The making space of grey/gold LO24610

Date: 05/15/00

Replying to LO24582 --

Dear learners,

Jan writes as only Jan does ;-)

>Red means action, do it, responsibility and service, sensing (and concrete
>Blue means justice, envision it, order and principles, thinking (and time
>Yellow means wisdom, imagine it, clarity and experiment, intuition (and art
>and innovation)
>Green means compassion, love it, stories and meaning, feeling (and being
>for you)


>"We can wear all colours, but not at the same time". So, for instance, when
>red we long to
>be yellow, but orange isn't purple. Or when feeling blue we want to become
>green, but brown isn't azure.

In England the New Tate has opened and it has a web site too. So
naturally, I look up the names I know and knew.

"We can wear all colours, but not at the same time."

I want to write about Grey and Gold.

Gold first

One of my old teachers was throughout the sixties and seventies working
quietly away on a sculpture of a life size man. It contains much symbolism
that I will not deal with here. I first met this 'man symbol' in a small room
in Oxford, there were three of us in the room, the man who made the
sculpture, the sculpture and me. As I pulled up my chair my elbow hit the man
on the hip, he began to rock or sway and for one terrible moment this object
was in dynamic disequilibrium, it was a comedy of error about to turn to a
tragedy of tragedies. He settled down and re-collected his compositional
Then I met him one again in London in a private house, he watched as we moved
around the room (1977) and as we ate supper; pork with pears and rice with
salad and a bottle of a very best German sweet wine (dealers do good deals
with that 'stuff'). He did not rock that night but we swayed a little. Now
though he was clothed in gold but we spoke only of his right hand and his
left hand, one open the other closed. Oh, and we spoke of the modulations
left after the gold leaf had been burnished, like all over stigmata as if to
signal human imperfection, suffering and perfection allinonebody. Then I saw
him again in the Cathedral from where he was banished by some minor or major
cleric for being naked and making children giggle. Methinks the cleric saw
something offensive reflected in his shining 'coat/skin' of 'leaf/gold' that
they could not stomach or face...Žbut I could be wrong. So it was that Nick
Serota at the Tate took this naked man in and gave him a home worthy of his
singular contemplation. Point is; stand before the naked man and apprehend
yourself reflected in him and see what colours he can wear allatonce. Listen
up quiet as you can and ask the naked Golden Man, " Where did your
'vibration' commence and where shall it end, in you or me?"

Grey second

Now take all the colours of the artists box, the primary colours, the
secondary colours and the tertiary colours and mix 'em all up. What do you
get? Well, you get a very murky grey.
A monotone, a neutral hue. Sadly, few of you will know of Agnes Martin or her
lifework. Agnes Martin wrote, 'Take awareness of the perfection in your mind.
See perfection in everything around you.' See perfection in everything AROUND
you. She came from a rural homeland/heartland, visited the urban jungles and
returned to the deserts of New Mexico. Her inspiration has been described as
issuing from -Buddhism tempered by a puritan work ethic and reverence for
nature. Her first act upon the square canvas is to delineate a rectangle.
'Lightens the weight, destroys its power.' Picture, 'Grey Stone'. Gold leaf
and monochrome pigment on stretched canvas. (1961) A meditation of controlled
searching for an individual voice through reiteration of a single action).
(Similar to chanting) In this field the voice issue out from another sense of
in, the artist stops to listen to the voided voice of creation, emerging like
birdsong at dawn in midwinter. ' That which takes us by surprise' she
asserts, ' moments of happiness -that is inspiration' which she also calls
'moments of perfection.' She has ceased long ago to tell the colour what it
means, instead she talks out the meaning through no-meaning of the
reiteration of the same-that-is not-same, the mirror is burnished,
gold-grey-shot-to-the-heart. In grey there is no colour save all colour
together, Paradise for me today is all grey and gold, lit up with the
all-and-every-colour which each thing keeps tight with-in, with-held except
to open in the embrace of a loving intelligence that no longer desires
distinction but compete and absolute resolution of the miasma, the 'field'.
In the terms of the artist all colour has 'value'. All colour is grey. The
colour is in you.

Gold and Grey then, best seen and sat with in silence.

Listen, look.

--the so called eleventh or 'unseen' Sefirah, Da'at or Daath, meaning
'awareness, literally "knowledge". Daath corresponds to mouth or throat
because knowledge is conveyed by speech. It is the potential misuse of this
knowledge so represented as by charismatic leaders or technology that invites
catastrophe because, according to the great German artist Kiefer '-it is when
we are enraptured by information or beauty (both/and) we risk self deception
and destruction by attempting to control what we neither see nor comprehend.'
In the Sefiroth tradition alluded to here contains the wisdom that, ' when al
light is restored, all again would be spirit, difference would vanish and the
world of creation would cease to exist.' It is contained in the same texts
that this is the work of more than one lifetime.
This ancient Kabbalah 'design' has ten manifest (emanations) whose qualities
and inter-relations are reflections of a more fundamental En-Sof (italicized)
-and are understood as keys to spiritual enlightenment. They are, " The
garments of the Divinity, but also the beams of light that it sends out." All
ten are infinitely interconnected. Each mutually dependent.

My speculation is we cannot wear all colours at the same time because we are
all colours at the same time and this is the colour field I tap into look and
listen into here. Not one of you guides my thoughts toward colour but
luminescent greys and whites and golds.
" [in the] Lurianic Kabbalah there is a process in which En-Sof, "God without
end", contracts himself to make room for the world. According to that
tradition, this was so that the Unseen could view himself, hence the belief
that God made the world into his own image, not directly into this world is
he entering, rather he gives it form by emanating divine energy."

Make open grey space for closed gold reflection and what need to see colours?


Andrew Campbell


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