Friday, February 01, 2008

自由の女神 The Freedom Goddess

First of all, Michael just wrote a killer introduction to integral art called What is Integral art (or, How to spot and Integral Artist). Check it.

I recently discovered that the Japanese call The Stature of Liberty “Jiyu no Megami” which means Freedom Goddess (literally, "Freedom’s Goddess"). What a great title for that beautiful sculpture. Ours is so cold and meaningless. We don't even use the term “liberty” anymore. And she isn’t just a statue. She is a Goddess for christ’s sake. A Freedom Goddess, representing the liberated body and mind, (the original name in French actually means “Liberty Enlightening the World”) She holds a torch, representing enlightenment, and a book, representing wisdom, and has light radiating out of her head, representing divinity. She is also a form of Libertas, ancient Rome's goddess of freedom. Interestingly, the Buddhists have an androgynous deity named Manjusri, who holds a flaming sword in one hand and a book in the other, with light emanating out of her head. Very similar, don't you think? Oh, the benefits of living abroad: new definitions of well-known icons. I have a new appreciation for the previously cold and meaningless American icon. Now I see her meaning. She is the Freedom Goddess, the very first form seen upon entering the new world!

Slightly related, Blaine Snow writes beautifully about the psychological benefits of living abroad. He calls them "Out-of-Culture experiences", like out-of-body experiences, and explains that these OCEs set the conditions for psychological and spiritual development which involves a process of subject de-embedding. “Since OCEs involve de-embedding the subject from its native intersubjective and interobjective backgrounds and immersion within a new cultural background, they in effect create a developmental demand on the consciousness of the subject, a demand to transcend exclusive identification with the old background, differentiate, identify, and learn new cultural constructions, and include them into a larger, more complex identification of the old plus the new background. With daily reference to the new cultural context, a foreign student studying abroad can gain both psychological distance and freedom from old cultural habits and expectations and begin to make objects out of what were once unconscious subjective experiences embedded in native cultural backgrounds.”
Isn't that wonderful!? If you want the entire paper on OCE's, let me know.

And hey, check out these images my cousin Mark just sent me. He used some of my paintings in a virtual coffee shop project for one of his animation classes. Cool huh?

1 comment:

yasuhiro said...

Are you the GOD???? thanks of beautiful minds.

May all beings be Free and in Love.

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