Friday, 17 December 2010

The Language of Nature

Silence and sound are essential features of life. Everything in nature flows between two shores: from the fullness of silence to sounds and forms, and back again to silence. This is the melodious dance of creation. Is it not true that all particularities of this ever-changing world seem to emerge, are transformed and eventually return to rest in the ground of all things which is infinitely stable? Just as the sound of one's breathing emerges from the silence of unbroken wholeness, so does this world come into being from the unmanifest ground of existence. All works of art too must reflect that unmanifest eternal field of life so that all who view it will hear the song of silence awakening deep within themselves.

Onward and upward, O artists, by way of the inward journey. Life is both surface and symbol. Our task is to translate the language of nature into the language of art. It is not what we paint, what we dance, what we compose that matters so much - it is not the content, but the structure in which it rests. What matters most is how we connect the abstract wholeness of life to each of its particular expressions, the immaterial essence to its material substance.

Every point in creation contains infinity and eternity embedded within it, so one can paint virtually anything, but it is the 'cadence of interrelationship' between infinity and the point which makes the creation of the artist sing.

Infinity exists in every flower, every blade of grass, every wafting cloud. Nature is at once spiritual and material, harmonizing and diversifying. Our challenge as artists is to articulate the deepest value of life. Look around – look deeply within – look, look – be ever open to life's immensity.

Barbara Briggs is a writer, poet, teacher of Transcendental Meditation and author of The Contribution of Maharishi's Vedic Science to Complete Fulfilment in Life. This excerpt is from Vision Into Infinity, her first book, which is out of print but will hopefully be reprinted soon. Email Barbara

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