A History of Visual Text Arts 9781909388246

2,806 64 12MB

English Pages [569] Year 2018

Report DMCA / Copyright


Polecaj historie

A History of Visual Text Arts

Citation preview





A history of visual text art karl kempton



/ / / EXERCISES AGAINST THE IMPERIAL FONT Apple Pie Editions, Manchester-Berlin www.applepie-editions.co.uk ISBN 978-1-909388-24-6 Oceano, California, Winter solstice, 2018 © karl kempton All rights reserved Front cover and p. 555, karl kempton Following kinetic pages, collaboration with Philip Davenport and Tony Trehy Bin Qulander, Al-Rehman, p. 6, 4 Quills p. 569 Dawn Nelson Wardrope, visual poems as section markers: The Scribe, The Vision, Charting Changes in Reality, Poem, The Letter, Nuance To the poets / To the ones who see the beauty Liz Collini, text work in progress, p. 48 onward Philip Davenport, from APPEAL IN AIR, p. 189-207 Steve Giasson, A CONCEPTUAL DECORATION p. 264-6 Márton Koppány, 4 letters, p. 218-223 Ali Haider, Ninety Nine names of Allah, p. 338; Alam Nashrah, p. 438 Dona Mayoora, various works p. 511-523


Publisher’s Note It came together in summer ’18, as karl was gathering the harvest. He’d finished his manuscript a year before, edited by several poets already: Karl Young, Márton Koppány, and others. I only wanted to edit the text lightly, it already bore many fingerprints. Instead, I worked with karl 2017-18 on a second “volume” of illustrations to parallel this book, gathering language art from across the world, at Synapse International blog. My role as editor for Apple Pie normally involves pruning. In this book, I added material: commentary from Márton Koppány — who argues with the argument — and interventions from Liz Collini, Steve Giasson, in the form of an image sequence, an Appendix. My own APPEAL IN AIR in the green language of the birds accompanies a roll call of experimental works. We also invited works from Ali Haider, Dona Mayoora, Dawn Nelson Wardrope, Bin Qulander. This book joins the Apple Pie list as a kind of prequel to THE DARK WOULD anthology of language art I edited in 2013. While karl’s book is a history of language art, a significant element is the wide religious/cultural knowledge it draws into the story, the place where Márton’s comments engage it. One of the qualities that drew me is the overview of poetics that crosses cultures, religions, politics, time — while staying unrepentantly non-academic. For instance, karl references hobo teaching as a significant source to him. He acknowledges and celebrates his own dyslexia. Throughout, he champions the outsider poets, those un-makers of the imperial font. I don’t agree with all that follows, but welcome the gesture. At a moment when the world is fragmenting into hostile groups, I’d rather find common ground. In Europe, persecution of religious and ethnic groups is starting again, old ghosts in new uniforms, shaking their chains and crooked crosses. karl’s wider work challenges the idea that symbols and religions are an excuse to divide human beings. For him, difference — and all — finally adds up to a beautiful round nothing. It’s Buddhist mathematics, the shape of the world. This is the way, step inside. Philip Davenport, Berlin 2018

Contents Cover

Publisher’s Note .......................................................................8 Contents....................................................................................9 Foreword ................................................................................15 A New Beginning ................................................................... 18 1. Before 1900: Rock to Page .................................................24 Introduction Rock Art Charms, Amulets & Talismans Scripts Mythological Inventors of Scripts China India Sumer Egypt Greece Italy Keltic Europe Scandinavian Europe Southern Mexico Valley of Mexico Plains of North America Undeciphered Scripts Mesoamerica Easter Island Ecuador through central Chile West Africa !9

Ikom monoliths Nsibidi script Deer Teeth Signs Danube & Saraswati Script Danube Script Saraswati Scrip Calligraphy: Exoteric & Esoteric Introduction Sanskrit Siddham Learning Tibetan Calligraphy Christian Illumination Islamic Calligraphy 2. 1900 — 1920s: Paper Becomes Canvas ............................72 Western Europe and New York City The Dawn (1789-1899) 1900 — 1920s Germany, Christian Morgenstern Sweden, Hilma af Klint Paris, Milan Paris, 2 Zurich Paris, 3 England New York City & The Stieglitz Circle Russian Avant-Garde ...........................................................123 Russian Dawn Russian Futurist Influences !10

Factions Zaum Kazimir Malevich Painters Freeing the Word Amazons Lubok Natalia Goncharova, reading “The Four Evangelists” 3. 1920s — 1950s: Before Concrete Poetry ......................... 170 Japan Stieglitz Circle Kenneth Patchen Paul Reps Concrete Art and Music Lettrisme Madiha Omar, First Arab Word Painter New York Ambience: 1930s — early 1950s Art Informel New Mexico Samples of Visual Text Art from Post WW1 into the 1950s Mathematical Painted Art, Visual Poems & Anticipators Visual Music Scores Correspondence between Koppány and kempton................216 4. 1950s to Present: Fission and Fusion ..............................252 Preface Concrete Poetry Visual Poetry Treated Text Art / Mail Art !11

Asemic Writing Lettrisme / Lettrism Word Painters Art Informel and Michel Tapié Charles Hossein Zenderoudi Nja Mahdaoui Hassan Massoudy Rachid Koraichi Firyal Al-Adhamy Aram Chaled Res Bin Qulander Iconographic Painting San Ildefonso The Kiowa Six Santa Fe Transcendental Group Pueblo Studio Style Abstract Symbolism Afterword 5. Among thee Seers ............................................................. 333 Foreword Introduction Among the Greeks Greek Fire: Prometheus and Chiron Links In The Golden Chain Orpheus Plato Pyrrho Plotinus Iamblichus Proclus !12

The Dusk of Hellena Hellena Sacred Visual Text Esoteric Hebraic and Christian Calligraphy Among the Sufis Suhrawardī’ and the School of Illumination Ibn ‘Arabī, 1 Mullā Sadrā Ibn ‘Arabī’, 2 The Science Of Letters A New Alphabet Navajo Prayer — Beauty Way 6. Appendices .......................................................................437 Appendix 1: 1905 — 1920 Abridged Timeline Appendix 2: Visual text art samples of early modern visual poems, painted word/symbol, iconographic, mathematical art and visual music scores, etc. Appendix 3: Visual Text Art, Visual & Concrete Poetry Appendix 4: Abridged list of Visual Poets and Mail Artists published in Kaldron and or Exhibited in Visualogs Appendix 5: Word Painters Appendix 6: Iconographic Paintings / Abstract Symbol Paintings Appendix 7: Aum / Om Appendix 8: Rishi, Yogi, Taoist & Buddhist Ch’an & Zen, Sufi, and Christian Realized and Mystic Poets Appendix 9: Spiritual Typology Appendix 10 by Dona Mayoora 7. Abridged Bibliography Contents ......................................524 Acknowledgements......................... ..................................... 554 About the author......................... ..........................................566 !13

For Ruth and Amy


Foreword: Letter 4 Dear karl, Quoted by you: "In the transformation by the Higher Mind the spiritual sage and thinker would find his total and dynamic fulfilment; in the transformation by the Illumined Mind there would be a similar fulfilment for the seer, the illumined mystic, those in whom the soul lives in vision and in a direct sense and experience: for it is from these higher sources that they receive their light and to rise into that light and live there would be their ascension to their native empire." (Sri Aurobindo) In your cover art, light is held up by one hand. (It is also grasped, perceived at once by the viewer of your poem.) It is about a strong and heartfelt connection. The landscape is mysteriously darkened. The lamp of the lamppost is and isn’t the source of the light, because the proper source is different, as is strongly and playfully suggested. Perhaps it is the dot of i, melting into the ink of light. (The symbolism of the dotless/selfless i is a recurring motif in your poetry.) The hand, receiving and collecting (what then becomes a pool of ink for a different kind of writing), is midway between sky and earth. Down on earth everything is dark except for a couple of primeval iconographic images, taken from caves. They not only have a share in the light, they are also a secondary source of it and they somehow help the hand to hold – and the heart to feel. The staccato of brightness and darkness, visualized by the dots, is especially moving. Then the – equally moving – dots in the indecipherable tablets scrutinized by the imaginary translator invented by Armand Schwerner, another wonderful visual poet, come to my mind because I’m amazed by the effect of this work of yours, but I can’t necessarily get initiated into its more secret realms. (Please see my three other letters as well about my dispositions and question marks.) The place of the hand suggests levitation, and that feeling might belong to any creative process, "scribbling", conceptual appropriation etc. included. The place and the subject are not always the same, though.


In a "photo/card" by Roy Arenella (there are so many names to recover yet and to add to the history of visual text art) titled Pond "As" Sky’s Other Eye (handwritten at the edge of the photo) we see a small water surface in a hilly land. Black and white photo: actually different shades of grey. The sky above is grey too, and boundless. The small pond (puddle?) is eyelike – thanks to the title as well. The sky and the pond are cut from each other, but they are invisibly connected again by an almost sadly patient wish. I live in an increasingly autocratic system, in a country where refugees are not accepted, and the unity (one-ness) of the nation (inner enemies deducted) is the moral imperative, based on the esoteric knowledge about the supremacy of us, on this side of the other side. In the language of aesthetics, it mostly means hypocrisy, the parody of the One. They try to invent new kinds of arts and artists, and they might be successful, the majority is behind them. The whole process must be familiar from the between-the-two-wars period in Europe, when "third way" political and "golden age" cultural ideas got interconnected thanks to the work of influential authors like Julius Evola, René Guénon and many others. (I don’t claim at all that those ideas are necessarily interconnected.) A "golden age" for whom? Certainly not for the asylum seekers over the fence. Never for the refugees of the day. Truth and manipulation, catharsis and parody might go hand in hand. (If separated at all.) And in a piece of art they can even assume each other, and enforce the "ultimate", I mean, experienced truth of the work itself. "According to the Treatise of Bodhidharma, 'the common man sees the ultimate in the conventional, while the sage sees the conventional in the ultimate'." (Bernard Faure: The Rhetoric of Immediacy) (The case is rhetorical, too: we are all common sages, potentially and ad infinitum.) Ok, let’s turn the message of the sentence and bring it closer to the seer’s aesthetics: something like: the common man can’t see the ultimate, but the sage can see it in everything. (Also in abstract forms and letters.) It might be equally liberating – depending on the context. If I have question marks, they are related to a few characteristics of the story in the book, and not to your intense close readings or to your own poetry. !16

Seeing, seer, being seen, being watched, inspected. Over the last decade (because it started earlier in Hungary than in the other European countries) I’ve gotten more and more interested in those variations, and what visual poetry does. Each variation is important, and should be kept in mind and represented. Likewise: how they are related to each other. Our late friend, Karl Young, wrote this on Lax about the vertical structure of his poems: " ...maybe that's one of the reasons why literati going in other directions don't know what to make of him". Ascending and descending on the ladder. Márton July, 2018 Budapest


a new beginning, 1967


A visual poem or visual text art work may be defined simply as a poem or work composed or designed to be read and seen for complete understanding. The contemporary poem, painting, sculpture, music score and collage containing language as iconographic imagery, generally, are composed with little or no syntax, fragmented words and/or shattered alphabet material. Use of fragmentation within these expressions began over 100 years ago in Eurocentric cultural movements of modern art before abstraction by various avant-garde individuals and groups of various isms. These movements and associations generally formed as suddenly as they dissolved. Out of these movements came a number of names for the new artlanguage hybrids. The visual poetry and other visual text arts composed before 1900 are classified by specific types. New terms emerged for the works after 1900. The renewed visualization of European languages, Roman and Cyrillic alphabets, contributed to the development of modern art abstraction in music, dance, opera, painting, and sculpture. The stuff of language — word, text, note, code, petroglyph, letter, phonic character, type, cipher, symbol, pictograph, sentence, number, hieroglyph, rhythm, iconograph, grammar, cluster, stroke, ideogram, density, pattern, diagram, logogram, accent, line, color, measure, etc. — was shifted from traditional to new forms and abstractions. Today’s minimalist visual poet, who on most occasions composes only with text, usually points to concrete poetry (1953 to circa late 1970s) as her or his tradition or source of inspiration. Some English speakers may point further back to the late 1890s from Mallarmé, Pre-World War 1 to Apollinaire and postwar to e.e. cummings. Minimalist visual poets generally compose with fissioned language material to create new and free particles, and / or sonic patterns, clusters, densities, and/or textures. The visual poet and other visual text artists compose with freed language, its particles, and generally wed or fold them into one or more art forms. By crossing art form boundaries, the individual poet or artist works in a field of multimedia, borderblur or intermedia, composing seamless works of fusion. While many others outside the literary arts fuse their compositional elements with fragmented !19

language parts, also blurring borders, multimedia or intermedia art, their art is generally called painting, sculpture, etc. An all-encompassing term for art containing a range from dominative to suggestive visual elements, with a direct or indirect literary intent, is still to be coined and accepted. Some say language art. My suggested umbrella term, simple and clear-cut, visual text arts. A problem exists with the above narrative, in which I unwittingly colluded, when I assumed that historical and critical writings about visual text art that I read were wide and deep. The purpose of this endeavor is to genuinely widen the discussion beyond poetic visual text art to include the many that have been ignored, overlooked or consciously hidden (in order to overstate the uniqueness of a particular movement or group). The problem has been acceptance of the concrete-poetry view that its history should be and is poetry-centric. Such outlooks continued into visual poetry. Concrete anthologies, however, maintained a narrow history that can be classified as a lineage. Visual poetry anthologies generally maintained a wider historical horizon. Call it disappeared or isolated from the conversations after World War II, but earlier visual poetry between 1900 and 1953 and its makers were paid little or no attention after WWII. Practicing American concrete poetry historians and critics paid scant attention to approaches found in painting, sculpture (except perhaps book art), and collaboration of poets and painters that had begun in the late 1800s in Russia and soon after 1900 in France. While a defensive argument perhaps is possible justifying these omissions, excluding the primary influence on early French and Italian visual poetry and visual text art I contend is not defensible, nor is it defensible concerning early American visual poetry and visual text art after one studies the output of the Stieglitz Circle from 1910 into the 1930s. The chief American avant-garde theorists, historians, and critics seemed to have ignored or disregarded materials warehoused in local and nearby university library archives. The radius of the visual text artist circle was reduced to a field of selected individuals while ignoring or disappearing other significant individuals to fit within the movement’s frame. Besides visual poems, paintings, sculpture, fabrics, and ceramics that require reading, many visual music scores require looking and reading for comprehensive !20

understanding. Looking at or seeing non-textual images for most is a separate experience than the reading of text. The mind may note a non-textual image for its symbolic meaning and place, but it does not verbalize the image as it does with text. A case can be made that one does not look at non-textual images such as landscapes but reads them for meaning, or searches for iconographic-like forms to read and translate into an artwork. Also, there are those with the cosmological assumption, such as those of Islam, that all manifested reality is made up of letters of a book already written. The bulk of work covered in the following belongs to three main categories, visual poetry, painted word, and iconographic image. These are associated with ongoing traditions with numerous unfolding pathways traceable to humankind’s earliest surviving communication marks. They began afresh early during the modern art period shortly after the birth of the twentieth century in an ambience wherein most artists and poets, excluding the Italian Futurists, worked towards a utopian ideal. While some individuals maintained the initial ideals, World War I changed the overall direction from utopian to dystopian down generations to the present. What follows was unplanned. In the Spring of 2013 I placed 23 years of on and off work to protect 10,000 square miles of local nearshore and offshore waters with a National Marine Sanctuary designation in the capable hands of the local Marine Sanctuary Alliance. Two years later we earned an official NOAA nomination status as the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary. 1 Upon handing over all my work, a large space in my mind was cleared for a renewed focus on visual poetry. The plan had two parts: updating my 2005 article on visual poetry history followed by writing the introduction for Renegade: A Collection of International Visual Poetry & Language Arts. Some web links were dead. A few subjects required additional discussion, notably Russian Futurism, to present a brief discussion in the introduction. Previously, I had taken a short cut pointing to the writings of Gerald Janecek for the interested. Email exchanges with Janecek on the Russian visual poem; researching Russian Futurist works and their influences; studying the French avant-garde beyond the usual academic and !21

concrete-poetry framed assumptions about Apollinaire’s terms, works and circle; understanding the wide and forgotten or erased influence of Theosophy; discovering the significance of the Stieglitz Circle of New York City; addressing Vedic, Buddhist and Islamic esoteric alphabet cosmologies; revisiting America’s First People painted iconographic art; understanding the interaction of post-WWII French Lettrists with Arab and Persian word painters, and other insights and findings changed my perspective on visual poetry and concrete poetry histories. For me, such histories, especially the ongoing concrete poetry history discourses with their congratulatory self-importance, were in need, if not correcting, an alternative point of view. And, a point of view is what follows. While informed on gathered facts, their interpretations, I hope, are not rigid and leave a welcoming space for yet other alternatives. Perhaps obvious, an endeavor such as this can never be completed. The abundance of available works and new works constantly added are beyond the grasp of one individual. And, the hidden, ignored, overlooked, and near-erasures continue to re-appear, illuminating us with our eye’s delight.

https://chumashsanctuary.com/ November, 2018.



before 1900: rock to paper


Introduction Acrostic, alphabetical, anacyclic, anagram, calligraphy, emblem, magic square, hieroglyphic, maze, pattern, shaped, permutation, rebus, technopaegnion, and versus intexti exemplify types of visual text arts before 1900.1 Between 1905 and 1919 inventive new types required their own terms in visual text arts such as poeme simultané (Barzun), parole in libertá (words in freedom [Marinetti / Italian Futurists]), word painting (Carra / Italian Futurist), psychotype (Italian Futurists / de Zayas), Zaum (Burliuk [credited by Kruchenykh] / Russian Futurists), ideograme (Italian Futurists / Apollinaire), calligramme (Huidobro?), suprematist (Malevich), dada and (the emerging) surreal poem. Slowly arriving, and now on the horizon, art and literature accepted as humankind expressions first, cultural background second. Contemporary visual text arts, portions of which are evolving within the new electronically linked transnational culture, intertwine all traditions in this unprecedented era of heightened cross-culture influence. Each tradition has numerous braided strands. Each strand is composed of innumerable coiled threads forming complex histories from remote prehistorical times and regions to dateable ancient times to the contemporary moment. The complexity arises from the variety of visual language forms in respective literatures and arts that have evolved from ideograms, logograms, hieroglyphics, cuneiform, and alphabets. The first word she spoke probably accompanied a hand gesture. Later, another woman’s hand visually composed a sign for a sound or an idea. Threads of varying length from the coiled histories of writing and visual text art begin here. In what form and from where remains unknown, including which gender. Beginning stages of various oral literatures remain unrecoverable. Recoverable visual expressions deep as humankind’s inclination to physically form symbols perhaps began as scratched lines in soil followed by marking on rock and portable materials such as bone, palm leaf, and animal skin. Did such symbol making begin in one place and moment to then radiate outward influencing others? Or, perhaps more likely, were there several such moments over time crossing geography? When !25

these forms became associated with meaningful oral traditions as iconographic marks illuminating sounds, or sound patterns remains to be determined, if ever. Soft edges of recorded oral traditions hold the faint echo border between oral and decipherable iconographic marks embedded as hieroglyph, ideogram, logogram and alphabet invention myths. These suggest script reduced from visual patterns sourced from the nonhuman and human world, messages from humankind’s deep past. Writing symbols first traceable to proto-writing found on rock art at first were most probably mnemonic. Before morphing into signs of a proto-writing system each held symbolic meaning or meanings. Some protowriting symbols on rock art hitched rides onto portable objects such as ceramics. History, archaeology and paleoarchaeology research concerned with uncoiling the twisted braids of writing — pre- proto-writing, proto-writing, iconographic markings, and earlier aesthetically-conscious markings and activities — are, one hopes, viewed with unbiased, clear-lensed, science. Unfortunately, such is not the case. The lens is smeared by many fingerprints stained with biased historical theories, racial ideas, or unwittingly used as a projection device. My concern arises not just from decoding such research and surmised histories but from direct experience as an economic historian and later as a field archaeology technician and environmental activist trying to protect Chumash sacred sites from destruction. The scientific atmosphere, wherein historical and archaeological findings countering the accepted story laid out for over a hundred years were attacked, sometimes viscously enough to destroy the scholar’s or researcher’s career, or ignored. Unpicking the misguided and in other cases conscious enforcement of certain ideas, ideologies, and narrow world views that ran counter to an objective, clear-eyed process interpreting new findings is a complex undertaking beyond the framework of this endeavor. From the late 1990s, old biased views were replaced by undeniable new findings, or recoveries. Also, retirement of the old guard opened fields of research. Weekly, new findings and research are available; many push dates older than previously accepted thereby altering humankind’s story.


Rock Art2 Anonymous communiqués from early humankind relatives first arrived as fossils; their tools followed. Anonymous communiqués arrive now as recovered tools, use of ochre pigments, shell beads, decorated ostrich eggs, burial paraphernalia, art, art kits, and iconographics. Art was not invented in European caves. Until recently it was assumed and recorded that migrating humans brought skilled artists among them into the European landscapes from Africa or earlier off the Asian steppe who then developed it further. New recoveries prove art existed prior to their arrival (see brief comments on Neanderthals below). Europe was one of the later areas to be occupied by modern humankind. Ocean rise probably covers earlier decorated caves worldwide. Caves below mean tide lines worldwide wait further detailed exploration. Earliest conscious use and meaning of signs formed by modern humankind is now suggested to be South Africa 100,000 years ago. Earlier in Zambia, 160,000 years ago, modern humans collected from afar ochre for use; they also heated it for brightness. Before modern human use, ochre was pounded into powder 260,000 to 300,000 years ago. Neanderthal sculpture dates back 176,000 years.3 Neanderthal glue fixing point to shafts, 220,000 years.4 Rock art is the earliest known surviving ancestor of sculpted and painted symbols, number counts, and pre-proto-writing.5 Fixed rock art images and symbols generally are composed by the incised petroglyph or the painted pictograph. They are generally found on protected rock surfaces, sheltered cliff faces, cave walls and ceilings. Rock art also is shaped or carved surfaces of standing, transported and portable stone. Bone and shell as suitable materials may or may not have come first. A recent re-look at shells associated with Homo erectus from an 1891 site found incised shells and shells used as tools dating back 300,000 to 500,000 years.6 I consider these the earliest ancestors of visual text arts, of painted word, sculpt language, and the visual poem. During the span of writing this manuscript, dates for human ancestor art, tools and boat travel continued to age. I assume it will continue to be pushed further back in time. Petroglyphs, scratching and !27

sculpting, on rock, bone and shell appeared first followed by painted pictograms. This is a logical developmental sequence supported at the contemporary moment by dating technology. Portable wood objects, their softness obviously presenting a very suitable surface or solid for easy marking and shaping, have yet to be recovered with equivalent aged dates of rock bone and shell art due to their frailty when exposed to the environment’s corrosive and consuming affect. What holds true for wood holds for animal skin and wide leaf painted surfaces. Ochre pigment, an iron oxide, and application kits have been found with dates as old as 300,000 years.7 Certainly, in my opinion, older dates are forthcoming as more dates between 300 to 500,000 years in other locations that will show the abstract mental capabilities of Homo erectus, and if older dates, ancestors older than Homo erectus. For example, fossilized hand evidence of Australopithecus africanus shows first tool use back to 3,000,000 years ago.8 Another new date for Homo erectus shoves the date deeper another half million years. 9 “Homo erectus walked erect,” say 1.5-million-year-old footprints in Kenya.10 New older Homo Sapiens dates have were announced on June 7, 2017.11 Modern humans’ latest date now goes back 300,000 years.12 Geoglyphs, large images sculpted into the landscape or formed on the landscape, may have been first created between petroglyphs and pictograms or after pictograms, assuming the recovered timelines are correct. Geoglyphs, likewise petroglyphs and pictograms, may or not be associated with astronomical alignments. When an astronomical alignment exists, they are kinetic, especially when illuminated by solar, lunar or planetary light. Use of a reflective surface is required for planetary-light lines, such as water.13 At this moment, the oldest official date of a non-cave, fixed rock art calendar is a lunar device dated 10,000 years on Scotland North Sea coast. Certainly older alignments will be recovered once their ubiquity becomes obvious. For example, a solstice site I recovered 3.25 miles to the northwest from this keyboard in 1978 and which now has numerous additional recorded summer and winter solstice and equinox alignments has a nearby 9500 year associated old date. A Chumash mastodon butcher site 5 miles east has been dated 20,000 years old; deeper un!28

removed bones suggest and point much further back in time. The solstice site, half a mile from mean tide line, would have been a few miles further from the mean tide line 9,500 years ago.14 Another solstice site on an ocean cliff I recovered a few years ago has alignments to a rock feature now a reef long ago covered by the ice melt inside the 10,000 years mean tide line.15 The associated offshore reef has a shape similar to formations inland covered with petroglyphs. The knowledge of this reef, a known sacred site, has been kept alive and handed down through northern Chumash families. A considerable time span stretches between the initial sound illumination expressed as petroglyphs, pictograms, geoglyphs, and acoustic rock art by humankind’s ancestors and the discovery or inventions of alphabets by humankind. How far back iconographic rock art will be dated remains an unanswerable question at this moment given current prejudices opposing early humankind and our older ancestors’ sophistication that continue to dominate archaeology, paleontology, and anthropology. This is a question whose answer does not seem to have many passionate inquirers. Some cases to point to are 1) the “surprise” that over the last few years the “discovery” that Neanderthals spoke (in the past someone concluded Neanderthals were anatomically structured such that they could not speak a language, only grunt), made art, used fire, shaped sophisticated tools, sailed the Mediterranean and most recently may have been religious;16 2) Homo erectus crossed the open ocean; 3) Homo erectus tools have been found on Mediterranean islands;17 4) earliest cooking by fire dates back as close as 300,000 years ago to 1.2 million years, probably further;18 5) in South Africa 72,000 years ago, pyrotechnology hardened tools; 19 6) object made of horn dated 20-30,000 years ago in China;20 7) latest announcement of 115,000 year old bone tools;21 and, 8) in India, a game board has been dated tens of thousands years old, with older roots to 25,000 years ago;22 and a new recovery of old rock art has just been announced “tens of thousands years old” suggesting an “unknown” civilization.23 Acoustic rock art is becoming better known.24 Examples belong to what I call the high technology of stone, a sophisticated use of stone-based technology long denied and assumed not possible by those adhering to the unitary theory of !29

the tread mill of cultural materialistic evolution. Such denials have always puzzled me given the fact that the brain capacity is identical to ours. Once these and those coming around the corner of time gain credible stature, hopefully this prejudice will melt away given that we now know more about Lucy and her earlier kin, an Australopithecus tool maker 3.67 million years ago.25 Dates of the first sculpted images, cupules and lines, remain in flux ranging from nearly 2 million years ago to as close as 700,000 years ago. One old date, neither cupule nor line, is a sculpt face. About 750,000 years ago petroglyphs were etched into South Asia rock wall faces and on portable stones.26 Such images could not have been without thought and thus not without associated word or words. All is conjecture when it comes to meaning. When did the first ideogram jump out of its pictogram parent remains unknown, but my bet is much older than currently theorized by the established orthodoxy. Prehistoric rock art holds those moments around the world when various groups and individuals first rendered oral traditions and complex ideas and stories onto material that remains with us today. The history of proto-writing remains a field of intense debate. Just as intense a debate surrounds the earlier use of signs as conscious communication that opened the way for proto-writing. Discussions on Paleolithic writing origins in European caves date back to the mid-1800s. Numerous abstract symbols associated with cave art caught the attention of a few individuals who extrapolated the possibility of a Paleolithic script.27 Some of these researchers continued to probe, including a 1905 proposed existence of two separate Paleolithic scripts. The spectacular cave art finds, however, pushed such discussions into the category of the “nearly impossible” while the skill of the new art finds furthered and fueled the European centric self-importance story. That a people were able to raise their skill to such a high artistic expression and not be capable of forming iconographic units for communication in retrospect seems short sighted or blind. The oldest portable objects were first documented by Alexander Marshack. At the time, 1971, they were among the oldest artistic and/or symbolic representations at 30,000 years.28 At this moment, these may be the oldest !30

recognized calendar and mathematical counts and may be the oldest portable ancestors of sculpt language. Of importance to this discussion are his comprehensive overviews, summations and conclusions of symbolic representation carved on bone and stone artifacts of the upper Paleolithic.29 Marshack’s careful analysis came to the conclusion that the markings followed a lunar count. The significance of these findings is found below in the myths about the invention of writing and associations with calendars. Present findings by Petzinger provide us with the earliest scientifically accepted view on humankind’s conscious use of meaningful signs.30 She recovered 32 repetitive geometrical forms, signs, in European Ice Age Cave settings between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago.31 Being an aware researcher, she leaves Europe pointing to South Africa for humankind’s earliest known use of signs and art. Integral to the use of signs is the search for when modern humankind’s consciousness can be considered equivalent to today’s humans. The human herstory more complex than thought.32 An arbitrary demarcation line, the late 1990s, can be used to divide the translator academic disciplines between those infected with biased theories and afterwards those less contaminated; still, the question remains, “What is the half life of this infection?” At this moment it seems a new golden era of paleoanthropology allied with others fields has dawned compared with the selfimposed racial barriers before the 1990s subverting research conclusions. To this newer understanding Petzinger points. She does not take her earlier professionals to task for their racism; she just calls their understandings limited. Not long ago modern humankind’s first appearance was taught and published being in Europe, not Africa. The Neanderthal was taught as a knuckledragging, grunting brute incapable of speech. The other measure or characteristic making one human is art, and the first art, cave art, then was also to have been in Europe. Petzinger's book helps put much of this kind of nonsense into the nonrecyclable waste bin and opens wide vistas for exploration into even deeper and more meaningful understandings of the roots of visual communication.


A few years ago, rock art dating 75,000 years old in the Blombos Cave, South Africa, was announced. Blombos Cave is now considered the oldest rock art site of modern humans predating Marshack’s findings by 45,000 years, more than doubling the age of known humankind’s rock art.33 The art made of complex geometric lines and its quality suggests “the development of written, symbolic language.”34 Since it has a pattern and is portable, could this be the oldest known ancestor of the amulet or charm? Dates were pushed further back to 100,000 years ago in the cave when an abalone shell containing pigment came into the light.35 Recently, a new recovery in Bulgaria may be the oldest known markings on bone in Europe dating back more than a million years.36 Monthly a new recovery seems to push these dates further back in time. What was assumed once to be the distant past edge of modern humankind’s limited Stone Age abilities has been pushed back into our older ancestors’ abilities that science never conceived possible because the “brute” mentality was as young as the Stone Age.37 And now we are perhaps finding a new tip of a new proverbial iceberg: as of this writing Neanderthal’s art skills prove older and contain symbolic meaning.38 Another example of new finds widening our understanding of our modern ancestors’ has just been announced. It is not a surprise for me but the beginning of pushing back the horizon of human use of symbolic communication, astronomy, alignments and the progression of the equinoxes. Nor am I surprised with the geographical expanse of a common usage.39 


Charms, Amulets & Talismans Long before the formalization of word painting, sculpt language, and sound and visual poetry, many ancestral forms existed in oral and their visual rendering traditions. Some of these roots and their contemporary forms exist as the large variety of amulets and charms found worldwide created out of rock, wood, sand, animal hide, and fabric, to suggest a few materials. How far back charms and amulets descend into prehistory, as suggested above, remains to be recovered. While hiking many of us are pulled to an object we stoop to look at, maybe pick up to examine, and perhaps keep. This is one pathway an object on its way to become an amulet or charm began its journey into a sacred space for its —if needed— sculpting and marking while an incantation secured its purpose. The contemporary mind that finds such an object in an archaeological setting may see the object with its markings an insignificant object with questionable human activity and tosses it either into the storage box or onto the waste-of-time debris pile. Consider how long it took someone such as Marshack to visit museums full of unrecognized objects to unravel their mystery. Amulets, charms, and talismans continue to evolve in many directions. Their spectrum of symbols range from the earliest markings to iconographic forms to letters from recognizable alphabets incised or painted or melded that became part of deep spiritual and ritual forms at one end of the spectrum to alphabet and number magic and psychism that are with us today and will continue to evolve until a higher consciousness permeates humankind leaving behind magic and psychism. To this day, the latter attract the most attention by both their users and those who reject magic and psychism. These rejectionist individuals, the fundamental rationally disposed, unfortunately bundle magic and occultism with deep esoteric knowledge, including that of letters dating back thousands of years beginning in South Asia in the Rig Veda.40 Also, a kindred linguistic phenomena is found among the Australian First Peoples’ Song Lines.41 It should be stressed that amulets, charms, and talisman are spiritual / mystic / magic / religious physical representations of a chant, prayer, mantra (a silently repeated verbal meditation focus syllable, word or phrase), or spell.42 With !33

continuous repetition, verbal harmonic fields or spaces are formed that can induce altered or non-ordinary states of awareness or consciousness. When repeated within rock formations specifically designed or found to enhance sound vibrations, the word or phrase vibrations shaped, as they echoed or deepened, a quicker and or deeper experience. Early-used chambers or spaces, such as caves, have been associated with specific clan rituals that later evolved into spiritual locations for specific traditions. In many parts of the world from prehistory to the present, spiritually held and revered individuals either reside in or retreat to caves, the use of which are generations to uncountable generations old. Such caves also contain pictograms, petroglyphs, and other sacred markings. What is the root of the mouth of the cave? We need only recall Chiron, teacher of many Greek heroes, dwelled in a cave as did many other characters with non-ordinary mental abilities found in mythologies around the planet. The cave, in general, was located on a sacred mountain, sometimes the culture’s axis mundi, that later became represented by a temple, cathedral or mosque, many of which were acoustically shaped. Within such constructs smaller rooms assigned for deeper rituals harken back to its root, the cave, as well as—and what is more important in some pathways of practice—the heart of the holy edifice. Symbolically, the tavern in Sufi poetry represents the heart; more on that later in the discussion of Science of Letters in the last section. Acoustic fields visually represented on amulets, charms, and talismans later evolved into yantras, mandalas, sacred calligraphy, and sacred illuminated manuscript pages. An incised or embossed text could be rubbed much like the use of today’s rosary or meditation beads; rubbing creates, with a tactile experience, a mental-oral repetitious pattern of text or symbol. Thus, these ancestors are of a spiritual, mythological, sacred, cosmological and religious origin, which should not be surprising given that the ancient arts were born of this matrix. Materialistic interpretations of the evolution and development of culture are now in conflict with recent recoveries of cultural developments by “hunting and gathering” cultures that reached levels of sophistication assumed not possible. Long discounted have been the positive aspects various religions and their dharmas contributed, while !34

pointedly their critics focused on the negative aspects born out of inabilities to deflate the human ego inflated by a self-important mind. Also, most of the attention in history now focuses on the economic and materialistic characteristics of societies. Due to the negative deeds of organized religion over hundreds of years in the West and elsewhere, it is not surprising these explanations easily took hold, occluding the history of the developments of various significant spiritual traditions hidden until the last 100 years that are now open for study and participation. Perhaps now that Göbekli Tepe,43 currently dated as the oldest temple and built before the domestication of grain, has been recovered, breaking the materialistic conveyor belt of history, its implications may alter preconceived notions born of the Eurocentric intellect that has held itself superior to others for too long. One of the ancestors of these visual forms disappears into preliterate culture. Spells, chants, prayers, mantras, etc. were mouthed through magical and sacred knots as they were tied. The words knot and amulet are etymologically related in Russian, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Aramaic, Egyptian Hieroglyphs, and in languages found in Indonesia. My interest in knot art led me to this fortunate discovery. I would not expect others to find the root this deep or as a bridge to (perhaps rock art and) proto-writing. A variety of sacred knot art work is found throughout the world cultures, and many remain in use to this moment. More on the history of knot art follows the addressing of calligraphy. Talisman, amulets, and charms come in many forms and materials. Examples are numerous and easily found on the internet and in books. One such source provides examples of Tibetan talisman, charms and amulets.44


Scripts Mythological Inventors of Scripts China: Tortoise shells were tossed into fires; resulting cracks were read as an oracle. Such cracks have been suggested as the roots of the ideogram. After looking at star patterns, especially those of the lunar zodiac, marks on turtle shell backs and bird footprints, it is written Ts’ and Chich invented the first ideograms. 45 India: One of the oldest deities of South Asia and mentioned in the Rig Veda, Saraswati, goddess of knowledge (wisdom), creativity, speech, learning, arts, patron of writers, poets, students, artists, and musicians, is credited with the invention of Sanskrit and the Devanagari script. The Devanagari script is used by more than 120 languages. To this day, on the fifth day of spring in South Asia she is celebrated by helping young children learn how to write their alphabet. She represents the manifested powers of Brahma, the creative aspect of the South Asian trinity. Other demigoddesses include Samjna, whose name means image, invented the first alphabets, pictograms, mandalas, and other magical signs, and Kali, goddess of life and death, also is credited with inventing Sanskrit from the cracks in human skulls. Kali wears a necklace of 54 skulls (one half of the sacred number, 108), each with its own letter. By assigning male and female symbolic energies to each letter, they summed to 108. Sumer: The goddess Nidaba, the scribe of heaven, invented clay tablets and writing. And, the goddess Belit Sheri was the scribe who recorded the deeds of the dead upon the leaves of the tree of life. Egypt: The goddess Sef Chet played the same role as Belit Sheri and was the goddess of writing. Her husband, Thoth, he with the ibis head (a bird sacred to the Goddess), was credited later with the invention of writing and the calendar. A reason for writing was that it was an instrument of revelation providing access to the gods. The hieroglyphs from an esoteric level are viewed as archetypes and epiphanies of the gods.46 For more details read Polkinhorn’s article;47 and, see in the last section, “Hellena Sacred Visual Text.”


Greece: The three fates wrote destinies of individuals on the three leaves of past, present, and future. Hermes is later credited, after seeing a flight of cranes (sacred bird of the Goddess), with the invention of the Greek alphabet. Italy: Evander carried 13 (goddess number) Greek consonant letters to his mother, the muse Carmenta, in Italy. Reshaping them and adding others, she formed what became the Latin alphabet. The root of her name, Carmen, rings out in spell, oracle, song and charm. Keltic Europe: The druids had a living alphabet of trees that also was a calendar, fortune telling device, mathematical system based on pi (22/7, ratio of letters to vowels), and more. Their primary tree was the oak. The Keltic term rune has many meanings — poem, part of a poem, magic poem, spell, charm, amulet, and song. Today what is called mythology, cosmology, calendar, or day and year count, astronomy, geometry, measuring systems, alphabets, etc. were interwoven as part of the poetic and symbolic system probably traceable deep into the Paleolithic. Given that the Kelts were matricentered, more likely than not a goddess is credited with the alphabet invention. All that remains is a suggestion: Brigid or Bridgit, being the goddess of Inspiration, Poetry, Healing, Smithcraft and Martial Arts, could be the inventor or provider. Scandinavian Europe: Runic script was invented by Wotan after looking at ash twigs (the great ash Ygdrasil, the Tree of Life, was taken over by Wotan from the Triple Goddess, known as the three Norns in Scandinavia, who administered justice beneath the tree). Southern Mexico: Itzamna, Mayan god of creation, ruled heaven, day, night, and other deities and is credited with inventing writing and divination and often depicted as a scribe during the Classic period in vessel scenes. Valley of Mexico (north of Mayan regions): Founder of Aztec culture, Quetzalcoatl, patron of rational design and intent, invented writing, books and the calendar.48 Plains of North America: The Lakota maintained records of past events in iconographics; “winter counts” consist of images on buffalo hide.49 Undeciphered Scripts !37

Mesoamerica: Olmec script remains undeciphered. Its number of available ideograms, though limited, seems to indicate that it influenced the development of other writing types of Mesoamerica. It is assumed that the Olmecs (circa 1500 BCE to 400 CE) laid the foundation for the advancement of Mesoamerican civilization. Their monumental head sculptures are interpreted as those of the indigenous people or from a population of African migrants. The former credits the people of Mesoamerica for their singular accomplishments and the latter discounts them. Easter Island: Rongorongo, an iconographic script, was carved into wooden tablets. Made of human, animal, plant, and geometric and forms, it remains one of the undecipherable scripts perplexing linguists.50 Ecuador through central Chile: Quipu Khipu initially were associated with the Inca as an accounting system. Recent finds age the system by thousands of years and now is being considered as writing.51 They were maintained by khipusamayu or keepers of the khipu. Differing knot locations, intervals, cord lengths, knot and cord directions, length and thread colors have long been undecipherable. West Africa Ikom monoliths: Conflicting dates coupled with insufficient field research provide a poor understanding of the development of what evolved into the logographic and ideologic signs of the Nsibidi script of the Cross River area, southeastern Nigeria and adjacent bordering Cameroon. The script is used by many different language users, some being secret male societies suggesting an esoteric mysticism. The knowledge of the script with some mathematical relationships begins with signs on the Ikom monoliths. The oldest confirmed date is 2000 BCE; suggestions lead us back another 3000 years. 52 The monoliths have been called the Stonehenge of West Africa having been placed in perfect circles, each monolith facing inward. Most are lost; alignments may never be recovered. Nsibidi script: Nsibidi script’s esoteric meanings are unknown. Use of over a 1000 signs communicate across language barriers by individuals writing on the


ground or in the air. Recorded signs are found on ceramics dated 400 CE. Also, some of the Nsibidi script shares the same forms with Egyptian hieroglyphs. Siberian Script?: Dated over 11,000 years old the wooden Shigir Idol is covered with an unknown Siberian script or as others suggest, a code.53 Deer Teeth Signs?: Intriguing signs were found on a woman’s red deer teeth necklace in a French burial site dating about 15,000 years old. The teeth symbols indicate perhaps another system of signs in use. Sloppy archaeological procedures failed to maintain the order of the teeth for studies of possible meaning.54 These are a small sample of such scripts.55 Recent recoveries of rock art in Southeast Asia date back 50,000 years. Africa probably holds the oldest iconographic symbols in its rock art. Now that widely dispersed signs have been accepted to hold communication values, it seems easy to predict existence of a very old system in Southeastern Africa. Danube & Saraswati Scripts (Old Europe and South Asia): Discussions of the following two undeciphered scripts require a preface. Two scripts named after two river civilizations originated earlier than the Fertile Crescent scripts, Egyptian hieroglyphs, Chinese ideograms and Meso-American ideograms. Generally, they receive less serious acceptance in academia regarding the formation of alphabet or ideogram-based writing. The Danube Script suggests more of a pictographic approach; the Saraswati suggests letter symbols coupled with iconographic elements. Debates swirling around the answer to the question, “Writing or proto-writing?” have yet to answer the question because they remain undeciphered. As long as they cannot be read, it remains easy to claim that they are proto-writing symbols. I am partial to the name Saraswati Script, first known as the Indus Valley Script, given the status that Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge, music, art, wisdom and learning and the Saraswati Rive, once perceived as a mythological river by Eurocentric academia, has been found.


Danube Script: Among the oldest known script signs or proto-writing symbols at this moment appeared in the forgotten matricentered Vinča culture recovered by Marija Gimbutas beginning in the 1970s in the Balkans. The Vinča culture belongs to a wider grouping she called Old Europe. It stretched south from the Greek Islands, west up the Aegean Sea coast to what is now Poland, across to what is now Kiev, and south along a western Back Sea shoreline that was much lower than today’s level. Her findings and interpretations were long held in disbelief as impossible among the academic gatekeepers guarding the story that Greeks planted the seeds of European civilization, including writing. Despite the uproar that in some quarters remains loud enough to remind me of the phrase “. . . doth protest too much,” she proved to many the culture was matricentered, highly advanced, peaceful, and with some roots deep into the pre-agrarian Paleolithic. The standard historical lineage for the Greek alphabet roots to Egyptian hieroglyphs from which the Phoenicians created their letters. The Greek letters were later transformed into the Latin letters in use today. A more detailed probe includes the development of Crete’s linear A and linear B that fleshes out additional influence.56 Religious sculpture, ceramics, and ceramic forms of the goddess with iconographic symbols belonging to the Vinča culture at first were dated to the mid-4th millennium BCE. They proved later to be older, much older. The signs seemed inspired by natural forms that eventually became stylized marks, bird footprint patterns being one consideration. The Vinča culture fired ceramics at 1,000 degrees. Their aesthetically advanced ceramics with numerous patterns and symbols indicate more than mere design.57 If not the earliest, it is among the earliest examples of script or iconographic symbols and geometric forms moving from rock art onto ceramics before clay tablets and then papyrus and velum became the surfaces of choice for writing. Out of these 1,000-degree fires developed the oldest dated copper metallurgy.


Gimbutas and McChesney discovered in the archaeological records of rock art the ancestors of these symbols, codes, patterns, and images. Nearly identical images appeared in later European prehistorical, historical art and literary records.58 They concluded a continuum reached extremely deep in time from ancient Paleolithic traditions through to the matricentered Old European symbolic systems that in turn influenced patriarchal European forms after invasions off the steppes. Her findings included symbols closely related to the letters M, N, V, X, and Y. Perhaps her suggestion that M was a Neanderthal symbol was another justification to resist or attack her wider findings as farfetched. As indicated above, Neanderthals were then wrongly projected as dumb (as in speechless), stupid, knuckle-dragging brutes.59 Recoveries of Neanderthal cave-rock art in Spain dated 64,000 years ago have been published. Their art included “pictures of animals, dots and geometric signs.” “All three caves contain red (ochre) or black paintings of groups of animals, dots and geometric signs, as well as hand stencils, hand prints and engravings.” The caves are 700 km apart.60 Not only does this more than suggest if not prove they thought symbolically, but opens up questions about the origins of other cave rock art throughout Europe along with the sophistication and time-depth of Neanderthal culture(s). Others continued the research using the term Danube Script to describe a set of symbols the dates of which seem to have been in use as script or proto-writing between 7,000 and 5,000 BCE. These symbols were then compared with those known to have been in use as script for writing.61 Their findings lead, in my opinion, to one of two conclusions. Either many of the forms eventually appearing in Linear A, Linear B, Greek, and Latin alphabets derive from the Danube script through routes still to be uncovered, or beyond statistical probability the letters were independently reinvented within locations of the same geographical area.62 While Gimbutas, her team, and others supportive of her work documented rock art and megalithic markings and symbols, they either lacked the funds or interest to diligently survey known European Paleolithic cave art sites to determine the age, geographical area, and possible roots of their perceived older symbols. Before Gimbutas cracked open the accepted prehistorical views on Europe, earlier !41

readings of cave paintings and rock art suggesting some type of symbolic meaning, including possible early writing, were dismissed by defenders of the accepted evolutionary unfoldment.63 Marshack’s work was among the first major fractures in the orthodox academic cosmology, as mentioned above. It is worth repeating that applying microscopic examination techniques he recovered lunar counts on a variety of artifacts. He also decoded lunar counts on cave walls that dated deep into the Paleolithic.64 Lunar counts opened the door to the discussion of gender and art; nearly all previous discussions had assumed cave art hand-made or mouth-blown (negative hand images) by males. Now, over fifty years later, closer examination of cave art proves both genders, even youngsters, were artists. Work continues on the Old Europe sites.65 An older root to this set of communication symbols has been suggested with the Göbekli Tepe recovery currently dated as the oldest temple and built before domestication of grain. Its many T-shaped columns retain their original symbols. Another rule breaker recovered at this site may be the oldest known pictogram, at least as of this writing.66 Suggested also is the possibility of astronomical associations, including a pictogram illustrating a dateable comet moving through rendered constellations.67 Out of this geographical area two thousand years after this comet, people migrated from Asia Minor with their agricultural technology to invent the Danube culture or reestablish it informed by their older Göbekli Tepe ways. Saraswati Script: The oldest alphabet may be expressed on seals of the Indus Valley, Saraswati-Indus Valley or Harappan civilization.68 The seals and script at first were called Indus Valley seals and Indus Valley script. The name for the civilization changes as the oldest associated dates from research expands the geographical setting and age of this partially explored civilization. Modern humankind’s dates of arrival in South Asia from Africa remain in flux between 100,000 and 60,000 years ago. The older date is supported by footprints on the top layer of volcanic ash from the Mount Toba eruption on the !42

Island of Sumatra circa 75,000 BCE. Migration dates of modern humankind out of Africa vary; some findings suggest dates around 100,000 years ago following the coasts to South Asia. A new confirmed date of modern humans out of Africa circa 90,000 years ago was just announced after studies from a Saudi Arabian find.69 Regardless, by 18,000 BCE, South Asia had become a single aesthetic rock art area. This dating provides clues to cultural exchanges among dispersed populations that formed the beginnings of a homogeneous culture. The full extent of the much later Saraswati Valley civilization, its geographical boundaries, and its greater cultural sphere of influence remain to be recovered. The known expanse is twice the size of any other contemporaneous river civilization. A recent find dates the roots of the river culture 8,000 years deep. 70 Such dating was proposed earlier by those pointing to astronomical alignments mentioned in the Rig Veda. Spiritual leaders with access to esoteric knowledge have asserted these dates long before scientific confirmation; they also indicate 12,000 years ago as the era of the Rig Veda, a notion still held controversial. Approximately 3,500 terra-cotta seals found in Harappa, Mohenjo Daro, various smaller sites in the Indus Valley and across the Arabian Sea in Western Asia have been dated between 3100 and 1900 BCE. The seals contain pictorial iconographic images and symbols ranging from minimal to complex. Initially, they were considered part of a narrowly defined Indus Valley culture along the banks of the Indus River and assumed to be accounting markers. The actual cost of making such a seal compared to less expensive accounting marker systems eventually ruled them out as mere utilitarian economic artifacts.71 Individuals and groups trying to unravel the meaning of the more abstract markings, symbols, and pictorial symbols have been involved in one of the last major untranslated language puzzles. Some consider it the last major writingsystem enigma because of their possible relation to the early roots of India’s alphabets. Nearly all those working on this problem assumed the script was of preDravidian or Dravidian origin because the (so-called) Aryan invasion, circa 1800 BCE, brought with it the roots of Sanskrit, an Indo-European language.


The following outlines an attempt to decode the script. The puzzle has remained puzzling. All the various treks through Dravidian language pathways were dead ends until Dr. Natwar Jha, a computer scientist, became interested in the seals. He noticed trigonometric formulas on a few seals identical to formulas found in the ancient Sanskrit texts for installing altars for Vedic rituals. His findings indicated some seals were associated with yantras belonging to the tantric science of placement of ritual objects and building of temples upon sacred geometric diagrams. Such detailed work is described in the Vedas. Sacred chants and prayers are repeated as the diagram is made; the temple is then built on the diagram. He studied all the known seals. With an extensive knowledge of ancient Vedic texts, he broke the seal code, recovering an old alphabet he calls Indus Script that he believes later evolved into the old Brahmi, which in turn influenced Sanskrit and later Dravidian alphabets. In 1996, Dr. Natwar Jha published his monograph, Vedic Glossary on Indus Seals. His findings provide further evidence that there was no Aryan invasion, a projected myth by Europeans after misreading the Rig Veda well before the discovery of the ancient cities in the 1920s. His translations of the seals show that the writing system consisted of a hybrid of pictorial symbols, alphabetical symbols, and compound signs that follow Sanskrit grammar and phonetics. Like the later Semitic alphabets, vowels were not written during the seal period. Some of the seals contain references to Vedic kings, sages, place names, and rivers, such as the Saraswati River, previously thought mythological. His translations change from what was thought to be myth to history; this means that the Rig Veda, and thus Vedic Culture itself, is much older than Harappa by at least 3,000 years. Harappa is just one of many cities in the Saraswati Culture, the expanse of which extends east to the Ganges water shed, north through Afghanistan, and south to what was Dwarka (south of Mumbai [Bombay]), Krishna’s capital that was submerged under a catastrophic ocean event upon His leaving the body. The Saraswati culture literally dried up; tectonic uplift changed the drainage off the Himalayas, drying many rivers, including the Saraswati River. The idea of uplift changing river courses is being challenged.72 !44

He also found the signs for numbers. Today, what we call Arabic numerals derived from the Indian decimal system. The early Indus number system, based on five points, is identical to the first nine Roman numerals, except instead of vertical marks, they were horizontal; v equaled 5. He also found their first value for Pi was the square root of 10 and is also found in an ancient Vedic text reference before its later refinement to the 22/7 ratio. Some of the seals were written as short aphorisms found in Sanskrit Sutra works with Vedic imagery and symbolism. One seal contains a meditating figure surrounded by five animals. Before his correction, it was dubbed “King of the Beasts.” It is Shiva; the animals are symbols for the 5 elements. Another seal contains what was called the Unicorn, a profile of a bull with a horn projecting from his forehead. This is a representation of Vishnu. Archaeologists, having found holes on the back of seals, assume these may have been worn as amulets or charms, making them, then, visual text art forms. Metal amulets and charms of the same approximate size are worn in India today. Some are worn around the throat as if to remind the individual to either speak harmoniously or repeat its inscribed or embossed mantra. How old is this Saraswati alphabetical writing? The terra-cotta seals at the moment push back alphabetical symbol use beyond a thousand years of those in Western Asia and Egypt. The people of India wrote books on palm leaves, a highly fragile material compared to the seals. The term for book, granth, was in use in 2900 BCE. Also, mentioned in an old Upanishad was a term for alphabet; others contained detailed discussions of vowels, consonants, and accents. Given the expanse of the Saraswati Culture and the small amount of archaeological recovery work, deeper roots undoubtedly will be uncovered. A younger Brahmi alphabet seems to have developed out of this system, not the previously thought claim that the script came from the West, as espoused by an academia run by the Tigris-Euphrates-origin cosmology. It appears that an argument can just as easily be made that alphabetical influence, just as its numbering system, runs from India, east to west. The river-basin birth place of


humankind culture after migrating from Africa may be neither the Tigris-Euphrates Crescent basin nor the Nile basin but the Saraswati basin. The story of the Ayran Indo-European invasion of India is a European invented myth. Fixated with and deeply rooted in the cultures of the Fertile Crescent, the eastern Mediterranean basin, and its former colonies, most Eurocentric academics either assume or contend the birth place of world civilization is the Fertile Crescent followed by Egypt in importance. Though China, Meso-America, and the northern and central coasts of South America are acknowledged as later developments, nevertheless, they hold less stature as places of origin. Among the areas long ignored is South Asia.73 Within this context, it is easy to understand, though unacceptable, the conclusions reached by researchers are but projections based on their faulty or insufficient assumptions. Unbiased readings of the South Asian artifacts lead to a contrary macro-history threatening the integrity of the accepted cradle-ofcivilization story. Troy had been found, thereby proving the works of Homer were based on a historical foundation; if not literally true, they were suggestively true. When Mohenjo Daro and Harappa were found in the early 1920s, the meaning of the mistranslated Rig Veda by its European translators now had lost cities to project upon. The story was now “proven” that the Rig Veda was, like the Iliad, a war story, a poetry of the Aryan invasion, the horse people off the Steppes destroying the cities of the cow people, the Dravidians of South Asia. Despite the lack of forensic archaeological evidence, large-scale destruction of ravaged cities, this story became fact entering history books and is repeated to this day. The dated demise of the cities, circa 1800 BCE, became the dates of the invasion. All translations of the Rig Veda, including those in India until Sri Aurobindo, contained exceptions and contradictions. Rig Veda Sanskrit was a very old form with a small vocabulary compared to its classical accomplishment. It evolved later to such a high level of sophistication it is considered India’s great pyramids. The early Sanskrit words had several meanings. Metaphorical and symbolic meanings had been lost. Lost, too, was the fact that there were three layers of meaning: literal, psychological, and the esoteric spiritual. Sri Aurobindo, being a poet with !46

wide knowledge of Latin, Greek, and modern European languages, taught himself Sanskrit upon returning to India, circumventing the traditional and misleading traditions of the understandings of old Sanskrit.74 Having, as a spiritual master, a profound respect for and knowledge of the compilers of the work, the seer poets known as rishis, he knew the current understandings were error-filled in detail and theme.75 His translation has no exceptions; his three-layered unraveling of meaning is seamless. For example, the cows and horses are psychological forces. The conflicts of peoples translated as a war between two peoples are like the later misinterpreted writings of Zoroaster, the struggle within between the forces of darkness trying to prevent the forces of light from lifting the individual out of ignorance into Gnosis. Part of that process moving towards enlightenment was the repetition of mantras first heard by a rishi, who is associated with the mantra along with the divine entity seen behind the mantra, and visualizing the god or goddess form it invokes, who stands behind the mantra. According to spiritual tradition and teachings, the Vedas and Upanishads (commentaries on the Vedas) had been passed orally from generation to generation over thousands of years before being written down after the death of Krishna in 3118 BCE. Within India, the correct pronunciation of sacred texts outweighs its written form. The vibrational formation created by each word adding to the next produces a specific field for uplifting. That is, the text scores but cannot show. Outside South Asia, the sage Veda Vyasa is little known. He may be one of the greatest if not the greatest of seer poets and poets. He not only wrote down the Vedas existing today but organized them. He also wrote down the Upanishads and created the Puranas, including the Mahabharata with the Bhagavad Gita. The Saraswati civilization ended not by invasion but tectonic uplift altering the river basin’s access to snow and glacier melt. The Saraswati River was reduced to an underground flow; the Ganges River increased to become India’s primary sacred flow.



Calligraphy: Exoteric & Esoteric Introduction And in the beginning there was the Word. Each major world religion has its translation. They and others passed on the formation, the appearance-narrative, of their respective alphabet’s letters with exoteric and esoteric meanings. Though different in their details, all the cosmologies of the world’s great religions agree that sound, a word or syllable, spoken or willed by the Unmanifest or the Unspeakable or the Unknown Cause, formed Manifested Reality, including modern science’s version of the story, even quantum physics, the latest esotericism with its cosmology of the Big Bang! and the associated complex language of high mathematics. Modern quantum physics established that all physical matter vibrates; each object vibrates at its own frequency. Thus, vibrating building blocks “supporting” manifested reality, once considered an esoteric delusion, is now proposed by the latest science. Significant and obvious contributions to visual text art found in various calligraphy and illuminated manuscript traditions evolved from sacred text.76 Calligraphy’s literal definition is beautiful writing. The beauty at first was expressing devotion to the sacred word by the scribe and for the illiterate making an inspirational and beautiful object. Over the years, one of the surprises studying the variety of available illuminated manuscripts, be they Vedic, Jewish, Catholic, Byzantine, or Islamic, was finding local and regional designs and symbols, iconographics, traceable in some instances to much older portable art objects such as pottery or weaving and even deeper to rock art. Design, coloring, and symbols were brought forward into a newer layer of religious and mystical-spiritual sacred texts and their associated design, color, and symbols. Over time this new synthesis became the accepted norm; its roots forgotten. This suggests that regionally contiguous, yet evolving, sacred practices and symbolic meanings were in use over time, in some instances long spans to the present. Forms also migrated great distances across cultures. For example, interlacing zoomorphic symbols are !49

traceable from the British Isles and Ireland eastward and back in time across the Keltic and early Germanic layer of Europe to the Scythians, who around 500 BCE united Persian zoomorphic art forms with interlacing, kolam knots, yantra lines, and mazes from South Asia. Around this time the Persian Empire had expanded to the Indus River; the Scythians were on its northern border. Yantras and kolam knots are traceable to 5,000-year-old urban areas and further back to rock art. As part of this story, the eternal knot moved westward along the route just indicated and eastward with the migration of Buddhist symbols. The eternal knot is found from Ireland to Japan. Other examples in African illumination, Ethiopian Byzantium-Coptic, and Timbuktu Islamic exhibit African patterns traceable to rock art. For many reasons Islamic calligraphers embraced beauty and at the same moment themselves were embraced by beauty’s many arms. Beauty for them is an attribute of the divine. Calligraphy remains the pinnacle of art in many Islamic and Asian cultures. With a small number of classical Islamic calligraphy forms, Islamic calligraphers devised innumerable word images. As a cultural group perhaps they composed more word-shaped imagery than any other until the present era of modern visual poetry. Perhaps one day someone will compare all Islamic calligraphy word images with those of China and find China the more prolific. Hundreds of types of calligraphy exist in East Asia. Hundreds of language-pattern Tibetan charms have been documented. For Meso-American illumination see the articles by Karl Young. A common thread runs through religious cosmologies agreeing that created sound manifested reality. Some “translation” traditions of sound-creation cosmology agree that out of creative sound a spectrum of essences formed, each with its specific energies, which in turn formed letters of its sacred alphabet. The letters formed the basis of the manifested reality or wrote the creation. Hidden in plain sight, traditions expressing esoteric secrets with iconographic images and gestures added deeper layers of meanings to letters, words, and phrases to the initiated. The beauty of the works rooted in esoteric traditions had in common that the calligrapher was not hearing the text with physical ears but with the ear found !50

in the heart’s energy center. The esoteric traditions, many of which were derived through contemplative and meditative disciplines associated with specific schools or lineages within larger cultural associations, remained hidden or inaccessible outside cultural, even group, boundaries for centuries.


Sanskrit A consciousness that proceeds by sight, the consciousness of the seer, is a greater power for knowledge than the consciousness of the thinker. The perceptual power of the inner sight is greater and more direct than the perceptual power of thought: it is a spiritual sense that seizes something of the substance of Truth and not only her figure; but it outlines the figure also and at the same time catches the significance of the figure, and it can embody her with a finer and bolder revealing outline and a larger comprehension and power of totality than thought-conception can manage. As the Higher Mind brings a greater consciousness into the being through the spiritual idea and its power of truth, so the Illumined Mind brings in a still greater consciousness through a Truth Sight and Truth Light and its seeing and seizing power. It can effect a more powerful and dynamic integration; it illumines the thought-mind with a direct inner vision and inspiration, brings a spiritual sight into the heart and a spiritual light and energy into its feeling and emotion, imparts to the life-force a spiritual urge, a truth inspiration that dynamises the action and exalts the life movements; it infuses into the sense The Ascent towards Supermind a direct and total power of spiritual sensation so that our vital and physical being can contact and meet concretely, quite as intensely as the mind and emotion can conceive and perceive and feel, the Divine in all things; it throws on the physical mind a transforming light that breaks its limitations, its conservative inertia, replaces its narrow thought-power and its doubts by sight and pours luminosity and consciousness into the very cells of the body. In the transformation by the Higher Mind the spiritual sage and thinker would find his total and dynamic fulfilment; in the transformation by the Illumined Mind there would be a similar fulfillment for the seer, the illumined mystic, those in whom the soul lives in vision and in a !52

direct sense and experience: for it is from these higher sources that they receive their light and to rise into that light and live there would be their ascension to their native empire. Sri Aurobindo77 The cosmology of modern physics supposes matter ascending or emanating from the energy generated by the Big Bang. Some cosmologies agree in principle that an existing spectrum or gradient of descending orders of consciousness permeates manifested reality. The descent begins with the subtlest unknowable sound waves from the original creative sound forming unknowable wave lengths or essences followed by ever increasing downward stations or levels of the less and less subtle, yet remaining unknowable, including the non-dividable basic building block of all matter, the atom of South Asian traditions. This is not the atom we know made up of bosons forming an atom’s electrons, neutrons, and protons. Wave lengths or essences from the Unmanifest descend into the Manifest to those levels where the energies of these essences or their wave lengths become knowable through inward journeys based on long-practiced meditation or contemplative techniques. Experiences of these energies and formulations, formed by their essence sources, also vary in conveyed esoteric accounts found within various inward-journeying traditions. These are the realms to which the seer poet and painter have access through their ascent by descending into the secret chamber of the heart. This area has a variety of names depending on the tradition or lineage. Out of these traditions have come esoteric writings and art sourced from inward experiences, such as India’s Garland of Letters, Chinese Buddhism’s Siddham Learning, Judaism’s Kabbala, and Islam’s Science of Letters, flowing outward from the creation command, for example, from the Vedic Om (AUM), Judaism’s and Christianity’s Amen (“Let there be”), and the Islamic Kun (Be). While many may not agree with these traditions and their implications, I present them for those who may or are curious about these Ways. I suggest that by understanding these traditions a deeper insight into the respective calligraphic illuminations may make


further reading of past and contemporary visual text art works richer if not in meaning, richer with context and intent. Vedic cosmology begins with the Unmanifested, also known as That Which Is, about which one cannot speak. To discuss it, nevertheless, a name, Brahman, was assigned. Also it was recognized that the Unmanifested had many metaphorical names. Aum (Om), the sound willed by the Unmanifested that formed all manifested reality, is the “shell” of the golden egg or Hiranyagarbha. Outside the “shell” is the Unmanifested. From this outer vibrating shell descend the varying degrees of grosser vibrations reaching the lower frequencies forming and shaping the elements that in turn are the foundation of our daily experience. The differences in densities are directly related to sound vibrations, nada. The term for the creative, manifesting syllable, Om, in Vedic traditions, is Sabda Brahman (sabda = sound), The Word. From denser forms of consciousness, these vibrations, these sound waves, become condensations forming light, line, dimension, volume, and matrix. A “thickening” of the more subtle consciousness vibrations, varna, forms the highest vibratory indestructible letter forms, aksara, found by the rishis, the seer poets. Standing, so to say, behind this level of a letter are its god and goddess, being the particular sound seed (bindu), also accessible by a seer. From an individual sound seed, descending into the grosser wave lengths, come the changeable sound and letter forms. The alphabet with its esoteric knowledge, Garland of Letters, counts the Sanskrit alphabet letters adding up to not 54 but 108. (This is not the early Sanskrit referred to previously found in the Rig Veda, but Sanskrit’s mature phase.) Each letter has its respective male and female deity. As significant commentary arose around each letter, so, too, with words; each word is a unique combination of letters whose sum is greater than its parts. The nuance of Sanskrit is suggested by its esoteric tradition stating that each Sanskrit word naming an object vibrates at the identical frequency of that named. Here, I write not of a lower psychism leading to misuse of letter, word, and number and calendar and alchemical magic gymnastics found in Eurocentric occultism, but the experiential seer level out of which came the first mantras forming the ancient and


long-practiced science of yoga with its techniques of mantra and ritual yantra calligraphy. 78 See Appendix 7 for a short discussion on Om.


Siddham Learning Many esoteric writings on The Garland of Letters are part of Tantric Yoga texts. Contrary to Western misrepresentations, Tantric Yoga generally deals with formation and placement of ritual objects and the placement and construction of sacred structures, not the sexual mingling of genders. Then there are these preSuprematism images by 300 years or so.79 Among the writings, the knowledge of the letters with their associated energies relate to the mundane, and, important for yogis, esoteric spiritual knowledge gained through mediation repeating their mantra(s). That this knowledge (tantric being but part of a broader sacred knowledge with numerous branches and sub-branches each with focused devotion on one of countless forms of the single Unmanifested source) has been passed generation upon generation over thousands of years suggests this is a branch of the wider science of yoga. The Siddham letters bloomed into existence from the first letter, A (implying, too, all languages).80 As with other esoteric traditions, the letter A is the source of its own alphabet; each letter, though a basic building block, is formed by subtler particles. 81 The letters and their esoteric meanings were taught secretly by Sakyamuni, the Buddha. Hundreds of years later, the alphabet with its esoteric meanings was revealed publicly by the saint Nagarjuna to his disciples. The alphabet traveled to China along the Silk Road from the largest university in the world, Narlanda. It was destroyed by the Islamic Jihad at the end of the twelfth century along with its fabled seven-storied library holding sacred texts from all known religions. In China, the alphabet became known as Siddham Learning. Its script-copying tools of sacred Buddhist texts changed from pen to brush. Also, the direction of the letters changed from left to right to vertical following the Chinese and, later in Japanese, ideogram brush stroke. Siddham Learning moved to Japan in the early 800s with the return of Kukai, who founded the Shingon (True Word) school.82 He had been a member of a government mission sponsored to China. As with other traditions, the meditative (or in Christian terms, contemplative) techniques wedded to calligraphy evolved in !56

many directions in China and Japan, producing a vast body of beautifully rendered texts, mantras, and esoteric literatures, written and oral, into mandalas and other forms such as a rich sculptural tradition. Examples of such work: 83

• Chinese Pratisara Mantra, 927 • Chinese Mahapratyangira Mantra, 97184 • Japanese Garbhadhatu Mandala 85 Note that in the last example, the Garbhadhatu Mandala centers the letter A. Out of the center, out of the letter A came all dharma, to paraphrase Kukai, as well as all the surrounding letters.86 This mandala is one of innumerable visual and oral examples across the globe where the underlying matrix or the subtle array gluing together, so to speak, the grosser manifested matter is experienced at esoteric levels of consciousness beautifully and harmonically illuminated orally and visually.87 Such expression also supports as a foundation most aesthetics until many groups in modern art rejected such traditions as quaint, old-fashioned, and turned some of these traditions into pejorative terms or justified a radical chaotic (by some) and sometime sloppy (by others) expressionism that can be considered bordering on nihilism .88


Tibetan Calligraphy Tibetan calligraphy89 and its esoteric traditions currently attract more attention than Korean calligraphy90 or Mongolian calligraphy91 due in part to the Tibetan diaspora caused by the Chinese occupation of Tibet. The invasion, as I studied it, was an act of revenge to Tibet’s expansion into western China over a 1,000 years ago aided by Mongolian allies. It had nothing to do with freeing the Tibetan population from the Lamas. That justification by Mao et. al. was the mask for naked aggression. On the Tibetan side regarding its earlier history, all the Dali Lama had to say was, “Mistakes were made.”


Christian Illumination That the Christian Bible scribes, calligraphers, illuminators, and collators were unable — could not or would not write its texts, commentary, and, if any, revealed additions in the language Jesus spoke — formed an unscalable or impenetrable barrier prohibiting the formation of a pan-Christian esoteric tradition of letters similar to or parallel with others under discussion. If such a tradition existed, it was lost in the collapse and destruction of Nestorian Christianity at the hands of fanatical Islam, phobic China and Catholic Christianity. We can only hope it awaits a major recovery such as the Dead Sea Scrolls or the Gnostic scriptures buried somewhere would reveal. Known fragments suggest a possibility of an illuminated tradition. Unknown Christian literature was created in southwest India between circa 50 AD with the arrival of St. Thomas. Centuries later after their arrival and colonization of the area, the Portuguese, justifying with the usual Catholic rubric — “Heresy!” — burned centuries of accumulated texts. The formalities of the church founded by St. Thomas have been considered the closest to the church founded by St. James in Jerusalem that followed many of the traditional Hebrew holidays and other rules. If there a Christian esoteric and gnosis of letters based on Aramaic exists, it remains hidden, perhaps in monasteries where it and other mystical traditions continue to this day hidden away from prying, outsider eyes. There were a few Greek letters and combinations in use as signifiers of Christian calligraphy and iconographics. The famous Book of Kells’ “Chi-Rho” page of the Keltic and Hiberno-Scottish tradition offers a world famous example.92 At the moment, one finds numerical calculations based on assigned values in the variety of languages into which the Bible has been translated. Alchemy, astrology, and other inner and outer probing became later additions varying in intensity and diversity depending on group and location. Then there is the history of the development of various Latin, Greek, and other alphabet scripts with their rules adhering to geometric ratios deemed important by respective groups as well as geometric forms upon which their calligraphy floated. !59

The developmental trail of illumination and calligraphy from Ireland and what became Britain began circa 400s CE when Coptic Christians met Irish Christians. Coptic illumination runs in two streams, Byzantine-Egyptian with eventual Arabic influence and Ethiopian. For monks participating in illumination and copying, their role was not dissimilar to that of the artist assigned the task of rendering a sacred charm into a pattern or shape. Monks prayed while working; the text was an act of contemplation, a mantra for uplifting to higher realms of consciousness. They were creating works parallel with other visual renderings, kin to yantras and mandalas. Viewing masterpieces of illuminated manuscripts, one sees a common thread among local, regional, and wider cultural renderings of symbols that easily resonate with a member of the particular cultural group. In many cases, one can trace these symbols or signifiers with their layered meanings back through their transformations from portable objects, such as rugs, ceramics, and religious implements, which in turn were or may have been derived from rock art. One can also trace the movement of illumination from one region to another where the first generation of students to be taught maintained a use of symbols imported by their teachers. Then the following second and later generations introduced local and regional symbols into the illumination. This is easily traced in the Carolingian illuminated manuscripts. The first calligraphers were instructed by monks from Keltic Ireland and Saxon Briton of the Hiberno-Saxon tradition with its zoomorphic interlacing knot work. As previously mentioned, the source of this interlacing art can be traced back to the kolam knots and yantras of the Saraswati culture of South Asia and the Persian zoomorphic art that the Scythians literally wove together around 500 BCE creating the first zoomorphic interlacing knot work, which then was transmitted to the Kelts, Germans, and Scandinavians. The Carolingian period of illumination began with Irish and English monks teaching illumination to the monks in the young Carolingian Empire. Just as the Irish quickly drew on their cultural ancestors, so, too, these newly trained monks. Within a generation a distinctive Carolingian illumination and calligraphy style


evolved that included influences from the Orthodox Evangeliary canons and symbols, such as the fountain of life.93 The Byzantine calligraphy continued to evolve its own traditions from early on. While Orthodoxy had contracted under the Arab onslaught beginning in the mid-600s CE, it later expanded west into the Balkans and north into what became Russia through the conversion of Slavic peoples.94 Orthodox ikon painting was equally important, if not more so. Among the ikon painters were seer painters. With the printing press came the great weakening of European calligraphy and illuminated manuscripts. In Asia, calligraphy remained strong and vital. The printing press turned European calligraphy into pretty writing and currently, to many, its post-printing press historical beauty and importance seem inconsequential. Such a view, creating a self-inflicted cultural lessening of a once high art, I believe, has hindered important directions for the development of contemporary word painting, sculpt language, visual poetry, and other visual text arts expressed by the Latin alphabet. Efforts to correct this course are discussed later. Without paper, however, this could not have happened. The craft of papermaking came into the Islamic cultural sphere at the Battle of Talas River, July 751 CE, when the Arab army defeated the T’ang army. The consequences of the loss and win were profound. For China, the defeat soon lead to a rebellion causing the loss of life of about one-third of its population to civil war, famine, and disease with another third displaced. For the Arabs, they captured two paper-makers. Quickly, Samarkand became a paper-making center; paper-making soon followed in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, North Africa, and Spain. Paper, coupled with a single language, Arabic, significantly strengthened and unified Islamic culture from central Asia through West Asia, across North Africa into Moorish Spain. Cultures and languages separated since the short unity created by Alexander were united again with others to create a great cross-fertilization. Unlike parchment or papyrus, ink was absorbed by paper and could not be erased. Paper, being less expensive than parchment and papyrus, promoted wider distribution of hand-copied books and contributed to further developments in calligraphy.

Islamic Calligraphy The Islamic call and demand for no depiction of human or divine form is considered by many the energetic force driving Arabic calligraphy. The demand, however, for no human form was an ignored rule circumvented by carefully abstracting the form or by making a profile in some areas of the pan-Islamic culture. The desire to render the Qur’an into the most beautiful form humanly possible raised the culture’s calligraphy to one of the great artistic and literary human accomplishments. Calligraphers and artists developed over the centuries a lush language of calligraphy with few styles compared to China and Japan fusing visual and spiritual symbolism with complex geometric and abstract decoration for books, architectural surfaces, rugs, and other objects. Calligraphers quickly discovered another passage around the culture’s prohibition against illustrating living forms by composing pictograms made of word or phrases. In a global and historical context this seems a natural inclination found among illuminators and stretchers of traditional and institutionalized language use. To illustrate how vast a subject Islamic calligraphy is, recent findings estimate over 700,000 surviving unbound paper manuscripts in Timbuktu, one of the great learning centers of Islam and the world in the sub-Sahara Mali Empire. Unfortunately, their condition ranges from good to nearly dust, the downside of paper’s character being less resilience than parchment. Many manuscripts were imported, the others written or copied in Timbuktu. Manuscripts native to the Mali empire are a potential source of study related to the movement of sub-Sahara symbology and patterns from pre-Islamic eras into the various arts of the empire and movement north and east into other Islamic regions’ arts.95 The thirteenth century paper trail through Spain and Italy northward into western Europe, where during the next hundred years paper-making centers developed, contains irony. Paper mills in Mainz provided some material for Gutenberg’s press. Around 1450 CE, the first book was printed on a press with handset type cast in molds. It must be noted that the first printed books using wood blocks was before the eighth century in T’ang China; the oldest dated printed book !62

with movable wood blocks thus far is The Diamond Sutra, 868. In 1453 CE, with the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire, scholars fled to Italy adding their numbers of what had been a slow process begun by earlier arrivals teaching Greek, translating and copying Greek philosophy and other ancient knowledge into European languages, laying the foundation for humanism. No longer dependent upon hand-copying, printed books were distributed throughout Europe. In many instances the printed classics, which had previously and hesitantly been handcopied, moved on a small scale to some members of the European intelligentsia from Spain and Ireland. Without printing presses, the Ottoman empire was slow to absorb and disseminate new knowledge evolving in Europe. This eventually aided in its being eclipsed by European nations it once consistently threatened with its military strength, particularly its superior metal-casting cannon technology. Paper was also used for woodcut books in which the graphics held equal or superior position to text for over a hundred years after Gutenberg. Such books raised their illuminated form with text to a high level of artistic expression comparable to the high levels of earlier German illuminated manuscripts. In Germany these books, essentially Gothic in text and ornament, dominated the scene until within a period of five years they were smothered by Renaissance rhetoric and academic art. The Renaissance destroyed illumination. Ornament and illumination woven with text have yet to recover and reach these levels in the West with the exception of the richly illuminated works by alchemists, the poet William Blake (illumination period 1788—1827), and perhaps some works by modern and contemporary visual text artists and poets. None of these works, however, has reached the mass appeal of the earlier woodcut books. Damascus fell to the Arabs in 635 CE; fifty percent of all Christians lived to its east, including India, regions along the Silk Road, and perhaps Japan. The Christian population was divided between Aramaic Christians, Syriac Orthodox, and Nestorians, a heresy to the Catholic, Orthodox, and Coptic. Alexandria fell to the Arabs in 641. In 642, the Persian Sassanid Empire fell to the Arabs. In both instances Christians (Coptics in Egypt and Nestorian in Persian territories) welcomed the removal of their oppressive rulers. The population of the western !63

Sassanid lands under their “colonial” control was reaching the demographic tipping point where Christians would soon outnumber Zoroastrians. Most of these Christians maintained the Aramaic New Testament, some the St. James liturgy. The Nestorians were given refuge and were tolerated by the Sassanids, their existence a thorn to the Byzantium Empire. Nevertheless, extreme instances of massive killings by the thousands of Nestorians occurred given the mood of a particular shah. Freed by the Arabs and hence freed from the yokes of both empires imposed on Christians, the Nestorians and the Syriac Orthodox Christians worked with the Arabs aiding in the construction of new buildings, including mosques, which at first were modeled after churches. At that moment in history most of the Arabs were nomads and soldiers, hence lacking a substantial craft-worker and bureaucratic population. Nor were they as a population urban-oriented or in large numbers holding the skills required to build and maintain an urban culture. The Christians filled the gap until the Moslem Arabs were able. Harder to uncover are the historical contributions of Christian and Zoroastrian mysticisms to Arab esoteric traditions found among its variety of Sufi groups. The last section provides a deeper glimpse into some of these and other contributions. Open hints found in the rendering of saints with haloes and their burial tombs as sacred locations of worship and meditation abound suggest Christian influence. Overt acknowledgment of Christian and Zoroastrian mysticism is difficult but not impossible to find, especially among the Persians. Easier to find is the statement that Sufism has always existed, thereby pivoting the discussion to perennial philosophy. A strong tradition of Christian mysticism continued in the Palestine and Syria desert areas controlled by Arab Islam. These populations had survived the destruction of the desert hermits in Egypt at the hands of Christian Rome; Egyptian hermits had passed on traditions from the Gnostic Gospels considered by some as a continued Christian revelation, by others as heretical. Access to two distinct visual and literary cultural traditions afforded the Arabs an exceptional opportunity for a triune cross-fertilization made of Byzantine (itself a Roman-Hellenic cross-fertilization), Persian, and Arab, creating an !64

unprecedented cultural bloom soon thereafter added to by elements from other conquered cultures. Among traditions subject to this discussion were calligraphy and sculpt language shaped by and floating on and interlaced with geometry, mathematics, Sufism, Platonism, alchemy, astrology, numerology, color symbology, and so on, forming a cosmology out of which came The Science of Letters (‘ilm al-ḥurūf) predicated on the Islamic cosmological agreement that all manifested reality is constructed of letters. At the highest level of calligraphy, all these areas of specific studies were brought together in a tradition that remains not only strong at this moment but seems to be experiencing another age of a significant pan-Islamic bloom. Central to written, sculpted, and inlaid calligraphy’s geometric hidden grids were numerous complex patterns such as the lozenge, circular patterns, spirals, five- to twenty- (or more) pointed patterns, and the repeating tessellation, all later summed up or framed in the European term arabesque. To these patterns were added Persian floral and other intricate forms. The Science of Letters evolved over the centuries reaching a pinnacle yet to be (as least publicly known) scaled or surpassed with the works of Ibn ‘Arabī (1165 — 1240 CE), known as Sheik of the Sufis. His complete writings on The Science of Letters remain unavailable in English translation. Most of what is published has been translated from French with commentary. Even though these limited texts present a complexity beyond the scope of this project, a discussion in the last section provides details on the Science of Letters, a few sketches of contributors to its development, and various routes of its wide-ranging synthesis of esoteric traditions from Central Asia, India westward to the Atlantic Ocean. The Arabs overcame their initial skill shortages to form a civilization in sophistication and expanse of territory unmatched up to that period under the rule of two powerful caliphates, Umayyad and Abbasid, in general and culturally even larger. By the time the Abbasids shifted their capitol from Damascus to Baghdad, the dependent contributions of the Christians had long been on the decline. However, under the Abbasids, fragmentation of the Caliphate had begun. Islam imposed on the Nestorians and other Christians within the caliphates a sanction against postalizing; they were free to postalize outside. Thus began the !65

Nestorian additional expansion along the Silk Road and a newer movement north into the eastern steppes building a large congregation with numerous churches, the numbers of which are lost. They formed a working, cordial relationship with Buddhists to the extent they later helped Buddhists translate holy texts into Chinese. By 635 CE, they had been welcomed into T’ang China as the Religion of Light. A jade stela was carved announcing their arrival.96 It currently stands in the jade stela forest in China, the only reference that remains of the invitation. During this time and later some Mongolians were converted to Nestorian Christianity sowing the seeds for later tragic mistakes. The Mongolian conquest and occupation of Asia Minor beginning in 1243 CE and lasting about 100 years completed the Caliphate’s fragmentation. The Nestorians, taking advantage of what they thought was the moment for the ushering in of a Christian empire, allied themselves with the Mongolians, many of whom were Christians. Later the Mongolians converted to Islam. Once the reconquest was completed one hundred years later and Islam again ruled western Asia, the Nestorians and other Christians were looked upon as a fifth column. Over the centuries a once prominent form of Christianity was slowly and nearly destroyed, from structures to holy texts to populations. To the west, both Orthodox and Catholic leaderships, viewing the Nestorians a heresy, complained not.


1 A comprehensive

list of old and new types: http://www.ulu-late.com/english/visualpoetry/glossary/glossary.htm November, 2018. 2 resources http://www.rupestre.net/tracce/ http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/index.php November, 2018. 3 http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/05/neanderthals-caves-rings-building-france-archaeology/ November, 2018. 4 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170831093424.htmNovember, 2018. 5 Resource http://www.rupestre.net/tracce/ November, 2018. 6 Homo Erectus at Trinil on Java used shells for tool production and engraving. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature13962.html November, 2018. 7 http://archaeology.about.com/od/oterms/qt/Ochre.htm November, 2018. 8 http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/01/140122-human-tools-hands-ancient-science/ November, 2018. 9 http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/03/150304-homo-habilis-evolution-fossil-jaw-ethiopia-olduvaigorge/ November, 2018. 10http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/fossilized-footprints-confirm-homo-erectus-walked-modernhumans-million-years-ago/ November, 2018. 11 http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-40194150 November, 2018. 12 https://phys.org/news/2017-09-modern-humans-emerged-years.html November, 2018. 13 I know of none recovered, because they are assumed nonexistent. I disagree. I have seen a line of light laid down by Jupiter on a back bay of the Morro Bay Estuary and light tracks made by sun light bouncing off Venus and Mars across calm ocean waters. 14 See map, note 12.2 mile mark http://chumashsanctuary.com/area/area-1/ November, 2018. 15 Kempton, Yak Tityu Tityu, Northern Chumash, and the Chumash: A General Overview. http:// www.slocoastjournal.net/docs/archives/2011/aug/pages/marine_sanctuary.html , http://www.slocoastjournal.net/ docs/archives/2011/sept/pages/marine_sanctuary.html , http://www.slocoastjournal.net/docs/archives/2011/oct/ pages/marine_sanctuary.html November, 2018. 16 Links to current news on rock art and associated topics https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/ 2016/06/160601083926.htm http://www.stonepages.com/http://www.originsnet.org/home.html http:// www.rupestreweb.info/mapa.html http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-03/p-nmw030915.php http:// www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2016/12/07/504650215/were-neanderthals-religious https://www.sciencedaily.com/ releases/2017/01/170117084040.htm November, 2018. 17 http://scribol.com/science/homo-erectus-crosses-the-open-oceanhttp://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/08/ homo_erectus_a_063351.html http://www.stonepages.com/news/archives/004737.html November, 2018. 18 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140127101236.htm http://www.wbur.org/2012/04/03/bu-firefindings http://www.stonepages.com/news/archives/004757.html November, 2018. 19 http://www.stonepages.com/news/archives/003451.html November, 2018. 20 http://www.china.org.cn/arts/2014-11/18/content_34085392.htm November, 2018. 21 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180319220955.htm November, 2018. 22 http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil_nadu/Researcher-Finds-Stone-Age-Pallankuzhi/2014/11/16/ article2525964.ece November, 2018. 23 https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-45559300 November, 2018. 24 http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/fall-09012014/article/sound-phenomena-influenced-ancient-art-andarchitecture-say-researchersNovember, 2018. 25 “Lucy had neighbors: A review of African fossils” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/ 2016/06/160606154911.htm November, 2018. 26 http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/prehistoric/bhimbetka-petroglyphs.htm http://www.originsnet.org/galleryep.html http://www.wits.ac.za/academic/research/ihe/archaeology/blombos/7106/blomboscave.html http:// www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141126094257.htm November, 2018. 27 http://www.lindahall.org/edouard-lartet/ November, 2018. 28 Marshack, “On Paleolithic Ochre and the Early Uses of Color and Symbol.” Current Anthropology, 22:188-191, 1981. — “Upper Paleolithic Symbol Systems of the Russian Plain: Cognitive and Comparative Analysis,” Current Anthropology, 20:271-311, 1979. — “Some Implications of the Paleolithic Symbolic Evidence for the Origin of Language,” Current Anthropology, 17:274-282, 1976. 29 Marshack, The Roots of Civilization: The Cognitive Beginnings of Man’s First Art, Symbol, and Notation, 1971. 30 Petzinger, The First Signs: Unlocking the Mysteries of the World’s Oldest Symbols, 2016.



signs http://www.hominides.com/html/art/geometric-signs-prehistory.php; http://www.ancientlosttreasures.com/ forum/viewtopic.php?f=171&t=1850 November, 2018. 32 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161020142642.htm November, 2018. 33 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160202121246.htm http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2010/03/01/an-60000-year-old-artistic-movement-recorded-in-ostrichegg-shells/ http://www.wired.com/2010/03/stone-age-engravings-found-on-ostrich-shells/ http://www.wired.com/ 2010/01/ancient-seafarers/ http://ifas.hypotheses.org/1379 November, 2018. 34 http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/10/111013-oldest-art-studio-early-humans-science-archaeology/ November, 2018. 35 Blombos Cave Project. https://www.donsmaps.com/images26/blombosmap.jpg https://www.nature.com/news/ 2011/111013/full/news.2011.590.html November, 2018. 36 http://www.rupestre.net/tracce/?p=8048 November, 2018. 37 China, 100,000 years ago http://www.nature.com/news/teeth-from-china-reveal-early-human-trek-out-ofafrica-1.18566. November, 2018. 38 https://theconversation.com/how-we-discovered-that-neanderthals-could-make-art-92127, November, 2018. 39 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181127111025.htm November, 2018. 40 Sri Aurobindo. The Secret of the Veda. 41 Chatwin. The Songlines, 1987. 42 Day. Quipus and Witches; Knots, 1967. 43 https://www.ranker.com/list/facts-about-gobekli-tepe-turkish-archaeological-site/stephanroget, November, 2018. 44 Douglas, Tibetan Tantric Charms & Amulets. New York, 1978. And, a new find: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ 2015/01/06/ancient-amulet-palindrome-discovered-cyprus_n_6422572.html November, 2018. 45 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dq-Go-5FRgY November, 2018. 46 Uzdavinys. Orpheus and the Roots of Platonism. 2011, p 68. 47 “VISUAL POETRY: Phase Space of the Gods.” http://synaptry.blogspot.pe/2018/05/visual-poetry-phase-space-ofgods.html November, 2018. 48 Young, “Human and Animal Stages in the Aztec Continuum of Life.” http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/bot/kyanm.htm _____. “Approaches to Codex Vindobonensis.” http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/vind/vind.htm _____. “The Continuum of Life in Codex Borbonicus.” http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/bot/ky- ab.htm November, 2018. 49 http://aktalakota.stjo.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=8993, http://nmai.si.edu/exhibitions/horsenation/ wintercount.html, https://americanindian.si.edu/sites/1/files/pdf/education/poster_lone_dog_final.pdf November, 2018. 50 http://www.ancient-origins.net/unexplained-phenomena/mysterious-rongorongo-writing-easter-island-002242 November, 2018. 51 http://www.ancientscripts.com/quipu.html http://khipukamayuq.fas.harvard.edu/ http://www.charlesmann.org/ articles/Khipu-Science.pdf November, 2018. 52 https://www.wmf.org/project/ikom-monoliths-cross-river-state; , http://originalpeople.org/alok-ikom-nigeria/ November, 2018. 53 http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/features/is-this-the-worlds-oldest-secret-code/ http:// www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/shigir-idol_us_55e3e761e4b0aec9f353b08d November, 2018. 54 https://paleo.revues.org/1293 http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/05/cave-art-ice-age-paleolithic-writingfirst-signs/ https://www.academia.edu/12675970/Late_Neolithic_Red_Deer_Canine_Beads_and_Their_Imitations November, 2018. 55 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Undeciphered_writing_systems November, 2018. 56 linear B http://www.ancientscripts.com/linearb.html, linear A http://www.ancientscripts.com/lineara.html November, 2018. 57 https://www.pinterest.com/jacquelinehoert/ceramic-neolithic-danube-Vinča-cucuteni/, http:// www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread889324/pg1 http://cariferraro.com/library/sacred-script/ November, 2018. 58 Gimbutas. The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe 6500-3600 BC, Myths and Cult Images, 1982. — The Language of the Goddess, 1989. — The Civilization of the Goddess: The World of Old Europe, 1991. McChesney. The Signs of the Vinča Culture, 1973. 59 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160920090400.htm November, 2018.



https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180222144943.htm, http://www.newsweek.com/worlds-oldestcave-paintings-shows-neanderthals-were-making-art-more-20000-818284, https://www.sciencefriday.com/segments/ were-neanderthals-artists/, With video: https://hyperallergic.com/429825/neanderthal-cave-art-spain/ November, 2018. 61 “The Global Prehistory Consortium, Signs, inscriptions, organizing principles and messages of the Danube script.” http://www.prehistory.it/scritturaprotoeuropai.htm Nov 2005. Tărtăria tablets http://www.prehistory.it/ftp/ tartaria_tablets/tartaria_tablets_01.htm Earlier markings in the cultural area http://www.rupestre.net/tracce/?p=8048 & http://www.rupestre.net/tracce/?p=8097 November, 2018. 62 “Linear A and Danube script comparison Haarmann, Harald.” Roots of Ancient Greek Civilization: The Influence of Old Europe. 2014 p 100 https://books.google.com/books? id=PNduBAAAQBAJ&pg=PA98&lpg=PA98&dq=danube+script+and+linear+A +compared&source=bl&ots=i02qOWpF8x&sig=ggYfVYKEmEo5Ff0G9S8KMsDPaL4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahU KEwjwwOrB_NfOAhUGyWMKHfzPB5kQ6AEITjAI#v=onepage&q=danube%20script%20and%20linear%20A %20compared&f=false November, 2018. 63 Rudgley. The Lost Civilizations of the Stone Age. Chapter 5: The Paelolithic Origins of Writing., 2000 64 Ibid., Marshack, See Abridged Bibliography http://www.ancient-wisdom.com/astronomy.htm, http://sservi.nasa.gov/articles/oldest-lunar-calendars/ November, 2018. 65 http://neokoolt.wixsite.com/oldeurope/single-post/2015/07/27/10-Things-You-Probably-Didnt-Know-AboutNeolithic-Danubian-Civilization November, 2018. 66 http://www.ancient-origins.net/editorials/vulture-stone-gobekli-tepe-world-s-first-pictogram-004348, July, 2017. 67 https://www.sciencealert.com/ancient-stone-carvings-show-a-comet-hitting-earth-in-10-950-bc-and-changingcivilisation-forever July, 2017. 68 https://www.harappa.com/ November, 2018. 69 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180409112551.htm November, 2018. 70 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3621622/Indus-Valley-civilisation-pre-date-Egypt-s-pharoahsAncient-society-2-500-years-older-thought.html November, 2018. 71 https://www.harappa.com/category/slide-subject/seals November, 2018. 72 https://phys.org/news/2017-11-scientists-himalayan-rivers-ancient-indus.html November, 2018. 73 With the new recovery of the “unknown” civilization more evidence seems to support the suggestion of South Asia having a very old culture that predates the Fertile Crescent. A gain see https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asiaindia-45559300 November, 2018. 74 Between the ages of seven and twenty one he was educated in England. 75 There are 72 known Rishis whose mantras form the Rig Veda. Sixteen were women seers. Another group of Rishis number over 250 are mentioned in the Rig Veda. 76 Source http://www.pinterest.com/pin/149604018845368771/ search pinterest for illuminated ms. November, 2018. 77 Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, 1993, pp 945-946 or http://www.sriaurobindoashram.org/ashram/sriauro/ writings.php pdf pp 981-981, November, 2018. 78 Mookerjee, Yoga Art, 1975. Douglas, Tibetan Tantric Charms & Amulets., 1978. Khanna, Yantra, the Tantric Symbol of Cosmic Unity, 1979. Rambach, The Secrete Message of Tantric Buddhism, 1979. Stevens, Sacred Calligraphy of the East, 1981. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/tali/hd_tali.htm November, 2018. 79 tantra-song https://www.brainpickings.org/2011/12/06/tantra-song-siglio/ November, 2018. 80 http://www.visiblemantra.org/shakyamuni.html resource http://www.visiblemantra.org/projects.html November, 2018. resource Ibid., Stevens. 81 http://www.visiblemantra.org/dharma-doors.html November, 2018. 82 The mantric syllable of A; 3.8 The Mandalic Cosmos/Cosmos as Mandala http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kukai/ November, 2018. 83 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siddha%E1%B9%83_alphabet#mediaviewer/File:Pratisara_Mantra1.png November, 2018. 84 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siddha%E1%B9%83_alphabet#mediaviewer/File:MahaPratyangira_Mantra.png November, 2018. 85 http://tohgendo.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/taizokai.png http://www.mandalar.com/ http:// www.onmarkproductions.com/html/mandala1.shtml November, 2018.



For greater detail and illustrations see Susan Dine, “Sanskrit Beyond Text:” https://digital.lib.washington.edu/ researchworks/bitstream/handle/1773/20584/Dine_washington_0250O_10572.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y November, 2018. 87 http://www.wikiart.org/en/artists-by-genre/calligraphy November, 2018. 88 Asian calligraphy digitized Smithsonian collection http://www.asia.si.edu/collections/edan/default.cfm November, 2018. 89 https://www.tashimannox.com/tibetan-calligraphy/about-the-artist/scripts-and-conservationhttps:// www.flickr.com/photos/leventebakos/sets/72157628320365421/ https://www.google.com/search?q=Chogyam +Trungpa +calligraphy&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=lemNVMm4OImmyQTAo4L4Cw&ved=0CB8QsAQ&bi w=2347&bih=1152https://www.facebook.com/yktsering/media_set?set=a. 10152909043247037.1073741843.634437036&type=3https://www.facebook.com/leventebakos/media_set?set=a. 329105657116397.97663.100000508959077&type=3 November, 2018. 90http://callipia.blogspot.com/2009/09/korean-calligraphy.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Korean_calligraphy#mediaviewer/File:Han_Ho-Jeungryu_yeojang_seochep.jpg http://www.wishingwell.it/feimo/ en/artist/Aram http://www.om-artstudio.com/gallery/?NULPGN=1 https://beyond-calligraphy.com/2016/07/29/ introducing-hangul-art-by-cho-seung-hyeong/ November, 2018. 91 https://ich.unesco.org/en/USL/mongolian-calligraphy-00873 https://www.pinterest.com/erdenechimegm/ mongolian-calligraphy/?lp=true November, 2018. 92 http://www.codex99.com/typography/37.html November, 2018. 93 Aratea from circa 850 http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/aratea-making-pictures-with-words-in-the-9thcentury/ March, 2017. 94 http://www.sv-luka.org/Chilandar/scripts.htmhttp://www.biblical-data.org/OCS/Slavonic_samples.htm November, 2018. 95 For an excellent introductory overview for Islamic Calligraphy see Khatibi and Sijelmassi. The Splendor of Islamic Calligraphy, 1976. For samples of contemporary calligraphy see “Hassan Massoudy A Survey” by Young, http://www.thing.net/~grist/ l&d/massoudy.htm November, 2018. More Massoudy: Abridged Bibliography. 96 Palmer, The Jesus Sutras: Rediscovering the Lost Scrolls of Taoist Christianity, 2001.



1900 — 1920s : paper becomes



Western Europe and New York City The Dawn (1789-1899) A birth, yes. But assigning the birth year for re-visualizing Eurocentric Roman and Cyrillic scripts is arbitrary, given the wide genealogy of modern art and wild bloodlines of associated avant-garde movements. Some suggest 1897 is the big year, citing Stephane Mallarme’s Un Coup de Dés Jamais N'Abolira Le Hasard (A Throw of the Dice will Never Abolish Chance). Others (including European concrete and visual poetry anthologists) point across the Channel in England to 1865, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s ( Lewis Carroll’s) mouse-tail poem in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Others look further back to 1788 when William Blake began his hand-scripted colored etchings of poems and art books. His work can be seen as forecasting handwritten lithographically printed books produced by Russian Futurist visual poets and word painters by 125 years.1 Is Blake the last of the great illuminators from the Hiberno-Saxon and Irish traditions or a presentient seer poet forecasting the Russian Futurists? Arbitrary numbers also mark the beginnings of modern art and when it led to Eurocentric abstraction in Western Europe and Russia. Regarding the former, do we root these developments from the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874, Monet’s 1870 England visit where he studied the works of John Constable and Joseph Mallord William Turner, Manet’s date of his first seeing El Greco’s work, from El Greco himself, an artist whose works many consider the beginnings of modern art and who was trained, being born on Crete, in the post-Byzantium visual traditions, or Whistler’s 1863 “Symphony in White No. 1: The White Girl” (the first use of a musical title)?2 For Russia, is the beginning date for their modern art the rejection of the St. Petersburg academy by the 1863 founding of the Peredvizhniki (the Wanderers) who took art to and painted the rural feudal areas and recently freed peasants, or the collections of old Russian ikon paintings by the new rich (additional Byzantium influence on the developments of modern abstract art), or the 1898 formation of Mir Iskusstva (World Art) out of which a year later !73

came their magazine, World Art, with Sergei Diaghilev (eventual founder of Les Ballet Russe) as chief editor, or do we turn to Sweden in the 1897 seances of the group The Five, one of its members being Hilma af Klint who began channeling art? In her will she requested her works after 1906 remain hidden from public view until 20 years after her death. In the mid- and late 1800s, new developments altered societal interaction and thinking. Rapid industrialization pulled and shoved rural populations into expanding urban areas. One benefit of the growing urbanization created rapid mixing of ideas. The telegraph, electrification, development of mass media printing with its typographies (newspapers, pamphlets, magazines, posters, and books), photography, and film are part of the usual list of rapid changes. Other events include developments in particle physics, the x-ray (that to some proved the existence of the unseen), new archaeological, anthropological, and ethnographic findings and theories, linguistics, social upheavals caused by mechanization of multiple means of production (including war), metaphysics, occultism, and western psychology’s discovery of the unconscious are but a sample. The clock struck midnight 1899, the year jumped to 1900; the second millennium began to tick. For many of the avant-garde this cued a break from the past to begin time anew. In some instances, mostly among the Italian Futurists, the past was considered obsolete to the point that they rejected all of it. Others appropriated what they thought best and most useful from the old and wedded it to the new. Those agreeing 1900 was the millennial moment had many reasons to see that moment as profound. Comparatively, the first seconds of 2000 birthed fear and negativity, the fear of computers shutting off (Y2K). The pre-WWI avant-garde saw the year change as positive; the new millennium presented a bright and optimistic horizon. The late 1990s groups feared darkness, the lights blinking out on a collapsed digital technological-dependent economic engine. The pre-World War I avant-garde were carried forward by idealism. (See Appendix 1 for an abridged timeline of events, publications. and works.) The avant-garde of the early 2000s carried a mixed bag of idealism, pessimism, and dystopic dysfunction. Their


printing presses speak to computers, but are they any less oppressive than the imperial fonts of old? Times New Roman marches on. Once the printing press gained full economic dominance in Eurocentric cultures for printed material production, reading essentially became a margin-tomargin, top-to-bottom exercise. At the subconscious level, the Cartesian x-y grid indelibly lodged itself in the mind. This grid ensnared the modern mind to examine its surroundings and catalogue information in tidy this and not this knowledgeclassification boxes so firmly that postulations and theories became fixed belief systems. Within academia a fixed thought or series of ideas became a world view or cosmology of sorts that was maintained and managed by gatekeepers. It was such fixations the early twentieth century avant-garde groups opposed. To overcome what individuals of various avant-garde movements considered the negative aspects in the above list of developments and to enhance their positive aspects to shape a better future, they — especially the Russians — went deeper and further afield studying psychology, psychophysiology, linguistics, philosophy, folklore, metaphysics, shamanism, the occult, and mysticism. Theosophy was part of the study. Ouspensky’s writings and his bibliographies provided additional source materials, especially important to the Russians. Theosophy and its offspring, Anthroposophy formed by Rudolf Steiner, influenced many European writers and artists not content with traditional religion. Others did not dive in deeply, nevertheless, were interested in ideas of the invisible held by Theosophy and Anthroposophy, which they then coupled with the new discoveries by academic science of the invisible physical world, such as x-rays and electromagnetic force fields. Countering the Cartesian world view in art with its single-view location and vanishing-point triangular perspective, non-Euclidian geometry and fourth-dimensional geometry, from which all points of the third dimension theoretically could be viewed simultaneously, gained prominence in theory and eventually in practice. Writings such as those by Henri Bergson countered rationalism, promoting the intuitive and non-rational as means to widen the spectrum of comprehending and experiencing manifestations in time and the vastness of space and higher forms of consciousness.

