Category Archives: Spirituality

Independent spirituality: Not bound / limited to any specific religion, philosophy, or methodology. Ethical spirituality: Learning beyond personal development by referencing a higher inspiration, individually and collectively, supporting a more ethical day to day life without the goal of material success or riches. Engaging spirituality: Raising awareness of the necessity of continued spritual growth through appropriate societal positioning, advertising, and real world engagement.

To dig through the ‘dirt’ yourself, or to crave the worm on the hook?

People were made to be loved. Things were created to be used. The reason the world is in chaos is because things are loved and people are used. – Dalai Lama

Do you follow the market or nature? Are you a consumer or a creator? Are you a capitalist or a humanist? Yes, it’s an either-or decision! You cannot run and drive, fast and eat at the same time, or increase shareholder value and keep all jobs in a crisis. The decision is always to be made. However, most people get overwhelmed by consumption habits in the process as we are never told what to do but are constantly told what to buy.

A simple everyday example: Many people have forgotten during or after their childhood that our natural way of maintaining strong and healthy feet is to walk barefoot. Instead, we are sold cushions and supports that degenerate our walking form, weaken our joints and impair our feeling of grip. Not good for the individual, but profitable not only for the shoe industry, but also for the medical industry. Or that the weather is only as bad as our clothes, they say. This is an interesting concept from a sales perspective, but catastrophic to our ability to benefit from hot and cold exposure. For this reason, companies like to offer saunas and cryotherapy instead. So, what we lost in nature can be bought back in the market.

These upside-down worlds are omnipresent. And the more frustrating the turning away from the appreciation of all of our nature, the more salvation is promised and sought in the market. A vicious circle. Therefore, it seems like better advice to do exactly the opposite of what is being advertised to us. Some examples:

  • Have you saved money and now interest rates are falling and the only ones benefiting from it are financial institutions? Have you invested in stocks and now investors have earned on the upswing while the small investors bear the loss after the big ones exit? In the real estate market, too, the little fish are usually one step too late.
  • Have you invested in diplomas and are now overqualified?
  • Have you been able to keep up with showing how much you enjoy eating and drinking and being part of the foodie lifestyle, but need to consider hiring a weight loss coach?
  • Are you using stairs, elevators, and other equipment that promises you a more comfortable life, but you are thinking of buying an indoor treadmill, gym membership, or something similar?
  • How has the daily media news contributed to your personal growth? If these leave you sad, angry, worried, and stressed out, it is recommended that you get a prescription for medicine and book a relaxing vacation somewhere for a week or two. It won’t be without side effects (though additional pills may be available for) or enough, of course, but you can rebook and change your lifestyle after you retire, right? – I doubt.
  • Etc.

The more I take care not to fall victim to every marketing trend, every scare tactic, and every commercially exploited promise of salvation, the clearer it becomes. The people who pull the cords would prefer me to be dependent on their help like a farm animal; that makes them appear charitable despite the moneymaking. However, in contrast to fully bred farm animal breeds, I believe that our natural human self-efficacy and responsibility are still available to us. It is still possible to find much healthier and more satisfying alternatives for much of what is suggested to be consumed on the market through our own activities according to our nature. Because in the end I actually prefer digging in the dirt myself than craving for the worm on the hook.

What are your examples and experiences?

The XXI Century ‘Bread and Games’ Death Trap

e.g.

• Bread = Amazon

• Games = Netflix

• Late Roman decadence = late capitalist decadence

• Gladiators = social media «influencers»

• Visitors/Spectators = On the screens

• Plague = corona virus

• Decline of business and culture = “Corona” measures

• Further elimination of democratic elements, “royal” campaigns in the deserted areas (e.g. under Charlemagne) = “Corona” consequences (weakening of the middle class and sell-off of SMEs, expansion of global online monopolies)

COURAGEOUS JUMP OF KINDNESS

courageous jump of kindness painting mathias sager
COURAGEOUS JUMP OF KINDNESS (M. Sager, 2020, acrylic on canvas board, 40 x 50 cm)

It’s easy to be smart, but difficult to be kind. Indeed, kindness requires courage and strength. Awareness-intelligent thought and courageous efforts to act in kindness reward with feelings of egoless affection, as everybody knows who has ever, for example, only helped a lost tourist despite low likelihood to ever meet again and get reciprocity. By caring for somebody’s soul, we care for the collective of all souls, we affect universal consciousness. Through timeless kindness, which heals, liberates, and amplifies the consciousness of all humanity and time, therefore, opens an interpersonal present into parallel time. The ineffable bliss of giving up one’s fictitious personality comes from detaching from the experience of momentary being and serving life itself that comes in the form of another human soul in need. True kindness is the ticket to detach from time and to access eternity. It is eternity where we all meet at the same time. The ability to surpass the fear of losing oneself in service to others offers a door to Awareness Intelligence.

