THE ART OF SEEING

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.

INTRODUCTION

People think that they see, but they don’t.

—HENRY MOORE

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

I celebrate the art of true vision. for at the speed of light time stops. We must begin with training the eye to see “what isn't there. holy light makes vision possible. we lose the greatest gift conferred on sapient beings. You often do not . or a significant part of a landscape. as you approach the speed of light. light is ageless.vision.”) Without light. you may not be aware that you are using your “zoom” eye to see.” According to Einstein's Theory of Relativity. Light. Without the ability to see the light with child-like innocence. To truly see is to enhance one's life and make visible the hidden universe of wonders which surround us. such as a great tree or a sculptural rock. time slows down. It has been said that light is the face of God and/or the mind of God. be it a person. It can be warped by gravity. You tend to focus on the main subject. Light gives vision.999. (Star Trek fans know that “crossing a galaxy or galaxies is negotiable in six months in warp 9. it can be a particle (photon) or a wave. LIGHTWORKS Light is the source of all vision. no life can exist. 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.” When you look through the eyepiece of a camera. Light and its bizarre behavior is one of the great mysteries that still baffle physicists and mathematicians. It cannot escape the “event horizon” of a black hole. And. Light behaves in strange ways. Let there be light. the spirit of the earth. we are rendered dumb and speechless. Without the light of the mind. We will examine the strange phenomenon of many artist's works that do not resemble the way we see the world. The Old Testament Bible begins (Genesis: 1) with “And God said. as has been written by scientists such as Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. It is the key to becoming one in heart and spirit with the Gaena. How that process works is a visit to a strange new land. an animal.

Bresson was able to do this in a fraction of a second. they often do so in an asymmetrical way. The presence of an exquisite asymmetrical composition of ikebana renews and refreshes our vision.notice what appears in most of the image seen in the viewfinder. “The decisive moment. It is what we are capable of uncovering in the seemingly commonplace everyday environment.” meaning the moment when the subject and its significance come together for a split second. His talented. . 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. thus transforming them into more vital places. To create is to live.Creation is the act of discovering something new. It was said that the outcome of the battle could be predicted by the success of his floral arrangement. To do this we must learn to see from both sides of our eye without moving our eyeball. practiced eye recognized those fleeting moments.. a noble samurai would make an ikebana before going into battle. one that takes us by surprise. as we more fully comprehend this relationship between creativity and our daily lives. A photographer learns to scan the entire frame in an instant to create an image. The legendary photojournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson. In the feudal days of Samurai warriors in Japan. We may study examples of traditional beauty such as flowers rearranged in a unusual way. We see the everyday beauty of flowers transformed and our eyes are refreshed. he writes: Ikebana can play a tremendous role in modern society. It takes practice. The loveliness of the flowers is displayed in exquisite handmade stoneware or ceramic vases.. Through applying this truth on a daily basis. mundane activities can be imbued with new meaning. When the Japanese arrange flowers. Due to the character of its living materials. Ikebana combines visual surprise with its appearance of seemingly teetering on a precipice of abstract arrangement. It has something beautiful to offer the human spirit. coined the phrase. and makes us aware that vision is not just what we see. a way that can enchant or intrigue us with its tension and beauty. These arrangements often appear to teeter on the edge of falling apart. ikebana will become more and more interesting to us. ikebana has the power to change and add resonance to our increasingly sterile modern spaces. It wrenches our mind's eye out of its complacent socket of sedentary seeing. Hiroshi Teshigahara is a renowned Japanese film director and headmaster of the Sogetsu School of Ikebana. You will see this in the Japanese art of Ikebana or floral arrangements. In the preface to his elegiac picture book The Art of Ikebana .

Eternity with its worlds .it throws its shadow into the realm of light.” .is in ourselves or nowhere. Renoir said that he went to the flower market early in the morning and bought the most beautiful flowers. for our spirit has been deprived..the past and future . shapeless. he told Monet. The German pre-romantic poet Novalis said.We dream of traveling through the universe .but is not the universe within ourselves? The depths of our spirit are unknown to us . Learning to see comes from taking one's self by surprise and absorbing the unfamiliar until the veil of mystery dissolves. 1798) .THE BACK OF THINGS Monet is said to have asked Renoir how he arranged his flowers in order to paint them. We will experience greater enjoyment than ever. But how entirely different it will seem to us . “Chaos in a work of art should shimmer through the veil of order. from 'Miscellaneous Observations'. he would walk behind the arrangement and paint that view. At present this realm certainly seems to us so dark inside. he would spend the morning arranging them." (Novalis.. The external world is the world of shadows . and the body of shadows has moved away. lonely. Back at the studio. Finally content.the mysterious way leads inwards.when this gloom is past.

Without the dark side. We learn to love ourselves which brings about love of others. We now view it as an active process in which the brain. select and. discards. I do not speak of seeing only what is beautiful. the beautiful might become too commonplace. Inner light. hilarious or scandalous comment and suddenly see him or her again. The art of seeing relies heavily on the light which comes from our minds. The poet Lorca spoke of duendé . friends.. generates the visual image in the brain. Life itself is love and art. 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. holy light which illuminates a dark world with our imaginings and our dreams. .but these new facts have only come to light in the past twentyfive years..Light is supreme. a process remarkably similar to what the artist does. glory in the light. Gradually. He tells of a gypsy woman hearing a cello sonata by Bach being played and exclaiming. as a flower unfolds in the springtime. to take a loved one by surprise with an outrageous. at times. Inner Vision: An Exploration of Art and the Brain I endeavor to see more each day. It is a process that will never end. It is only with the more recent discoveries about the visual brain that our concept of vision as a process has changed. It is well. 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. acquaintances. and rarely see them clear. the flamenco lacks spiritual depth. in its quest for knowledge about the visual world. by comparing the selected information to its stored record. "That really has duendé There is great beauty in the human countenance. glory in the earth glows and sheds its radiance over my life. the dark side of art. — SEYMOUR ZEKI. relatives. we cannot love in the highest meaning of the word. the light with which we learn to view the world. Until we gain the ability to see beauty in the simplest things. Without duendé he wrote.

irreplaceable growths for profit. We do not control this. cypress and a hundred others. great oaks. transform or otherwise “play” with the trees in Adobe Photoshop to reveal what I believe to be their inner lives. They go wandering forth in all directions with every wind. It is our privileges because we are endowed with an appreciation of “useless” beauty. "I never saw a discontented tree. I think the trees would be pleased at the attention. I grieve for their loss. We are like captains on the bridges of ocean liners calling out commands. and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do. and beautiful. Suddenly. wise. I can think of nothing more beautiful than the shapes of noble trees. but often little concerned with the complex and vast array of machinery below that executes these commands. and for a wise compromise with our needs. Over the sea itself.TREE LIFE I am a tree hugger. redwoods. 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. and we see how beautiful it is. I photograph them (late fall. benevolent. W. I vote for the life of trees. I enhance. I take my nickname C. When I walk (dance) among the trees I see them as anthropomorphic shapes. patient. They grip the ground as though they liked it. It may not be the trees whose lives I truly see. ancient olives. . a rainbow appears. from the Caucasian Wingnut tree. winter. but my own imagination running riot in their lofty. It is sad that our vision is deprived of these great trees. they have little or no control. We ride these tempestuous seas hurled high into the sky by monster waves in a storm. regal domains. just as with our own unconscious minds. Our conscious brains control but little of what we do. going and coming like ourselves. grand sculpture that makes my heart sing. Many would agree. Our too often overly greedy society demands that we cut down many old. traveling with us around the sun two million miles a day. pines. 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).

NOBLE VISIONS There are visions which never leave my mind because I have not seen them yet. remembering Pablo Neruda's great poem. My images while handsome. and the pristine archipelagos and icebergs which spoke of time before man. elephants and cheetahs. I stood transfixed at Macchu Picchu.” the Okovango Delta in Botswana. The Heights of MacchuI Picchu. Maybe next time. I saw them without truly penetrating beneath the surface. The splendor of Moorea and Bora Bora in French Polynesia. compelled me to try to see these things well. Still. Hong Kong still baffles me. I remember the vast main temple at Angkor Wat in Cambodia. do not dig deep into the Inca ruin. I recall flocks of birds. On safari in the “Last Eden. although I saw it clearly rather than with depth. better to have looked harder. if . the green and turquoise waters there and in the Seychelles dazzled me. The clarity of the light in Antarctica. the tall grass the and winding streams. My Great Wall and Forbidden City images are merely a breezy.

to penetrate deep down into the mystery and spiritual life of places and peoples.professional look at these great works of antiquity. A world roaming traveler skims the surface too much. This implies a steady state universe. That is a beginning. waves or sub-atomic particles arise spontaneously. There is a need to learn to see and to work in a vertical as well as a horizontal way. over time. 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. To some. Around our familiar places. We can visit beloved places over and over. The very term “see the light” bespeaks a seeing beyond what the eye itself sees. how can it permeate the universe without a beginning? We needn't answer questions of such metaphysical depth to see the light. a universe which emerges at random. 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.. Is a black hole the wormhole(1) to other universes? Quantum physics speaks of fluctuations in the space-time continuum from which vibrations. we can penetrate to the heart of things. Consider the visual mystery of a black hole. this seems better than the Big Bang theory of .

A singularity produces a paradox of infinite forces if observed or experienced." A black hole constructs an event horizon around its singularity. strike the retina. Where the world ceases to be the scene of our personal hopes and wishes . are transported to the visual cortex. If there was a Big Bang. and voila. 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. that the actual of the Universe probably derived from a indeterminate sea of potentiality that we call the quantum vacuum. is our greatest joy. — ALBERT EINSTEIN . It is simply a statement that the Universe was emergent. Thus. then it must occur). vision emerges.edu/~js/ast123/lectures/lec17. density. there we enter the realm of Art and Science. whose properties may always remain beyond our current understanding. . Stephen Hawking has said. nor is it a statement on a lack of purpose or destiny. This is not a statement on a `cause' behind the origin of the Universe.uoregon. a point of infinite mass. — (excerpt from (zebu. "the actual point of creation (of the universe) lies outside the scope of presently known laws of physics. 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. The fact that the Universe exists should not be a surprise in the context of what we know about quantum physics. Although this is a continuing mystery.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. deciphers and then decides what you and I see.the universe exploding and expanding from a singularity. The uncertainty and unpredictability of the quantum world is manifested in the fact that whatever can happen. in which light waves or photons enter the lens of the pupil.. It is a complex process in which photons are converted into electrical impulses which the brain censors. in his writings. that if a quantum mechanical process is not strictly forbidden. I have not discovered from the above light's origin. . You cannot penetrate it to observe the singularity without being destroyed. was there light in the singularity? If not. or observable existence by the process of cosmic censorship. does happen (this is often called the principle of totalitarianism.. energy and gravity within which the laws of physics disappear. light. the light of the visible spectrum. a singularity is prevented from having a physical.

the information goes on to a way station. you must listen to a great rock band. 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. How do you see what isn't there? What “isn't there” is the real world of wonder.) We are not conscious of this. to circumvent or overcome our early conditioning. Dubuffet studied the works of children and mad people. the LGN (lateral geniculate nuclesu) where it is sent to the primary visual cortex. scientists find more information comes back to the LGN from various parts of the brain than go from it to the brain. Start by educating your eye. Look again. Are Dubuffet's grotesque paintings of people real. in order to bring an entire scene into focus. as that which occurs when the eyes fix on one point after another in the visual field. Since it takes energy to see. First glance is only the beginning of the process of truly seeing. Much of it is the ordinary. and may imagine that we see everything sharp. We do this with a series of quick glances called saccades ( A rapid intermittent eye movement. Strangely. 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. Preliminary processing of the visual information takes place here. or are we? More likely our upbringing and our environment have mapped that which is “important” on our brains. or the host of books about artists of every period and see how artists and photographers view and have viewed our world. We are surrounded by images in our technological. Here we are being told what to see. The eyeball must constantly move. Where. a tiny central zone of the eye. Very little is known. Since there is sharpness of vision only at the fovea. a . digital world. You may be a photographer or artist and record what is there or you may be trying to see your world.? Let us “waste” this energy because not to see is to be blind to the real meaning of life on a beautiful planet. why waste this energy in a battle within ourselves to unmask the outside world. and on to other parts of the brain. The actual process of seeing is performed by your brain rather than your eye. The myriad photons of light strike the rods and cones which are wired to a complex “computer” in the retina. The eye is no window! From the retina. No matter you say.. As with music. our daily fare. Why not visit online the virtual realms of museums or museums themselves. chaos and beauty that you do not yet see. they were painters. The interior is dark and mysterious. you may ask.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.

