A River of Dreams


New Member
Reaction score
A river of dreams circles the Earth,
An etheral ring made of the blessings
of all the saints and holy entities
of the past & the cosmic energy
of other life forms giving all
the help they can to the human race on
this little planet
It is pouring benedictions on us all the time,
hoping we will catch them more & more,
so we'll finally get through to where
we want to be - that our destiny may be achieved -
so much higher that we can now foresee

(to be followed)
A river of dreams circles the Earth,
An etheral ring made of the blessings
of all the saints and holy entities
of the past & the cosmic energy
of other life forms giving all
the help they can to the human race on
this little planet...

This is indeed beautifully expressed, but has it any real import in the material world?

Where is the 'river of dreams'?
Where is the 'etheral ring' of blessings that can give help?
They in, and of, your own mind.

The point I am making is that this is a beautifully poetic way of saying:
This is my personal spiritual conception presented imaginatively.
It comes from my heart (and soul?).
It has no relevance in the material and objective domain.
It is simply for the interest and delight of the readers at a beautifullly imaginative conception.

Provided it is understood it has no relationship to the material and objective domain, I am very happy to hear of your conceptions, not least because in my opinion, they are beautifully expressed.
They are 'true' of you and your affective nature and nurture, but no way 'true' in any factual and objective sense.
If that sounds harsh, it isn't meant to be. It is just a call to recognise matters for what they actually are.
There is no evidence beyond your heart for an 'etheral ring' or 'river of dreams'.
I'm sure you will appreciate that?
I just have to make the point. ;)
------ looking forward to what may follow... of these lovely conceptions.
Hey Blue you need to make a little effort :) If we stuck to a purely materialist perspective we'd never get further than "3 feet make a yard". Spiritual concepts need spiritual language. I interpret this passage as saying that the cumulative goodness from all the wise and holy folk of the past, the present and the future will gradually lead the human race to a better higher consciousness. You may agree or disagree with that, but its a good thought and worthy of consideration.

I used to think we were becoming more enlightened, until witch-hunts against asylum-seekers and perverts started, and then the US annexed Iraq. I still hold on to my hopes though.
Greetings Blue,
As another, how do you measure?
To measure from the material and objective, will reveal the material and objective. To compose from the ethereal and spiritual opens a door between the two, allowing higher expression to filter through the objective. Although you express denial, there was also empathy, and consideration for the "delight" of others. Therefore in subtle form something very real occured. There are many different dimensions to this life, and many different levels, but slowly and surely one touches another. Only when one has come to the realisation of all dimensions can one truly speak of evidence, or non evidence.
;) Ciel, Virtual Cliff, and our writer of dreams...

You are, of course, all correct that personal affective concepts have a magnificent power over human behaviour... sometimes for good, and often for evil purposes. They originate in the individual heart, the affective nature and nurture. They can be used as powerful tools for good and ill. For propaganda or for solace.

The value of the mythologies, the poetry, the affective relationship of imagery to real actions in the real word is so obvious it doesn't really need much of an effort to appreciate. We are largely creatures of the affective and respond in the main as such. We also need a balancing power of reason and rationality... and there never has been enough of that!

The point I was making was that 'beautiful thoughts' are value judgements... one person's imaginative responses can be reason enough for 'good', for others, reason for 'ill'.

Poetry, the Arts, Painting and Music, the 'Imaginative' pursuits have amazing power over material reality.
What I call for is a clear distinction and a heavy dose of rationality.

Throughout history we have witnessed the power of imaginative spiritual 'ideals', often very different in essence. Such beliefs and their expressions through the very powerful artistic media have become proganda for ideas that caused in the domain of spirit and religion, wars, torture, poverty and great misery. The danger inherent always has to be appreciated...

So - while this expression is beautiful in my judgement, worthwhile in my judgement, it must never be thought as anything other than a well-intentioned balance to the cognitive and rational material domain.

WE need a world that puts reason/rationality/mind together with the affective domain, in balance, in my opinion.

