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Click to see the whole book Next Step with poetry and images.

This pdf file contains all images and poems of Next Step in a form which is very similar to the actual book Next Step. You use Acrobat Reader to display it. In the Acrobat Reader program which loads automatically (provided it is installed on your computer) you can navigate back and forth in the Next Step document by clicking on the backward and forward buttons of the program. To return to this current page you must use the backward button on your browser. You can also open the bookmark window in Acrobat Reader or use the find function to look for a specific poem or image.

 We feel that the essence of a human being is unfathomable. Clearly, in our society this aspect of man has become increasingly overshadowed by his scientific superstition on one hand and by a so-called demythologizing of religion and art on the other. An attitude is spreading in which anything that cannot be explained through formal reason and logic is looked upon as irrelevant or even nonsensical. The reaction to this attitude is unfortunately a belief in the irrational and nonsensical. The result of these two approaches to life in general is quite naturally confusion, despair, and cynicism.

Art has all too often become an intellectual and arbitrary game governed by the rules of mass market profits and played by egocentric tricksters. A work of art becomes primarily a marketable product whose success is determined by the ability of the sales people to advertise and package it. For example, poetry, one of the oldest art forms of man, tends to become a game of words and accidental associations, a game which soon computers will be better at than man himself.

What is lost in all this is the depth of the human being, which can only be hinted at by words like love, soul, intelligence, insight and so forth. It is this area which escapes cogent knowledge but which is determining the very nature of man and woman. We feel that it is in the nature of art, poetry, philosophy, and religion to try to reveal some aspects of this unfathomable essence of man. This act of revelation can of course not be a one-sided, static affair of the artist or philosopher, but rather some kind of communication between a giving and a receiving human being, where giving and receiving become mutual. In this movement between two persons, a movement which is unpredictable, what is true may reveal itself for a fleeting moment. It should be the honest endeavor of an artist - and any human being - to make such moments possible. And it is the good fortune of anyone to be attentive and aware in such moments.

Copyright 1999 by Fritz Wilhelm, Zero & One,
Last modified: July 22, 2012