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Archive for August, 2012

August 10 through August 25, 2012

Beloved, I’ve been fascinated by the word transcend and all its derivatives for the past week.

Why? It seems like kind of an odd fascination to have, doesn’t it? [Michael giggles.] 

Yeah, I thought the same thing. And when I don’t understand why some idea … or song … has a grip on me, I usually attribute it to an inspiration from you … or concerning you. I don’t know what it is about this word that has me so captivated. Perhaps, it’s the fact that I’ve never taken the time to really dive into its meaning before … to understand it from the inside out, so to speak … experientially as opposed to intellectually.

I’ve heard the word used often and thought I knew what it meant … at least, generally … but I’ve been contemplating it for the past week or so and realized that my understanding was imperfect, at best. I have gained some insights, I think, that I never really had before. I think it’s kinda like the word ‘vast’ that you did such an excellent and graphic explanation for in Installment  #40. Do you mind if we talk about the word ‘transcend’ in this conversation?

No, I don’t mind. Maybe we can figure out why it’s got you “tripping on me.” 

Thank you. The word, itself, can be used correctly to describe a wide range of thought … from the very mundane, earthbound, material, physical sphere … to the highly philosophical, metaphysical, esoteric and spiritual. And, in my opinion, every one of the definitions (with the possible exception of the Mathematical references) can, by no stretch of the imagination, be properly and correctly used to describe you.

As a matter of fact, Dear One, your life is an absolutely clear and shining exemplification of the words transcend, transcendent, transcendence and transcendental. Not being a mathematician, I will leave those references to those who understand such things; I am a total alien when it comes to concepts that involve numbers and absolutely no interest in changing that, thank you very much.

Ha! I thought that we might be developing those muscles and talents next! [Michael chuckles again.] I mean first and foremost, it was … and is … the writing. Then, it was dancing. Now, you have a pencil in your hand ninety percent of the time. What’s going to be next? Didn’t you used to say the same thing about drawing? 

Yeah, but math is a whole other concept here, Sweet King! Believe me, let’s not go there.

We’ll see. You can never tell where we are going to end up. These installments are unpredictable. Most of the time, we end up talking about things that we didn’t know we were going to be talking about when we began the conversation. That’s what makes them so unique … and spontaneous … you don’t really have a plan or an outline that you feel we have to stick to. You’re open to the unexpected. So, let’s talk about ‘transcend.’

Okay, well, first of all, I think it would be appropriate for us to look at the definitions as outlined in the Miriam Webster Dictionary (online). I guess this is the ‘nuts and bolts’ part of this dialog.

TRANSCEND
1a : to rise above or go beyond the limits of
b : to triumph over the negative or restrictive aspects of : overcome
c : to be prior to, beyond, and above (the universe or material existence)
2: to outstrip or outdo in some attribute, quality, or power
intransitive verb:  to rise above or extend notably beyond ordinary limits

TRANSCENDENT
1a : exceeding usual limits : surpassing
b : extending or lying beyond the limits of ordinary experience
c in Kantian philosophy : being beyond the limits of all possible experience and knowledge
2: being beyond comprehension
3: 
transcending the universe or material existence — compare immanent 2
4: universally applicable or significant <the antislavery movement…recognized the transcendent importance of liberty — L. H. Tribe>

TRANSCENDENCE:
the quality or state of being transcendent

TRANSCENDENTAL
adjective
1.       transcendent, surpassing, or superior.
2.       being beyond ordinary or common experience, thought, or belief; supernatural.
3.       abstract or metaphysical.
4.       idealistic, lofty, or extravagant.

In the most purely physical and material meanings listed above (generally listed under the number  1, but also number 2 in transcend and number 4 in transcendent),  we have spent a lot of time in these conversations defining the many ways you overcame or surpassed the many boundaries, restrictions and challenges by which so much of the world tried to define you.