(Excerpt from Awareness Intelligence, M. Sager, 2019)

THE VAMPIRIZED STAR

THE VAMPIRIZED STAR (M. Sager, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 100 x 100 cm)

I wanted to create a stAr

Knowing that sex sElls

Some curves were added aroUnd

Can you still see the stAr

Because of the Vampire effEct

You may be distracted too mUch

Better let a star be a stAr

For it stands for itsElf

On its own valuable groUnd

BECOME RESILIENT: How to mentally configure the three basic human needs of safety, satisfaction, and connectedness

This article is part of a collaborative effort to shed light on the critically important topic of resilience. Three perspectives, however, revealing common patterns of the concept and approaches to become more resilient. You can read the original collaborative post on Patty’s Blog featuring the skilled helpers listed below: https://pattywolters.com/blog/2020/12/24/resilience-skilled-helpers-collaborative/

Full article by Mathias Sager (Psychology & Art)

BECOME RESILIENT: How to mentally configure the three basic human needs of safety, satisfaction, and connectedness

Inspiration and wholeness in nature (Rigi, Switzerland)

“Resilience is a process reflecting positive adaptation in the face of adversity” [1, p. 1]. What adversity means to different people depends on individual, socio-cultural, and contextual circumstances.

The Big Five or five-factor personality assessment model (FFM) was found to be able to depict the concept of resiliency as a personality aspect as accurately as specific resiliency measurement tools [2]. Personality traits described and assessed with the five-factor model [3] consist of five mostly independent personality trait dimensions, i.e.,

  • extraversion,
  • conscientiousness,
  • agreeableness,
  • neuroticism, and
  • openness to experience [4].

A resilient personality is characterized by high scores on the FFM dimensions of extraversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and openness to experience, and low scores in neuroticism [5]. Openness to experience seems to be particularly important; it should be seen as’ openness to cultural diversity’ too [6], including the ability to regulate one’s emotions [7] and to avoid extensive sensation seeking, which, for example, bears the risk of substance abuse [6]. Equipped with such personal abilities, the rapid (global) changes in our times [8] caused by ever novel, complex, and changing socio-economical, environmental, technological, and health-related factors [9] can be met with higher resilience.

Other psychological concepts related to coping with adversity are the so-called ‘tolerance for ambiguity’ and ‘tolerance for uncertainty’ measures. These abilities are closely linked to mindfulness. For example, people educated in open-mindedness and who have learned to tolerate ambiguity can better persevere in their tolerance even in situations of insecurity and danger [10]. In that context, hope as related to resilience is enabling individuals to imagine a better future and to endure the present despite the uncertainty for such an achievement [11]. However, it’s not done with hope alone. A strong belief in and an identification with the possibility of achievement are the drivers for the work ethic that required for the realization of the hope. That way, in a first step, the promotion of hope might be a useful approach to reduce uncertainty intolerance and consequently to increase the tolerance for ambiguity for a more open-mindedness that leaves room for thoughtful and empathic decisions that lead to work towards desired and desirable outcomes.

Yes, a major outcome of resilience is empathy. It’s not threats themselves, but how people can resiliently respond to them. If there is no openness to decipher ambiguous, uncertain information, one risks to take the shortcut of, for example, stereotyping and promote black-and-white thinking that is further hindering an open mindset. A vicious spiral, indeed!

Maslow (1968) made the point that we are oriented toward either growth or safety in our everyday lives and that a growth orientation is more favorable for psychological health and well-being [12]. When self-protection (needs) get reduced, self-awareness can arise and facilitate the appreciation of multiple possibilities in situations, which might be the stage of personal development where tolerance for ambiguity as the capacity to accept paradoxes starts to become feasible [13]. Systems of mass conformity, authoritarianism, and nationalism/racism (as well as an emotional attachment to materialism in general) are offered as a means for safety, unfortunately at the cost of growth possibilities through autonomy, creativity, and the use of reason.

