With inserts by Eliza Trefas (ET).
"'Love' explores practices for embodying love – hypersensitivity, ecstatic affects, overwhelming feelings, subtle affective connections with things around… The sensitized love bodies are inserted in "inappropriate" contexts – from art spaces to supermarkets and anything in between. The audience mingles with people who are unaware of the performance. Meetings are produced between two types of audiences, attentions, situations, performers, two degrees of performing and experiencing. Because affects are contagious, the atmosphere can get love charged. Temporary zones of possibility might open. Artworks are usually visual, sound or conceptual. Love is affect based." Florin Flueras, Love, 2021.
I wonder if people see that I'm changed. Maybe from outside, it just looks like I'm walking slowly, and I'm in a strange state. But I'm carried away by this affect. I'm walking without aim in this small parking lot. I'm quite close to that sensation in my dreams when I'm lifted by a strange and very familiar force and start to float. I see differently. There is beauty around, except for the big bushes here, they are very dark, I feel their darkness. It acts on my skin. I'm turning around to let my body catch more. Darkness is everywhere now. Beautiful darkness. The shadows of things are more present than usual. The trees around this parking lot are constructed mainly from their shadows. My shadows send shivers on my spine and the entire body. My body moves slowly to capture these dark affects. I see why Don Juan said to Castaneda that shadows are much more than what they seem. I'm connected with my shadow for the first time in my life. Sometimes, depending on my distance from the lighting poles, it disappears and I pick another one.
Some spiritual traditions talk about a fear & control vs love dynamic, we always have the choice between the two sides and everything is decided by that. It might be a simplistic view, but it is surprisingly actual now, when our lives and politics are so much fear & control based. Although "fear" is somehow twisted to mean "love". The twist is possible because "love" is exhausted and perverted, it can mean anything, from sex to empty corporate "care" slogans. What is disappearing from "love" is the actual body experience of it. From everyday actions, to contemporary dance and performance, the default perspective is of a body as instrument, as tool. We control and put our bodies to work, to do things, to create images, to express ideas, we discipline, control and choreograph them. Love reverses these deep cultural tendencies and goes the other way, from body to mind. From body as matter, image and representation to body as affect, as "love body".
I stopped in the middle of washing the dishes. Suddenly the water felt a bit strange, like something alien coming here. And my body started to affectively communicate with it and a bit with the dishes too, and with the leaves in the glass here. My gestures deviated from dish-washing movements. My body adjusts its posture to better interact with the water. It came to my mind that it comes from Argeș river, which springs in the Carpatian mountains. Reason kicks in, and I feel guilty about wasting water. I turned it off. I became aware of the heavy rain outside. My body turns around and slowly goes towards the window. The rain brings the watery affect and something extra from the sky. It slowly moves my body. I became watery, fluid. "The water spirit", not long ago this would have sounded funny or silly, but here I am. I start to be a bit concerned about where this love practice takes me. Anyway, with this writing and worrying my water affect diminishes in my body and my reason starts to take hold again, and I go to clean the dishes.
In our globalized culture it's more and more difficult and ridiculous to communicate with plants, fungi and animals and other beings. Beings become more and more on the side of objects than subjects. We started to see ourselves as complex matter and chemistry organized according to the (Newtonian) physical laws, as objects. Physicalism requires our most direct and the only undeniable experience, our consciousness, to be seen as an illusion. The presence of consciousness, of subjective experience, is a "hard problem" for physicalism. The solution, if you want to keep with that kind of science, is to eliminate it. Materialism may be the main reason why we stopped feeling plants, animals, nature, and we stopped feeling ourselves too. Through this perspective everything is objectivized, to be used, exploited and consumed.
"I don't see product by product as I usually do, but I integrate this place as a whole. It looks different. It makes sense. It feels so good to be in a shop without having to be busy with the products, with all the reading of prices and ingredients, without seeing anyone, walking in a way as to purposely avoid people and make space for them to pass. I don't create this space anymore. I am standing at the intersection between four corridors, where usually many people walk by at all times. Now they have to pass very close to me, we have a one-second body meeting. I cannot change my spot, I feel a perfect harmony somehow standing in this very place at this very moment in the shop. I don't even want to buy what I wanted to buy anymore, I just like being here. I wonder what will move me. I like more and more that people have to pass so close to me. It can feel a little awkward and uncomfortable for them, but for me it became very normal. I feel drawn to observe how people are in their bodies, their ways of embodying themselves. It's so pleasant, I wonder if I am ever perceived with a similar attention. I am still feeling the perfect harmony. A very innocent and casual love affect is like an aura around me. Now I am starting to feel a little weird because the employees passed me a lot of times, they might be noticing something is going on with me, but I am still not moved from here. I feel the aura of affect extending further in the shop. I feel that I am entering people's bodies through this affect, and people's bodies affect me back. I don't know how many people and how much love there could be in the shop right now. The amplification of love moves me away. I don't know where I am taken. Would I be carried around to a specific place, person, shelf, sign, product? I am wondering what it will be that I will get attracted to. Suddenly the shop and the products gained something almost divine. What a landscape. I look at products and shelves as if I see art. And I somehow do. My new day-to-day exhibition. I am a visitor, I don't feel like a customer anymore. Products are all equal and they lost meaning, they are just wonder objects, artworks to be looked at, felt, experienced. My basket is still empty after 20 minutes. Imagine you'd be carrying a basket with you in an art gallery too. Will I finally buy what I came here to buy? I don't know, I don't really mind anymore."(ET)
The habits of interacting with the world are the ones developed in relation with our own bodies. Do we listen to them, or do we just impose our will on them? Nature, reality start there. We can replace "body" with "environment", and we get our ecological mindset. Ecology is an expansion of the internal ecology. Ecological is to listen, anti ecological is to control. Fear makes you want to control, love to embrace. Ecology, like anything else, got perverted by capitalism. Now everything is greenwashed, the most nocive businesses are eco, green and sustainable. Like everywhere, it's a lot of PR tricks and propaganda. The "eco solutions" become increasingly irrational, more domination and control over the environment, more unloving into the world.
