Shocker: Some Things Are Learned For Their Own Sake; Not For Application

Lightning Bottle
NoMoreFakeNews.com
Jon Rappoport
June 21, 2017

At college a few lifetimes ago, one of my earliest experiences was reading Yeats’ Sailing to Byzantium. Here is the famous last stanza:

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

At the time, in those college years, it was well understood that you learned some things for their own sake. You didn’t even have to agree with the sentiment expressed. You could appreciate the expression.

Certain expressions were aesthetic and spiritual and alive in their own way. Argument on that score was unnecessary.

What about the opening lines of Dylan Thomas’ Fern Hill? If they don’t take you off your chair, read them out loud a few times:

Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
The night above the dingle starry,
Time let me hail and climb
Golden in the heydays of his eyes,
And honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns
And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
Trail with daisies and barley
Down the rivers of the windfall light.

No one asked the student how he was going to use those words of a poem when he was working, years later, for a bank. No one asked him how he was going make the words count when he was fronting for a suit filed by a corporation. No one said he had to postpone appreciating poetry because injustices still existed in the world.

Education can expose students to glorious things they will never apply.

Yet, those things can transform their lives.

As civilization declines, an impression is imparted that there are only crises. Every event is some kind of crisis.

If that were true, what would be left over? What inner life would be possible?

What joy could be experienced for its own sake?

All of this leads me back to a theme I’ve covered from many different angles over the years. Reality, ordinary reality is not the end-all and be-all.

Art, for example, proves that.

The thrill of actual poetry proves that.

Why do I bother saying all this? Because part of what it means to have a civilization is part of what it means to be an individual: there is a profound appreciation of human creations. When that goes by the boards, when education ignores that because “more important issues” must be presented and framed and slanted, for purposes of sheer indoctrination, life-force drains away.

Elevated language taken to poetic heights is not a mere distraction.

Many years ago, when I was working at a community college, I started an informal poetry project. I brought together a small group of foreign students and taped them reading poems in their own languages (Portuguese, ancient Persian, English, etc.). I wanted them to hear the sounds of those poems, apart from their meaning. I wanted them to hear the music(s).

Now we’re talking about real diversity, not the fake imposed version. Now we’re talking about great energies that have been injected into, and fortified in, many languages by individual poets from all times and places.

Now we’re talking about the heights those cultures reached, not the depths to which they sank.

Now we’re talking about an authentic level of understanding reaching across bridges and gaps.

There is something very right about that.

Burned flowers of the field
My noon is over, growing old
Everything I have is finally sold
Sewed designs for men with money
Thinking it was duty
To watch them lead the world to war
From my little field of beauty

I wrote that poem when I was 23. It was published in 1966, in The Massachusetts Review. At the time, I was focused on the break-up of The American Dream. Soon after, I had my moment of insight, when it became clear to me that individuals and their minds and imaginations and choices could exceed the negative reach of any civilization and, at the same time, fertilize that civilization. Reality (things as they are) is not the answer; it is the lowest common denominator, which waits for people to sign declarations of surrender.

Preposterous surrender.

Read More At: JonRappoport.wordpress.com

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JFK on Poetry, Power, and the Artist’s Role in Society: His Eulogy for Robert Frost, One of the Greatest Speeches of All Time

“If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him. We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth.”

Source: BrainPickings.com
Maria Popova

In January of 1961, as John F. Kennedy’s inauguration approached, his would-be Secretary of the Interior suggested that the poet Robert Frost participate in the ceremony as the first inaugural poet. Eighty-six-year-old Frost telegrammed Kennedy with his signature elegance of wit: “If you can bear at your age the honor of being made president of the United States, I ought to be able at my age to bear the honor of taking some part in your inauguration.” He proceeded to deliver a beautiful ode to the dream of including the arts in government, which touched Kennedy deeply.

Frost died exactly two years later, in January of 1963. That fall, Amherst College invited the President to speak at an event honoring the beloved poet. On October 26, Kennedy took the podium at Amherst and delivered a spectacular speech mirroring back to Frost that deep dedication to the arts and celebrating the role of the artist in society. Perhaps more than any other public address, it affirmed JFK as that rare species of politician who is equally a poet and prophet of the human spirit.

The speech was eventually included in the altogether superb Farewell, Godspeed: The Greatest Eulogies of Our Time (public library) — a compendium of breathtaking adieus to cultural icons like Amelia Earhart, Martin Luther King, Jr., Emily Dickinson, Keith Haring, Eleanor Roosevelt, Charles Schulz, and Virginia Woolf, delivered by those who knew them best.

This original recording of the speech, while short in length, is endlessly ennobling in substance. Highlights below — please enjoy:

Strength takes many forms, and the most obvious forms are not always the most significant. The men who create power make an indispensable contribution to the Nation’s greatness, but the men who question power make a contribution just as indispensable, especially when that questioning is disinterested, for they determine whether we use power or power uses us.

