Creativity as Enlightenment

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The Age of Enlightenment spanned nearly the entire 18th Century. While some historians contend that the 17th C Jewish-Dutch philosopher, Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677), paved the way for this important intellectual and philosophical era in humanity’s history, I suggest that the age began 16,700 years earlier, give or take, when humans painted the walls of the Lascaux caves. For if art means, per James Joyce, “to recreate life out of life,” is that not enlightenment? (Dictionary.com defines enlighten this way: “to give intellectual or spiritual light to; instruct; impart knowledge to.”) Those cave painters may have wanted to define, or “give spiritual life to,” the fauna and flora in their environment.

Lascaux caves - Creativity as Enlightenment

Red Cow and Horse, ca. 15,000 B.C. Lascaux Cave, France


History shows us that the Egyptians “gave spiritual life to” their rulers’ tombs with art that combined images calligraphic and life-like. These artists clearly demonstrated an enlightened sensibility here.

Egyptian tableau

Tableau, unknown date


This art is extant. Its very survival enlightens us, “imparts knowledge” to us about our human history, unlike the art of Appelles, Zeuxis, Parrhasius and countless other unnamed and unknown enlightened artists. Their work has been lost to time and neglect, with only ersatz copies and written records that attest its existence.

Mosaic - Creativity as Enlightenment

Reconstruction of a mosaic after Appelles (4th C B.C.) found at Pompeii


The art of Pompeii exists, if not for our pleasure, for our edification. This is the work of enlightened artisans, not mere decorators. (But is not all art decorative?) Their extant renderings enlighten us about the ancients’ manners, customs and mores with a verve and style that belie their age.

Pompeii

scene from The Villa of the Mysteries, Pompeii, Second Style, late 2nd C-early 1st C, B.C.


Medieval art advanced humanity’s enlightenment with its mosaics, sculpture and architecture, much of which is still extant due to its durability. The era’s beautiful illuminated manuscripts gave way to that most enlightening of inventions, Johannes Gutenberg‘s printing press, ca. 144o.

Diptychs - Creativity as Enlightenment

Wilton Diptych,” ca.1395-99


Then that bridge between the above and what follows: The Renaissance. With a backward glance and an enlightened eye, this era’s practitioners achieved artistic heights hitherto unknown in human history. Raphael, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, and their contemporaries, pushed back the boundaries of artistic expression, and much of it is available to us today in the world’s treasure houses of art.

Rafael's The School of Athens

School of Athens,” Raphael, Vatican Libraries, ca. 1510


The efflorescence of The Renaissance could not but enlighten and inspire all artists who followed. The Mannerism of the Baroque era gave way to the Romanticism of the Age of Enlightenment, where “reality” became the theme. The glories of this Age of Enlightenment—pictorial, literary, musical, dramatic, operatic, philosophical—are too numerous to mention here. Humanity certainly is the richer for the contributions thereof.

Wanderer Above the Sea Fog

“Wanderer Above the Sea Fog,” Caspar David Friedrich, 1818


It’s said that the proliferation of photography caused artists to reconsider their roles as picture makers. Then the introduction of Japanese woodblock prints to the West enlightened them as to graphic possibilities hitherto unconsidered. Voila! Impressionism. While not immediately popular in Europe, New York and Chicago Gilded Age collectors were advised to buy, and buy they did; hence, such wonderful collections of the stuff in the US.

Georges Seurat - Creativity as Enlightenment

A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,” 1884-86, Georges Seurat, The Art Institute of Chicago


Things take off artisitcally in the 20th Century when Braque and Picasso start painting what they “know,” instead of what they “see.” Cubism is born and opens the dialog between art and viewer ever further.

Georges Braque - Creativity as Enlightenment

“Violin and Candlestick,” 1910, George Braque, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art


The act of painting takes its place in the progress of art during the mid-twentieth century with Action Painting, famously exemplified by Jackson Pollack. Then, the one creating the art becomes as important as her/his work, e.g., Cindy Sherman, Matthew BarneyJeff Koons, Damien Hirst. 

“Kiepenkerl,” 1987, Jeff Koons, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.


This fleeting overview omits a good deal in the artistic pantheon of humanity, obviously. Eastern art, African art, Aboriginal art all contribute significantly to the Enlightenment of the Family of Man. And what about the lively arts—dance, drama, music, opera? And literature? The great artists across these genres contribute so meaningfully to what it is to be human. Would not the world be poorer without them? So what, you may ask (if you’ve made it this far), has any of this to do with Enlightenment?

All this is at risk,

at risk of being destroyed or lost or subsumed by forces who are in our world today that have no regard for human values or achievements. These are forces—an Intervention—from the Greater Community who value this world for its rich biological diversity and for its strategic location in a highly populated region of space, all of which we know nothing about, and could only know from

a Source outside ourselves,

the New Message from God, a “warning, a preparation and a blessing.” One would do well to enlighten oneself about Life In the Universe, one of the texts of the New Message and free online. The Greater Community, another of the texts and also free online advises:

You must learn who is flying in your skies, who is taking your people against their will. This cannot be a deep dark secret now. It must come out into the open so that people can see it and understand it clearly. For, as We have said, it is not a mystery. It is a concealed truth, concealed by many forces.

These foreign races do not want our art, our music, our dance. In fact, they are threatened by them, as they can spark the latent Knowledge deep within all sentient beings.

The Allies of Humanity Briefings,

also all free online, are “a genuine transformational message aimed directly at the underlying purpose of the alien Intervention in order to raise the awareness that we will need to face the challenges and the opportunities that lie ahead.” (from The Society for the New Message)

We are yet spiritual and creative in a universe where these are not valued. Our challenge is to maintain our sovereignty and freedom in this environment. If we can do that, we have the opportunity to unite as a human family and be an example for other free races in the universe with our art and cultural heritage intact.

 




 

12 thoughts on “Creativity as Enlightenment

  1. LaRae

    Thank you Jeffery for bringing home the reality of how very much the human family stands to lose if these beings are not sent packing. Your efforts here are most appreciated.

  2. Mark

    Thank you, Jeffrey, having studied extensively late 19th and early 20th c art, I never thought about this until you wrote it: “Braque and Picasso start painting what they “know,” instead of what they “see”. It’s a brilliant insight and true.

    Also true is that what we value in the arts, as demonstrated over many centuries, is at threat, as this post lovingly chronicles. The alien intervention does not care a lick for knowing the truth, as reflected in great human art.

  3. Bethne

    Amazing and beautiful creations from numerous cultures throughout history attempting to witness and express a deeper knowing in the individual. All this will be obliterated, considered of no value and even dangerous to those seeking controlling power here.
    Thank you for highlighting this so meticulously Jeffrey.

  4. Shirley Brown

    Thank you, Jeffrey, for highlighting how all human cultural pursuits will not be honored by alien intervention from the universe. The aliens are here on their own behalf using humans only to further their own interests.

  5. Vincent Kelton Pelot

    If Humanity loses its freedom and sovereignty by succumbing to the intervening alien forces that are now imperceptibly and deceptively threatening to take over and control of our world – the losses we would endure are unfathomable to comprehend. Yet, we must comprehend this. Thank you, Jeffrey, for painting a picture that helps us to comprehend what is at stake here. Reading your blog brought to my mind the experience of what I felt when the Taliban destroyed the Bamiyan Buddhas of Afganistan. What a painful loss that was for humanity and yet so small in comparison to all that we stand to lose here. https://youtu.be/RYPjOeJyNDI

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