Not in one day or two. POINT LOBOS My work is a kind of music. your eyes will refresh themselves and begin to see what “isn't there.symphony or a piece of ethnic music a number of times to really hear it. Walk these rocks slowly. THE SAMURAI WAY: Spiritual Journeys with a Warrior Photographer (Ruder Finn Press. I stood on the grass with the lights in it. 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. 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. California. It was less like seeing than like being for the first time seen. like viewing a singularity? You are the mirror. and never knew it until at that moment I was lifted and struck . One day I was walking along Tinker Creek thinking of nothing at all and I saw the tree with the lights in it.I had been my whole life a bell. utterly focused and utterly dreaming. but in many. It's like seeing what's there.” The same may be done nearer home. It is easy to hear light music the first time. Images play music to my eyes. each cell buzzing with flame. grass that was wholly fire. Is that an impossibility. I often walked the rock formations at Pebbly Beach now called Weston Beach. I saw the backyard cedar where the mourning doves roost charged and transfigured. hide a world of abstract art. Try it.. knocked breathless by a powerful glance. or anything else you might fancy. the ancient Carmelo and sandstone conglomerates. The tilted slabs of many hued rocks on the ocean's edge. A walk in a botanical garden. on the outgoing tide early in the morning. but be patient. I describe this place more fully in my picture book. a forest or around a lake leads to new visions. June 2004) . Annie Dillard discovered a universe at Tinker's Creek. Light comes from within and without.. 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. of shapes which mirror chimeras and gargoyles.

the magical tool which worships the light.. —DAVID MARR.. or do we humans have the ability to see beyond the constructs of early childhood and later conditioning. 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.—ANNIE DILLARD . whether with brush or camera. Do we want to? It may be forbidden fruit. Each of us has the power to see in ways that few human beings have learned to see. the human eye. to penetrate the fog and miasma of lazy looking and wasted vision. 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. of course.. 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.. The knowledge we have now is really only the beginning of an effort to understand the physiological basis of perception. but where's the harm.the striate cortex is just the first of over a dozen separate visual areas. Artists. while walking past a field of wild flowers early in the morning. Why. All that is needed is the will to use the most powerful tool in our bodies. a story whose next stages are just coming into view. each of which maps the whole visual field. see a great deal that is invisible to many others.beginning .

. and Vision The mystery of how vision works compels us to discover what we may truly learn to see. We all live near or in the midst of trees... Brain. turning. They are indeed lovely. arching into the sky.We are far from understanding the perception of objects. all the past as well as all the future. altogether delightful. — DAVID HUBEL . Eye. each area feeds into two or more areas higher in the hierarchy.with the striate cortex..” .. our problem is to find out how the information is processed.The ascending connections presumably take the visual information from one region to the next for visual processing. Joseph Conrad wrote. casting cool shadows for us to linger under.. For each of these areas. To see the beauty and marvelous symmetry and asymmetry disguised or hidden in the twisting. “The mind of man is capable of anything— because everything is in it. precariously hung branches of huge trees that stretch over us takes sudden awakening of our ancient nomind. Shall we not look deeper and study their marvelous construction? The art of nature is the source of all art. our intuitive mind.

are beginning to harvest new clues to the origin and evolution of the universe's largest building blocks. 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 Hubble . bolstered by the largest ground-based telescopes around the world. the galaxies.ORIGINS Two of NASA's Great Observatories.

That's a miracle. to vain effort—to death. Just as the Hubble telescope reveals the more of the cosmic tale of billions of galaxies in interstellar space. the earth. We can illuminate our world as seers. Olympus. the glow in the heart that with every year grows dim. prophets. Painting is a blind man's profession. — JOSEPH CONRAD It is too soon to quit. and expires—and expires. the heat of life in the handful of dust. to love. what he tells himself about what he has seen. that the human brain functions at the quantum level." says Mauro Giavalisco. We will increase our vision as we enlarge our cosmic curiosity which views all creation with a wondering. From a drop of dew on a blade of grass to vast ranges of glacier clad mountains. a gift from the gods. so our probing minds can discover and see the infinite variety of our whirling planet. too soon. and while thinking see. Md. He paints not what he sees. the deceitful feeling that lures us on to joys. We can see. from the heart of a flower to tempestuous seas that circle our planet. to soon—before life itself. We are more than crawlers on this earth. but what he feels. We can as well open new windows in our brains to view the countless wonders of our own planet. grows cold. the triumphant conviction of strength. astronomers are studying galaxy formation and evolution over a wide range of distances and ages. and research astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. We will abide so long as we increase our vision in ever expanding circles. I remember my youth and the feeling that will never come back any more—the feeling that I could last for ever. blobs of protoplasm which thinks. head of the Hubble Space Telescope portion of the survey. outlast the sea. We invented the gods. shamans and magicians see in their myths and necromancy. The universe within each of our brains contains more possible connections than the number of stars in all of the galaxies combined. — PABLO PICASSO .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. like ripples in a cosmic sea. we can discover and see. to acknowledge that there is an end to life and growth. and all men. The astonishing Hubble telescope opens a new window on our universe. grows small. the eminent British mathematician. as artists see into the future. wandering eye. Roger Penrose. we are the stuff the stars are made of. We become visionaries. That means the processes in the brain are virtually infinite and cannot ever be completely understood because of the workings of quantum indeterminacy. We have the unlimited potential to see what no one else has seen. Called the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (GOODS). becomes as though we were gods on a high peak. "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. wrote in his book Shadows of the Mind. to perils.

I felt a chill of fear. clicking their yellow bills and dancing an ancient mating dance.” At no age is the human mind limited. It is only when. Once. here on this earth willy nilly. — LAURA SEWALL . able. filled with detritus of boring work.She sees that which is possible embedded in what is real bridging between seen and unseen realms. with memory and imagination.of what am I doing here ? . at whatever the cost.. I saw them..LOOK WITHOUT FEAR We are here to learn. while hovering in a helicopter over a deeply crevassed glacier in the Darwin Mountains hard by the Beagle Channel in Patagonia. but perhaps unwilling. Ripeness is all. as in Shakespeare's words from King Lear: “We must endure our coming hither as our going hence. We are too often like those albatross. the mind lies fallow. used only to seeing what is there in our circumscribed world. Another time. They did not see me. to take the risk of leaping into true vision. shackled by the bonds of daily routine. Sight and Sensibility.... the Psychology of Perception .. ashore in the Galapagos Islands. mind-set and fear. I walked among waved albatross courting. She perceives what is yet unseen while looking into the world.

the flamboyant and miraculous play of light on water and sky. he became known as 'the painter of light. however. Wherever he visited he studied the effects of sea and sky in every kind of weather. he went to the Royal Academy School of art when he was only 15 years old.”to the painters of his day. 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. like an alchemist's stone. Such vision emerges from deep immersion into intuitive or Zen no-mind. We can learn to see this way by discarding our preconceptions and seeing as we fantasize.. depicts the ravening energy of light which. He was to open the way for a visionary anticipation of modern painting.W. His early training had been as a topographic draftsman. Venice was the inspiration of some of Turner's finest work.' A Londoner born and bred..M. Turner translated scenes into a light-filled expression of his own romantic feelings. The artist using his or her skill. . transmutes all into glory and beauty. a world of rainbows and light. With the years. Turner saw what “wasn't there. Turner studied the science of light and color. Turner (1755-1851 saw and painted light. Perhaps the most famous English Romantic landscape artist.TURNER’S LIGHT J.He was a unique artist. both in freeing himself from all past artist traditions and art movements. Instead of merely recording factually what he saw. he developed a painting technique all his own.

shared by the earlier Greeks.But the artist appeals to that part of our being which is not dependent on wisdom. and pain. more permanently enduring. Magister scholarum of the University of Oxford was a proponent of the view that theory should be compared with observation. that vision involves emanations from the eye to the object perceived. — JOSEPH CONRAD . You might say that light from your eyes creates your vision and that you can change that light by learning to truly see.e. Our brains send messages to the LGN. (Experiments in quantum physics hint or show that the observer affects the observed. The rainbow was conjectured to be a consequence of reflection and refraction of sunlight by layers in a 'watery cloud. he held the view. these signals emanate from our eyes and condition what we see. Robert Grosseteste (England). to the sense of mystery surrounding our lives: To our sense of pity and beauty. the collapse of the wave function. I work with sophisticated visual tools. to that in us which is a gift and not an acquisition -. We will see. The act of observing a wave/particle at the quantum level raises the probability of that wave being there. Whether light or energy. The Nigger of the Narcissus VISION EMANATES During the 13 th century. Current optical theory would disagree with this assertion. the way station between the retina and the visual cortex.' Most importantly to our dissertation. Grosseteste considered that the properties of light have particular significance in natural philosophy.. high end cameras that digitally record images of scenes before me. i. however there is a great truth hidden here. . Does the light from my eyes influence what my cameras record? A scientist or physiologist might laugh at this idea.and therefore. He speaks to our capacity for delight and wonder.) We see what our brain instructs us to see.

” If light sees us. Newton's theories of light as corpuscles eventually gave way to Einstein and the enigma of light as both waves and particles (photons). — ALBERT EINSTEIN . Early in life. “Let Newton be" and all was light.Nature and nature's laws lay hid in the night. In his book. Catching the Light . we ourselves are not constrained from violating our selfimposed limits. our brains map the visual world according to our environments and from instructions received from our parents. “Goethe phrased it this way. can we then learn to see the light? The eye/brain alliance is a kind of camera obscura. Out of indifferent animal organs the light produces an organ to correspond to itself. It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. — ALEXANDER POPE Laws of science should not trap us into complacency about how we see. We have the keys to unlock the box and dwell in radiance. While light cannot escape from a black hole. 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.had light not “seen” man. author Arthur Zajonc writes. God said. teachers and peers. Only fear. and so the eye is formed by the light for the light so that the inner light may meet the outer. a dark chamber which receives and emits light What form these light rays take inside our brains is equally dark and obscure.. we should never have seen the light. Our own event horizons are the limits which our brains enforce to make us see what is already there. Imagine that your brain behaves as a black hole is believed to do in interstellar space.'The eye owes its existence to the light.'. The study of light has revealed mystery atop mystery.. rigidity or laziness can prevent us from viewing and enjoying the works and wonders of all creation.

chasing the buffalo rocks down to cliff's edge. I am filled with dreams still aborning. While photographing for my book of aerial photography Sacred Lands of the Southwest . sets full flaps down and throttles back. the desert blushing with harmony and music. The Cessna airplane bucks and slows. riding my thunder stallion down the fading light." Fifteen minutes before sunset. rapture of the deep or sky. for sheer beauty of the landscape. sentient and universal realm of mother earth. To the right I see my companion Shirlee's favorite southwestern garden. one million light years from today. Darkness. a vibrant breathing chalice of all that she has dreamed during an eternity of fecund and felicitous birthing. We are one. Among them. the green meadows of the Needles and Chesler Park. Our aircraft speeds ahead twixt Navajo Point and Navajo Mountain. her carriage and her dreams. fire the camera and wave Michael the pilot on to Canyonlands. A red sky bands the horizon. the wistful mote and the wise macrocosm. Michael lowers the landing gear. Row on row of silent sentinels striated with browns and yellows. hypnosis. I wrote the following: I awake from reverie.. harbinger of tonight's full moon. We know the same. the endless. the magic light paints huge rock monoliths a deep shade of red. a speck of protoplasm attached to earth's green bosom. 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. The sun's bloody tomahawk cleaves the distant ridge. these ‘tapers' burn in the orange light as in a cathedral where the devout light candles. All is beautiful. a bow-tie ribbon twined in the petrified red hair of the Colorado plateau. I lean out to photograph Tower Butte framed by Wild Horse Mesa and the pinnacles round the "Crossing of the Fathers. Hozho! . one thousand feet above the fissured rocks. spires and obelisks arrayed like marble hat pins. chalice of the universe. Michael whirls the aircraft around in a steep turn. We feel the same. The confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers slides below. a blackness full of tears. the high plateau regions of the southwest in America are unsurpassed. the reddening sky and the dark lake transfix me. Lake Powell glistens among black rock monoliths and crags. oxygen deprivation at ten thousand feet. Window open. Somnambulist of early evening. At five hundred feet over Lake Powell. Lake Powell's waters grow dark. During twenty-five years of circling the globe I've encountered many enchanting scenes.WORLD ICONS Often I am asked what is my favorite place in the world. her chariot. interwoven like an measureless Mobius strip. slightly dizzy reverie. I am chief of the dusk. Time's fleet arrow speeds across a distant sea of stars out beyond the known universe.

