Another Side Of Van Gogh

I feel like I know Van Gogh like a friend or a brother. I’ve literally studied his art in museums around the globe. Examined his brush strokes and how he layered paint in ways to give depth and dimension through colors, thickness and contrast. How his work looks different up close as it does from a distance. I’ve read books on his life that went into great detail about his nature, upbringing, friends and family.
How Van Gogh searched at an early age to give something special to the world. Not in an ego fashion but from his heart. And how he attempted to become a Priest but was not successful in the ministry. He then decided to become an accomplished artist in his early twenties, which is a very late time to start in life. He began by studying, drawing and painting many of the contemporary and past Masters of his time. He immersed himself in it. Once he felt he had learned enough, he then embraced his own style and endeavored in that with passion. We wanted to be unique, original.
He wasn’t someone that explained himself or went out of his way to correct others misconceptions about him or his work. Because of that he was looked at as being arrogant and rude by some critics and reporters who attempted to interview him. He could see very clearly though, if the person interviewing him could appreciate his vision and how his style captured that vision of his, in his paintings. If someone only viewed his work in a classical sense of proportion, alignment and symmetry then he knew there mindset was stuck in a fascade of perfection that wasn’t part of his vision. He looked to show the broken in a way that showed the heart and love in life with a depth that words couldn’t capture.
He didn’t bother to explain that to critics who didn’t see it and looked past it for something else as he knew that they were closed minded and stuck in what they thought they knew.
Van Gogh, through his choice of colors, contrast and asymetry, accentuated and punctuated feelings of anguish, disenchantment, failure and the road less traveled or glorified and took those feelings and expressed them with his art in a way that many could connect to with there soul.
He took despair in paint and brush and showed beauty in an uncanny way. The same way Mother Theresa found love through compassion in the streets of Calcutta tending to the dying, diseased and decay and how a song about loss, pain and hurt can express those emotions in a heart felt way.
Seeing that parralel in our own life through art, music and so on can show how our shame, guilt and despair, if cultivated in loving hands can be fertilizer for our soul. Which often creates an alchemy from pain and hurt to grattitude and thanks that makes us feel whole.
Van Gogh spoke to his brother Theo about a critics review of art work he had shown in a gallery of his work in Paris. In it he was so excited writing to Theo. He wasn’t excited because the review was necessarily good, rather in his own words he said that the critic “he gets it”. Finally the press and the public were starting to see and feel his work and sense his passion rather then view it in a contemporary mindset that put his vision in a box, so to say.
Toward the end of Van Goghs life he lived in the South of France. He lived in a small Shanty and sold his art work to pay for his boarding and food.
He had become friends with Gauguin in Paris and he would come out and visit Van Gogh from time to time in the South.
Gauguin was very self flattering and narcistic. He had a cruel edge of indifference to his ego that he used on Van Gogh. Van Gogh was enamored by him though and felt flattered to call him his friend. Gauguin exploited that and often further undermined Van Goghs already low self esteem. Deep down Gauguin felt threatened by Van Gogh as he wanted to be thought of as the most famous artist of his time but Van Goghs humble nature and talent threatened Gauguins ego.
As always, Van Gogh didn’t blame or explain things to people. He left others ignorance to themself and didn’t bother himself attempting to challenge it. He simply ignored or dismissed them which was taken by them as being rude and insulting when in actuality it was quite the opposite. There arrogance and self proclaimed knowledge prevented them from ever seeing past there ego to witness Van Goghs unparalleled vision in his art.
Van gogh, in letters to his friend and physician Dr Paul Gatchet, would tell him how Gauguin would often cut his hair and in doing so would be in a mania telling stories of his exploits and perceptions. Which Van Gogh enjoyed. It was, I believe, a place of bonding and intimacy that Van Gogh often yearned for in life but rarely had.
I believe in a manic and frenetic display of emotion while cutting Van Goghs hair, Gauguin cut Van Goghs ear. Van Gogh being the person he was never mentioned the truth of the matter and took responsibility for Gauguins grandiose and immature behavior.
Van Gogh had a ritual each day of carrying his easel and art supplies miles into the woods looking for an opportune location to paint. He returned routinely at a certain time for his evening meal and one evening he didn’t return. It wasn’t till the next morning he arrived with a gunshot wound to his abdomen. He explained to the police that it was self inflicted and he left the weapon were he fell by his easel.
The police; however, never found the weapon by his easel when they searched the area. He died a few days later and the Police were unconvinced of his story and listed the cause of death as undetermined.
It’s suggested in certain circles that a young hunter mistook Van Gogh for a deer and shot him. Van Gogh supposedly dismissed the lad and in his own style, accepted the blame as his own.
I’m not insinuating that Van Gogh was without Mental Health issues and maybe difficult to engage but I believe we all have Mental Health issues and that’s why we go to church, look for a soulmate or have a job to simply do more then pay the bills but give us a sense of self worth.
If we think of that paradigm of thought as we all are broken and maybe our purpose in life is to embrace our broken and create, with Gods help, our own art in life. Seeing how we all are trudging our way on the road to Damascus might be cathartic in seeing our own hurt and pain as the brush and paint we create our masterpiece with.

