoidance are also passive forms of hostility). Have you ever tried a media diet and stopped listening to all the bad things that tempt you to take external measures (e.g. pills)? During a news detox, you will soon feel better and begin to take care of yourself instead of acquiring external effects that are supposed to do that for you.

Any other ideas?

#art #artist #painting #painter #modernart #contemporaryart #abstract #modernabstract #acrylic #acrylicpainting #psychology #philosophy #awareness # psychopharmacology #pills #drugs #medicine #health #mentalhealth #selfefficacy #happiness #Bewusstseinsintelligenz #awarenessintelligence

Land of Awaria

Painting LAND OF AWARIA (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 100 x 100 cm)

Life is proving us constantly that peace is possible to the extent human awareness is embracing it. Consequently, if all the world is scoped-in for ambitions of peace, a peaceful world indeed becomes attainable. An awaria can come through the dissolution of the illusion of separated and separating personal and societal identities, which would not be bounded together by life across times. It will be a future world in which all human beings are aware of their shared awareness of life. Thanks to intelligent awareness, the relational and temporal modes of life will be better understood, accepted as an essential truth, and consequently being acted upon for individual well-being, collective thriving, and the common good. Awarian life is possible thanks to the systematic and continuous practice of Awareness Intelligence, the chief liberating and humanitarian enabler of a new age.

#art #artist #painting #painter #modernart #contemporaryart #abstract #modernabstract #acrylic #acrylicpainting #psychology #philosophy #awareness #utopia #society #peace #Bewusstseinsintelligenz #awarenessintelligence

Natural (Non-artificial) intelligence

NATURAL, NON-ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE OF NATURE (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, each 30 x 40 cm) 

NATURAL, NON-ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE OF NATURE

There are lucrative business cases behind the emerging possibilities in new technology such as smart devices, the internet of everything, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality. The intentions of the humans who are creating and utilizing technology are determining how technological progress will look like. What is clear is that technology follows the mindset of investors, developers, and users. How virtuously technology will serve humanity depends on how people grow in their awareness. Never will technology lead or replace the natural, non-artificial intelligence of nature (see also #awarenessintelligence) that is the direct expression of the life force itself. The appreciative study of the human mind, therefore, should be the absolute priority of all undertakings. 

#art #artist #painting #painter #acrylic #modernart #abstract #abstractart #contemporaryart #psychology #artificialintelligence #AI #technology #smarttechnology #philosophy #Bwusstseinsintelligenz #awarenessintelligence

The Psychology of Language

Painting THE PSYCHOLOGY OF LANGUAGE I – III (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, each 40 x 40 cm)

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF LANGUAGE

Having learned English, French, and Japanese while living and working in different cultures, and as a global citizen, psychologist, and artist, languages (words, images, and the heart) are vital for me every day. Research into the psychology of language, or psycholinguistics, has helped better understand the mental aspects of language and speech with new and innovative implications on how we approach learning from a cognitive, emotional, and behavioral level.

Language organizes thoughts

You can perceive the world with your five senses and experience feelings and emotions without words. However, Ludwig Wittgenstein claimed that “the limits of my language mean the limits of my world,” which I find accurate. What if everything is just “cool?” Reports from people losing language as a result, for example, of brain tumors, evidence that when they cannot describe the world with words anymore, it essentially remains unchanged and, for that matter, unchangeable. Grasping, developing, and changing concepts requires analysis and interpretation of reality, which is accomplished through structured language. Only through organizing one’s thoughts can we fix ideas, reflect on, and monitor them. This inner, explicitly linguistic thinking enables consciousness to become awareness (for my differentiation between consciousness and awareness, see https://mathias-sager.com/2021/05/02/soulfires-flames/). Unfortunately, blissful quitting of thinking in meditation or distractions seems to be more in vogue than thinking critically about one’s thinking; for me, the main challenge of humanity. Again, we may think without language, but language lets us know that we are thinking.

