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Re: THEOS-L digest 1307

Nov 07, 1997 03:20 AM
by tosaki

Hi Thoa,

Sorry for late to reply to you. 

Thoa Tran wrote:

> Since I am out with a cold today, I have the time to scan the Secret
> Doctrine I & II to see where Mondrian got his ideas.  By the way, I highly
> recommend reading the chapter on Mondrian in An Art of Our Own:  The
> Spiritual in Twentieth Century Art.  The author gave a detailed
> understanding of Mondrian's philosophy, although there's nothing on rhythm.
> If you cannot find the book, I would be happy to copy that section for
> you.  I will send that and any other info. if you would privately e-mail me
> your address.

Thank you for your generous proposal. I fourtunately found the book in
Melbourne Uni. library and I  read half of the part conc. Mondrian. Yes.
it is very useful book. I wonder why I had not encounter the book. One
reason is I had been occupied with Mondrian's practical painter's side
and for a while put aside the ocult part. Lipsey efficiently summarizes
Mondrian's idea about art with the relation to Theosophy, especially the
early Neo-plasticism.

> I won't state Mondrian's work too much in detail because you probably
> studied it in more detail than I did.  Mondrian stated that "(p)lastic art
> affirms that equilibrium can only be established through the balance of
> unequal but equivalent oppositions" and compared that with human life, that
> although we are in "disequilibrium", we are "based on equilibrium."
> Mondrian's later works is reminiscent of an asymmetrical mandala.  

"An asymmetrical mandala"! I haven't heard the word. Is there any
materials explaining or illustlate this? If so, I definitely go for it!

> Before we go on, let's define Laya-Center.
> 1.  According to G. de Purucker's Occult Glossary:  A laya-center is the
> mystical point where a thing disappears from one plane and passes onward to
> reappear on another plane.
> 2.  There is more definition, but that is the gist of it.  To visualize it,
> think in terms of a sine wave that extends from highest spirit (where it
> vibrates very quickly) to densest matter (where it vibrates imperceptibly
> slow), and the laya centers between planes are located on a straight line
> that passes through the center.  The center of the sine wave is the point
> of equilibrium.  By quieting the vibrations of the body, the emotions, and
> the lower mind, the Yogi is able to go to the laya center to experience the
> higher nature.  A good book on that would be "A Geometry of
> Space-Consciousness" by James S. Perkins, Theosophical Publishing House,
> ISBN 0-8356-7006-6.  It is a small book and I would be happy to copy that
> for you also.  

So far I could not locate the book, but I am sure I can find the book,
especially in the Theosophy Library in the city. 
Also, the Theosophical Pub. House has a book on modern art
> and theosophy.  I'm not sure of it's exact title, but you might want to
> request a catalog from them. The phrase "A thing disappears from one plane and passes onward to reappear on another plane." is very interesting because this seems to suggest somewhat movement or occilating in a equilibrated point.
> 3.  Here's a passage (The Mental Body, A.E. Powell, The Theosophical
> Publishing House, p. 160) regarding laya center that might help clarifying
> its relation to Yoga:  " the mental body is stilled, the consciousness
> escapes from it and passes into and out of the 'laya centre,' the neutral
> points of contact between the mental and the causal body.

This is like a starting point of Astro Travel. 
> 4.  In the SD I, p. 147, starting from the last paragraph, is a detailed
> explanation of the Laya center.
> 5.  A laya center works both ways.  You can go up through them, or draw
> down through them.  Mondrian's stated intent was that he was trying to draw
> the universe down through his painting.  His work is an outer
> representation of his inner ability to attune.

That it! One of the most difficult parts is to understand the
relationships between the subjective and the objective, and the
individual and the universal. The objective and the universal should
grow in the subjective and the individual reciprocally, not by
annihilating each other, but by prioritize the latter and finally reach
the equillibrated point, which is stasis but still occilating quickly,
in Mondrinan's term, 'fast'. The earlier neo-plastic painting the traits
of stasis is spotlighted but later in New York period, 1914-44, the
energized traits are emphasised. Then whether rhythm functions within
the subject or outside the relationship between the subjective and
objective, or the individual and the universal is the problem.

> The Secret Doctrine is very difficult to follow.  You can read writings by
> G. de Purucker to help you understand the SD.  From his Fundamentals of the
> Esoteric Philosophy (a commentary on The SD), Point Loma Publications, ISBN
> 0-913004-70-7, you might want to read some pages pertaining to your study:
> p. 89, regarding force in equilibrium, not latent.
> p. 322-323, starting with the third paragraph, regarding laya-center.
> p.401, regarding laya-center.
> In addition, in the SD I, you may want to read p. 36, Stanza I(#2, 3, 4,
> 9).  Also peppered in the SD I are discussions regarding forces,
> Pythagorean theory, and numerology that may spark some ideas.
> You may also want to look up books on mandalas.  There is one, Mystery of
> Mandalas by Heita Copony, The Theosophical Publishing House, ISBN
> 0-8356-0649-X.  Let me quote what is written on p.3 and you can see the
> relation to Mondrian's work:
> "The mandala in its entire expression refers to dimensions beyond outer
> appearances.  Here human experience of being and intuition come together
> and something unspeakable is expressed in an image that can be perceived by
> the senses.  We may also understand the mandala as a model of principles of
> reality, of which humanity is a part, of an order of the cosmos projected
> into three-dimensional space.  

The part "into threee-dimensional" is extremely interesting because
Mondrian intended to realize his idea of Neo-plasticism and,and, I
think, rhythm as well, into his studio. If you went to last years
exhibition held at MOMA in New York, you could have seen the reprica of
Mondrian's studio.

Just as unimaginable worlds of other
> dimensions unfold beyond the world of space and time in which we mortals
> live, so the mandala's statement and levels of meaning are multidimensional
> and often full of paradox.  On one hand, for example, the mandala is an
> image of humans in the limitations of space and time.  On the other hand,
> it leads from the human realm to the cosmic and spiritual and joins the two
> levels.  So it is personal and suprapersonal at the same time-microcosm and
> macrocosm, spirit and matter, the finite and the infinite pervading each
> other."
> Now, to me, that seems a whole lot like what Mondrian was trying to do.  In
> studying mandalas, you can see that Mondrian's work is basically an
> asymmetrical modernist mandala.

Zutalours! Defenitely I have to know more about it.
> Lastly, you might want to look up the processes of Samkhya-yoga, which is
> practiced through stillness.

I will.

> I hope I'm not confusing you too much.  After all, this is a man's life
> time study of theosophy from various sources.  Thus, you can see that the
> point of equilibrium is the laya center, or "rhythm, the attainment of the
> point of perfect balance and of equilibrium" (AB), the processes of
> attaining that equilibrium through exercises such as meditation or creation
> of mandalas.  From that, you can see that this is rhythm in a "no-time and
> non-repetition basis", achieved through holding the stillness.

Thanks again there seems big clue to open the enigma of rhythm in
Mondrian. I will try my best.


p.s. I enjoyed Mark's site very much. There I found the CD cover design
of Gavin Bryars'. He is one of my favourite composers. How did Mark get
that job from? Is he or are you aquaintance of Gavin? Actually I
attended one of his series of concerts in Melbourne couple of week ago.
"Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet" is fantastic!

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