Sunday, April 22, 2012

Clock-work versus clock-face

One common difference between giving and receiving is visible in the way an object is experienced by the giver and recipient. The giver tends to be aware of the many individual sources or events underlying the object that is given while the recipient experiences the object (or event) as a unified whole. (The term 'giving' and 'receiving' - terms translated from the Kabbalah original Hebrew - are here used in a specific way, as shall become apparent).   

This notion can be gleaned from a few basic examples:

In producing (giving) a film, input from a vast variety of industries is apparent. There are the actors, stunt people, script writers, prop designers, producers/studio executives, cinematographers,make-up artists, composers, choreographers, special effects specialists, costume designers, human resource personnel, accountants, transport logistics experts, pilots, all sorts of repair men, portable toilet specialists, chefs, etc, etc. When watching (receiving) a film, however, the plethora of sources and contributors are invisible. On the contrary, the film is perceived as one seamless whole.

A clock has a complex mechanism consisting of several separate components, each individually crafted, and assembled together according to an overarching design. Each part contributes a unique role to the clockwork. One using (receiving) a clock, however, sees a rather simple and user friendly clock face, often only faintly aware of the complex system that the surface conceals.

When speaking (giving), a speaker may sense the various external and internal resources that flow into his speech: sensory experiences, different books that he has studied, his insight, analysis, language centre, emotions, will, etc. The listener, in contrast, experiences (receives) a cohesive message.     

Similarly, when watching a skater perform his repertoire of tricks smoothly and easily, one is typically unaware of the thousands of skate sessions during which the skater progressively refined each trick part by part, the many trick tips he heard from fellow skaters, his huge number of falls and clumsily failed attempts at each trick, the injuries he endured, the many skate videos he watched, the internal battles he fought, etc, before he mastered the tricks he now so elegantly executes.

I remember my first time seeing watches with transparent clock faces, exposing the clock's mechanism to the eye. Seeing the complex system controlling the simple clock face impressed me. I ended buying such a watch to remind me not to take things for granted. Unlike a magic trick which loses its magic when a magician discloses his secret method, discovering the secret underpinning much of life's phenomena only adds  to the magic of the experience...      

No comments:

Post a Comment