1900 — 1920s

That the treble concurrence of a newly-born century under the favorable and symbolic XXth number, with the promise of an Age of unlimited material progress illustrated by the Fair (1900 World’s Fair, Paris), and the advent of a new generation to witness both, acted as a tremendous spiritual stimulus on the minds of that generation, is beyond question. Neither a Cloister nor a Tower of Gloom, our Abbaye was a youthful and enthusiastic Fraternity of French “Brook Farmers”,”Larkists” and “Pre-Raphaelites” all at once, whose aim was to adjust to give the new Century a Literature and a Culture commensurate with its momentous destinies. It was a great spiritual adventure and worthy example of devotion to Art. Henri-Martin Barzun Between 1900 and 1920 new terms were required by modern visual text artists and poets to define the intent and to separate the work from the past. The new terms in visual text arts included poeme simultané (Barzun), parole in libertá (words in freedom [Marinetti / Italian Futurists]), word painting (Carra / Italian Futurist), psychotype (Italian Futurists / de Zayas), Zaum (Burliuk [credited by Kruchenykh] / Russian Futurists), ideograme (Italian Futurists / Apollinaire), calligramme (Huidobro?), suprematist (Malevich), dada and (the emerging) surrealist poem. The following attempts to query this history and bring to light what had been left aside or only briefly commented on. There will be broad brushstrokes addressing some areas, and others need to be filled in with greater detailing. The historical coverage as it stands at the moment seems to be divided into three groups: 1) ranging from that written about in detail to that merely footnoted; 2) consciously or unconsciously ignored or disappeared (even if a


footnote mention); and 3) two significant cases of required removal from public view for decades. Germany, Christian Morgenstern The year L’L’Abbaye de Créteil was cofounded by Henri-Martin Barzun and others, two individuals elsewhere created work within the field of discussion. In 1906, these two individuals, though not part of an ism, were influenced by or were part of an ‘osophy that looked upon the pursuit of creating art and literature as a journey into higher realms of consciousness, Theosophy and Anthroposophy. Christian Morgenstern was a poet and novelist whose poems, for whatever reason, are not part of American visual poetic discussions. One could surmise the reason is the focus on the French and their influence on English and North American English-language poetry, but “concrete” poets guiding anthologies lived or visited and performed in Germany. He is mentioned as an influence by anthologist and visual poet Klaus Peter Dencker.3 Poems in Galgenlieder by Christian Morgenstern, 1906, contain spacing in some works parallel to Russian work at that moment; the poem “Die Trichter” foreshadows word-letter breaks by e.e. cummings. The poem “Fisches Nachtgesang” wordlessly codes a visual experience far ahead of what became common as a gesturing poetic without words, a conceptual poem.4 Sweden, Hilma af Klint Sweden’s Hilma af Klint, the recently-unveiled enigma of abstract art, is difficult to place in the timeline; until lately her works were unknown.5 Her early works were landscape and botanical illustrations. Then her sister died. Grief lead her into seance rooms in which she quickly became a channel, a member of The Five. Out of these experiences she rose into the higher intuitive realms from which images and assignments arrived not unlike the seer esoteric calligraphers and seer ikon painters. As a seer painter she began using iconographics, symbols, and words !77

as part of her tremendous output in a variety of series. More than others, by using the teachings of Theosophy and Anthroposophy she penetrated realms of the intuitive and higher beyond the outer edges of the intellect. The “inhabiters” and forms of these regions became her subject matter; she “translated” energies into form. She painted 111 works between 1906 and 1908; by 1915, 193 works existed. She did not paint between 1908 and 1912 because she was care-taking her ailing mother. Her Parsifal and the later Standpoint series and other works between 1916 and 1922 seem to parallel the suprematist ikon paintings by Kazimir Malevich. Another parallel with Malevich and other Russians during their icon-influenced period was her use of iconographic symbols and shapes forecasting first some members of the Stieglitz Circle of New York City; secondly, iconographics used by the French Lettrists; and thirdly, the wide use of iconographics with whole and broken text now ubiquitous on the Internet. She also paralleled without contact American First People’s painted iconographic art beginning in the first decade of 1900s. Her main opus, The Paintings for the Temple, contains abstractions fully integrated with word, symbol, and iconographics years ahead of the avant-garde’s freedom of words, ideogrammes, calligrammes, and zaum.6 Her work was contemporaneous with Barzun’s poeme simultané. The pre-WWI avant-garde initial efforts of word painting beginning in 1909 appear rather simplistic compared to her long-hidden mystical Theosophical works numbering 1,200 between 1906 and 1944. Her oil-paint abstracts predate Kandindsy’s first abstract water color by four years. She died in 1944, the same year he died in Paris. Her will required no public viewing of any of her abstract art until twenty years after her death. A few close confidants knew Hilma was painting abstract iconographic artworks, many fully integrated with legible painted text. She also produced thousands of notebook page works. Her works first appeared in a major exhibition in 1986 in Los Angeles, The Spiritual in Art, but did not strike a strong resonating chord. That chord was struck in the 2013 exhibition in Stockholm, Pioneer of Abstraction, followed by the London exhibition.7 !78

Fear of being misunderstood was not baseless. The influence of intuitive and mystical-sourced art expressions lost favor among the avant-garde groups after WWI. Nevertheless, there were individuals who continued their art and literature as a spiritual and mystical pursuit hoping to lift societal consciousness. Following creative and critical generations generally turned against symbolism and mysticism. They were rebelling against anything deemed a consequential behavior or belief that aided the catastrophe of WWI. Mystical-based inspiration and work was shunted aside, confusing religious belief with mystical experience. Everything was suspect except what was thought to be the new. Most individuals in the next creative generations sourced from the unconscious, not the intuitive as called for by the pre-WWI avant-garde, excluding the materialistic and pro-war Italian Futurists. Reading the histories of modern art, Theosophy is relegated to an aside, a cursory mention, an obscure footnote. There is a lack of deep discussion regarding its significance and influence on the arts before WWI. Some of this can be blamed on critical literary, art, and linguistic theories that developed between the late 1930s and the present. Within the last couple of years, however, academic studies financed by a wealthy Theosophist have reopened the discourse.8 A detailed discussion regarding Hilma's place in word painting and visual text art has yet to take place. Being a recluse, she influenced no one until recently. That her work contained words and symbols brings her to the forefront of twentiethcentury visual text art as one of the earliest if not earliest in the modern-art era. Her works and those of others were forgotten, neglected, or consciously disappeared — thus not informing or influencing contemporary concrete and visual poetries and visual text art — but don't have to continue to be “unseen”. Johann Sebastian Bach’s music was lost for 100 years (he was considered second- or thirdrate by contemporaries) until its revival. It is time to expand the radius of discussion of accomplished works for three reasons: one, recognition of past makers and what informed them; two, by such recognition one can hope that repetition of past works and trends by contemporaries cease; and three, lessons from them can perhaps reinvigorate Eurocentric visual text art.

Paris, 1 there are in fact several coarse expressions used in the army and Monsieur Barzun had, indubitably. an idea, about amo domini 1910 but I do not know what he has dome with it Ezra Pound, “Canto LXXVII,” Cantos, 492

paper becomes 
 Henri-Martin Barzun wears neither the halo of fame nor the aura of a premature demise. If he does briefly appear, it’s usually during a discussion concerning Apollinaire and avant-garde history, germane to visual text art or visual poetry, regarding the period immediately after WWI. Among American and English criticism, Barzun remains half-lit, face glossed over, a whisper in worlds of arcana. At times, a reference blurs him further to a fast-moving shadow, a ghost of little consequence. As not famous enough and thus dismissible, he lost his due credits in the controversy of the founding of both Simultaneism and Orphism and his direct influence on Marinetti’s words in freedom. As we dig deeper, we find materials available outside those predisposed to Apollinaire, which underscore Barzun’s importance as a shaper of and influencer on 1906-1914 visual text art and illuminated language theories, approaches, and works. Barzun directly influenced Italian Futurism when introducing Simultané / Simultaneism to Marinetti, then a symbolist, during his visits to L’L’Abbaye de Créteil (1906-1908). Many other writers and artists visited the commune as word spread throughout Europe, including Russia. With the painter Albert Gleizes and others, Barzun cofounded the idealistic art commune for writers and artists. Simultaneism, his original idea, rejected the single-voiced poem as a form able to adequately capture modern, hectic urban life with all its voices and noise. The single voice implied a limited awareness and experience (kin perhaps to the coming rejection of the single point-of-view painting with its triangular vanishing-


point perspective), no matter how large or deep, against the backdrop of the new dynamics of the twentieth century. Only with simultaneous, multiple voices through choral chanting, Barzun proposed, was it plausible to express the multipointed reality, reality experienced through each individual at the same moment, of the new burgeoning and bustling city energies. His poems became visual scores for choral performance. Barzun with Gleizes and others of the group worked on a new integrative form, an arc spanning all the arts under the idea of Orphism. It followed that Orphism would be fully integrated with a new form of society. In their eyes Orphism required a group effort to form its theory given the vastness and complexity of the project, which was to create a new art for a new social program for the future, a Futurism before the Futurists and close to what their Russian peers were to gravitate towards, as opposed to the forthcoming Italian model. As a part of this arc, Gleizes developed his cubism with a larger vision in mind, large-scale scenes in contrast to the still-life forms of Picasso, Braque, and Gris (their study of form), again generally closer to the Russian interests. L’L’Abbaye de Créteil ceased to exist as a formal group in 1908; the group had pinned its self-sufficient future on publishing ventures that failed to meet the group’s requirements. After the demise its individuals and other writers and artists formed a larger circle numbering close to 100 around which Apollinaire, as an instinctive outsider, orbited, as he did with many groups. He was influenced by their theories and practices as illustrated in his book on Cubism (published in 1912) presenting views closely associated with the epic views found in the art, writings, and theories of L’L’Abbaye de Créteil members.9 Robert Delaunay, who with his wife, Sonia (a Russian immigrant and gobetween for Russian and French avant-gardes), who later became allies with Apollinaire in the controversy of Simultaneism and Orphism, came into the circle around the same time. Robert Delaunay’s cubist paintings followed theories first proposed by Barzun and Gleizes rather than those guiding the wider group. By painting within this field of ideas and theories, Gleizes and Delaunay easily made the step into abstraction.10 !81

Though scheduled for display at the New York City 1913 Armory Show, Delaunay’s City of Paris was too large. Roberts points out the painting contained ideas from Gleizes and a Barzun poem which Delaunay sourced.11 I am not critical of Delaunay’s and Apollinaire’s inspiration sourced from the L’L’Abbaye de Créteil founders, but am critical of their claiming Simultaneism and Orphism as their own, while at the same time sourcing work from those they discredit. Barzun had a falling out with Apollinaire and the Delaunays over Simultaneism and Orphism in 1912. Barzun and Apollinaire each founded their own magazine that year to represent their views. Barzun established Poème et Drame, and Apollinaire Les Soirées de Paris. In Poème et Drame, Barzun again called for a poetry exhibiting the essence of an Orphic lyricism with multiple simultaneous voices in orchestration. He invented the Simultaneous poem of several voices before the Italians and Russians. Prior to his major opus, he published La Terrestre Tragedi (25 cantos for choric recital, 1907 (republished, 1910); Panharmonie Orphique, 1907 and 1909; Hymne des Forces (for choric recital), 1912; L’Orphride, Universel Poeme: An Epic Journey in Seven Episodes, 1912; and The Revolution of Modern Polyrhythyms, Three Simultaneous Poems, Poetique d’un ideal nouveau (pamphlet) 1913. Ezra Pound aficionados may be familiar with Barzun, at least by name, through comments in Poetry, Vol. 3, 1913, New Age, Vol 8, No. 25, 1913, and in New Directions 1946 Annual #9. Henri-Martin Barzun stands apart from the rest and preaches "Simultaneity," which is to say, he wishes us to write our poems for a dozen voices at once as they write an orchestral score. M. Jammes has done something like this in Le Triomphe de la Vie. M. Barzun's ideas, as expressed in L'Ere du Drame, are interesting, and L'Hymne des Forces moved me by its content and underlying force rather than by its execution. The proletariat would seem to be getting something like a coherent speech. This seems to me significant. Ezra Pound12 !82

Barzun’s “Hymne des Forces” moved me, although I thought it rhetorical. It seemed to me significant that the voice of the mass should have come SO near to being coherent. M. Barzun is nowhere near being content with the book above-mentioned. The polyphonic method will be justified when a great work is presented through it. In the meantime there is no use blinding oneself to the fact that the next great work may be written in this manner. It is not an impossibility, and M. Barzun is not altogether an imbecile. Ezra Pound13 Writings on Orphic Art by Barzun span a number of years in various incarnations under different but parallel titles and currently are rare books unavailable except in a few libraries or for a hefty collectible-book price. In his bibliography he describes L’Ophéide composed of 750 pages mounted in 12 atlases and when open containing double pages 20x50 in visual spread; a photograph documents the 12 volumes.14 At this time, only a few images of his work are available on the web.15 He undoubtedly is someone whose works need immediate attention, republication of older texts, and the publication of his major 12-volume opus, L’Orphride, Universel Poeme, currently sitting idle, propped up by unread copies of earlier books in the Columbia University Rare Books Collection.16 As indicated, among the consciously or unconsciously disappeared that must be returned to the historical discourse is the body of work by Henry-Matin Barzun currently housed in the Columbia University Library Rare Book Archives. That they were composed on non-archival typewriter and graph paper further requires immediate attention. The acid is slowly disintegrating these works unique among the European avant-garde revisualization of their respective literatures and language on paper and canvas. Another reason for publication and exhibition of these works is that he is part of the French contribution to the American avantgarde: he first arrived in America in 1917 on a diplomatic mission and moved and settled with his family in 1919. He continued his efforts towards Orphism through !83

teaching and writing until his death. I was fortunate to have a request to visit these works answered by Michael Winkler, who took 239 photographs of a very small portion of Barzun’s archived works. The beauty and complexity of these 100- to 85-year-old works would stand out today among many anthologies and exhibitions. A thanks goes out to Michael and to Karla Nielsen, librarian extraordinaire, who facilitated Michael’s visit and photography.17


Milan Death of free verse Free verse once had countless reasons for existing but now is destined to be replaced by words-in-freedom. The evolution of poetry and human sensibility has shown us the two incurable defects of free verse. 1. Free verse fatally pushes the poet towards facile sound effects, banal double meanings, monotonous cadences, a foolish chiming, and an inevitable echo-play, internal and external. 2. Free verse artificially channels the flow of lyric emotion between the high walls of syntax and the weirs of grammar. The free intuitive inspiration that addresses itself directly to the intuition of the ideal reader finds itself imprisoned and distributed like purified water for the nourishment of all fussy, restless intelligences. *** Onomatopoeia that vivifies lyricism with crude and brutal elements of reality was used in poetry (from Aristophanes to Pascoli) more or less timidly. We Futurists initiate the constant, audacious use of onomatopoeia. *** Today we no longer want the lyric intoxication to order the words syntactically before launching them forth with the breaths we have invented, and we have words-in-freedom. Moreover our lyric intoxication should freely deform, reflesh the words, cutting them short, stretching them out, reinforcing the center or the extremities, augmenting or diminishing the number of vowels and consonants. Thus !85

we will have the new orthography that I call free expressive. This instinctive deformation of words corresponds to our natural tendency towards onomatopoeia. It matters little if the deformed word becomes ambiguous. It will marry itself to the onomatopoetic harmonies, or the noise-summaries, and will permit us soon to reach the onomatopoetic psychic harmony, the sonorous but abstract expression of an emotion or a pure thought. But one may object that my words-in-freedom, my imagination without strings, demand special speakers if they are to be understood. F.T. Marinetti18 Marinetti visited L’Abbaye de Créteil several times where he learned new creative approaches such as the Simultaneism of Henri-Martin Barzun and the Unanimism of Jules Romain. In 1909 Marinetti published “Futurist Manifest” in Gazzetta dell'Emilia of Bologna. This became the recognized founding moment for Italian Futurism; others quickly joined him. Unlike other avant-garde movements, it was financed and overseen by Marinetti like a business. Over the years individuals in the group published several manifestos pontificating on the arts, science, and politics, giving view to their perception of a better future. In 1913, Marinetti published the manifesto, Destruction of Syntax - Imagination Without Strings - Words-In-Freedom,19 announcing the death of free verse replaced by words-in-freedom. This was a more detailed expression following up on the previous announcement of words-in-freedom a year earlier. It is well known Marinetti was a controversial figure, so much of one it bears repeating. His words-in-freedom — non-syntactic, non-linear poetry performances — essentially an onomatopoeic tour de force, were praised throughout Europe. His approach and personality created conflict with many individuals associated with other avant-garde groups. Among the causes was his passion to organize the various movements under his single movement and thus control. Additionally, many of the ideas informing Italian Futurism created antagonisms. His 1910 visit to England created a backlash to the point where Ezra Pound and others vowed to !86

keep Futurism out of England. Marinetti traveled to Russia in 1913, hoping to create a grand union with the Russian Futurists. Though this excursion into Russian avant-garde regions was considered a public-relations success because of highly positive newspaper stories, applauded lectures, and invitations to many parties, he did not meet the individuals he believed closest to him, those of Moscow. They were out of town. The theories of the Italian Futurists, anti-past, pro-future, pro-war, and materialistically based, were antithetical to the Russian Futurists, who were delving into the roots of Slavic languages, culling the best of the past to meld with the best of a potential future accented with Russian mysticism and spirituality. This is not to say that the Italian counterparts ignored paranormal and visionary events, but their delving into parapsychological states lacked a cultural depth available to the Russian Futurists, and as such the Italian approach was more intellectual than intuitive. A few individuals were active proponents for a deeper Russian mysticism in the tradition of the seer. The Russian Futurists in St. Petersburg did host Marinetti, his performances and lectures. Benedikt Livshits wrote about these events and a conversation with Marinetti after his performance. He asked Marinetti to explain the contradiction with his demand for non-syntax poetry, words in freedom, with a performance that was rich with hand and body gestures. Was this not another form of syntax, that he essentially replaced one syntax for another, aiding audience comprehension? Marinetti ignored the question.20 Marinetti in 1924 published Futurismo e Fascismo (Futurism and Fascism); he argued fascism was a natural extension of Futurism. This was not a new direction; in 1919 he co-wrote with Alceste De Ambris the “Fascist Manifesto.” This toxic embrace doomed Italian Futurism as a respected movement to this day. This association also has been seen up to the present by critics and writers as responsible for planting a dark seed in avant-garde movements that operate with an identity of group and not group. Such a movement is heavily influenced or controlled by a hierarchical structure as opposed to one of egalitarianism, an open circle as opposed to a closed, ideologically fortified square.


Nevertheless, the Italian Futurists created a large and significant body of work under the headings of words in freedom and free word painting. Among various magazines beginning in 1912, Marinetti published portions of what became a book of words in freedom in 1914: Zang Tumb Tumb; Adrianopoli, Ottobre 1912. 21 He attempted to capture visually his war correspondent experiences during his coverage of the 1912 Balkan War. In 1913, Carlo Carrà, a member of the Italian Futurists First Wave and a friend of Apollinaire, published Parole in Libertà (Words in Freedom). From 1914 to 1916, he composed a series of collages and paintings: • “Rapporto di un nottambulo milanese” (Chronicle of a Milanese Night Owl), 22

• “Interventionist Demonstration” (Patriotic Holiday-Freeword Painting),23 • “Il Fanciullo Prodigio,”24 25

• “The Pursuit,” • “Noises of the Night Cafe,”26 27

• “Still Life with Soda Syphon,” • “Composizione con figura femminile,”28 • “Il fiasco,”29 • “Fiasco e Bicciere,”30 • and “La composizione TA.” 31 “Noises of the Night Cafe” forecasted more than others the hyper-dynamic, language-based collage, “Interventionist Manifesto,” also known as “Patriotic Celebration” (Free Word Painting). Its source of inspiration was leaflets dropped from an airplane. Some suggest that the spiralling and energetic vortex of collaged sounds, noises, and smells surpassed anything done with text before the war. Its militaristic call and the Italian Futurists’ warmongering diminish, for me, its full potential. In 1916, he turned his back on Italian Futurism to form a school of metaphysical painters seeking the eternal values in classical painting. More examples of Italian Futurist Painted Words/ Words in Freedom:32 !88

1914 • Giacomo Balla, “Rumoristica Plastica Baltrr”33 • Giacomo Balla, “Palpavoce” (Tactile word)34 • Francesco Cangiullo, “Bello”35 • Balla & Cangiullo, “Palpavpoce”36 1915 • Corrado Govoni, “The Sea”37 • Corrado Govoni, “Autoritratto: Rarefazione di Govoni” (Self-Portrait: Rarefaction of Govoni)38 • Gino Severini, “Gun in Action” 39 • Giacomo Balla, Poster for the Exhibition at Galleria Agostinelli40 • Fortunato Depero, “Numerical Warlike Landscape” 41 1916 • Fortunato Depero, “Bells”42 • Francesco Cangiullo. “Piedigrotta ,. : col manifesto sulla declamazi one dinamica sinottica di Marinetti” 43 • Francesco Cangiullo, Caffé-concerto: Alfabeto a sorpresa (Café-Concert: Unexpected Alphabet) 44 • Francesco Cangiullo, “Poesia pentagrammata” (Poetry on the Staff)45 Italian Futurist visual poem books were usually typeset and published in editions of 1,000. Beginning in 1912, the series ended in 1934: Zang Tumb Tum, F.T. Marinetti, 1914; Ponti sull'Oceano (Bridges over the Ocean), Luciano Folgore, 1914; BIF§ZF + 18. Simultaneità e Chimismi lirici (BIF§ZF + 18. (Simultaneity and Lyric alchemies), Ardengo Soffici, 1915; Guerrapittura (War-Painting), Carlo Carrà, 1915; Piedigrotta, Francesco Cangiullo, 1916; Les mots en liberté futuristes (The Futurist words-in-freedom), F.T. Marinetti, 1919; Caffè Concerto - Alfabeto a Sorpresa (Café-Chantant - Unexpected Alphabet), Francesco Cangiullo, 1919; Poesia pentagrammata (Poetry on the Staff), Francesco Cangiullo,1923; Depero futurista 1913-1927 (Depero the Futurist 1913-1927), Fortunato Depero, 1927; !89

Parole in libertà: olfattive, tattili, termiche (Words-in-freedom: olfactory, tactile, thermal), F.T. Marinetti, 1932; and L'anguria lirica (Lyric cucumber), Tullio 46

d'Albisola, 1934. The last two books were printed on metal sheets. Obviously an extensive body of work by Italian Futurists reaches well into the 1930s. Despite the remaining individuals’ fascist fixation, their influence was profound and cannot be discounted. Unfortunately, their influence spread beyond their art as a disastrous, human-wrecking model for negative group behavior.


Paris, 2 "The works of the orphic artist must simultaneously give a pure aesthetic pleasure; a structure which is self-evident; and a sublime meaning, that is, a subject. This is pure art." Guillaume Apollinaire Poet, novelist, playwright and art critic, Guillaume Apollinaire is considered central in the constellations of modern visual poetry.47 The brightness of Apollinaire’s sun has left Henri-Martin Barzun in near-total eclipse. Born in Italy, fluent in French and Italian, Barzun moved to France after a short span in Belgium, eventually becoming a central figure among the European avant-garde. Fluent in several languages, an exuberant personality, several years of working closely with avant-garde friends and acquaintances, exposure to its theories and works, and his writings promoting avant-garde painting, literature, and movements in newspapers, magazines, and books provided him unique access and opportunity to move his poetics into the same arena. He became friends with or worked with Braque, Carrà, Chanel, Cendrars, Cocteau, Debussy, the Delaunays (Robert and Sonia — formerly Sarah Illinitchna Stern), Duchamp, Diaghilev, Jacob, Marinetti, Matisse, Miro, Picasso, Ravel, Rousseau, Salmon, Satie, and de Zayas, the American representative for Stieglitz’s New York Gallery 291. Apollinaire was among the first who successfully promoted Cubism and other avant-garde expressions and gained wide notoriety for it. An example of the wider and subtler influence of Apollinaire can be seen through the visit by the Ukrainian Alexandra Exter when she first visited Paris in 1910. Others in Russia learned Cubism through lessons taught by Jean Metzinger and Henri Le Fauconnier (whom some considered third-rate cubists). Exter came to Cubism through Apollinaire with his introductions to Picasso, Braque, and poet Max Jacob. Later, she met Fernand Leger and Ardengo Soffici.48 What she learned she shared with her Russian peers, who were to become important members of Russian Futurism. Exter was on course to become one of many important Russian !91

Futurists. Apollinaire was an early and relentless supporter of avant-garde expressions and a strong voice for Cubism. He developed his own versions of Simultaneite and Orphism and applied the former’s theories to the ideogramme that soon became the calligramme. Broad-brushed summations of the accepted and repeated version of his self-proclaimed movements and the terms assigned to him neglect his redefining of the original intents and the individual originator of the terms. Looking beyond footnotes and gloss-overs shows another version. This does not necessarily reduce his stature and accomplishments but rather brings to light overlooked works in need of their true place in such spotlighting. Painting speed and energy, the Italian Futurists added a vibrant palette to Cubism compared to its first Parisian phase of a dull palette. Italian and Russian Futurist works, with their enhanced energy and intensity, also extended in many directions the freedom of the word. Russian avant-garde individuals who became Russian Futurists traveled back and forth before WWI to experience directly the new to which they added upon returning. Apollinaire hosted Italian Futurists when visiting Paris. Carra, an important figure, became a friend. Between 1909 and 1912, lettering was added to Russian Neo-primitive, Parisian Cubist, and Italian Futurist paintings. Georges Braque may be the first west European to paint commercial letters on canvas work. By doing so he could be the first west European modern artist to truly free or begin to free the word from syntax, or its first word painter, excluding Hilma af Klint. Mikhail Larionov’s Soldiers, 1909, appeared the same year; his 1910 Soldiers (second version) contained hand-painted text crossing the canvas top depicting several voices, one singing. He completed his Self Portrait with painted 50

text also in 1910.49 Braque’s Le Portugais of 1911 is often referred to as the 51

language freeing work; however his Violin and Palette of 1909 and Piano and 52

Mandolo of 1909-1910 should be considered equally important for their painted symbols. These two broken-planed Cubist works display impressionistic music scores. Because his Violin and Palette render the violin f-holes unbroken as if signs or symbols, they become focal points for eyes to look into the ears of the !92

imagination listening for a new music. Umberto Boccioni’s Cubist-like States of Mind (Stati d’animo) was painted in 1911.53 Conceivably, Picasso may have been the first to use text in a collage in 1908, The Dreamer.54 However, dates of his early work are suspect; he was known to have dated works earlier to be the first in the “made something new” ego contest. Nevertheless, with the availability of Hilm af Klint’s paintings, the date of mature word painting associated with abstract arts is moved back to 1906.


Zurich Leaving aside for a moment the historical problem of the Orphism fissure between two factions, a quick glance at the symbolic notions is required. Embracing the term Orphism was a conscious decision that sided, on the surface, with idealism, of an art with an intention to lift and move culture to higher levels of awareness and meaning, an art working towards transforming behavior through the act of a nourishing, giving high vibrational expression. This also brought forth energies and ideas from deeper levels perhaps not fully understood. Orpheus was a seer and healer poet, a theurgical force who wove together a theology with his myths, spells, and songs. Orpheus had the power with his lyre-accompanied poetry to bring fragmented and disordered souls into order and at the larger scale to create social and cosmic harmony. The Pythagorean notion that physical reality through number, harmony, and geometric pattern is available for expression can be seen in the paintings of Orphism.55 Those who formed the Golden Section group along with those who associated with it explicitly add the Pythagorean and Platonic ideals as part of the Orphic tradition.56 Plato’s highest form of knowledge, gnosis, was direct apprehension. Individuals throughout the avant-garde were calling for an art expressed from beyond the regions of the intellect, to reach above into the intuitive, a realm inhabited by forms waiting to be shown. Direct apprehension was commonplace within esoteric traditions from South Asia to Egypt and Greece. Terms, stories and symbols differed on the literal surface but much in common was hidden by the literal (More on Orpheus, Plato and Egyptian text follows in the last section). Groups coalesced after the publication of Kandinsky’s book. That his book gave permission for such action is for others to agree or disagree. Do not forget that Kandinsky was a Theosophist. Concepts found in his book, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, and other writings were directly linked to Orpheus, Pythagoras, Platonism, and Neoplatonism, the latter three of which informed esoteric calligraphies as previously mentioned. Ibn ‘Arabī was known as the Son of Plato. !94

Pythagorean, Platonic, and “Neoplatonic” ideas and ideals already had set their roots before 1912 in the minds of the avant-garde individuals and groups from New York to Moscow to manifest according to the quality of the open fertile mind. Does a kindred individual source from these ideas for inspiration flow into the individual after considerable improvement and refinement earned by The Work? The Work is probing deep into the dark regions hiding the soul. The Work is to clear the darkness to bring forth the dawning light. The artist, writer, or poet becomes a vessel through which the images or words flow; for the visual text artist, image and icongraphic forms flow. Kandinsky asked and answered with another, “What is the message of the competent artist? ‘To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts–such is the duty of the artist,’ said Schumann.”57 Not only Kandinsky called for this refinement; it has been a call throughout history in cultures such as Vedic South Asia, Buddhist and Taoist China, Buddhist Japan and mystics of Europe. The Sufis, the spiritually inclined, and mystics to this moment continue to answer the call. This current was expanding before WW1, a current opposing the Italian Futurists. These associations are brought together in the context of fragmentation occurring in Zurich with the splitting of Freud and Jung. Another fragmentation was within Jung, who diagnosed himself with a psychosis. To heal himself, he directly confronted his unconscious out of which images and dreams filled what became known as the Black Books. Beginning in 1915 using the Black Books materials from 1913 to 1916, he rendered them into the illuminated calligraphic manuscript, The Red Book. He referred to it in his writings but kept it from public view, fearing it would be misunderstood as outside his scientific approach to psychology. It was published in 2009, years after his death.58 Jung’s psychology is too vast a field to cover even in broad strokes, but I will sketch some broad outlines. Flowing through his collected writings was an attempt to weave together fragmented Christian methods of becoming whole. Belief was not enough to heal the ill soul. Freeing himself from Freud’s focus on the libido, Jung developed an alternative theory of the unconscious extending dream analysis to include myths when associated with dreams. Myths in his theory were cultural !95

or group dreams filled with potent symbols the understanding of which would aid in the awareness of the unconscious’ influences. Such understanding would hopefully bring the light of knowledge into its darkness. The new extended analysis required acknowledging the significance of religion, a source of innumerable symbols. Symbols that recurred in a culture or group, either in identical or parallel roles, became archetypes in his nomenclature filled with or representing psychological forces. Understanding a myth’s meaning and how its symbols and archetypes related and informed through its variety of layers of meaning took on a new significant psychological meaning. Out of this insight came a field of cross-cultural psychology comparing various mythological stories, characters, and symbols, their multiple layers of meaning, rather than the usual study of literary and literal comparisons. Through his neo-gnostic methodology, Jung decoded Christian myths and alchemy. He showed that alchemy was a psychological process; the search for gold was the unfolding story of the individual working towards union with the Whole, individuation. Of value to this discussion are his illuminated visual text art pages full of iconographic wonder and insight that serve as an counter-weight to his scientific processes. The use of symbols he justifies by stating the obvious, that words cannot state the unsayable. Christian and pre-Christian, Egyptian, Hebraic, Hindu, and other sourced or based symbols outline his inner ascent towards wholeness.59 Not having the skill of Hilma af Klint, The Red Book nevertheless is an extraordinary and important opus for those interested in such expression, a search for harmony and wholeness. The archetypes and their energies used by modern-art era visual text artists take on a set of unaddressed meanings after Jung’s entry into this arena. One such archetypal grouping covers the eastern Mediterranean basin to South Asia found in Vedic culture, Egyptian writing, Zoroastrianism, Orpheus, Pythagoras, Platonism, and Neoplatonism, where one finds a unifying set of principles found in the esoteric layers of texts and symbols.60 Including Theosophy’s influences, the energies from Buddhism, Islam, and a variety of mystic traditions (that could be collected under the concept of perennial philosophy) expands the iconographic !96

sphere studied by the pre-WWI avant-garde. These energies were carried forward after the war by individuals with more circumspect, less public expression, and by some groups. Dada began before it was founded; so says the Dadaists Piciaba, Duchamp, and Kandinsky. Dadaists nodded to Kandinsky’s 1912 woodcut illustrated book of sound poems, Glange.61 Beginnings of Dada also occurred around the 291 Gallery in New York. World War I scattered the avant-garde groups and individuals to various national pockets cutting off exchanges until the war’s end. The exceptions were the Russian avant-garde groups and individuals who returned to Russia because of the war or the revolution. Not only were the Russians in many respects in the earliest forefront of modern-art developments, during the war and particularly the revolution they continued to evolve in various new and profound directions. Formal Dadaism, named and founded, was born in Zurich, Switzerland, when the city was the calm eye of the WW1 hurricane. The arts underwent a radically reactionary transformation when the avant-garde took a bracing chug of Dadaism. The modern visual poem spectrum contain a wide variety of forms and types associated with West European avant-garde, Italian Futurist and Russian Futurist movements; it was one of the many new multimedia arts. It now had a new form that would soon take precedence over the older types. The visual poets of the Dadaists, such as Tristan Tzara and Kurt Schwitters, further enhanced the material freedom of the word and extended typographical experimentation on the page rather than the calligramme form. In Spain, during and after WW1, a blending and struggle between the influences of the calligramme and Italian Futurist inclinations informed a number of poets composing their language’s first modern visual poetics. Between the two World Wars, collage, Italian Futurism, Russian Futurism, Constructivism, Dada, De Stijl, diverse Japanese avant-garde movements of the Twenties and Surrealism, continued or faded out while adding to the visual poem and proto-concrete poem and other visual text art forms. Since materials for Dada are easy to come by and much is available for viewing and reading, I will pass quickly through this movement that grew to !97

become a major force throughout the twenties. Many still cleave to it. Their form of visual text art primarily extended the college spectrum as perceptive irony or in many cases nonsensical statement. The photogram and montage were widely employed and extended. Language and symbol were fractured; its sound was onomatopoeic. An important addition to the collage, montage, and canvas was the expression of language and symbol in the third dimension, sculpture.62 Throughout the twenties and onward design work continued to evolve.63 Zurich, then, may be viewed as the center of two forces, centripetal and centrifugal. The lifelong work of Jung and his school of Jungian psychology represents the former, a bringing together or healing of the individual into a full human wholeness with an integrated awareness (or at least attempting to do so). Dadaism’s primary thrust — powered by rejection of all the past that at times bordered nihilism — represents the latter, out of which most of its expression became collections of welded or woven disassociated fragments. Or to shorthand it, fusion verses fission.


Paris, 3 The Chinese ideogram seduced its way into the avant-garde through the Italian Futurists, the Imagist English-language poetic movement, individuals associated with Apollinaire in Paris experimenting on a new visual poetry, and others to become an archetype by morphing into the calligramme (calli = beauty; gram = graph). The interest geographically seems to have been Italy, Spain, France, England, and North and South America. At that time it was assumed by those using this form as a template that Chinese ideograms were individual units of a pictorial, not phonetic, writing system. That Chinese was a tonal language apparently was overlooked or ignored. Despite the mistake, numerous visual poems were created with this blueprint from 1912 through the early 1920s, being picked up again by those following the concrete poetry ways from 1953 to the present. Apollinaire’s “L'Antitradition Futuriste, Manifeste=Synthese,” June, 1913, was a critique of Italian Futurism. It may be his first published ideogramme.64 He called his first published visual poems ideogrammes. Apollinaire met Marius de Zayas in the spring of 1914 during the second of his excursions to Europe as a representative of Alfred Stieglitz’s 291 Gallery. They became immediate friends and colleagues. Marius de Zayas had made friends with other avant-garde artists during his earlier 1910-1911 European visit. Picasso was among them. He influenced de Zayas’s new visual text art form, psychotypes, with his Cubist ideas. The psychotypes impressed Apollinaire, who published a few. Until meeting de Zayas, Apollinaire’s knowledge of ideograms was limited to Chinese and Japanese forms. Born and raised in Mexico, de Zayas showed him the Mayan and Aztec writing systems (more on de Zayas in the New York section). Apollinaire published his first formal ideogramme, “Lettre-Ocean,” in his 65

magazine, Soirees de Paris, June 1914. It was republished in 291 Magazine in 1915 edited by de Zayas.66 This ideogramme is considered the most Italian Futurist-like of his ideogrammes or calligrammes; it stands as his longest, a twopage composition. Apparently, de Zayas influenced and extended for Apollinaire his linkage to a larger ideogramme context. The Apollinaire works from 1914 !99

onward were reproduced by the newly invented photograme providing today’s readers and viewers his carefully composed hand-scripted ideogrammes / 67

calligrammes — words freed from the bondage of typesetting requirements. He died in the devastating influenza outbreak of 1918. His collection, Calligrammes, was published in 1919.68 Apollinaire’s ideogrammes / calligrammes became and remain a vital energetic influence in visual poetry and have become, as a form, either a rallying point as an example for use of pictograph-like approaches or an example to be purged in a contemporary mustering call for purity of typography without a visual image. As such, others rarely enter the discussion despite their strength and beauty. A friend of Apollinaire, Pierre Albert-Birot, edited Sic,69 1916-1919, a magazine supporting Futurism and Cubism. Apollinaire’s famous “Il Pleut” (It’s raining) appeared in the December 1916 issue. Albert-Birot composed calligrammes, landscape, sign poems, and other types of visual poems.70 His work was later praised by Lettriste Robert Sabatier, saying he was fifty years ahead of the Lettristes. Latin American, Catalan, and Spanish poets composed calligrammes beginning with a borderline work by the Catalan poet Rafael Nogueras Oller. His 1905 “Les tenebroses” is counted by some as the first Catalan calligramme. The commentator suggests Oller was directly influenced by Lewis Carroll.71 Upon first sight, that was my immediate impression before reading the commentary. This poem, though, seems more transitional between earlier Baroque shaped poems72 and the goals of the avant-garde visual poem that wedded text and visual in order to explore fourth-dimensional expression and/or the simultaneous view. Significant-quality Catalan calligrammes were composed from 1916 onward into the twenties. Josep Maria Junoy composed, la revista Troços (1916 -1917) and Poemes & Calligrames (composed 1916, published1920). Noteworthy is that within the latter collection we find Josep Maria Junoy’s “Art Poetica,” 1916.73 “Art Poetica” commands attention among the first modern visual poems: wordless, conceptual, and minimalist.


Other important visual poets include Joan Salvat-Papasseit, Drama en el port i Plànol (1919), L’irradiador del port i les gavines (1921), El poema de La rosa als llavis (1923), Ossa menor (1925); Joaquim Folguera, Traduccions i fragments (posthumous publication of fragments of a poet as important to Catalan Spain as Apollinaire to France) (1921); Vincent soles Sojo, Calligrames (1918 1919); Sebastià Sánchez-Juan, Fluid, (second generation Calligramme poet influenced by Italian Futurism) (1924); Carles Sindreu, Radiacions i poemes (1928).74 Lastly, from wider Spain are calligrammes by Guillermo de Torre, Paisaje plástico, Girándula, Cabellera;75 Adriano del Valle, De la radio; and Andrés Nimero, Poema alfa de la gran circunvalación.76 The last calligramme examples are the visual compositions by Vincente Huidobro of Chile, a founder of Creacionismo (Creationism) in 1912.77 He was an associate of many members of the Parisian avant-garde such as Juan Gris, Pablo Picasso, Tristan Tzara, Robert Delaunay, Guillaume Apollinaire, Francis Picabia, and Pierre Albert-Birot. Huidobro is considered, if not the first, among the first individuals of the South American avant-garde. His first calligramme is dated 1912. 78 The question, then, arises who coined the term calligramme? Huidobro collaborated with Robert Delaunay on the poster for the exhibition of his 13 painted poems.79 In 1918 he visited Madrid and shared his experiences and knowledge of the European avant-garde, leading to the founding of Ultraísmo (Ultraist Movement; [among its founding members was Jorge Luis Borges]). Huidobro later developed his lexical poems to lyrical heights with worldwide recognition for his skillful imagery and insight.80


England Vorticism, named by Ezra Pound in England, 1914, was empowered by his ideas and those of Wyndham Lewis of Canada. They published two issues of their magazine, BLAST, in 191481 and 1915. The war ended their effort to present an alternative to Italian Futurism which had been one of their intentions. Given the wider context of avant-garde magazines, books, and art works, BLAST was rather tame. That said, BLAST and writings by Pound illustrated his interest in visual text art’s poetic branch. Pound’s direct influence on visual poetry, especially concrete poetry, came later through his interest in and promotion of Fenollosa’s writings on Chinese ideograms.82 Fenollosa died in 1908; Pound received his papers in 1913, the year after Imagism was pronounced by Pound. Imagism was a direct assault on symbolism and the Pre-Raphaelites. Someone else can discuss Pound’s taking up the work of Fenollosa as a misconception of the Chinese ideogram and in doing so point out the gyrations of sinologists’ outrages concerning Fenollosa’s writings. The ideograms were a phonetic, not pictorial, script. However, the visual idea from the work of Pound based on Fenollosa’s writings later became part of the foundation for concrete poetry that invoked the undeniable, reductionist visual aspects of the ideogram and its parts as had been done by those across the Channel in France creating the ideogram-based calligramme. Basing the beginnings of the calligramme at this moment and the forthcoming coming concrete poem on the ideogram’s visual components was not unlike the earlier Cubists’ appropriation of African sculpture using only a segment of a larger whole to foster an art movement. Pound’s interest in visual poetry was pre-BLAST given his comments on Henry-Martin Barzun as mentioned in an opening for “Paris, 1” (above). Thirty years later, in the late 1940s, twice in published form, he asks after Barzun and his long opus with which he was obviously familiar (see other opening quote). That these inquiries and his earlier writings mentioned Barzun have been ignored or overlooked while his quote, “make it new,” has been underscored and injected on !102

numerous occasions into defences of concrete poetry despite the fact that he was referring to the translation of poetry; to be noteworthy the translation of the poem made it new. Prose writers like Stein, Joyce, and others also contributed influences, shaking the conventional approach to reading and writing. These individuals along with Pound are an extensive source for exploration on their affect freeing the word and altering spatial use of the stuff of language for the visual poem in general and in particular the concrete poem. Pound’s influence on the concrete poetry movement is a large subject in itself that included (and perhaps for some continues to include) linguistics, compositional field, image (or pictogram) versus no image, theories and manifestos. Interpretations of his work in turn were distorted by some to the point of calling for or demanding a purity of form. I personally have no problem with an individual making such a demand of their own work or perhaps even a group forming a collective by consensus to pursue such a venture. However, when such a demand has as its deepest desire dominance and control over an entire field of poetic expression, it is not an aesthetic movement with a effort centered on societal and individual uplifting and cleansing of the unconscious for a brighter overall consciousness, but anti-egalitarian foolishness and arrogance at best — and at worst not poetry, rather egomania doomed to poetic, artistic and moral failure. Preparation for and the opening of the exhibition for the world’s oldest known printed book with moveable wood blocks on paper, The Diamond Sutra, 868 CE, ran parallel in 1914-London at the British Museum.83 Other items from Aurel Stein’s second expedition along the Silk Road to the Mogao Caves near Dunhuang that he “found” and “bought” were included. Besides the accidental capture of The Diamond Sutra in his haul, other priceless artifacts were Taoist, Nestorian, and Manichaen paper and silk scrolls. The Mogao Caves, known as Caves of a Thousand Buddhas, also contained a thousand year span of art. His “acquisition” remains controversial now as the moment the Chinese government learned of the removal. Had he not relocated the manuscripts and other objects to the British Museum, given the undeniable lack of actual protective resources spent by the Chinese, the probability of the artifacts surviving ranged from extremely !103

low to zero. The government’s lack of sufficient protection can be laid at the feet of European dominance; the Chinese focus was on basic survival mode. Aurel Stein’s 1901 and 1906 - 1907 treks over the Himalayas (1906 adventure began in the winter), along the Silk Road, through harsh desert landscape, intrigue, and recoveries are important to visual text art history. It also remains important to Buddhists, Nestorians, and their scholars. Nestorian manuscripts in Turkic, Syriac, Sogdian and New Persian were recovered. Bilingual texts among them suggest bilingual liturgies, Sogdian being the primary text followed by another. Sogdian was the unifying language of the area. The find, coupled with other recoveries of ikon art, indicate Nestorians illuminated with ikons and iconographics their ritual and textual spaces. For those interested, the book by Joyce Morgan and Conrad Walters, Journeys on the Silk Road: A Desert Explorer, Buddha's Secret Library, And The Unearthing Of The World's Oldest Printed Book, will be of interest. There is an unanswered question. Did Ezra Pound attend the exhibition? I received an email from Charles Doria with the assistance of Richard Kostelanetz regarding an answer. After a couple of exchanges, Charles wrote the following: Evidence that Pound knew and viewed Aurel Stein's discoveries at Cave 17 of the "1000 Buddhas" and their subsequent removal to the British Museum can be found in “Zhaoming Qian, Pound and Chinese Art in the British Museum Era," in Ezra Pound and Poetic Influence: The Official Proceedings of the 17th International Ezra Pound Conference Held at Castle Brunnenburg, Tirolo Di Merano (Helen May Dennis, editor), Leiden, Brill, 2000, pp. 101 ff . His points of contact were Laurence Binyon, then a BM curator but also a poet and survivor of the the Nineties ("Yellow Decade"), who introduced EP to the BM's recent Aurel Stein acquisitions. The second would be his interest/courtship of Dorothy Shakespeare - she painted Chinese landscapes heavily influenced by Aurel's discoveries taken (they seem to me mostly lootings) from various caves during the European !104

occupation of Beijing and environs and afterwards. She apparently accompanied him on various visits to the BM's oriental rooms starting around 1910, while he was giving the Lecture Series "Spirit of Romance" at London Polytechnic with DS in attendance, which later became the interesting book of the same title. Reading excepts from the above mentioned book fills in the significance of the British Museum and Laurence Binyon’s role in Pound’s claim and use of China as a new Greece. While Pound’s influence and his suggested idea about China’s culture spread throughout American poetics and visual text art, the directions taken by many American poets and visual text artists differed. They did not espouse Confucianism but felt and thought closer to and thus aided and abetted a focus on Taoism, Buddhism and Ch’an poetry. As the Eurocentric Cubists looked outward for inspiration so too many Americans, before and after WWI; others looked inward for a new American vision.



New York City & The Stieglitz Circle

PROTARCHUS: Once more, Socrates, I must ask what you mean. SOCRATES: My meaning is certainly not obvious, and I will endeavour to be plainer. I do not mean by beauty of form such beauty as that of animals or pictures, which the many would suppose to be my meaning; but, says the argument, understand me to mean straight lines and circles, and the plane or solid figures which are formed out of them by turning-lathes and rulers and measurers of angles; for these I affirm to be not only relatively beautiful, like other things, but they are eternally and absolutely beautiful, and they have peculiar pleasures, quite unlike the pleasures of scratching. Cratylus, Plato

The story of the Stieglitz Circle and the back-and-forth influence of the European avant-garde is told in various forms. Some are commentaries by art historians; others are writings by members and associates of the circle narrating events; and various exhibition reviews on Stieglitz Gallery activities. It was first known as the Little Galleries before becoming 291 Gallery (1905-1917). The gallery published texts and images from Stieglitz’s publications: Camera Work (50 issues, 1903 - 1917), and 291 Magazine (10 issues, 1915-1916). From its founding in 1905 until its 1917 demise, Alfred Stieglitz’s 291 Gallery exhibited American vanguard photography and artworks; it was the first or among the first to exhibit modern European art. 291 Gallery became the most important early focal point of the American avant-garde. Until 1907, exhibited works were photography. The first artist exhibition, by Pamela Colman Smith, was a financial success; she had two other exhibitions, 1908 and 1909. In 1908 Rodin’s drawings were exhibited, beginning their embrace !107

and acceptance of the European avant-garde individuals and works. There has been no comprehensive probe into the visual text art work by its members other than some commentary on the visual poetry centered on the de Zayas-Apollinaire exchanges. The following gloss may serve to mark the space for someone else to dig into the deeper layers. Alfred Stieglitz and his circle of writers, poets, artists, and photographers were attempting to form an original American modern art vision, or to quote William Carlos Williams, a member of the circle, something “In the American grain.” Stieglitz, a photographer, was among the first advancing the photograph into the field of art as early as 1907 when he began publishing modern art along with photography in his magazine, Camera Work. During its span the magazine published writings and images that directly or indirectly expanded the awareness and horizons for vanguard American poets, writers, photographers, and artists. Copies of its issues were read by most of the American avant-garde and its admirers. Max Weber, who lived in Paris from 1905 to 1909, became friends with many of the European avant-garde, including Rousseau; he frequented Gertrude Stein’s salon and became regarded as the pinnacle of American Cubism. His Camera Work article in 1910, “The Fourth Dimension from a Plastic Point of View,” spread the four-dimensional concepts into the New York avant-garde scene and beyond to the wider readership.84 He acted at times on behalf of Stieglitz in Paris, shepherding modern-art paintings to him, including Rousseau (Weber was responsible of his first American exhibit, at 291) and others.85 During his first visit to Europe in 1912, Marsden Hartley translated excerpts from Kandinsky’s newly published book, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, before it was available in English, published in issue 39. The next issue, a special August issue, published Gertrude Stein’s Cubist portraits, “Henri Matisse” and “Pablo Picasso,“ the first appearance of her writing in an American publication. In 1907, Marius de Zayas immigrated with his family to the States because of his and his brother’s cartoon caricatures and the family newspapers’ strong negative editorial stance against Mexico’s president, Diaz. He was an artist and !108

caricaturist of great skill, to whom Stieglitz gave his first one-man exhibition in 1909 after establishing his American caricaturist reputation.86 As a representative of the gallery de Zayas traveled twice to Europe, nearly a year from late 1910 to the autumn of 1911, and in 1914, when the visit was cut short by the outbreak of WWI. He met and became friends with numerous avant-garde writers and artists. Among them was Picasso, who during his first visit opened the vistas of the external and internal psychic Cubist perspective. De Zayas was the first American to publish an in-depth article on Picasso and was instrumental in Picasso’s first American exhibit at 291 Gallery. From his exposure to Cubism and its deeper theories illuminated directly in Spanish by Picasso, he invented abstract caricature, which he called psychotypes, a rendering of individuals into a geometrical ideogramic or pictogramic form with iconographics of mathematical symbols or formulas representing the trajectory of intelligence and character of the individual caricatured. Nine psychotypes were exhibited at 291 Gallery in April, 1913. Despite being ignored by concrete poetry anthologists and historians, Marius de Zayas remains a significant figure for American-English visual poetry and visual text art through his psychotypes, influence on Apollinaire and Picabia before WWI, influence on others into the 1920s, and his editing and publishing of 291 Magazine. The late 1912 or early 1913 portrait drawing of his friend Agnes Meyer is an early example;87 another example, published in Camera Work, October 1914, is of his friend Picabia.88 This new style influenced Picabia and other dada artists in symbolic portraiture. The section’s above opening introductory quote from Plato was sent to Stieglitz during the 1910 Picasso exhibit at 291. Reprinting the quote in his book within the discussion on Picasso, de Zayas mentioned seeing this quote in different translations through the following years.89 Conceptual to their core and at the same time capturing an essence seen by de Zaya, his psychotypes, as I see them, if not visual poems are at least on the border by assuming a conceptual layering; as such the conceptual can be read as a connector to the poetic layer. They would fit easily into any contemporary visual poetry collection. The psychotypes could be !109

considered part of a type of visual poetry expressing mathematics, its symbols as abstraction and number-scapes. Additional de Zayas psychotypes were published in Camera Work, 1914: “Portrait of Paul Haviland,” 1913; “Portrait of Theodore Roosevelt,” 1913; “Two Friends,” 1913; “Portrait of Mrs. Eugene Meyer, Jr.,” 1913; and “Portrait of Francis Picabia,” April 1914.90 Marius de Zayas, Alfred Stieglitz, Agnes Ernest Meyer — its primary financial backer — and Paul Haviland in 1915 and 1916 edited and published 12 issues with runs of 1,000 copies of the avant-garde magazine 291. On its pages during its short life, several visual poems and visual text art pieces first appeared in an American magazine.91 In the initial issue of March, 1915, he published one of Apollinaire’s ideogrammes, before Apollinaire used the term calligramme, “Voyage.” De Zayas brought several manuscripts by Apollinaire upon his return in 1914. 92 In the second issue, April, 1915, he published the first known AmericanEnglish visual poem, “Mental Reactions,” his collaboration with Agnes Ernest 93

Meyer. Considering Agnes Meyer and de Zayas co-composed this work, its appearance marks the first American collaborative modern visual poem, a visual poem composed by two minorities in the arts. The third issue contained his illustration of a long prose poem by Katharine N. Rhoades, his poem-drawing, and “Woman” by Agnes Meyer. The issue also contains a calligramme, “A Bunch of Keys,” by J. B. Kerfoot, who wrote book reviews for Life magazine. It could be considered the first American visual poem by an individual, excluding de Zayas if psychotypes are discounted as visual poem material. De Zayas continued collaborating with others, including Picabia; “Femme” was published in issue 9, November, 1915.94 Within the 12 issues important Dada individuals appeared, Dada before Dada. Sounding out the de Zaya and Picabia echo chamber of mutual influence would be a worthy study project. According to de Zaya, Picabia returned to New York in 1914 (1915?) for a second time after participating in the 1913 Armory Show to connect with the Stieglitz circle, especially de Zayas. He brought with him work for a planned exhibit at Photo Sessions (291). It was during this time he “abandoned his former manner in painting and started his pictures of machinery.”95 !110

That is to say, he moved on from Cubism to his machine-inspired drawings with text, works now called pre-dada-esque. The mechanical drawings, portraits of Stieglitz, de Zayas, and Haviland, and “Fantasy,”96 published in 291, seem to me and others, influenced by de Zayas’ pyschotypes, indirectly if not directly. Picabia’s earliest work in the new genre, “Mechanical Expression Through Our Own Mechanical Expression,” was created in 1913.97 Upon returning to France after his 1913 experience with the Armory Show and the Stieglitz Circle, having seen the new works and perhaps revisiting, in a new light, the older works of Italian Futurists, Goncharova, Larionov, Leger, and of significance Duchamp, the shift from Cubism began. In 1916, Picabia with others began publishing 391 magazine in Barcelona. He became an instigating force in the Ultraísmo (Ultraist Movement). Barcelona, New York City, and Zurich were oases for artists and writers seeking refuge from the mayhem of the war. Out of these three cities arose one of the next avant-garde movements, Dadaism. Max Weber was removed from the Stieglitz circle because Stieglitz felt he remained too European, and Weber had a falling out with Stieglitz over the 1913 Armory Show. His work, as a result, was not shown. That year Weber had the first one-man exhibition at a museum, becoming the first American modern artist to do so. Two works by Weber were painted during this time that should be of interest: “Avoirdupois,” 191598 and “Slide Lecture at the Metropolitan Museum,” 1916.99 Both works can be read as mechanical portraits within the context of the Stieglitz Circle influences through de Zayas, Picabia, and Duchamp. Weber took the idea of their portraits and shifted from the Stieglitz Circle’s ironic caricatures, and dadaesque posturing to his Cubist theories. “Avoirdupois,” the more straightforward work of the two, is based on the English system of weights and measures. The second work, of 1916, one where he applied his fourth-dimensional theories, conceptually bridges the physical and metaphysical spectra or folds them into a unit that leaps above, so to speak, the machine-based works of Duchamp and Picabia, whose works today are better known than this one by Weber. This I also consider a painted text artwork, the text and images moving at the speed of light towards the screen. At this time he was teaching and using such a projector. Was !111

his moment of “Aha!” while lecturing with the device, or was he flooded during a quiet pause? An aside for a momentary speculation on direct or indirect influence of the psychotype and mechanical portraiture — admittedly, this is a hunch upon my learning the significance of Pamela Colman Smith. Previously mentioned, she was the first artist to show at the Stieglitz Little Galleries that had previously exhibited only photography. Smith’s exhibition preceded Rodin’s at the gallery by a year. She is missing in commentary, footnotes, and indexes about the Stieglitz Circle. That her mystical / occult art with its obvious Symbolist roots ran counter to what the gallery moved towards is the probable cause for the disappearance. Ironically, her major iconographic oeuvre probably touched a larger audience than all the members of the circle combined, including O’Keeffe. Born in London of American parents, Smith’s first ten years were spent in Manchester, England, before she moved to Jamaica for about five years, where she developed her interests in folklore. At the age of 15 she enrolled in the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. What could not be taught was synaesthesia, her ability see music’s forms. She did not graduate from Pratt. After returning to England in 1901, she became a member of the famous occult group, The Golden Dawn. She illustrated for W.B. Yeats, Bram Stoker, and others. She was a seer painter with the spirit of innocence.100 Smith told Stieglitz that some of her works were automatic visions rendered while listening to music. Looking at her artwork from the three exhibitions displayed by Stieglitz, one quickly notices the foreshadowing of the major opus published in 1909, her art works covering the entire Tarot.101 She completed the task in six months. Only the major arcana had been illustrated in former decks; Smith was the first to fully illustrate each Tarot card.102 She offered him an exhibition of the complete set; apparently he did not respond to the offer. One of her instructors at Pratt was Arthur Wesley Dow, who also taught others destined to become members of the Stieglitz Circle, Max Weber, Charles Martin, and Georgia O’Keeffe. Dow’s interest in Japanese prints and its aesthetics were passed on to his students in lectures and later through his influential book, !112

Training in Theory and Practice of Teaching Art. 103 He taught that paint off the palette with its variety of hues, shapes, and lines could flow like music. His emphasis on line, color, and the Japanese use of light and dark was applied by these students when they moved into abstraction and their own forms of abstract portraiture. Also, Dow’s interests eventually lead to an appointment working in Boston with Ernest Fenollosa of ideogramme fame. Within the context of the avant-garde to come, Dow taught that art had a potential to capture the spiritual harmony coursing through everything, that art was also a social responsibility for uplifting society. He was a participating member of gatherings at the influential Baha’i Green Acre, as was Fenollosa. Through this center flowed the ideals of the Baha’i faith, Transcendentalism, Theosophy, Hinduism, Jainism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and other religions that were subgroups of one of the former. Later another future member of the Stieglitz Circle, Marsden Hartley, would find work there and become greatly influenced by these ideals. Pamela Colman Smith’s works, surely including the Tarot illustrations begun in 1909, were well known to members of the Stieglitz Circle. Neither de Zayas nor Hartley mentions her in their books. Hers were the first prominent iconographic works displayed at the gallery. Her Tarot series seems to parallel neo-primitive ikon paintings by individuals who would be instrumental in forming Russian Futurism. Her iconographic Tarot series can be viewed as ideograms or pictographs. Each card’s illumination centers on an archetype energized by its association with astrology, numerology, alchemy, and mythology. 104 The depth of each card indicates how much rock-art meaning and cultural value has been lost. Her work roots back directly perhaps 600 years, the past of the Tarot; rock-art images root back thousands and in some cases tens of thousands of years. Smith’s works had to have been topics of discussions, positive or negative. Obvious as well, her works were not projecting into the avant-garde future other artists of the Stieglitz Circle saw. Several used iconographics directly or indirectly, beginning with de Zayas, who credited Cubism and African sculpture as inspiration. I suggest her works became either a conscious or unconscious template !113

for the various forms of portraiture from the Stieglitz Circle between 1912 and the 1930s and beyond if one includes the iconic O’Keeffe works beginning in 1935. Consider Smith’s exquisite minimal use of balanced line and form harmoniously providing 78 layered and complete Tarot icons. The Stieglitz Circle translated her Symbolist and occultist iconographic format into modern art. Instead of an occult or mystic-art foundation that included Japanese and thus Zen Buddhist accenting, they attempted a scientific foundation for art. Hartley, though, did inject his spiritual and mystical accent. Some critics thumped him for it. In the late 1930s critics began piling negative commentary on the group to promote their own new favorites, pushing against mystical and spiritual inclinations while applauding materialistic non-referential expression. “Well, Hartley, I wasn’t expecting anything like this — I really like them — at last an original American.” Gertrude Stein then asked what he called these new pieces, to which Marsden Hartley replied, “automatic writings,” “portraits of the moment.”105 Later, he would tighten his description to “subliminal or cosmic cubism.”106 It was late 1912 after Stieglitz and others helped finance his first excursion to Paris, meeting avant-garde painters and quickly becoming a regular at Gertrude Stein’s salon. During the year he had been reading and digesting contemporaries, Henri Bergson (promoter of intuition and the non-rational) and Maurice Bucke (cosmic consciousness), the mystics Jakob Böhme, Meister Eckhart, Tauler, Henry Suso, and John van Ruysbroeck and the Bhagavad Gita.107 The new work came after a challenging exchange with Sonia Delaunay and Stein, being unable to answer their question as to what he painted. He returned to a shared studio space to paint anew. Her response helped more than any other. Stein told him to replace some of her Picassos and Matisses with his. Those soon were to appear in a Blaue Reiter group exhibition in Germany.108 Marsden Hartley was a painter, poet, and writer. Perhaps it is not surprising he created unique painted text work, but it was a long haul to the new beginning in late 1912; he was 35. Born in Lewiston, Maine, and raised in Cleveland, he graduated from Cleveland School of Art. There he was introduced to Emerson’s works; he carried the Essays with him for five years. After private lessons and five !114

years of art-school training in New York, he returned to his place of birth in 1906 to paint impressionistic landscapes. In 1907 he got a handyman job at Green Acre, the significance of which was previously mentioned. There he was introduced to new ideas and the older ideas, such as those of Emerson and Thoreau, which now acquired a greater depth and context. After moving around and developing neoimpressionistic landscapes some called mystical, Hartley met Stieglitz, who gave him a one-man show in 1909. Seeing the new art at 291, he wanted to see more; “This room was probably the largest smallest room of its kind in the world — certainly then — probably now.”109 He participated in Stieglitz’s 1910 Younger American Painters exhibition that included, among others, Max Weber, Arthur Dove, John Martin, and Edward Steichen. After his new start, Hartley went to Berlin in early 1913, followed by his important visit to Munich to meet Kandinsky. He also met Frans Marc and Paul Klee. They liked his paintings but did not understand them. Meeting and talking with Kandinsky reenforced his use of spiritual iconographics. The meeting also encouraged him to write an article favoring spirituality in art, opposing those whom he looked upon as materialists, that they did not rise into the intuitive to express material subjects. With this connection Hartley became a conduit between three circles: the Stieglitz Circle, the Stein salon, and the Blue Rider group. He returned to New York, exhibited at 291, and returned to Germany in early 1914. There he painted visual text art with archetypical iconographics, two series that insured his place in American art: The German Paintings and Amerika. 110 The former, a younger archetype compared to the latter, were sparked by German solider uniforms and military symbology. Amerika, sparked by American Indian artifacts studied and absorbed consciously and unconsciously from visits to major European collections of American Indian artifacts, was the first such works by a non-First Peoples individual.111 After the war Hartley traveled to and lived in various places before returning to Maine. Before Berlin, he went to the Southwest. In New Mexico he preferred Santa Fe to Taos. In both settings he attended First People’s dances that were !115

difficult for non-First People to witness, unlike years later; also, the First Peoples were not popular and remained under cultural attack by their oppressors. Because the federal government was trying to destroy First People culture, these dances were a target. He wrote an article defending their culture that appeared in the January, 1920, issue of Art and Archaeology and was reprinted in his book, Adventures in the Arts, a collection of his writings that appeared in publications such as Camera Work, Dial, Vanity Fair, The New Republic, and Yankee.112 Hartley turned away from text and iconographic-dominated work generally painting landscape. Nevertheless, several works within the frame of our topic were painted. His body of work earned him a distinguished, high position among American painters. Some of the later signature iconographic works were “Morgenrot” (Dawn), 1932;113; “Eight Bells Folly Memorial to Hart Crane,” 1933;114 “Tollan, Aztec Legend,” 1933;115 and “Sustained Comedy,” 1939. 116 The Crane Memorial was a tribute to his friend’s suicide. He continued to paint and write into until 1943, the year of his death. Two other Mexican artists, Torres Palomar and Jose Juan Tablada, who lived in New York during this pre-WWI period, also created visual language works. Torres Palomar created intriguing visual letter works he called Kalogramas. He defined a Kalograma, as “the psychological portrait of an individual expressed in color with the letters of his name.” The earliest mention of him and his Kalogramas was in The Craftsman, October, 1914.117 He went unmentioned by de Zayas in his book and by others. His definition seems a bit more than a coincidence given its closeness to de Zayas’s earlier conceived psychotypes. Nevertheless, he exhibited a series of Kalogramas in 291 Gallery, December, 1914 to January, 1915. Jose Juan Tablada, the second individual, composed several ideogrammes in 1915 while in New York City, five of which later appeared in his 1920 book, Li Po.118 Before fleeing Mexico and arriving in Texas in 1914 and then to New York City, he had visited Japan twice. He had been writing the first Spanish / Mexican haikus and was instrumental in introducing the form into the Spanish language long before haiku worked its way into American poetics. He maintained the spirit of haiku while not feeling or seeing the necessity of being bound by its 5x7x5 !116

syllable structure. Again, ahead of the informalities of American haiku. Open to the “new,” visually aware because his father was a painter, it seems an easy step to compose visual text forms, especially considering his exposure to Japanese calligraphy associated with haiku. Exposure to avant-garde forms in New York seems to have been the necessary creative spark as he followed intuitive impulses to expand his visual compositional field.119 Other pre 1920s American visual poems are to be found in publications such as Picabia’s 391,120 Blindman, Others, The Ridgefiled Gazook, New York Dada (one issue 1921), Rongwrong, The Soil, and TNT. These publications are a starting point for the recovery of overlooked, forgotten, or disappeared visual text artists and poets. For example, Blindman was a Dada magazine published by Marcel Duchamp, Beatrice Wood, and Henri-Pierre Roché in New York in 1917. The poem “Eyes” by Robert Carlton Brown, a visual poem, not a calligramme, foreshadows or anticipates the humorous Paul Reps and Kenneth Patchen visual poems.121 In its only issue, 1917, Rongwrong published a coded / anti-symbol poem by H.F. (?), “Portrait de M. et R. ensemble,” anticipating many Morse code, braille, strike-over, abstract-line, and wordless poems. Below on the same page, H.F’s typed poem anticipated e.e. cummings.122 Also, in its only issue, 1919, TNT 123

published a visual poem, “ETYMONS,” by Adon Lacroix, a pure concrete poem by the concrete poetry movement’s definition and yet went unnoticed or “disappeared.” Lacroix was a painter and a poet. Soon after coming to America from Belgium, she moved in with Man Ray, whom she married in 1915. Another poem, this one a collaboration, “la logique assassine” (her poem, his design), was composed also in 1919 (again, unnoticed or “disappeared”) but published first in a small edition in 1920.124 A 1919 piece by Picabia for the Zurich magazine Dada, edited by Tristan Tzara, is but one of countless intermedia / borderblur works by Dadaists.125 Note the reference to Picabia’s 391 magazine. These are but a few of many publications now available on the web to search for more work of the past in which styles and types currently thought new turn out to be reinventions.126



http://www.blakearchive.org/blake/indexworks.htm http://www.antoniomiranda.com.br/poesia_visual/ william_blake.html November, 2018. 2 Discussed previously within the calligraphy section, Byzantine visual traditions played a significant role carrying within them Pathagerian and Platonic ideals. Some of the ideas were useful among individuals and a few groups of the avant-garde. More background in last section. 3 Dencker, Text-Bilder: Visuelle Poesie International. 1972, p57 4 https://archive.org/stream/galgenliedernebs33541gut/pg33541.txt http://www.ulu-late.com/english/visualpoetry/ glossary/glossary.htm fig 105, November, 2018. 5 Müller-Westermann. Hilma af Klint: A Pioneer of Abstraction. 2013. 6 Bauduin. The Metaphysical Empiricism of Hilma af Klint, pdf https://www.academia.edu/4731567/ Tessel_M._Bauduin_The_metaphysical_empiricism_of_Hilma_af_Klint http://hilmaafklinten.louisiana.dk/ http:// kopenhagen.dk/magasin/magazine-single/article/hilma-af-klint-a-pioneer-of-abstraction/ November, 2018. 7 http://www.modernamuseet.se/stockholm/en/exhibitions/hilma-af-klint-2/about-the-artist/ http:// www.serpentinegalleries.org/exhibitions-events/hilma-af-klint-painting-unseen November, 2018. 8 https://www.york.ac.uk/history-of-art/news-and-events/news/2012/leverhulme-awards/ November, 2018. 9 Roberts. Albert Gleizes, 1881-1953: A Retrospective Exhibition. 1964 pdf http://www.archive.org/details/ albertgleizes1881robb p16 November, 2018. 10 Ibid., pp 16-17. 11 Roberts. p 30; painting http://www.wikiart.org/en/robert-delaunay/the-city-of-paris November, 2018. 12 Poetry, A Magazine of Verse, Vol 3, No.1,1913 pdf http://modjourn.org/render.php? id=1201879426921875&view=mjp_object p29. November, 2018. 13 The New Age, Volume 13, No.25, Oct 16, 1913 pdf http://modjourn.org/render.php? view=mjp_object&id=116533289678125 p 728 November, 2018. 14 Barzun. Orpheus: A World Chorus. 1962, p 23 & 135. 15 http://www.pinterest.com/pin/293437731941154462/ This excerpt is part of the third episode of Barzun's "Orhéide" written in 1913. https://soundcloud.com/kamaraka/ martin-barzun-1913 November, 2018. 16 http://clio.columbia.edu/?q=Henri+Martin +Barzun&datasource=quicksearch&search_field=all_fields&search=true November, 2018. 17 Two color plates: kempton, “BC: Before Concrete.” http://tipoftheknife.blogspot.com/2015/11/tip-of-knifeissue-22.html November, 2018. 18 F.T. Marinetti, Destruction of Syntax—Imagination without strings—Words-in-Freedom, http://www.unknown.nu/ futurism/destruction.html November, 2018. 19 Ibid. 20 Livshits. The One and a Half-Eyed Archer, 2004. 21 Zang Tumb Tumb http://bezalel.secured.co.il/8/gazoti19.htm November, 2018. 22 Carrà, Rapporto di un nottambulo milanese (Chronicle of a Milanese Night Owl) http://www.moma.org/ interactives/exhibitions/2012/inventingabstraction/?work=53 November, 2018. 23 Carrà, http://collagemuseum.com/carra001.htm Carrà, Interventionist Demonstration (Patriotic Holiday-Freeword Painting) http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/carlo-carra/interventionist-demonstration-patriotic-holiday-freewordpainting-1914-1914 November, 2018. 24 Carrà, Il Fanciullo Prodigio, http://www.wikiart.org/en/carlo-carra/il-fanciullo-prodigio-1914 November, 2018. 25 Carrà, The Pursuit http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/carlo-carra/omaggio-a-betuda-futurista-1915# http:// www.guggenheim-venice.it/inglese/collections/artisti/dettagli/opere_dett.php?id_art=170&id_opera=391&page= November, 2018. 26 Carrà, Noises of the Night Cafe http://www.michelebartlett.com/futurism/popups/carra4.htm November, 2018. 27 Carrà, Still Life with Soda Syphon http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/carlo-carra/still-life-with-syphon-sodawater-1914 November, 2018. 28 Carrà, Composizione con figura femminile http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/carlo-carra/composizione-con-figurafemminile-1915 November, 2018. 29 Carrà Il fiasco, http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/carlo-carra/il-fiasco-1915 November, 2018. 30 Carrà, Fiasco e Bicciere http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/carlo-carra/fiasco-e-bicchiere November, 2018. 31 Carrà, La composizione TA http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/carlo-carra/la-composizione-ta-1916 November, 2018.



http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2009/futurism/ http://blogs.guggenheim.org/checklist/excitingdiscovery/ http://exhibitions.guggenheim.org/futurism/words_in_freedom/ http://www.irre.toscana.it/futurismo/ opere/brani.htm books http://www.getty.edu/news/press/tumultuous_assembly/ http://www.getty.edu/news/press/ tumultuous_assembly/tumultuous_assembly_images_list.pdf Rainey, Poggi & Wittman, Editors. Futurism: An Anthology, https://escholarship.org/uc/item/5d82g3hz.pdf more http://photothek.khi.fi.it/documents/oak/00000177 November, 2018. 33 http://www.futur-ism.it/esposizioni/ESP2008/ESP20080215_MI.htm http://pictify.com/587932/rumoristicaplastica-baltrr-by-giacomo-balla-1914 November, 2018. 34 http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2012/inventingabstraction/inventingabstractionchecklist.pdf p9, November, 2018. 35 http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2012/inventingabstraction/inventingabstractionchecklist.pdf, p12 November, 2018. 36 Tisdal & Bozzolla, FUTURISM. 1977. p103 http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2012/ inventingabstraction/inventingabstractionchecklist.pdf p9. November, 2018. 37 Ibid., Tisdal . p100. 38 http://www.pinterest.com/pin/63894888437636004/ November, 2018. 39 https://curiator.com/art/gino-severini/gun-in-action November, 2018. 40 Affron, et. al. Inventing Absraction, 1910-1925, 2013, p139. http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2012/inventingabstraction/inventingabstractionchecklist.pdf p9. November, 2018. 41 Depero, Numerical Warlike Landscape, 1915 http://aestheticperspectives.com/inventing-abstraction-1910-1925moma/ Depero, http://designhistorymashup.blogspot.com/2008/04/fortunato-deperos-role-in-typographic.html November, 2018. 42 http://press.moma.org/wp-content/files_mf/6_checklist12.15.12final.pdf p17 November, 2018. 43 http://brbl-dl.library.yale.edu/vufind/Record/3447392http://monoskop.org/images/9/9b/ Cangiullo_Francesco_Piedigrotta.pdf November, 2018. 44 http://www.colophon.com/gallery/futurism/21.html http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=Francesco %20Cangiullo Twentieth-Century-Avant-Garde, Catalog 140, pp12-13 images 31 & 32 http://www.arslibri.com/ catalogues/cat140n.pdf November, 2018. 45 http://www.colophon.com/gallery/futurism/18.html Cangiullo http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=Francesco %20Cangiullo November, 2018. 46 Scudiero, The Italian Futurist Book. http://www.colophon.com/gallery/futurism/index.html November, 2018. 47 Calligrams http://ubumexico.centro.org.mx/text/Apollinaire_Calligrams.pdf Official site, http://www.wiu.edu/ Apollinaire/ November, 2018. 48 Bowlt and Drutt, Amazons of the Avant-Garde, 2000, p 131 http://monoskop.org/index.php?search=amazons+of +the+Avant-Garde&title=Special%3ASearch&go=%E2%8F%8E November, 2018. 49 Gray, The Russian Experiment in Art: 1863-1911, 1962. pp 109 & 96. http://monoskop.org File:Gray_Camilla_The_Russian_Experiment_in_Art_1863-1922_no_OCR.pdf for color #1: https://www.wikiart.org/en/mikhail-larionov/self-portrait-1910 “Portrait” http://03varvara.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/mikhail-larionov-a-self-portrait-1910/00-mikhail-larionov-aself-portrait-1910/ November, 2018. 50 Baraque, Le Portugais. Guggenheim Collection, http://www.artchive.com/artchive/B/braque/portgais.jpg.html November, 2018. 51 Baraque, Violin and Palatte. Guggenheim Collection, https://www.guggenheim.org/artwork/673 http:// www.georgesbraque.org/violin-and-palette.jsp November, 2018. 52 Baraque, Piano and Mandolo. http://www.georgesbraque.org/piano-and-mandola.jsp Guggenheim Collection,https://www.guggenheim.org/artwork/672 November, 2018. 53 Boccioni, States of Mind http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:States_of_Mind_The_Farewells_by_Umberto_Boccioni,_1911.jpeg November, 2018. 54 Note — he disappears Italian Futurists and seems pro Picasso. Taylor, Collage, The Making of Modern Art. 55 Uzdavinys, Algis. Orpheus and the Roots of Platonism, 2011, p 57. 56 Golden Section (The Section d'Or or Groupe de Puteaux was active from 1911 into 1914) included the Duchamp brothers, Albert Gleizes Jean Metzinger, Robert Delaunay, Henri le Fauconnier, Fernand Léger, and Marie Laurencin. 57 Kandinsky. Concerning the Spiritual in Art, 1977, p12. pdf https://ia800408.us.archive.org/30/items/ onspiritualinart00kand/onspiritualinart00kand.pdf, November, 2018. 58 Illuminated Red Book pages http://carljungredbook.blogspot.com November, 2018. !119

59 Alchemical

diagrams and iconography were part of his studies. In the context of visual text art this definitely an area of significant resource and study for someone. 60 pdf https://www.academia.edu/7860945/_Harmony_in_Greek_and_IndoIranian_Cosmology_The_Journal_of_Indo-European_Studies_30.1_2_2002_1-25 November, 2018. 61 https://www.moma.org/collection/works/26560?date_begin=Pre-1850&date_end=2018&locale=en&q=Kandinsky +&sov_referrer=collection&with_images=1 November, 2018. 62 http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/dada/collection.html and http://guity-novin.blogspot.com/2011/08/chapter-44-dadaismmeeting-point-of-all.html November, 2018. 63 http://www.designishistory.com/ November, 2018. 64 “L'Antitradition Futuriste, Manifeste=Synthese.”http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2009/futurism/ November, 2018. 65 Apollinaire, “lettre-ocean” http://www.pinterest.com/pin/339740365610021503/ Official site, http://www.wiu.edu/Apollinaire/ November, 2018. Guillaume. Calligrammes: Poems of Peace and War (1913-1916). Greet, Ann Hyde, Translator, 1980. Adema and Decaudin, APOLLINAIRE: Oeuvres poetiques, 1965. Bohn, The Aesthetics of Visual Poetry: 1914-1928, 1986. 66 291, Issue 1, p5 http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/dada/291/1/pages/005.htm November, 2018. 67 Dencker, Text-Bilder: Visuelle Poesie International, 1972. 68 Calligrams https://publicdomainreview.org/collections/apollinaires-calligrammes-1918/ paintings of Guillaume Apollinaire by others http://www.wikiart.org/en/marc-chagall/homage-to-apollinaire-1912 http://www.wikiart.org/ en/giorgio-de-chirico/portrait-of-guillaume-apollinaire-1914 http://www.wikiart.org/en/giorgio-de-chirico/thenostalgia-of-the-poet-1914 November, 2018. 69 http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/dada/Sic/index.htm November, 2018. 70 Birot, pdf http://www.rilune.org/images/mono8/13_Simon-Oikawa.pdf http://litteratureprimaire.eklablog.com/rosace-pierre-andre-birot-a97900203 November, 2018. 71 http://librorum.piscolabis.cat/2010/11/calligrames-i-altres-paraules-en.html November, 2018. 72 http://librorum.piscolabis.cat/2010/11/paraules-en-llibertat-catalunya-i.html November, 2018. 73 http://librorum.piscolabis.cat/search?q=Josep+Maria+Junoy+ http://librorum.piscolabis.cat/2010/11/calligrames-ialtres-paraules-en_29.html November, 2018. Dated 1916 also in Bohn, The Aesthetics of Visual Poetry: 1914-1928, pp 90-91. 74 http://librorum.piscolabis.cat/2010/11/calligrames-i-altres-paraules-en_29.html http://www.onedit.net/issue7/tima/ tima.html November, 2018. 75 https://www.scribd.com/document/365323123/Lopez-de-Abiada-Jose-Manuel-Guillermo-de-Torre-Versificador-yTeorico-Ultraista-cronista-y-Definidor-de-La-Vanguardia November, 2018. 76 Bohn, Willard. “Guillermo de Torre and the ‘Typographical Method’, pp 48-59. dada/surrealism No. 12: Visual Poetics, 1983. http://poesiaabierta.blogspot.com/2013/09/poesia-ultraista-poema-alfa-de-la-gran.html November, 2018. 77 https://blogs.princeton.edu/graphicarts/2010/08/vincente_huidobro.html http://www.pinterest.com/pin/ 418694096579528011/http://thales.cica.es/rd/Recursos/rd99/ed99-0055-01/camino.html November, 2018. 78 http://www.antoniomiranda.com.br/poesia_visual/vicente_huidobro.html November, 2018. 79 http://www.antoniomiranda.com.br/poesia_visual/vicente_huidobro2.html November, 2018. 80 Clemente Padin provides more information on Huidobro and work from Uruguay http://www.escaner.cl/ escaner21/acorreo.html November, 2018. For Ultraists and Latin Americans, see Bohn, Reading Visual Poetry. 81 Blast http://www.modjourn.org/render.php?id=mjp.2005.00.097&view=mjp_object, Blast 1 http:// library.brown.edu/pdfs/1143209523824858.pdf, Blast 2 http://library.brown.edu/pdfs/1144603354174257.pdf November, 2018. 82 Fenollosa. The Chinese Written Character As a Medium for Poetry, 1986. 83 http://idpuk.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-diamond-sutra-on-display-text-panel.html November, 2018. 84 http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/views-of-the-tesseract-1904/November, 2018. 85 Weber had a falling out with Stieglitz over the 1913 Armory Show. His work, as a result, was not shown. That year Weber had the first one man exhibition at a museum, thus becoming the first American modern artist to do so. 86 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marius_de_Zayas November, 2018. 87Marius de Zayas and Agnes Meyer. Eye Contact: Modern American Portrait Drawings from the National Gallery, http://npg.si.edu/object/npg_NPG.99.98. November, 2018. 88 Marius de Zayas. “Picabia.” Between Music and the Machine: Francis Picabia and the End of Abstraction, http:// toutfait.com/issues/volume2/issue_4/articles/rothman/rothman4.html fig 28 mathematical formulas. November, 2018. 89 Zayas, How, When And Why Modern Art Came To New York, 1996. p23. !120


http://www.francisnaumann.com/zayas/Zayas02.html http://www.francisnaumann.com/zayas/Zayas04.html http://www.francisnaumann.com/zayas/Zayas05.html http://www.francisnaumann.com/zayas/Zayas06.html http://www.francisnaumann.com/zayas/Zayas03.html http://www.photogravure.com/collection/searchResults.php?page=1&artist=De+Zayas%2C +Marius&portfolio=0&period=0&atelier=0&cameraWork=0&medium=0&keyword= November, 2018. 91 291 issues: http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/dada/291/index.htm November, 2018. 92 Bohn, Apollinaire and the International Avant-Garde, 1997. 93 Bohn, The Aesthetics of Visual Poetry: 1914-1928, 1996. p 50. 291 issue 2, p3 http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/dada/ 291/2/index.htm November, 2018. 94 Marius de Zayas and Francis Picabia, “FEMME!” http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/dada/291/9/index.htm November, 2018. For 291 Visual poems: see Marius de Zayas: How, When And Why Modern Art Came To New York, pp 74-74. 95 Ibid. p 51 96 Greenough, Modern Art and America: Alfred Stieglitz and His New York Galleries, 2001, p212 a ‘portrait’? 97 Ibid.; http://as.nyu.edu/content/dam/nyu-as/faculty/documents/Karmel_Picabia.pdf, p206, http://www.artnet.com/ artists/francis-picabia/mechanical-expression-seen-through-our-own-JP3DpfBekYApDZCphkCEvg2 November, 2018. 98 http://www.wikiart.org/en/max-weber/avoirdupois November, 2018. 99 http://www.wikiart.org/en/max-weber/slide-lecture-at-the-metropolitan-museum November, 2018. 100 For more, see: Craftsman 23 http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/DLDecArts/DLDecArts-idx? type=turn&entity=DLDecArts.hdv23n01.p0022&id=DLDecArts.hdv23n01&isize=M, https:// www.autostraddle.com/fools-journey-the-fascinating-life-of-pamela-colman-smith-267673/ November, 2018. 101 http://pcs2051.tripod.com/stieglitz_archive.htm November, 2018. 102 http://detarot.blogspot.com/p/een-ode-aan-pamela.html, http://hyperallergic.com/330790/the-unnamed-womanartist-revealed-in-the-monogram-of-your-tarot-cards/ November, 2018. 103 https://archive.org/details/theorypracticeof00dowa November, 2018. 104 Nichols. Jung and Tarot: An Archetypal Journey, 1980. 105 Hartley. Somehow a Past: The Autobiography of Marsden Hartley, 1996, pp 83-4. 106 Crunden. American Salons: Encounters with European Modernism, 1885-1917, 1993, p313. 107 Ludington. Marsden Hartley: The Biography of an American Artist, 1998, p 89 & 94. 108 Ibid., Hartley, Marsden. 109 Ibid. P61. 110 All paintings http://www.the-athenaeum.org/art/list.php?m=a&s=du&aid=1829 November, 2018. 111Hartley http://www.hollistaggart.com/artists/marsden-hartley “Navigating Marsden Hartley's Symbols” https://unframed.lacma.org/node/1433 “Out of Berlin, the Heart of an Artist Marsden Hartley Gets His Due in Berlin.” https://www.nytimes.com/ 2014/06/15/arts/design/marsden-hartley-gets-his-due-in-berlin.html?_r=1 November, 2018. 112 Ibid., Hartley. pp 97 113 http://www.wikiart.org/en/marsden-hartley/morgenrot-1932 November, 2018. 114 Detailed description of meaning. http://www.artbabble.org/video/npg/hideseek-eight-bells-folly-memorial-hartcrane-marsden-hartley November, 2018. 115 .https://new.artsmia.org/exhibition/american-modernism-selections-from-the-kunin-collection-3/ November, 2018. 116 https://www.wikiart.org/en/marsden-hartley/sustained-comedy-1939 November, 2018. 117 http://archive.org/stream/craftsman27newyuoft#page/96/mode/2up http://alphabettenthletter.blogspot.com/ 2013/08/lettering-kalogramas-and-kalogram.html color November, 2018. 118 http://fuentes.csh.udg.mx/CUCSH/argos/antologi/tablada.htm http://www.antoniomiranda.com.br/poesia_visual/ jose_juan_tablada.html November, 2018. 119 http://www.geocities.ws/blguido/u/CyH/jjt.htm http://siglo19uaslp.blogspot.com/2011/12/jose-juan-tabladaatisbo-de-la.html http://sigloxxmexicana.blogspot.com/2012/11/jose-juan-tablada.html November, 2018. 120 391 http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/dada/391/index.htm The University of Iowa has a vast Dada downloadable collection November, 2018. 121 http://www.toutfait.com/issues/issue_3/Collections/girst/Blindman2/3.html November, 2018. 122 http://www.toutfait.com/issues/issue_3/Collections/girst/RongWrong/7.html November, 2018. 123 Kuenzli. New York Dada. 1986, http://www.ieeff.org/dadashouted.htm November, 2018. 124 http://www.shepherdgallery.com/pdf/manray.pdf http://www.pinterest.com/pin/156148312050733169/ Oct, 2018. !121

125 126

http://www.moma.org/collection/object.php?object_id=35993 Oct, 2018. https://monoskop.org/Avant-garde_and_modernist_magazines November, 2018.


Russian Avant-Garde

At the beginning of my development I learned most of all from my French contemporaries. They stimulated my awareness and I realized the great significance and value of the art of my country—and through it the great value of the art of the East. Hitherto I have studied all that the West could give me, but in fact, my country has created everything that derives from the West. Now I shake the dust from my feet and leave the West, considering its vulgarizing significance trivial and insignificant—my path is toward the source of all arts, the East. The art of my country is incomparably more profound and important than anything that I know in the West (I have true art in mind, not that which is harbored by our established schools and societies). I am opening up) the East again, and I am certain that many will follow me along this path We have learned much from Western artists, but from where do they draw their inspiration, if not from the East? We have not learned the most important thing: not to make stupid imitations and not to seek our individuality, but to create, in the main, works of art and to realize that the source on which the West draws is the East and us. May my example and my words be a good lesson for those who can understand its real meaning. Natalia Goncharova, 19131


Russian Dawn The formation of the Russian avant-garde was divided along the archetypical cultural tectonic fault lines within group formations, developments, and morphings; the focused sources of inspiration and theoretical underpinnings expressed in manifestos and writings; and the individuals by their selective and rejecting associations. The attraction and rejection of western and central European culture and embracing (or not) of the Asian tilted layers created the overriding push-pull dichotomy forming its major divisive line. For a long spell that held sway over its Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg, anything non-higher class Russian was essentially off topic, especially the folk arts. Rejected, too, were the rich heritages found in its Greek Orthodox-informed art, its Islamic influences, and those more subtle influences drifting off the mixing of central Asian Silk Road cultures. This major fault line reasserted itself with the formation of Peredvizhniki (The Wanderers) in 1863, two years after the emancipation of the serfs. Fourteen artists broke with the Imperial Academy of Arts that had dominated art education, hence careers, since its founding in 1757 in St. Petersburg. The curriculum was focused on Neoclassicism. Direct European influence was maintained by sending the “best” students to art centers to its west. The Academy had refused student requests to broaden its subjects to include peasant Russian art forms and methods. The Peredvizhniki group went east into Russia to paint its people and create exhibitions for former serfs and the non-upper class. Art for the 14 was more than art for art’s sake; art had to be useful and socially relevant with the hope of aiding and abetting social change. This was new to Russian art. It should be stressed that Peredvizhniki was not associated with the Slavophiles, an anti-European, pro-Slavic Russian movement attempting to restore Muscovite and Greek Orthodoxy to former glory. However, the Slavic movements’ ideas and meaningful aspects of its scholarship were used later by the avant-garde. Within the growing cultural power shift back to Moscow and the new nationalism, a more significant rip in the cultural fabric came about as rich !124

capitalists began funding groups and forming individual collections outside the dominance of the government and aristocratic-supported Academy. What began as support by rich merchants in Moscow for the small Peredvizhniki, became over time increasingly influential as collections added contemporary European art to their Russian and Asian objects. Important to this discussion is the husband and wife team of Savva and Yelizaveta Mamontov, their creation of Abramtsevo, an artist colony that laid the foundation for a broader cultural impact by bringing musicians, artists, poets, writers, craft artists, and theatre artists together. From Abramtsevo came theatre sets designed by artists, not theatre craft persons, giving the presentation a unitary expression. From Abramtsevo was born the St. Petersburg Mir iskusstva (World of Art) association,2 the Moscow Art Theatre of Konstantin Stanislavsky, and the European “Russian Seasons” by Sergey Diaghilev. Diaghilev later revolutionized European ballet by continuing and expanding unitary performance concepts, bringing avant-garde artists from Russia and western Europe together through his Les Ballets Russes company performances. Mir iskusstva published and exhibited Western and Central European arts alongside Russians, exemplifying the Russian avant-garde’s conflict with authorities for openness in St. Petersburg against a more focused and growing nationalist art tendency in Moscow. Golden Fleece, the publication and exhibition series, promoting western and central European work alongside the new emerging Russian avant-garde, evolved quickly after the end of Mir iskusstva. Some suggest Golden Fleece was born out of the Blue Rose group. Russian collectors began buying the new artists; these collections were studied by members of the Russian avant-garde. The first Russian revolution, 1905, was a reaction to the defeat by Japan. Students who joined the protests and those who participated in student strikes were expelled from universities. Some of these individuals formed new associations leading to a new avant-garde. To placate the rebellion the government initiated liberal reforms, which in turn set in motion new idealistic hopes for the future. However, within a few years conservative factions regained the reins of power shutting off reform and cancelling many of the approved reforms. Part of the back!125

pedalling ushered in censorship of literature and art. Out of Golden Fleece evolved a constellation of short-lived, flexible, and inflexible alliances: Neo-primitivism (1908-1920), Union Of Youth (1910-1914), Knave of Diamonds (1910-1917), Hylaea (1910-1912) morphs into Cubo-Futurism (1912-1918?), Ego-Futurism (1911- 1917?), Centrifuge (1913-1917), Donkey's Tail Group (1911-1913) split from Knave of Diamonds, morphs into Rayonism and Everythingism (1913-1914), Rayonism dissolves and morphs into Suprematism (1915-1919), 410 (1918-1919), Suprematism morphs into Unovis (1919-1922), banishing mysticism, Constructivism out of Suprematism (1919-1930). Noteworthy also from Abramtsevo, through the religious devotion of Yelizaveta Mamontov, was its Greek Orthodox chapel. The chapel’s influence on the new emerging cultural scene ripples throughout the Russian avant-garde members’ focus on ikons and folk art, though unmeasurable, were significant not only because of the devotion to Orthodox authenticity and fidelity to peasant and folk-art craftsmanship detail and spirit, but also the colony’s participation provided hands-on experience with a vast array of art forms and materials, including ikons, tile work, wood carving, and fabric arts. Before substantial plans were drawn and set, many went on a survey excursion to Novgorod for a factual, detailed foundation and inspiration. The choice of Novgorod was not incidental. It had been the Orthodox center after the fall of Kiev to Mongols mid-thirteenth century. Cut off from southern Orthodox influences, ikon art evolved into its Russian expression. Is it a stretch to suggest the construction of the Abramtsevo chapel is an early avant-garde social sculpture or, in French Lettrists terms, a Situation? An overview of the aesthetic, philosophic, and spiritual atmosphere in which various individuals and groups existed fully, partially, or not at all is required to understand where the Russians were in agreement and disagreement with their avant-garde counterparts. While many of the ideas and theories where fundamentally identical in topic and by author, the various Russian groups formed different filtering lenses through which the ideas and associated ideals were understood and/or applied.


Russian Futurist Influences A probe into Orthodox ikon painting symbols and qualities seen in the most revered ikons peels back the cultural layers dividing East and West. The Christian religion was divided between the Church of the West and the Church of the East. The western branch was divided between Catholic and Orthodox. The Church of the East, Nestorians being the dominant congregation, considered heretical by both branches of the western Church, spread eastward into India, eastward along the Silk Road into China, and across to Japan. When Damascus fell in 635, fifty per cent of the world’s Christians lived to its east; most were Nestorians; the minority faith was the Jacobite Church, also known as the Assyrian Orthodox Church. At its peak in the thirteenth century, the Nestorian Church’s geographical footprint was larger than both churches of the West and its membership seems to have contained more than all other churches combined. Its indirect influence on what became Russian culture has yet to be measured. In the ninth and tenth centuries Russians were converted to Greek Orthodox Christianity, Kiev its center. After the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453, Russia became the Greek Orthodox center; Moscow became the third Rome. The long, ongoing, Russian ikon-painting tradition reached its pinnacle during this century in which ikon seer-painters created works based on direct experiences. Ikons of this level were considered equal to revealed scripture. These and other ikon paintings later influenced, Wassily Kandinsky, Natalia Goncharova, Mikhail Larionov, Kazimir Malevich, and others transforming Russian modern art and hence modern art generally. Islam, before and after the fall of Constantinople, contributed its influences. From the east, when most of its territory was incorporated into the Mongol empire, came influences from western Asia, India, China, and the Mongols. On the western side of Russia over the centuries, there was the ebb and flow relationship with Catholic and later Catholic and Protestant Europe. Releasing the Mongol grip, Russia, as empire, slowly acquired much of the land to its east previously controlled by its occupiers. One of the unplanned and !127

unintended consequences of Russian Orthodox mysticism was the process of its population pulled eastward into the northern forests inhabited by renowned hermits. Requiring complete solitude for spiritual reasons, a hermit moved out of a hermitage surrounded by a village or town and went deeper into the forest. Once, and if, such an individual gained fame of holiness, lay people sought the individual for blessings or advice. Eventually permanent huts stood near the hermit’s dwelling, or a hermitage would grow due to the hermit’s acceptance of disciples, followed by a town. Orthodox cosmology differs from Catholic cosmology, the Orthodox being closer to Eastern mystical traditions and experiences concerning essences and their energies descending from the unspeakable into the material plane. The Orthodox Church also remained open to ongoing revelation by its mystics, including its seer ikon painters whose highest works were considered equivalent to revealed scripture, contrary to the Catholics’ and Protestants’ torturous and deadly behavior towards their mystics. The Catholic and Protestant Churches hold the view, and hence the western European inheritance which flows into the arts, that the Trinity is a single essence, not distinct from its “grosser” energy. Such is not the view among the Orthodox, which informed the Russian avantgarde. The Orthodox view is that all essences and energies flowed forth from the creator, That Which Is. The essence and energy of the Son, Holy Ghost, and Sophia (wisdom) exhibit their own specific, inaccessible essence. Each definable, accessible energy flows from its own inaccessible essence. This cosmology is closer to those of Vedic India, Egypt, Hellena hermetics, Taoist and Zen Buddhist China, and Islam.3 An essence’s energy lacks the subtlety of its essence; being “grosser” the energy is available for direct human experience, Theosis, by those with cleansed mind and body. Theosis, the transforming beatific vision of the energy, was rendered by ikon painters. Another way to explain the differences between the Catholic and Orthodox views is that there exist no distinctions between the divine’s essence and attributes in the Catholic cosmology while the Orthodox hold that the essences and attributes are different. An attribute would be, in Catholic Christian terms, one of the names or divisions of the Trinity, or, in !128

Islamic terms, one of the 99 Beautiful Names of Allah. An attribute, then, is a named essence through the experience of its energy. The Eastern Church also recognized many beautiful names pre-dating the Islamic tradition by hundreds of years. Many of the ikon painters remain unknown; the function of the artist was service to the community, not to the ego. This anonymity is also found throughout the history of European illuminated manuscripts. Part of the ikon-painting process was dissolution of ego. Ikons were highly symbolic in imagery, including specific colors to convey meaning.4 During the late 1800s, ikons were thought to be been painted with dull colors until they became collected as art objects and cleaned. In the distant past application of an annual linseed oil coating as a cleansing and protection ritual came into play; over the centuries this hid the actual colors. The brilliant colors revealed upon the removal of the aged coatings came as a shocking and pleasant surprise. Intriguing to many was the painted rendering of light shining from within the ikon outward, the rendering of Taboric light described during the transfiguration of Christ on Mt. Tabor. This additional surprise, along with flatness of the entire image and a different approach to perspective, became useful to Russian avant-garde individuals interested in what became Neo-primitivism, followed by Rayonism and Suprematism. These movements’ influences formed a subtle and direct influence throughout the avant-garde. Unlike the Italian Futurists, who cut their past off as thoroughly as possible, the Russian avant-garde, looking into the past, embraced the concepts of the seer poet and seer painter, the exploration of the roots of Slavic proto-writing and writing, fairy tales, folk arts, including the lubok (a woodcut printed booklet mixing image and text, similar to an English chap book but originating from China), children’s toys, billboards, ikons, archaeology, and mythology, to name a few topics of their deep probings. To shape or sculpt the future person, they selected what they considered the best of the Russian experience and after thoughtful study added to contemporary late nineteenth- and early twentiethcentury developments. For example, they absorbed and applied the works of fourth-dimensional !129

geometry, Theosophy, and Anthroposophy, including the works of Ouspensky, Gurdjieff, and Steiner, along with new literary and painting approaches learned from those practicing to their west. Ouspensky’s works, The Fourth Dimension and Tertium Organum, provided innumerable topics for further research, including references such as Raja Yoga by Vivekananda. Kandinsky attended lectures by Rudolf Steiner. Such discriminating selection blossoms in cross-fertilization of cultural materials. Further, poets, writers and painters associated with what would become the Neo-primitives would seriously scrutinize ikon art, the board upon which it was painted, imagery presentation, and use and choice of color with its symbolic meaning. The latter cannot be ignored when viewing works during and after the 1915 exhibitions. Some of the Russian avant-garde formed an interest for their writing or art to push or pull a viewer or reader out of her or his mind; this came to be known as Zaum. Within this area of composition there was an interest in expressing Nothing as Something, which outside Russia would not occur until later. While the west and central European avant-garde’s interest in consciousness was a reaching into the intuitive out of which to create, the Russians hoped to propel the reader or viewer into the realm of pure experience before the mind begins its chatting commentary. Both groups sourced from fourth-dimensional ideas and Theosophy. Further, Russian delving into the seer-poet and seer-painter along with a closer attention to Ouspensky and Russian mysticism added other layers within the country. Kandinsky’s widely read and influential 1911 book, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, contributed to avant-garde thought throughout Europe, Russia, and America (as noted in the discussion of the Stieglitz Circle). Little if any recognition of the importance of this widely read small volume exists now. Among its emphases were the sacred moment of intuitive inspiration and the spiritual importance of art, which seems to have been the limits to the heights of consciousness the entire European and American avant-garde was capable or willing to reach for or discuss. Transcendentalism was not attempted as in an earlier American effort with influences from Europe, such as Goethe through whom the Sufi poetry of Hafiz was first translated into American by Emerson. !130

With this small background sketch comes the Russian avant-garde’s variety of freeing the word and its illumination that at times shared concepts or created parallel concepts with their westward peers and at times propelled concepts into new territories unexplored by these peers. The following survey would not have been possible in its attempted coverage of Russian visual text art without two books by Gerald Janecek: The Look of Russian Literature: Avant-garde Visual Experiments, 1900-1930 and Zaum: The Transrational Poetry of Russian Futurism. Providing samples by the more important individuals and at times detailed commentary on their works in both publications, he articulately examines the visual and sound poetry composed by the Russians. Camilla Gray’s groundbreaking The Russian Experiment in Art: 1863-1922 (revised edition) provided the foundation for understanding the Russian avant-garde painters’ developments, from which I have followed pathways closest to my interests.


Factions [T]he letter is not a symbol for expressing things, but a sonic note (not a musical one). And this note-letter is perhaps subtler, clearer and more expressive than musical notes. The passage of sound from letter to letter passes more perfectly than from note to note. *** Arriving at the idea of sound, we obtained note letters expressing sonic masses. Perhaps in a composition of these sound masses (former words) a new path will be found. In this way, we tear the letter from a line, from a single direction, and give it the possibility of free movement. (Lines are needed in the world of bureaucrats and domestic correspondence.) Consequently we arrive at a distribution of letter and sonic masses in space similar to painterly Suprematism. These masses hang in space and will provide a possibility for our consciousness to move farther and farther from earth. Kazimir Malevich5 Pre-1910 Russian avant-garde elements in visual and literary arts, painted and written by a few individuals, quickly evolved into unexpected forms and directions. New elements deemed worthy of pursuit from western Europe were quickly absorbed, mastered, and folded into unique Russian expressions taking the visual image and language beyond the limits of the mind. These Russian styles and types during the next several years became strong enough to significantly shape all of modern art. Their significant contributions would perhaps have been better known, thereby creating a more extensive influence, had the Russian Revolution not taken its dark direction under Stalin and had hard-line European and American politics not created their harsh negativity adding to the restriction of artistic and literary discourse and exhibition exchange. !132

Janecek suggests 1904 as the start of new visual text forms in Russia with Andrey Bely’s insertion of a series of short paragraphs presented as numbered stanzas in First Symphony, influenced he surmises by Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra. The same year Bely introduced the column poem, “World Soul,” in the book Gold in Azure.6 Like others among the international Symbolist poetic groups, music was the golden cap of the art pyramid. His column poems, like the compositional form behind Mallarme’s Un Coup de Dés Jamais N'Abolira Le Hasard, were conceptually kindred to music scoring, though poetically to breath scoring. Later, in 1909, for example, his “In Open Space” in Ashes and “To Enemies” in The Urn were published with a bit more visuality but not unlike Mallarmé.7 Bely expanded his visual elements, though remaining conservative and true to Symbolism. Futurism barely touched him, if at all. The following provides but a suggestion of the richness of ground-breaking works of the Russian avant-garde period between 1905 and 1919 and beyond. To underscore this richness I will at times go into greater detail about a few individuals whose stories I felt important. During this brief span, the Russian contribution to pan-European art was important in all aspects of art, including painting, literature, dance, and music. Freeing of the word by the Russian avantgarde painters and poets had wider and deeper intentions than those of the Italians and the later Dadaists. The Russian Futurists were not structured like the Italians with a single formation headed by one personality, also its financial supporter. Neither a single individual dominated the Russian avant-garde, nor did one group dominate, though it seems those centered in Moscow, if one had to pick, were the more influential ground-breaking outriders. While individuals and groups did not always agree, leading at times (more often than not) to public clashes and theatrical debates from which the movements aided in financing themselves, some individuals, especially the poets, crossed group boundaries to work together or with artists who illustrated their books. Again, the Russian Futurists’ ever-changing associations were: Hylaea, Knave of Diamonds, Union Of Youth, 8 Neoprimitivism, Cubo-Futurism, Ego-Futurism (St Petersburg group),9 Centrifuge, Rayonism, Everythingism, Suprematism, Unovis group, and Constructivism. !133

Adding to the conflicts was deep division between those residing in St. Petersburg (more westward-looking and hence called conservatives) and those living in Moscow (Russian/Slavic-oriented).10 Besides manifestos, a primary internal source I suggest is the poet Benedikt Livshits’ memoir that illuminates portions of the activities between 1911 and 1914, The One and a Half-Eyed Archer. Livshits was present at the entrained, southbound moment to the Burliuk family home when Vladimir Burliuk showed his brother David a photograph of a Picasso cubist painting Alexandra Exter had brought from Paris.11 This was in December, 1911, a sparking moment soon giving birth to the Hylaea avant-garde group in January, 1912. The group included David Burliuk, Vladimir Burliuk, Benedikt Livshits, Velomir Khlebnikov, Vasily Kamensky, Aleksei Kruchenykh (who coined the term Zaum, 1913), and Vladimir Mayakovsky. Hylaea became the Cubo-Futurists, centered in Moscow. The year before, 1910, the Russian press had already pinned the Futurist identification tag on Russian avant-garde individual and group collars before they eventually caved, accepting the term. After the groups decided to promote themselves as Futurists, a couple of years later following the lead of Natalia Goncharova they painted their faces; the men stuck spoons in their lapels. Incensing the press and the establishment created free publicity for the movement’s factions that quickly became an exploited and enhanced promotional echo chamber for events with which to raise funds to support the cause. This was the year Mikhail Larionov and Natalia Goncharova traveled south to the Burliuk family home, about which nothing seems to have been preserved. We can surmise parts of the visit’s influence on the couple by reading Livshits’ own encounter with peasant art, peasant life, landscape, archaeological sites, and holding Scythian artifacts in situ a year after the Larionov and Goncharova visit. Two years hence, Goncharova would belittle westerners’ search for primitive authenticity by reaching outside their own landscape and history to African sculpture. She saw Cubism in Scythian sculpture.12 During the next two years Larionov, Goncharova and others remained colleagues with the Neo-primitives of Hylaea. Then the split occurred forming two distinct Moscow groups. !134

1910 was also the year Larionov and Goncharova met and accepted into their aesthetic circle Kazimir Malevich (created Suprematism, 1915), who had been working in parallel but essentially alone. Vladimir Tatlin (founder of Constructivism, 1919) was steered into Russian-oriented art by Larionov and Goncharova and then exhibited with them. He joined, along with Malevich, their break-away circle, The Donkey's Tail, that morphed into Rayonism and quickly afterwards into Everythingism. Another important figure in this Moscow group was Il'ia Zdanevich (with his brother created 41o, 1917), who became an important theoretician, book designer, and publisher. Zdanevich was integral in the development of theory along with Goncharova and Larionov, helping to flesh out the arguments supporting the split in Moscow between the Neo-primitives, leading to Rayonism, out of which later Malevich developed Suprematism in opposition to the Cubo-futurists, the former Hylaea. Had the Russian press not been lazy, paid attention to the differences between the Italian Futurists and its own avant-garde by noting the constant change of groups and members, by noting the divide between the western-leaning St. Petersburg groups and the Russian-focused Moscow groups, and studied the manifestos and exhibition literature, likely the term Futurists would never have stuck. After the media’s constant shallow comparison with the Italians, members of the Russian avant-garde grudgingly decided to accept the term, but to their advantage, as noted above, by provoking controversy in hopes of increasing notoriety and income. The cave-in took place first in St. Petersburg with the announcement of the Ego-Futurists, followed in early 1912 when members of the Neo-primitivist group, Hylaea, published A Slap in the Face of Public Taste, announcing the Moscow group, Cubo-Futurists. The Cubo-Futurists, however, quickly fragmented into two groups, the Cubo-Futurists and Donkey’s Tail. Among those who formed the Donkey’s Tail, which soon changed to Target, were Natalia Goncharova, Mikhail Larionov, Kazimir Malevich, and others.13 Russian Cubo-futurist painting was influenced by Cubism, mainly the Italian Futurist, dynamic cubist painting, in part because of a shared fascination with energy, movement, and the machine. However, they painted from a Russian point !135

of view and experience expressing deeper layers of energy and material within the various layers of Russian culture as well as the under-layer of orthodox cosmology previously discussed. Moreover, they rejected and resented Marinetti’s attempt at a pan-European hegemony, changing one academy for another. Marinetti visited Russia in 1913. During the tour, he planned to meet and visit David Burliuk (“father” of Russian Futurism),14 Vasily Kamensky, and Vladimir Mayakovsky were in Moscow; however, they had scheduled a tour in southern Russia, some have said to avoid him, others that their tour was fixed before the visit notification. Had they been in the city, undoubtedly Marinetti would not have been received as the great guiding founder and light of Futurism he held himself so dearly to be. The Russian Futurist approach to freedom of the word leading to the modern visual poem had formed perhaps as early as 1907 when Larionov painted his watercolor, “Rayonnisme aux Lettres.”15 If this date cannot be trusted, certainly Larionov’s “Soldiers,” versions one and two, 1910, can be considered the earliest expression of Russian Futurist elements that also included a freeing of the word. Version one predates Marinetti’s manifesto. Larionov continued mixing text with his Neo-primitivist paintings. At the same time, Velimir Khlebnikov’s poem, “Bobeobi,” 1908-09, contained neologisms, foreshadowing a radical shift coming in 1913. Painters added more text as they moved further into Neo-primitivism unknowingly preparing for a grand collaborative period with their writer, poet, and musician friends. By mid-1912, collaborative manuscript books began appearing by Kruchenykh and Larionov, followed by a volume by Kruchenykh, Khlebnivov, and Goncharova. These and other collaborative manuscripts continued over the next few years. Goncharova began her famous painting, “The Cyclist,” in 1912 and completed it in 1913. She also painted an overlooked masterful abstract work, “Emptiness,” that I’ll attend to below while discussing her influence. In Germany, Kandinsky’s Klange, a collection of woodcuts and sound poems, was published; these poems were performed at the 1916 opening of Dadaism in Zurich. 1913 was a productive and important milestone year for the Russian avantgarde. Its individuals continued evolving in directions and with intentions beyond the Italian Futurists and other groupings in the Latinized alphabet European zones. !136

Russia’s avant-garde continued to generate new alignments and collaborations while receiving increasing inspirations from its immensely rich multicultural heritage with which to propel its own uniqueness into a significant contribution to the wider trans-European avant-gardes. Stravinsky’s Parisian debut in 1913 of Rite of Spring, choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky, design by Nicholas Roerich (discussed somewhat later when in the States), and danced by Diaghilev’s Les Ballets Russes, is but one of many course-changing events begun earlier with Diaghilev’s Russian art exhibitions and ballets in Paris. Les Ballets Russes performances forever altered Europe’s ballet.


