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Harvey Lloyd © 2003
This book is dedicated to one I loved dearly. S.P saw better than I did all the beauty in the world. She is sorely missed.
People think that they see, but they don’t.
One sunny day in June, 2003, I go to the New York Botanic Garden to photograph roses at the height of their bloom.. My challenge is to see the roses in a fresh way, a new way, different from the thousands of images of these lovely flowers that I had seen. I wear my digital camera
with a macro or closeup lens attached. I walk through the Rockefeller Rose Garden in a trance, relying on my forty years of photography to do the work. No- mind, a Zen concept and intuitive, reflex action informs my camera. I am very, very close to these blossoms. A hidden world, the spirit and soul of the roses appeared. It is difficult to photograph at extreme close range. The slightest movement of the flower caused by wind, hand shake, or pressing the shutter button too hard, too soon or too late ruins the image. I “dance” around the rose garden, hypnotized and full of joy, out of my workaday mind. Back at my studio, after downloading the images to my computer and reviewing them in Adobe Photoshop, I am happily surprised at the results. I stretched the envelope and was granted entry to a hidden world. I spend the entire week working with the images, revealing their inner beauty, enhancing them, transforming them into images which speak to me of startling designs and hidden spiritual essences. The roses take on a new life for me, one of asymmetric beauty and constant revelations—epiphanies.
Do you have to work for forty years as I did to learn to see beyond the apparent reality of the world? No, you only have to work at it much of the time, gradually peeling murky blinders of conformity and cliche from your eyes. Seeing is taken for granted. We all have eyes. You may believe that you see what I see. That is a false assumption. Everyone sees differently. You see what you learn or have learned to see. Your brain processes visual information from your eye and shows you, based on your conditioning, what you will see. The liberated artist’s eye sees what “isn’t there.” That sounds odd. "How can you see what isn’t there?" Picasso once said, “If only I could tear out my brain and use only my eyes.” He knew and he saw and he wished to see more. The physiology of vision is still an enigma to many scientific researchers. The largest portion of your brain is devoted to seeing. How can you learn to see the wonders of this world? You don’t have to be an artist
to develop this skill. You can find your way back to the innocence of early childhood, when you saw the magic of creation less edited, less conditioned by your elders, your peers and your environment. Wordsworth, in his poem, “Intimations of Immortality... wrote:
There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream, The earth, and every common sight, To me did seem Appareled in celestial light, The glory and the freshness of a dream. It is not now as it hath been of your; Turn wheresoe'er I may, By night or day, The things which I have see I now can see not more.
Wordsworth, of course, was bemoaning what he felt was loss of his ability to see with the pure innocence of childhood. As a poet, he saw with keen vision the beauty of his own world and revealed it in many poems. Still, he felt that as he grew older, something was lacking which impelled him to write Intimations . It is a long and very beautiful spiritual poem, often read during schooling. It speaks to an adult with a deeper meaning, for youth is blessed with boundless optimism and everything seems possible. How to gain back and retain this vision throughout your life is the subject of this book. 'Genuine art, we say, has “vision,” and good poetry and good seeing quite literally go together almost always. Yet before the more literal seeing can liberate itself into that other vision we speak of, a transfiguration is needed: the eye must learn to abandon its long habit of useful serving and take up instead an active delight in its own ends.' — JANE HIRSHFIELD : excerpt from Kingfishers Catching Fire: Seeing with Poetry's Eyes
DO YOU “SEE” ANYTHING?
I beg your indulgence. Your eye does not see anymore than your computer thinks. Your eye is a marvelous tool for recording and transmitting photons of light to your brain in the form of electrical signals. Beginning at the retina, a series of computer like programs analyze, censor, delete and send certain amounts of information to various parts of the brain. This is not widely understood. Most of us were raised and taught that we see with our eyes.. Recent studies of how the eye and brain work together bring to light the uncanny fact that our it is our brains, not our eyes, which “see” and control our vision.. The Art of Seeing will reveal how early conditioning and genetic inheritance determines how and what we see. We will come to understand that we can learn to truly see the world in all of its miraculous beauty only after hard work and deep insights. We will observe the processes of seeing and creating our world
Without the ability to see the light with child-like innocence. Without the light of the mind. the spirit of the earth. It has been said that light is the face of God and/or the mind of God. be it a person.”) Without light. LIGHTWORKS Light is the source of all vision. It can be warped by gravity. The Old Testament Bible begins (Genesis: 1) with “And God said. I celebrate the art of true vision. you may not be aware that you are using your “zoom” eye to see. It is the key to becoming one in heart and spirit with the Gaena. Light behaves in strange ways. holy light makes vision possible. such as a great tree or a sculptural rock. Light.” When you look through the eyepiece of a camera.vision. light is ageless. as you approach the speed of light. Light gives vision. an animal. We must begin with training the eye to see “what isn't there. (Star Trek fans know that “crossing a galaxy or galaxies is negotiable in six months in warp 9. You often do not . no life can exist. or a significant part of a landscape. we lose the greatest gift conferred on sapient beings. it can be a particle (photon) or a wave. To truly see is to enhance one's life and make visible the hidden universe of wonders which surround us. It cannot escape the “event horizon” of a black hole. for at the speed of light time stops. as has been written by scientists such as Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.999. You tend to focus on the main subject. we are rendered dumb and speechless. And.” According to Einstein's Theory of Relativity. Imagine! A ray of light from a galaxy billions of light years away is no older than when it “left” the star filled source! That light is an enigma even to current to science may surprise you. How that process works is a visit to a strange new land. time slows down. Let there be light. Light and its bizarre behavior is one of the great mysteries that still baffle physicists and mathematicians. We will examine the strange phenomenon of many artist's works that do not resemble the way we see the world.
Through applying this truth on a daily basis. When the Japanese arrange flowers. they often do so in an asymmetrical way. practiced eye recognized those fleeting moments. Hiroshi Teshigahara is a renowned Japanese film director and headmaster of the Sogetsu School of Ikebana. In the feudal days of Samurai warriors in Japan. In the preface to his elegiac picture book The Art of Ikebana .notice what appears in most of the image seen in the viewfinder. His talented.Creation is the act of discovering something new. He made compositions in which all of the elements of the image related to each other in a striking or dynamic way. The great French art deco poster artist Cassandre said that a poster must be a visual scandal in order to attract the attention of viewers going on their daily rounds numb to everything but what is directly in front of them. The legendary photojournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson. Ikebana combines visual surprise with its appearance of seemingly teetering on a precipice of abstract arrangement. You will see this in the Japanese art of Ikebana or floral arrangements. A photographer learns to scan the entire frame in an instant to create an image. as we more fully comprehend this relationship between creativity and our daily lives.. We see the everyday beauty of flowers transformed and our eyes are refreshed. ikebana has the power to change and add resonance to our increasingly sterile modern spaces. It takes practice. It is what we are capable of uncovering in the seemingly commonplace everyday environment. We may study examples of traditional beauty such as flowers rearranged in a unusual way. mundane activities can be imbued with new meaning. . Due to the character of its living materials. To create is to live. It was said that the outcome of the battle could be predicted by the success of his floral arrangement. ikebana will become more and more interesting to us. and makes us aware that vision is not just what we see.. The loveliness of the flowers is displayed in exquisite handmade stoneware or ceramic vases. It has something beautiful to offer the human spirit.” meaning the moment when the subject and its significance come together for a split second. a way that can enchant or intrigue us with its tension and beauty. thus transforming them into more vital places. The presence of an exquisite asymmetrical composition of ikebana renews and refreshes our vision. one that takes us by surprise. a noble samurai would make an ikebana before going into battle. Bresson was able to do this in a fraction of a second. he writes: Ikebana can play a tremendous role in modern society. coined the phrase. It wrenches our mind's eye out of its complacent socket of sedentary seeing. “The decisive moment. To do this we must learn to see from both sides of our eye without moving our eyeball. These arrangements often appear to teeter on the edge of falling apart.
Renoir said that he went to the flower market early in the morning and bought the most beautiful flowers. he told Monet. for our spirit has been deprived. lonely... and the body of shadows has moved away. The external world is the world of shadows . But how entirely different it will seem to us . At present this realm certainly seems to us so dark inside. shapeless.the mysterious way leads inwards. he would walk behind the arrangement and paint that view.We dream of traveling through the universe . We will experience greater enjoyment than ever.the past and future . Finally content.it throws its shadow into the realm of light. he would spend the morning arranging them.is in ourselves or nowhere. Eternity with its worlds . Learning to see comes from taking one's self by surprise and absorbing the unfamiliar until the veil of mystery dissolves. 1798) .” . “Chaos in a work of art should shimmer through the veil of order." (Novalis. The German pre-romantic poet Novalis said.when this gloom is past.THE BACK OF THINGS Monet is said to have asked Renoir how he arranged his flowers in order to paint them.but is not the universe within ourselves? The depths of our spirit are unknown to us . from 'Miscellaneous Observations'. Back at the studio.
the flamenco lacks spiritual depth. The art of seeing relies heavily on the light which comes from our minds. — SEYMOUR ZEKI. we cannot love in the highest meaning of the word. a process remarkably similar to what the artist does. holy light which illuminates a dark world with our imaginings and our dreams. Until we gain the ability to see beauty in the simplest things. It is only with the more recent discoveries about the visual brain that our concept of vision as a process has changed. Gradually. as a flower unfolds in the springtime. The poet Lorca spoke of duendé . by comparing the selected information to its stored record. Without the dark side. We now view it as an active process in which the brain. How can we see through the veil of order which imprisons us like caterpillars in a cocoon from which we will never emerge as shining butterflies? The search for beauty is the truest meaning of life. discards. glory in the light. in its quest for knowledge about the visual world. acquaintances. and rarely see them clear.. "That really has duendé There is great beauty in the human countenance. Life itself is love and art. Without duendé he wrote. at times. the dark side of art.but these new facts have only come to light in the past twentyfive years. It is well. hilarious or scandalous comment and suddenly see him or her again. friends. Can you see it? Can you see it in the faces of old people graven with the erosion of time and circumstance? We live with people.Light is supreme. We learn to love ourselves which brings about love of others. glory in the earth glows and sheds its radiance over my life. the light with which we learn to view the world. relatives. He tells of a gypsy woman hearing a cello sonata by Bach being played and exclaiming. the beautiful might become too commonplace. I do not speak of seeing only what is beautiful. select and. Inner Vision: An Exploration of Art and the Brain I endeavor to see more each day. generates the visual image in the brain. Inner light. to take a loved one by surprise with an outrageous.. . It is a process that will never end.
We are like captains on the bridges of ocean liners calling out commands. It may not be the trees whose lives I truly see. going and coming like ourselves. and for a wise compromise with our needs. They go wandering forth in all directions with every wind. They grip the ground as though they liked it. grand sculpture that makes my heart sing. I grieve for their loss. and beautiful. We ride these tempestuous seas hurled high into the sky by monster waves in a storm. but often little concerned with the complex and vast array of machinery below that executes these commands. Our too often overly greedy society demands that we cut down many old.TREE LIFE I am a tree hugger. It is our privileges because we are endowed with an appreciation of “useless” beauty. a rainbow appears. and through space heaven knows how fast and far! — JOHN MUIR We live on the surface of the earth and on the surface of our own beings. but taking action demands a true understanding of how we function in our materialistic society. or early spring are best for seeing the bare branches). wise. benevolent. but my own imagination running riot in their lofty. transform or otherwise “play” with the trees in Adobe Photoshop to reveal what I believe to be their inner lives. When I walk (dance) among the trees I see them as anthropomorphic shapes. cypress and a hundred others. "I never saw a discontented tree. pines. Over the sea itself. just as with our own unconscious minds. regal domains. irreplaceable growths for profit. redwoods. and we see how beautiful it is. It is sad that our vision is deprived of these great trees. Suddenly. We do not control this. . I take my nickname C. ancient olives. I think the trees would be pleased at the attention. and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do. they have little or no control. great oaks. from the Caucasian Wingnut tree. Many would agree. I vote for the life of trees. I can think of nothing more beautiful than the shapes of noble trees. traveling with us around the sun two million miles a day. Our conscious brains control but little of what we do. I photograph them (late fall. patient. W. I enhance. winter.
The splendor of Moorea and Bora Bora in French Polynesia. The clarity of the light in Antarctica. I remember the vast main temple at Angkor Wat in Cambodia. I saw them without truly penetrating beneath the surface. the tall grass the and winding streams.NOBLE VISIONS There are visions which never leave my mind because I have not seen them yet. and the pristine archipelagos and icebergs which spoke of time before man. I recall flocks of birds. elephants and cheetahs. remembering Pablo Neruda's great poem. although I saw it clearly rather than with depth. the green and turquoise waters there and in the Seychelles dazzled me.” the Okovango Delta in Botswana. On safari in the “Last Eden. if . Maybe next time. compelled me to try to see these things well. Hong Kong still baffles me. better to have looked harder. do not dig deep into the Inca ruin. The Heights of MacchuI Picchu. Still. I stood transfixed at Macchu Picchu. My images while handsome. My Great Wall and Forbidden City images are merely a breezy.
this seems better than the Big Bang theory of . There is a need to learn to see and to work in a vertical as well as a horizontal way. we can penetrate to the heart of things. That is a beginning. Around our familiar places. To some. LIGHT'S GENESIS Where in the infinity of space and time does light come from? If indeed it is the mind of God or the manifestation of His splendor. Consider the visual mystery of a black hole. This implies a steady state universe.professional look at these great works of antiquity. We can visit beloved places over and over. Is a black hole the wormhole(1) to other universes? Quantum physics speaks of fluctuations in the space-time continuum from which vibrations. A world roaming traveler skims the surface too much. how can it permeate the universe without a beginning? We needn't answer questions of such metaphysical depth to see the light. to penetrate deep down into the mystery and spiritual life of places and peoples. over time.. The very term “see the light” bespeaks a seeing beyond what the eye itself sees. a universe which emerges at random. waves or sub-atomic particles arise spontaneously. Can a huge collapsed star of such density and gravity exist from which light itself cannot escape? Stephen Hawking and many other physicists believe this is so.
or observable existence by the process of cosmic censorship. Stephen Hawking has said. energy and gravity within which the laws of physics disappear. vision emerges. It is a complex process in which photons are converted into electrical impulses which the brain censors. A singularity produces a paradox of infinite forces if observed or experienced. does happen (this is often called the principle of totalitarianism. where did the light come from? One thing is clear in our framing of questions such as `How did the Universe get started?' is that the Universe was self-creating. whose properties may always remain beyond our current understanding. — ALBERT EINSTEIN . We will learn to see by shredding the veil of insubstantial conditioning and possible genetic inheritance which causes us to see what seemingly is there. then it must occur). Although this is a continuing mystery. that if a quantum mechanical process is not strictly forbidden. was there light in the singularity? If not. strike the retina. light. — (excerpt from (zebu.." A black hole constructs an event horizon around its singularity. If there was a Big Bang. "the actual point of creation (of the universe) lies outside the scope of presently known laws of physics.edu/~js/ast123/lectures/lec17. It is simply a statement that the Universe was emergent.the universe exploding and expanding from a singularity. in which light waves or photons enter the lens of the pupil. . You cannot penetrate it to observe the singularity without being destroyed. the light of the visible spectrum. nor is it a statement on a lack of purpose or destiny. in his writings. The uncertainty and unpredictability of the quantum world is manifested in the fact that whatever can happen. a singularity is prevented from having a physical. a point of infinite mass. that the actual of the Universe probably derived from a indeterminate sea of potentiality that we call the quantum vacuum. deciphers and then decides what you and I see. are transported to the visual cortex. .uoregon. there we enter the realm of Art and Science. This is not a statement on a `cause' behind the origin of the Universe. I have not discovered from the above light's origin. and voila. Where the world ceases to be the scene of our personal hopes and wishes .html) What has this to do with the art of seeing? Seeing is not a mechanical process taking place between the eye and the brain. Thus.. The fact that the Universe exists should not be a surprise in the context of what we know about quantum physics. is our greatest joy. density.
