Some of us are fated to live in a box from which there is only temporary release. We of the damned-up spirits, of the thwarted feelings, of the blocked hearts, and the pent-up thoughts, we who long to blast out, flood forth in a torrent of rage or joy or even madness, but there is nowhere for us to go, nowhere in the world because no one will have us as we are, and there is nothing to do except to embrace the secret pleasures of our sublimations, the arc of a sentence, the kiss of a rhyme, the image that forms on paper or canvas, the inner cantata, the cloistered embroidery, the dark and dreaming needlepoint from hell or heaven or purgatory or none of those three, but there must be some sound and fury from us, some clashing cymbals in the void.
Sex is a metaphor for everything else and everything is a metaphor for sex as well. Because sex is a coming together of two weather patterns, two separate countries, two entities in a conscious state of potentially blissful crisis. Or chaos, or harmony. You’re not quite sure what’s going to happen, but it is the most catastrophic, exciting, and weakening thing that can happen to us. If we are personally involved in it, every fiber of our being is made self-conscious, or is encourages to unify on some level with others. We are delicate. We bring our damage to sexuality, we bring our hopes, we bring our self-image, we bring our world-image, we bring what we believe we are/what we believe we aren’t, our blind spots, our prejudices, our sadness. Everything comes out. A lot of people are left wanting, and confusing, and having the idea that their body is like an unloved apartment building; it’s up for grabs and it’s of absolutely no worth. If we feel that way about ourselves and if we feel that way about others, then of course, sex is nothing more than a lot of rubbing and some kind of release. But the more we are, the more we can feel, the more we can empathize, the more human we are.
The average person is in the habit of saying, “The older I get;”’ and he thereby calls the attention of his mind to the idea that he is getting older. In brief, he compels his mind to believe that he is getting older and older, and thereby directs the mind to produce more and more age. The true expression in this connection is, “The longer I live.” This expression calls the mind’s attention to the length of life, which will, in turn, tend to increase the power of that process in you that can prolong life. When people reach the age of sixty or seventy, they usually speak of “the rest of my days,” thus implying the idea that there are only a few more days remaining. The mind is thereby directed to finish life in a short period of time, and accordingly, all the forces of the mind will proceed to work for the speedy termination of personal existence. The correct expression is “from now on,” as, that leads thought into the future indefinitely without impressing the mind with any end whatever.
I could wish to spy the nakedness of their hearts, and through the different disguises of customs, climates, and religion, find out what is good in them, to fashion my own by. It is for this reason that I have not seen the Palais Royal - nor the facade of the Louvre - nor have attempted to swell the catalogues we have of pictures, statues, and churches - I conceive every fair being as a temple, and would rather enter in, and see the original drawings and loose sketches hung up in it, than the Transfiguration of Raphael itself.
It is my conviction that, with the spread of true scientific culture, whatever may be the medium, historical, philological, philosophical, or physical, through which that culture is conveyed, and with its necessary concomitant, a constant elevation of the standard of veracity, the end of the evolution of theology will be like its beginning—it will cease to have any relation to ethics. I suppose that, so long as the human mind exists, it will not escape its deep-seated instinct to personify its intellectual conceptions. The science of the present day is as full of this particular form of intellectual shadow-worship as is the nescience of ignorant ages. The difference is that the philosopher who is worthy of the name knows that his personified hypotheses, such as law, and force, and ether, and the like, are merely useful symbols, while the ignorant and the careless take them for adequate expressions of reality. So, it may be, that the majority of mankind may find the practice of morality made easier by the use of theological symbols. And unless these are converted from symbols into idols, I do not see that science has anything to say to the practice, except to give an occasional warning of its dangers. But, when such symbols are dealt with as real existences, I think the highest duty which is laid upon men of science is to show that these dogmatic idols have no greater value than the fabrications of men's hands, the stocks and the stones, which they have replaced.
Art is by nature aristocratic, and naturally selective in its effect on the audience. For even in its 'collective' manifestations, like theatre or cinema, its effect is bound up with the intimate emotions of each person who comes into contact with a work. The more the individual is traumatised and gripped by these emotions, the more significant a place will the work have in his experience.The aristocratic nature of art, however does not in any way absolve the artist of his responsibility to his public and even, if you like, more broadly, to people in general. On the contrary, because of his special awareness of his time and of the world in which he lives, the artist becomes the voice of those who cannot formulate or express their view of reality. In that sense the artist is indeed vox populi. That is why he is called to serve his own talent, which means serving his people.