08 Dec 2013
Although you sit in a room that is gray,
Except for the silver
Of the straw-paper,
At your pale white gown;
Or lift one of the green beads
Of your necklace,
To let it fall;
Or gaze at your green fan
Printed with the red branches of a red willow;
Or, with one finger,
Move the leaf in the bowl -
The leaf that has fallen from the branches of the forsythia
What is all this?
I know how furiously your heart is beating.
A rich world surrounds Wallace Stevens – things that are gift of nature, artifacts – presents of civilization, aesthetic effects of colors, his own imagination with its rhythms, secrets and gentle excitements.
Let’s enumerate the objects of his inspirations – a feminine you (not surprising), sitting with a furiously beating heart (quite involving), room, straw paper, gown (interesting), beads and necklace (intriguing), fan, branches (two times), willow, (her) finger (the punctum of the poetic search?), leaf (two times), as touched and as fallen (nature as a gift to human touch, nature becoming part of human bodily experience), a bowl (stirring readers’ attention), forsythia, heart (especially welcomed with combination of “furiously” and “beating”).
Let’s also enumerate the world of colors enveloping the poet’s meditation – gray (to start with, before the poet’s imagination reaches its creative concentration), silver (echo of night moon-light), pale white (juxtaposed with gown it is too close to the symbol of virginity, actual, lost or nostalgically silvery), green (two times), red (two times).
What are the relationships between the poet and his real or imaginary protagonist – feminine “you” with “your” gown, necklace, fan, finger and heart? Thousands upon thousands of poems have been dedicated to their relationships (immediate or through mediation of the subject of annunciated), of poet and his poetic “object” – the woman. We see that in the “Gray Room” these relationships are that of alienated and anonymous contemplation when one side is imagining the object (which doesn’t know that somebody is thinking about or imagining her). Poet and woman, here, are like two monads separated by gray walls and green distances. The impression is that the poet not only doesn’t know his existential muse and doesn’t want to meet her but that he doesn’t need an alive woman for his inspiration, just the one of his imagination in the “gray room”. Put in this gray box – observed from the distance she is softly inspiring and gently satisfying the imagination of the poet. Thank god, no passions involved, no connotations and contradictions, no hunt for hints, no yearnings (everything is under control). For the poet it’s enough to “know” how woman’s heart is beating, no need to feel it with his own heartbeat or come closer to her world with uneven poetic enquiry. We see that the poet’s heart can be tamed by contemplation. We see how poetry can be not activated, but, on the contrary, pacified by contemplating posture. We feel how the less psychologically interesting (more rigid) aspects of contemplating experience can streamline the most interesting (creative) aspects of poetic inspiration.
Let’s enumerate the actions of the poem’s protagonist – sitting (in a room), picking (at gown), lifting (green beads), letting (it fall), gazing (at green fan), moving (the leaf), and heaving heart furiously beating. These actions are as minimalist as the actions of a poet contemplating the life of a woman in “gray room”. There is no universe with its clashing energies; there are no passions frustrated by the poet’s encounter with his object of passion. The universe is like the one we observe in the starry night (anti-Van Gogh’s) – frozen, still, available for our contemplation as soon as it is frozen too. The actions of a protagonist is symbolic representation of the actions of the poet – the girl instead of being the personification of otherness for the man becomes a screen for his projections – a reflection of the poet’s perception of the world. The girl in the poem is “dead“, but not completely, she is resisting death into which the poet puts her inside the gray coffin. That’s why her heart is “furiously beating”. It’s very good that the poet knows what it means when the human heart is furiously beating. But he knows more – how to pacify it with the rhythmic breeze of the very craft and art of poetic inspiration.