The language of images

There are around 7000 languages spoken in the world today. However, there are many more different languages like specialty languages (e.g., computer languages), sign languages, even smell, and the language of images and music. As an artist, I have a visual vocabulary, which sometimes is not translatable to any words that I’d know. My inner speech while painting often isn’t either in German or English, but purely of images. I love to switch to the mode where I utter thoughts with colors. As my paintings and accompanying texts illustrate, the artistic language of colors, forms, and textures is more direct, compact, shorter, and faster than the concepts described in words. 

I like that my artistic language for me is more independent from socio-cultural conventions. Although language helps to connect and build communities, it is used to exclude and manipulate. For example, my daughter and I are told not to use German anymore, which constitutes a strategy of maternal gatekeeping and parental alienation. [-> I love you, Natalie! As always, this work is for you!]

The ambiguity of language

The ambiguity of language can easily cause erroneous thinking. That is probably why many of us discover that life hadn’t turned out as we were told and had planned when we were younger. For example, all the promises about happiness primarily addressing only the hedonistic aspects of the term. The same with love; are we always clear what we mean by it: romantic, affectionate, familiar, playful, or selflessly compassionate? 

Any language is possibly imperfect, so we all need to find the combinations of levels of perceptions, spoken words, and expressive means that serve us well.

What are your preferred languages?

#art #artist #painting #painter #acrylic #modernart #abstract #modernabstract #contemporaryart #psychology #psycholinguistics #language #philosophy #Bewusstseinsintelligenz #awarenessintelligence

The Inner Eye

Painting THE INNER EYE (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 100 x 180 cm)

THE INNER EYE

Is what we teach our children mutually beneficial for other children too? Is our teaching inclusive and useful to all humanity? Is it timeless? If so, these are awareness-intelligent lessons worth to be spread. Such shared insights would come from and support full human potential. Unfortunately, the propagation of obscured views is in vogue. It seems like blind people are leading blind people and nobody realizes the lack of sight. Possible, because “in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is a king,” as the proverb goes. In any case, many do feel that there is something wrong. All the unnecessary conflicts and aggression are the awareness-blind persons’ desperate canes searching for a way out of disorientation and anticipating hurting clashes. It’s the awareness-blind persons’ own helplessness and frustration that leads them to hatred, self-harming, and violent behavior. Without prescribing a specific cure, it’s always possible to provide everybody in minimum a reference system to aid their orientation to find their cure themselves. If we teach humantime by means of explaining and internalizing the socio-temporal matrix, Awareness Intelligence, and therefore peace will ensue. If you want to re-produce your humanness beyond survival mode, create and enthusiastically inspire others by teaching how to consciously apply systematic thinking to activate the inner eye of awareness that is including the full scope of the socio-temporal system of human life.

[Excerpt from ‘Awareness Intelligence’. See also earlier posts for more context and details]

#art #artist #painting #painter #acrylicpainting #abstract #modernabstract #modernart #contemporaryart #figurativeabstract #psychology #spirituality #awareness #teaching #wisdom #bewusstseinsintelligenz #awarenessintelligence

THE SOCIO-TEMPORAL MATRIX

Painting THE SOCIO-TEMPORAL MATRIX (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 100 x 100 cm)

THE STRUCTURE AND DIMENSIONS OF LIFE

Often breakthrough findings are the simplest ones. If something can’t be explained easily, it is not well understood. If spirituality is advertised as requiring miraculous super-powers hold by few, it might be spiritual elitism that is not for all of us. An awareness-intelligent understanding of spirituality may be considered prosaic considering its modest level of mysticism involved, and yet it is whole and infinite, full of all the beauty and joy that life has to offer. Spirituality is simple and pure humaneness, it is the ultimate mental playground of human realization. We are all spiritual beings; we just need to be aware of and practicing it.

To organize our thinking about life, mind, and soul is not creating a false god. Neither has a logical arrangement have to deteriorate into a dogmatic belief system. Indeed, what wisdom means for one person may have a completely different meaning and quality for somebody else. What feels right at one time becomes obsolete later on. It’s of limited usefulness to name a spiritual authority or to lay down religious rules and rituals if not for institutional interests. The same is true for so-called consciousness-enhancing substances. However, there is a universal structure of life that we should all be aware of.