Unfortunately, “dealing with ambiguity, respectively the ability to cope with adversity (resilience) is seldom taught, but individuals striving for higher qualities tend to understand that uncertainty is the gateway to opportunity” [14, p. 30]. Therefore, societies should prepare the next generation for life, and it will be crucial how we instill hope and support our children to live constructively with uncertainties while retaining a high tolerance for ambiguity and open-mindedness as required to be truly resilient and find the solutions sought for the benefit of all [15].

Practically spoken, to get more resilient, one needs to be ready to adapt her/his belief system. Unfortunately, our ‘stable identity’ obsessed ego causes us to not like change. Nevertheless, as long as there is a fear of loss, there will always be defense mechanisms that hamper open-mindedness, and as a result, resilience too. There is good news, though, to adopt a resilient belief system, the three basic human needs of (1) safety, (2) satisfaction, and (3) connectedness don’t need to be abandoned, while it is essential to think about their socio-temporal ‘configuration’, which I call Awareness Intelligence:

  1. Access your spiritual source, your intuition, free from social conditioning, and as close to the source of life that has brought you here. You are part of the intelligent universe independent of your upbringing; what else could be safer.
  2. Meet others in the here and now openly, without past judgments and future expectations. Such non-transactional and unconditional love brings the highest satisfaction.
  3. Expand from separateness to wholeness. The future isn’t about physical survival as long as possible; it is about meaning and connecting to the whole humanity (even future generations) and our soul during a lifetime. With such a connectedness, future worries dissolve.

Resources:

[1] Kelly, Y., Fitzgerald, A., & Dooley, B. (2017). Validation of the Resilience Scale for Adolescents (READ) in Ireland: a multi-group analysis. International Journal Of Methods In Psychiatric Research, 26(2).

[2] Waaktaar, T., & Torgersen, S. (2010). How resilient are resilience scales? The Big Five scales outperform resilience scales in predicting adjustment in adolescents. Scandinavian Journal Of Psychology, 51(2), 157-163.

[3] Howell, G. T., & Zelenski, J. M. (2017). Personality self-concept affects processing of trait adjectives in the self-reference memory paradigm. Journal of Research in Personality, 66, 1-   13.

[4] McCrea, R. R., & Costa, P. T. (1987). Validation of the five-factor model of personality across instruments and observers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 81–90.

[5] Lazaridou, A., & Beka, A. (2015). Personality and resilience characteristics of Greek primary school principals. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 43(5), 772-791.

[6] Morizot, J. (2014). Construct Validity of Adolescents’ Self-Reported Big Five Personality Traits: Importance of Conceptual Breadth and Initial Validation of a Short Measure. Assessment, 21(5), 580-606.

[7] Shaw, P. s. (2016). Commentary: Mapping the young, resilient brain -reflections on Burt et al. (2016). Journal Of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 57(12), 1465-1466.

[8] Brendel, W. )., Hankerson, S. )., Byun, S. )., & Cunningham, B. ). (2016). Cultivating leadership Dharma: Measuring the impact of regular mindfulness practice on creativity, resilience, tolerance for ambiguity, anxiety and stress. Journal Of Management Development, 35(8), 1056-1078.

[9] Herman, J. L., Stevens, M. J., Bird, A., Mendenhall, M., & Oddou, G. (2010). The tolerance for ambiguity scale: Towards a more refined measure for international management research. International Journal Of Intercultural Relations, 34(1), 58-65.

[10] Bright, L. K., & Mahdi, G. S. (2012). U.S./Arab Reflections on Our Tolerance for Ambiguity. Adult Learning, 23(2), 86-89.

[11] Wilson, M. J., & Arvanitakis, J. (2013). The Resilience Complex. M/C Journal, 16(5), 17.

[12] Maslow, A. H. (1968). Toward a Psychology of Being. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

[13] Hartman, D., & Zimberoff, D. (2008). Higher Stages of Human Development. Journal Of Heart- Centered Therapies, 11(2), 3-95.

[14] Shullman, S. L., & White, R. P. (2012). Build Leadership’s Tolerance for Ambiguity. Chief Learning Officer, 11(10), 30-33.

[15] Einwanger, J. (2014). Wie riskant ist Sicherheit? (German). Pädiatrie & Pädologie, 49(4), 33.

The ‘Corona World War’ or the 3rd World War in Corona Times (4 min. read)

If the economy is not in constant struggle anyway, then during Corona times there are increased signs of war effects. Understanding the wider context is important. It takes critical thinking, courage, and a belief in positive change. But how? My repeated lesson is: win self-control instead of economic wars so that everyone benefits.

