February 07, 2008

Classical-bred artists have invested their learning in the old questions, the old inquiries, the old truths

No one can point to the influence of the idea of “the leading edge of consciousness” upon genuinely timeless fine art. Thinking that way on the part of art lovers is a manner of actually avoiding the specific qualities and internal logic that the object of fine art possesses (due to the nature of the New Age being generic boilerplate thought). Thinking that way for artists is nothing but a shortcut around the hard work of fine artistry that is bound to fail, precisely because the hard work of fine artistry is avoided. Any fine artist can claim their fine art is at the leading edge; any lover of fine art can claim that fine art they love is at the leading edge. But why should I believe them, and why should I even care? It is a tag applicable wherever one wants. It is crack for the artistically lazy and narrow-minded. It is propaganda meant to sell something in the marketplace that otherwise is pathetic kitsch...
What is the reason we return to the work of classical-bred artists time and time again? It is because they have invested their learning in the old questions, the old inquiries, the old truths. It is because their mastery of chosen discipline is impeccable. There simply is no other demonstrable way that we know about for a work of fine art to reliably go timeless than to undergo deep learning in the liberal arts (the classical liberal arts), and then move into deep learning in the chosen discipline of fine art through apprenticeship over many years, and then converse with thought from other disciplines (i.e. interdisciplinary learning), and then to create fine art in a syntopical fashion where one’s original classical liberal arts-born learning returns full bore as the timeless content of the reactions to the work on the part of the audience (i.e. transdisciplinary learning). This begets something remarkable—a work of fine art, by means of its aesthetic symbols, is finally a participant in the Great Conversation.
The term “original” should mean nothing of what it means today. The term should mean — and does mean under the layers of industrial age, postmodern, progressive and New Age gunk — “born of the path that returns to one’s origins”; i.e., original means nothing outside the context of tradition, of classical thought, of conservatism in its broadest sense (broader than politics, but in general contours, inclusive of political conservatism of the American variety, the ideas and principles of which itself goes back to ancient Greek and Roman thought, which directly and demonstrably informed the Founding Fathers, and classical liberalism in general).
Being original is the entire game of fine artistry. Nothing else is important. Nothing else matters. Nothing, including the endless blather about “leading edge of consciousness”. Which is a pipe dream concocted by stoners and other drug addicts and then peddled into the wider world for general consumption by those who don’t have the constitution or discipline to enjoy anything but thin soup and will make nothing except disposable art-like substance. Talk of “the leading edge of consciousness” is coward talk, pure and simple.
If you are genuinely interested in great artistry, then you will drop all pretensions to “leading edge of consciousness” and get to work understanding the origins of your assumptions, the origins of the old knowledge, the origins of your aesthetic discipline, and the origins of the ideas that animate and touch the best minds throughout recorded history. It is a lifetime of work, the best I can tell. But how could it be any other way? Who would want it to be? For knowledge of our origins comes as the return on our investment of enormous time and energy it takes to earn a right to utter or evoke originality, in the first place.

1 comment:

  1. Some good points but the real question is who is Matthew's Spiritual Master?

    Matthew little-ji perhaps?

    Spiritual Masters are THE source of the Revelation of Truth. And the only key to Spiritual "transformation". It does not come from any other place. It does not fall out of the sky. It comes from Adept-Realizers.

    They are also the sources and inspiration of all True Culture and Civilization.

    Guru-less, equals god-less, equals culture-less.

    Western art went through three broard phases.
    The glorification of god, then after the Renaissance, the "glorification" of meat-body man, then since WW2, and especially now, the in your face awfulness of the street level "reality"---the "reality" as portrayed in the various forms of "reality" TV which the masses thoroughly enjoy.