This rather wordy entry is something of a segue into a less wordy phase of life for me – where it will be my intention to communicate more by color and light than with words. This may not be an easy line of thought to follow, but it is my hope to communicate something of how new forms of art can be a form of mystical, heart to heart communication… See more beneath image.
Each day I become more convinced that “in the beginning” our Creator Father never originally intended for us to live within the confines of walls. Even if they are walls of words and definitions. These “word walls” could be called PODs – PRISONS OF DEFINITIONS.
Here are a few acronyms for POD, and there’s a mixture here for good reason: place of delight, place of deception, prison of delight, prison of deception, prince of darkness, prince of delusion, price of delight, price of delusion… Perhaps there is no end to this list. Undoubtedly, dear reader, you could come up with countless more that fit the context of this writing.
Additionally when in the POD, we are POWs – prisoners of words, prisoners of (spiritual cosmic) war! Prisoners of words, one might say, are under a “spell”.
In a sense, due to our fallenness, this life is somewhat of a “life sentence” for eternal beings. At some point, however, we hopefully wake up and realize that we no longer have to accept life in the POD as POWs.When this happens, it’s the end of the game for the Poor Old Dragon whose head was crushed and who was stripped of his authority at Golgotha.
As an artist, this leads me on to an interesting phase and into a more dynamic return to, interestingly, abstract art, which (as I perceive it) communicates the Unlimited to the unlimited by the unlimited, as the POD is left behind.
Words limit with their definitions, their attempts to communicate what cannot be expressed – especially when there are attempts by those still in the PODs to define spiritual reality or experiences of God’s Grace which they have not had themselves. There is the tendency to demonize what cannot be understood. Some examples of demonization are contemplative Christian, Christian meditation, Christian mysticism, inner Christianity, or even spiritual Christianity. There is an attempt on the part of some to put souls back into the PODs of condemnation and demonization because of a heavy indoctrination of fear.
But the upshot is provided by a parable from Nature herself: Pods in the natural realm hold ungerminated seeds. For the lover of God, the POD (Place of Delight in His presence) becomes the Portal of Destiny! That which is not intended to remain, but to become what the original divine intent IS, must come to its Point of Deliverance from the Place of Darkness, enigmatically holding the inevitable seed of Light awaiting its bursting forth!
Just describing this begins to unfold why words don’t really cut it! So my excursion here is intended to encourage the quest of using art to communicate deeper spiritual reality.
The Inside Scoop: So, Why The Focus On “PODs”?
Experiencing a profound sense of frustration of late, I took a turn off the beaten path awhile to another creative “place” – a little excursion into making more realistic art and abandoning a fascination with abstract and digital forms. What this left me with was a profound sense of dissatisfaction, for while it was on one hand good to know that I could still skillfully come up with realism, on the other there was the realization (for me) that making “real” art is more like imitating, mimicking, or reproducing an image of something which is already created. For me it wasn’t anything deeper than that. It was not satisfying. It was not fun, and it made me really tense!
Maybe this is why I love Van Gogh and the Impressionists – they interpreted rather than tried to copy what they saw. It was a bridge between the classical art world and that of full blown abstraction.
I realized that, while making “real” art is a nice place to visit, I don’t care to live there. My realization about creating abstractly is that it is a non POD kind of communication – it has the potential – at a level that reaches out beyond mental constructs – to take both the artist and the viewer to a communication space outside the limited POD of either, into creative consciousness without limitation.
Now, people very much in the pseudo security of their POD’s limitation often react to abstract art with such expressions as “I can’t wrap my head around that, so I don’t like it.” “I don’t ‘understand’ modern art.” “I don’t get that.” Or even, “I can’t even look at that – it scares me!” (Yes, I did have someone actually tell me that.) There are those who even demonize it, just as they do mystical Christianity.
This is because something that “does not make sense” to the intellect challenges the limitation of the mental POD. That’s why a POD can be at the same time a Place of Delight and a Place of Darkness. Darkness – limited awareness – can be very much challenged by art which to some beholders “does not make sense”. Darkness is comfortable to a baby in the womb. Why do you suppose he screams when it’s time to be born? And there may be a whole lot of screaming when it’s time to be truly reborn!
Abstract art challenges the limitation of the POD; it knocks on that shell and says, “Hey, come out and play! There’s a whole creation out here. How about letting go of that shell of presumptions, limits, and drab colorlessness? how about a breath of fresh air. Once you do, you will never want to go back inside that POD!”
In fact, you will not be able to go back. Innately we know that, and it scares us.
This is why, in my opinion, making abstract art is an adventure into high mysticism (another anti POD word… or is it ante POD bursting?) – the demolition of the belief in scarcity and limitation. Seriously, do we really have any idea what it’s like to be truly unlimited beings?
What’s outside the POD? Color, light, sound, and the raw elements of a new creation, creativity, and unlimitedness! Once you crack through the POD, you realize the “life sentence” is over. And once the POD has served its purpose, it becomes chaff blown away by the Wind, on its way to the Fire, for that which has no life in it was once constricting and limiting and is useless for anything but burning.
Definitions of ourself or others are simply word PODs: political affiliations, religious denominations, roles in life… often create PODs of limitation because in buying into them, we fall under their “spell”.
I am this… I am that.
But the Unlimited Source from Whom we emanated and Whose holy image we bear simply says, “I AM”!
So, what do you think that makes you?
The artist who does not (pardon the pun) “feel drawn” to being a copier of what has already been created may become one who communicates more deeply from the Unlimited to all of us who are spun from the Unlimited!
These are answers I’ve been given as much needed direction at this time in my life – that I ought to be less about words, and instead embrace more the creation of “unlimited” art expression available only through the flow from the innermost being!
If you cannot wrap your head around that, it’s OK. But it may be a little tap on your POD (whatever it is) of limited, intellectual – mental constructs, and rigid definitions and living. It may be an invitation to come and have a little romp (simply defined as playing roughly and energetically, as in the case of children or animals), with what cannot be “articulated” with words.