John Cage was known for his mesostic poems. Here is one I creates with a Post Personalism message:
I found that David Hockney's statement intersected nicely with Eckhart Tolle's presence.
Does a bird create itself?
There are two common answers to that question: Someone might say God created the bird. Another might say the evolutionary process created the bird.
Either way, it is clear that the bird did not create itself.
Therefore, however the bird was created, the bird was an effect of a cause.
To be clear, my greater point has nothing to do with religion or science. It has only to do with bringing your attention to the obvious fact that a bird is not its own origin. It's origin preceded it.
But, does a bird create its nest?
Let's say you saw the bird creating the nest. So, yes, the bird created the nest.
However, if the bird was the result of a creative cause, then by extention, what the bird creates must also be a continuing effect of that same creative cause.
Therefore, in this analogy, our bird cannot claim so called personal credit for creating the nest. (Maybe a little, but only from the most narrow self-centric point of view).
And now we come to the central point. Are nests all that different than works of art?
Is it true that artists are also creative in a similar manner as nest-building birds are?
Just as our analogous bird, the artist cannot claim personal credit for what he or she creates. (Maybe a little, but only from the most narrow me-centric point of view). Because the artist, like the bird, is merely an outer manifestation of an inner creative force.
And so, from the 30,000 ft level as they say, there is no isolated, or special artist creating anything. There is only the universe expressing itself..
There is a third answer to the question of how the bird was created. And that is the creative intelligence of the universe created the bird and the nest. By saying “creative intelligence of the universe” I am not inferring a supreme being such as is promoted in the theory of intelligent design. Rather, I am pointing to the fact that the universe expresses itself intelligently. The benefit of describing creativity this way is that it employs evolution and natural selection as its process but also recognizes the presence of an intrinsic intelligence that pervades all life. Philosopher Alan Watts suggested that the individual human being is a particular focal point in which the universe expresses itself as the true Self.
"You have to have the guts to engage with your own spiritual journey, which is what life is for. It can be reflected in art, but art won’t take you there on its own. You actually have to use your inquiring mind and question yourself and the bullshit of things. You have to avoid getting tied up in intellectual and ironic gameplay, which will not give you liberation. You’re going to get it only through authentic engagement." -Billy Chyldish, British artist
"Many of us who are driven by this life, are desperately searching for pockets of silence where we can root and grow. We must all hope we find them". --Mark Rothko
Similar to Rothko, Edward Hopper once commented that he loved quite, empty places, like the interior of empty rooms. I also think Rothko’s “pocket of silence” relates to French philosopher Blaise Pascal’s saying “All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
Perhaps if Rothko had known the pocket of silence more deeply, his life might not have ended so tragically. Some people have said that Rothko’s art is very spiritual. and I think it is. His paintings are like “pockets of silence”. There is even a Rothko Chapel where people can sit and meditate in a space filled with his paintings on the walls. It is unfortunate that Rothko could offer the pocket of silence to others but was unable to fully know it for himself.
"Art is a wound that turns into light." - Georges Braque
Art is a wound because it documents human suffering. It reveal humanity’s psychological pain. Art—the wound, turns into light when it enables us to see the pain. Once we see the pain, healing begins.
The "light" symbolizes a new state of consciousness that transcends the old wounded state. Another way of saying it is that out of suffering comes beauty, like the pains of birth, I am told. This was true in Van Gogh's case. His life was apparently full of suffering and yet we are in awe of the beauty of his artwork.
The wound is an opening, like a door, or a gash that opens into light. We have to go through the wound to reach the light beyond. We do not evolve if we do not face our wounds then move beyond them.
James Joyce said the same thing as Braque but in a slightly different way: "History is the nightmare from which I am trying to awake." Contained in history is the record of human insanity and suffering. But when we finally awaken, we realize that our awakening was brought about by our suffering.
The true artist has a faith in what he or she is doing that is so strong it doesn’t matter if anyone has a negative opinion about it.
This was true of the Impressionists. It was true of Van Gogh.
If great artists of the past had stopped creating art the moment someone said an unpleasant thing about it then we would not be speaking off them today.
Genius moves forward regardless of personal inadequacies. It never stops. It persists regardless of any deficiencies in skill, precision or talent.
Many of the greatest artist of the world were never talented. They just never gave up. It is because of their audacity and passion regardless of their limitations that we are able to be inspired by them today.
That doesn't mean a person should never accept advice or criticism, it just means that advice and criticism will not stop you.
Some may say, Yes, what you say may be true of a genius, or some great artist, but certainly not me.
The only difference between you and a truly great artists is that the truly great artist doesn’t think about himself; how he's measuring up. Instead, he is busy applying 100% of his attention to his creativity.
Internal criticism is the worst. If you believe in your negative opinions about yourself, they will crush you. But why be crushed?
Believing you are either great or inadequate if for amateurs. If you have a fire in your heart then let it burn through your life and into the world. The rest will take care of itself.
Great artists of the past, such as Vincent Van Gogh, gave their lives passionately to their art while believing that their effort was somehow spiritually valuable to themselves and to all of humanity.
But if we artists today are merely focused on amassing wealth and celebrity then their profound effort, spiritual depth and passion will have been wasted and misunderstood.
The degree of superficiality in the art world today implies that the soulful struggle of artists of the past is now irrelevant. Who cares about substance, depth, honorable purpose or a profound connection to nature and humanity when achieving immediate popularity feels so much better?
Let us not squander the magnificent endowment bequeathed to us by Van Gogh and so many other ancestor artists.
Some Van Gogh quotes
“Your profession is not what brings home your paycheck. Your profession is what you were put on Earth to do. With such passion and such intensity that it becomes a spiritual calling.”
[Today we might say "vocation" instead of "profession". Vocation indicates that an activity is a heartfelt calling, not merely a means of earning an income. -ph]
“I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.”
“If you hear a voice within you saying, ‘You are not an artist,’ then by all means make art . . . and that voice will be silenced, but only by working.”
“The sun itself cannot make the world bright without souls to feel its light.”
“For real musicians there is a spiritual component to what they do thats got nothing to with worldly success. Their music is much more of an inner journey. Any other success is just frosting on the cake. There is the idea you can go on American idol and suddenly become a star, but if you bypass that spiritual work your success will be wafer thin."
—Sting speaking in the documentary “Twenty Feet from Stardom”, 2013 (at 1:11:00)
Patrick Howe, Artist, Author, Educator, Electronic Music Composer