Category Archives: Love

Can we love excrement?

Oh dear!   Started the year with a well-intentioned little ebook close to my heart called ‘How to Love everyone and Everything – starting with a stone’,  (uploaded here as a free ebook: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/604151 ) and the first Facebook comment I got was, ‘It looks like a turd…’ Back to earth with a thud! But the friend goes on to say ‘…Not a bad place to start though.’ And yes, I think it is… if we can reflect on what excrement is so good for – apart from keeping us alive by departing from our intestines! It turns to compost and fertilizes new life in abundance…

Here is the good author of Humanure, a book that should enthuse anyone about excrement – and horrify them about our present wasteful sewerage practices!

 

bucket_empty1

http://humanurehandbook.com/index.html

Ah, the circle of life! Some beauty to be found at every point, however humble… it all depends on our perspective. Thank you, life!

And now I have to quote Nietzsche on the matter:

“To the clean are all things clean”- thus say the people. I, however, say to you: To the swine all things become swinish!

Therefore preach the visionaries and bowed-heads (whose hearts are also bowed down): “The world itself is a filthy monster.”

For these are all unclean spirits; especially those, however, who have no peace or rest, unless they see the world from the backside – the afterworldly!

To those do I say it to the face, although it sound unpleasantly: the world resembles humanity, in that it has a backside – so much is true!

There is in the world much filth: so much is true! But the world itself is not therefore a filthy monster!

There is wisdom in the fact that much in the world smells badly: loathing itself creates wings, and fountain-divining powers!

In the best there is still something to loathe; and the best is still something that must be overcome!-

O my brothers, there is much wisdom in the fact that much filth is in the world!

– from Thus Spake Zarathustra,  Of Old and New Lawtables.

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What is Art and why do it?

For about fifty years I’ve asked this question, off and on. Maybe I’d have done better off just to DO it, but… ‘the philosopher is strong in this one’.

moe 4295 CROPPED

So, ‘Art’ was one thing I found very slippery to define, so I kept worrying away at it, even while I avoided doing it. (Acknowledgements required: When I was a Christian I found Hans Rookmaaker’s ‘Modern Art and the Death of a Culture’ helpful in allowing me to do at least a bit of art while still shackled to the evangelical imperative; and more recently (though I am not an Ayn Rand disciple) the ‘Romantic Manifesto’ by Ayn Rand. Her argument that art is the expression of a sense of life obtained through a philosophy of life is very clear.  Also (though I find Schopenhauer’s general attitude and pessimism hateful) ‘The World as Will and Representation’ has some good things to say about art as a means to ascend through the vivid perception of the particular to be the ‘pure, will-less, painless, timeless’ perception of the transcendent and general. And Robert Pirsig’s life-changing ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’, really all about art, really did change my whole life; as did Nietzsche, despite his proto-nihilism.)

Now I feel I am brimming with answers, but mostly hungering to just do it and let the answers inform the art. Happy state, to be guarded against all that would divert this conative  energy into lesser tasks and diversions of all kinds! Narrow is the Way that leads to the enchanted land of Art… ‘O afternoon of my life! What have I not given away that I might have one thing: this living plantation of my thoughts, and this dawn of my highest hope!’ (Nietzsche’s Zarathustra)

So, while the ebook soundtracks upload for about my last ebook upload customer (touch wood), I’ll say what Art is. IMHO.

Art is being vividly conscious in the World, not on autopilot, sleepwalking, but intentional, conscious and self-conscious, and communicating something of what you sense  (see, feel, hear, taste, imagine, conceptualise, understand, intuit) when in that heightened – enchanted – state.

Or, as Robert Pirsig says, ‘Art is high-quality endeavor’.

But a precondition for high-quality endeavour of any kind is a high-quality structure of knowledge and belief, within which to frame that lucid awareness and that endeavour. This is where art can be ‘high’ or ‘low’, depending on the quality, breadth and depth of the structure of ideas in which it is set.

What has happened to ‘fine’ Art, when so much of the production of modern artists in galleries seems so ugly, silly or pointless to people who take pride in doing high quality work but would never call themselves ‘artists’?

Well, first, there is good art and bad art. Bad art is mixed, conscious with unconscious/derivative/insincere/crude/hateful even; framed within a narrow, faulty philosophy of life.

Secondly, some good art is about something bad the artist feels the need to protest/point out/ridicule/expose. So it will (partly) not feel good – there will be some discord. But good art still enchants and ennobles even while it saddens or angers. It doesn’t demean our existence, but gives us a sense explicitly or implicitly of an alternative, something good, something which is not that bad thing.

