The Artist Within
The Art of Creation
It was a Biology lesson and the teacher pulled across the curtains in the laboratory. The class was in total darkness. The teacher then asked the class if there was a blackboard in the room. The class answered in unison that of course there was. He then went on to ask if there were other items there which they would normally expect to find in a laboratory. He received a variety of responses and then switched on the lights. The teacher then continued:
“Unless there is light in the room you will be unable to see any object placed before you. You must therefore deduce that without light you cannot see. Your eyes are redundant without light. What your eyes are seeing is the light being reflected from the object you focus upon. So in actual fact you do not see the object but the light rays bouncing off it. The light entering your eyes is converted to electrical impulses by nerves and sent to the brain. The brain then converts these electrical impulses into a picture. You could therefore conclude that your mind has created the object you are looking at. You could imagine an artist in your brain with easel paints and brushes painting picture after picture of the surroundings from which light is entering your eyes. Without the light he cannot paint. Some things you see are then coloured with emotion like fear, joy, sadness, desire and so on. So everything outside of us is created from the materials within ourselves. What many people fail to grasp is that they have the power to change the pictures and see the world in whatever light they wish because the artist is their very own minds.
For Homework - Dispel Fear
For homework pick a subject you do not like or fear, it could be a person, it could be a school subject like Mathematics, or an insect like a spider. Sit quietly by yourself and bring the object into focus in your mind. Examine the picture and see how you have created it. Now change your picture so that it now doesn’t look threatening and add whatever it takes so that it looks loveable. Write a report on what you did and put in as much detail as possible. Give the experiment a title, draw any diagrams necessary, and outline the steps you went through so that someone else reading your report could easily follow your method. Finally write your results and what you concluded from the experiment. If you feel there are any precautions that should be taken please make a note of these. Now, off you go and enjoy your break.”
The labels we attach to people, places, and things are of our own making. Once children realise this, they no longer feel like victims and are free to play with life. They see that it is just as easy to label a person or a subject likeable as horrible. The labels they attach either help them progress as individuals or hold them back. Once they see that the decision is in their own hands and that their decisions affect their happiness they understand the advantages in looking for the best in everyone and everything. There is a story in the Bible in which we are asked not to look for the splinter in other people’s eyes but better attend to the log in our own.
Self Creating Reality
Unless the picture the child holds of the school subject looks friendly interesting, challenging, and worthwhile their progress in that subject will always be hampered. Changing the picture of the task before starting it would seem the most sensible thing to do. I for my part, I have spent years trying to teach children a subject they dreaded and it wasn’t until I showed them how to erase fear from the picture they had of it, that I began to make any progress. The picture I had in my mind was that of wading through mud and never making much headway. In changing my own picture of how I saw myself teaching I freed myself from a self created reality that dictated the world I was living in.
The most important picture the child holds in mind is that of himself. What we as teachers often fail to notice is that this picture of himself is on open view. Our reaction to the child is a reflection of the picture he has of himself. If he is ever going to change his picture of himself we need to change ours of him.
About 13 years ago I met a great teacher in India Sri Sathya Sai Baba. He asked me, "How many types of teacher are there?" My mind went blank and so he continued, "There are three types of teacher, those who explain. those who complain and those who inspire." He then asked me, "What type of teacher are you?"
After that meeting I knew what I wanted to become. Only my students can tell if I ever succeeded!
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