A Pair of Worn Shoes

What does this Vincent Van Gogh painting suggest to you, if anything?

Van Gogh, Pair of Shoes, 1886

Please read the article A Pair of Worn Shoes by Ken Wilber that Windhorse recently sent to me.   I am interested in your thoughts about this.

212 responses to “A Pair of Worn Shoes

  1. Marty — as you know I really admire Ken Wilber and found this story about Vincent remarkable, thus I sent it to you. I’ll be interested too in hearing what others have to say.

    Ken’s written work isn’t that easy, to me, to understand. However, I really got a great deal out of listening to a 10 hour Q and A between Ken and one of his friends, Tami Simon (she owns Sounds True).

    I’m happy to burn the cds and send them to anyone who might like to hear them. Either as 10, one hour CDs or I can burn as mp3s which will be about 3 or 4 cds.

    A friend asked me ages ago to just send them online but that is WAY over my head.

    If you are interested email me at windhorse11@hushmail.com

    Christine

    • In this video, Ken Wilbur does, with the portable ECG machine, what I as a beginner Scientologist, thought that Scientologists who readed OT 8 and higher, could do, with their minds!

      In otherwords, Wilbur, after years and years of meditation, DOES get his brain into some nirvana like “witnessing” state, where he shows with this portable machine, that he can absolutely control his brain waves, etc, etc.

      I really had hoped OTs could do something as scientifically verifiable, as Wilbur does in the above video, minimally.

      • Well Chuck, OTs can if they want. I remember the evening my husband of some 21 years informed me that I snored! I had no idea and thanked him for putting up with it so long with no complaint but I was a bit skeptical… did I really? I ‘stayed awake’ that nite as my body went to sleep and by golly ! I DID snore!.
        We had fun laughing about it :) And I had a win staying awake while body was asleep like I used to when I was a kid. Of course I thanked Ron and my auditors for all those hours in session ~ not even near 20 years….
        Cece

        • Eager to Believe

          Can you perform this trick of “staying awake while body was asleep” at will or was this a one time thing? Have you ever done any tests to prove whether or not you really did this? For example reading a random number written by someone else and taped underneath the nightstand?
          I don’t mean to be cynical here but there are too many examples of people who were absolutely certain about something only to later discover they were wrong. I know there is supposed to be no greater proof of something than one’s own personal “experience” (ie: what is true for you is what you yourself have experienced to be true…) but shouldn’t there be some sort of logical scientific examination as well? If science has concluded one thing with a fair degree of certainty it is this: what someone thinks he or she saw does not always turn out to be what they really saw.
          Most of my life I have had a hard time believing many of the gains people claim to have had in going up the Bridge. If Scientology can do what it says and if it is really possible for anyone to go exterior at will I beg you to let me see it, I promise I will not lose my mind or instantaneously combust. I would probably spend the rest of my life trying to get up the bridge if I knew that the OT levels could really achieve this… =-)
          -Eager to believe

      • Controlling the brain waves is not difficult, I learned it (long time ago, before I knew about Scn) in a 2 days Silva Mind Control seminar. I’m sure anybody with some training can do it.

      • Hi Chuck. I think you or I could do that to with some practice.
        I think what he is doing is more like drilling.

        • I just wanted to add that this is a very interesting video and I think it is very much related to Scientology and the E-Meter. I guess this machine picks up changes in the electronic field of the body (around the head) across a range of frequencies. I’ve always been interested in how the thetan interacts with the body and I think thats what he’s gaining control over here. I assume as he goes into a ‘meditative state” he might have an FN?

      • I think that Scientologists can basically do this using an emeter by intentionally producing various reads and meter phenomena at will. I know that I can do this and I am not OTVIII or close to it.

      • Hey Chuck, David my hubby had a machine similar to that called the “Mind Mirror”. Showed the patterns to what degree your mind was awakened and as you increased your states, it would prove it. Useful in a variety of ways. People into meditation liked it and was good experimentation. Seriously used, but a fun toy too.

    • Yes Christine, I’ll trade you for a CD of Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan :)
      But I’m thinking we can find those on line at YouTube maybe. I will look b4 I email you for them. Thanks.
      Cece

      • About ten years ago I found on Ebay a CD of the unreleased recording session Johnny Cash did with Bob Dylan (the one that produced Girl from the North Country for Dylan’s Nashville Skyline album). The whole CD was really great, maybe it’s even been released by now – duets on many of Cash’s famous tunes as well as a number of other ones, and Dylan yodles too on a song. And it was only a few bucks, bet it is still available.

  2. Interesting essay, but since this was referred from a indie Scientology blog I guess I had some of the tenants LRH has taught in the back of my mind when reading it because I was struck by the author’s dismissal of Heidegger description of the painting – in terms of how a Scientologist would interpret it.

    Would this not be a case of “if it’s true for you” for Heidegger? Obviously the painting made a deep impression on Heidegger and he waxed poetic about the truth it spoke to him, even if that truth had no association with the actual reality behind the painting. So from a scientology perspective don’t both stories behind the painting have equal merit? The story or truth the painting speaks to each individual varies regardless of the actual facts behind the creators intention.

    Also I’ve always been touched about stories of Vincent Van Gogh. Not even because of Vincent himself, who certainly was a gentle soul who suffered greatly – but because of the stories of those around him who cared, protected and nurtured him. Vincent’s brother Theo dedicated his life to trying to support his brother, allowing him to paint.and treasuring his art when most of the world was blind to its beauty. The same goes for many artists of the time who befriended Vincent – stories abound of him sharing homes and space with artists who tried to help and protect him. (Many times Theo being the one arranging the situation.) So that Vincent’s art is now so celebrated and famous around the world isn’t so much the story of a solitary, genius unappreciated during his lifetime (though it is that too) but the story of a circle of compassionate people who recognized both the human being and his immense talent and worked as hard as they could in difficult circumstances to nurture and protect Vincent’s beautiful soul and work. Thanks to their efforts today Vincent is celebrated when he could have easily been another forgotten, struggling artist. There are many Vincent’s in history that weren’t so fortunate and we shall never have the pleasure to know.

    • Thanks for that back story Sunny. I had the same initial reaction to Wilber; you don’t need to discredit Heidegger to make your point. But, Wilber does make a far deeper, more universal point. Your point is made wonderfully in the movie Life of Pi

      • I’m glad you found it interesting. I’ve yet to see Life of Pi, but intend too. I read quite a bit about Van Gogh at one point when I was researching genius and madness, If you don’t mind me going a little off topic I’ll explain,

        It’s agreed among almost everyone who has studied Vincent’s life that he suffered from schizophrenia, He started out as a preacher trying to help the poor and needy and series of breakdowns in his early adulthood drove him towards art. (Most schizophrenics start experiencing symptoms between the ages of 16-32. His bio is a textbook case of schizophrenia.) Vincent suffered from hearing voices and other hallucinations, and this played a large factor in the well known story of him cutting off part of his own ear. I mention this because while he suffered from schizophrenia he was also an undeniable artistic genius.

        The relationship between genius and schizophrenia is quite amazing. If you look at many of the people society considers “geniuses” (esp in the field of mathematics and physics) it is stunning how often you will also find these people have someone in their immediate family who suffers from schizophrenia. Sometimes the person themselves suffers from it – as in the case of John Nash. Einstein had a schizophrenic son who spent most of his life in institutions. James Watson, who co-discovered the structure of DNA has a schizophrenic son. Issac Newton suffered a psychotic break at 40, etc.. The examples go on and on and on. It abounds if you ask Ph.D’s who teach mathematics at Ivy League universities about their families.

        People have always said there’s a fine line between madness and genius, but Its more than just a saying, evidence is plentiful.. I’ve been fascinated by the correlation between genius and schizophrenia for a number of years. There are specific genes that predispose people towards schizophrenia – but it seems its almost like playing with fire. These same genes seem to have something to do with the thinking and creativity we ascribe to the level of “genius” because it is so far outside the normal human spectrum of thought.and intelligence. Genius itself is a type of creativity, it’s not so much how intelligent one may be but genius seems to be the ability to have unique insight into a problem or unique perspective or creativity into an endeavor. Whatever combo these genes manifests can either be a blessing or a curse and the line between the two seems very fine at times.

        • There was probably also a physical component to Van Gogh’s mental state (that in the very least CONTRIBUTED to his condition if not causing it). He was a drinker of absinthe, which was poisonous in large quantities (think it’s illegal now to produce it as it once was made). Add to that malnutrition and its effect on him physically and mentally. In one letter he wrote his brother, when he was almost out of money at the end of a month (Theo send him money each month), he existed, as i recall, on 23 cups of coffee over 4 days. The body and the brain need more than this of course to function at any decent level. And yes, invalidation? No doubt a PTS component as well. Not only to his art (one of the greatest artists who ever lived selling one painting in his life?), but also to many of his second and third dynamic goals as well. Unfortunately too (from his letters) he did not have much of a sense of humor to help him during all of this stress. In any case he leaves quite a legacy. If anyone is lucky enough to visit Amsterdam, the Van Gogh museum is one of the art viewing highlights of the entire world.

          • Agreed, Joe. We visited the Van Gogh Museum in 2006 and it is a mindblower. There is an entire Van Gogh industry in Amsterdam that thrives and rightfully so. Van Gogh’s paintings jump off the wall like no other artist in history, IMHO. In just a few years his draftsmanship progressed from amateurish to utterly masterful. He did a painting of a skeleton with a cigarette in its teeth, 80 years before the Surgeon General warned of the dangers of smoking. Reading about his troubled life one gets the impression that he was a very difficult person to be around, soooooo intense, not unlike DM (to bring it back around to why we are here), but spiritually far more advanced than DM, far more creative and will always be remembered far more fondly than DM will ever be, the clubbed seals notwithstanding.

          • “If anyone is lucky enough to visit Amsterdam, the Van Gogh museum is one of the art viewing highlights of the entire world.”
            i was lucky to be able to visit in late 2010 and it made such an impression on me, having priorly only had a brief education on Van Gogh and his work. I was thrilled to gain insight into the man, his art, and his journey. Left a real impression on me. Highly recommended for all.

        • Story from the BBC about “Creative minds mimic schizophrenia”. Goes into detail about similarities they’ve found between highly creative people and people who suffer from various forms of mental illness.

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10154775

        • Sunny, thank you for this. I was unaware of his schizophrenia and read that his visions were the result of brain anomalies during epileptic seizures. Is the concensus now that he was schizophrenic rather than epileptic or that he exhibited features of both conditions? Either way, he was certainly a genius. So much emotion in a pair of shoes or a vase of flowers.

          • Well, because he died so long ago we can never be 100% certain. For For many years other reasons were given for his problems because there was such a societal stigma with schizophrenia and other mental health labels. Now that these diseases and conditions are better understood and stigma lessening, discussions about the real medical conditions of figures from the past can be honestly explored, rather than just written off with a ‘mad genius’ comment.

            Only in recent years have doctors are certain that VanGogh didn’t suffer from epilepsy but from Meniere’s disease – which causes vertigo and seizures.

            There is also the possibility he suffered from a very severe form of bi-polar disorder, which the symptoms of severe bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia can mimic each other – particularly when bi-polar people are in their manic phases. So there is still some debate on if it was truly schizophrenia or a severe form of bi-polar disorder. Also one must take into account the harsh living conditions he endured at times VanGogh was known not to take very good care of himself, and his income didn’t allow many extras.

            The Meniere’s disease probably made his mental health issues worse. From the letters I’ve read from Van Gogh and letters from his brother to others about Vincent, I believe schizophrenia is the likely diagnosis, There are a number of reasons but the unset of symptoms, the particular fixations he had (religious visions, voices, etc…) and the condition growing worse and more severe as he passed from his 20’s to 30’s with time all fit the with typical pattern of someone suffering with a schizo-effective disorder. The cutting off of his ear and some other extreme episodes point to schizophrenia, or being caused by the very real delusions and impulses schizophrenics suffer from.

            If you’re interested, here’s an article was written a decade ago, and now far more is known about VanGogh, but it is interesting for the medical details and other insight about his life from a medical perspective. I would like to know the Doctor’s opinion now 10 years later personally.
            http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleid=175449

            • Personally I do not find the term “schizophrenia” to be very informative or enlightening. It is, and always has been, a catch-all label with no clear definition. It’s current status is well described in the Wikipedia article about the term, of which this is an excerpt:

              “Current research is focused on the role of neurobiology, although no single isolated organic cause has been found. The many possible combinations of symptoms have triggered debate about whether the diagnosis represents a single disorder or a number of discrete syndromes.”