The poet is trapped within his poem as his heroine in the “gray room”. But the poet doesn’t feel his entrapment by his poetic ritual because of its efficiency in comparison with the gray interior with all its silver, green and red spots. After enumerating signs of the woman’s (inhibited) frustration (amidst the poet’s beautiful contemplative exercise) the poet tries to get rid of it with his slightly awkward (by being generic), rhetorical question – “What is all this?” We can answer – “all this” is a measure of a discrepancy between poetic beauty according to Wallace Stevens of the “Gray room” and human life’s “furiously beating heart”, when both life and heart are unattended.
The poem “unintentionally” expresses the “specificity” (not to say “incompatibility”) of armchair-contemplative poetry in relation to human, nature’s and universe’s life. The poet takes Ptolemaic position towards the world. He, as if, is trying to imagine and impersonate the mentality of the sun imagining the heartbeat of one of its planets.
07 Dec 2013
“Hannah Arendt” is not about the trial of Adolf Eichmann (the Nazi transportation administrator sending Jews and non-Jews to extermination-camps) that was held in Jerusalem in 1961and which Hannah Arendt attended as a journalist working for The New Yorker, and it is not about her love relations with Martin Heidegger which intrigues the public already for decades, and it is about the very personality and destiny of Hannah Arendt only to the degree that she personifies, for Von Trotta, philosophical thinking about life (disinterested, dedicated to truth and independent from “profane“ motivations). Arendt’s understanding (celebrated by Von Trotta) of Eichmann criminal behavior creates a breakthrough in how we perceive human reality – either we approach it from the depths of our emotions or, conversely, through existentially scientific thinking. Our emotional life grows from pre-democratic traditions – it includes righteously vengeful impulsivity that should be sublimated through the effort of democratic reason.
Criminal (anti-democratic) behavior has to be understood rationally to make possible its future prevention. Scientific understanding of crime doesn’t interfere with punishment as our unconscious belief suggests. That’s what the critics of Arendt’s objective understanding of Eichmann’s crimes don’t get – they are afraid that if Arendt’s definition of the nature of evil is correct, Eichmann will not be punished. Punishment of the crimes committed is absolutely necessary but it is not suppose to be determined by our prejudices – those flowers of our impulsive or compulsive emotions.
When truth is worked out analytically and explained scholarly – with the language of truth, without propagandist or subjectivist distortions, it gives us the chance to trace the pure logic of criminal behavior, and then it becomes possible to try to connect different historical epochs that habitually seem incomparable. This philosophical “miracle” of comparing the psychological essence of Eichmann’s crimes with that of the reactions of many on Arendt’s view about these crimes Von Trotta’s film creates not only before our very eyes, but before our minds. The psychological reality (be it intolerance – fanaticism, or indifference –turning the soul off) has a “magic” ability to be easily transformed into criminal behavior, and Von Trotta’s film psycho-dramatically transferred us from WWII crimes against humanity to New-York of Sixties where Hannah Arendt had a teaching job.
The film gives us chance to experience what happened when the publishing, academic and Jewish communities learned about Arendt’s interpretation of Eichmann’s crimes. According to her, crimes, even arch-crimes may be committed not by monsters and devil‘s salesmen and agents but by an ordinary, trivial people who are just trying to survive, make careers, use the opportunity to move up the social ladder, who try to be an exemplary employees and please their employers and provide a better life for their families and children. In other words, it is enough not to learn how to think more philosophically (existentially spiritually, disinterestedly), not to pay attention to the difference between truth and not-truth, not to learn how to separate truth from our wishful thinking and from our naïve instinctive desire to take advantage of others by deploying instinctively manipulative – propagandist “thinking”, etc., to be seriously vulnerable to become part of any type of organized (ideologically justified) criminality.
People started to accuse Arendt in protecting Eichmann, in hating Jews, in being self-hating Jew and many other “sins” and to try to hurt her (by publicly labeling and insulting her and making steps towards taking her job from her). Because she put into practice her freedom of scientific speech they became haters of free speech and free thinking. Their reaction made them in psychological essence like Soviet Communists or German Nazis. Some publishers were afraid to lose their subscribers, academicians – of losing their jobs, and many in Jewish community started unconsciously use the disaster of Holocaust to allow themselves pompous narcissistic righteousness.
