What is a good sense?

January 19, 2014

One good phrase which can be used to define the concept of “a good sense” is certainly “the ability to act with wisdom,” or the result of an insightful and elaborate reasoning

Contrary to a good sense, a common sense often times condones the most farfetched ideas as if they were acceptable norms or rules of behavior. And so it is that ordinary men and women with a common sense seem nonchalantly to hold views resulting from a purely stereotypical nature. It may seem tempting to agree with such a habit which would reinforce a judgement bias as well as a sense of separateness. Thus, people would relate to each other as if they were mirrored images or the result of a collective phenomenon, rather than as they really are individually.

Although reductive, these preconceptions of preference may also seem practical if they would contain differences between civilizations and cultures in order to establish boundaries. Consequently, conditioned by such beliefs, ordinary men and women will hardly restrain themselves from a myriad preconceived notions rather than looking for qualities in people as they really are individually. And so, they would prefer to attach themselves onto a system derived from forms of inequality.

For example, with the mere comparison between any Latin and any Anglo-Saxon civilization, one implies and manifests such differences as if they were isolated worlds, i.e. for example, Italians are like ‘that’ while Americans are otherwise. The human condition is hence transformed into collective classifications that are dependent upon physical aspects or historical attainments. Thereby, we reason the systematization of superficially external qualities such as what would be Hellenized, Latinized, Anglicized, Slavicized, Africanized, Sanskritized or Brahmanized, Sinologized, Pacificized or even Aboriginalized, o Indigenized, etc., etc. … Fundamentally, we are speaking in terms of a type of reactionary and traditionalist sectarianism—banal and insular–instead of a common ground beyond linguistic and cultural differences: A common basis of interdependence, not on the ground of habits, appearances or absolutism, but in fact the product of a mind open to examination, inasmuch our “reality has no true resting place” to paraphrase Jiddu Krishnamurti’s teachings.

Prayers to a Tyrant

January 14, 2014

Thank heavens! It will be enough if our determination to overcome great obstacles is possible, without letting us be intimidated by the huge challenge that lies ahead. God willing! It can be that our misery may be drowned by the courage to observe it as it is. Let it not be ignored! It seems that in meeting our fears, perhaps fear itself has weakened our resolve, if it were not for an order that has to prevail, notwithstanding any ignominy.

God, let it not be said that, at any time, we have surrendered into servitude. A tyrant can not prevail as long as he does not do what he wants, while rotting in his decay. As far as we know, one’s defeat can only be the result of one’s own blindness. May God help you and hold you to annul the cruelty of your own heart. Let’s keep it among ourselves! Do not be ashamed that we support your repentance. It is just a pity that you do not realize your life is cruel, and that you do not have the interest, passion, intensity, flame, to find an order to it all.

Let it be known that we are all responsible: You are just a reflection of our collective feebleness. I say this, so that you may understand. Can we accept any responsibility if we sink into our own barbarity, our somnolence? No one can be dissociated from this possibility, without the courage of facing oneself. Every day and every moment, we lose our identity as human beings owing to our indifference. Let it not be so! Is it possible that we have hated you? It should be enough for us to wish to proffer the compassion that you have denied us.

Before it is too late, we urge you: All one can do is to see the total disorder that is inside and outside of oneself. Observe it! One could see this disorder all at once, and it may be the only thing that matters, that is to say: to observe all instantly without contradiction. When one sees the danger of disorder, there is instant action, which is the total negation of all the culture that has led to it, which is within oneself. It is easy for it to be true. Well, it shall be true, unless you sink into the lethargy of indolence.

New York City, 01/14/2014

Ricardo Morin, Yale University, MFA ’83

You Are the World, and the World Is You

December 31, 2013

Politics (from Greek: politikos, meaning “of, for, or relating to citizens”) is the practice and theory of influencing other people on a civic or individual level.

It is no coincidence that since ancient times, many great thinkers have argued that, without ethics, politics are worthless. An so it is that in the course of our lives we have had the opportunity to reflect on the inability of politicians to avoid discord and war, as we have also seen laws which can not enact peace and harmony among us. And it is possible to reflect on how our very survival seems to be predicated by this incapacity. One could argue that this condition is due to an inability strengthened by aggression and indolence in the ethos of our society.