              This is actually after over 50 years of “debate” about what is “schizophrenia” and whether such a clinical entity actually exists! Such is the state of psychiatric “science” and psychiatric diagnosis.

  3. Beautiful!

    Thank you Marty and Christine for this.
    Just what I needed.

    Good example of how hard it is to be yourself (spirit, the I-Am-Ness) in “this world”.

    I also think of the shoes Ron have must worn.
    And all the other man and woman who work hard to make space where people can go free!

  4. Helmuth, speaking for Boskone

    Everyman’s boots, that have seen better days?

    • Helmuth/Boskone, Thank you. That is what I was just listening to ‘in my head’ as I finished the article and was reading the comments.
      I was thinking of how many of us (and Vincent & others in the past) are/have been wearing these boots.
      Thank you for posting this.
      Cece

    • Helmut,…..
      Thank you! Couldn’t have thought of a more appropriate reference!
      This concept of growing dynamic by dynamic and walking down the road seems a lot more expansive than controlled brain waves. Maybe there are some overlapping areas, who knows.
      Greta

  5. I had only to read the first paragraph and clear a new (to me) word, “holonic,” when I had the big cog: THAT IS A PERFECT ARTICULATION OF OF WHAT WE NEED AND WANT IN THE INDEPENDENT FIELD! Now I’ll read the rest of the article. LOL BTW, the complete clearing of the word holonic is in Wikipedia.
    ML, Anita Warren

  6. For starters this is a beautiful and thoughtful painting! I see a cherished pair of worn boots as all that is left of someone much loved, possibly of a child.

  7. To me, this says that Jesus is in all of us, and we have the ability to create a better world. Jesus represents help on all flows. I think that LRH said one time that one could simply clear himself if one ran his life as help on all flows for a long enough time. Thanks for this, it really helped me.

    • Are you saying that Jesus was a clear?

      • I don’t know if Jesus was Clear or not but I’m pretty sure he wore sandals.

      • Hmmmm – was Christ a historical person or actually an allegory? Operating on literal interpretation rather than infinity-valued logic as proposed by LRH has caused trouble in the church. Thankfully we can avoid that here. My point was that I think I found a useful insight into Christianity. My own opinion is that Christianity came from the earlier salvation cults (Mithra, etc.) and Christ is a symbol of the nobler side of man. On the other hand, the concept of Christ as the archetypical victim (which LRH rightly criticized in an HCOB) tends to be used as a control mechanism.

        • Bryon, I think there was a Jesus. I think he had to have been a very advanced being to have inspired what he did. He definitely had more than a slight halo going on. We can only speculate on how he got there and achieved it. Whats been done with and added to his story and legend has been for various political reasons and other agenda. But the basic on that chain had to have been quite an advanced being.

        • At the side of God or eternal damnation? It’s the inside story of orthodox religion throughout recorded history, including eastern; hell in the west, or confusion or rebirth back as a cow or transcending the birth/death cycle (heaven).

          Believe or be condemned, familiar?

          The Bible includes fascinating scripture and historical reference, taken in concept even “Christ’s” word, and you may find much applicable, but certainly not the end all as certain factions of Christians would have you believe.

          • … including Buddhists, Scientologists, Hindus or Jews or Islam… the list is long and inclusive.

            Damn near all of us were hypnotized by some point, and even more amazing is that is what we were undoing.

            • The painting is beautiful and full of life, not bad, not good, but a productive isness. Perhaps we end old worn shoes, and can finally without consideration look to see.

  8. The end of a long forced march. a soldiers boots. War. Sorry its not a more esoteric response.

  9. I formed my own impression of the painting before reading the article.
    For some reason I determined they were the boots of a foot soldier who abondoned them to a far corner of a room. The war was over. The boots remained as a reminder of the arduous event.

    After reading the article I had the impression that I wasn’t too far off, but that it was a spiritual battle.

    Anita and I were very fortuante to have been in Amsterdam during a time when they had a very large Van Gough exhibit. I recall the intense emotion that each painting seemed to exude. As if the artist had imbued each work with life and while the artist was gone, the life remained.

    Wilber’s analysis was an excellent example of how incorrect an an opinion can be when based on a lack of data and when taken out of context or when it is simply an opinion pontificated by an arrogant know-best.

    Wilber’s view of one mans search for a higher spiritual consciousness appearing as eccentric or madness to others certainly draws parallels to our own universe. When I look at Van Gough’s work I see a brilliant mind trying to communicate a reality to people. A reality he fervently wanted to share.

    I never learned to paint or write or play music well. So my own canvas with which I seem to have the most success in sharing my reality is “this is the session.”

    Thanks for the thought provoking article, Marty.

    • “As if the artist had imbued each work with life and while the artist was gone, the life remained.”

      From The Factors:
      7 And from the viewpoint to the dimension points there are connection and interchange. Thus new dimension points are made. Thus there is communication.
      8 And thus there is light.
      9 And thus there is energy.
      10 And thus there is life.

      Les, this is a great point and for me really illustrates the value of art and artists. Their gift to us are the unique dimension points which facilitate the communication and interchange that help us find meaning and feel connected to one another. “And thus there is life.” :-)

      • I could never understand Jackson Pollack’s art until I was able to see it in person, which was a very powerful experience. His ability to communicate in apparently random splatters is awe inspiring. Your point here is well taken, thank you.

        • His works have amazing depth and are an experience in and of themselves. I can only imagine what they would say in person. You’ve inspired me to find out! Thank you too.

  10. What this painting brings to mind for me: You have to look at and experience in some way all of life to understand life. The more you shut out, the less you will understand. And the less you have really lived.

  11. Great post Marty, it does make you think about what we all got involved with.

    “And at the upper reaches of the spectrum of consciousness—in the higher states of consciousness—individuals consistently report an awareness of being one with the all, or identical with spirit, or whole in spirit, and so on. The attempt of shallower psychologies, such as psycho-analysis, to merely pathologize all of these higher states has simply not held up to further scrutiny and evidence. Rather, the total web of cross-cultural evidence strongly suggests that these deeper or higher states are potentials available to all of us, so that, as it were, “Christ consciousness” –spiritual awareness and union—is available to each and every one of us”

    My standing on the above is that I was having my own deep and extraordinary experiences before Scientology, and I continued to experience these incredible phenomena during, after and irrespective of Scientology.

    Expert auditing and later training, facilitated and clarified these experiences for me, it did not caused it.

    And right there in the above observation lies what I think is the central problem with the Church of Scientology and any unlucky soul that gets trapped in their insane maze. For if you listen to their spin and mind bending crap, you would be led to believe that “you” will be “made” by Scientology and that the Static, somehow, was copyrighted by LRH.

    My advice to Scientologist is that they should chill out, relax and keep their wallets in their pockets, after all there is always Beingness, Becomingness is the illusion.

    • Brilliant.

      • Roger from Switzerland Thought

        “you would be led to believe that “you” will be “made” by Scientology and that the Static, somehow, was copyrighted by LRH”

        Excellent !
        In one sentence expressing the whole Problem!
        Well done !

    • Conan says
      And right there in the above observation lies what I think is the central problem with the Church of Scientology and any unlucky soul that gets trapped in their insane maze. For if you listen to their spin and mind bending crap, you would be led to believe that “you” will be “made” by Scientology and that the Static, somehow, was copyrighted by LRH.
      It has been cast in stone in radical official Scientology Inc that “spiritual; immortality”, achieving higher states (such as “one with the universe” etc) is only ATTAINABLE based on ELIGIBILITY.
      Their permission to your Eligibility.
      Eligibility became more and more monetized $$$$$$$.
      How much have you given IAS ?
      A lesser known fact is that Rex Fowler, OT VII, Church member for35 years endured 22 intensives of sec checks before he put 3 bullets in his employee in Denver Colorado.
      He got his so called “Eligibility” to continue his Solo Nots and promptly committed homicide.
      But I digress.
      It is preposterous to think or believe that one’s spiritual advancement needs permission from a bunch of DM enablers and RTC thugs. :wink: :wink: :wink:
      How does one get so duped with any organized “Religion” to think that they and only them have the keys to ALLOW or PERMIT your salvation or not.
      Imagine believing that friending or not befriending someone on facebook can determine whether you can experience a higher consciousness state !
      The terminology in the “Church” when Lying is “acceptable truth” or “shore story”
      Propaganda by changing the definition of the word !

      • Karen, haven’t you read the memo? “The Church enjoys peace today thanks to Mr. David Miscavige, the ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion”.
        Keep up woman! http://www.lamag.com/offtherecord/2013/01/04/the-church-of-scientology-responds-to-the-tip-of-the-spear

        • Martin ~~
          The lies and spin in that David Miscavige dictated piece is embarrassing.
          Peace ?
          Stalking Marty and Mosey for 199 days with Squirrel Busters.
          Erecting 600 hate pages on ex Sea Org and ex_Scientologists.
          Obsessively stalking Mike Rinder and ambushing him in a parking lot…
          Sending “Squirrel Busters” to other Indies to harass and intimidate, making anonymous phone calls to Law enforcement to “set up” a target or perceived enemy, still holding folk against will, barbaric reg cycles, getting one and all to “rat” on each other to RTC and internal warfare 24/7/265 spun in this response as the “Church enjoys Peace.” :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:

      • Dear Karen,
        David Miscavige is an Errand Boy for Psychiatry.
        Flag is his Base where the A=A=A is installed to perfection.
        Rex Fowler had money,Miscavige cant stand this so Rex was micro managed into insanity to get his money.
        I hope that Rex writes his side of the story someday .
        Bigge Richert dscovered to late what not to say in a D of P interview
        as an OT 8 at Flag and paid the price. Shes dead so cannot write a book
        but Rex is still alive can shed some light on the TRUTH.

    • The propaganda of Scientology, Inc. is one thing. What the subject of Scientology indicates is entirely another. The gap between the two increases with time. “That ‘you’ will be ‘made’ by Scientology and that the Static, somehow, was copyrighted by LRH.” Is a groupthink propaganda line intended to induce conformity and justify monopoly of the subject. The inference is that Scientology has something to be added to you that you’re lacking and Scientology, Inc. is the only place you can get it. Conversely, correct practice of the subject of Scientology in fact does the opposite. It enables you to eliminate things that have been added to you, with the objective of the emergence (from the added crap) of one’s self.

      Certainly, all people are at different states of awareness. Some are even at exceedingly high levels of consciousness natively. And there are various practices and methodologies to help others achieve higher states of consciousness than where they currently reside – Buddhism and Yoga, just to name two. Indeed, such states are available to all because such states are native to all as spiritual beings, to the nature of consciousness itself. The “deeper or higher states are potentials available to all of us, so that, as it were, ‘Christ consciousness’ –spiritual awareness and union—. . . available to each and every one of us” is the awareness one comes to when tapping into the unified quantum field of consciousness. Many have experienced that throughout history and some have attempted to develop methodologies to make it available to anyone. So, what’s different about the SUBJECT of Scientology?

      The difference is that LRH taped a more navigable Zen path to higher states of awareness that was THEORETICALLY traversable by the masses, and in the process created a standard methodology by which practitioners can assist others along that path. That’s what “The Bridge” was theoretically designed to do – to complete the work of those earlier masters as a replicable system.

      Look at the subject of Scientology as instructions for building an information system for managing the unified quantum field of consciousness. It requires compatible materials for building its hardware and has its own operating system and apps. Like any information system, however, performance is only as good as the hardware used to build it and the reliability of the operating system and apps. Such an information system had never been built before.

      In our case, the DESIGN was “over-engineered” to be a self-generating information system for improving sanity and competence. However, for lack of better materials, the inherently flawed raw materials (human holons) had to be used – containing a dearth of both sanity and competence. Yet, each component had to be able to withstand the stresses of the design. Being a system of components, one confluence of substandard or corrupted materials could cause a component failure. And one design weakness could cause a system crash. And such did occur in its alpha and beta stages for which many patches and upgrades were published by the designer and downloaded as executables over the arc of its 50-year R&D history.

