What is art? Is it usually stereotyped to the beautiful creation of artists, poets and musicians? What really determines the aesthetic beauty of works of art? These questions haven’t been plaguing my mind but I erupted like a volcano when a friend brought up the topic of syncretism and beauty.
I used an illustration to voice out my opinion: Imagine the influences religion has on an average believer, what happens if said believer gets exposed to various religious systems, having gotten tired of his “righteous” upbringing, he/she takes nibbles from these new religions, mixes up beliefs and thus becomes a walking library or a beautiful piece of art.
It is kinda like you’re trying to build a car and you get the wheels from Hyundai, the engine from Tesla, and other core body parts from various OEMs and car manufacturers. The car would look different from other cars, and as soon as you get it running and user-friendly, you know that you have created a working piece of art. It is kinda like God making a human body and he decides to give the man an elephant head (hey Lord Ganesha) and some goat feet (is that great God Pan?). Just picture a man with various animal body parts and you get the picture I’m trying to portray. This picture doesn’t fit the normal classification of humans and the truth is, such art aren’t supposed to.
Let’s take a walk down the history of art, and we find Avante-Garde among the classes of art. This odd class sprung up as irregular works of art: it appealed to the rebellious artists, the bored generation that had war minded parents and close minded teachers. Eventually, this it found its representation in books, movies, and entertainment.
The idea now is when you syncretize ideas, you might actually look like a fool. People will ask you what the hell you’re trying to create, yet as soon as you get it working, they would be first in line to ask for your autograph. Our current generation has a deep pool of knowledge to draw from – from the past misdeeds of our glorified saviors to the expected success of the unborn generation, we can actually create something that looks weird and stupid (at first) – something that works better than the conventional crap that is slammed down our throats.
Having used simple illustrations to explain the creative art of mixing up ideas, my friend got stuck onto the religious part and said there was only one belief system that worked – the system of Jesus. This idea, I didn’t refute, not because he was totally right, but because I knew that he couldn’t bear the idea of syncretism. He knew only one way of creating art – the traditional way – and the idea of beautiful things coming out of “madmen” scared him.
I didn’t refute him but I laid the foundation for the breaking down of his walls by illustrating how crazy Jesus was (I call Jesus crazy cause I admire him). The starter of Christianity was a madman that did things differently. In the depths of his heart was love, yet he broke down a lot of the old structures that held his people down. He created a piece of art that turned the world upside down. Even though we know that the foundation of the modern gospel isn’t what the revolutionary leader planned but the important thing is that his art worked. Women, children and men flocked around him because he saw things differently, did his teachings sound like the Buddha’s or some oriental shamanist?
The main point to note is that his art was beautiful and it still is and although there are fake copies that have made modern man like the hypocritical people of ancient Judea, yet there are truths to be found in his original “Mona Lisa”.
We know one thing for sure, art is imitation (or theft). Whether Jesus’s message sounded like a moralist or a traditional healer in Siberia, I’m telling you that you can build upon the message (no, not the one that the church preaches, they’re just a bunch of blind people claiming that they see the light), you can read the teachings yourself and apply it to your life in a beautiful work of art. Yes! You can mix it up with your idea of God, the duality of sexes, the brilliance of our sexual energy and what not and create something that works for you in this blind world.
Wanna hear the truth? Nobody knows it. We’re just clinging onto the light we think we see and running with it. So my advice dear ones, it is okay to find the truth and run with it. Eventually, we all have to get to the point where we worship in spirit and in truth. Not the worship at Jerusalem (Master Yahweh!!!), not the worship at Mecca (ALLAH!!!) nor the worship at Mount Kailash (hey dad!) or at the temples we’ve built, the true worship would be found within; in the unification of spirits, yeah yeah, it sounds like a new age propaganda already but look deeper into your scriptures (whether you an atheist or a gnostic or an agnostic) and you will find that we’re all asking questions that have already been answered. I’m only here to narrow down the search process.
There is nothing new underneath the earth; the answers we seek takes on different faces at different times in our history, yet the answer is the same.
I’d end with the words of Jesus: “There is only one way to the Father, and it is only through me. Yet my Father is greater than I am, for without him I cannot do anything”. The same goes with our creativity and ideas, without the connection to the source, we cannot do anything yet to get to the source, there is only one way, one way that has become many, yet still maintains its singularity.