First, you rose above a difficult, painful childhood and the many fears and obstacles it represented to attain a level of professional, spiritual and emotional wholeness beyond what anyone could have expected … or the world is accustomed to understanding. You surpassed every other artist on the planet in the music, film and performance fields, redefining our understanding of the word ‘impossible’ with many of those achievements. You exceeded the usual limits in absolutely everything you undertook, including work ethic, becoming the pre-eminent artist of the 20th and 21st Centuries (because no one will ever surpass your significant accomplishments or cultural impact), going far beyond ordinary or common experience, thought or belief. In addition, those achievements made you a universally-recognized, globally-celebrated contributor to the human race’s cultural narrative, regardless of whether the analyst is standing in the middle of Times Square or the Ivory Coast in Africa or Papua, New Guinea or St. Petersburg, Russia.

Berry Gordy referred to these achievements at your Memorial Service with the words, “He raised the bar; then, he broke the bar.” And, “He went into orbit and never came down.” The Rev. Al Sharpton used the phrase, “Michael Jackson never gave up. Just when you thought he was out, he came back in.” And, “Thank you, Michael, for never being separated from your dreams.” And, “Michael never stopped. Michael never stopped. Michael never stopped.”

You transcended the barriers and divisions that separated us by nation, creed, age, race, ethnic origin and ideological allegiance and integrated us all into a community, dancing and singing and clapping along loud enough to raise the roof  (if any of those stadiums had had roofs.) That integration extended from all those venues, jammed with seething hordes numbering in the hundreds of thousands, and into hospital rooms and orphanages and slums and barrios around the world.

However, what was more important than your own individual transcendence of those barriers and divisions (and I will never understand how you did this so consistently) was the fact that you brought all of us into that transcendent state with you. 

Well, of course! What fun would it be for me to go there alone? That was the whole point! [Michael giggles.] 

When I was up there on that stage performing, the barriers between us … both real and imagined … just disintegrated; there were no more walls or windows separating us. My isolation and loneliness were shattered … your separateness and the barriers that caused it disappeared like magic. In those moments, we are ONE. 

The illusion of separation (which we all think of as an impenetrable, opaque wall) that holds the human race in its restrictive prison of ‘apartness’ is proven to be transparent and easily breached. The Magician lifts the veil on the illusion, showing us how the trick is accomplished. With our ‘transcendence’ over that impermeable belief, our reality changes and we become more open to the ONENESS of which we are all an integral and important part. 

It is in those moments that the Master reveals the beauty and drama and pathos of His Symphony in the Key of Love that we have spoken of so often. He plays each and every one of us … both all of you and I … like the most accomplished and skillful of musicians. And it is only when we release our belief in the illusion and allow ourselves to become lost completely in the joy of that experience that we fully realize our truth and are driven to express that truth in all of our relationships and experiences. 

You and I were never separate
It’s just an illusion
Wrought by the magical lens
Of Perception 

Exactly, Dear One … that quote from Heaven is Here is taking on more and more meanings as these dialogs continue.  And these lines, too, hold more meaning for me as I gain insights along the way.

Don’t be afraid
To know who you are
You are much more
Than you ever imagined 

In these dialogs, you keep repeating that we are engaged in ‘stretching the limits of a pop song’ and ‘reaching higher,’ ‘imagining BIGGER’ … always pushing the envelope, extending and expanding our preconceived notions of what is possible for us … as individuals … and as a collective impacting our world. This applies very directly to the definition under transcend shown as intransitive verb:  to rise above or extend notably beyond ordinary limits. And, while I can’t speak with any authority about my readers, in my life, this extension and expansion is a small miracle for which I am eternally grateful. I have, personally, accomplished that which I had always thought was impossible; the fulfillment of dreams which had always been ‘like a perfect flower just beyond my reach’ has blessed my life so richly.

And that brings us to the more highly philosophical, metaphysical, esoteric and spiritual definitions of the word we are examining. Most of the definitions above transfer easily from the purely mundane to the most sublimely esoteric.