When one gains ascendancy over the other we, history shows us, are in danger.

No one can ever claim for example that INTUITION in itself is 'good'. It patently isn't always 'good'.
Intuitions can be both right and wrong, in fact.
Imaginative statements about benedictions suffusing human consciousness will always be subject to the realities of the objective.

Taoism realises the necessity for balance between the affective and cognitive. other spiritual beliefs don't. They specifically act to destroy or deny the value of materialism, objectivity, humanism and most importantly, reason and rationality, preferring notions of blood sacrifice, Hell, and blind obedience to an interpreted notion of God or Spirit based in corrupt dogmas and doctrines, often based themselves in some ancient texts written for a very different world from our own.

As soon as someone mentions blessings and benedictions to me, I immediately consider exactly what those blessings might be... they could be for good or ill, is the fact, if translated into actions in the objective domain.
A blessing or benediction in itself means little. In this poem, the context wasn't very clear. Which sages, 'Wise','Good' and 'Godly' people are we meant to be thinking of in the poem?
It could just as easily be an Alexander the Great who had, he apparently declared, a great love for his people, and his best friend(!), Ghengis Khan anxious to restore the greatness of his Nation/tribe(s) or Hitler, as well as Lao Tse or Confucius or Jesus of Nazareth.

Can I just repeat what I said before... how much I enjoyed the poetry as one individual responding affectively to some beautiful language.

At the end of the day though, every poem must be seen in the setting of both the affective/spiritual, and material reality, to do it justice.

It is to be noted that there is no necessity in a spiritual response for rationality. Gods, religions, because of their affective base, are fundamentally irrational... so are poetic images... as beautiful or fitting as they may appear in the minds of particular audiences.

As Professor Flew has recently declared, there is nothing proven or rational about his new found faith in 'complexity' as a causal base for his claim/belief that there is indeed a God. It is simply what he has come to believe as a matter of faith after a life time of denial.
I should have addressed a fundamental error in my view that appeared I think in Ciel's post.

"To compose from the ethereal and spiritual opens a door between the two, allowing higher expression to filter through the objective. "

It seemed to suggest there that the ethereal(?), poetic, etc., was somehow superior to the rational and objective...That is nonsense in my opinion. How does that work then? From what and where does it derive superiority over Rationality and the Objective Cognitive domain? In what sense is it "higher expression"?

That IS the danger... the affective should not be thought of as superior to a subordinate rationality/reason. Neither the Affective domain, nor the Cognitive Domain should be considered dominant, or subordinate.
Oh Dark Knight Blue, if youre avatar be true,
I do not speak from concepts or faiths, simply the knowledge and wisdom lived in the life of creational form. There is every necessity in a spiritual response for rationality and balance. There is also the necessity for the hearts of humanity to be lightened, to leave aside the fear and opinionated ego. You appear to dwell on the darker side of life. How many great and wonderful things would still lie dormant if man or woman did not allow themselves to transcend above subordinate rationality? One speaks from one's place of orientation, does the sun ever rise to illuminate your dark skys to allow heaven to shed a little paradise?
There you go again, Ciel, failing to stand the harsh glare of reality and synthisise it with your creative affectivity!
<<How many great and wonderful things would still lie dormant if man or woman did not allow themselves to transcend above subordinate rationality? >>

Why 'transcend' the subordinate reality? The transcendental is often praised as in some way superior to rationality. I wonder why that is? There is certainly no evidence that an imaginative or creative or intuitive view gives more 'accurate' results in human relationships or more 'accurate' views of humanity. In you own case, dare I suggest, it is because reality can appear harsh... but you see, I prefer to see things as they really are, and write my poetry and creative literary output, and devise my paintings accordingly... to try and synthesise the ways of 'seeing'.
I definitely prefer human beings as they really are, rather than romanticising them. I judge them rationally, and then respond to them affectively. Doing it the other way round in my long experience can lead to terrible consequences in the area of sexual relationships... just as an example. It is difficult to subjugate the affective... to simply accept the affective is a weakness and lazy. if we all judged simply on the basis of our feelings where would we end up? Chaos that mirrors the apparent chaos and randomness of the universe.. perhaps that means we would be in accord with, in balance with 'nature', but I fail to see that striving for reason and rationality is subordinate to it... it is human beings way of trying to control the environment as other creatures singularly fail to do through lack of development of the self-regarding faculty