In terms of international relations, there is the inability of the United Nations, as evidenced by their own lack of determination. Urgent issues —on genocide, on the prevalence of slavery, poverty and illiteracy worldwide—are evaded due to the supremacy of economic greed and the fear to resist it at a level of total indifference.

In paraphrasing one of Jiddu Krishnamurti’s dialogues, he admonished that, as a mediating institution, the United Nations’ sole mission, in effect, was reduced to organizing for the sole sake of being organized, without an effective solution to anything; and that political ideologies of all nations—in democracy, fascism, capitalism, communism, socialism, the left, center or right—were constantly clashing against one another in a vortex that rendered them all useless in their ways of thinking—still being the case today!

As our world teacher‘s legacy still teaches us, the real revolution is repressed by our drowsiness: an insensitivity to our own instincts, when hypnotized by mass-entertainment and influenced by the everyday demands of survival, between the lure of bread and circus, when we inhibit ourselves from a good understanding of our despair. To this we must add the banditry and corruption prevailing in the world with the abuse of common goods to the patenting for profit of our own biological cells.

And then we wonder how not to be part of a decaying system, when peace and politics seem so disparate. Although this appears to be an irrevocable fact; when one denies any form of association with this system of duplicity, one can be truly responsible, one can deface iniquity with courage, with dignity and a good sense. But for that first, one must be independent of any imposed identity, sectarianism, free of a barbaric tribal mentality, ie., being critical of all, without posturing the slogans of any political ideology whatsoever, of any nationalistic sentiment, regionalism, patriotism, idolatry of religious books and saints, the cult and propaganda of institutional powers, by rejecting human exploitation, by reformers and leaders alike, greed and all of their obligations. One would have to be devoid of any sense of superiority, indifference and selfishness which divide us by violating our very sense of humanity.

As so many times said throughout our world teacher’s life, the real revolution is not a mass movement, but an internal revolution of the individual, within each of us, knowing oneself in peace and harmony with all of our relations.

When one’s responsibilities are met, peace exists within; all fears disappear, and the world is the better for it. But when one can not resist fear, greed, anger, hatred, jealousy or envy, the world is in much greater despair, because, as in all instances, you are the world and the world is you.

Fidel Castro’s infamy invades Venezuela

December 30, 2013

What virtue can there be in Venezuela today, as one loses freedom, justice, peace and life itself in the name of an obsolete regime like the Castro’s? These are invaders, vampire gangsters, installed to establish a system that has nothing to do with any system, Marxist or socialist, who purport to be justified by virtue of comparing themselves to the alleged failures of other political systems.

A political system should be primarily moral, otherwise is not worth a damn. How many times have we witnessed an idealistic revolution as a neurotic manifestation which invariably results in genocide? This is the fate of the current battle without truce imposed by the lawlessness that grips Venezuelans today, thanks to the Castro brothers and followers.

It may sound respectable to speak of justice when in fact it is an irrational power struggle, when the poor are worse off than ever before, when gangland spreads, a parody of decency, a mockery of human rights. The solution is not in the books or in the time that it might take to educate the masses. The solution lies in purging the ignominious character that has been sown in the heart of the Venezuelans. The victims do not belong to a single sector but everyone at the hands of a narcissist delusional dictator like Fidel Castro in his effort to bring us his latest nefarious legacy. I urge you to join the protest of conscience and oust the Cuban invasion!

Metaphors of Silence

November 24, 2010

An artist’s Manifesto by Ricardo Morin: Viewing of his Jersey City art-studio where he engages with his paintings [2005-10]; some artworks are in progress and some are part of a recently finished hanging scroll series, entitled Metaphors of Silence. http://www.ricardomorin.com/

“Acts of Individual Talent”

October 2, 2009
Triangulation Series 225

Triangulation Scroll Series Nº 225, 49 x 68 inches; oil on canvas; 2008

Origins of Modern Western Aesthetics

The concept of Aesthetics comes to us out of a wide variety of different traditions: from those of the West, the Chinese, the Japanese, the African, the Polynesian, and so forth. The Western traditions, of course, have different qualities from the others with regards to origins, to evaluative criteria, either in opposing or defending approaches to the making of art.