The best words usually do … because the two (highly philosophical and sublimely esoteric) are meant to be fully integrated and balanced to produce wholeness. As we’ve spoken about before it is not either/or … it is both at the same time. They are not mutually exclusive. As a matter of fact they are most fully experienced when they are together. You are most fully human when your humanity is informed and supported by spirit; you are most fully spiritual when your spirituality is experienced in your humanity. 

Problems, complications and accusations
Dividing the nations and races of empty faces
A war is taking place.
No substitution for restitution, the only solution for peace
Is increasing the height of your spirituality.
Masses of minds are shrouded, clouded visions
Deceptions and indecision, no faith or religion, how we’re living.
The clock is ticking, the end is coming, there’ll be no warning,
But will we live to see the dawn?
 

How can we preach, when all we make this world to be
Is a living hell torturing our minds.
We all must unite, to turn darkness to light,
And the love in our hearts will shine.

You are a spiritual being having a human experience. You are not a human being seeking some kind of impossible attainment labeled ‘spiritual enlightenment,’ as your religious leaders would like you to believe because they get to hold the keys … and thereby have the power to grant … that ‘spiritual enlightenment’ for which you long. 

In addition, the words ‘spiritual enlightenment’ are defined differently according to your geographical location or your cultural background or religious affiliation, meaning vastly different things … and even contradictory things … in varying places or times. These differences contribute to the perception of ‘difference.’ So, when one culture defines ‘enlightenment’ as a ‘release from Maya (the material world)’ another defines it as ‘success’ or ‘material wealth,’ which is just another term for ‘Maya.’ How confusing is that? 

It doesn’t have to be confusing. The important thing to remember is: you don’t need a ‘gatekeeper’ to control or confirm, approve or sanctify your admission into your Highest, most expanded self. As we’ve spoken about before, the spiritual realm is your home … your natural state. God doesn’t lock the door when you assume a human body to experience a more expanded version of self. You don’t need a key … or an institution … to tell you how to approach it; there is no password or prerequisite for you to experience yourself in your highest state. All you need is a firm, unshakable knowledge that the state exists, the confidence that you are welcome to discover, explore and remember it and your willingness and openness to that experience. 

So, Keep the Faith
Don’t’ let no one turn you round
You’ve got to know when it’s good to go
To get your feet up off the ground
Keep the Faith
Because it’s just a matter of time
Before your confidence will win out
Believe in yourself no matter what it’s gonna take
You can be a winner
But you gotta Keep the Faith 

God bless you, Michael!

God bless you more! 

You know, Wayne W. Dyer spoke about you shortly after The Day The Earth Stood Still. 

[Michael laughs.] The Day The Earth Stood Still! I love that! 

Yeah, well, in that interview he spoke of his friendship with you and his visit to Neverland with his family. He was upset at some of the rumors and speculations that were being broadcast at the time and talked about how he had dedicated his book Real Magic to you in honor of your many contributions to the world. At the end of his interview, he said, “This was a transcendent being.” I heard the twelve or thirteen-minute interview … as well as the last five words in it … but didn’t really take the time to acquire an in-depth understanding of what he meant.

I think I have a better grip on the word now. Your transcendence of the obstacles, challenges and roadblocks placed in your path … both material and philosophical … is your definitive bequest to the world because it proves that if one man can do it, all of us, too, can transcend the limitations which have barred our evolution and kept us imprisoned in our own mediocrity.

You overcame the difficulties presented to a member of a racial minority in the 1970s … the challenges symbolized by your less than ideal youth … the stumbling blocks of fame at a very young age … the obstacles of two confusing and potentially debilitating physical diagnoses … the impediments inherent in a corrupt, dissolute industry intent on keeping you in your place … the hurdles you set yourself in your strides toward perfection … the ever-present and increasingly-intrusive media barrages … a trial on trumped up charges … misrepresentation on a massive, global scale … and you never gave up. The fact that you rose above all of them with love … not criticism or violence or manipulation … but with love … and more love … makes your achievement even more worthy of admiration and emulation.

Aw! God bless you! I love you much, much more, you know.