I reached out from my balcony and I softly caught a leaf of this tree here. Something is passing from the tree to my body. It's not just my imagination. My chest is warming up. Even more crazy, somehow this leaf through the body of the tree connects me with the earth, with the entire nature. Now my forehead is touching some leaves too. It's strange, but it happens. The fact that I have the phone in my other hand and I write this attenuates a little the ridiculousness. My body is slightly moved by these affects that come through the tree. Maybe my imagination is too rich, but nevertheless, if the feelings are real, the experience is real.
At the base of the climate crisis and of the new normal, is an instrumental, use-oriented thinking based on an attack upon the environment, on the assumption that our life should be at the expense of others. The same anti ecological paradigm shapes medicine. Excessive hand-washing, overuse of antibiotics, aseptic cleanliness, vaccines, antivirals, other drugs and the lack of human contact destroys our body ecology, our immunity. The resulting allergies, autoimmune disorders and chronic diseases can be much worse than the infectious disease that we're fighting. When we are at war with bacteria and viruses, we are at war with our own bodies. From too much eagerness to fight microbial life, we end up fighting ourselves.
My body got charged, waves of energy, affects are moving it. Somehow, these movements are opening my perception towards the subtle movements of the trees around. It's like for every movement, my body finds a correspondence with something around. My gaze is continuously caught by apparently random elements, but they feel relevant, something affective gets established between us. It's everything connected now, multiple uncontrollable micromovements in my body connected with everything. I got chills down my spine. I'm one with everything, the energies of the world are passing through me, my energies are spreading through the world. It's not energy, it's love, everything is love. My body is disintegrating, it's moved by multiple affects. It's reorganized by nature. My affective modulations interfere with reality, with the world at large, all reality is affective, is love. And there are for sure some things that I want to affect now in the world, more than ever.
Instead of an antibiotic approach, we can go for coexistence. Even now, we can choose to trust each other and the power of our community, that we each have a role in building immunity together. This would be an ecological mentality, that we're together in an ecosystem and germs are very much part of it, are very much part of our bodies for that matter. In general, microbial lifeforms are not our enemies. We cannot survive without them. We are viruses and bacteria, more than human cells. We coexisted and survived with respiratory viruses for millions of years, and now we suddenly behave like human immunity does not exist. We should trust the power and intelligence of these ecosystems to regulate themselves, because, as studies are showing it, if we trust them more, they work better. If we listen and feel our bodies, ourselves in complex relationships with everything around, then we can start to trust this complex ecology and start to trust our bodies too, including their symptoms and diseases. Through an ecological perspective, you feel that things are meaningful, connected, happening for a reason, not just random events. Disease, viruses, bacteria have their senses.
I have to lean on this electric hob, this affect softened my body too much, I'm completely unstable. I love everything. It feels that I'm in the perfect place at the perfect moment. Everything makes sense. The noises that I hear, the shapes and colors that I see in this kitchen are perfect too, and this makes me extra happy. Even the sensations of softness and instability are making sense. I just hope that I will not collapse from so much happiness. I'm melting down, also emotionally, but in a good way, like some walls disintegrate. I'm ultrasensible. At least in my kitchen I'm allowed, I would feel more vulnerable somewhere less private. I'm on the floor. I'm very grateful and connected to it. It feels like I relate with everything through it. It's a quiet sensation, like I can stay here forever. I don't even feel guilty that I lose time or something, maybe because I'm working, I'm producing this text right now. I'm curious how much of my calm state is preserved in the text.
In many indigenous cultures the body is "dreamed" or made of affects and capacities, immaterial. This perspective is very difficult to entertain in our globalized physicalist worldview. There is a correspondence and influence between the body's politics and society's problems. The apocalyptic exploitation and control of the planet starts with the control of the body, out of fear and of a "safety first" mentality. Any radical, meaningful change, political or not, has to start at its roots, at the levels of embodiment of the cultural and political. The radically different perspectives from other cultures show us that other types of bodies are possible.
