Sunday, October 13, 2013 ~ Inert vs. Resonant
One way of framing mastery as a Nonviolent Communication practitioner, may be akin to what Sarah Peyton refers to as the cultivation of “resonant” empathy — as characterized in the quote beneath — fine tuning one’s instrument (or being) and capacity to be (vibrationally) “resonant” with others, rather than merely “inert”…
“Although I am not a musician, I once had the opportunity to hold in my hands an exquisitely made violin dating to the eighteenth century. What amazed me, even more than its harmonious lines or the beautiful grain of its wood, was that, holding it, I could feel it vibrate. It was not an inert object. It resonated with the various sounds that happened to resonate around it: another violin, a tram passing in the street, a human voice. If you hold an ordinary, factory-made violin, that just doesn’t happen. There can be hundreds of sounds around it and the violin remains numb. In order to obtain that fine sensitivity and extraordinary resonance of the old violin, the makers had to had an exceptional knowledge of wood and its seasoning; they were supported by the artisan tradition of generations, and they were endowed with the talent of cutting the wood and furnishing the instrument. This marvelous responsiveness is an active virtue. It is the capacity of the violin to enter into resonance, and it goes hand in hand with its capacity to create sound of extraordinary quality — music with a soul, able to move and to inspire. We human are, or at least can be, like that violin.”
Instrument by the featured violinist of Schindler’s List:
Itzhak Perlman plays using the antique Soil Stradivarius violin of 1714, formerly owned by Yehudi Menuhin and considered to be one of the finest violins made during Stradivari’s “golden period.” He also plays the Sauret Guarneri del Gesu of c. 1743.
A pivotal moment in the Holocaust film, Schindler’s List, occurs when the protagonist shifts from being an ‘ordinary, inert or factory-made’ type to the human equivalent of an 18th century violin, embodying resonance with the vibrational chords of that which surrounds him. Schindler originally saw through the lens of a war profiteer, engaging in celebratory drinking and womanizing in spite of all the destruction, until the moment depicted beneath when he spots a little three year old orphan in a red coat wandering aimlessly despite the murder and mayhem all around. In this moment, his rose-colored glasses were shattered as he became attuned to the human suffering in his midst…
To imagine the stark contrast between an “inert” societal conditioning (verses a “resonant” one) envision a child that you know, not merely watching the film clip below, but enduring the actual experience, as millions did, and not so long ago.
In this piece beneath, the former German Olympian Katarina Witt, portrays the girl in the red coat, now a woman (as if she had lived).
Thomas Hübl, in the clip above, asks us to consider the widespread ramifications, interpersonally and across generations, as when an entire society is impacted by the residue of trauma (or that which is inert or machine-like, an extreme example dramatized by the backdrop of Berlin as the epicenter of WWII and the Holocaust).
Beneath, Hübl depicts how to cultivate — intrapersonally (or within the self) — a kind of refined (vibrationally resonant) quality in contrast to being rather “machine” like (e.g. the inert factory made violin).