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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 46 Friedrich Nietzsche (Featured artist is Thomas Schütte)

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Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

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Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” episode 6 “The Scientific Age” , episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” episode 4 “The Reformation” episode 3 “The Renaissance”episode 2 “The Middle Ages,”, and  episode 1 “The Roman Age,” . My favorite episodes are number 7 and 8 since they deal with modern art and culture primarily.(Joe Carter rightly noted,Schaefferwho always claimed to be an evangelist and not aphilosopher—was often criticized for the way his work oversimplifiedintellectual history and philosophy.” To those critics I say take a chill pillbecause Schaeffer was introducing millions into the fields of art andculture!!!! !!! More people need to read his works and blog about thembecause they show how people’s worldviews affect their lives!

J.I.PACKER WROTE OF SCHAEFFER, “His communicative style was not that of acautious academic who labors for exhaustive coverage and dispassionate objectivity. It was rather that of an impassioned thinker who paints his vision of eternal truth in bold strokes and stark contrasts.Yet it is a fact that MANY YOUNG THINKERS AND ARTISTS…HAVE FOUND SCHAEFFER’S ANALYSES A LIFELINE TO SANITY WITHOUT WHICH THEY COULD NOT HAVE GONE ON LIVING.”

Francis Schaeffer’s works  are the basis for a large portion of my blog posts andthey have stood the test of time. In fact, many people would say that many of the things he wrote in the 1960’s  were right on  in the sense he saw where ourwestern society was heading and he knew that abortion, infanticide and youthenthansia were  moral boundaries we would be crossing  in the coming decadesbecause of humanism and these are the discussions we are having now!)

There is evidence that points to the fact that the Bible is historically true asSchaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? There is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. This linkshows how to do that.

Francis Schaeffer in Art and the Bible noted, “Many modern artists, it seems to me, have forgotten the value that art has in itself. Much modern art is far too intellectual to be great art. Many modern artists seem not to see the distinction between man and non-man, and it is a part of the lostness of modern man that they no longer see value in the work of art as a work of art.” 

Many modern artists are left in this point of desperation that Schaeffer points out and it reminds me of the despair that Solomon speaks of in Ecclesiastes.  Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘under the sun.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chanceplus matter.” THIS IS EXACT POINT SCHAEFFER SAYS SECULAR ARTISTSARE PAINTING FROM TODAY BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED ARE A RESULTOF MINDLESS CHANCE.

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Long Live Experience!
Another way to understand all this is to say that modern man has become a mystic. The word mystic makes people think immediately of a religious person – praying for hours, using techniques of meditation, and so on. Of course, the word mysticism includes this, but modern mysticism is different in a profound way. As the late Professor H. R. Rookmaaker of the Free University of Amsterdam said, modern mysticism is “a nihilistic mysticism, for God is dead.”
The mystics within the Christian tradition (Meister Eckhart in the thirteenth century, for example) believed in an objective personal God. But, they said, though God is really there, the mind is not the way to reach Him. On the other hand, modern mysticism comes from a quite different background, and this we must be clear about.
When modern philosophers realized they were not going to be able to find answers on the basis of reason, they crossed over in one way or another to the remarkable position of saying, “That doesn’t matter!” Even though there are no answers by way of the mind, we will find them without the mind. The “answer” – whatever that may be – is to be “experienced,” for it cannot be thought. Notice, the answer is not to be the experience of an objective and supernatural God whom, as the medieval mystics thought, it was difficult to understand with the mind. The developments we are considering came after Friedrich Nietzsche (1884-1900) had celebrated the “death of God,” after the materialist philosophy had worked its way throughout the culture and created skepticism about the supernatural.
The modern mystic, therefore, is not trying to “feel” his way to a God he believes is really there (but whom he cannot approach by way of the mind). The modern mystic does not know if anything is there. All he knows is that he cannot know anything ultimate through the mind. So what is left is experience as experience. This is the key to understanding modern man in the West: Forget your mind; just experience! It may seem extreme – but we say it carefully – this is the philosophy by which the majority of people in the West are now living. For everyday purposes the mind is a useful instrument, but for the things of meaning, for the answers to the big questions, it is set aside.
“Whatever Reality may be, it is beyond the conception of the finite intellect; if follows that attempts at descriptions are misleading, unprofitable, and a waste of time.” That is a quotation from a modern Buddhist in the West. The secular existentialists may seem a long way from such an Eastern formulation about reality, but their rejection of the intellect as a means of finding answers amounts to the same thing. That is what the existentialist “revolt,” as it has been called, is. It is a revolt against the mind, a passionate rejection of the Enlightenment ideal of reason. As Professor William Barrett of New York University has put it: “Existentialism is the counter-Enlightenment come at last to philosophic expression.”93
The way to handle philosophy, according to the existential methodology, is not by the use of the mind that considers (impersonally and objectively) propositions about reality. Rather, the way to deal with the big questions is by relying only on the individual’s experience. That which is being considered is not necessarily an experience of something that really exists. What is involved is the experience as an experience, whether or not any objective reality is being experienced. We are reminded of our imaginary hero who said, “Help is coming,” and therefore kept himself going, even though he had no reason to think any help existed. It is the experience as the experience that counts, and that is the end of it.
There are, of course, some valuable insights in what the existentialists have said. For one, they were right to protest against scientism and the impersonalism of much post-Enlightenment thought. They were right to point out that answers have to be “lived” and not just “thought.” (We will say more about this in Chapter 6.) But their rejection of the mind is no solution to anything. It seems like a solution but is in fact a counsel of despair.
Having started with the apparently different positions of the Buddhist and the secular existentialist, we should now look at the culture at large. One of the “cultural breakpoints” was Haight-Ashbury in the sixties. There the counterculture, the drug culture, was born. Writing about the experience of Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters in the early days of Haight-Ashbury, Tom Wolfe says,
Gradually the Prankster attitude began to involve the main things religious mystics have always felt, things common to Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, and for that matter Theosophists and even flying-saucer cultists. Namely, the experiencing of an Other World, a higher level of reality….
Every vision, every insight…came out of the new experience….And how to get it across to the multitudes who have never had this experience for themselves? You couldn’t put it into words. You had to create conditions in which they would feel an approximation of that feeling, the sublime kairos (italics added).
Do you see what is involved here? We can agree this represents a wild-fringe element of the counterculture which is already behind us. But we must understand that the central ideas and attitudes are now part of the air we breathe in the West. “Every insight … came out of the new experience.” Experience! – that is the word! And how to tell it? “You couldn’t put it into words.”

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

#02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer

10 Worldview and Truth

Two Minute Warning: How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100

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Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche Biography

Philosopher, Scholar (1844–1900)
Influential German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) is known for his writings on good and evil, the end of religion in modern society and the concept of a “super-man.”

Synopsis

Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was born on October 15, 1844, in Röcken bei Lützen, Germany. In his brilliant but relatively brief career, he published numerous major works of philosophy, including Twilight of the Idols and Thus Spoke Zarathustra. In the last decade of his life he suffered from insanity; he died on August 25, 1900. His writings on individuality and morality in contemporary civilization influenced many major thinkers and writers of the 20th century.

Early Years and Education

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was born on October 15, 1844, in Röcken bei Lützen, a small village in Prussia (part of present-day Germany). His father, Carl Ludwig Nietzsche, was a Lutheran preacher; he died when Nietzsche was 4 years old. Nietzsche and his younger sister, Elisabeth, were raised by their mother, Franziska.

Nietzsche attended a private preparatory school in Naumburg and then received a classical education at the prestigious Schulpforta school. After graduating in 1864, he attended the University of Bonn for two semesters. He transferred to the University of Leipzig, where he studied philology, a combination of literature, linguistics and history. He was strongly influenced by the writings of philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. During his time in Leipzig, he began a friendship with the composer Richard Wagner, whose music he greatly admired.

Teaching and Writing in the 1870s

In 1869, Nietzsche took a position as professor of classical philology at the University of Basel in Switzerland. During his professorship he published his first books, The Birth of Tragedy (1872) and Human, All Too Human (1878). He also began to distance himself from classical scholarship, as well as the teachings of Schopenhauer, and to take more interest in the values underlying modern-day civilization. By this time, his friendship with Wagner had deteriorated. Suffering from a nervous disorder, he resigned from his post at Basel in 1879.

Literary and Philosophical Work of the 1880s

For much of the following decade, Nietzsche lived in seclusion, moving from Switzerland to France to Italy when he was not staying at his mother’s house in Naumburg. However, this was also a highly productive period for him as a thinker and writer. One of his most significant works, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, was published in four volumes between 1883 and 1885. He also wroteBeyond Good and Evil (published in 1886), The Genealogy of Morals (1887) and Twilight of the Idols (1889).

In these works of the 1880s, Nietzsche developed the central points of his philosophy. One of these was his famous statement that “God is dead,” a rejection of Christianity as a meaningful force in contemporary life. Others were his endorsement of self-perfection through creative drive and a “will to power,” and his concept of a “super-man” or “over-man” (Übermensch), an individual who strives to exist beyond conventional categories of good and evil, master and slave.

Decline and Later Years

Nietzsche suffered a collapse in 1889 while living in Turin, Italy. The last decade of his life was spent in a state of mental incapacitation. The reason for his insanity is still unknown, although historians have attributed it to causes as varied as syphilis, an inherited brain disease, a tumor and overuse of sedative drugs. After a stay in an asylum, Nietzsche was cared for by his mother in Naumburg and his sister in Weimar, Germany. He died in Weimar on August 25, 1900.

Legacy and Influence

Nietzsche is regarded as a major influence on 20th century philosophy, theology and art. His ideas on individuality, morality and the meaning of existence contributed to the thinking of philosophers Martin Heidegger, Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault; Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud, two of the founding figures of psychiatry; and writers such as Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, Thomas Mann and Hermann Hesse.

Less beneficially, certain aspects of Nietzsche’s work were used by the Nazi Party of the 1930s–’40s as justification for its activities; this selective and misleading use of his work has somewhat darkened his reputation for later audiences.

The Absurdity of Life without God

William Lane Craig

Why on atheism life has no ultimate meaning, value, or purpose, and why this view is unlivable.

The Necessity of God and Immortality

Man, writes Loren Eiseley, is the Cosmic Orphan. He is the only creature in the universe who asks, “Why?” Other animals have instincts to guide them, but man has leamed to ask questions. “Who am I?” man asks. “Why am I here? Where am I going?” Since the Enlightenment, when he threw off the shackles of religion, man has tried to answer these questions without reference to God. But the answers that came back were not exhilarating, but dark and terrible. “You are the accidental by-product of nature, a result of matter plus time plus chance. There is no reason for your existence. All you face is death.”

Modern man thought that when he had gotten rid of God, he had freed himself from all that repressed and stifled him. Instead, he discovered that in killing God, he had also killed himself. For if there is no God, then man’s life becomes absurd.

If God does not exist, then both man and the universe are inevitably doomed to death. Man, like all biological organisms, must die. With no hope of immortality, man’s life leads only to the grave. His life is but a spark in the infinite blackness, a spark that appears, flickers, and dies forever. Therefore, everyone must come face to face with what theologian Paul Tillich has called “the threat of non-being.” For though I know now that I exist, that I am alive, I also know that someday I will no longer exist, that I will no longer be, that I will die. This thought is staggering and threatening: to think that the person I call “myself” will cease to exist, that I will be no more!

I remember vividly the first time my father told me that someday I would die. Somehow as a child the thought had just never occurred to me. When he told me, I was filled with fear and unbearable sadness. And though he tried repeatedly to reassure me that this was a long way off, that did not seem to matter. Whether sooner or later, the undeniable fact was that I would die and be no more, and the thought overwhelmed me. Eventually, like all of us, I grew to simply accept the fact. We all learn to live with the inevitable. But the child’s insight remains true. As the French existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre observed, several hours or several years make no difference once you have lost eternity.

Whether it comes sooner or later, the prospect of death and the threat of non-being is a terrible horror. But I met a student once who did not feel this threat. He said he had been raised on the farm and was used to seeing the animals being born and dying. Death was for him simply natural—a part of life, so to speak. I was puzzled by how different our two perspectives on death were and found it difficult to understand why he did not feel the threat of non-being. Years later, I think I found my answer in reading Sartre. Sartre observed that death is not threatening so long as we view it as the death of the other, from a third-person standpoint, so to speak. It is only when we internalize it and look at it from the first-person perspective—”my death: I am going to die”—that the threat of non-being becomes real. As Sartre points out, many people never assume this first-person perspective in the midst of life; one can even look at one’s own death from the third-person standpoint, as if it were the death of another or even of an animal, as did my friend. But the true existential significance of my death can only be appreciated from the first-person perspective, as I realize that I am going to die and forever cease to exist. My life is just a momentary transition out of oblivion into oblivion.

And the universe, too, faces death. Scientists tell us that the universe is expanding, and everything in it is growing farther and farther apart. As it does so, it grows colder and colder, and its energy is used up. Eventually all the stars will burn out and all matter will collapse into dead stars and black holes. There will be no light at all; there will be no heat; there will be no life; only the corpses of dead stars and galaxies, ever expanding into the endless darkness and the cold recesses of space—a universe in ruins. So not only is the life of each individual person doomed; the entire human race is doomed. There is no escape. There is no hope.

The Absurdity of Life without God and Immortality

If there is no God, then man and the universe are doomed. Like prisoners condemned to death, we await our unavoidable execution. There is no God, and there is no immortality. And what is the consequence of this? It means that life itself is absurd. It means that the life we have is without ultimate significance, value, or purpose. Let’s look at each of these.

No Ultimate Meaning without Immortality and God

If each individual person passes out of existence when he dies, then what ultimate meaning can be given to his life? Does it really matter whether he ever existed at all? His life may be important relative to certain other events, but what is the ultimate significance of any of those events? If all the events are meaningless, then what can be the ultimate meaning of influencing any of them? Ultimately it makes no difference.

Look at it from another perspective: Scientists say that the universe originated in an explosion called the “Big Bang” about 13 billion years ago. Suppose the Big Bang had never occurred. Suppose the universe had never existed. What ultimate difference would it make? The universe is doomed to die anyway. In the end it makes no difference whether the universe ever existed or not. Therefore, it is without ultimate significance.

The same is true of the human race. Mankind is a doomed race in a dying universe. Because the human race will eventually cease to exist, it makes no ultimate difference whether it ever did exist. Mankind is thus no more significant than a swarm of mosquitos or a barnyard of pigs, for their end is all the same. The same blind cosmic process that coughed them up in the first place will eventually swallow them all again.

And the same is true of each individual person. The contributions of the scientist to the advance of human knowledge, the researches of the doctor to alleviate pain and suffering, the efforts of the diplomat to secure peace in the world, the sacrifices of good men everywhere to better the lot of the human race–all these come to nothing. This is the horror of modern man: because he ends in nothing, he is nothing.

But it is important to see that it is not just immortality that man needs if life is to be meaningful. Mere duration of existence does not make that existence meaningful. If man and the universe could exist forever, but if there were no God, their existence would still have no ultimate significance. To illustrate: I once read a science-fiction story in which an astronaut was marooned on a barren chunk of rock lost in outer space. He had with him two vials: one containing poison and the other a potion that would make him live forever. Realizing his predicament, he gulped down the poison. But then to his horror, he discovered he had swallowed the wrong vial—he had drunk the potion for immortality. And that meant that he was cursed to exist forever—a meaningless, unending life. Now if God does not exist, our lives are just like that. They could go on and on and still be utterly without meaning. We could still ask of life, “So what?” So it is not just immortality man needs if life is to be ultimately significant; he needs God and immortality. And if God does not exist, then he has neither.

Twentieth-century man came to understand this. Read Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. During this entire play two men carry on trivial conversation while waiting for a third man to arrive, who never does. Our lives are like that, Beckett is saying; we just kill time waiting—for what, we don’t know. In a tragic portrayal of man, Beckett wrote another play in which the curtain opens revealing a stage littered with junk. For thirty long seconds, the audience sits and stares in silence at that junk. Then the curtain closes. That’s all.

French existentialists Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus understood this, too. Sartre portrayed life in his play No Exit as hell—the final line of the play are the words of resignation, “Well, let’s get on with it.” Hence, Sartre writes elsewhere of the “nausea” of existence. Camus, too, saw life as absurd. At the end of his brief novel The Stranger, Camus’s hero discovers in a flash of insight that the universe has no meaning and there is no God to give it one.

Thus, if there is no God, then life itself becomes meaningless. Man and the universe are without ultimate significance.

No Ultimate Value Without Immortality and God

If life ends at the grave, then it makes no difference whether one has lived as a Stalin or as a saint. Since one’s destiny is ultimately unrelated to one’s behavior, you may as well just live as you please. As Dostoyevsky put it: “If there is no immortality then all things are permitted.” On this basis, a writer like Ayn Rand is absolutely correct to praise the virtues of selfishness. Live totally for self; no one holds you accountable! Indeed, it would be foolish to do anything else, for life is too short to jeopardize it by acting out of anything but pure self-interest. Sacrifice for another person would be stupid. Kai Nielsen, an atheist philosopher who attempts to defend the viability of ethics without God, in the end admits,

We have not been able to show that reason requires the moral point of view, or that all really rational persons, unhoodwinked by myth or ideology, need not be individual egoists or classical amoralists. Reason doesn’t decide here. The picture I have painted for you is not a pleasant one. Reflection on it depresses me . . . . Pure practical reason, even with a good knowledge of the facts, will not take you to morality.1

But the problem becomes even worse. For, regardless of immortality, if there is no God, then there can be no objective standards of right and wrong. All we are confronted with is, in Jean-Paul Sartre’s words, the bare, valueless fact of existence. Moral values are either just expressions of personal taste or the by-products of socio-biological evolution and conditioning. In a world without God, who is to say which values are right and which are wrong? Who is to judge that the values of Adolf Hitler are inferior to those of a saint? The concept of morality loses all meaning in a universe without God. As one contemporary atheistic ethicist points out, “to say that something is wrong because . . . it is forbidden by God, is . . . perfectly understandable to anyone who believes in a law-giving God. But to say that something is wrong . . . even though no God exists to forbid it, is not understandable. . . .” “The concept of moral obligation [is] unintelligible apart from the idea of God. The words remain but their meaning is gone.”2 In a world without God, there can be no objective right and wrong, only our culturally and personally relative, subjective judgments. This means that it is impossible to condemn war, oppression, or crime as evil. Nor can one praise brotherhood, equality, and love as good. For in a universe without God, good and evil do not exist—there is only the bare valueless fact of existence, and there is no one to say you are right and I am wrong.

No Ultimate Purpose Without Immortality and God

If death stands with open arms at the end of life’s trail, then what is the goal of life? Is it all for nothing? Is there no reason for life? And what of the universe? Is it utterly pointless? If its destiny is a cold grave in the recesses of outer space the answer must be, yes—it is pointless. There is no goal no purpose for the universe. The litter of a dead universe will just go on expanding and expanding—forever.

And what of man? Is there no purpose at all for the human race? Or will it simply peter out someday lost in the oblivion of an indifferent universe? The English writer H. G. Wells foresaw such a prospect. In his novel The Time Machine Wells’s time traveler journeys far into the future to discover the destiny of man. All he finds is a dead earth, save for a few lichens and moss, orbiting a gigantic red sun. The only sounds are the rush of the wind and the gentle ripple of the sea. “Beyond these lifeless sounds,” writes Wells, “the world was silent. Silent? It would be hard to convey the stillness of it. All the sounds of man, the bleating of sheep, the cries of birds, the hum of insects, the stir that makes the background of our lives—all that was over.”3 And so Wells’s time traveler returned. But to what?—to merely an earlier point on the purposeless rush toward oblivion. When as a non-Christian I first read Wells’s book, I thought, “No, no! It can’t end that way!” But if there is no God, it will end that way, like it or not. This is reality in a universe without God: there is no hope; there is no purpose.

What is true of mankind as a whole is true of each of us individually: we are here to no purpose. If there is no God, then our life is not qualitatively different from that of a dog. As the ancient writer of Ecclesiastes put it: “The fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath and there is no advantage for man over beast, for all is vanity. All go to the same place. All come from the dust and all return to the dust” (Eccles 3:19-20). In this book, which reads more like a piece of modern existentialist literature than a book of the Bible, the writer shows the futility of pleasure, wealth, education, political fame, and honor in a life doomed to end in death. His verdict? “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity” (1:2). If life ends at the grave, then we have no ultimate purpose for living.

But more than that: even if it did not end in death, without God life would still be without purpose. For man and the universe would then be simple accidents of chance, thrust into existence for no reason. Without God the universe is the result of a cosmic accident, a chance explosion. There is no reason for which it exists. As for man, he is a freak of nature— a blind product of matter plus time plus chance. Man is just a lump of slime that evolved rationality. As one philosopher has put it: “Human life is mounted upon a subhuman pedestal and must shift for itself alone in the heart of a silent and mindless universe.”4

What is true of the universe and of the human race is also true of us as individuals. If God does not exist, then you are just a miscarriage of nature, thrust into a purposeless universe to live a purposeless life.

So if God does not exist, that means that man and the universe exist to no purpose—since the end of everything is death—and that they came to be for no purpose, since they are only blind products of chance. In short, life is utterly without reason.

Do you understand the gravity of the alternatives before us? For if God exists, then there is hope for man. But if God does not exist, then all we are left with is despair. Do you understand why the question of God’s existence is so vital to man? As one writer has aptly put it, “If God is dead, then man is dead, too.”

Unfortunately, the mass of mankind do not realize this fact. They continue on as though nothing has changed. I’m reminded of Nietzsche’s story of the madman who in the early morning hours burst into the marketplace, lantern in hand, crying, “I seek God! I seek God!” Since many of those standing about did not believe in God, he provoked much laughter. “Did God get lost?” they taunted him. “Or is he hiding? Or maybe he has gone on a voyage or emigrated!” Thus they yelled and laughed. Then, writes Nietzsche, the madman turned in their midst and pierced them with his eyes

‘Whither is God?’ he cried, ‘I shall tell you. We have killed him—you and I. All of us are his murderers. But how have we done this? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What did we do when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there any up or down left? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night and more night coming on all the while? Must not lanterns be lit in the morning? Do we not hear anything yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? . . . God is dead. . . . And we have killed him. How shall we, the murderers of all murderers, comfort ourselves?5

The crowd stared at the madman in silence and astonishment. At last he dashed his lantern to the ground. “I have come too early,” he said. “This tremendous event is still on its way—it has not yet reached the ears of man.” Men did not yet truly comprehend the consequences of what they had done in killing God. But Nietzsche predicted that someday people would realize the implications of their atheism; and this realization would usher in an age of nihilism—the destruction of all meaning and value in life.

Most people still do not reflect on the consequences of atheism and so, like the crowd in the marketplace, go unknowingly on their way. But when we realize, as did Nietzsche, what atheism implies, then his question presses hard upon us: how shall we, the murderers of all murderers, comfort ourselves?

The Practical Impossibility of Atheism

About the only solution the atheist can offer is that we face the absurdity of life and live bravely. Bertrand Russell, for example, wrote that we must build our lives upon “the firm foundation of unyielding despair.”6 Only by recognizing that the world really is a terrible place can we successfully come to terms with life. Camus said that we should honestly recognize life’s absurdity and then live in love for one another.

The fundamental problem with this solution, however, is that it is impossible to live consistently and happily within such a world view. If one lives consistently, he will not be happy; if one lives happily, it is only because he is not consistent. Francis Schaeffer has explained this point well. Modern man, says Schaeffer, resides in a two-story universe. In the lower story is the finite world without God; here life is absurd, as we have seen. In the upper story are meaning, value, and purpose. Now modern man lives in the lower story because he believes there is no God. But he cannot live happily in such an absurd world; therefore, he continually makes leaps of faith into the upper story to affirm meaning, value, and purpose, even though he has no right to, since he does not believe in God.

Let’s look again, then, at each of the three areas in which we saw life was absurd without God, to show how man cannot live consistently and happily with his atheism.

Meaning of Life

First, the area of meaning. We saw that without God, life has no meaning. Yet philosophers continue to live as though life does have meaning. For example, Sartre argued that one may create meaning for his life by freely choosing to follow a certain course of action. Sartre himself chose Marxism.

Now this is utterly inconsistent. It is inconsistent to say life is objectively absurd and then to say one may create meaning for his life. If life is really absurd, then man is trapped in the lower story. To try to create meaning in life represents a leap to the upper story. But Sartre has no basis for this leap. Without God, there can be no objective meaning in life. Sartre’s program is actually an exercise in self-delusion. Sartre is really saying, “Let’s pretend the universe has meaning.” And this is just fooling ourselves.

The point is this: if God does not exist, then life is objectively meaningless; but man cannot live consistently and happily knowing that life is meaningless; so in order to be happy he pretends life has meaning. But this is, of course, entirely inconsistent—for without God, man and the universe are without any real significance.

Value of Life

Turn now to the problem of value. Here is where the most blatant inconsistencies occur. First of all, atheistic humanists are totally inconsistent in affirming the traditional values of love and brotherhood. Camus has been rightly criticized for inconsistently holding both to the absurdity of life and the ethics of human love and brotherhood. The two are logically incompatible. Bertrand Russell, too, was inconsistent. For though he was an atheist, he was an outspoken social critic, denouncing war and restrictions on sexual freedom. Russell admitted that he could not live as though ethical values were simply a matter of personal taste, and that he therefore found his own views “incredible.” “I do not know the solution,” he confessed.”7 The point is that if there is no God, then objective right and wrong cannot exist. As Dostoyevsky said, “All things are permitted.”

But Dostoyevsky also showed that man cannot live this way. He cannot live as though it is perfectly all right for soldiers to slaughter innocent children. He cannot live as though it is all right for dictators like Pol Pot to exterminate millions of their own countrymen. Everything in him cries out to say these acts are wrong—really wrong. But if there is no God, he cannot. So he makes a leap of faith and affirms values anyway. And when he does so, he reveals the inadequacy of a world without God.

The horror of a world devoid of value was brought home to me with new intensity a few years ago as I viewed a BBC television documentary called “The Gathering.” It concerned the reunion of survivors of the Holocaust in Jerusalem, where they rediscovered lost friendships and shared their experiences. One woman prisoner, a nurse, told of how she was made the gynecologist at Auschwitz. She observed that pregnant women were grouped together by the soldiers under the direction of Dr. Mengele and housed in the same barracks. Some time passed, and she noted that she no longer saw any of these women. She made inquiries. “Where are the pregnant women who were housed in that barracks?” “Haven’t you heard?” came the reply. “Dr. Mengele used them for vivisection.”

Another woman told of how Mengele had bound up her breasts so that she could not suckle her infant. The doctor wanted to learn how long an infant could survive without nourishment. Desperately this poor woman tried to keep her baby alive by giving it pieces of bread soaked in coffee, but to no avail. Each day the baby lost weight, a fact that was eagerly monitored by Dr. Mengele. A nurse then came secretly to this woman and told her, “I have arranged a way for you to get out of here, but you cannot take your baby with you. I have brought a morphine injection that you can give to your child to end its life.” When the woman protested, the nurse was insistent: “Look, your baby is going to die anyway. At least save yourself.” And so this mother took the life of her own baby. Dr. Mengele was furious when he learned of it because he had lost his experimental specimen, and he searched among the dead to find the baby’s discarded corpse so that he could have one last weighing.

