"The mind is a compact, multiply connected thought mass with internal connections of the most intimate kind. It grows continuously as new thought masses enter it, and this is the means by which it continues to develop."

Bernhard Riemann On Psychology and Metaphysics ca. 1860

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Lessons of America's Lack of Mission and Loss of Aesthetic Beauty

Washington's farewell, Lincoln's Gettysburg, Eisenhower's warning, and Kennedy's mission statement taken together constitute a kind of continuum of elements of an American poetic principle. For that principle was forged out of the necessity of bringing about a revolution against the evil of the decadence of Europe's royal rot.

What is truly American in literature, music and art cannot be confined merely to what has been produced on these shores alone. In truth, from the perspective of the grand purpose set forth for America as an antidote to the cancer of the oligarchy infesting Europe, Beethoven and Schiller, for example, are heralds of what America must be as a beacon for the world. Keats was attacked mercilessly because his spirit was sensed to be too American by his sycophantic critics.

Contrast, if you will, the soldier carrying the poems of Schiller in the spirit of the sacrifice of William Tell and Jeanne d'Arc to war of liberation against Napoleon with the nightmare of the baby boomer draftee in the jungle of Viet Nam dosed with the acid rock hymns of Jimmy Hendrix or the Rolling Stones as a kind of numbing soporific. Amidst the bloodshed on the field there is another war here is for the soul of humanity...Contrast now how this higher sort of battlefield of the mind begat the pestilence of Nietzsche and Wagner's Hitler.

 What was always at stake? The destruction of the power of the idea of doing the Good for the sake of future generations. So the moral compromise made by one generation turning away from this mission is exploited so long as the power of the purse remains in the hands of the enemies of that founding principle. It is clear that we need uplifting of the soul of beauty even at this late hour. And who shall heed the call?

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