The virtual realm was slowly but surely occupied, administered and borrowed again by the large technology and telecommunications corporations. Compared with the acquisition of the physical land at that time, the www landowners have now also established themselves. The main shopping streets are no longer in the city center, but on the well-known online markets. With the cell phone in everyone’s pocket, cyber space has become an omnipresent and real shopping, experience, work, and communication space [1]. Despite the predominance of monopolistic Internet providers and platforms, the virtual world was not yet fully conquered. There were also alternatives (such as platform cooperatives [2, 3]) and free web addresses for development. Certain data, the oil of today, were not yet in the hands of the information processors, although these global companies have probably already known more than the respective governments themselves for some time. The race for the few not yet occupied network areas and their positioning was definitely still in full swing.

A lot of money is invested in Silicon Valley, where investors slowly become impatient as new investment gains, e.g. in the area of ​​social media, didn’t realize surely and rapidly enough. In general, the profit-seeking economy was overheating. I feared war because war is profitable at this level [4]. With Corona, a lot is now also going online and the major providers were able to step in quickly. Small and medium-sized businesses, on the other hand, have to close or sell cheaply to investors who then earn double during the rebuilding; this war effect works well with corona measures.

Fortunately, the total mortality does not seem to be any higher this year than in other years, with Corona or not [5]; The idea of ​​a disease that would “solve” the “problem” of an aging population and thus an unproductive and pension-devouring population would be terrible. Where it is not about the digital economy but about natural resources, we will continue to see traditional wars. In most countries, possibly thanks to measures such as related to Corona and the resulting asset redistribution, these are no longer necessary. There is no need for conventional armies of soldiers today. To dictate the direction of the crowd, digital distraction, incitement, and advertising are also sufficient [6, 7, 8] *. The battle for people’s attention has been very advanced for a long time: Advertisement and monitoring at any online occasion, anywhere, anytime. Technology-related ever shorter attention spans of people only make them more prone to following whoever shouts the loudest (or who can spend the most money on positioning of content).

Hopefully, after the shutting down of the traditional local offline economy in favor of the global online tech world, there will be some calm again, respectively enough capital of the capital holders will have increased and the threads in the puppet play of the global digital economy under control as desired. In that case, if the widening gap between rich and poor [8, 9, 10] does not lead to local unrest, a lot of blood spilling and the environment might have been spared for a moment; apart from technology / energy consumption and psychological factors, which also lead to mortality.

At least, a physical war attack is difficult for the individual ordinary citizen to fend off; However, staying psychologically healthy is always in our individual control given the appropriate knowledge and discipline (11, 12, 13) and depends little on economic factors (14, 15, 16). Perhaps psychology will soon be taught in schools instead of the history of battles and wars [17]. I would still be for such an approach. The way to peace seems to lie in the ability of each individual to self-control and to be moderate through a reorientation towards intrinsic rather than extrinsic motivation [18 – 24]. In this sense, the focus would shift from technology and a capitalistic economy back to people [25, 26], and so-called humanitarian crises (crises that are actually economically caused) would be prevented in the long term.

Is there any hope of change? Yes and no. The individual psychological forces to establish and approve systems that disadvantage the general population are very strong. Unfortunately, it is often the particularly disadvantaged who justify authoritarian forces [27]. Whether, despite technology, enough fears can be distributed locally in political and social structures to keep people fearful enough not to wake up, remains questionable. It is to be hoped that the critical thinking, courage and belief in positive changes that are also widespread, can ultimately prevail. It is important to strengthen the self-confidence of each individual; Humanistic, transpersonal psychology, art, and sport are feasible ways to do this, which I also consistently advocate.

* Once more self-serving fake news? Not too credible? Not enough likes? Would you like more information? You are welcome to read the scientific sources and backgrounds in the resources listed below (which is not available even in renowned media). This is important to me, although many readers can no longer muster the attention span even for this length and type of text. I hope you find a lot of exciting things about it, and thank you for your attention. Please share the text if you find this valuable. All the best – Mathias Sager

Selected resources. More at www.mathias-sager.com

[1] https://mathias-sager.com/2017/12/15/net-neutrality-cyber-territory-development-owned-by-landlords-or-by-the-people/

[2] https://mathias-sager.com/2017/10/25/platform-cooperativism-democratically-run-digital-organizations/

