Mirror of Consciousness ambitiously traverses a wide range of themes pertaining to art creativity Knowledge and theory. Its unique perspective lies in its exposition of Vedic Science as brought to light by His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and in the application of the principle of this science to a preliminary analysis of the Vastusutra Upanishad. No other publication comprehensive vision.
To do justice to the topic of universal value in art and theory, the author has delved into several areas that impact the visual arts – late twentieth- century debates in art theory models of historiography new definitions of culture and tradition in the context of the individual’s own consciousness or simplest form of awareness. Though comprehensive and detailed it will appeal to those who are curious about trends in the visual arts the advent and impact of new technologies and the development of collective consciousness in our time.
“Mirror of Consciousness is an innovative, timely work that will set the tone. I believe of 21st-century scholarship in literary theory art history and aesthetics. With its keen analysis and thorough representation of the most subtle levels of aesthetic experience in the light of Maharishi Vedic Science Bonshek’s work supplies the missing link in the equation between aesthetic theory and practice, namely, the understanding and experience of higher of consciousness.
“Mirror of Consciousness should become a textbook on all conventional courses in art history, philosophy and literary studies. This assertion is hardly far-fetched considering the growing interest among the scientific community and the public at large in the (misnomered) ‘hard problem’ of consciousness.”
“Dr. Anna Bonshek’s book Mirror of Consciousness achieves a unique integration of art theory and practice language sound form and meaning. Her explanations of the experience of higher states of Consciousness and their relevance too all stages of artistic endeavor allow her to effectuate a kind of ‘grand unification’ of individual creativity and artistic practice that is quite impressive.
“It would be no exaggeration to state that the knowledge contained in Mirror of Consciousness is cosmic in significant and scope.”
ANNA BONSHEK is an English multimedia artist whose internationally exhibited work explores concepts of infinity and transformation. Holding B.A (Hons), M.A, and Ph.D. degrees in fine art and the science of creative intelligence from the Slade school of fine art and Maharishi University of management bonshek has lectured world wide and received awards for her work from the National Endowment for the arts and the royal society of Arts
Her articles have been published in journals including body, Space and Technology, Artlink New Art Examiner Modern Science and Vedic Science and as chapter on art theory in Visibly female and Reframing Consciousness Bonshek has been involved in establishing institutions of higher education in Cambodia and Australia and is the founder and Director of Akkshara an organization that promotes collaboration across film, video, music and the visual and performing arts.
In the past 50 years the field of the visual arts has in some ways changed dramatically and yet in other ways, seems relatively unperturbed by our new global information revolution. With the re-evaluation of art and aesthetics in the digital era, the question of art’s universal value seems no longer paramount. Despite this, critics and theorists continue to grapple with the idea of universality. How can the many divergent and contradictory experiences, influences and phenomena that inform cultural discourse, our sense of identity and aesthetics, be comprehended in this light?
Maharishi Science of Creative Intelligence curriculum developed in 1972 by His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, articulates the possibility of a universal state of consciousness the ability to live this permanently in individual and social life and the potential to express universality in art. It is the Science of Creative Intelligence that connects the main principles of Maharishi Vedic Science to the main conclusions of modern disciplines. The science of creative intelligence presents a unique understanding of creativity – explaining how life unfolds according to the inner dynamic of a universal field of consciousness and thereby establishing a platform for a discussion of universal value in art. Maharishi Vedic Science encompasses a wide range of disciplines and specific technologies of consciousness. (In addition to Maharishi’s Science of Creative Intelligence and Maharishi Vedic Science, Maharishi Vedic Science and Technology Maharishi’s Technologies of Consciousness (including Maharishi Transcendental Mediation program Maharishi TM-Sidhi program and Yogic Flying) are also discussed in this book). It should be noted that the diagrams used in this book as far as is possible in order to maintain accuracy follow diagrams used in publication on Maharishi Vedic Science.
Due to the resources and unique educational approach provide by Maharishi University of management a detailed and systematic study of the nature and mechanics of creativity from this unique perspective is now possible. Maharishi Vedic science has the potential to benefit humankind in every generation and all walks of life being practical and universal in its application. For this reason the department of the science of creative intelligence at Maharishi University of management formulated and initiated the Ph.D program in the science of creative intelligence- facilitating scholarly research and study in this field. This book evolved from research completed while I was a student of this pioneering doctoral program. Although the Ph. D program in S.C.I has been taught for ever science.