THE SOCIO-TEMPORAL MATRIX OF MENTAL WORLDVIEW SCHEMAS

A person’s worldview, i.e., the schema through which the world is experienced, influences one’s well-being. Cloninger’s ‘unity of being’ represents a model of a coherent self-concept that consists of the self, others, and the world as a whole and has an impact on the degree of self-reliance, hope, the ability to cope, compassion, and cooperativeness. In that sense, the socio-temporal matrix as a framework to identify and visualize worldviews can facilitate the exploration of similar possible psychological effects related to a person’s meaning-making and well-being through socio-temporal worldviews.

Figure 1. The socio-temporal matrix of worldview schemas

The novel socio-temporal matrix is derived as described in the following and as visualized by Figure 1. On the x-axis of the model, there are three variables of the temporal dimension. More specifically, this horizontal axis partitions itself, in the order from left to right, into the ‘past,’ ‘present,’ and ‘future.’ The vertical y-axis of the matrix contains the three variables of the social dimension. Starting from the intersection with the horizontal axis, which represents time as explained, the first third of the vertical line (y-axis) shall be labeled ‘intra-’ that is short for ‘intra-personal. The next, middle part of the vertical axis becomes ‘inter-,‘which stands for the ‘inter-personal’ scope. The third and uppermost vertical section is the ‘extra-,‘ which signifies ‘extra-personal.’ Similar to a coordinate system, through these two tripartite grid lines, a matrix can be formed (see Figure 1). When using the vertical and horizontal axis’ labels in the same manner as the numerical coordinates of a map, or the letters and numbers of a chessboard, it is possible to identify and navigate the three times three – in total nine – fields of the matrix (see Figure 1).

The nine fields of the matrix will be used to inquire about socio-temporal mental schemas. An individual’s worldview schema is expected to consist of a specific set of matrix fields, depending on whether one’s belief system emphasizes certain socio-temporal mental states over others. For example, one may emphasize other-related extra-past (e.g., socio-cultural upbringing), behave in an inter-present, rather relationship-dominated way, while focusing, however, on a self-oriented intra-future. Such a socio-temporal mental worldview schema might link to specific meanings as, for example, a more independent (i.e., denoted by the intra-past instead of an inter- or extra-past) and other-oriented (i.e., depicted as the extra-future rather than an inter- or intra-future) cognitive socio-temporal worldview preference.

Regarding the above-mentioned social dimension, the intra-personal, inter-personal, and extra-personal factors have been found to influence human perception, experience, and the capacity to manage life areas such as risks. Intra-personal means the thoughts and beliefs related to the individual herself. A definition of inter-personal comes from those thoughts and beliefs, which are related to personal interactions with others. Extra-personal can be defined as a social scope that goes beyond the direct interaction with others. Extra-personal beliefs are related to long-term interests such as social needs that surpass intra- and inter-personal benefits. They can comprise social relationships beyond group memberships, i.e., being a member of the whole human species.

What’s your socio-temporal schema constellation? What combinations of meaningful and often frequented social and temporal aspects within the socio-temporal matrix do emerge and predominate in your mind-wanderings?

You can also discover the adventure of your socio-temporal worldview here:

The Intelligent Plant

Painting THE INTELLIGENT PLANT (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 50 x 70 cm)

The intelligent plant

A man who loved lonely, carefree hikes across the country, noticed one day a strangely shaped plant in a narrow, elongated hedge between a meadow and a field. It seemed as if this spectacular plant was calling the man to it. With a queasy feeling, but driven by his even stronger curiosity, the man approached the plant. 

“Wow, what kind of creature are you!” The man muttered to himself, barely audible. “What are you staring at me like that?” The plant replied immediately and unexpectedly. The man was just able to support himself on a neighboring branch, otherwise, he would have twisted backward as a result of his recoil. Frozen in his position, he asked back: “Who are you?”, to which he was replied: “I am an intelligent species and all of my leaves are intelligent”.
The man was completely spellbound. He stared at the vegetation and it struck him that its strange shape came from a one-sided collection of shoots and leaves. These all stretched to the same point a little laterally above the theoretical center of the plant. In fact, half of the plant was missing due to the one-sided growth. The crowd on the overgrown side was so dense that one could no longer see the individual booms. Strikingly, the creature did not simply grow towards the light of the open area, but only in the direction in which the agricultural field was, and not the natural meadow. 

