From the very moment when Eve ate the apple from the tree of knowledge, mankind was doomed to strive endlessly after the truth. First, as we know, Adam and Eve discovered they were naked. And they were ashamed. They were ashamed because they had understood; and then they set out on their way in the joy of knowing one another. That was the beginning of a journey that has no end. One can understand how dramatic that moment was for those two souls, just emerged from the state of placid ignorance and thrown out into the vastness of the earth, hostile and inexplicable. ‘With the sweat of thy brow shalt thou earn thy bread . . . ‘ So it was that man, ‘nature’s crown’, arrived on the earth in order to know why it was that he had appeared or been sent. And with man’s help the Creator comes to know himself. This progress has been given the name of evolution, and it is accompanied by the agonising process of human self-knowledge. In a very real sense every individual experiences this process for himself as he comes to know life, himself, his aims. Of course each person uses the sum of knowledge accumulated by humanity, but all the same the experience of ethical, moral self-knowledge is the only aim in life for each person, and, subjectively, it is experienced each time as something new. Again and again man correlates himself with the world, racked with longing to acquire, and become one with, the ideal which lies outside him, which he apprehends as some kind of intuitively sensed first principle. The unattainability of that becoming one, the inadequacy of his own I, is the perpetual source of man’s dissatisfaction and pain.

stem: andrei tarkovsky
perspectief: the russian filmmaker discusses his art
title: art – a yearning for the ideal
bron: sculpting in time: reflections on the cinema (1989)
mopw: meerstemmige encyclopedie / appel