Art and the Zen koan by Lewis Harrison
Art is a form of communication that can facilitate thought processes within you that will transcend logic and the rational mind, as well as open the door to new realms of experience. Art will open yo
Art is a form of communication that can facilitate thought processes within you that will transcend logic and the rational mind, as well as open the door to new realms of experience. Art will open your sense of harmony, balance and rhythm.
Art in its most profound sense is both a kōan as well as a vehicle for the creation and experience of the kōan. A kōan is a story, dialogue, question, or statement, the meaning of which cannot be understood by rational thinking, but may be accessible through intuition or lateral thinking, i.e. a type of thought that solves problems or accesses wisdom through an indirect and creative approach, using reasoning that is not immediately obvious and involving ideas that may not be obtainable by using only traditional step-by-step logic.
Art is very much like a kōan? Who can say for sure but it can be said that "good" art, no matter what the form, is something that can be appealing and aesthetically pleasing, transforming and at times and even provocative. Now this is where art, specialized language and your wisdom practice come together. This specific use of language on an artistic level can be a tool for transformation. Think of the power of great literature to evoke thought and feeling; of the impact that the sacred texts of the major religions have on the world; and think of the thousands of stories concerning Spiritual Masters and their students, or artistic practices in the Asian monastic traditions like the Japanese tea Ceremony or Tibetan sand painting. The intention of applying language to the artistic process within the Wisdom Practice will open you to unique ideas and processes that might never have occurred to you. These distinctions carry great weight. For example though technically the word manure, pooh, feces and shit all mean the same they are actually quite different. In common usage, this might not mean all that much but when you are exploring the nature of reality and illusion, the subtle distinction between what one word means and what another means can be great. This is in part how kōans function.
The key again is that some forms of creative expression of which language is certainly one naturally creates a psychological environment of possibility while other forms tend to limit possibility and even reinforce existing obstacles.
About The Author:
Lewis Harrison is a poet, author, teacher/mentor, motivational speaker, life coach, trickster extraordinaire, and contemporary spiritual teacher. He is the creator of www.AskLewis.com. Lewis specializes in helping individuals and organizations solve basic and seemingly unsolvable problems through the application of principles and ideas drawn from Decision Science, Positive Psychology, Game Theory, Zen, many of the great thinkers and from his personal life experiences.