The Painter

Winslow Homer

What is the difference between a casual artist and a great artist? In the simplest terms, it has to do with what the person is connected to when they do their work. Whether they are conscious of it or not, the great artist is bringing the unseen worlds into what is physically produced, imbuing it energetically. And it is that energetic that moves people when the work is viewed – and it can last for many centuries and still move people, because it is universal, not temporal. We can view our own life in the same way: do we live casually in the physical realms, or are we connecting the unseen worlds into our life, raising it to the level of art? (At the end of this post there are instructions and a link to download this recording to your computer.)

Jeane: Well, I just had one dream, and I didn’t particularly like it. In this dream, I seem to work for some kind of a bureaucratic agency, that’s maybe like the Parks Department. And we’re in charge of a beach area that feels like kind of a rugged coastal area, that has big waves, and rocks, and sand, and some areas where people can come and swim and things, and the buildings all associated with that. 

And one of the bureaucrats above me has commissioned us an initial sketch for a painting they want to put on one of the walls of one of the beach areas, and he wants to show the sandy beach with big stormy waves, and some kind of bronzed, bare-chested mermaid figure, kind of like the ones that they put on the prow of a ship, and a little row boat half-buried in the sand. And that’s kind of the overall theme of the painting. 

And then he also has taken everybody involved in the painting, or maybe that works in the area, and taken us all down to the beach for a photo op, complete with a bronze statue of a mermaid. And then after he goes back to the office, I start thinking about all this, and the first thing is that it just feels off to me. Because, even for the sketch, he employed an artist that is a poor artist. So it’s just like he muddled around in the paints, in terms of their colors, and what’s actually shown on the painting. I just don’t think it’s a very good painting. 

He’s also someone that none of us relate to that well. And I think in order to see what should really be done that we need to get a better artist, even, to do the sketch. It seems like I know somebody that is a better artist. So I get together everybody again, and go down to the beach for another photo op without him, and even though I can see how that goes well, at this point, I think I’m waking up and I’m beginning to realize that there’s something flawed about the whole thing. Like he’s kind of trying to do a painting of a scene that doesn’t really exist. And it’s not even really a family friendly scene, in a way, with the mermaid and all that. 

And when I think about how the beach really should be used by families, and how it really looks, and what this painting looks like, it seems to me like, you know, we need to toss out the whole idea and start over again. So it’s kind of like this dissatisfied feeling with it all, where I was trying to fix it at first, and then I didn’t even see that it was that fixable.

John: That’s a tremendous dream. First of all, the theme of the dreaming last night had to do with the significance of the inner, and how does that correlate to the outer? My meditation dream went into the depths of the inner, as if that’s the end all, be all of something, in terms of how the vibrations that rise out of a stillness and have images that one can dream can become so vivid that one can put them into an alignment and remember the vibration and all of that, as if that’s a whole realness on the inner. 

And so that would imply and suggest that the reflective outer is really an extreme bifurcation that gets in the way from something that can unfold in that kind of dynamic that doesn’t have the denseness of the outer getting in the way. Then, when I went to sleep, I was shown that there has to be this other half because it’s important for reasons too, and I’m not necessarily shown the reasons, I’m just shown images of what it looks like when you don’t have that other component, or that other half. 

I’m just shown that there is that other half, then, in other words, and in your dream, you start off and you just take and you refer to the innerness as bureaucratic. And you refer to that which can be painted, and drawn, or made into like a ship, or a mast, or whatever, as a reflective re-creation of a vibratoriness that doesn’t really exist. 

And so you have an uneasiness in both sides; you’re uneasy in regard to the bureaucrat, and you’re uneasy with regard to the ploys in the outer. And so you find yourself at the shoreline, or between the two worlds. And, the dilemma is, can the painter, or the designer, work with the two aspects? In other words, can the painter and the designer hone a painting that is a better reflection of how things are in the unreal? In other words, as a kind of reflective imaginative, can the painter portray that?

And, of course, to portray that the painter’s going to have to contend with the lunacy of the orders and the directives, and the whole aspect that’s imposed by the bureaucrat, or the inner. In other words, the inner is coming through, much like a type of bureaucrat, if you were to try to look at things from the standpoint of having to be part of an in-manifestation, at the point between the two worlds, the shoreline, the beach. And, of course, you can’t really buy into the whole outer expanse of things that are like something that rises up and has a vibratoriness that can be imaged in the outer, because that’s all reflective and isn’t real, either. 

However, your dream is indicating, that what is important in your dream is the work of the painter, the one who has to take the two aspects, the inner and the outer, and come up with a result that pulls all of that together, somehow.

In other words, the transcendent isn’t where it’s at. And the reflective isn’t where it’s at, yet somehow or another, at that point between the two seas, the inner and the outer, is something that can be done, or something that can be brought through, like you say, a painting that can be embraceable by everybody, both sides, both the inner and outer, right? Brings the two together. It’s nice that you had that dream because it kind of helps put things into perspective because I went to both extremes.

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