they were painters. the LGN (lateral geniculate nuclesu) where it is sent to the primary visual cortex. the information goes on to a way station. and on to other parts of the brain. Much of it is the ordinary. in order to bring an entire scene into focus. chaos and beauty that you do not yet see. We do this with a series of quick glances called saccades ( A rapid intermittent eye movement. Look again. No matter you say. We are surrounded by images in our technological. you may ask. or are we? More likely our upbringing and our environment have mapped that which is “important” on our brains. Start by educating your eye. a . you must listen to a great rock band. The interior is dark and mysterious.? Let us “waste” this energy because not to see is to be blind to the real meaning of life on a beautiful planet. The riddle of vision may be likened to that of early explorers arriving at the continent of Africa for the first time and circumnavigating part of this vast land mass. Since there is sharpness of vision only at the fovea. Where. Why not visit online the virtual realms of museums or museums themselves. Strangely. Dubuffet studied the works of children and mad people. our daily fare. Since it takes energy to see. and may imagine that we see everything sharp. Is Van Gogh's “Starry Night” his true vision? Did Willem De Kooning see women like the tortured paintings he became famous for? What about Picasso often sticking eyes in his paintings anywhere but where they belong? He said that way people would notice them. to circumvent or overcome our early conditioning.. You may be a photographer or artist and record what is there or you may be trying to see your world. or the host of books about artists of every period and see how artists and photographers view and have viewed our world. Preliminary processing of the visual information takes place here. First glance is only the beginning of the process of truly seeing. The eyeball must constantly move. scientists find more information comes back to the LGN from various parts of the brain than go from it to the brain. Here we are being told what to see. digital world. a tiny central zone of the eye. why waste this energy in a battle within ourselves to unmask the outside world. How do you see what isn't there? What “isn't there” is the real world of wonder. Are Dubuffet's grotesque paintings of people real. The actual process of seeing is performed by your brain rather than your eye. The eye is no window! From the retina. as that which occurs when the eyes fix on one point after another in the visual field.YOUR EYE IS NO WINDOW Light which enters our eyes through the pupils passes through a number of almost transparent layers to arrive at the retina. The myriad photons of light strike the rods and cones which are wired to a complex “computer” in the retina.) We are not conscious of this. As with music. Very little is known.
symphony or a piece of ethnic music a number of times to really hear it. Walk these rocks slowly. I saw the backyard cedar where the mourning doves roost charged and transfigured. I describe this place more fully in my picture book. but be patient. the ancient Carmelo and sandstone conglomerates. and never knew it until at that moment I was lifted and struck . Images play music to my eyes. knocked breathless by a powerful glance. of shapes which mirror chimeras and gargoyles. I stood on the grass with the lights in it. The tilted slabs of many hued rocks on the ocean's edge. California.” The same may be done nearer home. hide a world of abstract art.I had been my whole life a bell. THE SAMURAI WAY: Spiritual Journeys with a Warrior Photographer (Ruder Finn Press. grass that was wholly fire. utterly focused and utterly dreaming. on the outgoing tide early in the morning. It is easy to hear light music the first time. How do you or I decode this “music of the spheres?” Come with me to Point Lobos. a nature reserve which juts into the ocean south of Carmel. each cell buzzing with flame. or anything else you might fancy.. You will learn to interpret the ikebana-like arrangements of the rocks and uncover their distinctive personalities. and you will see a rainbow of colors on the rocks. Light comes from within and without. One day I was walking along Tinker Creek thinking of nothing at all and I saw the tree with the lights in it. A walk in a botanical garden. June 2004) . Truly seeing comes from allowing the shimmering mantle of light which envelops the world to envelop you like a two way mirrorlike garment which reflects and transmits light at the same time. but in many. I often walked the rock formations at Pebbly Beach now called Weston Beach. Is that an impossibility. Try it. like viewing a singularity? You are the mirror. a forest or around a lake leads to new visions. It was less like seeing than like being for the first time seen. It's like seeing what's there. your eyes will refresh themselves and begin to see what “isn't there. POINT LOBOS My work is a kind of music. Annie Dillard discovered a universe at Tinker's Creek. Not in one day or two..
. but where's the harm. each of which maps the whole visual field. of course.—ANNIE DILLARD . Why. British neurologist Irrelevant to who? Your doting brain busily keeps you from seeing all of the “irrelevant” information that makes the world a place of beauty and wonder. while walking past a field of wild flowers early in the morning. stop to notice a bee supping on a dew drenched golden cup? Why observe the unusual harmony of colors on sea drenched rocks on a storm swept coast? Why study cloud castles? Do we construct worlds of visual processing all of us alike.. A Pilgrim at Tinker's Creek WHAT DO YOU SEE? Vision is a process that produces from images of the external world a description that is useful to the viewer and not cluttered with irrelevant information. whether with brush or camera. or do we humans have the ability to see beyond the constructs of early childhood and later conditioning. a story whose next stages are just coming into view. Each of us has the power to see in ways that few human beings have learned to see. see a great deal that is invisible to many others. the magical tool which worships the light.. the human eye. Artists. —DAVID MARR. Do we want to? It may be forbidden fruit.beginning . to penetrate the fog and miasma of lazy looking and wasted vision. The knowledge we have now is really only the beginning of an effort to understand the physiological basis of perception..the striate cortex is just the first of over a dozen separate visual areas. All that is needed is the will to use the most powerful tool in our bodies.
We are far from understanding the perception of objects.. turning. precariously hung branches of huge trees that stretch over us takes sudden awakening of our ancient nomind. To see the beauty and marvelous symmetry and asymmetry disguised or hidden in the twisting. They are indeed lovely.with the striate cortex.. casting cool shadows for us to linger under. our intuitive mind. all the past as well as all the future. altogether delightful. and Vision The mystery of how vision works compels us to discover what we may truly learn to see. Brain. For each of these areas. We all live near or in the midst of trees. Shall we not look deeper and study their marvelous construction? The art of nature is the source of all art. each area feeds into two or more areas higher in the hierarchy.. arching into the sky.The ascending connections presumably take the visual information from one region to the next for visual processing...” . Eye.. our problem is to find out how the information is processed. “The mind of man is capable of anything— because everything is in it. — DAVID HUBEL . Joseph Conrad wrote.
bolstered by the largest ground-based telescopes around the world. It's a bit like finding a family scrapbook containing snapshots that capture the lives of family members from infancy through adolescence to adulthood. the galaxies. The Hubble . are beginning to harvest new clues to the origin and evolution of the universe's largest building blocks.ORIGINS Two of NASA's Great Observatories.
"This is the first time that the cosmic tale of how galaxies build themselves has been traced reliably to such early times in the universe's life. the glow in the heart that with every year grows dim. so our probing minds can discover and see the infinite variety of our whirling planet. as artists see into the future. The universe within each of our brains contains more possible connections than the number of stars in all of the galaxies combined. like ripples in a cosmic sea. becomes as though we were gods on a high peak. too soon. head of the Hubble Space Telescope portion of the survey. a gift from the gods. to vain effort—to death. Roger Penrose. We have the unlimited potential to see what no one else has seen. to acknowledge that there is an end to life and growth. and all men. and research astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. Olympus. We will abide so long as we increase our vision in ever expanding circles. We become visionaries. grows small. shamans and magicians see in their myths and necromancy. Md. He paints not what he sees. The astonishing Hubble telescope opens a new window on our universe. We invented the gods. that the human brain functions at the quantum level. to love. From a drop of dew on a blade of grass to vast ranges of glacier clad mountains. the triumphant conviction of strength. blobs of protoplasm which thinks. wandering eye. outlast the sea. I remember my youth and the feeling that will never come back any more—the feeling that I could last for ever. the eminent British mathematician. to soon—before life itself. to perils. what he tells himself about what he has seen. prophets. and while thinking see. — JOSEPH CONRAD It is too soon to quit. Painting is a blind man's profession. — PABLO PICASSO . we are the stuff the stars are made of. We are more than crawlers on this earth. We can as well open new windows in our brains to view the countless wonders of our own planet. We will increase our vision as we enlarge our cosmic curiosity which views all creation with a wondering. Called the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (GOODS). the earth. the deceitful feeling that lures us on to joys. and expires—and expires." says Mauro Giavalisco. wrote in his book Shadows of the Mind.Space Telescope has joined forces with the Chandra X-ray Observatory to survey a relatively broad swath of sky encompassing tens of thousands of galaxies stretching far back in time. We can illuminate our world as seers. we can discover and see. That's a miracle. from the heart of a flower to tempestuous seas that circle our planet. the heat of life in the handful of dust. We can see. Just as the Hubble telescope reveals the more of the cosmic tale of billions of galaxies in interstellar space. astronomers are studying galaxy formation and evolution over a wide range of distances and ages. That means the processes in the brain are virtually infinite and cannot ever be completely understood because of the workings of quantum indeterminacy. but what he feels. grows cold.
here on this earth willy nilly. I felt a chill of fear. I saw them. I walked among waved albatross courting. They did not see me. as in Shakespeare's words from King Lear: “We must endure our coming hither as our going hence... Ripeness is all. while hovering in a helicopter over a deeply crevassed glacier in the Darwin Mountains hard by the Beagle Channel in Patagonia. Sight and Sensibility. shackled by the bonds of daily routine. Once. able.. Another time. — LAURA SEWALL . ashore in the Galapagos Islands. It is only when. filled with detritus of boring work. mind-set and fear..LOOK WITHOUT FEAR We are here to learn. clicking their yellow bills and dancing an ancient mating dance. at whatever the cost. to take the risk of leaping into true vision..” At no age is the human mind limited.of what am I doing here ? . used only to seeing what is there in our circumscribed world. We are too often like those albatross.. the Psychology of Perception . She perceives what is yet unseen while looking into the world. with memory and imagination. the mind lies fallow. but perhaps unwilling.She sees that which is possible embedded in what is real bridging between seen and unseen realms.
like an alchemist's stone.M. Venice was the inspiration of some of Turner's finest work. The artist using his or her skill. .TURNER’S LIGHT J. depicts the ravening energy of light which. a world of rainbows and light.”to the painters of his day. both in freeing himself from all past artist traditions and art movements.' A Londoner born and bred. the flamboyant and miraculous play of light on water and sky. Turner translated scenes into a light-filled expression of his own romantic feelings. transmutes all into glory and beauty.He was a unique artist. he went to the Royal Academy School of art when he was only 15 years old.W. he became known as 'the painter of light. Instead of merely recording factually what he saw. We can learn to see this way by discarding our preconceptions and seeing as we fantasize.. Turner (1755-1851 saw and painted light.. he developed a painting technique all his own. Turner saw what “wasn't there. Turner studied the science of light and color. With the years. Such vision emerges from deep immersion into intuitive or Zen no-mind. These quotations from web pages on Turner (1775-1851) describe an artist painting during a period when painting generally dealt with landscapes in a traditional manner. His early training had been as a topographic draftsman. He was to open the way for a visionary anticipation of modern painting. Perhaps the most famous English Romantic landscape artist. however. Wherever he visited he studied the effects of sea and sky in every kind of weather.
Our brains send messages to the LGN. I work with sophisticated visual tools. The Nigger of the Narcissus VISION EMANATES During the 13 th century. (Experiments in quantum physics hint or show that the observer affects the observed. He speaks to our capacity for delight and wonder. i. The rainbow was conjectured to be a consequence of reflection and refraction of sunlight by layers in a 'watery cloud. Magister scholarum of the University of Oxford was a proponent of the view that theory should be compared with observation. You might say that light from your eyes creates your vision and that you can change that light by learning to truly see. Whether light or energy. The act of observing a wave/particle at the quantum level raises the probability of that wave being there. more permanently enduring.e. the collapse of the wave function.' Most importantly to our dissertation.But the artist appeals to that part of our being which is not dependent on wisdom. these signals emanate from our eyes and condition what we see. however there is a great truth hidden here. shared by the earlier Greeks. the way station between the retina and the visual cortex. that vision involves emanations from the eye to the object perceived. We will see.. Grosseteste considered that the properties of light have particular significance in natural philosophy. Current optical theory would disagree with this assertion. and pain.and therefore. Does the light from my eyes influence what my cameras record? A scientist or physiologist might laugh at this idea. to the sense of mystery surrounding our lives: To our sense of pity and beauty. Robert Grosseteste (England). high end cameras that digitally record images of scenes before me.) We see what our brain instructs us to see. — JOSEPH CONRAD . to that in us which is a gift and not an acquisition -. he held the view. .
we ourselves are not constrained from violating our selfimposed limits. The study of light has revealed mystery atop mystery.'. A black hole is surrounded by the “event horizon” which is the limit beyond which even light cannot escape the ravening gravity of the hole. — ALBERT EINSTEIN . Newton's theories of light as corpuscles eventually gave way to Einstein and the enigma of light as both waves and particles (photons). While light cannot escape from a black hole. can we then learn to see the light? The eye/brain alliance is a kind of camera obscura.. In his book. a dark chamber which receives and emits light What form these light rays take inside our brains is equally dark and obscure. and so the eye is formed by the light for the light so that the inner light may meet the outer.” If light sees us. — ALEXANDER POPE Laws of science should not trap us into complacency about how we see. we should never have seen the light. Only fear. Imagine that your brain behaves as a black hole is believed to do in interstellar space. God said. It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. Out of indifferent animal organs the light produces an organ to correspond to itself. “Goethe phrased it this way. our brains map the visual world according to our environments and from instructions received from our parents. rigidity or laziness can prevent us from viewing and enjoying the works and wonders of all creation. Early in life. author Arthur Zajonc writes. “Let Newton be" and all was light. We have the keys to unlock the box and dwell in radiance. teachers and peers.'The eye owes its existence to the light. Our own event horizons are the limits which our brains enforce to make us see what is already there.had light not “seen” man. Catching the Light ..Nature and nature's laws lay hid in the night.
these ‘tapers' burn in the orange light as in a cathedral where the devout light candles. We are one. the endless. Our aircraft speeds ahead twixt Navajo Point and Navajo Mountain." Fifteen minutes before sunset. A red sky bands the horizon.. rapture of the deep or sky. To the right I see my companion Shirlee's favorite southwestern garden. The confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers slides below. I lean out to photograph Tower Butte framed by Wild Horse Mesa and the pinnacles round the "Crossing of the Fathers. During twenty-five years of circling the globe I've encountered many enchanting scenes. I lean out the open window to photograph the last light of evening on the waters beneath the sky glow that reaches across the heavens. Row on row of silent sentinels striated with browns and yellows. hypnosis. I am filled with dreams still aborning. The sun's bloody tomahawk cleaves the distant ridge. At five hundred feet over Lake Powell. Michael whirls the aircraft around in a steep turn. oxygen deprivation at ten thousand feet. a vibrant breathing chalice of all that she has dreamed during an eternity of fecund and felicitous birthing. chasing the buffalo rocks down to cliff's edge. the high plateau regions of the southwest in America are unsurpassed. interwoven like an measureless Mobius strip. Somnambulist of early evening. Lake Powell glistens among black rock monoliths and crags. Among them. Time's fleet arrow speeds across a distant sea of stars out beyond the known universe. slightly dizzy reverie. Hozho! . the wistful mote and the wise macrocosm. her carriage and her dreams. a bow-tie ribbon twined in the petrified red hair of the Colorado plateau. I am chief of the dusk. a speck of protoplasm attached to earth's green bosom. one million light years from today. We know the same. Lake Powell's waters grow dark. The Cessna airplane bucks and slows. All is beautiful. fire the camera and wave Michael the pilot on to Canyonlands. While photographing for my book of aerial photography Sacred Lands of the Southwest . for sheer beauty of the landscape. sentient and universal realm of mother earth. a blackness full of tears. spires and obelisks arrayed like marble hat pins.WORLD ICONS Often I am asked what is my favorite place in the world. Darkness. chalice of the universe. I wrote the following: I awake from reverie. sets full flaps down and throttles back. riding my thunder stallion down the fading light. Michael lowers the landing gear. the desert blushing with harmony and music. the green meadows of the Needles and Chesler Park. Window open. the reddening sky and the dark lake transfix me. the magic light paints huge rock monoliths a deep shade of red. one thousand feet above the fissured rocks. We feel the same. harbinger of tonight's full moon. her chariot.