Throughout the 1970s and into the 1990s curriculum development new core course undergraduate and graduate offerings in art history and studio and design course- have been developed and continue to evolve under the chairmanship of Michael Cain and the art department faculty at Maharishi university of management teaching tools such as the art unified field chart and an extensive art appreciation video series discussing major works of art in the light of the science of creative intelligence are important historical markers of this consciousness-based approach to art education.
Building upon this Dr. Lee Fergusson researched archives at the Universal- documenting lectures on art and creativity given by Maharishi. In collaboration with the art faculty he structured new foundation courses and curricula: these were evaluated and continue to be updated and taught a Maharishi University of Management and the substantial volume of research generated by Dr. Fergusson is a resource for some material in this book.
Generally speaking the contents of this volume was first explored in the late 1980s; but it was later as part of doctoral research that the connection between Maharishi Vedic science and contemporary art theory were more systematically examined. For this reason. I am particularly grateful to the faculty of the science of Creative Intelligence Department the Art Department and Maharishi University of management as whole for making it possible to study and investigate in detail this unique field of knowledge. I would like to thank Dr. Bevan Morris, Dr. Geoffrey Wells, Dr. William Haney III, Dr. Frederick Worth, Dr. John Price, Dr. Thomas Egenes, Dr. Lee Fergusson, Dr. William sands, Dr. Denise Gerace Micheal Cain, Dr. Jayant Bapat, Peter Freund Martha bright and Mr. N.P Jain and the editorial staff at Motilal Banarasidas for their advice and comments. It would also have been impossible to complete this work without the support of my parents and family.
I would especially like to express my deepest gratitude to His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who has brought to light the profound knowledge of Vedic wisdom in his Vedic science for the practical benefit of this generation and all generations to come
Since the end of the cold war, the demise of modernism and the critical evaluation of totalizing theories, we have seen the development of new hybrid technological cultures and different approaches to understanding art. Many voices can be heard expressing various ideas about identity, meaning, social value, and the definition, function and effects of art. This recognition of cultural relativism is symptomatic of the surge toward ever-increasing hybridity in the cultural and art arenas. “Art” has expanded to “visual culture”- where visual culture includes all the multifarious streams of activities and products which create and define cultural discourse through visual media. Previously held elitist distinction between fine art and other forms of cultural production (such as folk art, mass media etc.) have been re-evaluated.
Each decade is associated with a particulars trend or development. The 1970s are equated with late modernism and feminism, the 1980s with postmodernism and the 1990s with transgender the body, post-colonialism, digital media and hybridity. Varying theoretical assumptions, political ideologies, and definitions of cultural formation and discourse have contributed to a range of diverse viewpoints. Against this backdrop Mirror of Consciousness: Art creativity and Veda looks at visual culture, art, creativity and the dichotomy of the modern –postmodern axis in the context of a universal understanding of consciousness. It articulates a new approach to art and theory- one that is appropriate for an increasingly global, technological world – signaling a new direction for the twenty first century However theory alone is limited in its scope and application. Only a comprehensive experience and understanding of universal value in visual culture and life in general can expand any definition and practice of art. This book argues that this experience and understanding can be gained through Maharishi Vedic science. Brought to light by His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi this Science provides complete practical knowledge of consciousness and its expressions- where consciousness is understood to be an unbounded infinite field of wakefulness that can be experienced b anyone as their own simplest form of awareness. The principles of this science, when applied present a unique possibility for human life to e lived in a state of infinite creativity fulfillment and all possibilities.
As with any theory of knowledge Maharishi Vedic Science has its own terminology and foundational principles (It should be noted that technical terms like “transcendent” are always connected to their source in consciousness, and therefore relate to direct experience.) These foundational principles provide the framework for an entirely new approach to art theory. They offer profound insights into the source of creativity and the definition of culture, art, the artist, the creative process and the purpose and effects of art. For example, an extensive discussion of different kinds of knowledge including relative and absolute knowledge can be found in part II later in parts IV and V reference is made in the role of are unfolding knowledge on the basis of this understanding.
