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Exceeding Reason

January 20, 2014

I read a quote last night that has struck a chord and I just need to share it’s brilliance with someone.  You, dear readers, are the someones.

The exquisite little message comes from a book of 547 exquisite little messages, written between 1913 and 1915.  It was  first published in 1958.  The title of the little book is “Thoughts and Aphorisms” and was written by Sri Aurobindo.

The little message comes from the section of the book called Jnana.  My Sanskrit is rather rusty these days but I do remember from yoga teaching  that the rough translation is transcendental knowledge or pure awareness free from conceptual encumbrances.  An aphorism is a concise statement of a principle and the principle that caught my eye is that regarding inspiration.  As Sri Aurobindo sees it, “Inspiration is a slender river of brightness leaping from a vast and eternal knowledge; it exceeds reason more perfectly than reason exceeds the knowledge of the senses”.  Wow.

I would hate to tell you how many times I have read and re-read this passage.  The visual of ‘a slender river of brightness leaping from a vast and eternal knowledge’ is powerful in and of itself but it is that last part of this aphorism that profoundly speaks to me.

Sometimes, when I have a vision for a painting but no real structure set, I simply begin to lay down my ideas with my brush.  I look for direction from the ground I have laid and let the process take me where it will.  From my perspective, these paintings are often the most loved….by myself and others.

Having spent the better part of this lifetime trying to figure out the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of things (the structure), finding comfort in doing so I might add, I am finding my perspective shifting.  Even as I described the process above, I could feel my insides twinge.  It is not my modus operandi to surrender.  Being an artist has afforded me the opportunity to move in that direction, for which I am forever grateful.  This does not, however,  negate the fact that Life, as an art form and Art as a creative pursuit can take form without structure.

Inspiration and structure are unlikely bed fellows but structure relies on the former for it’s mere existence.  It is trust that is required to allow the self to release the river of  inspirations and courage to take action upon them.

PS    Just for fun, the next time you find yourself in a gallery, standing in front of a wall of paintings, look for the paintings that show ‘a slender river of brightness’ exceeding reason so perfectly!

PSS       This is my 100th blog posting!!!

One Comment leave one →
  1. April White permalink
    January 20, 2014 5:16 am

    I forgot to ask you but what is your astrological makeup sun sign, fire sign, rising sign? Love your work 😀

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

    The Tao

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