Ouspensky, in his book Tertium Organum, A Key to the Enigmas of The World, may allow us to begin toward creating a more relevant foundation for discussion than any number of my attempts to describe a post modern esthetics, hip structuralism or clever phenomenology could usefully provide.
He simply states:
“The truth is that this earth is the scene of a drama of which we only perceive scattered portions, and in which the greater number of the actors are invisible to us.” He suggests that the mystery of life dwells in the fact that the noumenon–the hidden meaning of a thing, is reflected in its phenomenon. A phenomenon is merely the reflection of a noumenon in our sphere.
THE PHENOMENON IS THE IMAGE OF THE NOUMENON.
He further implies that only “that fine apparatus which is called the soul of an artist” can understand and accurately feel that reflection– by means of the study of that “hidden side of life.” Therefore, the artist must be a clairvoyant–seeing that which others do not see. He must be a magician: must possess the power to make others see that which they do not themselves see.
Art, concludes the great Occultist, is “THE BEGINNING OF VISION”. We can infer that our discussion of theatrical photographic artforms would lead to our greater understanding if we acknowledge the desire for a “higher” represention to include these elusive differences. It is certainly possible to achieve a photograph that appears to embody a refined esthetic and visual impact with the sophisticated equipment now accessible–but does it reflect an artist’s vision or a gift from technology? Is creating a pleasing illusion the significance of the process? Is it even possible to evoke more?
The study and practice of dance and acting for live theatre can be more important than some form of success or recognition in those fields. Show Biz and most of its “productions” has no direct correlation with consciousness or personal development, nothing to help mankind to awaken. The use of dance can be as a tool for a form of Yoga in movement, and the creation of characters a psychological study leading to greater unification of authentic self and development of the Power of Will. All depends on intent, the quality of the teaching, the intensity of the work itself, and a recognition that performance is first for the performer a highly conscious effort. The audience then receives an essential experience that is not mechanical or merely entertaining as a consequence. Some call that quality talent. It is most certainly a step closer to human greatness.