Sometimes it’s enough to have an encounter with free speech (contradicting our views) to be transformed into anti-democratic zealots and fanatics ready for semi-legal or illegal behavior. Von Trotta transforms this paradigmatic situation (that we today observe in the neo-conservative politicians and financial manipulators) into a philosophical and cognitive psychotherapy with the viewers. She shows us the very emotional mechanism at work inside people and nations – of phobic aversion to free speech and free thinking as soon as its content appears to be contrary to our views, of proclivity to react on free speech as if it is an attack on us by the hordes of the devil, and then we feel ourselves as guardians of godly truth only we can understand. That’s exactly how the Soviet Communists and German Nazis felt and acted.
Barbara Sukowa‘s Hanna Arendt is an exceptionally developed and mature personality – Arendt never passionately defends herself against the attacks on her thinking. She doesn’t protect herself psychologically with euphoric bravado either – she feels the pain from these attacks, but she continues to go about explaining what she thinks and why she thinks as she does. Sukowa makes Arendt a person of grace. Her presence on the screen as Hannah Arendt is a personification of a democratic personality – strong by the very absence of psychological armor and defensive alertness. We don’t see this type of female characters in American moves today, although they existed before, for example, Hannah Jelkes (Deborah Kerr) in “The Night of The Iguana” by John Huston (1964).
Philosophically intellectual women exist in USA today but they are not represented in commercial cinema oriented on typical, spectacular and easy for perception deformed by entertainment. It is very bad especially for American girls who don’t see intellectual women as role-models on the cinematic screen. We need our own, “American grown” Hannah Arendts, Margarethe von Trottas and Barbara Sukowas.
05 Dec 2013
“Me and You/Io e Te” is the last incarnation of the director’s incessant interest in the periods of historical transition and in historical change. If to compare his films with one another we can appreciate their power of stimulating our interest in understanding of history as an alive process. It is Bertolucci’s dedication to the problems of historical development, it seems, that made him focus on the existential and psychological conditions of the young people who were always movers, participants, or fans and even lovers of historical rejuvenation. It is not surprising, that relationships between children and the young (who are prone “instinctively” to yearn for alternatives), on the one side and adults on the other, also attracts Bertolucci’s creative attention, for example between children and their parents, sometimes between the same person as a child and as an adult.
From 25 fiction films Bertolucci made up to this point at least thirteen are dedicated to the problems of youth vis-à-vis the world of adults. Bertolucci is not just interested in private aspects of relationships of course, he as a scholar by the type of his analytical approach to life, is motivated by the principle of systemic understanding. For him personal relations are always impregnated by life styles in concrete historical epochs. He wants to understand how common values and norms and resistance to them are influencing the relations between people. Bertolucci’s complicated approach to societal and human life, today when commercial orientation of cinema as a medium is dominant, is often considered “too intellectual”, “too abstract, and fuzzy and murky”, but Bertolucci continues to surprise the world with the beautiful stubbornness of the analytic style of his films in their content and form. With years of directing he is losing neither his alert heart nor his scholarly head.
The first uncompromising image in “Jo e Te”, endlessly repeated in the film is… the extremely blemished face of the main protagonists, especially Lorenzo‘s, the boy of fourteen. For the director to allow himself to do this is already a “revolution in cinema” where appealing appearance of the “star” is the main key able to open the exhausted pockets of the mass viewers. Nobody, even Godard, even Resnais, even Bergman could do such a thing. Why Bertolucci decided to neglect the principle of facial beauty? In “Io e Te” he made the concept of prettiness of the face contradictory, even conflictual – more semantically loaded and more aggressively so. We see how the beauty of being human, of having intelligence irradiates from not just the face of the heroine (Olivia) but from the face of Lorenzo in spite of their difficult, practically, almost fatal psychological situation. What is about of their different but similarly impossible situation? What don’t they have that other children and young people have? The question here rather is what the generation of young people today doesn’t have that the previous European and American generations had (or didn’t have in a much lesser degree than today’s youth). It is Lorenzo’s and Olivia’s incompatibility with the world of adults as it objectively is, the impossibility for them to fit into the categories of adulthood as modern Western world despotically, anti-democratically puts itself on them for mechanical imitation. Western societies don’t negotiate with its youth anymore – they manipulate children and young people through technically advanced toys, gadgets-toys and toy-like images and maxims like “life is as it is and to accept it is a sign of being adult”. Conformism becomes wisdom.
