Tuesday, January 6, 2009
This watercolor was used in an exhibit in 1989 to illustrate the nature of the work done within the Institute for Perennial Studies. Entitled "One of the Trees in the Garden" an allusion to Genesis and the various trees in Eden. There were names written on the branches of different authors, prophets, and religious figures we were studying; the trunk was scripted with 'The Perennial Wisdom'.
What is evident today is the alchemical nature of the graphic although that may not have been consciously intentional at the time. It is highly mystical but not in the Eastern sense of a struggle towards "oneness". The feeling is instead a pluralistic mood that displaced truth into an organic collage of understanding that is a product of the human mind instead of a divine revelation.
Noting that all the ends terminated in buds rather than flowers it is up to the viewer to determine whether there is some conclusion to each terminus or not. Nothing has been decided in this milieu.
However, in toto it is far from nihilistic or even uncertain. The force of the proposition draws one into inquiry instead of conclusion. Yet there is a definite point of view which is non-material. The whole picture floats in a cosmic location with sun and moon setting the stage in a universe filled with knowledge. The roots caressing both direct and indirect light feeding off of both but not relying on any earthly attachment.
This is a world beyond materialism which is the home of wisdom. Although data can be found by measuring; ultimately data is ephemeral. Here wisdom is obtainable but not by direct sensory means. It is a world of symbol and metaphor which exists in an eternal place beyond the reach of data and material facts.