" the red rock mittens of Monument valley. ephemeral.Hozhó. The ancient ones doze. spins the light plane into a dizzying descent around the Totem Pole and Yei Bi Chei rocks in Monument Valley. One instant more. Michael.. Dying shadows sink into the parched land. We veer and turn. whirling the Cessna towards the great stone "Hands of the Great Spirit. ruins and monuments. What I saw was revealed later in the developed film and it was good. I see no life. or the immolation of heathens by the friars of the Inquisition. Bear and the Rabbit. Fiery embers glow on the horizon. intuitive training born of long years of practice.. The earth tumbles beneath me. Mitten crosses mitten. beauty and balance all wrapped in one concept that dwells at the heart of the Navajo world view" — PAUL G. tiny red mounds.the word means something like harmony. castles. shadowed by the sun's grim final burning. St. we fleet across the picket line of monuments— The King on his Throne. ourselves ghost dancers. I was in a trance during those aerial encounters. only the silent ghost dance of shadows. hogans face east to greet each newborn sun ball trailing a red placenta of clouds. evidence of crepuscular deities slumbering among the stone sepulchers. flying low and close to the stone castles. no sign of Navajo or sheep. Long shadows march across the red desert floor. battlements. Whirling and tumbling about. I gesture towards the flaming rock mittens. Spires. a spinning.Thirty minutes before sunset. Michael banks and turns. I relied on no-mind to see for me. spirits of ghost dancers awakening from the afterlife. Elmo's fire. Big Indian . and in the distance. deep desert time. towers and rock cliffs rear out of the red desert sand. our acrobatic pilot of the Cessna 182RG (retractable gear).. time that painstakingly sculpts wisdom and stone monuments weds necromancy's dark invocations to shadowy spirits. ZOLBROD . a glorious flight before the sun descends into the underworld. holy shadows on the desert. Images flashed across my vision. a few minutes of epiphany. Distant cliffs devour the sun shrouding the desert with scorched tears. The Stagecoach. triggering reflex actions on the camera's shutter button. Loud is the propeller and louder still the hush of millenniums. whirring dervish suspended in thin air. The setting sun hangs like a burnt brass cymbal. Shirlee and I ride a winged metal spirit that dances in the shimmering yellow sunlight like a mayfly. my instinctive. Time. . I lean out of the open window.
you must look hard. stress. Our eyes. among majestic ruins. Vision is as infinite in its many guises as the universe within our brains. emotion. seeing what the camera sees through whichever lens you use. fear. We thought our friends or companion were tall in the image. This is the first step. To truly see through the camera viewfinder. The camera is a magical optical device which can. Use your camera as you would a magnifying glass to examine the exterior that you try to capture. controlled by our brains. Mood. Our “zoom” eyes coax us to see only that part of the image which is our subject. That is why too often. Our eyes lie to us. . not what is there. photographs taken on travels at home or abroad. if used with passion and vision. The eye is no camera. That is why eyewitnesses often disagree to what they see. yet the print shows them as tiny figures in an unresolved landscape. from the macroscopic image of dew on the petals of a rose to the sculptural nobility of a giant tree. Study it until you really see it.ZOOM EYES A camera is a splendid tool to awaken and train the vision. are disappointing. No hurry! Otherwise your ‘snapshot' will only reveal that you were careless and unseeing. anger or love all influence what we think we have seen. or a grand cityscape. record what we “should” see. reveal the unseen world. all around the perimeter of the image. rather than studying the entire frame.
He changed his name many times as well. An artist. The night sky filled with constellations is a feast for the eyes. and gazed up at the Milky Way.all I produced before the age of seventy is not worth taking into account. Wood block Artist.RICHER THAN EMPERORS OR KINGS . At seventy-three I learned a little about the real structure of nature. JAMES MICHNER) I acclaim these lines of Hokusai. I beg those who live as long as I to see if I keep my word. I felt how fortunate to be able to comprehend a little of the wheel of our galaxy and the immensity of the universe. To see is to dine like a king or emperor. How they were used. In this age of onrushing technology and unlimited travel opportunities. The earth and the heavens flower for us daily. ( The Manga . He answered that he used words as well.and when I am a hundred and ten everything I do. A writer was once asked if he could imagine writing like Shakespeare. His modesty about his work bespeaks an intense curiosity and desire to better know (see) his own world of Japan and to never be satisfied. —HOKUSAI . we are richer in opportunities than any rulers of the past.. It must have been sheer energy. He lived to eighty-nine in a time when that was very rare.. I would shudder and experience vertigo at the endless distances above me.. far forward away from all man made light. The banquet of the world is always on the table. Every one of us can attempt the same.. be it a dot or a line. . That's a great way to live. just as how each of us uses our eyes is another matter.. 1760-1849).at ninety I shall penetrate the mystery of things. There is no need to fast in the midst of viands beyond imagining. to learn and to see. Better to drown in the search for knowledge than to languish on barren shores of discontent and blindness. must be curious and unending in the quest for new visions. Nothing can stop us from seeing except the tired habits of mundane or aborted curiosity and striving. if he or she would accomplish much.. will be alive. I've stood on a ship's deck at night far out as sea. Japan.
..After all. A smile goes a long way.. but Aristotle was right when he observed the ‘beauty is a far greater recommendation than any letter of introduction. Children learn implicitly that good people are beautiful and bad people are ugly. If you would photograph someone you do not know. the heroes are handsome.When in love.'. All human beings. caring..HOW DO YOU SEE PEOPLE? In Ways of Seeing. “The way we see things is affected by what we know or what we believe. To truly see people. Celebrities of screen. Parents and relatives stir conflicting emotions. and the wicked sots are ugly. you must drop your own mask to enable true seeing of the human being beneath. In A Natural History of the Senses. author John Berger writes.. riches and talent. and society restates that message in many subtle ways as they grow older. the heroines are beautiful. whether celebrities or otherwise...” We see people according to our own inner needs and conditioning. ‘Ordinary' people are merely glanced at or ignored unless we know them or plan to try to meet them. we need to love and respect them. then grin. Lovers appear wreathed in splendor. music or politics are usually seen with a halo of power. in fairy tales. the sight of the beloved has a completeness which no words and no embrace can match. giving or passion. Look in the mirror. the first stories most of us hear. author Diane Ackerman writes: We may pretend that beauty is only skin deep. wear masks.
Seen from above. How can anyone spend their brief time on earth in the corporate world only grabbing for more money and things? Only the insubstantial. in the street. In Japanese Noh plays. He follows a fine old woman eighty years of age. Those we love for their inner beauty appear more beautiful as time passes. ‘The heart is the form. Alarmed.” And further on we read. and depending on the lighting. As in developing a taste for eating oysters or grasshoppers. Often. shells. the actors. the actor must bring the mask to life. time is needed. She tells him “For Noh. A young man from West Africa saw a five foot high power figure from Zaire in my dwelling studio which I call Spirit House. I've forgotten who she is. from the eye of the beholder. or appreciating minimalists or abstract painters. and watches her every move. The appearance of people and things changes as we come to know them.it can be a curse in a way for we need to be loved for who and what we truly are which. It arises from our own perception of the world just as everyone has their own measure of what art they like or hate. . always men. the memories linger on. wear exquisitely carved male and female masks. for the rich and powerful. “That is very beautiful. skulls. The young man stared for a while. We cannot define beauty. the staring. or from the side or below. he must feel the thing as a whole. is often the surface of things. feathers and straw. then said. are less than beautiful.. He is covered with ‘medicine' objects. wears a horn on its head. You are beautiful and that attracts the rich and powerful. she tells him it is bad for Noh. and he displays a gaping smile with only three front teeth.” I think so too. On hearing his reason. “It is a Noh saying that. the music of the earth can bring great meaning and joy and open one's eyes to the splendor in the world. she asks why he is following her.. the beautiful. strangely. No one is truly ugly unless the ugliness emanates from inside.. we read that tradition has it that a young man seeks to learn to act as the woman Komachi.'” FROM THE HEART I wrote the following to a lovely lady. To succeed. In Ezra Pound and Ernest Fenollosa's book The Classic Noh Theatre of Japan. How a mask can change expression is demonstrated in a website (now gone) which sold exquisitely carved masks. a very difficult part to play.What is beautiful and what is ugly is in the eye of the beholder. the spiritual. the expressions change. contemptuous looks sported by fashion models in ads these days. straight on. but not as most westerners might observe beauty. from the inside. The appearance of beauty truly comes from within.
That is a real tragedy. inspiration. or feather spirits as in the Japanese Noh play Hagoromo . imagination. the deepest meaning and the challenge. therefore it is no illusion.S. sensitivity. Chambertin. Friendly. or albatross we soar into the light and see what only a few can see. A woman with integrity. to converse is bliss. crane. But you know that. wisdom and genius together—Einstein once wrote. We celebrate the entire world bathed in holy light and filled with becoming. loving and not quite tame is a good motto. We cannot really teach those who will not hear or see. but I remember the wine. “A man says. and seek to learn ever more about the mysteries of our confounding and delightful world. talent and a great spirit shall be as a bird that has left its cage. We immerse ourselves in evolution's great journey to discover in that wisdom all we are and ever hope to be. I have known it. kindness. . To travel. Free as an eagle. All that you say about life being fulfilled with a good companion is exactly the way that I think. We are free when our bonds with another are so light they are fairy spirits darting back and forth—tenins. only those who inquire and learn can change. those are the wines of life. To keep alight the torches of wisdom. It went like this. our source and our inspiration.” we change the future by living it and by creating. to care. P. Our art is the present we freely bestow it on all the others who will share these things." So it is with art and the life of creating. to feel and be honest with each other. To love. all the rest are details. "I want to know God's thoughts. My forgetting of the lady reminds me of an elegant wine steward on a ship who told us about a wine he recommends. To attract even one person to love is a great step forward.'” Isn't that the way it is? Some things are too dear to keep alive except as smoldering embers. I've forgotten the place. She flies with those to whom the spiritual life is all important and love is the banner which flaunts desire and freedom. You write with the spirit and soul of an artist who has learned that to follow one's own bliss is the only way. Material success is too often an impenetrable fortress and prison for the mind and soul. I went to the Einstein exhibit at the Natural History Museum this morning —relativity. I apply the word riskit to my name because I will risk and dare anything to find the truth in art and the truth in love. ‘I've forgotten the lady. feel and love.
for we only see a small part of the spectrum of electromagnetic waves of which light is a part. “Can you see the light” contains more deep meaning than it may seem. The real enigma is light itself. glowing galaxies. If you see a red box. this makes sense! The cosmos is afire with light. the kind that makes hydrogen bombs. Rays of light fill the universe in a kind of chaos of the visible and invisible. as anything travels closer to the speed of light. — ALBERT EINSTEIN I find it very mysterious that. blazing stars. anything that burns although fusion. That's easy. . according to Einstein's theories. however it is a though we imagined countless waves from the sea arrive along with a accompanying flurries of buckshot. You or I can never travel at the speed of light or anything approaching it. the speed of light remains constant. but an all pervasive glow. At the speed of light. obscured. You cannot imagine light emanating from a frozen body in the blackness of space. The actual color is not seen. mass increases. I cannot race a “ray” of light anymore than I can choose to swim with a wavelet among myriads fluttering in the sea. may be a more accurate description. It excites me that the medium of light. after much cogitating. We see what we ourselves absorb and process. But of course. it is really absorbing all the other colors and reflecting red. is so wrapped in conundrums and mystery. fuzzily. If I could travel at half the speed of light. it is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. light around me would still be speeding at its normal 186..THE SPEED OF LIGHT The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. fire. not “arrows” of light going in special directions. as you approach the speed of light. To add to the mystery. like the art of seeing.. According to Relativity theory. The true nature of things remains a mystery. no matter how fast an object or human travels relative to the speed of light. a radiance which fills the universe. The waves and buckshot are like are photons of light which experiments have shown actually behave as though they were both waves and particles. You can see. What do you see when you see familiar places? The heart of the matter is that we see the world indistinctly. Convenient.000 miles per second. time slows down! What is the light? Physicists seem happy to define it with formulas and the wave and photon idea. reflected from every living or inanimate thing colors which are not the color of the object or thing. your mass would be infinite and that is impossible. It appears to be the product of any kind of combustion.
Here. These findings are critical to helping overcome various disorders of brain function including Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia.” Merzenich noted. “Until recently.” It now appears that exercise. In the chapter “The Mutable Brain. such as reading daily or cruising the Internet enhances its powers. researcher Michael M.. “The brain was constructed to change. as when a child learns several languages easily. It had been thought that these processes only happened at certain specific times.. Among the most interesting themes is the new research which indicates that the brain constantly changes. proper diet and active use of the brain.which established its critical functionality in critical periods. disguise and distort much of the beauty and wonder of .. we are discussing the art of seeing. adds neurons. without surgery.” He and other researchers now believe the human brain can be extensively remodeled throughout the course of one's life. without drugs. If your brain and mine can change all through our lives..” I'm for that.A NEW BRAIN FOR EVERYONE The September 2003 special issue of Scientific American magazine was entitled “Better Brains.” We can reroute visual paths through our brain which will enable us to see through the veils of conditioning and mind-set which hide.a hardwired black box. at any age. Merzernich says. however. This applies especially to older men and women who often do little to protect their brains in these ways. we can learn to see what “isn't there. sets up new circuitry. “scientists thought that the brain was like a computer. and changes the way in which it operates.
overweening curiosity about this earth. we lose brain cells constantly. A recent study shows that brain cell loss holds steady with aging. marvelously claim that we have the ability to change our brains. Youth thinks it has forever. that we can grow new neurons. and allows atrophy. Later on. the maturing adult takes what he or she sees for granted. and use only a small portion. Brain cell loss is not the problem at any age. replace lost brain cells. and we are trying to figure out the rules.living on earth. . I take trips. As we age. add circuits. “Oh. Scientists now. peer pressure and smug contentment to shroud the world from view. The Scientific American article ends with “The sky's the limit. grow new cells. Only occasionally does the middle-aged adult venture forth into the wide world of vision. What is often the problem is lack of a passionate. It is easy to travel lugging the baggage of one's preconceptions like an old rug or comforter. worn but homelike. our ways of thinking. as the real world.” many will say. reroute the pathways around the brain. however we have more than we need at all ages. That is a gift from the gods.” Can you imagine and joy in the favt that our very brains are programmable at any time in our lives.
cuts and splices what I do see. epiphanies and endless wonder. rapt. “Not a branch or a twig budged. not sit on the sidelines.” says Donald Carr. Your eager and inquisitive primal eye. The birds were weightless as well as invisible. At such times.” She says that she cannot see what a specialist such as a stone collector or a scientist who puts drops of seawater under a microscope sees. props up rainbows. exhausted. Agreed. Silver sheen burnishes their lofty edges as the sun begins to emerge far below. Burning like desire. straddle the seas and rise into the heavens. a brilliant observer who transforms daily visions into fragrant. When I walk without a camera. I remember dawn breaking over dark seas as I flew out over the Caribbean in a helicopter.. it's rapture.” She says that it's a matter of keeping one's eyes open. What a camera sees depends on the mind. the sky lights up slowly.”The secret of seeing is to sail on a solar wind. churns green and white in a tempest. another hundred took flight. I live for these moments. Instant flashes of light imprint themselves on my camera's sensor because my no-mind sees them like lightning bolts flaring across a western desert on a moonless night. translucent. on the other side of the spectrum. waiting to be seen. broadside to the merest puff. Annie says it is possible in deep space to sail on a solar wind. the eye which lurks inside your eye. soul and passion behind the lens. Out over the sea. we learn to see. The mead of the Gods tastes sweet. pointing out that the sense impressions of one-celled animals are not edited for their brain: ‘This is philosophically interesting in a rather mournful way. “A nightmare network of ganglia. I hope this phenomenal gift will be or is already with you. Within minutes flares of light. disheveled. We. The two difference between the two ways of seeing is the difference between walking with and without a camera.” Isn't seeing more than a matter of metaphor. and vision is sweeter than wine. I add that you must practice seeing. smell . in A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek writes of vision in a chapter called “Seeing. content? Annie is impartial. What she or we can see is all there as well.. since it means that only the simplest animals perceive the universe as it is. like the blush of opening roses. my own shutter is always open. for the simplest animals have no way to interpret what they see in a conscious way. I walk from shot to shot reading the light on a calibrated meter.'” That begs the question. above mountaintops or on the land. of writing and thinking of what you see? Isn't it an almost orgasmic like delight of suddenly being jolted into vision. giant luminous ladders. When I walk with a camera. and only if. and the moment's light prints on my own silver gut. my own shutter opens.” I could as easily reverse that statement and say that when I walk with a camera. I see a red ball dimly appear through the dawn mist. Hone and spread your spirit till you yourself are a sail. whether at sea. When I see this way I am above all an unscrupulous observer. With or without a camera. . when suddenly a hundred red-winged blackbirds flew out of the tree. Annie says there is another kind of seeing that involves a letting go. it sees everything. glows pink and red in the dawn. views islands hidden in grey mists. We see what we see. As she walked closer. Dark thunder clouds roil and tumble high into the dawn light. The sky is afire. heart.SEEING IS NOT A SPECTATOR SPORT Annie Dillard. God's rays. “When I see this way I sway transfixed and emptied. sumptuous paragraphs which taste like vision. She mentions walking toward an Osage orange tree which did not appear unusual. editing it for my brain. can interpret if. whetted.. charged and firing without my knowledge. An endlessly inquiring and insightful mind is as restless as the shimmering mirror of the sea reflecting scudding cloud castles.