~there is nothing better than wallowing in an affective dream, or imagining ethereal blessings falling from above upon humanity. It is pleasant, it is warm, it is comforting, and it is totally ineffective in getting at the truth. It is a warm blanket to protect the reader from facing reality.
People are only interested, in the main, in what is in it for them... as members of an avowedly, and genetically, selfish organism like the human specie. That is not cynicism, it is facing matters as they are.
We can apparently 'rise' above this with declared altruism or altruistic actions, so adjudged... but that only means raising rationality over the affective and poetic... and I am never really convinced about altruism in general in any case.

The creative aspect, the poetic aspect, should give greater regard to the rational... the master of this was Shakespeare, whose appeals to rationality were contrasted with views of humanity's affective wooliness, in such ways that gave his genius the language and the treatment of his plots such power. Poetry with 'edge', sharp and biting, disturbing and challenging is always the better for it, and the same goes for all the Arts. If the work just washes over you without challenging how one thinks and sees, or hears, it is not effective Art.

Art should be challenging and dynamic. That only comes with the synthesis of rationality, a good dose of reality - and the appeal of the affective.

May I suggest a re-read of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales... you find both there, just as one does in the work of a Ted Hughes in this current age.
The 'soft' and 'wooly' are there to be balanced with reason and reality, reflecting a true sense and understanding of humanity. ;)
Dark Knight,
One speaks from ones place of orientation.
The sky has no wish to justify it's location in being.
The knight appears lost in his tao of judgement.
Blue, you commented
*Why 'transcend' the subordinate reality? The transcendental is often praised as in some way superior to rationality. I wonder why that is?***

to me, this seems naive why u would wonder why anyone would not want to primarily deal with this world in a rational way, ===there are a lot of awful things that are pretty incomprehensible such as certain types of torture in asia of innocent people and killings in mexico for blood sport that are ignored because the people who do them have power and money and the other people who are victims are seen as disposable.

and other similar things...I mean I find it pretty hard to cope with just KNOWING of these things in a rational sense, the people in these situations right now----I mean I don't think someone who is being held captive for example (psychologically or physically by anything) could really just take in everything rationally , it is impossible.
(so to generalize and say the rational is better is pretty shocking to ME)

I found this poem very spiritual and beautiful, especially because it was mysterious and was not completely "logical" with appropriate literary references to whoever). (imo),

Also, I disagree with a lot of what Blue said. This is just based on a premise that I do not feel I have found what is "OBJECTIVE" {for everyone} in an absolute truth sense.
I am curious what specific art Do you appreciate?

Some statements you made above:(sorry if I took any of them out of context)

*I prefer to see things as they really are* to me, that is quite a statement*maybe see things---as they really are seen through YOUR EYES? filtered through your mind which is developed by your biology and experience and what you have learned/been taught?
"as they really are" i mean, i think that is just opinion no matter whether you are Goethe and your IQ is 200, or you are a schizophrenic homeless person or u are the most educated guy on the block , I think everyone's view of reality is pretty valid.(and often different-this is a paradox isn't it?

*Art should be challenging and dynamic. That only comes with the synthesis of rationality, a good dose of reality - and the appeal of the affective.* to me, my favorite thing about art is everyone appreciates different things and there are no laws about how it should or should not be.

*It has no relevance in the material and objective domain. but no way 'true' in any factual and objective sense.* Factuality and objectivity depend a lot on context, and I think in art "fact and objectivity" (in the sense I think you are implying) is pretty irrelevant.