Throughout the ages, artists have sought to express an infinite or universal dimension in art. While this aim is no longer the overreaching focus of visual culture in the 1990s – dissatisfied with art of glamour – artists and theorists began to discuss the need for universal value in art. Some argue that art which does not address the universally human cannot be called art. Partly responding to such developments this book explains how universal value in art can be viable when viewed from the perspective of Maharishi Vedic Science, because it explains that there is a universal field of life – the source of individual creativity and Nature’s creativity – which gives rise to everything in creation and that can be expressed in art. This universal field is a field of awareness of pure consciousness. It is infinite and fully awake to itself pure consciousness is the simplest from of human awareness and can be experienced by anyone through specific technologies. It is also held to be the source of history, tradition and culture; consequently it can be reflected embodied or represented in visual culture
As will be seen, Maharishi Vedic Science differs from philosophy and theory in this and other important ways: 1) as noted it is based on the principle that there is an absolute, infinite, universal field of pure consciousness or pure intelligence which through its self-referral nature, creates the manifest universal of forms and phenomena 2) it presents the details of the structure of pure consciousness in terms of pure knowledge referred to as the Constitution of the Universe or the Veda where consciousness knows itself as both one field and three differentiated values – the knower the process of knowing and the known 3) it describes the precise mechanics through which consciousness quantifies itself in terms of this structure of pure knowledge and gives rise to frequencies or impulses which through a sequential elaboration develop into the material universe 4) it provides technologies of consciousness the transcendental meditation technique and the TM-Sidhi program and Yogic flying which allow the individual to experience and operate from this field of pure consciousness 5) it explains that these frequencies of consciousness are recorded as the Veda and the Vedic literature in the language of Vedic Sanskrit; and, 6) it reveals that the human nervous system is the structure of the Veda expressed in terms of the physiology .
A science of complete knowledge, Maharishi Vedic science presents unparalleled insights into the nature of creativity, perception, psychology and the physiology. It not only provides understanding of the universal basis of existence and its expression it includes technologies to verify its principles through direct experience – a point that cannot be over emphasized. Through its exhaustive accounts of consciousness and numerous studies of the effect of the practice of technologies of consciousness the principles of this science are supported by rigorous scientific research and theory Maharishi Vedic science is referred to as the science of Veda or knowledge and presents a unique insight into the nature and value of Vedic texts the Veda and Vedic literature are describe as impulses of consciousness rather than religious or philosophical treatises. In this context, the Vastusutra Upanisad (a Vedic text dealing with art discussed by scholars in connection with Atharvavedic literature and here taken to be associated with Sthapatya Veda) is examined with respects to consciousness. As considered later both Maharishi Upanisad and Maharishi Sthapatya Veda are values of the 40 aspects of natural law.
In outlining this comprehensive description of consciousness a new definition of art and its role in individual and collective life can be articulated For example, Maharishi Vedic science explains that the universal field of pure existence can be experienced as bliss has specific qualities and a precise structure can be enlivened by the individual to systematically develop full creative potential; and is expressible in art. Principles such as these are discussed in relation to other theories reviewed in part I. Part I gives an overview of the notion of universal value and other issues in modern, India, and postmodern theory, such as the cultural and historical contextualization of visual culture and theory. Later, as for example in part IV the source of language, cultural, history and tradition is revealed, according to Maharishi Vedic science, to be the same universal field of pure consciousness experienced as a state of pure or absolute knowledge in individual awareness. By accessing and enlivening this field of pure consciousness in the state of absolute knowledge individual life collective life and the basis of all culture can be enriched.
In addition to the identification of consciousness as a universal field consciousness is also describe in Maharishi Vedic science as wholeness or wholeness on the move wholeness is the “all comprehensive, eternal reality in its unmanifest, unbounded state of intelligence;” wholeness on the move is the totality of consciousness moving within itself – generating impulses or frequencies within its own unbounded nature. These impulses are impulses of wholeness or the structure of the Veda and the Vedic literature. The Veda and the Vedic literature comprise 40 aspects or textbooks of Natural Law. While the term “Veda” means ‘pure knowledge’ Veda is also referred to as the constitution of the universe; “Natural Law” describes the governing intelligence of the universe and wholeness is the nature of self referral consciousness. Functioning within itself self referral consciousness “generates impulses of wholeness (structure of the Veda and the Vedic literature) which continuing to evolve express themselves as structure of natural law evolving into creation. This somewhat abstract theme reveals an unprecedented comprehension of the nature and mechanics in creation. Wholeness moves and can be found everywhere in creation – as impulses of the Veda and the Vedic literature impulses of self referral consciousness.
