Science, People & Politics

Science, People & Politics, issue 8, volume i, Volume I, 24.12.06 at 23.50 gmt. Free-to-read online

Symbols of feelings
and extraction of knowledge
by Gil Dekel

School of Art, Design & Media, University of Portsmouth,
Winston Churchill Avenue, Portsmouth, PO1 2DJ, UK.
gldek at yahoo.com

A critical and practical exploration of the process
of extraverted poetry making


beauty, love, change, both/and, attention, challenge,
initiation, inspiration, limitation.

GO TO: Definitions | Perception | Communication |



Poets are often regarded as biased towards their personal sentiments, which leads them to a perception of imagined or idealized reality (Caudwell, 1977: 144). However, I would argue that the poet holds a non-biased state of mind by which s/he perceives a most authentic and clear aspect of reality. The poet's observation seems to consider certain aspects of reality, which exist all around us at all times, yet are ignored by most people (Descartes, 1972: 35). Shakespeare's declaration, "There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy", is neither a poetic idealization nor a speculation, but rather an experience resulting from an in-depth observation of life. Shakespeare actually sees "more things" on heaven and earth, and he then describes them by the use of words. The poet seems to perceive transcendental reality, and then communicates that enlarged reality through the poem. Yet, there is little interest in the literature regarding that profound creative experience from which poetry emerges (Caudwell, 1977: 13). The exploration of the poetic experience can add valuable information regarding the reality in which we live, in its macrocosmic enlarged sense.

An exploration of the poetic process of translating enlarged reality to a poem, can illuminate the process by which all people limit reality. That understanding may serve as the basis for further research. G. D.

An exploration of the poetic process of translating enlarged reality to a poem, can illuminate the process by which all people limit reality. That understanding may serve as the basis for further research.


The poet seems to perceive elements, which may also be perceived by other people, yet seem to produce a strong impression on the poet alone. This chapter explores the perceptive patterns of the poet through three elements: Beauty, Love, and Change.

In the process of poetry making the poet initially seems to observe events, people and nature around them (Caudwell, 1977: 144). Unlike "common observation", poetic observation seems to rely on a core belief that everything in our world holds an essence of beauty. There exists no observed thing, to the poet, which is void of beautiful elements (Jung, 1990: 27). As the poet looks at a tree, for example, s/he feels the radiant beauty of its shapes, colours, and relations to the sky. As the poet looks at a grey concrete pavement, s/he perceives the beauty of mankind's ability to build and to create. Acknowledgement of such beauty indicates a perception of perfection that resides in all elements in life, even the smallest things. Thus, large and small become united under the same power of perfection that they behold. And yet, it seems that beauty does not reside in the physical form or colour, since a thing that is seen as beautiful by one person may not be seen as beautiful at all by others (Roberts, 1994: 17). Beauty seems to reside only in the eye of the beholder. The poet's ability to decode beauty from all things around him/her, not just from selected things, seems to transcend analytic personal opinion (Kant, 1964: 26-29). The poet seems to observe a kind of alternative knowledge of beauty-information beyond form and colour (Jung, 1990: 20, 56). T his observational tool seems to be based on the identification of an emotional source, which is love (Caudwell, 1977: 87). When one is in love, one does not seem to see "non-pretty" sides of their loved one, and so the poet seems to be in a constant state of being in love with life. Moreover, love itself embodies a message, a kind of a reminder to people of their expanded qualities, which they may not be aware of. While most people tend to forget many aspects of their divinity (Maslow, 1994: 37), the simple power of being loved by another person seems to remind people of their higher self, by sending a strong sense of self worth. Poets, being in love with life, seem to empty themselves from ego-oriented thoughts (Steiner, 1972: 32), and develop a neutral-consciousness, which does not focus on 'I' identity, but rather on 'All' identity (Maslow, 1994: 13). Whereas contemporary society seems structured on ego and self-centered individualism (Leibowits, 1979: 49; Tadmor, 1994: 65), the poet tends to interact through a collective humanistic emotional approach (Jung, 1990: 82). Surprisingly, it is through emotional approaches that people make choices in life (Jung, 1963: 354). Although emotion is often seen as distant or contradictory to ratio (Maslow, 1994: 22), in fact it seems to add immediate perceived information to ratio. As a direct identification with the other (Maslow, 1994: 22), emotion requires no analysis, and needs no time to be formulated in words. On the contrary, identification allows the poet to become an immediate carrier of information, both the poet's own experiences and other people's
experiences (Lowenfeld & Brittain, 1975: 14). For example, an unmarried male poet may embrace an experience of a mother and her child, and thus conceive the poem:

My heart to you, my son,
Is a toy in your curious hands.

