Here is another go at an old unresolved work. As this blog is about the art process, I include it despite its cloying sappiness. It was inspired by a story from the same manuscript in which Gawain’s story is told. It is called The Pearl. By a stream, the poet falls asleep and dreams of a maid who leads him to wondrous visions of salvation. Nearly 20 years ago I decided to memorize it and can recall some of it still.
From the memory practice unfolded a long period of work with lucid dreams, of bringing conscious intent to bear on the spontaneous flow of dream imagery by doing walking meditation and mantra within the dream itself. The dream mantra invokes the aid of compassionate deities as we wander alone through the hazardous pathways of the dream bardo. According to Tibetan Buddhists, This prepares us for the bardo after death.
In the poet’s dream, the unconscious is pushed into conscious awareness like oceanic tides flooding upriver. This inundation has been long expressed in flood myths. Its flow forms an imaginal landscape and the sudden release of its energy forces a breakthrough of vivid imagery. This can form a tsunami if not channeled through the creative process. It demands integration with our logical mind. It becomes necessary to reconcile the irreconcilable, to balance contrary states into a healthy, creative relationship. This is the artistic process.
This harmony is represented in Alchemical imagery as the mystic marriage. Sufi’s have a phrase, ishq’ allah mabudlilah, which means something like: Love, lover and beloved are One. This sacred phrase speaks of how we are continuous with all we behold, and that knowledge of this truth transforms us through knowing it. It is the Gnostic vision. The subject/object dichotomy is illumined by a larger, more inclusive totality that embraces paradox.
The Golden Mean expresses this truth and is the proportion closest to the original unity from which multiplicity arises.