“Why are all your shoots and leaves crowding in the same direction when there is more light than enough for everyone in the other direction?” Asks the man. “We are just intelligent and know how to participate in modern advances. To the north we can even get hold of some agricultural pesticides,” boasted a particularly exposed leaf of the bush. “But isn’t this too narrow, light-robbing, and dangerous for you?” The man wonders. “Not at all. We were even told that this is good for us. Too bad for the stupid plants, who just can’t understand that and still behave according to their so outdated, primitive nature. If the lower rungs are not too lazy, then they can grow and also position themselves better ». As the man could see, this indeed appeared to be the case. The plant had already grown extraordinarily for the time of year. And yet it could be seen that the deeper the layers, the more stunted the leaves. 

The man had never seen anything like it. The plant seemed so completely unnatural to him. Why should plants be so intelligent? The man thought about it for a long time, but couldn’t find an answer to the question. A few days later, on his wanderings, the man passed the hedge of the intelligent plant again. The man wanted to ask whether the shoots and leaves could actually decide for themselves, or whether the plant as a whole would dictate the direction. Just as the man was about to leave, he was approached by a farmer who had dismounted a little way away from a tractor. Equipped with hedge trimmers, wooden stakes and wire, he trudged straight towards the hedge. Without waiting for the man to say hello, the farmer announced sternly and bustlingly: “Good day. So here are my loved ones; today it’s your turn. If I only had such hedges, I would have nothing else to do but cut them back; my crop would be full at all times. Ha, ha, ha … ”, came with a loud sound from the farmer’s mouth. Half intimidated, half doubting himself, the man did not mention his experience with the intelligent plant and soon said goodbye. 

On the way home, the whole story seemed like a dream to the man. Nonetheless, he kept addressing plants, although he has never seen one as strangely shaped as the intelligent plant. These wonderful, balanced forms of life showed him all the possibilities of natural growth. However, they remained silent, which the man enjoyed very much. #art #artist painting #figurative #abstract

#modernart #contemporaryart #writing #fiction #story #psychology #philosophy #society #humanity #nature #awarenessintelligence

Bent Time

Painting BENT TIME (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on wood panel, 60 x 60 cm)

BENT TIME (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on wood panel, 60 x 60 cm)

Part of Awareness Intelligence is the ability to mentally stretch to both sides of the circle of life. For our eternal soul that is a breeze, but for our human lifetime awareness and related thinking, it is a gymnastic split we need to practice for. All-inclusive and endless knowing requires to mentally stretch enough into the time before our physical birth, as well as into the time after our death to bend the timeline into a circle of perpetual and unified life. We have to sense our soul-relatedness to the immaterial consciousness to detach ourselves from the illusion of time that is only bound to objects such as our bodies. Despite the need to handle practical time for physical experiences, one needs to connect to the timeless sphere of universal intelligence. It is our human capacity to be aware of this co-existence of practical and universal, cosmic time; the awareness of the parallel truth of life, life’s immortal intelligence that breathes the energy vibrations of consciousness even into our objectified temporal bodily manifestation.

#art #artist #painting #acrylic #abstract #modernabstract #modernart #contemporaryart #psychology #philosophy #spirituality #time #consciousness #awareness #awarenessintelligence

Imagination

Painting IMAGINATION (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on wood panel, 60 x 60 cm)

IMAGINATION

Can you imagine? Your agency, meaning in life, creativity, and satisfaction are depending on it 

“Nothing happens in the real world unless it happens first in the images in our heads” (Gloria E. Anzaldúa) 

“Through the inner channels of the imagination, we can see through the eyes of others, travel back to the past, anticipate future circumstances, visit imaginary places and create impossible worlds” (Marks-Tarlow)