Through emotional identification poets seem to attach their perception to external events, such as events of nature that do not stem from human physical experience. The poet's experiences are projected psychologically upon nature, as nature seems to provide physical expressive objects and a vocabulary of terms:

The branches of our hearts
Gave birth to the leaves of our love.

Nature seems to amplify that poetic projection by embedding within it independent information (Steiner, 1972: 28; Jung, 1963: 9: 351), as intelligence is argued to reside not just in the human brain, but rather within all physical atoms themselves (Tamisha, 2003; Chopra, 2000: 16). Moreover, it is believed that atoms do not "fall by chance" to randomly form molecules, but rather they abide a purpose, which guides the specific atom to amass to a specific molecule (Einstein & Infeld, 1938: 312). If atoms indeed follow an intelligent purpose it may be argued that such purpose is choice led (Leibowits & Lavi, 1997: 48-49, 471). A choice is made by an atom to move in one direction and not the other. The poet suggests:

Even the smallest atom
Has free will to choose.

#In order to choose, opposites of things have to be present to choose from. Opposites seem crucial for the capacity of the human mind, as the human mind seems to comprehend things by the act of comparing one thing to the other (Einstein, 1962: 141). The mind chooses elements and compares them. Although many people seem to believe that external events have power over them, it seems that there exists no element outside man that has the power to influence free will to choose (Aquinas, 1952: 674; Leibowits & Lavi, 1997: 15-27). The poet's creative perception seems to come not from external circumstances, such as place of birth, culture or education, but rather from the poet's free will to constantly choose. Poets will themselves to empty themselves from ego-personas, and instead to open up to constantly changing experiences:

Each moment I die
And re-born.

Differences among people are not observed by the poet as a problem that requires a solution, but rather as a framework within which choices are made. In such way poets expand on their persona and consciousness through a willing choice to move from one thing to its opposite. While people tend to criticize differences, the poet willfully moves into those differences, perceiving them on experiential knowledge level.

The poetic observation of the beauty of the world seems to reflect an inner state of love of life, which enlarges the poet's perception through the acceptance of changing personas.

With the move between changing contents, poets seem to detach themselves from a specific content, and instead collaborate with an all-encompassing stage of creativity. This chapter explores creative patterns through three elements: Both/And, Attention, and Challenge.

A clearer, louder, and "tastier" reality is introduced to the poet through a natural (Einstein, 1962: 139) process of perception (Maslow, 1994: xvi), which can be explained through quantum theory. Nature is defined in Quantum theory as the superposition of opposing states, existing at the same place and at the same time. For example, visible light is believed to perform simultaneously both wave behaviour and particle behaviour. Nature exists within the "both/and" states, with particle occupying two different regions of space at the same time (Desilet, 1999: 348). Accordingly, poets tend to perceive themselves through two states simultaneously: as a part of an event, and as an external observer. Thus, the poet's perception extends to the "both/and" states of united-multidimensional reality, where opposing states reside together as one. It seems that only with the intrusion of an opinion or judgement, which a person
or a group expresses, that such multidimensional reality "collapses" to one or another specific reality. That "collapsed" reality is the reality which people eventually perceive. The mere attention of an observer to one aspect of reality transforms the "both/and" duality to a specific singular material existence. Atomic particles seem to constantly change by the mere act of humans' observation, for example, the attention of a researcher scientist in the lab. When looking at a quantum field, the particles in it seem to blink into existence. When the observer has turned his attention away, the particles seem to disappear. When the observer has put his attention back to the field, the particles come back into existence. The Quantum theory concludes that attention transforms the probability for a functional material existence (Chopra, 1999: 72-74; Einstein, 1962: 141). In other words:

If you want to swim
Simply ignore the ability to fly.