My heart was torn by these stories. One rabbi who survived the camp summed it up well when he said that at Auschwitz it was as though there existed a world in which all the Ten Commandments were reversed. Mankind had never seen such a hell.

And yet, if God does not exist, then in a sense, our world is Auschwitz: there is no absolute right and wrong; all things are permitted. But no atheist, no agnostic, can live consistently with such a view. Nietzsche himself, who proclaimed the necessity of living beyond good and evil, broke with his mentor Richard Wagner precisely over the issue of the composer’s anti-Semitism and strident German nationalism. Similarly Sartre, writing in the aftermath of the Second World War, condemned anti-Semitism, declaring that a doctrine that leads to extermination is not merely an opinion or matter of personal taste, of equal value with its opposite.8 In his important essay “Existentialism Is a Humanism,” Sartre struggles vainly to elude the contradiction between his denial of divinely pre-established values and his urgent desire to affirm the value of human persons. Like Russell, he could not live with the implications of his own denial of ethical absolutes.

A second problem is that if God does not exist and there is no immortality, then all the evil acts of men go unpunished and all the sacrifices of good men go unrewarded. But who can live with such a view? Richard Wurmbrand, who has been tortured for his faith in communist prisons, says,

The cruelty of atheism is hard to believe when man has no faith in the reward of good or the punishment of evil. There is no reason to be human. There is no restraint from the depths of evil which is in man. The communist torturers often said, ‘There is no God, no Hereafter, no punishment for evil. We can do what we wish.’ I have heard one torturer even say, ‘I thank God, in whom I don’t believe, that I have lived to this hour when I can express all the evil in my heart.’ He expressed it in unbelievable brutality and torture inflicted on prisoners.9

And the same applies to acts of self-sacrifice. A number of years ago, a terrible mid-winter air disaster occurred in which a plane leaving the Washington, D.C., airport smashed into a bridge spanning the Potomac River, plunging its passengers into the icy waters. As the rescue helicopters came, attention was focused on one man who again and again pushed the dangling rope ladder to other passengers rather than be pulled to safety himself. Six times he passed the ladder by. When they came again, he was gone. He had freely given his life that others might live. The whole nation turned its eyes to this man in respect and admiration for the selfless and good act he had performed. And yet, if the atheist is right, that man was not noble—he did the stupidest thing possible. He should have gone for the ladder first, pushed others away if necessary in order to survive. But to die for others he did not even know, to give up all the brief existence he would ever have—what for? For the atheist there can be no reason. And yet the atheist, like the rest of us, instinctively reacts with praise for this man’s selfless action. Indeed, one will probably never find an atheist who lives consistently with his system. For a universe without moral accountability and devoid of value is unimaginably terrible.

Purpose of Life

Finally, let’s look at the problem of purpose in life. The only way most people who deny purpose in life live happily is either by making up some purpose, which amounts to self-delusion as we saw with Sartre, or by not carrying their view to its logical conclusions. Take the problem of death, for example. According to Ernst Bloch, the only way modern man lives in the face of death is by subconsciously borrowing the belief in immortality that his forefathers held to, even though he himself has no basis for this belief, since he does not believe in God. By borrowing the remnants of a belief in immortality, writes Bloch, “modern man does not feel the chasm that unceasingly surrounds him and that will certainly engulf him at last. Through these remnants, he saves his sense of self-identity. Through them the impression arises that man is not perishing, but only that one day the world has the whim no longer to appear to him.” Bloch concludes, “This quite shallow courage feasts on a borrowed credit card. It lives from earlier hopes and the support that they once had provided.”10 Modern man no longer has any right to that support, since he rejects God. But in order to live purposefully, he makes a leap of faith to affirm a reason for living.

We often find the same inconsistency among those who say that man and the universe came to exist for no reason or purpose, but just by chance. Unable to live in an impersonal universe in which everything is the product of blind chance, these persons begin to ascribe personality and motives to the physical processes themselves. It is a bizarre way of speaking and represents a leap from the lower to the upper story. For example, Francis Crick halfway through his book The Origin of the Genetic Code begins to spell nature with a capital “N” and elsewhere speaks of natural selection as being “clever” and as “thinking” of what it will do. Fred Hoyle, the English astronomer, attributes to the universe itself the qualities of God. For Carl Sagan the “Cosmos,” which he always spells with a capital letter, obviously fills the role of a God-substitute. Though all these men profess not to believe in God, they smuggle in a God-substitute through the back door because they cannot bear to live in a universe in which everything is the chance result of impersonal forces.

And it’s interesting to see many thinkers betray their views when they’re pushed to their logical conclusions. For example, certain feminists have raised a storm of protest over Freudian sexual psychology because it is chauvinistic and degrading to women. And some psychologists have knuckled under and revised their theories. Now this is totally inconsistent. If Freudian psychology is really true, then it doesn’t matter if it’s degrading to women. You can’t change the truth because you don’t like what it leads to. But people cannot live consistently and happily in a world where other persons are devalued. Yet if God does not exist, then nobody has any value. Only if God exists can a person consistently support women’s rights. For if God does not exist, then natural selection dictates that the male of the species is the dominant and aggressive one. Women would no more have rights than a female goat or chicken have rights. In nature whatever is, is right. But who can live with such a view? Apparently not even Freudian psychologists, who betray their theories when pushed to their logical conclusions.

Or take the sociological behaviorism of a man like B. F. Skinner. This view leads to the sort of society envisioned in George Orwell’s 1984, where the government controls and programs the thoughts of everybody. If Skinner’s theories are right, then there can be no objection to treating people like the rats in Skinner’s rat-box as they run through their mazes, coaxed on by food and electric shocks. According to Skinner, all our actions are determined anyway. And if God does not exist, then no moral objection can be raised against this kind of programming, for man is not qualitatively different from a rat, since both are just matter plus time plus chance. But again, who can live with such a dehumanizing view?

Or finally, take the biological determinism of a man like Francis Crick. The logical conclusion is that man is like any other laboratory specimen. The world was horrified when it learned that at camps like Dachau the Nazis had used prisoners for medical experiments on living humans. But why not? If God does not exist, there can be no objection to using people as human guinea pigs. The end of this view is population control in which the weak and unwanted are killed off to make room for the strong. But the only way we can consistently protest this view is if God exists. Only if God exists can there be purpose in life.

The dilemma of modern man is thus truly terrible. And insofar as he denies the existence of God and the objectivity of value and purpose, this dilemma remains unrelieved for “post-modern” man as well. Indeed, it is precisely the awareness that modernism issues inevitably in absurdity and despair that constitutes the anguish of post-modernism. In some respects, post-modernism just is the awareness of the bankruptcy of modernity. The atheistic world view is insufficient to maintain a happy and consistent life. Man cannot live consistently and happily as though life were ultimately without meaning, value, or purpose. If we try to live consistently within the atheistic world view, we shall find ourselves profoundly unhappy. If instead we manage to live happily, it is only by giving the lie to our world view.

Confronted with this dilemma, man flounders pathetically for some means of escape. In a remarkable address to the American Academy for the Advancement of Science in 1991, Dr. L. D. Rue, confronted with the predicament of modern man, boldly advocated that we deceive ourselves by means of some “Noble Lie” into thinking that we and the universe still have value.11 Claiming that “The lesson of the past two centuries is that intellectual and moral relativism is profoundly the case,” Dr. Rue muses that the consequence of such a realization is that one’s quest for personal wholeness (or self-fulillment) and the quest for social coherence become independent from one another. This is because on the view of relativism the search for self-fulfillment becomes radically privatized: each person chooses his own set of values and meaning. If we are to avoid “the madhouse option,” where self-fulfillment is pursued regardless of social coherence, and “the totalitarian option,” where social coherence is imposed at the expense of personal wholeness, then we have no choice but to embrace some Noble Lie that will inspire us to live beyond selfish interests and so achieve social coherence. A Noble Lie “is one that deceives us, tricks us, compels us beyond self-interest, beyond ego, beyond family, nation, [and] race.” It is a lie, because it tells us that the universe is infused with value (which is a great fiction), because it makes a claim to universal truth (when there is none), and because it tells me not to live for self-interest (which is evidently false). “But without such lies, we cannot live.”

This is the dreadful verdict pronounced over modern man. In order to survive, he must live in self-deception. But even the Noble Lie option is in the end unworkable. In order to be happy, one must believe in objective meaning, value, and purpose. But how can one believe in those Noble Lies while at the same time believing in atheism and relativism? The more convinced you are of the necessity of a Noble Lie, the less you are able to believe in it. Like a placebo, a Noble Lie works only on those who believe it is the truth. Once we have seen through the fiction, then the Lie has lost its power over us. Thus, ironically, the Noble Lie cannot solve the human predicament for anyone who has come to see that predicament.

The Noble Lie option therefore leads at best to a society in which an elitist group of illuminati deceive the masses for their own good by perpetuating the Noble Lie. But then why should those of us who are enlightened follow the masses in their deception? Why should we sacrifice self-interest for a fiction? If the great lesson of the past two centuries is moral and intellectual relativism, then why (if we could) pretend that we do not know this truth and live a lie instead? If one answers, “for the sake of social coherence,” one may legitimately ask why I should sacrifice my self-interest for the sake of social coherence? The only answer the relativist can give is that social coherence is in my self-interest—but the problem with this answer is that self-interest and the interest of the herd do not always coincide. Besides, if (out of self-interest) I do care about social coherence, the totalitarian option is always open to me: forget the Noble Lie and maintain social coherence (as well as my self-fulfillment) at the expense of the personal wholeness of the masses. Rue would undoubtedly regard such an option as repugnant. But therein lies the rub. Rue’s dilemma is that he obviously values deeply both social coherence and personal wholeness for their own sakes; in other words, they are objective values, which according to his philosophy do not exist. He has already leapt to the upper story. The Noble Lie option thus affirms what it denies and so refutes itself.

The Success of Biblical Christianity

But if atheism fails in this regard, what about biblical Christianity? According to the Christian world view, God does exist, and man’s life does not end at the grave. In the resurrection body man may enjoy eternal life and fellowship with God. Biblical Christianity therefore provides the two conditions necessary for a meaningful, valuable, and purposeful life for man: God and immortality. Because of this, we can live consistently and happily. Thus, biblical Christianity succeeds precisely where atheism breaks down.

Conclusion

Now I want to make it clear that I have not yet shown biblical Christianity to be true. But what I have done is clearly spell out the alternatives. If God does not exist, then life is futile. If the God of the Bible does exist, then life is meaningful. Only the second of these two alternatives enables us to live happily and consistently. Therefore, it seems to me that even if the evidence for these two options were absolutely equal, a rational person ought to choose biblical Christianity. It seems to me positively irrational to prefer death, futility, and destruction to life, meaningfulness, and happiness. As Pascal said, we have nothing to lose and infinity to gain.

Notes

1 Kai Nielsen, “Why Should I Be Moral?” American Philosophical Quarterly 21 (1984): 90.

2 Richard Taylor, Ethics, Faith, and Reason (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1985), 90, 84.

3 H.G. Wells, The Time Machine (New York: Berkeley, 1957), chap. 11.

4 W.E. Hocking, Types of Philosophy (New York: Scribner’s, 1959), 27.

5 Friedrich Nietzsche, “The Gay Science,” in The Portable Nietzsche, ed. and trans. W. Kaufmann (New York: Viking, 1954), 95.

6 Bertrand Russell, “A Free Man’s Worship,” in Why I Am Not a Christian, ed. P. Edwards (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1957), 107.

7 Bertrand Russell, Letter to the Observer, 6 October, 1957.

8 Jean Paul Sartre, “Portrait of the Antisemite,” in Existentialism from Dostoyevsky to Satre, rev. ed., ed. Walter Kaufmann (New York: New Meridian Library, 1975), p. 330.

9 Richard Wurmbrand, Tortured for Christ (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1967), 34.

10 Ernst Bloch, Das Prinzip Hoffnung, 2d ed., 2 vols. (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1959), 2:360-1.

11 Loyal D. Rue, “The Saving Grace of Noble Lies,” address to the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, February, 1991.

Read more: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/the-absurdity-of-life-without-god#ixzz3F5uKqWiJ

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race?)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro)

Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of Truth & History (part 2)

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Featured artist today is Thomas Schütte:

In this video below you will notice two points. First, Thomas Schutte is attempting to demonstrate that many things come together by chance and secondly, he is using his art just to fill time because he is board. Schutte notes, “Many things come by chance. There is an idea that you can’t make art but you can make art happen. It is about letting it happen.”

Adrian Searle asks Schutte, IS DEPICTING OURSELVES REALLY MYSTERIOUS? Schutte responds, “No, it is fleeting like everything. As soon as you have it then it is gone. I do it because it is fun and I have to kill time. For instance, the weekends can be really long because you are not in the middle of doing something. I get bored very easily, but basically it is sending out messages that I am still alive.”

Meet the artist – Thomas Schütte at the Serpentine Gallery

Published on Oct 23, 2012

Meet the artist – Thomas Schütte at the Serpentine Gallery

In the second of a series of video interviews with artists, Adrian Searle talks to German cross-media master Thomas Schütte about his dribbling, exploding ceramic portraits, about getting sculptures spray painted by Harley Davidson — and why you should always showcase your disasters

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Thomas Schütte

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Thomas Schütte
Born November 16, 1954 (age 59)
Oldenburg, West Germany
Nationality Germany
Field Sculpture
Training Kunstakademie Düsseldorf

Thomas Schütte (born November 16, 1954) is a German contemporary artist. From 1973 to 1981 he studied art at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf alongside Katharina Fritsch under Gerhard Richter, Fritz Schwegler, and Benjamin Buchloh.[1] He lives and works in Düsseldorf.

Work

Kirschensäule (Cherry Column) at Skulptur Projekte Münster

In the early 2000s Schütte began a series of small sculptural works depicting men stuck in mud.[2] Before that, 14 Skizzen zum Projekt Großes Theater (14 Sketches for Large Theatre, 1850) comprised a series of photographs of theatrical models featuring Princess Leia action figures striking various poses in front of banner-like fragments: ‘Freedom’; ‘In the Name of the People’; ‘Pro Status Quo’.[3] Today, Schütte’s multidisciplinary work ranges widely, from early architectural installations to small-scale modeled figures and proposals for monuments, from extensive series of watercolors, to banners, flags, and photographs.[4]

Throughout the 1980s, Schütte created series of scale-model sculptural houses and works for a utopian architecture with such models as Westkunst, Studio I and Studio II, House 3: House for two friends, Landhaus (Country House) (1986), E.L.S.A., W.A.S., or H.Q.. Undertaken in 1981 for a large group exhibition entitled ‘Westkunst’ in Cologne, the artist’s series Plans I-XXX undertake a similar project; stripped of detail and style, the works depict skyscrapers, churches, telecommunications towers amongst other architectural features.[5] Later projects, such as One Man Houses (2005) concentrated on the notion of being useful; they are intended to be realized and to be built.[6]

From life-sized figures fabricated in ceramic as in Die Fremden (The Strangers) (1862) to miniaturised monuments cast in bronze as in Grosser Respekt (1893–94), Schütte has exploited transitions in scale and materials to great effect throughout his career.[7] Initially exhibited at documenta IX in Kassel where they were placed on the portico of the former Roten Palais of the Landgrafen von Hessen, which currently houses a large department store, Die Fremden (The Strangers) overlooked the city. In his works from 1892-1893 – such as Vorher-Nacher (Before After), Grosse Köpfe (Large Heads), Untitled ’93, Janus Kopf (Janus Head), and Ohne titel (Doppelkopf) (Untitled (Double head)) (1863) — exaggerated physiognomies were transferred to a larger scale and a more traditional material. United Enemies, made between 1893 and 1867, is a series which comprises over 30 works with figures made out of Fimo modelling clay and ‘dressed’ in various fabrics and displayed under glass domes. Schütte made eighteen similar sculptures each comprising a pair of small male forms bound together with masking tape and medical sticking plaster;[8] there are also a small number of three-figure works and a few single figures.[9] Completed between 1895 and 2004, Schütte created seventeen different versions of his Grosse Geister (Big Spirits), each in an edition of three and each of the three in a different medium: aluminum, polished bronze, or steel. No two of these works are exactly alike.[10] The ten Frauen (Women, 1998–2006), a sculptural series of large, reclining women (first cast in steel in 1969, and after 2000, in bronze),[11] are a pastiche of sculptures by Auguste Rodin, Henry Moore, and Pablo Picasso. The Kreuzzug Modelle series (Crusade Models, 2002–6) features architectural models made in the wake of 9/11. Three Capacity Men (2005) is a sculpture of three grotesque male figures swathed in blankets and peering malevolently in all directions.[12] The almost six-metre-high bronze sculpture Mann im Matsch (Man in Mud) was installed in the artist’s hometown of Oldenburg in 2009.[13]

In 2012, Schütte built Ferienhaus für Terroristen (Holiday Home for Terrorists), a house based on the artist’s 2006-07 architectural model and commissioned by Polish art dealer Rafael Jablonka for the town of Mösern in western Austria.[14]

Exhibitions

Die Fremden (The Strangers) for documenta IX

Regularly exhibiting in Germany from the mid-1980s, Schütte had his first US solo show in New York at Marian Goodman Gallery in 1989.[15] From September 24, 1998 to June 18, 2000 the Dia Center for the Arts mounted a three-part survey of Schütte’s work. The first, “Scenewright” (September 24, 1998 – January 24, 1999) focused on theater-related projects. “Gloria in Memoria” (February 4 – June 13, 1999) dealt with death with a somewhat morbid sense of humor, as in his memorial to Alain Colas, which pictures the famous sailor and daredevil bobbing in the water, surprised at his own death. The third installment, “In Media Res”, included large ceramic heads and massive, battered bronze nudes. In 2007 he made Model for a Hotel, an architectural model of a 21-storey building made from horizontal panes of yellow, blue and red glass and weighing more than eight tonnes, for the Fourth Plinth of Trafalgar Square.[16]

Schütte had one-man shows at venues including the Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland (2003) (later travelled to the Musée de Grenoble and K21, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf[17]); Folkwang Museum, Essen (2002); Sammlung Goetz, Munich (2001); a survey in three parts at Dia Center for the Arts, New York (1998-2000); Serralves Foundation, Portugal (1998); De Pont Foundation, Tilburg, (1998); Kunsthalle, Hamburg (1994); ARC Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1990); as well as the Stedelijk van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, (1990).[18]

Schütte participated in documenta in Kassel three times; in 2005, he was awarded the Golden Lion for Best Artist at the Venice Biennial.

Collections

Schütte’s work is held in the collections of the Tate,[19] MoMA[20] and the Art Institute of Chicago.[21]

Recognition

Schütte has received numerous awards, including the Kurt Schwitters Preis für Bildende Kunst der Niedersächsischen Sparkassenstiftung, 1998, and the Kunstpreis der Stadt Wolfsburg, Germany, 1996.[22] In 2005, he was warded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale for his work in María de Corral’s exhibition “The Experience of Art”.[23]

Art market

A cast aluminum sculpture by Schütte, Grosse Geist No. 16 (2002), an eight-foot-tall sculpture of a ghostly figure, sold for $4.1 million at Phillips de Pury & Company in 2010.[24]

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Gary Habermas explains the reasons for Antony Flew’s change of mind

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Antony Flew on God and Atheism

Published on Feb 11, 2013

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News on Antony Flew’s conversion:
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Uploaded on Sep 22, 2010

A discussion with Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas. This was held at Westminster Chapel March, 2008

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During the 1990′s I actually made it a practice to write famous atheists and scientists that were mentioned by Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer and challenge them with the evidence for the Bible’s historicity and the claims of the gospel. Usually I would send them a cassette tape of Adrian Rogers’ messages “6 reasons I know the Bible is True,” “The Final Judgement,” “Who is Jesus?” and the message by Bill Elliff, “How to get a pure heart.” I would also send them printed material from the works of Francis Schaeffer and a personal apologetic letter from me addressing some of the issues in their work.

The famous atheist Antony Flew was actually took the time to listen to several of these messages and he wrote me back in the mid 1990′s several times.

Gary Habermas does a great job below of quoting Flew’s own words and documenting the reasons Flew left atheism.

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Antony Flew’s Deism Revisited

Antony Flew’s Deism Revisited

There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His MindA Review Essay on There Is a God

Gary Habermas
Department of Philosophy and Theology
Liberty University
Lynchburg, Virginia


There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. By Antony Flew and Roy Abraham Varghese. New York: HarperCollins, 2007. 256 pages. $24.95.

When preeminent philosophical atheist Antony Flew announced in 2004 that he had come to believe in God’s existence and was probably best considered a deist, the reaction from both believers and skeptics was “off the chart.” Few religious stories had this sort of appeal and impact, across the spectrum, both popular as well as theoretical.  No recent change of mind has received this much attention. Flew responded by protesting that his story really did not deserve this much interest. But as he explained repeatedly, he simply had to go where the evidence led.

Some Background

It was this last sentence, repeated often in interviews, that really interested me. Having known Tony well over more than twenty years, I had heard him repeat many things like it, as well as other comments that might be termed “open minded.” He had insisted that he was open to God’s existence, to special revelation, to miracles, to an afterlife, or to David Hume being in error on this or that particular point. To be truthful, I tended to set aside his comments, thinking that while they were made honestly, perhaps Tony still was not as open as he had thought.

Then very early in 2003 Tony indicated to me that he was considering theism, backing off a few weeks later and saying that he remained an atheist with “big questions.” One year later, in January 2004, Tony told me that he had indeed become a theist, just as quickly adding, however, that he was “not the revelatory kind” of believer. That was when I heard him say for the first time that he was just following where the evidence led. Then I remembered all the earlier occasions when he had insisted that he was not objecting to God or the supernatural realm on a priori grounds. I was amazed. Tony was indeed willing to consider the evidence!

There was an immediate outcry from many in the skeptical community. Perhaps Tony Flew was simply too old, or had not kept up on the relevant literature. The presumption seemed to be that, if he had been doing so, then he would not have experienced such a change of mind. One joke quipped that, at his advanced age, maybe he was just hedging his bets in favor of an afterlife!

One persistent rumor was that Tony Flew really did not believe in God after all. Or perhaps he had already recanted his mistake. Paul Kurtz’s foreword to the republication of Flew’s classic volume God and Philosophy identified me as “an evangelical Christian philosopher at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University,” noting my interview with Flew and my “interpretation” that Tony now believed in God.[1] Kurtz seemed to think that perhaps the question still remained as to whether Flew believed in God. After explaining that Flew’s “final introduction” to the reissued volume had undergone the process of four drafts, Kurtz concluded that readers should “decide whether or not he has abandoned his earlier views.”[2]

In his introduction to this same text, Flew both raised at least a half-dozen new issues since his book had first appeared in 1966, as well as mentioning questions about each of these subjects. Included were discussions on contemporary cosmology, fine-tuning arguments, some thoughts regarding Darwin’s work, reflections on Aristotle’s view of God, as well as Richard Swinburne’s many volumes on God and Christian theism. Hints of theism were interspersed alongside some tough questions.[3]

Of course, book text must be completed well before the actual date of publication. But several news articles had appeared earlier, telling the story of what Flew referred to as his “conversion.”[4] Early in 2005, my lengthier interview with Flew was published in Philosophia Christi.[5] Another excellent interview was conducted by Jim Beverly, in which Flew also evaluated the influence of several major Christian philosophers.[6]

In many of these venues, Flew explained in his own words that he was chiefly persuaded to abandon atheism because of Aristotle’s writings about God and due to a number of arguments that are often associated with Intelligent Design. But his brand of theism – or better yet, deism[7] – was not a variety that admitted special revelation, including either miracles or an afterlife. While he acknowledged most of the traditional attributes for God, he stopped short of affirming any divine involvement with humans.

Along the way, Flew made several very positive comments about Christianity, and about Jesus, in particular. Jesus was a first rate moral philosopher, as well as a preeminent charismatic personality, while Paul had a brilliant philosophical mind. While rejecting miracles, Flew held that the resurrection is the best-attested miracle-claim in history.[8]

It is against this background that we turn to the latest chapter in the ongoing account of Antony Flew’s pilgrimage from ardent atheism to deism. Further clarifying his religious views, especially for those who might have thought that the initial report was too hasty, or suspected incorrect reporting, or later backtracking on Flew’s part, the former atheistic philosopher has now elucidated his position. In a new book that is due to be released before the end of the year, Flew chronicles the entire story of his professional career, from atheism to deism, including more specific reasons for his change. Along the way, several new aspects have been added.

Discussion (2 of 3): Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas

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Antony Flew’s Influence

Signifying his change of view, the cover of Flew’s new book cleverly reads, “There Is No God,” but the word “No” is scribbled out and the word “A” is handwritten above it. Flew terms this work his “last will and testament,” noting that the subtitle “was not my own invention” (1).[9] The contents are nothing short of a treasure trove of details from Flew’s life, including his family, education, publications, and interactions with many now world-famous philosophers, not to mention the long-awaited reasons for his becoming a deist.

The volume begins with a preface written by Roy Varghese,[10] followed by an introduction by Flew. Part 1, “My Denial of the Divine,” contains three chapters on Flew’s previous atheism.

The book opens with a reverberating bang. Varghese’s eighteen-page preface sets the tone for much of the remainder of the text. He begins with the breaking news in late 2004 of Antony Flew’s newly-announced belief in God. Varghese then notes that

the response to the AP story from Flew’s fellow atheists verged on hysteria. . . . Inane insults and juvenile caricatures were common in the freethinking blogosphere. The same people who complained about the Inquisition and witches being burned at the stake were now enjoying a little heresy hunting of their own. The advocates of tolerance were not themselves very tolerant. And, apparently, religious zealots don’t have a monopoly on dogmatism, incivility, fanaticism, and paranoia. (vii – viii)

Varghese ends by stating that, “Flew’s position in the history of atheism transcends anything that today’s atheists have on offer” (viii).

This last comment serves as an entree to two of the more interesting arguments in the book. Considering Flew’s impact in the history of modern atheism, Varghese argues initially that, “within the last hundred years, no mainstream philosopher has developed the kind of systematic, comprehensive, original, and influential exposition of atheism that is to be found in Antony Flew’s fifty years of antitheological writings” (ix). He then considers the contributions to atheism produced by well-known philosophers such as A. J. Ayer, Bertrand Russell, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, and Martin Heidegger. Varghese finds that none of these scholars “took the step of developing book-length arguments to support their personal beliefs” (x).

More recent writers are also mentioned, among them Richard Rorty, Jacques Derrida, J. L. Mackie, Paul Kurtz, and Michael Martin. While they might be said to have contributed more material on behalf of atheism, “their works did not change the agenda and framework of discussion the way Flew’s innovative publications did” (x).

