Do we live actually in a dualistic world, a world of matter and spirit, mind and body? To treat matter as separate already makes it so. Matter, as we know it, is the matter of materialism (egotism, dualism). Yet it really didn’t come into being until Descartes divided the world into res cogitans and res extensa, thinking things—minds—thought of as spiritual, and extended things—bodies—thought of as mechanical.
Each day during Seven Pillars’ Vanishing Art event in late August 2011 a “poetic action” was planned related to one of the elements, Earth, Water, Fire and Air. Nature, in the form of Hurricane Irene, as well as other unforeseen factors, intervened, leaving the poetic action for Water undone.
Smell is the oldest, most magical sense. In ‘In Search of Past Time,’ Proust tells how, returning home for a visit one cold winter’s day, his mother offered him a cup of lime blossom tea with some plump little cakes, called “madeleines,” molded in the fluted valve of a scallop shell. At first, he declined, but then, for no particular reason, he accepted. As the lime-tea-soaked crumbs touched his palate, a strange emotion overcame him. The world stopped, and an exquisite, transcendent pleasure, like the effect of love, filling him with joy, suffused his senses.