What I saw was revealed later in the developed film and it was good. no sign of Navajo or sheep. beauty and balance all wrapped in one concept that dwells at the heart of the Navajo world view" — PAUL G. The earth tumbles beneath me. Michael. my instinctive. I gesture towards the flaming rock mittens. and in the distance. I was in a trance during those aerial encounters. deep desert time. The setting sun hangs like a burnt brass cymbal. I relied on no-mind to see for me. Big Indian . Fiery embers glow on the horizon. evidence of crepuscular deities slumbering among the stone sepulchers. flying low and close to the stone castles. time that painstakingly sculpts wisdom and stone monuments weds necromancy's dark invocations to shadowy spirits. Spires. hogans face east to greet each newborn sun ball trailing a red placenta of clouds." the red rock mittens of Monument valley. a spinning.. Dying shadows sink into the parched land. Whirling and tumbling about. shadowed by the sun's grim final burning. or the immolation of heathens by the friars of the Inquisition. Loud is the propeller and louder still the hush of millenniums. Long shadows march across the red desert floor. spins the light plane into a dizzying descent around the Totem Pole and Yei Bi Chei rocks in Monument Valley. a glorious flight before the sun descends into the underworld.Thirty minutes before sunset. Bear and the Rabbit. St. tiny red mounds. Images flashed across my vision.. ephemeral. Shirlee and I ride a winged metal spirit that dances in the shimmering yellow sunlight like a mayfly. . ZOLBROD .the word means something like harmony. triggering reflex actions on the camera's shutter button. Mitten crosses mitten. The ancient ones doze. a few minutes of epiphany. castles. The Stagecoach. Time. whirling the Cessna towards the great stone "Hands of the Great Spirit. battlements. intuitive training born of long years of practice. I see no life. ourselves ghost dancers. One instant more. We veer and turn. only the silent ghost dance of shadows.Hozhó. our acrobatic pilot of the Cessna 182RG (retractable gear). Elmo's fire. ruins and monuments. we fleet across the picket line of monuments— The King on his Throne. spirits of ghost dancers awakening from the afterlife. Distant cliffs devour the sun shrouding the desert with scorched tears. holy shadows on the desert.. I lean out of the open window. Michael banks and turns. towers and rock cliffs rear out of the red desert sand. whirring dervish suspended in thin air.

fear. among majestic ruins. stress. are disappointing. Vision is as infinite in its many guises as the universe within our brains. The eye is no camera. yet the print shows them as tiny figures in an unresolved landscape. The camera is a magical optical device which can. seeing what the camera sees through whichever lens you use. Mood. This is the first step. That is why eyewitnesses often disagree to what they see. . photographs taken on travels at home or abroad. reveal the unseen world. No hurry! Otherwise your ‘snapshot' will only reveal that you were careless and unseeing. if used with passion and vision. not what is there. To truly see through the camera viewfinder. rather than studying the entire frame. Use your camera as you would a magnifying glass to examine the exterior that you try to capture. anger or love all influence what we think we have seen. Our eyes lie to us. or a grand cityscape. emotion.ZOOM EYES A camera is a splendid tool to awaken and train the vision. Our “zoom” eyes coax us to see only that part of the image which is our subject. That is why too often. you must look hard. from the macroscopic image of dew on the petals of a rose to the sculptural nobility of a giant tree. controlled by our brains. Study it until you really see it. Our eyes. all around the perimeter of the image. record what we “should” see. We thought our friends or companion were tall in the image.

I've stood on a ship's deck at night far out as sea. It must have been sheer energy. In this age of onrushing technology and unlimited travel opportunities. There is no need to fast in the midst of viands beyond imagining. will be alive.. if he or she would accomplish much. He lived to eighty-nine in a time when that was very rare. far forward away from all man made light. I would shudder and experience vertigo at the endless distances above me. He changed his name many times as well. Wood block Artist.. To see is to dine like a king or emperor. How they were used. —HOKUSAI ..at ninety I shall penetrate the mystery of things. Every one of us can attempt the same. ( The Manga . I beg those who live as long as I to see if I keep my word. A writer was once asked if he could imagine writing like Shakespeare. to learn and to see. 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. The night sky filled with constellations is a feast for the eyes. 1760-1849). be it a dot or a line. The earth and the heavens flower for us daily. I felt how fortunate to be able to comprehend a little of the wheel of our galaxy and the immensity of the universe. That's a great way to live. ... Nothing can stop us from seeing except the tired habits of mundane or aborted curiosity and striving. just as how each of us uses our eyes is another matter. At seventy-three I learned a little about the real structure of nature.RICHER THAN EMPERORS OR KINGS . JAMES MICHNER) I acclaim these lines of Hokusai. and gazed up at the Milky Way. An artist. we are richer in opportunities than any rulers of the past.all I produced before the age of seventy is not worth taking into account.. The banquet of the world is always on the table.and when I am a hundred and ten everything I do. He answered that he used words as well. must be curious and unending in the quest for new visions. Better to drown in the search for knowledge than to languish on barren shores of discontent and blindness. Japan.

” We see people according to our own inner needs and conditioning. Celebrities of screen.. Lovers appear wreathed in splendor.. author Diane Ackerman writes: We may pretend that beauty is only skin deep. the heroines are beautiful. Children learn implicitly that good people are beautiful and bad people are ugly. the sight of the beloved has a completeness which no words and no embrace can match. ‘Ordinary' people are merely glanced at or ignored unless we know them or plan to try to meet them. then grin.. the first stories most of us hear. the heroes are handsome. wear masks. music or politics are usually seen with a halo of power. caring.. whether celebrities or otherwise. A smile goes a long way. author John Berger writes. “The way we see things is affected by what we know or what we believe. All human beings.'. . Look in the mirror. To truly see people. in fairy tales. Parents and relatives stir conflicting emotions.. and the wicked sots are ugly.After all.HOW DO YOU SEE PEOPLE? In Ways of Seeing. but Aristotle was right when he observed the ‘beauty is a far greater recommendation than any letter of introduction..When in love. and society restates that message in many subtle ways as they grow older. If you would photograph someone you do not know. In A Natural History of the Senses. we need to love and respect them. giving or passion. you must drop your own mask to enable true seeing of the human being beneath. riches and talent.

she asks why he is following her. but not as most westerners might observe beauty. is often the surface of things. The appearance of people and things changes as we come to know them. He follows a fine old woman eighty years of age. On hearing his reason. or appreciating minimalists or abstract painters. wear exquisitely carved male and female masks. The appearance of beauty truly comes from within. the beautiful.What is beautiful and what is ugly is in the eye of the beholder. the music of the earth can bring great meaning and joy and open one's eyes to the splendor in the world. from the eye of the beholder. A young man from West Africa saw a five foot high power figure from Zaire in my dwelling studio which I call Spirit House. How can anyone spend their brief time on earth in the corporate world only grabbing for more money and things? Only the insubstantial. contemptuous looks sported by fashion models in ads these days. time is needed. Those we love for their inner beauty appear more beautiful as time passes. feathers and straw.” And further on we read. skulls. or from the side or below. ‘The heart is the form. always men. As in developing a taste for eating oysters or grasshoppers. “It is a Noh saying that. the actor must bring the mask to life. a very difficult part to play. wears a horn on its head.. in the street. the expressions change. shells. and he displays a gaping smile with only three front teeth. How a mask can change expression is demonstrated in a website (now gone) which sold exquisitely carved masks. He is covered with ‘medicine' objects. It arises from our own perception of the world just as everyone has their own measure of what art they like or hate.” I think so too. Alarmed. strangely. for the rich and powerful.. and depending on the lighting. You are beautiful and that attracts the rich and powerful. the memories linger on. Seen from above. The young man stared for a while. straight on. we read that tradition has it that a young man seeks to learn to act as the woman Komachi. We cannot define beauty.it can be a curse in a way for we need to be loved for who and what we truly are which. No one is truly ugly unless the ugliness emanates from inside. She tells him “For Noh. are less than beautiful. then said. Often. she tells him it is bad for Noh. from the inside. the spiritual. the staring. I've forgotten who she is.'” FROM THE HEART I wrote the following to a lovely lady. To succeed. he must feel the thing as a whole. In Japanese Noh plays. . “That is very beautiful. and watches her every move. the actors. In Ezra Pound and Ernest Fenollosa's book The Classic Noh Theatre of Japan..

Our art is the present we freely bestow it on all the others who will share these things. Chambertin.That is a real tragedy. "I want to know God's thoughts. She flies with those to whom the spiritual life is all important and love is the banner which flaunts desire and freedom. To love.'” Isn't that the way it is? Some things are too dear to keep alive except as smoldering embers. crane. to converse is bliss. To travel. . imagination. P. All that you say about life being fulfilled with a good companion is exactly the way that I think. loving and not quite tame is a good motto. those are the wines of life. inspiration. or feather spirits as in the Japanese Noh play Hagoromo . A woman with integrity. our source and our inspiration. It went like this. To attract even one person to love is a great step forward." So it is with art and the life of creating. We immerse ourselves in evolution's great journey to discover in that wisdom all we are and ever hope to be.” we change the future by living it and by creating. but I remember the wine. 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. talent and a great spirit shall be as a bird that has left its cage. the deepest meaning and the challenge. I have known it. therefore it is no illusion. I went to the Einstein exhibit at the Natural History Museum this morning —relativity. I've forgotten the place. We celebrate the entire world bathed in holy light and filled with becoming. and seek to learn ever more about the mysteries of our confounding and delightful world. all the rest are details. feel and love. Material success is too often an impenetrable fortress and prison for the mind and soul. Free as an eagle. We are free when our bonds with another are so light they are fairy spirits darting back and forth—tenins. to feel and be honest with each other.S. “A man says. kindness. only those who inquire and learn can change. or albatross we soar into the light and see what only a few can see. ‘I've forgotten the lady. To keep alight the torches of wisdom. wisdom and genius together—Einstein once wrote. to care. We cannot really teach those who will not hear or see. My forgetting of the lady reminds me of an elegant wine steward on a ship who told us about a wine he recommends. Friendly. You write with the spirit and soul of an artist who has learned that to follow one's own bliss is the only way. sensitivity. But you know that.

According to Relativity theory. If you see a red box. But of course.. What do you see when you see familiar places? The heart of the matter is that we see the world indistinctly. The true nature of things remains a mystery. — ALBERT EINSTEIN I find it very mysterious that. That's easy. the kind that makes hydrogen bombs. may be a more accurate description. You can see. It appears to be the product of any kind of combustion. not “arrows” of light going in special directions. 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. anything that burns although fusion.000 miles per second. “Can you see the light” contains more deep meaning than it may seem. At the speed of light. the speed of light remains constant. fire. mass increases. glowing galaxies. but an all pervasive glow. It excites me that the medium of light. Convenient. fuzzily. Rays of light fill the universe in a kind of chaos of the visible and invisible. The actual color is not seen.. We see what we ourselves absorb and process. like the art of seeing. no matter how fast an object or human travels relative to the speed of light. If I could travel at half the speed of light. however it is a though we imagined countless waves from the sea arrive along with a accompanying flurries of buckshot. after much cogitating. 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. for we only see a small part of the spectrum of electromagnetic waves of which light is a part. obscured. as you approach the speed of light. time slows down! What is the light? Physicists seem happy to define it with formulas and the wave and photon idea. blazing stars. The real enigma is light itself. it is really absorbing all the other colors and reflecting red.THE SPEED OF LIGHT The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. You or I can never travel at the speed of light or anything approaching it. To add to the mystery. light around me would still be speeding at its normal 186. is so wrapped in conundrums and mystery. . You cannot imagine light emanating from a frozen body in the blackness of space. this makes sense! The cosmos is afire with light. as anything travels closer to the speed of light. it is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. I cannot race a “ray” of light anymore than I can choose to swim with a wavelet among myriads fluttering in the sea. according to Einstein's theories.

. at any age. however.a hardwired black box. “The brain was constructed to change.” He and other researchers now believe the human brain can be extensively remodeled throughout the course of one's life.” It now appears that exercise. In the chapter “The Mutable Brain. Among the most interesting themes is the new research which indicates that the brain constantly changes.. as when a child learns several languages easily. These findings are critical to helping overcome various disorders of brain function including Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. sets up new circuitry.A NEW BRAIN FOR EVERYONE The September 2003 special issue of Scientific American magazine was entitled “Better Brains.. This applies especially to older men and women who often do little to protect their brains in these ways. researcher Michael M. “scientists thought that the brain was like a computer. we are discussing the art of seeing. without surgery. such as reading daily or cruising the Internet enhances its powers.which established its critical functionality in critical periods.” I'm for that.. proper diet and active use of the brain. It had been thought that these processes only happened at certain specific times.” Merzenich noted.” We can reroute visual paths through our brain which will enable us to see through the veils of conditioning and mind-set which hide. adds neurons. we can learn to see what “isn't there. without drugs. Merzernich says. and changes the way in which it operates. “Until recently. disguise and distort much of the beauty and wonder of . Here. If your brain and mine can change all through our lives.

living on earth. Youth thinks it has forever. Only occasionally does the middle-aged adult venture forth into the wide world of vision. The Scientific American article ends with “The sky's the limit. Scientists now. worn but homelike. As we age. our ways of thinking. add circuits. I take trips. “Oh. reroute the pathways around the brain. Brain cell loss is not the problem at any age. peer pressure and smug contentment to shroud the world from view. replace lost brain cells.” many will say. however we have more than we need at all ages.” Can you imagine and joy in the favt that our very brains are programmable at any time in our lives. and allows atrophy. It is easy to travel lugging the baggage of one's preconceptions like an old rug or comforter. the maturing adult takes what he or she sees for granted. that we can grow new neurons. and use only a small portion. and we are trying to figure out the rules. That is a gift from the gods. A recent study shows that brain cell loss holds steady with aging. overweening curiosity about this earth. we lose brain cells constantly. marvelously claim that we have the ability to change our brains. as the real world. . Later on. grow new cells. What is often the problem is lack of a passionate.

