Thursday 19 August 2010

I am not conscious of my unconscious

I would like to amplify some of my comments I made last saturday. I think it is unnecessary and confusing to make much of the distinction between inner and outer(?) life. When we listen to music, I use music as it is the least literal of art forms, (David can correct me with a quote from Lessing if I am wrong) When we listen I suggest that it calls forth a response from precisely those feelings and sensations that constitute our everyday life such as love, sex, regret, sadness, anxiety, joy and is not a gateway to an inner life which somehow has an exclusive ownership of these emotions or feelings.  Furthermore, to talk in these terms ignores the human agency that created the music, the technical expertise needed and yes, the rational planning which allows the inspiration felt by the artist to be expressed. To subordinate the everyday to some nebulous inner life is to deny the possibility of beauty in the everyday.  Of course we do not reveal all that we are in all of our everyday experiences but I believe they can only be revealed in them. I am no expert on dreams but for what it is worth for me they represent the prose of the day rendered into poetry not autonomous experiences? events? which have no connection to who we are, have been, fear we might be or want to be. I look forward to polemical retorts and accusations of being imaginatively deficient.


  1. Good point, Gerry. Emotions such as happiness, sadness, tender love, violent anger, which are essential ingredients in the creation of music and poetry, are indeed triggered by our experiences in the "outer" world, such as love, compassion, friendship, rejection, alienation, conflicts, turmoils, injustice, revolution, war and peace, and so on. We appreciate beauty and harmony in nature, we also detest the destruction of nature by mankind.

    However, this does not mean that inner life does not exist. Besides daily activities in contact with other fellow human beings, don't you have any quiet moment to yourself for some spiritual reflexion? Poetry, music, art, are therefore not exactly a mirror image of what happened in the material world. "Men does not live on bread alone". I am not religious, but on this point, I agree with Jesus.

  2. Well Gerry, why would the everyday need to be subordinated to some nebulous inner life. Why would that be nebulous anyway?
    Would you refer perhaps to simple nonlinear right brain activity? Some of us function better from that side. And why would that deny the possibility of the beauty of every day? How can you possible perceive beauty all around you with anything else but your inner eye? Then one sees it (beauty) in every blade of grass, even the very movement of the air. No?
    Maybe I am missing something here but I do not see the point you are making being congruent with the music analogy either.