QA215 QUESTION: I would like to ask a question about the history of art in relation to spiritual development and evolution. For example, the medieval period – but even before that in the primitive period – had a very spiritual quality to its artistic expression. And how also do you feel about the art form of today in relation to the spiritual expression of our day.
ANSWER: In the first place, before I answer this question directly, I would like to say, there is no art form, no creative expression – whatever it may be – that is not an influx of spiritual reality. It does not, as I indicated before, arise in the mind of man. It is a crude and condensed manifestation of something that exists in the world of eternal reality – in a dimension where there is no past, no present, and no future, in a dimension where there is utter harmony and beauty.
Now, my friends, let me give you a few examples. Let us begin with music. Music, as you know it on Earth, is tuning in on vibratory sounds of energy currents. But since energy must always be an expression of consciousness, it is, of course, the consciousness also that expresses itself through its particular form in which energy flows. Since all ages express different phases of development, different phases of the soul substance form in which energy flows. In its developed as well as in its undeveloped state, the forms of expression in the art, be it through painting or sculpture or music or literature, vary.
Now, I will come back to your question in regard to paintings and sculpture. But I will also include, for example, music in this. Parallel to your question in regard to former ages, the music was also, of a more, you would say perhaps, spiritual nature. You would tune in on energy vibrations that affected deeper aspects of the soul, energy vibrations that expressed Creation, that expressed the beauty and the love of the divine that permeates everything.
There are energy currents and musical sounds of many, many different expressions. They are not necessarily inferior. Let us say, music in different times touches different aspects of soul substance. And it also affects different soul aspects and is created by different soul aspects in a cyclic movement.
There are the soul aspects of intense energy, of positive aggression. There are the soul aspects – energy expressions – of pain, of sweetness, of love, of searching, of confusion, of a more separated sexuality, of the need to move, of the need to rest and flow. All these are expression, which are energy currents – and many, many, more, of course – which can be found in music. And each has its value. Each touches different vibratory centers of man and is recreated from different creative centers in man. Each have their own functions.
The same applies to art. Where does art come from in relationship to the human manifestation? Where does humanity get art, so to speak, from the Spirit World? It gets it from the world of color, and color in the spiritual dimension is of such infinite variety as you cannot remotely conceive.
Just as there are an infinite number of tones in music in the energy sound system that have no existence in the narrow, cruder material manifestation, so there are no color schemes available for mankind that can remotely reproduce the brilliancy, the variety, the kinds of colors that exist on the level and the dimension of reality. There can only be cruder copies – condensed oversimplifications.
So the world of color is a whole sphere in which many beings are actively engaged to create, just as the world of sound is a sphere in which beings have interests and create with these energy manifestations.
At the same time – and this may sound confusing to you – energy sound is also energy color and taste and scent and touch and many other sensitivities and functions, again that are unknown to you. So a color is sound and sound is color. It must be that, and it must be all of the other senses. And there are many more senses of which you know nothing.
Now, this may sound contradictory. Then “how,” you will ask, “How can it be that beings just work with sound and others work just with color?” They do not just work with that aspect, but they concentrate more on that aspect, and the others follow suit. It is almost impossible to explain these concepts. Again, they do not fit in the human language, and it is only through your intuitive perceptions that you may possibly sense some of these truths I try to squeeze into this dimension here.
All of that is the crudest oversimplification, what I say to you here. But the world of spiritual reality is constantly trying to permeate the limited material manifestation through its influx, through its energies, through its creative manifestations.
To come back to your questions about the spirituality of medieval times, this spirituality was then the highest-developed manifestation possible. However, if you will note, these manifestations were all still very separated and personalized. Gods were made into people. God was made into a person. And although God personalizes through innumerable entities, God is not just one entity.
It was a very cut-off spirituality in a certain sense that mankind as a whole was able to comprehend. It was not able to comprehend the kind of spirituality that is beginning to dawn upon mankind now. Therefore, before this new spirituality, this more advanced spirituality can manifest, the pendulum had to swing apparently away from spirituality, so that art forms dealt or had to deal with other facets of life, of Creation, of soul substance.
In the later periods many art forms represented man’s chaos and man’s confusion and what you may call neurosis, and man’s disharmony and man’s distortions. That too has its own value, provided it is understood for what it is. And it is not confused with the harmony that is spiritual truth.
QA215 QUESTION: I would like to ask about the latest developments in contemporary music. In the past there was a very strong flow of spirituality and emotions and feelings. Today, there is a basic disconnectedness with feelings – even a looking down on feelings. There’s also been the introduction of mathematics in music. I have been very influenced by at least one composer who seems to be able to combine music and mathematics and give a vision and feelings too, instead of just a dryness that is the usual thing. So is this merger valid spiritually?
ANSWER: You will all recognize that practically in all areas in the evolutionary plan – in evolution itself and in development of mankind as a whole – there is always the pendulum that swings from here to there and back and forth until it finds the balance.
In this particular respect, there was the era you mentioned before, where the flow and the feeling side was very strong. The higher-developed people at that period were very much in the feeling self and had neglected to develop the active self, the energetic self, the intellect, etcetera. So then the pendulum had to swing there.
That period where the feelings were emphasized and where spirituality manifested through the feelings was again a countermovement to a period before, when everything was just action and movement on a purely physical level. Then the pendulum swung back into more intellectualization of it, away from the feeling, until the unification can take place.
In that sense, it is perfectly true that this goes toward unification. But it does not mean that this is a straight road. Again, the pendulum may swing back and forth, but each time it’s like the spiral movement on the Path. It is really a spiral where the levels are deeper and deeper and deeper, and each spiral turn is on a deeper level. So when the pendulum swings back to the active side, it is different than it was before the last phase of the feeling side.
QUESTION: Could you give us guidance as to how to go about finding, healing and carrying energy through music and arts for our specific use here on the Path?
ANSWER: The time has not quite come yet when I can do this in a more direct way. But the time will come soon. And in the meantime, just grope as you are doing now. Everything is right in its rhythm and it will come when the time is right.