Michael Bearden wrote the following in a comment on his page in 2010

MJ and I never talked about [his favorite number, 777] specifically, but we did talk about the concept surrounded by its significance, if you follow me … I think I shared one conversation on the DVD he and I had about the meaning of our name, “Michael.” Here’s what I think 777 meant to MJ. There are many, many interpretations of the number 7 and what it means, but for MJ, and I’m only guessing per our conversations, 777 is the number of God, just as our name translates to one who is most like God. Did MJ think he was God? NO! But he did accept his mission on the planet as an archangel of sorts … one who was responsible for the ascension of the soul through the physical body, to help shine light on what man must one day realize. God is love, love is real, God is within us! He used his power of music to convey this message … Music is the most powerful language available to us on the planet…[…] This is what 777 means […]…Me and MJ talked a lot about these kinds of concepts […]

In this quote, Michael Bearden talks about ‘But he did accept his mission on the planet as an archangel of sorts … one who was responsible for the ascension of the soul through the physical body, to help shine light on what man must one day realize.” While not actually using the word, itself, he is talking, here, about transcendence.

“Michael understood the fundamental laws of quantum physics, which say we are all interconnected in the Universe. Through many of his lyrics, Michael reminds us to see the magic of God in everything (…). Michael understood and conveyed to us that it is possible to direct this powerful energy with our thoughts and emotions. He used to say: “If you can dream it, you can do it.” – “You become what you think.” […] Michael had a holistic approach to human beings. He understood the human being is a whole, encompassing body, mind, emotions and spirit or soul…The word “holistic” comes from the Greek “holos” which means Union, Whole. The human species is divided into races, nations, political ideas, social classes and religions. Holism emphasizes the need that every individual must make an inner change to achieve a global transformation. Michael knew this, and above all, he knew that the ultimate healing energy is Love.” Liz Johnson

Liz Johnson, in the quote about, while not actually using the word, is talking about transcendence.

As a matter of fact, I believe I could fill an entire book with references from those who know you both during the physical side of your life … and those who know you only in the eternal side of your life … to your transcendence.

Okay … let’s work on that one next! 

[Jan laughs out loud.] Baby! Slow down! I’ve only got ten fingers!

Jan – August 24, 2012

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July 28, 2012 through August 10, 2012

You are so funny! You’ve got that tongue sticking out the side of your mouth again and a look of concentration on your face that could warn away a sunny day. You get so frustrated with yourself. And, then, you blame me! [Michael laughs.]

Well, you keep hiding from me!

[Michael laughs.] That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard this week. How can I hide from you? That is impossible. When you close your eyes, you see my face. Your computer is gonna blow chunks of me all over your room one of these days because you have so many pictures and drawings of me stored in it. You have over a hundred Digital Video Discs filled with concerts and interviews and short films … and more waiting in your computer to burn onto discs. You have a lending library full of books and your music collection rivals Amazon.com’s!

I couldn’t hide from you if I wanted to … and I don’t want to.

You are attacking this drawing thing like it’s a pitched medieval battle. Relax.

It’s just like the game that is supposed to be teaching you how to dance. It’s supposed to be FUN! F – U – N! You are so hard on yourself. You expect to be an expert from the first stroke of the pencil. And when that doesn’t work, you get so impatient and you’re ready to give up.

It doesn’t work that way. Anything you want to learn takes time and patience … time to acquire the knowledge you need to make it work … either by educating yourself about it … or studying the masters … or by accumulating your own experiences … to be able to do it. In addition, you’ve heard me say this before … practice … practice … practice until you get it right … and then practice some more … until you get it beautiful.

Weren’t you paying attention?

Of course, I was paying attention to you, Michael. But I want to draw you so badly. I just can’t stop trying. And when it doesn’t turn out to look like you, I get frustrated. I’ve told you before, I have absolutely no patience. I’ve gotten a couple of drawings that come pretty close, but it is, by no means, a sure bet that when I pick up a pencil and a pad of paper, you will stare back at me from it when it is finished. It does get frustrating.