We see what we see. another hundred took flight. a brilliant observer who transforms daily visions into fragrant.'” That begs the question. we learn to see. rapt. The birds were weightless as well as invisible. in A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek writes of vision in a chapter called “Seeing. Annie says it is possible in deep space to sail on a solar wind. I live for these moments. soul and passion behind the lens. heart. Agreed.SEEING IS NOT A SPECTATOR SPORT Annie Dillard. “Not a branch or a twig budged. She mentions walking toward an Osage orange tree which did not appear unusual. waiting to be seen.” Isn't seeing more than a matter of metaphor. I walk from shot to shot reading the light on a calibrated meter. 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. I add that you must practice seeing. whether at sea.. it sees everything. churns green and white in a tempest. I remember dawn breaking over dark seas as I flew out over the Caribbean in a helicopter. epiphanies and endless wonder. When I walk with a camera. Within minutes flares of light. my own shutter is always open. We. Out over the sea. An endlessly inquiring and insightful mind is as restless as the shimmering mirror of the sea reflecting scudding cloud castles. exhausted. not sit on the sidelines. whetted. when suddenly a hundred red-winged blackbirds flew out of the tree. translucent. views islands hidden in grey mists. straddle the seas and rise into the heavens. Your eager and inquisitive primal eye. When I see this way I am above all an unscrupulous observer. the sky lights up slowly. glows pink and red in the dawn. content? Annie is impartial. editing it for my brain. The sky is afire. sumptuous paragraphs which taste like vision. props up rainbows.” says Donald Carr. I see a red ball dimly appear through the dawn mist. What she or we can see is all there as well. broadside to the merest puff. disheveled. and only if.” I could as easily reverse that statement and say that when I walk with a camera. I hope this phenomenal gift will be or is already with you. The two difference between the two ways of seeing is the difference between walking with and without a camera. on the other side of the spectrum. At such times. since it means that only the simplest animals perceive the universe as it is. it's rapture. can interpret if. As she walked closer. for the simplest animals have no way to interpret what they see in a conscious way.”The secret of seeing is to sail on a solar wind. cuts and splices what I do see. 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. charged and firing without my knowledge. the eye which lurks inside your eye.” She says that it's a matter of keeping one's eyes open. Burning like desire. The mead of the Gods tastes sweet. my own shutter opens. When I walk without a camera. giant luminous ladders. Silver sheen burnishes their lofty edges as the sun begins to emerge far below. Annie says there is another kind of seeing that involves a letting go. . like the blush of opening roses. and the moment's light prints on my own silver gut. Dark thunder clouds roil and tumble high into the dawn light. of writing and thinking of what you see? Isn't it an almost orgasmic like delight of suddenly being jolted into vision. With or without a camera. God's rays. above mountaintops or on the land.. Hone and spread your spirit till you yourself are a sail. and vision is sweeter than wine. smell . “When I see this way I sway transfixed and emptied..” 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. “A nightmare network of ganglia. What a camera sees depends on the mind.

. sound and feel like vision. What is vision.. the scourge of disease —endless travails which human beings have endured since the dawn of history.like vision. The candles lit by art burn brighter than the explosions of stars. The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with the joy of living are goodness. ravages of floods and eruptions. You've read it? Read it again! I will. You and I are deeply troubled and moved by these things. —ALBERT EINSTEIN A see-er or seer cannot be too comfortable. “Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. To see is to understand the powerful currents that rage across the seas and continents of the earth—dreadful visions of war and genocide. radio and the Internet. the slaughter of millions of innocents. Deep in the . a system of ethics built on this basis would be sufficient only for a herd of cattle. And she has a sense of humor.” said Eleanor Roosevelt. it pours out a balm upon a troubled world. beauty. and truth. life. Can an artist or new vision make the world a better place? Art comes from truly seeing. tv. love or art without a sense of humor? Read A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek . To make a goal of comfort or happiness has never appealed to me. Such spectacles mercilessly invade our vision through the roar and outpourings from newspapers. BETTER TO LIGHT A CANDLE.

They were too large. I exhausted the subject for the moment. 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. What we know of evil we cannot ever lightly accept. understanding and desire inflame our souls. lighthouses or blazing candelabra which illuminate some small part of the darkness. an estate and garden in the Bronx open to the public. I tried to peer deep into the flowers. without shadows we could not comprehend the light. That was fine. It was called Perfection/Impermanence: Contemporary Ikebana. I expected to see the ikebana I loved. passion. just as there is a dark side to all of human nature. love. You and I are those fiery furnaces. I went with a friend to visit Wave Hill. I could not yet see these things as ikebana. 2003. I never even noticed a giant explosion of shrubbery attached behind the rear porch. I took photographs of the installations in a somewhat shaken manner. flowers arranged asymmetrically in vases. Soon. Now an then you need a good blow . However. to different from my mind set. We walked to an exhibition in the Glyndor Gallery located inside a red brick house. He pointed to the rooms and said that was the contemporary ikebana. I walked up to the man at the desk and asked him where the ikebana was to be found. I used my macro lens and diffused strobe flash. There is a dark side to art. What I saw when I walked inside took me by surprise and puzzled me. SIGHT UNSEEN—MYSTERIOUS IKEBANA On July 6.playground of myths which inhabit our minds. Dodging the sprinklers in the garden in front of the conservatory. I went equipped with my Canon digital cameras to see and record the life of the flowers there. from my love of delicate ikebana arrangements.

I write about seeing and I just realized that I didn't see anything at first at the exhibit and. At Wave Hill. and the concept of time or the transience of living matter are all components of Ikebana. to arrive at one's essence. certainly. Arrangement.org. Progressive Japanese flower artists have developed Contemporary Ikebana. said this in part about the exhibit: Ikebana comes from a long tradition that celebrates life and respects plants as living. use of living plants. the artists'' own creative process and energy. I see with my camera. breathing things. not enough. relationship to a space.. I went to Wave Hill to see flower gardens. the unheard clash of galaxies devouring each other in the blackness of space. I saw little. the roar and splash of icebergs calving. I saw a new variation of a loved theme. The Wave Hill site on the internet: wavehill. the silence of dewdrops on wild flowers in the mist. that heralds true seeing. to be alive. a form of arrangement that is released from the confines of the vase. to arrive at one's essence. The origins of the word stem from three verbs: ikeru to place or arrange. What will I see when I learn to see the new contemporary ikebana? . The practice requires a disciplined training in which the artist strives to create perfection and impermanence in each installation or display. to live. and encourages free expression and often takes the form of large-scale installations. That provokes me to see it again until I see it. ikasu –– to put in the best light. Annie said that without her camera she was an unscrupulous observer. yet I didn't see it. I see the raging drama of great storms at sea. she saw everything. ikiru –– to live. but first I have to constantly see anew. To arrange. to see in the best light.along the side of the head to wake you up from smugness or complacency. in those incredulous first moments. It employs natural and inorganic materials. ikebana. When I view “quiet” asymmetrical arrangements of traditional ikebana.

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.

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. (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 want to see.MYSTIC VISION In his book. 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. approaching God as though he was a great bird which wafted down sparkling feathers in the holy light. Poetry breeds visions as does the mystic. In those days it was not obvious that the brain operates on the information it receives. endless work at detoxification of the visual structure of your brain is needed.” Digest that! What you see isn't what you get. Their complete functions are still little understood although you may read that the paths are charted. and you can't control it.. The poet Rumi was born in Wakhsh. transforming it in such a way as to make it more useful. Eye. don't you?. Brain and Vision . and has shed his or her mortal coils for the embrace of the . The pulpit's a bully place if the priest be wise enough. It's worse than drugs or alcohol.) What was not clear in the 1950's is what that mapping might mean. or can you? Detoxification. and in metaphysical journeying. He wrote of the mystical side of life. in clouds. What you get is what your brain decides.. I will embrace every religion in spirit. Tajikistan in central Asia on 30 September 1207 to a family of learned theologians. or do you drink the sacred wine and whirl off into unknown reaches of holy space. prophet or shaman's intoxicated ruminations. Noble prize winning scientist David Hubel writes: The visual world is systematically mapped on the geniculate and cortex. I want to see everything.

The vision of a shaman must be earned by dying and rebirth. O bird. hurry. Leave behind the stagnant and marshy waters. wheeling. ratcheting. I put saw in italics because my no-mind or intuitive reflex unconscious mind saw these trees. fly away bird to your native home. We can't all be divers hooked up to aqua lungs and oxygen tanks in or out of cages. Hurry. I was in a trance. is not a bad way to look at the art of seeing. We are not granted vision without cost. and the baths of all the western stars. hurry. which. I visited the Bayard Cutting Arboretum on Long Island to see and photograph the trees for a fine art project I'm working on. seeing deep into the hearts and spirits of these noble trees which flung their convoluted.. We can dive naked and filled with wonder into the flowering.. 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. shorn of leaves. not seeing but seeing. enraptured. Single branches often appeared too massive and heavy to support themselves.” One mild winter day. Fly away. You have leapt free of the cage Your wings are flung back in the wind of God. I presided like a floating spirit. I saw a singular kind of beauty. asymmetrical spreads of branches high over my head. dancing around the splendid trunks. The camera did its work.unseeable and holy of holies. displayed their sculptural grandeur. spinning mystery of life on earth “to sail beyond the sunsets. The lady with me said she watched me “dance” around the trees which. It keeps the shark out but it keeps you in while outside rainbow schools of fish flaunt flamboyant colors. VERY TREE .

Getting no seed to sprout. — STANLEY KUNITZ . Stripped of green root and leaf. Colors pour in and out: Here is a timeless structure wrought Like the candelabrum of pure thought. 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.Forget the tube of bark. Reject: and let there be Only tree. Tenacious like a hand Gnarled rootage in the dark Interior of land. Bright incidental bird Whose melody is fanned Among the bundled sheaves Wild spool of the winding word. Alliterative leaves.

here. — THE OCEANS . This essay taken from my travel journals was written while making an Atlantic ocean crossing on Cunard Line's QE2. color has little function. Deep beneath the surface of the sea. or alert themselves to predators. or at least we used to. At night the ocean's surface often glows with luminous light. worms. They still do at night during wartime to avoid breaking radio silence. Billions of single celled organisms—dinoflagellates. starfish. The rest is lost in heat. We humans get only 10 percent of electric energy out light bulbs in the form of light. in eternal night. It deals with the phenomena of light in the depths of the sea.But in the gloomy abyss beneath. A deep sea jellyfish spins like a wheel of fireworks. in that frightening abyss where light never calls. jellyfish and their relatives the sea-pens arm themselves with light to dazzle. Beneath the sea nearly 100 percent of bioluminescent energy is converted into light. hiding or hunting. Signalling or seeing. frighten. snails. A Celebration Communicate with light? We humans do it. bursts of light flicker round .. sea-squirts.BRITTLE STARS I've traveled to hundreds of ports of call around the world on great ships. shrimps and other crustaceans convert chemical energy into light energy. half animal—flash myriads of galaxies dancing on the murmuring waves. half plant. Far beneath. They've been my base during many adventures. luring or decoying — color and pattern are basic to communication and concealment among animals in the ocean. creatures communicate with light. before the advent of radio. as in the rest of the natural world. Jellyfish.. clams. At night. a constellation of fish radiates light. squid. ship captains at sea flashed coded light signals to each other.

Ocean. Each male flashes points of light in unique individual patterns. shark toothed jaws. I will glow with a terrible fire to light deep seas of my mind. What a dance that would be! No special effects. who have evolved eyelid like shutters to turn out the lights when danger comes. dangle luminous 'bait' from their dorsal fin fishing poles to lure prey into gaping. you are my guiding light. an eternal delight. it sheds an arm tip. miraculously. Brittle star. lights out. The females recognize their mate's patterns. They alone can see the red shrimps. a beacon across billions of light years. In the Caribbean. Below the glittering QE2 in the abyssal sea. minus one arm tip. Myriads of tiny creatures flash lights.its body. journey on the solar wind into deep space. a fireworks display to mock a billion whirling chalices of stars birthing in deep space. veritable clouds of light. Radiate. sparking and spitting like a Catherine's wheel. I ride beams of light into abyssal clouds. A few clever fish employ a headlight which emits deep red light in the abyss where no colored light penetrates. I glow. pulsing lights. another kind of celebration takes place—a celebration of light. continues to flash. Meanwhile. I am one with Oceanus's womb of sentient life. the brittle-star fish outsmarts its enemies with a brilliant strategy. miles down. the brittle star. which. crawls off to safety. I will enter dreadful abysses where thoughts. If a barrage of lights from its arms fail to frighten off its enemy. In these labyrinthian corridors. At night QE2 sparkles with a thousand lights. biochemistry converting energy to light. Glowing bacteria flash signals from the eyes of flashlight fish. interstellar wastes trembling with nascent . tapestries of fishy design. I wish I could flash lights in the dark and dance away from my sparkling body parts. The light comes from clouds of glowing bacteria inhabiting the angler fish's lures. leaving a morsel rather than a banquet. you birth light as we live by light. My light shines forever. I wrap myself in light's energy a thousand fathoms down. shed my sparkling limbs round Jupiter and Saturn. luminescent signals to open up dialogues. themselves dark. I think. illuminate. glow. like voracious angler fish. clouds of shimmering thoughts wink on and off. discover their consorts and mate in the dark. I dance through the heavens like the seven daughters of Atlas. invisible to other predators who see no colors. dangle luminescent lures to entrap my conscious mind and bend my silver head to darkness and despair. Most wonderful. fly into the clouds of light. Angler fish. coded mites. firefleas swim in groups.