Such selective attention is the product of both individual and collective patterns of thought (Jung, 1990: 79). Thus, the created one, objective reality", which is the world as people perceive it, is determined in such way by the context of the choices of the subjective observer. What people decide to look at, is what people will eventually perceive, whilst ignoring other existing aspects of reality that pass unnoticed (Desilet, 1999: 348; Lancaster, 1996: 31-33). Perceptive patterns set by contemporary society (Barlow, Blakmore & Weston-Smith, 1990: 2) seem to manipulate thought to focus regularly on material objects perceived with the human five senses (Descartes, 1972: 35-36). Yet, the human senses seem to form reality inasmuch as they seem to perceive reality. For example, dream contents produce a sensation of objects although actual physical objects do not seem to be presented in the dream (Descartes, 1972: 36). It seems that humans are born with a priori symbols, which hold active impressions, and serve initially as a tool of learning. As babies open their eyes, external reality reshapes itself to fit inner patterns. We train the external physical reality to fit our inner constructions (Roberts, 1995: 215). Space, for example, may not be something 'out there', but rather a state of the human mind. Even if a body is "deleted", the idea of the space that the body used to be in still remains (Kant, 1964: 44-47; Kant, 2000: 31). Time also seems to be a construction
of the human mind, which enables humans to order the sense impressions (Einstein & Infeld, 1938: 311). As such, time seems to help resolve the contradiction of the "both/and" states of nature. For example, the contradiction of the observation of an object existing in a place and not-existing in the same place. Time can solve such a contradiction, as the object is understood as being in a place, and, after a time, having moved away (Kant, 1964: 47-49). In such a way, the human mind seems to limit the multidimensional aspects of reality, where all things originally exist together. The mind keeps dividing reality into smaller portions in order to simplify the whole, and to compare each piece to the others (Levi-Strauss, 2001: 13). It is by such comparison of elements with each other that the human mind can comprehend things (Einstein, 1962: 141). Yet, as the mind divides more and more, it actually makes it more and more "divisible" and thus complicated (Aristotle, 1994: 23). Such a "simplified-complicated" contradiction may be the reason behind the growing
number of questions with the increase of apparently modern scientific assurances (Giddens, 2000: 2). Yet, by challenging the common perception of what is 'out there' (Kant, 1964: 49), one enables oneself to open up to alternative possibilities within the human existence (Maimonides, 1942: 7; Jung, 1990: 85). Once looking inside, one uses inner skills that make the observation of duality or multidimensionality of reality accessible (Kant, 1964: 26-29). The poet seems to focus on the united elements between seemingly unrelated and even contradictory events, symbols or objects (Jung, 1990: 20, 56). As the poet tends to eliminate the habit of judgement, the poet accepts contents, which come from beyond his/her own personality. In such a way, the poet seems to develop extra-sensory perception (Roberts, 1994: 34) that enables the experience of multidimensional reality, rather than the
sense perception, which creates time/space reality (Jung, 1990: 72, 82; Chopra, 1999: 96).

The extended multidimensional "both/and" reality, which is reduced to a singular
reality through a common attention on physical objects, is experienced by
the poet through challenging the common, and opening up to alternatives.


With the challenging of common perception the poet seems to open up to patterns of psychological initiation, where inspiration flows in a form of peak-experience. That experience is then reduced to a poem in a form of words. This chapter explores the process of communication in poetry making through three elements: Initiation, Inspiration, and Limitation.

