Reference


Once I happened to visit a museum with a friend more versed in painting than I. His remarks, his very presence, keyed the sensibilities with which I was able to see. I saw more, and I saw in a different way. My capacity to perceive was deeply enlivened in proximity with a more experienced companion in whom I recognized something wholly different from a mere claim ‘to know about these things’, namely, a real affinity with the paintings we were regarding. Nor does this mean that on my part I simply identified myself with him. To shift the image once again, the accord which arose between us might be compared to that between musical instruments; and though I speak of instruments, it would be better to think of instrumentalists. The first violinist in a quartet is not wrapped up in himself as he plays. A kind of interior reference to one another obtains between him and his partners. In some way he is his partners, yet he is inalienably himself; and he is completely the latter only in that he is also the former. In this situation we pass beyond the sphere of relations, and the beautiful German word Bezug (respect/reference) becomes manifestly appropriate in the sense imparted to it by Rilke in the Elegies.”

Gabriel Marcel. “Introduction to the 1958 Edition.” in Henry Bugbee. The Inward Morning: A Philosophical Exploration in Journal Form.

"Testament of the Teacher" by Nicholas Roerich (1947)
“Testament of the Teacher” by Nicholas Roerich (1947)

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