By comparing not just Lorenzo and Olivia’s lives but their psychological condition with the young heroes of Bertolucci’s films before, we see that our step-brother and step-sister are much more deprived than the heroes of the “Before the Revolution” (1964), “Partner” (1968), “The Conformist” (1970), “The Spider’s Strategem” (1970), “1900” (1976), “Luna” (1979), “Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man” (1981), “The Last Emperor” (1987), “Little Buddha” (1993), “Stealing Beauty” (1996), “The Dreamers” (2003). They are more impulsive, depressed and confused but no less able to produce in viewers a feeling of optimism about their future. This is one of the miracles of Bertolucci’s film. Lorenzo and Olivia are less conformist than their peers not in a political sense but existentially. They believe their emotional reactions on their social environments more than society’s inventive brainwashing.
Lorenzo is very close to Joe, the hero of “Luna”, but still is much less of a personality, less articulate, more smashed by his parents’ almost militant triviality. His resistance is childishly escapist. He is too passionate about his improvised hole with long sleeves of labyrinth-like corridors in the basement of the building where his parents own apartment. His identification with animals (armadillo) and insects (ants) is much more regressive than Joe’s pursuing drugs and sex. Imitating armadillo’s movements and feeding and compulsively observing ants helps him go through his days. Psychological and spiritual regression of the very existential atmosphere in the 21st century is much more radical than it was in the last part of the 20th century. The gloom of Bertolucci’s vision is truthful, and painful to witness. It is not only that the youth in democracies failed to save the world, it cannot save itself. It is betrayed by the adults who themselves have lost deep sources of their ontological vitality and are transformed by their life into eccentric robots digging day and night for money-roots and money-mushrooms.
For Lorenzo desperate non-being in the basement is better than pseudo-being of his parents. The film reveals youth’s search for negative identity as a hiding place for self-therapy. And, it looks that Bertolucci wants us to take the pain of his vision and to tolerate it, if we want eventually become able to overcome the present crisis of Western democracy.
04 Dec 2013
Christian town of Maloula in the mountains 20 miles north-west of Damascus… is the only place where Western Aramaic, the language of Jesus, is still spoken… Maloula used to be one of the safer places in Syria for Christians… But today many already fled. Their priests and bishops have been kidnapped and murdered by the rebels (Jihadi groups).
Patrick Cockburn, “War Comes to Syria’s Quiet Christian Hinterland”, Monday, Sept. 09, 2013
Roberto Matta’s “Up, Down, Left, Right from the Heart” is among rare representations of Crucifixion in painting that is not ideologically religious – that is a propagandist effort to disseminate “good” (emotionally sentimental accent serving to an unconscious purpose of recruiting loyal believers and constructing a field of common identity). Matta’s is a serious work addressing the topic not only with spiritual respect but impartially, without piousness but with grace. The painting examines positions towards Christ among, first of all, those who believe that his life has a super-human value. Besides the guard (in the helmet of Roman soldier) involved in torturing Christ who is in his last throbbing, Matta represents seven figures around the Cross – two compositionally belonging to a group including Roman soldier, three at the foot of the Cross, and two located to the right side of the painting.
