The Future of Art

Power of Three (Hidden)

I have great dreams for the future of art. I don’t see art as an exclusive activity of people who call themselves artists. To me, art is a way of life. Art is the way of life, because life itself is inherently creative. Life has an innate drive to explore new forms and push limits. Where there is no creativity there is no life.

To some people it seems like art is in trouble. People don’t pay for music anymore, they just download it for free or listen to it through online radios that pay artists next to nothing. We still enjoy modern music and painting, but we don’t have any cultural heroes anymore. We don’t have a contemporary Beatles, or Picasso. Art has become diffuse and divided, and some would say watered down and superficial.

At the same time, it feels like there’s more artists than ever before. We have a whole generation of musicians, painters, designers, poets and visionaries of all sorts. But how do all these artists make a living? Many feel they can’t live off their art, so it becomes a hobby on the side. Others use their talents to go into marketing and advertising. 

There is a real crisis here, but the roots of the crisis go deeper than we usually acknowledge. First of all, it seems to me that the age of the individual is coming to an end. There have been many great artists and there will be many more, but the true value and purpose of art goes far beyond the talent of any individual. Any individual becomes an artist when they love what they do, and become empowered by the creative currents of life. Art is not any particular activity, it is a way of living. Art is born from the perception of beauty in life, and the willingness to participate in that beauty.

Art isn’t about the ego. Art isn’t about competition or comparison. This means that art, by its very nature, undermines our political and economic systems. Any truly creative act is valuable in and of itself, and its result is invaluable. This means that you don’t need to be coerced into doing it, and what you create can’t be measured in terms of other creations. Furthermore, true art is always in service to unity and harmony, even if it happens to be challenging and outlandish.

With the rise of the internet and the availability of art from all eras, my generation has been spoiled and we feel that we are entitled to art, that we should have art available to us whenever we want, wherever we want. In fact, this is an entirely correct perception. As proof, all you need to do is go for a walk in the woods. Everything you see is a masterpiece of the universal creative energy which dances through all forms. This same creative energy drives human beings to do everything we do, it is only our lack of trust and understanding that twists it into the drudgery and atrocity we so often see.

So when I say that I have great dreams for the future of art, this doesn’t mean that I expect art to get better. It means that I expect humanity to awaken more and more deeply to the truth of art. It means that I expect more and more people to live artistically, and I expect this change to fundamentally alter the way we human beings relate to life, ourselves, and one another.

As we move into the age of the collective, we will come to see art as a language of light that unites us in ways we never thought possible. Many believe that the dreams of collectivity have failed, and that competition is a necessary evil. The truth is that the age of the collective must dawn in its own way, in its own time. It cannot be forced or hurried, because it requires that individuals overcome their own conditioned patterns of fear, mistrust and anger. As more and more people recognize that we are one universal family, harmony will naturally and effortlessly emerge among humanity. As individuals, we can only work on our own issues and encourage others to do the same. And yet, because we are already a collective, everything we do creates ripples. Humanity already acts as one organism, but our collective ignorance has created an organism which is at war with itself.

To really usher in a new age, it is crucial that we go back to the basics. Everything we do has to be examined, all of our hidden assumptions have to be brought to the surface and reconsidered. The secret of art is the mystery of complexity arising from simplicity. Complexity without a foundation of simplicity is just a mental construct that doesn’t touch the heart. But when we recognize and appreciate the simplicity of life, it quite naturally engenders more and more complex forms. When we explore the simple forms of any creative path, we are led step by step on a journey of evolution that shows us how life itself evolves. Then there is no separation between what we do and what life does.

To see life in this way erases all the divisions the modern mind carries with it. There is no difference between science and art, or science and spirituality. There are only the patterns of life, which are within us and without us, and coming to understand them by experiencing them fully, without preconceived notions.

The future artist doesn’t have to be a master painter or musician, though he or she may very well be. More than that, the future artist carries a transmission of beauty and harmony. They may very well be an engineer, a psychologist, or a janitor. It doesn’t matter, because  their art lies in living each moment with love for life. This actually creates a space around them that invites others to do the same. We all have a choice, and many choose to resist. For a child, however, this is totally natural. Children are effortlessly artistic in everything they do, and only lose their sense of life as art and play through the often unconscious conditioning of parents, peers, and teachers.

To have faith in art is to have faith in life. Will we humans destroy ourselves? Will life destroy itself? Life breeds life, eternally creative. Old forms are washed away to make room for new forms. We are not here to control the flow of life, but to watch, wonder, live and love.

The Danger in a Kiss

Favim.com-4659

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The danger in a kiss

Not a kiss on the cheek, obviously,

But a real kiss

A real kiss can kill

A real kiss opens a door

That can never be closed

There is no irony in a kiss

No space between

The kiss and those who kiss

Maybe for a moment

There is a kisser and a kissed

With a real kiss

That distinction vanishes

A deep vulnerability opens

And lingers after the kiss

Nothing can close it

It can be ignored,

Violated, evaded,

But never closed

All the secrets of magic

Are held in a kiss

Wordless presence

All of our fights

And misunderstandings

Our shame, our longing

Are born in the dissonance

Between the wordless presence

Of a kiss

And the busy noise

Of our lives

To kiss is to kiss the divine

And the divine always wants more

Wants it all

Will we give it up?

Or squirm this way and that

Caught between fear

And the inevitable?

~

http://sublimatrix.com/html/biography.html
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The Mountain Without Valleys

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“The mountain without valleys…”

I heard the old man tell

And the children were mesmerized

Giggles among the town’s people

Who had heard the story many times before

Of how the old man, when he was younger,

Had gone in search of a mountain

A mountain without valleys

~

He said he went out

Without map or compass

By the power of a dream

“One night, lying on my cot

A strange dream showed itself to me

Of friends and family and lovers

Searching and grasping, as though blind

Climbing the tallest mountains

You could ever think of

And descending into deep, dark valleys

Where there was only despair

And I went to them and asked

What do you seek?

