The Art of Seeing; A Meditation On The Process of Rendering a True Diagnosis

“Initiation” by Allyson McQuinn 2011

As a child, I was first introduced into the world of art through finger paints by my kindergarten teacher.  I still recall what it felt like to dip clean fingers into the cool jelly-like primaries and careen with colour across the slippery, shiny surface of the special finger paint paper.  It somehow felt forbidden, unbridled even with the teacher condoning the practice.  I loved Miss VanGelpan for allowing such freedom of movement with colour and the results were surprising.  Enough colour play and you’ve produced the most amazing brown goo!  In the next finger-painting foray, at the tender age of five, I learned to stop messing with the paints at a point to allow for the brilliance of the individual colours to be preserved in abstract heaven.  I recall flying home to my mother to show her the magnificent piece I’d produced some weeks later when we were allowed to take these masterpieces off the wall.  I could not believe the array of colours and forms each of the other kids had also produced.  I felt I could read each of their characters into their rendering.  Seeing states of mind through art began here in these individual expressions.

From that moment, I knew that I had the heart of an artist.  I loved colour and form.  My photography and paintings afford me the permissive foray into timelessness to really explore the essential nature of my self.  I get to unfold the mysteries of feelings like fear, shame, rage, and grief just by intuiting what colour wants to leap onto the hairs of my clean brush.  If I am more in my feminine, surrendered seat, I’ll watch myself use more water, calling-forth a wisdom and patience to watch how the colour will co-mingle with the water, diluted and muted illuminating ease, faith, softness and wisdom in my more gentle pastel libations upon the heavy paper as the paint takes off out of its own volition.  When the more thrusty, male side of myself needs voice, I find myself using little water, plastering the acrylics on thick, pushing the depth of colour out from the core of my emotion like a bar-room brawl of texture, reds, purples and black.  A jagged desire to leave angry stains, marks to let others know that I’ve been here.  It is wholly liberating for me to convert these feelings into a medium that does not use language or time to limit the unsullied nature of their expression.  I love my art and when I’m in it, it feels like timeless lovemaking with the ardent Christ-principle in communion with his wisdom-soaked Sophia, betrothed in an enduring etheric love-form. Radiating, spherical joy and hate all lobbying for a juxtaposition.  I ruminate here as long as I can, until a child asks to be driven to a tennis date, or a patient is suffering, or a goat needs milking, a meal needs making.  The only other vehicle that can take me here is when my husband inspires the desire for loving and romance.

“Serafina” Allyson McQuinn 2011The Russian scientist Leonid Ponomarev described rather eloquently our two ways of knowing:

“It has long been known that science is only one of the methods of studying the world around us.  Another – complementary – method is realized in art.  The joint existence of art and science is in itself a good illustration of the complementarity principle.  You can devote yourself completely to science or live exclusively in your art.  Both points of view are equally valid, but, taken separately, are incomplete.  The backbone of science is logic and experiment.  The basis of art is intuition and insight.  But the art of ballet requires mathematical accuracy and, as Pushkin wrote, ‘Inspiration in geometry is just as necessary as in poetry.’  They complement rather than contradict each other.  True science is akin to art, in the same way as real art always includes elements of science.  They reflect different, complementary aspects of human experience and give us a complete idea of the world only when taken together.  Unfortunately, we do not know the ‘uncertainty relation’ for the conjugate pair of concepts ‘science and art.’  Hence we cannot assess the degree of damage we undergo from a one-sided perception of life.”

~ Leonid Ponomarev

In Quest of the Quantum

“Eye of God” Allyson McQuinn 2011
In response to an inquiry into the working methods of mathematicians by Jacques Hadamard, Albert Einstein wrote a letter to Hadamard in which he said, “The words or the language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought.  The psychical entities which seem to serve as elements in thought are certain signs and more or less clear images which can be ‘voluntarily’ reproduced and combined.”
~ Jacques Hadamar
The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field

“The Wave” Allyson McQuinn 2011
Psychologist Charles T. Tart, discussing alternate states of consciousness, has said, “Many meditative disciplines take the view that … one possesses (or can develop) an Observer that is highly objective with respect to the ordinary personality.  Because it is an Observer that is essentially pure attention/awareness, it has not characteristics of its own.”  Professor Tart goes on to say that some persons who feel that they have a fairly well-developed Observer “feel that this Observer can make essentially continuous observations not only within a particular d-SoC (discrete state of consciousness) but also during the transition between two or more discrete states.”
~ Charles T. Tart
“Putting the Pieces Together”

