"Cult of the Head"

Project Description
PAM PAYNE, Feb 20, 2014

Accepted for Presentation:
Arizona USA, April 2014

Cult Of The Head: alternative models of consciousness and creative works as vehicles of aspects of consciousness such as “spirit”, described by artists, musicians and other creative practitioners

Abstract: As an artist investigating the nature of consciousness I am interested in creative works that are said to be particularly enigmatic; that have an aura, or take on a life of their own. Reports throughout history tell us of inanimate objects said to contain a spirit or soul. What is it about these objects that compel people to identify them with an aspect of consciousness? And not just any, but the most difficult aspect of consciousness to define? Disembodied human heads were venerated in ancient Europe for their spiritual potency and referred to as the "Cult of the Head" by archeologists and historians. Our fascination continues today as we focus upon the brain as the center of consciousness in various disciplines of research. We know as much about the brain as a container or generator of a spirit or soul as we do of these inanimate objects. The ancient Egyptians used multiple, refined terms for aspects of the "soul", and during embalmment discarded the brain in favor of preserving the heart and other organs as more closely related to the "soul". It has been suggested that alternative centers or aspects of consciousness and the nature of awareness associated with them are not easily articulated precisely because their nature is not of the intellect. What insights might be gained by looking at alternative models of consciousness? Artists tend to know whether or not one of their works is a successful vehicle of not only emotion, but of a state of being, a condition, a spirit. How would they identify the qualities of a particularly soulful or soulless work? What insights might be gained by looking at creative works such as art, music and literature as containers, generators, “pointers-to” or collaborators of consciousness?

contact: Pam at brickhaus dot com

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