In an energy universe, which we are certainly in, our bodies are energy events. To my way of seeing things, Awareness is the only constant. Everything else comes and goes, rhythmically, and at such a high frequency of comings and goings that we take it to be solid. Objects are like spinning car-wash brushes whose revolutions are so fast that we take them to be concrete pillars of solidity. In such an energy universe, art is energetically functional, because the energy that created the work of art continually pours out of it, bathing the viewer even after the work of art is no longer in view.
Healing is an energy event as well. Fear slows the healing process down while love and trust speed the healing process up. A hands-on healer pours so much love into an affliction that time is sped up, is perhaps even eliminated, as time belongs to the realm of polarity, while love is from the realm of pure awareness. I have found that a pain caused by something we did to our bodies, such as exerting too much force and creating a backache or muscle spasm, can be healed very rapidly by sitting down with your body and sincerely apologizing to your aching muscle. An aching muscle is like a hurt child, in a sense, and is still in tears from something we did. Taking a pain killer is like giving a crying child a sleeping pill as a way to get them to stop crying. If they are crying because of something we did to hurt their feelings, when they awaken from their drug-induced sleep, the pain will still be there, only buried where it will be very difficult to bring into the light and heal with love and kindness and apologies. We would consider drugging a crying child a serious form of child abuse, yet in relation to our own crying bodies, this is standard medical procedure. Most pharmaceutical drugs tell the body to stop crying and go to sleep, often at a cost in side effects that is staggering.
Pouring love into an affliction may be the only true cure there is. We become ill when fear penetrates our spirit, or pierces our concept of ourself. If someone insults me deeply, I am certain to have some flu or cold take over my body a day or two after the piercing of my idea of myself, which my body takes as an identity intrusion.
We should also understand, however, that some illnesses are meant to add a kind of new software into our psyches. With a flu for example, we get knocked out, sedated, unplugged by the flu, while new software is put into us that will allow us to advance into a new phase of our being. I usually become ill before a great new chapter in my life is about to take place. When I recover from my illness, I feel capable of anything. I am better than I ever was before, and more appreciative of my life and the people around me. Somehow, a new program has been added to my psyche that allows me to do something I couldn’t do before the illness.
Jesus once said, no doubt in exasperation, “Okay, if you can’t believe in your Self, then just believe in me and that will heal you ( but believe totally in something, as a way of sustaining a state of absolute trust-which is what heals us).” I paraphrase. We have the power to heal ourselves, but we live in a society that keeps us in chronic fear and on the run. I have stopped to admire a garden that someone has expended tremendous energy to cultivate. I stood gazing at the garden, which was filled with beautiful flowers, only to have the home owner come to the door and ask if they could “help me”. We have created a society where we assume that others are casing our house if they pause in front of it for too long, regardless of the beauty set forth to invite people to stop to appreciate it.
How, in the simplest way, is art energy functional? We are on the move, even in our own hearts and minds, yet healing requires patience, love, stillness, focus and consistency. A work of art has all of these attributes. In the most basic use of art, by creating a painting that shows us how we wish to be when we are healed, we create a kind of ongoing prayer wheel. In creating a painting, we have opened a window that allows a specific quality of energy to blow through that window and into the lives of the viewer. If the painting is created in an energy of playfulness, then that open window allows a constant breeze of playfulness, fearlessness, trust in existence into the room in which it hangs. Playfulness is fearless. It, too, is software for the viewer. This is why people who buy art buy art. Art offers us all a breath of fresh air from the confines of collective values.
Artists can draw the energy from a reality where one who commissions that work is not ill, from a place where he or she is well and happy, and deliver that energy of perfect health as a road map to that person who is ill in this reality. They need only to look at the painting in order to set their energy body moving in that direction. It is a delivery from a future time where they are closer to their Self, and therefore no longer caught in the grip of fear. Art can be like a GPS, something that guides us to where we wish to be, when applied to healing.
Change is often surrounded by a surface tension of fear. Nature does its best to change the ratio of things so that making a big change becomes less frightening than staying stuck in the way things have always been. We hate it when it happens, but it causes us to grow, and that’s a good thing. An image hanging on our wall of a physical state that we wish to achieve, triggers those fears subconsciously. That is, if we are over-weight, (for some reason known only to us) an image of ourselves as thin and unprotected by the excess weight, will bring those fears of vulnerability to a head. It insists upon being resolved, and in a week or two our psyche suddenly overcomes the fear, resolves it, and the roadway is clear to loose the weight. Slowly we get used to the image of ourselves in that new way of being. Our psyches have replaced the old self-definition with the new one. Once this is done, we shift into gear with enthusiasm and begin taking all of the steps needed to align our actual state with our new identity. We will automatically start eating the right foods, or take action to bring that new reality about. This is a powerful ability of art if used to sustain a persistent vision of what one wishes to experience.
