The childlike

The good stuff is always childlike, a pure thing which comes from the heart. It is slightly touchy, in the sense that it is almost too much. One wonders if it is really all right to present such a thing.

In conventional terms, the idea of pleasing yourself sounds egocentric and completely wrong. It sounds contradictory to say that you get wholeness by pleasing yourself, since we have spent a lot of time discussing the fact that the “it” can only be found by being egoless. How can we become egoless by indulging our personal pleasure?

Yet the process of recognizing that this is true, not false, will get us finally to a full understanding of what living structure, and the deep connection to the ground, does really mean.

The level of awareness needed to do this is a level which is immensely personal, which is almost like a little child speaking — a level where we let go, entirely, of our adulthood, even of the normal regulations of professional adult society.

This childish level of awareness is not normally available to us. Indeed, paradoxically, it is only the awareness of order which can allow us to release ourselves enough to even get this level or awareness.

What is fascinating about this aspect of the nature of order, is that it contains an unexpected mixture of the personal and the impersonal. It is impersonal in the sense that it is related to the fitness of the thing, to the exactness of the structure-preserving transformation. It is personal, in the sense that it carries feeling, is full of feeling, originates in a vision which comes from your self.

The value of what is done, in any work of art, depends, in the end, on the extent that the artist can reach down to his own humanity, into his own person, and draw the thing he makes from this most ordinary person which exists inside. Yet it is not easy to reach the genuinely human part of oneself, the childlike part, which is true and simple. What I have described in these four books is the structural part of what you need in order to reach this human childlike part of yourself. It works because living structure — what I call the field of centers — really is a mirror of the human heart. It is only knowledge of this structure, and the practice of making it, which gives you a key to unlock your own heart.

Thus, paradoxically, it is only when you finally are truly personal, when you really put your humanness in to the things you make, that you genuinely reach the objective living structure. Living structure is a thing which can, finally, only be reached by humanness — by the personal, and individual childish temperament which lets a person be vulnerable to all the world, in the things he makes. But a person will only be able to reach the ability to be personal in this way, to express true feeling in this way, once he has mastered the abstract structure which I call the field of centers. It is only after truly being able to experience this field of centers that you reach the point where you are able to be personal.

Then, finally, you are able to make something really whole — whenever this personal, light feeling finds its way into the things you do.

(Pages 297-298)

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