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ART TEXTS

These philosophical texts inspired by mythology also function as imaginal explorations of aesthetic and spiritual themes. Read them a paragraph at a time and contemplate the ideas in the context of art and life.


The Kos Project:
Healing Art for Humanity

This art project presents the notion of healing dreams through paintings and performance. The personal dream is connected to the social dream and to spiritual dream, and all are symbolically present in the gallery space. Art has many purposes—expressive,...

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Art As Gift

In a downtown Vancouver bank, Tibetan monks create a sand mandala to relieve universal suffering and bring serenity. A Salish community on the West coast re-creates ceremonial robes and blankets as a step to reviving traditional dances and rituals and thereby bring...

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Ariadne’s Realm

For those who know the Greek myth of the Minotaur, the usual heroes are Daedalus, the master artisan who creates the labyrinth imprisoning the Minotaur, and Theseus, the young Athenian prince who risks his life in entering the labyrinth and killing the Minotaur, the...

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Persephone’s Smile

The myth of Persephone suggests three stages in creativity that can deepen our art practice. Persephone, daughter of Zeus and Demeter, is renowned for her beauty. She loves to roam in the fields and everywhere nature celebrates her presence with a profusion of...

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When the Darkness Sings

There is a method in depth psychology called "gold in the shadow," which, if I understand it correctly, seeks to find value in what we often deem valueless: our ordinary suffering, our humiliations, our failures. In art practice, a parallel procedure is to maintain a...

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The Wounded Artist

In Marrakesh, I once saw a dervish pass a long skewer through his cheek. He then stuck several needles into his palms. All the while, he wore a calm, if somewhat distracted expression on his face, as if his true interest were somewhere else and the impaling was a...

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Riding the Dragon

The line in painting is always first and last a mark on the canvas, but the ancestry of the calligraphic mark, revealed in the process of creation, includes a deep connection with the processes of Nature, divination, and cultures across the world. The awareness of...

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Crazy Wisdom

When did books on creativity begin coming out in droves? Certainly, there have been dozens of books in the last twenty years that promise to have us more creative if we just take the time to read that book. Some of the books are quite good (Michael Michalko’s CRACKING...

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Between the Visible and the Invisible

In one of his letters, the great German poet Rilke writes, " we are the bees of the invisible. We frantically plunder the visible of its honey, to accommodate it in the great golden hive of the invisible."[1] The phrase, "bees of the invisible," describes one of the...

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Aphrodite’s Gaze

We are so used to looking at the world and laying claim to it that our ideas about experience are predictably narrow. Nothing seems unreasonable about the notion that we use our thinking and our senses as best as we can to understand the world and to navigate it. Yet...

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