Sunday, April 23, 2017

Suggested Reality


"You must suggest to me reality; you can never show me reality.

...all thinkers are apt to become dogmatic, and every dogma fails because it does not give you the other side. The same is true of all things, art, religion and everything else. You must find a third, as your standpoint of reason. This is how I came to work in the science of geometry, which is the only abstract truth."

- George Inness (1825 - 1894)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Great Dream


"Coincidence is the simultaneous occurrence of causally unconnected events...If we visualize each causal chain progressing in time as a meridian on the globe, then we may represent simultaneous events by the parallel circles of latitude...Thus progressions of causal events proceed in one direction, while coincidences link these events from a completely different direction, in a completely different progression. One might say the "motives" of coincidence are of a different "character" or even from a different 'dimension' from causal events.

All the events in a man's life accordingly stand in two fundamentally different kinds of connection: firstly, in the objective, causal connection of the natural process; secondly, in a subjective connection which exists only in relation to the individual who experiences it, and which is thus as subjective as his own dreams, whose unfolding content is necessarily determined, but in the manner in which the scenes in a play are determined by the poet's plot. That both kinds of connection exist simultaneously, and the self-same event, although a link in two totally different chains, nevertheless falls into place in both, so that the fate of one individual invariably fits the fate of the other, and each is the hero of his own drama while simultaneously figuring in a drama foreign to him--this is something that surpasses our powers of comprehension, and can only be conceived as possible by virtue of the most wonderful pre-established harmony...It is a great dream dreamt by the single entity, the Will to Life: but in such a way that all his personae must participate in it. Thus, everything is interrelated and mutually attuned."

- Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Nearer and Farther


"All architecture is what you do to it
when you look upon it,
(Did you think it was in the white or gray stone?
or the lines of the arches and cornices?)

All music is what awakes from you
when you are reminded by the instruments,
It is not the violins and the cornets,
it is not the oboe nor the beating drums,
nor the score of the baritone singer singing 
his sweet romanza, nor that of the men's chorus,
nor that of the women's chorus,
It is nearer and farther than they."

- Walt Whitman (1819 - 1892)

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Looking at Yourself


"How many of us now realize that space is the same thing as mind, or consciousness? That when you look out into infinity you are looking at yourself? That your inside goes with your entire outside as your front with your back? That this galaxy, and all other galaxies, are just as much you as your heart or your brain? That your coming and going, your waking and sleeping, your birth and your death, are exactly the same kind of rhythmic phenomena as the stars and their surrounding darkness? To be afraid of life is to be afraid of yourself."

- Alan Watts (1915 - 1973)

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Restructuring Consciousness


"The holistic mode of consciousness is complementary to [analysis]... this mode is nonlinear, simultaneous, intuitive instead of verbal-intellectual, and concerned more with relationships than with the discrete elements that are related. It is important to realize that this mode of consciousness is a way of seeing, and as such it can only be experienced in its own terms. In particular, it cannot be understood by the verbal-intellectual mind because this functions in the analytical mode of consciousness, for which it is not possible to appreciate adequately what it means to say that a relationship can be experienced as something real in itself. In an analytical mode of consciousness it is the elements which are related that stand out in experience, compared with which the relationship is but a shadowy abstraction. The experience of a relationship as such is only possible through a transformation from a piecemeal way of thought to a simultaneous perception of the whole. Such a transformation amounts to a restructuring of consciousness itself. … Whereas we imagine movement and change analytically, as if the process really consisted of a linear sequence of instantaneously stationary states (like a sequence of snapshots), when movement and change are experienced holistically, they are experienced as a whole. The elements which are experienced simultaneously in this mode are thus dynamically related to each other, and this dynamical simultaneity replaces the static simultaneity of the analytical mode."

- Henri Bortoft (1938 - 2012)

Monday, April 03, 2017

Mysterious and Unexplorable


"We need the tonic of wildness...At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature."

Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862)

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Sit and Quiet Yourself


"Sit and quiet yourself. Luxuriate in a certain memory and the details will come. Let the images flow. You'll be amazed at what will come out on paper. I'm still learning what it is about the past that I want to write. I don't worry about it. It will emerge. It will insist on being told."

- Frank McCourt (1930 - 2009)

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Calmness


"Thus Gotama [Buddha] walked toward the town to gather alms, and the two samanas recognized him solely by the perfection of his repose, by the calmness of his figure, in which there was no trace of seeking, desiring, imitating, or striving, only light and peace."

- Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962)

Monday, March 27, 2017

Perspectival View


"What prohibits me from treating my perception as an intellectual act is that an intellectual act would grasp the object either as possible or as necessary. But in perception it is 'real'; it is given as the infinite sum of an indefinite series of perspectival views in each of which the object is given but in none of which is it given exhaustively."

- Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908 - 1961)

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Reciprocal Analogy


"It is imagination that first taught man the moral meaning of color, of contour, of sound, and of scent. In the beginning of the world it created analogy and metaphor. What would be truly surprising would be to find that sound could not suggest colour, that colours could not evoke the idea of a melody, and that sound and colour were unsuitable for the translation of ideas, seeing that things have always found their expression through a system of reciprocal analogy."

- Charles Baudelaire (1821 - 1867)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Everything We See


"Everything we see 
hides another thing,
we always want to see 
what is hidden by what we see."

"Only thought can resemble.
It resembles by
 being what it sees, 
hears, or knows; 
it becomes what 
the world offers it."

Rene Magritte (1898 - 1967)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Matter into Spirit


"It is not God
who will save us,
it is we who
will save God...

...by battling,
by creating,
and by transmuting
matter into spirit."

- Nikos Kazantzakis (1883 - 1957)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Making the Invisible Visible


"The camera is not only an 
extension of the eye but of the brain.

It can see sharper, farther, 
nearer, slower, faster than the eye.

It can see by invisible light.

It can see in the past, 
present, and future.

Instead of using the camera 
only to reproduce objects, 
 I wanted to use it to make what is 
invisible to the eye — visible. "

Wynn Bullock (1902 - 1975)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Oneness


"The first peace, which is 
the most important, 
is that which comes within 
the souls of people when
they realize their relationship, 
their oneness,
with the universe and 
all its powers,
and when they realize 
that at the center of the
universe dwells the Great Spirit,
and that this center is 
really everywhere,
it is within each of us."

- Black Elk (1863 - 1950)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Penetrating Matter


“The farther and more deeply
we penetrate into matter,
by means of increasingly
powerful methods,
the more we are confounded by
the interdependence of its parts...
It is impossible to cut into the network,
to isolate a portion without it becoming
frayed and unravelled at all its edges.”

Sunday, March 19, 2017

World and Self


"To the vast majority of people 
a photograph is an
image of something within 
their direct experience:
a more-or-less factual reality.

It is difficult for them 
to realize that the
photograph can be the source 
of experience, as well as the
reflection of spiritual awareness 
of the world and of self."

- Ansel Adams (1902 - 1984)

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Intellectual Rays


"Many an object is not seen, 
though it falls within our range of visual ray,
because it does not come within the
range of our intellectual ray,
i.e., we are not looking for it.

So, in the largest sense,
we find only the world we look for."

- Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862)

Monday, March 13, 2017

Sunday, March 12, 2017

True Mysticism


"True mysticism is 
active and practical,
not passive and theoretical. 

It is an organic life-process, 
something which the
whole self does; 
not something as to
which its intellect 
holds an opinion."

- William James (1842 - 1910)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Transmuted Symbols


"The physical object, to me, 
is merely a stepping stone
to an inner world where the object,
with the help of the subconscious drives 
and focuses perceptions,
becomes transmuted into 
a symbol whose life is beyond the
life of the objects we know."

- Clarence J. Laughlin (1905 - 1985)

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Mysterious Reality


"We know that behind every image revealed there is another image more faithful to reality, and in the back of that image there is another, and yet another behind the last one, and so on, up to the true image of that absolute, mysterious reality that no one will ever see."

- Michelangelo Antonioni (1912 - 2007)

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Soul of Objects


"Nature is not matter only,
she is also spirit.
Spirit seems to be the
 inside of things...
the soul of objects."

- C. G. Jung (1875-1961)

Friday, March 03, 2017

Quiet Mind


"When the mind is
very quiet, 
completely still,
when there is not a movement 
of thought and therefore no experience,
no observer, then that very stillness 
has its own creative understanding.
In that stillness the mind is 
transformed into something else."

- Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895 - 1986)

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Things Unknown


"There are things known
and there are things unknown,
and in between are
the doors of perception" 

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Symbolic Universe


"No longer in a merely physical universe,
man lives in a symbolic universe.

Language, myth, art and religion
are parts of this universe.

They are varied threads which
weave the symbolic net,
the tangled web of human experience.

No longer can man confront reality immediately;
he cannot see it, as it were, face to face.
Physical reality seems to recede in proportion
as man's symbolic activity advances.

Instead of dealing with the things
themselves man is in a sense
constantly conversing with himself.

