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Alphomism - a belief system for our times.
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What art and music pervage all cultures

An artist, in whatever medium, generally starts with a blank sheet. Words or shapes or notes are put, in some kind of order, onto the sheet. Throughout the process of producing a work of art, hundreds, maybe thousands of decisions are made. The finished work is a summary of all these decisions.

In making the decisions, a line here, a blob of colour there, the artist is delving into the huge treasure chest of the unconscious. The promptings which come to the artist are of a different quality to those seized upon by the scientist. The images are vaguer, they cannot be formulated into coherent theories, they say nothing that can be tested against reality.

Yet this does not invalidate them. An observer of an art work may not be able to make any significant connection between the shapes and the real world but it is certain that the process of observation causes changes in the observer’s brain. There is, in some degree, a process of unconscious communication going on.

The vague notions, expressed by the artist, are to some extent absorbed by the observer, who is changed by the experience. It is quite possible that sometimes the changes are radical enough to produce a shift in physical behaviour but more often than not the new information simply plays its part in shaping future thoughts.

With the words of prose and poetry, the forms produced by dance, the paintings, drawings and sculptures of the artist, there is usually some reference to the real world. Often, referential shapes can emerge without the conscious intention of the artist.

The case with music, the most abstract of the arts, is different. This speaks the most profoundly of ideas and states of being which are only just accessible and which defy linguistic or graphic expression. The composer delves deep into the store. Notions which are too subtle for us, at this stage of evolution, to express in other forms, emerge as tunes and rhythms.

When we understand much more, and when technology is very much further advanced, we will be able to show how the process of listening to music changes our ways of thinking. Generally the shifts are too subtle for us to log them even subjectively but occasionally, music causes an observable seismic event in the mind. Conditions have to be just right; we, and probably the performers and the audience about us, have to be in a particularly fortuitous state. Then it can happen that listeners believe that they have gained an inexpressible insight into the most profound and positive depths.

Those who have bravely tried to pin down such relatively rare experiences have sometimes written of ‘the timeless moment’. This is, of course a contradiction but for the Alphomist it suggests that music can occasionally provide us with the briefest, faintest illumination on the timeless glory that is to come.



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