Just by being
An exquisite Mexican sun sets over the Pacific Ocean at a latitude of 17°38’30.01″N and a longitude of 101°33’6.1″W. Such a magnificent event is the essence of fleeting beauty. For a few dynamic moments, the sky is a pageant of light and color – and then the extravaganza passes. Nonetheless, the positive psychological effects of witnessing the spectacle persist for long after.
“For we have complete insight only into what we can make and accomplish according to our conceptions.” – Immanuel Kant
When it comes to creativity, intuitive reason becomes paramount. In aesthetics, we confront intuition on a visceral level, while entering into a cardinal activity of the intellect. Prior to logic and concepts, intuition exercises itself in vital connection with imagination and emotion.
“We have quit logical reason and even conceptual reason, yet we have to do more than ever with intuitive reason–functioning in a nonrational way.” – Jacques Maritain
Quickens the mind
Movement of exceeding
The critical aspect in useful arts is an obligation to the primary rule of satisfying a certain practical need. In fine arts, however, the primary rule is the release of pure spiritual creativity in its yearning for beauty working with the intellect. Thus, the notion of rule in the fine arts modulates through the influence of beauty.
“By an aesthetic idea I mean a presentation of the imagination which prompts much thought but to which no determinate thought whatsoever, i.e., no concept, can be adequate, so that no language can fully reach it and render it understandable.” – Immanuel Kant
After several years of walking one of my longer local routes, at one point along the way I decided to climb under a barbwire fence to explore some new territory. What I found is a small patch of prairie that more closely resembles what western Missouri looked like before massive human disruption. The calm feeling associated with the undulating grasses, blowing in the wind, are similar to an ocean oscillation observed from the shore.
“The creative Self of the artist is his person as person, in the act of spiritual communication, not his person as material individual or as self-centered ego.” – Jacques Maritain
Every experience relates to the adventure of being a subject in the world. We simultaneously assemble a description of the world, along with an identification of perceived discrete objects it contains. Along the way, intense beauty serves to elevate the unity of apperception, as we construct a self-narrative situated within an external environment.
“All of our cognitions lie within the totality of all possible experience, and the transcendental truth that precedes and makes possible all empirical truth consists in the general relation to such experience.” – Immanuel Kant
Within the frame
Truth as an event
Emerge into disclosure
Accentuated by the aesthetic sensitivity of the intellect, seasonal oscillations are vital ways of directing creative accouchement. Creative intuition demands the release of the enigmatic spirit possessed within the soul responding to natural abundance.
“That into which the work sets itself back and which it causes to come forth in this setting back of itself we called the earth. Earth is that which comes forth and shelters” – Martin Heidegger
Beyond the facts
Bring to perfection
Another winter night on the shore of Hazel Hill Lake and I am struck by the impact of extreme beauty. In relation to artistic creation, what matters in such a durational experience is the mutual entanglement of nature and self. I need to increase my frequency of engagement.
“Unexpressed significance, unexpressed meanings, more or less unconsciously putting pressure on the mind, play an important part in aesthetic feeling and the perception of beauty.” – Jacques Maritain
Sharing the same reality with the rest of the world, things seem tranquil by the lake. Although limited to the phenomenal perspective, aesthetic experience provides meaning.
“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Just before dawn, a slight increase in illumination starts building to the east. Recognizing the connection to cyclic universality, held open is the future course of attentiveness.
“Whatever it does, follow the feeling and pay attention to it.” – Eugene Gendlin
An act of aesthetic utterance is one response out of a number of possible creations, as decisive moments transpire on a given occasion. Yet each singular manifestation, being the confluence of durational consciousness arising at a certain juncture, could not have been formed at any other point.
“The aesthetic object is something utterly different from all utilitarian objects, for its purposiveness is without purpose; the motive that leads to its creation is distinct, and independent of all others …; and the enjoyment of beauty … brings to man a value that nothing else can provide, since it has nothing to do with cognition or with morality.” – Monroe Beardsley