The Tao is constant in non-action
Yet there is nothing it does not do.
– Ch 37. Tao Te Ching.
My work is about getting into the right space, stopping time, not being who I’m not… and instead witnessing who I am or might be… then, nurtured by presence in the ‘right space of non-doing’, intuitive, conscious creating can occur.
I’ve recently been considering how Mindfulness and creative activity can help calm the autistic brain and improve the quality of life for autistic people. I’m also very interested in Autism in different cultural, spiritual contexts and the Sufi concept of the ‘Universal Man’. There have been some new discoveries in the field of neuroscience to do with increasing mental clarity, intuition and creativity through the practice of meditation… I’m interested in societies, communities, different models of disability, organisations, dialogue, social ethics, autoethnography, quantum field theory, the ‘zero point field’, Advaita Vedanta (non-dualism) and the nature of consciousness.
Months after completing a philosophy-heavy Contemporary Fine Art honours degree in 2010, I continued to document things, conversations with friends, occurrences and experiences, anything and everything, like an irate, mad scientist or a robot that someone had forgotten to switch off, until eventually, I realised what was happening. I was in overdrive. I was getting in the way of myself. Four years later I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. Blah.
I’ve been recording life since I was a child with a cassette recorder, then producing diaries and films and dabbling with concepts of recording and performance in music and in painting and live art at university, writing about it until I could write no more. As the fever of studying occurrences came to a head, the empirical mind was almost drained of life as the great irony took hold. Living this way one merely gets superficially wrapped in the fleeting moments one is always trying to catch. Every occurrence, from the sub-molecular mental to the vast movements of the cosmos, are somehow time-laden and thus already doomed, within time. Here lies the crux of this writing / creating matter; sand through fingers… spirit and matter… ink still wet. We live and die as the book and the author, created and creator. “Like a goat’s hair brush in the painter’s hand..” – Rumi
Through many years of meditation practices, I believe I have lessened the negative effects of autism. Mindfulness reduces stress. So does prayer. And forests. Practicing strict Sufism for nearly twenty years provided a scaffold upon which to drape some personality traits… before that I was almost completely lost.
Question: Is there ultimately stillness in the acceptance of perpetual movement?
“So within that contradiction, perhaps stillness is arrived at, in those moments in time when we are moving with that state of flux, and not fighting it – not striving to make our mark, with a futile stand against time.” – Janie Moore
The ancient Japanese practice of Bisoku perhaps encapsulates this human faculty at it’s finest… we are so full of potential..
I always had a sense of the timeless. One reason I write, like many, is to attempt to trace my own human story so far, as just one person’s myriad of experiences, in the ‘already doomed’ existence of temporal human life. I think about childhood sensations of the mysteriousness beyond everything, experimenting with drugs and profound insights, religious practice leading to a mental reconstruction sustained over many years, then to a more balanced self-realisation and the continuing process of actualising, a pendulum swinging between grasping or being grasped!
The breath is the clearest demonstration of perpetual, involuntary contraction and expansion and with it comes a great responsibility; the word, on which I base my art. On the out-breath; we may choose a single word or many. On the in-breath; nothing, no option, (so) to speak; time to think, to just be. The Way is the Word. In-between lies pure mystery, not breath, not word. Pure mystery, pure potent potential, the right space, the zero point field.
“Would that you could live on the fragrance of the earth, and like an air plant be sustained by the light.”
– Kahlil Gibran
“Would that I were dust.”
A case for a commonplace spirituality.
The purpose of the great religions is to be vehicles for the inner essence of spirituality; the mystical, esoteric, inner dimensions. To judge the religions by observing the adherents or studying the outward form is folly.
The purest of human faculties has come to be known as ‘belief’ or ‘faith’.
We all have faith. Everyone believes continually, in something. Making this an intention is wisdom.
What is referred to commonly as ‘blind faith’ has a profound, inner meaning.
Just as donkeys were blindfolded on high mountain paths to allay their fears, so must a seeker after truth, in the hands of a perfect master, lest he stray and fall before reaching the summit.
Meditation is simply a return to a natural state.
When I met a genuine spiritual master at the age of twenty-two, I was pleasantly surprised that here was someone who apparently knew a lot about my secret personal world and was promoting methods of recovering and nurturing a profound essence I sensed was there, all my life. Since that meeting, things were to be very different. I continued with those methods and many others.
Needless to say, we’re all individually and commonly struggling to arrive back in the natural state, because struggling is what struggling does.