Mar 31 2009

Jill Bolte Taylor

“Who are we?

We are the life force power of the universe with manual dexterity and two cognitive minds and we have the power to choose, moment by moment, who and how we want to be in the world.

Right here, right now I can step into the consciousness of my right hemisphere. Where we are, I am, the life force power of the universe. I am the life force power of the 50 trillion beautiful molecular geniuses that make up my form – at one with all that is.

Or I can choose to step into the consciousness of my left hemisphere where I become a single individual, a solid – separate from the flow, separate from you. I am Dr. Jill Bolte Tayor, intellectual, neuro-anatomist.

These are the “we” inside of me. Which would you choose? Which do you choose? And when?

I believe that the more time we spend choosing to run the deep inner peace circuitry of our right hemispheres the more peace we will project into the world and the more peaceful our planet will be.”

(From Jill Bolte Taylor TED Video)

Mar 26 2009

Georgia O’Keeffe

“Well – I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower you hung all your own associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see of the flower – and I don’t.”

(From Georgia O’Keeffe, 1976)

Mar 23 2009

From You

Rose by Eli JenkinsWho do we choose to be?

Our actions, thoughts & feelings flow
like grains of wood in predictable patterns,
set by default or choice,
around the knotted events of our lives
sometimes we are surprised from our routine by fresh water drops
which magnify & reveal the myriad sparkling possibilities
hidden in each moment, awaiting our attention & intention
to bloom from the woodwork like a rose.

(Artwork and text by ELI JENKINS)

(Eli participated in the What is Self? Art & Writing Exhibition @ Frisbie St. in Oakland, CA – May 2009)

Mar 20 2009

From You

Each human being is a consort of multitudes,

each archetype manifesting in turn as to

situation, relationship, and experiential history.

Yang scientist philosopher,

yin playful artist,

transcendent poet mystic—

which am I at this

moment, here, with you?

(by Debra Jan Bibel at Studio Lone Mountain)

Mar 18 2009

From You

When all is said and done, this is what I think the core self is — the only part that is indestructible:  “Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.” – Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart

But there are other parts of the self that are not the core, and on most days, in most lives, those are the parts that matter more. They are the parts we create and expand by pursuing what gives us pleasure, inspiration, joy, and fulfillment. And they are the parts that know sadness, anger, and fear. Your most electric joy and most protected fear come from these places, these parts of your self.

Most of that can be diminished and even destroyed, however, so it is worth knowing, worth seeing clearly from every angle, even worth cherishing what fills that space, giving it color, texture, shape, shadow and sparkle. There is no way to know what will later appear in its place, what the new parts will look like, feel like, sound like, what they will seek, know, protect, offer, need.

Most of the self is malleable; like any living thing, it reacts to the conditions that surround it, and helps create the conditions that surround it.  It expands and contracts, sometimes quickly, sometimes so gradually it is imperceptible. Its movement is not entirely predictable, but not entirely mysterious either, if you pay attention.

But the core self does not change, cannot be changed, and cannot be destroyed. And you may only see it and know it after everything else has been annihilated.

I think it is good that on most days, in most lives, everything else matters more.

(by Perrin)

Mar 18 2009

Henry Miller

“I certainly do not hope to alter the world. Perhaps I can put it best by saying that I hope to alter my own vision of the world. I want to be more and more myself. As ridiculous as that may sound.

Where the writing is concerned, I did nothing consciously. I followed my nose. I blew with every wind. I accepted every influence, good or bad. My intention was, as I said, merely to write. Or to be a writer,  more justly. Well, I’ve been it.

Now I just want – to be.

Remember, I beg you, that this infinitive is “transitive” in Chinese. And I am nothing if not Chinese.

Does this help? If not, walk on – and over me.

(from Henry Miller on Writing p. 141)

Mar 15 2009

From You

Self ~

ponders the silver sliver of moon
absorbs spring sunshine
invents toys

cooks everyone’s meals
cleans other people’s clothes
covets music

laughs about love
mourns lost love
peers thru the lens at other selves

treats poverty pain and shame as shameful
drums into a new way
adores the green buds of fruit trees in march

revels in chocolate
puts on make-up
gets to work late

captures her shadow
builds wooden shelves
tears up old journals

lives life anew every moment

(by Leanne Grossman)

Mar 13 2009

George Santayana

” I, if I exist, am not an idea, nor am I the fact that several ideas may exist, one of which remembers the other.

If I exist, I am a living creature to whom ideas are incidents, like aeroplanes in the sky; they pass over, more or less followed by the eye, more or less listened to, recognised, or remembered; but the self slumbers and breathes below, a mysterious natural organism, full of dark yet definite potentialities; so that different events will awake it to quite disproportionate activities.

The self is a fountain of joy, folly, and sorry, a waxing and waning, stupid and dreaming creature, in the midst of a vast natural world, of which it catches but a few transient and odd perspectives.”

(From Scepticism and Animal Faith p.149)

Mar 11 2009

Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan

“When we consider the kinship of all life on Earth, is it plausible that humans have immortal souls and all other animals do not?

How much are we really in charge of ourselves? And how much of our actual everyday behavior is on automatic pilot?

Each species has a different model of reality mapped into its brain. No model is complete. Every model misses some aspects of the world.

If we imagine that we are purely, or even mainly, rational beings, we will never know ourselves.”

(From Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors )

Mar 5 2009

Call for Art & Writing

Shadow Self 12

What is Self? Share your art & writing on this topic on-line and/or at the upcoming exhibition on May 8, 9 and 10th in Oakland, CA.

Artists: click here for details and submission guidelines.

Writers: click here for details and submission guidelines.

Everyone can participate: click here to find out how.

Mar 5 2009

Answering the Question


How would Freud answer the question, What is Self?

Or what about Jesus or Marilyn Monroe or Eleanor Roosevelt or the Dali Lama? How would they answer the question?

Check back frequently (or sign up for the RSS feed)…new “answers” from artists, atheists, children, famous people, philosophers, psychologists, scientists, spiritutal teachers, theologians, writers and others will be posted as they are discovered.

Add your favorite What is Self? quotes, videos and art to the mix. Join the conversation.

You can post in comments or send your stuff by email to lanell [at] breatheonelove [dot] com.


Mar 5 2009

What is Self?/World Peace Project

Hi! Welcome to the What is Self?/World Peace Project, an initiative started by Breathe One Love artist, Lanell Dike. This project includes five phases and you can participate in all of them. Click here to read more about each phase.

The purpose of the What is Self?/World Peace Project is to create a forum for you to explore the question What is Self?

This is who I am

Share your art, your writing and your thoughts on the question. Read what philosophers, scientists, psychologists, movie stars, children, spiritual teachers and atheists have to say about What is Self?

This space is for reflection, conversation, dialogue. There are no “right” answers. There is no one answer. There are over 6.7 billion answers. Suspend judgement. Explore for yourself. Listen. Learn. Share.

Smiling Girls in India

Laugh at the beautiful, wonderous, awesome diversity of a world with over 6.7 billion answers to the question, What is Self?

Girls in South Africa

Dive deep. Can you love your self? Can you accept who you are?

Shadow self 11

Forgive. Have compassion. Let go. Love.

Let Go

Love your self so deeply that you loose the edges of you as separate from me and they and them…so deeply that you forget the idea of your self as separate from the world we are all a living, breathing part of.

For Peace

There is peace within. Cultivate your inner peace.

Inner Peace

World peace is possible as you live peace within your own self.

Flower Peace 2

Discover deep peace within and create world peace.