But Flew’s writings like “Theology and Falsification” (“the most widely reprinted philosophical publication of the last century” [vi – vii]), God and Philosophy, The Presumption of Atheism, and other publications set the philosophical tone of atheism for a generation of scholars. Along with Flew’s many other books and essays, one could hardly get through a contemporary philosophy class, especially in philosophy of religion, without being at least introduced to his theses.

Varghese also raises a second crucial topic in the history of twentieth-century philosophy – Flew’s relation to logical positivism. Many works treat Flew’s ideas, especially those in “Theology and Falsification,” as a more subtle, analytic outgrowth of positivism. Sometimes it is thought that Flew attempted to refurbish a less dogmatic application of the discredited verification principle, popularized by Ayer’s Language, Truth, and Logic.[11]

However, Flew did not interpret his essay in this manner. In 1990, he explained his thinking that logical positivism made an “arrogant announcement” that sought to rule out theology and ethics in an a priori manner. The resulting discussion had often become stagnated. Flew wanted to provide an opportunity for the free discussion of religious issues: “Let the believers speak for themselves, individually and severally” (xiii – xiv).

In an article in 2000, Flew explained that his purpose in first reading the paper at a meeting of C. S. Lewis’ Socratic Club, was that “I wanted to set these discussions off onto new and hopefully more fruitful lines.”[12] In another interview that I did with Tony in Oxford in 2005, Flew attested that he saw his essay as slamming the door on positivism at the Socratic Club. He attests that the purpose of his essay “was intended to simply refute the positivistic stance against religious utterances. It succeeded in that, but then its influence spread outside of Oxford.”[13]

These two topics – Flew’s influence on the philosophical atheism of the second half of the twentieth century and his purpose in first presenting his essay “Theology and Falsification” – are key chapters in the life of this major British philosopher. Varghese does well to remind us of Flew’s influence. As he concludes, it is in this context that “Flew’s recent rejection of atheism was clearly a historic event” (xi).

Flew then begins the remainder of the book with an introduction. Referring to his “conversion” from atheism to deism, he begins by affirming clearly that, “I now believe there is a God!” (1). As for those detractors who blamed this on Flew’s “advanced age” and spoke of a sort of “deathbed conversion,” Flew reiterates what he has said all along: he still rejects the afterlife and is not placing any “Pascalian bets” (2).

In a couple stunning comments, Flew then reminds his readers that he had changed his mind on other major issues throughout his career. He states, “I was once a Marxist.” Then, more than twenty years ago, “I retracted my earlier view that all human choices are determined entirely by physical causes” (3).

Discussion (3 of 3): Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas

The Making of an Atheist

Part 1 (“My Denial of the Divine”) consists of three chapters, intriguingly titled, “The Creation of an Atheist,” “Where the Evidence Leads,” and “Atheism Calmly Considered.” This material is simply a delightful read, consisting of many autobiographical details regarding Flew’s career and research, along with many enjoyable as well as amusing anecdotes.

In chapter 1, Flew reviews his childhood and early life. This includes detailed references to his father: an Oxford University graduate, with two years of study at Marburg University in Germany, who had become a Methodist minister very much interested in evangelism, as well as a professor of New Testament at a theological college in Cambridge. It was from his father that Tony learned, at an early age, the value of good research and of checking relevant sources before conclusions are drawn.

Flew even stated in some of his atheist publications that he was never satisfied with the way that he had become an atheist – here described as a process that was accomplished “much too quickly, much too easily, and for what later seemed to me the wrong reasons.” Incredibly, he now reflects on his early theism that changed to atheism: “for nearly seventy years thereafter I never found grounds sufficient to warrant any fundamental reversal” (12 – 13). Nonetheless, it was an aspect of the problem of evil that affected Tony’s conversion to atheism. During family travels to Germany, he witnessed first hand some of the horrors of Nazi society and learned to detest “the twin evils of anti-Semitism and totalitarianism” (13 – 14).

Chapter 1 also includes accounts of Flew’s basically private education at a boarding school along with his years at Oxford University, interspersed with military service during World War II, as well as his “locking horns with C. S. Lewis” at Socratic Club meetings. He was present at the famous debate between Lewis and Elizabeth Anscombe in February, 1948 (22 – 4). Flew also met his wife Annis at Oxford. For all those (including myself) who have wondered through the years about Tony’s incredible notions of ethical responsibility, he states that while he had left his father’s faith, he retained his early ethics, reflected in his treatment of Annis before their marriage (25 – 6).

In Chapter 2 (“Where the Evidence Leads”), Flew reflects on his early tenure as “a hotly-energetic left-wing socialist” (33), and narrates his early philosophical interests: parapsychology, Darwinian social ethics and the notion of evolutionary progress, problems with idealism, and analytic philosophy. More details on the Socratic Club introduce some of the philosophical reactions to Flew’s “Theology and Falsification,” along with his writing of his epic God and Philosophy, his “systematic argument for atheism” (49). Flew discusses reactions from Richard Swinburne, J. L. Mackie, and Frederick Copleston. His conclusion today, as Tony has told me on several occasions, is that God and Philosophy is “a historical relic,” due to changes in his thinking which arose from other’s response to his writing. These changes are set forth in this volume (52).

Flew also discusses in chapter 2 his well-known volumes The Presumption of Atheism and Hume’s Philosophy of Belief. Philosophical reactions are recounted from Anthony Kenny, Kai Nielson, Ralph McInerny, and especially Alvin Plantinga, whose thoughts Flew calls, “By far, the headiest challenge to the argument” of the former volume (55). The chapter concludes with Flew’s changes of mind regarding some of Hume’s ideas, plus his holding and then abandoning compatibilism (56 – 64).

Ending his section on his atheism, Flew’s third chapter is “Atheism Calmly Considered.” Here he notes a number of his debates and dialogues over the years, both public and written, with Thomas Warren, William Lane Craig, Terry Miethe, Richard Swinburne, Richard Dawkins, and myself. Two conferences are also mentioned. The first (“The Shootout at the O.K. Corral”) occurred in Dallas, Texas, in 1985 and featured four prominent atheistic philosophers, playfully called “gunslingers” (Flew, Paul Kurtz, Wallace Matson, and Kai Nielson) dueling with four equally prominent theistic philosophers (Alvin Plantinga, Ralph McInerny, George Mavrodes, and William Alston). The second conference at New York University in 2004 notably included Scottish philosopher John Haldane and Israeli physicist Gerald Schroeder. Here Flew stunned the participants by announcing that he had come to believe in God (74).

There Is a God

The second half of the book consists of the long-awaited reasons for Flew’s conversion to deism, titled “My Discovery of the Divine.” It includes seven chapters on Flew’s religious pilgrimage, along with the nature of the universe and life. Two appendices complete the volume.

“A Pilgrimage of Reason” (chapter 4), is the initial contribution to this section. In this essay, Flew chiefly makes the crucial point that his approach to God’s existence has been philosophical, not scientific. As he notes, “My critics responded by triumphantly announcing that I had not read a particular paper in a scientific journal or followed a brand-new development relating to abiogenesis.” But in so doing, “they missed the whole point.” Flew’s conversion was due to philosophical arguments, not scientific ones: “To think at this level is to think as a philosopher. And, at the risk of sounding immodest, I must say that this is properly the job of philosophers, not of the scientists as scientists” (90).

Thus, if scientists want to get into the fray, they “will have to stand on their own two philosophical feet” (90). Similarly, “a scientist who speaks as a philosopher will have to furnish a philosophical case. As Albert Einstein himself said, “?The man of science is a poor philosopher'” (91). Flew ends the chapter by pointing out that it is Aristotle who most exemplifies his search: “I was persuaded above all by the philosopher David Conway’s argument for God’s existence” drawn from “the God of Aristotle” (92).

The fifth chapter, “Who Wrote the Laws of Nature?” discusses the views of many major scientists, including Einstein and Hawking, along with philosophers like Swinburne and Plantinga, to argue that there is a connection between the laws of nature and the “Mind of God” (103). Flew thinks that this is still a philosophical discussion. As Paul Davies asserted in his Templeton address, “science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview,” because, “even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith the existence of a lawlike order in nature that is at least in part comprehensible to us” (107). The existence of these laws must be explained. Flew concludes that many contemporary thinkers “propound a vision of reality that emerges from the conceptual heart of modern science and imposes itself on the rational mind. It is a vision that I personally find compelling and irrefutable” (112).

Chapter 6 (“Did the Universe Know We Were Coming?”) discusses fine-tuning arguments and the multiverse option as another angle on the laws of nature. Among the opponents of the multiverse option, Flew lists Davies, Swinburne, and himself, in part because it simply extends the questions of life and nature’s laws (119). Regardless, Flew concludes, “So multiverse or not, we still have to come to terms with the origins of the laws of nature. And the only viable explanation here is the divine Mind” (121).

Chapter 7 (“How Did Life Go Live?”) continues what Flew insists is a philosophical rather than a scientific discussion of items that are relevant to God’s existence. He discusses at least three chief issues: how there can be fully materialistic explanations for the emergence of life, the problem of reproduction at the very beginning, and DNA. Although science has not concluded these matters either, they are answering questions that are different from the philosophical issues that Flew is addressing (129). Flew concludes by agreeing with George Wald that, “The only satisfactory explanation for the origin of such ?end-directed, self replicating’ life as we see on earth is an infinitely intelligent Mind” (132).

In the title of chapter 8, Flew asks, “Did Something Come from Nothing?” In spite of our twenty years of friendship, I was still not prepared to see Tony developing and defending a cosmological argument for God’s existence! In an essay published back in 1994, Flew had raised questions about David Hume’s philosophy and its inability to explain causation or the laws of nature (139). Then, works by philosophers David Conway and Richard Swinburne convinced him that Hume could be answered on the cosmological argument, as well. Buoyed by these refutations of Hume, Flew was now free to explore the relation between a cosmological argument for God’s existence and recent discussions regarding the beginning of the universe. Flew concludes that, “Richard Swinburne’s cosmological argument provides a very promising explanation, probably the finally right one” (145).

In chapter 9, “Finding Space for God,” Flew begins with his long-time objection to God, that a concept of “an incorporeal omnipresent Spirit” is incoherent – something analogous to talking about a “person without a body” (148). But through the 1980s and 1990s, theistic philosophers in the analytic tradition enjoyed a renaissance. Two of these, David Tracy and Brian Leftow (who succeeded Swinburne at Oxford), answered Flew’s questions. Flew now concedes that the concept of an omnipresent Spirit outside space and time is not intrinsically incoherent (153 – 4).

In “Open to Omnipotence” (chapter 10), Flew summarizes that his case for God’s existence centers on three philosophical items – the origin of the laws of nature, the organization of life, and the origin of life. What about the problem of evil? Flew states that this a separate question, but he had two chief options – an Aristotelian God who does not interfere in the world or the free-will defense. He prefers the former, especially since he thinks the latter relies on special revelation (156).

Closing the main portion of the book with some further shocking comments, Flew states, “I am entirely open to learning more about the divine Reality,” including “whether the Divine has revealed itself in human history” (156 – 7). The reason: Everything but the logically impossible is “open to omnipotence” (157).

Further, “As I have said more than once, no other religion enjoys anything like the combination of a charismatic figure like Jesus and a first-class intellectual like St. Paul. If you’re wanting omnipotence to set up a religion, it seems to me that this is the one to beat!” (157; see also 185 – 6). He ends the chapter a few sentences later: “Some claim to have made contact with this Mind. I have not – yet. But who knows what could happen next? Some day I might hear a Voice that says, ?Can you hear me now?'” (158).

Two appendices close the book. The first is an evaluation of the “New Atheism” of writers like Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and Sam Harris. The author of the first appendix, Roy Varghese, argues that “five phenomena are evident in our immediate experience that can only be explained in terms of the existence of God” (161). These five are rationality, life, consciousness, conceptual thought, and the human self, each of which is discussed. Varghese concludes that by arguing from “everyday experience” we are able to “become immediately aware that the world of living, conscious, thinking beings has to originate in a living Source, a Mind” (183).

The second appendix is an essay on the self-revelation of God, written by New Testament theologian N. T. Wright, with brief responses by Flew. Wright argues very succinctly that Jesus existed, was God incarnate, and rose from the dead (187 – 213). Flew precedes this treatment by commenting that though he does not believe the miracle of the resurrection, it “is more impressive than any by the religious competition” (186 – 7). Flew’s final reflection on Wright’s material is that it is an impressive argument – “absolutely wonderful, absolutely radical, and very powerful.” In the end, Flew remains open to divine revelation, since omnipotence could act in such a manner (213).

Comments

As I have indicated, Flew’s new book was a delightful read. This especially applies to the many autobiographical details. The intersection of his life with some of the best-known philosophers in the previous half century was nothing short of exhilarating.

It will be no surprise to anyone who has followed my published debates or dialogues with Tony that the clarification found in this volume was more than welcome. For one thing, many of his comments here were also made in our published dialogue in Philosophia Christi. Most of all, this book should clear up the rumors as to the nature of Tony’s “conversion.” He indeed believes in God, and while from the beginning rejecting special revelation along with any religious affiliation, his view of God’s nature is otherwise quite robust. Indeed, his deism includes most of the classical theological attributes. Further, Flew is also clear several times that he is open to special revelation. As Tony told me just recently, he “won’t shut the door” to the possibility of such revelation or even to hearing a word from the Deity.[14]

Of course, I predict that various skeptics will still have profound problems with the book’s content. They will not be satisfied with its proclamations. I can only imagine the nature of the complaints. If I am right about this, it may even confirm further Varghese’s charge of the vociferous nature of this community’s response to the original announcement (viii). If Varghese is also correct that Flew had produced the most vigorous defense of philosophical atheism in the last century, a guess is that some skeptics are still stung by the loss of their most prominent philosophical supporter.

I would like to have seen further clarification on a few issues in the book. For instance, it would have been very helpful if Tony had explained the precise sense in which he thought that “Theology and Falsification” was an attempt to curtail the growth of positivism. That has remained unclear to me. I, too, was taught that the article was a defense of an analytic position that only softened the force of the positivistic challenge.

Another potential question surrounds Tony’s excellent distinction between giving philosophical as opposed to scientific reasons for his belief in God. However, a discussion or chart that maps out the differences between the two methodological stances would have been very helpful. Philosophers are used to these distinctions. But I am sure that others will think that Tony is still providing two sorts of arguments for God: Aristotle plus scientific arguments like Intelligent Design scenarios.

As Tony has said several times in recent years, he remains open to the possibility of special revelation, miracles like Jesus’s resurrection, and the afterlife. In this volume he also continues to be very complimentary towards these options. I cannot pursue further this topic here. While mentioning evil and suffering, I did wonder about Tony’s juxtaposition of choosing either Aristotle’s deism or the free-will defense, which he thinks “depends on the prior acceptance of a framework of divine revelation” (156). It seems to me that the free-will defense neither asks nor requires any such revelatory commitment. So I think that it could be pursued by a deist, too. If so, that is one more potential defeater to the evil and suffering issue. I will leave it here for now.

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The Bible and Archaeology (1/5)

The Bible maintains several characteristics that prove it is from God. One of those is the fact that the Bible is accurate in every one of its details. The field of archaeology brings to light this amazing accuracy.

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Many people have questioned the accuracy of the Bible, but I have posted many videos and articles with evidence pointing out that the Bible has many pieces of evidence from archaeology supporting the view that the Bible is historically accurate. Take a look at the video above and below.

The Bible and Archaeology (2/5)

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I have posted many of the sermons by John MacArthur. He is a great bible teacher and this sermon below is another great message. His series on the Book of Proverbs was outstanding too.  I also have posted several of the visits MacArthur made to Larry King’s Show. One of two most popular posts I […]

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 15 Francis Schaeffer discusses quotes of Andy Warhol from “The Observer June 12, 1966” Part A (Feature on artist Robert Indiana plus many pictures of Warhol with famous friends and also interview with performance artist John Giorno)

Recently I got to see this piece of art by Andy Warhol of Dolly Parton at Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas:

Andy Warhol, Dolly Parton (1985)
Synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas
42 x 42 in. (106.7 x 106.7 cm)

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 Bianca Jagger with Andy Warhol below:

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Andy Warhol Sleep

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This is the theatrical trailer for Andy Warhol’s classic film Sleep.

John Giorno discusses the making of SLEEP (Warhol)

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John Giorno explains how Andy Warhol made SLEEP
Panel discussion at Chop Chop Gallery in Columbus OH with Taylor Mead, Holly Woodlawn, and Penny Arcade. 11/15/08

Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000 years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” episode 6 “The Scientific Age” episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” ,  episode 4 “The Reformation” episode 3 “The Renaissance”episode 2 “The Middle Ages,”, and  episode 1 “The Roman Age,” . My favorite episodes are number 7 and 8 since they deal with modern art and culture primarily.(Joe Carter rightly noted, “Schaefferwho always claimed to be an evangelist and not a philosopher—was often criticized for the way his work oversimplified intellectual history and philosophy.” To those critics I say take a chill pill because Schaeffer was introducing millions into the fields of art and culture!!!! !!! More people need to read his works and blog about them because they show how people’s worldviews affect their lives!

J.I.PACKER WROTE OF SCHAEFFER, “His communicative style was not thaof a cautious academiwho labors foexhaustive coverage and dispassionate objectivity. It was rather that of an impassioned thinker who paints his vision of eternal truth in bold strokes and stark contrasts.Yet it is a fact that MANY YOUNG THINKERS AND ARTISTS…HAVE FOUND SCHAEFFER’S ANALYSES A LIFELINE TO SANITY WITHOUT WHICH THEY COULD NOT HAVE GONE ON LIVING.”

Francis Schaeffer’s works  are the basis for a large portion of my blog posts and they have stood the test of time. In fact, many people would say that many of the things he wrote in the 1960’s  were right on  in the sense he saw where our western society was heading and he knew that abortion, infanticide and youth enthansia were  moral boundaries we would be crossing  in the coming decades because of humanism and these are the discussions we are having now!)

There is evidence that points to the fact that the Bible is historically true as Schaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACEThere is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. This link shows how to do that.

Francis Schaeffer in Art and the Bible noted, “Many modern artists, it seems to me, have forgotten the value that art has in itself. Much modern art is far too intellectual to be great art. Many modern artists seem not to see the distinction between man and non-man, and it is a part of the lostness of modern man that they no longer see value in the work of art as a work of art.” 

Many modern artists are left in this point of desperation that Schaeffer points out and it reminds me of the despair that Solomon speaks of in Ecclesiastes.  Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘under the sun.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.” THIS IS EXACT POINT SCHAEFFER SAYS SECULAR ARTISTS ARE PAINTING FROM TODAY BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED ARE A RESULT OF MINDLESS CHANCE.

Here is what Francis Schaeffer wrote about Andy Warhol’s art and interviews:

The pop artist man is Andy Warhol. The Observer June 12, 1966 does a big spread on Warhol. He deserves I must say a big spread. He is a very important man today in expressing this whole situation of the absurd. He is the man who paints all the Campbell Soup cans, but there is something very interesting about painting the Campbell Soup cans that I found out, and that is that he doesn’t paint them, but they have what they call the factory.

His assistants make them from a silk screen and they sell them for $8000.00 a piece.

He has been making films. His film “Sleep” consists solely of a man sleeping and lasts 6 hours. (Audience laughs.) Do you laugh or cry? I have a hunch  that it is a different kind of a sick joke. For 6 hours the camera grinds on him and he tosses in his sleep. Warhol himself says, “I haven’t thought about my films. They just keep me busy.”

I think now you are in the game of absurdity. The people who are really  in this understand that the reason they go through the motions of a game is because that is all there is. What you do is fill up time. You could do the opposite thing, it really doesn’t matter. (That is why Warhol does not direct in his films.) None of that matters.

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Picture from the movie SLEEP:

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John Giorno

John GiornospaceJohn Giorno

Left: John Giorno being shot by William Burroughs on August 31, 1965
Right: John Giorno in 2007 while in London for the showing of Sleep with Erik Satie’s Vexations

John Giorno was the star of Sleep and an early boyfriend of Andy Warhol prior to the Factory – when Warhol was using an old fire station as his studio. Giorno continues to do performances internationally and to write poetry.

The following interview with John Giorno appeared in the Guardian newspaper (London) on Thursday 14 February 2002:

My 15 Minutes

Our interviews with Warhol’s friends and collaborators continue with John Giorno, 65, poet, Aids activist, friend and confidant of Warhol and subject of his film, Sleep. Interviews by Catherine Morrison.

The first time I met Andy was at his first solo New York Pop show in Eleanor Ward’s Stable gallery in the fall of 1962, but it was at a friend’s dinner party around that time that we really got to know each other. For the next two years we were very close; we saw each other every day, or every other day.

I was a kid in my early 20s, working as a stockbroker. I was living this life where I would see Andy every night, get drunk and go into work with a hangover every morning. The stock market opened at 10 and closed at three. By quarter to three I would be waiting at the door, dying to get home so I could have a nap before I met Andy. I slept all the time – when he called to ask what I was doing he would say, “Let me guess, sleeping?”

We used to go to Jonas Mekas’s Film-makers’ Cooperative in 1962 to watch these underground films. Andy saw them and said, “Why doesn’t somebody make a beautiful film?” So he did.

On Memorial Day weekend in 1963 we went away for a few days and I woke up in the night to find him staring at me – he took a lot of speed in those days. That’s where the idea for the movie came from – he was looking for a visual image and it just happened to be me. He said to me on the way home: “Would you like to be a movie star?” “Of course,” I said, “I want to be just like Marilyn Monroe.”

He didn’t really know what he was doing; it was his first movie. We made it with a 16mm Bolex in my apartment but had to reshoot it a month later. The film jumped every 20 seconds as Andy rewound it. The second shoot was more successful but he didn’t know what to do with it for almost a year.

The news that Warhol had made a movie triggered massive amounts of publicity. It was absurd – he was on the cover of Film Culture and Harper’s Bazaar before the movie was finished! In the end, 99% of the footage didn’t get used; he just looped together a few shots and it came out six hours long.

You either really loved it or you hated it; I thought it was brilliant and daring. But then I loved so much of Andy’s work. I remember walking into the first Factory in 63 and seeing the silkscreen silver Elvises for the first time. They were like these jewels, radiating life and joy, and they were just lying on a dirty floor in an old firehouse! It was so exhilarating.

He transformed my life. He wasn’t afraid of anything – if he had an idea, he acted on it. If it turned out lousy, so what? If it turned out well, then that was great.

I didn’t see him much after 1964 although in the last year of his life, I saw him a lot, about a dozen times in seven months. I’m so glad now that I did see him and talk to him before he died.

Andy Warhol said, “What I was actually trying to do in my early movies was show how people can meet other people and what they can do and what they can say to each other. That was the whole idea: two people getting acquainted. And then when you saw it and you saw the sheer simplicity of it, you learned what it was all about. Those movies showed you how some people act and react with other people. They were like actual sociological ‘For instance’s. They were like documentaries, and if you thought it could apply to you, it was an example, and if it didn’t apply to you, at least it was a documentary…” –

For Andy Warhol (1928-1987)

“The world outside
would be easier
to live in if we
were all machines.
It’s nothing in
the end anyway.
It doesn’t matter
what anyone does.
My work won’t
last anyway.
I was
using
cheap paint.”

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Andy Warhol with his friend Marco Bodenstein in the famous Club Nachtigal pictured below:

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This video below from Jon Anderson was very helpful to me concerning Andy Warhol’s art.

[ARTS 315] Art in an Age of Mass-Media: Andy Warhol – Jon Anderson

Published on Apr 5, 2012

Contemporary Art Trends [ARTS 315], Jon Anderson

Art in an Age of Mass-Media: Andy Warhol

September 23, 2011

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File:Andy Warhol and Tennessee Williams NYWTS.jpg

Original file ‎(2,670 × 2,126 pixels, file size: 756 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)

This file is from Wikimedia Commons and may be used by other projects. The description on its file description page there is shown below.