How did you do it? How were you so accomplished in so many different artistic expressions? You made everything you did look so easy and graceful and beautiful. Even your drawings! It wasn’t enough that you had the most beautiful, emotive, evocative voice God ever gave a human being … and the most graceful, lithe, agile body this world had ever seen.  (We won’t even mention its beauty.)

[Michael giggles.] You just did.

Yeah, but not officially … only parenthetically!

You also had passion and the drive to exceed beyond anyone’s expectations … vision, imagination and perseverance in creating innovative short films which made the themes of your performances visible from the nosebleed sections of stadiums all over the world … were involved in every last detail, including conceptualizing the costumes, for all your world tours. How did you do it all with such grace and style and such great love?

God bless you! But we need to go back to the third sentence in the paragraph above. It may have looked easy … it was supposed to and I worked it until it did. But it wasn’t easy. You’ve made reference to this in previous conversations, so I’m glad you brought it up again.

In one of our earlier conversations, you inferred that I ‘breezed through’ adolescence when my voice changed.

Yes, I remember … In Installment #28 … and I quote:

“When you started performing, you broke through the barriers that the world expected of a child performer; you sang each song with emotion that no one thought a child could possibly express with any believability. As you got older, the music industry told you that you would lose your voice when it changed, but you breezed through that one without breaking a sweat. As a young man, you wanted to create the biggest selling album in history and your colleagues tried to dissuade you from that dream; they didn’t want you to be disappointed if the album didn’t meet your expectations, but you did it in spades. By the time of BAD, you were at the top of your game, but they were still telling you that what you wanted to do was impossible; you showed them! I just have one question. Didn’t they realize that telling you something couldn’t be done was just like lighting a match under a pile of dried leaves? ‘Can’t” and ‘impossible’ were words that were just totally meaningless in your vocabulary … or used as goads to spur greater achievement.”

Yeah, that’s it. I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but I never ‘breezed through anything without breaking a sweat” in my life. [Michael laughs.]  That was just not my style. I worked hard all my life. I should have corrected you in Installment #28, but better late than never.

When my voice changed during puberty was when I hired a vocal coach to train my voice to maintain … and even extend, if possible … its clarity and range. Do you remember how everyone made fun of my soft, whispy speaking voice? That was when the tabloids starting saying that I was taking female hormones to maintain my high range. I wasn’t taking hormones. I was training my voice to hit those high notes. When I spoke in that soft, whispy voice that everyone made fun of in interviews, it was a mindful, conscious attempt to use my voice sparingly. It didn’t strain my singing voice … it helped me to remain at the top … and to extend both the top and the bottom of my range.

I exercised my voice as devotedly and religiously as any opera singer trains his … or any Olympic athlete trains for his or her sport. I worked it. Ask Seth. It wasn’t easy. It was hard work.

Even when I was on the road, I would call Seth and run scales and vocal exercises over the telephone. You have an example of such a telephone call somewhere in that computer that’s going to hurl someday! [Michael laughs.]

Or I asked him to accompany the tour. Two-hours of vocal exercise sessions were completed before I ever walked up the steps from my dressing room to the stage. At least two-hour sessions of running scales and vocal exercises were finished before I ever walked into a recording studio or did a performance. That all started when my voice changed … and it never stopped. I did the same training for Destiny and Off the Wall as I did for History, Invincible and This Is It.

Breezed through it? I don’t think so. Excellence is not acquired through ‘breezing through it.’ It takes work.

You know, Michael, I never realized how many of your songs you sang both the background and lead vocals on until I was reading Joe Vogel’s Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson. While you brought in The Andrae Crouch Choir to add depth and other artists to do duets occasionally, on most of your songs the lead and background vocals are credited to you. A partial listing of the songs with this credit includes:

Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough
Rock With You
Workin Day and Night
Get On The Floor
Off the Wall
Girlfriend
She’s Out of My Life
I Can’t Help It
Burn This Disco Out
Wanna Be Startin Something
Baby Be Mine
Thriller
Beat It
Billie Jean
Human Nature
The Lady in My Life
BAD
The Way You Make Me Feel
Speed Demon
Liberian Girl
Another Part of Me
Dirty Diana
Smooth Criminal

Almost every song! The ones that aren’t listed, you did the Lead or Solo and background but with other people. And that’s just Off the Wall, Thriller, and BAD! Many of the songs you recorded, you’re credited as the vocal arranger as well. And on some, you even played an instrument or arranged the percussion or bass or strings. The same applies to Dangerous, HIStory and Invincible.  I found this amazing!

