A Psycho-Aesthetic Rant
I’ve been reading online articles as of late, many of them attempting to debunk a lot of what makes the internet so colorful and interesting. Their science is bland no matter how they try to dress it up, their medicine hopeless when it’s not perverse, their politics are insane, and their religious rants are just to vomit for. At the same time folks all over the world appear to crave breaths of fresh air, changes that are life affirming, even as attempts to go out on a limb to catch the breeze appear few and far between. That isn’t surprising since limbs seem very prone to break these days.
Then there are the ‘alternatives’, like alternative medicine, politics, archeology, physics and spirituality, and many more. Sometimes these alternatives appear to be the fresh vitality we have been craving. Under any meaningful alternative path one might discern waves upon the surface of the calm and stagnant seas of proprietary thinking. One might see color washing its gray landscapes. Perhaps even a faint music may be heard wafting through its stiff and stale atmosphere. All that shaking and rocking can get the sleepers of hopeless conformity moved to rise up and celebrate. Sleepers can also wake on the wrong side of the bed; those who would throw all the refuse at their disposal at the offending source.
And yet the monotone forces of conformity can cleverly diversify. The enslaving path rammed down our throats since birth sustains a million grimly spun faces of reason, faith and cleverly contrived “compassion, and the masks we are prompted to emulate have ridiculously hypocritical smiles- ready to snap into disapproving frowns at the flick of a switch.
I am not here to advocate “alternative-ism” or debate if views claiming the label are credible or not. I am not here to dump the straight and narrow either. I only suggest addressing things from a psycho-aesthetic stance. A psycho-aesthetic stance is not simply a perspective of the soul- or mind- regarding what’s pretty. It isn’t even about appearances. The psyche is not, after all, like a leaf lazily floating about on the surface of things. Even if we are one of those sunny personalities skipping though life to proclaim: “what you see is what you get, baby” our psyche is still more like an underworld leviathan.
Most of its monstrous extent lurks in the dark cavernous domains of our under-self. On occasion a prominent crest will break the surface, to leave a few ripples that sparkle in the light of the conscious mind. Those fleeting sparkling splashes leave an enduring impression the mind then loops into that perpetual “what you see is what you get, baby” that brings a smile- or smirk- to so many faces wishing it were that simple.
Psycho-aesthetic stance manifests as a sense of inner poise when the denizens of the depths of our being, those especially that are capable of touching, and even more consistently caressing our surface consciousness contact something that matters to them; something that can bestow a sense of balance between the wild chaos of an uncertain existence, and the stifling order of all that strives to control it.
The inner leviathan that so often appears to be the very source of every fear, neurosis and psychological entanglement the human mind can conceive is also a source as well as a guardian of treasure hoards of wisdom and existential potential waiting to manifest in the light of day. Inner wisdom grows on a certain ground that corresponds to a sense of poise. It is not the truth of the intellect this sense of poise respects and credits. It isn’t even the sentiments of the heart or the pleasures of the body per se. All those matter, for in meaningful proportions they provide the context and frame our inner wisdom needs to be real.
The seeds are already planted there, our embryonic aspirations waiting to sprout. The sunlight is our very own much prized consciousness. It is also the existential confidence that is not quite sentimental, but whose home is still the heart where sentiment also resides. All we need is the water of our commitment to the cultivation, a commitment of true passion. Then everything changes.
We can be trendy or we can be edgy or defiant or conforming. We can sport a wardrobe of “isms” to shape our personal identity, like a protective atmosphere; not the same as a hypocritical mask. It is ego; a good thing, like human skin is a good thing, so long as we don’t mistake it for the core of our strength and the truth of our psyche.
Being judged by the color of our skin is never pleasant, but for most being praised as having beautiful and/or healthy skin most often is. Skin matters in its way, and we all want it healthy, youthful and clear. Same with all the “isms” we sport. All are points of contact and references of relationship for us. Even though they matter, the treasure lies deeper, in the stance of inner poise, not easy to grasp but impossible to ignore once it is touched.
It comes from our depths, from the caverns of our much discredited and often ignored leviathan, the source of our true soul power. We can call it to the surface by honoring what we value, even if it sounds incredible; and especially if it contradicts our ego’s conceptual fashion sense. I for one seek to enter the fray and navigate the waves from a position of poise, asserting what feels meaningful in the depths insofar as I can dive into them. No matter if my reason threatens that I must justify it from reliable and credible sources. I will not throw away my reason. But I must prioritize my psycho-aesthetic stance so that I may be poised in an uncertain world. As I move forward, I might even learn that which certain alternative views claim I do all along: Create my own reality.