Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A QUESTION OF SCALE.


This magnificent statue of Buddha is on Lantau Island in Hong Kong. It is one of many larger-than-life objects constructed by man down through the ages (the Pyramids, the Spinx, the Colossus of Rhodes, the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State building, the Christ in Rio, the Statue of Liberty, etc).

Does man's desire to create large, imposing, long-lived structures arise out of a symbolic rejection of his complete powerlessness to alter his mortal fate; his awareness of his physical smallness and limited strength as compared to animals like the elephant, the gorilla and the whale; his increasing knowledge about the severe limits of his knowledge; his recognition of the dark, destructive forces which swirl like tides inside him?

What motivates mankind to create these immense, sometimes beautiful objects?

12 comments:

Coffee Messiah said...

Although I still have not been to such places, but would like to, I've often wondered what it must have been like and what the people who built these monuments were thinking while doing so?

Much like us, some probably saw it as simply a job, but others may have had some profound insights.

We shall never know.

Aside from that, I simply don't get the meaning or significance of monuments today. ; (

L. Sparrow said...

Oh ...what a beautiful post, there is a "silence" in that very question ....

I believe ideally, that the monuments are creative acts and of course memorials to the infinite creator/creatrix AND also memorials to the sometimes nameless, loong gone hands of the creators ....

As an artist I at times relish in the fact that many of my items will outlive me .... even if I don't sign them .... they will continue to live "for" me ...

Peace and Blessings.

Lil Sparrow

pissed off patricia said...

I don't know why they do it but in most cases I'm really glad they do. They are beautiful!

iMuslim said...

I'd love to add a deep comment to such a deep question, but i simply came here to say:

Tag, you're it! :)

Dave said...

You ever see the Futurama episode where Bender has a giant fire breathing statue of himself erected that bellows "Remember me.....Remember me....." over and over? I think it's got something to do with that.

I'm torn because while I think beautiful monuments can add something to the world, I also think it's kinda weird to build large edifices while people starve.

Daniel said...

Hey Dave, welcome to Seeking Utopia. Your point about people starving is a good one. There is a contradiction there!

Imuslim, I'll have words with you a little later!

Patricia, perhaps the beauty is to offset some of man's ugliness!

Lil, I too appreciate the artistic but find it difficult to match together this statue and a nuclear bomb, both created by mankind.

Coffee, the pyramids were the first thing of antiquity that I saw on my first world trip. I have never forgotten the moment!

Namaste!

betmo said...

i am going to weigh in that folks just want to be remembered. if you look at the pyramids or the taj mahal- testaments to being remembered for eternity. of course buddhas and whatnot are religous in nature- but i think overall it's to be remembered. it's why today- everyone wants to be a star of some sort. we stopped building the monuments- and use ourselves instead.

Daniel said...

Great thought, Betmo. But by using ourselves as monuments, when time begins to catch up with us, we have to watch ourselves gradually fall into ruins.

That must be painful for those who once were so perfect or talented! Cheers!

Lucyp said...

Dave mentions Futurama but The Simpsons has ruined Buddha for me. Everytinme i see the rotund little chap i can see Homer dressed in robes and painted gold, getting dragged along with a hook in his nose.

Daniel said...

Do they have clinics where people can go to dry out from Simpsonitis?

Cheers!

GDAEman said...

Lucyp made me chuckle. Thanks.

Time on their hands and hands under their control in some cases. Just time on their hands in the case of Buhddist monks. Immortality for others.

I do appreciate the lasting structures. I see something similar in beautiful old architecture, and my cynical side is forced to acknowledge what can be done with accumulated capital.

Daniel said...

Old architecture, I love it too! Take care.

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