The Art and Skill of

Art is simply making something new out of something that was already there, by envisioning it in a new way and then expressing that vision. It might be with paint, or an imprint of light on silver, or the musical arrangement of sounds, or even the mysterious arrangement of pixels, making sounds, and making pictures. Long before photography, before computers, people were telling stories and making pictures out of sounds and words, and communicating ideas. Art is the envisioning of ideas made real, and skill is the functional creation of them.

Communication is the big word that represents all the kinds of pictures made out of all the big and little words and pictures. As humankind evolved over eons of time, grunts and gestures of communication developed into words, and with more and different kinds of words, we began to create clearer and more powerful word-pictures through the power of our natural creative mind.

It’s interesting to note that we dream in pictures, but we think in words. Most of us, most of the time, think in concrete terms, in words or with specific nameable images/symbols of things and events. And yet, there is a vast, unlabeled wealth of knowing, communicating, feeling, and creating within us that is abstract, spiritual, and non-verbal that runs our bodies and expresses our souls. This is the Center, the I Am with which, through our thoughts, words, and action, we create and operate our lives.

God has given us immense power in the form of creative mind and free will. How we live this lifetime, the quality and nature of it, is determined primarily by what thoughts and words we “program” ourselves with (or allow others to program us with) of the infinite numbers of thoughts and words in our world. Although we are influenced by what goes on around us, what people say or do does not actually control us and does not make us who we are unless and until we take it inside and accept it as truth. Because we often do this unconsciously, it's important to be aware of what thoughts, words, and pictures we allow to dwell in our space.

Everything in our world has the opportunity to influence us, but nothing outside of us can control us, unless we accept and embrace what we see and hear as true for us. Then we begin to hold and repeat those word-pictures to ourselves, often unknowingly. When we let someone else’s image or opinion of us become our image or opinion of us, then the track is set and locked in place. We can then stay stuck for a lifetime, or we can recognize that picture, reconsider it, and decide to reject it as untrue or un-useful for us, and take a different word-picture into our mind’s programming instead.

This recognition is especially important for those limiting beliefs we were given in childhood, when we did not know we had a choice; we simply believed what the adults told us, or showed us with the limitations of their own lives. Now we know we can have, and be, more.

Make no mistake about it; be aware that your mind is continuously listening, scanning both the internal and external world, gathering information of every kind, processing and sifting it for truth and/or usefulness. Whatever your mind chooses to believe, inevitably becomes functionally true in your life. Jesus said “according to your belief, be it done unto you.” He meant what he said. You create your life, what it has been, what it is, and what it will be, by the words and pictures you accept and hold in your mind. Your art and works in life are the direct product of those beliefs.

The mind is a powerful tool given to us by our loving God, along with a whole collection of other wonderful tools to help us create and enjoy our human lives here. The mind works splendidly at many useful tasks, and its power is much greater than we have previously imagined. But it is important for us to understand and remember that the mind is just a programmable tool; it is not the essence of who and what we are. In truth, we are Spirit, inhabiting a physical body for a while and using its tools to learn with and to create with.

Every moment of life is a new beginning with unlimited potential. Every thing that your mind can imagine, is possible, because there is something in you that is greater than the mind. It has been called Spirit, the Oversoul, the Greater Mind, the Mind of God, The Heart, The “I Am,” The Inner Counselor, and “the still small voice of God.” It is within every one of us; there are no exceptions. Turn always to this, for the truth.

The truth will often be different from what our friends or families are saying, or what we see on TV. It may seem to go against practical logic. It may ask us to refuse whatever our ego is demanding, or our pride seems to need. It may choose a different path than we thought we wanted, perhaps a humbler one, or perhaps a greater one. But when Spirit speaks, the voice is undeniable. It is kind, clear, and simple. When your deepest heart is calling to you, you can feel it. When Spirit speaks, listen.

this Month's New Thought Essay, Poetry, and Blog. Darkhorse Press New Poets