[3] https://mathias-sager.com/2017/12/17/platform-worker-co-ops-as-a-solution-for-business-ownership-successions-the-context-in-japan/

[4] https://mathias-sager.com/2017/08/19/after-world-war-iii/

[5] https://web.facebook.com/photo?fbid=1270585109985031&set=a.170683376641882

[6] https://mathias-sager.com/2019/04/09/distraction-of-the-mass/

[7] https://mathias-sager.com/2018/02/24/why-people-justify-social-systems-that-disadvantage-them/

[8] https://mathias-sager.com/2017/09/25/7-wrong-reasonsexcuses-for-why-we-cannot-change-for-a-better-cooperative-economic-system/

[9] https://mathias-sager.com/2017/10/04/a-reply-to-the-article-obedience-ashiftinconsciousness-wordpress-com/

[10] https://mathias-sager.com/2016/06/27/yes-we-can/

[11] https://mathias-sager.com/?s=awareness+intelligence

[12] https://mathias-sager.com/2018/06/11/the-benefits-of-an-internal-locus-of-control-personality/

[13] https://mathias-sager.com/2019/10/26/healing-beyond-relief/

[14] https://mathias-sager.com/2016/11/30/the-relationship-between-age-socioeconomic-factors-and-happiness/

[15] https://mathias-sager.com/2016/09/09/earth-education-art-and-happiness/

[16] https://mathias-sager.com/2016/12/05/should-happiness-really-be-the-goal-a-buddhist-perspective/

[17] https://mathias-sager.com/2017/04/02/why-psychology-should-be-taught-in-every-school/

[18] https://mathias-sager.com/2018/04/10/developing-human-capital-success-and-failure-in-learning/

[19] https://mathias-sager.com/2018/07/17/your-free-access-to-my-course-developing-leadership-skills-personality-motivation-and-creativity/

[20] https://mathias-sager.com/2019/01/31/human-capital-success-in-learning/

[21] https://mathias-sager.com/2018/01/25/self-leadership-and-the-seven-habits-of-highly-effective-people/

[22] https://mathias-sager.com/2017/06/12/spirituality-is-required-to-understand-human-motivation-and-personality/

[23] https://mathias-sager.com/2017/06/08/being-driven-or-thriving-sigmund-freud-versus-carl-rogers-on-human-motivation/

[24] https://mathias-sager.com/2018/02/07/dr-wayne-w-dyer-inspiration-for-the-leader-in-all-of-us/

[25] https://mathias-sager.com/2019/04/26/technology-and-the-distributed-intelligence-of-the-mind/

[26] https://mathias-sager.com/2019/04/07/broadening-the-social-scope/  

[27] https://mathias-sager.com/2018/02/24/why-people-justify-social-systems-that-disadvantage-them/

Two pieces for peace

THE POSITIVE KILLJOY. Acrylic on wood panel, 70 x 100 cm

Hoping, speaking out for, and acting for social justice and change is not coming from negativity. Instead, it is the expression of positive thinking that things can be done better and a healthier and more peaceful world is possible.

M. Sager
PIECE WITH THE UGLY. Acrylic on canvas 100x 100 cm

It is easy to love people when they smell [look] good, but sometimes they slip into the manure of life and smell [look] awful. You must love them just as much when they smell foul.

Wayne W. Dyer

Fluffed up vs. ‘reality before appearances’

20201111_FLUFFED UP_acrylic on woodpanel 50 x 100 cm_mathias sager art

Fluffed up (M. Sager, 2020). Acrylic on woodpanel, 50 x 100 cm

As we deserve to be not judged by our past, we should not judge others according to the labels they are given. The socio-economic status of people doesn’t tell us much about their human qualities. Try to see people’s soul regardless of social personality appearances. Don’t waste your thoughts on interpreting equipment, façade styles, and fashions. They are not relevant to our true self, and they are gone 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. In that sense ‘reality before appearances.’

Excerpt from Awareness Intelligence (M. Sager, 2019)

Becoming whole (free from structural prisons)

20200426_Becoming whole__painting_mathias sager
Becoming whole (M. Sager, 2020). Acrylic on wood panel, 50 x 100 cm

Awareness is needed to realign the structures that hold us prisoners of organic existence with the non-structural wholeness of unbound consciousness. We need awareness for living a wholly human life that is inspired by divine consciousness and lived through the practical use of our biological organism. The mind is the intellectual capability that builds on the undifferentiated consciousness that can be understood as a general receptivity triggering potential thought. Awareness is like the hinge between consciousness and thought; it has both the qualities of the divine consciousness and the thoughts it generates. Therefore, human awareness is both the holy spirit of the soul and the self-generated thoughts of the mind that includes ‘thinking about thinking.’ The degree of knowledge about and the way of applying this foundation of human agency is what makes Awareness Intelligence. It is the ability to be aware of and about one’s awareness.

