Monday, February 27, 2012

Symbolic Omniscience

"The basic characteristic of any artistic expression is the ordering of a visual impression into a coherent, complete, living form. The difference between a mere expression, however intense and revealing, and an artistic image of that expression, lies in the range and structure of its form. This structure is specific. The colors, lines, and shapes corresponding to our sense impressions are organized into a balance, a harmony, or rhythm that is is in an analogous correspondence with feelings; and these feelings are, in turn, analogues of thoughts and ideas. An artistic image, therefore, is more that a graph of emotions. It has meaning in depth, and, at each level, there is a corresponding level of human response to the world. In this way, an artistic form is a symbolic form grasped directly by the senses but reaching beyond them and connecting all the strata of our inner world of sense, feeling, and thought. The intensity of the sensory pattern strengthens the emotional and intellectual pattern; conversely, our intellect illuminates such a sensory pattern, investing it with symbolic power. This essential unity of primary sense experience and intellectual evaluation makes the artistic form unique in human experience and therefore in human culture. Our closest human experience is love, where again sensation, feeling, and idea live in a vital unity."

“For some time there was a widely held notion (zealously fostered by the daily press) to the effect that the 'thinking ocean' of Solaris was a gigantic brain, prodigiously well-developed and several million years in advance of our own civilization, a sort of 'cosmic yogi', a sage, a symbol of omniscience, which had long ago understood the vanity of all action and for this reason had retreated into an unbreakable silence.” 

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