Camera Man

According to Owen Barfield:
"A representative Camera Man believes "that the mind is something which is shut up in a sort of box called the brain." He accepts "that the mind of man is a passive onlooker at the processes and phenomena of nature, in the creation of which it neither takes nor has taken any part." He accepts "the fallacy that there are many separate minds but no such thing as Mind"

Understood in light of the evolution of consciousness, Barfield insists, the camera must be seen as a caricature of imagination, although it is a true emblem of perspective. Imagination is living, perspective only "lifelike." It used to be said that the camera cannot lie. But in fact it always does lie. Just because it looks only in that immediate way, the camera looks always at and never into what it sees. I suspect that Medusa did very much the same...

"We live in a camera civilization," Barfield observes in "The Harp and the Camera." "Our entertainment is camera entertainment. Our holidays are camera holidays. We make them so by paying more attention to the camera we brought with us than to the waterfall we are pointing it at. Our science is almost entirely a camera science...and it is already becoming self-evident to camera man that only camera words have any meaning"
- Encyclopedia Barfieldiana


  1. I am a big fan of Owen Barfield, and that link you provide is a great source, meticulously put together by David Lavery and others at the Owen Barfield WWW:

  2. I had never heard of Barfield until I followed that link on your web page. I copied out that passage into my "files" then forgot about it. Since then I've seen his name pop-up a time or two (or perhaps only began to notice his name being mentioned, you know how that is), which triggered me to post that passage.


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