"A return to the vision of a newborn child, who sees the world upside down
and inside out - in the sense of which Baudelaire said that, genius is
simply infancy rediscovered at will." Written of Giacometti's work.
Francis Bacon (Painter), "What matters most is the tension between the
reference to reality and the artifice of the structure by which it is
made. In that structure the reality of the subject will be caught, and
the trap will close over the subject matter and leave only the reality."
>So Andrew, a picture of muddy water and emotional intelligence perhaps?
(Hopefully one I can understand ;-)
"Muddy waters and emotional intelligence."
You know, I sometimes have to smile a wry smile. Dennis, even my surname
'Campbell' means a 'wry (crooked) smile' in Gaelic. Who better than he
(me) to apply the many ;-)'s to the one idea, here?
My images are indeed like this 'muddy water' you write of and within that
'muddy water' lives my greatest intelligence. Here's a glimpse into other
"Yesterday I received an order of Blueberry bushes, raspberry roots &
blackberry canes from a supplier in Victoria. Whilst I was planting same,
a thought came to me. Maybe Barbara Hedley could answer, but all offerings
gratefully received. Q. If plants have their own nature spirits, what
happens when they are transplanted from one state to another? Do the
elementals belong to that plant, or look after a group of plants in their
region. What I am getting at ... do the plants arrive, I plant them, and
some local elementals start to look after them? Or do they (spirits)
travel with the plants from whence they came? And start to live at my
place? Strange what one thinks whilst working with nature? I had no urge
to listen to any 'tunes', save for the birdsong, and the tinnitus in my
ears. A crook back has ensued, but I wouldn't swap it for 'city' life.
"Dear Mike, for every berry plant you bought there would have been an
elemental who holds the archetype or form for that plant. They ensure it
grows to be the particular variety of berry plant you expect and that it
looks like a berry plant and has the potential to make berries. In other
words they hold the energy for the form that is the berry plant. They come
with the equipment and have to be with the plant from inception and
wherever it goes. However, when it gets to your place then the army of
helpers who grow things step in. Some are about berry plants. Some are
about your growing area. One would be the Overlighting Deva of your
property who works with you as the custodian of the land, for all living
growing things that happen on your place. These guys determine whether the
plant will reach its full potential or not. They determine how healthy it
will be, given the materials you give them to work with. They will care
for it and nurture it and set up for it to have enough rain given the
prevailing conditions around your area at this time. For example there may
not be enough rain if humans have been taking too much production out of
an area and not replacing the energy. A drought can rebalance this by
slowing down output until the incoming energy catches up. So they always
work within a context that we may have no knowledge of or need to have any
influence over. You can see in an area of complete degradation, like a
mine site how one lone stunted tree may struggle into existence. This tree
is there by virtue of the elemental holding the archetype for its form.
However it is not thriving because, you will probably find, the devas and
other nature spirits in that area are long gone. I hope this explains the
difference between what came with your living plant and what happens when
you plant it lovingly on your place and care for it biodynamically.
Well, if you wanted you could go read about Rupert Sheldrake's work on the
web, he teaches at the Schumacher College, where Henri Bortoft teaches
too...Bortoft worked with David Bohm, and it was David Bohm who greatly
influenced both Bortoft and Joseph Jaworski. Reading those gentlemen would
yield something to understanding the nature of my contributions here and
I have to read and write here with whatever little 'authenticity' I can
muster. One pays a heavy price for acting authentically in the world, from
North Moreton to China. From New York to Baghdad.
My background I sometime foreground is art. (What a small word for such a
big thing) According to Bohm the etymological ground of art is 'to fit'.
Many years ago a younger artist I tried to help gave me the gift of a book.
