Opinion: Arts Invites us to Encounter Spirituality

Mahnoor Chaudhry

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A few days back, a question popped up in my mind “Do Spirituality And Arts Share Any Connection?” At that time, I thought maybe I think stupidly, or perhaps I think differently. To satisfy my curiosity, I share this question with a circle of artists or people who have a little grip on spirituality. This question was new to me. I was not aware of the fact that people had already talked much about it. Surprisingly, their answers were in favor that ‘‘yes, spirituality and art share some connections.’’

Let me quote the answers before I talk further about it.

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  • ‘‘Sometimes! My work is mostly about making my world a more pleasant place to be. I make fun things. For example, I added a Braille phrase to one of my face masks, “Read my lips,” because it’s amusing. — Carol Henshaw’’
  • ‘‘I am not an artist, thus I don’t know much I about it but I think yes, it shares a common attribute called “depth” — Emma’’
  • ‘‘I would argue that art is a form of spirituality. The act of creation, or bringing something from the vague netherworld of our imagination into this limited material world is, as they say, a labor of love. We might be able to dissect which parts of the brain function during a creative process, we might be able to analyze which neurons or nerve cells are firing, but as a poet, none of that actually explains to me the creative act in any satisfying way. Our word for the act, “inspiration,” comes from the Latin inspiratus, “to breathe into, inspire… drawing of air into the lungs.” There is an otherness to the creative act I can not explain. I open myself up and set my ego aside, and a vast difference fills me. I can’t explain where those ideas came from other than they weren’t there moments before. Prayer, mediation, those moments when we were able to quiet the chaos of the soul, all those acts feel the same. If that is not a form of spirituality, a connection with something bigger than myself, something illogical and unexplained, then perhaps I don’t know what spirituality is, but if that is the case it has been confusion that has brought me joy and peace for 30+ years and I’m okay with that. — Zachary Jean’’

Some more people share their views on the same topic in response to someone who asks, as I do.

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  • ‘‘Both originate from the heart. Those who perceive the world only through their intellect will soon find out that they can’t get anywhere in spiritual life. Artists have already got a taste of something which their intellect cannot explain but they are able to appreciate (otherwise there cannot be any art). So for any artist, the spiritual journey should be a lot easier than those who are stuck in their intellect. — Advaita Monk.’’
  • ‘‘Art is a bridge, a connection to one’s sense of Being… It is a devotion of One’s Spirituality of Gratitude of Being Alive! It is yet, One’s Contentedness, Connectedness, to something Superior, Superlative, and Creative — Equally, are even greater than oneself. Art is a form of Spirituality Expressed, and Spirituality is Art Unspoken. — Orion Xalanda’’
  • ‘‘Absolutely. I believe all true art is “inspired” and that comes from our spirit or from God’s Spirit... There is soulish art, which comes from the imagination, but it’s not heavenly, metaphorically speaking. It’s earthly, sensual, and even devilish. When we can be inspired by spirit and couple that with our imagination, then wow. That’s when we can really take off. — Karen Fulk.’’
Photo by Dan-Cristian Pădureț on Unsplash

Now it’s my turn to share my point of view. From the time this question popped up in my mind, deep inside my heart, I was in favor to support; yes, it shares! — because the question doesn’t arise without a reason. I might experience some connection while stroking on my canvas, or might be during the process of painting I feel something deeply, or might be it invites me to encounter spirituality. There is a background behind this query to appear in my mind. However, I was unfamiliar with the fact that artists already had discovered it. I was unfamiliar because I am not a professional artist. I am a self-taught artist and currently; I started giving myself some time to do the painting. Yet, I am on the way to reaching my destination but arts is unlocking lots of new ways to learn. I wish I reach my destination.

© 𝑀𝒶𝒽𝓃𝑜𝑜𝓇 𝒞𝒽𝒶𝓊𝒹𝒽𝓇𝓎

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