I want to escape words but am finding it very difficult.
I don’t particularly want to be part of any age, but that too is very hard, it is not just the post-age to contend (be content) with but all the pre- ones that are piling up like bricks in a wall… I just want to find a timeless present, some peace and quiet.
The theme that is struggling to make itself visible is not quite a paradox, not quite a mathematical negation: the sense of denial and affirmation at the same time: I want to deny history, deny my subscription to any age (I want to react, even though i have already convinced myself that revolutions are impotent); I want to respect and understand history, be a part of this age and the next.
Have we really even left the industrial age? Perhaps progress should be defined not by the age in which we live, but by the extent to which we have mastered (and learnt from) the preceding age. It is irresponsible to talk of a digital age for the few, when the majority of the world still live in endless degrees of slavery and poverty. Is then our definition of art an exclusive one, in which the physical and emotional needs of the many are still excluded by virtue of the technology which they have access to?
Science has always mapped out points which are beyond our philosophy, ethics, sense; genetic engineering arrived, like an inevitable train, and all the important things like philosophy, politics, sociology, are left in the wake of progress which the scientists cannot comprehend, because they have an abstract sense of truth, which they do not fully understand (they cannot, because they are ahead of everything) so progress is by definition after the fact of the present, just leaving residues which we all have to pick up, too late. We never learn from our mistakes, we absorb them into the next ones… is art to follow the same blind path, always on the cutting edge but never truly understanding? Is it delusion to think that art can temper, bring sense to science?
We need to be careful when describing art in terms of ‘emotional beauty’; to what does this art speak, our senses or our souls? Is beauty defined by the elegance of mathematical constructs or purity in execution of an idea, both of which are quantifiable in absolute (but abstract) terms, or is it defined by the precise moment when a unique individual feels great empathy with a particular sensation – unrepeatable, individual, subjective?
Truth is a spiraling self-referential thing, perhaps best left alone. All ages seek meaning, in that sense there are no ages, they are just evolution of word-structures. We have this need to make sense of everything, and our starting point is always words and images; occasionally we step back and ask ‘is there an alternative?’ but then almost as soon as this question is framed, the words come flooding in, an unrelenting struggle to make sense of thoughts that we still doubt are framed internally as words.
How strange it is that God always finds a way into my thoughts, even though I don’t believe in Him. The real gods, in their almost-timeless repose, might be questioning how they can possibly help us. What definition of an age or of art can in a breath exclude 99% of the population of the world and yet purport to describe reality? There are clearly many Gods, the question is no longer whether God exists, for most of the world it is about whether or not you are lucky enough to believe in the right one. We share our Gods unequally.
External modes of expression are framed in terms of the internal when in fact they are not – they remain superficial. Our modes are essentially empty of meaning. We must escape words, because it is so easy to think that words, elegantly composed, actually describe the real state of things. Is that not the purpose/power of art, to escape words, where theory is made redundant and words become useless? The human race is not by defined by any age, any state of art or science, because whilst we debate the authenticity of history, there are billions of people lost in the present.
Understanding in the present moment what is now meant by the illusive concept of ‘hope’ – hope is the certainty that solutions lie inside of us (as they always have), not in the external mechanical world which is outside of our control. Not divorcing ourselves from our environment, because everything is inter-connected, without relationships we are nothing. The future is a blank space but there is no need to fill it with ideologies or theories, the present moment is impossible to capture.
In all these words there is a struggle to contextualise, make sense of intuition. Perhaps truth, meaning, are incommunicable, internal, silent… a total escape from words, from images, from senses… which should bring all these words to an end before they have already started.