Among figures of people who worship Christ, six seem to be women and one man (a creature holding up a wineglass-like challis for collecting Christ’s blood believed to providing magic power to the one who possesses it). The three women at the foot of the Cross are those who are usually represented as the women personally connected with Christ (Saint Mary, Magdalena and Marta). The mother is not really embracing Christ’s legs, she, as if, tries to keep his body protected. Magdalena embraces Christ’s foot. And Marta in paroxysm of helpless grief embraces the base of the Cross.
Besides the exceptionally expressive power of Matta’s “graphic pantomime/ballet” of these three women suffering with such intensity that their bodies, as if, transform into the very convulsions of emotional pain, Matta-the thinker’s unique achievement in this painting is four other figures of grieving people present at Crucifixion, two on each side of the Cross. These four figures carry the exceptional weight of his interpretation of human psychology pulsating around the cosmic disaster of Crucifixion.
The two women in the “compositional company” of the Roman soldier are the unconditional believers in Christ’s godliness. One, to the left, close to the margin of the painting, even imitates the Cross, makes it, as if, hers. She feels that she is being crucified together with her God and she yearns for this crucifixion of herself. But the woman to the right of her, the one closest to the Christ’s body, keeps her hands in a convulsive gesture of praying. These two gestures are, probably, meant by Matta as the first, intuitive, approximate creation/realization of the gestures of future Christian believers – crossing themselves and keeping their hands in a praying position. But why has Matta positioned these two pious women loyal to the idea of Christ’s godliness, in proximity (as if belonging to the same group) to the Roman soldier, one of Christ’s crucifiers? What can be the similarity between this soldier and believers in Christ’s greatness? Aren’t they belonging to the opposite camps? It is Matta’s incredible theological courage to suggest, here, that these seemingly opposing camps are in reality allies in accepting Christ’s murder as inevitable, as socio-political (Roman soldier following orders) or as historical necessity (passionate creators of the cult of Christ as God-son, that will provide them with power to feel themselves ahead of humankind and lead the unenlightened ones – those who didn’t recognize Christ as God, to the glory of the universal truth of Christianity). Matta considers those who are the enemies and who are the followers of Christ as belonging to the same category of people who accept his murder as a precondition of, in Roman soldier case, liberation of the world from this “mad heretic”, and in Christ’s followers case – of the creation of a new cult/later a religion where believers will feel themselves as a spiritual leaders of humanity.
Even more amazing is Matta’s representation of the two other believers on another side of the canvass. The person with a wine glass and a wineskin (that looks like an opened giant mouth) for the collecting Christ’s blood, is a man with several greedy arms. He believes that through possessing blood of Christ he will get His vitality and immortality. The woman close to the right margin of the painting is stretching her arm and hand up towards Christ’s nailed left hand. The reason why she is doing this is revealed by the fact that the nail with which Christ’s palm was nailed to the Cross is represented by Matta in the shape of a (bloodless) heart. My God, this woman wants to get the nail with which Christ’s hand/arm was nailed, as a precious souvenir! What a terror! And here, we are struck with a tormenting, impossible thought that the Roman soldier, for a modest monetary reward is “collaborating” with believers in Christ immortality and eternal glory, and that he is not torturing Christ with his spear but killing him (despite his instructions) to shorten His agony and provide his blood and souvenirs of his death to the Christ’s worshippers. Probably, to make this point more understandable for the viewers Matta paints a necklace on the woman’s bosom. Isn’t collecting talismans of Christ’s murder even more terrifying than Christ’s murder?
Matta’s surrealistically frank depiction of the figures of Christ’s followers is overwhelming and it’s equal only to his courage in making his view on Crucifixion available to the public in spite of danger of being “crucified” by the fanatics of the not-intelligent (non-reflective) belief in Christ. And Matta, it seems, insists that non-enlightened, barbaric belief is as dangerous for human spirituality as fanatic and blind refutation of Christianity by “competing” religions.