It was an Exhibition catalogue of Clyfford Still. (Google.com should put up
some of his work for you to see pretty fast)
Still was a very independent spirit. Mark Rothko got him his first show with
This is what he wrote about his fellows,
"I await the opening with a strange mixture of anticipation and hope and
cynicism. I have taken the precaution to prepare myself for flight - The
atmosphere here is too seriously commercial to escape its vitiating pressure
and its attendant subordination of the freedom of the creative spirit. It is
frequently remarked that all successful artists (in America) look like
businessmen. The fact is they are shrewd, politically sensitive and tough
businessmen who dabble in painting. Of good intelligence and fair insight, a
spark of creative revolt can hardly be found among the lot. They are merely
competent people equally at home and able in any field they might enter. But
they all know who they are painting for and why, and it is not for the
edification of mind or soul."
The curator said of his work, 'He is already irrevocably rooted in our
history and in turn the land is rooted in him.'
Clifford Still saw fascism in many places, many shaded places and not
least in the controlling aesthetics of the architects. I too see such
fascism today, but often it is painted in a cool sophisticated 'pink' and
not a turgid blood 'red', I see it implicit in 'media architects' and I
see it in the control mechanisms of those who build empires via social
constructions, not least this medium of the net. Still puts it better than
me, "It is not mere coincidence that many of these men began as painters
and now turn to architecture as the field of greater range to explore
their ambition. Men of similar needs, who remain at work before the awful
challenge that the canvas proposes, often seem hopelessly trapped in the
grids....By the intrinsic nature of purposes, there is a profound schism
between what goes on before a totally free field in the man who employs it
as a means of total realization and one who before a drawing table
(designers) explores the social possibilities of spaces and volumes. Oh,
there are many overlappings. But there can be no more clear division than
the character and intentions of the artists and the architect...Christ; I
have spent my entire life fighting the assembly line! Why should I accept
their comfortable prisons of convenience because they package them in
ideology for sentimentalism and shower-bath plastics? All I ask is they
shelter me from the rain. I will take care of my soul." (1951)
As the struggle between life and death goes on in Iraq, minds turn in and
Prevailing Conditions <> Inside Out
Facism hates many things, but especially the poets and painters and free
spirits. It hates children and is currently, as I write, hanging little
children from the lamp-posts.
Let me bring/swing your mind(s) to focus on China for a moment. In doing that
remind yourself of how large, long and wide is China, from Confucius to post
Maoism. It would be a good thing to reflect upon China. I wonder how many
people on this list reflect upon China? I reflect on how many people on this
list have visited China? Bear in your mind the years of the 'cultural
revolution' ...during the reign of the Gang of Four (fascists) poets and
artists could only paint or write about prescribed subjects...when David
Hockney went to China in the early eighties he specially spoke with them
about those times and how it was for them.
"People had to say false words...After smashing the Gang of Four, we had the
opportunity to study the criterion of truth...Now poets can write according
to their wish." David Hockney inquired as to the nature of this search for a
criterion of truth..." It is about writing poems today that speak of people
engaged in constructive tasks, For instance, we now write poems about love,
and beauty and natural scenery. Moreover, such poems can really educate
people and enhance their ideaological role." Miss Li Hsiao-yu was also a poet
he spoke with, he inquired about her poetry..." At first I was a poet in the
army, and there I lived and worked with the soldiers. I later worked on an
oilfield, I wrote about the people there and their struggles..." Did the oil
field workers read her poetry?
"The workers read my poems, not only them but members of the Petroleum
Ministry said my poems are good;-) "
Here is one such poem.
Wind from the rigs brings over the smell of oil.
The horizon is twinkling in the deep night,
The hum of the machinery praises these most remarkable days
O' this moonbeam...
Tonight I talk with you about,
Hockney asks about their interests in other poetry, they love Ginsberg, esp.
Landscape near an Aerodrome. And Eloit ...and the metaphysical poetry of John
During the years of the Cultural Revolution and the Gang of Four many artists
and poets committed suicide. Here is a fragment of how it felt for a Chinese
poet to sit at the end of the Cultural Revolution, but before China had
embraced a real sense of cultural democracy. The poem is called 'Shore'
"After a long time sailing on the sea...
