Thursday, December 18, 2008

False Truth, Ugly Beauty, and a Super Model of Reality (1.12.12)

We're winding down to the exciting conclusion of Meditations on the Tarot, which is a good thing, because I'm shrt on tme again.

Let's see.... yes, the dangers of beauty. I would say that on the whole, men are more aware of this danger than women, being that women are the primary danger.

Can Truth, Love, and Beauty have a "dark side?" Of course. It mainly happens when one of them gets separated from the other two, like when a sock falls out of your drier and tries to go it alone (Seinfeld). It doesn't get very far, does it? Oh sure, it's thrilling at first to feel the static electricity coursing along your heel, as you cling to another item of clothing in order to make your great escape. But then what? You fall off into the street, somewhere between the laundromat and your car. That's when you find out the truth about maverick socks. And it isn't pretty.

Here's how UF explains it: the good severed from the beautiful "hardens into principles and laws -- it becomes pure duty." Likewise, "the beautiful which is detached from the good... becomes softened into pure enjoyment -- stripped of obligation and responsibility." This is the "art for art's sake" of an aesthetic hedonism that soon becomes luciferic at best.

"The hardening of the good into a moral code and the softening of the beautiful to pure pleasure is the result of the separation of the good and beautiful -- be it morally, in religion, or in art. It is thus that a legalistic moralism and a pure aestheticism of little depth have come into existence."

On the one hand, you can have the clenched religious type without joy or art (or, conversely, with a joy and art that are equally kitsch), who co-arises with his shadow, the increasingly antisocial artiste who has become more or less detached from objective truth and virtue (or, conversely, becomes a tedious purveyor of political correctness as a substitute for truth and decency). Soon enough beauty falls down the wayslide as well, so that art no longer even justifies its existence, for man has no cosmic right to produce ugly art.

You will notice that when the Creator was finished with his work, he said to himsoph, it is good, for Sophia was right there with him as He drew a *circle* on the face of the deep (Proverbs 22). Which is why this beautiful creation is infused with so much inexhaustible -- and beautiful -- truth. Which is none other then the Divine Light in all its metaphysical transparency.

So, the arcanum of The World is here to offer a gentle warning to those who would mess with the Creator's woman, because she is your sister (Proverbs 7), not your wife, got that? For it is written, the moment you become "wise in your own eyes," you become either a wise guy or a wise ass.

Now, just as there are true illuminations from the Holy Spirit -- the book of Proverbs being a fine example -- "so there are intoxications from the spirit of mirage," which UF calls the "false Holy Spirit." Here we are dealing not just with Maya, but the dark side of Maya -- who, on the one hand, is the power of "cosmic illusion," but on the other, the Creator's divine consort, or Shakti, which means conscious force (forgive the Hinduisms, but it just so happens that they have a very precise language to describe these maters, whereas Christianity often speaks of them in more metaphorical language that must be decoded, e.g., the polarity of Mary-Eve).

UF outlines the criteria for distinguishing between the two: if you seek only "the joy of artistic creation, spiritual illumination and mystical experience," it is ineveateapple that you will "more and more approach the sphere of the spirit of mirage" and become increasingly seduced and hypnotized by it. Been there, done that.

BUT, if you first seek for truth in the above referenced activties, "you will approach the sphere of the Holy Spirit" and open more and more to its influence, which brings with it an entirely different mode of joy and coonsolation, for it is in no way "egoic." Rather, it tends to reverse the forces that result in either hardening or dispersion of the ego. Call it a "soft and supple center," which is none other than the divine slack and d'light immaculate that abides in "Raccoon Central," or "Toots' Tavern" -- where it is always "happy hour."

UF discusses the nature of mirages, which are not the same as hallucinations, as they are rooted in something that is "really there" -- like when the asphalt up ahead on the way to Vegas looks "wet," or when you think you can beat the house once you arrive there. But the mirage is a sort of "floating reflection of reality," which is nonetheless one step removed from it. And this is indeed the problem with what most people call "truth," including the scientistic truth of our jester, which floats atop the Real like a missing sock that I wish he'd stuff in his mouth, to put it poetically.