Such spectacles mercilessly invade our vision through the roar and outpourings from newspapers. The candles lit by art burn brighter than the explosions of stars. beauty. sound and feel like vision. a system of ethics built on this basis would be sufficient only for a herd of cattle. To make a goal of comfort or happiness has never appealed to me. And she has a sense of humor. To see is to understand the powerful currents that rage across the seas and continents of the earth—dreadful visions of war and genocide.” said Eleanor Roosevelt. “Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. and truth. The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with the joy of living are goodness. —ALBERT EINSTEIN A see-er or seer cannot be too comfortable.like vision. BETTER TO LIGHT A CANDLE. radio and the Internet. ravages of floods and eruptions.. Can an artist or new vision make the world a better place? Art comes from truly seeing.. the scourge of disease —endless travails which human beings have endured since the dawn of history. Deep in the . love or art without a sense of humor? Read A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek . What is vision. it pours out a balm upon a troubled world. You and I are deeply troubled and moved by these things. You've read it? Read it again! I will. tv. life. the slaughter of millions of innocents.
We walked to an exhibition in the Glyndor Gallery located inside a red brick house. There is a dark side to art. I used my macro lens and diffused strobe flash. love. I went with a friend to visit Wave Hill. just as there is a dark side to all of human nature. an estate and garden in the Bronx open to the public. There were room size installations of various natural and inorganic materials which bore no resemblance to the ceramic vases holding the ikebana I have known. Soon. He pointed to the rooms and said that was the contemporary ikebana. Now an then you need a good blow . I expected to see the ikebana I loved. What we know of evil we cannot ever lightly accept. I tried to peer deep into the flowers. That was fine. However.playground of myths which inhabit our minds. I walked up to the man at the desk and asked him where the ikebana was to be found. You and I are those fiery furnaces. I could not yet see these things as ikebana. I went equipped with my Canon digital cameras to see and record the life of the flowers there. I never even noticed a giant explosion of shrubbery attached behind the rear porch. understanding and desire inflame our souls. to different from my mind set. flowers arranged asymmetrically in vases. lighthouses or blazing candelabra which illuminate some small part of the darkness. Dodging the sprinklers in the garden in front of the conservatory. 2003. I took photographs of the installations in a somewhat shaken manner. They were too large. without shadows we could not comprehend the light. passion. from my love of delicate ikebana arrangements. What I saw when I walked inside took me by surprise and puzzled me. I exhausted the subject for the moment. It was called Perfection/Impermanence: Contemporary Ikebana. SIGHT UNSEEN—MYSTERIOUS IKEBANA On July 6.
in those incredulous first moments.along the side of the head to wake you up from smugness or complacency. I saw little. to arrive at one's essence. to be alive. I went to Wave Hill to see flower gardens. a form of arrangement that is released from the confines of the vase. that heralds true seeing. use of living plants.org. not enough. the silence of dewdrops on wild flowers in the mist. To arrange. I saw a new variation of a loved theme. the roar and splash of icebergs calving. I see the raging drama of great storms at sea. breathing things. I see with my camera. The Wave Hill site on the internet: wavehill. ikebana. It employs natural and inorganic materials. she saw everything. certainly. The practice requires a disciplined training in which the artist strives to create perfection and impermanence in each installation or display. I write about seeing and I just realized that I didn't see anything at first at the exhibit and. Arrangement. ikiru –– to live. Progressive Japanese flower artists have developed Contemporary Ikebana. Annie said that without her camera she was an unscrupulous observer. said this in part about the exhibit: Ikebana comes from a long tradition that celebrates life and respects plants as living. ikasu –– to put in the best light. the unheard clash of galaxies devouring each other in the blackness of space. and encourages free expression and often takes the form of large-scale installations. but first I have to constantly see anew. When I view “quiet” asymmetrical arrangements of traditional ikebana. What will I see when I learn to see the new contemporary ikebana? . At Wave Hill. to arrive at one's essence. and the concept of time or the transience of living matter are all components of Ikebana. to see in the best light. That provokes me to see it again until I see it. the artists'' own creative process and energy. relationship to a space. to live. The origins of the word stem from three verbs: ikeru to place or arrange. yet I didn't see it..
There is more to ikebana. My own art of image making feeds on this Japanese art. It is only through the asymmetric re-arrangement of dull order, the baffling discovery of chaos in a dewdrop or heart of a flower, the broken, shattered, torn veil of dusty memories which smothers insight, sight and true vision, that the newborn world emerges. To discover a universe in a pot of flowers seems odd. I care only to see, to devour that which baffles my sight, to probe and to understand what makes this reeling globe a fantasy and a kaleidoscope of epiphanies. The following came from the web site www.ramalila.net: Through the act of arranging flowers one can realize Gods ' blessing that pervades all the universe and will be given eyes to see his own road to life. — SENEI IKENOBO The Japanese believe Ikebana speaks directly to the heart of the creator and the viewer. It is sculpture that breathes and expresses stability and the spirit of Nature, a link to the whole universe. The positive ( yoh ) and negative ( in ) energy, and the harmony therein, represent the energies of life and death and the passing of time - past, present and future. The flower bud contains, for instance, the energy force of life towards the future. There are generally three principal parts to the Ikebana arrangement: ‘‘shin'' - the main stem representing man ( yoh); ‘ ‘soe'' - representing heaven ( yoh ); and ‘‘tai'' - representing earth ( in) . We have here another interpretation of the meaning of ikebana. In Japanese Shinto religion, the gods (kami) can be present in any outstanding natural object or phenomenon. The artistic expression of ikebana originated in Buddhist alter decorations honoring the dead. Floral arrangements are part of the Zen aesthetics of the tea ceremony. An ikebana placed in the display alcove may be the principal or only decoration in an otherwise virtually empty humble room. Contemporary or installation type ikebana deviates greatly from the original form of flowers arranged in a vase. Typically it is site specific, and is often room filling and three dimensional.
Janet Koplos in her booklet about the exhibition Perfection/Impermanence writes, “Ohtsubo once filled a room...with lightning like zigzags made of disposable chopsticks doweled together with toothpicks. A younger ikebana-trained artist, Shogo Kariyazaki has exhibited
blocks of soil seemingly sliced straight out of the earth and a rowboat filled with clay...Anyone who has ever relaxed on the grass and made a chain of clover blossoms can recognize the elements, and anyone who has ever looked at a flower or a seed and envisioned a universe can grasp its implications.” I noticed that the contemporary ikebana at Wave Hill seemed less asymmetrical, more concerned with room filling installations. Hiroshi Teshigahara's bamboo works however, maintain a delicate balance of symmetry and asymmetry. What caused the early Japanese to create a style so out of kilter with the symmetry and balance we westerners are so often fond of? Here is one answer from the Sogetsu School of Ikebana: Sofu Teshigahara was born in Tokyo in 1907. He learnt flower-arranging from his father who had studied many styles of different schools. When twenty-five he was ready to start the Sogetsu School of Ikeban. He believed that Ikebana is not merely decorating with flowers, it is an Art. That the great difference between floral decoration and Ikebana lies in the belief that once all the rules are learnt, the techniques mastered, we must sculpt. Thus we create living sculptures. — onthenet.com , ikebana In the introduction to his book, The Art of Ikebana , his son, Hiroshi wrote, “The expression of beauty through natural materials, which is the essential art of ikebana depends on the integrity of the person creating the composition. Ikebana is much more than a decorative hobby... I marvel at how the Japanese in the past high the ranking noble samurai, along with those traditionalists left today managed to live in a way that surrounded them with visual and audible beauty. The lower classes had no opportunity to create these things. Serene beauty appears in the design of Japanese houses, temples and rock gardens, in their painted screens, ikebana, bonsai or dwarf trees, in the masked ritual dramas of the Kabuki and Noh theaters, in the tea ceremony. Shinto and Zen Buddhism were at the root of this way of life. The centuries of civil wars all but ended after Ieyasu won the great battle at Sekigahara in 1600 and assumed the Shogunate of all Japan. The noble samurai, at leisure now, learned sensitivity to all of the arts. We live in a time when vision is limited because it is saturated with popular art media of every kind. To be in the middle of a clamoring traffic jam of media year after year can lead to the loss of sensibility, to a numbness in the deepest part of the spirit. That is living death. My greatest pleasure while visiting Japan was to walk slowly through and contemplate the many Zen temples in Kyoto rather than the bustle, neon signs and madcap anarchy of downtown Tokyo. In Kyoto, a great peace prevails in the asymmetrical “gardens” made of raked sand and rocks.
THE CELESTIAL SPIRIT
Cherish your visions. Cherish your ideals. Cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will grow all delightful conditions, all heavenly environment; of these, if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built.”
—JAMES ALLEN, As a Man Thinketh, Vision Quotes
We see with the eyes of poetry as in the quote from Jane Hirshfield. An especially beautiful example is the play Hagoromo , translated by Pound and Fenollosa. The introduction reads, “The plot of the play Hagoromo , the Feather-mantle, is as follows: The priest finds the Hagoromo, the magical feather-mantle of a Tennin, an aerial spirit or celestial dancer, hanging upon a bough. She demands its return. He argues with her, and finally promises to return it, if she will teach him her dance or part of it. She accepts the offer. The Chorus explains the dance as symbolical of the daily changes of the moon...In the finale, the Tennin is supposed to
disappear like a mountain slowly hidden in mist. The play shows the relation of the early Noh to the God-dance.” We learn to see through all of our senses. Poetry awakens our inner souls to the beauty that censorship in the brain often disguises or discards. We read, we see; it is as natural as breathing if we read with our hearts wide open and our souls bare. Here are two excerpts from Hagoromo. The first occurs when the Tennin argues with the fisherman for the return of her feather-mantle, the second while she does the sacred dance prior to disappearing. Chorus : Enviable colour of breath, wonder of clouds that fade along the sky that was our accustomed dwelling; hearing the sky-bird, accustomed, and well accustomed, hearing the voices grow fewer, the wild geese fewer and fewer, along the highways of air, how deep her longing to return! Plover and seagull are on the waves in the offing. Do they go or do they return? She reaches out for the very blowing of the spring wind against heaven. And later, near the end of the play: Chorus : The spring mist is widespread abroad; so perhaps the wild olive's flower will blossom in the infinitely unreachable moon. Her flowery head-ornament is putting on colour; this truly is sign of the spring. Not sky is here, but the beauty; and even here comes the heavenly, wonderful wind. O blow, shut the accustomed path of the clouds. O, you in the form of a maid, grant us the favour of your delaying. The pine-waste of Miwo puts on the colour of spring. The bay of Kiyomi lies clear before the snow upon Fuji. Are not all these presages of the spring? There are but few ripples beneath the piny wind. It is quiet along the shore. There is naught but a fence of jewels between the earth and the sky, and the gods within and without, beyond and beneath the stars, and the moon unclouded by her lord, and we who are born of the sun. This alone intervenes, here where the moon is unshadowed, here in Nippon, the sun's field. How sacred and beautiful it is to have these visions bestowed by words. The vision of poetry unlocks the shutters of our minds. We live for beauty, which can only appear, like the feather spirit, when it is released into the winds, sky and light of the universe.
MYSTIC VISION In his book. It's worse than drugs or alcohol.. Eye. approaching God as though he was a great bird which wafted down sparkling feathers in the holy light.the message of the next chapter will be that a structure such as the primary visual cortex does exert profound transformations on the information it receives. I want to see everything. or do you drink the sacred wine and whirl off into unknown reaches of holy space. prophet or shaman's intoxicated ruminations. Their complete functions are still little understood although you may read that the paths are charted. don't you?. Tajikistan in central Asia on 30 September 1207 to a family of learned theologians. Do any of you see visions in the church while eating the body of the Lord. like pterodactyls? I neither proselytize for or embrace any man's religion or woman's either. Poetry breeds visions as does the mystic. He wrote of the mystical side of life. In those days it was not obvious that the brain operates on the information it receives. or can you? Detoxification. endless work at detoxification of the visual structure of your brain is needed. What you get is what your brain decides. in clouds. Noble prize winning scientist David Hubel writes: The visual world is systematically mapped on the geniculate and cortex. The pulpit's a bully place if the priest be wise enough. (Author: The geniculates are two way stations in the thalamus where visual information from the retina is processed on the way to the visual cortex. I will embrace every religion in spirit. Brain and Vision .) What was not clear in the 1950's is what that mapping might mean. and you can't control it.” Digest that! What you see isn't what you get. I want to see.. The poet Rumi was born in Wakhsh. transforming it in such a way as to make it more useful. and has shed his or her mortal coils for the embrace of the . and in metaphysical journeying.
It keeps the shark out but it keeps you in while outside rainbow schools of fish flaunt flamboyant colors. We can't all be divers hooked up to aqua lungs and oxygen tanks in or out of cages. You have leapt free of the cage Your wings are flung back in the wind of God. VERY TREE . I saw a singular kind of beauty. Hurry. and the baths of all the western stars. fly away bird to your native home. I visited the Bayard Cutting Arboretum on Long Island to see and photograph the trees for a fine art project I'm working on.” One mild winter day. We can dive naked and filled with wonder into the flowering. hurry. to the source of life —RUMI The cage of restricted vision is like the steel cage used by divers to film the great white shark. Leave behind the stagnant and marshy waters. is not a bad way to look at the art of seeing. not seeing but seeing. Single branches often appeared too massive and heavy to support themselves. spinning mystery of life on earth “to sail beyond the sunsets. Fly away. I was in a trance. I presided like a floating spirit.. hurry. enraptured. The vision of a shaman must be earned by dying and rebirth. The camera did its work. asymmetrical spreads of branches high over my head. displayed their sculptural grandeur. I put saw in italics because my no-mind or intuitive reflex unconscious mind saw these trees. O bird. wheeling. We are not granted vision without cost.unseeable and holy of holies. ratcheting.. shorn of leaves. dancing around the splendid trunks. The lady with me said she watched me “dance” around the trees which. which. seeing deep into the hearts and spirits of these noble trees which flung their convoluted.