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Coming Around

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    “Don’t pray for a easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one” Bruce Lee

An experience is needed to gain awareness. A lack of awareness is needed to have and experience.
That metaphorically embraces the idea of a circle that leeds from one to another. In seeing that circle the idea of good and bad or a sense of accomplishment or failure is erased and instead a path that steers its own way can be seen.
So the dark is what allows the light and the lost is what allows something to be found. So to does awakening require a dream and enlightenment need an illusion.
Being or the circle is without a thought thinking it is. So in letting go of the thought, the circle comes back to itself. The circle can’t help but find itself as it is, as it is and not as some illusion in thought thinks it is. So thought doesn’t give way to being, as being always is. Thought, though, eventually isn’t and that end of thought is perceived in either fear of what it isn’t or acceptance of what it is. If “I ” doesn’t see that it is only a thought and not, what is, then when the dissolution of thought or what “I” thinks it is occurs, it will be met with fear because “I”, ego or self is only to the thought that thinks it. Once mind no longer thinks, then “I” isn’t. So having awareness of being, in the quiet of no mind, is what gives a peace beyond any understanding of what “I” thinks.
A letting go of thought, to be, then can be looked at as the creation of our fear. As we see that fear for the making of what it isn’t but thinks it is, we then can see the fear of letting go as the natural course of life or being and in that surrender we can be without fear of losing what we think we are. In that letting go, what is, simply is and nothing dies that is real.
Our life operates on many levels of awareness and unawareness. Being able to become aware of what we are unaware of increases our ability to relate to life and not the paradigms of thought, that create a false reality, we think in as good and bad. Seeing the circle of life and the contrast our thinking creates in our perception of reality can help us alter our reality by the way we perceive it.
There is a depth to our peception that is unmeasurable. That can be thought of, to the mind that thinks it, as a problem that can never be solved or it can be seen as a light that can shine without an end in duration, intensity and distance. To see that infinity of possibilities rather than a frustration in thought is based on the ability one has to let go of thought. That construct of letting go is a practice of challenging oneself to let go instead of hold onto what one thinks and in that exercise a strength to perceive what one can’t imagine is achieved.
It isn’t difficult to prove there is a infinity to our perception of life and a infinity of perceptions to percieve that infinity in. It is endless in anyway “I” thinks it in. To simply see, has an infinity to its depth. How far we can see into the Universe or our own mind? The only limiy to either is the one we set. What ever we are perceiveing we can always take it to another level. Challenging ourselves to become aware of the levels of awareness we are unaware of is a process that expands as we do it. The thought that clings to what “I” thinks, is held by the mind that thinks it, with fear. Seeing that fear in that light creates an awakening to the infinity of the intelligence of life. A door we didn’t know was there and by letting go of what we think or our fear, we then walk through that door.
So as the fear of what ever we think we are, is being experienced in a sense of loss; by letting go of that fear and embracing reality or life, we then are on the precipice of awareness or the circle coming back to iteslf. An experience awakening to awareness.

COMPASSION FOR LUCIPHER

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  “The Devil is in all of us, especially when we think we are right” TFG

   To be right, someone else has to be wrong. To think of our self as virtuous then someone else has to be sinister. To consider oneself generous then another has to be a miser. Each side of the coin is owned by the mind that thinks it and in that power is the creation of Heaven and Hell.

                        The Master and Margarita, “And who are you after all? — I am part of the power which forever wills evil and forever works good.” Goethe’s Faust

   In that awareness it is reasonable to deduce that one is so the other can be. I am so Being can exist. Being, presence, consciousness, duality or what ever pseudonym fits your thinking is because a thought that isn’t, thinks it is. Awareness can only exist in a illusion that thinks it is.

     That concept of thinking points to a staggering waterfall most people do not want to go over, so not letting thought be seen in a overwhelming awareness is soothing because of its ignorance.

    Realizing though that there is a reflection that allows one to be perceived in a consciousness of thought is palpable without necessarily loosing the identity of “I Am” or who you think you are in a Ocean of omission. That is to say you can allow yourself to come close to the edge without going over and see that there is something beyond anything you can know. There is a oneness that cannot be known that “I AM” perceives in a limited understanding of mind. And in that awareness it is possible to see that everything that could ever be imagined is in the mind that thinks it.

