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Re: Art

Jan 28, 1995 08:34 AM
by Jerry Schueler

Keith has brought up some very good points that need to be
discussed.  Here are my initial responses:

Keith: "God may not play dice exactly but It seems to allow
consciousness free will to observe change, to make choice and
co-create the reality it is observing.  (If this isn't magick,
what is?)"

Excellent point!

Keith: "God may not play dice, but She's playing some game, and
He's a real sport and in some way we are doomed to play it
without cries of "not fair, not fair." This is where art can be
used to heal the necessary, but unfair wound of CHAOS, entropy,
chance, "Evil" or whatever you want to call it."

I agree that life is Lila, or a grand Game.  Care to explain
*how* Art heals the unfairness of life? I have always found humor
to be a great balm, but I have never thought about art.  Do you
mean that just by going to a museum, we can be healed or uplifted
in some spiritual way? Or by being artistic in some way? I had
always thought that art could only do this to those few who were
"ready" for it.  Is it true for everyone? What kind of
preparations are needed? Most people have a rather dim view of
what constitutes art (some find art in porn, for example).  I
agree with a previous posting that Mozart outsells most rock
bands, but only because those who like Mozart are rich enough to
buy the music.  Few poor or uneducated people like Mozart.  Few
Blacks like classical music, for that matter.  But then again,
maybe we all have our own view of what art is, and we find beauty
in different things.  Yes, there is chaos in the world, but there
is beauty and love too.

Because creativity is inherent in divinity, and every divine
spark is also self-creative, we each have a natural inclination
(need) to be self-expressive or artistic in some fashion.  I used
to play the piano and the guitar as a coping strategy, for
example.  Having a child is highly creative.  It doesn't matter
what you do, so long as you do something creative or

Keith: "A Grand Unified Theory (GUT) of the physical universe so
prized by the physicists may not be far off."

According to S.  Hawking, it should be soon.  But the GUT that
our physicists are looking for is mathematical, not spiritual or

Keith: "Much of the problem in the past has been the a priori
qualification by inadequate definitions (semantics) and usages of
terms such as matter, mind, consciousness, the absolute and

Unfortunately this is inherent in our universe.  The human mind
cannot fathom the divind mind.  When conscousness crosses the
Abyss and enters the spiritual realms, it sees directly what is
there.  Christians call this a mystical experience.  Zen calls it
satori.  Yoga calls it samadhi.  So, yes, everone has a different
termonology, but all of these words mean the same thing.  The
real problem is that once consciousness returns to the physical
body, the human mind can find no words that are adequate to
describe the experience.  The same is true for coma, or dreamless
sleep, which is a real exprience in the formless realms of the
causal plane, but again there are no words to explain it, and it
seems to the human mind to be a blank nothingness (the human mind
cannot experience anything above the mental plane without severe
distortion).  Sanskrit has more words of explanation than
English, but even there the fact always comes down to this:
unless you experience it for yourself, you can only communicate
the idea so far and no farther.  I used to use the peach as an
example - how do you describe in words the taste of a peach to
someone who has never tasted one? It is not easy.  Handing a
person a peach and letting them taste it for themselves is the
only real way to communicate the experience.  Love, for someone
who has never really felt it, is another example.  One
interesting thing about a mystical experience is that you can't
even explain it to yourself let alone to another person.

Keith: "Actually the opposites always appear as syzygies, that is
always together, never one without the other."

This is a profound idea that I have been trying to make with
theosophists, but with little success.  I guess I am a Vedantist
at heart :-).  Anyway, any GUT using theosophical theory has to
take into account the syzygies (dualities) of the I (subject) and
Not-I (object) as I have detailed in my Enochian Physics.  In
that book, I drew heavily on HPB, using Fohat as the connecting
link between the two ultimate dualities of the subjective self
and the objective world.  In other words, the divine monad is
unified on the divine cosmic plane, but as soon as manifestation
begins and the monad enters the spiritual plane (or whatever you
want to call the first cosmic plane below divinity) it splits
into what I called an I-Not-I Monad which contains a subjective I
and an objective Not-I connected together by creative force of

Keith: "Spirit should not be confused with morality, the ethical
or our limited notions of the "good" confused by our cultural
heritages and religions which change in time and from place to

Excellent point that a lot of us need to remember.

Keith: "Art is the purposive, creative, manifestation in time in
form by spirit."

Is this your definition of Art? This is far different from what
can be found in museums or listened to on a VCR.  This sounds a
lot like the Atu XIV of the Tarot - the traditional temperance
card which Crowley renamed Art.  Here is what Wanless says of
this card: "Art, the traditional Temperance card, is the
alchemical mixing of opposites - sun and moon, fire and water,
leo and scorpio, male and female, red and blue, conscious and
subsconscious - to weave together a new creative synthesis.  To
be artful or creative, is to dissolve old forms and interweave
into a Sagittarius rainbow the mind, heart, body, and spirit.
Art is to be re-created through recreation." (New Age Tarot -
Guide to the Thoth Deck, by James Wanless).  BTW, according to
the Golden Dawn/O.T.O., Art is path 25 on the Tree of Life, the
vertical path connecting Yesod with Tiphareth - thus it
interconnects our emotions with our thoughts.

Keith: "When we speak of art we are actually referring to man's
spirit appearing in frozen form in works such as painting, music
literature etc., but by using this definition we could easily
speak of the universe as work of art filled with intelligenc,
beauty, wisdom and love."

Here you seem to be forgetting the syzygies.  What about our dark
side - are not ugliness, ignorance, and hatred created by the
spirit as well? Or do you suggest a separate Devil in the
Christian sense?

Keith: "Art bears the stamp of intention even if it an object
rouve like Duchamp's urinal.  It is art because it is a conscious
pointing to something beyond its use as a urinal.  Art is like a
mirror pointing at something which is ultimately itself and
something "more" or transcendent, transcending the form."

Here you seem to be including the syzygies again.  Every single
object on the physical plane is art by your definition (which I
agree with).  In the same way, every conscious deliberate act is
a magical act according to Crowley (which I agree with).  Your
argument here reminds me of the Zen teaching that a piece of cow
dung is Buddha.

Keith: "Spirituality is not a goal.  It is a fact.  We don't have
to do anything to be spiritual because we are spirit on at least
7 levels."


                                Jerry S.

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