To the teacher

1. Where do our thoughts come from?

Is it possible for a thought to come into existence just by itself or must it stem from something that we can perceive with our senses? Do all our thoughts come from the senses? Is it conceivable that thoughts have another origin than our senses?

2. Can you imagine/think anything?

With our fantasy we can imagine things that do not exist, e.g. witches and dragons (though who knows what really exists!). Does this mean that our words have nothing to do with reality? Or perhaps the other way round, does it mean that our words are more real than all the things we call real—e.g. we have had the concept 'horse' for thousands of years while the concrete, physical (i.e. "real") horse only lives a couple of decenniums.

3. When we create something, is this thing created in our thoughts on beforehand?

Is a creational process in fact two separate processes:
1. an inner, conceptual creation and
2. an outer, physical creation?
How do we create something in our thoughts and how do we create something with our hands? Is there a connection? For instance: when we are to decorate a birthday cake, do we envisage the decorating before we actually start to decorate or do they simply come into existence as we start working with our hands?

4. Is that what we create the same as that what we had in our thoughts?

Is what we create—e.g. a chair, a car, a house, a painting—just a copy of something internal; a thought or an idea? Is it easier to make a pizza look like your original idea (of how the pizza was supposed to look) than, say, a painting of a friend of yours? If yes, does this primarily reveal something about your objects (the pizza/your friend) or your ability (to bake/to draw)?

5. When other people observe your creation, do you think they will recognize/comprehend what you had in your thoughts on beforehand?

We must assume that more or less all art and all literature want to tell us something. But this presupposes that we are able to interpret the work (of art). To interpret means to attach your own opinion and understanding to the work (of art), e.g. a painting or a love letter. But how can we actually be sure that we understand a love letter the way the sender meant it to be understood? And if we cannot be sure here: how can we be sure that our particular understanding has anything to do with the letter or with the painting at all? Is there one way to understand art?

6. Can you produce or visualize everything you have got inside of you:

6b. How can inner states and processes like these be visualized?

For instance, is there a difference in visualizing a childhood memory and, say, a feeling of jealousy? Is it somehow easier to make dreams perspicuous than thoughts?

7. Can you mention something that cannot be created or visualized?

Is it possible to think about something and yet be completely unable to make this thought available to others through speech, writing, drawing, painting, music, sculpture etc.? If so, do we actually need such thoughts?

8. What is most real: the thought or feeling that you express—or the expression itself?

If you try to portray your thoughts/feelings, e.g. by drawing them or writing them down on a piece of paper, will the thoughts/feelings then "enter into" the drawing or the piece of paper? For instance, if a love letter is written by a person who is passionately in love with the receiver of the letter, is then his love sort of "baked" into the letter itself and the sentences it consists of like raisins are kneaded into the doug? Is a letter "alive" or does it simply consist of "dead" and in itself meaningless constellations of symbols and characters? If yes (i.e. if we think that a thought/feeling may in fact be expressed through writing or painting etc.), is not then the expression itself more "real" than it's origin since the expression is readily available to any person and not just to one single person?

9. Does the original thought/feeling change when/if you do express it?

For instance: if you are sad about something, do you become less sad after you have cried or after you have talked to somebody about the cause of your grief? Does it help to write about it or to try to paint your feeling with mismatching colours on a sheet of paper? Or, the other way round, may the feeling grow stronger (or different any way) after your attempt to communicate it? For instance: after the great love letter is finished, have then our feeling toward the chosen one been somehow altered, is the feeling now in any way different than it was before we started to write? Can concentration alone make the feeling stronger and more vibrant? Does this mean that we ought to suppress bad feelings?

Good luck!

Page created: 28.09.06. Page last modified: 10.10.06 15:00.