Then Blue you also stated:::

They specifically act to destroy or deny the value of materialism, objectivity, humanism and most importantly, reason and rationality, preferring notions of blood sacrifice, Hell, and blind obedience to an interpreted notion of God or Spirit based in corrupt dogmas and doctrines, often based themselves in some ancient texts written for a very different world from our own.

I think that is a huge erroneous generalization, just my opinion. Unless you clarified more specifically who "they" were...
THIS IS JUST MY OPINION, I really hope no one thinks I am trying to be obnoxious.

I just liked the poem a lot and I hope maybe Dominique will post more sometime!
Many thanks for replying, Aladdin.

You seem, if I may say so, to have misunderstood the thrust of the post I made.

You seem to imply I was saying the rational isn't necessary on one breath:
"why anyone would not want to primarily deal with this world in a rational way," which is exactly my point.
Romanticising matters is hardly a contribution likely to produce changes.
It didn't work for Christianity, let alone poetry as an art form.

You then, on the other hand, produce an excellent list of concerns, but end it with:
"so to generalize and say the rational is better is pretty shocking to ME"

I have argued that what we need is balance. So many times the affective response dominates in human thinking, and too little reason and rationalism is applied.

You then go on to say using one of my original statements:
" *I prefer to see things as they really are* to me, that is quite a statement*maybe see things---as they really are seen through YOUR EYES? filtered through your mind which is developed by your biology and experience and what you have learned/been taught? "

I NEVER prefer to see things on the basis of my personal affective perceptions alone. That is what I was saying in my post. I need my perceptions to be confirmed objectively and empirically by others too!

I have no objection to your affective responses to the poetry being discussed at all... indeed I share them.. it was mysterious, it was beautifully expressed... and it didn't relate to any reality that I am aware of, or is related to the objective world as can be perceived by anyone.
It is just a set of imaginary 'wishes', which is fine for what it actually is... an affective outpouring.

Anyone's affective judgements of poetry are valid, yours or mine. I didnot say or imply otherwise, so we agree on that, but......

You then criticise by saying:
"everyone appreciates different things and there are no laws about how it should or should not be."

Do I understand by this you rule out the whole dimension of study labelled 'Aesthetics"? The fact is that there is 'good' and 'bad' Art, in all fields, music, painting, sculpture, what-have-you. There is 'Art' that breaks aesthetic conventions, too, which is valid both in reason and execution. It is the discernment of individuals which varies according to their affective nature and nurture. If that doesn't include, but actually rejects judgements of form, rhythm, imagery, etc., then those purely affective judgements are just that... affective, without rationality. That's fine... a fire is warm and it comforts me when I am cold. This piece of poetry we are discussing may be full of warm wishes and personal desires, but it goes no further. It's warmth is just its perceived warmth... which is fine if that is all you want from poetry.

As I said, poetry unrelated to reality is 'soft'. This kind of poetry needs a sharp edge, a harsh edge.. a dose of reality to which the people - the audience - can relate.

A vagueness about blessing and benedictions from above, from the ethereal, that may or may not be related by the audience to reality, is not good enough.
I repeat... the very greatest of poets, people like Chaucer, William Blake, Shakespeare and so many others lies in dosing their poetry with relationships to the real and objective in human experiences.
This piece didnot achieve that. Aesthetic judgements should be part and
parcel of any critical judgements.
On the one hand I say I enjoyed it. I enjoy lots of things that haven't a harder edge! On the other I should be able to bring aesthetic judgements to bear and be able to say if in fact it was good or bad poetically in achieving an objective with a mixed audience... it doesn't achieve that... it remains vague and woolly, deliberately appealing only in terms of an equally affective response. Many, quite reasonably(!) find that not enough. Some don't. They are willing to just be warmed by the affective fire of the words. That is how I woulkd categorise your responses, and there is nothing badly wrong with that that some added reasoning wouldn't cure.

You then say, and you have a perfect right to say as an affective opinion... or value judgement:-

"I think in art "fact and objectivity" (in the sense I think you are implying) is pretty irrelevant."