Alliterative leaves. Getting no seed to sprout. Tenacious like a hand Gnarled rootage in the dark Interior of land.Forget the tube of bark. Bright incidental bird Whose melody is fanned Among the bundled sheaves Wild spool of the winding word. Earth's absolute arithmetic Of being is not in the flowering stick Filled with the sperm of sun But in a figure seen Behind our eyelids when we close Slow petals of the brain to match the night's repose. Reject: and let there be Only tree. Colors pour in and out: Here is a timeless structure wrought Like the candelabrum of pure thought. Stripped of green root and leaf. — STANLEY KUNITZ .
They still do at night during wartime to avoid breaking radio silence.. worms. At night the ocean's surface often glows with luminous light. At night. clams. or alert themselves to predators. creatures communicate with light. Jellyfish. here. jellyfish and their relatives the sea-pens arm themselves with light to dazzle. frighten. sea-squirts. Signalling or seeing. They've been my base during many adventures. color has little function. The rest is lost in heat. ship captains at sea flashed coded light signals to each other.BRITTLE STARS I've traveled to hundreds of ports of call around the world on great ships. luring or decoying — color and pattern are basic to communication and concealment among animals in the ocean. half plant. bursts of light flicker round . before the advent of radio. half animal—flash myriads of galaxies dancing on the murmuring waves. hiding or hunting. A deep sea jellyfish spins like a wheel of fireworks. squid.But in the gloomy abyss beneath. starfish. a constellation of fish radiates light. Far beneath. This essay taken from my travel journals was written while making an Atlantic ocean crossing on Cunard Line's QE2. shrimps and other crustaceans convert chemical energy into light energy. or at least we used to. — THE OCEANS . as in the rest of the natural world. Beneath the sea nearly 100 percent of bioluminescent energy is converted into light. in eternal night.. A Celebration Communicate with light? We humans do it. We humans get only 10 percent of electric energy out light bulbs in the form of light. in that frightening abyss where light never calls. It deals with the phenomena of light in the depths of the sea. snails. Deep beneath the surface of the sea. Billions of single celled organisms—dinoflagellates.
journey on the solar wind into deep space. In these labyrinthian corridors. luminescent signals to open up dialogues. which. The females recognize their mate's patterns. interstellar wastes trembling with nascent . another kind of celebration takes place—a celebration of light. veritable clouds of light. The light comes from clouds of glowing bacteria inhabiting the angler fish's lures. a fireworks display to mock a billion whirling chalices of stars birthing in deep space. tapestries of fishy design. shark toothed jaws. the brittle star. miraculously. you are my guiding light. sparking and spitting like a Catherine's wheel. What a dance that would be! No special effects. clouds of shimmering thoughts wink on and off. dangle luminous 'bait' from their dorsal fin fishing poles to lure prey into gaping. Angler fish. crawls off to safety. They alone can see the red shrimps. I am one with Oceanus's womb of sentient life. who have evolved eyelid like shutters to turn out the lights when danger comes. dangle luminescent lures to entrap my conscious mind and bend my silver head to darkness and despair. firefleas swim in groups. I will glow with a terrible fire to light deep seas of my mind. Ocean. you birth light as we live by light.its body. fly into the clouds of light. In the Caribbean. discover their consorts and mate in the dark. like voracious angler fish. My light shines forever. I wrap myself in light's energy a thousand fathoms down. an eternal delight. Brittle star. I ride beams of light into abyssal clouds. the brittle-star fish outsmarts its enemies with a brilliant strategy. At night QE2 sparkles with a thousand lights. glow. I think. leaving a morsel rather than a banquet. I glow. I wish I could flash lights in the dark and dance away from my sparkling body parts. it sheds an arm tip. invisible to other predators who see no colors. If a barrage of lights from its arms fail to frighten off its enemy. coded mites. shed my sparkling limbs round Jupiter and Saturn. Each male flashes points of light in unique individual patterns. lights out. Myriads of tiny creatures flash lights. pulsing lights. minus one arm tip. Most wonderful. Below the glittering QE2 in the abyssal sea. biochemistry converting energy to light. a beacon across billions of light years. illuminate. I dance through the heavens like the seven daughters of Atlas. Meanwhile. I will enter dreadful abysses where thoughts. Glowing bacteria flash signals from the eyes of flashlight fish. Radiate. miles down. continues to flash. themselves dark. A few clever fish employ a headlight which emits deep red light in the abyss where no colored light penetrates.
light alone reigns supreme. I alight where cosmic furnaces glow. — RICHARD JEFFRIES . glitter. There is so much beyond all that has ever yet been imagined. as yet unrecognized……There is an immense ocean over which the mind can sail.an entire civilization . a Soul-Entity. I want more ideas of soul-life. A great life . The Story of My Heart THE GOD OF LIGHT . I am certain that there are more yet to be found.lies just outside the pale of common thought.novas sparkling amidst fiery seas of condensing dust. upon which the vessel of thought has not yet been launched. flame into furious fusion to cradle countless newborn stars in a universal ocean of pure light. 1883. There is an entity. Light.
is evanescent. is said to have drowned watching the moon in a pool. I felt out into the depths of the ether. the seventeenth century Japanese master of the haiku or seventeen syllable form of poetry wrote: “. The Narrow Road to the Far North . fog. there that moment. heating the parapet. in the hollows of the houses. — Theoi Project. by extension. and man's pollution all change the way we see light.. Burning on the great sun stood in the sky. against the lit walls. lighting the great heaven.D. HELIOS was the all-seeing god of the sun. The swallows wheeled and climbed. The light from the sun is filtered by the atmosphere and influenced by the angle with which it reaches the earth. In my travels. possess one thing in common. and the three sisters called Seasons . He was also. Light and life embrace on this earth and throughout the misty regions of interstellar space. I have never seen the light the same anywhere in the world. the wild spirit which tints my work with glowing colors. that is. I was intensely conscious of it. the immortal. Basho. rain. Dawn and sunset light. the limitless space. even when revisiting places. Burning on steadfast. by these I knew the supernatural to be more intensely real than the sun. is very beautiful.. I worship other gods as well. The fixed point of day—the sun.. I felt too in the midst of eternity then. The sun filters through my thoughts the way it burns the mist off a mountainside. Mists. like a moonstruck swain chasing the reflections of the moon in a pond (Li Po. Lighting the broad river. In his book. while drunk on wine). Month and Year. I felt it. By these I saw my soul. I touched the supernatural. and ever present as my thought. among the immortal.. The sun is my familiar. Helios was a close friend of the other fire-god Hephaistos. the goddesses Day. and the greatness of the material realised the spirit. Spirits & Monsters I am infatuated with light like a lover. as we all know. as a inquisitive world traveler and recorder of the earth's cultures should. the sky.were said to attend his throne). always surprising. volcanic eruptions which throw vast clouds of dust into the atmosphere. So intensely conscious of the sun. the broad walls. I felt the presence of the immense powers of the universe. the god of the gift of sight and of the measurement of time (the time goddesses . poet.There was a faint blue colour in the air hovering between the built-up banks. A Guide to Greek Gods. The light. twittered and glided downwards. — RICHARD JEFFRIES . gleaming on my finger-nail. snow. the first' hippie' or flower child and considered the greatest of the Chinese poets. lighting the least speck of dust. I am alive because the sun wills it. eighth century A.all who have achieved excellence in any art. glowing steadfastly upon me as when I rested in the narrow valley grooved out in prehistoric times. in the midst of the supernatural. The Story of My Heart I worship the sun god. The very nature of the air in different parts of the world imparts a variety of colors to way light is seen. always changing. like a spirit of many colors. I am light itself transposed into living mind..the twelve sister Hours. Light is the great creator. to be .
green and blue. it is a mixture of many different colors that appears white to our brains after being processed by our eyes. By mixing these colors in different amounts. and a host of others waited for the public's vision to catch up. like flashes of lightning. We see color in relation to other colors. or they are ignored. Van Gogh. . televisions and computer screens also mix light to produce different colors. The artist creates color harmonies or dissonances according to his or her desires or compulsions. The light. then a red card. "White" sunlight is not really whitethere is no wavelength of light that is white. If you examine your computer screen or television with a magnifying glass. too late. Today. (See incandescent light below) In the same way that the sun can produce light of many different wavelengths that appears white when mixed. because there is no such thing as “true” color. Pollock. illuminate the natural world. the shapes and colors are often not recognized as desirable or lovely. often. Here is a brief on the character of light: In 1665-1666. probably red. dictates the color we see. finally a black card.one with nature throughout the four seasons of the year. The beauty of art is that it is subjective. It is the same with the art of photography in its many guises. Basho's short poems. Matisse. a large range of colors can be produced. You will see the yellow change its apparent hue each time. Color is the great deceiver. Whatever such a mind sees is a flower. whether artificial or natural. In the artist's own time. you will see tiny dots. Rather. Isaac Newton studied sunlight and discovered that it could be broken down into a rainbow of colors by a prism. as with Van Gogh. An easy test is to put a bright yellow card next to a blue card. we know that the rainbow of colors one gets from a prism is a consequence of refraction and the different wavelengths of different colors. for photographs tell no more truth than a wielder of the camera is capable of revealing. and whatever such a mind dreams of is the moon. DeKooning. and each of us sees color in his or her own way.
and therefore. Depending on how hot the material is. their different wavelengths and different energies allow them to have different effects on matter.The "electromagnetic spectrum" is simply a phrase used to describe electromagnetic radiation of all wavelengths. fire and light bulbs. emit most of their energy in the infrared). visible light. then orange. microwaves. while luminescence involves only the electrons. If all electromagnetic radiation is fundamentally the same thing. then yellow. Incandescent light is produced when atoms are heated and release some of their thermal vibration as electromagnetic radiation. infrared. Incandescence involves the vibration of entire atoms. It is the most common type of light that you see everyday sunlight. It was found that at lower temperatures. . these materials would emit radiation in the infrared wavelengths which we feel as heat (fires. for example. applied to different wavelengths and energies. for example. and other electromagnetic radiation of longer and shorter wavelengths. The wonderful variety of the electromagnetic spectrum is all a result of the same laws." This seemingly self-contradictory name arises from the history of physics-scientists studying this type of light emission modeled their theories on ideal materials that would absorb all colors of light. x rays. regular light bulbs (not florescent) and fires are all incandescent sources of light. and eventually "white-hot. you might ask. Likewise. ultraviolet. There are two basic types of light sources. This includes radio waves." Although ideal black body materials don't exist in reality. "Why don't we see radio waves like we see light?" or "Why do we need special infrared light bulbs to heat things up?" Although all portions of the electromagnetic spectrum are governed by the same laws. the photons released have different energies. gamma rays. Incandescent light is also known as "black body radiation. most substances are close enough that this color sequence can be observed. This is why a fire tends to be redder than a halogen lamp-the filament in a halogen lamp is heated to a higher temperature than normal fires. hence appearing to be "black bodies". have such a long wave length and low energy that our eyes can't detect them and they pass through our bodies. increasingly more energetic radiation is emitted. different colors. As temperatures are increased. Some sources of incandescent light are: the sun. so these materials would glow red. the hottest stars appear to be a blueish-white while cooler stars such as our sun are more yellowish in appearance. Radio waves.
It's as good a theory as any. light emitting diodes. or radioactivity as in luminous paints. luminescent light occurs at lower temperatures. neon light. —Discovering Light . No physicist truly believes he or she knows what started the colossal. or light of a specific color. chemical reactions as in Halloween light sticks and fire-flies. but the view is enchanting and illuminating. It turns out that electrons like to have energy at specific "energy levels. THE BIG BANG & LIGHT At what incredible moment after the big bang ten or fifteen billion years ago did light suddenly enter the universe? Was it there already and was light the creator of the universe? I like to think that light is God's glowing mantle which He threw across the blackness to begin the process of making galaxies. it will release a specific amount of energy which becomes a photon. ThinkQuest '99 Those paragraphs are like taking a run up a hill or mountainside. to name just a few examples. because it is produced when an electron releases some of its energy to electromagnetic radiation. mercury-vapor street lights. television screens and computer monitors. perhaps infinite collection of galaxies. supernovas." Thus. quasars. Therefore. This boost may be provided by many sources: electrical current as in florescent lights. when an electron jumps down to a lower energy level. not an entire atom. It's difficult. stars and planets.Unlike incandescence. star clusters. continued luminescence requires something to continuously give the electrons a boost to a higher energy level to keep the cycle going. black holes and a hundred thousand more .
the magnificence of the gaze...persons possessed of the spirit of a Yoruba deity. that swing in the heavens.According to the Yoruba: The gods have “inner” or “spiritual” eyes (oju inun) with which to see the world of heaven and “outside eyes” (oju ode) with which to view the world of men and women. his ordinary eyes swell to accommodate the inner eyes. “Albert Einstein and Steve Hawkings. He will then look very broadly across the whole of all the devotees.. Lightness. but they can only imagine the world of light... Light/Dark. There is here a relative big bang! Albert Einstein: a brain is a silent Internet.the radiance of the eyes. I feel the star filled cosmos suddenly race away from me into the limitless deserts and seas of outer space.” SEEING WHAT ISN’T THERE . What is the peculiar quality of vision that we do not truly know from where inside our brains or minds it emanates? In Flash of the Spirit.look about grandly with fixed expressions. . In the desert or at sea at night. he will open his eyes abnormally. reflect ashe. but this is not a life we would embrace. the eyes of the god. Darkness. Is light the spiritual power of the universe? Is it the holy of holies..astounding events which daily explode around the universe. a pin prick of a being shivering in the night. Schvaneveldt wrote on the Internet.. as theirs is the darkness. the grail itself. African & Afro-American Art and Philosophy . the brightness of the spirit. When a person comes under the influence of a spirit. or do they somehow create luminescence inside their minds.. Lee W. I am dwarfed. Let theirs be the light. I like to think so. Blind people adjust to their world of four senses. he and he are twins that with and in their arts bring alive in this earth the things that sing. as in certain places deep in the sea or in buried caverns. the unanswered questions of creation? Life can exist without light. author Robert Farris Thompson writes ”.