So, in this painting we have the Roman soldier personifying the enemies of Christ, four believers in Christ who simplemindedly use his murder to promote their sincere religious cause because they want the unconditional triumph of Christ over life as it is, and the three women who were personally connected with Christ and didn’t care too much about his super-human origins. Only these three women, according to the painting, are people whose suffering about Christ’s murder is real (not necessary more sincere than suffering of the ideological followers, but more real) because it is human, just human, fully, highly and incredibly human. It was a grief as raw as human flesh, pure as the human soul not “sublimated” into theological abstraction (psychologically based on unconscious identification not with Christ but with his immortal glory).
By calling his painting not a Crucifixion but “L’alto, il basso, la sinistra, la destra del cuore” (“Up, Down, Left, Right From the Heart”) Matta not only transforms what always has belonged to the area of organized religion, into the realm of psychology of religious belief, he also transforms that which was considered a matter of sublimated feelings into anthropological research – into the analysis of human behavior inside religious dedications.
Matta, it seems, suggests that including the metaphysical criteria in earthly matters is a function of “bad faith” covering up the unconscious interests and motivations of those who, as blindly sincerely as it can be, are using a tortured and murdered human being, the son of a man and son of god, for their unconscious purpose of becoming aggrandized by association with godly substance to feel themselves above another people and invulnerable to what they believe is human immanent criminality.
The vertical composition of the painting suggests that the Cross was, as if, built in heaven by earthly, soily creatures, and dirty spottiness of these crucifiers of heaven creates the impression of a kind of invasion of the heaven by a barbaric tribe, by their emotional possessiveness and megalomaniacal yearning for an idol. Their dirtiness spots the blue skies and the flesh of the punished innocents. And the more spiritually pretentious and arrogant these people are the more righteousness they have, and the more harm they inflict on life.
Those defiled by animalistic fears and need for power and defiling the universe creatures are carriers of metaphoric dirt and they are especially dangerous when they occupy the heaven which is Matta’s metaphor for their need to cover up their smallness and dirtiness by the license to carry high a metaphysical banner/icon.
01 Dec 2013
Following the self-centeredness (in Ptolemaic sense) of our mental functioning, let’s start our homage to Paul Klee with description of the central segment inside the head-like elliptical form, what Klee, it seems, defined as the central area of human mentality reacting on the world inside and around us. This quadrilateral irregular form is not only represents the very software of our perception of reality, but the focal point for observing our thinking as a part of our environment. In seems important that Klee positions this square (“headquarter” of our perception) in the very center of the human head, not above it as “identical with human brain” – the neuron substrata of our ability to react, to remember and to think. When we perceive our relations with our environment we, indeed, are not identifying with our brainy gray lobes but with intuitively felt “center” of our being which, according to Klee, is a combination of our vision, our speech function and our body. This combination defines the locus of our existential mental function exactly where Klee located it – between the brain (cortex and sub-cortex), eyes, mouth and body.
This irregular quadrilateral inside the human head is the heart-beat of our mental connection with the world. It has five antenna-like tentacles probing the environment and collecting a feedback – they are either part of the central axis or rhizomatic offshoots from it. One antenna going through the head up above the “head” into the space and above the painting is the top part of the central axis that is also horizontally branching through the head and out to the left from it, and after having slightly changed its direction, it is going down, where it is branching to the right of the head and continues to move down, crossing the “bottom” of quadrilateral in the center of our head, then crossing the “mouth” and, finally, branches to the left of the head and from this branch produces rhizome farther down. At the same time, from the right side of the quadrilateral “nucleus” of the mental function, from its right border, we see branching through the right part of the “head” into the space. So, in terms of the connectors with the world, we have three antennas to the left, all from the central axis – one directed immediately from our central axis, from inside of the quadrilateral and two others rhizomatically from under it, and three to the right of the head, one from the central axis, and two others – the upper one from the margin of quadrilateral and the lower from the margin of the head.
