Breathing is Life / Hidden from Reality

Coming back to the breath keeps us grounded and present at any certain point and time. With so much on the mind, so much to do, so much to be accomplished, it is easy to forget that breathing in itself is an act that can be experienced. How ironic is it then, that the one commonality amongst each living thing on this planet, human or nonhuman, is air. The often forgotten breath is a wonderful representation of the disconnect seen and experienced everywhere. Let us all come back to our breath.

“… human societies are naturally divided into a limited number of non-interacting cultural categories defined according to the “self and other” dualism, and where difference is reduced to a disparity of world views.”

The different backgrounds each of us come from. The history experienced by each one of us. What an advantage it is, that is not being taken advantage of. Understanding the reality of someone else’s world can be either appealing and painful, or both, for we may begin to realize the world far from what we perceive it as. Perhaps this is why many of us tend to be closed-minded and choose to live in our own worlds – we do not want to confront realities different from our own. Only by accepting this difference can we grow spiritually as individuals, and together as a society. Perhaps museums can attest the difference of cultures and invoke broadened spectrums upon individuals, rather than promoting the dualism of self and other, by displaying the ways in which other countries experience the Anthropocene. The art piece in Buenos Aires, Inundada, was very powerful because it can represent many parts of the world right now, one example being Haiti, where Hurricane Matthew has left destruction in its wake.

I found my experience walking around the Japanese Tea Garden today to be very beautiful, almost as if I was in a different world, and here lies the basis of my critique. The one note I took from my practice read “Blinded by Aesthetics, Hidden from Reality.” My reasoning behind this is that families, individuals, tourists, etc. had paid to admire the perfect assortment of trees, bridges, buildings and water without realizing it was all put together by humans. To me, the garden further promoted the dualism between human and nature. I found the garden to be representative of the role of capitalism in the Anthropocene as well due to the shifting of Earth’s materials into something that humans will pay to behold. I cannot deny the beauty of the garden and found it easy to admire, however it represents a seemingly perfect world in a world much far from it.

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