An artist is an artist only in so far as he allows creation.

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An artist is an artist only in so far as he allows creation.

Postby Ghanshyam Savani » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:19 pm


The question has to be divided in parts. The first part: AN ARTIST IS AN ARTIST IN SO FAR AS HE CREATES. Then you don’t understand rightly. An artist is an artist only in so far as he allows creation to happen. It is not that HE creates. If he creates he is not a creator. He may be composing things but he is not a creator. He may be a technician but he is not an artist.

For example if you create some poetry, you can create absolutely according to the rules of the poetics, there may not be a single error in it – but it will not be poetry. The grammar may be perfect, the language absolutely right, the rhythm, the metre – and everything okay but it will be just like a dead body; everything perfect, but the body dead. No soul in it. You are not a poet, you may be a technician. You can compose your poetry, you cannot create it.

Because when you create you have to disappear from the scene completely. When you create the Creator creates through you, it is not you. All great poets know it, all great scientists know it – that when they are not something starts flowing through them; they are taken possession. Something greater than themselves flows through, filters through; they are no more than a passage.

An artist is an artist in so far as he allows creation – not that he does it, it is not an act. That’s why all old poetry is anonymous. Nobody knows who created the Upanishads – so beautiful, so tremendously sublime. Nobody knows who created the caves of Ajanta and Ellora – anonymous. Nobody knows who created the poetry of Khajuraho in stone. Anonymous. The old artists understood it well – it was not their creation, their names should not be there. They had not signed it.

God is the creator, they were just vehicles he used, and they were grateful that they were chosen as vehicles to be used.

First-rate poets, artists, painters, musicians, scientists, all know; only the second-rate don’t know it. The second-rate is an imitator. He imitates the first-rate people. Then he is the ego: I am creating. No artist worth the name has ever claimed that he is the creator.

IS NOT CREATING DOING? No. Creating is non-doing. Much happens, but there is nobody who does it.

AND ARE NOT MOST FORMS OF ART THE RESULTS OF DOING, OF ACHIEVING? No. The moment achieving mind comes in, ugliness happens, not art, not beauty. The more the achieving mind is there, the more ugliness.

When there is no mind, then beauty flowers, then there is a grace to it which is not of this earth.

IF AN ARTIST WAS JUST BEING HE WOULD HAVE NO ART – No, only then he would have art. IS A WORLD WITHOUT ART ? WHAT YOU INTEND ? No, the world is already without art.

I intend a world which is totally fulfilled in art. But there are two types of art: the art of the technician – which is pseudo art; and the art of the artist.

The pseudo art is too much in the world. The real authentic art has disappeared. It has to disappear because authentic art can happen only with authentic beings. Inauthentic beings – how can you think they can create authentic art It flows through you. The poetry comes from the deepest centre of the poet; if the centre is not there, if the poet is not centred, if the poet himself is not rooted, lives on the surface, how can the poetry move into the deeper realms of his being? The poetry will be always LESS than the poet.

You may be deceived by it because you are also inauthentic. In a false world, where masks have become realities and original faces are completely forgotten, where real things have disappeared, where roses no more bloom in the bushes but are manufactured in plastic factories, where man himself is no more natural but a manufactured thing, authentic art certainly disappears.

I would like the whole world to be full with authentic art, throbbing with it, living with it, because that is the only way: through authentic art, real art, you transcend it. If the music is real, soon you will move into meditation, because the music will only give you a little glimpse of meditation, nothing more.

If it is real it will give you a glimpse, if it is not real – as all pop music has become in the world: not real, just superficial – it may give you a little catharsis, it may give you a certain state of mind where you can forget yourself, it may give you a little intoxication – it is alcoholic. That’s why all pop music is so loud, it drowns you; you HAVE to forget yourself, it is so loud. How can you remember yourself with such a loud phenomenon around you? You forget yourself. It is like a drug.

Real music will make you more and more refined. It will become more and more silent. In fact, real music will help you to listen to silence, where all notes disappear, where only gaps remain. One note comes, disappears, and another has not come, and there is a gap. In that gap meditation flows in you.

Real music will help you move towards meditation, beyond the mind needs, towards spiritual needs. Real poetry will give you a glimpse of the minds of the sages – a glimpse of course. It will open a window so you can see the faraway distant Himalayas. And then an urge arises in you, and you start travelling.

Art is not the goal. It is a mind need. It has to be fulfilled. Through the window of art the urge will arise – you will see the distant horizon, and the beauty of it will become a tremendous pull on you, you will be pulled.

Civilization is needed to create art, poetry, music, painting; but they are not the goals; at most resting places for the night. In the morning you are again on your feet moving towards the distant goal. The goal is always God, nothing less will do.

Tao: The Three Treasures, Vol 3
Chapter 4: Boy! Did We Shake That Thing!
Ghanshyam Savani
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Re: An artist is an artist only in so far as he allows creat

Postby Ganesh H Shankar » Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:48 pm

Hi Ghashyam, I have a few orthogonal thoughts. Please bear with me :)

I think those are Osho's opinions (not facts or truths) on what art is which in my mind is just a religious preaching lacking philosophic rigour. All of us are free to form our own opinions. At best they will remain as opinions. The issue is we can't successfully define the word art which is agreeable to everyone, using which we can decide whether a given work is a work of art. What is art? We don't need to agree with Osho's or Picasso's thoughts. Because they have not defined what art is. Osho is just saying this is art and this is not art. On what basis? If he thought "art is something which leads us to peace and God" that is just his opinion. In my mind he is restricting the scope of what art is (I know I don't have a definition for art either). Without giving us his definition of art he just shared his opinion and I personally don't buy all his arguments (even though some of it appeals to common sense).

There is a book by Leo Tolstoy titled "What is Art?". The book is in public domain and I had archived the book here on CNP for downloading. It is an interesting read. Tolstoy did attempt at giving a definition, an appealing one I must say, for art and measuring works against them to decide whether a given work is a work of art are not. He said a work of art should be: novel, should convey feelings/emotions and the artist remains sincere in that work (not throwing a bucket of paint and calling it modern art). However, later generation of well known artists did not agree with Tolstoy (Picasso included). Art became just a point of view and the needle got tilted to the other extreme (in my opinion).

While I don't have or know a definition which I completely agree with for a work of art, I think there are two distinct kinds of art. An eternal art and an ephemeral art. An eternal art deals with truth, an ephemeral art deals with personal truths. All the work of art that we humans have created are ephemeral arts (for me). This includes, Tolstoy's novels or Leonardo da Vinci's paintings and the work in Ellora caves. They are personal expressions or opinions. What Nature creates is an eternal art! Undeniable truths. The meaning, purpose, why and how are beyond our reach. Each of such creations (works of art) are novel and non-obvious. It remains as a work of eternal art even if you keep dividing it for ever.

An Eternal Art and an Ephemeral Art


God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style, He just goes on trying other things - Picasso

With that quote, Picasso shot himself in the foot! (in my opinion).
Ganesh H. Shankar
Wishing you best light,

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