Aesthetic Realism and Self-Expression
Miriam Mondlin, Aesthetic Realism Consultant

Aesthetic Realism:
Some Beginning Notes

The Aesthetic Realism Online Library is a definitive source for publications about Aesthetic Realism. For example, visit the online library to learn about how this philosophy, founded by Eli Siegel, explains Poetry, to read Reviews written by Mr. Siegel; reviews of his poetry and prose.—Essays on art and life; Books—including chapters from Self and World, the Williams-Siegel Documentary, James and the Children, Children's Guide to Parents and Other Matters and more.  Articles in the press & media about the ideas and principles of Aesthetic Realism in relation to life, economics, love, art, youth and age and Includes WKCR-FM "The World of Art" interview of Eli Siegel.

Reports of
Aesthetic Realism

Here are two reports of Eli Siegel's lectures:"Look, the World is Poetic!" and "The Rhythms: They Are There."

"The Ordinary Doom"
y Eli Siegel

In studying Aesthetic Realism the great interference in every person to expressing just who he or she is, is understood. When we don't know what keeps us from showing ourselves we have "The Ordinary Doom"

The Economy

Aesthetic Realism asks: What is real economic recovery? Do we have it now? Article by Timothy Lynch, President Teamsters Local 1205

Profit Motive of Drug Companies Damaging Seniors' Lives by Devorah Tarrow, sociologist and Aesthetic Realism consultant

On The Family

A Father Seen Anew" by Bruce Blaustein, published in Senior News (Suffolk, New York)

On Anti-Racism

Aesthetic Realism and the Answer to Racism edited by Alice Bernstein

Novel based on Aesthetic Realism:
Gwe, Young Man of New Guinea by Arnold Perey



Reprinted from


Rock Island Argus logo


Friday, March 1, 2003   
Rock Island, IL

No Child Should Go Hungry in America!

By Miriam Mondlin

In this, the richest country in the world, increasing numbers of children do not have enough to eat.  Every one of the more than 13 million children that the USDA figures tell of—and we can be sure there are many more who don’t get counted—is as real as you or I am.

     This is told of in many newspaper articles. In the New York Daily News, for example, under the title, “Hunger Has Younger Face,” we are told that “Children are now swelling the ranks of the city’s hungry…”  A social worker tells this chilling fact: “Mothers tell me, ‘Two days a week, I have to give my son sugar with water to quench his hunger.’” 

     And hunger also afflicts children supposedly above the poverty line.  In The Christian Science Monitor, Lisa Suhay has an article titled “Being one of  them’—the working poor.” In it, she writes: “Last fall, I was given that name by a helper lady at a charity program, ‘Don’t feel so bad dear. You’re one of that new group they call the working poor. [Families] who have education, a home, two working parents, but still can’t make ends meet.’”

     Ms. Suhay represents many distraught parents who once saw themselves as “middle class”, suddenly forced to go to food banks to feed their children. The government calls this situation, now so widespread, “food insecurity.” It is criminal that any child in America should be insecure about having enough to eat and it should not be tolerated! 

    Eli Siegel, the great historian who founded the education Aesthetic Realism, has explained the cause of injustice, including why hunger has persisted even as there is enough food for everyone: it is contempt, which he defined as “the addition to self through the lessening of something else.” 

Contempt is the basis of our economy because the bottom line is: how much profit can be made for a few owners and stockholders and how little can be paid to the people who do the work.  I saw first hand Mr. Siegel’s passion about justice.  He stated in 1970, “While any child needs something he hasn’t got, the profit system is a failure.” That failure is more apparent now in 2003. 

    We live in a blessed land where wheat, barley, beans, vegetables and so much more grow abundantly. There has always been a glaring disparity between the amount of food our country can produce and the number of children who get it. I never went hungry, but like millions of Americans during the Great Depression, my family could barely scrape together enough money to buy one meal at a time. My widowed mother found it too painful to ask our neighbor if she could borrow some money for food until the Relief check came, and she would send me, a young child, to ask for it. Shamefully, half a century later, millions of children are suffering from lack of food. 

    In an issue of the international periodical, The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known, Class Chairman of Aesthetic Realism, Ellen Reiss explains, with tenderness and the simple truth, what is coming to all children:

A baby now in Milwaukee wants milk, and there are cows in America that can supply milk, and people and trucks that can have the milk reach her, and therefore the baby should get the milk, just because she is alive.  Only when production in America is based on good will, usefulness to people — instead of profits for a few individuals — will "supply and demand" become decent and sane.

   I've come to see that good will begins with the honest asking and answering of this question by Eli Siegel, central to how a child or any person needs to be seen: “What does a person deserve by being alive?” 


This article has been published in other newspapers including, The Southwest Digest (Lubbock, TX), The Palladium Times (Oswego, NY) San Antonio Register (San Antonio, TX) and others.


Aesthetic Realism encourages self-expression:

On stuttering— Read, "How My Stuttering Ended." by Miriam Mondlin

The Answer for Our Schools by Arnold Perey, Ph.D,.   —about a young man who stuttered and because of what he learned in Aesthetic Realism consultations—his stuttering diminished.

The high school student, Georges Delong wrote: "I have been able to resolve in large measure my problem regarding stuttering: now it is quite diminished and also I have been able to understand the motive for stuttering.... I hope that... persons who now do not know Aesthetic Realism will come to know it because, believe me, it can resolve millions of problems of people who perhaps now are struggling, perhaps vainly trying to resolve them."

Articles about this Aesthetic Realism question: "What does a person deserve by being a person?" —


"Women's Health Care is a Fundamental Right!"

"Health care for babies — a must!" What Aesthetic Realism encouraged me to see and say.

So-called "Welfare Reform" — what has it done to people?

— And Arnold Perey about an aspect of self-expression--warmth and coolness...

Aesthetic Realism & Art - Does Art Answer the Questions of our Lives?

An aspect of my self-expression has been as an artist. The study of art has been for most of my life, and I've had the pleasure and honor to continue to learn in Aesthetic Realism classes for the visual arts at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation in great classes taught by Chaim Koppelman, and the Critical Inquiry by Dorothy Koppelman.. I will be putting up some of my paintings and drawings on my website in coming days..

A talk I gave in the series at the Terrain Gallery "How Art Answers the Questions of Your Life," is here: On Van Gogh's great "Starry Night" — titled: "Can We Be Expansive and Contained Like Van Gogh's Starry Night?


More resources...

Photography Education: the
Aesthetic Realism Viewpoint

Aesthetic Realism: A New Perspective for Anthropology & Sociology
Lynette Abel / Aesthetic Realism and Life
Alice Bernstein, Aesthetic Realism Associate
Ellen Reiss writes on the "criticism" of John Keats
Ellen Reiss, Class Chairman, on
poet Robert Burns

About Eli Siegel

Photograph from film "Hot Afternoons Have Been in Montana."

”Best U.S. Short”
Avignon/New York Film Festival

"Hot Afternoons
Have Been in Montana"
Directed by Ken Kimmelman,
Emmy award-winning filmmaker

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