I'm eating this apple, but now I'm starting to feel that it somehow feeds me through my touch of it as well. And through my eyes, its color, shape, position, relation with other things, composition. It tastes stronger. I softly move it, or it rather initiates the movement. It feels like more energy is accumulating. It's like the apple helps me to connect better with nature, especially with these trees near the balcony. The hand with the phone is quite dead by comparison. Now that I said this, it gained some sensitivity. I touch this tree with the apple. It's not an apple tree, but it still feels right. I caught the small movements of the branch, the apple and my hand are following them. Through the branch and the apple, my body catches this feeling from the wind. It all stops at the phone, especially when I write. The apple is not in contact with the tree anymore. My body is in direct relation with this soft breeze. It keeps moving random parts of my body. I feel the affect behind the wind. I ate the apple. I feel its energy inside. It keeps moving my body softly, more than the wind. Now that I said this, the wind becomes more present. I'm moving with it. I'm connected with this tree, we're moved by the same wind. Everything is somehow related to the apple in my stomach. Its affect persists.
We can protect nature because "we have to", because of fear of sabotaging ourselves, or because when we become sensitive, we connect with it and love it. If you don't have this affective base that carves you an individualized, singularized path, your next best step is to automatically follow the trend in your bubble, to act mimetic, to do what "you have to". This is a dangerous position because you orient yourself according to the manipulable mass affects. Then you are obeying ethical codes because of indoctrination, woke requirements, medical faith or ecological imperatives. But this produces alienation from one's own affects and capacities, from our bodies – a mimetic subjectivity filled with exterior codes, rules and conventions.
I stopped with the broom in my hand while swiping the floor. I started to move the broom differently, more like caressing the floor. It spreads the dirt. It doesn't matter. What matters is my new connection with the floor. My chest is warming up. My body got extra sensitized, and I feel the broom like a safety grounding. It's quite helpful now, I feel that I melt down. Now I try to be more reasonable, to clean the floor more efficiently, at least to not spread the dirt. I'm down on the floor. I'm fascinated by the pile of dirt, there is a lot of cat hair in it. The broom is lying down next to the pile, it seems like all three, the pile, the broom and myself we're at peace now, close to each other. A quiet moment. We stayed like that for a while. My eyes started to swipe the floor. It's like different parts of the floor catch my gaze. My palm touches the floor, and my eyes are stopping the swipe to be able to write this. The same affective connection with the floor is now also through my soles of the feet. I'm affectively connected to the ground through my hand, eyes and feet. The rest of the body is slowly moving to adjust to this affect. A slight guilt passes my mind now, because Eliza is continuing the cleaning. My body is slowly moving towards utility again. But something stays, I feel my activity now, the perception is different.
When the inner love connection is not there, the perspective and behaviors come from the implicit authorities in your environment. The orientation becomes external, mimetic. Belonging to a certain group, identity becomes central. Congregating mimetic people around identities is very convenient for the power. They just need to be oversensitized to their supposed identities and oriented against each other. Divide et impera - identity politics. Pushed by think tanks, NGOs and corporate left, the woke ideology took over. Everyone is judged and evaluated according to their sexual, racial identity, and their conformity to the woke ideology. The human and through extension, the natural environment became divisions and conflicts, artificially created or enhanced in an environment patrolled by some snappy mean police type woke personalities. Woke is the opposite of love. There is something universally human in all of us, and the differences are superficial, we're all alike. In many indigenous cultures, "human" is extended to plants, animals and other parts of reality.
I stopped in the middle of my dressing up. While putting my sock on my left foot. I entered this love mode and my activity lost its purpose. The utilitarian movements of putting my socks on were replaced by small body adjustments in order to increase my sensitivity to this affect that warms my chest. I'm almost in a meditation posture, maybe it helps. The foot with half of a sock on is a bit in front. My cat almost touches my leg. She seems to be in a similar state of self-sufficient auto affectivity. My chest lost its warmth. It’s cold, I put my socks on.
The same woke subjectivity that is into identity politics is now associating the official (Pharma) covid narrative with responsibility and good citizenship and pushes everyone to embrace it. What once was in the domain of personal freedom, if and how you chose to medicate, now is constructed as a source of responsibility, identity and segregation. Your own perspective on body and health is not allowed. You're not allowed to listen to your body in personal, intimate decisions, you're made to believe that your common sense, your intuition, your gut feelings are completely unreliable, and you have to completely surrender to the Pharma's experts and behavioral specialists that govern us now. You cannot even choose the experts – there are thousands that are very critical of the official corrupt ones, but they are censored, and their ideas are not allowed in the public space.
I'm on the street. I'm overwhelmed by this love. I have to stop. I have to make space for a passing car. I'm on the sidewalk now, moving very slowly. I may look like a zombie, but I feel the opposite of being dead, I feel very present and alive, like I suddenly see what’s around, and I'm connected, especially with the trees. I move on the streets guided by this feeling. Although the intention of getting home acts on my directions too. There is a general, universal love that I feel towards nothing in particular. My chest is warm, and I'm slowly turning around myself, and it feels like this warmth is traveling in all directions around. I'm turning the other way now and it feels like my body receives some subtle affective energy. It circulates through my body and waves of movement are passing through it. Somehow, my body affects the world. I don't know if it matters, or if it can change anything, but it's a nice feeling. Maybe I need to be able to believe more in this. And I feel the world in me, it's a feeling that travels through my skin like a charged shiver. I capture affects from all around. It's like my body is touched by everything around me. It goes under my skin as well. It amplifies, it feels like I'm possessed by love. That my body is affect, I'm moved by affect. And my affective form is in relation with other forms out there. I especially feel connected with the shapes of trees. It's like I start to finally see them, actually it's a kind of see-feeling, the eyes are involved, but it's rather affective what's going on, is not the ordinary seeing. I'm thinking that this can be my lockdown way of doing art.
