I’ve been keeping a sketchbook to record the visual ideas that come to mind while reading Lectures on Ancient Philosophy. These sketches predominantly are based on the ideas from Manly P. Halls writings.
Below are sketches 1-12 with explanations and plan for what the final image(s) will look like. Some of these are vector based for simplicity, some are photographic, and some are video based.
“Spirit is the positive manifestation of SPACE; Matter is the negative manifestation of SPACE. Spirit and Matter exist together in SPACE.”
—Lectures on Ancient Philosophy: An Introduction to Practical Ideals. Los Angeles: Philosophical Research Society, 1947. p.2
“Spirit (or consciousness) and matter are … to be regarded, not as independent realities, but as the two facets or aspects of the Absolute (Parabrahm), which constitute the basis of conditioned being whether subjective or objective.”
—Blavatsky, H. P. The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy. Pasadena, CA: Theosophical UP, 1977. p.15
The circle with white represents SPACE because it’s the closest thing to pureness and perfection (the blank piece of paper). Spirit is black and white because it represents the positive or negative potentials within us. Matter is black because it’s viewed as the primary expression of our materialistic imperfect form.
“The moment the symbol is drawn upon the paper, the paper loses its perfect and unlimited blankness.” —Lectures on Ancient Philosophy: An Introduction to Practical Ideals. Los Angeles: Philosophical Research Society, 1947. p.2
Hall is basically saying that the moment we try and define the absolute (with the dot… our focus of attention) we inevitably un-define the absolute by consequence. Because we have such a limited way of understanding the absolute, our definition(s) cannot embrace SPACE, which exist in a higher plane of existence.
“Unable to understand the Absolute, man gathers its incomprehensibility mentally to a focal point — the dot.” —Lectures on Ancient Philosophy: An Introduction to Practical Ideals. Los Angeles: Philosophical Research Society, 1947. p.2
On the same page Hall writes that “The dot is the first illusion because it is the first departure from things as they are—the blank sheet of paper.”
This illustration defines our very nature of defining the absolute. In essence, the more we try and nail down a specific definition the muddier and more complicated things become. I used the three basic symbols of the dot, line, and circle to represent ideas, actions, and generations.
This picture came to mind when further comparing past pseudo-religious beliefs, what we could call mythology for simplicity sake, with corporations. Both are worshipped, trusted, and relied on for answers and means for survival.
This example comes from my series, Our Space, which simultaneously represents the upper and lower levels of the Intermediate plane of existence (our universe), between the Superior and Inferior levels. Another series of mine that is based on these three levels is my series, States of Being.
“…In ancient philosophy there are two symbols: the NOTHING and the ONE—the white paper and the dot. Creation traces its origin from the dot—the Primitive Sea, the Egg laid by the White Swan in the field of space.” —Lectures on Ancient Philosophy: An Introduction to Practical Ideals. Los Angeles: Philosophical Research Society, 1947. p.3
This picture is NOT mine, but is used as a placeholder for what I want to achieve from one of Hall’s visual metaphors.
“In ancient philosophy the dot signifies Truth, Reality, in whatever form it may take. The line is the motion of the fact and the circle is the symbol of the form or figure established in the inferior or material sphere by these supernatural activities.” —Lectures on Ancient Philosophy: An Introduction to Practical Ideals. Los Angeles: Philosophical Research Society, 1947. p.7
These two images relay to some extent the dot and the role of the line in the vast sea of SPACE. These two are video clips and will eventually be represented as such. The circle is showcased as such by the faint vignette in the final video form.
These two images represent the extremes of nature and manmade inside the eight-pointed star, the Sumerian symbol for God. These images, as the caption says, represent the Macrocosm and the Microcosm.
This is a sketch of what the inside of the gallery space may look like, with the three basic symbols shown as clues to what is inside the space itself.
“The blue (or nearly colorless) heart of the candle flame signifies the dark, hidden father; the golden radiance surrounding this area is the bright, flaming Son who bears witness before the worlds of his unknowable Father; and at the circumference is a reddish, smoky flame representative of the Demiurgis, or Lord of the World. Because of its triune nature, fire for ages has been employed as the symbol of the threefold God. Pyrolatry is one of the oldest forms of religious expression.”—Lectures on Ancient Philosophy: An Introduction to Practical Ideals. Los Angeles: Philosophical Research Society, 1947. p.47
The flames also stand in place of two pillars, as in the Superior and Inferior pillars of existence or what the ancients have described as the pillars of existence. Either way they represent a foundation of such before ascending the ladder of knowledge.
This symbol is Sanskit “A” or KA. —The first letter in the alphabet. This picture is not mine but will be re-designed at a later point.
I hope (1-12) clarifies some of the direction I am heading in. This process aids me in a path to follow rather than shooting everything in sight without a point.