I remember back in my college days, you'd occasionally hear a guy say that he wanted to meet a girl who didn't play games. Well, that's what Maya does, all day long. Her "lila" goes on unceasingly, which is why we need to get "beneath her veils," if I may put it so indelicately. This is because on the one hand, she "reveals God by manifesting him," but on the other hand "hides him by covering him."

Correction. It's not so much that we remove the veils, but appreciate what they are hiding, which is pretty obvious if you've ever seen the annual Victoria's Secret show -- which I've only heard about through Dupree. The point is, the veils -- we're speaking of reality now, not the supermodels.... no, I suppose we're talking about both -- simultaneously reveal and conceal, depending upon the spirit with which you look. As part of our standard equipment, we are all given a pair of X-ray Specs with which to see through the veils to the "ground." Sadly, they don't work on the supermodels.

37 Comments:

Blogger Van said...

"So, the arcanum of The World is here to offer a gentle warning to those who would mess with the Creator's woman, because she is your sister (Proverbs 7), not your wife, got that? "

Sophistry is to Wisdom, as your sister is to your wife. Gives new implications to lieing your ass off, or F*ing with the truth.

Also explains why the offspring of leftist thought come out looking like they've got three arms, one eye and no legs.

12/18/2008 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"For it is written, the moment you become "wise in your own eyes," you become either a wise guy or a wise ass."

Is that better than being dumb all over?

12/18/2008 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

if you seek only "the joy of artistic creation, spiritual illumination and mystical experience," it is ineveateapple that you will "more and more approach the sphere of the spirit of mirage"

Truth just sings!

It kept me, through many years of sojourning in the charisManiac circles, from falling into just such a mirage, although I will allow that the music and freedom of that particular sect was quite the antidote for perfectionism.

However, it is just so. It must be first and foremost, truth in the inward parts. All else will come about beautifully after that.

I still have trouble with my art when I painstakingly seek to convey accurately what I see, because I love the beauty of the object and wish to make it my own. It is very selfish of me and it comes across as so mechanical and perfectionistic.

Then I go visit Julie's works and am humbled that I am so poor in spiritual expression with my talents, for every color and line of her work speaks of her freedom and joy, and the inner beauty she finds in her subjects. It's art.

It is no attempt on my part to denigrate or seek compliments. I think it's a fair cop to the facts and an inspiring hope for future efforts. I know what I want. That's a start, no? I want to transcend the mechanics and find the beauty.

Okeee... I'm rambling now.

Off to WalMart. That'll cure me.

12/18/2008 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

!

*blushing*

Thank you, Joan. But you know what's funny? I feel exactly the same way when I look at your sculpture, or Robin's photography. Or read Bob's posts. Along the lines of "Look at that! Awesome! Damn, I suck by comparison!" That's partly why I'm taking a break - I was starting to feel sucktacular.

Maybe it's just because it's hard to look at one's own stuff and not see all the things that could have been done better, or because whatever it is we wanted to convey ineveateapple-y comes out so different from how it looked in our heads? I try not to do that too much, but it's always there - the realization that something's wonky. And no matter what I do, and can't make it unwonky. Maddening.

But I guess my point is, I hope you do see the things you get right. Because this is just fantastic. And it's most definitely Art.

Seriously, I LOVE your work. Especially the sculptures.

12/18/2008 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Ah, the masters touch is just this - a bit of asymmetry and disbalance. This seems to create a 'potential' space wherein, like fractals, what is inside can unfold out in unexpected ways. My suggestion to anyone I know who plays or does art or poetry - though I know not much - is firstly to drill, drill, drill so you know the technique, and then to understand the ideals and theories, but then to just let yourself mess up and not expect anything good. In other words, pretend like you don't know what you're doing (because in the grand scheme, we don't!)

