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Jan 27, 1995 03:30 PM
by Doreen Domb

Hi you all, particularly Keith & Eldon to whom this is in
response.  I'll tell you it is so frustrating to try and get to
"talk" on theos-l, because I've had so little free time.  I'm
backlogged in my brain with other things to which I want to
respond, so I'm jumping in at random intervals (never knowing
when that will happen obviously).  Hang in there, Alan Bain - I
still want to talk Kabbalah with you.........

Anyway, regarding Art and its relation (or whatever to
Theosophy), I really appreciated Keith's posting (of the
24th??)"...  the lack of much discussion (not use certainly) of
art in primary theosophical works of HPB and others.  ..  I am
not talking about the endless talk about symbols, glyphs, signs,
diagrams, pictograms, ideograms, Senzar as circles and dots etc.,
I'm talking about our everyday primary idea of art and the fine
arts, the popular arts and the perfoming arts."

And interestingly enough, Eldon brought up "TACO" today.

I agree, the arts seem to receive very little mention or
consideration when we read about, speak about, attend classes &
conferences, etc., dealing with Theosophy or the like.  That has
been changing in the last few years, in my opinion (e.g.  -
SPIRIT IN ART exhibit that was in L.A.  - was it 2 or 3 years

I'm pleased to say that some local Theosophists on this side of
the world seem to be responsible for showing art the light (or is
that vice versa).  I, myself, have become uneasy with a total
academic, intellectual approach to Theosophy.  My
spiritual/creative side was truly shutting down cause I wasn't
using it.  It is so important to know it's there and stroke it
and gun the engine and get it moving.  It saves lives

Over the first weekend in May 1991 (I stink with dates & years,
so I pray this is right), a bunch of independent theosophists
(affiliated or not with one TS or another) came together and put
on an HPB CENTENARY (100 year anniversary of her passing)
Conference at Pasadena City College.  This was not an
organizationally-sponsored event (interesting that most of my
favorite conferences are the ones with no sponsoring
organization).  I was one of the participants as well as an
attendee, and to my knowledge, this was the first or certainly
one of very few theosophical conferences to feature a segment on
art.  So along with the usual programs flavored with
intellectual, scholarly, and historical approaches, the two-day
conference also featured an artist's panel and musical
performance.  Again, I'm guessing, but maybe there were close to
10 of us up there, speaking about how our individual experiences
with theosophy have influenced our various artistical endeavors.
We then engaged the audience in a dialogue and it went over quite
well.  It also added a personal or more intimate aspect to this
event, as individuals were speaking of what inspires them and
what moves them to create.  At the close of the panel, an
original song on HPB was sung and played on guitar by yours truly
(not blowing my own horn here - just stating the facts).

My main point is that of all the events that happened at this
conference, the most memorable and lingering, and perhaps even
the most well-received appeared to be the artists portion.  If
nothing else, certainly something fresh, unusual, and stimulating
was taking place within a theosophical conference.  As far as I'm
concerned, it set a precedent and almost immediately after that
weekend, TACO (Theosophical Artists Co-Op) was born.  Really the
brainchild of Roger Gemme & John Coker.  So we (that is, an
invariable number of people, sometimes well over 20 - squeezing
into a living room) meet once-a-month, begin an hour-and-a-half
reading from the book ART AND PHYSICS (don't know the author; I
usually show up after the reading).  Then we have any several or
few of the following: show-and-tell, sometimes work on something
artsy together, relay local art events happening, read our poetry
and/or whatever we've written, showcase music (listening to it,
and sometimes playing it ourselves), screen a video someone has
made, have varied discussions, etc.  etc..  It's not heavy-duty
structured.  Oh, and I forgot, one of the most important things
is we all bring munchies and good eats and set aside a time
during the evening to feast.

Though the T in TACO stands for Theosophical literally, it is not
closed to non-theosophical individuals (some of whom are probably
theosophical and don't know it - but we won't get into that one
again, at least not right now), but probably better suited for
like-minded individuals.  And it's not an excuse for socializing;
that is a pleasant by-product.  All TACOs are sincere and are
into what they do.  So, see - you can be an artist and a
theosophist at the same time.  If you can walk and chew gum at
the same time, that just may qualify you for Dhyani Chohanic

Excuse any sloppy writing - no time to proof that carefully and
I'm a detail-oriented freak as it is.  Any mistakes I take full
responsibility for - except when I'm in my right mind.  Hope the
above shed some useful light.  See ya later -- Doreen

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