We are always in pursuit—always on the hunt for higher states of novelty and creation.
This is the artist’s struggle. We cannot rest knowing we could’ve done better, and we always could do better. There is always something that could be improved upon, some slight detail to be adjusted, or some nuance to be implemented.
I know that in my artistic endeavors, this pursuit of perfection has always been present. I am constantly attempting to find that neutral state, that space of intuition and vision wherein my thought processes come to be slowed and quieted down, that inner place of stillness and heightened awareness. Ever so often, the conditioned processes of my mind come to infiltrate this deeply peaceful and inventive state of being.
We can only stop our minds for a few moments at a time, and it is in those moments, that creativity and artistry flow through us. It is almost like a kind of channelling, wherein we allow for innate inventiveness and novelty to manifest through us. We are merely vehicles for the sheer power and innovation of the universe.
The artist’s journey is both a blessing and a curse, for this incessant pursuit comes with both a tremendous abundance of beauty, as well as a deep sense of dissatisfaction and pain. The artist feels both extremes of the experiential spectrum.
The beauty and zest of the artistic experience is brought through being aligned with nature, through acting as a conduit of the intrinsic artistry of the cosmos, and the pain arises from our human proclivity to always blow it at the last second.
Yet, we never cease to get in our own way, disallow our most fundamental processes from unveiling naturally. The mind is an impenetrable force, as Nietzsche knew quite well, and in this inward state of newness and intuitiveness can never be fully abided by.
It is in our very nature to be imperfect, at least at this stage in human consciousness. We might only find bits and pieces of perfection. We probably won’t attain the whole chalupa.
When I look around at some of the greatest artists to ever have existed—the Bukowskis, the Kubricks, and the Lennons—they all seem to contain very similar traits. When they work, it is almost as if they are absent, wandering around in some far away land. In that moment there exists a kind of purity, a certain clarity of perception, for they are no longer operating out of the very limited vantage point of their ego and instead are allowing themselves to look through the eyes of God.
Perhaps this is why so many high level artists appear to be absolutely insane. They know that there is perfection out there. They understand the vast possibilities. They can feel the immenseness and infinite potential of the universe, yet they remain as “selves,” isolated individuals.
There is a kind of discrepancy here between the infinite potential of consciousness and the quite limited and narrow scope of the egoic mind. I feel as though this predisposes the artist to experiencing a broad spectrum of emotion, both in the positive and negative realms.
Now, I’m not saying all good artists are crazy, but there does seem to be something embedded in the artistic mind that inclines them to be perhaps a bit more eccentric and unpredictable than most other people (to put it lightly), and this inclination seems to arise from the oscillating, wobbly nature of the artist’s journey.
I personally try to soften this wobbliness, although the image of the unhinged maniac artist pouring their soul into their work does appeal to the romantic side of me.
I appreciate balance above all, and attempt to instill a kind of personal system of checks and balances, so as to avoid any unnecessary psychopathy that coincides with being a high level creator. When I start to feel my energy shifting as I engage artistically in some endeavor, I take a step back. When I start to sense that charge, that energetic pulsation, I put down what I’m doing and go into nature.
Maybe I’ll take a walk or just sit by a stream, and the essence of this practice for me is to decompress to some extent, allow myself to chill out. Not only does this feel good, but more often it attributes to whatever it is I am in the process of creating.
Taking a step back and allowing myself to simply abide in pure experience puts me on an even keel.
Now, we don’t need to chop off our ears and send them to dissuaded exes to be high quality creators, but surely a certain amount of quirkiness is to be expected when we delve into the vast pool of the cosmos, and attempt to derive something tangible from it. It is a difficult journey to undertake, there is no question, but for me it has been profoundly worth doing.
The pursuit of perfection with the underlying understanding of its unattainability is an endless journey, and one that brings much heartache, strife, pain, chaos, and ultimately enormous satisfaction.
I want to feel everything. I want to be immersed in it all. I want to be integrated into the immeasurable complexity and limitless intricacy of this universe, and that is why it has been a worthwhile journey.
Author: Samuel Kronen
Image: Eddy Klaus/Unsplash
Editor: Taia Butler