Tuesday, December 22, 2015
High and Low Art
High art seems to have grown out of low art. Folk music was refined into classical music, playful dialogues became Shakespeare, novelties and amusements in silent film became art films, and so on. I see nothing wrong with low art becoming high art, and nothing wrong with them being separate, but with the following conditions.
Should high art look down its nose at low art? High and low art can both affirm high morality, in their own ways---in the best civilizations they tended to do that (Ancient Greece, Rome, and India, the High Middle Ages, England from 1688 to 1832). Today both high and low art create works that are decadent and degenerate because they fulminate against high morality.
What is high morality? As the evolutionary scientists say, morality has always been marked by its conscious or unconscious affirmation of what is successful in survival and reproduction. High morality affirms the zenith of success as moving toward or attaining Godhood, with traditional morality defining God mainly as an inward personal experience.
Theological materialism retains but transforms the traditional inward experience of God---which required blocking material drives---toward the outward material evolution of life to real supermaterial Godhood. High and low art affirm this morality, not by excessively moralizing but by creatively illuminating.