[…]

Robert Frost coupled poetry and power, for he saw poetry as the means of saving power from itself. When power leads men towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. For art establishes the basic human truth which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment.

The artist, however faithful to his personal vision of reality, becomes the last champion of the individual mind and sensibility against an intrusive society and an officious state… In pursuing his perceptions of reality, he must often sail against the currents of his time. This is not a popular role…

If sometimes our great artist have been the most critical of our society, it is because their sensitivity and their concern for justice, which must motivate any true artist, makes him aware that our Nation falls short of its highest potential. I see little of more importance to the future of our country and our civilization than full recognition of the place of the artist.

If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him. We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth… In free society art is not a weapon and it does not belong to the spheres of polemic and ideology. Artists are not engineers of the soul. It may be different elsewhere. But democratic society — in it, the highest duty of the writer, the composer, the artist is to remain true to himself and to let the chips fall where they may. In serving his vision of the truth, the artist best serves his nation. And the nation which disdains the mission of art invites the fate of Robert Frost’s hired man, the fate of having “nothing to look backward to with pride, and nothing to look forward to with hope.”

Typed draft of the speech, edited in Kennedy’s own hand (Courtesy of John F. Kennedy Library)

But as notable as the speech itself — for reasons both poetical and political — are the parts Kennedy edited out in his own hand, including this heartbreaking-in-hindsight passage from the second page:

We take great comfort in our nuclear stockpiles, our gross national product, our scientific and technological achievement, our industrial might — and, up to a point, we are right to do so. But physical power by itself solves no problems and secures no victories. What counts is the way power is used — whether with swagger and contempt, or with prudence, discipline and magnanimity. What counts is the purpose for which power is used — whether for aggrandizement or for liberation. “It is excellent,” Shakespeare said, “to have a giant’s strength; but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant.”

Three weeks later, one of history’s ugliest and most arrogant misuses of brute power took place as JFK was assassinated, prompting Leonard Bernstein to pen his timelessly moving address on the only true antidote to violence. But the message at the heart of Kennedy’s speech continued to resonate even as his voice was silenced by brutality. Less than two years later, President Lyndon Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act, creating the National Endowment for the Arts — the very dream that Frost had dreamt up at JFK’s inauguration.

Complement with two more titans of poetry on the role of the artist in culture: E.E. Cummings on the agony and salvation of the artist and James Baldwin on the artist’s responsibility to society.

The JFK speech appears as the opening track on composer Mohammed Fairouz’s spectacular album Follow Poet — titled after a line from W.H. Auden’s beautiful elegy for W.B. Yeats — and can be heard in Fairoz’s wholly fantastic On Being conversation with Krista Tippett:

Read more At: BrainPickings.com

Book Review: The War Of Art – Break Through The Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

TheWarOfArt
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
April 11, 2017

The War Of Art – Break Through The Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield is a very innovative way to look at the resistance individuals face when attempting to walk the path of a creatively conscious life.

Because resistance is something that we all face in one way shape or form [i.e. procrastination], this book is a book that stands to help everyone in their own unique way.

Pressfield minces no words in his apt definition of what holds creative individuals back:  Resistance.

Resistance is what leaves most of us feeling like abject failures after we’ve lost multiple bouts with it.  The paradox of this conundrum is that Resistance isn’t as untouchable as it might seem at first blush.  Yes, Resistance is the paradise of procrastination on the creative path, it is the ultimate obstacle, the veritable Darth Vader.   As such, resistance is the epitome of self-sabotage.  But, therein lies the key to this curious conundrum: self.

Maraudering deep within our darkest realm, Resistance is the ultimate enemy which seeks to slay every one of our hopes, and cast limitations into each and every one of our dreams.

As Pressfield points out:

“Resistance is a bully.  Resistance has no strength of its own; it’s power derives entirely from our fear of it.  A bully will back down before the runtiest twerp who stands his ground.”[1]

In other words, if the percipient individual – guided by the self – is to overcome this ruthless opponent, they need to face it head on.  As the saying goes, fear is False Evidence Appearing Real.  Like the ego, it only grows when you feed it, so cutting Resistance of at the pass is crucial.  And this is where this book shines.

The War of Art is split into 3 parts.  In Part One, Pressfield shows a plethora of ways in which Resistance can be better understood.  Thereafter, Book Two features ways that the individual can tackle resistance in myriad ways, while Book Three goes beyond into deeper ruminations on invoking the ever-elusive Muse.  He also covers what separates amateurs from professionals, and an unorthodox – but refreshing – look at the artist and how the artist fits into the grand scheme of things.  The book yields more, but those are the core concepts.

As the author aptly notes, if Resistance couldn’t be overcome, the great works that humanity has wouldn’t be available these days.