Zaum In 1913, Aleksei Kruchenykh announced Zaum (beyond the mind ) in Declaration of the Word As Such. Quickly afterwards came his first zaum poem, “Dyr Buk Schyl,”16 appearing in his book, Pomade.17 Most Italian Futurist visual poetry and word paintings were created as nonlinear onomatopoeic texts. The later dadaists seemed mostly focused on word fragmentation. The innovative Russian poets and artists were more interested in an array of interwoven approaches, visual and sound, some of which combining both visual and sound aimed to shift language outside traditional cognitive boundaries beyond the mind. Individual differences applying the new approach to the poem ranged from where thought begins at one end of the “spectrum” to the moment of pure sensation prior to thought’s formation.18 To do so, they created non-rational sense-scapes sculpt by neologisms, new sounds from words and phrases for canvas, page and sound space, based on a wide field of research. Their poetic sonority was their attempt to lift, pull, or push listeners and viewers/readers out of their minds into the realm of the intuitive.19 As of that time, no one using Latin-based alphabets created with such purpose. The intuitive for them, the non-Russian avant-garde, was for sourcing their own work, not propelling a reader or viewer into that level or beyond. Zaum was based on a multitude of studied fields: psychology, psychophysiology, linguistics, philosophy, folklore, metaphysics, shamanism, the occult, and mysticism. To illustrate a bit more the background depth, including linguistics, besides peering deeper into Slavic and other languages, they studied the language of gestures and formation of words by children, as well as children’s artwork. Within poetics, they looked to poet and painter seers and shamanistic trances. Within the framework of metaphysics, Theosophy was given much attention, especially Peter Ouspensky’s works, The Fourth Dimension and Tertium Organum, which provided innumerable topics for further research, including references to Raja Yoga by Vivekananda. Kandinsky had attended lectures by Rudolf Steiner. For more insight about their study and application of the intuitive faculty see Janecek’s discussion in Zaum. 20 !138

Zaum — sound, text on paper and painted canvas — I see as an exploration and analysis on the edges of a deeper inner spiritual work fully at home within wider Russian religious understanding and experience, but, for the most part, caught in the sticky web of the Eurocentric modern mind-set wherein such probings became more of a psychic manifestation and exploration for materials and theory of a self-expression than the self-individuated spiritual work exemplified previously among Russian mystics. At least they, more than their bombastic, promachine, pro-fascist, pro-war, extroverted, and self-centered Italian counterparts, were 1) actually discussing, expressing, composing, and painting the “higher” or “invisible” layers of symbol, letter, and word meanings using resources from multiple perspectives; and 2) trying to apply their understandings. Enough evidence to illustrate a clear distinction between the Russian avant-garde and most 21

of the more materialistic west European isms. In pursuing an understanding of their spiritual or mystical gestures and meanings, it should be noted that from some perspectives in the present moment, the spiritual technologies and literatures of India, China, Japan, Korea, Islam’s Sufism, and Catholic mystics are more open and by far more readily accessible than a century ago. However, the Chinese and Japanese short poem form had an obvious influence on the Russian poetic shorthand or compactness. In 1913, Vasilisk Gnedov’s Death of Art was published in which appeared his famous “poem of the end” — except for the title, the page was blank. This may be the first modern visual text use of a blank page expressing nothing that means everything. He was a member of the Ego-Futurists, one of the few from St. Petersburg able to work across the deep divide between them and the Moscow groups. The earliest Russian calligramme may be Khlebnikov’s “so,” composed in 22

1912-1913. Vasilii Kamenskii is another significant Russian Futurist freeing the word from its long typographical imprisonment, sentenced by the printing press. Of the many visual poems he composed, the important series, TANGO WITH CROWS: Ferro-concrete Poems, beginning in 1913, published in 1914. In the spirit of Russian multimedia and collaborative efforts, at the end of 1913, the first Futurist opera — form-breaking in set, costumes, music, and lyrics !139

— Victory Over The Sun by Mikhail Matyushin, Kazimir Malevich, and Alexei Kruchenykh was performed in St. Petersburg. Woven into the lyrics were several 24

Zaum poems;23 a later revised performance by El Lissitzky took place in 1923. Malevich, while working on this project, drew his first sketches of what later became his famous “Black Square” Suprematist work. Malevich designed the stage set as a light box; the costumes he also designed, when lit, transformed the characters into hard-edged kinetic sculptural entities, cubic life forms mimicking a Zaum action lyricism. Compton proposes that this may be the first theater production use of a console manipulating simultaneously numerous spotlights in the hands of an individual rather than one person per spotlight, providing Malevich a technology for his unprecedented lighting effects. The end of 1913 has Natalia Goncharova exhibiting over 750 works in Moscow, the first retrospective of an avant-garde artist in Russia. The exhibition, covering the full spectrum of her interests, became a critical and popular success earning her fame and acceptance as an avant-garde artist in Russia. In 1914, she had a followup exhibition in St. Petersburg.25 Creatively, as I see it, 1915 can be considered equal in importance to 1913, perhaps more important because of the leap made by Kazimir Malevich’s new work based on ikons and his founding of Suprematism, “terminating” Russian Futurism.26 The urgencies created by WWI had ended the public’s attention to and romance with the Futurists. Avant-garde movements throughout Europe fragmented. Greatly reduced in numbers, the war having forced most individuals back to their home nations, the advancement rate of new ideas and techniques dependent on international cross-fertilization crawled to a near halt, except for three islands upon which Dada incubated (New York City, Barcelona, and Zurich). The Russian avant-garde, however, increased in numbers with individuals returning, allowing an increase of internal cross-fertilization of ideas and techniques. Unknowingly, at the same time the stage was being set for individuals to participate in the forthcoming reorganization of art institutions the Revolution would bring, cracking open once again along cultural fault lines.


Kazimir Malevich I have transformed myself in the zero of form and dragged myself out of the rubbish-filled pool of Academic art. I have destroyed the ring of the horizon and escaped from the circle of things, from the horizon-ring which confines the artist and the forms of nature.27 Kazimir Malevich Malevich organized in 1915 the Suprematism exhibition, “0.10, The Last Futurist Exhibition.”28 Vladimir Tatlin, Ivan Puni, Liubov Popova, Ivan Kliun, Ksenia Boguslavskaya, Olga Rozanova, Nadezhda Udaltsova , Nathan Altman, Vasily Kamensky, Vera Pestel, Maria Ivanovna Vasilieva, Anna Michailovna Kirillova, and Mikhail Menkov also participated. In a radical shift of subject matter for Zaum painting, Malevich took not a step but a mind-stopping leap for conceptual art and literature with zero. This zero was an experience of not a nothing but a something, a new beginning for art. Reinventing or evolving the ikon to painted geometric forms reduced art to its barest conceptual, iconographic, and minimalist essentials. The iconographic colored shapes, viewed as symbols in the Zaum context, form before the mind is able to comment with thought contaminated by language. He invented a new art vocabulary reaching for a universality, much like the earlier Zaum works by Khlebnikov. Khlebnikov’s idealism, expressed in poems and theories of pure sound-based neologisms, was his attempt to create a new universal language understandable by all. For Tatlin, Malevich had gone too far into a mysticism he could not accept, nor could he accept Malevich’s call for a new religion of art. Tatlin demanded and was given his own separate exhibition room. Thus began a rift despite the fact that the ikons of the fifteenth century Northern School of Russia were also an early and important influence on his painting and becoming a Neo-primitivist associated !141

with those who split from Hylaea/Cubo-Futurists. The rift between the spiritually inclined — including those with subtly nuanced expression and others with a deeper mysticism among the avant-garde — and those opposing any spirituality having embraced a purely materialistic, utilitarian art grew over the following six years. While Tatlin was to formally establish Constructivism four years later, in 1919, its roots were seen in this exhibition. During his earlier visit to Paris he met Picasso. In his studio Picasso gave him first-hand insight into Cubist theories. Tatlin also saw Picasso’s modeled forms, inspiring his sculpture and sculptural relief. Yet, as with most Russians, the models and theories were shredded. He reformed them into Russian “Asian” sensibilities through Theosophical, fourdimensional, metaphysical, and contemporary theory filters, insuring a new rooted expression. Eventually the purely materialistic, utilitarian Constructionists rose to dominate the new hierarchy of the Revolution, and the rift moved from disagreements to struggles for control. The mystically inclined lost; many immigrated westward. Elements of Suprematism and Constructivism revolutionized typography, design, and other forms of an enhanced visual appearance to language in books, book art, painting, and collage, to name a few. After the Nazis closed the Bauhaus, the Hungarian Moholy-Nagy founded the New Bauhaus in Chicago at the end of the thirties that soon became known as the Chicago School of Design. Today it thrives under the name of the Illinois Institute of Design. Prominent leading-edge designers, artists, and musicians taught there and contributed to vanguard art and concepts that remain influencing forces to this moment. Earlier, Nicholas Roerich had immigrated to Chicago at the invitation of the Chicago Art Institute. He was to become an influential visionary painter and for painted word and iconographics, an influence on Raymond Jonson whose story comes later (see Santa Fe Transcendental Group and Abstract Symbolism, section 4). Mentioned above was Malevich’s 1913 sketch for “Black Square.” The 1915 painting, “Black Square,” can be viewed along with its 1917-1918 end-of-series companion, “White on White,” as definitive zero-ness works, ending one era and opening another in art, that is to say, going beyond zero. One era ends and out of its !142

zero is born the new era. By reaching zero, his geometric forms or language was visually translated or rendered out of a conclusion of Ouspensky’s Theosophical metaphysics, from which Malevich called for a new era and ism. At its extreme was his call for a new religion of painting. In a sense one could say he intuited and observed an end caused by WWI, forecasting in this sense the end of a Russia he and all others knew as the seeds for the Russian Revolution sprouted all around them; this end, however, made him and others victims of their misread vision, dream turned nightmare. The shock for the Russian viewer was “Black Square” displayed in the Red Corner of the exhibition room, the ikon location, the northeast corner. The Neoprimitivists would have marveled (at the deep link) that in a few years archaeologists in the Indus River Valley would uncover a major advanced civilization with large cardinal direction-aligned planned cities built with uniform, ideal, 1x2 ratio bricks. There were no temples; homes contained small altars in the northeast corner. A square in which a corner is used indicates not a four-sided or four-directional symbol, but an eight-directional symbol, the four main directions and their bisection. In both cases, this corner represents the northernmost movement of the sun at standstill on the summer solstice. These cities were flourishing 5,000 years ago. Red is the color of a rich sunrise. Taoist monks in China held a special green paper at sunrise to absorb the sun’s energy, radiance, and essence; the character of the sun was written in red on green. After a ritualized time, the paper would be dropped into water, mixed until it disappeared, and then the water drunk as sacrament. Of interest in the present context is that if the sunrise color was an exact complement, the green turned white accentuating the red ideogram of the sun, white on white except the ideogram. Malevich in the exhibition also had a painting titled “Painterly Realism of a Peasant Woman in Two Dimensions,” also known as the “Red Square.” This “Black Square,” not its 1913 draft, was painted on the day of the summer solstice, 1915, adding even deeper layers to the synchronicity of Malevich’s intuitive leap whose black can also be seen as symbolizing an eclipsing all art before that moment as well as the black of the mystery of divinity before experiencing its energy riding hidden essence. !143

Following the 1915 0.10 exhibition Malevich continued painting suprematist works pursuing the zero point beyond, which in painting was not possible. The works with their variety of colors and geometric shapes iconographically represented energies moving through time. He finally reached the zero point in 1918 with “White On White.” This ikon square, a white square upon another offcenter, tilted square, reached the closest one could to the transcendental moment where Taboric light emanates a recognizable form. This is also the year of the revolution he and most others of the avant-garde wholeheartedly joined to pursue what they believed would become the future society they had been dreaming of and working towards as Futurists.29 He stopped painting for many years, wrote and edited his theories, and taught art, only to fall out of favor because of his mysticism and abstraction. When he began painting again he was forced to be representational. He died of cancer in 1935. Some contend “Black Square” foreshadowed Constructivism founded by Tatlin, who removed the mysticism inherent in Suprematism to move towards a non-spiritual utilitarianism. For me, it (Suprematism) explores a new direction, an intuitive leap beyond Rayonism. Note, too, that Malevich’s new art predates American Abstract Expressionism by 30 years.30 On the surface these seem close movements. The difference between their respective sourcing and intentions is not 30 years but use of iconographic symbology versus its eradication. Multi-level referencing and abolition of external referencing are two examples of a gap too wide to join. The former is rooted in deep tradition, the latter in rejecting tradition. His Suprematism and other geometric works imply a soundless Zaum expressing sensations of essence and energy formations announced in the intuitive’s radar before the mind is able to ripple a hint of a thought.31 If so, this points not only to his interest in Ouspensky,32 but perhaps implies a gesture to Platonic mysticism of ideal forms reaching back through Pythagorus to the mythically shrouded Orpheus.


I perceived a link between peasant art and that of the icon: the art of the icon is the superior form of peasant art. I discovered in icons the entire spiritual side of the peasant epoch, I understood the peasants through icons.33 Kazimir Malevich Here are samples of works by the founder of Suprematism, Kazimir Malevich, and his famous student, El Lissitzky, whose works, like his teacher’s, still dazzle. More concerning Natalia Goncharova’s influence on Kazimar Malevich follows after a look at the Russian Futurist book-art collaborations.34 Previously, a bit about him has been mentioned and more will follow, sharing perhaps a somewhat different background influence on the roots of his 1913 breakthrough that lead to the “last futurist exhibition” in 1915. First, however, some works.

• “Prayer,” 190735 • “Self-Portrait,” 190736 • “Sketch for Fresco,” 190737 • “Triumph of the Skies,” 190738 • “Woman Picking Flowers,” 190839 • “Oak and Dryads,” 190840 • “Two Dryads, “ 190841 • “Shroud of Christ, “ 190842 • “Pilot, “ 191343 • “Green and Black, “ 1913 44 • Tope book cover, 191345 • “Arithmetic, “ 191346 • “Musical Instrument, “ 191347 • “Demon, “ 191448 • “Lady At Poster Column,”191449 !145

• “Living In a Big Hotel,” 1914 50 • “Black Square,” 191551 • “White on White,” 1917-191852 • other Suprematism works 53 El Lissitzky, “Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge”54


Painters Freeing the Word The following pages give an overview of painters freeing the word — and its parts — onto canvas. Here are samples of a group unequaled in the West. As previously mentioned, the radical freeing the word in Russia begins with Mikhail Larionov’s “Soldiers” (versions 1, 1908 or 1910 and 2, 1909 or 1910).

• “Soldiers” (version 1), 1908 or 191055 • “Soldiers” (version 2), 1909 or 191056 • “Self Portrait,” 191057 • “Soldier at Rest,” 191158 • “Soldier on a Horse,” 191159 • “Promenade.” “Vénus de Boulevard,” 1911-191260 • “Venus, “ 191261 • “Four Seasons series: ‘Spring,’ ‘Summer,’ ‘Happy Autumn,’ ‘Winter,’” 191262 • “Portrait of Vladimir Tatlin,” 1913-1914 63 • “Portrait of the Artist Natalia Goncharova,” 191564


Succeeding painters followed with painted letter, word, text, and fragment text images as material, or sound rendered on canvas. Areas of interest include Neo-Primitivist and Cubist work. While many canvases can be examined and discussed, other studies have already covered much of this material. Here a brief listing will suffice.

Ivan Puni • “Russian Roulette,” 1912-191465

• “Synthetik Musiker,” 1914 66 • “Window Washing,” 1915 67 • “Composition,” 1915 68 • “Le Coiffeur,” 191569 • “Whist,” 1915-191670 • “Flight of Forms,” 191971 Mikhail Menkov 72

• “Tram No. 6,” 1914 73 • “Newspaper,” 1918 74 • “Symphony” (Violin), 1918 75


Amazons Unlike other European avant-garde groups, several women participated as equals among the Russians. Among them were Alexandra Exter, Lyubov Popova, Nadezhda Udaltsova, Olga Rozanova, Varvara Stepanova, and Natalia Goncharova. Referring to Rozanova, Goncharova, and Exter, Livshits wrote, “These three women were always on the forefront of Russian painting.” He also paid them the high compliment, Amazons, Scythian riders whose strength was such that French painting and culture, though influential, was unable to dominate and possess them. Works to the west were absorbed and then added to the rich palette already bedecked with an overwhelming Russian cosmology on its grand scale across to peasant and folk art. The term found its way into a book title and an exhibition whose works stand along with any of the period.76 These women were not only peers on an equal footing with the men, but also were leaders and collaborators. Some were also travellers to the west, meeting and collecting avantgarde works, absorbing new techniques, then subducting them into their Russian approach and sharing upon return. Many of them participated in the collaborative book projects as illuminators of the texts. Most of the selection below focuses on painted language.77 Alexandra Exter78 • “Still Life,” 191379 • “Boulevard parisien, le soir,” 1914 • “Dynamique de couleurs,” 191480 Lyubov Popova81

• “Italian Still-Life,” 1914 82 • “Composition,” 1914 83 • “Composition,” 1915 84 85 • “Portrait of a Philosopher,” 1915 • “Violin,” 191586 !149

• “Subject from a Dyer's Shop,” 191587 88 • “Still Live with Guitar,” 1915 • “The Traveler,” 1915 89 • “Objects,” 1915 90 Nadezhda Udaltsova91 • “Seamstress,” 191292

• “At the Piano,” 191493 • “Yellow Jug,” 1913-1914 94 • “Guitar (Fugue),” 1914 95 • “Restaurant,” 191596 Olga Rozanova97 98

• “Public Auction,” 1914 • “Writing Desk,” 191499 • “Metronome,” 1915 100 • “Moderne Movie Theater,” 1915101 • “The Barber Shop,” 1915102 • “A Blue Fan,” 1915103 • “Avage du Linge,” 1916104 • Book collaborations105 106

Varvara Stepanova • “The Third Warrior, illustration for Aleksei Kruchenykh, Gly-gly,” 1919• “Cover for Rtny kholme,” 1918 • Sketch for “Study the Old, but Create the New,” ca. 1919

• “Construction,” 1921 107



Natalia Goncharova


• “The Evangelists,” 1910-1911 • “The Little Station,” 1911 110 • “Icon Painting Motifs,” 1912111 • “Linen,” 1913112 113 • “The Cyclist,” 1912-13 • “Woman With Hat,” 1913 114 • “Electric Lamp,” 1913115 • “The Weaver,” 1913116 117 • “Emptiness,” 1913 • “Letter,” 1913118 • “Mystical Images of War,” 1914119 • “Mask,” 1915120 • Book collaborations121


Lubok Before, during and after Russian Futurism, many works were published in handmade books utilising handwriting, woodcuts and rubber-stamps rather than type, as the Italians. To be clear, these elements did not replace typography but rather offered the opportunity to coalesce the Russian peasant arts of the past and contemporary arts expressed through the rapidly evolving avant-garde expressions in order to set in motion the formation of the future person. The handmade books were inspired by the Russian peasant and folk woodcut printed lubok. While the handwritten publications were numerous, numerous too were typographic books of poetry exploring new visual layouts. Originating in China, the lubok was a woodcut printed booklet, a mixture of image and text; it was similar in size to an English chapbook. Important to the poet and writer were the illustrations created by their artist friends who were working at first in the context of Neo-primitivism, followed later with occasional cubistic flourishes while holding “true” to a Russian perspective, and more importantly, in a radical abstract leap with Suprematist elements giving rise in the Twenties to Suprematist and Constructionist books. This approach was another difference from those further west until Constructivist type design became the new standard. The exploration of the roots of Slavic proto-writing, writing, fairy tales, ikons and mythology all played a role. The Russian Futurists viewed handwritten text as visual image, not merely text. They observed that handwriting is unique to the individual’s given psychological emotional state at the moment of the writing. The same poem would look different, subtle to obvious, on another writing. Lithographic reproduction tore away the printing press homogeny. At the same moment overlapping or parallel works were written, painted, composed and performed in France, Italy and to a much smaller but nevertheless important degree, London and New York City. The Russians fine tuned their stated theories in these collaborative efforts. Their handmade images were to them equivalent to painted brush strokes. My way of thinking is that they were freeing the word from the confines of type in which language had become frozen by metal and the left to !152

right march across and then down the page.122 Also, Zaum and the later Constructivism used type design in a new boldness with awe-inspiring presentations combining book art and graphic design. Together, these three (graphic design, handwriting, and rubber stamps) spawned considerable Russianborn visual text art experimentation far ahead of those westward. The Russian Futurist bookmakers were more numerous and multi-talented than their western peers. The collaborating writing and illuminating women and men were multi-skilled poets, writers, and painters. In the States, Marsden Hartley and e.e. cummings were rare examples of poet and painter, but neither blended the two arts; cummings did not word-paint, and Hartley did not compose visual poems. Vladimir Mayakovsky was not rare in Russia. Mixed-media artists and poets Paul Reps and Kenneth Patchen developed their expressions in the next generation in America, both maturing early and becoming masters by the late 1940s. During the latter part of the twentieth century, interest in the movement grew as a result of scholarship, such as Janacek’s, which lead to retrospective exhibitions. After the fall of the Soviet Union and an opening of Russia, more details and examples of works became accessible, showing the importance of this part of the history of modern art in general and in particular the Russian contribution to visualization of language in the visual poem and other forms of the visual text arts. Greater details and internal particulars of the cultural influences creating and informing the Russian avant-garde’s Zaum, Constructivism, and other movements are beyond the scope of this writing. For comprehensive literary sources, read the works of Gerald Janecek and Vladimir Marko; for a comprehensive overview of visual art and its influence on the poets, read Camilla Gray and Benedikt Livshits.


The following books, many of which are collaborative lexical, visual text, and poetry and art, speak for themselves in quality and quantity.124


1910 • A Trap for Judges, V. Burliuk, Kamensky, Niesen, N. Burliuk, Gouraud, Carnivore, Gay, D Burliuk, Milica , Livshits, Kruchenykh and Khlebnikov125 1912 • Igra v Adu (A Game in Hell), Kruchenykh, Khlebnikov, Malevich and Rozanova126 • Slap in the Face of Public Taste: Poetry, Prose, Essays; D. Burliuk, N. Burliuk, Kandinsky, Livshits, Mayakovsky and Khlebnikov 127 • Worldbackwards, Kruchenykh, Khlebnikov, V. Tatlin, Rogovin, Larionov and Goncharova 128 • Starinnaia liubov (Old Fashioned Love), Aleksei Kruchenykh129

• Klange, Wassily Kandinsky (some give date as 1913) 130 1913

• Poluzhiboi (Half Alive), Kruchenykh and Larionov131 • Sadok sudei II (A Trap for Judges II), D Burliuk, N Burliuk, Guro, Khlebnikov, Kruchenykh, Livshits, Mayakovsky, Militsa, and Nizen 132 • Igra v adu : poėma (A Game in Hell), second edition, Aleksei Kruchenykh133

• Me!, Vladimir Mayakovsky134 • The Devil and the Speech Writers, Kruchenykh and Rozanova135 • Vzorval (Explodity), Kruchenykh, Kulbin, Goncharova, Rozanova and Malevich136 • Osliniy Khvost (Donkey's Tail and Target), Goncharova, Malevich, Zdanevich, Shevchenko, Bobrov, Tatlin, Chagall, et al. 137

• Vozropshchem (Let Us Repine), Kruchenykh, Rozanova and Malevich 138 • Utinoe gni︠ e︡ zdyshko durnykh slov (Little Duck’s Nest of Bad Words) Aleksei Kruchenykh and Olga Rozanova139

• Death of Art, Vasilisk Gnedov140 • Победа над Cолнцем (Pobeda nad Solntsem, Victory Over The Sun), Matyushin, Malevich and Kruchenykh 141 1914 !154

• Трагедия (Tragedy), Mayakovsky, V. Burliuk and D. Burliuk142 • Tė li lė, Kruchenykh, Rozanova and Kulʹbin143 • Naked Among the Clad, Kamensky V. Burliuk and D. Burliuk144 • TANGO WITH CROWS: Ferro-Concrete Poems, Kamensky V. Burliuk and D. Burliuk145

• Мистические образы войны (Mystical Images of War), N. Goncharova 146 • VZORVAL (EXPLODITY, second edition), Aleksei Khlebnikov, Al'tman, 148

Goncharova, N. Kul’bin, and Malevich; 147 Kruchenykh and Rozanova. 1915 • Zaumnai︠ a︡ gniga (Playing Cards in Art), Aleksei Kruchenykh and Olga 149

Rozanova • Izbornik stikhov, 1907-1914, (Selected Poems, 1907-1914), Kruchenykh, Filonon, Malevich, Mayakovosky, and D. Burliuk 1916



• Vselenskaia voina ( Universal War), Aleksei Kruchenykh 1917 • Война и мир (War and Peace), Vladimir Mayakovsky 1918


• Мистерия-Буфф, (Mystery-Bouffe), Vladimir Mayakovsky 1919

•Had Gadya: The Only Kid, El Lissitzky154 1920s155



Natalia Goncharova, Reading “The Four Evangelists” We acknowledge all styles as suitable for the expression of our art, styles existing both yesterday and today—for example, cubism, futurism, orphism, and their synthesis, rayonism, for which the art of the past, like life, is an object of observation. We are against the West, which is vulgarizing our forms and Eastern forms, and which is bringing down the level of everything. The ray is depicted provisionally on the surface by a colored line. With this begins the true liberation of painting and its life in accordance only with its own laws, a self-sufficient painting, with its own forms, color, and timbre.156 Natalia Goncharova Natalia Goncharova deserves a longer visit, especially her influence on Kazimir Malevich. Natalia Goncharova was a significant provocateur for the Moscow avant-garde. She instigated controversial fashion and fermented even higher decibels of critical media and general public outrage through face painting. These public relations antics by her and others raised their profile, thereby increasing income at paid events, a primary goal. Before these so-called outrages, she was already a “notorious” figure. In 1910 she had been arrested on charges of pornography for publicly exhibiting nude paintings, the first woman artist to have done so in Russia. She was found innocent in the trial. These and other activities by the Russian Futurists raised the level of controversy to scandal. Then, her ikonbased works were removed by the censors from the 1912 Donkey’s Tail exhibition. The charge was that her ikon work could not be associated with an exhibition with such a title. Included in the removal was the work regarded by many of her peers as the most important of her ikon works and by negative critics the most !156

outrageous and scandalous, “The Four Evangelists,” portraits of the Four Apostles holding scrolls of their respective Gospels. Out of frustration, rage, or for other unknown reasons, she destroyed several ikon-based works without which the story of her religious works forever remains incomplete. There were plans for her to illuminate a new church that did not take place, most probably the obvious reason being she left Russia. The political environment was dark; liberal reforms set in motion by the revolution of 1905 were rapidly eroding. Goncharova’s mother came from a family of priests, her grandfather had taught at the Moscow Theological Academy, and her father was an architect and mathematician. Until age eleven she lived in a rural setting on an estate south of Moscow where she experienced peasant life, arts, and crafts. She attended a church filled with bright ritual objects and decor. These rich experiences informed her work throughout her life. She was not just working and reclaiming objects to render anew; she was a practicing, mystically inclined Orthodox who seemed intent in updating these arts for the new era. Mikhail Larionov and Natalia Goncharova met at university in 1901, quickly becoming lifelong partners. Though Natalia was a student of sculpture, Mikhail urged her to pick up a brush. Together, they became an exponential force altering Russian and modern art across various modes of expression and geographies. They dug deep into Russian cultural history, folk, and ikon art to formulate Russianinspired and rooted avant-garde movements. They collected and promoted ikons and luboks. They wrote manifestos with definitive, supporting theories. Their skill allowed quick absorption of west European art movements and techniques they as rapidly subducted them into their own Russian forms. They illustrated books with other avant-garde artists, writers, and poets. They designed sets and costumes. They organized and brought together important avant-garde art and literary figures that gave birth to Neo-Primitivism, Rayonism, and Everythingism. They organized exhibitions that included Golden Fleece, Knave of Diamonds, Donkey’s Tail (the last Neo-primitive exhibition), Target, and the exhibition of ikon-painting originals and lubok prints. They also exhibited in Kandinsky’s Blue Rider shows and elsewhere in Europe. !157

Natalia Goncharova was the first Russian avant-garde artist to have retrospective exhibitions, with over 700 works (averaging one work per week of creative energy), Moscow, 1913, and St. Petersburg, 1914. Being a woman made this all the more tradition-breaking and irksome to the conservatives. Soon afterwards, she left Russia with Larionov to work with Diaghilev's Les Ballets Russes in Paris. They died in poverty in Paris. In 2008 a work of hers sold in London for nearly 11 million dollars. Neo-primitivism was a blending by Goncharova, Larionov, and others of Symbolism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, and Cubism from the west and Russian art influenced by the east. Blended as well into the new Russian avant-garde expressions were forms and colors found in the peasant arts such as embroidery, painted wooden trays, signboards, lubok, etc. Goncharova extracted decorative forms from these models for which she was both commended and condemned. The aspect in the new palette that cannot be underrated came from the study of ikons beginning with the traditional story of Christ washing His face in a towel upon which His image appeared. The towel was given to Ananias with a letter to give to his king of Edessa, who was healed by the image. This is known as The Image Not Made By Hands. Ikons were always highly symbolic, spiritual, and stylistic. Once the ikons’ original brilliant colors were recovered, interest soared. They were cleaned by collectors after centuries of abuse by an annual ritual application of linseed oil that unintentionally added another layer of darkness while preserving the original image. Goncharova was very familiar with the evolution of ikon style over the centuries and the major changes once Moscow became the third Rome in Orthodox terms. She was mainly influenced by the master works of the Novgorod and Moscow high periods. In 1910, Kazimir Malevich met Mikhail Larionov and Natalia Goncharova, quickly becoming part of their circle and embracing their aesthetics. The obvious closeness of subject matter and titles between Goncharova and Malevich is visible in their paintings and has been commented on in detail by others. Also obvious were their different styles and uses of geometric forms, which shows at the same !158

time an independence on his part. With each step in movement and evolution of new forms and theory leading to a new movement or group split, Malevich remained loyal to the couple. While many have pointed to Goncharova’s direct and indirect influence on Malevich in Neo-primitivism, the split from the Cubo-futurists, and joining Rayonism, there seems an open, unexplored pathway either overlooked, or perhaps on my part a wishful intuitive insight that misfired as a projection. My “reading” of her important work (soon to be focused on) was something I would not have seen years earlier. In between then and now I have been pursuing studies into seer and self-realized poetries of South Asia, China, Japan, the Sufis (including their Science of Letters), and Christian mystics as I prepare for the Rune volume, The Way of the Poet (see Appendix 8 for a timeline of these poets). I have in this effort rendered many South Asian Vedic, Sufi, Sikh, and Bhakti poems or selected stanzas or lines. Also, I am re-evaluating the Chumash and their Way, the First People, dating back 20,000 years to the present, who once inhabited the land upon which I live and move.157 This work has heightened my awareness of the spiritual expression with explicit and implicit renderings of essence and energy, generally ignored or rejected in my culture. Given Goncharova’s influence on Malevich, I wondered what affect, if any, existed regarding Suprematism despite her having left Russia in 1914, and more particularly, his most famous painting, “Black Square,” mentioned above, exhibited exactly in the ikon-designated space, and the equally important “White Square.”158 After Larionov and Goncharova left Russia, was there was any influence Goncharova had on his forward step out of Rayonism into his founding of Suprematism, its purely geometrical metaphysics reaching for an artistic rendering of universal truth found only by leaping outside the mind, that is, Suprematism as Zaum painting but with mystical expression? Before the 1915 exhibition, his Suprematist work was kept from public view, except for two paintings he lent to Alexandra Exter for her to show. Malevich painted a series of works during 1907 and 1908 based on his studies and interest in ikons, folk, and peasant art as noted above with links. Some works !159

in 1908 were folk and mythological mixed with ikon influences leading to the last ikon-based work of that series begun in 1907. These works were painted before meeting Larionov and Goncharova. Goncharova began painting ikon-based work earlier and continued to do so not only on canvas but later for Les Ballets Russes 159

sets and costumes. Malevich’s early paintings belonged to his Symbolist period. As with many Russian artists of that moment and earlier, the Symbolist literary movement was a significant influence. The reverse was occurring in and from Russia, across Europe, and into New York City with painters influencing lexical poets, the new visual poets, and visual text artists. There are the issues of symbol, subject, and color in the examination of their pre-meeting, their independent ikon-based works, especially color. Already stated, the symbolic use of color by the ikon painters was thoroughly studied and known. Goncharova and Malevich (others also) reformulated the ikon into individualized expression while remaining within tradition. The use of gold framing the black around the head of Jesus by Malevich in “Shroud of Christ” (1908) is the point of entry for this short tangent: in this case, black underscores mystery.160 For readers familiar with Pseudo-Dionysius, The Cloud of Unknowing or other west European mystical writing and poetry following this negative theosophy pathway, such darkness was not evil but the barrier hiding the unknowable. This is the closest one can approach the unknowable in western Christian negative theology. In Vedic terms, darkness symbolizes ignorance, lack of true knowledge; true knowledge within this discipline meant to be self-realized. Further, one familiar with Vedic symbology can view the golden layer to represent manifested reality within the golden egg, the Hiraṇyagarbha, formed by Om/AUM. The outer shell being golden light and the black perhaps representing the unmanifested. Also note that this is an “x-ray” or two-dimensional representation of what would be spherical, that only the outer golden light layer representing the radiant light of the divine would be visible, not the luminous black symbolizing the unknowable inner layer one cannot move through which a western European would assume in meaning suggesting the unknowable itself behind and supporting everything.161 Again, in the East black means lack of a direct knowing of the mystery, a mystery that can be experienced !160

as gnosis. It can be penetrated unlike the impenetrable wall in western Christianity (more on this in the last section, “Esoteric Hebraic and Christian Calligraphy”). When it comes to the unmanifested in Vedic sensibilities, one leaving the manifested into the unmanifested never returns. White symbolizes, as discussed above, specifically Taboric light. Generally, it represents purity, holiness, or the divine’s light. One manner of reading the “Black Square” painting could be the unknowable surrounded by Taboric light, or the unknowable, the inexpressible radiating Taboric light, or a choice between purity and holiness as they “read” just as easily. Another reading-seeing is black representing the unspeakable and its unknowable essence surrounded by its pure energy of divine light. Malevich reduced the ikon to the ideal square with two colors representing the mystery one can only experience. After he experienced it in a zero moment, a new beginning follows. “Reading” the “White Square” follows similarly with a further reduction of the perfect square and a single color. Recall that in 1913 a new poetic was announced, and independently two ground-breaking works appeared moving poetry and art to the Zero Zone. This is the year Russian Zaum (transrational) was coined by Alexi E. Kruchenykh in his Zaum manifesto, Declaration of the Word As Such, and his first Zaum poem, “DYR BUK SCHYL” appeared. One of the works was written by Vasilisk Gnedov, Death of Art, a collection of what can be called mono-stitch poems, single-line poems with title. Most discussed is the last page, empty except the title, “poem of the end.” The other work, of course, was Malevich’s sketch of “Black Square.” Gnedov was only one of two individuals associated with the St. Petersburg Egofuturists, the two groups in Moscow respected and worked with. These two works, book and sketch, remain the center of attention as declarations moving art and literature to the limits of expression some label as zero. This zero, as previously mentioned, is not an empty nothing but a nothing that is something, a something also found and seemingly overlooked in Goncharova’s 1913 “Emptiness.” Goncharova’s “Emptiness” can be interpreted as follows: blue is a symbol for divinity itself and white, its divine light. The painting creates an optic effect if stared at, a resonating of the divine mystery out of which emptiness becomes full !161

of manifested essence followed by energy and then its densest forms, material. Study again Goncharova’s “The Four Evangelists” begun three years before the above-revisited 1913 works. These portraits of the four Apostles were painted by an individual steeped in religious traditions intellectually and emotionally informing her Orthodox mysticism. A woman painting ikon-based work was revolutionary, directly confronting tradition and upsetting its conservative selfappointed defenders. She was a seer, in her case a seer painter, in the truest sensibility and historic tradition many Russian Futurists consciously pursued but few achieved. She also was bringing ikon painting into the present and projecting it into the future. Neither these characteristics nor the atmosphere and teachings of Theosophy — especially the works by Peter Ouspensky, The Fourth Dimension and Tertium Organum — have been applied or suggested in commentary on “The Four Evangelists.” The only approximately accurate comments were by Jane Ashton Sharp,162 whose work I learned of after doing my research on ikon history. One feature she mentions is where the Orthodox place the Apostles’ ikons in their churches, on the Iconostasis central doors. Sharp also mentions the similarity of the gestures of the Apostles in “The Four Evangelists” and those in ikons. Goncharova’s critics missed both of these important features. There Sharp stops. Separating the nave from the sanctuary, the Iconostasis is a wood screen sturdy enough to hold many ikons. The four Apostles appear on the two central doors through which only the select may pass into the inner sanctum, the sanctuary. Other doors provide access for the less select. Art criticism after 1939 changed focus to process, application of paint, and object. It rejected symbols with their layered meanings and the artist’s intent, eventually demanding that an art work not refer outside itself. This also negates iconographic usage. It proselytized materialization of meaning and content at the expense of the intuitive. The ‘beyond’ was of primary interest to the avant-garde before WWI, whose influence waned during the 20s into the 30s for many reasons. Comments on Goncharova’s “The Four Evangelists” to date have been contained to brush strokes, figure, appearance, and finger gesture. Even with such limitations, note the lack of commentary on the central image of each portrait, the scrolls !162

exuding light identical to the Evangelist’s halo. Most strikingly, no one seems to have read these scrolls, nor compared them with other ikons with open books or scrolls to determine whether such scroll illumination existed before her textual statements. Recall that painted letters and symbols began appearing on publicly displayed modern art works in 1909 by Cubists in Paris. In Russia a year later full text appeared integrated with image on canvas by Larionov. 163 He seems the first to have painted full text rather than letters or symbols, the same year Goncharova began the “The Four Evangelists.” When gently turning revealed sacred text over on its side, one discovers three layers of meaning: literal, psychological, and spiritual. One does not see, but can experience, what the text maps and is afloat upon: the energy formed by the essence of its divine revealer. This is what silently emerges from each of the Evangelists’ scrolls. After studying hundreds of ikons with open Bible books and scrolls, I could not find one that shares or is a forerunner of the experience painted by Goncharova. This is an ultimate spiritual expression of modern painted visual text art echoing older mystic poetic lyrics of merging light flashes and floods found in Islam’s Sufi poets, India’s Bhakti poets, and teachings using blank paper as correspondence found in Ch’an/Zen Koan traditions. Three years later the wordless visual text work that should be added to a wider discussion would be painted by Max Weber, “Slide Lecture at the Metropolitan Museum,” 1916.164 Another addition to such a discussion could be the 1908 “Shroud of Christ” by Malevich already discussed. It seems from my research Malevich mentioned neither the “Shroud of Christ” nor “The Four Evangelists” when writing about his Suprematism ikons. Goncharova, the seer painter and mystic, presents the four Apostles as if we, the viewers, meet one or all four in a natural setting. Perhaps we meet them alone. Perhaps they are talking to a crowd, small or large. Haloes identify them as holy. They offer not words. They offer an experience beyond words found in the Gospels where John the Baptist speaks of baptism by the Holy Spirit. They offer not to the select belonging to a theological pecking order, but to poor and rich equally. They !163

offer Theosis, the transforming beatific vision. This experience has names in other religious traditions discussed in passing or detail in literatures familiar to the Russian Futurists as well as imbedded in the traditions of the Russian mystics. I suggest Malevich, being present during the creation of “The Evangelists,” knew and absorbed this true seer revelation, and took the next step out of a Neoprimitivist expression into his ikon-based Suprematism: “But I have transformed myself in the zero of form and through zero have reached creation, that is, suprematism, the new painterly realism—nonobjective creation.”165

Bowlt. Russian Art of the Avant-Garde: Theory and Criticism 1902-1934. 1976, pp 55-57. http://monoskop.org/ index.php?search=russian+futurism&title=Special%3ASearch&go=%E2%8F%8E November, 2018. 2 Publication and exhibitions, main influential period 1898-1904. 3 Islam’s Sufi Science of Letters provides greatly detailed experiential poetic esoteric descriptions on numerous Essence and Energy arrays. These, and others cosmologies explain the decent and ascent of consciousness and the various stages. Details found in last section, “Among the Seers.” 4 http://www.icon-art.info/location.php?lng=en&loc_id=2 November, 2018. 5 https://monoskop.org/ File:Janecek_Gerald_Zaum_The_Transrational_Poetry_of_Russian_Futurism_1996_Introduction.pdf November, 2018. Or, Janecek. Zaum: The Transrational Poetry of Russian Fururism. p 201 6 Janecek. The Look of Russian Literature: Avant-Garde Visual Experiments, 1900-1930, p 26, p 47. 7 Ibid pp 48 - 49 8 Union Of Youth anthology, Trap for Judges http://elib.shpl.ru/ru/nodes/3203-sadok-sudey-vyp-1-spbzhuravl-1910> May 2015 9 An aspect of Ego-Futurism was sublimation of the ego; ie less ego for the future person. 10 http://monoskop.org/images/9/98/ Lawton_Anna_Eagle_Herbert_eds_Russian_Futurism_through_its_Manifestoes_1912-1928.pdf November, 2018. 11 She was acquainted with Braque, Picasso, Apollinaire and others of the avant-garde to their west having traveled back and forth since 1907. 12 At the time she was unawares the statues were not Scythian but of the Middle Ages. 13 Including Marc Chagall, Lyubov Popova Vladimir Tatlin, Kiril Zdanevich, Alexandra Exter, Vasily Kandinsky, El Lissitzky, Ivan Pouni, Alexsandr Rodchenko, Olga Rozanova, Vatvara Tatlin, Nadezha Udaltsova and others. 14 http://www.rusartnet.com/biographies/russian-artists/20th-century/Avant-Garde/futurist/david-burliuk http:// www.wikiart.org/en/david-burliuk, https://www.moma.org/artists/877?locale=en November, 2018. 15 http://www.mutualart.com/Artist/Mikhail-Larionov/BE2F5699D6806A93/Artworks, http://www.artvalue.com/ auctionresult--larionov-michel-fyodorovich-18-rayonnisme-aux-lettres-3718270.htm November, 2018. 16 http://glukhomania.ncca-kaliningrad.ru/pr_sonorus.php3?blang=eng&t=0&p=4 November, 2018. 17 http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=gri.ark:/13960/t3kw6hr5m;view=1up;seq=1 November, 2018. 18 Exchange between Marinetti & Livshits, The One and a Half-Eyed Archer, pp 129-133 or Laskewicz, The Russian Fuurist Vision http://www.nachtschimmen.eu/zachar/writer/9103_RFV.htm# November, 2018. 19 http://glukhomania.ncca-kaliningrad.ru/pr_sonorus.php3?blang=eng&t=0&p=4 http://monoskop.org/images/a/a8/Baku_Symphony_of_Sirens_Sound_Experiments_in_The_Russian_AvantGarde.pdf November, 2018. 20 Ibid., Janecek, Zaum, 1996. or http://monoskop.org/images/2/2c/ Janecek_Gerald_Zaum_The_Transrational_Poetry_of_Russian_Futurism.pdf pp37-45 November, 2018. 21 The Russian Avant-Garde Book. http://www.moma.org/exhibitions/2002/russian/index.html November, 2018. 22 From an email exchange with Gerald Janecek: date in the work sited, fn 109. http://www.contimporary.org/text/ view/7 November, 2018. 23 See “Victory Over The Sun,”p 4-7 http://monoskop.org/Symphony_of_Sirens http://shpl.dlibrary.org/ru/nodes/3179#page/1/mode/grid/zoom/1 http://monoskop.org/images/f/f4/ Kruchenykh_Alexei_Victory_Over_the_Sun.pdf 1913 Costume designs http://max.mmlc.northwestern.edu/mdenner/Drama/plays/victory/1victory.html poster http://www.pinterest.com/pin/63824519689738748/ November, 2018. !164


http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/guides_bibliographies/lissitzky/6_victory/index.html http:// www.dataisnature.com/?p=1907 November, 2018. 25 http://www.tretyakovgallerymagazine.com/articles/1-2014-42/goncharova-name-had-ring-victory November, 2018. 26 There is a curiosity to refer back to: tantra song. A question can be asked if Malevich had been exposed to such work and if so by who? Followers of Gurdjieeff suggest Malevich was influenced by his ideas. http:// gurdjieffclub.com/en/articles-essay-arkady-rovner-g-i-gurdjieffs-influence-in-russia-in-the-1960s1970, https:// www.brainpickings.org/2011/12/06/tantra-song-siglio/ Works in the book, Tantra Song: Tantric Painting from Rajasthan by Franck André Jamme can provoke this question, especially plate 4, the Shakti/Kali black square with female black triangle. http://sigliopress.com/to-abstract-to-abbreviate-to-finally-glimpse-the-whole-tantra-song/ November, 2018. 27https://ia600302.us.archive.org/22/items/ArtInTheory1900-1990/ ArtInTheory1900-1990.pdf#page=603&zoom=auto,-359,600, p166, November, 2018. 28http://monoskop.org/images/b/bc/ Malevich_Kazimir_1915_1976_From_Cubism_and_Futurism_to_Suprematism.pdf Aiello, Head-First Through the Hole in the Zero: Malevich’s Suprematism, Khlebnikov’s Futurism, and the Development of a Deconstructive Aesthetic, 1908-1919. http://emajartjournal.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/ thomasaiello.pdf “Black Square” & other works http://monoskop.org/Kazimir_Malevich Supremist paintings by Malevich http://www.ibiblio.org/eldritch/el/mpix.html http://www.rusartnet.com/russian-artworks/taking-in-the-rye and The Rupture of Logic http://www.radford.edu/ ~rbarris/art428/Malevich.html November, 2018. 29 https://hyperallergic.com/460030/the-soviet-art-school-that-cemented-suprematisms-spot-in-history/? utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=September%2028%202018%20Daily%20-%20The%20Soviet%20Art %20School%20that%20Cemented%20Suprematisms%20Spot%20in%20History&utm_content=September %2028%202018%20Daily%20-%20The%20Soviet%20Art%20School%20that%20Cemented%20Suprematisms %20Spot%20in%20History+CID_ade74acc2516e4135b6a92d258987ea1&utm_source=HyperallergicNewsletter 30 Samples see Milner, Suprematism. http://www.moma.org/collection/details.php?theme_id=10202 add Suprematism to search. http://www.moma.org/collection/artist.php?artist_id=3710 November, 2018. 31 samples http://www.pinterest.com/dissident69/suprematism/ November, 2018. 32 Ouspensky, Tertitum Organum The Third Canon of Thought Key to the Enigmas of the World, revised,1922. see chapter XXII pp 270-305 & table, “Table of the Four Forms of the Manifestation of Consciousness, p 337. http:// www.sacred-texts.com/eso/to/to01.htm First edition in Russian was 1912. November, 2018. 33 Néret. Kazimar Malevich. Taschen, 2003. p 21 34 timeline http://mostrestoriche.palazzoforti.it/Malevich/biografia_en.html November, 2018. 35 http://www.wikiart.org/en/kazimir-malevich/prayer-1907 November, 2018.November, 2018. 36 http://www.wikiart.org/en/kazimir-malevich/self-portrait-1907 November, 2018.November, 2018. 37http://www.wikiart.org/en/kazimir-malevich/sketch-for-fresco-1907 November, 2018.November, 2018. 38 http://www.wikiart.org/en/kazimir-malevich/triumph-of-the-skies-1907 November, 2018.November, 2018. 39http://www.wikiart.org/en/kazimir-malevich/not_detected_219728 November, 2018.November, 2018. 40http://www.wikiart.org/en/kazimir-malevich/oak-and-dryads-1908 November, 2018.November, 2018. 41 http://www.wikiart.org/en/kazimir-malevich/two-dryads-1908 November, 2018.November, 2018. 42 http://www.wikiart.org/en/kazimir-malevich/veil-1908 November, 2018.November, 2018. 43 http://www.wikiart.org/en/kazimir-malevich/pilot-1913 November, 2018.November, 2018. 44 http://www.wikiart.org/en/kazimir-malevich/green-and-black-1913 November, 2018.November, 2018. 45 http://www.wikiart.org/en/kazimir-malevich/cover-of-the-book-1913 November, 2018.November, 2018. 46http://www.wikiart.org/en/kazimir-malevich/arithmetics-1913 November, 2018.November, 2018. 47 http://www.wikiart.org/en/kazimir-malevich/musical-instrument-1913 November, 2018.November, 2018. 48 http://www.wikiart.org/en/kazimir-malevich/demon-1914 November, 2018.November, 2018. 49 http://www.wikiart.org/en/kazimir-malevich/lady-at-the-poster-column-1914 November, 2018. 50 http://www.wikiart.org/en/kazimir-malevich/living-in-a-big-hotel-1914. November, 2018. 51 http://www.wikiart.org/en/kazimir-malevich/black-square-1915 November, 2018. http://www.tate.org.uk/art/ research-publications/the-sublime/philip-shaw-kasimir-malevichs-black-square-r1141459 November, 2018.November, 2018. 52 http://www.wikiart.org/en/kazimir-malevich/white-square-1917 November, 2018. 53 http://www.wikiart.org/en/kazimir-malevich/mode/all-paintings November, 2018.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beat_the_Whites_with_the_Red_Wedge#mediaviewer/ File:Artwork_by_El_Lissitzky_1919.jpg Great Utopia: https://archive.org/details/grerussi00schi pdf plate 138, November, 2018. 55 Gray. The Russian Experiment in Art: 1863-1922, 1962. http://monoskop.org/ File:Gray_Camilla_The_Russian_Experiment_in_Art_1863-1922_no_OCR.pdf p106, plate 70, November, 2018. 56 Ibid., Gray , p96 plate 61 http://faculty.risd.edu/evarshav/Larionov_paintings.htmlhttp:// max.mmlc.northwestern.edu/mdenner/Drama/visualarts/Avant-Garde/avantgarde12.html November, 2018. 57http://www.museumsyndicate.com/item.php?item=3989 November, 2018. 58https://theartstack.com/artist/mikhail-larionov/soldier-rest https://www.pinterest.com/pin/310185493056498800/ November, 2018. 59http://www.all-art.org/art_20th_century/larionov1.html November, 2018. 60http://www.photo.rmn.fr/archive/45-000226-01-2C6NU0E7DM3Q.html http://www.alamy.com/stock-photopromenade-venus-de-boulevard-venus-promenade-boulevard-1912-mikhail-71571178.html November, 2018. 61http://www.museumsyndicate.com/item.php?item=4003 November, 2018. 62 http://riowang.blogspot.com/2010/01/modern-luboks.html http://g1b2i3.wordpress.com/2010/06/03/mikhaillarionov-pictor-avangardist-rus/ November, 2018. 63 http://en.wahooart.com/@@/8LT2F4-Mikhail-Fiodorovich-Larionov-Portrait-of-Vladimir-Tatlin November, 2018. 64 www.museumsyndicate.com/item.php?item=3982 http://karakulia.livejournal.com/37567.html?thread=795583 November, 2018. 65 http://www.pinterest.com/postersquare/ivan-puni/ November, 2018. 66 https://www.tumblr.com/tagged/ivan-puni http://www.db-artmag.com/archiv/07/d/thema-enke.html November, 2018. 67 https://archive.org/stream/grerussi00schi#page/n101/mode/1up plate 29 November, 2018. 68 https://www.centrepompidou.fr/cpv/ressource.action? param.id=FR_R-9e68ba6e1cd3d172a1e72a127c951f¶m.idSource=FR_O-2cfd1738650374da8d5b91f509d8e3e https://www.tumblr.com/tagged/ivan-puni November, 2018. 69 https://www.centrepompidou.fr/cpv/ressource.action?param.id=FR_Rdb536a77186535acb59fc18d849a2ab¶m.idSource=FR_O-87d9d57aaddb9a8dce4cfa8079df36b3 November, 2018. 70 http://www.artfixdaily.com/artwire/release/4395-bid-live-online-at-a-paris-fine-art-auction-on-arfactcom November, 2018. 71 https://www.moma.org/collection/works/33452The Russian and Soviet Avant-Garde, 1915-1932 https:// archive.org/details/grerussi00schi pdf plate 102, more works http://www.pinterest.com/postersquare/ivan-puni/ November, 2018. 72 The Great Utopia The Russian and Soviet Avant-Garde, 1915-1932. https://archive.org/details/grerussi00schi pdf plates 38, 42, 43 November, 2018. 73http://nocontxt.tumblr.com/post/77400165375/sexartdesigncrime-mikhail-menkov-russian https://arthive.com/ artists/1910~Mikhail_Ivanovich_Menkov/works/467165~Cubism_Tram_No_6#show November, 2018. 74 https://artdone.wordpress.com/2016/01/19/010-ostatnia-wystawa-futurystow/mikhail-menkov-newspaper-1915ulianovsk-regional-museum-of-fine-arts/ https://www.artsy.net/artwork/mikhail-menkov-newspaper November, 2018. 75 http://www.photographersdirect.com/buyers/stockphoto.asp?imageid=2551590 November, 2018. 76 Livshits, pp84-5. & Bowlt and Drutt, Editors. Amazons of the Avant-garde. http://monoskop.org/index.php? search=amazons+of+the+Avant-Garde&title=Special%3ASearch&go=%E2%8F%8E http://www.new-york-art.com/ e/mus-Guggen-amazonz.htm M November, 2018. 77 More on Russian women Remarkable Russian Women in Pictures, Prose and Poetry digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/ viewcontent.cgi?article=1020,.zeabook http://www.google.com/url? sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=26&ved=0CFIQFjAFOBRqFQoTCJv7uqrj3cYCFYaKDQodzHUCMQ &url=http%3A%2F%2Fdigitalcommons.unl.edu%2Fcgi%2Fviewcontent.cgi%3Farticle%3D1020%26context %3Dzeabook&ei=wqemVZuSG4aVNszriYgD&usg=AFQjCNF8a6xeydY4EyU0FSR7CFA7sLUwA&sig2=qUOA6bMrlrL9XgiEB4YcBQ&bvm=bv.97653015,d.eXY November, 2018. 78 Bio http://monoskop.org/Alexandra_Exter , Bio with two paintings http://www.alexandra-exter.net/en/biographie.php. https://www.moma.org/artists/1784?locale=en https://www.moma.org/artists/1784 18 on-line exhibitions https:// www.moma.org/calendar/exhibitions/history?constituent_id=1784&locale=en&sort_date=closing_date November, 2018. 79 https://www.museothyssen.org/en/collection/artists/exter-alexandra/still-life http://monoskop.org/index.php? search=amazons+of+the+Avant-Garde&title=Special%3ASearch&go=%E2%8F%8E p145, November, 2018. !166


Bio with two paintings http://www.alexandra-exter.net/en/biographie.php November, 2018. Bio http://monoskop.org/Liubov_Popova November, 2018. 82 http://monoskop.org/File:Gray_Camilla_The_Russian_Experiment_in_Art_1863-1922_no_OCR.pdf p 188 November, 2018. 83 http://www.artexpertswebsite.com/pages/artists/popova.php November, 2018. 84 http://www.artexpertswebsite.com/pages/artists/popova.php November, 2018. 85 http://www.wikiart.org/en/lyubov-popova/portrait-of-a-philosopher November, 2018. 86 http://www.wikiart.org/en/lyubov-popova/violin November, 2018. 87 https://www.moma.org/collection/works/80521 November, 2018. 88 http://www.wikiart.org/en/lyubov-popova/still-life-with-guitar-1915 November, 2018. 89 http://www.wikiart.org/en/lyubov-popova/the-traveler November, 2018. 90 The Great Utopia The Russian and Soviet Avant-Garde, 1915-1932. https://archive.org/details/grerussi00schi pdf, plate 57, November, 2018. 91 Bio http://monoskop.org/Nadezhda_Udaltsova November, 2018. 92 http://www.incorm.eu/styles.htmlhttp://s205.photobucket.com/user/UjpestGills/media/Art/Moscow%20Tretyakov/ NadezhdaUdaltsova-eamstress.jpg.html November, 2018. 93 https://artgallery.yale.edu/collections/objects/44845 November, 2018. 94 https://useum.org/artwork/Yellow-Jug-Nadezhda-Udaltsova-1914 November, 2018. 95 http://monoskop.org/index.php?search=amazons+of+the+Avant-Garde&title=Special%3ASearch&go=%E2%8F %8E p283, November, 2018. 96 https://theartstack.com/artist/nadezhda-udaltsova/restaurant-1915 November, 2018. 97 Bio (married Kruchenykh) http://monoskop.org/Olga_Rozanova November, 2018. 98 http://www.wikiart.org/en/olga-rozanova/pub-auction November, 2018. 99 http://www.wikiart.org/en/olga-rozanova/writing-desk November, 2018. 100 http://www.wikiart.org/en/olga-rozanova/metronome November, 2018. 101 http://www.wikiart.org/en/olga-rozanova/moderne-movie-theater November, 2018. 102 http://www.wikiart.org/en/olga-rozanova/the-barbershop-1915 November, 2018. 103 http://www.wikiart.org/en/olga-rozanova/a-blue-fan-1915 November, 2018. 104 http://www.artvalue.com/auctionresult--rozanowa-olga-wladimirovna-188-suprematisme-etude-pour-vold-1903148.htm https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Olga_Rozanova#/media/ File:Flight_of_Airplane_(Rozanova,_1916).jpg November, 2018. 105http://archive.org/search.php?query=creator%3A%22Rozanova%2C+Ol%CA%B9ga+Vladimirovna%2C +1886-1918%22 November, 2018. 106 http://monoskop.org/Varvara_Stepanova http://www.ilsole24ore.com/art/arteconomy/2017-03-06/illustration-forgly-gly-poem-by-aleksei-kruchenykh-1919-133110.shtml?uuid=AEVz2Ef November, 2018. 107 The Great Utopia The Russian and Soviet Avant-Garde, 1915-1932 https://archive.org/details/grerussi00schi pdf, plates 97-99 and 268. For more samples see Greve, Writing and the ‘Subject.’ http://dare.uva.nl/record/1/225327 figs 20-32, http://dare.uva.nl/record/1/225327 November, 2018. 108 Bio http://monoskop.org/Natalia_Goncharova Paintings http://www.wikiart.org/en/natalia-goncharova/mode/all-paintings http://www.ago.net/goncharova-larionov-and-the-limits-of-cubism http://monoskop.org/images/6/65/ Rowell_Margit_Rudenstine_Angelica_Zander_Art_of_the_AvantGarde_in_Russia_Selections_from_the_George_Costakis_Collection.pdf November, 2018. 109 http://www.ourtravelpics.com/photo/saintpetersburg/153/ http://www.wikiart.org/en/natalia-goncharova/theevangelists-in-four-parts http://en.wahooart.com/@@/8XYKZ5-Natalia-Goncharova-The-evangelists-%28in-fourparts%29 http://zolotoivek.tumblr.com/image/15820724601 November, 2018. 110 http://www.wikiart.org/en/natalia-goncharova/the-little-station November, 2018. 111 http://www.wikiart.org/en/natalia-goncharova/icon-painting-motifs November, 2018. 112 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/goncharova-linen-n06194 November, 2018. 113 http://www.virtualrm.spb.ru/en/resources/galleries_en/Avant_garde/Goncharova November, 2018. 114 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/54395107972898087/ https://theartstack.com/artist/natalia-goncharova-natal-iasierghieievna-goncharova/woman-hat-11 November, 2018. 115https://www.wikiart.org/en/natalia-goncharova/electric-lamp November, 2018. 116 https://www.wikiart.org/en/natalia-goncharova/the-weaver-loom-woman-1913 November, 2018. 117 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/310185493056499086/ http://www.tretyakovgallerymagazine.com/articles/ 1-2014-42/goncharova-name-had-ring-victory November, 2018. z Dec. 2016 118 Amazons, plate 26, or http://www.tretyakovgallerymagazine.com/articles/1-2014-42/goncharova-name-had-ringvictory November, 2018. 81



http://elib.shpl.ru/ru/nodes/3171-goncharova-n-s-misticheskie-obrazy-voyny-14-litogr-m-izd-v-n-kashina-tipolit-t-va-i-n-kushnerev-i-k-1914 November, 2018. 120 https://www.wikiart.org/en/natalia-goncharova/mask November, 2018. 121 Bio http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/famous-artists/goncharova.htm, Exhibitions https://www.moma.org/artists/ 2229?locale=en November, 2018. 122 Lawton, Editor. Russian Futurism through Its Manifestos, 1912-1928. http://monoskop.org/images/9/98/ Lawton_Anna_Eagle_Herbert_eds_Russian_Futurism_through_its_Manifestoes_1912-1928.pdf November, 2018. 123 Janecek. The Look of Russian Literature: Avant-Garde Visual Experiments, 1900-1930. 1984. — Zaum: The Transrational Poetry of Russian Futurism. http://monoskop.org/images/2/2c/ Janecek_Gerald_Zaum_The_Transrational_Poetry_of_Russian_Futurism.pdf November, 2018. Marko, Russian Futurism: A History. Gray. The Russian Experiment in Art: 1863-1922. 1962. Livshits. The One and a Half-Eyed Archer, 2004 http://monoskop.org/ File:Gray_Camilla_The_Russian_Experiment_in_Art_1863-1922_no_OCR.pdf November, 2018. 124 over 140 books http://elib.shpl.ru/indexes/values/10040 other large sources https://www.moma.org/collection/works/147622 downloadable http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Search/Home?lookfor=russian %20futurism&searchtype=all&ft=&setft=false November, 2018. 125 https://archive.org/details/gri_000r33125008498954 http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/tango_with_cows/ http://elib.shpl.ru/ru/nodes/3203#page/1/mode/grid/zoom/1 126 books http://elib.shpl.ru/ru/indexes/values/10080 With Olga Rozanova http://artsearch.nga.gov.au/Detail.cfm?IRN=96693 Janecek, Kruchenykh contra Gutenberg http://obook.org/amr/library/janecek.pdf J 127 https://archive.org/details/gri_000r33125011111206 http://monoskop.org/log/?p=6040 128 http://www.moma.org/search?query=worldbackwards http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/tango_with_cows/ November, 2018. 129 Janecek, The Look of Russian Literature, pp73-74 https://www.moma.org/collection/works/10685? artist_id=3389&locale=en&sov_referrer=artist November, 2018. 130 http://www.moma.org/explore/inside_out/2013/01/25/1913-vasily-kandinskys-klange-sounds http:// www.spaightwoodgalleries.com/Pages/Kandinsky2.html 3 sounds, 1926 Kandinsky http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/collections/collection-online/artwork/1953 http:// monoskop.org/File:Kandinsky_Klaenge.pdf translation http://monoskop.org/File:Kandinsky_Wassily_Sounds.pdf November, 2018. 131 https://archive.org/details/gri_000r33125009318060 November, 2018. 132 https://www.moma.org/collection/works/9549 November, 2018. 133 https://archive.org/details/gri_000r33125008637932 November, 2018. 134 https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F %2Felib.shpl.ru%2Fru%2Findexes%2Fvalues%2F10205&edit-text=&act=url November, 2018. 135 https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F %2Felib.shpl.ru%2Fru%2Findexes%2Fvalues%2F10080&edit-text=&act=url November, 2018. 136 Janecek, The Look of Russian Literature, pp 95-97. https://translate.google.com/translate? sl=ru&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Felib.shpl.ru%2Fru%2Findexes%2Fvalues %2F10080&edit-text=&act=url November, 2018. 137 https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F %2Felib.shpl.ru%2Fru%2Findexes%2Fvalues%2F10040&edit-text=&act=url November, 2018. 138 https://archive.org/details/gri_000r33125008628808 November, 2018. 139 https://archive.org/details/gri_000r33125008530178 November, 2018. 140 http://www.albany.edu/offcourse/issue41/cigale_translations3.htmlhttp://ex-ex-lit.blogspot.com/2013/11/deathto-art-vasilisk-gnedov.html November, 2018. 141 http://monoskop.org/log/?p=6044https://archive.org/details/gri_000r33125008638500http://monoskop.org/log/? p=6044 November, 2018. 142 https://archive.org/details/gri_000r33125008476703 November, 2018. 143 https://archive.org/details/gri_000r33125010870794 November, 2018. 144http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2002/russian/main.html November, 2018. 145 http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/tango_with_cows/ http://monoskop.org/log/?p=10258 https://archive.org/ details/gri_000r33125010902548 November, 2018. 146 https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F %2Felib.shpl.ru%2Fru%2Findexes%2Fvalues%2F10205&edit-text=&act=url November, 2018. !168


http://monoskop.org/Kazimir_Malevich November, 2018. https://www.moma.org/collection/works/10810? classifications=any&date_begin=Pre-1850&date_end=2018&locale=en&q=VZORVAL +&sov_referrer=collection&with_images=1= Milner, Kazimir Malevich and the Art of Geometry. http://books.google.com/books? id=BESnRfp9wF0C&pg=PA114&lpg=PA114&dq=ferro-concrete+russian+art +movement&source=bl&ots=RyELqlhNWL&sig=JAfFye6l7pk4hvRdsQZduBPF820&hl=en&sa=X&ei=re6TULGKpeiqAbY5YHAAg&ved=0CEUQ6AEwBA#v= November, 2018. 148 Russian Books. Barbara Leibowits Graphics, http://www.barbaraleibowitsgraphics.com/pages/books/ russianbooks.html https://www.moma.org/collection/works/10868? classifications=any&date_begin=Pre-1850&date_end=2018&locale=en&q=VZORVAL +&sov_referrer=collection&with_images=1 http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2002/russian/ November, 2018. For later work see Janecek, Zaum: The Transrational Poetry of Russian Futurism. http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/ kruch/lkrucht1.htm November, 2018. 149 https://archive.org/details/gri_000r33125008663359 November, 2018. 150 https://archive.org/details/gri_000r33125012238776 November, 2018. 151 https://www.moma.org/collection/works/13300 November, 2018. 152 http://elib.shpl.ru/ru/nodes/3513-mayakovskiy-v-v-voyna-i-mir-pg-1917#page/1/mode/grid/zoom/1 November, 2018. 153 http://elib.shpl.ru/ru/nodes/3514-mayakovskiy-v-v-misteriya-buff-pg-1918#page/1/mode/grid/zoom/1 November, 2018. 154 http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/guides_bibliographies/lissitzky/2_yiddish/index.html November, 2018. 155 See Shterenburg, David Petrovich; Stenberg, Vladimir Avgustovich http://www.artscope.net/VAREVIEWS/ russian0800-2.shtml http://www.eyemagazine.com/blog/post/brothers-in-arts http://poulwebb.blogspot.com/ 2013/12/stenberg-brothers-posters-part-1_10.html https://www.pinterest.com/ottosteininger/stenberg-brothersgyorgy-vladimir/ November, 2018. 156 Selected lines from Rayonist Manifesto by Goncharova http://mariabuszek.com/mariabuszek/kcai/ConstrBau/ Readings/RayonFuturMnfsto.pdf November, 2018. 157 Yak Tityu Tityu, Northern Chumash, and the Chumash:A General Overview, http://www.slocoastjournal.net/docs/ archives/2011/aug/pages/marine_sanctuary.html , http://www.slocoastjournal.net/docs/archives/2011/sept/pages/ marine_sanctuary.html , http://www.slocoastjournal.net/docs/archives/2011/oct/pages/marine_sanctuary.html November, 2018. 158 http://www.wikiart.org/en/kazimir-malevich/white-square-1917 November, 2018. 159 https://www.google.com/search?q=Goncharova+Les+Ballets +Russes&sa=N&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&ved=0ahUKEwj84LflobrZAhUJ6WMKHQJ0Ai84ChCwBAhP& biw=1059&bih=777 November, 2018. 160 http://www.wikiart.org/en/kazimir-malevich/veil-1908 November, 2018. 161 http://www.wikiart.org/en/kazimir-malevich/veil-1908 November, 2018. 162 Sharp. Russian Modernism between East and West: Natalia Goncharova and the Moscow Avant-Garde, 2006. p2 45. 163 These are pale attempts however compared to the now publicly known works by Hilma af Klint. 164 http://www.wikiart.org/en/max-weber/slide-lecture-at-the-metropolitan-museum November, 2018. 165 Bowlt, Russian Art of the Avant-Garde: Theory and Criticism 1902-1934. New York, NY: Viking Press, New, 1976. and http://monoskop.org/index.php?search=russian+futurism&title=Special%3ASearch&go=%E2%8F%8E, p133. November, 2018.


1920 — 1950s: before concrete




Japan Following the 1918 Russian Revolution, civil war erupted. During the White-Red civil war period, Britain, France, other European nations, America, and Japan supported the White Russians, including with troops (among them the Americans and British). Removing himself from the civil war, Cubo-futurist David Burlyuk spread his Futurism in Siberia. With the civil war arriving in Siberia, he decided proselytizing Russian Futurism further east, landing in Japan in 1920. He was intent not only on spreading his Cubo-futurism but also following one of his art heroes, Gauguin, into a tropical setting in search of a “primitivism.” Burlyuk created the first Russian Futurist exhibition in Japan soon after his arrival. He quickly became a keen observer of Japanese culture, customs, and language, earning respect. By his presence and experiences, Burlyuk directly influenced the recently formed Miraiha Bijutsu Kyōkai (Futurist Art Society, 1912-1922).1 In the early twenties, Tomoyoshi Murayama went to Germany for university studies. Unable to gain entry into the university system, he spent a year acquainting himself with the German avant-garde. He met Marinetti, exhibited works in a few shows, and translated Marinetti’s Futurist manifesto into Japanese upon returning to Japan. Direct experience with the German avant-garde credentialed him to assume the leadership position in the collaborative Japanese avant-garde group, Mavo.2 Informed by Marxism, anarchism, Futurism, Dadaism, German Expressionism, and Constructivism, they promoted an art theory that held that if the artist was socially and creatively free, the artist’s work in turn would change society through its citizens experiencing the new art.3 Leaving Japan in 1922, David Burlyuk continued his eastward journey, settling in New York City. Its avant-garde was evolving in various ways, divided primarily between those who remained rooted working for an American vision and voice demanded by Stieglitz nearly twenty years earlier and those “lost” and adrift in Europe, the self-imposed exiles. Burlyuk lived in the city until 1941 when he bought a house on Long Island. There he formed the Hampton Bays Art Group, continued to paint, form exhibitions, giving readings, and pursuing his publication, !172

Color and Rhyme (1931-1970). He seems to have had little direct influence on the American avant-garde. His papers are available for study at the Smithsonian Archives of American Art and Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries. The cultural shift foreshadowed by pre-dadaesque works accelerated after the WWI. Dada became a major critical, anti status-quo avant-garde expression; its history and works are well enough known, including the visual text art elements. During the 1920s and early 1930s, members of Russian Futurism and other avantgarde groups either emigrated, were disappeared, died, or were killed so that by the middle 1930s the movement had ended. Its influence over the years abated as detailed knowledge of its history outside Russia became a shadow. During the late 1920s through 1930s significant developments included the work of Kitasono Katue, another important figure for the Japanese avant-garde. He was also significant for widening the international influence of Japanese visual poetry before and after WWII.4 His inspiration rippled outwards from his own work and the group he founded and headed, VOU. The magazine by the same name was sent outside Japan to many poets, including Americans Kenneth Patchen, Kenneth Rexroth, and Ezra Pound (living in Italy). He was the first to call for poets to drop the pencil, pen, and typewriter and pick up a camera. His plastic poems bring to us a new heightened perspective of the reworked, captured image, another type of the wordless poem elevating, so to say, photographic images to iconographics.5


Stieglitz Circle The influence of the Stieglitz Circle continued into the 1940s. Then a new group of critics who supported abstract expressionism harshly attacked works by the Circle and began eroding its importance. They tried (and nearly managed) to condemn the ideas of the group to heresy. Their “success” can be seen in that the Circle’s accomplishments remain near-invisible on the periphery of American visual text art discussions. Neither composing nor making visual poems, the poet and doctor of medicine, William Carlos Williams, was deeply influenced by the American avant-garde scene, first at 291 Gallery, and later by the broadening developments in little magazines and among painters. Many of the relationships first developed were maintained over the years as he worked out the poetic for an American vision within the contexts of 1) image first without philosophizing, the thing itself, and 2) making it new culled from Stieglitz’s demands and the exhibited works of the painters of the gallery. 6 Among the painters who became close friends were Charles Demuth and Stuart Davis. Charles Demuth was a painter and writer. Like Max Weber he was part of the early Stieglitz group, falling out with Stieglitz over his work also being too European; the break was healed, however, in the 1920s. Williams credits Demuth, one of Williams’s few lifelong friends, for introducing him to the New York avantgarde, including the Stieglitz Circle, and for teaching him about modern painting. He also introduced him to the Arensberg salon. Demuth painted a number of important visual text works he called Poster Portraits (1924-1929): “Dove,” (Arthur Dove), “O’Keefe,” “Duncan,” “I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold” (Portrait of William Carlos Williams), and “Love Love Love” (Portrait of Gertrude Stein). Other paintings contained visual text.7 From his early associations with 291, Demuth was influenced by de Zayas, but he moved the portrait abstraction into the archetype arena, energizing an object or text selected from the individual’s primary opus forming an iconographic statement. Stuart Davis was perhaps the youngest artist to participate in the Armory Show. He and others of the Stieglitz Circle wrestled with the trends they formed !174

after the Armory Show. At the same time, they viewed with suspicion the machinebased works of Picabia, Duchamp, and the Psychotypes of de Zayas. Overcoming initial resistance and suspicions to the works and implications, they blended the contraries that eventually formed Precisionism. William Carlos Williams selected a painting by Davis, who had published art works in small magazines and The Masses, for the cover of his 1920 book, Kora in Hell, Improvisations. e. e. cummings and Davis were friends. As e. e. cummings was moving into his mature style, so was Davis, whose works in the twenties took on a look and feel of what became concrete poetry but in large-scale color. Both were applying their own unique insights to the poem or the painted word. At this time, as far as I know, there is little or no commentary on any influence echo chamber or ripple effect they had on each other’s works and insights. Davis became the pop of Pop Art and anticipated Concrete Art. Countless lyrical visual poems by e. e. cummings influenced and continue to influence following generations of visual text poets and painters. His first book, published in 1923, Tulips and Chimneys, contained no “sustained” visual stretches, while numerous instances of his new syntax and punctuation usages most probably “mused” by Gertrude Stein are to be found throughout. Since he denies influence from Apollinaire, the Armory Show, and the Stieglitz Circle (all of which I find difficult to swallow), I suggest Stein. Hints of what were to come in his next collection, & (AND), in which his visual poetics exhibited a full maturity, are in 1) “Chansons Innocentes,” 2) “impression III,” 3) “impression V,” 4) “Portraits I,” 5) “Portraits III,” and 6) “Portraits VIII.”8 Line breaks in the first book were not new to poetry by 1916. A complete history of American English visual text art beginning with the story of Marius de Zayas and others, fully illuminated with their works and with direct and indirect influence, awaits. The Marius de Zayas influence on the portraiture of Charles Demuth, Arthur Dove, and Marsden Hartley has been noted but not it seems on Georgia O’Keeffe.9 In the background, again, there is the possible Pamela Colman Smith influence. O’Keeffe’s oeuvre contains countless images raised to iconographic levels as portraits, such as a floating elk skull above !175

a red hill landscape with a cloud out of which flowers bloom, and her many portraits of crosses.10 No discussion seems to exist specifically on iconographics that can be read as visual text or as a rendered archetype. The materials exist for this nearly ignored and important chapter of our country’s early contribution to modern art, visual text art, and visual poetry in particular.11Many library archived collections of small literary magazines are now available on the Internet for analysis, and books in pdf format can extend this history further.12 For example, there are the relationships of the painter Stuart Davis, e. e. cummings and William Carlos Williams. Two common characteristics I see and read running through these artists are extensions in portraiture and iconographics. Both uses are complex, and how their commonalities fluidly stream through one another’s work is an undertaking for someone else. I suggest the uniqueness in the use and extension of portraiture is unlike that of other avant-garde groups or associations. No other group evolved out of a direct link with photography, an art that reduced the demand for painted portraits.13 Mentioned previously, beginning with Pamela Colman Smith as a member of the Stieglitz Circle from 1906 to 1909, a new role of iconographics — symbol, number, text — begins. With her, the portraits were of iconic archetypes, and their cultural stories and energies rooted in a deep occult and spiritual past brought to the present newly rendered. While the stories were complex, her economic use of line, color, and densities creates a tension upon which rests a tabula rasa for projection that remains vital to this moment. Beginning with de Zayas, abstract, Cubist portraiture as an iconographic image coupled with mathematical formulas or visual text together forms a deeper connection and statement opposing singular abstract caricature. Instead of portraying a deep archetypal story, he captures his subject in an avant-grade-reinvented moment, attempting to create a new archetype or cultural iconographic statement parallel to the ideogrammes composed in Europe or a new avant-garde calligramme/ ideogramme without using the terminology. In the twenties, Kenneth Rexroth composed a number of Cubist-influenced poems ranging from subtle to obvious throughout two books, The Art of Wordly !176

Wisdom (1920-1930) and A Prolegomenon to a Theodicy (1925-1927). The visual poem within this group, “Fundamental Disagreement with Two Contemporaries,” is dedicated to Tristan Tzara and Andre Breton.


Kenneth Patchen Prior to concrete poetry two individuals creating before and during the concrete poetry movement span, but excluded from their histories and anthologies, were Kenneth Patchen and Paul Reps. Patchen without argument is a significant contributor to the American visual poem and the wider field of visual text art. While he may be better known for his picture poems, his first visual poems appeared in 1939 in First Will and Testament followed by others in The Journal of Albion Moonlight, 1941. Both volumes also included picture poems. He composed major series of visual poems between 1941 and 1946 found in Cloth of the Tempest, Panels for the Walls of Heaven, and Sleepers Awake. Some of the latter were composed at the printing press during the moments the plates were set in the press. During a visit to our home, Bern Porter related the story about Patchen working directly on the plates as the book was being printed. The book was later reprinted by New Directions, which also reprinted Panels for the Walls of Heaven 14

in In Quest of Candlelighters. Nearly all the compositional forms and styles of concrete poetry are present in these series composed between 1939 and 1946. That Patchen’s expression covered such a wide spectrum can be explained by his knowledge of avant-garde history and contacts with international peers. All concrete poetry anthologies failed to publish any of this work. It easily fit within the concrete forms, compositional approaches, and time frame found in the anthologies. They failed, too, in their introductory or “historical” surveys by leaving him and his work unmentioned. I wrote to the editors and/or publishers of the American concrete anthologies about this in the late 1970s. None of them had a satisfactory or justifiable answer why they left him out. One chose not to reply. Some answers like, “He was too famous,” were and remain to this day stunning and foolish.15 Referring to the picture poem books, Higgins told me and others that Patchen was not a concrete poet. I guess he thought we would not research the early, pure concrete poetic works of Patchen. In an interview with Miriam Patchen, Kenneth’s spouse, I learned he was deeply hurt by this conscious disappearance. This was not an !178

oversight by these editors and publishers. The question why this conscious disappearance happened remains an unsolved puzzle. Since the answers to my question were unsatisfactory, I can only make guesses, ranging from jealousy, to being a threat to a narrowly defined lineage, or that he stood firmly rooted in the American English poetry prophetic tradition with Whitman and in the illuminating lineage of William Blake and thus was unsuitable for the concrete cement mixer generally reactionary to a higher visual poetry resonance kindred with Orphism and thus perhaps opening a discussion on Lettrism.16 To this 2018 moment there is a rejection of Patchen’s work as significant and concrete, which remains firmly tied in a granny slipknot of the three-dotted connecting lineage: Mallarmé to Apollinaire to e. e. cummings. Paul Reps Another visual poet standing large and ignored by conscious omission was Paul Reps. He was the first composer of the American English visual haiku poem beginning in the late 1930s. Between the early 1920s and mid-1930s Reps lived in Japan 14 years, traveled in India 12 times, and traveled in China. Many of his books sold several thousand copies. Over the years he studied and developed his Asian brush calligraphy style; in forty years he composed a significant body of brushstroke poems. His is an example of a life being his message, his works being biographical artifacts. His Buddhism was not a hunted down and convoluted theoretical poetic dharma but one lived reaching for transcendence. Besides the skill and beauty of his visual poems, humor and kindness flow throughout. His large format book, letters to a friend: writings and drawings, at this moment presents the best collection available on his life accompanied by numerous works sampling and illuminating masterful and beautiful brushstroke poems and other visual poem achievements. Worth noting is the fact that Patchen and Reps mastered the picture poem. 1939 was the year each published his first visual works. Patchen’s initial influences were Apollinaire and the European avant-garde; Reps’ influences were mainly !179

Japanese calligraphy, Chinese calligraphy, and the dharma he learned from Buddhism and masters in India. From 1939 through at least 1946, while Patchen was more interested in typography than Reps, he was also composing with handwriting. While Reps developed his distinctive brush calligraphy style over the years, he also composed with handwritten and hand-printed scripts and used typography. Reps may also have composed the first American English mathematical haiku, published in 1969, containing the formula 0+0=1.17 Patchen’s painted poems are rendered in beautiful script, easily calligraphic art. Both loved humor; their works are full of visual and lexical puns. Because neither was pure in the eyes of the concrete movement, they were consciously disappeared from their written histories. Had they been included, other individuals and groups also would have had to receive recognition. Concrete seems to have followed the Italian model of denial of works to claim newness. Both poets also sold more books than the concrete movement.


The works of Wallace Berman have also been omitted or disappeared.19 There are many other individuals, such as Robert Heinecken.20 Another is Beatrice Mandelman, artist of several painted word and collage works.21 These and others missing need their stories rendered and fully illuminated with samples of their works. A few, including one group with many significant word painting works, will be discussed in the following section. And, while the list could go on, a good starting point is Whose History of What World? by Karl Young.22


Concrete Art & Music Before concrete poetry, concrete music. Before concrete music, concrete art. Before concrete art Theo van Doesburg founded in 1917 De Stijl, also known as Neoplasticism, expression reduced to horizontal and vertical forms. The Manifesto for Concrete Art appeared in 1930 and was written by Theo van Doesburg, signed by him , Otto G. Carlsund, Jean Hélion, and Leon Tutundjian, who brought Russian Constructivism to the concrete art palette. Note number 2 states, “A work of art must be entirely conceived and shaped by the mind before its execution. It shall not receive anything of nature’s or sensuality’s or sentimentality’s formal data. We want to exclude lyricism, drama, symbolism, and so on.”23 Geometric art created in the past such as Byzantium and later the Islamic world would not be considered pure within this frame; the ideas informing their expression were Pythagorean, Platonic, and “Neoplatonic,” all transcendent, beyond the mind, gesturing towards higher planes of consciousness. Pure geometrical forms painted with mathematical precision appeared in the first exhibition curated by the Swiss concrete artist, Max Bill, in 1944. Works by these individuals and others include wider interests, such as abstract art, optical art, and kinetic art. Two Brazilian concrete art groups formed in the late 1940s, one in Sao Paulo, the other in Rio de Janeiro. Max Bill exhibited concrete art in Brazil in 1950. Concrete music performances began in 1948 by French composer and theoretician Pierre Schaeffer influenced by André Cœuroy’s book Panorama of Contemporary Music in which he forecasted music composed for records. American Henry Cowell (once a resident in neighboring Halcyon) and Russian Igor Stravinsky also wrote of such possibilities. Schaeffer had spent a few prior years of research and experiment before initiating the performances. His music was not based on the standard notation system with solfege symbols as script on paper but collections of “concrete” sound groups he called envelopes. Unlike concrete art, Schaeffer heeded the past, including the ideas of Pythagorean music evidenced in his ideas and his opera, Orpheus 53.24 Out of concrete music came numerous and significant visual text art music scores worthy as visual works in themselves. !181

Egyptian Halim El-Dabh / Ḥalīm ʻAbd al-Masīḥ al-Ḍabʻ is credited being the first or among the first to compose music with a wire tape recorder in 1944, thus perhaps the first concrete musician since Schaeffer’s use of a wire recorder was four years later. Visiting the American Embassy in 1947 looking for American composers, he was captivated by Native American music. When he received a Fulbright scholarship to America for music studies, he turned down the prestigious Juilliard School in New York for the University of New Mexico to be close to the music of the Pueblos and Hopi First Peoples. Conflict with a dean caused him to move to the east coast to attend Berkshire Music Center; his Fulbright was extended because of the recognition of his talent. He met and worked with many talented musicians and composers over the years, including individuals composing concrete music he met at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center. While at the Center with its state of the art equipment, he expanded its potential to sculpt sound with innovative tape looping. Among his composer friends were Henry Cowell, John Cage, Edgard Varèse, Alan Hovhaness, and Peggy Glanville-Hicks.


Lettrisme Before concrete poetry Lettrisme/Lettrism was announced by the Romanian émigré Isidore Isou in Paris in his 1947 manifesto, “Introduction à une Nouvelle Poésie et à une Nouvelle Musique.”25After its inaugural exhibition in 1946 (considered the formal birth date of Lettrisme) that included Gabriel Pomerand, Lettrisme slowly gained momentum as a movement during the late 1940s and 1950s. The early 1950s saw Jean-Louis Brau, Gil J. Wolman, Maurice Lemaître, Guy-Ernest Debord, and others joining the group, thereby forming its first generation. Like previous movements, this one (notably unlike what became concrete poetry) brought together all the arts, and like other movements desired to integrate and elevate the arts as a medium to change society. More follows in the discussion of the era of visual poetry after 1965. Lettrisme became an important contributor to European visual poetry and painted words and an important meeting place, an intersection, where Lettrisme and Persian- and Arabic-language calligraphy and painted word interacted through mutual interests, informing the evolution of its respective participants. Another intersection is with Japanese avantgarde calligraphy. If one pays mind only to concrete poetry and its allies, however, one would not know that Lettrisme existed, or, if noted, no idea of its larger influence.


Madiha Omar, First Arab Word Painter Before concrete poetry, Arabic word painting was invented by the Iraqi, Madiha Omar (1908-2005). Many credit her as the first Arabic-language word painter, who began her explorations in 1944 while in London. Her exhibition of 1949 in Washington is touted as the first public showing of Arabic word painting. Her work foreshowed by a decade the Arabic Hurufiyah and the Persian Saqqakhaneh School painted word movements. One of Omar’s influences was the French surrealist Andre Masson. More follows later in the discussion.


New York Ambience: 1930s- early 1950s Recall Kitasono Katue of Japan and Kenneth Patchen of America essentially completed their respective concrete types of visual poetry and were preparing their next forward leaps into iconographics before concrete poetry. Katue folded his photography images into suggestive iconographic literature for eye and idea. Four poems from his 1929 book, White Album, illustrate his work pre-dating concrete.26 Patchen moved to the painted word series in art-book form. Among the many filling this compositional time zone shunned by the concrete movement is Bern Porter, first-edition publisher of some Kenneth Patchen books. Porter was a pioneer in artist’s books, found poems (text and visual text art), correspondence/mail art, and combining art and science.27 He began his found poems in the 1920s.28 Recall the 1930 Manifesto for Concrete Art written by Theo van Doesburg, rejecting symbol use and embracing only pure geometric form. American Clement Greenberg began his rise in 1939 to become one of the leading American art critics, some claim the most significant. While he changed the focus of criticism to content’s structure as its true meaning at the expense of creator’s intent, context, and “moral bias,” he had to overcome America’s top critic of the 1950s, Harold Rosenberg, who promoted the idea that the canvas was a space for action painting, an event. The ideas surrounding artistic expression intended to lift society upward in this framework have no place; thus ideals important to the earlier avant-garde were tossed aside by Greenberg. He promoted a pure formalism, a new avant-garde with its supportive infrastructure.29 Added to these trends was the New Criticism in the early 1940s, removing the author’s intentions of their work and focused only on the text to find meaning. Such applied critical theories remove life from a literary or art work, ejecting essence and energy, thereby changing the work into object, a noun. Action painting self-defines as verb. The materialization of criticism influenced individuals to conform to the new critics. Within the larger materialized and anti-metaphysical cultural ambience, in universities and colleges the liberal arts became social sciences; misunderstood and convoluted Marxian ideas were added to linguistic theory’s


architectural structures and with misunderstood Buddhist and Vedic ideas. All flowed into American avant-garde literature and visual text arts in the 1960s and 1970s with influencing-repercussions vibrating into this moment. Both fields moved into the creation of a vast Rorschach art and literature. Artists and poets, who historically provide visionary works to lift the culture to higher consciousness, were removed to obscure corners on a conveyor belt of critical and collusive silence.


Art Informel In Europe during the 1950s as the narrow concrete confines were poured, the influence of Lettrism and the critic Michel Tapié helped to initiate a cultural bloom now over 50 years old. The expanse of this bloom with its numerous bouquets in place and others on the horizon remains vigorous as if in first bud. Art theorist and promoter Michel Tapié assembled his first “an other art” art exhibition in 1952. Other art was “informel” embracing abstract types of action, lyrical, antigeometric, anti-naturalistic, and nonfigurative abstract painting. Among the exhibiters were two Japanese individuals living in France at the time, Toshimitsu Imai and Hisao Domoto; they introduced Informel to Japan in 1953. In Japan promoting Informel Tapié met Jirō Yoshihara, leader of the action-painting Gutai group. “We are following the path that will lead to an international common ground where the arts of the East and the West will influence each other. And this is the natural course of the history of art.”30 From this meeting began a union missed by visual poets, concrete poets and others.31 Art Informel did not remain a focal point among artists and critics because New York became the center of the new avant-garde dominated by Abstract Expressionism with its non-referentiality. Perhaps this was a gift, not being in the sites of New York’s non-referential critical requirements. A profound multicultural calligraphic and visual text art exchange bloomed from the 1950s to the present moment spanning, in its first 30 years, North Africa, western Asia, Japan, and Europe, wedding post-WWII art to calligraphy traditions centuries deep forming a new visual text art. Out of this exchange the bloom encompasses Arabic- and Persian-language word painting in most Islamic national cultures that to my eyes and heart reigns supreme among the visual text arts.


New Mexico Paralleling the above word painting, an iconographic painting style was born in New Mexico. Beginning at the San Ildefonso Self-Taught Group of San Ildefonso Pueblo from 1900 to 1935, they painted ritual works informed by the deep artistic roots of their culture using dominant culture materials. During the 1930s at The Studio School at the Santa Fe Indian School, Dorothy Dunn taught a flat canvas style she believed best suited First People’s art based on her observations of Pueblo pottery, rock art, and the San Ildefonso Self-Taught Group that painted in this style. Her narrowness of teaching remains controversial, along with her being of the dominant culture. Nevertheless, she gave back the importance of their culture to her students who were constantly under attack as inferior. She taught 170 students during her short tenure, many of whom became important artists, who in turn influenced many others, creating a vast pan-First People visionary iconographic art that essentially was and remains ignored by the American avant-garde. More follows later on this ignored American art. Following are samples of a variety of visual text artworks accompanied by mathematical and visual music scores form the past through the 1900s. In the 1960 these were influenced by and influenced concrete and visual poetries.


Sampler of Visual Text Art from Post WW1 into the 1950s 1919 László Moholy-Nagy, “Perpe” 32 Francis Picabia, “Dada Movement”33 Francis Picabia, “Construction”34 Kurt Schwitters, “Picture with Light

Center” 35

1920 Suzanne Duchamp, “Fabrique De Hilma af Klint, The Mahatmas “No. 3a”37 El Lissitzky, “Pro dva kvadrata.

Joie”36 Present Stand Point in Worldy Life, Series II, Suprematicheskii skaz v 6-ti postroikakh” (“Of 38

Two Squares: A Suprematist Tale in Six Constructions”) Vladimir Mayakovsky and El Lissitzky, For the Voice39 László Moholy-Nagy, “Y”40 “Großes Eisenbahnbild (The Big Railroad Picture)”41 “Das große Rad (The Great Wheel)”42 “Y” 43 El Lossitzky, “Не читайте, берите столбики, бумажки, деревяшки, складывайте, красьте, стройте” (“Do not read, grab bars, paper, pieces of wood, fold, paint, build”)44 Francis Picabia, Cover drawing for 39145 Kurt Schwitters, “Forms in Space”46 Xul Solar, “Jesús Crucifio” Xul Solar, “Reptil que sube”47 Jose Juan Tablada, Li Po (includes 1915 dated ideogrammes, NY)48 1921 Stuart Davis, “Lucky Strike”49 !189

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, “Wheels are Growing on Rose Bushes”50 László Moholy-Nagy, “Hidak Bridges” 51 “1952 “E Bild (E Picture)”53 Francis Picabia, “L'Oeil cacodylate” (“The Cacodylic Eye”)54 1922 Sonia Delaunay, “Patron de la robe pour Vera Soudeikine avec poème d’Iliazd, manche droite”55 Theo van Doesburg, “The denaturalized material. Destruction 2”56 Paul Klee “Wall Painting from the Temple of Longing”57 “Separation in the Evening”58 “Ouvertüre” (“Overture”)59 60

Vladimir Mayakovsky, Люблю (I Love ) László Moholy-Nagy, “Photograms” 61 Kurt Schwitter, “Santa Claus”62 Kurt Schwitter, “something of other”63

1923 Francesco Cangiullo, Poesia pentagrammata (Poetry on the Staff)64 Sonia Delaunay. “Robe-poème pour Tzara”65 Vladimir Mayakovsky and Alexander Rodchenko, Про это (About That) Fernand Leger, “The Inhuman”67 El Lissitzky 68

• Victory Over the Sun


“Figurinenmappe: Sieg über die Sonne” 70

“1o Kestnermappe Proun”



Broom, vol. 5, no. 4 (cover)71 Gonzalo Deza Mendez, “LA MARIMBA EN EL PATIO” unknown, “Solstices”(?)72 Diego Rivera, “Calligramme” Kurt Schwitter, “Mz 231. Miss Blanche”73 Francis Picabia, “ZEICHNUNG”74Xul Solar, “Juzgue”75 Xul Solar, “San Danza”76 77

Ilya Zdanevich, Lidantiu faram, (Paris) N. Werkman, “Typeprints” (Circa 1923-1929)78 Xul Solar, “Pareja”79 1924 Aleksey Chicherin, Mena vsekh (Change of All),


Francis Picabia, “Portrait de Jacques Hébertot” 81 Stuart Davis, “Odol”82 Arthur Dove “Portrait of Ralph Dusenberry”83 “Portrait of Alfred Stieglitz”84 Charles Demuth “Dove”85 “O’Keefe”86 Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, “Facing”87 László Moholy-Nagy, “Pneumatik” 88 Man Ray, “poem”89 1925 90

Boris Agapov, “GOSPLAN LITERATURY” (Economic Plan for Literature), Arthur Dove • “The Critic”91 “Grandmother” 92 “The Intellectual”93 Wassily Kandinsky, “Sign”94 !191

Paul Klee, “Vast”95 El Lissitzky and Hans Arp, Die Kunstismen/Les Ismes De L’Art/The Isms of Art: 96

1914-1924 Rene Magritte “Swift Hope”97 “The Empty Mask”98 “The Lining of Sleep”99 “The Last Word” (1 & 2) “Use of Speech” “The Apparition”100 Vladimir Mayakovsky, Сергею Есенину 101

(To Sergei Yesenin) Joan Miro, “Photo; This is the Color of My Dreams”102 “Painting-Poem”103 Man Ray, “Rayograph”104Bz Shikei senkoku (Death Sentence)105 1926 Paul Klee, “Letter Picture”106 1927 Fernand Leger, “A.B.C.”107 Rene Magritte, “The Interpretation of Dreams” 108 Man Ray, “Ce qui manque à nous tous” (“What We All Lack”)109 1928 Stuart Davis, “Report from Rockport”110 Harry Crosby, “Photoheliograph”111 Wassily Kandinsky, “Into the Dark”112


1929 Kitasono Katue, “UNDERWATER EXERCISE,” “PLASTIC SURGERY OPERATION,” “LEGEND OF THE AIRSHIP,” and “SKY FISH” from White Album 113 Rene Magritte “The Palace of Curtains”114 “The Tree of Knowledge”115 “The Living Mirror”116 1930 Rene Magritte, “Key to Dreams”117 Kurt Schwitter, “Man soll nicht asen mit Phrasen”118 1931 Stuart Davis, “Salt Shaker”119 Raymond Jonson “Variations on a Rhythm - B”120 “Variations on a Rhythm - C”121 “Variations on a Rhythm - E”122 “Variations on a Rhythm - H”123 Wassily Kandinsky, “Dunkle Zacken” (“Dark Points”)124 Man Ray “Electricite la Ville”125 1932 Marsden Hartley, “Morgenrot” (“Dawn”)126 Raymond Jonson “Variations on a Rhythm - M”127 “Variations on a Rhythm - N”128 “Variations on Rhythm - P”129 Wassily Kandinsky, “Green Point”130 Man Ray, “Autoportrait”131 !193

1933 Raymond Jonson, “Variations on Rhythm - V”132 1935 Raymond Jonson, “Variations on Rhythm - X”133 1936 Raymond Johnson, “Variations on a Rhythm - J” 134 Rene Magritte, “Forbidden Literature (The Use of the Word)”135 1937 Paul Klee, “Legend of the Nile”136 1938 Joaquín Torres-García, “Composition”137 Paul Klee, “The Vase”138 1939 Emil Bisttram Untitled139 “Hopi Calako Mana” (undated)140 “Omnescience” (undated)141 László Moholy-Nagy, “Navigating Finnegans Wake”142 Kurt Schwitter, “Merzbild Alf”143 1940 Emil Bisttram, “Abstract”144 untitled145 Paul Klee, “Halme” 146 !194

1941 Mina Loy, “Sketch for an Alphabet”147 1944 Stuart Davis, “C & W”148 1947 Stuart Davis, “Pad No.4”149 Kurt Schwitter, “Die heilige Nacht von Antonio Allegri gen. Correggio” (“The Holy Night by Antoni Allegri, known as Correggio..”)150 1948 Rene Magritte, “The Treachery of Images (This Is Not A Pipe)” 151 1949 Gabriel Pomerand, “saint ghetto des prets”152 1950 Rene Magritte, “The Art of Conversation” (1-4)153 1951 Stuart Davis “The Mellow Pad” (1945-1951)154 “Visa”155 “Owh! in San Pao”156 Gabriel Pomerand “Jeanne D’Arc” “le Circque”157 1952 Stuart Davis, “Rapt at Rappaport’s”158 Isidore Isou, “Self Portrait”159 !195

Maurice Lemaître, “Canailles IV” (3) “Le conducteur and Canailles IV” (7) “La femme tube”160 Xul Solar, “Pan Tree”161 1953 Isidore Isou, “Amos”162 1954 Maurice Lemaître “Premier poème lettriste transcrit hypergraphiquement” 163 “pottery”164 Xul Solar, “Pan Altar Mundi”165 1955 Maurice Lemaître, “Panneaux hypergraphiques” (1954-1955) 166 1957 Emil Bisstram, “Thought Forms”167 1959 Xul Solar, “Grafia”168 1961 Xul Solar, • “Muy Mago: Portrait of Aleister Crowley”169 “San Ignatius” 170 1964 Stuart Davis, “Blips and Ifs” (1963-1964)171 1965 Raymond Jonson, “c-print”172 !196

1966 Rene Magritte, “The Two Mysteries”173 Xul Solar undated:174 “!Xamine todo retene lo bon..”175 “¡Xamine todo retene lo bon!” 176 “Almas de Egipto”177 “Angel de Carma”178 “Cruz”179 “Iglesia de Mar”180 “Jeffe de Dragones”181 “Lo farmako no kure si no kure si tro pauko”182 “Los Cuatro” 183 “Lu kene ten lu base nel nel nergie, sin nergie, lu kene no e kan” 184 “Mansilla”185 “Mwi waite yu”186 “Mwi worke for teo reino” 187 “Nana Watzin”188 “Pan-chess”189 “Pan language cards”190 “Prob monos las alas tambi n nos” 191 “Proyecto ciud San Villa”192 “Proyecto fachada para ciudad”193 “Rudolf Steiner”194 “Todo for la gran patria” “Tu fado ke elegiste”195 “Xamine todo retene lo bon”196


Mathematical Painted Art, Visual Poems & Anticipators A few visual poets and word-iconographic painters composed (and sometimes computed ) with numbers, mathematical symbols, and created actual or conceptual formulas. While the focus is not new, such works are relegated to the obscure corner of obscure art and poetry called visual poetry. The following samples, though not the result of an exhaustive search, seem to suggest painters more than visual poets were more interested in numbers, symbols, and formulas. For those interested in writings on this subject by two of its more prolific makers, I suggest: 1. Kaz Maslanka197 198

“MATHEMATICAL POETRY” “Polyaesthetics and Mathematical Poetry”199 “Five Types of Mathematical Poetry”200 2. Bob Grumman, The [email protected]*(p0et)?ica Blog.201 Grumman’s collection includes several articles written between July, 2012, and March, 2014, for the print magazine Scientific American’s blog. His book, From Haiku to Lyriku, pages 250-255, contains a riff on mathematical visual poems associated with haiku. 1897 Thomas Eakins, “Henry Augustus”202 1910 Thomas Eakins, “Perspective study of boy viewing object”203 1913 Kazimir Malevich, “Arithmetics” in Alexei Kruchenykh’s VOZROPSHCHEM (Let's Grumble)204 Marius de Zayas !198

“Marsden Hartley, Painting Number 48”205s “Portrait of Mrs. Eugene Meyer”206 “Portrait of Paul Haviland”207 “Portrait of Stieglitz”208 “Portrait of Theodore Roosevelt”209 “Two Friends”210 1914 Marius de Zayas, “Portrait of Francis Picabia”211 1915 Fortunato Depero, “Numerical Warlike Landscape”212 1916 Fortunato Depero, “Bells” (“Onomalinguistic Chart”) 213 1918 Suzanne Duchamp, “Multiplication brisée et rétablie” (“Broken and Restored Multiplication”)214 Francis Picabia, “Machines Turn Quickly”215 Adon Lacroix and Man Ray, “La Logique Assassine” (“Murderous Logic”)216 El Lissitzky , Book cover for Chad Gadya217 1919 Suzanne Duchamp, “Broken And Restored Multiplication”218 Paul Klee, Triple Time 219 1920 Suzanne Duchamp,” Ariette d'oubli de la chapelle étourdie” (“Arlette forget the giddy Chapel”)220 Hilma af Klint, “The Mahatmas Present Standing Point, Series II, No. 2a”221 !199

1921 Charles Demuth, “Business”222 Alexander Vesnin, “5X5=25”223 1922 El Lissitzky, Book cover for Chad Gadya224 László Moholy-Nagy, “Typographic collage”225 1923 Giacomo Balla, “Numbers in Love”226 Paul Klee “Seventeen”227 “Station L 112”228 “Mathematic Vision” 229 Kazimir Malevich, “The Suprematist Mirror”230 1924 Paul Klee, “Schwarzer Herold” (“Black 1925 Boris Agapov, “Ski Run in GOSPLAN LITERATURY” (Economic Literature)232


Plan for

1926 Kitasono Katue, “Legend of the Airship”233 1928 Charles Demuth !200

“I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold” (Portrait of William Carlos Williams)234 “Love Love Love” (Portrait of Gertrude Stein)235 El Lissitzky, “Четыре (арифметических) действия”(“Four (arithmetic) actions”) 236 1930 Theo van Doesburg, “Arithmetic Composition”237 Man Ray, “Pythagore”238 1934 Raymond Jonson, “Cycle of Science: Mathematics”239 1938 Joaquín Torres-García, “Constructive City with Universal Man” (“Ciudad constructiva con hombre universal”)240 Paul Klee, “Heroic Fiddling”241 1941 Kenneth Patchen, “HOW TO BE AN ARMY”242 1946 “and there were big crowds of”243 1952 Xul Solar “Pan Tree” (Front)244 “Pan Tree” (Back)245 1953 Xul Solar “Zodiac”246 !201

“Desarrollo de Yi Ching”247 1954 Xul Solar • “Pan Altar”248 • “Pan Arbol”249 1960 Wlademir Dias Pino, “Numericos”250 Edgardo Antonio Vigo251 1953-1963, “Machinations” “252Poema matemático fallido” 1967 “Poema Visual”253 “Poème Mathématique Baroque”254 1969 “3 Poemas Matemáticos”255 1970 Richard Kostelanetz, “Mullions”256 1974 Edgardo Antonio Vigo, “Poema Matemático Censurado”257


Visual Music Scores Music scores as art are not new. What is new is abstraction as part of modern art and recent conceptual music works, performable and not. Unlike illuminated mathematical works, the illuminated abstract and conceptual musical scores are a wider field many are working with. Thus, the following timeline is but a small sample. 1300’s Boethius, “De Musica”258 1375 “Circular Song”259 1400’s Baude Cordier, “Belle, Bonne, Sage”260 “Tout par compas suy composés”261 1496 Gafurius, “Practica Musice”262 1540 Luce Antonii “Cantorinus ad Eorum Instructionem”263 “Celestial Harp”264 1913 Marsden Hartley, “Oriental Symphony”265


1915 “Audion Bulbs as Producers of Pure Musical Tones” (“The Electrical Experimenter”)266 1923 Francesco Cangiullo, “Poesia pentagrammata” (“Poetry on the Staff”)267 1930 Wassily Kandinsky, “Visual analysis of a piece of music for a color-theory class”268 1936 The Keaton Music Typewriter269 1952 Maurice Lemaître, “Symphonie n°1: Le mariaje du Don et de la Volga”270 1953 John Cage. “4'33" (In Proportional Notation)” (1952/1953) 271 1958 Edgard Varèse & Iannis Xénakis, “Poème électronique”272 1960 Cathy Berberian, “Bản Stripsody”273 Toshi Ichiyanagi “Music for Electric Metronome” “Kaiki [Recurrence] for Koto for John Cage” “IBM for Merce Cunningham”274 Boguslaw Schaeffer, “New Piano” “Sens zycia - ens tworczosc”275 !204

Wadada Leo Smith, “Luminous Axis”276 1961 Toshi Ichiyanagi, “MUSIC FOR PIANO” and STANZA FOR KOBAYASHI277 Roger Reynolds, “The Emperor of Ice Cream”278 1963 Cornelius Cardew, “Treatise” (1963-1967)279 1966 Sylvano Bussotti, “La Passion selon Sade” 280 Iannis Xenakis, “Study for Terretektorh,” “Study for Polytope de Montréal”281 1967 Terry Riley, “Keyboard Study 2”282 1968 Tom Phillips, “Opus IX”283 Tom Phillips, “Six Pieces, Op. X.”284 Terry Riley, “In C”285 1969 Dick Higgins, “Symphony No. 357 from The Thousand Symphonies”286 Tom Phillips “Irma”287 “Opus 13”288 1970 George Crumb, “Black Angels”289 !205

Gyorgy Ligeti, “Artikulation” (1942) scored by Rainer Wehinger290 1972 George Crumb, “Makrokosmos I291, I and II”292 Betty Danon, “Chance Combinations”293 1977 Lucinda Childs, “Dance Notations”294 George Crumb, “Star Child”295 1979 Betty Danon, “Zen Poem”296 1980 John Stump, “Faerie’s Aire and Death Waltz” (from ‘A Tribute to Zdenko G. Fibich’)297 1986 Betty Danon “Fluid Sounds”298 “le chant du signe”299 1987 Betty Danon, “Midnight Laughter”300 1991 Tom Phillips, “Six of Hearts: Songs for Mary Wiegold”301 1992 Betty Danon, “A Minus 50 Degree Love Poem”302 “Wu Poem”303 !206

2005 Llorenç Barber, “Cuaderno de Yokohama”304 Tim Hawkinson, “Uberorgan”305 2007 Karlheinz Stockhausen Cosmic Pulses306 2007-2013 Marco Fusinato “Black Mass Implosion”307 more works 308 contemporary dates unknown or source of scores Marco Fusinato 309 Curtis Roads, “Microsound”310 Daniel Seel311 Boguslaw Schaeffer312 Iannis Xenakis313



Further details: pdf Russia Constructed: the Practice of Avant-gardism in Taisho-era Japan, 1912-1926, http:// artblogbybob.blogspot.com/2008/10/island-hopping.html David Burliuk Japanese Futurist Art SocietNovember, 2018. 2https://frieze.com/article/heads-above-water/ November, 2018. 3 More details on Tomoyoshi Murayama & Mavo: http://www.frieze.com/issue/article/heads-above-water/ http:// monoskop.org/Tomoyoshi_Murayama pdf https://www.academia.edu/310516/ Dada_MAVO_and_the_Japanese_Avant-Garde_A_Prehistory_to_the_Introduction_of_Surrealism_to_Japan pdf http://monoskop.org/File:Weisenfeld_Gennifer_Japanese_Artists_and_the_Avant-Garde_1905-1931.pdf November, 2018. 4 for more details http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/japan/kit-int.htm, http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/japan/ DIAGRAMS.HTM, http://www.literatureandarts.com/kitasono.html http://www.lacma.org/node/12071November, 2018. 5 http://www.mutanteggplant.com/vitro-nasu/index.php?s=Kitasono+Katue November, 2018. 6 More details see Dijkstra, Cubism, Stieglizt and the Early Poetry of William Carlos William, 1978. 7 https://www.wikiart.org/en/charles-demuth November, 2018. 8 Cummings, Complete Works, 1980, pp 24, 49, 51, 53, 55, and 60. 9 For example, Haskell, Charles Demuth, 1987, p173. 10 Bry and Callaway, Editors. Georgia O'Keefe: In the West, 1989. 11Marius de Zayas Papers, http://findingaids.cul.columbia.edu/ead/nnc-rb/ldpd_4078697/summary November, 2018. Zayas , How, When, and Why Modern Art Came to New York, 1996. 12 http://modjourn.org/periodicals.html November, 2018. 13 This use of imagery preceded by many decades Kitasono, "Poetry started with a quill pen, and should should come to an end with a ball-point pen. The camera is fit to be used expressively by poets."http://www.thing.net/ ~grist/ld/japan/HIBINO.HTM November, 2018. 14 Young, “Kenneth Patchen Survey.” http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/kpint.htm November, 2018. http://moholynagy.org/art-database-gallery/nagy For printed color work see The Argument of Innocence: A Selection from the Arts of Kenneth Patchen, 1976. 15 Dick Higgins during a visit 16 Patchen samples https://www.pinterest.com/pin/38773246761932851November, 2018. 17 Reps. GOLD and/ fish signatures, p 56. 18 Reps. Playshop. Timeline http://www.paulreps.com/timeline.aspxMc — Samples of picture poems http://www.paulreps.com/PicturePoems.aspx November, 2018. “Paul Reps” by Ty Hadman http://www.ahapoetry.com/PP1000.htm November, 2018. 19 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-teicholz/wallace-berman-the-aleph-_b_1099615.html http://www.artnet.com/ artists/wallace-berman/ http://www.blastitude.com/13/ETERNITY/wallace_berman.htm 1)go to http:// www.pacificstandardtime.org; 2 to to art in L.A. 1946-1980 and click on exhibitions; and 3) click on Speaking in Tongues: The Art of Wallace Berman and Robert Heinecken. November, 2018. 20 https://www.moma.org/collection/ search Robert Heinecken. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/31/arts/design/robert-heineckens-rediscovery-as-a-found-art-pioneer.html? pagewanted=1&_r=1& large collection http://www.creativephotography.org/artists/robert-heinecken November, 2018. 21 https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-forgotten-female-abstract-expressionist-tracked-fbi, https:// www.artsy.net/artwork/beatrice-mandelman-blue-time-1 Marcy, 2018. 22 Young. “Whose History of What World?” http://www.jackmagazine.com/issue5/renhistkyoung.html November, 2018. 23 pdf https://monoskop.org/images/9/91/Concrete_Art_Manifesto_1930.pdf March 2017 24 Kane, Sound Unseen: Acousmatic Sound in Theory and Practice.“Pierre Schaeffer, the Sound Object, and the Acousmatic Reduction”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJq3jItducg Schaeffer & Henry: Orphée 53 (1953) November, 2018. 25 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/lettrist/isou-m.htm November, 2018. 26 http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/japan/DIAGRAMS.HTM November, 2018. 27 Two important articles by Joel Lipman on Porter: http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/09/the-sciart-origins-of-bernporters.html http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/09/afternote-seeking-truth-about-bern.html November, 2018. 28 for https://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2010/lostandfound/, https://hyperallergic.com/201631/bernporter-never-finish/ November, 2018.