A great life . 1883. The Story of My Heart THE GOD OF LIGHT . I want more ideas of soul-life. glitter. Light.novas sparkling amidst fiery seas of condensing dust. There is so much beyond all that has ever yet been imagined. — RICHARD JEFFRIES . a Soul-Entity.lies just outside the pale of common thought. upon which the vessel of thought has not yet been launched.an entire civilization . as yet unrecognized……There is an immense ocean over which the mind can sail. flame into furious fusion to cradle countless newborn stars in a universal ocean of pure light. There is an entity. I alight where cosmic furnaces glow. I am certain that there are more yet to be found. light alone reigns supreme.

Burning on the great sun stood in the sky. like a moonstruck swain chasing the reflections of the moon in a pond (Li Po. I worship other gods as well. against the lit walls.There was a faint blue colour in the air hovering between the built-up banks. in the hollows of the houses. I have never seen the light the same anywhere in the world. while drunk on wine). lighting the least speck of dust. among the immortal. He was also. The sun filters through my thoughts the way it burns the mist off a mountainside. The fixed point of day—the sun. twittered and glided downwards. by these I knew the supernatural to be more intensely real than the sun. By these I saw my soul. and man's pollution all change the way we see light. is said to have drowned watching the moon in a pool. always surprising. Basho. in the midst of the supernatural. I am light itself transposed into living mind.. Burning on steadfast. volcanic eruptions which throw vast clouds of dust into the atmosphere. Month and Year. as a inquisitive world traveler and recorder of the earth's cultures should. snow. as we all know. the wild spirit which tints my work with glowing colors.. I felt it. HELIOS was the all-seeing god of the sun. The light. — Theoi Project. I was intensely conscious of it. like a spirit of many colors.. the goddesses Day. possess one thing in common. In my travels. Helios was a close friend of the other fire-god Hephaistos. is very beautiful. So intensely conscious of the sun. The Story of My Heart I worship the sun god. The swallows wheeled and climbed.. heating the parapet. and the greatness of the material realised the spirit. the immortal. the seventeenth century Japanese master of the haiku or seventeen syllable form of poetry wrote: “. I touched the supernatural. and the three sisters called Seasons .all who have achieved excellence in any art. the limitless space. the broad walls. The very nature of the air in different parts of the world imparts a variety of colors to way light is seen. I felt out into the depths of the ether.were said to attend his throne). I felt the presence of the immense powers of the universe. The sun is my familiar. that is. Light is the great creator. there that moment. the sky. always changing. — RICHARD JEFFRIES . eighth century A. A Guide to Greek Gods. gleaming on my finger-nail. Light and life embrace on this earth and throughout the misty regions of interstellar space. by extension. glowing steadfastly upon me as when I rested in the narrow valley grooved out in prehistoric times. even when revisiting places. the god of the gift of sight and of the measurement of time (the time goddesses . lighting the great heaven. is evanescent. The Narrow Road to the Far North .. to be . poet. Mists. rain. I felt too in the midst of eternity then. Spirits & Monsters I am infatuated with light like a lover. Lighting the broad river. The light from the sun is filtered by the atmosphere and influenced by the angle with which it reaches the earth. fog.the twelve sister Hours. and ever present as my thought.D. Dawn and sunset light. In his book. the first' hippie' or flower child and considered the greatest of the Chinese poets. I am alive because the sun wills it.

finally a black card. The beauty of art is that it is subjective. "White" sunlight is not really whitethere is no wavelength of light that is white. We see color in relation to other colors. Whatever such a mind sees is a flower. Color is the great deceiver. often. 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. or they are ignored. the shapes and colors are often not recognized as desirable or lovely. and whatever such a mind dreams of is the moon. Today. because there is no such thing as “true” color. too late. a large range of colors can be produced. for photographs tell no more truth than a wielder of the camera is capable of revealing. dictates the color we see. you will see tiny dots. An easy test is to put a bright yellow card next to a blue card. probably red. It is the same with the art of photography in its many guises. DeKooning. . like flashes of lightning. Rather. In the artist's own time. Here is a brief on the character of light: In 1665-1666.one with nature throughout the four seasons of the year. illuminate the natural world. Pollock. as with Van Gogh. whether artificial or natural. green and blue. we know that the rainbow of colors one gets from a prism is a consequence of refraction and the different wavelengths of different colors. (See incandescent light below) In the same way that the sun can produce light of many different wavelengths that appears white when mixed. then a red card. Isaac Newton studied sunlight and discovered that it could be broken down into a rainbow of colors by a prism. The light. Van Gogh. Matisse. If you examine your computer screen or television with a magnifying glass. and each of us sees color in his or her own way. Basho's short poems. You will see the yellow change its apparent hue each time. 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.

most substances are close enough that this color sequence can be observed. then yellow. regular light bulbs (not florescent) and fires are all incandescent sources of light. The wonderful variety of the electromagnetic spectrum is all a result of the same laws. applied to different wavelengths and energies. for example." 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. and therefore. microwaves. the photons released have different energies. Incandescence involves the vibration of entire atoms. There are two basic types of light sources. Incandescent light is produced when atoms are heated and release some of their thermal vibration as electromagnetic radiation." Although ideal black body materials don't exist in reality. It is the most common type of light that you see everyday sunlight. you might ask. then orange. these materials would emit radiation in the infrared wavelengths which we feel as heat (fires. Radio waves. Likewise. visible light. As temperatures are increased. This includes radio waves. different colors. the hottest stars appear to be a blueish-white while cooler stars such as our sun are more yellowish in appearance.The "electromagnetic spectrum" is simply a phrase used to describe electromagnetic radiation of all wavelengths. ultraviolet. gamma rays. Incandescent light is also known as "black body radiation. and eventually "white-hot. If all electromagnetic radiation is fundamentally the same thing. their different wavelengths and different energies allow them to have different effects on matter. 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". increasingly more energetic radiation is emitted. for example. infrared. x rays. emit most of their energy in the infrared). have such a long wave length and low energy that our eyes can't detect them and they pass through our bodies. It was found that at lower temperatures. fire and light bulbs. and other electromagnetic radiation of longer and shorter wavelengths. so these materials would glow red. "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. Depending on how hot the material is. . Some sources of incandescent light are: the sun. while luminescence involves only the electrons.

stars and planets. luminescent light occurs at lower temperatures. Therefore. because it is produced when an electron releases some of its energy to electromagnetic radiation. it will release a specific amount of energy which becomes a photon. —Discovering Light . perhaps infinite collection of galaxies. 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. television screens and computer monitors. continued luminescence requires something to continuously give the electrons a boost to a higher energy level to keep the cycle going. quasars. ThinkQuest '99 Those paragraphs are like taking a run up a hill or mountainside. neon light. It's difficult. No physicist truly believes he or she knows what started the colossal. It turns out that electrons like to have energy at specific "energy levels. when an electron jumps down to a lower energy level." Thus. not an entire atom. to name just a few examples. black holes and a hundred thousand more . It's as good a theory as any. but the view is enchanting and illuminating. or radioactivity as in luminous paints. or light of a specific color. This boost may be provided by many sources: electrical current as in florescent lights. light emitting diodes. supernovas.Unlike incandescence. chemical reactions as in Halloween light sticks and fire-flies. star clusters. mercury-vapor street lights.

There is here a relative big bang! Albert Einstein: a brain is a silent Internet. I am dwarfed..look about grandly with fixed expressions. the magnificence of the gaze.astounding events which daily explode around the universe. Blind people adjust to their world of four senses. as in certain places deep in the sea or in buried caverns. In the desert or at sea at night. the eyes of the god. “Albert Einstein and Steve Hawkings.” SEEING WHAT ISN’T THERE .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.. author Robert Farris Thompson writes ”. Lightness. He will then look very broadly across the whole of all the devotees. the brightness of the spirit.the radiance of the eyes. . as theirs is the darkness. reflect ashe. but this is not a life we would embrace. that swing in the heavens.persons possessed of the spirit of a Yoruba deity. he will open his eyes abnormally... 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. he and he are twins that with and in their arts bring alive in this earth the things that sing. I like to think so. but they can only imagine the world of light. his ordinary eyes swell to accommodate the inner eyes. I feel the star filled cosmos suddenly race away from me into the limitless deserts and seas of outer space.. or do they somehow create luminescence inside their minds. a pin prick of a being shivering in the night. When a person comes under the influence of a spirit... Darkness. the grail itself.. African & Afro-American Art and Philosophy . Schvaneveldt wrote on the Internet. Is light the spiritual power of the universe? Is it the holy of holies. the unanswered questions of creation? Life can exist without light. Light/Dark. Lee W. Let theirs be the light.

Beading thy path—condensed eternity: And we have seen night lifted in thine arms. 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. I work with my digital files like an action painter. That is what my brain forces me to do. even in Mozart.. of the fury fused (How could mere toil align thy choiring strings!) Terrific threshold of the prophet’s pledge. light and shade. abstractly. I experiment with the images in a boisterous. The digital image is my sketch. contrast. “. My aim is to capture the play of clouds against the massive towers and myriad cables and wires. That has nothing to do with the vast spectrum of electromagnetic radiation that plays invisibly all about me as I walk the bridge.. sometime sweep. O Sleepless as the river under thee. and the lover’s cry. which is designed to record approximately what I see will do. Vaulting the sea.. Suddenly...—. free of the constraints of nascent technology and tyrannical mind set. The 11 plus megapixel camera creates huge 52. I will down load these images into my computer and work with them in Adobe Photoshop. immaculate sigh of stars. or de Kooning. wild. Unto us lowliest.'chaos' now and then. the Photoshop program my brush and paints. audacious and unruly way like Pollock.. Basquiat. the prairies’ dreaming sod.. descend And of the curveship lend a myth to God.9 megabyte files for each image when decompressed. I am not interested in seeing the “reality” of these images. Pianist Alfred Brendel quotes the German romantic poet Novalis.” .. That is what the camera. Prayer of pariah. illuminations really.. Against the traffic lights that skim thy swift Unfractioned idiom. can be seen shimmering through the veil of order. —HART CRANE. in the last few years.Oh harp and altar. vividly recreating what is really there but cannot be seen. The digital camera and digital programs free me to discover worlds of colors.

—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. When you read or hear anything about the birth of the universe. spanning gravity's timeless. there was a void. pure. I am lost in space. its gentle omnipresence in the form of the wakening Day. a hologram of gravity's impure architecture. I want to see deep. I desire to see star births. deep. someone is making it up--we are in the realm of philosophy. digital space and I see . tintinnabulations which ravish my inner eye. I want to observe ravening flares of pure energy thousands of light years across. painted with black rainbows. I prowl the infinitely tiny foam of quantum mechanics where the universe quietly explodes insubstantial probabilities. That is. some very short time after creation in the big bang. its rays and undulations. no light. busy with the constant state of remaking itself. I am the cognizant photons of holy light. flaring like the mystical sunrise in my brain stem. Yet the laws of nature were in place and this curious vacuum held potential. no matter. the all-knowing light which irradiates my mind. I long to see light itself. I am the light. down in the unconscious realms where primitive neurons transmit a web of light which envelops the universe. Only God knows what happened at the very beginning: —Nobel Prize winning physicist Leon Lederman . iridescent.Before all the wondrous shows of the widespread space around him. quasars and colossal galactic collisions crossing limitless chasms of outer space. In the very beginning. but this story is about the universe and unfortunately there are no data for the very beginnings--none. a curious form of vacuum. a nothingness containing no space. sentient thing loves not the all-joyous light -. A story logically begins at the beginning. We don't know anything about the universe until it reaches the mature age of a billionth of a trillionth of a second.with its colors. no sound. zero. Tiny. so tiny I cannot see the light. what living. no time.

It's a dreary illusion fostered by evolution and nurture. Right there at the retina. also known as V1. and to other parts of your brain. What you see isn't there. the quintillions of photons each split second which would literally blind you if accepted raw. writes: The German physicist and physiologist Herman von Helmhotz (18211894) described vision as a process of unconscious inference: . One LGN lies in the left hemisphere and the other lies in the right hemisphere. your “desktop” computer analyzes and censors much of the fireworks entering your eye. the results travel on a new set of axons to the primary visual cortex. the electrical impulses are sent through an electric cable containing over one million wires called axons. The eye is not a window. After further processing. From the retina.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. 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). Have you “flown” your eye? It is attached to 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. in Visual Intelligence. Hubel . And that's just the beginning. Your retina contains hundreds of millions neurons working in parallel. not to your skull. The computing power at your retina exceeds that of the most powerful supercomputers. You may jump ahead if desired.

” Hoffman concludes his book with these words: Visual intelligence occupies almost half of your brain's cortex. Playing with the large digital files in Photoshop. like an evanescent whirlpool of shifting shapes and colors... Von Helmhotz surmised these things a century and a half ago. I uncovered what my eye could not see. . it may be permissible to speak of the psychic acts of ordinary perception as unconscious conclusions. When I worked with my Brooklyn Bridge images.. or fantasize we see. as behaviorists thought for much of the twentieth century. It forwards these constructions to your emotional and rational intelligence... Donald Hoffman writes. relevant or irrelevant. In his preface to Visual Intelligence.what happens when you see is not a mindless process of stimulus and response. The computer has no inhibitions. thereby making a distinction of some sort between them and the common so-called conscious conclusions. visual feasts. but unconscious ones. “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. perplex neuroscientists today. Hubel goes on to say.. are generally not conscious activities.” The objects of obscure desire we think we see. I sensed that these paintings in the sky were there. in the cloud filled skies above the bridge a kaleidoscope of elegant abstract swirls and eddies. We must strike through the masks of obscurity and mirage and uncover all the many colored spices of Samarkand. In their result they are equivalent to a conclusion. but a sophisticated process of construction whose intricacies we are now beginning to understand.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. I discovered. which use them as raw materials in further constructions.. “.. but my eye could not see them.it is intimately connected to your emotional intelligence and your rational intelligence. It constructs the elaborate visual realities in which you live and move and interact. using what I imagined was there. see.. blinded by the need to eliminate irrelevant information. it reveas what I entice it to reveal.