Imagination to connect

Apparently (I say it again and again), people’s stress and anguish, the conflict between societies, and how the environment gets maltreated do not diminish. It seems that the human ability to mentally embracing a global collective as a species does not keep pace with the globalization of the world. In other words, there’s a lack of mentality in the sense of how populations can imagine their connection to a broader context like all humanity and the planet. However, the feeling of interconnectedness is essential in contributing to health and well-being. Indeed, research findings suggest that psychological well-being is dependent upon one’s connection to a broader, even widely anonymous social scope that comes with a sense of meaning in life. Carl Jung spoke about different parts of the self that transcend the ‘ego’ self and that these need to be integrated to complete a harmonious inner self. According to Carl Jung, human creativity, as expressed by imagination, can be seen as a force of the universe that extends into each individual and may help assume a perspective of wholeness, i.e., the unification of the self, the planet, and the cosmos. It’s such coordination of views that affect people’s socio-temporal experience of the world, and the imagination of alternative perspectives can turn over beliefs that were perceived unsatisfactory.

Imagination to imagine the future

Imagination is required to imagine future events, which constitutes (besides recalling matters of the past) a part of the ability to mentally ‘travel in time’. If people don’t imagine the future, their sense of self and the perceived agency diminishes. 

Imagination enhances meaning in life

The human ability to simulate temporal and social perceptibility is a mental process that was found to enhance meaning (e.g., knowing what is truly important) and psychological well-being. Mental simulation precedes behavior, either by triggering actions or by supporting self-control that can constrain activity. In that sense, simulated mental constructs form worldviews, which guide a person’s understanding, point of view, meaning-making, and experience of the world.

Imagination creates realities

Although common sense still tends to propagate a ‘what I don’t see, I don’t believe’ attitude, the human imagination represents the pinnacle of evolution. “Through the inner channels of the imagination, we can see through the eyes of others, travel back to the past, anticipate future circumstances, visit imaginary places and create impossible worlds” (Marks-Tarlow). In fact, we create reality with our imagination. “What is now proved was once only imagined” (William Blake), and “nothing happens in the real world unless it happens first in the images in our heads” (Gloria E. Anzaldúa). It’s little the outer circumstances nor the past or the future we suffer; we suffer from our memory and imagination. That’s why it is crucial how we remember and imagine. The ‘now’ isn’t the whole reality because experience isn’t direct and a mere result of our five senses. Instead, we experience through imagination as our brain cannot differentiate between a sensed and imagined experience. Imagination is causing same brain activities as actions. Even the imagination of the past and future creates our present experience. The placebo effect illustrates well how our thinking becomes biology.

Artists and leaders use imagination

Artists, for example (see Kolb’s learning styles), tend to use imagination to solve problems. They master viewing concrete situations through several different viewpoints. Although they like symbols and rules, they don’t take these for granted and instead freely imagine new ones. That’s why they are feared and persecuted by rulers. Artistic skills require spatial intelligence, which involves active imagination, for example like mental imagery, spatial reasoning, and image manipulation. One downturn to such a preference may be that people who have the most vivid imagination capacity are often less likely to realize it as it will never be so nice in reality. On the other hand, considering our temporary and fragile body and related materialistic cravings and fears, our spirit is all we really have. Only when creating in freedom, without fear and shame, we experience the joy of intrinsic satisfaction. In more poetic words, it’s the bringing out of the divine of our highest purpose.

Imagination can be learned

Paradoxically, humans try to change what has evolved over long periods of time and isn’t that easy (let alone healthy) to change: our body. Yet, they still don’t see that they could change their mind instantly. Eventually, there is hope that everybody can learn imagination and achieve more meaning in their lives, for example, by expanding the connection to serve even anonymous others and by broadening one’s time orientation, especially towards the future (see my writings about Awareness Intelligence and the related socio-temporal matrix). “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world” (Albert Einstein).

