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In trying to re-inspire myself as I undertake another large creative endeavour, I have re-read my master’s thesis paper, which touches upon creativity as a spiritual practice. I need to remember my bigger why -- 'art as path', because the final destination of this new project is deeply uncertain. I've copied and pasted the parts of my 13 204 word paper that stuck out to me most on this round of reading below:



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To summarize; before Zen the mountains are mountains and waters are waters. After that first glimpse into the truth of Zen, mountains are no longer mountains and waters are no longer waters. After enlightenment, mountains are once again mountains and waters once again waters.

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Ultimately, I’m interested in the connection between an engaged creative practice and inner-awakening. In making art as a legitimate path to self-realization, which is obviously an endeavour far beyond the reach of this film. Yet I strive to use creativity as a spiritual practice. Spirituality being defined as self-realization or enlightenment, rather than anything associated with religion which I consider an externally imposed belief system. In Michel Foucault’s 1984 essay What is Enlightenment, based on Immanuel Kant’s answer to the question two hundred years earlier, he defines “Enlightenment” as an attitude towards the present moment where one is released from “the status of immaturity.” This immaturity does not imply a lack of physical growth, but a “certain state of our will that makes us accept someone else’s authority to lead us in areas where the use of reason is called for.” Foucault sides with Baudelaire’s belief that the only sphere in which one can “face the task of producing himself,” is art. While we are obviously born human, these philosophers state that it takes a creative practice to become human. Foucault even explains how one can stay immature and unenlightened; when “a spiritual director takes the place of our conscience” — when we govern ourselves according to the map of religion instead of observing the territory of our lived experience. Essentially, I’m using my own challenging and ecstatic lived experiences as the entry point to self-inquiry and freedom.

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The notion of art as a path to enlightenment, and a keen awareness of the present moment being the gate-less gate to this ripened consciousness, extends far beyond Western philosophers. Author and spiritual teacher Adyashanti writes, “in order to discover our autonomy, we must be free from all external control or influence. If spirituality is to be meaningful, it must deliver us from all forms of dependence — including the dependence on spirituality — and help awaken within us that creative spark which all beings aspire to. For the culmination of spirituality lies not only in discovering our inherent unity and freedom, but also in opening the way for life to express itself through us in a unique and creative way.” Adyashanti’s perspective on spirituality resembles Foucault’s understanding of enlightenment. It’s not merely about discovering liberation, which is just the doorway of self-realization, but also “an act of courage to be accomplished personally.” Enlightenment is awakening to the integration of divinity and humanity.

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When artist, poet, and spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy was asked if a work of art can manifest a higher state of consciousness than the artist himself has actually attained, he responded:

An artist, just like an elevator, can go very high for a fleeting second and create something very high. Then, the next moment, he can drop. But even if he falls as a human being, the thing that he has achieved remains at its original height. Perhaps the artist will never reach that same height in this incarnation again, but his artistic creation remains. When Keats wrote, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever,” he was in a very high consciousness. But did he remain in that consciousness? When you read the whole of Endymion, you see that there are many lines that are not at all good. But the first line is so powerful. He reached that height for a fleeting second and wrote an immortal line, but then he fell down most comfortably and stayed there. But his achievement remains immortal.


While I do not claim to be creating at the level of Keats, I feel the same way about certain lines of my film script. Being creative has begun to resemble, in its positive effects, my spiritual practice and earlier work as a Yoga teacher and Reiki master. Creativity as a spiritual practice ensures a personally significant relationship to the universe — a kinship to the source light. After receiving the poems, their lines revisit me and the subsequent revelation is no less sublime, much like the spiritual mantras of my past. For example, when I am in a unitive state of consciousness, connected to everything within and without, I often hear the line of my first video poem, “that golden blanket that goes on forever.” Or when I can be with a powerful emotion until it is completely transmuted, I hear my epilogue, “I’d rather be a poet, than prove a point.”