—. audacious and unruly way like Pollock. I work with my digital files like an action painter. The digital camera and digital programs free me to discover worlds of colors. The 11 plus megapixel camera creates huge 52. descend And of the curveship lend a myth to God.. My aim is to capture the play of clouds against the massive towers and myriad cables and wires. I will down load these images into my computer and work with them in Adobe Photoshop. of the fury fused (How could mere toil align thy choiring strings!) Terrific threshold of the prophet’s pledge. Suddenly... free of the constraints of nascent technology and tyrannical mind set. abstractly. the prairies’ dreaming sod... contrast. Basquiat. Against the traffic lights that skim thy swift Unfractioned idiom. or de Kooning. immaculate sigh of stars. Poem: To Brooklyn Bridge On a breezy beautiful sunny summer day I walk across the Brooklyn Bridge with my Canon EOS1Ds digital top of the line camera. That is what the camera... O Sleepless as the river under thee. wild. “. even in Mozart. and the lover’s cry.” .9 megabyte files for each image when decompressed. can be seen shimmering through the veil of order. in the last few years. I am not interested in seeing the “reality” of these images. I experiment with the images in a boisterous. Unto us lowliest. which is designed to record approximately what I see will do.'chaos' now and then. Vaulting the sea. Prayer of pariah. light and shade. vividly recreating what is really there but cannot be seen. That has nothing to do with the vast spectrum of electromagnetic radiation that plays invisibly all about me as I walk the bridge.. Beading thy path—condensed eternity: And we have seen night lifted in thine arms.. The digital image is my sketch. Pianist Alfred Brendel quotes the German romantic poet Novalis. the Photoshop program my brush and paints.Oh harp and altar. sometime sweep. —HART CRANE. illuminations really. That is what my brain forces me to do.
busy with the constant state of remaking itself. spanning gravity's timeless. so tiny I cannot see the light. digital space and I see . A story logically begins at the beginning. no matter. sentient thing loves not the all-joyous light -. Yet the laws of nature were in place and this curious vacuum held potential. pure. a hologram of gravity's impure architecture. down in the unconscious realms where primitive neurons transmit a web of light which envelops the universe. no time.Before all the wondrous shows of the widespread space around him. its rays and undulations. deep. zero. its gentle omnipresence in the form of the wakening Day. someone is making it up--we are in the realm of philosophy. That is. quasars and colossal galactic collisions crossing limitless chasms of outer space. painted with black rainbows. I desire to see star births. no sound. I long to see light itself. tintinnabulations which ravish my inner eye. a nothingness containing no space. the all-knowing light which irradiates my mind. In the very beginning. We don't know anything about the universe until it reaches the mature age of a billionth of a trillionth of a second. what living. but this story is about the universe and unfortunately there are no data for the very beginnings--none. Tiny. When you read or hear anything about the birth of the universe. I want to observe ravening flares of pure energy thousands of light years across. I am the light. iridescent. there was a void. some very short time after creation in the big bang. I am lost in space. I want to see deep. Only God knows what happened at the very beginning: —Nobel Prize winning physicist Leon Lederman . I am the cognizant photons of holy light. I prowl the infinitely tiny foam of quantum mechanics where the universe quietly explodes insubstantial probabilities. flaring like the mystical sunrise in my brain stem.with its colors. a curious form of vacuum. —NOVALIS I'm intoxicated with exploding light and fireworks which burst from my digital brain transmuted through my digital camera—into the holy grail of energy. no light.
not to your skull. the quintillions of photons each split second which would literally blind you if accepted raw. One LGN lies in the left hemisphere and the other lies in the right hemisphere. It's a dreary illusion fostered by evolution and nurture. also known as V1. What you see isn't there. Hubel . From the retina. your “desktop” computer analyzes and censors much of the fireworks entering your eye. in Visual Intelligence. the results travel on a new set of axons to the primary visual cortex.THE MYSTERIOUS EYE The eye is the supreme organ created by evolution and it is totally misunderstood! That is so important that some of the information below is repeated. After further processing. The eye is not a window. The computing power at your retina exceeds that of the most powerful supercomputers. The optic nerve fibers from the eyes terminate at two bodies in the thalamus (the aforementioned structure in the middle of the brain) known as the Lateral Geniculate Nuclei (or LGN for short). Right there at the retina. Have you “flown” your eye? It is attached to your brain. And that's just the beginning. the electrical impulses are sent through an electric cable containing over one million wires called axons. and to other parts of your brain. Rods and cones in vast arrays (120 million rods and 7 million cones) accept the incoming photons as electrical signals and switch on and off accordingly. writes: The German physicist and physiologist Herman von Helmhotz (18211894) described vision as a process of unconscious inference: . You may jump ahead if desired. Your retina contains hundreds of millions neurons working in parallel.
visual feasts.. as behaviorists thought for much of the twentieth century.. I discovered. perplex neuroscientists today.it is intimately connected to your emotional intelligence and your rational intelligence. are generally not conscious activities... like an evanescent whirlpool of shifting shapes and colors. blinded by the need to eliminate irrelevant information. When I worked with my Brooklyn Bridge images. The computer has no inhibitions.” Hoffman concludes his book with these words: Visual intelligence occupies almost half of your brain's cortex.what happens when you see is not a mindless process of stimulus and response.. see.” The objects of obscure desire we think we see.. but my eye could not see them. it reveas what I entice it to reveal.The psychic activities that lead us to infer that there in front of us at a certain place is a certain object of a certain character. but a sophisticated process of construction whose intricacies we are now beginning to understand. We must strike through the masks of obscurity and mirage and uncover all the many colored spices of Samarkand.. It constructs the elaborate visual realities in which you live and move and interact. which use them as raw materials in further constructions. It forwards these constructions to your emotional and rational intelligence. relevant or irrelevant. or fantasize we see. I uncovered what my eye could not see. Donald Hoffman writes. Playing with the large digital files in Photoshop. in the cloud filled skies above the bridge a kaleidoscope of elegant abstract swirls and eddies. I sensed that these paintings in the sky were there. Von Helmhotz surmised these things a century and a half ago. “. In his preface to Visual Intelligence. . using what I imagined was there. it may be permissible to speak of the psychic acts of ordinary perception as unconscious conclusions.. thereby making a distinction of some sort between them and the common so-called conscious conclusions. “The British neurophysiologist David Marr (1946-1981) described visual constructions by analogy to information processing in computers: “Vision is a process that produces from images of the external world a description that is useful to the viewer and not cluttered with irrelevant information. Hubel goes on to say.. but unconscious ones. In their result they are equivalent to a conclusion.
O'Keefe and de Kooning imagined. “Garbage in. It comes from an eye that learns to instantaneously recognizes significant patterns and make strong compositions in the camera before clicking the shutter button. Matisse. we can paint our visions in the computer and print them. We must take chances and seek aleatory or chance compositions. As an artist. at the cutting edge of digital technology. . garbage out. I can imagine what is there. discovered and painted their fantasies on richly colored. and I use the word playing in its most creative sense. Learning to see with a camera is learning to see anywhere. my eye/camera symbiosis gives me the vision of a painter who constructs from the raw material of nature his or her wildest fantasies. Today.” That should never stop us from making tens of thousands of “mistakes.9 megabyte) files which come from my Canon EOSD1s digital camera contain a wealth of information which my emotionally and rationally conditioned eye cannot see. The large (53. Playing. Hidden in chaos is a higher “order. or who subtly transforms realities.DIGITAL CAMERA GIGABYTES Our new tools create the possibilities for discovering a new vision of the world. enables me to create images I have only imagined but never seen. First. wildly flamboyant canvases. we must learn to see. Suddenly.” The well known computer adage goes. Such visionaries as Van Gogh. The art of image transformation begin with a new vision of the world. Monet. We must learn as well to instantaneously recognize and discard cliche patterns which enthrall us with scenes resembling our past visions.” seeds we continuously plant to await a bountiful harvest of beauty.
relax and enter a universe of bright mirrors which. the god of war. The grebe attaches its floating nest to a single strand of reed to keep it from washing away in the current... He saw with his clear“camera” eye. enter our brains and coalesce into miracles or dreary dust. too. the eye that sees what isn't there. I'm like a bagworm that's lost its bag. endow the world with beauty and agape — intense romantic love. THE HUT OF THE PHANTOM DWELLING In a letter to a friend written in 1690. The hut was near a shrine of Hachiman. which was built in 1063. I've. Basho's haiku poems were written with the inner eye. a snail without its shell. He saw in flashes of seventeen syllable .. And now this year here I am drifting by the waves of Lake Biwa. wild wisteria hangs from the pine trees.. We live in an all encompassing shower of infinitely tiny meteorites. Basho describes his life in the simple hut in which he lived for a while. and a cuckoo now and then passes by. bruised my heels on the rough beaches of the northern sea where tall dunes make walking so hard.Azaleas continue in bloom.Onrushing technology gives a digital artist a suddenly extravagant and limitless palette containing countless gigabytes of information—like the human brain and the starry universe. Inspired vision trusts the intuitive unconscious. gave up city life some ten years ago and now I'm approaching fifty... I. Light from the sun radiates more photons each second than could be stored as bytes on all the computers in the world. We breathe slowly. a Zen intuitive eye. photons which strike our eyes. like whirling kaleidoscopes. when the conscious self dissolves into a hail and firestorm of flamboyant colors and shapes. or quietly observes utter simplicity in shades of grey. the Zen moment of being there.
It is the same with seeing and making images. “I've worn out my body in journeys as aimless as the winds and clouds. —BASHO. and expended my feelings on flowers and birds. red is the sun. tenderness and sorrows of his world. I give myself wholly to this one concern. I am awestruck To hear a cricket singing Underneath the dark cavity Of an old helmet.. Poetry often carries within it the holograms of subtle allusions which only the most sensitive translations can begin to reveal. Basho writes.” Near the end of his letter. The promise of early chill. Red. The Narrow Road to the Far North (Penguin) . Heartlessly indifferent to time. however.haiku the beauty.. unskilled and talentless as I am. Much of what is there escapes notice by the eye conditioned to see what is “useful. poetry. The wind knows.and so in the end.
' —RUDOLPH ARNHEIM I give myself every day to learning how to see. At the beginning of her chapter titled “Imagine This” in Sight and Sensibility. We we must fall a lot to see this world in its ravishing beauty. “ that it shimmers behind everything we do. my work with images. I went out for a walk very early that morning and had a sudden flash of instinct or unconscious calling. It simply took quick action to capture the fleeting fiery dawn. Plato.” Sewall goes on to write about wrapping her imagination around a near quarter moon. I ran to the motel. explore their texture. the necessary housekeeping which we all must endure. is it I who sees. . With an invisible finger we move through the space around us. Thus a tangible bridge is established between the observer and the observed thing. in his Timaeus. seeking images unseen and buried and immersed in my unconscious? To see. For example. She says that imagination is a mode of consciousness. ran towards the rock. and careened down the road to the Park entrance.IN SIGHT OF SENSIBILITY 'In looking at an object we reach out for it. Free the eternal soul. early thinkers describe the process of vision correspondingly. go out to the distant places where things are found. you must free yourself as a child would who falls off a bike over and over until it attains a certain balance and wheels freely away. let it taste again Infinity. Impressed by this experienced. grabbed my camera. jumped into my car. tripped on a low fence and fell hard. The falls are part of the learning process. I was up in a second. It is an eminently active occupation. aimed my camera and watched transfixed at the dawn light flaming behind the silhouette of the rock. a unique capacity of the mind and the “deepest voice of the soul. or is it my deepest imagination playing with fire. catch them. I arrived at the formation called Balanced Rock just as the sky came on fire. touch them. The sky was beginning to light up in a curious way. Once I was traveling through Utah and had stopped in the now bustling town of Moab. close to Arches National Park. A soft reddish light filled the dawn sky. my music. trace their borders. That is the beginning of my poetry. scan their surfaces. When I fire my camera. asserts that the gentle fire that warms the human body flows out through the eyes in a smooth and dense stream of light. I jumped out of the car. What has imagination to do with seeing? Our imaginations free us from the tedium of daily chores. and over this bridge the impulses of light that emanate from the object travel to the eyes and thereby to the soul. Laura Sewall quotes William Blake: “Let the world of rationalization and of the senses be consumed in the fires of imagination. I saw nothing anyone couldn't have seen.
in the beginning. Freed from constraints of early conditioning. We discard much of the beauty in life because it occurs in unlikely places. . The power of wildness.. or invent. hurling away constraints may lead. “I looked at it with the possession-taking grasp of the imagination—the true one. unfettered imagination. It is well to swim hard and often in these uncharted waters until you float comfortably under benevolent skies. According to Arnheim Aristotle conceives of the "universal character " of an object "directly perceived in it as its essence rather than indirectly collected through the search of common elements in the various specimens of a species or genus. We create our visual world with our malleable brains if we dare to use them in seemingly irrational or dangerous ways. or give glory to.” The art of seeing begins with discovery of beauty in the commonplace. and I felt a charm in every vine tendril that hung over them. which I excavate from among ideas and images found in Japanese culture and in the work of abstract artists anywhere. it was poetry while it lasted.." But what is that essence? Did Aristotle imagine that his eyes were deceiving him? It is always the essence which we seek? In his diary. art critic John Ruskin (1819-1900) writes of a simple scene. So obvious an idea is not so easy to achieve. any part of such a landscape. any artwork has the power to invest the inquiring eye and mind with a startling and eventually very pleasing taste. It required an effort to maintain the feeling. it gilded all the dead walls. and I felt that it was only while under it that one could draw. to a kind of chaos.There's a wild side to seeing. mind-set and fear of the new.
The orange display catches our eyes. It has no censor built in. For fun. Even when my inner eye sees certain images and triggers the camera. add a bit of brightness and contrast. The computer sees anew. I am in my studio with a young student intern studying the images from the flower market on one of my computers. I photograph the display rather casually. I don't know their name. The computer programs give us a sudden. I am struck by the sudden knowledge. It has a formidable power still in its infancy. I had observed this now intensely curvaceous asymmetrical composition when I was making the photograph with my inner or unconscious intuitive eye. We are on the verge of a visual revolution brought on by the emergence of digital photography and digital image programs such as Adobe Photoshop. I must manipulate the image in odd ways and coax it to reveal itself. Hundreds of people can talk for one who .SEEING WHAT ISN’T THERE I walk through the flower market on 28th street off Sixth Avenue and study the displays. Using Adobe Photoshop. The owners pleasantly agree to my photographing their displays. new power to reveal what our conscious minds censor or obliterate. These markets are filled with visual banquets of flowers. and walk on. that I don't consciously see as much as I think I see. newly revealed contrasting colors sharply define the elegant arabesques which my cerebral eye did not see then or now. although I view the new digital technology as an alchemist's stone which reveals what ‘isn't there. I take it into ‘curves' and play. A few days later. intensify the color. I love sunflowers because they speak to me of light's mysteries and shed a cheerful glow on the world. A display of orange flowers. The effect on our vision cannot be predicted. I cannot truly see it on the computer screen immediately. I think. catches my eye. I sharpen it.' The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is to see something and tell what it saw in a plain way. Suddenly the image jumps into life. but it looks rather uninteresting. The flowers are wrapped in white paper which makes arabesque-like patterns.
mysteries unseen and beauty unfolding. and in a fraction of a second. —JONATHAN SWIFT . but it is difficult to execute. I go to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to photograph more flowers. I am greeted with a profusion of brilliantly colored flowers from giant lotuses in the pond in front of the conservatory to lavish displays of lilies and many more. greeting card images of flowers that I'm after. all in one. You must take the lens off the autofocus mode and focus by hand. Waiting for the wind to stop. you must move the camera. Since depth of field diminishes rapidly the nearer you get to the subject. This will require that you have a flash in the camera or an external flash such as my Canon speedlite 550EX. suddenly. everything moves. since the slightest movement is magnified at close range. but thousands can think for one who can see. I expected few flowers in bloom in the midsummer heat. it is well to stop the lens down to f:16 or f:22. you maneuver the camera with tiny movements until the image in the finder speaks to you and. it (the camera) fires. jitters. — JOHN RUSKIN On the next day. this Day in July.can think. postcard. see! Then. It isn't calendar. The technique sounds simple. like a samurai warrior wielding his sword in a split second. The lens enables me to photograph deep in the heart of flowers if I wish. I must swoop in. Sunday. A number of times my finger on the shutter at the moment of release pushes the camera slightly. To see clearly is poetry. not rotate the lens. their spirits veiled in the chiaroscuro of light and color. Vision: The art of seeing the invisible. and developing the technique to execute your vision with your camera. wings covered with yellow pollen. throwing the composition out of kilter. Bees abound. Once in very close to where you want to be. the camera fires. At close range with the macro. buzzing quietly about their tasks. is a revelation. prophecy and religion. I will seek the hidden heart of the flowers. I spot a large bee on a lily and move in very close. It is all about seeing. at intense magnification. shakes. My tool of choice is a 100 mm. Instead. to attain sharpness where desired. very fast. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden. It is about seeing without restraint. for your hand to steady. macro lens. seeing what is almost invisible to the naked eye. I must work on this. without volition.
