Recognition is a fundamental element of art and life. We delight in seeing, in being seen, and in seeing afresh. This is the reality of good art and the false allure of mere entertainment.
But the possibility of recognition is present in small ways every day. For myself it is there when rising in the morning with the sun, meeting our Father in prayer, experiencing birds in the backyard and their seasonal returns, and even when Greeting fellow students in the morning, students whom I saw and spoke to just the day before. Such can all be mere ritual and drudgery or it can express a kind of delight and gratitude:
The very fact of repetition is itself a kind of double, an again which too often (as Chesterton acknowledges in Orthodoxy) we grow weary of.
It is recognition which renews our scope and returns us to a sense of proper grandeur; it is a kind of homecoming for the soul.
But to the point, this series is attempting to identify a special kind of recognition that can be present in our ordinary experience of the world. In the last post on this topic, a discussion was begun on double vision.
Double vision was the event of seeing both an image and and its original, such as when one sees a portrait, say on a coin, and while seeing the portrait, one calls to mind the individual represented. That post concluded by questioning the frequency of such an experience. Does this happen only when we are viewing portraits or representations (art)? Or is such an experience more common?
Readers were then, to their misfortune, taken through a discourse on forms (looks). For Plato, the entire material world is a world of becoming, a presentation of images like and akin to their unchanging forms. For him, all this world has the structure of image and thus doubleness. But this is not the path which this discourse will take; although, the concept of forms will prove helpful as we move forward. They will provide a kind of model for double vision.
Even if Plato is not followed here, it still is possible that imagery and double vision is more common than we often realize. But in what sense? Here are a few ways in which we experience double vision:
- in nature
- in the human creature
- in God
- in art
- in cognition
The next post will explore double vision in nature.
© 2015 sameandother.com All Rights Reserved