#art #artist #painting #modernart #contemporaryart #modernabstract #abstractpainting #acrylic #imagination #mind #psychology #philosophy #Bewusstseinsintelligenz #awarenessintelligence

Flight of awareness

FLIGHT OF AWARENESS (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 50 cm)
Painting FLIGHT OF AWARENESS (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 50 cm)

FLIGHT OF AWARENESS

The body underlies the law of the now; it can only be enjoyed in the present moment. As for the mind, however, we got the ability to anchor in a primordial self-awareness, alertly touch the present, and expand our awareness into the future. Such an extended and multi-directional quality of the mind does not fall prey to present-moment boundedness and is able to navigate time freely. Like a bird, we can let our thoughts fly across the infinite topology of awareness.

#art #artist #painting #painter #modernart #contemporaryart #abstract #figurativeabstract #abstractart #psychology #bird #flying #time #awareness #bewusstseinsintelligenz #awarenessintelligence

Comparison

Painting COMPARISON (M. Sager, Acrylic on canvas, each 30 x 40 cm)

It is tempting to ask “Which one do I like most?” But actually, I like them all …

We wish to be intelligent to perform tasks such as reading, calculating, solving technical problems, create music, understand nature, be a good employee or entrepreneur, and so forth. These may all be important to fulfill social roles. And, social comparison is a strong happiness factor. People tend to be content if they do well compare to others. Because there are always others who do let us appear compare unfavorably, the choice of a limited circle of easy-to-compare others might be a comforting self-protection strategy. However, such avoiding behavior also prevents from connecting to broader and more diverse walks of life. The measurements of traditional intelligence quotients have only amplified competition unnecessarily. It’s not necessary to compare to others and derive satisfaction from relative high scores in intelligence tests in areas we even don’t feel drawn to naturally as these, in fact, are not of most fundamental relevance to a soul-inspired human life. It is unnecessary to feel judged as a human being by culturally and commercially defined concepts of intelligence. Social comparisons are causing a lot of discrimination, feelings of unworthiness, and related suffering. What makes people really joyful is their capacity for self-determination, which means to be in the driver seat, to function mentally well, and enjoy psychological well-being.

#art #artist #painting #modernart #abstract #abstractart #contemporaryart #psychology #socialcomparison #Bewusstseinsintelligenz #awarenessintelligence

Antiquated spacetime

Antiquierte Raumzeit (M. Sager, 2021. Acryl auf Leinwand, 80 x 100 cm)
Painting ANTIQUATED SPACETIME (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 80 x 100 cm)

The collective human delusion assumes ‘spacetime’ instead of ‘humantime’ as the fabric of the human psychic universe. Why should space be the component to be studied and mastered as human beings? It’s not the geographical but psychological distance that causes human troubles. I always conclude that the dimensions relevant to humanity are how we relate to our species, life, and how we refer to time. Therefore, our awareness should comprise combining social and temporal dimensions rather than the combination with space. Of course, the achievements of physicalism and technocracy in modern science are fantastic; they brought us, among other things, inventions of the sort of the Internet of things and so forth. However, I think it is time for the internet of human souls, an endeavor that needs a different type of intelligence. Rather than following the tradition of physics and studying the deconstruction and mechanics of the material world, I suggest deciphering the logic of humantime and its effects on psychological well-being, creative performance, and the peace of the collective mind. Humanity would be well advised to invest more in empowering humanness to address known social problems instead of using nationalized budgets for space forces and other armed defenses to fight the unknown material.

A MIND not too narrowly set: A global mindset

Painting GLOBAL MINDSET (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 50 x 70 cm)

“Most conflicts are based on black and white thinking, the fear of devaluation, and the threat to one’s own (cultural) identity. There is one level, though, the global mindset, on which black is also white.”

