Certain ambient conditions stimulate a speculative unity of nature and spirit. Perpetual ocean dynamics, operative as a durational event, emphasizes intense emotion as a valid source of aesthetic experience. Being there places fresh emphasis on wonder, beauty and sublimity, with individual imagination the critical prerogative yielding freedom.
“There is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself.” – Herman Melville
Modern thinking introduced a ‘politics of beauty,’ after which beauty became not only subjective but also controversial. Contemporary fine art is expected to be politically motivated and decidedly non-aesthetic. With few exceptions, the presence of beauty today is deliberately and vigorously disparaged, with aesthetics and material concerns holding at best subordinate roles in fine art.
“Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
The exacting and solitary road of discovery is the road to the unknown. Salvation in art comes only through creative intuition, the primary power of authentic renewal.
“Every thing is what it is, and not another thing.” – Joseph Butler
Because nature presents additional obstacles, artists confront a growing challenge as the creativity of the spirit strives for further self-liberation. Without hampering or thwarting the simultaneous expression of subjectivity and creative freedom, a perpetually advancing external awareness for objects and events is required.
“The road of creative intuition, however, is exacting and solitary, it is the road to the unknown, it passes through the sufferings of the spirit.” – Jacques Maritain
Value of the world
Beauty continuously escapes grasp, ultimately unattainable except as reflected in a mirror. Poetry relates in equal terms to beauty, without subordination and without definite attainable knowledge destinations. In this dance, poetry tends toward beauty not as an object to be known or to be made, but as support in an integrated view of the affective, appreciative dimensions of existence.
“It only wants to manifest the-inwardness of the artist together with the things which resound in it–and if poetic intuition is really expressed it will inevitably be expressed in beauty, even without meaning it, for any real expression of poetic intuition derives from it integrity, consonance, and radiance.” – Jacques Maritain
Sources of being
Aesthetic beauty is a particular determination of transcendental beauty, confronting not simply the intellect, but the intellect and sensation acting together in unity. Because beauty must have been previously conceived and nurtured in a human intellect to exist in an artifact, artistic beauty presents its transcendental character saliently.
“Art struggles to surmount the distinction between aesthetic beauty and transcendental beauty and to absorb aesthetic beauty in transcendental beauty.” – Jacques Maritain
The immediate experience of external things and events is natural to the human soul. Artistic work proceeds from the creativity of the spirit in perception, together with the stirring of self-awareness. It is in the awakening of subjectivity to itself that emotion received in the free precociousness of the intellect becomes intentional and intuitive.
“This is the great artifice of nature, by which alone she ensures the perpetual cycle in which she endures, and therewith her own eternity.” – Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling
Outer and inner
An individual human being perceives the self only through a personal relationship to external awareness. Thus, the primary obligation of artistry is pursuing the vague knowing of subjectivity. This subjectivity is indissoluble from the apprehension of outer and inner experience, not by means of concepts, but by means of an obscure knowledge through affective union.
“Nature is visible spirit; spirit is invisible nature.” – Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling
Forms into being
Subjectivity in its deepest ontological sense is essential to art. As obscure as introspection may be, the intrinsic obligation is to create by passing through the door of self-knowledge.
“This is a very complicated case Maude. You know, a lotta ins, a lotta outs, lotta what-have-yous. And, uh, a lotta strands to keep in my head, man.” – Dude
Hidden in the spiritual unconscious, the common root of the powers of the soul dwells. In this integral unconscious activity, the intellect, imagination, desire, and emotion are all engaged. The senses exist in man to serve imagination, and through imagination, intelligence.
“Of itself poetic intuition proceeds from the natural and supremely spontaneous movement of the soul which seeks itself by communicating with things in its capacity as a spirit endowed with senses and passions.” – Jacques Maritain