      On the whole, the system DID work. It DID enable millions to reach higher states of consciousness. All we’re witnessing is a design flaw that internal hackers were able to exploit with the Groupthink Virus, causing a system-wide crash and a hardware meltdown – a more virulent virus than any software virus because it directly affects the unified field of consciousness and thus reality itself.

      What I immediately got from the Van Gogh painting in the context of this blog is that someone left behind their battle-worn “Boots in the Sky”, which is ironically consistent with your admonition for Scientologists to chill out and just settle for Beingness as-is. Indeed, Becomingness is an illusion, but so is this agreement-based illusion we call reality.

      Accordingly, my advice is don’t relegate yourself to the frame of mind Vincent was left with about his Boots in the Sky – one of mere nostalgia for those days when the vision was a reality. By all means, take off your battle-worn boots, soak your feet awhile and change your socks. But don’t abandon those battle-worn boots! The heavy lifting has already been done! Once you’re sufficiently chilled out, get those hobnail boots resoled and re-heeled, give them a spit shine and strap them back on. We have an opportunity in the Indie Field to build a design flaw-free Scientology 2.0. Don’t let this brief breathe in eternity pass. Realization of the vision is now in sight.

      • That’s some high-flight cogitatin’, G. Very nice. Indeed.

      • Graduated – Would you explain “the unified quantum field of consciousness” please? I could Google it, but I’m not sure I’d come up with the correct interpretation. Thanks, Carcha.

        • Carcha,
          Not speaking for Graduated here, but, you might look at David Bohm’s theories of quantum materials. From a Scientological view, perhaps consider the “quantum field” that of the interaction of particles/dimension points of the Factors and with the Static, and thetans interchanging with ARC as the “hidden variable” that takes something from a potential state to a manifested form – a reality.

          At the very bottom of the endlessly infinitesimal bits of stuff, is the fact that the bits are solid because theta says so and there is in fact a whole lotta nuttin’ in the somethings. Reality, as solid as it appears, is really pretty flimsy under it all and is a sort of field that can be arranged by thought and agreed upon, from multiple viewpoints, making it pretty “real”. At the level of thought, there is a shared consciousness (even if “forgotten”) via ARC or the component parts of theta, that is the source of the manifestations of this universe.

          Again, that’s my take. I’m butting in as I enjoy Graduated’s recent contributions to the headier aspects of all this Scientology stuff.

          • Jim,

            Thanks – that’s a good explanation, along the lines I expected – just wanted to be sure. To me, Scn is mainstream science, because it is correct data, and describes things perfectly well in its own terminology. Likewise, Scn IS the mainstream, the heart of philosophical and religious thought we all carry within us whether we’re aware of it or not. I’m skeptical of trying to “incorporate” other fields into Scn, as if that were necessary to understand Scn. It’s good to look at other sciences, philosophies and religions – Scn enables (frees) an individual to do that and to correlate data to true stable data found in Scn, and to fill in missing data. That Scn succeeds in enabling and individual to explore and to question other areas, doesn’t mean Scn is deficient. In fact when those explorative results are not obtained, then Scn tech has been misapplied in big ways (or an individual’s inherent curiosity is deficient, imo, and maybe that can also be addressed with Scn rundowns).

            Carcha.

          • Thanks, Jim. And you nailed it above. Well done. Here are a couple of videos that articulate it fairly well from non-Scientologistological sources. It’s fascinating to see how science and spirituality are beginning to come full circle, and how truly ahead of his time LRH was. Enjoy!

          • A few years back there was a Physicist named David Bohm, mentioned by Lyall Watson in his book “Gifts of Unknown Things”.

            Bohm created a new description of reality he called “the enfolded order”:

            According to Newtonian physics, an object can be tracked over time, moving through space. This assumes that it is the same object that moves from place to place.

            Bohm suggests that the object does not move, but is created again in each new position; each time it “unfolds”and reappears, its form is generally similar, but there are differences in detail. Our description of an object, what we like to think of as objective reality, is an appearance that
            is abstracted from a hidden (or in any case, unseen) flow.

  12. By their willingness to help you shall know them.

    To me, the shoes are symbolic of the grace and desire associated with helping. We have no guarantees that our help will result well but we embark on that journey of helping with a leap of faith and a strong desire to make things better for another (or even helping oneself to be better at helping). Helping results best with high ARCU, it is best implemented with high KRC whenever possible though theta can guide even when one is not fully certain of how to help. Those boots represent that willingness to roll up one’s sleeves and dig in to the mess of ministering to another. Ultimately, it is what gives to the giver as much (or more) as the receiver of the help. Such help is the closest I know of living in the spiritual consciousness of Jesus’ (one of many excellent examples through history) life and livingness. LRH’s desire to help and every other true auditor represent this example to me.

    • Yes, Mirari
      And I think lust’s add to that and any one else on this planet that has chosen the beingness to help others as best they can – some – doctors, nurses, psycs, lawyers, teachers, staff members, SO members, writers, artists, and on and on….
      We know them by their products.
      Agree?
      Cece

      • I agree. In fact, I was implying that as that is my hat as doctor.
        BTW, Kat says hi. She has fond memories of you when you both worked at Marcel’s.
        Jerry Brady

        • Hi Jerry, and yes, Kat, she has always been for me … the truth. Not her. She just would listen and let me figure it out as i rambled on with the ‘itsas’ … I miss her sometimes but was really glad to see you and her are here.
          She most definitely has an ‘auditor beingness’.
          Tell her hi from me. And thanks for listening.
          Cece

    • You continue to enlighten! Kudos to you, Karen!

  13. That was a profound article, with many things that can be taken from it. I’ll mention just two. Recently I had photographed a pair of my old worn-out work boots before tossing them out, and my first impression was that Vincent did the painting from a similar aesthetic consideration. As it turns out, that was just as far off the mark as Heidegger.

    So, my first take-away is just how much can be revealed by properly and completely pulling a string, in this case almost literally (a shoestring). Wilbur manages to flesh out Van Gogh’s religious beliefs, an aspect of the relationship between spirituality and psychology, and something of Gauguin’s personality as well.

    My second take-away is just how widely you can miss the big picture if instead of pulling the string, you assume that you already know where it leads.

  14. Those are from the war period, where freshly taking out of water behind and they do not belong to one individual. Both of these boots are left foot.

  15. A long road many miles to go but with the support of my boots I will get there. I don’t need much, just the basics in any event I will persevere. I have the right to my opinion on the art it soothes and comforts. ARC Bill Dupree

  16. Gary Morehead. Aka Jackson

    Marty, I see Heidegger applying what we know as “The Obnosis Drill” who has great artistic depth.

    Funny thing about those boots, I have a very similar pair and if Vincent painted mine Heidegger would of missed the stories of OGH, fence hopping, riding on the back of your bike heading to my sec-check, 110 degree heat and labor at the berthing pads, my calculating mind of how I could run in them as though they were tennis shoes through the G’s gate during the the 45 seconds it was opened for a vehicle, making sure it’s lacees we’re good and tight the night I jumped the fence trying to get to my wife, them witnessing me standing yards from a CHP Officer along Romona Expressway yearning badly to yell out for help but Whilhere and Sutter doing all they could to keep me mute while I listen to Hoden tell the Chipy “He’s distraught over his wife leaving him”. And as i did, witnessed Marc Yeager become repeatedly soul raped. And that is just 4 days of the 365 days these boots of mine followed me around again and again in Gilman Hot Springs while I routed out to David Miscaviges satisfaction.

    My other similar looking boots can tell you plenty of wicked – ass kicking firefighting stories!

    — Jackson

  17. I like the painting because obviously a lot of life was lived in those boots, and have not read the article, The colors of the painting show the boots as still beautiful and useful when needed.

  18. What I got out of it? That Heidegger had his head in the clouds and could have used some training in forensics or the Data Series before jumping to a lot of unfounded (albeit romantic) conclusions. I am reminded of a line from the tv series “The Mentalist.” The main character uses his skills as a stage magician and fake mind reader to get to the bottom of crimes. Someone gets impressed with him and calls him “psychic” and his response is (highly paraphrased) “There are no such things as psychics, I just pay attention.” Seems to me Heidegger was not paying enough attention when he drew his conclusions. :)

    • There’s also an Art Series wherein LRH talks about the difference between fine art and illustration. I don’t have the reference to hand, but the point was that an illustration just shows something, period. Fine art tends to make the observer contribute to the picture. There is nothing wrong with Heidegger contributing to the shoe picture. That can be a lot of fun. Just understand that is all you are doing — enjoying a work of fine art by contributing to it.

  19. My comments on the article, Marty, are that it demonstrates, over all, that “Truth” is a very relative quality, based upon personal viewpoint, or perhaps, overall personal conceptual framework. The focal points of the article (the painting of the shoes, the shoes themselves, the report on why the shoes were important to Van Gogh, and the comments on Gauguin’s explanation) are excellent demonstrations of how each of us tends to *insert* ourselves into our respective worldviews by virtue of our interpretations of the objects and events around us, based upon those personal conceptual frameworks. (That is why, by the way, it is so critical to “audit the pc in front of you”, rather than an imagined, or rotely conceived case.) The comments about higher states of awareness and/or spirituality were, I thought, very insightful, though probably not very applicable to Van Gogh’s overall state of case, since, from what little personal history I’ve heard or read about over the years, he didn’t seem to evidence much of the emotional equilibrium and serenity that usually accompanies such states.

  20. The painting suggests a journey done.

    The article, and the notion of being one with all, and the exploration of that being madness or ultimate truth, could be said to be the journey.

    Reality, the ego centered, not “one with all” state, is juxtaposed with some more simple truth that “we”, beings who hold identity and participate in reality, are made up of common stuff.

    Each individual a drop of water of the common sea. Static the sea, theta the individualized drops.

    And so while reality and the individual drops exist as themselves they also exist as the aggregate.

    Holonic indeed!

    Here is another statement of that notion….

    “>> 1. We are fragments of God trapped within the created
    >> universes.
    >>
    >> God is the ocean and we are the drops. The water is all
    >> the same. The difference is only a matter of scale.
    >>
    >> You can find God within you. And you can find the entire
    >> universe within God. And then find yourself inside of that
    >> universe. And God, yet again, within that self. And the
    >> universe, yet again, within God. And so on ad infinitum.
    >> All is one, full circle.
    >>
    >> And the waters run everywhere, permeating everything and
    >> carrying everything within them. And normally the drops
    >> run freely, moving here and there within the wonders of the
    >> ocean and the water easily finds its own level.
    >>
    >> But sometimes the drops become trapped or encysted. Frozen
    >> in position like ice on a cold winter’s morning. And this
    >> too can be wonderful and beautiful, like an ice sculpture
    >> shining in the morning sun. But it is in the nature of the
    >> water to move and when the drops are too long frozen, they
    >> begin to hurt and cry out for relief.
    >>
    >> The answer is not to shatter the structure, for the beauty
    >> of creation is the breath of life itself, but to melt the
    >> bonds and swim freely within the divine sea of creation.
    >> (more)

    From: http://www.sgmt.at/PILOT/PrinciplesOfExistance.htm

    This is an illustration of one of the flaws of scientology, Ron says we are not “one with all” but unique individuals. Yet both may be true and not a contradiction in the light of the above concepts.

    Scientology seems to address existence from the viewpoint of a person, an individual, or as buddhists say “the ego state”. And this is very useful, but has limits. Scientology boosts the individuation from static.

    Each thetan is a unique individual, arisen from the same static. Once the necessity for maintaining identity is transcended, an exploration of our more basic nature can be undertaken.

    • Dave, it is a good post. There is a song by the Incredible String Band that expresses a similar idea. They were Scientologists at one time who went pretty far up the Bridge., and yet they sang this:

      “When I was born I had no head
      My eye was single and my body was filled with light
      And the light that I was, was the light that I saw by
      And the light that I saw by, was the light that I was

      One light, light that is one though the lamps be many
      One light, light that is one though the lamps be many”

      Here’s why, inspite of its apparent emphasis on “individuality” Scientology does not preclude such insights: It is because as far as we can know, each of us IS an individual.

      This is because “Static” is by definition not limited or quantifiable. Thus it is not correct to say that “there is just one” or “there are many”, or that we are all from “the same Static”. Those are things we do not, cannot accurately say. We may be all the same QUALITY of being, but that’s all. As far as we know, we are individuals. As close as LRH would come was to say that – Only when we have achieved full knowingness and beingness on the first 7 Dynamics, would we be able to know the 8th Dynamic.