I would equally maintain that you are not only wrong, but can be proven to be wrong outside value judgements. My evidence? My evidence can be discerned in what has always been accepted as 'good' poetry, and what is accepted as 'bad'.... aesthetic judgements based in pragmatic and refined and reasoned criteria. Good poetry relates to the objective and material experiences of human beings in such glorious ways that it endures across cultures, as with the admiration of Shakespeare as translated, and original, in Chinese schools across the whole of China.
Shakespeare is perhaps the best example of the 'hard edged' combination of rationality and reason and the affective domain, illustrating that poetry always needs masters like Ted Hughes, and hundreds of others, who we should always in the end, endeavour to emulate.

Incidentally, "they' are usually western Christians, Moslems, and all those who substitute dogma and doctrines based in ancient texts written for very different purposes than the purposes accepted in a modern world, in a monotheistic culture and concept of the world.

Also, you seem to wish - perhaps I am wrong - to deny the poetical use of parable as one can cite in connection with Christianity. The 'parables' as attached to the stories of Jesus of Nazareth, ALWAYS pointed to objective and realistic concerns which make them 'good' in aesthetic terms... there is no point to a parable if the intended audience fails to 'see' the connection to reality!

I do not think you are being "obnoxious", as indeed I am not intending to be either.
We are having a reasoned debate... I hope.
I too look forward to further writings as the one we are discussing.
Apologies for any typos! ;)
There is no objective good or bad art or poetry. Many artists were unappreciated in their time. There is often a temporary consensus, but even then not everyone agrees.

Spirit transcends matter as a driver transcends his car. Rationalism gave us the eugenics movement, monetarism and the atom bomb. We have move on two hundred years since the age of reason.

May I venture to suggest you harbour a grudge?
Folks, please cool the rhetoric down. In particular, be very careful of phrases stating "you...." or putdowns of ideas - they risk pushing the line of acceptable conduct here. *Please* read the code of conduct and act accordingly.

... Bruce (the friendly neighborhood moderator...)
Sorry all. I was in a hurry and it came out rather more strongly than I intended.

Nonetheless, I maintain that we need the spiritual side to direct the purely mechanistic side of our llives. Automation gave us the machine gun which caused the slaughter of the first world war. The machine has no mercy.

In the past, nearly all of the people I have spoken to who advocate reason over religion (as if there was a conflict) have a background of mental or physical abuse at school by a religious order. This needs to be condidered when trying to understand where people are "coming from".
Dear People,

Thank you so much for all your comments on this thread. I had a bit of flu these days and was unable to react until now. Also in any case I wanted to put my thoughts together. I want to say first, that I agree with all of you in some ways. I may even add that one of the reasons I posted this is because I am a bit ... unsure of where all that poetry can take me. Until now in my life I have not done much (= acted in the ... practical world, so called), and I am definitely searching for something to do, best of all would be something that helps "bring down" these insights I have of a "better" (?) reality. For I must add that, as far as one can assure something to anyone, I am not imagining these ... er ... things. How to prove this ? Indeed, let's not try. But it should be remembered that it is not because a particular person does not experience something, that that something does not exist. Many easy examples of this can come to mind.

My state of mind is indeed not very "practical" in the sense that I am not very interested in the world - as it is generally understood. Though I can be very well organized, and do practical work very neatly when I want. My house is orderly and clean, and all that, and I am almost always up to date with everything, whether it be finances, library books, laundry, shopping, possessions (nothing unnecessary, and all in good state if possible), mail, appointments, and anything. (I admit it took me some time to come to that, but all right, I am there !) This to emphasize that I am not a wooly head always dreaming. I just feel that there is much more than the visible world. And not only that, but in my eyes that's what religion is about : to take us back to the full spectrum of life, so to speak. That's where rationality comes in : I fully agree that there should be a balance between rationality and ... what ? The irrational ? Hum. In any case, I would be very grateful if Blue could provide me with his own definition of rationality. I would like to then think about it more. I do feel that in my life I have been concentrating so much on the "irrational" let's call it for now, that I might from now on be ready to tone it down to visible reality. To use it for practical purposes. This was confirmed to me by Blue's messages. So, thank you very much.