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When Chinmoy was asked what the supreme goal of art was, he answered “Self-discovery, or God-realization, or Life-perfection.” Note here how Self, God, and Life are used synonymously. Chinmoy also noted markers for a soulful work of art that was created from the inside out. “Even if it just touches you, immediately you feel a sense of illumination in your entire being. It’s like a big, surging wave that spreads all around and inundates everything, washing away all impurity. Immediately your being becomes radiant, illumined and totally transformed.” Thomas Moore, American psychotherapist, former monk, and author of A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World, agrees with Chinmoy. He writes about the deep purpose of art being a house for spirit. That art, is not merely an expression of the artist but a form of power, that can be transferred to the viewer and offer healing. He goes further suggesting that art can literally absorb particular rays of astronomical bodies and should be revered as these literal presences. While I may never reach this level of transformative and healing artwork, these descriptions on what art can achieve, precisely align with my personal creative philosophy.

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I have chosen to group my work amongst artists who prioritize their inner life. This shift in consciousness and revival of spirituality is really the call of the times. A society of self- realized individuals don’t require babysitting. Thus, the ways of enlightenment should be reflected in documentary practices, rather than our current climate, highly concerned with honouring our differences (think, ‘identity politics’). And while there is a crucial place for noting distinctions, there must also be a place for art to support the ‘mature’ individual Kant proposed, one free of unquestioned constraint. May we all look within and create without, in a manner perhaps best summarized by renowned Canadian pianist Glenn Gould. “I believe that the justification of art is the internal combustion it ignites in the hearts of men and not its shallow, externalized, public manifestations. The purpose of art is not the release of a momentary ejection of adrenaline, but is rather the gradual lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity.”


1. STAY IN YOUR OWN CIRCLE. Don’t boomerang your brightest light through another. Be an emitter. No point in travelling through someone else’s soul circle and then back to you. No need to clean another’s house. You have your own laundry. Stop trying to see yourself through their eyes or hear your words through their mouths. You are also protected from their emissions. Their projections. They can’t even get close enough for you to notice them.


2. GET BACK ALL THE LIGHT. This is a lot more than just soul retrieval. It’s an everything retrieval. And the best part is you don’t have to do it. You just have to let the breathless breath flow in and out. Getting what’s yours back. Giving what’s theirs back. This journey flows on this one breath. It’s automatic once you get out of your own way. Bring it all home.


3. WHAT WOULD MY FUTURE SELF DO. She flows like a clear blue river this way and that, follows what feels good, flexibly — the smooth impulse of life from her golden star centre.

4. DIVINE FILTRATION. This is how we let in and out the good. And press out the bad with stop sign hands. The centre is the strongest colour. Here’s the perfect semi permeable membrane. You never left. There’s always help. Love is all that makes it through until that’s all you can see.


5. NOTHING WILL DISTRACT ME. You pierce through to Love no matter what is around. No matter what comes buzzing, hovering, knocking, lurking, slithering. Have the courage to not go there. You know who you are and what you want in all times and places. What you want is an infinitely stronger tuning fork than bullshit noise. You’re always chillin and locked in to your vision.


6. ASSASSIN ASHLEIGH AND THE FIVE BLUES. Mmm can you feel your sleek team. They are sassy, alway present. And so are you. Check out your nails and hairdo and skin glow. Nothing can touch you now.


7. THE SHIT STOPS HERE. When it gets too close sometimes you just gotta get calm and firm in exactly the same way. A fierce non-acceptance. The cold hard truth. Purple eyelashes. Say it like it is. You can’t come any closer. The shit stops here.


8. ALL THE HIMS (LOST SOUL ENTITY). They may have a pseudo compelling birthday hat on but you will know immediately by their swirly eyes. They also give off a first impression bullet of sliminess and shiftiness. You’d never want to cuddle them even if they were the last moving thing and a zillion years had passed. It is more important than you know right now to turn your back on them at your first gut no. Before the fuzziness builds, turn your back and refuse to engage them. Offer no explanation, letting the triple black boundary birth from the golden blanket. No one can get through that wall.


9. THE BODY HAS ITS OWN MEDITATION. Let yours run.


10. BREATH IN ONLY LOVE BREATH OUT ONLY LOVE. Stay with that breath. The one where you offer and let in only Love. Open to receive the most beautiful lights.


