Perceiving the true nature of reality takes practice.
The cool thing is, though, that whatever we are going through right now is providing us the opportunity to do just that.
On this week’s podcast, we learn that our thoughts don’t mean anything (don’t mean anything objectively real, that is). Marco and I talk about dating drama… what does it mean when your date doesn’t want to get in that selfie with you? Gallows humor…. does it help us deal with death more serenely or not? How much ego do we really need?
And we muse about Picasso and his perception and his reality.
Check out the portrait below that Picasso did of his best friend, alongside a photograph of his best friend, Jaume Sabartes.
They were best friends for more than 60 years. Both were the same age, and they met in Barcelona when they were 19 years old. Sabartés was studying to be a sculptor and also wrote poetry. In 1935, when Picasso lived in Paris and started to suffer from the loneliness of genius, he asked his friend to come join him, and Sabartés went and stayed forever.
Over the years, Picasso represented his friend in portraits and caricatures… portrayed as a knight, a monk, a clown, a faun, a bullfighter, a blind man, a melancholic, among starlets…. Some people thought he should be offended by Picasso’s rendering of him, but Sabartés was not.
In Sabartes’s words-
“[This] portrait has really all the characteristics of my physiognomy, though only the most essential ones. If the way Picasso put them together does not coincide with the way the majority of people see them, this is because, thinking about me, he took them from his memory, with the intention of giving them form in a picture, organizing them in accordance with his sensibility and the need of constructing a harmonious whole.”
And this is what we do all day long - we construct our experience from our memory; we organize our thoughts according to our personality so that we experience the world in a way that makes sense to us, specifically.
“Do you know that Picasso didn’t even notice he was painting [the glasses] upside down? …I believe this is due to the need of not interrupting the rhythm of the lines of the orbital arcs. Had he swung the arc which supported the lenses in the same direction, the course of these curves would have been needlessly broken…”
And again, this is what we do all day long - we construct our ‘reality’ in such a way as to not interrupt the way we (our ego) wants to see the world. And we don’t even notice that things are upside down.
So, yeah, our thoughts don’t mean anything - anything objectively real; they’re just coming from inside ourselves, not outside.
There’s real comfort for me in that, and I hope for you, too.