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Samuel's Teaching Words - Nothingness and Wisdom

Samuel’s Teaching Words - Nothingness and Wisdom

Samuel offered these observations, teaching instructions, and reflections of various subjects at workshops, lectures, public seminars and privately with friends worldwide.

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NOTHINGNESS

"Children are nothing." When they fall, they are "nothing." If you are "nothing," you don't have the consciousness of tension, you are relaxed and you don't resist gravity, you cooperate with it. Only when you realize this "nothingness" can you do "something."

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WISDOM

"Wisdom is knowledge properly applied to the affairs of the world. It is spiritual passion. King Solomon knew this, but few rulers of men have followed his example."

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SPONTANEITY AND WISDOM

"It is possible to have a marriage, a unity, between the wisdom that comes from the experience of many difficult and painful lessons, and from the spontaneity and passion of youth, but it is very rare. Youth is busy with passion. The "excitement" of the wise man is larger than the excitement of youth."

"Enlarge your idea of spontaneity. Spontaneity can be directed. So can passion, especially by the artist."

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TEACHER/TRICKSTER

"True teachers not only live the truth; they love the truth they live. But in fact, that truth, for the students is a lie until they investigate it for themselves. So, the teacher plays out his or her own role being simple, stupid, outrageous, a trickster, whatever, luring the students on, sometimes satisfying their expectations, sometimes frustrating them, always testing, measuring, so that the students will measure their own somethingness. Even false teachers, with their half truths, can unwittingly aid in the quest if the students learn to relax and not force the issue, if they learn that, in all their struggles, what they are looking for is already looking for them."

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STUDENT-TEACHER-MENTOR RELATIONSHIP

"Both teacher and student know; one remembers, and one has forgotten. When they get together, they remind one another."

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GIVE AND TAKE

"A teacher is one who TAKES what he or she is GIVEN, and GIVES what cannot be TAKEN."

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From "ADVICE TO A YOUNG MIME FOR A YOUNG ARTIST "*

"So, my dear friend, you have decided to explore this marvelous art of mime a territory unknown to many and presumably your decision is motivated by sincerity and the honesty of your being."

"If your motives are profound enough, that is, if they are not limited by time and space, this path will be full of great surprises and will unveil before you that which is considered the "invisible world" beyond. With this in mind, let us see if you are well-equipped with guidelines to lead you to success to know yourself."

"The art of mime, magical in many ways, is the ultimate language of silence, a universal language in itself, which will give you access to the most hidden places of your being, places where you are one with all creation. It is my friend, an adventure that will fulfill you totally, when the time is ripe, and as long as your honesty and sincerity remain unfettered."

"As an adventurer, you know that the path drawn on the map is not the same as the real path. The map is only an indicator, of where to go, it is only an instrument to lead you onward."

"The instrument with which you play this art-venture is your own body and, as an instrument, it has to be tuned. It is the house in which you live, breathe, and move."

* From an article by Samuel in French, this section was translated for this publication

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ON BEING AN ARTIST

"In the evolution of civilization, the essence of the human being has been hidden from immediate awareness. This basic fact has caused an attribution of the artistic sense to creative visions and experiences of the "other worlds." The true and essential reality of every human, is being an Artist."

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MIME AND CONSCIOUS-DREAM-MAKING (CDM)

"I will give you my own definition of mime as I see it after thirty years of practice. For me, it becomes a multi-dimensional reality that transcends the limited communication with words that we have."

"That dimension, from my experience, is compared somehow to the dream world. You cannot write with words you can, but in 500,000 volumes. You cannot write the dream. The dream has its own language of signals and symbols to communicate with. Mime can help to work that dimension of dreams here in the waking state. In other words, once the tool is sharpened enough or realized enough, the mime will fantasize, will write; will sculpt this fantasy in space. And by doing that, is doing an act which we call in English, to "perform."

"Since I am a "word cutter," I am going to cut this word also, and say Per/form PER/form per - per - per - purr - purr the cat purr purr per form PRE form in other words, you work your ideas in a certain way and PRE - Form them."

