Musings on Art and Enlightenment
“Style is the answer to everything. A fresh way to approach a dull or dangerous thing. To do a dull thing with style is preferable to doing a dangerous thing without it. To do a dangerous thing with style is what I call art.” -Charles Bukowski
A huge theme I notice in awakening to our greater consciousness beyond the material world is the need to find your Light, and bring it forward for the liberation of your self and those around you.
I have found that bringing your true Light forward, is synonymous with bringing your true Self forward.
Being who you truly are is the greatest service we can do for humanity- for who we truly are is infinite, formless, already free Beings one with God.. each limitlessly unique fractals of the whole.
What a beautiful, simple, and seemingly easy musing!
However, any honest person who ventures this for themself will recognize that simply being who you are in its entirety may sometimes be the hardest thing one could do in this life. At times it is terrifying, demanding, and uncomprimisingly HUGE in comparison to the small, traumatized ego persona we have taken on in life. It will trigger you and those around you like butter on bread. In fact, this act will deliberately push you far out of all the comfortable things that you thought you were, in high hopes that you will trust it and expand further- again and again.
Discovering and translating your unique, formless essence in this world into a tangible form is what I call the work of an artist. And truly, we are all artists.
Recognizing yourself as an Artist and taking on the brave duty to be YOU and express out loud from your heart is the actualization of your special source in this temporal world. It is the craft of transposing the boundless language of the soul into a palpable physical expression of what you are. A living symbolization of the infinite in time.
“Eternity is in love with the productions of time.”William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
What a gift!
To be sure, it's not the tangible results one creates as an artist that enlightens him- it's the ongoing artist's journey that compels him; it is the active process of translating these subtle internal energies into a form of multi-dimensional art that can be experienced in this reality. A practice that ignites, stretches, inspires, teaches, heals, and awakens you. This process is a creative way of enlightenment.
For the true artist isn't just regurgitating what has already been done before. His soul will not allow him to create merely for material gain or praise. He doesn't seek to be an idol or amateur about it, or compare his Light to others Light.
The powerful artist knows he has to bring his God-Given "weirdness" to the table. He's creating for his life. The true artist is here to birth forward art that will save him, and contribute something greater to the heart of humanity. She's not here to play it safe with the ego. The true artist is a conduit from the soul itself to communicate back to Earth the revolutionary contemplations of God's mystery... for the very sake of it!
And this is a journey that will continuously push one to the edge with love, delight, and amazement AS WELL AS the kind of cunning and sometimes brutal resistance that would do (and indeed does do) anything to stop you from traversing this holy endeavor.
The only option for the Artist then (in my book) is to pursue this calling with all you've got. Dare yourself to be all that you truly are in this world. To communicate the uncommunicatable. To look the doubt in the face and with as much strength as you can muster up, keep going.
At times, you'll fall and stumble. You'll be opposed and discouraged. Your integrity will be questioned. You may even ask yourself, what the hell am I doing? Surely you will. But you just keep getting up again and again, as you realize for yourself the fortitude of your inner Light, your YOU-ness, your wholeness.
Sometimes, you know full well that you know nothing about what is taking place within you. But you know it is sacred. You see for yourself, how it is pulling you to the heights of heaven and to the depths of hell itself simultaneously. You feel the high forces of love and evolution working through you and the low forces of fear and control working to prevent you. Both are relentless.
It's the artists job to find their way through this polar jungle and SHOW UP to bring forth their soul's creations. These are creations that serve them and others as a source of inspiring Light-possibly even a sight of salvation.
This, my friends, is the revolutionary power of an artist and the artist's journey of enlightenment through Self (capital S!) expression.
Perhaps the artist's way is a calling for some more than others- but I invite anyone reading this to recognize their own artistry. I write this to encourage everyone to take up the arts in any form- writing, poetry, music, song-writing, architecture, painting-the list goes on. And importantly- do it every day.
However you can also find the artist's journey in any area of work that calls to you-in your family, your relationships, your business, your spirituality, your garden, daily tasks. When you commit to birthing your pure and unique you-ness in your work all the way, it is likely you will experience that which is written here.
I hope to see more brave, unique, courageous, and honest Light being brought forth in the world. This is the stuff of real revolutionaries- revolution meaning to move, to turn.
As an artist I can attest to the sheer intensity it is at times to do your work. But when you feel like your soul is burning fire on your ass I'd like to encourage you that you are not off path my friend- but you are ON THE PATH. The artist's way, like any path of enlightenment, is not easy. While we like to make it look easy (and live in a world full of soulless art), any great artist will tell you- it is very hard to deliver your soul fully into your art. Such as life and enlightenment, it will require grit and courage you didn't know you had. And that is why it is the most meaningful and rewarding kind of work one could pursue. You can be sure that when you take your last breath, you'll be in gratitude knowing that you gave it your ALL.
The artist's power is not for the faint of heart. But neither is life.
This is a Godly cultivation of the dedication and love that it takes to bring the cosmic heavens into the material plane once more.
To close, I can't resist but share a final favorite quote of mine:
If you're going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don't even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery--isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you'll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you're going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It's the only good fight there is. -Charles Bukowski