Daily Archives: June 1, 2006

What Keith and I Held in Common

What Keith Haring and I came to discover is that we had similar views on the nature of reality. This seems to have been based on our having come to art through a philosophical quest for meaning. From our many conversations, it was clear to us that we believed the same thing about the philosophical nature of the delusions that are an integral part of human experience. I can move between our views and credit each one of us with particular sentences in support of these ideas or I can simply type a seamless version of the ideas we held in common. The latter is the simpler and more elegant way to proceed.There appears to be a central fact about human perception and conceptualization having to do with our capacity to be deluded and to delude ourselves. Our brains filter out all information that our senses receive from our environment except the information considered most significant. The problem is that our conceptions of what is significant arise from previous states of delusion. This is not to say that we are not capable of building complex systems that reflect and externalize the various levels of the structure and organization of our brains and minds. We are quite good at this. But when it comes to insight concerning the nature of “reality” or even ourselves, we remain clueless.Some of the reasons for our lack of insight regarding ourselves and the universe at large include parental modeling, social pressure, acculturation, the needs of our bodies, and the utter uselessness of most of what goes on in our brains. The only answer we are capable of giving for the question “what is reality?” is that what we believe to be real is what we experience as “reality.” This is the central paradigm of the world-view known as “solipsism.” An examination of Keith Haring’s work that is centered upon the above tenets, reveals a systematically solipsistic view of the “world.” This is the point of view I brought with me to my first meeting with Keith and it is the point of view that he stated many times was also his own.In other words, what you think is real – is real.*Images: Keith Haring, Bill Jones Dance Poster (3 details), 1982Collection: TFD

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