Excerpt from Awareness Intelligence (M. Sager, 2019)

F… airytale

F… airytale. (M. Sager, 2020). Acrylic on wood panel, 40 x 60 cm

Many people believe that they would not be complete without a legally bounded better half, that everybody needs somebody to romantically relate to and be taken care of, that one has to be someone’s personified treasure, and that an embodied relationship is the source of all strength. These prince-and-princess fairytales are sweet to promote the continuance of family lines, the stability of societal power structures, and the economy of dependability. The problem is that people are made to believe that without their dependency they would lose a part of themselves. They suffer from the misbelief that they wouldn’t be worthy anymore, or that they would lack the energy that can only be sourced from others from the outside. This is severely compromising self-reliance and self-efficacy, both of which are the key factors for a human being to thrive and fulfill their purpose of life to be and give their true self.

As much as we try, for example in romantic relationships, we can’t fully connect with other creatures on a physical level. We want to unify so much that we sometimes try to become one body; in vain. It is only on a mental level that it is possible to transcend the separating physical forms and plug together into the life that is the soul, respectively the animating spirit of everything and everyone. Only the collective of this life force of the human species persists into the future, long after my and your body will have died. The awareness of this timeless extra-personal relationship with all humanity is what I call the ‘extra-future.’ As part of and as the culmination of Awareness Intelligence, it bears the biggest truth of spirituality.

Excerpts from ‘Awareness Intelligence’ (M. Sager, 2019)

Rueda dance of life

Rueda dance of life (M. Sager, 2020). Acrylic on canvas, 100 x 80 cm

Do become an attentive and agile dancer who controls the body, cooperates with the mind, and coordinates the congeniality of the souls to dance the socio-temporal dance of life. Every movement is your decision, and harmony comes from being intelligently aware of your, your partners’, and the music’s desire to unfold. When the spirit of the music intuits your individual and collaborative intention to the imagination that the music is just perfectly reflecting the vibes of melted body and soul, Awareness Intelligence has come to play.

Excerpt from Awareness Intelligence (M. Sager, 2019)

Shaped into the expression of freedom (‘Pre-art’ at VAN DER PLAS Galery NY)

Trinity Warrior II, acrylic on wood panel, 80 x 80 cm

‘Vor Kunst’

“Das Symbolische ist die Vorkunst; und das Symbolische hat dahin fortzugehen, daß das geistige frei werde und sich eine Gestalt gebe, daß sein Dasein Nicht auch ein anderes vorstellt, sondern nur das Geistige vorstellt. Das ist das Ziel des Symbolischen”

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Van Der Plas Gallery is issuing an open call for artists to exhibit their artwork in our upcoming show entitled ‘ Vor Kunst’. “Art proper, for Hegel, is the sensuous expression or manifestation of a free spirit in a medium (such as metal, stone, or color) that has been deliberately shaped or worked by human beings into the expression of freedom. The sphere of ‘pre-art’ comprises art that falls short of art proper in some way…Compared to genuine art, ‘pre-art’ [or Vor Kunst] rests on a relatively abstract conception of spirit.” ( Hegel’s Aesthetics )

The artworks submitted:

Description of the Work 

The current state of common thinking tries to create dualistic balances (win-lose situations), while it would be better to see triadic harmonies instead (collaborative situations). The Trinity Warriors are fighting against the dualistic thinking in this world of paradoxes and promote a trialistic (threefold) worldview. That’s why they are shaped by the Celtic symbols for trinity, the Triskelion and the Triquetra, both of which I rediscovered by researching the history of the European/Swiss region I live in. Are you ready for the next step in thinking: From dualistic to trialistic? As you change how you look at the world, the world you look at will change.