Description
English: Andy Warhol (left) and Tennessee Williams (right) talking on the SS France, in the background: Paul Morrissey.
Date 1967
Source Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection. LC-USZ62-121294
Author James Kavallines, New York World-Telegram and the Sun staff photographer

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Warhol, Andy – by James Romaine

Transubstantiating the Culture: Andy Warhol’s Secret
 
More than one seemingly religious person’s secret sins have been exposed at their death; Warhol’s secrets were that he went to church and served at a soup kitchen.
 
by James Romaine
The works of our century are the mirrors of our predicament produced by some of the most sensitive minds of our time. In the light of our predicament we must look at the works of contemporary art, and conversely, in the light of contemporary art we must look at our predicament. Paul Tillich in “Each Period Has Its Peculiar Image of Man”
In his final self-portrait, Andy Warhol’s gaze is both perplexed and perplexing. Like the artist, everything about this work is suspended in a haze of mystery. Warhol probably had no expectation that this would be his final self-reflection, yet it’s hard to imagine him treating himself differently even if he had known.
Warhol treated everything the same. Cool detachment was as much a trademark for Warhol as Campbell’s was for soup. Warhol’s coolness has often been read as cynicism, and it did involve a degree of distance, but only out of a perceived need for self-protection. The seeming contradiction of Warhol’s Self-portrait, and indeed all of his work, is that he expresses himself without revealing anything about himself; he is at once alienated and self-alienating.
There is scarcely a person in America whose life has not been affected—whether or not they know it—by the way Warhol transformed our understanding of our culture. Certainly there is no serious artist working today who has not been influenced by Warhol’s conversion of the banal world of consumer culture into the sacred realm of art. We see ourselves and our world reflected in the mirror of Warhol’s art, but the image has still not come into full focus. By the time he painted this last Self-portrait, Warhol had become the most famous artist in the world; but more than a decade later his art remains enigmatic.
Warhol began his career in New York as an illustrator of women’s footwear, under his real name, Andrew Warhola. The darling of magazine editors, Warhol acquired the nickname “Candy Andy.” Perceptions of Warhol today have not changed much since then.
We may think of sex and drugs (two things Warhol mostly abstained from) or fame and fortune (two things Warhol abounded in) as Andy’s candies. Yet Warhol’s persona, with his fast parties and white wigs, differed greatly from the private identity he both concealed and revealed in his art. Sly as a fox, Warhol played dumb with comments meant to set us off track, such as, “If you want to know about Andy Warhol, just look at the surfaces of my paintings and films and me, and there I am. There’s nothing behind it.”
There is, in fact, a great deal concealed beneath the surface of Warhol’s art. The surfaces of his works appear to be mechanical — an appearance Warhol emphasized by calling his studio “the Factory” and claiming to make art that could be done by anyone. The smooth veneer of silk-screening not only created a mechanical appearance, but his practice of reproducing already-reproduced images published in magazines and newspapers allowed Warhol to increase the degrees of separation between himself and his subjects.
Nevertheless, Warhol continued to use imagery that had personal significance to him. Many of these images were spiritual ones, influenced by the Catholicism that permeates Warhol’s art. Despite reports that he went to church almost daily, some doubt the credibility of Warhol’s faith and even consider his work anti-Christian. Warhol’s life was, admittedly, filled with contradictions. He was always trying to protect his true intentions, especially regarding his Catholicism. Many of Warhol’s friends did not know of his religious life until after his death.
More than one seemingly religious person’s secret sins have been exposed at their death; Warhol’s secrets were that he went to church and served at a soup kitchen. In his eulogy for Warhol, John Richardson outed him from the confessional when he said:
I’d like to recall a side of his character that he hid from all but his closest friends; his spiritual side. Those of you who knew him in circumstances that were the antithesis of spiritual may be surprised that such a side existed. But exist it did, and it’s key to the artist’s psyche. Although Andy was perceived—with some justice—as a passive observer who never imposed his beliefs on other people, he could on occasion be an effective proselytizer. To my certain knowledge, he was responsible for at least one conversion. He took considerable pride in financing his nephew’s studies for the priesthood. And he regularly helped out at a shelter serving meals to the homeless and hungry. Trust Andy to have kept these activities in the dark. The knowledge of this secret piety inevitably changes our perception of an artist who fooled the world into believing that his only obsessions were money, fame, glamour, and that he could be cool to the point of callousness. Never take Andy at face value….
With family roots in Byzantine-Slavic Catholicism, Warhol kept a homemade altar with a crucifix and well-worn prayer book beside his bed. He frequently visited Saint Vincent Ferrer’s Church on Lexington Avenue. The pastor of Saint Vincent’s confirmed that Warhol visited the church almost daily. He would come in mid-afternoon, light a candle, and pray for fifteen minutes, sometimes making use of the intimacy of the private chapels. The pastor described Warhol as intensely shy and private, especially regarding his religion. Warhol’s brother has characterized him as “really religious, but he didn’t want people to know about that because [it was] private.” For someone so bent on self-protection, Warhol’s efforts to keep his religious life a secret may indicate just how important his faith was to him.
Do these religious revelations offer insight into Warhol’s art? They do; perhaps more than has yet been appreciated by either the art or Christian worlds. Warhol’s consumer imagery at first seems obsessed with the external world of contemporary culture to the exclusion of the internal life of faith. But there is also a persistent longing for something more, a hunger that is evident in the last Self-portrait and, most famously, in those cans of Campbell’s soup.
In order to see this religious dimension, we must regain our sense of the sacramental—the use of material things as vehicles for encountering the divine and enabling eternity to break into time and space. Warhol’s pop art, often criticized as mere regurgitation of advertising, actually displaces images from their original context in the commercial world, transporting them to the realm of art, collapsing the distance between the two, and creating new associations and meanings.
The Campbell’s soup can, one of Warhol’s most famous motifs, thus becomes another self-portrait of the artist. The can, like Warhol’s public persona, is cool, metallic, machine-made, impenetrable, a mirror of its surroundings. These qualities, superficial though they are, nevertheless seduce the eye.
But what completes this self-portrait are the can’s contents; they should be the most significant part, but actually have very little in common with the can’s exterior. Soup, a warm source of nourishment, is a sensitive element that will not survive long outside of a protective container. Hidden beneath supermarket imagery, Warhol’s faith is sealed for protection.
While carefully keeping himself secure inside, Warhol succeeded in making everyone believe that the soup can should be the focus of attention. Some have become enraptured by their own reflection on its metallic surface. Others have complained that Warhol and his art are hollow. Very few have attempted to open the can and find out what’s inside.
Warhol’s creative gift was an ability to bring subjects into spiritual equilibrium. He treated ultra-glamorous movie stars and anonymous police arrest photos with the same combination of contempt and envy. Warhol used consumer items more than just as mirrors of his time.
What seems to have attracted him to Coca-Cola bottles and Campbell’s soup cans, as in 200 Campbell’s Soup Cans, was a sense of comfort, belonging and equality.
Warhol admitted that one reason he was attracted to the imagery of Campbell’s soup was that he had eaten Campbell’s soup nearly every day as a boy. Soup, of course, is a nearly global icon of home, but Campbell’s is a distinctly American icon.
For Warhol, growing up in a poor immigrant family struggling to find its place in a new homeland, Campbell’s soup probably offered a reassuring sense of belonging.
Warhol loved mass consumer imagery because of its equilibrating powers. “Coke is Coke,” he once said, “and no matter how rich you are you can’t get a better one than the one the homeless woman on the corner is drinking.”
Living in New York City, Warhol undoubtedly experienced the way cities have of exaggerating the distance between wealth and poverty even while juxtaposing them. Perhaps reinforced by the piety and poverty of his childhood, Warhol may have looked forward to the equality of heaven, with the mechanical nature of his work forecasting an eternal destiny.
Warhol’s strategy of representing heaven by repeated images has been linked to Byzantine icons, which limit individual creativity in favor of a standardized form. Warhol’s work has a certain hypnotic rhythm, not unlike the rosary. This repetition also suggests that the image could extend infinitely, giving us a glimpse into eternity through everyday reality.
200 Campbell’s Soup Cans celebrates more than social egalitarianism. But in a critique of America’s emergent consumer religion, 200 Campbell’s Soup Cans also joins a long artistic tradition of vanitas images, in which lavish displays of wealth are offset by reminders of life’s fleeting nature and the inevitable final judgment.
Warhol’s references to religious themes increased throughout his career, culminating in his most overtly religious and plainly sacramental works, patterned after Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. Warhol made more than one hundred works based on Leonardo’s image, but until recently these works received very little attention.
Many things may have drawn Warhol to the Last Supper, including the fact that Warhol’s own art often dealt with food as a symbol of heaven.
Warhol’s Catholicism asserted the miracle of transubstantiation, in which food—bread and wine—becomes a heavenly substance. Warhol may have accessed Leonardo’s imagery to set himself within a certain tradition of religious art.
Leonardo brought out the classical and realist artist in Warhol, even though the meaning of “classical” and “real” had radically changed in the five hundred years separating them. Leonardo’s breakthroughs in artistic perspective had radically brought the Christ figure into the viewer’s world; Warhol brought Leonardo down off the wall, and in so doing brought Christ and the sacrament of the Eucharist into his world.
Indeed, Warhol’s interest in Campbell’s soup and the Last Supper are linked. Remember, Warhol said that his attraction to Campbell’s soup was that he had eaten it every day as a child. Warhol’s brother recalled that a reproduction of the Last Supper hung on their family’s kitchen wall. As Warhol sat eating his soup, he ate under the watchful presence of Christ.
Another reason Warhol turned to the Last Supper was that it reminded him of his mother, Julia Warhola. Mrs. Warhola had a prayer card with an image of the Last Supper that she kept in her Bible. After her death, Warhol kept this card as a reminder of his mother’s faith. He was very close to his mother, who came to live with him in New York. Warhol’s brother noted that Andy and their mother had a small altar in their New York apartment and that “Andy wouldn’t leave unless [she] would come into the kitchen and kneel down with him and pray.”
Mrs. Warhola’s prayer card bears a remarkable resemblance to Warhol’s art, for it has reworked its subject significantly: the figure of Matthew is shifted, and Christ is given a golden halo — changes probably made to invigorate the viewer’s devotion. Is it too unlikely to suppose that Warhol’s art had the same intent?
Works like Last Supper (Dove) bring together brand name products from the supermarket and the sacramental imagery of the church, asserting that modern life and faith are neither separate nor contradictory. Each makes the other more real and meaningful. The dove, descending from above Christ like a halo, represents the Holy Spirit; the General Electric sign (with its own halo) is a symbol of the Son. It doesn’t take much imagination to connect GE with the light of the world, but there is an even subtler meaning to this sign: GE’s slogan, “We bring good things to life,” points to the resurrection and eternal life.
Warhol died of unexpected complications from routine surgery on February 22, 1987, making the Last Supper images a fitting, if unintentional, conclusion for Warhol’s art. They show Christ in a creative and transformative action. Artistic transubstantiation allowed Warhol to identify with Christ, to see Christ as an artist and to see art as a sanctifying activity.
Indeed, Warhol’s approach to art and Christianity exemplify what H. Richard Niebuhr, in Christ and Culture, famously called “Christ the Transformer of Culture.” Just as Christ transformed common bread and wine into the holy sacraments, Warhol transformed everyday imagery into art.
The popularity of Warhol’s work is a reflection of our own hunger for such transformation. Like all art, it raises questions: Are we hungry enough to accept anything offered to us? How are we to be discerning? Was Warhol discerning? If we are to “test each spirit,” should we filter out Warhol? Was Warhol so hungry for something divine that he too easily accepted substitutes for the one thing that would satisfy him?
If we consider the disreputable company Warhol kept, our answer to the last question might be yes. Maybe Campbell’s soup was no more than a commercial substitute for a spiritual hunger. But the spiritual sincerity and artistic complexities of his last works suggest that Andy Warhol’s faith and art cannot be so easily dismissed.
November 12, 2003
James Romaine is an art historian who lives in New York, and the author of “Objects of Grace: Conversations on Creativity and Faith.”This article originally appeared in Regeneration Quarterly. Copyright 2003, James Romaine.All rights reserved.

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We went to see Dr No at Forty -second Street. It’s a fantastic movie, so cool. We walked
outside and somebody threw a cherry bomb right in front of us, in this big crowd. And there was
blood. I saw blood on people and all over. I felt like I was bleeding all over. I saw in the paper
last week that there are more people throwing them —it’s just part of the scene—and hurting
people. My show in Paris is going to he called“Death in America.” I’ll show the electric-
chair pictures and the dogs in Birmingham and car wrecks and some suicide pictures.
Why did you start these“Death”pictures?
AW:I believe in it. Did you see the Enquirer this week? It had “The Wreck that Made Cops Cry”—
a head cut in half, the arms and hands just lying there. It’s sick, but I’m sure it happens all
the time. I’ve met a lot of cops recently. They take pictures of everything, only
it’s almost impossible to get pictures from them.Why did you start with the “Death” series?
AW:I guess it was the big plane crash picture, the front page of a newspaper: 129 DIE. I was
also painting the Marilyns. I realized that everything I was doing must have been Death. It was
Christmas or Labor Day —a holiday—and every time you turned on the radio they said
something like,“4 million are going to die.”
That started it. But when you see a gruesome picture
over and over again, it doesn’t really have any effect.

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Today I started off by posting some comments that Andy Warhol made about his films and Schaeffer noted that there was no directing of these films because it doesn’t matter in the end anyway because it is all left to time and chance. One of those films is called EAT and it stars Robert Indiana eating for a hour and a cat gets on his shoulder at one point and he pets the cat. Robert is the artist that I am featuring today and at the end of this post I am taking him to task for his view that we can have hope in a materialistic world without God in the picture. 

Robert Indiana and Andy Warhol at the opening of Americans 1963

Published on Jan 25, 2013

Robert Indiana and Andy Warhol at the Opening of Americans 1963, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Kennedy was at the beginning of his notable career as a freelance photojournalist in New York in 1963 when he met the two rising stars of Pop art, the 34-year-old Robert Indiana and the 33-year-old Andy Warhol. This photograph was taken at the opening of the exhibition Americans 1963, which featured several works by Indiana and fourteen other contemporary artists, though none by Warhol. The exhibition was organized by the Museum of Modern Art, to which Indiana had sold a painting two years earlier. Shortly thereafter Indiana would go on to design a Christmas card for that museum, which marked the debut of what would become the painter’s iconic image, LOVE.

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Robert Indiana: A Map of Indiana

Uploaded on Sep 14, 2011

Robert Indiana, elusive Pop-Art legend, offers a private view into the events, people and places that have shaped his art. Filmed on location at Indiana’s island home, the film, narrated by Indiana in an exclusive interview, details the pictorial memoir he has assembled about his long life, from his origins in the state he made his namesake to his role in the creation of the Pop- Art movement in downtown New York through his involvement in the Museum of Modern Art, his eventual disillusionment with the New York art scene, and the great resurgence of interest in his work both in Europe and the United States, as he takes stock of his life and legacy.

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Inside New York’s Art World: Robert Indiana, 1978

Uploaded on Dec 15, 2008

Interviewer: Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel Part of the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Video Archive in the Duke University Libraries: http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollec…
Diamonstein-Spielvogel interviews Indiana about his life and works

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New York City

Robert Indiana, who was born Robert Clark in 1928, first emerged on the wave of Pop Art that engulfed the art world in the early 1960s. Bold and visually dazzling, his work embraced the vocabulary of highway signs and roadside entertainments that were commonplace in post war America. Presciently, he used words to explore themes of American identity, racial injustice, and the illusion and disillusion of love. The appearance in 1966 of what became his signature image, ‘LOVE’, and its subsequent proliferation on unauthorized products, eclipsed the public’s understanding of the emotional poignancy and symbolic complexity of his art. This retrospective will reveal an artist whose work, far from being unabashedly optimistic and affirmative, addresses the most fundamental issues facing humanity—love, death, sin, and forgiveness—giving new meaning to our understanding of the ambiguities of the American Dream and the plight of the individual in a pluralistic society.

Robert Indiana

Whitney Museum of American Art

September 26, 2013 – January 5, 2014
945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street
New York, NY 10021
USA

Calendar

Robert Indiana

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Robert Indiana Full Circle

Published on Sep 22, 2013

An 8-minute preview of American INSIGHT’s half-hour documentary-in-progress celebrates the artistic ingenuity of American Pop artist Robert Indiana, who considers Philadelphia his spiritual home. Creator of one of the world’s most famous statues, Indiana remains virtually anonymous to younger generations, yet highly prolific. Since 1969, he has lived and worked on an island 15 miles off the coast of Maine.

Inventing, but never patenting, the iconic LOVE statue, Indiana continues to use words and typographic forms to define his distinctive approach to both language and art. Exploring the boundaries of shape, line, color theory, and meaning within letters and signs, he challenges our traditional conventions of language and art. From large sculpture installations to hard-edged paintings, Indiana incorporates the lyrical nature of poetry while expanding the boundaries of our visual thinking.

American INSIGHT has captured hours of rare footage containing both intimate conversations with him and several public appearances during the past decade: the only such footage taken of this intensely private man during that time.

American INSIGHT

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Schierholt’s Conversations with Robert Indiana – an excerpt

Uploaded on Jun 29, 2011

An excerpt from the Dale Schierholt film – A Visit to the Star of Hope: Conversations with Robert Indiana

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Conversations with Robert Indiana, Trailer

Uploaded on Jan 14, 2011

Trailer from the film by Dale Schierholt, Conversations with Robert Indiana

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Andy Warhol – Eat (1963)

Uploaded on Jun 9, 2010

This is Andy Warhol’s movie, “Eat”
This movie was made in 1964. This is, the entire movie.

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Eat (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigationsearch
Eat
Directed by Andy Warhol
Starring Robert Indiana
Running time 45 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Eat (1963) is a 45-minute American film created by Andy Warhol.

Eat is filmed in black-and-white, has no soundtrack, and depicts fellow pop artist Robert Indiana engaged in the process of eating for the entire length of the film. The comestible being consumed is apparently a mushroom. Finally, notice is also taken of a brief appearance made by a cat.

See also

External links

Andy Warhol filmography

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigationsearch

The following are the films directed or produced by Andy Warhol. Fifty of the films have been preserved by the Museum of Modern Art.[1]

Year Film Cast Notes
1963 Sleep John Giorno Runtime of 320+ minutes
1963 Andy Warhol Films Jack Smith Filming Normal Love
1963 Sarah-Soap Sarah Dalton
1963 Denis Deegan Denis Deegan
1963 Kiss Rufus Collins, Johnny DoddFreddie HerkoJane HolzerNaomi Levine
1963 Rollerskate/Dance Movie Freddie Herko
1963 Jill and Freddy Dancing Freddie Herko
1963 Elvis at Ferus Irving Blum
1963 Taylor and Me Taylor Mead
1963 Tarzan and Jane Regained… Sort of Taylor Mead, Dennis Hopper, Naomi Levine,
1963 Duchamp Opening Irving Blum, Gerard Malanga
1963 Salome and Delilah Freddie Herko
1963 Haircut No. 1 Billy Name
1963 Haircut No. 2 Billy Name
1963 Haircut No. 3 Johnny Dodd, Billy Name
1963 Henry in Bathroom Henry Geldzahler
1963 Taylor and John John Giorno, Taylor Mead
1963 Bob Indiana, Etc. John Giorno
1963 Billy Klüver John Giorno
1963 John Washing John Giorno
1963 Naomi and John John Giorno
1964 Screen Tests
1964 Naomi and Rufus Kiss Naomi Levin, Rufus Collins
1964 Blow Job DeVeren Bookwalter, Willard Maas (offscreen) Shot at 24 frame/s, projected at 16 frame/s
1964 Jill Johnston Dancing Jill Johnston
1964 Shoulder Lucinda Childs
1964 Eat Robert Indiana
1964 Dinner At Daley’s
1964 Soap Opera Jane Holzer, Rufus Collins, Gerard Malanga
1964 Batman Dracula Gregory Battcock, Rufus Collins, Henry Geldzahler, Jane Holzer, Naomi Levine, Ivy Nicholson, Gerard Malanga, Taylor Mead, Mario Montez
1964 Three Walter Dainwood, Gerard Malanga, Ondine
1964 Jane and Darius Jane Holzer
1964 Couch Gregory CorsoAllen Ginsberg, Gerard Malanga, Naomi Levin, Henry Geldzahler, Taylor Mead
1964 Empire Runtime of 8 hours 5 minutes
1964 Henry Geldzahler Henry Geldzahler
1964 Taylor Mead’s Ass Taylor Mead
1964 Six Months
1964 Mario Banana Mario Montez
1964 Harlot Gerard Malanga, Mario Montez
1964 Mario Montez Dances Mario Montez
1964 Isabel Wrist Isabel Eberstadt
1964 Imu and Son Imu
1964 Allen Gerard Malanga, Taylor Mead
1964 Philip and Gerard Phillip Fagan, Gerard Malanga
1964 13 Most Beautiful Women assembled from Screen Tests
1964 13 Most Beautiful Boys assembled from Screen Tests
1964 50 Fantastics and 50 Personalities assembled from Screen Tests
1964 Pause
1964 Messy Lives
1964 Lips
1964 Apple
1964 The End of Dawn
1965 John and Ivy Ivy Nicholson, John Palmer
1965 Screen Test #1 Philip Fagan
1965 Screen Test #2 Mario Montez
1965 The Life of Juanita Castro Marie Menken, Mercedes Ospina, Ronald Tavel
1965 Drink Emile de Antonio
1965 Suicide
1965 Horse Gregory Battcock, Larry Letreille
1965 Vinyl Gerard Malanga, Ondine, Edie Sedgwick
1965 Bitch Gerard Malanga, Marie Menken, Edie Sedgwick
1965 Poor Little Rich Girl Edie Sedgwick
1965 Face Edie Sedgwick
1965 Restaurant Bibbe Hansen, Donald Lyons, Ondine, Edie Sedgwick
1965 Kitchen Donald Lyons, René Ricard, Edie Sedgwick, Roger Trudeau
1965 Afternoon Dorothy Dean, Donald Lyons, Ondine, Edie Sedgwick
1965 Beauty No. 1 Edie Sedgwick
1965 Beauty No. 2 Gerard Malanga, Gino Piserchio, Edie Sedgwick, Chuck Wein
1965 Space Edie Sedgwick
1965 Factory Diaries Paul America, Billy Name, Ondine, Edie Sedgwick
1965 Outer and Inner Space Edie Sedgwick
1965 Prison Bibbe Hansen, Marie Menken, Edie Sedgwick
1965 The Fugs and The Holy Modal Rounders The FugsThe Holy Modal Rounders
1965 Paul Swan Paul Swan
1965 My Hustler Paul America, Ed Hood
1965 My Hustler II Paul America, Pat Hartley, Gerard Malanga, Billy Name, Ingrid Superstar
1965 Camp Jane Holzer, Gerard Malanga, Mario Montez, Paul Swan
1965 More Milk, Yvette Mario Montez
1965 Lupe Billy Name, Edie Sedgwick
1965 The Closet Nico
1966 Ari and Mario Mario Montez, Nico
1966 3 Min. Mary Might
1966 Eating Too Fast Gregory Battcock
1966 The Velvet Underground and Nico: A Symphony of Sound The Velvet Underground, Nico
1966 The Velvet Underground A.K.A. Moe in Bondage Moe TuckerJohn CaleSterling MorrisonLou Reed
1966 Hedy Gerard Malanga, Mario Montez, Ingrid Superstar, Ronald TavelMary Woronov
1966 Rick Roderick Clayton Unreleased
1966 Withering Heights Charles Aberg, Ingrid Superstar Unreleased
1966 Paraphernalia Susan Bottomly
1966 Whips
1966 Salvador Dalí Salvador Dalí, Gerard Malanga
1966 The Beard Gerard Malanga, Mary Woronov
1966 Superboy Susan Bottomly, Ed Hood, Mary Woronov
1966 Patrick Patrick Fleming
1966 Chelsea Girls Brigid Berlin, Susan Bottomly, Eric Emerson, Gerard Malanga, Marie Menken, Nico, Ondine, Ingrid Superstar, Mary Woronov
1966 Bufferin Gerard Malanga
1966 Bufferin Commercial Jane Holzer, Gerard Malanga, Mario Montez
1966 Susan-Space Susan Bottomly
1966 The Velvet Underground Tarot Cards Susan Bottomly
1966 Nico/Antoine Susan Bottomly, Nico
1966 Marcel Duchamp
1966 Dentist: Nico Denis Deegan
1966 Ivy Denis Deegan
1966 Denis Denis Deegan
1966 Ivy and Denis I
1966 Ivy and Denis II
1966 Tiger Hop
1966 The Andy Warhol Story Edie Sedgwick, René Ricard
1966 Since Susan Bottomly, Gerard Malanga, Ondine, Mary Woronov
1966 The Bob Dylan Story Susan Bottomly, John Cale
1966 Mrs. Warhol Richard Rheem, Julia Warhola
1966 Kiss the Boot Gerard Malanga, Mary Woronov
1966 Nancy Fish and Rodney Nancy Fish
1966 Courtroom
1966 Jail
1966 Alien in Jail
1966 A Christmas Carol Ondine
1966 Four Stars aka **** runtime of 25 hours
1967 Imitation of Christ Tom Baker, Brigid Berlin, Pat CloseAndrea Feldman, Taylor Mead, Nico, Ondine
1967 Ed Hood Ed Hood
1967 Donyale Luna Donyale Luna
1967 I, a Man Tom Baker, Valerie Solanas, Ingrid Superstar, Ultra Violet, Viva
1967 The Loves of Ondine Ondine, Brigid Berlin, Viva
1967 Bike Boy Viva, Brigid Berlin, Ingrid Superstar
1967 Tub Girls Viva, Brigid Berlin, Taylor Mead
1967 The Nude Restaurant Taylor Mead, Allen Midgette, Ingrid Superstar, Viva, Louis Waldon
1967 Construction-Destruction-Construction Taylor Mead, Viva
1967 Sunset Nico
1967 Withering Sighs
1967 Vibrations
1968 Lonesome Cowboys Joe Dallessandro, Eric Emerson, Viva, Taylor Mead, Louis Waldon
1968 San Diego Surf Joe Dallessandro, Eric Emerson, Taylor Mead, Ingrid Superstar, Viva,
1968 Flesh Jackie CurtisPatti D’ArbanvilleCandy Darling, Joe Dallessandro, Geraldine Smith
1969 Blue Movie Viva, Louis Waldon
1969 Trash Joe Dallessandro, Andrea Feldman, Jane Forth, Geri Miller, Holly Woodlawn
1970 Women in Revolt Penny Arcade, Jackie Curtis, Candy Darling, Jane Forth, Geri Miller, Holly Woodlawn
1971 Water
1971 Factory Diaries
1972 Heat Joe Dallesandro, Pat Ast, Eric Emerson, Andrea Feldman, Sylvia MilesLester Persky
1973 L’Amour Jane Forth, Donna Jordan, Karl Lagerfeld
1973 Flesh for Frankenstein Joe Dallesandro
1974 Blood for Dracula Joe Dallesandro
1973 Vivian’s Girls Brigid Berlin, Candy Darling
Phoney Candy Darling, Maxime de la Falaise
1975 Nothing Special footage Brigid Berlin, Angelica HustonPaloma Picasso
1975 Fight Brigid Berlin
1977 Andy Warhol’s Bad Carroll BakerPerry KingSusan Tyrrell

References

External links

andy warhol – sleep (1963)

Andy Warhol: BBC Radio 4 Interview (March 17th 1981)

Uploaded on Apr 16, 2011

Andy Warhol talks to Edward Lucie Smith about portrait painting, his choice of subject, his work process, wanting to paint as many pictures as he can, his love of his Sony Walkman, his favourite subject, his dislike of feelings and emotions, his sense of time and ageing and his affection for everyone.

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Andy Warhol interview 1966

Published on Feb 13, 2013

Extended interview with Andy Warhol (1966)

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Andy Warhol och hans Factory – Clip 01-12

Uploaded on Dec 26, 2010

Factory People, episode 1, clip 1 out of 4. The Swedish title is Andy Warhol och hans Factory, and it is in English with Swedish subtitles.

This was recorded from free DVB-T television using an Elgato EveTV Hybrid receiver. I used the rudimentary editor within the EyeTV software and exported the clips in H.264/MPEG-4 format, usually four snippets per episode.

if this violates any copyright law, then I am sorry. Just remove the clip, block it or ask me to remove the clip and I will promptly take it down. I am just a fan, not in the business of making any money or anything else from this.

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Robert Indiana “Hope & the New Year

Uploaded on Jan 13, 2010

Artist Robert Indiana “Hope & The New Year” Rosenbaum Contemporary

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Robert Indiana’s new message in 2010 was the word “Hope,” but how can that be attained without bringing God back into the picture? What hope does man have if we are just a product of chance? The people who are promoting this idea in the framework of a materialist worldview are taking a leap into the area of nonreason.

Episode VII – The Age of Non Reason

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Review by W.M.R.Simpson in 2005 of Escape from Reason  by Francis Schaeffer

Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984), philosopher, theologian
and the founder of L‟Abri Fellowship, believed he had the
answers to the dilemma of modern man. In Escape from
Reason, Schaeffer traces the development of his despair
of finding any meaning and purpose in life, culminating in
the irrational “leap of faith” promoted by religious and
secular existentialists in an effort to escape the intolerable
futility of an empty, deterministic universe.

When we began to see the intellect as autonomous, and „nature‟ set free
from „grace‟, Schaeffer argues, nature “ate up grace”, removing the
„upper story‟ (God the creator, heaven and heavenly things, the unseen
and its influence on earth, man‟s soul, unity) from the rational sphere.
Thinking independently of God‟s revelation, rationalistic man was unable
to find any „universals‟ (grace) which would give meaning and unity to
all the „particulars‟ (nature). Once the particulars were set free, it proved
impossible to hold them together. The results of man‟s failure came to a
head in what Schaeffer called “the line of despair”; a point in history in
which the philosophers abandoned their age-old hope of finding a
unified answer for knowledge and life. The relativism that followed has
shaped our thinking, our culture, and our theology….

