Humans are that piece/function of existence which is conscious of itself and the whole and bounce between the two.
I know I am looking at more than I can see. So I just keep working at it.
I am attracted to beings , human and others that live on the edge of seeing the world before them. Heroes are made here. Children trod this path and are both heroes and a manifestation of the life force.
I take photographs. This is equivalent to painting the ceiling of my personal Sistine Chapel. I become increasingly conscious as I paint and watch the painter and watch the evolution of the image.
This short Ted video expresses my thoughts very well. As do the thoughts of Vilem Flusser and Carl Jung.
From Vilem Flusser
Images are mediations between the world and human beings. Human beings ‘ex-ist’, i.e. the world is not immediately accessible to them and therefore images are needed to make it comprehensible. However, as soon as this happens, images come between the world and human beings. They are supposed to be maps but they turn into screens: Instead of representing the world, they obscure it until human beings’ lives finally become a function of the images they create. Human beings cease to decode the images and instead project them, still encoded, into the world ‘out there’, which meanwhile itself becomes like an image – a context of scenes, of state of things. This reversal of function of the image can be called ‘idolatry’; we can observe the process at work in the present day: The technical images currently all around us are in the process of magically reconstructing our ‘reality’ and turning it into a ‘global image scenario’. Essentially this is a question of ‘amnesia’. Human beings forget they created the images in order to orient themselves in the world. Since they are no longer able to decode them, their lives become a function of their own images: Imagination has turned into hallucination. 9-10
The struggle of writing against the image – historical consciousness against magic – runs throughout history. With writing, a new ability was born called ‘conceptual thinking’ which consisted of abstracting lines from surfaces, i.e. producing and decoding them. Conceptual thought is more abstract than imaginative thought as all dimensions are abstract from phenomena – with the exception of straight lines. Thus with the invention of writing, human beings took one step further back from the world. Texts do not signify the world; they signify the images they tear up. Hence, to decode texts means to discover the images signified by them. The intention of texts is to explain images, while that of concepts is to make ideas comprehensible. In this way, texts are a metacode of images.
This raises the question of the relationship between texts and images – a crucial question for history. In the medieval period, there appears to have been a struggle on the part of Christianity, faithful to the text, against idolaters or pagans; in modern times, a struggle on the part of textual science against image-bound ideologies. The struggle is a dialectical one. To the extent that Christianity struggled against paganism, it absorbed images and itself became pagan; to the extent that science struggled against ideologies, it absorbed ideas and itself became ideological. The explanation for this is as follows: Texts admittedly explain images in order to explain them away, but images also illuminate texts in order to make them comprehensible. Conceptual thinking admittedly analyze magical thought in order to clear it out of the way, but magical thought creeps into conceptual thought so as to bestow significance on it. In the course of this dialectical process, conceptual and imaginative thought mutually reinforce one another. In other words, images become more and more conceptual, texts more and more imaginative. Nowadays, the greatest conceptual abstraction is to be found in conceptual images (in computer images, for example); the greatest imagination is to be found in scientific texts. Thus, behind one’s back, the hierarchy of codes is overturned. Texts, originally a metacode of images, can themselves have images as a metacode.
That is not all, however. Writing itself is a mediation – just like images – and is subject to the same internal dialectic. In this way, it is not only externally in conflict with images but is also torn apart by an internal conflict. If it is the intention of writing to mediate between human beings and their images, it can also obscure images instead of representing them and insinuate itself between human beings and their images. If this happens, human beings become unable to decode their texts and reconstruct the images signified in them. If the texts, however, become incomprehensible as images, human beings’ lives become a function of their texts. There arises a state of ‘textolatry’ that is no less hallucinatory than idolatry. Examples of textolatry, of ‘faithfulness to the text’, are Christianity and Marxism. Texts are then projected into the world out there, and the world is experienced, known and evaluated as a function of these texts. A particularly impressive example of the incomprehensible nature of texts it provided nowadays by scientific discourse. Any ideas we may have of the scientific universe (signified by these texts) are unsound: If we do form ideas about scientific discourse, we have decoded it ‘wrongly’: anyone who tries to imagine anything, for example, using the equation of the theory of relativity, has not understood it. But as, in the end, all concepts signify ideas, the scientific, incomprehensible universe is an ’empty’ universe.