I have been on the sea too long...yet one small piece
of it, like a patch of grass, is still...
It is not floating tranquil and stable...that is destiny..."
- "If there were not flowers in this world, how could there be sweet and sour
could the bees arrive, and how could the children know how sweet life is, if
were not flowers in this world?
When the boys and girls, deep in love, are singing, is it likely that they
will always give one another the classical masterpieces? Or is it not far
more likely that they
will give each other just some biscuits and honey,...
Oh, without the love of the night blossoming flowers, how lonely the world
If there were no flowers in the world, how could we speak of friendship all
Mystery is like Honey
In Buddhist theory there are I think thirty eight thousand causes of
suffering, and there are thirty eight thousand cures. Mmmmm;-) 'Deadlines'
could be one of them ;-(
"In our endeavour to understand reality we are somewhat like a man trying to
understand the mechanism of a closed watch. He sees....He will never be able
to compare his (inner and deduced) picture with the real mechanism and he
cannot even imagine the possibility of the meaning of such a comparison."
Scott Peck quoting Einstein to evidence that we can never 'know' we may only
approach 'knowing'. I love very much what Peck writes when he writes ;-) "We
can never possess God. Reality, like God, possesses us."
Many scientists it seems to me and Peck enter science to escape that
'reality' and armed with a suitable Ph'D spend a life on being experts in the
niche as Peck writes it, "...of cytochrome oxygenase in homogenate of pigeon
prostate tissue at pH 3.7 to pH 3.9, (paraphrasing now)...they have their
safe spaces, have read more papers on it than anyone else, they are
unimpeachable, and they feel safe. But the real truth is not there. For that
one must blunder out there in the unknown, into the mystery from which most
desire to escape."
I have lost count in thirty years of my blundering of the people who one way
and another have expressed personal 'confusion' in the face of my
Blessed are the Confusedly Blunderers.
Blessed are the poor in spirit.
'Confused' Peck likes to translate as 'blessed' and vice-versa. Blessed are
the confused. Because the confused ask questions, seek clarification and with
that comes learning. (Growing Up- The Taste of Mystery)
It's a painful road to choose. (When) we feel poor in spirit. We are
searching for a better way in our shared confusions. Painting and the
contemplation (aesthetic apprehension) of paintings by 'true polyphonical
masters' is just one (authentic) way for me to travel. It's a continuum of
what Bohm called- "a faster finer form of attention..." by which he commended
a way through our shared confusion. A way to become more fitted. Peck finds
little evidence in the world that these 'confused' people do much wrong in
the world compared to those who are 'certain'. For me, my sensibility is
tending increasingly to be alarmed at those selling a 'treasure map' called
'simple', 'simpler' and 'simplest' ...because it is tantamount to 'evil' in a
complexifying and connected world.
Oh yes, your bird and the angel that flew over my vaulted arch the other day,
I just found this, let's close the circle with it. "- In my office I have the
figures of seven different angels hanging around in various states of
disrobement. The reason is - they assist in contemplating the mechanics of
grace, of His protection. (Peck recounts)...Phyllis Theroux was once asked
when applying for a sustaining job in the Civil Service a few questions were
set in a questionnaire obviously designed to weed out cranks and paranoids
..."Do you think you are a special agent of God?" Phyllis really needed that
job because she had not yet written her work 'Bedtime Stories for Parents in
the Dark', so she thought a little and answered 'No!' Scott Peck does not
believe her, nor do I. Nor I suspect do you, Dennis. Now there is a confusing
paradox set upon a blank canvas. Whither shall you travel now Dennis? Be sure
to send Andrew and Bucket a post card.
When is the time for psychotherapy to commence Mr Peck?
When you are stuck Mr. Campbell, when you are certain you are stuck ;-)
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