Replying to LO26509 --
At is on good form and content;-)
> I have travelled somewhat in the remote regions of Southern Africa studying
> "caudiciform" plants. A plant has leaves, a stem and roots. In a
> plant the succulence is in the stem or the root. These "caudiciform" plants
> incredible works of art in nature. While searching for these "caudiciform"
> I have encountered many poor people trying to sell something. Invariably
> tried to sell their own fine arts rather than a technological breakthrough.
> tourists buy any artifact from them. One day I found a man selling fire wood
> which I needed. I asked him whether he has any work of art made out if wood.
> He produced a small statue form his pocket. I bought it and a bundle of fire
> wood. When I paid for both, ten times as much for the statue than the
> he cried with tears in his eyes. He then ran to his village, screaming with
> that finally he has sold an artifact, not a bundle of fire wood. It reminds
> me of
> what Maturana wrote:
> . We humans live aesthetic experiences in all the relational
> . domains in which we dwell. It is due to the biological
> . foundation of aesthetic experience, as well as to the fact that
> . all that we live as human beings belongs to our relational
> . existence, that art intertwines with our social existence
> . and our technological present at all times.
> To burn wood is an ancient technological accomplishment, but to carve a
> statue from wood is a source of joy for all humans of all times.
What is inside is outside and what is outside is inside, wrote Dostoevsky.
Thank you At for turning me again inside out.
It is an amazing, sometimes shocking thing, to live with and or be beside,
or the subject of an artist's hands and mind 'Mens et Mans' which I
believe, Terry Priebe will correct me if I'm wrong, is the motto at MIT?
How can one convey it. Such an apparently refined experience, to 'be' for
example and then to describe having one's total (inside outside) portrait
painted by a great artist, like say David Hockney or Picasso. Well no,
actually it is not that difficult or remote at all. Though some like to
wrap it all up in 'pink ribbons' to sell it to rich and nervy business
people, usually called managers, and calling it something vaguely
psycho<>logical (?) ...but more of that in another contribution
perhaps;-). Yes, yes it is simple. Being in the presence of an active
artist, even being the subject of his creative processes is like being
kissed by someone you love, or who evidently loves you. Even if only for
that moment. Obviously it can also, in full complementarity (both/and) be
like a kick in the "a posteriori ;-)" according to Kant, one among many
great German philosophers who dabbled in aesthetics. That's a different
kind of shock and often the netto result, as At might say, is mental
confusion left right and centre. (I have a nice story of confusing Golden
man who began life in the dodgy streets of downtown Brixton, went up to
Oxford (Hoorah!!) then found himself kicked out of a Cathedral (for 'doing
what came naturally' to St. Francis of Assisi) and ended up being fully
;-) represented in the Tate Modern Collection).
I digressed. In psychoanalytical parlance, such things as call forth
unexpected and often unrecognised and repressed emotions often are
expelled...or shown the door! Not for the 'cause' but for the 'effect'.
Listen to this if you will;-) LO'ers, it is a saint and one of Europe's
greatest spiritual reformers writing to each other, one with the blessings
of his Pope and his King, the other his sacred inner voice..
"What is it that Luther wrote? 'Hic sto. Hic maneo. Hic glorior. Hic
triumpbo."' Here I stand. Here I remain. Here I glory. Here I triumph. It
does not matter to me if a thousand Augustines or Cyprians stand against
me.' It is one of the great moments of Protestant affirmation and became a
primary text for the 'individualism' and 'subjectivism' of
post-Reformation culture, but to More it was 'furor' or simple madness.
Only a lunatic, or drunkard, could express himself in such a fashion. More
invoked, instead, the authority of the apostles and the church fathers,
the historical identity and unity of the Catholic Church, as well as the
powerful tradition of its teachings guided by the authority of Christ.
