Death Valley I – Dimension
33” x 45” Mixed media on canvas 1984
This is the first studio painting done after the “Nothingness” experience.
(Its development is described in more detail at the beginning
of the “Artist Statement” on my art website.)
When the thought came, like a fresh breeze as I was out painting the landscape that day, little did I realize that one thought—a thought comprised of just two words—would have the power to change my whole approach to painting, and, more importantly, change my life. The words that I heard clearly in my mind, as everything else in me stood still as if startled and in awe of these two unexpected guests, simply said, “Imagine nothingness.” I immediately stopped painting and put my brush down. My mind began to clear as a deep stillness grew, becoming more peaceful, more all-encompassing. The deepest core of my sense of self rested in that nurturing stillness. A few moments passed and when I opened my eyes, I was startled to find myself looking out at a world bathed in brilliant light—a world filled with an intensity of life I had never experienced before—all arising from this contrast with nothingness. This sense of nothingness held in my mind became like a backdrop for this dynamic landscape. Curiously the awareness of both realities continued to exist as I finished the painting.
The beauty of all this is that this experience did not leave, though fading now and then. And that sense of a void or nothingness developed over time into a clear experience of two distinct realities—the more limited time/space dimension of physical forms held and permeated by the changeless dimension of this vast living void. And awareness could encompass both.
Much time has gone by since then and one of the biggest changes in my life is a growing appreciation for and awareness of God’s Presence (which some people prefer to call by other names.) At moments I can have very lucid experiences of God in and as all things, and I was delighted to discover that when I was focusing my attention on opening to deeper revelations of God’s presence and I would close my eyes and go into the Nothingness, God would be easily experienced there, in that deep changeless stillness. And all which arose within me as my eyes were closed was experienced with complete equanimity and with the deepest acceptance since all vibration—all manifestation, all living energy was seen as God.
And a particularly astounding part of this is that when I open my eyes, while still holding the Nothingness as a backdrop to this world in my mind, and look out upon this time/space dimension, because I am holding the perspective that all is God, and because of the contrast to Nothingness, all the forms are seen as incredible and so miraculous. They are seen as God manifesting—Divine Consciousness “playfully” dancing into form—Cause and effect are seen as one! And perhaps the most intimate and startling revelation of all is that my very physical existence—every cell and molecule, down to the DNA, down to the very center of my life and extending out and beyond to my vast formless, spiritual Self—everything I can call “myself”—it all is sensed as God!
Come play in this field of Divine Nothingness with me. Let’s find out how glorious It is and how big we are and how miraculous life is together!
Love and blessings,