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soul of fine art



Numbers Game

How many miracles would it take for you to have irrefutable evidence of the Great Creator? How much proof would be enough to substantiate your faith—one, two, three or more miracles to be sure, you understand.

Don’t reply too quickly. The answer might surprise you.

For many years I believed that you had to have faith in the Creator without any need of personal proof. After all, isn’t that what faith was all about? And that faith would some day pay off with some sort of proof—what kind I could not tell you.

I went with this faith or sorts, knowing some critical element was missing. It gnawed away inside me as I knew my faith in the universe was tenuous, bogus, and delusional at best. After all, how could you in good conscience have faith in some thing you have not yet experienced? It was stupid. You can talk yourself into believing what you want; rationalization is the great bromide for the weak. I wanted my belief system to work. I had burnt all my bridges with it in mind. I learned you cannot know the awe of great heights without also experiencing great depths; it is the duality of existence in which we live, which is the insight that gave Buddha the understanding that enlightenment lay in the middle path between extremes.

I had setbacks, but was not deterred. I was on a mission for the holy grail called my dharma, my passion, whatever that would turn out to be. I say this now, but could not have articulated it as clearly then.

Direct Knowing

So, one day, totally without warning, the miracle of art ignited and burned brightly with a flame that can never be extinguished. I had experienced an alternate state, a new way of knowing that transcended cognitive thoughts, ideas, and all socially conditioned conceptualizations. I had received a direct feed from the Cosmic MInd. My awareness of consciousness had evolved in a spark. This was firsthand information. This was a miracle. I was on the front lines and needed no one to tell me what I was experiencing or feeling. This was the power of the divine; and in that same swell of wonder, I took a deep breath, knowing that the true tests of faith would present themselves soon enough.

In the days, months, and years to come, would I stagger, or remain steadfast in my mission? Only time and my resolve would answer that question.

The Road to Zen

All this new information was intense and intoxicating. There were more questions. How, for example, did I manage to find my dharma if not by faith, I asked myself. The answer came without hesitation. It was not my faith in God that brought me to communion through art. I was after a life worth living, a quest that demanded a practical truth, which must be earned. Trust in my intuition, although at the time I couldn't have identified it, had held me together; intuition had been my field compass and protector on my odyssey.

But direction without velocity is entropy—a dead end. It was courage to act decisively when called that paved the way toward that oasis called faith—a feeling of emotional intelligence each one of us must prove to ourselves in the Zen tradition, which is, after all, firsthand intuitive knowing.

In retrospect, it is clear to me now after years in the trenches that intuition is the soul whispering the Creator's total and infallible comprehension of all things. A miracle is the catalyst for true faith. A blooming lotus flower, as Buddha taught, is no less miraculous than any other wondrous truth under heaven. Faith borne of proof is not a done deal as commitment is tested often and without advance notice. Great art flows from self-discipline and the faith to release one's original experience as truth.

If you need more than one miracle to support your faith, know that there will never be enough of them to do you any good because that level of faith will forever elude. Knowing this is power that you can use. I invite you to read Divine Fire and The Man with the Dog for my tales about faith, miracles, and character.

Remember, many are called; few choose to go.»

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