Théun, better later than never. I want to express my condolence to You for losing Your friend and comrade Russell. I will never forget warmness of this great man.
I write to You first time, so I need to write some 'pre-text' for my question, please forgive me. First of all I want to share with You impact from the last retreat. In addition to clarity which I got there on my emotional immaturity, I got some physical feeling in solar plexus - a warm 'pancake'. After I left Spain, during first two weeks this pleasurable and calming feeling was constantly in my stomach. I felt re-connected with the people and was very happy. Thank You for that:) Also I felt very much connected with You during retreat and some time after it. In one dream You where sitting in my room and imparting something to me all night long, but pity, I didn't remember a single word!:)
Lithuania is even more in the north than Slovakia. And when here is sunny its just a celebration. But this Sunday, looking through my window at fresh leaves rustling in the sun, I remembered my early adolescent years when I felt that I am completely lost in this world, and summer did not brought to me any joy.
My way to art was of an 'escape artist'. I retreated to fiction worlds in early childhood as I perceived that real world rejected me. Being fourteen-years old I decided to became a painter - I was deeply influenced by paintings and biography of Vincent Van Gogh. Last summer I was in Arles, France, where Vincent created his greatest paintings, including Sunflowers. Despite being now center of touristic attraction, Arles for me became a symbol of sadness and loneliness. It could be that my perception was influenced by Van Gogh's burning landscapes, full of sorrow. But I have a feeling that everything is dying in me during last two years.
I became a film director 'accidentally', but now I see that it was my choice, because it was best way to place myself before the focus of my father. And I proved that I have value not only to him but to many other people, including myself. But to claim the right to create using lots of taxpayers money was never easy, as to prove to the sales agents that my films is worth to distribute wide (I never succeed to achieve it). After I clarified to myself my motives to create films, I entered a 'MISSION of SELF-TORTURE'. I felt misguided by my folly and lost confidence. Shooting my last film I kept myself in the saddle only by force of grim will:(
So I am here. I know now how I became who I am, and I do not think that I am a natural genius anymore:( I can't find new motives to keep doing what I love and can.
Concerning Your statement: "Right now the world is in FAR more NEED of food, than films, no matter what sort of films they are!" I want to share with You one of rare conversations with my father when I was small kid.
I: Why people breathe?
Father: To live.
I: Why they live?
Father: To eat.
Father didn't bother to wonder how I perceived his answer; for me it was sad - what's the pitiful reason to live!:) But if You are speaking about perspective of global hunger, everything other than food becoming less important of course.
Please help me to find where I really am; and where the world is in regards to art, if You could follow my English. I do not want to believe, that my game is over, and I have no value anymore, like an old tripod.
“I want to express my condolence to You for losing Your friend and comrade Russell.”
Thank you! But I did not lose him. He died.
My friend, I can fully feel where you are at, and I know that it is not easy! :)
You are now at the proverbial crossroad that we all get to sooner or later if we are TRULY seeking, and by seeking I am NOT talking about all the coursed out and retreated out spiritual junkies of which there are today thousands! No! Instead I am talking about that inner KNOWING that unless one CAN find true purpose to one's life, then one's life might as well end right here, and right now! This is a FAR cry from all the people that go yada, yada, flap, flap about the teachings, but who then go nowhere other than in dizzy circles chasing their own tails! I am talking, I am sure you know, about a genuine act of survival.
So when you say, "I do not want to believe that my game is over, and I have no value anymore, like an old tripod," I can resonate with your feelings fully. I myself was a mere 24 years old when I reached this crossroad in my life. I was at the height of my career and I was very successful! I had materialised my DREAM to become a really good dancer, and I was! I had more "friends" and lovers than I knew what to do with. I had money. I lived in a beautiful house. I filled all my spare time with my favourite pass-time, namely, reproducing antiques. And yet I felt so, SO empty inside! I turned this way and that way, but nothing gave me joy! Instead I had these burning questions inside of me that I could not answer, "Why was I TRULY born? What am I supposed to be DOING with my life? Surely I did not just get born to do what I am doing now, to get old and then to die?" Slowly, slowly it became clear to me that I HAD to find a purpose within my life, THE purpose in my life that will make SENSE of, and that will put MEANING into, why we are born, why we we live, why we have taken the roads we have taken, and why we finally die.
I could not speak to any of my "friends" about this, because they all thought I was mad! And I also could not speak to any of my lovers about this, not unless I wanted to be kicked out of bed! LOL! So that left me very much alone, and the more alone I felt, the more intense became my passion to either FIND what I was looking for, or else to die! And I was by then VERY clear within myself that unless I could find what I was looking for, I would prefer to die rather than to go on living what had become for me a meaningless existence.
So, yes. I just wanted to share that I DO know what you are facing. But you also have the very good fortune of having found your way to the Warrior's Path at this point in time. :) When I was searching I did not even know what I was searching for, because at that time I had not even heard of the Warrior's Path, let alone knowing anything about it!
So you are an artist are you? Do you enjoy painting? I ask because I do not see in you any REAL passion for making films. Am I right?