Identity is built around a set of beliefs, norms, rules, values that become rigid, unquestionable. Identity politics and "divide et impera" create social polarization. The competing realities become rigidly set, the rights and wrongs unquestionable. People are policing through rigid normative grids. In this environment, thinking becomes dangerous and is met with canceling. This is now so strong that families, friends don't want to see each other again because of opinions on a vaccine. Identity tends to become a core of irrational dark forces, impenetrable to reason or love. The identity based people (almost everyone now) are like cult members, forming a mad society. The solution is not a fluid identity, this is just to play identity games harder. It's better to leave the identity games behind.
"I am not waiting for anyone, though in the way I feel now, I don't deny that someone could appear next to me at any moment. I look over the window and I feel that whenever I'd turn, something could make itself present to me. I am doubting whether I am still in my kitchen or the environment has changed, because I feel that something has altered. I see with different eyes. Everything seems still but alive, present, as if all the plants, trees, windows, buildings have also some kind of consciousness of their own. It's strange, I feel we are all watching or thinking or sensing the same thing at the same time, and we are all lateral elements to each other. I feel what I feel because we all feel this – a communal symbiotic body formed by all of us together at distance. The thoughts written here are their thoughts, too, our thoughts. I like this new body I'm part of, and they all do as well. There's a powerful connection between us and at the same time very calm. The wall in front of me doesn't separate us, I don't even perceive it anymore, so much that I can feel rooting through it with the environment. Fingers point to the ground to pour love out of their tips, down to the roots of the trees."(ET)
Identity etymologically comes from a "state of being the same". To be identified is to be pinpointed, to be stabilized in non becoming. An identity is difficult to escape because every thought, every decision is part of that identity, they come from what you are. Identity is a trap. The way out is to follow, listen to some sort of outside, like some special dreams or feelings. Guided by love, listening to your heart, following your intuition, means exactly this, to have the courage to open yourself to extra-ordinary influences. To exit the prison of yourself, of your identity, of what you know. It's the courage of letting the unknown move you. It's what love always does, to get you out of yourself. Love ignores the identity games. Faith is trust in love – to allow yourself to be guided by love.
I'm pulled by the chest diagonally up and far away. My body follows this, and it goes chest in front, my legs dragging on the floor a bit behind. I'm at the edge of the balcony, still pulled beyond. My preservation instinct kicked in and I stopped. My warm chest is over the edge. My hands are in front, wavering slowly. Now I'm back on the phone to write this. I'm pulled in another direction. I'm stopped by a wall. The affect is passing through the wall, it's like just a part of my body is stopped by it. Something, like an affective body, is going on through it towards this attractor that pulls me out. The coldness of the wall and the warmth of this love are mixing in my chest. My face is touching the wall too, and I'm breathing it. It is too solid, too real, and it's somehow winning over this subtle feeling. Now my chest and my eyes are moved and pulled from one tree to the other, and the rest of the body too. I'm moving randomly, messy, with many sharp changes in direction, with the chest in front and sometimes my hands too. I may look like a zombie. Now the attractor moved in the skies above. I'm lifted, too heavy to levitate though. I'm falling back into my body and I like this casual, normal, nothing fancy state. Maybe my perception is a bit clearer, but that's all, no more weird stuff.
The current reality is all about eliminating dissent. The possibilities of thinking and experiencing are greatly reduced. The official narrative is protected with walls of rationalizations that increase the separation from experience, and cancels presence. Social neurosis. Love means having the courage to experience, to feel the other, the difference, the alien. It's radically open and in contact with bodies, experiences and environments. In a way, love is a meta-perspective. And we need this, to be able to transcend the "divide et impera" of behavioral experts and the divisions of identity politics. Different experiences, perspectives won't feel threatening anymore.
I'm on this grass between the sidewalk and the street. There are some tree stumps and weird mushrooms on the ground. It's not the place where you will normally walk, but in this affected state it makes sense. Now I'm walking between the cars parked on the street, it also makes sense, because I'm not really deciding. It's this affect that guides my body. It's a big difference in walking on grass and on this cubicles now. They're quite hypnotic. The patterns correspond with my affect and somehow determine my walking direction. I'm lucky that there are not many cars passing. Love is not necessarily the best guide in this car oriented city. A car had to slow down to wait for me to free the road. It's a strange continuity between the cubicle patterns and the tree shapes. I'm just spinning slowly around, and I feel open to affect and be affected. I just had to let another car pass. I hope nobody calls the police. I didn't know why this affect took me out of the sidewalk to the grass and then here on the street, but it all makes sense, in the end is love against machinic. My love body is fighting the algorithmic. My body feels to affect all this artificial intelligence around. Maybe something reaches the algorithmic bodies on the sidewalk, in cars, offices and homes.