Can we ignore the use of Abstract Expressionism as a propaganda agent by the CIA opposing Russian art? Would have it had the following had not unknown quantities of money financed its positive criticism as a public relations campaign against Russian realism? 30 http://www.alexandramunroe.com/all-the-landscapes-gutais-world/ November, 2018. 31 https://hyperallergic.com/385411/minoru-onoda-maru-anne-mosseri-marlio-galerie-basel-2017/ November, 2018. 32 http://moholy-nagy.org/art-database-gallery/November, 2018. 33 http://www.moma.org/learn/moma_learning/francis-picabia-dada-movement-1919 1920 November, 2018. 34 http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/dada/391/8/index.htm November, 2018. 35 http://www.wikiart.org/en/kurt-schwitters/picture-with-light-center-1919 November, 2018. 36 https://www.wikiart.org/en/suzanne-duchamp/fabrique-de-joie-1920 37 https://www.academia.edu/4731567/Tessel_M._Bauduin_The_metaphysical_empiricism_of_Hilma_af_Klint pdf https://www.academia.edu/4731567/Tessel_M._Bauduin_The_metaphysical_empiricism_of_Hilma_af_Klint p8 November, 2018. 38 http://www.wikiart.org/en/tag/el-lissitzky-suprematic-tale-about-two-squares November, 2018. 39 http://www.wdl.org/en/item/9609/view/1/1/ November, 2018. 40 http://moholy-nagy.org/art-database-gallery/ November, 2018. 41 http://moholy-nagy.org/art-database-gallery/ November, 2018. 42 http://moholy-nagy.org/art-database-gallery/ November, 2018. 43 h http://moholy-nagy.org/art-database-gallery/ November, 2018. 44 http://www.wikiart.org/en/el-lissitzky/do-not-read-grab-bars-paper-pieces-of-wood-fold-paint-build-1920 November, 2018. 45 http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/dada/391/13/index.htm November, 2018. 46 http://www.wikiart.org/en/kurt-schwitters/forms-in-space-1920 November, 2018. 47 http://www.wikiart.org/en/xul-solar/reptil-que-sube-1920 November, 2018. 48 http://www.antoniomiranda.com.br/poesia_visual/jose_juan_tablada.html#topo http://fuentes.csh.udg.mx/ CUCSH/argos/antologi/tablada.htm trans https://translate.google.com/translate? sl=es&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Ffuentes.csh.udg.mx%2FCUCSH%2Fargos %2Fantologi%2Ftablada.htm&edit-text= November, 2018. 49 https://www.moma.org/collection/works/78934November, 2018. 50 http://www.francisnaumann.com/elsa/Elsa07.html November, 2018. 51 http://moholy-nagy.org/art-database-gallery/ November, 2018. 52 http://moholy-nagy.org/art-database-gallery/ November, 2018. 53 http://moholy-nagy.org/art-database-gallery/ November, 2018. 54 http://www.moma.org/explore/multimedia/audios/29/733 November, 2018. 55 http://www.spectacles-selection.com/archives/expositions/fiche_expo_S/sonia-delaunay-V/sonia-delaunay.htm December, 2016. 56 http://www.wikiart.org/en/theo-van-doesburg/the-denaturalized-material-destruction-2-1923 November, 2018. 57 http://www.wikiart.org/en/paul-klee/separation-in-the-evening-1922 November, 2018. 58 http://www.wikiart.org/en/paul-klee/wall-painting-from-the-temple-of-longing-1922 November, 2018. 59http://www.wikigallery.org/wiki/painting_370651/Paul-Klee/Ouverture-%28Overture%29 http://www.artnet.com/ artists/paul-klee/ouvert%C3%BCre-overture-SU0umUK-FZDepeIcpM2YtQ2 image 15, November, 2018. 60 http://elib.shpl.ru/ru/nodes/3511-mayakovskiy-v-v-lyublyu-m-1922-maf-moskovskaya-v-buduschemmezhdunarodnaya-assotsiatsiya-futuristov-seriya-poetov-1#page/1/mode/grid/zoom/1 November, 2018. 61 http://moholy-nagy.org/art-database-gallery/s November, 2018. 62 http://www.wikiart.org/en/kurt-schwitters/santa-claus-1922 November, 2018. 63 http://www.wikiart.org/en/kurt-schwitters/something-or-other-1922November, 2018. 64 http://www.colophon.com/gallery/futurism/18.html Francesco Cangiullo http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/? q=Francesco%20Cangiullo November, 2018. 65 http://www.spectacles-selection.com/archives/expositions/fiche_expo_S/sonia-delaunay-V/sonia-delaunay.htm November, 2018. 66 http://elib.shpl.ru/ru/nodes/3515-mayakovskiy-v-v-pro-eto-m-pg-gos-izd-vo-1923#page/1/mode/grid/zoom/1 November, 2018. 67 http://www.wikiart.org/en/fernand-leger/the-inhuman-1923 November, 2018. 68http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/guides_bibliographies/lissitzky/6_victory/index.html November, 2018. 69 http://monoskop.org/Lissitzky M November, 2018. 70 http://monoskop.org/Lissitzky November, 2018. 71 http://www.moma.org/collection/works/91211 November, 2018.



Irradiado: Rivera, issue 1, Mendez issue 2, calligramme in issue, unknown issue 3 http://monoskop.org/Irradiador Rivera https://marginalblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/09/estridentismo-de-mexico-al-mundo/ November, 2018. 73 http://www.wikiart.org/en/kurt-schwitters/mz-231-miss-blanche-1923 November, 2018. 74 http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/dada/merz/1/pages/14.htm November, 2018. 75 http://www.wikiart.org/en/xul-solar/juzgue-1923#close November, 2018. 76 http://www.wikiart.org/en/xul-solar/san-danza-1925 November, 2018. 77 http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/dada/Ledantu/index.htm http://monoskop.org/ File:Zdanevich_Ilya_Iliazd_Lidantiu_faram.pdf November, 2018. 78 Riddell, Alan, ed. Typewriter Art. pdf http://monoskop.org/log/?p=11300.pp 19-26,November, 2018. 79 http://www.allpaintings.org/v/Surrealism/Alejandro+Xul+Solar/Alejandro+Xul+Solar+-+Pareja.jpg.html November, 2018. 803 pages http://www.russianartandbooks.com/cgi-bin/russianart/02246R.html Janecek. The Look of Russian Literature p196 -197 or http://www.google.com/url? November, 2018. sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=7&ved=0CD4QFjAG&url=http%3A%2F%2Feprints.lib.hokudai.ac.jp %2Fdspace%2Fbitstream %2F2115%2F8056%2F1%2FKJ00000034013.pdf&ei=wA1TVM_TCIKtyAS6t4DIBQ&usg=AFQjCNG27ZcbRnfc ycl2q_IrSGu61mNwPg&sig2=kAki2ZEUXEgDWQNnhI7BtApdf figures 3 - 5, November, 2018. 81 http://magictransistor.tumblr.com/post/119924832556/francis-picabia-portrait-de-jacques-h%C3%A9bertot November, 2018. 82 https://www.moma.org/collection/works/80171? classifications=any&date_begin=Pre-1850&date_end=2018&locale=en&q=Stuart+Davis%2C+%E2%80%9COdol %E2%80%9D&sov_referrer=collection&with_images=1 November, 2018. 83 http://www.artchive.com/artchive/D/dove/dove_ralph_dusenberry.jpg.htmlhttp://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ works-of-art/49.70.36 November, 2018. 84 https://www.moma.org/collection/works/98208?artist_id=1602&locale=en&sov_referrer=artist November, 2018. 85 http://www.wikiart.org/en/charles-demuth/poster-portrait-dove-1924 November, 2018. 86 http://www.wikiart.org/en/charles-demuth/poster-portrait-o-keefe-1924 http://www.pinterest.com/pin/ 460774605596412177/ November, 2018. 87 http://www.francisnaumann.com/elsa/Elsa06.html March, 2018 88 http://www.wikiart.org/en/laszlo-moholy-nagy/pneumatik-1924 November, 2018. 89 http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/dada/391/17/pages/01.htm November, 2018. 90 Janecek, The Look of Russian Literature. Ski Run pp 202-203. 91 http://whitney.org/Collection/ArthurDove/769 November, 2018. 92 http://www.moma.org/collection/object.php?object_id=37674 November, 2018. 93 https://www.moma.org/collection/works/78779?artist_id=1602&locale=en&sov_referrer=artist November, 2018. 94 http://collections.lacma.org/node/252164 November, 2018. 95 http://www.kunstkopie.de/kunst/paul_klee_11025/vast_rosenhafen.jpg November, 2018. 96 http://monoskop.org/Lissitzky November, 2018. 97 http://www.wikiart.org/en/rene-magritte/swift-hope-1928 November, 2018. 98 http://www.wikiart.org/en/rene-magritte/the-empty-mask-1928 November, 2018. 99 http://www.wikiart.org/en/rene-magritte/the-lining-of-sleep-1928 November, 2018. 100 http://courses.washington.edu/hypertxt/cgi-bin/book/wordsinimages/magritte.html November, 2018. 101 http://elib.shpl.ru/ru/nodes/3517-mayakovskiy-v-v-solntse-v-gostyah-u-mayakovskogo-new-york-1925#page/1/ mode/grid/zoom/1 November, 2018. 102 http://www.wikiart.org/en/joan-miro/photo-this-is-the-color-of-my-dreams November, 2018. 103 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/400116748116197512/ November, 2018. 104 http://monoskop.org/Man_Ray#mediaviewer/File:Rayograph_1925.jpg November, 2018. 105 pdf http://monoskop.org/log/?p=10690 November, 2018. 106 http://pintura.aut.org/SearchProducto?Produnum=29.050 http://www.photo.rmn.fr/C.aspx? VP3=SearchResult&IID=2C6NU0E6DZPE November, 2018. 107 http://www.wikiart.org/en/fernand-leger/a-b-c-1927 November, 2018. 108 http://www.wikiart.org/en/rene-magritte/the-interpretation-of-dreams-1927 November, 2018. 109 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/man-ray-ce-qui-manque-a-nous-tous-t07960/text-summary November, 2018. 110 http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/davis/davis.report-rockport.jpg November, 2018. 111 http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/a_f/crosby/heliograph.htm, https://medium.com/@volodymyrbilyk/ harry-crosby-and-his-black-sun-photoheliograph-poem-7346cb294cfb November, 2018. 112 http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/artist29.html November, 2018. 113 http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/japan/DIAGRAMS.HTM November, 2018. 114 https://www.moma.org/collection/works/80137 November, 2018. !210


http://www.wikiart.org/en/rene-magritte/the-tree-of-knowledge-1929 November, 2018. http://www.wikiart.org/en/rene-magritte/the-living-mirror-1929 November, 2018. 117 https://alexanderstorey.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/magritte.jpg November, 2018. 118 http://www.wikiart.org/en/kurt-schwitters/man-soll-nicht-asen-mit-phrasen-1930November, 2018. 119 https://www.moma.org/collection/works/79952 November, 2018. 120 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/513973376208727818/ November, 2018. 121 http://www.michaelrosenfeldart.com/artists/raymond-jonson-1891-1982/selected-works/1 November, 2018. 122 https://eye-of-the-artist.tumblr.com/post/48277336080/raymond-jonson-variation-on-rhythm-e-33x29, https:// www.pinterest.com/pin/448389706625943765/ http://www.michaelrosenfeldart.com/artists/raymondjonson-1891-1982 November, 2018. 123 http://americanart.si.edu/collections/search/artwork/?id=12761 November, 2018. 124 https://www.flickr.com/photos/centralasian/5463168070/ November, 2018. 125 http://www.photogravure.com/collection/searchResults.php?page=1&artist=Ray, %20Man&view=medium&file=Ray_Electricite_8 November, 2018. 126 http://www.wikiart.org/en/marsden-hartley/morgenrot-1932 November, 2018. 127 http://tierrateam.com/2013/02/ November, 2018. 128 http://www.visualartsource.com/index.php?page=editorial&aID=1282 November, 2018. 129 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/106467978661326808 November, 2018. 130 https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/wassily-kandinsky-abstract-print-462770842 November, 2018. 131 http://americanart.si.edu/collections/search/artwork/?id=15596 November, 2018. 132 http://collection.mam.org/details.php?id=13504 November, 2018. 133 https://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g33388-d128694-i191614137-Denver_Art_MuseumDenver_Colorado.html November, 2018. 134 http://www.artnet.com/artists/raymond-jonson/variation-on-a-rhythm-j-Nvk_ahfqxblRMxFWOWYGqA2 November, 2018. Correspondence from Stephen Lockwood, coordinator of exhibitions, University of New Mexico Museum. States series completed by 1936. More works https://www.pinterest.com/robcolvin/raymond-jonson/ November, 2018. 135 http://www.wikiart.org/en/rene-magritte/forbidden-literature-the-use-of-the-word-1936 November, 2018. 136 http://www.wikiart.org/en/paul-klee/legend-of-the-nile-1937 November, 2018. 137 http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/collections/collection-online/artwork/4060 November, 2018. 138 http://www.wikiart.org/en/paul-klee/the-vase-1938 November, 2018. 139 https://www.artsy.net/artwork/emil-bisttram-untitled-15 November, 2018. 140 ibid 141 https://www.pinterest.de/diebeforedeath/emil-james-bisttram/ November, 2018. 142 https://signalvnoise.com/posts/633-lszl-moholy-nagys-visual-representation-of-finnegans-wake November, 2018. 143 http://www.wikiart.org/en/kurt-schwitters/merzbild-alf-1939 November, 2018. 144 http://chewhatyoucallyourpasa.blogspot.com/2013/10/trancendental-new-mexico.html November, 2018. 145 https://aarongalleries.com/product/untitled-29/November, 2018. 146 http://www.wikiart.org/en/paul-klee/halme-1940 November, 2018. 147 http://welovetypography.com/post/7903 November, 2018. 148 http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/davis/g-and-w.jpg November, 2018. 149 http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/objects/2100/Pad_No._4# November, 2018. 150 http://www.wikiart.org/en/kurt-schwitters/the-holy-night-by-antoni-allegri-known-as-correggio-1947 November, 2018. 151 http://www.wikiart.org/en/rene-magritte/the-treachery-of-images-this-is-not-a-pipe-1948 November, 2018. 152 https://horadelsur.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/pomerand.gif November, 2018. 153 http://www.wikiart.org/en/rene-magritte/the-art-of-conversation-1950, http://www.wikiart.org/en/rene-magritte/ the-art-of-conversation-1950-1 http://www.wikiart.org/en/rene-magritte/the-art-of-conversation-1950-2 http:// www.wikiart.org/en/rene-magritte/the-art-of-conversation-1950-3 November, 2018. 154 http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/davis/mellow.jpg November, 2018. 155 http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/davis/davis.visa.jpg November, 2018. 156 http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/davis/san-pao.jpg November, 2018. 157 http://www.thing.net/~grist/lnd/lettrist/gpr-01.htm November, 2018. 158 http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/davis/rapt.jpg November, 2018. 159 http://www.thing.net/~grist/lnd/lettrist/isoua.htm, http://www.wikiart.org/en/isidore-isou/self-portrait-1952 November, 2018. 160 http://www.mauricelemaitre.org/~pfs/photography/ November, 2018. 161 https://www.wikiart.org/en/xul-solar/pan-tree-back-1952l https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/ 179158891396036196/?l=t November, 2018. 116



http://www.wikiart.org/en/isidore-isou/amos-1953 November, 2018. http://www.mauricelemaitre.org/~pfs/painting/ November, 2018. 164 http://www.mauricelemaitre.org/~pfs/sculpture2/ November, 2018. 165 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/179158891396036183/ November, 2018. 166 http://www.mauricelemaitre.org/~pfs/painting/ November, 2018. 167 130 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/409053578640942599/ November, 2018. 168 https://www.artsy.net/artwork/xul-solar-grafia November, 2018. 169 http://www.wikiart.org/en/xul-solar/muy-mago-portrait-of-aleister-crowley-1961 November, 2018. 170 http://www.wikiart.org/en/xul-solar/san-ignatius-1961 November, 2018. 171 http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/davis/blips.jpg November, 2018. 172 https://www.artsy.net/artwork/raymond-jonson-c-print November, 2018. 173 http://www.wikiart.org/en/rene-magritte/the-two-mysteries-1966. November, 2018. 174 https://universes.art/art-destinations/argentina/buenos-aires/museums/museo-xul-solar/ .https://universes.art/ magazine/articles/2013/xul-solar-in-venice/img/ https://www.wikiart.org/en/xul-solar http:// www.ciudadpintura.com/BU04?AutNum=15.794?EmpNum=15501November, 2018. 175 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/35536284531741660/ November, 2018. 176 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/35536284531741658/ November, 2018. 177 https://theworldsartist.com/artist/xul-solar/painting November, 2018. 178https://www.pinterest.com/pin/193514115211636389/ November, 2018. 179 https://universes.art/art-destinations/argentina/buenos-aires/museums/museo-xul-solar/08/ November, 2018. 180 http://wwwww.youhuafuzhi.com/gallery/A/Alejandro_Xul_Solar/ Alejandro_Xul_Solar___Iglesia_de_Marmaoa_37603.html November, 2018. 181 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/35536284531741304/ November, 2018. 182 http://www.ciudadpintura.com/SearchProducto?Produnum=9301584November, 2018. 183 https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/517069600950837330/ November, 2018. 184 http://wwwww.youhuafuzhi.com/gallery/A/Alejandro_Xul_Solar/ Alejandro_Xul_Solar___Lu_kene_ten_lu_base_nel_nergie__sin_ne_37615.html November, 2018. 185 http://www.artnet.com/artists/alejandro-xul-solar/mansilla-2936-C5HpFpI8QAErC4-qM-Jwpg2 November, 2018. 186 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/35536284531741219/ November, 2018. 187 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/517069600950838015/ November, 2018. 188 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/35536284531741174/. November, 2018. 189 https://universes.art/art-destinations/argentina/buenos-aires/museums/museo-xul-solar/23/ November, 2018. 190 https://universes.art/magazine/articles/2013/xul-solar-in-venice/img/03/ November, 2018. 191 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/509329039085349428/November, 2018. 192 https://www.pinterest.com.mx/pin/348747564879865954/ November, 2018. 193 https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/565272190710209143/ November, 2018. 194 https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/185280972153261190/ November, 2018. 195 https://www.pinterest.es/pin/517069600950838990/ November, 2018. 196 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/517069600950834797/ November, 2018. 197 http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/10/kaz-maslanka.html October 2018. 198 http://mathematicalpoetry.blogspot.com/ November, 2018. 199 http://mathematicalpoetry.blogspot.com/2008/02/download-polyaesthetics-and.html November, 2018. 200 http://mathematicalpoetry.blogspot.com/2010/06/4-types-of-mathematical-poems.html November, 2018. 163



[email protected]*(pOet)?ica [email protected]*(pOet)?ica: Summerthings [email protected]*(pOet)?ica–Louis Zukofsky’s Integral [email protected]*(pOet)?ica—Scott Helmes [email protected]*(pOet)?ica—of Pi and the Circle, Part 1 [email protected]*(pOet)?ica – Happy Holidays! [email protected]*(pOet)?ica—Circles, Part 3 [email protected]*(pOet)?ica-–Karl Kempton [email protected]*(pOet)?ica – Mathematics and Love [email protected]*(pOet)?ica–Mathekphrastic Poetry [email protected]*(pOet)?ica–Mathekphrastic Poetry, Part 2 [email protected]*(pOet)?ica – Matheconceptual Poetry [email protected]*(pOet)?ica–The Number Poems of Richard Kostelanetz [email protected]*(pOet)?ica–Music and Autobiography [email protected]*(pOet)?ica – PlayDay, Part One https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/mhpoetica-playday-part-two/ November, 2018. 202 Gamwell. Exploring the Invisible: Art, Science, and the Spiritual, 2002, p 176 http://www.wikiart.org/en/thomaseakins/portrait-of-henry-augustus-rowland-1897 http://www.thomaseakins.org/Portrait-of-Professor-Henry-A.Rowland-large.html November, 2018. 203 http://www.wikiart.org/en/thomas-eakins/eakins-perspective-study-of-boy-viewing-object-1910 November, 2018. 204 http://www.wikiart.org/en/kazimir-malevich/arithmetics-1913#supersized-artistPaintings-219603 http:// www.russianartandbooks.com/cgi-bin/russianart/01150R.html November, 2018. 205 http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/objects/1181/Painting_No._48 November, 2018. 206 http://www.francisnaumann.com/zayas/Zayas06.html November, 2018. 207 http://www.francisnaumann.com/zayas/Zayas02.html November, 2018. 208 http://www.francisnaumann.com/zayas/Zayas01.html November, 2018. 209http://www.francisnaumann.com/zayas/Zayas04.html November, 2018. 210http://www.francisnaumann.com/zayas/Zayas05.html November, 2018. 211 http://www.francisnaumann.com/zayas/Zayas03.html November, 2018. 212 http://aestheticperspectives.com/inventing-abstraction-1910-1925-moma/and more information: http:// designhistorymashup.blogspot.com/2008/04/fortunato-deperos-role-in-typographic.html November, 2018. 213 http://aestheticperspectives.com/inventing-abstraction-1910-1925-moma/ November, 2018. 214 https://flavorwire.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/suzanne-duchamp.jpg ahttp://dadasurr.blogspot.com/2011/08/ blog-post_21.html November, 2018. 215 https://www.artsy.net/artwork/francis-picabia-machines-turn-quickly November, 2018. 216 http://www.pinterest.com/pin/156148312050733169/ www.shepherdgallery.com/pdf/manray.pdf November, 2018. 217 http://www.wikiart.org/en/el-lissitzky/book-cover-for-chad-gadya-by-el-lissitzky-1919 November, 2018. 218 https://www.wikiart.org/en/suzanne-duchamp November, 2018. 219 https://issuu.com/simoncdickinsonltd/docs/final_klee_5.2 p 39, March, 2017. 220 https://www.wikiart.org/en/suzanne-duchamp/ariette-d-oubli-de-la-chapelle-tourdie-1920 March, 2017. 221 http://www.wikiart.org/en/hilma-af-klint/the-mahatmas-present-standing-point-series-ii-no-2a-1920 2 standstills pdf https://www.academia.edu/4731567/Tessel_M._Bauduin_The_metaphysical_empiricism_of_Hilma_af_Klint p 8, March, 2017. 222 http://www.wikiart.org/en/charles-demuth/business-1921 March, 2017. 223 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5x5%3D25 March, 2017. 224 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9e/Design_by_El_Lissitzky_1922.jpg March, 2017. 225 http://moholy-nagy.org/art-database-gallery/ March, 2017. 226 http://exhibitions.guggenheim.org/futurism/arte_meccanica/ http://pictify.com/671362/numeri-innamoratinumbers-in-love-by-giacomo-balla-1920-23 http://www.pinterest.com/pin/87046205273209757/ November, 2018. 227 http://www.wikiart.org/en/paul-klee/seventeen-1923 November, 2018. 228 http://www.wikiart.org/en/paul-klee/station-l-112-1923Mc 229 Barnett & Heifenstein. The Blue Four: Feininger, Jawlensky, Kandinsky and Klee in the New World, 1998, p 25. 230 http://monoskop.org/Kazimir_Malevich# November, 2018. 231 http://prod-images.exhibit-e.com/www_simondickinson_com/ 20__Schwarzer_Herold_Black_Herald__19241.jpg, https://issuu.com/simoncdickinsonltd/docs/final_klee_5.2/101 p 71, March, 2018 232 Janecek, Look of Russian Literature, pp 202 - 203.



https://ericselland.wordpress.com/2010/04/02/kitasono-katue-poems-trans-john-solt/ http://www.thing.net/~grist/ ld/japan/DIAGRAMS.HTM March, 2018 234 http://www.wikiart.org/en/charles-demuth/i-saw-the-figure-5-in-gold-1928 March, 2018 235 http://www.wikiart.org/en/charles-demuth/love-love-love March, 2018 236 http://www.wikiart.org/en/el-lissitzky/four-arithmetic-actions-1928 March, 2018 237 http://cultured.com/image/515/Arithmetic_Composition/#.VK4zUCewmHkMarch, 2018 238 http://issuu.com/carlocambieditore/docs/fisheye_4 , p22 March 2017, p22,March, 2018 239 https://livingnewdeal.org/projects/university-of-new-mexico-art-museum-astronomy-mural-albuquerque-nm/ http://artmuseum.unm.edu/online-exhibitions/pure-feeling/ March, 2018 240 http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/collections/collection-online/artwork/4061 March, 2018 241 http://www.wikiart.org/en/paul-klee/heroic-fiddling-1938 March, 2018 242 Patchen. Collected Poems, p 301; The Argument of Innocence: A Selection from the Arts of Kenneth Patchen, p 31. http://longhousepoetryandpublishers.blogspot.com/2013/09/cloth-of-tempest-kenneth-patchen_9.html March, 2018 243 Patchen. SLEEPERS AWAKE. p 214. 244 http://www.wikiart.org/en/xul-solar/pan-tree-front-1952#closeNovember, 2018. 245 http://www.wikiart.org/en/xul-solar/pan-tree-back-1952 November, 2018. 246 http://www.wikiart.org/en/xul-solar/zodiaco-1953 November, 2018. 247 http://www.wikiart.org/en/xul-solar/desarrollo-de-yi-ching-1953 November, 2018. 248 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/179158891396036183/ November, 2018. 249 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/173670129353125250/ November, 2018. 250 http://poetassigloveintiuno.blogspot.com/2014/03/wlademir-dias-pino-11396.html ,http:// www.antoniomiranda.com.br/poesia_visual/wladimir_ias_pino.html November, 2018. 251.https://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2014/vigo/ November, 2018. 252 http://www.antoniomiranda.com.br/poesia_visual/edgardo_antonio_vigo.html November, 2018. 253 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/vigo/vigo01.htm November, 2018. 254 http://archives.carre.pagesperso-orange.fr/Vigo-Poeme-Mathematique-1.jpg November, 2018. 255 Three math poems in this Latin America pdf http://caiana.caia.org.ar/template/caiana.php?pag=articles/ article_2.php&obj=136&vol=4 M November, 2018. 256 Riddell. Typewriter Art p118 http://monoskop.org/log/?p=11300 November, 2018. 257 http://archives.carre.pagesperso-orange.fr/Vigo-Poema-matema-censu-1.jpg November, 2018. 258 http://www.flickr.com/photos/nationallibrarynz_commons/5343921037/ November, 2018. 259 http://alfiusdebux.tumblr.com/image/84309907089 http://www.pinterest.com/pin/473300242061662524/ November, 2018. 260 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baude_Cordier November, 2018. 261 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baude_Cordier#/media/File:Cordier_circular_canon.gif March, 2017 262 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musica_universalis#mediaviewer/File:The_music_of_the_spheres.jpg November, 2018. 263 http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/1717/1584/1600/Cantorinus%20ad%20eorum%20instructionem.jpg November, 2018. 264 http://www.pinterest.com/pin/227291112417518842/, https://www.pinterest.com/pin/227291112417518842/ November, 2018. 265 http://www.wikiart.org/en/marsden-hartley/musical-theme-oriental-symphony-1913 November, 2018. 266 http://acousmata.com/post/86312004456/source-lee-de-forest-audion-bulbs-as-producers#sthash.6rIQXxD0.dpuf November, 2018. 267 http://www.colophon.com/gallery/futurism/18.html November, 2018. 268 http://www.pinterest.com/pin/377528381236785781/ November, 2018. 269 http://www.coollikepie.com/inspiration-blog/odd-inventions158 November, 2018. 270 http://www.mauricelemaitre.org/~pfs/poetry-music/ November, 2018. 271 http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/exhibitions/1421 http://www.openculture.com/2013/10/see-the-curiousscore-for-john-cages-silent-zen-composition-433.html November, 2018. 272 http://www.pinterest.com/pin/83035186855120823/ November, 2018. 273 http://kenh14.vn/doc-cham/graphic-notation-khi-nhung-not-nhac-tro-thanh-tac-pham-hoihoa-2013100912231307.chn November, 2018. 274 http://socks-studio.com/2014/02/03/fields-of-indeterminacy-toshi-ichiyanagis-fluxus-scores/ March, 2017 275 http://universalartsfestival.com/boguslaw-schaeffer.html November, 2018. 276 http://kenh14.vn/doc-cham/graphic-notation-khi-nhung-not-nhac-tro-thanh-tac-pham-hoihoa-2013100912231307.chn November, 2018.



http://www.pinterest.com/pin/288582288596705739/, http://artistsbooksandmultiples.blogspot.fr/2013/08/toshiichiyanagi-music-for-piano.html http://www.moma.org/explore/inside_out/2012/12/21/exhibiting-fluxus-keepingscore-in-tokyo-1955-1970-a-new-avant-garde November, 2018. 278 http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/html/images/emperor.jpg November, 2018. 279 http://kenh14.vn/doc-cham/graphic-notation-khi-nhung-not-nhac-tro-thanh-tac-pham-hoihoa-2013100912231307.chn November, 2018. 280 http://thesmallercity.tumblr.com/post/41196152864/sylvano-bussotti-la-passion-selon-sade-1966 http:// acousmata.com/post/41130724636/bussotti-passion-selon-sade November, 2018. 281 http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2010/02/avant-garde_com.html November, 2018. 282 http://www.pinterest.com/pin/545076361124802605/ November, 2018. 283 http://www.tomphillips.co.uk/works/music-scores/item/5281-ornamentik-opus-ix November, 2018. 284 http://www.tomphillips.co.uk/works/music-scores/item/5422-six-pieces November, 2018. 285 http://www.thevinylfactory.com/vinyl-factory-news/terry-rileys-minimalist-masterpiece-in-c-remastered-fromoriginal-tapes/ November, 2018. 286 http://www.moma.org/collection/browse_results.php?criteria=O%3AAD%3AE %3A2637&page_number=20&template_id=1&sort_order=1 November, 2018. 287 http://www.tomphillips.co.uk/works/music-scores/item/5414-irma November, 2018. 288 http://www.tomphillips.co.uk/works/music-scores/item/5425-motto-variations-stones-for-christian-wolff November, 2018. 289 http://blogs.houstonpress.com/rocks/2011/10/george_crumb_a_gallery_of_biza.php http://www.crosssound.com/ CS10/concerts/concerts.html#sunrise November, 2018. 290 http://ahsmusictechnology.pbworks.com/w/file/51626699/Ligeti%20-%20Artikulation%20%5BScore%5D.pdf http://carys-contextualstudies.blogspot.com/2014/03/week-6-graphic-score-write-up.html http:// www.interactiondesign.se/blog/2014/12/rainer-wehingers-visual-score-of-ligetis-artikulation/http:// www.theguardian.com/music/tomserviceblog/2009/sep/15/ligeti-artikulation-stockhausen November, 2018. 291 http://andrewhearst.com/blog/2006/02/ the_amazing_music_scores_of_the_avant_garde_composer_george_crumb November, 2018. 292 http://thesoundofeye.blogspot.com/2010/11/george-crumb-makrokosmos-i-ii-scores.html November, 2018. 293 http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/danon/bd-staf1.htm November, 2018. 294 http://www.ateliertoutvabien.com/archives/lucinda-childs.html November, 2018. 295 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star-Child_by_George_Crumb November, 2018. 296 http://www.bettydanon.it/ November, 2018. 297 http://socks-studio.com/2012/05/19/the-unplayable-score-faeries-aire-and-death-waltz-john-stump/ November, 2018. 298 http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/danon/bd-staf3.htm November, 2018. 299 http://www.bettydanon.it/ November, 2018. 300 http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/danon/bd-staf4.htm November, 2018. 301 do not miss notes on all 6 http://www.tomphillips.co.uk/works/music-scores/item/89-six-of-hearts November, 2018. 302 http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/danon/bd-staf2.htm November, 2018. 303 http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/danon/bd-staf5.htm November, 2018. 304 http://socks-studio.com/2013/12/18/radical-music-llorenc-barber-cuaderno-de-yokohama-2005/ 305 http://www.oddmusic.com/gallery/om32290.html November, 2018. 306 http://www.sonoloco.com/rev/stockhausen/91.html November, 2018. 307 http://marcofusinato.com/art/mass-black-implosion/ November, 2018. 308 http://freshgoodminimal.ro/?p=2510 November, 2018. 309 http://io9.com/5474251/music-is-what-numbers-feel-like/ November, 2018. 310 http://www.pinterest.com/pin/202802789445005644/ November, 2018. 311 http://www.danielseel.info/samples/samplesenglish.htm November, 2018. 312 http://universalartsfestival.com/boguslaw-schaeffer.html http://www.vocalconstructivists.com/featuredcomposers/on-boguslaw-schaeffer/ November, 2018. 313 http://klang.dk/nyheder/oldschool-avantgarde-4-intro-til-iannis-xenakis1/ November, 2018.


Publisher’s Note 2 The First Reader The Hungarian visual poet Márton Koppány was one of several people who commented on karl’s manuscript as it developed. While we got the book ready for publication, I saw a little of that correspondence and felt that Márton’s would make a good second voice, bringing the colour and shade of dialogue. karl’s book, which celebrates dissenters, contains its own dissenting voice. I suggested that some of Márton’s emails be included in the book. Both karl and Márton liked the idea, but wanted to cut the redundant comments karl had already incorporated into the text. As they discussed it, a second correspondence grew out of this original set of emails. We limited the featured correspondence to four emails. After Márton had cut the redundant parts from his originals, karl then wrote a set of new responses. In order that the thing didn’t spiral, it was agreed that Márton would not reply to these responses. Márton’s fourth letter is the Foreword of this book. The other three are here. Some of the debate relates to previous sections, in other places it prefigures sections that are still to come. Both karl and myself would like to thank Márton again for his passionate engagement in the book as it came toward completion. He is the truly the First Reader. PD1



(Letter the first) Dear karl, Many thanks for sending the latest version! I enjoyed thoroughly your close reading of forgotten and recovered works of art. It doesn't mean that I would (or anybody should) fully identify with the story as a whole. I've confessed my own dispositions many times to you, here is one (slightly edited) version that I found in my files: Your book has been an excellent support for contemplating on my own conscience and situation as well. Our likes and dislikes frequently meet. Your eyes are very sharp, that's obvious for me. And we look for something more than formal games, empty designs, deliberate opacity or one-dimensional messages. But I'm more troubled than "realized", more yearning than knowing. That is my lifeexperience. Koans, Madhyamika, Talmudic and Hassidic stories etc. have helped me a lot though. Also writers such as Kafka. I see how different he was from many other writers of his age in the West, not Kafkaesque at all, especially not in The Trial, which is hymnic for me. Those kinds of fault lines are the most interesting from my point of view. The slightest difference (between one and the same thing) rather than the East-West or the pre WW1 – post WW1 standards because there are always exceptions, and several stories, hidden or not, run simultaneously. That is, perhaps, why I'm over-suspicious about generalizations – perhaps beyond a healthy extent. So here are my short comments: You mention "pretty writing" and "nihilistic scribble" (italics mine) in the same chapter on asemics, but then you concentrate on the second expression. They have different sources, I guess. What are the sources of pretty writing? Certainly not the unconscious, via Carl Jung, that you referred to concerning nihilistic scribble.


Dialectical materialist conviction (with its many versions) is not a guarantee for making materialistic art. You can make idealistic art with materialist ideas and materialistic art with one-dimensional, un-dramatic religious conviction. Neither positive nor negative energy bursts result in art without the presence of... Ok, I don't know (especially not beforehand). Disease is a complicated issue. It is very problematic to stigmatize somebody (or a whole period) as ill. There was an era when "the paintings of Paul Klee were compared to the art of retarded children and hung in mental asylums."2 Nihilistic has been an epithet so broadly used to describe or disqualify targeted sets of people (both oppressors and oppressed) and works, that I don’t know what to make of it until I read your commentary on this or that piece of art: how you transmit their fabric. Márton


(Letter the second) Dear karl, My latest footnotes, mostly on your new addition on asemic writing were too little in themselves as a reaction to the book as a whole and I don't know how I can manage more (also because I can't use the earlier comments in their original forms because your book kept changing over the years). When we closed (as it turned out: only another phase of :-) our dialogue about your exciting manuscript, I told you something like that we probably had reached the point where, on the one hand, I liked your text more than any time before and on the other hand, you apparently wouldn't accept more ideas for change like making it more clear whether the unconscious is a Freudian or a Hindu term in the context of your work, or how neo-concrete and vispo overlap, and who belong to which (and who not) (and why) etc. I told you and would like to repeat that your close reading of favorite works and authors is admirable, even enlightening in some cases. I also enjoyed your ability to tell an intriguing story (which is very much your own story as a creator, from my angle!), so the book has a strong unity. My problem has been the same from the beginning: I can't identify with the ideological stuff, I mean, the farther you go from visual writing, the more question marks I have. By ideological I do not mean religious/spiritual inclinations. They are fine with me, and I share your curiosity, too, and I've been attracted to that kind of literature for a long time. By ideological I simply mean the perennial use of words like beauty, mysticism etc. What was beautiful for a seer-poet, say, when Vedanta began? And what was beautiful for a poet after WWII, who saw a lot of things and survived? Ugliness might be a representation of beauty. Each work of art is unique. It is moving to see how well you know that in your own practice of close readings.


I remember our old dialogues about the East-West duality, how real it is (and if partly artificial, how it was invented in European Romanticism). Sometimes we compare the idealized version of one world to the realistic version of another one. The frameworks of interpretations keep changing over time and cultures. One funny example is a book on the reception of the Madhyamika school and Nagarjuna’s philosophy in the West, which I read decades ago. The author talks about German idealist, Anglo-American analytical, and post-Wittgensteinian phases. And in a more ancient period, at the alleged Council of Tibet, we are told that the partisans of the sudden and gradual enlightenment ended by "killing each other in the name of emptiness.”3 So it is really hard to give an overall view of the comparative history of religious/spiritual ideas, especially in a book focusing on visual writing otherwise. It would be a difficult task for a specialist of religious traditions as well. (Our secondary sources are frequently different. One important exception is Gershom Scholem, whose work was brought up by me in an earlier phase of our dialogue.) I suggested that you should concentrate on your story, and to tell it rather than labelling concurring stories, and I was happy to see that you moved in that direction indeed. (By labeling I mean negative attributes without too much explanation.) Sometimes movements are not more (or less) than groups of friends. Also: some visual poets in the concrete period and before not only weren't accepted in concrete circles: the term of visual poetry wasn't used in the 50's, as far as I know (and I might be completely wrong), so they had to name and imagine themselves differently – but they did create their works, which you re-discovered for us! Our categorization is retrospective. Márton


(Letter the third) Dear karl, I imagine mystic experience being wordless and formless, therefore it can take many forms (of re-presentation) and those forms are influenced by different traditions and the peculiarities of their authors. So they are new again and again. What we read as such (if anything), how we read it, even how we call it (because the term originally comes from Christian spirituality), depends on our own traditions and experiences.. We are forced to act here and now, and no spiritual background (or even: no enlightenment – which funnily/wisely happens not once but repeatedly in some Buddhist schools, for instance) can solve our dilemma. On the other hand, good "heart" (as you referred to it when talking about "sun religions") has many sources, and the poetry of different cultures and ages is an inspiration. Back to so called rational thinking and to the world of relative or conventional truths. From my perspective it also means that the passion of adoration must be controlled by reason: if you don't belong to a system (I use the word, system, here in the most general sense, not as a political category), you might find yourself isolated, and down everywhere. There is a distance. There is a separation. That is why we long for being "uplifted" – through poetry, too. And sometimes humor becomes our prayer. Beckett's puppets pray all day. Poetry helps us cry and laugh, or do both at the same time. The following quote from Hee-Jin Kim (a contemporary commentator of Dogen’s) just came to my mind while reading your book. It is about how Dogen, master of poetry and insightful word plays as well, paraphrases old Chan metaphors on the "ongoing salvific processes": "Note that the metaphoric vision of being shattered or fallen signifies the deeply unsettling human predicament that calls for practice right this moment—beyond any explanation, interpretation, or rationalization of it. Thus the urgency to live such a shattered and fallen state thoroughly and penetratingly in a given historical situation is critical."4 !222

So what does the seer see? Is there anything specific (or in the context of your book: specifically spiritual) about visual text art or language art compared to textual poetry, coming from the characteristics of the genre? My hypothesis at the moment is that when we move from textual poetry toward art and image and gestures, from words to letters and punctuation marks – my life story :-) –, we feel, at least for a while, that the images are more ineffable (silent, therefore mysterious). Or more direct, in some sense. But it is not as much because of the direction of the motion as because of the motion itself. Márton


Letter, the first Dear Márton, Let me again acknowledge your invaluable comments over the years on this book. There will be individuals missed or unmentioned, topics not adequately covered, avoided or unattended. Our back-and-forth has sent me in directions otherwise overlooked and important details that may not have been included. Your phrase, conscience and situation as a "poet," has been from the beginning a primary concern of mine when I threw over my graduate school studies to devote my life to “poetry.” Since then I have been attempting to answer my question, “What does a poet do besides write poetry?” Among many answers, the religious-spiritual-shaman-political role of the bard outlined by Robert Graves provided an intriguing alternative to the academic, confessional and other poet types in 1974. It was closely aligned with the activities of the Beats such as Gary Snyder and Lew Welch. Soon, deeper roles with societal and spiritual contributions by the Ch’an, Zen, Tibetan and Sufi poets caught my attention, the Ch’an / Zen having been pointed to by the Beats. Later, I came across the Bhakti poets of South Asia who remain highest on my reading and studying priorities and followed by Sufi, Ch’an, and Zen poets. Without going into greater detail (implied in the Appendix) but immersed in this subject matter, while revisiting the pre WWI avant-garde, I was struck by their collective (except the Italians) idealism wanting to create art and poetry for the higher purpose of societal betterment, not ego gratification and self aggrandizement (which nevertheless remained active with most individuals). Worth noting among this global generation, the seer-poet and enlightened master, Sri Aurobindo, who set the stage for Gandhi. Given the field’s history and geographical expanse, generalizations at times cannot be avoided. Also, I refrained from naming individuals. It is not that I desire to avoid conflict, for there is much in this material many will not agree with, rather it is an attempt to reduce the subjective. !224

“Beautiful writing” is the meaning of calligraphy, derived from Greek’s καλλιγραφία (kallos, beauty and graphein, to write). Once it was a high art as I pointed to in Europe blending beautiful writing and illumination. It has been reduced by the printing press in Eurocentric culture, unlike Islamic, Chinese, Japanese and other Asian calligraphies that not only maintained high levels of expression but continued evolving despite technological “advancements.” At least in this country calligraphy when generally referred to, has become pretty writing, found for example, in birthday, wedding and the like announcements, logos and gravestone. My source is experience and searching and failing, except in rare cases, to find for contemporary works approaching the old masters. There are a handful trying to lift calligraphy back to its proper place among the arts. The scribbling and abstract asemics may be creating a drag inhibiting its return. Among these are, in my opinion the "nihilistic scribblers," the chaotic ones who oppose, consciously or not, those Beauty-orientated. Your pointed criticism of my use of nihilism made me take another look at my usage. I find that you are correct within the context of its formal definition. So, not to add to the confusion I will replace it with “sloppy and chaotic” works. Like you, among the asemics I find a small number of individuals’ works important. They may be the potential leaders of a new Eurocentric calligraphy once they return to language, symbol and iconographics expertly wedded in a new fusion. Regarding “Dialectical materialist conviction (with its many-many versions) is not a guarantee for making materialistic art:” We are in agreement as stated and your following concerns. However, my concerns have been dialectical materialism’s and its forms’ tidal wave soaking much of what they touched and to a large extent contributing to the distain of the spiritual in general as a sort of intellectual and political counter reformation and in particular to spirituality in art to such an extent that even the at-times-fierce-minded Karl Young could not fully illuminate his inclinations fearing ostracism. Karl revealed this during my visual poetic rendering of his translation of “The Dream of the Cross.”5 The other side of the Eurocentric coin, of course, which you alluded to, is the damage caused by


religious (not spiritual) art. I easily point to those sourced from the Book of Revelations that caused and remains causing serious societal damage. We agree casting the wide net of illness over a group or nation is not advisable, nevertheless that does not mean ignoring such illness when symptoms prove its presence. During the Twenties Jung was picking up in dream analysis something foreboding in the German psyche soon to manifest. We can agree something foreboding is again infecting sections of Europe and the States disguised as a specific group-mind politic.



Letter, the second Dear Márton, Again, I thank your support of this project, one that I will not complete given its scope. I have drawn a line at times where I wish I did not. For example, a discussion of Asian calligraphy has been neglected despite the fact that in China numerous poets were highly accomplished calligraphers. Many Ch’an poems and some biographies of masters were carved into rock. Brush strokes were analyzed with conclusions of harmony with the Dao and so forth. I did not define the term, unconscious, assuming the reader would know its meaning found in an English dictionary: “the part of the mind which is inaccessible to the conscious mind but which affects behavior and emotions.” This is the shared agreement as far as I know across cultures. Finding and analyzing it differed through time. Its place in cosmologies differ. Contemporary Eurocentric cosmology has consciousness ascending from the Big Bang beginning with single cell life. Matter has no consciousness (except for the mentioned exception in the previous letter-response). Most other cosmologies have consciousness descending from the Cause through various levels to the earthly plane, including matter having consciousness but being inconscient. Sufi, South Asian, and other Asian psychologies start with the Causes’ undefinable consciousness downward to human enlightenment and other levels (or lack) of human awareness, other nonhuman forms of consciousness and unconsciousness, and then the inconscient. Many have their versions of evolution, consciousness reascending from the inconscient. All cosmologies, philosophies, and psychologies are reflected consciously and unconsciously in their associated visual text arts. --Nico Vassilakis6 seems to have coined vispo for the neo-concrete crowd. He and Crag Hill used it in their The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008. Among our occasional correspondence, there was, as I recall, no problem regarding his acceptance of my neo-concrete overlay atop vispo. The loose affinity !227

(Vispo Facebook group of over 2700 for example) of vispo seems to accept without much resistance many, if not all (individual dependent), of the ideas from the visual poetry subgroup of the language poets that suggest inclinations towards text only, usually in a fissioned display, anti referential, and anti iconographic image. This is my conclusion from many scans; admittedly not being a fan I am not paying close attention. However, to be clear, I am not contending there are not works of value. The exceptional prove few. Experimental works should remain behind the closed door of the lab until the voiced-eye is found. Irony smiles, hearing the term vispo and those I corresponded with b.c., before computer, know the why of its grinning. My correspondence was typed. I often short-handed. I reduced “visual poetry” to vizpo or vispo. However, I was referring to the fusion of the new visual poetic form and all the arts. There is a reason that I do not list members of this type and fully comment (negative, positive or neutral). Considering myself an independent operator I am not part of a specific group or movement. My efforts in the area of writing history and “criticism” are mainly concerned with the overlooked and the promising. I would hope readers realize I am sharing research and experience from my viewing platform not trying to forge an ism but attempting to stretch the reach for the highest ideals by advancing the works of others for societal betterment — and remain open for the incoming for my own works. --Beauty as I use it / Her is a descending, reflective essence providing access to its energy on our plane. I discuss Beauty in the last section because Beauty not only informed most historical calligraphies and other visual text arts, it was at times successfully sourced through the intuitive by some of the 20th century avantgarde visual text artists. Additionally, the influence of Persian and Arab language word painters on post WWII Eurocentric visual text arts and the groups I point to, such as the Pueblo and other First People groups of North America, the Transcendental Group in New Mexico, the Lettrists and others required, I felt and thought, a discussion on a wider context of Beauty. Beauty in this sense indeed is found in perennial philosophy as a descending essence found among most West !228

Asian, Greek and Egyptian cosmologies. Also, there is the Beauty expressed in the Navaho prayer, Beauty Way. This, of course, runs counter to contemporary “rational” philosophy rooted in the 1800s that with one or two exceptions shaved off Plato’s upper-realm experiences from discussion or if discussed, pejoratively so. Part of this effort was fracturing Platonism into two groups, Platonic and Neoplatonic, rather than presenting a historical unfoldment one finds in Sufism, Bhakti or Ch’an/Zen. For many, I guess, without indirect or direct experience, this may seem difficult to understand and accept. I mentioned the bard as an early role model. Later, I came across South Asia’s rishi, a poet-seer, who I have been holding much closer to my heart. Their surviving writings form the Rig Veda in which the first mantras were recorded in text after an unknown span of oral transmission between master and students. The commentary on the Rig Veda, the Upanishads, came from later generations of rishis. Some of the poetic phrases were mantras rishis (male and female) saw during meditation. Moving beyond or deeper, the individual whose name became associated with a specific mantra saw an aspect of the divine the mantra manifested, or to put it another way, from whom the mantra descended. Within the greater cosmology most know Aum/Om, the sound-creative, came forth from the unmanifested making the manifested. The manifested is known as Hiranyagarbha, the golden egg or the golden womb. “Golden” is from its golden boundary, bordering manifested and unmanifested; all forms descend to the material plane. One great soul, Purusha, permeates all matter and life. Every human soul is connected to It and thus each other and all creation. See your true Self, see Purusha. In the Bhagavad Gita Krishna said he was the Purusha; all deities, He said, are in fact Him (Essence not personality). This is the Beauty seen by the rishis, later the yogis and then later the Bhaktis. From their descriptions of these forms, artists painted and sculpt. I feel too that the deepest, meaningful root experience of the Navaho Beauty Way is an expression of such an experience. Beauty sought and created on this plane, thus, reflects or reaches to reflect the ideal forms. Long ago I wrote an article published by Bob Grumman, “Blueviolet Shift” (no longer on the web), using the doppler effect as an analogy !229

presenting types of works moving towards the reader/viewer as a healing and/or uplifting process (blue and violet the colors of the mystical) or those works moving away from the reader/viewer in red shift as chaotic, angry and upsetting. For me an ongoing concern has been our role as poets to be healers and uplifters in our increasingly conflicting and warring global tribal body politic. Self portraits of our human collective chaotic mess, the dystopic (up to bordering and perhaps embracing nihilism), and art for self-aggrandizement only add, in my opinion, to the negative. The world changes when an individual at last sees her or his true Self. In a Buddhist frame they become a Buddha. While, as you say there is no “Brahmanlike Self in the most sub-schools of Indian Buddhism,” a Buddhist became a Buddha through clarity of “mind, no mind, no-no-mind.” Ch’an and Zen do not discuss the soul as you indicate following traditions back to Buddha; what is shared is individual mind with Mind much like the Greeks with individual nous and the universal Nous. Though the Greeks also recognized the soul. Another note of this is the acceptance by Ch’an and Zen schools of tracing direct transmission from older master to the successor back to Buddha. Moreover, Brahman represents the combined manifested and un-manifested reality much like the Buddhist Mind. Buddhists think with the heart, not the mind, as most non Eurocentrics. This returns us to Jung. During his sojourn to the American Southwest he met a Navajo healer who stated, to his surprise and final agreement, that the White man did not think with his heart but with his mind. Thinking with the heart offers openness to the intuitive. While visiting India, much to his discredit, Jung refused to meet enlightened yogis fearing his scientific method would be polluted. Ego chosen over Truth wherever it lead. --In regards to your last concern, “our categorization is retrospective,” terminology, and use of the term “visual poetry,” I will be brief. The opening paragraph of the Introduction addresses this issue and implies, I thought and felt, the required use of new terms as we swim across the ocean of time. Visual poetry was first coined in 1965 as it came to be used as a fusion type of visual text art; !230

Dick Higgins and I came to this conclusion separately in the mid 1980s. I pointed out several instances of works between 1900 and post WWII that would have been considered belonging to either concrete poetry or visual poetry prior to their being coined. Karl Young pointed out that before concrete and visual poetry were types, individuals such as Patchen were tagged as a member of a specific group rather than makers of a visual text art form. In Patchen’s case, much to his chagrin, he was collated and assigned Beat. Though by steering closer to one of its origins, the beat of beatitude, was closer to his intent. karl


Letter, the third Dear Márton, Your letter opens numerous issues requiring some walk-about across conceptual barriers, the walk perhaps a songline singing them together. Referencing Dogen and then an interpretative quote concerning him and a state of being or awareness opens, for example, the need to address translation, initiate traditions in general, and Zen. The first topic is the problem of translation dealing with various spiritual traditions. It is further complicated by terms existing or not for experiential states or levels of consciousness across Eurocentric languages and cultures, especially so in English. Some translators remain unaware of differences between emotions and levels of consciousness. An aspect of such confusion may come from another controversial arena requiring comment, differences between “rationally” analyzed experience from within or outside initiation “circles” and the variety of traditions. To use Suhrawardī’s term found in Section 5, tasted. Words describing the taste of chocolate never equate with the experience. Common across traditions is the paradox, the quintessential rendering of mystical or higher levels of consciousness experiences. The paradox being a wordless, undefinable experience requires words. Most often the words themselves remain puzzling. In Ch’an / Zen terms this is sand mixed with gold; gold the experience, sand the words trying to explain. Is this gold a value or a color of a experience found in the heart-centered traditions? We are back to tasted. Elsewhere you have pointed out that the term mystical is central only in the Christian esoteric sphere; others use specific terms for raised forms of awareness according to the esoteric school within a specific religion. Be that it may, this term is most familiar among English language users. Other terms are found in the appendix. Esoteric schools in Eurocentric Christianity are non existent except perhaps the Beguines or more generally, but suspect, monastic !232

orders from which little has been recorded or if recorded externally unshared. This may be a major explanation of why Thomas Merton became enamored with Buddhism. I admit into our presence Serendipity and Synchronicity. During our recent back and forth some western scientists at last accepted that the universality of consciousness exists because of the discovery of the Higgs field and its particle. However, I consider their term of choice for the phenomenon, panpsychism, unfortunate given the negative and pejorative associations with psychism in our culture. If the term were selected from the Greeks, I prefer the Platonic term Nous; it parallels Ch’an terms. The article quotes Dogen from his Shobogenzo, “Grass, trees, land, sun, moon and stars are all mind.” 7 During these last few weeks Ch’an and Zen koan and poetry collections have been arriving for my next two projects. Included are collections of or references to Dogen. Before I change directions, from Dogen’s Sansuikyo: (44) It is not the case simply that there is water in the world; within the world of water there is a world. And this is true not only within water: within clouds as well there is world of sentient beings; within wind there is world of sentient beings; within fire there is world of sentient beings; within earth there is world of sentient beings. Within the dharma realm there is a world of sentient beings; within a single blade of grass there is world of sentient beings; within a single staff there is a world of sentient beings. And wherever there is a world of sentient beings, there, inevitably, is the world of buddhas and ancestors. The reason this is so, we should study very carefully.8 Lunar religions are those mind oriented and the solar religions, heart/ devotion oriented. Taoism, Shintoism, and Buddhism are of the former; the latter include the Abrahamic, South Asia’s Eternal Dharma and most traditional ways. Within India before the lunar Buddhistic Ways migrated outward, Shiva represents the lunar, always meditating (usually in a cemetery), moon in hair, head protecting !233

the world from the force of the heavenly river-fall of the Ganges onto the earthly plain. Many are the ways and sub-pathways. Variety arose due to human individual inclination; each finding their harmonious frequency. Most ways share the ikon of the mirror requiring its polishing. At the same time each offers different directional elbow grease cleansing methods and handbooks according to the individual’s tradition or circle. Among some Abrahamic traditions reality is either an alreadywritten book or being-written, creating the cause-effect changes we immediately experience daily. Does it matter if one’s cosmology suggests that before a seeker’s foot firms its completed step, the resultant dusty footprint opens welcoming compliance, as written by the cosmological pen? Or that the step itself forms the print and resulting dust-puff? What matters more, perhaps, is once the seeker has become that which was hunted, they know the answer and can follow the vibration far into the universe. We share much in common and naturally we have our differences due to individual inclinations. One of our differences is that you are drawn to Kafka. Me, Hesse. While not a member of any ism, you acknowledge being drawn to forms of Buddhism, Talmudic and Hassidic. While focusing on Bhakti Yoga poets, I continue my search for expressed experiences common or shared among the realized and seer poets, including Ch’an / Zen to compare with my own experiences. We seem enamored with spiritual poets’ and Ch’an / Zen masters’ hagiographies. All traditions call for total freedom; letting go of all dharma or as Dogen suggested (my words), dharma, all texts, and teachings are only a post tethering a donkey. That is, though useful, all concepts must be dropped to become truly free. Others use a golden chain for those attached, which is, nevertheless, a chain. But, dharma, teachings and texts all contribute to the letting go if the student is correctly guided by an experienced, “freed” teacher, one with the dharmakaya or one who can at will move into samadhi and be present. Most “deep” traditions contain such teachings and practices. Some use devotion focused on an aspect of divinity as a doorway to pass into the the Absolute. Krishna, for example, has 1008 aspects or names. Brahma is a Vedanta term for the Absolute embracing manifested form and !234

the unmanifested within the advaita or non duality yoga discipline. This is not unlike the formless form of the Absolute as the Buddha Mind. For advaita the universal One is Soul and Buddhism, Mind. And for both the Absolute is undefinable but given a name to talk about. Of interest Platonic philosophy beyond its dialectic, uses intellect (nous) to heal the soul. Their universal is Nous. It seems a Way in between the two. The Ch’an tradition is “‘transmission of mind by mind,’ with ‘no dependence upon words or letters.’” From duality to union, Ch’an / Zen schools have various steps to illustrate movement towards complete freedom. Translated from the Dogen-Soto School point of view found in the Five Ranks: The Relative within the Absolute; The Absolute within the Relative; Coming from within the Absolute; Arrival at Mutual Integration; Unity Attained. A capping poem for a koan discussed by Dogen seem to suggest traveling through the ranks:

The teaching of the insentient: if you try to grasp it, you will miss it — it has no form. If you try to let it go, you cannot separate from it — it is not formless. Subtle and wondrously inconceivable, the muse constantly reveals the mysterious teachings of the ten thousand things.9 And his poem commenting on the Lotus Sutra where all is the body of Buddha: Colors of the mountain peak and echoes of the valley stream all of them as they are are nothing other than my Śākyamuni’s !235

voice and appearance.10 Readers of this exchange may wonder what all this has to do with visual text art. East Asian calligraphy is a subject with deep nuance woven with Ch’an / Zen and the evolutionary pathway from pictograms to ideograms in China. To fully appreciate the mastery of flowing brush strokes requires more than a familiarity with the poetic relationship to their calligraphy, especially those associated with Ch’an. There exists the integrative movement, the flowing moment, with Tai-chi, other arts harmonious with the flow of Chi or Dao, exoteric and esoteric meanings of the text, and the poet-calligrapher’s state of consciousness. At a glance adept critics within the historical traditions distinguished enlightened brush-strokes exponentially “lifting” the poem into a visual text category of an enlightened moment beyond its words, proof of the moment’s “capture.” For a contemporary appreciative look at Dogen’s calligraphy, an article by Charlotte Eubanks may be of interest with her sketch of possible critical approaches.11 Samples of Ryokan’s calligraphy can be found in a recent poetry collection.12 Belinda Sweet’s article covering a few individuals also may of interest.13 Problems of translation and a translator’s position standing or sitting within or outside initiated tradition are complex. For example, I noticed translators of Bhakti poetry did not know the crucial difference between the words joy and bliss, one an emotion and the other a state of being. In Appendix 9 I briefly discuss the misunderstanding of the word sword. It is a symbol with layers of meaning dependent upon specific traditions, not a weapon. It crosses most traditions as a symbol for discrimination. In response to your above adoration requiring reason quote and its application among the spiritual and esoteric compared to those of the religious trapped in blind faith, the sword is used among the former as a self-regulating and guiding tool and assumed a physical implement for holy warfare among the latter. In our back-and-forth it is obvious you are most interested in nuances of meaning and activities of the same and that which is not the same when terms such as spirituality and religion are spoken or written. For some “spirituality” and “religion” are interchangeable. For others, they !236

represent the esoteric and the exoteric. There is a spectrum found if closely attended when reading or listening. For example, spirituality as a deep esotericbased pursuit within an established tradition with an achieved guide compared to, say New Age spirituality, that I would call pop spirituality, where a group following a particular discipline is not guided by an achieved master but by one with many years of workshop experience. There are those of blind faith who worship their specific treasure map and its accompanying instructions. But simply following the map guides one to levels of experience along the way, providing actual proof the map is not a fiction, not imaginary, and thus orientating one beyond faith into experiential wonderment. Such wonderment and experiences along the way are commonplace among the poets listed in Appendix 8. I will extend this discussion on the sword briefly for introductory remarks concerning your Hee-Jin Kim’s quote. The first use of the sword symbol for the Ch’an tradition can be considered in my opinion a continuation of its use from Vedanta discussed in Appendix 9. It is found in the The Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra as the Sword of Wisdom. I cannot speak of individuals in other countries or language groups using the following quote one way or another to justify or not the necessity for being guided by a qualified spiritual teacher. In this country, the following statement by the Ch’an master Lin-Chi (founder of the Linji School / Rinzai School) often has been used as an excuse to deride or reject the concept of having a master teacher. “Followers of the Way, if you wish to see this Dharma clearly, do not let yourselves be deceived. Whether you turn to the outside or to the inside, whatever you encounter, kill it. If you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha; if you meet the patriarchs, kill the patriarchs; if you meet Arhats, kill Arhats; if you meet your parents, kill your parents; if you meet your relatives, kill !237

your relatives; then for the first time you will see clearly. And if you do not depend on things, there is deliverance, there is freedom!” 14

The sword often mentioned in these situations is known as the “Sword that kills and the Sword that gives life:” dying to this world, born into higher levels. This sword is a sword of wisdom annihilating all thought and discrimination. Dogen’s capping verse for 127, Manjusri’s “Three Three” contains “Holding up the adamantine sword, freely killing and giving life.”15 Another gift just arrived from our friends, Serendipity and Synchronicity, through my purchase of the newly published book about the coming of Zen to this country.16 During your week off in the mountains, I found much of its subject matter fits into this discussion. In Japan, 1932, Ruth Fuller Everett was granted permission to join Zen monks for a night of meditation. Before the invitation in a building separated from the monks, she had experienced a state of awareness. This experience, which she wrote down and shared with her guide, allowed entrance into a Rinzai zendo and tradition she later helped root in New York cooperating with and under the guidance of Sokei-an. Her first son-in-law was Alan Watts. She helped Gary Snyder’s direct access to Zen in Japan. In fact, much of the book is woven together from his nine hour taped session with her. Her translations exemplify working from within. After a year of learning enough Japanese to attend meditation in the zendo with monks and participate in sanzen (face to face with the master), a year and a half passed before Snyder solved his first koan. Working for her, Snyder is an example of the poet-scholar translating from within. Before Snyder’s long stay in Japan, Kenneth Rexroth recounted the shock Kerouac showed when he realized Snyder’s depth to his shallow understanding. Alan Watts’ was equally pop zen. He gave up sanzen within a few days unable to solve his first assigned koan. He seems to have been so self-ego centered and thus unguardedly insistent, by repeatedly claiming to have solved the koan despite the master saying he did not. He could not stand being told, “Out!” What I call pop zen has it positive !238

qualities but whether or not they outweigh the damage caused by its “dust storm,” of shallowness, transmitted errors through the corridors of hearsay, the demand for the quick, the shiny, and the glossy veneer, is for others to conclude. This stuff flowed into the New Age mind and remains there fixed and stubborn. More of this as it relates to visual text artists follows. Among its collection of shiny objects would be zen workshops given by self appointed workshop graduates from several workshop settings. Out of this shallowness I suspect came and spread the use of Lin-chi’s misrepresented “killing” phrase in this country. It seems Watts was the original source.17 North of here in the Santa Lucias, tucked in a deep canyon on the eastern side of Big Sur with its hot springs and year round creek is the San Francisco Zen Center’s monastery, Tassaraja.18 A poet you like, Philip Whalen, spent much time there; eventually he became as you know a Roshi in New Mexico. We have no idea what direction Whalen would have followed had there not been this “spiritual infrastructure” founded in 1962 by Roshi Suzuki of the Soto school. At least a dozen Zen monasteries now exist in this country. Eight offer in California. Master poet-song writer Leonard Cohen spent time practicing at the Mount Baldy Zen Center. Here is some of what I found regarding the shattered mirror and the fallen: "What is it like when a greatly enlightened person is nevertheless deluded?" The Master replied, "A shattered mirror never reflects again; a fallen blossom never returns to the tree."19 How is it when a person of great realization returns to delusion?” The master said: “A broken mirror never reflects things again. Fallen flower never go up the tree.”20


From my reading of the quote in two translations I interpret the above as being “in but not of” the manifested, unattached. The mirror no longer reflects. The enlightened mind, the flower, is free from its tree of tradition. The individual sees the one not ignoring the two. And, as mentioned above, “absorbed in reality.” Regarding your statement, “Back to so called rational thinking, to the world of ‘relative truths.’ From my perspective it also means that the passion of adoration must be controlled by reason: if you don't belong to a system, you might find yourself isolated, and "down" everywhere. There is a distance. There is a separation. That is why we long for being "uplifted" – through poetry, too.” This is too large a topic in itself to thoroughly address given what uplifted refers to, emotion or awareness. Most, I suspect, would read the term and think of an emotion. I will try to answer this by taking a deeper look at koan since it and its literature has influenced us. A koan is a nutcracker forged in a history of ironical, contradictory, nonsensical, and apparently impossible (or a combination of one or more) phrases. The nut has many layers, definable and not. The nut is the mind, that dot hovering over each of us constantly claiming “i” did or am . The nutcracker shatters ego’s eg leaving the mirror into which to see a flash of the real. Associated with koans are capping poems the student selects from a handbook of poetic and other literary sourced poems or lines to prove the koan as been solved through an experience such that the koan and student are one. The student constantly focuses on the koan during formal meditations sessions and constantly during daily mundane tasks. Here, Buddhist meditation has several contexts. Supporting guidelines to koan practice can be found in the The Platform Sutra by Hui-neng, the sixth patriarch. In number 13, he states wisdom and meditation are the same. Red Pine’s commentary elsewhere takes Buddhist meditation practices back to the early Buddhists meditating in graveyards.21 That wisdom and meditation are the same, beyond religion, spiritualism, or mysticism to philosophy, which in its true Platonic form, means “lover of wisdom,” a way of life striving for the Absolute Truth.


The first koan Watts failed and Snyder experienced, for that is how the problem is solved, not through reason but an insightful “aha!” moment, was, “Before mother and father: what was your original face?” Like you, koan literature has had a profound influence on my minimalist works, lexical and visual. It continues as I return to it. Besides providing countless examples for study of compressed irony, contradiction, nonsense, and the apparently impossible, the works often move me to the undefinable elsewhere. We, of course, are not unique. Much has been written about the influence of the ideogram on American poetics through Pound and its direct influence of concrete poetry rooted in the calligramme. Much has been written also on Japanese haiku influence on the American short poem and minimalism. It was interesting for me to discover that haiku was paid attention to in Mexico before the States. Left out of these discussions is the influence of Ch’an / Zen koan on minimalism and compressed visual text arts. Also left out, other than in passing, is the influence of Zen, deep and pop, on visual text art expressions. Among American English users the first deep, experiential Zen visual text art was composed by Paul Reps in 1939; he went on to produce an influential body of visual text works, as you know, having some of his works in your library. The Japanese Vou group began publishing Kenneth Patchen in the late 1940s. John Cage’s Zen-influenced works in turn influenced many, including Dick Higgins, whose minimalist concrete and visual poems are illustrative of this. An example of his is an autumn leaf on a music score sheet. Others may look at it as a Fluxus performance piece. I was influenced by Japanese concrete sourced from Zen. In an exchange with my mathematical visual text artist, colleague and friend, Kaz Maślanka, stated he was greatly influenced by Cage’s writings and his non egoistic approach to music and visual music scoring. Kaz’s work is not influenced by Japanese Zen, but Korean Soen. Bob Grumman created haiku mathematical visual poetry under his term, mathemeku. His was an eccentric approach to haiku not wanting to be touched by Zen or haiku history. Ranging from materialists through religious to spiritual to perennial philosophy, individuals composing visual text arts with text, iconographic and other art images have in common an insistence of iconographic, !241

and / or other art form imagery, and textual fluency. They know the limitations of image and text require both to extend beyond the limits of each. Some are concerned only with expression for the making of an object. Others push further into that which can not be fully expressed so they can arrowed-point the best they are able. For example, some source out of pop zen, others Zen. Not all who work and play with Ch’an / Zen and pop zen aim for the center of the the Zen zero. Regarding, “My hypothesis at the moment is that when we move from textual poetry toward art and image and gestures, from words to letters and punctuation marks – my life story :-) –, we feel, at least for a while, that the images are more ineffable (silent, therefore mysterious). Or more direct, in some sense. But it is not as much because of the direction of the motion as because of the motion itself.” First, there is a general agreement between us that both lexical and visual text art express the wide spectrum from noisy or loud to silent. Without question lexical and visual text art contain countless examples of movement in countless directions from the mundane cliché to the mysteries of the ineffable. Countless examples of lexical poetry moving into the ineffable and that silence which allows for or triggers contemplation or meditation are found in the poetry among those listed in Appendix 8. Many contemporary lexical poets source from or add to this poetic body of works. Visual text artists generally seem as a whole less inclined to imply silence; but, they too source from traditions expressing movement into silence. Among sources of influences would be, as mentioned above, Zen and pop zen. To move to a specific interest of mine at the end of one spectrum I will point to image applied to both lexical (word or phrase) and visual text art (word, phrase and or visual art image or iconographic image) attempting to express the ineffable, uttering or composing the unutterable. The Platonists knew the limitation of text when raising image, such as hieroglyph, over word. Word, even when a symbol, even when its meaning is layered like a cake, remains, though perhaps less so, limited. At the further end of word-symbol, it too can be moved further into the ineffable, such as itself having evolved in usage becoming an actual ikon as discussed in section 5 sketching the collapsing period of Hellena. Nevertheless, the !242

Platonists and other traditions express reluctance to rely on word or image due to their limitations, that they only reflect energies from higher realms. This brings us to your complicated, wide-reaching, and many part question that has been part of my poetic interests over many years, “what does a seer see?”; and, how does it relate to lexical poetry and visual text art in overlapping agreement and differences? My interests are not theoretical. Events and incidents are many; this is not the place to describe them. At their highest or innermost levels seers’ rendering of their vision-images were close to being the same and yet, and you will like this, not the same because being outside the mind, each individual’s mind-rendering(s) differ because in part of a specific tradition’s terminology. The need to name immediately removes the remembered experience from its fullness, its higher seen wordless illuminated form, lower into the mind of inadequate speech. Common among some of us, first came the experience later verified by reading about parallel experiences found among various traditions. Most easily identifiable for me are images, symbols, analogies, and metaphors found in poems by many poets named in the poet timeline in appendix 8. More difficult, except the obvious who are, at least for me, unquestionably documented, are seer painters. Not until researching Russian Futurism for this book did I learn about seer painters. I was only familiar with the seer-poet rishis of South Asia. Since Sri Aurobindo has, more than most, analyzed the regions from which visions come in greater detail, being a “navigator” in the higher realms, I will be drawing from his writings. That the seer is rare does not mean the reach into the higher intuitive should be discouraged and the easier dive into the darker aspect of mind, the unconscious, should continued to be encouraged. Of course, William Blake among English speakers is widely known as a visionary poet and artist. Among visual text artists I wrote about is the well documented seer painter Hilma af Klint. Within your interests of differences within the same would be her works before and after meeting Steiner. Pamela Colman Smith is another seer essentially disappeared in writings by members of the Stieglitz Group despite or because of her influence on them. Whether or not I am correct presenting Natalia Goncharova’s “The Four Evangelists” as a seer moment !243

raises the question that if it is such a moment, how many other such moments have been overlooked because art and literary criticism shifted away from context and an individual’s intent to non reference art and literature? Previously, I stated that we will never have a complete history and biography of Natalia Goncharova because she destroyed many ikon-sourced paintings. I continue to wonder how many were lost seer moments. Many examples can be found among the Islamic word painters and the American First People’s iconographic and abstract symbolism painters discussed and referenced in section 4 and appendix 5. Poetry and prose works of Ibn ‘Arabī are full of seer moments, some of which are mentioned in section 5. His works influence Arab and Persian word painters to this moment; some of whom are either seers or skillful pulling work from the higher realms of the intuitive (intuit = in tu it, direct experience). Many contemporary poets, writers, artists, and critics accept visions occur but disagree about source and significance other than its part in a work, especially those of the spiritual visionaries. Most are comfortable if these are substanceinduced visions or hallucinations easily explained away as images worthy of literary or artistic use within the motto, “Everything is a subject for literature and art.” Moreover, if they agree and accept the fact of seer visions it seems most have remained quiet under the lid of peer pressure. Again, I point to Karl Young’s conscious low profile in this realm. We discussed his withholding during my illumination of his translations of “The Dream of the Cross.” His skittishness is a symptom of the dominance of materialism on one hand while my other hand’s index finger points to religious fundamentalism at the other end of the spectrum. Both poles stand firm against revelatory visionaries in our culture; the former in denial and the latter yelling, “Heresy!” Within this spectrum among our culture’s admitted influential contributors, Plato and the Platonic School of philosophers often mentioned the higher planes. Some went into greater detail than others discussing them. This aspect of Platonic philosophy remains controversial and suspect among most of our philosophers and “intelligentsia” beginning in the early 1800s when the questionable division between Platonic and “Neoplatonic” philosophy was invented. After much research !244

and thought, I felt compelled to partially address this problem in section 5 given the Platonic influence maintained in Arab and Persian word painting. While not describing the upper realms, Plato’s statement that poets lied and could not truthfully render the upper realms, more than suggests he had seen and apparently navigated there at will. Platonists acknowledged part of their lineage began with the seer poet Orpheus. Mentioned in letter 2’s response, when one gently turns words vertically deep with symbolic association on their sides, especially sacred text, three layers are available: literal, psychological and spiritual. Acknowledging and translating the layers depends on one’s self-appointed position within a viewed and experienced cosmology or a faith-based (material-scientific or religious) cosmology. As a fan of Jung I studied his works for many years to get a handle on the meaning of symbols. Not Jung but Sri Aurobindo thoroughly addressed these layers. If you want to read a twentieth century seer poet, read Sri Aurobindo’s epic, Savitri; I consider it the English language’s epic poem of the twentieth century. A contemporary of the generation of pre-WWI avant-garde, he set the spiritual stage for Gandhi to walk onto in the Free India Movement. It is worth repeating myself again from letter 2 for emphasis, “While visiting India, much to his discredit, Jung refused to meet enlightened yogis fearing his scientific method would be polluted.Ego chosen over search for Truth wherever it lead.” Jung looked to seen visions and archetypes as psychological forces; they were not real, but energy forces within consciousness or rising from the unconscious. Sri Aurobindo, a seer, like his ancient rishi predecessors, experienced and encountered the forms. He held them as real, “The Rishi was not the individual composer of the hymn, but the seer (drastrā) of an eternal truth and an impersonal knowledge. The language of Veda itself is Śruti, a rhythm not composed by the intellect but heard, a divine Word that came vibrating out of the Infinite to the inner audience of the man who had previously made himself fit for the impersonal knowledge. The words themselves, dṛṣṭi !245

and śruti, sight, and, hearing, are Vedic expressions; these and cognate words signify, in the esoteric terminology of the of the hymns, revelatory knowledge and the contents of inspiration.”22 Sri Aurobindo provided three classes of visions: 1) actual, those arriving from the higher Mental World, such as Krishna appearing to him while in prison; 2) symbolic, a vision associated with the visible world of an object or event; 3) and artificial, such as geometric shapes appearing during meditation. Each class appears within a specific layer of consciousness. The lowest level is found in the “subtle physical” related to the gross world, such as clairvoyance of forthcoming events picked up by the subtle body: this would be associated with the second class. One can also add in this level psychism and the lower gyrations found among the occult often confused with yogic, spiritual and mystic experiences. Those experienced in the “vital” or the zone between the “subtle physical” or the gross and mental, appear disguised as gods or demons. Tricksters. Here we find the higher psychism and occult confusing themselves being within the third level of “Mind” or the “Mental World,” from which comes our own individual mind, has its specific substance. A mind clear of the gross and vital becomes open to the visions and beings of the Mind millennia ago identified by the rishis. 23 Aurobindo apparently had visions of unidentified beings he later identified during his reading of the Rig Veda. Elsewhere he says, Intuition has a fourfold power. A power of revelatory truth seeing, a power of inspiration or truth-hearing, a power of truth-touch or immediate seizing of significance, which is akin to the ordinary nature of its intervention in our mental intelligence, a power of true and automatic discrimination of the orderly and exact relation of truth to truth,—these are the fourfold potencies of Intuition. Intuition can therefore perform all the action of reason—including the function of !246

logical intelligence, which is to work out the right relation of things and the right relation of idea with idea,—but by its own superior process and with steps that do not fail or falter.24 I remember, when I first began to see inwardly (and outwardly also with the open eye), a scientific friend of mine began to talk of afterimages—“these are only after-images!” I asked him whether afterimages remained before the eye for two minutes at a time—he said, “no”, to his knowledge only for a few seconds; I also asked him whether one could get after-images of things not around one or even not existing upon this earth since they had other shapes, another character, other hues, contours and a very different dynamism, lifemovements and values—he could not reply in the affirmative.25 . . . my first major experience—radical and overwhelming, though not, as it turned out, final and exhaustive—came after and by the exclusion and silencing of all thought—there was, first, what might be called a spiritually substantial or concrete consciousness of stillness and silence, then the awareness of some sole and supreme Reality in whose presence things existed only as forms but forms not at all substantial or real or concrete; but this was all apparent to a spiritual perception and essential and impersonal sense and there was not the least concept or idea of reality or unreality or any other notion, for all concept or idea was hushed or rather entirely absent in the absolute stillness. These things were known directly through the pure consciousness and not through the mind, so there was no need of concepts or words or names.26

Mentioning the iconographic image found throughout visual text art, there is an item of interest for me crossing the major esoteric philosophical traditions, that !247

of the bright black experience visually rendered or written. I discuss aspects of this in more detail in section 5. My koan reading took me to a discussion of the Zen experience of (among many names) “the Great Perfect Mirror Wisdom.” This is a place where many practitioners stop, in a light like black lacquer.27 This bright black parallels experiences outlined by the Sufi School of Illumination and various Vedanta traditions. They all agree with Ch’an and Zen experiences that this bright black region of consciousness is one to pass beyond towards the final goal, not the unsurpassable barrier to the unknowable, and hence the name “black cloud of unknowing.” Solving or breaking through this barrier, perhaps, are the years of effort and the body of works by Malevich beginning with “Black Square” and ending with “White Square.” All are abstract ikons. From his Zero point one moment, the “Black Square,” to the final “White Square” perhaps can be looked at analogous of movement through various koans beginning being trapped — “the Great Perfect Mirror Wisdom” — until a breakthrough until finding the ineffable One coded as the “White Square.” karl

Postscript, after a conversation with Juan Manuel Perez Salazar Last week I drove Ruth accompanied by our artist friend, Juan Manuel Perez Salazar, to Ventura where friends live. This was the first leg of her journey to Oslo for Amy’s bakehouse events.28 While driving home, I was outlining some complexities I was facing with your question about seer and seeing with Manuel. Visionary seeing is an often experience-shared topic between us. Years ago he visited India. Overlapping Ruth’s and my earlier 1994 pilgrimage to India was his visit to Auroville, north of Punducherry, once part of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Raised Catholic from birth in Mexico, he mentioned being struck with all the gods and goddess, their temples, large and small, and the lack of a central authority like the Vatican. The conversation lead to my discussing !248

Krishna. I first pointed out most readers of the Mahābhārata are unaware of the visionary aspects of the civil war battle and the critical juncture before the battle when Arjuna refused to fight. The refusal triggers the major section of the epic, in fact the epic itself shifts becoming the context for this section. The epic was dictated by the seer-poet, Veda Vyasa, to Lord Ganesha who volunteered as his scribe. Ganesha broke off his right tusk for dictation. I mention a deity-scribe because another important one in Egypt I mention in section 5. At this point in the epic, Veda Vyasa is sitting next to the blind king (ignorance), Dhritarashtra, narrating the events of the battle between his 100 sons and their army and his 5 nephews and their army with Krishna as Arjuna’s charioteer. His narrative includes, then, the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna, the Bhagavad Gita. It is not only an orally revealed spiritual teaching from Krishna instructing humankind the requisite dharma for the Kali Yuga or Iron Age divided into three yogic sections, Karma Yoga (action), Bhakti Yoga (devotion), and Jnana Yoga (true knowledge) transcribed into text by Ganesha, but one revealed from a distance dictated by a seer-poet witness (who some suggest is another aspect of Krishna). Another aspect of Krishna was Vitthala or Vithoba, or Panduranga, who appeared in Pandharpur, Maharashtra. The first generation of His bhakti poets (one of the more significant multigenerational groups of bhakti poets of India) were the first to sing and write their poems in the vernacular, Marathi. Each major poet has her or his seer moments, but this is not the place to expand on them. The story goes that after reforming himself, Pandalik served his aging parents in total undistracted devotion. One day he was washing the floor. Krishna, having watched his devotion for a while, decided, to present Himself as a boon. Pandalik heard a voice at the door. Remaining focused on the task he slid a brick across the floor and told the unseen visiter to stand on it. This form of Krishna is Vithoba standing on a brick. Manuel at this concluding moment saw and said the brick should be associated with concrete, the pedestal upon which the forms of the higher realms should stand. I said I may want to steal that thought. But I can only share his insight and add that the work of the visual text artist should be such a platform upon which forms of the higher realms reveal themselves. !249


https://www.philipdavenport.com/selected-works/ November, 2018. Quoted from Danielle Luxembourg in A glimpse inside the forgotten world of Nazi art by Paul Vallely, Independent, October 8., 2007. (mk) 3 The book I read decades ago is the Comparative Philosophy and the Philosophy of Scholarship: On the Western Interpretation of Nagarjuna, by Andrew P. Tuck. The quotation is from The Rhetoric of Immediacy by Bernard Faure. (mk) 4 In: Dogen on Meditation and Thinking (mk) 5 https://the-otolith.blogspot.com/2016/01/karl-kempton.html. November, 2018. 6 http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/11/nico-vassilakis.html November, 2018. 7 Dogen was born the year after Ibn ‘Arabī began his travels eastward from Spain until settling in Damascus in 1223, the year Dogen traveled to China. The year Ibn ‘Arabī died, 1240, was the year Dogen completed Sansuikyo. https:// www.lionsroar.com/christof-koch-unites-buddhist-neuroscience-universal-nature-mind/ November, 2018. 8 Okumura, Shohaku. The Mountains and Waters Sutra: A Practitioner's Guide to Dogen's Sansuikyo. p 35. 9 Ibid., p 201. 10 Ibid., p11. 11 Eubanks, Charlotte. “Performing Mind, Writing Meditation: Dōgen’s Fukanzazengi as Zen Calligraphy.” https://quod.lib.umich.edu/a/ars/13441566.0046.007/--performing-mind-writing-meditation-dogens-fukanzazengias?rgn=main;view=fulltext November, 2018. 12 Tanahashi, Kazuaki. Sky Above, Great Wind: The Life and Poetry of Zen Master Ryokan. 13 Sweet, Belinda. Collecting the Art of Zen. http://www.zenpaintings.com/collecting-new.htm, November, 2018. 14 Watson , Burton. The Zen Teaching of Lin-Chi, p52. 15 The True Dharma Eye, p 173. 16 Anderson, Janica and Steve Zahavi Schwartz. Zen Odyssey: The Story of Sokei-an, Ruth Fuller Sasaki and the Birth of Zen in America. 17 A close friend of ours, who knew Watts on a personal basis, recently confirmed my thoughts and feelings that he was the source. He often used the phrase in lectures. One can assume, then, his constant usage was to maintain his position he had solved the koan. He killed a Buddha on his path and thus failed deep zen. 18 So Zen, the Spanish meaning: “where meat is hung to dry.” 19 https://www.sunypress.edu/pdf/61357.pdf,July, 2018. 20 https://www.judithragir.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/daigo-draft-A.v2.pdf, uly, 2018. 21 This to me is seamless movement from Vendanta meditation found among the Shaivites into Buddhist meditation. In fact, if one reads the Avadhuta Gita by Dattatreya one finds Ch’an before Ch’an deeply rooted in India before Buddhism. 22 Sri Aurobindo, The Secret of the Veda, p 8. 23 Singh, Satya Prakash. Sri Aurobindo and Jung: a Comparative Study in Yoga and Depth Psychology. pp 70-74. 24 Sri Aurobindo. Life Divine. https://www.sriaurobindoashram.org/sriaurobindo/writings.php, pp 983-984 November, 2018. 25 Sri Aurobindo. Letters on Himself and the Ashram.pdf https://www.sriaurobindoashram.org/sriaurobindo/ writings.php, pp 235-236, November, 2018. 26 Ibid., pp 252 27 Miura, Isshu and Ruth Fuller Sasaki. The Zen Koan. p 66. 28 http://flatbreadsociety.net/actions, September 2018. 2


Hello karl and Márton I’m picking up on the exchange between you both, which I’ve stayed away from so far because I wanted it to stay “pure”. However, now we come to an end. First a contextual remark. This exchange is in the book because, like the other interventions, it allows different perspectives. I grew up in the midst of a civil war (in Northern Ireland, much of which used the excuse of religious difference for violence and prejudice) and I’m very aware of how religious discussions divide people. My work in Berlin has been with refugees fleeing war in Syria, which also ties to religious extremism and extreme patriarchy. To welcome difference is a step toward openness, but it’s sometimes a twisting path. Now here’s the rub. I’ve noticed that as Márton makes his comments, karl makes corrections. Ironically, this actually starts to erase the differences between you. karl you’re being too nice! My view sitting outside this correspondence is that you should make no more changes and leave Márton to exist with his difference, in parallel. The reader will then have to make their own path between, which encourages them to also accept the co-existence of differing views. It’s the famous negative capability of our friend John Keats, the magical physician — opposing views held at the same time. I feel that this correspondence needs to stop where it is now, to preserve the tension even though the tension can be uncomfortable — sorry to reiterate this Márton, I’m guessing that you don’t like the stress of it, but discomfort actually brings insight here. Rather than closing this down, leaving the discussion unresolved leaves space for our next readers. Phil


1950s - present


fission &



Preface Visual text art may be defined simply as a literary or art work composed, painted, or designed to be consciously seen. The work is generally composed with disassembled language material. This stuff of language includes word, text, note, code, petroglyph, letter, phonic character, type, cipher, symbol, pictograph, sentence, number, hieroglyph, rhythm, iconograph, grammar, cluster, stroke, ideogram, density, pattern, diagram, logogram, accent, line, color, measure, and so on. The concrete poet generally composes with fissioned language material to create new and free particles, and/or sonic patterns, clusters, densities, and/or textures. The visual poet composes with these freed particles and generally weds or fuses them to one or more art forms.1 By doing so, by crossing art-form boundaries, the visual poet composes in a field of multimedia or border blur or intermedia. The same is found among the wider field of visual text art such as that of action painters, Lettrisme, and Arabic hurrufiyoun and Persian naqashi khatt (painting with letters). On the soft blur-line between visual poetry and other forms of visual text art, definitive type-casting becomes subjective and should be defined by the stated intent of its maker. From the lyrical to the purely abstract manipulation of language, visual text art compositions greatly increased worldwide in numbers of composers and extension of forms and kinds. Lettrists added their weight elsewhere and from that elsewhere received additional heft and expanse. Lettrists’ scale of influence on Islamic calligraphers and the reverse have yet to be fully determined. Post-WWII visual poetry developed along two primary routes. The first was a natural evolution by concrete poets, who felt constrained by the narrow confines of concrete poetry to explore and extend new ideas. The second was by others who had a negative reaction against concrete poetry. Like concrete poets, the latter were influenced by pre-WWI avant-garde, Dada, Surrealism, post-WWII abstract art, linguistic theories, and art and literary critical writings, but with wider use of their implications. Under the visual poetry umbrella, a variety of expressive types were named to remove a group or individual from concrete or to identify themselves !253

with a specific visual poetic expression. Some examples are gymnastic poetry (Arrigo Lora Totino), chirographic poetry (handwriting), evident poetry (Jíři Kolár), kinetic novel (Raymond Queneau), mathematical poem, mathemaku (Bob Grumman), phonetic poem, plastic poem (Kitasono Katue), semiotic poem (JeanFrancois Bory), spatialisme (Pierre Garnier & Seiichi Niikuni), symbiotic poem (Ugo Carrega), surface text, (Franz Mon), treated text, typewriter poem, typoglyph/ tiipoglif/typoglyph (karl kempton), and verbolettura (Arrigo Lora Totino) and zeroglifici (Adriano Spatola).


