Optimism, Pessimism, the Pursuit of ‘Happiness’ and our own Slice of ‘Reality’

Evan Bortnick       http://musa-vocalis.de/

Gesangsunterricht Wiesbaden

I’ve always found Freud’s idea of “The Pleasure Principle” fascinating. When I watch myself and those I know make choices over and over and over again, which by any reasonable standards would be considered antithetical to either pleasure or happiness, the fascination increases. I can also vaguely remember a ‘kick’ I went through in the 70s after reading books about positive visualization. In my many esoteric adventures, I was enamored quite early of the model of the four ‘bodies’; Physical, Astral, Mental and CAUSAL. One thing seemed to me certain; visualizing goals, desires and needs solidified these for my consciousness and perhaps even, in some subtle energetic ways brought them into being.

Evan Bortnick

Evan Bortnick Wiesbaden

This has advantages and disadvantages. The advantages, implied above, revolve around making goals conscious and palpable. The disadvantages revolve around the very strong possibility (for me at least) of sublimating or suppressing important shadow material like grief, loss, mourning, aggression, angst, sorrow, shame, humiliation and myriad others which can ONLY be transformed by being made conscious and worked through. There are even serious models which state that the suppression of such states which are unacceptable to your identity can have somatic consequences; ie. can actually make you ill!

At the same time, I sometimes noticed in the midst of a really ecstatic positive visualization, intense pictures and emotions would emerge of that which I most definitely did not wish. I would vividly imagine my daughter, or wife, dying; making arrangements, going to the funeral, mourning. Or I’d imagine total failure, living in poverty under a bridge somewhere….or losing a limb, or being hopelessly sick. This scared me at first. I feared by imagining it so vividly, I’d bring it into being. I also noticed, if allowed, I would become calm and still in a way I wasn’t familiar with. This made me curious. How can vividly imagining “The Worst” make me calm? Even more important; what’s the difference between the positive visualization that possibly energetically brings something into being (as in the “Law of Attraction”, ie. “Thoughts are Things”) and these most negative kinds of visualizations which left me feeling calm, somehow prepared and eminently thankful? There is a difference, of that I’m certain. I’d bet that an EEG would measure completely different neural networks in action.

Since the things I most feared and visualized in that special way did not come about and many of the things I positively visualized have come about, I found myself fearing the onset of these intense, negative visualizations less and less. The time actually came when I not only looked forward to them, I went actively into them. Not often, but often enough to make that delicious combination of stillness and thankfulness repeatable.

Evan Bortnick

Evan Bortnick Wiesbaden

So what is the pursuit of happiness? What choices do we make based on our inner life’s visual preparations? For me, at least at this point, it revolves around a flow between positive and negative visualizations, both of which I experience as creative. So I have to admit to being a big fan of both positive visualization AND negative visualization. I’m convinced that both have a purpose, both do something profound for me and both have their context in my inner life.

Evan Bortnick

Evan Bortnick Wiesbaden

Evan Bortnick       http://musa-vocalis.de/

Gesangsunterricht Wiesbaden

Advertisements

About evanb54

I'm a passionate, curious learning junkie--- an X-Opera Singer turned Voice Teacher, Voice Teachers Teacher, NLP Lehrtrainer, Off-Path Coach, Cranio-Sacral worker and a few other even less mainstream things. Everything I've learned or taught revolves around THE VOICE. The Voice as a tool of artistic expression. The Voice as a tool of emotional transparency. The voice as a tool of flexible communication. More information can be found at my Institute Site: www.musa-vocalis.de The Wiesbaden Academy of the Vocal Muse Gesangsunterricht Wiesbaden, Coaching, Voice Pedagogy
This entry was posted in Authenticity, Communication, Concentration, Congruence, Emotional Intelligence, Focus, Harmonie, Intelligence, Mental Training, Self Expression, Stillness and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s