If we learn anything from nature, it is that the gnarled and injured tree has beauty as does the perfect primrose. A bit of both makes each work a little 'cosmos' of its own!

12/18/2008 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

"pretend like you don't know what you're doing"

Who's pretending? I rarely have a clue ;)

12/18/2008 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

I will thank you for that, Julie, and before this turns into a mutual admiration society I'll reflect that, other than (and quite other from) the years and times of leading worship, only sculpting has provided the incredibly strange experience of being "lost," and awakening to consciousness hours later, trembling in fear because of not knowing where the time went, except for the created thing before me.

But not just in a matter of speaking, but truly, happily, lost.

It's just so nice to get the mind to quit yapping!

12/18/2008 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Yes, what Julie so eloquently said. We are our own worst critics, and that's a good thing up to a point. To see Truth, Love, and Beauty in another is far superior to imagining it in oneself, liberating in fact. I marvel at what Joan, Julie, and Christopher (for example) create in their respective mediums, each blessed with the holy triad that simultaneously makes my ego want to quit and drives my spirit to a higher spiral. Because I know I could never do that, the Art of others fills me with wonder.

12/18/2008 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Personally, I want to see the play of the line, for the world is tied up in string. As the greats say, "Brown paper packages tied up in string, these are a few of my favorite things..."

This is why, for instance, I have always loved cartoons more than anything else, and certainly, Icons, which show the invisible lines drawn by the nous visibly.

12/18/2008 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

River, I loved the visuals in "300" and "Sin City" and daily marvel at Chris Muir's effortless gestures that convey icebergs of information in just a line... just...so.

The art of gesture is where I want to get to in the two-dimensional realm.

12/18/2008 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

...a missing sock that I wish he'd stuff in his mouth, to put it poetically.

You had but to ask, Bob. Take care, all of you - whatever dishonesty you may attribute to me, that's meant honestly. It's been interesting.

12/18/2008 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Yeah, 'abstract' fails the test for what comics really are (though Scott McCloud's book does offer some good advice.) Iconic is what we're looking for. For some reason, when you look at icons - and I mean mostly the ancient and eastern (not to put a dig on the Catholic and Anglican) icons you will see subtle gesture and positioning, expression conveyed precisely, and a stillness and motion together. To get the gesture right, one must get to the essence of the thing, but not convey it essentially. The essence then becomes the motif. When I draw right, gesture flows just naturally out of the pencil (though it is rare.) Hands and faces are the most beautiful subject for gesture. But the human body also works, I think. So all sculpture - even the beautiful - is the sculptor being shaped himself. For his ideas mix with his nature to make something real, and with effort - much more effort - he sculpts himself along with the medium.

In that way, we might truly say "Labore est orare" ?

12/18/2008 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger James said...

It's amazing what people can do when properly inspired.

12/18/2008 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Veils are art-ificial. The probable reason our raccoon artists are never satisfied is that they always have to work with the veil -- lest it become a kind of meaningless spiritual pornography. God does the same thing with us.

When Bob complains about Deepak and Dyer, et al, he's pointing out that they are a spiritual version of Hustler. They try to rip the veil away and expose "reality" but the very act of doing so makes it unreal and merely vulgar. Theirs is a very cheap and dirty spiritual thrill.

12/18/2008 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

What? We're not going to have Ray Ingles to kick around anymore?

In that case, may I be the first to wish Ray a very Merry Christmas.

12/18/2008 11:01:00 AM  
Anonymous jwm said...

