Statement by Joseph Meglino, Aesthetic Realism Consultant & Computer Specialist, NYC Department of Education
On the lie about mind
The accusation that anyone who cares for Aesthetic Realism must be “mindless” or has “given up the ability to think with an open mind” is ludicrous and insulting.
I am a supervisor of an applications programming unit for the NYC Department of Education’s Division of Informational and Instructional Technology. When I first began to study Aesthetic Realism, I was a physics major at Manhattan College. What was true then is true now: I love science—because of how it is based on the facts, that there is such a thing as the scientific method, that its basis is the drive to understand how the world is made, and that nothing is seen as true unless it is studied, analyzed, tested, verified. I loved the feeling I got in studying physics that I was getting to the beginning of things—how an atom was made, what was the nature of light, how a star formed.
This is what I saw and continue to experience in Aesthetic Realism— logical clarity, intellectual rigor, good old-fashioned common sense, and a thrilling sense I am learning about all of reality, including the human mind, at its beginning. Every step of the way, in consultations, in classes with Eli Siegel that I attended, and now in classes with Ellen Reiss, I have been encouraged to look, study, question, and test the principles of Aesthetic Realism. I have done so, and have come to a conviction, one that I am proud of, that the principles of Aesthetic Realism are true—about the world and about me.
And in terms of thinking with an open mind—I am glad to say that through Aesthetic Realism I have become interested in so many more things than I once was, fields such as art, economics, and social justice, to name a few. Through Aesthetic Realism, so much more in life has become interesting and valuable to me—and I treasure that.
A Large Opinion
This brings me to another of the lies—that Aesthetic Realism encourages "fanatical devotion of the founder bordering on worship." How ridiculous! One of the many reasons I have cared for Aesthetic Realism is that first and foremost it stands for accuracy. In classes, I heard Eli Siegel repeatedly ask the persons present to listen critically to what he was saying, and to relate what he was saying to other knowledge in the world. Do I have a large opinion of Eli Siegel? You bet! And it is based on what I have seen as to the truth and value of his thought. In my opinion he is one of the world’s great thinkers and philosophers.
About the Family
Now as an Aesthetic Realism consultant, I have the honor to teach Aesthetic Realism to other men. The lie is told that Aesthetic Realism interferes with family relationships; the truth is that consultations have been the means of men coming to new respect and feeling for their parents, and brothers and sisters. My purpose as a consultant has always been to have men respect every aspect of reality more—including their families. In consultations we have asked men questions such as: “Did your mother have a life before you were born? Have you been interested?” “Do you think you have missed places where you could honestly respect your father? Do you think he hoped to do as good a job as he could as a parent?”
In my own life, I came to have new respect and warmth for my parents through what I learned from Aesthetic Realism. I came to see them as three-dimensional, where I had previously seen them as stick figures, dull and uninteresting. An anger with my father changed, and for the first time I felt close to him. And this not only made me proud of myself—but it also made for great happiness in my parents!