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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the galaxies. bolstered by the largest ground-based telescopes around the world. It's a bit like finding a family scrapbook containing snapshots that capture the lives of family members from infancy through adolescence to adulthood.ORIGINS Two of NASA's Great Observatories. The Hubble . are beginning to harvest new clues to the origin and evolution of the universe's largest building blocks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Noble prize winning scientist David Hubel writes: The visual world is systematically mapped on the geniculate and cortex. Their complete functions are still little understood although you may read that the paths are charted. Brain and Vision . I want to see. prophet or shaman's intoxicated ruminations. in clouds. and in metaphysical journeying. It's worse than drugs or alcohol. The poet Rumi was born in Wakhsh. I want to see everything. Tajikistan in central Asia on 30 September 1207 to a family of learned theologians. Poetry breeds visions as does the mystic. endless work at detoxification of the visual structure of your brain is needed. What you get is what your brain decides. like pterodactyls? I neither proselytize for or embrace any man's religion or woman's either. The pulpit's a bully place if the priest be wise enough. don't you?.MYSTIC VISION In his book. In those days it was not obvious that the brain operates on the information it receives. and has shed his or her mortal coils for the embrace of the . I will embrace every religion in spirit. He wrote of the mystical side of life. transforming it in such a way as to make it more useful...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. Do any of you see visions in the church while eating the body of the Lord. or do you drink the sacred wine and whirl off into unknown reaches of holy space. and you can't control it. approaching God as though he was a great bird which wafted down sparkling feathers in the holy light.” Digest that! What you see isn't what you get. Eye.) What was not clear in the 1950's is what that mapping might mean. (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. or can you? Detoxification.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

chemical reactions as in Halloween light sticks and fire-flies." Thus. or radioactivity as in luminous paints. It's difficult. quasars. ThinkQuest '99 Those paragraphs are like taking a run up a hill or mountainside. —Discovering Light . It turns out that electrons like to have energy at specific "energy levels. THE BIG BANG & LIGHT At what incredible moment after the big bang ten or fifteen billion years ago did light suddenly enter the universe? Was it there already and was light the creator of the universe? I like to think that light is God's glowing mantle which He threw across the blackness to begin the process of making galaxies. to name just a few examples. but the view is enchanting and illuminating. perhaps infinite collection of galaxies. or light of a specific color. neon light. when an electron jumps down to a lower energy level. This boost may be provided by many sources: electrical current as in florescent lights.Unlike incandescence. It's as good a theory as any. No physicist truly believes he or she knows what started the colossal. because it is produced when an electron releases some of its energy to electromagnetic radiation. luminescent light occurs at lower temperatures. light emitting diodes. Therefore. continued luminescence requires something to continuously give the electrons a boost to a higher energy level to keep the cycle going. not an entire atom. black holes and a hundred thousand more . star clusters. mercury-vapor street lights. it will release a specific amount of energy which becomes a photon. stars and planets. supernovas. television screens and computer monitors.

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

That is what my brain forces me to do. I work with my digital files like an action painter. illuminations really. Pianist Alfred Brendel quotes the German romantic poet Novalis. which is designed to record approximately what I see will do. free of the constraints of nascent technology and tyrannical mind set.'chaos' now and then. Vaulting the sea. sometime sweep. 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. Unto us lowliest. I will down load these images into my computer and work with them in Adobe Photoshop. wild. O Sleepless as the river under thee... and the lover’s cry. Basquiat... light and shade. I am not interested in seeing the “reality” of these images. contrast. I experiment with the images in a boisterous. The digital camera and digital programs free me to discover worlds of colors. the prairies’ dreaming sod. vividly recreating what is really there but cannot be seen. abstractly. descend And of the curveship lend a myth to God. of the fury fused (How could mere toil align thy choiring strings!) Terrific threshold of the prophet’s pledge. Against the traffic lights that skim thy swift Unfractioned idiom. Suddenly. in the last few years.—.Oh harp and altar. immaculate sigh of stars.9 megabyte files for each image when decompressed. The 11 plus megapixel camera creates huge 52. the Photoshop program my brush and paints.” . “.. Prayer of pariah.. can be seen shimmering through the veil of order... audacious and unruly way like Pollock. —HART CRANE. even in Mozart. That is what the camera. The digital image is my sketch. or de Kooning.. Beading thy path—condensed eternity: And we have seen night lifted in thine arms. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

order shimmers through and we are comforted.perceptions to surface. Such vision never diminishes. of seeing the ever changing.. It only grows wilder and more colorful. miraculous world around us. like a Titan's garden filled with luxuriant brilliant weeds and gaudy flowers. This is the beginning of wisdom. Entangled among the exuberant growth and ravishing colors we find single images which delight us with their quiet and repose. . Nothing is banned. to unveil themselves in the light. in the midst of chaos. Wisdom entails sifting all experience through an uncensored sieve of unconscious desires and playful freedom. In the midst of wildness.

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

Technically speaking. white is perceived.com Shall we dance? In Zen & the Art of Archery . We dance with light to the farthest reaches of human perception and understanding. black is merely the absence of the wavelengths of the visible light spectrum. —physicsclassroom. If all the wavelengths of the visible light spectrum give the appearance of white. Once more. it means that there are no wavelengths of visible light striking your eye as you sight at the surroundings. The archer dances his shots. We see what is not there. Light is the greatest dancer. Technically speaking. We use our intuitive no-mind and Zen like clairvoyance.light spectrum is shown in the diagram below when all the wavelengths of the visible light spectrum strike your eye at the same time. 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. black is not actually a color. The visible and invisible rainbows of the electromagnetic spectrum are our lives. but rather the combination of all the colors of the visible light spectrum. EPILOGUE . white is not a color at all. Thus. We see all of the invisible spectrum of light which daily dances through our lives. 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.

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

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

We set out. which. we have purpose. "We read to know we are not alone. that contain great challenges and require facilities to implement them on a grand and worthy scale. S.—ALFRED NORTH WHITEHEAD Everyone of us is an untapped reservoir of becoming.GOETHE WE ARE NOT ALONE In the movie Shadowlands. great energy. smothers the world of new ideas and visions? Shouldn't we work on enterprises that wash away gloom and give birth to a new. If not. We must unleash our God given extraordinary abilities and free them to race across the sky like the Sun God's fiery steeds. like a blanket of oily soot. Anthony Hopkins playing C. Lewis speaks an idea garnered from a student. great ambitions crave great projects. free will." Isn't that the purpose of all of art and creation. such aspirations. talent. we wither in a stale environment where bean counters rule and dreams die slowly and painfully. indeed demand. 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. 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. -. soul wrenching awareness of the cascading beauty and symbolism of life itself? Whatever you can or want to do -Begin it! Boldness has genius. Great talent. aflame with light. color and beauty. and we are not alone ? . seek and find venues that need. Power and Magic In it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ulysses Copyright © Harvey Lloyd 2003 .—TENNYSON .

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