Textolatry reached a critical level in the nineteenth century. To be exact, with it history came to an end. History, in the precise meaning of the world, is a progressive transcoding of images into concepts, a progressive elucidation of ideas, a progressive disenchantment (taking the magic out of things), a progressive process of comprehension. If texts become incomprehensible, however, there is nothing left to explain, and history has come to an end. During this crisis of texts, technical images were invented: in order to make texts comprehensible again, to put them under a magic spell – to overcome the crisis of history. 11-13
What is the pull?
It is life trying to know itself.
Carl Jung in his Seven Sermons To The Dead …..Sermon I, wrote in part….
The question ariseth: How did creatura originate? Created beings came to pass, not creatura; since created being is the very quality of the pleroma, as much as non-creation which is the eternal death. In all times and places is creation, in all times and places is death. The pleroma hath all, distinctiveness and non-distinctiveness.
Distinctiveness is creatura. It is distinct. Distinctiveness is its essence, and therefore it distinguisheth. Therefore man discriminateth because his nature is distinctiveness. Wherefore also he distinguisheth qualities of the pleroma which are not. He distinguisheth them out of his own nature. Therefore must he speak of qualities of the pleroma which are not.
What use, say ye, to speak of it? Saidst thou not thyself, there is no profit in thinking upon the pleroma?
That said I unto you, to free you from the delusion that we are able to think about the pleroma. When we distinguish qualities of the pleroma, we are speaking from the ground of our own distinctiveness and concerning our own distinctiveness. But we have said nothing concerning the pleroma. Concerning our own distinctiveness, however, it is needful to speak, whereby we may distinguish ourselves enough. Our very nature is distinctiveness. If we are not true to this nature we do not distinguish ourselves enough. Therefore must we make distinctions of qualities.
What is the harm, ye ask, in not distinguishing oneself? If we do not distinguish, we get beyond our own nature, away from creatura. We fall into indistinctiveness, which is the other quality of the pleroma. We fall into the pleroma itself and cease to be creatures. We are given over to dissolution in the nothingness. This is the death of the creature. Therefore we die in such measure as we do not distinguish. Hence the natural striving of the creature goeth towards distinctiveness, fighteth against primeval, perilous sameness. This is called the principium individuationis. This principle is the essence of the creature. From this you can see why indistinctiveness and non-distinction are a great danger for the creature.
We must, therefore, distinguish the qualities of the pleroma. The qualities are pairs of opposites, such as—
- The Effective and the Ineffective.
- Fullness and Emptiness.
- Living and Dead.
- Difference and Sameness.
- Light and Darkness.
- The Hot and the Cold.
- Force and Matter.
- Time and Space.
- Good and Evil.
- Beauty and Ugliness.
- The One and the Many. etc.
The pairs of opposites are qualities of the pleroma which are not, because each balanceth each. As we are the pleroma itself, we also have all these qualities in us. Because the very ground of our nature is distinctiveness, therefore we have these qualities in the name and sign of distinctiveness, which meaneth—
1. These qualities are distinct and separate in us one from the other; therefore they are not balanced and void, but are effective. Thus are we the victims of the pairs of opposites. The pleroma is rent in us.
2. The qualities belong to the pleroma, and only in the name and sign of distinctiveness can and must we possess or live them. We must distinguish ourselves from qualities. In the pleroma they are balanced and void; in us not. Being distinguished from them delivereth us.
When we strive after the good or the beautiful, we thereby forget our own nature, which is distinctiveness, and we are delivered over to the qualities of the pleroma, which are pairs of opposites. We labor to attain to the good and the beautiful, yet at the same time we also lay hold of the evil and the ugly, since in the pleroma these are one with the good and the beautiful. When, however, we remain true to our own nature, which is distinctiveness, we distinguish ourselves from the good and the beautiful, and, therefore, at the same time, from the evil and the ugly. And thus we fall not into the pleroma, namely, into nothingness and dissolution.
The photograph, I believe, is to the “real world”, the raw world, unconstrained by the limitations of the senses, as shadows are to the objects whose shadow is cast on Plato’s cave wall. Beyond their limitations the photograph and the shadow each has a life of it’s own. For consciousness to exist “shadows” (photographs), projections must exist. To be conscious of self we need projections.
The pull is self creation.
Photographs are allegorical stories painted on cave walls. Photographs whether literal or figurative document the distinctions, contradictions, and attendant tensions implicit in conscious becoming. “Story” opens consciousness by shining light on contradictions, how these contradictions work as a whole and further shines light on their many forms and permutations. Conscious living is being with the immediate tension inherent in life and projecting that experience on the cave wall.