From its beginnings Western aesthetic theory has developed in parallel with art criticism. The concept, however, of Aesthetics, but not the word, was first talked about by Joseph Addison (1672–1719), in a series of essays in The Spectator in 1712, as a “pleasure that is derived from the imagination.” Thus, pleasure forms the basis that will serve as the foundation of modern aesthetics. Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten (1714–62) most likely read Addison, and he sought to define Aesthetics as a science of that which is sensed or imagined in his master’s thesis Aesthetica, 2 Vol. (1750-58) at the Royal Prussian University in Halle. He coined the word for the German language; Aesthetics is derived from the New Latin aesthetica (the feminine adjective), and it is related to the Greek aesthetikos/aestheta (perceptible things) and related to the verb aesthetai (to perceive). Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), however, took issue with aesthetics as a science. Nonetheless, the term remained controversial, and it was not until much later in the 19th century when it was finally accepted in academic circles.

Aesthetics is a specific valuation theory, or a distinct convention of what beauty is. It is an individualizing characteristic or a particular taste for, or an approach to, what is of interest to the intellect or pleasing to the senses: both visual or auditory (as in literature, the plastic arts, architecture, and music). By extension, the term Aesthetics may be applied to many varieties of human behavior–toilette, cosmetology, interior design, and so forth.

For the avant-garde Aesthetics and Originality can be at odds with established social or political norms. Aesthetics, as valuation, is normative. Art criticism is the way in which the norms are established. Art criticism is transmitted both to collectors and to institutions (e.g., museums, in the case of the plastic arts and the market place, in the case of music and architecture).

Although art criticism dates from antiquity, analyses of visual aesthetics or the plastic arts began as a journalistic effort. The art critic and the artist became mutually dependent, and what had once been new and refreshing by the closing of the 20th century, became academic, routine, and repetitive. Contemporarily, Harold Bloom (1930–2019) expressed that art criticism had become confused with questions of social justice and politics, and was no longer about the art product itself.

Nothing, however, is really new; the concept of Aesthetics itself, as a means of expression, may be said to be a dominant force dating as far back to the origins of human cave paintings. At the turn of the 21st century, there no longer seems to exist an adherence to one current aesthetic or approach; art criticism now appears to evoke a wide variety of tendencies of the formal, moral, social, and spiritual.

In the following excerpt, “Confessions of an ever emerging visual artist” from a YouTube and WordPress-audio-visual Manifesto entitled “Metaphors of Silence” (2010), I have given my own point of view[1], [2]:

The usage which the visual arts serve is a complex demonstration of varying dimensions whose expression seeks not to explain meaning but to express its intent; to bring about a clearly independent act of interpretation, over which the artist exerts no control as creator. From this, arises the sublimity of the psychological condition that is partly visual delight and partly passion that renews and nourishes a spirit of partnership with the medium. The intent expresses one is what one perceives: i.e., it is a quality of energy and a temperament independent of the intellect, separate from the craft itself, and apart from the residue of the images.

[1] Manifesto: Metaphors of Silence (https://rfmorin.wordpress.com/2010/11/24/metaphors-of-silence/)

[2] Autobiographical Statement: Ricardo Morin – Art – Paintings and Watercolors (http://ricardomorin.com/Statement.html)

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Destruction of Ancestral Icons

September 20, 2009

The art of the hunter-gatherers, Australian Aborigines, since the early Seventies, has been disseminated, not solely from an anthropological point of view, but through its commercialization; thus disrupting the revelatory paradigm of concealment inherent to its culture.  As such the iconography from their rituals and bodily expressions of temporary characteristics, as well as from impermanent sand drawings—derived from communions with nature– has been translated onto a new protocol of objectification destined to paintings on boards or permanent murals on metal laminates, with the expressed intend to bridge the curiosity of an external audience: a process, which breaches confidentiality through its commodification as art objects.

With a few exceptions, admittedly welcomed by its naive producers, the secrecy of ancestral iconography has been transferred into precious objects of acrylic paintings inevitably to be transgressed and purveyed among Western collectors and their publications; thus introducing a not-so-unexpected consequence for a dilemma. We refer to a dilemma that erodes the indigenous protocols of initiation, as the narrative of their imagery requires viewing and understanding of themselves. Evidently, it is not sufficient to isolate the undesirable Western dissemination from the eyes of the aborigines in the confluence of a global community.

It is no longer possible to maintain the initiation rituals part of the cycle of their communal tribal powers while their objectified iconography becomes appropriated, or rather trapped between pecuniary bemusement and the attraction of a strange collector. In the effort to appropriate with the merits supposedly derived from admiration, an ancestral culture is corrupted with an external force that cements its adverse influence and dominance over their native communities rather than a mere preservation of the indigenous cultural acquis.

