Ahab cast a covetous eye at Naboth's vineyard, David a lustful eye at Bathsheba. The eye is the pulse of the soul; as physicians judge of the heart by the pulse, so we by the eye; a rolling eye, a roving heart. The good eye keeps minute time, and strikes when it should; the lustful, crochet-time, and so puts all out of tune.
Imagine an eye unruled by man-made laws of perspective, an eye unprejudiced by compositional logic, an eye which does not respond to the name of everything but which must know each object encountered in life through an adventure of perception. How many colors are there in a field of grass to the crawling baby unaware of 'Green?' How many rainbows can light create for the untutored eye?
If you're a cartoon character or most TV characters, sure, you'll fight, because the punches are juicy-sounding and they don't leave marks. But in real life, if somebody punches you in the eye, it doesn't make any noise and your eye is swollen for, like, six months. It's a nightmare to get punched in the eye.
The ear is profound, whereas the eye is frivolous, too easily satisfied. The ear is active, imaginative, whereas the eye is passive. When you hear a noise at night, instantly you imagine its cause. The sound of a train whistle conjures up the whole station. The eye can perceive only what is presented to it.
The artist's mission is to make the soul perceptible. Our scientific, materialist culture trains us to develop the eyes of outer perception. Visionary art encourages the development of our inner sight. To find the visionary realm, we use the intuitive inner eye: the eye of contemplation, the eye of the soul. All the inspiring ideas we have as artists originate here.
Words are substance strange. Speak one and the air ripples into another's ears. Write one and the eye laps it up. But the sense transmutes, and the spoken word winds through the ear's labyrinth into a sense that is no longer the nerve's realm. The written word unfolds behind the eye into the world, world's image, and the imagination sees as the eye cannot see-thoughtfully.
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