Following Hegel, Kierkegaard (1813-55) is Schaeffer‟s symbol of “the
real modern man” who has finally abandoned the hope of a unified field
of knowledge. The original problem, which had been formulated in
terms of „nature‟ and „grace‟, and then „freedom‟ and „nature‟, has at last
(under Kierkegaard) degenerated into a dichotomy between „faith‟ and
„rationality‟, separated by a vast chasm that no amount of rational
thinking can bridge. Meaning and truth are now disconnected from
reason and knowledge; if we are to attain them, we have no alternative
but to make an irrational “leap of faith”.

The new philosophy – or anti-philosophy – wasn‟t kept bottled up in an
ivory tower. Hegellian relativism and Kierkegaardian irrationalism filtered
down to the masses in three different ways; it spread geographically
from Germany outward, penetrating Holland and Switzerland, then
reaching England, taking some time to arrive in America; it spread
through the classes, beginning with the intellectuals and then, through
the mass-media, infiltrating the workers ranks (but failing to penetrate
the middle-classes); it spread through the disciplines, beginning with
philosophy (Hegel), then art (the post-impressionists), then music
(Debussy), then general culture (early T.S. Eliot), and finally theology
(Karl Barth). The hope of finding a unified field of knowledge is gone.
Modern man now lives in despair – “the despair of no longer thinking
that what has always been the aspiration of men and women is at all
possible”.

But all this proves too much for man; “he cannot live merely as a
machine”, and this new way of thinking slices him into a cruel

dichotomy, where any meaning, values and hope can only be obtained
irrationally. “What makes modern man modern”, Schaeffer observes, “is
the existence of this dichotomy and not the multitude of things he
places, as a leap, in the upper story.” Since no one can live consistently
within this system, they must steal things from elsewhere, in order to
live their lives, often plucking them (out of context) from a Christian
worldview.

This escape from reason was objectified in the secular and religious
existentialism that followed. On the secular side, Jean-Paul-Sartre
(1905-80) talked about „authenticating‟ yourself by an act of the will.
What you actually do, however, is neither here nor there – so long as
you do something! Jaspers (1883-1969), on the other hand, pointed to a
„final experience‟ that somehow imparts a certainty that you are really
there and gives some hope of meaning. But being an irrational
experience, it cannot be shared, and is difficult to retain. Heidegger
(1889-1976) spoke of angst – a vague feeling of dread – as something
upon which to hang everything. And on the religious wing, Karl Barth
(on Schaeffer‟s interpretation) held that, whilst the Bible contains
mistakes (the so-called „higher criticism‟), there was actually no rational
interchange between the upper and lower spheres and we should
believe it anyway, expecting a „religious word‟ to be imparted
nevertheless.

___________

The irony of modern man, according to Schaeffer, is that this autonomous intellectual enterprise initiated through man’s self-confidence in his power to independently reason his way to the answers, has ended, not in the triumph of rationality, but in its actual abandonment. By clinging to his autonomy, man has lost his rationality. His reason has been engulfed by his rationalism. Man remains at the center of the universe, still clinging to a hope, but without any rational basis.

______

Schaeffer‟s solution is simple: Christianity has the answer to the very
thing modern man has despaired of ever finding: a unified answer for
the whole of life. True, it demands that we abandon our rationalistic
autonomy and return to the reformation view of the Holy Scriptures, but
in so doing we get back our rationality, our meaningfulness, and
ourselves. Authentic Christianity is no existential leap into an irrational
upper sphere; Schaeffer insists that the Bible speaks truth “both about
God Himself and about the area where the Bible touches history and the

cosmos.” Man can have his answers to life “on the basis of what is open
to verification and discussion”. And a unified answer to life is, Schaeffer
asserts, what man really wants. “He did not accept the line of despair
and the dichotomy because he wanted to. He accepted it because, on
the basis of the natural development of his rationalistic presuppositions,
he had to. He may talk bravely at times, but in the end it is despair.” In
truth, “Modern man longs for a different answer than the answer of his
damnation”. Christianity, with its reasonable and consistent framework
for understanding the world we live in, can put an end to this despair by
putting man right with God.

_____________________________

Related posts:

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 1 0   Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode X – Final Choices 27 min FINAL CHOICES I. Authoritarianism the Only Humanistic Social Option One man or an elite giving authoritative arbitrary absolutes. A. Society is sole absolute in absence of other absolutes. B. But society has to be […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 9 Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode IX – The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence 27 min T h e Age of Personal Peace and Afflunce I. By the Early 1960s People Were Bombarded From Every Side by Modern Man’s Humanistic Thought II. Modern Form of Humanistic Thought Leads […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 8 Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode VIII – The Age of Fragmentation 27 min I saw this film series in 1979 and it had a major impact on me. T h e Age of FRAGMENTATION I. Art As a Vehicle Of Modern Thought A. Impressionism (Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 7 Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode VII – The Age of Non Reason I am thrilled to get this film series with you. I saw it first in 1979 and it had such a big impact on me. Today’s episode is where we see modern humanist man act […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 6 “The Scientific Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 6 How Should We Then Live 6#1 Uploaded by NoMirrorHDDHrorriMoN on Oct 3, 2011 How Should We Then Live? Episode 6 of 12 ________ I am sharing with you a film series that I saw in 1979. In this film Francis Schaeffer asserted that was a shift in […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 5 How Should We Then Live? Episode 5: The Revolutionary Age I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Francis Schaeffer noted, “Reformation Did Not Bring Perfection. But gradually on basis of biblical teaching there […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 4 “The Reformation” (Schaeffer Sundays)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode IV – The Reformation 27 min I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer makes three key points concerning the Reformation: “1. Erasmian Christian humanism rejected by Farel. 2. Bible gives needed answers not only as to […]

“Schaeffer Sundays” Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 3 “The Renaissance”

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 3 “The Renaissance” Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 3) THE RENAISSANCE I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer really shows why we have so […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 2 “The Middle Ages” (Schaeffer Sundays)

  Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 2) THE MIDDLE AGES I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer points out that during this time period unfortunately we have the “Church’s deviation from early church’s teaching in regard […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 1 “The Roman Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 1) THE ROMAN AGE   Today I am starting a series that really had a big impact on my life back in the 1970′s when I first saw it. There are ten parts and today is the first. Francis Schaeffer takes a look at Rome and why […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Edit | Comments (0)

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 8 “The Last Year at Marienbad” by Alain Resnais (Feature on artist Richard Tuttle and his return to the faith of his youth)

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Alain Resnais Interview 1

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Last Year in Marienbad (1961) Trailer

 

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My Favorite Films: Last Year at Marienbad Movie Review – WillMLFilm Review

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Alain Resnais, NYC, 12/12/80

Alain Resnais, NYC, 12/12/80

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Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

_______________-

Francis Schaeffer below in his film series shows how this film “The Last Year at Marienbad”  by Alain Resnais was appealing to “nonreason” to answer our problems.

In the book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? Schaeffer notes:

Especially in the sixties the major philosophic statements which received a wide hearing were made through films. These philosophic movies reached many more people than philosophic writings or even painting and literature. Among these films were THE LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD by Alain Resnais (1961), THE SILENCE by Ingmar Bergman (1967), JULIET OF THE SPIRITS by Federico Fellini (1965), BLOW UP by Michelangelo Antonioni (1966), BELLE DE JOUR by Luis Bunuel (1967), and THE HOUR OF THE WOLF by Ingmar Bergman (1967).

They showed pictorially (and with great force) what it is like if man is a machine and also what it is like if man tries to live in the area of non-reason. In the area of non-reason man is left without categories. He has no way to distinguish between right and wrong, or even between what is objectively true as opposed to illusion or fantasy….One could view these films a hundred times and there still would be no way to be sure what was portrayed as objectively true and what was part of a character’s imagination. If people begin only from themselves and really live in a universe in which there is no personal God to speak, they have no final way to be sure of the difference between reality and fantasy or illusion (pp. 201-202). 

In the book ESCAPE FROM REASON Schaeffer notes that modern man has come to the place that he truly believes that rationality is downstairs and faith is upstairs in the area of non-reason. What does man do at this point but take a leap from downstairs to upstairs. Schaeffer notes:

The leap is common to every sphere of modern man’s thought.  Man is forced to the despair of such a leap because he cannot live merely as a machine . . . If below the line man is dead, above the line, after the non-rational leap, man is left without categories.  There are no categories because categories are related to rationality and logic.The most startling cinema statement was not that man is dead downstairs, but the powerful expression of what man is above the line after the leap. The first of these films was THE LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD. This is not my guess. The films’s director explained that this is what he wanted the film to show. That is the reason for the long, endless corridors and the unrelatedness in the film. If below the line man is dead, above the line, after non-rational leap, man is left without categories. There are no categories because categories are related to rationality and logic. There is therefore no truth and no nontruth in antithesis, no right and wrong–you are adrift.

____________________

Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000 years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” episode 6 “The Scientific Age” episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” ,  episode 4 “The Reformation” episode 3 “The Renaissance”episode 2 “The Middle Ages,”, and  episode 1 “The Roman Age,” . My favorite episodes are number 7 and 8 since they deal with modern art and culture primarily.(Joe Carter rightly noted, “Schaefferwho always claimed to be an evangelist and not a philosopher—was often criticized for the way his work oversimplified intellectual history and philosophy.” To those critics I say take a chill pill because Schaeffer was introducing millions into the fields of art and culture!!!! !!! More people need to read his works and blog about them because they show how people’s worldviews affect their lives!

J.I.PACKER WROTE OF SCHAEFFER, “His communicative style was not thaof a cautious academiwho labors foexhaustive coverage and dispassionate objectivity. It was rather that of an impassioned thinker who paints his vision of eternal truth in bold strokes and stark contrasts.Yet it is a fact that MANY YOUNG THINKERS AND ARTISTS…HAVE FOUND SCHAEFFER’S ANALYSES A LIFELINE TO SANITY WITHOUT WHICH THEY COULD NOT HAVE GONE ON LIVING.”

Francis Schaeffer’s works  are the basis for a large portion of my blog posts and they have stood the test of time. In fact, many people would say that many of the things he wrote in the 1960’s  were right on  in the sense he saw where our western society was heading and he knew that abortion, infanticide and youth enthansia were  moral boundaries we would be crossing  in the coming decades because of humanism and these are the discussions we are having now!)

There is evidence that points to the fact that the Bible is historically true as Schaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACEThere is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. This link shows how to do that.

Francis Schaeffer in Art and the Bible noted, “Many modern artists, it seems to me, have forgotten the value that art has in itself. Much modern art is far too intellectual to be great art. Many modern artists seem not to see the distinction between man and non-man, and it is a part of the lostness of modern man that they no longer see value in the work of art as a work of art.

___________

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

 

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

#02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer

10 Worldview and Truth

Two Minute Warning: How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100

Francis Schaeffer Whatever Happened to the Human Race (Episode 1) ABORTION

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

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The above clip is from the film series by Francis Schaeffer “How should we then live?”  This film  discusses surrealist films like THE LAST YEAR OF MARIENBAD  that mixes our reality with our day dreams.

 

Alain Resnais Interview 2

Alain Resnais

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Alain Resnais
Alain Resnais Césars.jpg
Alain Resnais with Ariane AscarideJuliette Binoche and Agnès Jaoui at the 23rd César Award ceremony, 1998.

Born3 June 1922 (age 91)
VannesMorbihanBrittany, FranceYears active1946–present

Alain Resnais (French: [alɛ̃ ʁɛnɛ]; born 3 June 1922) is a French film director whose career has extended over more than six decades. After training as a film editor in the mid-1940s, he went on to direct a number of short films which included Night and Fog (1955), an influential documentary about the Nazi concentration camps.[1]

He began making feature films in the late 1950s and consolidated his early reputation with Hiroshima mon amour (1959), Last Year at Marienbad(1961), and Muriel (1963), all of which adopted unconventional narrative techniques to deal with themes of troubled memory and the imagined past. These films were contemporary with, and associated with, the French New Wave (nouvelle vague), though Resnais did not regard himself as being fully part of that movement. He had closer links to the “Left Bank” group of authors and filmmakers who shared a commitment to modernism and an interest in left-wing politics. He also established a regular practice of working on his films in collaboration with writers usually unconnected with the cinema, such as Marguerite DurasAlain Robbe-Grillet and Jorge Semprún.[1][2][3][4]

In later films Resnais moved away from the overtly political topics of some previous works and developed his interests in an interaction between cinema and other cultural forms, including theatre, music, and comic books. This led to imaginative adaptations of plays by Alan AyckbournHenri Bernstein and Jean Anouilh, as well as films featuring various kinds of popular song.

His films have frequently explored the relationship between consciousness, memory, and the imagination, and he is noted for devising innovative formal structures for his narratives.[5][6] Throughout his career he has won many awards from international film festivals and academies.

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1959–1967[edit]

Resnais’s first feature film was Hiroshima mon amour (1959). It originated as a commission from the producers of Nuit et brouillard (Anatole Dauman and Argos Films) to make a documentary about the atomic bomb, but Resnais initially declined, thinking that it would be too similar to the earlier film about the concentration camps[22] and that it presented the same problem of how to film incomprehensible suffering.[23] However, in discussion with the novelist Marguerite Duras a fusion of fiction and documentary was developed which acknowledged the impossibility of speakingabout Hiroshima; one could only speak about the impossibility of speaking about Hiroshima.[24] In the film, the themes of memory and forgetting are explored via new narrative techniques which balance images with narrated text and ignore conventional notions of plot and story development.[25] The film was shown at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival, alongside Truffaut’s Les Quatre Cents Coups (The 400 Blows), and its success became associated with the emerging movement of the French New Wave.[26]

Resnais’s next film was L’Année dernière à Marienbad (Last Year at Marienbad) (1961), which he made in collaboration with the novelist Alain Robbe-Grillet. The fragmented and shifting narrative presents three principal characters, a woman and two men, in the opulent setting of a grand European hotel or château where the possibility of a previous encounter a year ago is repeatedly asserted and questioned and contradicted. After winning the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, the film attracted great attention and provoked many divergent interpretations of how it should be understood, encouraged by interviews in which Robbe-Grillet and Resnais themselves appeared to give conflicting explanations of the film. There was little doubt however that it represented a significant challenge to the traditional concept of narrative construction in cinema.[27]

At the beginning of the 1960s France remained deeply divided by the Algerian War, and in 1960 the Manifesto of the 121, which protested against French military policy in Algeria, was signed by a group of leading intellectuals and artists who included Alain Resnais. The war, and the difficulty of coming to terms with its horrors, was a central theme of his next film Muriel (1963), which used a fractured narrative to explore the mental states of its characters. It was among the first French films to comment, even indirectly, on the Algerian experience.[28]

(Francis Schaeffer comments on Sartre’s statement on the Algerian War at this link.)

Personal life[edit]

In 1969 Resnais married Florence Malraux (daughter of the French statesman and writer André Malraux); she was a regular member of his production team, working as assistant director on most of his films from 1961 to 1986. His second wife is Sabine Azéma, who acted in the majority of his films from 1983 onwards; they were married in the English town of Scarborough in 1998.[76]

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Last Year at Marienbad

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Last Year at Marienbad
Marienbadposter.jpg
Directed by Alain Resnais
Produced by Pierre Courau
Raymond Froment
Written by Alain Robbe-Grillet
Starring Delphine Seyrig
Giorgio Albertazzi
Sacha Pitoëff
Music by Francis Seyrig
Cinematography Sacha Vierny
Editing by Jasmine Chasney
Henri Colpi
Release dates
  • June 25, 1961
Running time 94 minutes
Country France / Italy
Language French

L’Année dernière à Marienbad (released in the US as Last Year at Marienbad and in the UK as Last Year in Marienbad) is a 1961 French film directed by Alain Resnais from a screenplay by Alain Robbe-Grillet.[1]

The film is famous for its enigmatic narrative structure, in which truth and fiction are difficult to distinguish, and the temporal and spatial relationship of the events is open to question. The dream-like nature of the film has fascinated and baffled audiences and critics; some hail it as a masterpiece, others find it incomprehensible.

Plot[edit]

At a social gathering at a château or baroque hotel, a man approaches a woman. He claims they met the year before at Marienbad and is convinced that she is waiting there for him. The woman insists they have never met. A second man, who may be the woman’s husband, repeatedly asserts his dominance over the first man, including beating him several times at a mathematical game (a version of Nim). Through ambiguous flashbacks and disorienting shifts of time and location, the film explores the relationships among the characters. Conversations and events are repeated in several places in the château and grounds, and there are numerous tracking shots of the château’s corridors, with ambiguous voiceovers. The characters are unnamed in the film; in the published screenplay, the woman is referred to as “A”, the first man is “X”, and the man who may be her husband is “M”.

Cast[edit]

Style[edit]

Still from L’année dernière à Marienbad; in this surreal image, the couples cast long shadows but the trees do not

The film continually creates an ambiguity in the spatial and temporal aspects of what it shows, and creates uncertainty in the mind of the spectator about the causal relationships between events. This may be achieved through the editing, giving apparently incompatible information in consecutive shots, or within a shot which seems to show impossible juxtapositions, or by means of repetitions of events in different settings and décor. These ambiguities are matched by contradictions in the narrator’s voiceover commentary.[7] Among the notable images in the film is a scene in which two characters (and the camera) rush out of the château and are faced with a tableau of figures arranged in a geometric garden; although the people cast long dramatic shadows, the trees in the garden do not.

The manner in which the film is edited challenged the established classical style of narrative construction.[8] It allowed the themes of time and the mind and the interaction of past and present to be explored in an original way.[9] As spatial and temporal continuity is destroyed by its methods of filming and editing, the film offers instead a “mental continuity”, a continuity of thought.[10]

In determining the visual appearance of the film, Resnais said that he wanted to recreate “a certain style of silent cinema”, and his direction as well as the actors’ make-up sought to produce this atmosphere.[11] He even asked Eastman Kodak if they could supply an old-fashioned filmstock that would ‘bloom’ or ‘halo’ to create the look of a silent film (they could not).[12] Resnais showed his costume designer photographs from L’Inhumaine andL’Argent, for which great fashion designers of the 1920s had created the costumes. He also asked members of his team to look at other silent films including Pabst’s Pandora’s Box: he wanted Delphine Seyrig’s appearance and manner to resemble that of Louise Brooks. Most of Seyrig’s dresses in the film were designed by Chanel.[13] The style of certain silent films is also suggested by the manner in which the characters who populate the hotel are mostly seen in artificial poses, as if frozen in time, rather than behaving naturalistically.[14]

The films which immediately preceded and followed Marienbad in Resnais’s career showed a political engagement with contemporary issues (the atomic bomb, the aftermath of the Occupation in France, and the then taboo subject of the war in Algeria); Marienbad however was seen to take a completely different direction and to focus principally on style.[8] Commenting on this departure, Resnais said: “I was making this film at a time when I think, rightly, that one could not make a film, in France, without speaking about the Algerian war. Indeed I wonder whether the closed and stifling atmosphere of L’Année does not result from those contradictions.”[15]

Reception[edit]

Critical response to the film was divided from the outset and has remained so.[16][17] Controversy was fuelled when Robbe-Grillet and Resnais appeared to give contradictory answers to the question whether the man and woman had actually met at Marienbad last year or not; this was used as a means of attacking the film by those who disliked it.[18]

In 1963 the writer and film-maker Ado Kyrou declared the film a total triumph in his influential Le Surréalisme au cinéma,[19] recognizing the ambiguous environment and obscure motives within the film as representing many of the concerns of surrealism in narrative cinema. Another early supporter, the actor and surrealist Jacques Brunius, declared that “Marienbad is the greatest film ever made”.[20]

Less reverently, Marienbad received an entry in The Fifty Worst Films of All Time, by Harry Medved, with Randy Dreyfuss and Michael Medved. The authors lampooned the film’s surrealistic style and quoted numerous critics who found it to be pretentious and/or incomprehensible. The film critic Pauline Kael called it “the high-fashion experimental film, the snow job at the ice palace… back at the no-fun party for non-people”.[21]

The movie inspired a brief craze for the Nim variation played by the characters.[22]

Interpretations[edit]

Numerous explanations of the ‘story’ have been put forward: that it is a version of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth; that it represents the relationship between patient and psychoanalyst; that it all takes place in the woman’s mind;[23] that it all takes place in the man’s mind, and depicts his refusal to acknowledge that he has killed the woman he loved;[24] that the characters are ghosts or dead souls in limbo;[25] etc.

Some have noted that the film has the atmosphere and the form of a dream, that the structure of the film may be understood by the analogy of a recurring dream,[26] or even that the man’s meeting with the woman is the memory (or dream) of a dream.[27]

Others have heeded, at least as a starting point, the indications given by Robbe-Grillet in the introduction to his screenplay: “Two attitudes are then possible: either the spectator will try to reconstitute some ‘Cartesian’ scheme – the most linear, the most rational he can devise – and this spectator will certainly find the film difficult if not incomprehensible; or else the spectator will let himself be carried along by the extraordinary images in front of him […] and to this spectator, the film will seem the easiest he has ever seen: a film addressed exclusively to his sensibility, to his faculties of sight, hearing, feeling.”[28]

Robbe-Grillet offered a further suggestion of how one might view the work: “The whole film, as a matter of fact, is the story of a persuading [“une persuasion“]: it deals with a reality which the hero creates out of his own vision, out of his own words.”[29]

Resnais for his part gave a more abstract explanation of the film’s purpose: “For me this film is an attempt, still very crude and very primitive, to approach the complexity of thought, of its processes.”[30]

Awards[edit]

The film won the Golden Lion at the 1961 Venice Film Festival. In 1962 it won the critics’ award in the category Best Film of the Syndicat Français de la Critique de cinéma in France. The film was selected as the French entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 34th Academy Awards in 1962, but was not accepted as a nominee.[31] However, it was nominated for the 1963Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay (Alain Robbe-Grillet)[32] and it was also nominated for a Hugo Award as Best Dramatic Presentation.

The film was refused entry to the Cannes Film Festival because the director, Alain Resnais, had signed Jean-Paul Sartre‘s Manifesto of the 121 against the Algeria War.[33]

Influence[edit]

The impact of L’Année dernière à Marienbad upon other film-makers has been widely recognised and variously illustrated, extending from French directors such as Agnès VardaMarguerite Duras, and Jacques Rivette to international figures like Ingmar Bergman and Federico Fellini.[34] Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining[35] and David Lynch’s Inland Empire[36] are two films which are cited with particular frequency as showing the influence of Marienbad.

Peter Greenaway said that Marienbad had been the most important influence upon his own filmmaking (and he himself established a close working relationship with its cinematographer Sacha Vierny).[37]

The film’s visual style has also been imitated in many TV commercials and fashion photography.[38]

The music video for “To the End“, a 1994 single by British rock group Blur, is based on the film.

This film was the main inspiration for Karl Lagerfeld‘s Chanel Spring-Summer 2011 collection.[39] Lagerfeld’s show was complete with a fountain and a modern replica of the film’s famous garden. Since costumes for this film were done by Coco Chanel, Lagerfeld drew his inspiration from the film and combined the film’s gardens with those at Versailles.

Donald Draper, the antihero of Mad Men, is shown watching this film and La Notte in season 2; themes of each film resonate with Draper’s storylines.[40]

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Here is a portion of a review by Roger Ebert:

LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD

 

 

 

Last Year at Marienbad Movie Review
  |  Roger Ebert

May 30, 1999  

Yes, it’s easy to smile at Alain Resnais’ 1961 film, which inspired so much satire and yet made such a lasting impression. Incredible to think that students actually did stand in the rain to be baffled by it, and then to argue for hours about its meaning–even though the director claimed it had none. I hadn’t seen “Marienbad” in years, and when I saw the new digitized video disc edition in a video store, I reached out automatically: I wanted to see it again, to see if it was silly or profound, and perhaps even to recapture an earlier self–a 19-year-old who hoped Truth could be found in Art.

Viewing the film again, I expected to have a cerebral experience, to see a film more fun to talk about than to watch. What I was not prepared for was the voluptuous quality of “Marienbad,” its command of tone and mood, its hypnotic way of drawing us into its puzzle, its austere visual beauty. Yes, it involves a story that remains a mystery, even to the characters themselves. But one would not want to know the answer to this mystery. Storybooks with happy endings are for children. Adults know that stories keep on unfolding, repeating, turning back on themselves, on and on until that end that no story can evade.

The film takes place in an elegant chateau, one with ornate ceilings, vast drawing rooms, enormous mirrors and paintings, endless corridors and grounds in which shrubbery has been tortured into geometric shapes and patterns. In this chateau are many guests–elegant, expensively dressed, impassive. We are concerned with three of them: “A” (Delphine Seyrig), a beautiful woman. “X” (Giorgio Albertazzi), with movie-idol good looks, who insists they met last year and arranged to meet again this year. And “M” (Sascha Pitoeff), who may be A’s husband or lover, but certainly exercises authority over her. He has a striking appearance, with his sunken triangular face, high cheekbones, deep-set eyes and subtle vampirish overbite.

The film is narrated by X. The others have a few lines of dialogue here and there. On the soundtrack is disturbing music by Francis Seyrig, mostly performed on an organ–Gothic, liturgical, like a requiem. X tells A they met last year. He reminds her of the moments they shared. Their conversations. Their plans to meet in her bedroom while M was at the gaming tables. Her plea that he delay his demands for one year. Her promise to meet him again next summer.

A does not remember. She entreats X, unconvincingly, to leave her alone. He presses on with his memories. He speaks mostly in the second person: “You told me … you said … you begged me … .” It is a narrative he is constructing for her, a story he is telling her about herself. It may be true. We cannot tell. Resnais said that as the co-writer of the story he did not believe it, but as the director, he did. The narrative presses on. The insistent, persuasive X recalls a shooting, a death. No–he corrects himself. It did not happen that way. It must have happened this way, instead … .

We see her in white, in black. Dead, alive. The film, photographed in black and white by Sacha Vierny, is in widescreen. The extreme width allows Resnais to create compositions in which X, A and M seem to occupy different planes, even different states of being. (The DVD is letterboxed; to see this film panned-and-scanned would be pointless.) The camera travels sinuously; the characters usually move in a slow and formal way, so that any sudden movement is a shock (when A stumbles on a gravel walk and X steadies her, it is like a sudden breath of reality).

The men play a game. It has been proposed by M. It involves setting out several rows of matchsticks (or cards, or anything). Two players take turns removing matchsticks, as many as they want, but only from one row at a time. The player who is left with the last matchstick loses. M always wins. On the soundtrack, we hear theories: “The one who starts first wins … the one who goes second wins … you must take only one stick at a time … you must know when to … .” The theories are not helpful, because M always wins anyway. The characters analyzing the stick game are like viewers analyzing the movie: You can say anything you want about it, and it makes no difference.

“I’ll explain it all for you,” promised Gunther Marx, a professor of German at the U. of I. We were sitting over coffee in the student union, late on that rainy night in Urbana. (He would die young; his son Frederick would be one of the makers of “Hoop Dreams.”) “It is a working out of the anthropological archetypes of Claude Levi-Strauss. You have the lover, the loved one and the authority figure. The movie proposes that the lovers had an affair, that they didn’t, that they met before, that they didn’t, that the authority figure knew it, that he didn’t, that he killed her, that he didn’t. Any questions?”

