<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Wolfson’s artworks thus evoke another highly suggestive, albeit largely unfamiliar term: anthesis. Anthesis signifies both the action and the period in which a flower opens toward the light. Just as anthesis marks the time and space of the opening of flower petals, the term provides an apt metaphor to characterize the interval of time spent engaging intensely with a work of art whose forms blossom and unfold before one’s eyes. In turn, the paintings and poems can be seen as creative arrangements of thought, as bouquets of flowering light that engender the type of contemplative envisioning that brings forth flowers. The philosopher Gaston Bachelard expressed this well when he identified “one of the axioms of the vegetable world’s poetics: flowers, all flowers, are flames—flames that want to be light.” Weaving together this garland of associations, Bachelard observed that consciousness itself can become a work of art, as “this becoming light is what every dreamer of flowers feels; it is brought to life by going beyond what one sees, going beyond reality. The poet-dreamer lives in the radiance of all beauty, the reality of unreality.” Gaston Bachelard, The Flame of a Candle , trans. Joni Caldwell (1961; Dallas: The Dallas Institute Publications, 1988), p. 55. I am grateful to Roger Conover for mentioning this study.

Like petals of flowering light, Wolfson’s abstract paintings are razor thin, yet just thick enough to hold everything, as they cradle shifting forms that seem to spring from unseen depths. Their delicate surfaces sometimes appear to vibrate lightly, as if marking the place where light draws breath. The abstract forms of Green Angel resemble just such a gently palpitating site. The surface of this painting evokes sunlight beaming through lush foliage, a site where the solid textures of leaves and blossoms become diaphanous when bathed in a well of light. In this image, two intensely saturated passages of malachite green are suspended on either side of a pale, mint-green vertical axis, which functions as a central hinge conjoining and differentiating the two flanking wings of the composition. Discerning the subtle, hovering presence of the Green Angel within the abstract field of the painting again entails the possibility of encountering revelation within non-representation. Surrounding the diaphanous “body” of the angel are radiant fields of golden green that are complemented by scattered hints of orange flame-like wisps; together they form loose tonal veils that oscillate between a verdant background landscape and an open skyscape, an angelic aura and an abstract colorfield.

While presented as a painterly abstraction, Green Angel , like Purple Angel , is associated with a particular celestial prototype. Wolfson has noted that “the green angel motif was inspired by the figure of Khidr, also vocalized as Khādir, literally, the ‘green one’ (al-khidir, the human/angelic figure in Islamic esotericism who corresponds to Elijah in Jewish folklore and mysticism).” Elliot R. Wolfson, in correspondence with the author, December 18, 2006. Peter Dawkins has further noted that “In Islamic tradition the prophet Idris, ‘the Green One’ or ‘Evergreen,’ is commonly associated with either Elijah or Enoch.” See Peter Dawkins’s entry on “Enoch” for the Francis Bacon Research Trust, (External Link) . In his study Creative Imagination in the Sūfism of Ibn ‘Arabī (1958), Henry Corbin provides an extended commentary on the Green Angel known as Khidr. As Corbin has observed, Khidr is an “invisible spiritual master, reserved for those who are called to a direct unmediated relationship with the divine world.” Even more specifically, Khidr “is described as he who has attained the source of life, has drunk of the waters of immortality, and consequently knows neither old age nor death. He is the ‘Eternal Youth.’ And for this reason, no doubt, we should discard the usual vocalizations of his name (Persian Khezr , Arabic Khidr ) in favor of Khādir and follow Louis Massignon in translating it as ‘the Verdant One.’ He is indeed associated with every aspect of Nature’s greenness.” Regarding this figure, Corbin also quotes Corbin, Creative Imagination , pp. 55, 56, 59-60. from the spiritual autobiography of the Sufi mystic Suhrawardī, who

is initiated into the secret which enables him to ascend Mount Qāf, that is, the cosmic mountain, and to attain to the Spring of Life. He is frightened at the thought of the difficulties of the Quest. But the Angel says to him: “Put on the sandals of Khidr.” And his concluding words: “He who bathes in that spring will be preserved forever from all taint. If someone has discovered the meaning of the mystic Truth, it means that he has attained to the Spring. When he emerges, he has gained the aptitude that makes him resemble that balm, a drop of which distilled in the palm of the hand, if you hold it up to the sun, passes through to the back of the hand. If you are Khidr, you too can ascend Mount Qāf without difficulty.”

