Saturday, December 23, 2006

Art = Life = I

In the preface to the 4th volume of his (surely destined to become a revered, timeless) Opus - Nature of Order - Christoper Alexander suggests that the inner 'I' of every person, and hint of it that some experience when interacting with, or creating works of, art ...

"... is that interior element in a work of art, or in a work of nature, which makes one feel related to it. It may occur in a leaf, or in a picture, in a house, in a wave, even in a grain of sand, or in an ornament. It is not ego. It is not me. It is not individual at all, having to do with me, or you. It is humble, and enormous: that thing in common with each one of us has in us. It is the spirit which animates each living center ... This 'I' is not normally available, is drudged up, forced to the light, forced into the light of day, by the works of art."

Alexander devotes much of his final volume to developing a breathtaking view of art, nature and how the two are fused together by the inner "light" called 'I'...

"... It is my impression ... that the I or ground is a real thing, something which exists in the world, perhaps attached to matter or a pure part of matter, which is connected to the world in which we exist, in which matter exists, and that this I forms a necessary substratum to all that exists. It, in effect, a kind of blinding unity, underlying all matter."

Alexander's poetic prose resonates strongly with me (as does his entire Opus); indeed I would characterize our respective philosophical/spiritual worldviews as essentially the same.

The simplest, purest expression of why I love photography is that - on those precious, precious days when I am truly in the "Zen" of the moment and my soul (my 'I') sees unencumbered by the dirty filters of logic and cognition - I am able to share with others the magic of seeing the inner I of the world shine forth from behind the illusory veils of ordinary substance and conventional categories (that usually conspire keep it well hidden).

How do I know when I see it? Because I lose all sense of ego, yet know it is I.


Anonymous said...

As always it is a joy to view your work...
a friend (indeed)

Unknown said...

I hope it doesn't sound too goofy to say that I see what you have been posting as
experiencing“aliveness” in a thoughtful and reverential way.
No, that’s not it exactly. You post with clarity of perspective that is revelatory of your awareness. Yes, there is the ultimate “mystery” which sentient beings are forced to confront in the quest for order,meaning and fulfillment. Science plumbs certain aspects in that process, as I see you well appreciate. Much plain and ordinary existentional applicability is derived from the methods of science. I agree as well, that other investigative approaches which can correspond to the same quest are of great value for our common humanity.

Your expression, in this blog that for the sake of saneness, order, and meaning, other ways of experiencing the confrontation with “the mystery” require approaches which correspond to the meaning that the word “reverence” has for me.
The references in this particular post, as to how “art” offers a “wider reach” for ordering and meaning making really correspond to my own perspectives. I agree, in such a quest, expressions from artistic efforts find some hidden chord of commonality to which we sentient beings respond.

Anonymous said...

cool photos
i love greyscale