Yes, and I couldn’t have done that without the vocal training and exercises before every recording session. The voice box is like any muscle. It needs to be stretched and limbered up. The more it is stretched and exercised, the more flexible it becomes. I increased my vocal range to almost four octaves by doing these exercises. This just illustrates the point I am trying to make.

The same was true for the dancing. I worked it … all the time. I spent most of every Sunday fasting and in the dance studio working out new moves and lines to accompany the emotions of the music. It didn’t just happen. I trained my body to do that. That’s why I hired a personal trainer when I was preparing to go on tours. This Is It was no different from BAD or Dangerous or HIStory.

My thanks to Charlene for the beautiful background photograph of the Oregon Coast.

It’s like a marathon runner. You don’t just go out on the day of the race and run 20 K. You will kill yourself that way. The human body has to train to do that; it doesn’t just come naturally. It has to become accustomed to being used … and used hard. First, you have to start slowly … maybe ten minutes at a time. Gradually you increase to half an hour … then an hour. And you always begin by doing gentle stretches to warm up … and end with more gentle stretches to cool down, like I recommended when you were learning how to dance.

My concerts were my marathons; the same kind of training was required for them as any long distance runner does … strength and endurance … cardio. I used to stretch my arms and shoulders and legs and back both before the shows and after to increase my flexibility and keep those muscles from stiffening up and causing me problems later.

I could lose up to ten pounds from the first song to the last, so my clothes had to decrease in size depending on a song’s progression in the show … where the song appeared … or I would have been holding them up.

Like I said in an interview once, people are used to seeing the results of the work. They would have been surprised at how much work went into everything I did.

Yes, Beloved, I have that interview on DVD. Dr. Willa Stillwater, in her book M Poetica: Michael Jackson’s Art of Connection and Defiance refers to your diligence in her discussion of the short film Jam. She says,

“It takes a lot of hard work to be a professional dancer or basketball player. The trick is to combine the technical skill of the professional with the joy and creativity of children at play.

Gradually the clips build toward Jordan and Jackson together on the basketball court and on the dance floor. Both have the confidence that comes from being at the top of their game and these segments are pure fun to watch. First they take to the court, and while Jackson was fairly tall, he was nowhere near NBA tall. Jordan towers over him. Jackson can’t come close to blocking his shots – he’s like a little kid playing against an adult – but he goes all out: jumping, scrambling, diving after the ball. Still, there’s no contest. At one point, Jordan goes to shoot then palms the ball and Jackson does a double take – he has no idea where the ball went. But the point isn’t to win, it’s to jam: to give it your all, to strive with everything you have, to lose yourself in the joy of doing it.

Then they move to the dance floor, and we begin to appreciate just how quick and fluid Jackson’s movements are once he’s back in his own realm. Now he’s the professional and Jordan’s the amateur, and we get a chance to see Jackson jamming as a teacher. He’s clearly intrigued with Jordan, with seeing what that powerful body can do. In outtakes at the end of the video, Jackson is like a teenager circling around a Maserati. You get the feeling he’s just dying to get his mind inside that magnificent body somehow and take it out for a spin, see if he can actually make it dance. Jordan has worked that body hard to be a force on the basketball court, but can Jackson somehow make it move the way he pictures in his head? He encourages, he demonstrates, he explains, trying to find the magic words to get his ideas across. He gets down on the floor and positions Jordan’s feet; he goes up on tiptoe and positions his fingers. Jordan submits to Jackson’s efforts like a benevolent Zeus, chuckling as Jackson bustles around, trying to make his ideas visible.

