How Can We Feel Independent and Secure At Once? -Art Shows Us How
By Eve Lustig
I liked this photograph of a mare and her colt as soon
as I saw it, and I think what makes it beautiful is something every family
can learn from. I learned from Aesthetic Realism, the education founded
by Eli Siegel, that family members need to see that as we are close to
each other, we are also related to the world. The best and most important
thing about every family member is their desire to like the world – and
the purpose of the family is to encourage that desire. The means
for this is to see how opposites of the world are in our families and in
Eli Siegel lectured on history, art, science, literature
and more, and he also spoke to individual people, encouraging them to be
in the best relation to the world they can be. I had the honor and
pleasure to study in classes with Mr. Siegel and in one class, when I was
in my early 20’s and living away from my family for the first time, he
asked me questions about a conflict in myself that people have had for
I am so grateful my feelings were described so clearly and with such kindness by
Mr. Siegel. I wanted two things in a way that made me feel I would never really be happy and was always missing something. In this photograph, I think the opposites of being taken care of and being independent are mingled beautifully and this is why I care for it as I do.
Mr. Siegel then describes what every family member, every person hopes for. “If a member of the family said, ‘I belong to you, family, I am of you; but I am of the whole universe, I am of everything’—that would make sense.” I had tried to use my family as many people do, as a snug nest against a world I saw as cold, and then felt stuck and angry. Meanwhile, I was also cold to my parents and brother and regret I felt what they cared for didn’t matter too much, or I was in competition with it. Now, because my contempt for the world and people was beautifully criticized through my study of Aesthetic Realism, as I speak to people, including the persons in my family, I am more honestly interested in what they feel, what their opinions are, what they care for and why. My family and I are more friendly than in all the years I lived with them. I am tremendously grateful to Eli Siegel and Aesthetic Realism for enabling me to be a kinder, wider person.
The universe, as abstract and unknown, is in the dark space of the open window on the left of the barn above the head of the colt, and in the darkness of the top part of the open door on the right. The sense of a wider world is also in the fact that we do not see what the colt is going towards.
The line of the barn accent horizontality and width, while the mare and her colt are closely joined near the center of the photograph: see how the colt’s light rear leg is right next to his mother’s dark rear leg. I was especially affected seeing that while the mother forms a protective semi-circle around her colt, she does not touch him, and the colt’s definite interest in something “out there” doesn’t seem against his mother’s concern.
Every family member, every person, can learn from Aesthetic Realism, as I am so grateful to be, how to have a life that is sensible and good, and it is through seeing how the opposites are in ourselves, and other people and relate us to everything in the world.
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