Nancy Huntting, Aesthetic Realism consultant, writes:
How can injustice end—including men’s injustice to women? Is there a cause in common that makes for all injustice? You’ll be thrilled by “Men, Women, & the Art of Justice,” in which a man speaks honestly, self-critically, of his own injustice to women and describes what he learned that enabled him to change. Read this urgent and groundbreaking new issue of The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known.
The commentary by Ellen Reiss begins:
Dear Unknown Friends:
Here is the conclusion of the lecture by Eli Siegel we have been serializing: the great We Approach Poetry Variously, of 1972. Here too is an article by Aesthetic Realism consultant Jeffrey Carduner, from a paper he presented at a public seminar titled “What Is Most Powerful for a Man—Understanding a Woman or Owning Her?” Mr. Carduner writes courageously and definitively on male injustice to women, and as he does he explains that form of it which has been the subject of intense publicity at this time. As you’ll see, Aesthetic Realism is the knowledge that makes clear the source of this unkindness and what its relation is to any cruelty, and what a man truly thinks of himself for it.
It has been necessary for a long time, vitally necessary, for people to learn from Aesthetic Realism. It is ragingly necessary now. One reason is: Aesthetic Realism explains what makes for injustice, and what can end it. That is so whether the injustice is of a man feeling entitled to deal with a woman however he pleases; or young people in a schoolyard bullying another child; or a boss paying an employee very little; or the brutality of looking down on a person of a different skin tone; or lying; or the assumption that a person close to one should be managed by oneself; or the taking for granted it’s all right for some people in a nation to be very rich and others very poor. Aesthetic Realism shows—and humanity needs achingly, screamingly, to learn—that the cause of every injustice is contempt: the desire to get an “addition to self through the lessening of something else.” Mr. Siegel explained:
As soon as you have contempt, as soon as you don’t want to see another person as having the fullness that you have, you can rob that person, hurt that person, kill that person.
And Aesthetic Realism shows there is another desire in us, opposed to contempt: to like the world, see it truly. Because that is our deepest desire, because it’s the purpose we were born for, our being untrue to it makes us ashamed, agitated, empty. But what is it that can make this deepest desire—which is the same as justice—do at last what it so rarely does: truly, glowingly, solidly win?
The answer is, people need to see that justice, having respect for what’s not oneself, is not merely “right” and “moral”—but is powerful, luscious, immensely interesting, exciting, and terrifically self-enhancing. Otherwise, they may praise justice, speak favorably of it—but they won’t be attracted to it, tinglingly attracted. They won’t see it as the thing that gets them where they want to get, gives them the glory they hope for.
That’s why the seeing of what poetry is and art itself is, is so necessary. This seeing is the very basis of Aesthetic Realism, with its principle “The world, art, and self explain each other: each is the aesthetic oneness of opposites.”Eli Siegel is the critic who showed that in every true poem a person is expressing him- or herself through being just to the immediate subject and to the world itself. This justice is in the fact that every line of a good poem contains—and brings to us—what reality is: the oneness of opposites. We hear this justice, as poetic music. We hear activity at one with calm. We hear exactitude that is also wonder. We hear freedom inseparable from order. We hear width and pointed immediacy. And again: we are hearing what the people of our nation most need to see, that a person is expressed, is truly, gloriously oneself, through being fair to what’s not oneself….Read more