This article was first presented at a public seminar at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation and subsequently published in the international journal 
The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known


When I had my first Aesthetic Realism consultation at age twenty-three, my life represented the hopes and ambitions of many women.  I thought if I dressed well, looked pretty, worked hard, and acted important, all good things would happen to me, including love.  But as time went on, I felt more and more that my life didn’t have a purpose, that love wouldn’t be, and that things had little meaning.  I felt as if I were in a dull swirl.

I love Eli Siegel, Aesthetic Realism, and my consultants, The Three Persons, for they taught me what my deepest desire was: to like the world through knowing it.  I also learned that I had another desire: to have contempt for everything I met, to make less of it, so that I could feel important and superior.  My first consultation was the beginning of a change in how I saw the whole world.  In that one consultation my consultants spoke to me about: how I saw my mother and who she really was; my hope to be disappointed; how the world and I are related through our structure, the opposites.

I was angry with my mother.  Mostly I thought about how she was to me, and I was cold and sarcastic with her.  My consultants wanted me to see that my mother had a life to herself and what she felt was just as important as what I felt.  They asked me, “Have you ever seen your mother cry?”  I answered, “I haven’t seen her cry, but I’ve seen her go to bed for a few weeks at a time.”  And my consultants said, “The opposites of repose and energy fight to be in a good relation every minute of our lives.  Do you think a woman could be so against herself, she would want to go to bed?”

I had never thought about how my mother could feel disappointed in herself.  As they spoke about repose and energy, I thought, “This describes what I have seen about my mother for as long as I can remember.  This is tremendous!”  When I was asked, “Do you think your mother would have respected herself more if she understood you”,? I said yes.  I understood my mother more, respected her feelings more.  One day soon after the consultation, I saw my mother sitting alone in the living room, and instead of going up to my room I started to talk with her about what she was reading.  I really wanted to know what she felt.

A Hope for Disappointment 

I began to learn that I had an attitude to the world, what that attitude was, and where it began.  The Three Persons asked, “Do you think you see other people the same way you see your mother?  Do people disappoint you in the same way your mother does?”  “Yes,” I said.  They continued, “Do you hope the world disappoints you?  How many people are going to disappoint you tomorrow?”  “A multitude.”  “Since you’re sure of it, do you think something in you hopes to be disappointed?”

When I was asked, “Do you think you see other people the same way you see your mother?”, I was very surprised.  This question did two things: one, it had me see my mother in relation to other people; and two, it had me think about how I saw all people.  I knew I was disappointed, but I had no idea I hoped for such a thing.  If I hoped to be disappointed, to have contempt, that meant the world must be better that I thought and that, to a very large degree, I was the cause of my own pain.  This meant I could change.  At work the next week, I met a co-worker in the hall and saw I had a hope to be disappointed by what she would say as soon as she began speaking.  As I saw this, I changed.

I Learn to Like the World 

The Three Persons asked me, “What do you think made you?”
EL:I’ll have to think about that.

TTP:Do you have hardness and softness?
TTP:Does the world?.
TTP:Do you think the world, which had them
          before you, had to do with your having 

Hearing and answering these questions, I felt a respect that was so different from the feeling I had had for so long and thought would never change – that the world was a painful place.  I felt continuous with the earth, evolution, and all time.  I had a feeling of pride at what I was related to, and that has continued and grown every year since.
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