Art & the Nature of Creation
A lifetime in art has allowed a discovery of insights to me, regarding existence and the nature of Creation. Entrapped in the alligator jaws of their profound beauty, they have brought about deep personal changes in me and I’m inclined once again to paint and write.
A textbook understanding of ‘existence’ never did satisfy me, nor did it lessen my desire for the intensities I find in working creatively. Studying in earnest again over the last few years, I am exploring again with color, line and form, which has developed a better perception of existence—and the hidden things in it—by bringing the unobservable to my perceptions, in both painting and in poetry.
I’ve learned that by working independently in the arts, one can and does cultivate the universal seed of perfection that resides in each of us, and bring about an onset of unobstructed growth of meaning and potential. It is no surprise then, that within me a dewdrop has appeared on one pedal of this blossoming of awareness—and within that, a certain similarity exists in Creation too, as a significant presence extending far beyond the observable that seems purposed to reveal a grander meaning.
Our present worldview has it that we abide in solid bodies, surrounded by a world of concrete object, but physics has it that Creation consists of a steady, massive oscillation wave and flux particles, only appearing solid to our senses as solid and permanent. Yet, by both meditation and art it is transformed back again to its intrinsic state of impermanence, appearing in timeless, rhythmic motion, as is produced in music and dance.
While creative states are bound by steadfast principles, we, too, upon analysis are ‘in the soup’, as distinct yet indistinct members. These same principles extend inextricably to form in our sensations, minds and thoughts … yet by our preference for concrete thought-forms over reality, we’ve become blind to the immediacy of existence and grasp instead our feeble, but comfortable fabrications of consciousness. In this, we thrash about like fish in a dried up pond, and have become unable to observe the unceasing play of dependent arisings of which all existence is comprised. (Dependence being upon the conditions that precede the moment we are experiencing—cause and effect in principle, and occurring at fractions of a second. These realities become difficult to comprehend in conventional terms, and need to be experienced to be comprehended, hence the experience of interaction with art, as it cuts through our meager understanding and the intellect.
Creation somehow compassionately bequeaths to us seeds of genius, extending beyond our comprehension to reveal its laws, principles and properties, as insight—which, from time to time, is expressed in our most enduring art.
Much of our deepest ancestral insight is passed down orally in song and myth, and as well, in ceramics and cave drawings (as in Hawai’ian petroglyphics, chant and hula), to be later codified and celebrated as cogent ritual and literature. What we seem to be seeking, and have been since ‘Eve’, are tangible pieces of a puzzle that has engaged mankind for eons: ‘what is the nature of Creation?’
And, by the compassionate generosity of genius, interlocking pieces appear from within our collective creative process and transformational insights begin to cut through and emerge. Art can be said to be the container for such richness—mankind’s genius—and it is. However, it is not the artworks themselves but that which comes through that is genius. The subsequent ‘masterpiece’ is mere record.
As is, likewise, Creation a mere record of divine genius. Nature, the divine made manifest, is art on a grand scale. We are components. And the ability to clearly perceive and reflect this is instrumental to the creation of great art.
Simply said then, making art is making the hidden to be seen, as insights into Creation given to artists, poets, oracles and prophets (“seers,” ref: 1 Samuel 9:9, kjv) are made manifest for all to see.
“The only way into nature is to enact our best insight. Instantly we are higher poets, and can speak a deeper law.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Creation, which is our observable world and universe — and our existence — is an all-at-once eternal creating state of change, that if we look and listen, speaks to us of its ultimate nature.
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© 2015 Michael Earl Anderson / All rights reserved.