Guitar Craft Aphorisms
From GC Course Diaries by Robert Fripp: Level 1 & 2 in Sassoferrato, Italy. Sunday 21st. January, 2001
"Key principles, instructions and insights that emerged during the early GC courses became codified & collected together in a series of aphorisms. A selection of these was published as a poster in 1987 as “Guitar Monograph No. 3” and has been out of print since. Some of the aphorisms were specific to the conditions of time, place & person. Others have been found useful in the longer period, and continue to be used today. The global aphorism of Guitar Craft, which contains all the others, is this:
Where any aphorism addresses or points towards what is “true” in some way, this “truth” has almost inevitably already been said somewhere, at some time, by someone else. So, any “truth” may be found in one form or another in the writings, literature, practices and oral transmission of all bona fide crafts, ways & traditions. This is irrelevant: what is true, and what is real, is necessarily to be “made” true & realised through the ongoing & creative process of living our lives, whatever our chosen field. Rediscovery and recreation is discovery and creation, where we engage and make this our own."
"In any situation where I need guidance, there is a GC aphorism to indicate the direction."
"We bring to the aphorisms the extent of our understanding: what we see in them is ourselves. If they are to speak to us, the contact is direct. Perhaps this follows a period, even a long period, of reflection; or actively testing them in some practical activity. But to see them, the seeing is direct, unmediated, without explanation. Then, they become ours; and, we become available to them. They defy analysis by the whirring mechanism of our everyday cerebral processing, the rattling association of verbal-intellectual mind. If we might ascribe intent to the “author” of the aphorisms, then part of that intent is surely to shake off the hold of habitual thinking.
Guitar Craft is a work in process. If anyone wishes to use, or adopt, the Guitar Craft aphorisms they do so with my good wishes (subject to the warning which follows below). The aphorisms are not presented as authoritative, although I recognise in some of them an authority which is not my own. An aphorism, or several aphorisms, may also be publicly quoted and/or used on notepaper and websites with due acknowledgement. They may not be used in toto, or in bulk, without express permission. They may not be used commercially. They may, for example, be printed up on a t-shirt for private use, but not for sale. If anyone is in doubt about any of this, or has a question, they can find the answer somewhere in the aphorisms. That’s what they are for, after all."