Statement by Sally Ross, High School Science Teacher
The assertions by Michael Bluejay and Adam Mali that Aesthetic Realism does not welcome criticism or questioning are utterly false. From the beginning of my study of Aesthetic Realism, I was asked to question everything I heard, to test it, and not to agree with anything I did not see for myself. I studied in classes taught by Eli Siegel for 4 years. I know for a fact that he wanted people to give Aesthetic Realism a workout based on one criterion alone: Is it true? He was against anyone trying to curry his favor or to agree with him without looking critically at the content of what he was teaching. The idea that he was after devotion or “worship” is outrageous and absurd; it would be laughable except that it is such a vile misrepresentation, such a gross insult to the man and his purpose.
As to higher education: Aesthetic Realism has the utmost respect for knowledge; it sharpens a person’s perceptions and widens one’s outlook. To say that it discourages anyone’s pursuit of higher education is ridiculous. I began to study Aesthetic Realism midway through college; I graduated summa cum laude from NYU, and subsequently got my MA in Science Education with honors from CCNY. I have been teaching science in New York City for 24 years using the Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method as my basis, and have earned at least 30 credits beyond my MA. Discouraged from pursuing higher education? Nothing could be further from the truth.
As to vacations, family, and “group”: Aesthetic Realism is a philosophy, not a membership organization. There is no “group” and nothing to join. As to Adam Mali’s inane statement, “No time is spent on vacations,” and his and Bluejay’s contention that Aesthetic Realism weakens family relationships—these, too, are simply untrue; they are put forth in an attempt to present Aesthetic Realism as something it is not. Through my study of Aesthetic Realism, there is greater closeness, kindness, respect, and love in my relationship with every person in my family (and they don’t study Aesthetic Realism). You can see, right here, a picture of me and my husband on vacation in the Adirondacks.