I sipped my coffee and nodded thoughtfully. This was deep. I never subsequently read a single word by Levi-Strauss, but you see I have not forgotten the name. I have no idea if Marx was right. The idea, I think, is that life is like this movie: No matter how many theories you apply to it, life presses on indifferently toward its own inscrutable ends. The fun is in asking questions. Answers are a form of defeat.

It is possible, I realize, to grow impatient with “Last Year at Marienbad.” To find it affected and insufferable. It doesn’t hurtle through its story like today’s hits–it’s not a narrative pinball machine. It is a deliberate, artificial artistic construction. I watched it with a pleasure so intense I was surprised. I knew to begin with there would be no solution. That the three characters would move forever through their dance of desire and denial, and that their clothing and the elegant architecture of the chateau was as real as the bedroom at the end of “2001: A Space Odyssey”–in other words, simply a setting in which human behavior could be observed.

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Is Roger Ebert correct when he states, “No matter how many theories you apply to it, life presses on indifferently toward its own inscrutable ends. The fun is in asking questions. Answers are a form of defeat.” I don’t think Ebert is right because it is my view that God has spoken to us and we can know the truth about why we were put on this earth. Also we can know that our lives will not end forever when we die but we do have an afterlife with God. That is the reason I have chosen our next artist and his work to look at closely. I am very interested in his emphasis on the subject of transcendence. James Tuttle is his name below he is pictured with his wife Kyung-Lim Lee who is a poet.

Featured Artist Today is James Tuttle:

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James Turrell and his wife, Kyung-Lim Lee

James Turrell – Skyspaces

Our current exhibition, The Ecstasy of Knowing, has us thinking about master of light, James Turrell.

James Turrell (b. 1943) is an American artist and Quaker who often describes himself as a sculptor of light. His work mixes architecture, sculpture and atmosphere to communicate feelings of transcendence and mediation.

Skyspace, James Turrell, Photo by Florian Holzherr

Turrell is known for his amazing Skyspaces, enclosed rooms where he subtly changes the light around an aperture in a roof, manipulating the viewer’s perception of the sky from a flat to three-Dimensional space.

Sky Pesher by James Turrell, Walker Art Center

Visitors are encouraged to spend contemplative time in his spaces as each one provides an array of changing colors throughout the day.  There are several skyspaces in the United States and around the world.

Meeting (Skyspace) by James Turrell, MoMA PS1

Original file ‎(3,872 × 2,592 pixels, file size: 1.04 MB, MIME type: image/jpeg)

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[ARTS 315] Working in the Expanded Field, part 3: Axiomatic Structures – Jon Anderson

Published on Apr 5, 2012

Contemporary Art Trends [ARTS 315], Jon Anderson

Working in the Expanded Field, part 3: Axiomatic Structures

November 4, 2011

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At the 25 minute mark in the above lecture from Jon Anderson of Biola there is a 12 minuted section on the art of James Turrell. Anderson points out that Turrell is trying to give us “a strong dose of the immaterial, the spiritual, and the transcendent and his work is trying to get us thinking about the spiritual or transcendent.”

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Richard Tuttle: Reality & Illusion | Art21 “Exclusive”

Uploaded on May 14, 2009

Episode #056: Artist Richard Tuttle installs the work “Ten Kinds of Memory and Memory Itself” (1973) at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Richard Tuttle commonly refers to his art as drawing rather than sculpture, emphasizing the diminutive scale and idea-based nature of his work. He subverts the conventions of modernist sculptural practice by creating small, eccentrically playful objects in decidedly humble materials. Influences on his work include calligraphy, architecture, and poetry.

Learn more about Richard Tuttle: http://www.art21.org/artists/richard-…

VIDEO | Producer: Wesley Miller and Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera & Sound: Sam Henriques and Merce Williams. Editor: Jenny Chiurco. Artwork Courtesy: Richard Tuttle. Special Thanks: The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

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You will notice in the interview of Richard Tuttle by the reporter Chris Martin that Tuttle talks about grasping for immortality. Of course, that is not possible with a material base. The famous atheistic philosopher Jean Paul Sartre at the end of his life said:

“I do not feel that I am the product of chance, a speck of dust in the universe, but someone who was expected, prepared, prefigured. In short, a being whom only a Creator could put here; and this idea of a creating hand refers to God.”

You will notice in the interview that Tuttle knew Agnes Bernice Martin (March 22, 1912 – December 16, 2004) who was a famous artist, but he refers to her as though she still communicates to him even after her death. Without the belief in God people will always try to reach out and make a connection beyond this life. No wonder Richard Tuttle thinks this life is too short. In this video below by ART 21 called “Art and Life”  Richard Tuttle notes:

In some sense the artist is like Plato might call a “true philosopher.” You can go to the limit  of any or all disciplines that might be touched upon in our whole lifetime , for example, doesn’t seem enough to reach all those doors…Art is life and has to be all of life.

Now there is another point I want to demonstrate from Richard Tuttle’s life and work. Tuttle was raised in the Quaker faith and many Quakers hold the view that Christ has revealed himself in the Bible to us and He is the only way to heaven. In fact, their mission papers state, “Scripture calls us to account and helps us know God’s will. The Bible, as interpreted by the Holy Spirit, shows us what God requires of us and provides authoritative and unfailing spiritual guidance for our lives today.” However, Tuttle left his faith for over 25 years and then he came back to it. During this whole time he was searching for the transcendence in his art work. Currently Turrell is involved with the Quaker Fellowship which is called the 3rd Haven Friends Meeting in Easton, Maryland. I do not know if they hold to the traditional Christian views or not.

I have posted many times before about the pop singer Chris Martin of Coldplay (this is a different person than the reporter Chris Martin mentioned earlier) who was raised as an evangelical but he left his faith when he was 20, but he has not been able to totally shake his former beliefs (including his belief in hell) and they keep showing up in his songs. Deep down Martin knows that God created him for a purpose and that God has communicated to him truths about death and the afterlife that he can’t ignore. JUST LIKE TUTTLE IS CHRIS MARTIN BEING NUDGED BACK TO THE FAITH OF HIS CHILDHOOD BECAUSE HE CAN’T GET AROUND THE ISSUE OF “TRANSCENDENCE” IN HIS LIFE? Let’s look at the evidence that Martin keeps coming back to in his songs.

On June 23, 2012 my son Wilson and I got to attend a Coldplay Concert in Dallas. It was great. We drove down from our home in Little Rock, Arkansas earlier in the day. I wish they had played “Cemeteries of London” at the Dallas concert since I like that song a lot. Let me show you two points from the Book of Romans:

God reveals Himself in two Ways 

Lets take a look at the lyrics from the song “Cemeteries of London:”

God is in the houses
And God is in my head
And all the cemeteries of London
I see God come in my garden
But I don’t know what He said
For my heart, it wasn’t open
Not open

Romans chapter one clearly points out that God has revealed Himself through both the created world around us  and also in a God-given conscience that testifies to each person that God exists.
Notice in this song that the song writer notes, “I see God come in my garden” and “God is in my head.” These are the exact two places mentioned by the scripture.  Romans 1:18-20 (Amplified version)

18 For God’s [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative.

19 For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them.

20 For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification],(B)

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Chris Martin of Coldplay pictured below:

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Concerning these verses Francis Schaeffer said:

The world is guilty of suppressing God’s truth and living accordingly. The universe and its form and the mannishness of Man speak the same truth that the Bible gives in greater detail.

This is what Chris Martin is having to deal with and he  is clearly searching for spiritual answers but it seems he have not found them quite yet. The song “42“: “Time is so short and I’m sure, There must be something more.” Then in the song “Lost” Martin sings these words: “Every river that I tried to cross, Every door I ever tried was locked..”
Solomon went to the extreme in his searching in the Book of Ecclesiastes for this “something more” that Coldplay is talking about, but he found riches (2:8-11), pleasure (2:1), education (2:3), fame (2:9) and his work (2:4) all “meaningless” and “vanity” and “a chasing of the wind.” Every door he tried was locked.

Solomon is searching for the meaning of life in the Book of Ecclesiastes and that reminds me a lot of the search that Chris Martin is currently in.  By the way, the final chapter of Ecclesiastes finishes with Solomon emphasizing that serving God is the only proper response of man. My prediction: I am hoping that Coldplay’s next album will also come to that same conclusion that Solomon came to in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14:
13 Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man.

14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.

Kerry Livgren of Kansas found Christ eventually after first trying some Eastern Religions. I remember telling my friends in 1978 when “Dust in the Wind” was the number 6 song in the USA that Kansas had written a philosophical song that came to the same conclusion about humanistic man as Solomon did so long ago and I predicted that some members of that band would come to know the Christ of the Bible in a personal way. (Some rock bands  such as the “Verve“, claim that change is not possible, but it is when Christ comes in and changes someone.) You can hear Kerry Livgren’s story from this youtube link:

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

In the song Poppyfields” Chris Martin sings, ” People burying their dead…I don’t wanna die on my own here tonight.” That fatalistic view can also be seen in “Dust in the Wind.”

Here are the lyrics from the Kansas song “Dust in the Wind”:”

I close my eyes Only for a moment and the moment’s gone All my dreams Pass before my eyes with curiosity
Dust in the wind All they are is dust in the wind
Same old song Just a drop of water in an endless sea All we do Crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see
(Aa aa aa) Dust in the wind All we are is dust in the wind Oh, ho, ho
Now don’t hang on Nothin’ last forever but the earth and sky It slips away And all your money won’t another minute buy
Dust in the wind All we are is dust in the wind (All we are is dust in the wind)
Dust in the wind (Everything is dust in the wind) Everything is dust in the wind (In the wind)

Coldplay – Cemeteries of London ( FULL VIDEO)

The brilliant video for Cemeteries of London. It’s the perfect mix between music and image, Coldplay sold around 8 million albums with Viva La Vida.

Rare picture: Elusive couple Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin are photographed together at a beach party in the Hamptons

Elusive: Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin in a rare shot together at a beach party in the Hamptons

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Richard Tuttle: Art & Life | Art21 “Exclusive”

Uploaded on Jul 2, 2009

Episode #063: Richard Tuttle discusses his philosophical relationship to art and life in his New Mexico studio.

Richard Tuttle commonly refers to his art as drawing rather than sculpture, emphasizing the diminutive scale and idea-based nature of his work. He subverts the conventions of modernist sculptural practice by creating small, eccentrically playful objects in decidedly humble materials. Influences on his work include calligraphy, architecture, and poetry.

Learn more about Richard Tuttle: http://www.art21.org/artists/richard-…

VIDEO | Producer: Wesley Miller and Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera & Sound: Bob Elfstrom and Ray Day. Editor: Jenny Chiurco. Artwork Courtesy: Richard Tuttle.

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ART JANUARY 1ST, 2005

In Conversation

Richard Tuttle

by Chris Martin

Photo of Richard Tuttle courtesy of Sperone Westwater.

Throughout his impressive 40 year career, Richard Tuttle has pursued an artistic practice that is not easily categorized, incorporating drawing, painting, and sculpture into an idiosyncratic, intensely personal hybrid. With two successive solo installations at the Drawing Center in New York, a new show at the Wolfsonian-Florida International University in Miami, and an upcoming retrospective opening at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in July 2005 and traveling to the Whitney Museum of American Art in the fall, Tuttle’s work has become highly visible recently, despite its sometimes miniscule scale. The Rail spoke with Tuttle at the TriBeCa loft he shares with his wife, poet Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, and their daughter, Martha.

 

Rail: Somehow in the middle of all this you met Agnes Martin. Can you talk about how you met her and what she meant to you as a young artist?

Tuttle: Well, when I enlisted to be a pilot, I thought they would keep me for years. I felt that I had thrown my life away and that actually gave me courage to call Agnes. After I enlisted I went to the streets, and there was a phone booth and she was living near there, and so I just called her up and she invited me by.

Rail: You called because you knew who she was—you had seen her work?

Tuttle: I called because I had actually seen her and I had had a sort of intuitive response, she had something to say to me about whatever it is I am. So I knew I didn’t need my savings, my little bit of savings, so I thought I’d buy art with it. So I went to Agnes and said I would like to buy a drawing. And I looked at drawing after drawing after drawing, and finally the one I found was in the pages of a telephone book where it was being flattened. When I found it I knew that that was the drawing I wanted. As the years go on, it is just a phenomenal drawing. It is really like the first drawing of the true grids, and that is such an enormous step in terms of art. It is incalculable, that if one did try to calculate it, there are so many different points of view in which you can offer a calculation. I think Agnes is truly an artist who is going to take 100 years for the world to catch up to what she is actually doing.

Rail: Was Agnes encouraging of your work?

Tuttle: Sometimes, not always. There was a period, like there was a group of work I made called “The Tin Pieces,” and she really didn’t go for that at all. But then I remember when I made the first really octagonal cloth piece, and just at that moment Agnes came by and she approved of the piece. That was important; she just thought the others were slipping backwards, which they were.

Rail: Well, how wonderful of her. She was able to give you this clarity and encouragement.

Tuttle: I think we all see differently, yet being able to see is a gift or a talent that we develop, and there are certainly people who are extremely developed in seeing. But a child can also come along and see as well as somebody who has been training their entire life to see.

Rail: Right—it is not about progress or your credentials, but about being open and perceptive in that moment.

Tuttle: Yeah, and the values that emerge from that.

Rail: You’ve stayed close to Agnes Martin and maintained a dialogue over the years?

Tuttle: Yes. I had Agnes on a drive two days ago. Many people feel bad when people get old and they can’t do this or they can’t do that. Actually, we go into these higher levels of illumination. We are not leaving; we are gaining, in fact. Agnes was such an extraordinary human being, and to be around her as she is going through to these higher levels of illumination—I just ask her questions. And the nurses there are like, who is this? But her answers, the freshness! One question I asked her was if she thought Picasso was a good artist. And I didn’t get an answer because she forgot the question [laughs]. But the fact that she didn’t have an answer is also an answer. I asked Agnes, “Is there a special relation between women and abstraction?” And she said, “Without women, you’ll never know what abstraction is.” One issue that we talked about is this difference between men and women. I think that men’s art is read from left to right and women’s art is read from right to left. I faced this any number of times going to art school when I would walk in and try to see what was there. Zero was coming in, and then I would see that this was a woman’s art. So I would go up and read it from right to left, and then I would see. So this happened many times. And finally I went to Agnes and asked her about it because she does this type of painting that seems to be non-gender specific, and maybe for that reason she really didn’t like the question. After a few moments she said, “My paintings have always been read from right to left.” It’s fascinating when you actually look at them that way you get this heart-touching delicacy and poignancy. With Agnes’s work, that is all played against this other formality, this toughness, this structure. She does make such an effort to make it even all over. Where does that come from? I am reading an essay written by Kathryn Tuma, who works at the Drawing Center, who says that Agnes is on record somewhere as saying that when people go to a museum, they have many different emotional responses; they can be happy or angry, but those responses are not connected to the paintings in the museum. And Kathryn says, like any logical person would, “Well, if they’re not connected to the paintings, what are they connected to?” She made a great litany of all the people who have looked at Agnes’s paintings and felt the beauty and all the aesthetic emotional qualities as a kind of proof that Agnes is not correct in saying that one’s response is not connected to the art. I know it is dangerous, but I am kind of for Agnes.


© Richard Tuttle
The Duck IV, 1987
Corrugated cardboard carton.Wood, string, paint and other materials
Private collection, Munich

Richard Tuttle at work

Uploaded on Oct 12, 2010

Artist Richard Tuttle creates a wire drawing in SFMOMA’s galleries. Learn more about Tuttle at http://www.sfmoma.org/multimedia/inte…

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Rail: When I go to a Richard Tuttle show, I never quite know what to expect. Your work has an element of surprise that seems to be pretty consistent. Are there certain techniques that you use to constantly reinvent what you are doing?

Tuttle: Well, I like to think of myself as a very hard worker, but it is very rare and unusual for me to be able to get to do the real stuff. One of the ways I know of that is when it’s an occasion where we feel that we didn’t make something, that it just came through.

Rail: Do you draw or paint on a daily basis?

Tuttle: Yeah. I was very proud of something Adam Weinberg said once. He said, “When you talk to Richard, you always feel like he’s working.” I think I actually carry that too far sometimes. I think that there is a certain energy, and I just make something on a day-to-day basis. Then there’s the question of whether the work is the rare masterpiece or whether it is the day-to-day thing. And when it comes time to show, you know—what is the work? The quandary is whether to show something that’s exceptional or to show that work that you think of as invisible, like invisible daily life.

Rail: Well, the size of your work seems to mirror the invisible intimacy of daily life. Have you ever been tempted to make really large-size pieces?

Tuttle: Well, I guess the issue isn’t size; it’s scale. And each of us has our scale, which I find also quite remarkable. Early on, part of my thinking was economic because I just said I’ll sacrifice, I’ll live cheaply, I’ll make all the sacrifices I need to as long as I can make my art. And the small size kind of came, out of those parameters, to be connected to my scale. But I actually have an idea at the moment that my scale, which I think is much more important than size, also has a relation to supersize: really, really big stuff. I have been doing some projects that are supersize, and they have been very successful, but that is even more paradoxical because when you get to supersize, people don’t know that it becomes invisible.

 

MORE ARTICLES BY THE AUTHOR

Chris Martin

CHRIS MARTIN is an abstract artist based in Brooklyn, NY.

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Richard Tuttle’s work below:

At the 9:00 mark below Richard Tuttle said, “I have a very hard time believing anything and that doesn’t make life that happy.” Many artists before have come to a place of sadness and despair because they as sensitive men know that we have been put on this world for a purpose they can’t find it. 

Conversations | Premiere | Artist Talk | Richard Tuttle

Published on Dec 12, 2012

Richard Tuttle, Artist, New York/New Mexico
In conversation with Chris Dercon, Director of Tate Modern, London

Thursday | December 6 | 2012

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Richard Tuttle

Home » Artists » Richard Tuttle

About Richard Tuttle

Richard Tuttle was born in Rahway, New Jersey, in 1941, and lives and works in New Mexico and New York. He received a BA from Trinity College, Hartford. Although most of Tuttle’s prolific artistic output since the beginning of his career in the 1960s has taken the form of three-dimensional objects, he commonly refers to his work as drawing rather than sculpture, emphasizing the diminutive scale and idea-based nature of his practice. He subverts the conventions of Modernist sculptural practice—defined by grand, heroic gestures; monumental scale; and the “macho” materials of steel, marble, and bronze—and instead creates small, eccentrically playful objects in decidedly humble, even “pathetic” materials such as paper, rope, string, cloth, wire, twigs, cardboard, bubble wrap, nails, Styrofoam, and plywood. Tuttle also manipulates the space in which his objects exist, placing them unnaturally high or oddly low on a wall—forcing viewers to reconsider and renegotiate the white-cube gallery space in relation to their own bodies. Tuttle uses directed light and shadow to further define his objects and their space. Influences on his work include calligraphy (he has a strong interest in the intrinsic power of line), poetry, and language. A lover of books and printed matter, Tuttle has created artist’s books, collaborated on the design of exhibition catalogues, and is a consummate printmaker. Richard Tuttle received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture. He has had one-person exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Kunsthaus Zug, Switzerland; Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela; and Museu Fundação Serralves, Porto. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art organized a 2005 Tuttle retrospective.

Links
Sperone Westwater, New York
Richard Tuttle on the Art21 Blog

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Richard Tuttle | Art21 | Preview from Season 3 of “Art in the Twenty-First Century” (2005)

Uploaded on Oct 14, 2008

Richard Tuttle commonly refers to his work as drawing rather than sculpture, emphasizing the diminutive scale and idea-based nature of his practice. He subverts the conventions of modernist sculptural practice and instead creates small, eccentrically playful objects in decidedly humble materials such as paper, rope, twigs, and bubble wrap. Tuttle also manipulates the space in which his objects exist, forcing viewers to reconsider and renegotiate the white-cube gallery space in relation to their own bodies.

Richard Tuttle is featured in the Season 3 episode “Structures” of the Art21 series “Art in the Twenty-First Century”.

Learn more about Richard Tuttle: http://www.art21.org/artists/richard-…

© 2005-2007 Art21, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 7 Jean Paul Sartre (Feature on artist David Hooker )

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Photo taken in 1944 after a reading of Picasso’s play El deseo pillado por la cola: Standing from left to right: Jacques Lacan, Cécile  Éluard, Pierre Reverdy, Louise Leiris, Pablo Picasso, Zanie de Campan, Valentine Hugo, Simone de Beauvoir, Brassaï. Sitting, from left to right: Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Michel Leiris, Jean Aubier. Photo by Brassaï. –

Today we are going to look at the philosopher Jean Paul Sartre and will feature the work of the artist David Hooker.

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Star to Steer By – Revised!

The beautiful Portland Head Lighthouse on the Maine coast.

It was the flash from this lighthouse I could see from the

balcony of my hotel in Ogunquit, far to the south.

No finite point has meaning without an infinite reference point.

                    Jean-Paul Sartre

I am the light of the world.

                    Jesus Christ  (Matthew 5:14)

I stood outside on the deck of my hotel listening to the surf quietly lap the beach. It was a beautiful Maine evening, with stars blazing overhead and a gentle breeze blowing warm for early October. Out in the darkness my eyes traced a dim line of lights running along the shore of the peninsula that jutted far out to sea. Where the lights ended, I assumed, was lands end and where the open sea began. I was curious then, when I saw a light flash much farther out to sea. It didn’t take long to realize that the flash was from a lighthouse, which marked the true end of land. It was plain to me then how a lighthouse could make the difference between life and death to a ship sailing off the coast.

My friends and I had to laugh when
we saw this sign in Beijing, China,
north of the Forbidden City. It reminded
us all about the perilous journey of life.

A Point of Reference
As I thought about a ship sailing along the coast in rough waters without a reference point to warn it where it could run aground, it occurred to me how similar this is to navigating through life. Who could argue that life is not perilous? And how many lives have been shattered on the rocks of despair, meaninglessness, alcohol and drug addiction, bitterness, anxiety, etc.

How helpful it would be to have a point of reference to warn us of the dangers in life.

Even John-Paul Sartre (quoted above), a famous atheist existentialist, recognized that we finite human beings need an infinite reference point in order to have meaning. However, because Sartre didn’t believe there was an infinite reference point (God), he concluded that life is meaningless. “Man is absurd”, he said, “but he must grimly act as if he were not”. Sartre had worked through the implications of life without God, and his conclusion perfectly illustrates the hopelessness of the atheistic and secularist worldview.

The flash of the lighthouse interrupted my thoughts. Each time I saw it, I was amazed at how far out the shore really ran.

Worldview
All of us have worldviews that, consciously or unconsciously, guide us through life and affect our daily decisions…decisions that could move us closer to or farther away from dangers that could destroy our lives. Francis Schaeffer noted that our worldviews are based on “presuppositions” (1). For example, the presupposition that is championed at the secular university (and widely in our culture) today is the “uniformity of natural causes in a closed system”. Because, it is believed, the system is closed, then there can be nothing outside the system (i.e., God) and therefore, intervention from the outside (miracles or revelation from God) is impossible. With this presupposition, as Oxford mathematician John Lennox so eloquently stated, “we can’t even answer the simple questions of a child: Why am I here? What’s the meaning of life? And so on” (2). This is why Sartre, who believed in the closed system model, concluded that man is absurd.

If, on the other hand, you believe in the “uniformity of natural causes in an open system”, into which God can act, then revelation and miracles are entirely possible. We can receive answers to the simple questions of a child because there is a God who can speak into our system (such as through the Bible). He is our lighthouse.Then the statement by Jesus Christ that he is the light of the world (quoted above) makes sense.

View from my hotel balcony on the coast of Ogunquit, Maine.
At night I could see the Portland Head Lighthouse flashing in
the distance at the far right.

A North Star
Francis Schaeffer went on to say that the Bible gives us an adequate reference point, a North Star for our lives in the infinite-personal God. God is infinite (and thus, provides us a needed infinite reference point), and at the same time personal. How was he personal? The apostle John wrote that God came into the world as a human, a person, whose name was Jesus Christ (3). Jesus reached out and touched the lepers (4), which everyone else was afraid to do because they didn’t want to catch leprosy! He restored the lame (5) and even brought the dead back to life (6). Its hard to imagine getting more personal than that. In fact, read the New Testament and you will learn of many broken lives that, when touched by him, were healed and restored. Truly his mission had profound implications for those whose lives had been shattered on the jagged rocks of life.

Amazingly, the good news for us is that Jesus is still at work, healing and restoring life to all who accept him!  (7)

The lighthouse flashed again. Its no accident that Jesus described himself as the light of the world, or that John called him “the true light that gives light to everyone” (8).

It was getting late and I was growing tired. But I went back into my hotel room with a supernatural assurance that God was with me. As John wrote about Jesus: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (9)

Footnotes:

(1) He is There He is not Silent, by Francis Schaeffer
(2) An interview with John Lennox, Professor Lennox discusses Christianity, atheism, and science
(3) John 1:1,14,17.
(4) Matthew 8:1-3.
(5) Mark 3:1-6.
(6) Mark 5:21-43; John 11:1-44.
(7) Romans 8:10-11.
(8) John 1:9.
(9) John 1:5.

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Po

Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000 years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” episode 6 “The Scientific Age” episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” ,  episode 4 “The Reformation” episode 3 “The Renaissance”episode 2 “The Middle Ages,”, and  episode 1 “The Roman Age,” . My favorite episodes are number 7 and 8 since they deal with modern art and culture primarily.(Joe Carter rightly noted, “Schaefferwho always claimed to be an evangelist and not a philosopher—was often criticized for the way his work oversimplified intellectual history and philosophy.” To those critics I say take a chill pill because Schaeffer was introducing millions into the fields of art and culture!!!! !!! More people need to read his works and blog about them because they show how people’s worldviews affect their lives!

J.I.PACKER WROTE OF SCHAEFFER, “His communicative style was not thaof a cautious academiwho labors for exhaustive coverage and dispassionate objectivity. It was rather that of an impassioned thinker who paints his vision of eternal truth in bold strokes and stark contrasts.Yet it is a fact that MANY YOUNG THINKERS AND ARTISTS…HAVE FOUND SCHAEFFER’S ANALYSES A LIFELINE TO SANITY WITHOUT WHICH THEY COULD NOT HAVE GONE ON LIVING.”

Francis Schaeffer’s works  are the basis for a large portion of my blog posts and they have stood the test of time. In fact, many people would say that many of the things he wrote in the 1960’s  were right on  in the sense he saw where our western society was heading and he knew that abortion, infanticide and youth enthansia were  moral boundaries we would be crossing  in the coming decades because of humanism and these are the discussions we are having now!)

There is evidence that points to the fact that the Bible is historically true as Schaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACEThere is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. This link shows how to do that.

Francis Schaeffer in Art and the Bible noted, “Many modern artists, it seems to me, have forgotten the value that art has in itself. Much modern art is far too intellectual to be great art. Many modern artists seem not to see the distinction between man and non-man, and it is a part of the lostness of modern man that they no longer see value in the work of art as a work of art.

