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Art & Spirituality

To deal with this topic effectively it is best to treat them separately. Only then can they be placed side by side to show how they have driven human activity from the outset of our development. First of all, today Art is the human expression of ideas, creative or otherwise, through speech, film, writing, painting, sculpture, music, theatre, dance, ceramics, and other mediums. Secondly Spirituality: must not be confused with religiosity. The energy of spirituality springs forth from the spirit. It is from here that the energy or the driving force behind each individual’s existence lies. It is non-denominational, and free of all doctrines or dogmas, consequently not related to religion, Spiritualism or ideologies of any nature or kind. This must be fully understood, as beyond our material sphere there are neither banners nor political sides, or any human bias, there is just an unyielding driving force of energy that is the backdrop of Creation. Needless to say, each human has a spirit.

Whatever vague ideas or misconceptions we individually have; as to the nature of our being or our raison d’être, lends to confusion in fully appreciating the beauty of the pure energy that relentlessly drives Creation. This is important for us to grasp now as it is humbling to accept that humanity is just a spectacle of dust in the greatness of all that surrounds us. We have not created this existence and we do not fully understand to what purpose we are here, driven in activity. We acknowledge that we scratch out an existence for ourselves to provide protection, security and food for our sustenance. We have learnt that we must do it in order to survive.

So how does Art play a role in the grand scheme of things? In truth, man from the outset of its development, from the primeval into what we are today, initially engaged in the simple activity of making pottery, clothing, tools, utensils, and recorded events through cave paintings. Eventually we developed a linguistic communication. This repeated activity occupied us for many millennia. By comparison the professional activities we know today have been with us for a very short time. So today, in all ethnic societies art is present and it is like any other profession, i.e. law, medicine, engineering or teaching, with its peculiarities off course. In different countries due to the precepts and ideologies of the pertaining society it is expressed differently. Here however neither the details of which, nor the nature of ideas expressed are of any real consequence, as they are not relevant to this essay. 

So where do we humans get our uniqueness from to express ideas, emotions and communicate amongst one another? What makes us unique in the animal body we have? It is the spirit which to us is unseen, untouchable, invisible and a mystery but we know we have it, as that is what enables us to go about our daily activities. These at times can be considered robotic, due to the routine or rituality, but all in all they are still very unique as they are completely different every time, in specific details. Other people in comparison seem to have a grandiose existence nevertheless the bottom line is daily functional activities are all the same: they are all relative. We all eat, drink, sleep, think and dream. We also all do these same operations very differently due to social customs or personal idiosyncrasy. But my point is that man’s uniqueness lies within the spirit. The reason for the spirit is multiple and diverse but its main function is that it is the source of a unique energy. It is incorporeal and not of earthly matter.  

Due to the spirit being immaterial, it needs a housing or shell in order for it to remain and carry out its purpose here on earth. Without this shell it cannot be effective and achieve its objective in matter. The animal groups that were created and developed, millions of years ago, in different parts of the globe specifically to house this immaterial essence, the human spirit, no longer exist and today we are their direct descendants. Now you may well ask questions like, why must the human spirit exist, why does it need to evolve, or why must it journey through the material sphere at all? It is not necessary to deal with these topics here and now. They are of no consequence to this essay but as an insight the following in necessary to understand.

The state of the spirit in the initial human spiritual incarnation, in the prepared bodies, was literally a blank slate. The spirit was “unconscious” and the purpose of its journey in the material realm is to become “self-conscious and fully aware of the Laws of Creation and its Creator”. Through the exercise of “Free Will”, experience and action it undergoes in the material realm it is to acquire the desired state of self-consciousness with the end aim of returning to the spiritual realm and remaining there to further develop in Creation.

The task of becoming a self-conscious spirit is not an overnight activity hence one incarnated lifetime is inadequate to achieve this state of consciousness. So, metaphorically speaking it is like going to school. One academic year is an unrealistic period of time to learn all one must at the age of six to finish school and get a job. Each academic year is relative to the age of that given year and through the accumulation of years and integration of subjects the end product leads to graduation and gaining access to the next level.       With incarnation it is much the same.