As artists we are often struggling in a society to exhibit and sell our paintings. This is fine, but we should also see that this is like a man who has a goose that lays golden eggs trying to sell his goose to get money. If an artist paints him or her self experiencing what it is he or she needs or wants, it will come about. For one example, if an artist paints a person who has trouble exercising and creates a painting of them out walking happily, that person will soon be out walking just by seeing that painting every day. Why? Because whatever fears they have about exercising or being thinner will be resolved quickly since their psyche will believe that they have already redefined themselves as a person who exercises’ regularly. The proof is in the image. There they are, out for a good long walk and loving it. The ice has been broken. This is another way of being in society as an artist. Artists can help people create a sustained, constant vision of what they need.
If you are a painter, test this on yourself. Paint what you want to occur in your life. If you do want a New York Gallery, fine, paint it. Paint yourself in New York at an opening of your art work. Fill the gallery with admiring gallery goers. Or, if you are in some kind of pain, paint yourself without that pain. See that in an energy universe, art is an energy lighthouse. It is a beacon that shows your energy body which way to head, and it does this with constancy. That is the secret of manifesting. Yet it is even more powerful than simply being a guiding light. Art is a ceramist who can work the spinning clay of life’s experiences into a new and beautiful form. Art works the energy of the universe into new forms, making profound expressions that take the fear out of change. They say that no one ever saw a sunset as beautiful until Constable painted it. Before that, sunset meant that it was time to stop working the field and head home while there was still light. No one sat around admiring the setting sun. Constable’s art shifted all of human collective consciousness to a new reality, where millions stop to watch the sun set on the horizon as a memorable thing to do, as they ponder the beauty of being. Before Constable, the setting sun was no more than a factory whistle telling everyone to hurry home before darkness fell.
Art can give us what we need to survive and even prosper. In my own life, one example of this is the manifesting of a house. My partner and I wanted to live in our own home. Neither she nor I had the finances to afford a Berkeley home. Using one of my interactive paintings, one that allowed the viewer to lift a painted module, turn it around to the painting on the back, and replace it anywhere on that painted background, we placed my painting of a house as a constant on the painting. It was a simple, energy symbol house. We were just being playful, and pretending that the painted home was a real home that we took care of every day in the world of our imaginations. In this spirit we placed modular paintings of birds, trees, clouds, and things around the house painting, and rearranged those every day. We left the house central to the painting. In two weeks, I was looking for an ad of mine in a newspaper, as I teach painting. Exactly next to the ad was an announcement that said that a coop housing in Berkeley was accepting applicants. At the time, we lived in a nearby city.
We went to the opening of the housing cooperative and found about seventy people wanting the same house. We signed a sheet to be interviewed anyway and a few days later she and I went through the interviewing process. All of the fifteen coop members were in a small room and she and I were the focal point of their attention. We answered their questions. When the president of the coop asked me if I had had any experience living communally, after a stunned pause, I answered, “I’m Italian!”
A week later, we received a phone call that they wanted us to live with them in the coop. It meant that we virtually owned our own separate home in a set of two row houses and it was in Berkeley. Not only was it affordable, but the people were and are our instant friends. They wanted us to live beside them. We had manifested a home of our own in Berkeley, and it took two weeks of playful trust. Playfulness is what the universe entrusts its most important aspect of being, namely procreation. The universe gave procreation, and creation itself, over to playfulness to ensure that life would go on and on. As Bill Moyers once realized in an interview of pregnant teenage girls, she slept with this boy because he had cute knees. Through such playfulness, life goes on.
While I have written other articles on art and manifestation, the point cannot be made often enough. As artists we can help people to heal themselves by providing an image of them as healthy or fulfilled in their dreams of how they wish to be. We can also do this for ourselves. Exhibiting and selling our paintings is one small aspect of how we may focus our ability to create a vision from thin air. A painting continues to deliver into energy reality the quality of energy used in its creation. As painters we learn to sustain a given energy as we create a work of art. We become masters of delivering into this world the kind of energy we feel the world needs in order to heal itself. Artists are, and have always been, the manifesting force in all societies. Resume your power to create. Use your talents to save and form the world as you want it to be. It is within our power to create a beautiful world where artists are recognized as healers, and bringers of new worlds, not just critics of the old. Open the window and let in clean fresh air that is filled with our honest love for the world, as we know it to be.
Interactive Painting and Article by Ross G. Drago
Paint Rag Magazine