Systems, patterns, and understanding
Spheres and the Torah
I suppose as you live you grow towards certain understandings and let go of others. It doesn't necessarily change what you do but your consciousness is not quite the same.
When young my drawing was all over the place. Different influences pulled me this way and that. The core to myself got lost somewhere and there was just not enough time for just doing it. It was a scattered and stressed environment I felt. Still, I stumbled along and somehow some things got done. Recently I ran across a lady who taught a very simple principle in art. Draw a sphere from your mind as well as you can. It would be done theoretically. One was to imagine a single light source and then draw a circle and put values in. There would be a highlight, then light, then a transition tone into the shadow, and within the shadow on the bottom reflected light. On the surface would be a cast shadow. This would be like Plato's ideal form, as perfect as one could imagine it. How freeing to able to realize and do this.
Usually I drew by observation and copying tones and values and shapes. I was dependent on what I saw and knew. In this exercise you are drawing the perfect form in the perfect light as conceived perfectly in your inner knowing. This is so core and at the bottom of everything. All shapes and forms and lighting are merely variations of the imaginary sphere. Your perfect standard has been tapped. It doesn't get more basic and fundamental than this.
Unrelated, I heard a tape from a Kabbalah rabbi who said the Torah is a complete instruction guide for living life. He went on to state it goes back 3300 years. In the comment section a lady, who had been a Christian but then converted to Judaism, commented that Judaism was a complete system. Both comments resonated with me and clarified what I suspected.
I've always sought to understand the nature of how things work. One moves in all directions on this. One refines certain categories and then one has to build a whole new paradigm outside of the categories. Layer upon layer is built, and previous categories have to be remembered as well as built upon. Then one assesses the truth and non truth of each. You then have to absorb and practice what you've learned and seen. Experience plus observation is your laboratory. Doing this as an individual, however, can become daunting as one takes in new information and well as new realizations. Living by realization is good but it also places a lot of responsibility onto the individual. 'It's all on you, so to speak.' Even remembering what you've learned is not always easy. And many ways of thought are not always compatible. For instance being in the now contradicts learning from history.
I've suspected all along that everything I've ever come up with was somehow in the Torah and its commentary directly or indirectly. How can one mind realize and maintain the accumulation of collective minds over 3300 years that was recorded and saved. If I was starting a system to learn, record, and realize all the wisdom of the world, and honor the past, I couldn't really design a better system. Even concepts that seem to contradict its premises are discussed somewhere in the texts and considered. For instance, in Christian fundamentalism it is claimed Jesus brought grace to the world, superior to the merit system the Jewish people seemed to follow. But yet, in the Torah, didn't David often admit how helpless he felt and that he needed God to help him because he couldn't do it on his own? No merit system there, just mercy.
All the directions I've looked into and the different systems, Hindu yoga and mysticism, zen, meditation, Christian salvation, pagan cycles, Greek philosophy, the American Indian spirit world, all are there in some form. Why? Because its old and a continuous effort and people over time needed and went through everything. True, the Jewish story has a certain a certain thrust and purpose, but hidden in the various corners and cracks of the Torah are all manner of thought. As one considers all things it is definitely part of the whole, at the very least a level of seeing things that is part of the many levels one needs to balance it all out.
So appreciation of two truths happened to me recently. Will they stand forever? I don't know, but they were notched into me in some form and I'll nod and then continue to move through life as I steer and get steered.