by Valeriu Boborelu

(Former Chair of Painting,
Nicolae Grigorescu Academy of Fine Arts,
Bucharest, Romania)


In his essay, "UNITY, DUALITY, TRINITY," Johnes Ruta, a creative writer, computer analyst, art theorist & curator, presents an original, multivalent interpretation of the life and mystical vision of the poet Dante Aligheri.

Ruta seems to have achieved a profound humanistic knowledge of medieval literature and art history, and of east-west religious studies. He translates his theoretical researches into a personal, intuitive-experiential level. He starts by introducing us to the general frame-work of ancient cosmology, the medieval concepts of God, Divine Light, and Soul; and the historical problem of "dualism" (good/ evil; "nature"/ "rationality.")

Focusing on Dante’s (1267-1321) recounts of a guided journey through the afterworlds of Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise, Ruta states that Dante’s intention is "to describe a harmonious structure of the unified universe" and to see how "allegory is used to reveal a continuous unfolding of natural levels and lines of energy" reflected in "human and astronomical history."

In a subtle way, Ruta superimposes the personal moments of Dante’s life with the political, cultural context of thirteenth century Florence. He shows admiration and compassion for Dante’s life of tribulations, as representing a symbolic personality who will sacrifice and transcend his own emotional life in or der to discover and experience the Highest Divine Reality. In his afterlife journey, Dante is helped and guided by the beautiful Beatrice.

Ruta recounts the main theological and artistic ideas of Dante’s century : the Earth as the center of the universe (with five planets, the Fixed Stars, and the Crystalline Heaven), the image and concept of the Virgin Mother, who encom-passes both the outer realm and the inner mystery of the birth of the universe," the Empyrean plane -- "the ethereal void surrounding the known universe." Ruta also explores the parallel vision in the art of Dante’s friend Giotto.

Using poetical phrases, Ruta notes : "Dante’s figure of Christ repre-sents the all embracing Divine Intellect of our geocentric sphere, and by descriptive implication, of any other planetary world containing life forms created by God." "Beyond the empty Void the Father of the Trinity manifests itself within its own concentric pattern."

Ruta adopts the approach of a modern psychologist or an inward yogi when he writes, "Dante experiences all of the same types of energy with which we in the twentieth century are aware." He suggests that we attempt to feel and experience, as Dante’s descriptions suggest, sensations akin to "electrical signals that accompany our perceptions and physical motions with the same consonances as the Pythagorean Harmony of the Spheres," explaining that our "neuron synapses and spinal cortex produce sub-audible harmonics," aligned with the "cosmic flow affected by all of Earth’s sidereal planetary movements," and "the interplay of sympathetic vibrations between the bodily and the emotive receptors..."

Ruta stresses the dialectical relations of the Absolute-individual Soul, and the responsibilities of free agents : "each being in acting acts upon itself, and thereby becomes its own fate." This refers to the idea of the human soul in continuous transportation, with the capacity to surpass any suffering and wrongdoing by adopting a positive attitude, and by spiritual purification and redemption. Dante’s reflections on the universal human inquiries about God, Soul, Life, Death and Resurrection, imply comparisons to how our contemporary society responds to these same problems.

In closing, Ruta writes, "Dante’s love for Beatrice is sincere and hopeful of reunion beyond the confines of Earthly society. His journey is the resolution of his own dualistic dilemma of how to achieve her presence and so sets an example for his philosophical descendants . . . ."

Valeriu Boborelu

45 Kew Gardens Road
Queens, New York 11415