That creative fire- The Burn, I used to call it, that uncontainable desire to create beauty. Had it. Lost it.
Strange. For many years the burn sustained me; no matter what was going on in the outside world, there was still the drawing table, and later the carving table where blank paper, or a chunk of stone would absorb that heat. My mind parasites filled my inner world with crappy, ugly shit. Somehow, I found a way to metabolize that poison into beauty, and as I said, it sustained me for many years. But sometime around '03 it just went cold. I was about 2/3 done with a sculpture. It was a good one too. But I went out one morning, set the stone and tools on the table, stared for a while, and then The Voice just said, "It's over". The unfinished stone is sitting in the garage somewhere. I tried to get back to the drafting table, and do a celtic figure about a year ago, but that went nowhere as well.
I got a lot of my spiritual footing from 12-step. The essence of it-place your life and will in the care of God. So that's how I pray- not what I want, but what God wants for me; not what I would do, but what God would have me do. Maybe it happened for a reason. In the absence of the creative fire, I've turned to prayer, and contemplation of the Mystery, or "O". In the absence of the creative fire, I can't call myself an artist any more. I have forfeited whatever sense of inner specialness that comes with it. That forces me to ask, well then who am I? What am I, now? Just one more guy trying to get by in LA? Never pray for humility.
A couple of years back when I had the cardiac adventure I had a vision of sorts (although I didn't recognize it at the time). It had to do with work: everyday ordinary work, and the holiness inherent therein. Problem with visions, epiphanies and the like- they don't last. I've been working nights all week- slogging through classrooms in the cold, rain, and dark. I haven't lost the sense of the value in work, and I'm grateful for the hours, and the money. But it isn't The Burn. It's just what is right now.

JWM

12/18/2008 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

I've been working nights all week- slogging through classrooms in the cold, rain, and dark. I haven't lost the sense of the value in work, and I'm grateful for the hours, and the money. But it isn't The Burn. It's just what is right now.

Yes, it just is.I find I can easily resent that gnawing need for a roof and warmth and food... and yet I work ...since to try and live off of one's art is a likely path to ruin!

I, too, have put it all on "hold" and as much as my mind plays tricks on me, I am somehow constrained to smile at the future, trusting there will be a time a place for that sacred sort of work that is Art.

12/18/2008 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

When Bob complains about Deepak and Dyer, et al, he's pointing out that they are a spiritual version of Hustler. They try to rip the veil away and expose "reality" but the very act of doing so makes it unreal and merely vulgar. Theirs is a very cheap and dirty spiritual thrill.

Carrey's comments linked to awhile back - exact same problem. Ultimately, God uses all that is evil for us for our good (provided we accept his grace) so in the grandest scheme 'everything that happens is the best thing that could happen to you...'

So the problem is, that whether it is or is not depends still on us; and regardless, it will not feel good at the time nor will some of it we be able to understand it as good for us at all, since much of it is really evil. But God is not at odds with evil on an equal basis, evil is a parasite off of God. Even so, it does not prevent God from working good through it. Thus you can see there are a 'Play of veils' going on, and to remove all of them is to vulgarize the truth, which is layered and mysterious.

Some take that to mean we're just avoiding the truth (Orthodox get accused of evasion in discussing theological matters such as, "is x or y saved?" "will x or y go to heaven?" "is x or y church actually Christian?" etc) but when you have to deal with the temporal - which thank God, we do (since without it most of us would not have the chance to turn around) you have to deal with the oddness and peculiarity of it all.

"Will x or y be saved?" R: "Only God is judge." - not an evasion - the honest to God, truth.

12/18/2008 11:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

Every Den requires at least one Black Sheep, or in the case of Dupree, a 375 credit rating coupled with a car payment which is urgent.

Can one stay connected to the flow here at OC, and still listen to Ja Rule from time to time?

Time will tell...

12/18/2008 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

jwm -
"Maybe it happened for a reason."

I find that's usually the case, although you may never know the reason. Re. praying for humility - been there, done that, learned also to be very cautious about what I pray for :)

I can't help wondering if you just need to lie fallow for a while, let your inner soil gain some better nutrients, before growing in a new creative direction. Or not; what do I know?

"That forces me to ask, well then who am I? What am I, now? Just one more guy trying to get by in LA? Never pray for humility."

There was a thought that had me, sometime last night, that the process of life is like a veil over the soul. Underneath it all is just is-ness. And we are loved all the way down to and right through that is-ness, no matter what cloaking layers we put over ourselves, no matter if we are creative or just humble laborers, rich or poor, famous or unknown. And it's why life matters, regardless of duration or of quality.

