The Healing Power of Art
Posted on June 16, 2010 at 4:41 am
Thirty Five Thousand years ago, the ice age caves of Southern France were covered in beautiful images of wild animals and abstract symbols. Since that time, the ancestors of these painters have produced the Mona Lisa, Sufi poetry, and Rock and Roll. The story of Homo Sapien has been, in large measure, a story of art—of the language needed to express it and the technology necessary to make it move.
Fundamentally, we are energetic beings, waves of electrical charges, cooled into embodiment; congealed organic structures; solid objects of nature. Our mind/bodies buzz as our internal energy systems resonate with the electrical fields beyond our physical limits in a great cosmic dance. Looking deeply within, we see cellular plasma, microscopic gunk. But deeper, at the nano level, we are mostly “No-thing”. Empty space, chaotic yet paradoxically patterned gatherings of vibratory forms.
While at ease, the wave flow is powerful and smooth, pulsing in sync with our natural rhythms, winding through imperceptible channels that give rise to healthy structures which then secrete biochemicals, generate electricity, and pump fluids that contain universally charged and ingested particles. When dis-eased, flow is uneven and weak, jammed up in some places, overexcited in others, creating a frictional drag on our systems. The difference between these two states is rooted in both the scarcity or abundance of available energy and the bodies ability to assimilate it.
One of the great expenders/depleters of this energy is the labor intensive work of “I Maintenance”. Bound through evolutionary determination to our senses of self, our “I-ness”, we navigate the world. From the vantage point of this self center of the cosmos we defend ourselves against dangers both real and imagined. And after constructing these defenses, we find ourselves alone, behind fortress walls, separated and distant from the world. Starved for connection and cut off from the bountiful energy that surrounds us, we feed on ourselves, cannibals drinking our own lifes blood, searching desperately for sources of sustenance. Alcohol, drugs, potato chips, television–all just empty calories and stimulants that create short term illusions of vitality, numbing the pain and suffering of self absorption, and almost always followed by a hangover.
So how do we free ourselves from this oppression, from the tyranny of the “I”. Where do we find the strength needed for this task? By opening ourselves to the power that surrounds us, an internal field is generated in which the “I” can merge with and finally dissolve into the “All”.
Creativity, arts engine, is a process whereby cortical consciousness connects with its deeper unconscious state, opening a conduit through which ideas and images flow. The work of art produced, through the hands, heart, and mind of the artist, then takes on its own vibrational pattern which exists independently of its creator. Great art is marked by its capacity to spontaneously awaken us by blowing holes through the psychic barriers that separate our inner and outer realms. The subsequent transmission and absorption of these powerful patterns then serves to replenish our depleted energetic stores.
In addition to the inherent energy of the art objects themselves is the power of the artistic process to enable both creator and observer to focus deeply, to effectively close out thought. Buried in the spaces between thoughts are modes of connection, intrapsychic bonds, that hold untapped potential. But we cannot access these sources because of the noisy chatter that obstructs our awareness. As the spaces of emptiness expand within us, the bonds between self and no-self are stretched, then shattered, releasing energies beyond the strength of will. Through the artistic silence of creation, appreciation, and focus we are able to harness the power necessary to “not be”.
So naturally, throughout time, our species has been drawn into this process. A vehicle of both transcendance and pleasure, art celebrates beauty and the immolation of self in an emptiness that human beings have sought since we awakened into consciousness.
So what heals us? Chiropractic adjustments, exercise, Acupuncture needles? Antibiotics and surgery? None really. Each modality opens a channel, clears the way so that the energy that swirls around and within us can move through us, lighting up our cells, resonating with our deepest frequencies, raising us. This is healing– the bathing of our bodies, minds, and souls in pure light, the energy of the cosmos. And the vehicles that open our energetic gates are the healing ways. But they are not the healing.
Every spiritual tradition utilizes some form of art—sound, movement, painting—to clear an opening for healing energy to flow. Gregorian chants, Church bells, Balinese dance, Tibetan Thanka painting. Even the repetetive, rhythmic focus of prayer and meditation generates musical vibrations. Why do people shout “I am healed” as the Gospel music pulses behind them, as they sway in ecstatic motion? Because they have opened themselves to the Universal (God to them) Force and it is this force that heals.
If we desire true healing, and want to address our illnesses at every level, we need to access the deep healing energy within us all. This is the medicine to be taken beside or instead of those traditional Allopathic remedies we are taught to depend upon. The activation of these energies through art allows and supports the healing of all of our bodily systems, connecting us to the great unity, and consecrating as holy the ground of our being.