The suppression of love is the main schooling activity. The main lesson is that knowledge comes from experts, not from your own experience. You learn to trust and listen to authority, not to your body's feelings and intuitions. Illich pointed out how the same type of disembodying powers medicine. You unlearn and distrust your healing capacities and put your body in the hands of experts, to treat it as a machine. Medicine expropriates healing, and death too. You cannot die your own death anymore. In your last hours or days, your body becomes a battlefield on which experts and machines fight for your 'life'. A desperate battle is performed like a grotesque ritual. This attitude towards the body, grasped from the outside through the experts' mediation, is similar to the exploitive way of relating with nature and reality, through norms and calculated ecology – you measure your carbon footprints, and plan ways to instrumentalize and engineer nature more, in order to save it. This is anti-love.
"I can see everything around me as a result of divine love. The plants, some accessories, the shadow and the light, the tree outside, myself, the structure of the house and the way all these things are positioned in relation to each other, are a consequence of love. I feel gratitude for what exists, for the way I'm meant to function, for seeing perfection in what seemed to be random, incidental. Everything seems connected. The way my body placed itself, sitting in a corner of the room, facing the rest of the house, my left hand resting on my left knee. I have a small beat in my body from my breathing. We created a perfect relation between us, me and all I can see and feel around me. Now I'm overwhelmed. I feel a lot of sadness, I don't know why. I feel under a big, incommensurable power of the divine. I'm trying to accept it. I feel sacrifice, endurance, suffering as duties or acts of gratitude for love. I really don't know how to decipher or deal with this love. It's way beyond my power of understanding. My left hand is gripping the edge of a chair for a safety grounding spot. Otherwise, I have a big urge to just walk off on air."(ET)
According to Illich, God's Incarnation brought a new possibility of a love based being, outside of norms and identities – “not under the law, but under grace.”(Paul). A new type of freedom was introduced as possibility into the world, and a new type of evil. The church started a process of institutionalization and perversion of love, the transformation of love into rules. The good, the love, the faith were transformed into norms, services and commodities. This process was continued and amplified by institutions like school, medicine… They dispossess humans of their capacities and practices of learning, healing, creating. Institutionalization "deaden the heart and shackle the imagination", it transforms everything into anti-love. Medicine seems to lead this process. It made people acquire medical, machine-like, bodies, and Illich predicted that it would inevitably develop into a totalitarian religion, in the name of the new god – "life". People got disembodied, the sense of themselves lost and the connection between people’s feelings and nature dismantled – "the poetic, performative quality of existence was erased and forgotten in field after field." Our world became the negative actualization of the Christ, the culmination of a new evil that appeared as a corruption of love – the Antichrist. This anti-love, antichrist process will probably quickly eat humanity, the environment and the world, bringing up the Apocalypse.
I'm in this dark hallway and I feel like kneeling, because of this spiritual affect that passes through my body. I'm here next to these colorful shoes. And I'm thinking that everything can become a sort of altar, and any space can be a temple. I feel like leaning on the wall. The skin of my hand is touching and being touched by the cold wall, and my face too. My phone is also touching the wall, it's the only way I can keep writing. But this is not just a wall now, it feels that my skin is in direct contact with the world. I transmit my warmth and receive its coolness. The wall is my limit, the edge of the outside. I needed this materialisation of the outside, I can relate better with it like this. I'm in contact with everything. I stayed like that until I fell asleep on the floor in front of the shoe altar. I dreamt that I went backwards and I was floating in a dense darkness, maybe falling as well, you couldn't tell. At some point my body was permeated by darkness and a somehow material fear. I was trembling because of this dark affect, and I went into a strange supradreaming state. At some point I found what seemed the right thing to do, to accept and even accentuate my state, my trembling, my powerful fear. It felt right, like I was floating on top of darkness.
There is a perverse mechanism of annihilating radical experiences. Instead of doing the experience, you unconsciously do a mental simulation of it. On a larger scale, this is what happens in religions. Religions are born out of ecstatic, radical love experiences, but in time these experiences invariably become prescribed norms and dead dogmas. Jung said that exactly that is the function of religion, to replace the wild, dangerous experiences with some ritualistic surrogates. And somehow at a personal level we tend to do the same with every important experience. Currently, "love" can mean just some positive, well-meaning attitude that we force on ourselves. Love as embodied experience and practice is completely something else.
My body is disorganized by this affect, and this attracts the attention of dogs and people here. Everything becomes more beautiful. Maybe I just see it as disorganization, actually it's a different way in which my body is constituted, in relation to the things around. Everything, every shape, every move is in relation with every position, posture and movement in my body. The tree branches moved by wind are completely in relation with my body moved by this affect. I'm connected with the environment through some subtle affective threads. I'm mainly affect, I lose mass, consistency, I become ethereal, I'm seamlessly fluidly moved by love. How is this possible, to perceive my body, myself as affect, not as meat and bones? For some Amazonian tribes this is normality. My body is moved by these affects, except my hands that are typing this. My writing is related to thinking, which, some say, it's an attack on the environment. But this is so only for disembodied thinking. I become more grounded but still there is a subtle affective current running through my body, and it's going into the phone, and maybe into the text and I hope that from the text to your eyes and through your body.
Experience pushes thinking. With the current obsession for safety and risk management, any mental "discomfort", and therefore risk of engaging with something different from the imposed ideas, is avoided, self(censored). Thinking disappears. We learn that thinking should be objective, disembodied, unrelated with our experience. Without embodying, what is called thinking is just a rearranging of external, experts' clichés. And this expert "thinking" is everywhere now, especially in academia. Expert thinking is always inside the fences set by governments, mass media and corporations. Without the primacy of embodied experience, thinking becomes computation. Body sensitivity opens the possibility of thinking. Thinking is not possible without love.
