Monday, August 19, 2013

The Transfiguration of the Paranormal

Max Beckmann, Birds' Hell (1938)

Apropos of the general theme discussed in my book The Other Side of Truth: The Paranormal, The Art of the Imagination, and The Human Condition (namely, that the "paranormal" is an artistic presentation to us by an advanced non-human intelligence), as well as some ongoing discussions in the comments section on various posts at Rich Reynolds' UFO Iconoclasts blog about the nature of our possible interaction with this advanced non-human intelligence, I think this quote by one of my favourite painters, Max Beckmann, is apropos:
Art is creative for the sake of realization, not for amusement: for transfiguration, not for the sake of play. It is the quest of our self that drives us along the eternal and never-ending journey we must all make. 
As I wrote at Rich's blog, I don't really care who is caressing the canvas with the brush, or when, or what it looks like - I'm more interested in what it all means, or is meant to mean. And therein lies the philosophical conversation that ufology (and all of the crazy paranormal stuff) has been missing, as does most modern formalized religion. But it's the only part of the puzzle that really matters, at least to me. 

In the quest for meaning we find ourselves, and are transfigured in the process.

But why would an advanced non-human intelligence engage in all of this, often in what seems to the modern rationalist / materialist to be the most obtuse and in many cases ridiculous ways? I quote again from Beckmann, who stated:
Imagination is perhaps the most decisive characteristic of mankind. My dream is the imagination of space – to change the optical impression of the world of objects by a transcendental arithmetic progression of the inner being. That is the precept. In principal any alteration of the object is allowed which has a sufficiently strong creative power behind it. Whether such alteration causes excitement or boredom in the spectator is for you to decide.
In order to understand "the other" (whatever that "other" may be), we must first think like an artist, whether a painter, a musician, a poet, an actor, a magician, a dancer... whatever. We must use our imagination, and try to feel what it is like to be a creator and a performer.

In short, we must think like them... and only then can we begin to understand them, and appreciate the works that they are creating.

Paul Kimball

No comments: