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There Are No Poets

Image: Shaman (The Palace), by Allan Reyes

Image: Shaman (The Palace), by Allan Reyes

Life is an indescribable experience. There is no way, truly, of getting any of it down onto paper or canvas. Neither will song or sculpture suffice. It is far too rich to find any true representation through the tools we have at our disposal in this world, far too subtle to document here with any real honesty. Think of it. Think of everything you've been through, everyone you've known, all that has come to pass in your life, however young or old you may be. Is it possible, no matter what the means, of giving any of it a voice that speaks as clearly as the experience itself? The passage of our lives here are spun of an ilk so peculiar and so refined that any attempt at truly defining them is futile. Even the finest minds among us, even the heartiest hearts history has ever produced have ultimately failed to do so.

Yet we try, by god do we try. There is no stopping us. We are sick with it. Scribes scrawl endlessly, day and night, delivering delirious passages onto papers destined for the dumpster; painters break from all but breathing, gripped by the furious fever of it, all in the hopes of wringing something worthy out onto the canvas affront them.    

Very little makes it through. That which does, we name profound; a reflection, somehow, of a familiar state we hold inside; a recognition, however slight, of some place we sense we may one day again arrive. Yet after everything, we fail in our ability to honestly show that which we feel, that which we know, and it is this that haunts us, this that informs the compulsion that afflicts every true artist among us.

Yet this itself is as genuine an elegance as any. Our truth exists in the struggle. Indeed, this is what art itself is. Our flaws are all we have to offer, and they are, in turn, a beauty such as nature can never know. In our endless pursuit to reach the heart of all things, what we reveal, in the end, is the endless nature of our own hearts  the myriad, infinite, emotional landscapes each of us walks in our own turn. What our art reveals then, in essence, is a distinctly human dimension that holds but one aspect of the bounty of a God well beyond our greatest imaginings.

This is the truth of it. Art and experience, however interdependent and glorious each of them may be, remain forever separate. That which we create is one thing  interpretation named, labeled, and interpreted itself. That which cannot be named remains another. There is no connecting them. No matter how far our technology carries us, no matter how intimately it may eventually come to empower us in the revelation of our inner world, it will fail, just as we have, to express any true represtation of what lies beyond the mind.

And, while this great fire at the heart of all art and intellect cannot ever truly cross the bridge into a form in our world all its own, it does have a vessel through which it can, and does, clearly express itself. Us. This is the incredible irony of all artistic endeavour. That we, being the art, struggle so furiously to recreate what we are, yet in turn end up creating something all its own, and just as beautiful in its own right.

Yet we need not create art in order to know our worth. The artist is no better than the farmer, nor any more or less of a poem himself. All we need to do is live. The simplicity of it is miraculous, ingenious. 

Yet the question remains  what of the force behind all things, the only true poet, the one that animates, and our preoccupation with it? If we cannot recreate it here, then we must take the furious energy of that powerful longing to know it and turn it inward. Our power extends, through the dimensions within each of us, deep into that animating force beneath. How else could we feel it so strongly in our own lives  strong enough to fill the world with the evidence of it all around us? Think of what would happen if we turned even a modicum of that incredible energy in upon ourselves.

By learning to see with the 'inner eye', as it is said  or the eye that is hidden, in other words - we would surely come to notice just how the hidden life behind all things moves us, learning to see its unique patterns and rhythms therein, and develop the ability to, eventually, both predict and direct our passage within its folds with far more efficacy

Learning to do so is learning to fight without battling, and this is the only path through which peace can possibly triumph, the only way in which we can balance the scales of the external world before it’s too late. History has us moving into ever increasing complexity. It is a movement, as any scientist will tell you, that is inevitable. And, while there is surely no breaking the hard balances written into the universe itself, our existence as part of it is not guaranteed  not by any means. It is up to us to balance ourselves out, and to find our place within it, or risk being just another quick blink of extinction on the cosmic map.

To think we can save ourselves with intellect alone is a grave mistake. It is the hubris of children grown ruddy in their play, soon to be toppled from the hill. There is no success without the knowledge of unity that comes from within. It is this that the inner eye will show us, this that will save us. The division of our species must end. It is a disease. We must transcend the illusion of separateness. By buying into the belief that each of us is capable of lone greatness, we forget ourselves; by claiming genius as individuals and applying it to minds we don’t know, we build up that which has done very little through the ridiculous notion of ownership, as if it might provide some possibility of permanency. We own nothing. We do not own ourselves. We can fashion bridge upon bridge to eternity and still we will never know what it means to ‘own’. There is no ‘own’. To think otherwise is to fail.

It is time for us to embody the art we know we are. What we must realize is that we are, all of us, alive inside of the Godhead’s most profound creation, even in the most mundane and horrific moments, even in the midst of all we call ghastly, all we call blasphemy; there is nothing we are experiencing  as individuals or as a species  that we do not need to experience. This is not meant to justify atrocity. Quite the opposite. Atrocities exist because we are, in so many ways at this point in history, an atrocious species. We have allowed, and created,  the existence of these things because they are meant to wake us up as we move through them. We cannot not experience them if they are to be transcended. What we must learn to do is view them with proper eyes, and we will then, surely, come to find that it is indeed possible to bless the blasphemous.

In so doing we will widen ourselves to the world. We will come to witness everything. And we will come to understand, beyond any doubt, that life itself is the only thing worthy of being given the title 'poetry'. 

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