“To Paint or not to Paint—that is the question.”
Whatever a person is to do in this life is paramount. Destiny is not a small matter. We came to realize something, and that something is particular to our very heart and soul. I find myself painting and writing, and “Looking.” To Paint or not to Paint—that is the question. These actions are necessary. Without them, I would not fulfill my function on earth, and one could call that a “wasted incarnation.” We waste too much energy as it is to arrive lost, at the summation of our life — added up to naught. Why did we come? What were we to do? And — did we do it?
Recently I wrote about Tintoretto’s painting. Some of you liked it. You said it gave you new insights, etc. You touted how wise it all sounded. THANK YOU. I really appreciate those of you who actually read these “Art Looks!” I appreciate even more those of you who send me comments. They are like messages in a bottle arrived on the waves of a vast internet sea to the sands of my hopeful expectation—that someone will actually hear my call to the Muses of aesthetic verity, and scribble something back to me. Truth is Beauty, as Keats said in his Ode to the Grecian Urn. That I may write or even paint something true is my penultimate endeavor. That I may meld with my Creator, I suppose, through melding with my brothers and sisters, the ultimate above all others.
Here In Curitiba
Here in Curitiba, Brazil, I worked on a triptych over a period of time. I started it last February, somewhat unaware I embarked on this journey. You have probably heard me talk about the “Dream Team.” This is a triumvirate if Spiritual Masters — Babaji, Jesus and the Divine Mother — Who form the crux of our Spiritual Guidance. I paint them over and over and seldom tire of these iconographic parameters. Here is the triptych banner on my Facebook profile you have all probably seen.
But here in Curitiba, I am moved by a different power that be. I would say it is Orange. Orange is the necessity of truth and beauty that presses me onward. In India orange is the color of spiritual renunciation, as thousands of Sadhu’s roam about the land in raiment of a symbolic burning of all attachments. I began the first “painting of orange” last February when we were here to teach the Miracle Consciousness Training. I painted the most fierce Babaji I could find of Him, right after He manifested His body in a cave in Herakhan. I felt I truly did Him service — even reverence — to paint this work of fiery orange.
Why connect with a Spiritual Master, and does a painting do anything to make this connection? I often say if a person wants to play the cello, studying with Pablo Casals, Rostropovich, or Yo Yo Ma may be a good thing. Of course some raw talent needs to be thrown in the mix, but a Master Teacher is almost a necessity when it comes to perfection and focus of one’s attention on that art desired. Spirituality is no different. The lessons of Spirit are learned quicker and more certainly in the presence of a Master. This is my reason for connecting with the Dream Team. They enhance my own ascendency into the Spiritual Reality that I AM. They are already in that Reality, and They draw me and others into it as well.
As for painting Them, what can that do to my own ability to make the connection with the Dream Team, and also to the Energy of their wisdom and teachings? Painting is a slow art, developed in many strokes of the brush, mixtures of colors, and preparations to build a replica of Divinity. Truth and Beauty emerge after many hours of looking, acting, adjusting, and feeling one’s way. A painting, then, is birthed into being. It is composed of many preponderances, and a seemingly endless chain of very concrete acts of application.
Into Christ’s Presence Would We Enter Now
This Christ was painted in Rio de Janeiro. I left Him with Janet and Luiz Alexandre, who helped us organize our work there. They could really appreciate Him in this form, understanding the power of an Icon. I never really tire of painting Jesus, my childhood Master Teacher. Years of studying A Course in Miracles has brought me even closer to Him, and it is a Presence one enters with this degree of intimacy. There is a Chinese saying, “In order to paint a fish, you must be the fish.” Well, I would say the same about Jesus. I made this point about Tintoretto’s scenes of the Holy Master—he was able to get inside the head of the Christ in order to paint such accurate and palpable scenes of Him.
