Snapshots and Self Inquiry

Afghan Girl/Steve McCurry/1983

Image by .Andy Chang. via Flickr


“Most of my photos are grounded in people, I look for the unguarded moment, the essential soul peeking out, experience etched on a person’s face.”

Steve McCurry


“This scene, this sunset over the sea, those eyes, I must fix them in my mind so I never forget them.” How many times we’ve “caught” ourselves expressing to ourselves this? A common thought, a spontaneous desire and a need that, probably, we all have: collecting moments, situations, events of our lives in a sort of “dossier” to bring with us. A visual summary of an existence, of the most impressive moments and those “little” moments otherwise we could forget- a diary who could witness that we have and still exist.

Trough the millennia, human had this need to share their joys and tragedies translating them in a visual form, consecrating many moments such as to revive them and, at the same time to express themselves. This have been done trough painting and, today, trough the almost new and increasingly popular mean, photography.

In the last century, photography has certainly achieved, wit full rights, the top in the field of the visual arts, the most  direct and “faithful” media to express those moments of our life experience. Then, with the advent of the digital technology, photography has opened further possibilities of expression, making possible to everyone – not only to professional photographers- to be able to “click” and immediately see the results of their work, and then storing these “extraordinary” moments and events n a map of their life experience. That’s the magic of photography.

In the group for inner development I was part of in the nineties, some “brothers” had (and still have) this attitude of “immortalizing” moments, faces and events trough photography- an attitude I don’t have, so I can only speak trough their own experience. In the field of the inner work and self discovery, they related this Art not only with the possibility of “remember” some moments, but also to with the photographer possibility of “finding” and “feeling” himself trough his own visual image- a visual description who could become an inner portrait.

They firmly believe that this extraordinary and “handling” art can considerably increase and help the individual self- study, then, trough an impartial self observation, to discover himself (what he really is) and, finally, to translate into form what he really intended to express. Shortly, first getting “in touch” with their true nature- a rich baggage of contents who has the possibility to be expressed on the outside- and then, facing the problem of how to translate this “inner treasury” in a clear, understandable and useful expression to share, as pure expression, with the others.

Self-expression and a free and open game (quite smooth and non conflictual) between what the individual feels within itself and what, in reality, it faces on the outside, expressing – in a continuous collage – form, beliefs, ideals, aspirations and real needs. All this, usually, ends up in a schema. At the moment when an essence – investigated more or less consciously – tries to externalize her expression,  adapting herself in accordance with models and rules of the current society. And this is a very harmful condition for those who want to express freely themselves. They must search and follow the exactly opposite direction.

Every serious analysis or self inquiry must necessarily begin from a careful observation of everything that concerns ourselves, starting from our physical body who educates us trough a careful observation to reveal even the smallest and innermost disharmony and allows us, day after day, to gain the “higher point” of perception of our true feelings.

And, in this complex process of self investigation, photography is a perfect mean as “observer”, capable of restoring a section of us from outside put in the context in which we live. This permits us to observe all our masks, gestures, pose and, meachanical acts we have achieved during our life path.

Entering, then even more deeply into the photographic field, we meet some “key concepts” such as the “shot”, ie the ability to describe the moments – the “moments” of an experience – through a fine view and well-defined margins of the visual field or, rather, emphasized by the “portion” allowed by the limits of the target.

It is clear the analogy with the capacity of summarizing required in many works and responsibility fields. Having the ability to “frame” a context, placing a problem, a concept, an idea, and being able to recognize it between thousands details and influences in the overall picture; and, at the same time, making it “extrinsic” and realize it.  Having such ability is extremely important, because this often makes it possible to formulate, for example, specific strategies without being “conditioned” by the context.

Acquiring- expressing a contents of form, color and vibration in a harmonic concept makes us better, more fluid, at the same wavelength of the principle that we call existence; this leads us up and makes us open, satisfied and happy. Just because happiness is the condition who, when touch us, lights us .

Being able to “observe”, “notice”,  means wanting to see at any moment all that exists, and to love it.

Perhaps to remind us “to be”, to exist, not believing we exist but, above all else, learning how to be ourselves- what we are, as we are.

With Love


About mr Sarmoung

Andrea Dandolo je pisac i istražitelj razvoja svijesti i duhovnosti uključen u razotkrivanje drevnih učenja s ciljem olakšavanja unutarnjeg razvoja ljudskih bića. Jedan od načina kojima se time bavi je i kroz blog koji je preveden na engleski, španjolski i od nedavno hrvatski. Od rane mladosti je u svijetu duhovnosti i rada na sebi sudjelujući u radu grupa koje potječu direktno od Gurdjieffa, tj koje su bile vođene od strane samog Gurdjieffa U skladu sa drevnim znanjima, naglašava razvoj svjesnosti kao primarno sredstvo za psihološku transformaciju i duhovnu osvještenost individualaca. Karakteristike sistema koji predlaže su jednostavan jezik i moderni prijevod drevnih učenja kao i njihove praktične primjene u svakodnevnome životu. Njegov blog čitaju ljudi iz svih krajeva svijeta. Samorazvoj je ne religiozni i ne dogmatski put; sastoji se primarno od naprednog dostizanja viših stanja svijesti, p prisustva i konačno od ostvarivanja svoje prave intimne prirode, koja je poznata u mnogim tradicijama pod imenima poput esencija, duša, biće. Kroz takav razvoj individualna osoba ulazi u nove dimenzije svijesti koje mu omogućuju da vidi stvarnost sakrivenu iza iluzija. To mu omogućuje kreiranje osobnosti neovisne i otporne na vanjske situacije i vanjska uvjetovanja. Posljedice takvog razvoja su oštra inteligencija, izvanredni kreativni kapaciteti, ravnoteža i smirenost u svakoj situaciji i stabilno stanje višeg stanja svijesti koje je poznato u drevnim tradicijama pod nazivom “buđenje”.
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