Why I Paint

I am often asked, “Where do you get your inspiration for these images?” “How did you name them and produce the commentary that goes with them?” “It must have taken a such a long time to produce such detail, how do you find the focus?” I am unsure of how to answer these questions because the truth is that the source of these images is the same for me and for you. All creativity comes from the realm of the soul, a place that is beyond the brain in a mystical domain that binds us all as a species. Because my painting was born out of the experience of a dark night of the soul, out of such a profound healing crisis of consciousness, each painting is essentially the same painting over and over expressed in a myriad of different ways. Every painting expresses the idea that we are all one being in a unity of life, that there is a divine order behind the apparent chaos, that we are loved and ARE love beyond what we can even imagine, and that there is a major sea change now underway in our collective belief system about who we are, why we are here and what is worth doing. This “paradigm shift” is now accelerating at an exponential rate and involves a collective shaman’s journey into our own underworld. This means that our prevailing Judaic-Christian and scientific myths are breaking down. We are moving away from centuries of believing in a vengeful, jealous, angry, male God who resides “out there” in heaven and moving toward a new image of God as love, joy, mercy, compassion, prosperity and redemption that is inside each one of us. The old Calvinistic story that only a select few of us have been saved while the rest of us are damned no matter what we do, is dying, along with the hierarchical notion that there are a few superior chosen beings entitled to dominate and rule others by virtue of their wealth and power. For 400 years science has assumed that all life is a random accident. It has insisted that the physical universe is completely devoid of intelligent design and that the only way of knowing reality is through objective observation and reducing everything into its component parts. In doing so it has cleaved reality into parts, extolling the objective, denying the subjective, elevating reason and demoting intuition. It has asserted that consciousness is a product of the brain despite challenges from quantum physics, systems theory, Near Death Experience, noetics, and age-old spiritual traditions that the entire universe may be the result of consciousness. Science like religion has become dogma, blind to its own assumptions and increasingly powerless to prevent us from destroying ourselves or to address our most noble spiritual and visionary experiences as anything more than pathology or fantasy. It can tell us how to do things but it cannot tell us whether they are worth doing. Just as I experienced a personal dark night of the soul, where I felt utterly without hope, completely abandoned by God, totally bereft of all comfort, consumed with the greatest of spiritual agony, my identity utterly destroyed, I now feel that all of us, collectively, are similarly entering a dark night of the soul. The rise of religious fundamentalism, the relentless attacks on the earth, the rapacious greed, the dependence of the economic system on violence and war to maintain it, the political corruption, the extreme polarization and focus on terror are all symptoms of this entry into the dark night. As a species, we are in a hall of mirrors. Everything we see now is a reflection of ourselves. We cannot escape the reality of our own shadow by controlling things, by changing forms but not the essence, by manipulation, by force, by having temper tantrums and smashing all the dishes, or by blaming the evil others and tying to exterminate them with endless wars. We cannot excuse ourselves from the cultural collapse now taking place by imagining that we will be lifted in rapture while the heathen be damned or that we are exceptional beings exempt from the fate of rest of the world. This collective descent means that the old stories and myths that have for so long informed and revitalized our culture are decayed and dying, without the power to renew, guide or inspire us any longer. Yet like the Phoenix, a new story, a new myth, is preparing to arise from the ashes. A descent into chaos is not simply because we are being punished but because we are being blessed! The intent behind such a journey into darkness is healing. It is the great corrective that we need in order to see who we really are and to become spiritually authentic. The purpose of all journeys to the underworld is to die to what we thought we were and become reborn to who we truly are. That transformational process leads to a spiritual emergence; a return from the darkness into the light bearing the exact gift that is needed at this particular moment in our evolutionary history. That is what my paintings are about. The gift. They are images that reflect the magnificent love and beauty of what we are. They express the perception that even in the darkest times, there is a divine order behind the chaos and that that order is in us. They express the Great Awakening, the unprecedented moment in history when an entire species awakens from millenniums of slumber. I am not a trained painter nor did I paint from childhood. I did not go to art school. I paint because I yearn to somehow give voice to the soul within who could not, after so many incarnations, contain and repress itself any longer. That is why I paint and that is where these images come from.