      And Buddha wouldn’t touch these kind of issues with a 10-foot pole, largely because he felt it was not necessary to know for a person to achieve Enlightenment.

  21. The shoes reflect the life, and these are worker’s shoes, perhaps the only shoes the worker owns, shaped to their owner’s feet, and while to another the shoes would be strangers, to their owner, they are home. Art in my opinion, is its own message on an aesthetic wavelength which is consistent regardless of the subject. The higher the quality of the art, the more rich the aesthetic. In ordinary talking, regardless of the art of language used to express, the substance of the speaker carries through; but in art the expression is the substance, is an aesthetic common to all. The art in Van Gogh’s painting is the expression of the subject and not the subject itself. That is one beautiful painting, and in the world of the painter, the subject is one beautiful subject – not for the shoes, but for the life and will and goodness of their owner, where and how he walks. One might surmise that a problem Van Gogh faced is that the subject he addressed supercedes and indeed creates aesthetics .. so how does one express in a smaller vehicle, the splendor one sees in life? How does one get another to see?

    Carcha.

  22. Beautiful artwork, but disguising philosophy (and truth) by fabulating the intentions of an artist?

    Ask the artist himself and he will produce a different answer every time.

    ML/A

    • “Ask the artist himself and he will produce a different answer every time.”

      How often it is that an artist is hesitant to reveal the true inspiration behind their works. Does an artist inherently know this would as-is meaning? For persistence of the work to occur this must not happen. To find meaning, further communication and interchange must occur. Is it the piece itself then that is art, or is it the process of interchanging ideas with others in order to find a meaning? LRH stated that living itself can be an art. What is life if not communication and interchange? On the most aesthetic level I believe an artist is creating life through the medium of their physical works and expressions…not for just themselves, but for all who care to participate.

      In his article entitled Art and Space Heidegger states the following, “Once it is granted that art is the bringing-into-the-work of truth, and truth is the unconcealment of Being, then must not genuine space, namely what uncovers its authentic character, begin to hold sway in the work of graphic art ?”

      I don’t fault Heidegger for bringing his truth into Van Gogh’s piece…and I doubt Van Gogh would either. That his meaning was not consistent with the source of the creation does not lessen the fact that he found a wonderful meaning. That other meanings can come from it is a validation of its value to us all. Perhaps it is we who get too critical of such interpretations. I would only fault Heidegger if he were unwilling to entertain other points of view…for this would lessen communication and to that extent devalue life.

  23. What I saw when I looked at the painting was a beautifully painted pair of boots, obviously done by an incredibly talented artist. I figured there might be a story behind them – or not. All I saw was the artist’s fantastic creation.
    I read the 18 comments posted at that point. Revered the brilliant Spirits I am connected to here. Then I read the article.
    “Which means, decidedly he was plugged into a reality that we should all be so fortunate to see.
    That line concisely states what I got from the article. I am grateful to LRH; for in this life, he created the processes for me to be so fortunate.

    • Yes Tara. I am grateful for what LRH has given me also. It was so worth every dime and effort I paid for it… even losing family & friends along the way. Now I can truly help them.
      And I always knew it would come around, “We come back”. :) :)
      Cece

  24. It’s a very nice article. Although I believe one of the magicical aspects of art is that the viewers interpretation is part of the art. To me that means that you can create art, but people often add their own aesthetic to it when they view it. Art is in the thetan in other words. it’s not in the paint, canvas even or the paint on the canvas. Art without the viewer is just paint on a canvas. I believe some art such as this painting are possibly intended to be interpreted by the viewer. Everyone will have their own aesthetics that they place onto the painting, so I think the author is wrong in invalidating someone elses interpretation which in iteslf is an aesthetic work. but it was still a nice article

  25. 1. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
    2. Obnosis drills are a “good thing”
    3. The only grace and beauty one perceives in the physical universe is that which one puts there.
    4. Granting of Beingness and Duplication are the same order of magnitude as Healing.
    5. Context matters.

  26. Wow. I love art (especially classics, as opposed to a lot of modern “art”), but I hadn’t seen this picture before, and the essay was fascinating. Before reading the essay, I noticed that both of the boots seemed to be for the left foot, or perhaps for someone with a deformed foot – and that they were very precious boots which had seen a full life, yet also boots which had been carefully cleaned.

    The story is very interesting and says a lot about Van Gogh and, particularly, his ultimate tragic fate. If true, I can understand why the artist valued his boots; they were the trusted companions of the traumas he endured and they, UNLIKE the doctor and (to an extent, given the choice of words quoted by Van Gogh Senior concerning his son’s career,) his father, had not let Vincent or others down and betrayed him. The only other witnesses of the genesis of Van Gogh’s troubles would seem to have been these boots. Even Gauguin, a professed friend, is dismissive of how much the items mean to his companion. People DO treasure objects from the past, whether positive or negative – for example a elderly man continuing to dust and replace on a shelf his favourite childhood toy, or an office worker holding on to a broken and battered useless pair of trainers because she wore them as she ran down 75 floors-worth of stairs to escape the WTC collapse on 9/11. Small things that carry a part of the joy or the horror or some tacit “shared experience” with us that render them not just a bit of old tat, but a precious part of an experience that means something special very, very deep within the core of our personalities.

    And I don’t think Vincent was being mad when he said the phrases attributed to him in the article. I think he had seen into the very abyss of hell and was doing his best to rationalise events and the recovery of the unfortunate burned man. In fact, whilst Vincent Van Gogh was clearly a very sadly troubled person, I’m not certain that he was mad at all.

    This song always moves me deeply. It’s one that I would like at my funeral (sorry if that sounds morbid):

    But, just in case I have depressed anyone – fret not. ALL foot-wear goes to Heaven, you know. Because it turns out that shoes have “souls”… ;-)

    Peace & Love,
    IEG x

    • IEG, what an beautful, contemplative post. I appreciate your point about people cherishing artifacts that have special significance. I am not much of a collector, but I have kept the Boston Globe from September 12, 2001. I cannot bear to read it, but I cannot throw it away. And I LOVE your clever sense of humor as expressed in your closing statement! OMG, all shoes go to heaven because they have souls! :-D Bahahahahaaaa!!!!

      Nancy

  27. Marty, you asked what does the painting suggest to you. Well it is a painting of old shoes!
    The execution of the painting is brilliant and it suggest something special to me because of the light and the focus on the shoes.
    After reading the article I think that truth depends on the person that views or tell it. Each person assigns importance and meaning on what he creates about this painting.
    The two stories are true because one can not absolutely negate them. But, the first one obliviously put meaning that he thinks is true, but also in his way of communicating tries to enforce his viewpoint as one of authority.
    The other relies on the “facts” but still it is just a story told by Gauguin, and although it is very spiritual, still can be untrue.
    On the spiritual interpretation, I liked the most how Gauguin appreciated the “madness” of Van Goch, and from that viewpoint, there is no doubt that LRH was as mad as the best geniuses.

    • I’m sorry you got some thumbs down responses. I share your thoughts about LRH’s so-called “madness” possibility being on the same level as Van Gogh’s. We do not have a single word that describes the “mad-genius” because we do not understand such a personality. Van Gogh’s “madness” is not the same as that of the so-called “typical” psychotic whom we think of as being totally unable to function in society due to being trapped by mental chains that prevent behavior recognizable as “normal.” But all human behavior exists on the same social interactive scale. We just do not truly understand the scale.

      So-called “normal” society easily confines the not-normal (including the not–understood) in a “catch-all” stereotype. Thus, “crazy, mad, and abnormal” are easy and perhaps socially necessary catch-all terms. We simply do not sufficiently understand this band of reality, existance and behavior, but we DO find that some expressions in this abyss of not-understanding result in deadly violence, such as in Newtown, CT. Other expressions result in artistic brilliance. We are baffled by this array of expression, and we are at a loss as to how to predict and deal with such surprises. We do not know which expressions of “madness” will result in a masterpiece of water colors, heroic dedication to spiritual well-being, or the annihilation of one people for the sake of preserving the “purity” of another.

      Thank you for your thoughts.
      Nancy

      • Thanks Nancy. This here is good example how people use a label like mad, when they encounter a person they can not understand, who is not real to them, or that his thoughts and actions are not “logical” to them. The label is an explanation that makes it easier for them to live with, and makes the madman or genius wrong and makes them right :)
        I encounter smart and constructive people that criticize LRH and would not even give a real try to check the Tech and its results. A pity

      • In any case, “madness” (aberration) does not preclude the existence of genius, insight, incisive and accurate thinking. Case in point, the movie “A Beautiful Mind”, which is based on the life of a great mathematician named John Nash, who was also a Nobel Laureate in Economics. He was incidentally, also paranoid schizophrenic. This did not preclude his doing brilliant work in mathematics and cryptograhy.

        My point is, one’s aberrations do not preclude one from being brilliant, making major and original discoveries and all that good stuff.

        Judging someone as “mad” can be an entirely false standard.

  28. It suggests that those ‘BOOTS IN THE SKY’ have taken a real beating over the years and represent the trials and tribulations that those who still consider themselves Scientologists have endured.

    They may be well worn but they also still fit! Now for some good old fashioned ass kicking…………………….

    • My comments were based on the painting and I have not yet read the article.

    • Interesting: It seems that what we get out of a work of art is what we see in it or contribute to it.

      Without reading the article first and in the context of this blog, I immediately thought “These are the boots of responsibility abandoned by the church!” (Similar to you Newcomer). Being mischievous and one-eyed, I swear they are two left feet? Dancing around standard tech with two left feet and creating a hodge-podge of meanlingless delivery?

      I have learned a lot about Van Gogh here. Thank you. He really had his hat on and delivered brilliant works. Thereby very sane.

      I see in the article, one can track from the boots to the artist to his motivation and find the glimpse of spiritual freedom. viz: “These deeper or higher states are potentials available to all of us.”

      I savor the fact that we have an exact route to achieve these potentials albeit as far as LRH created and that is available.

    • Sounds like what a psychologist (a not very good one) would ask! (Joke.) Interesting the dates on those paintings you linked to. In the 1887 painting, one shoe is sole-up, and it does ‘look like’ they’re both right-foot boots (probably not though). Then on (page) 15 of 786, “Paris A [1987]” their position is as if an invisible wearer were dancing – the background of that is fascinatingThanks for the link.

  29. Marty,

    I found the article by Ken Wilber fascinating.

    It caused me to consider many things, including:

    Van Gogh is inarguably one of the greatest artists in history. Yet, he was considered by most in his time to be mentally ill (mad) and is thought to have committed suicide after a prolific, but short, life as a little appreciated artist. Today, he is remembered for what he gave the world and the details of his life are interesting only in the context they provide for his legacy. That so many considered him crazy at the time, yet so many regard him as a genius in posterity suggests to me that personality is of far less significance than contribution. Can a “madman” influence the world for the better? Clearly so. And therefore, who is to judge madness? L. Ron Hubbard should be viewed this way, and ultimately will be.

    Who can judge what inner peace any man derives from his actions and perceptions. Did Van Gogh see Jesus? Does it really matter? Did he find some sense of inner peace or enlightenment? Apparently so. I do not think any external observer or “authority” can possibly judge such a thing and proclaim it valid or not. And I don’t think it matters. The RCS seeks to dictate and arbitrate such things and frowns upon anyone who doesn’t conform to their “deal scene.” Van Gogh would never have made any progress in the RCS.

    I also believe that enlightenment and happiness follow acts of unselfish help. And this story seems to fit that pattern. Another lesson the RCS would do well to learn.

    But most of all, it reinforced something to me that I have become increasingly aware of – judgment of others is so often wrong that it is best to try and avoid it at all costs. From Heidegger’s well-intentioned but completely delusory analysis to those around Van Gogh who thought him “mad.”

    Thanks for this Christine.

    • “But most of all, it reinforced something to me that I have become increasingly aware of – judgment of others is so often wrong that it is best to try and avoid it at all costs.”

      Such a profoundly important observation, imo…

      Thanks Mike,
      Vic

    • This really sums up well what I believe – who are we to judge relative sanity? For every madman in the asylum, there are at least as many politicians, dictators and/or terrorists who inflict appalling suffering upon other people or the natural world around them – yet who are fêted and even sometimes hailed as “visionaries”. Is that sanity?

