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#128 What do you hear?

Nobody says you should take time every day to disconnect from the world and listen to your stream of consciousness.

But let’s say you would.

What do you hear?

Desires? Fear?

A blurry memory, now suddenly clear?

A cry for help to which you’ve turned a deaf ear?

That fierce inner voice just wants you to be, listen, persevere,
and tell it

You’re safe. I hear you. I’m here.

When you make space to listen to yourself and let solitude soothe you, fear melts away and you might just find something that makes you want to put your heart on the line.

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#113 Make space

Actions overrule thoughts, and sometimes the best creative act – and the one requiring the most discipline – is doing nothing.

Because when you slow down your pace, suddenly you realize: there’s space.

There’s space for the thoughts and feelings you were so afraid to face.

There’s space to redirect the energy you’ve misplaced.

There’s space to rediscover everything that escaped your gaze while you were engaged in an endless rat race.

There’s space for you to remember
that before you learned not to listen
and constant distraction erased every trace
of the insights you so desperately chase
there was a place of stillness
a warm embrace
where all the answers were right there, in your face

Only when you’ve slowed down your mind’s pace
you realize
you were never out of place
you were navigating a self-inflicted maze
with only one way out:

Make space.

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#47 Are we all just animal?

The scientific revolution has left a god-shaped hole in our heart
but where do we find purpose, when we think we are so smart?

with all our might
we try to unhide
what’s out of sight

we fight to forge a light as bright
as the one that once brought life

without knowing the path that’s right
we rush to reach new heights
in spite
of the world we feel inside

until the wind brings a storm
the earth shakes
shatters our home
rivers overflow
fire burns our flesh
then where do we go?

when we know that with every ploy
to make the world adhere
we also destroy
what we hold dear

with actions this flawed
can we really pretend we are god
or are we all
just animal?

Lukas Van Vyve

#46 Feigned feelings

feigned feelings lead to forced forging
of a bond, brittle, easily broken

but when i learn to listen
to the winds whirling within
stop seeing them as a sin

when i hold them back no more
forceful feelings finally roar
revealing a hidden song
sung secretly for so long

my true self set free
softly I breathe
my melody into your mind
feelings mingle, sometimes grind
leaving the shyness far behind

and hearing our songs entwined
I am no longer blind
to the insight
that we’ve been singing the same song
of a wordless world where we all belong

at last I feel strong
for we were always one
blessed by a bond
that can’t be undone

Lukas Van Vyve
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#45 The tragedy of the spoken word

Language helps us describe the world we perceive. Yet in doing so, it closes our eyes, our ears, our touch, and our heart to the parts of the world we don’t have words for.

Every language is a lens on a felt reality within and around us – both clarifying and categorizing the world, and limiting it by the words it has available.

Learning more languages gives you new lenses – and a richer sense of reality.

But just like the structure of our ears limit the sounds we can hear, and the structure of our eyes limit colors we can see, the structure of any language somehow limits our felt experience of the world.

How do we re-access memories, emotions, hidden away in a long-forgotten language?

How do we re-learn to listen to the voices of the wordless world speaking to our animal self… the voices that once upon a time, before verbal language emerged, were all we had?

there’s an eternal song
drowned out by the confines of my mother tongue
a wordless melody that once made sense
until our brain started blurring it with a lens
narrowing it down
neglecting its nuances through verbs and nouns

with all its might language wants us to abide
but the wordless world it tries to hide
will forever be inside

Lukas Van Vyve

#40 Pushing a destructive frontier

5 billion years ago, our solar system didn’t exist in its current form – but the laws of our universe already held the promise that one day, an earth like ours would revolve around a sun.

That earth has been revolving around the sun long before any human started observing planetary orbits and realized we’re not the center of the universe.

Animals, plants, mountains and oceans have instinctively dealt with the law of gravity long before an apple fell on Newton’s head.

Energy and mass have been two sides of the same coind long before Einstein proposed a formula for mass-energy equivalence (E = mc²).

Knowledge: invented or discovered?

More importantly: what do we do with all that knowledge – and the power it give us?

100 years ago, nuclear weapons didn’t exist yet – but the atomic building blocks and reactions making it possible have always been hidden inside the earth and the universe.

