Statement by Ernest DeFilippis, Aesthetic Realism Consultant
As to the ridiculous lies about “worship” and individuality, Mr. DeFilippis writes: I want to counter a lie from a self-styled “former member who has chosen to remain anonymous” who writes about Eli Siegel as “demanding to be worshipped and robbing people of their individuality.”
That is a lie. Never, and I mean Never! in any of the 5 years of classes I attended with him, or in any of the tape recorded lectures by Mr. Siegel I’ve heard, or in any of his writings, was there even a trace—a look, a tone, a word—Nothing!, that showed Eli Siegel “demand[ed] to be worshipped.” I hate it! Mr. Siegel always insisted that people be critical of what he said, ask questions, give Aesthetic Realism the most rigorous intellectual scrutiny—ask, Is it true?
And the idea that Mr. Siegel “robb[ed me] of [my] individuality”—who the hell is this “Anonymous” talking about? I was an individual before I studied Aesthetic Realism and I’m an individual now. I’ve seen the principles of Aesthetic Realism are true with my individual mind, my individual eyes, and I’ve seen this for over thirty-two happy, intellectually stirring years. I’m very proud of that fact.
Eli Siegel earned every bit of my high opinion of him, and the more I study his work, see what he saw about the world, art and the self, the higher my opinion is. I saw his honesty, his good will, his unwavering desire to know. With each discussion about a person’s life, every lecture, whether about economics, history, the arts and sciences, his purpose was to be fair to the person, subject or thing he was looking at and have it be seen truly by others. As he spoke to me about how I saw women, my family, all people, he encouraged respect and kindness in me, had me see what it was I most wanted: to know and like the world. Excitement and self-respect are mine. Individuality—I’ve got it big time!
Yes, Eli Siegel is worthy of huge respect and yes, huge gratitude. He deserves nothing less. As I said, he earned it! And no persons, “anonymous” or otherwise, who are angry they cannot look down on Mr. Siegel and Aesthetic Realism and have the Aesthetic Realism Foundation under their thumbs, can change that beautiful fact!