There is a necessity of painting that lives in me. If I am away from it too long, the yearnings of an unfulfilled heart begin to rumble and rustle up actions of artistic purpose. Why am I here? It may not merely be to paint, or to write—but through these expressions I get to know myself. I get to explore the potentials of joy and fulfillment that are inciting me onward. What more truth is there in the inception and follow through of a creative act? I allow myself to be led to its natural end, and assess, even in uncertainty at times, that my destiny is being fully realized in the act of painting itself. And this is my necessity of painting, intertwined with the very core of my being.
I know this may sound like a contradiction, but to the degree I can connect and delve deeply into a painting is the degree I can connect and delve deeply in my relationships with people. Painting is the ultimate “Loving Relationships Training” for me. And it is interesting that most of my paintings are painted within the context of this training, the LRT®, I teach along side of Sondra Ray. She talks and I paint. Both actions are teaching, just one is verbal and one is non-verbal. Both are after truth, simplicity, love and service.
There is beautiful Prayer in Lesson #157 of A Course in Miracles. Here it is:
Into Christ’s Presence will we enter now, serenely unaware of everything except His shining face and perfect Love. The vision of His face will stay with you, but there will be an instant which transcends all vision, even this, the holiest. This you will never teach, for you attained it not through learning. Yet the vision speaks of your remembrance of what you knew that instant, and will surely know again.
There were moments outside of time I had with my teacher, Tara Singh, that resembled this holy instant described above. In all paintings I do of the Spiritual Masters, I put myself into this space. It is not a space I learned, nor can I teach it. But it is a space “shared,” and in that sharing I am connected to the Presence. Hopefully this “comes through” in the painting. This is the end to which the means are applied: “Into Christ’s Presence would we enter now.”
Hardly can one explain the concept of “Darshan” in the Western world. It is an intimate encounter with a Holy Presence, usually attained or felt when meeting a highly evolved Spiritual Being who has already transcended the ego—and who abides in his or her Divine Connection all of the time. One would travel over continents and oceans to meet such a Being, and this meeting is commonly called receiving “darshan” in the East.
I would say there is a “darshan” one experiences in seeing a master painting. I think you would all agree that from the last ART LOOK on Tintoretto, the Baptism of Christ possessed all the presence of a direct encounter with that holy and auspicious event. Tintoretto made it possible for us to experience this Presence, this “Darshan,” in real time. (See here: TINTORETTO)
Ammachi, or simply Amma, is our female Master Teacher who is also known around the world as the “Hugging Saint.” She hugs thousands of people a day, and travels all over the world doing so. She and her organization raise millions of dollars to fund sincere and authentic humanitarian projects—schools, housing developments, hospitals, holy centers, etc. She feeds the people with Her Absolute Love. She brings peace to every mind through Her authentic connection to people and to God. She is the Divine Mother incarnate. The “real deal,” She is at the heart of our Dream Team along with Babaji and Jesus.
Recently we went to receive our “Darshan” from Her in Washington. We waited in line for hours to have our hug from Her. It was well worth the wait. In Her Presence one feels the vibration of unconditional Love. One is transformed and relieved of the problems that preoccupy our days. One is lifted into a Force Field of Pure Joy. One is taken into a Holy Presence that transcends even the body of physical form. The true Darshan, which may last less than one minute, is worth the time of your whole life.
I started this Orange Dream Team of Curitiba back in February this year, and finished it today, September 8, 2019. I sold it as fast as I painted it to a lady in our training who owns and runs an Italian Restaurant, (for $3600 USD ). We have a direct connection with her. By purchasing this set of paintings she now has a direct connection with the Dream Team. I am so happy these three paintings in this triptych can stay altogether now.
To me painting is a holy encounter—not only with the sacred elements of my materials I use to construct the thing, but also with the subject that merits this much attention. I have a responsibility that becomes the “Necessity of Painting” to uplift the souls of whoever is having this Art Look, starting with myself. If I can give myself this Darshan, and feel the Power Deeply coming through from the crux of the matter, then I can suspect that others will feel what I feel. “Into this presence would we enter Now.”
I am making giclee prints of these works available. The prices will range from a $550 to $1200 USD. Depending what you want. You can write to me here if you are interested. Markus@markusray.com
I look forward to hearing from some of you. Thanks for Art Looking. Stay Happy.