This video is a wonderful exploration on the treachery of Logos, when one remains in Logos. In our current culture, and at our current evolutionary stage, it is too common to remain in Logos and that is the danger. Logos is not a problem, unless you refuse to move beyond it, to Eros. That is the problem we are confronting now. But I am convinced that we are in the process of correcting this limitation in human consciousness, as I first put forward here, in my central thesis. Humanity is evolving and Eros rises as Logos is put into its proper context. That is the challenge of our age. That is the challenge that Carl Jung explored and dedicated his life to.
I think Lynch is correct. I think most artists are very reluctant to put words or explanations to their art. Obviously Lynch does talk and I have little doubt that he talks about his film with his actors, technical crew etc. Language cannot be avoided in most situations, but you have to be aware of its limitations and the very real treachery of not keeping that in your consciousness. Logos is not wrong, but it carries many limitations that need to be recognized and constantly in one’s thoughts.
For an artist to explain her or his work to the audience is particularly dangerous because it cripples the creative process. Art is a collaboration between the artist and the audience. The artist may have a very conscious notion of the meaning, but perhaps not so much. In any case, the beauty, magic and power of art is that the receiver of the art creates meaning in their own mind from the piece. A painting or a movie may inspire ideas, feelings and soulful explosions within a person that the artist could not have imagined in their wildest dreams. And those are just as real and much more meaningful for that viewer than anything the artist might say in words. The artist speaks through her painting and words would adulterate the magic by stifling the creative process within the viewer. Logos looks for answers and wants certainty. Eros, the soul of art, invites creation and mystery, that never ends.
“As soon as you put things into words, no one ever sees the film the same way, and that’s what I hate you know. Talking – its real dangerous.”
The treachery of language is that Logos seduces us into believing that perfect precision is possible with language. The conceit of language is that one can find the right words to express truth – a 100% mapping of perception and communication to reality. One always tries to communicate as well as possible. And when you’re designing a bridge or building a car engine, precision is something to aim for, and Logos is the tool for this. But when you build that bridge in the real world and the engine goes into the car to drive, the chaos of reality – the area of Eros begins to dominate. You don’t abandon Logos or ignore it in those domains, but you can’t overvalue it either.
Language does not need to be tossed aside, although there are certainly times for that. Two lovers can have a wonderful conversation, but there comes a time to stop talking. Awareness of the limitations and danger in language is never to be forgotten or minimized.
Logos is not the enemy or even an enemy. Language is certainly not bad – it’s an amazing tool that we constantly use – obviously. The problem arises with our unconscious use and engagement with language – overvaluing it as a means to arrive at and communicate with the truth.
I’m going to end this with a movie that is an ode to the limitations of Logos and of language. 2001: A Space Odyssey is an amazing movie. It has no dialogue for the first 25 minutes nor for the last 23 and no dialogue for a total of around 88 minutes. The dialogue is very spare and most if it is relatively banal conversation that simply drives the story. The major ideas and themes of the movie do not rely upon Logos, but Eros.
The movie was written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke who said:
“If you understand ‘2001’ completely, we failed. We wanted to raise far more questions than we answered.”
Arthur C. Clarke
Ah. Eros. And true art. The marrow of life in all it’s mystery and wonder.
I first saw the movie, as a kid, in a hushed movie theater, with my best friend. He was a year older and he thought the movie was stupid. I did not understand the movie, but I was awestruck. I wasn’t sure what I’d just seen, but I knew it was really important for me and the movie has stayed with me ever since. I realize now that this movie profoundly spoke to me in the language of Eros, and that is why it remained with me so deeply. This is a movie that embraces mystery and Eros. Its creator, the great Stanley Kubrick, said very little about the movie as David Lynch advises, but the major theme that he intended is revealed here, but that theme is such an enormous mystery itself, that Kubrick is simply letting us in on the scope of his movie. We still bring our own meaning to the art. The following video is an excellent short piece on the movie that gives away little, but does explore some of the major themes. It does not try to explain the movie in a neat and tidy package – it leaves that for the viewer, as it should. I hope it inspires some people to see the movie who do not know of it. or are not attracted to science fiction. 2001 is simply art.
interestingly, the video discusses Kubrick’s strategy in the film. He uses Logos to tell the story of Eros, because he knows his audience is predisposed to Logos and he must use that tool to arrive at his deeper story of Eros. That is precisely my thesis. Logos must be recognized and used as a path to Eros, to deeper meaning. The divine marriage of the two will lead to our further evolution, and this is a story of evolution – deep evolution.
The face of this astronaut is the face of a man in being called to Eros, confronting Logos, and the need to rise beyond it. Eros rises.