Nancy Huntting, Aesthetic Realism consultant, writes:
How much do we need the outside world, including other people, to be ourselves? And in what central way do people betray themselves? Answers to these questions—and more—are in “Our Selves—False & True,” the important 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 magnificent lecture by Eli Siegel that we have been serializing: The Self Is, of 1970. He has been giving evidence for what no other philosopher saw: the human self, including your very own, is an aesthetic matter. It is two things, which are opposites demanding to be seen as one: your self is immensely particular, unique, personal; and it is infinitely related—to every person, thing, happening in the world.
To accompany the final section of The Self Is, we print part of a paper that Aesthetic Realism consultant Carol Driscoll presented at a recent public seminar: “The Mix-up in Women about Managing & Yielding—& the Beautiful Answer.” She speaks about the purpose in people that disrupts—in fact, betrays—the aesthetic structure of our self. That purpose is contempt, which Aesthetic Realism shows to be the biggest danger in everyone, the ugliest, most hurtful thing in us, the source of every injustice. Contempt is the “disposition in every person to think we will be for ourselves by making less of the outside world.” It pits the self as just-our-own against our infinite relatedness.
Is the outside world, with all its strangeness, ordinariness, often confusion, something we were born to know and value as a means of becoming ourselves, who we truly are? Or is the world something we should manipulate, defeat, get away from? Truth says, The first! Contempt says, The second! And in having contempt, which we think takes care of us and makes us important, we get farther and farther away from becoming our true self, in all its rich individuality.
Since in this final section Mr. Siegel quotes from a biology text, I’ll comment on a matter of biology that is frighteningly current. It is that terrible effect of the Zika virus:… >> Read more