Concrete Poetry Concrete Poetry is probably mostly visual poetry. Eugen Gomringer Concrete poetry formed in three locations independently of one another: Sweden (Öyvind Fahlström, “Manifesto for Concrete Poetry,” 1953), Switzerland (Eugen Gomringer, “From Line to Constellation,” 1954), and Brazil (Augusto de Campos, Haroldo de Campos, and Décio Pignatari, the Noigandres Group and magazine, 1952 followed by the Noigandres Group’s “concrete poetry: a manifesto,” 1956). Max Bill’s2 secretary for a while was Eugen Gomringer. Gomringer met Décio Pignatari in Ulm, Germany, in 1955. Agreement ensued giving a more formal birth to an international concrete poetry. Many, especially its composers, consider concrete poetry the first truly international poetry movement. In 1953, Gomringer began composing constellations; the de Campos brothers began composing their concrete works at the same time. The obvious connection between concrete poetry and the earlier-formed concrete art with Gomringer needs no further comment given his Max Bill connection. By the late 1960s, first- and second-generation participants created a variety of types in Europe, Japan, Latin America, North America, and Australia. And by the 1960s, several centers, groups, and highly regarded individuals of concrete poetry were composing in the same geographical areas. In Germany, for example, the Stuttgart Group formed in the early 1960s; members included Max Bense, Reinhard Döhl, Ludwig Harig, Helmut Heißenbüttel, Hansjörg Mayer, and Klaus Burkhardt. The group manifesto, “Zur Lage” (“Toward an experimental condition or state of affairs”) focused on the layout field and material of the concrete poem.3 They also discussed type, pictures, graphic arrangements of font pictures, sound poetry, topological, cybernetic, and material poetry. Obviously they had moved beyond the purely geometric ideogramme field restrictions. In Austria the Wiener Gruppe composed their concrete poems as scored ideograms for sound-poetry performance. Among them, Ernst Jandl created “Sprechgedicht” (poems to be !255

recited), sound poetry of concrete poetry. In Czechoslovakia four individuals made their marks, not as a group but as collaborators: Bohumila Grögerová and Josef Hiršal composed jobboj (Job’s fight), and Ladislaw Novák and the poet and painter Jiří Kolár extended the collage form. In Great Britain, prominent individuals arose whose works remain as strong and fresh as when first composed: Scotland’s Ian Hamilton Finlay, England’s Bob Cobbing, Peter Mayer, and Dom Sylvester Houédard, and others. The same can be said for the Italians Arrigo Lora-Totino and Adriano Spatola. In France, the husband-and-wife team of Ilse and Pierre Garnier formed the magazine Les Lettres. Pierre Garnier then created the spatial poem, extending the concrete poem into visual poetry promoted in his manifesto, “Poésie Mécanique” (“Mechanical Poetry”). In Japan VOU continued its publications, widening its number of international concrete poetry contributors. Australian concrete formed late with noteworthy poets: Peter Murphy, Pete Spence, thalia, Jas H. Duke, P.O., Ruth Cowen, Alex Selenitsch, and Lindsay Clements, among many others.4 North American concrete hardened into a distinct shape later on, consciously or unconsciously moulded by the New Criticism and Greenberg, who at the time was the top American art critic. In Ellen Solt’s anthology’s manifesto section, “concrete poetry: a manifesto”5 by the de Campos brothers and Pignatari, the Brazilian Noigandres’ list of influences makes clear what they considered important previous achievements, the platform upon which to construct the “new” poetic: Mallarmé, Joyce, Ezra Pound, e.e. cummings, Futurism, Dada, Apollinaire, Mondrian, Joseph Albers, Max Bill, ideogrammes, calligrammes (visual aspect, not text), concrete and electronic music, linguists, including Sapir (who continues to be ignored). While early concrete writings mention Kandinsky (his Klang related to Dada), Marinetti, Mayakovsky, and Khlebnikov, only Marinetti, the ideogramme/ calligramme, geometry, and non-reference in their applied synthesis appear as the main focus for successive generations of concrete poets, especially among Americans in the New York City gravitational point out of which a further reductionism seems to have shaved all else off, leaving three connecting dots:


Mallarmé, Apollinaire, and e.e. cummings. The New Yorkers also ignored Sapir, favoring structural linguistics. Besides a nod to influences and sources propping up their new-minted pedigree, the 1958 Brazilian manifesto, as I and others read it, presents a Hegelian metaphysics framing one of the most ego-inflated statements to be found in twentieth-century avant-garde manifestos, whereby concrete poetry (their, Noigandres concrete poetry, and thus by inference making theirs more equal than other concrete poetries) is the final manifestation of poetry in their assumed closed historical cycle of poetry: Concrete Poetry: a product of a critical evolution of forms. Assuming that the historical cycle of verse (as formal-rhythmical unit) is closed, concrete poetry begins by being aware of graphic space as structural agent . . . . 6 That this statement begins the manifesto underscores its importance to the Noigandres group. Below I will explore further, having at our disposal the benefit of a 60-year-distance overview of their poetry language and body language — and question their subsequent behavior, as self-appointed hanging judges for their own orthodoxy. First, however, a brief revisit with Mallarmé and Apollinaire is necessary at this juncture, given the trajectory and application of the poetics emergent from them. Mallarmé, discussing his Un coup de dés, made it absolutely clear that the varying spatial distances in his poem were composed as pauses used in music scoring. By removing the variety of spaces to a traditional spacing, the revealed syntax is traditional. At this time, painters sourced their subjects from the Symbolist poets; music was the golden tip of the Symbolist poets’ pyramid of the arts. At best, Mallarmé was a forerunner spatialist (founded in Buenos Aires by Argentinian Lucio Fontana in 1947, unmentioned by the Noigandres group), using the white space on the page to express silence (though he is predated by the 1913 book by Russian Futurist Vasilisk Gnedov, Death of Art). Perhaps the debate !257

around Mallarmé as the root of modern concrete and visual poetry will never be finalized, being rooted in the subjective, not objective, sense of roots and lineages. If his use of line break and white space is considered an overriding visual element, not an oral device (one can hear his designated pauses; to understand, seeing not required), it follows that the projective verse poems by Charles Olson and those by others following Olson’s lead must also be classified as either concrete or visual poems… As others indicated, and I mentioned previously, Apollinaire’s calligrammes relate to Fenollosa’s and Pound’s musings on the Chinese ideogram; the major error lasting over 50 years was the visual characteristic of the ideogram dominating its tonal aspects. Years before the 1919 Fenollosa and Pound book, The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry, their error (mainly Ernest Fenollosa’s mistake but Pound with his heft carried it forward) that the Chinese and hence Japanese ideogram was pictorial (not phonetic) held firm. Such an assumption brought the ideogram closer to the rock-art family of pictograms and petroglyphs as a written communication system. Those of the Noigandres group were translators of poetry from many diverse languages, including English and Russian. Yet they too accepted this error by modeling their concrete poems on calligrammes and ideogrammes. Their new poetry rejected lyricism, syntax, and visual forms found in calligrammes by Apollinaire and others; they were replaced with mathematically precise geometric forms, most of which lacked complexity. Menezes shows how such expression creates its own syntax.7 The problem of rejecting syntax while unknowingly morphing into syntax usage anyway was pointed out in a Russian and Italian Futurist discussion. Recall in the previously covered discussion of Benedikt Livshits’ critique during a dinner directed to Marinetti and his use of body language substituting for the missing syntax on the page during performance. As an aside, if one watches an Italian (not to the exclusion of other nationalities) speak, body language is not independent of oral delivery. Again, despite the over-emphasis on the pictorial compared with the oral aspects, this value judgement nevertheless sparked an international concrete poetry


movement which also was the cause of still newer new forms of visual text arts rebelling against its declared boundaries. Concrete poets filled or outlined their geometries with parts and particles of language creating what I have long-named a fission poetic. Ignoring the available Byzantine and Islamic body of arabesque and tessellation, first-generation concrete poets followed the vertical and horizontal promoted by modern and later concrete art. From the second international generation onward came more varied geometric forms, many with a penchant for the chaotic, including, for example, strike-over text, moving from the clarity of the first generation as a substitution of the lyrical to a muddy, blurry expression, perhaps influenced by Abstract Expressionism. (For example, Bob Cobbing’s early beginnings as an abstract painter, whose 1950s canvases closely mimic Pollock, give the key to his compositional sense throughout the rest of his poetic career, when he substituted language material for paint.) They also used erasure. One of the admirable attempts of concrete poetry was to compose a poetry to cross all language barriers, without need for translation. Such attempts perhaps succeeded with the most abstract of untitled works. The call for the self-referenced poem remains problematic at best and delusional at worst. With such poems, poetic theorizing accompanied by explanations would be unnecessary; the poem failed whenever a theoretical frame was required, the self-reference referenced theory. The moment a letter from an alphabet is used, historical conscious-unconscious associations and meanings of its sound, threads of development from initial beginnings into its present form, and exoteric and esoteric over- and undercurrents cannot be denied despite being ignored. A rule of isms: they fracture into groups, or another group or movement forms as an opposition. The Noigandres group was no exception. Individuals split off, forming the Neoconcrete group. Later, visual poets rose up elsewhere, seeking less restrictive and more open approaches to express wider concerns, emotions, insights, and higher levels of awareness. Dominant to this day, however, the Noigandres group has managed to remain central in the academic history of !259

Brazilian concrete and in some cases still is suggested as the primary center out of which all concrete poetry arose.. Among those moving beyond the restrictions imposed by Noigandres concrete was Wlademir Dias-Pino. Like others, his work was wide in spectrum types with considerable noteworthy influence. One type I want to focus on raises controversy among concrete and minimalists poets and critics demanding that words must be present to fit their tight-boxed classification for “poem.” Foreshadowing examples of wordless poems, and I believe, also conceptual poems, can be found among the “1900 — 1920s” section: 1909 (Morgenstern). 1916 (Junoy), 1917 (H.F.), and 1924 (Man Ray) in German, Spanish, and English. Beginning mid-1950s, Wlademir Dias-Pino composed throughout his career many wordless or process poems, referred to by some as semiotic poems. The elegantly lyrical, wordless, and conceptual expressions influenced others; at the same time, other wordless poems were independently created, forming an important body within this type of poem. In Sweden, for example, Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd was composing such, and the second-generation Brazilian, Andrade Almandrade, was composing the wordless process poem, taking it to a level few have been able to match. Wlademir Dias-Pino8 Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd Andrade Almandrade9 Alvaro de Sá10 Moacy Cirne11 The de Campos, et al have been successful in receiving almost exclusive academic attention, particularly in North America. This brings us back for a closer examination of the first line of the Noigandres’ manifesto: “Concrete Poetry: a product of a critical evolution of forms. Assuming that the historical cycle of verse (as formal-rhythmical unit) is closed, concrete poetry begins by being aware of graphic space as structural agent . . . .”12 This refers to the Hegelian-Marxian !260

historical dialectal process, an assumption of progressive movement towards an idealistic and conclusive finality.13 Noigandres looked and continues to look upon itself as the lineage of true concrete poets. In fact, Noigandres concrete has been hailed as a “heroic” poetry. For an alternate view, details of the Neoconcrete group, others, and the rise of Brazilian visual poetry in general are found in the Menezes book. As other factions formed, such as the Neoconcrete group in Brazil, they were not tolerated but muted and kept out of official histories.14 Thus, in Brazil, North America, and elsewhere where language-poetry alliances dominate or hold unquestioning sway, a close relationship continues with Noigandres concrete. It seems a complete history of concrete and visual poetry cannot be found within these arenas influenced by these individuals, groups, and their hard and soft allies. Trying to bring to light the Brazilian concrete story from a view outside Noigandres orthodoxy, Harry Polkinhorn at the 1995 Yale Symposium of Contemporary Poetics announced the publication of his translation and publication of Philadelpho Menezes’s Poetics and Visuality mentioned above. One of the de Campos brothers was present. He stormed out of the room. This was the Brazilian book in Portuguese the Noigandres orthodoxy had until then successfully squelched inside (through their control of the dominant review spaces) and outside Brazil in translation to maintain the myth of their own centrality. The Noigandres group also continues mythologising the Chinese ideogram as primarily a visual not phonetic form of communication. The nasty academic fallout landing on Polkinhorn was such that he ended up leaving visual poetry. North American visual poetics lost its preeminent translator, critic, and connection to the full spectrum of Spanish and Portuguese Latin American visual poetry. Latin American concrete poetry contributed an extensive variety of types to the concrete, and later visual, poem in quality and quantity by numerous individuals. A complete, unbiased, illustrated, multi-volume history has yet to be written. The Brazilian contribution itself would make more than one volume. In Mexico, beginning in 1985, the Biennials of Visual and Experimental Poetry exhibition series was launched.15 Over the years it grew in stature such that it deserves is own volume. Part of such a wished-for South American project was !261

recently completed by SDSU Press. El Punto Ciego: Antología de la Poesía Visual Argentina / The Blind Spot: Visual Poetry from Argentina is now available.16 This comprehensive anthology of Argentinian visual poetry includes a number of Solar Xul’s works (see the above 1920—1950s for numerous works). Bory’s Once Again concrete anthology was published in the U.S. by Kenneth Patchen’s publisher, New Directions. Sadly, neither Patchen nor Reps was mentioned or published. Other Americans appeared, such as Dick Higgins, Jonathan Williams, d. a. levy, Richard Kostelanetz, Ronald Johnson, Lilian Lijin, Alain Arias-Mission, Cyril Miles, Ken Friedman, Wally Depew, Jeff Berner, Alison Knowles, Norman, Ogue Mustil, Ellen Solt, and Ad Reinhardt. I listed the entire U. S. American crew because most did not appear in either the Solt or Williams17 anthologies. All three anthologies document the wide spectrum of types of concrete poems and the international character of the “movement” and its numbers. I will leave aside who and what personally ranks strong enough to have moved me to praise among the concrete poets other than Seiichi Niikuni (Japan),18 Ronald Johnson & d.a. levy (USA), Ian Hamilton Finlay (Scotland), John Furnival & Peter Mayer (England) and Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd (Sweden) to name the few of many. The American concrete anthologies were (and for some remain) the primary or only sources available for study and information for interested poets and artists in this country. Unless one knew more about the wider and actual field of visual poetry, what was presented in the two largest hardbacks of the three anthologies was assumed by many new readers and viewers to be a comprehensive presentation of available visual poetry, not the very limited slice of the wider multimedia expression of that moment that it in fact was. There is no defensible excuse for this exclusion and the narrow histories based on conscious omission these two anthologies presented and the lack of an openness recognizing many other approaches to the visual poem. One needs only to look at Klaus Peter Dencker’s Text-Bilder: Visuelle Poesie International from 1972 and Roberto Altmann’s, Tecken: Lettres, Signes, Ecritures from 1978 to witness the narrow


exclusion by these and other concrete anthologies in presented work and the introductory historical outlines. The disparity between the genders among anthologized concrete poets is another question awaiting answer, just as is that of the disappearing of specific females, some of whom have been mentioned. Illustrated above, in the teens and twenties of the last century, many women were composing visual poems and visual text art, especially in Russia. The exact or estimated number remains to be recovered given the reasons already stated or implied. A quick census of three of the American English concrete anthologies finds: in the Something Else Press anthology, one solo piece and one male/female collaborative piece, with a husband; in the female-edited Indiana University Press anthology, two male/female collaborations (again one of these a collaborative piece with a husband) and two individuals, one of whom was the editor; in the New Directions Press anthology, four women. In the Second Aeon/Something Else typewriter anthology, two women. The answer is not that women were not composing such works. One glaring omission is Yoko Ono, a prolific Fluxist. Alison Knowles appears only in the New Directions Press collection but neither in the Something Else collection nor the University of Indiana collection. Why were Paula Claire and Alison Bielski only published in the Second Aeon/Something Else typewriter collection? Only two male/female collaborations are found in the Writers Forum collection, and there were other women composing concrete poems. For the above-mentioned contemporaneous visual poetry anthologies, the Dencker collection appears as out of balance as the concrete collections. While the Altmann collection seems a bit brighter with more women represented, it, too, is open to this question. Perhaps the most glaring gap is found in Eugen Gomringer’s konkrete poesie, where no woman was anthologized.19 One need only skim contributors to the more egalitarian Mail Art/Correspondence Art exhibition contributor lists/catalogues/collections embodying much more balanced female-male ratios to understand this remains an unanswered question. Or perhaps the answer is simply good ol’ gender bias.



1 CONCEPTUAL DECORATION Stefan Brüggemann 2 beba coca cola babe cola beba coca babe coca caco caco cola cloaca Décio Pignatari, Beba Coca Cola, 1957 3 the [C]oncrete poet seeks to relieve the poem of its centuries-old burden of ideas, symbolic reference, allusion and repetitious emotional content. (Solt “A World Look”) In Beaulieu, p. 41 4 « A partir de 1960, je suis en guerre avec la poésie visuelle et la poésie phonétique et lettriste que je considère comme des exercices de sténo-dactylo qui s’ennuie. » Ben Vautier. S.d. QUELQUES MOTS SUR BEN "POETE", in http:// www.ben-vautier.com/divers/poesie.php3 5 As we have already established, so-called conceptual artists such as Art & Language, Joseph Kosuth were primarily interested in using language as an analytical and philosophical instrument that could


stand for art's ideas, rather than the concrete poets obsession with verbovisual pyrotechnics. Concrete Poetry and Conceptual Art: A Spectre at the Feast? Neil Powell http://www.ubu.com/papers/powell.html 6 “Concrete Poetry was a formalization of the poet’s material. And when the poets become materialistic, the state is in trouble” La poésie concrète a cherché à formaliser le matériel poétique. Quand les poètes se font matérialistes, l’état est en danger. Joseph Kosuth. [1969] 1991. Art after Philosophy and After, p.24 7 The difference between conceptual art and poetry, literature, and philosophy is that conceptual art takes the principles of visual abstraction, founded in the visual arts, and applies them to language. When it does that a nonvisual abstraction occurs. Ian Wilson. « Conceptual Art ». Artforum, February 1984. https:// www.artforum.com/print/198402/conceptual-art-35408

34 Typical of his strident but good humoured critique on what he sees as the shallowness of the information aesthetic, Finlay observed: "to try to separate the idea of art from the idea of beauty seems to me quite grotesque. It's like separating the idea of football from the idea of goals." 34 35 Poetry as we know it — sonnets or free verse on a printed page — feels akin to throwing pottery or weaving quilts, activities that continue in spite of their cultural marginality. But the Internet, with its swift proliferation of memes, is producing more extreme forms of


modernism than modernism ever dreamed of. (Goldsmith “The Writer”) “The Writer as Meme Machine” 54 In the age of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, poetry must embrace plasticity in order to remain relevant. Derek Beaulieu, p. 54 77 Elvis has left the building. 204 COCA-COLA Stefan Brüggemann http://www.showtitles.com/SHOWTITLES1-728.html


Visual Poetry As a result of the above examples and other factors, following generations 20

broke from concrete poetry and called their works visual poetry. The term quickly spread. Independently, the 1965 date for the first use of the term “visual poetry” determined by Dick Higgins and myself does not mean visual poetry was not composed before its name, as the above numerous examples clearly illustrate and document. Contemporaneously, visual poetry, mail art, small presses, and little magazines, as movements or fields of artistic and literary endeavors formed, adding momentum to the various visual text art expressions as they rose in global participant numbers, reaching their collective peak between the mid-1980s into the early 1990s before their slow replacement by the Internet. Mail art’s end, after peaking in the early 1990s, resulted from a call to cease mail art exhibitions for three years. It was paid attention to; mail art did not recover. After the three-year hiatus the momentum for massive numbers of mail-art exhibitions collapsed. The world-wide web eventually replaced mail art as the primary vehicle of interchange for vanguard artists, poets, and writers. Through mail-art participation, international visual poetry and visual text art cross-fertilization bloomed such that no single cliché dominated, except, perhaps, in the closed academic systems that controlled traditional publishing and thus instructional content. That is not to say fads will not eclipse specific types for a while. Again, in Brazil, mail art freed individuals non-allied with the Noigandres group to freely exhibit internationally. Visual poetry from areas dominated by Russia and its eastern bloc and those from Latin America made a strong and lasting impression on mail artists and on visual poets around the globe. Within concrete poetry, visual poetry, and mail art, a minimalist expression became a type of visual expression. For some individuals, it was their primary focus, some successful, others less so. As with other types of concrete it lead to cliché and mimicry, further isolating concrete poetry.21 The history of visual poetry after 1965 is one of a vast collection of stories about hundreds, if not a few thousand, including those who dropped out for a variety of reasons, those composing an ever-widening range of visual works in !267

contrast to the narrow, well-known, cliché-ridden history of concrete poetry. To illustrate the vastness of visual poetry and other visual text art here is a very incomplete list of magazines publishing such works. The period is from 1970 to 1990: 1 Cent, 10•5155•20, ‘spec, A Gaveta, After The End, Alea, Alternative, Antenna, Arte Postale, Artifact, Art / Life, Artists’ Pulp, Assembling, Atticus Review, A Voice without Sides, AU, Beef, Benzene, Bile, Blank Tape, Bogg, Box of Water , Cabaret Voltaire, Cafe Solo, Central Park , Cenzias, Commonpress, Curvd H&Z, Dbqp, Doc(k)s, The Duplex Planet, Eyrie , The Fault, Fly by Night, The Gamut, grOnk, Howling Dog, Hubris, Industrial Sabotage, Intermedia, International Poetry, Interstate, Invisible City, Iron, Juxtaposition, Kaldron, Kalligram, Lame Brain, Laughing Bear, Level, Libellus Lightworks, Ligne, Lost and Found Times, MC , Me, Mallife, Malthus, Margins, Mind’s Eye, Mockreviewz, Multipostais, NRG, Or, Original Art Magazine, The Oxidized Look, Paumonock, Perception, Photostatic, Poets, Painters, Composers, Polartiz Etzeztz, Post Nons, Postextual, Posthype, Prop Outre, Push Machinery, Quoz? Poetry, Rampike, Red Lines Magazine, Red Wind, Score, Scrap, Second Coming, Scree, Sh’wipe!, Shi Shi, The Small Pond Magazine of Literature, So & So, Sphinx, Stamp Art Magazine, Taproot, This Is Important, Titmouse, Tracce, Trax, Truly Fine Press, Typewriter, Umbrella, Velocity, Views, Vile, Voices, West Coast Poetry Review, White Walls, Xeropost, and ZYZZYVA. Added to this list were the hundreds of international correspondence/mail-art exhibitions and catalogues, and visual poetry exhibitions. A wide and deep informal egalitarian group of individuals came to know about one another though never coalesced into a movement. Typewriter concrete poetry, followed by its visual poetry, contains the full spectrum of expressions from the minimal to the fully covered page works and long series. Like other kinds, the typewriter works became part of mail-art exhibitions and published in their catalogues. A noteworthy collection was first published in 1975 in London; other larger anthologies have been published.22 In Japan the Vou group, one of the senior (if not the senior) avant-garde groups, continued producing works. A Japanese group I became more familiar with


was the later formed Shi Shi from which I published many individuals’ works in Kaldron. Here are samples from Japan’s Vou and Shi Shi. from Vou Group Shimizu Toshihiko23 Shimizu Masato24 Takahashi Shohachiro25 Sawada Shin'ichi26 Tsuji Setsuko27 from Shi Shi Group Tanabu Hiroshi28 Yoshizawa Syoji29 Mori Ikuo30 Kajino Kyuyo31 Standing back to view English-speaking North American geography, one can speak about a concrete then visual poetry centering on the inland coast of the Great Lakes region with Toronto replacing New York City as the epicenter of Englishspeaker activity in the late 1960s into the 1990s. Though not on Lake Erie, d.a.levy lived in Cleveland until his untimely, early demise, Karl Young in Kenosha followed by Milwaukee and back to Kenosha, bpNichol and others in Toronto (including The Four Horsemen [bpNichol, Rafael Barreto-Rivera, Paul Dutton, and Steve McCaffery] and Coach House Press), and d.r. wagner in Buffalo until Sacramento. d.a. levy32 Karl Young33 bpNichol34 Rafael Barreto-Rivera35 Paul Dutton36 Steve McCaffery37 !269

Four Horsemen38 d.r. wagner39 In Spanish speaking Mexico, beginning in 1985, The Biennials of Visual and Experimental Poetry exhibition series was launched.40 Previously, Dick Higgins was centered in New York; he moved upriver to Barrytown, continuing his critical writing, concrete and visual poetry, intermedia pieces, and sound poetry.41 In New York City, hyper-active Richard Kostelanetz’s output of works, anthologies, assemblings, and books contributed to concrete poetry, visual poetry, sound poetry, and mail art, among others.42 He remains hard at work contributing to visual poetry and literature as a pro-egalitarian, antiauthoritarian, literary polemicist.43 Beyond the Rockies Bill Fox, aka Ian Tarnman, composed his significant body of work and published the works of many visual poets and visual text artists.44 Wagner moved to Sacramento. Mail artists produced countless works in and around the Bay area and southern California. I moved from Salt Lake City to Sacramento where I first met d.r. wagner and concrete and minimalist poet Wally Depew. They were the first concrete/visual poets I met. After 14 months, I moved to south San Luis Obispo County, in the summer of 1975, consciously removed from literary centers. Here I met visual text artists Patty and David Arnold, who were living in Oceano. Together we curated the first of my four Visualog international exhibitions of concrete and visual poetry and visual text arts. In 1978 I changed Kaldron into an international journal of visual poetry and language art, what I now call visual text art so as not to be confused with language poetry. The last issue, in 1991, was culled from Visualog 4. I have lived in Oceano since 1983. I literally live on landscape rich in deep Chumash history and traditions and Dunite/Bohemian literary and artistic history. Slipping into the late 1990s to the present moment, the dominant, interconnected exchange has been W3, the Internet. Positive and negative results were expected and, for some, were exceeded in both directions. Overall, I expect a more optimistic outcome; with easier and a more rapid understanding of the quality of works on display one can hope for an increase in quality. The downside can result in more ghettoes as groups form in which members pay attention only to !270

themselves. None of this would have occurred had it not been for the computer, which itself forever changed the trajectory of the visual text image. One could say that the computer, its mobile spinoffs, and the digital camera all conspired to force the human mind back to a more familiar integration of text and visual image. As long as electronic media and technology maintain a continual reinventing of themselves, there is no reason to assume visual text art and its types will not continue to evolve and in turn excite and surprise its practitioners and its growing audience. In 2011 The Last VisPo Anthology, edited by Nico Vassilakis, Crag Hill, et al.,45 made of collected works composed between 1998 and 2008, accompanied with essays and riffs, was published. It was the first large international anthology of visual poetry published in the United States. Broad in spectrum, it illustrated visual poetry’s strengths and weaknesses. Nevertheless, the publication was an important beginning as a survey, suggesting the need for more anthologies to add to the dialogue of direction and quality. To their credit, its editors, contributors, and friends, by hosting exhibitions, expanded awareness of the publication and its subject matter. An equivalent publication in the UK was Philip Davenport’s THE DARK WOULD (2013) which took a wide-ranging (though Euro/USA-centric) sample, cross-fertilising text artists and visual poets, with some work from Middle Eastern and Chinese practitioners and “Outsiders”, including homeless people and people with dementia. We are led into THE DARK WOULD by the magisterial Nja Mahdaoui (more on him follows), the oldest contributor, and helped out by the youngest. The broadest and most comprehensive collection of visual poetry, Visual Poetry By series, was an elegant and brilliant egalitarian set of chapbook publications published by Dan Waber, host of minimalist concrete poetry46 and other sites. Too numerous to list are the sites that exhibit contemporary works. A suggestive listing of individuals and some links can be found in the appendices. What would the stature of concrete poetry and visual poetry be today had the concrete-poetry movement been open, generous, and expansive, fully recognizing !271

its mother and father forerunners, especially the large number of painters and poets, the early multimedia composers who laid the visual text art foundation between 1906 and 1955, and the paralleling or forerunning sister and brother peers of their moment? By recognizing these individuals, I do not mean naming distinguished pioneers with a hit-and-run nod, but discussing and showing their works and life stories as part of an open-eyed history, a wide body of works forming a meaningful tradition from which to learn and upon which to build. When their stories, especially the Russian stories between 1910 and 1940, become well known (censorship to exile or imprisonment or execution or death by poverty), calling the Noigandres concrete group “heroic” as was done in the first decade of the 2000s would be recognized immediately for what it was, hubris bordering the ridiculous. One need not move out of Latin America to find true heroic poets, visual and lexical. The stories of Clemente Padin’s and Jorge Caraballo’s incarcerations for several years under Uruguay’s military dictatorship, jailing of Paulo Brusky (three times) and Daniel Santiago in Brazil (none of the Noigandres members were jailed as they were apparently deemed safe, if not supporters of the status quo, i.e., not avant-garde but perhaps retro-garde?), the kidnapping of Jesus Romero Galdamez Escobar by the El Salvadorian military, and the exiling of Guillermo Deisler from Chile. How many poets, artists, and writers did the Chilean dictatorship kill? Many artists, writers, and poets fled Chile.47 Clemente Padin 48 Jorge Caraballo49 Paulo Brusky50 Guillermo Deisler51 Had, for example, the North Atlantic Fluxist/concrete group embraced the visual text artists and visual poets of the Stieglitz Circle, pointed to Camera Work and 291 and the spinoff groups, other individuals, little magazines, the obvious concrete-genre paintings and drawings by Stuart Davis, friend of e. e. cummings, and the 1920s iconographic portraits by Arthur Dove and Charles Demuth, the !272

visual text and iconographic works of the Transcendental Group of New Mexico (discussed below), the visual poets Paul Reps and Kenneth Patchen and the iconographic paintings of American First Peoples (discussed below), perhaps American concrete poetry and the later American visual poetry would not be as anaemic and repetitive as it appears today in December, 2018. That is not to say strong bodies of work do not exist or continue to unfold through many individuals’ creative talents of the older, middle, and newest generations. Nevertheless, the overall American visual text arts do not exhibit the strength and vigor found in Europe, among the Persian and Arabic language word painters, or the iconographic paintings of American First Peoples. An example of this self-imposed narrowness was the effort Dick Higgins spent on his highly selective visual text art history project, Pattern Poems, to create a subtext impression of a “natural” progression from global pattern poems directly to concrete poetry.52 As has been provided in the beginning of this project, many types of visual text art existed before 1900, not only pattern poems: acrostic, alphabetical poem, pangrammatical line, anagram, artist book, emblem, rebus are some examples he ignored. Rather than pursuing the history of modern-era visual text art and the unfolding European-Japanese-Arabic-Persian word-art painting and the overall ignored iconographic paintings by American First Peoples, he continued to promote the narrowness of concrete poetry. As noteworthy an anthology collection itself to the history of visual text art, it is unfortunately tainted as an ideological subtext document. Having absorbed the darkness of exclusion and a hard-edged boundary identity by conscious choice, concrete poetry isolated itself into a ghetto boundary marked by critics 40 years ago. Whether this is traceable to Italian Futurism through the Noigandres group to the North American Fluxists is a project for someone else. Nevertheless, until its current incarnation, a neo-concrete visual poetry, vispo (dominated by or under the shadow of certain aspects of the language-poetry theology and some of its members), blossoms into the wider visual text art accomplishments, this North American neo-concrete visual poetry faction will follow the same fate, if it already hasn’t. Perhaps the openness of the !273

Internet may very well save it from itself through direct communication with international makers, especially with the upsurge of quality and quantity found among the pan-Islamic calligraphy and word painters. At this moment, however, optimism is darkened by pessimism. The overwhelming number of published and posted derivative and neo-concrete works ignore even the most basic lessons provided by Persian- and Arabic-language word painters steeped in a continuous multiple-thousand-year art and visual text art history pregnant with spiritual and aesthetic tradition binding cultures from South Asia, across western Asia to Greece and Egypt , and onward to the Atlantic. Historical and contemporary American visual text art traditions and individuals continue to be ignored. The book you are reading now of course acknowledges work that fits no easy category, often made by people who don't find an easy fit either, be it within an art form or a society. This survey comes from my own lifelong involvement, as practitioner, disseminator, searcher — looking even now for the patterns in the Oceano dunes and on the beaches from Humqaq (Point Concepcion) to Big Sur.


Treated Text Topmost of many standouts, even given his over-familiarity due to wide acceptance and acclaim, is Tom Phillips. Treated-text fame began with his first major opus, A Humument, 1973. Another major opus, Dante's Inferno, which he translated and illustrated, was published in 1985. He set the standard for treated text few have approached, fewer surpass. 53 Among unsung American treated-text artists, a jewel in our crown is word painter Doris Cross, a former New Yorker who moved to Sante Fe, New Mexico. Her major project was finding poetry and hidden text among the pages of the 1913 edition of the Webster Dictionary.54 The date was a homage to the Armory Show.55 With a host of poetic and word-text expressions (minimal, repetitive, lyrical, whiteout, strike-out, painted over, etc.) she took the American standard guide of definitions, a project of focused certainty, and moved it deep into fields of mystery and uncertainty. In 1982 I traveled from Scottsdale, Arizona after visiting my mother and its art galleries showing First Peoples’ art, to Albuquerque, New Mexico where I met and visited the fierce feminist poet I had published in the early lexical and visual poetry issues of Kaldron, Barbara Mor. Afterwards, I drove north and visited book artist Paula Hocks and word painter Doris Cross in Santa Fe. I was publishing both. Again, in 1988 I visited Doris, this time with Ruth. Cross’ work I deemed significant and devoted an issue of Kaldron to her. Unfortunately, I was unable to print in color to show fully the deep subtleties in her palette of word-and-color. She was one of many female practitioners promoted in Kaldron who opened new doors for us all. (In my limited way, I have tried to continue such promotion that began in 1973 in Salt Lake City when I edited and published Salt Lake City’s first anthology of women poets, Matriorakle.) Sadly, like many of her female peers, Doris Cross was ignored. Unlike the ubiquitous Tom Phillips, this means discovery of her work is still charged with shocks of surprise. We stumble into a worldview rich in strange nuance and dark ironies. It is heart-stunning to open an old dictionary and find a live handgun !275

secreted in a chamber cut into the yellowing pages of definitions. Like Harry Smith before her, Cross scatters a breadcrumb trail of zig-zag meanings and esoterica that will possibly be most valued not by her contemporaries, but by those who come next.


Art / Mail Art / Small Presses Mail art or correspondence art, a radically egalitarian, anti-ism, and, once full-throttled, hyper-energetic movement, began with American Ray Johnson’s mailings of his works in the early1960s.56 The idea spread. Taking hold, it brought the most significant international gathering of artists, poets, and writers before the Internet from the 1970s into the 1990s. Through the years, countless international mail-art exhibitions around the globe exhibited tens of thousands of non-juried works seen and read by another unknown but larger number of event attendees. Works from areas where citizens were either unable or forbidden to leave, or areas where one form or another of censorship or dictatorship prevented publication and exhibition of works contrary to accepted cultural dictates were mailed out to exhibitions. In many instances, works published in catalogues and alternative magazines gained a longer half-life than that of attendee memory of a work or work sited in an archival setting, thereby adding to a growing body of admired visual poetry and broader visual text art. As early commercial small printing presses were replaced with better models, the used printing presses became available for enterprising individuals. Small, alternative magazines and presses popped up globally as venues to move around stodgy, established publications and presses unwilling to publish the new vanguard works. The same held with photocopy machines serving either as a printer for a press or as a source of collage and other manners of manipulation for image, poem, or text. Visual poets and other visual text artists were among the participants of mail art, founders of presses and magazines, and curators of international exhibitions. Examples of mail art, visual poetry, and visual text intersections are too many to list. Here are a couple of examples from Eastern Europe. In 1971 Belgrade, Miroljub Todorović founded Signalism.57 As with many individuals and groups, awareness of individuals’ works and the group’s manifestos spread throughout the ever-growing informal network. The works of the East Berlin couple Ruth and Robert Wolf-Rehfeld,58 and the Polish visual poet and mail artist, !277

Pawel Petaz, 59 with his Common Press and works were highly popular and widely reproduced. Mail art provided an outlet in Latin American countries where U.S. American misuse of its Monroe Doctrine propped up military dictatorships. Among the many in Brazil for whom mail art liberated their work from the Brazilian status quo are: Avelino De Araujo,60 Philadelpho Menezes,61 and Ana Aly.62 Sergio Monteiro de Almeida, poeta visual63 Hugo Ponte. 64 An example of an ongoing annual mail-art project curated by changing hands was the Shadow Project that began in 1982 with P.A.N.D. (Performers and Artists for Nuclear Disarmament) of the U.S.A. Its purpose was to remember the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Over the years, the timing of the exhibition coincided with the anniversary of Japan’s victimization by nuclear bombs.65 A feature added to it was either a mobile or other forms exhibiting 1,000 origami cranes as a homage to Sadako Sasak, who had become well-known for her own attempt to fold 1,000 cranes. Before completing her wish, she died of Abomb-induced leukemia. She was two years of age when exposed to the radiation of the Hiroshima bomb. Visual poets and visual text artists participated and were among Shadow Project curators.


Asemic Writing During the writing of this project a new visual art text movement has bloomed, Asemic Writing, a post-literate movement, seemingly with a greater following and “membership” than Vispo. Asemic writing begins with surrealists sourcing from the unconscious to play with meaninglessness, made-up syntax-less writing shapes. Abstract expressionists exploring with calligraphy-like brush stokes expanded it, again from the unconscious. Some point further back to rock art as asemic because of its “contemporary meaninglessness.” From the 1950s into the 1990s increased use of abstract verbal signs, iconographics, and calligraphies found in global visual text arts solidified by the late 1990s into what has become a formal movement. A couple of concerns need to be addressed. First, the rock art assertion seems a conceptual conclusion, not from direct in situ experience and study. While the lack of meaning in rock art seems logical through their prism, that since meaning has been lost it is meaningless, neither makes these works meaningless nor without specific intent. Shown in the rock art discussion are successful decoding efforts. Certainly others are close to announcement; many others are hard at work on projects. Further, many successful decodings exist but have yet to be accepted by the academic gatekeepers. Secondly, “post-literate” carries serious implications. Literally tongue-incheek or not, the apocalyptic or pessimistic suggestion requires comment. There may be justifications for this post- of many post-s forming the deconstructive postmodernist fence line atonally plucked as if a new music of the spheres with which to rewrite the past and present projecting into a future in its own image. Their basis arrives from the obvious positive consequences of computer graphics reinventing what the printing press destroyed in Eurocentric cultures, illuminated books and calligraphy. Calligraphy, noted previously in these regions, remains reduced to pretty writing. Iconographic images convey quicker in meaning, greater in expanse than word. That graphics ubiquitously populate today’s media leads to a logically, but suspect, assumed eventuality: image replaces word. However, most asemic writers create without conscious meaning, “write” from the unconscious asking !279

readers-viewers to create their own meaning and intent of the work. Or if conscious sourcing, nevertheless adhere to meaninglessness. Essentially, this continues 70 years of rorschach art and literature, which, depending on one’s view, is a positive or negative. Of greater concern for some, including me, is their discussion delving into a neurological pathology route steeped in pathos pointing to asemia, a mental illness, the inability to use and understand words and symbols. Its extreme form is aphasia, the inability to understand linguistic signs. Advocating such a sourcing to promote the uses of meaninglessness loops back to Jung’s refusal to continue critical writings on modern art over 50 years ago because its imagery was identical to what his patients created. Dis-ease expressed first by modern art, then abstract expressionism and following isms offers us a question of cause and a/effect in a Jungian philosophy-psychology frame for those interested in such pursuits. The broad-brushed question: are poets and artists foreseeing and then expressing forthcoming societal illnesses as attuned, healthy seers or as infected creators expressing sympathetic self and societal portraiture thereby adding to the chaos out of which some in turn willfully walk the next step to create sympathetic self and apocalyptic societal portraiture? Portraiture of the play-pen or a forthcoming nightmare picked up by the unconscious’ radar? With the eclipse of symbolism by the pre-World War 1 avant-garde painters, the arts, except perhaps music, have been lead by painters, not poets, in Eurocentric cultures. Also previously shown, from this, though not its direct cause, evolved in the late 1940s non-reference art followed by non-reference poetics. The work refers only to itself. Symbols were outlawed as were other references external to the work. Intent of the artist had no consideration. Seers need not apply being either forgotten or exiled. Criticism devolved to materials, brush stroke, color, and so forth. Concrete art and concrete music built the moulds concrete poetry poured itself into; the poets were followers not leaders. Non-referential poetic criticism followed suit and tied to its own jumbled dialectical-materialism philosophy as the basis for their poetic and at times the occasional misuse of Buddhist philosophy justifying obviously meaningless expressionism. Some asemics scribble (their !280

term) meaninglessness abstract images and calligraphies. Are we heading into the desert of the self indulged? Bleak as this may appear, the worship and illumination of mirage, I suggest an optimism seen in a handful of abstract calligraphers who may be forging ahead with initial steps reinvigorating lost Eurocentric calligraphy and illumination traditions.66 With them, neither unconscious sourcing nor meaningless scribble reside. Conscious intent and meaningful abstraction referencing inner spiritual and/ or outer societal concerns and thus activating reference are focused concerns. If these individuals cannot move others in sufficient numbers in this direction, the possibility exists, given the nature of generational objections, of the younger forthcoming generation rebelling against their “elders” by returning to the functional, healthy use of known iconographics accompanied with their respective Latin or Cyrillic alphabet in the lyrical quest for a visual text art attempting to match Arab and Persian illuminated expressions.


Lettrisme / Lettrism Lettrism is a new philosophy of creativity and aims to transform society by a creative method – “La Créatique / Creatics” – and by a new understanding of the branches of knowledge – Kladology. The writing and symbols used in Lettrist works are not to be seen as carrying a useful message, but solely as the object of art, as a third visual material after the figurative and the abstract. In Lettrism, kladology, the science of the branches of knowledge, allows one to approach each discipline fully aware and desiring revolution, with conscious creative positivism that prohibits chance mixtures of genres like the today often favored all-in-one. The happening as a creation is thus rejected by Lettrists. Lettrists keep the theatrical, artistic or poetic dimensions separate, including when they use the supertemporal, which invites the participation of the spectator, but in a well-defined context. Maurice Lemaître 67 If one thinks of the ultimate goal of Lettrism: “la société paradisiaque concrete,” the concrete paradisiac society, a sort of heaven on Earth: a world made up of creators, a world where contrary to the anarchical “Neither God nor master,” a person must change into “All Gods, all Masters”, then one understands better the gulf that has been dug out between the Lettrists, the most radical and innovative group of the second half of the twentieth century, and a society that seems in a hurry to consummate its loss, incapable of recognizing the still living creators. Frédéric Acquaviva68 Back to the 1950s. The above quote from Maurice Lemaître reminds us of Martin-Henry Barzun’s Orphism. The Lettrists’ expansiveness was an openness to !282

the entire human cultural archive from which to select what considered the best to then wed to their present and evolving expression with the conscious intent to project works forward, aiding a better future. Extending textual content and arrangement, engaging with others, they unintentionally aided the formation of a wider international expression, eventually becoming the arc term, visual poetry, covering all poetry the understanding of which requires looking and reading.69 For example, the works by the ultra-Lettrists, who had split from the Lettrists, Raymond Hains, Jacques Villeglé, and François Dufrêne composing with found elements and posters exposed to weather elements shifted collage to a hypergraphic expression worthy of inclusion with any discussion of the art of visual poetry and visual text art. Like any group, function and dysfunction balance and gyrate with each of its members, who either maintains a presence or leads to self-ejection or expulsion by other members. The tighter the rules, the higher the risk of disenchantment and fragmentation. These three later in 1960 joined the nouveaux réalistes (new realists) group exhibiting in Milan with the other members.70 Raymond Hains,71 Jacques Villeglé 72 François Dufrêne73 Members of the second- and third-generation Lettrists from the late 1960s into the 1990s and beyond continued expanding their form, hypergraphics. The Lettrists added their weight to the advancement of the visual poem, painted word, and other visual text forms during this flourish of activity such that it became a strong influence on visual poetry, painted word, painted text, and language sculpture among European, Persian, and Arabic-language word painting. Their work was exhibited and spread its influence by inclusion within international and group exhibitions that included visual-poetry exhibitions, their own catalogues, international visual-poetry anthologies, individual Lettrist and group Lettrist exhibitions. !283

Alain Satié74 • “le portuguais électrique,” 196475 detail, Ecrit en prose, 197176 from “Lettrist Dailies,” 198877 “Smile,” sculpture, 198978 “Les Créations du Lettrisme: L’économie Politique,” 199079 “Portrait of David W. Seaman,” undated80 “2 homages to Satie” by David Seaman plus works81 Robert Sabatier82 Isidore Isou83 Maurice Lemaître84 • “Portraits”85 “Painting”86 “Poetry/Music”87 Photography88 Gil J. Wolman “Sans titre” (François Mitterrand), 196689 “Décomposition "Négatif reparaît da," 198090 “W la libertà (Bandes Dessinées),” 198291 “Peinture fermée,” 198992 4 undated works93 gallery94


Word Painters A detailed, historical understanding of contemporary painted word by Arabic alphabet artists and trained instructors (Arabic: Hurrufiyoun; and Persian: Naqashi Khatt) can only be surveyed briefly.95 An in-depth project should include 1) an individual’s homeland and wider cultural influences (discussed in the next section); 2) an analysis of influences from European avant-grade art between 1900 and 1980s, depending on which generation of visual text artists they belonged; and 3) how all the influences were folded seamlessly together creating the individual’s unique vision. Further, it should contain a history of the development of informal or formal groups, exhibitions, private and museum collections, and the wider cultural acceptance of the new trends. Such a project would unravel many threads of individual stories before weaving its extraordinarily colorful patterned tapestry. The following provides a small introduction based on my insights, interests, and acquired taste beginning with discoveries of Islamic calligraphy in the Middle Eastern Library, University of Utah, 1970-1972. These were also the days of my laboratory period before composing what I felt and saw as visual poetry beginning in late 1973, early 1974 to the present moment. Islamic calligraphy was one of the major influences training my eye and heart in the realm of beauty.96 Depending on an Islamic country’s positive or negative relationship with Europe and North America after WWII, students were sent abroad for university education supported by government or family. Several American universities formed undergraduate and graduate Middle Eastern Studies programs.97 Some individuals studied art returning home to teach or pursue art careers; others remained abroad to pursue their art. Some rose to levels of highest regard among their peers and gained cultural influence. Kaldron was the first American visual poetry journal and among the first international visual poetry journals to publish from the late 1970s into the 1990s contemporary Islamic word painters: Hassan Massoudy, Rachid Koraichi, and Charles Hossein Zenderoudi; Massoudy many times. Mentioned above, the Lettrists, some of whom I also published, were influencing and being influenced by such work and personal interaction. !285

A contemporary Arab visual text artist has a bountiful tradition from which to draw, adding to the tradition and then passing their unique vision over to the next generation. If the artist draws from the cultural heritage of the vast Islamic cultural sphere, its primary components are: 1) calligraphy; 2) geometry (general); 3) interlacing and interconnecting arabesque patterns, including the complex tessellation (geometry specific); 4) depending upon the artist’s inclinations, miniature painting; 5) the iconographic symbols found in layers of their cultures from proto-writing and deeper back to rock art 6) the choice of blending all these components with the wider evolving global contemporary scene with its 100-year period of countless short-lived “isms;” and 7) the constant refrain within the Qur’an and a foundation of Islamic aesthetics, the call of and adherence to beauty. Those unfamiliar with the recent Arabic-script visual text art, recall that in the discussion on calligraphy and word painting, each element of the Arabic alphabet is a character holding within its boundaries a unique personality or individuality expressing multiple layers of meaning that extend from the mundane to the sacred inner regions of heightened consciousness. The implied philosophical, mystical, and transcendent spirituality of each character and the various associated fields is too large a subject to cover here other than to point to one letter as an example: the open half circle shape of the letter nun (‫)ﮟ‬, suggesting the unmanifested above, and the scribed half circle, the manifested. Many of the painted-word artworks can be understood as letters and the surrounding negative space forming rhythmic vibrations seen and felt to symbolize the pervading sound of the creation.The Islamic tradition of calligraphy remains unbroken from its birth.98 Islamic calligraphy, word painting, and word sculpture currently experience a renaissance or at least a newly invigorated flourishing or blossoming perhaps !286

equal to or surpassing a kindred moment of expansion when paper replaced papyrus and vellum. Since the early twentieth century, Islamic calligraphers and artists have been absorbing modern art forms, materials, and traditions of their Eurocentric cultural peers.99 Recent developments in global technology have accelerated and enhanced various local and regional Islamic visual text art expressions. Embedded in new approaches are the timeless conflicts and stresses caused by the large spectrum of new choices between what is considered compatible and incompatible within a long-held tradition. Some regions and populations have been more open than others to the new; adjustment periods have varied. Generally, Eurocentric, non-Islamic practitioners of visual text art view words, letters, and other language elements as physical materials to manipulate seriously or whimsically without regard to a valued set of cultural traditions and aesthetics, either non-existent or in such constant flux as to have become meaningless and thus eclipsed by the style or cliché of the moment. Such fragmentation can be interpreted as the reflection of the broken mirror of poetic and artistic vision working towards not a higher utopian idealism but surrendering to dystopian forces infecting the arts. Another interpretation of such fragmentation, generally, can be that of rendering an inability to lyrically articulate from the higher regions of consciousness. Within recent pan-Islamic visual text art, individuals influenced by the Sufi way know that each element of the Arabic alphabet maintains its own vibratory character holding its particular energetic force that flows from its specific essence. Each letter holds within its soft permeable boundary a unique personality or individuality expressing multiple layers of meaning that extend from the mundane to the sacred inner regions of heightened consciousness where some have filled their hearts full with the Absolute’s golden light. Add to the individual contemporary stress and conflict the conscious use of opposites and other aspects of the Sufi Science of Letters, which opens to “translating” an encounter with an aspect of the unspeakable. Add as well an implied Pythagorean rotation of spheres forming a visual music. Woven throughout !287

one sees Orphic, Pythagorean, Platonic, and “Neoplatonic” idealism found from the soft borders of India through Persia, west Asia, Egypt to Greece, and upward into Byzantium before fragmenting into weaker influences throughout Eurocentric culture, while remaining intact among Sufi schools. The Science of Letters with the implied philosophical, mystical, and transcendental spirituality of each character and the various associated fields are fully integrated, creating vibrations seen and felt in works. These heartfelt vibrations are enhanced through contemplation or meditation. It is not an exaggeration to describe the experience as receiving a heart-energy charge. Suggestive musicality (implied music of the spheres with its ancient Pythagorean and contemporary usages) in many works moves members of audience viewers elsewhere, both lifting above and diving deep into hidden layered meanings beyond the usual global utilitarian linguistic theorems where a letter is merely a symbol signifying a sound not heard. Neither the Latin nor Cyrillic alphabets had or has a deep mystical science of letters with which to refute the mundane utilitarian language ideas. A more detailed discussion follows in the last section.


Art Informel and Michel Tapié We are following the path that will lead to an international common ground where the arts of the East and the West will influence each other. And this is the natural course of the history of art. Jirō Yoshihara100 Mentioned in the last section, a year before concrete poetry was born, art theorist and promoter Michel Tapié assembled his first “Art Informel” (another art) exhibition in 1952. Art Informel brought together abstract action, lyrical, antigeometric, anti-naturalistic, and nonfigurative artists including Karel Appel, Camille Bryen, Alberto Burri, Jean Dubuffet, Jean Fautrier, Ruth Francken, Willem de Kooning, Jean-Paul Riopelle, and Wols. With this selection, Tapié was exhibiting what he wrote about in his book of the same year, Un art autre (Art of another kind). He perceived and promoted a new trend in post-WWII art, a moving away from Eurocentric modernism to a wider international expansiveness. As mentioned above, two Japanese artists living in France at the time, also exhibitors, Toshimitsu Imai and Hisao Domoto, introduced art informel to Japan the following year. While in Japan advocating art informel, Tapié met Jirō Yoshihara, leader of the Gutai group that he founded in 1952.101 From this meeting began an influential cross-cultural exchange with Art Informel. The Gutai group later worked with American fluxists and the Dutch Nul collective. Art Informel did not become the international critical focal point; New York became the international center of a new avant-garde with its abstract expressionism and the center of critical attention. Sometimes being ignored is an asset, not the initially felt rejection, but a barrier against infections caused by restraints with which critics tend to bind an art movement. The constraints that critics tie up a movement with can be hard-boundary definitions and their what to and not to express, and their how-to rules. In 1960, Tapié cofounded the International Center of Aesthetic Research in Turin, Italy, with architect Luigi Moretti. This center and Tapié in the following !289

decade notably contributed to the cross-cultural expansion of the painted word. Between 1960 and 1971 Tapié’s center hummed along and continued promoting lettrism, artists, and calligraphers from east Asia, western Asia, and North Africa. A profound multi-cultural expression with calligraphic roots and visual text art exchange bloomed outside America, with allied avant-grade activities from the 1950s through the 1980s removed from American concrete poetry, visual poetry, and visual text arts. Embracing North Africa, western Asia, Japan, and Europe and wedding modern visual text art with centuries-deep calligraphic traditions, it has yet to be meaningfully discussed and accepted by most American visual text artists and literati. Neither has there been serious discussion among concrete, vispo, or visual poets about the now dominant international word painters among visual text art. Except for a few, American concrete and visual poets seem to have not fully grasped French Lettrisme, thinking it focused on the letter, not its broader stated intent of embracing the elevation of all arts. Born from this exchange were backand-forth rippling influences among the French Lettrists, Art Informel, and individuals from these other traditions beginning in the early1960s. This mutual exchange also influenced the continued expansion of the Lettrists’ hypergraphics, which in turn raised the quality of international visual poetry and other visual text art beginning in the early1960s. The following sketches attempt to be but a suggestion of the depth and range of what a meaningful collection might include.


Charles Hossein Zenderoudi Among individuals influencing the expansion of Lettrist hypergraphics was the important figure, Charles Hossein Zenderoudi, born in 1937 in Tehran. He had been influenced by Persian calligraphy and the wider Iranian-Persian cultural spectrum before entering Tehran University’s Fine Art College to major in painting in the mid-1950s. To develop a personal style, he traveled throughout Iran to 1) study details found in its great classic architecture, including domes and the great courtyards; 2) absorb folk traditions of bazaars, visual aspects of various festivals, including the Ashura, remembrance of the death of Husayn ibn Ali; and 3) meet geomancers, numerologists, and writers of amulets and prayers. He also went deep into Sufi literature, texts and poetry. In 1960 from this immersion in which he collated a multifaceted understanding of past and present traditions, he cofounded Sagha Khaneh, a new 102

Iranian visual text art movement.

Members of the Sagha Khaneh school based

their visual text art on ice cream shop advertising boards and drinking fountains scripted with quotes from the Qur’an. Their works became known as spiritual pop art. Also, in 1960 he won top award in Tehran’s biennial. The awarded scholarship money paid for his move to France in 1961. That year he earned another award at the 1961 Paris Biennale. Soon he was learning from Art Informelists and the Lettrists, whom he joined, and he brought to them a deeper wrestling experience than his European peers in the attempt to resolve the ongoing conflict between the old and new compositional use of word and symbol. The European confrontation had been resolved through the modern art stages in a less religiously dominated, more industrialized, larger, historically fragmented social context than what the Sagha Khaneh school experienced in Shi’a Iran with its continuous roots into the deeper Zoroastrian and pre-Zoroastrian past. Maintaining his foundation in Shi’a Sufism as axiomatic, the intent of seer poets and painters, and the layered meanings of sacred text, devotional Sufi poetry, and other classic and folk traditions, he blazed his own trail between the Lettrists and Art Informel groups, influencing and being influenced by both. For him, art remained a spiritual !291

discipline, not an abstraction or an idea to rebel against, creating a blend of lyrical abstraction and Lettrist hypergraphics.103


Nja Mahdaoui After French-influenced schooling in Tunisia, Nja Mahdaoui attended university at Academy of Arts of Santa Andrea, Rome, beginning in 1965. In 1968, continuing abstract art studies, he moved to Paris to enter Ecole du Louvre. This is when he met Michel Tapié. Through him, Mahdaoui began the first steps into word painting/abstract calligraphy. He attended the 1969 Espaces Abstraits I exhibition in Milan curated by Tapié and met a number of informel international artists, including Charles Hossein Zenderoudi, other Iranians, and Japanese. This was the moment when he questioned his art focus and shifted to script graphic gestures, his visionary sign, and letter works. Tapié invited him to exhibit in the 1973 Espaces Abstraits II. Later in 1973 he also spent a month in Rabat with Moroccan artists and intellectuals discussing the meanings of national and cultural art. From these reflections there opened an expression for which he would become a master. His body of work is voluminous; works covered and continue to cover a wide range of surfaces and sizes from small to monumental. The surfaces include canvas, vellum, papyrus, various papers, posters, metals, textiles, and airplanes to architecture. He works in series such as collage, concretions, graphic study, labyrinth, ink canvas, calligrammes, graphemes, and so on. That he focused considerable skilled, detailed effort producing exquisite calligrammes with a dedicated focus provides the viewer/reader an understanding that Mahdaoui has a serious commitment to a visual poetic type, the calligramme. This portion of his body of work, begun in 1972, continues to this day; it is overlapped by his grapheme series. That he lifted the calligramme visual poem type to unprecedented heights is a useful pathway to illustrate one of many considerable achievements his works offer and also offers a comparison of lost opportunities by the Eurocentric visual text artists. Nja Mahdaoui’s calligrammes (also graphemes) began with black and white “Graphic Studies” and “Graphic Signs” in the early 1970s. Those available in this lush volume, The Alchemy of Signs,104 would have stood out easily among works published by international concrete poetry and later visual poetry anthologies and magazines during the 1970s to this moment. The first calligrammes forecasts of !293

visionary works to come. At the same time, he was working on a series of energetic abstracts, “Gestuelles” (Gestures), some with abstract signs, that would continue to develop into the 1980s. Dates of works show he added energized color to his “Studies” and “Signs,” creating his first calligrammes by the mid-1970s. Beginning with his first “Parchment” calligramme of 1978 and onward to the present, we witness stunning vertical leaps expressing his calligramme/grapheme as a union of calligramme, words in freedom, and Zaum types into an ideal potential found in its formulation “beautiful sign.” 105 Though his words and letters are free, they do not express the dissolution of beauty, dystopic visions induced by the post-traumatic WWI, postRussian revolution, WWII, and Cold War Eurocentric avant-garde welling an unsettled unconscious. Instead, he entwines with idealization found in the term “beauty” informed by centuries of Arabic art and calligraphy, embedded in the understanding of essence and energy, hinted at by his use of golden fields. The avant-garde calligramme with its shaped imagery of lexical poetic text and the Italian Futurist words-in-freedom expresses an occasioned moment. Mahdaoui penned his calligrammes and later polychromatic and polyphonic graphemes such that he melded both pre-WWI types, intentionally or not, with the Russian Zaum visual poem type (transrational, purpose of which was to propel reader/viewer out of mind).106 The usual expression among these early avant-garde types was to float the text line on and surrounded by white space emphasizing image. Mahdaoui abandoned this by replacing the floating image with a new and exceptional geometric textual density, an enhancement above and beyond anything conceived by the later-1930s concrete artists or the 1950s-to-the-present concrete and vispo poets. He fulfilled the calligramme’s potential, so to say, using his newly discovered alchemical ink. He dissolved the thick lines between past, present, and future; next he added the dissolved contents of verb cases enriching his solution. He then penned his perfectly lettered choreography within the timeless nOw controlled by Sufi breathing techniques. Sitting, working horizontally, he dazzles, lifts us vertically and then inwardly into awe and wonder as his new calligramme line shapes idealized geometrics embracing the surrounding letter gyrations. The !294

line becomes large abstract calligraphic forms dividing and at the same time uniting the entire rhythmic field. Some of these lines suggest Arabic letters or east Asian ideograms. Additionally, Mahdaoui’s polyphonic fields are composed with the emerging global culture in mind: consider each work a collective global song. In such a context it is not a stretch to hearken back to the precursor of the calligramme and words-in-freedom types to poeme simultané and Orphism (Henri-Martin Barzun, 1906, Writer and Artist Commune, L’L’Abbaye de Créteil). Recall from the survey on Barzun, poeme simultané was conceived as a multi-voiced choir poem expressing the complexity of the new, large, urban city life. Orphism was formulated as an integration of all the arts, forming a new matrix to influence society’s development towards a more perfect future. Orphism also had a direct association with Pythagorean ideal forms and expressions, uniting all the arts. While this direction was later lost as a wider intention among the avant-garde,107 it suggests a commonality with the basic tenants of Arabic art generally and Sufi art specifically wherein sits the vertical inwardly ascendant expression of Mahdaoui.


Hassan Massoudy I began publishing Kaldron dedicated to lexical, lyrical, and visual poetry in 1976. Two years and seven issues later, I decided to publish only visual poetry and language art.108 (At that moment instead of my current usage, “visual text art” I employed “language art” this change was made so as not to confuse language poetry and language art.) With the able help of David and Patty Arnold, I curated my first Visualog as the easiest method to secure an informed awareness of the contemporary international scene. Before opening the mailed works submitted by Hassan Massoudy, I was familiar only with highly-admired classical Islamic calligraphy. I did not know Arabic word painting existed.109 Throughout Kaldron’s duration, I published many of his works, some as covers, front and back. His work was obviously significant, constantly displaying a beauty that for the most part was (and continues to this day) lacking in a vast number of visual poets’ aesthetic “theories.”110 Important for me also, he opened the door onto the alternative vistas of the sacred word and its multiple levels. At an early age calligraphy caught and instructed Massoudy’s eye. His ear learned poetry. Both tuned his heart. He was born into a traditional family setting in the sacred Shi’a city of Najef. His father was highly knowledgeable in poetry and explained the levels of meaning of calligraphic verses chiseled into tombstones in the city’s huge cemetery. His uncle was a poet and calligrapher. Massoudy was also constantly attracted to calligraphy on display throughout the city and learned more about poetry in school. Leaving behind limited opportunities imposed by the harsh dictatorship on the Shi’a community, he moved to France in 1969 to study painting at the Academy of Fine Arts. He graduated in five years. He, however, remained dissatisfied and returned to calligraphy. With his appreciation for image, yet well aware of the mirage of image, he plumbed deeper, studying esoteric calligraphy to understand more about the image behind the image. Out of this variety of mixed cultural influences has come a vast body of radiant, uplifting, and heart-penetrating works informed by ancestral traditions, new evolving modern art approaches bound together with a thorough immersion in the Sufi Science of Letters. !296

The Parisian art scene had vigorous and exploratory multimedia events, Situations, created or informed by the Lettrists. He added his own flavor to multimedia events in the 1970s with music, poetry, and calligraphy; he later added dance. Among his numerous compositions and books, one sees and reads complex, long series based on proverbs,111 a word (such as peace),112 and poetry, either a line or two or an entire book.113 From the latter comes one of his more important, penetrating accomplishments, his long series from Ibn ‘Arabī’s The Interpreter of Desires, of which a small portion is available in his book.114 His rendered beauty of the desert can be read as a metaphor for the journey of the discriminating mind working to open the heart. Gossamer letters rise on the breath of a poetic wind as an ascension, a reaching into the heart center: the gift of perfect harmony.115


Rachid Koraichi The third featured individual in the special Kaldron issue was the multifaceted Algerian word painter, Rachid Koraichi, born in 1947 to a Sufi family. (The other individual was Charles Hossein Zenderoudi). Nafas Art Magazine published a contextual review of a 2003 exhibition, “Rachid Koraïchi: The Path of Roses.”116 I recommend this article for those interested in more details of his background than his own website provides. His work moves beyond the hard, even soft, boundaries of painted word and painted iconographics. Moreover, his oeuvre is not restricted to painting but expands to a multitude of surfaces and materials including installation, raku pottery, amphorae, clay tablets, stelae, porcelains, drawings, etchings, lithographs, silk screens, stained-glass windows, murals, sculptures, banners, standards, kaftans, embroidered silks, carpets, and tapestry.117 His recent book, The Invisible Masters, homages 14 Sufi masters and saint poets.118 The publication documents the process from making the banners to their exhibition in Munich in 2011. Each individual has seven dedicated silk banners covered with word painting, abstract iconographics, and symbols. The ninety-ninth banner is “Allah.” Among those honored were the poets Rabi’a, Al-Ḥallāj, Attar, Rūmī, and Hafez. Two individuals important to the Science of Letters are Sahrawardi and Ibn ‘Arabī. Comprehending the collection’s depth and the depth of this group of word painters perhaps may be assisted by the discussion in the next section.


Firyal Al-Adhamy Firyal Al-Adhamy was born in Baghdad in 1950. At an early age she watched the creative processes of jewelry, costume, textile, and woodwork crafts. Her contemporary works blend with Iraqi tradition, including iconographic rock art symbols and the wider western Asian and Arabic cultures. Madiha Omar (1908-2005), another important influence, was the previously-mentioned Iraqi pioneer of Arab word painting. A self-taught word and iconographic painter, Firyal has become internationally-known through exhibitions in many solo and group shows in the U.K., U.S.A., and Middle East, as well as through her new book. She earned a degree from Baghdad University. Political circumstances forced her into an unwilling exile, moving to Bahrain. Works thus exhale the strong perfume of an exile’s longing for home, the tangible colors, sounds, and aromas, and the intangible spiritual, wafting auras. Her painted iconographic series, “Postcards from Mesopotamia,” is a dance with the history of symbolic and written languages of western Asia, demonstrating her skilful polychromatic hand, her bright visionary eye, and her ability to transform time into space.119 Beautiful as the series is, it is also a dirge, a lament for the looting of Mesopotamia in the Museum of Baghdad in 2003. “It was this loss, and the grief I felt when I first heard of the crime that inspired me with the idea of reproducing these priceless pieces in my paintings.” Her solo exhibition,“When the Word Turns into a Fragrant Ray of Light,” presented works inspired by the poetry of Mahmoud Darwish.120 Her book, Do Not Unveil My Colors, A Homeland Sleeps There, contains many of the exhibited works of this beautiful and haunting exile collaboration.121 Her vision is expressed not with just the two-dimensional plane vibrating with letterforms like those of her forerunners and peers but with polychromatic, painted, sculpted letters on traditional canvas and canvas itself at times a sculpt field suggestive with one work and demonstratively emphatic with another the lexical beauty and spiritual aura of the Loay Taha-rendered poem.


SASH Do not unveil my colors, a homeland sleeps there! Do not unsettle the dust of my sorrows, but let it soundly sleep.122 To provide an understanding of this collection, I suggest a look at the Latin letter o, whose original Roman form consciously reflected the circle and was the basis for the designed, shaped ratios of the other Latin alphabet letters. However, that is as deep as it went; the Latin alphabet lacks esoteric depth compared to Sanskrit, Hebrew, and Arabic. Peer into the haunting flute’s o-shaped mouth piping remembered incense from many forced exiled years or the exile’s tears overflowing a perfectly o-shaped ceramic cup mouth or the perfumed dust rising off the o-shaped tight pulsing drum skin. This is the same o found in loss, home, woe, longing, and echo. They all roll in o’s memory; its radius expands and contracts releasing a fragrance in an alien landscape. This o is the doorway in the word home. When opened, deeper into the collection we travel. There are the references to its perfection, the whirl of the Sufi who seeks an end of exile from the true homeland of the heart. There is the constant running theme of the esoteric layers found in every letter’s shape and meanings. Time spent reading and viewing depends upon how deep and wide one’s desire is to enter two visions combined that make for a doubly, or if more open an exponential, unfathomable dive. LOVE On board the plane of love your smile travels, and on the stairway of my soul it peacefully lands.

Aram Chaled Res I work on looking deep into the aesthetics of the Arabic script and its visual music without approaching the word itself. I work away from the line and its designing principles and rules. I consider the Arabic script a body that has its own shape, curvature, depth and heights; it’s soft, compassionate and delicate. I do not take this script from its readable dimension, but from its visual perspective and dive into it to make a visual text. I have a very passionate relationship with the script. This script takes me into its own musical world which is gained from the visual music that I feel and see in the scripts of the Holly Quran. My paintings are a world in which I discover myself. 123 Aram Chaled Res Aram Chaled Res was born in 1965 in Syria and began exhibiting in Syria in 1988. His first German exhibition was in 1998. Soon thereafter he became a German citizen. In 2001 he founded and directed the Free Academy of Art, Göttingen. He has exhibited widely, showing his word paintings, iconographic paintings, three-dimensional canvas works, and painted sculpture. He lives in Turkey as of this writing. To understand his works one must delve below surfaces and for his finetuned dimensions of spirituality and mysticism in the recruitment of the script character within contemporary art. Aram Chaled Res moves us to meditate upon the beauty of the Arabic letter by creating visual rhythms with its form and essence’s energy. He fashions a birth of the spiritual in the notes and melodies weaving through this language line that has no limits in space. He sculpts124 the character in color, exploring its furthest musical extension into material and its beauty. His exploration exceeds the curricula of Arab artists in the use of the “character’s” cultural heritage. Upon entering the scope of the philosophy of self-opening to universal culture and in the global scope of the language, he moves or shifts the “character” beyond the sense and use of a !301

particular national heritage, seeking to establish a language of communication and cross-fertilization between cultures. While creating art, he suffuses Sufi culture and spirituality into it to express visual abstraction, which he says is, “a visual philosophy of Sufism that emanates from the depths of the self onto and into the canvas or other formats.” This can produce an exchange between painter and painted. He goes onto to say, “Building inside me musically is text that depends on or is anchored in repetition. I'm trying to form a relationship of the moment when the visual is overtaken by this music in order to produce a text out of the visual that I want.” Through artistic philosophical thinking, through the culture of the eye, through sources of meditations reflected from private moments, and through the play of colors, shapes, and letters, he expresses his sense of the full impact of the technical and sacred to realize, to actualize, art that comes from within the privacy of self. He, from an individual specific moment, expresses the universal..125


Bin Qulander Bin Qulander belongs to the younger generation of Islamic calligraphers and word painters at this moment of an expansive creativity. Vibrant and multi-layered, inspired, and influenced by numerous sources, including sacred texts (legible in the paintings and obviously highly skilled in presentation), various musics, Sufi dance, and nature all woven with Pakistani local, regional, and pan-Islamic color, patterns, and symbols, Qulander’s calligraphy offers one of the more spectacular and accomplished examples of the renewal. The current era’s new materials and approaches imported and blended with local and wider Islamic cultural traditions are but one function. Another cause is that the works shared on global electronic social-media networks and websites, where I first saw his and others’ works, accelerate this bloom and cross-fertilization that began in the early decades of the twentieth century. Bin Qulander has, at his fingertips, these historic and contemporary artistic expressions with which to compose on canvas multiple iconographically- and lexically-inspired visions that open not only our eyes wider but also our hearts. He accomplishes this, it seems, effortlessly. For example, the circle on the surface in “6 Kalmah,” a plate pattern of holy text, symbolically rises as the dawning sun fronted by a text shaped like a tree. Taking the symbol in deeper meaning, Islam, like Judaism, Christianity, and Hinduism, is a “sun” religion while Buddhism and Taoism are considered “moon” religions. The former focus on the heart, which, according to their sacred texts, is the seat of the divine. The latter focus on the mind to remove thought and unite with the unspeakable. Among the mystics of the religions of the sun, the color of the sun, gold, is a color symbolic of the divine, the unspoken. It can be read, then, as a dawning of gnosis; the sun illuminates the Tree of Knowledge as well as being knowledge itself. Further examples of his use of influences and symbols are the dance and music pulse of the texts influenced by Sufi dervish whirling and its and other music. Other natural influences easily recognized are roots and branches with all the symbolic implications and suggested natural beauty. Spiritual art aids the seeker’s journey to open the heart to find the guest in residence. His art indeed !303

expands, if not aids in opening, hearts to horizons beyond the material aspects we are surrounded by and too often bound by. This is art that sparks thought beyond thought and heart-felt emotion that can lend a helping hand to contemplation.126 The quality and quantity of both esoteric and exoteric Hurrufiyoun and Naqashi Khatt, already vast, seems to be gaining momentum. For a short list by nation, see the Appendix 5. Other works considered painted word have not been discussed due to lack of space, such as the work by the Polish artist Jakub Niedziela.127 I will let you make the choice where to spend your precious time.

Dick Higgins agreed with this definition division, fission and fusion, between concrete poetry and visual poetry while we were co-editing the special visual poetry issue of the Canadian 10•5155•20 magazine. 2 Recall he was major figure in concrete art. 3 https://monoskop.org/Max_Bense November, 2018. 4 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/thalia/aus.htm November, 2018. 5 Solt. Concrete Poetry, A World View, 1970, pp 71-72, http://www2.uol.com.br/augustodecampos/concretepoet.htm November, 2018. 6 Ibid. 7 Menezes. Poetics and Visuality: Trajectory of Contemporary Brazilian Poetry, 1994, pp 24-54. 8 http://www.antoniomiranda.com.br/poesia_visual/wladimir_ias_pino.html November, 2018. 9 http://www.antoniomiranda.com.br/poesia_visual/almandrade.html https://www.facebook.com/ almandrade.andrade/photos_albums https://www.artsy.net/artist/almandrade http:// sociedadedospoetasamigos.blogspot.com/2012/10/antonio-luiz-m-andradealmandradeartista.html November, 2018. 10 http://www.antoniomiranda.com.br/poesia_visual/alvaro_de_sa.html November, 2018. 11 http://www.antoniomiranda.com.br/poesia_brasis/rio_grande_norte/moacy_cirne.html November, 2018. 12 Ibid., Solt, p. 71. 13 Some of Hegel’s idealism was pulled from partially translated Persian philosophy: the Hegelian philosophy of a dialectic process, thesis and antithesis creates a new thesis with its antithesis, I view as a metaphysical idea to force history forward into the age-old ideal of heaven blooming on earth. It was first planted in Persian minds by the founder of Zoroastrianism. Marx, many know, turned the Hegelian philosophy of a dialectic process upside down to create his own metaphysic of economic history ending in its ideal workers’ paradise. The roots of Hegelian and Marxian final ideal stems from apocalyptic literature and traditions of the People of the Book. All four traditions (Zoroastrian, Hebraic, Christian and Muslim) mistranslated Zoroaster’s parable where he broke time’s circle and hammered it into a straight line creating the idea of history as a linear cause-effect record. History, though limited, was an unknowable span. The story of history was simple in a dualistic universe: the war between the chosen Brotherhood of Light and the Brotherhood of Darkness, which evolved into the Other, the Outsiders not privy to or accepting the true teaching(s). The final battle ends history with the victorious Brotherhood of Light, “The Chosen,” ushering in Heaven on Earth. This story passed down through the last 2600 years missed the deeper layer to which Zoroaster was speaking: the war of Light and Darkness is within one’s self. The war of Light and Darkness closely parallels the more ancient Rig Veda. teachings. 14 Ibid, Poetics and Visuality (entire book) + Polkinhorn, “Beyond the Page: Brazilian Poetry since Modernism,” Poetics Today 19:4 (Winter, 1999), 581-95. http://www.jstor.org/stable/i303119 November, 2018. 15 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/biennial/espino.htm http://profunbipoviex.blogspot.com/ November, 2018. 16 Polkinhorn selected works for India’s visual poetry and visual text art blog: synapse poetry (Site not ready as of November, 2018. 17 https://monoskop.org/log/?p=15439 November, 2018. 18 Kempton “On Seiichi Niikuni.” http://coldfrontmag.com/singular-vispo-first-encounters-part-6/ November, 2018. 19 Gomringer. konkrete poesis, 1972,https://monoskop.org/log/?p=7473 November, 2018. 20 Dencker. From Concrete to Visual Poetry with a Glance into the Electronic Future http://www.thing.net/ ~grist/l&d/dencker/denckere.htm November, 2018. 21 more details http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/young/ky-mnml.htm http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/grumman/ egrumn.htm http://www.bigbridge.org/issue11/minimalistinfraverbal.htm November, 2018.



Riddell. Typewriter Art, 1975. pdf http://monoskop.org/log/?p=11300 November, 2018. Tullett. Typewriter Art: A Modern Anthology., 2014. Sackner. The Art of Typewriting, 2015. 23 http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/vou/shimizu-01.htm November, 2018. 24 http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/vou/shim-m1.htm November, 2018. 25 http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/vou/taka-01.htm November, 2018. 26 http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/vou/sawa-1.htm November, 2018. 27 http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/vou/TSUJI-01.htm November, 2018. 28 http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/japan/tana-1.htm November, 2018. 29 http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/japan/syoji-1.htm November, 2018. 30 http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/japan/mori-1.htm November, 2018. 31 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/lkajino/lkajino1.htm November, 2018. 32Crane, American Renegades: Kenneth Patchen, D. A. Levy , D. R. Wagner, 1992. http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/ dalevy/dalevy.htm https://www.facebook.com/clevelandundercoversNovember, 2018. 33 http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/young/young.htm November, 2018. 34 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/bpnichol/bp.htm https://arc.library.carleton.ca/exhibits/bpnichol-we-are-wordsand-our-meanings-change/ganglia-gronk, Gronk magazine http://loriemerson.net/tag/concrete-poetry/ November, 2018. 35 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/bpnichol/4hm-int.htm November, 2018. 36 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/dutton/ldutton1.htm November, 2018. 37 http://artistsbooksandmultiples.blogspot.com/2017/09/steve-mccaffery-archive.html November, 2018. 38 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/bpnichol/4hm-int.htm November, 2018. 39 Ibid., Crane. 40 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/biennial/espino.htm http://profunbipoviex.blogspot.com/ November, 2018. 41 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/lhiggins.htm http://archives2.getty.edu:8082/xtf/view?docId=ead/ 870613/870613.xml;chunk.id=bioghist_1;brand=default http://www.artpool.hu/Fluxus/Higgins/intermedia2.html http://colophon.com/umbrella/higgins_21.3_4.html https://www.moma.org/artists/2637?locale=en November, 2018. 42 http://www.richardkostelanetz.com/index.html November, 2018. 43 https://dichtungyammer.wordpress.com/2018/05/04/exchange-with-richard-kostelanetz-on-his-poetry/ November, 2018. 44 http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/11/ali-haider.html November, 2018. 45 http://www.thelastvispo.com/ November, 2018. 46 http://www.logolalia.com/minimalistconcretepoetry/ November, 2018. 47 Artists’ politically repressed exhibition http://www.e-flux.com/announcements/subversive-practices/ Homage to Pound: http://www.antoniomiranda.com.br/poesia_visual/clemente_padin.html November, 2018. 48 http://www.artpool.hu/MailArt/Padin_online.html http://www.antoniomiranda.com.br/poesia_visual/ clemente_padin.html November, 2018. 49 http://www.henriquefaria-ba.com/en/exhibiciones/montevideo/acerca_de ,http://nguyenclaude.blogspot.com/ 2014/08/homenaje-al-artista-jorge-caraballo.html https://www.pinterest.es/pin/106538347411673949/ November, 2018. 50 https://bombmagazine.org/articles/paulo-bruscky/, http://www.bronxmuseum.org/exhibitions/paulo-bruscky http:// www.amparo60.com.br/paulo-bruscky/ November, 2018. 51http://www.mav.cl/poesia/deisler/index.htm http://www.henriquefaria.com/artist-works?id=32 https:// www.facebook.com/federnfuermeinflug, http://www.collezionebongianiartmuseum.it/en_sala.php?id=31 https:// www.artsy.net/artist/guillermo-deisler November, 2018. 52 Higgins. Pattern Poetry: Guide to an Unknown Literature, 1987. 53 http://www.tomphillips.co.uk/ November, 2018. 54 http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/11/doris-cross.html November, 2018. 55 Cross. Col•umns, 1982. http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/dcross00.htm November, 2018. 56 http://www.rayjohnsonestate.com/ November, 2018. 57 http://www.rastko.rs/knjizevnost/signalizam/delo/11188; work http://www.miroljubtodorovic.com/pages/ vizuelna_poezija.htm https://www.pinterest.com/pin/575546027348904887/ November, 2018. 58 http://moussemagazine.it/rehfeldt-bruscky-chert-2015/ November, 2018. 59 http://www.zulawy.art.pl/index-PP.html November, 2018. 60 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/araujo.htm, http://www.antoniomiranda.com.br/poesia_visual/avelino_araujo.html November, 2018. 61 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/menzes/le-menez.htm, http://www.antoniomiranda.com.br/poesia_visual/ philadelpho_menezes.html November, 2018.



http://www.antoniomiranda.com.br/poesia_visual/ana_aly.html,http://gramatologia.blogspot.com/2017/05/anaaly.html November, 2018. 63 http://issuu.com/boek861/docs/sergio_monteiro_libro November, 2018. 64 http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/11/hugo-pontes.htm. http://www.antoniomiranda.com.br/poesia_visual/ hugo_pontes.html http://www.poemavisual.com.br/html/downloads.php November, 2018. 65 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/shadows/shadows.htm http://www.spunk.org/texts/altern/pub/nuclear/ sp000331.html, http://lomholtmailartarchive.dk/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=shadow+project November, 2018. 66 http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/10/dona-mayoora.html November, 2018. 67 http://www.mauricelemaitre.org/~pfs/what-is-lettrism/ November, 2018. 68 http://www.mauricelemaitre.org/~pfs/what-is-lettrism/ November, 2018. 69 Timeline http://lettriste-situationniste.com/ November, 2018. 70 http://radicalart.info/process/tear/ https://www.pinterest.com/beauce/raymond-hains/ https://www.pinterest.com/ pin/300896818823597516/ http://radicalart.info/process/tear/Dufrene/index.html November, 2018. 71 http://radicalart.info/process/tear/ https://www.pinterest.com/beauce/raymond-hains/ November, 2018. 72 http://radicalart.info/process/tear/ https://www.pinterest.com/pin/300896818823597516/ November, 2018. 73 http://radicalart.info/process/tear/Dufrene/index.html, http://imgkid.com/francois-dufrene.shtml November, 2018. 74 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/lettrist/sati.htm November, 2018. 75 http://coldfrontmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/satie-1.jpg November, 2018. 76 http://coldfrontmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/satie-5.jpg November, 2018. 77 http://coldfrontmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/satie-3.jpg November, 2018. 78 http://coldfrontmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/satie-7.jpg November, 2018. 79 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/sati01.htm November, 2018. 80 http://coldfrontmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/satie-9.jpg November, 2018. 81 http://scriptjr.nl/responses/alain-satie-artist-and-friend-an-appreciation http://coldfrontmag.com/alain-satie-aprimer-by-david-seaman/ November, 2018. 82 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/lettrist/sabatier.htm http://www.thing.net/~grist/lnd/lettrist/gs-sab.htm November, 2018. 83 http://raphael-levy.com/artist/isidore-isou/ November, 2018. 84 http://www.thing.net/~grist/lnd/lettrist/gsindex.htm November, 2018. 85 http://www.mauricelemaitre.org/~pfs/lemaitre-biography/ November, 2018. 86 http://www.mauricelemaitre.org/~pfs/painting/ November, 2018. 87 http://www.mauricelemaitre.org/~pfs/poetry-music/ http://ubupopland.com/ubu_papers/12_01/p/ poesies_by_alain_satie.htm November, 2018. 88 http://www.mauricelemaitre.org/~pfs/photography/ November, 2018. 89 https://www.artsy.net/artwork/gil-j-wolman-sans-titre-francois-mitterrand/zoom November, 2018. 90 https://www.artsy.net/artwork/gil-j-wolman-decomposition-negatif-reparait-da/zoom November, 2018. 91 https://www.artsy.net/artwork/gil-j-wolman-w-la-liberta-bandes-dessinees/zoom November, 2018. 92 https://www.artsy.net/artwork/gil-j-wolman-w-la-liberta-bandes-dessinees/zoom November, 2018. 93 https://arowland17.wordpress.com/2010/10/15/gil-j-wolman/ November, 2018. 94 http://www.natalieseroussi.com/en/artistes/oeuvres/47/gil-joseph-wolman November, 2018. 95 Sample of painting with letters: Issa, et al. Signs of Our Times: From Calligraphy to Calligraffiti, 2016. 96 Ibid., Kempton. “On Seiichi Niikuni.” http://coldfrontmag.com/singular-vispo-first-encounters-part-6/ November, 2018. 97 The one I attended was overseen by an Iranian before the 1979 revolution. The atmosphere reasonably neutral, not caught in the tangled web of the politics of the Israeli-Arabic conflict. 98 The same holds true for most Asian calligraphy except for the tragic loss of the illuminated works composed by members of the Christian Church of the East destroyed after the late 1400s through to the 1930s. 99 http://islamic-arts.org/2011/islamic-calligraphy-1450-1925-west/ November, 2018. 100 http://www.alexandramunroe.com/all-the-landscapes-gutais-world/ November, 2018. 101 http://www.theartstory.org/movement-gutai.htm November, 2018. 102 http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/saqqa-kana-i-history http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/saqq/hd_saqq.htm November, 2018. 103 http://www.zenderoudi.com/english/english.html, http://www.artnet.com/artists/charles-hossein-zenderoudi/ November, 2018. 104 Mahdaoui. Nja Mahdaoui: The Alchemy of Signs. London, Skira, 2015. 105 Samples, some in the book: http://www.nja-mahdaoui.com/artwork-category/parchment/ November, 2018. 106 Samples: http://www.nja-mahdaoui.com/artwork-category/parchment/ November, 2018. 107 Wider context: “BC: Before Concrete.” Tip of the Knife 22. http://tipoftheknife.blogspot.com/2015/11/tip-ofknife-issue-22.html https://www.academia.edu/18128858/BC_Before_Concrete November, 2018. !306


http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/kaldron.htm November, 2018. By this time in my life I had chosen to leave dense urban city life and remove myself from literary centers. The down side of the choice was not having access to research libraries, a cultural tax I willingly pay. 110 Two works in Kaldron: second from bottom, http://butdoesitfloat.com/The-Maze-of-No-Emergence and http:// www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/m06.htm November, 2018. 111 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/ms01.htm and http://visualpoetryrenegade.blogspot.com/2013/01/hassanmassoudy.html November, 2018. 112 http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/10/hassan-massoudy.html, http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/m01.htm November, 2018. 113 http://visualpoetryrenegade.blogspot.com/2010/12/hassan-massoudy.html November, 2018. For entire collection, The Calligrapher’s Garden, 2012. 114 Massoudy. Perfect Harmony: Sufi Poetry of Ibn ‘Arabi, 2002. 115 http://hassan.massoudy.pagesperso-orange.fr/english.h November, 2018. tm http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/ massoudy.htm November, 2018. 116 http://u-in-u.com/en/nafas/articles/2003/rachid-koraichi/ November, 2018. 117 http://rachidkoraichi.com/ also see http://www.artnet.com/artists/rachid-koraichi/ November, 2018. 118 Koraïchi. The Invisible Masters, 2016. 119 https://www.facebook.com/firyal.aladhamy/media_set?set=a.10151267195555758.483007.819780757&type=3 November, 2018. 120 https://www.facebook.com/firyal.aladhamy/media_set?set=a.430040790757.202429.819780757&type=3 November, 2018. 121 Al Adhamy and Taha. Do Not Unveil My Colors, A Homeland Sleeps There, 2014. 122 For samples of poems in Arabic: https://www.facebook.com/loay.h.taha/photos_albums November, 2018. 123 https://aramres.tumblr.com/ November, 2018. 124 Some works are sculpt: http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/10/aram-chaled-res_4.html November, 2018. 125 http://chaledres.site123.me/ November, 2018. 126 http://cliftonartgallery.com/artist/bin-qulander/ November, 2018. 127 https://www.artlimited.net/7189 http://jakubniedziela.daportfolio.com/gallery/86086 November, 2018. 109


Iconographic Painting Socrates: Some god or divine man, who in the Egyptian legend is said to have been Theuth, observing that the human voice was infinite, first distinguished in this infinity a certain number of vowels, and then other letters which had sound, but were not pure vowels (i.e., the semivowels); these too exist in a definite number; and lastly, he distinguished a third class of letters which we now call mutes, without voice and without sound, and divided these, and likewise the two other classes of vowels and semivowels, into the individual sounds, told the number of them, and gave to each and all of them the name of letters; and observing that none of us could learn any one of them and not learn them all, and in consideration of this common bond which in a manner united them, he assigned to them all a single art, and this he called the art of grammar or letters. Philebus (18), Plato1 Similarly, as it seems to me, the wise of Egypt - whether in precise knowledge or by a prompting of nature - indicated the truth where, in their effort towards philosophical statement, they left aside the writingforms that take in the detail of words and sentences - those characters that represent sounds and convey the propositions of reasoning - and drew pictures instead, engraving in the temple- inscriptions a separate image for every separate item: thus they exhibited the mode in which the Supreme goes forth. The Six Enneads, Plotinus (V.8.6)2 Iconographic painting covers a wide range of styles and types from 1900 onward. Some visual-text artists added cultural symbols. Some created iconographics for the specific work as did the previously discussed members of the Stieglitz Circle for abstract portraiture. Others, such as Judy Chicago, created !308

beautifully elaborate works with multiple layers of historical iconographics.3 Her visually dazzling discourse, so to speak, raised and returned the pejorative “woman’s craftwork” to the level where it belongs, among the arts. Some create a vast symbolic vocabulary, such as Constantine Xenakis4 and, as discussed above, Rachid Koraichi.5 Constantine Xenakis’ work obviously covers a wide range of surface and topic. Few seem aware his brother, Iannis, was in the forefront of electronic/concrete music.6 Thus, another layer of Constantine’s oeuvre can be viewed and read reflecting his brother’s music. Some critics attack artists using symbols outside the individual’s national or racial heritage as plunderers. Those defending these artists respond that we are all human first, all expression is humankind’s heritage. A word about the word lyrically rendered into iconographic geometrical form, letters summed and streamlined into what could be considered a letter of an over-arching supra-alphabet, part of overall alphabet or a suggestion of such a possibility. Each word summed; its own lettered sounding. This universal iconographic-lettered alphabet is partially rendered by its inventer, Michael Winkler.7 Such reduction is contrary to the esoteric traditions placing numerical value based on its letters’ summed numerical value. Winkler adds not number but a Pythagorean geometric value to a word’s deep symbolic meaning that connects letters as a pathway to transverse. A creative reader / viewer has the opportunity for a deeper journey into a word’s maze. Form visually announces itself by speaking, first through the eyes then spreading through the other senses before the mind begins its ruminations of chewing the whole into parts. While an important task to research and illuminate an international body of group and individuals’ works, my focus for this part tilts a few hundred miles eastward from my studio to the American southwest Pueblos beginning in 1900 where the style developed that was to influence pan-First People’s new, crosscultural art. My focus traces the development of the Pueblo iconographic art influenced by the dominant American Eurocentric art forms and materials with asides to other American First People’s iconographic art. This short survey is but a suggestion not only for America’s First People’s contemporary art but the global !309

exchange, willing and unwilling, between indigenous people’s iconographic traditional art and the Eurocentric modern arts. Famous among these peoples are the Australian Aborigines.8 Lesser known are from the African Nsukka Group in Nigeria.9 In Mexico, well known to some, are the beautiful Huichol fabric art works.10


San Ildefonso11 Currently, nineteen inhabited pueblos are found from north-central Arizona across to northeastern New Mexico. Most are located along the Rio Grande River west of Santa Fe, New Mexico: Haak’u (Acoma), KO-TYIT (Cochiti), Tue-I (Isleta), Walatowa (Jemez), Ka'waika (Laguna), Nambe O-Ween-Ge (Nambe), Ohkay Owingeh (San Juan), Pe’ewi (Picuris), PO-SUWAE-GEH (Pojoaque), NAFIAT (Sandia), Katishtya (San Felipe), Po-woh-ge-oweenge (San Ildefonso), TAMAYA (Santa Ana), Kha'p'oo Owinge (Santa Clara), Kewa (Santo Domingo), Tuah-Tah (Taos), TET-DUGEH ( Tesuque), Tsi-ya (Zia), She-We-Na (Zuni).12 Despite the geographical closeness, several different languages are spoken on one hand but the iconographics found in the area maintained a common aesthetic suggesting a common iconographic visual language transcending spoken language. For over 80 years children from these pueblos and other First Peoples’ children across the States and Canada were taken, sometimes (more common than not) by force, from their homes to boarding schools or attended local dominantgovernment schools for education (read “reeducation, brain- and culturewashing”). Some of these programs were maintained into the 1960s with lasting trauma and cultural damage to the First Nations. Not until 1900 were the indigenous children provided art supplies as part of their curriculum. Throughout the States, however, they were discouraged from drawing or painting their cultural symbols and subject matter. An exception with significant and positive consequences unfolded in the Powoh-ge-oweenge (San Ildefonso) Pueblo. Esther Hoyt was the teacher at the San Ildefonso Pueblo Day School who successfully instructed her students to follow their own traditions by painting their dances. Not imposing Eurocentric art ideologies, techniques, or imagery, she encouraged artistic freedom, believing that rendering one’s own cultural subjects would enhance a student’s’ desire for art. Her students were aware of their cultural roots hundreds of years deep with their images on pottery, murals, and rock art. Some of her students were from potterymaking families. Surrounded with symbol-making, they easily shifted to crayons


and water colors. The Eurocentric images the students were exposed to came from outside her classroom. Some of her students and other Pueblo individuals were later employed by the newly created School of American Archaeology in 1908. Its archaeologists at that moment were uncovering the Pueblo ruins of what became the Bandelier National Monument. Images from the ancestral Pajaritan pottery, rock art and murals uncovered over the years into 1917 became a source of art for some of these individuals. Out of this mix of art and archaeology came the Pueblo Painting Movement, as it has been called by the dominant-culture patrons and art historians. Artists Ta’e/Home of the Elk/(Crescencio Martinez), Pocano/Coming of the Spirits/(Alfonso Roybal), Quah Ah (Tonita Vigil Peña), Awa Tsireh (Alfonso Roybal), Oqwa Pi/Kachina Stick/(Abel Sanchez), Ma Pe W/Oriole/(Velino Shije Herrera), and Tse Ye Mu/Falling Cloud/(Romando Vigil) are credited with developing the formative stage of the Pueblo Studio Style. Skilled at reproducing the newly discovered mural-art finds and images, their new, original interpretive works came to the attention of the archaeologists, who then encouraged them to continue. Ta’e/Home of the Elk/(Crescencio Martinez) was looked upon as highly skilled in these new renderings; he then transposed the images into his paintings. Dominant-culture thinking usually singles out one individual as new discoverer or tries to appoint one person to represent a group, contrary to the group’s inner dynamics requiring many voices. Thus, among dominant, Eurocentric historians, Ta’e/Home of the Elk was singled out by some as the founder of the Pueblo Studio Style because of his research, acute attention to detail, and constantly adding new subject matter and poses. Had he not died in 1918 at the age of 39 of the influenza outbreak, like Apollinaire, it has been argued rightfully that the character of the Pueblo Studio Style would have been much richer before its next phase. Unlike Apollinaire, who has been raised to the status of a hero or cultural star, not being of the dominant culture, Ta’e’s fame remains within the sphere of admirers and lovers of this art.


After WWI Santa Fe became an art and literary center and tourist destination. Their art quickly became a source of interest to newly arrived artists and writers and their patrons, creating a market for the new art. This was the moment, as previously discussed, Marsden Hartley of the Stieglitz Circle visited the area and later wrote a passionate and reasoned defense of the Pueblo dances. As the art increased in quality and acceptance, exhibitions increased exposure. Advancements in quality followed the usual pattern within art movements as constant exploration of new ideas and exchanges lead to a greater complexity and sophistication. Exhibiting and selling art became problematic, depending upon client or patron. The dominant culture divides art between ethnic arts and crafts and (high) art. At that moment the dominant-culture Southwest Craftsman design movement was in vogue. It deepened the interest in their art as ethnic craftsmanship. These customers wanted truly authentic ethnic work. This required the artist to sign her or his work with their “tribal” or “nation” name. Patrons supporting the demand for (high) art required a signature with an Anglicized Spanish name. Samples from members of the new, emerging Pueblo art:13 Ta’e / Home of the Elk / Crescencio Martinez14 Pocano / Coming of the Spirits / Julian Martinez15 Quah Ah / Tonita Vigil Peña16 Awa Tsireh / Alfonso Roybal17 Oqwa Pi / Kachina Stick /Abel Sanchez18 Ma Pe W / Oriole / Velino Shije Herrera19 Tse Ye Mu / Falling Cloud / Romando Vigil20


The Kiowa Six21 Briefly, the Kiowa Six were younger than the first San Ildefonso and other Pueblo artists but seemed to have entered university sooner in 1928 at the University of Oklahoma. In 1930, Jack Hokeah, Spencer Asah, and Stephen Mopope visited Gallup for the Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonials. Jack Hokeah met Maria Martinez and stayed with her family for ten years (Ta’e/Crescencio and Awa Tsireh/Julian Martinez were part of the family). Maria Martinez is famous for reviving the blackware ceramics with their striking textural contrasts and iconographics. Her efforts began with recovering artifacts, mentioned above, at the Bandelier National Monument. She used the images found in her ancestral Pajaritan pottery dating back 700 years.22 This Kiowa-Pueblo exchange is but one of many cross-First People Nation influences. The degree of their affecting the Pueblo Studio Style depends on which side of the debate one accepts. From the position of the Kiowas, they were a major force in its development contrary to the obvious continuity from 2,000 years of Pueblo art and its rapid change after 1900. 23 Samples from the Kiowa Six: Stephen Mopope24 James Auchuah25 Monroe Tsatoke26 Spencer Asah27


Santa Fe Transcendental Group The Transcendental Group was founded in 1938, only to disband in 1942 because of WWII. Raymond Jonson and Emil Bisttram were its cofounders; other associates included Agnes Pelton, Lawren Harris, Stuart Walker, Ed Garman, Horace Towner Pierce, Florence Miller Pierce, Robert Gibbroek, William Lumpkins, and the now well-known metaphysician and musician, Dane Rudhyar. Lawren Harris attended Pratt; one of his teachers was Arthur Wesley Dow, previously mentioned teacher of members of the Stieglitz Circle: Max Weber, Charles Martin, and Georgia O’Keeffe. Recall his instruction on Japanese prints and their aesthetics and his book, Training in Theory and Practice of Teaching Art.28 He taught that paint off the palette could flow like music with its variety of hues, shapes, and lines. He emphasized line, color, and the Japanese use of light and dark. Line and color were equally important to the Pueblo artists. The Transcendental Group’s influences included Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, Theosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Dynamic Symmetry. Before moving to Santa Fe in 1924, Jonson worked in Chicago with Nicholas Roerich, a former member of Sergei Diaghilev's World of Art, having served as its president from 1910 to 1916. He was also the designer for Stravinsky’s Parisian 1913 debut of Rite of Spring. Roerich left Russia in 1918, sensing the forthcoming demise of spiritual art in Russia. From Roerich’s influence Jonson embraced the idea that all the arts were facets of the same spiritual truth informing all inner and outer reality, leading him to try to live his life as a statement of art, his art a statement of his life. Roerich would later become wellknown for his spiritually evocative Tibetan landscapes.29 The members did not stop painting after the disbandment continuing to explore and extend their stated group and individual interests: transcend the world of senses and through abstract art explore the spiritual realms. Some works by Jonson could be located among the discussion of word painters, but most of it was created before word painters and concrete art. His series, Digits (each painting subject a numeral), followed by a painting on each letter of the Latin alphabet, Variations on a Rhythm, were painted before 1937. !315

Many of the abstract works contain iconographics, some of which clearly were inspired by the Southwest First People’s art. For example, the cover, one of Jonson’s polymer series of Ed Garman’s The Art of Raymond Jonson, Painter, passes as an abstract rock-art figure or a kachina.30 Another polymer, “No. 9,” could not have been painted outside the Southwest influence. This is one of the more dynamic distillations of Southwest landscape and culture with iconographic gesture from the dominant culture.31 “The ideal modern work of art is in effect an icon of quality with a sacred value, non-religious of course. You may look and enjoy it for its art values but the painting is also looking back at you asking if your life values are equally clear.”32 Following are links to works by artists of the group.33 Raymond Jonson34 • “Variations on a Rhythm - B”35 • “Variations on a Rhythm - C”36 • “Variations on a Rhythm - E”37 • “Variations on a Rhythm - H”38 • “Variations on a Rhythm - J” 39 • “Variations on a Rhythm - M” 40 • “Variations on a Rhythm - N”41 • “Variations on Rhythm - P”42 • “Variations on Rhythm - V”43 • “Variations on Rhythm - X”44 • “Cycle of Science: Mathematics”45 • “c-print”46 • “Trilogy - Dynamics No. 2”47 Emil Bisttram48 • “Celestial Alignment”49 • Untitled50 !316

Lawren Harris51 • “White Triangle”52 • Untitled53 • Untitled54 • Untitled55 Ed Garman56 Stuart Walker57


Pueblo Studio Style Recall previously that Dorothy Dunn taught at the Studio School at the Santa Fe Indian School (1932 through 1937) the flat-canvas style she believed best suited her students. And, that she taught 170 students from many nations, many of whom became important artists influencing numerous individuals adding to a vast panFirst People visionary iconographic art that spread nationally throughout the “Indian” schools. During the years between the two world wars the art was exhibited outside the Southwest nationally and internationally; nevertheless, this art remains ignored by the American avant-garde, most artists, and literati. Dunn arrived in Santa Fe from Chicago in 1928. Quickly overwhelmed by the art of the First People, she stated, “found more Art than I ever dreamed of in Chicago.”58 Before teaching, she had spent four years thoroughly familiarizing herself with the iconographic artworks found on a variety of surfaces — rock, wall, ceramic, sand, and textile — through detailed study and praiseworthy rendering. Thus, teaching from an experience of the culture deeper than a surface familiarity she was surrounded by and supported, she became a model for exact rendering. Like Esther Hoyt, she keyed students to their culture’s iconographics with the additional freedom to express it and its context to add to the new evolving modern trends. Some of her students were creating innovative, pure decorative flora and fauna scenes absent human life. Pop-Chalee was subsequently criticized later for her Walt Disney Bambi-like works.59 Her retort was that a deer work of hers was bought by Disney before there was a Bambi movie.60 Hoyt’s students, others in the area before and after, extended traditional ornamental forms into the abstract. This abstraction could be explained partially by removing a forbidden spiritual or ritual image form that required secrecy. Most of the painted dances and their symbols were the public dances; the private, sacred, and ritual dances were not painted. Others kept pushing into new areas to keep the art fresh. Another reason for the abstractions and their growing sophistication was that despite Dunn’s and others attempts to corral students within their cultural boundaries and Pueblo Studio Style, students and other Pueblo artists were mixing !318

with the Santa Fe art-colony artists and writers who also supported their works. Avant-garde ideas were morphed to their aesthetic requirements, much like the process discussed among the Russian Futurists. It was not a one-way exchange; the Santa Fe and visiting artists were influenced by the landscape and the Pueblo iconographics. Advancement of new ideas gained momentum after WWII leading to increased sophistication. Part of the momentum was the natural human flow. Creative exploration fueled by these ideas lead to exterior and interior subject and territory now safer to express. Another force was the university art programs some of Dunn’s students entered. The art remained two-dimensional until the late 1930s. As with ikon painting, vanishing-point perspective was shunned. But unlike ikon painting’s reverse perspective, was use of planes found in kiva murals. No other reason can be assumed than that the use of planes was traditional. In a sense, and for some it may be a stretch, from the San Ildefonso beginnings through the Pueblo Studio Style, the art parallels the Neoprimitive ikon works by the Russian Futurists. Both refreshed their two-thousand-year religious and spiritual traditions. However, the Russian Neoprimitive expression lasted less than a decade. The Pueblo Studio Style gave birth to a pan-First People visionary art expression constantly expanding with a vitality so bright the American avant-garde seems unable to see it.


Abstract Symbolism One of many painters expanding the Pueblo Studio Style was See Ru (Joe H. Herrera); he was painting before he attended school as a student of Dunn. When she left in the spring of 1937, one of her students earned the leadership position, Geronima Cruz, which she held until the school closed in 1962 (She is known by her married name: Geronima Cruz Montoya). Herrera attended the school from 1936 to 1940; he was taught by Dunn and Cruz. After graduating he worked in the Laboratory of Anthropology, rendering pottery designs. As others before him, working as a detailed copyist sensitized eye, hand, mind, and heart to his heritage. After his WWII military service, he enrolled in 1950 at the University of New Mexico. One of his teachers was Raymond Jonson, mentioned above. Jonson supposedly introduced Herrera to Cubism, Kandinsky, and Klee and encouraged his heritage studies.61 Herrera traveled throughout the Southwest studying rock-art sites, kiva murals, and so on. Tanner Lee reduces Jonson’s influence, stating a case of two strong-willed individuals agreeing where interests had been formed before meeting and Herrera going his own way.62 It may have been during his university days Herrera came up with a term perhaps better suited than iconographic painting: abstract symbolism. Unfortunately, the world wide web lacks much of his post-WWII works, thus my inability to illustrate his new directions; books are available that follow his shift.63 Wah Peen’s (Gilbert Atencio), a member of the well-known Martinez family, was born in San Ildefonso in 1930. He attended the San Ildefonso Day School and graduated from the Santa Fe Indian School in 1947. His movement from Pueblo Studio Style to abstract symbolism is easier to see through web links than that of Joe H. Herrera. Wah Peen (Gilbert Atencio) • “Snow Bird Dance Procession” 64 • “Corn Dancers and Clown” • “Dog Dance”65 • “Deer Dancers and Deer Father”66 !320

• “Chiffonete”67 • “Eagle Dancers” • “Eagle Dancer”68 • “Water Serpent Dance69 Waldo Mootzka’s “Pollination of the Corn” is an example of adding Eurocentric perspective while maintaining the integrity of the Pueblo Studio Style.70 He painted it between 1937 and 1940. An automobile accident cascaded his tuberculosis. With his early death, the loss of another pioneer. I will finish with an example of the evolution of styles with a famous lineage of mother-daughter artists. The first artist was schooled in the Pueblo Studio style by Dunn, Tse Tsan / Golden Dawn (Pablita Velarde).71 Her formal instruction began at the age of 16. Her daughter was Tsa-sah-wee-eh / Little Standing Spruce (Helen Hardin),72 and her granddaughter (Helen Hardin’s daughter), was Margarete Bagshaw who died in 2015 during the writing of this manuscript.73 Together, they form a rare combination of three consecutive generations of highly accomplished women artists, each of whom easily fits within the present discussion of iconographic painters, each of whom evoked her individual vision, though tied, literally, by the umbilical cord of a common tradition. Contending that the Studio Style was passé, Helen Hardin boldly added her uniqueness to abstract symbolism, becoming one of its dominant visionaries. Jay Scott’s book continues to be constant source of wonderment and awe.74 Pablita Velarde’s “Old Father The Storyteller,”75 Harrison Begay’s“Stories Our Grandfather Told Us,”76 Penelope Bushman’s “Song Of The Earth”77 or Betty Albert’s “Seven Generations”78 present an introductory opening moment to sample a few North American iconographic paintings / abstract symbol paintings (see Appendix 6 for more pan First People works): Tony Abeyta79 • “Squash Blossom”80 • “A Gift Of Enlightenment”81 !321

• “Nights Emergence”82 Tony Da83 “Mimbres Men and Bear”84 • 2 Katsina Theme Painting85s • untitled86 • “Geometric Quail” 87 • pottery88 Adee Dodge89 untitled90 WB Franklin • “Untitled Collage of Navajo Yei Mask”91 • “Sacred Songs”92 • “Caretakers of the Blue House”93 Oswalk Fredericks • “Male Yellow Hornet”94 • “Female Yellow Hornet”95 Helen Hardin96 • “Changing Woman”97 • “Medicine Woman”98 • “Recurrence Of Spiritual Elements”99 • “Santa Clara Deer Dance”100 • “Arrival Of Winter Messenger”101 • “Bears In The Rainbow”102 • “Deerslayers Dream”103 Joe Hilario Herrera (son of Quah Ah / Tonita Vigil Peña)104 Patrick Swazo Hinds105 Fred Kabotie106 Michael Kabotie (Fred Kabotie’s son)107 • “Awatovi Kachina”108 • “Kachina Song” • “Kachina Forms”109 !322

• “Ancient Messages”110 • “Harvest Ceremony”111 • “Kachina Still Life”112 • “Ceremonial Still Life”113 Murals114 Linda Lomahaftewa115 • “Ancestral Bird”116 • “Messangers”117 • “Looking for Beauty in the Future”118 • “Parrot’s Prayer Song”119 Charles Lovato120 • “Feathered Man & Bowl”121 • “Bird Enclosing Fish, Bird and Three Fish” • “Vision Quest122 • “Song of the Earth”123 • “You Give Me Reason to Live”124 Rafel Medina125 Mary Morez126 David Chethlahe Paladin127 • “Anazai Cave Wall” • “Star Gods”128 • “Kive Painting for the Snake Priest”129 Andrew Van Tsihnahjinnie • “Navajo Elder Storyteller and his Young Audience”130 • Untitled131 • Untitled132 • “Warrior on a Horse”133 Bevins Yuyaheova “Left Handed Katsina” 134


Disinterest in the First Peoples’ arts and symbols by the American avantgarde perhaps can be traced back to the modern-art era after WWI to the present in the dominant Euro-American culture that has essentially expunged traditional western symbolic imagery from the visual and literary arts. Despite the existence of islands of individuals and small groups trying to maintain a literacy, the general illiteracy of symbolic meaning and interest pervades art and literature and their respective professional critics. The loss throughout most of the arts and their supposed avant-garde of symbols with their multiple layers that aid and abet the inward journey adds to the difficulties of self-awareness and actualization required for meaningful art and literature to lift the culture out of its downward slide. As such, symbols, when present in art, especially spiritual art that is dependent upon them, are generally viewed and read literally. They are not seen as part of a wider visual lexicon but as purely decorative images. This symbol illiteracy has been replaced by popular culture, corporate and product logos, roadway signage, tattoos, graffiti-tags literacy and so on. Another reason may be that the meanings of the First Peoples’ symbols are lost or hidden. Guess-work literature abounds, trying to tease meaningful understanding out of what was once called primitive, now known for its sophistication, filled and surrounded by nuance. One such scan, by Nicholas Clapp, gives a quick look at an interpretive translation of rock art in the Southwest that may be useful for those unfamiliar with this form of art. Clapp studied a rock-art panel in Little Petroglyph Canyon made up of well-known abstract human forms covered with symbols.135 Examining old photographs of shamans and their regalia of that region, he suggests that the similarities between the clothing and the rock art indicate these are representations of shamans.136 From my own probings among the northern Chumash solstice, equinox, and north-south alignment sites, their complexity, sophistication, and subtleties may never be fully grasped. The Chumash accomplished a mastery with astronomical alignments that to this day remains ignored. After WWI, Alfred Stieglitz and members of his circle visited or moved to the Pueblo region, his wife, Georgia O’Keeffe, being the most famous to relocate. !324

They all missed what he demanded at the beginning of his journey: make a new American vision. They saw — but with a blind eye — the new American vision seamlessly evolving out of a mural tradition two-thousand years deep in the Pueblo area and deeper in the rock art, younger on the Midwestern plains, older in the northwest, Canada, and coastal California.


