A concept of 'Objective Art' was platformed in 1916 by the Greco-Armenian spiritual teacher George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff. Offering our attention to the items below, we have all caught hints, behind the outer form, of a reality more profound.
"Centred in a fiery corona, though swept by Time's tempest, Blake's 'Ancient of Days' marks out the lower worlds with refined attention."
"Yellowish-grey sand. Deep blue sky. In the distance the triangle of the Pyramid of Kephren, and just before me this strange, great face with its gaze directed into the distance...I felt that...if I could stay under its gaze from birth to death, the whole of my life would flash by so swiftly for it that it could not notice me. The glance was fixed on something else. It was the glance of a being who thinks in centuries and milleniums. I did not and could not exist for it. And I could not answer my own question - do I exist for myself."
"Immediately I am aware that this is art of a different order. Its purpose is spiritual; it gives me a direct experience of the vertical axis which connects the human with what is above. Through contemplation or even study the symbolism can emerge, but it is the change of state expressed by the figures, and called to in the one who sees them, that opens the door to the inner meaning."
Aristotle, depicted in this statue, seems to divide his attention between the activity in which he is engaged and himself. I look at it and I begin to sense my own 'self'.
As I write this, using a medium very different from his, or the masons of Chartres, I am helped - across the centuries - to remember myself."
For me this sketch, generally considered to be a self-portrait by Leonardo, conveys the intensity of a man who has glimpsed truth. Some words from a Kipling poem come to mind: 'Tell him, I too have known.'"