I walk across the new pedestrian and biker's path on the Williamsburg Bridge in Manhattan. Against the light. I begin to truly see. it starts there too . An array of hidden colors appear like magic in the seemingly monotonous bluish sky hung with misty clouds.BRIDGE WORKS Training vision is a lifelong task. to see more and more of what isn't there. I am busy seeing on a large scale. A subway train roars past. The resulting images become fodder for a series of joined canvases and psychedelic looking images which I make into dazzling patterns of light. the spider web like thrust of girders make ikebana-like patterns of asymmetry The girders are flung high and wide around me. I hear autos buzzing beneath me. Entrepreneurs are risk takers. Early in the morning one day. the opposite of the closeup flower photography. The buck not only stops at their desks. avoiding self censorship. chiaroscuro. they groan as they brace this immense structure. It is only by taking the greatest risks. and attempting to re-invent your visual world that you grow and see. After forty or more years of making images with cameras. They willingly assume responsibility for the success or failure of a venture and are answerable for all its facets. Spectral sunlight winks in and out between the massive girders which support the bridge along with a network of cables. and what I discovered by allowing my inner eye and a bit of chaotic ‘action painting' to arrange on the computer surprised and pleased me. What I saw with my inner eye when on the bridge. willing to roll the dice with their money or reputation on the line in support of an idea or enterprise. and unexpected colors.
So it is with our normal vision of the world around us.— VICTOR KIAM We are all entrepreneurs in this life.” His outdoor sculptures made with stones.. Whether making images. A COLLABORATION WITH NATURE Andy Goldsworthy. The quest for vision is much like daring feats of adventure. one which deprives us of much of the beauty which can enrich our lives. stalks. or Livingston seeking the source of the Nile in unexplored Africa. like Lindbergh crossing the Atlantic alone. You must work for it. If we don't dare the unknown. the success of the brave and audacious. The gift of vision is secured by audaciously setting out into the unknown. willy nilly. flowers. unseen because we have learned to take it for granted. most days I don't even get close. filled with turbulent pitfalls that sadden us. or doing business. in his book Andy Goldsworthy writes “At its most successful my ‘touch' looks into the heart of nature. The commonplace. is fodder for his revelations of the unseen beauty in nature. to Goldsworthy. The sought after place or thing is shrouded in mysteries. The gift of sight is precious. light playing across cloud castles—there is no end. we create a shallow life. leaves. Picture postcards rarely carry surprises or awakenings. We admire the image or we ignore it. learning to see anew leads to success. The ahhh! of beholding is gone. icicles and other natural flotsam and jetsam often last for a few days or less. sudden revelations—colored lights reflected on the streets during rain. He records the sculptures with a camera. with no maps to go by. By surviving in those seas we awaken to a sky filled with a flaming dawn and we see. These things are part of a transient process that I cannot understand unless my touch is also transient—only in this way can the cycle remain unbroken and the process be complete. We do not have to travel across the country or jet to another continent to discover unexpected wonders. We toss about like shipwrecked sailors in a small boat on an immense sea with no horizon in sight. That is good. a bee in the heart of a flower. trying to see what isn't there. Albert Einstein put it this way: .
Such a myriad of riches must be organized. Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight. Zen Master Takuan Soho says: The Existent Mind is the same as the Confused Mind and is literally read as the “mind that exists. they grieved it on its way. while all around us. like a beginner a scuba diving overcoming fear of drowning. We relax our eyes and take in everything. Our eyes and our brains have been marvelously trained by evolution to do just this. They are trained to work at our daily tasks. They are not windows. He saw into the hidden workings of the universe. than the Hubble Space Telescope. thousand visions go unnoticed.” First we need to understand that our eyes are as miraculous. and therefore censored nothing. Our open eyes gatherer quintillions of photons every minute. But the child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books. a thousand. It takes constant practice. Let us dive deep into the ‘sea' on firm land and begin to see as children again.. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. Do not go gentle into that good night . It is called No-Mind when the mind has neither discriminations nor thought but wanders about the entire body and extends throughout the entire self. We try to detach ourselves from daily tedium and open our eyes like children. discrimination and thoughts will arise. genius or no. Scuba techniques revealed the surprising rainbows of wonders beneath the surface of the sea to our eyes and brains that had no pre-conditioning. It does not know who or how. but only dimly suspects.a mysterious order which it does not comprehend. or daydreaming. The No-Mind is the same as the Right Mind. The child knows that someone must have written these books.” It's like hallucinations. The rewards are beyond measure. This statement by Takuan is a clue to learning how to see. Each of us is that happy child to whom all of creation from the earth to the starry universe awaits recognition. and time was not a universal clock—his concept of the spacetime continuum. Thus it is known as the Existent Mind. When there is an object of thought in the mind. Einstein's Relativity Theory revealed new world in which the speed of light could not be surpassed. We glory in these wondrous visions. not to reveal the hidden world around us. No-Mind or Right Mind wanders freely to view what “is not there. We are like a little child entering a huge library. We see everything.The human mind is not capable of grasping the Universe. too late. or even more so . is capable of seeing beyond the veil of self imposed or peer imposed “reality. It's necessary to be overwhelmed now and then. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. but we hide most of what we see behind a veil in order to avoid being overwhelmed. And learn. to penetrate the veil. In The Unfettered Mind (Kodansha).. Learn to love the gifts of light and enlightenment. It neither congeals nor fixes itself in one place. Each of us. regardless of subject.” It is the mind that thinks in one direction.
show that he dared to see and paint in a new way. Berger relates that Turner remarked. researchers or mystics..— DYLAN THOMAS . and dare to believe that our own new vision is paramount. Turner's sea paintings. although we can learn to see many of these enchanting displays of light and color. We stare out at the world . see beyond the surface of things. “. we must abandon safe harbors in the mind. To see like Turner. “Writing about a late painting called The Angel Standing in the Sun . I was lashed for four hours. wildly impressionistic at a time (mid-eighteenth century) when painting was mostly realism. Do Not Go Gentle into That Dark Night LIGHT DEVOURS THE WORLD John Berger.. but the act of truly seeing the world is equally brave. ignore the opinions of others whether our peers.” It was a brave act.I got sailors to lash me to the mast to observe it. Turner spoke of light devouring the whole visible world. The sea paintings carry within them colors and shapes rarely seen at sea or anywhere. freed of much conditioned restraint. To paint The Snowstorm. in About Looking says.. We discard tradition. Our newly innocent eyes. but I felt bound to record it if I did.. and I did not expect to escape.
patterns and designs hidden in these seemingly somber structures. rumbling traffic. What is there to see? Flowers are a universe unto themselves. and unveil such ravishing beauty and resplendent natural wonders as would make an emperor envious. You must look hard. For a time my work focuses on flowers and bridges in Manhattan. my unconscious instinctive mind records in the camera. The bridges sing a syncopated off key tune of creaking girders. I see the intricacies of design wrought in the girders. I discover myriad colors. autos. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge with its spider work of cables or the cantilevered Williamsburg Bridge and study the wires. cables. in their endless varieties. and roaring subway trains. Later. the sun peers out from scuddng clouds. flung across the waterways. . are equally extraordinary. shapes. and shapes. What I see or do not see. Overhead. girders. and their myriad interactions designed to sustain trucks. towers. elegant constructs of steel and wire. singing a world of ethnic peoples together. These are giant harps. Bridges. I sight through my camera and construct the raw materials of my digital painter's painter's palette.with our inner eyes. the blue waters reflect the sun. the eloquent lines of the wires and cables. FLOWERS & BRIDGES The world surprises me every day. and subway trains. working with Photoshop. colors. Far below. bringing. gigantic in relation to flowers.
They swim around our unconscious like schools of rainbow colored fish. gave herself like a flower. “it’s your world for the moment. diverse means of viewing the world. They were overwhelming. O'Keeffe's her large canvases of flowers seen closeup shocked and scandalized the public and the critics. displaying huge stamens and pistils.garde husband. Our lifelong work consists of allowing these swarms of . Our perceptions. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.” said Steiglitz. One Hundred Flowers. Later.VISION & PERCEPTION “When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it. like our dreams. Her avante. when the images are downloaded into the computer. they have no time to look at a flower. I see what I am used to seeing. Some found them to be to sensual and erotic. isn't there. Most people in the city rush around so. come in many colors. My perception. I want to give that world to someone else. the photographer and gallery owner Steiglitz cautioned her against exhibiting them. I see what I couldn't see. “O'keeffe let herself be seen.” —GEORGIA O’KEEFFE. When I stare through my camera viewfinder and carefully view the scene with my normal mind. People simply had not seen flowers closeup. I cannot see what it sees at that moment.” she said. my unconscious. to my eye. Perception and seeing are two distinct. (Knopf/Callaway) In 1927. cupping her hand and holding it closer to her face. when I “develop” them in Photoshop. intuitive vision or no-mind sees something else. sizes and shapes. and for a woman that was too remarkable. I can trust it and allow the camera to record what.
It only grows wilder and more colorful. miraculous world around us. in the midst of chaos. Wisdom entails sifting all experience through an uncensored sieve of unconscious desires and playful freedom. In the midst of wildness. order shimmers through and we are comforted. Entangled among the exuberant growth and ravishing colors we find single images which delight us with their quiet and repose. This is the beginning of wisdom. Nothing is banned.perceptions to surface. to unveil themselves in the light. .. like a Titan's garden filled with luxuriant brilliant weeds and gaudy flowers. Such vision never diminishes. of seeing the ever changing.
The entire range of the spectrum is often broken into specific regions. for these reasons. visible light is dispersed upon passage through a prism.ADDENDUM: THE VISIBLE SPECTRUM We see only a small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. In this sense. It is because of this that visible light is sometimes referred to as ROY G. The red wavelengths of light are the longer wavelengths and the violet wavelengths of light are the shorter wavelengths. BIV. Dispersion of visible light produces the colors red (R). Electromagnetic waves exist with an enormous range of frequencies. lower frequency regions are located on the far left of the spectrum and the shorter wavelength." we are referring to a type of electromagnetic wave which stimulates the retina of our eyes. The visible light region is the very narrow band of wavelengths located to the right of the infrared region and to the left of the ultraviolet region. Between red and violet. yellow (Y). Normally when we use the term "light. blue (B). we are referring to visible light. green (G). The subdividing of the entire spectrum into smaller spectra is done mostly on the basis of how each region of electromagnetic waves interacts with matter. there is a continuous range or spectrum of wavelengths. The separation of visible light into its different colors is known as dispersion. Each individual wavelength within the spectrum of visible light wavelengths is representative of a particular color. That is. Two very narrow regions with the spectrum are the visible light region and the X-ray region. Colors that we do not see are visible to other creatures on this earth. higher frequency regions are on the far right. The diagram below depicts the electromagnetic spectrum and its various regions. a small spectrum of the range of frequencies of electromagnetic radiation. orange (O). and violet (V). Each color is characteristic of a distinct wavelength. This continuous range of frequencies is known as the electromagnetic spectrum. You may read the following explanation if you wish or go on. The longer wavelength. indigo (I). when light of that particular wavelength strikes the retina of our eye. and different wavelengths of light waves will bend varying amounts upon passage through a prism. The visible . Though electromagnetic waves exist in a vast range of wavelengths. Isaac Newton showed that light shining through a prism will be separated into its different wavelengths and will thus show the various colors that visible light is comprised of. our eyes are sensitive to only a very narrow band. we perceive that specific color sensation. You are undoubtedly familiar with some of the different regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. we refer to it as the visible light spectrum. Since this narrow band of wavelengths is the means by which humans see.
We see all of the invisible spectrum of light which daily dances through our lives. Light is the greatest dancer. author Herrigel speaks of his master constantly referring to archery as a dance. but rather the combination of all the colors of the visible light spectrum. Thus. Technically speaking. black is merely the absence of the wavelengths of the visible light spectrum. We dance with light to the farthest reaches of human perception and understanding. We see what is not there. If all the wavelengths of the visible light spectrum give the appearance of white. then none of the wavelengths would lead to the appearance of black. black is not actually a color. EPILOGUE . The archer dances his shots. Once more.light spectrum is shown in the diagram below when all the wavelengths of the visible light spectrum strike your eye at the same time. white is not a color at all. visible light is sometimes referred to as white light. The visible and invisible rainbows of the electromagnetic spectrum are our lives. We use our intuitive no-mind and Zen like clairvoyance. So when you are in a room with no lights and everything around you appears black. it means that there are no wavelengths of visible light striking your eye as you sight at the surroundings. Technically speaking. white is perceived.com Shall we dance? In Zen & the Art of Archery . —physicsclassroom.
when the future beckons tantalizingly and everything is possible. especially if it knocks us up and away from our preconceptions. tedium overtakes the climber in pursuit of meaning and creative growth. every campaign to acquire new knowledge. and the will to make the desert flower. a metaphor for the next great endeavour.AD ASTRA (Art is Worth Dying For) I believe we go through an endless series of births and rebirths during our tenure and growth on this earth. or back down the mountain. the winding and endless road to knowledge is our home. It's too easy to begin an enterprise with innocent enthusiasm and passion. hard work. must rest from other necessary and tiresome labors unrelated to growth and creating. we encounter a pivotal time. beginning again. the greatest creativity. youthfulness in ideas and in the work itself is everything . success or failure." So it is. Rest and recuperation is needed before another attempt is possible. The best. enjoy the view! The next step must be to another. self-examination. Like life itself. I believe every great enterprise. has a curve of accomplishment: the beginning. Each new peak we attain reveals views of other heretofore hidden heights. At certain periods in our creative lives. "Every knock is a boost. most sanguine and felicitous parts of novels and movies often occur in the first half when striving is all. He or she. like the brain feeds upon itself. Moses spent forty years in the desert and never reached the promised land. AUDACE! . A mountain climber trapped above twenty to twenty-five thousand feet or higher must come down for oxygen soon or deteriorate and die. having reached a peak. Once a challenging peak is climbed. higher peak. we undergo a rite of passage. Often. A jazz singer on FM radio the other day sang a refrain. Perhaps "desert" is simply a staging ground. Our growth and perception never ends. The body.
The workaday "nitty gritty" conspires to shackle our talents. As our case is new. always forward.The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. Life demands action. Something must be done about them. audace. — Lincoln's Second Annual Message to Congress. Ideas won't keep. die for it. and if need be. in Lincoln's words. audace" cried de Gaulle. We must act forcefully before the routine and tedium of endless petty details despoil our dreams and defeat our ends. its custodians have fervor and live for it. We must send them roaming. We must. "disenthrall ourselves" and move on to fresh. and act anew. . When the idea is new. "Audace. ideas won't wait. cold harness of tasks better left to career administrators. and then we shall save our country. and we must rise with the occasion. so we must think anew. Forward. fecund fields where new ideas may glisten in the dawn of new endeavors like early morning dew on flowers and grass. Shed it! We must each take our inspired and abundant creative talent and free it from the itchy. The occasion is piled high with difficulty. We must disenthrall ourselves. LIGHT THE SKY The vitality of thoughts is in adventure.
talent." Isn't that the purpose of all of art and creation. Great talent. which. S. like a blanket of oily soot. Lewis speaks an idea garnered from a student. If not. Power and Magic In it. indeed demand. great energy.GOETHE WE ARE NOT ALONE In the movie Shadowlands. soul wrenching awareness of the cascading beauty and symbolism of life itself? Whatever you can or want to do -Begin it! Boldness has genius. Shouldn't we spend our time working on projects that illuminate the darkness. we wither in a stale environment where bean counters rule and dreams die slowly and painfully. -. seek and find venues that need. free will. we have purpose. such aspirations. and we are not alone ? . a ghostly apparition in an unblinking cosmos—that here on this speck of green earth whirling round a small sun. We must unleash our God given extraordinary abilities and free them to race across the sky like the Sun God's fiery steeds. to make us know that? To make us know that placed here willy-nilly on this spinning globe that sometimes seems like the Sea of Fertility on the moon—a nihilistic wasteland. aflame with light. that contain great challenges and require facilities to implement them on a grand and worthy scale. Anthony Hopkins playing C. We set out. color and beauty. smothers the world of new ideas and visions? Shouldn't we work on enterprises that wash away gloom and give birth to a new.—ALFRED NORTH WHITEHEAD Everyone of us is an untapped reservoir of becoming. "We read to know we are not alone. great ambitions crave great projects.
