Seeing Being: The Power of Images to Hold Multiple Levels of Meaning

Image and Essay By Deborah Koff-Chapin


I created this image a couple of weeks ago during a guided practice lead by David Spangler. He offered it as part of a recent Forum that explored the deeper impulses guiding the emergence of the United States of America. In this exercise we were integrating the deeper, visionary ideals upon which the founding of America was based into our personal selves.

The process that I use is called Touch Drawing. It is a simple yet profound way of making images through the touch of fingertips on paper that is laid over a layer of ink. The pressure of their touch leaves an impression on the underside. As I listened to the guided meditation, I focused on my felt sense to bring images into form. There is something about the full-bodied process of translating content into images that enables me to fully engage and internalize what I am hearing. I created about 9 drawings during the hour long session. This one was the last to emerge. I posted it in the Forum and left it at that.

Earlier this week, as the summer solstice approach, I began scanning my memory for an image to share with my online network. (I love to send images out into cyberspace for seasonal moments and holidays.)

The above drawing came into my mind. My first awareness was that is had a strong solar presence, which seemed fitting for the solstice. I began to look at it on a more universal level, dissociated from the content of the class. I noticed that this being radiated a strong and knowing presence within its body. The flame-like pattern was repeated in the eye. I wondered what this image might be saying — the person in this drawing is BEING solar, radiating light. In its eye, it is also conveying a sense that it is SEEING that radiance in the world. I played with the words SEEING and BEING and finally settled on connecting the two — SEEING BEING. I like the way these words interact and communicate a different message one way or another.

After choosing the image and title, I took the time to add more color and refine the form. This drawing now stands on its own for you to interact with. I encourage you to spend a few minutes just taking the image in visually. Imagine how it would feel to have these shapes within your self. Be open to your own insights. Trying some poetic writing. You can even ask this Seeing Being to speak to you!

Deborah Koff-Chapin will be creating Interpretive Touch Drawings at our upcoming Gaineering Conference, taking place from July 28-30. Click here for more information or to register. For more information about Deborah and Touch Drawing, please visit her website.