There is an art to everything else, so why not an “Art of the Path”?
First let’s look at the meaning of the noun “art.” It’s used many different ways, but for our purposes I’m going with #9 – skill in conducting any human activity. That kind of narrows the field, doesn’t it. Art as a skill in something.
What is the “Path” then? Dictionary.com: 1. a way beaten, formed, or trodden by the feet of persons or animals. 2. a narrow walk or way: a path through a garden; a bicycle path. 3. a route, course, or track along which something moves: the path of a hurricane. 4. a course of action, conduct, or procedure: the path of righteousness. 5. Mathematics: a continuous curve that connects two or more points. 6. Computers: the sequence of steps that a computer follows in carrying out a routine, as in storing and retrieving a file at a specific location.
As a visual artist I naturally care a lot about images—about making them, viewing them, imagining them and so forth. The image I have posted here is an oil painting I did back in the mid-1980s before I ever heard of The Path. It is a picture of doubt and confusion, of being lost. Which was a great place to start.
It is also relevant that the figures are nude, i.e., without the outer garments that proclaim who we are on any given day. Also that there are three figures. A spontaneous choice, not thought out, yet absolutely relevant in terms of expressing different aspects of the one-self.
The figure on the left is headless, mindless, without thought, going with the flow. (I am only seeing this now.)
I have chosen this image to express Part 1 of the Art of the Path because I think before we can know where we are going or have an idea of where we’re going next, we have to experience a degree of dissatisfaction with where we are. Otherwise why change?
And yet the dissatisfaction, the confusion, can be beautiful. And that’s the art (and heart) of it ~ seeing the beauty of wherever we are at any given moment, without judgment. It’s the only way I know how to prevent stuckness and stickiness to what we’ve outgrown.
It’s called being at One with the Self ~ at Oneness ~ in Peace & Harmony ~ NO MATTER WHAT IT MAY LOOK LIKE ~
And for me it was this self-acceptance that gave me the Space Within to begin looking for SOMETHING ELSE.
After I had accepted my Lostness. (And, as a visual artist, made a picture of it.)
Note: A couple of years later I met someone who introduced me to the concept of The Path.