The Ideal and the Real: Bridging the Gap
The ideal and the real represent a projection of human consciousness that appears to be in a state of internal conflict. In fact, human consciousness itself might be said to inhabit a perennial interplay of the two. Whereas the result of this interplay can be by turns pleasure or sorrow, the two never appear to be completely reconciled. By tracing the identification of the real and the ideal – in the sense that they appear to the rational mind – in the art and philosophy of antiquity, this chapter attempts to clarify their meaning and proposes that they converge in art. Here art acts as a vehicle of another, transcendent and unified consciousness that is sometimes termed as ‘spiritual’.