Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Goya: Was He Inspired Or A Misanthrope?


The photograph above represents something beautiful, something ideal. It is a representation of deep love between a man and a woman, one that symbolizes things that most humans believe about the human condition and themselves: generosity, tenderness, fidelity, caring, tolerance, love, the gentle nurturing of children, golden wedding anniversaries, grandchildren, etc.



Goya may have gone mad towards the end of his life or finally he may have been inspired to paint humans not as he saw them but as they really are. Surely, the photograph of the poor limbless boy in my last post is far more likely to have been the product of the gross, cruel, ugly people shown in Goya's dramatic painting than those posing for the top photograph.

Do you have a clear view of what humans really are? I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts.

10 comments:

Renegade Eye said...

I'm going to have to read the comments you receive. I don't know how to answer.

Daniel said...

Ah, Renegade, the correct answer to my question reveals many things! But is the truth about us palatable?

Lucyp said...

Do you have a clear view of what humans really are .
Tricky question to answer and i think it depends on our outlook.
Mine would be generally kind, considerate and helpful but plagued with a minority oppossed to such ideals who make all the noise and bring about devastation for their own greedy and selfish ends.

Daniel said...

Yours is an interesting position, Lucy. My question to you would be: if the bulk of humans are kind, considerate and helpful why don't they simply throw the minority who are evil, greedy and depraved out on their ear?

Cheers.

Nancy said...

We are a Janus species. We have a nearly uncontrollable urge to create. Art, music, literature, architechture... This urge can be perverted into an equally strong compulsion to destroy. War, famine, exploitation of resources and of other humans.
The true human struggle is to overcome the darker urge. Create rather than destroy.
Unfortunately the dark side appears to be winning.

I'm by no means sure that we are a rational species. The evidence appears to be against it.

Daniel said...

Thanks for your valuable contribution, Nancy. I agree that we are not a rational species. The world we have created is evidence of that!

Cheers.

Lil Sparrow said...

I love Nancy's comment! I usually try to adopt the positive as well. However recently I am regarding my positives as potential coping mechanisms.....an avoidance technique.

Humans can be ugly, ugly ugly creatures. At one point I thought that maybe we were genetically recessive.... then I realised that some of the most brillaint world leaders were potentially psychotic or functional sociopaths ....

I think that the ugliness and the beauty that humankind can create is our dichotomy ...we are both ... capable of great love, and of great hate.......

But worst of all ... we have the choice of what we wish to believe... or deny or ignore.... that is our greatest fault ... our ability to turn a blind eye... that is our ugliest quality.... to delude and to deny.

Peace and blessings.

Lil Sparrow

Daniel said...

I tend to think we're genetically recessive, Lil, and that the only way we'll ever become peaceable is through genetic engineering.

Regarding the question of choice, given the instincts we are born with and the programming we receive from birth, I wonder if there is such a thing as free will or whether we are just instinctive creatures of habit.

Peace, my friend.

Lil Sparrow said...

free will .... there was an art exhibit .... in New York???

A series of blenders were placed on white podiums in a quiet, serene white room. Within these blenders there swam goldfish in clear water. the spectators were invited (with little signs on placards) to turn the blenders on if they so chose.

Everyday, the gold fish had to be replaced.... every day someone turned on the blenders...

I think that we are all taught NOT to exercise free will so that we may be saved from not only ourselves... but each other....

recessive....yes recessive indeed :(

Daniel said...

An interesting account, Lil. Reminds me of the pretend electrocution of people carried out by the ordinary people. As the actors pretended to be suffering shocks, the salt of the earth types kept turning up the current as directed.

We know not what we are (or pretend we don't)!

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