The love body is not interested in the internet. I wanted to check something on the phone, but because of this affect-energy, I just started to stare at the phone and around, feeling the environment, the phone just a small object in it. After a while, I opened the document with this text. The phone is not a portal anymore, just an object, I'm the portal now. I'm connected with nature, with the world. Having this love in my body, I realize that I never connected with anything online. I felt now that through this text I might connect to you. It's a strange feeling in my chest, quite powerful, like some love went to you in the future. I'm not sending it, it's out of my control. And it's not future, it's now. And it feels that I also receive something back. I touch the floor with the phone, more connected.
Disembodiment and desensitization requires increasingly powerful stimuli – drugs, "exciting" things on screens… But this increase reduces sensitivity even more. And other capacities as well, like screens are more and more dreaming for us. There are all those studies that show that videos and TVs are bad for your mind, while reading, because it activates embodiment and imagination, is good. New tech like VR disembodies even more, because it dreams for you more. On the same line, drugs are manipulating the mechanism of rewards, are feeling for us. Of course, you can try to intervene biochemically, to force your way somehow in a place where you don't belong, to "cheat”. The problem is that these shortcuts are not working. It's like you're not allowed to cheat, these stimuli have a boomerang effect, and they ruin your sensibility, your capacity to love. The states, the well-being, the interesting experience, the health are preferable to be consequences of thoughts, attitudes, behaviors, rewards for what you do, for your process, for your particular embodied experience.
"I get a constant shiver everywhere in the body. Goosebumps. I'm walking in a cloud of holiness. I let this cloud land on and into my body. I hold on to the ground and hope it stays with me. I'm hypersensitive to my own self. Any movement is too much, any thought too violent, I just exist here, becoming a small part of a collective consciousness. I feel at this moment there are a few of us in the world being aware of our common love 'body', holding the world together right now. I am connected with someone, and this someone knows I'm here. I feel a strong attraction to the ground, I am falling, curling towards it. I arrive lying sideways on the floor with my right ear listening to the ground. I'm being switched between being aware of my listening and being aware of my infant posture. There's something nurturing between me and the ground, there's a big innocent affection in the way I'm leaning with my head and palms into the floor. I really feel like a baby leaning against mother's chest. I feel so secure here on the floor. There's only me and the floor at this moment in the world. Nothing else exists now because I don't need it. Sometimes I open my eyes to write but when I close my eyes, not even me and the floor exists, the only thing left is the affect between us as a third, love body. There is no point in existing too much, as there is no point in not existing at all."(ET)
In our disenchanted technologized world, the mind is activated and encouraged over the body. Maybe that's why we all seem to need some tricks to slow down the tools that are constructed every day in relation to this world, our minds, and to give a bit of space to the body. Religions and spiritual methods were always aware that we, our minds, are in the way of body sensitivity. That's why practices like meditation and prayer were developed for quieting the mind and opening the body.
I started to drink water, but I closed my mouth. I just keep the bottle on my lips and feel the water. It transfers some fluidity to my body. It's like I'm in contact with the water element in general. I removed the bottle from my mouth. I'm looking at the water fascinated. The water element enters my body through the eyes now. Now there is something between my palm and the water, a light energetic communication. Suddenly I can see how the ideas of holy / energized water, that I used to make fun of, can make sense. I literally feel that my very activated hand, close to the bottle, transfers something to the water. My chest connects with all the water now. Somehow I feel that everything is unsolid, because everything can affect and be affected. I took a sip of the holy water now, and tried to feel how it acts inside me. I hope it becomes my body. I can feel its energy in my belly. I leave the bottle and start walking. There is still a connection with the water, my body registers it. Waves are passing through my body, spreading fluidity.
Prayer and meditation seed in ourselves awareness, inspiration, heart, faith – the habits of listening and following our bodies, souls, intuitions, of relating with something beyond ourselves, beyond control. When we quiet our minds, we can start to feel, to be present. To be affectively connected with the environment. They're practices of love. Meditation instills in us the habits of living in the present, of listening and being a spectator to our own processes, of meta-awareness. Prayer tells us that we should put our faith in something that is beyond ourselves, something greater. They're huge challenges nowadays. We're constantly trained to control stuff and to believe in reason only. Or maybe we cannot believe in anything and reason is all that's left.
