This is adapted from a piece I wrote recently in my other life. It is the preface to a book of paintings and poems by a friend. Although it was inspired by her, it is by no means limited to her. Share it with the writers and artists in your life. Share it with yourself.
There once was a One. This is a story we tell ourselves, that runs deep in our psyches, whether we speak of dividing the light from the dark, or of the Bigness banging. I like to think that the One had a choice to become more than one, that it chose to be two and more than two. I ask myself what could have tempted that One beyond its singularity, into where we are. What could have seduced it into a place of suffering, which does not, cannot exist within the One, where there is no separation.
You might say Love drew it forth, out of its unity, but I cannot see that. The One is Love. It does not need to offer Love back to itself. What does the state of separation have to offer to a One who is, without it, Bliss, Eternity, Infinitude?
Only this: perception. The One cannot see itself; there is no place within it from which it might be seen. It cannot feel Love, or Bliss or Eternity. It can only be them. The One breaks itself open, to suffering, to us, for this: so that it might regard itself, so that it might regard us, so that we might regard.
Every brush of visible light, every pulse of sound, every caress of feeling is the One here for its purpose, for its Joy. If we could but know this at every sensation, we would tremble, we would perhaps even be driven mad by the miracle in which we are enmeshed. And yet, in our separation, we cannot know it, can only strive to see it, to inhabit this truth, little by little, and for brief moments.
Those who make this light, those words and sounds new to us, all over again, they are holy. They open up the door that leads back from us to the One, and that leads from the One towards us, towards its purpose. They are here to help us remember why we are here.
Dear Artists, Writers, Poets, Musicians, you are those Holy Ones. When we look at your paintings, listen to your melodies, and read your words, we begin to remember why we are here. Yes, they are beautiful, yes, they are thoughtful, and exquisitely crafted, and everything our rational minds would want them to be. But what matters is how the beauty and thought and craft open us up to what is Beyond, to Remembrance, to Love.