Since the focus of this book involves the application of Maharishi Vedic science to the domain of art a generalized review of theory is presented in part I Arts as Language Game – Lamenting the Loss of Universal Value. Part I briefly considers: 1) modernist notions of historical progress in art the artist as genius originality and the art object as a significant or ideal from evoking universal emotion or spiritual ; 2) Indian which holds that art should have a moral purpose and create a peaceful state of mind; 3) the postmodern redefinition of arts as a language game – debunking the myth of the avant garde and a linear or cyclical view history; and 4) in response to the shortcomings of postmodernism a need for universality is articulated providing a platform for further discussion of universal value in art.
Following this part III Accessing and Enlivening a Universal field of pure consciousness introduces the main principles of Maharishi Vedic science – including a description of the nature of consciousness, a individual and collective life as documented by scientific research. The mechanics of practicing these technologies and the details of higher states of consciousness are considered revealing that the state of absolute knowledge is the reliable ground of all streams of knowledge and creative experience and anyone can have access to infinite creativity and become a universal human being.
Entitled the Veda and the Vedic literature. The complete disclosure of nature’s creative mechanics, Part III investigates more deeply Maharishi’s description of the nature consciousness as expressed in the Veda and Vedic literature. It considered consciousness in terms of specific laws of nature which govern the universe – explaining that the 40 aspects of natural law are frequencies or the structuring dynamics of consciousness at the basis of creation. It includes a detailed description of the creative mechanics of nature functioning in terms of the Language of Nature, Considering the structure of RK Veda or pure knowledge and Maharishi Apauruseya Bhasya Apauruseya Bhasya means “uncreated commentary”, it is the uncreated commentary of the Veda in its progressive evolutionary sequential unfoldment into syllables and gaps ten Mandalas and the entire Vedic literature. In this sequential progression through unman fest frequencies of sound to particles of matter and all forms and phenomena the precise details of the machines of creation are revealed.
On the basis of this understanding of the abstract field of consciousness and its self-referral dynamics, Part IV introduces the reader of Maharishi’s insights into history and culture. Entitled Natural Law: The Universal Foundation of History, Tradition Culture and Language this section explains that the source of the individual and of history tradition culture and languages is the universal field of natural law. History is revealed in its infinite context and in terms of the cyclical unfoldment of consciousness. This issue of cultural context and what are called tradition are addressed in the discussion of the relationship between the individual and society the basis of culture how cultural integrity can be strengthened and the importance of the mother tongue or local language and its relationship to the universal language of the Veda. Part IV therefore focuses on how a universal source to both individual and collective life can be located and when enlivened can increase individual creativity strengthen cultural integrity and uphold tradition.
Part V The Artist as a Universal Human Being Creating Universal Value in Art and Aesthetics; then redefines the artist and the creative process by examining several themes; the artist as a universal human being; creating as nature; creates following specific guidelines in the creation of art which aid in the development of consciousness; the relationship between creativity and suffering; the purpose and effects of art; and aesthetic value. Having established the details and significance of Maharishi Vedic Science for the expression of universal value in art, Part VI, Uncovering the details of the nature and structure of pure consciousness in the Vastusutra Upanisad analyzes a specific Vedic text on art. It goes into the nature of wholeness and part-to- whole relationships with respect to Maharishi Sthapatya Veda and considers the distinct perspective of Vedic language theory with its correspondence between sound and meaning. It also examines a reference to “artistic sight” at the beginning of the text and considers the first and last expressions as complete expressions of the text. Finally particular sutras or verses are viewed with respect to the artist the creative process form point line grid geometric forms and number. In this process a parallel emerges between the expression of the sutras and the description of consciousness in Maharishi Vedic Science.
While attempting to embrace the comprehensive and extensive range of issue and ramification surrounding the topic of universal value in art, the main thrust of this book can be simply condensed into two strands of thought; 1) how Maharishi Vedic Science present the possibility for universal value in life and art; and 2) how some sutras of the Vastusutra Upanisad can be viewed in the light of the Universal Nature and Structure of consciousness.
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