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.