This text was published in the ‘Skilled Helper Collaborative’ (Thanks @Patty): https://pattywolters.com/blog/2021/05/28/mindset-skilled-helpers-collaborative/

I often hear that mindset is everything. This common knowledge is used in various contexts and as a ‘tool’ to reach different goals. “If you just put your mind on it, you can get it” became a standard approach in the personal development business. While it’s a good thing to have that knowledge and skill in one’s individual toolbox, I’m also interested in how humanity can achieve a mindset that brings the whole species forward as a whole. From an Awareness Intelligence perspective, my area of research and practice as a psychologist, it is about how to learn to set our minds for increased (if not maximum) true diversity and inclusiveness; something I consider to be crucial if we want to address a more peaceful world. I have written a lot (also in this collaborative) about Awareness intelligence. In terms of the topic of mindset, the concept of ‘global mindset’ possibly comes closest to what I mean.

Mindset: Where’s your attention?

At its heart, mindset is an attention-based approach to performance and for describing a global mindset, therefore, ‘international attention’ – attention to global strategic issues, attention to international beliefs and issues, can be used. How does international attention occur? In accordance with research, for example, traveling to foreign locations or discussing international issues fosters cosmopolitan thinking and behavior. I’ve experienced that during my international work and life as an expatriate in Japan. At the same time, my work as a psychologist and artist involves a high degree of a growth mindset, which might be positively influencing the development of a global mindset. For example, by expanding my horizon, I could fill in some of the blind spots of a fixed psychological map that all too often results in automatic judgment based on cultural understanding. Having a cultural identity makes people’s life easier; many do rely on cultural notions of categories of people to predict others, rather than considering people as individuals, and they favor people they consider to be members of their group. That provides for the human basic need for stability, respectively a sense of safety. in contrast, some people can overcome fear and enjoy more risky, complex, and elaborate thinking, and who are more willing to reexamine initial notions in light of new information. These are the ones who often are attracted to art, theoretical disciplines, and philosophy. But it can take them a long time to decide. Sometimes too long. Or never!

The development of intercultural sensitivity

Intercultural sensitivity is a helpful model for developing a global mindset. Intercultural sensitivity is high when one can adapt to add new behaviors to be more effective in moving in between cultures. In this model from Milton Bennet (1993), the experience of (cultural) difference is moving from more ethnocentric to more ethnorelative stages as follows:

  1. Denial: “I don’t think there’s any other way.”
  2. Defense: “My way is the best.”
  3. Minimization: “What we have in common is more important.”
  4. Adaptation: “I’m adding new behaviors to be more effective in a cross-cultural environment.”
  5. Integration: “I can move in between cultures.”

Personal development towards a global mindset is a hard process because discrepancies between global and situational meaning cause distress. In fact, most conflict is based on the fear of invalidation, the threat of one’s (cultural) identity. A high degree of self-reflection, fearless self-questioning, and openness to commit to giving up privileges and support unity in diversity is required. In short, tremendous effort is required to reduce the distressful discrepancy between situational and global meanings.

Instructions for global information processing

Views that are limited to narrow social boundaries are inhibiting the development of social networks. Such symptoms and communicative isolation in their most extreme forms are characteristics of autism, a distinctly defined illness since the 1940s. The good news is: People lacking more global information processing can be instructed to improve. Humanity is not ill, but it definitively requires instructions on how to develop higher levels of awareness to connect sincerely with others. Interestingly, the availability of more and more global information (i.e., the Internet) did not increase the state of humanity’s global mindset. Instead of teaching how to justify current political structures, which are always local, we should educate on how to become global citizens who care for all.

A shift from cultural competence to Awareness Intelligence

Global citizenship is not a travel lifestyle, it should rather be an attitude of compassion. Multi-relational ability in the sense of Awareness Intelligence is a precondition for cross-cultural competence but goes beyond as it is culture-neutral. Any travel starts within! Cultural competence can be developed by putting one’s feet in another’s shoes. Awareness Intelligence (see also related articles on www.mathias-sager.com), however, is putting one’s consciousness in another’s soul. This will not only enable us to experience some different walks of life but to learn to qualify all of life’s souls. Real and lasting change comes from the level of mental models that enable awareness. Only if the deep-rooted individual mindsets shift towards forming a regenerated collective of deculturized societal structures, human behavioral patterns will start to change accordingly as well. That’s the utopian world of my dreams, the passion in my teachings, the goal of my art, and my deepest belief that it’s still possible; for the benefit of the individual and the common good alike.

