Recently, the best teacher/mentor/friend of my life inspired me to think about inner and outer forms of writing. When I attempted to respond with my thoughts related to teaching on the subject, I was asked to rewrite and resend. Below is that effort.
I agree that wonder and transcendence of self are part of the surrender process that is writing as discovery and ultimate [comm]unity. Further, that they are not readily accessible to most learners or teachers due to the conditioning we are exposed to daily and therefore require the disciplines of attention, intention and constancy.
I have come to understand that I must start with the common or familiar and that turns out to be pain in more than a majority of cases. Beginning with shared experience allows me to forecast the pain that accompanies our use of Freewriting-as-a-discipline. When practiced as the concurrent, intentional movement through disbelief, fascination, boredom and resistance born of the learned helplessness of the conditioned existence misappropriated as the self, such writing practice is liberatory.
Presenting the terrain (inner landscapes) we will encounter in such a way, helps to diffuse the experience of it as pain. This process was very aptly framed in the Matrix as ‘seeing for the first time’ when the main character ‘awakened’ outside of the reality pulled over his eyes as a newly recruited member of the revolutionaries.
At the same time, I believe our appreciation of form is inherent. And, with enough writing practice (hard work/anguish) to destabilize the habits of mind and being we have grown accustomed to, we can escape, and replace the models of teaching and learning that require parroting and herd mentality with envisioning what wants to emerge from a primordially shared and ever-present stillness. This process, known as Presencing by Peter Senge et al. is always as encouraging as it is instructive.