Playfulness, wisdom and a toy piglet

 

Towards the end of his life, Norwegian philosopher Arne Næss had a toy piglet. It is perhaps a little odd for a grown and respected man to have a stuffed toy.

What is even more odd is that he and his wife treated it as a child, and wrote a book about him.

It is easy to dismiss it as the folly of an old man. But is that all?

Playfulness was always central in his life, and his playfulness in relating to his piglet is a teaching in itself. It is an invitation for us all to find more playfulness in life, including in how we use our imagination.

And there is also wisdom here.

When we interact with others, we usually assume we interact based on who they are. But we are really interacting with them based on who we imagine they are. When Arne Næss treated his piglet as a living being, it becomes clear that he is really interacting with his imagined piglet. This is an invitation for us to take a closer look at this in our own life.

His relationship with this toy piglet sparks curiosity. Do I really relate to others through my imagination? Through my images of them? Do I take these images as real, true, and solid? When do I tend to take my imagination as more real and solid? What happens when I take my imagination as real? What happens when I recognize it as imagination? Is there more receptivity there? More generosity in how I relate to the other person? Do I allow them more freedom to feel, think, and act differently from my imagination and outside the limits of my imagination? And what about how I relate to myself? Is that the same? And the world in general?

There is also another invitation here. Don’t be afraid of silliness, especially when it comes from the heart. If it is meaningful to you, that is enough. If others see it as folly, that is more than OK. And if some get something more out of it, good for them.

Note: Another reminder is the importance of projections to become familiar with what is right here. When we first project it our on others and the world, it is easier to see it and become familiar with it, and we can then remind ourselves it is ourselves. Also, as he was getting older he was less active and social, so a toy pig was an available and fun substitute for social interactions.

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  • playful and wisdom
    • playful – toy pig as a child
    • wisdom – acknowledge projections and the importance of projections
      • we always project, relate to the world through our imagination about the world, others, and ourselves
      • and in this case, becomes very clear/obvious
      • ….

………….

draft….

Towards the end of his life, Norwegian philosopher Arne Næss had a toy piglet, and he and his wife treated it as a child and wrote a book about him.

It may seem odd. It is easy to dismiss it as the folly of an old man. At the same time, there is a playfulness and freedom from convention here that is a teaching in itself.

And there is also profound wisdom.

We relate to others, the world, and ourselves through our imagination.

And when we relate to a toy piglet, it becomes very clear and obvious that we relate to our own imagination about this pig, and not the pig itself.

So there is a profound double invitation here.

First to find more playfulness in our life.

And then to notice how we relate to the world through our imagination.

We imagine how others, the world, and ourselves are, and take that imagination as a guide for how we relate to others, the world, and ourselves.

Their relationship with this toy piglet sparks curiosity. Do I really relate to others through my imagination? Through my images of them? Do I take these images as real, true, and solid? When do I tend to take my imagination as more real and solid? What happens when I take my imagination as real? What happens when I recognize it as imagination? Is there more receptivity there? More generosity in how I relate to the other person? Do I allow them more freedom to feel, think, and act differently from my imagination and outside the limits of my imagination? And what about how I relate to myself? Is that the same? And the world in general?

The final invitation is perhaps the most important one. Don’t be afraid of silliness, especially when it comes from the heart. If it is meaningful to you, that is enough. If others see it as folly, that is more than OK. And if some get something more out of it, good for them.

Note: There is more here. For instance, the importance of projections to become familiar with what is right here. When we first project it our on others and the world, it is easier to see it and become familiar with it, and we can then remind ourselves it is ourselves. Also, as he was getting older he was naturally less active and social, so a toy pig was an available and fun substitute for social interactions.

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And there is also a profound wisdom here.

We imagine how others, the world, and ourselves are, and take that imagination as a guide for how we relate to others, the world, and ourselves.

When he interacted with his toy piglet, that became abundantly clear. He freely imagined the piglet and its life, and related to his imagination about the piglet and not the piglet itself.

His relationship with this toy piglet sparks curiosity. Do I really relate to others through my imagination? Through my images of them? Do I take these images as real, true, and solid? When do I tend to take my imagination as more real and solid? What happens when I take my imagination as real? What happens when I recognize it as imagination? Is there more receptivity there? More generosity in how I relate to the other person? Do I allow them more freedom to feel, think, and act differently from my imagination and outside the limits of my imagination? And what about how I relate to myself? Is that the same? And the world in general?

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