22 Ekim 2007 Pazartesi
The Footsteps of Leonardo da Vinci
A few days ago a friend of my brought me a book called Ping by Stuart Avery Gold. This is the story of frog named Ping who is looking for a new lake. It is a simple story that for some reason reminded me of the much different but similar story of The Alchemist. Some of you by now that many things remind me of The Alchemist.
Both books talk about the way, the road, or the path. Ping is looking for a new lake full of clean and clear water. Santiago, the main character in The Alchemist is looking for his treasure. Both try and struggle hard to reach that goal. They try and do and try again. Yet, they find themselves on a journey where they meet people (actually in Ping’s case this is an owl) that teach them about the path and how to reach their goals.
Do we get to focused on the end results that we forget that we live our life day by day? Do we get focused too much on our desires that we forget that we have today and tomorrow is not guaranteed in any way? Are we aware that we are breathing? Are we aware if and when you are sad or actually happy? Do we know what happiness feels like? When was the last time you felt happy? Do you remember? When was the last time you had a great laugh? Do you remember? And the moments that you remember – what made them special so that first you were happy and also you remembered them?
The Owl tells Ping the frog that there are 2 things that we need to do in order to live a good life:
First of all, we should want as much as we can to live life.
And second, be consistently insisting to live our life to the full every single day.
We are already on the journey. We live day by day. We have to. The question is how we can make the time spent on the road happier and more enjoyable. That is the main concern of life. If we move up and above, and look over all the details we cannot seem to separate us from, we all aim for that sense of peace and love and happiness.
This time I thought maybe we should try to think like Leonardo da Vinci as Michael Gelb suggests in his book `How To Think Like Leonardo da Vinci`. Since at one point or another we all will need to write our own handbook to our own life, let’s gather as much material as we can along the way.
How to think like Leonardo da Vinci?
Last December I had been to an exhibition at the Rahmi Koc Museum in Haskoy, Istanbul. The replicas of the machines of Leonardo were on display. Most of us know him as the artist of the famous painting Mona Lisa. This man was an engineer, an artist, a mathematician, an architect, a botanist, a musician, a philosopher, a costume and stage designer, and … the list goes on. He was a genius. In deed according to a study done by Tony Buzan and Raymond Keene, he was the greatest genius of all time when ranked with others such as Albert Einstein, Sir Isaac Newton, Alexander the Great or Michelangelo.
In his book Gelb tries to find the concepts behind his genius and see if we can adapt these into our own lives. He names mainly 7 principles of Leonardo da Vinci:
An insatiably curious approach to life and an unrelenting quest for continuous learning.
A commitment to test knowledge through experience, persistence, and a willingness to learn from mistakes.
The continual refinement of the senses, especially sight, as the means to enliven experience.
A willingness to embrace ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty.
The development of the balance between science and art, logic and imagination. `Whole-Brain` thinking.
The cultivation of grace, ambidexterity, fitness, and poise.
A recognition of and appreciation for the interconnectedness of all things and phenomena. Systems thinking.
Leonardo is known to record questions, observations, insights, dreams in his notebooks. Gelb recommends that we do the same. Have a notebook, keep a journal, carry it with you all of the time, and record notes and feelings.
An exercise that Michael Gelb suggests is to make a list of 100 questions that are important to us. We are asked to write them down in one sitting. Your questions can be about anything such as `How can I save more?` or `What is the meaning and purpose of my existence?`. He believes that 100 are needed to be able to reach to the real questions behind the clutter. Then we are asked to choose 10 questions that are most important to us and rank them in their order of importance to us.
It is not that we are going to start chasing for the answers immediately. The mere act of bringing them out into the light, starts a whole new process. Both our conscious mind and our subconscious start to look for and collect information that we require. As my bio-energy master Moshe always says: `Ask the question and the answer will always come.`
I believe that we are given all the information that we need to lead the lives that we came here to experience. Sometimes we lose the courage to continue the search. Let’s get started this time on the footsteps of Leonardo. And in the coming weeks we will move on
step by step to new and exciting experiences.
Wish days filled with love and happiness. May your journey be sunny and bright.
Zeynep`s Book Recommendation:
`How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci` by Michael J. Gelb.
Quote of the Master:
“Study the science of art and the art of science.”
Leonardo da Vinci