With a poetic awareness of the multidimensional, the poet seems to transcend physical perception, and to slip into a psychological initiation. The poet's body and mind seem to harmonize with the energies of nature that exist beyond the limits imposed by the society or the group, based on judgemental thought. Whereas thought cannot live in the current moment as it requires time to analyze data, the poet's perception seems to embrace the current moment, as the poet is refined to grasp the emotional non-physical levels of reality (Steiner, 1972: 46-52; Jung, 1990: 78). This initiation is sometimes referred to as a moment of Now, where the poet seems to observe reality detached from time. The poet's consciousness shifts into a strong present in which time seems to cease, as if stopped (Maslow, 1994: 63). It seems that the poet oversteps the mental psychic elements of the brain, which produce the perception of linear time (Einstein & Infeld, 1938: 311), and enters perception of eternity. Eternity, although framed under the concept of collective time, is argued to have no connection to time at all (Spinoza, cited by Praver, 1981: 875). As eternity is not confined to time, it may well explain perceptions of contents of past-events and future-events and contents of collective archetypes (Plato, 1997: 1241). These archetypes are not dormant symbols, but rather active forms of pure intelligent energy. Intelligent contents present themselves to the poet and suggest that
knowledge, which is usually perceived through comprehension of the mind, can alternatively be perceived through non-physical peak-experience. Consciousness can be said to move like tectonic plates of the earth - when two clash, they overlap, causing an eruption of knowledge. Intensity of desire in form of a peak-experience seems to attract itself to that overlapping, and thus perceive information. Peak-experience is a tool that affixes itself to gaps where archetypal knowledge erupts. The poet becomes One with the knowledge. With the perception of eternity, creative forces and consciousness seem to start working through the poet (Leibowits, 1997: 180), and send messages aiming at reminding the poet of what the poet seemed to know beforehand but has forgotten in the conscious span of life (Plato, 1938: 36-38). As the poet harmonizes
within an intensive emotional state, s/he seem to contact an old memory that surfaces. The poet fully re-lives the moment of Now, with the contents delivered by creative forces. By experiencing themselves once again as an expanded being, not-focused on space or time, poets can remember their three united being states of body-mind-spirit, and document that memory in a poem. As great teachers seem to teach only that which they need to learn, poets seem to learn from their own poem, as much as other readers may learn from it.

Although the poet reaches that creative moment through a psychological enlargement of their higher-self, that creative force comes from outside the psyche of the poet and seems to hold its own independent validity (Jung, 1990: 80-86; Sheldrake, Mckenna & Abraham, 2001: 15). The poet is simply a psychological-channel through which inspiration flows (Roberts, 1994: 34; Kandinsky, 2003). As such, the poet serves as a link to a larger consciousness reality, which exists around us and communicates information to us through the use of symbolizing words delivered by the poet. Poems seem to serve as a written archetype of a cosmic consciousness. The role of poetry, thus, is not just an expression of an individual poet's emotion, but rather a connection to higher realities, aiming at reminding humanity of an available enlarged reality. With such a connection, the poet is no longer an individual, but the collective race; the voice of all mankind (Jung, 1990: 82). Poetry is a tool to communicate information to humanity, and the process of poetrymaking is the response of the poet to an archetypal voice that calls upon him/her to create (Kandinsky, 2003). This inner voice may call to all people, and yet it seems that the poets actively responds to that call, through the expression of their inner emotions:

What does it take to see life through the eyes of God?
The Bravery to allow yourself to Be a God.

A united reality seems to contain expanded information that cannot be encompassed in its infinity by the finite human mind. Once the poets experience that united reality, they then seem to draw back to logic in order to decode it into words, through the act of dividing it. Analogously, an electrical field seems to exist everywhere around us, yet in order to see the light one needs to divide it and to use a tool - a light bulb. Since expanded experience is united in its core existence, it cannot be fully divided. The dividing of an essence can occur only on the material symbolic levels of that essence (Aristotle, 1994: 31). Thus, the dividing of peak-experience into words produces a symbolic hint to the poet's enlarged perception of universal information. Arguably, written poetry is not an end-product, but rather a limited fraction of evidence that indicates on a much larger experience. The poem serves as a "light bulb" that indicates the "unseen" electricity of intelligence, which constantly flows from within all people and through all.

The psychological initiation of the poet to inspirational knowledge,
aimed at experiencing it, is then reduced through words to a poem,
aimed at reminding humanity of its availability.


Overall conclusion - The ideavolution of humans' perception may seem to move in two directions: the external-material path, set by modern society, and the inner-spiritual path, set by the poet.

Implication - An unbalanced admiration of physical reality seems to produce
a perception of actions and actuality, yet is blind to see its sources presented through interpretation of inner reality delivered by the poet.


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Tangle, by Helen Gavaghan, published December 2006. Illustration copyright clarification, 21st February, 2017.

Tangle illustration by Helen Gavaghan©

Tangled up in quanta
by Matt Firth

Tangle was written during the devising by Clare Duffy, Liz Margree, Jon Spooner and Chris Thorpe


The search for Carlos Miguel Allende and the revelations about his life and knowledge are the bones of this post modern detective story.

In short, the story follows a niece wanting to find her uncle whose life has been overshadowed by his involvement in secret government experiments in meta-physics, namely quantum mechanics, teleportation and matter transportation. There is a strong element of fun within the play, and it is clear that the research has really captivated the company.

