This is from my journal, originally written in November, 2021:
I try to use Nisargadatta’s teaching about good and bad actions: If it takes you closer to your true self, it’s good; if it takes you away from your true self, it’s not good. I think this concept is useful for large decisions. A concrete example is that before the Garrison retreat, I watched 3 to 4 hours of political news a day. After the retreat, I watch 0 to 1 hour (usually either Chris Hayes or Rachel Maddow). Watching all the political issues play out just fills me with anxiety and anger. But in terms of immediate actions or reactions, I’m trying to let my heart speak to me, rather than the mind.
My feeling is that the mind is more connected to old reptilian, deep-seated anger. I think the heart is more connected to the love and beauty of Awareness. Krishnamurti said that the mind is useful if you need to build a boat or a bridge to cross a river. But it’s not useful for solving psychological problems. And for me, this is true: the mind creates mazes or conundrums that I can spend a lifetime navigating.
I’m trying to follow my heart more in my artwork. “19th Nervous Breakdown on Covid Road” was a surrealist painting guided by the mind. Most of the work I’ve been doing, like “Vanessa and Abel” and my pottery with horses, is more heartfelt.