Until now, I felt I had to develop this insight into the irrational, so as to be able to use it later. Is God rational ? That is the question. Or maybe not. Probably It is everything, so that's not a problem.

Anyway, to me art is something that should be beautiful, AND gives hope. The one goes with the other. Something that is not beautiful cannot give me hope. And what gives me hope is beautiful - is beauty.
Why ? Because it feels closer to the real nature of things. It is an unshakable certainty to me (and not only a concept, but sustained by experience more and more), that God's beauty defies the imagination of the wildest dreamer.
What I write or could write or what anyone has written until now, is still very far from the real Beauty out there. It is only an allusion, a pointing mark or something, a pale ... copy of a copy of a copy. And anyway, words cannot express it, they are too limited. I use them to come a little closer to where I want to be (in that absolute Beauty). I am not alone in saying that, right ? Many teachers say that God is undescribable. Well I certainly would agree.
And not only that, but even the ordinary world - the street you have lived in for 20 years in a not so fantastic neighbourhood, for example, that you know so well, can through spiritual experience become suddenly so beautiful and invested with such a Presence and Greatness and Meaning, it takes the breath away and one wonders if one has been dreaming all the time, not to have seen this before ! I'm not preaching here, and I can't say I have experienced this fully, but I have had hints. Actually, I think it's not right to separate God from the "ordinary world" = God IS the ordinary world, and all the other worlds too.
(Ain't it funny that we always speak of the "ordinary world" or of "daily life" as if they were "special" worlds or "undaily" lives ?? Anyway ...)

I just feel I suffocate in the concept of a world where only the visible - let's say what can be perceived by the senses - is considered real.
And so I searched for a wider perspective, a deeper ... sense (ha ha). I'm not escaping reality, I'm trying to integrate it in a bigger frame, a meaningful context. And that is why I'm not very interested in the "limited" world of everyday perception. That one I know, it's okay but it's not enough. I mean, my perception of if does not satisfy me. It's like one small bite of a huge meal when one is very hungry. Could never be enough ! In this larger frame, even the so-called bad is not a problem no more. Meaning, it gets its role - which in my eyes is temporary, and then it will go (at last - Thank God !)

Er ... I'm still a bit dizzy from the flu, and this is very long already. So I hope it's all right if I finish here for the moment, not without adding some ... dreamery to this message (especially for Alladin and Ciel I guess ... Thanks !) - two pieces even, oops I hope it's ok.
Bye bye everyone,
till soon I hope.


Some People Already Live the Future

Enclosed in a veil of love,
patiently healing ignorance around them,
those who have left suffering behind,
who know that the real nature of the world is bliss,
are glorious mutants of the spirit,
and giving to others the perspective of an absolute happiness,
a forever divine peace in a soul of joy,
they shine like sideral suns in our earthly landscape,
a gift come near from the velvet spheres of Truth
Some people already live the future,
bringing down all the blessings we dream of,
loosening the ties that keep us from freedom,
making all pain obsolete,
and showing us that life is a dream of love
encrypted in a reality even greater than thoughts can fathom
Sooner than maybe seems,
this awareness will sweep the Earth,
and many more of us will enter this state of wonder
and magistrally start living the magic of the Future

The God of a Thousand People

Beyond this universe, there are worlds peopled by God
In so many forms, we forget who we are
How to cling to one identity,
when all around us shines the brightness of otherness
The rich abundance of diversity defies the imagination
And behind this tapestry of love, not hidden but discreet,
one being lives its lone existence almost as an entity left behind
by happy night revellers on the edge of a new day
Alone among the remains of the party that is life,
it looks above the roofs of the world
in a silent conversation with itself
"I am nothing but a wish", it whispers
"My whole reality is this : that one day ... awareness will sweep
all the continents of all the universes, and I will be discovered
by everyone ... Now I am the God of a Thousand People, but soon how I
wish everyone, in every life form, will realize they are the precious
divine embodiment of God itself
All without exception
Then only I will start living
who I really am"

Last edited:
May I venture to suggest you harbour a grudge?
I hardly follow this point to any logical conclusion in Post 13.

