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Presentation: On Remembering with Brendon Stewart

  • Sydney Mechanics School of Arts 280 Pitt St Street Sydney, NSW, 2000 Australia (map)

I remember when my father (mother) said to me …

A so begins a recollection, it may be for the purpose of therapy or just telling a tale to friends, for whatever reason we evoke this amazing capacity we are in effect in a state of make believe. Our imagination has been set loose.

For what purpose, biologically and therefore evolutionarily are we humans so able to conjure up a time, a place a situation that in actual fact does not exist?

What is the purpose of this extraordinary capacity that we think of as our consciousness mind?

 Our minds let us think up something about tomorrow afternoon’s activities and imagine the details precisely and at the same time remember last tonight’s dinner menu and the family conversation around the table. All this can be done while listening carefully to what’s being said right now. This blended mindedness doesn’t result in a jumble.

We also have available interestingly enough an ability to meditate which can involve the space between thoughts. Meditation is a technique that captures and sophisticates the moment of ‘no thought’

The evolutionary speed with which this has happened is astonishing, only some thousands of years. We estimate that spoken language has probably been available to us for a million years or so, written language only a few thousand years. So as an evolutionary adaption this capacity with language, with consciousness, with a creative and imaginative mind is very short; Jung spoke of our minds as being biologically immature. It is possible therefore, in biological terms for this adaptation to become redundant, as so many other adaptations have over the millennia.

Dr Brendon Stewart is an artist. He spends much of his time painting and gardening. He loves things, especially his Citroen DS 23 Injection Electronique,

designed just after the second world war by Italian sculptor Flaminio Bertoni.

Cars have been throughout the 20th century almost the exact equivalent of the great Gothic cathedrals: I mean the supreme creation of an era, conceived with passion by unknown artists, and consumed in image if not in usage by a whole population which appropriates them as purely magical objects. The Citroen Deesse (the Goddess) fell from the sky inasmuch as it appears at first sight as a superlative object. An object is the best messenger of a world beyond that of nature: one can easily see in an object at once a perfection and an absence of origin, a closure and a brilliance, a transformation of life into matter (matter is much more magical than life), and something that belongs to the realm of fairy-tales. The Goddess has all the features of an object from another universe or at least from our own science-fiction.

Date: 08 April 2016
Time: 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Venue: Mitchell theatre Level 1 Sydney Mechanics' School
of Arts, 280 Pitt St, Sydney
Cost: Members $15 Non-Members $25 Non-Member
Concession $20

*Psychotherapists and other practitioners can obtain credit for Professional Development hours recognised by CAPA, PACFA and ACA for this presentation.