that which is loved is beautiful. . . . The necessary
essence of art is Love. . . . Love must be the mother
of the arts, not architecture, not structure, not function.
True art always involves the observer in the participatory
gesture of being, or what we call love.
of the purposes of art have been lost. The arts, traditionally,
were not a means of self-expression. All the arts were forms
of ritual, or service to the community. There were dancers,
painters, singers, sculptors, people who would recite, people
who wrote stories, but they didnít do these things merely to
express themselves. They did them because all the arts were
presumed to have a function within the community. An individual
would study to become proficient in any one of the arts, if
he or she had the talent for it, and the talent was proven.
Then that person could go on and spend his or her life doing
this kind of work.
general, the community in which an individual lived had a formula,
a consideration, an idol, a history. It had a spectrum in which
a person could operate as an artist. What a person was to do
ó letís say, for instance, as a painter ó was pre-established,
including the techniques to be used and the images to be created.
Therefore, the individual had to transcend himself or herself
to learn the art.
or she would submit to a master ó not a Spiritual Master necessarily,
but generally a master of the craft ó and would be schooled
in the ďcultĒ of the art. The artist would learn the tradition,
the limits, the techniques, and the purposes of art in that
culture. By submitting to this demand of the culture in general,
the individual transcended his or her own self-possessed motivation.
The apprentice was not permitted to paint or to sing or to play
an instrument until the master could profess to the community
that the individual had prepared to the degree that he or she
could now serve the community. Not only had the artist learned
all the techniques, not only did he or she know how to awaken
in others the imagery to which that culture was devoted, but
the individual had mastered self in the process, had become
responsible for himself or herself.
one looks through time, however, the arts cease to have a cultural
purpose that is acknowledged to be necessary. They become mere
entertainments.They become a way of expressing oneís self, oneís
contents. From this point of view, thereís no culture, no center,
no society, no necessity to what the artist does. He or she
communicates the failure of the social order, the failure of
the demands within an art to represent an obligation to transcend
oneís self, to master oneís self, and to provide something within
the social order that is valued by others, that has intrinsic
value ó fundamental value thatís not just decoration, but thatís
part of the sacred purpose of the community.
exist in a time when thereís no cultural necessity to the arts.
Theyíre secondary to daily life. The arts donít have any necessity
in the social order.
was originally a sacred activity, generated within a sacred
even apart from those aspects of a culture that one might specifically
call sacred, thereís another fundamental subject of art, which
is beauty ó to portray it, to represent it, to present something
that is in fact beautiful or found to be beautiful by people.
the sense of what is actually beautiful has also been lost.
idea of what is beautiful has been reduced to something about
the appearance of some one or some thing. Much of contemporary
art is basically an effort to construct something based on some
system. If the purpose is to make something beautiful, itís
a matter of creating some object or performance thatís consistent
and consistently applies some principles, perhaps even achieves
some sort of balance between various forms or elements. In other
words, the notion of what is beautiful has been reduced to the
structure of something, or its appearance.
commonly said that architecture is the mother of the arts. This
suggests that structure is the basis of anything that can be
called art. But the beautiful is certainly a fundamental subject
of the arts.
where something apparently ugly was represented traditionally,
even that object or performance was somehow mysteriously associated
with the feeling of the beautiful.
is something beautiful then? What is a beautiful subject?
that which is loved is beautiful.
form, however comely, however it may conform to some system
of structure, is truly beautiful, if itís not also loved.
traditional subjects of the arts ó of the representational arts
for instance, like sculpture or painting ó were beings: gods
or spiritual figures, personages commonly known in the society
in which the art was produced. Or they were images of the world,
perhaps, in the case of Nature paintings. But the subject was
something, generally, for which any viewer could feel love.
When Nature became a subject of art, it was on the basis of
feeling God in Nature, loving Nature, not just seeing trees
and sky and mountains.
The necessary essence of art is Love.
depends on the ability of the viewers of any object or performance
to feel love relative to the process or object that is presented
to them. The work of art must in some way or other generate
this feeling, this attitude, this gesture ó even if it is something
as seemingly simple as a finely made pot. It must evoke somehow
this participatory feeling. If it frustrates it, or doesnít
allow it, or doesnít even try to invoke it, then itís not really
art invites participation, and itís part of a cultural exercise.
All art originally came out of the temple, or the religious
culture, the sacred culture of the past. The art was used. There
are high forms of art that were used within the ceremonial practices
of various societies, past and present. There were other objects
that were utilitarian, but were, like pots, designed in such
a way that they created continuity between the temple life,
or the ceremonial life, and daily life. Individuals in these
cultures were expected to constantly participate in the Divine
Process. Even objects in daily use were designed to create that
continuity. Theyíre what we call crafts, even though theyíre
very beautiful. They were considered high art if they had this
ceremonial purpose, if they were part of the sacred participation
of everyone who would gather on certain occasions.
much of the art of the last several centuries has been moving
in a totally different direction, not in the direction of participation,
but in the direction of abstract viewing, ownership, and egoic
indulgence. A lot of modern art is part of the ego-based consciousness
of secular society.
you examine the last hundred years or so, youíll see that thereís
a lot of anti-art. Much of it is self-consciously trying to
be anti-art, non-art, or trying to violate structural principles,
or abandon structural principles that were considered necessary
this point of view, to be doing art means to simply be doing
it somehow differently, to be inventive in a different way than
people felt obliged to be before. The process has become largely
one of dealing with structure, being inventive with structures
of one kind or another, in all kinds of ways, using some system
for making these constructs, or using no system at all, or creating
something thatís opposed to a standard system.