Bad art about bad things is merely rubbing our noses in badness (or meaninglessness). It’s loveless and joyless, disenchanted. There’s a lot of it about. It’s a cheap shot at life. It’s had a very, very long run, this kind of art, a century or more. Modern art of this ignoble, shameful kind should be refuted and banished from our galleries by total lack of sales (and replaced with good art sold with a good conscience), but modern philosophy (I mean the philosophy which is approved by the zeitgeist and therefore the universities) has no means to refute bad art or anything else bad, since it has itself become corrupted, by materialism, nihilism and relativism. Bad art is the offspring and creative expression of bad philosophy, and both together have presided over the gradual disintegration of the foundations of our civilisation. The Emperor of our culture is clothed in the filthy rags of its bankrupt father, the philosophy of materialism, relativism and nihilism.

The reason I love Art is because I know there is such a thing as Quality, such a thing as Good, such a thing as Truth, and I love to see those things shining through the particulars of things as portrayed in art.

Love, Beauty, Truth and Freedom, honoured in a coherent philosophy, and in word and deed, will at least set the stage for good art. Then we have to Just Do It. Whatever form it takes, in galleries or architecture or writing or everyday life. The final aim of Art is the  ‘re-enchantment of everyday life’. All of it.

Now that would be a Renaissance worth painting for! That’s the kind of art I will do while the sun still rises and I am still here to greet it. Here at the Quarry Arts Centre, probably, I hope. It’s a Good Place to be at, this afternoon of my life! Once I was a young man, and I worried about what to do when I grew up; now I am grown up, and I realize with Zarathustra that the final ‘metamorphosis of the spirit’ is to become the Child again, but with full powers of understanding and experience.

A final point, about Freedom, that controversial precondition for the truly creative artist to do his or her best art. Nietzsche’s Zarathustra says the the ‘reverential, weight-bearing camel’ of the spirit must become a lion:

‘My brothers, why is the lion needed in the spirit? Why does the beast of burden, that renounces and is reverent, not suffice? To create new values – even the lion is incapable of that: but to create itself freedom for new creation – that the might of the lion can do. To create freedom for itself and a sacred No even to duty: the lion is needed for that, my brothers.

…’But tell me, my brothers, what can the child do that even the lion cannot? Why must the preying lion still become a child? The child is innocence and forgetfulness, a new beginning, a sport, a self-propelling wheel, a first motion, a sacred Yes.’

(Of the Three Metamorphoses of the Spirit, from ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’, translation by Walter Kaufmann)

So, a last unscientific postscript on art: it is the way we must go to become truly free, and ‘become what we truly are’ (Nietzsche again) – creative, playful, childlike, transcendent, godlike. Of such is the republic of Art and Eutopia.

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Filed under Love, Love Beauty Truth and Freedom, musings by the wizard, philosophy, the Quarry Arts Centre, theory of art

A new religion? declared at LoveQor

Thank you for following this blog, and bear with me: I’ve gone and refocused over at loveqor.com, where I’m imagining and hopefully pioneering, a new way of understanding the Logic of Love and its application to solve, well, all the main problems of the human world.

 So, my latest vision and focus is now www.loveqor.com  

loveqor header with apple

This is a whole new way of seeing life and exploring how we can thrive together in creative harmony. It is linked to the qorflow.com vision of a new kind of enterprise culture, currency and stock exchange. Come on over! It’s all happening now…

You don’t need to unfollow this blog, as I won’t probably be overloading you with posts from it; but pleeese do click follow on loveqor.com: it is going to be interesting to you at least, and inspirational probably. And even profitable to you, hopefully.

 

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My Qor Philosophy

Well, the big stuff always goes to the background like mountains. We need to climb the darned things or at least one of them,  if we are ever to reach our peak…

So, I was sick yesterday and as often happens to me, I started philosophising with unusual candour. I.e., reckless abandon and self-honesty. At my core, or ‘Qor’ to use my neologism (see my game of the life process at qor.co.nz)  is the passion for clarity and nobility of mind and life. The quest for the Qor, the mainspring, the One Thing that justifies all existence for me. So, I thought about the place I had visited here in Whangarei called the Quarry. On a high ledge of the old quarry folk in former years have built shapes and walls and arches, now lying in the weeds like ancient ruins. I was inspired to resurrect this place as a place of philosophy art and and ferrocement…