11. DECIDE THE CHANNEL. You’re in the muck, you think you’re stuck. The good news is that you decide the channel. No matter how brown the surround you can slide to the light. You know the passage ways by heart.


12. INTEGRATION. You’re on that stage. You made it. We did it. The source-to-source timeline is secure. The new earth is born. Now go on and do as your future self would do.


13. NO NO NO NO NO YES. Your curiosity will kill you. They can’t come in unless you let them. A simple no is good enough. But sometimes it takes many no’s to accept your yes. They have to obey you. You’re the only one that can break the boundary. They’ll always exist in the infinite matrix. They’re on their own journey. No need to know anything more about them.


14. THROUGH AND THROUGH AND THROUGH (WHY YOU HAVEN’T HEALED YET). Don’t stop at the discomfort. Let it move through and find what’s underneath. You can’t get angry-sad by losing something that you don’t care deeply about. So keep going until you remember how much you love yourself. That you’re crying the hardest over abandoning yourself. And then vow to never say goodbye again.


15. SEALING TO ZERO. Clear out the remaining timelines. Commit absolutely to personal and universal boundaries rather than exploring what the timelines are about. Feel yourself getting brighter and the fences stronger? Weightless weight. Wide vision. No body tension in the usual holdings. No time.


16. IT DOESN’T HAPPEN ALL AT ONCE. The first circle looked like it was one, but it was two. An entangled pair, the new earth feeding the old. They split, the most important separation, never to be undone. The repair is in leaving the entanglement behind. The second earth becomes its own and all previous incarnations are history, never to be reborn.


17. RESIST THE PULLS. Beware of the pulls of time and space. Be in not of the world. Stand tall and strong, despite the whirling forces. You know the drill by now.


18. THERE IS NO FIXING THAT. There is only fueling this.


19. PROJECTION VACUUM. See how your negative thoughts about people drain your vitality. You lose so much energy by making them into something they’re not.


20. CLOSE THE PORTAL. Close the portal like it never opened. Live the life in front of you with your eyes open.

21. PROJECTION SEALANT. People’s thoughts about you can no longer hurt you. You can be in any room and they can think this or that and you won’t feel it. What matters is how you see both yourself and them.


22. LOOK TO LOVE ONLY. This Light is from the future. And it’s also here now, in simultaneous time.


23. ONLY YOU KNOW THE KEY. You emanate strong and bright from what matters most. Your aura has a special key that only you know. That way, your way, nobody can get in. Your code is uncrackable.

24. NOBODY COULD SAY I DIDN’T TRY. You left me on the bed to die. How am I supposed to follow that? I decided to give up. Nobody could say I didn’t try. Then ten thousand angels rained down and I decided to get back up.


25. WHEN IS IT MY TURN TO CRY? Haven’t you cried enough? Ask instead, when is it my turn to Live? How good can it get? It is all the face of God.


26. THERE IS ALWAYS HELP. The angels have landed.


27. MY SOUL WILL NOT BE BOXED. I saw where you put me. And now, I. Am. Out.


28. WE ARE TAKING OUR POSITIONS. We are incarnations of stars, planting new light.


29. SO MANY VOICES, ONLY ONE OPTION. When you’re drenched in silence, you can hear yourself. May we all be drenched in silence.


30. YOU CAN TRUST THIS. You can trust this. You can trust what you cannot see, feel, hear, taste, touch, or think of. You can trust this absolutely. In fact, you MUST.


31. MY F*CKING ______ IS AT THE DOOR.


32. THE SPACE BETWEEN REALITY... AND YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT IT. Immeasurable, infinite, of foremost importance. A distinction you must apply to EVERYTHING. Including YOUR ______.


33. YOU ARE CUTTING THEM OFF. Your body is within your soul’s light and for you only. Guard and solidify this togetherness through rest. You can feel when they come closer. Respond by resting deeper rather than resistance. When you fight, you invite a fight. When you worship the golden blanket, they are taken care of, on Her terms. But now, they are nowhere near, so rest.


34. THE PATH IS CLEAR. Be with your own lineage. From the golden blanket, to your soul’s light, to YOU, to the centre of the earth. Feel the central channel smooth and bright, all for you. There is help from the sides, from others, within your subtle body. They are felt as supportive energetic streams rather than gnawing interference.


