The Hyper Realistic Shock – 1


The general way of expression in art form, mainly, and also in prose and philosophy, in our days, is not resembling a real life process. And not only that, but we are taking the realistic approach in creative arts and writings as lower compared to the avant-garde in art, and the new, modern streams that rise every once in a while. 

When we read about figures in a novel, we must notice that they don’t talk, behave and think in a real live way. It doesn’t take you deeper into their reality, for its main goal is escapism. Realism – out, escapism in.
The real mission of the creative arts and the essays branch, is to show us our life for real. Face us with our life. And this is because we avoid seeing it the way it is, mainly, in order to decrease our emotional dissonance about what our life is really all about. We adopt colored glasses that paint reality in the way which suits us. So the real job of a realistic writer is to show people with no roles, games or masks, when the truth of their life could not be hidden anymore.
So, the first rule of an artist, a novelist, a playwright and a philosopher – is to show us the naked truth. If the writer or the artist is not doing it, he is betraying his sacred mission (To wake us up to the reality of our existence).
We need to see in this creative works, that this is our life, this is our relationships, and this is our family. In great novels, for example, the heroes don’t need to be involved in in great adventures, (for this is escapism again), they need to see their life the way we are, but we are rarely in touch with (our life the way it is).

Historically, realism was an artistic movement that was born in post-revolutionary France in the mid-19th century. Realist painters at the time rejected the prevailing current called Romanticism, which had dominated the art world, especially in painting and literature, since the late 18th century.

But, as it was written here, the reality style lost its prime position, for modern approaches which are removed from the reality of our lives.

And we are so removed from seeing life the way it is, that realistic writing is not enough anymore -in order to shake off the imagined self and remain with the real self –
we need a stronger ‘creative drug’ and with greater impact, for even meeting reality, as it is, in a play, might cause only a mild shock that would last only for only few hours.
What is this Superdrug? Well, it is called hyper reality; overall, hyperrealism provides an extremely effective means of exploring how we as people interact with ourselves, with each other, and with ordinary objects in our everyday lives.

Hyper realistic works of: Siavash Mahvis

(The postmodern semiotic concept of “hyper reality” was contentiously coined by French sociologist Jean Baudrillard in Simulacra and Simulation).

In hyper reality the aim is to create a work that would be more real than real, every little crack is visible, everything is painted or written with a magnifying glass. This gives no room for escape, for it is a double shock now. The first shock is reality, the second is shock is the hyper reality style. And this impacts the subconscious, it engraves a deep impact that shakes what was so ordinary before, and now is new and is in a new way; our life.
In literature it is still possible: kafka, joyce, proust, dostoyevsky. But there are not many like them, it is safer and easier creating fiction prose and airplane books.

In literature, hyperrealism is actually very similar to the visual arts; There is a great amount of detail — vivid descriptions. Literary hyperrealism lacks opinion and biased description. It tells how things are happening through the course of the work, rather than how the characters or author see things.
But when it comes to philosophy, well this field suffers the most from escapism, and the escapism of philosophy is intellectualism, they run away from real vibrant life into dry concepts which the being of the living man cannot relate to.
So. It is the philosophy that needs the most violent kick in the butt, for it got divorced from the real life of a pondering, searching person, who comes to lectures. So philosophy needs the double shock; the reality shock and the hyper reality shock, for what exists in our daily life is so removed from real life.
So it is a long road for philosophy to make, from pure intellectualism up to the double shock of the hyperrealism.
But here comes the question; what would hyperrealism in philosophy be like?
Is there anyone writing, hyper realistic philosophy?
And if yes, what would it be like?

(Hyper realistic philosophy is also known as: nihilists or radicals).

Well, the answer is that for about half a century a new hyperrealist daring and fresh philosophy broke out, it is called: existentialism, they drew a challenging picture of human life, Thinkers  such as:  Arthur SchopenhauerSøren Kierkegaard, Friedrich NietzscheJean-Paul SartreAlbert Camus‘  Martin Heidegger, Jacques DerridaEdmund Husserl and Maurice Merleau-Ponty.

Existentialism is dealing mainly in the following themes:

  • Importance of the individual. …
  • Importance of choice. …
  • Anxiety regarding life, death, contingencies, and extreme situations. …
  • Meaning and absurdity. …
  • Authenticity. …
  • Social criticism. …
  • Importance of personal relations. …
  • Atheism and Religion.

This existential philosophy and its main themes, are standing on the border between realistic philosophy and hyper realistic philosophy. So, it was a blessing and revitalization of philosophy so far. But what happens to it today? It is almost gone. This stream in philosophy got categorized, and then was left outside our real personal life, and this could happen, again, by over intellectualization of this important hyper realistic stream of thought.

Some famous theorists of hyper reality/hyperrealism in philosophy (and similar areas) include Jean BaudrillardAlbert BorgmannDaniel J. BoorstinNeil Postman and Umberto Eco.

What about nowadays? How popular and how legitimate is hyperrealism in philosophy, novels, spiritual and religious texts and drams in theater. etc?

Well, it is rare, very rare. And if people meet it somehow, they don’t know how to relate to it. Because from one end they did not meet such approaches, and if they did, it confuses them because it throws them into an upside-down reality. This is exactly why we need a badly hyper realistic approach, to connect to things the way they are. (Even if they are upside down to how we viewed our life).

And it is curious that in order to meet the reality of life you need a hip realistic medium.

We are not fit anymore to meet truth direct, it is too blunt, too painful, so we need the mediation of the arts, prose, philosophy and others, but because we are so removed from truth in our life – just the arts are not enough anymore, what we need is the realistic shock and if it doesn’t work, than the only option is hyperrealism.

Back to: essays; not like plays, non-fiction, movies and novels – essays mostly refer to the intellect, we need essays and philosophy that is injected straight to our veins, and shake our conventional, bourgeois, normative way of seeing life.

It is easier to administer the shock in a drama or a novel, but hip realistic way of thinking? Very rare and very vital.

What is so special about essays is that it is a ‘direct talk’ – there are no plot or outstanding characters that hide the message (if there is any…), in philosophical nature writing – you need to shade the creative metaphors and adopt a straight talk; but we dread from straight talk about life, the way it really is, we might identify with message and take it personally, which would cause an objection in the reader. But there is no other way. A spade is a spade, a cat is a cat, and existential struggle is what our life is made of.

And most of the creative works concerning one’s life are turned between two options: dressing life in escapist dresses, or putting things as they are, naked. There is nothing realer than seeing a naked person, but we get addicted to dresses, so much so that we become forgetful and divorced from the way our naked body looks. The passage from being dressed to being naked, is a shock. Hyper Realistic writing is such a shock, without it we would remain in our fantasy of how our life is like. 

Here, a question could be asked by students of inner work; what does all this have to do with spiritual growth and development?

Well, the main challenge in practicing consciousness development work – is not the development work itself, or how high can one develop to – his/her life is the main obstacle; the emotional immaturity, the ego dominance, the lack of real intimate communication, the lies we tell ourselves, fantasies, being addicted to the role, the games we play with others, and the masks we wear when we are with them, all this is not to do with consciousness development, but is the truth of one’s life, which could interfere seriously with one’s inner work.

Most spiritual quests are full with failure, defeat and being stuck in a loop. And the main thing that stops us from developing and awakening our consciousness – is our life. From time to time, our true life comes to the developing person and puts a stick in the wheels of one’s spiritual development.

So, together with inner work, one must face first of all – his life, the way it really is, without this, the inner work course will get stuck all the time.


Link to part 2 of this essay;
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