As my friends know, I like January 6th! Every year they receive a mail with good wishes on this day.
It’s Epiphany day – the 12th and last day of Christmas. For me it is also the day of changing perspective – a magic pivot. The holiday season is over and we can focus on the coming year.
A great moment to wish you all the best and:
I wish you many Epiphanies in 2016!
Epiphany also stands for an experience of sudden and striking realization. The word epiphany originally referred to insight through the divine (see the link with the three magi). Today, this concept is used much more often also without such connotations, but a popular implication remains that the epiphany is supernatural, as the discovery seems to come suddenly from the outside. More on this see below.
There are many shades of white
When we were visiting the biennale in Venice last year we also went to the pavilion of Uruguay. When we entered the room, our first thought was that Uruguay did not manage to reach the deadline, because we could – at first sight – not see anything. Only white walls. Nothing there. We just wanted to turn around and stroll further.
But, wait a minute, there are some people close to the walls looking into the deep white space. We went closer and then our eyes adjusted to the bright light and we started to see shapes, forms, shadows of tiny paper objects. The rich world of cut-out white paper on white surface. There were literally Many Shades of White. The artist is Marco Maggi.
It also reminded me of the work of John Cage and his conceptual 4’33” piece about silence. Or better, the ability to focus, listen and look very carefully. A good exercise I want to keep in mind for the coming year. In the hope to get many epiphanies.
What exactly is epiphany, here is a collection (repost from 2012):
EPIPHANY is the sudden realization or comprehension of the (larger) essence or meaning of something.
PHILOSOPHICAL meaning: having found the last piece of the puzzle and suddenly seeing the whole picture.
ARCHIMEDES Eureka! I found it!
EINSTEIN was struck as a young child by being given a compass, and realizing that some unseen force in space was making it move.
DARWIN An example of a flash of holistic understanding in a prepared mind was Charles Darwin’s “hunch” (about natural selection) during The Voyage of the Beagle.
JAMES JOYCE Referring to those times in his life when something became manifest, a deep realization, he would then attempt to write this epiphanic realization in a fragment. Joyce also used epiphany as a literary device within each short story of his collection Dubliners (1914) as his protagonists came to sudden recognitions that changed their view of themselves or their social condition and often sparking a reversal or change of heart.
In RELIGION it is used when a person realizes their faith or when they are convinced that an event or happening was really caused by a deity or being of their faith.
WESTERN CHRISTIAN Religion: The adoration of the magi, represented as kings, having found Jesus by following a star 12 days after christmas.
HINDUISM epiphany might refer to the realization of Arjuna that Krishna (a God serving as his charioteer in the “Bhagavad Gita”) is indeed representing the universe.
In ZEN kensho describes the moment, referring to the feeling attendant on realizing the answer to a koan.
BUDDHISM Buddha finally realizing the nature of the universe, and thus attaining nirvana.
WILLIAM BURROUGHS is talking about a drug-influenced state, a frozen moment when everyone sees what is at the end of the fork (naked lunch).
EPIPHANIES is the thirteenth episode of the second season of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica television series.
EPIPHANY is a web browser for the GNOME graphical computing desktop.
HIERONYMUS BOSCH painted the adoration of the magi around 1495.
HOMER SIMPSON has an epiphany, after visiting a strange Inuit shaman, and realizes he has to save the town from Russ Cargill’s plans to destroy Springfield.
The last page of THE WIRE magazine with surprising sonic stories about music is called EPIPHANIES.
Interesting: if you search for Epiphanies or Epiphany on TWITTER many people talk about that they (just) had an epiphany, but don’t exactly say what it was.
Nijmegen, 6th of January 2016
Need more inspiration?
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www.creative-companion.com for Design Thinking, Service Design, User Experience Design and Online Strategy.
www.MusicThinking.com for inspiration, tools and discussions about how music can help us to be more creative.