    It’s when we build a wall of thought between what we think is and what we are, that we then create a division in us that allows for a thought to be and that separation between being and the  thought thinking it is, is the wall that blocks us from what we truly are. That minuet thought of initial separation is what creates us and them. By seeing Hitler in us in the small things or a man torn between a pledge to Rome and the death of a man who spreads love is how we can see in our judging of others how we all killed The Kennedy’s and in that compassion we don’t point a finger or raise our voice. We become still and see inside our self the world about us.

    The Devil lives in “I AM” thinking it isn’t capable of a horror like genocide or uncaring enough to take the word of Love and smother it on a cross. By denying the Evil of our past in our self we create the Hell of today.

   There is a fear deep inside us that lives in a thought that isn’t real and we are afraid to uncover it and we rather leave it be then look at it and see it for what it is. By leaving it to be though we allow it to control us in ways we unconsciously don’t see. In that ignorance is the birth of the Evil we ignore in a way we think of as being right.

  We don’t have to understand that balance. All “I AM” has to do is see it and in seeing it, that thought that is buried down deep is seen for the hollow meaningless thought of what it isn’t but thinks it is. In that awareness infinity is, as everything has a depth that cannot be known. What ever we experience on the outside is from the inside.

   If knowing has a virtue that can be held in a thought. it might be that we all are capable of the horror we think we couldn’t be. In that surrender to what we think, we let go of the thought that clings to our mind like a leach to a vein. We suddenly be with out a need to think.

  We cannot live in the utopia of non-duality but we can practice stillness inside us that helps us to navigate outside us. In that vision of a compass, we are not destined to a path controlled by what our mind thinks but rather an intelligence that is beyond anything known.

MIND IS AFRAID TO WAKE UP because if it does, then it no longer is

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  “It maybe helpful to let go of the idea that God has somehow screwed up and needs your help and involvement, or that of a Sage, to set things right. What is, cannot but be the perfect unfolding in consciousness. And if an adjustment is needed to maintain the cosmic balance, some ‘one’, perhaps “you”, will be irresistibly motivated to perform an action which will serve that purpose. And that to will be the perfect unfolding. Just don’t take it personally. David Carse. Perfect Brilliant Stillness

Awareness doesn’t necessarily make you feel “good”. It merely is, seeing what is, without thinking in a way to distort what is. It is often easy to look at the circumstances in life as being good or bad and in that construct of thinking the mind thinks over the dynamic quality of life and creates a seesaw effect that we either feel one way or the other depending on what “I” thinks. The idea of good or bad are merely figments of mind or thought, thinking it knows what reality is and in that distorted perception exists a Heaven and a Hell.

   In wanting to feel special we create a litany of dilemmas. We become abandoned, ignored and over looked. A sense of entitlement is created that we feel we know what we deserve and in that belief we create an atmosphere of control that lives in what “I” thinks is good or bad.

   “With the belief in the individual entity/doer, problems never cease. When the illusory nature of the individual is seen. problems never arise”. Ramesh

   When we deny mind from dictating what it thinks life is or isn’t , we then are in a relationship with life which is, what is and not our mind thinking it knows what it doesn’t.

   “Your vision will become clear when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks within, awakens.”     -Carl Young

There is no Victor or last place. There is no achievement above another or a failure less then another. There just is what is and in that awareness, nothing points at something mind can’t conceive. What “I” doesn’t or does know is a fulcrum to a identity that either bows to humility in seeing I isn’t or praises itself for thinking it is what it isn’t.

“And he will be like a Tree firmly planed by the streams of water                                     Which yields its fruits in its season, and its leaves do not wither                                               And in what ever he does, he prospers.”                                                                                            THE PSALMS                                                                                                                                                      BOOK 1                                                                                                                                                                        PSALM 1

CHANGE IS HAPPENING

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    “Nothing of him doth fade [There’s nothing left of him]

But doth suffer a sea change [He’s undergone a complete sea change]

Into something rich and strange [And become something rich and strange]

The Tempest, Shakespeare

      It is all around, in events, things and mannerisms. It’s a dance and everything is plugged into the same thing of nothing that what ever is, draws its inspiration from.

   Everything is dancing with something led by a Orchestra of nothing. A harmony that isn’t lost to a thought that needs to think something hears it.