      I remember being struck with a Garfield cartoon when I was little (possibly the first time that Garfield and Van Gogh have appeared in the same paragraph, but stick with it… ;-) ). Garfield was watching the hated cute kitten Nermal injure himself with a ball of wool which was too big for him to play with. Garfield ‘said’ “Why is it that when they say an adult has ‘the mind of a child’ they lock him up – while children are allowed to run free in the street?” Adults with a child’s mental age are not insane – they have a specific condition and just see the world more honestly and innocently than we do.

      If it comes to taking sides, I think I’ll line up on the “mad” line, if it’s a line that contains such “nutters” as Van Gogh, Voltaire and Jesus…

      IEG

    • It seems that any artist or inventor who creates what (s)he is truly able to perceive takes a potential risk of being too far out reality and thus it may take decades or centuries before these products are able to be really appreciated for what they are by the broad public, once that reality is shared on a broad scale.
      Greta

  30. Marty, I think this illustrates exactly why I enjoy urban exploration so much and why I find photographing of old and dilapidated buildings so meaningful. I personally can tell you that I feel connected and more at one with a greater consciousness and awareness when I do. My take on the reason this is so is that I am witness to many, many causes and as cause is native to a being I actually feel the connection with the others who created them. This rehabilitates me. Old things have a story and that story is cause. New things for the most part only have potential. For me it is more of a sense of wonderment as to what the story is rather than coming up with one of my own. What is undeniable is the cause.

    In the PDC lecture “A Thetan Creates by Postulates – Q2″ LRH says that most Thetans get it backwards thinking that cause is in the present and effect is in the future. It is actually the other way around. We are the effect of a future cause. He uses the example that because we want to cause food to be on the table tomorrow our actions to make that happen today are the effect of that cause. To this end the painting is an illustration to me of Van Gogh’s very noble cause and his purpose (or story) for bringing it about. Thus it has meaning that helps me feel connected to cause…or said in another way, “at one” with it. Why do I say it is noble? Only because we know a little bit about these shoes, but by their condition alone one can perceive cause. I think if these were a new pair of shoes most of us would see potentials of the future cause they could bring, i,e. where they could go…not where they’ve been.

    • Great post DC.

    • Yes. “Cause is motivated by the future”. Future cause.

      For me, this puts death and dying in a whole new light, too.

      • Wow, not a comment I quite expected but I am thoroughly intrigued. I would welcome your elaboration! Thanks for this!

        • I’m working on it, DC2. I got sidetracked by some posts on Geir’s blog, and spent some time crashing around over there. Elaboration is coming.

          • Well here it is but there’s not a much of it as I had thought there would be, and nothing really profound. I imagine that it is old stuff to folks who are much familiar with LRH.

            The central item is the Funeral service LRH wrote. He depicts a dying person as moving into the future as a scout or advance man for the rest of us, to prepare things for us, to create as good a future as s/he can for us, when we too inevitably move along into the future.

            The postulate part of all this I see as this: a person lives and dies by postulate. I have started reading a book titled “The Tibetan Way of Living and Dying”, by Sogyal Rinpoche, who was born in Tibet and is the founder of Rigpa, an international network of groups and centers. This book is used in many hospices as a guide for staff.

            The death of any person leads to sadness; it is loss to those remaining behind, even to Buddhists. However Tibetans in particular see living and dying as inseparable and view an important part of living to be to increase the understanding of dying and death, and to prepare for it with a goal in mind – to achieve liberation. (We might call it a “release” of a certain kind.)

            LRH has a lot to say about postulates. He discusses “succumb postulates” right from the beginning, but this doesn’t necessarily sink in, what he talks about.

            It is a fact, that as a person lives, he accumulates some failures, sometimes paints himself in to a corner, makes mistakes which he
            feels responsible for, and crucially, that he feels he has no way of
            undoing. There aren’t really any “undo mechanisms” in life. All one can do is ask for forgiveness. Receiving that, one might live awhile longer. For the average guy, absent much availability of the tech, this is his lot.

            For many people,dying is a solution. It is a way of acquiring some sympathy, some consideration that has been lacking up until then, a way of getting out of some corner one has painted himself into, a way of leaving an identity and a game one feels has played itself out as far as one could play it out.

            This is something the Western cultures don’t like to think about or acknowledge, but I’ll bet at bottom many dying people, especially older dying people, would,if this were honestly talked about, express similar sentiments.

            The cause of the dying is the postulated new life in the future, which is a summation of some of the energy and comforts now lacking in the present. The aches and pains and diseases one is suffering now are simply the socially accepted motivators that permit one to die with a relatively clear conscience.

            The human organism is very obedient to a thetan’s postulate. A person dying is actually analogous to LRH’s famous example of the kid who plays sick to stay out of school, and eventually the illnesses becomes real.
            Cause is motivated by the future.
            The kid envisions a future, if only for one day, of staying comfortably home from school, and there you have it. Anytime a person quietly thinks or says “This job is killing me”, it may be quite literally true. It is his thought,postulate, that can initiates a sequence of dying through disease of some kind.

            Thus those succumb postulates are better handled, than not.

            I know this is old stuff to many scientologists or those familiar with LRH’s work, but I had not thought it through until fairly recently.

            To me, it has many ramifications in a society that wages so many “wars” on various diseases, without recognizing how many of these might be self-caused and the reasons for this.

            • “Well here it is but there’s not as much of it as I had thought there would be, and nothing really profound.”

              Valkov, for not having much of profound value you sure have said a lot! Thank you for the very thought provoking response.

              What you’ve provided on the Tibetans I find particularly fascinating and it is such a different way of looking at things than we in the Western cultures do. In preparing for the end of life it seems to me that one would learn so much about the art of actually living in the process.

              Great post!

    • DC2 – I love exploration and photographs of such old buildings too. I think it’s possible to “read” a building. They are voiceless, yet with so much to say.
      IEG xx

      • IEG, I hear you. Their silence is loud. If you are ever in Detroit or Minneapolis I can show you some doozies.

        • DC2 – I’m deeply ashamed to say that I have never been to the USA, and I’m not too sure what a doozie is. Aren’t I a bad girl…? (shuffles off quietly to get her coat…) :-o
          IEG x

          • Well that’s certainly not something I would be ashamed of. I’ve never been overseas. :-)

            1) Also, doo·zer [doo-zer] Something that is extraordinary or outstanding of its kind: The storm was a doozie, with winds of fifty miles an hour.

            I’m sure you have some doozies where you are from too!

            • Well, I have been over many seas… just not too many oceans ;-) Weren’t the doozers the little construction chaps in “Fraggle Rock”?!

              Anyway; this is a digression. Alas I’m still no convert to Scientology – but this blog is a wonderful place to be; jam-packed with fabulous ideas, intelligent words and inspiration.
              IEG x

              • Fraggle Rock…my gosh I think you’re right. Those little guys who were always building things but who never said anything, right?

                On the ladder…I enjoy your contributions here and am glad you find it valuable as well!

          • http://www.google.com/search?q=duesenberg&hl=en&tbo=u&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=9P7oUJHuMIOK8QSO-YHwDQ&ved=0CEcQsAQ&biw=792&bih=493&sei=_v7oUKCJBoT69gSDhID4CA

            I hope the link works. It’s a Duesenberg luxury Colonist automobile built by a couple of German brothers, from 1913 onwards to 1937 (1940 was last delivery). The correct spelling is “Duesy” (pronounced “doozy”). For the high price and features of the automobile, “it’s a duesy” is slang for “it’s the finest” (of anything, includiing problems).

            • Thank you Carcha! I was not fully aware of the origin. And I definitely used the slanged out Americanized spelling. I feel smarterer now! :-)

              • DC2,

                Yes, but are you in fact smarterer, or do you simply have a bit more data to work with? So happy to see someone bring up this subject contextually with vehicles of transportation and art – a discussion of the difference between data and knowledge, of servomechanisms and their varied uses. Given perfectly good vehicles such as a Duesenberg, some have been no more artistic with it that to drive it into an innocent tree, while others, given good data but of arguably lesser quality, have managed to get their artful use of it made world famous and hung in a museum. And I have seen similar differing interpretations applied to other varieties of perfectly good data. It seems to me that in the absence of data, then no interpretation, no smartness or its counterpart, are possible, but is it all a question of havingness?

                Carcha.

                • Carcha, I believe I have increased the apparency of my smartererness in relevant contexts by “having” this data. :-)

                  My question to you is how can one view next year’s model at an auto show or in the showroom and see it as artistic and stylish, but within several months after it having been mass produced and seeing thousands on the road it is no longer either? Then, 25 years later it’s cool and a “work of art” again? Does this have to do with scarcity and abundance, or is it simply a consideration?

                  DC2

                  • DC2, It’s all a conspiracy by Madison Avenue to sell “NEW!” things, which become old as people realize their mistakes, and are replaced by new “NEW!” things … then the originals become classics to prove out the never-ending cycle of birth, growth, decay, and rebirth. Actually, I think it has more to do with quality. Some things are classics in their own time. Carcha.

                    • ….and that’s exactly why I go to Goodwill…
                      Cece

                    • Good point. Quality to which I would add performance. Both are an artistic aspects of good engineering that run deeper than cosmetics…not unlike the story behind Van Gogh’s painting. There is a deeper meaning under the surface.

  31. Walked a lot of miles. Time for a new pair.

  32. The quality of communication, from the painting, through the contributions of Monsieur H, Monsieur Wilber, and these many beautifully contributed posts, has made this morning on the veranda looking out on the rolling hills of New South Wales a most cognitive experience.

    Art. And fine artists.

    So many well worn shoes with stories to tell and make this all for the other.

    I’m witness to and part of the Holy Spirit permeating here.

  33. Beautiful painting by a master and artistic genius, especially because of the meaning behind it, which has only increased my admiration for the man. But not much psychological significance should be attached to it, in my view. It is very clear and simple, especially to Christians I think: the idea that Christ lives in every man and woman, that Christ can be transfigured in every person. Also, Jesus said, “what you do to the least of of my people, that you do unto me”, that one “may not avert one’s eyes”. So Van Gogh was a true Christian in applying this, caring for the miner when he had been left for dead. Therefore, I think it is understandable that when the miner survived, Van Gogh saw Christ resurrected in him.

    Of course, Ron said “there was no Christ”, that He was just some sort of everyman stick figure that people could relate to, especially since many people had experienced crucifixion on the track, that the Christian church created the legend of Christ by observing people’s dramatizations, R6 material that somehow was discovered, that Christianity is really an implant.

    I think Ron sometimes stated hypotheses as facts, but it does not necessarily mean they were true. With all due respect to his enormous contributions to mental and spiritual understandings (and he is due a lot), I have come to a different conclusion over time, even though I had accepted Ron’s viewpoints as fact previously. I believe Ron even says somewhere that Scientology is a workable truth, but that this doesn’t mean that there is not also an infinite truth.

    Reading the Gospels carefully, one could say Christ is a liar, a madman (implanted), or that He is who he says He is. But in any case, I perceive a real person in the Gospels, an incarnation of God or otherwise, and I don’t seen an elaborate fiction, especially with lots of archeology to confirm the surrounding settings and events. Personally, I’ve had some very extraordinary experiences and perceptions with Christianity in recent years that I cannot deny intellectually, and those experiences have forced me to actually look for myself. As Saint Thérèse of Lisieux said, “Faith is not a belief, but an experience”. So Van Gogh’s experience has become very real to me. If it were not, I would probably try to de-construct it somehow so that I could understand it.

    • TM,
      Very interesting. I have had some great experience reading the life
      of Saint Francis. Your quote of Saint Therese reminded me of a
      quotation from Buddhaghosa, a fifth century A.D. Buddhist author:

      “That which should be done is accomplished by faith and energy”

      George M. White

      • Thank you, George. Yes, Saint Francis was quite amazing! Good quote by Buddhaghosa as well.

        • George and TM: a favorite quoteof mine by St Francis of Assisi

          “Where there is hated, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon.
          Where the is doubt, faith”

          • Thank you for that, Windhorse; yes it is wonderful. For those who don’t know it, here is the full prayer of Saint Francis:

            Lord,
            Make me an instrument of Your peace;
            Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
            Where there is injury, pardon;
            Where there is doubt, faith;
            Where there is despair, hope;
            Where there is darkness, light;
            Where there is sadness, joy.

