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      Painting Essay

    作者:Jesús Huerta de Soto


      I am most fascinated with painting. What I love and hate about it is the ever-present uncertainty in the creation process, where results are often unpredictable or unexpected. Isnt life in reality just like that too?

    Jesús Huerta de Soto Ballester (Madrid, 1956) is a Spanish economist of the Austrian School. He is a professor in the Department of Applied Economics at King Juan Carlos University of Madrid, Spain and a Senior Fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute.
    Huerta de Soto received a bachelor's degree in economics in 1978 and a PhD in economics in 1992, from Complutense University. His MBA in actuarial science is from Stanford University, 1985. In 2000 he became a full professor of Political Economy at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid.
    Huerta de Soto was Editor of seven volumes of the Spanish language version of the University of Chicago Press's The Collected Works of F.A. Hayek. In that capacity, he was responsible for bibliographies, footnotes, introductions, and hiring translators. He is a member of the editorial board of New Perspectives on Political Economy and on the advisory editorial board of the Journal of Markets and Morality. Huerta de Soto is a Senior Fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute and is on the editorial board of its Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. He was formerly a Trustee of the Madrid Institute for Advanced Studies (IMDEA) in social sciences and was a vice-president and director of the Mont Pelerin Society from 2000 to 2004.


      Compared with the finished work, I am more fascinated with the process of creating it. Perhaps it is because the atmosphere in the painting draws me closer and closer as it materializes I always want my painting to be a reflection or a record of the track marks of my mental activities, throughout its birth, progress and completion. I want my painting to be a triune of my spiritual activities, the process of a painting and the experience of realistic life.



      Some paintings took me no time to complete; they were conceptualized in my heart, and I would put them down on the canvas at one sitting. But more often, I would paint and re-paint a picture again and again, each time starting from scratch both in terms of my mentality and approach, and every time it would be a deconstruction, modification or reconstruction of the previous version.



      Painting is a most interesting game. In the process of playing against myself, I achieve temporary respite from the confusions and frustrations in reality again and again. In the same manner, I enjoy momentary resolution again and again from the tangle of complex and conflicting thoughts about mind and matter, consciousness and subconsciousness, fantasy and hope, existence and nothingness, nature and life.

    time preference 是奥地利学派提出来的,非常有意思的概念,企业管理有时候就是协调团队的 time preference,让人的相对随机行为转变为统一协调的行为,从而产生更明显的波峰和波谷,完成个人所难以达到的目标,管理者需要具备调整相关人员 time preference 的能力。


      Creation, is to create a bunch of questions first and then proceed to solve them one by one. During the creating process, there will be times when you are suddenly hit with seemingly insurmountable bottlenecks. Moreover, such situations are usually not overcome with sheer effort. The answers and clues may be contained within the details of life. One needs to wait, accumulate, and meditate allowing the doubt to work its mysterious wonders in the subconscious mind; once the mind reaches a state of saturation, any bits of the details of life could trigger flashes of inspiration, and bring about breakthroughs.



      There are no boundaries to the techniques and languages of art. New inspirations and subjects of expression need to be realized through new and suitable techniques and languages. Creation is more of a journey of my spiritual explorations, a struggle against the existing techniques and languages, a constant tug-of-war with myself.



      The artists journey of artistic evolution is actually a manifestation of his mental evolution. In his acts of artistic creation, the artists mental state will determine the form of his art and how he presents images artistically. The artists creation activity is one that is intentional (in his inner world). The artists intention determines what he draws and how he draws. The audience, then, needs to understand the artists intention (emotion, thought, hope, fear, etc.) before they can appreciate his works and read into the meaning that is embodied within these works.



      The creation of paintings is usually very private and personal, and is sustained by the self-contained world of the artists psyche. This is the fountain of life of creation. No matter if it merges with the mainstream, or is always flowing in solitude, or consolidates into a lake, or empties into the sea, this fountain is the wellspring of my life. When it meets with other streams of water, it can blend with them readily, or it can also greet them cordially before going separate ways. In short, it flows naturally and cannot be forced. It reminds me not to lose my inner self about painting and often prods me to ask myself, Am I still me?

