The signs of great art are an expansive sense of oneness with all life, with all humanity, with all reality. Art that is, above all, clear on a feeling level clarifies both the emotions and the intellect. What it accomplishes, above all, is help us to break down our constricting walls of egoism.
A work of art, then, is not great merely because it is skillfully executed. It is great if its message inspires us, however subtly, toward calm, intuitive feeling, and if it helps us to recognize in that feeling at least a suggestion of our own highest, spiritual potential.
— Swami Kriyananda
Art as a Hidden Message
Debates as to the relative merits of different art forms – impressionism, realism, surrealism, and all the rest – are fairly pointless. Art expresses meaning not through its outer form, but in its underlying consciousness. The simplest line, when sensitively drawn, may express joy or sorrow, hope or despair, success or failure, depending entirely on the consciousness of the person drawing it. Art cannot be reduced, finally, to a formula. It is not explained if we speak of it in terms of technique. No mediocre artist, imitating the methods of a great one, could thereby produce a great work of art. To create such a work, one must be in some vital way great oneself.
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