Moin Qazi is a well-known banker, author and Islamic researcher. He can be reached at moinqazi123@gmail.com

Mystic Mantra: The ecstasy of an artist

Published Jul 18, 2017, 12:41 am IST
Updated Jul 18, 2017, 12:41 am IST
Albert Einstein too could not escape the incandescent power of the arts.
Albert Einstein (Photo: AFP)
 Albert Einstein (Photo: AFP)

You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.
– Friedrich Nietzsche

Every man is born an artist. The problem, in the words of the famous painter Pablo Picasso, is how to remain one as one grows up. An expressive artist shapes his creative vision through a medium which gives expression to his creative impulse — this may be poetry, painting, sculpture, music, architecture and so on. What lifts these incandescent souls to such heights of ecstasy is the power of beauty that they perceive with their creative inward vision. It generates intensive spiritual ripples. As the ecstatic experience deepens, the sublime visions are born. When they get imprinted on the artist’s canvas we get to glimpse of the enormity of their divine experience. “I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart,” Vincent van Gogh writes about the experience. This beauty is numinous and fleeting, a passing experience but powerful enough to enlarge the soul and give the artist a glimpse of the sacred. “Making your unknown known is the important thing,” wrote Georgia O’Keeffe, the great painter.

Any art needs a medium (words for poetry, colours for painting, sounds for music, etc.). Associated with each medium are certain nuances. These may be motifs and metaphors or metrics and mechanics. We can effectively call it the grammar. The grammar is well prescribed in some cases and loosely in others. Then there are the tones, the colours and the texture which give depth to the art. All artists have a common lexis in which their real passport is their art, as they move through the doors of a borderless world. The power of art shows how similar we are as human beings, bound and interconnected as we are by a shared feeling or an emotion. By taking us all to a common place, a shared feeling, a harmonised emotion or an understanding of something that is often inexplicable, art binds us into a symphony of love. Art can break down barriers, transcending language, creed and even geography. Art can penetrate the walls where attitudes can’t. Albert Einstein too could not escape the incandescent power of the arts. “The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science,” he wrote.





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