We Live in Two Worlds

Excerpt from the Book.

We live in two worlds.  The first world is a realm of constantly changing forms, colours, sounds and perceptions. It is a pure realm consisting of pure perception and pure appearance. It is the kaleidoscopic manifestation of primordial, pure presence. This world is joyous, blissful and unutterably beautiful.

Overlaid on this pure realm is a second world, a virtual world, that we call daily life. It is the world of work, suffering, triumph, defeat, banality, and drama. This second world is an artificial one which we have created by solidifying the brilliant, fluid panorama of the first world into a world of frozen objects. We do this by projecting permanence where there is none and separateness where there is an undivided, non-dual landscape.

Occasionally, there are cracks, or gaps, in the production of our virtual world and we catch glimpses of the pure realm beneath. The momentum of our habitual patterns soon reasserts itself, though, and we are swept up again by our dramas.

The practices of authentic spiritual traditions are designed to cut through the speedy productions of the virtual world and reintroduce us to the authentic world hidden behind our projections. By strengthening our ability to enter and remain in the first world, we become the master of both worlds and live more fully and authentically. We learn to see the virtual world for the mirage that it is and become better able to play with its illusions without being caught up in them.

Art can be an authentic spiritual path and through playing with illusions we begin to see through them and become their master. Of all the arts, abstract art is perhaps the most pure because it doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is. Through engaging with abstraction we learn to see how perception constructs patterns out of abstract forms and colours.

The images in this catalogue are not simply decorations for walls, they are objects of meditation.  It is my hope that, through meditating on and contemplating the paintings, the reader will be brought back to the state of his or her original, ecstatic nature: primordial, pure presence — and that this presence will be a constant guide and companion in the readers life.

Once we realize that this pure presence manifests in the form of everything and every one, true empathy and compassion is born and we learn to care for others as if they were our own limbs. We are all the eyes, ears, noses, tongues, skin and forms of the same nameless being.

From the coffee table book Ornaments of Pure Presence.

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