Let's Prehend
A Manual of Human Ecology and Culture Design

ART, Beyond Analysis, but not Psychoanalysis

The arts seem to be about the expression and embellishment of subjective life. An objective approach would seem to have no contribution to make to the arts. Putting one's personal feelings aside in objective consideration of the arts implies a great loss of the very value and health the arts offer to an individual and the entire culture. Not so. (And pity the critics.) Objective analysis applied to art offers the same values as it does to psychology. The objective analyst might even admit to a subjective thrill of beauty and creativity in theory itself.

The Ei value of art is a measure of its complexity and meaning. Meaning not in the intellectual sense but as an expanding and invigorating inner life. Recall the primary, secondary and tertiary emotions, p.?. Primary emotions involve subjective awareness of Total Process, TP, the universe as a total system, the harmony of infinite process, the beauty of each elegant subsystem leaf, the limitless harmony and conflict of mind and nature. Primary emotions are hard to find and tough to bear because they threaten the minor system ego self. Yet this gift can be safely indulged in the arts with minimum risk of ego disintegration and maximum protection from mundane culture.

Secondary emotions concern those to the left of primary emotions on the D-A chart. Their focus is the inherent separation of the minor system self, the DMS. Up left on the isohealth line, secondary arts enhance and celebrate this most complex organism in the known universe. Tertiary emotions even farther left on the D-A chart bemoan the increasing isolation and separation of the self from reality.

In European classical music imagine the great composers on the D-A scale from the primaries on the right to the tertiaries on the left. What music is most primary to you? Does Beethoven place higher i than Brahms, with Mahler lower still? Surely Shumman is to the right of Bartok, that master of existential anxiety.

All cultures have their music. The stable organic cultures have music with wide participation in the villages. Imagine a chart comparing Chinese and Japanese music, but be careful not to offend. Folk music gradually fades in MAC leaving us with almost no organic music - increasing gulf between performer and listener and the increasing intrusion abstract money and market forces.

In the visual arts, abstract means DMS only as an emphasis on aesthetic geometric forms. Representative art concerns beauty or its lack in the outer world. Non-objective art avoids the ego barrier of recognition to enable the expression and delight of raw emotions unfettered by story. Since it is farther from the ego's DIM, abstract art is less abstract that representative art.

The performing arts tell a story, perhaps derived from humankind's first language that enabled sharing around the evening fire. Dance most likely predated language. Many of the birds and animals seem well developed in this art form. Matters of life and love, rules of conduct and culture are communicated and controlled through the performing arts.

From the organic cultures to MAC, participation decreases as the performer separates from the audience. With modern media, the most skilled Ei performers such as O. J. Simpson and Monica Lewinski are seen by billions. The low culture of TV has become the mind of the culture with a life of its own. Driven to advance ratings, the TV culture degrades to interrupted violence and its variants as discussed in JELLY AND JAM, p.261.

But the high culture of the performing arts flourishes, even though tickets to DEATH OF A SALESMAN run to three figures. Though most of Broadway goes to lighter stuff, still heavies like WAITING FOR GODOT, Samuel Becket's exacting allegory of the role of the intellectual in Western History, still enlighten and expand the wealthy stout hearted.

Let's lighten this analysis with an Ei parameter from mud wrestling to Martha Graham. Mud wrestling has the advantage of obscuring its details, therefore enticing the mind to project its own inner needs and fears into this performing art form. Mud wrestling also triggers mixed memories of mudpie activities and its deeper and earlier and more subconscious experiences. Martha's modern dance and its continuing tradition offers more elaborate and lengthy explorations into a wide range of human experience and meaning. It can be well argued that such intellectuality has little to contribute to the evaluation and diagnosis of the arts, but that does not dissuade an objectivist from leaping into the mud.

The reader is admonished to put aside objective analysis, get off it, and give away the self when participating in the arts.

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