Essentials Of Unification Thought - The Head-Wing Thought
VII. Art and Ethics
Art is a form of dominion over the creation. Dominion over the creation, from the original standpoint, is intended to be carried out only by those who have reached perfection after passing through the growth process, which includes the three stages of Formation, Growth, and Completion. Perfection means the perfection of love and the perfection of personality. Therefore, one is meant, first, to become an ethical person, and upon that foundation, to have dominion over all things. This means that an artist should also be an ethical person.
Let us think about the relationship between ethics and art from the perspective of the relationship between love and beauty. Love is an emotional force that the subject gives to the object, and beauty is an emotional stimulation that the subject receives from the object. Thus, love and beauty are so closely related that they are like the two sides of a coin. Hence, we can understand that ethics, which deals with love, and art, which deals with beauty, are inseparably related. When we look at art and ethics in this way, we come to the conclusion that true beauty is established on the basis of true love.
Up to the present, however, such has not been the case with artists. It is because there was no firm philosophical statement that artists must also be ethical. Accordingly, even though many artists, especially writers, have dealt with love as their theme, in most cases the love they dealt with was the non-principled love of the fallen world.
History is filled with such examples. Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), who advocated aestheticism (art-for-art's sake), was imprisoned on charges of homosexuality and died in disappointment and poverty. The romanticist poet Lord Byron (1788-1824) engaged in creative activity while carrying on licentious affairs with many women, and led a dissipate life. The works of such artists were expressions of their fallen love and their agony.
On the other hand, there were writers who expressed true love. Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was one of them. While exposing fallen life in the upper class of Russian society of his time, he expressed true love. That is to say, while employing realism to express reality, he employed the style of idealism, pursuing the ideal. However, there have been few artists, like Tolstoy, who engaged in creative activity while pursuing true love.
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