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Aesthetics for a New Age by Elias Capriles

Aesthetics for a New Age by Elias Capriles

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Published by clararrosamar
Aesthetic theory for visionary art: on the aesthetic epoché and art for Awakening (simplified for nonpractitioners)
Aesthetic theory for visionary art: on the aesthetic epoché and art for Awakening (simplified for nonpractitioners)

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Published by: clararrosamar on Dec 26, 2009
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Aesthetics for a New Age
(Abstract)Elías CaprilesThe paper first outlines a Theory of Value in general and of aesthetic value inparticular based on the traditional Indian, Chinese, Tibetan, Persian, Heraclitean, Stoic andgenerally Greco-Roman conception of the evolution and history of humankind as a processof degeneration,
which I have developed into a more elaborate Philosophy of History.Then the paper outlines the Theory of Value that follows from the Philosophy in question.According to the above-mentioned Philosophy of History, the basic delusion thatthe Buddha called
and that Heraclitus called
has been developing graduallythroughout the present aeon, and has finally given rise to the current ecological crisis,which represents the
reductio ad absurdum
of the basic human delusion at its root and of all that developed interdependently with it. Therefore, this delusion finally can and must beovercome, for a New Age to be inaugurated—which will be characterized by InmanentistSpirituality, the surpassing of our illusion of being separate from the rest of the Ecosystem,Socio-Economical Equality, Experiential Plenitude and the surpassing of all vertical,instrumental relationships among human beings and between these and the rest of theecosystem. The alternative to this is the destruction of humankind and perhaps of the entire“Ecosystem Earth.”
 In bringing about the necessary transformation referred to above, new kinds of artand a new aesthetic theory have a most important role to play. Their features combine thosefound in prehistoric art (in which the said aesthetic theory was implicit) and in varioustypes of Eastern Art (in which the aforesaid aesthetic theory was explicit) with some of those outlined by Leo Tolstoy, Oscar Wilde, Sorel and Berth, William Morris and a seriesof theorists of the twentieth century. The art and the aesthetic theory in question will bethose of the “New Age,” which will help the human psyche function as corresponds to this“New Age.”A brief, most general and comprehensive outline of the kinds of art and the aesthetictheory in question follow.1
Aesthetics for a New Age
Elías Capriles
The Source of Value in General and of Aesthetic Value in Particular in theLight of the “Perennial Philosophy of History”
One would say that there is something like a Gresham’s law
of culturalevolution, according to which excessively simplistic ideas always replace the moreelaborate ones, and the vulgar and obnoxious always replaces the beautiful. And yetthe beautiful persists.Gregory Bateson
In the second essay of my book
I elaboratedupon that which I have called the “Perennial Philosophy of History”—a view of human evolution as a process of progressive corruption of the perfect, spontaneousprimordial order that the Bible called Eden, that the Indians called
(“Ageof Truth”) or
(“Age of Perfection”), that the Stoics and other Greco-Roman systems and individuals called “Golden Age,” and that Taoist sages in Chinaconstantly referred to by different terms. In the third and last of the essays in thebook in question, on the basis of the philosophy of history I had presented in thesecond essay, I developed the theory of the nature, genesis and development of valueat the root of the present paper. Although, in many senses, this theory returns to themost ancient doctrines known, I am convinced that it responds to the needs of thisgreat dusk of history and of humankind, and that this flight of Athena’s owl mightperhaps show us some of the most appropriate ways to follow in order to remedy theextremely grave crisis that we face on the ecological, social and individual levels.According to Mahayana Buddhist doctrine, plenitude, happiness and aconsummate dealing with practical matters are made impossible by the basicdelusion that the Buddha called
and the Heraclitus referred to as
, whichresults from the “delusorily valued conceptualization”
of the fragmentary contentsof consciousness.
We could say that the most immediate effect of this lack of systemic wisdom is the illusion of being an inherently separate entity with a private,particular consciousness and intelligence separate and independent from the Logos of which, in truth, every consciousness and every intellect are functions. As stated byHeraclitus:
Although the Lógos is common (to all, being universal rather than personal),most people live as though they had a separate (psyche or) intelligence (of their own).
According to the cyclic theory of human evolution and history at the root of this paper, the delusion to which Heraclitus refers and the lack of systemic wisdom at3

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