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Theosophy and Art

Oct 25, 1994 06:36 PM

William Allen of  asks:

> Does anybody know of a
> work or works that deal with theosophy and Mondrian or, more
> generally, Theosophy and modern art generally?

There are a couple of books by Jinarajadasa that relate to art,
though not necessarily to modern art as such.  They are

     "Art and the Emotions"
     " Art as Will and Idea"

The anthroposophical movement founded by Rudolph Steiner after he
branched off from the TS seems to have given more of a place in
its thoughts to art than the TS has.  I have very limited
knowledge of the Steiner world, but the way they combine artistic
awareness with education and architecture seems very positive to

More peripheral to your question, perhaps, is the clairvoyant
work done by Geoffrey Hodson on music forms which are perceptions
on the subtler planes of the effects of music and musical sound.
The visual sense is strongly involved, and it could be
interesting to follow up the way the senses spill over into each
other in ordinary awareness, in some people more than others.
This has a scientific name which eludes me at the moment.
Anyway, Geoffrey wrote in his book "The Science of Seership" that
at the mental level of perception, colour, sound and form are
one.  "Mental" is used in its theosophical sense, here.  GH's two
books on this are

     "Music Forms"
     "Clairvoyant Investigations"

I can tell you more about this work if you're interested, as I
had a bit to do with GH when he did some of it.

Another fairly peripheral idea but one that's important in
theosophy and many ancient spiritual traditions is the creative
power of sound in producing form in nature.  Sound, of course,
meant in a subtle sense, ie an energy with some sort of vibratory
quality.  The music forms thing implies that physical sound has
an inner creative power, through the existence of
correspondences.  This is part of the power behind mantras, too.

I recall GH saying in the "Music Forms" book that music can lead
the listener to a sympathetic resonance with the composer, even
to the egoic level.  I believe this can happen in the visual arts
no less.  This sheds an interesting light on the nature of
communication in art.

George Arundale's book "Nirvana" has something in it about the
radiation given off by books, at the subtle levels; a radiation
that corresponded to the nature and quality of the subject
matter.  I can't remember now, but I wouldn't be surprised if he
said the same sort of thing about works of art.

Finally, have you seen CW Leadbeater's book "Thoughtforms"? Its
colour pictures of thought forms make you wonder how a thought
produces form and, correspondingly, how a form might produce
thought.  Interesting ....

Hope this helps.

Murray Stentiford

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