Tag Archives: materialism

Our Windows To the World – Thich Nhat Hanh

thich naht hanh quote peace is every step book review commentary

One cold, winter evening I returned home from a walk in the hills, and I found that all the doors and windows in my hermitage had blown open. When I had left earlier, I hadn’t secured them, and the cold wind had blown through the house, opened the windows, and scattered the papers from my desk all over the room. Immediately, I closed the doors and windows, lit a lamp, picked up the papers, and arranged them neatly on my desk. Then I started a fire in the fireplace, and soon the crackling logs brought warmth back to the room.
Sometimes in a crowd we feel tired, cold, and lonely. We may wish to withdraw to be by ourselves and become one again, as I did when I closed the windows and sat by the fire, protected from the damp, cold wind. Our senses are our windows to the world, and sometimes the wind blows through them and disturbs everything within us. Some of us leave our windows open all the time, allowing the sights and sounds of the world to invade us, penetrate us, and expose our sad, troubled selves. We feel so cold, lonely, and afraid. Do you ever find yourself watching an awful TV program, unable to turn it off? The raucous noises, explosions of gunfire, are upsetting. Yet you don’t get up and turn it off. Why do you torture yourself in this way? Don’t you want to close your windows? Are you frightened of solitude – the emptiness and loneliness you may find when you face yourself alone?
Watching a bad TV program, we become the TV program. We are what we feel and perceive. If we are angry, we are the anger. If we are in love, we are love. If we look at the snow covered mountain peak, we are the mountain. We can do anything we want to, so why do we open our windows to bad TV programs made by sensationalist producers in search of easy money, programs that made our hearts pound, our fist tightened, and leave us exhausted? Who allows such TV programs to be made and seen by even the very young? We do! We are too undemanding, too ready to watch whatever is on the screen, too lonely, lazy, or board to create our own lives. We turn on the TV and leave it on, allowing someone else to guide us, shape us, and destroy us. Losing ourselves in this way is leaving our fate in the hands of others who may not be acting responsibly. We must be aware of which programs do harm to our nervous systems, minds, and hearts, and which programs benefit us.

 

… excerpt from Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh…

We All Have Our Flaws

spirituality-quote-flaws-awareness-kabbalah-kundalini-meditation-eckhart-thich-chopra-kybalion

 

The ego lives through comparison. How you are seen by others is often how you see yourself.
When I criticise or condemn another it makes me feel bigger, more superior. These are egoic patterns that are often hard to break. Most of the time, the things that bother us about other people are actually reflections of your our internal issues, which is why they are so apparent to us. At times when you find yourself criticising others, ask, “what is it in me that needs to change?”
First we must become aware of these mental processes, and then we slowly drop them.

How does materialism effect art?

Lady Gaga replicates Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David
Lady Gaga replicates The  Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David

In reference to my previous post on materialism in the 21st century. I have a follow-up question. What about art?

I consider myself to be a spiritual artist, which is becoming more and more of an oxymoron it seems.  From its inception, art was a highly spiritualized tool. Cave paintings were used to show the intricate relationship between man, nature and the heavens. Greek and Roman art from antiquity dealt mostly with reverence to their gods.  And more recently artists like Caspar David Friedrich used art as means of expressing their experience of the divine. (For Friedrich, it was through nature that man experienced divine, and this formed the main pillar of his works. FYI He undoubtedly is one of my favorite painters.) Friedrich is just an example, there are countless more artists  that communicate the experience of the divine through their work. But it seems to be happening less and less. In the world of contemporary art, spirituality seems to have very little relevance.

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Materialism in the 21st century

 

Materialism and Art

Ever considered yourself to be an idol worshipper? In the context of this discussion you might. Lets disambiguate the term “idol” first. Looking back at Abrahamic religions, we know that idol worship is VERY BAD. A whole bunch of people have been punished over and over for worshipping idols, the story of the Golden Calf is perhaps one of the most prominent. Most people associate idols as being an opposing force to whatever new religious thought was being proposed. Their pagan nature was seen as threatening. But there is more to it than that……

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What does it mean to be an artist?

Spirituality and Art - Wanderer above a sea of fog- Caspar David Friedrich
Wanderer above a sea of fog- Caspar David Friedrich
So this is a lot of what I have been hearing over the past year….
“why have you not been producing any work”
“when is your next show?
“whats going on with your art?!”
 
I usually give a pretty superficial answer along the lines of not finding the right studio space or not having the time to paint since I’ve moved to New York City. But the truth is that I am as creative as I have ever been. I feel as much as an artist, if not more, than I have ever been.
My “work” now consists of several notepads full of sketches, observations, thoughts and many many questions… I don’t have a need at this time to put it all out there (this blog might be enough). Right now I’m just focusing on taking it all in. Expereincing and living is just as much a part of the creative process than the actual production of any work. And its not about trekking up a mountain, jumping out of a plane, having your heart broken or shaving your head and living in an ashram.

A Video Story – Existential Laws and Technological Evolution

 

1. The Principle of Cause and Effect

Every Cause has its Effect; every Effect has its Cause; everything happens according to Law; Chance is but a name for Law not recognized; there are many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the Law.

Born from the ego, the liberator and enslaver. The wellspring of knowledge yet simultaneously the veil that confines us to an illusory world.

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