Source: Unsplash

Every art can be described either as objective art or as subjective art. Subjective art we will find everywhere. It comes from our feelings, from our heart, from our mind: in paintings, in poetry, in music. But objective art comes from the emptiness of our heart when the universe sings through us. Anything that comes out of the mind will remain subjective art, and anything that comes out of no-mind, out of silence, out of meditation, will be objective art, when we become a medium, a great creation arises out of us. 

The existence starts flowing through us; we become a passage. Creativity/art has nothing to do with any activity in particular – with painting, poetry, dancing, or singing. Creativity is the quality that we bring to the activity we are doing. It is an attitude, an inner approach – how we look at things. Creativity can never be confined to anything in particular. Buddha sitting under the Bodhi Tree doing nothing is the greatest creator the world has ever known. Whatsoever we do, if we do it joyfully, lovingly then it is a creative art. 

If we have something growing out of it within us, if it gives us growth, it is spiritual, it is creative, it is divine, and it is an art. Entering a river of consciousness is an art. It is the greatest ART in existence, to be able to love. If we become creative in our relationship; if we support it, nourish it; if we are capable of compassion for the other person, not only passion....this is art. All people who are creative are close to spirituality. Spirituality is the greatest creative art because it is an effort to give birth to our self through awareness. Poetry is good, painting is good -- but when we give birth to our own consciousness, there is no comparison. Then we have given birth to the ultimate poetry, the ultimate music, the ultimate dance. It is the greatest ART the ultimate ART. Just to be and not be a person is the whole ART of inner ecstasy. 

We can be a painter just by learning the art; we can learn all that can be taught in ART schools. We can be skillful, and we can paint beautiful pictures, we can even become renowned figures in the world. Nobody will be able to know that this is just a technique. Our hands have become skillful, our head knows the know-how, but our heart is not flowing. We paint, but we are not a painter. We create a work of ART but we are not an artist. We do it, but we are not in it. We do it as we do other things -- but we are not a lover. We are not involved in it totally; our inner being remains aloof, indifferent, standing by the side. Our head and our hands, they go on working, but we are not there. The painting will not carry our presence, it will not carry the US. It may carry our signature, but not our being. 

The whole art of ecstasy is:

How to become one with the rhythm of the universe. When it exhales, we exhale. When it inhales, we inhale. We live in it, are not separate, and are one with it. Life is not a technology, not even a science; life is an ART -- we have to feel it. It is like balancing on a tightrope. The whole approach consists of methods - the ART of dying is the ART of living also. The subjective has to be explored; nobody is born with a vision of the subjective. The subjective has to be explored; one has to learn what it is; one has to taste it by and by and move into it by and by. 

The world of music, poetry, art... the world of any creativity... is the world of the subjective. The man who starts moving inwards becomes more poetic, more aesthetic. He has a different aroma around him, a different aura. One aspect of ART is scientific, the technological aspect, and the other is spiritual. The scientist and the mystic both can paint but the painting of the mystic will be totally different from the scientist's painting. Modern painting is too much under the influence of technology. It has lost beauty; it is no longer helpful in bringing us to the divine presence that permeates existence. In the modern world, poetry is dying, painting has become uglg, sculpture is no longer representative of nature. Something is immensely missing: the spirit, the very spirit of ART is missing. My understanding is that real art is just in the middle, equidistant from science and spirituality. It can be both. It can be scientific ART as it is in the modern world and can also be spiritual art but very few know anything about that yet. 

Through spiritual awareness, we bring a different quality to the music, to painting, to poetry. And the real ART of life consists only of three things: how to live, how to love, how to die. The real ART consists not in destroying the body...the body is beautiful, it is the ugly mind. The body is beautiful, the soul is beautiful, but between the body and the soul, there is something which is neither body nor soul. This in-between phenomenon is the mind. It seems to be a fallacy all over the world that just because we are born we know how to live. To be born is one thing. To know the ART of living and of living fully is totally different. Birth is only an opportunity -- we can make it or mar it. If we make our life an ART our death will be the culmination of the ART -- the highest peak, a beauty in itself. We should learn the ART of making life a joy, a thing of beauty, a piece of ART. 

Unless a man is creative, he cannot find much joy in life. So the first principle is: Be creative without bothering whether we become a world-famous artist or not; that is not the significant thing. But create something -- a beautiful song, a little music, a dance, a painting, and a garden. And when the roses blossom...we cannot say that life is a drag with so many roses blossoming. A beautiful painting...because this painting has been created for the first time in the world and for the last time. Nobody has done it before, and nobody will do it again; only we were capable of doing it. Express our uniqueness in whatsoever we do. Express our individuality. 

Let existence be proud of us. If we can make our ordinary life a thing of beauty and ART then all that we had always desired will start happening of its own accord. Make everything creative; make the best out of the worst -- that's what I call 'the art'. And if a man has lived his whole life making every moment and every phase of it a beauty, a love, a joy, naturally his death is going to be the ultimate peak of his whole life's endeavor. The whole ART of meditation is to learn awareness, alertness, consciousness. A joyous person is intelligent. A joyous person knows the ART of life; otherwise, he cannot be joyous. Every creative ART brings us to our innermost being where there is just calmness, utter quietness, and absolute silence. 

There have been enlightened painters. They have never spoken because the word was not their ART but they have painted. And their paintings are totally different from ordinary paintings, even of the great masters. Even the greatest master painters are unconscious people; what they paint reflects their unconsciousness. But if a realized man paints, then his painting has a totally different beauty. It is not only a painting, it is a message too. It has a meaning to be discovered. The meaning has been given in code because the man was capable only of painting, so his painting is a code. 

We have to discover the code, and then the painting will reveal immense meanings. The deeper we go into those meanings, the more and more we will find. The other paintings are just flat; they may be made by masters, but they are flat. The paintings made by a realized man are multidimensional, they are not flat. They want to say something to us. The man who learns the ART of sharing is the richest man in the world. He may be poor, but his inner being has a quality of richness that even gods may feel jealous of. "We become more divine as we become more creative. When our creativity comes to a climax, when our whole life becomes creative, we live in existence. Creativity means loving whatsoever we do – enjoying, celebrating it, as a gift of existence! When ambition enters, creativity disappears – because an ambitious man cannot be creative, because an ambitious man cannot love any activity for its own sake, and a creative person always lives in the present. 

To be and to be creative are synonymous. It is impossible to be and not to be creative. All our creative sources have been plugged, blocked, destroyed, and our whole energy has been forced into some activity that society thinks is going to pay. A creative act enhances the beauty of the world; it gives something to the world, it never takes anything from it. A creative person comes into the world, enhances the beauty of the world – a song here, a painting there. He makes the world dance better, enjoy better, love better, and leaves the world a better world, tremendously fulfilled because his life has been of some intrinsic value. A creative person possesses his own being; he is a master. If we can smile whole-heartedly, hold somebody's hand and smile, and then it is a creative act, a great creative act. Just embrace somebody to our heart and we are creative. Just look with loving eyes at somebody; just a loving look can change the whole world of a person. 

.    .    .

Author Swadesh Misra