TRINITY WARRIOR II (M. Sager, 2020). Acrylic on wood panel, 80 x 80 cm

Trinity-warrior-II msthias sager psychology art painting

TRINITY WARRIOR I (M. Sager, 2020). Acrylic on wood panel, 80 x 80 cm

Trinity-warrior-I mathias sager psychology art painting

Biography 

Mathias Sager is born in Zurich in 1975 and grew up in Switzerland. For many years he lived in Tokyo and also in Pune/India. Mathias is passionate about developing human potential, which is an overarching theme throughout all his work that is based on independent research and supported by intuition and art. Through teaching, counseling, and leading individuals and teams around the world, and with a background in education sciences, an EMBA in information and communication technology, as well as an MSc in Psychology, Mathias’ goal is to inspire with interdisciplinary, innovative, and cross-cultural approaches to personal and professional development for individual well-being and the common good alike. For Mathias, psychology and art belong together, why his paintings often appear together with written pieces of psycho-philosophical research and wisdom.


Artist Statement 

As the inventor of the concept of ‘Awareness Intelligence,’ which is the ability to expand and systematically use one’s thinking in the full scope of time and social relationships in a triadic constellation, I regularly take up the number 3 in my works. My art intends to remain raw, simple, and naively colorful, yet intelligently connecting the dots according to the holistic thinking behind. I invite the viewer of my work to give a second look to get that systematic. What is put into my paintings is (1) self-reflection, (2) love of social connections, and (3) the care for the next generation. It is thought that fuels the painting process, which then generates awareness-intelligent emotions, hopefully for the viewer too. Whenever the creative experience becomes work, I bring it back to fun through disregarding any methodological and technical considerations if needed; the term “play,” from that perspective, would better reflect the nature of my creative process. 

Can you see the wheel of joy (࿋) in my face?

Trinity Warrior IV (M. Sager, 2020). Acrylic on wood panel, 60 x 60 cm.

A face also seems to me to be in three parts (instead of just left/right, up/down) -> ࿋ wheel of joy. It’s a bit more difficult to recognize, but all the more dynamic/harmonious (as with everything :-)).

We can photograph the outer world, but our inward view has to be painted.

SOUL (2020), acrylic on canvas, 150 x 120 cm

Comprehensive awareness is like the capturing of light, which is our soul’s essential yearning. Life wants to reveal itself to us. Even if we close our eyes, some light is shining through the lids. The clouds are not a part of the sky. It’s never completely dark; there is always radiating vividness. To see clearly, wait until the clouds are gone. They are just the changing and passing stories others and we tell ourselves. Look inside, reflect the light, and enlighten your awareness. That’s how you regain orientation and freedom that comes from foresight, providence, and trust.

Compared to the massive investments put into the marketing of consumer goods and the enhancement of our five senses, investments into understanding and developing the human mind to increase well-being and health, stay comparatively modest. It would not only make sense, but it is our responsibility to promote the empowerment of the human mind, to teach how to use the most powerful tool there is, human awareness, as a matter of priority in all societies.

The indefinite power of the human soul and mind can be unlocked as human beings evolve from doing ‘sightseeing’ to ‘thoughtthinking.’ This will intensify the understanding and appreciation of the mental world and propel the development of Awareness Intelligence. No field of science or any advanced forms of artificial intelligence have been able to solve the disconnect between the people that causes all the issues of inner and outer conflict. It’s the power of awareness that has the potential to link separateness together and to unify. It’s time to become more aware of our absence of awareness, the only way to solve the remaining problems of humanity, which are all due to shallow lives lost in thoughtless wandering.

Excerpts from Awareness Intelligence (M. Sager, 2019)

ME, WE, ALL OF THEM TOGETHER

ME, WE, ALL OF THEM. Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 cm

Today’s state of consciousness and social intelligence still seems to rest on the limitation of “me and we.” Aren’t we capable of adding (especially as concerning the future) “all of them” to our social scope?

Humans are social beings equipped with the mental capacity of social intelligence whose ultimate enabler is awareness. What is the scope of most (scientific and popular) definitions of Social Intelligence? Does being socially intelligent deploy intelligence to all social forms and levels of humanity? Social Intelligence as typically understood today is applied to individual, organizational, national, and racial purposes, and usually ends at some of such outer social perimeters that societies, depending on culture, have created and therefore may never really comprise all humanity. There may be endeavors considering humanitarian aspects, but one can be commonly called socially intelligent without being truly inclusive of the full possible social scope. If we indeed risk not to develop a more comprehensive view of the human species, this might have dramatic outcomes. For whom? For everyone.

