Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Conflict in the Middle East: the urgent need for the study of Aesthetic Realism!

With such brutality going on in Gaza as I write, it is more urgent than ever that people everywhere learn to see each other with respect and justice.  The only education I know that can change hatred and contempt to good will is Aesthetic Realism.

I have a conviction about this because as I studied Aesthetic Realism I changed the way I thought and felt about other people, near and far.  

Years ago, I didn't realize how much my thoughts about other people were based on how I felt hurt by them or on my calculations about what I could get from them.  I really wasn't very interested in knowing people but essentially cared about how they acted towards ME.  I never realized that this was why I felt ill at ease in company and excessively unsure of myself.  With all my vegetarianism and study of moral philosophy, I wasn't a kind person.  This attitude, I learned in Aesthetic Realism consultations, was contempt.  I was building myself up falsely at the expense of other things and people. 

And it took in the way I saw people of other countries --again, telling myself that I was welcoming of all.  One of the things I regret most today, and now see as both mean and foolish, is the way I talked and joked about people from Ireland.  I saw Irish people as stupid, uncouth, shallow, and just not as sensitive, cultured, intelligent, three-dimensional as myself, an English graduate of Oxford.  What a foolish attitude!  How untrue to the meaning of England's Shakespeare, Keats, and Wordsworth, let alone Robin Hood and Wat Tyler!  Studying the song Terence's Farewell to Kathleen some years ago for an Aesthetic Realism "Opposites in Music" class, seeing the depth of emotion and the beauty of the music, sung by John McCormack, blew me away.  I saw feeling that was real and intense as a young man, so pained at having to say goodbye to his love due to desperate economic conditions, gave her his blessings anyway.  I would never have seen the feeling in this song as real if my contempt had not been criticized, and my life would have been that much smaller!  Now I am so proud to respect immensely the people and culture of Ireland, and see them as adding to me immeasurably.  And after three years of attending the Catskills Irish Arts Week, opening myself up to the beauty of live Irish music and dance in the folk tradition that is so deeply part of Ireland, together with my Irish-American, fiddle-playing, ceili-dancing fiancee, I see more keenly the folly of my prejudice!      

According to Aesthetic Realism, the more accurately you get the world (including people) into your mind as it is, the prouder, more free, more truly confident you will feel.  I've seen it's true, and I am happy to report that the changes continue...

Meanwhile, because people in the Middle East are not learning how to criticize their own contempt, there is cruelty and death that goes on and on.  


Here is an article that should be published in every newspaper all over the world.  It's written by Israelis who have studied Aesthetic Realism:

Read "Every Person Stands for the World," an issue of the international journal The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known and you'll begin to see how widely and precisely -- and with what wonder! -- Aesthetic Realism sees the subject of ethnicity and people as such.

And see the website of anthropologist and consultant Arnold Perey, PhD, "Aesthetic Realism: a New Perspective for Anthropology and Sociology," for more on the multicultural education of the future.