[Back to Ack]


(for Kate)

4/9/95-first draft

When one looks at a face, one cannot make an honest judgment if what one sees is physical or mental. The face is an irreducibly mixed medium for inner and outer worlds that are declared separate by the culture. The movement and animation of the parts of the face are embedded in its curves and lines. Because one experiences the inner person through the mundane structure of the face ,this defines ones experience of another personality. What would the most clear notation of another mind be, if not our experience of it through the physical face of another person?

The physical structure of the body is supposedly beyond the person's control (-they are born into something impersonal?-) while the mind is thought to reside in the strange land of free will, sentience, a kind of self-altering feedback.

A moralism arises against beauty, which is a sensitivity against the impersonal, seeing it as arbitrary, malign tying the subject to an already dead aesthetics; to history. The "beautiful self" is seen as transcendent, unphysical.

On what plane does the transcendent beautiful self separate from its physical sign? Can meaning be more than what it is?

To say that a person is beautiful raises questions about inner and out worlds. Both are apparently very much coded by the culture, but their ultimate separation is an axiom the culture cannot do without (without declaring itself a dream.).

The face proves that this separation is a grandiose lie.

Beauty in the inseparable.

John Berndt