If you are an individual who runs head on into Resistance daily – and who doesn’t? – or needs a healthy dose of inspiration, this book will definitely help you handle those in spades.  And if you seek to live a more creative life, whether by hobby or profession, then this is a must read.

Pressfield’s unorthodox approach to invoking the Muse is a breath of fresh air, and one that we can all relate too.  In his own words:

“When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. The Muse takes note of our dedication.  She approves.  We have earned favor in her sight.  When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings.  Ideas come.  Insights accrete.

“Just as Resistance has its seat in hell, so Creation has its home in heaven.  And it’s not just a witness, but an eager and creative ally.”[2]

After reading the book, my only regret was that the book was not longer.  That’s the sign of a good book.

If you want an active ally to accompany you in your personal battleground against Resistance and need a spark to light the tinder of action, get this book.
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Source:

[1] Steven Pressfield, The War Of Art, p. 99.
[2] Ibid., p. 108

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This article is free and open source. You are encouraged and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
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About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

Why Is Art Such A Problem?

Art

Source: OutsideTheRealityMachine.wordpress.com
Jon Rappoport
June 10, 2016

(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, Exit From The Matrix, click here.)

The year was 2066. There were no more show trials condemning traitors. It was over. A haze had settled in. People wanted a respite. They wanted to count their free money and free goods.

Memory, which had been out as a trend, was back in again. People were digging up old possessions, even books and letters.

The Department of Pacification estimated that, worldwide, there were 360 million individuals who resisted attachment to groups of any kind. For the moment, no one cared. Erasing the individual was proving harder than planned.

At Harvard, a professor of fine art found a piece of writing he claimed had been done by a former student, after the war in Asia. He could make no sense of it, but he posted it on the University Machine Press, as a curiosity.

No one responded to it. After all, the art studios on campus were empty. Most students and teachers considered art a form of insanity, and an ancient one at that.

This was the professor’s “find.” Author, unknown:

“I was just looking a wonderful Paul Klee painting on the cover of an old record album of Ravel pieces. Art is such a problem for some people because it doesn’t mirror the ‘the real world.’ The real world is their obsession. They stick to it like gum sticks to a sidewalk. It’s apparently their comfort and their refuge from stray thoughts that might take them out beyond the space of their minds. Beyond the machine of Normal. Art is their nemesis. It threatens their home base. Life has no answer for art. Nature is art, but it doesn’t seem to inspire most people to take a clue and look for other art. No, much better to stay where they are, in a fictional existence. Now, we are getting to the core of the collectivism that has flourished since the dawn of time. Deep in the mind there is a block of steel, a great piece of nothing that weighs a ton. It means nothing and it says nothing. It’s just there. It’s the key reference. Art takes a bludgeon to the block. It shatters it in an instant. It opens all doors and windows. It lets in light, the kind of light, for example, in Van Gogh, which does not occur in nature. Ravel does not occur in nature. Neither does Klee or Matisse or Matta or Degas or Bonnard. What keeps a human being locked up in his collective fantasies? What keeps him from leaving the reality machine in the dust? I’ll give you some kind of answer: he will not stand alone. That’s an answer. He would prefer to think “all of us together” will build a much better world. This will not happen, because a single better world is still a single world, and artists make millions of new worlds. That’s the whole point. That’s what art does. Millions of new and different spaces and worlds. Other than that, what we are left with is the reality machine. It spits out a line of existence in an unending spool. For everyone. By destroying that fictitious and presumptuous “everyone,” we open up the possibility of more artists coming into being. I have written that each one of us is an artist of reality. That’s not quite accurate. Each one of us can choose to be an artist of reality…”

Continue Reading At: OutsideTheRealityMachine.wordpress.com
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Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.

The Buried Factor That Influences All Life

IM5

Source: NoMoreFakeNews.com
Jon Rappoport
January 24, 2016

There is a profound factor that influences all human behavior, thought, and emotion.

It is boredom.

Often unrecognized and unacknowledged, it seeps in, as a person lives his life, as he repeats the same actions over and over, as he unknowingly focuses on the same thoughts colored by the same attitudes.

His space stagnates. It also shrinks. He becomes imprisoned in it.

He often fails to see this.

But what he once experienced as the electricity of being alive fades away.

If he is to renew himself, he will need to do it a number of times during his life.

But how?

What is the key?

The answer comes from understanding that what already exists in the physical world and in his mind does not supply inspiration forever. What already exists becomes tedious. Predictable. All-too-familiar.

Therefore, he is going to have to invent something new. It will not drop down to him out of the clouds.

Fortunately, although most people don’t perceive it, the individual is outfitted with an astonishing capacity to invent.

This capacity is at the core of what he is:

Imagination.

L Frank Baum: “The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to create, to invent, and therefore to foster civilization.”

Continue Reading At: JonRappoport.wordpress.com