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"As an art student in the late sixties, I recall how painfully dry and intellectual my art history classes were. I thought to myself, or rather felt to myself, 'There must be something more'" (Van James). Artist Van James offers that something more. This is a richly readable and lavishly illustrated text that reveals how, at every stage, human consciousness has evolved through the medium of art. It makes the case for a hidden stream that has put forth art works and art movements throughout history, in an ongoing visible revelation of invisible spiritual currents. Art, originally a part of the secret Mystery cults of the ancient world, has become an expression of the individual creative intuition. At every stage, Albert Einstein's comment applies: "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science."
Van James is a Hawaiian-based artist and author, a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, Emerson College in England, and the Goetheanum Painting School in Switzerland. He is an art teacher, co-director of an adult education program, and editor of Pacifica Journal. As an artist, he has exhibited in Europe, the United States and Japan. His paintings have received awards and are found in numerous private collections. He is active as a freelance graphic designer and writes articles for journals and magazines. In 1991 his book Ancient Sites of Oahu: Archaeological Places of Interest in the Hawaiian Islands won an award for excellence, and in 1998 Ancient Sites of Hawaii was published. Van James lives on the island of Oahu, is married with four grown children and a grandson.