Contemplating the Spencer Finch installation at the RISD museum

There is a long history in the modernist tradition of assuming the beautiful must be a lie and that ugliness must be evidence of truth. One can understand the origin of this idea in a reaction against ossified academic standards, and simultaneously a revulsion against the hypocrisy of society. The modern world has seen more systematic moral dishonesty than any previous age, from Victorian moralism to political propaganda of all sorts and the manipulations of contemporary commercial culture.

But it is nonetheless a fallacy, like the mistaken assumption that cynicism is more likely to be correct than good faith. We have to reflect that if optimism can sometimes be stupidity, pessimism can often be cowardice. Hope and aspiration, even idealism, can be powerful forces for understanding the world; beauty, when real and not illusory, can be the deepest manifestation of the real. Truth, above all, is profoundly complex, and is never found in the self-indulgence of nihilism.

–Christopher Allen, from a review of artist Berlinde de Bruyckere

This quote came to me by way of one of my most treasured “we met online” friends, Miriam Louisa Simons. A woman of many parts, she is, among other identities, an artist, writer, mystic, visionary, teacher and friend now living in Australia.

She has aggregated an effulgence of insights and advocacy for nondual awareness. Explore that world at any of these Simons-created wisdom depots:

the awakened eye

the awakened eye blog

wonderingmind studio

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