Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Sacred Meaning of Mystical Expressionism, Art and Beauty

( art. wild birds. by Zed )
Lo! Indeed We have adorned the nearest heaven with beauty ...
- The Quran 37:06

Everything that is made beautiful and fair and lovely
is made for the eye of one who sees.
- Rumi, Mathnawi I:2383

The nature of creation is that it is progressing always towards beauty. 'God is beautiful, and He loves beauty', says the Prophetic tradition. The nature of the body is to beautify itself; the nature of the mind is to have beautiful thoughts; the longing of the heart is for beautiful feelings. - Sufi Master Inayat Khan

Allah, Al-Musawwir
God, The Shaper of Beauty, The Fashioner, The Grand Artist

Allah, Al-Bari'
God, The Maker of Order, The Maker from Nothing

He... creates every thing and determines its nature in accordance with His own design. - The Quran 25:2

The goal of the practice of mysticism is contact with the Divine through various meditative and spiritual disciplines. In mystical painting, the artist cultivates a meditative state clear from thought, imagination and fantasy. When this clear state has been achieved, images and archetypes are projected from the spiritual Reality. The state of the painter of mystical paintings is very much the same as a state of meditation, a clear open state in which the mind is at rest and into which archetypal images and forms are projected from the suprasensable realm. The mind needs to be at rest so that the mind will not subject the pure images to conscious (common) associations of “logical” color and form relationships.

Only a small fraction of painting can truly be described as mystical. Most of this art would be better labeled as fantasy since it happens within the conscious mind of the artist, the mind being encouraged to free-associate interesting or unique combinations of forms or situations and producing pictures which startle or intrigue the mind of the viewer. They are not “windows” to other realities but rather something which appeals to the curiosity and wonder of people.

True mystics realize that the source of all multiplicity of form, experience, thought and feeling in which we partake is found in oneness, in pure essence. This oneness/essence we call Allah, Lord, God and Beloved. If we choose to align ourselves with this oneness we will receive pure guidance. Depending on the capacity of the receiver, the guidance may be received in visual, musical, poetic or other form. If we choose to pay no attention to the oneness, we lack guidance, our life proceeds in a confused haphazard way.

Since the Oneness is the Source of all things, including our being and life, we cannot make demands upon it. We are completely dependent on it in all ways. If we wish to attract some guidance to us, we must create a receptivity for the Guidance to flow into.

Mystics down through the centuries in various traditions have followed different methods designed to entrap the senses and quiet or clear one’s being of thought, emotion, fantasy, etc.

In the case of mystical painting, images come when they will, with no regard to the situation of the artist. They come as mercy, as a gift. The images come complete or incomplete. If they are incomplete it is simply a matter of waiting for the missing parts to be “sent”.

[>] article credit, sufi art

Mystical expressionism is a new mode of art-making that combines the scientific insights of our new age with humankind’s ancient wisdom. (read in details)

Insight. The original purpose of "the arts" was to guide & document the process of getting aligned to the Great Mystery. Compared to this, the contemporary attitudes of self-expression or holding a mirror up to society, while useful, may be seen as somewhat superficial or indulgent. - Michael Green

My image-art can be characterized as paradoxical space that undermines "point of view". That undermining allows for a tacit glimpse, or intuitive sense, of the transcendental condition of reality- totally beyond and prior to "point of view".

My process of image-art is always purposed to transcend "point of view" and, if the resultant images are received seriously and viewed seriously, they are a means for tacitly feeling the perfectly egoless condition of that which is perceived.

By making image-art, I am making "space" for what is beyond and prior to "point of view" and ego-"I".

My images are about how reality is - and they are also about how reality appears, in the context of natural perception, as a construction made of primary shaping-forces. My image-art is, therefore, not merely "subjectively" or, otherwise, "objectively" based. Rather, the images I make always utterly coincide with reality as it is. Therefore, I have called the process of the image-art I make and do "Transcendental Realism".

My images are created to be a means for the fully participating viewer to locate fundamental light - the world as light, all relations as light, naturally perceived light as absolute light.

Ultimately, when "point of view" is transcended, there is no longer any separate self at all - but only love-bliss-brightness, limitlessly felt, in vast unpatterned joy.

[>] selection From Transcendental Realism, by Adi Da Samraj (Middletown, CA: The Dawn Horse Press, 2007) credit

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