            O Divine Master,
            Grant that I may not so much
            seek to be consoled as to console;
            To be understood as to understand;
            To be loved as to love.

            For it is in giving that we receive.
            It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
            It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

            • TM,
              Thanks for the prayer. I seem to remember that St Francis was a mystic.
              The best definition I can find is “one who has direct experience of God”.
              You know I really love his “Caniticle of the Sun”. When I first left
              scientology in 1989, I recited it daily for years.

              “Be praised, my lord, through all your creatures,
              especially through my Lord Brother Sun.”

              AWESOME!

              George M. White

              • You’re welcome, George. Yes, he was quite tuned in to nature and animals, Francis was. I did not know the Canticle, so thanks for sharing it!

    • TM,
      This issue of Christianity as an implant had me doing a lot of
      research at one time. It seemed to me that the card was over-played
      especially when you look at the ever so brief period of time that
      Christianity has been a major religion. In the end, I found out
      that this whole issue of implants is actually a very narrow
      interpretation of reality. Thus in meditation it was easy for me to
      dissolve the ‘impant’ that I experienced on the Freewinds when I
      did OT8 in 1988.
      George M. White

      • I understand, George. I think implant has a very specific definition and has been over-played as you stated. Any religion or political worldview (e.g, North Korea, etc.) can be used as an implant, and I think Christianity might have been as well at times, between-lives or otherwise. But there is a difference between being used as an implant and having an implant as its origin, which I do not think is the case either.

  34. Roger from Switzerland Thought

    “Faith is not a belief, but an experience”
    Beautiful !

  35. Thanks Marty and Christine for such thought provoking, insightful and delightful moment(s).

    To your question Marty, what came to mind immediately was:

    “Walk in my shoes”.

    That said, sometimes I think its a good thing to be knocked upside the head with the truth that first and foremost we are spiritual beings with varying degrees of amnesia. Some more. Some less. Some total.

    I think our overall goal, collectively, is to wake each other, others and ourselves up. Present time can be uncomfortable. Yet here we are.

    But then again, it sure beats being stuck in the past, present or future.

    So there I go audio……

  36. Marty, to me, those boots meant to me someone traveled with much endurance and gave his best and (perhaps hopefully) made it to where he was going.
    The articles, including SunnyV’s, make it clear the intention in painting it by the painter but he also wants us to ‘get the’ message in our own words… it’s OK with him.
    I hear Ron’s lecture about the boots in the background and it got posted! How wonderful was that!!! Thanks Helmuth/Boskone.
    I love reading also all the other view points ~ precious pearls.
    Thank you for helping me to continue to open my eyes…
    So I too can again help others….
    Cece

  37. Ken Wilber, in his article A Pair of Worn Shoes, is making a clear contrast between the Psychoanalysis limited interpretation and the spiritual interpretation made by Transpersonal Psychology, as briefly illustrated in these quotes:

    “Psychoanalysis, no doubt, would have some therapeutic interpretations for all of this. But psychoanalytic interpretations, relatively true as they might be, do not in themselves touch any deeper ‘realms of the human unconscious,’ such as the existential or the spiritual and transpersonal.”

    “A transpersonal psychologist would thus suggest that, whatever other interpretation we wish to give to Vincent’s vision, the overall evidence clearly suggests that it was very probably a true vision o£ the radical potential in all of us.”

    It’s very interesting that Transpersonal Psychology is based on LRH’s Scientology.

    Transforming The Mind is a book explaining Transpersonal Psychology. Chapter 9, The Insight Project (pages 239 to 264), looks like some kind of compilation of LRH’s Scientology philosophy. People who know LRH’s Scientology will recognize it with no doubt.
    http://www.trans4mind.com/transformation/Transforming_the_Mind.pdf
    (There is an html web version of this book, but the html web version has an incomplete chapter 9).
    In their “mind development” techniques they use a device (they call it Biofeedback Monitor) based on Galvanic Skin Response, like the E-Meter.

    It’s also interesting a difference between Buddhism and Transpersonal Psychology philosophy, which also looks like a difference between Buddhism and LRH’s Scientology.

    “The aim of Buddhist practice is to detach or dis-identity from Earthly desires and human compulsions” … “unlike Buddhism, The Insight Project does not aim to remove desires and attachments with the world but rather to remove the compulsions and inhibitions which enforce conditioned desires and attachments, so that we may have freedom of choice to be or not be, to do or not do, to have or not have.”
    Quoted from page 249 of the book above mentioned.

  38. Oddly, I don’t recall having noticed that painting of Van Gogh’s. And I’ve been a big enough “fan” of him so that I made a special point of going to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam once.

    Here was my sense of the boots from the picture. They expressed soul (no pun intended) — wear, weariness, a long road of some sort traveled, effort in a good honest cause, humility / lack of pride, practicality, and so forth. They also triggered in me a sense of what I would call beautiful sadness. The owner of the boots was not there — only the shell or symbol of some story was left. Where was he or she? Asleep? Dead? Had the boots been abandoned or just taken off for the moment? Could the story of the boots somehow be known?

    I read the article which I enjoyed very much. The word “holon” of course comes from Metapatterns (Tyler Volk) who built on earlier work. It is a concept opposed to “clonon.” As an illustration, as a unique individual, I am a holon. As one number in the US census and one type of a larger set of things, I am a clonon. The concept is insightful on many levels.

    I agree completely with the article on so many points. There is a state that can be called Christ-consciousness. It is (to struggle to put what I have rarely and only briefly experienced into words) a state of complete compassion or empathy, no-self or duality, and (in Scientology terms) complete havingness. My most recent experience of this state was in all places a supermarket. I paused, let myself be there, extended my “space” by placing “anchor points” at the farthest reaches of the very large store, and then just witnessed. “I” briefly vanished — there only as the timeless, no self (so no self-awareness or attention) witness. Nothing special about “me” in any of this. As the article points out, such states are real and they are not part of a psychopathology. Auditing often resulted for me in certain states of full presence in the present time, too. In such experiences, not to sound too Zen-like, but the fact is that nothing changes, and everything changes.

    So the painting and the article both spoke to me in many ways. Thanks for sharing.

    PS The one time I went to the Van Gogh Museum, I really wanted to see most everyone’s favorite –Starry Night. Unfortunately it was on loan to the NY Metropolitan .

  39. Fascinating how a work of art inspires such intense thoughts about so many things. Vincent sure did his job on this one.

    There is one thing I’d like to comment upon, which is probably not what anyone wants to hear. I’ve made my living painting since the mid 70’s, and when I had children who expected to eat at least once a day, I created a studio so I could teach others how to draw and paint.

    As an artist, one thing that has always made me chuckle, is the projection onto a work of art or the artist by people who know nothing about either, but have conned the world into thinking they are ‘authorities’ and only they can pass judgment, and if you disagree with them, it is because you haven’t read the right books. This is pretty much the state of the entire world of critics; the need to be different and the the need to be right. (I am NOT thinking of anyone here when I write this.)

    I was asked once, why do artists paint what they paint? I think he was looking for some deep, deep psychological meaning, or from deep in the soul. Well, I was momentarily taken aback by it, because frankly, I had never even thought of it, even though for an extensive period of time it is all I ever did, 24/7. I thought about for a second, looked at his question, and told him the truth, and this is the absolute truth; artists paint what they paint because it is fun to paint it. Sorry folks, for that’s about all there is to it; It’s fun.

    Rarely, if ever, very very rarely, is there some deep primal, atavistic meaning. An artist can look at a pile of garbage, rotting food, stink, all that, and something grabs their attention, the shapes, the warms and cools, the textures, who knows. The ‘meaning’ of the subject doesn’t even enter into it. In Scientologese, we refer to that as the ‘significance’. Well, for the vast, vast majority of artists, there is no significance, no meaning, to the subject. It is not a ‘lemon’ that you are painting, it is a shape, it has colours, it has lights and darks, it has brush strokes, warms and cools, texture, whatever, and for some reason you are compelled. That is why an artist can take something that others consider gross and disgusting, garbage cans over turned, mud, cadavers, whatever, and see in it the beauty that really IS there, and have a grand time playing with it.

    Now, with reference to the above article. Maybe you are all right, maybe some more so than others regarding the meaning and such of the boots, the paintings, the artist, motivations, etc., but I’d be willing to bet that Vincent painted the boots because one day he looked at them, learned from that look, saw something he maybe hadn’t really noticed before, or really hadn’t paid much attention to, all the beauty they possessed, had nothing else to do at the moment, so he grabbed his brushes and went at it, spending an hour of two in joyful frustration. I bet he loved it, but I bet none of the ‘meanings’ ever really occurred to him, until someone asked him about it later, then he’d come up with something in order to answer the question.

    My opinion.

    • Fantastic paintings on your gallery page, Bob. Particularly your plein air winter paintings and still lifes. Really wonderful.

      • Thanks. That means a lot coming from another painter.

        I have to up date the website; I haven’t added many dozens of paintings I’ve finished the last few years, except I forgot the password and can’t get at it. I guess I’ll have to take a hacking course at the local college so I can get into it. I think I know what it was, but … I wonder if the web page dudes can figure it out … the guys who host the site … never thought of that.

    • “… artists paint what they paint because it is fun to paint it. Sorry folks, for that’s about all there is to it; It’s fun.”

      YES! Thank you!

    • As an artist of several disciplines I agree with you, especailly as a painter. I never gave my work a name. People always ask: What do you call this painting? I answer: “It is what you think it is. Tell me what it communicates to you”.
      Well, once it was a semi abstract landscape with a mountain in it that I had only seen in my imagination. ” It looks like a mountain out of glass, a magic mountain” was the answer. Well, then it is the magic mountain!
      I had wanted to evoke the feeling of magic and anything possibel when walkign to and up the mountain towards a goal. The mouintain was a metaphore, and a fairly specific significance.
      As as far as the boots are concerned, clearely, they were walked in the light and their age cannot change that: Why were they painted? Perhaps it was a cognition related to the activites that were done while wearing them.That would make it fun to paint too and an acknowledgement to oneself.

  40. The painting suggests to me that the shoes meant a lot to the artist. He put a lot into capturing the character, soul and aesthetic beauty of the worn out shoes.

    The article is a good illustration of the persistence of spirit that the source of life imbues things with. Whether one knew the actual story of the shoes or not, the painting still conveys the beingness of the source of life that persists after having touched them.

    For some reason it also made me think of this scene from Ben Hur:

  41. The first impression I got when looking at the shoes was: “Here are shoes that are well worn. These shoes were trusted by their owner, and he continues to trust them. Should he need to go on another journey he will not hesitate to use them again.”

    After reading the article I understood that not only the shoes symbolize one man’s journey, they also symbolize trust. Van Goch is sending the message: “I trust the maker of these shoes more than I trust my father, my teachers, the religious establishment. The shoemaker gave me a product that helped me. These shoes are worn, but they are still usable.”

    Like LRH’s boots in the sky that represent responsibility. These boots represent trust.

    That you Marty from bringing this up.

  42. The first thing that popped into my head was this song from 1970:

  43. The picture depicts David Miscavige leaving the humanitarian way of life while being personally groomed by LRH. He abandons life (hence the empty shoes) as it was meant to be lived, pure and simple. On to tomorrow: leave the old behind and now make your focus to be to persecute and denigrate everything, and everyone, in front of of you as if it were a rich man’s sport. I see the shoes to represent David back when he was a productive and considerate member of the ‘Church’ – before he fled them for his custom hand made John Lobb shoes, at the expense of his hard earned parishioner’s financial contributions, sanity, and best interests, along with the sacrifice of his eternity – and any chance of being remembered for anything less than being the maniacal megalomaniac delusional tyrant that he has become. That is what I see when I look at the painting of those shoes.

    • “I see the shoes to represent David back when he was a productive and considerate member of the ‘Church’ – ”

      When was that exactly? I assume it was prior to his smacking a PC while on the Class IV Internship…………………

  44. Many of us have a well-worn pair of shoes that we can’t bear to throw out, since they seem to be almost a part of us. They’ve traveled miles with us, learned to fit our feet perfectly, and remind us of countless experiences.

