Fragment from imaginary dialogues
“What do you mean by Reality Painting?”
“I mean altering the landscape of your inner-reality through Meaning and Feeling.
In slightly more technical terms, I mean the process of artfully creating and/or enriching mental representations through the use of representational-models[<link; medium length].”
“Can you unpack this a little?”
“I like to use a visual-model to illustrate it:
The object in the foreground draws meaning from its background. Change the background, and the meaning of the foreground-object changes.
As a side note, there’s an abstract-model that expresses the same underlying principle:
The word draws meaning from its context. Change the context, and the meaning of the word changes.
One way to enrich the meaning of something, is by focusing on the foreground.
I call this process signification.
Taking Meditation as an example, you can think of it in various ways:
Meditation as training
Meditation as connection
Meditation as self-care
Meditation as celebration
Meditation as sacred-ritual
Meditation as inner-journey
Meditation as homecoming
“So you’re representing something as something else.”
“Yes. In practical terms, that means coming up with (idiosyncratically) meaningful representations (Ideation), selecting the most powerful ones (Evaluation), and enriching each of them individually. You can do that in two ways:
– connecting them with feelings – accessing specific emotions, evoking past experiences, involving all your senses.
– connecting them with identity-blocks[<link; medium] – accessing various facets of your identity.”
“So if I thought of Meditation as training, I might connect it with my Athlete identity-block (physical-training) and my Thinker identity-block (mental-training).”
“Indeed. You’re painting with meaning and feeling to create inner works of art.
Another way to enrich the meaning of something, is by focusing on the foreground and the background.
I call this process contextualization.
This means looking at the foreground against the Macro background of your life. The more vivid the background, the clearer you are on your values and your purpose, the more meaningful the foreground.”
“Can’t you just focus on the background? On contextualization over signification?”
“You can. But you get a more powerful effect by focusing on both.”