There is agreement, that intelligence types of the like of Social Intelligence are mostly acquired. In other words, tact, sensibleness, and people smartness typically develop in dependency to experiencing rewards and punishments in specific social settings over time. We never meet whole humanity though and so we assume to have seen all that is relevant for us. Our friends, families, relatives, work organizations, friends, communities, parties, religious institutions, nations, and ethnic groups define our social world view. However, if one wants to be genuinely human with all that humankind has to offer, seeing beyond these narrow organizing social concepts is necessary. Only if we care for all humanity, our happiness will be unlimited. Awareness Intelligence includes the ability to switch with agility between different possible social layers and to see the commonality of all the fights that are fought on any level. Awareness Intelligence goes deeper than a skill set for motivated behavior in a specific situation. Intelligence is a permanently maintained and applied deep attitude that continually re-defines one’s personality. If a foreign soldier kills our mother or father, we find it, correctly, of course, terrible. But what about parental gatekeeping and alienation that leave children growing up without parents too? It takes Awareness Intelligence to see the analogy of the same tragedies just happening on different levels of social identity. In both cases, the reason (a defense mechanism and revenge) and sad consequence (a child growing up without a parent) are the same, but the judgment can change depending on the social scope of awareness. It requires sobriety to recognize any aggression, violence, and war on any level as intolerable and to apply humantime critically to any situation, be it on family, firm, communal, national, and any other (up to a truly humanistic) level.

Excerpts from Awareness Intelligence. Holy, wholly, and wholesomely human (M. Sager, 2019)

(Non-violent) ‘fighting’ for Awareness Intelligence that comprises the three treasures of Taoism

Trinity Warrior III. Acrylic on canvas, 100 x 100 cm.

(Non-violent) ‘fighting’ for Awareness Intelligence that comprises the three treasures of Taoism:

  • MODERATION leads to generosity (All are born the same as humans. There is no superiority of anyone, just different cultures, and societal norms. -> I’m thinking about my INTRAPERSONAL PAST. Who am I really regardless of my upbringing?)
  • COMPASSION leads to courage (Unconditional love removes fear from pressure, allowing to be oneself and even unliked amidst the expectations of others. -> I’m thinking about my INTERPERSONAL PRESENT where I share the present moment with others; are these free from judgment of the past and expectations into the future?)
  • HUMILITY leads to leadership (Benevolence and responsibility benefit all humanity rather than ego-inflated ambitions. -> I’m thinking about the EXTRAPERSONAL FUTURE that will outlast my lifetime. Am I leaving the next generation a better world?)

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Trinity warriors: A loving mother and father fight for a child’s right for both parents

As with predominant dualistic thinking, (parent-children) relationships are also wrongly understood as between two parties. It seems to be the insecure ego’s desire to own a person. A trinity warrior, on the other hand, doesn’t have to control through exclusive possession. Instead, he or she recognizes an individual’s right to be complete by one’s own and to maintain other relationships with both parents too.

Take the mother, who can separate her romantic bonding from exclusive rights on the common child. Look at the father, who respects the child’s need to have a mother and a father. Real adults know that balanced and meaningful contact with each parent in everyday life is a most powerful predictor of a child’s future health, well-being, and positive social functioning. Responsible parents respect that maternal and paternal parenting is equally vital for a child’s well-being.

Time distribution arrangements that ensure the involvement of both parents in essential aspects of their children’s everyday lives and routines—including bedtime and waking rituals, transitions to and from school, and extracurricular and recreational activities—are likely to keep nonresidential parents playing psychologically important and central roles in the lives of their children. The insecurely egoistic parent, in contrast, practices parental gatekeeping and works towards alienating the other parent to let their selfish urge win over reason and the well-being of others. That’s not right; we all can feel it. And, there is plenty of research showing the benefits of shared/joint parenting(https://mathias-sager.com/2017/05/23/shared-parenting-research-geteilte-kinderfursorge-forschung/).  

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TRISKELION / TRIQUETRA, Acrylic on canvas, 100 x 100 cm

The current state of common thinking tries to create dualistic balances (win-lose situations), while it would be better to see triadic harmonies instead (collaborative situations). Are you ready for the next step in thinking: Like from 2D to 3D? As you change how you look at the world, the world you look at will change.

– either-or (ADD and)

– left-right (ADD middle)

– outside-inside (ADD between)

– life-death (ADD rebirth)

– mind-body (ADD spirit)

– mother-child (ADD father)

– power-intellect (ADD love)

– creation-destruction (ADD preservation)

me-we (ADD they/all)

– etc.