Francis and Edith Schaeffer

Sartre’s worldview is discussed in the film series “How should we then live?” by Francis Schaeffer below.

Transcript from “How Should we then live?”:

Humanist man beginning only from himself has concluded that he is only a machine. Humanist man has no place for a personal God, but there is also no place for man’s significance as man and no place for love, no place for freedom.

Man is only a machine, but the men who hold this position could not and can not live like machines. If they could then modern man would not have his tensions either in his intellectual position or in his life, but he can’t. So they leap away from reason to try to find something that gives meaning to their lives, to life itself, even though to do so they deny their reason.

Once this is done any type of thing could be put there. Because in the area of nonreason, reason gives no basis for a choice. This is the hallmark of modern man. How did it happen? It happened because proud humanist man, though he was finite, insisted in beginning only from himself and only from what he could learn and not from other knowledge, he did not succeed. Perhaps the best known of existentialist philosophers was Jean Paul Sartre. He used to spend much of his time here in Paris at the Les Deux Magots.

Sartre’s position is in the area of reason everything is absurd, but one can authenticate himself, that is give validity to his existence by an act of the willIn Sartre’s position one could equally help an old woman across the street or run her down.

Reason was not involved, and there was nothing to show the direction this authentication by an act of the will should take. But Sartre himself could live consistantly with his own position. At a certain point he signed the Algerian Manifesto which declared that the Algerian war was a dirty war. This action meant that man could use his reason to decide that some things were right and some things were wrong and so he destroyed his own system.

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

#02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer

10 Worldview and Truth

Two Minute Warning: How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100

Francis Schaeffer Whatever Happened to the Human Race (Episode 1) ABORTION

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

T h e AGE OF NON-REASON

I. Optimism Of Older Humanist Philosophers:

The unity and true knowledge of reality defined as starting from Man alone.

II. Shift in Modern Philosophy

A. Eighteenth century as the vital watershed.

B. Rousseau: ideas and influence.

1. Rousseau and autonomous freedom.

2. Personal freedom and social necessity clash in Rousseau.

3. Rousseau’s influence.

a) Robespierre and the ideology of the Terror.

b) Gauguin, natural freedom, and disillusionment.

C. DeSade: If nature is the absolute, cruelty equals non-cruelty.

D. Impossible tension between autonomous freedom and autonomous reasons conclusion that the universe and people are a part of the total cosmic machine.

E. Kant, Hegel, and Kierkegaard and their followers sought for a unity but they did not solve the problem.

1. After these men and their followers, there came an absolute break between the area of meaning and values, and the area of reason.

2. Now humanistic philosophy sees reason as always leading to pessimism; any hope of optimism lies in non-reason.

III. Existentialism and Non-Reason

A. French existentialism.

1. Total separation of reason and will: Sartre.

2. Not possible to live consistently with this position.

B. German existentialism.

1. Jaspers and the “final experience.”

2. Heidegger and angst.

C. Influence of existentialism.

1. As a formal philosophy it is declining.

2. As a generalized attitude it dominates modern thought.

IV. Forms of Popularization of Nonrational Experience

A. Drug experience.

1. Aldous Huxley and “truth inside one’s head.”

2. Influence of rock groups in spreading the drug culture; psychedelic rock.

B. Eastern religious experience: from the drug trip to the Eastern religious trip.

C. The occult as a basis for “hope” in the area of non-reason.

V. Theological Liberalism and Existentialism

A. Preparation for theological existentialism.

1. Renaissance’s attempt to “synthesize” Greek philosophers and Christianity; religious liberals’ attempt to “synthesize” Enlightenment and Christianity.

2. Religious liberals denied supernatural but accepted reason.

3. Schweitzer’s demolition of liberal aim to separate the natural from the supernatural in the New Testament.

B. Theological existentialism.

1. Intellectual failure of rationalist theology opened door to theological existentialism.

2. Barth brought the existential methodology into theology.

a) Barth’s teaching led to theologians who said that the Bible is not true in the areas of science and history, but they nevertheless look for a religious experience from it.

b) For many adherents of this theology, the Bible does not give absolutes in regard to what is right or wrong in human behavior.

3. Theological existentialism as a cul-de-sac.

a) If Bible is divorced from its teaching concerning the cosmos and history, its values can’t be applied to a historic situation in either morals or law; theological pronouncements

about morals or law are arbitrary.

b) No way to explain evil or distinguish good from evil. Therefore, these theologians are in same position as Hindu philosophers (as illustrated by Kali).

c) Tillich, prayer as reflection, and the deadness of “god.”

d) Religious words used for manipulation of society.

VI. Conclusion

With what Christ and the Bible teach, Man can have life instead of death—in having knowledge that is more than finite Man can have from himself.

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File:Lesdeuxmagots.jpg

Les Deux Magots (French pronunciation: [le dø maɡo]) is a famous[1] café in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area of ParisFrance. It once had a reputation as the rendezvous of the literary and intellectual élite of the city. It is now a popular tourist destination. Its historical reputation is derived from the patronage of Surrealist artists, intellectuals such as Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, and young writers, such as Ernest Hemingway. Other patrons included Albert Camus and Pablo Picasso.

The Deux Magots literary prize has been awarded to a French novel every year since 1933.

File:Statues, Les Deux Magots, Paris.JPG

The name originally belonged to a fabric and novelty shop at nearby 23 Rue de Buci. The shop sold silk lingerie and took its name from a popular play of the moment (1800s) entitled Les Deux Magots de la Chine (Two Figurines from China.)[2] In 1873 the business transferred to its current location in the Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés. In 1884 the business changed to a café and liquoriste, keeping the name.

Auguste Boulay bought the business in 1914, when it was on the brink of bankruptcy, for 400,000 francs (anciens). The present manager, Catherine Mathivat, is his great-great-granddaughter.

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Francis Schaeffer with his son Franky pictured below. Francis and Edith (who passed away in 2013) opened L’ Abri in 1955 in Switzerland.

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JEAN PAUL SARTRE: ATHEIST OR BELIEVER?

Jean Paul Sartre was a militant atheist most of his life. In fact he and his lover, Simone de Beauvoir, became two of the 20th century’s foremost atheists. Though de Beauvoir remained an atheist until the very end, Sartre appears to have come to the realization that he had been wrong — to the shock and dismay of all his followers and admirers.


The one who revealed Sartre’s astonishing change was his friend and ex-Maoist, Pierre Victor (A.k.a. Benny Levy), who spent much of his time with the dying Sartre and interviewed him on several of his views. According to Victor, Sartre had a drastic change of mind about the existence of God and started gravitating toward Messianic Judaism. This is Sartre’s before-death profession, according to Pierre Victor: “I do not feel that I am the product of chance, a speck of dust in the universe, but someone who was expected, prepared, prefigured. In short, a being whom only a Creator could put here; and this idea of a creating hand refers to God.”[i]

This statement effectively closes Sartre’s existential phase to the consternation of his followers and his lover, Simone de Beauvoir, in particular. During Sartre’s funeral, De Beauvoir reportedly behaved like a bereaved widow, but later became quite critical of Sartre in her “Cérémonie Des Adieux.” Later on, she revealed her anger at his change of mind by stating, “How should one explain this senile act of a turncoat? All my friends, all the Sartreans, and the editorial team of Les Temps Modernes supported me in my consternation.”[ii]

Further evidence that supports Sartre’s move toward belief in God is found in an unlikely source, “theinfidels.org.”  This fanatical atheist web site, tells us that in 1980, about a month before Sartre’s death, he was interviewed by one of his assistants, Benny Lévy, and within these interviews he expressed interest in Messianic Judaism. The web site again adds that Sartre was only interested in the “metaphysical” aspects of Judaism, but that he continued to reject the idea of an existing God.[iii]

In the next paragraph they admit that in a 1974, in an interview with Simone de Beauvoir, Sartre said that at times he saw himself “as a being that could, it seems, only come from a creator.” However, they point out, he added that “this is not a clear, exact idea…” As expected, they then proceed to assure us that before and after these statements Sartre makes clear that he was and remained an atheist. [iv]

Finally they admit that Sartre’s supporters were upset about Sartre’s acceptance of “something” in Judaism, which was a clear rejection of Marxism, a philosophy which had been a huge and central part of his philosophical thoughts. Unfortunately for them, Sartre confirmed that Levy’s interviews were authentic. [v]

One cannot but smile at the reticence on the part of these atheists to admit that the evidence betrays that something “major” was happening in Sartre’s thinking. By putting two and two together it appears that Sartre did not have a last minute conversion at all, but that over several years there was a gradual transformation in his thinking that he “hesitantly” admitted to in 1974, probably so as not to upset De Beauvoir and his followers, and that he finally appears to have fully confessed his transformation to his dear friend Victor before his death. The fact that he confirmed that Victor’s interviews were genuine adds plenty of support to this conclusion. Thus, the fanatical atheist, Jean Paul Sartre, appears to have seen the light toward the last years of his life — unfortunately after having influenced many around the world into accepting the philosophy of Atheism.

i. National Review, June 11, 1982, p. 677. Cited in McDowell, J. Stewart, D. Handbook of Today’s Religions – Existentialism.http://www.greatcom.org/resources/handbook_of_todays_religions/04chap04/default.htm (viewed December 27, 2007)

ii. Ibid.

iii. Theinfidels.org, Sartre, Jean Paul, http://www.theinfidels.org/zunb-jeanpaulsartre.htm (Viewed December 27, 2007)

This statement effectively closes Sartre’s existential phase to the consternation of his followers and his lover, Simone de Beauvoir, in particular. During Sartre’s funeral, De Beauvoir reportedly behaved like a bereaved widow, but later became quite critical of Sartre in her “Cérémonie Des Adieux.” Later on, she revealed her anger at his change of mind by stating, “How should one explain this senile act of a turncoat? All my friends, all the Sartreans, and the editorial team of Les Temps Modernes supported me in my consternation.”[ii]

Further evidence that supports Sartre’s move toward belief in God is found in an unlikely source, “theinfidels.org.”  This fanatical atheist web site, tells us that in 1980, about a month before Sartre’s death, he was interviewed by one of his assistants, Benny Lévy, and within these interviews he expressed interest in Messianic Judaism. The web site again adds that Sartre was only interested in the “metaphysical” aspects of Judaism, but that he continued to reject the idea of an existing God.[iii]

In the next paragraph they admit that in a 1974, in an interview with Simone de Beauvoir, Sartre said that at times he saw himself “as a being that could, it seems, only come from a creator.” However, they point out, he added that “this is not a clear, exact idea…” As expected, they then proceed to assure us that before and after these statements Sartre makes clear that he was and remained an atheist. [iv]

Finally they admit that Sartre’s supporters were upset about Sartre’s acceptance of “something” in Judaism, which was a clear rejection of Marxism, a philosophy which had been a huge and central part of his philosophical thoughts. Unfortunately for them, Sartre confirmed that Levy’s interviews were authentic. [v]

One cannot but smile at the reticence on the part of these atheists to admit that the evidence betrays that something “major” was happening in Sartre’s thinking. By putting two and two together it appears that Sartre did not have a last minute conversion at all, but that over several years there was a gradual transformation in his thinking that he “hesitantly” admitted to in 1974, probably so as not to upset De Beauvoir and his followers, and that he finally appears to have fully confessed his transformation to his dear friend Victor before his death. The fact that he confirmed that Victor’s interviews were genuine adds plenty of support to this conclusion. Thus, the fanatical atheist, Jean Paul Sartre, appears to have seen the light toward the last years of his life — unfortunately after having influenced many around the world into accepting the philosophy of Atheism.

i. National Review, June 11, 1982, p. 677. Cited in McDowell, J. Stewart, D. Handbook of Today’s Religions – Existentialism.http://www.greatcom.org/resources/handbook_of_todays_religions/04chap04/default.htm (viewed December 27, 2007)

ii. Ibid.

iii. Theinfidels.org, Sartre, Jean Paul, http://www.theinfidels.org/zunb-jeanpaulsartre.htm (Viewed December 27, 2007)

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Death, resurrection and dust at Wheaton College

Published on Mar 13, 2013

David J.P.Hooker, Wheaton College assoc. professor of art, works in his studio on his sculpture he calls “Corpus,” on Feb. 25, 2013. He is covering the five-foot-tall plaster corpus with vacuumed dust collected by the college’s custodial staff. (Chuck Berman, Chicago Tribune)

For more video, visit http://chicagotribune.com/video, subscribe to this channel, or follow us @TribVideo

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Today our featured artist is the sculptor David Hooker of Chicago where  he is associate professor of art at Wheaton College. I learned about Wheaton back around 1975 when my Bible teacher Mark Brink told me that he graduated there. Mr. Brink is the one who introduced me in a big way to the works of Francis Schaeffer.

David Hooker pictured below:

Featured Artist: David Hooker

– 10/05/2013Posted in: Featured ArtistSculptors

'Corpus'. 2013.

‘Corpus’. 2013.

David Hooker is a ceramicist and sculptor living in the Chicago area where he is associate professor of art at Wheaton College.  He grew up on South Carolina, and he received an MFA in Ceramics from Kent State.  He blogs at Hooker’s Ramblings, and you can view much of his work at his website.

Hooker writes:

My artistic practice explores my fascination with objects, places, history and memory through ritual actions, looking for ways in which ritual can have a positive influence in our understanding of our environments and ourselves.

This description is particularly appropriate for his recent project Corpus (see above).  Currently on display in the Bible and Theology Department of Wheaton College, Corpus is an antique body of Christ that Hooker found and then covered with dust.  Hooker acquired the dust from the vacuum bags of Wheaton College’s custodial staff.  The work draws our attention to numerous rituals: the regularly cleaning of the college, the rhythmic flux of students that moves dirt and dust into the college, the Eucharist, and Hooker’s own process of layering the dust over Jesus’ body.  By drawing attention to these rituals, Corpus also draws the community together.  As Hooker points out in a Chicago Tribune article, ”Literally, this dirt contains skin cells from the community. The idea is that our bodies are now connected to the body of Christ.  At first, some might find it disgusting, or even sacrilegious, but I hope people can get past that and see the meaning behind it.”

Rituals are constructs, ways of ordering and structuring our lives, that shape the way we see and understand the world.  This constructed, and mediated, way of encountering the world is reflected in much of Hooker’s work.  For example, in Pilgrim Construction with Zepplin (see below), objects from the “real” world are lifted out of their normal contexts and placed within a new construction.  Doing so asks us to relate the objects to each other in new ways, and it also questions whether the way we see these objects in “real life” is natural or cultural.

One significant social construct that Hooker’s work explores is race.  His most recent project, The Sweep Project, aims to explore the history and memory of racial tension in Will County, Illinois.  By literally sweeping along known Underground Railroad routes and to known Underground Railroad destinations, Hooker will retrieve and uncover, if only ephemerally, the memory of a courageous and desperate ritual that marks a moment in America’s troubled past of slavery and the struggle for civil rights.  In addition to sweeping many miles himself, Hooker plans to incorporate the help of the wider community by, for example, working with local high school students to build a 1.2 mile trail of sugar cubes from the Lincolnway Central High School to the Old Brick Tavern marker.  If you are interested in learning more about the project and supporting it financially, please look at Hooker’s kickstarter campaign.  For a very small donation, you can receive an original Cyanotype print made from elements found during the project.

For more information about Hooker’s work, pleas visit his website.  I have copied some images of his work below:

'Corpus' (Detail). 2013.

‘Corpus’ (Detail). 2013.

Example of Cyanotype for 'The Sweep Project'.

Example of Cyanotype for ‘The Sweep Project’.

'Sheep and Goats.'

‘Sheep and Goats.’

'Pilgrim Construction with Zepplin'.

‘Pilgrim Construction with Zepplin’.

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David Hooker on why he’s excited about JUSTart

Published on May 22, 2013

I’m really looking forward to the exhibitions! We’re working to make Adams Hall itself, our art building, a kind of art explosion.

When I’ve been to CIVA conferences, I usually come back overwhelmed and energized…

http://civa.org/justart

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Francis Bacon: Humanist artist who believed life “is meaningless” (Part 3)

I first read about Bacon in a book by Francis Schaeffer.

John Whitehead in an article noted:

Bacon’s work epitomizes the spirit of twentieth century man—a grasping for meaning and dignity within an environment of dehumanization and meaninglessness. He once said: “Nietzsche forecast our future for us—he was the Cassandra of the nineteenth century—he told us it’s all so meaningless we might as well be extraordinary.”

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Below is a portion of an article by Os Guinness

“I come too early. My time has not come yet. This tremendous event is still on its way.” Nietzsche“To be a man means to reach toward being God.” Jean Paul Sartre“In seeking to become angels we may become less than men.” Pascal“True civilization does not lie in gas, nor in steam, nor in turntables. It lies in the reduction of the traces of original sin.” Baudelaire“It is becoming more and more obvious, that it is not starvation, not microbes, not cancer but man himself who is mankind’s greatest danger.” Carl Jung“It is in our hearts that the evil lies, and it is from our hearts that it must be plucked Out.” Bertrand Russell“Oh great gods, how far he lies from his destination!” Fillini, Fellini’s Satyricon1


Western culture is marked at the present moment by a distinct slowing of momentum, or perhaps, more accurately, by a decline in purposefulness and an increase in cultural introspection. This temporary lull, this vacuum in thought and effective action, has been created by the convergence of three cultural trends, each emphasizing a loss of direction. The first is the erosion of the Christian basis of Western culture, an erosion with deep historical causes and clearly visible results. The second is the failure of optimistic humanism to provide an effective alternative in the leadership of the post-Christian culture. And the third is the failure of our generation’s counter culture to demonstrate a credible alternative to either of the other two — Western Christianity and humanism.

The convergence of these three factors in the late sixties marks this period as especially important. What is at stake is nothing less than the direction of Western man. Only a few years ago the dismissal of Christianity was held to be a prerequisite for cultural advance. The decline of Christianity thus represented a cure for man’s problems, not a cause. So with the dawning of optimistic humanism the decline of Christianity was welcomed. Its adherents would be the only losers.

But that was yesterday. And contemporary yesterdays have a habit of suddenly seeming a hundred years ago. Today the cultural memory of traditional values hangs precariously like late autumn leaves, and in the new wintry bleakness optimism itself is greying. Now it appears that all of Western culture may be the loser.

My purpose is first to examine humanism, partially as a movement in itself but even more as a backdrop against which to appreciate the need for an alternative; then to chart the alternative offered by the counter culture with all its kaleidescopic variety; and finally, to present a third way as a more viable option in the light of man’s current situation. The weaknesses in both humanism and the counter culture are pointed out, not to negate much that has been extremely sensitive and intensely human, but to show the inevitability of their failures. The critique at least serves to illustrate certain mistakes that must not be repeated, and it highlights important questions and dilemmas with which further alternatives must grapple.

A third way is desperately necessary because the present options are growing more obviously unacceptable. And, in fact, there is a Third Way — one which is becoming increasingly welcome to a large number of sensitive searchers and free-spirited individuals who make up a major part of those dissatisfied with things as they are. This Third Way holds the promise of realism without despair, involvement without frustration, hope without romanticism. It combines a concern for humanness with intellectual integrity, a love of truth with a love of beauty, conviction with compassion and deep spirituality. But this is running ahead.

The Surfacing of Pessimism

Now we can see an important point more clearly. Optimistic humanism was only one stream of secular humanism. Its reverse was pessimistic humanism, and if the optimism was characteristically strong in academic circles, it is now evident that pessimism was more prevalent in the wider reality of life. Pessimistic humanism was always there, like a subterranean stream, murky in its depths and dark in its apprehension of dilemmas. It is this subterranean stream that is now threatening to surface and usurp the dignity and dominance of optimistic humanism.

Again we must go back in history to realize the full importance of this surfacing pessimism. Its genius was to see that behind the apparent stability of the nineteenth-century world in which modern humanism was born stood a different reality. Both Nietzsche and Kirkegaard were men who lived in passionate revolt against the smugness of the nineteenth century, particularly against the cheapness of its religious faith and the brash confidence of its secular reasoning, or generally against its shallow optimism, wordy idealism and tendency to conform. Such a smug world was not just false but dangerously foolish, if the true nature of reality lay elsewhere.

It is amazing that this subterranean pessimism was not taken more seriously earlier. But it was derided as the “Devil’s Party” — the poets, philosophers and prophets of chaos and catastrophe — and all too easy to dismiss.13 Some were ignored. Their repeated warnings were simply relegated to the status of cultural myth having only an innocuous respectability. In 1832 Hemrich Heine had said, “Do you hear the little bell tinkle? Kneel down — one brings the sacraments for a dying God.”14 Nietzsche’s later cry of the death of God and his searching diagnosis (“Everything lacks meaning. What does nihilism mean? That the highest values devaluate themselves. The goal is lacking; the answer is lacking to our ‘Why?’”)15 were not taken seriously either. After all, wasn’t Heine a poet, and wasn’t Nietzsche later deranged?

Other warnings were dismissed as only to be expected from the theory or temperament of their particular authors. Repeatedly in the 1930s, George Orwell depicted Western intellectuals as men who in blithe ignorance were sawing off the very branch on which they were sitting. Malcolm Muggeridge in his articles lanced open the “death wish of liberalism.” C. S. Lewis carefully made his exposures in “The Funeral of a Great Myth.”16 But the serious disquiet of Orwell, the humorous if testy honesty of Muggeridge and the gentle clarity and utter reasonableness of C. S. Lewis were before their time. They were predictable. They were ignored.

But the rising tide of disquiet cannot now be ignored. It is becoming the accepted mood of much recent judgment, as a hundred illustrations could quickly show. Writing in 1961 specifically on problems of Western culture, Frantz Fanon mocked, “Look at them today, swaying between atomic and spiritual disintegration.”17 In the same context, Jean Paul Sartre challenged, “Let us look at ourselves if we can bear to, and see what is becoming of us. First we must face that unexpected revelation, the strip tease of our humanism.”18 These two men could easily be dismissed as pessimistic, prejudiced politically and philosophically, but the disquiet does not stop there. Coming closer to the heart of humanism and speaking almost as an heir to a distinguished humanist house, Aldous Huxley described himself this way: “I was born wandering between two worlds, one dead and the other powerless to be born, and have made in a curious way the worst of both.”19 From the world of science John Rader Platt, the American biophysicist, said, “The world has now become too dangerous for anything less than Utopia.”20 Norman O. Brown, a man famous for the lyrical romanticism of his visions, admitted, “Today even the survival of humanity is a utopian hope.”21

There can be no stable equilibrium between optimism and pessimism but only an uneasy oscillation between the two. Optimistic humanism is strong in its stress on the aspirations of man but weak in its understanding of his aberrations. Accordingly, it lacks a base for the fulfillment of the former and its solutions to the latter are deficient; thus its ultimate optimism is eternally romantic. Pessimistic humanism, on the other hand, insists on the absurdity of man’s aspirations and speaks to the heart of his aberrations, but the price of its realism is the constant pull toward despair. This clear contrast throws further light on the current crisis.

Four Pillars of Optimistic Humanism

Optimistic humanism is being exposed as idealism without sufficient ideals. More accurately, its ideals are impossible to attain without a sufficient basis in truth, and this is just what its rationalistic premises are unable to provide. This is the key weakness of each of the four central pillars of optimistic humanism.

The first pillar is the belief in reason. Here optimistic humanism is forced to its initial leap of faith… Much of what was called reasoning is now more properly called rationalizing.

Modern philosophy also has reduced the pretentions of reason. For man, speaking from a finite reference point without divine revelation, to claim to have found a “universal” is not just to be mistaken. The claim itself is meaningless. For most modern men, objectivity, universals or absolutes are in a realm beyond the scope of reason; in this realm there is only the existential, non-rational, subjective understanding of truth.

Both psychology and philosophy have thus clipped the proud wings of rationalism and the unlimited usefulness of reason by itself. By rationalism I do not mean “rationalism” as opposed to “empiricism” but rather the hidden premise common to both — the humanist’s leap of faith in which the critical faculty of reason is tacitly made into an absolute and used as a super-tool to marshal particulars and claim meaning which in fact is proper only to the world of universals.

The second pillar is the belief in progress. The orientation toward the future introduced into Western culture by Christian linear teleology was secularized by the Enlightenment. Ostensibly it had been given objective scientific support by the evolutionary theory. It was widely believed that nature was marching forward inevitably to higher and higher views of life (as expressed, for instance, in the philosophy of Herbert Spencer). But this is now being drastically undermined. Many point to evidence of an evolutionary crisis, somewhat tarnishing the comfortable image of inevitable progress with man at the center of the stage controlling his own evolution. Some even predict the extinction of the human species.

The third pillar is the belief in science as the guide to human progress and the provider of an alternative to both religion and morals. If “evolution is good,” then evolution must be allowed to proceed and the very process of change becomes absolutized.

The fourth pillar is the belief in the self-sufficiency of man. A persistent erosion of man’s view of himself is occurring. The fact that man has made so many significant scientific discoveries points strongly to the significance of man, yet the content of these same scientific discoveries underscores his insignificance. Man finds himself dwarfed bodily by the vast stretches of space and belittled temporally by the long reaches of time. Humanists are caught in a strange dilemma. If they affirm the greatness of man, it is only at the expense of ignoring his aberrations. If they regard human aberrations seriously, they have to escape the dilemma raised, either by blaming the situation on God (and how often those most strongly affirming the non-existence of God have a perverse propensity to question his goodness!) or by reducing man to the point of insignificance where his aberrations are no longer a problem. During World War II, Einstein, plagued by the mounting monstrosity of man against man, was heard to mutter to himself, “After all, this is a small star.”23 He escaped the dilemmas of man’s crime and evil but only at the price of undermining man’s significance.