obsessive involvement with inventiveness relative to structure
is not the essence of art, but it has become, in general, the
primary preoccupation of modern art. The characteristic of modern
art is that itís specifically nonreligious. Most artists are
not spiritually oriented, and their art is not a spiritual practice.
in those cases where modern art may achieve a form thatís comely
or conforms to a system, even where it creates some sort of
balanced presentation that conforms to some degree
to some previous academic system of how forms are supposed to
be generated, even if it fulfills those expectations or rules,
itís not true art if it doesnít evoke or invoke this participation
on the part of viewers ó if itís not associated directly with
I would say that love must be the mother of the arts, not architecture,
not structure, not function. True art always involves the observer
in the participatory gesture of being, or what we call love.
art frustrates the participatory gesture, or even avoids that
entirely, it degrades the viewer. It calls for non-participation.
of modern art frustrates all possible participation, often even
intentionally. Or itís reduced to a functional performance,
inventiveness relative to structure somehow.This is not sufficient
for true art.
Avatar Adi Da Samraj
art heals. True art restores equanimity. Art must regenerate
the sense of well-being. Thatís its true purpose. When art is
really useful, itís devoted to that purpose, not limited to
a specific system. But whichever system is used, it must serve
this ultimate process of healing, well-being, higher sympathy,
and spiritual awakening.
the twentieth century, thereís a lot of experimentation going
on with artistic media ó along the lines of science, actually
ó devoted to the mere plastic manipulation of media, just as
science tends to devote individuals to the plastic manipulation
of themselves as elemental beings. It doesnít allow those higher
aspects of existence, which are acknowledged in the sacred culture.
the sacred culture is lost, and the materialistic culture replaces
it, then even the arts ó which ultimately, or traditionally,
had a sacred purpose ó get reduced to the same vision. This
materialistic vision has possessed the arts. Art has been reduced
to plastic experimentation and the introduction of the orientation
of arbitrariness. What comes out of that is dissonance, or the
loss of equanimity. If you can see this, then it purifies you,
perhaps, and awakens you to be devoted to great purpose.
sacred purpose and orientation of humankind has gradually been
lost during the last several centuries, as we have entered the
age of technology and materialistic scientism.
even the arts exhibit this loss of the sacred. First, you lose
religion, and then the arts become degraded. We moved from the
classic era into the romantic era into the plastic era, and
weíre in this plastic era now. All the fields of human endeavor
are basically devoted at the present time to the mood of scientific
materialism, and the apparent creativity of the sheerly plastic
arts of human existence.
the artist is a sacred performer. The true artist must be this.
He or she must do that magic act that causes others to participate
in manifest reality in the sacred sense, or the sense of love,
in the sense of self-transcendence, of ecstasy.
the culture and politics of human beings are harmonious, when
they involve sacred association, then the true artist appears.And
he or she must go through a trial, an ordeal of learning and
transcending self, locating the mysterious creative process
that transcends his or her own egoity.
the artist has done this, then his or her performance, or whatever
he or she makes, becomes valuable to others. The artist is not
whatís valuable, although he or she may be honored. Itís his
or her work thatís valuable. Often, true artists didnít even
leave signatures, or identify themselves along with what they
art is a sacred performance, an act of love. And sacred performance
can only occur in a sacred setting, a sacred culture, a sacred
society. Ultimately, the artist must associate people with the
sacred, must invoke in them that capacity to participate in
reality thatís about self-transcendence, love, Divine Communion.
loss of the ability to use art, true art, is one of the regrettable
aspects of modern civilization. Itís part of the whole development
of materialistic thinking.
in a society thatís relatively secularized, the beautiful, at
least, must be fundamental to art. And a society thatís complete
in the cultural sense adds to the beautiful the sacred dimension,
the spiritual dimension.
the sacred is absent, then the best art can do is meditate on
the beautiful and bring people to feel that. But there is nothing
beautiful without love.
much of modern art is just design. Again, the reference to architecture
is significant. Design is certainly an aspect of art, whatever
art form is involved, but itís not the end phenomenon. Itís
not the essential principle. Itís only part of the craft of
artist must learn his or her craft and then must be able to
do that mysterious something that connects the viewer with the
Divine Reality, or the Numinous Reality, the spiritual feeling
associated with loving, and with experiencing feelings that
go beyond the contracted state of life ó as you do when youíre
in love with someone.
you love is beautiful, whatever his or her physical attributes.
Itís the love that makes the person beautiful. Itís only because
you love that you can truly feel this.
is beautiful whom you love, but there is also an extraordinary
beauty potential in the love-relationship. Itís about human
beings transformed by loving and being loved, not only in terms
of their human relatedness, but also in terms of their spiritual
beings who love one another, and who are in love, and who love,
whose life practice is that of love, live in Divine Communion.
no great art without the sacred. Thereís no true art without
the beautiful. For there to be the sacred, there must be the
ability to participate spiritually in Reality, beyond self.
Great art must be associated with the Divine. And for something
to be beautiful, there must be love. And for this, there must
be a culture of love, because all art objects are somehow generalized
for everyone to observe. The subject must be, somehow or other,
something that anyone, in general, could love.
the ability of an art form to evoke the feeling of love in you,
you cannot find it to be beautiful.
should permit and invite self-transcendence. True art is not
merely the product of a hero or a heroine who is able to transcend
himself or herself and create something which is then to be
passively admired by others.
in an art form should be a great exercise that enables you to
transcend yourself. True art has a purpose for others, not merely
a purpose for the artist.
in an art form should be at least as great an occupation as
the creation of an art form.
must be able to participate in Reality, participate in the Divine,
participate in the Sacred.
should dance. You should sing. You should become ecstatic. You
should go beyond your self. Participate in art. Donít just look
at it. Donít just see that itís there. Donít just know that
should change you.
the whole purpose of it.