And I heard always the same answer:

I seek the mountain without valleys…

~

“I will help you find it!”

He had said

And upon waking, declared to himself

I will use my youth and vigor to find this mountain,

This mountain without valleys

~

And so, the old man’s story went,

He had said goodbye to his parents

Abandoned the family farm

And gone in search of something

He knew nothing about

In his frightful stupidity

He had wandered here and there

Questioning strangers

About a concept which made

No sense at all

~

I marvelled that my patience

Had carried me this far

But I had to interrupt–

“Why tell this same story, old man?

Would you infuse these children

With your insanity?”

He smiled at me, and said

“The story is not for them,

It is for you!

Whatever upsets us most

Holds the key

To our destiny”

~

As I stormed away, the rest of his story

Began to echo in my head,

Planted there through the many repetitions

I had believed harmless

~

I wandered for two years

Surviving by the kindness of strangers

Until one night I passed by a home

Where the crickets seemed quieter

The wind, a bit more gentle

And where the light seemed to linger

As though sad to leave

I knocked on the door

And found myself face to face

With an old married couple

Who smiled so sincerely

That I felt their grand-child, 

Returning home after a long journey

~

They fed me and took me in

Bathed me, clothed me,

And offered me a place to stay

In exchange for some help with the garden

I declined, however,

Explaining that I was on a quest

To find a mountain without valleys

~

The old couple smiled to each other

As though sharing a secret, or an inside joke

And the old man took me aside

“When I was young,

As you are now

I too sought the mountain without valleys

And found it!

And that is where I met my wife

And we have lived out our days

In love and happiness

Waiting for a young man like you

To pass our knowledge to.”

Such excitement as I have never known

Gripped my heart

Hearing and seeing my dreams confirmed

In this saintly old man

“What is the path, please,

I will do anything to know!”

~

“To reach the mountain without valleys,”

He explained to me,

“You must walk the pathless path

Every step that is taken to reach it

Will take you back the way you came

You must allow your steps to be the path

And walk without really walking

As you walk, do not aim for the mountains

Or the valleys, rather,

Let the peaks and valleys come to you

Meet them without holding them

And, when the great mountain feels you are ready

And have shown your determination

It will come to you

And you will see what you have dreamed of

The mountain without valleys”

~

My search was at an end,

Because I knew the way

And so I stayed with the old couple

Listening to their stories, 

Sharing their jokes,

And tending to their garden

A day came when something changed

I could hear the birds calling me away

And as I came down the stairs

The old couple waited there

To send me on my way

~

I returned home, understanding,

The way forward was the way back

And I had given up my search

Because the mountain was coming to me

And so it was that, just before reaching home,

I met the mountain without valleys

And understood why all my friends

Had been searching for it

It was truly a marvel to behold

~

And so, his story ends

As inanely as it began

Leaving some laughing,

Some shaking their heads

Others totally confused

But they can walk away

And somehow I cannot

The story haunts me

It taunts me

Because I see myself climbing mountains

And feel myself seeking for something

But the idea of a mountain without valleys

Is pure stupidity!

And yet, it may just be the only thing

That will truly satisfy

~

Zen_Circle

Unity

flower of life 11 23 12 (2)

~

Unity changes everything

~

There are two worlds:

the world of unity

and the world of separation

~

The world of separation

sets us against each other

and even if we come together

as teams

it is to defeat another team

~

The world of separation

longs for unity

and seeks unity

but remains unwilling

to let go

of separation

~

The world of separation

is very complicated

identities are built

around rules

that have nothing to do

with the natural flow

of life

~

The world of separation

demands much work

to be maintained–

aggression meets defenses

that calcify

and defensiveness attracts aggression

that intensifies

no power great enough!

no defense strong enough!

never seeing the truth behind the fear

never finding the peace after the war

because there is no unity

in separation

~

The world of separation

is uncomfortable

and always threatened

by death

by unity

~

The world of unity

is truth

truth beyond concepts

which divide reality

providing illusory solid ground

where the mind feels comfortable

for a little while

until it starts slipping

~

The world of unity

is truth

the truth of the simple experience

which we share

which, in those happy moments of gathering

does not need words

or rules

because we come without expectations

naked, stripped of our fears

to look in one another’s eyes

and see only

recognition

i am seeing

you are seeing

this is all

~

The world of unity

provides each moment

as a challenge

to abandon

separation

~

The world of unity

blossoms in the spaces

of what previously appeared

to be solid

and so, magically,

paths open up

which we never believed possible

~

The world of unity

is in service to the whole

simply by being

unity

~

The world is a reflection

of perspective

seen from the periphery

it appears imperfect

but when the center sees itself

all things gather together

meeting as one

and unity changes everything

~

The Fool’s Song

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~

I was made to be a fool for you

And walk through your gardens

Of bewilderment

I was made to build castles in the clouds

And defy gravity

And fall

~

I was made to walk alongside

Visionaries, activists, builders

The brilliantly inspired

I was made to walk alongside

Clear minds with clear destinations

With no origin myself,

Nor destination,

And walk until our mountains

Turn to sand

~

I was made

In the bliss of creation

I was made and set adrift

On tides of ecstatic creation

But in the ocean strange aeons come

Where, for a brief eternity, ecstasy is lost

And dreams of madness form

Little nuclear cities

~

I was made to be a fool for you

And for all my loves

The deeper they come to know me

The more they find the fool

But not just any fool

A fool for you

For you!

~