We may not know or be aware of as to how the spiritual baggage that each one of us has accumulated over our several, individual and different periods of existence, prior to the present, derived. We do know however that as we age it has a direct influence on the way we behave. Through hindsight and empirical evidence it becomes clear that something indeed motivated our inherent likes and dislikes. The realisation that the traits and characteristics that we are kin to already fully exist, cultivated and nurtured complete in a nutshell become clear. We have progressively built up the nature and the quality of our individual baggage. We are responsible for the intensity of the vices and graces that are part of the makeup of our personalities. Acceptance or denial of this reality comes to the fore, and it is from here change or enhancement of characteristics already developed, if necessary, can take place. Reciprocal activity is a major factor here too, as it is also part of one’s personal baggage. In the unfolding of this natural Law of Reciprocity: The return of all the acts, speech, action or thoughts set into motion in all the incarnations, returns to the point of origin. This return is reinforced by all that the initial activity collected, directly or by association, as it journeyed throughout Creation. As the reciprocal action is unleashed, it affects the life of the said person. The resultant impact and intensity of the payback unfolds in accordance with the spiritual awareness and level of the individual.  

Thus a person’s spirituality changes and develops, as it journey’s in the material realm, and through experiences and activity in its various incarnations the baggage can either be beneficial or detrimental to the overall progress of the individual as it goes from being an unconscious human spirit into a developed self-conscious one.

The further we embrace these unearthed revelations we notice, if beneficial, they serve as safe guidelines, as we develop in maturating our spiritual selves. The further we consolidate them they helps us shed the false rules or pretentions of a human-contrived social code, as we better see our purpose. But in order to navigate this new uncharted passage correctly we must look wisely for solid signposts. If the individual’s baggage is negative and heavily burdened, it causes intensified confusion and brings about endless mayhem and desperation, by rendering a hazed and blurred landscape in which gathering thought and direction seem to be a hapless activity.  The battle is hotter, but progress is still possible.      

The fact we engage in activities to forge out an existence whilst alive on earth, in accordance to the nature, composition and constitution of the societies we are born into is logically determined by each individual in function of one’s wants, needs and desires. We act out our individual roles according to the content and degree of intensity of our personal baggage, including our personal reciprocal cargo. The quality of personal energy; be it beneficial or detrimental, to the evolution of the individual’s spirit is neither in question here, but each person’s nuance is valid and of importance.

In the art profession there are the protagonists and fellow conspirators or co-actors. The protagonist or human tool is obviously the writer, painter, sculptor, composer, choreographer or designer etc. He or she is the one with the passion, talent, gift or desire to carry out the artistic expression. The fellow conspirators or secondary players are the publishers, agents, managers, benefactors, gallery owners, buyers, fans and so on, and their importance is of great significance in the proliferation of the artistic expression or idea realized. Through the combined activities of all the participants involved in this area money is generated and as it circulates, within the determined economies, wealth is created.

So how do these individuals come together? Both the primary and secondary elements of the relative artistic expression have the corresponding residue of artistic expression in their souls, (outer protective shell of the spirit) but obviously in different degrees of intensity. This residue has been nurtured in the individual’s soul through an interaction, with the said expression, in his or her several existences over time, from the outset of the individual’s initial incarnation on earth as a human-spirit until today. Different associations to the activity in question are varied, due the degree of the individual’s interaction with the influences and activities, arising from the exercise of one’s free will, over several incarnations on earth. Consequently, as an example there are doctors that have a profound liking to the arts or an artist that has a strong association with engineering. In short, personal characteristics are particular and varied to each individual, but one’s individual baggage is a consequence of the degree of interaction with the expression in question, over several incarnations.   

As a result both protagonist and secondary players have a like residue in their souls. How this is manifest, in secondary players, is shown in different ways; financial, emotional, inspirational, active participation or simply interest shown in an idea nourished by an artistic expression. In the protagonist the intensity is greater, and if allowed to flourish, it becomes part and parcel of his or her lifestyle. When a protagonist manages to make the output public then this touches others that have a semblance of the same residual essence in them. Now you can perceive that both art and spirituality are clearly independent from one another yet one’s activity in art is entirely dependent on the spiritual baggage of the individual.

Today, it is an acknowledged fact that never before in mankind’s history has the socio-demographic picture been so favourable to all across the globe. The equal and advanced position of the many different ethnic groups in health, education, art, transport, economic infrastructure, and communications is so good that we are almost interacting with one another on an equal basis. This we know through the free flow of information via the Internet. Our similarity in the objective as human spirits is one but our differences as ethnic groups are many. These differences should be admired, appreciated and not curtailed. The global village is indeed a better place and the continued existence, exercise and proliferation of art in all the different ethnic groups has played an integral and important part in getting to this stage. If we are to improve in our collective spiritual evolution through what we have already independently achieved, art must be allowed to further flourish, as the energy created by the individuals engaged in the exercise of their activity enhances the progress of the societies in which they are active. Most importantly it provides the individual an opportunity to transcend the limitation of the material sphere and journey onward into the Spiritual.

Acknowledgment to Abdrushin: In the Light of Truth-The Grail Message.

Bernard Rangel.

London, February, 2011

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