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Gustav Klimt

“ The earth is one country. We are waves of the same sea, leaves of the same tree, flowers from the same garden.”

-Lucius Annaeus Seneca

The song of the world belongs to the primary nature of all that is. It is life’s sacredness expressing itself, remembering its Source. But we need to listen for it; we need to hear it. We need to celebrate the song. Our ancestors’ knowing that everything they could see was sacred was not something taught but something deeply, instinctively heard.

The “sacred” is not something primarily religious or even spiritual. It is not a quality we need to learn or to develop. We all have within us a sense of the sacred, a sense of reverence, however we may articulate it. It is as natural as sunlight, as necessary as breathing.”

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, The Magic of Creation: The Sufi’s Way

Individual creativity is fascinating. Everyone has some kind of song they are born to sing, a song that harmonizes with the great song of the world. I believe that writers, artists and anyone who is in touch with themselves is in touch with their own personal harmonies they were born to give to the world. Geniuses know their mission and stick to it with a sense of urgency. Others may wonder if they can have any compelling mission at all.

I think it’s imperative that we locate those energies in ourselves so we can give our gift to the world. Talent is one indication but it needs a passion behind it to develop and bear fruit. Sometimes we are so overwhelmed by our education and conditioning that we can hardly feel anything intensely any more.

I have had an opportunity to watch people wrestling with various creative disciplines, from singing to theatre to painting and sculpting, and now to writing. A voice therapy course I took in London gave me some surprises, in that what came out of people was often dark and spoke of a paralysed spirit. It’s not as uncommon as you’d think.

But I don’t think people are born with repressed and moribund energies. I think our cultural institutions can put people in leg irons from childhood so that when they start to create they first have to wade through a lot of muck. There may be some relief at this stage, but not joy. It’s a shock even to the person releasing these inner pressures when they see what they have created.

Everyone is at a different stage in the creative process because it’s so easy to lose touch with yourself in our way of living. Those fortunate souls who are afforded freedom and encouragement early on have an easier time finding their own vein of gold. I think it’s important to find your way to joy.

Looking at the Klimt above, it’s apparent he was able to register not just the look of a field of wildflowers, but also somehow communicate the joy in it. Joy, that is, for the onlooking humans as well as for nature itself. The mind of nature is the universal intelligence we all swim in. Artists, creative people, notice the immaterial forces along with the concrete world our eyes see. A master can speak of those energies in a way that lets others see them too.

The makeup of an artist is communicator plus seer. Craft, technique, is important only in that it makes the transmission of a vision possible. And passion is needed to master a difficult craft.

Both Seneca and Vaughan-Lee are speaking from a consciousness of the underlying integral wholeness of the world. Being an artist implies vision, seeing beyond the surface. Those of us called to the arts are called to a broader vision. We are called to be visionaries so that we can sing a healing song to the world.

It’s a noble calling.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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