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THE MASK

"A mask can mean many things. It may be thought of as a vessel that holds light, the vibration of dots captured in matter, the appearance connected with the essence, a tool for the creation of specific dramatic effects, an automatic depository for aspects of ourselves we don't understand, an edge, an onion layer. Every time you take off one mask, there will be another."

"A mask is a tool for communicating. It veils or unveils. A mask is a channel, an avenue, and a threshold, an occasion for allowing the expression to flow and to come out from within."

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VERBAL ABUSE

"We live in a new sophisticated and perplexed Babylon An entangled web where the great danger lies in the inability to communicate simply. Complicated terminologies present great obstacles to communication. The words are not meaningful enough to convey the ideas in simple terms. It seems we are obsessed with useless complexities."

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THE THREE GATES of WORDS

"There is a wise and practical proverb my grandfather told me once. It says that: "Every word should pass through three gates" before being uttered. At the first gate the gatekeeper asks, "Is it true?" At the second he ask, "Is it necessary?" At the third he asks, "Is it kind?" If you answer in the positive, then by all means, open your mouth and speak."

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LIFE-LONG LAUGHTER

"Laughter is the high road to long life and self-healing. Laughter lightens us. We call the effect levity . Laughter elasticizes us. It keeps us supple. It releases our tensions. If we are laughing beings, we prolong our lives all the time. We are concerned here not simply with life extension, but with life expansion from within. When we laugh, the whole system vibrates, the diaphragm dances. When we laugh, the cells themselves dance. If we don't furnish our cells with this dancing vibration which we call "laughing," we are robbing them of life. Laughter is a potent transformer of energy."

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BE A SELF-LEADER, NOT A FOLLOWER

"When you don't need a teacher anymore, you have to drop him off a cliff, or you won't grow. Become your own teacher. The idea here is for you to become your own self-leader, not a follower. Escape the mass, sheep consciousness we witness everyday. Self guidance is the best. Don’t depend on anyone else but yourself, that’s called self-reliance."

"You have experienced this principle in the workshop, and you see the aliveness of your body’s responses working with you, for you."

"When I make you aware of this fact, to become your own teacher, your own leader, I will consider that a success. I am here to guide you until you become your own teacher, that is my purpose of being with you now. Actually I am not a teacher, I am here just to remind you this fact that you have forgotten. I repeat, become your own leader and teacher, that is the purpose of this session of "Leaders and Followers."

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TEACHABLE and ORIENTED to SUCCEED

Finally recognize and realize this knowledge:

In essence, all you really need to succeed in anything are three (3) basic factors. What you DO need is the DESIRE, the VISION and the COURAGE to navigate and be the author of your life.

From experience, I suggest you acquire the characteristics for being:

1. TEACHABLE

Use your ability to sculpt and re-shape your character. Know who you really are.

2. ORIENTED TO SUCCEED

Always expect with certainty the outcome as you visualize the event or plan to be manifested, and...

3. BE READY TO CAUSE A CHANGE

Consciously use your "state of readiness" all the time, always on your toes, "alert and agile like a cat," on the creative edge for "new experiences," and using your ability to focus, act and do with vivid desire, vision and courage, of course.

Samuel Avital, Summer Workshop, 1991

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COURAGE

"Courage is a cloak you wear again and again until every cell in your body is named, Courage."

Samuel Avital, Boulder, Colorado, 1997

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For other gems of Samuel's teachings, see his books, video and articles. Or experience live, some of his workshops in Boulder, Colorado or via his Private and Individualized Consultations.

"Samuel brings awareness to the soul of people and gives the artists who work under his direction the need, dedication, and love for the world of silence and the beautiful art of movement."

 

- Marcel Marceau, BIP 1961

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About LCDS

LCDS is an independent school for self-discovery through the human Arts.  The school offers seminars and workshops teaching the concepts of Theater, Mime, and Movement.