The overall mood of Jam is one of vitality, though it’s set within the now familiar frame of a bleak, urban landscape. But the kids we see in the video aren’t the ones being admonished to jam – they’re already jamming. In fact, they’re presented as a model for the rest of us, which is a complete reversal from the other songs in this cycle. In Beat It, Bad, and to some extent The Way You Make Me Fee, the protagonist uses his creative energy to transform a harsh social environment and make it more livable. Specifically, he uses his creativity to gain the respect of his neighbors, share with them an alternate vision of how life can be lived, and create an autonomous space for himself.

The message of Jam is very different. Here Jackson suggests we all need to develop and express our innate creativity like these inner-city kids are doing, and the reasons are spiritual as well as social. [Emphasis added.]

… The problem, according to Jam, is one of emotional exhaustion, of being worn down by a social system that dissipates our energy in meaningless tasks and leaves us tired and distracted, unwilling to help others or think beyond our next task.  We need to “jam”—to engage in a type of creative ecstasy, whatever form that may take—to wake ourselves up and nourish ourselves, emotionally and spiritually.

… Jackson goes on to suggest that this exhaustion has led to a state of spiritual confusion. Because we aren’t allowing ourselves to express our innate creativity, we’ve lost touch with our inner being, with who we are, and so we drift rudderless, searching for answers. … We need to jam to reconnect with ourselves, rediscover who we are, and in that way find the answers we’re seeking.

… Jam talks once again about the transformative power of art, but this time Jackson focuses less on the end result – on the power of the realized artist – and more on the act of creativity itself, on the spiritual rejuvenation that occurs within each of us when we fully immerse ourselves in something that gives us joy. And this act of joyfulness can take whatever form we wish. In this sense, we need to be like children, like the little boy jumping up and down in the chair, not because he sees it as a spiritual exercise, but because it’s fun and makes him happy.”

For Jackson, the key to solving the problems that threaten our world is for each of us to reconnect with the exuberance of childhood and unlock that creativity and passion within ourselves.

Stillwater, Willa (2011-04-12). M Poetica: Michael Jackson’s Art of Connection and Defiance (Kindle Locations 465-468). Kindle Edition.

I found Dr. Stillwater’s study of your art profoundly thought-provoking and the above passage speaks, I think, very directly to what we were discussing.

Yes, we’ve spoken about this before when we were discussing the book you wrote almost twenty years ago. You said that the experience of writing that book taught you that it wasn’t always the destination that was important … that enjoying and being passionately involved in the journey was equally relevant and helped to shape your thought processes at the time. Your awareness of the importance of that concept helped to shape your reality and contributed greatly to the enchantment and wonder and gratitude you felt.

In addition, in our conversation about the game that is going to teach you how to dance, we talked about enjoying the experience and not being so concerned with whether or not you are technically perfect in your execution of each movement. Putting some fire and laughter and joy into it will increase your enjoyment of the game tremendously. It doesn’t matter if you ever become the next Michael Jackson. What matters is that you “work that body” and enjoy all the steps in the process.

It’s the same thing here. The world doesn’t need another Michelangelo or Leonardo da Vinci. It already has one of each of those.

But it is desperate for your creativity, especially when it is developed with joy, gratitude and love for the process … especially when you take the time to learn what you need to know to make it work … especially when you express your joy in the activity, itself, not just in the results of the activity.

Don’t get frustrated with imperfect results … learn from them. Don’t judge yourself so harshly … enjoy the process. Learning and experiencing are not the means to an end … they are ends in and of themselves! They can be enjoyed as such.

Beloved, you are so inspiring … and I love you so much!

God bless you! I love you more!

Jan – August 10, 2012

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August 29, 2012 marks Michael Jackson’s 54th Birthday!

In honor of that momentous occasion … and in Michael’s memory … with an ever-grateful heart … With a Child’s Heart Presents … <drum roll please>:

Now available at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/withachildsheart

Just click on the graphic or the link to the right of this page to purchase.

Written and illustrated by Jan Cooper-Carlson.

 

Jan – August 3, 2012

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