The set of chairs and tables - no costume and open staging - focus the audience's mind on the subjectivity and subtlety involved in interpretation, analysis and truth. The scenes fluidly morph from one to another. There is no discernable end or start to them. The stage dynamic is graceful, precise and expertly crafted. Each of the four company members shift persona effortlessly and manipulate the stage space with expert precision. Each movement on stage seems calculated to exaggerate life's complex causality leaving us wondering if anything can exist in isolation, removed from any knock on effects and having no cause.

The manipulation of the tables and chairs on the stage gave a strong indication of how together this group of performers are. With the pinpoint accuracy needed for lighting and movement on stage the cast showed a real control of their physical surroundings. It's difficult to explain how difficult it is to get so many movements so accurate in the dark, when, once set, the lights come up to the precise edges of the item moved. This is almost scientific precision! This sense of togetherness and understanding really worked well, allowing the chance and chaos implied within the plot to feel spontaneous and random. You got the impression whilst watching 'Tangle' that the complex web of life created to tell this story had been very meticulously planned and rehearsed, over and over.

The plot is far more than a niece looking for her inspirational uncle. It asks us what we believe, how we will uncover the secrets kept from us by powerful governments and if and why we believe them when they tell us there's nothing going on. Yes, it's about the search for truth. Not a truth, but the truth, the how and why of what is actually happening, all around us, everywhere. Truths like intuition. Truths like probability. The truths of life. In the end the search, the journey and project Tomsk provide an appropriate vehicle within which the complex webs of life can be established, played with and re-ordered according to the as yet little understood rules of science and nature.

Uncle Carlos' life unfolds one turn at a time. From his time with the US Navy and his subsequent discharge for an unspecified disability to his time in the Merchant Navy, to his involvement with Einstein and his work on Quantum Entanglement. The two scientists, Jocelyn and Hamish, who are involved in experiments into matter teleportation, are revealed to have wildly differing ideas on its use and the morals and ethics involved. They convey their fascination for the subject and understanding of the principles involved with an impassioned urgency, but there is tension between them.

We follow Flora's search for her uncle and the hiring of a freelance detective, Malcolm, and move to England. Here we find that the experiments have been secretly continued in a secret underground bunker beneath Wimbledon. We witness what may well be the final experiment in matter teleportation, at least by Hamish. It is possible. It can be done, kind of. And uncle Carlos? Well, we are led to believe that he died at his home in Colorado in 1986 of heart failure after spells living in Texas and New Mexico where he wrote letters to Einstein regarding the motive powers of UFOs.

Tangle is a brilliant example of devised theatre, performed by a fantastic company working from cutting edge, modern scientific theory and creating a great piece of thought producing, entertaining theatre. Well done Unlimited.

Unlimited has been on tour with Tangle since September 2006. It will be touring again in Autumn 2007 in response to demand, dates yet to be announced.

The Company's work was supported by a grant from the Institute of Physics.

Matt Firth is Centre Manager at the Square Chapel Centre for the Arts in Halifax, West Yorkshire. He has been acting when ever opportunity arose for the past 15 years and directing for two years.

He is a board member for the Halifax-based amateur group, The Thespians, where he is responsible for training and development of new and active members. Matt has an honors degree in Contemporary Arts (Visual & Performing Arts) from Nottingham Trent University, and a Creative Arts diploma from Huddersfield New College.

On the night that Matt saw the play, Unlimited were performing at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds. HG

Within Symbols of Feelings and Extraction of Knowledge:

A term, a name, a picture, that possesses expanded connotation, not fully known, which is beyond its conventional obvious recognizable meaning (Jung, 1972: 20).

Psychological state of expression of the inner self (Jung, 1963: 354) characterized by a chemical release.

Selection of essential part from a substance and the drawing out of it (Baker, 1932).

Attitude change (Maslow, 1994: 76) through the transformation of abstract ideas to pictures (Steiner, 1972: 31).

Overall definition

Expanded connotations regarding the expression of the inner self, and the drawing out of essential parts of abstracts through an attitude change.

Tangle, by Helen Gavaghan, published December 2006.


Design and layout©, production and editing, Helen Gavaghan.
This essay by Gil Dekel© was published first by GavaghanCommunications in Science, People & PoliticsISSN: 1751-598X (online).