ART & ORGANISM
Considering ART and ARTIFACT begs comparison with a larger construct: that of PROCESS and PRODUCT
But we always seem to fixated on the more-or-less enduring PRODUCT when in fact it is the constitutionally ephemeral PROCESS that drives static states from one thing to another. The experience of continuing, dynamic change that defines PROCESS may, in fact, be where we should be focused to understand truth–it can imply a product, but that is more like a snapshot of something in eternal motion. An opportunity for reflection about the process? Resonant with our newest understandings of physics at its deepest levels, nothing is static!
“Kierkegaard agreed … that truth lies in the search for an object, not in the object sought. It is another case of “act accomplishing itself.” If God held truth in one hand and the eternal pursuit of it in the other, He would choose the second hand according to Lessing. Religious truth concerns the individual and the individual alone, and it is the personal mode of appropriation, the process of realization, the subjective dynamism that counts.”–
“What you are is God’s gift to you, what you become is your gift to God.” ― Hans Urs von BalthasarPrayer [from A&O on “self-actualization”?]
THE SEARCH IS THE THING and Leaps of Faith. Of Lessing, Kierkegaard writes approvingly. But if we are constantly occupied in the immanent striving of our own subjectivity, how are we to ascend to knowledge of a transcendent God whom traditional thought declares to be known even by reason. Lessing and Kierkegaard declare in typical fashion that there is no bridge between historical, finite knowledge and God’s existence and nature. This gap can only be crossed by a “leap.” Faith is a completely irrational experience, and yet it is, paradoxically, the highest duty of a Christian. Though as Thomte observes, it is not a spontaneous belief, faith is nevertheless something blind, immediate, and decisive. It has the character of an “act of resignation.” It is unmediated and a-intellectual, much like Kant’s proof for the existence of God. Nature makes no leaps, according to the maxim of Leibniz. But faith, according to Kierkegaard must do so in a radical way.” [i]
All too often too often we try to push, pull, outline and control our ideas instead of letting them grow organically.The creative process is a process of surrender, not control.
(Julia Cameron (1992) The Artist’s Way)
- The Pursuit of Goals … movement, hopefully progressive … toward one horizon after another
- “Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable” (Dwight D. Eisenhower, quoted in NYT, Nov 15, 1957) ( [resonates with the idea that the journey is the destination (attributed to Emerson)]
- The pursuit of any goal is a little like writing out your narrative: “Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go. –The New York Times (20 October 1985) AND “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”—E.L. Doctorow, Interview in Writers at Work (1988) Recalls the “logic of the lamppost” or The Streetlight Effect[i].
- Always out of reach?
- Speak as they please, what does the mountain care? / Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, / Or what’s a heaven for? (Robert Browning)[]
- “…Franz Wright pursues revelation. The Pulitzer-Prize winning poet (son of James Wright) writes “as if there were a word just out of reach, beyond the words on the page. He calls that goal: some radiantly obvious thing I need to say, though quite what that might be escapes me at the moment, as it always has, and always will.” (2006).[ii]
- These ideas resonate with the idea that PROCESSES are more important to the SELF than their PRODUCTS … no danger of stagnation
 (Robert Browning https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43745/andrea-del-sarto , line 98; 1855) recalls Arthur C. Clarke’s Second Law: The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible. (from: “Hazards of Prophecy: The Failure of Imagination” in Profiles of the Future, 1962)
[i] http://discovermagazine.com/2010/jul-aug/29-why-scientific-studies-often-wrong-streetlight-effect Also: our search is limited to where we can see. We know there is a vast area where our senses are useless … even more there is no inquiry possible… even more, the question is the thing! And we do not know what we do not know – cultural anosognosia. See Rumsfeld on KNOWLEDGE.
[ii]. Quoted in Langdon Hammer’s review of Franz Wright’s “God’s Silence: Poems,” “In Pursuit of Revelation” [title at website, title in paper was “To Live is to Do Evil”] NYT Sunday Book Review, May 14, 2006, p38.
“What kind of apocalypse does Wright imagine in his new poems? He is not waiting for the Rapture, but he is a Roman Catholic devotional poet of mystical hope. He is impatient with the real and visible (concrete things stand for / invisible things), and he pushes past them toward real reality, a higher unseeable / life, inconceivable / light / of which light is mere shadow. This impatience extends to people “a human face” is “the mask” / of some being no one can see—as well as to language. Wright describes a moment of past vision in which “The mask was gone,” “There was no / I,” and
there was no text, only what the words stood for;and thenwhat all things stand for.
Wright’s poems pursue this state of revelation, as if there were a word just out of reach, beyond the words on the page. He calls that goal of “ … some radiantly obvious thing I need to say, though quite what that might be escapes me at the moment, as it always has, and always will.”
[i] “Leap of faith” From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leap_of_faith where it was last edited on 21 April 2022, at 02:50