George Vantongerloo

... every cultural product or manifestation has... an objective meaning in that it can be grasped without knowing anything about the "intentional acts" of the individual "author" of the product or manifestation. All we need know is the "system"... in terms of which the data we perceive coalesce into a meaningful entity' Manheim, Karl cited in Mysticism and Architecture, Paden, Roger.  

"It is the artist who is truthful and the photograph that lies." Auguste Rodin

The lovers of sights and sounds

The lovers of sights and sounds, I replied, are as I conceive, fond of fine tones and colours and dorms and all the artificial products that are made out of them. But their mind is incapable of seeing or loving absolute beauty. True, he replied, few are they who are able to attain to the sight of this. Very true, and he who having a sense of  beautiful things but not absolute beauty or who,  if another led him to a knowledge of that beauty, is unable to follow, of such and one I ask is he awake or in a dream only? Reflect, is not the dreamer sleeping or waking, one who likens dissimilar things, who puts a copy in the place of the real object? I should certainly say that such, and one, was dreaming. But take the case of the other who recognises the existence of absolute beauty and is able to distinguish the idea from the objects which participate in the idea, neither putting the objects in the place of the idea nor the idea on the place of the objects. Is he a dreamer or is he awake? He is wide awake. And may we not say that the mind of the one who knows has knowledge and that the mind of the other, who opines only, has opinion? Certainly. The Republic Book 3

Omar Khayyam

        For in and out, above, about, below,
        'Tis nothing but a Magic Shadow-show,
        Play'd in a Box whose Candle is the Sun,
        Round which we Phantom Figures come and go.

The Rubayyat of Omar Khayyam
Translated into English in 1859
by Edward FitzGerald

Realm of the Forms (Pyramid)



Thales, it is said, was the first to inscribe a right-angled triangle into a circle. He is said to have sacrificed an ox in honour of his discovery.

Thales Theorum: if A,B and C are points on a circle where the line AC is a diameter of the circle , the the angle ABC is a right-angle. 


Plato divides the world into realms. The realm of the forms was the highest, an intelligible, rather than experiential realm of truths. These forms, for Plato were more real than the everyday world because of their immutability and singularity, as opposed to the multiplicity and ever changing character of the world of men, analogised as the wall of flickering shadows in plato's cave. 
"Plato has a system in which he makes a division between the material sensible world and what he terms, an other worldly realm of forms; of perfect, eternal, ideal, non-sensible principles. And those are the things that are truly real and everything in this world is simply representing it or imitating it. The ideas is that somehow we must try to get as close to the forms as we can and particularly the form of the good." Angie Hobbs 
From In Our Time Neoplatonism BBC Radio 4 First Broadcast 19th April 2012 

Hypnosis and sensation

I was watching the star and the star was watching me. We were poised, exactly equal weights, if one can think of awareness as a weight, held level in a balance. This seemed to endure and endure, I don't know how long, two entities equally suspended in a void, equally opposite, devoid of any meaning or feeling. There was no sensation of beauty, of morality, of divinity, of physical geometry; simply the sensation of the situation. 

John Fowles, The Magus p.237


Over the same rivers,
Stepping into them,
Different and different waters flow.

Strict translation of Heraclitian aphorism You cannot step into the same river twice.
In Our Time 'Heraclitus' Last broadcast on Thu, 8 Dec 2011, 21:30 on BBC Radio 4


On the fields of Troy a fallen soldier pleaded with Achilles the Greek hero to save his life. According to Homer Achilles replied,

'Do you not see what a man I am, how huge, how splendid, and born of a great father, and the Mother who bore me immortal? But even I have also my death and strong destiny, and there shall be a dawn or an afternoon or noontide, when some man in the fighting will take the life from me also. Either with a spear cast or an arrow flown from the bow-string.'

With that, Achilles killed him.

Cited on In Our Time 'Heroism', First Broadcast BBC Radio 4, 9:00AM Thu, 6 May 2004
Where do you think you'll end up by taking the Utopian Road? Do you really believe that this is the way out of the mistakes and the misery that surrounds us? Have you forgotten that this road is as long as the existence of man and that no one has ever found resting place along it? Can't you see that it is illuminated by a false light; that the footsteps you can hear advancing are the sounds of dreams; that the lakes you can see from it are a mirage, a shimmering fata m­organa provided by the blinding sun? Superstudio, 1972.