Friends of Aesthetic Realism
       Countering the Lies
“It’s a lie, and not a well told one at that.
  It grins out like a copper dollar.”

                  —Abraham Lincoln

Statement by David Berger, Jazz Composer and Professor of Music

I just read three statements by former students of Aesthetic Realism that I found rather transparent in motive. Mr. Bluejay, Mr. Mali and Mr. (or Ms.) Anonymous all have two things in common: not only were they students of Aesthetic Realism, but their families and friends were as well. I’m no psychologist (and I don’t think one would have to be to understand what is at work here), but as I read these accounts, the references to family problems and how Aesthetic Realism caused the problems between members of family just didn’t ring true to me. And what’s with that Anonymous crap? Does anyone really take anyone named Anonymous seriously? Is that the best you guys can do? I should think that after all these years, if there were really something wrong about Aesthetic Realism, there would be a whole lot more people complaining—at least a few hundred. So OK, we’ve got 2 and someone who doesn’t even have a name.

Some years ago I was a student of Aesthetic Realism. I learned quite a lot at that time and still am affected by it. I have read several of Eli Siegel’s books and found them inspirational. My understanding of the world and especially music and my ability to articulate what I knew instinctively was greatly enhanced by this study. I am very grateful for the opportunity to have been shown this point of view. Not only has it helped me and my music but also the people who hear my music as well as my students. Once you see how opposites interact in the world, it is difficult and counterproductive to ignore this most basic of relationships.

As to Aesthetic Realism, I certainly did not feel any pressure to remain a student or agree with everything I heard. As a matter of fact, my lessons came to an end because my teachers (some of whom had doctorates, by the way—I was getting my masters at the time) did not want to interfere in my crumbling marriage. Fair enough; the last thing they wanted to do was interfere. They were teaching me philosophy.

I can understand that people may want to discontinue their study of Aesthetic Realism. Some people take music lessons and stop after a few years; others go on to get advanced degrees at conservatories. It’s a free country, after all. But to declare Aesthetic Realism a cult? Seems a bit extreme to me. I just know that this was not my experience. If you are looking to join a cult, you’ll find one. I didn’t.

All I can say is that I became a better person from the experience of studying Aesthetic Realism. I hope that these three people can get over their anger and move on to do something positive in their lives. Or not. It’s their choice.

In the meantime it seems incredible that anyone with any sense at all would take any of these complaints seriously. I know I don’t.

Forever onward and upward,

David Berger

  • Read statements by many individual men and women
  • Reviews from the NY Times Book Review, Saturday Review, Library Journal, Harlem Times, Popular Photography, and more
  • The poetry by Eli Siegel, so greatly respected by William Carlos Williams and many others
  • Read lectures by Eli Siegel on subjects as diverse as literature, love, & economics
  • What is learned in classes taught by Ellen Reiss

  • A Little Anthology of Comments (Some Funny We Hope) on Further Misrepresentations.

    >> Continue

    "On the Pleasures and Advantages of Anonymity: An Ode"—
    >> Continue

    A Dramatic and Cautionary Tale about an Unknown and Very Unimportant Person

    There once was a young man of ancient Greece named Milos. And Milos knew Socrates. He did not like Socrates because the great man asked far too many questions.... >> Continue

    Statements by Friends of Aesthetic Realism

    Barbara Allen
    Frances Amello
    Jerry Amello
    Christopher Balchin
    Mara Bennici
    David Berger
    Alice Bernstein
    Rachel J. Bernstein
    Barbara Buehler
    Gina Buffone
    Beverly Sue Burk
    Maureen Butler
    Jeffrey Carduner
    Margot Carpenter
    Lori & Robert Colavito
    Albert Corvino
    Nicholas Corvino
    Henry D'Amico
    Matthew D’Amico
    Ernest DeFilippis
    Vincent DiPietro
    Carol Driscoll
    Donita Ellison
    Anne Fielding
    Lorraine Galkowski, RN
    Pamela Goren
    Edward Green
    Avi Gvili
    Ames Huntting
    Mark Lale
    Dale Laurin
    Rose Levy
    Timothy Lynch
    Lorraine Mahoney, RN
    Derek Mali
    Glenn Mariano
    Haroldo Mauro Jr.
    Joseph Meglino
    Pauline Meglino
    Allan Michael
    Marvin Mondlin
    Robert Murphy
    Michael J. Nadeau
    Meryl Nietsch-Cooperman
    Ruth Oron
    Arnold Perey, PhD
    Lauren Phillips
    Jack Plumstead
    Maria Plumstead
    Rosemary Plumstead
    Rev. Wayne Plumstead
    Marcia Rackow
    Zvia Ratz
    Ann Richards
    Anthony C. Romeo
    Leila Rosen
    Rhonda Rosenthal
    Sally Ross
    Claudia Senatore
    Sheldon Silverman
    Jeffrey Sosinsky, MD
    Barbara Spetly McClung
    Joseph Spetly
    Faith K. Stern
    John Stern
    Arlene Sulkis
    Devorah Tarrow
    Jaime R. Torres, DPM
    Dennis L. Tucker
    Francine Weber
    Steve Weiner
    Miriam Weiss
    Carrie Wilson

    Also see the Aesthetic Realism Online Library  the Aesthetic Realism Foundation  Terrain Gallery  What scholars, writers, artists & teachers are saying  the Aesthetic Realism Theatre Company  & Links

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