Do you know a survivalist in the art of living? Someone who says: “I take it as it comes and make the best out of it.”
(Or are you personally such a life-artist?) What’s your opinion of such a person: is he a happy-go-lucky, light hearted soul, a scatter brain, who wants to assume no responsibility? Or do you have respect for him, because he has the gift to take on life as it comes, adapts himself to each new situation and remains resilient and creative? Where does this talent come from?
We’ll take a glance next at the definition of art altogether.
“Art is the result of a creative process, on whose end usually an art piece results; Art can also be the process itself.”
What’s meant here becomes clear, when we listen to a concert: The artwork is the composer’s resulting piece of music- and art as a process unfolds itself through the musicians that play the piece with virtuosity under the direction of the conductor.
In the piece, as well as in the process, arises art as a teamwork between the heart, the head and the hands. With which it begins is not, perhaps, always clear: in the heart or in the mind? Is it an inspiration, the mind that marks the beginning? Or is it a wish of the heart, that wants to create something special, something definite?
Indeed, in the interplay of these two centers of Man’s being, art begins to unfold itself- and the hands mold it into something seeable and hearable, making it experienceable.
Art of Life
That it at first appearance doesn’t seem to be a seeable artwork in the making, lies in that the art-of-life is to be seen as a process, in whose course the artist continually and creatively, shapes. Here, as well, unfolds the process of the cooperative work between the heart, head and the hands.
In the game of life Man (if we see him as a life-artist) takes up inspiration, transforms it into his own, fills it with the power of his heart and weaves it into the fabric of his own life. He doesn’t say “No!”, he says “Yes”, and “we’ll see how it goes”, and then he jumps over the hurdles life puts before him. He can “ride out the waves”. His glass is never half empty, in the worst case it is only half full. He doesn’t judge, but he chooses, in that he puts his trust in the voice of his heart and his open thinking. And so he creates his life, by forging his work of art in an ongoing process of growth.
Pablo Picasso once said: “When the piece is finished, is the artist dead.” In the case of the life-artist it would then be: “When the artist is dead, is the work complete.”
The Royal Art of Building
This term stems from out of the tradition of the Free-masons. The goal of this art of building was, to recognize the principles of the divine world and bring them into being in the earthly world. And so, in the Bible there are also hints to be found and understood: the building upon the “Corner-stone of Jesus Christ” or: “If the Lord does not build the house, the work of the builders is useless.” Man should become a builder-of-worlds, and must therefore first learn to newly erect, from out of divine powers, his bodily dwelling.
Jan van Rijckenborgh writes in regard to this in The Elementary Philosophy of the Rosycross: “In reality is the free man, or better put, the freed Man, in possession of his perfect natural capabilities and powers, while at the same time the present day man, in his current state, is sub-natural. The path of return, this means the step-by-step rebirth in the true Divine-nature with all its ensuing consequences, is a Gnostic development that is signified as “ars magica”, as the magical art, or as reconstructio, as the royal art.”
This art also grows out of the interplay, the interaction, the cooperation of the heart, the head and the hands. But this takes place in a very special way.
Here as well, in the beginning, there’s a wish which arises from out of the heart. The source of this wish is a Light-principle, that comes out from a world outside the world, in which I move about as usual, and it touches me with a wave-frequency that in this world is not to be found. That’s why I can’t at first exactly say what the wish is. All the more, though, that I direct my senses thereupon, all the more free becomes the Light-principle of the heart and stirs then also my thoughts. And so my consciousness transmutes itself: the world of outward appearances loses part of its meaning, its value. The inner, spiritual way steps into the center of my life, my Being.
Which art grows forth from this? Likewise an art-of-life, but an art-of-life of a special kind: the royal art of building. The inspirations for this ”Artwork titled ‘Life’” carry the vibration of the Light-principle and conform themselves to my new state of consciousness. What happens? On various levels there begin deep processes of change. I would like here to go into a few of them.
In normal states of vibration our Ego finds itself as being separated from other people and from the world. It lives in the division of “subject-object”. As this Light-principle in my heart, my head and thereby in my consciousness begins to take effect, so this perception begins to change. I experience and understand with my entire being that I am not separated from my surroundings, rather, that I am a part and, on a subtle level, thereby connected to it. Charles Eisenstein, activist and philosopher, calls this experience “Interbeing”. When I negotiate out of such a state, my interactions will be fundamentally different, than when I interact from a position of the world view of “Separation” (Charles Eisenstein).
With the experience of “Interbeing”, of being connected, is not meant a “we are all one” on a horizontal level. When this Light-principle in my being and throughout me vibrates and pulsates it can touch and stir the Light-principle in other humans and from there out arises a resonance, a bond.
This bond takes place on a “vertical”, which is to say, a soul-spirit, level. But shares itself as well at the same time with my “horizontal” personality, which is to say: is in a subtle way to be noticed in my thinking, feeling and perceiving. When others consciously have the same experience, we can then interact and negotiate together in a completely new way out of the inspiration of the Light-principle.
Living out of the Light-principle inspiration is always living in togetherness. Just as with the musician-artists who in virtuosity make the works of the composers audible and tangible, can people, who interact from out of the togetherness with the Light-principle, bring a work to expression. A work whose origins lie in Consciousness, a field which our “normal” world permeates, but up to now is still waiting to become experienceable and seeable.
This divinity needs Man’s hearts, heads, and hands. It needs light carriers who interact in accord. Jeanne de Salzmann, the closest colleague of Gurdjieff said: “There arises a cosmic necessity for this new Being, that I could become.” In the New Testament it says: “All of Creation is waiting for the manifestation of God’s children,” so that the creative union of the vertical power and the horizontal power can take place.
What does this mean for the life-artist? Now, he will continue to “ride the waves”; but no longer alone, rather, together with everyone, who, like him, are carriers of the Light-principle, the Divine-principle. A wave which arises up from out of the ocean of all encompassing Universal Consciousness, the Divine. Therefrom comes into being not only the “artwork” of a creative person, rather a collective Artwork-entirety, created by all, for all.
And in contrast to the example mentioned in the beginning, that of the performance of the musical artwork, there is no need in such a “concert” for a conductor. For each participant knows the piece by heart, to which he is contributing, that manifests itself and of which he is an integral part; he recognizes it with the heart.