35. KEEP THE PATH CLEARED, THE 7 LAYERS CHIZZLED. Understand the increasingly supreme risk of malalignment to your spirit and soul. Because the body and the life is within the consciousness, not the other way around.


36. SAY GOODBYE TO EVERY LINEAGE WITH A BLESSING. Stop looking for yourself through other lineages. You sit outside of them all. Observe the portals funnelling, but don’t spiral down. Respectfully decline the 20 year detours. Even after a few weeks of lineage association, climbing out and disconnecting is harder every time. Eventually you can hold your own with them, but for now, stay with yourself. Lineages are like (lifetimes) of rivers leading to the ocean. Stay in the ocean now.


37. THERE IS MORE SPIRITUAL LIGHT BATHING THIS PLANET THAN EVER BEFORE. Breath it in through every pore. This energy, light, ‘information’, is waiting for you, bathing you, blessing you beyond measure. She asks nothing but your openness and yeses. Anchor what you realize into the new earth, with the new earth and all her blossoming legions. Listen: there is a grand and bright future. She will take you there. hold the evolutionary vision, despite the surface reflections. This current bump is bit a blip, in the grand source-to-source timeline.


38. THE NEXT RIGHT STEP + HOLDING THE GRAND VISION + MIND PROTECTION. Simultaneous awareness of the next right step, while cradling the grand evolutionary vision. This is about multiple lenses of perception, side by side. Our mind protection must grow with our collective miracle. Our wholeness, our future, our NOW, is actively defended. Angels must be warriors. So let your mind barricade around the divine realizations, shutting out all interference.


39. CAN YOU LIVE THE LIFE OF YOUR PAINTINGS? Can you HOLD the evolutionary vision while the worlds fall and RISE? Can you live the life of your paintings? Yes you can. You are not afraid, you were BORN to do this. Feel the yummy golden syrup pulsing through every part, coming from above, below, within and without. Let this dust settle and the golden age spring.


40. REACH FOR THE JUICE. I will not keep your secrets anymore. A prerequisite for your newfound condition is joy. Choose. Change. Reach for the juice. It’s the way of growth. The way that makes us love the most. Worlds are falling and I feel sixteen again.


41. HOW TO MEDITATE. Don’t become one with infinity without a constant anchor into your body your mind your time your space. Or else you’re in danger of re-integrating the horror show. Because everything contains everything, but you only want to connect to YOUR thing for THIS life. You want to cut that jagged chord as opposed to retracing it with your awareness and then needing to purge it yet again.


42. WHAT IS THE LESSON? From the personal to the universal, nothing ever goes away until we learn what it came here to teach us. Why do I keep having flashbacks? Why is the virus still here? Gratitude for the challenges helps them release. What is the lesson, the gift? Contemplate constant soul connection — within and without, with every movement and every stillness. You and the collective must reach your tipping point realizations of what is true and important. What if this is all a call to Being?


43. THROW AWAY THE NET. Now is an excellent time to throw away all nets. There was never any safety in them. Do not retrieve the nets from the blackhole dumpster. Nets include, but are not limited to: attachments to — spiritual and psychological lineages, fellowships, gurus, all hierarchical organizations, those robes instead of your gown — basically everything but the True You. You know how to center yourself without running to more false moms and dads with strings attached. The big clue that you’re not on the path, that your soul designed, is that it is ‘clear’. Yes, if the path ahead of you is clear, it’s probably someone else’s. Throw away all nets now. Take this solo ride as a chapter to butterfly.


44. THROAT CHAKRA 101. For now, if it’s not kind, don’t say it. Definitely don’t do it. And the high bar is to not even think it. Kindness is not limited to ‘good’. Kindness is skillful accuracy and economy within all polarities. This will assist your throat chakra healing.


