For a long time now I’ve been intrigued by the many correlations between the visual fine arts and spirituality.
In times past, art was an extension of that uniquely human branch of spirituality: religion. It married the power of vision to the power of institutionalized religion, especially that of the four world super religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Moslem, and Judaism.
A variety of art forms were also core to the traditions and rituals of native cultures – masks, totems, body paint, body adornments, dance, theater, costumes – where spirit was an ever-present reality threaded throughout daily life and initiating or supporting major life transitions, such as birth, death, marriage, life-as-service, and so much more that I can’t even conceive.
When humans shifted the locus of their attention from the tribe, clan, and family–where individuality was invisible under the cloak of the group–to the beginnings of self-awareness.
At this point, the crest of human development used art to pour forth even more testimony to all aspects of the human-as-spirit condition, as envisioned in the private spaces of a single mind and heart, one being at a time.
And with this rise of individuals as aware of self came…
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