Unfortunately, that's about as much of the thought as I can articulate. Plus I'm outta time - I have an appointment to let someone else practice their creative skills with my hair :)

12/18/2008 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger Gerard said...

"We're winding down to the exciting conclusion of Meditations on the Tarot,"

Who says there's no good nudes?

12/18/2008 01:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Supermodels, yeah.....

Feminine beauty is a thorny problem for a horny man....

12/18/2008 01:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

The technical term for the sort of low-level depression that many moderns presetnt is dysthymia. It's persistent, and seems to resist efforts to scrub it out. Or perhaps it is an underlying respnse to the fact that we are fallen, and at least in my case, weak.

Few things buoy me these days (I've been wiped out by the collapse of commercial real estate). OC does. Bob does.

12/18/2008 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger James said...

JWM,

I feel you. I want to write, but every time I try to write I get the message, "not yet". Then I write crap. I look back at the things I've written in the past and, well, they feel vulgar somehow, out of touch. My old stories haven't changed, but I have. I feel my fire will return when soil of my soul is ready. I do miss writing good stuff though.

12/18/2008 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

MOTT - A Useful Exercise:

forty-seven posts
plus peripherals and jokes
very prolific

12/18/2008 02:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

The test of this site is whether Bob's words translate into concrete improvements for the individual coon.

They do. I've been reading back-posts and OCUG (and going to church).

Jesus Loves Us.

12/18/2008 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

River, I appreciate that you have expressed with clarity what I was trying to think through muddily

12/18/2008 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Don't pray for it... live it. God gives the means to be humble if we will use them. But he WILL humble us if we ask.

Likewise with patience... the Lord is more than willing to teach us if we ask o_o

12/18/2008 06:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

River: thx

12/18/2008 07:02:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Ray - Just waiting for an excuse, weren't you. Your pride wouldn't let you leave just like it won't let you believe. In the end, atheism is just not sufficient to explain reality.

Watch for a fortune cookie that reads: Great misery will be followed by greater joy.

12/18/2008 09:08:00 PM  
Blogger phil g said...

Joan,
Went to your site and love the drawings and sculptures. Where does one go to acquire some of your art?

12/19/2008 03:05:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Here's how UF explains it: the good severed from the beautiful "hardens into principles and laws -- it becomes pure duty."

Duty without any real joy.
That's what happens when we look to the letter instead of the Spirit.

12/19/2008 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Enlightening discussion about not seeing the art in one's talents, or at least not to the degree others do.

A musician is bound to like other songs more than their own, yes?
Even Leftist singers don't usually say their favorite singer is them selves.

12/19/2008 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"When Bob complains about Deepak and Dyer, et al, he's pointing out that they are a spiritual version of Hustler. They try to rip the veil away and expose "reality" but the very act of doing so makes it unreal and merely vulgar. Theirs is a very cheap and dirty spiritual thrill."

Aye, Mushroom. It's the "thrill"
they are looking for and they think they are bein' authentic and original.

Also, there is no way they can gno what's beyond the veils since Truth isn't their goal to begin with.
So they fantasieze what they think they know is beyond the veil and call that abomination "art."

12/19/2008 07:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Let's see.... yes, the dangers of beauty. I would say that on the whole, men are more aware of this danger than women, being that women are the primary danger.

Cast iron frying pans can kill a guy!

12/19/2008 07:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Skully said...

Northern Bandit-
"Can one stay connected to the flow here at OC, and still listen to Ja Rule from time to time?

Time will tell..."

Ah yes. Those Canuck rappers do get a bad rap. It's not a prerequizit in any case.
Someday you'll beat the rap.
I just ask myself "what would Dupree do?" :^)

12/19/2008 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Who says there's no good nudes?"

Gerard-
There's no nudes like good nudes.

12/19/2008 07:52:00 AM  

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