Yes, indeed, Joel...
>[much crying and gnashing of teeth, deep sobs, great surges of anger,
>moments of incredible fear - at noticing how much damage has already
>been done, then a pause ... a gathering of will, perhaps it is time to
>have another revolution, a revolution against spiritual imperialism.
I'd say a revolution, YES; yet this time not "against" anything, rather
*for* just the kind of thing you speak of so forcefully and honestly in your
post to Starmann and in the article on the web.
Those who say America has contributed little to the arts are seeing without
full sight, or with a biased sight. In the arts in America is an expression
of that which lies deep in the soul of America, and that art shows us all
that is great, all that is healing, in its working to fulfill the destiny of
the consciousness soul and beyond.
Walt Whitman heard it: "I Hear America Singing"..and in the next century
Langston Hughes wrote something like, "I,too, sing America."
You mention Bob Marley and the Wailers, and that is a most apt example.
Though Marley became too enamoured of drugs (marijuana), he (and reggae
artists) still had gifts and opened up certain forces (they are from
Jamaica, and that is a particular formation of the Americas, with African
influences, but in the difficult process of being transformed)..
In____________rhythms he sings:
"Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our
minds. Have no fear of atomic energy. Non-a-dem canna-stop-a de time!"
Such lyrics and rhythms provided a way for a whole otherwise alienated and
disenfranchised generation to enter the stream of active spiritual life. A
century before Marley, Emerson had called for this kind of emancipation
(likewise Thoreau and Whitman and Frederick Douglas and Sojourner Truth and
other Americans, not in imitation of Europe). Emerson's language was still
more amenable to the European soul, yet his message was distinctly American,
and this is a stream that runs on, *even if in troubled waters*, through to
Marley, the Beat poets and other artists.
--Other artists, from Georgia O'Keeffe to Walt Whitman to Langston Hughes to
Toni Morrison to Willie Nelson to Frances Ford Coppola to Denzel Washington
or Madonna to Queen Latifah ot William Faulkner to.... may all have what are
called weaknesses or "faults" that people can criticize. Some of these
artists may even be considered scandalous. (But so were many great European
artists, including Mozart...). I am not holding these artists up as saints
or great adepts (though some may be that, too). What I am saying is that
they show deep aspects of the soul of America, in its
outward/social/active/will character merging with the life of feeling; they
show various struggles and hopes and dreams, which we can see if we look
with *deep interest* (which is what Steiner called love) beyond the glaring
surface of commercialization and greed. Yet even here, in this very greed,
something is going on, not something without suffering and problems, but
something of a struggle that is working itself out.
Joan Baez, Thomas Merton (monk and writer), Father Daniel Berrigan and his
brother (eloquent speakers and priest), Dorothy Day, Martin Sheen (actor)
and many others have combined spiritual striving with artistic/social
activist work. The uprisings against the Vietnam War, and later against
environmental destruction have shown this movement of artists and spiritual
activists. Now, we go on, and don't need so much, i would say, to be
"against" something as "for", advocates for consciousness soul
responsiveness to our Mother Earth, social justice, and so on...
>((...)) just check out my "Outlaw Anthroposophy".
>http://www.tiac.net/users/hermit/otlwa.html )and write me some
I've written you a little about this already. I thank you for your
contribution, which feels very important to me. I shall continue reading!
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