If a grudge, against what?

As to claiming we live in world without Aesthetic standards and agreed judgements that have persisted for many a long year... that is nonsense.

It seems to be being suggested everyone's personal and affective judgements are the determinant of 'judgement' relating to the domain beyond self, relevant to something external to themselves. That too is not valid.
If we were to simply assume everyone's personal liking or disliking was the sole method of judgement for everyone... there would never be consensus!

The reason why great Art crosses cultural boundaries; in literature, even through translation, is that there IS CONSENSUS in matters aesthetic!

The fact is anyone can respond affectively to a work of art in any medium, in any way they please, and that is one thing.

We can also apply aesthetic agreed measures that endure from generation to generation outside of ourselves and our personal affective responses and personal preferences. This is why a 'Shakespeare' passes the tests, a ceiling by M.Angelo passes the tests, and the works of a Picasso. I do NOT have to be able to say 'I like...' any particular work of Art, or artist, in order for it have the status of agreed aesthetic judgements beyond self from others that patently objectively show its worth as a work of Art.

In poetry, we have such varied 'peeps' as Chaucer right through to a Dylan Thomas AND a T.S.Eliot or an e.e.cummings. You may not personally like or enjoy the effusions of a Dylan Thomas, but his undoubted poeticism is undeniable on the basis of aesthetic measures. If I don't like Thomas, that's one thing, but it doesn't stop me recognising he passes the 'tests'.... and was undoubtedly an individual genius in his chosen genre.

Being popular or not, known or not, at/in their own time doesn't come into it. Some were recognised in their time, others weren't. That's just a fact. There must have been many, (and are) many unrecognised great works of Art in all media, and artists..., they are simply 'not-known'. Not only that, there are works of 'good' art that we do not know the origin of... let alone knowledge of the artist.
Look at the cave paintings in France from ancient times. The execution, the artistic merit, the skill; each is immediately perceiveable. The animals give a sense of movement, the human beings depicted on the hunt, equally so... for whatever purpose, or by whom they were painted matters not one jot when it comes to such aesthetic judgements... they pass aesthetic judgements made irrespective of whether we personally like them or not.

May I suggest that basing overall judgements entirely in personal affective responses is not wise, anymore than it is wise to fall in love without reason playing a part in any practical decisions... love can be blind! And that is not a 'wise' state to be in, however glorious it might seem for a time! :)

My point in all this is to agree with the post referring to the 'cooling' of personal comments. Where I may have said above 'you' are preferring personal affective responses in an ad hoc fashion, I am merely saying and pointing out that is what 'you' are appearing to argue as a 'reason'. As above, I would argue otherwise and declare always that affective judgements demand a balance with reason and rationality, and objectivity. I am not simply declaring that personal affective responses have no validity... they do... a personal validity that needs always to be respected. Just don't let such affective responses govern - or blind - anyone to judgements that have applications beyond self in agreed aesthetic standards.

Further, great art unites, in my opinion, the emotional and the rational, and people, and that is its true strength. One without the other, does not produce great Art, or even 'good' art, it encourages the 'bad' or is the 'bad'...
I would not say that Tracey Emin's bed is a great work of art simply because it produces x, y, or z's affective responses. A measure/dose of rationality and reason dictates that ephemeral modernism, lacking skill and spirit, is symptomatic of our age, but it is not great Art... but a Barbara Hepworth's sculpture is.

