The Eye Paragraph

The Opening Paragraph of Stan Brakhage‘s First Book, Metaphors on Vision.

Imagine an eye unruled by man-made laws of perspective, an eye unprejudiced by compositional logic, an eye which does not respond to the name of everything but which must know each object encountered in life through an adventure of perception. How many colors are there in a field of grass to the crawling baby unaware of ‘Green’? How many rainbows can light create for the untutored eye? How aware of variations in heat waves can that eye be? Imagine a world alive with incomprehensible objects and shimmering with an endless variety of movement and innumerable gradations of color. Imagine a world before the ‘beginning was the word.’

3 thoughts on “The Eye Paragraph

  1. I forgot the names to all those wonderful things I picked up while crawling around as a toddler. They were slapped out of my hand before I had the chance to put them in my mouth. I forgot the names of all the friends I created when my imagination ran wild and I began to form sentences~

    As we yearn, so we learn- EWF

  2. In response to this post about Stan Brakhage – writer, artist, producer Marcel ‘dangerousideas’ from LA had this to say:

    “Very interesting. To go back to a state of undefined, unrefined, undifferentiated consciousness… if indeed such it was. Even before the articulation of thoughts and needs through language, perhaps even before a baby’s first lungful of air and squall, I believe the mind is already evolving, learning, categorizing, adapting and identifying- primitively perhaps, but nonetheless doing what it is in our nature as sentient, intelligent creatures to do, even if we are unaware of it. ‘Paradise Lost’? Perhaps. The ‘Garden of Eden’ which we must leave ever further behind as we become aware that we have an individual identity capable of knowledge, understanding and choice? Likely. But I think to pine for that primeval state of being, though the stuff of poetry, is to feel a nostalgia for both the impossible and and ultimately the unworthy. Even in death none of us can crawl back into the womb, nor should we desire to. It represents a failure of courage. Furthermore, under the right circumstances, I know that contradictory as it seems, it is possible to experience both states of being simultaneously, if only for a limited time: Both a pure, unalloyed sensory perception of the universe as well as the fullness of experience, understanding and wisdom.”

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