“At the back of our brains, so to speak, there is a forgotten blaze or burst of astonishment at our own existence. The object of the artistic and spiritual life is to dig for this submerged sunrise of wonder.”
(G K Chesterton)
I was reading John O’Donohue’s lovely book about Celtic spirituality and friendship, Anam Cara – the part where he talks so eloquently about exploring the soul in soft candlelight merging the edges, not the 21st century operating theatre glare where everything is defined and isolated – and found myself just totally mellow, with a sense of complete connection and oneness, like falling in love. I had let myself drop down into that place within, guided by John’s beautiful words – a place which is always there but not often visited.
I tried to explain this to someone but my words were clunky and I was reminded of the verse in the Tao Te Ching – ‘those who talk don’t know; those who know, don’t talk’. But how could John O’Donohue’s words affect me so profoundly and yet my words were so inadequate. Perhaps because John wrote from that creative sweet spot himself and I was a receptive audience – neither of which were in place when I spoke of it later.
The Arts Show us the Way
Creatives show us the way and that is why the arts are so important. We cannot all be Picasso but we all have our own ways to find that sweet spot within – through our work, going on a pilgrimage, soaking in a bath, walking in nature, sharing love through caring or everyday kindnesses, caring for our grandchildren – we just have to find it and recognise it so we can do it more often. This is everyday spirituality and no-one has more access to it than anyone else. For some, the sweet spot is through practising their faith in the churches and temples but the gardener can be equally connected tilling the earth, the accountant finding joy and connection in numbers, the plumber in resolving watery problems and doing a good job.
How to Access More
The key is to do more of what we know heals and connects us. And in addition, spend some time each day in quiet mode to learn to listen to the whispers of this inner wisdom, inner knowing, God within, Divine Spirit – whatever you want to call this connection. Like any muscle, things improve with use. If you are familiar with meditation or mindfulness, start a practice and drop down into quiet as often as you can – on a daily basis, minimum 20 minutes is great. If you are not familiar with these practices, then join an online group – plenty available in this time of lockdown. Good luck and most of all, have fun!
Artists and creatives of all sorts are so incredibly important to the spiritual health of our world – they show us the way. We all benefit from their commitment to their calling. Please support funding of the arts where you can.
Interested in Meditation?
There is a weekday early morning meditation offered through this website. If you would like to join us, just sign up and tune in between 8:20 – 8:30am each weekday morning.