OWN PLAN

Painting OWN PLAN (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 30 cm)

Do not miss your own plan

One of our uttermost critical faculties in which lies the power to become aware of the nature of lifetimes is attention. To do the mental work of attending, the working memory needs to be able to allocate sufficient capacity. If we are not able to hold attention to picture life as a whole lifespan, how can we situate anything between the coming and going of life conceptually and as applied to ourselves and others? Do we think and act in full temporal awareness, which means to be aware that time is an illusion, or are we just following the row of events, one after the other, without questioning the more prominent arch of a life? Do we just follow cultural customs and social rules of temporal sequences or do we have an own understanding of the right timing of developments in our life along different possible milestones such as the time we go to school, work, marry, and retire? By following everybody else’s planned schedule, there is the peril of missing one’s making of an own plan. The ability to oversee the whole is critical. To do always the seemingly momentary correct thing that is, however, not validated against an integral perspective, risks to end up in unfulfillment and deep regret.

UNIFIED MULTIVERSE

Painting UNIFIED MULTIVERSE (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on wood panel, 60 x 60 cm)

“When the “in-here” and “out-there” meet.”

When one’s worldview expands entirely in a grid of paramount awareness, the energy of a unified field begins to radiate In physics, forces are theorized to be transmitted through so-called fields. Others use, besides the term of the ‘unified field,’ also  ‘cosmic consciousness,’ in which the ‘in-here’ and ‘out-there’ meet. Awareness Intelligence can be understood as such a field where life-intelligent consciousness and mentalizing are harmoniously unified. Through unifying our thoughts with the nature of a multiverse, a state of all-inclusive and timeless humanness can be achieved, which lets us witness its power through showers of bliss.

#art #abstractart #artist #Kunst #Künstler #modernabstract #modernart #Modernekunst #contemporaryart #Acrylgemälde #acrylicpainting #abstract #painting #Bewusstseinsintelligenz #universe #multiverse #consciousness #Gemälde #awarenessintelligence

Polluted desire for life

POLLUTED DESIRE FOR LIFE (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 80 x 60 cm)

POLLUTED DESIRE FOR LIFE (M. Sager, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 80 x 60 cm)

One may find a lot of examples supporting the thesis that things got better, safer, and healthier. However, not being aware of globally increasing wealth inequality, existing heightened levels of hunger, and peaking numbers of refugees in some areas of the world, as well as soaring amounts of prescriptions of antidepressants in many societies, signifies that local perceptions might lack accurate information and understanding. Because what is affordable within reach, is unavailable at another place. What is acceptable for some, is intolerable for others. And what means poverty in this place, passes for luxury elsewhere. While escaping environmental pollution here, more pollution happens there. The growing world population and economy continue to exploit the planet’s resources faster than these can be renewed. Nature gets intoxicated with garbage whose decomposition takes centuries and irreparably contaminates with spurious poison the earthly and universal flow of energy for the generations to come.  In developed countries we see today the first generations who are facing decreasing life durations. The life expectancy of a fifty-year-old in a low-income country, which represents the majority of the world population, remained the same as it was thirty years ago. In the last forty-five years, suicide rates have increased by sixty percent worldwide, which indicates a desperate mental climate even in countries of relative wealth. The desire to die usually comes from unfulfilled desires for life. Also most individuals who seem tired of life would decide to live if the necessary psychological support factors such as meaningfulness, purposefulness, and spiritual growth through awareness-intelligent living would seem achievable. All these can be achieved if egoistic group thinking is replaced with the ability to include all and everyone in one’s worldview. We need worldview and human identity that goes beyond the here and now, one that is socio-temporally inclusive of the extra-personal future and, as a result, is intelligently aware.

Excerpt from Awareness intelligence (M. Sager, 2018)

#art #artist #painting #painter #modernart #contemporaryart #abstract #figurativeabstract #modernabstract #abstractpainting #acrylic #acrylicpainting #life #psychology #philosophy #environment #environmentalprotection #bewusstseinsintelligenz #awarenessintelligence