Skepticism, Faith and Seeing

Seeing What Others Don’t

Because I am known to be an artist people aren’t surprised when I see things like patterns, details, connections, concepts, etc. that they don’t.  They just chalk it up to ‘that’s because he is an artist.’  But I think people get it backwards.  Seeing all those things is what made me an artist, not the other way around.

Not Saying No

Why did I and other artists see those things when others didn’t?  Because we didn’t say ‘no’.  We don’t dismiss an idea because it is not approved. We don’t dismiss a vision because it doesn’t make sense. We don’t dismiss a connection between things because the connection has never been made before. In other words we don’t follow rules.

Rule Followers, Rule Breakers

Wait, I take that back. We don’t follow some rules but we do follow others. That is why some artists are radicals and shock everyone (they follow very few rules) and other artists are the darlings of the rule followers (because they only break very insignificant rules, if any).

How Radical Are You?

in the context of the quote and illustration above you might say the skeptic is the radical, right? She broke the rules of her religion, no longer believing what her religion says she must believe.  But if that skeptic merely exchanges one set of rules, the religious ones, for the skeptics’ set of rules, how much has really changed? How much has she really seen in a new or fresh way?  It might appear she has at first since obviously there is a breaking away from a set of rules, but then she becomes as doctrinaire as she ever was as a religious follower and nothing really has changed.

Truly Free

The truly free person is the one who holds their ideas and rules lightly. It’s not that they never hold on to them but they aren’t bound to them to such an extent that they don’t see beyond them. They are willing to consider new and strange ideas, issues, images without judgment beforehand.  They are willing to see connections that aren’t immediately apparent.

Drawing and commentary © 2018 Marty Coleman |

“Skepticism is like faith: both are substitutes for seeing.” – Bert Hellinger, 1925 – not dead yet, German Psychotherapist

Whiteness Attracts Blemishes

In snow and in life, purity is fleeting.  It’s there and it’s good, but it doesn’t last.  Those who try to remain and appear pure to others in all things, in spite of the truth being different, will start to draw attention to their blemishes.

How do you be who you really are, admitting to yourself your impurities, admitting them to others when appropriate, and still work to attain the good in yourself and in others.  Maybe the act of confession is the freeing act that allows you to move towards the good.  What do you think?

A shout out to the Napkin Kin in the Massachusetts (USA) towns of Chatham, Brewster, Hyannis, Foxboro, Newton and Allton who visited the blog this week.  Thanks for the visit!

Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman of The Napkin Dad Daily

Quote by Bert Hellinger, 1925 – not dead yet, German Catholic priest (formerly) and psychotherapist.

The Wrong Way – updated 2018

How do you know you are going the wrong way? It isn’t just by looking at the path itself. You are on that path because part of you, maybe a large part, maybe a small part, thinks it’s the right path. It’s green, easy to walk on, not too hard. You can be fooled if you only look at the path. Look not at the path itself, but at two things, inside you and your surroundings.

Your Surroundings:
When my daughters were young they played a game I also played as a child. It was called ‘hot lava’. They would put stuff down on the floor; pillows, paper, blankets, stuffed animals. Then they would have to go all around the house with never touching the floor. The floor was hot lava and they would die if they fell in!
Look around you as you? Is your path surrounded by barrenness? Friends, family, work, fun all are far away? Are the surroundings dangerous? If you go off the path just a bit, will you encounter prickers and hot lava and burning coals? You are on the wrong path.
Inside you:
As you walk your path, are you peaceful? I don’t mean every second of every day, obviously life has heartache, stress and pain even when we are on the right path. I mean overall, in general, are you at peace with your path? Are you able to walk it and be nourished? Are you able to help others whose paths cross yours? Are you able to understand and grow on your path? Do you feel it has a destination that is worth the effort it takes to stay on the path? If the answers are no, you are on the wrong path.
If you realize you are on the wrong path, there is only one thing to do: Step off it. You may have to hack through an unexpected jungle to find your right path, but it will be worth it. You can’t go in a new direction if you don’t take that step.
Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman of The Napkin Dad Daily
Quote by Bert Hellinger, 1925-not dead yet, German psychotherapist, former Catholic priest
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