Mysterium

The world is a mystery of the dark depths of the unconscious and the dark out of which all has come. […] And the sense of myth is that we all ride on a mystery, and we are manifestations of it, whether it’s the nature world or the human world. They are not apart.*
(Joseph Campbell)

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It’s the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.**
(Albert Einstein)

Yesterday I was exploring how we we are unselfed by our openness to beauty in nature and art, moving from the false self of the ego to the true self of the eco.

Art and artisanship puts this within reach of all of us and finding our story or myth helps us to move towards it:

Artisans have their soul in the game.^

Nassim Taleb provides four reasons for this claim: artisans put existential reasons ahead of economic; there is art in their profession rather than industrialisation; they have pride in what they do; and there are things they would never do. This is a describing of “proper” artisanship rather than “improper,” a distinction for art made by Joseph Campbell between art that is a response to the power of nature and art that is for sale:

On the tops of all the hills,
there is silence.
In the tops of the trees,
you feel hardly a breath.
The little bird falls silent in the trees.
Simply wait.
Soon, you too will be silent.^^

Transcendence is possible everywhere.

(*From Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey.)
(**Albert Einstein, quoted in Alan Lightman’s A Sense of the Mysterious.)
(^From Nassim Taleb’s Skin in the Game.)
(^^Johann Wolfgang von Goethe‘s Wanderer’s Nightong – a rendition by Robert Bly, quoted in Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey.)

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