45. EVERYTHING CHANGES IN THE WAY THAT MAKES YOU LOVE THE MOST. You cannot grow on any foundation but LOVE. Beware of lower vibrational growth traps i.e. those that say ‘it’s gonna feel way worse before it gets better’. They are dead end paths. You can’t evolve where YOU are not. Stay in your window of tolerance. Keep one foot in the wholeness always. A bit sh*tty is ok but if things feel super bad, get the f*ck out. How may times do you need to remind yourself that everything changes in the way that makes you love the most.


46. HOPE.


47. A NEW CONNECTION BIRTHING. We are learning to connect with ourselves, with our souls, so when we reconnect with each other again, two will be as one. Be with the other as a bonus blessing, rather than a need.


48. THERE WAS ALWAYS PERFECT BALANCE. So when you get all “it’s not fair, how could they do that,” pull back. You’ve played every part. They’ve played every part. Everyone was always playing their parts. There is always perfect balance, in every simultaneous moment, through the lens of the great expanse.


49. IT’S A CHOICE. Choose to move in a way where your world gets brighter. Be led by the omniscient light rope, your soul’s lasso. Feel the magnetic pull of silence in every new moment. It may feel trying at first, but as your disobedient parts fall away you’ll feel carried into an every-moment-fresh experience of eternal newness.


50. THE DREAM WAS THAT YOU LEFT. The moment when your prayerful devotion turns into the space from where you are looking. You were banging, crying, screaming, from within your own magnificence all along. Journey with no distance to the land that never ends. The dream was that you left.


51. THE SELF IS GREATER THAN ANY DESIRE FULFILLED. Go for everything you want — until you want what you cannot want — because you are it. The source of wants. The ultimate gelato. Every flavour eternally dripping, forever renewing.


52. THE STILLNESS THAT CAME OVER THE WORLD.


Your challenge is not physical, it’s spiritual, and this celestial light will trickle down into the material realms, transforming all flesh from within.


The conquests are as follows:


Can you hear your voice when these words are so new to you? And nobody’s listening but you? Can you hold your vision as false reflections fall? Attend your church of choice, with no place of gathering? Feel your body, without another’s touch? Resist the endless temptations to abandon your great task, again and again? Will you prioritize your own Self led journey more than ever before? Seizing this fertile precious pause. You’ve preyed for this time. Stabilize your harmonic. Connect with the source of all fulfillment — which the material world can only mirror.


When you trip, reestablish your own footing rather than mounting another’s horse. Re-lasso your soul.

The solution is not outside. No person, place, thing, or experience will satisfy. Though these worldly supports will orbit, once you are living authentically.


Stop following the myriad of half-way healers taking prophet stands on our collective vulnerability. You don’t need a specific pranayama to boost your immunity. It can be as simple as going for a run with your spine a blade of seagrass. Or becoming the ocean in a long bath, letting the golden breath seep and labrythnth and heart beat, finding its seamless shimmering current within you. When we are led by this one breath, miraculous solutions are nature’s order.


In your important search for spiritual connection, choose your guidance wisely. Be cautious of what people, groups, and lineages you connect to. Specified breathing patterns, mantras, prayers, detailed visualizations, all instruction really, can have ‘real’ impact. They may not steer your soul to its designated ocean, or even any ocean for that matter. Mismatched spiritual practice can tangle and disorient you.


You want a clean thread between you, your soul, and the place without a place, in which we are all exactly the same. If the luminous braid gets tangled, it hurts your body and mind. Let the smooth impulse of life generate and reach unencumbered from its very source to your own fingertips. Good outside knowledge should ignite the light inside of you, so that your own light becomes your guide.


This is how you stay healthy: from the inside out, from the depths to the superficial. Live from the golden blanket, looking out of your own eyes. Always staying anchored in your spark to nurture a sacred weaving between your divinity and humanity.


Your morning runs can be so much more than morning runs if you bring your whole Self to them. This can be extended to any activity really. Simple actions performed with supreme care ripple infinitely through all of creation.


Use this alone time to follow your deepest knowings. To purify your inner world. As fragments of self arise to be bathed in light, be careful not to form new stories and feelings about the letting go or holding on. Simply be with them, unconditionally. Abide as truth, letting your fragmented parts puzzle-piece themselves back into wholeness.


All this happens through grace’s hand, not yours. Lasting healing takes place through eternity’s gaze.

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