  The something of nothing cannot change the dance or the harmony but as it sees it and embraces it, that something of nothing be’s. In that being “I” is the one with it and no longer is “I” a drop in an uncaring Ocean. Rather as “I” is without thinking it is. It is the “I am that I am” and in that absence of thought the Ocean is in the drop of water. “I” am so it is.

   The duality that lets go of anything that thinks it is,  surrenders to something more then I think. The play of creation is what “I” am before or after I think anything is. “I” am not doing. Rather “I” am witnessing doing. That doing or action that is because it is and not because “I” thinks it is.

   So the fear is the fear that clings to a identity in thinking it is and that is the fear of letting go of what “I” thinks it is. Which it isn’t  and that is why the fear is because it knows it isn’t.

   Let go. Let be as it is. There is nothing more then what is. Seeing that and how any thought that thinks it is, is not. Is how awareness can embrace the courage to not need to think who or what “I” needs to do or achieve. Rather let go of that need to be and let what is be exactly what is without any thought thinking itself something it isn’t.

  “Time is a storm of thought that is filled with nothing to do and in that void of thought a purpose to achieve something that isn’t is only the storm of thought that thinks it.” TFG

 Abruptly,

Instantly,

Effortlessly,

Out of stillness.

A dream.

A stirring.

Waking to the Real.”

David Carse

Perfect Brilliant Stillness

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Photo, Roland-Holst, Cover design of the Van Gogh “Panorama” exhibition catalogue, Posthumous, 1892

” A work of art is a corner of creation seen through a temperament” Zola

The quiet of no mind is the providence of creation. That place within us that isn’t known to what we think. A letting go that is more than anything we could know.

“And if you gaze for long into an Abyss, the Abyss gazes also into you” Mark Twain

Gazing into the field of pure potentiality is the “Butterfly Effect”. That one intention that ripples across the consciousness of life. The intelligence of creation in a dance with awareness. The stillness within that allows for a calm to connect mother to son, father to daughter, the tree to its seed . The need within us to have a home.

“Despair has its own calm”

As despair, so to do our feelings of rejection, denial, loss, failure and so on have there own calm. A path to a place of no mind. That place of quiet and stillness within us we can find by having a awareness of the hurt we may feel. That isn’t a morose or a self pity of mind, rather it’s the quiet of no mind that the feeling of despair, grief and so on put on mind and in seeing that we can let go of mind and use those feelings as a channel to find a peace within us behind the hurt or beyond our understanding.

Our mind wants us to hold onto it and not let go, so the ego looks at any act of confidence in anything other than what “I” thinks as weakness. It sees a threat to itself in “being”, The true self having confidence in something other then what “I” thinks.

So to be without a thought or a need is the confidence of no mind in its true nature. And the ego that is threatened by no mind plays to itself in ways to feed the ego and intimidate and mock the humble who let go of ego and find their strength in being, which has no need to defend against what “I” thinks. It is because it is and not because “I” thinks it is.

So the faith in not  having a attachment to “I” or ego is not a weakness as mind wants to think it is. Instead it is the courage to be and in that letting go is the confidence in more than what mind could ever think to be.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light and not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, “who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?”

Actually who are you not to be? You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are  liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others,” Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love

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” It’s not good to take the easy path in life, I never do” Vincent Van Gogh, Vincent Van Gogh A Retrospective

If you look at anything we think, there is always another way to see what ever we think. Choosing to see that process in another way then the one that immediately comes to mind in life can be the start to seeing life with a deeper meaning then the one we initially think it in. Looking for more than what is on the surface opens a path inside us to see past the reflection we think in.

Seeing how our life can have a purpose to it that is not necessarily graded on what we or others think it is, is at first thought of as impractical and naïve but once we let go of that hook our thinking places in our ego, we come to see a world without the limitations we are use to thinking it in.

“Not everyone deserves to know the real you, let them criticize who they think you are”

Most of us don’t look inside us for a  meaning or a truth. We may say we do but that is merely a thought that is valued on what others think of us. Many of us search the world outside us to give us a peace and security we so desperately want inside us but we never find it. We let our mind hold us back and keep us at bay to what we think others think of us. If we look though at the people who have impacted the world the most in a selfless way, it almost always had been those people that were initially thought of as insane or some even died under the under the idea of many thinking them as a fool. When in actuality they were gifted with something most of us couldn’t see because our thinking created a wall we couldn’t see past.

Most of us often judge our life by the success we experience in life. Which is tantamount to the thoughts others think of us. So for many of us, it’s not until that mold of thinking is crushed through a perception of failure that we awaken to a awareness inside us of something more than a thought we think of our self. Only when we let go of those thoughts are we freed from that thinking that kept us a prisoner to our own mind.

