4. Philosophy and spirituality

The very nature of my work compelled me to reassess such notions as “creativity,” “truth,” and “creation,” and led directly to an investigation of religious thought.

I found the most personally satisfying answers after 1987, when I was initiated into Kryia Yoga by the late, highly realized Hindu saint, Paramahansa Hariharananda of Puri Orissa (1907–2002). Here was a rare opportunity to be introduced to the essence of all religions by way of a scientific interpretation of the Bible, the ancient Vedas, Bhagavad-Gita and Upanishads [1], [4], [6], a modality well suited to the contempory educated mind [see Notes].

The quest for a spiritual understanding of the universe is the birthright of every human being and the essence of all religions.

In the light of the Vedas, the Bhagavad-Gita and Kryia Yoga, spirituality is more a phenomenon than a social relationship, and even when scientifically expressed it is less a matter of theoretical speculation than a personal practice and achievement.

Spirituality may be defined as the ability to perceive and feel the presence of the Divine. In Western cultures we refer to God, while the Hindu refers to the Universal Soul. In the West, God is always connected to a Master, while in the East the concept is a universal principle [8], beyond the grasp of our senses, mind, and intellect, but widely recognized as the foundation of all that exists. The power of God that abides in every person is formless, unseen, and non-dual. Yet, when achieving extreme calmness, we can perceive this power by hints, such as specific lights, sounds and vibrations [4].

Such perception can be initiated and cultivated by all human beings through innate abilities: consciousness of the self and existence; the use of reason/logic and discrimination in the exercise of will power; the potential to realign the magnetism of the body’s cells; the aptitude for attention followed by a focused concentration that induces the spark of intuition [9].

“This intuition is absolutely immediate. The knowledge of Self is an example of intuitive apprehension. Self-knowledge is inseparable from self-existence. It cannot be proved, because it is the basis of all proof.” [4]

Developing these innate gifts requires time and the proper guidance, ideally that of a highly realized teacher. But when any type of work icludes the perception of Divine's presence (by feeling his hints), our life opens toward new dimmensions because, as it is known, one becomes what he thinks, what he eats, what he sees, what he does. And as the dictum goes "to understand something is to become that something."

It will then lead to the realization that matter, life, and the universe are united in the Divine in a way that is metaphorically similar to the ocean, which unites all shores. In their essence, religions are all-inclusive and all-uniting, while individuals, also in their essence, are manifestations of the Divine.

Any work represents the presence of life and breath; in their absence one is a dead body.

Therefore, any activity is first inspired/suggested by its sustainer, the indwelling soul, whereas by working, we execute and witness its unfolding. The soul may be considered the inspirerer, the mind, the wheel, and the body, the engine.

Thus in the work at hand, spirituality is not a visual narrative of themes derived from Scriptures but rather keeping touch with those fundamental principles that express a universal intent.

By virtue of its flow through matter in the creative process, the intention permeates the final art work. Moreover, the creative process finds itself rooted in the world of cosmic connections for which daily events are simply consequences. This is where the specific flavor of the work comes from.

How does the work reflect the preference for the atemporal, everlasting, and perennial? By reference to detachment and the universal— calm and concentration. And by replacing with these emotionalism, expressionism, and materialism, as evidenced by textures dense with symbols, which reflect the mind’s impression of universal principles. Therefore, it is the flat shapes, transparencies, and geometric build-ups that point to an origin in the nonmaterial  and suggests the impermanence of matter.

Late 20th-century art has been dominated by Marshall McLuhan’s famous dictum: “The medium is the message.” This is partly true because each medium embodies a wealth of ready-made subliminal messages that reflect a culture or society. But does this mean that the mere manipulation of a medium is enough to invest it with the qualities of an art object? Is “art” merely the exploration of the uses of a medium, devoid of intention? Isn’t art more than that? And if so, then what is it? What is the truth behind appearances, the pursuit and discovery of which has been the declared aim of so many artists?





*. Such knowledge is available to all who are interested in the works of:

1. Swami Vivekananda, (1863–1902), who toured the U.S.A. and Europe between 1893–1902.
2. Meher Baba, (1894–1969), Europe—and U.S.A. 1931–1952.
3. Paramahansa Yogananda(1893–1952), (Europe—and U.S.A., 1935--1952)
4. Paramahansa Hariharananda (1907–2002), who toured the world between 1970—and 2005, and settled in Florida in 1992.
The last two were very close disciples of
6. Swami Sri Yukteswar (1855–1936), who was the direct disciple of
7. Shyamacharan Lahiri Mahasaya (1828–1895).
8. principle = a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning, like: the basic principles of Christianity.
9. Intuition is the instant total comprehension of vast areas of the reality.



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