Like the prophet Elijah, who is said to have ascended to heaven in a fiery chariot and was transformed into the Archangel Sandalphon, Khidr provides a prototypical vision of a composite human and angelic presence. According to these mystical narratives, the process of “becoming Khidr” is akin to realizing a deep connection to the source within, to the attainment of a spiritual power so great that it has the ability to make flesh translucent, as light itself becomes “embodied naked.” Green Angel can be seen as a symbolic expression of this transformative state of being, in which the physical solidity of matter dissolves into luminous veils of fluctuating color so light they appear diaphanous, yet substantial enough to mark the visible place where light draws breath.

Inspired by the mystical vision of Khidr, the opaque surface of Green Angel can also be seen as a kind of spiritual mirror that reflects an imaginative vision of the spring of life within. In this reciprocal play of veiling and mirroring, Green Angel recalls Wolfson’s enigmatic, self-reflexive poem “ecliptical”: “ecliptical” appears in Footdreams and Treetales , p. 83.

the mirror
the veil
the veil
the mirror
the veil

Like Green Angel , “ecliptical” evokes a reversible state of being, a dynamic sense of movement in which to go before is to go behind, to go within is to go beyond. The trajectory of the seeking is aptly expressed by the title, which suggests the obscured vision of an eclipse, a celestial event in which one heavenly body is contained within the lights and shadows of another. The term “ecliptic” literally signifies “the great circle of the celestial sphere that is the apparent path of the sun among the stars or of the earth as seen from the sun: the plane of the earth’s orbit extended to meet the celestial sphere.” See Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary , p. 262. The term “ecliptical” also evokes the nimbuses surrounding planetary bodies that delineate the trajectories of their orbits, thereby marking their presences and absences as the trails of their revolving motions dissolve into pathways of light. The poetic formulation “ecliptical” appropriately mirrors the brevity and circularity of the poem, as this enigmatic word also calls to mind the oval geometrical shape of the ellipse, and the absent words designated by the ellipsis. The ellipsis can be seen as an apophatic element in language, a textual sign that demarcates a place of omission, the white space that contains the presence of absence. Bespeaking nothing while holding the possibility of saying everything, the ellipsis is the visible site where text draws breath.

Questions & Answers

find the 15th term of the geometric sequince whose first is 18 and last term of 387
Jerwin Reply
I know this work
The given of f(x=x-2. then what is the value of this f(3) 5f(x+1)
virgelyn Reply
hmm well what is the answer
how do they get the third part x = (32)5/4
kinnecy Reply
can someone help me with some logarithmic and exponential equations.
Jeffrey Reply
sure. what is your question?
okay, so you have 6 raised to the power of 2. what is that part of your answer
I don't understand what the A with approx sign and the boxed x mean
it think it's written 20/(X-6)^2 so it's 20 divided by X-6 squared
I'm not sure why it wrote it the other way
I got X =-6
ok. so take the square root of both sides, now you have plus or minus the square root of 20= x-6
oops. ignore that.
so you not have an equal sign anywhere in the original equation?
is it a question of log
I rally confuse this number And equations too I need exactly help
But this is not salma it's Faiza live in lousvile Ky I garbage this so I am going collage with JCTC that the of the collage thank you my friends
Commplementary angles
Idrissa Reply
im all ears I need to learn
right! what he said ⤴⤴⤴
what is a good calculator for all algebra; would a Casio fx 260 work with all algebra equations? please name the cheapest, thanks.
Kevin Reply
a perfect square v²+2v+_
Dearan Reply
kkk nice
Abdirahman Reply
algebra 2 Inequalities:If equation 2 = 0 it is an open set?
Kim Reply
or infinite solutions?
The answer is neither. The function, 2 = 0 cannot exist. Hence, the function is undefined.
Embra Reply
if |A| not equal to 0 and order of A is n prove that adj (adj A = |A|
Nancy Reply
rolling four fair dice and getting an even number an all four dice
ramon Reply
Kristine 2*2*2=8
Bridget Reply
Differences Between Laspeyres and Paasche Indices
Emedobi Reply
No. 7x -4y is simplified from 4x + (3y + 3x) -7y
Mary Reply
how do you translate this in Algebraic Expressions
linda Reply
Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
Crystal Reply
. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
Chris Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
Ali Reply
the Beer law works very well for dilute solutions but fails for very high concentrations. why?
bamidele Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
QuizOver.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Flowering light: kabbalistic mysticism and the art of elliot r. wolfson. OpenStax CNX. Dec 09, 2008 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10611/1.1
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Flowering light: kabbalistic mysticism and the art of elliot r. wolfson' conversation and receive update notifications?