You also ask me where art is at today. And my answer is this: "WHAT art? There is no TRUE art today! There are only so many ignorant people groping around in the dark, misguidedly believing that if they keep on groping they will find something new. But this is not true art. This is but silly people, stupid people who have lost ALL contact with their own inner CREATIVE power, looking for new ways in which to reproduce the OLD!
The world today is on the VERGE of a much needed TRANSFORMATION, let us just call it another Renaissance - a rebirth.
The TRUE artists have throughout the ages always reflected for humanity where culture and civilisation is at, and let us not confuse the two, for both are NEEDED and yet both are also very different, albeit the two sides of the SAME coin, namely, Life.
Civilisation as understood and defined by Toltecs is the SCIENCE OF LIVING in which the true PURPOSE of life is known and pursued in all areas of human endeavour, each area of endeavour being an EXPRESSION of the One Purpose. Culture, on the other hand, is the ART OF LIVING, in which man gives EXPRESSION to the MEANING he puts into the purpose.
If we look at modern art today we can clearly see what is happening within the world beyond the face value. We see a distinct LACK of creativity, we see confusion, mistrust, suspicion, hopelessness and despair, and above all, we see ugliness everywhere. Such a state of affairs is always the result when civilisation and culture no longer support each other, but have instead become mutually exclusive of one another. Somewhere in the mid-sixties civilisation went one way, and culture went another way. There are hundreds of reasons for this, but it does not help us much now to know those reasons. Instead what is important is to know that civilisation and culture no longer support each other, and that whenever this happens there is a severe deterioration that happens in both.
Man today is no longer civilised in the true sense of the word. The rate of illiteracy is today higher than it has ever been within the last two hundred years, even though today we have more schools, more colleges and more universities than ever before, and even though people on the whole are SUPPOSEDLY well educated. The crime rate is worse than it has ever been. The judicial structure is today SO corrupt that justice has ceased to exist. Governments today no longer serve the needs of the people. World hunger and world poverty has reached an all-time high. Illness is on the increase even though we now have more doctors and hospitals than ever before. And so on and so on. The world as we know it today has become a most uncivilised and hostile place.
Culture too no longer exists. People today have no idea what culture means, and the few that DO think about it hold the general opinion that it is passé, outdated and should be eliminated altogether. Young people today have no social manners, they do not know what etiquette is, and they have zero knowledge of either religion or the importance of literature as an expression of religion. I speak of religion here as it is truly defined, namely, the art and science of relating back to the roots of our beingness.
So, yes. What of art today? It serves NO purpose right now other than to reflect the sad plight of humanity today. But can one truly then call this art? Is art not also supposed to show the way forward? Is art not also supposed to bring us back into TOUCH with what we have lost?
You speak of van Gogh, and very highly so. I can see that he made a deep impression upon you. But why? What draws you to the works of van Gogh? I personally cannot abide the works of van Gogh, because to me they speak of hopelessness and despair, of weakness and of the lack of the ability and even the desire to fight! For me van Gogh was a born loser, and his works are a living testimony to where humanity is at today! For me van Gogh was a great visionary, YES! A great prophet of doom and gloom! But of WHAT use are the mad prophets of this world? What did van Gogh bring the human spirit that is WORTH fighting for? From my perspective not much at all, if anything! So, yes, I agree with you, the works of van Gogh always leave me with an utter sense of sadness and loneliness. But then, as I have often thought, perhaps this was his only role as artist in this lifetime, namely, to show people the result of hopelessness and despair. But my point is, even IF I could afford it, I would NEVER have a van Gogh hanging in my home, for his works are the very antithesis of the Warrior's Path!
The Renaissance that is needed, is for culture and civilisation to once again become synthesised into one interdependent and interactive whole. But to do this is going to take STRONG men and women from ALL walks of life, including art, science and religion. But not ONLY do such people need to be strong, but they ALSO need to be knowledgeable! I do not know how much knowledge you truly have when it comes to art. I say this because I do not want to assume. If your knowledge is confined to only that which you would have been taught in college, art school or university, then it will be non-existent! But, please, do share with me what you do know about art, and then perhaps I can guide you further. But for now I will say only this:
If you were BORN to paint, then paint you MUST! But as I am sure you know, it is a sad fact of reality that the TRUE artist is NEVER acknowledged within his own time, and this is so ONLY because he is showing the way forward and therefore his work is of the FUTURE! Much the same is true of the TRUE spiritual teacher, for he too, as Christ predicted, is never acknowledged within his own time! His work, like that of the true artist and the true musician, is to TILL the fields, and to sow the seeds, the harvest of which will come LONG after his death. Because of this fact the true artist is normally very POOR and struggles to put food on the table. BUT.......the good news is that with the right tools, being an artist or a spiritual teacher in this lifetime does NOT mean that you HAVE to live a life of poverty! LOL! No. There are also OTHER ways in which to make the money you need in order to fulfil your purpose as artist in this lifetime. I merely mention this here so that you do entertain the idea of becoming my ultimate worse, namely, the long suffering, hard-done-by, victimised and tortured artist, like a van Gogh! LOL!
My friend, I would be GLAD to give you more guidance, but as art is a HUGE subject of VAST import, you and I first need to be on the same page before I can truly guide you. So this is why I have taken this approach with you to start with. :)
With all my love and support,