Sunday, May 13, 2007

Perhaps I’m more in agreement with Sri Aurobindo, at least when I’m feeling artistic

Edward Berge Says: May 10th, 2007 at 8:01 pm One of the reasons I dance is to play, to just have fun, for no apparent reason other than to enjoy the moment of creative expression. And it’s not even “self” expression, as I fuse with the muse(ic) and it is just “the dance.” Granted from an outside perspective, and even an inside one, I’m “interpreting” the music, but not in so much a conscious way but more in a “felt” way. I can’t describe it well but I know that it’s different than most other ways of my typical “being” in the world, which revolve around analytics. It has to do with “art” and its appreciation, which has by many been limited to an idiosyncratic subjective experience. But is that all that it is?
It seems Gadamer (and Derrida, for that matter) is also into this notion of “play” regarding art. And play is associated not with epistemic subjectivity but with the very nature of existence. “From Plato to Derrida and theories of play” by Simona Livescu at

In “The Ontology of the Work of Art and its Hermeneutic Significance” in his Truth and Method (1960), Hans Georg Gadamer discusses play in the context of philosophy. His aim is to change the perception of this concept, freeing it from the subjective meaning purported by Kant and Schiller, which became too central in philosophy. Play means neither the orientation/state of mind of the author, nor of those enjoying neither the work of art, nor the freedom of subjectivity engaged in play, but “the mode of being of the work of art itself” (Gadamer Ontology, 101).

Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: May 10th, 2007 at 9:36 pm [Thoughts and Aphorisms: Sri Aurobindo
329 – There is nothing small in God’s eyes; let there be nothing small in thine. He bestows as much labour of divine energy on the formation of a shell as on the building of an empire. For thyself it is greater to be a good shoemaker than a luxurious and incompetent king.
330 – Imperfect capacity and effect in the work that is meant for thee is better than an artificial competency and a borrowed perfection.
331 − Not result is the purpose of action, but God’s eternal delight in becoming, seeing and doing.
Document: Home > E-Library > Works Of The Mother > English > On Thoughts and Aphorisms Volume-10 > Karma-69-70 327
Tusar N. Mohapatra Says: May 11th, 2007 at 7:28 pm [Although in the Future Poetry Sri Aurobindo writes that a mantric quality of speech has long departed contemporary language and accepts the arbitrariness or signifier/signified as being proper to the current epoch, he elucidates this sensual (embodied) quality of the “word/vibration” in the Secret of the Veda, in a singular act of presentment (bearing all signifiers within itself) which instances Being in a play similar to Gadamer reference to the prescencing of art as aesthetic consciousness: “It is a part of the event of being that occurs in presentation and belongs essentially to play as play”] by Rich on Fri 11 May 2007 09:35 AM
Edward Berge Says: May 12th, 2007 at 7:36 am Thanks for the reference Tusar. I appreciate Richard’s writings and insights, especially since he seems to understand Derrida and now Gadamer.
This is a topic that I hinted at in providing a link in an earlier post to some dancers that “move” me. Art and its creative play do indeed seem to touch a part of us that is seemingly beyond the duality of the “mental realm,” as Alan puts it. Yet it certainly does so through that realm, i.e., language and objects and the physical “mediums” used in art, whether paint and canvas or the body in dance. I think this is why philosophers have always been fascinated with art and its “transcendent” qualities, to take us “beyond” ourselves into that great mystery of communion with the “life divine,” for lack of a better metaphor at present. So in that sense perhaps I’m more in agreement with Aurobindo, at least when I’m feeling artistic?

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