Welcome to the new Blog

Sometimes the way to get to know somewhere is through intentionally becoming lost.

One night several years ago, I headed out to ‘get lost’ in an unfamiliar city, a landscape of vast stately buildings studded with statues, uplit pillars and many other sights distinctive to ancient European renaissance capitals. Only a basic sense of direction guided me back somehow to my front-door step by midnight. After that wandering, I felt much less of a stranger to this new place.

We can take the same ambing and wandering through the realms of art, to discover the kind of sights you only discover through going off track. In doing so we uncover new means of navigating across a landscape we think we know; the zig-zag wandering reveals and uncovers much more of the fractal terrain, and it’s inner correspondences, than simply charting ‘as the crow flies’.

The question ‘what is visionary art’ defies simplistic answers because it exists close to the roots of the tree of history – it is the pith of central channel that has developed and bifurcated into numerous branches of science, humanities, and arts. It must be understood as a current existing through numerous expressions and manifestations, proceeding from the neolithic and into the various races and cultures of humankind. Like a gem-stone of innumerable facets, we may turn this gem and observe these different faces, different windows into the essense of human nature.

If there is no singular or comprehensive all encompassing answer to the question, then we must allow the question and its answers to ‘breathe’ – an approach that allows a ‘letting-be-of things’ (gelassenheit). In a hermetic box life dies. But one touchstone that I would like to illuminate is the concept of Interiority.

‘The depths of our spirit are unknown to us—the mysterious way leads inwards.

Novalis

The experience of interiority is profoundly important in the effectiveness of art. We are here refering to a far more subtle and significant effect than ‘suspension of disbelief’ – although it includes this necessity. It is a phenomena beyond mere aesthetic pleasure or entertainment. It is a process in which the artwork – whether visual, literary or musical, attains a level of animate inner life within the vectorspace of the human imagination. It is where there occurs a binding between what is spoken/heard/seen, and the experience of that art within a deep level of consciousness – beyond issues of ‘taste’ or intellectual sophistication.

One very accessible example of this phenomena is the kind of en-chant-ment that occurs when a small child is told a story. The words roll over the consciousness until there is a kind of active absorbtion in the story, and the child is transported into engagement with that world. But the experience is a kind of unfoldment of the words and story in the childs imagination. Perhaps as an adult, if we are lucky and take ourselves to nature with people who know traditional stories, we may experience again this level of enchantment.

But the level of enchantment can really only match the interiority of the art. An art made from a deep imaginal wellspring or space of contemplation can then be experienced by another mind in resonance with the depth ‘contained’ in the art. The technological analogy I could give is a compressed file, saved on one computer, send compressed to another, and then decompresses its contents on the second computer.

A number of other factors play into the significance of an art – its resonant themes in the collective unconscious, playing upon ancestral issues, ethnos, historical events, paradigm shift, future shock, perennial philosophy, existential crisis, spiritual quest, egregore, nature, transpersonal dimensions, the numinous, mysterium tremendum, and explorations of deep time and futurism.

So, if you will be willing to wander, we can take a tour through the realms of sacred images, and enjoy in mutual appreciation some glories and enchantments through the veil. Welcome to the blog !

Daniel Mirante is a painter, historian, scholar, teacher and writer.

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