Monday, July 05, 2010

The immediacy principle

The fact that certain sets of qualia can be experienced and appreciated only in directly facing the actual work of art can be called the "immediacy principle". Reproductions in terms of photos and videos, or descriptions by words are not sufficient in bringing about the qualia in the observer's mind, as they lack the immediacy of experience.

The immediacy principle can be also applied to the qualia of places. Just like you have to see the "real thing" in order to appreciate a work of art to the full, you simply have to actually travel to a spot to experience the full range of qualia that are invoked by your
presence at that location.

When I traveled to the Ise Grand Shrine for the first time around the age of 30, I had no premonition of what was to come. Naturally, I had heard about its extraordinary significance in the Shinto tradition, and the venerable historic fact that the shrines have been rebuilt alternatingly every 20 years (the "Sengu" tradition) for the last 1200 years. But all of these did not prepare myself for the real thing. The qualia of Ise can be experienced and appreciated only at the location, through the immediate perception and cognition of one's surroundings. Once you have traveled to Ise, it becomes possible to "relive" the qualia through the act of recollecting. Otherwise, it is simply not possible. You just have to make that one trip.

The old shrine site waiting for the next Sengu at Ise Grand Shrine. Photographing of the current shrine site is forbidden.


Greg said...

On several occasions, friends have mentioned becoming so completely immersed in a novel that they remember sensory impressions afterward, like the smell of a fresh baked pie coming from an open window or the sensation of heat on the back of their hand as they shield their eyes from the noontime sun. I wonder if in such experiences we are recombining experienced qualia in new patterns to create an artificially "lived" memory. For example, let's say you read a compelling travel article about the Kumano Hongu Shrine. Might your imagination create a "reproduction" of this particular shrine drawn from the relevant qualia of your actual experiences at the Ise Grand Shrine and the other shrines you have visited in the past?

yuzu said...

I watched the movie which is "GAIA symphony No,7" yesterday. This series started 20 years ago.This is the one of my favorite movies.It tells about that we are heart of earth(Gaia).
A part of "GAIA symphony No,7" show Shinto, kami-no-michi is the indigenous spirituality of the Japanese people and hints of recovery of earth.
I almost feel dizzy for time of 5000 years. So I am traveling in the time of Shinto now. Real thing always gives something gorgeous inspiration.
Have you watched these movies from No.1 to No.6
and No.7? I very recommend movies "GAIA symphony" to you.