Aesthetic Realism Consultant Nancy Huntting

Nancy Huntting
Nancy Huntting



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Selected Contents:

Intelligence in Love

Mistakes in Love

The Parthenon & Love

Generosity & Selfishness

Knowing Oneself

For & Against





Liking People

Pride & Prejudice


Our Hopes

On Cezanne

On Bruegel

And more. . .

Nancy Huntting on Rosalie c. 1963

Welcome to my website, where I'm glad to bring to people what I've learned from Aesthetic Realism, the philosophy founded in 1941 by the great American poet and critic Eli Siegel. I'm proud to have seen that Aesthetic Realism is true: it explains the human mind and the world we are in with new respect and scientific exactness. It enables individual men and women to be fully what they hope to be!

I grew up near Cincinnati, majored in Literature at Denison University and moved to New York City, where I worked for Newsweek magazine and later had an antique store. It was then that I first attended an Aesthetic Realism public seminar. I was electrified by the honesty and scholarship of the speakers and what they were saying about art and life.

What Aesthetic Realism Is

I began to study these principles, stated by Eli Siegel, which are the basis of the philosophy Aesthetic Realism:

1.  The deepest desire of every person is to like the world on an honest or accurate basis.

2.  The greatest danger for a person is to have contempt for the world and what is in it....Contempt can be defined as the lessening of what is different from oneself as a means of self-increase as one sees it.

3.  All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.

I recommend the book Self and World: An Explanation of Aesthetic Realism and many other works by Eli Siegel in the Online Library. And there's the international journal The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known edited by Ellen Reiss. I quote from the commentary to "The Fight about Knowledge in Schools & Everywhere":

"The young people of our land are being asked to learn, to welcome knowledge. Yet they feel, whether they can state it clearly or not, that the adults who seem to tell them and others what to do, the adults who seem to be running things, do not like trying to know, to see, to understand . . . . How we see knowledge is not something that starts when we go to kindergarten and ends with our getting a diploma or doctorate. An attitude to knowledge takes in the way we meet anything. It’s about, for example, how deeply we want to understand another person."   Ellen Reiss,TRO #1962, September 20, 2017

Listed to the left are some of the talks I've presented
at public seminars and in the Terrain Gallery series "Art Answers the Questions of Your Life!" For instance, I spoke with my colleagues at a seminar on "How Can Selfishness & Generosity Make Sense in a Woman's Life?" using the classic novel Manon Lescaut.

The education I'm receiving is what women are yearning for!

What Are You Hoping for in 2018?

I recommend a great lecture by Eli Siegel titled Aesthetic Realism and Hope. We can hope wisely, he explains, but also very unwisely. "A great question is, How are we going to hope?," Mr. Siegel asks "What is the basis for our hope? Do we hope in the best way? Do we fear in the best way?" There is a best way to hope he explains what it is. Everyone needs to know what is said in this lecture! Here's the beginning, and a link to the entire talk: 

Aesthetic Realism and Hope

By Eli Siegel

Most people don’t think that hoping is an exact thing. There is something corresponding to the manic-depressive state in every one of us: the person who changes from thinking he can do everything, to one who thinks he can’t do anything; a person who thinks he can cross the Pacific because he has a new way of flying, and then thinks that he can’t eat an egg because his stomach is made of glass. That is going pretty far; but there is a tendency to play around with the materials of the world—to fear them too much, and to think they are too much our own. The only way out of it is to think that there is a constant relation between the way things wholly and imaginatively are and what we want. If we want or hope for something and that something is based on the world other than as it is, then we think that the only way to be happy is to distort the world. If we think, on the other hand, that the world can be something to suit our hopes, because being itself can change, then our hopes are sensible.

I mean by hope, as I have said in Definitions, and Comment, pleasure now from the feeling that pleasure may be. Fear is pain now from the feeling that pain may be.

Hope can be tremendously silly, and yet it is so very necessary. This was said by a young man, Owen Feltham, whose Resolves, Divine, Moral, and Political, published in 1628, seems to have brought solace to worried persons in the seventeenth century. Feltham’s essay “Of Hope” shows how hope, though necessary, can also be so hurtful:

Human life hath not a surer friend, nor many times a greater enemy, than hope. It is the miserable man’s god, which, in the hardest grip of calamity, never fails to yield him beams of comfort. It is the presumptuous man’s devil, which leads him awhile in a smooth way, and then makes him break his neck on the sudden….How many would die, did not hope sustain them! How many have died, by hoping too much! This wonder we may find in hope; that she is both a flatterer and a true friend...

One thing is clear: Feltham hasn’t made up his mind entirely about hope. Some people suddenly think their son is dead, or a child has been run over, or somebody is never going to come back—these fears can be very sudden. And likewise, hope can be very sudden. A person gets a hunch—a wonderful thing is going to happen! There is a tremendous disposition to get to the evil of the world quickly, and also nice things quickly. These dispositions come from the same source. A person who wants to manhandle or womanhandle the world by making it altogether his own, by saying “You’ve got to be my way,” will punish himself by getting all kinds of fears. If we cannot think that there is a oneness between what goes on in our mind and the way things really are, we will have to make things worse than they are or better than they are.

Aesthetic Realism Foundation  |   Terrain Gallery of the Aesthetic Realism Fdn.
Aesthetic Realism Online Library  
|   The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known (periodical)

Background image:  Paul Cézanne, Allée à Chantilly
© 2016 Aesthetic Realism Consultant Nancy Huntting. All rights reserved