First off, the the experiment which I referred to in class is called Brain Change in Response to Experience conducted by Mark R. Rosenzweig, Edward L. Bennett, Marian Cleeves Diamond. Sorry I couldn’t post a link or a video I failed to find anything online that didn’t require money.
I was disappointed with the dichotomous emotional reactions I experienced while reading Ranier Marie Rilke’s, Letters to a Young Poet and Gardners Five Minds for the Future in the same setting.
While reading Rilke’s letters I felt as if I was being personally consoled in a way that I have never experienced. His letters made me feel at ease with my sadness and left me pleasantly curious as to it’s presence within my mind. Rilke’s letter’s refocused my energy, and manifested it into something positive. Rilke articulated advice with such peaceful elegance and genuine honesty that I couldn’t help but feel like his letters were intended for me. Their was something different in the way Rilke conveyed his advice. It wasn’t about telling the young poet how to live his life but rather like putting eye glasses on a person whose vision is blurry. His letters were a guiding hand to help the young poet explore his inner self, to acknowledge the positive in every experience and every emotion, negative or positive. And although his guidance felt whimsical it did not feel illogical or unattainable. It felt more like he had lead me into a warmly lit room, with a maroon lazy boy recliner, a lit fire place and a cup of hot apple cider.
My reaction to Rilke’s letter’s was in bitter opposition to that of Gardners oral presentation which left me feeling defeated and exhausted. Which always seems to occur when I experience dissonance after reading what I ultimately interpret as life advice from an “expert” whose interpretations I do not feel in agreement with. His piece left me thinking, who the fuck are you? Who the fuck are you to judge creativity and apply to it a make or break criteria. I wonder if he had this harsh of an opinion before his stupid multiple intelligence crap happened to meet the eyes of those who could get him famous. Perhaps I am getting so upset this moment because I am insecure about my own creativity and thus concerned about the success of my future. But either way, Gardener is rewarding himself with far too much credit to be making such grandly difinitive statements but as am I without not having read his entire book on creativity.
“Always trust yourself and your own feeling, as opposed to argumentation, discussions, or introductions of that sort; if it turns out that you are wrong, then the natural growth of your inner life will eventually guide you to other insights. Allow your judgments their own silent, undisturbed development, which, like all progress, must come from deep within and cannot be forced or hastened.”
“You are so young, so much before all beginning, and I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them.”
“No, there is not more beauty here than in other places, and all these objects, which have been marveled at by generation after generation, mended and restored by the hands of workmen, mean nothing, are nothing, and have no heart and no value; but there is much beauty here, because every where there is much beauty.” Referring to Rome
“Solitary”: it is vast, difficult to bear– necessary to obtain vast inner solitude
“Why should you want to give up a child’s wise not-understanding in exchange for defensiveness and scorn, since not understanding is, after all, a way of being alone, whereas defensiveness and scorn are a participation in precisely what, by these means, you want to separate yourself from.”‘
“If only it were possible for us to see farther than our knowledge reaches, and even a little beyond the outworks of our presentiment, perhaps we would bear our sadnesses with greater trust than we have in our joys.”
, if a sadness rises in front of you, larger than any you have ever seen; if an anxiety, like light and cloud-shadows, moves over your hands and over everything you do. You must realize that something is happening to you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand and will not let you fall.