Monday, September 01, 2014

To Listen, To Be

Human character is revealed in various ways, among them word, deed, bearing and attitude.

Contrary to most popular received wisdom on this subject, consciousness and identity are profoundly shaped by arts and culture.  Nature and nurture play separate roles, as do politics, economics, and the forces of history in the human condition, yet the personal and individual are directly influenced by the arts in their myriad forms. To pretend otherwise is delusion.

Yet one listens, but does not hear; one absorbs, but does not deliberate, one chooses, but remains in the dark about the possibilities.  Even so, to consciously gain awareness beyond such limits, states, and circumstances is to move from the shadows into the light.  And it was ever thus.

When the purpose of art is a contemplative one, the higher its ideals, the more beautiful its sounds and visions, and the greater the meaning to be found in its representations, the stronger, deeper and wider the growth of personal, cultural, and spiritual experience will become.