Archive for June, 2014


Posted in Uncategorized on June 21, 2014 by kidkenoma

As an illustration of how a talismanic painting operated magically, it is worth looking closely at one of the greatest of them, Botticelli’s famous Primavera, executed for a cousin of Lorenzo de’ Medici and disciple of Ficino. Before doing so, however, one must recognize that Botticelli subscribed the concept of a ‘Cosmic Spirit’ enunciated by Ficino an; promulgated by Pico. This ‘Cosmic Spirit’ can be conceivec as analogous to light, which, when filtered through a prism. produces colour. When filtered through the effluence, or force field, of a particular planet, the ‘Cosmic Spirit’ was believed to conduct and convey the planet’s energies.

In the Primaverd. Botticelli endeavours to invoke the vernal energies of Venus, in order to disseminate them through the terrestrial world and foster an atmosphere of perpetual spring – an atmosphere ot” rebirth and renewal, of awakening sexuality and of love.

At the geometric centre of the painting stands the patroness of the process, Venus herself, embowered in vernal greenery and fertile vegetative growth. To her right, in the foreground, are her earthly avatars, the Three Graces, Beauty, Chastity and Passion. According to Pico, ‘the unity of Venus is unfolded in the trinity of the Graces’, and it is through them that her influence will be transmitted to the domain of humanity.

The ‘Cosmic Spirit’ is conjured into the painting at the extreme right. It is exhaled into the scene by the wind god Zephyr, whose breeze is also the Hermetic pneuma, denoting both breath and spirit. Zephyr’s exhalation of pneuma is to be conceived as actively circulating through the painting, moving dynamically from right to left, like a Kabbalistic text in Hebrew. It first touches the flimsily clad earth nymph Chloris, who reflects the denuded world of winter. At Zephyr’s touch, Chloris makes way for — or perhaps metamorphoses into — Flora, nymph of spring, whose luxurious apparel reflects the springtide earth, sumptuously clad in vestments of lush vegetation. Continuing on its path, as if through a carefully constructed pipeline, the pneuma will then animate the dance of the Three Graces; and one of them, Chastity, her hair still modestly braided and bound up rather than loosely flowing, will be initiated into love by the prick of Cupid’s arrow, aimed at her from above. Her love, like her gaze, will be directed at Mercury, or Hermes, who stands calmly at the painting’s extreme left, in symmetrical balance and counterpoint to Zephyr. And he, with his upraised hand and eyes, will redirect it back into the cosmos again.

The painting thus depicts, and simultaneously seeks to induce, a dynamic process. By means of this process, the ‘Cosmic Spirit’ is conjured down to earth in specifically ‘Venusian’ form. It is channelled through the terrestrial world according to a precise itinerary or trajectory. Having produced its effects, it is then guided back into the firmament again. Through its circulation, below is linked with above, earth with heaven, microcosm with macrocosm. And the process will repeat itself eternally, in an ever-recurring cycle. The ‘Cosmic Spirit’ will eternally enter the world through Zephyr’s impetuous vernal breath. Having renewed and revitalized dormant nature, it will then return to the sublime serenity of the numinous, whence it will reappear again with the spring of
the following year.”

Hermeticism posited the interrelationship, the intercon-nectedness, the correspondences between all things. It is therefore obvious that the principle of harmonious proportion, which linked magic, mathematics and music, should also be applied to painting and sculpture. The Hermetic painters of the Renaissance were all accomplished mathematicians, and some of them were musicians as well.

The parallel between harmonic proportion in music and harmonic proportion in spatial measurement was one of the established premises of Renaissance Hermetic art. According to the architect Palladio, ‘the proportions of the voices are harmonies for the ears; those of the measurement are harmonies for the eyes’.

For men like Palladio, ‘both music and painting convey harmonies; music does it by chords and painting by its proportions’.30 Hermetic painters of the Renaissance employed the principle of harmonic proportion in a variety of ways. One such was the depiction of perspective – ‘objects of equal size placed so as to recede at regular intervals, diminish in “harmonic” progression’.”

Poussin – Dance to the Music of Time

“Harmonic proportion in Hermetic paintings of the Renaissance is particularly apparent in the frequent use of the so-called ‘Golden Proportion’, or ‘Golden Mean’, or ‘Golden Section’.

A number with an infinite sequence of decimal places, the Golden Section is usually denoted by the Greek letter phi (ch). It denotes a specific and constant ratio derived from a precise geometric relationship. One must visualize a regular pentagon, a figure of five equal sides. One must then visualize a pentagram, a five-pointed star, inscribed inside it. The length of each line in the internal pentagram will always have a constant relationship to the length of each side of the external pentagon. This ratio is the Golden Section, or cb. It represents a unique harmonious proportion. It constitutes a means of dividing a given line so that each division has a specific fixed relationship to every other division and to the whole.

Because it was inherent in the immutable principles of mathematics — in the immutable laws governing number, angle and form — the Golden Section was deemed a particularly felicitous manifestation, and confirmation, of the harmonious relationship between microcosm and macrocosm. Its significance was deemed all the greater by virtue of the fact that it could be found, like a divine signature, in nature — in the structure of the conch or nautilus shell, for example, whose spiral expands geometrically in accordance with the Golden Section. And it also bore the stamp of authority conferred by antiquity. It had consistently been used by architects and sculptors of the classical world.

The Parthenon, for instance, was built according to the ratio of the Golden Section. In ancient Egypt and Greece, moreover, the Golden Section was thought to be present in the dimensions of the human body, divided by the navel into the ratio of phi. A building constructed according to the same ratio was therefore held to be more harmoniously suited to those living or working within it.

