LOCKDOWN FOR A BREAKTHROUGH
A shift in perspectiveThe sketch depicts the Laxman Jhula bridge in Rishikesh on 4th of April 2020, one day before it was shut down because of the protests against the curfew in India. The country locked down 1.3 billion humans overnight with no warning. We found ourselves shocked , in difficulty to cross the Ganges and to believe that what is happening - is real.
I have said in the preface
to this sketchbook that my chosen superpower is to imagine worlds. Now being locked down in India in a biggest quarantine in history is such a perfect place to start. And a lockdown is the right time for a breakthrough.
What do I mean by breakthrough? Let me picture it to you because your breakthrough and mine I think are the same thing. They would take different shapes of course, but the shape does not really matter. Its essence of being a bridge
between imagination and reality - remains.
This is how paintings come to this world, by the way. I do not think I am supposed to tell it to anybody...but I will go on in whisper nonetheless. This is how talking about a revolution sounds.
You see, it feels quite strange to look at things that you have once painted. A tiny mistake in fabric of reality. The black cat passing by you twice. You have painted something, you have brought it back to the world of image, fiction, where it belongs. After that the thing's claim to be real looks rather weak. It almost makes you laugh and say to it: "You don't fool me! I've just painted you, I know what you are! Just a combination of imagined colours and shapes, rendered by light...you are not real!
It might have happened to you many times, like those little strange details that make you lucid in a dream. Life is overflowing with strange things and connections that are impossible to explain. A musician will tell you even more. A Filmmaker would ask you "Reality?...which
reality you mean?"... A mystic would yawn at you and ask over and over again an ancient question "What is reality
Consider this: if you can make reality into a sketch, why not otherwise - from sketch to reality? Why in the wide world not? The process
must be essentially the same.
If you would find a blank sketchbook and you would know that anything you draw there would come true, how would it make you feel? Happy? Scared? Overwhelmed, excited?
Imagine for a second...you are holding a brush or a pen and anything you decide to draw will come into being. And then imagine you already have it and you do not use it ...how do you feel now?
But back to lockdown in India. Ganges flowing surprised at her deserted banks with disappeared worshipers. A neighbour calls me from the balcony above on the opposite building, just a couple of metres far. I sit on my balcony in a plastic chair writing this, my legs conveniently placed on the steel fence. I look up from my notes at him, a 50-year old slender yogi, all the way from Russia, simply named Vlad, a massy volume of dreadlocks hairstyle. What a perfect person to ask the most pressing question of lockdown:
- So Vlad, do I have control over my life? Can I imagine my future and then watch it unfold?
- You have zero control, you are watching the movie designed in advance by your higher self or the universe or the spirit - whatever you choose to call it. - we are far enough, he is not wearing mask and I see that my question makes him smile. I challenge him:
- But yesterday as we were shopping for vegetables downstairs you have told me that I am the universe and I am the spirit and that I need to realise it. Which makes for me having total control over my world, does it?
- Well, from that perspective - yes, if you are at one with everything, than yes, it is your movie. - he looks at me kindly but ironically as if with the silent question: "So did you realise you are the universe, since yesterday?..."
Well, maybe not just yet, but who chooses the perspective? And which one would you prefer? What if you can simply choose?
LEAD ME FROM UNREAL TO REAL
LEAD ME FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT
LEAD ME FROM DEATH TO IMMORTALITY
-goes Pavamana mantra from the Upanishads.
Now well, to begin with, LEAD ME FROM SKETCH TO REALITY !
It fascinates me so, draws in my entire soul, that it must hold the key for the above breakthrough described ages ago.
Because the ability, the choice to imagine your world is the new perspective. A breakthrough
perspective I would say. What if it is way closer to the REAL, LIGHT and IMMORTALITY pointed out by sages? What if it is the way things are and we are just not paying enough attention?
I am not really a yogi, and I will not head for the caves in Himalayas and talk to cobras as Vlad is so used to. My definition of a breakthrough would simply be to take the perspective of the genius painter
of your life. To imagine and then to witness yourself walking into your own images. From sketch to reality. Let's take it from there, shall we?
A composer or movie director if you'd prefer...form does not matter. Just walk that bridge from imagination to reality and turn thoughts and feelings into steel so as you won't fall. Galvanise your intentions. The rapid mountain river is real. I now live right next to it and the only way to cross would be the imagined bridge with no guards.
Let's practice the shift of perspective. It will start the process. It might be an insane thing to do but try tell me the worldwide lockdown is less insane. I think we might agree here, that this the perfect place to start imagining new worlds.
We are locked down now and you and I and everyone are experiencing something unprecedented in history. You might be asking yourself "And so what happens next, to me and to the world?".
I think the answer is: "nobody knows". And the question is: "What will we imagine?"