A disruptive influence is imposed onto the fragile ecological balance of these cultures by the colonizing destructive powers brought forth by researchers and their acolytes, anthropologists and their funding institutions, collectors and their propagandist entourages, as well as insensitive local governments who are so hungry for international attention, perhaps in a misunderstood concept of atonement for their colonizing powers.

RM

Sept 20, 2009

Cape Cod 2009

September 9, 2009

IMG_0009

On a bright sunny day with temperatures in the mid 70’s, we rambled through the trails surrounding a delta-like Long Pond, after which came the much larger adjoining Mashpee and Wakeby Ponds, first in the morning sun, before lunch, and then in the cooler afternoon from 3 o’clock. On the shores, we saw men and women with their pets at water-play.

The clearing views, unforgettable in the midst of the surrounding forests, were bathed by sun light. They blended verdant patterns rivaling those of timid Gothic structures made by man’s effort to imitate nature. Emerald moss-covered roots stepped up into translucent tunnels where we were led by random colonnades buttressing airy canopies. Freshly aromatic air filled to the exhilaration of the errant heart through gullies and groves; in peace with the rhythm of my accompanying soul.

Platonic Scroll Series 2009

August 6, 2009

Platonic Series #99, 2009

Platonic Scroll Series #99, 2009

The aesthetic beauty and symmetry of the Platonic Solids have made them a favorite subject of geometers for thousands of years. They are named for the ancient Greek philosopher Plato who theorized that the classical elements were constructed from five regular solids: the dodecahedron, icosahedron, octahedron, hexahedron and tetrahedron–there are no other possible regular polyhedrons. The 92 Johnson Solids are irregular polyhedrons which, as the Platonic Solids, are also made out of triangles, squares and pentagons.

The Platonic Scroll Series serve as analogy to our inter-connectivity and the imponderable quality of harmony that unify us.  It is to be noticed that there is no set manner as to how these manifestations may be perceived by any observer. Our reality is ever so much more interesting than any image representing it or anything that can be explicated.

A Dialogue On Truth and Beauty

April 23, 2009

MN> The film My Dinner with Andre was recently canceled in Caracas.

RM> This is coincidentally one of my favorite movies of all times.

MN> There is also  “Wings of Desire” (Der Himmel über Berlin),  one may see them apart but with some connection…

RM> Having a profound impact during the Eighties, I came to own DVD’s for both of these films; you have just reminded me to view them again, like re-reading a good book. These days I seek a better understanding by reading J. Krishnamurti’s innumerable publications [Krishnamurti Foundation of America].

MN> Have you read through Osho Rajneesh? or traditional G.I. Gurdjieff?
There is another movie kind of interesting Meeting with Remarkable Men by Peter Brook…

RM> I understand that in either instance leadership and methodology overshadow search for truth.

MN> That is right but the info is all about the same methods for increasing your consciousness…Sufi and new Indian…Interesting comments found on Powels book Gurdjieff. Also a very interesting approach to the knowledge in Ouspensky’s Fragments of an Unknown Teaching

RM> I am mostly leery of anyone who pretends the attainment of truth through a technique, a method or a system, a belief or a dogma, for in doing so he/she succumbs to divisiveness. As much as I admire Krishnamurti, I don’t follow anyone’s authority: neither Jesus’, nor Muhammad’s, nor Buddha’s and much less any ashram’s or famous guru’s.   I find it useful to recall a quote from J.K. which is very much apropos: “Beauty (truth) is in experiencing, not in experience.  Reality has no resting place.”   The understanding I take is that our collective past does not belong to anyone, though knowledge of it may be useful to establish its limits.

MN>Yes, the path is the one taken by a mind alone; I do share the same perspective about freedom.  I used to say to my friends that I was a man of no land and no heroes.. or maybe not only was I mentally ill but, perhaps, socially disabled.   It is very pleasant to communicate with you.  In rare occasions does one truly have a dialogue.

RM> You meant not inclined to gregariousness, as opposed to socially disabled or unsociable. Though disability in terms of sociability is tantamount to the inability of compassion, I do see you as a most compassionate human being.

MN> Thanks for your kindness.

RM> Be well

MN> And you too my friend.  We’ll talk again soon.

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