Posted by: Philip Carr-Gomm | October 4, 2007

One Continuous Mistake

Gail Sher in her book One Continuous Mistake – Four Noble Truths for Writers presents writing as a spiritual practice. Reading her book was inspiring, and helps me to understand how I can use this blog as a spiritual practice too. Developing the ideas in yesterday’s post, I can see how it could offer a way in which to cultivate clarity of mind and power of expression. This I think is what the Transcendentalists were recommending – the use of journaling as a means of cultivating our spiritual and creative potential.

Sher talks about the way in which writing from this point of view words rise up from the still centre of her being: ‘One beats through me, pushes its way to the forefront and appears on a page. I care about this. I care about the clarity of myself as a vessel, the utensils used, the paper as receptor and the way the whole process unfolds. Silence for me is replete with possibility.’

The blog as a means for cultivating clarity. What an idea! And what a pity blog is such an ugly word with its resonances with bogs, which are sticky (and toilets at least in Britain) and logs which by definition have been cut down and are no longer living trees.


Responses

  1. I’ve just realized something!Commenting on your own posts MIGHT be self-indulgent but it also offers a tool for meta-commentary – using the power of hindsight it becomes a way of aiding the use of a blog as a journal for deepening – as the Transcendentalists (and others) have suggested.
    Just as in awareness work you can develop a sense of ‘The Watcher’ so the commentary tool enables you to comment on the commentator. There is obviously the danger of disappearing up your own rear with this, but it’s nice to know it’s possible (not disappearing there – the other spiritual thing.)

  2. There’s nowt wrong wi’ bogs (either kind). Both are places where composting happens. The transformation of life to death to life – and think what wonderful wildlife habitats they are!

  3. What an interesting idea – the blog as compost heap!

    I think a blog can be a cafe too, where we meet friends and chat. Somehow its a cafe, a podium, a garden with a compost heap too!

  4. My blog has become a cafe, where friendships have been formed and we now meet up regularly in the comment boxes – I serve only raw milk and cheese at my cafe ;).
    Its kinda nice, I have given up caring about blog stats, and just crave the ol’ regulars posting their comments for the day. Commenting on your own post is the best!! (seems like I am on a roll with commmenting here too tonight!) thats when profound insights come, but it sometimes makes the page take ages to load, I have often copied and pasted comments onto new posts, beacause I felt they were so important.
    For me, writing is a double-edged sword though, I have done it most of my adult life in the form of a diary and then a blog, and find that when I start an entry I am not quite sure what tiny snippets of wisdom I will summon up from deep down in the depths. Something always comes, and I find myself saying, “I am so glad I wrote that, I now see things so much more clearly!”
    But since I read the book “The Spell of the Sensuous” by David Abram,

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Spell-Sensuous-Perception-
    Language-More-Than-Human/dp/0679776397/ref=sr_
    1_1?ie=UTF8&s=gateway&qid=1201303784&sr=8-1

    my thinking about the written word and indeed the world has been turned on its head. I URGE, URGE, URGE you to read it Philip, (and fellow commentators), you will enjoy it immensely for its philosophical approach to spirituality, then you will understand what I mean.
    I’ll send it to you if you like, Philip!
    TH

  5. Hi Tawny Hare,
    I have that book – you’re right – it’s marvellous…one of the best on its subject…and yes a cafe is such a good analogy for what a blog can be…and like you I find writing a voyage of discovery. It’s particularly satisfying when you start off without much drive/enthusiasm, but by the end you are excited by what the process has dredged up from the sea bed!


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