Published in:
The River Reporter

of the Upper Delaware River Valley Region

To the editor:

Our family has spent many enjoyable summers in Sullivan County. We are writing as mother and daughter who live in New York City. I, Amy Lief Lustig, live in Belle Harbor where a plane recently crashed into our neighborhood. And I, Eve Lustig, for the past few years have lived less than a mile from what was once the World Trade Center site. We are tremendously affected by what has happened to our city, our communities and the lives of so many people we know and don’t know in these recent months. Like so many others, we have gone from feeling stunned and worrying about the future, to being pleased by a beautiful, sunny day, to thinking about our neighbors. There can be many feelings that don’t seem to go together. 

We are so grateful, especially at this time, to know Aesthetic Realism, the great, kind education founded by the American historian and critic Eli Siegel, and taught in New York. We are learning how to meet what is occurring and to see it in the best way we can. In an issue of the international journal, The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known, #1493 titled “Terror and Liking the World,” Class Chairman of Aesthetic Realism Ellen Reiss tells of the scientific and kind basis for how to see the world we are in, now and at any time. She writes: 

“Mr. Siegel put the crucial matter for mental well-being in the following question: “Is this true: No matter how much of a case one has against the world its unkindness, its disorder, its ugliness, its meaninglessness one has to do all one can to like it or one will weaken oneself?” 

Aesthetic Realism states that the world can be known more truly, liked more honestly by seeing it has an aesthetic structure—that it is a rich relation of opposites, such as dark and light, high and low, the ordinary and the surprising.  Ms. Reiss continues: 
“Large opposites in our present worry are the Known and Unknown. Known and unknown feel painfully askew when a government official says there will likely be a terrorist attack but we don’t know when, where, or how. Meanwhile, known and unknown are opposites ‘which, as one, we see as beauty itself.’ They make for big pleasure in music as we await a note, feel it will come, yet don’t know just what we’ll hear. They are one in a good conversation – in which there is inter-understanding yet surprise. They are one in a good joke, when we hear something we didn’t expect, yet which seems so fitting even as it jars us. Are known and unknown, the expected and unexpected, deeply one in this world? Let us not say no or yes too swiftly, but let us keep asking. As we honestly ask, we are liking the world.”

We are so glad to be learning there is an organizing and hopeful way to think about ourselves, our neighbors, what is occurring in the world.  It is making us stronger, clearer, more energetic and useful.

Amy Lief Lustig
Eve Lustig
New York City, NY

Aesthetic Realism ConsultationMy First ConsultationHow Our Highways Can Be Safe
Aesthetic EconomicsA Just and Kind EconomyTerror and Liking the World
Health care is a rightHealth Care is a RightLink to Aesthetic Realism FoundationAesthetic Realism Foundation
Women: Independent & Secure  More Links