Afterword A single moment or work luring me into visual poetics is not to be found. There is no point from which a single line can be drawn, except maybe from my undetectable creative center, mimicking a formed constellation of intent, rooted in the allusive intuition from whose guiding hands I await delivery of the next gift. Perhaps this is why I view lineage as a twig in the tree of visual text art history, especially now that my studies have greatly expanded my understanding during the last five and a half years as I write anew on the subject matter. Seiichi Niikuni is the individual of singular import during my introductory phase to concrete poetry in 1971 when a friend handed and gifted me her copy of the Williams’ An Anthology of Concrete Poetry. His available few poems at the time formed a challenge to equal, as I had found most concrete poetry uninspiring in the Williams’ anthology and later, Solt’s Concrete Poetry. When I thought I had perhaps accomplished my goal, it was after three or four years of dedicated focus. All the energy during that period I designate as experimental laboratory work. To this day, I hold Niikuni‘s book, sent as a review copy by his widow, as one of my archive’s treasures. I began graduate studies in economic history, emphasizing Middle Eastern studies in 1971, at the University of Utah. In the university’s library was the Middle Eastern Library where I spent hours “off course,” absorbing the Islamic !326

calligraphy and art that I had come to love. That was the year I diagnosed myself with dyslexia. My form is visual (reversing letters, numbers, and syllables and dropping or adding letters in words) and auditory (inability to sound out unfamiliar polysyllabic words along with the dropping or adding or reversing letters or syllables). I gradually accepted its constraints and embraced its gifts, such as the ability to mentally navigate three- and four-dimensional space, see poems in words and colors vibrating off black-and-white patterns. Whether or not the intuitive visual flash, a “seeing” of an “incoming” poem, is part of my dyslexia remains unanswerable. During this period, I met Charles Potts, who was then demanding an American phonetic spelling, which solved my spelling troubles. This phoneticism morphed into my word poem work I soon called fissions. This was also the time I was given the Williams’ anthology. Two earlier incidents, 1965 and 1966, come to mind. Before being drafted into the army and sent to Stuttgart, Germany, I heard Ken Nordine’s first Word Jazz album. I “saw” the letters and numbers about which his marvels spun, my first such experience. The 1967 incident in Stuttgart remains with me to this day. Often I went off base into Stuttgart. My wanderings lead me to a cellar club frequented by the youth, Club Voltaire. For me at that moment the name had no association with Dada. As I descended the stairs, I noticed and took in, but uncomprehendingly, exhibited arrays of letters. While publishing Kaldron over a decade later, I received an exchange of some publications from Germany; I came to know that the works I had seen were concrete poems by Hansjörg Mayer. Next to me, on my left, is an archive filing-cabinet folder-full of individuals’ concrete and visual poetry. The visual poem, “Rain,” in Seiichi Niikuni: Concrete Poetry137 and widely anthologized, remains as one of a handful I have been moved by because of its clarity, a presentation both simple and complex among concrete poets. Stare unblinkingly at it; it is an optic wonder of shimmering raindrops. Stare longer, and the rain drops through a rainbow. Another of his exquisite works is “River and Sandbank.” These two and a few others of like expression inexplicably attracted me. The only explanation I can now offer is the kindred spirit and patterning similar to the Arabic works informed by Persian and Byzantine patterns !327

I was first drawn to and “eye” and “heart” trained by. Eventually, I came to know this piece had an undercurrent, a subtle unemotional and objective reference to an earlier emotional “Rain,” the “Il pleut” calligramme by Apollinaire. Perhaps Niikuni’s piece is not the unemotional, objective, geometric, concrete presentation on rain found within its kanji ideogram. Perhaps it is directly composed as an additional and deeper companion to Apollinaire’s “Il pleut” as a subjective, emotional, and political visual repetitive haiku-like lyric also expressing grief over innocent victims of war. In Niikuni’s work, the rain can read as the Black Rain, rain contaminated with radiation after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Additionally, the rain can be the torrent of tears caused by the continued aftermath from these bombings. My first exposure to Sufism came through a story from the head of the Middle Eastern Studies Department during a lecture. He was Persian. The story concerned two brothers, one a shopkeeper, the other just returning from years of seclusion in a mountain cave meditating. A strong revelatory light-full vision had washed through him. It was time to teach. He descended the mountain, walked through the city, and stepped into his brother’s shop. They hugged, each full of love for the other. “Excuse me, brother, but I have an urgent errand to run. Please watch the shop for me. I will be but a few minutes.” Out he went. Since all was quiet, no customers, the recluse looked around the shop. He found a door. Opening it, he saw in the room an impossible configuration of a ball of water surrounded by flame. As he was stepping into the room the shop doorbell rang. He closed the room’s door, went behind the counter, and greeted the customer, a woman. He fell into her eyes. He heard a noise. She asked for a number of items from her list. She paid, then left. He went to the room. It was flooded. Then his brother was at his shoulder saying, “Temptations make you stronger. That why I stayed in the city.”



http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/philebus.html November, 2018. http://sacred-texts.com/cla/plotenn/enn483.htm November, 2018. 3 http://www.judychicago.com/gallery/the-dinner-party/dp-artwork/ November, 2018. Chicago. The Dinner Party, 1980. 4 http://www.constantinxenakis.org/ November, 2018. 5 Ibid., Koraïchi. And http://rachidkoraichi.com/ November, 2018. 6 Samples of his scores are available in Visual Music Scores section. 7 http://www.winklerwordart.com/ https://www.facebook.com/MichaelWinklerArt November, 2018. 8 https://www.aboriginal-art-australia.com/aboriginal-art-library/aboriginal-dot-art-behind-the-dots/ https://www.jintaart.com.au/iconography/iconhmpg.htm https://www.jintaart.com.au/# https://www.aboriginal-art-australia.com/artists-atoz/ https://munupiart.com/collections/paintings?gclid=Cj0KEQjw0IvIBRDF0Yzq4qGE4IwBEiQATMQlMYJRQmE3maJlQkNY6syjhmt4mjJTcYg_ycMFz6dregaArbZ8P8HAQ https://www.aboriginal-art-australia.com/ November, 2018. 9 https://africa.si.edu/exhibits/artists.htm November, 2018. 10 http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/190-mexico-s-huichol-resource-page-their-culture-symbolism-art https://www.etsy.com/market/huichol_art http://indigoarts.com/galleries/nierika-yarn-paintings-huichol-indians-mexico https://drwormhole.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/yarn-painting/ http://galleryinthewoods.com/huichol-yarn-paintings/ November, 2018. 11 https://www.adobegallery.com/origin/San_Ildefonso_Pueblo November, 2018. 12 https://www.indianpueblo.org/19-pueblos/pueblos/ November, 2018. 13 http://www.santafenewmexican.com/pasatiempo/art/gallery_openings/model-students-native-painting-from-thesanta-fe-indian-school/article_53adb342-1cdc-5d53-b693-6d62e57cd1e1.html November, 2018. 14 http://www.blair-murrah.org/twentieth-century-pueblo-printmakers/ http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs139/1102220563312/archive/1112891436919.html November, 2018. 15 https://americanart.si.edu/artist/julian-martinez-3141 https://www.adobegallery.com/artist/ Julin_Martinez_1885-194314770455 https://collections.gilcrease.org/creator/julian-martinez http://nmai.si.edu/ exhibitions/infinityofnations/southwest/228644.html November, 2018. Stuttgart, 1967 16https://www.adobegallery.com/artist/Tonita_Pea_1893-19491488218 http://tmlarts.com/tonita-pena/ http:// cdm262401.cdmhost.com/cdm/singleitem/collection/p16286coll11/id/224 November, 2018. 17 https://www.adobegallery.com/artist/Alfonso_Roybal_1898_195516835189 https://americanart.si.edu/artist/awatsireh-180 November, 2018. 18 https://americanart.si.edu/artist/oqwa-pi-3628 https://www.adobegallery.com/artist/ Abel_Sanchez_1899_197199844088 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/394276142353422516/ November, 2018. 19 http://www.askart.com/artist/Velino_Shije_Herrera/13585/Velino_Shije_Herrera.aspx, http://www.artnet.com/ artists/velino-shije-herrera/ November, 2018. 20 https://www.adobegallery.com/artist/Romando_Vigil_1902_197866868796 http://www.amerindianarts.us/ paintings/romando_vigil.shtml, http://www.invaluable.com/artist/vigil-romando-ltd1pwacuk/sold-at-auction-prices/ November, 2018. 21 Founded at the University of Oklahoma in 1927 and sponsored by the Jacobson house native Art Center. 22 https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ap-art-history/indigenous-americas/a/puebloan-maria-martinez-blackon-black-ceramic-vessel November, 2018. 23 Hays, Kelly et al. Painting the Cosmos: Metaphor and Worldview in Images from the Southwest Pueblos and Mexico. Flagstaff, AZ: Museum of Northern Arizona, 2010. This book provides 2000 years of Pueblo art.https:// www.jacobsonhouse.org/kiowa-five/ November, 2018. 24 https://hyperallergic.com/340242/a-small-celebration-of-one-of-the-kiowa-sixs-most-prolific-painters/ November, 2018. 25 http://nativemissfit.tumblr.com/post/128440243254/theseaowl-james-auchiah-was-a-kiowa-painter-and November, 2018. 26 https://www.pinterest.com/kkibbe49/artist-monroe-tsatoke/?lp=true November, 2018. 27 https://www.etsy.com/listing/491366087/original-native-american-art-print-kiowa https://www.google.com/ search?q=Spencer+Asah+kiowa +artist&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwja2-32w8vZAhVhxlQKHX22Au0QsAQIZA&biw= 928&bih=776#imgrc=Bzoe0v1xG7b-LM: November, 2018. 28 https://archive.org/details/theorypracticeof00dowa November, 2018. 29 http://www.roerich.org/ November, 2018. 2



Garman, Ed. The Art of Raymond Jonson, Painter. https://www.amazon.com/art-Raymond-Jonson-painter/dp/ 0826304044/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1494911043&sr=1-1&keywords=raymond+jonson November, 2018. 31 https://www.artsy.net/artwork/raymond-jonson-polymer-no-9 November, 2018. 32 Excerpt from Transcendental Painting Group exhibition catalogue http://www.caldwellgallery.com/bios/ garman_biography.html November, 2018. 33 https://www.pinterest.com/helenthein/transcendental-painting-group/ November, 2018. 34 https://www.artsy.net/artist/raymond-jonson November, 2018. 35 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/513973376208727818/ November, 2018. 36 http://www.michaelrosenfeldart.com/artists/raymond-jonson-1891-1982/selected-works/1 November, 2018. 37 https://eye-of-the-artist.tumblr.com/post/48277336080/raymond-jonson-variation-on-rhythm-e-33x29 https:// www.pinterest.com/pin/448389706625943765/ November, 2018. 38 http://americanart.si.edu/collections/search/artwork/?id=12761 November, 2018. 39 Correspondence with Stephen Lockwood, University of New Mexico Museum: the series was completed in 1936. http://www.artnet.com/artists/raymond-jonson/variation-on-a-rhythm-j-Nvk_ahfqxblRMxFWOWYGqA2 November, 2018. 40 http://tierrateam.com/2013/02/ November, 2018. 41 http://www.visualartsource.com/index.php?page=editorial&aID=1282 November, 2018. 42 https://www.dma.org/collection/artwork/raymond-jonson/variations-rhythm-p November, 2018. 43 http://collection.mam.org/details.php?id=13504 November, 2018. 44 https://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g33388-d128694-i191614137-Denver_Art_MuseumDenver_Colorado.html November, 2018. 45 http://econtent.unm.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/artmuseum/id/1105/rec/43 November, 2018. 46 https://www.artsy.net/artwork/raymond-jonson-c-print November, 2018. 47 site is off and on http://unmartmuseum.org/online-exhibitions/pure-feeling/ November, 2018. 48 https://www.1stdibs.com/creators/emil-bisttram/art/ November, 2018. 49 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/448389706625943902/ November, 2018. 50 https://www.1stdibs.com/art/paintings/abstract-paintings/emil-bisttram-untitled-abstraction/id-a_242102/ November, 2018. 51 https://www.wikiart.org/en/lawren-harris, http://www.arthistoryarchive.com/arthistory/canadian/LawrenHarris.html http://mcmichael.com/event/higher-states-lawren-harris-and-his-american-contemporaries/ November, 2018. 52 http://pictify.saatchigallery.com/625650/lawren-harris-white-triangle-1939 November, 2018. 53 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/7529524350107905/ November, 2018. 54 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/488359153327454180/ November, 2018. 55 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/448389706622065308/ November, 2018. 56 http://www.artnet.com/artists/ed-garman/past-auction-results November, 2018. 57 http://apfineart.com/artist/stuart-walker-2/ November, 2018. 58 Bernstein. Modern by Tradition: American Indian Painting in the Studio Style. p 5. 59 https://www.adobegallery.com/gallery/42118, http://www.askart.com/artist/Merina_Lujan_Pop_Chalee/14080/ Merina_Lujan_Pop_Chalee.aspx, http://muskegonmagazine.com/0316/muskegon-museum-of-art-0316.html November, 2018. 60 Ibid., pp 55-56. 61 Ibid., pp 61-66. Tanner. Southwest Indian Painting: A Changing, pp 138-140. 62 Ibid., Tanner 63 Ibid., Bernstein. 64 https://www.adobegallery.com/art/san-ildefonso-snow-bird-dance-procession November, 2018. 65 https://www.mutualart.com/Artwork/Dog-Dance/C29C52E119FDED09 November, 2018. 66 https://www.adobegallery.com/art/painting-of-deer-dancers-and-deer-father November, 2018. 67 http://www.firstpeople.us/native-art/Gilbert-Atencio-Chiffonete.html November, 2018. 68 http://www.arcadja.com/auctions/en/atencio_gilbert/artist/358489/ November, 2018. 69 http://www.arcadja.com/auctions/en/atencio_gilbert/artist/358489/ November, 2018. 70 Brody. Pueblo Indian Painting: Tradition and Moderism in New Mexico, 1900-1930, p 188. A fragment of the painting can be sen at https://www.pinterest.com/pin/330099847662034141/ November, 2018. 71 https://web.archive.org/web/20150816062859/http://goldendawngallery.com/2014-paintings-by-margaretebagshaw/ https://www.pinterest.com/canoncito1/pablita-velarde/ November, 2018. 72 http://goldendawngallery.com/helen-hardin/, https://www.adobegallery.com/artist/ Helen_Hardin_1943_198417492218 https://www.medicinemangallery.com/helen-hardin-biography/ November, 2018. !330


https://web.archive.org/web/20150816062859/http://goldendawngallery.com/2014-paintings-by-margaretebagshaw/ https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=Margarete%20Bagshaw https://folkart.org Use search for Margarete Bagshaw. November, 2018. 74 For a detailed account: Scott. Changing Woman: The Life and Art of Helen Hardin, 1989. 75 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/ls/Old-Father-The-Storyteller-1020x802.html November, 2018. 76 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Stories-Our-Grandfather-Told-Us-631x875.html November, 2018. 77 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Song-Of-The-Earth-615x900.html November, 2018. 78 http://www.sa-cinn.com/betty-albert-artcards-prints/seven-generations-7930,/, http://www.sa-cinn.com/bettyalbert-artcards-prints/, https://www.pinterest.com/pin/505106914440350769/?lp=true November, 2018. 79 http://www.tonyabeyta.com, http://www.rainmakerart.co.uk/tony-abeyta/ November, 2018. 80 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Squash-Blossom-660x1023.html November, 2018. 81 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/A-Gift-Of-Enlightenment-607x1000.html November, 2018. 82 http://www.firstpeople.us/native-art/Tony-Abeyta-Nights-Emergence.html November, 2018. 83 Tony Dahttps://www.adobegallery.com/artist/Anthony_Da_1940_200811558807 November, 2018. 84 https://www.adobegallery.com/art/Original_Painting_Mimbres_Men_and_Bear_SOLD121881390848040 November, 2018. 85 https://www.adobegallery.com/art/san-ildefonso-original-painting-of-katsina-theme-by-tony-da November, 2018. 86 http://savvycollector.com/artists/1127-tony-da November, 2018. 87 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/480407485236239620/ November, 2018. 88 https://www.artsy.net/artwork/tony-da, http://www.nmai.si.edu/searchcollections/item.aspx? irn=275959&partyid=249&src=1-2 November, 2018. 89 http://www.bluecoyotegallery.com/AdeeDodgePaintingsandArt.htm, https://www.mutualart.com/Artist/AdeeDodge/24D515B2C5D9CCF3/Artworks , http://www.askart.com/art_for_sale/Adee_Dodge/129728/ Adee_Dodge.aspx November, 2018. 90 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/268245721535741149/ November, 2018. 91 https://www.adobegallery.com/art/untitled-collage-of-navajo-yei-mask November, 2018. 92 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Sacred-Songs-684x950.html November, 2018. 93 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Caretakers-Of-The-Blue-House-609x850.html November, 2018. 94 https://www.adobegallery.com/gallery/47341 November, 2018. 95 https://www.adobegallery.com/gallery/47344 November, 2018. 96 Ibid., https://www.medicinemangallery.com/helen-hardin-biography/, https://www.medicinemangallery.com/ search/?q=Helen+Hardin+ November, 2018. 97 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Changing-Woman-828x1100.html November, 2018. 98 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Medicine-Woman-760x1035.html November, 2018. 99 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Recurrence-Of-Spiritual-Elements-793x1070.html November, 2018. 100 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/ls/Santa-Clara-Deer-Dan-1000x739.html November, 2018. 101 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Arrival-Of-Winter-Messenger-824x1010.html November, 2018. 102 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Bears-In-The-Rainbow-757x1000.html November, 2018. 103 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/ls/Deerslayers-Dream-1050x713.html November, 2018. 104 http://collection.imamuseum.org/results.html?name=Herrera,%20Joe%20Hilario, Search Herrera, Joe Hilario for http://collections.si.edu/search/ November, 2018. 105 https://www.adobegallery.com/artist/Patrick_Hinds_1929_197430764206, Patrick Swazo Hinds artist November, 2018. 106 https://collections.gilcrease.org/object/01371962?position=1&list=e45VNelWJYgKm20zPTsU5yqd2cABfC5Amlo88J8uBo November, 2018. 107 http://www.askart.com/auction_records/Michael_Lomawywesa_Kabotie/102774/ Michael_Lomawywesa_Kabotie.aspx, http://www.tfaoi.com/aa/9aa/9aa323.htm, https://mmaracuja.wordpress.com/ 2017./02/21/michael-kabotielomawywesa/ November, 2018. 108 http://www.artnet.com/artists/michael-kabotie/awatovi-kachina-IBjSBteEn8BL_R0xCEybLQ2 November, 2018. 109 http://www.turtletrack.org/IssueHistory/Issues09/CO120109/CO_120109_OBIT_MichaelKabotie.htm November, 2018. 110 https://www.adobegallery.com/art/original-painting-ancient-messages- November, 2018. 111 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Harvest-Ceremony-641x900.html November, 2018. 112 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Kachina-Still-Life-651x900.html November, 2018. 113 https://www.adobegallery.com/art/acrylic-painting-ceremonial-still-life- November, 2018. !331


https://musnaz.org/research/anthropology-and-archaeology/current-research-projects/hopi-iconography-project/ the-hopi-world-images-objects-and-commentary/ November, 2018. 115 https://lomahaftewa.weebly.com/ http://nativeartinrussia.webs.com/lindalomahaftewa.htm November, 2018. 116 http://www.ladailypost.com/content/linda-lomahaftewa-exhibit-opens-povi November, 2018. 117 http://www.rainmakerart.co.uk/linda-lomahaftewa/ November, 2018. 118 http://www.rainmakerart.co.uk/lomahaftewa-looking-for-beauty-in-the-future/ November, 2018. 119 http://brandywineworkshop.com/product/linda-lomahaftewa-parrots-prayer-song/ 120 https://www.shiprocksantafe.com/artists/581,, http://www.westerngraphics.com/lovato.html November, 2018. 121 https://www.adobegallery.com/art/ Kewa_Pueblo_Painting_Feathered_Man__Bowl_by_Charles_Lovato126843723365882 November, 2018. 122 http://www.askart.com/artist/Charles_Fredric_Lovato/129910/Charles_Fredric_Lovato.aspx November, 2018. 123 https://www.lofty.com/products/litho-in-colors-song-of-the-earth-1977-by-charles-lovato-nm-1937-1987-signedlower-center-unframed-full-sheet-strathmore-with-dec-1-36ab November, 2018. 124 https://www.lofty.com/products/litho-you-give-me-reason-to-live-1977-by-charles-lovato-nm-1937-1987-signedlower-right-numbered-vii-x-unframed-full-sheet-str-1-36ak November, 2018. 125 http://www.askart.com/Artist_Art_For_Sale_Inquiry.aspx?adno=229705&artist=13860 November, 2018. 126 http://www.j-art-gallery.com/art-collections/art-of-the-southwest/mary-morez/, http://www.askart.com/artist/ Mary_Morez/102776/Mary_Morez.aspx November, 2018. 127 David Chethlahe Paladin https://savvycollector.com/artists/3-david-chethlahe-paladin November, 2018. 128 https://www.pinterest.com/savvycollector/david-chethlahe-paladin/?lp=true http://www.artnet.com/artists/davidchethlahe-paladin/ November, 2018. 129 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/ls/Kiva-Painting-For-The-Snake-Priest-850x696.html November, 2018. 130 https://www.adobegallery.com/art/navajo-elder-storyteller-and-his-young-audience, https://www.pinterest.com/ pin/480407485237071362/ November, 2018. 131 http://artsalesindex.artinfo.com/auctions/Andrew-van-Tsihnahjinnie-4313024/Untitled.-Untitled- November, 2018. 132 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/434667801514696730/ November, 2018. 133 https://www.adobegallery.com/art/Din_Navajo_Painting_of_Warrior_on_a_Horse_SOLD128569808124854, https://www.pinterest.com/pin/480407485236909418/ November, 2018. 134 https://www.adobegallery.com/art/painting-of-a-hopi-left-handed-katsina November, 2018. 135 See “Family Petroglyphs” and “Medicine Man” http://www.sefcik.com/2012/12/little-petroglyph-canyon.html November, 2018. 136 Clapp. Old Magic: Lives of the Desert Shamans, pp 55-61. 137 Niikuni. Seiichi Niikuni: Concrete Poetry, p 19.


among thee

\= seers



Soc. I see, my dear Theaetetus, that Theodorus had a true insight into your nature when he said that you were a philosopher, for wonder is the feeling of a philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder. He was not a bad genealogist who said that Iris (the messenger of heaven) is the child of Thaumas (wonder). But do you begin to see what is the explanation of this perplexity on the hypothesis which we attribute to Protagoras? Theaet. Not as yet. Soc. Then you will be obliged to me if I help you to unearth the hidden "truth" of a famous man or school. Theaet. To be sure, I shall be very much obliged. Soc. Take a look round, then, and see that none of the uninitiated are listening. Now by the uninitiated I mean: the people who believe in nothing but what they can grasp in their hands, and who will not allow that action or generation or anything invisible can have real existence. Plato1


Foreword From India across to Greece and Egypt through millennia philosophy and esoteric traditions mingled, creating varieties of syntheses, eventually informing Eurocentic and Islamic visual text arts. Noted in “Before 1900, ‘Islamic Calligraphy,’” the Science of Letters requires some detailed discussion. This survey is for those interested in the routes of esoteric syntheses nourishing contemporary Islamic word painters. It also presents a context for those not necessarily interested in the esoteric but with a desire for a greater understanding and appreciation of the Arab and Persian language-based word painters. Is it more than coincidental that beautiful visual text and iconographic art works are associated with individuals belonging to or influenced by pathways containing true philosophers (in the Platonic tradition) or seers within established esoteric traditions?2 As Scholasticism exiled the angels from the higher realms leaving the demons to play within the earthly realm (see below discussion on Ibn Rushd [Averroës]), so after WWI the spiritual, upward reach was sidelined as either questionable or fully rejected except in rare instances (where Beauty was understood) and in its place the unconscious was sourced giving us for the most part a desert with the occasional oasis. Where Beauty remains a focus we find the Platonic reach into the higher realms, the Sufi direct and indirect influence, indigenous pathways synthesizing the old ways with new ideas and materials, or individuals aligned with all or segments of these in their own unique synthesis and thus and perhaps adding to the larger, grand synthesis that seems underway with or without a large participation of Eurocentric visual text artists. The Eurocentric esoteric route narrowed to a smattering of footpaths seldom walked after the collapse of its illuminated manuscript era. Members of the Transcendentalist Group in New Mexico, though unrecognized by concrete, visual poets and others groups of the American avant-garde, as noted above, left their footprints. After WWII these paths met the vast, heavily traveled thoroughfare of the Science of Letters. One who walked a nearly abandoned pathway was the American quasi!336

hermit, minimalist visual text poet, Robert Lax (1915-2000).3 He lived over 35 years in quietude on three Greek islands, one of which, Patmos, was the legendary home of Saint John. Another name is Island of Revelation. As the dear friend of the famous Trappist monk, Thomas Merton, they remain joined at the hip in American mystical and spiritual letters. Merton is better known for his prose; Lax is lesser known than he should be for his column poems.4 Lax converted to Catholicism, stowing Judaism in his heart because a priest said he could not practice both. Spiritual and mystical influences were numerous. His uncle, high in standing among Theosophists, had a part in the raising of Krishnamurti. Lax first came across the column poem in the writings of Krishnamurti.5 The list continues with his meeting in college and friendship with Merton and their subsequent friendship with the yogi, Brahmachari, exposure to avant-garde minimalism, Zen Buddhism, Chinese Taoism, haiku, Eastern philosophy, Judaic Kabbala, Orthodox Hesychasm, Sufism, and western metaphysics, including the self-emptying / kenotic / negative theology found in Pseudo-Dionysius and St. John of the Cross.6 This is an abridged list. His Taoist influence in part was informed by Merton’s translations of Chuang Tzu.7 Lax was attracted to Zen and yoga within eastern metaphysics because, “. . . zen, & yoga are ways of approaching wisdom & enlightenment ‘ — they are ways of approaching an enlightened state in which one’s behavior is always or almost always ‘spontaneously’ right.’”8 Among Sufi poets, Attar was his favorite. He constantly met and talked with people on travels and numerous visitors. Many discussions were accented with or focused on metaphysical ideas. He was eventually lauded by a few members of the American and many of the European experimental literati. Lax’s columned minimalism with e.e. cummings-like word breaks appeared on the surface a kindred poetic. He, however, was not working with cement but light. Lax’s and Merton’s first steps on their journeys into Christian mysticism supported by other spiritual traditions began at Columbia University. This was a few years before members of what would become the Beats enrolled. Some credit Lax, Merton, and Reinhardt, the third of the triad, as forerunners and tone-setters !337

for the Beats. Lax attended a class taught by the son of Henry-Martin Barzun, Jacques Barzun, to make a dot on a line of dots back to the birthing of a new poetics and art for world betterment. The year he graduated from Columbia, the Transcendentalist Group, having also digested many of the esoteric traditions he was to uphold, had formed and were hard at work painting. Reinhardt and Lax visited Merton at his Trappist monastery in Kentucky. Both corresponded with him over the years until his accidental death in 1972. Nikunni and Lax rendering the “aha!” moment provide two insightful pathways translating the unspeakable into visual poetic text art. Both were anthologized in concrete-poetry collections. Both repetitiously floated text, ideogram, or alphabet. Nikunni created a few poems as square blocks, yantra, or mandala, visible on the page, reflecting an inner chant or a continuous haiku moment. For him the white could have represented the mind, the cleansed mirror. The mind appears with the vibration of thought. This was a planned ideogram-text that if stared at vibrates the haiku moment of his seeing the poem. Lax, rarely, except for his less experimental poems, covers a page with text. His eternal blissful moments sing narrow rhythmic columns downward as he outlines an inner mantra, reaching and ascending to the “aha!” moment. The ending of the poem recorded the “aha!” bringing to the poem and reader an inner competed circle that can be viewed as a “mandalaed” mantra. His poems float on the white space of the undefinable blinding light of love, that space which represents the emptying of self to locate Self, living centered in love. Love brings forth beauty. He shines through the bare-boned letters quietly spelling less-is-more simplicity. Most column poems are narrowed vertical, sometimes doubled. His Scales series poems run horizontally. Its striking contrast is such one cannot but see and feel a signed yet hidden Christian cross. The hidden cross may have been influenced by his painter friend, Ad Reinhardt, noted for his Black Paintings (1953-1967) with their subtle black crosses appearing and disappearing; all were five-foot squares.9 They can be considered abstract ikons. The black, as with Lax and the Russian avant-garde, referred to the unknowability of the divine, and, to repeat, the negative theology !338

found in Pseudo-Dionysius (see p. 156-7). With the black he remained tied to Pseudo-Dionysius, St. John of the Cross and Malevich’s “Black Square.” Perhaps had he lived longer he would have moved to the after-image white on white. The circle of literary friends and artists keeping his legacy alive do not shy from discussing his intention to illuminate his spirituality through poetry, honoring Reinhardt’s and Lax’s spiritualism when discussing the deeper layers of their work. Reinhardt is now considered a forerunner of the conceptual and minimalist arts.10 In 1985 Lax had a major exhibition and reading in Stuttgart. Close by, Reinhardt also exhibited. The singing text of Lax was the result of long hard delving into the spiritual and mystical traditions of word and letter, seeking fundamental building blocks of language structure harmonious to all humankind tongues. He was among the few walking the Way of the Poet. By this I mean poetry as an inner cleansing practice to propel one’s journey, simultaneously recording insights and mileposts along the way. Lax was an example of one creating art and literature to help humankind take another step upward to its highest potential.


Introduction Motivating principles common among pre-WWI avant-garde groups and individuals continued afterwards among surviving individuals and by individuals of following generations who felt a kindred to the ideals. Taking the lead from Henry-Martin Barzun, the L’L’Abbaye de Créteil group fostered a synthesis of all arts under the umbrella term of Orphism. Hilma af Klint, a Theosophist and Anthroposophist (Rudolf Steiner’s form of Theosophy), seems to be the first twentieth-century seer word painter; her word and iconographic works embody a harmonic, global, spiritual perspective. Pamela Colman Smith’s Tarot illustrations with iconographic symbols dove into 600 years of symbolism associated with other decks, the parallel wealth of alchemy illustrations, and mythology-based art, especially related to the quest of the holy grail.11 Her brilliant colors and impeccable design for each card rely on her vision, the deck’s history, and Japanese art influence, meaning an accent of Zen Buddhist minimalism. Members of the Stieglitz Circle directly or indirectly were inclined towards aspects of the Baha’i faith, Transcendentalism, Theosophy, Vedanta, Judaism, Buddhism, Christian mysticism, and Islamic Sufism. Associated with Transcendentalism were ideas from the newly (then) translated works of Greek philosophers by a self-professed Platonist. Thomas Taylor was an English friend of Emerson. His slant was considered heretical to Eurocentric philosophy by supporting and living the Greeks’ definition of philosophy, lover of wisdom. Thus, a life searching for truth, not a master of rational thought, was its ideal. A small but growing collection of philosophers now support Taylor’s interpretation, correcting its history and underlining ignored and scorned passages. Wassily Kandinsky’s Concerning the Spiritual in Art was widely read; within was the call to enter the intuitive to pull forms from the higher realms. A portion of his ideas came from Platonism. In the same year, 1911, R. A. Nicholson published his translation of Ibn ‘Arabī’s Tarjuman al-Aswaq (Interpreter of Desires), followed by The Mystics of Islam in 1914. This was also the year the The Diamond Sutra and other materials from the Caves of a 1000 Buddhists were exhibited in London at the British Museum. It !340

seems the avant-garde’s evolution and expansion was accelerating monthly until WWI blew the scene up, fissioning a new fusion. Though Apollinaire reduced Barzun’s ideas of the wider Orphism, naming the Delaunays’ and their associates’ brightly painted Cubism as Orphism can perhaps be partially forgiven. The color palette originated by Sonia Delaunay came from her Russian childhood and heritage. Their Cubism can be considered reflecting high vibrational music as a homage to Orpheus and perhaps to Pythagorus given the geometries. This work from the higher realms should be contrasted with some of the original darker-hued Spanish Cubism rooted in the soil of the Inquisition, viewable, perhaps, as a rising from the unconscious. Seer poet Orpheus was also a religious reformer who tried to end animal sacrifice. His skilled harping is well known. Nicholas Roerich left Russia, moving to Chicago where he met and influenced Raymond Jonson, a cofounder of the Transcendentalist Group. Carlo Carrà left the Italian Futurists to form Metaphysical Art with Giorgio de Chirico, influencing later metaphysical Surrealism. After visits to India and Japan beginning in 1925, Paul Reps composed Vedanta-Zen visual poems/visual text art. His books became well known during the late 1950s throughout the 1970s into the 1980s. Post-WWII poetry and actions by Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Lew Welch, and other Beat poets12 influenced the hippy counterculture that evolved into culture across the counter. Among the Beat poets’ influences was the Catholic-Buddhist poet, Kenneth Rexroth, who moved to San Francisco from Chicago, where he’d been organizing labor unions in 1925. In France by the mid-1960s Arab and Persian Sufi and Sufi-influenced word painters directly and indirectly influenced French Lettrists, creating hypergraphics. Works of literature and art intend, represent, and suggest many levels of interpretation, one being that of a cultural and individual artifact illustrating its creator’s level of consciousness and unconsciousness. Overall, however, rather than art and literature struggling towards a utopian portrait offering numerous ideal alternative pathways for access to a higher-consciousness-propelled future begun before WWI, many in the following generations of the avant-garde promoted !341

dystopian strains adding to other art and literature movements consciously provoked from the unconscious. Shared by a few, these streams merged, forming a river, and then a flood slowly spread throughout the arts in which writers, artists, and poets offered and offer to this moment countless negative complaints and visions clouding the social mind. Orphism, Pythagoreanism, Platonism, Christian mysticism, Sufism, East Asian Buddhist/Shintoist/Taoist aesthetics, intuitive sourcing, seers, metaphysical and esoteric traditions, and others added to my years within South Asia’s Eternal Dharma are pathways studied in varying degrees for this sketch. See Appendix 8 for a chronology in progress. I argue for the seer, mentioned on occasion, as an ideal role model. The seer, found throughout all esoteric pathways, is a beholder of beauty and visitor to the higher realms. The seer offers highly-conscious visionary works from which citizens may select symbolic markers, signposting a higher way. Born of The Science of Letters today’s Arabic and Persian language word painters, members of a pan Islamic alphabet community, present what appears at first glance a subtle or obvious patterned rhythmic beauty of letter(s) firmly rooted in tradition. The surface or literal layer of a work is just that, the layer that awaits the viewer / reader to peel back, to unveil its esoteric epistle harmonizing the inner cosmic dance with the outer manifested universal dance. When the two meet, unity remains. The epistle arrives on the wings of contemplation of color, shape, and various juxtaposed dualities forming the external beauty and an attempted expression reaching for spiritual perfection always just beyond the reach of a finger’s swirling patterned skin print, the micro swirl mirroring the macro-galactic whirling Undefinable Hand that wrote the Book we live. We have seen above the Islamic word painters continuing as an energetic source of inspiration and guidance by directly and indirectly having influenced word painters among Art Informeal, the French Lettrists through hypergraphics, and others. Arabic art and its pinnacle, calligraphy, are deeply rooted in the Qur’an, the focus of Islamic culture. Discussions and interpretations and applications of the interpretations can be divided between the religious exoteric and the mystical Sufi oriented esoteric. The latter being directly or indirectly influenced by the various !342

experiential Sufi approaches to illuminate and transform the inner self to the Self. Their realized by-product became sort of a road map produced by the inner work. Previously mentioned, critical analysis of the prodigiously skilled and beauteous results of Islamic calligraphy rests on prohibition against reproducing human and divine forms. With the continual use of the term Beauty in the Qur’an describing the creation and its parts, including the most subtle, along with the constant reminder in the Qur’an and throughout the culture of the repetition, contemplation, and representation through calligraphy of the Beautiful Names, one can suggest that this is as a powerful — and perhaps greater — force shaping Islamic calligraphy and art than the prohibition. Islamic artists and calligraphers over the centuries developed the high art of calligraphy, mastered it, added to it, and then instructed the following generation in the exoteric and esoteric secrets of ornate and exceedingly intricate geometric patterning and meanings of letters, words, and phrases. The standardization of calligraphy evolved over the first couple of centuries before its codification by the highly praised calligrapher, Ibn Muqlah (Abu 'Ali Muhammad ibn 'Ali ibn Muqla al-Shirazi,886-940 CE); his name translates as son of an eyeball. Unfortunately, none of his allegedly brilliant works remain, what’s left are only the accolades.13 At first patterns were sourced from established forms and ideas existing in the pre-Islamic Arab cultures absorbed into the Islamic sphere, initially the Byzantium and Persian. Over the centuries, the idealized vegetal, local and regional forms and patterns were transformed by increasing geometric pattern complexities and then applied across most of the arts and crafts. Additionally and perhaps what is more important, they were woven into a deeper sacred geometry based partly on Platonic and Pythagorean ideals of perfection illuminating the Qur’an and its cosmology. The tessellation patterns became known worldwide as arabesque much later. Their sophisticated rhythmic interweaving and their undulations illuminated the Qur’an, other manuscripts, decorated mosques inside and out, other buildings, and portable objects such as ceramics, metal objects and carpets.


Sufi-inspired calligraphy is a deeply complex and vast subject. Not only is there the variety of Sufi approaches for inner transformation given the number of Sufi major and minor lineages and schools found throughout the vastness and depth of Islamic culture,14 there is the voluminous written and orally transmitted collection of experiences under the heading of The Science of Letters. Significantly, regarding the Sufi approach for finding the Absolute, the Truth, there is its willingness to accept the Truth or an aspect of Truth whatever the religious, spiritual, or philosophical framework in which it is found. Such trans-religious, trans-spiritual, and trans-philosophical sharing between Sufis and members of other spiritual and mystical traditions has been documented throughout its history of development and maturity; it continues to this moment. The following offers a selective treatment of influential traditions, some narrower selections from traditions, and a few of the many individuals who formed the Science of Letters. I begin with the Greeks 2800 years before Robert Lax lived on their islands, following his pathway of love. I was more or less intuitively pulled and pushed to revisit the earlier Greeks because of Orphism, constant references to Plato, and the master of all Sufis, Ibn ‘Arabī, who became known as Son of Plato. I was hesitant in this pursuit. Like many, I held Plato at arm-length, suspicious, given his stated antipathy to poets. And yet while exiling them outside his ideal state, he also holds them close, perhaps closer than any other philosopher among the Greeks.


Among the Greeks "That it is not a science of production is clear even from the history of the earliest philosophers. For it is owing to their wonder that men both now begin and at first began to philosophize; they wondered originally at the obvious difficulties, then advanced little by little and stated difficulties about the greater matters, e.g. about the phenomena of the moon and those of the sun and of the stars, and about the genesis of the universe. And a man who is puzzled and wonders thinks himself ignorant (whence even the lover of myth is in a sense a lover of Wisdom, for the myth is composed of wonders [my underline]); therefore since they philosophized order to escape from ignorance, evidently they were pursuing science in order to know, and not for any utilitarian end. Aristotle15 Greek Fire: Prometheus and Chiron Occluded mountain caves have provided sanctuary for holy women and men from the depths of humankind’s past to the present. Some caves are heirlooms from prehistory, such as those in India and China. Some caves were located on a sacred mountain, the culture’s Axis Mundi; later they were replaced by a ziggurat, temple, cathedral, or mosque. Within these structures smaller rooms assigned for deeper and hidden rituals for initiates harken back to its cave-root. This innermost sacred sanctuary among some pathways is known as the heart of the holy edifice. Symbolically, the tavern in Sufi poetry represents one of their heart symbols. Recall the detailed commentary on “The Four Evangelists” by Natalia Goncharova in which I pointed to the inner sanctuary closed to all but the select (see p. 162). Chiron, aka Sagittarius, master of many fields of knowledge, including medicine, music, and astronomy, instructed many Greek heroes who were contemporaries of Orpheus, Hercules being one. As an oracle Chiron had access to !345

higher levels of intellect and beyond into the intuitive. Algis Uždavinys suggests Chiron was the reflected ideal of Hellenic antiquity’s spiritual guide with the combined attributes of statesman, legislator, philosopher, musician, healer, and poet.16 More than likely, he was part of a lineage of masters from an older lost tradition rooted in southeast European ways, perhaps a matricentered way smothered by the patriarchal invasion off the steppes, or a memory from another area and era, the previous homeland of the Greek ancestors, the Caucasus mountainous area or its northern steppes (recall discussion of Danube Script, p 40). Like countless teachers and sages of both genders spread throughout the world and stretching back uncountable tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of years,17 he was an archetypal sage living in the peace and tranquility of a cave associated with a long succession of individuals of a specific lineage or tradition. Probably the cave was chosen for its specific astronomical alignment, given he was a master of star lore. Chasing riotous centaurs through Chiron’s cave, Hercules accidentally shot him in the knee with a hydra-poison, blood-dipped arrow. In unbearable agony, Chiron, being an immortal (an enlightened being?), requested death in exchange for Prometheus’ freedom from bondage and torture. On the literal surface of the lore Prometheus was punished for giving humankind fire for a second time against Zeus’ prohibition. Zeus removed Prometheus’ first gift of fire because he had been tricked by humans at an altar sacrifice. Prometheus went to the sun, lit a torch, and gave fire a second time. Zeus chained him to a mountain in the Caucasus Range. His liver was eagle-food by day; at night it grew back. The sentence, eternal. Zeus placed Chiron in the heavens as the constellation Sagittarius. The arrow hit Chiron’ knee. The knee star, Alpha Sagittarius, steers us to the galactic center, the huge black hole around which our spiral shaped Milky Way swirls. I have yet to find mention of this coincidence. A black hole — the ultimate cave. The story covers a layer hiding a deeper, lost narrative, which arrived in a flash over 15 years ago. The use and control of fire by Homo erectus goes back at least a million years, according to recoveries in Africa.18 Obviously, fire use and control was part of humankind’s tool kit before venturing out of Africa. I had to dig !346

deeper to find if it merited sharing. What follows are a few of many facets that will appear throughout this section. Prometheus seems associated with the South Asian fire thief, Mātariśvan, mentioned in the Rig Veda.19 The Existent is One,” says the Rishi Dirghatamas, “but the sages express It variously; they say Indra, Varuna, Mitra, Agni; they call It Agni, Yama, Matarishwan. 20 A few meanings for Agni, God of fire, are the element fire, purifier, force, illuminator of truth within, aid to bliss, divine power within humankind. He shares many duties later assigned Hermes. Other decoded symbols in the Rig Veda: 1) cows — symbols for light, rays of the sun, consciousness as knowledge (child Hermes, thief of Apollo’s cows); 2) horses — symbols of the force of light, the force of consciousness (Greek Chiron obviously fits in this definition but the centaurs being opposite would make them forces of the unconscious or representatives of those caught in the material world); and 3) dawn — the symbol for the rising of consciousness symbolized by the sun and gold.21 This golden dawn was and remains common among many esoteric traditions. The Rig Veda’s poetic mantra compositions contain three levels of meaning: 1) the deities represented forces of nature; 2) the deities or forces of nature represented psychological forces; and 3) the deities represented spiritual symbols with their own deep meanings gained from direct experience. Sri Aurobindo suggested that Rig Veda mantras had the purpose of fully illuminating the mind with rays of knowledge. He also shows a direct link between a purified mind (with right knowledge, gnosis in Eurocentric tradition) and a purified, secret heart (with adoration or devotion).22 Eventually, these illuminating rays would trigger the “dawn,” the beginning of a sustained rise of consciousness within the heart’s secret cave. Golden hue is the color of bliss, high consciousness, a state of being not emotion. This rise in consciousness then opens up the cave guarded by the forces !347

of darkness; that is, ignorance is overcome followed by ascension, rising out of the secret cave of the heart: His swift ecstasies foster the soul that purifies him; he ascends to the high level of Heaven by the conscious heart.23 Informally, the complex Rig Veda can be viewed as a spiritual way to end the grip of the internal dark forces captivating or concealing the divine within the hidden cave of the heart. It documents a cleansing of this human-body temple and its inner sanctum, our hearts. The forces of light open the hidden inner sanctuary from where the soul rises and merges with the one, that which is, the eternal truth. When fully conscious, the spark of deity, the soul, or atman within the heart rises in bliss to the highest level of heaven. The process, though called sacrifice, is purifying the mind and heart. The process includes action, knowledge, devotion, and meditation, all bound with an attitude of willfulness to overcome. Prometheus need not have traveled to the sun to light his torch. Fire is abundant in countless natural settings on and in the planet. Fire and sun are two of many symbols coded for gnosis, established spiritual knowledge. These and other symbols were in use and are found in sacred texts representing the experience of transcendent knowledge associated directly and indirectly with south Asian ways, and those of adjacent areas east, west, and north. It is not unreasonable to suggest Prometheus was punished for giving humankind the knowledge that the fire of enlightenment dwells within every individual. An enlightened human has power over the demigods and gods; thus the reason for his punishment. Over the last several months researching and reading deeper into the rivers flowing into the Sufi Science of Letters, Orphism, Pythagoreanism, Platonism, and associated materials, my insight was confirmed. There is a group of writers worthy of study for their agreement that philosophy has two primary paths, theoretical discourse, and living philosophy by following its pathway, no matter where it leads, to the truth, the absolute. It follows that they also are inclined towards experientially living a spiritual tradition rather than following religious belief !348

based on faith. Phōs, innocent and peaceful, pre-existed in paradise; the archons tricked him into clothing himself in the corporeal Adam. But the latter, explains Zosimos, was the man whom the Greeks called Epimetheus and who was advised by his brother Prometheus-Phōs not to accept the gifts of Zeus, namely, the bond would enslave him to Fate, to the powers of this world. Prometheus is the man of light, oriented and orienting toward light because he follows his own guide of light. Those who have only physical hearing cannot hear him, for they are subject to the power of Fate, to the collective powers; only those who have spiritual hearing, that is senses and organs of light, hear his summons and his advice.24 When not writing lexical poems or composing visual poems, I attend the poetry, biographies, and ambience of Bhakti Yogi, Sufi, Ch’an, Zen, and mystic poets and writers. They nourish with beauty and wholeness contrary to most poetry I encounter, visual or lexical, that unfortunately dwells within, or worse celebrates consciously or unconsciously the dysfunctional, the human shadow-world of the unconscious mind. Time spent with higher-consciousness poets, seers, and visual poets, understanding their cultural context and works prepared me for implications related to the transcendent source materials influencing the pre-WWI avant-garde and individuals afterwards allied to the same ideals. It has also pushed me to a closer examination of Orpheus and Platonism. Beat poets and writers contributed much to popularizing Buddhism from the middle of the twentieth century forward. Zen became an alternative path to traditional American Christianity for some. Recent popularity of Rūmī may have shifted more interest to Sufism. Ch’an / Zen and other Asian Buddhist traditions, such as Tibetan, probably remain higher in numbers of practitioners and a source of inspiration for poets, given the number of Zen and Buddhist centers founded since the 1960s. Add the wide interest in haiku and its offsprings with their !349

varieties of American short poems, and it may be safe to suggest the Ch’an / Zen influence ranks higher than the Sufi. Within Japanese Zen, the physical and metaphorical road wedded to discipline and poetry exemplified in its grandest form remains with Basho’s revelatory haiku. The term Zan-na, of which Zen is shorthand, is the Japanese phonetic sound derived from the Chinese Ch’an-na, abbreviated to Ch’an, which in turn came from the Sanskrit word Dhyana, meditation. The Ch’an and Taoist poets of China gradually may be overtaking Japanese Zen. Other parallel terms are Seon / Son, Korean; Thien, Vietnamese; and Sammten, Tibetan. Classifications for levels of consciousness and experiences differ among transcendent pathways despite an underlying commonality; see Appendix 9, a short summary of terms applied to ascension for each major tradition.


Links In The Golden Chain Orpheus Of Orphic myths, I begin with fathers. He has two, maybe three. Kalliope is his birth mother. Fatherhood swings between King Oeagrus of Thrace and Apollo. Either he was born or conceived in a cave. His guessed date of arrival was circa 700 BCE. I use arrival because a third parental pair could have been further east, some suggest as far as India from where Dionysius is said to have come. For 100 years Greek colonial cities flourished along the southern shores the of Black Sea before his birth.25 During that period or longer, Greeks were in direct or indirect contact with wandering yogis from India along the early roots/routes of the Silk Road. Such contact perhaps influenced Diogenes of Sinope (Ionian colony on the Black Sea founded in the 8th century BCE), a founding member of the Cynics.26 Looking at lore layers as son of Kalliope and Apollo conceived in a cave, readers generally assume his conception resulted during a mythological romantic tryst. The story covers a deeper meaning, the acquisition of Lunar and Solar attributes. The muses live in a golden cloud above Mt. Helicon. The goldenness of the cloud would be, at the highest form of muse infection, representative of divine madness, one of Plato’s four types of mania.27 Gold, Apollo’s color, widely symbolized bliss or enlightenment. We know Orpheus’ lyre, a gift from Apollo, was the one invented by Hermes, who had exchanged it rather than being punished for stealing 50 cows from Apollo’s herd.28 The deeper sense of the “conception” would have been an initiation of Orpheus and then a period of learning out of which he became the many-talented skillful master we know, leaving the cave, “graduating,” with the attributes of Apollo and Kalliope. Such initiation was known to create the experience of dying to this world and being reborn. If he did not have an initiate master teacher, an intermediating father or mother, he may have gone into self-imposed retreat like Ibn ‘Arabī, who met Jesus, Moses, and Mohammad as his guides before the age of 20 without a master Sufi teacher. Perhaps Orpheus meditating or contemplating in a cave found his guides, !351

Kalliope and Apollo, who provided a perfect balance of lunar and solar spiritual insight and mastery over the four divine forms of madness (ecstasy): “prophecy inspired by Apollo, the mystic madness from Dionysus, the poetic madness from the Muses, and the madness of love, inspired by Aphrodite and Eros.”29 The latter madness, madness by love, seems to be the cause of his tragic death if one accepts the well known ending of his life. Each mastered talent spun a chapter of his shining fable, conveyed through time by oral and written traditions as a persistently changing. Remaining constant were hypnotic powers of song accompanied by lyre, his role with the Argonauts, his love of Eurydice, her death by snake bite, his failure to bring her back from the underworld, and death by dismemberment. His myth remains old yet powerful enough to project shadows dancing on the walls of many caves through the ages, some literal, others heart-caves ranging from those working on enlightenment to the enlightened. Then there are the mind caves swallowing whole the mythological truth that remains undigested, the meaning of meaning behind the meaning. His death at the hands of the Maenads allowed his severed head to be a living oracle on Lesbos until silenced by Apollo. The muses set his lyre in the heavens. This may be a patriarchal cover-up, blaming women for the lightning-bolt execution by Zeus. Orpheus’ crime? Teaching secrets to humankind, elevating him to the realm of Prometheus.30 He was always on the side of civilization against killing and blood sacrifice. He became a prophet and high priest transforming and reinterpreting religious symbols, myths, and rituals.31 Animals had symbolic associations. Possibly as in India the initial deep meanings were lost, the literal remaining. Common throughout history, teaching is replaced by literal-minded, surface ignorance. In this case it is not improbable that sacrifice of an animal meant that one sacrificed the inner animal symbolic of a specific negative psychological force, not the actual, living form. Sacrificial ritual was intended to cleanse body and mind. Orpheus taught the soul’s immortality and reincarnation. The soul was a lost god wandering the earthly realm, not a wandering shade after the body’s death as found in Homer’s era.32 He created a Greek reformation that eventually found its !352

way among Pythagorean and Platonic reformations. “Orpheus, the paradigmatic itinerant seer, is credited for the ability to pacify through his music, to heal, to foretell the future and interpret the past, as well as shape the traditions of the gods — theology in the form of myths, spells, and epic songs.”33 Orpheus’ student, Musaious, said, “Everything comes out of the One and is resolved into the One.”34 Commonalities among Pythagoreanism and Orphism were Apollo, vegetarianism, transfiguration, duality of body and soul, immortality of the soul, reincarnation, and music (Orphic – enchantment; Pythagoreanism – rationalizing the cosmos).35 Apollo literally means not many. The release of the divine element (soul) from the non-divine is the intent of the Orphic rites. The purpose of life beginning with Orpheus was to free the soul from the elements and return to the One. This objective, to become like the gods, was revolutionary and very non-Greek. From Orphism through Pythagoreanism into Platonism, the teachings and procedures for cleansing body and mind were refined to reach the goal. One of many Orphic images found in Pythagoreanism as a refined symbol was applying the number seven from his lyre’s strings to vowels, colors, and planets, each assigned a specific circle of the seven circles of increasing levels of ascension.36 The Christians purged the goal of ascension from Greek philosophy; it has been erased, censored, disparaged, or ignored until recent revisits.37 Eurocentric “rational” philosophers continue to produce their own dubious form of purity, strained through a net of narrow reading.


Plato One of the legendary Greek caves, Allegory Cave, will forever remain associated with its famous tour guide, whose noted pamphlet details flickering interests within and illuminative descriptions upon leaving through the mouth of the cave into full sunlight after a prolonged hypnotic-captured stay. The guide, Plato, speaking through Socrates, the ideal philosophical sage, begins the tour with, ”. . . let me show in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened (my italics).38 The full sunlight, of course, is the Apollonian brilliance in which the light forms of the upper realm, forms / ideas, are reflections of Beauty. Neither poet nor artist, only a philosopher can accurately describe this realm was Plato’s conclusion. His experience with poets and artists of his era was such that of the nine levels assigned reincarnated souls ready for freeing themselves from the cycle of rebirth, the philosopher’s level being foremost, that of the poet and artist was the mid-level, number 5. . . . when the souls we call immortals reach the top, they move outward and take their stand on the high ridge of heaven, where its circular motion carries them around as they stand while they gaze upon what is outside heaven. The place beyond heaven — none of our earthly poets has ever sung or ever will sing its praises enough! Still, this is the way it is — risky as it may be, you see, I must attempt to speak the truth, especially since the truth is my subject. What is in this place is without color and without shape and without solidity, a being that really is what it is, the subject of all true knowledge, visible only to intelligence, the soul’s steersman. Now a god’s mind is nourished by intelligence and pure knowledge, as is the mind of any soul that is concerned to take in what is appropriate to it, and so it is delighted at last to be seeing what is real and watching what is true, feeding on all this and feeling wonderful, until the circular motion brings it around to where it started. On the way around it has a view of Justice as it is; !354

it has a view of Self-control; it has a view of Knowledge—not the knowledge that is close to change, that becomes different as it knows the different things which we consider real down here. No, it is the knowledge of what really is what it is. And when the soul has seen all the things that are as they are and feasted on them, it sinks back inside heaven and goes home. On its arrival, the charioteer stables the horses by the manger, throws in ambrosia, and gives them nectar to drink besides.39 Vedanta’s “Maya” applies to the Allegory Cave. Maya does not mean that the world is an illusion likened to a shimmering desert mirage; rather, it means ignorance. It is not knowing or a willfull rejection of the existence of gnosis. Ignorance is wrong identification by limiting oneself to the senses and mind, by identifying the self with the ego rather than the divine spark (soul or atman) residing in the heart. Through spiritual disciplines gnosis can be experienced. In some pathways it is known as the golden light of Bliss erasing all distinctions and experiencing undefinable Beauty, an aura of the Unspeakable. In Christian terms it is known as baptism by the Holy Spirit (fire in other traditions). Darkness is not sin but ignorance. Plato incorporated into his philosophy Orphism, Pythagoreanism, and knowledge from his years in Egypt.40 Aspects of Greek philosophy can be summed up as the search for understanding the one, the many, and the realm in between. Greek philosophy remains indebted to Thales (624 – c. 546 BCE), Solon (c.  638 – c.  558 BCE), Pythagoras (c. 570 – 495 BC), Plato (428/427 – 348/347 BCE), and Eudoxus (c. 390 – c. 337 BC), all of whom visited Egypt. The goal of philosophy was to grow back the wings of the soul lost at rebirth in the cave of shadows, the earthly realm, so that it could return to the realm of Nous, the intellect, where the forms / ideas reside as beautiful and brilliant light-forms, manifestations, or thoughts of the One. Closest to the One are the Good and Beauty. Algis Uždavinys, among others, provides formidable evidence that Plato’s (and his followers afterward) foundation of philosophy began with Orpheus.41 In !355

an example of early false Christian retelling of Orpheus, Augustine claimed Orpheus was said to have “predicted or spoken truth of the Son of God or the Father.” He also claimed, “What Orpheus began, Christ completed.” 42 This claim perhaps would have been truthful had Christianity accepted Jesus’ teaching as a life style, a way of ascension, not a non-experiential, faith-based belief system, or if a belief system one that included more than pure faith giving birth to a number of long-lived mystical orders offering esoteric practices and teachings rooted in perenial philosophy such as Sufism,. Such orders with members living within society would have had a direct influence on social consciousness through example. Augustine was one of the promoters reshaping the teachings away from a way of life. While Islam was midwife to European intellectual “rebirth,” Egypt was Mother to Greek learning through the studies of Solon, Pythagorus, and Plato, out of which the upper realm of divine numbers and forms evolved.43 Early seers and healers learning in Egypt, predecessors of Orphic and Dionysian initiates, set the template of initiate transmission from father to son.44 O Solon, Solon, you Greeks are always children: there is not such a thing as an old Greek. And on hearing this he asked, “What mean you by this saying?”And the priest replied, You are young in soul, every one of you. For therein you possess not a single belief that is ancient and derived from old tradition, nor yet one science that is hoary with age.45 Greek philosophers traced their hidden texts to the Egyptian use of sacred hieratic hieroglyphic traditions behind which stood the universe as a multidimensional text written by Sophia. The ideal Greek sage, the lover of wisdom, is one who has reached the heights of higher consciousness, much like a yogi or rishi of South Asia. Rather than heart-centered, however, theirs was intellect-centered while using heart-centered symbols. He or she becomes a link in the golden chain,


Orpheus the first link. “Having ascended to the divine the philosopher-sage can pronounce, following Empedocles, ‘Greetings, I am for you an immortal god.’” 46 From South Asia to Egypt, north to Greece, and westward to Greek enclaves, the inner light was recognized in one form or another as divine, whether a spark, soul, or another typology.47 “ . . . we must learn the truth about the soul divine and human by observing how it acts and is acted upon. And the beginning of our proof is as follows: Every soul is immortal.”48 The goal of philosophy, to re-emphasize, was first to realign the soul upward and through philosophy rejoin others in the upper realm. Opening the entryway to consciously access this light required initiation into one of many esoteric traditions found within each culture. One of many shared characteristics was secrecy. For instance, a term of significance related to Greek visual text art is hieros logos: sacred initiation texts of the mysteries with the three levels of meaning — myth, allegory, and metaphysics — used by Dionysian and Pythagorean priests. 49 What the iconographic art and texts looked like and how they were employed remains unknown. Destruction of their knowledge, texts, iconography, temples, and so on, at the hands and hammers of fanatical Christians headed by their black-robed monks and failing to share and disseminate their knowledge throughout their culture, not the erosive and corrosive qualities of time, leaves one puzzled or provides the easy excuse to accept only the logos portion of these Greek philosophers. Without a body of these works over the centuries, tracing the iconographic evolution from symbols, numbers, text-patterns to angels remains a heroic effort and endeavor for a specialist. In Greece Apollo represented the solar path; later, among the Sufis it was through al-Khidr. Among the Platonists with their Orphic-Pythagorean synthesis and with the dialectic and later additions of ongoing synthesis much like the Sufis would in the future, the accomplishment of one’s success became analogous to the hero’s journey. For its stages they applied those laid out by Homer with Odysseus finally reaching eternal youth at the conclusion after Athena, goddess of the philosophers, touched him with her wand.50


The road of philosophy is either a journey in form or a pathway to reform. Philosophy as form remains discursive, descriptive, and analytical attempts at distinctions and commonalties found in the material, earthly plane. The pathway of reform is philosophy as a way of life leading to higher consciousness. It leads to a freedom of movement in the intuitive realm of ideas / forms and the aspects of the divine that can lead and has led, finally, to union with Beauty and the One. Living philosophy as pathway from the founding of the Academy in 385 BCE and other Platonic offspring-schools through to their self-imposed exile move to Persia in 529 CE allowed the inexpressible forms, Reason, Good, and Beauty to be known through direct experience. 51 To join the inner circle of the Academy founded by Plato and the following generations of Platonic schools to the final days of Hellenism, initiation was the first step. From the above opening section, I will again quote the final phrases: Then you have a look round, and see that none of the uninitiated are listening to us — I mean the people who think that nothing exists but what they can grasp with both hands; people who refuse to admit that actions and processes and the invisible world in general have any place in reality.52 He had much to say of initiation. Another example: It is likely that those who established the mystic rites for us were not inferior persons but were speaking in riddles long ago when they said that whoever arrives in the underworld uninitiated and unsanctified will wallow in the mire, whereas he who arrives there purified and initiated will dwell with the gods. There are indeed, as those concerned with the mysteries say, many who carry the thyrsus but the Bacchants are few. These latter are, in my opinion, no other than those who have practiced philosophy in the right way.53


Among the well-known reasons for initiation was keeping knowledge and practices secret because of misuse and lack of understanding if applied outside protective guidance from one who has achieved the final goal. The end of the journey, after traveling with ease in the realm of forms / ideas, talking with the gods ends with the soul established on the vista platform with Beauty, merged in Sophia, non-distinction. Initiation means more than secrecy: “Initiation is not mere utterance of words. It is a communication of an energy, a force. It is the will of the Guru, as it were, entering into the will of the disciple, where both have to be on the same level. Otherwise, there cannot be initiation (for more seen end of Appendix 9).”54 Instead of guru, the Greek master was the philosopher. Jesus also taught through layered meanings. Explicit in Jesus’ teachings were statements about meanings beyond the literal, which then strongly suggests a lost esotericism, the hidden, deeper teachings. In “St. Matthew,” 13:10, the disciples asked, “Why speakest thou unto them in parables?” Jesus replied, “Because to you is it given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not given.” In “St. Mark,” 4:33-34, we find the remark: “And with many such parables spake he the word unto them as they were able to hear it. But without a parable spake he not unto them; and when they were alone he expounded all things to his disciples.” Again in “St. Luke.” 8:10, Jesus said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, ‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’” From Orphism, Pythagoreanism, and the Egyptians evolved cleansing practices for body and mind Plato incorporated and added the dialectic for cleansing the mind of its bad habits. The student’s first step in seeking truth and wisdom was mastery over logos, the rational thought process. This step, for many reasons beyond the scope of this project, seems to be the extent of western schooling: the only, brightest goal to achieve, from the Dark Ages onward. Mastery over the visible world of fact-based knowledge, not establishing oneself in the heart of wisdom. Most adherents to this lesser pathway reject the concept of absolute truth, the search for which was the purpose of Platonic philosophers. The !359

next step in the Platonic schooling was not permitted until mastery over logos. The practices and rituals during the second stage remain unknown other than they opened the door for the soul to take flight into the realm of forms / ideas and to witness Beauty. For muesis* and epopteia* are symbols of ineffable silence, and of union with mystic natures through intelligible visions. And that which is the most admirable of all is this, that as theurgists order the whole body to be buried, except the head, in the most mystic of initiations, Plato also has anticipated this, being moved by the Gods themselves. (* "The word telete or initiation" says Hermeas, in his MS. Commentary).55 Agni (god of fire) of the Rig Veda was known as “stream or fountain of transcendental truth, inventor of brilliant speech; who brings the light of vibrations of inspiration; he who opens the thoughts of poets; the origins of the special gifts of seers.56 Agni was the first rishi; all other rishis are his sons and daughters.57 There were no distinctions in Vedic South Asia between prophet, seer, poet and the divine person.58 These are all attributes of a rishi, who also was educator of the youth and the advisor to the ruler. A yantra is part of the Vedanta sacred tool kit for tantric yoga. Its patterning of integrated geometry and text is an earlier relative of the Greek hieros logos. “Yantra is a material object in which the aspect of the highest principle has been materialized and which may help a man as an object of meditation and a basis of self-realization or identification with the divine power expressed or represented . . . Perfect beauty which is identical with truth and the ultimate reality reveals itself only to the human being who knows.”59 The artist of this high level, following specific and perfected intuited or visionary pathways first blazed by the ancients of South Asia, was kin to the yogi and seer. The rishi, seer poet, and seer artist all received the power-filled mantras, verse, and iconographic images, transforming them to instruments for the good of the world and humankind.60 While this ideal !360

was an ingrained aspect of the Vedanta culture, its form of idealism among the preWWI avant-garde was fragile and tentative enough to be easily shoved out, to live among only the few idealists. Before the Alexandrian border raid into India and his year and a half uneasy stay,61 irrefutable evidence proving contacts between Greece and India remains nonexistent. Reports of contact are found in secondary writings sourced from references in lost texts. Some contacts have been suggested as Egyptian rather than by a skilled traveling student learning from both cultures or assuming South Asia too distant to even consider. Nevertheless, implied contacts are surmised from ideas too close to be considered coincidental. From these arise direct contact or a third source influencing both cultures. Those favoring the third-party option favor outward east and west idea-flow from Persia. To support their arguments the significance of Indian culture had to be negated, and the age of its texts and oral traditions had to be “made younger” in order to maintain the old Fertile Crescentcentric origin of culture. While it is known Plato spent time in Egypt learning its philosophy and esoteric knowledge, parallels to teaching found in India are beyond serendipitous. Lost writings by Sclax about his voyage from the Indus River to the Red Sea supported by the Persian King in 517 BCE are referred to by Hekataeus and Herodotus. Writing about India, Herodotus also mentioned yogis.62 Veda, Upanishad, and other sacred text fingerprints or mind DNA from across the Indus River strongly indicate transmission of ideas into Greek philosophy. There are too many parallels from multiple Indian texts found in pre-Socratic philosophy not to consider such contact. For example, Heraclitus’ ideas are found in Buddhist sources. This was noted in the eighteenth century. McEvilley highlights a few older Veda and Upanishad text parallels scholars have either ignored, overlooked, or probably do not want to recognize.63 Among parallels found in the works of Pythagorus are the universe viewed or experienced as a living organism,64 many numbers sacred to the Vedas65 and the cosmology of the One, the few and the many.66 Another pre-Socratic, Parmenides, agreed with an earlier Upanishad conclusion that the world of the many is the world of mind-made distinctions !361

maintained by language.67 Plato agrees with Veda and Upanishad teachings and Buddhist and Jain teachers that not ritual but true knowledge (gnosis) releases the soul from the wheel of rebirth and death.68 In Vedanta terms this is Jnana yoga, knowledge yoga. Knowledge of the stilled mind opening the eye of the seer is a common thread running through Egyptian, Buddhist, Jain, Vedic, Upanishad, yoga, and Platonist experience.69 Plato’s “Parmenides” dialogue presents the use of the dialectic in a dialogue focused on the One and the many, a subject covered much earlier in the Vedas and Upanishads. Then there was Plato’s agreement with the Katha Upanishad, Patanjali (Patanjali: higher consciousness is light; Plato: mind flooded with light), and Buddhism on true knowledge as gnosis, as the experience of being united with that which is nameless. 70 Then, there is this often quoted source: Plato however, though he perceived that the science of things divine and human was one and the same, was the first to make a distinction, asserting that there was one kind of study concerned with the nature of the universe, and another concerned with human affairs, and a third with dialectic. But he maintained that we could not take a clear view of human affairs, unless the divine were previously discerned: for just as physicians, when treating any parts of the body, attend first to the state of the whole, so the man who is to take a clear view of things here on earth must first know the nature of the universe; and man, he said, was a part of the world; and good was of two kinds, our own good and that of the whole, and the good of the whole was the more important, because the other was for its sake.71 Aristoxenus the Musician says the above comes from the Indians: for a certain man of that nation fell in with Socrates at Athens, and presently asked him, what he was doing in philosophy: and when he said, that he was studying human life, the Indian laughed at him, and !362

said that no one could comprehend things human, if he were ignorant of things divine.72 This is often quoted. Since this comes from a Christian source, it may be suspect. However, Radhakrishnan finds a confirming text fragment in Aristotle’s Diogenes Laertius.73 Unfortunately, he does not quote it. Socrates seems to have taken this to heart, given his reported conversation from Plato in the “Phaedrus Dialogue.” Socrates: My good friend, when I was about to cross the stream, the spirit and the sign that usually comes to me came — it always holds me back from something I am about to do — and I thought I heard a voice from it which forbade my going away before clearing my conscience, as if I had committed some sin against deity. Now I am a seer (my italics), not a very good one, but, as the bad writers say, good enough for my own purposes; so now I understand my error. How prophetic the soul is, my friend! For all along, while I was speaking my discourse, something troubled me, and as Ibycus says, “I was distressed lest I be buying honor among men by sinning against the gods.” But now I have seen my error.74 Agreement by Aristotle (384 - 322 BCE) with Platonism that the philosopher’s goal was to ascend to the upper accessible realm of forms / ideas and the gods remains habitually overlooked. He endorsed the discipline of the philosopher as the lover of wisdom. Along with Socrates and Plato, this meant the ascension of the soul for direct contact with the divine within, moving from becoming to being. This final step among the Platonists, especially Aristotle, has been either ignored or dismissed as mystical nonsense by some as the last remnant of Greek shamanism and by others as unsound magical thinking. Philosophers after Hellenism in the west no longer engaged in a way of life leading to encounters with the divine but willingly remained trapped in the earthly plane of talk and !363

argument not considered by the Platonists as philosophy.75 “He was convinced that the true love of wisdom (by slowly working on the soul and mind the ascending philosopher, who has climbed step by step the scala amoris) will bring in contact the human and the Divine. What is divine in us, the nous (the intuitive mind, the noetic light shining in the human micro-cosmos), and the Nous (the Intellect if the macro-cosmos), are the same essence.”76 Beginning with sense experience followed by and woven with the logos of reason, Platonic-Socratic dialectics allows the next step, the focused intuitive activities of the intellect. Eventually these practices bring the individual into the divine realms where the individual’s nous meets the universal Nous and finally to enlightenment.77 Thus, the Platonic school was not theoretical, rather a way of life, a quest trying to usher in an ideal society of enlightened beings. Limiting access to the teachings, however, aided in part its failure. Platonic philosophy, with its main Orphic and Pythagorean tributaries, was more like an eastern than western philosophy. It was oriented towards soulascension, not what became the oxidation of Occident philosophy into Christian theology and later argumentative discourse. After the Hellena collapse philosophy shifted its course over the following 1,500 years within an atmosphere devoted to the material world of the senses trapped in the Allegory Cave (or Maya). The Platonic school taught an unchained and free search for truth not as a career but a way of life. In their search they found in the upper realm of form, idea, the gods, the Good, and Beauty issuing from that which neither can be defined nor named, other than the One.


Pyrrho Pyrrho (360 - 270 BCE) was an artist and follower of the Cynics. He also was a member of Alexander’s invading border raid into India that brought direct contact between Greeks and realized philosophers, sages, and yogis. The Greek Cynics’ ideas, which included Democritius’ teaching of the tranquillity of the mind, were common among Buddhists, Jains, and Vedanta yogis. Despite the wide range of differences among their beliefs and practices, they were called by the Greeks Gymnosophists as a single school of thought and practice. The accepted teachings during his 18-month experience and intercourse with Jains and/or Buddhists and/or yogis redirected his the path upon which he founded Greek skepticism. Reported also were later interactions with Persian magi before returning to Greece. Skepticism dominated the Academy until its end in 86 BCE (founded circa 385 BCE) when its sacred olive-tree grove was physically destroyed by Rome. Stoicism replaced skepticism in the Academy’s new location in Athens. In turn the Greek dialectic was learned by Buddhists and remains to this moment an active part of Tibetan Buddhism. The debate goal is not to win through skilled-tongue gymnastics but to find truth. Platonists and Pythagoreans eventually shifted away from the older philosophical teachings, creating new syntheses, a new way that lifted theurgy to the primary focus for ascension. The goal remained the same, to reach the One’s intellect realm of forms and ideas and then merge into Beauty’s light. For example, Numenius of Apamea (second century CE) attempted to weave a harmonious synthesis of initiations and teachings by Brahmans, Jews, Magi, and Egyptians.78 Others worked with the gods through a synthesis of the Chaldean and Orphic oracles, Pythagoreanism, and a focus on Plato’s Phaedrus, Timaes, and sections of other Dialogues. They become “true athletes of fire,”79 attempting to join the Choir of Immortal Love.80 Out of this synthesis and ongoing esoteric unions, as mentioned above, came the hero’s journey: the movement from initiation through cleansing of body and mind before entering the realm of ideas or forms, which were held as thoughts of the One. This journey became known as “the fiery road.”81 Upon final union, the !365

“fire-brand of the soul” (or becoming fire),82 the philosopher-sage could pronounce, following the words of Empedocles (c. 490 – c. 430 BCE), ‘Greetings, I am for you an immortal god.’”83 Plato experienced and taught that the realm of the forms / ideas was the home of the gods. Unlike the Greek myths we read indicating otherwise, all the gods and their practices belonged to the Good and Beautiful suggesting lost knowledge and their use of myth as a transformative process. A possible insight may be seen in the South Asian Puranas wherein an Avatar, Krishan or Rama for example, kill a supposed demon. Behind the literal is the wider context that the “demon” is 1) playing a particular role with a deeper back-story of many incarnations and 2) being “killed” by an Avatar is transformative, the lifting of the player into heaven, freed from the earthly plane. Working within the realm of ideas / forms, this Greek discipline accesses higher consciousness. This is not like Jungian use of myth stirring up the unconscious framed by the assumption gods, goddesses and other entities of myth are just psychological forces. To Platonists, the gods are actualized energies and essences in the Nous, the One’s Intellect the true philosopher accesses.


Plotinus Of the accomplished athlete of fire the Egyptian-born Plotinus wrote: From this basis we proceed: In the advancing stages of Contemplation rising from that in Nature, to that in the Soul and thence again to that in the Intellectual-Principle itself - the object contemplated becomes progressively a more and more intimate possession of the Contemplating Beings, more and more one thing with them; and in the advanced Soul the objects of knowledge, well on the way towards the Intellectual-Principle, are close to identity with their container. Hence we may conclude that, in the Intellectual-Principle Itself, there is complete identity of Knower and Known, and this not by way of domiciliation, as in the case of even the highest soul, but by Essence, by the fact that, there, no distinction exists between Being and Knowing; we cannot stop at a principle containing separate parts; there must always be a yet higher, a principle above all such diversity.84

Plotinus is credited with a new synthesis of Platonism, focusing on its spiritual aspects, the return the soul to wholeness. Logos follows the engagement rules of dialectic discourse that isolates and analytically specifies while the Platonic visionary gaze in contemplation engages a synthesis moving towards union with the gods and then the One. Such is not unlike the Sufi unveilings of the higher realms denoted as spheres or further eastward where yogis counted eight layers (each having their own multiple layers) of ascending consciousness-layers above the crown chakra, the highest associated with the human body. In the Greek, Sufi and other traditions Beauty informs the material plane in varying degrees of descending-intensity rays.85


All that one sees as a spectacle is still external; one must bring the vision within and see no longer in that mode of separation but as we know ourselves; thus a man filled with a god- possessed by Apollo or by one of the Muses- need no longer look outside for his vision of the divine being; it is but finding the strength to see divinity within.86 Beauty, we are fond to say in cliché, inhabits the beholder’s eye. It first implied subjectivity but now means something is relative, misapplying a typology from physics. If the eye lacks true perception, that is, seeing through any number of unclear lenses, then the saying itself reveals not clarity, only laziness declining to work in the light-filled beauty way. Plato asked about seeing Beauty, “But how would it be, in our view,”she said, “if someone got to see the Beautiful itself, absolute, pure, unmixed, not polluted by human flesh or colors or any other great nonsense of mortality, but if he could see the divine Beauty itself in its one form?”87 Having seen her Plotinus had much to say about Beauty. All that one sees as a spectacle is still external; one must bring the vision within and see no longer in that mode of separation but as we know ourselves; thus a man filled with a god — possessed by Apollo or by one of the Muses — need no longer look outside for his vision of the divine being; it is but finding the strength to see divinity within.88 The power in that other world has merely Being and Beauty of Being. Beauty without Being could not be, nor Being voided of Beauty: abandoned of Beauty, Being loses something of its essence. Being is desirable because it is identical with Beauty; and Beauty is loved because it is Being. How then can we debate which is the cause of the other, where the nature is one? The very figment of Being needs some !368

imposed image of Beauty to make it passable and even to ensure its existence; it exists to the degree in which it has taken some share in the beauty of Idea; and the more deeply it has drawn on this, the less imperfect it is, precisely because the nature which is essentially the beautiful has entered into it the more intimately.89 Rather than accept the new synthesis and narrower focus as a natural evolutionary development, as an unfolding or a leap occurring later among Sufi schools, he was downgraded in the early 1800s as the founder of Neoplatonism, a lesser-than term eventually more than just implying something easy to dismiss. Among modern and postmodern thought by some, Neoplatonism is treated as heretical. His exemplified life and teachings became a major influence on esoteric thought among Christians and Muslims (among Sufis he became known as the Shaikh of the Greeks). Plotinus was critical of Christianity, not Jesus. He was highly critical also of gnostics, whose theology was dualistic, the earthly plane was created by a dark-force demiurge, and the material plane designated evil. The earthly realm was for him, as all Platonists, the reflection from the immortal plane, thus permeated with the divine: For, the quality [form] that has entered into Matter does not act as an entity apart from the Matter, any more than axe-shape will cut apart from iron. Further, Forms lodged in Matter are not the same as they would be if they remained within themselves; they are ReasonPrinciples Materialized, they are corrupted in the Matter, they have absorbed its nature: essential fire does not burn, nor do any of the essential entities effect, of themselves alone, the operation which, once they have entered into Matter, is traced to their action.90 His comment is not unique. Many cosmologies eastward held the same experiential conclusion; among them were the Zoroastrians and several branches of Vedanta.


Ammonius Saccas (?-c. 265 CE), taught philosophy to Plotinus (204-270 CE) from 232 to 243 CE. Obviously Plotinus had direct contact with one or more teachers from India while attending the Alexandrian school of Ammonius Saccas. Whether or not this knowledge was instructed by Ammonius remains an unanswered question; little is known about him; commentary on him is speculation. If others also instructed him, it also remains unknown. There are, for example, musings that the name, Saccas, indicated Indian roots; others venture to say his parents were Christians, a faith he left. Regardless, there is no dispute surrounding Plotinus’ desire to learn more from India’s teachers because of his thwarted effort to reach India. He had another wish as well, to meet and learn from the Persian magi. He attached himself to the Roman army of Gordian III on its way to invade Persia. The goddess of higher circumstance or the goddess of good fortune saved him from the army’s mutiny and guided him to Aleppo and then Rome where he set up a school to teach his knowledge (gnosis) of ascent. He divided the cosmos, much like his Platonists predecessors, into three levels: the One, the highest; the above or middle plane of the intelligible (the One’s divine’s mind) and the lower physical plane. The intelligible was immortal, physical plane mortal.91 Distinguishing Platonists’ teachings based on direct experiences in the realm of the immortals from those of Ammonius Saccas, who did not write down his teachings, remains impossible. Ammonius made clear to his students not to capture his teachings through the net of writing obviously due to the limitations inherent in writing. Holding in text oral discourse, the give and take of debate, and multiple layers of meanings and context remains illusive, more so if it contains esoteric layers. Plotinus did not present Ammonius’ teachings in writing until he leaned others had. Proclus’(c. 412–485 CE) successor, Marinus (450-500 CE), said, “. . . by his (Plotinus) own eyes he saw those truly blessed visions of Reality, no longer obtaining this knowledge by reasoning or demonstration, but as if by vision and by simple and immediate perceptions of the intuitive faculty (haplais epibolais tes noeras enereigeias), viewing the ideal forms in the Divine Mind.”92 Porphyry reported four instances of Plotinus reaching the highest stage. Steps to the !370

immortal included “contemplation, dialectical ascent to the noetic cosmos, and mystical union with the ultimate divine principle.”93 His interactions with students and the larger Roman community are comparable to a yogi saint.94 He identified three types of humans: those who do not try to ascend; those who attempt but fail; and those who succeed. Following is a sample of the hero’s journey from the Enneads followed by writing from Plato as a comparison. The loftier, on the contrary, must desire to come to a happy forgetfulness of all that has reached it through the lower: for one reason, there is always the possibility that the very excellence of the lower prove detrimental to the higher, tending to keep it down by sheer force of vitality. In any case the more urgent the intention towards the Supreme, the more extensive will be the soul’s forgetfulness, unless indeed, when the entire living has, even here, been such that memory has nothing but the noblest to deal with: in this world itself, all is best when human interests have been held aloof; so, therefore, it must be with the memory of them. In this sense we may truly say that the good soul is the forgetful. It flees multiplicity; it seeks to escape the unbounded by drawing all to unity, for only thus is it free from entanglement, light-footed, self conducted. Thus it is that even in this world the soul which has the desire of the other is putting away, amid its actual life, all that is foreign to that order. It brings there very little of what it has gathered here; as long as it is in the heavenly regions only, it will have more than it can retain. The Hercules of the heavenly regions would still tell of his feats: but there is the other man to whom all of that is trivial; he has been translated to a holier place; he has won his way to the Intellectual Realm; he is more than Hercules, proven in the combats in which the combatants are the wise.95 !371

Kin to Plato’s Phaedrus 249c & d: That process is the recollection of the things our soul saw when it was traveling with god, when it disregarded the things we now call real and lifted up its head to what is truly real instead. For just this reason it is fair that only a philosopher’s mind grows wings, since its memory always keeps it as close as possible to those realities by being close to which the gods are divine. A man who uses reminders of these things correctly is always at the highest, most perfect level of initiation, and he is the only one who is perfect as perfect can be. He stands outside human concerns and draws close to the divine; ordinary people think he is disturbed and rebuke him for this, unaware that he is possessed by god.96 He bequeathed his writings to Porphyry who gathered and edited them under the title of Enneads. The final collated body of writings with nine sections was not chronological but ordered by topic to aid an uninitiated reader step by step as an outlined journey of the hero. Fortunately, he provided the chronology so that one could follow Plotinus’ topics as he presented them. From being an outsider, Porphyry earned the position of inheritor of the teachings. When he moved to Rome to study under Plotinus, he came from Athens as a student of Numenius’ and others’ works. He was not allowed to read Plotinus’ writings until he proved worthy of joining the inner circle where the deeper teachings and the texts were offered. Porphyry became a significant opponent of Christianity, not Jesus, though he denied his divinity. One of his surviving works, On The Cave of the Nymphs, is an esoteric rendering of Homer.97 This presents another hint into the use of myth as a means to provide deeper esoteric layers to the Platonic philosophers’ in-sights or moving Homer to allegory and parable. 98 The cave as a site of initiation has been established above; the orientation of the journey or voyage to the north follows !372

later within the Sufi discussion. At this time and earlier in India, the pathway to the north was and remains the short route to enlightenment. The south route is the long road to enlightenment as it leads to death and rebirth. This probe, illuminated by Porphyry in the Cave of the Nymphs, seems 180 degrees contrary in compass direction because the soul enters from the north, and the hero leaves through the south exit. At that time Cancer (the northern constellation of the summer solstice) was the source out of which flowed the souls, like a swarm of bees, into the earthly plane (the cave), and Capricorn (constellation of the winter solstice) was the exit through the southern constellation, the goat representing for them the climb up the mountain. Thus, the coming out of the cave through the south represented a dying to the earthly plane, hence a second birth.99 Rather than the Jungian use of myth to heal sick minds, the Platonic Schools used myth to aid the soul’s growth for its heroic journey. Leaving through the south exit thus began the journey, hopefully along the north path. Perhaps a memory of the orientation to the north as a spiritual journey route remains coded today on map where north is up. Tantric instructs that from the location of the south gate one will see the pole star “sitting” on top of the temple’s highest spire. Around the globe where the pole star is visible it is considered the entryway to the upper realm; in these cultures also one find’s the big dipper represented in its four cardinal directions as the swastika (a Sanskrit word) or a kindred icongraphic form. Here, where I live and walk, the Chumash also maintained parallel teachings and iconographic imagery.100


Iamblichus Among later members of the golden chain surveyed is Iamblichus (c. 250 330 CE). After his studies with Porphyry, Iamblichus set up a school in Apamea (Syria), a city already famous for its philosophers, such as Numenius and Amelius. For his students to learn Plato’s teachings, he began with Aristotle, forming a harmonious synthesis of Greek philosophers united by his use of Pythagoreanism. Widening his synthesis, he reformed Plotinus and built the base of his synthesis on a platform of Pythagorean numbers. His school became famous and influenced the Platonic schools in Athens and Alexandria; his lineage converted the emperor Julian (Emperor 361-363) from Christianity to the Greek religion. It was but a pause before the cataclysmic storm. Iamblichus revived Platonism to a wider following after an unintended, earlier narrowing by Plotinus into an elitist intellectual pursuit. Iamblichus, the last great Platonic synthesizer of the “Hellena Way,” earned the status as an equal to Plato.101 He looked upon theology as logos, discussion and debate, not a living practice with rites to lift the soul. From Plato onward “The Way of Plato,” of Platonic wisdom-sage teachings, was designed to free the bound or lost or disoriented soul in the realm of becoming, to reorient its “downward” focus and turn its focus “upward” to the realm of form, idea, and Good with its Beauty. The downward-pointed direction of the soul later becomes among the Sufi initiates the heart direction until the individual has an experience that flips the heart sending it upward. The soul has becomes oriented. He opposed both gnostic and Christian belief systems. His was a great and lasting synthesis of the Hellenic, Egyptian, Middle Eastern and South Asian ideas and concepts. He added a distinction to the One, its manifested form, about which previous Platonists experienced and discussed and the invisible, unmanifested that was timeless and, as in Vedanta and later Sufism, inexpressible. He also added the realm of the angels within the arena of forms, ideas, and Good with its Beauty: “Between the Immortal and Mortal planes angels reside within the middle Essence.”102 A purified soul sits in the order of the angels.103 The purified soul returns to the angelic realm after letting go of logos to join the circulation of !374

angels.104 Since matter is created by the divine, it can hold divine energy.105 Through ritual and prayer the divine energy hidden in matter becomes active out of its dormant state from within or injected through descent into the objects such as symbols, statues, and temples. From the upper realm of the gods and angels every temple is assigned a guardian.106 The material world is permeated with the divine. Ignoring this, Iamblichus presciently stated, “living without the gods makes of life a desert.”107 Elements of the Platonic theurgic rituals included iconographic symbols that were used as tokens infused with energy from the god or gods being worshipped. Specific to the fourth century Platonic ritual moment, symbols and iconographics modeled after sacred Egyptian hieroglyphics and perhaps (for it remains unknown) coupled with Pythagorean number patterns, were likened to Plato’s forms and thus a descended material reflection. Gods also were invoked by tracings on the ground following a specific ordered sketch. This is kin to the making of a yantra of India, a Navaho sandpainting, or the intricate Tibetan sand mandala.108 The identical theurgic “touch” can be awakened when these Platonic iconographic symbols were projected as light on a wall.109 This Iamblichus participated in and oversaw.


Proclus Proclus (412 – 485 CE) influenced west European, Byzantine, and later Islamic110 metaphysics. Building on the work of Iamblichus, Plutarch of Athens (350 – 430 CE), and Syrianus (? - c. 437 CE), his systematization that united Platonic philosophy and its theurgy, Chaldean Oracles, and the ongoing deeper doctrinal interpretations of Orphism, Pythagoreanism, and Homeric traditions remained unsurpassed during the time of the waning of ancient ways, the dusk of Hellenism. The teachings filtered into Platonic Christian mysticism through his pupil, the Christian Platonist, Pseudo-Dionysius, the Areopagite (? - ? CE), who incorporated names of the celestial hierarchies into his own work. 111 We do not know if Pseudo-Dionysius was active as a Christian while Proclus’ student or converted afterwards. He shaped Christian mysticism, first with his writings in Greek among the pre-Orthodox and then Orthodox Byzantines (and Nestorians? though unlikely) and later Catholic mysticism beginning with the first major translation into Latin by John Scotus Eriugena (c. 815 – c. 877 CE). His influence was greater among the Catholics than those of Eastern forms which had access to considerable numbers of writings from experience not merely, it seems, advanced theological thinking without direct experience(s). Pseudo-Dionysius’ influence, as noted in this section’s Foreword, continues. More on him and his translator, Kelt John Scotus Eriugena, follows below.


The Dusk of Hellena Constantine converted to Christianity; his priesthood refused to forgive his murder of wife and child. Christians did at their peril. After Christianity became the official Roman Empire religion, the Greek or pan-Hellenic religion immediately became a target for oppression. Towards the end of the fourth century CE, owners of private libraries burned their collections fearing trials for owning pagan literature. This can be viewed as the first inquisition, given the torture applied or threatened.112 Constantine plundered Greek and eastern empire temples, forbid construction of new temples or repairs of damaged or destroyed temples, forbid temple use, and forbid their oracles.113 The destruction of non-Christian “pagan” culture by decree began in 320 CE when Constantine ended domestic sacrifices and concluded when Emperor Zeno ordered the death of anyone imitating “pagan” Greeks. In between were decrees shutting all Greek temples, ending sacrifices, forcing all to practice Christianity, destroying all remaining temples, and capital punishment for sacrificing to pagan gods. Bishops and government agents tracked down those teaching Hellenic studies.114 The library of Alexandria was twice burned, first an accident during Julius Caesar’s sacking of the city in 47 BCE and then deliberately in 391 CE by Christians.115 The Olympics were ended in 393 CE. The vicious Christian mob torture and murder (too sad, too gruesome to detail) of the great Platonic woman philosopher, Hypatia, ended the Alexandrian Academy in 415 CE, the same year only Christians were allowed to serve in the Roman army.116 Porphyry’s books were condemned to burning in 431 CE by the Council of Ephesus and by law of Theodosius II in 448.117 The Athenian Academy was closed in 529 CE, forcing an exodus of Greek philosophers who self-exiled to Persia. Unknowingly, the migration gave birth 150 years later to the great Arab Golden Age; the exile was a contributing factor for the cultural anaemia leading to deep Dark Ages in the west. For every prohibited action there is the reaction, if the teachings are ignored. The rule was turning the other cheek. Unheeded, the reactions of the Christians becoming the officially sanctioned religion of the Roman Empire fertilized the !377

taproots of the Dark Ages and the Inquisition. Perhaps the Dark Ages’ cruelest disease was ignorance caused by the loss of scientific, medical, and philosophical knowledge and religious tolerance. Ignorance, not knowledge, passed like a virus through the invading armies overrunning the western portion of the Empire. The ignorance resulted from willful destruction of Hellenic culture: mobs of Christians and their black-robed monks smashed its material “pagan” forms, temples, and idols; smashing its sacred groves; burning its literature; killing those unwilling to convert. Jesus had rebelled against the high priests and Pharisees. His contemplative path to create a universal humankind was overruled by a dogmatic priesthood that changed the direction from a way of life to a religion of belief based on faith, not experience. God was to be feared; God was no longer love. Contrary too was the accepted doctrine of St. Augustine’s “original sin” that became the brick and mortar fortifying the Western Church hierarchy’s power and benefits. Nestorians neither believed nor taught original sin, rather that humans were good. Constant refrains describing important Greek writings no longer existing, such as lost, missing, mentioned in a surviving Greek text, and selections, quotes, or references in combative anti-“pagan” Christian literature should be read as euphemisms covering up the conscious destruction of non-Christian religious and philosophical artifacts. These actions were the fruit of the first Christian inquisition. So thorough the destruction and propaganda against non-Christian religions to this day the term “pagan” remains pejorative.


Hellena Sacred Visual Text Greek Hermes and Egyptian Thoth, gods of sacred rites, wisdom, and hieroglyphs, perform similar cultural roles. Thoth, as Hermes’ older counterpart and the liaison between the realms of earth and the plane or sphere of forms and noetic lights, maintains the revelation of incantations, representations of symbols, and initiations into the mysteries.118 Hieroglyphs pregnant with divine energy far predate the Pythagorean realm of numbers, and the Platonic Nous realm of ideas or forms. More than likely during his Egyptian sojourn Plato was taught the concepts and then translated the iconic field of hieroglyphs into forms or ideas as the upper realm of the few. Four types of Egyptian writing have been identified: demotic, hieratic, hieroglyphic, and symbolic. The latter script used by initiates provided access and entry into the upper realms of light and the gods in residence. Each symbol was a calligraphic representation of a god dwelling in what the Greeks would later call the region of forms / ideas. Contemporary scholars named such Greek patterned symbols “amulets,” ignoring or not understanding the hierarchical or Greek patterned symbols as representations inhabited by the energy of the god(s). They assumed the symbols magical; the usual error by scholars recognizing only the literal surface. Our contemporary scholarly cosmology of the real accepts only discursive logic based on “laws” of the material plane knowable only through the scientific method. Oblivious to uninitiated-limitations, this iconography for the initiated transcended discursive logic and the mind itself. The Egyptians understood that each symbol of this script was its last material link, the lowest link, the grossest link — in spite of their reverent and beautiful rendering — from a descending chain of forms of light as a ray from the unknowable — a link to a chain, then, to follow upwards in an ascending flight.119 The Egyptian-rendered form of the scribe sat as a baboon at the feet of Thoth, the designated guardian of the Eye of Horus. Under strict rule of hieratic iconography the energies of the gods entered the images resulting from visions. 120 Identical energies entered statues of the gods. The scribe received dictation from !379

Thoth within the context that every name is a name of the principle of the One who remains nameless. The written script, images, and hieroglyphs uttered by the creator Ptah were recorded first by Thoth, who then passed them onward to the worthy scribe. These scribed forms were considered words of creation making up Thoth’s Book of Creation, the highest quality rendered on this plane. Thus, visible symbols were images from the invisible upper realm visible only through visionary experience. Hieroglyphic shape and color all related to divine qualities, a godword.121 The name of “God” remained unutterable and thus could not be rendered by the scribe. Its first or highest form in an energetic manifestation, found by seers with its “mystic” sound and inscribed forms, carried with it two levels. Level one, the more sacred and thus secret, punched through the veil to the hidden (or in Sufi terms an unveiling, and in other paths, a revelation). Level two, the one of discourse and argument, maintained the duality of separation and thus was anchored in the earthly realm. Proscribed teachings opened the scribed form or ikon as a token enabling passage to the above, to ascend to higher consciousness among the gods. The unnamable manifested Ptah, and through Thoth, dictates to the seer scribe. Thoth’s words were light forms in the upper regions that descended, forming the world of becoming. The unspeakable and inexhaustible Name makes Itself into millions. Among these names of the gods each has its force radiating out of its hieroglyph.122 Heka, as the Word and its power, links all Forms issuing from Atum much like the sun and is rays.123 Heka are names of light kin to Vedic mantras (seen by the rishis).124 Recall Iamblichus’ iconographic symbols were projected as light on a wall. Every name is a name of the principle of the One who remains nameless. Through ritual, then, the energies descended into sacred objects, temples, statues text, and so on.125 As previously mentioned, but also worth placing in this context, Greek philosophers traced their hidden texts to the Egyptian use of sacred hieratic hieroglyphic traditions behind which stood the universe as a multi-dimensional text written by Sophia. They replaced the Egyptian hierarchical tradition where Thoth was its central figure, the tongue and heart of Ptah, being the primary manifested !380

creator with Her. For them, philosophy (philosophia) was a discipline that aligned one through use of word, image, and symbol to nourish and strengthen the soul that it may reach its fullest potential.126 The hieroglyphs were divine equivalents to the Platonic Sunthema, which was a token, symbol, watchword, or thought of the father. These belonged to or were associated with Plato’s forms, considering that the Egyptians referred to such hieroglyphs as gods and which Pythagoras rendered as numbers.127 The Egyptian Aku is equivalent to the Greek kosmos noetos or the Platonic noetic realities of forms / ideas128 that he also called the real earth. 129 Among the Egyptian hieroglyphs were those of a greater sacred reflection from the Aku realm related to the Vedic mantra practice for repetitious recitation for ascension. Repetitious textual patterns abound cross-culturally throughout amulet visual text paraphernalia. Amulet lettering was also mnemonic. Plato’s forms were a rendering into Greek philosophy following the earlier Pythagoras’ rendering into numbers. The genius of Plato was adding the dialectical logos learned from Socrates as the pivotal mental cleansing process; once the purification was complete the forms were experienced through the opened door of visionary seeing. Partially quoted before, a longer quote illustrates: But the entire, quietly stable, and simple visions, are unfolded to souls supernally from the supercelestial place, through the connectedly containing Gods. For the mystic impressions of intelligibles, shine forth in that place, and also the unknown and ineffable beauty of characters. For muesis* and epopteia* are symbols of ineffable silence, and of union with mystic natures through intelligible visions. And that which is the most admirable of all is this, that as theurgists order the whole body to be buried, except the head, in the most mystic of initiations, Plato also has anticipated this, being moved by the Gods themselves. "For being pure," says he, "and liberated from this surrounding vestment, which we now denominate body, we obtained this most blessed muesis and epopteia, being full of intelligible light. !381

"For the pure splendor [which he mentions] symbolically unfolds to us intelligible light. Hence, when we are situated in the intelligible, we shall have a life perfectly liberated from the body. But elevating the head of the charioteer to the place beyond the heaven, we shall be filled with the mysteries which are there, and with intelligible silence. It also appears to me that Plato sufficiently unfolds the three elevating causes, love, truth, and faith, to those who do not negligently read what he has written. For what besides love conjoins with beauty?130 The name of a god as an ikon in text became essential during the dusk of Hellenic religious ways. Sacred forms, from idols to iconographic symbols to temples, many invested with hundreds of years of worship, thus radiant with sacred auras and energy, were mutilated or pounded into pebbles and dust. Books were burned. Name replaced the idol as image. External ritual was internalized.



http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/plato/theaetet.htm November, 2018. This foreword, section, and appendices 7, 8, & 9 can be read as a primer for The Way of the Poet in progress. 3 An email exchange with Márton Koppány prompted a deeper read and look at Lax whom I had previously scanned but not probed deeply enough until now. 4 To paraphrase Richard Kostelanetz. 5 McGregor. Pure Act: The Uncommon Life of Robert Lax, p 57. 6 Lax, Robert. In The Beginning Was Love, pp 12-13. 7 Merton. The Way of Chuang Tzu. 8 Robert Lax Archives - In a Dark Time ... The Eye Begins to See http://www.lorenwebster.net/In_a_Dark_Time/ 2001/09/21/in-a-dark-time-the-eye-begins-to-see/ November, 2018. 9 Ad Reinhardt black paintings, http://fatherlouie.blogspot.com/2010/04/ad-reinhardt-1913-1967-art-is-art.html November, 2018. 10 A final comment seems necessary with a reminder to footnote 26 in section one. The footnote was based on available images on the web with little explanation. After receiving a copy of Tantra Song: Tantric Painting from Rajasthan, more comments may be useful. The images are very rare iconographic minimalist forms compared with the commonly represented Rococoistic Indian art representing uncountable deities. The specific tantric practices and those who follow them remain secretive, thus the rarity of finding quality works. Understanding the deeper layers of meaning and intent of each piece without its associated mantra gives us a beautiful art object without adequate context. Each work is infused with unknown hours of meditative and ritual energies rooted in an unknown lineage. Recall the South Asian cosmology of Aum / Om as the primal creative force descending as grosser vibrations and energies forming the manifested universe(s). Similar to other cosmologies from original first word comes undifferentiated phonemes descending into differentiated phonemes forming phenomena. Tantric details this process very specifically with roots to the Rig Veda. The details are too long to present; what follows is a short outline. From Om descend the nādas, subtle, undifferentiated sound units. Out of multiple nāda layers descend bindus, each a concentrated sound-drop of luminous energy. Where bindus first divide, divine entities form. Lower, grosser bindu sound forms create letters and then the world of materials. That which descends leaves a path for the human to follow in ascension using mantra as a vehicle. The rocoesque representations of South Asian deities are rooted in visions following specific mantras into the subtle bindu and higher yet in the more subtle nāda layers where communication is possible. The question to be asked tantra-song adepts is whether these images are found “above” or “below” the sound vibratory images most commonly represented from descriptions of the seers. (For greater detail see Padoux, André, Vāc: The concept of the Word In Selected Hindu Tantras.) This context, obviously, significantly differs from Malevich’s intention. If a work was associated with sound, zaum does not generate an image in the Russian context. Regarding Reinhardt’s black cross works, associated sounds, if any during painting a work, would be prayer or spiritual music which perhaps parallels but lacks the deeper sound and color context of many Sufi word painters linked to long lineages. That the highest quality works are painted by adepts, we enter the realm of another spiritual aesthetic parallel in the formative moment, that of a master Zen poet-calligrapher. Much more is known about the latter than the former whose images seem to be reproduced every 20 or so years being purposefully painted on fragile materials. The images root back at least to the 1600s. Now the posed question of possible Gurfjieff influence on Malevich. Among many he was and today remains a controversial figure inside and out of occult and spiritual schools. Ouspensky’s learnings from Gurfjieff were folded into his writings, writing used for many purposes by the Russian Futurists. What was passed within Malevich’s hearing or reading radius for me remains unanswerable. That Gurfjieff traveled India is known but was he there long enough to have come in direct or indirect contact with these tantra minimalist works seems highly improbable. Nevertheless, the iconographic work of Plate 4, a black square framing a feminine triangle, proves a distant preexisting image pre-dating Malevich and leads one to note then that the subtle black square canvases of Ad Reinhardt’s Black Paintings (1953-1967) also had a forerunner beside his direct influence from Malevich. (Plate 4, with female black triangle. http://sigliopress.com/to-abstract-to-abbreviate-to-finally-glimpse-the-whole-tantrasong/) November, 2018. Lastly, let us not overlook Maria Martinez reviving San Ildefonso black on black ceramic ware with roots into the 1600s and iconographic symbols much older. The true meaning of the iconographics remains hidden. 11 These expressions are an additional iconographic in need of study; I cannot cover everything. 12 I call the Beat poets American Buddhism’s Johnny Appleseeds having planted countless Buddhist idea and nonidea seeds in their readers’ and audiences’ minds. 13 http://calligraphyqalam.com/people/ibn-muqla.html, https://joshberer.wordpress.com/2009/10/15/the-genius-ofibn-muqlah/ November, 2018. 2



The symbolic turning the of heart: the heart’s points downward until stepping on the path. At that moment the heart turns upward. This is the transcendent position and maybe eventually leading to a fully golden light filled heart. 15 http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/metaphysics.mb.txt November, 2018. 16 Uždavinys Philosophy as a Rite of Rebirth: From Ancient Egypt to Neoplatonism, p 117. 17 This newest date extends the time span of such considerations. https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/ 2017/06/the-oldest-known-human-fossils-have-been-found-in-an-unusual-place/529452/ November, 2018. 18 http://discovermagazine.com/2013/may/09-archaeologists-find-earliest-evidence-of-humans-cooking-with-fire November, 2018. 19 Rig Veda, Book 3: Hymn V. http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rigveda/rv03005.htm November, 2018. 20 Sri Aurobindo. The Secret of the Vedas, p 53. 21 Ibid. Decoded throughout The Secret of the Vedas. 22 Ibid, pp 95-103. 23 Ibid. p 339 “He” is Brahman, That, also the soul, p355 24 Corbin. The Man of Light in Iranian Sufism, p15. 25 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontic_Greeks#/media/File:Greek_colonies_of_the_Euxine_Sea.svg. November, 2018. 26 Mcevilley. The Shape of Ancient Thought: Comparative Studies in Greek and Indian Philosophies, pp 230-233. 27 “Socrates: And we made four divisions of the divine madness, ascribing them to four gods, saying that prophecy was inspired by Apollo, the mystic madness by Dionysus, the poetic by the Muses, and the madness of love, inspired by Aphrodite and Eros, we said was the best.” http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext %3A1999.01.0174%3Atext%3DPhaedrus%3Asection%3D265b November, 2018. 28 Sun rays? Recall the cow was a symbol for a sun ray in Rig Veda. 29 Ibid. 30 Guthrie. Orpheus and Greek religion: A study of the Orphic movement, p 32. 31 Ibid., p 128. 32 Uždavinys. Orpheus and the Roots of Platonism, p55. 33 Ibid., p 45. 34 Ibid. Guthrie, p 75. 35 Ibid., p 218. 36 Ibid., Uždavinys, p 46. 37 Radhakrishnan. Eastern Religions and Western Thought, p135. 38 Other translations use the term education rather than enlightenment. However, true education for this school of philosophers translates as enlightenment in the fullest sense and thus I agree to this term for clarity. On numerous occasions throughout the dialogues Socrates discussed the upper realms. The Republic, Book VII. http:// classics.mit.edu/Plato/republic.8.vii.html, Alternative translation: Plato. Plato, The complete Works. Cooper, Editor. https://talkcurriculum.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/plato-1997-meno-in-complete-works-plato.pdf November, 2018. 39 Plato. Plato, The complete Works c p 525. November, 2018. 40 Ibid., Uždavinys. Orpheus and the Roots of Platonism, p 144. 41 Ibid. 42 https://starrybull.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/orpheus-and-the-golden-chain-or-those-renaissance-philosophersmagicians-and-mystics-were-totally-crazy-dawg-p-1/ November, 2018. 43 Uždavinys. Philosophy as a Rite of Rebirth: From Ancient Egypt to Neoplatonism, p 141. 44 Ibid., p 140. 45 Hamilton . Plato. Plato, The collected dialogues of Plato, including the letters, p 1147. Plato, Timaeus 22b http:// www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0180%3Atext%3DTim.%3Asection%3D22b November, 2018. 46 Ibid., p 2. 47 Ibid., p 57. 48 http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0174%3Atext%3DPhaedrus %3Asection%3D245c November, 2018. 49 Ibid., p 303. 50 Ibid., p 62. 51 Hadot. What Is Ancient Philosophy?, p 75. 52 Ibid., Plato. https://www.scribd.com/document/260582004/Plato-John-M-Cooper-D-S-Hutchinson-PlatoComplete-Works-1997-pdf, https://talkcurriculum.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/plato-1997-meno-in-completeworks-plato.pdf p 204, November, 2018.