We were born to inhabit and create on a planet so fair and beautiful that "heaven" is but a solipsism and a mockery of Paradise here and now The poet begins where the man ends. We are all poets at heart. not crawl. love and creation. in the offices of bureaucrats. but as the fires of volcanoes renew the earth. our efforts our lives. “What can the vintner buy one half so precious as what he sells?" We are fortune's vintners pressing dreams from dew covered grapes. What pleasure compares to a new creative challenge. Always the journey. dreams that make life real. A Modern Sequel . we read of Odysseus.Enjoy life? Of course! We are born to sing. We are born to fly. not grunt." We work to display the joy of what we create each day and each day is our reward. —ORTEGA Y GASSET. our destinations are our inspiration. to crawl. Our dreams arise from inspiration. THE WINE OF PASSION We read in Omar Khayyum's poem The Rubiyat . the poet's to invent what is non-existent. We must protect the God given flame of inspiration ere it flickers out in the temples of money changers. the sole elements that conspire to make us more than slouching beasts. The Dehumanization of Art We read in Omar Khayyum's poem The Rubiyat . to sally forth into the universes of thought and action. “What can the vintner buy one half so precious as what he sells?" We are fortune's vintners pressing dreams from dew covered . moral and cultural values. to dance. to setting off on another voyage into the unknown? Odyssus set sail again in search of new worlds after he regained his kingdom Ithaca. "My voyages are my Ithaca. Very little of value may be found between. never the end. The man's lot is to live his human life. Without passion we create grey slag heaps of time worn existence. In Nikos Kazantzakis's great poem “ The Odyssey. in the cellars of misers and bean counters. to the renewal of youthful dreams. or sadly. to fly on wings of thought to far reaches of the planet and to the ends of the universe. Passion and joy rule our lives. not recklessly.
—ORTEGA Y GASSET. The man's lot is to live his human life. the sole elements that conspire to make us more than slouching beasts. Without passion we create grey slag heaps of time worn existence. We were born to inhabit and create on a planet so fair and beautiful that "heaven" is but a solipsism and a mockery of Paradise here and now The poet begins where the man ends. Our dreams arise from inspiration. love and creation. in the offices of bureaucrats. The Dehumanization of Art LONG AND HARD ARE THE SKY ROADS Our creative desires and endeavors must not be reduced to shopping malls of clever exhibits and boutiques. moral and cultural values.grapes. the poet's to invent what is non-existent. Passion and joy rule our lives. We are all poets at heart. but rise to snow peaked mountains towering into the next world. but as the fires of volcanoes renew the earth. dreams that make life real. not recklessly. We must protect the God given flame of inspiration ere it flickers out in the temples of money changers. in the cellars of misers and bean counters. We seek the .
I do not ignore the appalling poverty and misery found in many undeveloped and developing countries. I believe the sometimes hidden purpose of all art is to raise the level of the viewer's perceptions. flaming nebulae millions of light years away. the paintings of Van Gogh. Removed from our close contact with the earth. bewildered or chastened. our hearts filled with the sheer exuberance of liberation—liberation of our uncanny abilities to grow and flower in the commonplace wastelands of over civilized citified cultures. the uncanny beauty of worlds in collision. pinnacles and arches in the Southwest. surrounded by paved roads. our minds that will not age unless left idle. but hard and long are the sky roads and many are those who would tame the spirits that ride with the chariot of the sun god. to welcome discoveries. explored and made real. however new and bold. What else compares with the experience of art itself? All of art. must never bow to the whiplash of bureaucracy or cries for what is politically correct. the sound of wind and wave and rain. Matisse. ART MAKES US MORE HUMAN We stand measured by the breadth of our expanding souls. we must find our way back to that exuberant dawn of innocence and spiritual dignity. or an audience that must be enlightened. The artist. Basquiat. the grand architectonic "musical" forms of canyons. I add the caveat that art is . the seeker of the way of art.unknown. It is not a viewer. a fiery grace that lights the world. Such enterprises can be found. It is the wonderful kindness. to shed light. it is the artist himself or herself who must discern what really matters. We embrace the human ability to rise to an occasion. to make life worthwhile. the sculpture of Moore. The true artist. sculpture and science. No power must come between that holy gift and the expression of it for the joy of mankind. see-er or seeker creates and grows because he or she is creation itself. I often encounter this dawn roaming the earth into "primitive" places. Brancusi or Rodin. the art of music and dance. From modesty comes grace. it is not made for any decreed purpose. they are . de Kooning. concrete and glass. wisdom and hospitality of so many peoples that I speak of. music that comes from Bach in the B minor Mass or from the dying Schubert in the late piano sonatas. places where human beings embrace mother Gaea with innocence and praise her.
like a speeding freight train is difficult to stop and makes a great screeching and squawking when slowed. when trees suddenly bud and flowers bloom out of . sing to our souls and reward us with innocence. the Buddhists. to touch. to see.one and the same. yes to the creative mind. We will come to know again the joyful springtime that comes unexpected and radiant late in autumn or dead of winter. Hard it is to wrench oneself from the turmoil of self-created "necessary" mundane projects whose momentum. All of art and science beckons to human beings to look. —lARIA MITCHELL Yes to that hymn. launch. to hear. SPRINGTIME IN DECEMBER Every formula which express a law of nature is a hymn to God. Better to leave the dilapidated train. forever hastening to those places which capture our hearts. fly to the places and palaces we dream of. to discover that we are not alone. the Jews. the Muslims. and yes to going forward! I make no difference between the God of the Christians. or anyone's search for religious meaning in symbols or saints. rocket off.
then we must and shall employ it for the good of the earth insofar as we are capable of understanding that good. We were born to inhabit this halcyon paradise of earth while we live (living means creating. I am a lover and a fool. October is the fallen leaf.season. but it is also a horizon more clearly seen. Prometheus. Great deeds begin with a multitude of tedious details which may seem to deny the light of creation from rising each morning like the sun. a cracked bell. an unlicensed oracle. uncharted and unbounded. Then we may give thanks and praise and rejoice in the knowledge that we are forever young. If we be favored by the gods with energy. a labor fit for Hercules. or be made unbearable by puerile and punitive endeavors. an insolent mouthpiece for Gaea. else it is a lesser life) to strive and seek a distant shore unmapped. Aphrodite or Apollo in a flourishing civilization where greed and lust for power often overshadow humanity's long journey to the stars. Autumn is for Understanding FOR THE HAPPY FEW (OR MANY) We all may share the blessed lifelong burden of creating and loving. We must avoid . —HAL BORLAND . daring and beautiful. Our nascent light must not set in darkening shadows of discontent. energy which is eternal delight in Blake's words. I will sing of joy. It is the distant hills once more in sight and the enduring constellations above them once again. There is no end to energy.
When the morning stars sang together.. It is the business of the future to be dangerous. We work. Art is the religion of the spirit and the religion of the deepest unconscious striving of the fecund but tip of evolution.. Nothing else or less will do. "blind" and dreaded. seekers and seers who fiercely create and bring these shattering and seductive visions to light shall be as prophets of old. We toil to give form and space and song to what has not been seen enough before. brained and blessed to do Gaea's great bidding. We bring to Gaea (and Gaea is God and earth and holy) all that she is and wants to be and we cannot help ourselves. We toil for the coming happy many who seek what we seek. the burgeoning glory of an ever fecund. green and gratifying earth. if thou hast understanding.making godlike judgements as to what is good. ever new. Art is evolutions' way of knowing herself. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare. in Stendahl's words. ever flabbergasting. We were born. Who will or can stand with the Lord in his place and listen to his words? I neither mock nor defile any religion nor use the cantos of praise other than with respect and joy for spiritual enlightenment. the thrice blessed godly virtue of questioning. and all the sons of God shouted for joy? . glorious. WHO WILL STAND? We happy see-ers. for the happy few. We toil because we must.” said Alfred North Whitehead.
a tintinnabulation of ringing bells to fill the mountain steeps with echoes of glory. but on a candlestick. love and compassion. Job XXXVIII Open the gates for we are as sounding brass.-. and glorify your Father which is in heaven. a great jazz in the night. Christian. . audacity. jubilantly. With zeal. a mighty work which make this planet a vaulted heaven where mortals convene and converse with gods. Moslem. The sermon on the mount* goes unheeded. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. and it give light unto all that are in the house. the army of the Lord of hosts. We must follow our hearts no matter where. inspiration and courage we do the bidding of gods and spirits. Neither do men light a candle. *Ye are the light of the world. the voice in the wilderness soon forgotten. THE SERMON OF CREATION Is not all of art and science part of that great sermon? Is not the act of creating art the same act of reverence as lighting a candle? Isn't a human being born to create those things which glorify the Father whether He or She be Buddhist. Father. Let your light so shine before men. the teachings remain.THE BIBLE . and put it under a bushel. that they may see your good works. joyfully. Jew. Shinto. Gaea's legions.. the legions of creativity..
worshipper of Mother Earth or earth spirits? Bach loved the Father as he loved life itself. CREATION'S STARRY LIGHTHOUSE A wanderer on this earth. as the Buddhist monk loves the Eightfold Path and the Four Noble Truths. thousand deadly reefs and shoals in a world often gone mad. to make a world where art and love blossom like cactus flowers in vast deserts of ignorance. Each new challenge begins in innocence. shamans. we undertake to make a world more fit for humanity's great mission. to celebrate the earth. discovery and enlightenment. no dry fugue maker. Starry eyed. as a sky flowering lightning and rainbows. the mist shrouded lighthouse whose radiant beams illuminate a thousand. I witness the seemingly endless striving of fecund humanity to break the shackles of earthbound tedium. to find. Bach's music. from the soul. to know. Art which comes from the heart. . Bach. the light of God. the light that is God. It is sometimes hard to keep my eye on the holy beacon of creative enrichment. from the spirit and from the love of life is holy. to seek. was as passionate as a water lily in the dawn. We stand together with artists and scientists. filled with zeal and energy. the Zen monk's traditional shakuhachi flute meditations or any other glorious religious music celebrates the light. to understand..
The fruit of our endeavors. voyages into the unknown. the radiant genesis of glory.. In his monumental poem. For once I stood In the white windy presence of eternity." The entire Ode spirals down to us like a glittering nebulae. of glory in the flower . smothering sarcophaguses filled with overripe.. But trailing clouds of glory do we come From God. his great lament " Though nothing can bring back the hour/Of splendour in the grass. and my soul stir to the rhythm of the daily round. Yet. who is our home. our life's star. life will not press so close. like fragrant wildflowers. And time will come close about me. And always I shall feel time ravel thin about me. whose lives become voyages. — EUNICE TIETJENS . a quasar billions of light years away shedding the radiance of a giant collapsing star. yield love potions we toast to the glory of the earth.WORDSWORTH . having known. Our labors flower and bear fruits in their season. shades of the prison house closing in. voyages away from stuffy. The art's the thing. a star swathed cradle of innocence.preachers and prophets. We stand beside all who seek to know. Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting: The Soul that rises with us.. Hath had elsewhere its setting. we shape the world we inhabit. for we contain in our mortal bodies the whirling troposphere of lightning and great storms. Ode on Intimations of Immortality. not measured out like cold coins or lifeless currency. Wordsworth bemoaned the seeming loss of his own innocence. We carry our heads high in the myriad constellations of glittering stars. rotting fruit. -. the dregs of futile toil. memento mori of that place from which we came. And not in utter nakedness.. make beautiful solace for a moment of rapture. Our gifts. he saw shadows. And cometh from afar: Nor in entire forgetfulness.
Ours is the earth and all that's in it. growing and creating.she makes hungry where most she satisfies. Only constant change and growth fuel the engine of creating the new. Not as solons in the great courts of kings... "success" imprisons us in a grey claustrophobic.SUCCESS HAS TWO FACES "Success" that duplicitous Janus-like goddess.. and the seemingly dangerous. never from the adulation of media. the glory of the earth. the tinsel worship of celebrities. but as naifs. defeats our aims. we are at play in fertile fields filled with spring freshets and flowers. conquerors or emperors. One head eternally young. We attain our births and rebirths. innocent and filled with joy at what we do not know yet yearn to know. Antony and Cleopatra . We will trail clouds of glory as long as we forbear yielding to money-grubbing temptations. the adoration of power and money." --SHAKESPEARE . one head older than creation. the enigmatic.. misbegotten misinterpretation of the meaning of life. the cycles of the seasons of art that bestow everlasting youth. Age cannot wither her. True success comes from our joy of learning. nor custom stale/Her infinite variety.
Then this is attained. he is the showers.A THINKING REED A creative human being. only to watch it roll back down again... Indeed. the foliage. Albert Camus wrote in The Myth of Sisyphus that “There is no sun without shadow. "Childlikeness" has to be restored with long years of training in the art of self-forgetfulness. T. the ocean. We begin anew each time. starting over. often must push a heavy rock up a steep mountain path to the top. Suzuki said: Man is a thinking reed but his great works are done when he is not calculating and thinking. He thinks like the showers coming down from the sky. happy in the knowledge that such efforts renew. . gaining mountain tops. In his introduction to Zen and the Art of Archery . man thinks yet he does not think. We are one with earth. he thinks like the green foliage shooting forth in the relaxing spring breeze.he knows himself to be the master of his days. The absurd man says yes and his efforts will henceforth be unceasing.. like legendary Sisyphus. he thinks like the stars illuminating the nightly heavens. renew as do the elements and the seasons. he thinks like the waves rolling on the ocean. writer and Zen philosopher D.”. seeking new visions. and it is essential to know the night. the stars.
These themes flaunt fields of eternal energy. A cold blue sky over Manhattan turns slowly pink. which. It is Sunday in winter. the creative life with its thousand broken idols and masks. eternal themes. A thousand. to add music to the earth. They ask us to consider what our presence on this small green and lovely planet means. to shed light. The themes of this essay. its thousand fears and follies. rainbow spattered dreams. —SAMUEL BECKETT . To be an artist is to fail as no other dares to fail. as Job endured the trials of the Lord. We must endure. Whatever blocks our way must be rent asunder. arts and crafts. confront the perplexing mystery of life itself. good housekeeping. for in the end. as the Red Sea parted for Moses. if we are willing to burn for it. we will have it. that failure is his world. We have but one overriding duty in life. and. whirling and sparkling like the vast star studded hoop of our galaxy. desertion. into whirling butterflies and birds of paradise to float out into the great world beyond my small studio. Tomorrow I confront the daily exigencies of city life. help define us as human beings. thousand lights glitter in the dusk. we were born to radiance. I must conspire to make illusive vagaries. to develop our powers to the utmost limits in order to be of use to others and to ourselves.IMMORTALITY OR BURN Therein "ends" this essay. and to shrink from it.
. unseen. Go where the wind blows. Seek and find a place in the sun that understands and strengthens far reaching vision and reinforces your inner search for deep. 'tis not too late to seek a newer world.. for it will blow a fair wind. Perform as one who inspires others to go beyond their self imposed limits. We must freely and fruitfully undertake projects that involve great energies.Postscript: LIBERATE THE UNIVERSE WITHIN What should I or you or anyone do? Only those difficult. unleash ourselves from petty ideas.. passionate and intransigent things which can and will fulfill our dreams. .. unbind our limitless creative powers. still untapped reservoirs of talent... for my purpose holds to sail beyond the sunset. Come my friends. and the baths of all the western stars. Become as one who midwives and creates things yet unknown. housekeeping and clinging needs of those who must yet be inspired.
Ulysses Copyright © Harvey Lloyd 2003 .—TENNYSON .
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