    My husband and I live in a 100 year old house that is rich with all the architectural detail of the Craftsman era. But more importantly, it’s imbued with the theta of the many families who have resided here. In the 30 years we’ve lived here, we’ve had at least five former owners come by and talk about their wonderful lives in this house.

    So, when I saw the painting, I was reminded of how much we can know about “things” by just looking at them and pervading them, as LRH talks about in the PDC tapes. I often will get instantaneous pictures of events (and the people in them) that occurred in this house as I’m dusting the mantle or opening a leaded-glass cupboard door. What can I say, but that it makes cleaning the house more interesting?

    As for why Van Gogh painted the shoes, I suspect he loved them and they reminded him of poignant memories. Probably not much more significant than that!

  45. My immediate impression was that these are shoes that had seen a lot of work.
    After reading the article my thoughts are that Van Gough, himself is the final and only true authority on what he saw and then painted. Trying to give “interpretations” of the communications from great artists will always fall short, because as artists they are great communicators to begin with. We need only listen to their art directly from them and hear what they say. It echos in our hearts. In this case we can also be grateful to Vincent’s friend and fellow artist, Paul Gauguin, for passing on the words of the creator of this wonderful work through which Vincent gives further testimony of his vision.

  46. I guess like most art to an extent you bring your own meaning. To me it coveys gratitude for the beauty of the simple things that protect and sustain us. It slows me down, makes me more present. I love art that does that. Here’s another example I like:

    ns.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fra_Juan_Sánchez_Cotán_-_Still-Life_with_Game,_Vegetable_and_Fruit_-_WGA20725.jpg

  47. Off topic sorry, but a good article here about the power of forgiveness:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-peter-breggin/meaning-forgiveness_b_2393524.html

  48. Boots in the sky…
    Who will wear these worn out boots?

  49. These shoes belong to an OT VIII Diamond Meritorious Patron who went bankrupt, became a bum and roamed the streets for months eating out of garbage cans. One day, he took off the shoes and threw himself under a train (railroad not visible in the picture but it’s somewhere on the left). The Co$ officially announced he died of heart failure. No one attended the funeral.

  50. This painting suggests nothing for me. Not only this one. Also in real life I cannot read hidden suggestions. I never did sit in front of old paintings for hours and trying to figure out the meaning or message. That is not my world. I am a MEST man. Formulas, laws, physical theories.

  51. I got ‘morning light’ as well as well worn boots.

  52. Firstly… Happy new year one and all…

    I haven’t read any of the links but two words came to mind.

    Formidable and spirit.

    Seems to me if you can keep a pair of boots through that much wear and tear you have a formidable spirit.

  53. Please excuse me for going of topic.

    Marty wanted to ask if it is true, if you know, what I’ve read recently on the Italian blog “lareception.”
    From a translation of “Veritas” (I do not know who they are) we understand very well that CST (Church Spiritual Technology) is a senior RTC and that is the true owner of the trade marks of Scn.

    But it is also shown that CST is owned by persons connected with the IRS. That is to say that Scn is in the hands of U.S. government agencies.
    Is it true that?

    Sorry for my bad English.
    Thanks for any response.
    Mark

    • No

    • Not true.

      It’s worse than that.

      It’s in the hands of a certified sociopath.

      • Mike,
        Thanx much for your read on present misunderstood “mad” being regarded as genius in future. Thanx also for distinguishing between misunderstood “mad” and sociopath. One thought: For long it seems that a duality of white and black Scientology has coexsisted. When I think of Annie Tidman I think of the best of LRH. When I think of the suicide of Quentin and think of DM, I think of the darkside. Question: can black Scientology be rooted out??? Any response is much appreciated.

        • Black Scientology can be rooted out — anyone who is willing to think for themselves rather than blindly following orders/directions/”what is expected and acceptable” will not fall prey to or practice “black Scientology” unless their “thinking” is the thinking of a sociopath.

          Man is basically good, so unless one is being a robot one can determine the rightness or wrongness of any action and choose to contribute to it or ignore it or stop it.

          For example, I see the practice of disconnection used as a control mechanism to be “Black Scientology” — a subject designed to free people, NOT control them. Nobody would agree with disconnection EXCEPT they are told “it is necessary” or “it is for the good of the person” or “its in policy” or “it’s what LRH said” or any number of explanations. They accept them blindly, don’t observe what is obvious, and perpetrate black Scientology as a result.

          It is in the culture of the RCS to NOT think for yourself. And thus to perpetuate black Scientology.

          If people really understood the fundamental concepts of Scientology (even though Miscavige forced everyone to do “the Basics” so few people got it, its not funny as the real principles of the subject ARE contained in those materials — everything, all the way through the highest levels of OT), they could NOT be robotic, mindless followers of “authority” (not even L. Ron Hubbard) or the status quo.

          My 2c on this.

          • What a perfect observation about the “basics campaign” as opposed to the basics books, themselves.
            It brings to mind reading where LRH said that “there is no case gain that is not also accompanied by an increase in self determinism”. (Not an exact quote, but words to that effect).
            Miscavige has actually denied people the full value of what is in these wonderful books by FORCING them to read them as a false “prerequisite” instead of out of their own personal interest for use in their own lives.
            Thanks for shining the light of truth on this subtle little operation.

            • Espiritu,
              Never thought of that aspect of the Basics Campaign before…that Miscavige’s force and insistence about “doing your basics”, would actually cause people to be resistant to doing them! This explains to me my resistance to it and also, how DM, a brilliant sociopath, could cause destruction and shrinkage of Scn by attacking the most basic dissemination action of all: “Read a book”. It seemed like a good thing, that DM was promoting that people get educated in Scn but with the arbitrarily added FORCE and LENGTH of prerequisite, it actually turns people off by overwhelming them.

              • Yeah, Mike really put his finger on the right button there. He also pointed out that when people don’t confront and miss the “other-determined” intention to read these books and just go with the flow, they are less likely to to really GET the data in the books for personal application. And there is a LOT of really helpful and useful information in these books for beings to have…..to make the understatement of the century.

                • Espiritu — yes, this is a very interesting thing.

                  Miscavige takes an action like this and even uses it to hold himself out as being “on Source” — after all, he is insisting that people study the fundamentals of Scientology…

                  But the fact is that he has undermined and invalidated those truths. One could not help but conclude there is something VERY wrong in the RCS after studying those materials — from the information in SOS concerning SPs (psychopaths) to the extensive truths concerning thought, emotion, effort, cause, determinism covered in AP&A, 8-8008 and COHA. Or even the principles of auditing and causation, knowing and not-knowing and so much more in FOT.

                  For anyone to actually duplicate and understand them would mean they would HAVE to depart the RCS. And that is so clearly against the ingrained “think” as to be unthinkable. “It could not mean this, if it did, it would mean the Church is contradicting fundamental Scientology concepts and that just cannot be so. I must be crazy — nobody else sees this so it cannot be true.” And “I dont dare mention my thoughts to anyone as they will turn me in and it will cost me more money to be sec checked. Or maybe they will declare me an undesirable and I will lose my job or family and friends.”

                  And so it goes. Everyone is FORCED to study exactly what tells them clearly they are being duped — and because they are so duped they don’t believe it. And thus it is all invalidated and the “status quo” is further reinforced.

                  For all those “devout” Scientologists who cannot live without having an LRH quote to tell them what they should think or do — it is remarkable that they utterly ignore the most fundamental LRH concepts of all contained in those materials. Especially the “OT’s” who become less and less cause over life, starting with their own, the more they “progress” up the Bridge.

                  This is the “brilliance” of Miscavige. What would once have been the very material that would undermine his insanity is today another status (“I am a Basics Completion” — see Michael Doven e.g.) that is a reinforcement of their inability to think and see.

                  Buy into the bs and its really hard to admit that the Emperor has no clothes because you are standing there stark naked too, adorned in certificates and statuses that merely cover your true state of “Certified Sheeple.”

                  • Mike,
                    Your analysis is true. dm in a fashion similar to any criminal is desperately begging to be caught. Yet, an ever shrinking number of followers is just not getting it. I find it amazing again and again how blind they are.

          • Thanx for your weighty 2c; much appreciated:)

        • I don’t believe Quentin commited suicide.

          • I don’t either. I met him and had dinner with him just days before his death. He didn’t appear to be depressed at all, quite the opposite – interested and excited about his adventure driving across the U.S. He was bright and in PT. He wore in a black T-shirt with a tuxedo print on the front. No tracks on his arms as some reports would have you believe. This was at a time when we were exposing, through the FOIA, the black ops of MKULTRA and illegal drug experiments on unsuspecting mental patients as part of Army Intel’s chemical warfare experiments. And here’s Quentin, LRH’s son, traveling around the U.S. alone and easily accessible. I always suspected it was a hit to send a message to the Ole Man to back the fuck off. It sure had all the earmarks.

            • Thanks for filling in.

            • Quentin was gay, and was afraid of, and dreaded, his father who was homophobic. He was very unhappy. He wanted to be an airline pilot. He didn’t want to be a Scientologist. He just wanted to get away from Scientology and live his own life, and that was unacceptable to his father, the Commodore and Source.

          • I also tend to think Quentin did not kill himself.

      • Spot on Mike. Exact truth.
        It may look like the “Special Directors”, who are non-Scientologist, ex employees of the IRS control the RTC with their veto, but they can be dismissed at any time by the three members of “Board of Trustees”, who are members of the COS with a majority vote. One of those three members (reportedly) holds undated resignations from the other two. And guess who that guy is? Yup.
        This is a very unholy alliance in which the devils all take what they think they are due, especially the most psychotic one..

  54. Heidegger’s response to Van Gogh’s painting demonstrates the datum that art inspires contribution. That wonderfully executed (and small) painting of a worn pair of boots inspired a poetic eruption from the great Heidegger. Inaccurately or not, that was Heidegger’s contribution to the painting. How many perfectly composed academic paintings at that year’s Salon in Paris generated zero comment? Probably a lot.

  55. A journey taken out of need, merit or simple determinism to see it through, lacking the luxury of creature comforts along the way.

    Did the wearer continue on now barefoot or get a new pair?

  56. On the light side, what does this Vincent Van Gogh painting suggest?

    “I’d walk a mile for a Camel.”

  57. Sans background information, this painting inspires in me thoughts of steadfast toil regardless of toil’s meaning, but constant and reliable nonetheless.

    I have always been fascinated with the concept of artistic meaning, and when doing my master’s degree in music composition did quite a bit of research into autobiography in music. One of my favorite composers in this regard is Arnold Schoenberg who holds the record as the most researched and written-about composer. (You would think that honor would go to Bach, Beethoven or Mozart, but not so!)

    Schoenberg was a fascinating character in that he was very outward that all of his music said something about himself and his life; however, he also feared his secrets would also be revealed in his music and felt he also needed to make efforts to obfuscate meaning. He desperately wanted to be understood, yet he feared being understood.

    For those curious about Schoenberg’s music, I recommend listening to Survivor from Warsaw and his Second String Quartet.

    Nancy

  58. Two left boots, slightly different sizes, Mens.
    The laces on the one to the right are less worn
    Boot left side laces appear shorter.

  59. Heidegger’s comments can be misconstrued, and his exuberance and self-assuredness makes it easy to do so. Put simply, his comments were his opinion.

    Heidegger was basically describing his own response to the painting. He was filling in the story; the painting elicited an excited contribution from him.

    Wilber, it seems, a bit annoyed with Heidegger’s gushing proclamation of opinion-as-fact, shows that Heidegger was completely wrong in his interpretation. Wilber then goes on to layer his own interpretation, which is what his essay is about. While Wilber’s interpretation is probably more correct based on the evidence by Gauguin, the fact remains that no one except Van really knows what the significance, if any, the boots represented to him.

    Great art provokes contribution, often passionate, from viewers. What the significance of the boots were to the painter is largely an academic issue and irrelevant to the main point and purpose of the art.

    Thus, all interpretations of what the art is expressing are “correct”, if it is understood that each interpretation is a description by that individual of what the art said to him or her.

    But to the greater question, about art, life, miracles, healing and helping. Short answer: Yes. As in viewing art, each individual interprets his own moments of personal transcendence, using the tools of his education, religious upbringing and understandings, and perhaps most importantly, the medium by which the person achieved the transcendent moment: an auditing session, deep meditation, fasting and prayer, interaction with nature, etc.