Ibid., Plato. https://www.scribd.com/document/260582004/Plato-John-M-Cooper-D-S-Hutchinson-PlatoComplete-Works-1997-pdf, https://talkcurriculum.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/plato-1997-meno-in-completeworks-plato.pdf p 60. November, 2018. 54 http://www.swami-krishnananda.org/chhand/ch_apx2a.html November, 2018. 55 Proclus, On the Theology of Plato, Taylor, Translator. https://ia800206.us.archive.org/9/items/ ProclusOnTheTheologyOfPlato-ElectronicEdition/ProclusPlatoTheologyCOMPLEET.pdf p 236 November, 2018. 56 Gonda. The Vision of the Vedic Poets, p 17 57 Ibid., p 40. 58Ibid., p 14. 59 Ibid., pp 62-63. 60 Ibid., p 66. 61 In India some call him Alexander the Average. 62 Ibid., Mcevilley, p 10. 63 Ibid., p 37-44. 64 Ibid., p 34. 65 Ibid., p 47. 66 Ibid., p 46. 67 Ibid., pp 57-58. 68 Ibid., p 101. 69 Ibid., p 183. 70 Ibid., pp 190-192 71 Eusebius of Caesarea. Praeparatio Evangelica (Preparation for the Gospel). Trans. E.H. Gifford (1903) -- Book 11, Chapter III http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/eusebius_pe_11_book11.htm, November, 2018. 72 Ibid. 73 Ibid.,Radhakrishnan, p 151. 74 Ibid., Plato, https://www.scribd.com/document/260582004/Plato-John-M-Cooper-D-S-Hutchinson-PlatoComplete-Works-1997-pdf, https://talkcurriculum.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/plato-1997-meno-in-completeworks-plato.pdf p 520, November, 2018. 75 Evangeliou. The Hellenic Philosophy: Between Europe, Asia and Africa, p 50. 76 Evangeliou. Hellenic Philosophy: Origin and Character, p 100. 77 Ibid., p 117. 78 Ibid., Uždavinys. Philosophy as a Rite of Rebirth:, p 75. 79 Uždavinys. The Golden Chain: An Anthology of Pythagorean and Platonic Philosophy, p 112. 80 Ibid.,117. 81 Ibid., Uždavinys. Philosophy as a Rite of Rebirth:, p 80. Note that later in Christianity, it became “the quest.” In Sufism another term was “the voyage.” 82 Ibid, p 80. 83 Ibid., p 2. 84 Plotinus, The Six Enneads. http://pinkmonkey.com/dl/library1/six.pdf. P 274, November, 2018. 85 Uždavinys. Philosophy and Theurgy in Late Antiquity, p 27. 86 Ibid., Plotinus. http://pinkmonkey.com/dl/library1/six.pdf p 495 November, 2018. 87 Ibid., Plato. http://www.theosofie.be/A_PDF/Plato_Complete_Works.pdf , p 494. November, 2018. 88 Ibid., Plotinus, The Six Enneads. http://pinkmonkey.com/dl/library1/six.pdf p 495, November, 2018. 89 Ibid., p 494, November, 2018. 90 Ibid., p 68. 91 That the One was divisible and yet unknowable at its highest presented a problem solved later by Iamblichus who taught of an unmanifested One behind this One that was manifested. This is an old cosmology found in the Vedas. 92 Ibid., Uždavinys. The Golden Chain, p 198. 93 Ibid., p 119. 94 In India, Jnana yoga, knowledge, is the most difficult path. Karma Yoga, action, is easier and Bhakti Yoga, devotion, the easiest. However, all three are parts of the same path where the seeker focuses on one; at the end of the journey, all three fill the realized soul equally. 95 Ibid., Plotinus. The Six Enneads, p 324. 96 Ibid., Plato https://www.scribd.com/document/260582004/Plato-John-M-Cooper-D-S-Hutchinson-PlatoComplete-Works-1997-pdf, https://talkcurriculum.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/plato-1997-meno-in-completeworks-plato.pdf p527 November, 2018. 97 The Homeric Cave of Nymphs http://www.philaletheians.co.uk/study-notes/hellenic-and-hellenistic-papers/ porphyry-on-the-cave-of-the-nymphs-tr.-taylor.pdf November, 2018. 98 Uždavinys. The Heart of Plotinus: The Essential Enneads, pp 233-234. !385


https://symbolreader.net/2014/07/14/the-secrets-of-the-odyssey-10-return-to-ithaca-through-the-cave-of-thenymphs/ November, 2018. 100For some discussion on Chumash and Vedanta North Pole and Big Dipper lore, see http:// www.slocoastjournal.net/docs/archives/2011/oct/pages/marine_sanctuary.html November, 2018. 101 Shaw. Theurgy and the Soul: The Neoplatonism of Iamblichus, p266. 102 Ibid., Uždavinys. The Golden Chain, p181. 103 Ibid., Shaw, p 74. 104 Ibid., p 131. 105 Those holding such a cosmology approach closely that of the Rig Veda and other Vedanta texts, that even “lowly” (in Eurocentric hierarchy and the Abrahamic religions) matter has consciousness. 106 Ibid. p xxxiii. 107 107 Ibid., p xxii. 108 http://www.mandala-painting.com/sand-mandalas/, https://newarkmuseum.wordpress.com/category/event/ November, 2018. 109 Ibid. Shaw, p 193. 110 Among the Sufis his work went through the conduit of the misrepresentation of his work being that of Aristotle’s as was Plotinus’ last half of The Enneads. 111 Ibid., Uždavinys. The Golden Chain, p201. 112 Vallianatos. The Passion of the Greeks: Christianity and the Rape of the Hellenes, p 122. 113 Ibid., p 135. 114 Ibid., pp 137-139. 115 Ibid., p 96. 116 Within 20 years of Christianity being the formal religion of the empire, Christians had to abandon the command of “Thou Shalt not kill” and serve in the army. 117 Ibid., Radhakrishnan, p 218. 118 Ibid., Uždavinys. Philosophy and Theurgy in Late Antiquity, p 95. 119 Ibid.,, p 212. 120 Ibid., Uždavinys. Philosophy as a Rite of Rebirth, p 128. 121 Ibid., p 130. 122 Ibid., Uždavinyss. Philosophy and Theurgy in Late Antiquity, p 101. 123 Ibid., p 97. 124 Ibid., p 101. 125 Ibid., Uždavinys. Philosophy as a Rite of Rebirth, p 143. 126 Ibid., p vi. 127 Ibid., p 101. 128 Ibid., p 27. 129 Ibid., p 297. 130 (* "The word telete or initiation" says Hermeas, in his MS. Commentary) Proclus, On the Theology of Plato. https://archive.org/details/ProclusOnTheTheologyOfPlato-ElectronicEdition pdf, p 236, September 2017.


Esoteric Hebraic and Christian Calligraphy Esoteric Hebraic Calligraphy The divine name or aspect was not a word within theurgic and other esoteric disciplines. While not physically a material object it was nevertheless seen equivalent to an ikon and perhaps pregnant, depending upon one’s sensitivity, with seen or felt energy and unseen, unfelt essence. It followed that the letters forming the ikon held within them and thus radiating outward energetic emanations as the name itself. “The structure of the object (deity) is revealed in the structure of the word (name / text). The shape of the written form must be preserved exactly . . .”1 The required exactness regarding the significance of the divine name while copying the Torah or esoteric reproduction moved into Christianity's and then Islam’s calligraphic practices at two levels, reproductive and contemplative. Additionally, the ideas with experiential traditions of the power of the name, letters, and attributes associated with the Beautiful Names became a common thread within these three overlapping Abrahamic religious esoteric visual text arts. Hundreds of years added to and folded into the wider iconographic and symbolic traditions evolved and mixed with others from India across western Asia to Egypt and Greece, eventually to Ireland and then into Europe. Jewish mysticism in its various forms represents an attempt to interpret the religious values of Judaism in terms of mystical values. It concentrates upon the idea of the living God who manifests himself in the acts of Creation, Revelation and Redemption. Pushed to its extreme, the mystical meditation on this idea gives birth to the conception of a sphere, a whole realm of divinity, which underlies the world of our sense-data and which is present and active in all that exists. This is the meaning of what the Kabbalists call the world of the ‘Sefiroth’.2


. . . all Jewish mystics, from the Therapeutae, whose doctrine was described by Philo of Alexandria, to the latest Hasid, are at one in giving a mystical interpretation to the Torah; the Torah is to them a living organism animated by a secret life which streams and pulsates below the crust of its literal meaning; every one of the innumerable strata of this hidden region corresponds to a new and profound meaning of the Torah. The Torah, in other words, does not consist merely of chapters, phrases and words; rather is it to be regarded as the living incarnation of the divine wisdom which eternally sends out new rays of light. It is not merely the historical law of the Chosen People, although it is that too; it is rather the cosmic law of the Universe, as God’s wisdom conceived it. Each configuration of letters in it, whether it makes sense in human speech or not, symbolizes some aspect of God’s creative power which is active in the universe. And just as the thoughts of God, in contrast to those of man, are of infinite profundity, so also no single interpretation of the Torah in human language is capable of taking in the whole of its meaning.3 Its (The Book of Creation) chief subject-matters are the elements of the world, which are sought in the ten elementary and primordial numbers—Sefiroth, as the book calls them—and the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. These together represent the mysterious forces whose convergence has produced the various combinations observable throughout the whole of creation; they are the “thirty-two secret paths of wisdom,” through which God has created all that exists. These Sefiroth are not just ten stages, or representative of ten stages, in their unfolding; the matter is not as simple as that. But “their end is in their beginning and their beginning in their end, as the flame is bound to the coal—close your mouth lest it speak and your heart lest it think.” After the author has analysed the function of the Sefiroth in his cosmogony, or rather hinted at the solution in some !388

more or less oracular statements, he goes on to explain the function of the letters in creation: “[God] drew them, hewed them, combined them, weighed them, interchanged them, and through them produced the whole creation and everything that is destined to be created.” He then proceeds to discuss, or rather to unveil, the secret meaning of each letter in the three realms of creation known to him: man, the world of the stars and planets, and the rhythmic flow of time through the course of the year. The combination of late Hellenistic, perhaps even late Neoplatonic numerological mysticism with exquisitely Jewish ways of thought concerning the mystery of letters and language is fairly evident throughout.4 For now, Sepher Yetzirah, (Book of Formation [Creation]), the earliest remaining Kabbala text arrives from the second century CE recording that with 22 letters and 10 numbers the Divine created the universe. The numbers, representing the powers of God, became known as the Sefiroth. Each letter has its esoteric meaning:5 Twenty-two foundation letters: He ordained them, He hewed them, He combined them, He weighed them, He interchanged them. And He created with them the whole creation and everything to be created in the future." Rabbi Akiba Ben Joseph(?), Sefer Yetzirah The inner work of Jewish mystics continued over the centuries developing a literature of analysis for the Torah reaching a summit in the Zohar (Book of Splendor) in the thirteenth century. Though this was the golden age of this esoteric path, it continues evolving to this day with many interpretations. The above introductory quotes illustrate the complexity of Kabbala esotericism. Thus, the following is a narrow preliminary gaze suggesting how letters were perceived and their iconographic application. Common in this tradition was that, as with other !389

traditions holding their script and language as the origin of creation, the universe was created by letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Over the centuries, multilayers of meanings were uncovered in the Torah from individual letters to words and phrases. The value given these layers and multitudes of subtleties are found in a warning of woe unto those who see nothing but ordinary words and stories; they miss the transcendent and sublime mystery revealed within the subtleties. For example, the letter ‫( ב‬B: Beit) has several connected layered meanings ranging from the human body, the home of the soul, to the structure, the building of worship, home of the divine or the Divine’s Temple. One letter presents both microcosm and macrocosm. It follows that the human body, then, must be treated accordingly; that it, this self, a holy being, houses the soul. In addition, and an important one in the esoteric cosmology, its shape symbolizes the mouth that exhales the sacred wind of ‫( א‬A: Alef), the first letter from which all letters came forth. The first word of the Torah is Bereisht (In the beginning); thus, the first letter is ‫( ב‬B: Beit). Visually, then, Hebrew, a right to left written language, out of ‫ ב‬flows the sacred wind / breath, in which the Torah becomes manifest. Such symbology brings to mind, yet again, the cave. The letter ‫ ב‬can be read/ seen as the profile of a cave. Why do caves have mouths? Homes of oracles, teachers and saints (as discussed above, esp. p. 345, p. 353). Inward looking, meditation or contemplation, kavvana, provided the technique to see and experience the letters as vessels holding Divine hidden knowledge. Inner meanings brought outward into the mind profoundly added significance to rituals and prayers.6 Like other traditions, the laws regulating Hebrew calligraphy such as direction of strokes, assigned parts for each letter and geometric ratios, are part of a larger esoteric body of sacred inward discoveries out of which an esoteric cosmology was shaped.7 Jewish Incantation Bowls with spiraling Aramaic script recovered in Babylonian sites suggest another tradition paralleling early developments of the Kabbala.8 This tradition, if not esoteric, was at a minimum, magical and psychic, by sculpting spells and chants with language formulas based most probably on the Asyrian-Babylonian Gematria.9

Esoteric Christian Calligraphy Before Sufism contemplated the 99 Beautiful Names, Pseudo-Dionysius assigned aspects of the unknowable with the names of God from scripture and spiritual visions seen by the “enlightened” and prophets.10 These included body parts — eyes, face, hair, hands, wings, and so on; and associated sacred and ritual relics — chair, bowls, crown, cups, and such belong to a symbolic repertoire directly associated with divine goodness.11 Included also were the womb of God, the word flowing from the heart, the word breathed from the mouth, God’s bosom, and embracing the Son of God. Added to the list were other forms such as plants, fruits of certain trees, or their branches, flowers, and roots; fountains of waters; seductive lights; associated living animals and creatures; and His horses, chariots, and thrones.12 Primary in the hierarchy for Pseudo-Dionysius was the Good followed by Beauty. The Good, he claimed, eventually regathered everything into itself. With this claim, the cosmology became close to that of Vedanta. “The Beautiful is therefore the same as the Good as the Cause of being, and there is nothing in the world without a share of the beautiful and the Good . . . This — the One, the Good, the Beautiful — is in its uniqueness the Cause of the multitudes of the good and the beautiful.”13 Platonists, aside from reversing the order of Beauty and the Good, would neither disagree with this description nor the following: “The Good is described as the light of the mind because it illuminates the mind of every supra-celestial being with the light of the mind, and because it drives from souls the ignorance and error squatting there.” 14 Pseudo-Dionysius shows a Christian way out the Allegory Cave. But, is he suggesting and perhaps rewriting Plato’s exit instructions from experience or not at !391

all, just rendering into Christian forms as a lower type philosopher-theologian? Here is a sample: And whatever other divinely-wrought illuminations, conformable to the Oracles, the secret tradition of our inspired leaders bequeathed to us for our enlightenment, in these also we have been initiated; now indeed, according to our capacity, through the sacred veils of the loving-kindness towards man, made known in the Oracles and hierarchical traditions, which envelop things intellectual in things sensible, and things super-essential in things that are; and place forms and shapes around the formless and shapeless, and multiply and fashion the supernatural and formless simplicity in the variedness of the divided symbols; but, then, when we have become incorruptible and immortal, and have reached the Christlike and most blessed repose, according to the Divine saying, we shall be "ever with the Lord," fulfilled, through all-pure contemplations, with the visible manifestation of God covering us with glory, in most brilliant splendours, as the disciples in the most Divine Transfiguration, and participating in His gift of spiritual light, with unimpassioned and immaterial mind; and, even in the union beyond conception, through the agnostic and most blessed efforts after rays of surpassing brilliancy, in a more Divine imitation of the supereelestial minds. For we shall be equal to the angels, as the truth of the Oracles affirms, and sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.15 Naming aspects to describe knowable glimpses of the divine, he placed between the soul and the Divine what became known later as the Cloud of Unknowing, a negative theology. Between the lights of Beauty and the undefinable divine, the brilliant blackness of unknowing forms a barrier to humans truly wanting to know as much as possible the unknowable, the reality of the divine’s true mystery. Each aspect and its energy and essence, then, became a ray out of the !392

brilliant black cloud. We have seen this painted by the Russian Neo-primitives, Malevich being one, and noted its influence on the above-mentioned Americans. Lead us up beyond unknowing and light, up to the farthest, highest peak of mystic scripture, where the mysteries of God’s word lie simple, absolute and unchangeable in the brilliant darkness of a hidden silence. Amid the deepest shadow they pour overwhelming light among what is most manifest.16 Pseudo-Dionysius Pseudo-Dionysius seems to have drawn many of his Beautiful Names found in the Hebraic tradition.17 Being thoroughly schooled by Proclus in all aspects of Platonic philosophy and the various evolutionary syntheses, he reconfigured his former knowledge into his new Christian Platonic form. His work influenced not only esoteric West European thought and experiences but Scholasticism. One of the unintended consequences was by invoking in his Celestial Hierarchy the idea that the Pope was atop the pecking order of church and state became justified. Another unintended consequence follows and suggested below. Pseudo-Dionysius’ influence was small among Greek Orthodox, even less among the Syriac Orthodox, and none, it seems, among the Nestorians. The area was richly endowed with esoteric, contemplative, and experiential individuals and their works. Compared to Western Europe, the overwhelming abundance of seerrevealed alternatives overwhelmed his ideas. For example, an earlier Syriac (an Armenian language) Christian tradition of Beautiful Names with less, if any, Platonic influence, co-existed further east of Pseudo-Dionysius in the Syriac Orthodox Church found in the poetry of Saint Ephrem (306 - 373 CE). To pull or push a reader or listener out of their comfort zone and mind, Ephrem massaged !393

polarities or opposites in the same line or stanza not as contrasts or bipolar-choices or descriptions of this or that, but rather as paradoxes to embrace wholeness at the “revealed” level for humankind while at the same time underscoring undefinability of the unknowable Creator or Jesus. His symbolism included also the taking off and putting on of various revealed names associated with the garment of Names.18 That Ephrem’s “Hymn 27” contains clear and direct calendar, number and letter gematria materials more than implies such notions were not uncommon among Syriac Christians. 19 (Maybe this remarkable space will draw someone minded to research illuminated Syriac Christian visual text art?) Also noteworthy, the dark cloud of unknowing neither existed among the Syriac Orthodox Church nor the Nestorians to block the light of the Divine’s unknowability. Their experience was being blinded by an overpowering force of Light. Such overpowering constantly found its way into ikons rendering Taboric Light. Thus, these theologies and associated esoteric traditions can be considered closer to Vendanta and the coming Sufism (which they influenced) than to Western Christianity. Among these traditions the lights of Beauty are found beyond the brightness of the black cloud that eventually formed over Western European Christianity. Meister Eckhart, more often than not, gets the nod as the major benefactor receiving Pseudo-Dionysius’ influence and in turn the era’s premiere mystic. However, The Mirror of Simple Souls by the enlightened French Beguine mystic, Marguerite Porette (c. 1248 – June 1, 1310 CE),20 gives us an intriguing otherwise. It equals in mystic devotion, in my opinion, the highest achievements among Bhakti yogis of India. I need not travel that far. She seems influenced by a synthesis of Plotinus through Pseudo-Dionysius and a familiarity with other theorized and also unknown esoteric sources out of which she learned to experience in her travels in the realms of the Good and Beauty. The influence most probably came through the writings of John Scotus Eriugena who translated Pseudo-Dionysius and others into Latin from Greek. A Keltic Christian theologian, philosopher and poet, his translations have been suggested by some forming perhaps the last great Platonist synthesis through his translations and familiarity with Eastern Christian works by Maximus the Confessor, Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, !394

Gregory Nazianzus, and others. Those musing this idea obviously remain unaware of or ignore Islam’s Science of Letters, those who formed and shaped it, and the many traditions creating its synthesis. Neither monk nor priest, this Keltic layman achieved high intellectual status in the Carolingian Court, eventually directing its Palatine School. It remains an open question whether or not Eriugena was a volunteer immigrant and perhaps, among Irish laymen and monk teachers and calligraphers, sent to France for educational purposes in service of the Carolingian court, or among the Irish diaspora caused by Viking raids and invasions contemporaneous with the peak of Irish/Hiberno illumination and calligraphy. Among other works, John Scotus Eriugena translated Gregory of Nyssa’s De hominis opificio and Maximus the Confessor's Ambigua ad Iohannem. From knowledge gained through his translations added to previous studies in Ireland, about which nothing is known, came his main opus, Periphyseon, a 5 book corpus designed as a dialogue between teacher and student, compiling and synthesizing all knowable (within his reach) Platonic cosmology within an “elevated” Christian mysticism that paralleled other absolutist traditions of the unknowable found in Vedantist Advaita, Buddhism, Taoism, and various schools of Sufism and Kabbalhaism. Within these cosmologies, the manifested flows out of its source, the unmanifested, a unity with countless parts; eventually, all returns to the unmanifested. In short, Eriugena’s outline states: That Which Is, The Undefinable Unmanifested creates the manifested with The Word; through the exhale The Word permeates, supports and maintains it; and eventually, the inhale returns or withdraws all manifested creation back into the unmanifested. Thus, all the “damned” eventually return; all are saved. An anathema to the Latin hierarchy and hence heretical. Eriugena offered the only alternative to the scholasticism of St. Thomas Aquinas. He also wrote Commentary on the Gospel of St. John (Commentarius in Evangelium Iohannis) and a sermon (Homilia in Johannem). Ahead of his time, the works provoked little interest until the 1100s when they gained notoriety during a period of religious turmoil. The usual misunderstandings caused by lazy literalness of priestly readers lead to their


condemnation as a pantheistic heresy in 1225; all flows from and back to the unknowable.

in the light of light is the virtù “sunt lumina” said Erigena Scotus ... Light tensile immaculate the sun’s cord unspotted “sunt lumina” said the Oirishman to King Carolus, “OMNIA, all things that are are lights” and they dug him up out of sepulture soi distantly looking for Manichaeans. Ezra Pound, “Canto 74” The above sketch was provided at first as a suggestion regarding the Irish influence prying open the door beginning the end of the Dark Ages with the destruction of Hellenism. The further west from Greece the less initial Hellenistic influence existed in Europe excepting areas covered by a Roman veneer. The end of the era began with the reintroduction of Hellenistic ideas and philosophy into Europe through Ireland. Islam’s influence through the Spanish door, most often discussed, was over 200 years later with the translated works of Aristotle. Outside the European darkness, Irish culture remained isolated, its distance a protection, though not a permanent barrier, against the Latin hierarchy. Its Christian culture was sparked by contacts with Egyptian Christians and hence the Greek and Latin in their educational system. John Scotus Eriugena seems a faint reflection from the older era of the Keltic bard-philosopher, the keeper of knowledge, the sage. He was a poet whose !396

works were both court poetry (by favoring his patrons less in value regarding truthsaying) and a mystic in his more important poetic commentaries on Saint John and related poems and homilies. He seems not a seer-poet, however. This, then, the second reason for this discussion, suggests for me a problem, maybe a serious problem, and perhaps part of the explanation for the lack of a seer-poet tradition in western Eurocentric peoples compared to peoples eastward and cultures across to the Pacific. While his lasting contribution and influence percolates through his translation of Pseudo-Dionysius, it is harder to decipher his influence on the mystic trends in motion from the Eleventh Century, with his works being officially condemned as heretical, to the present with the resurgence of interest in his work. Nevertheless, comparing Eriugena’s Periphyseon, heavily influenced by PseudoDionysius, to Plotinus’s The Six Enneads, one reads speculative philosophical / theological (for him true theology was philosophy and true philosophy was theology) text compared to a true Platonic philosophical, experiential seer-text. The clinging to Pseudo-Dionysius was based on a false and forged identity. Dionysius the Areopagite was the name with which the writings were first associated. It was assumed this work was written by the First Century St. Dionysius the Areopagite, an Athenian judge converted by Paul, not a Fifth Century convert from Platonism. Wearing this mask he, whose name remains unknown, rendered Platonic works from Plotinus to his teacher, Proclus, into an alternative Platonic Christian theology collection of writings to those by another former Platonist’s works, Augustine’s convolutions. John Scotus Eriugena translation of Pseudo-Dionysius and his other works, suggests, at least for me, an unwitting route- / root-source of a mis-step on the pathway of Western Christian mysticism. First, neither were seers but non-seeing philosophical theologians. The Brilliant Dark Cloud of Unknowing was intellectual speculation, not experiential, that became accepted fact and seems to have solidified as a barrier in western Eurocentric Christian cosmologies. This formed a potent iconographic image in the culture’s mind leading to the usual lazy literalness with its conclusion, the impossibility of direct experience with the !397

divine or the higher aspects beyond the bright back cloud signalling end of the road of experience. Worth mentioning, but not in detail, their (John Scotus Eriugena and Pseudo-Dionysius) hierarchy orders were contrary to those with seer traditions thereby, in my readings and opinion, furthered a mental-ness bias in western Christendom compared with the heart-centered-ness eastward. It should be pointed out that Beauty was subducted under Goodness and thus not becoming a focus found elsewhere, such as Platonism and Sufism. Among the Platonists, it ranked higher than the Good, next to the One. Truth and Wisdom ranked much lower than Reason and Intellect. Elsewhere, for example in South Asia, Truth was equivalent to the Unmanifested, defined as That which does not change. Wisdom elsewhere ranks higher than Reason and Intellect; Wisdom comes through direct experience, a penetrating knowing above the mind. The mind cannot explain such direct penetrating knowing; the knowing just “is.” Running tandem, eight years before Eriugena’s death, the strained relations between the Catholic and Orthodox ruptured further when the Catholic Church erased/eradicated humankind’s spirit, leaving humans split with the body-soul duality that eventually, thanks to the tragic consequences of Descartes’ philosophical musings, morphed into body and mind. The “organ” for traveling among the higher realms, which has many identities elsewhere east, was snuffed. The Catholic tradition supported its theological conclusions through philosophical discourse; the Orthodox, maintaining body, spirit and mind, supported their conclusions through direct experience — theoria ––of the divine. When individuals succeeded placing the mind in the heart they became whole. Others further east speak of the bright region of the conscious mind atop the intellect from where intuition rises out of the mind into direct knowing without mind’s filters. They also link this region to the heart-cave holding the soul. For the Orthodox, only such an individual experiencing theoria could be a true theologian. Another influence not to be overlooked, but, again only briefly pointed to, are numerous alchemical and Christian mystical cosmological iconographic artworks depicting the nine levels, circles or even the nine-step ladder to reach the final perfection in heaven, the 10th circle. Then there are the levels Dante !398

populated in his Divine Comedy. I will not trace further back than to Plato’s nine levels of reincarnated souls to begin the march of nine levels into Catholicism’s cosmology except to point to the nine muses for the number nine; the muses, though probably associated with levels of consciousness among the Platonists, were never looked upon as levels in a post Hellena Eurocentric cosmology. Plotinus is not responsible for his work, The Six Enneads, divided into nine parts, hence its title by Porphyry. Nine steps or levels leading to the perfect One. Through Platonic philosophy and its various syntheses and then reconfigured into a Catholic cosmology, nine circles or angelic levels arrived through Pseudo-Dionysius by way of John Scotus Eriugena’s translation into Latin.21 The importance, of what at the moment seems to have been an unnecessary diversion, appears below in the Sufi Science of Letters in stark contrast with its seers and traditions. The Science of Letters remains, as we have seen, robust in health and expression among Arab and Persian language word painters. The absence of deep and wide traditions in Catholicism led Thomas Merton to seek, in order to satisfy his inner spiritual desires, the teachings and experiences of the Desert Fathers, followed by his quest into and writings of Sufis, Taoists, and Ch’an / Zen masters. In this, his inner work expressed outwardly in part, he planted many of the first seeds of a spiritual ecumenical sharing for interested monks and lay persons now firmly rooted years later and flourishing in such monasteries as two hours north of my keyboard in Big Sur.22 Perhaps, too, the reason Robert Lax chose three Greek isles for a home and embraced Orthodox Hesychasm and other influences. Ad Reinhardt, obviously influenced by Malevich’s “Black Square” as the foundation for his long contemplative series of black ikon paintings, never reached the point of light Malevich reached in his “White Square” painting that ended his Suprematism. We end with the extinguishing of French Beguine mystic Marguerite Porette (d. June 1, 1310 CE). The celestial layers in The Mirror of Simple Souls that she visited obviously reflect Platonic celestial hierarchies as expressed in the dialogues that can be listened to as a devotional dialectic explicitly rendering the differences between higher and lower aspects. She wrote through the voices of the aspects !399

using names such as love, soul, reason, pure graciousness, light of faith, reason’s understanding, temptation, exalted understanding of love, soul of faith, dread, holy church, holy church the less, holy spirit, the contented soul, the light of the soul, and more. The precise date of her death I note again for emphasis, because that was the day she was murdered, burned at the stake for refusing to stop writing her “heretical” book.23 Hidden copies survived the search-and-destroy mission to later reach and influence mystics such as Eckhart. The Beguines may have been the closet parallel Christian mystic group to the Sufis until the Church finally gained control over them. She is emblematic of the seer/visionary sacrificed on the altar of religious, monomaniacal intolerance, and one of many European mystics living in the light outside Allegory Cave, killed by those refusing to leave the cave.



Janowitz. Icons of Power: Ritual Practices in Late Antiquity (Magic in History), p 30. Scholem, Gershom. Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, p29 https://archive.org/details/majortrendsinjew00scho November, 2018. 3 Ibid., p 31. 4 Ibid., p74/ 5 Book of Formation (/Creation): Interestingly, the total of 32 equates to half the number of I Ching hexagrams. http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/yetzirah.htm. For each letter see http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/moq/moq03.htm Also: http://www.digital-brilliance.com/themes/tol.php https://books.google.com/books? id=aqc-61vr4q0C&printsec=frontcover&dq=Sefer+Yetzirah:+The+Book+of +Creation&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjju5uG19bZAhVH7IMKHU1VBB0Q6AEIKTAA#v=onepage&q=Sefer %20Yetzirah%3A%20The%20Book%20of%20Creation&f=falseNovember, 2018. 6 Thirteenth Century example http://fondationbodmer.ch/documents/histoire-du-livre/lecriture-et-le-livre/ecriturehebraique/ November, 2018. 7 http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2012/byzantium-and-islam/blog/topical-essays/posts/judaism November, 2018. 8 5 bowls https://archive.org/search.php?query=Incantation%20Bowls, https://jnjr.div.ed.ac.uk/primary-sources/ biblical/jewish-aramaic-incantation-bowls/, http://thegemara.com/naming-demons-the-aramaic-incantation-bowlsand-gittin/ http://www.elixirofknowledge.com/search/label/Jewish%20incantation%20bowl November, 2018. 9 http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Grammar/Unit_Eight/Hebrew_Gematria/hebrew_gematria.html November, 2018. 10 (Cut and paste this www.) http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/areopagite_03_divine_names.htm November, 2018. 11 Pseudo-Dionysius. Pseudo-Dionysius: The Complete Works, pp 56-57. 12 Ibid., p281. 13 Ibid., p76-77. 14 Ibid., p 74. 15 Section IV http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/areopagite_03_divine_names.htm November, 2018. 16 Pseudo-Dionysius, p135. 17 Hebrew Beautiful Names of God https://wahiduddin.net/words/99_pages/app_d_hebrew.htm November, 2018. 18 Brock, Sebastian. The Luminous Eye. p 60. 19 Ephrem the Saint, Ephrem the Syrian: Hymns. pp 210-213. 20 Apparently the Low Lands was the home the only long lived order of European Catholic mystics outside monastery control since the founding of the Church. They were unmarried middle class women. Unlike Islam which gave birth to several loved lived Sufi Orders, Christianity resisted its mystics however possible, even killing them, especially during the Inquisition. 21 Four examples: Roob, Alexander. Alchemy & Mysticism: The Hermetic Museum. pp 40, 237, 243, 410 and 531. 22 Unless, like now, a slide blocks passage. A slide off the beautiful, mountainous viewshed-land I retreated after our six week pilgrimage to Prasanthi Nilayam in Puttaparthi and the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry. In and around the Point House overlooking the Pacific in ten days I read Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri. I consider it the unsurpassed Twentieth Century English language epic poem. Few know about it, less have read and studied it. The land is owned by our neighbor ; he also owns the house of Gavin Arthur, benefactor of the dunites (see acknowledgements). 23 Porette. The Mirror of Simple Souls,1999. 2


Among the Sufis Many Pueblo and other American First Peoples’ iconographic paintings, like many of the Islamic word paintings within the Sufi sphere of influence, are prayers or direct visions from the individual’s personal initiatory sphere either appearing spontaneously or through contemplation or meditation. Common among both groups and others, such as the Huichol and Australian Aborigines, are works steeped in beauty, containing both inner harmony and the yearning reach for an ideal. Elsewhere, a different beauty is found in the painting of ikons, a beauty that then infused through the works and lives of pre-WWI avant-gardists, especially the Russians. The numbers considerably decrease as we move to the present moment among the Eurocentric modern and postmodern avant-garde. Deep roots of and routes to esoteric calligraphy informed by the Science of Letters began over a thousand years before Islam’s conquest of Persia. The Persian Achaemenid Empire, before controlling territory to the Indus River as early as 520 BCE, had already expanded westward beyond Egypt. Reaching the Indus River formed large unified territory with multi “national” and city state populations allowing less restrained flows of peoples, commerce, and ideas between central Asia, India, Ionian Greek city states, and Egypt. This exchange included the mixing and synthesizing of esoteric traditions long before accomplishments achieved by many individuals contributing to the width and heights of the Science of Letters. What follows, by touching on a few individuals such as Kubra, Suhrawardī’, Ibn ‘Arabī, and Mulla Sadra, glints with untapped richness. This wealth can offer vibrant energies to the anaemic Eurocentric visual text art movements and schools, carrying denied essences. We have seen such an injection give significant results through the infusion of Arab and Persian word painters with Art Informale and the Lettrists. Wedding these contemporary global accomplishments of beauty-infused works with historical Keltic, Hiberno-Scottish and other European illumination and the later illuminated period of wood blocks and alchemical illustrations, ended by printing-press economic restrictions, could lead to deep renewal. North and South !402

Americans could also reach deep into the rejected iconographic histories of their respective First Peoples. While their minds may be occidentally Europe-centric, their bodies are made from the land they dwell on and eat off of. The fecund places of these traditions offer a reanimation of the moribund, making it newly-new. 


Suhrawardī’ and the School of Illumination Shahāb al-Dīn Yahyā ibn Habash ibn Amīrak al-Suhrawardī’s (1154-1191 CE) contributions to Persian Sufism specifically and pan-Sufism generally cannot be overstated. His well-earned name of reverence sums it up: Shaikh al-Ishrāq, the Master of Illumination. His major critic, al-Ghazalai (1058-1111 CE), was also an early contributor to the Science of Letters with his profound additions to the 99 Beautiful Names.1 Qutb al-Din Shirazi (1236—1311 CE) was the first to formally weave the teachings of Ibn ‘Arabī and Suhrawardī together. Later, Mulla Sadra (1571–1636) created a wider spectrum for the School of Illumination, fusing the works of Ibn Sīnā, al-Ghazalai, other Ash’arites (school of theology), Suhrawardī,’ Ibn ‘Arabī, and major aspects of Shiaism informing Persian Sufism and in turn its calligraphers and word painters to this moment.2 He synthesized esoteric traditions horizontally from Central Asia and India across Persia, the Islamic Middle East, to Greece and Egypt, and vertically beginning with Persia’s oldest remaining forms to his contemporary Sufis. These teachings by their nature and geographical expanse were rich and varied. Suhrawardī’s School of Illumination was formulated from the philosophy of Ibn Sīnā (Avicenna: 980-1037 CE), a preeminent figure in Islamic philosophy / theosophy, and a wider-ranging synthesis.3 Germane to visual text art, Ibn Sīnā contributed to the Islamic Science of Letters dividing the Platonic realm of forms / ideas into several discrete levels, adding angelology and symbols that included words and letters assigned numerical values. This was part of his considerable contribution to Islamic divine archetypes and essences.4 Suhrawardī considered himself a re-unifier. Always guided by the Quran as the final revelation, he wove together a new groundbreaking synthesis of esoteric traditions including Zoroastrianism, Pythagoreanism, Platonism, and Hermeticism. More probably than not, a few works included Nestorian and perhaps Eastern Orthodox mysticism, given that the geographical area in which he studied, traveled, and lived included those traditions. He gleaned worth from Zoroastrianism’s angelology while rejecting its dualism. He applied the angelic names to the vertical realms and members of their populations within each horizontal gradient between the Supreme !404

Light and that of manifested nature, the realm of shadows or the world of matter. He saw the hierarchy of angels performing nearly identical tasks previously seen by Platonists, who experienced the realm of forms / ideas populated by light forms. Added to his cosmology were numerous symbols and a sacred geography of a heavenly cosmos in which the ideal seeker orients to the pole of the north, all found within the heart. As early as Ibn Sīnā, if not earlier, Sufism symbolized the quest for ascension as an orientation of the soul to the inner north pole. By doing so one became a member of the Orient. Those caught in the mundane world of matter were occupants of the Occident. It an irony that western philosophers and scientists continually use Oriental philosophy, with its many practices invoking revelation, as a pejorative term, along with synonymous terms such as magical thinking, also applied to aspects of the Platonic school that ranged over 700 or so years. Those orientated inwardly sigh, noting the damage caused by exiling angels, gods and relegating beauty from Occidental art and literature. After successfully completing his education, Suhrawardī’ traveled around Persia, visiting Sufi masters, engaging in long periods of prayer and meditation retreats. His quest included Persian central Asian regions north of contemporary Iran. The area was part of the flow of esoteric forms along the Silk Road between the Mediterranean Sea and the Pacific Ocean through its cities and towns populated by Nestorians, other Christians, Buddhists, Taoists, Hindus, and Muslims. For example and previously mentioned, Nestorian Christianity, as the religion of light or the radiant religion, was welcomed into China during the T’ang era, in 635 CE.5 After a thorough study of its teachings, in 637 CE the religion was permitted to be taught throughout China; it was not deemed harmful but worthy of consideration.6 Their Bible did not contain the “Book of Revelations.” They also did not take up the original-sin virus promoted by the Church of the West or the crucifix which they deemed heretical, a symbol of suffering; the cross itself for them represented the resurrection and its other known exoteric and esoteric submeanings.


During his central Asian sojourn, he met and studied with Najmuddin Kubra (1145-1221 CE), known as Vali Tarash, Manufacturer of Saints; he was the founder of the Kobrawiya Sufi Order. As a point of interest, Kubra was the master of Rūmī’s father. Rūmī was to become a friend of Ibn ‘Arabī’s primary disciple and son-in-law, al-Qūnawī, who was also the master and friend of the renowned Persian Sufi poet, Iraqi, also a friend of Rūmī. Iraqi during his travels had studied with Kubra after a period of wandering and a stay in India. Common to all ways, the individual is trapped in darkness. This darkness translates as ignorance of the higher realms, a denial of the higher realms, or deep attachment to the manifested reality of the earthly plane through the ego, thus identifying with ego and self rather than Self. To orient oneself is to step onto the path of light, joining a way through initiation to reach true knowledge, gnosis, to merge with That Which Is. Many such ways or schools were rich in symbols, iconographics, calligraphic writings, and artworks exhibiting their obvious aura of infused beauty, a reflection from the higher realms. Scanning the symbols of the illumination school, one can suggest symbolwords were also, though more subtle to see at first glance or reading, iconographic markings despite written as text. Najmuddin Kubra’s shared experiences seem to be the root and perhaps inspiration for Suhrawardī’s unprecedented contributions on illumination for Sufism. Kubra is assumed the first Sufi among the Persians to write down his inner experiences that identified specific colors associated with achieved levels of higher consciousness. Previously, such valued insights were strictly transmitted orally with the understanding they belonged to the shared body of highly regarded secret teachings among the initiates. To alter one’s inner world, to move from the outer mundane worldly concerns, identity, and attachment, one must be focused on shedding the ego. This is symbolized by dissolving the dull black shadow figure, which then shifts one’s being to an orientation towards the pole of the north. The oriental pole in spiritual symbology represents, as in many other esoteric traditions found around the globe, the orientation to the pole star. While it signifies the heart’s inner heavenly sky, a focal point in the esoteric heavenly skies, much “exoteric” north-star lore and !406

associated story and myth literature suggest the inner journey or voyage, but remain hidden by literalism. Upon initiation the individual begins freeing him- or herself from the black shadow in the upward inner journey by slowly climbing out of the well. Sometimes this is called the exodus. The shadow prevents access to the realm of the heavenly heart, prevents even knowledge of its existence by overwhelming the lower soul or ego with sensual attachments. The figure of opacity opposes transparency and transcendence. The shadow is not something to grasp as touted among so-called New Age “thinking” and pop psychology; it must be shed to experience true freedom. The inward journey of ascension to the mouth of the well requires higher states of consciousness. Each attained state is marked by its specific bright color recorded by Kubra. Finding the emerald rock or the green light heralds reaching the mouth of the well. Within the green light inner access opens to experiencing the Beautiful Names. The dull black shadow has been removed. Ascending into the bright black light, the last veil to pass through, the midnight sun, one arrives in the fire of the lights of majesty. This is the sign of ecstatic love, the fire of annihilation revealing the ultimate beauty, the revealed majesty.7 During the ascent, the guide, known as the heavenly witness or sun of the heart appears.8 This guide at times was identified by Suhrawardī as Hermes, illuminator of the underground chamber, the opener of the heavenly heart. The initiate eventually reaches the status as an individual of light or Prometheus-Phōs. The person of light has risen from the lesser Orient to the greater Orient, meaning attaining “supra-consciousness”9 or in Sri Aurobindo’s experience, supermental consciousness. Again, Prometheus is the man of light, oriented and orienting towards light because he follows his own guide of light.10 After years of study, travels, prayers, meditation, deep retreats, and studies and exchanges with philosophers and Sufi masters, Suhrawardī arrived in Aleppo in 1183 CE. His “impoverished” appearance was like that of one of his major influences, the Persian Sufi poet, al-Hallāj, (Manṣūr al-Ḥallāj, 858 – 922 CE), whom he often quoted. Such appearance was an anti-establishment statement. Al!407

Ḥallāj remains one of Islam’s greatest poet-martyrs and perhaps one of the most famous of all poet-martyrs across time and space to this moment. Among his heretical crimes was self-identification with the Truth. Perhaps a few comments regarding al-Ḥallāj may provide a deeper glimpse into Suhrawardī’s behavior some may look upon as reckless while others may accept the behavior and in line with Socrates, Jesus, and al-Ḥallāj. His initial livelihood was that of a cotton carder (hallāj). Early in his Sufi spiritual pursuits, al-Ḥallāj changed garb from traditional wool to patched clothing demonstrating both his break, his self-defrocking, and his movement towards public display of the extreme poverty of the soul (that is, destruction of the ego and attachment to nothing but the divine). Throwing caution to the wind, he took the path leading to intoxicated, ecstatic states opposing the sober, cautious and secretive behavior of his former associates and teachers. His conclusion seems that the Sufis who initially schooled him selfishly maintained an exclusive and miserly spiritual circle hiding experiential secrets from the broader “mosque” of Islam. His declared mission was to cleanse Islam through the open sharing with the public deep mystic truths hidden by the Sufis. In turn the broader culture could rise to higher planes of awareness accelerating its advancement. This was the beginning period of the Islamic renaissance when Greek philosophy and sciences, Persian and Indian knowledge were being translated into Arabic. Leaving family behind, his first Hajj lasted a year sitting before the Kaaba without shelter. He fasted in silence. Returning a deeper, altered, interiorized mystical ecstatic, he preached urging audiences to find the answers within. Immediately conflict arose with former teachers, father-in-law, and other Sufis for openly sharing inner experiences to illuminate his teachings through preaching and his first writings. He moved from Basra, important to Sufism’s early founding history,11 to Tostar where he apparently expanded his social and intellectual contacts. Massingnon concludes these were the beginning moments of change in preaching style. He shaped his vocabulary for the moment by choosing Shi’a terms when appropriate or Greek philosophical terms learned from the Zoroastrian, Jewish and Nestorian scribes.12 This earned him more critics; some were !408

apparently jealous, others upset over open secretes, and others spread rumors of him joining various groups. Despite success he left his wife and family for extended travel lasting five years through Khurasan and Transoxiana, areas more open to the esoteric, where he met many from whom he learned and others he taught (Many Sufis moved to this region after the martyrdom. Suhrawardī no doubt came in contact with later generations of this migration and the subtleties of different teachings.). He wrote his first books without worry of criticism. Upon returning home he continued public teaching and gained his name, al-Ḥallāj, Carder of Hearts. Then, four hundred or so followers, many wearing patched clothing, accompanied him on the second Hajj to Mecca. On the last extensive period of travel, he journeyed northward along western India to Kashmir, further north into Turkestan and further east. His son created a list of names his father earned from letters by individuals touched during this journey: from India, the Intercessor; Turkestan and Ma Sin, the Nourisher; from Khurashan, the Discerning; Fars, Abu ‘Abdallah the Ascetic; Khuzustan, the Carder of Consciences; Baghdad the Enraptured; and Basra, the Dazed.13 Attar offers other names: Cotton Carder of Secrets; India, Father Helper; Khurashan, Father of Love; China, Father Clarifier; Fars, Abu ‘Abdallah the Pious; Baghdad, the Uprooted; and Basra, the Herald.14 Again, after returning to his family, he made his last pilgrimage to Mecca, this time dressed as an Indian fakir. Returning home, once again a changed person, he dressed as a normal citizen and purchased a home. He had become, apparently, that what he sought no longer needing the garb of a seeker. This seems to confirm a Zen proverb, "Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water." He claimed to a friend, “I am the Truth,” demanding, then, that he report his claim to the authorities. Identifying himself with the Truth, the Absolute (in Greek terminology such that his identity stripped away all attributes), he consciously set in motion his nearly nine years of imprisonment, torture, and martyrdom. There seems little argument he was attempting through his martyrdom, as a sacrifice much like Jesus, to bring about a new Islamic era.


Thus it should be no surprise al-Ḥallāj became a controversial Sufi figure praised and condemned. Most of his literary works failed to reach us either lost in the ruinous eroding forces of time or consciously destroyed. The latter has the most votes. He wrote many poems but again his controversial ending resulted in no one collecting his poetry into an al-Ḥallāj Diwan. That did not stop Rūmī from using his lines in some of his poems.15 Below an al-Ḥallāj poem as a mystical, lyrical quasi concrete poem fits into our main topic. By 1191 CE Suhrawardī had written over 50 works in Arabic and Persian. One of these, The Shape of Light: Hayakal al-Nur, takes his readers through seven levels of descending Light. His “lowest” level, Prophethood, was obtainable by those who had cleansed their inner eye or polished their inner mirror providing access to Gnosis of the Prophets whose knowledge was only to be revealed on The Day of Last Judgement. Stating one who was not a Prophet but able to reach their stature of revealed Gnosis was one of the charges of heresy brought against him.16 Martyred by hanging. Body burned. Riots in Baghdad. He was neither unpopular nor uninfluential among Muslims.17 The Persian works remain to this day highly-praised masterpieces of narrative and philosophical prose.18 Apparently the Islamic jurists of Aleppo were crucial in local politics given the precarious historical moment in the city’s history. They were also an easily-offended prickly bunch, not a group to tangle with, especially if your works and life experiences were judged suspect or heretical like a favorite poet, al-Ḥallāj, executed by crucifixion by narrow-minded jurists in Baghdad. Also, they were not a group to rebuff as fools. The jurists petitioned Saladin’s son for his execution. He refused, having befriended Suhrawardī and accepted his teachings.19 The jurists petitioned Saladin, who could not refuse the demand, needing their support while consolidating his rule and combating the Crusaders’ third invasion. Suhrawardī’s life ended with another given name, not of praise but, al-Maqtūl, He Who Was Killed. He was executed at the age of 38.


Ibn ‘Arabī, 1 Ibn ‘Arabī ('Abū 'Abdullāh Muḥammad ibn 'Alī ibn Muḥammad ibn `Arabī al-Ḥātimī aṭ-Ṭāʾī), 1165-1249 CE) at an early age was navigating the higher realms. His voyages were unguided by a Sufi master. Somehow he gained access to three guides in the upper realm, Jesus, Moses and Mohammad. A year after the tragic loss in India of the Buddhist Nalanda University, once the largest in the world with its library collection of thousands of religious scrolls and books from all traditions within reach, at the brutal torching hands of a jihad lead by the Turkic Mamluk rulers, Ibn ‘Arabī left Andalusia for the last time, traveling east across the Maghreb to Mecca. Before leaving he had met all its significant Sufi masters and many it seems in North Africa between 1193 and 1200 CE.20 He also met Ibn Rushd (Averroës, 1126-1198 CE), whose translations and commentaries on Aristotle moved into the new and forming Christian scholasticism. It influenced the eclipse of Plato with unintended, tragic and lasting consequences that led to the removal of “celestial Angel-Souls governing the world of the active Imagination or Imagination of desire, the world which is the scene of visionary events, of symbolic visions, and of the archetypal persons to whom the esoteric meaning of revelation refers.”21 Scholasticism in this sense evicted its better angels of above in western consciousness while leaving intact its demons, who remained free to roam and wreak havoc below (in the unconscious). The celestial intermediary agents of truth and beauty were exiled. The agents of untruth and ugliness were retained. Ibn ‘Arabī’ attended Ibn Rushd’s funeral before his departure for the eastern Mediterranean lands where he would take up — and add to — the Platonic philosophy of Ibn Sīnā. Before meeting Ibn Rushd he had begun his inward travels and thus was aware of the limitations Ibn Rushd had imposed. Ibn ‘Arabī’s account of the meeting: I went one fine day to the house of Abu’l-Walid ibn Rushd in Cordova. He had expressed the desire to meet me personally because he had heard of the revelations which God had accorded me in the !411

course of my spiritual retreat and had not hidden his astonishment concerning what he had been told. That is why my father, who was one of his intimate friends, sent me one day to his house under the pretext of having to perform some kind of commission but in reality in order for Ibn Rushd to be able to have a talk with me. At this time I was still a beardless young man. Upon my entering [the house] the philosopher rose from his place and came to meet me, showering upon me signs that demonstrated his friendship and consideration and finally embraced me. Then he told me, "Yes.” And I in turn told him: “Yes.” Upon this his joy increased in noting the fact that I had understood him. Then, becoming myself conscious of what had provoked his joy I added: "No." Immediately Ibn Rushd shrank, the color of his features changed; he seemed to doubt that about which he was thinking. He asked me this question: “What kind of solution have you found through illumination and Divine inspiration?" I answered him: “Yes and no. Between the yes and the no souls take their flight from their matter and the necks become detached from their bodies.”(my italics) Ibn Rushd became pale; I saw him trembling. He murmured the ritual phrase: "There is no force but in God,” because he had understood that to which I had alluded.22 On his way to Mecca across North Africa with a stay in Egypt, he met the Sufi masters of the Maghreb. Before reaching Mecca, he meditated at Abraham’s grave, Hebron; prayed in al Aqṣā Mosque, Jerusalem; and visited Mohammad’s grave, Medina. He reached the center of Islam, its Axis Mundi, the Ka’aba, in 1202 CE. His physical and meditative circumambulations expanded his inner world of the higher realms, by increasing his skill to freely navigate within the universe of the heartrealm. He constantly received revelatory materials in symbolic forms and vocal messages until his death in 1240 CE. From the Meccan visionary events and those !412

to follow his writings flowed as a flood of light. The work required years to write, a reported 800 volumes. Only 100 survive, very few have been translated into English, most of which come through French.23 He also became recognized as a major Arab Sufi poet of divine love. His poems are found in collections introducing Sufi poetry to English-language readers. During his first stay in Mecca he wrote his famous and for many years controversial book-length poem, The Interpreter of Desires, devoted to love of Divine wisdom, Sophia. The poem was sparked by the beautiful, intelligent, and wise young daughter, Niẓām (Harmony), of his host in Mecca. He addressed her as Sophia, who remained a guiding voice he addressed throughout his works.24 Spiritual love, not physical love for the divine, was never a question except for the illiterate in symbology and those blind to the inner visionary world accessible through the organ of intuitive sight, including the spiteful jurists of Aleppo. For these jurists he saw the necessity of defending himself several years later, rendering its symbology to quell their nonsense-inflated outrage.25 Verses from this poem have been illuminated with majestic spiritual-landscaped gestures in word paintings by Hassan Massoudy.26 Until 1223 CE he traveled. One excursion took him to eastern Anatolia close to Persia. Visiting Baghdad in 1216 CE, he fulfilled a fifty-year-old prophecy by al-Jalani, the living pole or qutb, perfect master. There exists only one qutb at a time. On his deathbed he prophesied the next qutb would appear in fifty years, bearing the name Muhyiuddin. Unfamiliar with the prophesy, Muhyiuddin Ibn ‘Arabī was shown al-Jalani’s home and there presented with al-Jalani’s cape, confirming the status of qutb upon him.27 He finally settled in Damascus in 1223 CE. He continued writing until 1240 CE, detailing his inward travels entered through the heart’s opened door. Important to calligraphers and word painters was his contribution to the Science of Letters, widely admired among Sufis and others throughout the Muslim cultural sphere. Additionally, he wrote on the sacred depths of such areas as astrology and alchemy. His symbols seem to have influenced the iconographics found in the early Tarot.28 His unveilings and insights on the 99 Beautiful Names, !413

the heavenly book, and his nuptial union with the stars and letters found in The Meccan Revelations are equally as or perhaps more important.29 This masterful navigation of his adventures, followed by discoveries in the inner world, maps the growth of a seer poet and writer. Ibn ‘Arabī’s writings were first clarified through the lucid commentaries by his wife’s son, al-Qūnawī (1209-1273 CE), regarded as Arabī‘s primary disciple and promoter. ‘Arabī’s writings created a new and expanded revelatory vision of unsurpassed length, width, and height. Later, Kobrawiya Sufi Order teachings and thus a portion of Suhrawardī’s school of illumination were folded in with those of Ibn Arabī. The first seems to be through the poetry of Fakhruddin al-Dīn ‘Irāqī (1213 – 1289 CE), who became a disciple of al-Qūnawī. I gaze at the mirror which reveals my beauty and see the universe but an image of that image. In the paradise of theophany I am the Sun: marvel not that every atom becomes a vehicle of my manifestation. What are the Holy Spirits? - The delegates of my secret; and the shapes of men? - The vessels of my bodily form. World-encircling Ocean? - A drop of my overflowing effusion; purest Light? - But a spark of my illumination. Fakhruddin 'Iraqi30 Ibn ‘Arabī’s revelations and Suhrawardī’ School of Illumination influenced Sufism from Central Asia to the Atlantic.31 Through al-Qūnawī’s clarifying writings, Ibn ‘Arabī’ influenced Persian Sufism and later the Shi’a illumination. After 300 years Shi’a-illuminated philosophers expanded the foundation laid by Kubra, Suhrawardī, Ibn Arabī, and al-Qūnawī, none of whom were Shi’a. Aspects of these writings related to visual text arts included the 99 Beautiful Names, color, and other symbols informing word painters to this moment.


Like his master, al-Qūnawī highly regarded earlier Greek philosophers, including Aristotle, for their unveilings in the upper realms. During that time, two collections were wrongly attributed to Aristotle. The first collection, Thuyulujiya Aristu (Theologia Aristotelis or The Theology of Aristotle) was a translation of the last half of Plotinus’ Enneads by an anonymous Egyptian Arab. Once the work of Plotinus was correctly identified, he became known among Sufis as the Shakh of the Greeks. The other collection was by an unknown translator, Kitāb al-Īḍāḥ liArisṭūṭālis fī l-khayr al-maḥd, The Book of Aristotle's Explanation of the Pure Good, and known first in its Latin translations as Liber de Causis, based on Proclus’ Elements of Theology. The significance of Nestorian contributions to Islam’s access to Greek medicine, science, philosophy and other knowledge, such as Persian and Indian, centered in their School of Nisibis, remains little known except among scholars and specialists. The Persians captured Nisibis in 363 CE. Saint Ephrem the Syrian, also to become known as Harp of the Holy Spirit, left the city to head the School of Edessa. Others followed. The School of Nisibis remained shuttered until the Nestorian schism; many followers moved into the Persian Sassanid Empire for safety. The School of Nisibis reopened as the Nestorian educational center. In 471 CE the Nestorian poet Narsai, who left Edessa, was persuaded to oversee the school. Exiled Greek philosophers and other Hellena Greek intelligentsia later found their way to Nisibis as a result of their previously mentioned oppression. Nestorians translated Greek works into Syriac for their educational use and application. Before Islam’s conquest of Egypt, Alexandrian Greek Platonic and Hermetic knowledge was preserved in the school of the Sabaeans of Harrán. Both centers translated Greek texts into Arabic until the Arabs were able. The Nestorians also translated Indian knowledge into Arabic adding to the greater Arabic synthesis.


Mullā Sadrā Of three later Persian philosophers, Mullā Sadrā is worth of attention for creating a new unification within Persian Shi’a philosophy, theology, and illumination. In a manner of speaking, Ibn ‘Arabī is to Sunni union with its orthodoxy and Sufism, Mullā Sadrā is to Iman Shia orthodoxy and Shia Sufism. Mulla Sadrā (1571-2 – 1640 CE) unified the teachings and revelations of Ibn ‘Arabī, the school of illumination, philosophy, and the kalām (Sunni and Shi’a debates), forming “Transcendent Wisdom.” At his moment in history, Persian philosophers confused conceptions of reality with reality. Theologians were without knowledge of metaphysics or ontology while demanding conformity to the Quran. The Sufis were lost in an asceticism minus philosophical and metaphysical foundations. Thus, philosophy, theology, and Sufism were adrift without anchors and sails.32 Politically, the Persian Safavid dynasty was facing the rise of the Sunni Ottoman Empire; the new Persian dynasty itself rose out of the Safaviyya Sufi order. The cultural and political environment created a national identity with 12 Iman Shi’a theology and transcendent wisdom. Suhrawardī acquired knowledge through empirical evidence, observation, and rational discourse. Experiencing true knowledge came through the arrival of illumination and unveiling.33 Sadrā continued. He pointed to three types of knowledge: the scientist’s empirical investigations appropriate for the earthly realm; the philosopher’s logical discursive conclusions to unify the results of scientific investigations; and revealed or “tasted” knowledge from direct seeing of the real. The latter transcends the other knowledge types and is “presence, light, and clarity.”34 He proposed types or layers of knowledge: “Empirical knowledge, observation, verification, logical demonstration, rational analysis, intuitive knowledge, direct witnessing, spiritual realization, mystical experience, . . .”35 Each level of consciousness was open to investigation by applying knowledge and seeking techniques appropriate to its layer. He explored and discussed 100 layers, each one of the 99 Beautiful Names and Allah, the one-hundredth.


Like others before and after him, Sadrā experienced material forms as ikons created by the world of the inlettigibilia. We find kinship with the Platonic realms of forms / ideas. Then the lights of the angelic world began to emanate upon my heart, the secrets of the world of Dominion (jabarūt) were unfolded, the light of the One reached it, the Divine subtleties came upon it, and I obtained the secrets of which I was not aware before. The symbols were unveiled to me, and this unveiling was not a result of logical demonstration. On the contrary, with a plentitude of direct witnessing and seeing of the Divine mysteries, I witnessed everything that I had learned before through logical demonstration.36


Ibn ‘Arabī’, 2 Konya was to become the home of Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī in 1228 CE after years of family-exiled movement forced by the Mongol invasion of northern Persia (currently Afghanistan). Konya became the home of Ibn ‘Arabī’s son-in-law, Ṣadruddīn Qunyawī, the primary disciple whose commentaries were instrumental in the Persian/Iranian acceptance of Ibn ‘Arabī’s teachings. Evidence that Rūmī met Ibn ‘Arabī remains at this moment too foggy for a clear accounting. In fact, it probably never occurred; the same author also stated Ibn ‘Arabī met Suhrawardī though he was executed years before Ibn ‘Arabī arrived in the area. One account is that after meeting with both father and young Rūmī, he turned to someone as they watched father and son leaving, “There goes the Sea followed by the Ocean.” However, his spiritual master, Shams of Tabriz, did know him. Their friendship was somewhat difficult given Shams seemingly harsh demands for the pathway of love.37 Before meeting followers of Ibn ‘Arabī, Rūmī knew of him through Shams. Ibn ‘Arabī’s philosophical theosophy seems to conflict with Rūmī’s antiphilosopher comments shared with Shams, and Ibn ‘Arabī’s theosophy seems in conflict with Rūmī’s ecstatic devotion to the divine beloved. Their agreement is found in a homesickness for Beauty and the revelation of love through the Beloved. Both attempted to convey mystical union with the visible and invisible “in which the Beloved becomes a mirror reflecting the secret face of the mystical lover, while the lover, purified of the opacity of his (her — my addition) ego becomes in turn a mirror of the attributes and actions of the Beloved.”38 Connecting the two, Persian and Indian Sufi commentaries on Rūmī’s Maṭnawīye Ma'nawī contain many references to Ibn ‘Arabī’s work. Mystics of many ways consider love as the divine’s nature and that the divine loves Beauty. Both pathways informed calligraphers from the past through to the works of contemporary word painters. Ibn ‘Arabī’ reaches the state of the ideal Platonic philosopher, having passed beyond the station of mastering the rational logos to talking with the gods (angels and Prophets for the Sufis) in the realm of the universal intelligence, Nous, and !418

then eventually meeting with Beauty, the last station before the One, That Which Is. This reaches back to Orpheus and Pythagorus. Ibn ‘Arabī is also a true guide still reaching forward into this moment to summon word painters within the Sufi sphere. This applies also to Suhrawardī, though he was not called the son of Plato nor the Sheikh of all Sufis.



The Science of Letters If the sea were ink for [writing] the words of my Lord, the sea would be exhausted before the words of my Lord were exhausted, even if We brought the like of it as a supplement. Qur’an 18: 109 And if whatever trees upon the earth were pens and the sea [was ink], replenished thereafter by seven [more] seas, the words of Allah would not be exhausted. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise. Qur’an 31:27 All the sciences are contained within the letters of the alphabet, for the beginning of science is the divine names out of which both creation and the governance of the world emerge . . . The divine names themselves come out of the letters, and return to the letters. The hidden treasure of science is known only by the saints whose intellects receive understanding from God, and whose hearts are attached to God and enraptured by His divinity, wherever the veil is raised before the letters and attributes, that is, the attributes of Essence. al-Hakīm al-Tirmidhī (d late 800’s)39 When God created the letters, He made them His secret. When He created Adam, He transferred this secret into him, which He had done none for the Angels. The letters then appeared on Adam’s tongue in a variety of forms and languages. God turned the letters into the forms of the languages . . . Ahmad ibn Ata (d 988/9)40


The force that detached them (the letters) is the kun. This kun manifests the Word and encompasses the primal Substance or the letters. Sahl al-Tustarī (? - 896)41 Majesty (jalal) and Beauty (jamal) are intrinsic Attributes of God in His own Self and in His Making, while awe (hayba), which is an effect of Beauty and intimacy (uns), which is an effect of majesty, are two attributes of created things, not of the Creator nor of that by which He is described. Nothings that is not existent becomes of the object of awe or intimacy (uns), and thee is no existent but God, since the effect (athar) is the same as the Attribute, and the Attribute is not different from the object to which is belongs (al-mawsuf) in the state of its being qualified by it; on the contrary the Attribute is identical with that to which it belongs, even if your understand this only in the second place. Hence there is no lover and no beloved except God, so thee is nothing in existence except the Divine Presence (al-hadrat alilahiyya), which is His Essence, His Attributes, and His Acts. In the same way you say: God’s Speech (kalam) is His Knowledge, and His Knowledge is His Essence, since it is impossible for there to substitute within His Essence a superadded thing (amr za di) or a superadded entity that is not His Essence and that bestows upon It a property which otherwise It could not possess and through which It possesses Its perfection in Divinity, or rather, without which It could not be the Divinity, [His Knowledge] is the fact that He knows all things; He mentioned that concern in Himself by the way of lauding His own Essence, and it is established by rational proofs. It is impossible for His Essence, to possess Its Perfection through something that is not Itself; then He would have acquired excellence (sharaf) through something other than His own Essence.42


Ibn ‘Arabī Polar opposites frequent Islamic calligraphy, deep in its Science of Letters, pregnant with hidden meanings in which the many iconographic levels are known only by initiates. Sufi-influenced calligraphy manipulates and counterpoints these polarities, enhancing tensions in order to fine-tune the multilayered beauty of the final expression so that a hidden energy of an essence or energies of veiled essences may be uncovered or suggested. Some polarities specific to calligraphy, text arts, and the transformative and symbolic meanings of letters, their particles, and words mainly imprinted by Ibn ‘Arabī are straight and curved, thick and thin, descending and ascending, horizontal and vertical, sayable and unsayable (except through symbolic allusion), contraction and expansion, extinction and permanence, union and separation, outwardness and inwardness, proximity and distance, absolute and conditional, projection and reception, speech as writing in air and the penned word, subtle and corse, drunkenness and sobriety (spiritual states), physical and metaphysical, obscure and luminous, micro and macro, manifested and unmanifested, attribute and no attribute, and veiled and unveiled. Speech is considered writing in air. Writing with ink signifies letters entering into manifestation (about which volumes have been written). The calligraphers and visual text artists of the past and present diligently practiced to master these and other components. Once these and others elements became second nature, they then dove deeper, to indirectly express the unspeakable inner essences of The Science of Letters by riding the waves of experienced energies. Recall Ibn ‘Arabī’s above-mentioned conversation with Ibn Rushd where Ibn Arabī illuminated “Between the yes and the no souls take their flight from their matter and the necks become detached from their bodies”(my italics). Between each of the above polarities he found a door opening to the higher realms. Seer poets, calligraphers, and word painters have walked through these doors following his directions. Saint Ephrem, discussed above, faced and then offered his dualities in a different paradoxical play to reach the same understanding by shifting the gaze inward for answers through experience. Manifested reality came into being when the Divine said, “Kun!” (Be!). This implies the letters existed before this creative moment. !423

With the Manifestation came 261 celestial rotating spheres. The simple elements from this subtle level generated the 28 Arabic letters at the junction or meeting place of specific spheres. The letters themselves are the particles out of which the manifestation formed; at their deepest (highest transcendent level) they express the Inexpressible. The rotation of the spheres is the source of many causes, such as the various dual natures found in letters: heat and frigidity, humid and dry, etc. Manifested reality itself is the Great Book, an unrevealed Qur’an, already written by the Pen.43 The Qur’an was revealed by Allah with His 99 Beautiful Names. Allah is the 100th Name out of which came the 99 and all other Beautiful Names, for they are endless. (Qur’an 17: 111-- by whichever name you call Him, His are the most beautiful names.) Every reality in the Manifestation is associated with a name creating the reality. Just as the Beautiful Names issued forth from Allah, so too the other 27 letters issued forth from Alif ( ‫) ﺎ‬. A letter is a father, its Essence a mother. At the meeting point where each letter is created, found too is the letter’s messenger, its angel also with its name. The meeting places of the rotating spheres are but a few of those to which Ibn ‘Arabī ascended, deep within his heart, to share details of the higher realms. Some he made public through writings. Other revelations he made available to those who took the inward journey reaching high stations of unveiling.44 Humankind stands at the meeting place of the Book and the universe. Each human is a letter, each act its meaning. The angels are sources of Divine inspiration. Not only is each human a letter in the unrevealed book, each human body contains all the letters. From the Sufi point of view one of the purposes of life is the transformation of each letter into its ideal luminosity. Again, much of these encounters he publicly shared; the more sensitive findings easily given to misinterpretation, he shared only with individuals deemed worthy. Of humankind there are three levels: ordinary, elite and the elite of the elite who have thoroughly extinguished themselves, their egos, such that no substance remains. Through these individuals the Divine praises Himself. The following illustrates how Ibn ‘Arabī and others unveiled meaning. These are a few simple examples. There are two lines for the letters, straight and !424

curved. As expected from the previously discussed traditions, the first letter Alif, a single vertical downward stoke, contains numerous meanings. As a calligrapher writes he or she has long contemplated on the stroke representing the descent by the Divine from on high into the lowest heaven. As a single stroke, it represents the One True Form of the Divine that Itself encompasses the entire creation. It is said that if one comprehends the meaning of Alif, reading and understanding the Qur’an becomes unnecessary. No need opening the Koran when in Alif the Beloved unveiled Sultan Bahu (Punjab, 1631 — 1691) The meaning of the four revealed books Is contained in the Alif. (Yunus Emre, Turkey,1240 — 1321) 45 The length of Alif equals a specific number of diacritical marks; its length also measures the diameter for the second letter, ‫( ﮟ‬nun), which is curved much like the Latin u though more openly written so that a circle sits within.46 The primary esoteric meaning of this letter, which begins the Qur’an, denotes the circumference of the Unmanifested and Manifested, the lower penned arc being the Manifested and the upper unpenned half the implied Unmanifested. A look at the word Allah completes this scan of meanings behind meanings. By removing the Alif, Lilah remains, which means to Allah. Then, removing the first lam, La-Ha gives us to Him. By removing the second lam, Ha remains. “All the secrets are contained in Ha since its meaning is Huwa (= “Him,” the Self).”47 Suhrawardī wrote, “ . . . and essence of everything is contained in the beginning of the beginning, the first letter, the “B” (‫)ﺏب‬, which contains the secret of bi ma kana wa bi yakunu ma yakunu, Whatever became, became through Me, !425

and whatever will become, will come through Me. The essence of the essence is the dot under the letter “B” (‫)ﺏب‬. . . .from Ali, “All knowledge is a dot”48 Here we have Sufi iconographic text with the wider indication of Islamic calligraphy, through its letters, full of hidden iconographic deep meanings. Earlier, and as mentioned above, a poem by al-Hallāj gives another salient example. Three Letters Without Dots Three letters without dots, then two dotted, and speech is done. One dotted letter resembles his ecstatic lovers, and everyone affirms the one that is left. The other letters are a ciphered riddle, for there is no travel here, nor any station.49 In sum, the Science of Letters contains within it explicit and implied meanings from the Qur’an. Also, it can not be separated from The Beautiful Names, philosophy (Platonism), Pythagoreanism, the sciences of the quadrivium (astrology, arithmetic, geometry, and music), alchemy (the science of balances), cosmogony, linguistics, theology, metaphysics, the science of talismans, magic squares, numerology, sacred geometry (especially circles and spheres), lifting the veils, the Divine Presence and its association with essences, attributes and their bond, veiled, the seven directions (4 cardnial, up, down, and inward), 14 levels of consciousness, the Pole (an oriented direction symbolically tied to the North star and the Big Dipper as part of the heart’s inner vertical geography and astronomy), and the Sufi way that leads to gnosis. Each of these subjects contained additions and extrapolations from influences that first evolved outside the formal designation !426

of the Islamic cultural sphere that became absorbed into esoteric segments of the new culture. These were refined and absorbed into The Science of Letters, which in turn expanded the art of calligraphy horizontally, vertically, and inwardly. Geometric patterns sourced from the contemplative state, their proportions and beauty — literally, figuratively and symbolically — the heart of the aesthetic, added to a precision based on a long-calculated tradition, raised calligraphy out of craftsmanship to art. Little wonder calligraphy has been called the geometry of the soul. While the Science of Letters remains fluid as we have seen pouring across canvases, papers, and other surface varieties by its word painters, a new blossoming began in the 1960s after years of ferment. Eurocentric word painters and other practitioners of visual text arts, except a few lettrists, a few followers of art informal, and the rare visual poet or visual text artist, either ignore or reject what little remains of their culture’s esoteric traditions. Others confuse psychism with such practices following dead-end trails in search of Beauty. Comparing and contrasting the works of al-Suhrawardī (for example The Shape of Light: Hayakal al-Nur), any of Ibn ‘Arabī’s works ( including Journey to the Lord of Power: A Sufi Manual on Retreat, The Bezel of Wisdom, The Discloser of Desires, and Contemplation of the Holy Mysteries: The Mashahid al-asrar of Ibn ‘Arabī’), and Plotinus’ The Six Enneads with those of Pseudo-Dionysius and John Scotus Eriugena, one can not but note the differences between seers and articulate philosopher-theologians. The former maintaining and living the full Platonic or another esoteric plane of experience and the latter unwilling or unable. Had Plato known India‘s rishis, would he have included them among philosophers or poets or, more appropriately, philosopher-poets? Would he have included al-Ḥallāj, Suhrawardī, Ibn ‘Arabī’, 'Iraqi, Rūmī, —and many, many others?

1 Al-Ghazali.

Al-Ghazali on the Ninety-Nine Beautiful Names of God, 1999. The word painters influenced by the School of Illumination aesthetics includes members of the French lettrists and those influenced by the lettrists. 2



Nasr. Three Muslim Sages: Avicenna-Suhrawardi-Ibn Arabi, p 59. Ibid., p31. 5 Palmer. The Jesus Sutras: Rediscovering the Lost Scrolls of Taoist Christianity, 2001. 6 In 786 Nestorian Zazbuzis arrives from Balkh and is known as Issu. His son, Adam, known as Qing Qing, worked with the Indian Buddhist missionary Prajana translating works into Chinese. The question of Nestorian influence on Chinese Ch’an and Japanese Zen arises from this interaction. 7 Worth noting in The Zen Koan by Isshu Miura and Ruth Fuller Sasaki, p 66, the mention of a level of consciounss attainment , the Great Perfect Mirror Wisdom, whose light is like black lacquer. This is the third level in the Lin-chi Ch’an School with its 5 Ranks (brief additional details found in the Koppany-Kempton letters at end of section 2 on the Ranks). This Sufi school and this Zen school (and other traditions) underscore the blackness, though bright, is only a step, not an end, to move beyond unlike the Christian clould of unknowing. 8 Ibid.,Corbin. The Man of Light in Iranian Sufism. p85. 9 Ibid., p 44. 10Ibid.,p 15. 11 For example, home to the poet Sufi saint Rābiʻa (714 -718? — 801) 12 Massignon, Louis. Hallaj: Mystic and Martyr. p 12. Massignon later wrote in depth about al-Ḥallāj’s synthesis during this translation period and his multifaceted use of spiritual language culled from many sources: Essay on the Origins of the Technical Language of Islamic Mysticism. Further research is required whether or not some or much of al-Suhrawardī’s travels consciously followed al-Ḥallāj’s routes and also if his own synthesis was a conscious expansion on the initial synthesis by al-Ḥallāj. 13 Ibid.. Hallaj: Mystic and Martyr. pp 6-7. 14 Attar, Farid Ad-din 'attar's Memorial of God's Friends: Lives and Sayings of Sufis. p 397 15 Al-Ḥallāj, Husayn ibn Mansur. Hallaj: Poems of a Sufi Martyr. p 237. 16 al-Suhrawardi, In The Shape of Light: Hayakal al-Nur, p97. Also see Al-Ḥallāj, The Tawasin of Mansur Al-Ḥallāj, in Verse: A Mystical Treatise on Knowing God, & Invitation to the Dance: and,“2 Poems by Mansur Al Hallaj” http://barakainstitute.org/articles/2-poems-by-mansur-al-Ḥallāj/, November, 2018. 17 For deeper insight, see Massignon, Louis. Hallaj: Mystic and Martyr. 18 Nasr. Three Muslim Sages: Avicenna-Suhrawardi-Ibn Arabi, p 58. 19 He sees God as the only pure light, and by means of a subtractive function, imagines the attributes of God’s names as giving rise to colors of light, and the existent entities or creatures as bits of opacity which refract these colored lights in various ways. In this way, we can think of the attributes as jewels that refract the pure light into colored light, and the entities as bits of opacity, which is to say, screens, upon which intermixings of these colored lights are projected. https://www.al-islam.org/history-muslim-philosophy-volume-1-book-3/chapter-19-shihab-al-dinsuhrawardi-maqtul November, 2018. 20 Corbin. Alone with the Alone: Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn 'Arabi, p46. 21 Ibid p 13. 22 Ibid., pp 41-42 23 http://www.ibnarabisociety.org/works.html November, 2018. 24 Some suggest he influenced Dante. 25 Corbin quotes Ibn ‘Arabī’ to confirm his 1202 date of the work. Corbin. Alone with the Alone. pp 136-138. Austin agrees with the 1202 date of the poem and the 1214-15 writing date of the commentary. Austin. Ibn Al-Arabi: The Bezel of Wisdom, pp 7-10. Addas points to textual references suggesting the later date of 1214-1215 when Ibn ‘Arabī’ was again in Mecca and then returning to Aleppo in 1215 where he wrote the defending commentary. Addas, and Kingsley. Quest for the Red Sulphur: The Life of Ibn ‘Arabi, p 210. 26 Massoudy. Perfect Harmony: Sufi Poetry of Ibn ‘Arabi. 27 Warren. Shirdi Sai Bab in the Light of Sufism, p63. 28 Burckhardt. Mystical Astrology According to Ibn 'Arabi. http://www.ibnarabisociety.org/articlespdf/tarot1.pdf, November, 2018. 29 Ibn ‘Arabī’ The Meccan Revelations, Volumes 1 and 2. 30 http://www.techofheart.co/2009/11/fakhruddin-iraqi-divine-flashes-lamaat.html November, 2018. 31 These two masters who lived within a generation of each other came from the two ends of the Islamic world to Syria, one to die in Damascus and the other in Aleppo. From this central province of Islam their doctrines spread throughout the Muslim East, particularly in Persia. The main link between these two great masters of gnosis was Qutb al-Din Shirazi who was, on the one hand, the disciple of Sadr al-Din Qunawi, himself a disciple and the main expositor of the teachings of Ibn 'Arabi in the East, and, on the other, the commentator of Hikmat al-Ishraq https:// www.al-islam.org/history-muslim-philosophy-volume-1-book-3/chapter-19-shihab-al-din-suhrawardi-maqtul November, 2018. 32Kalin. Mulla Sadrā, p 55. 4



Ibid., p 56. Ibid., p 126. 35Ibid., p 61. 36 Ibid., p 53. 37 Safi. “Did the Two Oceans Meet? Historical Connections and Disconnections between Ibn ‘Arabi and Rūmī, ” Journal of the Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi Society, Volume XXVI, 1999, pp 77-88. https://www.academia.edu/2654506/ _Did_the_Two_Oceans_Meet_Historical_Connections_and_Disconnections_between_Ibn_Arabi_and_Rūmī_ November, 2018. 38 Ibid.,Corbin. Alone with the Alone, pp. 70-71. 39 ‘Arabī. The Meccan Revelations, Vol 2, p136. 40 Ibid. 41 Ibid, p 137. 42 ‘Arabī. The Meccan Revelations, Vol 1, pp47-48. 43 For a glimpse about the Book and its Pen see Ibn ‘Arabī, Muhyiddin. Divine Governance of the Human Kingdom: Including What the Seeker Needs and The One Alone. pp 115-129 & 191-192. 44 Insight into his genius and ability to write multilayered poems, see Hassan Massoudy, Perfect Harmony: Sufi Poetry of Ibn ‘Arabī’ 2002. 45 http://www.chishti.ru/sufi-Alif.html Esoteric meanings of Arabic letters: https://www.scribd.com/doc/104087816/ Spiritual-and-Scientific-Research-on-Arabic-Letters-and-NumbersNovember, 2018. 46 http://www.sakkal.com/Arab_Calligraphy_Art4.html November, 2018. 47 Ibid., Arabī. Vol 2, fn 101, pp 194-195. 48 al-Suhrawardi. The Shape of Light: Hayakal al-Nur, p 40. 49 Al-Ḥallāj, Husayn ibn Mansur. Hallaj: Poems of a Sufi Martyr. p 144. 34



A New Alphabet The most beautiful and most profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in the most primitive form – this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness. The cosmic religious experience is the strongest and oldest mainspring of scientific research. My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God. Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind. Albert Einstein1 Scientific findings, such as the x-ray, radioactivity, and radio waves preWWI provoked the curiosity of the avant-garde who then created artworks with these new invisible materials. Science, with its ever-evolving technologies, observed unseen spectrums in the material world. During the later nineteenth century poets held sway over the arts through Symbolism (holding music as the ultimate expression). At the same time science was learning its alphabet, begun in 1869 by the Russian Dmitri Mendeleev; the sequence for the table of periodic elements was based on the atomic weight of each element. Eventually each “letter” was found to have its unique and predictable atomic weight, vibration, and


frequency, a Pythagorean-Platonic mathematical metaphysic delight suggesting numbers indeed legislate the universe. After WWII quantum physicists continued the forward march along the frontiers of science at CERN.2 Recent discoveries added to a newer, updated scientific alphabet. The new alphabet, proposed in the early 1960s, with powers orchestrating the universe, remains under construction; it exceeds by far in subtleties those of the periodic table of elements. The Higgs particle, a boson proposed in 1965, was found in 2012. The discovery confirms the Higgs’ Field permeating the universe.3 Without the confirmed but unseen field, the new alphabet would be inoperative, only a profound theory. Each letter requires the field to maintain its assigned behavioral characteristics by interacting with the Higgs boson. They were given poetic, intuitive nomenclature such as up, down, strange, charm, color, top and bottom, and bagged.4 It could be said within the context of The Science of Letters, the Higgs boson acts as a Pen drawing its ink from the field. At the moment the new alphabet has two competing or complimentary forms, the Standard Model5 and Supersymmetry. 6 While this subtle alphabet paints ikoniclight signatures captured by instant snapshots during their nanosecond(s) appearance,7 their complete patterns in time remain unclear. Perhaps Australian Aborigine iconographic paintings represent such patterns. Big Bang cosmologists, astrophysicists, quantum mechanics physicists, along with allies in scientific fields prying into and apart the essential building blocks throughout the previous century to this moment, in their own grand way seek truth. Yoking their minds to focus on tasks at hand, rather than undertaking the inward journey, these scientific, rational, logos yogis begin with material manifestation following grosser pathways into the subtle. All material reality, they hold, formed out of energy; in their view it is an ascent from the Big Bang to energy, energy to matter, matter to consciousness. We are all born out of that light; wherever one looks, one sees another part of her- or himself. Consciousness then is an ascension out of that moment. Quantum physicists have proven what the human eye sees is an illusion: at the micro level solid matter occupies less than one percent of its volume. As one !432

approaches the Big Bang, the more esoteric are the mathematics and particles out of which grosser elements, atoms, formed. To find the elemental particle(s) forming this universe, particle accelerators, temples of particles, in a succession of increased sizes and complexities were constructed. Once the most important of accelerators, Fermilab, located on flat land near Chicago, discovered the quark, the latest announced building block of the atom’s neutrons and protons circled by electrons. Electrons remain a designated mystery with a dual nature of conflicting substances, particle and energy wave. Thus began the new alphabet. The reliance on a priest-like language — the magic of complex mathematics, the general population views with complete mystification yet acceptance — runs parallel with the older esoteric cosmologies in this sense. Discovered energies vibrate and travel with a swiftness such that only probability mathematical renderings can manifest “exact” locations of these points of light.8 To reach that point of light, of luminosity, generations — issued from European and Arabic alchemy — have explored matter. Exploring required new mathematics to explain or reach their findings. Formulas were created, altered, and fine-tuned until the exact equation rendered its intended material manifestation. These descendants of alchemists have been writing with particle-explosion signatures of light from a wide variety of newly theorized, then proven particles smaller than atoms. Their light trail images evolved into the new ikon of the most subtle or alphabet letter signature.9 After the U.S. Congress turned against science refusing to finance the next generation of particle accelerators, thereby announcing the moment of the rise and control of the fundamental religious ideas in Congress, Europe and an international consortium funded CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. The largest and most advanced accelerator to date is a huge underground complex located in Switzerland and France. Back to the cave to seek knowledge. Instead of a master and a few students journeying inward, thousands were and remain employed to uncover nature’s secrets hiding truth. After finding the Higgs boson, some openly, unblushingly, discussed it as the God Particle, given the implications the field and particle act as


a form of intelligence. The particle and field join this larger discussion as kin to the esoteric meanings of letter A, Alef, and Alif. The Higgs particle and field apparently places quantum physics on the threshold of esoteric cosmologies. Without charge, mass, color, and spin the Higgs particle decays rapidly into other bosons providing mass and other unique features. Ubiquitous, the Higgs field causes the characteristics of manifested reality. Within this framework some may feel and see what Ibn ‘Arabī had to say about the Pen and the Hidden Tablet: The Creator has made the Pen the interpreter of the ink-well. With it He drew the forms and shapes of all that was to be known, and wrote out their names. He is the one who composed the mother of all books. . . The front, back, the edges of the Hidden Tablet are made out of green emerald. They look like the ever-changing days within the created universe, its ever-changing reality. All around it are angels of unimaginable beauty, worshipping, facing it.10 Perhaps the Higgs’ Field is the ancients’ fifth element (after Fire, Air, Water, and Earth), Ether, or Prana (Vedanta), Chi (Taoism), and Nous (Greek)? On the cusp of astrophysics and quantum physics, ancient cosmologies, intuitively and seer-prescient. Summed by this formula:

Big Bang = Om = Amen = Kun = (e=mc2). 11


1 2

http://www.sahajayoga.com.au/news/2007/05/09/einsteins-religion/ November, 2018. https://home.cern/about November, 2018. 3 http://www.lhc-closer.es/1/6/5/0 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170705164456.htm November, 2018. 4 http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/Particles/quark.html http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20170404-thephysics-that-tells-us-what-the-universe-is-made-of November, 2018. 5 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Model#mediaviewer/ File:Standard_Model_of_Elementary_Particles.svg,http://io9.gizmodo.com/5639192/the-ultimate-field-guide-tosubatomic-particles http://imgarcade.com/1/standard-model-equation-explained/ http://www.pha.jhu.edu/~dfehling/ November, 2018. 6 https://home.cern/about/physics/supersymmetry November, 2018. 7https://www.google.com/search?q=lhc+collision +images&sa=X&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&ved=0ahUKEwiDrdfQ9JPUAhXp6IMKHcf5Dl0QsAQIIw&biw =1707&bih=839 November, 2018. 8 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/24/quantum-physics-easier-to-understand_n_6370570.htmlNovember, 2018. 9 https://home.cern/about/updates/2015/06/seeing-invisible-event-displays-particle-physics, Cern particle tracks; https://www.google.com/search?q=cern+Particle +Tracks&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiipbnCiM_ZAhUB22MKHdEVBlgQsAQIKA&bi w=928&bih=732, Cern subatomic particle tracks https://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=cern+Particle+Tracks&chips=q:cern +particle+tracks,g_2:subatomic +particle&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjz-6npic_ZAhUD3mMKHYMqAbsQ4lYIKygA&biw=928&bih=732&dpr=2 https://www.pinterest.com/vouterb2/cloud-chamber/?lp=true, https://www.pinterest.com/pin/70579919129799509/, https://www.pinterest.com/pin/280841726736434850/, https://www.pinterest.com/pin/533746993307076355/, https://www.istockphoto.com/photos/quantum-physics? excludenudity=true&mediatype=photography&phrase=quantum%20physics&sort=mostpopular November, 2018. 10 Ibn ‘Arabī, Muhyiddin. Divine Governance of the Human Kingdom: Including What the Seeker Needs and The One Alone. p. 191. 11 A note concerning the theology of numbers and mathematics as practiced by Platonists and Pythagoreans. Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920) credited his mathematical formulas coming directly from Namagiri, a form of Lakshmi, in dreams and visions, “An equation for me has no meaning, unless it represents a thought of God.”Among his formulas are those that explain the activity of black holes. He remains a highly regarded mathematician, if not the highest. http://www.thebetterindia.com/52974/srinivasa-ramanujan-mathematician-biopic/ https://www.scienceandnonduality.com/the-secrets-of-ramanujans-garden/ November, 2018.


Navajo Prayer — Beauty Way In beauty may I walk All day long may I walk Through the returning seasons may I walk Beautifully I will possess again Beautifully birds Beautifully joyful birds On the trail marked with pollen may I walk With grasshoppers about my feet may I walk With dew about my feet may I walk With beauty may I walk With beauty before me may I walk With beauty behind me may I walk With beauty above me may I walk With beauty all around me may I walk In old age, wandering on a trail of beauty, lively, may I walk In old age, wandering on a trail of beauty, living again, may I walk It is finished in beauty It is finished in beauty


a ppendices



And the barker said: Come into the tent! We got a tongue of gold that plays your mind. We got ink made of light for calling down stars. We got words of fire to crack the skin of the infidel. Got words written on the water from them dead poets. Listen to the waves breaking, you can hear verses of revolutionary songs, but you’ll only see the coming future with the eyes of Mallarmé. And we got those in a jar! THIS IS THE WAY, STEP INSIDE.


Appendix 1 1905-1919 Abridged Timeline: 1905 Russian-Japanese War Russian revolution Diaghilev’s “World of Art” exhibition, St. Petersburg Stieglitz’s 291 Gallery (1905-1917) Albert Einstein, E = MC2 1906 Hilma af Klint, The Paintings for the Temple (1906-1908, part one) Christian Morgenstern, Galgenlieder Utopian community, L’L’Abbaye de Créteil (1906-1908) Barzun, Simultanisme / Simultaneisme / Simultaneite / Simultaneism Marinetti learns of Simultaneism from Barzun 1908 Velimir Khlebnikov, first work with “futurist” elements — neologisms — published in Russia, Iskusenie gresnika Mikhail Jules Romains, Unanimism 1909 Der Blaue Reiter, founded by Kandinsky F. T. Marinetti publishes “Futurist Manifesto” Braque paints symbols and letters on canvas Vladimir Tatlin, “Vendor of Sailors’ Contracts”, with letters on canvas Stieglitz’s Camera Work (1903 - 1917) expands images to Modern Art Soyuz Molodyozhi (Union Of Youth (St. Petersburg 1910 - 1914) Knave of Diamonds (1910-1917) Odessa Second Salon !440

1910 David Burliuk and brothers form Hylaea Blaue Reiter exhibitions Larionov, “Soldiers” (first version) & “Soldiers” (second version includes dialogue texts in painting) Mikhail Larionov and Natalia Goncharova, Neo-Primitivism Natalia Goncharova, “The Evangelists” 1910 - 1912 Cubists and Futurists add text to paintings 1911 Wassily Kandinsky, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, Donkey’s Tail group split from Knave of Diamonds, Larionov and Goncharova develop Rayonism (blend of Orphism, Cubism, Futurism, Fauvism, rooted into Russian folk, peasant and ikon arts) Der Blaue Reiter Exhibition (Munich) 1912 Barzun’s magazine, Poème et Drame (1912 - 1914) Guillaume Apollinaire’s magazine, Les Soirées de Paris (1912 - 1914) Khlebnivov: Russian Cubo-Futurism Manifesto, “A Slap in the Face of Public Taste” Der Blaue Reiter Exhibition (1912-1914, 11 European city tour) Vicente Huidobro, “Triángulo Armónico” (first calligramme?) Alexi Kruchenykh and V. Khlebnikov, Igra v Adu (A Game in Hell) David Burliuk, Alexei Kruchenykh, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Velimir Velimir Khlebnikov’s calligramme, “so”


1912-13 Les Peintres Futuristes, Paris F. T. Marinetti, “Zang Tumb Tumb”: Adrianopoli, Ottobre 1912 Marius de Zayas adds mathematical formulas to “psychotype”/ideogram cubist portraits Apollinaire, Pure Painting Apollinaire, Simultaneism becomes Orphism; both terms usurped from Barzun Wassily Kandinsky, Klange Natalia Goncharova, “The Cyclist” (1912-1913) Hilma af Klint, The Paintings for the Temple (1912-1915, part two) 1913 Alexi E. Kruchenykh, Zaum Manifesto: “Declaration of the Word As Such and first Zaum poem, “DYR BUK SCHYL” Kruchenykh, “Poluzhiboi” Vasilisk Gnedov’s Death of Art (with famous “poem of the end”) Rayonist Exhibition and book, Donkey's Tail and Target with “Manifesto of Rayonists” Sonia Delaunay and Blaise Cendars, La prose du Transsibérien et de la Petite Jehanne de France Henri-Martin Barzun, L’Orphéide ou L’Universel Poème (1913-1927) Stravinsky with Diaghilev’s Ballet Russe, Rite of Spring Armory Show Marinetti’s “Destruction of Syntax -Imagination Without Strings Words-In-Freedom” (1913-1915) Guillaume Apollinaire, “Futurist Anti-tradition: Manifesto= Synthesis” (a critique of Futurism, ideogram format — his first ideogram?) Russian futurist opera, Victory over the Sun, St. Petersburg Carlo Carrà, “Parole in Libertà” Ezra Pound and Wyndham Lewis, Vorticism !442

Francis Picabia’s first “Machine Drawings” Natalia Goncharova retrospective exhibition (Moscow) 1914 Natalia Goncharova retrospective exhibition St. Petersburg) Vasily Kamensky, Tango With Crows: Ferro-Concrete Poems Carlo Carrà, “The Chase,” “Still Life with Soda Syphon,” “Umbrella of the Sun,” “Noises of the Night Café,” and “Interventionist Manifesto” Apollinaire, ideogram/calligramme, “lettre-ocean Les Soirées de Paris” Marius de Zayas psychotype, “Portrait of Guillaume Apollinaire” in Les Soirées de Paris Ezra Pound and Wyndham Lewis, Blast Gallimard edition of Mallarmé’s Un coup de dés Marius de Zayas, psychotypes in Camera Work Kruchenykh, 3 editions of VZORVAL F. T. Marinetti publishes complete book Zang Tumb Tumb. Luciano Folgore publishes Ponti sull’Oceano WWI 1915 Apollinaire ideograms in Les Soirées de Paris 291 Magazine (1915 -1916) Carlo Carrà, “Guerrapittura,” “The Pursuit,” “Composizione con Figura Femminile,” “Il Fiasco,” “Fiasco e Bicciere,” “La Composizione TA Ardengo Soffici,” “BIF§ZF + 18.”“Simultaneità e Chimismi Lirici” Fortunato Depero, “Numerical Warlike Landscape” Aleksei Kruchenykh with Olga Rozanova, Zaumnaya Gniga (with 2 poems by Alyagrov) and Voyna (War) Ezra Pound, Cathay Kazimir Malevich announces Suprematism Russian Suprematism / Supremus exhibition, 0.10 !443

Carl Jung begins Red Book 291 Magazine: Marius de Zayas and Agnes Meyer collaborate, publish first American visual poem, “Mental Reactions” Apollinaire ideogram, “lettre-ocean” Marius de Zayas’ psychotypes Francis Picabia’s drawings/ideograms collaboration Marius de Zayas’ ideogram “Femme!” (“Elle”) and Francis Picabia, “Voilà Elle” collaboration Marius de Zayas, Katherine N. Rhoades, and Agnes Meyer J.B. Kerfoot ideogram, “A Bunch of Keys” (first American visual poem by an individual?) 1916 Hugo Ball, Marcel Janco, Richard Huelsenbek, Tristan Tzara, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, and Jean Arp found Cabaret Voltaire, Cabaret Voltaire magazine Josep Maria Junoy, “Art Poetica” Hugo Ball, “Dada Manifesto, “ Dada poem, “Karawane” Marius de Zayas’ psychotypes in 291 e. e. cummings, first use of visual elements Aleksei Kruchenykh, Vselenskaya voina (Universal War) Carlo Carrà leaves futurists, creates Metafisica with Giorgio de Chirico Francesco Cangiullo, “Piedigrotta” Hilma af Klint, The Paintings for the Temple (1916 -1944, part three) Arab revolt against Ottoman Empire 1917 Barcelona, 391 magazine (1917-1914) David Burliuk, “Portrait of the Poet” Futurist Vassili Kamenski ballet Parade El Lissitzky, Sihas hulin: Eyne fun di geshikhten (An Everyday Conversation: A Story) Moses Broderson, Tale Theo van Doesburg, De Stijl !444

Poland, Formism Spain, Vibrationism October Revolution 1918 Apollinaire and Olga Rozanova die Varvara Stepanova, “Gaust Chaba” and “Zigra Ar” Germany, Novembergruppe Spain, Ultraism WWI ends Ottoman Empire partitioned 1919 Apollinaire’s Calligrammes published Blaise Cendrars and Fernand Léger, La Fin du Monde, Filmée par l'Ange N.-D. (The End of the World, Filmed by the Angel N.-D.) F.T. Marinetti, Les mots en liberté futurists Francesco Cangiullo, Caffè Concerto - Alfabeto a Sorpresa Adon Lacroix, a pure concrete poem, “Etymons” Malevich exhibition, “white on white” Bauhaus founded Art et action (1919-1927) Kazimir Malevich creates Unovis group Spain, Ultraists (1919-1923) magazines: Grecia (1919–20) and Ultra (1921–22) El Lissitzky, “Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge” Ernest Fenollosa and Ezra Pound, The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry


Appendix 2: Visual text art samples of early modern

• Eight Bells Folly Memorial to Hart Crane, 193320

visual poems, painted word/symbol,

• Sustain Comedy, 193321

iconographic, mathematical art and visual music scores, etc

• Tollan, Aztec Legend, 193322 • Sustained Comedy, 193923

Marius de Zayas

• Lighthouse24 • Eight Bells Folly Memorial to Hart

• Portrait of Stieglitz1


• Portrait of Paul Haviland 2 • Portrait of Theodore Roosevelt 3

• Sustain Comedy26

• Two Friends4

Max Weber

• Portrait of Mrs. Eugene Meyer 5 • Portrait of Francis Picabia.6

• Avoirdupois27 • Slide Lecture at the Metropolitan

• Portrait of Katharine N. Rhoades7


• Marion Beckett8 Charles Demuth, • Dove, (Arthur Dove)29 • O’Keefe (Georgia O'Keeffe)30

Jose Juan Tablada, Li Po (includes 1915 dated ideogrames, NY)9

• Duncan31 Marsden Hartley10

• Business32 • I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold (Portrait of

• Musical Theme No. 2 (Bach Preludes et Fugues) 1912-191311

William Carlos Williams)33

• Oriental Symphony, 191312 • Raptus, 191313

• Love Love Love (Portrait of Gertrude Stein)34

• Portrait of a Lady, (Gertrude Stein) 191614

Arthur Dove

• Painting Number 47, 1914-191515

• Portrait of Ralph Dusenberry35

• 1913 Painting Number 48, 191316 • Portrait of a German Officer, 191417

• Portrait of Alfred Stieglitz36 • The Critic37

• Lighthouse, 191518

• Grandmother38

• Morgenrot (Dawn), 193219

• The Intellectual39 !446

Francis Picabia

• Watch, 1925 • Bibliotheque, 1926-27

• Dada Movement40

• Cocktail, 1927

• Construction41 • Cover drawing for 39142 • Tamis ou vent43 • Le Papa44 • ZEICHNUNG45 • Portrait de Jacques Hébertot46 Stuart Davis47 • Lucky Strike48 • Odol49 • C & W50 • The Mellow Pad (1945-1951)51 • Visa52 • Owh! in San Pao53 • Report from Rockport54 • Salt Shaker55 Man Ray and Adon Lacroix, La Logique Assassine (Murderous Logic)56 Man Ray • poem57 • Rayograph58 59

• Electricite la Ville

• Ce qui manque à nous tous (What We All Lack)60 • Pythagore61 • Autoportrait62 Mina Loy, Sketch for an Alphabet 63 Gerald Murphy 64 • Razor, 1924 !447


http://www.francisnaumann.com/zayas/Zayas01.html http://www.francisnaumann.com/zayas/Zayas02.html 3http://www.francisnaumann.com/zayas/Zayas04.html 4http://www.francisnaumann.com/zayas/Zayas05.html 5 http://www.francisnaumann.com/zayas/Zayas06.html 6 http://www.francisnaumann.com/zayas/Zayas03.html 7 http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/488415 8 http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/488418 9 http://fuentes.csh.udg.mx/CUCSH/argos/antologi/tablada.htm trans https://translate.google.com/translate? sl=es&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Ffuentes.csh.udg.mx%2FCUCSH%2Fargos %2Fantologi%2Ftablada.htm&edit-text= 10 All paintings http://www.the-athenaeum.org/art/list.php?m=a&s=du&aid=1829 11 http://www.the-athenaeum.org/art/list.php?m=a&s=du&aid=1829 12 http://www.wikiart.org/en/marsden-hartley/musical-theme-oriental-symphony-1913 13 http://collections.currier.org/Obj147?sid=6083&x=48288 14 http://www.npg.si.edu/exhibit/stein/pop-ups/03-02.html 15 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/493496071638125831/?lp=true 16 http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/objects/1181/Painting_No._48 17 http://www.wikiart.org/en/marsden-hartley/portrait-of-a-german-officer-1914 18 http://www.wikiart.org/en/marsden-hartley/lighthouse-1915 19 http://www.wikiart.org/en/marsden-hartley/morgenrot-1932 20 http://www.wikiart.org/en/marsden-hartley/eight-bells-folly-memorial-to-hart-crane-1933 21http://www.wikiart.org/en/marsden-hartley/sustained-comedy-1939 22 https://new.artsmia.org/exhibition/american-modernism-selections-from-the-kunin-collection-3/ 23 https://www.wikiart.org/en/marsden-hartley/sustained-comedy-1939 24 http://www.wikiart.org/en/marsden-hartley/lighthouse-1915 25 http://www.wikiart.org/en/marsden-hartley/eight-bells-folly-memorial-to-hart-crane-1933 26http://www.wikiart.org/en/marsden-hartley/sustained-comedy-1939 27 http://www.wikiart.org/en/max-weber/avoirdupois 28 http://www.wikiart.org/en/max-weber/slide-lecture-at-the-metropolitan-museum 29 http://www.wikiart.org/en/charles-demuth/poster-portrait-dove-1924 Oct 2015. 30 http://www.wikiart.org/en/charles-demuth/poster-portrait-o-keefe-1924 http://www.pinterest.com/pin/ 460774605596412177/ 31 http://www.wikiart.org/en/charles-demuth/poster-portrait-duncan-1925 32 http://www.wikiart.org/en/charles-demuth/business-1921 33 http://www.wikiart.org/en/charles-demuth/i-saw-the-figure-5-in-gold-1928 34 http://www.wikiart.org/en/charles-demuth/love-love-love 35 http://www.artchive.com/artchive/D/dove/dove_ralph_dusenberry.jpg.htmlhttp://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ works-of-art/49.70.36 36 https://www.moma.org/collection/works/98208 37 http://whitney.org/Collection/ArthurDove/769 38 http://www.moma.org/collection/object.php?object_id=37674 39 https://www.moma.org/collection/works/78779 40 http://www.moma.org/learn/moma_learning/francis-picabia-dada-movement-1919 41 http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/dada/391/8/index.htm 42 http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/dada/391/13/index.htm 43 http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/dada/391/8/pages/4.htm 44 http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/dada/391/8/pages/back.htm 45 http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/dada/merz/1/pages/14.htm 46 http://www.artnet.com/artists/francis-picabia/portrait-de-jacques-h%C3%A9bertotZzlh0GA90qhyGPJCbeA3YQ2 47 https://www.wikiart.org/en/stuart-davis 48 https://www.moma.org/collection/works/78934, https://www.wikiart.org/en/stuart-davis/lucky-strike-1921 49 https://www.moma.org/collection/works/80171 50 https://www.wikiart.org/en/stuart-davis/g-w-1944 51 http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/davis/mellow.jpg, https://www.wikiart.org/en/stuart-davis/report-fromrockport-1940 52 http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/davis/davis.visa.jpg 53 http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/davis/san-pao.jpg http://whitney.org/Collection/StuartDavis/522/ 2



http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/davis/davis.report-rockport.jpg, https://www.wikiart.org/en/stuart-davis/ owh-in-san-pao-1951 55 https://www.moma.org/collection/works/79952 56 http://www.pinterest.com/pin/156148312050733169/ www.shepherdgallery.com/pdf/manray.pdf p 10. 57 http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/dada/391/17/pages/01.htm 58 http://monoskop.org/Man_Ray#mediaviewer/File:Rayograph_1925.jpg 59 http://www.photogravure.com/collection/searchResults.php?page=1&artist=Ray, %20Man&view=medium&file=Ray_Electricite_8 60 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/man-ray-ce-qui-manque-a-nous-tous-t07960/text-summary 61 http://issuu.com/carlocambieditore/docs/fisheye_4 p 23 62 http://americanart.si.edu/collections/search/artwork/?id=15596 63 http://welovetypography.com/post/7903 64 http://doorknobstudio.com/gerald-murphy-7-years-as-a-painter All, November, 2018.


Appendix 3:

• Sackner Archives http://ww3.rediscov.com/

Visual Text Art, Visual & Concrete Poetry

sacknerarchives/Welcome.aspx? 213201533848 (closing 2019?) • VisPo Langu(mi)aghttp://vispo.com/ index.html • Concrete Poetry (includes Concrete Poems,Visual Poetry, Text Art, Interactive and Hypertext Poetry, Shape Poems, Graphic Arts and Poetry) http:// www.gardendigest.com/concrete/ concr1.htm • Cold Front, Visual Poetry http:// coldfrontmag.com/category/vispo/ • ffooom http://ffooom.blogspot.com • Otoliths https://the-otolith.blogspot.com • Poema Visual http:// www.poemavisual.com.br/html/

General Source Links (abridged)

downloads.php • Synapse International http:// synaptry.blogspot.com

• POESIA POSTEXTUAL http:// www.escaner.cl/escaner77/signos.html

• Kaldron On-Line http://www.thing.net/

• Woman Anthology http://www.thevolta.org/



• Renegade http://

Correspondent / Mail Art


• https://mailartists.wordpress.com

• Brasilian Visual Poetry http://

• http://www.lomholtmailartarchive.dk/


• http://umbrellaeditions.com/

• minimalist concrete poetry http://

• http://sfaq.us/2014/12/fifty-years-of-latin-




• https://www.academia.edu/9647461

• poesia visual - poemas visual http://





• http://iuoma-network.ning.com/


Appendix 4:

Carlos Dantas, Brazil Guillermo Deisler, Germany16

Abridged list of Visual Poets and Mail

Peter Klaus Dencker, Germany17

Artists published in Kaldron

Wally Depew, USA18

and or Exhibited in Visualogs 1-4.