Where Luther would characteristically write 'I think thus', or 'I believe
thus', More would reply with 'God has revealed thus' or 'The Holy Spirit
has taught thus'. His was a church of order and ritual in which the
precepts of historical authority were enshrined. All this Luther despised
and rejected. He possessed the authentic voice of the free and separate
conscience and somehow found the power to stand against the world he had
inherited. He was attacking the king and the Pope, but more importantly he
was dismissing the inherited customs and traditional beliefs of the Church
itself, which he condemned as 'scandals'." He was assaulting the whole
medieval order of which More was a part. There is one other instructive
comparison. It is often said that those whom we hate most are those, whom
we most resemble, and there is a sense in which Luther and More are true
counterparts. In particular Luther's early obsession with ascetic
practices and his frantic reactions to the monastic life provide, an
exaggerated caricature of More's own early conduct. It might even be
claimed that the force of Luther's piety and the almost elemental power of
his nature took late medieval Catholicism to its limits - and thereby
destroyed the delicate balances which had sustained it. More believed that
a monster had been born, slouching away from Rome, but the 'mooncalf
Luther' was a creature of the Church's own making. Under the influence of
Luther, More's perspective begins to after. The formal ironies and
cultural games of his early work are abandoned and there is no more satire
at the expense of foolish friars or bogus relics. There will be no more
epigrams, only polemics. There will never be another Utopia. In fact it
might be said that More forces his celebrated treatise into the real
world. In Responsio Luther becomes a highly inflamed version of the
garrulous and improbable traveller, Raphael Hythlodaeus; the German
reformer is also filled with absurd fantasies, and even imagines a society
of Christians who are no more than 'Platonis ideis'. " But More is no
longer taking part in an elaborate literary exercise; he is fighting for
the life of his world, which, he believes, will otherwise be extinguished
by uncertainty and doubt. The battle between the two men is like an
internalised conflict between the warring selves of sixteenth-century
civilisation. And how More did rage! Furfuris! Pestillentissimum scurrami
Pediculosus fraterculus! Asinus! Potista! Simium! Improbe mendaxi Martin
Luther is an ape, an arse, a drunkard, a lousy little friar, a piece of
scurf, a pestilential buffoon, a dishonest liar. 'HA. HA. he, facete,
laute, lepide Lutbere, nibil supra ... Hui."' The unmediated demotic
speech here will be of interest to anyone who wishes to know how the
educated inhabitants of early sixteenth century London actually sounded
when they spoke in Latin, but More's grasp of colloquialism went much
further. Someone should Shit ('incacere') into Luther's mouth, he (f)arts
anathema, it will be right to psiss ('meiere') into his mouth, he is a
shit-devil ('cacode- mon'), he is filled with shit ('merda'), dung
('stercus'), filth ('Iutum') and excrement ('coenum'); look, my own
fingers are covered with shit ('digitos concacatos') when I try to clean
his filthy mouth. This is not, perhaps, the normal language of a saint;
but More's scatological obsessions are shared by Luther himself. 'I am
like ripe shit,' he once said, 'and the world is a gigantic arse-hole. We
probably will let go of each other soon."' 'A Christian should and could
be gay,' he said on another occasion, 'but then the devil shits on him."'
More suggested in the Responsio that Luther celebrated Mass 'super
foricam' ('upon the toilet')," and indeed Luther did state that he had
once been visited by the Holy Spirit on the 'Cl"' or cloaca. This
particular kind of imagery is to be found in the bawdier verses and
fabliaux of the period. It is related to the interest in 'babooneries',
too, which mark the irruption of the grotesque into the sacred. It is this
tradition to which More reverts when in one passage of the Responsio he
invokes apes, and fools, and dogs, and in another where Luther is
described as 'an ape dressed in purple.' It is the reverse..."
The Life of Thomas More, Ackroyd
I playfully dedicate "apes, and fools, and dogs" to a friend in another
place who once said he 'liked' me;-) and here it is, my evidence that I like
and respect him;-) in a similar way.
Love and Art are Darkbright chords and if one is to become creative then
one must learn to play both in turn or aboutface.
Well, that was a long trek wasn't it. From the ethereal and flighty prose
to horrid words and feelings. But that, as I bet the 'stickman' knows is
what life is 'really' about.
You made me cry with that story At. And when the tears had gone and the
desert of my face was dry the salted pathways were upon closer, more
loving examination ten trillion stars of salt grains and I dreamed of a
man with a dream that a new world could be fashioned from a net, a deeply
loving heart and a creativity born of a singular genius squandered for a
Some science to pull it together for any who might love that connection.
I will come and talk, listen, with your 'stick man' At. Our long
development as Homo sapiense has made this connection; that habitats
(internally expressed as "= ing" habits?) have created over the ages
emotional responses that are adaptive by nature in some of their features.
Instinctive, gut level, responses to our world could not have evolved if,
on average, they contributed negatively to our survival. Those that
enhance it persist. "This is why rotten meat tastes unpleasant to us, and
sugar sweet." (Prof. Barrow, Cambridge)
Methinks we now though live in an age of swallowing bitter pills and
rotten meats to recover from the delayed feeback loops of preferring to
over indulge ourselves in too many cheap sweetmeats, like short term
profit and nationalistic gain at the expense of the whole made invisible
and speechless by our arrogance. I wrote here a month ago of a purple sun
over the fourth lasrgest economy in the world, it is still there and now
the putrid stench of it threaten us all.
Let me now write something from ancient China that i did not write then,
but is fitting;-) now. In the naturalistic uncomplex colour theory of
Conficianism, purple has only one counterpart colour BLACK.
Beauty is a wake up call. A great big metaphorical 'whack' 'slap' in the
face for the 'sleepwalkers' who are waiting, they think with impunity, for
their pensions and personal paybacks while another world, the whole world,
begins to melt.
Love is gentle and love is strong.
It serves the longest purpose of both life and spirit.
It knows they are the same.
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