After experience had taught me that all the usual surroundings of social life are vain and futile; seeing that none of the objects of my fears contained in themselves anything either good or bad, except in so far as the mind is affected by them, I finally resolved to inquire whether there might be some real good having power to communicate itself, which would affect the mind singly, to the exclusion of all else: whether, in fact, there might be anything of which the discovery and attainment would enable me to enjoy continuous, supreme, and unending happiness.--Spinoza
But all things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.--Spinoza
For Botton, a moment of clarity struck with Mark Rothko saying, “life’s difficult for you and for me. My canvases are places where the sadness in you and the sadness in me can meet. That way we have a little less grief to deal with.” Poignant. This relationship between artist and viewer is partly what Art As Therapy sets out to establish. Or rather, through understanding this connection, art’s remedies can be unlocked.--Alain de Botton’s ‘Art as Therapy’ Will Change How You View Art
To Botton, the aforementioned ‘powers of art’ have all but been abandoned. Nowadays, we often struggle to discern semblance from the art we’re viewing. Admit it. Remember the last time you visited a museum? Then you surely remember thinking, “what… The… Hell… Am I supposed to make of this..?” We know we’re supposed to feel something in art’s presence, but that something isn’t always easy to distinguish.
Admit it. Remember the last time you visited a museum? Then you surely remember thinking, “what… The… Hell… Am I supposed to make of this..?”
"We have too easily swallowed the Modernist idea that art which aims to change or help or console its audience must by definition be ‘bad art’ (Soviet art is routinely trotted out here as an example) and that only art which wants nothing too clearly of us can be good."
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As philosophy finds in the proletariat its material weapon, so the proletariat finds in philosophy its spiritual weapon.—Harry Waton
But woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men, for you yourselves do not enter in; and those that are going in, you suffer not to enter.
[S]o now a portion of the bourgeoisie goes over to the proletariat, and in particular, a portion of the bourgeois ideologists, who have raised themselves to the level of comprehending theoretically the historical movements as a whole. These individuals, who ordinarily would not identify themselves with the proletariat, gladly throw themselves into the struggle, and together with the proletariat exert themselves to effect the desired change. This was in substance the answer that Jesus gave to his disciples when they asked him "Who then can be saved?" With man individually it is almost impossible that he should forsake his material possessions and betake himself to the propertyless and together with them work, not only for the future, but also against the present, with which he is so firmly bound up. According to the ordinary run of things, Moses should have remained in the house of Pharaoh, enjoying princely honors and pleasures; or Marx should have remained with the bourgeoisie, achieving material success. But, such is the order of things that, when the material conditions of existence are ripe for a change, and the proletariat manifests a spirit of discontent and a readiness to rise against the upholders of the existing order, such men are summoned to the front — men, who, by virtue of their great gifts and rare opportunities for the acquisition of knowledge and experience, have attained to great light and deep truth, and who, therefore, are most able to lead the struggling masses out of darkness into light, and out of bondage into freedom.— The Philosophy of Marx / Harry Waton.
The Protestant Reformation in Europe was an attempt to ‘purify’ the Catholic Church of its contradictions and compromises with paganism. It sought to suppress the cult of the Virgin Mary and reestablish the supremacy of the Father—to make Christianity a more perfectly patriarchical religion ad de-sacralize ‘Mother’ Nature…. The result of this new purity was to weaken popular commitment to Christianity altogether. Atheism and secular humanism grew rapidly, and European churches never again held the sway over public life they’d once had.— Chrysalis Effect: The Metamorphosis of Global Culture / Philip Slater, p. 33.
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