Spirituality and art

AUM 1756. El Museo del Arte, Ponce, Puerto Rico, June, 1975

Spirituality and art

Spirituality is the sea, and art is a wave. Spirituality is the sea of God’s all-transcending universal Beauty, and art is a wave of God’s all-revealing universal Beauty.

Spirituality embodies. Art reveals. Spirituality embodies God’s Cosmic Silence. Art reveals God’s Cosmic Sound. God embodies both Silence and Sound. When we look at spirituality, we see God the Cosmic Silence. When we look at art, we see God the Cosmic Sound.

Spirituality is, and art has. Spirituality is God’s all-embracing Cry, and art is God’s all-illumining Smile.

There is human spirituality and, at the same time, divine spirituality. Human spirituality wants God to fulfil its own earthly desires or spiritual aspirations. Divine spirituality wants to please God in His own way. To please God, to satisfy God in God’s own way, is the only aim of divine spirituality.

Yes, there are many people who are spiritual, but we have to know if those people are spiritual in a human way or in a divine way. Many people pray to God. What for? For name, fame, material wealth, power, capacity. For these things they aspire most sincerely. There are only a very few dedicated people who pray to God to become His chosen instruments, His supremely chosen instruments, so that He can act in and through them. Him to please in His own way is the prayer of the divinely spiritual instruments. It is the prayer we have learned from the Saviour Christ: “Father, Let Thy Will be done.” This is a divinely spiritual prayer. When we practice this attitude, we practice divine spirituality.

There is also human art and divine art. Human art is the revelation of earth’s possession. Divine art is the perfection of earth’s emancipation. Earth is bound. But by divine art it is freed, liberated. There comes a time when the strength of our aspiration liberates our individual, human, earth-bound consciousness. When this earth-bound consciousness is liberated, God-realisation can take place here on earth. But this emancipation and liberation have to be integrally perfect. That is to say, if liberation takes place only in the soul or only in the heart, the vital, the mind or the body, it is incomplete. It has to take place in every sphere of our lives. It has to be manifested in our body, in our vital, in our mind, in our heart, in our soul and in all our multifarious activities. This emancipation and liberation must take place in every part of our being, in everything that we claim as our own. After that we can think about the perfection of liberation. The perfection of liberation means the expansion of liberation. Expansion requires the growth of a vast consciousness.

In human art we see a seeker climbing up for something. Sometimes he knows what It is, but at times he does not know. When he knows, he sees that he is climbing up to pluck the fruits of divine peace, light and bliss. In divine art, we see a seeker climbing down with countless fruits. These fruits, which he has been given to distribute to mankind, are named peace, light and bliss. We can say that art is a tree of evolution which we climb up in order to pluck the fruits of light and delight, and which we climb down in order to distribute light and delight, as well as to manifest the Infinite in the cry of the finite.

There is earth’s art and Heaven’s art, earth’s spirituality and Heaven’s spirituality. Earth’s spirituality is the offering of concern, sacrifice and a feeling of oneness. Heaven’s spirituality is the offering of Wisdom-light, Compassion-light and Perfection-light. Earth’s art is the Reality-invoking dream-boat sailing an uncharted sea toward the destined Shore. Heaven’s art is the embodiment of the radiance of our Parent Universe: the power of our Father-Sun, the Beauty of our Mother-Moon, the eternal dance of oneness with our sister and brother stars in the heavens. This is divine art, Heaven’s divine art.

Each human being is at once a seeker and an artist. We are artists who deal with life, not with paper, paints and brushes. We deal with life itself, which is based upon both spirituality and art. Spirituality is the soul in the seeker’s life, and art is the body. Both the soul and the body are of paramount importance. They play their distinctive roles together. They are like complementary existences of God.

With spirituality we see what we are, and with art we know what we can offer. What are we? We are God’s supremely chosen instruments. And what have we to offer? We have the revelation and manifestation of God to offer through our art. This is the message of art. We can safely say that spirituality is our God-embodiment, and art is our God-revelation and God-manifestation.

Unless we have something to start with, we cannot truly become anything. Spirituality we have; therefore, we are God’s supremely chosen instruments. Art we have; therefore, we can manifest God. Each human being is at once the embodiment of spirituality and the revelation of art. His inner life is aspiration, which is spirituality. His outer life is dedication, which is nothing but art. Aspiration is his inner life. Dedication is his outer life. Aspiration is spirituality. Dedication is art. With aspiration we see, we know and we grow into boundless, infinite Light. With dedication we make the world feel that we are of the One, but we exist for the many. We are of one Source, yet we have to fulfil the Source only by serving the flow.

One is the Source, but many are its manifestations. Similarly, we can say that spirituality is one, art is many. God is both one and many. With His spirituality He fulfils His cosmic Game in the inner world. With His art He fulfils His cosmic Game in the outer world. Both worlds belong to Him, the inner and the outer. He utilises the inner world to embody His Silence-Height, where everything of His is in the seed form. He utilises the outer world to embody His Sound-Might, where everything is in the fruit form. Inside the seed is the fruit, and inside the fruit is again the seed. Spirituality is the seed and art is the fruit, but inside each exists the other. Spirituality is the cosmic seed in us and art is the cosmic fruit in us. They are one and inseparable.

A seeker is the pride of God the Supreme Seeker. An artist is the pride of God the Supreme Artist. Here we are all seekers and we are all artists. When we close our eyes and dive deep within, we become seekers. When we open our eyes wide and look at the world around us, we become artists, artists who see the Truth, artists who manifest the Truth. A supremely divine artist is he who offers his dedicated life to mankind by experiencing the excruciating pangs of humanity, yet again experiencing humanity’s glorious success and continuous progress.

Let us give to humanity what we are. Then we become truly spiritual. Let us give to mankind what we have. Then we become true artists.

Sri Chinmoy, AUM — Vol.II-3, No. 4, April 27, 1976.First published by Vishma Press in 1976.

This is the 9107th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book AUM — Vol.II-3, No. 4, April 27, 1976, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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