Statement by Carol Driscoll, Fund Administrator and Aesthetic Realism Consultant
I’m incensed by the lies about Aesthetic Realism that have appeared on a couple of websites. To have them out there is hard to bear, and I want people to know the truth. I also value my reputation, as an Aesthetic Realism consultant and as Fund Administrator for a labor union who administers pension and medical benefits for union members and their families.
As to the lie about the family, Ms. Driscoll writes: There is the preposterous suggestion that studying Aesthetic Realism takes one away from one’s family. The absurdity of this doozy was highlighted in a recent conversation with my sister Lorraine Mahoney who lives in Norfolk, Massachusetts, is a registered nurse, wife and mother of three. She told me that before I began studying Aesthetic Realism, I was distant from the family, but soon after my study began she saw a “dramatic difference” in me. I was “kinder, nicer”; and she said, “I felt I could really talk to you; you were closer to the whole family. Aesthetic Realism has had a positive impact on you; everyone in the family feels that.”
Today, I visit my siblings who live in Massachusetts and Florida as often as their and my busy schedules allow—especially during the holidays. There’s a warmth and closeness that is solid and runs deep, and I’m very happy that is so. My sister and I spoke about the concoctions on the websites, and she felt that while they might influence a small minority, the majority won’t believe them.
Meanwhile, any person stumbling onto one of those websites should know he or she is reading things that are completely untrue—outrageous stuff like the statement that people who study Aesthetic Realism are constantly “check[ing] up” on each other!
As to the lie about how Mr. Siegel wanted to be seen, Ms. Driscoll writes: One of the lies that infuriates me no end is the saying that Eli Siegel wanted to be worshipped. I studied in classes taught by him from 1972 until his death in 1978. Mr. Siegel’s purpose, constant and beautiful, was to know, and he encouraged this desire in every person he ever talked to. He never, ever wanted a facile agreement with the principles of Aesthetic Realism—he asked his students to look critically at what we were hearing as he lectured on many, many subjects: poetry, history, science, drama, ethics, and much more. It would take a book to describe all of the things and people I have been introduced to because of his classes. I want to say too that I’m personally very grateful for Mr. Siegel’s beautiful understanding of my life, and the way he always encouraged me to see other people and things more justly and believe in myself. To say that he demanded “worship” is humbug. What I felt when I first began my study and what I feel today is a respect which was born of a rigorous intellectual workout and is something I will be forever proud of. No lies can change that!