Tuesday, March 20, 2012

hands at work...

Film maker Richard Burman is working on a documentary film, which he calls the Working Hands Project. He intends to produce three one-hour episodes, each paying homage to what the hands do in the creation of intelligence and to support human economy and creativity. You may note that one of the quotes rotating at the top of the page is from this blog. There is an important story here to be told and I wish Richard great success in his project.

I had mentioned that I am sharing time with friends in a Carl Jung study group based on his Red Book. We had met on Saturdays for one month, but have elected to continue to meet once a month. You can't really study Jung at any depth without becoming engaged in a study of self, which involves exploration of dreams, lucid dreaming, and the creative unconscious.

As a result of my hand injury, I found myself getting depressed and mentally impaired and became concerned that I was in some way losing my mental acuity. As my hand has become more useful to me, I have found the depression lifting and mental acuity returning. This certainly, to me, confirms observations made by Kelly Lambert (Lifting Depression) concerning the role of the hands in the alleviation of symptoms of depression.

Now back to Jung. I awakened in the middle of the night having devised a test of my mental acuity... Einstein's theory of relativity. I am not strong enough on math to understand how he came up with his incredible formula, but from a point of lucid dreaming was able to grasp the implications. The hard part is to bring materials from a lucid dreaming state back into normal day to day consciousness, just as it can be sometimes difficult to remember one's dreams.

It is certain that the collective unconscious contains at least a large portion of that intellect that is available to us. And while it may take some effort to retrieve it, some discussion the following morning with friends, and some followup research to ascertain the validity of what we have seen, schools that fail to utilize the advantages of the unconscious through the encouragement of personal creative engagement in making things of useful beauty are a waste of our most natural and significant resource, the minds of our children. While Jung proposed dreaming and fantasy as means to explore the unconscious mind, he recognized that personal and cooperative creativity were the most effective means to fully understand the nature of self. As was noted by the parent of one of my woodworking students: "In most classes, students learn about the world. In wood shop they also learn about themselves." The same can be said about music, art, creative writing, planting of gardens, athletics, and so many of the less measurable things that have been pushed aside for the sake of standardized testing.

Today I have been attending to my long neglected Etsy store. I've made a photo booth to make photography of small boxes effortless, and have been adding new box designs to the site.

At the top is one of my favorite cartoons about American education. It's not really funny.

Make, fix and create...


  1. Anonymous6:52 PM

    When I broke my toe back in November I suffered some of the same problems you're writing about here. My hands worked fine, but I couldn't stand for any length of time so working in the shop was out of the questions.

    Now I'm back to what passes for full speed for me, but the pieces of wood haven't told me what they want to be. Mary wants end tables, but this might take a trip to the lumberyard.


    PS The cartoon is one I remember sending you not long ago.

  2. That is a great cartoon. What kind of end tables does Mary have in mind? It seems something in the mission style might be in keeping with your house.

  3. Anonymous4:32 AM

    Mission style might just be the one. I've been hunting around for ideas and that's the one that stands out. Time to go to work.