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The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

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#3898 - Wednesday, May 19, 2010 - Editor: Jerry Katz  

The Nonduality Highlights - 



Paintings and writings by John Bramblitt


The following was sent to Nonduality Salon:

This is a short documentary about John Bramblitt, a painter who is blind. 
It's worth a look in that there are some enlightening things he has to say 
about perception.


Artist Statement


This series is a challenge to what perception truly is. Vision has been
equated with "knowing" even though it is nothing more than a chemical
response to the light that passes through the lens of the eye. Vision at
best is a second hand way of knowing the world; all that can be perceived is
light that has been reflected off of objects. When people look at an image
reflected in a mirror they do not feel that the reflection is real, yet when
it is reflected by the "mirrors" in one's own eye that image is deemed

Plato spoke of a cave where images were displayed on the back wall, but
these images were only representation of the "real" world and those that
believed that these images were real would never have a true understanding
of the actual world they lived in. For Plato the world of the real existed
outside of the cave; outside of the eye.

"Painting is a blind man's profession. He paints not what he sees, but what
he feels, what he tells himself about what he has seen." - Pablo Picasso

Our misunderstanding about perception is ingrained so deeply that it colors
much of our language.

For instance, we say "I see" when what we really mean is that that we
understand something. Someone is called "blind" when they lack
understanding - blind to the truth or blind to some fact which others see as
obvious. Look in almost any dictionary and you find synonyms for blindness
that include words like: unknowing, unquestioning, careless, heedless,
ignorant, imperceptive, inattentive, inconsiderate, indiscriminate,
injudicious, insensitive, neglectful, oblivious, thoughtless, unaware,
unconscious, undiscerning, unmindful, unobservant, unreasoning. it goes on
and on.

Clearly this is not reality but rather one of those shadowy images that is
cast upon the cave wall. What then is reality? What is Perception?
My series is an effort to answer these questions; not in words but in paint
and canvas - by using images to understand perception. The masked man on TV
and in the movies hides his identity by covering his eyes, and through this
simple act hides all that he is. The identities of villains and even
fictitious heroes such as Spiderman and Batman all fade into oblivion purely
by covering their eyes. My paintings focus on the eyes and the very area
that a mask would cover thereby "unmasking" the subject of the painting
giving no place for the emotions and the truth of the person to hide. You
look at my paintings, but very often they look back.

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