Containment Awareness Theory (C.A.T.)


Strengthening the idea

Investigating links with New Metaphysical Art and further exploration into CAT's sympathies with Gaia theory


“To generalise is to be an idiot” – William Blake.

However, for brevity, I must generalise in part.

CAT principle starts with a belief in a fundamental linkage between animate and inanimate objects. In many ways it tries to suggest that the ‘life’ of inanimate objects have real parallels and operate in ‘real time’ with forces generated by biological life cycles. It is suggested here that the same linkage as previously expressed exists between the physical and the spiritual, and that God (whatever we term God to be) is just as contained as any other form, be they living or assumed ‘dead’. The sympathies with Gaia Theory are evident and poetry written through CAT principle will try to state some relationship which has discourse with this belief. Where Gaia Theory has the model of ‘Daisy World’ as its ‘engine of proof’, CAT principle seeks to achieve recognition through poetics.

The core belief and desire of CAT is to confront the proposition that everything is contained and it is we, mankind, whether through luck or by glorious design, who are positioned to recognise and overcome all barriers surrounding life, ‘by negotiating the confines of each and moving on’.

Here we recognise the aims of New Metaphysical Art and wish to investigate, through our work, the linkage and sympathies which seem to lie at its core, to gain some common ground, to understand its boundaries in order to determine our own. We applaud its stated desire for art ‘which is defiant, passionate, metaphysical and utterly inexorable.’ In poetics, I believe, CAT offers possible doorways to this and beyond.

I have (and I do not seem alone in this) little awareness of any new philosophical ideas prevalent within my country (Cymru) today that makes my heart sing. Ruskin once said ‘House after house full of mediocrity’ and ‘Our cities can produce anything except men.’ Could these be used as metaphor for art within Wales (they could be for almost anywhere else). Life has style but no meaning, no passionate commitment. It is still with difficulty that we see our cultural period because we are in it. What we need therefore are some ideas to develop at the beginning of a new millennium and the rebirth of a nation.

As Herbert Read said

‘You can organise a system for a society, engineer a factory,

but for art you can only build a nest and hope that a phoenix will adopt it.’

I wish to Investigate links with New Metaphysical Art and further explore CAT’s sympathies with Gaia theory, strengthening Containment Awareness Theory whilst developing my own poetry in the process, with the hope that

‘At the very least I can lend a hand with the phoenix’s nest’.

I hope you will join with me and explore these possibilities.

©jj