Saturday, 1 December 2012

The Art of Sublime

There are certain moments in one’s life where the thinking goes to a deeper level and the mind comes up with bizarre thoughts. I too have experienced such moments and quite often as well. Here’s my take on the note, ‘abstract phase’. I had reached a situation where I could find differences between the most similar of objects or words. The level of thinking was such that I could not come up with a proper solid definition for ‘beauty’ and ‘passion’. Also I was able to state differences between ‘eternity’ and ‘infinity’ and ‘power’ and ‘strength’. What was once learned as clarity had, at that moment, become obscure.

As John Keats quotes, “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”, the term ‘beauty’ holds various descriptions. What is beautiful to me may not be beautiful to the other. According to me, the term Beauty is something which is delicate yet strong; mind soothing yet giving the essence of fear; and want to be empowered but not wholly. Such are the connotations I can associate with beauty as there are stands of pain and pleasure on which beauty is built upon. ‘Passions’ on the other hand are the strong desires. The connection between beauty and passion is like the connection of two separate entities. When our minds find something beautiful, we are moved by it, we tend to appreciate and admire the beauty; where then the passion takes an upper-stand? This particular passion is headed under ‘love’. Love forms the crux of the world’s existence, but allowing this feeling to make passion a subservient factor marks the change in the notion of how passion is taken into consideration. Yet another passion I know is ‘sympathy’ – the nature of this passion is to put me in others' circumstances and allow myself to be affected, probing me to question if there is a definite meaning for passion or not. I tend to categorize the whole notion of beauty and passion to the state of sublime (beyond one’s imagination). Pleasure and pain form the basis of beauty and passion and these two qualities bring a sense of astonishment in one; and astonishment is a state of the soul, in which lies the emotions and with some essence of horror.

The ideas of ‘eternity’ and ‘infinity’ are the terms of whose descriptions are the most effective of sublime. Though both mean the same, that is, endless – why is it that we still find a difference between the two? The reason I could associate was that, the term eternity is normally used in the Literature field which has in it the sense of timelessness as well; whereas the term infinity is normally used in the field of Mathematics and Physics which simply means that a particular operation on numbers has no definite result, and that the numbers are countless. However, both terms, though have a similar meaning yet used differently, serve well in the explanation of sublime.

The roles that ‘power’ and ‘strength’ put upon are also good examples for sublime. I shall take a moment to bring out the difference by using an example here – the ‘ox’ and the ‘bull’ in comparison. Ox and the bull are both strong and powerful, but ox is usually associated with ‘strength’ and the bull with ‘power’. Power is a way of proving authority in a superior manner whereas strength is something which comes out by having taken all the pains and have knocked for six. The power drives all its sublimity from the terror it holds and the strength is mostly employed to the purposes of others. But does it mean that strength is subservient to power? The power has to prove wholly in order to create or destruct something but the strength has to be taken to its next considerable degree to bring about changes. When I say this, my purpose of this article is contradicted, that is, I have spoiled everything of sublime and come back to the contemplative mode. However, on various occasions the definitions of the terms become arbitrary and thus possessing a subliminal quality.

The whole notion of sublime itself has no definite definition; it can be beautiful, inspiring, uplifting, awe-inspiring, heavenly, transcendent, etc. But there again we use the term to describe those which cannot be given a perfect meaning and which is beyond one’s imagination.


Anonymous said...

Suhasini, good one. Keep it going.
- Vishwanthar Ramaiah

Suhasini Srihari said...

Thank you Sir! :)

Chandrashekar Manohar said...

Panda take that process too one more rung below...where six that germinate from, the results will be fascinating

Suhasini Srihari said...

Thank you for the suggestive information Dexter! :)

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