O'Keefe and de Kooning imagined. As an artist. garbage out.” seeds we continuously plant to await a bountiful harvest of beauty. We must learn as well to instantaneously recognize and discard cliche patterns which enthrall us with scenes resembling our past visions. we must learn to see. Playing. Such visionaries as Van Gogh. The large (53. wildly flamboyant canvases. . or who subtly transforms realities. discovered and painted their fantasies on richly colored.DIGITAL CAMERA GIGABYTES Our new tools create the possibilities for discovering a new vision of the world. We must take chances and seek aleatory or chance compositions. my eye/camera symbiosis gives me the vision of a painter who constructs from the raw material of nature his or her wildest fantasies. Monet. and I use the word playing in its most creative sense.” That should never stop us from making tens of thousands of “mistakes. at the cutting edge of digital technology. Hidden in chaos is a higher “order. I can imagine what is there. Suddenly. First. “Garbage in. we can paint our visions in the computer and print them. Learning to see with a camera is learning to see anywhere. Matisse.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 art of image transformation begin with a new vision of the world. enables me to create images I have only imagined but never seen. It comes from an eye that learns to instantaneously recognizes significant patterns and make strong compositions in the camera before clicking the shutter button. Today.” The well known computer adage goes.

enter our brains and coalesce into miracles or dreary dust.Azaleas continue in bloom.. I'm like a bagworm that's lost its bag. which was built in 1063. bruised my heels on the rough beaches of the northern sea where tall dunes make walking so hard. a snail without its shell. a Zen intuitive eye. the Zen moment of being there. Basho's haiku poems were written with the inner eye.. We breathe slowly. Inspired vision trusts the intuitive unconscious.. Light from the sun radiates more photons each second than could be stored as bytes on all the computers in the world.. The hut was near a shrine of Hachiman. endow the world with beauty and agape — intense romantic love. relax and enter a universe of bright mirrors which. We live in an all encompassing shower of infinitely tiny meteorites. the eye that sees what isn't there. and a cuckoo now and then passes by. THE HUT OF THE PHANTOM DWELLING In a letter to a friend written in 1690. Basho describes his life in the simple hut in which he lived for a while. too.. like whirling kaleidoscopes. The grebe attaches its floating nest to a single strand of reed to keep it from washing away in the current. I've. And now this year here I am drifting by the waves of Lake Biwa. photons which strike our eyes. when the conscious self dissolves into a hail and firestorm of flamboyant colors and shapes.. gave up city life some ten years ago and now I'm approaching fifty. He saw in flashes of seventeen syllable . I. the god of war. He saw with his clear“camera” eye. or quietly observes utter simplicity in shades of grey. wild wisteria hangs from the pine trees.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.

Red. however. “I've worn out my body in journeys as aimless as the winds and clouds. —BASHO.. It is the same with seeing and making images. unskilled and talentless as I am. Heartlessly indifferent to time.and so in the end. Much of what is there escapes notice by the eye conditioned to see what is “useful. tenderness and sorrows of his world. Poetry often carries within it the holograms of subtle allusions which only the most sensitive translations can begin to reveal. I am awestruck To hear a cricket singing Underneath the dark cavity Of an old helmet.” Near the end of his letter. The wind knows. The Narrow Road to the Far North (Penguin) . and expended my feelings on flowers and birds. poetry. I give myself wholly to this one concern.. The promise of early chill. Basho writes.haiku the beauty. red is the sun.

let it taste again Infinity. catch them. in his Timaeus.” Sewall goes on to write about wrapping her imagination around a near quarter moon. We we must fall a lot to see this world in its ravishing beauty. I ran to the motel. Free the eternal soul. the necessary housekeeping which we all must endure. I was up in a second. Thus a tangible bridge is established between the observer and the observed thing. “ that it shimmers behind everything we do. I went out for a walk very early that morning and had a sudden flash of instinct or unconscious calling. jumped into my car. is it I who sees. Impressed by this experienced. I jumped out of the car. 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. touch them. explore their texture. my work with images. It is an eminently active occupation. She says that imagination is a mode of consciousness. seeking images unseen and buried and immersed in my unconscious? To see. Once I was traveling through Utah and had stopped in the now bustling town of Moab. ran towards the rock. Plato. What has imagination to do with seeing? Our imaginations free us from the tedium of daily chores. scan their surfaces. That is the beginning of my poetry. At the beginning of her chapter titled “Imagine This” in Sight and Sensibility. or is it my deepest imagination playing with fire. It simply took quick action to capture the fleeting fiery dawn. The falls are part of the learning process. . The sky was beginning to light up in a curious way. I arrived at the formation called Balanced Rock just as the sky came on fire. my music. trace their borders. With an invisible finger we move through the space around us. asserts that the gentle fire that warms the human body flows out through the eyes in a smooth and dense stream of light. a unique capacity of the mind and the “deepest voice of the soul.' —RUDOLPH ARNHEIM I give myself every day to learning how to see. go out to the distant places where things are found. and over this bridge the impulses of light that emanate from the object travel to the eyes and thereby to the soul. grabbed my camera. early thinkers describe the process of vision correspondingly. Laura Sewall quotes William Blake: “Let the world of rationalization and of the senses be consumed in the fires of imagination. A soft reddish light filled the dawn sky. tripped on a low fence and fell hard. close to Arches National Park. I saw nothing anyone couldn't have seen.IN SIGHT OF SENSIBILITY 'In looking at an object we reach out for it. For example. aimed my camera and watched transfixed at the dawn light flaming behind the silhouette of the rock. and careened down the road to the Park entrance. When I fire my camera.

and I felt a charm in every vine tendril that hung over them. It required an effort to maintain the feeling. any part of such a landscape. which I excavate from among ideas and images found in Japanese culture and in the work of abstract artists anywhere. and I felt that it was only while under it that one could draw. in the beginning. The power of wildness. unfettered imagination. 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.. Freed from constraints of early conditioning.” The art of seeing begins with discovery of beauty in the commonplace. It is well to swim hard and often in these uncharted waters until you float comfortably under benevolent skies. So obvious an idea is not so easy to achieve. hurling away constraints may lead. it was poetry while it lasted. to a kind of chaos. or give glory to. “I looked at it with the possession-taking grasp of the imagination—the true one." 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. We discard much of the beauty in life because it occurs in unlikely places. art critic John Ruskin (1819-1900) writes of a simple scene. mind-set and fear of the new. it gilded all the dead walls.There's a wild side to seeing. .. any artwork has the power to invest the inquiring eye and mind with a startling and eventually very pleasing taste. or invent.

The orange display catches our eyes. I had observed this now intensely curvaceous asymmetrical composition when I was making the photograph with my inner or unconscious intuitive eye. Suddenly the image jumps into life. I think. Hundreds of people can talk for one who . The computer sees anew. I cannot truly see it on the computer screen immediately. 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. Even when my inner eye sees certain images and triggers the camera. The effect on our vision cannot be predicted. I take it into ‘curves' and play.' The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is to see something and tell what it saw in a plain way. These markets are filled with visual banquets of flowers. new power to reveal what our conscious minds censor or obliterate. I sharpen it. It has no censor built in. Using Adobe Photoshop.SEEING WHAT ISN’T THERE I walk through the flower market on 28th street off Sixth Avenue and study the displays. I photograph the display rather casually. although I view the new digital technology as an alchemist's stone which reveals what ‘isn't there. catches my eye. It has a formidable power still in its infancy. A display of orange flowers. I am in my studio with a young student intern studying the images from the flower market on one of my computers. The computer programs give us a sudden. For fun. I am struck by the sudden knowledge. The flowers are wrapped in white paper which makes arabesque-like patterns. I love sunflowers because they speak to me of light's mysteries and shed a cheerful glow on the world. add a bit of brightness and contrast. I must manipulate the image in odd ways and coax it to reveal itself. A few days later. intensify the color. but it looks rather uninteresting. The owners pleasantly agree to my photographing their displays. and walk on. 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 don't know their name.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden. —JONATHAN SWIFT . At close range with the macro. I go to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to photograph more flowers. since the slightest movement is magnified at close range. you must move the camera. is a revelation. you maneuver the camera with tiny movements until the image in the finder speaks to you and. My tool of choice is a 100 mm. all in one. I must work on this. A number of times my finger on the shutter at the moment of release pushes the camera slightly. Since depth of field diminishes rapidly the nearer you get to the subject. macro lens.can think. their spirits veiled in the chiaroscuro of light and color. greeting card images of flowers that I'm after. to attain sharpness where desired. — JOHN RUSKIN On the next day. The lens enables me to photograph deep in the heart of flowers if I wish. mysteries unseen and beauty unfolding. very fast. Vision: The art of seeing the invisible. Instead. jitters. this Day in July. but thousands can think for one who can see. Bees abound. It is all about seeing. without volition. I expected few flowers in bloom in the midsummer heat. everything moves. see! Then. at intense magnification. Waiting for the wind to stop. The technique sounds simple. buzzing quietly about their tasks. It isn't calendar. To see clearly is poetry. prophecy and religion. throwing the composition out of kilter. it is well to stop the lens down to f:16 or f:22. wings covered with yellow pollen. I will seek the hidden heart of the flowers. for your hand to steady. This will require that you have a flash in the camera or an external flash such as my Canon speedlite 550EX. Once in very close to where you want to be. You must take the lens off the autofocus mode and focus by hand. the camera fires. postcard. suddenly. I spot a large bee on a lily and move in very close. seeing what is almost invisible to the naked eye. not rotate the lens. and developing the technique to execute your vision with your camera. shakes. Sunday. 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. I must swoop in. like a samurai warrior wielding his sword in a split second. It is about seeing without restraint. and in a fraction of a second. it (the camera) fires. but it is difficult to execute.

Early in the morning one day. What I saw with my inner eye when on the bridge. I begin to truly see. 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. avoiding self censorship. and attempting to re-invent your visual world that you grow and see. willing to roll the dice with their money or reputation on the line in support of an idea or enterprise. the opposite of the closeup flower photography.BRIDGE WORKS Training vision is a lifelong task. An array of hidden colors appear like magic in the seemingly monotonous bluish sky hung with misty clouds. I hear autos buzzing beneath me. to see more and more of what isn't there. Against the light. Entrepreneurs are risk takers. and unexpected colors. they groan as they brace this immense structure. They willingly assume responsibility for the success or failure of a venture and are answerable for all its facets. chiaroscuro. A subway train roars past. It is only by taking the greatest risks. The buck not only stops at their desks. Spectral sunlight winks in and out between the massive girders which support the bridge along with a network of cables. After forty or more years of making images with cameras. the spider web like thrust of girders make ikebana-like patterns of asymmetry The girders are flung high and wide around me. I walk across the new pedestrian and biker's path on the Williamsburg Bridge in Manhattan. it starts there too . I am busy seeing on a large scale. The resulting images become fodder for a series of joined canvases and psychedelic looking images which I make into dazzling patterns of light.

