Why the Duality of Business and Pleasure Does Not Work

I am an integrator. And it is my business to know how to do that and help others do the same.

Humanity has been struggling with the tension of living in dualities since the beginning of time. This four-part series will discuss the impact of living in this tension and the need to integrate. 

 

 Part Four: How art sees it.

How artists reflect shadows in their work.

rembrandt

Rembrandt

“Rembrandt reaches into the dark spaces of his subject and exposes the subject’s inner self, thereby confronting the viewer with the somewhat unsettling presence of another human being…Rembrandt transmuted the striking chiaroscuro effects that he adopted from the work of Caravaggio into a deeply personal form of expression, making himself a master of light and shadow.” –  Chadwick Jenkins, The Master of Light and Shadow, 2007

The term “visual artist” describes the artist producing artwork which can be seen; paintings, sculptures, photographs, film, to name a few. What I find interesting with Rembrandt is that he not only used painting as his medium to show us how he sees light and shadow, but he influenced photographers who use a completely different media to develop a technique based on the work of this painter. This carryover or transformation can occur not just across the arts but across ideas and strategies.

 

hitchcock

Hitchcock

“[A] technique that is particularly “Hitchcockian” is the use of “spider web” shadows—not literally shadows cast by spider webs, but rather shadows cast by surrounding objects that create a strange and unsettling pattern, much like a web. This lighting technique is used to a strong effect in several of his works. Two scenes in particular stand out due to their similarity– one in Suspicion (1941), the other in Shadow of a Doubt (1943). In Suspicion, we see this effect used briefly as Johnnie ascends the staircase, carrying with him a tray upon which sits a glass of milk which we know (or suspect) from Lina’s suspicions may be poisoned.” – Paige A. Driscoll

Hitchcock was able to use shadows as a way of producing a visceral experience. Watching and seeing the images unfold is enough for us to feel the effect. What is interesting is that often Hitchcock’s scenes have no background music. Music has been used dramatically and successfully in films, even during the silent film era. But Hitchcock knew when to rely only on the visual, the associations we have with that image and the effect it would produce.

 

Foreshadowing in writing.

“Foreshadowing” is a technique used in the arts as a means of warning or anticipation, indicating a future event. It creates an atmosphere of suspense.  In literature, it often appears at the beginning of a story or a chapter and helps the reader develop expectations about the coming events in a story.  Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” is rich with foreshadowing. For example, the following lines from Act 2, Scene 2:

“Life were better ended by their hate,

Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love”

romeo-and-juliette

In the balcony scene, Juliet is concerned about Romeo’s safety as she fears her kinsmen may catch him. Romeo says, in the above lines, that he would rather have her love and die sooner than not obtain her love and die later. Eventually, he gets her love and dies for her love, too.

 

“To shadow” someone as a way of learning.

In the middle ages, the system of apprenticeship was developed by craft guilds and town governments. A master craftsman was entitled to employ young people in exchange for providing food, lodging and formal training in the craft. At first, these young people would “shadow” the master craftsman as a way to begin to learn their craft. This relationship is a positive one in which the shadow provides a safe place in which to learn as compared to the negative connotations of “being in somebody’s shadow.”

Byl Cameron writes, “…the recent Apple event (September, 2015) was an Apple free of the long shadow of Steve Jobs. It is now an entity of its own that continues to borrow heavily from the preternatural genius that was Steve Jobs, but no longer lives under the oppressive comparisons that have been the fodder of articles and discussions in recent years.”

Which shadows do we give our attention to and what do we make or take from them?

aesops-dog-small

A classic Æsop fable is called The Dog and the Shadow:

“It happened that a Dog had got a piece of meat and was carrying it home in his mouth to eat it in peace. Now on his way home he had to cross a plank lying across a running brook. As he crossed, he looked down and saw his own shadow reflected in the water beneath. Thinking it was another dog with another piece of meat, he made up his mind to have that also. So he made a snap at the shadow in the water, but as he opened his mouth the piece of meat fell out, dropped into the water and was never seen more. – “BEWARE LEST YOU LOSE THE SUBSTANCE BY GRASPING AT THE SHADOW.”

If we lose sight of what it is we are doing, if we lose focus and get distracted, what we will see will lead us to loss.

We can’t rely on perception, awareness needs to kick in. In the duality process, if we try to be in the thinking without being aware of the influences of the feelings, we are in the shadow rather than in the light. Our thinking is reflecting a form created by the blocking of the feelings. Blocking feelings does not make our thinking clearer. On the contrary, only when we are aware of all that is happening, can we have access to the clear picture.

 

A PARADOX

Before I summarize the integration of the dualities, I need to point out that: In each singularity exists a duality. Although shadows exist in the duality of dark and light, we can either experience what the shadow hides or what it reveals.

Leonardo Da Vinci took things a step further and actually moved shadow from the duality of light and dark and gave the shadow its own rightful place:

“The beginnings and ends of shadow lie between the light and darkness and may be infinitely diminished and infinitely increased. Shadow is the means by which bodies display their form. The forms of bodies could not be understood in detail but for shadow.”

According to Da Vinci then, it is the shadow which reveals the object blocking the light and it is within this shadow that the object can be understood.

 

Integrating makes good business sense.

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” –  Warren Buffett

That someone integrated all aspects of a successful outcome; a projected idea, its benefit, short term, mid-term and long term planning, needs assessment, environment, tools and the rationale as well as the feelings associated with the outcome, especially when it comes to the consumer.

That someone is the business person that looks at business through the eyes of their identity as a consumer. All business people are consumers.

Every part of us contributes to the “who” we are. It is in my best interest to know that. Things like success and failure don’t differentiate between the personal me and the business me. Neither should I.

 

You can read the third part in this series by clicking here

Image Credit:
“Facing My Shadow” – Taken by Sara Jacobovici
www.wikipedia.org
www.pinterest.com
www.exchange.smarttech.com

 

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