"I am not disturbed anymore by the noises around, by the kids running and screaming around me, they probably see me in a strange manner, but I am just part of (another) nature. I listen to them, and they begin to turn into simple nice noises, young abstract sounds. I am dwelling in the park. I feel good, I forgot about feeling cold, I got engaged in this warm affectivity. The world loses its meaning the deeper I let myself love. It sometimes acts like a soft sedative, a layer that disconnects or cuts some normative tension. It depends on the kind of gentleness each of us has in their nature, in their primal being. Not in the animal, but in the spirit. You can connect to this nature when you erase some of the urgency, the anxiety in the body, the rush of living life correctly, of loving correctly. The fear of not doing it (enough). I feel alright where I am now, like there is no day and there is no night, no time, or no better time to be. I got a feeling of safety and simplicity, with vague lucidity. The only thought I have is that I could be here forever. And maybe I've already been. I’m conscious, although it feels like something else is leading me. I sense slightly further than I usually do. The body has a sensorial and affective echo. My body leaves traces behind and steps three steps further in time. I feel I could predict the world, or affect its prediction."(ET)
A love attention can be activated by adding an affective perspective to everyday activities. It develops as a layer added to the current actions and behaviors, a second attention that turns everything into abstract love. It cannot be provoked, it's not in our control. It's like an exploration, you're more of a spectator, the attitude is of curiosity about what the love intention will bring up this time. More interesting and often amazing stuff emerges than what you can bring up by yourself. In time, this love attention can create a love body. Love body is not so much about the affect that comes from the body, but it is more about the body that comes from affect. The affect is producing and moving the body. The body is love – the affective layer is primordial.
I'm with the small shopping cart in one hand and the phone in the other, my body suddenly stopped my shopping activity at the fruit stands. My chest started to open and to warm up. I'm vulnerable, because I feel the place as extremely noisy and agitated, and the products too strident. Not the fruits though, I feel safer here next to them. I'm too affectively charged. Probably I seem lost, weird. I partially exited my state to pick some apples. Now I feel that I give myself to the world. I embrace everything. I feel sensitized to some sort of higher force. I understand why the saints in the icons are blessing like that with their hands, it really feels that there is some sort of energy spreading out of my hands. Some shoppers seem puzzled to see me like this. It becomes intense, I feel so much love. I feel that I disintegrate, that a sort of transcendence is imminent. That reality is just one possibility, the walls of reality are very thin. I'm ecstatic but also scared because I clearly feel that reality is a dream and that there is a way to open it like in lucid dreaming. That I could start to float, change the setting, the space, the time.
Love can feel as an affect between sensibilized bodies (human or not), a subtle sensing of the other in your body. We can welcome it or deny it, enhance it or suppress it, but love is impersonal, transpersonal, it doesn't belong to us. It's like air. It's not our air, it's out there, around us, and we can breathe it. Like an atmosphere between us. It is something objective that exists, a special affect that we can feel in our bodies when we're sensitive and open. Like an immaterial substance that permeates us sometimes, and changes our bodies. And you can be a little high, floating on this diffuse feeling. Although it's all around us, it's also rare, it needs a special sensitization of the body to be experienced.
The waves of love movements are producing pleasure and connections. What would the people think if they see me in this ecstatic state here on my balcony? Maybe it is contagious. That would be funny, the office workers in the next building start going like this. This thought helps maintain my light ecstasy. It's not like I control this, the sensation is more that I'm possessed by it. Now that I wrote "possessed" my body started to really feel possessed. Waves of affects are passing through me, moving my body quite chaotic, and extending out of my body. They are coming from outside. I'm one with everything, the same love is everywhere. We can be more or less aware of it, usually less, now I'm more, and I feel that the next step is to completely become love and to feel that everything is love. Maybe it's like in quantum physics, you can become matter or love, depending on your perspective.
Love and art are both very sensitive to faith. You just have to believe in them. And the trust is contagious, helps the others feel that there is something there. Love-confidence, art-confidence, not self-confidence. Maybe the aim of all is to increase love and the belief in love. Maybe that's why so many times, love has something to overcome, mostly some other values and beliefs. Art is often about finding ways of overcoming control, the fall in ourselves, in what we know. About allowing the beyond of ourselves to inspire us, the beyond ourselves to shape our moments. It is about a certain flow, about letting us be carried away by art / love intentions. They're not jobs, not matters of discipline and determination, but matters of soul.
"I grew taller. Somehow the apartment seems smaller, narrower and more rigid. The kitchen wall seems to lean diagonally towards me. I can move the house with my perception. Earlier I felt almost claustrophobic in here, I wanted to go out, to be able to keep on flying in case I'd start to take off. I felt like a big and sudden event could occur at any moment. Now I am walking leaning slightly towards my back. I'm being carried around by something. I am becoming aware of this thing supporting me from my back. Somehow I wish I'd see it, but I might make it disappear if I try to look. I start to walk backwards, guided by this entity. We are being stopped for a while by a pile of pillows at my feet. It disconnected from me. A bold sensation of reality has slinged back into my body. I grasped the wall, I don't know what will happen from here. I just stay like this for a while... I had this thought the other day - beauty means following what you feel. Love can feel the same, going where the heart leads, affectively, physically. Love is moving around the room, swaying in and out of my perception, a small feeling in the chest follows it. The wall gained my heartbeat, we are in sync now. The floor takes it, my shadow too, and it keeps on going further into the world through the ground. The floor under you contains my heartbeat. I like this, my heart beating under your ground. It's growing more and more, I really want to reach people everywhere. I'm happy this affect continues to grow, as powerful as it is, as fragile, and I don't want to... I got discharged. I am so heated up, it got very warm suddenly. I just walk around having the memory of the earth beating with my heartbeats. I'm back, my temperature normal again. I hope everything is in place where you are at this moment. Unless you're flying too."(ET)
There is really nothing more important than love. We all seem to know this. Love is all, we all seem to want it. We may like it in songs, in movies, but not in our lives. Because we feel that it will radically change them. Love is dangerous, it ruins calculations, expectations, plans, what we were supposed to do, our preferences, our stability, our order, it is the end of the world as we know it. Love pushes us towards the affective bases of reality, to follow our hearts and to leave ourselves behind. Love brings chaos. We don't want it, not at all. Better without it. Life will go on… Or maybe not, maybe when you block love the soul dries. Maybe the difference between life and non life is the difference between love and non love.
