Post on Monday 22.9.14
As you can see I have brought my post a day forward, that is because a lady sent me a blog today, http://paperponderings.blogspot.co.uk/ and it reminded me that it is Peace Day today. The media what I watch Auntie Beeb Beeb See has failed to mention that! But peace is a wonderful ting, has a nice ring about it, so it should be encouraged even if it is unfashionable in some quarters. Below is the first of my runupto LABF later this week. It happens to be, this one, about Gurdzhief who spent his life promoting harmonious living and furtherance of humanity’s level o consciousness, so I thought maybe post it today, Day of Peace and Hope that Peace will come; to Syria, to Palestine, to Iraq, to Ukraine and most of all to the people of what was once Tibet but is now called China.
So the LABF at Whitechapel Gallery opens in a few days. I am posting these last two introductions to the poems in Pete Kennedy & David Jury’s newly launched artist’s books in two lots because there’s a lot to take in in each of these last two. Like Kate Bush sang these are heavy people; Gurdzhiev and Beuys, who had a lot to tell us through their activities and books. Gurdzhiev brought a whole new cosmology from his extensive anthropological studies of ancient cultures. Beuys brought a new pair of optical lenses to view the world of Eurasia through. Both men may be considered mad as hatters (idiots indeed) but in fact I believe both had incredible wisdom and insight.
Poem 5, Gurdzhiev.
- (Gurdzhiev’s ‘followers’ knew him as ‘G’, long before social media gave us all lots of ‘follows’!) talks about his father as an ‘ashokh’ a storyteller from the tradition which goes back before the Flood mentioned in the Hebrew script. Ashokhs learned stories verbatim and the stories were passed down for thousands of years unchanged. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=pseoAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA431&lpg=PA431&dq=armenian+ashokh&source=bl&ots=Ds2uEVSb-O&sig=77MItQA_WmDwlbNUtzMmEbultn8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=w04TVIDDHondaLmdgeAE&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=armenian%20ashokh&f=false The Epic of Gilgamesh tells of a flood which historically is written about in cuneiform tablets from Ancient Assyria. Story-telling, like this, (cos that is what this blArt is abArt really), relaying stories from me unto ye, was part of the way of life in the Armenian community G. was born into. They still called Macedonian Alexander (in the west ‘Great’ but in Asia Minor) ‘The Arch-Vainglorious’! G.’s ethnic background hails from the descendants of people who fought under Xerxes against Alexander, so it is understandable they were not his fans. As a result of his observations of Humankind G. saw that we (yes that’s we) all too often go blindly into war thinking maybe this time it’ll be the one to end all wars that hasn’t happened yet. His phrase for war was ‘mutual self-destruction’.
Many people have found G. fascinating because of his world view and his personal cosmology which he said was based in objective everlasting laws. He looked at human history with eyes from the east and had visited many obscure communities in his search for ‘knowledge’. He then decided to fetch his findings to Europe & America. He set up centres of learning where ‘pupils’ were encouraged to learn ancient dances to music G. wrote based in lessons learned from disappearing cultures. He may have visited the pyramids but it is certain he spent time in the secret recesses of communities across several differing esoteric groups from a wide range of what is commonly called ‘religious’ backdrops. G was initiated into the use of a mysterious nine sided star called The Enneagram
which he used to organise his choreography in the group dances he did and to assist in analysing your personality. He saw similarities in the aspirations and beliefs of all the popularly followed religions. He studied faiths from the Sufi (Muslim), Orthodox (Russian Christian), Early Christianity (before the Nicene Creed), Zoroastrianism (Asia Minor), and Buddhism in Tibet, plus some.
He learnt dance movements from societies which used dance as coded messages which were disappearing with the onslaught of the modern world. He wrote mesmerising music in the company of Hartmann based on what he called eternal law. His appellation for the term ‘god’ was the Common Endless One or The Absolute, which he said was actually three in one. As well a an interest in hypnotism he studied numbers. The Absolute was the Number three, the triangle in the Enneagram. David was pleased to be able to use the other six numbers from the Enneagram in his prints because, being a dedicated letter press master numbers just have to included somewhere.
Then he put together his thoughts on the way humans could move forward in 3 main books the last of which was ‘Life is real only then when I am’, which is the last sentence in David’s letterpress version of my poem about G. and means real appreciation of life happens to you only when you are truly awake. He says humanity is in a deep slumber, a state of forgetfulness or somnambulance from which it is necessary to WAKE UP. Kate Bush even mentions his name in a song about heavy people because her parents would discuss G. at home. http://www.metrolyrics.com/them-heavy-people-lyrics-kate-bush.html
Kate is a perfec example of someone who has taken on the Gurdzhievian ting about awakening from slumber thru self-work and contribution to the creative ways of the world.
As is my ole matey Len The Master Cohen, let’s dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sZzJAxfD-4&index=3&list=RDye6JssTdnvw