... Harpokrates, Azoth und Baum des Lebens stolperte ich über diese Webseite der Universität Barcelona - Ars Gravis
Website devoted to the study of the confluence between art and symbols of different cultures and historical ages.
In den 3 Abschnitten e-book, Text, Images stöbernd reist man durch Jahrtausende, durch Erklärungsmodelle für Schöpfung, Dasein, Tod, durch Irdisches und Universelles, die Fragen der Menschheit: woher kommen wir, wohin gehen wir?
Ausgangspunkt dieser Gegenüberstellung oder vielmehr Verknüpfung von Text und Symbol bildet das Werk von Basilius Valentinus "Azoth, or the Means to Make the Occult Gold of the Philosophers". Der Alchemist aus dem 16. Jahrhundert hat sich also mit dem Stein der Weisen auseinandergesetzt.
Das Werk von Basilius Valentinus ist in französischer Sprache als PDF auf ars gravis publiziert.
Eine Suche nach Spiritualität in der Kunst durch die Begegnung von physischer Erfahrung und intelektuellem sowie spirituellem Wissen.
Quel beau voyage!
"Art makes the invisible visible." (Plato)
"Art consists in making the supernatural hidden apparent in the natural appear." (Louis Cattiaux)
"Art is the language that speaks to the soul of things" (Wasili Kandinsky)
Die Präsentation des Projektes ist hier nachzulesen.
Ein paar Auszüge daraus:
Fields like Philosophy, History, Anthropology and Psychology, have dedicated part of their investigations to the study of symbols which has shown its importance in these connected disciplines.
We believe it is also necessary to revive the study of symbols in their relationship to, and with, art.
It seems evident that in the artistic creations of many cultures, trough the different historical periods, exists a high symbolic content. One cannot deny that what is of beautiful and sublime in traditional symbols overpass the historical or social contexts, in order to approach a certain universal sensibility. For this reason neither African statues, nor Islamic ornaments, Egyptian frescos nor the Byzantine icons, nor Oriental calligraphy, Classical statues or Abstract painting are strangers to our studies.
When art is “grave”, the chain link with the universal symbols establishes itself naturally, without effort, so then the immensity of creation is announced in the specific, as explains Henry Corbin when he distinguishes between symbol and allegory: “Symbol is not an artificially constructed sign; it spontaneously flowers in the soul to announce something that can’t be expressed in any other form, it is the unique expression of what is symbolized as reality that becomes transparent to the soul, but that in itself transcends all expression.” (H. Corbin, Avicenna and the Visionary Recital)
This art is the mirror in which inspired men and women contemplate themselves and reach a vision of their inner natures, knowing their own mystery. In this way the invisible becomes visible. As wrote Louis Cattiaux in his treatise about painting, the “weighty” art is: “Like the illumination that appears after the unravelling of interior chaos and what one realizes in solitary meditation. It is like the awakening of the secret and powerful being that sleeps in each one of us.” (L. Cattiaux, Physics and Metaphysics in Painting)
Two of these levels, proximal to what the ancients held to be sacred, will be addressed in this work: artistic creation, and the transcendental meaning of symbols.
Just like art needs the transcendence of symbols to join together its disparate contents, symbols also need art to vivify themselves in its experience . Transcendence and experience are two complementary facets of the human spirit, and they have developed under this unity through the coming and going of civilizations. The poet, the painter, the musician and the architect, update the symbols of the ancient texts and breathe new life into them. Without the practice of art, the letter kills and the possibility of salvation disappear. The aesthetic experience means putting into practice what is written in the code of the Old and New Testaments, and manifested in the rites.
"Symbols" take part in the sacred and the profane, as they show pure light under the appearance of mundane images. They are the bridges that cross the disjunctive darkness that separates men from their mythical origin. We should recall that the word "symbol" comes from a Greek very meaning "to unite", as they unite heaven and earth and the infinite with the particular, which in the alchemists' language would be the volatile and the fixed.
Symbolic images are not referential signs of meanings established by human conventions; rather, they are the forms of universal contents that are alien to historic conventions. In a society like ours, where sight seems to predominate over the other senses, this teaching should perhaps arouse more enthusiasm.
In order to revive the symbols, it does not appear to be enough to know the socio-cultural context in which they were born. Nor, perhaps, to regard them as universal images of the collective unconscious, classifiable as basic models of human behavior. Each of the foregoing considerations contributes to the knowledge of the different facets that concur in man when he creates symbols, but they are missing something that - moreover - is the most capital element. The symbol of the sacred can only be understood to the extent that it is experienced.
But, how can 21 st century man experience sacredness? We have already pointed out that it is only possible to depart from history "with" history. The contents cannot be different, as they are universal by definition, but the form has to be strictly new.
In this regard it seems important to us that for the last two centuries, the experiencing of sacredness has sought refuge in artistic practices and the creative genius has been erected as a bastion to ensure a genuine spiritual praxis. Just by scratching the surface of the assumptions of romanticism, impressionism, symbolism, abstraction, surrealism, or whatever other movement or trend one can think of, one can see that a sensitive experience is reanimated in the creative act and the attending aesthetic pleasure, opening pathways to gain access to the sacred contents of the images. When a work of art "works," that is, fulfills its function, it awakens the most interior secret inside man.