ART & ORGANISM
NOTES on the INTEGRATIVE nature of LOVE
ART and SCIENCE. “Any good poet, in our age at least, must begin with the scientific view of the world; and any scientist worth listening to must be something of a poet/, must possess the ability to communicate to the rest of us his sense of love and wonder at what his work discovers.” (Edward Abbey, contributed to Colloquy by Gina Baucomb 2/16/99)
CRITICISM. Works of art are of an infinite solitariness, and nothing is less likely to bring us near to them than criticism. Only love can apprehend and hold them, and can be just towards them.”( Briefe an einem jungen Dichter) (Kunst‑Werke sind von einer unendlichen Einsamkeit und mit nichts so wenig erreichbar als mit Kritik. Nur Liebe kann sie erfassen und halten und kann gerecht sein gegen sie. –Rainer Maria Rilke, “Letters to a Young Poet,“ 1929, translated by Reginald Snell, 1945) 23 Apr. 1903)
HOPE. Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime; therefore, we are saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore, we are saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as from our own,; therefore, we are saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness. (The Irony of American History, Charles Scribner’s Sons (1952) Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr (June 21, 1892 – June 1, 1971)
IDEA. A mind once stretched by an idea, like a heart once stretched by love, will never regain its former shape. (“A man’s mind stretched by a new idea can never go back to its original dimensions.” Oliver Wendell Holmes, sr. quoted by Robert M. Hutchins)[i]) also recalls “ . . . Eliot’s idea that every new work affects the whole order.” (quoted by Douglas Wilson in the New Yorker 2004:65.[ii])
PERSPECTIVES on LOVE
“Love is the master-key that opens the gates of happiness, of hatred, of jealousy, and, most easily of all, the gate of fear. How terrible is the one fact of beauty!” From 19th-century poet and physician Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr..
“What is unleashed in the soul when we love outside ourselves is sharp, unexpected, and beyond words. Love turns smart people stupid and conjures courage from thin air.
That we can love so wildly, so recklessly and yet feel it even in the tame ways of everyday is something of a miracle. For some, a miracle (ordinary or otherwise) would take a miracle. Still there’s room for repentance, there’s hope if only in glimmers. For others, hope is all there is.
Love, miracle, hope – not my kind of words. But I find that as life pushes relentlessly on, that they nudge their way in and set up shop — undeniable as moon tides, the pie-in-the-sky magical thinking of childhood is quietly replaced by a grounded grown-up sense of wonder. And the reality of something as simple as a sunrise can still surprise you.” (voiceover ending of an episode of “In Plain Sight” (Season 5:02 “Four Marshals and a Baby“).
Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime; therefore, we are saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore, we are saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as from our own,; therefore, we are saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness. (The Irony of American History, Charles Scribner’s Sons (1952) Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr (June 21, 1892 – June 1, 1971) (also in HOPE)
“Love is the extremely difficult realisation that something other than oneself is real. Love, and so art and morals, is the discovery of reality” (Iris Murdoch. “The Sublime and the Good” in Chicago Review 13 (1959) p. 51)
“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate…. Returning violence for violence multiples violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “On Violence” quoted at Pete Seeger appreciation website: http://www.peteseeger.net/index.html )
Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking together in the same direction. (L’expérience nous montre qu’aimer ce n’est point nous regarder l’un l’autre mais regarder ensemble dans la même direction. Antoine de Saint‑Exupéry, Terre des Hommes (translated as Wind, Sand and Stars, 1939) ch. 8)
Love is the extremely difficult realisation that something other than oneself is real. Love, and so art and morals, is the discovery of reality. (Iris Murdoch. “The Sublime and the Good” in Chicago Review 13 (1959) p. 51)
We are all born for love: it is the principle of existence and its only end. (Benjamin Disraeli)
“Love doesn’t make things nice. It ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess. We aren’t here to make things perfect. Snowflakes are perfect. Stars are perfect. Not us, not us. We are here to ruin ourselves, and to break our hearts, and love the wrong people, and die.” (Ronnie (Nicholas Cage) to Loretta (Cher), in Moonstruck)
We must love one another or die. (WH Auden 1940) (a line Auden tried to disavow… should that matter to us?)
