LANDSCAPE WITH FIGURES , 38 ¾” x 59 ½” , acrylic on canvas-

“Landscape with figures” began as a spectacle of landscape committed to memory on a drive home from St. Petersburg after a rain at sunset. From a watercolor sketch done when I arrived home, it grew into a stage for an action in three parts. Two observers (myself and James Joyce) sit on a sky blue couch taking in the play of events around us. The events may speak for themselves if you listen. The windows are a symbol of transformation that the male crow is flying through. Each window has its own symbols drawn from science. He wears the symbol for time, the female crow wears the symbol for money. At the bottom of each are the letters VICO , an Italian scientist/philosopher who influenced Joyce’s philosophy.

Further Elucidation

Ken Wilber: In the eye of the artist: Art and the Perennial philosophy

“According to the perennial philosophy the common mystical core of the world’s great spiritual traditions—men and women possess at least three different modes of knowing: the eye of flesh, which discloses the material, concrete, and sensual world; the eye of mind, which discloses the symbolic, conceptual, and linguistic world; and the eye of contemplation, which discloses the spiritual, transcendental, and transpersonal world. These are not three different worlds, but three different aspects of one world disclosed by different modes of knowing and perceiving. ….The first realm made visible to the eyes of perception is composed of sensibilia, or phenomena that can be perceived by the body. The second realm is composed of intelligibilia, or objects perceived by the mind. The third realm consists of transcendelia, or objects perceived by the soul and spirit These three overall realms, from matter/body to ego/mind to soul/spirit, are collectively referred to in various contemplative traditions as the Great Chain of Being”.

However, much earlier, James Joyce, in “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” extrapolating from St Thomas Aquinas, Plato, and Aristotle, explains to his pal Lynch what he has translated from the texts, and his view of esthetic perception.

Page 210
“Truth is beheld by the intellect which is appeased by the most satisfying relations of the intelligible. Beauty is beheld by the imagination, which is appeased by the most satisfying relations of the sensible.

Page 214
“Three things are needed for beauty: Integritas, consonantia, and claritas which I have translated as wholeness, harmony, and radiance.
Stephen pointed to a basket which a butcher’s boy had slung inverted on his head.
Look at that basket, he said.
I see it, said Lynch.
In order to see that basket, said Stephen, your mind first of all separates the basket from the rest of the visible world, which is not the basket. You apprehend its wholeness. That is integritas. The first phase of apprehension is a bounding line drawn about the object to be apprehended. An esthetic image is presented to us either in space or time. What is audible is presented in time, what is visual is presented in space. But temporal or spatial, the aesthetic image is first luminously apprehended as self bounded and self contained upon the immeasurable background of space or time which is not it. You apprehend it as one thing. You apprehend its wholeness. That is Integritas. The synthesis of immediate perception is followed by analysis or apprehension. You apprehend it as complex, multiple, divisible, separable, made up of parts, the result of its parts and their sum harmonious. That is consonantia.
“ Bull’s eye again, said Lynch wittily. Tell me now what is claritas and you win the cigar”.

The instant wherein that supreme quality of beauty, the clear radiance of the esthetic image, is apprehended luminously by the mind which has been arrested by its wholeness and fascinated by its harmony is the luminous silent stasis of esthetic pleasure, a spiritual state very like to that cardiac condition which the Italian physiologist Luigi Galvani, using a phrase almost as beautiful as Shelly’s, called the enchantment of the heart.”

Joyce’s four books can be looked at as representing those Minds, spoken of by the philosopher Ken Wilber above, in a succession ending beginning with “Dubliners” and ending with “Finnegan’s Wake”. The Wake itself is an example of how a many layered reality, joyfully perceived by a man, might be constructed in time and space. His was a mind that points the way, if we are to evolve as humans and artists, to his level of perception.