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. The sought after place or thing is shrouded in mysteries. The ahhh! of beholding is gone. or doing business. unseen because we have learned to take it for granted. The commonplace. learning to see anew leads to success. Picture postcards rarely carry surprises or awakenings.— VICTOR KIAM We are all entrepreneurs in this life. If we don't dare the unknown. He records the sculptures with a camera. a bee in the heart of a flower. to Goldsworthy. in his book Andy Goldsworthy writes “At its most successful my ‘touch' looks into the heart of nature. So it is with our normal vision of the world around us. A COLLABORATION WITH NATURE Andy Goldsworthy. Whether making images. That is good. The quest for vision is much like daring feats of adventure. The gift of vision is secured by audaciously setting out into the unknown. We toss about like shipwrecked sailors in a small boat on an immense sea with no horizon in sight. trying to see what isn't there. light playing across cloud castles—there is no end. with no maps to go by. stalks. leaves. one which deprives us of much of the beauty which can enrich our lives. flowers. We do not have to travel across the country or jet to another continent to discover unexpected wonders..” His outdoor sculptures made with stones. Albert Einstein put it this way: . filled with turbulent pitfalls that sadden us. we create a shallow life. The gift of sight is precious. the success of the brave and audacious. is fodder for his revelations of the unseen beauty in nature. icicles and other natural flotsam and jetsam often last for a few days or less. We admire the image or we ignore it. By surviving in those seas we awaken to a sky filled with a flaming dawn and we see. willy nilly. You must work for it. or Livingston seeking the source of the Nile in unexplored Africa. sudden revelations—colored lights reflected on the streets during rain. most days I don't even get close. like Lindbergh crossing the Atlantic alone.

a mysterious order which it does not comprehend. a thousand. or daydreaming. like a beginner a scuba diving overcoming fear of drowning. or even more so . The rewards are beyond measure. is capable of seeing beyond the veil of self imposed or peer imposed “reality. not to reveal the hidden world around us. We relax our eyes and take in everything. Such a myriad of riches must be organized. discrimination and thoughts will arise. Do not go gentle into that good night . We glory in these wondrous visions. they grieved it on its way. No-Mind or Right Mind wanders freely to view what “is not there. This statement by Takuan is a clue to learning how to see. thousand visions go unnoticed. but we hide most of what we see behind a veil in order to avoid being overwhelmed. When there is an object of thought in the mind. It's necessary to be overwhelmed now and then. Each of us is that happy child to whom all of creation from the earth to the starry universe awaits recognition. while all around us. Our eyes and our brains have been marvelously trained by evolution to do just this. Einstein's Relativity Theory revealed new world in which the speed of light could not be surpassed. genius or no. too late. We try to detach ourselves from daily tedium and open our eyes like children. and therefore censored nothing. And learn. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. Learn to love the gifts of light and enlightenment. The No-Mind is the same as the Right Mind. In The Unfettered Mind (Kodansha). Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight. The child knows that someone must have written these books. It does not know who or how. It neither congeals nor fixes itself in one place.. to penetrate the veil.. He saw into the hidden workings of the universe. Each of us. regardless of subject.” It's like hallucinations. and time was not a universal clock—his concept of the spacetime continuum. Thus it is known as the Existent Mind. We see everything.” First we need to understand that our eyes are as miraculous. Let us dive deep into the ‘sea' on firm land and begin to see as children again. 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.” It is the mind that thinks in one direction. Scuba techniques revealed the surprising rainbows of wonders beneath the surface of the sea to our eyes and brains that had no pre-conditioning. We are like a little child entering a huge library.The human mind is not capable of grasping the Universe. Zen Master Takuan Soho says: The Existent Mind is the same as the Confused Mind and is literally read as the “mind that exists. But the child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books. It takes constant practice. than the Hubble Space Telescope. They are trained to work at our daily tasks. They are not windows. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. Our open eyes gatherer quintillions of photons every minute. but only dimly suspects.

To see like Turner.. Turner spoke of light devouring the whole visible world.. “.I got sailors to lash me to the mast to observe it. Turner's sea paintings. Our newly innocent eyes. “Writing about a late painting called The Angel Standing in the Sun . and dare to believe that our own new vision is paramount. wildly impressionistic at a time (mid-eighteenth century) when painting was mostly realism. We stare out at the world .” It was a brave act. in About Looking says. I was lashed for four hours. ignore the opinions of others whether our peers... Do Not Go Gentle into That Dark Night LIGHT DEVOURS THE WORLD John Berger. show that he dared to see and paint in a new way. although we can learn to see many of these enchanting displays of light and color. freed of much conditioned restraint.— DYLAN THOMAS . but I felt bound to record it if I did. The sea paintings carry within them colors and shapes rarely seen at sea or anywhere. researchers or mystics. see beyond the surface of things. but the act of truly seeing the world is equally brave. we must abandon safe harbors in the mind. Berger relates that Turner remarked. We discard tradition. To paint The Snowstorm. and I did not expect to escape.

I discover myriad colors. and their myriad interactions designed to sustain trucks. and subway trains. and shapes. the blue waters reflect the sun. rumbling traffic. What I see or do not see. FLOWERS & BRIDGES The world surprises me every day. I see the intricacies of design wrought in the girders. autos. gigantic in relation to flowers. patterns and designs hidden in these seemingly somber structures. colors. You must look hard. For a time my work focuses on flowers and bridges in Manhattan. . are equally extraordinary. flung across the waterways. These are giant harps. Far below. singing a world of ethnic peoples together. my unconscious instinctive mind records in the camera. elegant constructs of steel and wire. working with Photoshop. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge with its spider work of cables or the cantilevered Williamsburg Bridge and study the wires. girders. The bridges sing a syncopated off key tune of creaking girders. cables. What is there to see? Flowers are a universe unto themselves. Later. the eloquent lines of the wires and cables. and unveil such ravishing beauty and resplendent natural wonders as would make an emperor envious. Overhead. shapes. Bridges.with our inner eyes. the sun peers out from scuddng clouds. in their endless varieties. and roaring subway trains. I sight through my camera and construct the raw materials of my digital painter's painter's palette. bringing. towers.

I see what I couldn't see. Her avante.” —GEORGIA O’KEEFFE. sizes and shapes. Our perceptions. They were overwhelming. come in many colors. One Hundred Flowers. O'Keeffe's her large canvases of flowers seen closeup shocked and scandalized the public and the critics. when the images are downloaded into the computer. isn't there. “O'keeffe let herself be seen. gave herself like a flower. They swim around our unconscious like schools of rainbow colored fish. diverse means of viewing the world. the photographer and gallery owner Steiglitz cautioned her against exhibiting them. I can trust it and allow the camera to record what. like our dreams. “it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. cupping her hand and holding it closer to her face. Most people in the city rush around so. displaying huge stamens and pistils. People simply had not seen flowers closeup. and for a woman that was too remarkable. I see what I am used to seeing. When I stare through my camera viewfinder and carefully view the scene with my normal mind. my unconscious. Some found them to be to sensual and erotic.” said Steiglitz. Later. I want them to see it whether they want to or not. I cannot see what it sees at that moment. they have no time to look at a flower. to my eye. (Knopf/Callaway) In 1927. intuitive vision or no-mind sees something else. when I “develop” them in Photoshop.” she said. My perception. Perception and seeing are two distinct.garde husband. Our lifelong work consists of allowing these swarms of .VISION & PERCEPTION “When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it.

in the midst of chaos. . It only grows wilder and more colorful. to unveil themselves in the light. Wisdom entails sifting all experience through an uncensored sieve of unconscious desires and playful freedom.perceptions to surface. of seeing the ever changing. like a Titan's garden filled with luxuriant brilliant weeds and gaudy flowers. miraculous world around us. 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.. Such vision never diminishes. This is the beginning of wisdom. In the midst of wildness. Nothing is banned.

The diagram below depicts the electromagnetic spectrum and its various regions. Between red and violet. 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. The visible . Since this narrow band of wavelengths is the means by which humans see. for these reasons. The red wavelengths of light are the longer wavelengths and the violet wavelengths of light are the shorter wavelengths. our eyes are sensitive to only a very narrow band. You are undoubtedly familiar with some of the different regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. This continuous range of frequencies is known as the electromagnetic spectrum. blue (B). 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. That is. You may read the following explanation if you wish or go on. and different wavelengths of light waves will bend varying amounts upon passage through a prism. a small spectrum of the range of frequencies of electromagnetic radiation. there is a continuous range or spectrum of wavelengths. lower frequency regions are located on the far left of the spectrum and the shorter wavelength. It is because of this that visible light is sometimes referred to as ROY G. Each individual wavelength within the spectrum of visible light wavelengths is representative of a particular color. Normally when we use the term "light. we refer to it as the visible light spectrum. green (G). The entire range of the spectrum is often broken into specific regions. we perceive that specific color sensation. and violet (V)." we are referring to a type of electromagnetic wave which stimulates the retina of our eyes. higher frequency regions are on the far right. The longer wavelength. Two very narrow regions with the spectrum are the visible light region and the X-ray region. we are referring to visible light. when light of that particular wavelength strikes the retina of our eye. In this sense. orange (O).ADDENDUM: THE VISIBLE SPECTRUM We see only a small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Each color is characteristic of a distinct wavelength. 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. Colors that we do not see are visible to other creatures on this earth. BIV. The separation of visible light into its different colors is known as dispersion. visible light is dispersed upon passage through a prism. Electromagnetic waves exist with an enormous range of frequencies. Dispersion of visible light produces the colors red (R). yellow (Y). Though electromagnetic waves exist in a vast range of wavelengths. indigo (I).

it means that there are no wavelengths of visible light striking your eye as you sight at the surroundings. Technically speaking. We see what is not there.light spectrum is shown in the diagram below when all the wavelengths of the visible light spectrum strike your eye at the same time. EPILOGUE . The visible and invisible rainbows of the electromagnetic spectrum are our lives. Light is the greatest dancer. Thus. We use our intuitive no-mind and Zen like clairvoyance.com Shall we dance? In Zen & the Art of Archery . If all the wavelengths of the visible light spectrum give the appearance of white. black is merely the absence of the wavelengths of the visible light spectrum. Once more. We see all of the invisible spectrum of light which daily dances through our lives. —physicsclassroom. but rather the combination of all the colors of the visible light spectrum. visible light is sometimes referred to as white light. So when you are in a room with no lights and everything around you appears black. black is not actually a color. We dance with light to the farthest reaches of human perception and understanding. The archer dances his shots. white is perceived. white is not a color at all. author Herrigel speaks of his master constantly referring to archery as a dance. then none of the wavelengths would lead to the appearance of black. Technically speaking.

like the brain feeds upon itself. A mountain climber trapped above twenty to twenty-five thousand feet or higher must come down for oxygen soon or deteriorate and die. Perhaps "desert" is simply a staging ground. The best. Often. self-examination. having reached a peak. tedium overtakes the climber in pursuit of meaning and creative growth." So it is. when the future beckons tantalizingly and everything is possible. A jazz singer on FM radio the other day sang a refrain. Moses spent forty years in the desert and never reached the promised land. AUDACE! . Once a challenging peak is climbed.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. I believe every great enterprise. especially if it knocks us up and away from our preconceptions. Our growth and perception never ends. has a curve of accomplishment: the beginning. every campaign to acquire new knowledge. must rest from other necessary and tiresome labors unrelated to growth and creating. and the will to make the desert flower. The body. Rest and recuperation is needed before another attempt is possible. we encounter a pivotal time. "Every knock is a boost. Each new peak we attain reveals views of other heretofore hidden heights. higher peak. It's too easy to begin an enterprise with innocent enthusiasm and passion. we undergo a rite of passage. or back down the mountain. Like life itself. the greatest creativity. youthfulness in ideas and in the work itself is everything . most sanguine and felicitous parts of novels and movies often occur in the first half when striving is all. enjoy the view! The next step must be to another. At certain periods in our creative lives. He or she. a metaphor for the next great endeavour. beginning again. success or failure. the winding and endless road to knowledge is our home. hard work.

Ideas won't keep. ideas won't wait. and then we shall save our country. cold harness of tasks better left to career administrators. so we must think anew. Forward. We must disenthrall ourselves. We must act forcefully before the routine and tedium of endless petty details despoil our dreams and defeat our ends. "Audace.The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. . and if need be. in Lincoln's words. As our case is new. "disenthrall ourselves" and move on to fresh. We must. fecund fields where new ideas may glisten in the dawn of new endeavors like early morning dew on flowers and grass. always forward. audace. Life demands action. — Lincoln's Second Annual Message to Congress. and we must rise with the occasion. and act anew. When the idea is new. its custodians have fervor and live for it. We must send them roaming. Shed it! We must each take our inspired and abundant creative talent and free it from the itchy. audace" cried de Gaulle. Something must be done about them. The workaday "nitty gritty" conspires to shackle our talents. LIGHT THE SKY The vitality of thoughts is in adventure. The occasion is piled high with difficulty. die for it.

like a blanket of oily soot. smothers the world of new ideas and visions? Shouldn't we work on enterprises that wash away gloom and give birth to a new. which. a ghostly apparition in an unblinking cosmos—that here on this speck of green earth whirling round a small sun. -. Shouldn't we spend our time working on projects that illuminate the darkness. Anthony Hopkins playing C. Lewis speaks an idea garnered from a student.—ALFRED NORTH WHITEHEAD Everyone of us is an untapped reservoir of becoming." Isn't that the purpose of all of art and creation. that contain great challenges and require facilities to implement them on a grand and worthy scale. talent. and we are not alone ? . We must unleash our God given extraordinary abilities and free them to race across the sky like the Sun God's fiery steeds. If not. Great talent. great energy. we have purpose. 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. free will. aflame with light. such aspirations. Power and Magic In it. great ambitions crave great projects. "We read to know we are not alone. indeed demand. seek and find venues that need. We set out. color and beauty. S.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. we wither in a stale environment where bean counters rule and dreams die slowly and painfully.

but as the fires of volcanoes renew the earth. or sadly. Always the journey. The man's lot is to live his human life. Passion and joy rule 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 . we read of Odysseus. the poet's to invent what is non-existent. to sally forth into the universes of thought and action. our destinations are our inspiration. We are born to fly. "My voyages are my Ithaca. to dance. The Dehumanization of Art We read in Omar Khayyum's poem The Rubiyat . in the offices of bureaucrats. dreams that make life real. not crawl. A Modern Sequel . Without passion we create grey slag heaps of time worn existence. —ORTEGA Y GASSET. to crawl. to setting off on another voyage into the unknown? Odyssus set sail again in search of new worlds after he regained his kingdom Ithaca. Very little of value may be found between. to the renewal of youthful dreams. In Nikos Kazantzakis's great poem “ The Odyssey. to fly on wings of thought to far reaches of the planet and to the ends of the universe." We work to display the joy of what we create each day and each day is our reward. 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.Enjoy life? Of course! We are born to sing. the sole elements that conspire to make us more than slouching beasts. “What can the vintner buy one half so precious as what he sells?" We are fortune's vintners pressing dreams from dew covered grapes. in the cellars of misers and bean counters. Our dreams arise from inspiration. THE WINE OF PASSION We read in Omar Khayyum's poem The Rubiyat . our efforts our lives. not recklessly. not grunt. moral and cultural values. love and creation. never the end. We must protect the God given flame of inspiration ere it flickers out in the temples of money changers. What pleasure compares to a new creative challenge.