How bold one gets when one is sure of being loved (Freud)
1. If I speak in the tongues  of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,  but have not love, I gain nothing. 4. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5. It is not rude, it is not self‑seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10. but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. / (1 Corinthians 13)
And this more human love (which will consummate itself infinitely thoughtfully and gently, and well and clearly in binding and loosing) will be something like that which we are preparing with struggle and toil, the love which consists in the mutual guarding, bordering and saluting of two solitudes. (Rainer Maria Rilke 1875B1926; Und diese menschlichere Liebe (die unendlich rücksichtsvoll und leise, und gut und klar in Binden und Lösen sich vollziehen wird) wird jener ähneln, die wir ringend und mühsam vorbereiten, der Liebe, die darin besteht, dass zwei Einsamkeiten einander schützen, grenzen und grüssen. (Briefe an einem jungen Dichter (Letters to a Young Poet, 1929, translated by Reginald Snell, 1945) 14 May 1904). Also, Rilke’s “I hold this to be the highest task for a bond between two people: that each protects the solitude of the other.” Letter to Paula Modersohn‑Becker, 12 Feb. 1902, in Gesammelte Briefe (Collected Letters, 1904) vol. 1, p. 204)
All thoughts, all passions, all delights, / Whatever stirs this mortal frame, / All are but ministers of Love, / And feed his sacred flame. (Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Love” (1800)
UNDERSTANDING. “A man doesn’t learn to understand anything unless he loves it” – Goethe (Man lernt nichts kennen als was man Liebt) Connects to “We love only what we do not wholly possess.” (On n’aime que ce qu’on ne possède pas tout entier.”—Marcel Proust). must we accept that we can never fully love anything we cannot fully possess? Does this make the possibility of transcendence impossible and remind us that striving is more important than attaining?
LOVE and SUFFERING. “Natasha, to love is to suffer. To avoid suffering, one must not love. But, then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer, to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love, to be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy, therefore, to be unhappy one must love, or love to suffer, or suffer from too much happiness, I hope you’re getting this down.”—Woody Allen (Love and Death, 1975)
. All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man‑in‑the‑street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.
(W. H. Auden, Another Time (1940) September 1, 1939)
. Man lernt nichts kennen als was man Liebt‑‑ Goethe. [complete: “Man lernt nichts kennen, als was man liebt, und je tiefer und vollständiger die Kenntnis werden soll, desto kräftiger und lebendiger muß die Liebe, ja Leidenschaft sein.” (Goethe in einem Brief an Jacobi, 1812)]
One learns to know nothing but what one loves, and the deeper and more complete the knowledge is to become, the stronger, stronger and more alive must be love, even passion. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832), source: Goethe, letters. To Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi, May 10, 1812
Do you agree with Rev William Sloan Coffin that “Vocation is love seeking form” ?
[i] “A mind stretched by a new idea can never go back to its original dimensions.” This also turns out to be from The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table (ch. XI) as the following: “Every now and then a man’s mind is stretched by a new idea or sensation, and never shrinks back to its former dimensions.” https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Talk:Oliver_Wendell_Holmes_Jr. (10/20/2018)
[ii] “I think the poem will tell us something about Lincoln, but the question is What?” Wilson said. “It recalls Eliot’s idea that every new work affects the whole order. This poem is like a new chair in the room. Once you get the poem in the room, you have to rearrange all the other furniture.” B Douglas Wilson, an Abraham Lincoln scholar about a “suicide poem” supposedly written by Lincon; quoted in the New Yorker Jun 14 & 21 2004:65.
Passion Is Linked To Greater Academic Achievement — But In Some Cultures More Than Others by Emily Reynolds
“Passion” is a word that often crops up on job descriptions and in interviews; articles proliferate online explaining how to adequately express your passion to potential employers. On the whole, passionate people — those who have a strong interest in a particular topic, who are confident in themselves and who dedicate themselves to what they’re doing — are thought of in a positive light, and considered likely to achieve their goals.
But when it comes to predicting achievement, how important is passion really? According to Xingyu Li from Stanford University and colleagues, writing in PNAS, passion may be less important in certain cultures — and the fact that passion is often seen as the key to achievement may reflect a “distinctly Western model of motivation”.
Read more of this post in BPS Research Digest | April 28, 2021 at 11:57 am | Categories: Cross-cultural, Educational | URL: https://wp.me/p7Lf0f-aU9