Culture replaces authentic feeling with words.
As an example of this, imagine an infant lying in its cradle, and the window is open, and into the room comes something, marvelous, mysterious, glittering, shedding light of many colors, movement, sound, a tranformative hierophany of integrated perception and the child is enthralled - and then the mother comes into the room and she says to the child, 'that's a bird, baby, that's a bird,' instantly the complex wave of the angel peacock irridescent transformative mystery is collapsed, into the word.
All mystery is gone, the child learns this is a bird, this is a bird, and by the time we're five or six years old all the mystery of reality has been carefully tiled over with words.
This is a bird, this is a house, this is the sky, and we seal ourselves in within a linguistic shell of disempowered perception.
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I teach art a lot, and one the most important things I teach is to take the words away from the process, remove the naming, remove the mind and all of its notions. An eye isn't an eye, it isn't what your mind has decided it is; it's a dot, a circle, curved lines, spaces, dark places and light places, reflections and relationships. And yes, those are words, too, but they allow the artist to conjure the magic. It's always so surprising to see how wonderful their creations are when they're free of words and expectations.
wonderment on the third wave
wonderment on the third wave
Liking Terence, wishing he wasn't dead, accepting that he is.
My doctor brought it home to me. He was saying to me -- as I buttoned up recently after an examination -- he said, "You know, in the Nineteenth Century, most people your age were dead." This is true. I'm soon to be 52; very few people, statistically, reached that level. I think part of what's happening -- and it's odd to address an audience so young on this matter, but here's something your parents may not be telling you -- culture as a con is only good for about 35 years on average. Some people are impressed with culture till they go to the grave at 90; some people are thoroughly apprised of the fact that it's horseshit by the time they're 19. But the average person's experience with culture lasts about 35 or 40 years. In the past, that was enough. Most people then were ready to die without ever blowing their whistle on the game. What is happening here is we are living past the age -- by the millions -- where cultural values make any sense at all. They simply are, after the ten thousandth piece of apple pie, the sixteenth Mercedes, the five hundredth whatever -- it's just seen to be intolerable, unbearable, the agony that resides in matter that the Surrealists were so prescient in insisting upon.