‘The Spiritual Mind’ – Lecture by Esther RitmanSeptember 27, 2017
The Greatness of the Human Mind
8 October 2017 – Esther Ritman during the ‘Inner Peace Conference’ in ‘De Balie – Salon’ in Amsterdam
‘A picture is worth a thousand words’. This common phrase suggests that there’s a great inherent power in the immediacy of an image: it is able to convey complex ideas in a single instance. In this session, Esther will explore extraordinary engravings from the 17th century, expressing the greatness of the macrocosm and the microcosm, with the latter being a reflection of the former. The macrocosm-microcosm relationship is a feature of both eastern and western traditions; in this workshop I would like to focus on images by artists living in Germany in the first half of the seventeenth century that represent the relationship between God – Nature and Macrocosm – Microcosm and offer paths of transformation for both mankind and the society he is part of.
These engravings, which feature in the exhibition Divine Nature – Divine Wisdom, are on the one hand consummate artistic expressions of the conviction that creation is proof of Divine Wisdom and that to investigate the Book of Nature is a sacred act. On the other hand, they invite the viewer to meditate on the relationship between macrocosm and microcosm. Any kind of artistic creativity ‘implies a hidden underlying assertion of presence’* and it is this presence of the divine that is glorified by the inspired artists who produced these engravings. The intimate bond between humanity and divinity, the recognition of the divine nature hidden in each human being is at the heart of these images. They celebrate the greatness of the divine and the human mind.
In this workshop, Esther will take you on a tour of discovery of some of these images, focusing especially on the engravings in Robert Fludd’s Utriusque cosmi…historia (The History of Both Worlds, i.e. the natural and supernatural, the human and the divine).
* Brendan Myers, Firty-Five Meditations on Loneliness and Revelation: A Study of the Sacred, Winchester (UK) and Washington (US) 2010, p. 57.
In 2014 the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica | The Ritman Library embarked on a travelling exhibition project Divine Wisdom – Divine Nature. The message of the Rosicrucian Manifestoes in the Visual Language of the Seventeenth Century, which has so far visited a number of cities in Europe, such as Wroclaw, London and Budapest (Prague is scheduled for 2019). This exhibition brings home to visitors the impact and the visual translation of the message of the Rosicrucian manifestos (1614-1616), which proposed a general reformation of society on all levels, social, spiritual, scientific and artistic. The artists who produced these engravings were not only consummate artists, they were themselves greatly familiar with the Christian-Hermetic worldview that underpinned the Rosicrucian message. A case in point is Matthäus Merian, the engraver of the images in Fludd’s Utriusque cosmi…historia.2
Open for all levels
Good for beginners
Tickets: order here