View Full Version : Tabula Rasa

P. D. Dinkles
10-29-2011, 09:00 AM
Just a hominid with spare time trying to figure this all out. The quote is from Jackson Browne, The Dancer. The video that got my cortex a whirring is on Vimeo. I hope this address gets you there.


10-29-2011, 09:30 AM
PD... interesting poem and a great image for it...very 3d feeling..

P. D. Dinkles
10-29-2011, 11:06 AM
I have been trying to go from the middle ages to the Italian renaissance, in depth. Though I pine for Giotto, Fra Angelica, et al.

If you are not familiar with Jackson Browne perhaps you should check him out. His songs have a quiet depressing wisdom.

D Akey
10-29-2011, 11:36 AM
Cool video.

From Wikipedia:

Tabula rasa is the epistemological (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistemology) theory that individuals are born without built-in mental content (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_content) and that their knowledge comes from experience (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experience)perception (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perception). Generally proponents of the tabula rasa thesis favour the "nurture" side of the nature versus nurture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nature_versus_nurture) debate, when it comes to aspects of one's personality, social and emotional behaviour, and intelligence. The term in Latin equates to the English "blank slate" (or more accurately, "erased slate") (which refers to writing on a slate sheet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slate_%28writing%29) in chalk) but comes from the Roman tabula or wax tablet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wax_tablet), used for notes, which was blanked by heating the wax and then smoothing it to give a tabula rasa.

An interesting philosophy not without some soundness. No idea about absolutes, but the idea resonates even though I think there's more to it than that. Depends on the depth one chooses to explore.

The painting you did is really good conceptually. To me it has lots of possible meanings. It could be like a mirror showing back all the blank pages that will be filled in one's lifetime(s). Or it could be an indication of leaves from the pages of their book. Or it could be the fingerprint of an alien where instead of maze like swirls they have a completely different patterning, perhaps implying a different idea how to gauge their existence.
Etc etc.

As to the study of the metamorphosis of the Gothic into the Renaissance, it's a fascinating period for sure. And in keeping with the theme of being a blank slate on to which bits of knowledge through experience of some sort accumulate creating or at least defining who we are, the rediscovery of the Old to bring in the Renaissance was a good argument for Tabula Rosa. Not so grim as the animation. But to me it shows why civilization of individuals is valuable.

Just for what it's worth, in that animation, I kept getting the flash that in that sparse lifeless world, were that tree to remain where it was, it could perhaps create a small pocket of life. But in that the Robot placed it on high, the seeds could scatter by the winds and the birds to very far reaches. So it certainly serves Life to aspire to the heights. And so there's certainly worth that comes in indirectly in addition to the tighter focus of our tasks.

Cool experience all around, PD. :):):)

10-29-2011, 11:36 AM
PD, interesting and great image, after reading the quote by Mr Browne I thought .. well yes a blank mind knows neither happiness nor sorrow so how would one know the reason for their being :(

P. D. Dinkles
10-29-2011, 12:54 PM
I always saw it as either:

(1) We are born and contain within us everything which determines us (everything is carried in the genetic materials we are comprised of) (twin experiments);

(2) We are blank slates and we become through experience. I think it was Nirvana who sang, "All we are is all we know."

(3) Is it a combination of these factors, or

(4) NEITHER. The video and the lyrics caused me to think about 4.

Anyway, this is Art not Philosophy. Get back to painting.

10-29-2011, 01:32 PM
Nice poem and painting.

D Akey
10-29-2011, 03:34 PM
I was thrown by your interest in the Renaissance and the overlap of Art and everything else.

It's a cool image as I said. Haven't heard the name Jackson Brown in a while though. I liked his work. (Darn. . . that's music, isn't it. . .). :D

I'm afraid I don't know how to separate it all. But paint we must!

10-30-2011, 02:00 PM
Very cool 3D effects.....

10-31-2011, 04:41 AM
I find this post truly inspirational! Thank you PD for the wonderful image and the video link and thank you D Akey for your meaningful explanation of the subject matter - helped me to understand, appreciate and enjoy it better.

P. D. Dinkles
10-31-2011, 08:33 PM
I was happy to provide and glad you had a chance to think about it.

11-02-2011, 05:34 AM
D Akey explained it all perfectly and Your image here is absolutely intriguing and somehow apparently contradicting the poetry.
Anyway, as a tabula rasa we still have a capability and a purpose, just like the ancient wax covered tablet was aimed at being written and corrected.
We may eventually contain "words" that deserve to be preserved and copied on many other tablets or most durable supports, i.e. carved in stones for memory, no matter if they first appear as ephemeral as our existence on this world ....