The modern catholic painting that I have endeavored to créate for the last 10 years has taught me the most important lesson of my life: I am a remarkable observer of life and all that surrounds me.
How many people strive for Wisdom, that moment of sure, deep knowing when something is undeniably clear, right in front of you. It is exhilarating.
Spiritual Wisdom, is knowing you are a remarkable observer, it is the moment your body, and mind, and all your emotions engage in a single act of perception. Normally it happens in an instant, like seeing the way things are in their total-ness.
Wisdom feels like your whole state of being has been lifted into another plane of awareness. Lemons are not just lemons anymore and yet they are just lemons. The other shocking quality is when you tell someone about it, the words get scrambled but you are unshakable sure you know what happened and what you understood.
The delightful truth is, Wisdom is normally unexpected and undeniable, a mystical experience offered to anyone and at any time. It is often an acutely altered mode of our being present in the world, and at the same time out of this world. Ironically it is perceived with an increased capacity to have compassion, humility, and groundedness – qualities described in Christianity as “the fruits of the spirit.” ( I have always liked being a fool for God, now I can add being a fruit as well!)
Wisdom underlies all the great religious traditions without being exclusively confined to any of them. It is as common as water being poured into a number of different glasses. It can take on their shape or even coloration, but the water remains water, loved, shared and prized by all. Wisdom is the closest point of contact where all beliefs potentially find a commonality in their spiritual traditions. At their tradition, dogmatic and doctrinal poles, they may be light years away from each other, yet as I said wisdom claims no ownership and a never ending source open to all and often un-requested. Wisdom, in any language, age group, tradition, ceremony, circumstance, etc. comes from a source greater than we can imagine, in a world without beginning or end. It cannot be created or destroyed and has no actual form but is undeniably real.
Sacred traditions distinguish wisdom by signature genres and teaching methods; parables, koans, and story telling. The goal is to overturn the ego and mental brain and break through to that life giving center where there is absolute meaning. Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi, the Upanishads, the Dali Lama are clearly recognizable as a Wisdom teachers. We consider them to be wise because they see life from the perspectives of wisdom and love. We seek consciousness as if it were a new age concept, something we can get or achieve or become. I would say this is an upside down perception, the witnessing self who knows there is no self is the beginning of knowing and seeing reality as all love, all wisdom, all truth. The process of learning to loss the self is classically referred to as “putting the mind in the heart.”
The heart is understood as the seat of spiritual perception. Unlike the mind, which perceives through differentiation, the heart perceives inter-dimensionally, by directly grasping a larger pattern. The heart is liberated from its personal emotional drama and its attachment. “be still and know” This purification is brought about through the classic practices of silence, surrender, non-identification, and compassion.
Modern Catholic Painting Shows Me That Humanity is finally Changing
William Blake once described it – the higher intensity of the vibrational field is divine presence, it witnesses consciousness after the mind displaces its belief attached to personal identity. It is Spiritual Wisdom, knowing you are a remarkable observer. Teilhard de Chardin: “To understand the world, knowledge is not enough. You must see it, touch it, live in its presence.” Gospel of Thomas “ Jesus said: I will give you that which eye has not seen, an ear has not heard, and hand has not touched, and that which has not entered into the heart of man”. All of them say the same , there is more than what we think of as enough.