Changes in my body correspond with changes in the affective atmosphere of reality. A tree caught my attention now. My perception of it is more complete, multidimensional. I feel that I'm pulled somewhere far away, by another tree. It readjusts my body. Now I'm caught by my own body. It's an autoreferential loop. I got on my knees, in a kind of prayer. Somehow it makes sense, the energy was accumulating and started to give me anxiety. Now through this abstract prayer, anxiety changed into love. My chest is warm and the things in the environment are starting to rearrange based on love instead of anxiety.
According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, you have to satisfy basic needs before finally taking care of the immaterial, spiritual ones like self actualization. Love practice proposes that you go directly for the spirit, for following your heart, your "idealism". In many religions it's said that in this way somehow even the basic needs and problems have a better chance of being taken care of. In Christianity, it's a sin to worry, or a trap. It means that you don't believe that God will take care of you. It's a sin also to try too hard to control, plan, to worry about the future, God will take care of tomorrow, you should deal with the present. It's a huge problem in the world today that almost everything is done for security and profit, and out of some sort of calculation. In our world, it sounds crazy or naive to just do things out of love.
"I'm hypersensitive to the city. I feel awe. I have this sensation I am a tourist or a newcomer again, my perception of this familiar landscape restarted. I've been here before, but I've never really seen. Now I'm not just looking at things anymore, I started to feel them through my body. I walk past a car and I feel that it's secretly alive, secretly knowing how I feel or what I do. I suddenly got stopped from walking. I'm in a weird spot, next to this stranger's car. It can look like I'm posing with it, though there is no one taking a picture, I hope I don't seem to be a threat. I just stay here. I feel turning into a love energy center point. I don't perceive the parking lot as before, it became an abstract place from where I sense everything. My hands are extending sideways now. I am becoming more alive and extra sensitive with every other object in my proximity all at the same time. I turn, looking around. Now I am facing the car, my left arm extends towards it to touch it but, instead, I become aware of my hand. I feel my hand charged with power. My hand is moving around like a shield, wanting to fill the whole parking lot with this power. It starts to move more and more, it becomes a sort of dance. I am almost running now in between the cars, but my direction changes. I am attracted, moved helplessly by different opposite affects. It's getting weird, I cannot really stop. But I want to love everything, to share love with anything! I wonder how far these affects could carry me around. I stop, holding on to a bar. From outside, I may look a bit overcasual. Fake casual. I am casual in my posture, but I contain something more. I look around again, with a more reduced perception than the one I had before, though I still see a bit of hidden meanings or hidden life in these 'lifeless', artificial man-made objects. Things are not anymore what they seemed to be before, simple texts, signs, navigation tools. The parking sign I'm next to and myself, both lost original meaning and gained another one. A meta role in this place. Everything is so alive, I feel as though everything has or is gaining awareness, joining a common awareness. This can drastically change one's relationship with the environment. There's a different attention, care, understanding through which I navigate this place now. I step differently, knowing that the earth under me is alive and aware of my place here."(ET)
Fear paralyzes the autonomy of individuals and societies. Fear is the main way of governing. Armies of behavioral experts and psychologists are working every day to inject more fear into our world, blocking the possibility of politics. In this situation, like in many dystopia and myths, love seems to be the only solution. Love is a radical outside of calculated possibilities, the supreme political and spiritual instrument. Ecologically too, only love seems to be able to break the present vicious circle of trying to repair the damage of manipulation and instrumentalization of nature with more of the same. Love can guide us out of the contemporary certainties, into a fertile unknown, creating openings where nothing seems possible anymore. "Love is as strong as death."(Song of Solomon) It's not something that you can simply learn, change is not enough, you need to be converted to love. As we saw in the case of religions, the paradox is that to follow the spiritual or religious ideas, norms and practices can be anti-love. Yet, we can follow the example of some saints and shamans to have the courage to create and follow our own love practices.
I was reading this book and my attention shifted to the way my hand is touching it, with affection I would say. It's a nice book, but in my current state it's difficult to read. It's very nice the way it is attached to my hand. My eyes are seeing the pages in their entirety, the text as abstract images. This situation extends to the other hand. The keyboard and the phone are becoming blurry too, the writing difficult. This might extend to you as well, affecting your relationship with this text. For a while it was impossible to write. Now I'm partially back. Some words in the book just catch my attention randomly, I read them individually, as stand alone meaningful. For, to, unknowing, shadow, by, overlooked, shape, incorporates, wave, else, and. I started to slowly walk with my two objects, trying to focus on writing this. Now that I said this, I feel that I present them, and some feeling extends from them to the world. They feel charged, my chest too, and this feeling is going into the world, like in some icons in which the holy book is presented. I looked in the book again and this line jumped out to me, "the soul is actualized as a body in another world".