    图片 1


      To see one world in a flower, we also need to realize that every person is like a flower. In this world, every person or living thing is a flower.I spend most of my life busy caring for self-nurturing, self-nourishing, and self-improving, hoping that the flower within us will eventually blossom. However, I will not stop myself from appreciating others flowers. To allow myself to blossom while being able to appreciate others is to live according to the saying, The person who desires is a lesser being than one who enjoys. There are as many flowers as people in this world, which make our world multi-hued. Some flowers are good for display, while others are used in medicine, tea leaves (like chrysanthemum tea and osmanthus tea), poison, food ... such profusion yet each having its own little mission.As for me, I prefer to nurse the fertile soil that is in my heart, and to be a happy, breeze-loving jasmine, quietly perfuming the air with my fragrance.

    图片 2


      Every day, my thoughts about painting are like a kite flittering about in the wind. My emotion and interest are my kite, and my reason and goal are the kite line. Sometimes, the kite will drop from the sky. In such moments, all I need to do is to think of ways to untangle the kite line, so that the kite will be up and flying again.

    图片 3


      For a practitioner of art, the most important thing is to be in the right state. This includes his state of mind and body, which means staying physically and emotionally healthy, having peace of mind, being mentally active, and be worry-free about his body. All these are conducive to the formation of a benign energy field.

    Austrians are particularly critical of the narrow concept of economics which originated with Robbins and his well-known definition of the subject. In his own words, “economics is the science which studies human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses” (Robbins 1932, 16). Robbins’s conception implicitly presupposes a given knowledge of ends and means and reduces the economic problem to a technical problem of mere allocation, maximization or optimization, subject to certain restrictions which are also assumed known. In other words, Robbins’s concept of economics reflects the essence of the neoclassical paradigm and can be considered completely foreign to the methodology of the  Austrian school as it is understood today. Indeed, Robbins portrays man as an automaton, a simple caricature of a human being, who may only react passively to events. In contrast with this view, Mises, Kirzner and the rest of the  Austrian school maintain that man does not so much allocate given means to given ends, as constantly seek new ends and means, while learning from the past and using his imagination to discover and create the future (via action).  Thus, for  Austrians, economics forms part of a much broader and more general science, a general theory of human action (and not of human decision or choice).  According to Hayek, if for this general science of human action “a name is needed, the term  praxeological sciences now clearly defined and extensively used by Ludwig von Mises, would appear to be most appropriate” (Hayek 1952a, 209).


      Some people say my style of painting changes too fast, that I am now at the stage of trying out different styles to find my own. I can accept this observation. However, I wish to respond with this question: What is this concept of stages? Having stages may not indicate having a pathway to a predefined target or result.According to the Yi Ching, Life is about making adjustments in stages. In my opinion, stages are like semicolons, and my life is filled with stages linked to other stages. Ones life is a series of interconnected stages; some of which may be complimentary with another, while others may perhaps be different.

    Economics is not about things and tangible material objects; it is about men, their meanings and actions. Goods, commodities, and wealth and all the other notions of conduct are not elements of nature; they are elements of human meaning and conduct. He who wants to deal with them must not look at the external world; he must search for them in the meaning of acting men. (Mises 1996, 92)


      To me, creation is no longer about expressing myself or to show something, to achieve some goals, to make some contribution, or to receive something in return...It is simply about truthfully experiencing or realizing every moment of time that I have, in order to set free my true spirit and internal language. Do not try to hide or mask yourself, but rather, be a mass of sparks that, once ignited, will burn fiercely and thoroughly.

    For the above reasons, members of the  Austrian school find that many of the theories and conclusions that neoclassicals form in their analysis of consumption and production make no sense in terms of economics. One example is the “law of equality of price-weighted marginal utilities”, which rests on very shaky theoretical foundations. In fact this law presupposes that the actor is able to simultaneously assess the utility of all goods at their disposal, and it overlooks the fact that every action is sequential and creative, and that goods are not assessed at the same time by equalizing their supposed marginal utilities, but rather one after the other, within the context of different stages and actions, for each of which the corresponding marginal utility may be not only different but incomparable (Mayer 1994, 81–3)