50 years ago, the internet wasn’t “invented” yet – but the concept of an internet has always been possible.

Today, general artificial intelligence don’t exist yet. Yet it seems that the laws of the universe have always made developing artificial life a possibility – even if it means biological life becomes obsolete.

Do we pursue power
persistently pushing the frontier
even if we run the risk
that we destroy everything we hold dear?

Lukas Van Vyve

#35 Why time speeds up and the world become blurry

The first hour after I was born, 60 minutes encapsulated my entire life outside the womb.

An hour is an eternity.

When I celebrated my first trip around the sun, one year encapsulated my entire life outside the womb.

An hour is not that long anymore. But a year… that’s an eternity.

When I’ll celebrate my 30th birthday next year, one year encapsulates about 1/30th of my experience in this body here on earth.

A year is not that long anymore. But 30 years… that’s an eternity.

Lukas Van Vyve

There’s an absolute, immutable version of time, and then there’s our felt interpretation, which speeds up with every passing moment because we compare it to all the “time we’ve lived so far”.

Maybe that’s why the older we get, the more effort it takes to stay in the present moment?

Because, unlike a newborn child, for whom, compared to its short lifespan, an hour is an eternity, and every second is an opportunity to discover, drink in the world, explore…

We’ve lived so many hours, minutes, and seconds that we don’t care anymore.

with every passing year
i’m more in a hurry
and the days, minutes, seconds
become ever more blurry

i can live fast and miss out
or slow down
listen, look around
be here, right now
let the world whisper loud
what life is all about

and at last
i hear you again.

Lukas Van Vyve
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#32 Before I learned not to listen

Before I learned not to listen
I would stand
seemingly still
but secretly swaying
swallowed up by a willow tree
and its play with the wind

Before I learned not to listen
I would hold my head against the rind
reconnect with an old friend
the way it has always felt best
cheek pressed to chest

Before I learned not to listen
a breeze in the leaves
rustling ruminating
would sound like raindrops in my ears
making my eyes answer
with a torrent of tears

Before I learned not to listen
a rolling thunder
thumping like a beating heart
would rumble from my cheek to my ear
replacing my fear
with a memory I used to held dear
we were never really apart

Before I learned not to listen
before the lust for language
reduced what I could see
and sense within
I would allow the whispers of the wordless world
speak to me like kin

Before I learned not to listen
I would accept
that once upon a time
I remembered your name
and once upon a time we both knew
we were one and all the same

Lukas Van Vyve
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#23 For all the languages I’ve learned

For all the languages I’ve learned
trying in vain to put the inner and outer world into words
closely but not completely capturing the essence
I now realize the biggest insights reveal themselves
where words are worthless and feelings reign
where they are felt and lived, embodied,
refusing to be rationalized, categorized
or undergo the violent limitations of our words.

Maybe language learning is more about admitting that some languages are lived, not learned.

That some insights are felt, not expressed.

That sometimes words create distance from what we experience deep down, instead of offering the clarity we seek.

Accepting that may well be the biggest challenge of all.

There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen.

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#16 The insights have always been here

Creativity isn’t about inventing new concepts, thoughts, pieces of art or machines out of thin air.

It’s not even making new connections between unrelated concepts.

Creativity is exposing connections that have always been there but nobody has noticed before.

Again: the connections have always been there. The hard part is noticing them.

That requires presence. Slowing down. Taking a step back. Asking “Where have I seen this before?”. Trusting your mind for doing what it does best: recognizing patterns. Paying attention. Sometimes, paying no attention at all and letting the breakout principle work its magic.

This view of creativity can set you free from a lifetime of frustration
because once life becomes one big exploration
where every detour, every diversion, every event
no matter how unimportant or seemingly insignificant
holds the promise of a new insight
a new breakthrough, a connection to stumble upon…

And once the crushing pressure – invent something you must
disappears, turns to dust
replaced by curiosity and wanderlust
then you can slow down, enjoy the present moment, and trust
that everything you ever wanted to know, feel, see, hear
every insight or desire you hold dear
has always been here
hidden in plain view, underneath the world’s veneer.

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