Patterns part 4 - deconstruction - mission 09



Dharma art mission 09 is a deconstruction. Everything is a pattern, a composition of elements. This is true for the outside world and the inner world. You might like to look at the previous posts for the background to this assignment -
Patterns part 1 – leaning into emptiness
Patterns part 2 - being shown a secret
Patterns part 3 - the habits we are

Deconstruction, inner and outer

The camera above is deconstructed into, what, a 100 parts? Equally we could deconstruct the inner world into an infinite number of 'parts'. The memory of my childhood garden, the emotion of longing, the anticipation of a future meeting. All of these can be deconstructed. All are compositions of thoughts, mental images and various sensations. 

When we see that something is made up of parts we see that those parts come together in a certain pattern. But what happens when we deconstruct the whole, and take those same parts to create a new pattern? 

This is the dharma art mission for this month. Take something, an image, as in the photo / collage above, or a three dimensional object, like the teabag below, and deconstruct it into it's various different elements.

I find working with my hands, creating something, can be another way of reflecting. You could think of this exercise as a creative reflection on emptiness, or on the 'two truths' talked about in the previous articles.

Once deconstructed you can then compose a new pattern from those same elements.

Patterns and beauty 

Not all patterns carry beauty but maybe all beauty is communicated through pattern? I don't know if this is true. It's what Soetsu Yanag believed. He was the founder of the mingei (folk craft) movement in Japan. Here's some of what he has to say on the nature of 'pattern'. 

We can never see nature as more beautiful than a beautiful pattern. If we see nature as beautiful, then we are, in a sense, seeing it in patterns. Pattern is the crystallization of beauty. To understand beauty and to understand pattern are aspects of the same thing. is pattern that first puts us in touch with the beauty of things; it is the transmitter of beauty. Through pattern we learn how to look at nature. Without pattern, man’s view of nature would be far more vague and equivocal than it is. Pattern contains the nature of nature.

Beauty is the transformation of the world into pattern.
— Soetsu Yanag