“Hermetic painters of the Renaissance regularly composed their works on the basis of an underlying geometry embodying harmonious proportions. The Golden Section often constituted the governing principle of such geometry. It was oftenused, for example, by Leonardo. It is apparent in The Baptism of Christ by Piero della Francesca, who, in his lifetime, was actually better known as a mathematician than as a painter. An underlying pentagonal geometry based on the Golden Section is also apparent in Diirer’s famous Melancholia. A century and a half later, the same geometry was still being employed by Poussin.

Along with other mathematical and geometric formulae, the Golden Section was held to incorporate an inherent metaphysical dimension. Being based on number, it existed ‘eternally’ and pervaded all things. It could thus be perceived as a manifestation, even as an attribute, of divinity. God the Creator could be seen demonstrably to work through the immutable laws of number and proportion. And it was therefore natural to seek these laws in the microcosm of the human body.

The classical Roman architect Vitruvius – whose teachings were revived by Renaissance Hermeticists – had advocated the construction of temples in accordance with proportions derived from the human body. These proportions included not only the Golden Section, but also an extrapolation of circles and squares originating from an upright human figure standing with arms and legs extended.

A famous drawing of this figure – often referred to as ‘Man the Microcosm’ – appears in Leonardo’s notebooks. It was subsequently adapted by Agrippa and Fludd, who depicted it in a cosmic context – in a circle corresponding to the zodiac, with astrological signs inscribed in their appropriate places. The eternal harmonious proportions of all creation were thus revealed as inherent in the miracle of the human body, which incarnated in the microcosm the divine perfection of the macrocosm.”

Secret Number 50 is this: that when you have learned to draw and paint without mistakes, when you know how to distinguish the sympathies and the antipathies of natural things with your own eyes, when you have become a master in the art of washing and when by your own resources you are able to draw an ant with the reflections corresponding to each one of its minute legs, when you know how to practice habitually your slumber with a key and the so hypnotic one of the three sea peach eyes, when you have become a master in the resurrection of lost images of your adolescence, thanks to the natural magic of the retrospective use of your araneariums, when you have possessed the mastery and the most hidden virtues belonging to each of the colors and their relations to one another, when you have become a master in blending, when your science of drawing and of perspective has attained the plenitude of that of the masters of the Renaissance, when your pictures are painted with the golden wasp media which were then as yet unknown, when you know how to handle your golden section and your mathematical aspirations with the very lightness of your thought, and when you possess the most complete collection of the most unique curves, thanks to the Dalinian method of their instantaneous molding in dazzlingly white and perfect pentagons of plaster, etc. etc. etc., nothing of all this will yet be of much avail! For the last secret of this book is that before all else it is absolutely necessary that at the moment when you sit down before your easel to paint your picture, your “painter’s hand” be guided by an angel.

Salvador Dali, 50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship, Dover Publications, Inc., New York”


L’esprit de l’escalier (find me)

Posted in Uncategorized on June 4, 2014 by kidkenoma

The Yiddish trepverter (“staircase words”[4]) and the German loan translation Treppenwitz (when used in an English language context[5]) express the same idea as l’esprit de l’escalier. However, in contemporary German Treppenwitz has a different meaning: It refers to events or facts that seem to contradict their own background or context. The frequently used phrase “Treppenwitz der Weltgeschichte” (“staircase joke of world history”) derives from the title of a book by that name by W. Lewis Hertslet[6] and means “a paradox of history”.[7][8]’esprit_de_l’escalier


I said my ‘goodbyes’ didn’t I?
Seemed so ideal to the outside
Burning and tying on
I should have said it before I….
Before I’d gone,
Before I’d gone,
That’s the wit of the staircase.

Shouldn’t have left me alone
Winchester type paranoid
Atlantic ocean that’s your mind
I should have said it before I…
Before I’d gone,
Before I’d gone,
That’s the wit of the staircase.

Play it come the time we will fall in love
Play it come the time we will fall in love
Play it come the time we will fall in love
Fall in love fall in love falling….

They’ll find me, they’ll find me when I wash up…

They’re out there
I’ve seen them out there
I’m not crazy, I’m not…
Not crying wolf, I’m….
I’m not crazy, I’m not…
I see them out there in the real world, out my window
They’re already in my head now, behind my eyes.


Posted in Uncategorized on June 2, 2014 by kidkenoma

It was a town like florida in the fifties, buildings eight stories high, except for a few ten stories and one fifteen right in the center of town.

The whole place sparkled with clarity. Everyone was wearing colorful clothes. People drank coca colas through straws on the street corners. Men were gliding in gliders above the streets, turning corners between the buildings and soaring up alleyways.

It was unbelievable.

I said, “Hey, how do those guys soar around the city like that. It all looks too good. Why don’t they crash into the buidings?”

Just then, one of the gliders crashed into the fifteen story building in the center of town. The man tumbling head over heels through the air like some sort of wounded superman. He tumbled dead towards me.

With me on the parking lot were a young couple, They were walking together in conversation, looking up, they noticed the tumbling man. He fell on top of them making a sluggish sound on the pavement.

Off to the side of the three dead bodies I noticed a baby wrapped in a pretty red blanket. I picked up the child and put it (I don’t remember if it was a boy or girl) in a car parked on the street.

A crowd was gathering around the parking lot.

A beautiful lady came towards me on the street. She looked inside the parked car. “That’s my baby in there” she said. “No,” I said, “This baby belongs to that dead couple on the parking lot. “No, You’re wrong,” she said, “what happened to them?”