Notes

  • Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, The Gay Science, 125, in The Portable Nietzsche (New York: The Viking Press, 1954), p. 96; C. G. Jung. “Epilogue,” Modern Man in Search of a Soul (New York: Routledge Books, 1933); Bertrand Russell, Has Man a Future? (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1961), p. 110; Federico Fellini, Fellini’s Satyricon, ed. Darlo Zanelli, trans. Eugene Walters and John Matthews (New York: Ballantine Books, 1970), p. 269.
  • Quoted in Kenneth Clark, Civilisation (London: John Murray Ltd., 1971), p. 104.
  • Quoted in ibid., p. 101.
  • Peter Gay, The Enlightenment: An Interpretation (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1966), p. 44.
  • Ibid.,p.417.
  • Michael Harrington, The Accidental Century (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1967), p. 31.
  • Gordon Childe, Man Makes Himself (New York: Mentor Books, 1951).
  • Julian Huxley, ed., The Humanist Frame (London: George Allen and Unwin Ltd., 1961), p. 44.
  • Ibid.,p.7.
  • Algernon Charles Swinburne, “Hymn of Man.”
  • J. Huxley, p. 6.
  • Ibid., p. 26.
  • Harrington, p. 35.
  • Heinrich Heine, quoted in WaIter Kaufmann, Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist (New York: Meridian Books, 1956), p. 375.
  • Nietzsche, The Will to Power, 1-2, quoted in Kaufmann, p. 103.
  • C. S. Lewis, Christian Reflections (London: Geoffrey Bles Ltd., 1967), p. 82.
  • Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, trans. Constance Farrington (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1967), p. 251.
  • lbid., p.21.
  • Letter of Aldous Huxley to Sibylle Bedford quoted in Time, May 4, 1970.
  • J. R. Platt, The Step to Man (New York: John Wiley & Sons Ltd., 1966), p. 196.
  • Norman O. Brown, Life Against Death (London: Sphere Books Ltd., 1968), p. 267.
  • See discussion in Nigel Calder, Technopolis (London: MacGibbon & Kee Ltd., 1969), pp. 98-99.
  • Arnold Toynbee, “Changing Attitudes towards Death in the Modern Western World” in Arnold Toynbee and others, Man’s Concern with Death (London: Hodder and Stoughton Ltd., 1968), p. 125.
  • Arthur Koestler, The Ghost in the Machine (London: Hutchinson & Co. Ltd., 1967), p. 15.
  • Viktor E. Frankl, “Reductionism and Nihilism” in Beyond Reductionism, ed. Arthur Koestler and J. R. Smythies (London: Hutchinson & Co. Ltd., 1969), p. 398.
  • Mortimer J. Adler, The Difference of Man and the Difference It Makes (London: Holt, Rinehart & Winston Ltd., 1967).
  • Quoted in T. M. Kitwood, What Is Human? (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1970), p. 49.
  • Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, IV, 1, as quoted in Kaufmann, pp. 83-84.
  • Harrington, p. 26.
  • Koestler, p. 313.
  • Fanon, pp. 251-52.
  • Harrington, p. 36.
  • Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents, Standard Works of Freud, 21 (London: The Hogarth Press Ltd., 1961), p. 91-92.
  • Albert Camus, The Rebel, trans. Anthony Bower (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1962), pp. 243-44.
  • Nietzsche, The Gay Science, 125.
  • Quoted in Gay, p. 65.
  • Quoted in Kitwood, p. 54.
  • Erich Heller, The Disinherited Mind (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1961), p. 75.
  • Nietzsche, p. 409.
  • Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra, I, 11, in The Portable Nietzsche, p. 160.
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Possessed (New York: Signet Classics, 1962), pp. 384-85.
  • Camus, The Rebel, p. 199.
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, Inc., 1968), p. 733.
  • Quoted in Camus, The Rebel, p. 58.
  • Quoted in ibid., p. 62.
  • Quoted in ibid.
  • Quoted in ibid.
  • Heller, p. 76.
  • Nietzsche, Zarathustra’s Prologue, 4, in The Portable Nietzsche, p. 126.
  • Jean Paul Sartre, Nausea (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1965), p. 191.
  • Sartre, Being and Nothingness, trans. Hazel E. Barnes (London: Methuen, 1957), p. 566.
  • Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot (London: Faber and Faber Ltd., 1956).
  • Samuel Beckett, Krapp’s Last Tape (New York: Grove Press, Inc., 1958).
  • Yoko Ono, Grapefruit (London: Peter Owen Ltd., 1970).
  • Paul Simon, The Paul Simon Songbook, C.B.S. 62579.
  • Jean Luc Godard, La Chinoise, filmed 1967.
  • Quoted in H. R. Rookmaaker, Modern Art and the Death of a Culture (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1970), p. 174.
  • Jacques Ellul, The Technological Society, trans. John Wilkinson (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1970), p.321.
  • Chores and Roy Medvedev, A Question of Madness (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1971).
  • “Psychoadaptation, or How to Handle Dissenters,” Time,September 27, 1971, p. 45.
  • lbid., p.44.
  • Quoted in Harrison Salisbury, “Introduction,” The Prison Diary of Ho Chi Minh (New York: Bantam Books, 1971), p. ix.
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Idiot (New York: Bantam Books, 1958), p. 71.
  • Jerzy Grotowski, Towards a Poor Theatre (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1968), p. 123.
  • Erich Fromm, The Sane Society (New York: Routledge Books, 1956).
  • R. D. Laing, The Politics of Experience (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1967), p. 24.
  • Ibid., p.24.
  • David Cooper, ed., The Dialectics of Liberation (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1968).
  • Malcolm Muggeridge, Tread Softly for You Tread on My Jokes (Glasgow: William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd.), p. 28.
  • Ibid., p. 29.
  • Christopher Booker, The Neophiliacs (Glasgow: Fontana, 1970), p. 70.
  • Ibid., p. 44.
  • Ibid., p. 339.
  • Ernst Fischer, The Necessity of Art, trans. Anna Bostock (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1963).
  • Lewis Feuer, “What Is Alienation? The Career of a Concept,” New Politics, Spring 1962, pp. 116-34.
  • Fischer, p. 80.
  • Erich Frornm, Marx’s Concept of Man (New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 1961).
  • Hermann Dooyeweerd, A New Critique of Theoretical Thought, 4 vols. (Nutley, N.J.: The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1957); The Twilight of Western Thought (Nutley, N.J.: Craig Press, 1960).
  • Francis A. Schaeffer, The God Who Is There (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1968); Escape from Reason(Downers Grove, III.: InterVarsity Press, 1968).
  • J. A. Rushdoony, “Preface,” Dooyeweerd, The Twilight of Western Thought, p. 9.
  • Camus, The Rebel, p. 16.
  • Nietzsche in a letter to Gersdorff, November 7, 1970, quoted in Erich Heller, p. 70.
  • Ibid., p.181.
  • Fromm, Sane Society, p. 360.
  • Laing, The Politics of Experience, p. 118.

Author

Os Guinness is an Englishman born in China during the war with Japan and educated at the University of London. He has traveled widely in the East and lectured to student groups in Europe, the United States and Canada. His major work was with Francis Schaeffer at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland.

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Francis Bacon: Humanist artist who believed life “is meaningless” (Part 3)

I first read about Bacon in a book by Francis Schaeffer.

John Whitehead in an article noted:

Bacon’s work epitomizes the spirit of twentieth century man—a grasping for meaning and dignity within an environment of dehumanization and meaninglessness. He once said: “Nietzsche forecast our future for us—he was the Cassandra of the nineteenth century—he told us it’s all so meaningless we might as well be extraordinary.”

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Below is a portion of an article by Os Guinness

“I come too early. My time has not come yet. This tremendous event is still on its way.” Nietzsche“To be a man means to reach toward being God.” Jean Paul Sartre“In seeking to become angels we may become less than men.” Pascal“True civilization does not lie in gas, nor in steam, nor in turntables. It lies in the reduction of the traces of original sin.” Baudelaire“It is becoming more and more obvious, that it is not starvation, not microbes, not cancer but man himself who is mankind’s greatest danger.” Carl Jung

“It is in our hearts that the evil lies, and it is from our hearts that it must be plucked Out.” Bertrand Russell

“Oh great gods, how far he lies from his destination!” Fillini, Fellini’s Satyricon1


Western culture is marked at the present moment by a distinct slowing of momentum, or perhaps, more accurately, by a decline in purposefulness and an increase in cultural introspection. This temporary lull, this vacuum in thought and effective action, has been created by the convergence of three cultural trends, each emphasizing a loss of direction. The first is the erosion of the Christian basis of Western culture, an erosion with deep historical causes and clearly visible results. The second is the failure of optimistic humanism to provide an effective alternative in the leadership of the post-Christian culture. And the third is the failure of our generation’s counter culture to demonstrate a credible alternative to either of the other two — Western Christianity and humanism.

The convergence of these three factors in the late sixties marks this period as especially important. What is at stake is nothing less than the direction of Western man. Only a few years ago the dismissal of Christianity was held to be a prerequisite for cultural advance. The decline of Christianity thus represented a cure for man’s problems, not a cause. So with the dawning of optimistic humanism the decline of Christianity was welcomed. Its adherents would be the only losers.

But that was yesterday. And contemporary yesterdays have a habit of suddenly seeming a hundred years ago. Today the cultural memory of traditional values hangs precariously like late autumn leaves, and in the new wintry bleakness optimism itself is greying. Now it appears that all of Western culture may be the loser.

My purpose is first to examine humanism, partially as a movement in itself but even more as a backdrop against which to appreciate the need for an alternative; then to chart the alternative offered by the counter culture with all its kaleidescopic variety; and finally, to present a third way as a more viable option in the light of man’s current situation. The weaknesses in both humanism and the counter culture are pointed out, not to negate much that has been extremely sensitive and intensely human, but to show the inevitability of their failures. The critique at least serves to illustrate certain mistakes that must not be repeated, and it highlights important questions and dilemmas with which further alternatives must grapple.

A third way is desperately necessary because the present options are growing more obviously unacceptable. And, in fact, there is a Third Way — one which is becoming increasingly welcome to a large number of sensitive searchers and free-spirited individuals who make up a major part of those dissatisfied with things as they are. This Third Way holds the promise of realism without despair, involvement without frustration, hope without romanticism. It combines a concern for humanness with intellectual integrity, a love of truth with a love of beauty, conviction with compassion and deep spirituality. But this is running ahead.

The Surfacing of Pessimism

Now we can see an important point more clearly. Optimistic humanism was only one stream of secular humanism. Its reverse was pessimistic humanism, and if the optimism was characteristically strong in academic circles, it is now evident that pessimism was more prevalent in the wider reality of life. Pessimistic humanism was always there, like a subterranean stream, murky in its depths and dark in its apprehension of dilemmas. It is this subterranean stream that is now threatening to surface and usurp the dignity and dominance of optimistic humanism.

Again we must go back in history to realize the full importance of this surfacing pessimism. Its genius was to see that behind the apparent stability of the nineteenth-century world in which modern humanism was born stood a different reality. Both Nietzsche and Kirkegaard were men who lived in passionate revolt against the smugness of the nineteenth century, particularly against the cheapness of its religious faith and the brash confidence of its secular reasoning, or generally against its shallow optimism, wordy idealism and tendency to conform. Such a smug world was not just false but dangerously foolish, if the true nature of reality lay elsewhere.

It is amazing that this subterranean pessimism was not taken more seriously earlier. But it was derided as the “Devil’s Party” — the poets, philosophers and prophets of chaos and catastrophe — and all too easy to dismiss.13 Some were ignored. Their repeated warnings were simply relegated to the status of cultural myth having only an innocuous respectability. In 1832 Hemrich Heine had said, “Do you hear the little bell tinkle? Kneel down — one brings the sacraments for a dying God.”14 Nietzsche’s later cry of the death of God and his searching diagnosis (“Everything lacks meaning. What does nihilism mean? That the highest values devaluate themselves. The goal is lacking; the answer is lacking to our ‘Why?’”)15 were not taken seriously either. After all, wasn’t Heine a poet, and wasn’t Nietzsche later deranged?

Other warnings were dismissed as only to be expected from the theory or temperament of their particular authors. Repeatedly in the 1930s, George Orwell depicted Western intellectuals as men who in blithe ignorance were sawing off the very branch on which they were sitting. Malcolm Muggeridge in his articles lanced open the “death wish of liberalism.” C. S. Lewis carefully made his exposures in “The Funeral of a Great Myth.”16 But the serious disquiet of Orwell, the humorous if testy honesty of Muggeridge and the gentle clarity and utter reasonableness of C. S. Lewis were before their time. They were predictable. They were ignored.

But the rising tide of disquiet cannot now be ignored. It is becoming the accepted mood of much recent judgment, as a hundred illustrations could quickly show. Writing in 1961 specifically on problems of Western culture, Frantz Fanon mocked, “Look at them today, swaying between atomic and spiritual disintegration.”17 In the same context, Jean Paul Sartre challenged, “Let us look at ourselves if we can bear to, and see what is becoming of us. First we must face that unexpected revelation, the strip tease of our humanism.”18 These two men could easily be dismissed as pessimistic, prejudiced politically and philosophically, but the disquiet does not stop there. Coming closer to the heart of humanism and speaking almost as an heir to a distinguished humanist house, Aldous Huxley described himself this way: “I was born wandering between two worlds, one dead and the other powerless to be born, and have made in a curious way the worst of both.”19 From the world of science John Rader Platt, the American biophysicist, said, “The world has now become too dangerous for anything less than Utopia.”20 Norman O. Brown, a man famous for the lyrical romanticism of his visions, admitted, “Today even the survival of humanity is a utopian hope.”21

There can be no stable equilibrium between optimism and pessimism but only an uneasy oscillation between the two. Optimistic humanism is strong in its stress on the aspirations of man but weak in its understanding of his aberrations. Accordingly, it lacks a base for the fulfillment of the former and its solutions to the latter are deficient; thus its ultimate optimism is eternally romantic. Pessimistic humanism, on the other hand, insists on the absurdity of man’s aspirations and speaks to the heart of his aberrations, but the price of its realism is the constant pull toward despair. This clear contrast throws further light on the current crisis.

Four Pillars of Optimistic Humanism

Optimistic humanism is being exposed as idealism without sufficient ideals. More accurately, its ideals are impossible to attain without a sufficient basis in truth, and this is just what its rationalistic premises are unable to provide. This is the key weakness of each of the four central pillars of optimistic humanism.

The first pillar is the belief in reason. Here optimistic humanism is forced to its initial leap of faith… Much of what was called reasoning is now more properly called rationalizing.

Modern philosophy also has reduced the pretentions of reason. For man, speaking from a finite reference point without divine revelation, to claim to have found a “universal” is not just to be mistaken. The claim itself is meaningless. For most modern men, objectivity, universals or absolutes are in a realm beyond the scope of reason; in this realm there is only the existential, non-rational, subjective understanding of truth.

Both psychology and philosophy have thus clipped the proud wings of rationalism and the unlimited usefulness of reason by itself. By rationalism I do not mean “rationalism” as opposed to “empiricism” but rather the hidden premise common to both — the humanist’s leap of faith in which the critical faculty of reason is tacitly made into an absolute and used as a super-tool to marshal particulars and claim meaning which in fact is proper only to the world of universals.

The second pillar is the belief in progress. The orientation toward the future introduced into Western culture by Christian linear teleology was secularized by the Enlightenment. Ostensibly it had been given objective scientific support by the evolutionary theory. It was widely believed that nature was marching forward inevitably to higher and higher views of life (as expressed, for instance, in the philosophy of Herbert Spencer). But this is now being drastically undermined. Many point to evidence of an evolutionary crisis, somewhat tarnishing the comfortable image of inevitable progress with man at the center of the stage controlling his own evolution. Some even predict the extinction of the human species.

The third pillar is the belief in science as the guide to human progress and the provider of an alternative to both religion and morals. If “evolution is good,” then evolution must be allowed to proceed and the very process of change becomes absolutized.

The fourth pillar is the belief in the self-sufficiency of man. A persistent erosion of man’s view of himself is occurring. The fact that man has made so many significant scientific discoveries points strongly to the significance of man, yet the content of these same scientific discoveries underscores his insignificance. Man finds himself dwarfed bodily by the vast stretches of space and belittled temporally by the long reaches of time. Humanists are caught in a strange dilemma. If they affirm the greatness of man, it is only at the expense of ignoring his aberrations. If they regard human aberrations seriously, they have to escape the dilemma raised, either by blaming the situation on God (and how often those most strongly affirming the non-existence of God have a perverse propensity to question his goodness!) or by reducing man to the point of insignificance where his aberrations are no longer a problem. During World War II, Einstein, plagued by the mounting monstrosity of man against man, was heard to mutter to himself, “After all, this is a small star.”23 He escaped the dilemmas of man’s crime and evil but only at the price of undermining man’s significance.

Notes

  • Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, The Gay Science, 125, in The Portable Nietzsche (New York: The Viking Press, 1954), p. 96; C. G. Jung. “Epilogue,” Modern Man in Search of a Soul (New York: Routledge Books, 1933); Bertrand Russell, Has Man a Future? (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1961), p. 110; Federico Fellini, Fellini’s Satyricon, ed. Darlo Zanelli, trans. Eugene Walters and John Matthews (New York: Ballantine Books, 1970), p. 269.
  • Quoted in Kenneth Clark, Civilisation (London: John Murray Ltd., 1971), p. 104.
  • Quoted in ibid., p. 101.
  • Peter Gay, The Enlightenment: An Interpretation (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1966), p. 44.
  • Ibid.,p.417.
  • Michael Harrington, The Accidental Century (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1967), p. 31.
  • Gordon Childe, Man Makes Himself (New York: Mentor Books, 1951).
  • Julian Huxley, ed., The Humanist Frame (London: George Allen and Unwin Ltd., 1961), p. 44.
  • Ibid.,p.7.
  • Algernon Charles Swinburne, “Hymn of Man.”
  • J. Huxley, p. 6.
  • Ibid., p. 26.
  • Harrington, p. 35.
  • Heinrich Heine, quoted in WaIter Kaufmann, Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist (New York: Meridian Books, 1956), p. 375.
  • Nietzsche, The Will to Power, 1-2, quoted in Kaufmann, p. 103.
  • C. S. Lewis, Christian Reflections (London: Geoffrey Bles Ltd., 1967), p. 82.
  • Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, trans. Constance Farrington (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1967), p. 251.
  • lbid., p.21.
  • Letter of Aldous Huxley to Sibylle Bedford quoted in Time, May 4, 1970.
  • J. R. Platt, The Step to Man (New York: John Wiley & Sons Ltd., 1966), p. 196.
  • Norman O. Brown, Life Against Death (London: Sphere Books Ltd., 1968), p. 267.
  • See discussion in Nigel Calder, Technopolis (London: MacGibbon & Kee Ltd., 1969), pp. 98-99.
  • Arnold Toynbee, “Changing Attitudes towards Death in the Modern Western World” in Arnold Toynbee and others, Man’s Concern with Death (London: Hodder and Stoughton Ltd., 1968), p. 125.
  • Arthur Koestler, The Ghost in the Machine (London: Hutchinson & Co. Ltd., 1967), p. 15.
  • Viktor E. Frankl, “Reductionism and Nihilism” in Beyond Reductionism, ed. Arthur Koestler and J. R. Smythies (London: Hutchinson & Co. Ltd., 1969), p. 398.
  • Mortimer J. Adler, The Difference of Man and the Difference It Makes (London: Holt, Rinehart & Winston Ltd., 1967).
  • Quoted in T. M. Kitwood, What Is Human? (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1970), p. 49.
  • Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, IV, 1, as quoted in Kaufmann, pp. 83-84.
  • Harrington, p. 26.
  • Koestler, p. 313.
  • Fanon, pp. 251-52.
  • Harrington, p. 36.
  • Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents, Standard Works of Freud, 21 (London: The Hogarth Press Ltd., 1961), p. 91-92.
  • Albert Camus, The Rebel, trans. Anthony Bower (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1962), pp. 243-44.
  • Nietzsche, The Gay Science, 125.
  • Quoted in Gay, p. 65.
  • Quoted in Kitwood, p. 54.
  • Erich Heller, The Disinherited Mind (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1961), p. 75.
  • Nietzsche, p. 409.
  • Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra, I, 11, in The Portable Nietzsche, p. 160.
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Possessed (New York: Signet Classics, 1962), pp. 384-85.
  • Camus, The Rebel, p. 199.
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, Inc., 1968), p. 733.
  • Quoted in Camus, The Rebel, p. 58.
  • Quoted in ibid., p. 62.
  • Quoted in ibid.
  • Quoted in ibid.
  • Heller, p. 76.
  • Nietzsche, Zarathustra’s Prologue, 4, in The Portable Nietzsche, p. 126.
  • Jean Paul Sartre, Nausea (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1965), p. 191.
  • Sartre, Being and Nothingness, trans. Hazel E. Barnes (London: Methuen, 1957), p. 566.
  • Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot (London: Faber and Faber Ltd., 1956).
  • Samuel Beckett, Krapp’s Last Tape (New York: Grove Press, Inc., 1958).
  • Yoko Ono, Grapefruit (London: Peter Owen Ltd., 1970).
  • Paul Simon, The Paul Simon Songbook, C.B.S. 62579.
  • Jean Luc Godard, La Chinoise, filmed 1967.
  • Quoted in H. R. Rookmaaker, Modern Art and the Death of a Culture (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1970), p. 174.
  • Jacques Ellul, The Technological Society, trans. John Wilkinson (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1970), p.321.
  • Chores and Roy Medvedev, A Question of Madness (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1971).
  • “Psychoadaptation, or How to Handle Dissenters,” Time,September 27, 1971, p. 45.
  • lbid., p.44.
  • Quoted in Harrison Salisbury, “Introduction,” The Prison Diary of Ho Chi Minh (New York: Bantam Books, 1971), p. ix.
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Idiot (New York: Bantam Books, 1958), p. 71.
  • Jerzy Grotowski, Towards a Poor Theatre (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1968), p. 123.
  • Erich Fromm, The Sane Society (New York: Routledge Books, 1956).
  • R. D. Laing, The Politics of Experience (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1967), p. 24.
  • Ibid., p.24.
  • David Cooper, ed., The Dialectics of Liberation (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1968).
  • Malcolm Muggeridge, Tread Softly for You Tread on My Jokes (Glasgow: William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd.), p. 28.
  • Ibid., p. 29.
  • Christopher Booker, The Neophiliacs (Glasgow: Fontana, 1970), p. 70.
  • Ibid., p. 44.
  • Ibid., p. 339.
  • Ernst Fischer, The Necessity of Art, trans. Anna Bostock (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1963).
  • Lewis Feuer, “What Is Alienation? The Career of a Concept,” New Politics, Spring 1962, pp. 116-34.
  • Fischer, p. 80.
  • Erich Frornm, Marx’s Concept of Man (New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 1961).
  • Hermann Dooyeweerd, A New Critique of Theoretical Thought, 4 vols. (Nutley, N.J.: The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1957); The Twilight of Western Thought (Nutley, N.J.: Craig Press, 1960).
  • Francis A. Schaeffer, The God Who Is There (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1968); Escape from Reason(Downers Grove, III.: InterVarsity Press, 1968).
  • J. A. Rushdoony, “Preface,” Dooyeweerd, The Twilight of Western Thought, p. 9.
  • Camus, The Rebel, p. 16.
  • Nietzsche in a letter to Gersdorff, November 7, 1970, quoted in Erich Heller, p. 70.
  • Ibid., p.181.
  • Fromm, Sane Society, p. 360.
  • Laing, The Politics of Experience, p. 118.

Author

Os Guinness is an Englishman born in China during the war with Japan and educated at the University of London. He has traveled widely in the East and lectured to student groups in Europe, the United States and Canada. His major work was with Francis Schaeffer at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland.

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All my posts on Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 40)

I have 40 posts concerning the movie “Midnight in Paris” by Woody Allen. Below are the links to all of the posts.

“Midnight in Paris” one of Woody Allen’s biggest movie hits in recent years July 18, 2011 – 6:00 am

 
 

(Part 32, Jean-Paul Sartre)July 10, 2011 – 5:53 am

 

 (Part 29, Pablo Picasso) July 7, 2011 – 4:33 am

(Part 28,Van Gogh) July 6, 2011 – 4:03 am

(Part 27, Man Ray) July 5, 2011 – 4:49 am

(Part 26,James Joyce) July 4, 2011 – 5:55 am

(Part 25, T.S.Elliot) July 3, 2011 – 4:46 am

(Part 24, Djuna Barnes) July 2, 2011 – 7:28 am

(Part 23,Adriana, fictional mistress of Picasso) July 1, 2011 – 12:28 am

(Part 22, Silvia Beach and the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore) June 30, 2011 – 12:58 am

(Part 21,Versailles and the French Revolution) June 29, 2011 – 5:34 am

(Part 16, Josephine Baker) June 24, 2011 – 5:18 am

(Part 15, Luis Bunuel) June 23, 2011 – 5:37 am

(Part 1 William Faulkner) June 13, 2011 – 3:19 pm

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FILM NOTE – Midnight in Paris, written and directed by Woody Allen, starring Owen Wilson

… It was the best of times …

Midnight in Paris is as much a pleasure to watch as Woody Allen’s best films even though it’s not as good — the fantasy is so powerful.  This time travel film takes us, and its main character, Gil (Owen Wilson), a successful screen writer, back to the Paris of the 1920’s where we meet the artists and literati who made the city the brilliant center that we all go to Paris looking for — even those too young or unworldly to realize it. 

Gil is ensconced in a fancy hotel with his beautiful fiancee, Inez — of course that’s part of the fantasy, too, that and the French food.  She and her rich, conventional right wing parents are dutifully intent on seeing the sights — Versailles and all that — guided by a know-it-all smart guy and his adoring girlfriend, but Gil — vaguely discontent, and yearning to be a serious novelist, has another agenda.  He withdraws from family fun to search out his own Paris — the Paris of his imagination — and wonder of wonders at the stroke of midnight, finds it.

Swept off mysteriously in a chauffeured car, he’s delivered to the intellectual and artistic soirees of 1920’s Paris, where Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald rub shoulders with Hemingway and Picasso while Cole Porter plays the piano [partial list of famous people], and eventually everybody who is anybody ends up at Gertrude Stein’s for intellectual discussions, artistic critiques, gossip and lovemaking.

Oh how marvelous to encounter Hemingway (Corey Stoll), young, darkly handsome, intense, having just published his first novel speaking in the dead-pan of his writing style about courage under fire  (“I’ve read all you work,” Gil tells him though at this point Hemingway’s only published one book).  How delicious to see Zelda dive too deep into the absinthe with the Princeton-elegant Scott guiding her to the next party.  And joy of joys, how wonderful that our very American Gil with Wilson’s farm-boy drawl, patent simplicity and naïve aura (though he is a successful screenwriter, Woody Allen has his cake and eats it to on that one) not only meets but draws to himself Picasso’s mistress, played by Marion Cotillard looking like the dancer Olga Khokhlova whom Picasso loved at the time.  (So much for prissy, materialistic Inez, in any time zone.)

And. here’s something really valuable, Gil gets a focused critique on the pages of his novel by none other than Gertrude Stein – it’s going to serve him in good stead back in his own time.  To see Kathy Bates as Gertrude Stein sitting under Picasso’s famous, groundbreaking portrait of Gertrude and looking exactly like her is a high point of the movie and feels, for the moment, a high point of life (they really don’t have the same facial structure but Bates and Woody’s camera pull it off). 

Gil’s travel back to the 20’s in the chauffeured car is smooth but some of the other time travels lurch and are less believable, and are accompanied by preaching about the value of being of one’s own time that sounds like forced virtue.

And Allen seems so in love with the idea of this movie that he hurries through characters, settling on caricatures for his artists and writers from the past rather than on real people, let alone the creators they were, engaged in hot struggles to develop their modes of expression.  For all the fun it is to engage with Hemingway, his clipped, cliché-ridden courage talk is so obvious it’s camp, and while Adrien Brody does a great look-alike caricature bit of Salvador Dali, it’s a bit, not a person.  So if you have another way of being in Paris at its beautiful best (appealing photography) and chatting with Hemingway and Fitzgerald, Matisse and Picasso, by all means do it. 

If not, see this movie.  It’s a treat:  once again we have to thank Woody Allen for giving us great pleasure, the most fun, and a fantasy fulfilled. 

Yvonne Korshak

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