French celebrated actor Fabrice Lucchini said about acting : "the ultimate talent as an actor is to be able to be absent. I get paid to be away !"

To be absent. Of oneself. In full consciousness. This raises certain paradoxes, certain philosophical as well as existential and even spiritual questions. When am I and where am I if I am able to be absent ? It is often said that music takes us away, makes us travel through time and space, through regions, parallel or imaginary universes with only emotion as means of transport. "Motion". To leave to find oneself better, connect or reconnect to oneself. The hero's journey is not only geographical.    

Paradoxically, a powerful artist is also said to be "inhabited". Of what ? By whom or by what ? He who, precisely, is absent for a time... This absence of the hypnotist as well as the hypnotized, the walker absent from his steps or on the contrary the meditator absent from his thoughts, what is it ? The actor as well as the musician lives each gesture, each sound as a present in eternal restart. The head in the clouds or in the moon, it's already being somewhere ! The absence of the automaton repeating the same movements, the same thoughts, the same paths, every day of his life, is not the same absence as the artist who leaves to avoid interference, to "let it be".  

So maybe being inhabited means being absent from another part of yourself. An egotistical "self", the character, the illusions or thoughts that come and go tirelessly from morning to evening and to which we attach so much care to believe in the story that we tell about ourselves, from year to year, to perhaps reassure ourselves to be always there, incarnate, arms and legs - more or less. There are many different degrees to be "embodied". We are in turn the character, the author, the theater, the actor, the audience, depending on where or when we live - sometimes automaton, sometimes artist.  

Doubt often takes us away from ourselves. Not the doubt of the philosopher, an observer of himself, but the doubt that creates nothing, the doubt that even prevents us from moving forward. Is that good enough ? Was I not mistaken ? Am I up to the task ? What if everything fails ? Isn't it better to stay still, even if it means feeling more and more cramped, until being stuck ?  So many doubts incompatible with the art of tightrope walking, this balance specific to the artist or child who, while being curious, does not doubt when he plays. We know that we take ourselves too seriously when we lack or lose our freedom.    

Is the artist different from the shaman ? In some traditions, the shaman leaves his body to the mind, which he contacts and incorporates entirely. Where does he go in the meantime ? Like a meditator or a musician on stage, in these moments of grace, we can say that "it" plays. So perhaps the only difference between the musician and the non-musician, between the artist and the non-artist, between the shaman and the average person, is the space.    

Leave some space.    

Leaving this space, this silence, this time, is a necessary art to allow "it" to penetrate. We often think that we must acquire, especially in our time, new faculties, new knowledge, new techniques, when everything that separates us from a wise man, a master, an awakened being, is what we have too much of and what we could take away. Making room, undressing from the inside, is obvious : could we imagine a painter ready to work in front of an already scribbling canvas filled with shapes or colors in all directions ?  

Meditation is nothing more than the state of which Fabrice Lucchini undoubtedly speaks during the moment of grace. Indeed, when "I" is absent, it seems to me that my soul - you will call it as you wish : body vibrations, heartbeats, mind, intuition, energy, unconsciousness, subconsciousness, higher self... - finally takes all its necessary place. Like the universe, it's an expanding place !  

Each plot of the being is then visited and filled with this consciousness as the waves come to espouse and fill every hollow of the rocks - and beyond. Mindfulness is that place where everything is so full that giving becomes as natural impulse as breathing out and receiving as necessary as taking inspiration.  

The shaman is the one who holds the knowledge and not the culture. Culture is acquired in education or books. Knowledge is developed through transmission, practice, the art of mastering and refining each day a little more, a little better, its connection to things, to the living, which surrounds us or fills us and teaches us constantly. In this way, shaman and pianist come together in the same discipline. The famous actor Louis Jouvet, like Stanislavski, said with a little provocation: "intelligence is not useful for being an actor". By this he meant that it is not a field of "knowledge" but of experience, practice, mastery to the greatest finesse, that of the jeweler. And absence precisely to access another condition of being....  

The Master does not correct, he refines, sharpens, tunes. Because nothing is wrong. Dissonance is only the other side of consonance. One allows you to know the other and vice versa. Like a violin maker, he shapes with what is, with reality, developing ever more acuity, finesse and strength, to resonate with what is. Be "One with". From this communion are sometimes born mystical impulses that annihilate the border between art and spirituality.    

If the actor is "absent" like the shaman or the musician, it is because he travels between realities, between worlds. And perhaps the only difference between the mad and the wise is that the madman does not know how to return from these worlds, having just one way ticket without knowing how to return from these countries that upset our souls.    

In this coming start of the school year, here is a great opportunity for renewal !

I wish you to have it full of inspiration and breathing out, exploration and audacity !   On a thread, fragile and solid as is the desire to live, the tightrope walker who is the musician, the artist or the shaman in each of us, reinvents everyday his balance with each note, each step, amazed by this vibration that unites us all in a most mysterious place ever : the heart.    

With love ! Hélène Tysman  

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                                                                     all rights reserved Hélène Tysman - 2018


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