Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Joy is the ...

There is an authenticating quality to the mystical experience---a
seeing that answers questions. I am not prepared to say that such is
not the main aspect of what Jan Cox referred to sometimes as vertical
expansion. This authenticating though is part of the major hazards of
such events, and I do not mean hazard in a bad sense, but for the
individual himself the experience most often is the beginning and the
end of his personal growth. This is because the circumambient words
are felt to be authenticated by the experience of vertical expansion.
So instead of real wordless knowledge we have people of various
religious, and other, stripes. And humanity as a whole progresses,
but the individual person, not necessarily so much. So the few real
teachers, men like Gurdjieff and Jan Cox, were heard to say that you
had to have a teacher to wake up, to use that common and misleading
phrase. And the path between crankdom and guruism is not one that can
be threaded with cocksure stride.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A State of Stillness in Stone

The Kouros are sculptures from around 530 BC. You have seen pictures of them, standing figures, arms at the side, legs together, with maybe a foot extended. And the face, no radiant smiles, just a tiny calm lip line. I have heard these statues referred to as an early stage of sculpture, before the Greeks had learned to convey the action, say the movement you can see in the Laocoon frenzy, before action in stone was in the repertory of Greek artists. The statues are commonly regarded as a primitive stage of European art.

What if, though, the opposite were the case. What if these statues, the still strange erect figures, were representing the inner life of a man whose awareness has a vertical dimension missing in most people. The Kouros, to my mind, have the stillness of a mystical awareness kept amidst the flurry of everyday life.