What is good? LO13153

Ray Evans Harrell (mcore@soho.ios.com)
Tue, 08 Apr 1997 11:29:17 -0700

Replying to LO13146 --

To the List:

I just printed out and read all of the posts on the above. I then took
them out of a duality and placed them in a circle on the floor. After
which I walked around and looked at the center issue of "goodness" from
each position on the circle. The issues that were "examples" were
different in each position with varying degrees of differentness. I then
added the context of time to the circle and tried to figure out an order
based upon beginning, growth, maturation and decline.

What I concluded was that the issue was a holistic rather than a literate
one, and that the problem is often found in the medium that we choose to
explore it within, in this case, written symbolization.

We could add a visual graphic to the writing but that still eliminates the
kinetic and visual relationship to space that adds to the stimulation of
the whole organism in exploring the problem. As I see it clarity of the
issue through the separation of that problem from any single simple
medium, even the beloved literary one, is essential to a definition,
exploration, conclusion, action and reflection upon the problem.
Otherwise we are forced to "picket" each others story of that reality.
Maybe the next step will be to bomb each others literary clinic.

Does the logos literally mean the written word or is it like nanola in
Polonesia where it means the word from the breath? This same concept is
found in the latin where it also means breath, inspiration to breath in
or to be inspired (to be breathed by the Creator) or even the word
spirit. In the beginning was the word spoken holistically on the
breath of creation. Unfortunately it seems that the only remnant of
circular or holistic thought in the West is found in the sciences. Not
covering all of the bases on an unknown chemical compound can get you
poisoned. In economics this kind of coverage is often called excessive
or wasteful. In both business and politics this view of holistic thought
as wasteful prevails. It is wasteful to recall a defective product that
will kill less than the cost of the recall. Re- defining the principle
into cost effective simply hides the basic ethical delimma. I also find
that it is simpler for male businessmen to talk about the ethics of birth
control than the ethics of a defective product. Perhaps we could speak of
the ethics of downsizing or cutting the salaries of the lower income
worker in half in order to give the welfare worker a job, as reported on
the front page of the NYTimes last week. Although the sublime duality
of Western thought is particularly inappropriate to this reality we remain
stubbornly stuck in the mire of the written word in exploring its
problems. The written word is a duality in this case. Matarana seems
strange in the written word and yet he is a physical scientist having to
accomadate his reality to the limitations of both writing and English.

In the Fine Arts we are also stuck in this duality of right and wrong,
classical and romantic, good and bad, friend and enemy etc.. This causes
art to be confused by the spiritual and commercial aspects of itself.
Perhaps things are just not as simple as we would like for them to be.


Ray Evans Harrell, artistic director
The Magic Circle Chamber Opera of New York


Ray Evans Harrell <mcore@soho.ios.com>

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