A battle that goes on in every person is explained magnificently in an Aesthetic Realism lesson conducted by Eli Siegel: the battle about affecting and being affected. How can we make honest, even beautiful sense of these? Read “The World Drama in Everyone: The Opposites,” the new, needed issue of The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known.
The commentary by editor Ellen Reiss begins:
Dear Unknown Friends:
Here is a portion of a 1970 Aesthetic Realism lesson conducted by Eli Siegel. The consultations that take place today—at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation and via Skype or telephone anywhere in the world—are based on the lessons Mr. Siegel gave to individual men and women from 1941 to 1978. In them, people came to know themselves in a manner unprecedented in human history. It is my happiness to say from personal experience: in Aesthetic Realism lessons people were truly, logically, kindly, grandly, deeply understood as Eli Siegel spoke to them and related their questions to the world itself—to history, culture, science, other people.
The basis of every lesson was this principle: “The world, art, and self explain each other: each is the aesthetic oneness of opposites.”
An Aesthetic Realism lesson was a new and great relation of the personal and the philosophic. In the section that is presented here, the philosophic is much accented; yet a torment of the person having the lesson was changed to knowledge, hope, and pride.
This lesson is about a particular pair of opposites: affecting and being affected, or mastering and yielding. Every person is troubled about them. Some forms of the trouble are described in the lesson. But I’ll mention a tremendous form the falsification of these opposites has taken throughout history. It is profit economics. And there is huge, growing, and valuable anger about it now.
The profit system arises from and is sustained by this feeling: The world and its wealth exist for only a few people to have under their mastery, to deal with as they please; and the work and needs and reality of millions of people should not affect one—one should be cold to those people, manipulate and exploit them, deeply rob them to aggrandize oneself. The relation in profit economics of managing and being affected is horrible. And it has made for the misery that is now called income inequality—as it made once (and in many places still does) for child labor and sweatshops. >> Read more