“Your suffering will set you free”

So it’s not until we experience pain, hurt and a struggle in the life we live outside us, that we start to withdraw from that world about us. That fear and pain of the world around us is what often begins a journey of letting go of those thoughts we have to the world we know or the world we perceive around us. So our hurt and struggle is the catalyst that allows us to let go of what we think and walk through that fear our mind creates, and in that process we come to see what we could never know.

That paradox of awakening to a life through our pain is what can turn our life upside down and we no longer see the road less traveled as something to ignore or be afraid of. We come to look at was once our struggle or our fear as a opportunity to grow and discover something we didn’t know.

“Even though I walk through the valley of death I will fear no Evil’

Our true self isn’t something we need to create. We only need to let go of what we are holding onto, in order to find it. It’s what we are before or after any thought we might think we are. Finding that inside us by not letting our fear of what others think of us, control us, can give us a peace beyond our understanding. In that light we are not what we think we are, rather we are because we be.

The idea that we already are everything we could imagine to strive for and become taunts at our minds ego. A ego that thinks it is because of what “I” or others think it is. That thinking or ego based identity lives in fear and constantly needs to be fed. As only in feeding it, is it. The “I am” is the fear based reality that constantly needs to be validated in some external concept of thinking, what it is.

The “I am that I am” is the part of us that is a part of everything and by letting go we find a Dharma which is our connection to life.

“And there is a lady who shines a white light and is striving to show how everything still turns to gold. And if you listen very hard, the tune will come to you at last, were all is one and one is all” Led Zeppelin, S.T.H.

It’s Time To Die

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There will come a time for all of us, when we begin to die. It’s a process and not an event that start and ends. Most of us live life ignorant of the actual process. Many may go to church and have faith in a God that will take care of them, as though it’s something they know. That “knowing”, though, is the disconnect between living and dying.
In living you know. In death you no longer “know”. In life, you know because of a brain that thinks. So knowing, isn’t anything except the function of matter called brain tissue that thinks and assumes it knows because it thinks.
In death there is no brain to understand or know. There just is, what is. Which is everything or God.
God or nothing isn’t anything the mind knows. That place of no mind is the no thing, that allows some thing to be. In the being of some thing, no thing is perceived. The perception of no thing isn’t what no thing is. The perception is what the limited understanding of mind can perceive.
As we go through the stage or Bardo of dying our brain and the thoughts it thinks begin to leave us. The place of no thing or no mind begins to over take the diminishing mind or knowing.
The actual Bardo of dying isn’t an aspect of anything we know. Dying is a process of the aspect of life to death. As we are living so to are we dying and if we only think of life as something we know, then we gradually become more fear based as living turns to dying. The realization that what we think isn’t what we are becomes the fear of what we don’t know, the closer we get to death.
The no mind or nothing is the non duality that allows everything or duality to be. So if we embrace no mind, no thing or non duality, then we are what we are and not a thought that thinks it is what it isn’t. As Eckhart Tolle says “most people in life are willing to settle for the map instead of the land”. We are the land and we own it before and after any thought that wants to think itself real. The thought isn’t real so it’s obvious in that insight that to think anything is what we are, reduces us, from the everything we are before the thought that thinks something is.
For many people this stage or Bardo of dying is met with fear. As in life, if all we think we are, is what we think. Then, when what we think leaves us, we experience fear of what we don’t know. Most people don’t embrace no thing in life. Most are consumed with something. Even more to that, is that, a lot of people think the more “something” they have, the more they are. Or the better they are. So in that mind set of perception you can see how “the meek shall inherit the earth”.
If we don’t embrace nothing or no mind while we are living then death will be a suffering as everything we thought we were, will no longer be. The no thing or no mind that we are before anything we think, is over taking the mind that thinks it is and what we truly are will appear foreign and we will fight it and in that fear of what we don’t know, we will be attempting to push away what we truly are and have always been

What Was Will Be

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Sometimes I feel like I’m living this life so I can say I did it. Other times I’m waiting for some part I think it is to end and something new to begin.
Am I holding onto something I know will eventually be done or am I waiting for the next part to start?

Sometimes it feels like one and other days it’s like the other. Either way though what ever I think now is, will someday not be, as its just a thought I think it is that lives in a fantasy of mind called time.
It’s kind of sad to know that what ever I am or am not  will pass and as it does so will begin something else, and that to will come to an end. In that mind set it can feel like torture. To know what ever I think I have, I eventually will not, as any beginning will always have a end.
If I choose to let go of what I think now is, I can see a circle that never started or began. It just always was or is depending on what I think or don’t think it is or isn’t.
The circle is, so what is can be.  I am is to Lila or the dance of God,