He has so enveloped himself in
linguistic forms, in artistic images,
in mythical symbols or religious rites that he
cannot see or know anything except by
the interposition of this artificial medium."

Ernst Cassirer
Philosopher (1874 - 1945)

Monday, February 27, 2017

Inevitability of Art


"Art need not be intended.

It comes inevitably as 
the tree from the root,
the branch from the trunk, 
the blossom from the twig.

None of these forget the present in 
looking backward or forward.

They are occupied fully with the 
fulfillment of their own existence."

- Robert Henri (1865-1929)

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Coexistence


Autopoiesis = Self-Creation
(from Greek auto = “self” and poiesis = “creation)

"… a network of mutually interacting processes that
continuously both create, and sustain, components that
regenerate the network of processes that produce them.

There is a constant and intimate contact among the
things that coexist and coevolve in the universe,
a sharing of bonds and messages that
makes reality into a stupendous
network of interaction and communication.”

Philosopher Systems Theorist (1932 - )

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Only in the Mind


"To Taoism that which is absolutely still or absolutely perfect is absolutely dead, for without the possibility of growth and change there can be no Tao. In reality there is nothing in the universe which is completely perfect or completely still; it is only in the minds of men that such concepts exist."

- Alan Watts (1915 - 1973)

Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Sacred Place


"Sacred space is a space that is transparent to transcendence, 
and everything within such a space furnishes 
a base for meditation, even for the youngest child. 

When you enter through the door, 
everything within such a space is symbolic, 
the whole world is mythologized, 
and spiritual life is possible. 

This is a place where you can go and 
feel safe and bring forth what you are 
and what you might be. 

This is the place of creative incubation. 
At first you might find that nothing happens there. 
But if you have a sacred place and use it,
 you will eventually find yourself again and again."

- Joseph Campbell (1904 - 1987)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Quality of Beauty


"...the supreme quality of beauty being 
a light from some other world is the idea ... 

... that the matter is but a shadow, 
the reality of which it is but the symbol."

- James Joyce (1882 - 1941)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Complex Tapestry


"Its substance was known to me. The crawling infinity of colours, the chaos of textures that went into each strand of that eternally complex tapestry…each one resonated under the step of the dancing mad god, vibrating and sending little echoes of bravery, or hunger, or architecture, or argument, or cabbage or murder or concrete across the aether. The weft of starlings’ motivations connected to the thick, sticky strand of a young thief’s laugh. The fibres stretched taut and glued themselves solidly to a third line, its silk made from the angles of seven flying buttresses to a cathedral roof. The plait disappeared into the enormity of possible spaces.

Every intention, interaction, motivation, every colour, every body, every action and reaction, every piece of physical reality and the thoughts that it engendered, every connection made, every nuanced moment of history and potentiality, every toothache and flagstone, every emotion and birth and banknote, every possible thing ever is woven into that limitless, sprawling web.

It is without beginning or end. It is complex to a degree that humbles the mind. It is a work of such beauty that my soul wept..."

- China MiƩville (1972 - )

Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Dance of Interacting Parts


"We have been trained to think of patterns, with the exception of those of music, as fixed affairs. It is easier and lazier that way but, of course, all nonsense. In truth, the right way to begin to think about the pattern which connects is to think of it as primarily (whatever that means) a dance of interacting parts and only secondarily pegged down by various sorts of physical limits and by those limits which organisms characteristically impose."

- Gregory Bateson (1904 - 1990)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Metaphysical Speculation


"There is a philosophy that says that if something is unobservable -- unobservable in principle -- it is not part of science. If there is no way to falsify or confirm a hypothesis, it belongs to the realm of metaphysical speculation, together with astrology and spiritualism. By that standard, most of the universe has no scientific reality -- it's just a figment of our imaginations."

- Leonard Susskind (1940 - )

Monday, February 13, 2017

Probabilities


"In the beginning there
were only probabilities.
The universe could only
come into existence
if someone observed it.
It does not matter that the observers
turned up several billion years later.
The universe exists because
we are aware of it."

- Martin Rees (1942 - )

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Coexistence


"There is a constant and
intimate contact among the
things that coexist and co-evolve
in the universe;
 a sharing of bonds and
messages that makes reality
into a stupendous network
of interaction and communication."

- Ervin Laszlo (1932 - )

Friday, February 10, 2017

Rhymes


"There is no closed figure in nature
Every shape participates with another.
No one thing is independent of another,
and one thing rhymes with another,
and light gives them shape."

- Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908 - 2004)

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Art of Reflection


"In the mango grove, shade poured into his black eyes, when playing as a boy, when his mother sang, when the sacred offerings were made, when his father, the scholar, taught him, when the wise men talked. For a long time, Siddhartha had been partaking in the discussions of the wise men, practising debate with Govinda, practising with Govinda the art of reflection, the service of meditation. He already knew how to speak the Om silently, the word of words, to speak it silently into himself while inhaling, to speak it silently out of himself while exhaling, with all the concentration of his soul, the forehead surrounded by the glow of the clear-thinking spirit. He already knew to feel Atman in the depths of his being, indestructible, one with the universe."

- Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962)

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Simple Beauty


"The power of bonsai is in its ability to portray the utmost beauty of nature. This is the goal for all who grow bonsai... Bonsai is a living thing in the roots and even in the leaves. Every day that you are attending your bonsai, although the plant cannot speak to you, you'll sense that the plant is trying to tell you something. You'll one day know a plant is asking for water or fertilizer. When you come to that stage, you'll have developed a close bond. Bonsai responds to your love and becomes like honest friends with no human falsehood or betrayals... Bonsai are loyal if you water and fertilize regularly with loving care. Life is more meaningful when we attend these little plants. We learn the essence and dignity of life!"

- Saburo Kato (1915 - 2008)
"Bonsai No Kokoro"
(Spirit and Philosophy of Bonsai)

Friday, February 03, 2017

Feeling of Meaning


"Religion, mysticism and magic all spring from the same basic 'feeling' about the universe: a sudden feeling of meaning, which human beings sometimes 'pick up' accidentally, as your radio might pick up some unknown station. Poets feel that we are cut off from meaning by a thick, lead wall, and that sometimes for no reason we can understand the wall seems to vanish and we are suddenly overwhelmed with a sense of the infinite interestingness of things."

-  Colin Wilson (1931 - 2013)

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Peculiarity


"If you observe something long enough, you’ll see something peculiar. If you can’t see something peculiar, if you stare long enough, then that in itself is peculiar. And then you try to explain the peculiarity... A lot of it is, I'm convinced, done by the subconscious... You look - it depends on what kind of thing you are dealing with - but you look at it until you see something that attracts your attention, your curiosity. Maybe it doesn't suggest anything at all. You go on to something else. The next day you come back and look at it again."

- Thomas Dyer, a Navy code breaker stationed
in Hawaii during WWII (The Pacific Crucible)

Monday, January 30, 2017

Aspect of Unreality


"From the mast-head the mirage is continually giving us false alarms. Everything wears an aspect of unreality. Icebergs hang upside down in the sky; the land appears as layers of silvery or golden cloud. Cloud-banks look like land, icebergs masquerade as islands or nunataks, and the distant barrier to the south is thrown into view, although it really is outside our range of vision. Worst of all is the deceptive appearance of open water, caused by the refraction of distant water, or by the sun shining at an angle on a field of smooth snow or the face of ice-cliffs below the horizon."

Sir Ernest Shackleton (1874 - 1922)
South! (from Captain's log of "Endurance")

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Imagery


"There is at the back of every artist’s mind something like a pattern and a type of architecture. The original quality in any man of imagination is imagery. It is a thing like the landscape of his dreams; the sort of world he would like to make or in which he would like to wander, the strange flora and fauna, his own secret planet, the sort of thing he likes to think about. This general atmosphere, and pattern or a structure of growth, governs all his creations, however varied."

- G.K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Invisible


"We are more closely connected
to the invisible
than to the visible."

- Novalis (1772 - 1801)

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Organization of Energy


"Science shows us that the
visible world is neither 
matter nor spirit;
the visible world is the invisible 
organization of energy."

- Heinz Pagels (1939-1988)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Hidden Laws


"We should not see beyond nature. Rather, we should, so to speak, see through nature. We should see more deeply, see abstractly, and above all universally... The laws that have come to define the artistic culture are the great hidden laws of nature which art stipulates in its own way. It should be emphasized that these laws are more or less hidden behind the superficial aspect of nature, hence abstract art is opposed to the natural representation of things, although it is not opposed to nature, as most people think. It is opposed to man's brutish, primitive, animal nature, yet it is synonymous with the true nature of humanity."

- Piet Mondrian (1872 - 1944)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Let the Waters Settle


"Let the waters settle
and you will see the moon
and the stars mirrored
in your own being."

- Jalaluddin Rumi (1207 - 1273)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Spirit


"It is not always needful
for truth to take a definite shape;
it is enough if it hovers about us
like a spirit and produces harmony;
if it is wafted through the air
like the sound of a bell,
grave and kindly."

Johann Wolgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)

Saturday, January 07, 2017