    It is what we are all trying to achieve, really. It can get lost in the day-to-day game-playing of life.

  60. I don’t mind the odd ink blot test :D

  61. What this story inspired me to think about was: What would I do if a person like Vincent van Gogh would knock on my door? How could I help him?
    It looks like he had experienced being in a high state of awareness without the gradients and understanding to deal with this state. Since he did care about others, I’d assume he was willing to create real ARC.
    I would understand him and I would let him know that. Concerning his painter friend, obviously his abilty to make himself understood was deficient (in relation to his state and what he saw and felt). Therefore I’d suggest to him to extend his ARC to the person he communicates to and find out what gradient of of his communication can be accepted by the other person or at which points he would become unreal and so step by step enable him to make himself and the dynamics understood. In short, I would validate him and I would train him to deal with his state.
    There are people around who perceive and feel and know, and live a very fine brand of love. Appreciation of such people often exceeds the realm of group think. It is easy for them to feel lonesome or not understood. Some are quite desperate after a while. I feel that people who care about others that much, really deserve to be helped. Be prepared for that the next time you meet one.

  62. Marty & other scientologist, I am currently learning about your actually faith, a journey I started months ago when I discovered this page. It’s here that I learned that there may be more to your faith then what your (former) ‘church’ presents to the common person. ‘Scientology & scientologists’ as I find here is dissimilar to what I saw from your former leader & his organization. I am not planning to become a scientologist, however I suspect by the way people talk here, their are some valuable tools inherent in your faith. Please take the time to read this & let me know what you think about it from the perspective of Scientology & as an independent scientologist.
    Thank you
    Dwayne

    This is one of those articles that can send your mind to several different places. First, you have a very intriguing painting, so seemingly simple, you try to decode the possible symbolism within it. However, as with any piece of art, whether it be a painting, poem or a song, your own experiences & thoughts creep into, if not guide your attempts to understand it. Your life, as it has been up until that moment is the lens you see everything through, so to attempt to get into Van Gogh mind is to start from you own.
    As you start to hear the story of the boots, you then start to adapt your interpretation to what you read, incorporating the new information as it presents itself.
    In the end, (if your like me) you have your original interpretation, formed before reading the article & the interpretation you developed as you read the story of Van Gogh & the boots. The latter evolved from the former, yet because of the knowledge obtained, it’s been altered considerably from your independent or personal interpretation.
    The thought or question I have is which interpretation I prefer. My initial view of the painting was based on how the image spoke to me & my life. I, consciously &/or unconsciously made it meaningful to me because my life was the lens through which I perceived it.
    It’s much like hearing a new song that really speaks to you for some reason. Maybe it reminds you of someone &/or something, perhaps it evokes certain feelings or reminds you of an special time in your life. Eventually however, you hear the actual meaning of the song from the artist’s perspective & it’s very different from your own. You may have a clearer, more accurate understanding of the song, however knowing this new information might not enhance the beauty of the song for you. In fact, in some circumstances knowing the story behind the song can detract from it’s beauty, because it’s beauty party came from the original meaning you attached to it.
    That’s the real magic behind art, whether it be a painting, poem or a song, our life experiences can inhance the beauty of the piece. Our personal interpretation can take something as benign as a painting of old boots & make it something into a piece of art that really speaks to us.
    To one person this painting may simply represent ‘a painting of old shoes by a very skilled artist’. The beauty lies in the technique of replicating the imagine with paint. To another person, it’s just a picture of boots that gets a lot of attention & hype simply because it’s a ‘Van Gogh’. To me however, it’s a really powerful & beautiful painting because, despite it’s simplicity or maybe because of it’s simplicity, it still evokes a lot of thought in me. It’s the meaning I’ve attached to it that really makes it powerful & beautiful. In this way, the beauty of the art comes from both the artist & the person viewing his work. It’s the collaboration of the two, who often never met that will determine it’s beauty & impact.
    This is a perfect example that it’s often the meaning we apply to the things & even people around us that makes them what they are. In this way, LRH’s comment (at least one that’s been attributed to him ), “what’s true for you, is what’s true for you” speaks true to me (and I am not even a scientologist). The meaning you attach to art, experiences, people &/or places is their true meaning to you. In this way, by giving things their meanings, we decide what’s beautiful and who or what is truly important in life.
    Thanks for reading,
    Dwayne

    • Hi Dwayne,

      I like your interpretation of what this painting means to you because Art, as the quality of communication, is subjective by nature despite being manifestly objective in expression. That you identified the fact that the beauty of the art is derived not only from the artist and the artwork itself, but by the person viewing the artwork as well is exactly correct. The admiration flowed toward the artist and his artwork is what gives the art its value.

      Your ackowledgement of Art as a holonic subsystem of the larger entity that is evident in the fact that artistic expression even exists validates the spiritual nature of man. Man as a spiritual being creates the world and life that he sees – not the other way around.

      • Thanks for reading & replying Scott, I know that my response probably wasn’t what Marty had in mind, but it’s what stood out to me when I started to read the article. I’m trying to explore Scientology as a religious philosophy, as well as a tool to use to help me help others. I work with a lot of ‘at risk’ youths & after reading this blog, I realized that Scientology, as it is practiced here by all of you, may have some tools inherent in it that may add to the tools I’ve already employ. As a student of philosophy (in university), I tend to use philosophic principles to help the teens I work with. The kids I see are good people, many of them are very intelligent, yet they haven’t been given the tools to handle the realities of their life, which are often very difficult lives. The more tools I can give them, the better they will be equipped to handle their lives & reach their potential.
        What I am asking some of you guys is to help me learned about Scientology & help me know if I am understanding & applying it correctly. The last thing I want is to walk away thinking I got it, yet learn latter I was either mistaken or missed the really valuable tools inherent in it. As I’ve said before, I was lucky in the sense I found this page as I found little useful information before this. It wasn’t until I started looking at this page that i realized Scientology as practiced/preached by the “church” & it’s leaders wasn’t really Scientology. All the ‘BS’ & negativity overshadowed any positive qualities. I remember thinking, ‘how can a faith that does all these horrible things to it’s members offer anything actually useful”.
        Anyway thank you again, any help I can get is greatly appreciated. Again, I need to know that I am really understanding your faith, both out of respect to it & all of you.
        Thanks
        Dwayne

        • Hi Dwayne,

          I have a friend who got her doctorate in Psychology under Viktor Frankl and has been a practicing Buddhist for nearly 40 years. She told me that as she was progressing through her studies in college that she read a number of LRH’s books and that they helped her understand and identify what was valuable in her other studies.

          When I asked her of what her opinion of LRH was, she said, “Oh he was absolutely brilliant”. I then said, “Would you consider him among the great thinkers in history?” She responded, “Absolutely. And he would certainly rank up there among the great prophets as well.”

          The Scientology Auditor that I go to now obtained a Bachelors Degree in Philosophy before becoming a Scientologist. So I would certainly recommend studying L. Ron Hubbard’s works as a part of your other studies.

          As a final note, many Scientologists do not define Scientology as a faith because it does not require unknowing belief as part of it’s tenets. It is, however a religion in that it is a spiritual betterment activity. If you study it further, you will see what I mean.

          Scott

        • Dwayne,

          I would suggest you get the book Self Analysis and get to know it well. I think it will stimulate your mind a lot and you will get many ideas for helping those kids as a result.

          It’s available for little cost through Amazon and Ebay.

  63. What I got from the article is that it’s possible to read a lot of inference into a very small amount of data. It’s possible to selectively observe enough evidence to convince yourself that something is “THE truth,” when in fact it has little or no basis in reality.

  64. 2 front of boots with a light behind them seem to be done in oils.
    I Love the data series/serious.
    My couch would have flunked me – fine.

    But what is true is what’s true for me.
    (OKed by Ron)

    Cece
    On the rim of the world. Thx all (even the recent de-friends on FB) I did scroll thru my ‘friends’ and didn’t see anything/one missing :)
    – It’s OK. Make it easy on yourself. Pull out the ‘Code of Honor’. And a good dictionary and study this afternoon.
    [instead of finding my friends and kids and attacking me. Won't work. I'm solid as a rock - you are wasting your time (may as well sit and rest your bones on the dock of the bay)]

  65. Richard Lloyd-Roberts

    There are many ways to interpret art. I used to paint and display art in Los Angeles. Like Bob Grant, I was asked many times what my art meant. There was never a meaning for me. It was creativity, the effect, how it inspired people.

    I think this post does two things. Marty you are getting people to think for themselves. This post is creativity because you as a writing artist are saying, “take a look, what do you think is there”, what does it all mean?”
    You are getting people to think for themselves. I admire that.

    If I were to add my own personal interpretation of the painting as it might apply to this group as a symbol I would say it says this.

    “Look at us, we are like a pair of old boots, we have come a long way, been used to the fullest extent and now being worn out and no longer useful, discarded and set aside. However we are still a pair of boots, we are still together like old friends who have experienced a long road together. Yes we are a little rag tag and tatty, but we are still of use. We can protect people from harm, like boots we will stop you stubbing your toe. Protect your “sole (soul)” from dangers like nails in the road. We can still do our job despite being well worn and like the artist that created this image we have our story to tell. You will find many meanings when you look at us, you will think “well what does all this mean?” Why are these people over here like a pair of old boots. An in the end it will mean to you what you believe it means. We are free old boots, we think for ourselves now, We don’t need someone to walk us along the road of life. You may join us, we don’t judge where you have walked as we have been judged ourselves and we didn’t like it. We will polish up well and be repaired one day. In the mean time you can still use us to kick some DM butt for now we are independent boots!

  66. This Nancy Sinatra song says it all to DM. Listen to the words.

  67. Great art evokes; that is why it is great.

  68. Gerhard Waterkamp

    I am German born and raised, so I have an excuse to be simple, cut and dry.
    To me this picture symbolizes the beauty of a completed cycle. Obviously somebody walked in these boots for some time. The way the boots are worn out and left placed in an empty space indicates it was a long journey that is now ended.
    We are looking at the material witnesses of that journey.
    If I would put this in the context of this forum, the journey finished would be the participation in the COS. Those boots have us no longer walk in them. While sad in one aspect the beauty is we are done with it, end of cycle of that journey, which opens the door to new things, maybe a journey where we use the Scientology technology to truly help each other.

  69. To me it sings a song, a song of experience, a road well traveled. All in one simple but brilliant painting of a pair of shoes. But now I’m going all William Blake on you.

    The Clod & the Pebble (From Songs of Experience)

    Love seeketh not Itself to please,
    Nor for itself hath any care;
    But for another gives its ease,
    And builds a Heaven in Hells despair.

    So sang a little Clod of Clay,
    Trodden with the cattles feet:
    But a Pebble of the brook,
    Warbled out these metres meet.

    Love seeketh only Self to please,
    To bind another to Its delight:
    Joys in anothers loss of ease,
    And builds a Hell in Heavens despite.

  70. I thought Ken Wilber was difficult to understand until I realized he never forgot a single word or concept from any book of philosophy he ever read and he uses those words and concepts to explain some of his own newly coined words and concepts…(so to understand Wilber I needed to keep looking up words over and over because I have no such photographic memory). Anyway, Nietzsche and then Heidegger thought art higher than truth so Heidegger’s poetic interpretation contributed another aesthetic piece on top of Vincent’s magnificent painting…. in so doing, bringing us all up a little higher.. even Wilber’s interpretation of Gauguin’s story contributes to Vincent’s masterful work of art.

  71. I’ve been dwelling all day in these shoes, and the paintings of Van Gogh in Impartial English Girl comment/link above and I suddenly saw “The Mindfulness of Breading”.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.118.than.html

    ML/A

  72. One last thought regards this painting (and anyone with a military background will appreciate this):

    Take care of your feet!

  73. Speaking of boots, perhaps some here would wish to lend a hand to sending a petition with 1,000,000 signatures to the government in India to support programs to end violence against women throughout the world, starting in India. The signatures need to be raised within the next 24 hours.

    http://www.avaaz.org/en/end_indias_war_on_women/?bWPEKab&v=20663

  74. New corporate Scientology slogan:

    We would be doing great if so many people didn’t hate us.

  75. This is an astounding story – there is nothing I can say that won’t take up a full-blown essay. Thanks for this post, Marty.

    Mark

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