Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Metaphysical Explanations

Originally posted on September 4, 2013

(With a drawing at the end as an example.)

I’ve begun a new art form that mixes drawing and prose. Through this synthesis I attempt to explicate my version of how the cosmos is in an ongoing creative process. It’s poetic, not to be taken literally.

I seriously doubt that language as it operates today can begin to account for what is going on in the cosmos. A colleague, Dr. Susan Imholz, noted the way the late 19th and early 20th century came to idolize language and with it promoted the illusion that ultimate truth can be identified if only the definitions can be made carefully enough. What was idolized further was the capacity of the human mind to fully access deep understanding—the opposite of an apophatic stance—the recognition that ultimate truth far surpasses anything humans with their feeble brains could ever understand. It was an act of hubris, foolish, and worse, it eliminated poetry. Metaphor, Dr. Imholz suggested, might well take us a bit further than strict rationality.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for rationality when it supersedes rank muddy-mindedness and superstition. I have seen the way my magic-infused mind seeks to reduce conflict and generate illusions, and it’s not pretty. Occasionally superstition can lead to horrible results but often it’s just childishly pitiful. So learning to think critically and more rationally is progress, and I fear that few folks have done that very much.

However, philosophers are so enamored of the progress they have made of the differences between themselves and those caught in the mental slavery of the past that they overestimate the power and extent of their own rationality. Although reason-based philosophy is well ahead of mere folly, if it (philosophy as a field) stays too tightly to being definable and logical, it becomes dry and increasingly irrelevant. There’s a point at which, having shown some significant capacity to call oneself into question, to creatively synthesize some new ideas, there’s a point where dipping into metaphor and a kind of poetry may be necessary to continue the widening of human consciousness. Pascal noted that the heart has reasons that reason does not know, and it’s this inclusion of sentiment and aesthetics, of complexes that cannot be proven by argument, that I’m talking about.

Indeed, I’ve begun a series that I’ll post when it’s “ripe” titled “Explanations,” and I use my illustrations to evoke a deeper understanding. Illustrated philosophy with commentary may help to communicate what I suspect needs to be said. All this I say with a willingness to be curious about how I may be mistaken, so I welcome your input if you are so motivated.

This one, just as an example, is a picture of a mythic-abstract “cosmic mama giving birth: Indeed, so much in our world may be viewed as pregnant with possibilities, the simplest event leading to many consequences taken in different directions by different people living in different worlds. One may take a meal as fuel for writing an inspiring poem, another for giving to yet another, and a third fueled to get on with robbing a bank.


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