“Bridge At Sundown” Allyson McQuinn 2011
“In prose, the worst thing one can do with words is to surrender to them.  When you think of a concrete object, you think wordlessly, and then, if you want to describe the thing you have been visualizing, you probably hunt about till you find the exact words that seem to fit it.  When you think of something abstract you are more inclined to use words from the start, and unless you make a conscious effort to prevent it, the existing dialect will come rushing in and do the job for you, at the expense of blurring or even changing your meaning.  Probably it is better to put off using words as long as possible and get one’s meaning clear as one can through pictures or sensations.”
~ George Orwell
Politics and the English Language

“Solitude by Moonlight” Allyson McQuinn 2011
Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of the principles of Heilkunst and Homeopathy wrote the “Organon of the Medical Art” which is a literal translation from the German by Steven Decker.  So much of the art of seeing is illuminated herein.  Hahnemann raised the process of diagnosing (literally through knowing) to an art-form, capturing the state of mind in every case where there were physical symptoms.  Logically laying down the principles and raising the art and science of homeopathic medicine into the age of enlightenment.  He wholly understood that the “dymanic affections” or the “mistunement” of the patients life-force could be read through our intuitive organs (Gemüt) and that the rendering of a diagnosis had to be on the basis of realizable, provable repeatable principles and philosophy, lifting out the disease allowing the patient to fulfill his higher functioning purpose.  Dr. Constantine Hering stated, “Hahnemann urges upon his pupils the propriety of addicting themselves to close thinking, by the study of the mathematics, of qualifying themselves for minute observation, by the study of natural history, and when possible also by the art of drawing, for the purpose of sharpening the sight to close observation!”  Born is the leap across the corpus collosum from the left to the right!

“Pelvic Segment”  Allyson McQuinn 2011

Rudolf Steiner states the phenomenon of imaginative thinking for the purpose of seeing (diagnosing) and understanding the life of the soul most eloquently,

“What, then, is this Imaginative cognition, which naturally functions entirely in the supersensible world? If I attempted to give you a symbolic representation of what Imaginative knowledge is, in the way that a mathematician uses figures to illustrate a mathematical problem, I would say the following: imagine that a person living in the world knows more than sense-cognition can tell him because he can rise to pictures that yield a reality, just as the human brain yields the reality of the human soul. In the brain, nature itself has given us as a real Imagination, an Imagination perceptible to the senses, something that is attained in Imaginative knowledge at a higher level.

This, you see, leads us more deeply into the constitution of the human being. As we shall see in the next few days, this marvelous structure of the human brain is not an isolated formation.

Through Imagination we behold a world, a supersensible world, and it is as though a part of this world had become real in a lower world; in the human brain we behold a world of Imagination in concrete fact. I do not believe that anyone can speak adequately about the human brain unless he sees in its structure an Imaginative replica of the life of soul. It is just this that leads us into a dilemma when we take our start from ordinary neurophysiology and try to pass to an understanding of the life of soul. If we confine ourselves to the brain itself, a life of soul over and above this does not seem necessary. The only individuals with a right to speak of a life of soul over and above the structure of the human brain are those who have knowledge of it other than what is acquired by customary methods in this world. For when we come to know this life of soul in the spiritual world, we realize that it has its complete reflection in the structure of the human brain, and that the brain, moreover, can do everything that the supersensible organ of soul can do by way of conceptual activity. Down to its very function the brain is a mirror-image. With neurophysiology, therefore, no one can prove or disprove materialism. It simply cannot be done. If the human being were merely a being of brain, he would never need to say to himself, “Over and above this brain of mine, I possess a soul.”

~ Rudolf Steiner

Lecture: Fundamentals of Anthroposophic Medicine

Lecture I Stuttgart, October 26, 1922

“Blushing Heart”  Allyson McQuinn 2011

Wilhelm Reich goes on to define exactly how he would render his diagnosis as “The Silent Observer” and I find it fascinating to watch how he thinks about a case and their intellectual posturing while processing the diagnosis,

