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My monthly conscient podcast blog for January 2023 on my learning/unlearning journey for December 2022.
17 december 2022
As I wrote this blog:
I had a vivid dream last night about receiving criticism of my ‘sounding modernity’ conscient podcast season, which I’m launching tomorrow with episode 00. The feedback was mostly negative and critical of the project, pointing out its failings and pretensions, etc. They were very precise and sometimes satirical and quite funny. It was bewildering. When I woke up I wondered where this advice was coming from … Obviously, it comes from somewhere within me, but it felt like an external voice was giving me guidance about my work and warning me of it’s pitfalls but also encouraging, and preparing me, to face unanswerable questions and sharp critique. I was very thankful to have had this ‘heads up’ and I have made a couple of minor adjustments to the project as a result of this dream. The series of weekly 5 minute episodes will indeed be exploring complex issues, most of which I don’t fully understand, therefore I will inevitably fail and fumble my way along. I think my dream spirit was warning me to listen carefully and stay humble and open as I undertake this next phase of my learning journey…Claude Schryer, on LinkedIn and Facebook
One of the adjustments I made was to remind myself of some of my learnings from the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures (GTDF) website, including:
- holding space for difficult conversations and silences without relationships falling apart
- learning and unlearning, disarming and de-centering, dethroning and de-arrogantizing, detoxifying and decluttering, mourning, grieving and healing, digesting and metabolizing
- loosening my attachment to my self image.
I also reviewed the GTDF’s ‘most common traps in depth education’ and reminded myself to be mindful of performance camouflage (ensuring self-transparency and self-witnessing of errors and missteps), proselytizing (trying to convince others that something is important and imposing my views) and virtue signaling (pretension and transactional relationships).
I received valuable feedback about my dream from friends and colleagues, notably this one :
I think you are wise to be open and humble but also to remember that the first response to change is often resistance. What you are working on situates itself in unfamiliar territory for many and much of the work of it is to persevere in the belief that this practice has wisdom in it and you are acting as a conduit for that.
december 26, 2022
With my dream in mind, I shared with my wife Sabrina on December 26, 2022 that my greatest fear with this project was that my ‘trusted inner voice’ would be overtaken by my craving for validation (as noted above).
This happened with the last episode of season 3, e99 winter diary revisited, which I felt good about but turned out to be mostly an exercise in vanity and nostalgia. I’m open to sharing this because conscient is a learning journey where anything can and should be questioned.
This learning led me to take a break from podcast production in March 2022 and engage in an unlearning process, including doing the exercises in Vanessa Andreotti’s Hospicing Modernity book, taking the GTDF’s Facing Human Wrongs course twice, deepening my daily qi gong practice, letting go of addictions, such as technology, validation, hope, etc.
My hope was that there was some value in ‘putting myself out there’, supported by newly acquired self-knowledge and self-control tools, and to trust that my experience as a listener and sound artist might have some value to others who are on a similar path.
I’ll end this blog with a statement that concludes every episode note:
- I am grateful and accountable to the earth and the human labour that provided me with the privilege of producing this episode (including all the toxic materials and extractive processes behind the computers, recorders, transportation and infrastructure that make this podcast possible).