My philosophy school wld be western systematic, peripatetic, i suppose – my take on it of course! Modules are probable, some have a book by me or another; some I would write the book of as I got into the teaching of it and responded to what came up:
How to reset your life. ‘Red Pill or Blue Pill?’: (see my post https://wizardofeutopia.com/2013/10/20/philosophy-is-the-red-pill/)  Philosophy as ‘zooming out’ from your life and seeing the thought systems that run it as a limited whole… taking the Red pill, and looking afresh at everything you know and believe – especially at the parts that are under greatest strain, which are causing you the greatest pain… So, existentially driven, not just dry theory.
i might provide sensory deprivation tanks for keen red-pillers… 🙂
How to be creative (and thrive in the ‘New Economy’). Applying the process diagram to the creative process, in the Web and the Workshop. Networking, crowdsourcing, co-creating, rapid prototyping, bootstrapping, googling. The concepts of qorflow.com.
Process and Reality the ‘tree of Life’ and the phases of process; chaos and complexity theory; the timeless reality of ‘wonderful absolutes’ underpinning all process. Peirce’s Three Universes (the Activerse Possiverse and Necessiverse).
Nietzsche’s Zarathustra and the Possible HumanHow to become ourselves.
 
The Wisdom of the (True) West – our thought heritage and why it’s worth saving. How to start a Renaissance…
Fiction and philosophy. How imagining a different life and World can change yours.
‘Love is a many-splendoured thing’. Reflections on C.S. Lewis’s The Four Loves. How to avoid the fatal misconceptions about Love and avoid a lot of pain – and maybe find ‘True Love’. How to use the Tree of Life diagram to easily love everybody, including yourself.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance –  the core concepts of Quality – Romantic/Classic/Static/Dynamic – in Robert Pirsig‘s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Lila. Reflections on living dynamic lives of Quality.
Does God exist? What do  or can we mean by ‘God’? What are the arguments for God’s existence? For new definitions of God?
Meditation, Mindfulness and happiness.  Using the Qor Tree of Life board to meditate in any level and aspect of life. ‘Happiness – it’s Now or never’.
Finding your Purpose in life. Discover your process profile; your unique distribution of life energies.
you name it, i could lead a philosophical inquiry into it…
I think the Quarry in Whangarei may be the place to start…. ideally in the Upper Level, if the necessary permissions were obtained:
what do you think? isnt it so… Greek? i can imagine Plato here…
Meanwhile i am slogging away trying to catch up with my life in the maddening details of where how and what…
my old problem of too much, too many…  Ah, physician, heal thyself; philosopher, simplify thyself!

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Philosophy is the Red Pill

The Red Pill or the Blue Pill?

poster for The Matrix

poster for The Matrix (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Philosophy is the real-life non-drug equivalent of the Red Pill in the Matrix. It’s the use of the mind’s power to ‘zoom out’ from any situation or mindset and question it.

I want to help people to take the Red Pill, so they can reimagine reality and hence their life. I don’t think we can randomly ‘choose our own reality’, any more than Neo could; but we can see through the Matrix of random illusions of many kinds, and wake up to the things that are inconveniently true and some that are wonderfully and timelessly true (there are some!) and dispel the illusions that never were  true, no matter how unanimously assumed in our corner of the World.

I hope to do this Morpheus trick in Whangarei very soon. Once people have tried this ‘zooming out’ I hope to help them with a clarification of this thing we call LOVE. There are more painful illusions around love than just about any other thing in modern (Western) life. The term in English is terribly ambiguous. C.S.Lewis in ‘The Four Loves’ distinguished Affection, Friendship, Eros or romantic love, and Agape or pure benevolence. I think there is more to be said from a process point of view. Love kicks off all process; it is the stage of INPUT, openness to the other. Then it morphs into new vision, new plans, and finally new actions. Love, in my philosophy, is not outward actions first, but Appreciation and receptivity to the other. This could really open up possibilities in the pursuit of the noble virtue we call love. It could also shed light on what we sometimes call falling in love. And how what follows can be a lot less painful, a lot more lasting.

I hope to find a  good space to do this work. Watch this (virtual) space! And comment if you think my take on philosophy makes sense – does it even open up a glimpse of new possibility for a new kind of life? Conversely, do you agree with Socrates at his trial who said, ‘the unexamined life is not worth living’? I think this need not be true for those not ‘born thinkers’, if the form of life we inherit is virtuous and wise and loving, and without major contradictions and conflicts; but sadly it usually is far from being that. Hence the need for zooming out and examining it and alternative ideas and practices. Perhaps we could say, ‘In general, the unexamined life may well suck’.

 

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