Friday, November 6, 2009

Monday, February 4, 2008

KILL THE MESSENGER

Kill the messenger appears to be an unlikely title for a Blog entry dealing with friendship. It is however, very relevant to the dynamics of this important human relationship. Indeed, we choose our friends for various reasons. Sometimes we dont choose them at all they seem to choose us. By this I mean that we find ourselves in a particular place and time with someone that seems to meet what I will refer to as "good enough" criteria allowing us to pursue and inevitably create a bond. As the relationship matures, we acquire more and more information about this person and we must decide whether to strenghthen or sever this bond. If we choose to go on, we must also begin to evaluate our role in the relationship and what we expect to gain in return. Although this approach appears cold and calculated, it is not. Its actually a very rational attempt at making sense of the complex notion of humans making and remaining friends. Thus, we may soon discover a series of rules that govern a particular relationship. Religion and politics, for example, should not be discussed, but discussions of sports and entertainment are always welcomed. Praise is good but criticsm is not. Attempts at helping solve personal problems by offering insightful opinions, however true they may be, are not always well recieved. In fact these opinions may be regarded as too invasive and the opinion giver becomes the proverbial messenger that must be metaphorically eliminated. In order to maintain this relationship, if we determine, it is worth cultivating, we must be willing to accept the shortcomings of others as well as learn to to play by a particular set of rules.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

ANOTHER DANA SCHUTZ COMMENTARY

Although I have not yet received a response to my comment regarding my impressions of artwork by Dana Schutz, I have continued to give her paintings considerable thought. Indeed, despite my initial assessment of her of her style and compositons, I have found them to be rich in color,values, and overall ingenuity.
The turning point for me was a comment she had made in one of her interviews. She stated that she was initially afraid to use saturated color in her work. Instead, she felt more comfortable incorporating more subdued hues. I, too, have felt the same way about my paintings. Moreover, I have begun to integrate this new color scheme into my recent work and have found the results to be very visually pleasing to both myself and to my biggest critic, my wife Orna. Furthermore, my interest in Dana Schutz goes beyond her artwork. She graduated from my Alma Mater, Columbia College in 2002. I graduated from Columbia College in 1978 and subsequently in 1982 from The Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Monday, September 24, 2007

GOD REVISITED

My previous Blog entry tried to describe God in terms of Spinoza. Moreover, a reference was made to Albert Einstein since he himself believed in Spinoza's God. With this model, The Big Bang, could be conceived as a denovo event which created everything , the galaxies,nature, and all things made up of mass and energy. This notion fits very nicely into Einsteins conception of a harmonious, unified, measurable, and predictable universe. A universe, unfortunately, that could not explain the unpredictability of the subatomic universe governed by chance. A universe described by Quantum Mechanics. This was Einsteins limitation. He could not and would not accept a universe that could only be measured in terms of probability. How then could he possibly understand or attempt to understand the Kabalistic notion of God as a dual entity? A God that could not be described in terms of quantifiable and predictable entities such as mass and energy, but could only be defined as a separate intangible force responsible for all creation. A force that was revealed to as a quantifiable byproduct of THE BIG BANG.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

GOD

Yesterday was Yom Kippur. The Holiest day in the Jewish calendar. It is the day of reckoning where we , Jews, fast and pray that God pardons us for our sins. In essence, it is an attempt at absolution for the past year's transgressions. As I sat in synagogue, I couldn't help , but ponder the ritual of prayer, its objective, and the Jewish text that guided us through this arduous process. Who are we praying to? Is it God himself, the Jewish God of Jacob and Isaac, or some other entity, force, or energy that we can collectively call God? The answer, if it truly exists, is clearly not simple. Indeed, in 1929, Rabbi Gladstone from New York City, had sent Einstein a message asking him bluntly, “Do you believe in God?” Einstein replied as follows:
“I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings." Spinoza's conception of God is that God and Nature are one in the same. Nature is the Universe with all known Galaxies and all known life (Earth) and all potential life as well. The Unity of the Universe, from its day of spontaneous inception, The Big Bang, is God with all its physical and metaphysical occurrences. Humans are part of this universal unity and therefore a direct manifestation of God. Everything we experience with our senses is part of this schema as well. The universe is also composed of the same two interchangeable entities Mass and Energy. Hence, E= MC squared. We exist, flourish, , and then die. All part of the natural plan called God. Every aspect of our being , every action, as well as every molecular change that takes place effects everything around us. Our prayer therefore, will have a direct impact on the collective conscious of the universe. Strange as it may seem, this notion of God gives us more control over the world we live in. Even though everyone and every living thing is the product of of genetics and environment, our choices and actions will in some way effect all that is around us. Morality , therefore, becomes an important part of human existence because it will determine how we live together. No longer do we rely on a separate external entity to govern our lives, but we come to the realisation that we are responsible for both the good and bad around us. God clearly exists. Just look around at the world we live in. Contemplate the harmony. It will all make sense.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

PSYCHOLOGICAL TERRITORIALISM

Territorialism in all its forms is a constant in nature. In the animal kingdom, for example, protection of rights to domicile, food, and family is readily apparent. Anyone who has adopted one or more pets is fully aware of the the importance of territory and hierarchy. The world of humans is no different. Religion, religious persecution, politics, and war, are all by products of this inherent trait to hoard, covet, and protect all that we believe to be sacred. Moreover, our beliefs are just as important, or more so than our valuable material possessions. This is the notion of psychological territorialism. Invasion into this personal realm can be extremely hazardous. Indeed, the biggest culprits of this violation are the self righteous.These people like to dictate the proper way to do just about anything, from religion to hairstyling. They are the holier than thou. They're always right and you're always wrong. Everything becomes twisted to fulfill their self- serving needs and to assert control. The last thing we humans need is another self appointed supervisor to judge us and make more annoying, unsolicited suggestions about what we should and should not do.