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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe



“It is the highest task of every art to employ appearance to create the illusion of a higher reality.”


“We are given glances of the great maxims of creation, of the mysterious workshop of God! Besides, what is all intercourse with nature, if, by the analytical method, we merely occupy ourselves with individual material parts, and do not feel the breath of the spirit, which prescribes to every part its direction, and orders, or sanctions, every deviation, by means of an inherent law?”


“The more closely and precisely one observes particulars, the sooner one arrives at a perception of the whole.”


“As soon as one sees with one'’s own eyes the whole, which one had hitherto only known in chaotic fragments, a new life begins.”


“Man must cling to the belief that the incomprehensible is comprehensible or else he would relinquish investigating.”


“It is not the subjects as such that count for the artist. It is rather a matter of his finding the subjects whose inner life corresponds to his own disposition and of his being able to portray them again with all the workings of their life. If his eye penetrates through the outer shell into their innermost being: if they move his soul to inspiration so as to make him see their forms transfigured: if he has the mastery of stroke and colour so as to objectify his inner vision, then he is a great artist. Let the subject be ever so humble, it will enchant us.”


“Everything living forms an atmosphere about itself.”


“Among all the illusions that give us pause there is none so intriguing as that which involves the limits of our own faculties. We devote ourselves to a worthy undertaking that exceeds our capacities.”


“We stand in mere wonderment, and the best part of things is closed to us. We all walk in mysteries. We are surrounded by an atmosphere in which we know not what is stirring, or how it is connected with our own spirit.”


“There is nothing without us that is not within us.”





Joel Goldsmith



“The development of spiritual consciousness begins with our first realization that what we are beholding through the senses of sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell is not the reality of things. Disregarding appearances entirely, the first ray of spiritual illumination brings us hints of the divine, the eternal and immortal. This in turn makes the appearance even less real to us, thereby admitting even greater illumination.”


“One day something happens within. Consciousness expands and sees that which before was invisible. One feels a flow of warmth; a Presence never before known becomes tangible, very real.”


“Gradually there dawns in consciousness the realization of a Presence always present. This Presence may be felt as if lurking in the background of one'’s consciousness. At times it becomes a very commanding Presence dominating the scene or experience of the moment.”


“To recognize that we live in two worlds, the world created by the five physical senses and the world of Consciousness, is to bring ourselves closer and closer to illumination.”


“In this consciousness, finite sense disappears and the vision is without boundaries.”


“In this light, we see without the eye; we hear without the ear; we understand things not known before. Where we are, God is, because there is no longer separation or division.”


“Spiritual vision sees through—to Reality.”


“The ‘"wider, grander view"’ is coming into focus. The freedom of divine being is becoming apparent.”


“It is all God’s gift to Himself to man, pressed down on us and overflowing. Indeed, everywhere we turn, everywhere we look God is revealing Himself.”




Wassily Kandinsky


“Even dead matter is living spirit.”


“Like an explorer immersing himself in new, unknown lands, one makes discoveries in one’'s ‘"daily round"’, and one’'s environment, normally mute, begins to speak an increasing distinct language.”


“This "‘tedious"’ path should be measured pace by pace not the tiniest change in the substance, in the qualities, or in the effects of each individual element should be allowed to escape the attentive eye. Only by a process of microscopic analysis will the science of art lead to an all-embracing synthesis, which will ultimately extend far beyond the boundaries of art, into the realm of "‘union"’ of the ‘"human"’ and the ‘"divine.”


“The open eye and the open ear transform the slightest disturbance into a profound experience.”





Paul Klee



“The power of creativity cannot be named. It remains ultimately mysterious. What does not shake us to our foundations is no mystery. Down to our finest particles we ourselves are charged with this power. We cannot formulate its essence but we can, in some measure, move toward its source. In any case we must reveal this power in its functions, just as it is revealed to us. Probably it is only a form of matter, but one that cannot be perceived with the same senses as the kind of matter we are used to. Still, it must make itself known through the familiar kinds of matter and be at one with them in function. Merged with matter, it must enter into a form that is alive and real. And it is thus that matter takes on life and order, from its smallest particles to it subsidiary rhythms and its higher structures.”




Leonardo da Vinci



“The eye is the lord of the senses. The eye is the window of the soul.”


“Our knowledge is the offspring of our perceptions.”


“Open your eyes!”


“In rivers, the water that you touch is the last of what has passed and the first of that which comes; so with present time.”


“The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.”

“There are three classes of people: those who see, those who see when they are shown, those who do not see.”


“While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.”




Roger Lipsey


An Art of Our Own

The Spiritual in Twentieth Century Art



“Yet many of the artists understood their art to be an avenue of search, not just for “form” or originality but for deep meaning and penetrating vision.”


“One of the tasks of the spiritual in art is to prove again and again that vision is possible: that this world, thick and convincing, is neither the only world nor the highest, and that our ordinary awareness is neither the only awareness nor the highest of which we are capable. Traditionally, this task falls under a stringent rule: the vision cannot be random and entirely subjective, but must be capable of touching a common chord in many men and women.”


“There was a metaphysic implicit in Cézanne, a peering from oneself—anxious, temporary, yet part of the communion of all things toward the stability and grandeur of Nature. He discovered the experience of consciousness in the world as a question and as the inexhaustible basis for a quest.”


“Eyes of fire perceive each thing as the outer sign of an inner fact, or the local sign of a distant power. For such eyes nothing is lonely matter, all things are caught up in a mysterious, ultimately divine whole that challenges understanding over a lifetime. Eyes of flesh focus on the thing itself, eyes of fire on facts but still more intently on their participation in a larger meaning by which they are raised.”


“Her spirituality, rooted in feeling and sensation, was unshakeable. She did not gather "on high", like Mondrian, to bring the universal downward; she raised earthly things.” Roger Lipsey on Georgia O’Keeffe


“The artist observing Nature according to Mondrian's discipline comes gradually to see and to represent the universal dwelling in it. At the same time, the artist is moved from within by an intuition of the universal which, in gradual stages, finds its way to expression in the work of art. These two expressions of the universal within and the universal without become increasingly one and the same as the artist’'s consciousness evolves— - a ‘"unity in a single outwardness"’.”

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