The central axis itself going from the area above the painting down through the head, along the left margin of the neck and even lower, signifies it seems the connection of the human mental function with what we can call “the ideal of perfect understanding, of absolutely truthful knowledge, the very rapport with god of understanding”. The feeling of cognitive connection with cognitive ideal is, probably a necessary stimulation of human need to understand reality, an exquisite intellectual itch some of us find irresistible before anything else, while majority finds much more immediately pleasurable things to do (to eat gluttonously, to make sex over-generously and to fight with one another super-passionately). But returning to our central axis – does this benign lightning from above the head down through the body make us some sort of a puppets of superhuman reason? Or, conversely does it make us fishermen of the meaning in the “waters” of the sky or in the wildness of the universe?
In Klee’s “Understanding Man” “antennas” are not that of alertness – he is too contemplative, too cool for (circumstantial) alertness. He is looking straight ahead but not at the world. His eyes are not human eyes but that of… understanding – they are like points of probing, of knowledge, points of intellectual saturation, there is a finality in them. But what is the white stuff encircling the “understanding man’s” neck and head, this foam and fume in a form of a scarf, as if, protecting the orientation of understanding man on understanding, from the compulsion to “survive” by attacking, appropriating and consuming, and from manipulation on part of the socio-political environment. This “scarf”, it seems, is a metaphor of a proper and benign psychological defense protecting our ability for disinterested thinking. The “understanding man” is connected with the world not to compulsively survive but to, indeed, understand, to be, first of all, free from the world through understanding it.
We know that “the one who understands” is an “existential thinker” by the fact that he is thinking not through one segment of his perception that defined by his profession, like a physicist, chemist, biologist, engineer, philosopher of science, specialist in poetry or a practitioner of propaganda. Klee’s protagonist tries to understand the world simultaneously in highly segmented and at the same time holistic way (when perceptive fragments are embraced by his psychological wholeness). Everybody has a head and this fact is not a proof of the presence of the brains inside, not to mention the psychological wholeness – a rarity today when the person has the time and energy to develop multiplicity of intellectual avenues to search the truth, and develop his/her existentially spiritual potentials making human cognition sublime.
The central area of our existential mental function (Klee’s quadrilateral inside our heads) consists of four segments, among which one includes the eye, while another eye doesn’t belong to the “central panel” of our mental function at all – it is located outside it. It belongs to the area of more “objective” perception/vision to counterbalance more “subjective” vision of the other eye. This peripheral eye seeing through the protective foam is the guardian of truth against sweet poisons of prejudices and seductive games of superstitions.
The more peripheral area of our mental function (in Klee’s painting – the very roundness of human head in comparison with its central box with basic software) consists of five segments representing the more elaborative thinking than the more basic, more hypothetical (albeit more absolutized by us) operations of our nuclear mental apparatus. And, finally, outside of our more general (the central area) and more elaborative (peripheral area) thinking – Klee’s schematic map of our thinking locates the cognitive representatives of the external world: our thoughts which can “argue’ with our more central mentalizing parts in the name of more exact truths. These peripheral spheres of our intellectual function are full of guards defending these truths from our prejudices, superstitions, our proclivity to bend the truth under the influence of our complexes and obsessions. This area (represented by Klee outside of our heads) consists of eight segments representing our mental functions whose tasks is to check and to verify our thinking from the point of view its correspondence to reality. It checks our intellectual and moral intuitions and our thinking procedures, our hypotheses and our facts.
Klee literary puts in front of us the fact that the quantity of segments of our thinking grows the farther we are from the center of our mental function (the irregular quadrilateral in the middle of our heads). The effectiveness and grace of our thinking come when we are able to overcome the self-centeredness of our perception, when we can allow more otherness to come into contact with our being and are able feel positively (not phobically) about it.
We see that the one who really understands is much more psychologically equipped to get real information about himself and the world because the multi-verse of his intellectual channels filters our subjective distortions. The closer is other world to us, the more other world settles inside us – the better it is for our thinking. Paul Klee is representing to us the cognitive anatomy of human mental function – from intuitive guesses (demanding from us believing) to systematic data/facts collecting, and eventually to thinking about what we think in order to verify our ideas and conclusions.