Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Slow Art

“What we need more of is slow art. Art that holds time as a vase holds water. Art that grows out of modes of perception and making whose skill and doggedness make you think and feel, art that isn’t merely sensational, that doesn’t get its message across in ten seconds, that isn’t falsely iconic, that hooks into something deep-running in our natures… art that is the very opposite of mass media.”

Robert Hughes, The New Shock of the New

Monday, October 19, 2009

WHO launches war on alcohol

"Humanity's relationship with alcohol has never been easy. Now it is about to undergo as great a change as our attitude to tobacco, which has seen smoking plummet from the height of cool to the lowest of unpleasant habits. That at least is the hope of the World Health Organization, which, between now and January, will be honing its draft of the first global strategy on reducing health damage from alcohol abuse, the fifth leading cause of premature death and disability worldwide."

"The overall harm caused by alcohol is greater than that caused by LSD or ecstasy, and not far behind cocaine. When society stops thinking of alcohol as as relaxing tipple and regards it as another drug, that will signal the biggest change in thinking of all."

-New Scientist

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bernadino Luini

This is a detail from a Madonna by Bernardino Luini, a painter in the circle of Leonardo da Vinci.
The painting has sustained a bit of damage over the centuries, so I did a digital restoration and added some sublime-looking clouds. The original is in the collection of the National Gallery in London. Not sure if it is being restored. I almost wonder if some goddess incarnated in High Renaissance Italy, whose face became a model for Leonardo and Luini.

Monday, October 12, 2009


"I am a rock, I am an island."
- Simon and Garfunkle

"To no one, who has broken off, and made himself an island, will insight rise of itself, not even with toilsome effort. Only to children, or childlike people, who know not what they do, can this happen."


"The true philosophical Act is annihilation of self (Selbsttodtung); this is the real beginning of all Philosophy; all requisites for being a Disciple of Philosophy point hither. This Act alone corresponds to all the conditions and characteristics of transcendental conduct."
-Novalis (Friedrich Von Hardenberg)

"Ego is absolutely superficial like a bubble. It is just like a balloon, which can burst just like that. And it should go. It should go so that you should rise. It should disappear so that your attention rises in your Spirit. And that you see the whole world as a part of that Spirit that you are."
-Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi

Selbsttodtung does not mean suicide; it is the dissolution of an illusory self produced by ego and superego. There is nothing violent or even destructive about this act, because that which is annihilated is already non-existent.

Obey your Self

"Obey your Self and not your ego. And then you can order also others. Not only human beings, but you can even order the sun and the moon and all the winds and everything in the world. Everything you can control, everything with this Agnya."

-Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, 1978, Agnya Chakra

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Korean Cinema

A sample of the exquisite cinematography in the Korean art film Chi Hwa Seon. Korea has produced some interesting film-makers in recent years. In this film, a painting master describes the way the Chi (perhaps similar to Hindu 'Chaitanya') energy "irrigates the senses". There are works of art which seem to emit subtle energy which can enhance the sense of sight.

A recent scientific study found that people who were told that they were going to be looking at a super hi-definition TV screen, perceived the images they saw to be better than if they were told they were looking at a standard resolution screen. So expectation can be deluding. But you can also sometimes be surprised by unexpected clarity.