Bill DiMichele, USA Fernando Aguiar, Portugal1

K.S. Ernst, USA19

Josefina Alcala, Mexico

Loris Essary, USA20

Ana Aly, Brasil2

Greg Evason, CANADA

Miekal And, USA3

Bartolome Ferrando, Spain21

Avelino De Araujo, Brasil 4

Aaron Flores, Mexico

David Arnold, USA5

Bill Fox, USA22

Patty Arnold, USA 6

Philip Gallo, USA23

Francisco Arias, Mexico

Giuliano Gallela, Italy

Vittore Baroni, Italy7

Michael Gibbs, England

Kum Nam Baik, Korea

Bob Grumman, USA24

Carlyle Baker, Canada 8

Alexander Hamburger, Brasil

Shaunt Basmajian, Canada

Scott Helmes, USA25

John M Bennett, USA 9

Villari Herrmann, Brasil

Daniel F. Bradley, Canada

Dick Higgins, USA26

Jonathan Brannen, USA

J.R. Hines, USA

Ernst Buchwalder, Switzerland

Paula Hocks, USA27

Sergio A. Burquez, Mexico

Davi Det Hompson, USA

Paulo Brusky, Brazil 10

Wharton Hood, Canada

Barbara Caruso, Canada

Channa Horowitz, USA28

Paula Claire, England11

Motoyuki Ito, Japan

David Cole, USA12

Noboru Izumi, Japan

Ruth Cowen, Australia13

Alaistair Johnston, USA

Doris Cross, USA14

Eduardo Kac, Brasil

jw curry, Canada

Hiroo Kamimura, Japan

Anna Cusenza, Italy

Karl Kempton, USA29

Betty Danon, Italy15

Ruth Kempton, USA !451

Bleim Kern, USA

Ruth Wolf-Reheldt, Germany 43

Richard Kostelanetz, USA30

Beryl Reichenberg, USA

Marco Kurtycz, Mexico


Suzanne Lacy, USA

John Riddell, Canada

Mary LaPorte, USA

Marilyn R. Rosenberg, USA44

Peggy Lefler, Canada

Dieter Roth, Germany45

d.a.levy, USA31

Karla Sachse, Germany

Torbjorn Lime, Sweden

Abilio-Jose Santos, Portugal

Aaron Marcus, USA32

Alain Satié, France46

Stephen-Paul Martin, USA

R. Saunders, USA

John Martone, USA

S. Ken Saville, USA

Florivaldo Menezes, Brasil

Toshihiko Shimizu, Japan47

Philadelpho Menezes, Brasil33


Hansjorg Mayer, Germany34

Mieko Shiumi, Japan

Ikuo Mori, Japan35

Maynard Sobral, Brasil

Hassan Massoudy, France36

Adriano Spatola, Italy


Pete Spence, Australia48

Steven Moore, USA

Buzz Spector, USA

Peter Murphy, Australia37

Carol Stetser, USA49

Rodrigo Munoz, Mexico


Tom Ockerse, USA

Marcel Stussi, Switzerland

Pawel Petaz, Poland38

George Swede, Canada

Tom Phillips, England39

Shohachiro Takahashi, Japan50

Lamberto Pignotti, Italy

Hiroshi Tanabu, Japan51

Howardena Pindell, USA

Lowell Tanquary, USA

Harry Polkinhorn, USA


Bern Porter, USA40

Miroljub Todorovic, Yugoslavia

David Powell, Australia

Fred Truck, USA

Ronald Prost, USA41

David UU, Canada52

Betty Radin, England

Ed Varney, Canada

Robert Reheldt, Germany 42

John Vieira, USA !452

Chuck Welch, USA Larry Wendt, USA Michael Winkler, USA53 Madam X, USA XEXOXIAL ENDARCHY, USA Constantin Xenakis, France54 Ryojiro Yamanaka, Japan55 Shoji Yoshizawa, Japan56 Karl Young, USA57 ZEDITIONS, France. Paul Zelevansky, USA58 Kaldron On-Line edition http://www.thing.net/~grist/ l&d/kaldron.htm Dan Weber, USA http://www.logolalia.com/lettrism3d/ anatol knotek/Visual poetry http://visualpoetry.tumblr.com/artists Japan • shishi http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/japan/ shishi.htm • vou http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/vou/0.htm • froom http://ffooom.blogspot.com/ http://www.wkv-stuttgart.de/en/program/2009/ exhibitions/subversive/sections/anne-thurmann-jajes/ latin am http://www.escaner.cl/escaner77/signos.html http://vispo.com/index.html



http://fernando-aguiar.blogspot.com/, http://www.antoniomiranda.com.br/poesia_visual/fernando_aguiar.html http://www.paulodacosta.ca/visual-poetry/ 2 http://www.antoniomiranda.com.br/poesia_visual/ana_aly.html, 3 http://www.xexoxial.org/is/books/by/mIEKAL_aND 4 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/araujo.htm http://www.antoniomiranda.com.br/poesia_visual/avelino_araujo.html 5 http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/05/david-arnold.html, http://davidarnoldimages.photoshelter.com/gallery/ Situations/G0000_7lpClAqQXg/C0000EgxACYZhBVE http://davidarnoldphotography.com/portfolio/tracings/ 6 see mixed media http://www.pattyarnold.com/Home.html 7 http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/05/vittore-baroni.html, http://iuoma-network.ning.com/profile/vittorebaroni https://www.facebook.com/vittore.baroni/photos http://coldfrontmag.com/six-works-by-vittore-baroni/ http:// www.collezionebongianiartmuseum.it/en_sala.php?id=5 8 http://www.wordforword.info/vol13/Baker.htm http://iuoma-network.ning.com/profiles/blogs/verbal-visual-mailart-by-carlyle-baker-peterborough-ontario May 2015 9 http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/05/john-m-bennett-anthologyette.html, http://www.johnmbennett.net http:// johnmbennettpoetry.blogspot.com/ 10 https://www.richardsaltoun.com/artists/244-paulo-bruscky/works/. https://bombmagazine.org/articles/paulobruscky/, http://www.bronxmuseum.org/exhibitions/paulo-bruscky http://www.amparo60.com.br/paulo-bruscky/ 11 http://www.paulaclaire.com/ 12 http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/10/cole.html, http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/cole/d-cole.htm 13 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/thalia/au-rc.htm 14 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/dcross00.htm http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/11/doris-cross.html 15 http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/10/betty-danon.html, http://www.bettydanon.it/, http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/ danon/bd-notes.htm 16http://www.mav.cl/poesia/deisler/index.htm http://www.henriquefaria.com/artist-works?id=32 https:// www.facebook.com/federnfuermeinflug, http://www.collezionebongianiartmuseum.it/en_sala.php?id=31 17 http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/10/klaus-peter-dencker.html, http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/dencker/ dencker.htm http://coldfrontmag.com/optical-poetry-by-klaus-peter-dencker/ http:// visualpoetryrenegade.blogspot.de/2010/11/klaus-peter-dencker.html 18 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/biennial/b-wdpew.htm 19 http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/10/ks-kathy-ernst.html, http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/ernst/ernst.htm http:// www.ksernst.com/ 20 http://scorecard.typepad.com/spore/2006/01/score_4_ko_by_k.html http://www.jstor.org/discover/ 10.2307/25303548? sid=21105532180111&uid=3739560&uid=70&uid=2&uid=2129&uid=3739256&uid=3&uid=60&uid=2477042843 May 2015 21 http://bferrando.com// 22 Also known as Ian Tarnman http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/11/ali-haider.html, http://synaptry.blogspot.com/ 2018/10/william-l.html https://www.theideaofthebook.com/pages/books/288/ian-tarman-william-l-fox/firstprinciples 23 http://hermeticpress.blogspot.com/ 24 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/grumman/lgrumn-1.htm http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/grumman/egrumn.htm http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2012/07/28/mhpoetica/ http://www.irvingweiss.net/catalogue.html http://www.bigbridge.org/issue11/minimalistinfraverbal.htm 25 http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/10/scott-helmes.html http://scotthelmes.blogspot.com/ http:// visualpoetryrenegade.blogspot.com/search?q=Scott+Helmes 26 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/lhiggins.htm http://www.moma.org/collection/artist.php?artist_id=2637 https:// walkerart.org/collections/artists/dick-higgins https://www.google.com/search?q=dick+higgins +images&client=safari&rls=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjY0Mzr6_7dAhUJ1lMKHe qmD5gQsAR6BAgAEAE&biw=1655&bih=990 27 http://www.priscillaspitler.com/friends/paula-hocks/ http://visualpoetryrenegade.blogspot.com/2013/05/paulahocks.html 28 http://laartgalleries.altervista.org/artissima-2014-prize-channa-horwitz/, https://www.lissongallery.com/artists/ channa-horwitz, https://www.artsy.net/artist/channa-horwitz 29 http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/11/karl-kempton.html , http://www.logolalia.com/minimalistconcretepoetry/ archives/cat_kempton_karl.html, http://www.logolalia.com/abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz/archives/ cat_kempton_karl.html, http://www.bigbridge.org/young/kk-esa.htm, http://visualpoetrymailartexhibit.blogspot.com/ 2010/07/visual-poetry-from-karl-kempton.html, https://the-otolith.blogspot.com/search?q=karl+kempton, http:// coldfrontmag.com/singular-vispo-first-encounters-part-6/, https://www.pinterest.com/karlkempton/ !454


http://www.richardkostelanetz.com/ http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/dalevy/dalevy.htm http://www.clevelandmemory.org/levy/ 32 http://www.atariarchives.org/artist/sec4.php 33 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/menzes/le-menez.htm http://www.antoniomiranda.com.br/poesia_visual/ philadelpho_menezes.html 34 https://www.tumblr.com/search/hansjorg%20mayer, http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/mayer-alphabet-squarep80977 35 http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/japan/mori-1.htm 36 http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/10/hassan-massoudy.html http://hassan.massoudy.pagesperso-orange.fr/ english.htm 37 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/thalia/au-pm0.htm 38 http://www.zulawy.art.pl/index-PP.html 39 http://www.tomphillips.co.uk/ 40 https://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2010/lostandfound/, https://jacket2.org/commentary/bern-porterfound-poems 41 http://www.r-prost.com/ http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/10/ronald-prost.html 42 http://moussemagazine.it/rehfeldt-bruscky-chert-2015/ 43 http://moussemagazine.it/rehfeldt-bruscky-chert-2015/ 44 http://www.thing.net/~grist/lnd/rosenbrg/rosenbin.htm http://numerocinqmagazine.com/2013/03/31/books-as-artbooks-as-sculpture-sculpture-as-a-poem-marilyn-r-rosenberg-interviewed-by-nance-van-winckel/ https:// www.peekskillartsalliance.org/artist/marilyn-r-rosenberg/ 45 http://www.dieter-roth-foundation.com/selectedworks/ http://www.grahamegalleries.com.au/index.php/2008dieter-roth-22-november-13-december 46 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/lettrist/sati.htm 47 13 works http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/vou/shimizu-01.htm 48 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/thalia/au-ps1.htm, http://visualpoetryrenegade.blogspot.com/2010/10/petespence.html 49 http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/10/carol-stetser_4.html http://www.thing.net/~grist/lnd/stetser/ stetser.htm,http://visualpoetryrenegade.blogspot.com/search?q=Carol+Stetser 50 17 works http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/vou/taka-01.htm 51 http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/japan/tana-1.htm http://itwonlast.tumblr.com/post/57926577189/tanabu-hiroshisvisual-poems https://www.pinterest.com/pin/28358672623998841/ 52 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/daviduu.htm 53 http://www.winklerwordart.com/ 54 http://www.constantinxenakis.org/, http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/kwxenak.htm, http:// visualpoetryrenegade.blogspot.com/2011/01/constantin-xenakis.html 55 http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/yama/lyamana1.htm 56 http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/japan/syoji-1.htm 57 http://www.thing.net/~grist/ld/young/young.htm 58 http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/10/paul-zelevansky_4.html, http://visualpoetryrenegade.blogspot.com/2012/03/ blog-post.html http://visualpoetryrenegade.blogspot.com/2011/05/paul-zelevansky.html https://printedmatter.org/ tables/59 31

All, November, 2018.


Appendix 5:


Painted Word

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php? id=100009110645979&sk=photos&collection

While the influence of Islamic culture on


Europe’s movement out of its Dark Age is


known widely, its other and ongoings


influences on Europe and Europe’s influence


on Islamic culture essentially remained http://www.imgrum.org/user/islamicartforum/

ignored, especially art and literature.

288971566/1091362746548125480_2889715 General




http://www.islamicity.com/Culture/ http://lahdgallery.com/our-artists/

Calligraphy/default.htm https://africa.si.edu/exhibits/inscribing/ wordplay.html

Residing By Country

Persian & Indian calligraphy



Rachid Koraichi




review http://u-in-u.com/en/nafas/articles/











utm_campaign=rdboards&e_t=70fa5daa3989 4aa78b1389932bf3a955&utm_content=50989

Khaled Sebaa






115771771838462.25881.100002169197279 &type=3 Laidi Tayeb http://www.flickr.com/photos/ [email protected]/ http://calligraphygallery.com/calligraphers/

Egypt WOW – Women On Walls http://womenonwalls.org/artists-profile/

tayeb-laidi/ https://www.facebook.com/laidi.tayeb/

Khaled Abouhorsheh





Helen Abbas




Bahi Shehab https://egyptianstreets.com/2017/03/30/

Salah Shaheen






https://salahshaheen.wordpress.com https://www.behance.net/salahshaheenz


https://www.mondagallery.com/collections/ salah-shaheen

Khadiga El-Ghawas

interview: http://fact-magazine.com/





http://khadigaelghawas.tumblr.com/ https://www.facebook.com/khadiga.elghawas/ photos_albums

Khalid Shahin (Jordan) https://khalidshahin.me https:// www.google.com/search?q=Khalid

Fathi Hassan









https://www.facebook.com/abdollah.kiaie/ photos_albums? lst=100003383841142%3A10000077036832 England

6%3A1493578368 Hassan Massoudy

Firyal Al-Adhamy (Bahain)















interview http://translate.google.com/









Bita Ghezelayagh (Iran)





https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/? q=hassan

Ahmed Moustafa



typed&term_meta[]=massoudy|typedAbd el

portfolio.html http://www.mathafgallery.com/

Malik Nounouhi






Fabienne Verdier https://www.artsy.net/artist/fabienne-verdier

Abdollah Kiaie http://a.kiaie.monsite-orange.fr/

Hossein Zenderoudi (and Iran)











https://www.facebook.com/ mohamadreza.amouzad/photos_albums?


lst=100003383841142%3A10000109792882 5%3A1493616120

Iranian Saqakhaneh School begins 1960s

Mohammad Movahedian Attar






Azra Aghighi Bakhshayeshi http://www.kashyahildebrand.org/zurich/

Iranian modern exhibit




Maliheh Afhan



Mohammad Bozorgi





343398354.html http://www.artnet.com/artists/maliheh-afnan/

Golnaz Fathi

“Contained Memories” http://


www.artnet.com/artists/maliheh-afnan/ contained-thoughts-a-TrXxrRkxN-

Mohammad Imanirad


http://m-imanirad.ir/ https://www.facebook.com/

Soheila Ahmadi


https://www.facebook.com/soheila.ahmadi. 18/photos_albums

Farnaz Jahanbin https://www.facebook.com/jahanbin.farnaz/

Mohamad Reza Amuozad



Tamanna Golabian








&type=3&theater http://nasernia.com/

Babak Rashvand http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/11/babakrashvand.html https://www.facebook.com/babak.rashvand/

Shirin Noshiravan






299997096797.179949.524771797&type=3& theater

Mehdi Saeedi (USA)



fbid=10151656042296798&set=a. 299997096797.179949.524771797&type=3&

Ali Shirazi


http://www.islamic-art-calligraphy.com/ documents/ali_shirazi.html

Ebrahim Olfat https://www.mutualart.com/Artist/Ebrahim-

Amir Shoja Shojaeipour





Faramarz Pilaram (1937 - 1982)






http://budapestauction.com/faramarz-pilaram/ painter/sacre

Parviz Tanavoli https://www.artsy.net/artist/parviz-tanavoli

Hamid Rahiminejad






Hossein Zenderoudi (and France) http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/charles-

Ibrahim Abu Touq






photos http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/11/ ibrahim-abu-touq.html

Iraq Jassim Mohammed Artis (and Iraq) Abd Alnaser










116302425153511.17534.100003212629602 &type=3

Farah Behbehani https://www.khtt.net/en/page/772/farah-

Ziad Bakury


http://www.ziadart.net/index.htm Libya Jassem Mohammad (USA) http://www.jassimart.com

Ali Omar Ermes http://www.aliomarermes.co.uk/category/ali-

Malik Anas Al-Rajab


http://malikanas.deviantart.com/gallery/? catpath=/


Ahmad Al Shahabi https://www.facebook.com/ahmad.alshahabi/

Gouline Abderrahim


Gouline Abderrahim images





ahmad-al-shahabi.html Mounir Fatmi Jordan


https://www.artsy.net/artist/mounir-fatmi/ works

Saima Ashfaq https://www.youtube.com/watch?



Group show






Nazeer Ahmed



Khurshid Gohar Qalam




M Ajmal Calligrapher

Ali Haider




haider.html, https://www.facebook.com/




eid=ARCPnSuxQ3yb_28IGU4muXsqxWipE KQhYxV5Jd5I-

Mahtab Ali




https://www.facebook.com/mahtab.313/ photos

Tasneem F. Inam http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/11/

Musarrat Arif https://tribune.com.pk/story/73214/whencalligraphy-blends-with-modern-design/

tasneem-f-inam.html, https:// www.facebook.com/tasneemfinam/ Arif Khan (Bin Qulander’s teacher)

Aslam Artist




aslamartist.aslamartist/media_set?set=a. 123680804452828.26680.100004327265174 &type=3 !462







http://www.ejazartgallery.com/collection.php/ 4/calligraphy


Jamal Muhsin

Ali Hassan

Jamal Muhsin images

http://alihassanart.com/gallery_Noon.htm http://alihassanart.com/gallery_Collage.htm

Bin Qulander








Dastagir Raj


http://dastagirart.blogspot.com/ https://www.facebook.com/dastagirrajart

Une Hirondelle

Abdul Rasheed



hirondelle/portfolio https://www.facebook.com/une.hirondelle.1/

Anwar Jalal Shemza (1928 - 1985)



Une Hirondelle calligraphy images


Saudi Arabia


Yaser Mohammed Noor Al Gharbi (Syria)



anwar-jalal-19281985 Syria Palestine Ahmad Elias Kamal Boullta



Osman Waqialla images

user=80&PHPSESSID=ef529a39bf39caf1109 e3fa730d6e3a3


https://www.facebook.com/ahmadeliasartist/ photos

Abdallah Akar




http://visualpoetryrenegade.blogspot.com/ search?q=+abdallah+akar

Mouneer Al Shaarani







option=com_content&view=article&id=15&I temid=15

Khaled Al-Saa‘i http://www.kashyahildebrand.org/new_site/

Benjeddou Amer









calligraphy-portfolio/ http://www.kashyahildebrand.org/new_site/ exhibitions/alsaai_2015/index.html Aeich Tehimer http://gallery.artportfolio.it/artist/131/aeich-

Tarek Abid



Aeich Thimer images

abid.html https://www.facebook.com/tarek.abid.58/


photos_albums? lst=100003383841142%3A100002008611939

Osman Waqialla



Tarek Abid calligraphy images






Ahmet Sula Omar Al-Jomn






http://mohamed-boukerch.blogspot.com/ 2011/08/blog-post_10.html

Ayad Alkadhi



Nja Mahdaoui

Jassem Mohammad (Iraq)

Mahdaoui, Molka; Nja Mahdaoui: The


Alchemy of Signs. London, Skira, 2015 http:// www.nja-mahdaoui.com/

Mehdi Saeedi (Iran) http://www.mehdisaeedi.com

Khaled Ben Slimane http://www.galerielmarsa.com/artists/item/ khaled-ben-slimane-2.html

All, November, 2018.

Turkey Aram Chaled Res http://synaptry.blogspot.com/2018/10/aramchaled-res_4.html http://chaledres.site123.me/ https://aramres.tumblr.com/ https://www.facebook.com/aramchaledres/ photos_albums Sabahattin Kayış https://www.facebook.com/SbhttnKys/ media_set?set=a. 10153004842968361.1073741853.670128360 &type=3


Linda Bell17

Appendix 5:

Delmar Boni, “Apache Ceremony”18

Iconographic Paintings / Abstract Symbol Paintings

Parker Boyiddle • “How Kiowa Got The Sun”19 • “Spider-Woman And Half-Boy”20

Pablita Velarde’s “Old Father The Storyteller,”1 Harrison Begay’s“Stories Our Grandfather Told Us,”2 Penelope

• “His Words Were My Visions”21 Donald Brewer, “Cloud Spirit”22

Bushman’s “Song Of The Earth”3 or Betty

Jimmie Brown, “Chased by Sioux”23

Albert’s “Seven Generations.”4 present an

Penelope Bushman, “Song of the Earth”24

introductory opening moment to sample a

Kristy Cameron25

few North American iconographic

Benjamun Chee Chee26

paintings / abstract symbol paintings:

Cid Corman, “Mystic Mesa”27 Woodrow Wilson Crumbo

Betty Albert5

• “Sunset In Memory”28

Alicia Austin, “Star Like Water Flowing”6

• “Eagle Dancer”29 • “Peyote Religious Ceremony”30

Margarete Bagshaw-Tindel, “Summoning Of My Higher Selves”7 Jackson Beardy8

• More works31 David Dawangyumptewa32

Rod Bearcloud Berry

• “Underwater People”33

• “Eagles Path” • “Blessing Of The Spirit”9

• “Ceremonial and Emblematic Imagery” • “The Frogs Go By”

• “3 Moons of the Mystics”

• “Music Under Moondog Sky”34

• “A Gifting of Spirit” • “Wind of Star Nation”10

Donna Debassige35

Harrison Begay

Kurt Flett37

• “Feather Dance”11

Darryl Big George38

• “Ancient And Modern Art”12

Richard Hook

• “Navajo Ceremonial Dance”13 • “Girl gathering Corn”14

• “The Hero With The Horned Snake”39 • “The Star Maiden”40

• “Spiritual Transformation”15

Bobby Johnson, “Crow Mother”41

• Christi Belcourt16

Dennis Kakegaminic42

David Fiddler36


Roy Kakegaminic43 Roger Kakepetum44

• “Zuni Harvest” • “Zuni Cord Dancer”70

Kuka King

Aubrey Sanchez, “Pueblo Revolt”71

• “A Child”45 • “Buffalo Spirits”46

Duke Sine72 • “Ancestral Voices”73

Raymond Linklater47 Dan Lomabaff, “Northern Balance”48

• “The Whirlwind Within”74 • “Apache Ceremony”75

Robert Montoya 49

• “Whirlwind Girl”76

• “Sun Father Kokopelli”50 • “Acoma Parrot 51”

• “Wind Song”77 Dana Tiger, “Wolf Clan Rider”78

Waldo Mootzka

DL Valdes

• “Pollination of the Corn”52 • “Hunting Dance”53

• “Dreams III”79 • “Flute”80

Noval Morrisseau 54

Poteet Victory, “Echoes Of The Spirit”81

SD Nelson,55 “Gathering Before The

Sherry Vintson, “Dream Flight”82


Duke Wassaja Sine

Maxine Noel, “Not Forgotten”57

Clemence Wescoupe83

Daphne Odjig58

April White84

David Chethlahe Paladin,59 “Kiva

David Williams85

Painting For The Snake Priest” 60

Bill Worrell 86

Amado M. Peña61

Beatien Yazz “Mother And Child”87

Susan Point62

Emiliano Yepa, “Hunting The Deer”88

Jane Ash Poitras63

unknown, “Song Of The King Fisher”89

Gerry Quotskuyva, “Harvest Festival”64 Carl Ray 65

For those interested in a deeper look, the

Corrina Ray66

following are more generalized links with

Helena Nelson Reed

which to further provide yourself a feel

• “Good Voice Woman”67 • “Paraire Sphynx Woman”68

for this field:

Percy Sandy • “Shalako Procession”69 !467

Books Bernstein, Bruce. Modern by Tradition:

STEP INSIDE. We got words in the bark

American Indian Painting in the Studio

of trees and dogs too, got words made by

Style. Santa Fe, Mus. New Mexico, 1995.

the movement of animals, our fellow

Brody, J. J. Pueble Indian Painting:

congregants. Got words in every size and

Tradition and Moderism in New Mexico

shape of every god known, resurrected, or

1900-1930. Santa Fe, School of American

yet to be born. Freaks! Live! Dead! Other!

Research Press, 1997.

SEE THEM NOW! Got old words from the

Hays, Kelly et al. Painting the Cosmos:

deserts of the beginning and military code

Metaphor and Worldview in Images from

for conjuring oil and bombs in selfsame

the Southwest Pueblos and Mexico.

deserts right now. We got secret signs of

Flagstaff, AZ: Mus. N. Arizona, 2010.

hobos and the mutter of the wise old

Scott, Jay. Changing Woman: The Life

mothers. Looked at the pattern in the

and Art of Helen Hardin. Flagstaff, A:

teacup of the world’s coming storms. Each

Northland, 1989.

of us a letter in the unrevealed book, we

Tanner, Clara Lee. Southwest Indian

drew our conclusion in the Oceano dunes

Painting: A Changing Art. Tucson,

and on beaches from Humqaq to Big Sur:

University of Arizona Press, 1972.


Links Hopi90 Navaho91 The Pueblos of the Four Corners area92 Northwest peoples93 Ojibway94 Group of 7 / Woodlands School95 Canada96 Inuit 97 Mexico, I give but one of a host of kindred works, Huichol yarn paintings.98 !468


http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/ls/Old-Father-The-Storyteller-1020x802.html http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Stories-Our-Grandfather-Told-Us-631x875.html 3 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Song-Of-The-Earth-615x900.html 4 Search 7930AC.jpg http://www.sa-cinn.com/ 5 http://www.sa-cinn.com/betty_albert.html 6 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/ls/Star-Like-Water-Flowing-950x653.html 7 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/ls/Summoning-Of-My-Higher-Selves-1000x698.html 8 https://www.invaluable.com/artist/beardy-jackson-heixn0l0l3/sold-at-auction-prices/, http://bearclawgallery.com/ artists/jackson-beardy/, https://alchetron.com/Jackson-Beardy-776484-W 9 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/ls/Blessing-Of-The-Spirit-1030x810.html 10 http://www.bearcloudgallery.com/gallery.html 11 http://denverartgalleries.co/blog/4384/Harrison-Begay 12 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Ancient-And-Modern-Art-746x900.html 13 https://www.adobegallery.com/art/ Original_Painting_of_a_Navajo_Ceremonial_Dance_by_Harrison_Begay123886983582522 14 https://www.adobegallery.com/art/ Young_Din_Navajo_Girl_Gathering_Corn_by_Harrison_Begay12729919705978 15 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Spiritual-Tranformation-573x800.html 16 http://www.ahnisnabae-art.com/artists/category/88-christi-belcourt.html 17 http://www.ahnisnabae-art.com/artists/category/44-leland-bell.html 18 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/ls/Apache-Ceremony-1000x741.html 19 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/ls/How-Kiowa-Got-The-Sun-1050x814.html 20 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/ls/Spider-Woman-And-Half-Boy-950x691.html 21 http://www.indianarttulsa.com/details.php?id=00776 22 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/ls/Wakpa-Cloud-Spirit-893x674.html 23 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/ls/Chased-By-The-Sioux-1028x831.html 24 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Song-Of-The-Earth-615x900.html 25 http://www.ahnisnabae-art.com/artists/category/106-kristy-cameron.html 26 http://www.sa-cinn.com/cheechee.htm 27 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/ls/Mystic-Mesa-1030x804.html 28 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Sunset-In-Memory-888x950.html 29 https://collections.gilcrease.org/object/0227593?position=3&list=D7qoLowYMLQjplPnIErvNf9q6vivSRiOHpb0oROdWg 30 https://collections.gilcrease.org/object/0227577 31 https://collections.gilcrease.org/creator/woodrow-wilson-crumbo, https://hyperallergic.com/61808/crumbo-spirittalk-oklahoma-history-center/ 32 http://www.thedancingrabbitgallery.com/storeproduct2.php?productid=172&catid=45&subid=33 33 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/ls/Underwater-People-826x583.html 34 https://www.mutualart.com/Artist/David-Dawangyumptewa/3CEED71375CB9C48 35 http://www.ahnisnabae-art.com/artists/category/122-donna-debassige.html 36 http://www.ahnisnabae-art.com/artists/category/57-david-fiddler.html 37 http://www.sa-cinn.com/kurt-flett-artcards-prints/ May 2017. 38 http://www.ahnisnabae-art.com/artists/category/31-darryl-big-george.htm 39 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/Myths/native-american-indian-myths-09.html 40 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/Myths/native-american-indian-myths-14.html 41 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/ls/Crow-Mother-1000x754.html 42 http://www.ahnisnabae-art.com/artists/category/124-dennis-kakegamic.html 43 http://www.ahnisnabae-art.com/artists/category/141-roy-kakegamic.html 44 http://www.ahnisnabae-art.com/artists/category/77-roger-kakepetum.htm 45 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/A-Child-729x1012.html 46 http://www.wintercount.com/King%20Kuka/buffalo_spirits.html 47 http://www.ahnisnabae-art.com/artists/category/70-raymond-linklater.html 48 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Northern-Balance-646x820.html 49 http://www.arcadja.com/auctions/en/montoya_robert/artist/425171/ 50 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/ls/Sun-Father-Kokopelli-850x705.html 51 https://www.adobegallery.com/art/ SandaOhkay_Owingeh_Pueblo_Painting_of_an_Acoma_Parrot_SOLD127783080184548 52 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/330099847662034141/ 53 http://www.askart.com/artist/Waldo_Mootzka/101757/Waldo_Mootzka.aspx 2



http://www.coghlanart.com/Norvalpainting.htm, http://bearclawgallery.com/artists/norval-morrisseau/, http:// www.coghlanart.com/norval1.htm 55 http://www.sa-cinn.com/maxine_noel.htm 56 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Gathering-Before-The-Rains-650x910.html 57 https://www.oscardo.com/collections/maxine-noel-not-forgotten 58 http://odjig.com/copyright.html. http://bearclawgallery.com/artists/daphne-odjig-prints/ 59 https://davidpaladin.com/fine-art-gallery/ 60 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/ls/Kiva-Painting-For-The-Snake-Priest-850x696.html 61 http://www.penagallery.com/ 62 http://www.ahnisnabae-art.com/artists/category/134-susan-a-point.html, http://www.spiritwrestler.com/catalog/ index.php?cPath=2_98 63 mixed with text http://www.ahnisnabae-art.com/artists/category/117-jane-ash-poitras.html, http:// www.spiritwrestler.com/catalog/index.php?artists_id=58 64 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Harvest-Festival-663x910.html 65 http://www.ahnisnabae-art.com/artists/category/48-carl-ray.html 66 http://www.ahnisnabae-art.com/artists/category/56-corrina-ray.html 67 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Good-Voice-Woman-558x838.html 68 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Prairie-Sphinx-Woman-558x840.html 69 http://www.askart.com/auction_records/Percy_Tsisete_Sandy/105418/Percy_Tsisete_Sandy.aspx https:// www.adobegallery.com/gallery/40938 70 https://collections.gilcrease.org/creator/percy-tsisete-sandy 71 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Pueblo-Revolt-867x1066.html 72 http://eddiebashacollection.com/collection/duke-sine 73 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/ls/Ancestral-Voices-1000x708.html 74 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/The-Whirlwind-Within-781x1000.html 75 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Apache-Ceremony-2-743x1070.html 76 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Whirlwind-Girl-778x1000.html 77 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Wind-Song-779x1000.html M 78 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Wolf-Clan-Rider-787x1000.html 79 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/ls/Dreams-III-821x621.html 80 http://www.ilhawaii.net/~stony/9-99lore.html 81 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/ls/Echoes-Of-The-Spirit-1035x821.html 82 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/ls/Dream-Flight-797x608.html 83 http://www.ahnisnabae-art.com/artists/category/60-clemence-wescoupe.html 84 http://www.sa-cinn.com/april_white.html 85 http://www.ahnisnabae-art.com/artists/category/43-david-williams.htm 86 http://www.billworrell.com/symbol---the-origin.html 87 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Mother-And-Child-900x833.html 88 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/ls/Hunting-The-Deer-702x581.html 89 http://www.firstpeople.us/pictures/art/odd-sizes/pt/Song-Of-The-King-Fisher-613x825.html 90 https://www.google.com/search?q=hopi+art&client=firefox-a&hs=jZa&hl=en&rls=org.mozilla:enUS:official&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=J7t4UciE6uz0QGKooDgCw&sqi=2&ved=0CDgQsAQ&biw=2560&bih=1246 91 https://www.google.com/search?q=navajo+art&client=firefox-a&hs=ZFv&hl=en&rls=org.mozilla:enUS:official&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=SLt4UfjuHPF0QHaioFQ&sqi=2&ved=0CDkQsAQ&biw=2560&bih=1246 92https://www.adobegallery.com/art/category-Paintings, http://www.puebloarts.com http://www.google.com/search?q=Pueblo+Indian +painters&client=safari&rls=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=L2ImUo_LPOupsATtlIEY&ved=0CCs QsAQ&biw=1670&bih=1198 http://www.invaluable.com/artist/beardy-jackson-heixn0l0l3 http://bearclawgallery.com/artists/jackson-beardy/ https://alchetron.com/Jackson-Beardy-776484-W, http://ccdl.libraries.claremont.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/pap 93 http://www.spiritwrestler.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=artist_index https://www.pinterest.com/kanshutz/northwest-native-art/



https://fineartamerica.com/art/ojibwe http://zhaawano1.rssing.com/chan-50869581/all_p2.html symbolism http://www.native-art-in-canada.com/woodland-art-symbolism.html https://www.google.com/search?q=Ojibwa+native+art +images&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=34rjVOjvGJbSoASFjIDgDg&ved=0CCIQsAQ&biw=2347&b ih=1159 95 https://destinationwinnipeg.wordpress.com/tag/daphne-odjig/ http://www.native-art-in-canada.com/woodlandsschool.html http://www.cedarhilllonghouse.ca/blog/what-woodland-art http://www.native-art-in-canada.com/indiangroupofseven.html http://www.firstnationsdrum.com/2016/07/indian-group-of-seven/ 96 http://www.cedarhilllonghouse.ca/gallery 97 http://canadianart.ca/news/kenojuak-ashevak/ 98 https://www.google.com/search?q=Huichol+yarn +paintings&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=vrXrVJm8AtHhoATO64H4Dg&ved=0CCsQsAQ&biw=23 47&bih=1163 All, November, 2018.


Appendix 7: Aum / Om The the Mandukya Upanishad provides an insight into esoteric illumination of Sanskrit in general and specifically, Aum / Om, now a globally recognized sound and image. 1. OM! – This Imperishable Word is the whole of this visible universe. Its explanation is as follows: What has become, what is becoming, what will become, – verily, all of this is OM. And what is beyond these three states of the world of time, – that too, verily, is OM. 2. All this, verily, is Brahman. The Self is Brahman. This Self has four quarters. 3. The first quarter is Vaiśvānara. Its field is the waking state. Its consciousness is outward-turned. It is seven-limbed and nineteenmouthed. It enjoys gross objects. 4. The second quarter is taijasa. Its field is the dream state. Its consciousness is inward-turned. It is seven-limbed and nineteenmouthed. It enjoys subtle objects. 5. The third quarter is prājña, where one asleep neither desires anything nor beholds any dream: that is deep sleep. In this field of dreamless sleep, one becomes undivided, an undifferentiated mass of consciousness, consisting of bliss and feeding on bliss. His mouth is consciousness. 6. This is the Lord of All; the Omniscient; the Indwelling Controller; the Source of All. This is the beginning and end of all beings. 7. That is known as the fourth quarter: neither inward-turned nor outward-turned consciousness, nor the two together; not an undifferentiated mass of consciousness; neither knowing, nor unknowing; invisible, ineffable, intangible, devoid of characteristics, !472

inconceivable, indefinable, its sole essence being the consciousness of its own Self; the coming to rest of all relative existence; utterly quiet; peaceful; blissful: without a second: this is the Ātman, the Self; this is to be realised. 8. This identical Ātman, or Self, in the realm of sound is the syllable OM, the above described four quarters of the Self being identical with the components of the syllable, and the components of the syllable being identical with the four quarters of the Self. The components of the Syllable are A, U, M. 9. Vaiśvānara, whose field is the waking state, is the first sound, A, because this encompasses all, and because it is the first. He who knows thus, encompasses all desirable objects; he becomes the first. 10. Taijasa, whose field is the dream state, is the second sound, U, because this is an excellence, and contains the qualities of the other two. He who knows thus, exalts the flow of knowledge and becomes equalised; in his family there will be born no one ignorant of Brahman. 11. Prājña, whose field is deep sleep, is the third sound, M, because this is the measure, and that into which all enters. He who knows thus, measures all and becomes all. 12. The fourth is soundless: unutterable, a quieting down of all relative manifestations, blissful, peaceful, non-dual. Thus, OM is the Ātman, verily. He who knows thus, merges his self in the Self; – yea, he who knows thus. Om śantih; śantih; śantih Om Peace! Peace! Peace! (śantih refers to inner peace)1


A summation in one paragraph by Sathya Sai Baba: Om is the sum and essence of all the teachings in scriptures about Divinity; “Om ithi ekaaksharam Brahma” states the Vedas, meaning, the one syllable Om, is Brahman, the Divine! Om is a composite of three sounds A (aa), U (oo) and M (mm). It has to be pronounced rising in a crescendo as slowly as possible, and as gradually coming down, until there remains only the echo of the silence reverberating in the cavity of your heart. Do not take it in two stages, arguing that your breath will not hold so long. Persevere until you are able to be stirred by the upward sweep and the downward curve and the silent sequel. These represent the waking, dreaming and sleeping, and the fourth, beyond the three stages. It represents also the flower of your individuality maturing into a fruit and filling you with sweet juice from your own inner essence, and thereafter the final release.2 Again, from Sai Baba comes a deeper meaning of Rama: Rama’s name is a life-giving essence with esoteric significance. It consists of three syllables: Ra + Aa + Ma. The combination of the three letters constitute the name ‘Rama’. Ra representing Agni (the Fire God), burns away all sins; Aa representing Surya (the Sun God), dispels the darkness of ignorance; and Ma representing Chandra (the Moon God), cools one’s temper and produces tranquility. The name Rama has the triple power of washing away one's sins, removing one's ignorance, and tranquilizing one's mind. (Divine Discourse, Apr 5, 1998)


Traveling faster than thought Om and I collided In that fire I became pure gold


When practice dissolves mantra remains When mantra vanishes mind remains When mind ceases vibrating nothing is there That nothing, the little void falls into the real Void I merged into That about which no word but the first word can say anything Lalleshwari (India, Kashmir, 1326? — ?)3
 1 2 3

http://www.swami-krishnananda.org/mand/mand_invoc.html November, 2018. Sathya Sai Baba “Divine Discourse,” Jun 09, 1970. Kempton, Karl. Bhakti Raga. Oceano: Divine Life Circle, 2001


Appendix 8: Rishi, Yogi, Taoist & Buddhist Ch’an & Zen, Sufi and Christian Realized and Mystic Poets Before Current Era Rishis:1 Aditi Aditirdakshayani Apala atreyi Indrani Urvashi Godha Gosha Kakshivati Juhurbramhajaya Tvashta Garbhakarta Dakshina Prajapatya Yami Yami Vaivasvati Ratrirbharadvaji Lopamudra Vasukrapatni Vagambhrni Vishvavara Atreyi Sashvatyangirasi Shradhda Kamayani Shachi Paulomi Sarparajni Sikata Nivavari Surya Savitri Romasha !476

Sarama Devashuni Shikhandinyava Psarasau Kashyapan Jarita Sharngah Suditirangirasah Indra Mataro Dattatreya (?) (Bharat, Advaita, first yogi) m ((Advahuta Gita)) Valmiki (?) (Bharat, Vaishnavism) m ((Ramayana)) Astavakra (?) (Bharat, Advaita) m ((Astavakra Gita))` Sage Veda Vyasa (3200- 3000?) (Bharat, Vaishnavism) m Vedas (edited or compiled) Brahma Sutras Mahabharata Bhagavad Gita Brahma Purana, Padma Purana, Visnu Purana, Vayu Purana or Siva Purana, Bhagavata Purana, Narada Purana, Markandeya Purana, Agni Purana, Bhavisya Purana, Brahma-vaivarta Purana, Linga Purana, Varaha Purana, Skanda Purana, Vamana Purana, Kama Purana, Matsya Purana, Garuda Purana and Brahmanda PuranaSrimad Bhagavatham and 17 other Purnas Enheduanna (circa 2300 ) (Sumeria, Goddess) f Panini (? - 1300) (Bharat, Advaita) m Laozi (? - 600?) (China, Taoism) m Buddha (623 - 543) (Bharat) m Zi Ye (6th - 3rd c) (China, Taoism) f Patanjali (? - 500?) (Bharat, Advaita) m Therigatha (Verses of the First Nuns) (500s - 200s) (Bharat, Buddhism) http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/thig/index.html Sumangalamata (6th c.) (Bharat, Buddhism) f Canda (6th - 5th c.) (Bharat, Buddhism) f Mettika (6th - 5th c.) (Bharat, Buddhism) f Patacara (6th - 5th c.) (Bharat, Buddhism) f !477

Dantika (6th - 5th c) (Bharat, Buddhism) f Sakula (6th - 5th c) (Bharat, Buddhism) f Sangha (6th - 5th c) (Bharat, Buddhism) f Nandutta (6th - 3rd c) (Bharat, Buddhism) f Thergatha (Verses of the Elder Monks) (500s - 200s) (Bharat, Buddhism) http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/thag/index.html Ch’u Yuan (? - 300s) (China, Taoism) m Maharishi Nandinatha (? - 250) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga) m Tirumular (? - 200s) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga) m Tiruvalluvar (? - 200s) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga) m Pan Zhao (117? - 48) (China - Taoism or Confusism) f Current Era Epictetus (circa 55 - 135) (Italy, stoic) m Shandilya (100s) (Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga) m Fan Yun Xiao (200s) (China, Taoism) f Lakulisha (200s) (Bharat, Shaivism) m Juan Chi (201 - 263) (China, Taoism) m Ji Kang (224 - 263) (China, Taoism) m Guo Pu (276 - 324) (China, Taoism) m Candaka (290? - 365?) (Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna, Rama) m St. Ephraim (303 - 373) (Syria, Christian, Syriac Christianity) m Hui Yung (332 - 414) China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m T’ao Ch’ien (365 - 427) (China, Taoism / Buddhism, Ch’an) m Saint Isaac, the Syrian (365 - 460) (Syria, Christianity) m Xie Lingyun (385 - 433) (China, Taoism / Buddhism - Ch’an) m Wu Cailun (400s or 800s?) (China, Taoism) f Karaikkal Ammaiyar (400s) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga) f Narsai (?410 - 502) (Persia, Nestorian Christian) m Xu Hui (431 - 499) (China, Buddhism) f !478

Narsai (4?? - 502) Persia, Christian - Nestorian) m Bhartrihari (450 - 510?) (Bharat, Hinduism - Brahman) m Bodhidharma (450 - 535) (South Bharat/China Buddhism, Ch’an) m Shih Wang Ming (4?? -5??) (China, Budhism. Ch’an) m poem-- “Calming The Mind” Hui-K'o (487 - 593) (China, Buddhism, Ch’an) Second patriarch, m Master Fu (497 - 569) (China, Budhism. Ch’an) m poem -- “The Mind King” Tsung - Ch'ih (500s) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) f Yannai (500s) (Palestine, Judaism) m Wang Ming (515 - ?) (China, Budhism. Ch’an) m Seng-ts’an (? - 606) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m 3rd patriarch. poem -- “Faith In Mind” Dayi Daoxin (580-651) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) Fourth patriarch m Jajang/Chajang (590- 658) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Wang Fan-Chin (590 _ 660) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Tirunavukkarasar Nayanar (Appar) (590 - 671) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga, one of 63 Nayanmars)** m Niu Tou Fa Jung (597 - 657) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m poem - “Song of The Mind” Bhooathath Azhwar (600s) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, one of 12 Alvars) m Peyalvar (600s) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, one of 12 Alvars) m Poigai Alvar (600s) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, one of 12 Alvars) m Sambandar (mid 600s) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga, one of 63 Nayanmars)** m Thirumazhisai Alvar (600s) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, one of 12 Alvars) m Sengcan, (? - 606) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) Third patriarch m


Shantideva (600 - 7??) (Bharat, Buddhism) m Fayuan (601 - 663) (China, Buddhism, Ch’an?) f Daman Hongren (601 - 674) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) Fifth patriarch m Won Hyo (617 - 686) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Hsuan Cheuh (638 - 713) (China, Buddhism - T’ient’ai & Ch’an) m Yung-chia-hsuan-chueh (665 - 713) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Song of Enlightenment Qingyan Xingsi (660 - 740) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Yongjia Xuanjue (665 - 717) (China - Buddhism, Ch’an) m Nan-yüeh Huai-jang (677 - 744) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Huineng (683 - 713) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) Sixth patriarch m Wang Ch’ang-ling (689 - 756) (China - Buddhism, Ch’an) m Meng Haoran (689/691 - 740) (China - Buddhism, Ch’an) m Wang Wei (699 - 761) (China, Buddhism) m Big Shield (700s) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Sami Mansei (700s) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Kulasekara Alvar (700s) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, one of 12 Alvars) m Kwangdok (700s) (Korea - Buddhism) m Sundaramurthy Nayanar (700s) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga, one of 63 Nayanmars)** m Thirumangai Alvar (700s) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, one of 12 Alvars) m Thiruppaan Alvar (700s) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, one of 12 Alvars) m Thondaradippodi Alvar (700s) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, one of 12 Alvars) m Tirumular (700s) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga, one of 63 Nayanmars, and one of 18 Siddhars) m Shih-t'ou Hsi-ch'ien (700 - 790) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m poem - “Inquiry Into Matching Halves” !480

Li Po / Li Bai (702-762) (China - Buddhism/Taoism, Ch’an) m Hyecho (704- 787) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m 723-727 pilgrimage to Bharat and China Chang Jian (708 - 765) (China - Buddhism/Taoism, Ch’an) m Liu Ch’angqing (709? - 785?) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Qian Qi (710 - 782) (China - Buddhism/Taoism, Ch’an) m Du Fu (712 - 780) (China , Confucianism - Ch’an)) m Rabi'a (? - 801) (Iraq - Basra, Islam - Sufism) f Baizhang Huaihai ( 720 - 814) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Chaio Jan (730 - 799) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Cold Mountain / Han-shan (730? - 850?) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Pickup / Shide (730? - early 8??) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Wei Yingwu (736 - 830) (China - Buddhism, Ch’an) m Layman Pang (740 - 808) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Chungdam (742 - 765) (Korea, Buddhism) m Huimyong (c 742 - 765) (Korea, Buddhism) m Wolmyong ( c7742 - 765) Korea, Buddhism) m Meng Jiao (751 - 814) (China - Buddhism, Ch’an) m Han Yu (768 - 824) (China - Buddhism / Taoism, Ch’an) m Zhang Ji (768 - 830) (China - Buddhism Ch’an) m Yeshe Tsogyal (late 700s - 8??) (Tibet, Buddhism) f Bai Juyi / Po Chu-i (772 - 846) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Liu Zongyuan (773 - 819) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Zhàozhōu Cōngshěn (778 - 897) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Chia-Tao (779 - 843) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Shankara (788 - 820) (Bharat - Malabar, Vaishnavism - Advaita) m Abu Yazid al - Bayazid (799? - 874) (Persia, Islam - Sufism) m Karaikkal Ammaiyar (800s) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga, one of 63 Nayanmars)** f Andal (800s) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, one of 12 Alvars) f Auvaiyar (800s) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga, Ganesha) f !481

Wu Cailan (800s) (China, Taoism) f Chosetsu (800s) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an)* m Changsha Jingcen (800s) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Kavi Kamban (800s) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Rama) m Madhurakavi Alwar (800s) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, one of 12 Alvars) m Manikkavacakar (800s) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga, one of 63 Nayanmars) m** Mo-Shan Liao-Jan (800s)(China, Buddhism - Ch’an) f Nammalvar (800s) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, one of 12 Alvars) m Periyalvar (800s) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, one of 12 Alvars, father of Andal) m Rayhana (800s?) (Iraq, islam- Sufism) f Ruiyan Shican* (800s) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Tohfa (? - 857) (?, Islam - Sufism) f Dhu al-Nun Misri (? - 859) (Egypt, Islam - Sufism) m Saint Kassiani (805 /810 - before 865) (Constantinople, Orthodox Christian) f Dongshan Liangjie / Tung SHan Liang Chieh (807 - 869) (China, Buddhism Ch’an) m Kassia (810? - 867?) (Europe, Constantinople - Christian) f Sojo Henjo (816 - 890) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Hsiang-yen Chih-hsien (Late c 820 - 898) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Sundarar (825 - ?) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga, one of 63 Nayanmars)** m Vasugupta (825 - ?) (Bharat - Kashmir, Shaivism) m Guanxiu (832 - 912) (China, Budhism - Ch’an) m ?Ono no Komachi (834? - ?) (Japan, Buddhism) f Monk Sosei (? - 909) (Japan, Buddhism) m Longya Judun (835 - 923) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Yu Xuanji (843 - 868) (China, Taoism) f


Manikkavasagar (850 - ?) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga, one of 63 Nayanmars)** m Changqing Huileng (854 - 932) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Hsuan Chuen (? - 850) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Línjì Yìxuán (? - 867) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m al-Ḥallāj (858 - 922 ) (Persia, Islam - Sufism) m Yúnmén Wényǎn / Ummon (864 - 949) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Ki no Tsurayuki (872? - 945) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) mz Lady Ise (c 875 - c 938) ) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) f Devara Dasimayya (900s) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga) m Kanhupad (900s) (Bharat - Orissa, Tantra?) m ?Wang Jian Zhang Ji (900s) (China to Japan, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Ramai Pandit (900s) (Bharat - Bengal, Vaishnavism) m Yung-ming Yen-shou (904 - 975) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Abu Said bin Abi'l Khair (937 - 1049) (Turkey, Islam - Sufism) m Baba Kuhi of Shiraz, (938 - 1050) (Persia, Islam - Sufism) m Dayang Jingxuan (942 - 1027) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Baba Taher (944? - 1019?) (Persian, Islam - Sufism) m Symeon the New Theologian (949 - 1022) (Turkey, Christianity) m Senshi Naishinno (964 - 1035) (Japan, Shintoism & Buddhism - Zen?) f Abu-Said Abil-Kheir (967 - 1049) (Khurasan, Islam - Sufism) m Izumi Shikibu (974? - 1034?) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) f Chih-Yuan (976 - 1022) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m ?Samuel ha-Nagid (993 - 1056) (Spain, Judiasm) m Ryōzen (998 - 1064) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Gorakshanath / Korakkar (1000s) (North Bharat, Shaivism) m ?Van Hanh (1000s) (Vietnam, Buddhism) m Joju (1000s) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an)* m Nambiandar Nambi (1000s) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga, one of 63 Nayanmars)** m


Ritangen (1000s) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an)* m Sheikh Abdullah Ansari (1005 - 1090) (Persia, Islam - Sufism) m Ramanuja (1017 - 1137) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga) m Shelomo ibn Gabirol (1021? - 1058) (Spain, Judiasm - Kabbalism) m Wu-tsu Fa-yen (1024 - 1104) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Touzi Yiqing (1032 - 1083) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Takuan Sotobo (1036 - 1102) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Su Shih (1037 - 1101) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Benming (mid 1000s - after 1114) (China, Buddhism, Ch’an) f Milarepa (1040 - 1123) (Tibet, Buddhism) m Omar Khayyam (1048 - 1123) (Persia, Islam - Sufism) m Zhi-tong (? - 1124) (China, Buddhism, Ch’an) f Tang Guangzhen (mid 1000 - mid 1100) (China, Taoism) f Hakim Sanai (1000s - 1100s) (Afghanistan, Islam - Sufi) m Daegak Euchon (1055 -1101) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Machik Labdron (1055 - 1143) (Tibet, Buddhism) f Al-Ghazzali (1058 - 1128) (Persia, Islam - Sufism) m ?Li Qingzhao (1084 - 1151) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) f Judah Ha-Levi (1075? - 1140) (Spain, Judaism, - ) m Zhenxie Qingliao (1089 - 1151) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Hung Chih Cheng Chueh (1091 - 1157) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Zishou Miaozong (1095 - 1170) (China, Buddhism, Ch’an) f Ayn al-Qozat Hamadani (1098 - 1131) (Iraq, Islam - Sufism) m Hildegard of Bingen (1098 - 1179) (Germany, Christianity) f*** Mahadevi Akka (1100s) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga) f Beni (1100s) (Bharat, Bhakti Yoga) m Kakua (1100s) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Koseisoku (1100s) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an)* m Ni-buttsu (1100s) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an)* m Nimbarka (1100s) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Dvaitaadvaita, Krishna & Radha) m !484

Seigensai (1100s) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an)* m Zhou Xuanjing (1100s) (China, Taoism) f Zuqin (1100s) (China, Buddhism, Ch’an) f Isaac of Stella (1100 - 1163) (England - Christian, Cistercian oder) m Jayadeva (1101 - 1173) (Bharat - Bengal, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m Ahmet Yesevi(1103 - 1165 ) (Sayram, Kazakistan, Islam - Sufisim) m (One of first sufis to write in Turkish.) Basavanna (1106 - 1167) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga) m Hakim Süleyman Ata (? - 1186) (Turkestan, Islam - Sufism) m Hakim Sana’i (1118 - 1152) (Afganistan, Islam - Sufism) m Saigyo (1118 - 1190) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Padampa Sangye (? - 1117) (Bharat to Tibet, Buddhism) m Sun Bu-er (1119? - 1182?) (China, Taoism) f ?Kojiju-ni (1121? - 1201?) (Japan, Buddhism - ?Zen) f ?Fan Chengda (1126 - 1193) Eisai (1141 - 1215) ((Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Sekkilar (mid 1100s) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga) m Meykandar (mid 1100s) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga) m Gharib Nawaz (1142? - 1236?) (Persia & Bharat, Islam - Sufism) m Drakpa Gyaltsen (1147 - 1216) (Tibet, Buddhism) m Allama Prabhu (1150 - ?) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga) m Tsangpa Gyare (1161 - 1211) (Tibet, Buddhism) m Fujiwara No Teika (1162 - 1241) (Japan, Buddhism) m Mahadevi (1162 - ?) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga) f Ibn 'Arabi (1165 - 1240) (Spain, Islam - Sufism) m Fujiwara No Ietaka (1158 - 1190) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Asukai Masatsune (1170 - 1221) (Japan, Buddhism) m Myoe (1173 - 1232) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Baba Farid (1173 - 1266) (Punjab, Islam - Sufism) m Myotan (1176 - 1247) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an)* m Jinkag Haesim (1178 -1234) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m !485

Umar Ibn al-Farid (1181 - 1235) (Egypt, Islam - Sufism) m Wumen Huikai (1183 - 1260) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Sa'di (1184 - 1292 ) (Persia, Islam - Sufism) m Clare of Assisi (1194 - 1253) (Italy, Christianity) f Nahmanides (1194 - 1270) (Spain, Judaism - Kabbalism) m Koun Ejo (1198 - 1280) (Japan, Buddhism - Soto Zen) m Farid al-Din Attar (1199 - 1220/30) (Persia, Islam - Sufism) m Beatrice of Nazareth (1200? - 1268) (Netherlands, Christianity - Beguine) f Binavi Badakhshani (1200s) (Afghanistan?, Islam - Sufism) m Sadhna (1200s) (Northern Bharat, Bhakti Yoga) m Dogen (1200 - 1253) (Japan, Buddhism - Ch’an & Zen) m Nasir al-Din Tusi (1201 - 1274 (Persia, Islam - Sufiism) m Jalaluddin Rūmī (1207 - 1273) (Afghanistan to Turkey, Islam - Sufism) m Hadewijch of Antwerp (mid 1200s) (Netherlands, Christianity - Beguine) f Fakhruddin Iraqi (? - 1289) (Iraq, Islam - Sufism) m Mechthild (1207? - 1294?) (Germany, Christianity - Beguine) f Tettsu Gikai (1219 - 1309) (Japan, Buddhism - Soto Zen) m Wuxue Zuyuan (1226 - 1286) (China to Japan, Buddhiam, Ch’an - Zen) m Wonkam Chungji / Bukko Kokushi (1226 -1292) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Daio Kokushi (1235 - 1309) (Japan, Buddhiam, Zen) m Jacopone da Todi (1236 - 1306) (Italy, Christianity) m Rabbi Abraham Abulafia (1240 - 129?) (Spain, Judaism - Kabbalism) m Sulatan Valad (son of Rūmī) (1240 - 1213) (Turkey, Islam - Sufism) m Yunus Emre (1240 - 1321) (Turkey, Islam - Sufism) m Koho Kennichi (1241 - 1316) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Zohar / Moses de Leon (1245? - 1305) )Spain, Judaism - Kabbalism) m Cui Shaoxuan (1246? - 1309?) (China, Taoism) f Marguerite Porete (? - 1310) (France, Christianity - Beguine) f Sa'd (1250 - 1320) (Persia, Islam - Sufism) m Shah Latif (1250 - 1350) (Bharat - Punjab, Islam - Sufism) m Amīr Khusrow Dehlavīau (1253-1325) (Bharat - Punjab, Islam - Sufism) m !486

Miaozhan (1260?-13??) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an?) f Meister Eckhart (1260 - 1328) (Germany/France Christianity) m Gertrude The Great (1265 - 1301) ( Germany, Christianity) f Emperor Fushima (1265 - 1317) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Bhagat Trilochan (1267 - 13??) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Bhakti Yoga) m Gora Kumbhar (1267 - ?) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna /Vitthala) m Keizan Jokin (1268 - 1325) (Japan, Buddhism - Soto Zen) m Deshikar (1268 - 1369) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism) m Vedanta Desika (1269–1370) (North Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga) m Namdev (1270 - 1350) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna /Vitthala) m Empress Eifuku (1271 - 1242) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) f Shiwu / Stonehouse (1272 - 1352) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m John of Ruysbroeck (1273 - 1381) (Belgium, Christianity) m Nivrutti (1273 - 1297) (Bharat, Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Krishna/Vitthala Bhakti Yoga) m Ryuzan (1274 - 1358) (Japan, Buddhism, Zen) m Jnaneshvar / Jnana Deva (1275 - 1296) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism Bhakti Yoga, Krishna /Vitthala) m Muso Soseki (1275 - 1351) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Sant Sopandeo (1277 - 1296) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna /Vitthala) m Kokan Shiren (1278–1347) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen, Rinzai) m Muktabai (1279 - 1297) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna /Vitthala) f Sawata Mali (12?? _ 12/13??) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna /Vitthala) m Changa Deva (? - 1305) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Hatha Yoga master convert to Bhakti Yoga, Krishna /Vitthala) m


Chokhamela (first untouchable saint) (12?? - 13??) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna /Vitthala) m Narhari Sonar (12?? - 1313) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna /Vitthala) m Raka Kumbhar (?) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna / Vitthala) m Santaji Pawar(?) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna / Vitthala) m Daito (1282 - 1337) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Rangjung Dorje (1284 - 1339) (Tibet, Buddhism) m Heishin (1287 - 1369) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Mahmud Shabistari (circa 1288 - 1340) (Persia, Islam - Sufism) m Sesson Yubai (1290 - 1346) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Jakushitsu (1290 - 1367) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Betsugen Enshi (1294 - 1364) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Janabai (1298 - 1350) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna / Vitthala) f Baekoon Kyunghan (1299 - 1375) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Avaiyar (1300s) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga) f Bilwa Mangal (1300s) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m Manikkavachakar (1300s) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga) m Jusammi Chikako (1300s) (Japan - Buddhism, zen) f Chugan Engetsu (1300 - 1375) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Longchen Rabjampa (1308 - 1363) (Tibet, Buddhism) m T’aego Pou (1301 - 1382) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Ryusen Reisai (? - 1360) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Shutaku (1308 - 88) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Naong Hyegun (1320–76) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Appaya Dikshita (1320 - 1392) (Bharat, Shaivism - Advaita) m Gido Shushin (1325 - 1388) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Lalleshwari (1326? - ?) (Bharat, Kasmir, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga) f !488

Bassui (1327 - 1357) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Jagamitra Naga (1330 - 1380) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna /Vitthala) m Guchu (1334 - 1409) (Japan, Buddhism, Zen) m Zekkai Chushin (1336 - 1405) (Japan, Buddhism, Zen) m Baru Chandidas (1339-?) (Bharat - Bengal, Vaishnava - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m Vidyapati (1340? - 1430) (Bharat - Bengal, Bhakti Yoga - Vaishnava, (Krishna) m Meshullam da Piera (1342 - 1418) (Spain, Judaism - Kabbala) m Julian of Norwich (1342 - 1416) (England, Christianity) f Krittivasa (1346 - 1390) (Bharat - Bengal, Vaishnava) m Svatmarama (mid 1300s) (Bharat, Shaivism) m Sain (13?? - 14??) (Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga) m Catherine of Siena (1347 - 1380) (Italy, Christianity) f Vidyapati (1352? - 1448) (Bharat - Bengal, Vaishnavism - Krishna) m Tsongkhapa (1357 - 1419) (Tibet, Buddhism) m Chunbong Manwoo (1357 - ?) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Ramanand (1366 - 1467) (Bharat - Banaras, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Rama-Guru of Kabir) m Dhanna (13?? - 14??) (Bharat - Rajasthan, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga) m Imadeddin Nasimi (1369? - 1418) (Turkey, Islam - Sufism) , m Vidyapati (1374? - 1460) (Bharat - Bengal, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m Hambur Kiwha (1376- 1433) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Nunda Reshi (1377 - 1442) (Bharat - Kashmir, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga, Reshi) m Ikkyu Sojun (1394 - 1481) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Wulian (1395 - 1419) (China, Buddhism) f Giten (1396 - 1465) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Ravidas (1399 - 1519) (Bharat - Banaras, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, guru of Mira Bai) m Kanhopatra (1400s) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna / Vitthala) f Keso Shogaku (1400s) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m !489

Seisen (1400s) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Toin (1400s) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Tokugaku (1400s) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Maladhar Basu (1400s) (Bharat - Bengal, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m Pampattic Cittar (1400s) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga) m Ümmi Kemal (1400s) (Turkey, Islam - Sufism) m Sena Nhavi (1400s) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna / Vitthala) m Najat Ozkaya (1400s) (Turkey - Islam, Sufiism) m Pattinathar / Thiruvenkadar (1400s or 1500s?) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga) m Shinkei (1406 - 1475) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Sripadaraja (1406 - 1504) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Rama) m Annamacharya (1408/24? - 1503) (Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Vishnu) m Pipa Sahib (1408 - 1468) (Central Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga) m Narasinha Mehta (1414 - 80) (Bharat - Gujarath, Hinduism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m Jami (1414 - 92) (Persia/Afghanistan, Islam - Sufism) m Gokei (1416 - 1500) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Iio Sogi (1421 - 1502) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Keisen (1425 - 1500) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Pipa (1425 - ?) (Bharat - Rajasthan, Shakti & Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m Saisho (? - 1506) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Sister Bertken (1427? - 1514) (Netherlands, Christianity) f Bidyapati (1433 - 1481) (Bharat - Bengal, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m Hakutei (1437 - 1527) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Kabir (1440 - 1518) (Bharat - Punjab, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Rama) m Bhanudas (Eknath’s grandfather) (1448 - 1513) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna /Vitthala) m ‘A’ishah al-Bacuniyah (? -1517) (Damascus, Islam, Sufi) f !490

Catherine of Genoa (1447 - 1510) (Italy, Christianity) f Vyasaraya (1447 - 1539) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Rama) m Saiokuken Socho (1448 - 1532) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Srimanta Sankardeva (1449 - 1568) (Bharat - Assam) (Naam Dharma - Bhakti Yoga) m Bammera Potana (1450 - 1510) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Rama) m Drukpa Kunlek (1455 - 1570) (Tibet, Buddhism) m Yusuf Sineçak (? - 1534) (Turkey, Islam - sufism) m Karma Trinley (1456 - 1539) (Tibet, Buddhism) m Sri Vyasaraja Tirtha (1460 - 1539) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Hanuman) m Guru Nanak (1469-1539) (North Bharat - Punjab, Sikh (1st Guru) Bhakti Yoga) m Wu Wei (late 1400s - mid 1500s) (China, Buddhism, ?Ch’an) f Malik Muhammad Jayasi (1477 - 1542) (Bharat, Islam - Sufism) m Guru Amardas (1479-1574) Bharat - Punjab, Sikh (3rd Guru) - Bhakti Yoga) m Manjhan (14?? - 15??) ) (Bharat, Islam - Sufism) m Vallabhacharya (1479 - 1531) (Central Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m Amardas (1479-1574) (Bharat Sikh (3rd Guru) - Bhakti Yoga) m Fuzuli (1480 - 1556) (Iraq, Islam Shia Sufism) m Hueung Powoo (?- 1565) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Bhikan (1480 - 1573) (Bharat - Punjab, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga) m Sri Vaadiraaja Tiirtha (1480-1600) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna and Rukmini) m Rukmineesa Vijaya Narahari Sarkar (1482 - 1582) (Bharat - Bengal, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m Surdas (1483 - 1563) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m Purandara Dasa (1484 - 1564) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Rama) m Caitanya (1486 - 1532) (Bharat - Bengal, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m !491

Madhavdeva (1489 - 1596) (Bharat _ Assam) )(Naam Dharma - Bhakti Yoga) m Gobindadas (14?? - 15??) (Bharat - Bengal, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m Mira Bai (1499 - 15??) (Rajasthan, Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) f Arunagirinathar (? - mid 1500s) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga) m Mankoji Bodhale (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna / Vitthala) m Brindaban Das (1500s) (Bharat - Bengal, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m Kanhopatra (1500s)(Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna / Vitthala) f Jueqing (1500s) (China, Buddhism, ?Ch’an) f Bhagavatha Mahathmya (1500s) (South Bharat, Bhakti Yoga) m Sayed Martuza (1500s) (Bharat - Bengal, Islam/Vaishnavism - Fakir, Bhakti Yoga) m Latib Shah 1500s) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna / Vitthala) m Tansen (1500s) (Bharat, Shaivism &Islam- Bhakti Yoga and Sufism) m Sridhara Venkatesa Ayyaval (1500s) ((South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga) m Guru Angad (1504-1552) (Bharat - Punjab, Sikh (2nd Guru) - Bhakti Yoga) m Janardana Swami (1504 - 1575) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna /Vitthala) m Solomon ben Moses Alkabetz (1505 - ?) (Palestine, Judaism - Kabbalism) m Sri Kanakadasa (1508 - 1606) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Rama) m Teresa of Avila (1515 - 1582) (Spain, Christianity) f Chungbur Hyujung (1520 - 1604) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Sen-no-Rikyu (1522 - 1591) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m ?Luis de León (1528 - 1591) (Spain, Judism to Christianity) m Ganyanadas (1530-?) (Bharat - Bengal, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m Tulasidasa (1532 - 1623) (North Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Rama) m Raskhan (1533 - 1588) (Bharat - ttar Pradesh, Islam / Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m !492

Eknath (1533 - 1599) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna / Vitthala) m Jungwan Ilson (1533- 1608) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Saiyid Ibrahim Raskhan (1533 - 1618) (North Bharat, Muslim Vaishnavism Bhakti Yoga, Krishan) m Isaac Luria (1534 - 1572) )Palenstine, Judaism - Kabbalism) m Ramdas (1534-1581) (North Bharat - Punjab, Sikh (4th Guru) - Bhakti Yoga) m Jadunandan Das Thakur (1537 - ?) (Bharat - Bengal, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m Madho Lal Shah Hussain (1539 - 1594 ) (Bharat - Punjab, Islam - Sufism) m Govindadas Kaviraj (1539 – 1613) (Bharat - Bengal, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m John of the Cross (1542 - 1591) (Spain, Christianity) m Jaewol Kyunghun (1542 - 1632) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Bubyu Sunsoo (1543 - 1615) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Samyung Yujong (1544 - 1610) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Han-Shan Te-Ch-Ing (1546 - 1623) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m poem - “On Clear Mind Contemplating Mind” Buhyu Sunsoo (1543- 1615) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Dadu Dayl (1544 - 1603) ( Bharat - Gujarat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m Samyung Yujong (1544- 1610) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Poontanam Nambudiri (1547 - 1640) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m Syed Sultan (1550? - 1648) (Bharat - Bengal, Muslim Vaishnavism - Sufi, Bhakti Yoga) m Rahim (1556 - 1627) (Bharat - Lahore, Islam - Sufism?) m Mukundaram Chakraborty (1560-?) (Bharat - Bengal, Shakti) m Muthuthandavar (1560 - 1640) (South Bharat, Bhakti Yoga) m Narayana Bhattadiri (1560 - 1655) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m !493

Bhattadri (1560 ? - 1650 ?) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna ) m Rajab (1561 - ?) (Bharat, Bhakti Yoga ) m Soyo Taeneung (1562 - 1649) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Guru Arjan (1563 - 1606) (Bharat - Punjab, Sikh (5th Guru) - Bhakti Yoga) m Jungkwan Haean (1567- ?) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Yuan Hung-tao (1568 - 1610) (China, Buddhism) m ?Matsunaga Teitoku (1571 - 1653) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Takuan Soho (1573 - 1645) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen, Rinzai) m Hsuan Chuen (15?? - 16??) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Ungo (1580 - 1659) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen, Rinzai) m Narayana Teertha (1580 - 1660) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m Pyungyang Ungee (1581 - 1644) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Chini Sucho (1590 - 1668) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Manan (1591 - 1654) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Hurbak Myungjo (1593 - 1661) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Kshetrajna (1595-16??) South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m Xinggang (1597 - 1654) (China, Buddhism, Ch’an) f Kashiram Das (15??-16??) (Bharat - Bengal, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m Melpathus Narayana battathiir (1559 - 1632 ) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishan) m Narayaneeyam Akha (first half 1600s) (Bharat Gujarat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m Abdullah el Bosnavi (1600s) (Bharat, Islam - Sufism) m Jifu (1600s) (China, Buddhism, Ch’an) f Jingwei (1600s) (China, Buddhism) f Jizong (1600s) (China, Buddhism, Ch’an) f Kanhoba (Tukaram’s brother) (1600s) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna /Vitthala) m Sah Abdul Karim (1600s) (Northwest Bharat, Islam - Sufi) m Ghanashyam Das Kaviraj (1600s) (Bharat - Bengal, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga) m !494

Mingben (1600s) (China, Buddhism, Ch’an) f Naftali Bacharach (1600s) (Germany, Judaism - Kabbalism) m Narayana Theertha (1600s) South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishan) m composed Krishna Lila Tarangini Shaik Mohamad (1600s) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna /Vitthala) m Shenyi (1600s) (China, Buddhism) f Vemana (1600s) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga) m Yinyue (1600s) (China, Buddhism, Ch’an) f Zaisheng (1600s) (China, Buddhism) f Kshetrajna (1600 - 1680) South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna ) m Soin ( 1604 - 1682) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Xingche (1606 - 16??) (China, Buddhism, Ch’an) f Kalden Gyatso (1607 - 1677) (Tibet, Buddhism) m Natsok Rangdrol (1608 - ?) (Tibet, Buddhism) m Tukarama (1608 - 1650) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna /Vitthala) m Samartha Ramadas (1608 - 1680) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna /Vitthala) m Sarmad (? - 1657) (Bharat - Hinustan, Judiasm/Islam - Sufism) m Anne Bradstreet (1612 - 1672) (England, Massachusetts Bay Colony, Christanity Puritanism) f Baggok Choneung (1617 - 1680) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Niyazi Mısri (1617 - 1694) (Turkey, Islam, - Sufism) m Gesshu Soko (1618 - 1696) (Japan, Buddhism - Soto Zen) m Rupa Bhawani (1620 - 1720) (Bharat - Kasmir, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga) f Tegh Bahadur (1621 - 1675) (Bharat - Amritsar, Sikh (9th Guru) Bhakti Yoga) m Angelus Silesius (1624 - 1677) (Germany, Christian) m Yikui (1625 - 1679) (China, Buddhism, Ch’an) f Keshava (? - 1682) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m


Kumaraguruparar (1628 - 1688) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga, one of 63 Nayanmars)** m Dinkar (1628 - 1694-7) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m Bahina Bai (1628-1700 ) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna /Vitthala) f Sultan Bahu (1631 - 1691) (Bharat - Punjab, Islam - Sufism) m Niloba Makassare (1635 - ?) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna /Vitthala) m Manzan Dohaku (1635 - 1714) (Japan, Buddhism - Soto Zen) m Zeb-un-Nissa (1637 - 1702) (Bharat - Punjab, Islam - Sufism) m Thomas Traherne (1637 - 1674) (England, Christianity) m Woljo Toan (1638- 1715) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Abdul-Qader Bedil (1642–1720) (Bharat - Azimabad, Islam - Sufism) m Edward Taylor (1642 - 1729) (New England, Christian) m Basho (1644 - 1694) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Hwansung Jian (1664 - 1729) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Manzan (1649 - 1709) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Sheikh Chand (1650? - 1725) (Bharat - Bengal, Muslim & Vaishnavism - Sufi, Bhakti Yoga) m Muyong Sooyon (1651 - 1719) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Margadarsi Sesha Iyengar (late 1600s-early 1700s) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism Bhakti Yoga, Lord Ranganatha) m Bodhendra Swamigal (? - 1692) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Rama) m Mizuta Masahide (1657? - 1723) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Jingnuo (late 1600s - 17??) (China, Buddhism, Ch’an) f Chaoyan (16?? - 17??) (China, Buddhism, Ch’an) f Kedu (16?? - 17??) (China, Buddhism, Ch’an) f Shih-shu (late 1600s - early 1700s) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Takarai Kikaku (1661 - 1707) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m !496

Uekima Onitsura (1661 - 1738) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Hwansung Jian (1664 - 1729) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Guru Obind Singh (1666 - 1708) (Bharat - Punjab, Sikh (10th Guru) - Bhakti Yoga) m Pallavi Gopala Iyer (late 1600s - early 1700s)(South Bharat, Bhakti Yoga) m Dariya Sahib (1674 - 1780) (Bharat, Bhakti Yoga) m Bulleh Shah (1680 - 1758) (Bharat - Punjab, Islam - Sufism) m Shahji Maharaja (1684 - 1710) (South Bharat) (Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga, Lord Tyagaraja) m Vijayadasa (1687 - 1755) Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Rama) m Shah Bhiyai (1689 - 1752) (Bharat - Punjab, Islam - Sufism) m Hakuin Zenji (1685/9 - 1768/9) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen/Rinzai) m Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai (1689 - 1752) (Bharat, Northern, Islam - Sufism) m Anzan Daiko (1690 - 1754) (Japan, Buddhism - Soto Zen) m Chunkyang Haewon (1691 - 1770) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Seyyed Ahmad Hatef (16?? - 1777) (Persia, Islam - Sufism) m Abdullah el Bosnavi (1700s) (Bharat, Islam - Sufism) m Sadasiva Brahmendra (1700s) (South Bharat, Advaita - Karma, Bhakti & Jnana yoga) m Kanu Fakir (1700s) (Bharat - Bengal, Muslim Vaishnavism - Sufism, Bhakti Yoga) m Kavi Matrubhutayya (1700s) (South Bharat, Bhakti Yoga, Sugandhi Kundambika) m Papavinasa Mudaliar (1700s) (South Bharat, Bhakti Yoga) m Padmalochan (1700s) (Bharat - Bengal, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga (Baul), Krishna) m Oottukkadu Venkatasubba Iyer (1700 - 1765) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m Fukuda Chiyo-ni (1703 - 1775) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) f Thayumanavar (1706 - 1742) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga) m Sauda (1706 - 1781) (Bharat - Punjab, Islam - Sufism) m !497

Kelsang Gyatso (1708 - 1757) (Tibet, Buddhism) m Paltu (1710 - 1780) (Northern Bharat, Bhakti Yoga) m Arunachala Kavirayar 1711 - 1779) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Rama) m Marimutha Pillai (1712 - 1787) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga, Shiva) m Buson (1715 - 1783) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Mahipati (1715-1790) (Bharat, Maharashtra, - Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga , Vithala (Krishna)) m Taniguchi Buson (1716- - 1784) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) Yaun Mei (1716 - 1798) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Changkya Rolpai Dorje (1717 - 1786) (Tibet, Buddhism) m Ramprasad (1718 - 1775) (Bharat - Bengal, Bhakti Yoga, Kali) m Paltu Sahib (1720 - 1780) (Bharat, Bhakti Yoga) m Dard (1720-1785) (Bharat - Punjab, Islam - Sufism) m Mookam Choinul (1722 - 1795) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Moropant (1729 - 1794) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m Daoqian (1730? - 1820) (China, Buddhism, Ch’an) f Nazir (1735 - 1845) (Bharat, Islam - Sufism) m Ann Lee (1736 ‚ 1764) (England / USA) , Christianity - Shaker) f Sachal Sarmast (1739 - 1829) (Bharat, Islam - Sufism) m Levi Yitzchak of Berditchov (1740 - 1810) (Poland, Judaism - Hassidism) m Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749 - 1832) (Germany, Christianity) m Tagami Kikusha (1753-1826) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen?) f Galib Dede (Seyh Galib) (1757 - 1799) (Turkey, Islam - Sufism) m William Blake (1757 - 1827) (England, Christianity) m Ryokan (1758 - 1831) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Gungthang Tenpai Dronme (1762 - 1822) (Tibet, Buddhism) m Syama Sastri (1762 - 1827) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti yoga Parvati/Shakti/ Devi ((Shiva’s consort)) ) m Kobayashi Issa (1763 - 1827) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m !498

Tulsi Sahib (1763 - 1843) (Hathras, Bharat, Bhakti Yoga) m Tyagaraja (1767 - 1847) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Rama) m Bibi Hayati (? - 1853) (Bharat - Punjab, Islam - Sufism) f Kamalakanta (1773? - 1820?) (Bharat, Shakti - Kali) m Lalon Shah (1774-1890) (Bharat - Bengal) (Vaishnavism, Islam - Bhakti Yoga (Baul), Krishna - ) m Seyh Galip (1757 - 1799) (Turkey, Islam, Sufism) m Ann Griffiths (1776 - 1805) (Wales, Christianity ) f Muthuswami Dikshitar (1776 - 1835) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti yoga) m Jagannatha Dasa (1780 - 1809) (Bharat, Kannada, Vaishnava - Bhakti) m Shapkar Tsogdruk Rangdrol (1781 - 1851) (Tibet, Buddhism) m Iriyamman Tampi (1782 - 1856) (South Bharat) m Choeui Eusoon (1786 - 11866) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Otagaki Rengetsu (1791 - 1875) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen?) f Swami Parmanand (1791 - 1879) (Bharat - Kashmir, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga (Rishi), Krishna - ) m Gong Zizhen (1792 - 1841) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Mirza Abbas Forughi Bastami (1792 - 1853) (Persia, Islam - Sufism) m Ryonen (1797 - 1863) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) f Ghalib (1797 - 1869) (Bharat, Islam - Sufism) m Bibi Hayati (1800s) (Persia, Islam - Sufism) f Lianghai Ru’de (1800s) (China, Buddhism, Ch’an) f Ananta Gosain (1800s) (Bharat - Bengal) (Vaishnavism, Islam - Bhakti Yoga (Baul, Krishna) m Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882) (United States, Christianity) m Mirza Kak (1805 - 1891) (Bharat - Kasmir, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga) m Za Paltrul Rinpoche (1808 - 1887) (Tibet, Buddhism) m Pagla Kanai (1809-1889) (Bharat - Bengal) (Islam, Fakir - Bhakti Yoga (Baul), Krishna) m Gopalakrishna Bharati (1811 - 1896) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti yoga) m Swati Tirunal (1813 - 1846) (Souther Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti yoga, Parvati) m !499

Theophan the Recluse (1815 - 1894) (Russia Eastern Orthodox, mystic, m Chone Lama Rinpoche (1816 - ?) (Tibet, Buddhism) m Walt Witman (1819 - 1891) (United States, ?) m Ramalingam Adigal (1823 - 1874) (South Bharat, Advita) m Vedanayakam Pillai (1826 - 1889) (South Bharat, born Catholic/ø?Vaishnavism Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886) (United States, Christianity) f Edwin Arnold (1832 - 1904) (England, Bharat & Japan, ?) m Kangal Harinath (1833 - 1896) (Bharat - Bengal), Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m Hsu Yun (1840 - 1959) (China - Buddhism, Ch’an) m Kanhupad Shamas Faqir (1843 - 1910 (Bharat - Kashmir, Islam - Sufism) m Po Ching (1884 - 1918) (China - Buddhism, Ch’an) m Khawja Ghulam Fareed (1845 - 1901) (Bharat - Punjab, Islam - Sufism) m Patnam Subramania Iyer (1845 - 1902) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga) m Tryambak (1850 - ?) (Bharat - Maharashtra, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m Ching An (1851 - 1912) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Panja Shah (1851 - 1914) (Bharat - Bengal) (Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga (Baul), Krishna) m Vladimir Solovyov (1853 - 1900) (Russia, Eastern Orthodox, mystic) m Dawu (1854 - 1927) (China, Buddhism - Ch’an?) f Narayana Prasad / Dadaji (1854 - 1900) (Bharat, Vaishnavism - Krishna) m Hasan Raja (1854-1922) (Bharat - Bengal, Islam - mystic) m Bhima Bhoi (1855? - 1894) (Bharat - Orissa, Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga, Krishna) m Chandidas Gosain (? - 1938) (Bharat - Bengal) (Vaishnavism, Bhakti Yoga, Baul ) m Satchitanandaji (1860 - 1950) (Northern Bharat, Vaishnavism - Krishna) m Swami Vivekananda (1863 - 1902) (Northern Bharat, Advaita) m Kodōjin (1865-1944) (Japan, Buddhist, Zen) m. !500

Das Ganu (1867 - 1962) (Bharat - Maharastra ) (Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga) m Gosain Gopal (1869-1912) (Bharat - Bengal) (Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga (Baul) m Sri Aurobindo (1872 - 1950) (Bharat, Vaishnavism - Bhakti/Raja Yoga, Krishna) m Yogaswami (1872 - 1964) (Sri Lanka, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga) m Hayyim Nahman Bialik (1873-1934) (Russia, Germany, Isreal - Judaism) m Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1926) (Germany, ?) m Antonio Machado (1875 - 1939) (Spain, ?) m Santoko Taneda (1875 - 1940) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Allama Iqbal (1877 - 1938) (Bharat, Northern, Islam - Sufism) Riche Ded / Saenpat Devi (1880 - 1966) (Bharat - Kashmir, ?) f Subramania Bharati (1882 - 1921) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Parvati - Bhakti Yoga) m Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882 - 1927) (Bharat/Europe, Islam - Sufism) m Phatik Chand (? - mid 1900s) (Bharat - Bengal) (Vaishnavism - Bhakti Yoga (Baul), Krishna) m Khalil Gibran (1883 - 1931) (Lebanon - France - United States, Christianity Maronite Catholic, mystic) m Paramahansa Yogananda (1883 - 1952) (Bharat/USA, Vaishnavism, Kriya Yoga) m Morihei Ueshiba (1883 - 1969) (Japan, Buddhism - Aikido) m Master Ji (1884 - 1965) (Bharat - Kashmir, Hindu-Islam blend) m ?Gabriela Mistral (1889 - 1957) (Chile, ?) f Papanasam Sivan (1890 - 1973) (South Bharat, Shaivism - Bhakti Yoga) m Krishnamurti (1895 - 1986) (Bharat & United States, Advaita) m Paul Reps (1895 - 1990) (United States, Buddhism - Zen) m Miyazawa Kenji (1896 - 1933) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (1897 - 1981) (Bharat, Advaita) m Suddhananda Bharati (1897–1987) (South Bharat, ) m Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899-1976) (Bharat - Bengal) (Islam, Fakir - Bhakti Yoga (Baul), Krishna) m Shinkichi Takahashi (1901 - 1978) (Japan, Buddhism - Zen) m Necip Fazıl Kısakürek( 1904 - 1983) {Turkey, Islam - Sufism) m !501

Sister Miriam /Jessica Powers (1905 - 1988) (United States, Christian - Carmelite Nun) f Asaf Halet Çelebi (1907 - 1958) (Turkey, Islam - Sufism) m Frithjof Schuon (1907 - ) (Germany and France, Christianity) m Swami Muktananda (1908 - 1982) (Bharat, Shaivism) m Ambujam Krishna (?? - 1989) (South Bharat, Vaishnavism, - Bhakti Yoga, Krishan) f Longlian (1909 - ?) (China, Buddhism) f Thomas Merton (1915 - 1968) (United States, Christanity - Catholic mystic) m Robert Lax (1915 - 2000) (United States, Christanity - Catholic mystic) m Robert Aitken (1917 - ) (United States, Buddhism - Rinzai Zen) m Anna Kamienska (1920 - 1986) (Poland, Christian) f Darshan Singh (1921-1989) (Bharat, Sikh, Surat Shabd Yoga) m Philip Whalen (1923 - 2002) {United States, Buddhism - Zen) m Lew Welch (1926 - 1971?) (United States, Buddhism - Zen),m. Thich Nhat Hahn (1926 - 2019) (Vietnam/France, Buddhism) m Zemey Lobsang Palden (1927 - 1996) (Tibet, Buddhism) m Seung Sahn (1927 - 2004) (Korea / United States, Buddhism - Zen) m Bodharanya (? - 1956) (Bharat, Vedanta) m Gary Snyder (1930 - ) (USA, Buddhist - Zen) m Sri Chinmoy (1931 - ) (Bharat - Bengal to New York, Advaita?) m Sezai Karakoç(1933 - ) (Turkey, Islam - Sufism) m Ko Un (1933 - ) (Korea, Buddhism - Ch’an) m Wendell Berry (1934 - ) (United States, Christianity) m mystic poets http://www.poetseers.org/themes/mystical-poetry/index.html zen source https://www.dailyzen.com/quotes/archive/2016/04/ ------!502

? name - - unsure of realization or depth of mysticism *Japanese Zen name; Chinese name unknown to me ** one of 63 Naayanmaars ***included despite anti-Semitism


November, 2018.


Appendix 9: Spiritual Typology Terms for the state of established Enlightened Consciousness, Self Realization or God Realization are numerous. This “state” — state, non state, non non state — being outside the mind, remains indescribable. Any term used to describe or name it automatically limits that which has no limits (that which has no limits is itself limiting). Despite this fact, terms and symbols abound in discourse and poetry, arrows pointing to the unpointable. Buddhism uses the widely known Sanskrit term, Nirvana, final liberation. For Zen, it is Satori. After the initial awakening stage, the first real moment or flash of actualization, the individual has moved from a belief or faith system to one based on experience verifying the method’s promise. Before Satori, Kensho — the initial awakening — is followed by deep insightful Kensho flashes revealing bits and pieces of Truth, the Absolute, until final immersion. In Chinese, the term for enlightenment is Wu. There’s a sound expressing the sudden fall into the Unspeakable. Chien-hsing is the Ch’an equivalent for Kensho. Other Buddhist terms for enlightenment are True Mind, Mind Ground, Universe of Realities, Being As Is, True Suchness, and Buddha Nature. For Ch’an / Zen some of the terms are The Self, True Eye, Wondrous Mind, Host or Master, Bottomless Bowl, Stringless Harp, Inexhaustible Lamp, Rootless Tree, Razor-sharp Sword, Land of Effortlessness, Pearl of the Sage, Keyless Lock, Mind Mirror, and Mind Moon. Definitions or descriptions for the stages or stations leading one to Fana, absorption into Deity, differ among the Islamic Sufi schools or lineages. Before the awakening, when one dwells in Nasut, the state of ordinary awareness; the heart tip points downward. With the initial awakening or the turning of the heart, Shau, the heart tip points upwards. After the awakening one strides along the path of Purification, Tariqa, reaching the awareness of angles, Malakut. The stage before absorption into Deity, Ma'rifa, translates as Gnosis, knowledge of God. Within Gnosis, some or all 99 beautiful names of Allah, each an attribute of the whole, will be directly experienced. Fana itself has its levels, the highest of which !504

translates as Fana Al-Fana, the passing-away of the passing-away where one is now fully cloaked in contemplation in the Deity. To add some detail: As he mentions, such Self-revelations were called 'lightning-flashes' (barqiyya) by Ibn ʿArabī, because of the speed of their arrival and the brevity of their appearance. They can only occur to one who is completely empty of all qualities, states and so on, in fact empty of all that is multiple, even interior or exterior. He says that he himself experienced this essential Selfrevelation, and when he was writing about this inspiration, he came to understand that his interior could not comprehend the mystery of Muhammad's saying 'I have a time with God, in which none but my Lord suffices me', and the hadīth 'God is and there is nothing with Him', and the verse 'Our command is but a single word like the twinkling of an eye' (Q. 54. 50). He adds that to be truly able to comprehend these sayings one has to have such an immediate experience, and only then can one understand that the established entities (al-aʿyān al-thābita) are the realities of existent things.1 Chien-hsing / Kensho can be compared to the Christian experience of being reborn, baptized not in the water of redemption, rather, as stated by John the Baptist, the Holy Ghost (Spirit). This baptismal experience is also known as the regenerative experience: Mark 1:8 He will baptize you with the Holy Ghost; Matthew 3:11 He will baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire; Luke 3:16 He will baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire; John 1:33 this is He who baptizes with the Holy Ghost). Luke 11:36: “If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.” Luke 17:21: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Initially, the Puritans would not allow an individual to become a full member of the congregation unless she or he could prove before a church committee the


regenerative experience to such a depth that their life was totally informed by it, a true awakening. Outside its mystical traditions, Christianity generally identifies three aspects of the Divine: Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Sophia, Wisdom, is a fourth aspect recognized by the mystics and the Orthodox Church. Islam identifies 100 aspects: Allah being the first followed 99 Beautiful Names. Each major god and goddess of the Sanaatana Dharma (Eternal Dharma) has 108 or 1008 names; each name is an identified and experienced aspect. The Eternal Dharma also recognizes and honors the Divine form and aspects of other religions. The Bhakti Saint Poet Mira Bai had a vision of 33 millions gods and goddesses. Each of these being a ray, a pathway to the center of the Whole. Those inhabiting the South Asian Subcontinent call their land Bharat after the youngest brother of Rama, Bharata. The Way of Bharat (India), the Sanaatana Dharma, the Eternal Dharma, exists not as an exclusive path for those of Bharat but all humankind. Contrary to popular misconceptions, the Eternal Dharma is neither pagan nor polytheistic but monotheistic. The Eternal Dharma’s roots are found as deep as the many thousands years old Rig Veda, perhaps deeper. Sanskrit is a gold mine for spiritual terms.2 Sanskrit terms for enlightenment are Sabikalpa Samadhi, Nirbikalpa Samadhi, Moksha and Mukti. Satchitananda, "truth- consciousness-bliss is existence truth (Sat), consciousness(Chit), and Bliss (Ananda) is union with the absolute. Sakshatkara, is the experience of the seeker equivalent to the Christian regenerative or reborn experience. It is the ultimate state of a seeker, a realization of what is being sought that pervades the seeker’s being. The experienced depth is such that he or she has been changed from simple belief to an established conviction that cannot be dissuaded by any argument or suggestion. Rasasvada is the tasting of bliss of lower Samadhi. Samadhi itself is the control of body and mind consciousness from the initial Laya Samadhi, a state of joy, to Savikalpa Samadhi, a temporary state of full Samadhi where, while bliss is experienced, the mind remains active, to Sabikalpa Samadhi where the ego is merged with the Divine, to Nirvikalpa Samadhi where everything is one, a Pure Awareness, an unchanging reality leading to Moksha or Mukti. It is possible to !506

remain in Nirvikalpa Samadhi and function in this world; this is called Sahaja Samadhi. From the Katha Upanishad 1.2.20: The Self, finer than the finest, larger than all the vast space, hides in the secret heart of all creatures. Its Majesty is beheld upon freedom from all desire. 2.6.15: When the knots of the heart are untied, the individual is then freed from worldly attachments becoming immortal. This is the whole of the teaching. 2.6.17. Small as a thumb, the Self dwells within the heart. As one patiently withdraws pith from its reed, remove the Self from attachment. From the Taittiriya Upanishad 6.11: Vast heaven that is within the heart there dwells the immortal, golden Self. From Svetasvatara Upanishad 4.17: The Self is seated forever in the hearts of all creatures. The Self is realized by the heart, mind and intellect. Who know this become immortal. From the Munduka Upanishad 2.2.3: Take up the great bow of the Upanishads, set an arrow sharpened by devotion, draw the bow with your heart only focused on the contemplation of That, and strike That as thy target, even into the Immutable. 2.2.4 Om, the bow; the Self, the arrow, the target, Brahman. With unflinching aim, the target is to be hit: Then, the Self becomes One with Brahman.


From the Bhagavad Gita Discourse 10: The Yoga Of The Divine Glories 20. I am the Self, Indweller in every heart; I am Alpha through Omega for all beings. Discourse 13: The Yoga Of Distinction Between The Field & The Knower Of The Field 17. I, the Undivided, appear divided alive in all beings as Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer. 18. I am the Light of the light beyond all darkness: I am knowledge, its object and its goal seated in the hearts of all beings. Discourse 15: The Yoga Of The Supreme Spirit 15. Seated in the hearts of all, I give and take memory and knowledge. I am the subject and author of the Vendanta and the Vedas. Discourse 18: The Yoga Of Liberation By Renunciation 63. O Arjuna, the Divine lives in the heart of all beings, and with His illusionary power causes them to rotate as if on a wheel. From the New Testament Luke 11:36: “If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.” Luke 17:21: “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”


2 Corinthians 4:6: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

1 2

http://www.ibnarabisociety.org/articles/haqq-and-tahqiq.html November, 2018. Divine Life Society glossary http://www.dlshq.org/glossary.htm November, 2018.



Appendix 10












Appendix 10. Dona Mayoora : Asemic Zen Bull Independence Haiku, How to catch a moonlight Yin Moon Shidarezakura in the light of the water Listening to Red Rain, from Rain Series Saudade Fire, Water and Aria of the River Heard your name 3 times — Earth, Sea & Sky



7. Abridged Bibliography Addas, Claude. Quest for the Red Sulphur: The Life of Ibn ‘Arabī’. Peter Kingsley, Translator. Cambridge: Islamic Texts Society, 1993. Addiss, Stephen. The Art of Haiku: Its History through Poems and Paintings by Japanese Masters. Boston: Shambhala, 2012. Adema, Marcel, and Michel Decaudin. Apollinaire: Oeuvres Poetiques. Paris: Gallimard, 1965. Affron, Mattew, et al. Inventing Abstraction, 1910-1925. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2013. web site http://aestheticperspectives.com/inventingabstraction-1910-1925-moma/or https://monoskop.org/Symphony_of_Sirens November, 2018. Aguiar, Fernando, and Gabriel Rui Silva. Concreta. Experimental. Visual: Poesia Portuguesa 1959-1998. Lisbon: Instituto De Cultura E Lingua Portuguesa, 1998. Al-Adhamy, Firyal, Do Not Unveil My Colors, A Homeland Sleeps There., Kingdom of Bahrain: Union Press, 2014. Al-Ghazali. Al-Ghazali on the Ninety-Nine Beautiful Names of God. David Burrell and Nazih Daher, Translators. Cambridge: England, Islamic Text Society, 1999. Al-Ḥallāj, Husayn ibn Mansur. The Tawasin of Mansur Al-Ḥallāj, in Verse: A Mystical Treatise on Knowing God, & Invitation to the Dance. Jabez L. Van Cleef, Translator. Cooperstown: Create Space, 2008. Al-Ḥallāj, Husayn ibn Mansur. Hallaj: Poems of a Sufi Martyr. Carl W. Ernst, Translator. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2018. Al-Jerrahi Al-Halveti,Tosun Bayrak, et al. The Most Beautiful Names. Louisville: Threshold Books, 1983. Alarcón, Miguel Molina, Translator. Baku: Symphony of Sirens: Sound Experiments in The Russian Avant-Garde https://monoskop.org/ Symphony_of_Sirens November, 2018. !524

Altmann, Roberto. Tecken: Lettres, Signes, Ecritures. Sweden: Malmo Konsthall, 1978. Anderson, Janica and Steve Zahavi Schwartz. Zen Odyssey: The Story of Sokei-an, Ruth Fuller Sasaki and the Birth of Zen in America. Somerville: Wisdom Publications, 2018. Ansari, Kwaja Abdullah. Intimate Conversations. Wheeler M. Thackston, Translator. Ramsey: Paulist Press, 1978. Anthony, David W. The Lost World of Old Europe: The Danube Valley, 50003500BC. Princeton: Princeton Universty Press, 2010. _____. The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012. Apollinaire, Guillaume. Calligrammes: Poems of Peace and War (1913-1916). Greet, Ann Hyde, Translator. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980. _____. Official site, http://www.wiu.edu/Apollinaire/ November, 2018. _____. Calligrams pdfhttps://monoskop.org/ File:Apollinaire_Guillaume_Calligrammes.pdf November, 2018. ‘Arabī, Ibn. The Bezel of Wisdom. Austin, R.W.J.Translator. New York: Paulist Press, 1980. _____. Journey to the Lord of Power: A Sufi Manual on Retreat. Rabia Terry Harris, Translator. Rochester: Inner Traditions, 1989. _____. Perfect Harmo Sufi Poetry of Ibn ‘Arabī. Translator. Hassan Massoudy. Boston: Shambhala Publications, 2002. _____. The Meccan Revelations, Vol. I. Translator. Michel Chodkiewicz, et al. New York: Pir Pubns, 2002. _____. The Meccan Revelations, Vol. 2. Translator. Michel Chodkiewicz, et al. New York: Pir Pubns, 2004. _____. Contemplation of the Holy Mysteries: The Mashahid al-asrar of Ibn ‘Arabī’. Twinch, Cecilia; Translator. Oxford: Anqa Publishing, 2008. _____. The Discloser of Desires: turjuman al ashwaq. Yousef, Mohamed Haj, Translator. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014. !525

Attar, Farid Ad-din 'attar's Memorial of God's Friends: Lives and Sayings of Sufis. Paul Losensky, Translator. Mahwah: Paulist Press, 2009. Backhouse, Janet. The Lindisfarne Gospels. Oxford: Phaidon Press, 1990. Bann, Stephen. Concrete Poetry: An International Anthology. London: London Magazine, 1967. Barnes, F. A. Canyon Country Prehistoric Art. Salt Lake City: Wasatch Publishers, 1989. Baqli, Ruzbihan. The Unveiling of Secrets: Diary of a Sufi Master. Ernst, Carl W., Translator. Chapel Hill: Parvardigar Press, 1997. Barnett, Vivian Endicott, and Josef Heifenstein. The Blue Four: Feininger, Jawlensky, Kandinsky and Klee in the New World. Cologne: Dumont Buchverlag, 1998. Barzun, Henri-Martin. Orpheus 1956: Orphic Art. New York: Henri Martin Barzun., 1956. Basmajian, Sha(u)nt, and brian david j(o(h)n)ston, Editors. bfp(h)aGe: An Anthology of Visual Poetry and Collage. Toronto: Sober Minute Press, 1989. Bauduin, Dr. Tessel M., The Metaphysical Empiricism of Hilma af Klint, Nijmegen: Radboud University, pdf https://www.academia.edu/4731567/ Tessel_M._Bauduin_The_metaphysical_empiricism_of_Hilma_af_Klint November, 2018. Baumer, Christoph. Church of the East: An Illustrated History of Assyrian Christianity. New York: I.B.Tauris; 2016. Bayer, Herbert, et al. Bauhaus 1919-1928. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1933. pdf http://monoskop.org/images/8/80/ Bayer_Herbert_Gropius_Walter_Gropius_Ise_eds_Bauhaus_1919-1928.pdf November, 2018. Beckwith, Christopher I. Greek Buddha: Pyrrho's Encounter with Early Buddhism in Central Asia. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015. Bernstein, Bruce. Modern by Tradition: American Indian Painting in the Studio Style. Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press, 1995.


Bibney, Martin and Alam, Shahid (calligraphy), God the All-Imaginer: Wisdom of Sufi Master Ibn Arabi in 99 Modern Sonnets. Vestal, Dialogic Poetry Press, 2016. Blombos Cave http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/prehistoric/blombos-cave-art.htm November, 2018. Bohn, Willard. “Guillermo de Torre and the ‘Typographical Method’.” dada/ surrealism, No. 12 Visual Poetics (1983):, 48-59. _____. The Aesthetics of Visual Poetry: 1914-1928. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986. _____. Apollinaire and the Faceless Man: The Creation and Evolution of a Modern. Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1991. _____. Apollinaire, Visual Poetry and Art Criticism. London: Bucknell University Press, 1993. _____. Apollinaire and the International Avant-Garde. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997. _____. The Rise of Surrealism: Cubism, Dada, and the Pursuit of the Marvelous. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2002. _____. Reading Visual Poetry. Plymouth, Fairleigh Dickinson, 2010. Bory, Jean-François. Once Again. New York: New Directions, 1968. Bowlt, John E., Editor and Translator. Russian Art of the Avant-Garde: Theory and Criticism 1902-1934. New York: Viking Press,1976. and http://monoskop.org/ index.php?search=russian+futurism&title=Special%3ASearch&go=%E2%8F% 8E November, 2018. Bowlt, John E. and Matthew Drutt, Editors. Amazons of the Avant-garde. New York: Guggenheim Museum, 2000. And http://monoskop.multiplace.org/ File:Exter_Goncharova_Popova_Rozanova_Stepanova_Udaltsova_Amazons_o f_the_Avant-Garde_low_res.pdf J November, 2018. Broder, Patricia Janis. Earth Songs, Moon Dreams: Paintings by American Indian Women. New York: St Martins Press., 1999. Brody, J. J. Pueblo Indian Painting: Tradition and Moderism in New Mexico, 19001930. Santa Fe: School of American Rsearch Press, 1997. !527

Brock, Sebastian. The Luminous Eye. Kalamazoo: Cistercian Publications, 1992. Brotherston, Gordon. Image of the New World: The American Continent Portrayed in Native Texts. London: Thames and Hudson, 1979. Bry, Doris and Callaway, Nicholas, Editors. Georgia O'Keefe: In the West. New York: Alfred A. Knopf; 1989 Byrum, John, and Crag Hill, Editors. Core: A Symposium on Contemporary Visual Poetry. Mentor: Core. 1993. Bulatov, Dmitry, ed. A Point of View: Visual Poetry: The 90s, An Anthology. Kalininigrad: Simplicii, 1998. Burckhardt, Titus. Mystical Astrology According to Ibn 'Arabi. Louisville: Fons Vitae, 2001. _____. Art of Islam, Language and Meaning. Bloomington: Library of Perennial Philosophy Sacred Art in Tradition, 2009. Butler, Cornelia and Schwartz, Alexandra, Editors. Modern Women: Women Artists at the Museum of Modern Art. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2010. Campbell, F. W. Groves. Apollonius Of Tyana. Chicago: Argonaut Inc., 1968. Camfield, William A. “The Machinist Style of Francis Picabia, “The Art Bulletin, 48: 3/4. (Sep.-Dec., 1966), 309-22. Chatwin, Bruce. The Songlines. New York: Viking, 1987. Cheetham, Tom. Green Man, Earth Angel: The Prophetic Tradition and the Battle for the Soul of the World. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2004. _____. All the World an Icon: Henry Corbin and the Angelic Function of Being. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 2012. Chi, Lu. The Art of Writing. Translator. Sam Hamill. Portland: Breitenbush Books, 1987. Chicago: Judy. The Dinner Party. New York: Anchor Books, 1980. Chittick, William C. “The Circle of Spiritual Ascent According to al Qunawi,” Neoplatonism & Islamic Thought. Morewedge, Parviz; Ed. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992, http://traditionalhikma.com/wp-content/ uploads/2015/02/The-Circle-of-Spiritual-Ascent-According-to-al-Qunawi-byWilliam-C.-Chittick.pdf November, 2018. !528

Clapp, Nicholas. Old Magic: Lives of the Desert Shamans. San Diego: Sunbelt Publications, 2014. Cobbing, Bob, and Peter Mayer. Concerning Concrete Poetry. England: Writers Forum, 1978. Cole, Peter, ed. The Poetry of Kabbalah: Mystical Verse from the Jewish Tradition. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012. Colombo, John Robert. New Directions in Canadian Poetry. Toronto: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971. Compton, Susan. The Worldbackwards: Russian Futurist Books 1912-16. London: British Museum Publications, 1978. _____. The Great Utopia: The Russian and Soviet Avant-Garde, 1915-1932. pp. 602-62, http://archive.org/stream/grerussi00schi#page/n5/mode/2up November, 2018. Corbin, Henry. Temple and Contemplation. Philip and Liadain Serrard, Translators. London: KPI, 1986. _____. Spiritual Body and Celestial Earth. Nancy Pearson, Translator. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989. _____. The Man of Light in Iranian Sufism. Nancy Pearson, Translator. New Lebanon: Omega Publications, 1994. _____. Alone with the Alone. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998. _____. The Voyage and the Messenger: Iran and Philosophy. Joseph Rowe, Translator. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 1998. _____. Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn ‘Arabī’. New York: Routledge, 2008. Cottington, David. Cubism in the Shadow of War: The Avant-Garde and Politics in Paris: 1905-1914. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998. Crane, Michael , AMERICAN RENEGADES : Kenneth Patchen , D. A. Levy , D. R. Wagner. Boulder: CU Art Galleries, University of Colorado, 1992. Cross, Doris. Col•umns. David and Patty Arnold, Editors. San Francisco: Trike, 1982.


Crunden, Robert M. American Salons: Encounters with European Modernism, 1885-1917. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993. cummings, e. e. Complete Poems. New York: Harourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980. Cunliffe, Barry. Europe between the Oceans, 9000 BC—AD 1000. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011. Curtay, Jean-Paul. Lettrism and Hypergraphics: The Unknown Avant-Garde 19451985. New York: Franklin Furnance, 1985. Cutsinger, James. Paths to the Heart: Sufism and the Christian East. Bloomington: World Wisdom, 2003. Cyrus, Lawrence Day. Quipus and Witches; Knots. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1967. Dencker, Klaus Peter. Text-Bilder: Visuelle Poesie International. Schaukberg: Verlag M. DuMont, 1972. _____. Optische Poesie: Von Den Prähistorischen Schriftzeichen Bis Zu Den Digitalen Experimenten Der Gegenwart (Optical Poetry: From The Prehistoric Characters To The Digital Experiments Of The Present) Handelsregister Berlin and New York: De Gruyter, 2011. _____. From Concrete to Visual Poetry with a Glance into the Electronic Future