the poet's to invent what is non-existent. the sole elements that conspire to make us more than slouching beasts.grapes. not recklessly. love and creation. in the cellars of misers and bean counters. in the offices of bureaucrats. but as the fires of volcanoes renew the earth. 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. dreams that make life real. but rise to snow peaked mountains towering into the next world. We must protect the God given flame of inspiration ere it flickers out in the temples of money changers. Passion and joy rule our lives. Without passion we create grey slag heaps of time worn existence. The man's lot is to live his human life. moral and cultural values. We seek the . —ORTEGA Y GASSET. Our dreams arise from inspiration. 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.

the art of music and dance. I often encounter this dawn roaming the earth into "primitive" places. Such enterprises can be found. We embrace the human ability to rise to an occasion. they are . to shed light. however new and bold. the seeker of the way of art. ART MAKES US MORE HUMAN We stand measured by the breadth of our expanding souls. must never bow to the whiplash of bureaucracy or cries for what is politically correct.unknown. Matisse. our minds that will not age unless left idle. see-er or seeker creates and grows because he or she is creation itself. flaming nebulae millions of light years away. a fiery grace that lights the world. I add the caveat that art is . the uncanny beauty of worlds in collision. it is not made for any decreed purpose. to welcome discoveries. From modesty comes grace. pinnacles and arches in the Southwest. It is not a viewer. we must find our way back to that exuberant dawn of innocence and spiritual dignity. to make life worthwhile. de Kooning. Basquiat. surrounded by paved roads. No power must come between that holy gift and the expression of it for the joy of mankind. the sound of wind and wave and rain. the grand architectonic "musical" forms of canyons. The true artist. It is the wonderful kindness. the paintings of Van Gogh. the sculpture of Moore. Brancusi or Rodin. or an audience that must be enlightened. bewildered or chastened. wisdom and hospitality of so many peoples that I speak of. I do not ignore the appalling poverty and misery found in many undeveloped and developing countries. What else compares with the experience of art itself? All of art. places where human beings embrace mother Gaea with innocence and praise her. concrete and glass. music that comes from Bach in the B minor Mass or from the dying Schubert in the late piano sonatas. I believe the sometimes hidden purpose of all art is to raise the level of the viewer's perceptions. explored and made real. 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. 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. Removed from our close contact with the earth. The artist. sculpture and science. it is the artist himself or herself who must discern what really matters.

the Jews. forever hastening to those places which capture our hearts. fly to the places and palaces we dream of. the Muslims. We will come to know again the joyful springtime that comes unexpected and radiant late in autumn or dead of winter. —lARIA MITCHELL Yes to that hymn. when trees suddenly bud and flowers bloom out of . Better to leave the dilapidated train. to discover that we are not alone. sing to our souls and reward us with innocence. launch. to touch. All of art and science beckons to human beings to look. or anyone's search for religious meaning in symbols or saints. Hard it is to wrench oneself from the turmoil of self-created "necessary" mundane projects whose momentum. rocket off. to hear. like a speeding freight train is difficult to stop and makes a great screeching and squawking when slowed. SPRINGTIME IN DECEMBER Every formula which express a law of nature is a hymn to God. to see. the Buddhists. and yes to going forward! I make no difference between the God of the Christians. yes to the creative mind.one and the same.

but it is also a horizon more clearly seen. a labor fit for Hercules. I am a lover and a fool. Aphrodite or Apollo in a flourishing civilization where greed and lust for power often overshadow humanity's long journey to the stars. If we be favored by the gods with energy. There is no end to energy. or be made unbearable by puerile and punitive endeavors. Our nascent light must not set in darkening shadows of discontent. 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. It is the distant hills once more in sight and the enduring constellations above them once again. an insolent mouthpiece for Gaea. October is the fallen leaf. energy which is eternal delight in Blake's words. else it is a lesser life) to strive and seek a distant shore unmapped. Prometheus. I will sing of joy. We must avoid . an unlicensed oracle.season. We were born to inhabit this halcyon paradise of earth while we live (living means creating. Autumn is for Understanding FOR THE HAPPY FEW (OR MANY) We all may share the blessed lifelong burden of creating and loving. daring and beautiful. —HAL BORLAND . Then we may give thanks and praise and rejoice in the knowledge that we are forever young. a cracked bell. then we must and shall employ it for the good of the earth insofar as we are capable of understanding that good. uncharted and unbounded.

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. seekers and seers who fiercely create and bring these shattering and seductive visions to light shall be as prophets of old.making godlike judgements as to what is good. Art is evolutions' way of knowing herself. We were born. WHO WILL STAND? We happy see-ers. We toil because we must. ever new.. glorious. the thrice blessed godly virtue of questioning.” said Alfred North Whitehead. We work. if thou hast understanding. the burgeoning glory of an ever fecund. for the happy few. brained and blessed to do Gaea's great bidding. green and gratifying earth. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare. We toil for the coming happy many who seek what we seek.When the morning stars sang together. "blind" and dreaded. in Stendahl's words. and all the sons of God shouted for joy? . It is the business of the future to be dangerous. 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. Art is the religion of the spirit and the religion of the deepest unconscious striving of the fecund but tip of evolution.. ever flabbergasting. Nothing else or less will do. We toil to give form and space and song to what has not been seen enough before.

and glorify your Father which is in heaven.THE BIBLE . Shinto. a great jazz in the night. Jew. The sermon on the mount* goes unheeded.. . and it give light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men. a tintinnabulation of ringing bells to fill the mountain steeps with echoes of glory. Neither do men light a candle. that they may see your good works. 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. *Ye are the light of the world. joyfully. Job XXXVIII Open the gates for we are as sounding brass.. but on a candlestick. With zeal. the voice in the wilderness soon forgotten. Gaea's legions. and put it under a bushel. audacity. jubilantly. Moslem. a mighty work which make this planet a vaulted heaven where mortals convene and converse with gods. inspiration and courage we do the bidding of gods and spirits. We must follow our hearts no matter where. the army of the Lord of hosts. the legions of creativity. Father. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. the teachings remain. Christian. love and compassion.-.

It is sometimes hard to keep my eye on the holy beacon of creative enrichment. filled with zeal and energy. Starry eyed. no dry fugue maker. as the Buddhist monk loves the Eightfold Path and the Four Noble Truths. as a sky flowering lightning and rainbows. CREATION'S STARRY LIGHTHOUSE A wanderer on this earth.worshipper of Mother Earth or earth spirits? Bach loved the Father as he loved life itself. the Zen monk's traditional shakuhachi flute meditations or any other glorious religious music celebrates the light. to find. Art which comes from the heart. to celebrate the earth. to know. Bach. Each new challenge begins in innocence. shamans. I witness the seemingly endless striving of fecund humanity to break the shackles of earthbound tedium. to understand. Bach's music. thousand deadly reefs and shoals in a world often gone mad. discovery and enlightenment.. the light of God. from the spirit and from the love of life is holy. from the soul. we undertake to make a world more fit for humanity's great mission. . to seek. We stand together with artists and scientists. the mist shrouded lighthouse whose radiant beams illuminate a thousand. was as passionate as a water lily in the dawn. to make a world where art and love blossom like cactus flowers in vast deserts of ignorance. the light that is God.

not measured out like cold coins or lifeless currency. the dregs of futile toil. he saw shadows. Our gifts. But trailing clouds of glory do we come From God.WORDSWORTH . voyages into the unknown. We stand beside all who seek to know.preachers and prophets. we shape the world we inhabit. And not in utter nakedness. We carry our heads high in the myriad constellations of glittering stars. of glory in the flower . -. who is our home. whose lives become voyages. and my soul stir to the rhythm of the daily round. Yet.. voyages away from stuffy. For once I stood In the white windy presence of eternity. shades of the prison house closing in.. our life's star. Wordsworth bemoaned the seeming loss of his own innocence. make beautiful solace for a moment of rapture.. Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting: The Soul that rises with us. In his monumental poem. rotting fruit. And time will come close about me. And cometh from afar: Nor in entire forgetfulness. a star swathed cradle of innocence. Hath had elsewhere its setting. the radiant genesis of glory." The entire Ode spirals down to us like a glittering nebulae. And always I shall feel time ravel thin about me. The fruit of our endeavors. for we contain in our mortal bodies the whirling troposphere of lightning and great storms. like fragrant wildflowers.. The art's the thing. Our labors flower and bear fruits in their season. smothering sarcophaguses filled with overripe. — EUNICE TIETJENS . a quasar billions of light years away shedding the radiance of a giant collapsing star. Ode on Intimations of Immortality. memento mori of that place from which we came. his great lament " Though nothing can bring back the hour/Of splendour in the grass. yield love potions we toast to the glory of the earth. life will not press so close. having known.

" --SHAKESPEARE . and the seemingly dangerous. never from the adulation of media.. we are at play in fertile fields filled with spring freshets and flowers. the glory of the earth. Ours is the earth and all that's in it. True success comes from our joy of learning.. defeats our aims. One head eternally young. the enigmatic. one head older than creation. the adoration of power and money. Only constant change and growth fuel the engine of creating the new. Antony and Cleopatra .SUCCESS HAS TWO FACES "Success" that duplicitous Janus-like goddess. innocent and filled with joy at what we do not know yet yearn to know. but as naifs.. misbegotten misinterpretation of the meaning of life. the tinsel worship of celebrities. conquerors or emperors.she makes hungry where most she satisfies. We will trail clouds of glory as long as we forbear yielding to money-grubbing temptations. Not as solons in the great courts of kings. the cycles of the seasons of art that bestow everlasting youth. We attain our births and rebirths. growing and creating. "success" imprisons us in a grey claustrophobic.. Age cannot wither her. nor custom stale/Her infinite variety.

.he knows himself to be the master of his days. and it is essential to know the night. We are one with earth. the ocean. he thinks like the waves rolling on the ocean. renew as do the elements and the seasons. happy in the knowledge that such efforts renew. The absurd man says yes and his efforts will henceforth be unceasing. like legendary Sisyphus. writer and Zen philosopher D.”. starting over.. "Childlikeness" has to be restored with long years of training in the art of self-forgetfulness. T. In his introduction to Zen and the Art of Archery . man thinks yet he does not think. only to watch it roll back down again.. often must push a heavy rock up a steep mountain path to the top. Albert Camus wrote in The Myth of Sisyphus that “There is no sun without shadow. Suzuki said: Man is a thinking reed but his great works are done when he is not calculating and thinking. he thinks like the green foliage shooting forth in the relaxing spring breeze.. Indeed. he is the showers.A THINKING REED A creative human being. He thinks like the showers coming down from the sky. We begin anew each time. seeking new visions. the stars. the foliage. Then this is attained. gaining mountain tops. he thinks like the stars illuminating the nightly heavens.

as Job endured the trials of the Lord. its thousand fears and follies. —SAMUEL BECKETT . help define us as human beings. which. we were born to radiance. that failure is his world. rainbow spattered dreams. desertion. the creative life with its thousand broken idols and masks.IMMORTALITY OR BURN Therein "ends" this essay. for in the end. A thousand. eternal themes. I must conspire to make illusive vagaries. A cold blue sky over Manhattan turns slowly pink. and. They ask us to consider what our presence on this small green and lovely planet means. We must endure. To be an artist is to fail as no other dares to fail. into whirling butterflies and birds of paradise to float out into the great world beyond my small studio. It is Sunday in winter. These themes flaunt fields of eternal energy. to develop our powers to the utmost limits in order to be of use to others and to ourselves. The themes of this essay. Tomorrow I confront the daily exigencies of city life. whirling and sparkling like the vast star studded hoop of our galaxy. confront the perplexing mystery of life itself. We have but one overriding duty in life. thousand lights glitter in the dusk. Whatever blocks our way must be rent asunder. arts and crafts. as the Red Sea parted for Moses. we will have it. and to shrink from it. to add music to the earth. to shed light. good housekeeping. if we are willing to burn for it.

Become as one who midwives and creates things yet unknown. We must freely and fruitfully undertake projects that involve great energies. Come my friends... unleash ourselves from petty ideas. Go where the wind blows. for my purpose holds to sail beyond the sunset.. Seek and find a place in the sun that understands and strengthens far reaching vision and reinforces your inner search for deep.Postscript: LIBERATE THE UNIVERSE WITHIN What should I or you or anyone do? Only those difficult. still untapped reservoirs of talent. housekeeping and clinging needs of those who must yet be inspired.. 'tis not too late to seek a newer world. for it will blow a fair wind. passionate and intransigent things which can and will fulfill our dreams. and the baths of all the western stars. . Perform as one who inspires others to go beyond their self imposed limits... unbind our limitless creative powers. unseen.

—TENNYSON . Ulysses Copyright © Harvey Lloyd 2003 .

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