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I paint, make collages and mixed media work. I write poetry. I reflect on the Tao.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Musings on Art & Reality

Reality does not exist as something out there, separate from us. Reality is an embodied experience, existing in the intersection between senses, emotions and thoughts and the unknowable whatever-it-is that provokes these reactions.

The dharma of the true artist or poet is to serve and defend the imagination of the soul, the passions of the heart and the sensuosity of things.

Unlike the unreality of virtual reality (1), the true virtue of the imagination is to return us to the world in such a way that reality is experienced anew, through a new mediation of sense, emotion or thought.(2)

Dreams, poetry and art works should all broaden and deepen in meaning as we encounter them, not narrow into explanations.


(1) Here is the sort of insanity that needs to be attacked head on:-

Second Life is ..a metaverse, a digital world designed and built by users. essence, it’s another platform of reality.

(2) Of course, Shelley said much the same thing (only better):

Poetry turns all things to loveliness; it exalts the beauty of that which is most beautiful, and it adds beauty to that which is most deformed; it marries exultation and horror, grief and pleasure, eternity and change; it subdues to union under its light yoke all irreconcilable things. It transmutes all that it touches, and every form moving within the radiance of its presence is changed by wondrous sympathy to an incarnation of the spirit which it breathes: its secret alchemy turns to potable gold the poisonous waters which flow from death through life; it strips the veil of familiarity from the world, and lays bare the naked and sleeping beauty, which is the spirit of its forms.
All things exist as they are perceived: at least in relation to the percipient. “The mind is its own place, and of itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” But poetry defeats the curse which binds us to be subjected to the accident of surrounding impressions. And whether it spreads its own figured curtain, or withdraws life’s dark veil from before the scene of things, it equally creates for us a being within our being. It makes us the inhabitants of a world to which the familiar world is a chaos. It reproduces the common universe of which we are portions and percipients, and it purges from our inward sight the film of familiarity which obscures from us the wonder of our being. It compels us to feel that which we perceive, and to imagine that which we know. It creates anew the universe, after it has been annihilated in our minds by the recurrence of impressions blunted by reiteration. It justifies the bold and true words of Tasso—“Non merita nome di creatore, se non Iddio ed il Poeta” [none but God and the poet deserve the name of Creator—ed.].

On following dreams and success

What I am is my responsibility
What becomes of me—famous or not, wealthy or not, influential or not—is up to the world. It has nothing to do with me or who I am. It is unimportant and irrelevant to my being.

The people have dreams they must follow.
The people have goals they must achieve.
The people make plans.
The people schedule their tasks.
The people have full lives.
The people are so successful.

How is I cannot let go?
I would abandon dreams
and grow without purpose towards the sun.
I would cease planning
and float without purpose on the stream of life.

I would let go
like an autumn leaf,
carried willy-nilly by the wind,
spinning aimlessly to the earth.
I would be empty