August 16, 2023

The Deepest Truth

For many years now, I have been fascinated by the life and work of Remedios Varo (1908-63), a Spanish Surrealist artist who died in Mexico City at the age of 54, after having lived there for 22 years. I just read, for the third time, the superb biography of her by Janet Kaplan, which reproduces a good many of her canvases:

Remedios Varo: Unexpected Journeys: Kaplan, Janet A.: 9780789206275: Books

I have in mind paintings such as (in English translation) Toward the Tower, The Escape, Rupture, and To Be Reborn, but my all-time favorite is Breaking the Vicious Circle:

Museum Art Reproductions | Breaking the vicious circle by Remedios Varo (1865-1911, Spain) |

The vicious circle is the script or narrative that consciously or (mostly) unconsciously governs our lives, as I described it in my book Healing:

Healing: The Defining Root of Our Existence: Berman, Morris: 9798393548681: Books

I could have easily used this painting for the front cover. For me, Varo exemplifies a life of authenticity, and a rejection of a life of conformity. This theme occurs in many of her paintings, but is most dramatically presented in Breaking the Vicious Circle. Varo was searching for the deepest truth, in her own life and in life in general. She calls to mind a quote from Virginia Nicholson’s book, Among the Bohemians, which I cite in Healing (she was a niece of Virginia Woolf):

Among the Bohemians: Experiments in Living 1900-1939: Nicholson, Virginia: 9780060548469: Books

"There are people in the world who will not make compromises with life. Their faces are turned like sunflowers towards the source of light, and even when battered and broken they refuse to give in to old age, sorrow, loss, defeat."

I believe the deepest truth is what I have called the Healing Vector, the force within us that is pushing toward the light. It is the motive force of life, sometimes referred to as “entelechy.” The deepest truth is to live in Reality. I’ve struggled to make this my path, as best as I have been able; it is a lonely road, since most people—certainly, most Americans—are not interested in it. America is living in illusion, which is why it is dying. And most Americans are living in illusion, which is why so many of them are angry and depressed. My guess is that it won’t end well for them, and it certainly won’t end well for the US. (Just look around.)

Let me conclude by alerting you all to the current exhibition of Varo’s work going on at the Art Institute of Chicago:

Remedios Varo: Science Fictions | The Art Institute of Chicago (

Really wish I could go. Those of you Wafers who do go, please report back, let us have your reactions.