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Reply To: The Way of Art and Two-Way Roads” with Mythologist Craig Deininger”


Hi Rafael, I think these are some great connections, and new content, to continue the circumambulation. It’s synchronistic (and there’s that word again) that you say “in a radioactive sense” because when composing my essay I actually used “uranium nugget” as a metaphor to approach dynamics of numinosity. But then I took it out since some of its other connotations are less positive (hyper-sensitive, I suppose). But even those less-positive connotations are archetypally accurate–especially in the ambiguous function of the art/image content that also exposes one to the blast, so to speak. And I’m glad you use the word “beautiful” in your approach to an experience-rendering image. The word is too often avoided, I think. After all, beauty certainly has proven itself to be a way in–a way that stuns or dissolves the egoic defenses and leaves us mumbling, rapt in the wonder of it all. And I hear you on the “gravitas.” You accurately identified my bias on that one. It’s not that I prefer the grounded, Saturnine structure, the “grave”-ness of it. Because I’d rather be doing backflips up in the ether-fields. But on the advantages-side of the gravitas, it adds substance, gives material or body to the ethereal in a foundational way. Bedrock that I can stand on and reach up from. And then, there’s the matter of alchemy and the nigredo-stage, and the prima materia–which in its way is like rocket-fuel for individuation (literally, if we consider fossil fuels). It is perhaps my fondness of the “up-there” (i.e., the numinous experience) that compels me to embrace also the “down-here.” I don’t know who said it first, Thich Nhat Hanh, maybe, though I suspect much earlier: “No mud, no lotus.”