Showing posts from 2021

The Sacred in Art.

Claude Monet’s "Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat" (1874) As vandalized in 2012. Sacred (from the Oxford English Dictionary) ... 4) Regarded with or entitled to respect or reverence similar to that which attaches to holy things 5) Secured by religious sentiment, reverence, sense of justice, or the like, against violation, infringement or encroachment. What is the “sacred” in art? To ask that question brings up images of religious significance. Statues and paintings of saints, the illustration of words of religious wisdom; this is art created to express the glory of a god or to communicate the theology and authority of a religion. The vast memorial of art through the ages is an encyclopedia of deities. Artists manifest the gods of Sumer and Egypt, buddhas and saints, demons and angels; rendering the spirit world visible to inspire devotion, or fear. But these are simply exercises in illustration, for there is in the image of a god nothing intrinsically sacred. The sacre

The Voices of Consciousness

  I have been reading a lot about ancient Egyptian funerary practices. For me it’s not so much about death, but what life is. In that tradition to be alive is to be many things.  There is a nice entry on this on Wikipedia ( ). I can’t say if this list is true or not in the details, but in the concept it is. To be alive is to be many things – and what more true expression of being alive is our sense of consciousness. It is that self-awareness that makes us feel alive. Without it what would we be feeling? Hunger, lust, cold, anger, all passing through and on with no notice or commentary or even the opportunity to question or revel. The passing passions that any creature of appetite or movement could feel. The life of the conscious could never be just sated acceptance, it seems bound up with discontent. The peaceful and placid require no conscious awareness of their state. Consciousness lives on the horizon. It is alway