“Character analysis had succeeded in unmasking and eliminating the patient’s politeness and apparent devotedness as deception and the warding off of strong aggressions. Now he began to develop the following defense. Exceptionally intelligent, he sought to divine everything he concealed in the way of unconscious mechanisms and, in fact, he succeeded in destroying most of the affect situations by divining them beforehand. It was as if from a secret hiding place, he continually illuminated and examined everything with his intellect in order to preclude any surprises. It became more and more clear that the intellect fulfilled a defensive function and was spurred by severe anxious anticipations. For example, he was always extremely skilled in finding out what I happened to be thinking about him at any one moment. He was able to infer this from various factors and from the course of the treatment. He was also able to divine and foresee what would happen at any one point. From the point of view of character analysis, this behavior was looked upon as anything but cooperation; rather, it was attacked as an extremely cunning way of avoiding deep insights. The first task was to render this weapon unusable to the patient, and this could be done only by the consistent analysis of its function, and by being very sparse with my communications. The patient continued for a while to use his intellect as a defense mechanism, but gradually became insecure and uneasy and finally began to protest violently that I did not want to understand him, that his intellectual help was a clear demonstration of his cooperation, etc. I became that much more consistent in my analysis of his intellectual activity as a defense against surprises. One day a term occurred to me for his behavior. I told him that it reminded me of a cunning fox or lynx. And then, following a short period of excitation, his defensive behavior fell to pieces. It happened this way: once again he began the session by despairing that I no longer understood him. Then, gradually, his attention was focused on a scene from his third year of life which he had recounted earlier in passing, without details and affect.”

~ Wilhelm Reich

Sex-Economic Orgasmotherapy


“Wild Columbine”  Allyson McQuinn 2011

Another physician who has silently mentored me with regards to state of mind based prescribing is the Bombay physician, Dr. Rajan Sankaran. He, too, regarded the mind state as more than just a random collection of discrete and unconnected symptoms. But his concept was that the whole of this state arose from an altered perception of reality, which is called Delusion. For example if a person views his situation as being very dangerous and threatening, and himself as a helpless child, he will react with panic and clinging. His apparent mental state (panic and clinging) comes from the delusion that he is like a child in dangerous surroundings. This false feeling will also be seen in his dreams. Another example: a patient who views himself as handicapped will feel incapable of handling his everyday responsibilities and react by shunning his duties and depending entirely on others. His apparent mental state (lack of responsibility, lack of confidence and dependence on others) comes from his inner, false perception that he is handicapped. In this way Dr. Rajan Sankaran brought out the importance of dreams and delusions as the basis of disease. The dream is closest to the delusion, the false perception which is at the bottom of the mind state of the patient.” These and other ideas were contained in his first book The Spirit of Homoeopathy. Apart from dreams there are other ways to perceive the patients delusion, and among these, the patients interests and hobbies, including what books, movies, activities etc. fascinate him, or hurt his sensitivity, were useful pointers to his inner state. Often unable to recall dreams the patient can vividly describe a scene from a movie or a newspaper story, with such powerful emotions that it could have been his own story. Such a thing is like a dream and can be used to perceive the delusion of the patient. Dr. Sankaran later systematized this method in his book The System of Homoeopathy.

For example the patient may say that with his ulcer, apart from the symptom of burning pain which is commonly experienced with the condition, there is a feeling that the stomach is very weak and is fragile and can break from any slight indiscretion. When this person’s mind state is examined it will be that his emotional stress is based upon a feeling of others finding out that he is not what he portrays to be, and this will be expressed as a feeling of fragility with regard to the image he projects.  What the Heilkunst Physician will observe is that the sensation expressed in the ulcer, will be no different than the sensation at the bottom of what the patient calls as stress.  The art of Heilkunst Medicine is in interpreting the fragile sensation, seen both locally and mentally is actually an expression of the deepest level of the disturbance, deeper than mind and body , and the underlying basis of both. A remedy with such a sensation (in this case, Thuja) will bring a healing action at the deepest level, thus helping his ulcer and his stress at the same time.

The founder of the American New Thought Movement, Phineus Quimby, also sourced much of this relating to the world in polarity of the right and left side of the brain, or seeing art or consciousness and a rendering of science, raising dogmatic religion up into an artful rendering, “Jesus saw all this, and as the people were groaning under the yokes (or beliefs) that bound them down, he said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest to your soul, by explaining to you the cause of your trouble.” When he commenced explaining to the people, the explanation was to save them from the misery of this world of belief and to introduce a science (or kingdom), where there would be no offering up of prayer or forgiving of sins, but a consciousness (or science) that would put them in possession of a knowledge of themselves, which the natural man knew nothing of.
~ Phineus Quimby
The Quimby Manuscripts

I’ve also included some visual Illustrations of The Art of Seeing through Bruce Lipton’s evolution from empirical, mechanical thinking to his quantum knowledge of The Field:
It is fun for this Spiritual Scientist to watch these James Perloff, Author of Tornado In a Junkyardbeing interviewed.  He turned the theory of evolution on its keester in his book proving that the transitional matter does not exist under the atheist paradigm.  Both redeemed themselves through becoming “Observers” which took them out of mechanical empiricism to Creationism, The Gospel and God.  You can witness their revolution against evolution:[youtube=]
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