The next book to be published by the Simple Reality Project, Art and Simple Reality, focuses on the connection among truth, beauty and consciousness. Because artists experience an enhanced awareness during the creative process, they often reveal through their art profound insights about truth and beauty and/or the reality of the human condition.
Book reviewer for The New York Times, Tommy Orange seems to agree. “Now more than ever I believe fiction can change minds, build empathy by asking readers to walk in others’ shoes, and thereby contribute to real change.” (1) We will follow in the shoes of Orange as he reviews the collection of short stories by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah entitled Friday Black.
“In ‘Friday Black,’ Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah has written a powerful and important and strange and beautiful collection of stories meant to be read right now [November 2018], at the end of this year as we inch ever closer to what feels like an inevitable phenomenal catastrophe or some other kind of radical change, for better or for worse.” (1) Students of Simple Reality will recognize that Tommy Orange is having a “reaction.” His emotional and unconscious reaction is understandable given the current provocations in American politics but he is adding more heat than light to the challenge we all face.
Nevertheless, we can sympathize with both Orange and Adjei-Brenyah. “Adjei-Brenyah exaggerates only ever so slightly, or uses a futuristic hypothetical premise to reveal something true about this country’s underhanded, undermining underbelly of an unconscious, which acts out its most base insults, impulses and injuries to the detriment of black communities (and many other communities of color).” (1)
Is our author in his creative process revealing deeper truths about the human condition in America? We need to understand at this point that this gifted writer, like virtually all artists and academics, is reacting to a perceived reality by describing behaviors that are symptoms of the approaching dystopia in the Global Village, not the underlying causes.
American philosopher, Ken Wilber, can give a demonstration as we begin to dive a little deeper into the subterranean strata of human consciousness. Be sure to affix your breathing apparatus securely, we are entering an environment unfamiliar to most of us. For example, he describes “stages” of consciousness. “Those stages represent one’s identity, moving from an identification merely with ‘me’ [egocentric] to an identification with ‘us’ [ethnocentric] to an identification with ‘all of us’ [worldcentric] to an identification with the All [Kosmocentric]. As permanent realizations, those are stages; they develop and unfold.” (2)
If you feel like continuing your descent click on the link below.
Insight # 62: “The dystopian future ‘Friday Black depicts—like all great dystopian fiction—is bleakly futuristic only on its surface. At its center, each story—sharp as a knife—points to right now.” (1)
- Transcendence in The ABC’s of Simple Reality, The Encyclopedia of Self-Transformation, Vol II (2018), by Roy Charles Henry.
- Orange, Tommy. “Dark Matter.” The New York Times Book Review. November 4, 2014, pages 1 and 24.
- Cohen, Andrew and Ken Wilber. “The Guru and the Pandit, Following the Grain of the Kosmos dialog V.” What is Enlightenment? Lennox, Massachusetts, May-July 2004, page 47.