Thursday, July 15, 2010

Rest Transparently in the Spirit that Gives You Rise

I'm doing the best I can to fully absorb the above lecture (split into six parts) given by David Milch at USC.

Solely to help myself understand it better, below I've summarized one of the most interesting segments:

Kierkegaard (who Milch refers to as "half a whack-job") once wrote that "purity of heart is to will a single idea." That single idea should inform everything you do and govern all your behavior (religious example: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If you fully live by that one teaching, you've gained religious purity in the eyes of Krazy Kierky!) Once you achieve this, and all of your actions are born out of this single idea, then "the self rests transparently in the spirit that gives you rise." This is a fancy way of saying that while you are your own singular thing, you're also everything that helped make you. In other words, everything that created you and got you to your current state is still a very visible part of you, therefore you transparently exist with it/rest in it.

A lovely Milch quote: "Despite your seeming separateness, there radiates with a perfect clarity the soul of the universe which created you. There's a paradoxical doubleness of seeming separate from each other yet radiating through each other. That's the state of grace, and I would submit that's also the state of art." Whoever is viewing art has come to see something that "seemed to be separate entities as informed by a single unity." In other words, there's a lot that goes into shaping a single piece of entertainment. It's one thing, made by many people. There's a struggle to "will a single idea" in what the artist creates, a struggle similar to what Kierkagaard was talking about.

So Milch asks the big question: "How does the artist reconcile with the competing plains between addressing a large audience and staying true to the internal logic and spiritual conflict of the story he's telling? Is it possible to do that?"

That's all I have the energy to mull over right now, but suffice it to say that I strongly recommend giving this lecture a listen.

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