Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Contrapuntal Mind

Ideas control the world.

President James Garfield
I once took a photograph of a stream, a clear slowly moving stream. It was a fascinating picture because there were a few autumn levees floating on the stream, reflected in it was the branch of a tree overhead still holding on to some of its leaves and some rocks on the bottom of the stream. It was a bright sunny day, the branch, the leaves and the rocks were well lit by the sun. The picture was showing three realities at once, the reflection of the branches, the gently rippling water supporting the floating leaves and the rocks underneath. All the great ideas that control the world exist on several levels.

Near where I took the picture there was a meadow with a very friendly horse. The horse came up to the fence to greet me and I took its picture also. I don't know what happened to those pictures. The got lost somewhere along the vagabond trail.

I remember that horse. It was easy to recognize it as a horse. It looked like a horse. It looked they way horses look. It was a horse. It was also a friendly horse. It behaved in a way only that horse could. It came to greet me. Other horses could greet me but they wouldn't be that horse. That horse could greet other people and probably did, but then it wouldn't be greeting me. I appreciated that animal who looked like a horse because it was a horse and a horse who was friendly toward me, because it was a friendly horse. But those experiences of appreciation enabled me to see and appreciate something else and that was the idea of horse. That horse is similar to a zebra. But it's not a zebra. A zebra is a different idea. I was beginning to see the ideas of natures creations. The ideas that control the world have several levels.

If you are fortunate enough to view a statue by Michelangelo you are seeing marble, Marble is a fascinating, beautiful stone and something to admire. You are also seeing a work of art, a figure well designed, beautifully formed and rendered for your pleasure in the medium of marble. And what you are also seeing if you are really observant is the idea of that marble statue, the idea of art. The thing in itself, its vitality and the idea of its existence. The idea of a statue which encompasses and explains all three. The idea of a horse. The idea of a stream. All the ideas that rule exist on several levels.

I am always urging people to listen to music they way I do. (Aw, here he goes again.) Music, as much as poetry, is an art form of ideas. One must look into the stream not just at it. One should listen into the music, not just to it. If you listen into a Bach cantata, when you hear a solo, you will also hear along with the song two or three other events happening in the orchestra. They are each individual expressions of the idea of music. It's called "counterpoint" and it's one of the ideas that rule the world.

DB - The Vagabond

(This is not a contest)

What was the most significant event that happened in 2010?

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I await your answer.


Big Mark 243 said...

This was a pretty cool post. You do know that I don't care what nobody says... you are alright with me!

Many times I wonder if there is anyone who looks at the world as abstractedly as I do. I guess this entry confirms what I have always known about the world and my uniqueness...

Anonymous said...

Some people have no idea about the concepts that rule the world.
IJS :-).