A row of bricks in an art gallery instead of a bulding site, is not great Art, whatever the money markets in the 'business' of Art, and the hangers-on may argue and say... not just because I say so, but because they don't measure up against a consensus of aesthetic judgements over centuries, which these modernists often ignore.
Dear Blue,

re: the "grudge" reference - please see my earlier apology, and ignore. I am slightly torn here, because the examples of artists and poets you give are ones that I do like,whether or not that is important. Equally I fail to find anything to recommend Emin's bed. But that is only my point of view, and it would be disingenuous of me to claim scientific backing for it. Remember Whistler's painting was described as "flinging paint in the face of the public". The impressionists were derided. Van Gogh couldn't sell a painting to save his life. Modern artists of the 20th cenrury were mostly ignored for a long time, in favour of pedantic second-rate pretentious sentimental tosh. Jack Vettriani out-sells every other living artist. e e cummings, a great favourite of mine, is not widely known in the way that Ted Hughes is.

Rather, it seems to work the other way. We rationalise the opinions we have already formed irrationally. Ask any articulate person why they like something and they will be able to give convincing answers. When their tastes change, their reasons follow.

Nonetheless I quite agree that the spiritual and the material need to be kept in balance, but I see them as two different realms. Moreover it seems to me that scientific materialism is being hailed as - not just more important - but the *only* proper way to describe the universe, in the same way that it is now said that the only reason people want education is to get better jobs. This is a tawdry devalued outlook on life. This is better -

that blessed mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world,
Is lightened:--that serene and blessed mood,
In which the affections gently lead us on,--
Until, the breath of this corporeal frame
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul:
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.

I thought, VC, that I indicated acceptance of the apology before... lol :)
Forget about it. Those things do not worry me.

Regarding your comments... you seem to be still setting up personal 'taste' as the arbiter of artistic value judgements.

That's fine... but it is patently limited in my opinion, so I have tried to argue that.

You mention people/artists, and quote one of my personal favourites, WW, but I do have to point out that WW did suffer from the recognised condition of hyperaesthesia... and I do not object at all to him saying he can hear the 'rocks and stones and trees'.

I would have to agree that some of the so-called 'official' critics who denigrate Jack Vettriani are equally in need of experience and even training in aesthetics! :) If he had severely broken with aesthetic conventions, he certainly wouldn't be so universally popular.

He is a person who seems to me to stick ot the 'rules' very well, and his skill (art) is undeniable. I don't, like some might do, claim all his works are 'great art'..., but there are many that do qualify aesthetically as 'good' art.

I also must make comment on this:
"Equally I fail to find anything to recommend Emin's bed. But that is only my point of view, and it would be disingenuous of me to claim scientific backing for it."... which seems to make my point that you seem to fall back on the matter of personal taste at all times.

Firstly, the work fails on judgements of skill and aesthetics, and
Secondly, that is not a 'scientific' concern! What on earth has science to do with this particular presumed 'work of art'?

You seem to still think that
a) I reject personal taste, and
b) I am denigrating those who judge purely in terms of personal taste... that is just a choice and matter for them to decide.

All I am saying is, that is not the whole 'story'... I repeat again, there is nothing to stop me 'disliking' from a personal taste POV, a great work of Art in any medium. Similarly, there is nothing to stop me liking, from a personal POV, trash - as adjudged by an apparent majority! Therein lies the problem.

I do not require/ people to 'like' my own paintings, but at least I wish them to recognise aesthetic qualities in them such as my skills can create and demonstrate. The same goes for my poetry, short stories and novels.

As I mentioned before, purely in aesthetic judgements, the French Cave Paintings are universally adjudged as 'amazing'. There is nothing to stop me saying that they are NOT to my TASTE... as well as appreciating their execution and skill aesthetically.

In brief... when there is judgement embodying both personal taste and firm aesthetic judgements, based in recognised and universal appeal and acceptance the world over, I am happiest!

Tracey Emin's bed fails the latter judgements! (Whether I like her bed or not.)

--- and of course, I did make the important point that recognition is not an important concern... I am firmly of the opinion that there are many undiscovered artists in any medium, as there were when Van Gogh couldn't sell a picture... strange isn't it, that I am certain I would have bought one, if I had been around at the time.

Those who simply follow fashions in personal taste, I would condemn almost out of hand!

Seasonal greetings... may they include peace and happiness.